1. rorschach says

    I’m so glad I’m not your GP, I would never stop worrying about you, and send you to hospital all the time….Glad you feel better again. Keep your fluids up.

  2. rq says

    Glad you’re better, PZ!
    I don’t suppose you have any news on Dana Hunter, do you? She’s been awfully silent for quite some time.

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

    Glad to hear that you’re on the way to well PZ.

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

    Sure, four minutes too slow, and not near clever enough. Sigh.

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

    Tasty toast treats tardy tragedy. (All better now.)

  6. blf says

    Sure, four minutes too slow, and not near clever enough.

    Sorry of your life, eh, Fossil Fish? Stuck in a rock under the wild wet sea.

    (With apologies to Doctor Who.)

  7. blf says

    Tony, “the word ‘fruitcake’ is also a gay slur”.

    Interesting! No, I was not aware of that.

    However, it is also a (slang) term for a “a crazy or eccentric person; nut.“, which is the sense I have always meant (but it is sometimes defined as being a slang term for an “insane” (as in mentally ill) person, which is very much not what I mean).

    The Online Etymology Dictionary claims the slang sense of eccentric dates back to the 1950s: “Slang meaning ‘lunatic person’ is first attested 1952.”

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

    Indeed, blf. They told me lobed fins were all the go, but did I listen? Nooooo….. And now I cry calcium carbonate tears on my pillow of limestone.

  9. says

    Glad you’re better, PZ

    Today is not my day
    First I noticed that I’d missed a deadline by two days. I had written down the wrong date, i.e. Friday, when the date was Monday. Almost had a heart-attack, mailed the intructor, it’s OK, he’s only ickung up things on Thursday anyway. But since I’m not the MDP I needed to hand in said vanished document with the report. It finally turned up in the most likely place I had already looked twice before.
    Drove to college and noticed that I’d forgotten my wallet with the student ID card that opens the barrier to the car park. Found two bucks in the ashtray that I usually use as tokens for shopping carts (you need a coin in most European countries). Handed in the report, had to wait in line for a while, was late for my lecture which for some reason didn’t take place.

    While frantically checking my timetable if I was at the right place at the right time (I will always assume that I’m wrong first) I overheard some folks talking sophisticatedted theology. Most noticable participants were a young woman and a guy about twice her age, who always needed to correct her (I was tempted to say, yes, the bBible does say he cast demons into swine, because since that didn’t agree with his sophisticedted theology he dismissed it as “not in the Bible”).
    Paraphrasing the guy: And of course, you need to interprete things differently now, things are changing, like gays becoming more acceptable now, but things will change back in the other direction, one day they’ll burn women like you again, right now women are OK, some day they will be not, that’s how things are…
    The casual misogyny, the total exclusion of women from the category of “people who are part of society and make up the social and moral contract” was hard to take. Oh, I’m pretty sure he would assure me that of course he thinks that women are people, and no, he doesn’t think we should burn them as witches, and really, can’t women just take a joke?

  10. bassmike says

    I’ve been thinking (Yes I know this is a dangerous think to do). I was driving back though the campus of my university the other day, and noticed two men walking along holding hands. I smiled at the thought that they felt confident/safe enough that they could do that. Then I quickly remembered that there are many locations and situations where they would not feel safe doing it. It seems horribly unfair that they could now get married in this country, but would probably feel unable to walk hand in hand in some situations due to hostility.

    How unfair is it that I can be hand in hand with my wife and no one bats an eye lid, but if this couple did the same, someone would be bound to tut, shake their head, or much worse?

    I have a relative who I’m pretty certain is gay. His best friend is openly gay and they always go on holiday together. It’s not a foregone conclusion, but I think it’s a reasonable assumption that they are a couple. However, my relative has not come out and I think that’s due to the intolerance of his father. I find that very sad.

    I know this is all pretty obvious and self-evident to most of you, but I just wish the world was a kinder and more tolerant place.

    Sorry for the rambling post, but it’s just something I wanted to write down somewhere where people might listen.

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

    Ah bassmike, no matter how obvious it might seem it’s never a bad thing to acknowledge how far we still have to go. And by its very nature your post pushes out into the world a few more grains of kindness and tolerance. Bit by bit, in the slow sedimentary way of things too monumental for any individual alone, we’ll get there. And even if the view from those hoped for heights never fills my eyes, it will still be worth it. For a life lived in opposition to all the diggers of dark, foetid holes is a life well lived.

  12. rq says

    Limestone tears?

    Indeed, it was possible to get closer than close enough. Next time I will try harder!

  13. rq says

    I live in one of those countries where they would not be able to do that… And I really do believe that we (this entire country) are by far the poorer for it. :(

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

    Don’t feel bad rq, it never occurred to me that my purple prose might be one actual thing, let alone two(ish). Does my head in a bit, that.

  15. bassmike says

    FossilFishy I think we all have to do what we can to make the world more inclusive. As you say: little by little we can make things better. We can educate our children to be tolerant and call out people who express bigoted views. I try to acknowledge the privilege that I have, but I’m sure I’m still guilty of making assumptions.

    rq it does seem to me that Eastern Europe is a long way behind on the equality front. My experience with a few of the people I know of Ukranian descent show me that! There’s one of the younger ones who shocked me by his rabidly homophobic views. I was disgusted.

  16. David Marjanović says

    …Huh. I can’t count to 5 anymore. 1, uh…


    Paraphrasing the guy: And of course, you need to interprete things differently now, things are changing, like gays becoming more acceptable now, but things will change back in the other direction, one day they’ll burn women like you again, right now women are OK, some day they will be not, that’s how things are…

    *leans back with smug grin* Aaaah. The heresy of modernism.

  17. says

    What did I say about today not being my day?
    I fell down the stairs to #1’s after school daycare.
    Luckily I didn’t break anything, but I’ll not leave the house anymore today unless it burns down. Maybe I should order dinner…

  18. rq says


    I fell down the stairs

    How’s your recently mostly healed foot??? :o

    It’s partly a product of living in isolation from the rest of the world for 50 years (with added propaganda of all kinds, of course); partly a product of a heavy christian presence in the country (which experienced an upsurge with the fall of the USSR because it was no longer forbidden); partly due to people’s general stupidity. From one point of view, I can understand having to catch up culturally and morally and washing out all the propaganda of the past; then again, it’s been 24 years, almost a generation, and… There’s still a huge lack of education of all kinds (and they want to bring back religious ethics into schools!!). Currently, I am despairing, but most days it’s not so bad.

  19. David Marjanović says

    Also, I do not know how often fruitcake is used as a bigoted slur…it may well have fallen into disuse.

    Wouldn’t surprise me. All mentions I’ve ever seen* are clearly analogous to “you’re nuts”, “gun nut”, “nutter”, “nutcase”, “nutcake”, “fruit loop”, “from the land of fruits and nuts”.

    * …I think I know this word only in writing. Haven’t spent all that much time in English-speaking places.

  20. blf says

    Maybe I should order dinner…

    You’ll drop it on the floor, burn your tongue, get food poisoning, or if you are really lucky, all three. And the ambulance will crash en route to the hospital.

    Also. I suggest moving away from the computer. Soon. Very soon. Before you get sucked int—WHOOOOOSH! burp—o the USB po…

  21. David Marjanović says

    living in isolation from the rest of the world for 50 years (with added propaganda of all kinds, of course)

    It seems to have been outright policy in communist countries to not talk about any problems. Everyone was supposed to be happy now!

    In Yugoslavia, the conflicts between the nationalists were ended by simply putting a heavy lid on them: official doctrine said they had all been solved in the best possible way, and doubting this got you in trouble. Nothing else was done against the old prejudices, so it’s no wonder they just broke out again as soon as Tito was dead.

  22. cnocspeireag says

    ‘Fruitcake’ derives from an English simile ‘nutty (ie crazy) as a fruitcake’.
    One simile that became better known was ‘Queer (ie strange) as a clockwork orange’.

  23. says

    IME, whether ‘Fruitcake’ means ‘gay’ or crazy’ is largely a regionalism, but ‘crazy’ seems to predominate. I’ve also encountered fruitbar, which has the same mixed meaning, but is rather archaic and not much used of late.

    Fairly ‘rupt. *hugs* all ’round for them as want them.

    Alice Wilde
    from last thread:
    I have an ulcer and some anxiety problems from the last call center job I had too, yeah. There really needs to be something done about those places.

  24. says

    You thought National Prayer Day was more than a little iffy when it comes to separation of church and state? Yes. Well, the sayers of prayers with apparent government sanction are not done. They are holding prayer events in Statuary Hall.

    Fox News published an opinion piece this morning from Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, an anti-gay mega-church leader in Texas, who’s eager to publicize an event scheduled for this evening on Capitol Hill.

    On Wednesday evening, May 7, I will be joining former Governor Mike Huckabee, Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), pastors Jim Garlow and Dan Cummins, Tony Perkins, and others in Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol for an event called “Washington: A Man of Prayer.”

    This event, which will be simulcast to churches through out [sic] the nation and carried on the Daystar Television Network, will commemorate the 225th anniversary of the events of April 30, 1789.

    […] Statuary Hall isn’t some sort of public facility that anyone can use. Groups have to get special permission from the congressional leadership to hold events there, and it’s not often granted.

    Apparently, however, this religious right gathering made the cut. It’s done so for three consecutive years now.

    […] Michele Bachmann spoke at this same prayer event in the same location and argued that both the 9/11 attacks and the Benghazi attacks are related to divine “judgment.” [insert blather here]

    A year later, event organizers rewarded Bachmann, making her the official host of the Statuary Hall prayer service.

    Prayer, prayer everywhere … and led by the worst elements of the rightwing politicians, who have all gone to bed with the worst elements of politically-motivated rightwing religious leaders.

  25. Pteryxx says

    US Hispanics turning away from Catholic church

    A growing number of U.S. Hispanics are turning away from the Roman Catholic religion of their youth and now identify as Protestant or unaffiliated with any church, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

    Catholics represented 55 percent of U.S. Hispanics in 2013, a drop from 67 percent in 2010, the Pew Research Center survey found. About 16 percent of Hispanics are evangelical Protestants, up from 12 percent three years earlier, and 18 percent are unaffiliated, up from 10 percent.

    Three-quarters of those interviewed said they were raised Catholic. More than half of those who left their childhood faith said they “gradually drifted away,” while 31 percent said they found a congregation that helps its members more.


    Just 3 percent of Hispanics identify as atheist or agnostic, half the rate in the general public.

    Jose Alvarado, 40, founder of Chicago Latino Atheists, said he believes that many Latinos have doubts about religion but that it was tough to “come out” in a culture where church is such a powerful force.

    “We’re much more outsiders than probably any other Latino group,” said Alvarado, who was raised Catholic.

  26. says

    Thanks to David M. @ #34 for the links to “Benghazi!!!” Black comedy from the Daily Kos, and full of actual information.

    In other news of Republican flea-brained-ness, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and the state’s Republican-led legislature wrote into law some massive tax breaks for the wealthy about a year ago. Now we have a verdict on the effects: “[T]he immediate effect has been to blow a hole in the state’s finances without noticeable economic growth.” — so says a Business Week report. Also, Kansas’ bond rating was downgraded yesterday.

    It’s not a good month for Brownback. The FBI is investigating him for campaign fundraising, lobbying and spending irregularities. Bribes, corruption, etc.

  27. says

    Well, I’m off to my surgery! I’ve prepared by wearing loose clothing for afterwards, and I’ve loaded up some Clive Barker horror stories on my iPad, just to put me in the right frame of mind before hand.

    If I don’t make it back, tell my family I love them.

  28. says

    Despite the obvious example of Governor Sam Brownback’s failed tax policies staring them in the face with fresh evidence, Republicans in the U.S. Congress are going to vote yet again to make tax breaks for the well-to-do permanent.

    House Republicans are poised to vote, perhaps as early as today, on making a series of temporary tax breaks permanent, at a cost of between $156 billion and $310 billion over 10 years, depending on how the package is structured. How in the world does the GOP intend to pay for this? As it turns out, Republicans don’t even intend to try to pay for the tax breaks.

    Meanwhile, Republicans will not extend unemployment benefits, disaster relief funds, and other aid for the needy because they are not offset by other cuts in the budget, because they are not paid for.

    It’s okay to approve massive corporate welfare, but not okay to approve a bipartisan jobless-aid package passed by the Senate. Fecking mustache-twirling villains, (Cantor, Boehner, et. al.)

  29. says

    blf, re Dr Who socks and being out of timey wimey balance – Younger Daughter has several pairs of Dr Who kneesocks in different designs. She, being of an artistical bent, likes to wear mismatched socks, so some days she has a TARDIS on one leg and a Dalek on the other. And sometimes, she wears one Dr Who sock and one Pikachu sock, or even a striped sock and an argyle sock. She’s a bit of a rebel, that one. :)

  30. says

    As a follow up to David M.’s Benghazi links, Republicans are busy raising money off this newly resuscitated pile of synaptic rightwing sludge. A cynic would say that fundraising was their main objective.

    Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the head of the Republicans’ new Benghazi committee, appeared on msnbc this morning and said the terrorist attack “transcends politics,” and should therefore not be used for partisan fundraising.


    Minutes earlier, the National Republican Congressional Committee sent out a fundraising email tied to Gowdy’s role leading a select committee to investigate the attacks.

    The timing of the two events points to a problem that Republican leadership will likely encounter as it looks into the Obama administration’s handling of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which left four Americans dead. The temptation to rev up the base and raise money from it too could end up damaging the investigation’s credibility even before it starts.

    On msnbc, Gowdy was unequivocal. “I have never sought to raise a single penny on the backs of four murdered Americans,” he said, adding, “Even in a culture of hyper-partisanship, [there are] certain things that ought to be above politics.”

    And just as far-right lawmaker was making these on-air comments, his party’s House campaign committee used Gowdy’s name as part of a new fundraising pitch. […]

    ”In the email, the NRCC linked to a contribution page that alerted those who clicked through that they were ‘now a Benghazi Watchdog’ and asked them for donations ranging between $25 and $500.” Quote from Sam Stein’s column.

    Media Matters link.

    Like their counterparts in the media, the main Republican Party campaign apparatuses are actively fundraising off of Benghazi. The Republican National Committee has a donation page asking Republicans to demand “the truth about Benghazi” by contributing money. The National Republican Senatorial Committee asks Republicans to “donate today” because of Benghazi. And the National Republican Congressional Committee has a fundraising page stating: “You’re now a Benghazi Watchdog. Let’s go after Obama & Hillary Clinton. Help us fight them now.” The page features an image of President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with the text, “Benghazi Was A Coverup. Demand Answers.” […]

  31. opposablethumbs says

    Good luck, PZ. Hope it all goes utterly boringly and is as smooth and routine a procedure as conceivably possible.

  32. opposablethumbs says

    Ooh, I just got redirected when trying to do a (very mundane and routine) google search.

    Got a message saying “Our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network. This page checks to see if it’s really you sending the requests, and not a robot.” and the redirect is to

    Anyone had this, or knows if it’s legit or not?

  33. says

    A young mormon man, Micah Anderson, makes the obligatory mission call video. These are the guys preaching the mormon gospel. I hope they do more damage to the mormon reputation.

    The kid’s mother says, “Oh my heck!”
    YouTube link.

  34. cicely says


    Do you know that situation where you’ve put something safely away and then can’t remember where for the life of you?

    In our household, the phrase “I put it somewhere safehas no other meaning.

    Glad to hear that you are better, O Squidly Overlord.
    Clearly, I’ve missed briefings….
    All tentacles crossed on your behalf.

    bassmike—what FossilFishy said.

    *chocolate-y pouncehug*
    *reading Modernism linky*
    Interesting! I had not realized that this was a heresy.

    *reciprocal hug* for Dalillama.

  35. says

    I live.

    40 minutes of snip, snip, snip, and then the doctor yanked a bloody golf ball out of my back. 6 cm. I thought he might have accidentally pulled out a lung it was so big, but then he dissected it right there for me, and we poked around inside and saw what a disgusting thing it was. Awesome.

    Local is starting to wear off. Percocets await me. Good night, planet Earth.

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

    I’m glad it went well and you even had fun poking around.
    Take care, PZ.

  37. Pteryxx says

    glad it went well PZ, and what a great doctor to let you join in a bit of spontaneous dissection! (pics? *flees*)

  38. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    also ick

    PZ mentioned a cyst in his back earlier. Heal quickly PZ

  39. says

    PZ at #57, so you got the cyst removed. Good. Still alive, also good. Fecking ugly things, cysts. I mean WTF do cysts think they are doing anyway?

    Enjoy your drugs while ye may.

  40. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    PZ, glad to hear you’re okay. Percocet party for you!

    chigau @62, I know! I loved his books. The guy was a Canadian’s Canadian. But you know, he made it to 92. That’s an excellent run.

  41. says

    *drags mound of fluffy hugs and blankets into a pile and burrows*

    Husband just got diagnosed with chronic illness.

    I’m waiting for results back about if my thyroid is working correctly or not. Bets are on “not”. Which will be me *also* with a chronic illness.

    I’m just gonna hide here until we have some fucking grasp of what is going on.

    (Yes we have insurance, yes it is actually good)

  42. says

    Republicans have created their own reality around Obamacare. Today they held hearings in which insurance companies refused to support the alternate reality. Kind of funny when you think about it. Here’s a big, big business with lots of lobbyists that just failed to support Republican non-reality.

    Republicans struggled to land punches against ObamaCare in a hearing Wednesday as responses from insurance companies deflated several lines of questioning.

    Democratic lawmakers were emboldened to defend the Affordable Care Act with renewed vigor and levity, creating a dynamic rarely seen in the debate over ObamaCare…. Republicans were visibly exasperated as insurers failed to confirm certain assumptions about ObamaCare.

  43. says

    bassmike @22:

    Sorry for the rambling post, but it’s just something I wanted to write down somewhere where people might listen.

    I didn’t find it rambling in the slightest, and I very much appreciate you expressing your thoughts on the issue.


    Giliell @36:
    Yikes. I’m glad you’re ok.
    I imagine at this point you just want today to be over with…


    The doctor dissected it after he removed the cyst? Was this a request on your part, or is this common after cyst removals?


    A clean, safe way to transport water:

    The difficulty of finding clean drinking water in some parts of the world is well know. But there is less discussion about the challenge of bringing clean water from its source to where it’s needed

    David Fischer, CEO of the industrial packaging manufacturer Greif Inc. in Delaware, Ohio, saw this challenge first-hand while visiting Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.

    Inspired to take action, and drawing on his background in the packaging industry, Fischer returned home and challenged his team to find an alternative.

    In two years’ time, Greif had designed, manufactured, and tested what has since become known as PackH2O, a specially designed water backpack with a removable liner that can be sanitized in the sun.

    The pack is collapsible and made from industrial-grade, woven polypropylene. It can hold 5.3 gallons, or about 20 liters, yet it is seven times lighter than the jerrycans that are typically used to transport drinking water in many parts of the world.

    “We designed the PackH2O so that we can keep clean water clean and make it easier to carry water,” Fischer says.


    To date, more than 500,000 packs have reached areas where they are neeeded. Greif, a private firm, works closely with nonprofits that secure funding for the packs and work to distribute them in areas of need, Fischer says. Individuals can also donate the cost of a pack for someone in need for just $10

    Mr. Fischer, thank you for giving back. Everyone should have access to drinking water.

  44. blf says

    opposablethumbs@54, It’s not possible to tell from the information you provided whether or not that is legit.

    Generalisimo Google™ will give you such a message in certain situations, but — according to the searches I just did — there is usually also a CAPTCHA, which you didn’t mention. Google’s own page on the subject says that, in some cases, there is not a CAPTCHA, so the lack of one is inconclusive.

    It is not clear if the URL you gave is what the page you got rendered (printed), or is the actual hyperlink. The text (in this case URL) shown on the page need not be the real URL of the hyperlink. The real URL can be obtained by the Copy Hyperlink functionality of your browser (and probably isn’t called exactly that). Typically, it is one of the Right-Clink-Menu options.

    Anyways, most sites (that I checked) suggest (1) Reseting your modem / router; and (2) Checking your computer for malware. There are other causes (such as some tricks some ISPs play), a problem with some other computer which is sharing your IP, maybe a false-detect, and so on…

  45. says

    Dalillama I want lie and say I didn’t have a fear of phones before that call center job but ever since any time a phone rings/beeps/or I hear a ringtone my heart starts racing and it nearly sets off a panic attack. To other’s amusement for even a couple years after I quit I would accidentally answer my home phone with the script I had to use at work. I’ll never forget those scripts. Ugh.

    I’m glad everything went well PZ. Maybe I’m weird but I would want to see what that thing was made of too.

  46. David Marjanović says

    cicely! *pouncehug* *all the discounted chocolate*

    Yay! PZ lives! And had fun, too!

    Petition to reopen four Social Security offices in NYC that were closed under the pretense of saving the budget. “The Social Security Administration is funded the same way Social Security benefits are—by payroll taxes that all of us pay. Its expenses have no impact on the federal debt, and represent less than 1% of Social Security’s annual expenditures.”

    IME, whether ‘Fruitcake’ means ‘gay’ or crazy’ is largely a regionalism, but ‘crazy’ seems to predominate.

    I see. Not surprising either.

    I’ve also encountered fruitbar

    Oh, I forgot “nutbar”.

    Catholics represented 55 percent of U.S. Hispanics in 2013, a drop from 67 percent in 2010

    …That’s deeply impressive.

    31 percent said they found a congregation that helps its members more.

    Not “they found the truth”. Not “they saw the light”. They found a congregation that helps them more.

    For all we know, they could all be atheists!

    Also, Kansas’ bond rating was downgraded yesterday.

    It’s not a good month for Brownback. The FBI is investigating him for campaign fundraising, lobbying and spending irregularities. Bribes, corruption, etc.

    Oh well.

    Republicans have created their own reality around Obamacare. Today they held hearings in which insurance companies refused to support the alternate reality.


  47. says

    The Horde are having troubles. I shall refill the basket of hugs, immediately. Help yourselves. Those who don’t do hugs, my good wishes are with you.

    PZ, I’m glad you survived. Be careful with your back, they had to cut into muscle and that takes time to heal. I know from sad experience.

    In other news, Younger Daughter got re-registered from DEM to REP, without her knowlege or permission. We got a voter registration card in the mail. We called the registrar’s office. Apparently it was that “school funding” petition she signed at college last month; she’s going to have to re-register again now, thank you, Orange County Republican slimeweasels.

    How desperate do you have to be to pull that sort of stunt on college kids? I never thought I’d have to warn her about petition gatherers. Trust no one, indeed.

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

    Glad to hear it went well PZ.

    Percocet party for you!

    I know this wasn’t directed at me, but I have to say I really hate this sentiment. Around here it’s usually expressed: “Well, at least you get the good drugs, heeyuk, heeyuk!”

    I stopped doing drug recreationally years ago, and for good reasons. I also react very badly to opiates. My recent stint under the surgeon’s knife left me catheterised and vomiting so badly that the two front line anti-nausea drugs failed to help. And their third, off label choice was poor indeed. It depressed my respiratory rate to 8 breaths a minute.

    Look, I know that the point of such statements is to proffer a silver lining; the intent is good. But the presumption that opiates are universally fun galls just a bit. Especially right at the moment. I’m scheduled in a couple of weeks to have the wire in my knee removed. To say I’m not looking forward to it is a profound under statement.

  49. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says


    But the presumption that opiates are universally fun galls just a bit.

    I hear you FossilFishy and I apologize for the unthinking splash damage. I did write that with a bit of tongue planted in cheek (not that I communicated it at all), because I was on a steady stream of percocets two decades ago while recovering from an abdominal surgery. The opiates did dull the pain, but I was spaced-out and a quasi-zombie while on them. So, sorry, and ouch for your knee.

