1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    [reprise from pre-portcullis]

    I can only imagine how beneficial this could be to people with spinal injuries.

    Or strokes. The Redhead could benefit by walking, even if only one side needs augmentation.

  2. says

    Giliell, I’ll just leave this basket of hugs waiting here for you. I hope you can get some restful sleep.

  3. Sili says

    Apropos of nothing – except Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae:

    I’ve just realised that I pluralise /sləʊθ/ as /sləʊðz/ but /slɔːθ/ as /slɔːθs/ (modulo sibilant voicing).

  4. says

    Anybody see the trailer to the new Scarlet Johannson movie “Lucy?” Looks exciting, except for the major scientific flub. Contrary to popular belief, we use all of our brains. We just use 10% at a time.

  5. says

    I keep seeing different rationales for the “10% of our brains” myth, but I don’t believe there ever was a reason, it just came out of nowhere and attracted a lot of woo. None of the rationales bear any examination, and none bear repeating with any authority. It’s just wrong, full stop, period, point, the end.

  6. Portia says

    I’m so sorry for that situation.

    I can relate more than my adolescent-era brain probably allows me to remember.

    Hope you get some peace.

  7. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    I’m sending massive amounts of comfy hugs. I know this situation and I’m so sorry anyone has to experience it.

    No advice…… just standing silently with you in support.

  8. says

    NelC #9
    It’s actually pretty easy to track down. It originated in Lowell Thomas’ introduction to Dale Carnegie’s massively popular book How to Win Friends and Influence People, an essay sometimes republished separately as “A Shortcut To Distinction”. Thomas cites Professor William James of Harvard as his source, but he’s badly garbling James’ research, and his formulation was further garbled by popular culture. In fact, what James said was basically that kids who got good nutrition and good education tended to be higher intellectual achievers as adults, and therefore many people now (or rather then) adults who hadn’t got very good nutrition and/or education as children would be higher intellectual achievers now if they had, and thus had not fully realized their potential (the 10% figure was something Thomas made up entirely). This is pretty much correct, and frankly not all that surprising, nor does it imply anything in particular other than that we should try to ensure kids have good nutrition and education, which is kind of a given anyway on my view.

  9. PatrickG says

    Hope it’s not a threadjack, but my boss is hiring! He’s been too busy to give me a formal blurb, but I’ll give a quick summary of what I understand the job to entail (since it’s basically my job description as well):

    Title: Programmer/Developer
    Specific tools used: Java, MVC frameworks (we use Angular for our current project), Maven, HTML5, Javascript, and a general understanding of Linux/Unix
    Pay: Ample, with health care, dental, disability, and IRA. Can’t speak for boss here, obviously.
    Location: Remote development team. Company base in PST, but we contract with Western Europe (i.e. if you live in California, be prepared to do meetings at 6am on a regular basis)
    Boss: Awesome. Met him through an old friend, extremely congenial working environment.

    If anybody is interested… I’m really bad at following forums, but email me at g_r_a_n_v_o_l_d @ (obviously without the spaces — and yes, I’m afraid of spiders and robots). I will try to check back in here, but … might not respond immediately.

  10. PatrickG says

    Should go without saying that the only reason I’m posting that job announcement here is because I love this community (albeit as an infrequent contributor), and I thought someone here might be in need of opportunity or know someone who is.

    For the Horde!

  11. says

    Sounds great, but I only have about half the qualifications so far, and that’s stretching it.
    On another note, any Pathfinder players around here interested in an experimental realm-building game? I’ve been recruited to help playtest a set of (totally unofficial) rules for running a fiefdom and similar, subdivided by what aspect of things you’re involved with. It’ll be played online through Roll20, on Pacific time. He’s looking for one more player. Here’s the setting and additional rules.

  12. carlie says

    Portia – yes! Tomorrow (Monday) makes week 3. But, I forgot to watch entirely last week. Last week’s is on Monday night at 6pm eastern, with the new (3rd) episode on at 9pm eastern. (the 7 and 8 hours are for last week’s and this week’s Switched At Birth). The 1st episode was confusing, because rather than do a set of flashbacks or starting where they left off, it was starting a few months later, but then flashing back without warning of any kind, so it was like scene: Brandon’s hand is ok! next scene: Brandon’s in the hospital with his hand! next scene: Brandon’s playing the piano! next scene: brandon is recovering from hand surgery! I wish I could have seen it twice to figure it all out. And timewise, I’m not sure what’s going on – based on Brandon’s hand recovery it appears to be at least 3 months, but based on the progress on Callie’s adoption, it seems like the next week after last season’s finale. So.

  13. Portia says


    Oooooh I miss Switched at Birth so much. I’m off to see if I’ll get llucky with hulu

  14. says

    PatrickG – That’s super awesome to do. I only wish I had the correct array of skills to take advantage.

    Tony – Well, yeah, if you don’t do everything in your power to present yourself as super heteronormative and beg desperately and quietly to maybe be treated as a human being, then clearly you deserve the bigoted ignorance of the populace. And let’s just ignore that queer rights have only exploded in the last decade or two largely because queer groups abandoned the sofly, softly begging approach and just went balls to the wall in self-celebration and education. Almost like confrontation is key to activism despite the advice of those who want activism to slow down. Sigh.

  15. says

    Oh and since we’re putting out some personal calls for stuff… Me, Siggy (from The Asexual Agenda), and Olivia from Skepchick are getting together to plan out a panel proposition for FTBCon and we wanted to extend an invitation to anyone posting or lurking here who identifies as ace-spectrum who would be willing to jump in and join our panel so that we get a diversity of perspectives. You can email me at cerberussadlyno AT gmail DOT com or just post here to let me know.

  16. PatrickG says

    @ Dallilama in particular, and others:

    What I posted is sort of a skill set that *I* have to have. I know the project my boss is hiring for will involve other things, but he’s very much of the mind that current technologies are easily learnable, and that if you can do anything in the programming realm, you can pretty easily pick up other skills.

    In other words, if you have programming experience.. it doesn’t have to be specifically those things. That’s just intended to give people an idea of the type of skills involved.

    What he’s really against is people who are hard to work with. :)

  17. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    That’s a really nice thing you’re doing.

    Lovely to see you ’round these parts again.

  18. A. Noyd says

    Travis Mamone (#7)

    Anybody see the trailer to the new Scarlet Johannson movie “Lucy?” Looks exciting, except for the major scientific flub.

    I’m not excited about it because it’s chock full of racism. (This reblog is a more accessible version of the same thing.)


    Tony (#15)

    Ophelia wrote about a victim blaming shitbag who wants gay people to stop having PRIDE parades bc it causes people to bash queers.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone of an oppressed class so spectacularly miss the point of pride before.

  19. says

    Well, I have a basic grounding in Java and HTML, but not much more than that. but I don’t know anything about Maven or any Javascript. I’m pretty familiar with *nix systems, though.

  20. PatrickG says

    @ Dalillama: If you’re comfortable sending me a CV/Resume, I can forward it on. At the address above. If not, let’s work out something else.

  21. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    On another note, any Pathfinder players around here interested in an experimental realm-building game?

    Actually, I do play Pathfinder (more precisely, Pathfinder rules for the Faerun setting). Sounds interesting – we recently devised something similar, never got around testing it though. But I don’t think right now I would be reliable enough to playtest anything… if you could share a few more details besides “Pacific time” though, I could be more decisive about yes or no!

    Nice to see there are other roleplayers around.

  22. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    My #31 was of course referring to Dalillama’s #19. Grrr.

  23. jste says

    PatrickG, your boss sounds like an awesome guy to work for in our industry.

    Wishing you luck, Dalillama.

  24. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Dalillama, will try to get in touch with you tomorrow, off to bed now.

    Good night Lounge!

  25. says

    Random musing:

    I’m okay, just go away
    Into distance let me fade
    I’m okay, just go away
    I’m okay, but please don’t stray too far

    –Metallica, “Invisible Kid”

    This resonates with me a lot. I want to be left alone, sure… but I also want my humans close by in case I need them.

    Anybody else?

  26. PatrickG says

    @jste: Yeah, no kidding. Especially after reading about so many issues in our industry in these and other parts…

    On the other hand, it’s a small company that contracts with the UN. He’s not working in the more corporate “how many tickets have you closed recently?” world.

  27. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    This guy claims his restaurant isn’t a Nazi cafe and that the Nazi’s didn’t slaughter anyone:

    Really, there is no reason you should be offended by the SoldatenKaffee, its owner insists.

    True, this cafe in Bandung, Indonesia’s third largest city, features a portrait of Adolf Hitler over its fireplace. There are also giant Third Reich iron eagles bearing swastikas on the wall, next to Nazi posters. And yes, some of its customers are wearing military uniforms and Nazi armbands.

    But this is definitely NOT a Nazi-themed place. Nope, not at all.

    The owner wants to make this very clear, once for all.

    “From the beginning I have said that the SoldatenKaffee is not a Nazi cafe. This cafe’s theme is World War II,” Henry Mulyana declared during a press conference he organized for the cafe’s reopening last Saturday.

    Of course, you could be forgiven for any confusion. The establishment is named after a German military cafe in WWII’s occupied Paris. Giant Nazi flags and Waffen SS propaganda grace its red walls. Customers can order “Nazi goreng” (a revisited version of traditional Indonesian fried rice dish “nasi goreng”) served on swastika-motif china, by a waiter wearing an SS uniform.

    The SoldatenKaffee (Soldier’s cafe) first opened in 2011.

    Then it attracted the attention of the English-language Jakarta Globe, and subsequently the international media. The story sparked global outrage. The cafe’s owner received death threats and was summoned by local authorities to explain his motives.

    At the time, he argued he didn’t idolize Hitler and had just chosen a theme that he thought would attract customers.

    Still, he also claimed there was no proof the Nazis were responsible for the Holocaust. “Controversy will always exist, depending on from what side we’re looking from. The way I see it, the Nazis didn’t commit slaughter,” he told the Jakarta Globe.

  28. Menyambal says

    “Nazi goreng”, huh? They could offer “Nazi putih”, plain rice, which would mean “white Nazi”. Or they could just shut down and apologize. “Maaf”, I think it was.

  29. rq says

    *hugs* (esp. for Giliell, if there have been other serious happenings include yourself here, since I’m seriously ‘rupt and I apologize that I haven’t read all the comments) and *minion umbrellas* and *balloons* and *waves* to the Lounge in general.

