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

    My first portculisation*! Woohoo!

    And now to remember how the comment went…

    Nick Gotts,

    Come on, don’t tell him that your conversation should be moved to Thunderdome when he clearly stated he won’t go there for fear of being triggered. That’s a bit mean.

    * is that the word?

  2. says


    Yay for dress. It is totally OK to have nice stuff just so.

    hmmm, I just found out that my great-grandmother has indeed a Wikipedia page. And now I want to edit it because whoever wrote it did a very good job on describing the life of a kick-ass woman, and while I totally appreciate that it’s not about a wonderful mother and wife, they completely erased her children.

  3. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I saw a truly bizarre message on a church sign on my way to work this morning: “Lord, please keep me out of your way.” Is god on a drunken rampage? “Oh crap, here comes god again, let’s steer clear.”

  4. blf says

    A yonk or few ago, a really rather good restaurant specializing in coquillages closed here in The Village.™ This was a minormajor dining disaster, cutting off an important food supply. Admittedly, somewhat beforehand, a local shop added a good selection of cheeses (previously there was no easily-accessible fromagerie that I was aware of) so all was not lost…

    Admittedly, before the old restaurant closed, another coquillages restaurant opened, but was so-so and in an awkward location. They are now closed. Around the same time, another opened in an even more awkward location. I have no idea what they are like, or even if they are still open (I’ve never visited). And not too many yonks ago, another one opened in yet another awkward location, has gotten good reviews, and are still open, but again, I’ve never visited.

    A few weeks ago, I noticed a new restaurant, only a few metres from the location of the old one, which serves nothing but coquillages. I just returned from a “taste test”. We have a winner! An important food item has been restored to the diet.

    The previous restaurant — I don’t know why it closed, albeit the gent running it was old, so I assume he either retired, gave up, or (I hope not) died — was famous for severing seafood so fresh it was still screaming. You had to fight the crabs, skewer the oysters and clams, and the snails came nailed to the platter to keep them from running away. And there was the occasional walrus as a customer, albeit no (obvious) carpenters…

    The new place is just about as good. And possibly with a better vin selection. And certainly a much cuter waitperson (sorry, an elderly gent and a young lady aren’t quite in the same league, even if both happen to be French…).


    (A snail, sans shell, escapes — I was wondering what that ticking in my throat was — gives me the evil eyestalk, and flies away…)

  5. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    was famous for severing seafood so fresh it was still screaming.

    Intentional or not, you just won 8 arbitrary points.

  6. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    And there was the occasional walrus as a customer

    Gasp… John Lennon’s still alive? ;)

  7. blf says

    beatrice, The dress-wearing problem is quite simple to solve:

    1. Wash it in cootie, pea, celery, eggplant / zucchini / courgette, and horse repellents.
    2. Smear it with good cheese. And MUSHROOMS! And chocolate. Add a splash of good vin.
    3. If a small ex-dinosaur smelling vaguely of herring and in a feather tuxedo doesn’t show up and eat the dress, go back to step 1 and repeat…

  8. blf says

    John Lennon’s still alive?

    Yes, and running and coquillages specialist restaurant here in The Village™ with Elvis.

  9. rq says

    Dammit, Ogvorbis beat me to the ‘severing’ joke. That’s today’s best offering to Tpyos (I’m still in love with bassmike’s ‘anybodies’).
    However, blf, many happy returns on the return of excellent food to the neighbourhood. D’you think they’d import Latvian beer-soaked garden snails? I can make sure they’re screaming, if necessary.
    (As for carpenters, well, you just never know where or how Jesus will show up, so… Be prepared!)

    God’s in a smitey mood, best to keep quiet and let him be.
    I wouldn’t put a drunken rampage past him at this point, though.

    Ha! Nice for your great-grandma – I think you should totally edit to include all aspects of her life. But that’s awesome that she even has a page.

  10. blf says

    I spent a small fortune on mosquito repellants. … It’s perfect for romantic summer dates and shit like that.

    Um… Not quite sure yer getting this “dating” thing…

  11. blf says

    D’you think they’d import Latvian beer-soaked garden snails?

    No idea, albeit I’d guess they’d prefer snails which feed on sharks, errant swimmers and fishfolk, kraken, and other seabeasties, rather than potatoes, potatoes, potatoes, moar potatoes, potatoes, and the occasional potatoe.

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

    It’s almost 1am. I’ve spent the last couple of hours practicing the latest* song I’ve written so I can play it at the pub** tomorrow. I’m so tired that I can’t see straight and I’m pretty sure that I need another couple of hours at least to have any hope of getting it right tomorrow. Damn.***

    Anyway, the thing is called it includes the lines:

    I’ve figured out love on a lifetime scale, and that
    There’s not much difference ‘tween female and male****

    Sure, it’s a small thing but I’m pretty happy to be able to fit a little feminism into the song. Without having to force it I might add, not that you can tell without the context.

    *Doesn’t that sound grand? Never mind my total repertoire is now three songs. One of which needs a major re-work.

    **Oh open mike night, what would I do without you?

    ***Fuck it, I’m going to bed.*****

    ****Okay, it doesn’t scan that well, but in the context of the rhythm pattern it fits pretty well.

    *****Mildly ironic considering that this song is about how adults tell themselves fairy tales too, mostly about how we’re never going to do X,Y, or Z again and yet here we are, up way past our sensible bed time…

  13. says

    The Creation Museum in Kentucky is spewing little orgasms of propaganda about their world-class Allosaurus skeleton. Here’s an excerpt from the Talking Points Memo coverage of this mind boggling act of compartmentalization, and of misuse of fossils.

    Unlike other museums, where dinosaur skeletons are used to “indoctrinate our kids with belief in evolution,” according to the institution, the Creation Museum’s skeleton will serve as “a testament to the truths found in God’s Word.”

    “While evolutionists use dinosaurs more than anything to promote their worldview, especially to young students, our museum uses dinosaurs to help tell the account of history according to the Bible,” Ken Ham, president and founder of the Creation Museum and its parent organization, Answers in Genesis, said in a statement. “This remarkable allosaur is a great addition to our dinosaur exhibits. It’s been a pleasure to work with the Peroutka Foundation, which wants to use this great fossil in a God-honoring way.

    Answers in Genesis also insists that the skeleton is “is a testimony to an extremely rapid burial, which is confirmation of the global catastrophe of a Flood a few thousand years ago.” In the real world, the Allosaurus lived about 150 million years ago — Jurassic period. Period.

  14. says

    Sometimes surveys report false data because the people responding enter false data. This appears to be the case when it comes to self-reported church attendance and belief in God.

    […] Americans tend to overstate their own religiosity: There is a persistent gap between the number of people who claim to go to worship services and the number who can actually be counted in pews.

    The gap grows more striking as America becomes more secular. In recent years, poll after poll has found more Americans who do not identify with a religious tradition, and many denominations show evidence of decline. And yet, Americans continue to report high levels of belief and participation — more than 90 percent of Americans say they believe in God or a universal spirit, and nearly 40 percent report weekly attendance at a worship service, numbers that have remained relatively unchanged for decades. […]

    A new study, released Saturday, suggests that the gradual secularization of the nation has not eliminated the perceived social desirability of going to church, and the result is that Americans exaggerate their religious behavior. That exaggeration is more pronounced among some groups — Catholics, mainline Protestants and, strikingly, the unaffiliated, meaning that even people willing to say they don’t belong to a religious tradition still feel compelled to exaggerate their attendance at worship services.

    The study, by the Public Religion Research Institute, used an intriguing method to try to measure exaggeration: It asked the same set of questions in telephone interviews, and in an online survey, and compared the results. Researchers say that online surveys, with their lack of human questioners, significantly reduce “social desirability bias” in polling — the tendency of people to exaggerate behaviors that they think will impress others. In this study, the group that took the online surveys reported much lower levels of worship attendance than those interviewed by telephone.

    NY Times link.

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

    I shall let my #12 stand in all its incoherent glory. May all look upon it and tremble with fear at the destructive power of a hobby gotten out of hand; or, goodnight.

  16. says

    Rabid rightwing religious dunderheads do like meetings and conferences where they can all swim in likeminded synaptic sludge. The Family Research Council just sponsored another conference, “Watchmen on the Walls.” Franklin Graham was one of the featured speakers.

    I can’t tell for sure, but I think Graham is inviting us to chop off his head:

    […] he told the assembled pastors that they needed to be willing to have their heads chopped off for speaking the truth that gays are bound for hell.

    “Are we going to be cowards because we’re afraid?,” Graham asked the crowd. “Could we get our heads chopped off? We could, maybe one day. So what? Chop it off!”

    Graham went on to assert that he loves gays “enough to care to warn them that if they want to continue living like this, it’s the flames of hell for you” and he will continue to do so because he will one day have to answer to God and does not want to be found to have been a coward who refused to preach God’s laws […]

  17. says

    Rachel Maddow reports on the pushback by the oil industry against evidence of the dangers of moving Bakken crude by rail, in which lobbyists are pushing to the media industry-funded reports denying elevated safety risks.

  18. says

    Mitch McConnell is so confused that I think maybe he should consider a neurological evaluation:

    Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell says he would try to repeal the Affordable Care Act if he’s elected Senate majority leader.

    But the veteran senator won’t say what would happen to the 421,000 Kentuckians who have health insurance through the state’s health care exchange.

    McConnell told reporters Friday that the fate of the state exchange is unconnected to the federal health care law. Yet the exchange would not exist, if not for the law that created it.

    Obamacare, the Affordable Healthcare Act, created the possibility for, and provided the funding for, the state exchanges, including the one in Kentucky.

  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The trip to the Gem and Mineral show was postponed until tomorrow due to a sleepy Redhead.

  20. rq says

    Some questions circling my head at the moment:
    1) Considering I was at work last night, and all day today, and Wednesday night, and didn’t go Thursday only because Youngest needed an appointment, should I take even more time off from family to assist Choir in performing out on our West Coast? (Husband refuses a family roadtrip on account of costs and the fallen roof which has led to a need to deconstruct the entire balcony-terrace and all that extra money… [/first-world whine])
    1.a) Considering that it’s a huge gamble on their behaviour, should I take Eldest and Middle Child along (there’s a giant bus for the whole choir but they’d have to sit through the concert in the evening, and still make it home from the city)?

    2) Next Saturday, Choir (sans ChoirCreep, thank all the heavens!) is coming over to be informed on some basic facts about Canada (nature, driving rules, our route, prices, etc.). Considering the conservative right-ness of this country, and the more liberal left-hood of Canada, should I point out that Canada is the land of marriage-for-everyone (not in a flashing-lights kind of announcement, but in and amongst other delicious facts such as number of moose attacks per annum and Stephen Harper’s favourite lunch meat)? (I know there’s an excellent chance that they’ll run into at least two such couples amongst all the Latvians with whom we will be hanging about, and I don’t want any impolite surprise. I may be over-thinking this one.)

  21. rq says

    Voter turnout at 4PM Latvia-time: 23.67%. HOW SAD IS THAT??? (And yes, I voted already.)

  22. newenlightenment says

    A few thoughts on the direction secularism should take:

    I’d say the problem with new atheism is that while many of the things it opposes are valid targets, it doesn’t advocate anything. Old atheism could be defined as either ‘social’, anarchists and Marxists who criticized religion on the basis that it was a tool of class inequality; or as ‘egoistic’ a critique of religion as a constraint on individual self-assertion, made by figures such as Ayn Rand, Neitsche, and the Marquis De Sade. The new atheist position could be defined as ‘public rationalism’ the criticism of religious doctrines as unscientific and a source of conflict, oppression and violence. This perspective originated with Bertrand Russel, and was popularized by Carl Sagan.

    The difference between these two figures and the present crop of new atheists was that the former didn’t just criticize religion, they promoted reason in all fields, and opposed nationalism, militarism and social injustice just as much as religion, because they recognized them as being just as irrational. Sagan saw science as a whole philosophy of how to view the world rather than just a means to an end, he turned the promotion of that philosophy into a public enterprise. As that public enterprise continued, however, it became easier just to criticize specific unscientific ideas, rather than advocate political positions based on reason or aimed at encouraging scientific progress. This has resulted in fewer splits and schisms within new atheism, since its easier to unite on the basis of what you’re for rather than against, but it meant whole areas of human irrationality such as misogyny, Islamaphobia, the demonization of immigrants, nationalism, militarism and mass consumerism have been ignored. More worryingly there are no intellectual ‘stop’ signs preventing atheists from allying themselves with people who advocate these positions, provided those people also oppose whichever religion the new atheists happen to be arguing against.

    This has been particularly apparent as new atheists have increasingly focused upon Islam. Hence we see Richard Dawkins endorsing the EDL supporter Pat Condell: … -islam-are Sam Harris’ project reason linking to Pamella Geller’s websites, and not a whiff of criticism when known war criminal Henry Kissenger attends Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s wedding. (particularly obscene when you consider Christoper Hitchens,a loyal supporter of Hirsi Ali had spent much of his career attempting to bring Kissenger to justice and was on his death bed at the time)

    what we need is a statement of principles to rally behind, a charter of values, based upon the principles of Russell and Sagan. This would not be a detailed manifesto, but a set of core principles, around which concrete policy proposals would be discussed.

    So, any thoughts on what such a charter would contain?

  23. Rowan vet-tech says

    I have something of a serious question for the fine horde of the Lounge-

    A decade ago, my aunt effectively dropped off the face of the planet, where my family is concerned. We didn’t know where she was and had no way to get in contact with her. She’s severely mentally ill, but doesn’t accept that she is and so turned all her focus onto God. She vanished because she believed my grandmother bugged her house, and was following her every movement, despite living on the opposite side of the country. She literally hears voices, and says it’s God talking to her and advising her.

    This woman also started my path towards atheism. She came to visit once when I was 11 years old, and was staying with my grandma here in California. She brought along her home-schooled and very sheltered and socially inept son, who was 5 years my junior. For 2 solid days I played with him, dealing with his tantrum as patiently as I could, trying to find games that didn’t involve ‘winning’ because if he lost the meltdown was of epic proportions and I would be blamed.

    On the 3rd day, I didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I was only 11 and not a babysitter. I brought several books with me. I told them I just wanted to read today and so climbed into the loft and settled down away from my cousin.

    After a half-hour or so my aunt, all unwitting (I hope), dragged my grandma into the room under the loft and told her that something needed to be done about me, and that I was the daughter of Satan and possessed and a horrible child. I don’t remember if Grandma defended me or not. I just remember my Aunt’s word, and the incredible pain and anger they caused. I cried after they left. A lot. And I discovered that day that christians can be utter assholes.

    Now my aunt has resurfaced. She says she ‘forgives’ Grandma for bugging her house all those years ago and would like to get to know us all again. My brother informed me of all this but I know that Mom, who has missed her sister even as she acknowledges her problems, is going to ask me to go over there to visit.

    I’m highly conflicted on this. One the one hand, it’s been 20 years since that incident and it still enrages me to this day. I want to forgive, and I know that she’s ill, but I can’t forgive and I don’t know if I can even be truly civil around her. But she also brought her daughter, my youngest cousin whom I have never met. And part of me wants to meet her, because I do love my family, even those I can’t stand. I’m curious about this person. How would you handle this?

  24. abusedbypenguins says

    21st century corporations have grotesquely mutated themselves into manifestations of evil most foul.

  25. Portia says

    New yarn shop, one of my favorite things in the world! :) That yarn looks lovely…

    I finally stopped asking the neighbors to move out of my parking space and put out their indoor cigarettes and instead used “Stop doing this permanently” language. Hopefully it is effective. We’ll see.

    Update on the situation: Other Boss did show up first yesterday morning, and I told him. He could see I was flustered and shaken, and asked if I was okay. Then he said he had no advice off the top of his head and would think about it. He left it up to me whether to raise it in the meting with the three of us. I chose not to. I talked to Boss With Wife briefly and he said that she had accused him and he had given her his phone and said “If you don’t believe me, call her!” I said “Why would you do that?!” and he apologized and tried to hug me. He harrumphed out of my office when I said “NO HUGS, what’s wrong with you?!” OB came in my office to check in with me before the end of the day to see if we needed to talk more about it and I told him I talked to BWW and hopefully it’s over. I don’t know. Sigh. Now I see that BWW has been over-familiar and I just didn’t know how to make boundaries with him, given the power dynamic. : p

    (catching up from previous thread and all the things I want to answer)


    Adding my voice of support for Portia … and hugs. Office politics are notoriously difficult to negotiate. I do agree with others who have suggested that you find a way to steer the narrative in a direction that will have fewer negative consequences.

    Thanks so much. *hugs* back. I feel very unprepared for office politics in general, but I guess everybody has to muddle through them.


    This kind of thing isn’t typically done by victims of betrayal. It can be. I won’t dismiss it. But victims of betrayal, well, for it to feel like betrayal it has to be something that they don’t want to be true. They wouldn’t, therefore, normally feel the confidence to assume it’s true without very, very persuasive evidence (which, since you aren’t having an affair, they don’t have). This is not to say that they would never feel that confidence, but it’s the abusive, controlling people that are more likely to be willing to make that call.

    Very good point – given that it didn’t happen, there is no good evidence of an affair with me (I have no idea, obviously if there is evidence of him having an affair generally).

    What you said about being a single woman and career injury.

    Fuck sexism and the horse it rode in on.

    thank you. Ugh.

    A. Noyd

    But, sheesh, if she’s going to deal with her suspicions using only what she’s learned from TV, the least she could do is go the hire-a-PI route instead of the sudden-brazen-accusation-in-hopes-of-eliciting-a-confession route.

    hahahahhah I was just thinking that I need a TV show now more than ever. The Portia Project. Or something.

    Good thing rq will be around to help me outta the jams I create:D

    Sadly often women who are being cheated on blame the other woman way more heavily than their partners.
    Because you can’t hold a man resonsible for where he sticks his dick (and probably also because it’s much easier to hate on a strange woman than your own partner)

    Yeah. I am the harlot who tempted him : p


    I think “it’s easier to hate on the woman, and generally to blame women for anything bad that has anything at all to do with sex” is the dynamic.

    Yes. All of the above. One of the nice things about this whole thing is I know I can trust OB to be sensitive and not-jerky. The other day I was complaining about another lawyer mocking my client’s allegations of sexual assault – in open court. OB’s response was “The thing is, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t treat me or [other male boss] that way.” So, he gets it.

    Cait: I wonder if she is having an affair herself…of course, I don’t want to know anything more than I already do about their marital situation, ha.


    Good afternoon from the left coast, dear Horde. The sun is shining and the wind is calm up here on the mountain. No fires. The influx of summer tourists to our tiny lake commences this weekend. I’ve been reliably informed that the inmates will be running the asylum until September. Sigh.

    Portia, your situation sucks huge rotten eggs. I endorse both Carlie’s and Crip Dyke’s good advice. The more sunshine cast on this situation, the better. And definitely soonest. Please let us know how things develop. If I were in your shoes I’d probably have cast caution to the wind and let my fury fly, bright, bold, and very loud.

    Yay no fires! Hope it stays that way. I would have been mad if I hadn’t been so shocked, I think. As it was, all I could think was I’m just glad I can see Iowa from my house, but I don’t live there. Jealous wives can legally get their husband’s harlot-looking employees fired.

    Almond Flour Pound Cake with Vanilla Glaze

    Sounds so wonderful.


    Know too that acceptance of reality, the bedrock of scepticism, is your shelter in this. Finding out the truth about how employers deal with this sort of thing is the only way for you to know for sure if they are a viable long-term option.

    Thank you, my friend. That’s a good point. I think I learned something good about OB and something not-great about BWW (his response being hugging after he throws me under the bus.)


    Needless to say this was a groundless suspicion. It was therefore ironic to me that she was the one who had an affair

    This goes right along with Cait’s thought that people with guilty consciences accuse the quickest : (

    Can’t thank you all enough for your feedback and support. Especially the part where you all said “Yeah, sexist as fuck, not in your head” *hugs* all around.

  26. Portia says


    I want to forgive, and I know that she’s ill, but I can’t forgive and I don’t know if I can even be truly civil around her. But she also brought her daughter, my youngest cousin whom I have never met. And part of me wants to meet her, because I do love my family, even those I can’t stand. I’m curious about this person. How would you handle this?

    I would approach with caution, if I were you. I think you’ve got the caution part down, so the part I advocate is the approach. You can protect yourself with a clearly defined time for a short initial visit. This lets you meet your cousin and not be deprived of that by your aunt’s misdeeds. You are not obligated to ignore behavior that hurts you regardless of its cause. If she raises the topic of religion, (clearly she is still focused on what happened Way Back When, given that she “forgives” your grandmother) make yourself a subject-changing script. “That sort of thing is very personal to me and I’d rather discuss what Cousin is doing these days/likes in school/hobby” and just repeat yourself if she pushes. You politely excuse yourself if she doesn’t respect the boundary. Is it possible to meet Cousin for coffee, take her to a movie, something without Aunt present? Best of luck and big hugs.

    (Lots of this advice is adapted from the many many Captain Awkward columns I have read).

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

    It would probably be a good idea to tell choir members about some more liberal aspects of Canada. It might cause some immediate discomfort and wish to toss them out of your house, but better that than awkward situations when you travel.

  28. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, anti-gay politics. Politicians in Utah are overwhelmingly mormon, with the percentage of mormon elected officials exceeding that of the population that is mormon. The Governor, for example.

    Gov. Gary Herbert’s controversial comments — calling other states’ decision not to defend their same-sex marriage bans the “next step toward anarchy” and implying that homosexuality is a choice — may not impact Utah’s legal fight to defend its own gay-marriage ban.

    But it has prompted at least one LGBT advocacy group to demand that the governor apologize.

    “To suggest that allowing gay marriage is the foundation of anarchy, to us, is hate speech,” said John Netto, who heads the Utah Pride Center board. “We think he is uneducated … on current scientific positions in regard to human sexuality.” […]

  29. says

    TSR sold lock, stock and barrel to Wizards of the Coast back in 1997 (A few years later, WotC sold to Hasbro). They’d basically run themselves into the ground publishing endless, endless splatbooks* faster than even devoted fans would/could buy them.

    *The Fighter’s Handbook, Ranger’s Handbook, and a million more specialized ones like that.

  30. says

    My mum is in town, has been for just over one day, and is already driving me bonkers. She’s here till Wednesday.

    She (and Husband) expect me to magically decide what activities we will do. How the hell am I supposed to know what you will find fun? Especially when you won’t flipping tell me.

  31. blf says

    [M]y aunt … dragged my grandma into the room under the loft and told her that something needed to be done about me, and that I was the daughter of Satan and possessed and a horrible child.

    Tell her to feck off. Her “advice” then was complete nonsense, irrational and devoid of sense (common or otherwise). There is no reason to think she isn’t still a complete eejit. You never want to hear from her again.

    I had a somewhat similar situation and that is what I did. There was one attempt from the arsehole to contact me afterwards — done in the usual cowardly fashion of such eejits, i.e., by an innocent / uninvolved third party known to both of us — which was easily ignored since the attempted contact was so inept (as well as cowardly). She sounds like a typical xian, a complete, total, consistent, unashamed, and unrepentant liar. Tell her to feck off and leave you alone. It’s worked fine so far.

  32. blf says

    My mum is in town … and is already driving me bonkers.

    Do mothers have any other purpose? Especially once you’ve escaped the “nest”, but even before…

  33. rq says

    Is there any way to try and meet the cousin without your aunt present?
    Or a large group gathering (don’t know how you are with those) where you can have as little contact with the aunt as possible, while maintaining several emergency escape routes and managing to meet the new cousin?
    I’d try either one of those ways, because I’d be super-reluctant to even try to meet up with the aunt, at least in a small group of people.

    That’s what I’m thinking, so I just have to present it subtly but not too subtly. :P And yeah, while I trust that most choir members are cool and totally awesome people, there’s at least one guy who has previously expressed extremely religious and misogynistic (though very general) sentiments.


    *restocks all the hugs*

  34. chigau (違う) says

    Don’t forget to tell your Choir about igloos and polar bears.
    And the visa requirement that you drink a two-four of beer every day.

  35. rq says

    But how will they deal with that on top of the wooden trottoirs that have to be removed every night for fear of the beavers??? They’re leaving civilization for the Ultimate Boonies. Please, at least let them have their vodka.

  36. ck says

    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought wrote:

    It would probably be a good idea to tell choir members about some more liberal aspects of Canada.

    I’d definitely agree. Things like overy public displays of piety or moral panic that may go over well in the U.S. or a number of other countries don’t tend to go over so well in Canada. Probably best to advise people to avoid this kinds of situations whenever possible.

  37. rq says

    Hm, that’s a good point.
    Though I’m less worried about the religion as the homophobia and racism.
    See, it’s rather common here for folks to refer to people of colour as ‘n*geri’ (pronounced with the short i, as in the English n-word), and while I have dealt with this issue with Husband and a few other assorted persons of my acquaintances (e.g., colleagues), I cannot police the whole choir, and it’s just the kind of thing they’d say while talking loudly amongst themselves on public transportation. So it’s more that kind of thing I want to impress upon them, and prepare them for the visible cultural differences. (I plan on making a slide/picture showing a ‘typical Canadian’ – with an assortment of faces and colours on it. Help me, would that be okay? Or am I stepping in it myself?)
    The religious stuff only comes out in more-or-less private conversations, and again, I only anticipate anything remotely religious from the one choir member.

