1. chigau (違う) says

    I don’t know why you’re complaining about the drugs.
    That’s a good dream.

  2. says

    Off the top of my head, and limiting it to alternate versions of real cities,
    London’s also home to John Taylor and sometime base of operations for Eddie Drood It’s also Peter Grant’s manor(although while magical I’m not sure he’s gothic per se), and Bob Howard lives there. (And that’s not to mention John Constantine, or Richard Mayhew; London’s very popular for this sort of thing).
    Toronto: Vicki Nelson (assisted by Henry Fitzroy)
    Vancouver: Tony Foster (assisted by Henry Fitzroy)
    San Francisco: Charlie Asher, Abby Normal, October Daye
    Portland, OR: The Wyldes (historical)

  3. says

    birgerjohansson from last thread:

    Chicago: wossname, written by Jim Butcher ?

    Harry Dresden.

    There’s also Mercy Thompson in the Tri-Cities in Washington. (Patricia Briggs)

  4. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    (Doing this on the thread so others can learn too?)

    I use my computer for games (Civ, Sim City, Blitzkrieg, Medieval Warfare, chess (not the musical, the board game)), my checkbook, surfing the intertubes and paying bills, keeping my digital photos, and doing minor graphics wrork. I like Win7 (professional) — I use it at work and it works.

    Simple, but I think I need a medium sized hard drive but want a fast processor.

    Any help?

  5. Reginald Selkirk says

    Multiverse under assault by God

    Police said the man, identified as Vladimir Baptiste, 28, of Parkville, crashed a stolen landscaping truck through the front doors of the television station at 6400 York Road just before noon Tuesday… According to those documents, when Baptiste was asked why he targeted WMAR-TV, he said he woke up Tuesday and wanted to expose his parents because “they are running the multiverses.” … In the charging documents, Baptist said he was a reincarnation of King Tut and Jesus Christ and lives in a world of multiverses where bad things happen to people, and they disappear because they are not real. … Charging documents show during the barricade, Baptiste taped several pieces of paper onto windows facing police personnel and medics who were outside. The papers read, “I am God almighty. I gave you everything. You never earned it. (Expletive) your multiverses. You have created to hurt my people. I’m here to save you all from the energies. You are in the wrong timeline. Everything is unfolding. I don’t have to do anything. Vladimir (God). Just wait (expletive). Let me know when you are in the present.” … Meritzia Saindor Baptiste said her son has been dealing with mental health issues for several months….

    I think it’s disprespctful of them to label his sincerely held religious beliefs as mental illness.

  6. Rob Grigjanis says

    birgerjohansson @638 previous:

    BTW is Grigjanis a Lithuanian name or possibly Latvian?

    Latvian. Most commonly mistaken for Greek.

  7. cicely says

    Donald Sterling’s Illiberal Zionism Part of Racism Controversy with Magic Johnson
    Modern racists just repeat conservative talking points: Donald Sterling, Cliven Bundy and the ugly face of GOP policies

    *hugs* for Dalillama.
    Depression Lies.
    It is important to remember this.

    Weed(less) Monkey:

    Mmm… I’d love to eat horse, potatoes and peas. Now I’m wondering if there’s a recipe that uses all three. Some kind of a stew, perhaps?

    Or a casserole.
    You can make a casserole out of anything. Just put a top-layer of those french fried onion things on it. Boom!
    Mind you, deliberately in-taking Evil Substances cannot help but Do You No Good.
    By definition.

  8. Rob Grigjanis says


    Greek? With a J in it? How bizarre.

    You’d think so, but I’ve been asked by more than one Greek. We’ve even had people knock on the door and launch right into Hellenic sales patter.

  9. Anthony K says

    BTW is Grigjanis a Lithuanian name or possibly Latvian?
    Latvian. Most commonly mistaken for Greek.

    I know that experience.

    I assumed Lithuanian when Rob first began commenting here. Lithuanian ethnocentrism on my part, I guess.

    I’m somewhat Mediterranean-looking thanks to my Croatian heritage, so not only am I often mistaken for Greek, people simply don’t believe me when I tell them I’m not. μαλάκες!

  10. Rob Grigjanis says

    Anthony @13: That’s about the only modern Greek word I know. Quite right too.

  11. says


    LOL! Lots of Voulas and Nicks in my high school, so I didn’t even have to look that one up. :)

    It was nice around ζόμπι Ιησούς Weekend, though, because just about everyone had a neighbour who’d put up a lamb. Which, if you’re not vegetarian, and like roast meat, is a Very Good Thing.

    Mmm. ζόμπι Ιησούς lamb. Mmm.

    Now I’m hungry.

  12. says

    I normally don’t participate in Lounge posts, but I am amused by the image PZ selected. I’m not sure that a monkey, sitting with hindquarters exposed as if preparing for the poo-flinging to start is quite the best message for a heavily moderated thread.

  13. Anthony K says

    Rob @11:

    I used to get a phone call about once a year trying to sell me cheap long distance rates to Greece. They’d launch right into rapid-fire Greek. Were they scanning phone books for possible Greeks, I wonder?

    I’m mostly kidding about the μαλάκες though. I’ve found it to be a compliment, most times, when people assume I’m a member of their ethnic group.

  14. Anthony K says

    Depression Lies.

    So very, very true.

    Hugs for those dealing with that mind-monster.

  15. says

    May 19 is Victoria Day in Canada, the “official” unofficial birthday of the former English queen. It’s the last Monday on or before May 24. If any Americans are inclined to visit, you’re welcome.

    I have no use for royalist garbage, but any excuse to start summer early is fine with me.

  16. Trebuchet says

    I normally don’t participate in Lounge posts, but I am amused by the image PZ selected. I’m not sure that a monkey, sitting with hindquarters exposed as if preparing for the poo-flinging to start is quite the best message for a heavily moderated thread.

    I once saw a gorilla on a rock like that at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo (Same rock? Same gorilla?) reach back between his legs, poop in his hand, and commence to picking out morsels and eating them. In front of a crowd of little kids.

  17. Trebuchet says

    Shoutout to Modusoperandi, if you come here:

    A couple of days ago in Ed’s post about the loony WA state legislature from Spokane, you suggested Snohomish is worse. You got my attention and curiosity, but alas the thread is now too old to be active. What’s the deal with you and Snohomish?

  18. yazikus says

    WA state legislature from Spokane, you suggested Snohomish is worse.

    Huh, I just always assumed the east side is worse than the west side as far as legislature goes…

  19. says

    I once saw a gorilla on a rock like that at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo (Same rock? Same gorilla?) reach back between his legs, poop in his hand, and commence to picking out morsels and eating them. In front of a crowd of little kids.

    On that note, a classic.

  20. Anthony K says

    I have no use for royalist garbage, but any excuse to start summer early is fine with me.

    In these western parts, we refer to the day as ‘maylong’, and it’s the de facto start of patio season. We have a queen?!

  21. says

    Usually known as the “May Two-Four” hereabouts (southern Ontario west of Toronto), “two-four” being a Canadian slang term for a case of bottles of beer (which has twenty-four bottles), with this holiday marking the start of the summer beer-patio-camping-cottage season.

    That might be a working-class thing, though.

  22. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Dear Horde,

    Please talk me out of this if you think it isn’t a good idea. We’ve been living in the San Bernardino mountains for almost 6 months now. I have 2 very good friends here, both of whom are fairly rational people, although one of them believes in astrology. There are about thirty churches here for a population of about 10,000. There are ‘Murican flags flying everywhere.

    I want to start a social/study group for local freethinkers. The point being that I want to try to FIND some local freethinkers. I can try to start a meet-up group, or I can place an ad in the local newspaper and see if I get any response.

    The thing I’m worried about is possible backlash. One, I’m a pretty introverted sort and am not very good at debate, or even self-defense. Two, I don’t want to become locally infamous. I cherish my anonymity. My credo is sort of “If you don’t love me then leave me the fuck alone.”

    Waddaya think?

  23. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Ben, I sort of agree. If I had any confidence in my ability to verbally clobber Xians it would be fun. I just don’t want to get up in front of ideological enemies and get clobbered myself.

  24. says

    In previous editions of the Lounge thread we’ve had quite a bit of fun examining rightwing Benghazi!!! propaganda. I just thought you’d like to know that Fox News in still on the case, and they ran a new poll. Here’s the Benghazi question:

    In the aftermath of the Benghazi terrorist attacks, the Obama administration incorrectly claimed it was a spontaneous assault in response to an online video, even though the administration had intelligence reports that the attacks were connected to terrorist groups tied to al Qaeda. Do you think the Obama administration knowingly lied about the attacks to help the president during the ongoing re-election campaign, or not?

    Ummm, yeah. You just claimed the administration lied and then asked if the administration knowingly lied. Poll question slanted? Yes.

    Still, they only got a 51% yes vote on that, so their efforts to pump up Benghazi fever are slipping, and they’re slipping thanks to the facts. The online video was not a sole cause, but all Benghazi reports so far have found that it played a motivating role and that President Obama’s administration did not try to deliberately mislead anyone.

    Much to the chagrin of Faux News, the poll also indicated that 63% of the respondents think Republicans are pursuing the Benghazi story for partisan gain and not for the truth. Shooting themselves in the foot … again, in other words.

    A few examples of other Fox News poll questions:

    Do you think the Democratic Party should allow a grassroots organization like to take it over or should it resist this type of takeover?

    Do you think illegal immigrants from Mexico should be given special treatment and allowed to jump in front of immigrants from other countries that want to come to the United States legally, or not?

    Do you think the United Nations should be in charge of the worldwide effort to combat climate change and the United States should report to the United Nations on this effort, or should it be up to individual countries and the United States would be allowed to make decisions on its own?

    Do you think President Barack Obama should stop golfing until the unemployment rate improves and the economy is doing better?

    After running these bogus polls, Fox News covers the results for hours on end. That’s not news, that’s lying within a faux news platform.

  25. says

    Bobby Jindal wants you to have a sidearm with your meal. Guns in restaurants. Yeah, Governor, that sounds like a great idea for Louisiana … not.

    Washington Post link.

    Handgun permit holders in Louisiana will soon be allowed to bring loaded guns into restaurants that serve alcohol.

    The Louisiana State Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill Tuesday that eliminates a long-time ban on guns in restaurants where alcohol is served. The law, passed by the state House earlier this year, would also allow off-duty officers to carry their weapons into bars. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R) office said Wednesday he will sign the bill. […]

  26. blf says

    morgan, Wander around a bit on the weekends, by foot or bicycle, sniffing the air for the smells of a baby barbecue…

    Which is another way of saying: Might there already be a group in the area ?

  27. says

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch link.

    Another damned oil spill, this time in Los Angeles, California.

    Crews sopped up the remains of about 10,000 gallons of crude oil that sprayed into Los Angeles streets and onto buildings early Thursday after a high-pressure pipe burst.

    A geyser of crude spewed 20 feet high over approximately half a mile at about 12:15 a.m. and was knee-high in some parts of the industrial area of Atwater Village before the oil line was remotely shut off, said Fire Capt. Jaime Moore.

    A handful of commercial businesses near the border of Glendale was affected, as well as a strip club that was evacuated.

    Firefighters and hazardous materials crews responded. Several roads were closed.

    Four people at a medical business were evaluated with respiratory complaints, and two people were transferred to a hospital, Moore said. […]

    Rachel Maddow covered the decades-long record of oil spills that could have been prevented but were not, are not, thanks to toothless “this is just a suggestion” regulations.

  28. barnestormer says

    A new Lounge! Hi, everyone!

    Today I’m sad because Ken Ham is coming to a town near me, but not as a public speaker or debater. He’s just coming to run some internal lying-to-kids workshops at a local Baptist church. So I don’t have a real opportunity to show up and it wouldn’t be any fun if I did. Boooo.

    I just started reading How Jesus Became God by Bart Ehrman and it’s pretty good — a really easy to understand introduction to how ancient religion is extremely different from contemporary American Christianity, for starters.

    @29: Morgan, would one of your friends be willing to be the contact person for the new group? That might help you stay semi-anonymous.

    I don’t know your town, so I can’t say for sure. But it might not be as big a risk as you’re thinking, especially if the group is discussion-based and doesn’t immediately start nailing communion wafers to church doors. Here in Alabama, the only people in the local freethought groups who get a lot of attention as Village Atheists are the ones who actively seek it out. A quiet group might be good for you and for any number of people in town who aren’t “out” to friends and family but would appreciate having someone to talk to. Even just starting a Facebook group might be a good start, if you use Facebook.

    And re: depression — it lies constantly, about everything. I don’t recommend trusting it on any point.

  29. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    blf, already did the sniff test. Nary a whiff.

    I’ve searched high and low for any kind of group, to no avail. There is a group down the mountain but that is about fifty miles. Something closer would be nice. That is why I’m thinking of trying to start a group.

  30. blf says

    morgan, Perhaps a visit or call or e-mail to the 80 km–away group: Any suggestions? Anyone in your immediate area? A rotating place of meeting (some of which are bound to be closer to you)?

  31. says

    Salt Lake Tribune coverage of the Idaho same-sex marriage decision:

    A federal magistrate judge Wednesday refused to put gay marriages in Idaho on hold pending an appeal from the state’s governor.

    U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale said in her decision that Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s appeal is unlikely to succeed, so there’s no reason to keep same-sex couples from seeking marriage licenses or marrying Friday. […]

    Watts, a former Mormon, is a board member of Family Fellowship, a group that supports the family and friends of gay Mormons. Watts and his wife, Millie Watts, have been involved with the group for more than a decade.

    “It’s time for people of Utah and Idaho,” he said, “to see that discrimination has been taking place.” […]

  32. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Unfortunately when I tried to contact some of the members of the down-the-mountain group I got all of zero replies. No encouraging. But I will try that again.

    Good suggestions. Maybe I am over reacting due to my shyness.

    Cowards of the world unite! We have nothing to lose but our heads!

  33. blf says

    We have nothing to lose but our heads!

    Yeah, they are needed for flavouring the horse-potato-pea chowder.

  34. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Horse-potato-pea-head of atheist chowder? Methinks it is missing something.

  35. blf says

    Horse-potato-pea-head of atheist chowder? Methinks it is missing something.

    Several kilotons of garlic.

  36. blf says

    Ok, so the basic recipe for horse-pea-potato-head of atheist-garlic chowder is:

    Some horses.
    About the same number of potatoes, by weight.
    One or fewer peas.
    A mound of atheist’s heads.
    As many kilotons of garlic as you get.
    About the same amount of MUSHROOMS!
    Milk (needn’t be diary, but a soured milk (e.g., buttermilk) works great).
    Some spicy sauce (e.g., Tabasco).
    And some vin, such as a Zinfandel or Gigondas. Don’t worry about how much. you can drink what you don’t use.

    Peel some of the garlic. When bored with that, inactivate, shave, and hollow-out the horses. Peel some more garlic. Discard the pea. Peel some more garlic. Shave the atheist’s heads. Peel yet more of the garlic. Wash the MUSHROOMS!, pat dry, and set aside. Peel the rest of the garlic.

    Combine all the solid ingredients, except for the MUSHROOMS! and discarded pea, and chop / blend until a semi-liquid pulp. Mix in some of the milk and bring to a near-boil, stirring constantly. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, and topping-up with milk and some of the spicy sauce from time-to-time. Add the MUSHROOMS! and vin shortly before serving.

  37. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Last night, I made dinner using no garlic. But I did use potatoes.

  38. blf says

    The raping children cult in action, Chile: Catholic priests investigated over stolen babies:

    Church leaders admit to knowing about scheme in which single mothers were pressured to give up their newborns for adoption

    Police investigators are now probing dozens of cases in which unmarried women who became pregnant were pressured by priests to give their child up for adoption. Those who refused were anaesthetized during childbirth and, upon awakening, told that the newborn had died. The healthy babies were hidden from their biological mother and given away in order to be raised by married couples in “traditional” Catholic families.

    Church leaders now admit they have known about the scheme for at least ten years. Unlike Spain and Argentina where babies were stolen from leftwing political activists, the motivation in Chile was to shield the reputations of well-off families from the social stigma of an unmarried mother.

  39. David Marjanović says

    An interesting new dinosaur in open access. Note that the abstract has a typo in the name.

    In German: Protests and strikes in Turkey about the worst mining disaster worldwide in almost 40 years (282 dead); protesters calling for the government to resign; Erdoğan’s counsel Yusuf Yerkel has been photographed kicking a protester who is lying on the floor and held by two policemen – he confirms that the photo shows him, and says the protester deserved it.

    You probably know this already: Pipeline breaks in Glendale next to LA, crude oil up to half a meter deep floods the streets, oil spreading for 800 meters and (duh) blocking traffic.

  40. says

    blf @50, mormon “social services” workers have been accused of the same thing. There’s plenty of documentation to support the fact that they pressure single mothers to give up their babies to “worthy” two-parent mormon families, and that they also encourage single mothers not to inform the father.

    What is it with religious organizations? They think they set up what is basically a baby-selling market.

  41. says

    Sentenced to death for apostasy in Sudan, with a hundred lashes for adultery just for good measure:

    Born to a Muslim father, the woman was convicted under the Islamic sharia law that has been in force in Sudan since 1983 and outlaws conversions on pain of death.

    Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, 27, is married to a Christian and eight months pregnant, human rights activists say.

    “We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged,” Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa told the woman, addressing her by her father’s Muslim name, Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.

    Khalifa also sentenced Ishag to 100 lashes for “adultery”. Under Sudan’s interpretation of sharia, a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man and any such relationship is regarded as adulterous. […]

  42. rq says

    My dad’s first name is Miķelis. Often mistaken for Greek. Oh, the Plight of the Latvian (and Lithuanian)!

    The Latvian candidates are debating in anticipation of the EP elections coming up. What a horrible bunch of people! Not to mention homophobic (with about one exception). And elitist. And just totally backwards. Ugh. My choices are limited, but at least my decision has been made for me.

  43. says

    Marco Rubio fails again. This presidential-candidate-wannabe is now defending his statements about climate change by claiming that he knows the science behind anti-abortion efforts:

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has recently come under fire for failing to name a single source to justify his assertion that “there’s no scientific evidence” to prove humans are contributing to climate change, is defending his comments by claiming that at least he knows the science about abortion.

    In an interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday, the senator said that liberals who criticize him for ignoring climate science are revealing their “hypocrisy” because they ignore the science supporting the idea that life begins at conception. Rubio claimed this concept is a “proven fact” that people on the left are ignoring.

    “Let me give you a bit of settled science that they’ll never admit to. The science is settled, it’s not even a consensus, it is a unanimity, that human life begins at conception,” Rubio said. “So I hope the next time someone wags their finger about science, they’ll ask one of these leaders on the left: ‘Do you agree with the consensus of science that human life begins at conception?’”[…]

    Go right ahead, Marco, keep digging.

  44. blf says

    rq, Lurching and babbling consumes all of the brainpower of the potato-brained. The can’t even remember to breath. One minion must whisper in one ear “Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.” Another minion must whisper in the other ear, “‘Inhale’ means this” (demonstrates), then in a slightly strangled voice, “‘Exhale’ means this this” (demonstrates). …

  45. says

    Here’s another instance of rightwing religious leaders entering “yeah, like that will work” territory when discussing gays:

    Televangelist Pat Robertson has frequently told “700 Club” viewers that the best way to “love” their gay son or daughter is to warn them that they are “on their way to Hell,” advising the parents to help their children “revert” and “un-acquire” their sexual orientation through ex-gay therapy.

    Today, Robertson offered similar counsel to a viewer whose niece recently came out of the closet, telling her that one way to show love for her daughter is to refuse to accept her as gay.

  46. says

    Mother Jones posted an article about the ways in which gun-rights activists have been targeting women who speak out for gun law reform. This includes spitting on women, stalking them, and threatening women with violence. Many of these women own guns but are asking for better background checks etc. Excerpt below:

    […] Ever since the Sandy Hook massacre, a small but vocal faction of the gun rights movement has been targeting women who speak up on the issue—whether to propose tighter regulations, educate about the dangers to children, or simply to sell guns with innovative security features. The vicious and often sexually degrading attacks have evolved far beyond online trolling, culminating in severe bullying, harassment, invasion of privacy, and physical aggression. Though vitriol flows from both sides in the gun debate, these menacing tactics have begun to alarm even some entrenched pro-gun conservatives. […]

    Some of them approached Longdon. “You know what was wrong with your shooting?” one said. “They didn’t aim better.” Another man came up, looked Longdon up and down and said, “I know who you are.” Then he recited her home address. The harassment continued, and the men showed up throughout the program, a Phoenix police official involved confirmed to me.

    After a fundraiser one night during the program, Longdon returned home around 10 p.m., parked her ramp-equipped van and began unloading herself. As she wheeled up to her house, a man stepped out of the shadows. He was dressed in black and had a rifle, “like something out of a commando movie,” Longdon told me. He took aim at her and pulled the trigger. Longdon was hit with a stream of water. “Don’t you wish you had a gun now, bitch?” he scoffed before taking off.

    “It was like a mock execution,” Longdon says, recalling the intense surge of adrenaline and how the incident triggered her PTSD from the 2004 attack that nearly killed her and her fiancé. […]

  47. Reginald Selkirk says

    morgan #29: If you are worried about backlash to atheism/freethinking, you might start up a group for “skepticism” or “rational thinking” and see if that flies.

  48. embraceyourinnercrone says

    Morgan@29 don t know if it helps but Google tells me that the Inland Empire atheists agnostics and freethinkers are having a BBQ this weekend (no not that kind of BBQ!). Their web page at has a link to join their group. Looks like they do a hike in Riverside every Sunday too. Dunno if that helps but I hope you find a group of likeminded individuals. Don t worry about being introverted it does nit mean you are a coward at all. I feel brave if I can make out the door some days. Good luck!

  49. says

    This is a follow up my comment #41. Basically, it’s an “oh, crap” moment.

    Idaho residents planning to gather at courthouses across the state to celebrate same-sex marriages saw their plans put on hold Thursday by a federal appeals court.

    Idaho’s gay marriage ban was overturned Tuesday when U.S. District Judge Candy Dale said the law unconstitutionally denied gay and lesbian residents their fundamental right to marry. Dale said Idaho must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting Friday morning.

    A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay while it considers whether a longer stay is needed. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden both asked that Dale’s ruling be placed on hold while they appeal.

    The appellate court ruling puts a halt to plans for a “Party for Marriage Equality” scheduled for Friday morning at the Ada County Courthouse. Gay rights advocates were arranging the event.

    Several Idaho residents who are ordained had offered to officiate weddings for free, and some photographers had offered free wedding photos to same-sex couples. Other residents pledged on social media sites to cover the $30 marriage license fee for gay and lesbian couples. […]

  50. says

    I really really want to eat something deliciously carb-y, like a giant piece of cake, smothered in ooey-gooey frosting, with sugar sprinkled on top for good measure.

    Stoopid diet.

  51. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    The Inland Empire group is the one I contacted and got no response. But I’ll try again. It is a bit of a trek to their events. And I love your ‘nym.

    Reginald Selkirk,
    Good suggestion… a bit of linguistic subterfuge.

  52. says


    AAAH! In a few short weeks I will no longer be living in Phoenix, and will be moving from my home state of Arizona, to Connecticut. Over 2,500 miles. Why the fuck not?

    I am excited but also FREAKING THE FUCK OUT, lol.

    How did I collect so much CRAP? And how did it ever fit in to this tiny little apartment?!

  53. says

    I am excited but also FREAKING THE FUCK OUT, lol.

    I think that’s normal

    How did I collect so much CRAP? And how did it ever fit in to this tiny little apartment?!

    I’m absolutely certain that’s normal. Moreover, it seems to happen regardless of the number of things you own or the size of your home.

  54. rq says


    Good luck with the move! Watch out for the Moving Gremlins. They’re terrible. And trust me, all that stuff will fit into the new place, too, along with a whole crapload of new stuff you’ll acquire soon after moving in. ;)

  55. says

    Jill Abramson, the New York Times editor that was recently fired, may have been fired for raising issue of pay inequity for women.

    Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor, were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect. … [T]o women at an institution that was once sued by its female employees for discriminatory practices, the question brings up ugly memories. Whether Abramson was right or wrong, both sides were left unhappy.

    Most of the coverage I’ve seen takes a lot of trouble to call Abramson “pushy” or “abrasive” or “brusque.” Those would all be couched in more complimentary terms if Abramson were a man. There’s some reporting that focuses on how open she was to talking to the techies running the technological side of the paper, how open she was to promoting women, how brilliant she was. But mostly, she was pushy and she got fired for not being nice enough. I smell a rat.

    The NY Times won 4 Pulitzer prizes under Abramson’s tenure.

  56. says


    Right? I feel as if stuff procreates. Stuff get down and dirty when we’re sleeping and have stuff babies. So.much.stuff.


    I am actually moving in with my aunt, who lives in Plainville. I have lived alone for the last 12+ years, so this will be an interesting adventure, to say the least! I really want to see the east coast. I figure I probably won’t stay in Plainville more than a year or so. Who knows where I’ll end up?

    WINTER is going to be hilarious. I have never even owned a scarf, or rain boots, or snow boots, or a real coat. Hahaha. I am going to enjoy shopping for real winter clothes! I have three hoodies. That’s it. And three is probably overkill for Phoenix.

    I am flying, so I’m getting rid of all my big stuff (some of it is going to the dump, because no one wants my disgusting couch — NO ONE — but the rest of my furniture is being given away to a friend who just moved into a house with her boyfriend, so yay!).

    Then I have to figure out which books and dvd’s to give away/sell. That’s going to be the hardest!

    And then I need to figure out what I want to ship — I can’t afford to ship more than maybe two medium media mail boxes (so books/dvds), and a couple small boxes of things I can’t bear to get rid of.

    And then I’m checking in two bags, which should fit nearly all of my clothing.

    Then I am also bringing my cat. On the plane. Oh, dear. I hope he does okay! Anyone have experiences taking a cat on a plane?

  57. says

    Slate covers the financial success Jill Abramson oversaw at the NY Times, as well as the awards for excellent journalism.

    She was doing her job well, if “brusquely.”

  58. says

    Young people across the country are suing several government agencies for failing to develop a climate change recovery plan, conduct that amounts to a violation of their constitutional rights, says their lawyer Julia Olson.

    Their futures are at stake, say the young plaintiffs.

    “Climate change is the biggest issue of our time,” said 13-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, a member of nonprofit Kids vs. Global Warming, a plaintiff in the suit.

    “It’s not every day you see young people getting involved politically, but the climate crisis is changing all that. Every generation from here on out is going to be affected by climate change,” added Roske-Martinez, who founded environmental nonprofit Earth Guardians and organized successful actions in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado.

  59. rq says

    Today’s google topic is nice.
    Is it just me, or has google been placing emphasis on previously-unknown (-to-me) women scientists and mathematicians lately? Either way, I like.

  60. ernezabet says

    Hey Horde – I’m new here at commenting, but I’ve been lurking for years. Just wanted to introduce myself. First let me say how impressed I am by you all. I’ve enjoyed your destruction of many trolls, xians, MRAs…. I’ve come here many times to brighten my day.
    I’m a newly retired aerospace electrical engineer (due to cronic illnesses). It was brutal work and brutal hours but I loved it. What I don’t miss is all the GOP bible thumping misogynist bigots in this red state ( I will throw in I worked at NASA as well as goverment contractors, they were all the same in attitude, very few liberals, all under cover). I’m also a closet atheist as I fear ( truly) any deviation from the norms here.
    Forgive me my errors and correct me as needed.

    Morgan@29 I have same problem here. No groups within local area. Good luck with trying to do something.
    Why the horse stew? Poor pea (I like peas).
    Big hugs to the depression folks (I’m one too). The voices always lie, just keep telling yourself that.
    Just wanted to say hi!

  61. Ray, rude-ass yankee says


    Then I am also bringing my cat. On the plane. Oh, dear. I hope he does okay! Anyone have experiences taking a cat on a plane?

    Well, someone once tried to take some MF’in snakes on an MF’in plane. It didn’t work out well for anyone if I recall correctly.

  62. alexanderz says

    Reginald Selkirk has a great suggestion, but I think you might want to distance yourself even further at first – tell people that your group is about scientific news, or even science fiction (if you’re into that). That sounds way less dangerous than “skeptic” or “freethinker”, is easier to back out of if things get unpleasant and there usually are many atheists amongst the science/scifi crowd.
    I don’t know what attractions or public locations you have in your town, but judging by the number of churches, I’d say that anyone who is doing anything other than spending most of Sunday in church is likely good recruitment material.
    Also, you’re not being a coward – you’re being smart!

    I’m also mostly a lurker, but I’m happy you’ve introduced yourself.

    NASA as well as goverment contractors, they were all the same in attitude, very few liberals, all under cover

    That’s really sad. One would hope that the people who study the wonders of the universe would be more open-minded.

  63. ernezabet says

    Alexanderz – it is very sad. Really would not believe some of the stuff I’ve seen.. Buch pictures in cubes along with bible right on desk.. They actually carry them around to offices and at Pads.
    I was told by many ” we begin our days with Drudge”.
    Yea, I was there for the wonder of it all, silly me.

  64. embraceyourinnercrone says

    marilove @72 I’ve moved/flown with cats twice . Once from Guam to LA with my tabby and one from LA to Connecticut with that one and my new calico. I was really nervous but I read all the vet advice I could find about it.. I have very high strung cats and they did ok. I got carriers with attachable water bottles and taped a ziplock bag of dry food to the top of the carriers in case there was a delay. Also made sure their tags had my new address&phone and so did the carriers If you contact the airline in advance you may be able have you cat in the cabin with you.

    Warning , my cats did not forgive me for the plane ride for a week. Hair ball throwup in my shoes in the morning..good times. Good luck with the move!

    ernezabet @76 Hi !I can relate on the having to keep my atheist, liberal leanings to myself, I was never sure who it was ok to be open with when I was in the Navy. Its funny even now how many people can not wrap their heads around the fact I was in for 20 and I am the most leftleaning person they know,

  65. diby sursch says

    I want to know something about people’s perceptions of the Spanish Inquisition. Shouldn’t’t there be some context? The fact is that Muslims invaded Spain and southern France, and would have gone further if not for Catholics who stopped them there. The next 700 years involved Catholics battling their way down through Spain until they finally regained all of their land back in the 15th century. This is when the Spanish Inquisition began. Is it wrong for me to “justify” their paranoia about the Muslims and Jews (the fact is that some Jews at that place and time had been involved in the Muslim invasion of Spain) who remained? Most of them were ultimately expelled rather than killed. What do you think? I know it’s not politically correct but I can understand their fears after 700 years of war, and their desire for normalcy and peace. Also the number killed was very low. So what’s the verdict?

  66. barnestormer says

    Rowan @79 — I don’t even know why that bird is so adorable to me; it just is. I love all the Contemporary Dinosaurs, though. <3

  67. embraceyourinnercrone says

    morgan @65 Hope you have luck with finding or forming a group. I stole the name from the greeting card line with the cranky little old lady, Maxine. She’s who I want to be when I grown up(actually I am already almost qualified for all of those adjectives!)

    marilove @66 Connecticut has wacky weather, Lewis Black once did a bit about it but I can’t find the Youtube. Example this past Sunday it was 81, yesterday it was 59….. However PZ is (was?) going to be speaking in Hartford on June 18th so maybe you can go see him in Hartford. I don’t know if he’s still going though. I just hope he feels better, surgery sucks…

  68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Also the number killed was very low. So what’s the verdict?

    Apologist…why should anybody be killed because they don’t believe in your fuckwitted and false religion. Never mind how fuckwitted and false theirs is…

  69. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    diby sursch, take your contentious question to the Thunderdome, which is where it should have been posted, rather than the lounge. Sorry for my response….Mea culpa.

  70. says

    Hey, cicely, may I ask why you said this (@632, Lounge 460):

    I admire your dedication.

    I didn’t get around to asking before the thread was closed, and I didn’t understand what you were referring to, so if you happen to remember, I’d be interested, cause I’m not often admired, and if it happens, it’d be nice to know what I did, so I can keep doing it and stay with the “being admired” thing. :)

  71. Seize says

    @ 79 oh my gracious, you just stole my heart. I’m hearkened back to The Castefiore Emerald, the Tintin adventure in which a magpie features prominently.

  72. cicely says

    Hi, ernezabet; Welcome In!
    Horses are Evil.
    Peas are not food. They are entertainment.

    CaitieCat, I’m a pain-wimp, I am. If I tried to walk 1/4 mile, to catch a bus, for instance, I wouldn’t get far before I would start losing the capacity for coherent thought, start to shake uncontrollably, and become nauseous. I know that your physical difficulties are much worse than mine…and yet, you walk to take a bus, so you can spend serious time, sitting in uncomfortable chairs, entirely voluntarily, for a cause you believe in, in spite of the pain.
    I…can’t do that.

  73. says

    I think I finally understand thread ‘rupt, maybe, and I’m doing it here, sorry.

    Has anyone here ever dealt with anyone with OCPD? Or read about dealing with someone with OCPD? I hope to be able to explain more in a couple days, but as the situation comes to a head, I am feeling quite stressed and would like… I don’t know what I would like. A way to release some pressure/stress? (Been holding it in for a couple few weeks now.)

  74. Seize says

    ajb74, a fellow common tater who I like quite a bit on Jezebel speaks out a fair amount about her OCPD. I’m also mentally ill myself but that’s not my particular malfunction, though I have in the past dealt with compulsive thoughts and gestures. Are you dealing with yourself or with someone who is currently suffering the symptoms?

  75. says

    Seize @94

    Not me. My particular issue is alcohol. Just really attached.

    It is someone else. I don’t think anyone fully involved reads here, but I don’t know if anyone who might be peripherally involved and who might recognize the situation reads here and might say something early. The whole “butterfly flaps its wings” thing. (I am probably being overly cautious, but I will not know for a couple days.)

    It’s not an official diagnosis, it is some research (online and speaking to a professional) that fits a pattern of behavior.

  76. Akira MacKenzie says

    ajb74 @

    Harry Dresden.

    Ugh, I can’t read his books. All it takes is for Butcher (via his hero) to spout some anti-science, anti-reality bullshit before I throw the book across the room and start screaming every known English obscenity for about half-an-hour.

    In this age of superstitious bullshit and continued religious barbarism in the face of modernity, my suspension of disbelief has long since crashed and burned. I will not tolerate it anymore, even in fiction.

  77. says

    my suspension of disbelief has long since crashed and burned. I will not tolerate it anymore, even in fiction.

    Does that apply to urban fantasy in general, or is there something particularly egregious about the ‘anti-science, anti-reality bullshit’ in that specific series? Because if it’s the former, I’m not really sure why you’d pick up a book about a wizard in Chicago to begin with, and if it’s the latter I can’t see that Butcher’s any worse about that than the usual run of urban fantasy. I will note that Peter Grant takes a far more rationalist, science-based approach to magic than Harry does, but then Grant actually finished high school, and is able to use the Internet for research, neither of which can be said for Harry Dresden.

  78. Allan Frost says

    Lynna, OM @63:

    A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay while it considers whether a longer stay is needed. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden both asked that Dale’s ruling be placed on hold while they appeal.

    Idaho must be a very scary place. Here’s the above Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter looking mostly harmless in comparison to the other three people he’s “debating”:

    W.T.F. did I just watch?

  79. says

    A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay while it considers whether a longer stay is needed.

    Why do these assholes keep doing this bullshit, anyway? Why do they keep granting these stupid-ass stays, as though the bigots are suddenly going to come up with a magical bulletproof argument now when they haven’t been able to at any of the other fucking cases this has come up?

  80. Akira MacKenzie says

    Dalillama @ 98

    I guess it’s “modern” urban fantasy that . I can stand “magic” so long as it’s in a setting that doesn’t posit a materialistic, scientific setting like our own universe. Butcher leans toward “science doesn’t work, magic does and is better” even though his character’s drive cars, watch the telly, and use computers (well, except Dresden and his fellow virtuous wizards, that is). You can’t have it both ways. Either we live in a world of electricity, thermodynamics, chemistry, etc, or we live in a world of magic wooful dust and pixies. If you’re going to write fantasy, pick one or the other. Anything else is just the solipsistic “everything you know is wrong” post-modernist shit that’s fucking up the world.

  81. Akira MacKenzie says

    EDIT… I guess it’s “modern” urban fantasy that set’s me off.

  82. says

    In that case, I kind of have to reiterate my first question: did you not read the dust jacket or something? What did you think you were picking up? (Or, as the case may be, is this the first Urban Fantasy* novel/series you picked up, and you didn’t know how much it would annoy you until then?)

    *While I realize that the term is not necessarily clear, it is usually used to refer to books set in a world much like our own modern one, but in which magic does work to some degree. The term Wainscot Fantasy can also apply to the majority of them, in which the supernatural is, for whatever handwavy reason, a)real, but b)not any more publically accepted than it is in our own world (if not less so). There are some (like the Anita Blake books) where magic and technology openly coexist, which are Urban but not Wainscot. Confusingly, the term Urban Fantasy can also sometimes mean fantasy of the more traditional lower-tech, not set on Earth or anyplace that notably resembles Earth sort which takes place primarily in a specific urban location, rather than the wandering-through-the-countryside sort codified by Conan or The Hobbit. Many newer examples of this cross over with Steampunk, combining an 18th-19th centruy technoology with industrial magic etc. Examples of this type of urban fantasy which I would recommend include the excellent series The Necromancer Chronicles by Amanda Downum (not to be confused with The Chronicles of the Necromancer ; I haven’t read those and thus can’t recommend them), the Garrett, P.I. books, a Raymond Chandler pastiche set in a fantasy metropolis, China Mieville’s Bas Lag books, and many of the Discworld books. Also many of the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories undoubtedly count, if you like your sword and sorcery old school.

  83. says

    On that note, I think you might still find the Rivers of London series (source of the aforementioned Peter Grant) less offensive; while there’s magic and the like, it does obey rules, and PC Grant is damn well determined to figure them out). Likewise with Stross’ Laundry Files, which postulate that magic is a function of certain types of mathematics allowing contact with inhuman things from dimensions not our own, a quite interesting twist on the theme of cosmic horror, or Wen Spencer’s Elfhome series, in which magic is a force akin to electromagnetism, just not one that’s strongly present in our dimension; when someone accidentally sends Pittsburgh to another dimension while trying to build an FTL drive, the situation is different. Possibly not, too; if it’s just not your thing, there’s nothing wrong with that.

  84. says

    Hello all!
    I’d like to Horde-source some advice (or helpful information). I work with a woman (B) who is a single mother with a 7 year old son. We had a conversation tonight about sex education (among other things) and she wants to ensure her son is adequately informed before he becomes sexually active. Even though he is young, she’s aware that sex ed isn’t something that a lot of kids and teens receive. She said her mother didn’t teach her anything growing up (she told me she had her first period in middle school and was scared she was going to die bc she had no idea what was happening to her and no one had talked to her about women’s health–I almost cried), nor did her dad. She’s fairly certain her son’s father won’t talk to him about sex, and there’s no one else she is comfortable talking to. I told her about this place and how there are many parents here who have children and may be of some assistance. She asked me to ask around for some advice.

    Basically, she doesn’t know where to start. She doesn’t know if 7 is too young to talk to him about sex, and even if she felt it was right, she doesn’t know what to tell him. She doesn’t know what material is age appropriate, either. One thing she *did* tell me: she’s taught him about consent (at least to some degree). She said she has impressed upon him the importance of not allowing anyone to touch him without permission as well as the reverse (this was the end of our chat about her son, which provided a great segue to a discussion about consent and sexual assault). Other than that, she feels lost on the subject.
    I didn’t have any advice to offer, as this is outside my wheelhouse (though I did pass along one thing I’ve learned here: the importance of teaching children to be proud of their bodies and to be able to speak about their genitalia without euphemisms to minimize personal shame as they get older)
    Does anyone have advice I can pass along to her, or resources she can explore?

  85. says

    threadrupt basically means not caught up reading the comments in the Lounge. Many people read most (if not all- in some cases, I’m sure) of the comments. The term is often used when people haven’t had the time to catch up reading here but want to leave a comment. I suspect for many people who use the term, they recognize that many of us share personal information (to one degree or another) about our lives from time to time and try to stay current as they’re able to.

    Someone else can explain portcullis (took me years to learn)… :)
    Oh, and maybe rq can explain the Pharyngula Commune :)

  86. chigau (違う) says

    In the two On-going Threads, there is a very loose tradition to move on to the new edition @ comment #666.
    This almost never happens.
    if you make a comment just before the new thread is opened (and the old thread is closed) you can claim to have been ‘portcullised’
    meaning, untimely prevented from making your point

  87. barnestormer says

    @105 Tony!

    I don’t know if it’s the same everywhere, but the Unitarian Universalists have a good comprehensive sexuality education program here in Alabama (because somebody has to). Classes start at the kindergarden level & emphasize respect, safety, and inclusivity. If your friend has a local UU congregation, she might ask them if they offer something similar? Even if she’s not interested in putting him in a class, they might be able to recommend materials.

  88. says

    Good morning and hugs all around, loud “hello!” to all the newcomers.

    Good luck with the move, marilove

    We do a lot of sex-ed “on the run”, because I don’t feel like awkward “sitting the kids down” conversations are my thing (though we will need them some time later). Sometimes a “teachable moment” arises and we seize it. 7 years is NOT too young because her child is already a sexual being, only that at that age their sexuality is completely centered around themselves, so we have focussed a lot on “it feels good when you touch certain body parts, that is OK, that is good, but don’t do it in public and wash your hands before and afterwards”.
    Another issue is consent, because it happens more often than you would imagine that a boy just thinks he can kiss them if he wants to, so we often talk that it is only OK if both want it. This doesn’t have to be in the context of other children, but also in the context of parental displays of affection: Everybody in this family is entitled to their body and their boundaries: They never ever have to kiss or hug us* or submit to our caresses. You don’t even have to talk about sex for that, but IMO it’s one of the most important aspects.
    Next point is babies: We made sure quite early that they know how babies are made (for younger children Babette Cole’s Mummy laid an egg is fantastic, but 7 is probably too old), but we also make sure they understand that sex isn’t just for baby-making, because that was a big misconception for me when I grew up: I learned that people have sex to make babes and I thought that was it, like you’re cooking a meal to eat it. This is obviously easier when you’re in a (heterosexual) relationship so the topic of “will you have another baby” comes up naturally.
    Last point is cis-, hetero-, and “you’re going to have children”-normativity. We don’t say “girls have a vagina and boys have a penis” but use “most girls” and “most boys” and “sometimes it’s the other way around”. Or I say “if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend when you get older”. Or “when you’re grown up you can decide if you want to have kids.” While those things are not exactly about sex as such, they are part of sex-ed and my attempt to raise well-adjusted kids who don’t freak out should they discover that they themselves or somebody else is not straight and cis.

    *obvious exceptions apply

  89. Rowan vet-tech says

    My parents lucked out with me. I watched so much discovery channel growing up that I understood the basics of sex and reproduction and how they were linked by the time I was 6 years old because I could extrapolate from animals mating to humans. Mom more specifically discussed periods with me when I was 9; what it was, how to deal with it, etc. Glad she did as I got my first cycle the month after I turned 11. *shakes fist* curse you puberty and making me be super tall super early and then not grow after I turned 13.

    I wish I had some advice for your friend. :/

  90. bluentx says

    Threadrupt but *waving*

    Anyone else trying to follow the coverage of the San Diego county fires? Any suggestions for a good, frequently updated site? Any help would be appreciated.

    My oldest sister and BIL live in San Marcos, CA and I haven’t been able to get through to them or find anyone who has been in contact since the fires and evacuations started.

    A little anxious here.

  91. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Basically, she doesn’t know where to start


    Here’s a good place.

    Here’s another.

    She doesn’t know if 7 is too young to talk to him about sex,.

    It isn’t.

    and even if she felt it was right, she doesn’t know what to tell him

    What I’ve found well is a combination of this series + more specific, sex-specific puberty-manual books, + assuming if they’re old enough to formulate the question, they’re old enough for a real answer.

  92. birgerjohansson says

    Complex interactions may matter most for longevity

    “Going beyond the surface: New tech could take light-based cancer treatment deep inside the body”
    IR to visible light.Second harmonic generation? Four-wave mixing?
    “There are no long-term side effects for PDT, it’s less invasive than surgery, and we can very precisely target cancer cells”

  93. rq says

    Thanks for those book suggestions. It’s So Amazing looks like something that will be useful very soon in our household.
    It’s not that we’ve been avoiding the question, it just hasn’t really come up yet.

    Welcome to ernezabet! The Lounge Commune still needs a qualified dentist before it is up to all health and safety standards. I don’t suppose that you, as a rocket scientist, might know anything about fixing teeth…?
    Have a cookie? :)


    Seeking Expert Bicycle Assistance!
    So, in the past six months of riding season (we’ll ignore those three months of winter in between), I’ve had to replace the inner tube of my front tyre three times, and it looks like it will have to be done again. Why so often? Do we replace it wrong? Do I ride it wrong? Crappy inner tubes?
    It’s a mountain-ish bike, with child seat, with trips generally taking place on the road, although there’s this one little patch of small-hill-roots-and-grass that cuts a nice corner. But a little rough riding shouldn’t do damage, should it?
    Anyway, any advice much appreciated, because this is getting annoying, seeing as how the bicycle is my primary locomotive apparatus during the day with Youngest, and far preferable to walking and/or strollering.

  94. carlie says

    Tony – I second Azkyroth’s book recommendations. We have the second one at my house. I was not comfortable talking with my boys about it all, so in true nerd fashion I researched what books were considered the best, bought that one, and just said “HERE READ THIS” and stuck it in their room. It seemed to do the job. The other book I threw at them when they got older is this one, which goes more into detail about sex when you’re a teen and how to get clear consent and what the hell is happening with your body etc.

  95. embraceyourinnercrone says

    bluentx @113 is pretty good they have twitter feeds also if you tweet. is one of the local tv stations. I don’t remember the others at the moment.
    Fire season in Southern California is scary..but then so is flashflood and earthquake season.
    I still miss San Diego despite all that. Hope they are all ok.

  96. rq says

    *giant hugs*


    A piece of our roof (covering) just fell off. I don’t think that’s good.
    At least the rains have stopped. :/

  97. bluentx says

    Thank you, embraceyourinnercrone . I appreciate the info.

    Some of the evacuation notices have been lifted this a.m. Waiting to hear if sister and BIL are covered by those ‘lifts’.

    In trying to look on the bright side: Could be worse. Another sister could still be living in Lompoc. They are currently having fire problems there, too.

    Nope, sorry, Bright Side View did not help…

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

    Hey rq. Bicycle Repair Man to the rescue!

    Take a close look at your tyre. If you see lots of little nicks and cuts in the rubber it’s time to replace it. As time goes by the UV and I’m assuming some constituents of the air break down the rubber. When it gets brittle things cut through it easier and they also have a tendency to stick in rather than bounce off.

    If you don’t see lots of cuts and nicks it might be bad luck, or it might be that there’s something still stuck in the tyre. Run you hand gently around the inside of it when the tube is out to see if there’s anything sticking through. This is vital practice for any puncture because a goodly number of times the thing that caused it is still stuck in the tyre.

    Also check to make sure that the spoke heads, or the holes that those spoke heads are in, are properly covered all the way around the rim. Usually on cheap bikes there is a rubber rim strip covering them and it can sometimes split or get moved aside exposing the spoke head and causing a puncture when the tube is inflated. A visual check will usually spot this, but you can also tell if you inflate the punctured tube and the hole is on the inside of tube near the centre line.

    You can also get punctures by under inflating your tubes. There’s a printed max/min pressure rating on the side of the tyre. If you inflate it below the minimum you can get pinch flats where the tyre is pushed in to the point where it crushes the tube against the rim. These holes will also appear on the inside of the tube but more towards the outside edge. Often they will be in a characteristic pair, hence the moniker: snakebite flat.

