[Lounge #465]


This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. Gerard O says

    Does anyone know anything about the Neanderthal “theory” (weakest sense) of autism? I have found one paper but it wasn’t convincing, although I’m attracted to the idea.

  2. blf says

    Hello, my lovelies! How’s things?

    Well, there’s some puppy on the barbecue, exceptionally drunk Finns in another thread, the World Pea Kicking Cup is underway, and poopyhead’s wandering around lost on some alien planet. Also, Grand Field Potatoe № 1 is doing something unspeakable to a chair, er choir, in Canada. Possibly involving chairs. But unlikely to be involving the mildly deranged penguin, who is still on a New Orbit’s bender.

    In other words, nothing much is happening. Just the usual boring stuff. There’s probably some grog (listen for the”singing” — more likely, snoring — in Finnish…).

  3. says

    I don’t know if you all saw the natural child birth death in utah or not (premature twin delivery attempted at a free-standing birth center by unlicensed midwives), but I’ve been blogging about it a lot lately to try and spark some legislation to prevent the next death. There is all kinds of worry from midwives here that they might be regulated (as in required to be licensed and insured, which they currently don’t need to practice legally). If anyone is willing to help I would greatly appreciate it. I have a page that is an action guide that can let people know who to email or tweet or whatever. Here is some background on the dangerous woo being peddled here in Utah, along with information about the most recent death:


    if anyone here used to be into natural child birth and isn’t anymore I also run the exhomebirthers wordpress. thanks everyone.

  4. says


    Things are swell.
    How’s by you?

    Busy busy busy! Summer has finally arrived (I hope) to the Great White North(east), so we’ve been pretty busy just soaking up the sunshine.

    I’ve also been reading a ton when I’m not wrangling my kid (turns out that I needed new glasses, go fig) and oh my god, I missed it so much.

    It seems I haven’t even touched my computer in ages, but I figured as long as I’m farting around on Steam (SUMMER SALE FUCK YEAH), I might as well check in. ;)

  5. Feats of Cats says

    I know I’ve seen the Lounge crowd discussing this kind of thing before, but I think it would be fairly impossible to find previous discussions and I don’t think you’d mind me bringing it back up:

    I’m looking for reading material which doesn’t make me sad or angry for the portrayal of women. I like fiction, including young adult. I mostly listen to audiobooks (my library has a wonderful program where you can easily check out a wide selection of audiobooks, which I like to listen to at work and on my commute), and some examples of things I’ve enjoyed listening to are the Song of Ice and Fire series, all the Rick Riordan young adult fiction, and I just finished re-listening to (re-experiencing?, I’ve read them a few times but it’s my first time listening, whatever the terminology is here) the Harry Potter series.

    I used to read constantly, especially a lot of classic fiction, but just got so annoyed and depressed by the portrayal of women that I just stopped reading entirely for like a year. I’m trying to start up again, but am not sure how to find books that won’t make me angry/sad.

    Any suggestions?

  6. says

    Feat of Cats:
    Yes! A facebook friend recently turned me on to the Liaden Universe books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. I’ve only read the first two so far (Agent of Change and Conflict of Honors) but the thing that struck me right off the bat is how many women are in the stories. Like, it avoids the “one badass woman surrounded by a bunch of dudes” trope completely by having at least half of the characters (main and supporting and background) as women.

    Without giving too much away, I also like how the authors handled the romance in Conflict of Honors (which is the better of the two).

    Anyway, the books are space-faring sci-fi, which isn’t usually my bag, but they ARE SO GOOD. And Agent of Change is available for free in e-book formats (I have it on my Kindle).

  7. cag says

    It’s true, jesus is making a comeback. He will be opening an all you can eat fish and bread eatery. On the side there will be a shoe recycling bin so that jesus can redeem lost soles.

    It may be blasphemy, but I did it kindly, honest.

  8. embraceyourinnercrone says

    Feats of Cats@17 (love the nym by the way) I enjoyed Tamora Pierces YA fiction: http://tamorapierce.com/books.html
    The Song of the Lioness series is a good place to start, its setting is similar to A Song of Ice and Fire, sorta medieval society with some fatasy elements.

    I also read a lot of what’s termed “urban fantasy” and some science fiction, the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold was pretty good. Its kind of a mashup of romance, political intrigue, mystery and military adventure. Also has some good questioning about cloning and bioengineering.

    On the urban fantasy front I’m reading the Magic Bites and Edge series and the Harry Dresden series, not what every one likes but I need my escapism on the weekends (and lunch breaks, waiting for the bus, waiting in line at the supermarket…hmm maybe I read too much…)

  9. embraceyourinnercrone says

    Onamission5 @16
    Is this the same Utah midwife who tried to interfer with an ambulance/EMT crew when they were trying to help the hemorraging home birth mother, and who had a naturopath “doctor” at her birthcenter administer magnesium to stop the womans labor(but the “doctor” didn’t know how or what dosage to use) ?

  10. opposablethumbs says

    Feats of Cats, if you’re into detective-type fiction at all (and you haven’t already read ’em all of course) then Sara Paretsky’s V.I Warshawski detective murder-mystery procedurals are great.
    Melissa Scott’s The Kindly Ones is excellent sci-fi world-building in a universe where nobody is mindlessly categorised by sex or gender. Well worth a try.

  11. says


    Feat of Cats
    Totally seconding Tamora Pierce! Also Jim C. Hines’ Princess novel. I know, I know, it sounds like Princess movies, but they’re great.


    Older houses didn’t anticipate needing huge numbers of things plugged in all the time.

    Don’t tell me. The house we live in now was built at the start of the 1960’s. The total number of electrical outlets in this flat is 12.
    Thankfully Germany has a law that says that sellers and landlords have to have an “energy efficiency passport” which informs you about how well something is insulated. If we buy something that needs renovation a good insulation will be a must have. This house was insulated 6 years ago and it’s such an increase in quality.

    Fact is we can’t renovate much ourselves. It’s not that I’m not inclined or able, I just don’t have time. Mr.’s away during the week and I barely cope with the usual housework. I know my friends bought a house relatively cheap and then renovated it themselves over the last 10 years, but we simply can’t do that, so anything that goes beyond wallpapering and puttig up furniture has to be done by professionals.
    I think we’ll have to weigh advantages and disadvantages when looking at a concrete house.

    Fun stuff
    #1 wrote a book and illustrated it. It’s precious. Pirate Mia and her crew. Each crewmember gets their own double page with a full page picture, a written decription and an adventure. Isa the shepherd dog is the mum. Description: She can cook, take care, read, write, calculate, yell loudly and do lots of mum-stuff. I guess that tells you something about her own mother…

    Oh, since weR’e talking about books:
    The Honey Month. It’s a short book, not a novel, not a collection of short stories as such. I would say it’s pictures painted with words. Just beautiful.

    Apparently there are some costariquenses living here…

    And now for ranting…
    This is what future teachers think as good material to foster mutual respect and understanding
    For those who don’t speak Spanish, here’s the short version:
    The little girl comes home from school and tells her mother that there was a new girl in class. Did she play with her? No, she bit her because the girl is made of chocolate (i.e. black). So the mother tells a story that a long time ago there was a village where the sun shone so hot that everybody got a sunburn and they could only leave at night, so the girl (white, of course!) went to search for Mr. Sun, who gave her a bag of magical tokens which they put on their skin and they all turned black.
    And then the little girl who bit the black girl says “oh, tomorrow I’ll play with her and give her many kisses!” and that’s the happy end.
    This was a simulation in college by another student about how to teach literature.
    While watching the video I was like “Please, somebody tell me this is not true. Please tell me that I just mixed something up, please, don’t let the white people turn black through magic.”
    And yeah, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and said that I think the video is racist. I was promptly told by a bunch of white people that the intentions were good and that surely not all black people would be offended by this…

  12. David Marjanović says

    No summer over here. We’re lucky when there’s sunshine.

    I just read that Slacktivist thread with the Nerd impersonator. Holy crap.

    In German: For the first time since WWII, there are more than 50 million refugees in the world, more precisely 51,2 million, and for the first time since 2000 more than half of them are children. 2.5 million people have fled from Syria, 6.5 million more are on the run in it. Pakistan is housing 1.6 million refugees, making it number 1, followed by Iran and Lebanon; Germany has only taken up 187,600 as of the end of last year.

    Charon May Once Have Had Underground Ocean” Like Europa Or Something Like That.

    See shark run. Run, shark, run! OK, it doesn’t run, but it walks most beautifully.

  13. David Marjanović says

    The house we live in now was built at the start of the 1960′s. The total number of electrical outlets in this flat is 12.

    My apartment dates from the early 1950s, rebuilt after plans from the 1920s. It has lots and lots and lots of electrical outlets. I think the extension cord hadn’t been invented yet. O_o

    “Please, somebody tell me this is not true. Please tell me that I just mixed something up, please, don’t let the white people turn black through magic.”
    […] I was promptly told by a bunch of white people that the intentions were good

    As you said: magic.

  14. Feats of Cats says

    Thanks to all who have suggested and all who will suggest–I am making a list of everything and am very grateful and excited that I will have reading/listening material for ages!

  15. Onamission5 says


    I don’t know? My #16 is about racist commentary from a NC republican. ;)

    Giliell, professional cynic-ilk

    The Spouse and I recently bought our first home (yay) and we had much the same quandary regarding fixer or not to fixer. We ended up going a little bit further out in the city than we’d planned in order to buy something a little bigger that needed less work, rather than staying near the heart of the city and getting something smaller that needed more work for the same money. After looking at a few places we realized we just didn’t have the budget to fix a cheap house, if you know what I mean.

  16. says

    Carlie! *tacklehugs!!*

    I’ll def make sure I peek in the Lounge/T’dome from time to time: Darkling is becoming a little more independent and is a hell of a napper, so I’m finding I have more time to myself lately. ^_^

    Off topic: Good news, everyone! NY just passed a medical marijuana bill!

  17. says

    numerobis, it seems we got lucky with Peter MacKay. If things had worked out a bit differently he might have been Prime Minister.

  18. says

    Posposting will be more sporadic util I can get the internet turned back on. My phone has mis a pain in the ass, and I’ve got limitrd data unless I’m someplace w/ wifi. *hugs*all round, generally rupt.

  19. opposablethumbs says

    Alexandra, it’s great to see you. Hope you have time and inclination to comment more!

  20. opposablethumbs says

    Dalillama, shit, that sucks horribly. I’m really sorry you have so much crummy stuff to deal with – and speaking purely selfishly, I hate anything that stops you posting as much as you want and hence stops us from reading you.

  21. says

    @ 22 Embraceyourinnercrone-

    YES, and the really appalling thing is that they took this high risk set of twins AFTER the death that caused the arrest. So they didn’t change anything about their practice standards. My safer midwifery utah blog has a lot of information on the way that midwives have reacted to all this (like holding fundraisers and spreading conspiracy theories about the police and media being anti-home birth). Its been a real fight to bring this to anyones attention, despite how pertinent maternity and newborn care is to most people in Utah.

  22. embraceyourinnercrone says

    Onamission5 -oops! sorry I meant to reply to skeptifem @14 I’m not sure how I do that switching commenters thing in my head. I have a very weird reading issue somedays.

  23. says

    I’m banned at the skeptical OB for challenging dr amy’s policy on allowing rape apologetics (as being something “reasonable people can disagree about”), so I am signal boosting any way that I can think of. I really wish there were more bloggers out there to tackle this issue, because Dr Amy is the only real game in town and shes pretty hypocritical and egocentric.

  24. says

    The crazy thing is that its legal for midwives to take high risk cases despite being unable to explain the risks to patients. They only get arrested when they do something so negligent that its criminal, like interfering with EMTs and lying about her relationship to the patient in the vickie sorensen case (or in the Valerie El Halta case, using a vaccuum extractor she wasn’t trained in using, dispensing cytotec, etc). If she had calmed down and just told the truth the cops would have had a much harder time arresting her.

    I listened to a podcast about this case and they refer to Utah as a ‘haven’ for midwives because there is no real regulation or requirements to be one here, and they are all upset about an arrest happening here. The reaction to this death from non-nurse midwives has been really gross.


  25. says

    The only good news here is the low turnout. Anti-gay protestors organized by NOM are still as mindbogglingly addlepated as ever, but fewer of them are showing up.

    The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) hosted its second annual “March For Marriage” Thursday in front of the U.S. Capitol, a rally with speakers opposing same-sex marriage followed by a march to the Supreme Court. An estimated 2,000 people participated, many of whom had traveled by bus from New Jersey and New York City. […] NOM attempted to inflate the numbers, but this year’s crowd was smaller than even the most conservative estimates from last year. […]

    ThinkProgress spoke with several members of the crowd to get a sense of why they were participating, and most cited their religious beliefs as their primary motivation. […]

    Mary from Virginia Beach explained to ThinkProgress that she is a devout Catholic who believes that marriage is a covenant between a man, a woman, and God, and “we cannot change what the Bible defines.” […] She added that if she learned that her own children were gay, she would be “disappointed,” and that it would “break her heart” if they got married, because she believes that acting on homosexuality is a sin.

    Jasmine came to the march from New York City because she was asked to by her church: “I was told by my church ministry to come out here and support what we believe in, which is a man and a woman to get married and unite and have children… If a man and a man were to get married, that would violate that law.” Even though New York now has same-sex marriage, she believes in “repentance” for same-sex couples and that “God can still touch their hearts and turn them into His steps.” [Sounds like a mormon.]

    […] A.J. from New Jersey told ThinkProgress that he believes God might flood the world like he did in the times of Noah as punishment for society’s sexual sins: “My rabbi in Brooklyn said that 20 years after the United States legitimizes same-sex marriage and different sexual sins, then the entire country will go into disarray.” […]


  26. says

    This is in response to several posts up-thread about unlicensed midwives in Utah. State of Utah is notorious for not licensing people who practice in LDS (mormon) social services, in alternative medicine, and as midwives. Some of this backwardness is related to conservatism (licensing agencies are tools of Big Government), some is related to the dominant mormon culture which makes a fetish of self-sufficiency, and some is related to a culture steeped in “trust the Holy Ghost” type of thinking.

    Here are some excerpts from the Readers Comments associated with the Salt Lake Tribune article:

    Unlicensed midwives are part of the extreme right-wing fighting Da Ebul Gubmint and its “overreach”. I remember the extreme arguments over licensing of midwives, years ago.
    At the point when Utah veered further to the right, those lay midwives found clients seeking privacy: immigrants and polygamists.
    They don’t immunize either. Its a government conspiracy to track citizens and give their children autism.
    I linked to their website and I think it’s more of a extreme left crystal gazer meets extreme right fundamentalist compound convergence of amoral exploitive behavior
    It should be completely up to the woman giving birth who the person catching her baby is. Not the government, not other midwives, not doctors or HMO’s, nobody. Just the mother.
    as long as someone is practicing without legal access to lifesaving equipment they are unsafe in the most simple on terms.
    Because the midwife spends many hours with the woman over the course of the pregnancy. She uses many of the same techniques as abusive partners and cult indoctrinators. The parents ask to go to the hospital, midwife insists that it’s unnecessary, the hospital will mistreat them, or make things worse, and they can always go to the hospital later if anything goes wrong.
    The anti-science approach to life that has blistered into Utah culture has its cost. All the natural remedies Orrin Hatch has placed on our shelf with tremendous profit have not prevented one case of measles or whooping cough.

    And newborns die needlessly.

  27. says

    Deadline reports that Lucasfilm is making a deal with “Looper” writer/director Rian Johnson to both write and direct “Star Wars: Episode VIII” and “Episode IX.” Should the deal prove true, Johnson would take the reins of the franchise from director J.J. Abrams, who is currently helming “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

    Johnson’s writer/director credits mostly cover indie film, like “Brick” and “The Brothers Bloom,” though he more recently captured mainstream attention with “Looper.” He also directed the fan-favorite and critically acclaimed “Ozymandias” episode of “Breaking Bad,” widely regarded to be one of the best episode of the series’ run on AMC. “Star Wars” will be Johnson’s first time writing or directing a film based on existing material.

    Rian Johnson is the latest director to come on to Lucasfilm and Disney’s revival of “Star Wars” in theaters, with “Chronicle” and “Fantastic Four” director Josh Trank and “Godzilla’s” Gareth Edwards set to helm spinoff films


    I hope the change in director isn’t jarring between Ep VII and VIII.

  28. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Here at Casa la Pelirroja, it is must be fish Friday (tonight salmon, rice, and black beans). An added complication is the diuretic and raising of the legs for the edema of the lower extremities. So, when I ask the Magic Eight Ball™ for an answer on timing, the answer is situation cloudy. Sigh, sounds like I have to try my guess as to getting the fish cooked, while not letting it get cold or over cooked, in a timing so the Redhead has almost an hour for the meal at the table between commode breaks. Delicate.

  29. estraven says

    As for home births, if I’d have had a third child, I’d have opted for that. Hospitals were a bad experience both times and my births were normal and safe. That said, here in Michigan standards for midwives are evidently more stringent than in Utah.

    Feats of Cats, if you like mysteries, I’d recommend the series of Anna Pigeon novels by Nevada Barr. Each one is set in a national park, and Anna is incredibly resourceful and intelligent. Good mysteries, wonderful settings, and great characterization.

  30. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    PZ, could you please post a link to your tech person. I suddenly seem to be subscribed to a number of FtB blogs, but only post here, and I want no more e-mail from the other sites.

  31. says

    Feat of Cats-

    Of books I’ve recently read… “The Fault In Our Stars” comes to mind. The whole kids with cancer thing, though, made it a very rough read, especially near the end. It brought up memories of my teenage years when I lost a friend to cancer.

    “Echoes of an Alien Sky”, wasn’t too horrible in its treatment of women. The main characters were men, but the women were actually people. A few good ones, a few bad ones, a few in the middle. Wasn’t an icon of feminist writing, but it was decent. Then again, comparison to the rest of the book might be making its treatment of women look better than it actually was. Everything else about the book was horrible. A book so horrible that all print copies should be recalled to be burned so that they are doing something that benefits humanity, with a few electronic copies kept around as examples of everything not to do. Though, to be fair, a very good editor might be able to cut it down to the shorter end of novella length and manage to salvage something decent, a feat that would be worthy of a nobel prize in EVERYTHING.

  32. rq says

    Wrangling a choir isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds.
    But they’re all in one piece, so far. Though not for long, if a certain few parties keep having pretensions about the arrangements I’ve tried to make in their best interests. *cough* The chainsaw is out at the cottage, fortunately. No new zombies tonight.

  33. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The chainsaw is out at the cottage, fortunately. No new zombies tonight.

    Where’s the wood chipper? (see the movie Fargo).

    Ugh, noticed the expiration date on the water bottle I keep refilling is from 2012. Think it’s time for a new bottle (just bought one with a 11/2015 expiration date). Better exchange bottles before any zombies dribble out.

  34. thunk: Hevelland says

    I’m back!

    Summers are lonely. Not enough people to talk to!

    I also got my prawo jazdy, after nearly getting a mental breakdown. Worked out in the end.

    David Marjanovic:

    I initially read your comment as “2.5 million refugees from Styria”, and was alarmed as to why you still lived there…

  35. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    I think I was the one that spruiked the Liaden series. Lots of strong characters of various genders and preferences. And occasionally species. And some cats.

    With regard to BBQ puppy it’s too cold here to BBQ – middle of winter. Roast or slow cooking I’d say would be the go.

  36. thunk: Hevelland says

    Heh, everyone. I’m doing well. Just got out of high school, and now for some higher education.

    I’ve also greatly increased my bad-pun and obscure-reference skills from the last time I was around.

  37. chigau (違う) says

    Ariaflame #62

    …it’s too cold here to BBQ…

    We BBQ at -20°C.
    Ya just gotta work fast.
    and have plenty of rum

  38. says

    Good morning.
    For a given value of good. It’s definitely morning, like not even 7 o’clock. But the little one crawled in with us and she snores.

    Thanks for the input. I’m sponging everything up. One thing we’re quite sure about is that we want to stay “here”. It’s a nice area, the kids have their lives and friends here (and with somebody with mild difficulties in the social area like #1 I wouldn’t want to uproot her), my in laws live here (yes, I have the kind of in-laws you want to live close to), there are good schools quite close and the Autobahn is close, too.

    Waves at thunk and Alexandra

  39. says

    Get some rest, PZ!

    Re: Homebirth

    I say let’s fix the issues with our respective hospital systems. And let’s stop talking about “interventions” as if they were a bad thing.
    CPMs in the USA have NO real education and no liability whatsoever. And unless women who hire them have given informed consent on this, they should not be allowed to practise.

  40. caseloweraz says

    Feats of Cats wrote (#17): I used to read constantly, especially a lot of classic fiction, but just got so annoyed and depressed by the portrayal of women that I just stopped reading entirely for like a year. I’m trying to start up again, but am not sure how to find books that won’t make me angry/sad.

    Any suggestions?

    None for classic fiction. But if you’re willing to essay science fiction, you should look at the work of James H. Schmitz, especially the Telsey Amberdon stories. My personal favorite of his is The Tuvela (US title The Demon Breed) featuring ecologist Nile Etland against invading aliens. But Schmitz’s best-known work is The Witches of Karres in which the male protagonist is helped considerably by the three young female witches of the title.

    These are stories I happen to be familiar with. In general they follow the “one badass woman surrounded by a bunch of dudes” trope, to use Alexandra’s phrase. Also they date from the 1970s and before, so they may be hard to find.

    Wikipedia has a good article on Schmitz. It notes that though his parents were Americans, they lived in Germany and he grew up there.

    Of course there are female authors in science fiction, and have been since it became a recognized genre of literature. A useful but dated reference is WOMEN OF THE FUTURE: The Female Main Character in Science Fiction by Betty King (Scarecrow Press, 1984).

  41. says

    Here’s an update on the christian film company, EchoLight, and on the political status of one Rick Santorum:

    EchoLight was founded in 2011; before the winter 2013 release of The Christmas Candle, EchoLight’s first movie with Santorum as CEO, it had been involved with 10 films to varying degrees, none of which received wide theatrical release. The Christmas Candle grossed $2 million certainly not a wild success. But to gauge EchoLight’s potential, consider that, when Santorum took over the company, it was sitting on a filmmaking fund of about $20 million. God’s Not Dead reportedly cost $2 million to produce. That means Santorum and EchoLight could afford to make 10 such movies. If just one does as well as God’s Not Dead, the company will be in great shape.

    Santorum and EchoLight President Jeff Sheets are hoping to use congregations as a testing ground to premier their films, literally turning churches into theaters where they can gauge impact and enthusiasm. “If they don’t resonate well with the church, then it isn’t realistic to think that they’re going to resonate well in theaters,” says Sheets (who tells me that he works with Santorum “literally daily”). If the films “do resonate well in the church, and there’s a growing groundswell of support, then it will overflow into the theaters and it will have a much broader impact on society.” It also means that a film has to prove itself before EchoLight takes “the much more expensive approach of putting it in theaters.”


    Santorum is from Pennsylvania, one of the states where Republicans have been trying to suppress votes from likely Democratic Party voters so that Republicans can win. Santorum should stick to seeking low-level politic office in his home state, but there’s lots of talk swirling around rightwing venues, especially the religious ones, that Santorum is a good candidate for the 2016 presidential race. One can see that movies like God’s Not Dead might do him some good with the rightwing religious base, but I don’t think he has nationwide appeal. Santorum ran a presidential campaign in 2012. He was an embarrassment in my opinion, but he briefly held the top spot. Oh lord, I hope we don’t have to go through another Santorum campaign based on his success as a maker of religious films.

    PZ recently exposed religious films for the rubbish that they are. He mentioned God’s Not Dead and discussed A Matter of Faith. Link.
    Second link to a PZ post.
    Link to PZ’s review of God’s Not Dead.

  42. says

    George Will wants us all to take a deep breath and stop criticizing him:

    Washington Post syndicated columnist George Will is standing by his recent article on sexual assault that sparked considerable backlash and led at least one prominent newspaper to drop his byline.

    In an interview with C-SPAN that will air in full sometime in July, Will said he wouldn’t take back a word of his controversial column, and dismissed his critics as overreacting. “Today, for some reason, indignation is the default position of certain people,” Will said. “I think it has something to do with the internet.”

    Will takes issue with the Obama Administration’s recent report on the scope of the campus rape crisis, which cites data from the Department of Justice to conclude that one in five college women are the victim of sexual assault. He claims that statistic is much too high and doesn’t line up with the other data about sexual assault reports.

    Over the past week, experts who research violence against women have pointed out the flaws with Will’s interpretation of the data, which relies on a dubious analysis from the American Enterprise Institute — a right-wing group that has a long history of downplaying campus sexual assaults. Nonetheless, Will is defending his column as an important tool to educate people about the real data at the heart of the issue. “When dubious statistics become the basis of dubious and dangerous abandonment of due process, it’s my job to step in and say, ‘Everyone take a deep breath,’ ” he told C-SPAN. […]


    More George Will:

    According to Will, colleges are lowering the standard of proof for sexual assault allegations, and he’s worried that ruin the lives of young men. “What’s going to result is a lot of young men and young women in this sea of hormones and alcohol that gets into so much trouble on campus, and you’re going to have charges of sexual assault. And you’re going to have young men disciplined, their lives often permanently and seriously blighted by this — they won’t get into medical school, they won’t get into law school, and all of this,” Will said in the interview.

    Link to PZ’s most recent post on George Will.

  43. carlie says

    It’s the most gorgeous day possible outside, but nobody in my house has any desire to go out and do anything with me in it. And doing yardwork is depressing, because then I see everything outside that we need to deal with but won’t because we can’t afford to. And I have homework to do anyway, which consists of severely editing and adding to text that should have been provided to me in a much better form than it is, and I don’t even like thinking about work because it’s going so far downhill, and whatever my husband jut made himself for lunch smells terrible, and I haven’t even eaten decently today because my child took the breakfast I had made myself (and then decided he didn’t like it and threw it away instead of giving it back), and the salad I was going to have for lunch had gone bad and there was nothing else that looked good in the house so all I’ve had today is half a tomato and some hummus. I hate everybody and everything.

    Except you guys. You’re all good. I like y’all. [/grump]

  44. says

    Well, this is amusing. A bunch of nudists and “hippies” drove a bunch of mormons away. I shouldn’t say the nudists “drove” the mormons away, the mormons fled of their own free will (“agency” to flee, in mormonspeak).


    Authorities are bracing for nudity, drugs and general free-spiritedness during a counterculture gathering that began near Salt Lake City this week, compelling a pair of nearby Mormon church-owned girls’ summer camps to move elsewhere.

    The first attendees are setting up camp at the annual Rainbow Family gathering, where attendance is expected to total about 10,000. […]

    Scroll down at the link for appropriately blurred photos of nudist hippies.

  45. says

    Anyone like indoor trampolines?

    If you’re afraid of heights, caves, the dark, suffer from claustrophobia or vertigo, this might not be for you, but if not, a small Welsh town has the perfect subterranean adventure for you: the world’s largest underground trampoline. Just unveiled in Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales, Bounce Below is a network of trampolines and slides mounted to the walls of an abandoned slate mine at heights of 20 feet to 180 feet off the ground. Visitors are welcome to climb, bounce, slide, and jump in the netting amidst a technicolor light show. Tickets are available online and the space will open to the public July 4th, 2014.


    There are images at the link. It looks nift.

  46. Funny Diva says

    Feats of Cats

    I heartily recommend Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky trilogy. Because I completely get what you’re saying/feeling about the constant sexism/misogyny/crappily written women characters.

    “Range of Ghosts”, “Shattered Pillars”, “Steles of the Sky”
    Set in a just-recognizable, parallel Central Asia. Magic and Science/Medicine side-by-side, firearms are a new thing. The author handles strong women and multiple cultures wonderfully.
    I just finished my second read-through of the series and cried (again) because it was all over.

    Thank yous to everyone else for their recommendations, I’ll be checking out many of these works, too!

  47. Funny Diva says

    Tony @77

    AND when you’re exhausted from bouncing off the walls, you can ride the steam-powered narrow-gauge railway!

    Pity the bouncy-mine-adventure wasn’t there in 1990 when I visited Blaenau Ffestiniog. I think it would kill me at my current age….Enjoyed the railway, though!

  48. carlie says

    Thanks, Alexandra. *hugs back*

    I’m sorry to vent – it’s a tough time of year. There are multiple layers of shit going on at work, and I’m overly sensitive to the fact that I’m working my ass off right now on projects that are not my own projects and I’m not even on contract now – it’s not just that feeling of “I don’t get paid enough to do this”, it’s that I’m not being paid a goddamned cent to do it. And I can name a dozen people or so who make significantly more than I do who have been off on vacation for the last month and won’t step foot back in for another month and a half. I am grateful to have the job I do and I know how lucky I am, I’m just a bit…testy.