  38. rq says

    … Wow. Final word on voting activity: just over 30.01% of eligible voters bothered to do so. But at least the better party seems to have the lead (via exit polls), and that’s rather nice.

  39. opposablethumbs says

    FossilFishy, thank you for the links! And here’s to your song repertoire … hope the open mic nights go from strength to strength.
    rq, 1) Choir on west coast – yes. 1a) Eldest and Middle to go with – /solem tones/ only you can judge!!!! Tricky one. 2) Saturday Canada briefing – yes. Drop it in, totally casually and just-in-passing. It can’t hurt, and you just might help some choir members remember not to flip out in impolite surprise. Why not.
    Portia, sounds like you did the right thing, talking to OB. And I agree, BWW is perhaps a little too much enjoying being clueless, having his oblivious cake and friendly-hugging eating it. I hope you manage to establish boundaries that work for you. (and sexist positions as the default, totally not in your head!)
    Rowan, I think Portia nailed it in #30. (adapting Captain Awkward FTW :-) )

    Do mothers have any other purpose? Especially once you’ve escaped the “nest”, but even before…

    Oi, blf, wotch it youse! Some of us not only have (or had) mothers, we are some! Fair enough, the driving-bonkers bit is part of the job description – but we do do other stuff too. Harrumph.
    rq *restocks all the hugs*
    *grabs some*
    Repeating query-to-Horde that was portcullised: any and all opinions about the I Fucking Love Science website and Elise Andrews (good? reliable? trustworthy? worth recommending?) gratefully received!

  40. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Dallilama @33:

    TSR sold lock, stock and barrel to Wizards of the Coast back in 1997 (A few years later, WotC sold to Hasbro). They’d basically run themselves into the ground publishing endless, endless splatbooks* faster than even devoted fans would/could buy them.

    Explains it, Thank you.

    By 1997, I was completely out of fantasy games (other than “Bill Paying Challenge!” and things like that). I had the old white box books (still have them) and some of the AD&D stuff (still have them), but I guess I missed the multiplying of the books.

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

    Ooops. I thought you were being sarcasmic, dear Og.

    I’m with you on being tired of the rpg “Papers & Paychecks”.

    When they started putting out the “Complete X Guide” I was already convinced that they were engaging in bullshit.

    It was the 2e Monstrous Compendium in binder format so that you could buy expansion packs that were cheaper for TSR to print but still cost insane amounts of money that you were then supposed to alphabetize into your collection on your own…except that the pages were two sided, typically with different creatures on each side, and when you had different creatures on each side in a small expansion pack you were guaranteed that one creature would fit into your monster collection in one place in the alphabet while the other side of the same piece of paper would need to be filed differently.

    It was clearly a shitty system for every consumer designed only for maximizing TSR’s imagined profit if consumers were stupid enough not to care about shitty systems. The lack of thought and excess of greed were manifest.

    The binders, of course, were quickly scrapped after quite a lot of complaining, but that only meant that now you had to buy the non-binder format monstrous compendium which, conveniently, had a few added monsters that were quickly featured in modules and the only color illustrations.

    They were clearly jerk tactics which deserved to fail.

  42. blf says

    A few weeks ago I watched an episode of Sherlock. It had something to do with a “Chinese” triad(s) and codes and the A-Z — and my general reaction was “Meh”. However, I’ve read / been told Sherlock can be better that that nonsense, so — what do you recommend watching… ?

  43. rq says

    Hey, thanks a lot for that link! I’ll definitely make use of that information.

  44. rq says

    Sarcasmic – a sarcastic orgasm? Love it.

    So I’m going to go to Liepāja tomorrow, since Husband has himself and the boyz all set up to visit some friends of his with a yard and a kiddie pool and I don’t feel guilty anymore.

    I was going to say something else, but I should probably just go to bed. Good night!

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

    If you think this XKCD is gloriously deranged, click “next”.

    I love that site.

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

    Good night rq! Glad you love “sarcasmic” since I have to type it 4 times to get the autocorrect to leave it alone.

  47. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Crip Dyke @47:

    I thought you were being sarcasmic

    Nope. Just me being out of touch and clueless.

  48. says

    TSR had a great creative team, the business side was often not run so well. “Of Dice and Men” went through a lot of it.

  49. chigau (違う) says

    rq #50
    I clicked ‘Save Image’ on my iPad.
    Now I just hafta find out where the fuck the image was saved to.

  50. opposablethumbs says

    chigau, if you know the file name (or in the case of a file with text, any distinctive word or phrase in it) or the approximate date a file was saved then Agent Ransack is a neat (freeware) search gadget.
    Yes, it’s 2 am here. No we’re not kicking back, we’re cooking (yeah, we’re so organised … not) for tomorrow when the neighbours are coming over. We’ve done the milanesas, but we can’t cook more than 2 big pizza bases at a time, and we need 6. Doing the last 2 now.

    Going to do the rest tomorrow, though.

    Goodnight, Horde.

  51. blf says

    Ok — well, not so Ok — I just watch some other random Sherlock story and it was completely fecking incomprehensible. I had no fecking idea what was going on from beginning to end. Why the feck is this shite show recommended by others? It’s garbage! Absolute dross. The worst “entertainment” I’ve ever sat through. Total complete crap.

  52. carlie says

    blf – because Cumberbatch and Freeman are incredibly sexy men and they have amazing chemistry when acting together and the show is just fast and clever enough to make you impressed in the moment before you think about it more later and have a fridge moment.

  53. carlie says

    Plus, the Sherlock episodes did the god/bad alternating thing.

    Study in Pink: good
    Blind Banker: boring and racist
    The Great Game: amazing
    Scandal in Belgravia: annoying and sexist
    The Hounds of Baskerville: eh, filler, neither offensive nor enthralling
    The Reichenbach Fall: holy fuckballs amazing
    The Empty Hearse: great
    The Sign of Three: fantastic if you love the characters, annoying if you don’t
    His Last Vow: eh, ok enough

  54. says

    So just got in from watching X-men: Days of Future Past. *No spoilers*

    Funny that the Fridge Moment has already been mentioned. There are quite a few, i think, in this movie.

    I would recommend this one to anyone who enjoys these types of movies. Its fun and pretty well done, if you can go along for the ride and not overthink it too much. A bit too much plot/character dev and not enough superpowers (there never is, really).

    I liked it, will see it again, and will probably buy the dvd.

    Disclaimer, I am ahuge fan of superhero comics/movies. (Except for Superman. Maybe someday, they will make one worth sitting through.)

  55. Rowan vet-tech says

    *pokes her own brain with a stick* This is moderately interesting. I’ve hit a new point in my shiny new depressive episode where my only options are completely emotionless, crying for no fucking reason, and mini-panic attacks. I’ve also come to the fascinating realization that while I’m certainly not suicidal, the idea of dying doesn’t bother me. I don’t know if that’s from the utter apathy thing or something else that is only going to get worse. Fun times ahead, I’m sure.

  56. rq says

    I liked Sherlock, even though I found it annoying at times, in that ‘hey, this is kinda cool’ way where I switch my brain off and pretend it’s a super-smart show. It has had a couple of awesome episodes, a few odd ones, and I really sympathize with Molly, even though most of the time they haven’t really captured my character in her portrait.

    Hope the yardparty (patchparty?) goes well! Last minute late night cooking is, to be honest, kind of fun, but yes, exhausting.
    Also, I think you and Middle Child might talk gardening sometime: he’s been going on and on about all flowers we find or see in our garden, and how when he grows up, he will ‘invent’ (I presume genetically engineer) all kinds of black-coloured versions. Most notably, lilacs. I would love a black lilac bush.
    And speaking of black flowers, I think the black irises didn’t make it. :(

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

    @Rowan, #63:

    I am so sorry. I’ve been in that apathy-about-life place. It was kind of horrible to realize that the self-sacrificing behavior that had earned praise from others as “good” wasn’t actually good at all: If I didn’t value my life or anything about it high enough to count losing it a “sacrifice” then it’s hardly altruism to interpose myself between others and the situations that risk harm to them, is it?

    There are so many ways that perspective can screw you up, and so many ways it can screw up communication between you and others as things simply mean something different for the person who can’t care about life.

    I really, really hope that you have good support and that noticing that is a prelude to positive change, not the bottom falling out.

  58. ck says

    YOB – Ye Olde Blacksmith is a Spocktopus cuddler wrote:

    (Except for Superman. Maybe someday, they will make one worth sitting through.)

    I’m not going to hold my breath. I get the feeling that Superman is just too powerful and too much of a patriotic icon for him to ever be interesting as a character in a movie. In fact, I’d say that virtually all of DC Comics movies tend to have very bland heros, although they sometimes manage to have interesting villains (like Heath Ledger’s Joker).

  59. Ichthyic says

    I’ve hit a new point in my shiny new depressive episode where my only options are completely emotionless, crying for no fucking reason, and mini-panic attacks.

    I wouldn’t worry too much, really, those are actually commonly associated with depression from what I have read on the subject. I’ve had similar phases in my life as well; after my father died a few years back, I spent several months like that.

    and I’ve had friends that I have helped through exactly the same symptoms over the years.

    just saying… don’t panic about the panic attacks. :)

  60. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says


    I actually had kind of a fantastic day yesterday and the day before, even the parts of it I wasn’t entirely comfortable with. And now I feel uncomfortable with sharing or dwelling on it, given the whole Santa Barbara thing and all. :(

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

    No, this is a different thread. We’d love to hear about your day.

  62. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    (Also, am I the only one who shudders deep inside when I read all this “women don’t owe you SHIT” rhetoric? It’s mean to be read as “women don’t differentially owe you anything, right?” And/or “people in general, but you’re talking about women specifically, so I’ll go with it, don’t owe you their time, attention, or positive regard, let alone love or sex.” I mean, people owe you [me] Human Rights and equal opportunity and stuff still, right?)

  63. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    (Or, “women, differntially, don’t owe you, differentially, anything?” Eh.)

    Well, I didn’t get a lot of sleep… :3

    It’s not just the thread thing, I feel weirded out squeeing over my recent sexytimes happiness in light of the alleged motives for the shooting. (Also because I have the vague sense there are possible universes where I could have turned out like Rodgers and it makes me want to curl up under a bed somewhere, but my bed has drawers instead of an accessible under x.x).

    But, okay. An awesome time, a fair amount of it naked, was had with a new partner (all of it technically Friday, and night) and my continuing partner (Friday night per se, plus technically Saturday and night). :3

  64. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    However, I only saw one meteor. :( Fucking clouds.

  65. says

    Good morning

    No sensible advice, but big hugs

    Yeah, people are often unaware of interferences between languages and that the literal translation of a word might be not a word you want to use. In German the literal translation of “coloured” is a fairly neutral term, but you can see where trouble lies.
    As for the kids: dunno how yours are, but mine are generally on their best behaviour on such occasions.


    I mean, people owe you [me] Human Rights and equal opportunity and stuff still, right?

    Society as such owes you those things. Individuals can’t grant them, because they’re not fairies with superpowers. Also, I think the meaning in context is quite clear, so please stop nitpicking over it or let’s move it to Thunderdome.
    But yay for good times.

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


    I’ve also come to the fascinating realization that while I’m certainly not suicidal, the idea of dying doesn’t bother me. I don’t know if that’s from the utter apathy thing or something else that is only going to get worse.

    I won’t diagnose you because I’m no doctor of any sort. But I will mention that a blunted affect can be a sign of depression. I certainly had it when I was at my worse. If all you could see was my face you would have never known what I was preparing to do with that knife.

    I very much hope you’re in a position to get some professional help Rowan. These things can be beaten, but it often takes some help.

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

    First business trip and actually first time I’m on a couple of days long trip by myself. Excited a bit.
    Osijek is said to have an amazing zoo, so I’ll try to visit it one afternoon if there’s time.

    I’m glad you had a great time, Azkyroth!

    I expect to be completely threadrupt by next weekend.

    *hugs* all

  68. Nick Gotts says

    How the hell am I supposed to know what you will find fun? Especially when you won’t flipping tell me. – Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    Well obviously, they enjoy all the same things as other normal people, so it’s just insulting for you to expect them to tell you what they enjoy, as it implies they might be abnormal :-p

  69. Nick Gotts says

    Finally able to access the shared garden at the new flat! When we arrived, access was prevented by a bicycle lock on a gate at the top of the stairs leading down to it. After enquiries at other flats and the shops on the ground floor failed to discover who put it there, but did reveal it had been there for years, we hacksawed it off, substituting one of our own to which we told all other residents the combination (there is some sense in keeping it chained, as the building’s front door isn’t very secure, and I found two discarded syringes on the stairs, among other debris). There’s a door at the foot of the stairs, giving onto a short passage leading into the garden, and this was just bolted, so we went through. The garden, unfortunately, has been worse than neglected – someone’s used it as a rubbish dump. So we planned to do some clearing, and planted the rhubarb we’d brought from Aberdeen. Then when I went to start the clear-up, the door was mortice-locked! I thought the owner of one of the shops was to blame, wanting to keep everyone else out; but fortunately did not carry through plans to drill the lock out or take the door off its hinges, because it turns out it was another new resident, who unlike everyone else, has a key to the door. Although I haven’t yet met them, the door has been unlocked (I think a message from me via another resident got through to them), so the clear-up will start next week, weather and time permitting.

    There are other problems – trees too clse to the building, dodgy lights in a bathroom, heating system only working for hot water not radiators, hammering in the sanitary system drainage, need either to replace/refurbish shutters or get blinds for very tall windows – but they should all be fixable.

  70. Portia says

    What an intrepid adventurer you are. Hope the neighbors respect th garden once you’ve rejuvenated it.

    Hope the party goes well :) mine is on Wednesday. I’m getting nervous. But I think it’ll be fine in spite of myself.

    I’m very happy for you re: new romance. Happy times :)
    I think in answer to your question, you might indeed be the only one *here*who shudders at the “women don’t owe you anything” idea. I haven’t read the other thread but I suspect the context that giliell refers to is a perfectly legit reason to say that. Also as giliell says, no one Individual can grant human rights to any other.

  71. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Portia and rq! Just taking 3.5 minutes for a coffee, then back to last bits of cooking.

    The lemon polenta cake has come out of the oven looking, smelling and feeling right! Yay!

    Azkyroth, yay for happytimes. Glad to read it.

    Good luck with all the new flat works and undertakings, Nick Gotts! You are in my probably most favouritest city …

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

    Re: lemon polenta cake

    Sounds great.

  73. Portia says

    Seconding Beatrice re cake. Recipe?

    Discussion of the Santa Barbara thread,

    I’m also working my way thru the murder/suicide thread. CD thank you for your comments and Louis if you’re reading, thank you for yours.

    I’m terrified more than ever to be a woman, and one who often deals with aggrieved men who pin their problems on men (if I never hear “the judge won’t listen to me, women get the advantage!” Again, it’ll be too soon)

  74. Nick Gotts says


    Well we knew that anyway, from looking down from our window – the garbage is concentrated near the building. It’s a bit of a mystery, as this area is stuffed with large bins for public use; I guess some people just hate to see any outside area that’s not covered in junk. The trees too near the house do have the advantage that birds and squirrels use them and so come up close, but they do block the light, and we fear they might damage the foundations if left alone. We had an enjoyable time capturing the most light-blocking branches from our windows and sawing them off last weekend.


    Yes, Edinburgh has a lot going for it! On this occasion, we’ll only be here until September, but I’d like to come back and live here or nearby after our planned couple of years abroad.

    Thanks to all for the good wishes. Son reminded us of a thermostat on a wall behind a bookcase which might be stopping the central heating working – and sure enough, when that was adjusted, it came on. So that’s one problem less.

  75. says

    Cheezuz, but the world can be such a crappy place. So much hate and anger and sadness.

    But then, lemon polenta cake, prospects of new secret gardens, new romances, snail and spider pics, supportive comminities. Little things can be huge.

    When my brain will let me, knowing that there are small and large joys all around us makes the world “ok” sometimes.

    Rowan no advice since i am frequently in the same boat. But *hugs* and a soft blanky, if wanted.

  76. carlie says

    Nick – broken window effect, probably? Here’s hoping that once it looks nice, people aren’t inclined to dump stuff there.

  77. says

    Fuck My Life

    I was fired today. The owners told me there is an inordinate amount of voids coming from me and combined with the fact that I don’t close my checks out immediately, it looks like I’m waiting until the end of the night and voiding off tickets and pocketing the money. I wasn’t given any chance to defend myself, and it probably would have been fruitless anyway. Their minds were made up.
    The fucked up thing is that a) I wasn’t stealing
    b) Not having been trained in the particular method of closing checks that our restaurant has, I’ve always operated the same as everywhere else I’ve worked, which is not the same way they prefer to do things.
    I’m really despondent right now…

  78. Portia says

    That is terrible. I cannot imagine suspecting you of dishonesty. I’m really sorry my friend.

  79. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Shit. Tony, that sucks. Virtual hugs to you.

  80. says

    Tony, I’m really sorry too. I’m gonna break out the whiskey and drink one for you, for better days, coming soon i hope, though you won’t be thinking of that just yet. May I offer you a virtual round? I really really like your presence here on Pharyngula, and think you deserve a whole lot better.

  81. blf says

    carlie@61, According to yer list, the two episodes of Sherlock that I watched are both bad ones (The Blind Banker and Scandal in Belgravia), in one case exceptionally bad.

  82. Nick Gotts says


    Well possibly – but it’s right out of public view. Our building’s garden is part of a green patch, divided into small gardens and completely surrounded by buildings. You can only get in the way we did, by climbing out of a window at the back of the shops, by climbing over one or more garden walls after coming through one of the other buildings, or over several garden walls after going through an open passage under one building. All these seem a hell of a lot of trouble to go to just to dump rubbish!

  83. Nick Gotts says


    Fuck, that’s awful. I’m sure I’m one of many here who will chip in if you get into acute money problems. Don’t hestitate to ask!

  84. blf says

    Tony, I’m sorry to hear that. I’d ask the mildly deranged penguin to visit you (she’s quite good at cheering people up, as long as no peas are involved), but since she’s still on a New Orbit’s bender (I assume) that’s, unfortunately, not practical. Or maybe fortunately, if you value yer cheeseboard.

    And the extremely angry mouse still won’t let me near the TARDIS, so I cannot visit myself (you should be dancing for joy now! FLUMP!— but watch for the… ah, nevermind, you’ve fallen over it…), but also can’t easily send a gift of cheese. Apologies.

  85. blf says

    All these seem a hell of a lot of trouble to go to just to dump rubbish!

    Yer forgetting the obvious, simple, possibilities:

    Loch Ness Monster.

  86. blf says

    Yesterday in the local “French Foodstuffs From Arounrd The World” shoppe (not its real name), I found some wasbi-coated roasted peanuts. (No, I’ve no idea just what the French connection with Japan is…) I just finished eating them. Not bad, but two Very Important tips:

    Avoid eating big handfuls.
    (Unless you like snoting wasbi out of yer nose, that is…)

    Do not rub your eye with the hand you’ve been using to eat the peanuts with.
    (Still blinking furiously…)

  87. blf says

    “Snoting”? Well, I had intended snorting, but snotting also works…

    Al hale Ytpos!

  88. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    (No, I’ve no idea just what the French connection with Japan is…)

    Well, the French Connection with the US was heroin, so . . .

  89. Nick Gotts says


    Actually, another possibility has occurred to me: residents of the flats (current or former) dropping stuff out of their back windows rather than take it down stairs and 25 metres along the road. Human laziness, after all, is a powerful force! So that would fit under carlie@88’s “broken window effect”.

  90. chigau (違う) says

    (No, I’ve no idea just what the French connection with Japan is…)

    Well, the French Connection with the US was heroin, so . . .


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

    @Portia, #84:


    @blf, #105:

    I’ve no idea just what the French connection with Japan is…

    Narcissistic nationalism, same as with the US?

  92. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Tony, I’m so sorry to hear about your being fired. How will you handle that bit of information in future job interviews? Let us know if you need any help.

  93. says

    Thank you all.
    I am alternating between frustration, anger, helplessness, and a great deal of worry.

    I am not sure to be honest. I value being truthful but to do so may jeopardize my chance to get a job. I am open to suggestions on this one.

  94. chigau (違う) says

    I hope in any future job interviews, you will be able to present the whole story.
    on another note
    back in the days when I actually went out to drink, I tended to follow my favorite bartenders.
    If they quit one bar and went to another, so did I.

  95. rq says

    I’m ready to lend some support as well, should it be needed. :( I’m so angry on your behalf – no chance to defend yourself?? Wow… :(
    Good luck in the job hunt, I hope it is a short one!
    I wish I owned a bar where I could hire you. Basically immediately.

  96. says

    Weed(less) Monkey

    is illegal as hell where i live.

    Florida’s what’s called (in a masterpiece of Orwellian doublespeak) a ‘right to work’ state, which means that you can be fired at any time for any reason and have basically no recourse.

  97. says


    Florida’s what’s called (in a masterpiece of Orwellian doublespeak) a ‘right to work’ state, which means that you can be fired at any time for any reason and have basically no recourse.

    The term I’ve seen is “at will”, “right to work” typically means you can’t be required to join a union to work somewhere. Though I suppose there could be regional variation.

    Most low level jobs are at will in the US… but it might be worth contacting the local department of labor if Tony is in the US. Getting fired is generally a disqualifier for unemployment insurance, but the fairness of the firing is considered on that end of things, much more so than in determining the legality of the firing. There’s also a small chance you might fall into an exception to at will firing laws, you might as well ask when you apply for UI- you’ll probably have to show up in person to explain the firing anyways.

    Tony, also, if you otherwise liked the job and there’s a higher level of management than the ones that fired you, you might want to consider appealing up the chain of command.

  98. says

    Hahaha! It’s not just low-level jobs which are “at will” in the U.S.

    In the Silicon Valley, where I have family, most mid-level employees in the information technologies are now “contractors”. A contractor is a kind of temporary worker. My sister came into work a month ago and was told her salary was being reduced by 30%.

  99. says


    Florida’s what’s called (in a masterpiece of Orwellian doublespeak) a ‘right to work’ state, which means that you can be fired at any time for any reason and have basically no recourse.

    That’s ghastly. The time I got fired I at least got a hearing, with a union rep present (I hadn’t joined a union yet but they presented me nevertheless)

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

    I have just learned that I am

    …the biggest dumb-dumb, booboo-head meanie in the EVER!

    That is all.

  101. says

    This is bad news:

    Employees at any public Kansas university or college can now be fired for tweeting statements that could tarnish the school’s reputation thanks to a new policy that has raised free speech concerns, The Wichita Eagle first reported.
    The Kansas Board of Regents, which oversees seven state universities and 26 community and technical schools, revised its relatively new social media policy so that any state school employee could get fired for improperly using social media — especially if what’s said is “contrary to the best interests of the employer.” Whether its using profanity in a YouTube video, writing a blog about a school’s improper handling of rape cases, quoting religious text, or commenting on your personal life on Facebook, any speech that could potentially embarrass the school is grounds for being fired.
    “It’s too broad, it’s too vague, and it’s already causing people to chill themselves in the way that they use social media,” Doug Bonney, chief counsel and legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, told ThinkProgress.

  102. says

    This however, is good news:

    From their ‘About’ page:

    We are comics: creators, publishers, retailers, readers; professionals and fans. And we are a lot more diverse than you might think.

    We Are Comics is a campaign to show—and celebrate—the faces of our community, our industry, and our culture; to promote the visibility of marginalized members of our population; and to stand in solidarity against harassment and abuse.

    The comics community (by which I mean creators, readers, retailers, etc) is made up of a diverse group of people (far more than simply cis, white, USanian, neurotypical males) so I applaud this attempt at highlighting that diversity. Reading the entries from people all over the world was really cool.

  103. says

    Wow. Here’s something else that gives me a little bit of hope for humanity and the medium that I love.


    Many of you know that Comic Book Resources started in 1996 as a “Kingdom Come” fan site. On that site, I launched message boards which, by the end of that series, had grown into a small and beautiful community. From those inclusive, diverse and exciting boards grew friendships, relationships and even families.

    Over time, CBR’s focus shifted from a community to the media outlet it is today, and the forums haven’t received the focus they needed from me as I grew the company. While I’m proud of what CBR has become, and I believe CBR has some of the best fans in the world, with some of the biggest hearts and most open minds in all of fandom, unfortunately, we have had an increasingly loud contingent take root on our forums who refuse to behave in a manner respectful to others.

    This changes now.

    There has been a negativity and nastiness that has existed on the CBR forums for too long. Two weeks ago, that long-growing ugliness became more pronounced than ever. CBR published an article by guest contributor Janelle Asselin, critiquing the cover to DC Comics’ upcoming “Teen Titans” #1. Some of you liked the article, some of you didn’t. We encouraged readers to share their feedback in the CBR Forums.

    Unfortunately, what happened next was unacceptable — so-called “fans” around the Internet, on various message boards and social media, including the CBR Forums, attacked Janelle personally, threatening her with rape and assault. These same “fans” found her e-mail, home address and other personal information, and used it to harass and terrorize her, including an attempted hacking of her bank account.