    If the hole is next to the valve stem then it’s likely that you haven’t pulled the valve down far enough. Sometimes it will jam a little in its hole in the rim, usually because the rim strip is jamming it. Pull the rim strip up and put the valve through it first, then through the hole in the rim. It’s a good idea to grab the valve and pull it through wiggling it a bit once the tyre is up to pressure. Not too hard though, just enough to make sure it’s fully seated.

    Yup, there are crappy tubes out there. When they fail, they tend to do so along a seam or next to the valve. The hole is usually very straight, though this isn’t absolute proof.

    A floor pump with a gauge is essential kit for making sure tyres are correctly inflated not just to prevent pinch flats, but to make them roll well too. People generally underestimate just how hard a properly inflated bike tyre should be unless they’ve been using a gauge regularly.

    You can put new holes in the tube when re-mounting the tyre to the rim. It’s best to use plastic tyre levers rather than metal ones, or that old standby: table spoons. When levering the final bit of tyre back onto the rim try not to lift the lever much above a right angle out from the rim. If you push it all the way up towards the top of the tyre you can put holes in you new tube even with plastic levers. This usually shows up immediately on inflating them, but it is possible to put a small nick that will deflate them later.

    Gah, why can’t I ever write bike stuff concisely?


    Check for lots of nicks and cuts, replace if found.
    Check for stuff stuck in the tyre from the inside.
    Carefully levering the tyre back on, only lift the lever to 90 degrees(ish)
    Check that the rim strip is covering the spoke heads
    Check for snake bite punctures/ make sure your tyres are inflated correctly
    Tell me to go home from work now because it’s now 9:30pm and I’m stupidly tired. Yay for the 12 hour day!

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

    Er, that’d be check from the inside of the tyre for stuff stuck in it. Checking from the outside is almost futile because the tread pattern, wear, and dirt hides things.

  100. birgerjohansson says

    Akira MacKenzie @101,
    You might like the “Garret, P.I.” novels by Glen Cook, set in the fictional city of Tun Fairie. The technology and society are basically early 19th century, but since sorcerers can do a lot of stuff in place of technology, thechnologies like gunpowder production have never taken off.
    Apart from this, the reader is encountering modern people (or as modern you can be when grown up in slums in a 19th century type city).

    The rivalry between sorcerers (whose powers are hereditary) and the ordinary feudal elite is obvious, so is the rivalry with the up-and-coming mercantile class, but the century-long war with Venageti has kept friction between the various factions to a minimum, as well as making it necessary to integrate non-human species to take up the slack after so many humans have perished.
    Likewise, the pressure of warfare has obviously speeded up early industrial efforts.

    Ex-royal marine and PI Garrett is a fun acquintance, and so is his partner, The Dead Man.

  101. birgerjohansson says

    Also re. urban gothic.
    Richard Kadrey is giving his protagonist, James Stark, a lot of good lines.

    When nephilim and sometimes PI James Stark investigaes a zombie outbreak, he visits his chief suspect but discovers someone else got there first. The man he wanted to question has beeen eaten and scattered all over the place. Stark finds a bottle of Jack Daniels and toasts the dead:
    “You were a liar and a thief, but you did not deserve to end this way. I hope it was quick and you tasted like ass all the way down”

    Goodamn it! This is poetry.

  102. says

    For those who missed the reference in FossilFishy’s wonderful post, Youtuboogle “Bicycle Repair Man” and Monty Python. Lovely somewhat obscure bit.

    Also, you folk are kind of awesome.

  103. birgerjohansson says

    The bicycle in its final form is a hundred years old now!

    Freeman Dyson used the bicycle as an example of a technology that cannot be invented instantly, but requires several iterations of painful learning experiences before it reaches an optimal form.

    The abortive attempts to invent new-tech, highly manouverable airships to carry huge loads is another example of how baby steps sometimes is the only way to go.
    — — — —

    Drunk people with handguns…maybe people living there should invest in coffin manufacture, anticipating an increased demand.

  104. says

    I know. It feels sometimes these days as though the right wing has taken on a strategy of “Well, if you think that’s degrading and stupid, try THIS!” as their guiding principle, like the doubling-cube is the only tactical concept they have.

  105. birgerjohansson says

    Woman with beach ball-sized tumor turned away from four hospitals for lack of insurance
    Bloody hell. I am so glad I live where I live.

    Doctors cure woman’s tumors with re-programmed measles virus
    Hope for paraplegic patients

  106. says

    Good news! Doctor says I might live. Everything is healing cleanly, finally, and I can stop taking Percocet. I do have to change the dressing twice a day, but otherwise, everything is back on track.

    Actually, I don’t change the dressing. The wound is on an awkward spot on my back that I can’t even touch, so Nurse Mary is stuck with the job.

  107. says

    Curses! It’s so hard to find a reliable assassin these days.

    Umm… I mean, good for you. Hope it heals quickly.

  108. says

    That’s why? Damn. I thought it was because she looked good with her hair blowing in the wind as I drove to the country club in my convertible.

  109. says

    Old white guys who think it is okay to call President Obama the “N” word:

    On March 6, Jane O’Toole was in a Wolfeboro, N.H., restaurant when she heard a town police commissioner call President Obama “the ‘N’ word.” In an email response to O’Toole’s complaint to town officials, the commissioner, Robert Copeland, admitted to having made the comment, writing, “I believe I did use the ‘N’ word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse. For this, I do not apologize — he meets and exceeds my criteria for such,” according to a report from the Associated Press and the New York Times. […]

    Think Progress link.

  110. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Conga rats on the good healing, PZ. I made a big pot of broccoli-cauliflower-cheese soup yesterday. Have some, please.

  111. ernezabet says

    Hi Tony! Hi rq!
    Thanks for the welcome. I’ll take the cocktail and pass on the cookie. Sorry just wanted to let you know where I come from. Always dislike “rocket scientist” thing. Just fun working on big blow-up mechanical things. I’ve done many moral contortion about who I worked for. Space science is the best high for me.
    PZ hi and glad you feel better.
    Fossilfishy enjoyed the link

  112. says

    News out of Utah about how their stay against the marriage equality ruling is affecting gay couples who wish to adopt children.

    Same-sex couples fighting for the right to adopt children may force the Utah Supreme Court to address one of the biggest legal issues in the state: Whether the Utah marriages of more than 1,300 gay couples are valid.

    A state court judge this week ordered that the Utah Attorney General’s Office and several government agencies appear in court on June 16 to explain why they have refused to honor these adoptions.

    If they refuse, or provide an inadequate response, Attorney General Sean Reyes, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Health, W. David Patton, and the State Registrar of the Office of Vital Records, Janice Houston, may be held in contempt of court — a crime punishable by incarceration, a fine or both.

    “[These officials] must appear and show cause why they should not be held in contempt for their willful disregard and refusal to obey the Decree of Step-Parent Adoption,” wrote 3rd District Judge Andrew Stone.

    In response to this summons, the Attorney General’s Office asked the Utah Supreme Court for the second time Thursday to issue an emergency order that would halt all adoption orders until the high court rules on whether these adoptions —and, by extension, the marriages of the couples seeking step-parent adoptive rights — are legal.

    They asked the court in April to do the same, but despite the “emergency relief” request, the court did not take up the issue expeditiously — or at all. […]

  113. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    [I bet Ogvorbis and Portia already knew about those though.] :)

    Blame Bluentx for this
    [[[FIRE STORY]]]

    Some years back, I was working night shift at a fire near Happy Camp, CA. In addition to keeping an eye on the fire camp, about every two hours, one of us would take a drive down the Klamath River highway to check in with the night watch crews and make sure that the locals weren’t causing any problems.

    One evening, about midnight, I came upon a Type II engine crew gazing up at a ridge. There were burning trees and logs sliding and rolling down the thousand-foot-high ridge across the river. Up on top, two very large trees were torching — one had a left-hand fire tornado coming off the top and rising another 200 feet. The other tree had a right-hand fire tornado of almost the same height. In between, a full moon was rising. Throught the smoke, it was blood red.

    And I didn’t have a camera that could have gotten the shot.


    Good news, PZed!



    Curses! It’s so hard to find a reliable assassin these days.

    Did you go through the Guild or did you hire a free-lancer?

  114. chigau (違う) says

    I just realized what the origin of the word freelance is.
    Funny the things one never thinks about.

  115. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    I just realized what the origin of the word freelance is.

    I had no idea Armstrong was in jail. Was it for illegal drug use or committing fraud against the US government?

  116. opposablethumbs says

    PZ, happy to hear the improving-state-of-the-wound news. Looking forward to getting the completely-healed news in due course.

  117. Anthony K says

    Aw, feel better soon, PZ. Wound care is awkward and a pain, but—actually, there’s no but. It is awkward and a pain.

  118. David Wilford says

    The case for a “soft atheism”; putting secular humanism before atheism:

    Pragmatist that I am, I have little sympathy for strained discussions about whether God had to allow evil in order to create beings with free will, and even less for cheap gibes to the effect that religious faith is analogous to a child’s belief in the Easter bunny. Let’s be inspired by the world’s collection of religious metaphors insofar as they help us improve the human situation. Humanism first, atheism second. The atheism I favor is one in which literal talk about “God” or other supposed manifestations of the “transcendent” comes to be seen as a distraction from the important human problems — a form of language that quietly disappears.

  119. blf says

    The wound is on an awkward spot on my back that I can’t even touch…

    Huh? What happened to all yer squidly appendages?

    Everything is healing cleanly, finally, and I can stop taking Percocet.

    That just means you’ve exceeded the RRA (Recommended Reptilian Allowance) for Percocet, and put it to sleep. Now that you’ve stopped taking it, it will wake up and then, well, if you think this was “fun”…

  120. opposablethumbs says

    A request to Horders in the UK (and please forgive me if I repeat this a couple of times in the next month or two, in the hope that it gets seen).
    The following is just a thought, not absolutely definite.
    OH and I have to be in Fleetwood in Lancashire for one evening in August, and it’s a bit on the too-late and too-far side to drive all the way back to the Smoke that same night. Is there anyone who happens to be in (or near) that part of the world who might consider letting two internet strangers (well, one internet stranger plus OH) sleep on their floor for one night? We wouldn’t need or even dream of feeding or anything like that, but a mattress on the floor would be heaven.
    Um, rq has met me in person; other than that all I can say is that we are both left-wing atheists and moderately shy and retiring types in person unless of course discussing politics (OH) or religion (both) … and I’d be happy to chat via email; I’m just not quite sure how to give my email address (can’t remember how we did this with rq!)
    (reason for going, is that SonSpawn is playing in an end-of-workshop gig; the gig is in the late-afternoon/early-evening, and we can either all drive south that night or we can collect him next morning, so he would not be with the two of us).

  121. bluentx says

    Just heard (via Facebook). Sister and BIL okay, been in a shelter the past two days. May get back in their house later today. Yay!

    Blame Bluentx for this

    Always glad to be of service.

  122. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    Good news on family safety.

    Those SoCal fires are scary fast.

  123. says

    *runs into Lounge*
    We booked our holidays!!!
    Yay Spain, I missed you so much.
    Close to Barcelona, close to the sea and in motherfucking Spain!!!!
    Did I mention we’re going to Spain?
    Not that I have anything against France, but after 6 years in France, I’m really looking forward to Spain again.

  124. opposablethumbs says

    Yay for Giliell in Spain :-))))))

    DaughterSpawn is finishing her 10 months work experience in Barcelona in 2 weeks time and coming back to the UK ….

    (I love Barcelona)

  125. rq says

    I think I forgot to say a welcome to embraceyourinnercrone… :/ Sorry about that!

    Just came home from performing in the first concert in this series dedicated to Bach, and all I can really say is the piece needs a better trumpet player. This guy may be professional, but I really don’t know how he remains employed.
    The organ was nice, though. Really really nice. Really nice.

    Sorry for the “rocket scientist” joke in poor taste, it was meant to be a humourous call for a dentist for the (imaginary?) commune for Lounge denizens in case the world ever does come to an end.
    I’ll stick with just a “welcome in” then, ok? :)

    ENDORSEMENT FOR opposablethumbs:
    This here is a lovely, quiet yet stimulating, and without a doubt incredibly intelligent (and polite, for what it’s worth!) person and if anyone has a chance to meet her, converse with her and/or let her sleep on your floor, I recommend taking the opportunity; it will not be regretted. Have some ginger tea in stock, though. :)
    It was like having a Lounge conversation… in real life. (And yeah, that’s a good thing!)
    Lovely person (can’t vouch for the OH, though, but I trust opposablethumbs’ selection in the matter! ;) ).

  126. opposablethumbs says

    ::blushes furiously:: thank you rq! (I didn’t pay rq to say that, honestly I didn’t)

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

    ‘Rupt (kinda)
    But it is good to hear that Our Squidly Overlord is on the mend again.

    I should really be revising instead of posting this, but I’ve spent a lot of time revising lately and I have made weird discoveries about how I work. I should probably note that I’m an inveterate procrastinator of the Wait but why Instant Gratification Monkey style.
    But I’ve noticed that I work best when I’m sitting in a position where it’s super-easy to get up, and also if I’m wearing something on feet that feels like shoes – so my slippers, which are like boots, are super helpful. Fluffy socks, like I wear for slippers at home-home, not so much. I find this bizarre.
    Does anyone else have weird habits they’ve noticed like that?

  128. David Marjanović says

    Links to dump. All except the last in German.

    Erdoğan is said to have beaten two protesters when he visited Soma, after the crowd booed him and he said “such accidents happen all the time”.

    “Taner Kuruca told Turkish media that the prime minister had unintentionally beaten him because he was furious at the protesters and had lost control. ‘I won’t sue the prime minister. I only expect an apology’, said Taner Kuruca.”

    The other one Erdoğan beat according to the newspaper Hürriyet was a 15-year-old girl who reportedly ran at him while loudly asking “what is my father’s murderer doing here”. Apparently there’s video somewhere in the innertubes.

    The opposition is not amused.

    Yusuf Yerkel, meanwhile, is “very sorry” for kicking that protester; he had, he says, lost self-control because of “provocations, insults and attacks”. Oh well.

    Sepp Blatter is president of the FIFA. That makes him the most important man outside the US. He now admits it was a mistake to let Qatar be the site of the soccer world championship in 2022, clarifies that he’s not alleging bribery, but talks about “political pressure” from France and Germany and adds “it is well known that large corporations from France and Germany are working in Qatar, but they aren’t only working for the world championship”… oh, and Blatter confirmed that he’ll run again for president in 2015.

    The Hindu/nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has won the parliamentary elections in India in a landslide: 272 seats are a majority, and it got 282; the Congress Party crashed and got only 46. The coming prime minister, Narendra Modi, won’t need to look for a coalition partner. However, that also means he won’t be able to blame a coalition partner if he can’t fulfill his many promises: 10 million new jobs, better infrastructure, money from foreign investors, more efficient bureaucracy and an end to corruption.

    That last part promises to be difficult. Modi used a private jet and a helicopter to get from one of his 437 campaign events to the next, totaling 300,000 km (a light second). This was apparently financed by investors from in- and outside the country. Commenters in India say “Modi ows many favors to many people” and “clean work is impossible in India”.

    In 2005, the US refused Modi an entrance visa because of his role in anti-Muslim riots in the state of Gujarat which he governed at the time. The article speculates that this might move Modi closer to Russia, while a commenter it cites says Modi will try to be a hardliner on foreign policy and will need allies for that – implying that he likely won’t get any.

    Please donate to D[emocracy ]F[or ]A[merica] now so we can ramp up our campaign to push back on corporate power and save Net Neutrality.” Only open to US citizens & green-card holders.

  129. rq says

    Well, it’s all true. :) I only wish I had more time in London that time, but I’m having heathinish thoughts about a ticket coupon which includes a London destination that I’d have to use up by early September…

    Not sure about the slipper part, but I need at least two sources of (different) music to study well. Or TV and music. Something about the conflicting sounds becomes like white noise in the back of my brain (lots of space back there, empty as all hell!), and helps me be more focussed. That, and intermittently being on the computer.


    OH And I forgot the highlight of my evening, which may sound silly to the lot of you.
    The Story: one of our National Opera soloists is travelling with the choir to Canada, and I needed to get some sheet music from her to send to Canada for the accompanist to prepare, so after our debacle at the Riga Dom (she was also soloing there, lovely voice for a soprano – sorry, sopranos, I’m just not usually a fan) we wandered over to the Opera, and she let me in through the back door and up through all the Sekrit singer/dancer hallways to her dressing room, but because a show was in progress, she snuck me down backstage (like back behind the real stage!!!!) to listen to a fantastically hilarious (if incomprehensible – it was in Italian) duet in the Barber of Seville. I was backstage at the Opera!! It’s a small thing, I know, but so very delicious. So very delicious.

    PS I love you all.

  130. blf says

    Just stay away from the plains in Spain.

    Indeed. The trains in Spain don’t flood nearly as often.

  131. blf says

    On “rocket scientist”…

    My father was one. Well, more accurately, a rocket engineer (mostly working on solid fuel engines), but that distinction is not important as such. Anyways, whenever someone said something about “rocket science”, my comment / reply was generally “Let’s ask dad!”

    (No-one ever actually did take me up on that…)

  132. opposablethumbs says

    I’m having heathinish thoughts about a ticket coupon which includes a London destination that I’d have to use up by early September…

    If you do, you’ll let us know, right!? I’d love to try and catch up with you a bit more!

  133. says

    The Maddow Blog takes a closer look at Republicans as the “anti-science party.”

    A few years ago, during the race for the Republicans’ 2012 presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) suggested climate science was an elaborate hoax cooked up by greedy scientists. John Weaver, the chief strategist for former Gov. John Huntsman’s campaign, responded with a sensible declaration: “We’re not going to win a national election if we become the anti-science party.”

    Three years later, it’s probably too late to worry about whether the GOP is becoming the anti-science party.

    In a little-noticed 2012 interview, Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), the front-runner in Montana’s open 2014 Senate race, expressed support for teaching creationism in public schools.

    In an interview that aired on November 2, 2012, Sally Mauk, news director for Montana Public Radio, asked Daines, who was then running for Montana’s lone House seat, whether public schools should teach creationism. Daines responded, “What the schools should teach is, as it relates to biology and science is that they have, um, there’s evolution theory, there’s creation theory, and so forth. I think we should teach students to think critically, and teach students that there are evolutionary theories, there’s intelligent-design theories, and allow the students to make up their minds. But I think those kinds of decisions should be decided at the local school board level.” He added, “Personally I’d like to teach my kids both sides of the equation there and let them come up to their own conclusion on it.”

    It’s been a rough week for Republicans and their support for science. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), for example, struggled badly to defend his opposition to climate science, only to make matters worse by saying odd things about reproductive science. […]

  134. rq says

    I’ll certainly let you know! :) I’d love to catch up more!

  135. blf says

    For all the people s(t)uck in USAlienstani, soon will be yer chance to experience a bit of Teh Real World™  yer about to be invaded by Kakapos: The New Zealand All Blacks will be having a disagreement with the Eagles at Chicago’s Soldier Field on November 1st. This is yer change to see a true football game.

    It’s not the USAlienstani gridiron, where armoured refrigerators clank about and don’t use their feet, or soccer where they do use their feet but only because they are busy adjusting their makeup, this is real football. Well, Ok, not Real Rugby, and definitely not Real Penguin Rugby, but a slightly sanitized version where even edged weapons are disallowed. Which makes it harder to rip off heads, and hence most scores will probably be made with the ball.

  136. says

    John Weaver, the chief strategist for former Gov. John Huntsman’s campaign, responded with a sensible declaration: “We’re not going to win a national election if we become the anti-science party.”

    2012 was way too late for them to try not being the anti-science party.

  137. blf says

    2012 was way too late for [the thugs] to try not being the anti-science party.

    Not when using a rose-tinted periscope that only peers backwards into the past: 2012 is, even now, so astonishingly far in the future it’s absurd, like trying to claim Mr Noah didn’t recently disembark now that most of flud waters have drained away…

  138. Rob Grigjanis says

    blf @172:

    …or soccer where they do use their feet but only because they are busy adjusting their makeup

    Well, that’s the price of looking fabulous while one sweats. After some rugby close-ups, obviously a price well worth paying. I’m all for rugby myself, but rugby league is more fun to play and watch.

  139. says

    It just occurred to me, any Pharyngulites in DC for WIS3 want to grab a beverage of choice some time this weekend? The health stuff prevented me from being able to go, but I’d still like to meet people.

  140. says

    blf, did we really need the “feminine=bad” shot about soccer players?

    A) I’ve been a soccer player (and later referee/coach/league administrator) since I was 4.

    B) I’m also a woman, and sometimes wear makeup. Is that somehow bad?

    C) My male counterparts, when they’re playing, aren’t any more effeminate than any rugby player, and even if they were, it still wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    Please don’t do that.

  141. chigau (違う) says

    I think that all team sports would be improved by a haka or similar by both teams before the match.
    In fact they could skip the ball-kicking and decide the match on the basis of the preliminary performance.

  142. Rob Grigjanis says

    CaitieCat @177: So you caught the “busy adjusting their makeup” but missed the “harder to rip off heads”? blf does whimsical irony. I’m guessing Christine Sinclair would have laughed, but who knows? If there’s real damage being done, I’d like to know how.

  143. says

    The real damage is in the continuing association of feminine with bad. I don’t care if it’s whimsical irony or not; it’s misogynist behaviour.

    If suggesting that the soccer players were too busy “doing their makeup” wasn’t meant to be a slam, then I apparently have lost the ability to read English, no?

    And if it is, as it so obviously seems, a slam, then what’s the slam about? It’s “these men are effeminate”. Well, why is it bad for men to be effeminate? Why is femininity bad? If it’s not misogynist, then it’s homophobic, and I don’t see how either is alright here.

    It really isn’t okay, and I’m disappointed you’re defending it, Rob.

  144. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau @181 and CaitieCat @180: Yeah, I’ll post a response in thunderdome.

  145. says

    I have been having a difficult time working through “The Fault In Our Stars” because I have a bad habit of letting my tablet battery run down.

    I suspect later on the whole teenagers with cancer thing will start making it rough going at some point, the first friend I had who died, died of liver cancer. He was 17.

  146. rq says

    They = those people who make nerf
    Because obviously if girls are going to shoot something, it should be pink and sparkly, none of that bulky, heavy hardware.

  147. chigau (違う) says

    I am girl.
    (well, wrinkly old lady)
    I thought you meant ‘bow’ as in ‘tied ribbon’.
    Not ‘projectile weapon’.
    (I do shop at a store that sells wonderful backpacks and also *pink* rifles.)

  148. yubal says

    While worrying about my own health recently, I just received notice that one of our best friends here in the US is dying of a rare pancreatic carcinoma in stage III.

    She is 28 years old, just had her surgery to remove the tumors and various metastasis and is on a chemo that statistically doesn’t affect her cancer at all (but that is the only known treatment). She also doesn’t qualify for experimental treatments. Her chances of long term survival are purely hypothetical as of now.

    Fuck that!!

  149. rq says

    Projectile (hair)bows should be a thing.

    I’m so sorry, that’s terrible news. :( I can only hope that the hypothetical becomes reality somehow. :(
    *[comforting gesture of choice, incl. hugs is desires*

  150. yubal says

    @ rq

    there are less than a thousand cases known for her sub-type of cancer. The standard treatment is morphine to take the pain away.

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

    Oh, yubal, that sucks so hard :(
    I can only offer the best wishes and thoughts of stranger, and the e-(comforting gesture) of your choice.

    I also understood ‘bow’ to be ribbon/accessory of some sort, I was trying to envision what it could be. Maybe a one-shot you conceal in your hair? And then when in enemy territory you can take down one of your captors. (Maybe I’ve spent too long with the Assassin’s society…)

  152. says

    *hugs* to yubal

    I’ve only been to Barcelona once and that was with my classmates after our final exams for about half a day. You can imagine how much I got to see with people who went to McDonalds for lunch because they knew how that tasted…
    the kids took teh change of plans well, we were a bit afraid that they would throw a tantrum because they were very fixated on going to the same place again as the last years, but we showed them pictures of the campsite, the beach, the zoo and the aquarium and they were delighted.