    As I’ve been saying, I’m still alive, the choir is still alive, and… well, generally speaking, things are going better. I’ve learned to tune the whiners out, plus last night I had a chance to sort of informally survey the populace (as it were) about their impressions of this trip, and even the people who I expected to have some constructive criticism to say came out and told me they were having an excellent time and that the trip in general has been excellent for them. What a weight. Just up and flew away. And I let down my hair and had a great evening, which resulted in everyone being (unnecessarily) worried about the state of my head this morning.

    Oh, except for those rumours the perennial whiners started spreading about me and one of the choir menfolks. He is a flirt, and he’s my kind of flirt, so we get along famously, but we haven’t been up to any kind of shenanigans that would warrant rumouring. HA the best thing about this? He was wearing a white shirt today, and from hugging one of the girls young women, someone’s foundation cream got smeared onto it rather visibly. Expert analysis and opinion stated that it is mine, because I suppose possibly the colour matches a vague idea of what the colour of my foundation cream would be… except I don’t use any. Ever. So in addition to being whiners, they’re also stupid.

    Then our *ahem* Master Driver #1, who already got the sharp side of my tongue for pulling some impressively dangerous maneuvers a couple of days ago, pulled another circus-worthy maneuver, and got more from the sharp side of my tongue…. which then led him to complaining to the Chief Whiner, who later complained to everyone else that I just don’t understand how difficult it is to be the last car in a convoy. Well, I’ll say one thing: both times? They weren’t the last car in the convoy. And being last does not qualify you to pull stupid, dangerous, dangerous stunts (like pulling across 2 lanes of highway while braking without signalling in reasonably decent traffic – while carrying 6 passengers for whose lives you are responsible). This is a 40+ year old man who cannot get it into his head that, as a driver taking responsibility for part of a group, maybe he should try following the rules for a while. :P Asshole.

    Today I walked through Ye Olde University-Tyme Neighbourhoode, and I think that out of all the city locations I’ve been re-visiting, that’s the one I miss most. Good old Roncesvalles. Bought a couple of books at the old used bookstore and chatted with the salesperson, bought a coffee at the Timothy’s on the corner just like I used to, photographed my grandma’s house… In general, I needed that walk to sort myself out.

    Tomorrow our artistic director arrives. He’ll be having a few words about the quality of our singing. That, or he just won’t give a shit anymore. Everyone’s a bit apprehensive about it, though. But only a little.

    The best news? I bought a bus ticket to Waterloo (okay, fine, Kitchener). *surreptitious glances in CaitieCat‘s direction* Guess who I’m going to visit tomorrow?

    For those discussing the Lounge Commune, we have an urgent vacancy for dentists. No one has signed up for that position yet. And as Dalillama says, it’s not about survival – it’s about rebuilding civilization.
    Yay all of us!


  30. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    17 PatrickG

    Fyi, I sent that information to my Roomie who’s an unemployed programmer. He doesn’t post here, spends most of his time reading and practicing, but he’s a good guy.

  31. PatrickG says

    @ JAL: Excellent, I’m off to bed but will look for an email. If he has any problems contacting me (gmail spam filter is sometimes inappropriately aggressive) , let me know here.

  32. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Oh, well, I guess I should have read all of Kaveh’s post before commenting. I composed a long response about libertarianism, hit submit and then saw his warning:

    I’ll consider that previous thread dead and forgotten. But if you use my platform to insult your ideological opponents again, using abusive language, (that includes conservatives, Tea Party advocates, Muslims, Christians, progressives, etc) I will ban you, because you are not welcome here.

    I didn’t directly insult anyone, but my closing line probably violates his decree. I’m in moderation over there, but I copy/pasted my comment to Facebook, so here it is:

    I’ve heard it said that Libertarians have strong values. That they don’t want to hurt the poor. That they’re very concerned with democratic principles and they merely disagree with progressives.

    My answer to that:

    Who cares how strong their values are if they don’t have the evidence to support the efficacy of those values? Who cares if they didn’t *intend* to destroy the poor, if that’s the outcome resulting from their policies?They can disagree all they want, but have they actually thought through their vile philosophy?When you support economic policies that-if enacted would increase pain and suffering, especially amongst those least able to handle an increase in either (i.e. the poor), you’re supporting a vile philosophy. It’s not enough to say ” I’m a libertarian and here are my beliefs”. What happens when those beliefs are put into practice? How will that impact people? If, as a libertarian, I support policies that would eliminate government benefits, how is that going to impact the people who rely on those resources? They won’t have those resources, and as it’s been shown private charity cannot replace government social programs:
    The idea that community or faith-based charities were more efficient, effective and capable than the government of addressing economic stringency hasn’t been true since the industrial revolution transformed the U.S. from an agrarian to an urban nation.

    To suggest that such organizations can effectively supplant government social programs is worse than a mere fantasy — it’s a cynical and dangerous fantasy that serves only as a talking point to cut those programs.

    The truth is that private, communal and religious giving simply can’t meet the needs that government programs handle. Let’s examine why.

    To begin with, charitable organizations typically fall prey to the same economic pressures as the rest of society. “Giving falls when it’s needed the most,” observes Christopher Wimer, an expert on poverty and the social safety net at Columbia University.


    Another issue is that philanthropic giving is not synonymous — at all — with helping the needy. Quite the contrary.

    As charitable giving is structured in the United States today, it too often plays out not as the rich helping out the poor, but as the rich increasing the gap between themselves and the poor.

    A 2007 study by Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy found that only 30% of individual giving in the benchmark year of 2005 was aimed at the needs of the poor — including contributions for basic needs, donations to healthcare institutions, for scholarships and allocations from religious groups. (The study was commissioned by Google.)

    The smallest allocation of philanthropic giving to basic needs of the poor was made by the wealthiest donors, those with income of $1 million of more, who directed 3.8% of their giving directly to the poor. For the $100,000-$200,000 income group, that allocation was 12.4%.

    Charities cannot fill the role of government in providing a safety net for those who need it most. To shift to safety net by way of charity would result in poor people suffering far more than they are now. I’ve seen no libertarian that takes this into consideration or even thinks this far through. They cannot simply assert that their policies will work. They have to demonstrate it. When you follow through on the implications of eliminating the social safety nets, and you discover that doing so results in an increase in suffering, it should become apparent that government assistance programs serve the needs of the poor more efficiently than charity.

    Another aspect of charity vs. government assistance is that so many libertarians complain about their taxes being “taken from them”. Many of them complain that it’s so unfair that their taxes are being taken and used for assistance programs.

    This is a selfish view and one that assumes they’ll never be in the position of needing financial assistance themselves. Shit happens. People get fired or companies close down and layoffs occur. That can happen to all but the richest of us. It can happen to libertarians. Social safety nets are [ostensibly] there for the benefit of everyone. You pay into that, and if you find yourself in the position of needing help, you receive assistance. Even if you don’t ever find yourself jobless, I’d argue that it is compassionate to continue paying into that system. I don’t want people to suffer. Why? Largely because I can empathize with others. I wouldn’t want to be placed in a situation (well I am right now, actually) where I’m financially suffering-struggling to put food on the table or pay for necessities. By virtue of that, I can easily see how rough that would be on others. I don’t want people to have to go through that. I support having my taxes pay into a social safety net so that the burden on other people is reduced.

    Most of the libertarian complaints I’ve seen are that they don’t want to pay taxes bc they don’t want to support a social safety net. Yet the amount of taxes being taken out isn’t terribly high:
    A person making a $50,000 salary pays 10 cents a day in taxes for food stamps while corporate welfare costs every American family $6,000 per year.source

    If they really want to complain about what their taxes are funding they should focus on national defense and healthcare. At $50K, 25.79% of an individuals’ income taxes will go towards defense spending, while 25.19% will go towards healthcare spending. After that 18.77% of one’s income taxes goes to job and family security, which includes government assistance programs (source).

    You could argue that it’s still “my 10 cents a day, and I should have it”, but then if you’re not willing to pay those taxes (even if you had the option to opt out), then you also shouldn’t benefit from the various services your taxes help support- public schools (elementary and up), infrastructure (don’t use the roads, highways, bridges, sidewalks), sewer system, utilities, and more.

    To whine about paying taxes and wanting to keep that money for yourself is selfish, and one of the big reasons why many progressives (myself included) refer to the libertarian mantra as “I’ve got mine. Fuck you.” It doesn’t matter that they don’t intend for their policies to fuck people over. Intent is not magic. It’s irrelevant to the outcome. If the outcome screws over people–and libertarian policies would do just that-it doesn’t matter if they didn’t intend for people to be screwed over, because that’s what is going to happen. They need to follow through on the impact of their philosophy. They need to explore how it will impact society. I’ve *never* seen that in discussion with libertarians. I always see the response of “the free market will sort it out”. No explanation given to explain how. It just will.

    All of that is a big enough problem with libertarianism. When you start discussing deregulating companies, other problems arise:• Public entities have to follow non discrimination policies. If those are eliminated, are employees just supposed to hope that corporations are going to have their best interests at heart? What protections will exist if someone is fired for being black? What resources will a woman have if she’s passed over for a raise bc she’s a woman? What recourse would a lesbian have if she’s fired for being gay? Are they supposed to hope and pray that companies are going to treat them well?

    • Regulations are also in place to control the amount of pollution dumped into the air and water. Without those regulations, what’s to stop companies from polluting the environment even more? That’s a massive health risk that could affect millions of people. But companies are in the business of making money, and many of those decisions are not based on what is best for society. Who’s going to set acceptable levels of pollution for companies?

    In an ideal world, libertarianism would be awesome. We don’t live in that world. Libertarians all too often fail to think through the implications of their philosophy, and at the same time, they demonstrate a short sightedness that prevents them from seeing how their ideas would fuck over others.

    So yeah, libertarianism is a selfish ideology that only benefits those at the top. For everyone else, we’re screwed.

    That’s why I despise libertarian philosophy, and that’s why I think libertarians are assholes.

    I of course included links to the sources of my figures, but they didn’t appear when I copy pasted.
    Ah well. Perhaps he’ll read it. I don’t know that I’ll want to comment there much anyways. Civility is overrated, especially in the face of assholishness.

  33. birgerjohansson says

    Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain (child maltreatment or poverty)

    Blame Canada? Team unearths what may be secret weapon against antibiotic resistance (Canadian fungus)

    This guy is my idol. I model my life after him. “Wally gets a work-related injury”

  34. opposablethumbs says

    Late and ‘rupt; just want to send a very large consignment of hugs to Giliell. Shit, I hope you and your sister are OK. And your mum. I’m sorry she’s being so bloody impossible about acknowledging that she is in deep health trouble and needs to ask for and accept professional help instead of effectively dumping on her family … again and again.

    Also, Tony! that’s an excellent comment.