    All over a comic book cover critique. Just think about that for a second.

    If you’re one of the people who participated in any of these reprehensible acts, my message is simple: You are not welcome anywhere on CBR, and in our opinion, you have no place in the comics industry.

    But you know what? I’m responsible, too.

    I failed to do all I can to make the CBR Forums a safer and better place by adequately dealing with this behavior. And while we employ an army of volunteer moderators, the thread was not properly moderated.

    To be clear: this is about more than just this one thread. While there are many examples of good conversation among great members on our old forums, hateful and ugly comments were allowed to be posted in the interest of “free speech,” which made the forums a place that wasn’t accepting or inviting. I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t take enough notice of what was happening.

    That failure falls on me. And I apologize.

  104. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    You don’t know me, but I know you after a fashion as I’ve followed your posts like I do all of the regulars on here for some time now. I’m really sorry to hear what you’re going through. Utter bollocks, and all that.

    For what it’s worth, this single panel comic says it all:

    From me to you.

    Best of luck and please do let us know how it goes.

  105. says

    I’ve been struggling not to blame myself for what happened, but at the same time, thinking about anything that I could have done to justify my termination. My emotions have been on a rollercoaster much of the day and no matter how I try to distract my mind, I fail.

    jrfdeux: THANK YOU
    Your kind words, in addition to that image lifted my emotions, however briefly, and I really, really appreciate that.

  106. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    You are so welcome. How’s that saying go again? Shared joy is magnified, shared pain is lessened. So let us help you lessen your pain.

    “Us” includes a tiny potato. :-)

  107. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    You do. I’m a Vancouverite who’s had a couple of opportunities to sit with Spider and his wife avec guitar in a coffee shop. That was over a decade ago though…holy cow, how time has flown.

    I just bought a Kobo a few months back, and thinking about Callahan’s again has ignited the urge to buy my fave Spider books in e-format.

  108. birgerjohansson says

    UnknownEric the Apostate @3,
    God s like that divine wagon in India, that crushes the worshippers?

    To quote Sandman Slim; “we are all bugs on God’s windsheild”*
    (*he does not like the big shots, neither Upstairs nor Downstairs)

    — — — —
    Tony, I won’t pray for you but you are in my thoughts. Good luck!

    — — — — —
    Crip Dyke, you should take that as a compliment.

  109. says

    Good morning
    I find it ironic that 70 years after D-Day about three times as many people (relatively) are voting for neo-fascist parties in France and the UK than in Germany. Not that 7% for the AfD (think only slightly better than UKIP) and 1% for the NPD (think slightly worse than UKIP) is anything to be happy about.

    I watched an interesting documentary last night about a deaf woman who got a cochlear implant now as an adult. When she grew up in the 70’s, the general “treatment” for deaf children was to put them into “special schools” (where the goal was not to integrate them and allow them to participate in society but to put them away). Her mother fought all those things, said that she wanted her daughter to have all the chances in the world a hearing kid gets, too.
    What I found really interesting was the speech therapist she went to as a child, one of the first in Germany who even thought it possible that deaf children could learn how to talk. She said what gave her the greatest satisfaction was that now these children could talk back. Before, the hearing world simply told them what to do and they could not refuse. Now those children could tell their parents and guardians that “I’ll be ready in 5 minutes” or “no, I don’t want that”.

  110. says

    Can’t log in to World of Warcraft. Appears to be an authenticator problem, and unless the forums come up with something clever, I’m likely to spend some of tomorrow on the phone with Blizzard.

    Also, two novels down in the past week or so. John Green- “The Fault in Our Stars” and Christie Golden- “The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm”. Both quite good. A solid paper could be written on Garrosh Hellscream as a tragic hero. And TFiOS brought on so many tears I’m not sure I’ll see the movie, no matter how good reviewers say it captures the book(John Green seems to think they did a good job on that count). Amazing book, and I have little doubt the movie will be good, but holy crap did those last few chapters wreck me. Actually, the better the movie captures the book, the less likely I am to see it. I want to, but I don’t want to go alone and there are precious few people I’d be comfortable with given how likely it is I’ll be emotionally wrecked. Cancer sucks. Seeing someone you love die of it sucks worse. Seeing that happen when you are both 17… yeah. The book hit home, I know I’m being a little repetitive here but I’m still reeling a bit from how it hit me. John Green knows what he’s talking about when it comes to this.

    I hope to continue this pace. There are several other Warcraft novels and comics on my list to read(like, nearly all of them), the Game of Thrones books, another volume of Gunsmith Cats, and I don’t know how much nonfiction but it’s a lot. Also most of the Foundation series. And a gigantic pile of other stuff.

  111. blf says

    In The Village™ were I live, last(?) month about a quarter of those who voted voted for the nazis. (And the percentage in the previous French presidential election was similar albeit slightly less.) Fortunately, no nazis were elected locally (albeit some were in near-ish–by areas).

    In the EU Imperilment elections just held, about one third of the votes cast (from a low, less than 50%, turnout) were for nazis. So the arsehole won. My “MEP” — ha! — is the convicted criminal himself and father of the scumbag currently leading the nazis, the elder le “feck their useless shite-for-brains” pen. The Ebola nutter.

    Then, juat to make my mood even more foul, on the weekend I spotted, on the main (pedestrianized) shopping street, a “shop” which. whilst not explicitly identifying itself or what it “sold”, seems to be the nazis local headquartersstormtroppers club. I hadn’t noticed it before (albeit I’m rarely up at that end of the street), so it’s probably (and looks) new-ish. Hopefully it exists only for the duration of the now-completed elections, and so will be disinfected and returned to productive use soon.

    Fortunately, no nazi electioneering propaganda was shoved through my letterbox.

  112. Nick Gotts says


    Deeply unpleasant though they are, I wouldn’t call UKIP neo-fascist: racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and reactionary, certainly, but more accurately classed as (far)-right-populist, like the Danish People’s Party or, from what I know of them, the AfD. I’m not just relying on my own opinion here: Searchlight, the main UK antifascist periodical, while reporting on their bigotry and the existence of fascists within their ranks, does not group them with fascist UK parties such as the BNP (which lost its only seat in the European Parliament). That UKIP appear to have achieved the largest share of the vote here is alarming (final Scottish results are not yet in, BTW, and they are unlikely to do anything like so well here, but are still pretty certain to top the poll). Looking at the figures, however, quite a lot of their rise is accounted for by the collapse of votes from parties even further to the right (BNP, English Democrats [sic], Christian Peoples Alliance).

  113. rq says

    their bigotry and the existence of fascists within their ranks

    If they haven’t publicly denounced those fascists within their ranks, well, then they’re all fascists.

  114. opposablethumbs says

    Fuck, Tony, that is awful. I’m so, so sorry – “knowing” you via your writings here and knowing how principled and scrupulously honest you are (far more than most, and certainly more than I am) and how supportive you are of your fellow workers, I am thunderstruck that your bosses could even think such a thing of you let alone dismiss you without a chance to talk. How could they be so short-sighted? How could they refuse even to listen to you? Shit, they have no excuse, this is the most appalling behaviour. I’m so very sorry.

  115. opposablethumbs says

    I had just written out my silly recipe, thinking of kind comments upthread from Beatrice and Portia, when I first saw Tony’s awful news. It always feels so jarring to mix lighthearted fluff and serious bad news so close together, but it’s kind of a Lounge norm, I guess – I hope you don’t mind. Anyway, this is the silly recipe fluff comment.
    :-) Portia and Beatrice! I am not much of a baker, but after 2 or 3 earlier attempts the lemon polenta cake recipe I slightly adapted and settled on and my fellow eaters seem to like is a pretty simple one – first, catch your chicken (translation: I looked up the simplest Rachel Allen lemon polenta cake recipe I could find on the web – I started with this one:
    2) use HALF the amount of butter it says (seriously, that first attempt was like eating butter with butter, with extra butter on the side) 3) use about 2/3 to 3/4 the amount of sugar it says (the official version is way too sweet) 4) use DOUBLE the amount of polenta (see both previous comments; this gets the proportions about right imo!)) 4) keep everything else the same :-)

    So my slightly adapted version would be, say, about 110g of butter, creamed with about 150g of sugar, beat in 3 eggs (recipes always say one at a time, though I don’t know why), add all the zest and all the juice of 1 lemon (if I happened to have a half lemon left over from something else I’d probably add the zest and juice from that too), add a bit of vanilla essence which is not in the official version at all but because you just happened to have some left over on the shelf and why not, fold in (ideally) about 200g of ground almonds (sadly I only had a packet of 150g on the shelf), fold in about 250g of fine polenta (even with this, the mixture should still be runny enough that you can use a whisk on slow setting), add one teaspoonful of baking powder, pour into the cake mould you had OF COURSE remembered to prepare earlier and put into a low oven that you had of course pre-heated (170 degrees C; I’m afraid I don’t know what that is for a gas oven, let alone translated into that weird Fahrenheit stuff) for about an hour. Because it’s a slow-cooking cake, they recommend opening the oven for a split second after the first 45 minutes to put a bit of greaseproof paper on top of the cake to stop it browning too much in the last 15 to 20 minutes. Stick clean dry knife into middle of cake to check if it’s done; if it comes out with cake mix on, give cake another 10 to 15 minutes and check again.


  116. carlie says

    blf – ugh, I can see why you don’t like Sherlock, then. If you wanted to give it one more go, I’d say make it count and be Reichenbach Fall. You won’t have the emotional impact of having sat through it long enough to really “feel” the impact of it, but everyone knows the Holmes characters enough to know the outlines of the relationships and what’s going on, and you’ll recognize everyone (except Moriarty, who is this guy, and now you will).

    Tony – my only thought is to wait a day or so until everyone cools down and then ask for the opportunity to explain yourself – being clear that you’re not asking to request your job back, but to give them your explanation just to clear your name. My orig. thought was that this would be in case of a future employer asking around about you later on, but it looks like it could be necessary to get unemployment, too; it would depend on what the employer says as to why you got fired.

  117. blf says

    carlie, Based on yer list @61, I watched a Study in Pink, which was good, and followed it up by The Great Game, which was bizarre and poorly-conceived, albeit not dross. Moriarty was a rarely-mentioned character in Doyle’s original stories, notable perhaps mostly for being a repeating character (in the later stories) originally(?) introduced mostly to kill Holmes off. He’s always reminded me of a James Bond style supervillian, and just as believable. In the The Great Game he is an even more Bond-ish supervillian. Absurd, combined with a story without much of a plot and overlyambiguous ending; a little too much “suspension of disbelief” required.

    Score so far:

    1 complete rubbish.
    1 very poor.
    1 so-so.
    1 good.

  118. blf says

    use HALF the amount of butter it says (seriously, that first attempt was like eating butter with butter, with extra butter on the side)

    Or just use the mildly deranged penguin’s approach to repairing botched recipes  / concoctions:

    (1) If any peas are involved, fumigate and then incinerate. In extreme cases (e.g., two or more peas), return to orbit and—…

    (2) Now that the area / planet has been de-peaed, discard all other ingredients and replace by cheese. And moar cheese to eat whilst swallowing the first batch of cheese. Have some additional cheese on standby for snacks, desert, and any hungry-looking penguins which show up.

    Serve with vin, cheese, vin, vin, moar cheese and vin, with cheese and several fine ports.

    That’s the appetizer.
    Then, for the main course…

  119. carlie says

    blf – yeah, my rating of Great Game was influenced mainly by the end scene. I forgot how long it took to get there.

  120. birgerjohansson says

    I am told that Florida is like two states in one;
    One Republican-dominated and one liberal.
    I assume northwest is Thuglicanland.

    Good luck finding a job. Do you know any friends who would let you borrow some second-hand car you can use going to and from job interviews?

  121. birgerjohansson says

    Bunny Yeager, photographer behind rise of Bettie Page, dies aged 85

    Best of Last Week on Physorg: Mass investigated, wormhole time travel possibility and net encryption cracked in two hours
    Wild mice actually enjoy running on exercise wheels
    Immune children raise hopes of malaria vaccine breakthrough

  122. birgerjohansson says

    BTW Berlin is a marvellous city.
    I went there this weekend for my niece’s wedding. I had intended to do more strolling, but the heat forced me indoors.
    Berlin-Tegel is a great airport. There is a tunnel for taxis and other cars so you come up in the middle. A huge board shows up-to-date which gate has which flights, then you get out in front of the right terminal and only walk a short distance. You don’t see this concept on other airports, because the airport store owners want the passengers to walk long distances past their stores, so they will volunteer getting fleeced.
    One spooky fact: The church we used is next to the Wannsee lake. So the place used for the Wannsee conference must be close by.
    One funny fact. The schloss-like place where we had the wedding dinner (with two huge stone lions in the garden) is not far from the bridge in Potsdam where East and West exchanged agents during the cold war.
    You get history everywhere you go (and thousands of Swedish soldiers probably died of dysentery when marching around the region during the thirty-year war).

    This far out, the night sky was quite dark. I noticed Arcturus was much higher in the sky than when seen from northern Sweden. 1000 km north or south= an 11 degree change in star distance from the horizon.

  123. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tony, sorry to hear about your situation. Hope something comes up soon.

    Yesterday I took the Redhead to the Gem and Mineral show. She made a few purchases, and enjoyed seeing some dealers, who she treats as friends. On the way home, we stopped at a Thai restaurant in a strip mall. She lost a bracelet she purchased on the way into the restaurant, and when I went to look for it later, found it had been dropped in the middle of the “street”, and run over. She thinks she can get is mostly repaired here in town. Meanwhile, she chowed down on a lamb appetizer, duck soup, and lobster in garlic sauce. I had seafood Rangoon and a pork dish with ginger, shitake mushrooms, onions, and carrots in a ginger sauce. *burp*
    Today we are both a bit tired and sore.

  124. awakeinmo says

    This is as good a place as any to vent.

    This is the worst allergy season I’ve ever lived through.
    I was awarded a contract for a job that I’m not actually sure I can do.
    I’m very behind on another job.
    Insomnia’s a horrible bully.
    My 16-year-old dog is not terribly interested in eating anymore.
    Above stresses have pummeled my intestines so wandering more than fifty feet from the bathroom is a bad idea.

    Venting complete.

  125. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    I’m going to go have lunch at Popeyes!

    (No, nothing is really happening. Which is good.)

  126. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Oh Boy!

    LDS Missionaries coming down the block.

    What should my position be with regards to missionaries?

    (That was a joke, not a real request for information.)

  127. says

    A different kind of Memorial Day remembrance.

    About 620,000 soldiers died in the Civil War. American deaths in all other wars up to and including the Korean conflict total bout 606,000. The First Decoration Day,/i> remembers some of the massive numbers killed during the Civil War. Charleston had been abandoned by white residents. Troops entering the city were soldiers from the Twenty First U.S. colored Infantry. They oversaw the First Decoration Day.

    […] Thousands of black Charlestonians, most former slaves, remained in the city and conducted a series of commemorations to declare their sense of the meaning of the war. The largest of these events, and unknown until some extraordinary luck in my recent research, took place on May 1, 1865. During the final year of the war, the Confederates had converted the planters’ horse track, the Washington Race Course and Jockey Club, into an outdoor prison. Union soldiers were kept in horrible conditions in the interior of the track; at least 257 died of exposure and disease and were hastily buried in a mass grave behind the grandstand. Some twenty-eight black workmen went to the site, re-buried the Union dead properly, and built a high fence around the cemetery. They whitewashed the fence and built an archway over an entrance on which they inscribed the words, “Martyrs of the Race Course.”

    Then, black Charlestonians in cooperation with white missionaries and teachers, staged an unforgettable parade of 10,000 people on the slaveholders’ race course. The symbolic power of the low-country planter aristocracy’s horse track (where they had displayed their wealth, leisure, and influence) was not lost on the freedpeople. A New York Tribune correspondent witnessed the event, describing “a procession of friends and mourners as South Carolina and the United States never saw before.” […]

  128. says

    Another memorable quote from The First Decoration Day (link in #162):

    a measure of how white Charlestonians suppressed from memory this founding in favor of their own creation of the practice later came fifty-one years afterward, when the president of the Ladies Memorial Association of Charleston received an inquiry about the May 1, 1865 parade. A United Daughters of the Confederacy official from New Orleans wanted to know if it was true that blacks had engaged in such a burial rite. Mrs. S. C. Beckwith responded tersely: “I regret that I was unable to gather any official information in answer to this.” In the struggle over memory and meaning in any society, some stories just get lost while others attain mainstream dominance.

  129. says

    Ogvorbis @160, give this to the LDS missionaries:

    Looks boring, but is actually an informational bomb that blows up mormonism better than anything else I’ve read. Also, it was written by a TBM (True Believing Mormon) as an honest attempt to come to terms with doubts, but ended up being an exploration that shattered the hold of mormonism. It even has been proven effective in reversing the effects of brainwashing.

  130. carlie says

    Nerd, glad to hear the bracelet was found!

    Og – are you asking how to do the missionary position? O.o

    awakeinmo – I’m really sorry. It sucks when so many things come together at once like that. :(

  131. says

    Southern white supremacist — still not nice:

    A Mississippi judge allegedly slapped a young mentally disabled black man earlier this month at a flea market and yelled “run, n—-, run,” the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported Sunday.

    The family of Eric Rivers, 20, filed a complaint against Madison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger, who is white, accusing him of striking Rivers at the market on May 8 in Canton, Miss.

    “This is 2014, not 1960, where someone could slap a young man and call out, ‘Run, n—–, run,'” former Canton Mayor William Truly, now president of the Canton branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, told the Clarion-Ledger.

    An apparent witness, Tammy Westbrook, told the newspaper Rivers was offering to help flea market vendors unload their goods when Weisenberger slapped him twice, then yelled “run, n—-, run” as he fled. Westbrook and her sister, a vendor at the flea market, recalled that they thought Weisenberger was a law enforcement officer because he was wearing a security guard’s uniform. […]

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

    @Ogvorbis, #157:

    I’m going to go have lunch at Popeyes!

    So, I totes spoiled the evil snark of one of my Black friends when we were still in the early stages of our friendship and (enjoying taboo humor as he and I both do) he asked this very middle class white woman:

    Friend: So…how do you know when you’re in the Black part of town*

    Me: You can see the Popeye’s?

    Friend: Buh? Whuh? White ladies aren’t supposed to say that! White ladies aren’t supposed to *know* that!

    He still ribs me for ruining his joke in an I-love-you-for-understanding-me-but-I-still-regret-not-getting-to-shock-you sort of way. I still remember the awesomely shocked-befuddled-appreciative combo-look on his face.

    Other than that, my connection to Popeye’s is eating fries there once and sitting through a number of lunches/ linners talking social justice or party planning with one friend or another eating while the veggie Crip Dyke sipped a water.

    *ambiguous as to whether he meant the town we were in or just generally. I took it to be general

  133. awakeinmo says

    Carlie, thanks for the kind words. Magic words, in fact. The dog made a healthy poo and is eating lunch. And the little tear you brought to my eye flushed out some of the allergens.
    Thanks boo.

  134. millssg99 says

    If you haven’t read “The Divide” by Matt Taibbi you should. If everything else in the book doesn’t depress you beyond recovery, you at least will have a bunch more reasons to regret ever supporting Obama. This is an outstanding book that SHOULD disgust people across the entire political spectrum.

  135. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If you haven’t read “The Divide” by Matt Taibbi you should. If everything else in the book doesn’t depress you beyond recovery, you at least will have a bunch more reasons to regret ever supporting Obama.

    And given the last two presidential elections, can you show a viable candidate (meaning rethuglican, as there were no other candidates were even close to electable) that would do better?

  136. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And Millssg99, if you want to discuss this issue, the Thunderdome is a more appropriate venue.

  137. millssg99 says

    Don’t want to discuss it. Just a book recommendation. Very highly recommended.

  138. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Don’t want to discuss it. Just a book recommendation. Very highly recommended.

    If you aren’t willing to defend it with evidence, dismissed without evidence….

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

    Nerd, your tic of “dismissed without evidence” is really annoying and is generally unhelpful. I get what you’re trying to say, but it generally just comes as rude.

  140. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, your tic of “dismissed without evidence” is really annoying and is generally unhelpful. I get what you’re trying to say, but it generally just comes as rude.

    Did I not try to get the discussion moved to a more appropriate venue first? And yes, I mean it to rude (I flunked some of my cotillion lessons) to those who are too rude to respond in the proper manner or place.

    If they post something that is debatable, why can’t they debate it?

  141. Portia says

    Extra hugs on the pile for Tony!

    I painted something

    On my phone, sorry for lack if HTML

    Thanks for the recipe opposablethumbs!

    Ogvorbis, I laughed at your missionary joke:) hope they weren’t too annoying.

    Lynna, I intend to read that letter as an anthropological enterprise.

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

    If they post something that is debatable, why can’t they debate it?

    Why do you presume that they wanted a debate? I read #170 as “I liked this book!” not as “I would be interested in discussing everyone’s views of this book.”

    Not everything is inherently up for debate.

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

    Oooh! Portia! I dig it!

    Also, for Throwaway, if you ever read here: the smoke bomb vanish was a response of true genius. I would have posted over there, but

    1. I didn’t want to further clutter a serious thread.
    2. you had vanished, duh.

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

    Howdy Crip Dyke! Nice seeing you again. *waves*

    How’s the bag working out? :D

  145. says

    I agree with Esteleth. That a topic (or in this case, book) *can* be debated doesn’t mean that someone who mentions the book as a worthwhile read is looking to debate.


    Crip Dyke:
    In another thread, you asked about _spitballing_:

    *what the hell does that even mean? I speak english and I know it’s an idiom, but an idiom invoking what?

    The word usually means “brainstorming an idea”, so I think it may have some connection to baseball (as there is a pitch referred to as the ‘spitball’). Spitballing an idea would mean that someone is sharing what they think may be a good idea in the hopes that others will agree (thus knocking it out of the park).

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

    The bag is loverly, Esteleth. It’s hanging on my bedpost just now (left the house in a hurry, so didn’t grab it) but I usually use it even when I’m carrying my back pack just to keep the computer in good shape. I worry a lot less about it in it’s delightful red/white cover. And, for some reason, there are fewer crumbs on inside when I open my laptop.*

    How are you?

    Out here the weather is mostly nice, but it’s more humid than I’m used to. As any atmospheric chemist or atmospheric physicist will tell you, moist air holds more energy at a given temperature than dry air. Thus cold wet air sucks the heat out of you faster, and warm wet air overheats you faster.

    So the upshot is that even after a couple years in Canada, I still go out in the morning, check the temp, grab some clothes, and consistently end up with an outfit really made for the wrong temperature.

    Plus a prescription med I added in december makes me sweat far more than I ever used to do. Translation: in the winter I was just a bit colder than normal, but I dealt. In late spring? I’m sweating triple and not smelling too attractive.

    Family still seems to tolerate me, though. That’s something!

    *I really need to throw my backpack in the washer more often.

  147. millssg99 says

    If you don’t want to read the book don’t read it. It’s an excellent book with a subject matter I think that would interest many people here. If you want to pick a fight with someone look elsewhere. Your need doesn’t impose an obligation on me. I have no interest in debating anything in it with you. Somebody posted a response on Quora today that seems appropriate:

    What are some stupid things that smart people do?

    514 Jon Mixon, I look for tips and hacks in my every…

    Arguing with people on Internet forums – Possibly the greatest waste of time yet invented.

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

    I am well.

    Yesterday I joked that nursing school is doing wonders for me – women are constantly asking me for favors, and I’ve had so much contact with genitals!

    Nursing school, it seems, is also making me crass, in addition to destroying my sleep schedule.

    As today is a holiday, I am sitting in my comfortably cool (old building + judicious use of fans FTW!) room in my undergarmies drinking a beer.

  149. says

    *hugs all around*

    Very pretty!


    Og – are you asking how to do the missionary position? O.o

    You made me tell that joke…
    In a lecture about human sexuality, the professor asks “how many sex-positions do you know?”
    From somewhere in back of the room a voice yells “50!!!”. The professor doesn’t like people who simply yell and ignores the person. They then ask a student in the from row. The student blushes and says “Well, I know this one where the woman lies on her back and the man lies on top of her…” “51!!!!!!!!!”

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

    sounds delightful. My class starts in 20 min, but at least I’m in a gorgeous building. And my undergarments. Plus a few other garments, of course.

    As for the genital contact, I hear from neuroguy that the more genital contact people in a society have, the better, so thank you for doing your part for social change.


  151. says


    Arguing with people on Internet forums – Possibly the greatest waste of time yet invented.

    I don’t agree with this. 2 people arguing online may not change each others’ minds, but there are lurkers who also read who can *and do* change their opinions. We’ve seen many people comment about how they’ve lurked and learned so much from arguments.
    In addition, I’ve found that arguing online has had the side effect of helping expand my base of knowledge on a subject.

  152. millssg99 says

    Tony!, actually same for me – sometimes. However, there are times when it is a monumental waste of time. As a veteran of 20 years of such useless debates, I find one must pick one’s battles carefully, otherwise it becomes exactly that – a waste of time. Many of my great reads have come from recommendations upon which I impose no obligation on the recommender to debate me. I’m much better off as a result.