  153. opposablethumbs says

    yubal I’m so, so sorry. I hope the palliative care is the godsdamn best that human beings are capable of providing. That is awful.
    Giliell, I hope the girls love it! And that you all get a chance to see stuff you like. DaughterSpawn has only just been up to Tibidabo for a first-and-last time visit, now that she’s almost about to come home, and she said the views from the top are spectacular – plus of course there’s the funfair on top if you and the kids like those sorts of things?

  154. says

    So I follow @ Yes_YoureSexist on Twitter. They retweeted some guy saying if she enjoys it it’s not rape. I correct him, pointing out that enjoyment is irrelevant, it’s consent that matters. He shot back repeating himself.

    Now he’s following me.

    Now, I’m debating between blocking him and finding stuff to post on Twitter to mess with him.

  155. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Yubal, I’m so very sorry to hear about your friend. To paraphrase Robert, I stand silently and respectfully with you in support.

  156. blf says

    people who went to McDonalds for lunch because they knew how that tasted

    They went to a scarf-and-barf because they knew how it tasted???!?!!!

  157. blf says

    Largest dinosaur? Paleontologists unearth new heavyweight in Argentina: “Analysis of the 90-million-year-old fossil suggests the dinosaur weighed about 80 tons — the equivalent of 14 grown elephants”.
    The new Godzilla cost $160m, these classic foes came in a lot cheaper: “Smog monsters, mutated cuttlefish, oversized kitchen utensils: the giant lizard has faced them all. We salute Godzilla’s no-budget battles”, but some reason, Penguinzilla is not listed despite having also being in a movie.

  158. says

    Well now, this really raises my ire, seems three people committed arson in California — they started those devastating fires on purpose.

    Three people have been arrested for arson in connection with the wildfires now engulfing 20,000 acres of Southern California. Firefighters have been unable to contain the blazes, burning north of San Diego, but said that calmer wind this weekend was helping to contain them. One person has been killed so far and several homes lost. A 57-year-old, 19-year-old, and an unidentified juvenile were arrested separately on suspicion of arson; the older man was suspected of adding fuel to the fire, and pleaded not guilty.

    Daily Beast link.
    Atlanta Journal link.

  159. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Lynna, arson is the FIRST thing we think out here in the parched west whenever the Santa Ana winds blow and several fires start simultaneously. And unfortunately, we are too often correct. The hot, dry winds seem to stimulate some sick impulse in the minds of fools.

  160. says

    So sorry to hear about your friend. My sympathies.


    Link dump (apologies if they’re already been posted)

    During his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 2005, John Roberts famously claimed that a justice’s job is “to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.” Similarly, in 2009, Sonia Sotomayor pledged her “fidelity to the law,” perpetuating the notion that the law is some objective standard that can be applied uniformly to cases that come before the nation’s highest court.

    But recent evidence shows that the notion of an apolitical Supreme Court has only become more antiquated.

    Adam Liptak, the invaluable Supreme Court reporter for the The New York Times, recently wrote about a study conducted by the legal scholars Lee Epstein, Christopher Parker, and Jeffrey Segal. The study showed that Supreme Court justices betrayed “in-group” bias in their First Amendment jurisprudence — that is, they were more likely to uphold the First Amendment claims of defendants whose speech they liked.

    The findings of the study are consistent with what Segal and Harold Spaeth have called the “attitudinal model” of judging. This model holds that Supreme Court votes are explained by what judges consider desirable policy. Samuel Alito votes the way he does because of his conservative politics, and likewise Ruth Bader Ginsburg votes the way she does to achieve liberal ends. Contrary to the balls-and-strikes analogy, every case by definition is one in which reasonable people can disagree about what the law requires, which means we’re particularly likely to see voting based primarily on political preferences.

    To be sure, like all social science models, the attitudinal model is an oversimplification. Supreme Court voting is too complex to be explained by any single factor. As Epstein’s own research has proven, Supreme Court justices do not just vote their sincere preferences, but also for strategic reasons — both to assemble majority coalitions on the court and because Supreme Court decisions generally need compliance by other political actors to be carried out. There are also cases, believe it or not, when a justice’s notion of good law trumps his or her political preferences.


    This article by Damon Linker criticizes the protests surrounding commencement speakers:

    Why do today’s college students, professors, and administrators hate powerful women?

    That’s what first came to mind when I read that Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, had withdrawn as commencement speaker at Smith College after protests by students and faculty. Which came about a week after Condoleezza Rice, the first African-American woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state, backed out of receiving an honorary degree from and speaking at the Rutgers University commencement due to faculty objections. Which came just a few weeks after Brandeis University summarily withdrew its offer of an honorary degree for author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali after Muslim special interest groups denounced her for criticizing Islam’s treatment of women.

    This isn’t about free speech. Universities are free to invite (and then rudely disinvite) anyone they want to their campuses. No one has a right to don a cap and gown and address an audience of thousands under the auspices of an institution of higher learning.

    What this is about is the tyranny of right-thinking moralism on college campuses — and how it’s facilitated by the brittleness of academic sanctimony, the preciousness of a certain type of student activism, and the craven financial calculus of university administrators.

    Condoleeza Rice.
    Christine Lagarde.
    Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

    Each woman received an invitation to give a commencement speech (Rice at Rutgers University, Lagarde at Smith College, and Ali at Brandeis University). Rice and Lagarde withdrew as speakers in the wake of protests and objections made by faculty and staff. Ali had her invitation rescinded.

    I see no indication that the faculty and/or students at Rutgers, Smith and Brandeis hate powerful women. Nor does Linker present any evidence of such.

    Why is such moral preening so common in the university? Why are professors so prone to ostracize those who they disagree with? Especially when it accomplishes nothing whatsoever beyond convincing the protesters of their own moral superiority?

    I don’t know the answer.

    What was the opening sentence for this article?
    Oh yeah:

    Why do today’s college students, professors, and administrators hate powerful women?

    If you don’t know the answer, then don’t start your article off with such a presupposition.


    The power of Outrospection:

    In this video, philosopher and author Roman Krznaric speaks about the importance of “outrospection“ as a key component of cultivating empathy by thinking outside yourself, and developing a new ways to engage with the world.


    What if a single drawing could somehow contain within it all the movement, energy and endless twists and turns in the entire world. Well, that’s the rather ambitious goal of artist Benjamin Sack, who, with the help of his 0.05 Staedtler pigment liner pen, crafts dizzying fictional cityscapes that throb and pulse with the energy of an actual universe, or even a living organism.

    The level of detail is astonishing
    Prints can be purchased here.

  161. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Bleh. So, I figured out why I’ve been feeling weird the last week. I fucking hate blister packs, and I tend to remove the pills from them and store them in an empty prescription bottle whenever I get one; this hasn’t been a problem in the past. I’ve had a cold, and been taking what I thought was 12 hour Sudafed-generic; apparently I was accidentally taking a leftover prescription of Norco-generic (5mg/325mg codeine/acetominophen), which had worked its way around in the medicine box, instead. >.>

    I’ve also had a couple days this week where I’ve been out drinking and had 5 or so drinks over a (long) evening. It’s been a couple days and I feel okay. Anyone have any information about how worried I should be?

  162. says

    As I understand it, you may have slightly increased your long-term chances of kidney disease, in the same way that if you had decided to spend the last week, say smoking 4-5 cigars a day you’d slightly increase your chances of certain types of cancer. That’s the acetominophen. Any problems with alcohol+codeine will pretty much show up immediately; the two effects combine synergistically and make you more impaired than either would alone. There can be worse effects, but once again they’d show up pretty much immediately.

  163. says

    Orange Coca Cola is a thing that exists, apparently. Had some at Five Guys today. I’m not sure what I think about it. It’s not instantly repulsive, but it’s a little odd.

  164. says

    Got the tablet charged up and reading “The Fault In Our Stars”.

    At first, I was thinking “How do people like this book? These characters are annoying and pretentious and trying way too damn hard”. Then I remembered what actual teenagers are like, and realized that John Green clearly does as well.

    Then the ramping of of “This book is about kids with terminal cancer” was timed *perfectly*, just as I allowed myself to connect to Hazel.

    I’m expecting an emotional roller coaster later on, also(at the start of Chapter 7) to find the book worthy of the praise and myself in line on opening night for the movie.

    Losing my friend RJ to liver cancer when we were 17 has made Monopoly(I’ve played it once since playing with him, and it was too difficult to play again) and The Lion King(his favorite movie) very difficult things for me. I’m 36 now. I don’t expect this to be an easy book to read. But so far, once I remembered what teenagers are like, it’s amazing. Sometimes the most worthwhile things can be profoundly uncomfortable.

  165. Portia says

    Hi Lounge.

    *bighugs* for yubal. I’m so sorry to hear that.

    I’m irretrievably ‘rupt.

    I’m drinking a large bottle of wine, and thinking about being social. I missed y’all. How is everybody?

  166. chigau (違う) says

    Hi Portia
    I’m fine.
    I have rum.
    This weekend is a long one in Canada and traditional (in some regions) for
    **Planting The Garden**
    So that is on the list.

  167. chigau (違う) says

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I’m just …
    I don’t know…

  168. cicely says

    *waving back* at bluentx.
    How’s it goin’?
    The Carlsbad/Camp Pendleton fires have my attention, ’cause that’s the area where I grew most of the way up. My info tends to lag, though.
    Good to hear that your sister and BiL are safe.

    I can’t get into the Harry Dresden or the Garrett, P.I. books. Not sure why; they come enthusiastically recommended by people who know my tastes in reading material. Just…no interest.
    I’ll take Bob Howard over either of them, any day of the week.

    *hugs, or other, non-intrusive gestures of sympathy and support* for yubal.
    I’m sorry about your friend.
    Fuck cancer.

    *waving* at Portia.
    I’m doin’ okay. You?

  169. Portia says

    Anne D:

    Neat pictures!

    I’m….not okay, but not dangerously unokay, y’know? Processing break up feelings, but starting new creative pursuits I’m really excited about :)

  170. says


    Scrolled past you at first, but yeah… chiming in with the others. Fuck cancer. Liver cancer took a friend when we were 17, brain cancer a cousin a few years later, and I’m constantly thankful that when my grandmother had breast cancer I was too young to understand further than “grandma got sick, grandma went to the hospital, grandma got better”.

  171. cicely says

    *hug* for Portia. New creative pursuits are a Good Thing.
    So is the resumption of old creative pursuits; I’ve finished a project I had to put aside, half-finished, about 5 years ago (my left thumb decided it wasn’t gonna hold onto small wooden objects while I painted them, any more), and a friend has asked me to paint a sewing box for his wife—also my friend—for their anniversary. Lucky thing I’ve been able to get some practice in!

  172. Portia says


    That sounds very cool :) I’ve got a combo of old and new going on, come to think of it :)

  173. chigau (違う) says

    I’ve been reading but not commenting, much.
    But I have rum, hugs and fire.

  174. cicely says

    I’m gonna make off with one of those *hugs*, chigau, if you don’t mind. Oh, yes, and some of the *rum*, as well. I offer in exchange *mint chocolates* and/or *dark chocolate peanut M&Ms*.

    WMDKitty, have you smoked snorted consumed all of the catnip? At once??

  175. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …so, it turns out recently published an article which is kind of hackwork to start with, but contains a shitload of lies about DDT and the banning thereof. I posted a comment, but I wonder if anyone else wants to weigh in….

  176. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Hmm. Anyone know anything about growing chervil?

  177. says

    Good morning

    The kids would certainly enjoy a funfair, me not so much ;)
    We’ll see what we get done. We have 2 weeks and some days will be dedicated to not doing shit at all. What we definitely want to visit is the zoo, the aquarium and the Dalí museum, because #1 paints like a young goddess anyway (she’s really good. at her not yet 7 years she can draw characters who move, characters who stand in realistic positions, characters who have facial expressions, scenes with a perspective) and I think that Dalí’s art is easily accessible for kids.

    *nomnomnom*7Went to favourite Greek restaurant last night. I thought the kids might explode afterwards because they ate and ate and ate…

  178. blf says

    Anyone know anything about growing chervil?

    I first read that as “… growing cheval“, which surprised since about the last thing we need are any more horses. Also, I didn’t think those four-legged buggers where grown on plants, I though they were some sort of an oversized virus, albeit I’m unawares of any vaccine to protect you from them.

  179. blf says

    You know you’re eccentric when you can make a bartender laugh.

    Especially if you can do it without saying anything !

  180. rq says

    Ah, the glorious life of Latvian CSI: investigating the Missing Cellar-ful of Potatoes. (Submitted evidence: swabs from the lids of jars of preserves. … Because the pickles needed a taste-test to see if they were good enough?)
    [/true story]

  181. blf says

    … investigating the Missing Cellar-ful of Potatoes.

    Why? I mean, consider the alternative: Actually Finding a Cellar-ful of Potatoes.

    Admittedly, if you then slammed the door closed quickly, and buried the entire county country continent under several kiliometres of concrete, with glaciers on top, then you might have time to escape to orbit to commence the nuking option…

  182. rq says

    And thus destroy the Sacred Latvian Rite of Potato? Nuh-uh. Don’t think so.

  183. birgerjohansson says

    I can recommend the SF novel “The first fifteen lives of Harry”.
    For some people, you die, only to come back as yourself. But you retain the memory of your previous lives.
    It is like that TV show, but on a grander scale, not just 24 hours of getting things right, but a whole lifetime.
    Well written and the author knows his physics and medicine. Much recommended.
    I don’t know if it is on sale west of the Atlantic yet, but it ought to be.

    — — — — — — — — — — —
    This week an 81-year old local from Västerbotten county erected a bona fide rhunesone in memory of his dead wife. He had help from local historians and archaeologists to get the details right.

    — — — — —
    ““they are running the multiverses.” … In the charging documents, Baptist said he was a reincarnation of King Tut and Jesus Christ and lives in a world of multiverses where bad things happen to people, and they disappear because they are not real. … ”

    We have the next Religious Right talk show host!

  184. birgerjohansson says

    “the Sacred Latvian Rite of Potato?”

    A Brit stereotype is that Irland is all about potatos (plural of potatoe, to quote VP Qail).
    I am glad to see other countries uphold the noble tradition of honoring potatos. They got very popular in 18 century Sweden when people learned how to distill hooch from them.

  185. blf says

    Sacred Latvian Rite of Potato

    Latvian Ultra Cricket: Bowelling —lobbing, actually — potota(e)s at people dressed in gridiron armour dancing the haka whilst putting on make-up who then strike — er, mash — the potato(e) for six (a “home-run”…). The fielder’s are there to catch the bits of mashed potato(e) before they hit the ground, cover them in butter, chives, and cheese, and eat them, all before any bits of portato(e) fly over the boundary (“outfield wall”) and into the open mouths of the hungry spectators (“fans”).

  186. rq says

    That’s if we have time to boil them beforehand. If not, then the raw bits get scraped off the ground (pre-herbed-and-flavoured, dontcha know!) and boiled into a lovely potato porridge, to be shared out communally during the after-party!

  187. rq says

    Okay, and that comment, in conjunction with some of the comments on the The Horror! thread that just went up, just… yeah. :)

  188. says

    Actually, all the traditional dishes around here are based on potatoes as well, even some cakes…

    Uahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I’m getting a “new” sewing machine.
    My father in law’s borther’s “ex”*-wife died this week after a short and hopeless battle against leukemia. Now her household is in the process of “let’s see who can use something before we throw the rest away”, so my dad in law said to me “I’ll get you the sewing machine if you want it. It’s a Bamina or something like that”
    I said: “Uhm, you mean “Bernina”, right?” “Yeah, you know that brand?”
    In case you don’t know that brand either, I always thought that if you’re good in life you get a Bernina as a reward in Heaven.
    And I’ll totally not feel bad about getting that machine because I would wish for my stuff to be used by somebody who likes and values it.

    *They kind of split up about 10 years ago. They lived their seperate lives but still cared for each other, never got divorced or anything

  189. blf says

    Apologies for the world-side shortage of possessive apostrophes. (Bloody Latvin‘s…)

  190. Portia says

    Thanks, friend, good to see you too. *hugs!*

    How cool that you get that machine – as, like you said, you will uniquely appreciate and utilize it.

  191. blf says

    Actually, all the traditional dishes around here are based on potatoes as well, even some cakes…

    Potato(e)s were unknown outside Latin / South America until (and probably a bit after) that Columbus eejit…

    “Traditional” — outside of that general locality — and “potato(e)(s)” may be a bit of a misnomer…

    (Rather like “Hungarian” and “Paprika”…)

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

    Good to see you ’round these parts again Portia.

    I’m sorry you’re hurting. I know it’s pretty meaningless and probably not at all helpful, but I think you’re a pretty outstanding human being.

    Potatoes unfried are a crime against tastebuds.

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

    Weekend with the colleagues was an absolute success. I shouldn’t have worried.

    I had fun, possibly drank a bit too much but not embarrassingly too much, found out I’m the absolute champion in charades, made barbecue in near-dark and realized that not having played bocce before now was a shameful shortcoming in my experiences.

  194. blf says

    I’m the absolute champion in charades

    I first read that as “I’m the absolute champignons in charades”, which caused me to wonder why your were pretending to be, rather than simply eating, MUSHROOMS!

    Admittedly, mining, or even miming, MUSHROOMS! is easy. Usually — the traditional approach — is simply to apply make-up. And a heavy dose of eye-rolling snark.

  195. opposablethumbs says

    It’s good to see you Portia, and I hope you’re OK. Yay to Beatrice for a great weekend that totally surpassed expectations, and also yay to Giliell‘s giving a prized possession the real appreciation and good use it deserves.

  196. rq says


    Actually, all the traditional dishes around here are based on potatoes as well, even some cakes

    Probably because turnips went out of style – potatoes being the hot new thing on the continent, ya know!
    (And yeah, tradition – when does it begin? The UK’s official food is supposedly curry… That’s traditional English fare now? People here don’t know how to live without potatoes. And bread, but mostly potatoes. Noodles? What’s a nooooodle?)

  197. rq says

    Yay for the weekend!! I’m so glad it all went well.
    Bocce, eh? Looks rather fun, actually. :)

  198. rq says

    Oooh! First thunderstorm warning of the season! I’m so excited!!!
    Now to park the car under the right tree………

    I’m taking a time-out for a bit. I’ll be accepting ice cream and cheesecake under that table over there.
    *covers small corner table with large blanket and crawls underneath*

  199. says

    No gay marriage in Missouri, but apparently we have gay divorce now. I’ve seen the occasional article where a couple is unable to divorce in one of the backwards states, it’s nice to see my current state is at least slightly less backward than some.

    Good job on the lawyer for finding a precedent he could use to get this moving. Got his client taken care of without big obstacles, and laid the groundwork for a few other couples to get it done.

    Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long for the other end of gay marriage to be fixed here.

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


    And we almost won! It was a matter of just one point.

    Take care, rq. Are you taking a time-out from the Lounge too or just from the meatworld? Sending some cheesecake

  201. Portia says

    It means quite a bit, thank you :)

    thanks, :) *hugs* good to see you

  202. rq says

    Timing out from meat-world with possibly less snark in the Lounge.
    I can, however, share this absolutely dee-vine strawberry-rhubarb cheesecake I just made. For best results, one should wait for tomorrow, but fuck that. Creamy, delicious cream cheese base with fresh local strawberries and rhubarb on top? Yeah. Anyone? Just ring the bell and I’ll pass some out from under the table.

  203. says

    The Guardian link to a collection of images demonstrating “the beauty of mathematics.”

    I like the “trefoil knot combining four parallel Möbius strips and a spiral tube running continuously round. Drawn freehand by Tom Holliday, inspired by M C Escher”

  204. says

    More than five centuries after Christopher Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria, was wrecked in the Caribbean, archaeological investigators think they may have discovered the vessel’s long-lost remains – lying at the bottom of the sea off the north coast of Haiti. It’s likely to be one of the world’s most important underwater archaeological discoveries. […]

    Independent news link.

    I don’t like the hyperbole “most important underwater archaeological” discovery, but I do think the story is interesting enough to follow.

  205. says

    Superb fairy wrens of Australia teach their chicks a musical password.

    Like a lot of birds, superb fairy wrens of Australia have a problem: Cuckoos lay their eggs in the fairy wrens’ nests. This is called brood parasitism, and it’s how cuckoos manage to have their baby birds raised well without any effort on their part. […]

    Superb fairy wrens have come up with another solution: Mama birds sing to their eggs. This incubation call teaches her babies a password. After they’ve hatched, the babies repeat that password as a begging call, and that tells mom to feed her children. The closer the begging call is to the incubation call, the more food the babies receive. This system works because incubating cuckoos fail to learn the password (scientists aren’t sure why, though). […]

  206. says

    Missouri’s Republican-dominated legislature manages to be even more condescending toward women:

    […] “This bill is a way to give a potential mother some additional time to think about this life-altering decision and to talk to family and friends who can help provide support during what is undoubtedly a difficult and emotional time,” said Elmer, (R-Nixa). “This bill is really an effort to balance the rights of the mother with the rights of the unborn child. We are not denying the mother her rights, but simply asking her to give more thought before making a decision that she may later regret.” […]

  207. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    re 266:

    Deciding to join the Army was a life altering decision. Proposing to protoWife was a life altering decision. Buying a house was a life altering decision. Joining the National Park Service was a life altering decision. Reproducing with Wife was a life altering decision. Changing my major from mathematics/computer engineering to history was a life altering decision. Drinking a Cherry Coke is a potentially life altering decision. As is having a nice Schimmelpenninck cigar. Every single decision I have ever made has altered my life in some way. Hell, deciding to push a fart, risking a shart, is a life altering decision (or, at the very least, underwear altering decision). And that would be a decision I would regret. All twelve of my knee surgeries have altered my life — for the better. Why am I, a white man, allowed to make life altering decisions on my own, but women need laws to make them think about a decision?

    Oh. Right. To the radical right, women are emotional children who should also be legal children.

  208. cicely says

    Beatrice, I’m glad that your worrisome weekend worked out well.

    Actually, all the traditional dishes around here are based on potatoes as well, even some cakes

    Probably because turnips went out of style – potatoes being the hot new thing on the continent, ya know!

    Plus, of course, it helps that potatoes, unlike turnips, do not taste relentlessly of the dirt in which they are spawned. Oh, it can be somewhat reduced by the addition of a very great deal of cheese…but what a criminal mistreatment of innocent cheese!

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


    Back after a hiatus.

  210. says

    Just reviewed my LiveJournal for any posts I might want to copy over to my current blog.

    And holy crap was I an idiot 10 years ago.

  211. says

    Oggie! I have results for you! LINK

    You’ll have to be patient when the page loads for the search settings to kick in. Brandwise, I recommend avoiding HP, I’ve had shit luck with them. The Dells, Asus’ and Acers should treat you fine. There should be about 40 PCs in your price range, all of which have a Pentium i3 or better for the processor.

    Remember the hierarchy for processor speed is i3<i5<i7, but price goes up correspondingly. The first one comes up with a i3-3240 which is last years chipset (so still fairly new) for point of reference.

    Most the PCs at that link have good hard drive space, and decent RAM. In my opinion, a bit more RAM and a slightly slower processor is a good trade off.

    Also, all the ones at that link are sold direct by NewEgg. I've had good experiences with them in the past, but when you go to the "marketplace" it's like ebay. No way to know what you're actually getting.

    I hope this was helpful!!


    Portia *pouncehugs* I love DC. Did I tell you we both got the jobs?!