  50. opposablethumbs says

    Hi blf, thank you.
    First, sorry – I should have mentioned that yes, there was a captcha on the page.
    The url I copied to my comment earlier was the first little bit of the url that I was actually redirected to, I mean that is the first part of what now appeared in the address bar (followed by a whole bunch of this: after which my search terms started to appear together with more symbols ).
    Also, we all gave google a rest for a few hours (and used bing instead) and now google has gone back to normal again.
    So I’m thinking that it was probably legit – does that make sense, do you think?
    Thank you for any comments!

  51. Pteryxx says

    Anne D. at #72:

    In other news, Younger Daughter got re-registered from DEM to REP, without her knowlege or permission. We got a voter registration card in the mail. We called the registrar’s office. Apparently it was that “school funding” petition she signed at college last month; she’s going to have to re-register again now, thank you, Orange County Republican slimeweasels.

    Anne D, that’s voter registration fraud, and there’s a history of this sort of thing. You might want to contact your election officials or state attorney general (or watchdogs, or newspapers) and make a report of it.

    LA Times 2008:

    SACRAMENTO — Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country.

    Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed.


    Those who were formerly Democrats may stop receiving phone calls and literature from that party, perhaps affecting its get-out-the-vote efforts. They also will be given only a Republican ballot in the next primary election if they do not switch their registration back before then.

    Some also report having their registration status changed to absentee without their permission; if they show up at the polls without a ballot they may be unable to vote.

    The Times randomly interviewed 46 of the hundreds of voters whose election records show they were recently re-registered as Republicans by YPM, and 37 of them — more than 80% — said that they were misled into making the change or that it was done without their knowledge.

    More from Salon reprinting The Brad Blog, 2012

  52. says

    Tony, it’s part of the nature of the life of a cheat. Liars think everyone is always lying; psychopaths think everyone must want to kill people randomly like they do. Fraudsters assume that everyone else is on the make, just like they are, and they assume we’ll commit fraud because they know they would under the same circumstances, and they’re hardly likely to want to think we’re more moral than they are.

    Projection: it’s not just a way to make movies on buildings anymore.

  53. says

    Dammit. I should have taken a few pictures. In my defense, I had just had a guy taking scissors to my back…

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

    Dammit. I should have taken a few pictures.

    Biologists. [Shakes head]

    Aparently, if it’s covered in slime they’re havin’ a good time.

  55. ck says

    Reading Pteryxx and Anne D’s posts, I gotta say that the U.S.’s voter registration system is bizarre to me. It’s not like there’s no voter fraud in Canada (where are you, “Pierre Poutine”), but your system seems needlessly complex for absolutely no reason.

  56. says

    Pterryx, I did call the registrar’s office, so at least somebody knows about it now. I also attached the card with my notes to her sample ballot (which has her full name and proper party), so she’ll have something to show at the polls if we don’t get the paperwork through in time. This is Republican territory, so I doubt we’ll get any sympathy from our elected officials.

    Also she’s rather shy, so I don’t want to push her into publicity. But I am going to warn everybody I know, and we’ll be going to the polls together, so I’ll have her back if there’s any questions. No more petition-signing, though.

    There are advantages to having the daughters live at home while going to college. If she’d been away and voting absentee, it would’ve been a lot harder to detect and fix.

  57. says

    PS it’s not that I don’t care. I do, but I’m already swamped in family crises, and I’ve got no energy for fighting more fights.

  58. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Redhead finally got out to a knitting meeting. Makes for along day for me, but it really helps her spirits to get out and socialize.

  59. Pteryxx says

    *headdesk* My bad – Anne D, I read that as *college* registrar for some reason, not *voting* registrar. Thanks for letting them, and us, know about it.

  60. says

    No problem, Pteryxx.

    I asked Daughter to find someone we could email at her college, and I’m going to let them know, too. My brain hurts…

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


    Thanks for that. I’ll admit that the creeping dread about my upcoming surgery is making me a bit over sensitive about this.

    I’ve also been worrying about end-of-life care. My mother recently died from pancreatic cancer, a horrible, agonising way to go. If I end up like her I’m wondering if my only option for pain control will be suicide.

    I’m not afraid being dead. In fact that’s something of a nonsensical statement. There will be no “I” after my death to feel anything. But getting to that state scares the crap out of me. I really ought to take up smoking, stop exercising, and stop eating healthy foods in the hopes that a sledgehammer of a heart attack will put me out like a light. /mostly kidding

    You know, I was also going to say that as a cis, hetero, white, middle-class, middle-aged, English speaking male in an English speaking country, pain mitigation was one place where I’m not ridiculously privileged. But then I realised that if I wanted opiates from the doctor I could probably get them, no problems. Unlike a POC who’s more likely to be accused of drug seeking.

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

    …I’m already swamped in family crises, and I’ve got no energy for fighting more fights.

    Priorities, sounds like you’ve got them pretty well sorted Anne D.

    Hugs and/or comforting confections should you want them.

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

    No worries Anne. I have them in virtually unlimited supply. ;)

    I know it’s a faint comfort, but it’s the rare person indeed who’s never been where life seems to be an unending series of disasters strung together with anxieties and faint hopes. But we are, all of us, the descendants of folks who managed to hold it together long enough to successfully raise kids. We are strong, even if it doesn’t feel like it. We muddle through, hopefully learning something along the way, and eventually things ease, and our focus widens once again. We raise our heads again to see that beauty, joy, love, and saltly snack treats are still there, and still have the power to move us as profoundly as they did before trouble robbed us of that sight.

    Be well as you can be, all of you who are struggling. Know that you’re not alone.

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


    I fell down the stairs

    Holy hell, I missed that! Scary. I hope you’re okay.

    Stupid anecdote about me, Me ME! warning.

    I have a metal plate in my left forearm. It was attached with four titanium screws to allow my wrist to heal straight after a rather bad crash snapped my radius. About a week after the surgery I was coming down the stairs and slipped. I blame a combination of fatigue, ineffective pain meds (All side effects, all the time!) and a slightly curve staircase.

    I slid down to the bottom on my ass, bump, bump, bumping along with teeth jarring force. I couldn’t arrest my slid because I was holding my freshly bolted arm above my head in an effort to avoid re-injury. I got to the bottom and, I’m not ashamed to admit, I lost it completely. I was sobbing and repeating over and over “I can’t do this anymore, I can’t!”, but of course I had no choice.

    At this point Ms. Fishy came over and yelled at me for frightening her.

    It is funny now, in the light of 10 years hindsight, but at the time it was a major test of our relationship.

  65. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I hear you FossilFishy and I apologize for the unthinking splash damage.

    Are we allowed to say “splash damage” outside of a handful of super-narrow contexts now?

    *epic eyeroll*

  66. rq says

    Wow, that’s a lot of rather negativish stuff in one night! (I originally wrote ‘crap’ but decided that might sound as if I believe all of the above is insignificant, but in fact, quite the opposite!!)

    *hugs* for Anne D, FossilFishy, Rawnaeris, jrfdeux (mostly supportive ones for being in a good place right now), Dalillama and Alice Wilde. Oh, and PZ, if he accepts them from non-tentacly people on the internet.
    Also available: *handshakes*, *hot tea*, *chocolate*, *spring sunshine* and *sledgehammer*.
    May those recovering recover swiftly and complication-free; may those newly diagnosed find quick, sure solutions to be pain- and discomfort-free; may time and energy come to those in need; may all (voting or other) registration complications be resolved with suitable penalties for those committing fraud. And, just, you know, be well, all of you, you matter, dammit!


    Here, let’s put everyone in boxes! Or circles, as it were. :P

    The origins of Not All Man, with comics!

  67. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says


    -~3 cups “…wait, I still HAVE these?!”-ripe strawberries, de-leaved and sliced
    -~1 cup white sugar
    1 cup “Gold” Tequila

    Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan, mix thoroughly. Cook on medium heat for ~10 min, then puree in blender or with immersion blender. Return to pan, cook on medium heat for ~30 minutes. Don’t tell your guests it’s tequila-based until they’ve tried it :3

    Comes out as a ladleable rather than spreadable sauce with all the yummy of strawberry jam and an intangible “extra.” Resist urge to bite saucepan.

  68. rq says

    … And I don’t have strawberries. Or tequila.
    I don’t know which is worse.

  69. blf says

    Comes down from bed. Refreshes screen. First thing read is “Resist urge to bite saucepan.” Decides it’s waaaaaaay too early in the morning — the sun’s still out — to decipher that…

  70. says

    Good morning
    I swam 850 fucking metres today. Yay! I probably won’t be able to lift my arms tomorrow.

    The foot is mostly good. It still hurts after walking more than 100m, but I can walk again and don’t need to leave 10 min early so I’ll make it to college in time.
    Oh, and because I was really done with yesterday I sat in the armchair and watched TV. I saw the videos of some of the Eurovision contestants. What drugs are currently popular among young people in Latvia?

    Glad everything went well, wishing you speedy recovery

    Oh, I once did the “falling down the stairs while pregnant” thing, my friend and flatmate did not find that funny either.


    but your system seems needlessly complex for absolutely no reason.

    Yep, seems my impression, too.
    In Germany you have to register your current main address and if you’re eligible to vote you’ll get a a voting reminder before any election. Then you can either decide to go to the voting booth (and I never waited for more than 30 seconds and Germany usually has a higher voter turnout than the USA) or ask for mail voting. It’s almost as if one system was designed so that people would please show up for the elections and the other to discourage them…

  71. opposablethumbs says

    You don’t have urges to bite saucepans?

    Ah, no. Of course not. The mdp has already eaten or otherwise denatured them.

  72. rq says

    How does one denature a saucepan? [/curious]

    Ah, the Latvians… Yes… Well, currently popular is a smokeable synthetic of indeterminate composition or origin called ‘Spice’ that leaves victims in hospital with useless livers.
    I wish they’d stick to regular cannabis, seeing as how hemp has been culturally popular for centuries (one of the best folk songs ever goes something like “Sow, brother, cannabis weed* / Below the window / When my suitors arrive / I will hide within”). Check out the parody of the Latvian song, though, had some laughs about it here a short while ago. The common opinion was that the parody would have gone further than the original.

    “falling down the stairs while pregnant”

    Oh, me too! Not something I’m inclined to repeat. :/

    * Yes, I know, there’s a pretty big difference in properties between cannabis grown for hemp and cannabis grown for THC, but hey, the one’s been popular, and I find it difficult to believe the other was never, ever, ever discovered…

  73. Nick Gotts says

    I really ought to take up smoking, stop exercising, and stop eating healthy foods in the hopes that a sledgehammer of a heart attack will put me out like a light. – FossilFishy

    I’m told heart attacks can be very painful. What you really want is SCD – Sudden Cardiac Death – where the heart goes into ventricular fibrillation without a prior infarction. You lose consciousness in a few seconds, and according to those who’ve survived the VF, it’s absolutely painless. Unfortunately, I don’t know any way to arrange it!

    On which cheerful note, I’m signing off for a couple of weeks – well, I may pop in briefly, but won’t have internet access at home.

  74. carlie says

    Hugs to everyone.

    I’m having two parent-child milestones converge on me today. My elder child turns 16* today, and oddly enough, if I count up my age in years and months and days, today I am exactly to the day the age that my mother was on the day I (her eldest child) got married. That makes me want nothing more than to spend the day lounging on the porch with Spouse, having a nice drink and musing about the passage of time, but there are finals to give and grade.

    *if 16 isn’t a big deal year in other countries (I don’t know), it’s one in the US because that’s when you get to legally drive a car and get to work at a real job, and for some reason it’s always been romanticized (sweet 16).

  75. carlie says

    AUGH. I was just pondering about the differences between my mother’s trajectory in life and mine, and somehow stumbled across a realization I’ve never had before – she most likely got pregnant with me while on a date with my dad to celebrate her own birthday. And now I can’t un-know this. I’ll be over in the corner recuperating from TMI.

  76. rq says

    Weed(less) Monkey
    Why, yes, I learned to drive a car legally when I was 16!
    Used to be you got handed your license at 16 (says mum, in Canada).
    I, however, had to struggle through 8 months of learner’s permitting (aka the G1), meaning constant 4+-years-of-experience sitting in the passenger seat and a multitude of other restrictions, then a full year of the almost-a-real-license (aka the G2), with less supervision but still many restrictions, and only then, just after my 18th birthday, was I actually allowed to get my full driver’s license (the G!!!). Exams at every step – written to get the G1, practical for the G2 and the G. The horror. And and and and – the only reason I could squeeze the G2 within 8 months (instead of a year) was because I had to drop money for actual Driver’s Ed!!!!! Horrible stuff, that, they teach you rules of the road, and how to change gears politely (to the car), and other weird stuff like signalling that… well, I mean, that’s not driving, is it?

    (The above should be read in Full Snark Mode, because, to be honest, I really like the idea behind graduated licensing, and while it isn’t perfect, I think it provides great opportunity to learn and gain experience before being thrown out into full adult responsibility traffic. [/opinion]

    I suppose… Congratulations? Of a sort? :) Yay for passage of time?


    Speaking of milestones, Youngest has now learned to climb down the stairs, and now gets thoroughly pissed off if someone even tries to carry him down. Also, since he hasn’t learned to fumble the gate at the top, he gets frustrated about that, too – how dare anyone limit his newly-found mobility??
    And Eldest drove the mowing tractor out in the country all on his own (once all the gears are set, all it needs is steering – no adjustment of gears and/or pedals for him yet, though that will come soon!).
    And Middle Child asked his swimming coach to take off all his swimming aids last lesson.
    They grow up so fast!

  77. rq says

    Oh and well done with the 850m, Giliell! Here’s to hoping the arms co-operate tomorrow.

    Good luck, Nick! See you on the other side!

  78. birgerjohansson says

    Re. PZ @ 79

    I will just pretend the cyst looked like a facehugger.

    Or that siamese twin in Family Guy which actually was a tumor.

    — — — — —
    Captain Rolemodel

    — — — — —
    Gamespot: “Danish government creates entire country in Minecraft, users promptly blow it up and plant American flag”

  79. bassmike says

    Well done on the swim Giliell it sounds like you’re already having a better day.

    My wife did the ‘falling down stairs while pregnant’ thing (surely it’s because pregnant women can’t see their feet). We reckon that it may have been a contributing factor in our daughter’s premature birth.

    carlie just breathe. You’ll be fine.

  80. says

    I’m not sure if they’ve changed it, but in the 70s, you could get your learner’s permit at fourteen in Alberta. I was very excited when I went to visit my Dad in Calgary at 15, a year before I could get my permit in Ontario, only to find out it was only available to residents. Then he went and got killed before I could move to live with him and take advantage of the AWESOME. :(

    Didn’t matter, my Dad let me drive half the time anyway. I started driving when I was 10, strictly off-road (parking lots and dirt roads), then graduated to on-street driving when I was tall enough to reach the pedals (at 13; I was 4’10”, and starting high school having skipped a year). We didn’t tell my Mum this (they’d divorced when I was 7). I loved it, because my Dad was a race driver (rally and some track), and once I was old enough to drive it myself, he took me out onto the Mosport track to do some race practice in his loaded Mini Cooper. Holy hell, that thing was SCARY FAST, since it weighed not much more than a motorcycle, and carried a turbocharged engine. And your ass was about three inches from the ground in it.

    This is probably why when my friends and I pull off robberies, I’m the getaway driver.

    In video games, I mean. I totally don’t do robberies.


  81. says


    Learner’s Permit (Class 7): This permit can be obtained at 14 years of age, and can only be used when a non-probationary licensed driver (see below) over the age of 18 is accompanying the driver. However, mopeds may be driven without an accompanying driver. A knowledge test requiring a mark of at least 80% as well as a vision test must be passed.

    Huh. Still can, says the Pfft of all Knowledge.

  82. rq says


    when my friends and I pull off robberies, I’m the getaway driver

    When I plan my massive large-scale spoon-heist, I’m calling you. Please be available.

  83. rq says

    Don’t worry, I only steal spoons from large corporate entities. Trouble is, I’ve already acquired all commercial Latvian spoons, but (hahaa!) I’ll be in Canada soon. New territories, new designs, new cafes and restaurants!
    (And if you don’t have the spoons, I can definitely lend you some. A lot. Many. …)

  84. says

    Oh, I am having fun now.

    Had to make an emergency room visit last night — Mary noticed that the back of my shirt was soaked with blood, and that I was staining her furniture. The doctor pounded on my wound for another 45 minutes.

    Got home took another percocet, passed out. Then at 3am I discovered what a 6cm hole in your back really feels like when the percocet wore off. That was not good. A sensation like getting stabbed in the back turns out to be an amazing alarm.

    I’m going in to get another inspection at noon today.

    Dang. I had no idea what to expect — I thought this would be a quick visit, snip snip, then a little discomfort for a few days. Right now I’m doped to the gills just to make it through the morning.

  85. bassmike says

    That sounds horrible PZ . At least you’re getting the medical care that you need. Yay for modern medicine!

    I hope you’re better and pain-free soon.

  86. rq says

    Well, 6cm isn’t small, that’s a lot of stuff to remove. Quite a void to fill (I bet your body’s just going all “hey, didn’t there used to be something here?”). :/
    I hope the remaining recovery goes far smoother!
    And I hope the next inspection merely confirms that all is now well and can proceed with regular healing.

  87. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hello Lounge!
    All the best with the inspection PZ – take advantage of those painkillers!
    …and you might want to get some plastic sheets for the furniture…

  88. carlie says

    Holy smokes, PZ, that sounds awful! I hope that it proceeds smoothly from here on out. Sending best thoughts to you and to Mary.

  89. Nutmeg says

    Ouch, PZ! Feel better soon.

    I had a birthmark of similar diameter removed a few years ago, so that it wouldn’t decide to turn into melanoma some day. The scar’s about 10-12 cm long now, but the surgeon didn’t have to go as deep, maybe only 3 cm at the deepest point. And even that seemed like a pretty big gouge out of my leg at the time, although recovery was pretty easy. I can only imagine how much a deeper wound must hurt.

  90. Nutmeg says

    Oh, and carlie: A few years ago I had a similar realization about my conception. Filed away under “things I don’t want to know”.

  91. says

    Ouch, PZ, I hope everything is stiched up tight now.

    Well, if the kids don’t behave we can tell them one day about how and when they were conceived…
    There are no significant dates nine months before my or my sister’s birthday, so I can only assume “boredon” ;), but we made interesting discovery some years ago when my grandpa’s sister moved into a nursing home and her stuff was distributed. My mother got the old photo albums and the family bible. Not that there had been any christian in that family for a long time, but back in the 1920’s when you got married you got a bible and there were pages printed in for the family documents, so my great-grandparents marriage certificate, certificates of birth and so on were in that bible. Well, we knew that my great-grandfather had been married before and that his first wife had died young. What we didn’t know was that there was only a gap of almost exactly one year between the death of his first wife and the marriage with my great-grandma, followed by my grandpa’s birth six months later. I guess it was a careful balance act between waiting long enough so people wouldn’t talk about him getting remarried and getting married soon enough so people wouldn’t talk about her being pregnant…

  92. rq says

    I’m a wedding anniversary baby. Third anniversary, to be precise. Whee!

  93. rq says

    The kids are all scheduled around random times, though. Gahds, I love modern medical technologies.

  94. opposablethumbs says

    PZ, hope you are ok and no longer wastefully leaking blood that you might need later (and that the furniture is in no further danger).

    , happy birthday to elder! – and wishing a happy, hopefully smooth and all-going-right day to all of you.

    SonSpawn’s school leaver’s do is tonight. His dad was sewing all yesterday evening (vital details to do with his tie, and a pocket square invented from scratch). Fingers x’d.

  95. blf says

    “Denaturing saucepans”… eh? The mildly deranged penguin is all natural, 100% organic, free range. She doesn’t denature anything. More un-“artificial” things.

    As for saucepans specifically, this seems to mean returning them to their base quarks. Actually, since suitable Big Bangs are slightly awkward, she often settles for a though cooking over a bonfire of burning bars.

    That usually does the trick, unless you want your saucepan bleu. Or forget to strain out the melted concrete and other bits of the incinerated kitchenbuilding.

    Serve with cheese, foie gras, cheese, red vin, moar cheese, several moar red vins, and cheese.

  96. blf says

    But what about MUSHROOMS!!!?

    I assume yogurteye has at least one other eye…

  97. birgerjohansson says

    “soaked with blood”

    What the… I thought stitches would prevent most cases of bleeding.

    “Students ‘print’ $200 prosthetic arm for teen girl”
    PZ should get a prostethic whatchamaycallit to fill in the volume where the cyst was removed. With a slow-release reservoir of morphine.

    Engineers building teleoperated robots for disaster response in national challenge
    Yeah, “disaster response” hahahaha.

  98. blf says

    It occurs to me yogurt-in-the-eye is a far more plausible hypothesis of vision / light than what the fruitcake is burbling in the other thread.

    Yoghourt was basically alive. So it has lots of little tty-bitty-kinds in it, prefect for carrying the cannonballs of light from the stars into the eyes without all that nasty head-blowing-off momentum. Ergo, vision!

    (Yes, the vin at lunch was quite good. As was the beer beforehand and the cognac afterhand. Why do you ask?)

  99. blf says

    The Reptilian Monitoring Station in [REDACTED] has just finishing decoding a telegram apparently sent to a mothership:

    TO: Mot[garbaled]
    FROM: Tentacle Morris

    Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!!
    Poopyhead attacked by quack.
    Lost a scale.
    Preliminary assessment: No permanent harm, Cover intact, Operation zebrasfish camouflage still operational, and Fake blood working but need resupplying.
    Reason for attack unclear.

  100. carlie says

    What the… I thought stitches would prevent most cases of bleeding.

    There wouldn’t be any stitches with something the size he’s describing, if that’s a diameter rather than a depth.

  101. chigau (違う) says

    Did y’all know that there are any number of home-videos on yutub of people removing cysts?
    Yer welcome.

  102. says

    Anne @72:

    In other news, Younger Daughter got re-registered from DEM to REP, without her knowlege or permission. We got a voter registration card in the mail. We called the registrar’s office. Apparently it was that “school funding” petition she signed at college last month; she’s going to have to re-register again now, thank you, Orange County Republican slime weasels.

    I would send that info, and any photos you may have of the card, to Rachel Maddow.
    Instructions to fill out forms and to send photos here:

    Or, send email directly to

  103. says

    This is a follow up to my comment #43. Rachel Maddow produced a segment about this faux celebration of George Washington’s inauguration, which is really a prayer and right-wing anti-Obama festival of crazy, hosted by Michelle Bachmann and backed by World Net Daily. All done in Statuary Hall, which is part of Congress.
    Link to video, 5.58 minutes of information sure to outrage those of us interested in separation of church and state.

  104. says

    “For every Kentuckian that has enrolled in Obamacare, 40 have been dropped from their coverage.” — Rand Paul.

    Yes, Rand Paul told a whopper. This lie is easily fact-checked, easily debunked and ought to push Rand Paul to the sidelines. But he has told lies before and gotten away with it.

    That is, of course, demonstrably ridiculous, even by Rand Paul standards. In reality, an untold number of Kentuckians saw their old, substandard plans get phased out under the Affordable Care Act — such cancellations were common before the ACA, too — but these consumers transitioned to new coverage.