  153. millssg99 says

    BTW, Greenwald’s new book about Snowden and the NSA is a decent read as well. “No Place to Hide”. Not as good as the Taibbi book but still worth a read.

  154. says

    Probably NSFW images ahead-

    Beautifully detailed body painting in Austria.

    Human skin becomes a blank canvas for the world’s top body painters as artists from 45 countries compete against each other in Pörtschach, Austria this summer.
    The World Bodypainting Festival, this year held from 29 June to 6 July, celebrates the unique art of painting directly on the human body – with models transformed into head-to-toe masterpieces, depicting anything from alien-like appendages to fruit-like faces.
    The competition takes place across multiple categories, including sponge paint, airbrushing and face painting, all featuring different techniques and materials to achieve the transformations.

  155. carlie says

    awakeinmo – I’m glad it’s picking up a little bit. (((hugs))) And keep us updated on the doggie – it’s always hard when a pet does poorly, and talking about it sometimes helps.

    When someone recommends a book it’s not always an initial throwdown for a debate, but when said book is heavily political and partisan, it can be.

    Portia, that’s so pretty! I have no artistic talent, and am always in awe of people who can create that way.

    (Content label for following: water accident and children, no final injuries)

    We went out for the afternoon, and it was very nice except for an accident that we saw happen. All ended well, but anytime you can tell a story about your day that includes “and that’s when we heard the screaming…”, that’s just not good. We went to a local waterfall state park that is a fairly short falls (50 feet), but powerful this time of year. The creek at the base is is very shallow, and everyone wades around in it (we’re talking inches to a couple of feet deep). It’s trivially easy to walk out on a slate ledge to just near the fall, but the last 7 feet or so to get underneath it is more treacherous, because the ledge stops and the next rock is much more vertically angled and really slippery. Plus, right there the water is deeper, about 4-5 feet, and the water is very churny due to said falls. If you have grippy water shoes and good balance and can hold onto the wall you can make it to all the way under, and if you’re a strapping teen the worst that can happen is you slip in and get made fun of, but it’s not a good idea for little people. So a kid about 10 years old decided to go out to be under it, barefoot, and made it. Then his little sister, a tiny spindly 7 or so, followed suit (also barefoot). Thankfully her mom walked out right behind her to keep an eye out, because right at the end the girl slipped and fell in right at the deep spot. That’s when everyone on the bank started screaming and I turned around just in time to see the mom go in after her, and the dad started in through the water from the bank side (just about 20 feet away). It only took a few seconds for the mom to find and grab her, but then had a little harder time getting her out and up on the safe part of the ledge, where her older brother (who was still there) grabbed her hand and helped her walk back, which was hard because she was so scared by then. Took a lot of cajoling from big brother. The mom had a hell of a time, even with the dad helping her – at first I thought she had hurt herself when she jumped in, but I think she didn’t know how to swim and was still scared out of her wits, and the current there was a lot stronger than it looked. The two of them just stayed there in the water for at least 3 minutes without really moving, with her gripping onto the edge of the ledge – she looked petrified, even though they could have just walked out to the bank. Finally someone else walked over on the ledge and the dad pushed her up and the guy pulled her up and she ended up out. Poor things – the littlest sister, who wasn’t involved at all, was the one who was crying hysterically afterward. That kind of took the wind out of everyone’s sails, and we all cleared the water and went off to different areas of the park. Thankfully it didn’t end any worse.

  156. says

    Here’s Moment of Mormon Madness suitable for Memorial Day. A semi-traditional, common activity for mormons on Memorial Day is to go to the Temple and necrodunk some dead ancestors (or supposed ancestors).

    Proxy baptism has even been done for Jesus and for Mary (as well as for Hitler, various famous Jews, and all the former Presidents of the USA). I find the necrodunking of Jesus to be just one more degree of strange and fucking weird.

    “Jesus Cristian” was baptized and confirmed a member of the LDS Church by proxy on April 8, 2010 in the “Salt Lake City Utah Temple.” “Jesus Cristian” was also subjected to initiatory temple ordinances on April 8, 2010; an endowment ceremony on April 9, 2010; and a marriage “sealing” to “spouse” “Maria Magdelena” on April 9, 2010—all rites occurred in the “Salt Lake City Utah Temple.”

    The LDS Church tries to prevent frivolous and/or fraudulent entries from being entered into the New FamilySearch database system. Radkey says the person who entered the names into the New FamilySearch database may have intentionally misspelled names in order to bypass automated system safeguards.

    According to Radkey:

    On May 27, 2010, there were two similar records for Jesus in New FamilySearch which had been submitted by the same person. One listing was titled “Jesus Christian,” and showed “Jesus Christian” was born “before 1500 Bethlehem, Israel,” and died “before 1550 Jerusalem, Israel.” LDS ordinances were tagged as “Not available” on this record. The other entry was for “Jesus Cristian,” who was born “before 1502 Bethlehem, Israel,” and died “before 1539 Jerusalem, Israel.” The entry for “Jesus Cristian” gave a description of LDS ordinances, along with the name of a spouse—“Maria Magdelena.”

    Sneaky, strange, ahistorical, etc.

  157. says

    Just got accused of “liking to pick fights” for pointing out that my abuser was bipolar, and his mental illness DID, in fact, CAUSE and CONTRIBUTE to his abusive behaviors. Never mind that there was distinct improvement in most of those behaviors when he was on his meds.

    Once again, my lived experience is dismissed because “mentally ill people aren’t violent”.

    So sick of this shit.

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

    Sorry, WMDKitty.

    I have a popsicle for you…unless you’re in the southern hemisphere. In that case, move your mug over to the USB slot for some hot cocoa.

  159. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Just got accused of “liking to pick fights” for pointing out that my abuser was bipolar, and his mental illness DID, in fact, CAUSE and CONTRIBUTE to his abusive behaviors. Never mind that there was distinct improvement in most of those behaviors when he was on his meds.

    Once again, my lived experience is dismissed because “mentally ill people aren’t violent”.

    So sick of this shit

    Yeah, really. It’s one thing to rightly criticize the automatic association of any media-worthy violence with “mental illness”; I’m still bitter over being told it’s “oppressive” for me to infer a connection between “symptoms include poor impulse control” and impulsive behavior that harms others. >.>

  160. says

    Bit ‘rupt, new anti-depressant meds are kicking my arse all over the shop with side effects (of the undetailed but thoroughly unpleasant and slightly debilitating kind, further deponent saith not). I hadn’t noticed the Loungeover manoeuvre.

    Tony, my favouritest queer shoop EVAR, you got ROBBED, dude. Irony intended. Like the others, I find it difficult to imagine anyone perceiving you as likely to steal, especially thinking you’re so likely as to not even talk it over. :( Fuck “at-will” bullshit.

    If I win the lottery, you can manage my restaurant. If, y’know, you wanna. :)

    I hope you find something you like soon.

    carlie, that sounds hair-raising, glad everyone was ok.

    WMDKitty, understood. That is pretty unpleasant, I’m sorry that happened to you. :(

    Gotta lie down again, but at least now I’ll be getting updates to my phone, which I can reach from my bed.

    PZed, I hope you’re continuing to recover. Worried about you, O Tentacular Overlord Equal Rank Person.

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


    It’s natural to second guess one’s self in such a situation, but the fact is that you didn’t steal from them so you are not to blame. In any way. This self doubt is an unfortunate side effect of being a caring and aware person. I would trust you with all the things I value. All of them. Including a cheeky six year old whose existance is the dark matter of my universe.

    Be well my friend, and know that you are indeed one of the good ones.

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

    I’ve taken off my earrings, the ones I’ve worn for over twenty years. My wedding ring will wait, Ms. Fishy will take it when she leaves the hospital. I’ve packed my housecoat and slippers as per the instructions. I have a new book, and pen and paper should I wish to write. I am as prepared physically as I can be, and I’m not near ready.

    It was one thing to wait for surgery the last time, I was already in pain. But this time I’m not, this time I will come out worse than I went in. And for all that I know that it won’t be as bad, it’s day surgery, and a procedure that is as bog standard as it gets, I am afraid. Such is the life of an accident prone idiot who cannot tolerate opiates. Fuck.

  163. says

    FossilFishy, with a hope that this will give you a smile (SFW, needs sound, a few seconds long – if I’ve got the time-code and URL right!).

    The dude is a former furniture-store owner and mayor of Toronto (yes, they’ve been doing this to themselves for a long time, voting in bizarre mayors), famous for his commercials in which he would ask the question, “Who’s better than Bad Boy? NOOOOO-BODY!”

    I hope your surgery goes well. Non-intrusive social gestures of support and kindness are offered. :)

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

    *hugs* to Fishy. Thinking of you.

  165. carlie says

    Fossilfishy, is this another in the leg saga? I missed what happened. Good luck, and I hope everything goes well.

  166. says

    Like carlie, I missed the reasons, but good luck FossilFishy!


    If they hadn’t had guns, this scenario would probably have ended with both brothers still alive:

    Police in Miami are investigating the shooting deaths of two teenage brothers that occurred late Sunday night.

    Family members told CBS4 News that 14-year-old Stephen Odeus shot his brother, 16-year-old Stanley Blanc, after the two fought over who could wear each other’s clothes.

    After realizing what he had done — and before anyone could stop him — Stephen ran across the apartment complex and used the same gun to take his own life.

    The teenagers’ older brother, Marc Blanc, told CBS4 News that it “started off as a small petty argument, but escalated into a fight.”

    My god that’s awful. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the victims.

    16 year old boy has plea deal changed by judge; will now spend up to 15 years in a max. security prison:

    A 16-year-old Utah boy was sentenced earlier this month to up to 15 years in a maximum security prison after a judge changed the terms of a plea agreement.

    Cooper Van Huizen pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree felony robbery for his role in a home invasion late last year.

    The teen, who had no prior criminal history, and his parents believed the plea deal would result in 180 days in jail.

    But District Judge Ernie Jones told Van Huizen at the May 7 sentencing hearing he believed the terms recommended by prosecutors and the probation board were “too soft” and instead sent the boy to Utah State Prison for one to 15 years.

    Van Huizen cried and begged for mercy as he was led from the courtroom handcuffed in front of sobbing family members.

    “He’s 16 years old,” said his father, Marc Van Huizen. “Some 16-years-olds are more mature than others, but Cooper is really soft and tender emotionally. He’s just a nice, sweet young boy, always has been. He’s not this rough-and-tough, wannabe street-wise little kid.”

    The teen is being held in a cell alone to protect him from other prisoners at “Uintah 1,” which houses death-row inmates and gang members.

    Van Huizen was the youngest member in a group of teens who went to home Nov. 19 and held up two people at gunpoint, seeking money, cell phones, and marijuana.

    One of the victims told police he believed the assailants would shoot him after ordering him to lie down on his stomach.

    The teens left with $10, a wallet, a cellphone and a bag of marijuana, police said.

    Van Huizen admits he brought two of his father’s unloaded guns to the robbery, but his attorney said other teens pointed the guns at the victims.

    I don’t know anything about law, but given the crime, this punishment seems disproportionate (especially when you factor in the lack of a prior criminal record).
    Also, a maximum security prison? WTF? Even *if* his crime is sufficient to lock him away for up to 15 years, does his crime warrant his imprisonment in a maximum security prison?

    As for the prison, Uinta 1:

    “I write, read, cry, sleep and beg for death.”
    That is how fifty-six-year-old inmate J., in Utah State Prison, Draper’s Uinta 1 facility describes life in Utah’s isolation units, which houses the state’s death row prisoners in addition to inmates placed there for disciplinary issues.
    J. has spent six years in Uinta 1, a place he calls a “place of pain and terror.” Describing his “very ugly” cell as twelve by six feet, he says that with the protrusions by the “joke bed—concrete slab” and toilet, he can’t walk. There is “no prospect for either repair nor suitable sanitation.”
    J. writes that his biggest struggle in Uinta 1 is the “daily, round the clock victimization.” His experience, a “physical, mental, emotional and spiritual horror.” J. is described by a fellow inmate in Uinta 1 as a “very religious” man, who is “able to sing almost any oldie song beautifully.”
    According to one inmate, correctional guards once taunted J., calling him a “worthless piece of shit demon.”
    J., an Air Force veteran who dedicated himself to Mormonism following a 1977 suicide attempt, has been in Uinta 1 for over 5 years. “I’ve had no clothing to wear since they stole my sweat pants bottoms in 2005,” he says.

    Despite being imprisoned, people still have rights and the above sounds like those rights are being denied. That’s atrocious.

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

    Thanks folks. Sorry to be cryptic. They’re removing the wire loop they installed to hold things together while my tendon reattached itself. It should be no big deal but my issues with opiates has me, and the aneathesist, worried. We’ll see. Ah well, at least I’ve got new spiffy paper underwear to wear while I wait.

  168. says

    Well, I finally got a response to one of my job applications. It’s a tutoring job. But in the email they sent me, they want me to send them a cover letter. And so that was the main task I set for myself today…and I didn’t even do it. I couldn’t get myself to.

    Well I guess I did manage to do the first step, watching a youtube video put out by my university with info on what a cover letter is and how to write one. Did that around 4:30PM (I had slept in until almost noon), and now it’s about 10 PM.

    Sometimes I have difficulty just doing things. It doesn’t help that writing a cover letter seems like a vague task.

    Anyways, just venting…

  169. Rowan vet-tech says

    FossilFishy… I can absolutely commiserate with opiate issues. While perfectly conscious, I stopped breathing on morphine partly because I felt like it wasn’t necessary/not worth the effort. Had to have a nurse sit with me for ages until I started breathing again proper on my own without pestering required. Then the hydromorphone dropped my blood pressure to 60/40 and the nurse saw no problem with this. I knew, intellectually, that this was bad but had no emotional reaction to it. I managed to think myself into enough of an emotional response that by the time the nurse came back with a doctor (at my repeated insistence) I had shot myself up to 90/60 and then she had the gall to ask me if I wanted more drugs! D: *flail*

    I actually wear a medical bracelet now for that. Make my job interesting since I work with morphine / hydro on a regular basis. Extra afraid of accidentally stabbing myself while attempting to inject a flailing dog.

  170. A. Noyd says

    I have my own issues with opiates. Some of them do not block pain. They make me high, though, so I’ll be high and in pain at the same time. With Vicodin, I also can’t move after it kicks in, so I lay on the bed helpless and incoherent while experiencing pain and scary, weird semi-hallucinations. Or I did twice, because after the first two experiences, I was like, “Fuck this shit” and called the dentist to get a different drug. Dilaudid (hydromorphone) is another one that offers no pain relief, which is bad because it’s a popular one in emergency rooms. I now have them down as “allergies” in my chart now because too many doctors get weird when you try to explain your idiosyncratic reactions and recommend other opiates.


    @chigau (#209)
    You’re welcome. It sure cheered me up, so I had to share.

  171. says


    Woke up this morning with a thought in my head: Someone is stealing money at the place you used to work and you were fired to cover their ass. That’s why you weren’t given a chance to explain yourself. It’s likely that the person who fired you is the one stealing.

  172. A. Noyd says

    @chimera (#213)
    Oh yeah, can’t forget the nausea. Morphine treats me okay, but Vicodin was like: Am I going to sick up or pass out? Or sick up right before passing out and choke to death? Body, get up. Get up! Sorry, that feature is currently offline.

  173. blf says

    Gloucestershire cheese race winner finds himself in a pickle: “Men’s winner of world-famous Cooper’s Hill cheese-rolling contest Josh Shepherd reveals his aversion to cheese”. No sign of the mildly deranged penguin.

    As far as I know, she’s only been to the cheese rolling twice. Once, resulting in the tradition starting, and again sometime later (she’s always been a bit vague on just when) to “sample” the cheeses. That first time she didn’t intend to start anything, but the locals did not take kindly to her cheese-raid. And had pitchforks and burning torches. So she waddled off at high-speed in the dark but was unable to get airborne, so rolled down the hill instead. Chased by the wheels of cheese she had been carrying, who were followed by a even bigger wheel of screaming pitchforks and burning villagers. Which was either the most fun they’d ever had, or an effective tactic in the rugby of the day, and so a tradition started…

    On her later visit, she simply lay down at the bottom of the hill, beak open wide, and let the wheels of cheese roll in. Unfortunately, so did a lot of the cheese-chasers, and they didn’t taste very good. For some reason, the remaining villagers didn’t offer her any grog or mead to make her feel better, instead offering pitchforks and burning torches…

  174. says

    Good morning
    Week 4 of the Giliell does her body some good* programm which meant: Saunaaaaaaaaaa! Went to the Spa area of the public swimming pool for the first time and it was really nice there.

    *I refuse to call it a “diet” or a “weight loss programm”. Those are dirty words. While weighing less is definitely part and parcel of this, it is decidedly NOT about “getting a bikini body” or any of that shit. But the broken foot showed me how much I like my mobility, how easy it is to lose it and that my obesity puts me at great risk of losing it prematurely.

    Damn that’s scary

    Fossil Fishy
    Good luck!

  175. blf says

    While weighing less is definitely part and parcel of this…

    Use larger kilogrammes.

  176. blf says

    The UK government’s quest to ensure ‘justice’ is available only if you can afford the bribes continues:

    • … Last year, MPs castigated the Ministry of Justice for its “shambolic” handling of the court translation contract, which was given to Capita. Interpreters failed to turn up, leading to the cancellation of trials, and others turned up but botched the job. Since then, the news has continued to be sorrowful. Last week it was said that the cost to the taxpayer of hiring court interpreters has almost doubled to £15.5m in just one year. The quality hardly seems to have risen in step, though ministers claim “dramatic improvements” with more work undertaken and big privatisation savings for the taxpayer. … One man, charged with perverting the course of justice was accused — via the interpreter — of being a “pervert”.

    • [T]he president of the family division, Sir James Munby, has had enough. … Munby presided over a custody case that required a Slovak interpreter. A “very sad case”, he called it. The interpreter failed to show, and when he complained he learned truths so shocking that he detailed them in the judgment. He learned that Capita took the government’s money to provide the interpreter, farmed out the work and could eschew liability if the translator didn’t turn up. That if it had to cancel, it could do so as late as 2pm on the day before the hearing, at which point it would often be impossible to find a replacement. And that on the day of his ruined hearing, Capita had only 29 suitably qualified Slovak language interpreters when it needed 39 to meet its obligations. So much for the supremacy of the market.

  177. blf says

    Holiday resort under fire for Barbie VIP packages targeting young girls:

    The Forte Village in Sardinia, a luxury resort described by Condé Nast as a place “where each guest’s every wish comes true”, offered two Barbie packages… — Pink and Glamour — in the hope that parents would stump up the £364 weekly cost.

    Parents, who will have paid around £4,677 for a week’s holiday for a family of four at the resort, can get some time to themselves while their little princesses spend their days in the pink Barbie House, making jewellery, designing outfits for their dolls, learning how to walk on a catwalk and — for an additional price — getting a manicure and facial.

    Instead of “learning how to walk on a catwalk” it was “learning how to run down a steep hill after a wheel of cheese” I might not be quite so bothered by the excess of pink.

  178. blf says

    Nepal’s bogus orphan trade fuelled by rise in ‘voluntourism’ (my edits are in {curly braces}, all other edits are in the original article):

    Poor parents routinely duped into sending children to homes where owners use them to extract money from foreign visitors

    {… This is} an industry that dupes poor parents into sending their children to bogus orphanages in order to extract money from well-meaning foreigners.

    It is a business model built on a double deception: the exploitation of poor families in rural Nepal and the manipulation of wealthy foreigners. In the worst cases, tourists may be unwittingly complicit in child trafficking.


    The trade in children begins in Nepal’s remote and impoverished countryside, where parents are tricked into sending their children to orphanages, often lured by the promise of an education.


    Philip Holmes, chief executive of Freedom Matters {(a genuine charity) explains} “Once a child enters an orphanage, he or she seems to become the property of the orphanage owner … [In effect], they become prisoners of the orphanage,” he said. “[They] use the children as an income source, through the sponsorship of children who are presented as being orphans when they are not … and through the exploitation of overseas volunteers.”


    After strange behaviour at the orphanage aroused her suspicions about the home’s proprietor, {a foreign fee-paying volunteer at the orphanage} discovered that two sisters publicised as being orphans had living parents who had paid vast sums of money to a broker to send their children to the home to be educated.


    After one of the sisters confessed that she was being sexually abused by the owner, {the volunteer} reported the allegations to a local children’s organisation, Action for Child Rights (ACR). The owner of the orphanage was subsequently arrested for attempted rape.

  179. bassmike says

    I’ve just caught up with the lounge and it generally doesn’t make for happy reading. I’m so sorry Tony I can only imagine how frustrated and angry you must feel about loosing your job. I sincerely hope that you find alternative employment soon.

    I hope all goes well with you operation FossilFishy . Those paper pants really are a fashion statement aren’t they?

    I’ll add my personally selected *hugs* to the pile for all who need them.

    Our trip to my mother’s with my daughter was reasonably successful. As expected, getting my daughter to sleep was difficult as she was excited to be somewhere new and not in her cot. This meant that her parents didn’t get a whole lot of sleep either. And when we got home she didn’t sleep too well last night, waking at 5.20 and taking a while to get back down again. We’re hoping for a better night tonight.

  180. says

    I’m having a sudden bout of tears here after reading the fracking post by PZ. I do a really good job of suppressing this sadness for the planet most of the time but it’s just too much right now. I couldn’t live if I let myself feel it most of the time. My tears are also because of French election results (25% of the vote went to the fascists) and the fact that lately I’ve heard and read so many good people with new and good and innovative ideas for turning things around. It’s not like we can’t see our way out of this mess, we can. It’s not like we don’t know how we got here, either, we do. And that makes it all the more tragic.

  181. opposablethumbs says

    Frightening to see that happening, carlie, let alone be in the water – hope you and yours were/are not overly freaked out by it afterwards. It’s so easy to underestimate the dangers of even a relatively small stream for those who are not strong swimmers – something which is totally fine for a big kid is so easily too much for a smaller one. Ugh. (a lot of years ago when my sibs and I were kids, one of my brothers managed to rescue a younger kid completely swept off his feet by a current and rapidly disappearing downstream; the kid’s dad was running down the bank yelling, but (iirc) couldn’t swim himself). Yeah, wind out of everyone’s sails – not surprising!

    If you have yet to go inside, FossilFishy – good luck, and may your surgery be utterly routine. If you have come back out, then I wish you as little pain as possible. Hugs if acceptable.

    brianpansky, I sympathise. For what little it’s worth, I helped my DaughterSpawn write a couple of covering letters and once you’ve done the first one it can (sometimes/hopefully quite often) be used as a template to start you off when writing any subsequent ones. Takes a little of the empty-page horror out of it. Wishing you good luck!

  182. says

    Gun activists in Texas have been testing the open-carry laws and are finding that the general public, even in Texas, does not support them.

    It would be an understatement to say that the tactics of gun rights activists have been backfiring of late. The showdown has taken place foremost in Texas, where in recent months groups such as Open Carry Texas have conducted provocative demonstrations in which armed men exercise their right under state law to carry semi-automatic rifles in public. No fewer than five national food and beverage chains have now told them to get rid of their guns or get lost, including Starbucks, Wendy’s, Applebees, Jack in the Box, and Chipotle.

    And now Chili’s and Sonic have effectively joined the list: Two videos posted on YouTube on May 19 by the San Antonio chapter of Open Carry Texas—since removed from public view but obtained by Mother Jones—show its armed members being refused service at both restaurants. The two companies have not made official statements on open carry but have since indicated that they are reviewing their policies. From the nervous and angry reactions of some patrons to comments from some of the gun activists themselves, it’s not difficult to see why these spectacles haven’t been winning many people over. […]

    Details at the link.

  183. says

    The long, sad tale of House Republicans ignoring the plight of more than 3 million unemployed citizens:

    The Senate stumbled on a rare moment of bipartisan accord last month, when six Republicans joined Senate Democrats in passing an extension of unemployment insurance. Extended benefits for the long-term unemployed—measures enacted when the economy cratered at the start of the Great Recession—had expired at the start of the year, reverting back to the standard 26 weeks of assistance in most states. At that time, there were 1.3 million would-be workers left in the cold. Each week since then, on average, benefits have lapsed for another 70,000 people, raising the number to nearly 3 million people whose unemployment insurance have run out.

    Under a deal crafted by Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the Senate’s bill offered retroactive payments to that cohort, and extended those benefits through the end of May, with the idea of revisiting the topic for another renewal at that point. It was a rare, triumphant moment for this do-nothing Congress.

    And then nothing. Since early April, any effort to help the unemployed has been bottlenecked by House Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) immediately put the kibosh on the Heller-Reed plan, rejecting the Senate’s bill within days of its passage and calling on the White House to put forth a new separate plan. He demanded that any extension of the insurance program be paired with new job training programs, but he failed to offer ideas of his own, a sign that his stipulations were just a means to punt on bringing the bill up for a vote. In early May, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez sent a letter to Boehner offering to hash out a compromise measure to extend benefits, an olive branch immediately swatted away by the speaker. […]

  184. says

    Lookout, more union-busting efforts are on the near horizon:


    The gravest threat today to public-employee unions—which represent cops, firefighters, prison guards, teachers, nurses, and other city and state workers—is a Supreme Court case named Harris v. Quinn, which could be decided as early as this Tuesday. And, strangely enough, it is the court’s most sharp-tongued conservative, Justice Antonin Scalia, who could ride to organized labor’s rescue.