  212. Portia says


    And holy crap was I an idiot 10 years ago

    I know that feel. Of course, I was a teenager ten years ago haha. But still. For me, it’s 5 years ago. : /

    No you didn’t tell me yet, I’m so so so excited for you both. What wonderful news! I’m so glad you like living there, to boot!:D
    My BFF lives in Silver Springs, so I need to make a visit out sometime. :D

  213. Portia says

    AND there’s another Hordeling that I would love to see who lives in the area. Of course, that’s just that I know of. If anybody else lives out there too, I would love to meet up if I make it out there ^_^

  214. says

    ‘Rupt, I know. I’ve read them all, since I get the posts as emails, but… well… this:

    This is the most stressful couple of days I’ve had since I called off my first engagement a week before my wedding. (Trust me, it was for the best, even if it didn’t seem that way for her at the time.)

    That OCPD I mentioned last week/early this week was my brother-in-law (wife’s sister’s hubby). I know all mental illnesses are horrible, but this is a horrible mental illness. Manifests as hoarding, extreme thriftiness and extreme controlling behavior, and the person doesn’t see their behavior as wrong. They have two young kids, 3 and 4.5 months. My SIL staged an intervention to get him to realize they couldn’t go on the way they had been, and it wasn’t terrible until she told him she was taking the kids away for a couple weeks because they can’t live in the house until it is cleaned.

    Yeah, so I am home with my kids, ’cause of course someone has to watch them, and my wife is away helping her sister. And there’s really no way this intervention can go well (he learns he needs to go into therapy AND that his kids are being taken away until he gets some help), and I think I am going to hear from my wife in a couple hours and I don’t. And I don’t after a few hours. And I don’t hear anything after several hours. I spend an afternoon unable to concentrate on anything, unable to relax, and with a stomach that is tying itself in tighter knots.

    Ray of Light == My wife’s phone call. It went badly, but somehow worked out a little. Or enough, anyway. Kids safe, SIL safe, wife safe. We had great help from folks my wife, and then me, met on a mailing list of all places. Um, better explanation, my wife knew these folks from a mailing list, and then I got to know them because they had gatherings. I crashed last night. I thought I’d be awake later, but I just slid right into exhaustion.

    We still have a couple more days, at least, trying to sort out what happens next, but safety seems to have been stabilized. Now the law (Portia, family law? – IIRC) needs to be involved, because there are three states involved. My wife, being an attorney in her own right, has researched the applicable laws, and she has partners in her own firm who have researched the applicable laws, and the SIL has her own attorney, and they have a plan.

    But I haven’t seen my wife (except for a Facebook Skype session tonight) since Thursday, and my kids haven’t seen their mother since Thursday night, so it’s still stressful. And our dog, who lives for my wife, has been utterly and totally confused for three days.

    Yes, I have elided a lot because it isn’t my story to tell. But it hurts, because my BIL has in all other ways been a great guy, fun to be around, obviously cares about his family and I know this had to devastate him, but I also know that things could not go on the way they had been — it was a bad situation.

    So, yeah…. there’s my last week. Or my last few weeks, since the situation has been building for awhile. Thanks for listening.

  215. chigau (違う) says

    ajb47 #279
    and I’m unhappy because my lilacs aren’t blooming
    have some *hugs*

  216. says

    chigau @280

    This may not be where you were going, but I thought I had read somewhere that lilacs don’t bloom the same every year? They have years that are better than others. I may be misremembering.

  217. chigau (違う) says

    ajb47 #281
    I was just going where my ‘problems’ are less problematic.

  218. rq says

    Scarlatina is in the house, people! This should be fun. :/
    Also, the lilacs here are bursting at the seams, in all lilac colours. Started end of last week, and still going strong. Do you think they USB, chigau?

    And I hope the worst of it passes soon and safely for everyone involved, so that your wife can come home sooner.

  219. rq says

    Wait… There’s a tornado warning out? For Latvia?

    It’s not even 10AM yet. What’s next?

  220. says

    It’s a bad situation, but I’m glad your wife and SIL took steps. One thing I needed to learn the hard and painful way is that you cannot help somebody with any medical issue unless they want help and change to happen. This is double hard when it’s mental health. The only thing you can do is to get yourself to dry ground and you’re not a bad person for doing so.

    Stay safe

    yay for great weekend!

    *hugs* You’re awesome.

    Good to see you!

    Well, we will have another trip to the doc tomorrow with the little one because the surgeon wasn’t in the house. If this happens again tomorrow I might just break down in tears there. I know, I’m whining because we have healthcare and so far our only expenses were fries at McDonalds and some Filly horses after the visits, but I’m slowly at the end of my thether and time.
    Did I mention that I have to take #1 to college with me today because school and daycare are closed and my MIL has surgery herself today?

  221. opposablethumbs says

    esteleth, it’s good to see you!
    ajb47 wishing your in-laws all the least-bad-possible outcomes to this difficult situation. And hoping you and the kids and the dog get to have your OH/their mum/the boss come home soon. This must be pretty damn hard on everybody :-(
    Rawnaeris, I missed the good news earlier – congrats and hope it continues to be great!
    No lilac here. But please, please cross all your tentacles it doesn’t rain for us on the 25th, because it’s our long-delayed turn to have the neighbours round for food and wine and fire in the garden (well I say “garden”; what I mean is “patch of earth, and if it rains it’ll be patch of mud”). And I’m really nervous about it. Because it’s always been great when they’ve done it and invited us. So we are bound to screw up, also we are probably going to screw up.
    We made candle-holders out of old flan-pots and bits of wire and hung them in front of all the scraps of mirror that there are hidden amongst the ivy (the only things that grow in our patch of mud are ivy and weeds and one big clump of bamboo and about half-a dozen plants in tubs). Also we found this enormous 80s-style red translucent plastic lampshade by the skip at the bottom of the path, and we turned it upside-down and drilled holes round the edge and got a nylon cord over a branch of the big tree and now we have a big red 80’s-style multiple-candle-holder hanging high up in the air in the middle of the patch of mud, floating on invisible string, and it looks totally daft and I really like it. And that won’t work if it rains …..

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

    That’s a terrible situation to be in, but I’m glad your wife, SIL and her kids are okay. And I hope that, with time, things will improve.

    Yay, good to see you! :)

    Exams start tomorrow. On the one hand, I should be frantically cramming. On the other hand, I’m commenting in the [Lounge] and feeling very calm and not-at-all motivated to revise. Not cool, self. (Also in the not-cool pile: the engineering dept scheduling my year’s exams so that in 8 exam-days, I have all 8 of my exams. With *one* day on which there are no exams, because they put 2 the day before.)

  223. opposablethumbs says

    rq, please do not get caught up in a tornado. While it would be lovely to hear that you are flying to the UK, I would not want to hear that you were doing this sans plane.

  224. rq says

    I’m wondering about those weather warnings, because it’s sunny and so bloody hot… Which I suppose is the danger, considering there’s a cold front coming up from Ukraine (thanks, guys!). Or something. It’s just weird, we usually don’t even get tornado mentions, much less warnings, so I have absolutely no idea what I should be worried about in terms of signs of imminent tornadoage. Some cloud cover, probably (currently absent).
    And the doctor said it’s not scarlatina, which is good, because all the warning signs that were there yesterday, were gone today, which means Middle Child is just being virusy.

    haha, Yes, I’d rather take the plane, too. I’m so on the fence about those tickets, because yeah, Canada, but it’s a decent rate, plus I just want to go again, but the thing is I wouldn’t mind taking Husband with me this time, but then it’s twice the price and that’s getting a bit much…
    Then again, it’s probably not the last seat sale ever, right? haha, So maybe sometime late autumn again, or next spring, depending on what expenses the house and car decide to surprise us with.
    Anyway, your little patch of dirt (mud? hopefully not!!!) sounds lovely, I love the idea of candles near mirrors, and the red 80s style candle-shade sounds amazing. Just the right kind of thing to look totally weird and daft yet totally cool and original and artistic, and can serve as a conversation topic, if all else fails!
    I’ll hold some thumbs for no rain for you on the 25th.

  225. bassmike says

    Hi all!

    It’s another lovely day here.

    Took my daughter to the hospital on Friday for a check up following her two bouts of pneumonia. The only thing they could suggest was that she have a booster to one of her jabs as some of her anybodies are a little low. Otherwise she’s fine, which is a relief.

    I hope everyone is as well as they can be.

  226. says


    because it’s our long-delayed turn to have the neighbours round for food and wine and fire in the garden (well I say “garden”; what I mean is “patch of earth, and if it rains it’ll be patch of mud”). And I’m really nervous about it. Because it’s always been great when they’ve done it and invited us. So we are bound to screw up, also we are probably going to screw up.

    If the food is edible and the wine is drinkable, no one will remember any other problems. Your guests will be too busy socializing with each other (and with you) to notice a lot of things. Is it a sit-down or more like appetizers/hors d’oeuvres?


    Here’s hoping the tornado watch passes uneventfully.


    Yay for daughter!

  227. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    I’ll keep your information in mind (actually looking for a laptop, not a desk top). One that I saw on Amazon was a nice HP which included both Win7 and 8 installation disks. HPs are not the machines they used to be?

  228. Portia says

    I hope the intervention has a good effect in the long run. *hugs*

    Thanks:) *hugs* for your rough day – hope your MiL is okay and you make it through this rough patch unscathed.

    Missed your hello earlier:) Hiya

    I’m having my first outdoor dinner party next week too! What’s your menu?

  229. says

    Oggie, botheration, I could have sworn I read you say desktop at some point.

    No, HP is not what they used to be. Neither is Dell for that matter, but I’ve had much worse luck with HP. Another brand to avoid at all costs is Gateway.

    If you are looking at Windows 8 *at all* save yourself the heartache and spend the money to get a touchscreen.

    I personally love Toshiba laptops. I’ve got one that is 8 years old and still runs fine.

    Also with laptops *make sure* you get the iwhatever processor. Cintrinos and Atoms are shit.

  230. opposablethumbs says

    bassmike, very glad to hear that daughter has passed her MOT and been released into your custody with no recall for further upgrades or remodelling ;-)

    Hope you all get to enjoy some sunshine! (It’s sunny! In England! For more than 10 consecutive minutes! What is going on?!?!?)
    Thank you for the encouragement, rq and ajb47 :-) It will just be about a dozen people altogether, so only a few of us, as one of the households we would otherwise have had coming round are away that weekend. I expect we can manage something to eat – it’s not a sit-down meal, just plenty of wine and beer and home-made pizza and assorted bits and pieces, we probably won’t even need knives and forks or plates at all (unless we decide to have salads). Proper home-made, though, starting with flour and yeast and water, I mean. One of the pizzas will be vegetarian (involving much spinach!) to make sure there is plenty for the one vegetarian neighbour. The dog will dress for the occasion (she is a nervous-of-anyone-but-family dog that we got from a rescue centre, having been originally abandoned on the street, so she will have to wear a muzzle for the evening, but you can feed her titbits through the muzzle so it’s ok, and she will probably sulk a bit and then go and lie down somewhere. It’s just in case she spooks at anything, which she does have a definite habit of doing sometimes at completely unpredictable intervals).

    OMFSM OMFSM OMFSM SonSpawn will have started and finished his final school exams in one month from now. (A levels: that’s secondary school, not uni, to all you heathen folk ;-) ). I can’t believe he’s almost finished school, how is this even possible …

  231. rq says

    You win for cutest typo today: “some of her anybodies are a little low”. :D

    *hugs* for Giliell, sorry I skipped that earlier, hopefully your day has been going well.

  232. says

    Thanks opposablethumbs, *blush* we actually started 6 months ago, it had just been so hectic, that I kinda forgot to tell ya’ll. Portia, you deserve a special apology here since you were helping us with stuff.
    rq, stay safe, pay attention to the warnings and if they say to take shelter, get to an interior room or bathroom.

    ***hugs refill for teh pile***

  233. bassmike says

    rq Tpyos would be my god if I had one! You know, I reread my post to check it and still missed the mistake. *sigh* you all got the idea anyway.:-P

    Opposablethumbs I hope the meal goes well. I always get nervous about those kind of social gatherings. They sound like such a good idea when you agree to them, but as it gets closer I worry about having enough food, plates and drink etc.

  234. says

    So, looks like I’m getting at least a temporary flatmate. On Friday, while I was volunteering, my friend Craig texted me a single word: “Evicted.”

    I knew he’d been facing down some of the same problems I’ve had: underemployed and low on cash, he’d had to make payment arrangements to keep his rent in order, and then failed to keep the arrangements. When people tell you Canada’s a socialist paradise, they’re not talking about our welfare system, because it’s shit. Locally, the payment is $626/month, all-in. That’s supposed to cover food, rent, transport, and anything else.

    The cheapest bachelor flat you can get in this town is about $500/month, in a shithole slum with a sleazebag pimp for a landlord.

    So yeah. Not so much with the “enough to realistically live on for a human being”.

    Anyway, what could I do? I hadn’t really much choice but to offer him my office/spare bedroom. The place is going to look like an incipient hoarder intervention, with my stuff and his stuff in it (we’re both gamers and readers, and collectors of both media), but I can’t let him be homeless.

    What annoys, on some level, is knowing that we have other friends, mutual friends, who, for instance, own three-bedroom houses in which they live alone…but who didn’t offer, even temporarily, to keep Craig off the street.

    Me, I looked down into Mount Doom once myself, on March 25th no less, and was able to pull back. Couldn’t let my friend hang over that hole without throwing a rope, could I?

    So yeah. Ima have a flatmate for a bit. Could be a bit of an experiment; if we can manage, we may look for a larger flat or a house later together. 3 or 4 bedrooms can be cheaper than 2 x 2-br.

    The good news is, we do get along quite well, and we’re both quite introverted and quiet, so I don’t anticipate any issues, and as a bonus, he has Rock Band instruments! So we’ll be able to play again finally. And my partner knows and likes him, and he her, so all is well there. We’re gonna be nuts-to-butts pretty much all the time – I have a 2-bedroom flat, with a small kitchen (about 2.5m square, one counter) and dining room (about 2.5m), a reasonable living room (6m x 2.5), two bedrooms (4 x 2.5 and 5 x 2.5), and a wee little bathroom.

    But we’ll manage. And no one’s going homeless.


  235. says


    Probably unnecessary advice here, but make sure there is one or more non-alcoholic beverages for those that don’t drink alcoholic beverages, or for those who have had enough (voluntarily or not).

  236. says

    Well, no news from MIL yet, but I’ll take that as “good news, FIL is probably picking her up right now”. And #1 was a total champ in college. She was on her best behaviour, reading and drawing quietly. For two times 90 minutes, which is loooooooooong when you’re 6 years old.

    I’m glad to hear that things are looking up for your family now

    Those are the moments when I’m slightly jealous of people with gardens.
    Well, Mr has popped the question (How do you feel about buying a house?), so maybe within the next few years I might be able to have garden parties as well.
    Just in case you or anybody else wants a nice summer salad recipe:

    Plum tomatoes
    Mozzarella balls
    Ready made pesto
    Just mix everthing, leave for a few hours

    Hope it works out well
    Before I moved together with Mr. I used to share a flat with one of my BFFs. She had a bedroom and an office (she’s a lawyer. Every time she had clients to see her we needed to quickly the the laundry rack out of the way) and I had a bedroom and we both had the kitchen. Worked out mostly fine.
    One thing that worked really well was that we had a box in the kitchen for receipts. Every time one of us bought something that was for both of us we would write our name on the receipt and mark the items we bought for the household. Once a month we would do the sums and get even. This might sound like Erbsenzählerei, but it saved us from a lot of grumbling and feeling used. Because sooner or later probably both feel like the other one is taking advantage.

  237. opposablethumbs says

    No worries, ajb47, it’s a good point – and in fact we’re usually the ones nipping back for juice (because SonSpawn prefers it and isn’t very keen on beer or wine (though we’d be fine with him having some if he wanted)).
    That reminds me, I might get some cider.
    We went to a DIY place today and got a tarp which we’re going to try to stretch between the fence and the tree in case it rains but not so much as to abandon ship.
    Thank you bassmike. I just worry! About everything!
    CaitieCat, you are a wonderful getaway driver. Your friend Craig is lucky to be your friend.

  238. opposablethumbs says

    Giliell I know we’re incredibly lucky to have access to a little bit of outside space, in the city (and considering we live on an upper floor!). It really is just bare earth, though – bare earth surrounded by ivy – as neither of us know one end of a plant from the other (ok, the fluffy end sticks up and the rounded end goes in the ground … but what if it’s a root ball and not a bulb, then they just look fluffy at both ends. Water? what water? 2000 gallons? Or none? There is no amount of water intermediate between 2000 gallons and none. The few times I’ve ever bought a plant, I ask (verbatim quote) for “something that will survive total neglect”. This is why we like flowering weeds; nothing else can cope). But actually I agree we are indeed very lucky.

  239. cicely says

    *hugs* and sympathy for ajb47.
    May normality soon be restored.

    I…didn’t realize that Latvia was zoned for tornados….

    I’m wondering about those weather warnings, because it’s sunny and so bloody hot… Which I suppose is the danger, considering there’s a cold front coming up from Ukraine (thanks, guys!).

    When a warm front and a cold front love each other very much, tornadoes may be born.
    Multiple births are common, right up to Litters of Unusual Size.

    It’s just weird, we usually don’t even get tornado mentions, much less warnings, so I have absolutely no idea what I should be worried about in terms of signs of imminent tornadoage.

    Apart from the danger of Rapidly Spinning Winds (and resultant possible Debris Falls), torrential downpours are extremely possible, and hail of wildly variable size.
    Did you not have these things in Canada?
    Oh, yes…and don’t discount the possibility of Straight-Line Winds of Great Speed and Damage Potential.

    *tentacles crossed* for opposablethumbs’ forthcoming Garden Party.
    *cue music*

    Best of luck, Sarahface, on those 8(!) exams.

    CaitieCat, your friend Craig is fortunate in at least one of his friendships.
    It’d be nice to have extra hands on the rope, but at least you are there for him.
    The slopes of Mt. Doom…nice way to put it. I may have to steal it, if Those Times come ’round again.

  240. says

    Thanks, Loungers. Mt Doom came because one of the things I did to keep marginally closer to functional while I was forced offline was A Lot of Reading. I re-read Tolkien, for instance. And I was struck by the coincidence that the date of my eviction hearing (March 25) was the same day Frodo failed on his great Ring-Dunk expedition (but fortunately, the hero of the story was able to save the day, at the cost of his own life *gollum*).

    Also, that patriarchy made a lot of the problems in the Silmarillion worse, and some of them wouldn’t have happened at all without it (i.e., Beren/Luthien – if Dad doesn’t own the daughter’s life, then he’s got no business demanding a Silmaril for her hand in marriage).

  241. says

    Sorry for the Salon link, but it’s been awhile since we had a nice hit of Matt Taibbi. Salon interviewed him about his new book The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap. Excerpts from the interview below:

    The book is really just about why some people go to jail and why some people don’t go to jail, and “the divide” is the term I came up with to describe this phenomenon we have where there are essentially two different criminal justice systems, one that works one way for people who are either very rich or working within the confines of a giant systemically important institution, and then one that works in another way for people who are without means. And that’s what the book is about.

    I made a conscious decision to start the book with the story of Abacus Federal Savings bank, which is this little bank in Chinatown. The people who run that bank were not poor. They weren’t even what you would typically classify as members of the victim class … But why was that bank prosecuted and why was Goldman Sachs or Chase not prosecuted? What I was trying to get at was, in this new reality, [legal authorities] consider it not feasible to go after companies of a certain size, and [Abacus] is how small you have to be now to be targeted … […]

    […] what begins as deregulation of Wall Street concludes, ultimately, in potentially non-enforcement of crime; and what begins as being “tougher” on welfare cheats in the ’90s, and being tougher on the whole process of giving out benefits, devolves into something pretty close to the criminalization of poverty itself […]

    It’s total moral surrender, and just like the torture issue, there’s the “How can you judge if you weren’t there?” idea. I mean, that takes away our ability to judge anything if that justification holds. That’s just crazy. […]

    they brought in all the people who had helped to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, who helped push through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. Not only did they create too-big-to-fail essentially through the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act but they … greatly accelerated the financialization of the economy with the total deregulation of the derivatives market. And these are the people you’re going to bring back to sit in judgment of what went on? They were the people who are screwing up to begin with — exactly the people you don’t want to have looking at this thing. […]

  242. says

    North Carolina conservative politicians want to make a crime to disclose fracking chemicals. Say what? Yes, indeed. Someone is in the pocket of the Big Money guys for sure.

    […] On Thursday, three Republican state senators introduced a bill that would slap a felony charge on individuals who disclosed confidential information about fracking chemicals. The bill, whose sponsors include a member of Republican party leadership, establishes procedures for fire chiefs and health care providers to obtain chemical information during emergencies. But as the trade publication Energywire noted Friday, individuals who leak information outside of emergency settings could be penalized with fines and several months in prison.

    “The felony provision is far stricter than most states’ provisions in terms of the penalty for violating trade secrets,” says Hannah Wiseman, a Florida State University assistant law professor who studies fracking regulations.

    The bill also allows companies that own the chemical information to require emergency responders to sign a confidentiality agreement. And it’s not clear what the penalty would be for a health care worker or fire chief who spoke about their experiences with chemical accidents to colleagues. […]

    Mother Jones link.

  243. says

    Yes, schools are slowly slipping back into integration. Schools were never fully desegregated after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, but at least some progress was made from 1954 to 1991. Now the picture is bleak.

    […] Today, the picture of American schools is far different than what the 1954 ruling seemed to portend. The UCLA report notes that Latino students are the most segregated in the country. In major and midsize cities, where housing discrimination historically separated neighborhoods along racial lines, black and Latino students are often almost entirely isolated from white and Asian students—about 12 percent of black and Latino students in major cities have any exposure to white students.

    Half of the students who attend 91 to 100 percent black and Latino schools (which make up 13 percent of all US public schools) are also in schools that are 90 percent low-income—a phenomenon known as “double segregation.” And the Northeast holds the special distinction of having more black children in intensely segregated schools (where school populations are 90 to 100 percent minority) in 2011 than it did in 1968. In New York state, for instance, 65 percent of black students attend schools that are intensely segregated, as do 57 percent of Latino students. […]

    Mother Jones link.

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

    Giliell, in case you respond in the other thread:

    I’m out for a couple of hours and I’ll rejoin the conversation later.
    Might do me and the conversation some good to cool down, since I’m not even close to calm right now.

  245. says

    Here’s another gun shot accident, person being irresponsible when handling a gun:

    A man accidentally shot himself in the leg at a Phoenix, Ariz. Wal-Mart store on Saturday, police told AZ Family.

    The man had a gun on his hip, and it accidentally fired, Phoenix police spokesperson Officer James Holmes said.

    The man’s injuries were not life-threatening, and nobody else was hurt, Holmes told AZ Family.

    Okay. Not reassuring.

  246. says

    The New Yorker recently published (May 26, 2014 issue) an article that details the growth of an anti-government militia on a U.S. Army base, which is a whole new level of irresponsibility when it comes to using guns.

    […] He spent thirty-two thousand dollars on fourteen guns, including high-powered rifles, and other military hardware. At Fort Stewart, he began boasting about conducting “active shooter situations”—scenarios in which a killer attacks in a confined area to maximize casualties. […]

    In his teens, he got involved in politics through the state’s Republican Committee chairwoman […]

    He met Deirdre Wetzke [his future wife] r there [at West Point} a few months later. Like Aguigui, she was one of seven children. Growing up in a cerebral and socially awkward Mormon family in the Midwest, she struggled to fit in. “Deirdre was my most difficult child,” her father said. “We didn’t have a good relationship when she was growing up, because there are certain things a teen-ager shouldn’t be doing. She always wanted people to like her, and that doesn’t always work.” To keep a close eye on Deirdre as she entered her teens, the Wetzkers homeschooled her. She refused to go to church, and her parents were distressed. Finally, the family agreed that it made sense for her to live with an uncle in Oregon. […]

    After Deirdre’s death, Aguigui began connecting with other disgruntled soldiers, targeting those who were in trouble or emotionally vulnerable. “I noticed that the vast majority of soldiers on extra duty have a deficiency of some sort,” Aguigui told me. He befriended Roark, a nineteen-year-old private who was waiting eagerly to be called to Iraq. When the call didn’t come, Roark complained to his father—“I want to go be a scout, and I’m stuck here washing dishes”—and began to collect demerits. He was disciplined for fighting and reckless driving, and at one point his handgun was confiscated. Aguigui treated Roark as his errand boy, giving him his debit card to pick up groceries, drugs, and guns.