  35. newenlightenment says

    Random question, does anyone here have a favourite geological epoch? Mine’s the Carboniferous, on account of the giant amphibians and dragonflies.

  36. bassmike says

    newenlightenment my epoch would be the Cambrian: so many weird and wonderful biological forms.

    rq you have my sympathies for your family problems and your choir tribulations. It sounds very much like when we took the orchestra on tour: you knew who was going to cause problem…and they never let you down! There’s one band member who I still have a dislike for due to their behavior on tour. When everyone else is mucking in and helping to take equipment on and off the coach, the refused to help. They then sat on the coach complaining about how long it took to get going. Well, if you’d help it would be quicker! /rant

    Tony I really hope you get the job.

    Giliell I’m sorry to hear about your problems. *hugs* are available as always.

  37. says

    Garh…couldn’t get to sleep last night til 5am, turning over and over, then slept til 9:30 or so.

    Then stood up. Or tried to. I’m all question-mark-y. Back is frakking nightmarish, cartoony levels of pain. Like, reaching over to the small table beside me to lift my drink hurts enough to make me cry out. And I’m not exactly incapable of bearing up under a certain amount; anything strong enough to make me noisy is…not small.


    And rq is coming to visit today. Stupid back! I need more from you! Damnit. Under no circumstances are you allowed to make that difficult! Do not fail in your mission, back!

    Alright, meds, get in there and Do Yo Stuff.

    Ow. Sorry to be kinda ‘rupt. *hugs* and commiserations and congratulations offered, as appropriate.

  38. bassmike says

    Caitie I hope your back improves for rq’s visit. I hope it doesn’t detract from the meeting. Enjoy your sub-lounge liaison.

  39. says

    Oh ye gods who don’t exist, I thank you for my doctor and her willingness to make sure I have the means for pain relief.

    Aggressive treatment (read: a few tens of mg of opiates, along with a certain dosage of That Herb Compassionate), a tea-and-donut delivery by the Ex-cellent*, and some pixelpeople’s pistol-punishment later, I feel at a rough approximation of human again. Still in pain, still not moving well, but with enough of a cotton-layer around my nerve endings to make it a little less urgently awful.

    Three cheers for the modern pharmer, long may they compound in peace.

    * Being a cultural dyke has benefits.

  40. says

    *gentle hugs* for Caitie
    Have fun with rq today and say hello from me

    *hoards all the hugs*
    Well, apparently I hallucinated last night and so did everybody else.
    Today my mother’s opinion is that everything is fine, we’re all idiots, if my sister ever calls the ambulance again there will be trouble (she didn’t even notice I was there) all trimmed with a threat of violence against my dad (I must admit that compassion for him runs a little low after the shit he pulled on me)

  41. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    newenlightenment, a favorite epoch? Mh now you’ve given me something to think about. Not sure I will reach a conclusion anytime soon.

    Caitie, I like the expression, “That Herb Compassionate”. Will try to remember it.

    “Controversy will always exist, depending on from what side we’re looking from. The way I see it, the Nazis didn’t commit slaughter,”

    Yeah. That seems very worthy of consideration. Seriously though, Tony @40, why is it that most of the time some non-expert brings up the term “controversy”, there really is none? Teach the holocaust controversy? Wtf.

    Oh and an afterthought for Morgan @Lounge 465, #642… I would love to live in a place like that, having always been a mountain person. Not too high altitudes/bleak stone, but as long as there are forests, I love it; spent much of my childhood in such areas. Plus, your honorary grandbaby sounds pleasant enough. Still, I usually am wary of children… those tiny hands and constant need for attention…

  42. says

    Hoping things get better for you.

    General message to all: I’m a bit threadrupt right now, what with the dog-related sadness. But wanted to thank you all again for your gentle support. I can’t tell you how much better simple condolences are than folks offering advice on how I should deal with this. I know they mean well, but seriously? Guh. Anyways, just wanted to sprinkle a bit of appreciation for y’all. Thanks.

  43. says

    I know! Can you believe this? The corporate choke-hold on politics in this country is sickening. I want to hope for a turnaround, but I think we’re pretty much boned.

  44. opposablethumbs says

    awakeinmo, if it’s even the tiniest bit helpful then I’m very glad. Hope you are OK.

    CaitieCat I hope you and rq have a great visit – I’m so sorry the pain is acting up like a, like a rethuglican or something. Glad you have something to make it marginally less unbearable. Hope you are able to enjoy meeting, in spite of it.

    My OH has chronic pain – nothing like your levels, I think, but enough to throw sleep and enjoyment out the window, and we have basically no idea how to deal with it. He’s tried various meds, had nasty side effects for not a lot of benefit, and therefore dropped them again after what seemed like a fair try of a couple of months or so each. :-((((

  45. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Yeah, it’s sickening. This case is even worse, bc of the double whammy of corporate chokehold meets religious exemptions.



    Yeah. That seems very worthy of consideration. Seriously though, Tony @40, why is it that most of the time some non-expert brings up the term “controversy”, there really is none? Teach the holocaust controversy? Wtf.

    I noticed one piece of salient information from that same Salon article:

    Knowledge of the Holocaust and the Nazi era is not widespread in Indonesia. Winda, who works in Jakarta but studied in Bandung, says she doesn’t really remember studying the topic at school and only heard about concentration camps after she left. “Perhaps the Holocaust was mentioned, but very briefly, we only heard about Adolf Hitler,” she says. “I think we were taught to dislike the Jews more than the Nazis.”

    I didn’t know this. I puts things into some perspective. Doesn’t change anything. They still largely dedicated a restaurant to Hitler and the Nazi’s.

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

    Giliell, *all the hugs*

    Kudos to PatrickG for being awesome.

    CaitieCat is meeting rq is meeting CaitieCat. Argh, I’m envious!

    Saw reruns of a very old show. I almost forgot how good it was (if we ignore all the casual sexism). I had a huge crush on one of the characters (actors? not sure, haven’t seen the guy anywhere else).
    I had good taste.

  47. Tony! The Queer Shoop says


    CaitieCat is meeting rq is meeting CaitieCat. Argh, I’m envious!

    Wholeheartedly seconded.
    What’s the color of envy?

  48. says

    I’m excited my own self. rq is someone I like a whole bunch.

    Careful work has meant I can now walk around a bit, using my cane. I don’t usually use it indoors, since it’s usually to keep off chronic pain, not to make it possible to walk.

    Today, it’s for walking. But, on the up side, walking! :)

    Always gotta look for the up side. oppthumbs, my sympathies with your OH. I don’t mind whether it’s terrible or ‘just’ painful – chronic pain is a really unpleasant way to live, so don’t ever feel you need to apologize to me for saying something hurts. That I also hurt in no way invalidates anyone else’s pain; if anything, given I’m used to it, as it were, it’s probably easier for me than for a lot of folks, and I’m glad of that, both in that it makes it possible for me to live more easily, and that it means other people aren’t living with this crap. Less pain overall = happier Caitie, whoever it is that gets the relief. :)

    Now to get my dinner out of the oven, after Craig was kind enough to stick it in for me. I’m not sure whether rq intends to arrive at 2:30, or leave where she is at 2:30, but SQUEEFUL ME because how lovely to get a much-wanted visit when I’m having a bad pain day?

  49. Tony! The Queer Shoop says


    I’m not sure whether rq intends to arrive at 2:30, or leave where she is at 2:30, but SQUEEFUL ME because how lovely to get a much-wanted visit when I’m having a bad pain day?

    I think that’s such a good thing. I’m quite happy for the both of you :)


    As I’m sure most around here know, I’m a comic book fan. Usually it’s the superhero genre, but there are times when I branch out. There’s a new series debuting in Serptember from BOOM! Studios called ‘Wild’s End’, which sounds really interesting. There *is* a but. A *big* BUT:

    This September, Boom!will launch Wild’s End – a six-part miniseries by Abnett and frequent collaborator I.N.J. Culbard that will see them mash-up the classic stories of War of the Worlds with the Wind in the Willows with a bit of low-brow English camaraderie. Taking place in 1930s rural England, Wild’s End sees H.G. Wells-esque aliens descent on the quaint hamlet of Lower Crowchurch, and it’s up to a group of anthromorphized men – a fox, a rabbit, a dog, and more – to save their piece of the world.

    Newsarama: Dan, what’s the story of Wild’s End?

    Dan Abnett: Here’s the elevator pitch. Two guys are stuck in an elevator… oh, no, not that one. Right…. here we go – War of the Worlds meets the Wind in the Willows. A genre mash. A decent, idyllic “English” village, populated by very safe 1930’s characters, who happen to be animals (we’ll worry about that later), gets invaded by cold, hard, calculating and utterly lethal aliens. And they have to fight back.

    Nrama: I’ll ask you about the aliens later — what can you tell us about those animals?

    Abnett: Well, they’re not animals. Ian and I chose the anthropomorphic route because it gave the series context. All the safe and comfortable children’s stories we’d grown up with, like Rupert the Bear and Winnie the Pooh. We asked ourselves… what happens when a cozy world like that is broken open? The “animal” thing is just a conceit. These are really human characters, and that how I’m writing them, and that’s how Ian’s drawing them. I actually hope that, within a few pages, you’ll forget that one is a dog and another is a rabbit, and just bond with them. That’s what the story does. The fact that Fawkes is, say, a fox, and Clive a dog is nothing more than saying Captain America wears a blue, full-head mask, and Nightwing wears a domino mask. Just guises. I guess… it’s about situation. It’s about establishing the idea that the stories that gave us comfort in childhood could be wrong. If Kenneth Grahame had been writing The Wind in the Willows, leaning in his punt on a balmy summer’s day, and H.P. Lovecraft had come along with a notebook and sat down next to him… and they’d worked together… “comfy” would have gone out the window… but, as Ian and I believe, “comfy” would also have fought back.

    One word.
    One word is all it took to frustrate me. They get to skirt around racial diversity bc we’re dealing with anthropomorphized animals. But gender? Why the ever loving hell are all four of the main characters men? There are a few lettered pages of art at the link. I find I like the art and the characterization. I may still get the series, but darnit, I’m dismayed at the lack of gender diversity.

    Oh, and I can’t look at the word elevator without thinking of the misogynistic mess created by the shitstains who mischaracterized Rebecca Watson’s reasonable advice.

  50. says

    rq‘s on the bus and she’s coming this way
    And nothing like doggerel to help me to say
    Just how squeeful I feel,
    And so gleeful it’s real
    Cause today is the day
    That rq comes to play!

    The Potato Whisperer is on the bus, I say again, she is on the bus.

    CaitieCat out.