    The case pits several of the nation’s mightiest labor unions, such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), against their longstanding foe, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which helped bring the case. National Right to Work is funded by some of the biggest names in conservative philanthropy: the Bradley family, the Waltons of Walmart, Charles Koch, and DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund, two dark-money ATMs. Labor officials see Harris as an effort by the deep-pocketed conservative movement to wipe public-employee unions off the map—and to demolish a major source of funding and support for the Democratic Party. “This is an attempted kill shot aimed at public-sector unions,” says Bill Lurye, AFSCME’s general counsel. […]

  185. says

    As this LA Times article lays out, an unholy alliance of the Koch Brothers, ALEC, Grover Norquist and utility companies is mounting a nationwide effort to roll back states’ renewable energy requirements and penalize solar customers with a hefty monthly surtax. Apparently all that stuff about cutting taxes and drowning government in a bathtub goes out the window when profits are threatened. […]

    Nice cartoon, with explanatory text.

    Additional information here:

  186. says

    The Cliven Bundy story is not yet over. Now that the FBI is involved, the militia men and other fringe groups who showed up to support Bundy are saying, “No, no, not us. We never pointed any guns at BLM or other officers. No sir.” Video and their own tweets and photos dispute this blatant lie.

    This news is a couple of weeks old, but I didn’t post it before, hoping for a quick resolution I guess. Still not resolved. Bundy forces still claiming innocence.
    Daily Kos link.

    The Bundy-associated asshats also confirmed on Facebook that they had a bead on, were aiming at, had “painted” the BLM officials. Different Daily Kos link.

    Quotes from the Facebook page of Polar assault:

    […] the snipers of the BLM have been painted.

    […] They had a bead on the BLM snipers and at the first sound of rifle fire, the blm would have looking for some new snipers. Incidently you want your people to be fully aware that those alleged Park Rangers are actually mercenaries brought in to the do the job and play the part.

    The man pictured here served two tours in Iraq and was a PMC in Afghanistan […]

  187. says

    Ann Coulter on climate change — fixing it would cause genocide
    Salon link.

    The liberal thought police, who for some reason believe in science, are so mean, Coulter says. They compare climate change deniers to “Holocaust deniers.” She also, totally inexplicably, said dealing with climate change would lead to genocide.

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


    Perhaps she meant she advocates nuking anyone that lobbies congress to take mitigation steps?

    And converting the survivors to consumerism?

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

    I mean to say, I guess, was she trying to say that the resulting genocide would be a bad thing? Given her previous record, I’m not sure.

  190. says

    aaaand another shooting rampage:
    According to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, deputies said that 25-year-old Celestino Moras showed up drunk at a rodeo in Bartow County on Sunday, and was asked to leave because he was not invited to the event.

    The property owner told WSB-TV that Moras pulled out a pistol and opened fire, leaving three shot.

    When Moras ran out of bullets, one of the rodeo cowboys reportedly lassoed him. Moras was then beaten by other guests, who tied him up until deputies arrived.

    Authorities said that two people were shot in the lower body, and one person was shot in the neck. However, WSB-TV reported that “the three wounded guests suffered only minor injuries and were treated and released from local hospitals.”

    No fatalities, thankfully, but this is still horrible.

  191. blf says

    did you mean “wished” rather than thought?

    Thought. I hadn’t heard anything about her or her antics in some years and so am rather surprised she’s popped up again. More mole wacking is needed, I guess…

  192. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, I’ve been reading through the archives of Girls with Slingshots. I have the vague sense it was recommended around here.

    A lot of it is really cringeworthy, from a progressive standpoint. Does it get better? Am I misremembering?

  193. says

    Has anyone heard about this?

    As Fred Phelps lay dying last March, revelations that he had been excommunicated from Westboro the summer before surfaced. The new leadership of the church, secretive as ever, declined to comment on what led to his ouster.
    Yesterday, Zach Phelps-Roper shed light on what grievous event could have caused Fred’s own church to turn against him. Equality House, the rainbow painted property across the street from the church that houses the the human rights organization Planting Peace posted a message on their Facebook page from Zach.

    Fred W. Phelps, my grandfather, came out in support of the Equality House before he was voted out of WBC.
    Specifically, on the day that he was excommunicated, he stood outside of the front door of the church (but not within anyone’s earshot but a few members of WBC who happened to be in the immediate vicinity)… I say, he spoke words to this effect to the Equality House: “You are good people.”

    I feel like he had a change of heart after my grandmother nearly passed away, and he felt the pangs of loss … he waited for news of her every day and night while she was in intensive care. I think this triggered a chain reaction whereby he developed great empathy for others… which would explain why he would support Planting Peace’s anti-suicide and anti-bullying platforms, and their charities across the world….

    I love my grandfather! And I believe people DO change, if they are inspired enough! – Zacharias Phelps-Roper.

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

    Good news everybody!


    I have waffles!

  195. blf says

    I have waffles!

    You fink changing a u to an a is going to fool Lord Vetinari?

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

    If His Lordship’s dog is made of flour and buttermilk and is covered in butter, that’s his problem.

  197. says

    I like waffles.


    Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, contains errors in nine out of 10 of its health entries, and should be treated with caution, a study has said.

    Scientists in the US compared entries about conditions such as heart disease, lung cancer, depression and diabetes with peer-reviewed medical research.

    They said most articles in Wikipedia contained “many errors”.

    Wikimedia UK, its British arm, said it was “crucial” that people with health concerns spoke to their GP first.

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

    See, I was cleaning my cupboards out and I discovered that I own a waffle iron.

    And previously I’d made korma sauce, so I had a quart of buttermilk in my fridge.

  199. says

    The following is an article that some may find disconcerting.

    Do it yourself fecal transplant:

    In April 2012, Catherine Duff was ready to try anything. She was wasting away with crippling abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea so severe she was confined to the house. At 56, in the US state of Indiana, she had come down with her sixth Clostridium difficile infection in six years.

    “My colorectal surgeon said: ‘The easiest thing would be to just take your colon out.’ And my question was: ‘Easier for whom?'”

    Appalled at the idea of losing her large intestine, Duff’s family feverishly searched for alternative treatments on the internet. One of them turned up an article about a doctor in Australia, Thomas Borody, who had been treating C. diff with an unusual process known as faecal transplant, or faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT).


    Clostridium difficile is an obnoxious microbe, usually kept in check by other bacteria in our guts. Problems arise when antibiotics remove some of these “friendly” bacteria, allowing C. diff to take over. One doctor compares it to the hooligan on the bus who is prevented from doing any harm by the sheer number of people on board. A course of antibiotics is equivalent to some of these people getting off at a stop, allowing the hooligan to run wild. About 50% of a person’s faeces is bacteria, and a faecal transplant is like a whole new busload of people – the friendly bacteria – being hustled on board.


    It’s an emerging, but not new treatment. Chinese medicine has recommended swallowing small doses of faecal matter for some ailments for 1,500 years. It’s also a treatment option in veterinary medicine. In 1958, a Denver surgeon, Ben Eiseman, used faecal transplants to treat an inflammation of the colon. He wrote the procedure up in a journal article, which, years later, inspired Thomas Borody to try the radical treatment on patients with C. diff. Now the head of the Centre for Digestive Diseases in New South Wales, Borody has recorded some striking successes.


    Duff showed the article about Borody to her gastroenterologist, her infectious diseases consultant and her colorectal surgeon. But none of them had performed a faecal transplant and none was willing to try. When Duff said that she intended to administer the treatment herself with her husband’s faeces, the gastroenterologist agreed to send a sample away to be screened for disease.


    After they received the all-clear to use the stool, it was Duff’s husband John that donned plastic gloves and assiduously followed the instructions they found online. He was no doctor, but as a retired submarine commander Duff considered him equal to the task.

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

    Fecal transplants are actually increasing in use, as there’s considerable evidence suggesting they work.

    I don’t really recommend doing it yourself, though.

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

    I’ve been aware of fecal transplant for a while.

    it seems that fecal transplant also has effects on digestion, absorption, and weight.

    I have no idea how it affects weight, whether it somehow affects metabolism, or whether it simply makes certain nutrients more available, making it easier to eat fewer calories and still be satisfied, or what. But clearly gut flora have quite a number of impacts, and whether people find it squicky or not, it seems likely to increase in frequency as a treatment in the future.

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

    @unknowneric #6 & blf #8:

    Well here’s another clue for you all: the walrus was Paul.

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

    CD, my understanding of the science on the topic is that a person’s intestinal flora is incredibly influential in determining the amount/variety of nutrients extracted from their food, which means that two people can eat identical diets and have identical activity levels, but have drastically different weights and metabolic profiles.

  204. The Mellow Monkey says

    You know what is awesome? To watch Henry V with someone who is unfamiliar with it and the history of the Battle of Agincourt. I’m here visiting my partner in California and I made him sit with me through The Hollow Crown. Unlike most people I’ve introduced to the tetralogy for the first time, he didn’t really enjoy Henry IV, Part 1 because he found Hal and Falstaff to be insufferable douches rather than entertaining characters, but he was on the edge of his seat through Henry V. Seeing somebody listen to the St. Crispin’s Day speech for the very first time and get that into it was amazing.

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

    What lucky few we are, we band of brothers, who know and love the St. Crispin’s Day speech.

  206. says

    I filked that Henry V speech once, on the eve of a playoff game in my long-running fantasy hockey league (a victim of the 2004 shutout, my love of pro hockey, just…died, and didn’t come back). And we won the round, though my team lost in the final. It was a fun game, with a great head-to-head format that felt a lot more like playing the game than most fantasy sports games do to me.

    Next three years, until I quit, I re-adapted the speech for each year’s team on the eve of the playoffs.

    Never worked once.

    Stupid poem* and its complete uselessness as a good-luck charm.

    Was a good game, though. Fun system. One I’m surprised more small leagues don’t use, because it’s really well-suited to a group of eight to ten people, and you can use it with pretty much any fantasy league system for whatever sport. I’ll explain further if someone asks me to, or shut up else. :)

    * I know, I know, I’m being a hockey coach, just…roll with it.

  207. says

    President Obama and the Whitehouse Science Fair:

    […] today’s event included “a special focus on getting girls involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. Half the students at the fair today will be young women.” Kari Byron – yes from “Mythbusters” – “will shoot PSAs focused on getting STEM mentors connected with students, particularly girls.”[…]

  208. Rob Grigjanis says

    Branagh put me off the St. Crispin’s Day speech. The ham was off, and the background music heavy on the cheese. Better it had been Daniel Day-Lewis, sans orchestra.

  209. says

    Welp, I barely made it home before the storms hit. Good thing I did too, Husband wasn’t so lucky and got drenched. Couldn’t see the other side of the street from my apartment there for a bit.


    Re fecal implants, if something like that can cure stuff like crohns, I’m all for it.

  210. says

    Christian doctor does the right thing:

    For the first 12 years of his medical practice, Dr. Willie Parker didn’t perform abortions. A Christian from Alabama, he didn’t feel comfortable participating in the procedure. But then he changed his mind — and he credits that reversal to his faith.
    “In listening to a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, I came to a deeper understanding of my spirituality, which places a higher value on compassion,” Parker recounted in an interview with the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “King said what made the good Samaritan ‘good’ is that instead of focusing on would happen to him by stopping to help the traveler, he was more concerned about what would happen to the traveler if he didn’t stop to help. I became more concerned about what would happen to these women if I, as an obstetrician, did not help them.”

    Thank you Dr. Parker.

  211. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m going to go with ‘yes, but to what degree depends on what’s giving you the biggest cringes’.

    Well, so far I’ve noticed and cringed over….gender essentialism, bi erasure, some transphobic implications, sketchy handling of alcohol and consent, presenting attempted rape of a man by a woman for laughs and dismissal both in-comic by other characters and by the author in “don’t whine to me about this” accompanying comments, casual benevolent sexism, more gender essentialism, more bi erasure, straw feminism, a lot of reckless boundary violation presented as unproblematic and funny, and tedious “herp big body parts derp” stupidity. >.>

  212. says

    Let’s see… not really, gets better, gets better, less of it anyway, that storyline was way the hell out of line and badly handled and I’m not going to try to justify it, gets better, sort of, sort of, and tedious ‘body parts herp derp’ stupidity is so fucking ubiquitous that I try to just ignore it when I can.

  213. cicely says

    I aten’t ded.
    But I won’t be around much until after I get this One Big Mother of a box painted, for a friend’s anniversary gift to his wife (who is also a friend).
    And I’m slow.
    (Paint slow, too. As well. Also.)

  214. cicely says

    (I plan to pop in here, occasionally, to see if anybody’s talking about me behind my eBack…so, if you want me to pay attention, just Say My Name.)

  215. says

    I really really hate false standardization. I went to get some grommets earlier for a project. They were sold as size 00. We turned out not to have the right sized setter, and the store I got the grommets at was closed. So I went to Joanns to get a grommet setter. They only measured theirs in fractions of an inch. So I googled to find out what size 00 was. According to one chart, 00 is the same as 5/16″, which is the size setter they had there. According to another chart, that’s 00 is 3/16″(Which is the size grommet that I appear to have). Still another chart says that 00 is 11/64″, while 5/16″ is a 1. Bunch of fucking assholes, I tell you what.

  216. theoreticalgrrrl says

    Does anyone here suffer from migraines and know of some non narcotic techniques to help cope with pain?

  217. says

    I’ve never seen Shaun of the Dead and had no great appreciation for the talents of Edgar Wright.
    After watching this video, I appreciate his talent quite a bit, and I’m sad he’s no longer going to direct Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man movie.
    Oh, and I have another piece of the puzzle that is “why don’t I like most American comedies”. I find I don’t like the particular form of comedy employed by the likes of Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Jim Carrey, or Adam Sandler and I can only marginally tolerate Chris Tucker movies.


    Drat, I was about to dial her number.
    Hmmm, how odd would a movie be with Beetlejuice and Candyman? And boy howdy do I want Edgar Wright to direct it.

  218. says

    Good morning
    So, Peta has gone from total assholes to absolutely irredeemable assholes.
    Their newest idea is to tell parents that dairy products gave their kids autism. I think by now the best impact Peta could have on this planet would be if they simply dropped off its crust.

    Picks or it didn’t happen!

    I’ve been informed that one of the anglistics profs is a misandrist. If I can’t write my thesis in linguistics I think I’ll go for misandry.

  219. theoreticalgrrrl says

    Has anyone here ever tried “light as a feather, stiff as a board”? I was taking a class in Craniosacral therapy (don’t laugh) and four of us lifted up our 6’2 muscular tatooed teacher’s assistant off a chair about a foot high. We all just had two fingers under his knees and armpits. It was pretty trippy.

  220. chigau (違う) says

    I had a migraine once.
    I alleviated the pain by lying on my back in a darkened room with my feet on a chair and the TV tuned to a channel that had only white noise.
    So not really coping.
    or functioning.

  221. theoreticalgrrrl says

    You haven’t seen Shaun of The Dead?? It’s great. I have a major crush on Simon Pegg.
    I think Beetlejuice, CandyMan and that scary-ass clown form Stephen King’s “It” would be great co-stars, directed by Anson Williams.

  222. theoreticalgrrrl says

    Thanks chigau (違う). There isn’t a lot I can do other than pain meds and muscle relaxers, and no loud lights or bright noises.

  223. chigau (違う) says

    One of my favorite things about Simon Pegg and Nick Frost movies is that they have really great fight scenes
    with the scrawny Simon and the pudgy Pegg
    absolutely fucking kicking ass on the zombie/robot/whatevers
    not a spandex, buff, cut, superhero anywhere in sight

  224. Rowan vet-tech says

    My migraines are all dehydration related, so I basically guzzle water and sleep in the dark and quiet. :/ Not terribly helpful.

  225. says

    I hadn’t heard that about PETA.
    Off to scrounge up more info (not that I don’t believe you, I just want to know more).

    It doesn’t appear PETA is concerned with providing access to their sources.
    Autism is a brain disorder that causes sufferers to have extreme difficulty communicating and relating to others. It is often marked by anti-social behavior like screaming and obsessive repetition of actions, which takes an enormous emotional toll on sufferers and their families. PETA has created a billboard to alert the public to the connection between this devastating disease and dairy-product consumption.

    More research is needed, but scientific studies have shown that many autistic kids improve dramatically when put on a diet free of dairy foods. One study of 20 children found a major reduction in autistic behavior in kids who were put on a casein-free diet (casein is a component of cow’s milk). And another study done by researchers at the University of Rome showed a “marked improvement” in the behavior of autistic children who were taken off dairy products.

    The reason why dairy foods may worsen or even cause autism is being debated. Some suspect that casein harms the brain, while others suggest that the gastrointestinal problems so often caused by dairy products cause distress and thus worsen behavior in autistic children.


    It isn’t surprising that dairy products may worsen this disease, considering that milk has already been strongly linked to cancer, Crohn’s disease, and other serious health problems. Anyone who wants to alleviate or avoid the devastating effects of autism should give cow’s milk the boot and switch to healthy vegan alternatives instead. To learn more about a diet free of dairy products, order our free “Vegetarian Starter Kit” today.

    The article mentions “studies” but does not link to them. In fact, the only thing linked to are two other articles on Are readers supposed to just take them at their [weasel] word that autism *may* be caused or worsened by dairy products? And we’re supposed to just take their fear mongering word that dairy products are linked (they said ‘linked’, but I suspect the wording is meant to imply a causal connection) to other diseases such as cancer and Crohn’s Disease?

  226. says


    I just found a Brown Recluse in my kitchen, and the little fuck is living up to it’s name — keeps crawling back into it’s little hidey-hole every time I grab a book.

  227. says

    Tentacles crossed that you can get rid of the recluse as safely and quickly as possible.


    I just googled images of a brown recluse. And I saw images of the bites. Fuuuuuuuuuck!

  228. says


    I think Beetlejuice, CandyMan and that scary-ass clown form Stephen King’s “It” would be great co-stars, directed by Anson Williams.


    (and yeah, he creeped me out when I first saw ‘IT’)

  229. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Mmmph. Can anyone recommend a cheap, basic brand of tablet to replace the one her mom’s parents got my daughter for Christmas, that survived until February? Something reasonably durable would be good. >.>

  230. procrastinatorordinaire says

    @291 WMDKitty — Survivor


    I just found a Brown Recluse in my kitchen

    How do you know it’s a Brown Recluse?

  231. says

    Yeah, I’m siding with those who think it was a shitty idea to strap a dog to a wingsuit and send it base jumping

    So when Dean Potter—apparently a “famous rock climber, high-liner and human flyer”—gets his dog Whisper for a BASE jump at the Eiger, Switzerland, I’m not amused, even while I’m curious to see Whisper’s reaction. My logic goes like this: Dogs weren’t designed to fly. Would a dog choose to fly if you give him the choice? I don’t know. But since they weren’t designed to fly and they can’t make that choice, let’s assume that, if you asked them and they could talk, they would probably say “no, fuck you. You go jump. I will watch from here, thank you very much.”

  232. procrastinatorordinaire says

    I saw the fiddle shape on it’s back, duh.

    My cat has stripes, it must be a Siberian Tiger, duh.

  233. birgerjohansson says

    theoreticalgrrrl @ 285

    If you shoehorn Vin Diesel somewhere into the plot, you have a deal.

  234. birgerjohansson says

    All cats *think* they are Siberian tigers.

    And beware of Siberian hamsters.

  235. procrastinatorordinaire says

    A Boeing E-3 just flew over my house. I’ve never seen one of them before.

  236. procrastinatorordinaire says

    @306 Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Flashbacks? I must have seen that show a few times as a kid, but I have no memory of it at all. Whatever you are referring to has gone the way of the aircraft that flew by a minute ago … way over my head.

  237. says

    Sorry. That was a rather obscure reference.
    I was thinking of “de plane! de plane!”

    Roarke was known for his white suit and cultured demeanor, and was initially accompanied by an energetic sidekick, Tattoo, played by Hervé Villechaize. Tattoo would run up the main bell tower to ring the bell and shout “The plane! The plane!” to announce the arrival of a new set of guests at the beginning of each episode. This line, shown at the beginning of the show’s credits, became an unlikely catchphrase because of Villechaize’s spirited delivery and French accent (he actually pronounced it, “De plane! De plane!”).

  238. blf says

    WMDKitty, On the suspected “Brown Recluse”: Not all brownish spiders with a blackish violinish shaped mark are Brown Recluses, albeit it’s probably best (safest) to assume they are.

    I found one of the first confirmed Brown Recluses spotted in California in the late ’70s. On my telescope. Dad & I captured it (in a jar with a lid) and then dad took it, alive, to the county wildlife control office, where after running some tests, a few days later they confirmed it was indeed a Brown Recluse.

    Some years later, in Bristol, England, after returning from a trip to California, I spotted a brown spider with a violinish marking in my flat. Whilst I wasn’t completely convinced it was a Brown Recluse — it was larger than the previous specimen and was out in the open (scurrying across the floor), I played “safe rather than sorry” option and captured it (jar with lid again). Alive. I took it into the local museum (which is where I was advised to go by the city council) and the expert there visually identified it as a local, harmless, spider. However, to be sure he also ran some tests (which involved killing it), and a few days later called to confirm it was indeed the local harmless spider.

    So I suggest capturing it (alive if possible) and taking it to your local expert. They are not quite as distinctive as, say, a Black Widow, and there are, unfortunately, other spiders which to the untrained eye at least look similar.

    (The Brown Recluse scare was in full-swing at the time in California, but mostly false: They were, then, apparently quite rare. Most of the alleged sightings were dubious or unconfirmed. The one I found was the first in that county, and apparently rather startled the wildlife control people.)

  239. blf says

    “De plane!”? Never saw the show (as far as I can recall) but I did see The Plane — a Super Guppy. This was one of the two(?) purchased by France (Airbus) in the early/mid ’70s. It was en route to France and (as I recall the newspaper reporting the next day) landing at the local airport for refueling.

  240. says

    Aot of folks around my parts of Texas often mistake the local wolf spiders for brown recluses.

    My policy with the family (and really anyone) is dont mess with it, or at least use caution. Cause if it IS a recluse, the damage a bite can cause is significant. Be safe not sorry.

    I, of course, never take my own advice which probably explains all of the scars.

  241. says

    Well lookee here:

    The New York Times did a story about the Women in Secularism conference that took place recently in Alexandria, VA and much of the article focuses on Heina Dadabhoy, who will be joining Freethought Blogs as soon as the redesign is finished (yes, it’s still coming, I promise), and a few other ex-Muslims.


    We have another of the founders of Ex-Muslims of North America joining the network as a blogger as well.

  242. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Wife and I went for a drive yesterday. Nice day. Got caught in an impressive thunderstorm. Celebrated our 25th anniversary.

    Holy shit. Boy is older than I was when we got married. Girl is older than Wife was.


    Get of my lawn?

  243. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Brown Recluse.

    When I was in Basic in Missouri, a recruit in 1st platoon was bitten on the heel by something. Now, we were under orders to report all insect bites. In Missouri. In the summer. Right.

    Turned out he should have reported this one. By the time they checked him into the hospital, there was so much dead tissue that they had to amputate his foot.

    Seventeen-year-old kid from Minnesota who had joined the Minnesota National Guard and was doing his Basic training between his Junior and Senior year of high school.

  244. procrastinatorordinaire says

    @311 blf

    “De plane!”? Never saw the show (as far as I can recall) but I did see The Plane — a Super Guppy.

    I saw that one also outside the Airbus plant in Toulouse.

  245. Portia says


    If I can’t write my thesis in linguistics I think I’ll go for misandry.

    Misandry, women’s studies, tuh-may-to-tuh-mah-to.

    theoreticalgrrl: Migraines. I drink as much water as I can keep down, and ice pack on my neck. I’ve tried everything. Generally that’s what mitigates the suffering. In addition the dark and quiet, etc.

    I’m pretty rupt.
    (Just seeing if it works)
    I want to see the painting! I’m intrigued.

    So, Other Boss proved himself to be The Best. I talked to him about it briefly this morning, and said “I don’t know what to do, if anything.” He said he doesn’t think it’s on me to do anything at all. I said I plan to not go out for beers after work or go out to lunch with Boss-with-wife. And OB said “I haven’t seen him act in a way towards you that he hasn’t acted towards me. We haven’t gone out for after-work beers lately, but when I was a new associate, we did all the time. It’s just sort of how it goes. I don’t think you should have to modify your behavior, because I don’t want there to be a double standard. So, your only obligation is to do what makes you feel comfortable, there are no negative repercussions from this side of things, and I don’t want you to feel like you have to act differently.”


  246. says

    Aaahhhh! Now the Reading Rainbow song is stuck in my head.

    I’ve got Master of Puppets. It’s especially annoying when I don’t remember half the lyrics. “Needlework the way, never you betray, blah blah balhblahblahblah blah blah… master, master”

  247. birgerjohansson says

    Experimental trial represents promising step toward universal antidote for snakebite

    Wow. We can soon compete with honey badgers!

    Alas, no universal spider bite antidote.