    As Aguigui built a network, he made friends with a soldier named Michael Burnett, who was helping to fix the squad’s computers. Burnett was a striking presence: six feet six, handsome, and full of fiery ideas about overthrowing the government. […]

    My take: lots of relatively young guys with guns, and with multiple personal problems — all with less than optimal supervision and support.

  247. says

    Rightwing politicians are airing blatantly homophobic ads against their more liberal opponents (including opponents who are Republican, but are too “liberal.”) Shameful.

    A recent ad by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) attacks former Secretary of State Karen Handel, one of Gingrey’s opponents in the Republican Senate primary, for “youth pride that promotes teenage homosexuality.” […]

    “Georgians can send a true conservative to the Senate but will we condone Karen Handel’s vote for youth pride that supports homosexuality?” the narrator in the ad said. […]

    The ad then goes on to attack frontrunner David Perdue on Common Core and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) for “surrendering” on Obamacare. […]

    Scroll down to view the ad.

    In good news, it looks like Gingrey is going to lose the primary anyway — unless all the homophobes go to the polls and outvote the few “liberals” who vote in this midterm, pre-election primary.

  248. says

    Down-ballot strategies from the far rightwing:

    A Wall Street Journal story last week on a new set of PACs seeking to influence secretary of state races reported that the new conservative PAC, SOS for SOS, will be led by former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.

    “We are no longer going to let the left decide the size and dimensions of the playing field,” Blackwell told WSJ. […]

    Leading up to the 2004 elections, Blackwell became notorious for administering elections rules that made it a lot harder to vote. The most colorful of these was a last-minute regulation on the size and paper quality of printed voter registration cards.[…]

    To further monkey-wrench the process he was bound by law to safeguard, Blackwell cited an arcane elections regulation to make it harder to register new voters. In a now-infamous decree, Blackwell announced on September 7th — less than a month before the filing deadline — that election officials would process registration forms only if they were printed on eighty-pound unwaxed white paper stock, similar to a typical postcard. [Link: ]

  249. rq says

    Should I even ask…?
    (Swift recovery and *hugs*?)

    Thanks for that informative synopsis of tornado weather – and no, I didn’t live in a particularly tornado-prone zone in Canada, either (Ottawa Valley, yo). I remember one tornado that happened in Aylmer when I was… I forget, but it’s the only one I remember, because it went by about two streets from my very good friend.

    But yeah, no tornadoes. Probably some smaller ones out in the country (the ones that are more similar in size to water spouts – still dangerous, I know, but it’s no tornado), but nothing on the news except for constant warnings. Large hail somewhere to the south of us (I think Ukraine, again, actually…). Relatively high winds, but nothing particularly extraordinary.
    I like how my media source keeps emphasizing the fact that this information is from the new and experimental European weather watch station. (In case, you know, nothing happens…)

  250. says

    Yeah, tornado country in Ontario is more down my way, in the plains of the southwest, between Detroit and Buffalo. We’ll get a half-dozen that maybe reach F1, maybe an F2 now and then, with a decade or so between bigger ones. But it’s a big area, and it’s rare that any given area is under a watch more than a couple of times a summer (and once, recently, in winter).

  251. says

    Think Progress link.

    So, a police officer uses a taser on a homeless man, and what does he get? A promotion.

    A month after the U.S. Department of Justice issued a scathing report that found a spate of unconstitutional excessive force incidents by police in Albuquerque, N.M., the city police department promoted an officer embroiled in one such incident in which a homeless man was left disfigured by repeated Tasing. […]

  252. dianne says

    Threadrupt personal insertion…

    We just had a gas dryer installed in the basement. Suddenly, the basement smelled of gas. Called gas company, they came and turned off gas. Called repair person and she found a leak at the dryer and an old gas light line that was still connected to the main. In other words, there has been a gas leak in the house for (probably) over 100 years. I’m surprised the thing hasn’t gone boom any time between then and now. Maybe we shouldn’t have been so enthusiastic about adding insulation…

  253. cicely says

    rq and CaitieCat
    Ah, well; I’m hazy about meteorology as applied to Canada.


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

    *wanders in*

    I got out of class 43 minutes ago. I got home 10 minutes ago.

    *sips wine*

    Anyone want some?

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


    Horribly threadrupt, but I always like seeing your nym and cicely’s around. So I’ll just make myself at home and pour a glass for myself.

    Vidal-Fleury for me.

  256. rq says

    Anything goes for me at the moment. Sometimes I’m choosy, this is not one of those times.
    In more positive news, I found an old TA of mine. The one who was captured by gorillas guerillas in South America.
    I think ‘wild nights are my glory part 3’ is in the making.
    [/drowning in nostalgia]

  257. dianne says

    @Estheleth: I think I’m way past wine. Times like this I wish I lived in Amsterdam…

    The gas leak has been capped. We can now safely turn the gas back on…PGW expects to be able to come around to do that on Wednesday or so. Head, meet desk. Desk, head. Pleased to meet you. THUNK!

  258. rq says

    Glad you’re safe and that the house didn’t think to make fiery use of that gas leak. :/
    A small delay in turning the gas back on, I think, is worth not going up in a ball of flame. :) (I hope your head and desk get on well.)

  259. dianne says

    rq: Yeah, I really shouldn’t complain given what was avoided. And PGW came out to turn the gas off in a VERY timely manner, which was far more important. I really wish they had enough people to be able to turn the silly thing back on today, but this is all about inconvenience, not fiery death and destruction, so feel free to chalk this one up to first world problems…

  260. dianne says

    Incidentally, there was a gas explosion near my house not long ago. Everyone blamed PGW (a publicly owned company). It turned out to be PECO (a private company) ignoring problems until a fire started in an electrical conduit under the street, which eventually burned its way into the gas line and…boom. So I do have to say public company FTW, even if they are slow in the non-emergency stuff.

  261. rq says

    As crappy as it is for you right now, I’m glad they have their priorities straight! And maybe they’ll manage a bit earlier (like, Wednesday morning?). Good luck!

  262. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you for the crossed tentacles, cicely.

    Good luck for your exams, sarahface!

    Holy shit, dianne. Retrospective nervous prostration!?!?!?

  263. rq says

    There’s two frogs croaking in the rose garden (that long melodic *krrrrrrrrrrrrr*) with a backdrop of lightning across the river. Summer, is that you knocking at the door between seasons?

  264. David Marjanović says

    And there was light.

    And then the light created all the rest.

    It’s behind a paywall that even I can’t get around, but the abstract is fascinating. Hohlraum is German for “hollow space”, “cavity” – no idea why they resort to German here.

    Petition to Omar al-Bashir, strongman of Sudan, to prevent someone from being hanged for apostasy after receiving 100 lashes. Not that it matters, but the charge probably isn’t even true – the convict’s biological father, who apparently ran away instead of participating in his daughter’s education, is a Muslim, so the fact that her mother is a Christian was apparently ignored altogether. Oh, BTW, she’s 8 months pregnant (how many lashes would she even survive!?!) and has a child that is less than 2 years old. And she’s also convicted of adultery, because she married a Christian, which is legally null and void when Muslims do it in Sudan.

    The 1000 richest Britons are about 15 % richer than last year, and the Queen is only number 285 even though she’s 10 M£ richer than last year, according to this Sunday Times article which is mostly behind a paywall but reported on in this German article. The calculations count real estate, assets like racehorses or art, and shares in corporations, but not the bank accounts, which are of course unknown.

    Meanwhile… ah, just read this´for some perspective.

  265. David Marjanović says

    The acute accent (´) is right next to backspace on the German keyboard layout.

  266. says

    Recent spending on negative ads meant to demonize the Affordable Care Act has outpaced spending on positive ads 15 to 1. That may account for your Crazy Uncle’s negative opinion of Obamacare.


    The report, released Friday by nonpartisan analysts Kantar Media CMAG, estimates that $445 million was spent on political TV ads mentioning the law since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Spending on negative ads outpaced positive ones by more than 15 to 1. […]

    For years, there’s been a lingering question underscoring public attitudes on “Obamacare”: if the polls showed public demand for health care reform going into the reform fight; Democrats approved a moderate law built on bipartisan ideas; and polls show broad support for the law’s provisions, why does the public still disapprove of the Affordable Care Act?

    Perhaps because they’ve seen some of the 880,000 attack ads. […]

    I hate to break this to the right, which has literally and figuratively invested so much in this fight, but after outspending proponents 15 to 1, the ACA is holding up pretty well when it comes to public attitudes.

    […] When the right spends hundreds of millions of dollars to air misleading attack ads, desperately trying to convince Americans to hate health care reform, it’s going to have an effect. Indeed, most of the public won’t know better – they don’t follow politics closely; they’re not policy wonks; and they’ve been inundated with “You should hate Obamacare” messaging for more than four years. Clearly, this will turn a whole lot of folks against the law, even if these same people love the provisions of the law they claim to dislike.

    But as a long-term proposition, conservatives must realize at a certain level that time is no longer on their side. They threw everything they had at “Obamacare,” up to and including outspending their opponents 15 to 1, and the law is still in the low- to mid-40s and is still growing more popular. […]

  267. David Marjanović says

    Oh, the petition also goes to Kerry and Hague.

    This one goes to Indonesia’s president; it’s about not stripping protection from the area that “is home to the densest population of orangutans remaining anywhere in the world and is the only place where orangutans, tigers, elephants, rhinos and sun bears live in the same forest together.” Exploration for gold and copper is about to begin.

    And what does everyone think of this?

  268. says

    Sheesh. More rightwing failure-to-process-facts oozes out of Arizona.

    A Republican businessman running for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District has apologized for saying most mass shootings in the U.S. are committed by Democrats.

    Gary Kiehne made the remarks at a Republican primary debate Saturday in Florence, southeast of Phoenix. The eastern Arizona rancher said that “99 percent of (mass shootings) have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people.”

    On Monday, Kiehne issued a public apology and said his comments were inaccurate. He says he shouldn’t have made the remarks without any reservations.[…]

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

    Howdy, Crip Dyke.

    How’s the bag I made working out?

    (would anyone mind some TMI?)

  270. says

    A friend of mine since kindergarten lives in Portland with her wife, and has a kid on the way in a few months. This is just amazing news for them! They love pretty much everything else about Portland, and now their marriage fully counts.

    They’re talking about a second ceremony, though they don’t need one for legal purposes, having gotten married in Connecticut a couple years ago. But whatever works for them.

  271. Rob Grigjanis says

    David Marjanović @336:

    no idea why they resort to German here

    Historical reasons, I guess. German speakers, and German journals, dominated physics (and mathematics?) for a long time. Wasn’t that long ago that some physics grads in English-speaking countries would learn to read German (My office mate did this. That was in the 80s). Some other German (or German/English hybrids) in physics;


    I’m sure I’m missing some.

  272. says

    Not just physics. Germans dominated big chunks of biology for a long, long time, and chemistry — oh, man, but there was a time when it seemed like all of chemistry was German.

    I actually found my very rough reading knowledge of German wonderfully useful in grad school, when I was digging through those old seminal papers in developmental biology. It seemed like everything before about 1930 was in German (with a bit of Italian — a lot of famous work was done at Italian marine stations).

  273. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not just physics. Germans dominated big chunks of biology for a long, long time, and chemistry — oh, man, but there was a time when it seemed like all of chemistry was German.

    Which is why I had to take scientific German in college. Berichte and Beilstein….

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

    One of the most prestigious journals of chemistry is called Angewandte Chemie. Make of that what you will.

  275. Rob Grigjanis says

    Esteleth @348: In another thread, I referred to a paper written by famous Frenchperson Pierre-Simon Laplace, published in 1799. The journal was Allgemeine geographische Ephemeriden. One can run from the Germans, but one cannot hide.

  276. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    Answers in Genesis is coming here to Yakmanistan. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. Or crash the party.

  277. bluentx says

    Oh, dear! I just broke the ‘Stranger Danger’ rule: “Do not take candy…”. But… but… but it’s been an educational experience, Ma!

    Freight delivery truck driver handed me a candy bar. The picture on the package looks yummy but I had to hit Google translate to read the label. The only thing I could translate off the top of my head was: Polska S.A.[…] Warszawa. :)

    And here it is (except this packaging has a green background and says ‘orzechowe’ (peanut) instead of ‘classic’):

  278. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Answers in Genesis is coming here to Yakmanistan. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. Or crash the party.

    Turn the punch to wine :P

  279. says


    Could someone ask PZ or whoever should/could be asked about how the site update is going? Would be nice to have some news, even if that news is that there isn’t any.

    I can’t do this myself because when I click on the links in the sidebar at left it automatically activates the email application that I don’t use. Wish that could be fixed too.

  280. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Mmph. These beans needed another hour or so of cooking, I’m afraid… >.>

  281. birgerjohansson says

    Ha ha ha “Egypt’s military leaders unveil devices they claim can detect and cure Aids
    They should have used a theremin for sound effects during the demonstration of the sciency-looking device.
    I should find a Youtube clip of the demonstration, but I am at work.
    — — —

    (satire) American Medical Association Changes Stance On Self-Immolation,36055/

    — — —

    Daily Mash:“Every good thing that happens proves the Conservatives got it right”
    -THE heatwave, puppies and the poisoning of Game of Thrones tyrant Joffrey prove that austerity is working, the Tories have claimed.

  282. says

    Not just physics. Germans dominated big chunks of biology for a long, long time, and chemistry — oh, man, but there was a time when it seemed like all of chemistry was German.

    It’s one of the reasons why German has many German words in those areas where English often relied on the Latin and Greek ones.

    Well, another few hours spent in waiting rooms. The little one completely lost her patience and resorted to whining. I can’t blame her, but the problem is that this left everybody clueless as to the actual extend of her injury, which meant another set of x-rays. After she got some bandage back on and we left she started using the arm like normal again when she didn’t move it at all at the doc’s and complained as soon as anybody entered the room….
    I decided that college can do without me today. I have to go to work tonight and I can’t be on the run for 14+ hours without any decent break. Call me lazy if you want to…

  283. bassmike says

    Giliell You have my sympathies for your problems with the little one. I for one would never call you lazy! You can never be lazy if you have a small child.

  284. rq says

    Sympathies, but I’m glad her arm seems to be well.
    You deserve a break, I’m sure the college won’t disappear. :)

  285. says

    It’s been a bad day. Pain & blood, & now Mary noticed a cloudy discharge from the wound. So off I go to the doctor again.

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


    I’m not a doctor, but I am advising all my patients to listen to chigau.

  287. opposablethumbs says

    Wishing a break for Giliell and a (good as) new back for our rather well-liked Squidly Overlord. Get well, PZ.

  288. says

    I made my own mustard today. Just a basic one – brown mustard seeds, white vinegar, some water. Can’t try it until tomorrow, though. I’m thinking of making some with honey and some white wine vinegar. And I’m wondering if mincing up some basil, rosemary and thyme (since my herbs in the garden are doing well) and using balsamic vinegar might get me a spicy Italian mustard.

  289. brucegorton says

    Allow me to be the first to say bwahahahahahaha

    Apparently after a prophet said that there would be more traffic accidents in Swaziland, the local taxi and bus operators got together and agreed the problem was too many prophets.

    They want a 50% tax on church donations to try and limit their mushrooming numbers.

    They have also challenged one that has made a name for himself turning water into grape juice to turn water into petrol. A kombi doesn’t run on grape juice.

  290. carlie says

    Oh dear, PZ! Sending good thoughts and mental imagery of platelets your way. :(

  291. says

    Get better soon, PZed, and stay out of hospitals. They’re even better at growing scary bugs than you are at growing unscary fish.


    One fungus, two fungi
    Red fungi, blue fungi
    Wiggle, bounce, Azathoth
    Jump, shout, fly to Yuggoth!
    Then when all the stars are right
    Out we’ll go on the hills at night
    Down down we’ll call an Elder Race
    To filter through from far-off space
    All our dreams will be dark and hazy
    While slowly we all go quite crazy
    From briny deep comes Cthulhu’s wrath-
    Unless you hurry and take your bath!

    If you illustrate and sell it, I’ll take 20% gross, fair?

  292. says

    Conservative activist and rabid fool, D’Souza, has pled guilty (not to being a rabid fool, unfortunately):

    The nation’s campaign-finance laws aren’t exactly stringent. Thanks in large part to conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court, the system is woefully lax, making it difficult to actually run afoul of the law.

    But right-wing provocateur Dinesh D’Souza, best known for his activism and racially charged rhetoric, stood accused of breaking the law anyway. As Rachel reported in January, D’Souza was charged with using straw donors to make illegal third party donations to a candidate for Senate in 2012. According to prosecutors, D’Souza encouraged others to contribute to a candidate and then reimbursed those donors for the contributions – in effect, using others to exceed campaign-finance limits.

    After the charges were initially filed, D’Souza insisted he’d done nothing wrong. Today, D’Souza changed his mind. […]

    In a statement, D’Souza’s attorney said, “Mr. D’Souza agreed to accept responsibility for having urged two close associates to make contributions of $10,000 each to the unsuccessful 2012 Senate campaign of Wendy Long and then reimbursing them for their contributions.”

    It’s not yet clear what kind of criminal penalty, if any, the far-right personality will face as a result of his guilty plea. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 23. […]

  293. says

    This is a follow up to comment #380. I notice that none of D’Souza’s supporters have withdrawn their support. Many of these supporters are conservative politicians who used the charges against D’Souza to bring their Obama conspiracy theories to a boil.

    You know the drill, President Obama is using the White House and the Justice Department to harass conservatives like D’Souza. Alex Jones and The Drudge Report were particularly good at fanning the anti-Obama flames on D’Souza’s behalf.

    Rush Limbaugh and Fox News joined the party.

    Four U.S. senators demanded an explanation from FBI Director James Comey.

    Nobody is sorry. Nobody is saying they were wrong.

  294. blf says

    there has been a gas leak in the house for (probably) over 100 years. I’m surprised the thing hasn’t gone boom any time between then and now.

    Actually, it has. Regularly. Usually on Tuesdays. It’s such a regular and frequent occurrence all the parts have been numbered by now and are easily screwed back together.

  295. says

    As we all know, rightwing politicians and their supporters have been working very hard to restrict voting rights for segments of the population that are likely to vote for Democratic Party candidates. The Supreme Court helped them out by gutting the Voting Rights Act about a year ago.

    After the Supreme Court wounded the Voting Rights Act, a bipartisan group of lawmakers came up with a reform bill to heal the wounds. This sounds like a really good idea, but …

    The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and he sees no reason to hold a hearing one the proposed reform bill. Goodlatte claims that there is no evidence of voting discrimination, so, nope, not even a single hearing will be held. (Meanwhile, the NAACP provided the chairman with a report that confirms, in detail, discrimination at the polls and the ways in which voting rights have been abrogated. Maybe Goodlatte can’t read?)

    Goodlatte is backed up by the other conservatives in the House, like Eric Cantor, who promises to continue to hold “conversations” (as opposed to hearings and votes) on the proposed new law. Republicans think they can get away with this. They think they can keep some voting restrictions laws in place in crucial states until after the November midterm elections, by which time they hope to control both the House and Senate. Yep, they’ll keep a certain percentage of low-income people, blacks, working mothers, college students, Latinos, etc. from voting and they will be assured of bogus victories.

  296. blf says

    Someone stuffed into my snailmailbox an invitation to à partiar, « partager sans modération ! » with cheese!

    Either they are trying to attract the mildly deranged one herself, or are foolishly confident she won’t show up…

  297. says

    They’ve already got 19 children, but are now having trouble conceiving. What to do? Visit a fertility doctor of course. Today Show link.

    The “why” behind all this is God, of course.

    “We would love more children if God saw fit to give us more, I just want to make sure that I am ready to catch a baby if that would happen,” Michelle Duggar says as she goes to see Dr. Paul Wendel, an OB-GYN in Little Rock, Arkansas, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. […]

    Michelle Duggar’s most recent baby was born three months prematurely thanks to preeclampsia problems. She also recently had a miscarriage while trying to carry a 20th child.

    The Duggars eschew birth control, instead leaving the number of children they have “up to God.” “If I am in that season of life where we’re not able to have any more, then I’m fine, I ‘m happy with that,” Michelle says in the TLC clip. “But if there are things physically I need to know, that I need to do, healthwise just to be ready to catch a baby if God saw fit to give us one.”

    WTF is this “catch a baby” thing? Does god toss babies at Michelle Duggar?

  298. Nick Gotts says

    Get well soon, PZ.

    Back after a 2-week period without a home connection, so completely blogrupt. No disasters during the move to Edinburgh, which already feels more like home than Aberdeen ever did! A lot to sort out in the flat before we hand it over to son and friends in September, naturally, but we’ve made a good start.

  299. blf says

    An important reminder: When preparing steak-and-eggs, cowshorses are not the feathered critters who lay steaks, go onik onik, and are caught by spear-fishing. Failure to remember this may result in some cheese disappearing, random evilutionistas falling out of the sky in Edinburgh, and a snickering sound from inside the TARDIS which is becoming rather annoying…

  300. says

    @ chigau

    diby has been banned four times.

    Ahaaah…! I was gettin’ confused. For a moment I thought Diby =/= diby.

    @ PZ

    Get well. Or else! ( “else!” = a certain tardigrade of ill repute kikkin’ a gorilla’s ass. Not much could be worse than that.)

  301. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Gregory in Seattle

    Here’s the Wikipedia stuff I referenced on that other thread. Your community of editors may already have noticed this, I know.

    There’s a serious problem with medical articles. They are not written in an encyclopedic style. They (the ones I’ve seen, and it’s a decent sample) are written in the impenetrable style of actual medical textbooks. There are more Latin words than English. I’m a well-educated layman, but most of it is absolutely inaccessible, to me. If Wikipedia’s goal is to make information broadly available to the general public, the medical entries are an unqualified failure.

    It appears that those who write them are trying to demonstrate their knowledge of jargon, or their medical education, or to talk only to surgeons and doctors. Frankly, much of it looks like like flat out egotistic wankery. This style is worse than useless and completely at odds with an encyclopedia’s goal, it seems.

    Thanks for considering this.

  302. says

    @Josh #393 – That is one of the side effects of an open-source encyclopedia: with technical topics like medicine, the people knowledgeable enough to edit the article are far more used to writing journal papers than encyclopedia entries. I do what I can with what I know, but there is far, FAR too much for me to handle on my own.

    Probably the best way to approach this is to flag articles that are too jargony. This can be done by going to the article in question, clicking the “Edit” tab towards the top right, and adding this to the very top of the article:

    {{Technical|date=May 2014}}

    Don’t forget to click the “Save Page” button afterwards. Some articles are semi-protected, which means anonymous visitors are not allowed to edit them; you can usually get around this by going through the process of creating a free account. All flagged articles are listed on a special “Attention required” page, so editors who want to work on making articles more accessible know where they are needed. It may take a while before it gets work, but this is the best first step.

  303. says

    A tragic news story about someone getting hit by a train in a tunnel reminded me of something spectacularly stupid I did as a youngster.

    You see, a couple of friends and I sneaked into a train tunnel to steal HID lights. To grow cannabis. (At around 100+ watts they weren’t very useful, even. Except for seedlings or saplings.)

    There were three of us, a collapsible ladder, flashlights and a tool box.

    I never felt like we were in mortal danger, it was more like a big adventure. Even when a train was passing us by, we just ducked to the side of the tunnel and mostly worried about turning our lights off so no one would see us.

    And even after we exited the tunnel none of us even mentioned the very real chance of getting hit by a train, we were too busy planning on how to get away unseen. Carrying a ladder and a few industrial lamps.

    Hey, I never claimed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer. At least I don’t do shit like that any more.