  49. says

    I’m sulking a bit, too. It’s such a nice evening, we could sit on the balcony but Mr.’s away watching football. My hopes that Ghana will win are small.
    Well, I’ll configurate the kid’s new tablet and listen to a lecture…

  50. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Got a strange thing going on with the latest version of iOS. The iPad says “not charging”, but the % full charge of the battery is slowly increasing. *cue twilight zone music*

  51. carlie says

    Thanks, Giliell and Ogvorbis. At least being productive is good? I got a single big chunk of writing/editing finished, and then went and found the amusing hashtag #ListeningToMenFace on twitter, so I feel much better. :)

  52. yazikus says

    Carlie, I hope the rest of the day goes better.

    I acquired a 20 gallon fish tank with fish and plants today for just $30! Some students were moving and couldn’t take it with, so I am the lucky beneficiary. So exciting! Unfortunately I think there are too many fish in it for the size, so I’ll probably take some to the fish store.

    After a haircut this afternoon I’ll be headed to the memorial service for my friend and classmate, I guess it was a pulmonary embolism (he was just 36). Another reminder that each day we have with our friends and families is important.

  53. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Redhead’s BFF just called. Time to rest a bit. *sips grog, Ahhh*

  54. opposablethumbs says

    Many hugs to carlie from me too. And I’m glad you feel a bit better.

    Today was the only sunny day expected for quite a while, and I was lucky enough to be able to take the afternoon off and read a book on the roof (which is where the sun was, of course). I had a detective story I picked up at a charity shop that I had been saving for just such an eventuality. That made this a very lucky day, and I appreciate it. Doing a tiny bit more work now, but doubt I’ll get much more done until tomorrow really. Tomorrow afternoon I am going to try and help a friend-of-a-friend student who needs to pass English language proficiency exams in order to do a course here – this is a bit different from anything I’ve ever done before, and I really hope I can help!

  55. blf says

    Stephanie Kwolek, inventor of the super fibre Kevlar, dies at 90:

    American chemist was working on tyre technology when she discovered the super strong fibre now used in body armour

    Stephanie Kwolek, the American chemist who invented the super-strong fibre Kevlar used in bullet-proof vests, has died at age 90.

    “We are all saddened at the passing of DuPont scientist Stephanie Kwolek, a creative and determined chemist and a true pioneer for women in science,” DuPont chief executive Ellen Kullman said in a statement. “Her synthesis of the first liquid crystal polymer and the invention of DuPont Kevlar highlighted a distinguished career.”

    [In interviews] She was careful to take credit for only the initial discovery of the technology that led to the development of Kevlar and credited the work of others involved in the efforts.

    … she said she was afraid to tell her managers and conducted repeated tests just to make sure.

    “I didn’t want to be embarrassed. When I did tell management, they didn’t fool around. They immediately assigned a whole group to work on different aspects,” she said.

  56. Nick Gotts says

    An interesting article on Iraq from a thoroughly establishment figure – Micahel Stephens, Deputy Director of the Royal United Services Institute’s international office in Qatar (RUSI is not officially part of the British state, but its patron is none other than Elizabeth Windsor). In brief, the rebellion in Iraq is not simply a band of Al-Qaeda types:

    To dismiss what is happening in Iraq as the product of the maniacal whims of a few radical fanatics is to ignore the very real social inequality that exists in Iraq.

    Travelling around the country in recent days, I have been shocked at the levels of deprivation that some of Iraq’s citizens have endured.

    The grouping of fighters that has swept through Iraq to within 60km (40 miles) of the capital is not a nihilistic jihadist group hell bent on the establishment of an Islamic caliphate.

    It is a more general uprising by large groupings of disaffected communities throughout north-western Iraq and a product of years of social exclusion, poor governance and corruption by the Iraqi government.

  57. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, BLF #89. I give the inventor of the first liquid crystal polymer half-mast status, as that invention is ubiquitous and utile, whereas bullet resistant armor is for law enforcement and the military. An important application, but not as useful to humanity in the long run.

    I actually seem to recall the lady on one of the Nova episodes, where they were talking about how Kevlar worked in its role as bullet resistant armor.

  58. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh shit, sounds like the afternoon grumble storm has arrived, and tornado sirens are going off. Meet you on the other side….

  59. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Been checking the Doppler radar, and the tornado warnings are 200 miles south of us. But severe grumblestorm warnings are in effect for Chiwaukee. The rain just started.

  60. says

    I got to be social today. Spent some time with my friend T and his boyfriend. T was nice enough to pick me up and bought lunch and Bushwackers for all of us. It was nice to get out of the house and even out to the beach. We went to Pensacola’s Pride celebration but it was both too hot and too boring, so we left early. Still it was enjoyable. Took my mind off the stress of worrying about paying rent.
    On the way home, I saw a horrible accident. Well, not the accident itself. I saw an overturned SUV and no other damaged vehicle. The driver side and passenger side were crushed, but the backseats looked intact (from what I could see). I really hope the occupants will survive, but I’m worried about the driver. When I say crushed…god it was horrible. I saw 7 or 8 people rush out of their cars to attempt to pull out any passengers. I don’t think they were successful, and I worry that people trying to pull someone out could hurt the passengers more (or themselves). Thankfully there is a fire station less than a mile from the accident, so hopefully they will be able to rescue the passengers.

  61. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I don’t think they were successful, and I worry that people trying to pull someone out could hurt the passengers more (or themselves). Thankfully there is a fire station less than a mile from the accident, so hopefully they will be able to rescue the passengers.

    It’s amazing how many folks think a modern car would catch fire after an accident. Our ’97 Probe, a low end model so it must be law, has a cut-off switch to the fuel pump attached to an accelerometer, and will shut of the fuel pump for any bump over about 3 mph. Since fire is not a worry, let the pro’s deal with the extraction from the vehicle.

  62. says

    I’m back for a while, anyway (the connection mysteriously reconnected, so we’ll see how long it lasts, since the company thinks we’re still cut off); they also want more money now, who knows why. I’m afraid to call and ask in case they realize we’re connected and shut us off. Aggravating things, L’s phone died, and replacing it costs a deductible even though it’s insured. He’s about 2-3 months from a free upgrade. I took it out to what was supposed to be the repair center but turned out not to be, so I had to go another 5 mile round trip through inner suburbia on my bike to get to the actual repair center, which can’t call us back by policy, and won’t even know whether it’s fixable until after I need to leave for work. My phone’s been on the blink too, for additional fun. Sorry to show up just to whine, but it’s been an aggravating day.

  63. chigau (違う) says

    I’ve got nothing else so…
    Have some *hugs*.
    Some for L, too.

  64. says

    Oh, yes. Due to the lack of internet and dealing with other life stuff, I failed to secure a volunteer for the Tool Library this morning, that being my explicit duty there. Thus, we opened late, one of the other board members came out before I did, interrupting his day, and it was a general clusterfuck. OTOH, maybe this will motivate some of those lazy fuckers (the membership) to volunteer more often so this shit doesn’t happen. We only need ~30 person hours a month to stay open on Saturdays, and there’s 3500 members, they can’t all be busy every weekend.

  65. chigau (違う) says

    Ah, volunteers.
    Love ’em. (the 5% who are always there.)
    The other 95% … [redacted] … bless their hearts.

  66. says

    I’m pretty much in the same boat. My phone shit the bed on Monday– it wouldn’t turn on, got really hot, and now it’s got no battery life. I have the insurance, but it’s useless because there is water damage to my phone*.

    Could you buy a second-hand phone (or a cheap older model or have a friend with extra phones laying around) and replace the SIM card/micro SD card? That’s what I’m planning to do: A friend of mine is sending me one of her old phones to get me through until my contract is up in November.

    *Somebody barfed in the headphone jack.

  67. says

    I’m glad it was worth it for you. Any idea what the turnout was?

    I’ve been out for ~18 years and I’ve been to a handful of Pride celebrations, but most of them have been in Atlanta, GA. I enjoyed them even in the heat of June. I was pleasantly surprised to find they’ve moved their celebration to October when the weather is infinitely better. I haven’t been since my best friend passed away, but I’d like to go again (doubt it will be this year, unless finances see a massive turnaround).

  68. cicely says

    Howdy, all.
    *initiating hug-dump*
    Congratulations and commiserations where due.
    The Husband is under the house, determining what will be needed to jack up our jacked-up floor. And because I am a naturally-talented and well-practiced panicker, I’ve got a walky-talky (with him at the other end) and my cell phone, in case I have to summon the fire department to rip up our floor and rescue him.


    Under-house survey complete, and sump-pump installed. And the peasants rejoice!
    No casualties. Estimated 3 to 4 inches of water now being evacuated, so maybe the recurring nightmares about the house being swallowed up by a sinkhole will now go away.


    *hugs* (though belatedly, alas!) for carlie.
    We’ve got so much we need to do around the house (inside and out), but can’t because we can’t afford it.

    Tony!, glad you got to get out for a bit.
    Shame about the accident, though.

    *hugs* for Dalillama.

  69. says

    The Husband is under the house, determining what will be needed to jack up our jacked-up floor.

    Since I’m thinking of houses a lot atm, this is a cultural difference I’ll never grasp. Under the house there’s the basement.

    Stay safe, Nerd

    Religion is a perfect cover-up for deep social conflicts. I mean, only a complete fool would believe that the Irish Troubles were caused by a difference in what flavour of christiaity one believes in.

    Hmm. Strawberry mango jam.
    Only problem is that I’ve got a collection of jars, a collection of lids, but a severe lack of jars with lids

  70. opposablethumbs says

    his is a cultural difference I’ll never grasp. Under the house there’s the basement.

    Me too – the only houses I can imagine being able to go under are either above permafrost latitudes, like Inuvik or something, or they’re treehouses. The lowest you can go in this building is the basement flat :-)
    A lot of hugs and especially financial sympathies to Tony! and Dalillama. Our income is going to fall drastically in a few weeks from now, and it’s frightening. I really hope you get some good stuff happening on that front soon, both of you.

  71. blf says

    I’ve got a collection of jars, a collection of lids, but a severe lack of jars with lids

    Eat fast.
    The strawberry-mango-cheese jam, that is.
    Not the jars.
    Or the lids.

  72. blf says

    We BBQ at -20°C.

    That’s a freezer, typically used to store food, often for a considerable period of time.
    A barbecue is an uncovered grill, usually outdoors and coal-fired, notable for being slightly warmer, and usually used to prepare food just prior to consumption, and to send smoke signals.

    Whilst both contain food, and neither is advisable to touch with yer bare hand, they are rarely confused.

    The exception is when you convert a freezer into a smokehouse, like my grandfather did. (Deliberately, I should perhaps point out.)

  73. says

    Tony- Hmm. Hard to say. At least a few hundred. Probably a couple thousand if everyone who came and went was all gathered at the same time.

    The motel I went to so I could drive home sober this morning… was a less good part of the weekend. It served its purpose in letting me sleep to sobriety, but the place is a craphole barely suitable for that. I’m going to start researching other cheap options in the area. Maybe I’ll pay a little more, but a room where all the light works and the shower head doesn’t have half its outlets clogged would be worth it even if I’m just sleeping off booze.

    Lots of great entertainment and I got to just be myself, without the masks I’ve got welded on almost to the atomic level. Either of these things alone would have made for a good weekend. Both at once? Yes please.

    Got a picture with Krisitn Beck- I would have taken many more pictures of the event in general but I’m shy about asking permission and wanted to limit the risk of a picture distributing wider than I expected and accidentally outing someone. If I had brought my standalone digital camera I might have taken a few more of the musical acts and maybe some of the protesters- optical zoom can get you in closer, it can also minimize how much extra crap gets in your shot. My phone has digital zoom, but in any case where that’s a reasonable option, I can do it in post processing in GIMP and get better results.

    Got a picture while walking up of a Pride flag hung under a sign saying “Rear Parking Only”. Got some laughs showing that one.

    The protesters- this is 2 for 2 of cultural type events in Springfield that I’ve gone to that have drawn religious protesters. The other was Skepticon. Several people there for Pride did an impromptu counterprotest. Our people were just as firm in their convictions, but it was all about love. The fundies left early.

  74. says

    So Husband, Friend and I were at a food and wine fest yesterday, and Husband and Friend got roped into talking to the one Christianist set up with a friendly young lady doing the “missioning”. I was tipsy as the nominated drinker of the group, so when I meandered back over to them right at the “Do you believe in God?” Part of the conversation, I merrily went “No!”. This seemed to be muse her greatly and she went, “So, not really, then?”

    Turns out its extraordinarily difficult for me to say “No, not “not really,” not at all.” Took me three tries. Which is also when I realized I’d had more to drink than I was feeling.

    She seemed quite bemused. Husband was laughing. Not sure what Friend thought.

    On a related note, pumpkin spice mead is amazing.

  75. says

    I have returned. Pretty ‘rupt, so *Hugs* all round.

    Hi Thunk, great to see you back. *hugs/other gesture of welcome*


    Since I’m thinking of houses a lot atm, this is a cultural difference I’ll never grasp. Under the house there’s the basement.

    There’s a lot of reasons why, but the short form is that since about the 1920s the dominant form of American architecture has been shitty tract housing, which usually means single-level ‘ranch’ houses on poured cement foundations sunk ~3-6 into the ground beneath them, usually without regard for what kind of ground that in fact is. Also, in much of Florida and the Gulf Coast area, basements are pretty impractical because the water table is to close to the surface; places prone to heavy seismic (notably a large chunk of California) also militate against basements, as I understand it. Not that that’s an excuse for the rest of the country; the plain fact of the matter is that a very large portion of U.S. housing stock is simply poorly designed by most standards, and that poor design suffers further by not taking any account of local climate variances.

  76. David Marjanović says

    Not caught up.

    Unfortunately, this (in German) is unexpectedly good news: the pope has summarily excommunicated the Mafia. This is the first time a pope has done that.

    The Mafia loved to present itself as particularly pious (and generally politically conservative), as fighting for what’s good and holy and traditional. That’s not working anymore.

  77. says


    A lot of the Northeast US coast isn’t built right for climate, either. Nor’easters and the occasional hurricane can easily wreck a house. A house might handle the snow, the rain, the wind, with no problems at all. Once that wall of water from an angry sea comes in, though, game over.

    It’s common practice to rebuild on pilings after severe damage. I’m not sure if this is happening to new construction or if it’s more purely reactive. It really needs to be standard. The Northeast doesn’t get hammered by storm surges like the Southeast, but it happens often enough that coastal construction really should go on pilings or equivalently effective protection from just being washed out.

  78. thunk: Hevelland says

    Over in the Chiwaukee area, basements are usually standard (though maybe not as big as the first floor). Chilly winters mean you have to dig some, so why not all the way? They also double as storm shelters.

    The world cup is being really annoying for me, not least because most of the teams I’m supporting are being speedily eliminated. At this point, I might as well place my wishes on Costa Rica…

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

    I grew up in the Midwest.

    At some point, I visited someone who lived in Florida.

    And I was freaked out by the absence of a basement.

    Because in the Midwest tornado territory, not having a proper storm cellar is suicidal.

  80. cicely says

    Giliell, I would love to have a basement! Not only would it be useful in case a tornado decided to get up close and way too personal, but think of all of the potential bookshelf space!
    But, 1) it’s cheaper to build your spec-houses without basements, 2) partly because in the local geology, you’d have to do Extreme Waterproofing. This city is not called Springfield for nuthin’! There’s a plot of land that was expensively unsuccessfully developed, for years, about 3/4 mile from here—which used to have a standing pond on it in wet times, and was generally pretty marshy even in dry times—because re-landscaping it and attempting to move the persistent water leakage to a nice little ornamental pond that they dug in a more convenient near-by spot…did not work. In fact, it resulted in a standing pond or marshy area in the same place as before—but elevated, just over from the nice little ornamental pond.
    More recently, they seem to have licked that problem; at least, there’s no sign of the parking lot at that spot floating away. :)
    And there’s a house a little more than a block from here that has a hose permanently installed between under-the-house, and the gutter. It runs at at least a trickle most of the time.
    Or, what Dalillama said. This house is, in fact, an example of a ” single-level ‘ranch’ houses on poured cement foundations sunk ~3-6 into the ground beneath them (it)”.


    The Husband is under the house…

    I presume it’s consensual…

    Well, The Husband is none too enthusiastic, but went consenting. The house did not express any opinion, for or against.
    Because, non-sentient.
    About next weekend (other factors permitting), he and Son will be under there, jacking the floor back into its original position. I’ll be sure to ask the house for its views on the procedure.


    I never understood houses without basements. Where do you put your stuff?

    In the garage.
    The stuff that won’t fit inside the house, that is.
    This leaves the car to fend for itself in the weather, but the other option—renting a storage unit—is not within our means, these years.


    Because in the Midwest tornado territory, not having a proper storm cellar is suicidal.

    That’s what the main bathroom is for.
    </not-really-funny not-really joke>

  81. blf says

    I never understood houses without basements. Where do you put your stuff?

    Well, by putting sons and husbands and other such critters under the house, that probably frees up a bedroom or three…

  82. blf says

    More on the raping children cult allegedly being annoyed with one of their natural allies, the mafia, Pope Francis ‘excommunicates’ mafia:

    Pontiff issues strongest attack on organised crime by papacy in two decades and comforts father of boy killed in a mafia ‘hit’

    Pope Francis has issued the strongest condemnation of organised crime groups by a pontiff in two decades, accusing them of practising “the adoration of evil” and saying that mafiosi were excommunicated.

    It was the first time a pope had used the word excommunication — a total cutoff from the church — in direct reference to members of organised crime.

    “Those who in their lives follow this path of evil, as mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated,” he said in impromptu comments at a mass before hundreds of thousands of people in one of Italy’s most crime-ridden areas.

    To sustained applause he told the crowd on Sunday: “This evil must be fought against, it must be pushed aside. We must say no to it.” He called the local crime group, the ‘Ndrangheta, as an example of the “adoration of evil and contempt of the common good” and said the church would exert its full force in efforts to combat organised crime.

    Vatican spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini said the pope’s stern words did not constitute a formal over-arching decree of canon (church) law regarding excommunication, which is a formal legal process.

    Rather, he said it was more of a direct message to members of organised crime that they had effectively excommunicated themselves, reminding them that they could not participate in church sacraments or other activities because they had distanced themselves from God through their criminal actions.

    But the language used by the pope was significant because many members of organised crime in Italy see themselves as part of a religious, cult-like group, take part in sacraments, go to church and in some cases have also found complicity within the clergy in the south.

    The pope, Benedettini said, was trying to “isolate mafiosi within their own communities”, sending a message that they should not in any way be looked up to as “men of honour”.

    In 1993 Pope John Paul warned members of Sicily’s mafia that they would “one day face the justice of God”. The mafia responded several months later with bomb attacks against several churches in Rome, including the Basilica of St John’s, which is a church of the pontiff in his capacity as bishop of Rome.

    The bishop of the area the pope visited, Nunzio Galantino, is seen as one of the most progressive in Italy’s poorer, underdeveloped south and has taken strong stands against organised crime.

    But there have been instances of collusion of some priests in other areas of Calabria where the ‘Ndrangheta is strongest, further south along the Italian peninsula near Reggio Calabria.

  83. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I can’t blame them for not wanting to provide services to a competitor.

  84. says

    Apparently I’m NOT the only laughing my ass off at the Pope right now. I mean, come on — the head of the world’s largest crime syndicate (the RCC) is saying that the Mafia is immoral? Pot, kettle, BLACK.

  85. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    @121, Azkyroth, you owe me some clean panties, since it was your fault that I just wet myself laughing so hard. I’ll send a bill. :D

    Unfortunately, the ones I have lying around are spoken for ;/

  86. birgerjohansson says

    Bloody hell! Female genital mutilation exposed in Swedish class http://www.thelocal.se/20140620/swedish-school-class-genitally-mutilated
    Sweden takes 19 percent of EU’s asylum seekers http://www.thelocal.se/20140619/sweden-takes-19-percent-of-eus-asylum-seekers Note that Sweden has 1.8% of the EU;s population. The other member nations are shirking their duties.
    Researchers in south Texas find mass grave with bodies of more than 100 migrants http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/21/researchers-in-south-texas-find-mass-grave-with-bodies-of-more-than-100-migrants/

  87. says

    Good morning!

    House is also one of the interesting cultural concepts. While we all use the same word, and it’s a word that’s often easily translatable, the cultural concepts vary a lot.

    I finally got my new old sewing machine. After I managed to get something unstuck (it hasn’t been used in the last 15 years or so) it works fine and purrs like a kitten. For those of you not sewing-machine savy: the sound tells you a lot about the quality. Cheap machines “hammer” the needle into the fabric.
    It’s one of the last mechanical machines Bernina built and it’s still sold for a couple of hundred bucks.
    Not to mention that there are about 200 spools of thread that go with it…

    Now I have a lot to do and no motivation at all.

  88. A. Noyd says

    Giliell (#129)

    House is also one of the interesting cultural concepts. While we all use the same word, and it’s a word that’s often easily translatable, the cultural concepts vary a lot.

    As an ESL teaching assistant, I’m finding out that each culture tends to have an iconic notion of “house” that only tenuously matches up with the breadth of reality within that culture. Unfortunately, the iconic notion is the one presented in the textbooks, despite having little relevance to the experience of most students, who in this case are refugees. If they’re looking at the iconic “house” and the iconic “apartment building” when asked which they live in, they choose the house because it looks way more like the style of apartments they call home. But if you ask them without those pictures, they can tell you they live in an apartment building.

    It’s good to teach the iconic notions, too, since those are helpful for interpreting our symbol languages as used in signs, advertising, cartoons, movies, TV, board games (like Pictionary), kids toys, etc. It’s a kind of secret literacy—so secret, natives of the culture don’t even know they are literate. It’s just not easy to pass on because you don’t know what doesn’t translate till you get different results between asking with pictures and asking without.

    (If anyone has dealt with this before and knows some good resources, I’d love to hear of them.)

  89. says

    I lived in North Alabama for 15 years (yeah, I know…ugh), and none of the government housing on military installations had storm cellars (that I was aware of), and the off base homes that my parents had did not either. My anecdote doesn’t mean much, just that in my limited experience in Tornado Alley, I knew nothing of storm cellars.

  90. says

    A. Noyd
    Well, current European state of art teaching would be to raise awareness. Like make them describe/draw “house” in their culture. You get to raise understanding about what people mean and you make them practise the necessary vocabulary and structure.
    As for the “secret” language: let them play. Pictionary is one, but Story Cubes have a lot of iconic symbols as well.

  91. Moggie says


    US student is rescued from giant vagina sculpture in Germany.

    Those things are dangerous!

  92. blf says

    carlie beat me to the piece about the person-eating-vagina.

    In less serious news, there’s a “mystery island” on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn: “Nasa’s Cassini probe took image last year as it passed by planet’s largest moon — nothing seen when other images taken”. Probably not the mildly deranged penguin since the images showing the island date before her disappearance, and the Titan has not exploded. (Titan is also not, as far as I know, an Orbiting Cheese Vault. Saturn is.)

  93. blf says

    House is also one of the interesting cultural concepts.

    The Doctor’s Wife / Idris / “Sexy” is an interesting cultural concept, albeit House is rather nasty…

  94. says

    blf, thanks for the post @89. Love it when we properly recognize female scientists instead of ignoring them or giving a male scientist credit for their work.

    Stephanie Kwolek, the American chemist who invented the super-strong fibre Kevlar used in bullet-proof vests, has died at age 90.

  95. says

    Here’s what happens when states pass laws requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges in local hospitals:

    Three weeks after a judge said he would struggle to decide whether physicians who perform abortions should be required to obtain hospital admitting privileges, two Milwaukee doctors have been denied those credentials.

    Larry Dupuis and Renée Paradis, attorneys for Affiliated Medical Services, on Friday submitted to the court letters from hospitals within a 30-mile radius of the Milwaukee clinic denying doctors Dennis Christensen and Bernard Smith admitting privileges. […]

    Letters from Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Aurora Healthcare and Froedtert Health Inc. say Christensen and Smith do not qualify for admitting privileges because in their clinic the two are not subject to review by a professional board to make sure their practices meet hospital standards. Additionally, a letter written by Aurora Healthcare’s legal representative, Jane Appleby, says the doctors said they intend to treat few patients in the hospital setting, not meeting the 20-patient annual quota the hospital requires. […]

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel link.

  96. says

    More on the doctors mentioned in comment #140:

    The doctors did not formally apply with Wheaton Franciscan because they knew the hospital required physicians to sign pledges saying they would not advertise abortion services. […]

    Right. Catholic hospitals are restricting women’s reproductive rights.

  97. says

    Egypt just threw some reporters in jail on trumped up “terrorist” charges:

    An Egyptian court convicted three Al-Jazeera journalists and sentenced them to seven years in prison each on terrorism-related charges in a verdict Monday that stunned their families and raised international outrage, with a chorus of voices denouncing the ruling as a blow to freedom of expression. […]


  98. says

    I just got back from dropping the dog off at the vet (she stopped eating). They say she’ll be fine, but she is 16 and small so I am a weepy mess.

    blf @ 120

    Nuts to the pope and his church. They excommunicated my grandma.

  99. chigau (違う) says


    US student is rescued from giant vagina sculpture in Germany.


    Ultimate proof that USA are a failed state when it comes to sex ed

    No kidding.
    His feet were caught in the sculpture!

  100. David Marjanović says

    Have to run. Dumping links:

    Al-Biruni sort of predicted the existence of America by an argument that seems to have assumed non-creationism.

    Californian island foxes less endangered now; that’s at least one separate species that occurs nowhere else.

    Petition to EU Commissioner for the Environment: protected migratory birds are hunted when they pass Malta.

    Petition to Walmart, Costco and Carrefour to make sure they’re not profiting from slavery in Thailand.

    In German: Soccer player’s hairstyle explained by impressive charity.

    What it takes for a career in science. Point 1: “Be male.”

  101. blf says

    awakeinmo@143, “Nuts to the pope and his church. They excommunicated my grandma.”

    Good for her! I hope you had the sense to congratulate her on escaping the clutches of that bunch of authoritarian child rapists.

  102. says


    In the garage.
    The stuff that won’t fit inside the house, that is.

    It’s a good thing you don’t have a car port!

    The other thing I don’t understand is the draw of a “finished” basement. Like, whatever you’ve done to it, it’s still dank and dark and probably low-ceilinged. Let’s face it, no one wants to spend time down there.

  103. blf says

    Interesting idea, Doctors to vote on cigarette sale ban for those born after 2000 (in the UK):

    Public health specialist says most adult smokers began as teens and motion is aimed at stopping next generation taking up habit

    Doctors are to vote on whether to push for a permanent ban on the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after the year 2000 in an attempt to protect the next generation of children from the deadly effects of smoking.

    If the motion is passed at the British Medical Association’s annual representatives’ meeting on Tuesday, the doctors union will lobby the government to implement the policy in the same way it successfully pushed for a ban on lighting up in public places and on smoking in cars carrying children, after votes in 2002 and 2011.

    Tim Crocker-Buque, a specialist registrar in public health medicine, who proposed the motion, said the idea was that “the 21st-century generation don’t need to suffer the hundreds of millions of deaths that the 20th-century generation did”.

    “Cigarette smoking is specifically a choice made by children that results in addiction in adulthood, that is extremely difficult to give up,” he said. “80% of people who smoke start as teenagers. It’s very rare for people to make an informed decision in adulthood. The idea of this proposal is to prevent those children who are not smoking from taking up smoking.”

    In 2012, 23% of pupils in England aged 11 to 15 had tried smoking at least once, according to official figures, although the proportion has been decreasing since 1996, when it was 46%. Of current smokers or those who smoked regularly at some point in their life, 66% said they had started smoking before they were 18. The age at which someone can be legally sold cigarettes rose from 16 to 18 in 2007.

    Similar proposals have been put forward in Singapore and in Tasmania, Australia, where, in 2012, the upper house passed a ban on selling cigarettes to anyone born after 2000 but it has not been passed by the lower house.

    Simon Clark, the director of the smokers’ group Forest, argued that criminals would simply take over the supply of cigarettes to people who could not buy them legally.

    And…? What is your point, please? This “argument against” applies to essentially every real and proposed law. And is used by con-men about imaginary laws.

    “We already have legislation designed to stop children smoking. Enforce those laws and ban proxy purchasing,” he said. …

    No, it’s not intended to “stop children from smoking”. It’s intended to “stop people from slowly killing themselves.”