    (cause I’m gonna lie down for an hour or so before she gets here, horizontal time costs less pain than vertical does)

  51. says

    Oh, and a teachable moment for dealing with people with chronic pain and/or physical disability of movement-restriction kinds. One thing I’m really pleased about is that rq, on hearing that my back was in bad shape but that I said nothing about cancelling, didn’t bring it up. She trusted that I know myself well enough to know what I’m willing to commit to. That’s a lovely gift.

    Too often, i find that people won’t invite me to things, because they assume for me that I’d not be able to do whatever it is, or that I wouldn’t be willing to spend my pain on it. Or when I say I’m having a tough day, they immediately start trying to reschedule, even if I haven’t mentioned it. That’s frustrating. I do completely understand the polite and caring impulse, but it ends up feeling like they’re not seeing me, they’re seeing my disability, and me only second. It means a lot to me, as it does to many people with similar issues (but not, of course, all; the message is agency!), to be included just as anyone else is in the invitation, and given the agency to choose/assess whether or not I’m able to attend/take part for myself, rather than being ‘protected’ by well-meaning and undoubtedly loving friends.

    Yes, it’s possible that I will decline going to the Metro Zoo, because yes, it is a lot of walking. On the other hand, maybe I’ll decide that I’d enjoy seeing such a lovely facility, and even though the animals make me kind of sad, I can also appreciate their beauty and learn stuff about them, and I can always appreciate time with my friends and people who love me. And sometimes I’ll decide that that enjoyment is worth what it will cost me, that borrowing the spoons from tomorrow would be an investment I’m willing to make. The impulse to ‘protect’ me leads, instead, to diminishing me, to dismissing my understanding of and ability to live with my disability.

    For me, at least, that’s the way to do it: respect my agency, and treat me like any other friend. I’m experienced at managing my disability, and am a pretty good judge of what I want to ‘spend my pain’ on, as I tend to put it. It’s my pain – let me choose how to spend it. :)

    In no way is this aimed at anyone in particular; rq‘s millimetre-perfect response just reminded me that it’s a good point to bring up when talking to a group including the temporarily able-bodied (insofar as this weirdly binary term applies).

  52. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Thank you for sharing that teachable moment. I’m one of those people who likely wouldn’t have thought of that. Thanks should also go to rq.

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

    Dove Men is for men. We get it. You don’t have to repeat the word in that half-robotic, probably meant to sound manly voice ten times in one commercial.

  54. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Love this song, ‘Cmon Talk’ by Bernhoft.

    The lyrics can be found here

    Jarle Bernhoft (born on June 27, 1976), also known as Bern/hoft, is a Norwegian singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and lyricist.[1] Bernhoft is from Nittedal in Norway, but currently lives in New York. His best known songs are “Streetlights”, “Shout” (a Tears for Fears cover), “Choices”, “C’mon Talk”[2] and “Stay With Me”. He has also been in a number of bands, notably Explicit Lyrics and Span.

  55. rq says

    I am, in fact, on the bus. Apparently they all have wifi now.
    Also, I am currently blushing because apparently I can done some things right.
    Okay, I’m actually a bit too excited to hang out here, so I’m going to go stare my apprehension out the window.
    *minion umbrellas* for everyone, colour of choice!

  56. David Marjanović says

    Giliell! *restocks hug truck and sweet chai supplies*

    Yessssssss. A 20-screener in reply to a crackpot like in the good old times.

    That’s 12 1/2 of the large screens here at work. I’ve now surpassed that with a 16-screener in the same thread.

    Random question, does anyone here have a favourite geological epoch? Mine’s the Carboniferous, on account of the giant amphibians and dragonflies.

    I’m working on the question of whether any of the giant ones really were amphibians (meaning: more closely related to today’s amphibians than to us). So far, the answer seems to be “no”… :-)

    CaitieCat is meeting rq is meeting CaitieCat. Argh, I’m envious!

    Wholeheartedly seconded.


    What’s the color of envy?

    Traditionally green…?

    Dove Men is for men. We get it.

    You get it. Men, however, are really afraid of using female-coded cosmetics and smelling like a woman or something; we need a lot of reassurance. Especially given the fact that the word dove is itself female-coded.

    Patriarchy is fear.

  57. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Tony’s comment upthread about a new comic books series due out in September called Wild’s End reminded me of my favorite chapter in The Wind in the Willows… Chapter 7, Piper At The Gates of Dawn. Here it is.
    I’ve not reread it in many many years.

    Pharyngula is an astonishing place. And I am grateful.

  58. says

    My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling. Originally posted to Facebook.

    I would love to see an atheist owned company, or a company owned by religious people who do not belong to a faith group opposed to abortion, sue to get the same deal Hobby Lobby did. Or a publicly traded company that can’t claim *any* particular religious motivation.

    Hobby Lobby getting such a deal gives people of a specific class of religions an advantage in law over people not of that class of religions, and the law should not advantage one set of believers(or non believers) over another. This ruling does just that.

    So, other companies, that don’t have an out from that requirement? Sue. Sue the government if they don’t give you the same deal Hobby Lobby got. Fair and equal treatment to all faith groups, and those with no faith, should be the law.

    Or, of course, SCOTUS could grow some sense and simply overturn todays ruling.

  59. opposablethumbs says

    CaitieCat that was a good teachable moment. I thought about it … and it totally makes sense. And then I caught myself thinking “b- b – but I couldn’t just say nothing …
    I would be scared of being rude and callous. So I was wondering … If I were in a situation like that, I guess I’d want to say something like “Is there anything I can do that would make it easier for us to get to X/more comfortable for you to get around X …?” or, yanno, something along those lines. Would that be an all right thing to do …. ?

    It doesn’t exactly come up with my OH, because he says there really isn’t anything (sitting, standing etc.) that makes any difference to him one way or the other anyway :-\

  60. David Marjanović says

  61. David Marjanović says

    Assorted news. I recommend the comments; one of them leads to this article on the US being a failed state that caves to threats of murder from the company formerly known as Blackwater.

    Video in German: defying al-Qaida, from which it originally split off, ISIS has declared Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the Caliph and Imam of All Muslims and calls for oaths of allegiance from the Islamists of the world. Obama is sending “up to 300 military advisors” to what remains of Iraq.

  62. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Hey Horde,

    Check out my new gravitar! I actually DREW this dodo. And I am no kind of artist. Holy Maude I’m proud of myself!

  63. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Nice gravatar.
    I can easily make out your pic. Other commenters have pics that are difficult for me to comprehend (Dalillama, Portia, and opposablethumbs all have gravatars that I can’t make out for the life of me).

  64. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Tony! my friend, your gravitar is still not showing up here. I gotta figure this out. Does anyone know if this could have anything to do with Adblock?

  65. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Thanks Dalillama. That is huge praise. I actually gave up drawing before I turned 10. I have a twin sister who is a fabulous artist with absolutely no sense of taste or art. But my idiotic parents used to sit us down together and have us COMPETE against each other to see who was better. Of course I always lost. And that was just their every day garden variety stupid. They were breathtaking when they really geared up the cluelessness.

  66. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    I get emails with Lounge updates, and I can see a gravatar image in your comments (an animal of some sort), but I don’t see an image here in the Lounge. Odd.


    Seconding Dalillama’s compliment. I think I need a nap, bc I glossed over most of your comment (which doesn’t happen often. I usually read every word of everyone’s comments). All my brain registered was “check out my new gravatar”.
    That is a beautiful image. Such amazing detail. How long did it take you to finish?

  67. opposablethumbs says

    morgan, your dodo is fantastic. It even has character and an expression, as well as being an accurate and instantly recognisable dodo!

    Mine is unfortunately too small to make out in this format, but it’s a rabbit in the precambrian (created by Glendon Mellow of The Flying Trilobite (“Art in Awe of Science” at

  68. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Gosh folks. I’m blushing. I actually started drawing this bird about six months ago. I picked it up again about two weeks ago and it has taken me all of that time. Of course, I drew the whole bird, and I used a composite of various dodo photos and drawings to come up with this. I chose the dodo because being represented by an extinct old bird appeals to my snarky side.

    Hmmmmmm…….. okay……….. maybe I’ll try some more drawing. It might help create some of that elusive distilled hope.

  69. says

    Tony! – Any chance it’s my twitter pic? That’s what should be showing, anyways.

    For some reason FtB is stuck on my Facebook profile pic. Which I nuked because I wanted at least a slight separation between my real identity and what I do in more public social media spaces. Though only very slight, I’d be shocked if most of you had any serious trouble finding my Facebook page if you put any amount of effort into finding it. It’s more flagging of different domains than being anonymous or pseudonymous.

  70. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    I’m thinking about CaitieCat and rq having a damn good time right about now.

    ::: dripping envy :::

  71. opposablethumbs says

    my idiotic parents used to sit us down together and have us COMPETE against each other to see who was better.

    That’s awful. So, so shitty. And that just reminded me of a similar case in my own family – which is still having repercussions now, many decades and two generations later. I’m really sorry. I’m really angry with your parents. And I really like your dodo.

  72. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Thanks for that link to Girl Genius. Now I’m reading the series :)


    Yep, it’s the same image.

  73. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Hello all. Apologies in advance for the whiny whine whine I’m going to whine. Whiny JRFDeux is whiny.

    So tonight is the last evening I see my kids for a month. I don’t get to have them again until the evening of July 31. They’re both still wee, and I love them to bits. Their mom gets them for the entire month. I do get to call them often though, and I told them if they missed their Dad they can call me anytime, day or night.

    I took lots of photos of them this past weekend. We went 5-pin bowling and we all had a blast.

    Gonna give them extra long hugs tonight after I feed them dinner. I have to return them to their mom at bedtime.


  74. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    I don’t think that’s whiny in the slightest–you’re completely justified in feeling sorrow. And even though I don’t have children, I completely empathize with you. You love your children and you’re going to miss them.
    ::hugs if you want them::

  75. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Everybody, you are making me cry. Wow, I’m gobsmacked. Yes, so much of what my parents did was so, so very wrong. And pretty much served to destroy a lot of my life. But, fuck their dead selves, I’m still here. I almost didn’t use the dodo pic. I’m always afraid of being mocked.

    I don’t have the whole dodo posted because I drew it on very oversized paper. The head is the only part I could get scanned. And there are still some details I want to refine on the feet. So when it is done I’m going to swallow my fear and take a photo of it and post it. And now that I’ve said this publicly, I’m committed. O Maude, maybe this is a very good thing.

  76. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    You aren’t whining. Your sorrow is justified. And very painful. I’m guessing the wee ones will be missing you too. Be well.