  304. David Marjanović says

    It appears that those who write them are trying to demonstrate their knowledge of jargon, or their medical education, or to talk only to surgeons and doctors. Frankly, much of it looks like like flat out egotistic wankery.

    I have hardly read any articles on medicine, but if they’re like the math articles or the deeper sections of the physics articles I’ve seen ( = impenetrable to anyone who hasn’t studied at least half of that subject already), I don’t think there’s any social intention on the parts of the authors, like trying to show something about themselves: they’re actual publishing scientists in the field who write the way they’re used to. Not every good scientist is a good popularizer.

    I agree, of course, that that’s a problem. But it has deep roots in society that I could probably write about all night, so I’ll stop here unless you ask.

  305. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Thank you for the suggestions, Gregory. I’d have offered to help, but I wouldn’t know where to begin!

  306. David Marjanović says

    Heh. I just visited this thread without noticing that I wanted to come here anyway, for a completely different reason: to dump links! Two videos in German:

    Chocolate Putin in Napoleon pose, with a crown on his head, holding a bomb behind his back. Made and sold in large amounts in L’viv in western Ukraine.

    The EPP candidate for President of the Commission is Jean-Claude Juncker, the EPP being the European People’s Party, the fraction of the European Parliament consisting of MEPs from the conservative parties of the member states. The campaign for the election this Sunday, however, is conducted on the national level, by the national-level parties. So, the CDU (Germany’s conservative party: Christian-Democratic Union, Christlich-demokratische Union) puts Merkel’s loveliest smile on the billboards, even though Merkel isn’t running! – The social-democratic SPD does put the SPE candidate for Commision Prez, Martin Schulz, on its billboards, but that may be because Schulz is German. Juncker is a citizen of Luxembourg.

    I just heard that my own state of Pennsylvania has finally joined the equality bandwagon. Isn’t Jones the same judge that booted ID from public schools?

    *Jadehawk’s® Totally Biodegradable Confetti™*

    Yes. John E. Jones III, appointed by Captain Unelected, is the one who decided Kitzmiller v. Dover. Activist judge complaints in 3… 2… 1…

  307. David Marjanović says

    Not every good scientist is a good popularizer.

    Or rather… few scientists are good popularizers. Many could be if they took the time to try in earnest, but that’s discouraged by the system – hiring committees, tenure committees etc. expect us to publish or perish, many of us have grant proposals to write (a grant proposal is about as much work as a paper), we expect each other to peer-review each other’s manuscripts*, and then there’s usually teaching and/or department bureaucracy (which increases drastically as you’re promoted); popularizing isn’t rewarded, unless you write a bestselling book.

    That’s what I threatened to write about all night, in a nutshell. :-)

    * I just finished one review today, leaving two more manuscripts I’ve agreed to review. Granted, that’s an extreme case, there are several weeks per year where there aren’t any manuscripts on my list, and for most of the rest it’s just one, but it’s not so unusual as to be wholly irrelevant.

  308. says

    Bees collapsing all over the place — and now the mystery may have been solved:

    […] a new Harvard study fingers neonics as the key driver of colony collapse disorder. The experiment couldn’t have been simpler. Working with nearby beekeepers, Harvard researcher Chensheng Lu and his team treated 12 colonies with tiny levels of neonics and kept six control hives free of the popular chemicals. All 18 hives made it through summer without any apparent trouble. Come winter, though, the bees in six of the treated hives vanished, leaving behind empty colonies—the classic behavior of colony collapse disorder. None of the six control hives experienced a CCD-style disappearing act, although one did succumb to a common-to-bees gut pathogen called nosema. […]

    Lots more detail at the link.

  309. says

    Oh, fer fuck’s sake. Way to bolster gender stereotypes, Florida.

    Florida families have the option of sending their daughters to all-girl public schools, where girls get perfume for doing tasks correctly, and educators are taught that girls “struggle with abstract thinking,” “use relationships as weapons,” and prefer to read about “emotional agonies” over spaceship how-to books, according to a Title IX complaint filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union.

    The ACLU alleges that the Hillsborough County public school district—which includes Tampa, has more than 202,000 students and a $2.8 billion budget, and operates both single-sex classrooms in coed public schools and single-sex magnet schools—is implementing teaching methods that discriminate on the basis of sex. […]

    So what does the Hillsborough program look like? According to the complaint, “trainings relied heavily on stereotypical emotional differences between boys and girls,” such as the idea that “girls do not like to take risks and believe success is from hard work,” while boys “show love through aggression.” The complaint lists techniques employed in classrooms across the district: One teacher gave each girl a dab of perfume on her wrist for doing a task correctly, teachers comforted girls when they made a mistake, and teachers “spoke in a firmer and more authoritative and loud voice with the boys.” Boys were also instructed to do jumping jacks before math and were allowed to bring their electronics to school if they behaved. […]

  310. says

    Cliven Bundy in Alaska! Well, not exactly, but the mindset is eerily similar:

    A candidate for lieutenant governor in Alaska said recently he’d be willing to invade a federal wildlife refuge to expand oil and gas drilling, even if it led to a shootout, because “martyrdom goes a long way sometimes.”

    Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan (R) told a local Chamber of Commerce Wednesday that if he were leading the state, he’d fight for Alaska’s rights, including seizing land controlled by the federal government to develop oil production, radio station KRBD reported. Sullivan’s remarks were widely circulated on Tuesday.

    “One of the things I’ve suggested, too, is that if I was governor today, I’d probably invade ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge],” Sullivan said. “What are they going to do, shoot you? Well, they might. But martyrdom goes a long way sometimes.” […]

  311. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness aimed at New Zealand, anti-gay category:

    On Sunday, LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks delivered another strongly worded sermon on the essential role in society of “traditional marriage” uniting one man and one woman.

    But this time, the speech was directed at Mormons where same-sex marriage is now legal: New Zealand.

    Oaks condemned any definition of marriage outside of one man-one woman, saying, according to some of those who were present, that changes to civil law do not change the plan of God. […]

    It is a message that Oaks, a former Utah Supreme Court justice, has offered repeatedly in recent years as the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has battled gay marriage legislation across the United States. But this address came via satellite during a regional conference in New Zealand, which legalized same-sex marriage last year. […]

    “Perhaps he was cross with New Zealand Mormons,” Colvin writes, “for not caring about same-gender marriage as much as he obviously does.” […]

  312. says

    More news out of Florida that will make you despair for humankind, or least find Florida politicians to be hopeless cases:

    Common Core may not be a well-intentioned set of improved educational standards, as supporters would have you believe, but instead a trojan horse designed to turn every schoolchild in Florida, if not America, gay.

    This ominous warning came at an anti-Common Core event in March courtesy of Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant (R). Speaking at the “Operation Education Conference” in Orlando, Van Zant warned that officials implementing Common Core in Florida are “promoting as hard as they can any youth that is interested in the LGBT agenda.”

    Their aim, Van Zant warned, was to “attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.” He then apologized to the crowd for having to be the bearer of bad news. “I really hate to bring you that news,” the Florida Republican said, “but you need to know.”

    VAN ZANT: These people, that will now receive $220 million from the state of Florida unless this is stopped, will promote double-mindedness in state education and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can. I’m sorry to report that to you.

    Well, Charles Van Zant, I’m sorry that I viewed the video of you saying that. I lost a few more brain cells.

  313. says

    Ugh, ugh, ugh. Summary: wife has few if any rights, husband has many, husband gets most of the empathy that should have gone to the wife. Trigger warning for rape.

    David Wise was convicted of six felony counts for drugging his wife, raping her in her sleep, and videotaping the rapes. But he won’t spend a day in jail.

    Wise was sentenced by an Indiana county judge to eight years of home confinement, and the remaining 12 years of his 20-year sentence suspended. Prosecutors asked for 40 years in prison. His former wife, Mandy Boardman, called the sentence “unfathomable.” “I never thought that he would be at home, being able to have the same rights and privileges as I do,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

    Boardman recalled years in which there would be powder residue in her drink. She would wake up with a half-dissolved pill in her mouth. […] The rapes went on for more than three years unbeknownst to Boardman.

    Marion Superior Court Judge Kurt Eisgruber declined to explain his reasoning, particularly because Boardman is appealing the sentence. But he did ask Boardman to forgive Eisgruber during the sentencing hearing, saying, “I hope that you can forgive him one day, because he’s obviously struggled with this and struggled to this day, and I hope that she could forgive him.” He is running for re-election unopposed this November. […]

    Think Progress link.

  314. says

    A followup to my post @281 (stressful family issues)

    My wife is finally on her way home with SIL and the kids. BIL gave permission for a 2 week out of state trip for the kids so they didn’t have to wait for some kind of court order. SIL had meeting with her attorney today, but I haven’t heard what was discussed or what her plans are other than getting away for a couple weeks.

    I am just relieved I now know when my wife will be home. It was an unknown for several days, and it felt like they were one the run. From the cops, from the mob, pick your movie plot.

    Now I just have to worry if it is assumed that I will be the day care, which won’t be good for me because other people’s children… not scare me, exactly, but I never know how to act around them. I know how I want to bring my kids up, and I have this worry that I will screw up things other parents are doing with their kids.

    And as I am polishing this comment that I’ve been working on for half an hour, I get an email with Lynna’s Florida Common Core post and I have to wonder what “to become as homosexual as they possibly can” means?

  315. says

    I’m at home being completely unproductive (I need to get *something* done today). I have the radio playing in the background and suddenly I hear the radio host mention a new product: drinkable sunscreen.
    This was quite jarring, so I figured I’d check it out.
    The Guardian has something to say about The Mail’s reporting on this product.
    From The Mail ( *):

    The days of carrying bottles of suncream to the beach could be over, as the world’s first drinkable SPF is launched.
    Harmonised H20 UV claims to provide holidaymakers with up to factor 30 protection, meaning sunbathers could be able to soak up the rays for longer without fear of getting burned.
    Once ingested, the product’s liquid molecules vibrate on the skin, cancelling out 97 per cent of UVA and UVB rays, according to US company Osmosis Skincare.
    Dr Ben Johnson, who founded the company, adds in his blog: ‘If 2 mls are ingested an hour before sun exposure, the frequencies that have been imprinted on water will vibrate on your skin in such a way as to cancel approximately 97% of the UVA and UVB rays before they even hit your skin.
    ‘This results in coverage for approximately three hours.
    ‘This is similar to the amount of UV reflection created by SPF 30 titanium/zinc sunblocks but distinctly better than UVB chemical sunscreens which prevent certain damage that leads to the visible/painful/inflammation reaction we identify as sun damage.’

    *The Mail’s site contains something called I’ve never seen this before. The link says:

    Who uses donotlink?
    Skeptics, bloggers, journalists and friends on social media use donotlink to link to scams, pseudoscience, misinformation, alternative medicine, conspiracy theories, racist / sexist blog posts, etc. without improving the search engine position of the site they are discussing.


  316. says

    Tony @411 re donotlink

    Our Overlord has used it when posting a link to places like VD’s site, and wehuntedthemammoth, nee manboobz, uses it, too.

  317. says


    I notice because I habitually hover over links to see what they are/where they go before deciding to click on them. I get annoyed when the status bar isn’t on by default when a browser is first installed. When I see donotlink, it’s a good indication that it’s not a site I want to visit anyway.

  318. cicely says


    Lynna, that is a load of depressing news you bring.
    :( :( :(
    I believe I need to go play my Civ III game for a while, now.

  319. says

    That flouride guy is back at my blog, posting his ranting on a Pat Sajak post.

    Did a little digging to see how much of a nutter he is, and oh, a public facebook post making it clear he’s automated his comment spamming.

  320. Nick Gotts says


    Hope to see you then! If I ever knew what’s bringing you to Scotland this time, I’ve forgotten. Just coming for the festival? Taking part in it?

  321. says

    Do I Sound Gay:

    How they communicate with one another is perhaps the most striking, fundamental difference between humans and other species on this planet. Language is the brush with which humans paint the rolling landscape of their history, nervously sketch the dreams of their future, and cautiously detail every present interaction. The voice is arguably the primary tool utilized to enrich and communicate the human experience. For queers, especially youth, their voices are the first indication of difference and, often, marks them as targets for intolerance, violence, and exclusion. Paradoxically, one of the most interesting tales in queer history is one that is rarely told. As a sensitive topic, theorists, activists, and gays alike steer clear of discussion surrounding the ostensible differences between many queers and their heterosexual counterparts. The Documentary, “Do I Sound Gay?” by David Thorpe is one of the first attempts to break the silence surrounding this issue, directing attention toward the experience of having a “gay voice” and encouraging self-acceptance among gays.

    The kickstarter page lists several reasons why the documentary is focusing on what many call the “gay voice.” The page lists being self-conscious, bullying, the lack of discussion, the pressure to act “straight,” and empowerment among the top reasons why this documentary is incredibly important. The page is going to be active for another 26 days and needs about 80,000 more dollars to fund the project.

    David Thorpe interviews an eclectic mix of specialists on what it means to sound “gay”, as well as celebrities like Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, Don Lemon, Dan Savage, David Sedaris and George Takei on their experiences being or sounding gay.

    This could be interesting.
    I had issues with “sounding gay” years ago. It took some time to chip away at that bit of internalized homophobia.

  322. says

    I’m pretty good with other people’s children and one of my “tricks” is that I treat them as people. I find them generally interesting individuals who have something to say that is worth listening to and it generally works well. Those kids are having a pretty hard time right now (well, the babe probably not so much) and one of the totally magic sentences I found is “I understand that you’re sad/angry/frightened” It moves the issue from you being mean (because you insist that smaller kids are not to be tortured) to everybody being allies who are together in a situation where they have to deal with things beyond their control.

    Well, better day today
    I am productive!

  323. bassmike says

    Giliell productive is good.

    Nick glad to have you back here and settling nicely in Edinburgh.

    Josh haven’t seen you in the lounge for quite a while. Nice to see you here.

    A question to all parents: Do the shorter days of summer make a two year old sleep less? Is there any way to keep them asleep? Yes, I am having this problem, why do you ask?

  324. says

    The only thing I’ve found to work is that I insist that they go to bed at the usual time and then be quiet. Alternatively they can sleep in the larder so they won’t keep their sibling from sleeping. Maybe you could darken the room?

  325. bassmike says

    Giliell we’ve made the room as dark as is physically possible: we have a travel blackout blind attached to the window, a ‘normal’ blind pulled down over the window and blackout curtains! This is when I wish British houses had shutters like the rest of Europe has.

  326. opposablethumbs says

    I’m sorry, this is old old news but I hadn’t seen it before. UKIP impress me enormously (NOT) with this image in their old 2010 election leaflet:

    a man (no idea who he is) dressed to look like the stereotype of a Native American “chief” with the caption “He used to ignore immigration … now he lives on a reservation”
    (the image to which I refer is right at the bottom of the article)

    I cannot fucking believe how low they went with this.
    Appropriating the image of an oppressed minority; equating British whites with that oppressed minority; playing on xenophobia and economic fears to encourage bigotry against other oppressed minorities. Using a racist image to actively encourage racism by making racists feel like they are the victims of racism ….

    way to go, UKIP.

  327. rq says

    We had vague success with darkening the room, but the main idea was keep to the same bedtime, and if they don’t want to sleep right away, they can have a small light to read for a bit (limited time offer). After that, it’s creative-thinking time until they fall asleep.
    Sometimes, weather- and time- and [everything else]permitting, we’d make sure to run down their energy reserves outdoors (basically take them outside and keep them moving as much as possible, which they mostly do on their own anyway). This has also yielded mixed results in the past, though it does help with keeping them asleep slightly longer in the mornings / tail-end of the nap. Requires determination and dedication on the parents’ part, though.
    Also, I found that, for all of them and no matter the season, around 2 years their sleep patterns made some changes, so you may just be in for shorter sleeping times.
    Good luck, bassmike!

  328. rq says

    From everything I’ve seen and heard, opposablethumbs, UKIP is a terrible organization.

  329. rq says

    Oooookaaaay… Pre-EP election go-vote videos. One from Denmark (o, bastion of progress!) and one from Latvia (o, bastion of morality!). (The point being that, due to EU regulations, each school will have a class on sexual minorities, with the subtle underlying message that the teacher, who cannot be traditionally defined as either male or female, will be ‘teaching a lot to these children’. Yeah. Because educating children about the fact that cis-hetero relationships are not the only awesome relationships is a bad thing.)
    I am… Just wow. In a bad way.
    Plus the Latvian one was linked to from an article on getting people to vote in general, and the article included a picture from some guy’s campaign poster with the slogan “I will not give our children up to Europe’s pedophiles” (because gays = pedophiles, and educating children on the beauty of other relationship models = succumbing to the Gay Agenda). And these are people who want to be in the EP??
    Oh. And Latvia’s chief catlicker has gone out and in public interviews told people not to vote for parties that plan on expanding gay rights.
    ‘Gay rights’ are being used – used to scare people, to drive back progress, and to insist that society is falling into moral decay, whereas those issues that should be addressed (corruption in government, poverty, government support for unemployed people and health care, etc.) are completely ignored. Just – if they’re pro-gay, don’t vote for them, they’re going to steal your children. Because that’s what gays do!! Amirite???

    In more positive news, I think that last night Husband finally understood that homosexuality is not a choice. Long story there, but if you say ‘It’s not a choice people make’ enough times, eventually it will be heard.

  330. bassmike says

    Thanks rq , you and Giliell are, as usual, very helpful. As you say her sleep patterns are probably changing. She’s moving up a class at nursery next week, so we’re speculating that part of the issue is that she’s not being stimulated enough at the moment and therefore not getting tired. We’ll find out next week! Also, we’re trying to reduce her nap time during the day. I don’t think she’s far from dropping the nap all together.

    All this combined with the warm weather we’ve had makes identifying a single issue impossible. Of course, there probably isn’t just one factor anyway!

    The joys of parenthood.

  331. rq says

    I’m sorry, but this is just a hot car.

    Single-factor issues are like unicorns: they exist only in fables and dreams and theoretical science. :)

  332. rq says

    And I just remembered: FossilFishy, I never thanked you for the bicycle tyre advice previously!!!! I’m so sorry. I was even excited to have such a long answer because you listed things we hadn’t already thought of, but at the same time, it was nice to know that some of our attempted solutions were spot-on.
    (That being said, we haven’t actually got around to the process itself.)

  333. bassmike says

    rq :

    Single-factor issues are like unicorns: they exist only in fables and dreams and theoretical science. :)

    Agreed!…..or as albums by Camel

  334. bassmike says

    gworroll pretty much! They started as a protest party against the UK’s participation in the EU, but now embraces racism, homophobia and sexism. They lie on their campaign leaflets (nothing new I guess) and their leader is ironically married to a German. So add hypocrisy to the ever-lengthening list of negatives. They’re never getting my vote, but some people have been taken in.

  335. rq says

    The story I read had them protesting against outsourcing easy jobs to foreigners (“They come here to steal your job!”) yet had their leaflets handed out by… Latvians (no kidding).

  336. bassmike says

    rq that doesn’t surprise me! Their leader’s wife (as I mentioned, she’s German) is also his secretary. When asked why he couldn’t get a British person to do the same job he gave out a lot of bluster, but no substantial reason. So add nepotism to the list!

  337. birgerjohansson says

    PZ, please help the Scots to, wossname, secede? Or de-unite (as in United Kingdom). That way, they get sort of a water-proof bulkhead protecting them when Cameron’s stupidity makes the rest of the island sink into the sea.

    (I like England, BTW. Too bad it is ruled by utter tossers*)

    *this is not a gendered slur, is it?

  338. bassmike says

    Before I shut up about UKIP, I’ll just add that there is a remarkably large amount of support for them. I think partly because Farage (I understand that this is a French name and it some point in the past his ancestors were immigrants to the UK themselves) is perceived as a ‘man of the people’. He drinks pints at the pub and enjoys a cigarette. He also has the most irritating grin on his face when he’s being insulted. I have a sense of foreboding that UKIP are going to do very well at these MEP elections.

    I going to go and lie down in a darkened room for a while if that’s ok.

  339. says

    How do I help the Scots secede? Show up in Edinburgh with my face painted blue, and lead an army of pikemen on York?

  340. birgerjohansson says

    The good thing about UKIP is that when we evil atheists take over, we will know which people can be harvested for organs* without too much harm to society.

    — — — — — — — —
    “Major meteor shower could delight N. America May 23-24″ Alas, in Europe the sun has already risen at the time of the expected maximum.

    *and Soylent Green

  341. says

    I need to get to Scotland one of these days. The one immigrant ancestor I’ve known was from Glasgow. I wonder if her old home is still around? It might be a challenge just locating the records I’d need to track down her old home, and unless it’s still in the family the odds some random American would be allowed in to just look around are probably about zero.

    Bonus to a Scotland trip, it wouldn’t be too difficult to get from there to England and Ireland where most of the rest of my ancestors came from.

  342. says

    You know, some days I really wish the UK would just get out of the EU*, crash their economy completely by doing so and then come begging to be let in again and developmental help after 10 years.
    But then I remember that those who would pay the bill would not be the Camerons and Faranges of the world

    *and I don’t even like the EU

  343. rq says

    Bought new provisions for work, because someone ate all the rest of my chocolate covered sour cherries. I have no idea who, but that person is currently feeling the pain and anguish of my currently rather intense mental ire. Hopefully a lightning bolt or two.
    How can I booby-trap my food to avoid such instances in the future?? I’m pretty sure my colleagues can figure out raccoon-proof containers. Something with more of a jolt would be lovely.

  344. says

    For any of you UK people, we’ve now set the dates for my three speaking engagements there this summer:

    8-10 August I’ll be at the World Humanist Congress in Oxford.

    12 August: Hebden Bridge.

    14 August: the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

    Do come to something, it would be nice to see you all.

  345. says

    Up-thread the fact that I sometimes post a fuckton of bad news was noted. Yep, that’s true. Better we know than not the know. Here’s a mix of good and bad news.

    The Georgia Republican candidate, Jody Hice (also a pastor, male, white), that thinks secularism causes STDs and crime — that guy won in the primary election. Bad news that such a guy can even be a viable Republican candidate, and bad news that the “Constitution Party of Georgia” exists.

    Good news, Hice is fodder for parody and everybody is noticing. Hice will make laughing at far rightwing politicians easy.

    I am gleefully anticipating more Jody Hice moments that top the “I am not a witch” and the “legitimate rape” comments of bygone Republican campaigns.

    Meanwhile in schadenfreude news, an Arkansas candidate who pushed hard for voter ID laws that would restrict voting rights forgot his ID and was turned away at the polls. He retrieved his ID and voted later, so according to him, “a little inconvenience” was the only problem his sponsorship of voter-restriction laws caused.
    Raw Story link.

  346. says

    Okay, more bad news. You can be arrested in Iran for video-taping happy people lip syncing and dancing to the Pharrell Williams song “Happy.”

    Just days after Iran’s president denounced Internet censorship as “cowardly,” six young Iranians were arrested and forced to repent on state television Tuesday for the grievous offense of proclaiming themselves to be “Happy in Tehran,” in a homemade music video they posted on YouTube last month […]

    Good news, that a bunch of people in Iran made the video in the first place, and that many of their fellow Iranians are outraged by the arrests.

  347. says

    Oh, fer fuck’s sake. Trigger warning for rightwing writers being clueless about rape.

    Upon the recent efforts by the federal government and universities to address college sexual assault rates, a National Review Online contributor wrote on Monday that the uptick in sexual assault reports is actually just women “crying rape.”

    “First, the pendulum shift began with feminists pushing the notion that women claiming they were raped should always be believed and never questioned,” NRO contributor A.J. Delgado wrote. “Then followed the loosened standards for arrests in rape accusations.”

    Delgado essentially blames “liberals” for loosening the definition of sexual assault to include “any sexual activity in which the woman is not sober.”

    “Admittedly, I am no scientist, but I am fairly certain that a statistically significant amount of sex — including very enjoyable sex — happens under the influence of alcohol. But by the liberal definition of my generation, I have been raped. Multiple times,” she wrote. […]

  348. says

    This is a follow up to comments #380 and #381. Yes Dinesh D’Souza pled guilty to violating campaign finance laws. Then he went on Fox News and soaked up some love and hugs and softball questions, and, no, Fox News is not dropping him as an anti-Obama hero who is being unfairly targeted. So predictable.