    A spokesman for the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association described the proposal as “a poorly thought-through tobacco control measure. The BMA should reject this nonsensical measure and instead focus on measures likely to reduce young people’s access to tobacco.”

    They are, arsehole — with an idea that, from health and other perspectives improves essentially everyone’s lives and standards-of-living.

    I have no idea if the proposed ban includes e-cigs, albeit it clearly should.

    On the other hand, of course, there is the probable problem (with the kill-everyone advocate Simon Clark alluded in the omitted comments) is the likely involvement of criminal elements, albeit that is an existing problem (mostly, I believe, at the moment, to avoid the steep taxes).

  104. blf says

    It took 22 firefighters?

    They worked in shifts since you can only stop ROTFL for so long…

  105. says

    If you shut up about health problems associated with tracking will those problems magically disappear? That seems to be the approach Pennsylvania is taking:

    Two retirees from the Pennsylvania Department of Health say its employees were silenced on the issue of Marcellus Shale drilling.

    One veteran employee says she was instructed not to return phone calls from residents who expressed health concerns about natural gas development.

    “We were absolutely not allowed to talk to them,” said Tammi Stuck, who worked as a community health nurse in Fayette County for nearly 36 years.

    Another retired employee, Marshall P. Deasy III, confirmed that.

    Deasy, a former program specialist with the Bureau of Epidemiology, said the department also began requiring field staff to get permission to attend any meetings outside the department. This happened, he said, after an agency consultant made comments about drilling at a community meeting.

    In the more than 20 years he worked for the department, Deasy said, “community health wasn’t told to be silent on any other topic that I can think of.”

    Companies have drilled more than 6,000 wells into Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale over the last six years, making it the fastest-growing state for natural gas production in America. […]


  106. opposablethumbs says

    Crossing my fingers for her too, awakeinmo. I hope she’s ok. 16 ain’t so old for a small dog!

  107. says

    Here’s a nice success, and it comes out of Syria of all places:

    After months of delay, Syria exported the last of its known supplies of chemical weapons components on Monday for destruction overseas, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced, calling it a major achievement in a country engulfed by war. […]

    Syria delivered the final stocks of the more than 1,300 tons of chemical agents it had declared to the port of Latakia, where they were loaded aboard a Danish vessel that left Monday afternoon, said Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the organization, which has been collaborating with the United Nations to monitor Syria’s vows.

    New York Times link.

    Doubt this news will get much coverage on Fox News.

  108. says

    Speaking of Fox News, here’s an “oh, FFS!” moment:

    Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro Saturday night cited a report from conspiracy site WorldNetDaily about ISIS forces being trained by the U.S. and alleged the Obama Administration captured a Benghazi suspect 2 years after the attack for political reasons.

    She also said President Obama “didn’t have the balls” to try Taliban suspects at Guantanamo Bay, and said Americans “are not convinced” Obama “even knows who the enemy is.” […]

    “There have been reports that ISIS was trained by U.S. instructors at a secret base in Jordan to prepare them to fight President Assad as rebels,” Pirro said.


    Jeanine Pirro, one of Fox News’s addlepated flea brained hosts, neglected to mention that WorldNetDaily was her source.

  109. Nick Gotts says


    Prohibition of drugs has worked so well in all the other cases where it’s been tried, hasn’t it?

  110. says

    This Moment of Mormon Madness is bound to make national news. The LDS church’s stuffy old white guys excommunicated Kate Kelly.

    Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly learned Monday that she has been excommunicated from the LDS Church for “conduct contrary to the laws and order” of the faith.

    “Today, Kelly’s former ecclesiastical leader in Virginia, Bishop Mark Harrison, contacted Kelly by email to inform her that the all-male panel of judges who tried her in absentia on Sunday, June 22, has convicted her on the charge of apostasy and has decided to excommunicate her, which is the most serious punishment that can be levied by a church court,” the group announced in a statement. […]</blockquote.

  111. says

    In reference to comment #164, here are some of the Readers Comments associated with the Salt Lake Tribune article:

    That’s what you get for trying to fill your silly little girl head with man stuff.

    She can’t be surprised. The white and delightsome old men don’t want no uppity women in their church.
    No matter what they say, these “coincidental” church courts in separate parts of the country were orchestrated. The outcome had to be run past Corporate Hq.
    Too bad Kelly has a conscience otherwise she could remain a member in good standing.
    All the positive publicity the LDS church was receiving just a few years ago as a presidential candidate was showing us just how “normal” Mormons were and how much our religion had grown up…
    Yeah, that’s gone. This was a poor choice by LDS leaders and now the PR backlash will be relentless.

  112. says

    In reference to comment #164, here’s another reader’s comment. This one comes from an ex-mormon:

    As a woman who left mormonism after seeing that this church is entirely false and deceitful and flawed, (refer to the CES Letter by Jeremy Gunnell) I am still saddened that this woman who believed in it would be treated so poorly. And the manner in which it was done. In Ex-ing Kate Kelly, the church opened it’s own closet full skeletons and is shining a light for all to see on its’ own misogyny. So, for that I am grateful. Here is a gun. Now shoot yourself in the other foot with Dehlin so even more people will wake up.

  113. says

    NBC News coverage of Kate Kelly’s excommunication from the mormon church.

    […] “They’re asking me to go to church every Sunday and pretend I don’t think there are problems with gender equality.” […]

    “Ii think it’s a hideously painful blow to any woman has ever looked around her and recognized the plain and simple truth that men and women are not equal in our church.” […]

  114. says

    Detroit is poised to make matters worse than they already are for its most vulnerable citizens:

    As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department moves to shut off water to thousands of residents who are delinquent on their bills, a coalition of activists is appealing to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights to intervene on behalf of the bankrupt city’s most vulnerable citizens.

    Their report, filed Wednesday with the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, alleges that the DWSD crackdown is part of an effort “to sweeten the pot for a private investor” to take over the city’s heavily-indebted water and sewer system as part of Detroit’s broader bankruptcy proceedings. […]


  115. carlie says

    I wonder why it is called the “gateway to the world”.

    Well, if you’re going though it in the proper direction…

  116. says

    From the Republicans-being-dimmer-than-usual category, we bring you a new way in which to exercise intolerance:

    A Republican candidate seeking to represent Georgia’s 10th U.S. House district believes that the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty does not apply to followers of Islam.

    “Although Islam has a religious component, it is much more than a simple religious ideology,” Rev. Jody Hice wrote in his 2012 book It’s Now Or Never, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It is a complete geo-political structure and, as such, does not deserve First Amendment protection.”

    The House candidate also believes the Muslim Brotherhood is secretly infiltrating the United States in a plot to impose Sharia law on the entire country, a conspiracy theory he shares with Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

    Raw Story link.

  117. rq says

    Hi, everyone! *hugs* and *minion-umbrellas*
    I’m still alive! So is the Choir! Despite a few near-misses, they’re all doing their best to make it through these days in the Canadian wilderness (we are somewhat in the wilderness, though it’s the lack of wifi and other modern technologies that really does a number on the isolation – but it’s beautiful). So far only the soloist has managed to (unseriously) injure herself, in a small rock fall during this morning’s hike. But they all loved the local waterfall so much, I’m wondering how many hours of picture-taking they will spend in Niagara…
    Anyway. Too many people around, lots of overwhelmingness, and past couple of days I was shuttling between choir and family stuff. Then my dad fell and broke his femur (yeah…) and my family left to go back to Ottawa, and now I’m stuck with the Choir – and mostly, really, they’re all being amazing and having a fantastic time. There’s a couple of groaners (but they were groaners in Latvia, too), and one totally unco-operative douchebag who pretends to be an organizer with a whole lot of advice and knowledge, but then never co-operates when we actually have to do things as a giant group of people. I want to steal his GPS and get him lost in the Laurentians. For a couple of hours, anyway.
    Another couple of days and then we’ll be heading back to civilization. No more rock falls and slippery slopes for this bunch (except for Niagara, but you know…). I want some alone time. :)
    Love to you all, still ‘rupt for a few days, greetings from Grenville, Quebec!!!

  118. opposablethumbs says

    Under the circumstances, I’m happy to be a thimb (or opposeable) :-)

    {{hugs}} if you’d care for some, awakeinmo. Scatterbrained 10-year-old dog is asleep on the floor as I type; she’s starting to show her age (biggish dog, so 10 is getting on) – I totally sympathise.

  119. opposablethumbs says

    Congratulations on the successful choir-wrangling, rq! Glad everyone is enjoying it – sorry about your dad, though, that sounds horrible all round. Hope he’s all right soon, and that the rest of the family are all ok.

    (Maybe the douchebag will find his very own slippery slope in Niagara …. who knows!)

  120. says

    So, someone I follow on Twitter defended Khloe Kardashian over wearing a native headdress.

    Then, someone attacked her for being in mourning for her father who died a week ago, in what they seem to think was a completely reasonable way to argue against the original proposition that what Khloe did was ok. It was structured like Dawkin’s Dear Muslima, except instead of a creepy guy hitting on someone, HER DAD IS FUCKING DEAD.

    The OP was still wrong, but seriously… what the fuck is wrong with someone using this argument?

    Same asshole apparently believes that it isn’t possible for a native to be ok with Khloe’s headwear choice. That’s the only reason I can come up with for immediately attacking someones claim to Apache ancestry.

  121. cicely says

    Is anybody else having a problem with the Phenomena blogs at National Geographic? My computer Freaks. The. Fuck. Out. if I try to go to, say, Not Exactly Rocket Science.
    I find this most distressing.


    Bloody hell! Female genital mutilation exposed in Swedish class

    Bloody hell indeed.
    :( :( :(

    Researchers in south Texas find mass grave with bodies of more than 100 migrants

    Also bloody hell.
    ( :( :(

    *hugs* for awakeinmo, with best wishes for your dog.
    We recently thought we were going to lose our 14 year old cat who had stopped eating, drinking, and grooming herself. By dint of much syringing of water into her against her will, and some sort of Nutrients-inna-tube ditto, and ditto, she recovered…but we were sure we were going to wake up to a dead kitty some morning. She’s still thinner than I would like, but now eats and drinks with normal enthusiasm and grooms herself.


    It’s a good thing you don’t have a car port!

    *rolling eyes dramatically*
    Tell me about it!
    Actually, when we were house-shopping (back in, let us say, more financially prosperous times) a garage was one of the deal-breakers. No garage, no sale.
    Son laments his house’s lack of a garage, but then, he hadn’t planned to live in it this long. He’s looking forward to shopping for its replacement—with the “no garage, no sale” approach.

    Feats of Cats, I particularly liked the kitty with the multi-tentacular shadow.

    *pouncehug with Guaranteed Horse-free Chocolate*

  122. says

    Good morning!

    I heard there are lots of slippery slopes at the Niagara falls ;)

    *hugs* for you and doggie

    serious rant
    We’ve been talking about how shittily immigrants are treated, right?
    So, there’s this new girl in #1’s class who’s from Syria. Heavens know what this kid and her family went through. #1 wants to invite her to her birthday party, so I asked her teacher how she communicated with the kid’s parents. “Not at all”. She knows that there’s a Lebanese woman who sometimes acts as an interpreter, she thinks that woman must translate the written messages from school. Or maybe the kids help? As long as there’s no trouble it’s kind of not an issue…
    I don’t even blame the teacher that much, because she doesn’t get any support or help either. This is how we treat people who escaped a bloody civil war. And they are even the lucky ones, the ones who somehow made it to Germany and who are not rotting in a flea-infested refugee camp without clean water.
    Fortunately my 2nd cousin is married to a Syrian, so I’ll try to get him to translate the invitation.
    The next person who opens their mouth about how immigrants have to work to integrate themselves might run the risk of getting kicked in the shins.

    not so serious rant
    Dear body, you’re stupid. Could you please shed the fat a bit more homogenously instead of legs and ass only while leaving the belly the size it was? You know, there already was a discrepancy in size between belly, butt & legs before. Now it’s two sizes. Stop that.

  123. bassmike says

    …tentatively emerges from his cushion fort. Everything looks a little brighter again.

    awekinmo I hope all is okay with you and your canine.

    rq I guess trying to herd a choir is very much like herding an orchestra: never easy. There’s always someone (generally the same person each time) that causes a problem. Good luck and I’m sorry to hear about your father.

    Alexandra it’s nice to see you around again.

    Giliell bodies never do what you want. Specifically your own. But also when trying to bury them under the……errr forget I said that.

  124. birgerjohansson says

    Wisconsin Republican donor busted for voting 5 times in Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/24/wisconsin-republican-donor-busted-for-voting-5-times-in-gov-scott-walkers-recall-election/

    Bipartisan report U.S. stands to lose hundreds of billions of dollars due to climate change: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/24/us-stands-to-lose-hundreds-of-billions-of-dollars-due-to-climate-change-bipartisan-report/

  125. says

    opposablethumbs(copy-pasted this time), cicely, Giliell,
    Thanks muchly. It really is nice to know that there a folks who understand how trying it can be. Last night the vet said she was doing fine. So it seems I’ll likely get her back today. Which also means I’ll get to go through this again sometime. Hooray?

    Anyways, thanks everyone.

  126. says

    Hey, rq, the choir wrangling sounds both exciting and exhausting. You’ll be glad to have a little rest when it is all done. I envy the treks through some of the more beautiful parts of Canada.

    I mailed a book to Latvia.

  127. blf says

    I mailed a book to Latvia.

    If it’s not about potatoes, it will have turned into one by the time it arrives.

    If it is about potatoes, Why bother? They not only write Teh Book on Potatoes, the book is written on potatoes…

  128. says

    A book written on potatoes instead of paper, that’s an interesting concept. I would be concerned about rot.

    As for turning into potatoes, I’m sure rq will let me know if the book transforms into potatoes as soon as it crosses the border into Latvia. If so, she can devour it.

  129. says

    As I predicted, the excommunication of Kate Kelly is getting national coverage. Her story is even getting international coverage.

    The story is not just about mormonism, it is about women’s rights and women fighting for more rights from within patriarchal cultures.


    Women’s ordination advocate Kate Kelly said it’s unlikely she will seek rebaptism anytime soon into the LDS Church, which excommunicated her Monday.

    “I’ve done nothing wrong and have nothing to repent,” Kelly said in an interview. “Once the church changes to be a more inclusive place and once women are ordained, that’s a place I’d feel welcome.” […]

    “The difficulty, Sister Kelly, is not that you say you have questions or even that you believe that women should receive the priesthood. The problem is that you have persisted in an aggressive effort to persuade other church members to your point of view and that your course of action has threatened to erode the faith of others,” Harrison [mormon ward bishop and head of the Kelly disciplinary council] wrote. “You are entitled to your views, but you are not entitled to promote them and proselyte others to them while remaining in full fellowship in the church.” […]

  130. says

    Comments from mormon readers of the Salt Lake Tribune article, (link in #191):

    I am now convinced that she lost her testimony some time ago. The excommunication is not a surprise. I hope she will see the error of her ways and repent. The error was not wanting or even seeking ordination. The error was defying the express direction of her leaders.
    She was expressly asked by her leaders not to demonstrate on temple square. She did so anyway. The church is not a democracy. Members believe it is the literal Kingdom of God on the Earth led by the Savior Jesus Christ who has called and communicates with church leaders.
    she’s a human rights lawyer who, I feel, has a giant “LOOK AT ME” complex
    You are correct about leadership in the LDS Church, but that does not prove there is no input from women. Men are leaders.
    The fact that she sees nothing wrong with her behavior shows that her bishop made the right decision. Thankfully, the LDS Church doesn’t change its doctrines due to worldly trends, personal wishes or political pressure. The priesthood is not given to those who demand it, and it isn’t a gift bestowed upon individuals for their own benefit. The purpose of the priesthood is to serve others. If serving others is her sincere wish, there are other ways that she can do it which are in-line with church doctrine.

  131. says

    Slate coverage of mormons excommunicating feminists.

    In 2010, Mormon writer Kathryn Soper identified the “core conflict” of Mormon feminism, writing, “By definition, feminists challenge male authority; and by definition, Mormons defer to it.” A few years later, my friend and human rights lawyer Kate Kelly began to challenge the men, which is why, today, Kelly was excommunicated by the Mormon Church. […]

  132. says

    From the New York Times coverage of the Kelly excommunication:

    […] Ms. Kelly, 33, is among the largest wave of Mormons to face excommunication since 1993, when the church disciplined half a dozen dissident intellectuals known as the “September Six.” […]

    She plans to appeal, and bristled at the notion that church discipline is done out of love.

    “That’s classic language of an abusive relationship, where a person abusing and hurting you says that they’re doing it out of love,” she said. […]

  133. thunk: Hevelland says


    If it is about potatoes, Why bother? They not only write Teh Book on Potatoes, the book is written on potatoes…

    I thought that was Belarus. Admittedly the two countries are historically related.

    “What would you like for dinner? Fried potatoes? Baked potatoes? Mashed potatoes? Potato pancakes?”

  134. dianne says

    Dear body, you’re stupid. Could you please shed the fat a bit more homogenously instead of legs and ass only while leaving the belly the size it was? You know, there already was a discrepancy in size between belly, butt & legs before. Now it’s two sizes. Stop that.

    If you figure out how to send this message to your body, could you let me know, because I’d totally like my body has the same plan as yours and it’s getting annoying.

  135. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Heh. Reminds me of an exchange my girlfriend and I had…

    “Scumbag body. Start eating healthier and moderate exercise…immediately gain 10 pounds.”

    “Start eating healthier and moderate exercise. Immediately lose 10 pounds…from my chest. x.x”

  136. says

    Taking a closer look at some of the people supporting climate change denialists:

    Every year, the propagandists at the Heartland Institute hold a conference to spread the word that scientists are wrong about global warming. No surprise that the sponsors make up a list of the usual suspects. But one sponsor this year is a bit unusual. It’s Hubbard Broadcasting, which operates 13 television stations, 31 radio stations and two cable channels in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois, Missouri, Washington, D.C., and Washington state.

    The billionaire owner, Stanley Hubbard, has called global warming “the biggest fraud in the history of America,” according to Rolling Stone. Dave Dahl, chief meteorologist at Hubbard’s flagship station in Minneapolis, calls global warming a “political theory” adopted by scientists eager for grant money. Usually, corporate media do a bit better job of concealing their agenda by avoiding open sponsorship of disinformation specialists. [I snipped out details of Hubbard’s connections to the oil industry, the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, etc.]

    At least one person who refused to go along with the fossil fools’ charade, Lydia Kulbida, who was also pushing for unionization at WNYT television, was let go because she wouldn’t toe the line of those who deny that human-caused climate change is happening. […]

    Daily Kos link.

  137. says

    Followup for comment #200. Here is a list of Hubbard’s radio stations:

    Chicago area

    WDRV 97.1 FM & WWDV 96.9 FM

    WILV 100.3 FM

    WTMX 101.9 FM

    Washington DC area

    WFED 1500, 107.7 HD2 & 103.9 HD2

    WTOP 103.5 FM & 103.9 FM & 107.7 FM & 1050 AM

    Seattle area

    KQMV 92.5 FM

    KLCK-FM 98.9

    KRWM 106.9 FM

    KIXI 880 AM

    KKNW 1150 AM

    Phoenix area

    KUPD 97.9 FM

    KDKB 93.3 FM

    KSLX 100.7 FM

    KDUS 1060 AM

    Minneapolis-St. Paul area

    KSTP 94.5 FM

    KSTP 1500 AM

    KTMY 107.1 FM

    KAZG 1440 AM

    St. Louis area

    WARH 106.5 FM

    WIL 92.3 FM

    WXOS 101.1 FM

    Cincinnati area

    WKRQ 101.9 FM

    WREW 94.9 FM

    WUBE 105.1 FM

    WYGY 97.3 FM

    94.9 HD-2 FM

  138. blf says

    I seem to be habit a making a piss: Twice in as many weeks I’ve sent back a bottle of em>vin. The first time it was just off, and the second time the cork seemed to rotten and it was seriously off. No problem either time, albeit it might have helped I am a “known customer” at both restaurants.

    It happens. The replacement bottles were quite good, and tasted (and in the second case, noticeably smelled) quite different — and better…

    (Of course, in both cases, they were probably quite happy the mildly deranged penguin wasn’t also at dinner. Her general reaction to be served a duff bottle of vin is to blow up the galaxy, and more importantly, the physical cheeseboard would not have to be replaced…)

  139. says

    Not what we wanted at all:

    The bill to expand Florida’s notorious Stand Your Ground law became law Friday, after Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a measure that immunizes individuals who fire or point a gun in self-defense or as a “warning” from criminal penalty.

    The National Rifle Association-backed bill extends Stand Your Ground-like protections to those who point a gun at an attacker or fire a gun as a self-defense threat or warning, expanding the scope of the discretion judges and juries retain to exempt shooters from criminal charges for gun violence.

    The bill gained traction after Republicans exploited the outrage over the 20-year prison sentence for Marissa Alexander, who fired a warning shot during an altercation with her abusive husband. The bill was then dubbed the “warning shot” bill, because a judge rejected Alexander’s move to invoke the law. But opponents were quick to point out that injustice in Alexander’s case hinged in large part on a draconian mandatory minimum sentence that required the 20-year prison term, insensitivity to domestic violence, and racial disparities that are already baked into the existing Stand Your Ground law. […]


  140. says

    More on the subject of climate change. Climate: Will We Lose the Endgame?

    Excerpt below:

    We may be entering the high-stakes endgame on climate change. The pieces—technological and perhaps political—are finally in place for rapid, powerful action to shift us off of fossil fuel. Unfortunately, the players may well decide instead to simply move pawns back and forth for another couple of decades, which would be fatal. Even more unfortunately, the natural world is daily making it more clear that the clock ticks down faster than we feared. The whole game is very nearly in check.

    Let us begin in Antarctica, the least-populated continent, and the one most nearly unchanged by humans. In her book about the region, Gabrielle Walker describes very well current activities on the vast ice sheet, from the constant discovery of new undersea life to the ongoing hunt for meteorites, which are relatively easy to track down on the white ice. For anyone who has ever wondered what it’s like to winter at 70 degrees below zero, her account will be telling. […]

    […] we’ve never had anywhere near as much CO2 in the atmosphere as we have today. According to Walker, “through the entire [ice core] record, the highest value of CO2 was about 290 parts for every million parts of air. Now we are at nearly 400 and rising.” That is to say, Antarctica, by virtue of being pristine, provides us the best glimpse we’re going to get of the bizarre geological moment we now inhabit.[…]

    In mid-May of this year, a pair of papers were published in Science and Geophysical Research Letters that made clear that the great glaciers facing the Amundsen Sea were no longer effectively “buttressed.” It turns out that the geology of the region is bowl-shaped: beneath the glaciers the ground slopes downward, meaning that water can and is flooding underneath them. It is eating away at them from below and freeing them from the points where they were pinned to the ground. This water is warmer, because our oceans are steadily warming. This slow-motion collapse, which will occur over many decades, is “unstoppable” at this point, scientists say; it has “passed the point of no return.”

    This means that as much as ten feet of sea-level rise is being added to previous predictions. We don’t know how quickly it will come, just that it will. […]

  141. says

    An update on the Ebola virus outbreak:

    The deadly Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has hit “unprecedented” proportions, according to relief workers on the ground. “The epidemic is out of control,” Dr. Bart Janssens, director of operations for Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement.

    There have been 567 cases and 350 deaths since the epidemic began in March, according to the latest World Health Organization figures. […]

    Ebola outbreaks usually are confined to remote areas, making it easier to contain. But this outbreak is different; patients have been identified in 60 locations in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

    Officials believe the wide footprint of this outbreak is partly because of the close proximity between the jungle where the virus was first identified and cities such as Conakry. The capital in Guinea has a population of 2 million and an international airport.

    People are traveling without realizing they’re carrying the deadly virus. It can take between two and 21 days after exposure for someone to feel sick. […]


  142. says

    Regarding the Ebola outbreak, not enough people are helping — not enough doctors, not enough resources.

    Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières, is the only aid organization treating people affected by the virus. Since March, they have sent more than 300 staff members and 40 tons of equipment and supplies to the region to help fight the epidemic.

    Still, they warn, it’s not enough.

    “Despite the human resources and equipment deployed by MSF in the three affected countries, we are no longer able to send teams to the new outbreak sites.” […]

  143. says

    Finally, Macy’s gets some attention from the bigots! Not just JC Penney pissing them off!


    I’ve already seen homophobic calls to boycott Target(though their actual record is more mixed). Apparently Sears is doing pride stuff this year, we need to make sure the bigots hear about that… then get Walmart on board.

    Then watch as they try to hash out who is the lesser evil, because that knocks out the vast majority of department stores that normal people can afford. I wouldn’t call them hypocrites for bending, with this much of the market knocked out you couldn’t expect them to be entirely strict on all of them. But it would be amusing seeing how they figure out which is least unacceptable.

  144. says

    Re: stimming

    Mmm… but what if your stimming is distracting to other students? I know that if I were sitting anywhere near someone fidgeting, it would distract the hell out of me. (In fact, this has happened, and I’ve had to ask people to please stop clicking their pen/tapping their fingers, because I can’t focus.)

    I’m all FOR anything that helps a kid stay focused, as long as it doesn’t effect the other students’ ability to focus.

  145. says

    This example of police brutality is beyond the pale. I know police brutality is awful and out of control, but goddamn.


    After the SWAT team broke down the door, they threw a flashbang grenade inside. It landed in my son’s crib.

    Flashbang grenades were created for soldiers to use during battle. When they explode, the noise is so loud and the flash is so bright that anyone close by is temporarily blinded and deafened. It’s been three weeks since the flashbang exploded next to my sleeping baby, and he’s still covered in burns.

    There’s still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs. At least that’s what I’ve been told; I’m afraid to look.

    My husband’s nephew, the one they were looking for, wasn’t there. He doesn’t even live in that house. After breaking down the door, throwing my husband to the ground, and screaming at my children, the officers – armed with M16s – filed through the house like they were playing war. They searched for drugs and never found any.

    I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth. It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma.

    For the last three weeks, my husband and I have been sleeping at the hospital. We tell our son that we love him and we’ll never leave him behind. His car seat is still in the minivan, right where it’s always been, and we whisper to him that soon we’ll be taking him home with us.


    Update: As of the afternoon of 6/24/2014, Baby Bou Bou has been taken out of the medically induced coma and transferred to a new hospital to begin rehabilitation. The hole in his chest has yet to heal, and doctors are still not able to fully assess lasting brain damage.

  146. says

    This is sad
    William Murray, son of the late Madalyn Murray O’Hair, is a writer for the WorldNet Daily:

    “When my mother filed the lawsuit to remove prayer and Bible reading from America’s schools in 1960, the churches were full and the nation was at near full employment. Homosexual relations were considered unnatural by 90 percent of the people, and the new nation of Israel was praised as a shining light to the world, a final equality for the Jewish people. Today Israel is despised in the liberal churches that champion homosexuality, and one of every two people checking out at the supermarkets are using food stamps. Our president calls for Soviet-style equal outcome rather than equal opportunity.

    Is there a word for someone who is so wrong they’ve transcended wrongness?

  147. cicely says

    Does the Pharyngula Group Mind have any useful advice—exercises, maybe? tips for How Not To Position My Hands?—for dealing with stoopid fingers that go numb after only a few minutes of painting? I’m assuming it’s the work of my old nemesis Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In any case, I can’t take it to the doctor ($$$$), and after 50-mumble years, I don’t think I can get a refund-or-replacement; the warranty is long since expired.

    bassmike, two words:
    Lime pit.


    Wisconsin Republican donor busted for voting 5 times in Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election

    Priceless irony.
    I wanted to quote the best bits, but there were just too many.

  148. says

    So, having some rough idle, engine surging, and whatnot, that the Internet tells me is likely a spark plug problem, I go to replace my spark plugs. Plug 1, replaces fine. 2, also fine. 3, good to go. 4, HOLY CRAP I THOUGHT THE FIRST THREE WERE IN BAD SHAPE- replaces fine, as does 5.

    Plug 6 though- I get a part out of the way, remove the bolts securing the coil pack, pull out the coil pack… and only the top part comes out. FUUUUUUCK.

  149. consciousness razor says

    Does the Pharyngula Group Mind have any useful advice—exercises, maybe? tips for How Not To Position My Hands?—for dealing with stoopid fingers that go numb after only a few minutes of painting? I’m assuming it’s the work of my old nemesis Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In any case, I can’t take it to the doctor ($$$$), and after 50-mumble years, I don’t think I can get a refund-or-replacement; the warranty is long since expired.

    Well, if it’s arthritis, not carpel tunnel (or is in addition to carpel tunnel), then there’s not much else you can do as far as I know. And the extended warranty usually isn’t worth it anyway.