    Besides, to suggest that these folks outnumber enrollees 40 to 1 is suggest Rand Paul is very bad at math — the remarkable success of Kentucky’s “Kynect” program makes the claim literally impossible. More than 413,000 people in the state have enrolled — multiply that number by 40 and you end up with a number far larger than the entire population of the state.[…]

  105. Pteryxx says

    More on Republican voter registration fraud and Orange County:

    PRWatch summary of an extensive 2010 OC Register article:

    The complaints were filed after paid petitioners canvassed discount store parking lots and community college campuses in March asking passers-by to sign petitions for causes like legalizing marijuana, fighting cancer or cleaning up beaches. The Register called 348 registered Republicans in Orange County and reached 90 of them. Of those, only 16 said they wanted to be Republicans. The rest said they were coerced into signing by fast-talking petitioners, some of whom offered people free sunglasses if they signed. The California Republican party has a controversial policy of paying signature gatherers up to $8.00 apiece for sending in new GOP voter registration cards in that district. The signers in the current case all lived in the 34th State Senate District in Central Orange County, where Republicans are hoping to oust a Democratic incumbent in the 2010 election.

    Voice of OC this February:

    Orange County’s chief operating officer, Mark Denny, whose responsibilities include overseeing the registrar of voters, is attracting fire for a 1996 guilty plea for misdemeanor election fraud.

    A formal complaint regarding Denny was filed this week by Nick Berardino, general manager for the Orange County Employees Association or OCEA. In a letter to members of the county Board of Supervisors, Berardino states that placing Denny over the registrar of voters creates a perceptual issue regarding the sanctity of the voting process.

    It’s unlikely anyone with such a misdemeanor conviction could pass the criminal background check required to work inside an election registrar’s office.

    Denny, who was appointed to his current position last year after Giancola was named CEO, did not return a call seeking comment. Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley, who reports to Denny, also would not comment on the issue.

    Giancola this week issued a statement standing by Denny’s appointment.


  106. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Speaking of mushrooms… (TMI warning)

    I have some mild eczema just behind my left ear. It crusts up and peels and I’ve been treating it with a topical of some sort. A good friend of mine took a look at it once and said, “What the hell is that?”

    “It’s…a skin condition.”

    “Don’t touch me with it.”

    Which of course set me off on asshole mode and I peeled off a small piece and flicked it at her. She freaked. I said, “It’s just skin.”

    “Yes, but it might be contagious! In a fungus way!”

    Three days pass. I go back to her place and say, “I had to go see a mycologist. For my skin condition.”

    The look on her face was priceless. She fairly screamed, “IS IT CONTAGIOUS?!?!” She figured out I was being a jackass when I was doubled over laughing. She smacked the crap out of me. Ah, good times.

  107. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    chigau @147
    I saw a YouTube video of a massive blackhead being removed. I mean massive. “Awe-inspiring” doesn’t begin to describe it.

    If it were mine, I would’ve flicked it at my friend. I can be such a jerk.

  108. says

    Well. Got my results back. My TSH levels are normal. So. That’s good. And now I have no idea why the fuck I have symptoms that match hypothyroidism, but my thyroid appears fine.

    I think I’m actually disappointed…

  109. David Marjanović says

    *restocks hug truck*
    *calming manatees*
    *emergency kittens*

    Tell Congress: We support Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to let Americans refinance their outstanding student loan interest rates.”

    News article with pictures and super-paywalled paper on the new long-and-lowsnouted tyrannosauroid Qianzhousaurus.

    Morphological and functional diversity in therizinosaur claws and the implications for theropod claw evolution“.

    In German: As part of its investigation of the NSA scandal, the German parliament now wants to interview Edward Snowden. At present he can’t travel to Germany because he might be extradited to the US, so maybe he’ll participate by video conference, or members of parliament will go to Russia to meet him, says the article.

    Tony, it’s part of the nature of the life of a cheat. Liars think everyone is always lying; psychopaths think everyone must want to kill people randomly like they do. Fraudsters assume that everyone else is on the make, just like they are, and they assume we’ll commit fraud because they know they would under the same circumstances, and they’re hardly likely to want to think we’re more moral than they are.

    Projection: it’s not just a way to make movies on buildings anymore.

    Reminds me of the sociopath I briefly knew on Facebook. Plainly couldn’t imagine that anyone else might not be a sociopath. Sent a friend request to a Fb friend of mine and immediately said (paraphrasing) hey, let’s exploit your best friend and then laugh at him! Apparently that’s what he believes “best friend” means.

  110. says

    Back from the doctor — looks like everything is back on track, bleeding has stopped, swelling has gone down. I’m on strict instructions to lie back on a recliner (to put mild pressure on it), and to take drugs.

    I think I can handle this.

  111. chigau (違う) says

    Well there goes my fantasy of you using your life-blood to do your grading.

  112. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Why, yes, I learned to drive a car legally when I was 16!
    Used to be you got handed your license at 16 (says mum, in Canada).

    Here, we make 16 year olds jump through a bunch of hoops to be able to drive, but legal adults don’t even have to understand that “green means GO!” to be granted a license. >.>

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


    Heh, I felt the same after my TSH results came back perfect. There goes a convenient explanation for my tiredness and depression. Oh no, I won’t sort my problems that easily.
    I’m sorry you’re there as well.


    Rest! and get better soon

  114. says

    @ David Marjanović

    At present he [Snowden] can’t travel to Germany because he might be extradited to the US

    If I could be so bold: My suggestion is that the Bundesregierung acts in the best interests of the German people. If this implies telling ‘Merkins to go fuck themselves, so be it.

  115. says

    Did you see that we’re going to Berlin in October?

    Hmmm, what’s the scientific consensus on how many eggs you’re allowed to eat? Because I’m eating rather a lot of them at the moment.

    Giliell musing
    As I swam this morning I was thinking about the importance of a public swimming pool. Most people there were in the 60+ age range (because duh, people at working age are usually working at 9 am), swimming and one group doing aqua fitness. While the costs of a pool are easily calculated, the costs saved in healthcare because those people don’t need medical treatment is invisible.

    I also forbade Mr. to positively mention me losing weight in front of the kids. Because being fat is not a moral failure, becoming less fat not a moral triumph. It’s a health care meassure.

  116. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    theophontes @164:

    At a routine medical checkup it was discovered that PZ had a manitou growing out of his back. It was all cool and scientifically fascinating, until it started speaking, and saying things like “Iä! Iä! Pharyngula Fhtagn!” and singing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” Then out came the scalpel and novocaine.

    He says it was just a cyst but I don’t believe him. Manitou.

  117. says


    Did y’all know that there are any number of home-videos on yutub of people removing cysts?

    That’s a good thing??!!
    I wonder what the comments section is like…


    I just woke up and was rather surprised there were no new posts from you. Your comment upthread explains why :(
    I hope you get better fast. You’ve got to get your godless, liberal, feminist groove back on!

  118. says


    (possibly TMI)

    Hmmm, what’s the scientific consensus on how many eggs you’re allowed to eat? Because I’m eating rather a lot of them at the moment

    I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that if I eat more than a few boiled eggs, the resulting flatulence will be accompanied by a truly horrible odor (above and beyond the normal odor).

  119. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop! @172:

    It’s a Well Known Fact: Hot eggs in, hot eggs out. Best to leave one in an elevator you’re just stepping out of.

  120. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Hmmm, what’s the scientific consensus on how many eggs you’re allowed to eat? Because I’m eating rather a lot of them at the moment.

    I’d like to know too. I believe there was a point at which one a day or 5 a week were the recommendations, but at some point I think people figured out that the raw cholesterol intake in your diet is less important to your blood levels than the amount your body makes from saturated fat.

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

    From morgan’s link:

    I personally eat about 3-6 whole eggs per day and my health has never been better.

    Er, oo-kay.
    Does this person eat anything but eggs?

  122. azhael says

    Yes! Glory be to Myrmex! I discovered a Temnothorax nylanderi colony in a flower pot in the terrace today. I was letting some bones and a few feathers from a preparation i’m working on, dry in a container. When i went to check at midday i found a lot of the little buggers feasting on the scraps of meat. I had never noticed them before even though they live isolated on the table O_o It’s a big colony too for this species.
    Anyway, i’ll be tempting them to move into a nice formicarium i made recently which rather coincidentally was meant for another Temnothorax sp. colony that is currently brewing inside a test tube (it’s just a queen i collected last year and a few pupae). I’m quite excited :P more so because seeing them raid my preparations has given me the idea of using this colony for cleaning small, delicate skulls and it just so happens that a few days ago my father brought me a dead Turdus philomelos he found during a walk :) Yay n_n

    Sorry for the completely random post xD

  123. rq says

    I’m just wondering, though, how do you touch someone with the behind of your ear?


    The Amazing Carlie Rose has a second tiny leaf bud. It may yet survive! Yay!

  124. blf says

    The British NHS says: “[T]o avoid any risk of food poisoning, it’s important to store, handle and cook eggs properly. … There is no recommended limit on how many eggs people should eat. But to get the nutrients you need, make sure you eat as varied a diet as possible.”

    LiveScience (a site I am not too familiar with but which seems to be reliable) says: “Based on the research, my recommendation is if you eat a healthful diet, go ahead and eat an egg a day. … On the other hand, if your cholesterol is high and if you eat the typical American diet — high in saturated fat, devoid of fruits, vegetables and fiber — maybe you shouldn’t be eating an egg a day.”

    The Harvard School of Public Health says: “This research doesn’t give the green light to daily three-egg omelets. While a 2008 report from the ongoing Physicians’ Health Study supports the idea that eating an egg a day is generally safe for the heart, it also suggests that going much beyond that could increase the risk for heart failure later in life.”

    The chicken inside the egg could not be reached for comment.

  125. says

    The infamous boss of Hobby Lobby is at again:

    The president of a crafts store chain who says the federal government has no business ordering him which health care options to offer his employees has no problem telling local governments what they should be teaching in their schools.

    Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, has persuaded the Mustang School District in suburban Oklahoma City to incorporate the Bible into its curriculum as an elective, beginning this fall. His purpose, sometimes more clearly stated than others, is for students to learn the text and put America on a righteous course.

    “This nation is in danger because of its ignorance of what God has taught,” Green said last year to the National Bible Association, announcing his plan for the high school course. “There are lessons from the past that we can learn from, the dangers of ignorance of this book. We need to know it, and if we don’t know it, our future is going to be very scary.”

    Green, a member of the evangelical Council Road Baptist Church in Bethany, Oklahoma, believes the Bible is literally true and that he is obligated to share the gospel. […]

    While the curriculum includes topics such as the religious influence on art, it also notes the consequences when people disobey God. […]

  126. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, pioneer day parades and anti-gay categories:

    Days of ’47 Parade organizers have denied a float application from Mormons Building Bridges, saying an entry from the group founded to improve relationships between Latter-day Saints and the gay community would be too controversial.

    “The parade is very specific in its requirement that no float can enter that will create controversy,” […]

    The July 24 event, which celebrates the Mormon pioneers’ 1847 arrival in the Salt Lake Valley, is Utah’s biggest parade. […]

    Mormons Building Bridges, founded in 2012, has won cheers for two straight years when marching by the hundreds in Utah’s second-largest parade, which takes place during the Utah Pride Festival and celebrates the state’s LGBT residents.

    For its first Days of ’47 appearance, Bridges proposed a convertible car with eight people on board from Utah arts, business and nonprofit organizations, explained group co-founder Kendall Wilcox. Those on board would be Mormon or have LDS heritage and also be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. […]

    “Members of the LGBT community are part of the Utah community,” he said. ” … They really are pioneers today leading to a better Utah, so why not celebrate them?”

    Other LGBT groups, including Utah Pride, Equality Utah and PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), have also seen applications rejected, Wilcox said. Mormons Building Bridges organizers tried to appeal by meeting with Days of ’47 organizers but were denied, he added. […]

  127. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    I’m thinking I could just, you know, fold my ear forward and chase my friend around until she was cornered and I could rub that part of my head on her and…

    Yeah. Peel and flick seems to be the best answer. Good grief I can be gross.

  128. rq says

    Yup, you can. :D


    In my experience, too many eggs = constipation + stinky farts. Unhappy people, all-round.
    Especially if they’ve been indulging simultaneously in that other great Latvian Easter Tradition, sauerkraut. :/

  129. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Lynna, OM @182

    The president of a crafts store chain who says the federal government has no business ordering him which health care options to offer his employees has no problem telling local governments what they should be teaching in their schools.

    What a charming piece of work. It seems Right Wing Christianity actually worships greed and profit as their God. “Thou shalt have no other God before me”, including Yahweh.

  130. says

    Update on the Republican hearings meant to make Obamacare sound bad, with opposite results — (see comment #66 for the introduction to this latests rightwing gaffe):

    BloombergView link.

    It made no sense to hold the hearing unless Republicans were (foolishly) confident that the testimony would support their talking point, instead of undermining it.

    The only plausible explanation is that closed feedback loop. Either members of the committee managed not to be aware of the criticisms of their survey, or they mistakenly wrote off the criticism as partisan backbiting.

    Steve Benen on the Maddow Blog.

    […] Republicans could have very easily brushed up on the basics of current events – or at least asked their staffs to help get them up to speed – before yesterday’s hearing, so they’d know what to expect from their own discussion and their own witnesses. But instead, these GOP lawmakers simply embraced their own propaganda, leaving them stunned when insurers told them how wrong they are.

    It’s possible these Republicans saw reports that accurately reflected reality, but they assumed it was just the “liberal media” trying to fool them.

    The moral of the story is that epistemic closure is a dangerous thing. If you’re convinced by your own certainty, you reject all evidence that challenges your assumptions, and you only talk to those who reinforce your errors, your familiarity with reality will become strained. […]

  131. raven says

    theweek. com today

    The Tea Party is more unpopular than ever

    The Tea Party has continued to wear out its welcome, according to a new Gallup poll released Thursday. In the survey, 30 percent of adults said they are “opponents” of the movement, tied for the highest mark Gallup has ever recorded. Meanwhile, support for the Tea Party checks in at 22 percent which, though not quite a record low, combines with the spike in disapproval to give the Tea Party its worst net approval rating ever in Gallup’s polling.

    Much of that shift has come from Republicans growing increasingly weary of the group. Tea Party support within the GOP has fallen from 61 percent back in late 2010 to 41 percent today.
    – – Jon Terbush

    Well some good news for once.

    1. The Tea Party is losing small amounts of support.

    2. Supposedly. Their support is 22% mostly in the south USA.

    3. This hasn’t really translated into election losses though. The GOP controls the House and most state governments. They’ve been busy wrecking Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, and Kansas without anyone to stop them.

    4. There is a conflict between these two data sets. Not sure why. It could be that Gallup is using an unrealistic definition of Tea Party. The GOP has gone so far hard right that there isn’t any difference between the “moderates” and the crazies.

  132. raven says

    While the curriculum includes topics such as the religious influence on art, it also notes the consequences when people disobey God. […]

    Yeah, Hobby Lobby Steve Green is a typical ugly fundie. With money to burn, being worth $5 billion. It’s clear he doesn’t care about his employees birth control which is none of his business anyway. He cares about power.

    His bible curriculum is straight Sunday school fundie xianity and likely highly illegal to teach in a public school.

  133. Pteryxx says

    Hi from Dallas, where the tornado warning is over and the power’s still on (here at least). The blast of wind and rain has caused scattered power outages and brought down trees. Where I am is a patchwork of dead traffic lights and flooded intersections. Saw four different fire engines in less than ten miles’ drive.

    Rush hour is going to be interesting… NBC livestream

  134. says

    A late entrance to the Lounge. I started two Pathfinder games on a play-by-post site this week and was trying to get them up and running.

    I have often asked myself, What Does it Mean to Drink Like a Woman?

    While whiskey experienced a 50% drop in sales from 1970 to 2000, it is making a comeback due, in large part, to an increase in female whiskey enthusiasts. A 2008 Nielsen survey revealed that women account for the fastest-growing segment of worldwide whiskey consumers.

    I thought that was just me helping whiskey make a comeback. Thanks for the help.

  135. Dean Calahan says

    I have algae under my fingernails. Time for a shower, then a couple of IPAs. Unless the first one puts me to sleep.

  136. says

    It’s a little odd when you reach a point where you have a physical mailbox and a work email address. Not the most common things for retail workers. More common on the support side where I am, but still, most of my department has neither.

    My managers bosses might get mad at her. With the workload this week, and the coworker being fired(one of our most productive- but there’s a point where getting along with people is more important than that), it’s looking like there’s a decent chance I’ll end up over 40 hours this week. I’m not complaining on my end, I like my job and my coworkers and the extra money and have basically no other demands on my time. But the bean counters are a bit less enthusiastic about time and a half than I am.

    We’ve had a few new hires recently that all seem pretty decent. Nice people that get along with everyone, work hard, and pick up on how to do things quickly. That’s good. We’ll need a couple more to be back up to full staffing, if we get similar results we might get the operations excellence award again.

  137. V S says

    Hello, all! I’m new here (but not new to commenting on blogs) and I thought I’d nip over to the open thread and say “hi” really quick. So… hi! Hopefully I’ll not say anything extraordinarily stupid, ’cause I have been lurking a bit, but please forgive me if I don’t know any of the trolls yet and start fighting with them. I’m kinda cantankerous sometimes. Danke!

  138. Pteryxx says

    Rawnaeris at #193, well I spoke too soon and the power just came back on. <_<

    News says 38,000 without power, a few small buildings have been destroyed by wind or smacked by falling trees, and word is one house was set afire by lightning. Rumors of a tornado have not been confirmed. There's a user-submitted photo gallery here.

    A few of those pics:

    Big trees downed

    Fence blown down

    Five inches of rain

    SMU students taking cover in the library during the tornado watch

  139. says

    Good morning!


    What Does it Mean to Drink Like a Woman?

    In case of this particular woman it means:
    -dry red wines
    -a good Crèmant d’Alsace
    -dry Sherry
    -dark stouts
    -whisky (single malt)
    -occasionally cocktails and pastis
    Since women are a monolithic bloc I declare this to be the ultimate list.

    Yay for improved job situation

    Glad you’re safe

    Welcome to the lounge

  140. rq says

    No chilled white wine on your list??? I am ashamed to be woman. I do drinking wrong. :(

    V S

    I’m glad you’re okay! Those are fantastic cloud formations – scary, though. :/ I hope power is returned to your entire area soon enough to not cause particular stress during rush hour!


    I hate Windows. I hate Windows 8. We got it installed last year because the store didn’t have any Windows 7 left. Generally, it has been okay, though inclined to do its own thing because it knows better. But godsdammit, the fucking update (which I accidentally downloaded because the computer was in transfer, I swear I didn’t mean to!) takes longer to install than the program itself. Plus it pull all sorts of crap BACK on the computer that I’d helpfully (to myself) taken off. Oh, and during the install / set up, it puts scary words on the screen like “Just setting up a few more things” or “Getting some other things ready”… WHAT THINGS??? Why won’t you tell me what things? I want to know what you’re doing to my computer and all my files and my harddrive and… Don’t touch that!! *sigh* At least I turned off the automatic update button. Or maybe that’s the one I shouldn’t have pressed. I don’t even know anymore.
    I’m all for technology, but I hate technology that’s supposed to be smart… :(

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

    win8 – abomination

    Pteryxx, take care!

  142. rq says

    Dr Seuss on pregnancy, condensed information. (And I hate the clickbait title, it’s not “too funny”, it’s mildly amusing, and by calling it “too funny”, you disincline me towards passing it on because it’s a LIE and I don’t want people to think I think it’s “too funny”, because I think it’s only mildly amusing but enough to be passed on!)

    Yeah, this.

    But this was nice: 100 Best Pretty Good Cat Pictures, with some captions even worth a giggle or two.

    I think they’re making fun of Baywatch. It’s hard to tell with these guys, sometimes.

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

    I’m forgetting something… it’s usually that one.

    re: guys making fun of Baywatch
    They look like they’re having fun goofing around

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

    Yes, I’m putting off going to work.

  145. rq says

    I’m sorry, I’m out of links to justify your procrastination. :(

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


    I’ve got a link:
    ‘Devil’s Got a Gun’ by Whitehorse

    Oh well, gotta go then. Hold your thumbs I won’t have to stay late today (the reason I’m procrastinating, I might have to stay until 8, 9 … later? even if I came early).

  147. says

    I had to take the bus home from my meeting, as I discovered one of my tires somehow went flat while I was inside. While on the bus, I met a genuine sovereign citizen, who mistook me for one as well based on my ‘Live Free or Drive’ sticker. Apparently in his flavor of wingnuttery, it’s getting a driver’s license that signs away your rights and makes you a slave of the Federal Government. I never have figured out where the hell these people came from, or what the origins of their particular strain of anti-government assholery are.

  148. birgerjohansson says

    jrfdeux, mode d’emplo,

    Is the manitou a relative of the wendigo?
    Wendigos are cool, in the same sens as Hannibal Lecter.

    “and we poked around inside and saw what a disgusting thing it was.”
    but no eggs giving off an eerie green glow? You got away easy.

  149. rq says

    Who’s trying to take away your rum and hummus??


    Well, if you’re of an age to drive, then obviously the driver’s license is what will do you in. Never mind a SIN (necessary in Canada in order to work), and the gods forbid you register your child’s birth…!!! The weird thing is, I know at least one hopeful sovereigntist (Canadian version), and I have no idea how he got to be one – I knew him as a child, and he seemed normal enough.
    I have a hard time separating them from libertarians, sometimes.

  150. says

    They’re a subcategory of libertarian, really. They can be pretty much relied upon to have all the standard libertarian beliefs, along with some extra weird ones on top.

  151. blf says

    What Does it Mean to Drink Like a Woman?

    Not squeezing the spilled drops out of yer beard.

  152. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, Tony! I’m well made up :-))) (brit-speak for totally chuffed, a.k.a. exceedingly gratified. I don’t know if this term has travelled beyond the coast of Albion or not :-) )

    Every now and then it just sort of hits me afresh: the real world – and scientific understanding of it – are so fascinating, so wonderfully, mind-blowingly intricate and complex … why would anyone wilfully ditch all those wonders in favour of a fairytale!?!??

  153. says

    Not squeezing the spilled drops out of yer beard.

    Unless you’re a dwarf. Or a woman with a beard. Although I must say that women tend to do have better table manners. We usually take a tissue and carefully dab the beard dry.

    I hat blood test days.
    It’s not that I’m freaking out at syringes and needles (not anymore), but I have to go there on an empty stomach. And since I need to get up at six anyway that means by the time they get to take the blood I’ve been up for three hours on an empty stomach which means that I’m at risk of falling down again.
    And since I’m complaining: It’s really amazing that apparently even doctors do not uderstand that not going to have another child =/= not going to get pregnant again.
    My GPs are a couple and while she’s my main GP, he does some things like ultrasounds and staying on top of vaccination issues, and since I was due for an ultrasound anyway I seized the opportunity to talk about me getting vaccinated against all those childhood diseases, because when I was a child you didn’t get vaccinated and I always kind of fell out of the cohorts that got vaccinated and Germany is generally bad at this kind of things. To cut a long story short, yes of course I should get vaccinated, but I mustn’t be pregnant at the time so I’d need to take the pill. Uhm, I hate the pill, we use condoms. No, really, that’s not safe enough, because it could cause great harm to a pregnancy! Yeah, but it doesn’t matter, because I won’t have another child. He simply didn’t understand and ended with “well, women usually need to sign a consent form, talk to my wife when you see her”.
    Let’s hope that I can convince her that pregnancy and harm to a fetus is NOT an issue. Because I hate the pill.

  154. says

    V S:

    The bolded portion below sparked some interesting thoughts in my head (none of which are aimed at you)

    Hopefully I’ll not say anything extraordinarily stupid, ’cause I have been lurking a bit, but please forgive me if I don’t know any of the trolls yet and start fighting with them.