    — — — — —
    I didn’t like the film “Candyman” on account of the flaws in logic. Candyman could apparently teleport anyplace he wanted, and become selectively invisible, and levitate. With evil superpowers like that, he should be C.E.O. of Halliburton, not hang out in some slum area.
    BTW why did he not exterminate the people who murdered him all that time ago? There should be a huge dent in the nineteen-century population statisticsfor the region.
    And no one saw fit to find out his Kryptonite analog. I bet Ripley would have fried his ass. And adopted a cat in the bargain.

  248. Portia says

    Yer first mistake is using a book. Clearly the situation calls for a flamethrower.

  249. birgerjohansson says


    You need one of the thingies that detect motion and plots the object on a radar screen. Then you lure it into the airlock…

  250. says

    YOB, I’m glad you enjoyed it. It really was exceptionally well done, the mannerisms, the dance, the voice, the music. Just a superb job.

    theoreticalgrrl, to give you one you haven’t been offered yet, my doctor suggested anti-nauseant meds (Gravol, here in Canada, but prescription metoclopramide can be given effectively too). Because their effect is more or less to temporarily stimulate digestion, they can make other meds somewhat more effective if taken half an hour or so before them.

    They also help to encourage sleep, and fight the nausea that can come with the aura. For me, the nausea is the key: if I can either trigger vomiting, or get the antinauseants to work, the pain usually follows it out the door.

    Otherwise, yeah, dark and ice. I also find that when icing my neck (for me, the most effective place to put headache-coolant), adding a warm pack to my feet somehow seems to enhance the effect, probably through blood movement to and away from certain areas. Many migraines are characterized by altered bloodflow to the brain, which is why imitrex, a vaso – crap, I can’t remember if it’s a constrictor or a dilator, but it affects the blood vessels; I wanna say dilator – works for some migraines. So anything you can do to help alter the bloodflow through the neck region has a chance of being helpful. You may have to experiment to figure out whether heat or ice is more helpful; my understanding is that more aura-oriented migraines are more helped by heat, while pain-oriented ones are more helped by ice, but there’s a LOT of individual variation in it, so experimentation is the best path to find what’ll work for you.

    And obviously, if you can isolate some of the triggers for your migraines, that’s a big help too.

    My info source is my own mostly aura-related migraines, which are in the half a dozen to a dozen times a year range, and twenty years of helping with my Ex-cellent’s chronic and brutal migraines, which are exceedingly painful, and about one-third of which end with her losing the ability to coordinate her limbs enough to walk or stand (at its worst, she walks approximately like a 15-month-old, all stiff and shaky legs and holding on to things).

  251. The Mellow Monkey says

    theoreticalgrrrl @ 278

    Does anyone here suffer from migraines and know of some non narcotic techniques to help cope with pain?

    My cocktail of choice is doxylamine succinate (an antihistamine that is also used as a sleep aid because it tends to knock you on your ass), ibuprofen and magnesium. Soaking in a hot bath with Epsom salts helps at least while I’m in the water. Before I figured out that it was doxylamine that did it, I used to do a shot of Nyquil when I got migraines.

    Otherwise, absolutely nothing does shit for me ever.

  252. says

    With you on the BASE jumping dog. I feel differently about the various folks who’ve taught dogs to surf scuba dive, etc. on the grounds that you pretty much can ‘ask’ a dog if it wants to go have fun in the water, and for a whole lot of dogs (though by no means all), the answer is pretty much “Hell YES! Let me at it! comeon comeoncomeoncomeonletsgoletsgo”

  253. says

    awakeinmo @316:
    That sounds like a good idea. Especially after I looked up statistics on illiteracy:

    Percent of U.S. adults who can’t read 14 %
    Number of U.S. adults who can’t read 32 Million
    Percent of U.S. adults who read below a 5th grade level 21 %
    Percent of prison inmates who can’t read 63 %
    Percent of high school graduates who can’t read 19 %

    Number of people worldwide who can’t read 774 Million
    Percent of the worlds illiterate who are female 66 %

  254. says

    Utah’s liquor laws have been call the most restrictive and the most confusing in the nation. In my opinion, both the restrictions and the confusion stem from mostly mormon legislators being torn between making money and upholding mormon anti-alchohol dogma.

    Here’s Utah’s latest eruption of liquor mania. Officials are considering denying beer licenses for Snowbird resort’s Oktoberfest, and for other events like the Father’s Day Brewfest.

    Fans of Snowbird Ski Resort’s annual Oktoberfest will be able to enjoy a German bratwurst, but maybe not a mug of Hefeweizen, now that the state liquor commission is getting tough about granting single-event permits to businesses.

    “We’re trying to send a signal that we are tightening up and we are reluctant to grant [single-event permits] to for-profit organizations,” David Gladwell, chairman of the state liquor commission, said Tuesday during the board’s monthly meeting. “For those who have applied in the past, this is a change of direction and one that is probably unsettling.”

    Bob Bonar, general manager for Snowbird, said resort officials were caught off guard last week when they learned that the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (UDABC) might not approve a special-event permit for its sixth annual Father’s Day Brewfest scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15. […]

    After a long discussion, the liquor board granted the single-event permit for the Brewfest, but warned it might not do so for Oktoberfest, which runs Saturdays and Sundays from Aug. 16 through Oct. 12. […]

    No liquor permit for Oktoberfest? What kind of madness is this? The Liquor Board (again, mostly mormons) requires that events must “Be used by a civic or community group to promote a common good.” This is a new requirement.

  255. says

    This is a follow up to the Moment of Mormon Madness outlined in comment #335. Here are a few quotes from Readers Comments section below the Salt Lake Tribune article:

    What also irritates me is the fact that Snowbird has to have 19 separate licenses for each bar and restaurant they operate and not one of those licenses will allow them the freedom to serve outside on their own property. That right there also shows how absolutely ridiculous our DABC rules and regulations are.
    This is part of that payback for amendment 3 being struckdown, and the goons at temple square being told that it’s not all about them, and what they want
    f Snowbird can ‘t get the required permits, they should consider changing the name of the event from Oktoberfest to – I don’t know… General Conference.
    Isn’t there some way that the Mormons could all be persuaded to move to Utah County, where they could be as silly and theocratic as their heats desire, and leave the rest of this beautiful state to be enjoyed fully by normal people?
    The pestilence of Mormonism strikes again.
    Thank God! Oktoberfest will be restored to how God intended. The devil has influenced Oktoberfest for too long, introducing all kinds of filth, including but not limited to alcohol and busty (and likely loose) servers meant to stir the loins of men in an effort to influence them to consume more of the devil’s brew. Clean up the filth at Snowbird and around the state. Thank you DABC for your common sense approach to civilization and good clean living! Now I can take my kids to Oktoberfest.
    This nonsense is brought to you by the people who just want to be left alone to practice their religion in peace and make sure everyone around them knows who is in charge. We are the Mormons, please don’t persecute us.

  256. blf says

    No beer (even the watered-down shite served behind the zion curtain) at Oktoberfest is “[promoting] a common good.”

    It shows how bugfeck nuts the moronic cult is.

    (Takes another sip of his La Mad Max beer…)

  257. says

    Joy and wonder. This morning I get chest pains and accompanying nausea and insomnia. Is it my heart? My stomach? My pancreas? Who knows? So I get to spend the day finding out instead of studying for/taking my exam. Joy and fucking wonder.

  258. rq says

    Attn: HordeNet Parental Units:
    Is it normal for a 7-year-old child to express sentiments of wishing for death and of worthlessness?

  259. says

    Damn. I’m sorry to hear that my friend. I hope you’re able to get this resolved quickly.


    I think it’s one thing for a 7 year old to have questions about death (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but expressing sentiments of wishing for death? I’m not a parent, but that doesn’t seem right.

  260. says

    I’m not a fan of these shows (though I did watch Powerpuff Girls once or twice over the years), but this just sounds kinda fun:

    IDW Publishing takes its Cartoon Network line of books to the next level this June for its first crossover event featuring its animated titles, “Super Secret Crisis War” by writer Louise Simonson and artist Derek Charm. “Super Secret Crisis War” is a six-issue miniseries bringing together the heroes and villains of “Powerpuff Girls,” “Ben 10,” “Samurai Jack,” “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “Ed, Edd and Eddy.

    Here is a cool image of some of the cover art.

  261. dianne says

    Is it normal for a 7-year-old child to express sentiments of wishing for death and of worthlessness?

    No. Especially not worthlessness. But the child could just be trying out the thought, so maybe explore the issue a bit before reacting too much?

  262. rq says


    before reacting too much

    It’s hard not to. But no, we haven’t been going the ‘OH MY GOSH!!’ route. More questions ‘why do you feel that way’ or ‘what makes you feel that way’, with assurances that we love him, that he’s learning a lot and it’s okay to not be perfect, but it doesn’t change the fact that we love him and we support him. Is that correct?
    I’m hoping it’s a phase, but I’ve never had a 7-year-old before. Well, almost 7, I should say. I don’t really know how to deal with this.

  263. Portia says

    rq: Sound like you’re taking all the right steps. That’s hard to deal with. *hugs* for you.

    One of my close friends has been lashing out and acting like a jerkbag. Knowing him like I do, I strongly suspect that he’s going through a depressive phase (again). I was able to turn off lawyer-mode and ask compassionate questions* and raise the suggestion of therapy in a way that apparently made it sound okay to him, and he took the information I gave him and said he would make the call. I’m so relieved. I really hope it helps him.

    *as opposed to lawyer questions, which is my default, and really shuts down this kind of conversation. Just keeping him in the convo was kind of a personal victory.

  264. cicely says

    A quick breather, while some paint dries.
    *scattering heavy hug-fire at all and sundry*



    Giliell, pics aten’t happenin’ until the whole thing is done. Next month, sometime. Given average luck.

    WMDKitty: Nuke it from orbit.
    It’s the only way to be sure.

    BTW, it’s tick season, folks.
    We’re watching The Husband’s second tick bite of the season for its next move.


    Happy anniversary, Ogvorbis!
    (Also, *pouncehug*)
    Son is about the same age The Husband was, when he (Son, that is) made his Boffo Debut. And Son is now expecting a Butterbean—right on schedule!

    Portia—See, it did work! A bit of a time-lag, but whatcanyado?
    I don’t know as how I’d call the (mostly still Proposed) painting “intriguing”…said friends are in the SCA, and she intends to take it to events, so I’m Doing Accordingly.
    I hope your friend’ll be okay.

    birgerjohansson, your “You need one of the thingies that detect motion and plots the object on a radar screen. Then you lure it into the airlock…” nearly made me aspirate my chewing gum.
    :D :D :D

    *megapileohugs* for Dalillama, and may it turn out to be none of the listed options.

    *hugs* for rq.

  265. dianne says

    rq: It sounds like you’re doing the right things. My experience with this is as a child, not as a parent, so can’t really say for sure. Sorry if my first comment downplayed the issue. A seven year old can be seriously depressed. OTOH, a 7 year old changes quickly and the emotion could be pretty fleeting. Hugs to you and your small one!

  266. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Mmmph. So, apparently, for the first time in over four years, a package was actually stolen off my patio. (Which, of course, should never have been left on my patio in the first place because the rental office was open, but never mind that…)

  267. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    rq @ 339,

    I say this as a lifelong sufferer of depression, not as a parent. I clearly remember those feelings at that age. Unfortunately, I had no one I could say any of this to who would take me at all seriously. My depression was accompanied by mysterious stomach pains.

    I believe that you are doing the right thing in simply talking with him and not dismissing his thoughts as simple childish foolishness.

    I advise to just keep talking. Your instincts are good.

  268. rq says

    … He’s been complaining about mysterious stomach pains that come and go for a few months, too. Since about last year, actually. We’ve been to doctors about it, but there’s nothing definable they can tell us, and it’s nothing that impedes his appetite or activity.
    That may just be a coincidence, though.

    I suppose I’m just a bit additionally worried since he starts school in September, and while he’s a very sociable and social kind of person, he also has some strange (yet creative!) ideas that differentiate him and he likes his alone time, and he’ll be starting in a brand new location with no former kindergarten/daycare-mates, and dammit I just want this transition to be as stress-reduced as possible.
    Thanks for letting me talk about it, everyone.

  269. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Also, it’s kind of off-topic and maybe misconstruable, so I didn’t comment about it on this thread, but this jumped out at me:

    1. I rarely (if ever) hear men told to “calm down” when they have feelings about things.

    …does that really not constantly happen to male-coded adults who aren’t me? O.o

    I mean, I can accept that intellectually, I don’t have any reason to reject it, but…..

  270. carlie says

    rq – I think you’re on the right track in what you’re doing. If it persists over a month or so then you might want to explore a counselor just to talk; I don’t know what kinds of services you have available, but my experience in the US is that there are counselors who have a master’s degree in social work who are good at lower-level anxiety stuff; it’s not as portentious or formalized as going to a psychologist. (Psychiatrists are usually reserved for when you already know there’s an issue, usually that requires medication.) Does your school have support? If it’s not out for the summer, I’d suggest contacting the school now and asking to talk to their on-staff counselor/social worker/psychologist/nurse/principal whoever is in charge of such things to get them ready for his needs and to talk about what to do over the summer to ease him into it.

  271. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    I’ll also add that from my experience it is critical that you take his complaints completely seriously. To mock him as attention seeking, as was done to me, is cruelly harmful. I would not expect you to be that unkind, just noting that some people are. If there is anything you can do before school starts to familiarize him with anything, it might be helpful. Perhaps visit the school before the start of classes. Tour the area, see if he can visit his classroom and/or meet his teacher. Anything to make the initial experience less foreign. Good luck.

  272. rq says

    Schools tend to be rather poorly outfitted with extra resources, but I’ll definitely ask about it (or have Husband do it, he deals with people much better than I do). There’s a parents’ meeting next Monday for all new first-graders, so that should be a good opportunity to find out about available resources, and possibly talk to his teacher(s). I think the actual meet-the-teacher for the children will be in August.
    Also, he’s (outwardly) incredibly excited to be going to school. He wanted to go last year already, but with the move and all, we decided it would be best for him to take the extra year with his old friends. Either way, looking into a chance to at least look at the school from the inside would be great for him. Thank you, you always have some reassuring and sensible advice.

    (And morgan, yes, I plan on taking this seriously, hence asking here, and thanks for your shared information and advice-from-experience, because just thanks hugely.)

  273. says

    I recently began reading a regular column at Comic Book Resources by Brett White. I was bored one night and started reading some of the various regular columns. His *really* appealed to me. Like me, he’s a gay man who loves comic books. He shows a passion for social justice, embraces feminism, and applauds diversity in all areas. He wrote a post today on the new X-Men movie. As part of the column, he called for getting rid of Bryan Singer as director, bc of the allegations of sexual abuse leveled against him:

    But there are two things that really, really have to change for the franchise to work for me, because as much as I enjoyed “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” there are still some big, glaring problems that Fox needs to address. First, Bryan Singer has to go. This may come as a surprise considering that I just heaped a ton of praise on the director’s latest film, but I’ve done so while also purposely avoiding mentioning his name. Based on the sexual abuse allegations currently piling up around him, I just feel icky — an understatement — giving the guy any praise. Having to weigh art against the artist’s alleged behavior is a complicated side effect of living in a time where the Internet makes it impossible for individuals with shady habits to remain hidden, especially if those individuals are given control of a billion-dollar film franchise. I’ve read up on the allegations, and I’ve read up on Singer’s reported history of sketchy behavior, and I still saw and enjoyed “Days of Future Past.” But I don’t want anyone to think that just because I enjoyed a movie that I think Bryan Singer is an a-okay dude and shouldn’t be scrutinized. I don’t think anyone has the right to criticize people that choose not to see the movie based on these allegations, and I also don’t believe the victims should be characterized as money hungry liars, which tends to be the argument given by people that want to enjoy a superhero movie guilt-free. Instead of siding with a powerful millionaire director and dismissing the victims as a way to assuage your guilt, make a donation to a charity that helps the survivors of rape.


    In the past, my personal rule with stuff like this has been that if the creator’s personal grossness doesn’t find its way into their art, I can enjoy the art. It’s still something that has to be decided on a case-by-case basis, and Singer’s rape allegations are by far the grossest of grossnesses. Here’s the thing: I actually think it does work its way into the X-Men films, and I do not want him nor this discussion attached to the franchise any more. Singer’s bisexual. Considering the X-Men’s minority metaphor, that makes him a seemingly ideal candidate for the director’s chair. His defenders will say that he hasn’t been formally charged with any crimes yet, but there’s a recurring theme that runs through stories about his behavior which appears to be true and is enough to make me want him out of the franchise. The guy became known for throwing lavish house parties that catered to the closeted Hollywood elite and the young men — and possibly boys — that wanted to make it in the business. It’s documented that Singer took on a number of those young people as assistants and aides and boyfriends — and yeah, there are a lot of pictures documenting this behavior. I have a big problem with a powerful, queer director using that power to convince young, queer, possibly closeted men into believing that their only way into Hollywood is by attending his parties and sucking up to him. It’s a manipulative practice and it perpetuates closet culture. The articles I’ve read about him point out that his parties have lost attendees as homosexuality has become more culturally accepted. Young gay men are realizing that they don’t need to party — at the very least — with Singer in order to “make it.” Singer is not Professor X, shepherding the next generation of gay men towards a future of coexistence. He’s not even Magneto, demanding that gay men own their sexuality and take their careers by force. If the allegations are true, he’s Mr. Sinister, using and abusing others to suit his own needs.

    I support the victims here, but I’m torn about whether or not it would be a good idea to remove Singer from the franchise. I think Brett fails to make a strong case that Singer’s ‘personal grossness’ makes its way into his movies (I can sorta kinda see his point here, but I don’t think it’s a strong one and its too vague).

  274. says

    theoreticalgrrrl @ 278 –

    I get migraines, preceded by a visual aura. If yours have an aura, try taking an ibuprofen pill during the aura phase. 200mg ibuprofen shortens the aura and prevents the headache entirely. Which is good, because I’m not functional during a migraine headache. YMMV, but it works amazingly well for me. Worth a shot if you’ve got a consistent aura or other signal that a migraine is incoming.

  275. says

    Tony @ 355
    I totally get your hesitation. I feel that an artist aind their art are connected but disconnected at the same time. For example, i like Hemingway and “some” of Ted Nugent’s stuff. Tje fact that i hate some (or all) of the creators behavior doesnt usually put me off of their work. It might make me more critical of their work, but if i like it, i like it. Kind of a corrolary to “Hate the sin but love the sinner” except vise versa.

  276. says

    I’m back again. It turns out it’s not my heart, but they’re not 100% certain what it actually is. Most likely a side effect of the ulcer of some kind, probably esophageal spasms. My cousin was able to give be a ride home, fortunately.

  277. Portia says

    Thanks,YOB. I’m really relieved, myself. OB is good people:)

    Dalillama: Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I’m really sorry you’re in pain again :(

  278. says


    *big hugs*
    From my experience with children’s mental health service you might want to find out where to go and give them a call asking about waiting times. Around here waiting times of 5 months are normal, so it might make sense to call, make an appointment and cancel if it turns out it was false alarm. Don’t feel bad about it, in that case another family will be happy that they get moved to the front a bit.

    Talkin about kids:
    Little one wanted hamburgers. So I make hamburgers for dinner. When it comes to the point when I ask everybody what they want on theirs, she tells me: I don’t want a hamburger, I just want fries.
    Uhm, there are no fries. I’m not a fast food retaurant….

  279. says

    The spider saga continues.

    I’ve had another sighting. This time I called Dad in to help me out.

    Spider did a runner.


    Anyone know how to repel spiders?

  280. opposablethumbs says

    we haven’t been going the ‘OH MY GOSH!!’ route. More questions ‘why do you feel that way’ or ‘what makes you feel that way’, with assurances that we love him, that he’s learning a lot and it’s okay to not be perfect, but it doesn’t change the fact that we love him and we support him. Is that correct?

    rq your initial response sounds exactly right to me. I would think Child needs you to take him seriously and offer reassurances, while at the same time not going overboard (maybe it helps him, just to feel that you can cope with things that he finds overwhelming; at age nearly-7 I imagine that you two are the fixed points in an uncertain universe). I would second all the good advice that some of the Loungers have given upthread about familarising him and yourselves with the new school, and looking into possible counselling resources etc. in advance, just in case they’re wanted later (And of course one counsellor may be good where another is not much use; it’s such an individual thing :-( ). All my sympathies; it’s deeply distressing and frightening when a young child has problems and it’s hard to get a handle on exactly what’s going on or how best to help. It is possible that in spite of being eager to go to the new school it’s also frightening at the same time? Could he be worried that he’s arriving a year “late” (even though he’s really not)? Or have there maybe been problems with his peer group at his current school? Or is there any chance he’s maybe picking up on and unconsciously worried about/blaming himself for completely unrelated family stuff? There’s always something … I think that sometimes we unconsciously use one worry to hide another.
    But whatever is worrying him, I do think that what you’re doing sounds like the rightest thing you could do.
    Portia, adding my yays for OB. Sounds like he’s got the right attitude – and it’s excellent that you broached the issue with him first, before anything could start whispering its way around the office.
    Dalillama, I’m glad your heart is OK but argh, I hope you can pin this down soon and that you are all right. And able to get on with your studies. Frustrating as all hell.
    Giliell, sounds like Little One was operating by a process of association rather than actual reality :-)
    hamburger = hamburger place = I get to eat chips :-D
    Having neighbours round last weekend was OK – not great but OK. SonSpawn is enduring his social issues with (I think) considerable courage so far. DaughterSpawn is home! And looking for holiday jobs.
    Question to European Horders – do you know anything about the cost of doing a 1-year MSc in your respective countries? And/or anything about looking for grants/funding of any kind for a student from an EC country doing an MSc?

  281. says


    sounds like Little One was operating by a process of association rather than actual reality :-)
    hamburger = hamburger place = I get to eat chips :-D

    Something like this. But the rest of the family enjoyed them andthe little one was content with her salami and cheese burger and the salad.

    Question to European Horders – do you know anything about the cost of doing a 1-year MSc in your respective countries? And/or anything about looking for grants/funding of any kind for a student from an EC country doing an MSc?

    Uhm, good question.
    Since I’m not doing a Master it’s not quite my area*. Generally, there are no student fees in Germany, so you only need to cover your own living. Did you look into the EU programs like Erasmus/Socrates?

    *Complicated to explain. Traditionally professions that are highly regulated like teachers, doctors, lawyers do a final exam that is done by the government. Called the “Staatsexamen”. Now some states are doing it with Bachelor and Master, but it’s quite a problem since they never allow all people with a Ba are accepted to do an Ma which means they are nothing

    If I had known how much work that Octopus T-shirt is I’d never have started it…

  282. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Giliell. I will check, but I thought Erasmus was only for undergraduates – will check that, and also Socrates.
    The possibility of having to pay only for living (ha! “only“. hahahahahedhehha ) instead of living + fees is obviously important :-\
    She is functional in two languages (English and Spanish) with only a smattering of French, so realistically she’ll be looking at courses either taught in English and in a country where people may be quite forgiving to English speakers … like, maybe, I don’t know … Holland or Denmark? (comment from any Dutch or Danish Loungers welcome!) (or just maybe taught-in-English in France if any such thing exists), or if not then possibly taught-in-Spanish (or in English) in Spain. This would be for 2015/16. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but it’s an exciting idea!

  283. rq says

    Thanks, opposablethumbs and Giliell, for support and suggestions.

    I know Latvian programs are considered relatively cheap, but I hesitate to recommend them academically, especially the sciences.
    But then, I’m only operating on what I’ve noticed from people who have actually gone through these programs, not personal experience. The best bet is either the University of Latvia or the Riga Technical University (also for chemistry and physics, I believe), with the Riga Stradins University (medical sciences, biology, etc., as it’s affiliated with a hospital) as a third-place recommendation. There’s a couple of regional universities, but again, I can’t vouch for their quality or for the presence of courses in English.

  284. rq says

    Some links:
    Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone. In my opinion, needs more free market.

    It’s oddly modernly-typed, but here are some rules for schoolteachers from 1914.

    A feminist critique of “cisgender”, which apparently works by… erasing trans*people? I find the initial premise to be faulty, with all resulting conclusions skewed. But I’m not an expert.

    Musical interlude: June in Siberia from Mark Berube.

    I had a great potato picture, but I lost it among all my other tabs. Sorry, CD. I’ll have to try and dig it out later.

  285. says

    rq, that ‘feminist’ critique of ‘cis’ is a pretty standard boilerplate bit of transphobia from second-wave anti-trans people.

    Any time you find the phrase “woman-born-woman” used unironically, that’s who you’re dealing with. They’re (IMO) evil, intolerant, and frequently internet-abusive to trans women, being the sort who like to dox us to as many people as possible, go to our websites and employers putting our old names as many places as they can…

    They’re the WBC of trans-ness.

  286. rq says

    Really? That’s who that is?? Wow, I’m ashamed for posting that (via Cousin on FB). :/ I’ll keep that in mind in the future.
    The whole article seemed very polite but too freely with the erasure. Thanks for the heads-up.