    But you say it’s your old nemesis. I know how it goes with musicians, not so much painters, so I can’t be very specific here. Anyway, you can condition yourself to use positions and motions that are more comfortable and won’t cause numbness or pain. The best I can say in this case is to try out a lot of different things and to see what works for you. (I figure you’re really going to be varying it in practice anyway quite a bit, so it’s not going to be just “one position” that works and everything else that doesn’t). And besides something like a “position” or a “motion,” you want to be looking for flexibility and freedom in your actions, not tightening up and being too “rigid.” But that’s about breaking bad habits, which comes with practice and being more deliberate about your actions, not really an “exercise” independent of the process of playing/painting/whatever itself. Some warm-ups or stretching exercises could help too, since this is in some sense an endurance sport (involving finer motor skills), but it’s really necessary to avoid causing the problem in the activity itself. It would be like a runner who is landing hard on his/her heels with every step — no kind of warm-ups or stretches will help if you’re still doing that, but they certainly don’t hurt either and will be helpful for lots of other reasons. I find (as do lots of others I know) that it’s quite a bit easier to play fluidly and painlessly when my hands are literally not cold, so you can take “warm-up” in that sense too, since there’s no reason to think painting is any different.

    Some of those things do seem to contradict each other, at first glance: be “deliberate” but also not “rigid”? Well, yes. Focus on how you’re using your hands/fingers/whatever, instead of being unintentionally “stuck” in a certain configuration/tension/etc. of your body which is stressing it out. In time, you won’t have to think about it as much anymore, since you’ve reconditioned yourself and that will be the thing that comes naturally to you, so you can get back to thinking more about what you’re painting. Until your nemesis rears its ugly head again, I guess.

  150. says

    Good news- Per my father, who knows his stuff and has seen a photo of the damage(I love texting pictures. so useful sometimes), the boot isn’t damaged badly enough to rule out driving to get a new one. It needs to be replaced without undue delay, but I don’t have to wait for someone to be available to give me a ride.

    So happy the boots are available on their own.

  151. Maureen Brian says

    cicely @ 213,

    I can’t remember where you live so this is UK-based advice, though you may be able tofind something locally. If you search on google for cottonpatch.co.uk – based in Birmingham – and then look at “support gloves” you’ll see that quilters often face similar problems and, also, that the goves come in a variety of designs and sizes. Cottonpatch do mail order, publish a list of which countries they will supply by mail and are totally reliable.

    But …….. the pack of gloves I got out to check says they’re made by Prym Consumer USA in Spartanburg, SC so that you may well find them closer to home.

    One of the benefits for me – old age + carpal tunnel damage – is that they are designed to keep the skin warm and the blood flowing, cutting down on that pain + hand stuck in one position effect which I’m sure you know well.

    Hope this helps some.

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


    Bought an USB and 1GB credit for three days so I could use mobile broadband relatively cheaply while in Slovenia.

    I couldn’t get online.
    After calling their customer support about 5 times, being told 4 of those that the problem must be with my laptop finally the last call I was informed that it’s an issue they discovered after getting a couple of complaints (ha!) and it should be dealt with soon.

    That was yesterday afternoon.

    Gave up trying at 22h. This morning – it works!

    I have two and a half hours of my three days left and I’m leaving the country this afternoon anyway. :/

    Oh well, at least I won’t be completely threadrupt.

    *hugs*to distribute as wanted/needed

  153. opposablethumbs says

    Handy link (pun, um, intended. Yes, totally intended), Maureen, thank you – have bookmarked it for future reference when the RSI from typing gets worse …

  154. says

    HI there!

    *waves at beatrice*
    Reminds me of a story a friend of mine who works in IT once told: They were getting complaints about a problem, so their whole team worked hard all morning to locate it. When they found it they saw that it was in a different department. They called them to inform them and got “oh, we already know” as a reply. There were violent thoughts involved….


    Via Kate Donovan, here’s a really easy to understand breakdown of why teachers should allow kids to stim in school.

    I’m terribly fidgety. There are always doodles in the margins (and I just weaned my poor kid of this, but the problem was that she would doodle instead of doing her work). Yeah, distraction of other students is a potential problem, but I think there’s a reasonable level of tolerance.

    Today’s college stories

    #1: Apparently I can talk the talk. The instructor asked me if I had a degree in psychology because of the vocabulary I used…

    #2: Cue in the mansplainer. The task for a group of students was to get a tool for evaluating discipline problems in a class. His answer: You need to slam your fist on the table! He was also completely unable to shut up while the women in class were talking. When I mentioned the broken window effect (in a different context) he was “Where do YOU know that from???” Apparently there’s a law against women knowing stuff he doesn’t think they should know…

  155. carlie says

    Does the Pharyngula Group Mind have any useful advice—exercises, maybe? tips for How Not To Position My Hands?—for dealing with stoopid fingers that go numb after only a few minutes of painting? I’m assuming it’s the work of my old nemesis Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

    Painful fist-bump!

    tl;dr version – watch for edema, that shit will make it worse.

    Full version – I first got carpal tunnel when I was pregnant with my first child, and on the brink of being pre-eclampsic. It went away after he was born. Came back with the second, and then it never quite went away. Several months ago my right hand started getting worse, and the numbness started spreading up my forearm and occurring more of the time. I thought maybe I wasn’t sleeping on it correctly. Finally got bad enough that I got really worried, and then I thought about how I’d had it the first time, and wondered if I was retaining water. So I cut all salt out of my diet and started eating diuretic foods like mad (tomato, onion, cucumber). Within a couple of days the symptoms had gone way down (and I noticed wrinkles on my hands that I hadn’t seen before, so I was pretty sure the self-diagnosis of edema was correct). Still wasn’t sure if it was the carpal tunnel or a pinched nerve or what, so when I had my annual checkup yesterday I brought it up. My NP offered several possibilities, then started poking all over my arm until I said OWHEYSTOPIT, and said yep, carpal tunnel, and yep, any swelling can press on it all more and make the symptoms worse. So if it’s particularly bad all of a sudden, might help to do all those things one does to reduce edema.

    I also made a little cushion I use when I’m typing – wouldn’t help for painting, but it’s a multipurpose stress ball that I made out of stretchy rayon filled with long-grain rice, and this pattern resized to my hand size, which only requires sewing two figure-8 shaped pieces together. It’s useful for squeezy hand exercises, tossing back and forth while thinking, and, as I’ve found, stuffing under my wrist while typing to keep my hand in the right position (I hate wearing the brace I also have that I got at the local pharmacy store).

  156. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says


    (I hate wearing the brace I also have that I got at the local pharmacy store).

    The problem with wrist braces is the metal pieces they use to keep the joint stiff. My doctor said to remove them, as the rest of the brace reminds you to keep the wrist straight, but allows flexibility if needed. That made it bearable if I wasn’t sweating.

  157. dianne says

    Regarding the Ebola outbreak, not enough people are helping — not enough doctors, not enough resources.

    Crap. I should be calling MSF to volunteer right now, shouldn’t I? I’ll give it to you straight as to why I’m not: I’m a coward and ebola scares the shit out of me.

  158. carlie says

    Oh my god, you guys. Child 1 just got his driver’s permit. And today is also Child 2’s last day of middle school (with moving up ceremony tonight). I feel so OLD. Cue Sunrise, Sunset.

  159. opposablethumbs says

    Congratulations to 1, 2 and you, carlie! Those are some good milestones :-)

    Glad you could convey that invitation, Giliell. I guess that could mean a lot to someone who’s had to cross a lot of world to a strange place. Here’s to a great party!

  160. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Sillly Putty! I kid you not. It is fabulous for hand exercises and is cheap. Just tear off a small bit and work it with your fingers. As it warms it gets very pliable. I am mildly OCD and have to be working something in my hands at all times. As a result I have not yet developed the arthritis in my hands that every other person in my family has. Is the Silly Putty the reason? Who knows, but it works for me.

  161. Gorogh says

    Greetings Horde, I hope I am in the right corner here – first time in the lounge. Tell me if this is better for Thunderdome. Let me preface the following by saying that I am mostly lurking here and do not contribute much, so I hope a request such as mine will not be seen as undue, it’s very self-centered. That being said, I could really use some feedback/opinions about a discussion I had yesterday with a bunch of people. I am verbose, so I hope you can bear with me.

    Recently, I joined a group of fellow roleplayers (Elder Scrolls Online) and they established a Skype (text) chat for organizational purposes and general socializing. The entire chat can be found here (html roughly translated from German; original txt here).

    I hope the hyperlinks come out right, they have a weird format in the preview.

    In a nutshell, this is what happened yesterday:

    – one of their members posted some really offensive stuff from 4chan in the chat (about 7 people online at that time) – the post was framed as a joke
    – I called out the fact that the “joke” was racist and homophobic (later threw in its misogyny for good measure)
    – subsequently, there were (probably to-be-expected) attempts to trivialize the issue (~”you know it’s 4chan, so don’t take it seriously…”); to refer to free speach (~”I find it funny and I don’t have to justify my humor”) and to accomodate (“this chatroom is not the place you should discuss this”)
    – with all the textbook examples of – IMO – really bad arguments to appease my righteous zeal, I felt constantly incited to continue and always got another response, so the mood was deteriorating quickly
    – after her intervention, I then explained to the moderator (in a private chat) why I felt it to be appropriate to do like I did, without success
    – after some consideration, I decided that yes, maybe I should compromise and accept the fact that not everybody has to agree with me – to finish up, I apologized for my tone, and noted that I will drop the case provided such things will not be posted again

    There are two main issues that got me infuriated.

    1) Lack of introspection. That an otherwise intelligent person (the woman posting the “joke” is just doing her Master’s equivalent in molecular biology IIRC) would find that funny in the first place was something I can cynically accept. Morality evolves and I certainly held idiotic opinions at one point or other in my life (still might). However, I content that when called out on it – while my first reflex probably being defensive – I would eventually consider a different opinion, if well-founded. She however was not even willing to accept being called out, let alone considering a different opinion.
    2) The silent majority. As indicated, there were 7 people online at the time. Only 4 participated (myself included), and all participants were essentially telling me to shut up while not commenting on the offensive post. I cannot ascertain the extent to which the rest of the group even read the stuff.

    I am not well versed in this sort of arguments. I have a tendency to become insulting, which I often cannot suppress entirely. While I appreciate input in terms of content (such as to the question why everybody should care and it is not okay just to stand idly by), I will of course do that research myself. It’s just that in a discussion like this, there is so little time to look things up, and I am not yet experienced enough to have all the arguments internalized.

    Now, maybe I did not handle this as intelligently as I could have. My question to you folks is, what should I have done differently? Did I overreact in the first place? Is there a way to “crack” a wall of silence and false tolerance? Does anyone of you happen to have some, say, intuition pumps ready that facilitate introspection in “tolerant” people? Or should I just leave (which is my current bottom line after thinking about it some more).

  162. cicely says

    I has (Properly-Functioning) Work Computer!!!
    *dancing&singing&laughing&tossing of chocolate hugs&kisses left and right*

    consciousness razor, you have brought a new and horrifying possibility to my mind:
    Can I play music for any length of time, any more???
    I’m almost afraid to test it….

    Dalillama: Baoding balls? I’ll check it out; thanks.

    Maureen Brian, a quilting connection never occurred to me, but it makes sense; I had to give up embroidery some time ago, for related reasons.
    The Support Wrap at the site you mention greatly resembles the things I sleep in. Perhaps I should see if it’s possibly for me to paint with one on—but not, I think, on the project I’m working on; that’s a present for a friend, and I don’t want to risk it being ruined by suckage.

    Beatrice, *hugs*, and any chance of getting a refund of your money?

    carlie, *return painful fist-bump*
    I already watch my sodium intake, especially when the weather starts getting to a schedule of 80-degree-and-higher days.
    All of my employment history has fed into my carpal tunnel problem—fast&furious at the typewriter, and the cash register, and the computer keyboard. The symptoms eased ‘way back when I went to sleeping in the wrist braces, and even more when my job came to involve less data entry and more phone answering. This latest is New And Unimproved. Also, completely unexpected; I wouldn’t have characterized it as the same repetitious action that led me into the Carpal Tunnel ‘o Dooooom.
    Speaking of feeling old—Son is almost 30.

    dianne, ebola scares the crap out of me, too.

    morgan ?!—Silly Putty? Sounds like my kinda fix!—i.e., cheap and easy of acquisition. I forsee a trip to Walmart in about 2 hours….

    Hi, Gorogh; Welcome In!
    The best I can think of is to point out that, yes, Freeze Peach, they has the Right To Be Homophobic/Misogynistic/Racist—and you (Freeze Peach!!!) has the Right To Call Them On Their H/M/R Shit. Silence Is Not The Answer.
    This may not, however, make you popular in any given venue.
    Can’t be helped.

  163. says

    Great story in The Atlantic about Kate Kelly’s excommunication.

    When you are excommunicated from the Mormon Church, you may not donate money to your congregation or wear religious clothing.

    In a nicely ironic touch, Kate Kelly has been giving interviews while wearing sleeveless dresses since she was excommunicated. Mormons will recognize this as a signal that she is obeying the stricture against wearing mormon undergarments. The tops for women have cap sleeves that are hard to hide in a sleeveless dress.

    You may not take the sacrament, which is the tradition of eating bread and drinking water that represent the body and blood of Christ. You may not speak in a Mormon church, and you may not publicly pray for your community. The word is quite literal: “ex” and “communicate.” No longer part of your community. […]

  164. Gorogh says

    Uah such a warm welcome, thanks cicely.

    *tentatively sits down in a comfy corner*

    Just read up on the issue with your hand, hope it’ll get better. My sympathies anyway. I would ask my wife – who’s an artist, as well, although she’s more into drawing than painting; not sure if the ergonomics involved are any different -, but as far as I recall, she never complained of something like that. You already got some good advice here, I suppose.

    As to your reply to my predicament (if one can call it that), I guess you’re right. I am not very social, so this situation is fairly new to me despite being rather outspoken about my positions. Maybe I will just have to figure out for myself how important it is to me to have shared values with my surroundings. It’s just very disappointing that even in a sheltered environment like a very small chatroom, people do not speak out.

  165. Gorogh says

    Lynna, OM,

    you may not donate money to your congregation or wear religious clothing

    you may not publicly pray for your community

    Any idea how they think to enforce that?

  166. says

  167. says

    Whoops, messed up the link tag in comment #237, but it is still functional, I think.

    The habit of misquoting official documents, scientific journals, and diagnostic manuals seems to be a mostly Republican problem.

  168. says

    Glenn Beck goes too far … again. Makes me glad I’m not one of his neighbors.

    Glenn Beck got so frustrated with Republicans over Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s (R) loss to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) in the primary runoff election for U.S. Senate that he got up in the middle of his radio program and walked outside to shoot a rifle.

    Beck, who was broadcasting his radio show from his ranch on Wednesday, posted a video of his little break on Instagram.

    “Stress release on the ranch. That’s how we do it out west!” Beck said as he hands his rifle to somebody off camera and walks back inside. […]


  169. markr1957 says

    I don’t know if you have the update, but thanks to PeeZed the Pharyngulites have helped Brad Preston and his family raise the money to move back to their home town.

    I’m trying to find the proper words to convey my extreme gratitude toward PZ Myers and his wonderful readers. After learning about our situation from a friend of mine, Professor Myers featured us on his blog on Monday, causing donations to increase exponentially. Not only have we met our goal; we’ve exceeded it, and donations are still trickling in. Wow!

    Thank you, one and all. The past few days have been nothing short of incredible. Though you will all be receiving individual thank-you notes very soon, I wanted to make sure everyone knew in the meantime how incredibly humbled and touched I am by their generosity. I only hope I can “pay it forward” someday.

    Nicky, Harry and I will be homeward bound very soon.


  170. Gorogh says

    markr1957, that’s pretty awesome. Even inspiring. Congratulations to Brad and family.

    Lynna, OM compensating anger by firing a rifle and somehow framing that as a lifestyle (“That’s how we do it out west!”)? Wow. That is disturbing. Even evil, considering that his promotion of that lifestyle certainly has some traction.

  171. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    “Stress release on the ranch. That’s how we do it out west!”

    Whatever happened to rolling around in haystacks?

  172. carlie says

    you may not donate money to your congregation

    I like how they think that’s something that an excommunicated person will want to do.

  173. carlie says

    Thanks, everyone! Child 2 had his moving-up to the high school ceremony tonight (they have a ceremony at every single school change). I’ve mentioned his issues with making friends; he still doesn’t really have any close friends, at least none that he does anything with outside of school. However, I was pleasantly surprised that when his name was called, he got one of the loud rounds of applause/hoots. I guess he’s doing ok. :) He’s currently at the after dance. He has gone to every single school dance and loves it, which none of the rest of us in the family can understand as none of us ever liked dances.

    Basement flooded today in a long rainstorm, but it seems to be under control, if a bit icky. Sigh. Home ownership is hard.

    Oh, another good thing – I had my annual physical yesterday, and it went fine, and my bloodwork came back excellent for all the things I worry about. That sounds stupidly simple to be glad about, but as a DeathFat Level 3 shaped person, doctor visits can cause no end of emotional trauma. And given that I gained about 15 pounds since the last visit (hello, stress eating!), even though she’s usually entirely wonderful about it I was worried that we would have to have The Talk. But no, awesome NP continued to be awesome NP and asked about all my health habits without passing judgment because she assumes I’m an adult who hasn’t been living under a healthcare-message-free rock for the last 40 years. :)

    I’m not around here as much as I’d like, because work sucks rocks and will continue to suck and will soon suck a huge amount harder and takes all my time, but I’ve decided not to think about when I’m not actively doing it. So there.

    Welcome, Gorogh!

  174. says

    Thanks for posting that. It’s truly amazing!


    If you’re reading, I’m very happy for you and your family. The outpouring of support from the readership of Pharyngula is wonderful. I can’t imagine how much stress this takes off your shoulders.


    Here are 8 mind blowing caves. If I had to pick one (and that was hard), it would be the first: the Kungur Ice Caves in Russia.


    Welcome to the Lounge! I hope you enjoy the place. There’s nothing wrong with commenting about issues that affect you, even if you’re a lurker. That’s part of what this space if for. Feel free to share anytime you desire.

    Now, maybe I did not handle this as intelligently as I could have. My question to you folks is, what should I have done differently? Did I overreact in the first place? Is there a way to “crack” a wall of silence and false tolerance? Does anyone of you happen to have some, say, intuition pumps ready that facilitate introspection in “tolerant” people? Or should I just leave (which is my current bottom line after thinking about it some more).

    You absolutely did not overreact. I think calling out such behavior was a good thing and it’s not done often enough by people in those situations.
    There’s no perfect way to crack the wall of silence, but I think just speaking up is important. People may dismiss you, but you’ve stood up for your convictions and that’s a good thing. Sadly nothing works for everyone.
    The only thing I *think* I’d have done differently (I’ve never been in that situation, so I don’t know how I’d react. I base this response on how I’d ideally like to respond) is not to apologize for the tone of the comments. Apologizing gives the impression that you feel you’ve done something wrong. I’d like to think I would say “I stand by my statements, but if this doesn’t happen again, I won’t pursue this any further.”

    As for your tendency to be insulting, I have some idea what you mean. In online interactions, I’ll throw out the insults too. One thing I try to do is insult *and* argue. That way I have a better leg to stand on. I’ve made my points *and* I’ve lobbed oscenities.

    Not being in your situation, I don’t know how to advise your on staying or going. I suppose it depends on how important being involved in the chat is for you. Is this something you’re willing to compromise for? How significant was the offensive material to you? Where do you draw the line at tolerating such crap? Those are questions only you can answer, but please know that I think your speaking up in the first place was the right thing to do.

    BTW, that wasn’t verbose :)


    Well, I’m still jobless. Tomorrow I have a meeting with a former GM at one of my prior jobs (restaurant I worked at for 7 years) to see if he’ll allow me to come back to work. They need bartenders, so that’s a good thing. Plus the bar manager is a friend of mine and he’s lobbied hard to get me back. I told him today that I’m just about desperate enough to beg for my job back (and that was hard to do). If this doesn’t pan out, I don’t know what to do, as $375 in rent is due 7/3.
    And still no word on unemployment insurance.

    Scraped together my last $10 to buy a few cans of cat food bc my kitties ran out last night. God this shit sucks more than anything.


    Congrats on the kids.

    Speaking of driving, I just realized that it’s been almost a year since I’ve driven a car. I hope I remember how to whenever I get all my vehicle troubles resolved (whenever *that* is).

  175. says

    Ugh. Sorry about the basement flooding.
    Kudos on the physical.
    I noticed you weren’t around as much (which seems to be the case with a few other regulars). We’ll take you in whatever capacity we can :)


    Hoping everything is ok with Crip Dyke.
    Portia I’m thinking of you.

    1960s Fantastic Four tv show? Not really.

    There never was a 1960s live-action Fantastic Four TV show starring Russell Johnson (the Professor from Gilligan’s Island) as Reed Richards and Elizabeth Montgomery (of Bewitched fame) as Sue Storm. So a couple of TV fans decided to dream one up, complete with production stills and a detailed episode guide.

    “This site is dedicated to celebrating the greatest TV show never seen, the 1963-64 version of The Fantastic Four.” Thus starts the incredibly fun hoax site devoted to a show that never actually existed. In addition to Richards and Montgomery, the imaginary cast includes William Demarest as Ben Grimm and Tim Considine as Johnny Storm—plus guest stars like Burgess Meredith as the Mole Man, Fabian as Namor, supermodel Jean Shrimpton as Alicia Masters, and Orson Welles as the voice of the Hate-Monger.

    There’s a cool image at the link.

  176. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sigh, finally get the planned over dinner on the table, with salad and soup, and one of the Redhead’s friends calls about a Mah Jongg game here. Time to disappear for a while.

  177. carlie says

    Tony – good luck with the job! That would get you the last boss off your record for “most recent reference” in going to a new one later, too.

    Hilarity in middleschoolers: picked him up, and he was saying the punch “Really packed a punch. It tasted tingly on my tongue and then it felt like a real ZING.” We were all…. um, someone spiked the punch?! :D (probably heavy on cranberry or pineapple, but it was really funny the way he was describing it) He said that he hasn’t danced that much in he can’t remember when, and it was lots of good songs and lots of his good friends were there and they had pizza and halfmoons and it was great and when they left they felt like highschoolers. :)

  178. carlie says

    And Child 1 got in on the fun – people confuse the two of them for each other a lot for some reason, so he said we should take a picture of him with Child 2’s certificate and post it on Facebook as Child 2 and see how long it takes for someone to notice. We were all YES WE WILL DO THAT THING.

  179. cicely says

    Tony, I will cross all my tentacles on your behalf, so hard they cramp!
    Damn, I hope you get this job.
    If I had money, I’d send you some.

  180. Gorogh says

    Thanks for the welcome everyone. I really feel like it, tehe. Afraid I don’t have much wisdom or wit to offer, but I still like this “place”.

    carlie, now that seems a busy life you’re living. Water in the basement, health concerns and what-you-don’t-want-to-think-about “sucking rocks”… still you manage to sound cheerful somehow. Respect for that. And double respect for handling that demanding primate offspring – I cannot quite imagine ever having kids. While wife and I are thinking about adoption at some far away point in time, right now, the best I can imagine is, well, a tortoise. Does not seem quite comparable. Keep your spirits up (I like the German “Halt die Ohren steif” better – roughly “keep your ears erect”, probably an allusion to canines…).

    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop! (btw in recent month, I noticed the tendency in this forum to always use the full name; if it wasn’t for that, I would have just called you “Tony” – is there a deeper meaning to the completionist conduct), those are some awesome caves. I’d probably go for Glowworms Cave, although I might have a constant concern of a Falmer slinking around in the shadows. Kungur Ice Cave is awesome, too; sorry to intrude on the earthly beauty there, but it reminded me a lot of some Alien or Predator movie, not sure which though.

    As to your comments about that discussion, I see what you mean. In fact, I omitted a little context: I had another discussion with Xa a few weeks ago where she professed her anti-feminist attitudes to me, which I drew into question. Since then, her readiness to discuss anything had declined even further, so I knew that some provocation would be in order anyway to get her involved. Still it was a public channel, so in the end I had stepped on more toes than practical. My apology was mostly directed towards those toe-bearers, not her; and it is a concession to my understanding that not everyone likes the sort of candid and sometimes biting (is that a word?) discussion style I like. So I guess I can stand by that apology, especially since I made clear it affected the tone only, not the content. Still, I will think about what you said.

    One thing I try to do is insult *and* argue. That way I have a better leg to stand on. I’ve made my points *and* I’ve lobbed oscenities.

    Ha. I perfectly understand what you’re saying.

    To answer some of your questions I will still have to think some more. I do not feel particularly strong either way, so I might stay for now – and leave if something similar occurs again. It’s quite the freedom actually – one rarely has the luxury to being able to choose.

    Continuing to read your post, I just realized how pathetic “problems” become when compared to real problems. I am even inclined to say that I’m sorry for wasting your time – but then, I am very thankful you did reply. If I was in any position to help you out, I would.

    Two fun facts I recently came across: Since February, I am living in Clemson, South Carolina* – a few days ago, I was able to watch a woodchuck scurrying around for a few minutes (always loved watching animals; wanted to become an animal researcher when I was a child…). Thanks to Wikipedia, I learned that the name has to do neither with wood nor chucking (but with a Native American tribe’s word, wuchak). Furthermore, I learned that there is an archaeological site “worked” exclusively by woodchucks. Couldn’t help but picture the little guys with Indiana Jones hats…

    *Haha. And then I see #249’s link,



  181. says

    While I can’t speak for anyone else, I’ve noticed a tendency among most commenters to be perfectly fine using portions of a nym (or in my case, the post nym). I think its reasonable to look at how commenters refer to each other (such as referring to Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls as Nerd or Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- as Giliell) and do the same. If anyone has problems, I’m sure they’ll say something. For my part, my name actually *is* Tony (well, technically it’s Anthony, but I don’t go by that), so feel free to just refer to me that way :)

    Continuing to read your post, I just realized how pathetic “problems” become when compared to real problems. I am even inclined to say that I’m sorry for wasting your time – but then, I am very thankful you did reply. If I was in any position to help you out, I would.

    You didn’t waste my time at all. Everyone has problems to one degree or another. One thing I’ve learned around here is that there’s no point in engaging in “who has worse problems”. For each of us, the crap we’re going through can be frustrating, and no one has the market cornered on “most frustrated”. If someone were to say “my problems are worse than yours”, it would come across as diminishing the stress someone is under. We all have stress in our lives at various points, and I see no point in trying to rank them. That’s like playing a not-so-rousing game of Dear Muslima which is not compassionate or empathetic IMO.

    Oh, and regarding animal watching, I don’t know if you read the Thunderdome at all, but Inaji occasionally talks about bird watching. She talks about baby Mourning Doves here.

  182. says

    *hugs* and best of luck with getting work, you deserve it.

    Welcome in! Regarding names, customarily anything after the first punctuation mark can be dropped without offence; any further contractions should be checked with the person in question.

  183. Gorogh says

    Thanks for the tip, Tony, I’ll take a look at Inaji’s posts over there!

    Everyone has problems to one degree or another. One thing I’ve learned around here is that there’s no point in engaging in “who has worse problems”.

    Yes – I agree and didn’t mean it like I shouldn’t care up to the point of, indeed, Dear Muslima. In many aspects, I am a relativist. The currency for suffering that we pay in terms of neurotransmitters and what have you is identical (although I am not implying I posted about any suffering; I did not, it’s a minor emotional “highlight” of my current usual business).

    For personal perspective though, it sometimes helps me to compare and overcome rumination.

    p.s.: Thanks Dalillama!

  184. Gorogh says

    Damn it, and still I forgot to wish you luck for that interview tomorrow, Tony. So… good luck!

  185. thunk: Hevelland says

    Hi! Especially to you, gorogh! Welcome. My name is thunk.


    I’m having an uneventful summer. I really should be doing much much more for actually living independently attending college next year, but I’m too damn lazy. It’s annoying.

    At the same time, I’m watching way, way too much of the world cup. Especially since the US is decent at “soccer” now.

  186. Gorogh says

    Hi thunk, nice to meet you.

    Tony, I suppose thunk is scare quoting it because in its home country it’s spelled football? (not positive if it was really invented in England though). As to my nym, thank you. Not entirely happy with it for the purposes of this blog, but I choose it a few years ago and stuck to it. In fact, it is meant to sound appropriate for the necromancer I invented it for (later used it in WoW a lot, though…) – but as it turns out, it really is a surname somewhere, I think Hungary. To me, the last syllable is pronounced like the -och in Scottish “Loch”…

    I’m off to bed now! Wonder how much longer I can make it here in SC without turning the air conditioning on…

  187. thunk: Hevelland says


    Don’t really know why. The BBC did it. I probably shouldn’t. It’s called association football (as opposed to rugby or gridiron football) anyway, so it actually makes sense.