    In the last week a creationist by the nym of medic0506 has been posting some comments around Pharyngula. Normally, I’d classify many of them as ‘stupid’-“light doesn’t travel”, “the Earth is 6000-10000 years old”, “I don’t believe the NCSE {National Center for Science Education} is interested in science education”…the list could go on and on and on for some time-but now I’m wondering what that actually says about his comments. What information am I trying to convey about his statements, and is the word ‘stupid’ the optimal word for the task?

    What makes a given statement ‘stupid’?
    Who determines whether something is stupid or not? The speaker, listener, or both?
    Is it even possible to avoid saying stupid things (I imagine most people have said stupid things over the course of their lives) or should we work to minimize the number of stupid things we say?

    I don’t have answers to these questions at the moment, but I did want to thank you for providing the spark that ignited some thoughts.

  155. bassmike says

    I agree Tony it is interesting: what makes a question stupid. Some say that there’s no such thing as a stupid question. I try to be patient when people ask me what appears to be a ridiculous question, quite often it’s a lack of understanding of a subject. If they’re willing to take the time to increase their knowledge, I’m willing to spend the time educating them.

    I do the same thing myself. I will normally preface it with ‘This may be a silly question but….’. Sometimes it isn’t a silly question and increases my understanding. Sometimes it is a silly question……and increases my understanding!

    What find exasperating are people like medic0506 who ask these questions, but have no intention of trying to understand the answer.

  156. Bicarbonate is back says

    This reminds me of Chile’s no content “No” campaign to get Pinochet out, a European campaign to get young voters to the polls for the European election coming up in 20 days or so, a campaign with no arguments, nothing at all to say, totally vacuous, just a really good “happy” to Pharrell William’s song.

    Here’s the justification for this happy non-argument from the website:

    In light of the European Parliamentary elections on May 20-25, it’s becoming increasingly important to promote online voter participation and turnout among Europe’s youth. Based on this idea, non-governmental organisations and volunteers have come together to assist in the production of Happy Voting, Europe’s first non-institutional and large-scale voter-turnout campaign. Mixing pop-culture and voter awareness, the campaign helps reach European voters through their two favourite channels: entertainment and the Internet.

    Based on Pharrell William’s ‘Happy Formula’, which incorporates a selection of non-actors who separately dance to the catchy billboard song, the video aims to promote voter awareness and youth turnout. Entertaining and fun, the video includes shots of Europeans from all walks of life, including a dancing construction worker, accountant, teacher, nudist, drag queen, student, and several members of the European Parliament. The list of participants in the video goes on to include over fifty ethnically and religiously different dancers, representing Europe’s diverse populations in a light-hearted and interactive fashion.

  157. Bicarbonate is back says

    P.s. The naked guy is shown in a neighborhood about a kilometer from my apartment.

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

    I’m sick of that song. It’s everywhere.

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

    It does. Today in the form of a promotional truck for a radio station driving by while we were on a coffee break, HAppy blasting from the speakers

    Bicarbonate is back,

  160. says

    Tony @218 re stupid

    I admit that I am not a fan of calling things stupid. Most times. This may be because I have kids.

    Besides, there are more descriptive terms for what is usually going on. That medic0506 person was disingenuous – they weren’t here to learn. There are those, as bassmike points out, are just uninformed. There could be a statement poorly communicated. I’m not sure “stupid” adds anything to the conversation.

  161. Bicarbonate is back says


    That truck following you around almost sounds like a distribution of soma.

  162. rq says

    More musicalish interlude: crickets. Slowed down. I do wish he didn’t call it ‘God’s Chorus’, but oh well, can’t have everything. Except slow-mo cricket songs for an hour, I guess.

    The Canadian Music Alphabet, for direction in musical listening (if you’ve been searching for one). Well-known and not-so-well-known artists through the entire list.

    This should be a movie. Seriously. She is actually telepathically linked to the cats, thus can see and hear and feel everything they do, plus she can transfer her consciousness from cat to cat as necessary. Or, alternatively, they conglomerate (I just like the word today) into one giant multi-cat being that she controls in order to eradicate evil. Take that, Batman!

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


    Because I hate the pill.

    Co-signed so hard. Or at least, the combined pill. I haven’t tried progesterone only, but I do currently have a (progesterone) implant, which is definitely not brilliant but is nonetheless a hell of a lot better than a COCP.
    And I know boyfriend’s mum can’t/couldn’t use the pill…
    For something that was so important to women’s rights, the pill is still so terrible for so many people. (Admittedly, I’m basing that on anecdata alone…)

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

    Music time! Have a fan remix of tunes from a videogame done in a classical style (in this case, classical guitar):

    There is so much good music from the Touhou games, and so many amazing fan remixes. Some are classical guitar, some are full orchestral, some are just piano…
    Also, you don’t need any familiarity with the game to appreciate it.

  165. says

    Here’s an update on the on-going Cliven Bundy black comedy show in Nevada: the FBI is now investigating the Bundy supporters and associated events. About time.

    A dramatic development in the saga surrounding rancher Cliven Bundy, the FBI has entered the case. […]

    FBI agents have launched a formal investigation into alleged death threats, intimidation and possible weapons violations that culminated with a dangerous showdown on April 12, and the first people to be interviewed by FBI agents are Metro Police, starting with Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillispie.

    Federal employees suspended their roundup of Cliven Bundy’s cattle, following a confrontation outside the BLM compound near Bunkerville. At the urging of Metro Police, Bundy’s cattle were released, but BLM’s new director announced the matter wasn’t over and would be resolved, one way or another.

    Last week, the I-Team talked with Metro officers who intervened to protect the lives of federal employees from the 400 or so Bundy supporters and armed militia members. Officers told the I-Team they feared for their lives that day because of the assembled firepower, and because many in the crowd had pointed weapons at officers, taunted them, told them they should be ready to die.

    Assistant Sheriff Joe Lombardo, who was left in charge of the Metro contingent by Sheriff Doug Gillespie, told the I-Team that such alleged behavior would be the subject of a criminal investigation. […]

    Bundy supporters have insisted […] that no one in the crowd pointed weapons at BLM or Metro, but officers told the I-Team that is exactly what they saw, that many with guns set up behind women and children.

    “It is not a rumor. When we first got out there and made a left to divide I-15, that is all you saw. You saw kids and women and horses in the backdrop and then men with guns, laying on the ground, in the back of pickup trucks. We’re going, ‘wow, this would never happen in Las Vegas,’ But it was there. That is not a rumor. It is reality and I saw it with my own eyes,” Metro Police Sgt. Tom Jenkins said. […]

    Bundy supporters have been adamant in saying no weapons were aimed at the feds or police, that the BLM rangers were the ones pointing guns.

    8 News Now link.

  166. blf says

    I must say that women tend to do have better table manners. We usually take a tissue and carefully dab the beard dry.

    Then how do you drink the saved spillage? It’s difficult to drink from a tissue. Much easier from a glass, or in desperate cases, to lick it up from the nearest horizontal surface (table, floor, the blockhead slumped next to you, …).

  167. says

    This news out of Utah is connected to the Bundy news posted in comment #240.

    With anti-government sentiments roiling in the aftermath of Cliven Bundy’s Nevada standoff, government workers in western Utah are stripping BLM logos from their vehicles after two motorists brandished a gun and displayed a threatening sign at a federal wrangler who was driving Tuesday in Juab County.

    The wrangler was driving a load of horses and burros north on Interstate 15 about 11 a.m. near Mills when a dark blue Dodge 1500 extended-cab pickup pulled up alongside the wrangler. The two occupants “told him he was No. 1 with that certain gesture,” said Eric Reid, the wrangler’s supervisor at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Fillmore Field Office.

    The pickup fell back and the wrangler continued north. A few minutes later, the pickup reappeared, Reid said. The men, wearing hoods, held up a sign, apparently scrawled on a piece of paper, that read, “You need to die.” One of the men pointed what appeared to be a Glock handgun at the wrangler.

    The wrangler tried to make out a license plate number, but the plate had been covered with duct tape, Reid said. […]

    “We are investigating this and investigating it thoroughly,” UHP Sgt. Todd Royce said.

    BLM officials do not believe the men were stalking the wrangler in connection to the agency’s controversial wild horse and burro roundups, but rather that they noticed the BLM logo on his truck and trailer and saw an opportunity to harass a federal employee, Reid said. […]

    Because the wrangler’s travel was slowed by the trailer full of animals, the pickup’s occupants had plenty of time to pull over and cover their license plates with tape — a strategy used by Bundy’s supporters who rallied with him against federal agents in an armed standoff over BLM grazing fees, Reid said.

    Now BLM workers are removing the agency’s logo from their vehicles as a “precaution,” Reid said.

    Officers in charge of the West Desert district urged employees to “be prepared to encounter unfriendlies.”

    “We never know in life when we will cross paths with these types,” the message states.

  168. rq says

    Uhm, I hate the pill, we use condoms.

    So I’m not the lone weirdo! :D
    *fistbumps with Giliell (and halfsies with Sarahface ;) )*

  169. says

    Comments below the Salt Lake Tribune article (link in #242) reveal a lot of dunderheads in Utah that think like Cliven Bundy. Examples below:

    Man some reporters are gullible. This is a PR HOAX (trust me I know) designed to build support for the regime’s actions, and the Trib bought it hook line and sinker. Pathetic. Be prepared for a false flag attack if the public continues to wake up at this rate.
    Lay off the Koolaid Mrs Do Good. The attack in Ok City was a false flag. Do some research and stop being spoonfed your talking points by the regime’s propagandists.
    While you can dismiss this as a bunch of rednecks behaving badly you should be look at what behind the discord. People are getting tired of an increasing dictatorial government that is non-responsive to it’s people. If you try and marginalize the people who are willing to take the law in to their own hands you would be making a big mistake.
    We have masked, black-booted thugs breaking down doors in the middle of the night and hauling people away. Some of those American citizens are not seen again for days, weeks or months, if they are not killed, outright. A few are never seen again.
    The criminal feds have been getting away with far worse for far too long. I think we may be almost at the point where it is necessary to peacefully dissolve the union and let all the states go their own way. I for one am TIRED of this government bankrupting our children!
    All these liberals on here calling for the execution of these guys. I thought lefties were against the death penalty? Oh wait, that doesn’t apply to fetuses and people who are ideologically opposed to them. No surprise. The largest mass murder in history have been perpetrated by leftists, Stalin and Mao take the cake, although total population percentage award goes to another leftist …Pol Pot ..murdered 25% of his people to achieve the peasant communist paradise.

  170. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I have to say that I find the utter detachment from reality of the right to be reaching very disturbing levels. I remember when some of the victim’s families in Newtown, CT got death threats claiming the whole thing was false flag.

    I was born in the ’60s–late enough that we just laughed at the John Birchers railing against fluoridation and vaccination, etc. I don’t remember folks being quite this crazy.

    A related joke:

    A fire breaks out at a convention of conspiracy theorists, and hundreds of them are killed. They stand before the sky daddy and ask, “Oh Lord, who really killed John Kennedy?”
    Sky Daddy: “Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone.”
    One conspiracy theorist turns to the guy next to him and says, “This goes up higher than we thought!”

  171. blf says

    So I’m not the lone weirdo!

    (Looks up in alarm, steps back in horror, but fortunately fails to knock over his grog…)

    You mean we have another Latvian?

    I sense a kartupeļi shortage looming…

  172. says

    Update on the sexual abuse case in West Virginia — this story is based on assaults at Burch Middle School.

    Two West Virginia boys repeatedly sexually assaulted girls at their school, but school administrators helped them to cover up the assault by punishing their victims and obstructing a law enforcement investigation, according to an injunction filed this week in a West Virginia court by the state’s Attorney General and its Human Rights Commission. Both boys are relatives of members of the school board there.

    “Multiple” girls at Burch Middle School in Mingo County were “subjected to repeated incidents of sexual abuse and/or sexual assault by two fellow male students,” the injunction alleges, “and then threatened with discipline and/or retaliated against by members of the Burch Middle School administration when each pursued punishment for the offenders.” The assaults, which happened in school, on field trips, and on the bus, started in 2012, but the latest assault was just over two weeks ago, on April 21.

    Five adults at the school, along with the entire Mingo County Board of Education, are part of the Attorney General’s complaint. They include the Principal, Vice Principal, Superintendent, athletic coach, and even the guidance counselor. The two boys’ parents are also both part of the complaint, though none are named to protect the identities of the boys, who now in eighth grade and are under 18. […]

  173. says

    Here’s more fallout from the Cliven Bundy affair, various Republican politicians are still jumping on the anti-government bandwagon … with an agenda that includes shooting government officials.

    Matt Shea, a Republican state representative from Washington who thinks the government is moving to establish concentration camps after forcibly disarming citizens and wants Tea Party members to stockpile ammo for the country’s “inevitable collapse,” led a delegation of state lawmakers to Nevada last month to support anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy.

    In an April 26 interview with Gun Owners for America director Larry Pratt, Shea compared the fringe element supporting Bundy to the American colonists who revolted against Britain. He added that when it comes to the Bundy situation, Americans are divided between “patriots and loyalists”: “Are you a loyalist or are you a patriot? Are you a god-fearing, self-reliant, freedom-loving American, or are you a government-dependent, Constitution-ignoring socialist?”

    “I don’t think it’s hyperbole or exaggeration to compare this to colonial America,” he said. […]

    Right Wing Watch link.

  174. rq says

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m still the lone Latvian weirdo, so gimme back those potatoes (I may need them if Putin gets bored with Ukraine), but I’m not the lone weirdo.
    Fries, anyone?

  175. rq says

    Apparently, vegetable juice doesn’t go bad.
    Or if it does, I’ll find out in a short while.

  176. blf says

    vegetable juice doesn’t go bad

    It starts off bad.
    The only way to make it worse is pour it on some peas.

  177. says

    A new report details the waste, fraud and abuse that affects charter schools.

    […] charter operators have used school funds illegally to buy personal luxuries for themselves, support their other businesses, and more. The report also includes recommendations for policymakers on how they can address the problem of rampant fraud, waste and abuse in the charter school industry. Both organizations recommend pausing charter expansion until these problems are addressed. […]

    Some details from problems with charter schools in Utah:

    […] The audit criticized charters and one district school for what it called lax management of their students’ education. A state senator even labeled the online students recruited and managed by private companies as “ghost students.” […]

    The school has 144 in-seat students and roughly 500 online students, many of whom didn’t realize they were Mana students until the school this spring began asking for evidence of student work before granting academic credit, Wolfgramm said. […]

    From the reader comments:

    A family member owns one of the first online high schools in the country. […] when they first opened his state was paying the same per student rate for online operations as for brick and mortar schools. The expense structure for the online operation is obviously substantially less. He has made a killing since the day he opened the doors.

    In the beginning he fudged the attendance and enrollment numbers to generate cash flow and may still be for all I know but I seriously doubt he is providing a good education even to the students who want one. Their specialty was children who had a hard time acclimating to and behaving in the classroom. I hardly think that student is generally a good fit for the online atmosphere where there is no supervision or support.

    The problem with all of the experiments being conducted in education today is that instead of lab rats we let them use our children. For profit education makes no better sense than a for profit criminal justice system. My relative make close to five million dollars a year owning an online charter school and with that kind of money at stake I would guess that his personal welfare is more important than that of the children in his care.

  178. says


    So I’m not the lone weirdo! :D

    You definitely aren’t. What I find funny (and by “funny” I mean “fucked up”) is that doctors and their dogs will tell you that condoms are THE THING because not only do they prevent unintended prgnancies but also STDs when talking about casual sex, but once you’re in a relationship you’re irresponsible for using them as birth control…

  179. rq says

    I’m grateful, then, that my doctor hasn’t ever come across with that attitude. :) She offers other things every visit, but I haven’t even received any mild condescension from her in our choice.

    It’s probably because you’re making the man go to all the effort in preventing pregnancy. Not, you know, taking responsibility for yourself and letting him off the hook for thinking about such things. [/snark]

  180. says

    Chris Hayes produced a great segment on Obamacare and on Benghazi:

    The 13-minute video focuses mostly on the way in which Republicans are stepping up their efforts to make a scandal out of Benghazi by forming a House Select Committee to investigate the already-well-investigated tragedy.

    As Brian Beutler of New Republic noted, Republicans occasionally state their true motives publicly:

    Republican political officials say Benghazi is a subject of intense interest for the party’s conservative base of support, who are likely voters in November. “We’re going to use every opportunity we can to highlight it,” said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski. Republicans also see the chance to chip away at the image of Hillary Clinton, the potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate who was secretary of state when Benghazi occurred.

  181. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Giliell and rq

    Vasectomy. I’m done making babies, but love me loads of sexytimes. I highly recommend it to all men who really don’t want to risk a pregnancy. It’s a 10-minute procedure, virtually painless, followed up by a week or so of ice packed into an jock strap and a course of anti-inflammatories.

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

    It’s in my head!
    that stupid song we mentioned above. It’s been there all day.

    In other news, that monkey of yours is a miracle worker, rq! (I didn’t work overtime :) )

  183. says

    Chris Hayes also produced an excellent segment on the so-called “independent” investigation ordered by Governor Mary Fallin after the botched execution of a man on death row.

    The independent review is not independent. Fallin appointed her own staff to investigate. Michael Thompson is the Commissioner of Oklahoma’s Department of Public Safety, and he was a witness to the execution. He’s the guy running the investigation. He is investigating himself.

    Does anyone think that Thompson, the newly appointed chief investigator, is going to question his boss under oath about her important role in this sorry story? Is he really going to issue a report that blasts her intervention in core judicial functions? Is he going to call members of the state legislature to explain and justify their impeachment proceedings? Is he going to explore the public rift now widening between state officials and the corrections officials’ union? If he does so, he will effectively end his career in state government. And if he does not, this “independent” investigation will be a sham.

    The Week link.

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

    Kill one earworm with another.
    Listening to Wake me up. (haven’t gotten sick of that one yet, even though I fear it’s heading that way, what with being played everywhere all the time (or at least when Happy isn’t))

  185. rq says

    Wake Me Up by who? Haven’t heard that one yet, I don’t think.

    Eventually, probably, that will be our solution (the few times we’ve sort-of talked about it, Husband hasn’t been in complete disfavour of the option, which is good, though he has expressed worry about possible side effects to health), butas silly as it sounds, right now there’s a whole issue of lack of time and scheduling and details like that.

  186. cicely says

    Hurray for successful cyst removal!
    Boo for post-removal difficulties!

    *hugs* for Rawnaeris. Hurray for good insurance!

    Lynna, you are a valuable resource; a veritable Mine of Mor(m)on Madness Monitoring Magnificence.
    (I just thought you should know that.)

    Freely redistributing *most of the discounted chocolate*, ’cause I’m benevolent that way, and ’cause you are my friends.

    *hugs* for Anne D, and moral support for Younger Daughter.

    FossilFishy, I’m gonna give you this [package of *hugs* and comfort and sympathy] for your upcoming wire removal now, so’s it can accrue interest. ‘Kay?


    In video games, I mean. I totally don’t do robberies.

    When anyone’s looking.

    Hi, gobi!


    Ow sfhsd I got yogurt in my eye!

    Next time, aim lower, and a bit to one side.

    Hi, V S; Welcome In!

  187. says

    The New York Review of Books recently published an article that looks into the way that digital libraries and starting to fail in their crucial goal of providing information that is free (mostly free anyway) and open to the public. Excerpts below:

    […] Consider the cost of scientific periodicals, most of which are published exclusively online. It has increased at four times the rate of inflation since 1986. The average price of a year’s subscription to a chemistry journal is now $4,044. In 1970 it was $33. A subscription to the Journal of Comparative Neurology cost $30,860 in 2012—the equivalent of six hundred monographs. Three giant publishers—Reed Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, and Springer—publish 42 percent of all academic articles, and they make giant profits from them. In 2013 Elsevier turned a 39 percent profit on an income of £2.1 billion from its science, technical, and medical journals.

    All over the country research libraries are canceling subscriptions to academic journals, because they are caught between decreasing budgets and increasing costs. The logic of the bottom line is inescapable, but there is a higher logic that deserves consideration—namely, that the public should have access to knowledge produced with public funds. […]

    lobbyists are still at work, trying to block the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), which would give the public free access to all research, the data as well as the results, funded by federal agencies with research budgets of $100 million or more. […]

  188. says

    My OB/Gyn is generally great. He obviously thinks that since I’m apparently able to prevent unwanted pregnancies he does not need to interfere with it unless asked about it. But the GP struck me like “you need to take the Pill or we can’t make sure you won’t get pregnant 11!!” Like, nobody ever reliably used condoms and nobody ever got pregnant while on the pill…
    And yes, Mr. decided to get a vasectomy looooong ago, but somehow he just can’t find the time….

  189. says

    I was feeling better today! I tried stretching it out to 6 hours between percocets! I walked over to the lab to take care of the fish and other business!

    It was too much. Now I’m aching and about to pass out.

    I’m really not a fan of these drugs. I don’t like pain, either, but they just mess me up too much.

  190. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    “I can’t find the time” was another way of me saying “I have a problem with someone cutting up my junk.” Not saying Mr. is doing the same, just letting you know that my own experience with my delays and excuses had more to do with the unpleasant idea of putting snipping instruments near BigDeux.

    I finally just sucked it up and went in. The most painful part of the procedure felt like someone snapping a rubber band against my nutsack, and that was the anaesthetic being pressure-sprayed in. After that…nothing.

    I’m SO happy it’s done. I’m really uninterested in having more kids — the two I have are my pride and joy, mind — and the freedom I feel from not having to worry about the risk of impregnating someone is fantastic.

  191. says

    PZ, I think you’re just going to have to accept being messed up by pain killers for a relatively short period of time. Look at this way, you don’t have a chronic condition that would require you to be messed up on drugs for the rest of your life.

    Empathy here for the aching. That will be bad enough to prevent rest, which you also need, no doubt.

  192. says

    Oh, I think that’s definitely part of the thing. “No time” is our perpetual “get out of jail free” card because really we DO never have time. And I can understand it, after all nobody fancies surgery, especially not if the body part in question isn’t causing any troubles.

  193. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    PZ, I echo what Lynna, OM wrote.

    Rest is so important after a surgery, and opiates give you that sweet relief from the pain so you can sleep. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel unproductive. There was a fricking knife digging around in your flesh not that long ago!

  194. rq says

    Maybe we should start the discussion now, heh… Husband is also procrastinator extraordinaire. With some justification, too.
    But we’ll see. Decisions to be made before then.

  195. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Gah, what an awful sentence above. Sorry. It should read “the number of people that were electrocuted”.

    I’ma go take some cold meds now.

  196. says

    PZ’s current trials and tribulations are confirmation, (if any were needed), that movie heroes who soldier on despite multiple knife wounds are operating outside the bounds of reality.

  197. nich says

    Duck Dynasty Redux! It’s all about the freeze peach. We have a constitutional right to be paid to be shitheads on national television by a (seemingly) gay friendly network!

  198. says

    Immigration reform is stalled in the USA. Republicans in the House say they want reform, but they just keep blocking all efforts at reform. Their excuses have included the fact that they don’t trust President Obama to enforce any laws they pass. Really?

    Now that Obama has given up waiting on the Republicans and is doing what he can via executive branch authority, Republicans are up in arms over that.


    Among the policies are orders to public school districts not to deny enrollment to undocumented children. The Department of Homeland Security also tweaked U.S. visa policies related to highly skilled workers and H-1B visa holders.

    For his part, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) expressed outrage on the Senate floor this week, railing against executive action.