  77. says

    Tony! – Hmm. Well, if FtB is able to use it, even in only part of the system, I suppose that’s a good sign it’s working on Gravatar’s end. Twitter it was uploaded directly, and I think I uploaded it directly to WordPress too.

    Hmm. Is there a tech email address or soemthing I could try to see if this can be fixed on FtBs end?

  78. The Squeaking says

    I’m mostly a lurker, I’ve posted twice (? maybe), probably inder the nym “Narlaquin” (Feel free to verify me, not that you need my permission or blessing.) I need your help. My fiancee has just told me that as a teenager.(between 13 and 15, as far as she can remember – She’s now 48), her best friends father used to touch her before she (the friend) was allowed to come out. This involved penetration. This was 30-ish years ago. We live in the UK. What do we do now? Feel free to point me to a better place.

  79. Tony! The Queer Shoop says


    I’m always afraid of being mocked.

    You’re not going to be mocked here (and believe me when I tell you that if anyone tried to–it wouldn’t be any of the regulars for one, and for two-whoever this hypothetical person is would get the verbal smackdown so fast their head would spin).

    And now that I’ve said this publicly, I’m committed. O Maude, maybe this is a very good thing.

    I think it is.

    Oh, and because my brain is all kinda wacky…your Dodo could be the official Commune animal. It could serve as a reminder of how close humanity came to extinction in the wake of a zombie plague, and our tenacity and desire to not wind up like the animal. More than that, we want to not just survive, we want to rebuild, and we’re willing to work together to achieve that goal.
    Enh, maybe I thought too much about it.


    Hey ya’ll, check this out. This songwriter took Justice Ginsberg’s dissent in the Hobby Lobby case and turned it into a song. It’s raw (the dude has written a song a day for 2000 days), but still poignant.


    The Squeaking:
    Welcome (back) to the Lounge.
    I wish I had some advice for you and your fiance.
    I do have hugs of sympathy though. Lots and lots of those. If you think it would be appropriate, feel free to convey my sympathy to her.

  80. says


    I know of a number of people who sell their drawings on a professional/semiprofessional basis who don’t hold a candle to the quality of even the piece I can see, let alone the whole thing.

    The Squeaking
    What you can do is to be there for her and be supportive. Beyond that I have little advice but much long distance support for you both.

    re: the pathfinder game, my skype username is my ‘nym with a 1 at the end, if you happen to use skype (the DM does, and that’s how I communicate with him). Alternately blaine*delancey (no star) at the google mail.

  81. The Squeaking says

    @morgan #107
    She doesn’t know / She#s not sure. Right now, there is a fair old bit of alcohol being consumed. There is enough guilt (Was it my fault? Did I lead him on?) to gold plate your house. She’s worrying about what to say to her children. And what about her grand-children? I’m telling her that the guy has grand-children of his own. He probably has great grand-children.

  82. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    The Squeaking:
    Seconding Dalillama’s advice. Being there to support her is deeply important. Words of encouragement are a good idea.
    It breaks my heart to hear that she’s questioning herself, though I’ve come to learn this is common for victims of sexual assault. She absolutely did not lead him on, and she is not guilty in any way. The choice was completely his. It is not her fault.

  83. The Squeaking says

    @Tony TQS & @Dalilama,SG
    Thank you for your kind words.
    @Everyone else
    She is just feeling so GUILTY. She is apologising to you, me, us, them, the 1982 Algerian World Cup side, the coffee cups. GUILT is the thing. She hates the way that Mr Anonymous (moi) has now involved the Interwebz.
    She shouldn’t have told me. I shouldn’t have told you.

  84. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Oh this is wonderful. More happy tears.
    Sixth grader Laura Arrington conducted an incredibly important science project:

    Lauren Arrington just wanted to top the other kids’ science fair projects.

    But she ended up making a breakthrough that surprised even seasoned, Ph.D.-holding scientists.

    Her research showing that venomous, highly invasive lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water was ultimately replicated and expanded upon by ecologists, who cited her in their published, peer-reviewed study on the topic.
    Not bad for a 12-year-old.

    Craig Layman, an ecology professor at North Carolina State University, called Lauren’s work “one of the most influential sixth-grade science projects ever conducted.” He said it demonstrated something scientists should have done years before.

    “Her project was the impetus for us to follow up on the finding and do a more in-depth study,” said Layman, who with graduate students from Florida International University had been researching lionfish in the Loxahatchee River. “We were the first paper that published the salinity of the lionfish, and it was all because of what she had done with her science project.”

    The daughter of two scientists who love the water, Lauren has grown up fishing, snorkeling and loving science. As a little girl, she went to the classes her dad used to teach at the University of Alabama, piping in with questions that impressed him with their insight.

    She got the idea for her project after constantly seeing the red and white, garishly decorated lionfish in Palm Beach County waters. She found out from her dad, an ecologist, that they were taking over Florida’s reefs and gobbling up native fish.

    “I wanted to do something about them,” said Lauren, who is now 13 and lives in Jupiter. “So I was kind of throwing ideas at my dad.”

    She thought about testing whether a dead lionfish can still hurt people with its venom. That meant finding someone willing to be spined by one, though, and dad wasn’t exactly eager to sign up. So Lauren kept brainstorming and ultimately settled on figuring out the lowest salinity level they could stand.

    You go girl!

  85. says

    The Squeaking

    That’s a normal response. The guilt, I mean. It happens to a lot of survivors, for… well… a lot of reasons. Some of it is societal victim-blaming. Some of it is internalized victim-blaming. And there’s a lot of “If only I’d done this instead of that”-ing going on.

  86. Pteryxx says

    morgan #103: Programs like Photoshop can take several scans and stitch them together, so you could scan your Dodo piece by piece and just use a command to put them all together into a single file. If you don’t have access to Photoshop I bet one of the Horde’s artists could do it.

    Also artistic abuse should be a thing, IMHO. So many people had their arting toxicified into a source of pain.

    *offers anklehugs* for The Squeaking. It is not her fault. It’s never the victim’s fault; it’s just difficult to grasp this when it’s us. You’re doing a good thing to be there for her.

  87. says

    Well, rq just left about ten minutes ago, and I’m all saddified. But before she left, I was all kinds of happified, so the saddification is only bringing me to a sort of middling-happy place, which is pretty good for me.

    She’s as lovely in person as she is in print, as friendly and brilliant and easy to be around and nice-huggingly warm as expected. I have a selfie of us even. We talked like old friends within moments, and I got three different hugs out of the deal. SQUEE doesn’t begin to cover it.

    Now I’m going to go lie back down, because I’ve got some big sore going on, but I’m going to lie down with a big smile on my face. Envy me, Loungers, for I am lucky. :)

  88. says

    The Squeaking
    As Tony said, absolutely no guilt attaches to her. I cannot phrase or emphasize this strongly enough. The fact that she’s feeling guilty is quite common, and there’s a lot of reasons for that, many of which relate to being in a society steeped in misogyny (we all are), but nevertheless, she is not, in any way, responsible for the abuser’s actions. I am in a position akin to yours (my husband experienced childhood abuse, and I’ve also been close to many others who have as well), but in my experience, it helps for people in your and my place to keep emphasizing that one, that she’s not responsible, and all the guilt is on her attacker.

  89. says

    TheSqueaking, just as WMDKitty said: guilt is the most common experience of survivors by far. The best advice I can give you on supporting your fiancee is as you’ve been given already: listen to your fiancee, and follow the lead you’re given. Let her set the terms of how she can be helped, if you can help her, and just remember to listen way more than you talk.

    When I worked as a front-line volunteer for a sexual assault helpline (answering calls from survivors), our guideline was to only speak when asked a question, or when the other person otherwise clearly indicated they wanted some input, even if that’s just an “I’m still listening” noise. Else, just listening and providing feedback that suits what the person needs.

    Many partners of survivors find themselves getting angry on their partners’ behalf, and if I have one specific piece of advice, it is that this is only helpful if your partner indicates it might be, and it’s better to assume that it wouldn’t be. Doesn’t mean you can’t be angry, but expressing that anger might best be saved for when it won’t be your partner’s burden to help assuage it – vent to your therapist, or some other safe place where the venting won’t cause your partner any more trouble.

    Remember that women are strongly socialized to be empathetic to the point of self-sacrifice and to be the peacemakers, so indulging your anger will push her into supporting you and caretaking for your anger, rather than facing her own issues with your support, as she (and you) would probably prefer. Some survivors do find value in this kind of response, but unless she is evidently one, it is better (IMO) to err on the side of caution, and deal with your strong emotions on you-time, not we-time.

    I hope your fiancee can find some peace, and that you’re able to help her as you obviously want to be able to.

  90. Pteryxx says

    further to The Squeaking #112: for what it’s worth, a LOT of us regulars here are survivors of some sort of sexual abuse or other. She’s not alone, and neither are you. That said it’s up to her how much she wants to talk about it, so I suggest you make a point of giving no details here, for her privacy and peace of mind.

    I don’t know any specific resources in the UK but a quick search found this resource center:

    Total stranger and fellow survivor on the internet gives best wishes to you both.

  91. says

    oppthumbs, yes, that would be fine, and in fact rq did exactly that, asking if there was anything she could do or bring. It isn’t the offer of help that’s an issue, it’s the usurpation of agency in help-decisions. Just as with having someone insist on carrying your luggage for you: if you’re looking tired, it’s one thing, but if it’s being done solely because you’re a woman, it feels like they’re taking away a choice from you because of some characteristic unrelated to whether you can do the job.

    And morgan, I’m one of those people who could stitch the scans or photos for you, I’ve got Photoshop CS6 and I know how to use it. :) I’ve been doing graphic design/layout since a part-time job in university, lo these many decades ago: I was handed a 400-page literal manuscript, and asked to make it into camera-ready copy in a dodgy version of Ventura Publisher, semi-converted to have Russian-language menus and support (the manuscript was a textbook for first-year Russian students). :)

    If you scan the parts of the image, and give me a photo of the whole thing, I can stitch it up for you in no time.

  92. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    “Twas a dark and stormy night” here at Casa la Pelirroja. A cool front moved through, dropping the temps about 15 F, and mother nature is definitely grumbling. There appears by Doppler radar to be an encore over by the Mississippi. Could be a long night.

  93. The Squeaking says

    @CaitieCat, gd,
    Please find attached one InternetFlavouredBigBoxOfChocolates..
    @Pterryx, WMDKitty – CAPITAL S!, DL – SG , T tQS, And anyone else who I’ve missed
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    Now, how can I explain to her that it’s not her fault, because as she knows, (and you, being random internet SURVIVORS and me don’t know,) it’s all her fault, I’ve read every single message out loud to her.
    She’s now having sympathy with Rolf Harris and his treatmeant. I ain’t arguing.
    Fucking Fed Up with cracks about Two Little Boys, Tie Me Kangaroo Down and All the Rest..She thinks he’s Innocent.