    Does your name have anything to do with the dreaded PEAS???

  188. Gorogh says

    *with toothbrush in mouth*

    Gorogh: Does your name have anything to do with the dreaded PEAS???

    Waah I… I hope not?

    Is that an acronym for a horribly militant vegan association or so, PEAS? Or am I missing something? Great. Way to fuel my paranoia.

    Alright I am really gone now, see you folks tomorrow and thanks for the warm welcome.

  189. thunk: Hevelland says


    The singular for “pea” in Russian is “горох”. Which is pronounced identically to your nym (except maybe for stress). It’s an in-joke here that Peas and Horses are evil and thus dreaded.

    I hope that explains matters.

  190. says

    I would be scared shitless if I saw a group of people toting guns in public like this. And these idjits want to do it through a black neighborhood? That’s terrorism. Educate the people my ass!

    The ‘Open Carry Texas’ group out of Houston has decided to march through a predominantly black neighborhood to ‘educate’ people of their rights. The first thing that comes to most of our minds? What if armed black men decided to march through a predominantly white neighborhood to educate… Wait, let’s go one deeper. What if armed black men decided to march through a white ‘Stand Your Ground’ neighborhood to educate them… Let that one roll around in the brain for a minute.


  191. says

    Oh, ok.


    cicely or rq normally ask new commenters to weigh in on their opinions WRT horses, peas, and cheese (oh my!)
    Many of us despise peas. Some like horses (a few odd people ::whistles at the ceiling:: are anti-equine). Not sure about cheese. I thought it was universally liked around here. Oh, wait, I forgot the Mildly Deranged Penguin hates cheese :)

  192. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Hmm. Tony, does it help to comment that there’s at least one bar in Sacramento that’s hiring? And not remembering how to drive would actually help you fit in here. ;/

  193. chigau (違う) says

    I’m trying to reset my hootmail password.
    Those people are barking mad.
    I have rum but, strangely, it’s not helping.

  194. says

    I’ve never been to CA. I’ve wanted to go for a long time (San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Sacramento are all fine). I’d love the chance for a complete change of pace, and that would be lovely.
    If I was in the financial position to move I would, and Sacramento is as good a place as any. I am *over* living in Florida.
    Not having to drive would be a plus. I drive (drove) out of necessity. I don’t like driving. It’s a hassle. There’s too much to pay attention to. I don’t understand people who say “driving is fun”. All the signs, the lights, the cars, the pedestrians…all of that is very stressful having to pay attention to–and it’s important to pay attention to all of that if you’re going to be a responsible driver. It also sucks here bc everything is spread out. Plus our public transit system is a joke.

  195. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Oh. Err, we do have the “everything spread out” problem, outside of the city limits, and I’ve heard mixed things about the public transportation system here. It’s just that 90% of people here clearly have only a vague idea of how to operate an automobile, even at the purely mechanical level, let alone extra-credit concepts like “green means GO” and “turn signal.” :/

  196. says

    Good morning

    Hi Gorogh !
    And welcome to the Lounge. So, you’re a German ex-pat? (if SC means South Carolina. There’s currently no place in Germany where you need AC)
    As for “real problems”: Every problem is real and the Lounge is a strange place where you can whine about a stubbed toe and serious serious problems at the same time.

    You’re lucky. I get The Talk each and every time I see my GP. And she’s this naturally skinny and rather bony body type so I’m not taking her entirely serious when she’s talking about “how to lose weight”.
    But yeah, my blood tests are usually way better than those of my skinny sister. I guess if you just gave them to a doctor who didn’t know us and who’s have to sort them they would always hand me the bad results because that’s the way the world is.

    And yay! for kids.
    I must say that #1’s social interactions have really improved. Now I’m scared of a birthday party with 8 girls ages 4 to 7….

    Fingers are crossed

  197. opposablethumbs says

    carlie, I’m so glad child2 had such a good time – that sounds brilliant! Yay dancing! :-)

    Hi thunk, I didn’t see you come in there – hope you’re enjoying what is (ideally) the great carefree summer when school is over and uni is yet to begin. Isn’t having finished all your exams a great feeling!?!?!?

    , it’s good to meet you. fwiw I think what you did is a really good thing – and an important one; I guess it’s all about grain-of-sand or drop-of-water influencing what is and is not acceptable in the public sphere. One day maybe somebody somewhere will make a racist/sexist/homophobic/classist “joke” and nobody will laugh. That would be a good day. I always think Tony! has a good take on this.

    Tony!, I’m crossing all my fingers for that job for you too. I wish I weren’t between a rock and a hard place; you and Dalillama are two of the people I’d most like to send some cushioning if I had any :-(
    They should leap at the chance of getting you as a bartender – they’re fools if they don’t.

  198. bassmike says

    Gorogh welcome from me too. Funnily enough, my first foray into the lounge was when I asked advice on a similar issue. My view, and fortunately supported by the lounge denizens, was that it is important to highlight when people say something objectionable. We may not be able to change thinks overnight, but we can make people at least think about what has been said and why it may be wrong.

    Tony fingers crossed for your job. I still feel aggrieved about you losing your other job. You deserve better luck.
    Carlie good for child! A happy child means a happy parent.

    My daughter did her first wee in a potty on Monday morning. She asked to sit on it and know what to do. It was very encouraging, but she hasn’t done it since. Generally not looking forward to the whole potty training thing. It sounds potentially messy. Has anyone got any advice?

    As rq is in Canada I feel that I’m all alone in the lounge each day until the North American contingent wake up and the Europeans get home from work. *sad face*

  199. says

    Welcome. Don’t be afraid to chat in here. This is a good bunch.

    Congrats to the kid. And next time I’m at a wine tasting, I intend to say,” It tasted tingly on my tongue and then it felt like a real ZING.”

    I hate saying “good luck” as if you need it. How about, “go geet eet!” and maybe some “yeehaws” for good measure. Also, Texas needs to just fucking secede already.

    And now for my own venting pleasure…Picked the dog up from the vet Tuesday. Apparently “she’s fine” means “we couldn’t get her to eat, either, but hey, she stopped vomiting. Take her home.” She ate very little on Tuesday, so on Wednesday I cooked up some salmon which she happily ate. Now she won’t even eat that. Sigh. I’m thinking there’s more going on than just a tummy ache. So I guess I’ll try to give it another day or two and decide if pup is actually just “ready to go.” (weep).

  200. Pteryxx says

    as usual, threadrupt and responding to whichever tabs I manage to keep track of…

    thunk! Good to see you back. (IMHO, while some amount of adulting is necessary, it’s seriously overrated.)

    and more appendages crossed for Tony! However it goes, I hope you remember you’re awesome and you make people happy.

    and welcome Gorogh, in my opinion no Lounge is complete without a few necromancers. <_<

    My question to you folks is, what should I have done differently? Did I overreact in the first place? Is there a way to “crack” a wall of silence and false tolerance? Does anyone of you happen to have some, say, intuition pumps ready that facilitate introspection in “tolerant” people?

    My advice is to remember it takes months or years for people to change their treasured prejudices. Whatever statement you make, whatever tactic you use, is still probably going to be just one chip in the wall. So if it happens that your speaking up is the one that gets the credit – if, say, the person comes back to you later and says ‘You really made me think, thanks a lot’ – most likely, you just happened to land the finishing move when your opportunity came.

    But that’s not how it works for silent bystanders. For the person that feels targeted by hateful or thoughtless comments, just one other speaking up to say “That’s not cool” or just one offer of kindness can resonate for the rest of their lives, even if the intervening speaker-upper never knows that someone in the audience realized they weren’t as alone as they thought.

  201. bassmike says

    Thanks Giliell , you’re right, but I wish there was one simple method. There’s so much contradictory info: let them run nappy free and they’ll learn to use the potty instead of the carpet; wait till they ask to use the potty, so always have one handy; put them on the potty every 15 minutes. So who knows?
    Not me that’s for certain.

  202. Gorogh says

    Hi y’all (to add a little South Carolinian flavor). Try as you may, I won’t tire of saying thanks for the welcome, people! Happy to be here, it’s nice to meet you too.

    Tony, how did it go? May I ask where in Florida you live? My wife is going to visit me in August and we’ll probably check out the Harry Potter… museum? Theme park? in Orlando.

    cicely or rq normally ask new commenters to weigh in on their opinions WRT horses, peas, and cheese (oh my!)

    Uh alright, that seems like a valid question. I don’t like horses, mainly because I am afraid of them. It’s an issue I have with all large animals – don’t trust anything that could kill you fairly easily if it wanted to. Or hurt you. Well I really don’t know, but I don’t like ’em. That being said, I also don’t like to see humans riding horses. Just because something has a long back doesn’t mean you should sit on it.

    As to peas, those are clearly a dishonest kind of vegetable. They might look fine on the outside but could be rotten inside, just like beans. I cannot condone peas. Speaking of which, thunk, that makes sense with the ropox[copy error]. Never got myself to read Kyrillic, but for that one, my awful Greek skills suffice.

    And cheese, you know, that is such a broad topic. In general and as long as it’s made from bovine secretions, I like it, as long as the olfactory component is not too strong.

    I am not sure I ever want to meet the Mildly Deranged Penguin. It conjures vaguely Lovecraftian notions pertaining to a certain expedition to Antarctica.

    chigau, rum not helping indicates too little or too much of it. Must have been a very worrysome state you were in yesterday.

    Guten Morgen Giliell! Not really ex-pat, I’m here on a J-1 visum and am planning to return to Germany in 2016. Heard you had some pretty hot weather over there too, though – so did that get better? And I appreciate your comment about the whining-permitted. Honestly I can barely believe there was such a friendly place as the Lounge on Pharyngula, but then, I’ve never entered before!

    I am one of those fortunate and obnoxious individuals who can’t gain weight, even if they tried. I can eat the worst kind of food for days and stay stable, although I have the feeling that over the years, a significant amount of mass agglomerates in the belly region. Have other issues though, my skin is my weak spot. Nothing obvious fortunately, but it just sucks.

    Nice to hear that your kid’s social skills are improving… may I ask what the issue has been?

    opposablethumbs and bassmike, thanks for the encouragement. I know it has not been the most profound feat for me because I do not care deeply about those people (it is much more difficult calling out a friend, and in real life interaction), but it’s still a good experience. Especially being reinforced here.

    I think I’ll enjoy hanging around some more – see you later. Colleague and I will soon leave to watch that USA-Germany match…

  203. Gorogh says

    And thanks Pteryxx, I appreciate your necromancer-inclusive attitude.

    Whatever statement you make, whatever tactic you use, is still probably going to be just one chip in the wall.

    I think you’re right and maybe it is, in fact, a wrong approach to think one can argue someone into changing positions. In my mind, many of our cognitions (beliefs, attitudes etc.) are much more visceral than we like to think – the way I like to put it, us humans tend to act/feel first and then rationalize what happened. So, thanks for reminding me of my own position-in-principle on those matters. Then again, that is not an attitude that motivates one easily to argue about anything, since any argument becomes like the drop or the grain mentioned by opposablethumbs above.

    The relevance of a single vote in a million-people democracy might be a suitable analogy here. You have to be somewhat idealistic to think that it matters. And so, once again, my position-in-principle and my position-in-everyday-life differ.

    Is there a dissonance? Does it even make sense?

  204. Pteryxx says

    Also to Gorogh: re calling someone out in a group chat. I’ve had to squelch some sexist and homophobic commentary in my own roleplaying guilds back in the day.

    Because the chat you mention belongs to a small playing group, I suggest that the next time a call-out like this starts to dominate the discussion, request that the other person join you in a separate, group-accessible channel if they want to keep going. That way, any group members who want to continue or observe can do so, you can still keep a log of the conversation for later reference, and group leaders or moderators can review the log or observe the discussion in real time. Meanwhile anyone who *doesn’t* want to deal with the off-topic chatter can continue in the main channel while knowing that the behavior was in fact called out and discussed on the record. A guild like mine, with a significant but minority bullied population, had a formal disciplinary-sometime-Thunderdome channel set aside for turbulent discussion and arguments. (We had about a hundred people at peak, with a tradition of allowing all sorts of rip-roaring arguments – political, religious, ethical, gastronomic – as long as everyone kept it hate-less.)

    There’s also the option of taking it to a *private* channel, with just you and the other person, but based on past experience I’d recommend at least sending the logs to a trusted leader or moderator of your group afterwards. Better to invite a leader to observe if possible. As you probably know, discussions about bias can get massively misread as personal attacks and can escalate very quickly.

  205. thunk: Hevelland says

    From above article:

    Despite being subjected to Chinese-style brainwashing in the public schools to use centimeters and Celsius, ask any American for the temperature, and he’ll say something like “70 degrees.” Ask how far Boston is from New York City, he’ll say it’s about 200 miles.

    Liberals get angry and tell us that the metric system is more “rational” than the measurements everyone understands. This is ridiculous. An inch is the width of a man’s thumb, a foot the length of his foot, a yard the length of his belt. That’s easy to visualize. How do you visualize 147.2 centimeters?

    Just like soccer, the metric system is un-American…

  206. says

    Hi Gorogh – CaitieCat, or just Cait or Caitie is fine. I’m known for long-winded reminiscences, being disabled and living with chronic pain, and being poor. :)

    On a different note: anyone here have a PS3 and wanna be video-game-friends? Rock Band (et c.)? Mass Effect 2 or 3? Skyrim? :)

  207. Pteryxx says

    Gorogh #281: Well, it *is* possible to change someone’s mind by arguing, it just takes time. The point I was trying to make was that refining your general call-out technique isn’t as important, or effective, as keeping at it regardless of whether you used the best possible approach or not. You (general you) can even change someone’s mind by yourself, IF the other person is willing to engage more or less openly and honestly with you over several sessions of arguing and cooling-off-and-thinking time.

    But in a small group like you describe, it’s not that big an imposition to ask folks to keep the 4chan garbage off general chat. It’s just not. They can pass it around among each other if it’s so important to them.

  208. dianne says

    I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.

    Wrongo! Actually, at least one person whose ancestors were here 10,000 years ago (well, some of them) is watching soccer. Coulter’s America is a figment of her imagination.

  209. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Thanks Giliell , you’re right, but I wish there was one simple method. There’s so much contradictory info: let them run nappy free and they’ll learn to use the potty instead of the carpet; wait till they ask to use the potty, so always have one handy; put them on the potty every 15 minutes. So who knows?
    Not me that’s for certain.

    During World War II, one of the stranger pieces of propaganda to come out of the US was the claim that Japanese babies/toddlers were subjected to brutal potty training regimens beginning at 12 months old and that this explained the lack of humanity among Japanese soldiers, why they committed atrocities and why American soldiers did not (well, they did, but only because the enemy had been potty trained early). Tonight, I will see if I can find the book (not sure if I still have it.).

    And, in other news, I see Ann Coulter is stil an asshole. Thank you, thunk. Nice to know some things don’t change.

  210. says

    I have an advisor for my final thesis AND “all topics are ok”.
    I went in there with three ideas:
    Gender roles in Tamora Pierce’s work
    Contrast of gender roles in Tamor Pierce’s work and Twilight (I think that’s out. I’m not going to spend 4 months of my life with Bella and Edward if I can help it)
    Diversity if contemporary SF and fantasy
    This means I’m going to write about something that is fucking awesome!
    This is scary…

    At least here in the South West it’s been between 22 and 27°C for the last week or two. Very agreeable.

    #1 decided one day to go to the potty and never looked back
    The little one loved her pull ups. She could perfectly well use the potty but simply didn’t want to. One day she ooped in her diaper whole we were out to fetch her sister from a friend and when we got home her butt was bleeding. I told her she would have to do without diapers and it worked well…

  211. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says



    So, you might be able to explore diversity in the writings of Heinlein? (Joking!)

  212. says


    I have an advisor for my final thesis AND “all topics are ok”.
    I went in there with three ideas:
    Gender roles in Tamora Pierce’s work
    Contrast of gender roles in Tamor Pierce’s work and Twilight (I think that’s out. I’m not going to spend 4 months of my life with Bella and Edward if I can help it)
    Diversity if contemporary SF and fantasy
    This means I’m going to write about something that is fucking awesome!
    This is scary…

    I think this is awesome. But come on, just imagine how much fun it would be to live and breathe Twilight for…fuck, I can’t even finish that sentence.


    If a monitor has time, can you check out the ‘Rad’s video’ thread. There’s an individual over there that doesn’t want to engage honestly, nor with the facts presented. After 441 comments, it’s grown a wee bit tiresome.

  213. opposablethumbs says

    Gorogh, I take your point –

    Then again, that is not an attitude that motivates one easily to argue about anything, since any argument becomes like the drop or the grain mentioned by opposablethumbs above.

    The relevance of a single vote in a million-people democracy might be a suitable analogy here. You have to be somewhat idealistic to think that it matters.

    – but I think the difference is that – counterintuitive as it may feel, on the vast ocean of the internet – even one drop of water or grain of sand actually can make an appreciable difference, as noted by Pteryxx:

    But that’s not how it works for silent bystanders. For the person that feels targeted by hateful or thoughtless comments, just one other speaking up to say “That’s not cool” or just one offer of kindness can resonate for the rest of their lives, even if the intervening speaker-upper never knows that someone in the audience realized they weren’t as alone as they thought.

    So anyway, I think what you did was a good thing to do! And you never know, it just might have made (or make, next time …) a difference to somebody. (Tony! is someone I admire a lot on this front. Have you had the pleasure of reading any of his Tony Tales? :-) )

  214. says

    re: Coulter

    I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.

    … AFAICT from a casual glance, only one member of the actual U.S. soccer team actually fails to meet this description.

    Giliell #289

    Diversity if contemporary SF and fantasy

    Let me know if you need suggestions for reding materials/sources for this one; I ‘m afraid I haven’t followed Pierce’s recent stuff, so I can’t really speak to the other two topics. (I will note that while I’m seeing more ethnic diversity in protagonists/major characters, gender diversity is still lagging some, and there’s a distinct and troubling lack of queer identities of any sort, with few exceptions. On a side note, I read an interview with the author of one of those exceptions, a fantasy novel where one of the protagonists is a gay man, and he mentioned that there’d been a lot of complaints about the ‘gratuitous’ sex scenes involving him. He went on to note that this protagonist hadn’t got any more sex scenes than any of his other male protagonists in other books, but as long as the sex was with women no one complained, and furthermore that the complainers were welcome to go elsewhere for their fantasy and science fiction reading. )

    So, you might be able to explore diversity in the writings of Heinlein?

    There’s actually more of it than one might think, although sometimes in a …problematic.. manner (Farnham’s Freehold, anyone?)

  215. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    Yeah, there can be diversity in Heinlein’s books. Unfortunately, with most of them, the longer your read, diverse it gets.

  216. cicely says


    I’m trying to reset my hootmail password.

    As used by the Wizarding World?

    *hugs* for awakeinmo.

    *careful, gentle pouncehug*

    Giliell, congrats on having acquired an advisor.
    The “diversity in contemporary SF and fantasy” one sounds very interesting and relevant to Things Going On In SF&F Readerdom Today.

  217. carlie says

    I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.

    Not only were two of my great-grandfathers born here, but they were midwestern fucking farmers. You know, the ones who get called “the heart of America” with misty eyes by people who gut farming regulations to favor corporate agribusiness and try to pit said farmers against some mysterious “east coast elitists”? Those guys. AND I HAVE BEEN WATCHING MUCH SOCCER THANK YOU. Prompted, in no small part, by my husband, whose family were further southern farmers (albeit a lot more successful at it than mine were). SO THERE.

  218. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Tony & carlie:

    Ann Coulter would state, with an air of smug condescension, that carlie is not a Real American. Just as atheists, liberals, women, non-whites, non-straight, non-cisgendered are not Real Americans. I’m not sure if she considers them human.

    For the record, three of my four great grandfathers were born in the United States. And I watch soccer. And I enjoy it.

  219. Nick Gotts says


    Best of luck with the job.



    An inch is the width of a man’s thumb, a foot the length of his foot, a yard the length of his belt. – Ann Coulter

    And a mile is how far Ann Coulter’s head is up her arse.

  220. says

    cicely & Dalillama

    The “diversity in contemporary SF and fantasy” one sounds very interesting and relevant to Things Going On In SF&F Readerdom Today.

    That was kind of the idea: How non-straight-white-cis-hetero-dude people are no longer silent, how they demand protagonists and characters who are NOT Straight McWhitey, born man and charmer of teh Ladies, the pushback there is, the results that happen, like the Lightspeed Issue Women Destroy SF or the Long Hidden Anthology.
    It would be more a cultural studies approach.
    Problem could be that it’s
    A) mostly in blogposts
    B) close to home (which could also be an asset)

    BTW, what I’d appreciate is if the Horde had reading suggenstions for a more academic framework of gender. I think I have a pretty good understanding of the subject matter, and you all rock, but I can hardly cite “Crip Dyke, Lounge 437, comment 348”

  221. Pteryxx says

    via BB:

    The Hooded Utilitarian is hosting an online roundtable on the work of Octavia Butler, one of science fiction’s greatest writers, and also one of the first women of color to attain widespread recognition in the field. The initial installment, from Qiana Whitted, is a challenging, sharply critical essay about the ways that Butler’s work (including Fledgling, a book I very much liked) literally nauseated the writer, and what that says about both Butler and her critics.

    Ugliness, Empathy, and Octavia Butler

  222. rq says

    I am alive.
    Lynna – I will be so so so happy to see the book!! Potatoes or no potatoes.

    Tomorrow Niagara Falls. Same problems, same people, dad had his femur operation today, so I’ll be calling later to see how things went.
    Just have to make it to today’s endpoint and everything will be FINE. Right?

    The scenery is outrageously awesome, though. Outrageously. I remember why I loved Canada.

  223. says


    “He pulled me into the office and gave me a name tag that read “GAYTARD” on it and asked me to wear it. So, I put it on because I didn’t want to upset him and I felt that if I did do anything to upset him, it would cause me to lose my job because he’d be looking for ways to fire me.”

    Tyler says when he went back to the counter, he took off the offensive name tag, but the manager made him put it back on in front of the customers. He says the manager would also address him as “Gaylord” in front of customers and staff. Finally, 19 days after starting his job, Tyler couldn’t take the abuse anymore and he quit.

  224. says

    Gorogh @236

    Any idea how they think to enforce that?

    Good question, and kind of funny when you think about it. Are the mormon Stasi going to strip Kate Kelly naked to make sure she is not wearing the ugly sacred underwear? Do they have 24-hour surveillance on Kate to make sure she doesn’t pray for her community? And if she is praying silently, how will they discern the subject of her prayers?

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

    RQ: you’re going to Niagara?!

    I live a relatively short distance from there.

  226. says

    Blueberries, avocados, and kale, fresh-picked for salads and small plates. Rows of water-saving aeroponic towers that grow as many as 44 veggie plants each. Fertilizer made from coffee grounds…at a baseball field?

    That’s right: Below the scoreboard at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, a 4,320-square-foot edible garden space, the first of its kind in a sporting arena, will grow seasonal produce year-round while hosting outdoor classes on sustainability, urban farming, and healthy eating for Bay Area children. It also features a bar, dining tables, fire pits, and a sod farm (later harvested for use on the field) for picnicking fans. “We hope it really catches on with other parks,” says Eric Blasen, cofounder of Blasen Landscape Architecture, the studio that designed the garden.

    Giants outfielder Hunter Pence confirms that it is—at least among Giants team members. At the garden’s grand opening on Tuesday, he said that at first his teammates made fun of his kale salads from the garden—until they tried them. Now they’re a team favorite.

    So does a project like this have potential anywhere outside of San Francisco? For most Americans, a visit to the ballpark means hotdogs and pretzels, not flatbreads and kumquats. And the harvests will be small, only enough for “a fraction” of the stadium’s needs, says Bonnie Powell, director of communications for Bon Appétit Management, an AT&T park food provider that helped launch the garden. “The main point of the garden is to be an educational one: how food grows, and that you can grow it even in small, challenging spaces.”

  227. says

    Doing the right thing about Rape Culture:

    The University of Ottawa has announced that it’s dismantling its entire hockey program and starting fresh after an internal investigation found that the team was too rapey to continue playing.

    The investigation stemmed from an incident that occurred in Thunder Bay, Ontario during the weekend of February 1st, when members of the unfortunately nicknamed University of Ottawa Gee Gees were in town to play the Lakehead University Thunderwolves. Publicly available details of the incident are sparse, but it seems that several members of the University of Ottawa men’s hockey team participated in the assault of a single female victim.

    University officials became aware of the incident in late February, right around the time the leaked transcript of a Facebook group chat involving a handful of members of University leadership discussing how they wished to sexually violate a female student federation President (sample line: “president will suck me off in her office chair and after I will fuck her in the ass on Pat’s desk…”) made the rounds.

    University of Ottawa administration initially handed down a suspension without pay to the hockey team’s head coach Réal Paiement. But after poking around, investigators discovered that Paiment knew about the February 1st sexual assault within hours of its occurrence, but did nothing to inform authorities about what happened, school officials announced yesterday that he’d been relieved of his duties. Officials also announced that since it’s clear University of Ottawa men cannot handle playing hockey on a team without raping people, they’re cutting their losses and canceling next season altogether.

    I applaud the decisions made by the University.

    (I’m slightly bothered by the articles use of the word “rapey”. It just seems…not right.)

  228. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Wow you folks are prolific. Will try to respond to some comments, let’s see how far I get before I can’t stall my vague online appointment anymore.

  229. says


    Wow you folks are prolific

    This is nothing. You should see it when the regular commenters aren’t so busy in meatspace and/or have time to comment here. IIRC, the Lounge is one of the most popular threads here and typically moves quite fast. The last few weeks or so, it’s slowed down a bit (I’ve only been able to tell bc I’ve had so much free time on my hands).


    My meeting with my old GM got postponed until tomorrow. Sigh. I’m hoping he’ll agree. Since I worked there for so long, I won’t need much in the way of re-training (it’s a bar/restaurant), and I can make money nightly, so I could theoretically make rent by next Thursday…if I get rehired.

  230. says

    Incidentally, I love the addition to your nym. cicely will like it too, I’m sure.

    BTW, not sure how long you’ve followed the Lounge, but you’ll frequently see people mention that they’re threadrupt, which just means they haven’t been able to keep up with the comments here. It happens a lot. Meatspace tends to have demands of us. Even when I was working, I kept up with comments and would just do a bulk response when I had time. One reason I like to keep up with the Lounge is bc people post some awesome links, such as important news stories (try as I might, I can’t keep track of all the important newsworthy stories in a given day) or Lynna’s Mormon Moments of Madness. Birgerjohanssen and rq often post link roundups of stuff they’ve read that they find important/interesting too. Those are just a few examples.
    Apologies if you knew all of this already.

  231. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Mh yeah the speed it progressed today was ominous enough, Tony. Will see how my posting habits fit into this. It can be a curse having “associatively loosened” thought processes (as a colleague of mine once diagnosed) and so much to associate about. Just reading the threadrupt term… might come in handy eventually. Btw a) I did never ever follow the lounge before and b) nah don’t apologize for that, even if I knew – how should you know that I did?

    Now first of all, thunk: thanks for the “peacromancer”. As you can see, I am so stealing this; as a scientist, I will naturally reference the term’s creator where appropriate ;)

    I liked the soccer game. Guess the game itself was good enough but not great. I just liked having an extended lunch (Blackened Jalapeno Burger and PBR! Yeah) sitting in a rather crowded tavern with two friends, incidentally both Americans who do not ever watch soccer. Also, it was rather stress free and good to see smile on the losing party’s face for a change. Both teams are in the next round.

    In other news, we were issued a so-called “boil-water advisory” today in Clemson, presumably due to some reservoir contamination. I never thought I’d feel bad about brushing my teeth before checking my e-mail, but there you go.

  232. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Hey Caitie, nice to meet you! Sorry for the obvious troubles mentioned in your introduction, but I’m sure you have many interesting stories to tell. I sort of work in pain research, but on a rather basic scientific level (placebo research with healthy participants); I’ve interacted with enough patients though to know what chronic pain means, as much as I can while not being affected by it.