    “The Obama administration claims it wants immigration reform, but they can’t wait for Congress. They act on their own,” he said. “We need to get immigration reform right, and doing ad-hoc rules that fly in the face of the statute are not helpful to the process.” He added that House Republicans might be more willing to legislate if the White House stopped trying to govern.

    It’s worth reminding Grassley of a few things. First, he loved executive action on immigration when Bush/Cheney was in office, but somehow seems to have changed his mind. What a coincidence.

    Second, everyone has been “waiting for Congress,” but Grassely’s pals don’t want to pass a bill. There’s literally nothing to suggest more waiting will produce better results.

    Third, it’s true that ad-hoc rule making is less effective policymaking than comprehensive solutions approved by Congress, but again, if Republicans refuse to act, it’s not exactly shocking that the White House is looking for solutions.

    As for Grassley’s confidence that the House GOP might be inclined to consider a compromise if the president stopped trying to govern, I’m going to assume the senator was kidding, since this is impossible to take seriously.

  199. says

    Jonathan Chait takes down Fox News for their “All Science is Wrong” panel on climate change.

    There is no issue where educated ignorance is on more perfect display than watching the conservative movement confront scientific evidence of climate change. Educated ignorance is not the same thing as the regular kind of ignorance. It takes real talent to master. George F. Will and Charles Krauthammer are two of the intellectual giants of the right, former winners of the Bradley Foundation’s $250,000 annual prize, Washington Post columnists, and Fox News All-Star panelists. […]

    Their evasions and misstatements, clothed in faux-erudition, offer a useful entrance point to study the current state of the right-wing mind.

    What follows is an annotated analysis of Will and Krauthammer’s remarks, the intellectual quality of which starts off low, and grows increasingly and even frighteningly so as the program progresses. After a brief introduction of the climate report, we begin with Krauthammer: […]
    [insert epic, point by point takedown here]

    To watch Will and Krauthammer grasp for rationales to cast doubt on an established scientific field merely because its findings pose a challenge to their ideological priors is a depressing, and even harrowing, study in the poisonous effects of dogma upon a once-healthy brain. They have amassed an impressive array of sound bites and factoids, and can render them with convincing gravitas, and yet their underlying reasoning is absolutely bonkers. The analogy Krauthammer suggests of the rain man — an authority figure possessed of commanding prestige despite lacking even rudimentary analytic powers — turns out to be apt; only he is describing himself.

  200. says

    Meanwhile, here are some real-world results of listening to Fox News pundits afflicted with “educated ignorance” (reference to comment #276): The Wyoming Board of Education has removed global warming from the classroom.

    The Wyoming Board of Education has officially moved to keep modern, consensus-driven science out of the classroom, because that science happens to include global warming.

    The board decided to subject the Next Generation Science Standards, a multi-state effort to improve science education, to additional review after state politicians, including Republican Gov. Matt Mead (a self-professed climate skeptic) took issue with their presentation of climate change (and evolution) as fact. That reality, they’ve been none too subtle in asserting, conflicts with the state’s reliance on coal: Explaining to students that yes, climate change is happening, and yes, CO2 emissions from coal are a major contributor could lead to some messy questions. “[The standards] handle global warming as settled science,” explained Rep. Matt Teeters. “There’s all kind of social implications involved in that that I don’t think would be good for Wyoming.” […]

    Sorry for the Salon link, but their summary is good.

  201. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    rq, weird. Try typing tylervigen dot com (no www) in the address bar.

  202. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Lynna, OM @275 [immigration reform], frigging hell. So when the GOP doesn’t get their way, they throw a tantrum? My five-year old behaves better than that.

  203. rq says

    Ah, jrfdeux, that did the trick.

    (It’s okay, Lynna, I’ll put the cold medicine away.)

  204. rq says

    Hey, but mozzarella consumption really does have an effect awarded doctorates. More cheese equals more smart people, because eating cheese is a smart thing to do, especially mozzarella, since it’s an awesome cheese, and found on pizza, and pizza is also an awesome and smart thing to eat, so… I really don’t get where the problem lies.

  205. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    My anxiety seems to be controlled better these days, so I have the energy and focus to share something I feel about this site and the commentariat.

    I love it here. I love it here because of two reasons. Those reasons are so deeply seated in my own values that finding a place that aligns so perfectly with them could very well be like the feeling one gets when coming home. I don’t know anyone here in person, but I recognize most of the regulars and their personalities, at least their online ones. There’s a powerful comfort in seeing members of The Horde sharing their thinking and feelings online. It feels right.

    I’m one of those people with “situational” anxiety and depression. Very stressful events will trigger both in me, to the point that I’m debilitated. The anxiety can become so overwhelming that living becomes a minute-to-minute struggle. I feel paralyzed and I can barely do what is required of me at work. While I have never planned or researched suicide methods, I’ve ideated a few times, and those times were scary. Most of my life I’ve been pretty strong mentally and emotionally; perhaps a more accurate descriptor would be “Most of my life I haven’t been clobbered with extremely stressful events.” I have a very close friend who struggles with depression daily. Years ago I told her to “just snap out of it.” I was very impatient with her. Then the day came when I was plunged into clinical depression, and everything changed. I realized that you can’t just “snap out of it.” You’re in a place so dark, so flat grey, you have no energy, no reason to get up and live. You feel your life draining out of you as you lie in bed for fifteen, sixteen hours a day. It’s a horrifying place to be. I apologized to my friend. We are each other’s support now, when depression hits either of us. People who have never been depressed don’t understand us. I know some who know us both look down on us, privately.

    But here, amongst the Horde, is a place where I don’t feel that way at all. I feel SAFE here, and if I’m mocked or attacked or denigrated for suffering from anxiety and depression I know that the Horde will go ballistic on the attacker. I’m a cis, hetero male who looks mostly white, so I have a lot of privilege working for me, but I still don’t feel safe letting anyone in meatspace know that I struggle with mental conditions. I know I’ll be judged, and harshly. Not so here.

    And the other reason, the other value I hold so dear, is the LEARNING that goes on here. The regulars here are so smart, so articulate, so passionate about knowledge, I can’t help but learn. The clarity of argument here is remarkable, and it has shaped me considerably in the few years I’ve been lurking. I didn’t understand my privilege until I arrived here. I didn’t understand “privilege” isn’t a dirty word. I didn’t really get how subtle and rampant misogyny was, how powerful and ubiquitous the Patriarchy is, how pernicious the status quo can be. But I learned about all of that here. And I am so grateful, to PZ for keeping a place such as this, and nurturing it to be a safe place for social justice, and to the commentariat for their brilliance and passion.

    Also, squid and octopi. Love this place for that.

  206. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    No argument from me on the mozzarella. If there was ever causality for academic brilliance, it’s obviously going to come from top-notch cheese.

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

    Sorry, that’s Blacc

  208. Nutmeg says

    Hey, morgan, if you’re around: We should talk about possibilities for a meetup when I’m in your area in a couple of weeks!

    My schedule’s kinda tight, so it might not work out. But maybe it will! Depending on where exactly you are, I might be able to swing a late morning/lunch/early afternoon meetup, on either May 21 or May 26.

    If that sounds like a possibility for you, we should talk more in private. I’ve forgotten the email address I used to use here. Is there a way I can contact you? If not, I’ll make a new pseudonymous email address and post it here for you.

  209. says

    As to percs and their mind-bending properties, let me add a perspective from someone who’s almost never without them.

    It doesn’t happen to me. Never has, since i started taking them eight years ago (before that i used pure white-knuckled stiffuppereverything for 18 yrs as it slowly worsened).

    For reference on amounts, btw, i take 60mg/day: 40 in slow-release 10mg that take two hours to kick in, and are effective for about six more, and 20 in the more commonly-seen 5/375 w/ acetaminophen (paracetamol). Those take about 20 min to get effective, and are good for maybe 3 hours. I tend to bunch the 5mg around wakeytime, so at most waking hours, i’m on 15mg at any one time, plus antinauseant and muscle-relaxant help from being Canadian (ahem, puffpuffIRIE). And generally you’d never even know, except i groan and creak less when medicated. But since no one outside my family ever sees me unmedicated, you’d have no comparison.

    So yeah, i work and live all the time on these meds, and they’ve not got the least euphoric effect for me, nor any effect on my working abilities. I don’t drive anymore because of the second med i mentioned, the irie one, which is sufficiently intoxicating that i’m not ok with driving under its influence. Intoxicated driving gave me the need for the stuff, i’m not risking doing that to someone else.

    So don’t worry too much about those of us stuck with the meds; they make life possible, and at the levels of sustained pain i’m talking about, all their effect goes into the inadequate relief, with none left over for messing with consciousness-altering.

    I hope your pain recedes well and gracefully, PZed. The hole-choppeyness sounds awful.

  210. rq says

    And I can only echo (hello, Echochamber?) what you say about the Horde. This place/these people has done so much for me, on all kinds of different levels, and even though I feel outmatched most of the time, I still feel welcome and, as you say, safe. It’s pretty awesome.

    Oooh, nice song! I know that one. Which means it’s not all that new, haha, but obviously not overplayed. :)

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

    jrfdeux, rq,

    everything you said, thirded.

  212. blf says

    Look at this way, you [poopyhead] don’t have a chronic condition that would require you to be messed up on drugs for the rest of your life.

    Reptilian infections aren’t chronic? But, but, they have lots of scales. Which grow back. Removing just one scale isn’t a cure. About all it does is annoy the infection.

  213. says

    chimera- WIsh I could help. Gravatar isn’t working at all for me here, stuck on showing my Facebook pic when I’m not logged in via Facebook. Apparently I logged in that way at some point and it just stuck.

  214. says

    Logging out, logging back in through different services and directly, entering the URL to my gravatar and leaving it blank, changing privacy settings and even deleting the current profile image from Facebook entirely, can’t get rid of the current profile image and show the gravatar which I want to show. Really getting on my nerves.

  215. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Every time I read “Cliven Bundy” I think “cloven hooves.” Weird, right?

    Hey Nutmeg! Email me at morganmeeker at the gmail thingy. I’m in Cedarpines Park, outside Crestline.
    I hope we can meet up.

  216. says

    Ok. Got the Facebook photo gone. Still not showing my gravatar, but at least the photo is gone. It’s not a huge thing given my nym, but it gets the balance between being full openness and full anonymity a little better this way.

    Would like my gravatar to show, I like the idea of having a consistent blogosphere identity that is at least a step removed from my offline one.

  217. melissaf says

    Hi horde! Longtime lurker (very occasional commenter) here :)
    I was hoping you all might be able to check out this fundraiser and share it around –
    “Click here to support Move the Sundes out west! by February Rain
    The Sundes are an atheist family, and they have spent all of their lives in a very small, conservative, heavily religious region. We are working to give them a new start in a new city with new opportunities.”
    The Sundes began the first leg of their move a short time ago, but due to unforseen events are now stranded in a totally untenable position. Unfortunately they’re are only halfway to the amount needed to complete their move and put a deposit on a place in the new location. Any small amount would be an enormous help for them.
    Thanks, and sorry for the random interruption and link droppage :)

  218. anteprepro says


    Every time I read “Cliven Bundy” I think “cloven hooves.” Weird, right?

    Very appropriate.

    I think of a mix between Al Bundy (Married With Children) and Cletus (The Simpsons). Alternatively: Replace Al Bundy with Ted Bundy, and/or Cletus with Chives.

  219. Pteryxx says

    Remember Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s comment that there’s no such TV show as Racistbuster?

    Comedy Central announced on Friday that Daily Show correspondent Larry Wilmore would replace Stephen Colbert on its late-night talk show lineup beginning in January 2015.

    The network said in a release that Wilmore’s show will be titled The Minority Report, an adaptation of the title of Colbert’s show.

    from Rawstory

    Comedy Central press release

  220. says

    Good morning

    And everything you said.
    I know I’ve grown so much here. Not only did I do away with quite a lot of stupid ideas, also personally. I’ve been through bad times as well and people here held my virtual hand along the way.

  221. Crimson Clupeidae says

    I missed something. Why is the great poopyhead on percocet?

    I thought I had a bad day.

  222. Crimson Clupeidae says

    ..aaaaand never mind. Apparently I’m more zoned out than I thought.

    Heal up PZed.

  223. opposablethumbs says

    Dear PZ,

    please take it as easy as you can, at least for a few days. Even cephalopoda with their own underground-island-volcano-lairs-complete-with-all-eldritch-cons take a little time to heal.

    respectfully yours,
    P. O’Thumbs

    Thirding/fourthing/fifthing etc. what jrfdeux said.

    Well, the grand pre-exams end-of-final-year do for SonSpawn’s school is done. The fancy dress-up was perfect (thanks to all the neighbourhood charity shops plus his dad did some ingenious sewing. I have to admit, biased as I may be, that he looked fabulous). It went … OK – not brilliant-amazing-wonderful or anywhere near, but OK (a couple of things Went Sadly Wrong, but overall it seems to have been not an unmitigated disaster, so that’s a relief I guess).

  224. rq says

    I love how Cat looks personally insulted due to the fact that it’s raining outside. “Dude, I did not order this shit. Naht impressed.”

  225. damien75 says

    Hello people,

    I have a question for whomever wants to answer it.

    There recently was a post: “A perfect picture of oblivious entitlement”. I geuss most of you have seen it, but in a nutshell, it is about that Princeton student, Tal Fortgang, who wrote an article who says he has been “reprimanded (…) several times” by somebody saying “Check your privilege.” He says “The phrase, handed down by my moral superiors (…)”

    One thing I do not understand, who does he mean by his “moral superiors”? Is that other students? Professors? Both? Is it unclear for you too? Princeton consellors? Is it some other people that I do not suspect?

    Since nobody seems to wonder I guess it is pretty obvious for most of you, so if anyone could enlighten me, I would be pleased.

    Thank you in advance.

  226. says

    Today is commencement at UMM!

    I’m going to stagger over to the division party before it and mingle vaguely with the parents and students, but otherwise, I don’t think I could sit in the hard-backed chairs at the event itself for two hours.

  227. rq says

    Just remember to take it easy – and yeah, hard chairs is not taking it easy…

    Usually, people like that have imaginary moral superiors – basically, anyone who ever told him to check his privilege. Probably. I think. Who knows? It’s just another way of whining.

  228. damien75 says

    @ Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I don’t know. Nobody else is asking, so I figured it was obvious for the rest of you. This guy seems articulate, so I thought that if he did not say it, everybody understood who he meant.

  229. blf says

    I’m going to stagger over to the division party before it and mingle vaguely with the parents and students…

    And scare any parent who hasn’t previously been scared awaymet you: “This zonked-out aging octohippypus is your ‘professor’?!”

  230. damien75 says

    @Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- and @rq

    Thank you for taking the time to answer.

    I assumed that somebody familiar to U.S. universities would have recognized a typical situation. Nevr mind.

  231. rq says


    This guy seems articulate

    (emphasis mine)
    NEWSFLASH: “Articulate” is not a synonym for logical, rational, intelligent or educated. Just means he speaks and/or writes in a fashion easily understood by others, even when spewing nonsense to create straw-enemies for himself. I’m also pretty sure that “moral superiors”, in Tal’s mind, is a lot like all those feminazis that keep hanging around the feminism table.
    That being said, Dahmer was also very articulate. Saw an interview with him, once. Very articulate and polite.
    Either way, you want to continue this conversation, I think it should go to the Thunderdome.

  232. damien75 says

    @rq, #321

    “A typical situation…?”

    I assumed… I assumed he was referring to something most readers would recognise. It is really not clear to me, but maybe it is not clear at all.

    But in some way it is something that you recognise since you think he is referring to straw ennemies.

  233. rq says

    There’s nothing there to recognize, just him being offended at people telling him to be more thoughtful of others.

  234. Nutmeg says

    morgan: I checked the map, and unfortunately I don’t think I’m going to be able to fit in a detour to your area. :( Too bad – a meetup would have been fun.

  235. says

    Highlights from the prayer event recently held inside the US Capitol, in Statuary Hall:

    Right Wing Watch link. Excerpts below:

    Rep. Tim Huelskamp […] asserted that God is at the heart of America because there is a small chapel located literally in the very center of the continent in Kansas […]

    “When He moved the Founding Fathers around like men on a chessboard,” [Representative Steve] King said, “it was preordained. He guided them.” Asserting that both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written with “divine guidance,” King declared that, as such, Americans must be “very aware of how God brought forth this nation” […]

    Among the other speakers at the event was Jonathan Cahn, author of “The Harbinger” which claims that 9/11 was God’s judgment upon America and that rebuilding the Freedom Tower without properly humbling ourselves before God was an act of utter defiance.[…]

    Robert Jeffress […] asserted that while some issues such as taxes or immigration reform ought to be rightly debated by the government, other issues like abortion and gay marriage “are beyond debate, for the judge of the universe has already rendered his opinion”[…]

  236. says

    The Supreme Court’s recent ruling about allowing prayers before city council meetings, etc. is already an adverse affect. Rightwing dunderheads are going even further off the rails.

    Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of official prayers before meetings of local government, some jurisdictions that had been under court order to stop sponsoring sectarian supplications are plotting their next move.

    In Roanoke County, Va., Supervisor Al Bedrosian has a plan: Only Christian prayers will be allowed. Everyone else can go jump in a lake.

    “I think America, pretty much from Founding Fathers on, I think we have to say more or less that we’re a Christian nation with Christian ideology,” Bedrosian told the Roanoke Times. “If we’re a Christian nation, then I would say that we need to move toward our Christian heritage.” […]

  237. says

    What I’ve been up to for the last few days.

    These are the poems I’m slipping into the envelopes with the benefits packages from the GoFundMe campaign that my friend Chelle ran back in March. Anyone who requested a benefit (Chelle’s making a lot of jewelry – which is what she does professionally – for people, along with some paintings and bookbinding) is getting a sort-of haiku (there are a few ‘classic rules’ haiku – season/time expression, nature image – but most are the more relaxed North American style), which I have decided to render in some rather shaky calligraphy. I can definitely do better, but for the first time i’ve picked up a pen in four years, I’m not that unhappy. I was saying to rq recently that I’d like to get arting about again, and it looks like it’s happening. I’ve been sketching, too, and making arrangements to make my reference material more available/convenient to my use (the PS3 can display photos in fairly high-res, and a large-screen TV makes a nice stable reference platform), so I’m hoping the artiness continues. Wish me luck. :)

    One awesome side benefit of my new phone, I found a great little study program for hiragana/katakana, which ten minutes a day with has given me a solid grasp on the kana again. That base I now want to use to find a good kanji study app, so if anyone has a recommendation for an app that’ll work on an Android phone, I’d love to hear it. I’ve been using Kanji Renshuu, but I’m not jazzed with the form factors of how it works (I’d like something more quizzy than just a picture of a flashcard I can turn over; if that was useful, I’d just buy flash cards).

  238. birgerjohansson says

    re. Lynna @328

    “Rep. Tim Huelskamp […] asserted that God is at the heart of America because there is a small chapel located literally in the very center of the continent in Kansas […]”
    He should read Neal Gaiman’s “American Gods” The motel in the exact center of continental USA is NOT a favorable place for deities.

    — — —
    Alien Parody
    PZ, when you get healthy you need to arrage for your coffee to be delivered this way.

    — — —
    I would like this to explore partially collapsed tunnels and caves where it is too dangerous for human explorers.
    “Engineers building teleoperated robots for disaster response in national challenge”

  239. says

    Kansas may be the centre of the USA, but it’s not the centre of the continent. That’s in Rugby, ND. I got a speeding ticket there once, which I remember, because I’ve only ever had two, and it’s the only one i didn’t pay (no reciprocal agreement between Ontario and ND). It was laughably small, too: USD1-/mph, or USD21 for my 76mph run in a 55mph zone (a little over 30km/h over). And they had a sign, pointing out that Rugby is the geographical centre of North America.

    So, nyah, Huelskamp, wrong again.

  240. birgerjohansson says

    Tpyos was here. Arrange not arrage. Is there a word like arrage, BTW? Arranging arrays=arrage?

    — — —
    I read yet another Sandman Slim novel. The author is a wordsmith for Philip Marlowe-style one-liners.
    And Birgitte is a seriously cool kick-ass character
    Is it OK to say “perversion” about erotic undead autophagy?

  241. birgerjohansson says

    “Rugby is the geographical centre of North America”
    Is that why American Football is played by Rugby* rules?

    *The colleges had their own rules for what was called “football”
    Rugby college rules shaped American and Australian football.

  242. says

    Beatrice, about Cinder:

    The world building is on the weak side, there was room for more background and detail, and the proliferation of Japanese names in the locale of New Beijing was a bit jarring. That said, the concept is good, there’s a great twist on the princess theme, the book is fast paced, and the characters engaging. Well worth reading.

  243. blf says

    Is that why American Football is played by Rugby rules?

    A very highly bastardized version of Rugby.

  244. blf says

    I think drinking beer puts me in a bad mood.

    There’s some grog around here someplace…
    And possibly some cheese not attached to a penguin…

  245. says

    I hate mother’s day…

    From the category of “some men are simply assholes and don’t deserve to be fathers”
    I went to my friend today and while we were chatting I asked about an acquaintance-friend* who was pregnant. Well, the baby has been born, via scheduled c-section. Her husband left her all alone that day. When she called my friend to tell her that the babe’s here my friend drove over to be with her, especially since the kid had to be hauled off to NICU. That was in the morning. In the early afternoon my friend went to collect her younger sons from the daycare where she met said husband who was picking up their first child. My friend said she wanted to shout at him, but of course she didn’t and went to congratulate him instead. His reaction? “Oh, the baby’s born?”
    Wow, I mean that really shows how much he cares about those two people in the hospital.

    *You know the kind of relationship: people you wouldn’t actively call to go for a coffee but with whom you’re totally ok if another friend brings them along

  246. says


    I assumed that somebody familiar to U.S. universities would have recognized a typical situation.

    It’s nothing to do with universities or the U.S. as such. It’s the standard whine of the privileged when someone points it out, that the person pointing out their privilege is accusing them of personal wrongdoing, and thus setting themselves in a position of moral superiority. Since many people don’t really grasp the idea of systemic causation (IME conservatives are especially prone to this), they interpret the statement “The system has been rigged in your favor since the beginning, relative to many others” as “You are the one keeping PoCs/women/queers/whatever down” and/or “You have never achieved anything, just had it all handed to you.” And then they get all pissed off and whiny and such. Especially ones like Fortgang, for whom the second statement is actually perfectly true.

  247. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Kansas may be the centre of the USA, but it’s not the centre of the continent.

    People who claim Kansas is the center of the US forget about our 49th and 50th states, which shoved that marker both north an west into South Dakota:

    Note that the geographical center of the entire U.S. is northeast of Belle Fourche in Butte County, South Dakota 44°58′N 103°46′W, while that of the contiguous 48 is near Lebanon in Smith County, Kansas 39°50′N 98°35′W. The geographic center of North America lies near Rugby, North Dakota 48°22′2″N 99°59′46″W, though this designation has no official status.

    (From Wiki Geographical centers of the US, which also includes the center for each state.)

  248. Pteryxx says

    Random news – the author of Gravity (a 1999 medical thriller set on the ISS) is suing for breach of contract over Gravity (the 2013 movie that made bank). She sold the movie rights to New Line and heard nothing since 2002, until her fans started congratulating her on the upcoming movie.

    Tess Gerritsen’s press release

    Variety article

    Gerritsen contends that the terms of her sale of her novel “Gravity” to Katja Motion Picture Corp., a shell company for New Line, called for her to receive a production bonus of $500,000, 2.5% of the “defined net proceeds” from the movie, and screen credit. She was paid $1 million when Katja purchased motion picture rights in March, 1999, just months before the book was published. Her suit claims that director Alfonso Cuaron was attached to the screen adaption, but she as not told of it at the time.