  287. rq says

    By that I don’t mean to say that ‘politeness’ or ‘civility’ is a measure of the accuracy of arguments made, just that it manages to come across as rational and sensible, even though it makes some truly stupid and hurtful arguments. Like something too easy to take a face value, rather than hate-based material. :/

  288. says

    Opposable thumbs

    The new Erasmus:

    One of the best aspects of the previous Erasmus scheme – the monthly grant it provided to students to help fund the cost of living overseas – is set to continue. Additionally, Erasmus+, will give students a grant to study or work in a partner country which is not part of the Erasmus programme for the first time, as well as a Masters loan scheme to help fund students who want to take up post-graduate study overseas.


  289. blf says

    I had a great potato picture, but I lost it

    Saved! Saved! Thank you, Great Sky Faeries!

  290. procrastinatorordinaire says

    @339 rq

    Attn: HordeNet Parental Units:
    Is it normal for a 7-year-old child to express sentiments of wishing for death and of worthlessness?

    Without intending to be flippant, your question reminded me too much of the scene from Annie Hall:

    Doctor in Brooklyn: Why are you depressed, Alvy?

    Alvy’s Mom: Tell Dr. Flicker.

    [Young Alvy sits, his head down – his mother answers for him]

    Alvy’s Mom: It’s something he read.

    Doctor in Brooklyn: Something he read, huh?

    Alvy at 9: [his head still down] The universe is expanding.

    Doctor in Brooklyn: The universe is expanding?

    Alvy at 9: Well, the universe is everything, and if it’s expanding, someday it will break apart and that would be the end of everything!

    Alvy’s Mom: What is that your business?

    [she turns back to the doctor]

    Alvy’s Mom: He stopped doing his homework!

    Alvy at 9: What’s the point?

    Alvy’s Mom: What has the universe got to do with it? You’re here in Brooklyn! Brooklyn is not expanding!

    Doctor in Brooklyn: It won’t be expanding for billions of years yet, Alvy. And we’ve gotta try to enjoy ourselves while we’re here!

  291. blf says

    Anyone know how to repel spiders?

    I really, really think you should make an effort to capture it — alive, if possible — and then take it to the local experts (e.g., county wildlife control). If it really is a Brown Recluse, they should be able to confirm, and in any case, will want to know. And if it is not, that itself is useful.

    If it’s darting back inside its cubbyhole, have at-hand a piece of cardboard (or (stiff) paper), and an empty jar with a lid. When you see it outside it’s hideout, ease the cardboard over the opening so it can’t escape inside, and then — gently — put the jar over it, upside down.


    Eventually — and this may be hours later — you should be able to invert the jar (with the suspected Brown Recluse inside), and “slam” on the lid (understandable), and then screw it done.


    Now take it to the appropriate experts…

  292. ernezabet says

    For anyone into Green tech, great new!

    After 11 years of development it has become reality: the most efficient urban wind turbine in its shape and size will enter the international market. On Tuesday the 27th of May 2014 this already high profiled wind turbine will be revealed at the Innovation Dock on the RDM Campus in Rotterdam.

    This wind turbine combines an austere and elegant design with an unequalled high efficiency. Based on natural forms the Liam F1 converts, with minimal resistance and almost silently, no less than 80% of the available energy from the wind into power. A result that has never been shown until now.

    The Liam F1 Urban Wind is the tangible, high profiled and technical proof of the philosophy of the founding fathers of the Archimedes, Richard Ruijtenbeek and Marinus Mieremet, that sustainable energy, by combining what nature offers us for free, must be available to all of mankind.

    Distinctive natural design: based on Biomimicry
    Biomimicry is the science and art of imitating the best organic ideas from nature to solve human problems. The particular form of the Liam F1 originated when Marinus Mieremet-inventor of this turbine- studied the work of the Greek engineer Archimedes (287-212 BC). In that work the natural beauty of the nautilus shell struck him in particular.

    “Calculations on natural forms such as the nautilus shell almost always lead to a special ratio, the golden ratio. If a man sees a golden ratio, something special occurs. To me as well. All proportions are in balance. Natural beauty always follows the laws of the golden ratio. And we succeeded in applying these laws into the design of our windturbine. ”

    Innovative design: virtually no sound and resistance
    Various theories on the aerodynamics gave Mieremet amazing insights which he subsequently applied and translated into a unique and beautiful design that is in many ways more powerful, more compact and has a remarkable higher yield than all the turbines that we have known so far. On Tuesday the 27th of May 2014, Mieremet will present the unique insights he has acquired, at the Innovation Dock on the RDM Campus. A small taste:

    “Generally speaking, there is a difference in pressure in front and behind of the rotor blades of a windmill. However, this is not the case with the Liam F1. The difference in pressure is created by the spatial figure in the spiral blade. This results in a much better performance. Even when the wind is blowing at an angle of 60 degrees into the rotor, it will start to spin. We do not require expensive software: because of its conical shape, the wind turbine yaws itself automatically into the optimal wind direction. Just like a wind vane. And because the wind turbine encounters minimal resistance, he is virtually silent. “

    Beginning of July in the Netherlands
    The Liam F1 can be viewed as from the 1st of July 2014 at the Archimedes sales agencies. This month demo models have been spread throughout the world with a focus on Europe.s.

    Efficient, clean and smart. Low cost $5,400.00. Beautiful design! Only two movable parts. Battery storage will be the most expensive item. Residential use diameter 5ft (1.52m). Can be used for boats, cars…… I’m trying to get one here in the states – but that seems to be a problem. So far only in Europe. I don’t care if I have to go get one.

  293. ernezabet says

    I have been backtracking thread. So sorry about the job loss. FL is a crapy state to work in. I know I’m new here but I’m on Merritt island/Cape Canaveral area, anything I can do, I’m just down the road?
    *sniff, sniff*
    I can get in my little sports car and …….make you laugh or a shoulder to cry on or run screaming down the beach with you. Just wish you best kiddo!


  294. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, rq and chimera! Will check up on those names and links. I think the Erasmus idea would be fantastic. Much obliged for the info!

  295. Rob Grigjanis says

    rq @379:

    The whole article seemed very polite but too freely with the erasure.

    Polite, and lots of ‘theory’! Reminded me of William Lane Craig’s schtick. Insidious sophistry.

  296. procrastinatorordinaire says

    @385 ernezabet

    For anyone into Green tech, great new!

    And if you believe that, Ken Ham has an Allosaurus which is 4,500 years old.

  297. says

    procrastinatorordinaire, can I ask why you say that, in 389, implying that it is highly naive to believe that story about the wind turbine?

    I’m asking honestly, I don’t see the immediate issue with it? It doesn’t seem to be making any particularly outrageous claims that I can detect.

  298. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    procrastinatorordinaire, can I ask why you say that, in 389, implying that it is highly naive to believe that story about the wind turbine?

    I’m hoping it’s not an intrusion of the “Renewable Energy Is An Impractical Pipe Dream” catechism into the lounge…..

    Having read through it, the flowery language rubs me the wrong way and I’d like to see some supporting calculations and test results, but none of the claims seem intrinsically implausible from an engineering perspective.

  299. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Generally speaking, there is a difference in pressure in front and behind of the rotor blades of a windmill. However, this is not the case with the Liam F1. The difference in pressure is created by the spatial figure in the spiral blade.

    Well, actually, this is kind of hard to parse intelligibly, but it could easily be a suboptimal translation..

  300. says

    Yeah, the translation is clearly not ideal, there are some notably Dutch features in the copy, but I think that’s the source of some of the oddness.

    Like today, I saw an app I was looking at* which was written by a French developer, and his list of features began:

    Actually, the feature set includes these:

    and later:

    To come, these features:

    Making it clear that the ‘actually’ was an interference from French ‘actuellement’ – ‘currently’ is the more usual choice. There is that kind of interference in the copy. But it doesn’t seem absurd to me.

    * I’m looking for a good note-taking app, with tagging and folders, as well as the usual photo/video/audio/typing features, if anyone has anything to suggest for Android OS, and I’d even pay for a good one that does what I want.

  301. Portia says

    Thank you :) Thankfully I don’t think anyone else knows about the wife-accusations, which is good. Soon there will be at least one other new associate to participate in the after-work beers (maybe). What really made me laugh was when OB said ‘If this means you’re having an affair with him, then I definitely was too when I was first working here.” :)

    This morning, in judge’s chambers:
    Opposing Counsel: “Judge, *contentious argument said through clenched smile*”
    Me: “Judge, yes, but, *response through equally clenched smile*”
    Judge: “I love the smiling faces!”
    Me: “We’re not smiling, Your Honor, we’re baring our teeth.”
    OC: *laughs uproariously* “I’m going to like you! You’re my new favorite opposing counsel!”
    (I think it’s funnier given that we are both women and the judge is a man, the women smiled to tone down the aggressive statements and the judge couldn’t see that…)

  302. ernezabet says

    Really folks,
    Are you so jaded that “there is NO green tech”. If you read the link you would see testing and theory behind Liam. Or do you just want to Drill Baby Drill. It’s just an efficient wind turbine, is that so hard to believe. I would stay an talk, but have 1:00 meeting then I’ll be back. Also no weird link – it’s home page of company is that scary or woo.

  303. ernezabet says

    Sorry CaitieCat. I snapped at you by accident. Company is Dutch and translations come out funny sometimes. And when did discussions become “intrusions”? And who decides that around here? I’m no troll.

  304. says

    NP, ernezabet, I figured it was an error and would sort itself out, didn’t take it personally. :)

    I thought it was an interesting link, and I’d be interested to know if their claims test out when people start installing them. It’d be a valuable thing to be able to get even small turbines working in the turbulent air of cities. Maybe we can make our waste heat/heat island effect work for us, and get turbines into the updraft of warm air. :)

  305. ernezabet says

    YOB – did you go to link? These units are already being sold. Really got to run. I thought this was way cool and very interesting. Windmills are not that efficient, this is just a new design. Windmills work right? Been around for a long time. It’s the kWh that matters, if this performs as stated and backed up with data wouldn’t that be great for the world?

  306. opposablethumbs says

    OB said ‘If this means you’re having an affair with him, then I definitely was too when I was first working here.” :)

    He sounds pretty neat so far – capable of grasping the problem, taking the right approach and having the right kind of sense of humour about it. Glad you have someone who sounds good like this in the firm!

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


    I’m sure YOB will correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the skepticism is not that a windmill will be generating energy, but that **this particular** windmill is sooper-revolutionary. The claim that was a red-flag for me was “80% of the available energy”.

    Available energy ≠ kinetic energy…or any other definition of which I’m aware that has a sound scientific basis in this context (fluid dynamicists, I’d love to be corrected).

    Available energy is used in thermal energy systems, as the energy available for extraction is only the energy of the source MINUS the energy of the drain. (if you’re trying to siphon off thermal flow from a 500 degree C source, it works much better if the source is flowing to a 0 degree well than if it’s flowing to a 499 degree well.)

    I’ve read a bit about efficiency in windmills and don’t remember a standard def of “available energy”. Doesn’t mean that there isn’t one, but my lack of exposure to it makes me think that they are trying to get press for how awesome their tech is by creating, post-facto, a definition of available energy that just so happens to make their machine seem awesomely efficient.

    I’d rather know system cost, system lifetime, and average KW in urban (turbulent) wind conditions at different wind speeds, and compare that to other wind generators capable of being added to an urban building without risk to its structural integrity.

    Then I’ll know if I should get excited or not.

  308. says

    I think there is a misunderstanding here between us. Maybe I didn’t express my point in my #397. Let me try to clarify.

    I think the Liam Mini is super cool! I hope the numbers are legit because I would be very happy seeing it (and other renewables) succeed and expand, which I feel is attainable. I do not think that renewable energy is a pipedream.

    So far, procrastinatorordinaire’s comment at #389 is the only comment that is negative towards this technology. Xe implied that this tech is woo. I do not agree with that implication, nor did I read anyone else agreeing with that implication.

    I do hope that that clears up what, I think, is where our wires got crossed.

    Also, Thank you for the link.

  309. says

    I know doodly squat about physics, “available energy”, efficiency, etc. Thus, I rely on others to inform me regarding such things. i.e. Reputable Engineers and Scientists.

    But I do know this: We put PEOPLE on the MOON. Given enough resources, support, and motivation; I think we are more than capable of developing and propagating clean renewable energy sources. With technologies like the Liam, I think we can do it. (Even if this particular tech doesn’t quite live up to its hype, it is at least moving the conversation forward.)

    /cynic mode=on
    I also know that We (the species) are shortsighted and selfish, so “can do ≠ will do”.
    /cynic mode=off

  310. says

    US sees shrinking conservatism

    More Americans identify themselves as conservative than as liberal on economic and social issues, but the gap has shrunk to the smallest in the 14 years Gallup has been conducting its annual Values and Beliefs research, the polling company revealed on Wednesday.

    According to the poll, which was conducted in early May, 34 percent of Americans said they were conservative on social issues, while 35 percent said they were moderate and 30 percent liberal.

    That 4 percent difference between conservative and liberal stands in stark contrast to where the country stood a half decade ago. In both 2009 and 2010, the conservative advantage on social issues stood at 17 percent, according to Gallup poll data.

    Gallup said that while Republican views on social issues have been steady the past four years, Democrats are now more likely to identify as socially liberal, especially regarding same-sex marriage and legalization of marijuana.

    “Because Republicans have stayed where they were on social issues while Democrats have shifted in a more liberal direction, overall the country is significantly more liberal on social issues than it was,” said William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former policy adviser to President Bill Clinton. “If you look at Democrats on social issues, they have shifted very sharply since Obama’s election.”

  311. dianne says

    We put PEOPLE on the MOON.

    Yeah, but all that takes is enough thrust. Clean energy is a more complicated problem. Not insoluble, by any means, but complicated.

  312. says

    Lots of bad news coming out of Utah, much of it discussed in this thread, including putting 16 year old boys in terrible prison conditions, coming up with ever-whackier liquor laws, anti-gay marriage statements from the Governor, and mormons necrodunking Jesus Christ.

    Let’s add to the list a Moment of Mormon Madness that pops up frequently, bonkers modesty rules for young women. See link at the top.

    Female students at a Utah high school want to know why their yearbook photos were altered to show less skin without them knowing about it.

    The students who were surprised to find their photos altered attend Wasatch High School, and some of them said they also feel upset because it appears the decisions whether to alter the photos or not weren’t made consistently. […]

    And that’s what bothered the girls the most. It seemed like the school randomly picked which pictures to edit. In one case, two different girls were wearing nearly identical tops: one photo was altered to add sleeves and the other was not.

    But educators said the students know the dress code and there was a sign warning them that their pictures may be edited. However, the Wasatch County Superintendent admits the school erred in not applying the same rules to each student.

    “We only apologize in the sense that we want to be more consistent with what we`re trying to do in that sense we can help kids better prepare for their future by knowing how to dress appropriately for things,” said Terry E. Shoemaker, who is the superintendent of schools for the Wasatch County School District. […]

    It was the dreaded bare shoulders of females that brought on this MMM.

  313. procrastinatorordinaire says

    @392 Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    procrastinatorordinaire, can I ask why you say that, in 389, implying that it is highly naive to believe that story about the wind turbine?

    I’m hoping it’s not an intrusion of the “Renewable Energy Is An Impractical Pipe Dream” catechism into the lounge…..

    Not at all. I just do not see this device as the game changer which the article seems to suggest. Suggesting it was the same as the claims Ken Ham make was a bit much though.

    80% of the available energy would be 80% of the Betz limit, which is the maximum efficiency for a wind turbine. So the makers are claiming that the device can extract 0.8 x 59.3 = 47.4% of the kinetic energy in the wind. That is not an unusual figure.

    What I question is the claim that this device will provide this output when mounted on top of a house in an urban environment and that it will do so in an environmentally friendly way.

  314. ernezabet says

    Sorry, I think I was the one who was misunderstand the responses. I was on the run and did not read your comments thoroughly. I thought you were dismissing the article. Try this link:

    Also, the specs are online at the home page.

    YOB – NP

    Crip Dyke – I have not googled any other wind turbines yet. I did give the price for residential unit, thats without battery storage. I’m just excited that some company is working power source problem besides big oil. I do not have any stake in this company. Like I keep saying, “here is the information I have on this unit right now” thats all I am claiming.

  315. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    $5400 is nontrivial, but from the description of the turbine it’s probably fairly complicated to machine.

    …I should click links more often. >.>

  316. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    80% of the available energy would be 80% of the Betz limit, which is the maximum efficiency for a wind turbine. So the makers are claiming that the device can extract 0.8 x 59.3 = 47.4% of the kinetic energy in the wind. That is not an unusual figure.


  317. ernezabet says

    What is so interesting is they claim it is quiet. Small size would allow homeowners to put on house (I like nautical shape). You can not put most large size wind turbines on a house and they make to much noise. Consider the power available from the wind: the wind power equation.

    P = power in watts

    ρ = The air density (1.2kg/m³ @ sea level and 20° C)

    A = The swept area of the turbine blades (m² square meters)

    V = wind speed ( meters per second)


    For a VAWT with 4′ tall wings and a 3′ diameter arc, the swept area A=12 ft² = 1.1m²

    Wind speed @ 15 mph = 6.7 m/sec

    So the Wind Power at 15 mph is: P=½(1.2)(1.1)(6.7)³ = 198 watts

    Consider if the wind speed doubles to 30 mph (13.4 m/s)…notice that the power increases more than 8 times!!

    Wind Power at 30 mph = P=½(1.2)(1.1)(13.4)³ = almost 1600 watts!

    Even though the wind has that much power, it’s not possible to extract it all due to losses. A typical wind turbine efficiency (Ct) is about 40%, and axial flux alternator efficiencies (Ca) are about 60% efficient*. These numbers will vary depending on the designs and their specific performance curves. But, it’s a good starting point.

    So you could expect about 40% of 60% of the wind power. Which is (.40)(.60)(1600watts) = 384 watts. Not bad for a 12 square foot turbine!

    The Wind Power equation, then becomes the Turbine Power Equation:

    Turbine Power Equation: P=½ρAV³CtCa

    So that’s it. Just more bang with size of old satellite dish. Plus price of large turbine is very large and maintenance even worst. This thing has only 2 movable parts. Once again battery storage is expensive and labor intensive.

  318. procrastinatorordinaire says

    According to the US Energy Information Administration

    In 2012, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,837 kWh, an average of 903 kilowatthours (kWh) per month. Louisiana had the highest annual consumption at 15,046 kWh and Maine the lowest at 6,367 kWh.

    So the average household could save themselves $5400+ by not buying this device and be a lot greener, simply by reducing their power consumption by 1500 kWh.

  319. says

    Did they pass a law saying it can only be one or the other? Couldn’t we reduce our usage and shift to a better mix of renewables? And wouldn’t, if it worked, a turbine that gave reasonable house-level performance in a turbulent urban environment be a good thing, compared to fracking for more gas or digging up more coal?

    I guess I’m just not getting the reason for the sneer about it, is all. I thought it was an interesting link. I didn’t feel the urge to rush out and tattoo a picture of it on my butt because Thank God Almighty We Are Saved, but it was an interesting link. It’s expensive. New tech generally is. If it works, it’ll get cheaper, and we’ll be a teeny bit closer to not destroying ourselves. Seems overall like a net positive, to me.

  320. rq says

    Hm. Would (Could?) this work in any way similar to the Australian solar panel program? My aunt and her family had them installed when the government offered the subsidy program (or whatever it was), and it was initially expensive, but it paid back within a couple of years. (I know, the initial expense is an issue no matter what!)
    Also, as a family of five in the northern hemisphere, our average monthly consumption is about 350 kWh, in a house. 384 sounds pretty good to me, per month.
    (I suppose my question is, ernezabet, the 384 kWh – that’s over how much time? Annual?)

  321. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’d noticed this.

    But ask them the question about “obesity” and it’s fucking no holds barred. Time and time again, I’ll be excited about some Proust-reading feminist bisexual carpenter or some effeminate philosophy graduate student barista only to have my hopes dashed on the rocks of overt and unabashed sizeism. No fatties. As in, I won’t even consider dating someone who has a BMI of 30 or greater (the technical definitions of obese and dealbreaker).

    The same people who are seemingly able to make the political connections (or at least try to make them, who want to make them) between desire, power, and race/class/sexuality/gender unabashedly refuse to do so when it comes to body size. And I never fail to feel surprised and disappointed about this. It doesn’t matter how many times it happens, it defies my expectations.

  322. says

    I think it would be great if there are turbines that could be installed on buildings like the one I live in. It kind of creates its own wind by standing alone, 13 storeys high near the top of a hill.
    Yeah, we need to make sure those things are affordable. Because we literally cannot afford not to.
    Also: Holy fuck at average US electricity consumption. We need about 3000 kw/h a year, but I must say that we’re rather privileged in having new appliances.

    Leaving an extra-large pile of hugs, going to bed.

  323. blf says

    Hadley Freeman at the Grauniad, has written an excellent essay on the Elliot Rodgers blame game, Elliot Rodger was a misogynist — but is that all he was? I’ll only quote the final paragraph, but I do recommend reading the entire essay:

    Was misogyny the reason a 22-year-old man went on a killing spree? Hell yes. Were other factors at play here, too, such as mental health, a financially straitened mental health system and an American political system cowed by the NRA, leading to too much access to guns? Yes, yes and yes. And to say that doesn’t diminish the part played by any of these reasons. In fact, they underline the dangers in one another.

  324. blf says

    I am intrigued by the Liam wind turbine, since the area I live in has rather fierce winds at times (the Mistral). Some homes around here do have “conventional” wind-turbines. Others have solar panels. Offhand, I don’t recall seeing both on any one particular home (albeit there are certainly people in the area able to afford both). One reason for my interest is that in my current lair I probably do have the “right” to erect such a structure, and it could be effective.

    Ignoring the issues raised by others, the most immediately pertinent question for me is whether or not it would actually function when the Mistral is blowing. It’s a powerful wind and can blow for days. The home turbines I’ve seen have clearly gone into “failsafe” mode (and unlikely to be producing power) at times when it is blowing.

    And when it isn’t blowing, the air is (usually) quite calm. So a system intended to harvest the energy in the Mistral would be idle (not too sure what percentage of the time, but non-trivial). An energy-storage system, e.g. batteries or flywheels, would not be inappropriate. So I suspect adding solar panels (or some sort of solar-power) may make sense, albeit perhaps not for the current lair (which is largely in-shade (deliberately!)).

    (Apologies if this is mostly babbling…)

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

    @rq, 416:

    384 watts is a rate, not an amount.

    If it captured that much energy for a single hour over the course of a month, you’d get 384 Wh that month.

    A week has 168 hours, so 4 weeks has 400+240+32=672 hours.

    If the wind was blowing that fast all the time, you be getting 672 hours * 384 watts = 258,048 watt-hours, or 258kWh.

    But the wind in your area will have to be rated. It’s much more likely to be less than 30mph. Depending on your area, 8-18 mph will almost certainly be more typical wind speeds.

    if you’re at 10mph-ish, 10/30 = 1/3. following the cube law, 1/3^3 gives us 1/27.

    258/~27 = ~1.

    So you’re now talking 1 kWh from your standard background wind. You’ll almost certainly reap more than that, as the increases pile on fast, given the cube power law, when wind goes up, and there’s no too much production to fall off when wind goes down.

    To know what kind of good something like this will do for you, you really need to put up an anemometer in a few locations around your house long enough to detect trends.

  326. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    This is why I only read off the numbers on that box with the swivelly insides and send it through the bank to get some money deducted. :)
    Thanks for the clarification. Not as rosy as it sounded at first, but still worth a thought.

  327. ernezabet says

    I don’t understand the sneer either.
    CaitieCat I agree with you. We have to start somewhere. I live in FL, average power consumption per year is 16,383 kWh.
    rq, in Europe I believe it would be similar to Australian solar panel program. Some state in US offer subsidy, but that’s changing fast. The Liam 1 states they can deliver 1500 – 2000 kWh therefore producing enough energy for individual households. That’s optimal, I’m assuming as wind is everywhere variable. I personally believe I have a responsibility to “reduce usage and shift” ( as CaitieCat says). All we can do is what we can afford to do. To me $5400 invested would payoff within a few years. Hopefully, attitudes will change. My house will most likely be under water within 50 – 100 year if not sooner.

  328. says

    procrastinatorordinaire #414
    As rq indicates in the comment following yours, that level of consumption can be drastically reduced without any reduction in quality of life. It would mean huge retrofits to the majority of housing in the U.S., but it’s both doable and worthwhile*

    Would, could, and should, only better, because that program (like all of them that I’ve heard of), is pretty half-assed. What’s really needed is a complete overhaul of the electricity-generating infrastructure to a distributed generation model mediated by a smart grid, as well as a massive societal investment in efficiency. By the first, I mean the the government should outright pay, from tax moneys, to install solar panels and wind turbines on pretty much every rooftop where they’d do any good (and that wasn’t already being used for something), supplemented by wind farms, larger solar installations, tidal generators etc. along with a grid that’s capable of passing power around at need, and has some type of centralized power storage to smooth the differences between peak usage and peak generation times. By the second, I mean that, once again, the government should directly pay for the needed retrofits, and provide subsidy programs for energy-efficient appliances which homeowners are permitted to take advantage of and landlords are required to take advantage of.