    I suggest that the next time a call-out like this starts to dominate the discussion, request that the other person join you in a separate, group-accessible channel if they want to keep going.

    sounds like a good idea. It’s probably not always the best choice – for others to opt-in a new channel would require some form of cognitive and manual effort, and people tend to be lazy; plus I can imagine forced publicity can be useful under some circumstances. But as for Tuesday’s altercation it really might have been a better path to take. Oh and I am meticulous about saving stuff such as logfiles. I usually don’t FIND them again, but that’s a different issue… in any case, I know what you’re saying, thanks for the input. Next time, I will keep that option in mind.

    thunk, for better or worse that Ann Coulter bullshit (and hell does it bother me how one can be so openly chauvinistic and xenophobic and whatnot and still have a following; while it bothers me, it is of course hardly surprising to whoever has been paying any attention) even made it to Der Spiegel’s (largest German news magazine) latest article about soccer’s popularity in the US. Afraid this one has no English version, so you might have to rely on Google translator or something.

  233. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Oh I forgot, Caitie: I do not have a PS3, so I am not sure inhowfar that interferes with becoming a video-game-friend. But I very much enjoyed ME2 and, yes, ME3 (in large and relevant parts; I could even appreciate the ending). Skyrim and Elder Scrolls in general I loved.

    Nick Gotts, I thank thee!


    Lynna’s Mormon Moments of Madness

    Hahaha. I’ll be looking forward for those. Is it as exciting as Panda Bear Madness Minute?

    Now Gilliel, congrats on those degrees of freedom in chosing your thesis topic, this is awesome. Not everyone is as lucky, I recently proof-read a friend’s exposé (roughly how ideology influenced the academic archaeology in the German Democratic Republic)… it was like his fifth suggestion to his mentor. Wonder if he heard back yet. Anyway, good luck. What exactly is your discipline? Something literary, I suppose? Or more actually gender-oriented? Btw, here in the southeast it’s been rather hot for a few days, I’d say clearly above 30°C. Actually dropped somewhat, but I’m still not used to the heat. Love it though. In my apartment, it is usually around 27°C/80°F.

    I can hardly cite “Crip Dyke, Lounge 437, comment 348?

    Tehe. I’d like to see you try, though.

    Lynna @308, exactly. Plus, how can they sanction that behavior anyway? Excommunication is presumably the worst a religious community can legally do, although I wouldn’t think Mormons to be beyond trademarking their underpants or something…
    Tony @307, the fuck. Furthermore @318, wonder why it is that deodorant companies often have the most outrageous commercials (and I know more than a few people who fall for that unfortunately). Maybe because “odor” conjurs that notion of pheromones which in the mind of some people elicit subconscious (whatever that means) and involuntary behavioral responses. Anyway, this is pretty fucked up.

    The fragrance is a play on the word ‘brute’ (can’t believe I never realized that)

    You sure? I can see (and would even cynically expect) that they actually wanted to have that effect (because it will be perceived as such by a majority of not French speaking English speakers), but at the face of it seems, well, semantically innocuous. Am I being hypercritical here? I like to think it’s just a knack for language that made me post this comment.

  234. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Another thought on the issue of calling out people for propagating undesirable values in public.

    Pteryxx @286 and opposablethumbs @292 too: gotcha. I’ll keep at it, for what it’s worth. The willingness to engage is a crucial issue though – I think it’s the same here in the US, but in Germany there are social rules for not talking about issues like religion and even politics. I sometimes get the hunch that this is some form of memetic inoculation propagated by a ruling class/faction/what have you, but then it might just be a natural requirement of a peaceful society. In either case, I want to say that people who actually LIKE to debate and argue are rather rare.

    All the more reason to try to promote that willingness to question oneself/be sceptical and scientific-minded. For many of today’s adults, it seems to be too late for that.

  235. says

    I know where the Mildly Deranged Penguin is! Sorta

    The first image at the link is a Where’s Waldo? family pic of the MDP. Now, the question is…can you spot her?

    Also, I never realized Antarctica was at times a colorful place-in part thanks to penguin poop:

    Going to and from the beach, the penguins drag mud around, tracing trails of various shades of brown and orange all over the snowy surface. Then, most notably, the penguins bring a lot of pink to the environment. They eat krill, which is a small type of shrimp. The krill is pink when they eat, and it is also pink when it comes out of the other side. Yes, penguin poo is pink, and this sludge covers the whole colony. So, as penguins leave the colony, they trail a lot of pink around with their feet, tracing highways of pink all over the snow and glaciers.

  236. says

    Tony @318

    Huh, being a champagne afficianado, I saw Brut as “dry”. Still never liked it. And I had no idea it wasn’t still “Brut! (whisper)by Faberge (accent)(/whisper)”.

    I am so ‘rupt again. Sorry folks. I’d like to offer hugs and kind words for those as need ’em, or just to refill the tank for when they are needed. I really need to just post something silly in a new Lounge so I can get the email notifications and keep up with everything.

    I also finding myself needing to ask: Really, Matt Lauer?

    LAUER: You’re a mom, I mentioned, two kids. You said in an interview not long ago that your kids told you they’re going to hold you accountable for one job and that is being a mom.
    BARRA: Correct.
    LAUER: Given the pressures of this job at General Motors, can you do both well?

  237. cicely says

    An inch is the width of a man’s thumb, a foot the length of his foot, a yard the length of his belt. – Ann Coulter

    The crucial question is, which man? Because he would be Rightwise Born King of These H’yar Yoonited States. Obviously.
    (Also obviously, the length of the yard would be in constant flux, waxing and waning in step with the Royal Circumference.)

    Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer
    Peas already being evil, I see no reason to assume that they aren’t Undead, as well.
    Attendance here in the [Lounge] is not mandatory; you are free to pop in, or out, as often as you feel the inclination. No more, no less.

    Tony!, my tentacles remain tightly knotted on your behalf.

  238. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Undead peas, it’s disturbing alright. Kudos to thunk for the nym, though!

    And indeed, while I find it very comfy in the [Lounge], I might have to stop myself from getting too distracted by it! Today I was practically not working anyway, so I got some catching up to do tomorrow…

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


    which man?

    I’d always heard that it’s Henry I of England.


  240. says

    This list is funny.

    Every Dungeons & Dragons character seeks magical items for their abilities. But some wizards aren’t interested in making powerful relics; they’re interested in making nonsense, because they’re crazy, or things that will screw your character over, because they’re jerks. The result? These ridiculous artifacts from D&D’s golden days.

    1) Ring of Contrariness

    The first of many magical items that I will simply call “Artifacts of Dickishness.” See, magic items have to be crafted by wizards; they require time, power, and a great many resources. So why would anyone waste their time making a magic item whose only result is making someone kind of annoying? The Ring of Contrariness — which, as you might have suspected, forces the wearer to disagree with everything anyone says — it a prime example of some wizard wasting his time.


    9) Wand of Wonder

    The Wand of Wonder — as in, the Wand of Wondering What The Luntic That Made This Thing Was Thinking Of. When used, it performs one of 20 completely random functions, which can include 1) a powerful gust of wind, 2) 600 butterflies appearing out of nowhere, 3) shrinking the wand holder, and 4) making leaves grow on the target for some reason. Say you were a soldier. Would you bring a gun that would randomly fire bullets, water, or 600 freaking butterflies into battle? Exactly.


    14) Brooch of Number Numbing

    I still can’t believe this exists in D&D, but let me try to explain it. It’s a brooch someone wears. People who look at the brooch, uh… forget numbers. Like they forget five is more than three, how currency exchange works, and more. This is such a bizarre, esoteric thing, and one that seemingly has only one use — screwing people out of their money. Which is what I thought Thieves were for. Basically, add the Brooch of Number Numbing with the Ring of Bureaucratic Wizardry and you’ve made a D&D campaign with all the fun of a visit to the DMV.


    The animation is awesome. Very much like Robotech.

    The first Netflix original anime series, Knights of Sidonia, based on the popular manga series of the same name, follows Nagate, a low-born youth in a society of genetically engineered refugees who escaped the destruction of Earth one thousand years earlier and now occupy the massive ship Sidonia. When Nagate’s talent as a pilot is revealed he becomes one of Sidonia’s elite defenders against the Guana, shapeshifting aliens bent on eliminating humans from existence.


    An Oklahoma home was damaged last weekend by a howitzer artillery shell fired from a gun range three miles away.

    The artillery shell – which is 14.5 inches long and 3.5 inches across – crashed through an exterior wall, hit the ceiling, and damaged another wall while homeowner Gene Kelley and his wife were in another room, reported KOAM-TV.

    “It’s unbelievable,” Kelley said. “Unless you were here to see it or see the pictures I’ve got, you would not believe how huge this thing is.”

    No one was hurt, but Kelley said the damage could have been worse if the shell had not hit a tree limb and then the ground before striking his Wyandotte house.

    Why are howitzers even allowed at gun ranges? The 2nd Amendment allows gun ownership, not ‘any weapon man has created’ ownership. What’s next, ‘My Own ICBM’?

  241. says

    Fuck me sideways with a wrought iron fence.

    I have some classist assholes on FB insisting that, because I’m on benefits, my food choices should be restricted to very basic subsistence-level foods.

    They even had the nerve to call me a “mooch” for insisting that I’m just as entitled to my dietary choices as they are.

  242. rq says

    I will be in Niagara Falls tomorrow, but I doubt I’ll be getting any alone time. :( Which is what I actually need, but at least I have internet now (we’re in Hamilton).
    There’s no easy way to reach me (annoyingly), and it would be The Best to make an attempt, but honestly, if I ditch the choir tomorrow for whatever stuff, it’s just going to be more whiners doing what they do best and blahblahblah. If, however, you want to try a random ‘oh hey!’ meetup moment, we are (as far as I know right now) leaving Hamilton for Niagara at 10am (potentially 11, if fellow chorister’s parents manage to throw that giant wrench into our plans). One of the local Latvians has volunteered to show us around, though, so I don’t really know where we’ll be. I won’t be partaking of any of the special excursions, though, so I may just hang around the waterfall and pretend to be impressed.


    Hi, New Lounger Gorogh!
    As bassmike mentioned, I’m usually actively typing around here European-time, but I’m currently touring Canada with my absolutely fantastic amazing choir from Latvia. *hysterical laughter* *ahem* Anyway, welcome in, and I see that you and I only agree one of the important items (peas). Alas, you will have to join Camp Horse Haters and hang out with cicely. We can all hang out together in the Pea-Hater Club, though.

    I gotsa stack of CDN hugs here for you, and so many wishes for luck with the job!


    APologies folks as I won’t be getting caught up tonight, but *minion umbrellas* and *hugs* and *condolences* and *congrats* where appropriate (please select as necessary).
    I love and miss you all, and tomorrow we’ll see how slippery the slopes at Niagara can be.

    More later and from now on (slightly) more often.

    PS Last night we did our first small concert in Ottawa for the local Latvian community, and it was one of the most touching concerts I’ve ever done – mostly because they were mostly seniors who just love it if anyone visits them, and a relatively high-class amateur Latvian choir for them is like the best thing ever. So that was a whole bunch of good feelings there, and smiles, and feelings of home (since that’s the crowd of Latvians I grew up with). Then today we drove like 700 km from Grenville-sur-la-Rouge to Hamilton (which means hitting some stress highs and emotional lows right now). But as I said, more later – there’s some cold beers waiting for me upstairs after which I can happily pass out.
    Best thing today? Staying up all night to watch the sunrise at the local Grenville waterfall with Good Choir Friend.

  243. says


    I have some classist assholes on FB insisting that, because I’m on benefits, my food choices should be restricted to very basic subsistence-level foods.

    They even had the nerve to call me a “mooch” for insisting that I’m just as entitled to my dietary choices as they are.

    Fuck those assclams. They don’t get to dictate how you use your benefits.
    And you’re not a mooch.

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

    I’m already half out the door, so just *waves* at WMDKitty and I’m sorry about the fb asshole.

  245. says

    Yes, please!

    HI WMD Kitty

    I’m getting my degree in teaching, English and Spanish. You know how obsessed German academia is with the academic part. I mean, the teaching degree has gotten better, by now some 30% of credits are awarded to actually teaching related things, but still…
    I understand why we should have a decent knowledge about literary theory, why we should know how to approach a specific period or genre, a broad understanding of linguistics ans such, because in teh end we can only teach our students well if we understand these matters ourselves. But the final thesis IMO shows that you’re proficient in a skill that is very unrelated to your job: academic writing.
    It’S no wonder that there’s a shortage in maths and science teachers when the budding teacher has to do the same stuff as your budding theoretical mathematician.

    In old news: Richard Dawkins is still an ignorant ass

    In better news: I found this a nice basic list for men who want to be not shitty

  246. chigau (違う) says

    I’m gonna be pretty much out until Monday night.
    Keep well, Everyone!

  247. says

    Shakespeare’s identity is disputed? WTF is Dawkins smoking?
    And if I’m reading their tweets correctly, it looks like he’s arguing that Shakespeare is a superior writer bc he’s so well known? My response to that- (as they say on Jeopardy) “What is…a logical fallacy?”

  248. says

    Yeah, something like this: “I know Shakespeare, everybody knows Shakespeare, and this fact has absolutely NOTHING to do with colonialism and stuff and is solely based on Shakespeare’s merit. Only that nobody knows who he was, maybe he was a black woman? Gotcha!”
    Simple logic: Because old white guys have never heard of anybody who wasn’t an old white guy doing anything grea,t nothing great was ever done by anybody who wasn’t an old white guy (but it would be totally cool if they were secretly a black woman)

  249. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I sometimes get the hunch that this is some form of memetic inoculation propagated by a ruling class/faction/what have you, but then it might just be a natural requirement of a peaceful society.

    Mainly the former.

  250. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    See, magic items have to be crafted by wizards; they require time, power, and a great many resources. So why would anyone waste their time making a magic item whose only result is making someone kind of annoying? The Ring of Contrariness — which, as you might have suspected, forces the wearer to disagree with everything anyone says — it a prime example of some wizard wasting his time.

    If I remember the rules correctly, you could just as easily produce a two-year-old in the required timeframe. ;/

  251. bassmike says


    …can I at least have some acknowledgement that I exist? I’m feeling a bit invisible, here.

    Yes, you do exist. I sometimes feel the same way. I think all it is is a matter of timing. Sometimes I will post something that does not get a response, mainly because something more pressing has been posted just before/after it. Don’t worry, we hear you and you have my sympathy. Try not to let any classist idiot get to you. It’s hard being in your situation and that should be appreciated.

  252. says

    Now, let’s see how my suggestion to the prof to put a trigger warning before showing this ad on a slide to an unsuspecting audience goes down. (The D&G one and yeah, obviously, trigger warning.)

    Because it made me nearly fall out of my seat together, trying to get up and hug my knees at the same time and I’m not even a victim of sexual violence.

  253. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    WMDKitty, my sympathies. In my experience, it is difficult enough to abstractly argue about elementary human rights with people who don’t there are any. I can see how much more difficult it is if you’re directly affected, because to them you are defending a selfish position and therefore have reduced legitimacy/authority. Try to keep your spirits up.

    Oh and btw, the timing was really the issue in the non-responses, as far as I can tell you posted at a very deserted hour.

    rq, now that sounds interesting. How long are you touring? I’ll gladly hang out in the Pea-Hater Club with you; although I might not tolerate your equiphile position for too long at a time. Furthermore, what about the cheese?

    Huh… Tony et al., Angel seems to be a good show yes? I might give it a try. Have another three seasons of Dexter though and then wanted to check out True Detectives… if it really is as Lovecraftian as it has been advertised to me, I’ll love it.

    Those ads are disturbing, Giliell (for some reason, the lower pics don’t load, but they don’t need to). My wife helped a friend out around last December by shooting some photos in various toy stores. Her friend had to do a seminar paper for his Game Design studies about the differences in how toys are sold to girls and boys. It’s very upsetting – haven’t been in a toy store for years, but hell there is some stupid shit out there.

    To change topics, English and Spanish that is nice. Never got around learning Spanish sadly, but I like the sound of it a lot (my mother is a retired Spanish/French teacher). And that topic you bring up I have been struggling with for some years: The fact that there is so little empiry actually involved in curricula and requirements to reach a certain degree. How could there be? Sociological experiments (like having one region learn X, the other Y) at this scale are just not feasible. There’s just a lot of tradition involved I think…

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

    Well, I overslept.

    I was thinking of going to Niagara to meet RQ, but it’s currently 11:45 and I am 90 minutes from the falls. I went through my email, and while I’m sure I’ve corresponded with RQ in the past, I cannot find an email address.

    :( :( :(

  255. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Hm sorry to hear that Esteleth. Sure you find another way to make the best of your day. Do you have guacamole up there?

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

    !! Email address found. Email dispatched.

    I’m off to the Falls.

    Nice day for it too. :D

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

    It looks like I’ll be traveling a lot this summer, work related. Too bad none of the travels take me in Pharynguloids’ general direction.

  258. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    But let’s not forget that rq is demonstrably on the wrong side of history pertaining to the Horse question. Speaking of which, I don’t recall you stating your position on that, Tony. Is there a catalogue around here somewhere?

  259. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Oh and Beatrice, you make me ponder if I should be more on the lookout for such get-togethers. Then again I think I’m not well-funded enough to travel a lot :/

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


    I’ve never been at a Pharyngula get-together, so now that I’m happily employed and able to contain absolute horror at the idea that I’d meet these people (and be judged *said in doomsday voice*).. I’m all giddy about the possibilities.

  261. dianne says

    @328: I picture the Wand of Wonder’s creation as going something like this: Wizard attempts to create wand that can do something useful. Or at least semi-useful. Like, say, turn the user into a tiny person who could fly like a butterfly. It goes wrong and somehow the spell separates into two spells that produce either butterflies or tiny people, but not a tiny person who can fly. “Whatever,” thinks the wizard. “I’ll just put it out there and see if anyone wants it.”

    Why do I think it happened like that? Because I’ve published a couple of papers where the results were the real world equivalent of random butterflies and the occasional hole in people…but I published anyway because maybe it’ll be of use to someone…

  262. says

    A Pacific Rim sequel *and* an animated series?


    I’ve long wanted to go horseback riding. I’ve gone 38 years without doing that. I’d also like to go fishing one day. My father tried to teach me once when I was young, but I had no success.
    Oh, and no catalogue, sad to say.

    I’ve never been at a Pharyngula get-together, so now that I’m happily employed and able to contain absolute horror at the idea that I’d meet these people (and be judged *said in doomsday voice*).. I’m all giddy about the possibilities.

    From all I’ve seen, they’re rare, since commenters are from around the globe. Even when multiple people are from the same country (such as the US), they’re so geographically spread out that 2 people meeting one another is rare, let alone multiple people. I live in Pensacola, Florida, and AFAIK, no one lives close to me (from what you’ve said, you may be one of the few commenters who lives closest to me). Some people also choose to keep their location private, which is of course, their prerogative.
    As you mention funding is an issue too.
    Be nice if someone were to strike it hella rich and fly us all to some meatspace version of the Lounge.


    dianne @360:
    That’s funny :)

  263. says


    I’ve never been at a Pharyngula get-together, so now that I’m happily employed and able to contain absolute horror at the idea that I’d meet these people (and be judged *said in doomsday voice*).. I’m all giddy about the possibilities.

    You must have missed it. We judged you to be awesome many years ago.

  264. says

    Here’s a clarification of Moments of Mormon Madness related to necrodunking. We’ve discussed the issue of mormons proxy baptizing dead people, but one of the mormon excuses for why this baptism is not an insult to families of dead non-mormons hasn’t been examined.

    Mormons claim that proxy baptism is a “needful” ritual that must be done here on earth by living mormons. And here’s where the next questionable bit comes in: they say the dead person can reject or accept the baptism into the mormon church. The poor dead person may not have a had a chance to hear about the “one true church” while they were alive. It’s a kindness to make up for that deficit. Even your great grandmother who was killed during WWII has the “free agency” to reject mormon overtures in the afterlife, so, no harm done right?

    As it turns out, after mormons proxy baptize your ancestors the ancestors join a group that includes President Obama’s mother, Hitler, countless Jews who died during the holocaust, all of the past presidents of the USA, most celebrities, most members of royalty, even Jesus Christ, etc. A post-necrodunking “confirmation” makes it a matter of mormon record that all of these necrodunkees are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Get that? Confirmation. “Endowments” for the dead are also listed.

    Mormons don’t really believe that anyone rejects proxy baptism. They are all confirmed. The dead have no way to protest the fact that living mormons have filled out forms with the date of their baptism and of their confirmation. Ann Romney’s father, a guy who pointedly rejected mormonism while he was alive, was proxy baptized at a “special family event.” Daily Mail link.

    Living non-mormons have objected, but nothing stops this particular MMM. Holocaust survivors have been particularly vocal about this perceived insult, with the result that LDS Inc. simply hid all the past proxy-baptized Jews. You can’t view those records anymore, but you can bet they still exist.

    Mormons will even proxy “seal” dead people in marriage. And they may seal living or dead children to the proxy-sealed married couple. “Eternal families” and all that. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/23/1067554/-I-ve-done-baptisms-for-the-dead

    Albert Einstein is a mormon via necrodunking. http://www.mrm.org/prominent-people-baptized-by-proxy

    Necrodunking is the driving force behind the mormon obsession with genealogical records (records they do not keep as accurately as they claim). Makes me want to hide my ancestors from the mormons. Stephen Colbert has a better solution.

  265. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    absolute horror at the idea that I’d meet these people (and be judged *said in doomsday voice*).. I’m all giddy about the possibilities.

    I’m kinda the opposite. About the last part. I know that, if I meet any of you in person, I’d be judged and found lacking. And I am the polar opposite of giddy about that possibility. On line is one thing. Face to face? Too scary.

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

    When I’m not in a good mood like today, I feel somewhat like Ogvorbis.

    To repeat after Tony (I giggled like a little kid while reading that comment, by the way. Thank you!):

    You must have missed it. We judged you to be awesome many years ago.

    totally goes for you, Ogvorbis.

    I doubt that would change if we met. You’re the person behind your words. But I’d maybe steal your hat.
    (Do I remember right that you have a stealable hat? I think I do)

  267. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    When I’m not in a good mood like today, I feel somewhat like Ogvorbis.


  268. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Sorry. Not coping well today. Not sure why. Gonna bow out before I really screw up.

  269. opposablethumbs says

    Be nice if someone were to strike it hella rich and fly us all to some meatspace version of the Lounge.

    Hey, how did you know about my sekret lottery-winning plan?!?!?

    Oh well, a person can dream, eh? ;-)

    Ogvorbis, I am perfectly confident that just like all the rest of the Horde you are only just a tiny, tiny bit less awesome in reality than you are on line (only because I think a lot of the Horde are impossibly awesome here, and nobody’s perfect, you all just come close by being human and compassionate and passionate about learning, and about decency and fairness). And I think that you are a hell of a good person on line. Which means I am perfectly confident that you are very good people in rl.

  270. says


    About the last part. I know that, if I meet any of you in person, I’d be judged and found lacking.

    My friend, I understand that this is your self doubt speaking here, but in my case (and I’m almost completely certain this goes for the vast majority of the regulars here, and probably a healthy bit of lurkers who have followed the Lounge for a while) this is not true. I have been following Pharyngula for over 4 years now, and I’ve interacted with you many times. I’ve read your comments in multiple threads. I’ve read the horrifying stories of your experiences as a child. I’ve read your stories of fighting fires.
    I say all this to point out that you’ve built up a history here. Your comments here show you to be a good person.
    A kind hearted person.
    An empathetic person.
    A funny, and oft times a punny person.
    A person who uses logic and reason to reach conclusions.
    A person who speaks up in defense of the downtrodden and oppressed.
    A person who reaches out to others and offers a kind word.
    A person who is capable of self reflection.
    A person who recognizes that he can be wrong.
    A person who admits when he is wrong.

    I’ve interacted with you long enough to know that you will deny that you’re a good person, and that is your personal opinion and I won’t deny you that.
    But know this,
    My personal opinion of you is that you’re a good man, a good person, and I would love to meet you in meatspace one day. I am confident that the online persona you have built up over the years is a reflection of the person you are in meatspace. I have already judged you, and I like the person that you are. That would not change if I met you in meatspace.

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


    Just so you know, you’re nowhere near screwing up.
    Take care.

  272. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I know that, if I meet any of you in person, I’d be judged and found lacking.

    … *thwap*

    Only if you smoke upwind of me. ;/

  273. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    :: whine::

    I iz feeling like stomped turkey turds today. I iz going back to bed with two doggies and the Horde. It iz a pretty big bed.


  274. Friendly says

    So…because my mother had me send email to him once or twice, I get email from Senator Pat Toomey (around-the-bend right-wing R-PA). I note that in his latest message he talks about being one of a group sending mail to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies asking them to “prioritize limited resources to adequately manage the lands for which [the Forest Service] is currently responsible, rather continue to acquire additional property.” Translation, if you read the full press release: “If you help logging companies rip more trees out of protected land instead of protecting more land from, say, logging, forest problems with fire and insects will magically get better!” Because logging, of course, has a terrific track record of improving forest health worldwide. Urgh.

    I was never a fan of Arlen Specter, but it makes me sad that my home state replaced him with Toomey Boy.

  275. carlie says

    I’ve met up with many of the Horde, and everyone is uniformly fantastic. Grouped up we might look like a motley crew that seem to have nothing in common in terms of dress or affect or the like, but we have a darned good time together. And Ogvorbis is one of the people on my A-list of Pharyngulites I’d like to meet.

    (also, jealous of Esteleth and rq! I’m still trying to figure out if I can work my way north for a day, but it’s getting less and less likely. :( )

  276. says

    More people packing guns in Target stores:

    More Republicans being weapons-grade dunderheads about recent gay-marriage rulings from the courts:

    A Wisconsin Republican congressional hopeful warned Tuesday that a federal court ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage could lead to the legalization of marriage between siblings.
    Karen Mueller, an Eau Claire attorney whose practice has focused on opposing abortion and defending those “discriminated against and harassed in the workplace, the school, college and/or the public square because of their faith,” is one of three Republican candidates seeking to challenge Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI). At a Republican Party of Monroe County candidate forum, she denounced the ruling and warned that it would create a slippery slope.

    According to the Tomah Journal, Mueller said that the ruling might set a precedent that any two people can marry: “We’ve got, for instance, two sisters, and these two sisters want to get married. They love each other. They are committed to each other. They want to spend the rest of their life together.” Lawyers, Mueller explained, would be able to argue “‘We can just do away with that state law the same way we did away with sodomy laws,’” noting that “once you do away with that, you reveal what is really going on here.”

    Mueller also suggested that the court’s ruling will be overturned on appeal because the state’s ban is not really discriminatory against gay and lesbian citizens. “They can get married. They just can’t get married to each other,” she argued. […]


    More Republican officials at local levels being flea-brained about the poor and the homeless:


    “A lot of the homeless, the best way to get rid of the homeless is to give them a bus ticket back to their families,” Collins [Councilwoman Helen Collins] said earlier this week during a discussion of the city’s plan for housing and homelessness programs. She criticized the city’s efforts to provide housing and stability for homeless people to get back on their feet by saying that those programs hurt other people. “They go into a low income housing area,” Collins said, according to The Gazette, and “drag it down and then they move on to the next new low income housing facility.”

    A fellow council member pointed out that housing the homeless is proven to be the most cost-effective way of getting people off of the street, and added that “to give them a home is the first step” in a longer process designed to foster long-term stability and a gradual return to safe, sustainable, and independent living. […]

    […] it costs roughly one third as much to simply put a roof over someone’s head than it does to handle homelessness using the courts, jails, and hospitals. […]

    The idea of shipping a city’s homeless population out of sight and out of mind isn’t new or unique to Helen Collins or Colorado Springs. Baton Rouge, Louisiana decided to dump its homeless on other cities by buying them one-way bus tickets last summer. […] Nevada was sued by San Francisco after a state psychiatric hospital was found to be putting hundreds of indigent people with mental health issues onto buses bound for the bay area. In Hawaii, some lawmakers have even tried to buy plane tickets back to the mainland for homeless people who some public officials believe interfere with the state’s tourism industry. […]


  277. says

    Black voters in Mississippi saved Thad Cochran’s ass when a Tea Party candidate challenged him from the right. However, Thad Cochran is still intent on making it harder for African Americans to vote in Mississippi. Old conservative dog can’t learn?

    After African American voters boosted Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) to a narrow victory over Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel, many are calling for Cochran to thank his newfound supporters by backing efforts to reinstate the Voting Rights Act gutted by the Supreme Court last year. But so far, the senator seems unmoved by these calls and is sticking to his support of voter ID laws. […]


  278. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Uh oh… You may have opened a can of worms, or puppies. I’m like a new grandma with pics of the new grandbaby when it comes to my dogs. I have two Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Quincy and Tessie. Cardigans are the ones with a tail. (I don’t support cosmetic surgery for dogs.) I’ve owned Corgis and other rescues since before most people knew what a Corgi is. They are feisty and loyal and love to eat and shed 24/7. Love me… love my dog hair. And they always seem to know when I’m feeling like crap because they glue themselves to me until I feel better. And did I mention that they shed? and shed, and shed, and shed.