  94. Pteryxx says

    The Squeaking, it’s hard to understand that abuse done to you wasn’t your fault. Some of us have been wrestling with it for years, little by little, layer by layer. We can even tell other survivors ‘that wasn’t your fault’ and simultaneously believe that our own situation WAS our fault because… reasons! different! somehow. For the moment you might just have to give her space… (and contact a survivor resource yourself; often they can offer help to the confidants of survivors, too, who are part of their support system.)

    It ought to be bloody obvious that little kids don’t go around seducing full-grown, powerful, upstanding citizens into becoming abusers. Especially since the same abusers go through victim after victim for years! /rant

  95. says

    The Squeaking
    I have little further advice to offer, other than to keep on keeping on as best as you can. Continue adding reassurances and support as needed. Don’t know who Rolf Harris is, so I’m not gonna comment on that part.

  96. carlie says

    jrfdeux – I’ve done nothing but whine lately. And I’d be lost without my kids around for that long, so whine away.

    morgan, that dodo is fierce!

  97. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Yeah, my dodo IS fierce! Thanks everyone for all the art support. You have no idea (or maybe you do) of what an astonishing thing you have done for me.

  98. A. Noyd says

    I tried out a new Korean restaurant today. They serve almost everything with a fried yellow croaker that still has all its bones and its head and skin (though it was gutted and scaled). I was brave and tried it, even though I have a bit of a phobia about eating whole fish (or any animal flesh that still has too many other bits attached). Turned out to be quite tasty. Scary looking, but tasty. The rest of the food was excellent as well.


    morgan (#86)

    Does anyone know if this could have anything to do with Adblock?

    Try disabling your adblocker and reloading the page to see if the gravatar shows up. But if you can see mine, you should be able to see Tony’s.

  99. A. Noyd says

    In order to fully honor Hobby Lobby’s personhood and its religious convictions, we should compel it to produce a corporate offspring (subsidiary) every nine months.

  100. chigau (違う) says

    I’m ‘rupt but I have *hugs* and *rum*
    morgan ‽
    your dodo is magnificent

  101. cicely says

    Minorly ‘rupt.
    *hugdump with assorted condiments*; everyone help yourselves.

    *chocolate-y pouncehug*


  102. says

    Hearing some of you don’t know who Rolf Harris is makes me feel kind of old, since he was still very popular when I was a little kid in the ’70s. His lack of public profile in North America these days meant I found out second hand about the allegations.

    I think we’re going to hear about more older celebs being accused of abusive behaviour in the next few years, as some people finally feel able to come forward to tell their stories, and want to get some form of justice before it’s too late. For example late last year British folk singer Roy Harper was charged with sex crimes against an underage girl dating back to the mid ’70s.

  103. says

    Fuck you again Zimmerman. You are a racist asshole:

    A Florida judge on Monday dismissed the defamation lawsuit filed by George Zimmerman against NBC and three reporters, saying the former neighborhood watch leader failed to show the network acted with malice.

    Judge Debra Nelson said the malice standard was appropriate because Zimmerman became a public figure after he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford in February 2012, generating a national conversation about race and self-defense laws.

    Zimmerman was acquitted last year for Martin’s shooting. He said he shot Martin in self-defense when the teenager attacked him. Martin was black. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.

    Zimmerman “voluntarily injected his views into the public controversy surrounding race relations and public safety in Sanford and pursued a course of conduct that ultimately led to the death of Martin and the specific controversy surrounding it,” said Nelson, who presided over Zimmerman’s criminal trial last summer.

    In his lawsuit, Zimmerman said NBC’s editing of a story on the shooting made it sound as if Zimmerman voluntarily told an operator that Martin was black. He was actually responding to a dispatcher’s question about the Miami teen’s race. Zimmerman said the broadcasts made his seem like a racist and exposed him to public ridicule and threats. He was seeking damages for emotional distress and mental anguish.

    No you fucker, your actions that night, your words, and your history point to you being a racist fuckface.

  104. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    the defamation lawsuit filed by George Zimmerman

    Someone commented on opinions of lawyers earlier. The legal profession would get much better press if it would adopt and enforce an actual code of ethics.

  105. says

    Good morning
    Waiting to see if my sis shows up for coffee or whether I’ll get a message in an hour that she slept late…

    That Dodo is brilliant. I first thought is was a foto taken from a model in an exhibition or something

    But my idiotic parents used to sit us down together and have us COMPETE against each other to see who was better.

    Goodness gracious me.
    One thing we’re constantly doing is to tell the little one that her drawings are beautiful and that she’s doing great with her 4 years and that of course you can’t compare her pics to her sister’s who’s older and more practised.

    You’re not whining. The thought not to see my kids for a full month alone makes me want to get up and get them home from school and kindergarten….

    The Squeaking
    Lots of support for you and your fiancée.
    I think you’ve already gotten tons of good advice, so let me pile on it

    I think that a bit of anger displayed can actually be helpful. I suffered a different kind of abuse as a kid and my husband or other people displaying shock and anger at what people had done to me helped me greatly to readjust my views, cause I’d been gaslighted all my life to believe that everything was my fault and that it hadn’t been bad anyway. But don’t make it about you and look whether your fiancée appreciates it or not. If she fears that you’ll get angry every time she talks about it, she won’t talk about it.

    -You have been harmed, too
    At first glance this makes no sense. After all, you weren’t the person abused, you didn’t have to live with this all your life. But quite obviously right now you’re angry and in distress and suffering. Abuse, especially sexual abuse can devastate whole communities. Recognize your own feelings and that they are legitimate. Having said that:

    -Don’t make it about you
    As others have mentioned, find a place where you can make it about you. A therapist, a counselor, a good friend who’s willing to do this. It gets me back to my first point: If your partner thinks that this burdens you too much, it will only add to their guilt. My husband showing anger on my behalf could be helpful. My husband displaying too much emotional distress could shut me up. I would feel too needy, too demanding, I was fucking up his life, too, I needed to shut up or I would drive him away. That was not helpful.

    -Tell her she can tell you to shut up
    That’s probably very hard for her, I know how hard it was for me, but by now saying “Please stop, you’re not helpful right now” is a great thing.
    Of course you have to be able to take it. Don’t be sad or hurt or make any “I was just trying to help you” remarks. If she can say it, if it helps her then that’s your goal, right? It’s not about SWOTI

    And here she comes

  106. se habla espol says

    Morgan, I observe (using the “view selection source” feature of my browser) that Tony!‘s avatar is sourced from facebook, where the ones that you can see are sourced from gravatar. There are blocking addons that can be configured to selectively block such sites as facebook. Do you have such an addon?

  107. se habla espol says

    Two points for The Squeaking: It is truly not possible for that abuse to have been Fiancée’s ‘fault’. The abuser was an adult, in a position of authority and responsibility. That position made him solely responsible to say ‘no’ (or exit the scene) regardless of any actual or imagined provocation. Notice that the ‘actual or imaginary’ qualification covers anything she may have done or failed to do that might have, in any sense, seemed provocative or enabling: it’s still strictly his doings, not hers.
    Second, I was married for 15+ years to a victim of sexual abuse (read on before reacting). I finally came to realize that she did not want to become a survivor; she wanted to stay a victim, milking that status for all she was worth. I don’t know what she got out of playing the victim game, but she seemed to enjoy it.
    (Yes, I know that sounds a bit like George Will’s nonsense from last week. At least, I’m not generalizing from n=1 to All. I’m pointing out, from my Aspieness, a possibility of [hopefully] low probability.)

  108. opposablethumbs says

    The Squeaking, I just want to offer my support and best wishes to both of you. I can’t add to what some of the Horde have said upthread, which seems to me to be spot on. I very much hope it helps. And as others have said, it does not matter one whit what she may or may not have done, said, worn, anything. Not. One. Whit. There was an adult right there, 20-30 years her senior, in a position of authority in every meaningful sense. It was his responsibility; he decided to abuse a minor. I’m very sorry for the harm done to her and to you who love her.
    Giliell, hope you and your sister are OK and recovered after your mum’s latest :-\
    Sympathies, jrfdeux! Your kids must know they are very much loved. Hope it doesn’t feel like too long before they are with you again.

    It isn’t the offer of help that’s an issue, it’s the usurpation of agency in help-decisions.

    Of course, that’s it! Thank you for distilling it into the essence, CaitieCat.

  109. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    If anyone is interested here is a great article on John Currence and others in the food industry fighting against the recent onslaught of religion based discrimination State laws targeted at homosexuals .

    John is a James Beard award winning chef in Oxford, MS who is is doing his part to fight against their new religious based discrimination laws in his state as well as doing great community conscious work. I don’t know John, only met him a couple times but I know his wife fairly well. They are good people doing good things. It’s not a short article but it’s a great read. Some of it is a little “inside baseball” on the food industry but a worthy read.

    Chef John Currence Wants To Save Mississippi From Itself

  110. bassmike says

    Caitie I glad you and rq had a good time. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance to meet up with any ‘loungers’, but I guess you never know. Also, I will definitely take on board your ‘teaching moment’. Bass player’s salute to you.

    The Squeaking I wish I could add more, but I have never had to face anything like what you describe, so I leave it to others to advise.

    Morgan I agree with everyone else that your Dodo is excellent!

  111. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    religion based discrimination State laws targeted at homosexuals .

    jebus, proofread

  112. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Okay I’m seriously threadrupt, but appreciate to have a word for it. Let me just throw in my sympathies for you, The Squeaking, and may both your fiancée and yourself sort that out in a way that works for you.

    Dalillama, I just added you in Skype for the Pathfinder thingy.

    And carlie, I now have the puffin cam on my secondary screen for hours on end (and that is saying a lot, I am not into birds usually…). It is very soothing, thanks again. Unfortunately, the sound gets interrupted every few seconds, might be a transmission problem.

  113. says

    Today is another desperate scramble to get experimental animals — I’m driving to St Cloud to pick up a couple of tankfuls, I hope. If they deliver them this time (last week they told me after I got there that my order was mysteriously cancelled). And if they aren’t scraggly thin starved beasties that I’ll have to fatten up for three months.

    Then tomorrow I drive back to Minneapolis for Convergence, and turn into a total mess for a week.

  114. says

    PZed, in six more months, in an alley in the rougher part of St. Louis:

    “Come on, man, just a few fish.”