    Some time after 2002, the suit claims, Cuaron and his son, Jonas, wrote a screenplay called “Gravity.” She claims that Warner Bros., the studio behind “Gravity,” owns the feature rights to her book after it took control of New Line in 2008.

    Tangentially related: Experts testify before Congress that space debris threatens to cause a real-life Gravity incident (Guardian)

  249. rq says

    There’s some grog around here someplace…

    haha, I’m already in a bad mood from the beer – grog’s only going to make it worse.

  250. says

    Finally got a comment on my blog that was not spam, a trackback, or bizarre ranting only vaguely related to the post(flouride apparently destroys sanity in some people). Actual, relevant engagement.

    It’s going to take a while to get traffic numbers up to where I can put ads on it(WordAds has a traffic requirement I’m far from, and if I go self hosted I want it to at least support itself, which requires more traffic, though possibly not quite as much)

  251. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Nutmeg, I’m sorry we won’t be able to meet up when you are here. I was really looking forward to it.

  252. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ugh, been a few days I could do without. Driving home for the Thursday afternoon Redhead commode/lunch break, and the gold probe just died on me after taking a corner. Luckily, I could pull over and park safely. Walked home, and arranged for the tow truck and alerted my auto repair place. Got a minor sunburn waiting for the tow truck. Needed a new distributor. Picked it up Friday afternoon, runs fine. Noticed the rug by the sink wet Friday night. Found a hole in the drain pipe from the sink/garbage disposal, with all the towels/paper bags the Redhead had stored there wet. Fixed that this morning. The paper bags went to the recycle bin. Taking longer to clean and dry all the dish towels under the sink than to fix the pipe. Been checking for leaks and needed one tightening of a compression fitting. Appears to be leak free at the moment. Hope these problems are over for a bit. My back is slightly cranky, and that is nowhere near what PZ is dealing with.

  253. says

    Michael Sam got picked up by the St Louis Rams today.

    Missouri, dragging professional sports into the 21st century!

  254. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    *hugs* back. Feeling safe is such a rare thing these days, it seems.

    I’m in the phlegmy, headachy stage of a horrid cough, so I’m going to go eat some congee and fermented bean curd and salted duck eggs [COMFORT FOOD] and leave you all with this link to 30 seconds of totally SFW squee. :-)

  255. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Totally threadrupt.

    *massive pile of pouncehugs, gentle hugs, anklehugs and chocolate* – Please take as needed. I’ve missed you all.

    Portia – You have email. I will be briefly in your area later this month. :)

  256. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Okay. Let’s add “Defective Toilet Plungers” alongside “Motion-Activated Musical Children’s Toys With No Off Switch” on the list of “things it shall be a capital offense to manufacture or sell.” O.O

  257. rq says

    I really hope your run of bad luck has come to an end. :/ May the sunburn peel minimally.

    What have Defective Toilet Plungers ever done to you??? (I’m with you on the MAMC Toys.)

    Get well soon, jrfdeux!

  258. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    What have Defective Toilet Plungers ever done to you???

    …do you REALLY want me to answer that? O.O

  259. yubal says

    An update to my previous post concerning my health. My doctor could rule out acute hepatitis and cancer (as if they could! ). A second doctor diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia although they are testing for lupus now. That means I will be back on psych meds again (hate that) and I need to see another doctor. I Don’t think they properly ruled out cancer based on the tests they did and I want a third opinion. If it is cancer and so early it slips the diagnosis it means it usually can be cured.

    In a nutshell. It is good news however unreliable ones.

  260. says


    Those are one of the reasons I hate, hate,hate holiday shopping. There’s always some jackass that runs through and sets off ALL THE TOYS. (Because five songs on an endless loop, and large crowds of impatient people weren’t enough to deal with already!)


    I think whomever it was that thought it was a good idea to make children’s toys that not only make noise, but are motion activated, ought to be sentenced to an eternity in a small room, with ALL THE TOYS, said toys rigged so that they’re always on.

  261. rq says

    on fire permanently

    Oooh, child-safe toys!! :D [humour, not snark]
    We had a few toys whose batteries mysteriously either (a) ran out rather quickly or (b) disappeared, never to be seen again. We do, however, still have nightmares about a tiny, baby-like yet mechanical voice exclaiming a sing-song “Uh-oh!” in the depths of the night… And then the giggle…

  262. rq says

    Yes, I watched the end of the finals, plus results announcements last night. Nothing special, except our lovely Latvian announcers really excelled at being… well, somewhat assholish. Because Austria won, and you know, that means transphobia is totally a thing of the past and that next year’s Eurovision will have a whole list of contestant-men dressing up as women to ridicule this year’s winner.
    But it was interesting, and somewhat hope-inducing, that one commentator kept saying a bunch of annoying stuff** and the other guy (they were both men) either tried to respond politely (“Uh, actually, I don’t think transphobia will be got rid of that easily…” and “Hey, since Eurovision is all about showing friendship and support, maybe that response is adequate and in-context!”) or be uncomfortably silent or change the subject somehow. You know, so it wasn’t all bad.
    Also, young white woman singer surrounded by ‘ethnic-looking’ people-of-colour in ‘traditional’ (i.e. lots of bare skin and body-paint) dress, dancing to ‘tribal’ rhythms? No, Eurovision, you’re so beyond racism.

    ** (Among other things: “Watch out, parents, your children will have questions now! Prepare your answers!” and “This vote has shown that transphobia is out, and beards are in!” and (my favourite!!!!) “There’s been talk of the next Bond movie, and haha, they could name it Rise Like a Phoenix, and Conchita could be a Bond girl… haha, but you know, haha, Bond girls always die in the movies.” and “Really, Eurovision is all about being friends, so the audience really should hold back on all the booing for Russia!”)


  263. rq says

    A gentle *yay!* for current unreliable good news re: the health situation. Here’s to hoping the follow-up tests also show negative for cancer (for real, not as a false negative).
    *[supportive gesture of your choice, incl. but not limited to hugs]*

  264. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says




    as with any audience with a large number of nerds in it, a non-trivial number of Atlas Shrugged readers are possibly far enough along the Asperger spectrum that they don’t recognize humanity does not in fact easily suss out into Randian capitalist superheroes on one side and craven socialist losers on the other

    Wait, did HE start that idiocy?

    Someone please tell me he’s become less of a piece of shit since then?

  265. says


    We do, however, still have nightmares about a tiny, baby-like yet mechanical voice exclaiming a sing-song “Uh-oh!” in the depths of the night… And then the giggle…

    I can, unfortunately, imagine. *shudder* And now I’m probably not going to sleep any time soon.

    OMFG, one year, my little brother got a ventriloquist dummy for Xmas. It got one, maybe two days of use/play before it ended up stuffed way in the back of a closet on the very top shelf. That thing was creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy.

  266. rq says

    I’m having trouble with that sentence because of its wording (and no context, because Scalzi = entertainment to the work computer, so I can’t read the entire article). What I get:
    – many readers who read Atlas Shrugged are nerds;
    – many readers who read Atlas Shrugged, who are also nerds, may be far enough on the Aspgerger’s spectrum to not recognize humanity (whatever that means);
    – [… and then I get stuck on the conclusion – either (a) ‘easy logic’ would mean that person-with-Asperger’s is automatically a Randiam capitalist superhero, but not all RCSs are people-with-Asperger’s so the split isn’t as easy; or (b) being on the Asperger’s spectrum doesn’t automatically make a person an RCS… ??]

    Alternatively, there’s the implication that being a nerd is somehow evidence for being on the Asperger’s spectrum…?
    I’m confused. By the quote, not by you.

  267. opposablethumbs says

    Good morning Horde. Please accept this lorry-load of chocolate, kittens, adorably cute squid and e-hugs (they are motion-activated, it’s true, but they activate only if someone squeezes them first, plus they turn off after the QI-approved three seconds. They can be re-activated if desired, any number of times). It’s morning for me, so the cistern-lorry of whisky won’t be along until this evening.

    All my good wishes to you, and thank you for being around and being the Horde and for reading you even when I’m not saying much.

    My day may involve paint, on the one hand, and walls, on the other (at least the ceiling is finished).

  268. blf says

    My day may involve paint, on the one hand, and walls, on the other…

    Most people leave the walls intact and apply the paint with a brush, roller, sprayer, or by simply throwing the open paint buckets at the walls.

    The mildly deranged penguin nails artistes feet to the floor (and, in a high-ceiling room, other artistes feet to the ceiling) and won’t let them go until they’ve finished a nice set of murals.

  269. blf says

    Defective Toilet Plungers sounds like a Eurovision song.
    Not sure if that’s the title or the lyrics…

  270. rq says

    My day may involve paint, on the one hand, and walls, on the other

    Hope your weather is nice enough to keep the windows open!

  271. rq says

    Not sure if that’s the title or the lyrics…

    Both, obviously; as title, announced loudly by those bouncy ever-smiling and -joking good-looking hosts whose smiles always seem a little strained; as lyrics, preferably slurred into incomprehensible English together with several more stanzas of mutually non-sensical words that have the appearance of rhyming when sung.

  272. rq says

    ‘Kay, I was searching for Other Stuff, but I just had to share this: ebook titled Fertilize Yourself! (okay, fine, without the exclamation mark). Women are now plants!!! Just take a little pollen annnnd dab riiiight here
    (The book looks crap, too, by the way.)

  273. blf says

    Women are now plants!

    Are cooties the pollen? They could explain why there are so many (cooties), and how hard they (cooties) are to avoid.

  274. says

    rq 368
    Apologies for lack of coherency, it’s 330 and I’ve been at work all night.
    The thing Azkyroth has a problem with is the association of the autism spectrum with Randist ideology, an association which is unfortunately common. Many people are prone to assuming that being non-neurotypical in that particular fashion makes one intrinsically sympathetic to that kind of garbage. It’s unfortunate that Scalzi has jumped on that bandwagon.

  275. rq says

    Ah, thanks for the clarification.
    That makes me sad (about Scalzi). I’ve been thinking very highly of him in general. :/ And what a crappy point of view to have!! Ew.

  276. rq says

    I would assume cooties are pollen. Except here’s the mystifying thing: why should boys be afraid of girl cooties, if the cooties are there for women to fertilize themselves?? (Although, it’s not like I enjoy having other people’s bodily fluids on me at the best of times…)

    (And when, oh when, will I learn to take the time and put all these responses into one comment instead of individualizing?)

  277. carlie says

    Hm. I’ve been pretty much in love with everything Scalzi’s written on his blog in the last couple of years, so hopefully that’s indicative that he’s become more understanding over the years.

    Child 2, my child with Asperger’s, spent hours and hours over the last three weeks following this tutorial to make me this song in Minecraft for Mother’s Day, just because we had both liked the movie so much when we went to see it. No lack of understanding humanity there. :)

  278. opposablethumbs says

    carlie, what a wonderful present to give you. That’s fantastic.

  279. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Used last year’s bonus money to buy a inexpensive color laser printer. It has built-in WiFi, so the iPad, with an appropriate free app, can send it stuff to print. It’s sitting next to the iMac, taking up a lot of desk real estate, and hooked up with a USB. Finally it seeped into my brain that I can place the printer anywhere in the house, and the local network will have it print.
    Now, where is a good place to put it?

  280. says

    In the corner where the threeseater meets the twoseater. That’s where ours is.

    Well, I hope somebody educated Scalzi in the meantime, because that’s not cool.

    Hey, did you know it was our aniversary today? Mr. and I completely forgot until my mum in law congratulated us. The kids were so occupied with mothers day that it kind of faded into the background…

  281. Nutmeg says

    morgan: I was disappointed too. It sucks to live so far away from most of the Horde. And, one of the few times when I’m within a reasonable distance of someone awesome, scheduling doesn’t permit a visit. :(

    I probably wouldn’t have been the best of company, though. I’ll be too nervous to make conversation on the way to the conference, and too exhausted to be coherent afterwards.

    Still, grr. Stupid distance!

  282. blf says

    I would assume cooties are pollen. Except here’s the mystifying thing: why should boys be afraid of girl cooties, if the cooties are there for women to fertilize themselves?

    Some people are, of course, allergic to different pollens, including cooties.

    Another problem is cooties are like cigarette smoke or more traditional fertilizers (like cow manure), and gets everywhere. You really don’t want to let the stuff into your house.

    And, also similar to cigarette smoke, second-hand cooties are icky. The harmful effects of breathing in second-hand cooties are not fully known, but probably includes becoming an MRA, PUA, or married. Children are rumoured to be another result.

    Cooties also make the grog go off, and scares away the cheeses.

  283. Nakkustoppeli says

    Is it just me, but the ESC winner Conchita Wurst looks a lot like Jesus in altar paintings in addition to looking traditionally female (regardless of the beard)?

    I wonder if it’s all deliberately thought through, her drag queen image: Looking like both Kim Kardashian and Jesus, using a stage name comibining a first name that comes from Inmaculada Concepción (Immaculate Conception) and sausage as the last name?

  284. says

    cicely @262

    Lynna, you are a valuable resource; a veritable Mine of Mor(m)on Madness Monitoring Magnificence.

    Why thank you! That is one MMMMM good compliment.

    In honor of the endless stories of Moments of Mormon Missionary Madness, here’s a true account from one disillusioned missionary:

    […] Missionaries intentionally go after people in desperate situations. On my mission, we’d go into the worst parts of town to talk to the meth addicts and crackheads. Sure, they need help and attention more than anybody, but most of my colleagues were distinctly upper middle class white Mormons. Short of bursting out into an impromptu rap about how “drugs are for thugs,” there’s no way they could have been more conspicuous. […]

    A friend of mine got circumcised on his mission. He was in the Philippines, and he got an infection on his dick. He went to a local doctor and, uh … not to make a bad name for the doctors there, but this guy snipped the foreskin, peeled it back … and sewed it to the shaft, like a fucking banana. And it was like that for his whole mission. They do not warn you about potential banana-dicking in Missionary School. […]

    And here’s a comment on the MTC, Missionary Training Center, in Utah:

    […] You can’t leave the training center, you can’t read outside writings, and you have no contact with anyone of the opposite sex. No real socializing is allowed. I remember one time we started a snowball fight at lunch. The next day, the president of the Missionary Training Center gave a lecture about how we weren’t there to throw snowballs. (Apparently, God makes snowballs so much fun purely to test our resolve.) It’s pretty much like The Hunger Games, only instead of learning awesome survival skills, you learn the Bible. And instead of earning your freedom, you pay about the price of a decent used Camry. That’s right: You’re not paid for it, you pay for it. The whole mission can cost between $10,000 and 12,000. […]

  285. blf says

    I wonder if [the “Conchita Wurst” character]’s all deliberately thought through…

    Mr Neuwirth, who plays the Conchita Wurst character, has apparently said some parts of are thought out. For instance, according to Ye Pffft! of All Knowledge:

    the performer compares the choice of last name to the common German expression „Das ist mir doch alles Wurst“, which translates as “it’s all the same to me”, and “I don’t care”, stating that the name emerged from the first meaning of the expression and added, “It doesn’t really matter where one comes from, and what one looks like.”

    I suspect we’ll being hearing a lot more about both the performer and character. I’m looking forward to the wingnuts’s freakouts now that act has won.

  286. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, parade season and summer camps categories. Tis the season for mormon parades, many of which include modern mormon boys conscripted to act out the story of the “stripling warriors.” What with girding their loins, carrying weapons, occasionally riding ahistorical horses, etc. it looks like fun.

    Fun until you get to the indoctrination and brain-frying religious hokum. Mormons have gone further and established entire summer camps based on reenacting stories from the Book of Mormon. Maybe the costumes free participants from the obligation to wear mormon undergarments? Looking for an up side here.

    Mormons have always hosted summer camps that are scary is you know anything about brainwashing, but these reenactment camps look like training grounds for raising up more Cliven Bundys.

  287. says

    Video of Stripling Warriors parade held in Bountiful, Utah every year.

    Part of the Sons of Helaman, Stipling Warrior, story is that the parents don’t want to commit murder ’cause that would be wrong, so they send their children out to do it instead. Part of the justification for this morally objectionable use of children is that the mormon god will protect the innocent.

    The original stippling warriors went shirtless, see Modern day stripling warriors wear T-shirts, and also manage to look vaguely Roman.

    Mormons tend to connect this story to Mothers Day because of this verse from the Book of Mormon:

    Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

    And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

  288. opposablethumbs says


    a stage name comibining a first name that comes from Inmaculada Concepción (Immaculate Conception) and sausage as the last name?

    Mainly irrelevant rambling: I don’t know about “wurst” (and I note that blf has posted info that suggests there is no penis association at all) but in some regional varieties of Spanish (mainly the Conosur, afaik) “concha” (of which Conchita can be the diminutive) means “c**t”. (Literally it means “shell”, but if you actually want to talk about shells and not women’s genitals you have to say “concha de mar” – seashell.) As I say, this does not apply to all flavours of Spanish, and the name “Conchita” per se can be completely devoid of any double entendre.
    /mainly irrelevant rambling.
    Awaiting opinions from native German and Spanish speakers, plz!

  289. says

    Militia in Utah back another law-breaking demonstration against Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulations, and against the federal government in general.

    […] “It’s not illegal. It’s the people of San Juan County’s land. It’s your god-given right to go down and ride through that canyon and to hell with the media,” shouted an armed militia member.

    There is, as you might expect, a Cliven Bundy connection:

    “We are here to keep the peace and safeguard the constitutional rights of everybody,” said San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldredge. “We don’t want to see clashes between citizens, and clashes between BLM and militia. This is not going to be Bunkerville.”

    The sheriff was referring to BLM’s recent stand-off with armed supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy who has long refused to pay grazing fees. Also addressing the rally was Bundy’s son Ryan, who counseled there is no such thing as federal land.

    “I came here to re-open a road,” he said to resounding applause.

    BLM had no visible presence at the north end of the canyon where riders entered on an established road below Recapture Reservoir, but federal officers were there, according to BLM Utah director Juan Palma. He was concerned riders may have damaged artifacts and dwellings left by Ancestral Puebloans who lived in the canyon until 800 years ago. […]

    About 89% of the residents of Blanding, Utah are members of the LDS (mormon) church.

    San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman, the guy who organized the protest ride, is a mormon. Other media outlets have noted the Cliven Bundy-like aspects of the protest.

    […] Lyman says he has a right to represent his local constituency against outside agitators, including the federal government. And he enjoys widespread support here. […]

    In recent days, many militia members have left camps near the Bundy ranch 80 miles north of Las Vegas to make the nearly 500-mile drive to Blanding.

    “There aren’t as many men here as there were a few days ago,” Bundy’s wife, Carol, told The Times. “Many of them have gone up to Utah.’

    Asked whether they would be armed, she said, “They’re militia! Of course they’re carrying their weapons.” […]

  290. says

    From the readers comments about fellow mormon and San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman:

    I have known Phil Lyman and his family since we attended college together nearly 30 years ago. Not only has he always been an honest, hardworking, and law-abiding citizen. He is a man who loves America and loves San Juan County. Over the years I have visited Blanding several times and Commissioner Lyman has always been respectful, contemplative and even emotional as he has invited me to enjoy the beauties he was blessed to be born and raised among. I honor men and women who recognize that people who are employed by an over reaching federal government need to be reminded that our lands do not belong to the them.

    And here is a reader comment that looks at the broader picture:

    Much of the rhetoric Phil Lyman and supporters of ATV destruction of protected lands are using is from the sovereign citizen movement. It holds that the federal government has no legitimate power. The highest level of government people like Cliven Bundy, and apparently Lyman, recognize, is the county level. (Which from their perspective means a county commissioner has authority over the federal government.) What these people are claiming reaches far beyond the episode at the Bundy Ranch or tomorrow’s desecration of Recapture. The sovereign citizens seek to overthrow the government of the United States.

  291. says

    Here’s a view of Utah public land issues from the perspective of Native Americans:

    There is a new fight that is brewing against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the residents of Utah, namely in the small town of Blanding. While it might be understandable the frustration they are feeling because of the ineptitude of the BLM and its disorganized and seemingly arbitrary delineations of land demarcations, they do still have a job and they need to be accountable for doing it. Thus, the backlash against the federal government is beginning to culminate in the local White Mormon residents of Utah vs. the BLM, especially in the wake of the FBI raids of 2009 when they claimed that the alleged law-breakers were arrested with excessive force using “overkill” force by the feds. […]

    This time, the BLM is the target for this same demographic and is supported by the son of Cliven Bundy of Nevada who is recently become somewhat popular among staunch Republicans as a poster boy for American land-owners against the BLM but is also…a recorded racist in talking about African-Americans. Apparently, these same people have forgotten that it is not a question about them owning the land or the government land because it is not their land: it is Native American land. […]

    Even Bundy’s argument misses the mark because there were the Dann Sisters, of the Western Shoshone tribe, who tried to fight for their land and their ranch but were not as publicly recognized or given as much attention about their land issues as Bundy seems to be getting now. Maybe its because the sisters didn’t say anything racist. I don’t know. […]

    It is appalling to me the conduct of a supposedly Mormon town towards their own nation and other sovereign indigenous nations that live there in the area such as the White Mesa Paiute, Ute Mountain Tribe, and the Navajo. Do these Blanding citizens have no other way to show their protest than to destroy the place that they love by riding ATV’s over it and not including Native American perspectives in this conversation?

    Good photos at the link.

  292. says

    A brief note of white privilege in action. I mentioned above being on a number of powerful and restricted (even here in Soviet Canuckistan) narcotics. When i picked up yesterday, i hadn’t brought my benefit card (from welfare) with me, so i asked them to deliver, so i could give them the card as required.

    “It’s okay,” she said, “you don’t exactly look the drug addict type.” And she laughed a bit.

    I didn’t laugh, but neither could i bring myself to not get my meds more easily. Do i have ‘proof’ that she meant ‘you look and sound white enough’? No. But i think it’s a reasonable null hypothesis, given societal and immediate context.

  293. rq says

    [TW animal-on-animal brutality]
    The highlight of my mother’s day was watching a crow swallow a fledgling sparrow, basically alive.
    Once again, I have seen Death, Eater of Wild Animals. What’s with that lately, universe?

  294. says

    Excerpt from Elizabeth Warren’s new book:

    He [Tea Party Republican Michael Grimm (R-NY)] told me all about himself. He’d joined the U.S. Marines when he was 19, and he had been decorated for his service in Desert Storm. He got a degree from Baruch College, a public university in New York, went to law school, and joined the FBI, where among other things, he was part of the Financial Fraud Squad. He talked in animated terms about the great work he’d done with the FBI and the terrific training he’d received. Then he launched a small business before running for office. […]

    [Grimm cut Warren off. He told her, “I don’t believe in government.”] […]

    I thought about the congressman’s life.

    A tour of duty in the military. A degree from a public university. Eleven years working in a federal government agency. Government training. And now a seat in the House of Representatives. Heck, he had even been quoted as saying that he wanted the government-paid health insurance when he joined the Congress, because ‘God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation. That could happen to anyone.’ It seemed to me that he ought to be the poster boy for someone who understood all the good things that government can do.

    Comments on the excerpt above, written by CJ Werleman for AlterNet, see :

    Warren nails it. The collective thinking of today’s conservatives accounts for little more than magic wand waving, the dangerous belief that if we eliminate all forms of the federal government, all our problems will vanish into thin air. Rarely does campaign rhetoric move policy, no matter how soaring its high notes, but campaign words do have the ability to wreak immeasurable havoc on a country, and it’s arguable that the most damaging 11 words ever uttered by a U.S. president are Reagan’s “government is not part of the solution, government is the problem.” Or how about Reagan’s other famous line: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

    Kind of appropriate after reading all the Blanding, Utah land use disputes today, along with the usual militia men making anti-government statements.