    *Caveat: That’s not really true; a significant chunk of the U.S housing supply is basically worthless and very little can be done with it other than insure people are able to not live in it. This portion is mostly in the suburbs, which are ill-advised to begin with and lead to the consumption of a good deal more energy in the form of transportation as well.

  329. blf says

    My house will most likely be under water within 50 – 100 year if not sooner.

    This is a good point! (Other good points have also been mentioned.) Well, Ok, not good for you or your house! Highlighting the issue is what is good.

    I am in a broadly similar situation:
    At the former location of the lair, it was, at the the most, c.2m above sea-level, and possibly at sea-level. (The precise altitude wasn’t clear due to extremely local geographic reasons.) Hence, I never took up an offer to buy the place.

    The current location of the lair is two stories above street-level. The street is, for all intents and purposes, at sea-level. (Actually, it’s perhaps as much as 1m above, but the distinction is academic.) And since the sea is perhaps 30m from the front-door (the old lair was around 100m away), the situation hasn’t necessarily improved.

    There is a difference. The old lair was exposed to the open (Mediterranean) sea. The current lair is exposed to the old harbour, which is sheltered. Hence, there is, at the moment, some non-trivial storm protection. Important, but won’t ameliorate the effects of sea-level rise.

  330. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Not at all. I just do not see this device as the game changer which the article seems to suggest. Suggesting it was the same as the claims Ken Ham make was a bit much though.

    Thinking about this. I think the comparison you want isn’t Ken Ham’s Allosaurus but the endless, breathless “NEW FOSSIL OVERTURNS EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT HUMAN EVOLUTION!” headlines.

  331. Portia says


    I think i’ve had French food once, and I loved it :)

    I think my ex is moaning to our mutual friends how hard it’s been for him to have dumped me. /crankyPortiaiscranky

  332. cicely says

    Dalillama, I’m glad it’s not your heart, and I hope they are able to figure what it is, soon.

    YOB: Unless the encounter looks to be excessively long, finishing it is not only a Good, but a Necessary thing. Otherwise not only is the momentum of the encounter lost, but players forget—or, sometimes, “forget”—their current hit points, spells/potions/missiles expended, etc. And if there are spells or potions with on-going effects, it’s easy to mislay how many rounds each still has to run.
    As CaitieCat has noted—priorities!

    stinkyj, those Squid Body Pillows are awesome!

    Wait…*frantically skimming up-Thread*
    Tony, I’m so sorry you were fired.
    Shit, fuck, hell, and damn.
    :( :( :(

    My Green Energy hopes are on solar. I’m intrigued by the solar “tiles” that recently came up in my news feed, intended as an alternative road-bedding (replacing asphalt). I’m not qualified to have an opinion as to whether they could withstand the wear and tear of traffic, but I can’t help but wonder about their possible use for less weight-intensive applications, such as sidewalks, or whether they’d be good replacing shingles for roofing.
    I also can’t help but think that extensive placement of 5′ wind turbines on rooftops would present serious problems for wildlife. And how would they behave in or near a tornado?


    I didn’t feel the urge to rush out and tattoo a picture of it on my butt because Thank God Almighty We Are Saved, […]



    I think my ex is moaning to our mutual friends how hard it’s been for him to have dumped me.


  333. says

    I see why, Portia. That’s colouring outside the lines, and no mistake. Rule 1 of Not Being an Asshole Ex: keep your disputes out of the faces of your mutual friends. It’s not fair to your ex or your friends. You deserve better.

    At least if he’s going to be an asshole, he waited til you weren’t together? /small sunshine

  334. carlie says

    I think my ex is moaning to our mutual friends how hard it’s been for him to have dumped me.

    When you hear tales of such moaning, picture a Greek Chorus of Pharyngulites standing behind him singing “Weee-ooooo-weeeee-ooooo-weeeee-oooooo” and holding a sign that says “Waaaaambulance”. ;)

  335. Portia says


    At least if he’s going to be an asshole, he waited til you weren’t together? /small sunshine

    That’s a lovely thought, and it did bring me sunshine. But…he described his own behavior during the relationship as “assholic”. (Which is a word I love).

    carlie: the Greek chorus made me squeal with laughter. Thank you so much.
    and Cait, you can hold the sign while woooo-ing. I’m laughing so hard I’m crying.

    cicely: You do. I’m progressing from Pure Sad to Sad-With-a-Healthy-Dose-Anger-Because-Dude-Won’t-Stay-Outta-My-Space. So, yes, I feel ready to apply the label.

    That cartoon is so spot on. And it’s elegantly drawn. I like the lines.

  336. Portia says


    You deserve better.

    And thank you for this, *hugs* I don’t know the context for “getaway driver” but I feel like the sense of commiseration and conspiracy it carries is wonderful for the way I feel when we talk. Like we are in cahoots against the crap that the world is filled with. Or something :)

  337. says

    I think it was two or three threads ago, I was talking about a video game or something, and mentioned that when my friends and I pull big heists, I’m the getaway driver.

    In online video games. Totally in online video games. :D

    I will happily conspire with you against the world’s crap. I could be a good conspirer. I’d tell you about the times I did before, but then I’d have to, y’know…

  338. Portia says

    but then I’d have to, y’know…

    Be listed next to me in the indictment?

    I realized that I told him “We cannot get each other through this break up. I will lean on my people, you lean on your people” And he said “But….I want to talk to you.” Sigh. My instructions were fucking clear. Nowhere did I say “Lean on our people.” Ah well. Whatever.

  339. says

    Be listed next to me in the indictment?

    And stand next to you in court. We can make our own prison gang. I’ve been before, I know how to walk the walk. We’ll be running the place inside a week.

  340. Portia says

    You’re on, Cait. I’ll give a new meaning to “jailhouse lawyer”.

    And I go to jail every week. (I pretend I’m on the Voyager when the doors slide open as I walk towards them and I talk through intercoms with the bridge central command.)

  341. Portia says

    It’s my time to go to sleep. Good night, Lounge, and thanks for being awesome

  342. opposablethumbs says

    Good night for last night, Portia, and good morning for this morning. Sorry your ex is doing that, it’s a crummy thing to do. But you are definitely one of the most awesomest people ever! (Also what you said about being on Voyager reminded me of one of the things DaughterSpawn confessed was most fun about when she did a lab assistant placement in her last year at school (UK school, that is – age 17 or so) – there was an isolation area in the lab that had a really space-age airlock, and she told me she could never resist being in Star Trek every time she went through it :-) )

  343. says

    Good morning

    He’s complaining about how hard it was for him to dump you? That guy’s got some nerve…

    Cute kids story
    Conversation this morning
    “Mum, how old is the earth. When did the starts make it?” (you can see we talked about this before)
    “It’s 4.6 billion years old. And you’re right, the earth is made of the material that was once stars. Every piece of your body used to be part of a star once. We’re made of stardust, isn’t that beautiful?”*
    #1: “Yes, but now I know why I’m itchy”

    *I really, really, really find that beautiful. It’s like a fancy fairy-tale, only that it is true which makes it even more beautiful

  344. says


    *I really, really, really find that beautiful. It’s like a fancy fairy-tale, only that it is true which makes it even more beautiful.

    I completely agree. Thanks for mentioning that. It’s been a while since I thought about being starstuff (thinking about it brings a little joy to my heart).

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

    well, opposable thumbs, that’s the generous interpretation.

  346. Portia says

    Giliell: *hugs*
    The latest Captain Awkward is kinda on that point.

    rq: Wow, hard to believeYoungest is that old! Happy birthday to him

    CD: That was so funny, once my brain tick-tick-ticked around to getting the joke:)

  347. opposablethumbs says

    that’s the generous interpretation.

    Hmm …

    Well I suppose rising-two-year-olds are still pretty toothsome … ;-)

  348. ernezabet says

    Morning – this is the last time I will comment on subject of Liam F1 wind turbine. I’m all behind green energy, solar, wind and anything else that is or can be developed. Liam would reduce bird deaths and is more environment friendly. Bird deaths due to large turbines see link:

    Liam F1 has braking system so for “Mistral” winds, would break. Spec states survival wind 35.

    Mate and I are moving to wasington state and building retirement home. We want to build green and off grid so I’m looking at all solutions and combinations. I’m no physicist just trying to answer everyone’s questions.

  349. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    There’s something to be said for working in a forensics lab.

  350. bassmike says

    Happy Birthday to rq’s youngest. I hope you can celebrate it in an appropriate fashion.

    My week has consisted of: a long visit to the dentist which involved considerably more drilling than I would consider comfortable, with the prospect of further treatment in a few weeks; my daughter’s visit to the dentist where she refused to open her mouth, so it was pretty much a waste of time; and then last night said daughter woke at 2.30 with a temperature and cough. After our previous experience we were concerned, but after medication she slept through the rest of the night and seems fine this morning….here’s hoping!

  351. says

    Happy Birthday, rq youngest. Welcome to the terrible twos!

    1. Lutheran funerals are only marginally better than catholic funerals. A whomping amount of about 25% was about the dead person and those who loved her.

    2. God is the supreme stalker. The pastor read one of those Bible passages, I think it’s the one with the “I knew you before i formed you in your mother’s womb”. Holy shit, if a living being said that stuff to somebody else you would have a very good basis for getting a court order against them to stay away

    3. It was a good thing that I went. Funerals are for the living and I think my uncle-in-law really appreciated that his family was there.

  352. rq says

    Thank you for the birthday greetings! And I’m sure his twos will be as loverly as both his brothers’ were. He shows signs of being just as obedient and well-behaved, with just as many independent or curious thoughts in his head! :) We’ll be celebrating with cake, of course. And a (grand)parental visit.
    Which reminds me, somebody’s been slacking with the housework around here. *tsk tsk*

    The book sounds interesting, except the Kindle link doesn’t seem to be working on my computer. :( Is there any other way to get it?
    (I’m not a fan of spiders, I really am not, but the more I try to photograph them (because they’re still cool) the more comfortable I feel around them. Maybe reading about them will help some more, though I can’t say Anansi Boys was particularly helpful.)

  353. blf says

    As of today, I no longer have any children under the age of two.

    Yeah, all potatoes all the time does get a bit boring…

  354. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Yeah, all potatoes all the time does get a bit boring…

    What size drill bit are your using for the bore holes?

  355. blf says

    What size drill bit are your using for the bore holes?

    A typical wild boar’s tusk is c.6cm.

  356. says

    As challenges against the name of the Washington Redskins have persisted for more than four decades, the teams ownership and management has held on to a consistent story: that the team changed its original name — the Boston Braves — to the Boston Redskins in 1933 to honor its coach, William “Lone Star” Dietz, who maintained at the time that he was a member of the Sioux tribe.
    But in a 1933 interview with the Associated Press, George Preston Marshall, the team’s owner and original founder, admitted that the story wasn’t true.
    “The fact that we have in our head coach, Lone Star Dietz, an Indian, together with several Indian players, has not, as may be suspected, inspired me to select the name Redskins,” Marshall said in the AP report. The quote was originally referenced in a story on the team’s name at Sports Illustrated’s MMQB site. Jesse Witten, the lead attorney in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the team’s federal trademark protection, unearthed the actual AP report this week, and provided it to to Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney. ESPN’s Keith Olbermann reported it on his show, “Olbermann,” Thursday night.

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

    Hullo. On the bus, on the way homd. Unfortunately, I forgot to transfer my book to the bag I have with me.


  358. says

    Galactic Cap Condoms?

    Charles Powell’s Galactic Cap is a prophylactic device that goes only on the very tip of the penis. It sounds like a challenge to the laws of physics, but Powell says it works.

    It’s a two-piece product that uses a U-shaped base comprised of a polyurethane adhesive film and a cap that sticks to that film.

    The base can be put on hours or even days before sex, and it allows users to urinate or even shower.

    There’s a video at the link to show how this condom works.

  359. says

    tired menstrual cramps kept me up all night. I finally fell asleep around 8 am. Painkillers seem to be working for the moment.

    I was fantasizing about getting a historectomy around hour 4 of “painkillers aren’t working, & my pain levels are off my charts.”

    Portia that’s really shitty of your ex. *hugs*

    I’m still full from the French last night.


    Happy birthday to the little on rq!

  360. says

    My sympathies. Been there, done that this week. Only that the painkiller worked so I was just exhausted. But I’m lucky. Since I can’t take Ibuprofen (I could, but not if I want to do anything for the next two days) and shouldn’t take Paracetamol (I think it’s your Tylenol) I get prescription painkillers.
    BTW, something that dramatically reduced my cramps was switching from tampons to a mens cap.

    Yay, the stiching on the octopus T-shirt is done. Now I just need to fix a seam and then it can be washed and ironed.

  361. says

    Giliell, I’ve been told not to use one, as I have a Paragaurd (copper) IUD. I think it’s either the IUD that is causing the orbit-causing cramps, and/or I’m having ovarian cysts. I got the IUD the same week I had a confirmed cyst pop, so I have no idea which one is causing the orbit pain. That was a hair over a year ago now.

    Ibuprofen and Alieve are what I’ve been using, more or less alternating each month. Tylenol (acetaminophen) doesn’t work for me at all.

  362. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    BTW, something that dramatically reduced my cramps was switching from tampons to a mens cap.

    I. want. Seriously, do you have any idea how hard it is to get tampons or pads from resources because you have no money? I mean, I’m sure you can imagine but still. It’s one of those things you don’t really think about until, oh shit there’s not going to be anymore. The struggle is real. And if you don’t get any, the blood still flows.

    But I have running water so the cup would be a fucking godsend at this point. Ugh, stupid body. But with my mother’s problems with her uterus, I might a hysterectomy when I’m 35, so I got that going for me.
    *waves* Hello, everybody!

    Things are…okay. I guess, for us anyways. Struggling yet surviving. I’d rather not say more just in case. I’m sorry for avoiding this place, though I’ve been occasionally reading. It’s just so damn hard and coming here both helps and hurts. If that makes any sense.

    With my abusive ex on my trail, my schizo step father, abusive father and my own mental problems, it seems I’ve picked a really, really bad time to start reading again. But I’m finding it impossible to leave.

  363. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    Giliell, I’ve been told not to use one, as I have a Paragaurd (copper) IUD.

    Oh, I have one of those. Can I ask why? Feel free to say no.

    Online I just found generic “ask your doctor and be careful” regarding cups and IUDs. They also talk about feeling strings, which I’ve never done and cups aren’t placed by the cervix so I’m not really understanding why they wouldn’t work together.

  364. says

    JAL my doctor said that they can cause more suction than tampons and could cause the IUD to be dislodged.

    Your doc my have a different opinion.

    I hope other things work out for you, *hugs* if you would like them.

  365. David Marjanović says

    *restocks hug truck*
    *adds honey candy made from lavender honey*
    *and Lady Grey tea*
    *dumps links*

    Paper suggesting that dogs or similar were involved in Paleolithic hunting of mammoth herds. Probably behind a paywall. Quote:

    4.2. The domesticated canid hypothesis

    In additional to the use of complex projectile technology that facilitated distance killing, I hypothesize here that an unprecedented alliance between domesticated or partly domesticated canids and humans may have played a vital role in the appearance of the large, complex, mammoth megasites in the Upper Paleolithic. For convenience, I call these canids wolf-dogs here because it is uncertain whether or not they were directly ancestral to any living canid.

    I specifically identify these canids with the morphological group first identified by Germonpré and colleagues at Goyet Cave. Belgium. I specifically do not expect Upper Paleolithic wolf-dogs to be the same in all respects as modern dogs. It would be unusual if first known domestication or domestication attempt of any species showed all the features of later domesticates.

    The Belgian morphological group of wolf-dogs is further set apart by recent genetic work studies on three individuals, including one clear morphological wolf-dog from Goyet Cave. These individuals possess an unusual mtDNA haplotype unknown among modern dogs, modern wolves, or ancient wolves (Thalmann et al., 2013). This finding shows that this maternal lineage or mtDNA haplotype did not leave any known direct descendants; phylogenetically, the Belgian canids appear basal to all known other groups. The genetic data are consistent with a scenario in which males with this haplotype interbred with female wolves, giving rise to a population ancestral to either modern dogs or wolves. As Thalmann et al. (2013) remark, the genetic data are also consistent with an interpretation of these unusual canids (here, wolf-dogs) as an early abortive attempt at domestication, which left few if any direct descendants, or as a Pleistocene wolf population that also became extinct without issue.

    4.3. Predictions of the domesticated canid hypothesis

    I use ethnographic analogies, particularly studies of hunters operating with and without the assistance of dogs (Ruusila and Pesonen, 2004, Koster, 2009, Lupo, 2011 and Koster and Tankersley, 2012) to generate testable predictions of the domesticated canid hypothesis.

    The first prediction is that additional examples of the unusual large canids identified by morphometric and genetic techniques will be found in mammoth megasites and will not be found in Middle Paleolithic sites, Mousterian, or pre-A[natomically ]M[odern ]H[uman] sites.

    The second is that additional mammoth megasites will possess specimens of such wolf-dogs. I do not predict all such sites will yield such specimens due to differences in taphonomy and preservation.

    The third is that sites formed by hominins with wolf-dogs will yield evidence of a larger number of kills and more meat yield than sites formed by hominins without wolf-dogs. Ethnographically, hunters with dogs have a markedly increased meat yield per hunt and a decreased time of seeking prey (Ruusila and Pesonen, 2004, Lupo, 2011 and Koster and Tankersley, 2012). People have used dogs both to locate large prey like muskoxen, elk, wolf, or polar bear and to hold the prey in place while alerting human hunters by howling (Arnold, 1979 and Ruusila and Pesonen, 2004). Dogs have also been used with drive lanes to trap large mammals in enclosures or drive them off of cliffs but there is no evidence that this was done at the mammoth megasites.

    Mammoth megasites already amply fulfill this prediction when compared with Mousterian or Middle Paleolithic sites. Faster population growth in wolf-dog using peoples is expected due to improved nutrition and less energetic expenditure. Though estimating ancient population size is inherently speculative, following the strategy developed by Mellars and French (2011), I would expect to see evidence of faster population growth in AMHs relative to Neanderthals by an increasing relative number of archaeological sites, an increasing size of archaeological sites, an increasing density of retouched stone tools at such sites, and an increasing density of estimated meat yield relative to site size.

    The fourth is that sites formed by AMHs working with wolf-dogs should yield evidence of longer occupations than those of AMHs or Neanderthals working without cooperative wolf-dogs. This is predicted because of the ethnographic use of dogs in guarding both food and homesteads among the Neoeskimo (Arnold, 1979). Retaining control of huge carcasses and diminishing raids by scavengers would constitute a considerable advantage.

    The fifth is that undomesticated canids, such as wolves and foxes, will be found in large numbers primarily in sites where wolf-dogs are known. This prediction is based on the well-known ferocious territoriality of modern canids and their aggressive response to canid intruders (Geist, 2006 and Vanak and Gompper, 2009). If domesticated or semi-domesticated canids lived with AMHs, the wolf-dogs should react strongly to wolves or other wild canids, alerting AMHs and giving them extra cause to kill the intruders, in addition to the usefulness of their hides and fur.

    The sixth is that these wolf-dogs will be, on average, large-bodied and capable of transporting bones and meat of large prey to the campsite, if it is not the killsite. Ethnographic evidence suggests that dogs trained as pack animals are capable of carrying loads of up to 23 kg (Turner, 2002, Fiedel, 2005 and Speth et al., 2013). If wolf-dogs assisted in transporting meat, they would effect a significant savings in energy expenditure by humans.

    The seventh is that, as at Předmostí (Bocherens et al., 2013 and Bocherens et al., 2014), future studies of stable isotopes of wolf-dogs and wolves from the same sites will reveal dietary differences between the two probably because of provisioning by humans. I do not predict whether most of these wolf-dogs will or will not bear evidence of dismemberment, skinning, filleting, or burning, as aged wolf-dogs, even if domesticated, may have been eaten.”

    Open-access paper about a particularly well preserved and particularly well prepared bird from the mid-late Early Cretaceous of Liáoníng/China. Behold the teeth in figure 4.

    Open-access paper about the forelimbs of quadrupedal dinosaurs: despite being vertical rather than sprawled, they worked in very different ways from those of placentals & marsupials or chameleons.

    The business model of Facebook is to sell your attention to advertisers. To target the ads better, they’d like to know more about you, for instance the background noises around you. Are you one of those people whose lives have a soundtrack? Great, they’d like to identify the song you have playing in the background. And apparently there’s an app for that. There’s a petition at the link.

    And a petition to the House of Representatives of North Carolina not to make it a crime to disclose the chemicals used in fracking (trade secret, you know).

  366. David Marjanović says

    Most likely paywalled, but read the abstract: “Latest Cretaceous–earliest Paleogene vegetation and climate change at the high southern latitudes: palynological evidence from Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula“.

    The tight link between unions, the middle class and inequality in two charts

    In 2012, whining about Obama’s safety regulations. In 2014, an awful workplace accident.

    “Place this in the better-late-than-never file. President Obama blasts the false equivalencies of the Washington Media. Washington is not broken, Congress is not broken. The Republican Party is broken and we all pay a price.” And yes, he uses the words “broken” and “go nuts”.

    More as a note for myself: brief summary of the results of the EU parliamentary election by country. In German.

  367. yazikus says

    So, I’m totally ‘rupt. But today I got to have a tour of a lab where they are researching pacific lamprey & freshwater mussels. And it was so cool! And the woman running the lab was really nice and answered all of my (probably stupid) questions. And then invited me to volunteer this summer. I think I just might take her up on it. Also, baby lampreys are super cute. And one of the mussel species she showed us can live to 150 years. It was really neat.

  368. David Marjanović says

    GOP senators dismiss call to change ‘Redskins’ name because they have more important things to do” – take a look at what some of those things are.

    A dresscode isn’t enough! “Utah school altered yearbook photos to make girls appear more ‘modest’

    GOP files paperwork to become wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries” – they want to raise unlimited money like a Super-PAC, at the risk of feudal allegiance to Koch, Koch and Adelson.

    Remember when Fred Phelps was excommunicated from the Westboro Baptist Church in summer 2013? Here’s why, according to his grandson.

    Thank Chipotle for keeping guns out of their restaurants“.

  369. David Marjanović says

    15 Benghazi tips from President Bush and the GOP” – what to do when you’re the POTUS and are accused of a murderous scandal.

    Newest Republican effort to appeal to women voters reaches killer clown levels of terrifying” – it involves telling women to be “ornamental”.

    Cliven Bundy and his gang have committed terrorism. Potential trigger warning: “psychotic”, “sociopath”, “demented” and “psychopath” are thrown around as random insults.

    brief summary of the results of the EU parliamentary election

    …as of Monday, when not every vote had been counted yet.

  370. says

    This is a follow up to my comment #408 in which Moments of Mormon Madness that result in Utah teenage girls having their yearbook photos altered without their permission in order to conform to modesty standards that are typical of mormon culture.

    The Salt Lake Tribune has a new article out about the story and the debate surrounding it.

    […] Montoya said the retouched photos reflect a school culture where modesty standards are wielded to “humiliate” girls. She recalled being accused of wearing an immodest skirt, bought at Forever 21.

    Another girl wore the same skirt without reprimand, while Montoya was ordered to change into sweatpants emblazoned with the words, “I support Wasatch High dress code.”

    “You walk around all day in the sweats, and it’s all eyes on you,” Montoya said.

    “People know you got dress-coded, that something about you was immodest. […]
    “People wear [the same clothes] every day. But in the yearbook, they’re trying to fix you.”

    Examples, by way of photos, at the link.

  371. says

    From David M’s “newest Republican effort” link in #497

    [,,,] At the start of the “Women and Colorado’s Future” debate, the moderator explained that it would be like a dating game, where a panel of four women could interview the three “bachelors” — former Congressman Bob Beauprez, former state Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp, and Secretary of State Scott Gessler. The fourth candidate, ex-congressman Tom Tancredo, did not attend.

    The moderator invited the women to join the stage, saying, “It’s so much more ornamental if the four of you would be on the stage with the four of us.” Theme music from The Dating Game TV show played as the panelists took their seats.

    Holy effing bacon-greased verdant limbo Sriracha nunchaku hell, what was that? Republican efforts to appeal to women are no longer distinguishable from a Saturday Night Live sketch. Or night terrors.

  372. says

    From David M.’s Cliven Bundy link in #497:

    When a bunch of American-hating thugs decided to help Cliven Bundy violently violate a Federal Court order they engaged in terrorist threats and terrorist activities against: BLM, Nevada Metro Police, Federal employees, National Park Rangers, Nevada State Police, News crews and Hotel clerks.

    Within the past few days, local 8 News NOW received Police Reports and other information that show Bundy’s Anti-American, Anti-Government thugs:

    – “poured lighter fluid around” news trucks,
    – Issued “bomb threats” against Hotels where Federal employees were lodging,
    – told hotel staff they would be “dragged out in the parking lot and shot”
    – Bundy thugs asked Metro Police Sgt Jenkins if “he was ready to die”

    SHERIFF LOMARDO: “We were outgunned, outmanned and there would not have been a good result from it.”
    As is the case with many terrorist organizations who hold people hostage at gun point, terrorist leader Cliven Bundy issued “demands” to the United States government in exchange for releasing law enforcement from gun point and threats.