    Skeezy dude shakes head.

    “One breeding pair, I’m desperate here.”

    Skeezy dude: “I told ya, brah, I got nothin’.”

    “A cluster of fertilized eggs? A cut-out picture from a National Geographic?


    Skeezy dude backs slowly away from the biologist…

  115. says

    Just reminded me I should finish up the shooting script I was working on for that story, Gorogh. My temporary-flatmate Craig is a moviemaker by avocation, and we started collaborating on that project a couple of years ago, before my depression knocked it out of my awareness. We were working on our third iteration of the script…I wonder if I know which hard drive it’s hidden on? We’re updating it, setting it now and using our local region as a stand-in for New England (not an unreasonable stand-in, I’ve been in both places for long enough to know). Very little has to change to make it work as a now-story, too.

    Lovecraft is, arguably, public domain now (having died in 1937, more than 75 years ago), so I’d expect to start seeing movies made based on his stuff more soon.

    Lookame, talking about writing stuff. Maybe I really am getting less depressed. Huh.

  116. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Mhm. It’s old news really (and strangely, little hype about it), but it just occurred to me I throw it in here anyway. Wonder when and how this will end.

    West Africa’s first-ever Ebola outbreak in humans is now the most deadly and geographically widespread outbreak on record and is threatening to spread, health officials say.

    According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been more than 635 cases of Ebola across three countries in the region since the outbreak was first declared in southeastern Guinea in March. It has since spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. At least 399 people have died.


  117. says

    and strangely, little hype about it

    Well, it’s not like it’s happening in places that white USans like to travel to generally, so as far as the US media are concerned, it’s happening on the far side of Neptune. And the US government only gets interested when there are Important Humanitarian Considerations, like “What will happen to our consumers and their need for cheap gas if we don’t intervene in this Middle Eastern country?” or “How will Wal-mart be able to offer Low, Low Prices if they have to send ships from China the long way around instead of through the Canal?”

    So they’re pretty much on their own. If they wanted help, they should have chosen to live in a more geopolitically important region.

    “:()(J#$KJOLMM CKKKKKKKK^^^^^^!(&@*l>LO


    Caitie wakes up. “Shit! I think Republicans hacked my brain! Did I say anything stupid?”

  118. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Caitie, this is awesome. Lovecraft would be the first name that came to mind if someone asked me about favorite authors or fandom (issues like his racism notwithstanding; don’t make a movie adoption of The Street, mind you; I might also vainly add that I was a fan before it became cool…). I have been trying to get my hand on some of the independent Lovecraft movies for some time now, but it’s hard sometimes.

    In any case, I encourage you in the strongest terms to proceed! Let me know if there is anything I can do to support you.

  119. says

    Let me know if there is anything I can do to support you.

    LOL – ever had a secret wish to see your name in lights as an Executive Producer? ;)

    Although…when we were writing before, Kickstarter didn’t exist.


  120. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says


    Yes I was thinking in that direction. I don’t have much to give, but I know a few people who know a few more etc., and many of them do like to play Arkham Horror, for one thing…

  121. birgerjohansson says

    I have been helping an old lady setting up posters about a runaway cat for the last three weeks. This weekend, I got a call from another old lady who had observed a homeless cat hanging about the place for a week. It was not the one I was looking for, but it was obviously very hungry.
    I let it crash in my place for a day and on Monday it got a temporary home with Djurskyddet (“animal rescue”) while waiting for the owner to turn up, or a new owner to be found.
    Since I already have a cat (a male who is quite particular about the apartment being HIS domain) I let my own cat stay with a neighbour (he has been with the neighbour before when I am out of town so he had no problems with it) . Lots of juggling when you have territorial critters.

    When my tomcat got back, he was obviously stressed about smelling an intruder, and even hissed at me at the beginning. It reminds me that cats are very much governed by instinct and not as long domesticated as dogs. When smelling an intruder, the fllght/fight instinct is switched on and can easily be triggered.

  122. says

    Well, if you’re interested in a method I came up with to make Arkham Horror a LOT scarier to play, here:

    1) Use a gamemaster, with a representative board of some sort – doesn’t have to be a full-size one, just large enough to show the locations/streets and be able to hold monsters. This board is kept secret from the players.

    2) The Ancient One is unidentified at first. Each turn someone is in the Library, the Magick Shoppe, the Curiosity Shop, or the Silver Twilight Lodge (and probably a couple of other spaces on sub-boards. haven’t tried it with an expansion board yet), they may make a Lore (-1) check to attempt to identify the Ancient One, in addition to their normal encounter/activity.

    3) Gates open without notice, and are not placed on the player board until a character is within one movement of them. For true hard-core, don’t allow players to communicate when they’re not in the same place (this kinda ruins the cooperatively fun part of the game, so I don’t recommend it).

    4) Monsters, similarly, do not appear on the board until a character is within one movement of them, and if they move out of that range of all players, are removed from the player board until re-sighted.

    5) Encounters are read by the gamemaster, who offers choices without revealing the consequences of the choice: “You see the Sheldon Gang. You may attempt to sneak up on them: Make a Sneak (-2) check.” Then wait for the player to choose whether they’re going to try it, before giving them the consequence. And don’t tell them what would have happened if they’d had a different result.

    6) Last, because this game is MUCH harder, I recommend making a table listing all the unstable locations you’re using, and adding in extra clue tokens each turn. We’ve tried using a d12 (for the main board only), with 11 locations on the main board, and toss in a d4’s worth of extra clues each turn. So, if you roll a 3 on the d4, there are three extra clues, which are each placed using the d12.

    The extra clue tokens are because you have to spend a lot more time walking around trying to find the gates and monsters, and because Ambush monsters become a LOT scarier, and because Lloigor/Colour Out of Space type mass-damage things become downright evil, and you will come to LOATHE the Hound of Tindalos’ dreadful ability. Also, monster surge becomes…yikes. And not knowing the Ancient One means a monster you thought you could handle suddenly has two extra toughness, or is Overwhelming, or something unexpected.

    At some point, if we finish playtesting them and can solve Captain Jack’s troublesome special ability (regeneration), I’ll offer up our Torchwood Investigator cards. They’re a fun bunch, whose special abilities are okay in themselves, but better when they’re working as a team. Solving Jack is the tricky one. There are a lot of rules he breaks by existing.

  123. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Following up on the Ebola outbreak, this also seems to be highly relevant. I really have no clue, but I assume some of the attitudes encountered are simply due to wrong medical concepts – furthermore, I can imagine some extent of post-colonial scepticism, too.

    “We do not have any experience with such outbreaks in West Africa, the situation is just different. We first have to understand how the people think, then we have figure out how to convince them that their lives will be saved by appropriate and good countermeasures performed by local organizations.”

    Source is in German unfortunately, but there you go.

  124. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Caitie, that sounds like some great ideas. Our house rules already include your 5), and 2) to an extent (we only reveal the Ancient One after he exhibits one clear signature ability, or the Doom Tracker is almost full). But I will suggest trying out those rules, we wanted to schedule a game soon anyway. The only concern I have that it’ll lead to some confusion with all the parallel board management.

  125. says

    Republicans in Kansas show us what Not to do. They think they set up an example for other states to follow in the conservative how-to-succeed category. Instead Governor Sam Brownback’s policies have failed … and not for the first time.

    Kansas has a problem. In April and May, the state planned to collect $651 million from personal income tax. But instead, it received only $369 million.

    In 2012, Kansas lawmakers passed a large and rather unusual income tax cut. It was expected to reduce state tax revenue by more than 10 percent, and Gov. Sam Brownback said it would create “tens of thousands of jobs.”

    The plan has had two years in which to bear fruit. Instead, it has resulted in financial disaster.

    This “tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs” myth has got to go, but it remains a basic policy for all conservatives.

    As other states recover from the recent recession and turn toward the future, Kansas’ huge tax cuts have left that state’s schools and other public services stuck in the recession, and declining further – a serious threat to the state’s long-term economic vitality. Meanwhile, promises of immediate economic improvement have utterly failed to materialize. — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)

    There’s an important lesson here – but it’s not what you think. Yes, the Kansas debacle shows that tax cuts don’t have magical powers, but we already knew that. The real lesson from Kansas is the enduring power of bad ideas, as long as those ideas serve the interests of the right people.

    Why, after all, should anyone believe at this late date in supply-side economics, which claims that tax cuts boost the economy so much that they largely if not entirely pay for themselves? The doctrine crashed and burned two decades ago, when just about everyone on the right – after claiming, speciously, that the economy’s performance under Ronald Reagan validated their doctrine – went on to predict that Bill Clinton’s tax hike on the wealthy would cause a recession if not an outright depression. What actually happened was a spectacular economic expansion. — Paul Krugman

    In case you think Kansas may be just be suffering from the general financial malaise affecting the USA, no. Kansas is doing worse than neighboring states, and it is doing worse than the USA as a whole.

  126. says

    Yeah, your GM has to know the rules down, and can’t be a player. But they’re not playing against the players, just facilitating the players getting to play with less information. So the GM draws the Mythos card and implements it largely secretly: placing new clues, gates, monsters, and only telling the players about those events which happen where they can see them. We found a small coloured disc or marker for each player on the GM’s board helped to cover this, as the GM could quickly see what was where.

    The environment is described physically, but as little game-specific information as possible is given with it. “Arkham is under a huge blizzard, slowing you down. You feel fatigued, but also your senses are sharper.” I’m making these examples up, btw, not reading them, so don’t look for them. In that example, I’d tell the players that they’re down a movement point, because that’s apparent as soon as they begin moving in the snow. That they have an unexpected bonus die on their Sneak check because of their improved senses is something i’d keep to myself, until they made a Sneak or Evade check, and i told them to add a die.

    For ease of play, move the monsters on the playing board just as they do on the GM board, only removing them if they move and stay out of sight of all players. We tried a fog-of-war thing where if you lost sight, the marker stayed put, but it’s really unwieldy to manage, and annoying to track which monsters are known to be where their markers are, and which are only an old estimate, and how old an estimate, and so on. Instead, we use them as a reflection of the GM’s board, only visible when the players are in position to see them.

    One fast player, of course, can “see” more than half the board in one run down the side – a five-space move – in that time looking at every location on that side of the board, and every street location on that board. It just requires a slightly different form of purposeful play, and because it means you’re using characters to recon-by-movement, we found that handing out more Clue tokens helped to replace the lost resource-gathering capacity: recon players need to be tooled up, too, because they will run into unexpected monsters, and they will be stuck in the street when the Flying Piñata Mi-Go come calling, or even something scary.