  295. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    – many readers who read Atlas Shrugged, who are also nerds, may be far enough on the Aspgerger’s spectrum to not recognize humanity (whatever that means);
    – [… and then I get stuck on the conclusion – either (a) ‘easy logic’ would mean that person-with-Asperger’s is automatically a Randiam capitalist superhero, but not all RCSs are people-with-Asperger’s so the split isn’t as easy; or (b) being on the Asperger’s spectrum doesn’t automatically make a person an RCS… ??]

    At the very least, it contains the implication that “far enough on the Asperger’s spectrum to not recognize humanity” is a thing….

  296. says

    I hate unsourced quotes. “so and so said this horrible thing if you respect them I hate you”….

    And of course, no source is given, no information on when/where it was said, it’s an image so copy/pasting the quote to easily search for it is ruled out…

    And I ask where it was reported “all over”, as if I should have just already have seen it.

    Well, a friend pointed me to an actual video of the event, and yeah.

    TW for date rape advocacy. And holy fuck.

  297. says

    The pain from my surgery has abated to tolerable levels, so I just completely stopped taking percocet (still got an itching burning ache, but as long as I sit quietly and don’t stretch I can live with it). But now strangely I’m having a major rebound effect — I can hardly keep my eyes open. And Cosmos is coming on in hour! I know all about the side effects of taking oxycodone, but this is the first I’ve experience side effects of not taking it.

    At least I should sleep all too well tonight.

  298. cicely says


    Hey, but mozzarella consumption really does have an effect awarded doctorates. More cheese equals more smart people, because eating cheese is a smart thing to do, especially mozzarella, since it’s an awesome cheese, and found on pizza, and pizza is also an awesome and smart thing to eat, so… I really don’t get where the problem lies.

    I thought it was a given that scientific research involves a lot of pizza (Breakfast of Champions!).

    jrfdeux, *assorted cephalopods*.
    Have you seen this before? It’s about depression, and it’s worth a look.
    Yeah, this place is jam-packed with awesome people.
    And squid.
    And maladjusted penguins.
    Well, just one maladjusted penguin, but you’d swear there were more.
    No Horses.
    Or peas.

    *hugs* for Nerd. Some clumps of days are like that. Sucks.


    Michael Sam got picked up by the St Louis Rams today.
    Missouri, dragging professional sports into the 21st century!

    Missouri, of all places! Who’d’a thunk it?

    *vigorous pouncehug, mitigated with a leading barrage of Fluffy Pillows* for Hekuni Cat.


    Okay. Let’s add “Defective Toilet Plungers” alongside “Motion-Activated Musical Children’s Toys With No Off Switch” on the list of “things it shall be a capital offense to manufacture or sell.” O.O

    …in addition to “Defective Toilets”.

    An optimistic hurrah! for yubal and the Qualifiedly Good News.

  299. says

    I love Hyperbole-and-a-half, she has more or less exactly the same kind of depression issues I have: anhedonia/numbness, not sadness/gloom. Which is why I’m so jazzed about me arting about the other day, because arting about is one of my Fun Things, and my Fun Things haven’t been Fun Things for a few years now. Maybe the med-changing behaviour is helping?

    On which note, let me also point out I just returned from volunteering with my local socialist candidate for the riding I live in, for the upcoming provincial election. As is usual in Canada, the election period is wonderfully short (writ dropped a week ago, election day is June 12), and I decided since I’m short of things to do just now anyway, i could do worse things with my time than helping get more socialists into government.

    So on T/W/Th, I’ll be volunteering about 3-4 hours a day, phonebanking among other things, getting involved. These are all good signs. Could there be light at the end of the tunnel, that isn’t an oncoming train?

    That’d be cool. I’d like being involved in…the world again.

  300. chigau (違う) says

    Good to hear
    what’s that over behind you
    oh my g….

  301. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Bleh. I’m starting to think I should avoid the comments on Miri’s blog, too. :/

  302. opposablethumbs says

    yubal, all good wishes for your health. Hope you get all the accurate information and the appropriate treatment, promptly. (if it is fibromyalgia, let us know what helps it best – I know someone who would dearly love to know!)
    And CaitieCat, that sounds really excellent – hope the different meds do indeed turn out to be an unqualified success!

  303. bassmike says

    Re ESC: It was interesting that every country that gave Russia top votes got booed. From what rq has said before I guess a lot of countries in the region close to Ukraine are worried that they will be next for annexation. As far as I can recall only Belarus, Azerbaijan and a couple of other countries gave top marks to Russia.

    The winning song was decent and sung well. I’ll still undecided whether it was a step forward in *Trans* acceptance or a contrived novelty. I’m sure other people will have a better perspective than me.

    As for the Polish performance…… ugh

  304. bassmike says

    CatieCat I very pleased to hear that you’re back doing art again. We all need some outlet for our creative side. If you’re anything like me, it can really help with my overall mental state.

  305. rq says

    I missed the Polish performance. From what I here, that’s a good thing. :)
    I don’t know if they got booed because of these countries being afraid of being next, so much as booed as a show of solidarity with Ukraine in general – which is, more or less, considered to be in Europe (even though not an EU member state), whereas Russia is the Great Historical Bogey-Bear, marching all over everyone. And even in the context of a friendly song competition, voting for Russia is like showing support for an oppressor, as benign as it may seem (the song wasn’t all that bad!). So those countries giving top marks to Russia were booed because they are, in effect, ‘picking a side’. Yup, in a song competition. :P (Also, the Russian vote announcer got booed quite heavily when it was her turn to announce the votes, her smile kept faltering throughout her announcement. There was, however, some vindication when the Russian vote gave Ukraine rather high marks.)
    Wow, who knew Eurovision could be so political. :P
    Also, this is my reading of the event, so it counts about as much as opinion. :)

  306. blf says

    Well, just one maladjusted penguin, but you’d swear there were more.

    And she’s still on a New Orbit bender. Or something / somewhere

  307. bassmike says

    rq I agree. The behavior of Russia wrt Ukraine has not gone down well with the majority of Europe. As you know the voting for Eurovision has always been political. They’ve tried to improve it with using panels as well as the viewers’ voting, but it’s still, to me, the major problem with the whole thing. That and the lowest common denominator factor when it comes to the quality of the music.

    I’d be interested to hear from any of the non-european horde if they know anything about the ESC and if so, what they make of it.

  308. blf says

    rq, I tried the mildly deranged penguin’s method: Turned it over and jumped up-and-down on the (former) underside yelling “Wakey! Wakey!”

    All I found were a few dust bunnies, about a euro’s-worth of loose change, an old manuscript entitled Love’s Labour’s Won, and a rather baffled but very polite Blue Whale, who apologised for the inconvenience and slid down the road into the Mediterranean Sea.

  309. birgerjohansson says

    I feel dizzy after visiting the Chocolate-flinging demon lesbian thread.

    And regarding the muslim exorcism stuff: “He was heavily possessed by djinns and when I was curing him of them, I could hear the djinns shouting back at me”

    This is what happens when you do not pace your drinking.
    Djinn like living in bottles. That is why stuff in bottles is called “spirits”.
    Drink too much too quickly and the djinn will get stuck inside your head, causing headache and nausea.

    — — —
    -Origin of Scandinavian gorges finally revealed
    Goddamn. There goes my “Ancient Astronauts Made Gorges” manuscript.

  310. says

    This is a follow up to my comments #45 and #49.

    So, the governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, is in deep shit. He has harmed his state’s economy so much that the bond rating for Kansas was downgraded. Brownback created “a hole in the state’s finances without noticeable economic growth.”

    What’s an addlepated governor to do? I know. Blame President Obama.

    “What we are seeing today is the effect of tax increases implemented by the Obama administration that resulted in lower income tax payments and a depressed business environment,” Gov. Sam Brownback said in a statement. “The failed economic policies of the Obama administration are affecting states throughout the nation.”

    BTW, Governor Christie of New Jersey performed a similar hatchet job on New Jersey’s finances, and he too is blaming President Obama.

    “What we’re being told initially is that this is the effect of the change in the law at the end of 2012 by the Obama administration and the Congress to increase tax rates on upper-level individuals,” Christie said.

    Unlike the expanding girth of the budget deficits of Kansas and New Jersey, the federal budget deficit is shrinking. Also unlike Kansas and New Jersey, other states in these United States are doing much better — possibly because they did not give big tax breaks to the richest people while cutting services to the middle class and the poor.

    For good news conservative Republicans will take credit, for bad news they fostered they will blame Obama. Too bad their base still believes them. Like Charles Krauthammer, they don’t trust numbers.

  311. says

    birger @419, none of the lesbians I know throw chocolate. I would like to move to a place that has lots of chocolate-tossing lesbians.

  312. says

    OK, this is getting annoying. I thought things were getting better, but this morning — sharp tearing pains. Sudden piercing eruptions of ow. Blood trickling out. I had committed myself to finishing my grading, so no pills for me today — I didn’t want to go mooning off into bliss while trying to be critical. So instead I was sitting there with my red pen occasionally blurting out profanity, and it wasn’t at the students’ work.

    I’m going into the doctor again this afternoon. Presumably this is all the normal agonies of a large hole stitching itself together again.

    I might have to go all junkie and take another pill, though. I’m trying to wean myself off!

  313. carlie says

    PZ – you missed the chance to grade the papers with red pen made from your own blood. :)
    Hope they can figure out why the darned thing won’t stay closed!

  314. says

    Doesn’t sound right, PZ. I would expect you to still be in pain, but in a more generalized, less “sudden sharp tearing” way.

    The doctor will figure this out for you. Sorry to hear the whole ordeal looks to be prolonged.

  315. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    PZ, do you know what kind of cyst you had? I had a dermoid cyst once… really, really nasty. I hope you begin to heal more quickly. Drugs do have their uses.

  316. says

    Illustrating the compassion of mormon bishops:

    (Perhaps hard to explain…
    The system in our country works differently than in the US. so don’t hang up on the details.. but.. )

    My TBM [True Believing Mormon] mother is 74 yrs old. She lives in a care home for the elderly. Has all kinds of health issues and has trouble walking and such. She has a tiny pension and has social benefits that also pays for things like walking sticks and a mobility scooter and things like that.

    Now the church insists she pays thithing…
    the government says: She is not allowed. as it is seen as a gift to charity and if she can give so much money to a church, she doesn’t need so much money from the benefits…

    She tells this to her bishop. Bishop says: fine, you don’t have to pay tithing if you do voluntary work like clean the church building…

    I am bloody furious!!!
    and I’ve got a good mind to contact that idiot and tell him exactly what I think of him and his bloody cult! ..
    The woman is an elderly lady! She’s paid her dues and MORE to this cult.. leave her the F alone!!

    they don’t need her money… she can barely walk, let alone clean the ffing chapel! […],1265997

  317. opposablethumbs says

    PZ, please take it easier on yourself than this! A person with a bloody great hole in them cannot expect it to heal up overnight, all right? Give yourself a chance to heal up, Cthulhudammit.

  318. says

    PZ, please take it easier on yourself than this! A person with a bloody great hole in them cannot expect it to heal up overnight, all right? Give yourself a chance to heal up, Cthulhudammit.


    I hope the quote doesn’t get borked. My phone isn’t letting me preview.

  319. says

    I have been taking care of myself! It’s driving me nuts — I just sit at home all day avoiding any stresses.

    The news from the doctor wasn’t good. Those tearing pains? Something broke inside and it was bleeding heavily inside the wound. I got to the clinic and it was one great big swollen hematoma — so they sliced it open again, drained it, packed it up, and stitched me all over again. I’m back on painkillers. I can feel the fog rolling in over my brain.

  320. says

    Glad you got that break or tear inside the wound fixed in a timely fashion. The pressure of the hematoma itself would also cause pain.

    Accept the drug fog for now.

  321. moarscienceplz says

    PZ, I hope you can’t even read this because you are in a drug-induced coma, but get better soonest!

  322. says

    This is a follow up to my comment #420:

    It was about a year ago when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) appeared on Fox News and told viewers that Congress should be “focused on trying to deal with the ultimate problem, which is this growing deficit.”

    There were a couple of glaring problems with the comment. For one thing, to prioritize the deficit as the “ultimate problem” – as opposed to, say, creating jobs and reducing unemployment – is to have a fairly warped sense of urgent policy needs. For another, the deficit, in reality, is most certainly not “growing.”

    The U.S. government ran a big surplus in April, thanks to a flood of tax payments that helped keep the budget on track for the lowest annual deficit in six years…. Through the first seven months of the 2014 budget year, which began Oct. 1, the deficit totals $306.4 billion. That’s down 37 percent from the same period last year. […]

    […] last year, when top marginal rates increased on households making more than $400,000 a year, a variety of GOP lawmakers argued that this would likely cause the deficit to go up – as they saw it, higher taxes on the wealthy would slow growth, which would mean fewer jobs, which would mean fewer people paying income taxes, which would mean a larger deficit.

    It appears on this, Republicans had it backwards, which will do nothing to shake the Beltway perception of the GOP as the “fiscally responsible” party.

    Let’s also note that the shrinking deficit – we’re seeing the fastest reduction since the end of World War II – is also one of the nation’s best-kept secrets. It was just last year when an independent national poll asked Americans whether they thought the deficit was increasing, decreasing, or staying about the same. Only 6 percent of the country recognized reality. That’s not a typo; it was just 6 percent. […]

    Right. If we are going to debate conservatives about budgets and deficits, we should at the very least start with the facts.

  323. opposablethumbs says

    I hope you get lots of rest, take what drugs you need and don’t put any strain on your stitches/healing tissues, even if the limited mobility drives you nuts and even if it means we have to forgo our regular Pharyngula-fix for a bit. Isn’t this what a-bit-lighter reading and viewing is for? (Have you seen the 2004 Canadian slightly-black comedy Wilby Wonderful?)

  324. says

    LIVE NOW: 72-hour Missouri abortion filibuster

    Missouri progressive activists are staging a nonstop, 72-hour “women’s filibuster” on the steps of the Missouri State Capitol building today to protest an abortion bill that would force a woman to wait three days between two clinic visits before having an abortion.

    I like this idea of women holding a filibuster to fight legislation that aims to restrict women’s reproductive rights.

  325. blf says

    Poopyhead had a protruding Reptilian scale removed. The Reptilian within is, understandably, a bit annoyed, and is currently regrowing the missing scale.

    Perfressor Poopyhead needs to remove the inner Reptilian. One method is to eat a pea, but that has a tendency to remove the perfressor and all surroundings as well. And has no taste. Not really recommended…

    Another method is toArrrrrgggggh!!—this public service announcement has been canceled by order the Supreme Pea Horse…

  326. carlie says

    So sorry, PZ! I’m glad that you were able to get in and get it dealt with. Rest easy and get yourself nice and bored.

  327. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, we have what looked like a localized grumblestorm overhead, but the last look at the Doppler radar shows it filling in with storms back to the front by the Mississippi. Looks like a long night of Mother Nature Grumbling….

  328. says

    I hope you get back in good health soon!


    Hooray for good news!


    Hopefully if your area gets any thunderstorms, they cause little to no destruction.

    Related to that, Pensacola nearly had another bout of heavy rain this past weekend. A flood alert was issued late Thursday evening (from 1pm Friday through 9am Sunday) with projections of 3-7 inches of rain. It turned out that nothing significant happened (light rain), which was a good thing as the ground is still saturated after the recent flooding.

    Related to *that*, I had a discussion with a guest on Sunday about the rain that wasn’t. As we chatted, I mentioned that I no longer wish for storms to “go elsewhere”, as that merely results in other people suffering and I kinda want *no one* to suffer. I think a light bulb went off in his head when I said that.

  329. says

    Anti-gay lobby in Russia is outraged over Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision win:

    Following Conchita’s win, Vladimir Putin’s vice premier Dmitry Rogozin complained on Twitter that the Eurovision results “showed supporters of European integration their European future – a bearded girl”.

    During a debate televised in Russia after the contest was over, Russian MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky said there was “no limit to our outrage” (obviously), adding that “it has turned wild. There are no more men or women in Europe, just it.”

    Conchita Wurst is a human being. *She* is not an “it” you deplorable scuzzbucket.

    And as for bearded girls-
    1- Conchita is an adult, not a girl
    2- there’s nothing wrong with a girl having a beard



    Today on “Things I Desperately Wish Existed When I Was Waiting Tables,” there’s apparently been a group going around for a few months now which leaves staggeringly large tips just because they are amazing and wonderful.

    The mysterious faith-in-humanity-restorers apparently operate under the name Tips For Jesus (I know, I know), and just left $3000 on a $12 restaurant bill in San Francisco. There’s a photo of the receipt through that link, on which the Tips Fairy has scrawled “God Bless” “Tips For Jesus” and “BOOM!” above the tips line. The last one is kind of the most appropriate possible thing you could write under the circumstances.


    They weren’t trying to alarm anyone. They just love the 2nd Amendment.

    So, imagine the following scenario: you’re at work at a fast food place, just trying to get through your shift, like any other day. You spot a whole bunch of guys carrying assault weaponry right in front of the restaurant. What do you do?

    For the employees of one Fort Worth, Texas Jack in the Box, the answer was “hide in the goddamn freezer and call the cops.” That seems like a pretty reasonable course of action to me, all things considered. When a bunch of crazy white dudes with assault rifles weapons start wandering through the parking lot, it’s best not to ask questions before trying to get the fuck away. Your life is not worth dealing with what appears to be an impending armed robbery.

    As it turns out, the gun nuts were actually members of Open Carry Texas, who were for some reason planning to protest outside the restaurant.

    Anyway, the police were, unsurprisingly, not entirely thrilled when they arrived on the scene. The group, in true dickhead fashion, are complaining that the police “treated them like criminals.” Gee, I’m not sure why they would do that. Possibly the fact that you idiots showed up with a Call of Duty goodie bag and absolutely no planning whatsoever. One protester claimed they were “not trying to alarm anybody. We’re doing this because it’s our constitutional right.”

    If you weren’t trying to alarm anyone, you fuckbrained douchenozzle, then why were you carrying the guns in the first place? There’s no way for the guests to know how responsible you are with your guns (although the brazen nature of their “protest” leaves me thinking they aren’t the most responsible gun owners).

  330. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    although the brazen nature of their “protest” leaves me thinking they aren’t the most responsible gun owners

    The only responsible gun owners are those who follow safety rules, and never, ever, carry a loaded gun public. Range safety rules require the gun and ammo separated until the gun is ready to be fired in very short order at the target.

  331. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    PZ – That’s rough. I hope you feel better soon.

    cicely – *vigorous return pouncehugs with chocolate and an inevitable pillow fight, followed by more chocolate*

    I’m off to the wilds of my mother’s house in the morning and will be without internet access for the next two weeks unless something unforeseen happens. Mom doesn’t do internet. At all. Please take care of yourselves. I’ll definitely be threadrupt by the time I get back (which is rather the same as the past few weeks, but more complete). Please take care of yourselves.

    *pouncehugs, regular hugs, anklehugs, and lots of chocolate* for anyone who needs them.

  332. says

    Anyone care for a good laugh? Apparently, I’m a shallow bigot:

    Jesus wept, you’re too stupid to know what science is, but you think you can carry out a philosophical argument? You’re a shallow bigot using small words you don’t understand in an impotently one-size-fits-all manner, which is a symptom of Classical Narcissism. Pity that having said issue makes you incapable of realizing that you need treatment.

    Enjoy your solipsism.

    Despite the accusation of bigotry (I don’t think I have any bigoted beliefs, and if for some reason I ever express any, I would fully deserve any and all criticism.) I’m not angry or sad. I’m dumbfounded.

    As a person raised in society rather than a vacuum, I know that I have biases. It’s unavoidable. I do attempt to be very conscious of what I say and do, and how that could impact others. As well, I do try (though I probably don’t always succeed) to listen to criticisms others have about me and make corrections to my behavior as necessary. I know I’ve been wrong. I know I’ll continue being wrong. But I’m still growing. I’m still learning and I try to do my best to be part of the solution, rather than the problem.

  333. rq says

    Tony @445
    re: Russia’s reaction to Conchita Wurst
    Funny, yesterday I read the headline of a local news item, where the local leader of the nationalist party (probably a fascist, too) was claiming that Conchita Wurst was Putin’s own invention to make fun of Europe. God figure!


    Had an interesting dream last night. I went to visit Dalillama in a weird cross between San Francisco and New Orleans, and on the way it turned out about half my luggage was lost (travel was purely by train), so I ended up going out (with a bunch of other commenters, the only other of which I remember is Tony) in my pyjamas to this top-floor … can’t call it a concourse, not big enough, but there was a bowling alley, a shooting range, a clothing store, and a dingy bar all arranged on this one floor of an oldish, historical wooden building, where the shooting wall of the shooting range turned out to be the outside of the back wall of the bowling alley (basically, if it wasn’t there, they’d be shooting at the bowlers). And the tram (because we took a tram that stopped right at the door even though, you know, top floor) only came once an hour. Then at the end, when I was walking home along grassy tram tracks towards a park, some guy threw a pair of pink heels out of a passing tram. The shoes fit, but the inside of one had this weird little poem written: “It’s raining outside / And you keep on calling / But you can’t change the world / And I’m not falling” (vaguely so, at least).
    The dream had an intro where I lost my luggage, but I’m fuzzy on the details. Something about trains in mountains.

  334. says

    Good morning

    Ouch fuck, get well. Hope this was the last complication.


    showed supporters of European integration their European future – a bearded girl

    Yes, and that’s what we like.

    yay for yubal

    *hugs* all around

    Giliell ranting
    1. IQ tests
    Holy fuck. Reading a text about something related, i.e. how to construct a questionaire, I came across an example from something called “culture fair IQ test”. The test uses little pictograms and I nearly fell off the chair: a cup, a house, an alarm clock and a pencil. That’s what they understand about “culture fair”? How is using symbols that are very familiar and common in some culture but not in others (because houses look very different) supposed to be culture fair.

    2. Bullies and books, with added racism
    The kids and I read a story from one of the many books for first readers #1 got. There’s this boy who has a problem with a bully who attacks him on his way to school and steals his stuff. And the kid is too scared to say anything.
    At this point the authors could have gone for a good educational story. Instead they went for utter bullshit:
    -the kid never tells anybody but just tries to evade the bully
    -in the end it turns out that the bully is the brother of the new Russian boy and he just stole things for his brother because they are poor.
    Cue racism: Russian = poor, violent, bully. Also the younger brother speaks broken German, the older one apparently without any accent.
    Cue bullshit: The bully isn’t really mean, the bully is just a victim of circumstances
    Cue more bullshit: Because the victim didn’t tell anybody the victim could “safe” the bully. Kids, you need to endure shit!

    3. personal
    I know the kids are intellectually able to understand conditionals, therefore they must simply ignore all their previous experience and still believe that if I voice a sentence like “if you …. then …” I must be joking.

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

    iI’m trying. I’m fucking trying!
    I didn’t want to go to team building, but I accepted. I’m still mildly panicking about it lasting the whole weekend.
    And now all the “girls” are supposed to cook something?! I don’t want to be the odd one out, but a) the sexism b) I will want to impress which will result in a lot of frustration and upset and c) oooh, all the sexism.
    Maybe it’s joking, and I won’t look like an asshole if I don’t bring anything (we’ll all give money and go buy food and drink together, this is all the extras))
    And everything you bring has to be home made, because special occasion.