    “And so now, this case is resolved, for today, and the Obama administration gets to call one of its top critics a convicted felon,” Kelly said near the beginning of the segment, which led to her first question: “Is this what they wanted all along?” […]

  349. says

    I need something cheery to watch/read. I just finished “The Fault In Our Stars”. A novel about teenagers with cancer.

    I was literally fighting back tears so I could finish it. John Green got SO MUCH right about what it’s like to watch someone you care about facing cancer as a teenager, when you are a teenager yourself.

  350. cicely says


    Up-thread the fact that I sometimes post a fuckton of bad news was noted.

    *raising hand*
    That would be me.

    Better we know than not the know.

    Oh, I wholeheartedly agree! Ignorance doesn’t help, often enables additional Bad News Things.
    I was just caught at a low moment.
    No criticism was intended!

  351. says

    This is a follow up to comment #450, more delightful coverage of Jody Hice, possible successor to Paul “evolution is a lie straight from the pit of hell” Broun in the U.S. Senate.

    A few Hice highlights:
    – homosexuality causes shorter life spans and depression
    – same-sex couples cannot raise healthy children
    – the gay community has a secret plot to recruit and sodomize children
    – Muslims should be stripped of their first amendment rights
    – Christians are being persecuted for speaking out
    – states can nullify federal laws
    – the real reason for the Civil War is still being debated
    – advocates for women’s reproductive rights are just like Nazis
    – abortion is genocide
    – President Obama’s “slogan” should be the “hammer and sickle”

    The above list is based on info in a Mother Jones article.

  352. says

    Remember PZ’s recent post about Jennifer Longdon, the guy owner and gun safety advocate who was assaulted in an airport? Well, right-wingers are now claiming that the whole story of a gun owner angry about Longdon’s gun reform stance spitting in her face and pretending to execute her with a water pistol — they’re claiming that story is a hoax. So predictable.

    Nope. Not a hoax.

  353. says

    cicely @455, no problem. I didn’t take it as criticism. And I fully understand your reaction, which is often mine. It’s a combination of WTF and “Oh not again” combined with a wish to hide somewhere — to hide where none of this craven, beetle-headed shit can affect me.

  354. says

    Thanks to lots of news coverage of inadequate health care for Veterans, along with false reporting about supposedly timely care, Republicans have a new stick with which to beat President Obama. These are the same Republicans who chose three months ago to block expansion of healthcare programs for veterans.

    U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget.
    Even though the legislation cleared a procedural vote on Tuesday by a 99-0 vote, the measure quickly got bogged down in partisan fighting. […]

    Referring to recent budget deals that aim to bring down federal deficits, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama said: “This bill would spend more than we agreed to spend. The ink is hardly dry and here we have another bill to raise that spending again.”

    Quote is from a Reuters article published in February. BTW, “partisan fighting” should be translated in this case as “Republicans filibustered the bill.”

  355. says

    Republican mean fuckers hurt urban children a little more.

    And in a surprising twist, the bill language specifies that only rural areas are to benefit in the future from funding requested by the administration this year to continue a modest summer demonstration program to help children from low-income households — both urban and rural — during those months when school meals are not available.
    Since 2010, the program has operated from an initial appropriation of $85 million, and the goal has been to test alternative approaches to distribute aid when schools are not in session. The White House asked for an additional $30 million to continue the effort, but the House bill provides $27 million for what’s described as an entirely new pilot program focused on rural areas only.

    Democrats were surprised to see urban children were excluded. And the GOP had some trouble explaining the history itself. But a spokeswoman confirmed that the intent of the bill is a pilot project in “rural areas” only. […]

    You poor kids that live in urban areas, no summer lunches for you!–15

  356. David Marjanović says

    She sells sea shells on the sea shore! It’s 215 years since Mary Anning was born, and Google celebrates… at least in some places.

    On Sunday, Germany’s impressive streak of renewable energy milestones continued, with renewable energy generation surging to a record portion — nearly 75 percent — of the country’s overall electricity demand by midday. With wind and solar in particular filling such a huge portion of the country’s power demand, electricity prices actually dipped into the negative for much of the afternoon, according to Renewables International [link].”

    Lots of doctors in the US prescribe antibiotics for bronchitis when they shouldn’t.

    Then I made the mistake of opening an e-mail from Daily Kos with links to articles. I clicked on each one. Here are the first two:

    Stephen Colbert about and with Elizabeth Warren! With plenty of transcript for those like me who don’t have access to the videos anymore.

    What part of the right to light a forest on fire do you not understand?! GunFAIL LXIX”

    From there:

    “Americans are nothing if not self-reliant bootstrappers. And 16 of our fellow American do-it-yourselfers did it to themselves last week, no doubt putting an effective stop to several potential crimes once the would-be perpetrators saw that the work of shooting others had already been done for them. We likewise owe a debt of thanks to the four patriots who selflessly shared their scarce ammunition with neighbors, without putting those neighbors in the embarrassing position of having to ask for it. Even tiny Gothenburg, Nebraska (pop. 3,574), did its part, contributing two GunFAIL events to our latest list.

    In other news, we logged five hunting accidents last week, plus one widely reported incident in which a 79-year-old Ohio man says he mistook one of his neighbors (and hired farmhands) for a groundhog, and shot her to death. Perhaps somewhat ironically, she was lying prone on the ground, target shooting with her own BB gun at the time. Speaking of which, four other people were accidentally shot while practicing at gun ranges last week. Additionally, five law enforcement and/or security officers were injured by accidental gunshots, as were 10 minor children, aged 4, 6, 8, 16, 16, 16, 16, 17, 17 and 17.


    Also worthy of note: Last week saw three Missourians accidentally shot while turkey hunting. And in a side note about the importance of framing, a tip of the hat to the Associated Press, which noted in its coverage of the third accident that it was in fact the first such accident in 14 years… to take place specifically at Smithville Lake. Good to know!”

    And then comes the list of 45 incidents.

  357. rq says

    How do I help the Scots secede? Show up in Edinburgh with my face painted blue, and lead an army of pikemen on York?

    If they arrest you, tell them it’s performance art for the Fringe Festival.
    I’d even come to Edinburgh to watch this happen.

  358. says

    Religious Right Activists Working To Water Down Air Force Rules On Religious Coercion

    […] the Religious Right’s campaign may be succeeding in pressuring the Air Force to water down the 2008 policy. McClatchy reports today that while Air Force officials maintain that the accusations of religious persecution in the military aren’t true, they are considering altering the rules on religious coercion in response to pressure from the Right.

    The Air Force reportedly convened a meeting to discuss the policy in March, and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins is claiming that the service plans to “make a policy change shortly.” […]

    a pro-Christian bias in the Air Force remains overwhelming and that the regulation provides an avenue of relief to service members who object to being regaled with their superiors’ religious views or who worry that declining invitations to “voluntary” Bible classes might jeopardize their fitness reports and chances of promotion.

    The regulation has been “an umbrella in a tsunami of Christian fundamentalist extremism,” asserted Mikey Weinstein, the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and a former Air Force officer whose outspokenness has won him scorn and death threats. […]

  359. says

    And … this is why we have so much trouble getting immigration reform through the U.S. House of Representatives. The politicians are being funded by and pressured by PACs that are run by nutballs.

    William Gheen of Americans For Legal Immigration PAC has a new plan for stopping immigration reform: convincing “some judges” and the House Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest President Obama for “his actions that have directly contributed to the mass murder of American citizens by his illegal immmigrants [sic]” and for what he imagines is the “huge surge of unaccompanied children from third world countries rushing our southern border.” […]

  360. says

    Only in the world of anti-gay activists like Linda Harvey is a drug that reduces the risk of HIV infection actually a tool of “racial cleansing.”

    Harvey writes in BarbWire today that the CDC’s new guidelines recommending a PrEP regime for some people at “substantial risk” of contracting HIV will encourage prostitution among “young minority homosexual males” and will therefor lead to “racial cleansing.”

    She of course recommends that instead of preventing HIV, the government should launch a “nationwide campaign” against gay sex. […]

    No comment necessary. WTF moment for sure. One of Harvey’s favorite backdrops is a big banner that reads, “Homosexuality Nothing To Be Proud Of.”

  361. David Marjanović says

    much blue
    so HTML fail

    Still, all 5 links work, and they haven’t spread to text that isn’t about them. :-/

    Here comes the next load:

    “I don’t really care whether or not Marco Rubio has ever smoked a joint, but it’s hilarious how much thought he’s put into explaining why he won’t say if he has”…

    Yet another GOP candidate for Congress: same-sex marriage is like losing a parent in a car accident” for unspecified reasons. Figure legend: “Rifle? Check. Pickup? Check. Giving away guns as prizes? Check. [link to source – the candidate’s Facebook page]”

    Texas man could get 5 years to life in prison for pot brownies

    Evidence that Republican candidates accept the science of climatology, but pretend otherwise in order to be reelected. Also, “Scholars at Tai Da University told me last time I was in the Republic of China that the average Asian High School student scores higher on international math tests than the average American college graduate”; “Tai Da University” must simply be the University of Taiwan, Táiwǎn Dàxué, abbreviated Táidà.

    India transforming ‘Chicken in Every Pot’ to ‘Solar on Every Roof’” – “The new Indian government has set a major initiative to change this situation radically and rapidly: ‘to harness solar power to enable every home to run at least one light bulb by 2019’.” And yes, that’s the nationalist/Hinduist Bharatiya Janata Party which just won the elections in a landslide.

  362. David Marjanović says

    cicely! *pouncehug* *chocolate*

    I’ve seen campaign ads for Juncker now. They’re tiny.

    David Marjanović @336:

    no idea why they resort to German here

    Historical reasons, I guess. German speakers, and German journals, dominated physics (and mathematics?) for a long time.

    Sure – I just didn’t expect such a simple word for such a simple concept to be taken over. The perhaps most similar case I know is Zahnreihe, but while the literal (1 : 1) meaning of that is “toothrow”, it does not refer to an actual toothrow in English – it refers to patterns in abstract representations of tooth replacement, rows of teeth and future teeth that lie at an angle to the actual toothrow.

    It seemed like everything before about 1930 was in German

    Let me guess: “about 1930” is precisely 1933?

    diby has been banned four times.


    a man (no idea who he is) dressed to look like the stereotype of a Native American “chief” with the caption “He used to ignore immigration … now he lives on a reservation”


    I cannot fucking believe how low they went with this.

    Young padawan, I’m familiar with that meme. The extreme right on the mainland has been occasionally using it for decades.

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

    Let me guess: “about 1930″ is precisely 1933?

    I don’t think it was overnight, but the mass exodus of scientists (most notably Jewish scientists, but not all) from Germany (and the places under its power) and the associated smashing of Germany (culminating in ’45) was undoubtedly part of this.

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

    Home from the optometrist. My eyes are fine. Prescription has barely budged in a year.

    Optometrist was mildly alarmed when I explained that I must remove my glasses to read and said, “Someone your age should not need bifocals, and you show no signs of macular degeneration, glaucoma, or cataracts. It’s probably muscle weakness. Do eye exercises.”

    Then he did the test where he put drops in my eyeballs to dilate my pupils.

    That test was also fine, but hot damn does everything look strange!

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

    I could actually make Edinburgh happen, financially. There’s the problem of 1. getting vacation time on that particular date and 2. going all alone by myself alone.

  366. David Marjanović says

    Aggravated alliteration:

    Vanhooydonck, B. & Van Damme, R. 2001. Evolutionary trade-offs in locomotor capacities in lacertid lizards: are splendid sprinters clumsy climbers? J. Evol. Biol. 14: 46–54.

    Home from the optometrist. My eyes are fine. Prescription has barely budged in a year.


    I must remove my glasses to read


    Then he did the test where he put drops in my eyeballs to dilate my pupils.

    Last time I got that, I was reading while it was kicking in. I remember that my reading distance increased and increased and increased…

    *pouncehug with hand dipped artisan chocolates*
    :) :) :)

    *nom nom nom*

    and 2. going all alone by myself alone

    There are at least two fossils somewhere in Scotland I need to gaze at sometime soon. I need to check if they’re in Edinburgh; they probably are.

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

    Alan Rickman, rq and David?

    (you will excuse me for putting Alan first, but, you know…. you know)

    I haven’t actually thought much about my summer. Hmmm, 13 or 14-17th August (since there’s a convenient weekend there)…. What an idea!

    I wonder how late I can get train/plane tickets and a reasonably priced room.

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

    Um, yes, a phonebook. Of course.

    If ever confronted with Alan Rickman, I think I would melt into a giggling puddle of fanish *squee*. Or something similarly disgusting. I don’t think there exists anyone else who would have an effect that bad on me.

  369. says

    David M. @468, I saw that news about making it a crime in some states to disclose the chemicals that are used for fracking. My bet is that ALEC, with funds from the Koch brothers, wrote model legislation that we will see in other states soon. That anti-disclosure gambit makes me quite angry.

    As for the NRA and the “BringBackOurGirls” campaign, the NRA is in knee-jerk mode. They’re in that mode most of the time.

  370. says

    Here’s some news about the kidnapped Nigerian school girls: Washington Post link.

    The United States has deployed 80 troops to Chad to augment efforts to find Nigerian schoolgirls who were taken hostage by a militant Islamist group, the White House announced Wednesday, in a significant escalation of Washington’s contribution to a crisis that has drawn global consternation.

    “These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area,” the White House said in a statement formally notifying Congress about the deployment.

    The unit will remain in Chad “until its support resolving the kidnapping is no longer required,” the statement said. […]

  371. says

    This should get the Cliven Bundy’s of the USA in spitting-mad mode:

    This afternoon, President Obama will sign a proclamation designating the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks a National Monument. In honor of the occasion, the Department of the Interior is taking over the White House Instagram to share some their favorite photos of America’s public lands.

    By establishing this monument, the President will permanently protect nearly 500,000 acres in south-central New Mexico. The new national monument won’t just preserve our natural lands for future generations, it’ll help grow the economy and create jobs. One recent study found that a new national monument could generate $7.4 million in new economic activity each year from visitors and business opportunities while preserving access for sportsmen, ranchers, and recreational users.

  372. says

    Ah, another version of a Donald Sterling type shows up in sports management:

    […] the exposed bigot was Richard Scudamore, CEO of the Premier League, England’s top professional men’s soccer organization. (Twenty teams, including Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United are shareholders.)

    His targets were women. In private emails between friends and colleagues—leaked to the Sunday Mirror by a former female assistant, who says she was forced to read the emails in the course of monitoring his exchanges to set appointments for him—Scudamore wrote that “female irrationality increases exponentially depending on how many members join your family. That should keep you within the Chinese government’s one child per family enforcement rules. Very clever those Chinese.”

    When a broadcasting lawyer who works with the League wrote that he had “spent all day” dealing with Premier League planning and projects director Peta Bistany by fending her “off my graphite shaft,” Scudamore agreed that Bistany, whom the pair had nicknamed “Edna,” was “terribly relentless” and advised: “Must keep her off your shaft … graphite, sausage meat or flimsy sponge.”

    In another exchange, Scudamore forwarded an email from another soccer executive, endorsing this joke: “Once upon a time a Prince asked a ­beautiful Princess, ‘Will you marry me?’ The ­Princess said, ‘No!’ And the Prince lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and banged skinny big titted broads.” […]

    Slate link.

  373. says


    I saw the initial “the health department is about to release some info” posts on Twitter.

    I was kind of worried. Less so once the details were released, given that I’ve never eaten at Red Robin.

  374. Rob Grigjanis says

    Sure – I just didn’t expect such a simple word for such a simple concept to be taken over.

    It has a more specific meaning than ‘cavity’ in English, or hohlraum in German. See also chaise longue.

    Also, the English liked to use foreign words to make them appear learned.

  375. says

    Ebay has been hacked:

    If you have an eBay account, it’s time to change your password. The company released a statement today saying its internal and customer databases were compromised earlier this year, and starting today it will prompt everyone to change their passwords.

    Attackers made off with names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, and of course, encrypted passwords. eBay explained that financial info including credit card numbers and other sensitive data (like PayPal account details) are kept in a separate encrypted database which wasn’t compromised. They also said they have found no evidence of unauthorised access or activity by registered eBay users — which is code for “we don’t think anyone’s used these passwords yet”. According to the statement, intruders compromised employee accounts first, and used their access to get the data they really wanted. eBay discovered the breach about two weeks ago, but the actual attack took place back in late February and early March.

  376. cicely says

    gworroll, I was initially quite concerned, since my best friend and our families ate there not so long ago—but fortunately, well before the bracketed timespan. I warned them anyway, because Red Robin is quite a favorite with her family, and they pass through here fairly often, shuttling grandkiddies back and forth.

  377. says

    What effect does coffee have on your brain?:

    Although the effects of caffeine vary from person to person — and much about caffeine is still being discovered and discussed — the video also points out that 400mg (about three cups of coffee or seven cups of tea) is the recommended safe dose for healthy adults, according to this study. Again, these are just general guidelines that might help you figure out how much coffee is enough for you. 75 cups of coffee, however, is much too much.


    How poorly do tech companies pay their workers?:

    We’re all dimly aware that the smartphones, fitness trackers, tablets and consoles we spend hundreds of dollars on are assembled by workers where people are very poorly paid. A new analysis by Baptist World Aid Australia highlights just how poorly: of the 39 companies examined, only one was paying a wage high enough to ensure workers could meet their basic needs.

    Asus, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Nintendo, Sony, Nokia, and Panasonic are just some of the companies examined.


    Time lapse video of a supercell thunderstorm over Kansas.

  378. says

    CEO of Levi Strauss says “stop washing your jeans”:

    Crotch funk isn’t cool, but neither is destroying the environment, so the lesser of the two evils is obviously refusing to wash your blue jeans.

    That’s the advice that came from Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh. After 2 1/2 years as head of the world-famous apparel company, he believes in the product.

    At a Fortune conference on environmental sustainability, Bergh said he had not washed the jeans he was wearing in more than a year.

    As a way to use less water and live more sustainably – and save yourself the torturous 90 seconds it takes to load and unload jeans from the washer and dryer – Bergh said it’s best to just refrain from putting them in the washer. Ever.

    “I know that sounds totally disgusting, I know it does; but believe me, it can be done,” Bergh said. “You can spot clean it, you can air dry it and it’s fine. I have yet to get a skin disease or anything else. It works.”

    So, a little soap and water and sunlight is all you need for that occasional spaghetti sauce that slips off the fork? Check.

    I laughed at their recommendation to freeze your jeans to kill bacteria…

  379. says

    Trigger Warning: sexual assault
    This awful story is another example of Rape Culture.

    A 13-year-old Maricopa boy is facing charges for allegedly biting a girl’s breast at school.

    The alleged incident happened on Dec. 16 at Maricopa Wells Middle School and was caught on surveillance tape, said Maricopa police spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

    “Right above the left breast, there were teeth marks,” said Jaime French as she described her daughter’s injuries. “She was wearing a T-shirt and a hooded sweatshirt, and he bit hard enough to leave teeth impressions.”

    French said she was horrified when she got a call from her 14-year-old daughter – telling her she’d been sexually assaulted by another eighth-grader.

    “My husband went in to find out what happened and asked that the police be called,” she said. “The principal informed us that we could go home and call the police. My husband said, ‘No, you’re going to call police.'”

    I’d dearly like to know why the principal did not intend to call the police.

    One more thing bugs me about how this assault was handled:

    French said they immediately filed a police report, and the Pinal County Attorney’s Office has since charged the boy with one count of felony sexual abuse and one count of assault.

    According to the Maricopa Unified School District Secondary Student Handbook, the minimum punishment for sexual abuse is 10 days of suspension and expulsion.

    But the boy’s own parents told CBS 5 News he was initially suspended for two days, Dec. 19 and 20.

    They said principal Rick Abel told them after reviewing the situation, he felt two days of suspension was fair.

    They said their son was allowed to return to school Jan. 6, after winter break.

    CBS 5 News asked MUSD Superintendent Steve Chestnut when the district’s guidelines apply.

    “Well, they apply at all times, and we are following our guidelines at this time,” he said.

    He’s been charged.
    There are guidelines that the Superintendent claims “are being followed at this time”. WTF? Where’s the 10 days suspension and expulsion then, you fuckwit?

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


    Brutal and enraging.

    But are you sure that the Lounge is the place for it? I’m not saying posting it was inappropriate, but I do kind of wonder.

    I tend not to shy away from reading things that outrage me, because I want to know what’s wrong in this world if I’m going to fix it. But others like their lounge more soft-cornered.

    Are their people here who would rather see critiques of rape culture shifted to the Dome when they include details of assault and general douchgabbing rape apologia?

    I’m honestly not certain what the accepted norms are for this kind of thing in the Lounge, but I’m supposed to know as a monitor, so anyone with an opinion can add their 2bits to my education.

  381. Rowan vet-tech says

    Dear semi-rapid cycling between depression and not-depression; fuck you and the hole you climbed out of. Think it’s time to see a doc and actually get on meds because I’m super duper cranky at my brain.

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


    Best of luck with getting help for your depression.
    Luckily, I don’t have Facebook, but 4 is very much true for me, 3… somewhat. As for 1: I used to hate smilies, but now started to use them precisely for the reason the author mentions:

    To demonstrate this bias, imagine that you’re clocking in for another morning at the goat farm where you work. As you sit down in your office and power up the goat-distribution software, your boss sends you this email:

    Going to be late to work today. Please hold down the fort until 10, if you can manage it :)

    Awesome, you think, as you send off another order of goats. Can do! But now, let’s say your boss phrases the message like this:

    Going to be late to work today. Please hold down the fort until 10, if you can manage it.

    If you’re like most people, you’ll interpret that second email in a sarcastic, “I don’t believe you can handle goat distribution at all” sense that probably makes you want to punch your stupid boss right in his stupid face. There’s no tone or facial expression in the message, and no emoticon to compensate for that lack, and this creates a kind of emotional vacuum that most people fill up with an unwavering assumption of assholishness.

    Read more:

  383. says

    Crip Dyke:
    I was under the impression that such a topic was acceptable here (given the Lounge rules). Plus, rape culture has been discussed here in the past, so I thought it was safe to comment on now (obviously with a TW).

    But your comments have given me pause. Even though we *can* discuss anything we want, are there topics that we ought to avoid discussing here? The Lounge is meant to be a casual, social space, with “soft corners” and I do *not* want to contribute to anyone feeling uncomfortable here.

    Like you, I’m curious to hear what others have to say about this.

  384. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    I think (my opinion on this, if we’re taking Lounge consensus) it’s okay to post these things in the Lounge – otherwise Lynna’s MMM and assorted other posts would also have to go right out, since most of them are extremely outraging in all kinds of ways.
    This is where I read these links, and Tony is nice enough to preface his with a trigger warning, so I can skim through or read more in depth or not read at all, depending on how I’m feeling that day.
    I don’t think links with some small critique should be taken to the Thunderdome at all. If a discussion develops, yes, but I don’t want the Lounge to be 100% sterilized. It’s a place for discussion, which sometimes includes difficult topics, but even difficult topics can be discussed with sympathy and compassion, and not everyone wants to get right into it in the Thunderdome.
    I don’t want to be cut off from knowing about the bullshit in the world (Lynna’s, Pteryxx’, Tony’s, and other people’s links with commentary), and no, I’m not going to mosey on to the Thunderdome to fish through all the troll-eating just to see if someone has more bullshit links up. Lazy? Maybe so.
    This is my opinion.

    If you go see a doctor, good luck. If you decide not to this time around, good luck. I hope you beat that depression right back into that hole and close it up and pour concrete over it and put down some nice black earth and plant some plants of your choice on it, and watch them grow happily.

  385. chigau (違う) says

    I think we can discuss almost anything here.
    The Lounge is more about *hugs* and recipes and music and …
    so maybe the uglier topics could go to the Thunderdome.
    We can work around the trolls.