  279. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    For what it’s worth, Ogvorbis – my memory is too bad to join the chorus (I just don’t remember posts long enough), but a self-critical (or even self-deprecating) attidude alone I find very likeable. I hate hats though.

  280. says

    Steve Benen, writing for The Maddow Blog, discusses the fact that Fox News hosts have taken one step further into WTF Land when it comes to climate change, they think that President Obama addressing the issue amount to “almost treason.” This comes on the heels of John Boehner threatening to sue the President. Trials for treason, lawsuits, impeachment? What a circus — and none of it founded in reality.

    It’s awfully difficult to come up with a good reason to be a climate denier. It’s not as if there are some credible talking points lying around, waiting for conservatives to use. […]

    On Kilmeade’s radio show yesterday, Doocy argued that climate change may not be real (it is real), and even if global warming is happening (it’s happening), “nobody knows” the cause (climate scientists know the cause).

    […] Kilmeade added, “I would say, if you really are Al Gore-ish and you want to make that your passion: wait until you get out of office. Because you have crisises [sic] – that’s plural, that’s the best I could do – crisises to attend to. It is almost treason for him to be focusing like this.”

    “Him,” in this case, is President Obama. The guy who doesn’t know the plural word of “crisis” is comfortable arguing that presidential leadership on the climate crisis is “almost treason.”

    […] because a group of people were hot in 1607 does not mean that climate change is discredited four centuries later. Those who accept that climate science is real are not suggesting that heat is a recent development. The reality-based community is well aware of the fact that summers are not new. People went outside and felt heat before carbon pollution risked a global catastrophe. […]

    Kilmeade thinks heat in Virginia in 1607 raises doubts about the science. Remember, this guy gets paid to co-host a national television program and a radio show on which he reflects on current events.

    As for whether it’s “treason” for elected leaders to address a crisis that threatens the nation’s health, security, and economy, I’ll look forward to Republicans suing the president for doing his job. […]

  281. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    On no Tony, they aren’t puppies. Quincy is six and Tessie will be five next week. I just call them my puppies ’cause I’m very sentimental about them. My last two, Rosie and Lily, both lived until the age of 15 and I hope these two do also. But they sure looked a lot like the pics you posted when they were pups. Quincy has an interesting story, but I’ll keep it short. He was born near Toronto. He was almost four months old when I found out about him from an online dog connection. He was about to be put down for several not very good reasons. So I bought him and had him shipped to me in Southern California. He was not healthy when I got him, but he is doing wonderfully now. He is a huge Corgi at 42 pounds and he is not fat. (A lot of Corgis are very fat.) And he is my sweetest biggest baby boy (according to me, and my opinion is the only one that counts.) I love dogs, however man is often not dog’s best friend.

  282. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Because you have crisises (…) to attend to. It is almost treason for him to be focusing like this.

    Hell, yet another Dear Muslima-diversion (I’d like to use a more technical term here, but I’m not sure about which; could include words like complacency, diversion, status quo…). Of course really is not, because climate change is a big issue – but from there denialist perspective, it seems to be an argument of that form.

    p.s.: Thanks Tony, I appreciate it! Anyway I’m off for some get-to-know-dinner with a potential lab coworker, see you all later. In other news, the boil water notice hase been lifted so I can brush my teeth again. Hooray.

  283. says

    Interesting article on the dangers of religious pilgrimages.
    Slate link.

    The World Health Organization is worried about this year’s Hajj. Beginning in early October, more than 2 million people will voluntarily gather in the home country of a novel and untreatable virus called MERS that has already infected nearly 700 people and killed more than 200. Respiratory illnesses are only the beginning of the many dangers faced at religious pilgrimages, though. Pilgrims should worry about fires, stampedes, diarrhea, and guns. In fact, if you’re in a hurry to meet your maker, a religious pilgrimage may be the most direct route.

    The most catastrophic Hajj in recent history occurred in 1990, when a rush to escape 112-degree heat resulted in 1,426 people being trampled to death inside an air-conditioned tunnel. The stoning of the devil ritual that occurs near the end of the gathering leads to stampedes with disturbing frequency. Hundreds were trampled in the 1994, 1998, 2004, and 2006 pilgrimages. Despite logistical and infrastructure improvements, the smallest incidents continue to trigger mass casualties, demonstrating just how fine the margins of safety are in crowds of millions. The 2006 stampede occurred after suitcases tripped pilgrims in the front of the procession. A 2003 trampling was the result of two crowds coming into contact while moving in opposite directions. In 1998, several pilgrims fell from an overpass, causing a panic. […]

    A modern day pilgrim’s risk of contracting tuberculosis during the Hajj is a whopping 10 percent.

    A 2013 study of Iranian pilgrims traveling to Mecca estimated the death rate at 42 per 100,000, which is an astonishingly high figure for a five-day event in which young and healthy people are disproportionately represented. […] The Hajj is one of the world’s safer religious pilgrimages. […]

    The Kumbh dwarfs the Hajj in attendance, with as many as 100 million people, many of them unvaccinated, attending the event.[…] Each festival is based around a holy river, and pilgrims surge in large groups to the water every few days to perform sacred rituals. Drownings are common, and they are a serious problem in a country where most people never learn to swim. Government boats patrol the shoreline looking for pilgrims struggling in the current. […]

  284. says

    All this open carry just because they can crap is going to piss off rural hunters soon I think.

    It’s going to get to the point where people demand it be banned. And then, hunters who depend on hunting for food, who stop to get gas or coffee on the way in and out from the field, will have to secure their weapon in their car. While not necessarily a bad idea for routine stops, if there’s a dead deer in your truck bed or visible through a van or SUV window, people will assume a gun is nearby.

    So they’ll have to put their gun exactly where assholes will start looking for it if they need to stop for anything, and won’t always be able to observe where it is put. And some of these people are poor enough that if their car door lock is failing, or they have a window out, they won’t be able to afford repair.

    Open Carry Assholes- making life difficult for people that actually have a need for open carry.

    Also still kind of on a buzz from Pridefest. I’ve long had an issue with the concept of LGBT pride. Speaking strictly for myself here, the concept looked incredibly stupid. LGBT is what you are, it just is. It’s not an accomplishment, hence, I couldn’t see how the word pride could ever apply. It’s like being proud that I have mass. Utterly silly. Again, this is my view for myself. Or, rather, was.

    I came to a somewhat different view after Pridefest. While I’d still say that being LGBT in and of itself is not something to be proud of- again, it just *is*. But… all the crap we get thrown day in and day out, and even putative allies that don’t get why “gay” is a horrible general purpose derogatory, who think that bisexual people automatically have it easier, who think that trans is an extreme degree of gay… and that’s not even getting to the assholes that want to deny us rights, even the right to live. All that shit comes at us day in and day out and we are still here, moving forward, understanding and accepting what we are. *That* is what LGBT pride is to me.

    I’m not saying it’s the same for everyone. Some might come from a different angle, some might work with a slightly(or significantly) different definition of “pride”. Or the same definition but not find it as silly as I do to take pride in something that simply is. And that’s fine, if it works for them that’s awesome. But this is where I stand now.

    One event and just a few days of thought and I’ve got a whole new relationship to the concept of Pride, and it’s helping me feel a part of something.

  285. A. Noyd says

    I’m really glad for the consciousness raising people around here do about poverty and homelessness. Two homeless women in front of the grocery store just now were asking for food, and thanks to you folks, I knew to ask things like, “Do you want food you can eat now or food for later?” and “Do you have someplace you can cook?” and “Any special requests?” so I could get them what they wanted and not just what I thought they should eat.

  286. opposablethumbs says

    Have to admit that Tony! is way up high on Pharyngulites-I’d-really-like-to-meet :-)

    And so is Ogvorbis, though I would of course totally respect the fact that it might not be mutual. (obviously that respect goes for anyone; nevertheless I will (after a glass and a half while supper is cooking) mention that the plan to get together with rq and Beatrice and I think it was carlie? And cicely? and get Alan Rickman to read the phonebook or basically anything he feels like reading is totally on)

  287. says

    As I framed it for a straight acquaintance who asked the same thing about Pride “the reason for Pride is to counteract the dominant cultural meme that it’s something one should be ashamed of”.

  288. opposablethumbs says

    A. Noyd, helping while knowing to ask those questions is really good. I hope I remember the questions in the right moment too; the people I encounter are asking for money rather than food, so it hasn’t come up.

  289. says

    For me, pride in being gay is important bc I used to be ashamed to be gay. I used to think there was something wrong with me. I absorbed the dominant narrative in our culture that there’s something wrong with being gay. I had to overcome that to be comfortable in my own skin.

  290. says

    Tony, Dalilama-

    Interesting perspectives. Sounds fairly similar to where I am now, though perhaps the emphasis is a little different.

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

    Oh gad, I’m twelve.

    Company that programs adult web pages is looking for front-end and back-end developers. I giggled.

  292. dianne says

    I iz going back to bed with two doggies and the Horde.

    Good plan. Can my 2 doggies and I join you?

  293. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Come on in dianne. The doggies are friendly and the bed is comfy. And if you are feeling poorly too, we can moan in two part harmony.

  294. dianne says

    Thanks, Morgan. I’m not actually feeling poorly, just feeling done with adulting for the day. I’ll make a blanket and pillow fort and bring the chocolate chip cookies.

  295. says

    Looks like I may be the winner in the “getting to meet rq” sweeps, as we are planning to meet up on Monday. Hamilton, where she’s staying, is less than an hour’s drive from here. :)

    Gorogh, ME2/3 were brilliant, and I’ve played each three times through. The voice acting on the Shepard I played (woman) was fantastic, and playing a shooter as a woman character, with the ability to have relationships with sentients of many of the races or genders I could come across…felt completely revolutionary. I’m currently playing through GTA V, nearly finished the story, and enjoying the online play very much, because again, I get to be someone who looks like me, and I can play with a crew of my friends, who are all mature enough to behave well with one another. Our taunting/teasing is restricted solely to “wow you played that really badly” or “you can’t drive/shoot/fly for crap” and their variants.

    Sadly, like almost all online games, the experiences are siloed by platform, to the point where even the upcoming PS4 version won’t work with the PS3 version, for online play. Stupid proprietary squabbling ftl. :(

    Doing alright physically these days, and the Black Dog has retreated before the power of the solstice, but today’s been a wipeout because I’ve got a wretched bloody headache. It’s not migrainey, i want to say, but then I just realized it’s in the spot where my migraines always have the pain – very specifically, one-third of the way along my right eyebrow from the medial end. Other headaches can also occur there, but it’s often migraine when that happens. And I had double-vision yesterday for a few hours, which is often a long-term precursor to the aura. So I may be in for a night of pukeyness, ick. Was hoping to go out to a gaming group, flatmate’s bother-in-law and friends, who get together Friday evenings for some Rock Band and whatever board/card games people decide they want to play. But if I go and the migraine happens, I’ll end up having to get Craig to bring me home early, and I don’t want to cut his night short.

    So in the end, it’s likely to be me and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi) again tonight, probably with some soda crackers. The only thing I can safely eat when migraines are coming.

    Very, VERY pleased with the excellent app i found for studying Japanese. When I took it in university, over two years, I gave up because I couldn’t find a way to learn kanji that stuck in my head. I’d learned a little over 70 in that time, which is basically not enough to get through first grade readers. Since I got my smartphone, and found that wonderful app Obenkyo (eight and six weeks respectively), I’ve learned 250 kanji to a reliable reading level – writing about half of them reliably, and the other half semi-reliably – and figure I should be able to pick up the rest over the next year or so. And watching so much anime has helped me orally/aurally too: I’m only needing the subtitles about 30% of the time now, for shows where I know the story.

    The kanji learning has had two three four main factors: one, a totally customizable flash-card setup, with every ordinary kanji (2500 or so). I can choose which kanji, how many cards, whether I’m using romaji or kana, working from meaning-to-character or the other way around, and there’s a semi-useful writing recognition routine.

    Beta, I discovered in a way i never did with a pen, that there’s a rhythm to writing a given kanji, and many of them are quite unique. That is, the sonic/tactile sensations of writing the kanji with my finger on the screen has given me an appreciation for the long-short-short sort of rhythm of producing the characters. Associate the rhythm with the character, the number of strokes, and knowledge of direction/order, and it’s a nice aide-mémoire on how to write.

    Terce, it also has useful kana and grammar testing modules, and a complete grammar guide based off a copylefted one someone did under CC.

    And 100, all of this in a thing that I can carry in my purse, or use while lying down to wait out my meds taking effect, or in the bathroom, or on a bus, or or or…

    I fucking love the future, in some ways.

  296. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    I’m so sorry. Our pets do not live long enough, ever.

  297. carlie says

    Friday night fun quiz?

    If you had to list the favorite restaurants that you can’t go to ever again, what would they be and why? Don’t have to name them specifically if that would give too much away about your geographic location. Think Proust’s madelines. :)

    I was reminded of a place when I was in grad school. It was campus-adjacent, and there was a sub place on the ground floor and a hippie restaurant above it. It was the first place I experienced hot subs (this was in the days long before Subway), and they had one with turkey and cream cheese and avocado and salsa that was fantastic. The place above had great cheap milkshakes; chocolate-banana was my favorite. I didn’t go there often, but when I did it was with friends in my lab and in the department during lunch, to grab a few precious moments of relaxation in the midst of all the work. The place was torn down to build a hotel.

    In high school, there was a pizza place, where we’d go after church on Sunday night as a big group and hang out until our parents came and said we had to go home because it was a school night. It is now a Mexican restaurant.

    Second best in high school was a Vietnamese place that served (as I now know) incredibly americanized bland generic “Asian” food, which was necessary to appease the midwesterners for whom anything other than parsley and celery are exotic spices. It was across the street from the high school, and through my junior year we had an open campus, so at lunchtime if you ran FAST, you could get over there, order, eat, and make it back just within the 25 minute lunch period. It’s still there, but I’ve found that my palate no longer appreciates the subtleties of the flavoring.

    Of course, none of them had food as good as the company and memories, which is why they are a time capsule in the mind.

    I’d love to hear some of yours. :)

  298. carlie says

    I’m so sorry, awakeinmo. That was posted while I still had an older window up. I know how much losing a beloved pet hurts – I’m so sorry for your loss.

  299. says

    I just got back from my meeting with my old General Manager. He said he wants to think things over and will get back to me. I think it went well. It helped that the bar manager is a friend of mine and he really went to bat for me.

  300. says

    I’m so very very sorry for you. The loss of a pet is devastating. My condolences.



    If you had to list the favorite restaurants that you can’t go to ever again, what would they be and why?

    Hard as I try, I can’t think of an answer to this question.
    I can think of something related to that. When I was in high school, some of the lunch ladies would bake the most delicious cookies. I used to buy 3 or 4 peanut butter cookies after lunch. They were sooooooooooo good. Not too sweet, not too heavy with the peanut butter. I preferred them with some crunch, but not too much. When they were moist, they were perfect. I haven’t had any peanut butter cookie that can match those (and I graduated in 1994).

  301. says

    awakeinmo, I’m so sorry for your loss. *hugs* offered.

    carlie, I’ll name The Three Little Pigs, an all-too-short-lived pub in the downtown section of my small city, which had a superb selection of good beers, and simply the Very Very Best Caesar Salad EVAR. Bar none, don’t care about your experiences, this was the simple best most outstanding unimaginably heavenly food. I went there every day for a week, and had no other food but the salad each time. The sauce was astounding and fresh-made every day, as were the bacon and all other ingredients needing preparation, it was served in a crispy pita-style bowl, and I’d have given a great deal to have known the place was closing before it suddenly did, and I was left without access to the chef. :(

    Head’s getting worse. Took some dimenhydrinate, hopefully that’ll settle the nausea down enough for me to sleep it off.

  302. says

    There used to be a little place in Eugene called the Plaza Cafe, that sat in a little shopping center. Inside, it looked like a generic American diner, with formica topped tables, green vinyl booths, and a letterboard menu offering hot dogs, burgers, grilled cheese and the like at quite low prices, which never changed as long as I ate there. The real menu was over by the grill, on laminated plastic, and consisted of the best Korean food I’ve ever eaten. The couple who ran the place retired a few years back and it closed down; I think it’s an ice cream parlor now.

  303. opposablethumbs says

    awakeinmo, I’m so sorry. I hope you are OK – and I hope you have some sympathetic supportive somebody around to be with you right now. It’s never easy :-((((

    Tony!, I am crossing all my fingers and toes for you – tentacles too!

  304. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Oh fuck no not again *gets hit by a wall of text after pressing “Refresh”*

    Found your post about the Hajj very interesting, Lynna. Just looked up incidents during the Hajj for good measure… almost unbelievable that there were no major terror attacks (whether by conventional or other weapons such as pathogens) on the pilgrims.

    gworroll, I like your phrasing of

    putative allies that don’t get why “gay” is a horrible general purpose derogatory

    I am a big South Park fan – which might not betray the best taste, I know – mostly for the situational humor. In any case, I found their piece relativizing the use of the word “faggot” highly problematic and remember that as prime example/constant reminder how hit and miss the show can be.

    As for LGBT pride – if I may comment as cis male -, I don’t have much to add to Dalillama’s and Tony’s takes on this. I was also thinking that one could be proud of surviving and keeping one’s head up (and even more, continuing to fight for equality) in a status quo of discrimination…

    Caitie, yep that’s really a good thing with those BioWare games, although it’s of course a long way to go still. I suppose you have watched the Sarkeesian-videos? From that vantage point I am a bit confused if GTA V is really something enjoyable, but I do not know any part of the series. What’s a Black Dog? Some metaphor for a chronic illness or something? :/ I hope not. As to migraines, hell, I am so glad I didn’t have any for a few years (and at the worst time, maybe once every four months or so, so very very mild). Maybe I’ve just gotten better in detecting when I’m getting into a prodromal period and counteract it (sleeping a lot). I don’t know.

    Nihongo no benkyou wo suru koto wa subarashii desu ne. Ganbatte kudasai.


    I just got back from my meeting with my old General Manager. He said he wants to think things over and will get back to me. I think it went well. It helped that the bar manager is a friend of mine and he really went to bat for me.

    how long do you think we can keep all our respective tentacles clenched! Well I guess we can for quite a bit, but I think opposablethumbs over there just twitched. (FWIW, congrats so far)

  305. says


    carlie, I’ll name The Three Little Pigs, an all-too-short-lived pub in the downtown section of my small city, which had a superb selection of good beers, and simply the Very Very Best Caesar Salad EVAR.

    Mmmm, you’re making me want a caesar salad (and I had one earlier this week). I absolutely love them. Especially with lots and lots of cracked black pepper.
    Another salad kick I get on from time to time is a salad with mixed greens (radicchio, romaine, and iceberg lettuce, along with fresh spinach), shredded cheese, granola (I started adding this at home in place of crumbled bacon or croutons bc I like salads with a crunch), with oil and balsamic vinegar as a dressing. So good.

    The ultimate salad for me is one I fixed when I worked at the Fish House (same restaurant I reapplied at today). I took the same mixed greens as above, added red onions, scallions, leeks, boiled eggs, bacon bits, edamame (obviously without the shells), seaweed salad, roe, rice, cheese, and croutons. I used oil and vinegar for the salad too. It was so good. The best salad I’ve ever had.

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

    I return triumphant!

    I met rq. We had a lovely day hiking around the Falls, chatting, and eating ice cream.

    Unfortunately, I repaid rq for this lovely time by heaving up. I’m afraid rq’s shoes got splashed with my tummy juice. :( :( :(

  307. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Oh okay thanks Dalillama. I never heard that term before, but I actually know said dog quite well…

  308. opposablethumbs says

    but I think opposablethumbs over there just twitched

    Nope. Nu-huh. That’s the good thing about tentacles, with eight you can always keep some tentacles clenched/crossed and still be able to type :-)

  309. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Oh no Esteleth how did that come about? Not literally, I mean. Was it the ice cream, general excitement, or something entirely unrelated? But then, please ignore me – I suppose there was plenty of [fine experience] to remember, as well!

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

    Well, Gorogh, the muscles that encircle my stomach contracted rapidly while the pyloric sphincter contracted and the esophageal sphincter dilated. As a result, the contents of my stomach were propelled rapidly through my esophagus and out of my mouth.

    As for why, I initially thought food poisoning, but in hindsight I think overheating is more likely. It was very warm and the hiking made me sweat like a pig.

  311. opposablethumbs says

    Oh dear, Esteleth, I hope you’re OK. What awful timing for a stomach bug! Hope you could still enjoy the day, mostly, in spite of it?

    Isn’t rq just the nicest person ever!?!?!?

  312. opposablethumbs says

    … oh, not a bug? Well I hope you’re fully recovered anyway, and that it was a great meet-up.

    Good night Horde, the earth has turned too far for me to stay up.

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

    Oh yes. In spite of the heaving, I had a lovely day. And yes, rq is a truly lovely person.

  314. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Aaaah NOT literally, Esteleth! xD

    The overheating seems plausible, emesis is just such a confusing symptom really… sorry for that, but I’m really happy it worked out after all.

    opposablethumbs, mmmhm. Mhhhmmmm… *narrows eyes* Alright then, you didn’t twitch. I’m watching you though. Got a few spare eyes, fortunately.

  315. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Hi Horde,

    I was asked to help start a small specialty soup company. This is daunting for too many reasons. What I need to know is of all the ready made soups and such available (I know, there are jillions) what flavors would appeal that are not already on the market? Determining this is a huge task and I am frankly frightened of embarking on this. So tell me, what food/soup do you love that you generally can’t find at the local grocer? Or that you can find but just isn’t good enough. Think in terms of something to grab from the refrigerator section.

    This may be a bigger question than can easily be answered. My gratitude to anyone who gives it a shot.

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

    I just peeked at a standard symptom chart for heat exhaustion. Given that I was puking, was sweating profusely, had a pounding headache and muscle cramps, and was a bit unsteady on my feet, heat exhaustion seems very likely indeed.

    However, I am back home, sitting in my air-conditioned apartment in my garmies. I have food and cool (non-alcoholic, of course) drinks.

  317. says

    *Commence drive-by offering of hugs, chocolate, tea, and… is that cat hair? Oops.*

    awakeinmo, I’m so sorry for your loss.

    morgan, I hope the doggie-snuggles help with what ails you.

    Tony!, I’m keeping all the good thoughts for you and your job quest.

    Gorogh, hi, nice to meet you!

    Ogvorbis, extra hugs if you want them.

    Horde, in general, help yourself to the hugs, chocolate and tea. I’ve done my best to remove the cat hair, sorry about that.

    Back to my felt bird project. I think my name will take you to my Dreamwidth journal, if you want to see the first bird I finished. The current one is a western bluebird, which is getting more complicated by the minute, but fun.

    *End drive-by*

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

    Well, Morgan, I’m thinking that you can’t go wrong offering the standards: tomato (cream-of, and not), chicken-with-noodles (what the specific noodle is would be a fine thing to play with), cream of mushroom, cream of broccoli, vegetable, and the like. A niche you might want to try to explore would be low-salt soups. I love soup, and I’m often discouraged when I read the labels and learn how much salt there is.

  319. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Thanks Esteleth. I hope the tummy is better.

    For the soups… I make all my soups with as little salt as possible and with absolutely no added sugar of any sort. That right there separates mine from the corporate versions. There are lots of good things that can be added to soups that in combination mimic salt and sweet flavors.

    One of the ideas I am exploring is a line of cold soups. I have six different versions of gazpacho I’m working on, and of course there is Vichyssoise.

    I have a Broccoli-Cauliflower-Cheese soup that is to die for.

    I have a savory Pumpkin-Spice soup that is good, but needs something I haven’t figured out yet.

    I have a New England Clam Chowder that is fabulous but not traditional and can be eaten hot or cold.

    I probably will not be doing anything with noodles since they are a highly processed food and are very high in carbs. Almost everyone I know is diabetic or nearly so, so I always cook with that in mind.

    I need some regional faves.

    More suggestions please.

  320. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, heat problems. One of our yearly safety training modules. Doesn’t mean much to me, as I work in the lab/office, but the production people in Tyvek™ PPE need to be cautious. Evidently they are, as I can’t remember any heat related lost time incidences (which we go over in gory detail).

  321. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Morgan, taste seems to be a matter of taste, but I for one loved-loved-loved the crab chowder in sourdough bread I had during a conference in San Francisco in March. If I ever dreamed of food, that’d be it.

    That being said, this is just as much about the bread bowl than about the soup. And I heard I should have gotten the clam chowder (instead of crab), but there you go.

    Beyond that, I am not well versed in all things culinary. Wish you all the best though!

  322. carlie says

    Neat food stories!!!

    On soup – I like corn chowders, lentil-based soups, white bean and spinach soup, rice-based soups… ones with a lot of oomph to them that does not come from potatoes or pasta. Those aren’t easy to find. Ones with southeast Asian flavors aren’t easy to come by either; lemongrass, curry, coconut milk.

  323. says

    I had some really weird dreams last night.

    I had a meta-nightmare. I was literally having nightmares about nightmares. (WTF?) The only details I remember are respawning undead (skeletal), and repeatedly trying to escape through a window, and something about a maze-like thing that I couldn’t get out of, and a lot of repeating and frustration. And something about a shard of glass stuck in my paw.

    Sometimes I wonder just what my subconscious is trying to tell me…

  324. says

    I’d forgotten how much I enjoy this song by The Script.

    Trigger Warning: Death or a loved one
    Emotional TL; DR ahead

    Speaking of music from The Script, “If you ever come back” is one of my favorite songs. Unfortunately it’s also a song that hits me in the gut. I don’t relate to the song as it is likely intended (its a song about missing your partner, longing for them back in your life, and having a glimmer of hope that while they’re gone at the moment, they’ll come back). For me, this was a song that I listened to a lot after Micah passed away and part of the chorus resonates with me:

    If you’re standing with your suitcase
    But you can’t step on the train
    Everything’s the way that you left it
    I still haven’t slept yet

    And if you’re covering your face now
    But you just can’t hide the pain
    Still setting two plates on the counter but eating without you

    If the truth is you’re a liar
    Then just say that you’re okay
    I’m sleeping on your side of the bed
    Goin’ out of my head now

    And if you’re out there trying to move on
    But something pulls you back again
    I’m sitting here trying to persuade you like you’re in the same room

    And I wish you could give me the cold shoulder
    And I wish you could still give me a hard time
    And I wish I could still wish it was over
    But even if wishing is a waste of time
    Even if I never cross your mind

    I’ll leave the door on the latch
    If you ever come back, if you ever come back
    There’ll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
    If you ever come back

    (bolding mine)
    Those lines really tear me apart. I’m crying as I type this. Micah and I were never in a relationship (we very briefly experimented and I realized I didn’t care for him in that way), but in everything else, he was what I would call a soul mate (if I were religious and/or spiritual). We were both atheists and we shared many of the same tastes in music. We both liked movies. In fact he was a manager at one of the local movie theaters. I remember that we first met at one of the gay bars here in town. It was October 2007. I remember the month in part because Steve Niles’ movie ’30 Days of Night’ came out around the time we met. We bonded quickly over comic books. I remember we sat outside the bar for a while (hour or two I think) discussing comic books. He invited me to see the aforementioned horror movie for free (perk of being a manager) which I did and I quite enjoyed it. From then on, we were nearly inseparable. People saw us at the bar together so much they just assumed we were a couple (which got on our nerves for a while, bc people assumed they knew what type of relationship we had). We got so close that we’d finish each others’ sentences from time to time. We’d routinely think of the same things and tell one another to “get outta my head”.


    In the beginning of our friendship, Micah was debating leaving Pensacola because he didn’t like living here. He had recently been discharged from the military and didn’t know what to do with his life. Shortly after we met, he changed his mind. He had a crush on me which was probably made more intense by our crazy chemistry. He also had some issues from the military that really disturbed him. He never elaborated on what they were and I never pressed. I figured that if he wanted to discuss them, he would. He drank. A lot. When he would get drunk, he’d often hit on me. It culminated one night when I took him home and he hit on me again, after puking at the bar from getting so drunk. I didn’t want to leave him alone, so I called a close friend of ours-a police officer (M). She stayed with him to ensure he got inside safe and didn’t try driving.