  336. says

    Bah, sexism indeed.
    If you want something quick and impressive:
    Tarte Flambee rolls:
    Ready made puff pastry (best fresh in a roll, the frozen plates mean more work): cut in squares of about 30X20 cm.
    Crème fraîche (or Smetana), spread on pastry
    Add diced onions, diced bacon, grated cheese
    Roll and best put in the freezer for 30 min
    cut in slices of about 1cm
    Bake (about 180°)

  337. rq says

    Can’t the “boys” cook something, too?
    Or are they bringing beer? :P
    (It all sounds so familiar…)

  338. bassmike says

    Beatrice as a man who does the vast majority of cooking I find the idea that only the women cook something very insulting to everyone, as well as deeply sexist. Has anyone suggested that the men cook too?

    Also, if you’re apprehensive about the situation, having to cook isn’t going to help! I hope you find a satisfactory way to cope.

    A while ago at work one of my sexist colleagues made a similar sort of comment: asking a woman member of staff to bring in a homemade cake, because ‘women cook’. I was gratified that he was roundly criticized by a number of us.

  339. says

    I didn’t get much sleep last night, and now dreading yet another doctor visit this morning. I’m under strict instructions to eat something for breakfast (no appetite), take a percocet (so tired of being drugged up), take a shower (at least that sounds nice), and march over to the clinic, where we’ll see if I’m still oozing blood.

  340. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Please heal quickly, safely and fully. Obey your doctor. Including the pain pills.

  341. carlie says

    Oh jeez, PZ! Seconding Oggie’s recommendation about the pain pills – you’ll spend awhile not getting things done, but it might make you rest enough for your body to marshal all its efforts into healing.

    In minor first aid news – I had never heard before to use compression on an injury to reduce swelling, but read about it yesterday and it seemed to make sense. Given that most swelling is edema, smooshing all the fluid and lymph back out of the area seemed quite rational. Tried it. The swelling did go down, but a side effect I hadn’t really thought about was the effect on loose blood – ends up being evenly spread out, so the bruise is less dark but fairly even, and perfectly outlined on the edges by where the compression bandage stopped, and that outline is much darker than the rest since that was then the main pooling point. Definitely the oddest looking bruise I’ve seen.

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

    Thirding Oggie. I’m now seven months post-op from the reattachment of my patella tendon, my experience is of course anecdotal, take it for what it’s worth.

    They told me that it would be easier to control the pain by not allowing it to start than it would be to knock it back once it takes hold. This has proved true. On a number of occasions I missed my pain meds for various reasons, mostly due to my own incompetence. It took anywhere from a couple of correctly timed doses to a couple of days of the same to get back to where I was. Mind you, I react very badly to opiates so perhaps my paracetamol/anti-inflamitory experience is meaningless in your case.

    That said, in the end we have to accept that healing will take whatever time it will, despite how busy our lives are and all the shit that needs to be done. Push too hard and the likely result is to delay recovery even longer.

  343. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    FossilFishy @461:

    They told me that it would be easier to control the pain by not allowing it to start than it would be to knock it back once it takes hold.

    Quoted for emphasis.

    I’ve had tendon relocation surgery twice (carve out the piece of bone where the tendon is attached, drill out another piece of bone in a different place and trade the bone plugs). The last time, after I had been home for a few days, I decided to skip my pain pill since I felt pretty good — sore, but foggy, not any ‘real’ pain — and it took almost a day to build myself back up to the sore but foggy stage again. And during that time, I could not hold still, could not read, could not watch TV, could not do anything because the pain was a consistent 7 to 9 on the tried-and-true pain scale.

    So take you pain pills. It’ll allow your body to relax enough to let you heal (that’s the way I read it anyway).

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

    carlie! I’m sorry to hear you’ve been injured. I hope you recover soon.

    You should see the compression sock they gave me for my leg. It was tapered, had faint green stripes, and ran from my ankle to mid-thigh. Very stylish, and it left a fine grained waffle pattern on my skin. Sure they can bolt one back together these days, but only at the cost of one’s dignity. (I’m hoping they return mine when they pull the wire from my knee in a couple of weeks. Sure I had little used for it, but it’s MINE dammit!)

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

    Fucking hell Ogrvorbis, you went through that….twice!? You’re made of tougher stuff than I my friend.

  346. carlie says

    Thanks, FossilFishy. :) It was a tall wood/metal lab chair that keeled over directly onto my foot. The initial swelling was… impressive. I thought I might have cracked a bone on the top of my foot, but by today it seems fine except for achiness and the aforementioned bruise, just a little swelling still.

    Thirding the “keep up the pain pills” recommendation. I’ve never had anything that bad, but Spouse had ACL reconstruction and that was exactly what they told him too, that he was much better off keeping the pain meds up because letting them slip would require a harder climb back up.

  347. rq says

    You can freak people out about weird zombie diseases with it. The opportunities are endless! :)
    Heal fast, you as well.

  348. chigau (違う) says

    Thinking healing thoughts at you.
    I’m getting ads for local outfit that does healing with majick crystals.
    Want some?

  349. bassmike says

    Keep the medication up PZ and look after yourself. You have a lot of healing still to do.

  350. birgerjohansson says

    Get well soon, P Z

    Stunning ‘Paleoart’ Will Beam You Back Into A Ferocious Prehistoric World (IMAGES)
    Stonehenge Discovery ‘Blows Lid Off’ Old Theories About Builders Of Ancient Monument (VIDEO)
    Could ‘Designer Reefs’ Save The Oceans?

  351. birgerjohansson says

    Oh Shit! Tapes and inteviews behind this book shows how Nixon and Kissinger made the Pakistani genocide in Bangladesh (East Pakistan) possible.
    Nixon is exposed as racist and virulently anti-Indian. Kissinger is revealed as ice cold in the face of the bloodshed visited on both muslims and hindus by the Pakistani army.

    Apparently Nixon blatantly violated American law when providing arnaments to
    — — — — —
    ”The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide”
    On-line review:
    ”This book uses the Nixon tape archives to build a damning picture of Nixon & Kissinger’s realpolitik. As an American I had no knowledge of the history of Bangladesh and this book was upsetting. The thesis of the book is that Nixon and Kissinger personally ensured that the government of West Pakistan had a steady supply of US weapons and diplomatic cover during a brutal genocide against Bangladeshis and Hindus in what was then East Pakistan.

    Nixon comes off as an ignorant racist who thinks “Indians are cunning, traitorous people”. Kissinger comes off as deeply cold, he does not care even when one of his former students is murdered in Bangladesh.

    Kissinger’s realpolitik belief that anything at all was justified in order to avoid nuclear conflict with the USSR is thrown into stark relief by the book. Kissinger was perfectly comfortable with slaughtering Hindus by the thousands if it got him a back channel to Beijing via Pakistan. The book was fascinating and I went and read “The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan” immediately after finishing this book in order to understand more about South Asian history. Note that I read a red-jacketed pre-release copy of the book that I found on the street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I would recommend this book to anybody interested in how American presidents see the world.”
    — — — —

    On-line review by Raghu Nathan:
    “This book brings back vivid memories for me as I lived through the 1970-71 East Pakistan crisis as a young man in India. The author shows us a picture of the events leading to the creation of an independent Bangladesh from the vantage points of the US consulate in Dacca and the White House. To a lesser extent, there is also the view from New Delhi, both from the Indian govt and the US embassy.

    To say the least, I was shocked to read about the visceral hatred that Kissinger, Nixon and Zhou-en-Lai had for India and Indians and the impunity with which Nixon flouted US law in conducting foreign policy. In fact, one can see that Watergate, which happened some 12 months later, was only a matter of time because Nixon had such disregard for the law of his own land.

    One is used to foreign policy being conducted by most nations in a dispassionate manner, with their own nations’ interests being the prime focus. But here, we see emotions and prejudice and sheer hatred dominating the thinking of both Nixon and Kissinger.

    Their private oval office conversations border on the extreme with Nixon saying in one place that what India needs is a mass famine and asking why India does not shoot the refugees if they find the millions an unbearable burden.

    The book says that Nixon was inclined to like the Pak military men because he was treated effusively when he visited them whereas Indian leaders were aloof and proud during his meetings with them in the 1950s.
    It seems a feudal mindset to make foreign policy decisions based on such flimsy reasons. For his part, Henry Kissinger also comes off as reckless and maniacal as he tries to goad China into threatening India, thereby risking a widening of the conflict into a direct clash between the USSR and the US.”

  352. blf says

    Somebody let the nutters loose, Police investigate far-right ‘invasions’ of Bradford and Glasgow mosques: “Representatives of Britain First hand out leaflets and bibles to Muslim worshippers as part of ‘Christian crusade’ campaign”.

    I don’t recall hearing of these “britain first” kooks before. The article describes them as (the BNP is one of the British fascist parties, perhaps now eclipsed by UKIP (UK Immature Pricks) and EDL (English Dribbling Loonies)):

    Britain First describes itself as “a patriotic political party and street defence organisation that opposes and fights the many injustices that are routinely inflicted on the British people”.

    Led by Paul Golding, a former BNP councillor and editor of the BNP’s Flagship magazine, the party is structured like a paramilitary organisation, with “battalions” representing different regions.

    After the weekend’s events, Golding wrote on the party’s Facebook page that the “Christian crusade” would continue. “Our intelligence team is at present compiling lists of home address’s [sic] of Bradford MPs, councillors, newspaper editors and Muslim community leaders/imams, and we will be visiting them all over the next couple of weeks.

    “We will also continue our invasions of Bradford mosques, madrassas and community centres — we are only getting warmed up! We appeal to moderate Muslims to act against the ‘enemy within’ or we will!”

    BNP and EDL both have a reputation for violence, and it would seem these nutters are turning that dial up.

  353. blf says

    The random Muslim scare story generator: separating fact from fiction:

    Halal meat is on every menu; sharia law is taking over; the niqab is undermining the nation. Ever noticed how often the same old stories keep appearing about Muslims in Britain? Here’s the truth about these and other media myths

    In Britain, there is now a cycle of Islamic scare stories so regular that it is almost comforting, like the changing of the seasons. Sadly, this rotation is not as natural, or as benign, although it is beginning to feel just as inevitable. We had the niqab winter last year, as the country lurched into the niqab debate for the second time in three years. Now we are in the spring of halal slaughter.

    One of the most helpful exercises is to present some estimation of how many women actually wear the niqab, the face veil, in any given European country in which there is controversy about it. The estimates are so small that they cool a usually heated debate. In France, which banned them in public in 2011, it is estimated as between 400 and 2,000, ie not even 0.1% of the population. …

    I’ve only once ever seen a niqab in public. It was quite elegant, mostly white, probably silk, with some very handsome embroidery. Then a stretch Mercedes limo pulled up and she got in.

    Unfortunately, the article doesn’t address the claim that some niqab-wearers are coerced into doing so. To what extent that is true I don’t know, albeit I find that particular claim plausible.

    The most recycled of stories, the halal debate began in earnest in 2003, with a Farm Animal Welfare Council report that recommended stunning for halal and kosher slaughter. Since then, every time the issue of religiously compliant slaughter has been resurrected, the kosher element has been less and less prominent, rendering it less an animal rights issue, and more an irrational rejection of halal slaughter as something tainted with something intangibly Muslim. In a nation that has been enjoying halal meat for years in curries, kebabs and shawarmas, the halal debate has distorted and hijacked the welfare dimension, in order to channel nasty resentment that a minority you don’t like is being accommodated.

    Same nonsense is happening here in France. Recently the French fascists, who won some mayoral posts recently, have been banning halal(? or pork-substitute? (I forget)) meats from the school meals in the towns they now “control”.

  354. says

    This is follow up to my comments #45, 49, and 420. Rachel Maddow covered the ways in which three Republican Governors have blown up their state’s finances (she added on to my Brownback and Christie stories).

    As usual, Maddow provide some background, good analysis, and humor (with the humor coming mostly from these governors blaming President Obama for their mistakes). Maddow video can be viewed at the link. Turns out that Governor Chris Christie is now suffering through the fifth, the fifth!, downgrade of New Jersey’s credit rating. I think he’s going for a record.

    The Real Clear Politics link can be slow to load, so here’s an alternative:

  355. says

    Get better soon.

    Hi! *hugs*


    Stonehenge Discovery ‘Blows Lid Off’ Old Theories About Builders Of Ancient Monument (VIDEO)

    Whose theories? Aside from confirming human occupation of the area for a bit longer than previously thought, there’s not any news in that article. Allegedly ‘Previous theories held that the monument was built in an empty landscape by migrants from continental Europe’, but I’ve never in my life heard/read anyone theorizing that about the origins of Stonehenge.

    Nixon is exposed as racist and virulently anti-Indian. Kissinger is revealed as ice cold in the face of the bloodshed visited on both muslims and hindus by the Pakistani army.

    Well, Nixon being racist and Kissinger ice-cold in the face of horrific violence visited on other people is pretty much par for the course. I didn’t know the particular details of their involvement in that atrocity, but it doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  356. says

    Oh no. Hyper mormon influences in North Jersey. I really thought these “modest proms” and “mormon proms” were restricted to the Morridor. Moments of Mormon Madness, crazed misogyny and indoctrination of youth categories.

    Hundreds of teens from North Jersey gathered in Morristown on Saturday for a night celebrating modesty — the eighth annual “Mormon Prom.” […]

    For starters, its organizers traded a pricey venue for a transformed basketball court at an LDS meetinghouse in Morristown. [Yeah, that figures. Mormons are known for using those basketball courts for everything, including weddings for mormons who aren’t “temple worthy.” And you can bet that the venue was not “transformed.”]

    The prom was also free, but under one stipulation: Teens were required to sign a pact agreeing to dress and behave modestly, to dance “appropriately” and to abstain from using alcohol or drugs.

    “This prom is unique in that it emphasizes wholesome conduct and dress,” said Marcia Stornetta, director of public affairs for the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Morristown. […]

    The nearly 300 students abandoned several conventional prom practices — including arriving in limousines and wearing expensive outfits. (Organizers encourage attendees to be modest in their spending as well.) Most were dropped off by their parents, and some of the girls swapped or borrowed dresses to keep down the cost.

    Because some of the students came from long distances (students from New York and Connecticut have attended in the past) and were driven to the event, there was a “parents room,” where adults could socialize during the prom.

    Some students attend the Mormon Prom in lieu of their high school prom, while others, such as Anna, go to both.

    “They are both equally fun, but the standards for Mormon Prom are different than school prom,” Anna said. “The standards that are given to the youth such as dancing without intimate contact, and listening to clean music, are all things that I choose to follow because they help keep me safe, as well as help me to enjoy the dance more without being distracted by things that really should not be the focus.” […]

    One has to wonder about the “clean music.” The emphasis on not spending money on the celebration is also typically mormon.

  357. cicely says

    +1 to best wishes and take-the-meds recommendations to PZ.

    rq, thanks for the archaeology/foolball swap link!
    I’ve shared it really widely.

    *hugs of carefully-measured-to-fit intensity and fuzziness*

  358. cicely says

    From the article:
    “This is especially odd given the general lack of birth control options for men.”
    One suspects that this is not odd, given the general lack of interest in birth control options that put any part of the responsibility for unwanted pregnancies on teh menz, rather than keeping it laser-focused on the sluts women, where it belongs.
    I would look for the Massed Forces of Religion to object.

  359. says

    More prom news:

    A 17-year-old high schooler from Virginia says she was kicked out of her prom because the parental chaperones were worried she was inspiring “impure thoughts” among the boys in attendance. Even though her dress adhered to the “fingertip length” dress code requirement, she was asked to leave. […]

    After Clare and her friends hung out a little bit on the dance floor — she writes that they weren’t even dancing, just “swaying with the music and talking and enjoying ourselves” — Clare was pulled away by one of the dance’s organizers, who told her that some of the fathers chaperoning the event had complained about her. They reportedly said that her dancing was too “provocative” and she was going to “cause the young men at the prom to think impure thoughts.” […]

    “I was told that the way I dressed and moved my body was causing men to think inappropriately about me, implying that it is my responsibility to control other people’s thoughts and drives,” Clare writes in her blog post. “I’m not responsible for some perverted 45 year old dad lusting after me because I have a sparkly dress on and a big ass for a teenager. And if you think I am, then maybe you’re part of the problem.” […]

    This looks to be more like fundamentalist christianity at work instead of mormonism.

  360. says

    A bit more information about the girl kicked out of her prom in Virginia for causing “impure thoughts.” These details were gleaned from the readers comments.

    Her date was black.

    The prom was the “Richmond Homeschool Prom.”

  361. says

    Sandy Rios weighs in on the yuck factor she sees in gay football players:

    Add Sandy Rios of the American Family Association to the growing list of anti-gay activists who are distraught over the TV footage of NFL recruit Michael Sam sharing a kiss with his boyfriend.

    Rios said on her radio show yesterday that “the Holy Spirit within me is revulsed” by the sight of two men kissing, insisting that most Americans “do not like this” and “don’t like what ESPN is doing and how they’re forcing this on the watchers, the guys, for the most part.”

    “I watched it once and it was enough, I couldn’t bear to watch it,” she said. “It’s just such an unnatural act it’s hard to watch, I just don’t want to watch it, I can’t bear it.” […]

  362. rq says

    Lynna @482
    Sounds like one of the fathers was having impure thoughts. :P

    That article induced a longing look in me, too. I’ll just add that to the wish-list of perhaps-maybe-never-before-I-die. :( It would solve a lot of issues in-family like *that*.

  363. says

    Wonkette comments on the young woman kicked out of her prom for causing “impure thoughts” in the male chaperones.

    [….] Listen, homeschooling dads of Virginia, we understand that it is very hard (heh, GET IT?) to look at those hot underage girls promming it up in their regulation-length prom dresses without wanting to do impure thoughts to them. Just because you homeschool your children — presumably to teach them about the virtue of ignorance, the hoax of science, and the lies of history, and to protect them from the nasty outside world where your precious offspring might be exposed to sex, drugs, and devil’s music — does not mean you aren’t human. And really, what kind of dad doesn’t look at his kid’s peer group and go, “Mmmmmmm, I want me some of that”?

    Clearly, there was only one thing to do to keep the horny dads from gang-lusting the young temptress who was flaunting her “provocative” just-asking-for-it self all over the dance floor (even though she was not actually dancing, but meh, details). However, the prom’s chaperone did not take the dads outside and hose them down with ice water and tell them they are gross and disgusting and knock that shit off RIGHT NOW because this young girl, Clare, has a right to enjoy her own prom without these midlife crisis creepazoids ogling her. Instead, she told Clare to take her slutty self and her slutty prom dress home. […]

  364. David Marjanović says

    Link-dump time.

    “Our country’s $1.2 trillion in student loan debt is devastating students and our economy.

    We should be investing in America’s next generation, not saddling young people with mountains of debt.

    Reps. John Tierney and George Miller are leading the effort in the U.S. House to give students the ability to refinance their loans at lower interest rates — just like homeowners and businesses.

    Don’t stand by as our students are crushed by sky-high student loan debt.

    Sign the petition now to demand Congress pass meaningful student loan reforms.”

    Signed by lots of Representatives and candidates for Congress.

    “Attorney General Eric Holder: We demand you live up to your words from May 5, 2014, ‘No bank is too big to jail’, starting with Wells Fargo and its CEO John Stumpf.”

    “Losing your home hurts the same whether you are African American, Latino, Asian or white. But Wells Fargo has been investigated and paid multi-million dollar settlements for racial discrimination in lending and how it deals with foreclosed homes.”

    “Two months ago, news reports show that in 2011 and 2012 Wells Fargo published an internal manual showing how to forge proof of ownership documents in foreclosure files. [7] And just last month, a report from the University of Minnesota shows that Wells Fargo systematically denied credit and refinancing of sub-prime mortgages to communities of color in the Twin Cities. [8]

    I’ve been fighting for an affordable loan modification from Wells Fargo for 5 years now – Wells Fargo’s last offer was for a $49 reduction – and it has impacted my health to the point where I can no longer get steady work. Earlier this year, they filed for foreclosure on my house. I’ve been on the receiving end of every kind of abuse Wells Fargo has admitted to and pledged to stop. We need to ensure that they live up to their word.

    Stand with me and demand Eric Holder live up to his own words and start prosecuting Wells Fargo.”

    The brackets in the original lead to 8 cited sources.

    This article in German alleges massive ballot-box stuffing in the referendum in eastern Ukraine, as well as intimidation, and the ballots were apparently easy to photocopy. Neutral observers were not admitted. According to a poll of 122 people by a German newspaper, only… 65.6 % intended to vote for independence from Ukraine.

  365. says

    Good evening
    Another Tuesday done
    Now I need to wait and see whether the little one remembers that she hurt her arm tomorrow or not.
    She fell today with her running bike and afterwards she complained that the arm hurt, but then she played allright but when she was supposed to get herself ready for bed it hurt again.
    Did I mention that she has a habit of breaking out in tears because something hurts as soon as she is supposed to do something? If #1 complained about a hurting arm I would take her serious, with the little one it’s the girl who cried wolf, cheeta, lion, MDP, grizzly and stampedo…

  366. says

    Sheesh! More anti-abortion bills from Republicans? Unbelievable.

    Senate Republicans, led by Lindsey Graham, are planning to ramp up their advocacy for an abortion bill around the high-profile anniversary of a former abortion provider’s murder conviction.

    The South Carolina Republican is organizing a group of his colleagues to speak in support of a bill that would federally ban abortions after more than 20 weeks of pregnancy, legislation that has the support of 41 Senate Republicans and has already passed the House. Graham is centering this legislative push on the May 13 anniversary of Kermit Gosnell’s conviction for killing infants that were born alive.

    Looks like Lindsey Graham is desperate to push the anti-abortion button because his primary challenger is running an ad boasting about having been arrested for blocking access to abortion clinics.

  367. says

    Follow up to comment #478: Some ex-mormons have suggested that “clean music” includes
    The Carpenters
    The Osmonds
    Pat Boone
    and the soundtrack from Saturday’s Warrior

  368. says

    Excerpt from a Mother Jones article about the fight against gay marriage in Kentucky:

    Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear filed an appeal last week in federal court defending his state’s ban on same-sex marriage, after a federal judge invalidated a portion of the law earlier this year. In the appeal, the state argues that legalizing interracial marriage in 1967 made sense because those unions made babies, but gay couples should not be allowed those same rights. Why? Because that would harm Kentucky’s birth rate.

    “Kentucky’s marriage laws are rationally related to the state’s interest of preserving the traditional man-woman marriage model,” the appeal reads. According to the state, the case for legalizing same-sex marriage in Kentucky is different from Loving v. Virginia—the landmark 1967 Supreme Court case that invalidated state laws banning interracial marriage—because “man-man and woman-woman couples cannot procreate” and Kentucky has an interest in encouraging procreation in the name of promoting “long-term economic stability through stable birth rates.”

  369. rq says

    She fell today with her running bike and afterwards she complained that the arm hurt, but then she played allright but when she was supposed to get herself ready for bed it hurt again.

    Children’s theatrical skills at that age are A.Maze.Ing.

    Also, I don’t have a smart phone but I now have a twitter account. Anyone want to share theirs? This is keeping in mind that I’ll be a mostly useless follower/followee for a while yet. The silent minority, as it were.

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

    Still undecided. Will check tomorrow with another female colleague who didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about us “girls” baking something either.

    When I was little, I wanted to be an archeologist, like Indiana Jones. :)
    Wouldn’t mind news about archeology instead of football at all. (I’m guessing the article is about concussionball, but it works just as well for actual football)

  371. says

    My Twitter nym is the same as here
    And yeah, that’s the thing, I really can’t tell if she’s faking or not. We are after all talking about a kid who practises crying in front of a mirror. Either she’ll have forgotten all about it tomorrow or we’ll need to see the doc.