    The next day I told him that I like him and care about him, but I didn’t want to date him. Moreover, I said that I want to keep partying with him, but I don’t want to feel like I’m responsible for him every time we go out (that’s how much he drank). I told him that if we were going to keep clubbing together that I didn’t want to deal with him being sloppy drunk. I couldn’t stop him from drinking, but I told him I would stop going out with him. He cut back a little bit on drinking, but the real impetus to stop was a car accident he got into two days after Xmas 07. He totaled his car (somehow he walked away from the accident completely fine–thankfully).


    He stopped drinking for a long time. He also started trying to eat healthier. I think he weighed 240 lbs when we first met and he expressed a desire to lose weight and become a little more physically fit. I was working out pretty heavily at the time and he started coming to the gym with me. In about 6 months, he went from 240 to 180, which made him happier.


    During this time, he often told me I could come up to the theater and see any movie I wanted any time. It took some time before I took him up on the offer. I felt like I’d be taking advantage of him, and free movies was not the reason I was his friend. We wound up establishing a fun Tuesday night routine called Supper Club. We invited a few friends to a restaurant on a Tuesday evening for a social gathering. At the end of the meal, someone would pick the restaurant for the next week, and we’d meet up there. Each week, someone new would pick the next weeks’ restaurant. This continued for months, with varying numbers of people. The first group was 6 or 7 of us. We got up to 16 one time. It was so much fun. Many times we’d go to the bar after dinner to play Tuesday night bingo, and follow that up with screening movies at his theater before they were released to the public. It was so awesome seeing movies in relative privacy. At most we’d have 15 people in the theater. Micah would have his employees save popcorn for us in a big trash bag, so we’d have something to much on.


    Since we were close friends, and he was without a car, I wound up taking him to work or home frequently. He began staying the night at my house bc it was more convenient than driving halfway across town so often. A month or so after the accident, I started letting him borrow my car when I was at work. I’d often work 12 hour days at the bar, so obviously I wasn’t using the car during that time. I made him promise me not to drink if he was going to drive my car, which he agreed to. When he got done with work, he’d often come to the bar and hang out and wait for me to get off. He did that so frequently that the barstaff and many of the regulars got to know him (we had to deal with the whole “are you two together” all over again).


    In time I offered to let him move in with me and my other roomie (whom I checked with first to get the ok from), so that’s what he did. That made transportation easier. He and I started taking trips out of town to Dallas, Atlanta, or New Orleans. We even traveled to Orlando where my parents live several times. During this time, my sister was living in South Korea and she was over there for years. Micah bought her car from my parents (it was really theirs, not hers). My parents liked him quite a bit. When my sister came back to the states briefly, I remember going out drinking with she and Micah in Jacksonville, FL. It’s still surreal to go to bars with my sister. She’s 8 years younger than I am (she turns 30 this August come to think of it).


    Unfortunately, Micah died of a drug related heart attack on January 7, 2010. I came home from work and discovered his body (had to crawl through the window bc his door was locked-an apparent habit from the military). I’ve never experienced loss of that caliber before. That was the most painful experience of my life. Grabbing his leg and feeling the stiffness was…there are no words. For months after, I would feel like I could feel his presence still in the house. I think that’s similar to ghost limbs. When I would listen to the above song by The Script those bolded lyrics really hit me, bc the sensation I kept having made it seem like he was still alive, but just not home. The idea of leaving the light on, and leaving the door on the latch resonated with me bc I really wanted him to come home.


    Micah was one of the most thoughtful people I knew. He bought a concert ticket for a coworker out of the blue and worked for the guy one Friday night–just because. When he borrowed my car, he’d often text me to see if I needed anything while he was out getting groceries. Our other roomie, E, has long had financial problems, and Micah-without ever being asked, would cover bills for him. He wouldn’t ask for anything or even request a thank you. He would help care for my cats and the dogs without being asked too.

    Another song that really, really gets me is How to save a life by The Fray.

    Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
    Somewhere along in the bitterness
    And I would have stayed up with you all night
    Had I known how to save a life


    The night before Micah died, we resolved an argument that had kept us pretty much ignoring each other out of frustration for a few weeks. We talked it out and forgave each other. Even so, there’s this part of me that wishes I would have stayed up all night with him, bc maybe then he’d have survived. From checking his laptop after he passed away, I saw that he was still active around 7 am on Thursday, January 7, 2010. He passed away sometime after that. I don’t know how long rigor mortis takes to settle in, but when I got home and found him it was around 11:30 pm that night. I don’t blame myself for his death, but I wish I’d have stayed up with him. Maybe then my best friend would still be alive.

    Sorry for the Teal Deer ya’ll. It’s been a while since I thought this much about him, and part of me feels bad for that. Like, he was the best friend I ever had, and I don’t think about him that much. I know that’s not rational, but fuck. By FSM, I miss the living fuck out my lil buddy.

  325. carlie says

    Also, is everyone watching Legend of Korra? YOU SHOULD ALL WATCH IT. Last season dragged, but they just showed the first 3 eps of the new season and it’s in fantastic form. It is a Nickelodeon channel cartoon, you can watch the episodes online, and the women in it kick ass.There are many women! They have different personalities! And strengths! And weaknesses! And talk to each other about many things! And quite often save the day! It’s the sequel to the Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon, which was also amazing. (no, the movie was shit. Nothing like the cartoon at all.)

  326. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Gorogh, a belated Welcome! I applaud your taste. I grew up across the bridge from San Francisco and the best food ever comes from that beautiful city.

    In response to Carlie’s query upthread… The Tadich Grill in San Francisco is the third oldest restaurant in the U.S. and just simply has the best of classic everything. It is always crowded, but if you go late on a very cold and foggy winter Wednesday night it can be romantic as all get out. And the sourdough bread that you can get in SF is beyond compare. It has to do with the native yeasts in the area. And unfortunately the bread doesn’t travel well. But oh boy, if you get the chance to go to SF, just eat the sourdough bread. Heaven on earth. (A word of warning… a lot of “San Francisco Sourdough” isn’t made there and you can taste the difference, if you know what you are looking for. The tourists get ripped off regularly.)

  327. says


    Well, Gorogh, the muscles that encircle my stomach contracted rapidly while the pyloric sphincter contracted and the esophageal sphincter dilated. As a result, the contents of my stomach were propelled rapidly through my esophagus and out of my mouth

    Thanks for that.
    I needed that laugh after the rush of sorrow I just had.

  328. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Tony, I’m so sorry for your loss and pain. You honor your friend with the memory of him. You are a better person because of him, but getting there I know simply hurts too much. Many hugs, my friend.

  329. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Ah yes aloha Morgan – also Anne D *waves*

    Hm I hope I got the right kind of sourdough bread then, Morgan. But it was just awesome. Sure, there was atmosphere, nice company, and some Anchor Steam involved, but I still like to think the bread was good.

    Carlie, I will add that to my list. Just started season 6 of Dexter, and I’m sort of afraid that his refreshingly open approach to his atheism could be compromised at some point in the future… might even comment on that later, think I’ll have a couple more episodes today.

  330. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Breathe….. I know those nightmares. Sometimes our brains are truly aliens. I’ve taken to telling them, before I go to sleep, to simply Shut The Fuck Up. Sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. Hope you get some good, peaceful sleep.

  331. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Oh man. Tony, I totally skipped your post. I am sorry. Besides broken relationships, I never experienced any loss or grievance in my life, yet anyway. Still, if only by your description, I can very much empathize. My best wishes.

  332. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    On soup – I like corn chowders, lentil-based soups, white bean and spinach soup, rice-based soups… ones with a lot of oomph to them that does not come from potatoes or pasta. Those aren’t easy to find. Ones with southeast Asian flavors aren’t easy to come by either; lemongrass, curry, coconut milk.

    This is perfect! This is exactly the kind of input I need. THANKS!

  333. carlie says

    Tony – the legal version is here. They had the first two seasons up all week leading up to the new episodes tonight, but it looks like now it’s about every other episode or so, which would still get you the flavor of it without missing too much. “Welcome to Republic City” is the first one. This is the list of episodes if you want to do them in order.

  334. says

    For the Dr. Who fans in here:

    New Doctor Who is now less than two months away. BBC America has announced an 8 p.m. Aug. 23 premiere date for the latest season of the beloved, long-running sci-fi series — the first starring Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, who first appeared in the role in this past year’s Christmas special, “The Time of the Doctor.”



    Speaking of Dr. Who–sometimes I wonder why I like or don’t like things. I’ve never figured it out either. I don’t care for Dr. Who, but I don’t know why. Conversely I love the hell out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I don’t know why. What is it about tv shows, or movies, or music, or characters that does or does not appeal to me?

  335. says

    Thanks a bunch.


    Speaking of soups, I’m rather in the mood for soup. I’d have to make some, and I don’t know the first thing to do. I have white beans, black beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas, garlic, potatoes, 2% milk, couscous, broccoli, a few kinds of rice, canned corn, and carrots. Anyone have any ideas for what I could do with any of that?

  336. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Tony, my friend, give me ten minutes. I’ll give you a quick recipe!

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

    Oh, Carlie!


    RQ implied that a meeting with you is planned? As the map seems to imply that geography is helpful, could I get in on this? Shoot me an email (nym at the googles). :D :D

    Tony, I’m so sorry. But reading all that helped me know Micah.

  338. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Tony, if the beans and peas are all dried, you can’t use them for an immediate soup. They need soaking.

    So, here is a rule of thumb. Saute chopped onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil as the basis for just about anything good under the sun. You can add some of the corn and chopped carrots to that and saute until just tender. Coucous is a pasta and you don’t want to use that with the rice.

    Okay… ::brain whirring:: Saute garlic, chopped broccoli, corn, chopped carrots in olive oil until just tender. Peel potatoes and cut into small cubes. Add sauteed veggies and potatoes to pot with water or broth just to cover. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Season with sea salt, a bit of pepper, maybe some thyme or oregano. When all is soft, process in a blender and return to pot. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you want to make it a cream soup, mix about 2 teaspoons on corn starch with about 1/4 cup cold water. Mix it with some milk and add it to veggie mix. Stir and cook over low heat until thickened. If too thick, add more mild.

    Wing it!

    Let me know if this works.

  339. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Tony, if you don’t have a blender or food processor, just mash the hell out of it with a potato masher!

  340. yazikus says

    Hey Loungers,
    So I’m sure you are all avidly (or not at all) following the AVfM Men’s Right’s conference that is going on right now. In a threat over at WeHuntedtheMammoth, Damselindetech said the following:

    Would it help JB if we left some examples of helpful tweets?

    “If you or someone you know are feeling down or possibly suicidal, there is help available: #800273TALK #suicide #menshealth ##icmi14″

    “If a man or boy in your life discloses they’ve been sexually assaulted, believe them. #icmi14 #malesurvivors #wecareaboutmen”

    “Men, your mental and physical health are important. Make annual visits to your GP, and get help when you’re hurting #icmi14 #wecareaboutmen”

    You know what? I’m just gonna hop on Twitter and add these myself. Let’s see if we can get something productive and positive going.

    I thought this was a pretty neat idea, flooding their otherwise hatefull hashtag with actual pro-men tweets from feminists, and thought that maybe some around these parts would want to jump in too. Hope everyone is gearing up for a pleasant weekend! I’ll be dropping off my little dude at Camp Mimi (aka- he is going for a week to my parents house), so this is the first time in five years partner and I will have had more than one day to ourselves! We are excited, nervous, and kind of like, what the fuck are we going to do with all of this free time?!?

    So far ideas are: go to an evening movie (I haven’t been to a theater in ten years), have dinner at a cool pub that doesn’t allow minors so we never go, drive to near by city to find a ceramic fermenting crock, tear out carpet… Any suggestions?

  341. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Do anything that doesn’t involve work. Tearing out the carpet is a no go. Have fun.

  342. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Most definitely. If they are already cooked they are good to go. And better yet, if you want them whole and not part of the cream mixture, add them at the very end.

  343. says

    Thank you, Tony!

    That was a lovely tribute to your friend Micah. I read your personal tales here, and I always think you should be writing professionally; you put so much heart into them.

  344. cicely says


    which man?

    I’d always heard that it’s Henry I of England.

    He’s been dead…a while, now.
    I’m sure that his circumference, and therefore the official length of a yard, has stabilized to pretty damned small.
    (And I will leave the obvious jokes about the length of Henry I’s yard, strictly alone.)
    Sorry about your tummy.

    Tony!, I don’t recognize most of the listed D&D magical goodies…but I do know that you can have some good fun with a Wand of Wonder, or the Magic Beans.
    As for where this kinda magic item comes from, I had a long-playing character (CN, natch!) who would gladly devise New And Better Weirdnesses in his off time, and spent considerable cash on their R&D.
    Clearly, the author of that article lacks Imagination!

    What’s next, ‘My Own ICBM’?

    Shhhh!. These planet-buster bombs don’t go off unless you hit them juuuuust right….”
    (Even Later)
    *Big Hugs*

    WMDKitty, far too late to be useful, I know, but I see you!
    Don’t you know—people on benefits may only subsist on thin and watery gruel, dress in used flour sacks, and can never own anything nice? Even if somebody else gave it to them? No, really; it’s true!
    (pause for*shaking of heads* and *rolling of eyes*)
    I had a rather lengthy FB conversation with a friend of a friend the other day, who wanted to know how it could possibly be legal for someone to own a cell phone, and yet receive benefits??? Felonious moochery, I tells ya!
    I hope I left her better informed of The Realities Of Life, but who the hell knows?

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
    And also, what Tony! said.

    And a *hugs* for morgan ?!, too, with a Wish For A Better Tomorrow.
    Also, there aren’t enough soups that involve big, fat kidney beans. Maybe with sauteed onions?

    opposablethumbs, I assure you that I am completely down with any plan that puts me into hearing range of Alan Rickman and a phone book!

    *big hugs* and deepest sympathies for awakeinmo.
    I’m sorry.

    carlie—In Tahlequah, in my college days, there was a restaurant called The Patriot.
    No idea if the place is still there, and in any case, I ain’t, and neither is the group of friends I used to go there with.
    More recently, and here in Springfield, Tiny’s BBQ. It’s probably been 15 years since it closed doors, and The Husband I were reminiscing about it just this week.


  345. yazikus says

    cicely *pouncehug returned*! I’m so enjoying having evening hours back again. I’m taking the summer off from school, and am tempted to hang out in the Lounge the whole time. Cuz Loungers are teh awesome.This community was so instrumental in me making the decision to begin schooling last fall, and the academic year is over, I have three quarters of a 4.0 gpa to my name, and I’m still learning.

    To those of you who helped me make this back to school decision, thank you so much. It is going well and I now have priceless memories of my five year old being allowed to participate in Lab Day (we monitor a couple of watersheds for the class) following around my instructor asking him All of the Questions.

  346. yazikus says

    So, on the topic of camels, (shadows and all) one of my favorite stories to tell my little dude is when I got to go to Pushkar, the Camel Fair(In Rajasthan, India). There were camel races, camel beauty contests, Camel Extravaganza is what it was.And before I went, camels were my favorite animal (I was like 12), and I remember calling my mom and asking if I could bring home a baby camel, I had enough money saved up to buy one, and she was so horrified. No camels for Yazikus.

  347. rq says

    I love you all. Really.
    But I’m still having flashback-nightmares about having to face up to you all and PZ for losing Esteleth in the Niagara river.
    I was super-happy to see her (real human company for a change!), and the adventure was… an adventure. Unexpected and rather unplanned, as adventures are wont to be. (Our Person of Local Guidance assured me it would be a nice walk down and a nice walk up, but in the end, the only person not surprised at the difficulty of the trail was him. Beautiful scenery, though.) Also, Esteleth is a person of magnificent fortitude, and in the end, we made it back up. :) That’s kind of worth some happy feelings.

    carlie, if we manage to triangulate (and I still hope we manage!), we’re going to pick a coffee shop and we’re going to sit tight and just chat. With Esteleth, too, hopefully. Which means there will most likely be some kind of internal emergency in the coffee shop, but I think by now I will be prepared for that.

    You do indeed win the ultimate sweepstakes. I just have to find a suitable mode of transportation. That day has been planned in as free time for the entire choir, so I can do whatever the fuck I want on that day and no one’s allowed to complain about that.


    Now it turns out that I/we may have to change our flight-back plans (on those unchangeable and otherwise indelible un-whateverable tickets we bought back in May) because of the parental situation (the injury, not the attitude), and it will either (a) cost us too much or (b) not work out. So I’m at complete wits’-end and I have NO idea what to do. All I know is that Husband will be doing all the calling and attempted arranging, and I can only hope something will work out for us due to extant medical emergency conditions.

    Today we toured Niagara (as mentioned) and it was amazing, and the choir was suitably impressed. Actually, I think today was one of our smoother days (yes, Esteleth, one of our smoother days). I’m getting tired (getting?) of some people’s attitude(s), and their stupid jokes about how the locals here don’t know what to do with a good piece of rye bread. Just fuck you.
    My one piece of sweet revenge? Toronto’s gay pride parade is on Sunday. We’re taking the choir to Toronto on Sunday. I plan on enjoying myself. I plan on giving them the cultural shock of their lives. And I don’t give a shit.
    Ah well, our Super-Star Artistic Director is arriving on June 30, and then everyone can go bother him about everything, since he doesn’t know anything anyway. And they’ll get all the answers they want. It’ll be amazing.


    Cheese is the amazingest food invented on this earth.
    That is all.
    And I’m not so bad for an equiphile. Despite my current whining and grousing about people I semi-volunteered to drag around Canada, I’m pretty sure I’m an okay person at least some of the time.
    (Technically, the choir’s not touring musically, since we’re only here for the Song Festival in Hamilton, but we’re certainly touring the region. Lots of kilometers!)

    You’re too sweet. :) But at least we just visited a museum on our first (I hope) meeting, with no accompanying Choir.
    Also, once this trip is over and before my brain recovers from the intense frying, I just may tweet Alan Rickman and see if he’s free sometime in the autumn. To read a phone book, of course.

  348. says

    Holy Moly!
    The soup came out quite good.
    I didn’t have oil, so I sauteed the carrots, onions, corn, and garlic in butter. I cooked couscous yesterday and had some of that left, so I added the diced potatoes to that along with the rest of the ingredients as you said. Blended it up, added some cayenne pepper, paprika, ground cumin, ground jalapeno (I like spicy stuff), garlic powder, honey (I like a sweet/spicy flavor to food), salt, pepper, and white beans at the end. I also toasted up some multi-grain bread to eat with it. This was perfect. I needed that. Cooking took my mind off my earlier sorrow and eating it was such great comfort food.

    In addition, while I was cooking, I got some cleaning in the kitchen done, and I listened to some music. Two of my favorite dance songs (I used to go clubbing a lot and dancing was such a release for me) of the last couple of decades:
    1- TheThunderpuss mix of Anastacia’s ‘Boom’

    2- Laura Pausini’s ‘Surrender’. This song is in my top 5 (and I don’t really rank stuff much anymore) favorite dance songs. When I remembered the song, I pulled it up on YouTube and danced away while the food was cooling off.

    If you hadn’t given me that recipe, I probably wouldn’t have remembered either song, gotten any cleaning done, or even eaten dinner. Thank you SO much.

  349. cicely says

    yazikus, my clearest camel-involving memory is of a time during the (miserable and insecure) year we spent up in the Detroit area, back in…hmm…’88? ’89? Somewhen around then, anyways; Son was about 3 or 4. We did a day-trip to the zoo…and got to explain Elements of Reproductive Biology (Camelid) to him. Some of the other visitors looked scandalized

  350. rq says

    I apologize for any incoherence.
    I also think that one of the assistant conductors has a crush on me.
    But I’m going for more beer. Excuse me.

  351. rq says

    Also, I had *hugs* to hand out to Tony and I agree with everyone re: your writing skills. You really know how to bring people and situations to life. Thank you.

  352. says

    Thank you for the kind words. I’m rather floored. I didn’t think I was doing anything special when conveying my stories.



    (pause for*shaking of heads* and *rolling of eyes*)

    Um…ah…just how many heads do you have?

  353. says


    My one piece of sweet revenge? Toronto’s gay pride parade is on Sunday. We’re taking the choir to Toronto on Sunday. I plan on enjoying myself. I plan on giving them the cultural shock of their lives. And I don’t give a shit.

    I cannot even imagine which level of FUN* this is going to be.

    *If Dante could create multiple circles of HELL, we can have multiple levels of FUN, no?

  354. cicely says

    Tony!, let me just check in my closet….
    But srsly, I thought it could be a Group Exercise.

    *lightning-fast pouncehug* for chigau, on the drive-by.

  355. A. Noyd says

    morgan (#433)

    What I need to know is of all the ready made soups and such available (I know, there are jillions) what flavors would appeal that are not already on the market?

    Something with barley and not mushrooms. Or with black beans and not red bell peppers. In fact, more vegetarian soups without mushrooms and bell peppers and cilantro. Because they almost all have at least one of those nasty fucking ingredients ruining them. Also, a really zesty and not sweet tomato rice soup. Or how about a root veggie stew that’s more than just carrots and potatoes? And curry flavor soups that aren’t dominated by cumin. (Fuck cumin. It’s okay in small doses, but it shouldn’t be allowed to take over the dish, which it does at the drop of a hat. There’s a restaurant near here that makes cauliflower and almond soup but puts in so much cumin you can’t even taste the almond, so what’s even the point?)

  356. says

    Good morning


    A. Noyd, helping while knowing to ask those questions is really good. I hope I remember the questions in the right moment too; the people I encounter are asking for money rather than food, so it hasn’t come up.

    I have a hunch that those women found out that people are assholes who won’t give them money because they would surely spend it on booze and cigarettes. Asking for food, those oh so nice and charitable people have exactly the power they want to have over poor people: decide what they can and cannot have, because they obviously don’t know what they need themselves. And then they feel good about it.

    Big hugs

    Don’t worry, puking at Horde meet-ups is a time honoured tradition. Just ask #1. When we met with David and Jules in Berlin, we wanted to spend a wonderful day at the Tierpark. Only #1 felt unwell, we needed to leave and while changing underground lines she puked on the platform of Berlin Alexanderplatz. Yes, the Alexanderplatz.
    The only good thing about it was that this was teh end of her tummy troubles and at least David and me could get back another day…

    Sorry to hear *hugs*
    Enjoy giving your choir a heart attack

    Glad to hear you’Re better

    Tonight it’S potatoe soup and cherry pancakes. Yes, that’s a traditional meal here. Yesterday we harvested cherries at my parents’ place (added bonus that I was busy and didn’t have to pay attention to my mother).
    I guess there are probably 20 kg still on the trees and nobody will harvest them. :(

    Also: Gazpacho!
    Giliell’s quick Gazpacho recipe
    2 cucumbers, peel, remove seeds, cut into rough pieces
    2-4 bell peppers, peel, too
    2-3 packs pureed tomatoes
    2-3 slices of white bread, without crust
    olive oil
    paprika powder (i like the smoked variety)
    ->put everything into a blender, season to taste
    Now you can either just drink it, or you can make a Gazpacho party:
    dice things like boiled eggs, peppers, cheese, fish, whatever, put into small dishes, put everything on the table and everybody makes their own soup

  357. opposablethumbs says

    seconding carlie

    Ones with southeast Asian flavors aren’t easy to come by either; lemongrass, curry, coconut milk.

    I love something sold around here that purports to be Thai (or Thai “inspired) spicy chicken soup.
    Tony! I’m so sorry that M is gone – but thank you for letting us get a glimpse of what a wonderful friendship you shared. A friendship like that has to be one of the most precious things there is. Can’t think of a better way of remembering him than to let all that love and friendship show through in your words. Still crossing tentacles for you.
    Frantically rushing today: drive-by {hugs} and waves all round. Hoping you are able to get a postponement within the terms and conditions of your flight – and I can’t wait to read about how the choir took to Pride, rq … :-D

  358. says

    morgan ?!, carlie, dianne, Tony!, Dalillama, Schmott Guy, CaitieCat, opposablethumbs, Anne D, cicely, Giliell, and sorry if I missed anyone,
    Thanks very much. I really appreciate your kind thoughts.

    And also Tony!
    Thanks for sharing that story. It is lovely (albeit a bit heartbreaking).

    Now if nobody minds, I’m going to wander around in a weepy fog and barf a lot.

  359. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Good morrow everyone!

    Like every Saturday, I “enjoyed” Steve Benen’s This Week in God – pick and choose what you’re interested in there. I found both the Methodists’ reacceptance of a pastor who lost his ordination because of performing a same-sex wedding noteworthy. Kind of fits with last week’s Presbytarians’ move…

    Also, the Catholic church continues to talk nicely. Will be thrilled to see when they act upon it.

    In other news, things in Dexter (the show I’m watching right now, halfway through season 6 of 8) really develop in a disconcerting direction. Up until now, I liked the refreshing atheism expressed by the protagonist, but apparently, they want to go in the direction of making him more spiritual or something (for all I can tell right now). I am documenting some of the stupid dialogue happening along those lines, here are two examples.

    [after someone close to Dexter had successful surgery]
    Brother Sam (ex-convict turned pastor): And… thank God?
    Dexter: That’s just an expression.
    Brother Sam: I know… just another marvel of modern science.
    Dexter: Hey you put your in god, I put my faith in science.
    Brother Sam: That’s cool we don’t have to believe in the same thing, but… gotta keep an open mind. Lemme say uh… can’t prove that God exists… but can’t prove he doesn’t. Take care Dexter.
    *shake hands, Dexter nods thoughtfully for 5 sec*

    It’s the usual bullshit that the religious character has the last word and the scene is set up to make him appear all wise and likeable. That annoyed the hell out of me in The Rite (with Anthony Hopkins), anyone seen that crap?

    Dexter (monologue): … But even science is never certain. Even the profoundest of theories is subject to data. And there are some things even science can’t explain. Brother Sam would say that it’s not an accident that I’ve stumbled onto a killer that seems to have his own kind of faith. And while I don’t believe in an unseen hand creating his own tableau, I do believe I don’t have all the answers.

    Setting the stage for a conversion? If so, I’ll be really pissed.

  360. birgerjohansson says

    The term “necrodunking” sounds so good it should be applied to some sound SF concept.
    Hmm… “dunking” recently dead into a vat of nanotech goo, enabling the nanobots to use the carcass as a substrate to build a functional body with an AI-derived mind?

  361. says

    Hugs to Tony in recognition of the sorrow that comes with losing a friend. I liked the song lyrics.

    Regarding the discussion about soup, I like a pinto bean based soup with veggies and spices that give it a south-of-the-border flavor. Serve with cornbread.

    Esteleth, I haz empathy. Puking from heat stress is fairly common. No real harm done. Shorter hikes next time, and/or walk during the early morning hours.

    “This Week in God” was mentioned up-thread by Gorogh. I was shocked to read about churches trying to increase attendance on Father’s Day by raffling off AR-15 assault weapons, specifically the “Black Rain AR-15.” WWJD

  362. says

    Some thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling scheduled to come down on Monday:

    […] Unions fear the implications extend far beyond the home health worker profession in Illinois. Agency fees in principle are important to public employee unions because they’re required by law to bargain for all workers in a unionized setting. If agency fees for non-members are ruled to be a violation of free speech, unions fear they would lose funding, become less effective at bargaining for benefits and, in turn, lose members.

    A death spiral.

    One labor official said such a result would bring about “the possible final destruction of the American labor movement.” […]

    Unions are required by law to bargain for all workers in a unionized setting — just repeating that for emphasis. Agency fees are fine in my opinion.


  363. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Good Saturday morning Horde,

    I mentioned before that I always have awful nightmares and I usually remember them. There are several time honored themes which I will not subject you to today. However, last night’s horror was one for the books. Apologies in advance for bestowing on you this disturbing image…

    …….. prehensile labia………

    I’m sorry.

    I’ll see myself out.

  364. says

    Yeah, this does not smell right:

    A new video shows Dr. Ersula Ore, a professor at Arizona State University, body slammed by a police officer after being stopped for jaywalking near campus. But it’s Ore who is facing charges for resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, and other crimes.

    The incident occurred on May 20 when Ore, an English professor who teaches classes on Race Critical Theory among other topics, crossed the street, she says to avoid construction. […]

    Unfortunately, this kind of incident is not uncommon. Last year another African American academic was subject to harsh treatment by the police when she was pulled over for a broken license plate tag holder.
    A 2003 study in the Justice Policy Journal found “racially discriminatory policing is a white versus people of color problem, specifically interpersonal conflict between white police officers and people of color.” Further, recent Supreme Court cases have empower a “racist police officer to elevate the effects of racial profiling by allowing him discretion as to whether to issue a citation or to take a person into custody for minor traffic violations and fine-only misdemeanors.”