    We have always used 5) regularly as well, and we strictly do not read the cards outside of our immediate needs. Which is why last week when we played, though we’ve owned the game for several years and played it dozens and dozens of times, we had three encounters in the game that none of us had ever heard before. Usually we hit maybe one, on a good night two, but three in one game was pretty cool.

    The concept of this variant is basically to give the players the least information we can, in order to enhance the Lovecraftian horror of the unknown. As a game designer/critic, I love their dedication to “information in front of you” design. We look at the rules maybe once or twice a game, at most, for some esoteric interaction, but otherwise all the information you need is always in front of you.

    But, it conflicts somewhat with the nature of the material, in that “all the information you need is right there” is not how most people would describe their favourite Lovecraft story. So I thought for a while about how we could take some of that information away in a way that leaves it accessible when needed.

    Theoretically, one could use a desktop-sized tablet to make an app that would do the job the GM is doing in this scenario, but it’s going to be a while before that happens. So I did this. I’d love to hear back from anyone who uses any of it, whether they find it enhances the game or not.

    Craig runs a gamer’s show called The Gamers’ Table on Youtube, where he and a couple of friends review games of various sorts. He’s amenable to the idea of me starting a blog under the same banner, writing about my ideas in game design and adaptation/hybridization, that sort of thing. This variant could, I think, make a really good and potentially widely-interesting article/post.

    Happy Canada Day, Eh?

    As chigau said. :)

  127. says

    Paul LePage, the addlepated governor of Maine, has said and done lots of startling, WTF things. Now we find out that he might be more dangerous than we thought. He has been meeting with members of Sovereign Citizens groups … and he likes them.

    Remember Cliven Bundy? He and many of his supporters are “Sovereign Citizens.” LePage had law enforcement officials in Maine, as well as some members of his staff, look into a proposal by Sovereign Citizens to arrest and execute Democratic leaders of Maine’s state legislature.

    LePage met with the Sovereign Citizens eight times.


    The citizens movement, a conspiracy organization, believes the government is plotting a Christian holocaust via the mass collection of firearms, that it runs mind-control operations and that it was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Sandy Hook school shootings.

    Sovereign Citizens is considered a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI, and members of the Sovereign Citizens movement in other states have been known to falsify currency, impersonate and threaten law enforcement officers, and, in several instances, commit violence. […]

    LePage disputes the claim that he discussed using violence with the group, but “McCarthy, one of the men who met with LePage, said the group discussed their concerns about Eves and Alfond [Democratic Party leaders], and that the penalty for high treason hasn’t changed in 100 years.

    “And I didn’t say it, but the governor said it,” McCarthy said. “I never opened my mouth and said the word. The governor looked at us and looked at his buddy (presumably an unidentified aide) and said, ‘They’re talking about hanging them.’ I said, ‘Praise the Lord, let’s hang a few. We’ll be done with this crap.’ ”

  128. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Thanks again for the input Caitie, I will let you know once we adopt one or the other idea. I wouldn’t want to change the character of the game too much, so we will get there step by step.

    Btw one other house rule of ours I really recommend is cooperative combat. It simply works that with n investigators engaging a monster at the same time, the monster has [toughness]=[original toughness]*n-(n-1). So if you don’t want to risk going against that Dhole on your own and decide to tackle it with n=2 investigators, it’s toughness would increase to 3*2-(2-1)=5, but both investigators could roll their dice to whittle it down.

  129. says

    I was rather ignorant about Canada Day. Figured I’d fix that.

    Frequently referred to as “Canada’s birthday”, particularly in the popular press,[4][5][6] the occasion marks the joining of the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada into a federation of four provinces (the Province of Canada being divided, in the process, into Ontario and Quebec) on July 1, 1867. Canada became a kingdom in its own right on that date,[n 1][8][9][10][11] but the British parliament and Cabinet kept limited rights of political control over the new country that were shed by stages over the years until the last vestiges were surrendered in 1982, when the Constitution Act patriated the Canadian constitution.[n 2]
    Under the federal Holidays Act,[12] Canada Day is observed on July 1, unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case July 2 is the statutory holiday, although celebratory events generally take place on July 1, even though it is not the legal holiday.[13] If it falls on a Saturday, any businesses normally closed that day will generally dedicate the following Monday as a day off.


    I got a chuckle out of CaitieCat’s @148 :)


    And bc I was curious about whether or not Lovecraft’s writings are in the public domain:

    There is controversy over the copyright status of many of the fiction works of american horror writer H.P.Lovecraft , especially his later works.

    Lovecraft had specified that the young R. H. Barlow would serve as executor of his literary estate, but these instructions had not been incorporated into his will. Nevertheless his surviving aunt carried out his expressed wishes, and Barlow was given charge of the massive and complex literary estate upon Lovecraft’s death.

    Barlow deposited the bulk of the papers, including the voluminous correspondence, with the John Hay Library. However, as a young writer with no legal training, his efforts to organize and maintain Lovecraft’s other writing stood little chance of success. August Derleth, an older and more established writer than Barlow, vied for control of the literary estate. One result of these conflicts was the legal confusion over who owned what copyrights.

    All works published before 1923 are public domain in the U.S. However, there is some disagreement over who exactly owns or owned the copyrights and whether the copyrights for the majority of Lovecraft’s works published post-1923 — including such prominent pieces as “The Call of Cthulhu” and “At the Mountains of Madness” — have now expired.

    Questions center over whether copyrights for Lovecraft’s works were ever renewed under the terms of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 for works created prior to January 1, 1978. The problem comes from the fact that before the Copyright Act of 1976 the number of years a work was copyrighted in the U.S. was based on publication rather than life of the author plus a certain number of years and that it was only good for 28 years with one renewal for an additional 28 years. The Copyright Act of 1976 retroactively extended the renewal period for all works to a period of 47 years [13] and the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 added another 20 years to that, for a total of 95 years from publication. Similarly, the European Union Directive on harmonising the term of copyright protection of 1993 extended the copyrights to 70 years after the author’s death. So, all works of Lovecraft published during his lifetime, are to become public domain in all 27 European Union countries on 1 January, 2008.

    The entry later states that it’s likely his work is in the public domain, but that’s not a definite fact. I wonder how it could be determined what the status of his work is.


    ‘addlepated’ is a cool word :)

  130. Bojac6 says

    Hey, can somebody explain to me why some people write “xtians” when referring to “Christians”? I assume it’s derived from “Xmas” being a replacement for “Christmas”, but I thought the reason it was called “Xmas” was to make the holiday more secular (X can equal whatever you want to celebrate). That doesn’t make any sense when refering to the religious group, because they aren’t trying to be universally inclusive, the group only includes Christians, not any other -tians you want.

  131. says


    Hey, can somebody explain to me why some people write “xtians” when referring to “Christians”? I assume it’s derived from “Xmas” being a replacement for “Christmas”, but I thought the reason it was called “Xmas” was to make the holiday more secular (X can equal whatever you want to celebrate). That doesn’t make any sense when refering to the religious group, because they aren’t trying to be universally inclusive, the group only includes Christians, not any other -tians you want.

    I do it sometimes as something of an abbreviation of ‘christians’.
    There are times I find it easier to type out as well. My typing speed is decent, but I’ve noticed some words I mess up the spelling of, and ‘christian’ is one of them. I find I don’t misspell ‘xtian’ that often (of course I don’t use it often). I believe raven uses ‘xtian’ frequently, but other than hir, I can’t think of many commenters who use the word on a regular basis.

  132. says

    re: the works of Lovecraft-

    All works published before 1923 are public domain in the U.S. However, there is some disagreement over who exactly owns or owned the copyrights and whether the copyrights for the majority of Lovecraft’s works published post-1923 — including such prominent pieces as “The Call of Cthulhu” and “At the Mountains of Madness” — have now expired.

    Questions center over whether copyrights for Lovecraft’s works were ever renewed under the terms of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 for works created prior to January 1, 1978. The problem comes from the fact that before the Copyright Act of 1976 the number of years a work was copyrighted in the U.S. was based on publication rather than life of the author plus a certain number of years and that it was only good for 28 years with one renewal for an additional 28 years. The Copyright Act of 1976 retroactively extended the renewal period for all works to a period of 47 years [13] and the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 added another 20 years to that, for a total of 95 years from publication. Similarly, the European Union Directive on harmonising the term of copyright protection of 1993 extended the copyrights to 70 years after the author’s death. So, all works of Lovecraft published during his lifetime, are to become public domain in all 27 European Union countries on 1 January, 2008.

    In those Berne Convention countries who have implemented only the minimum copyright period, copyright expires 50 years after the author’s death.

    Lovecraft protégés and part owners of Arkham House, August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, often claimed copyrights over Lovecraft’s works. On October 9, 1947, Derleth purchased all rights to Weird Tales. However, since April 1926 at the latest, Lovecraft had reserved all second printing rights to stories published in Weird Tales. Hence, Weird Tales may only have owned the rights to at most six of Lovecraft’s tales. Again, even if Derleth did obtain the copyrights to Lovecraft’s tales, no evidence as yet has been found that the copyrights were renewed.[14]

    Prominent Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi concludes in his biography, H.P. Lovecraft: A Life, that Derleth’s claims are “almost certainly fictitious” and that most of Lovecraft’s works published in the amateur press are most likely now in the public domain. The copyright for Lovecraft’s works would have been inherited by the only surviving heir of his 1912 will: Lovecraft’s aunt, Annie Gamwell. Gamwell herself perished in 1941 and the copyrights then passed to her remaining descendants, Ethel Phillips Morrish and Edna Lewis. Morrish and Lewis then signed a document, sometimes referred to as the Morrish-Lewis gift, permitting Arkham House to republish Lovecraft’s works but retaining the copyrights for themselves. Searches of the Library of Congress have failed to find any evidence that these copyrights were then renewed after the 28-year period and, hence, it is likely that these works are now in the public domain.

    Not exactly the final word on the status of his works I was looking for.

  133. says

    http: // Copyright_status_of_works_by_H._P._Lovecraft

    Something about this link trips the spam filter. I’ve tried twice to link to this wiki and my comment gets eaten.

  134. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Hey, can somebody explain to me why some people write “xtians” when referring to “Christians”?

    While the original reason would be that the Greek letter Χ is the first letter of the word (as in Χριστος), I’d go with brevity as a reason for an increasingly frequent use. And a slightly derogatory component.

  135. says

    The spam filter is odd. I’ve tried more than once to include a link to the HP Lovecraft wiki page (not his wikipedia page), and each time my comment is eaten up. I wonder why that is…

  136. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Oh that’s founded in nothing but my personal semantics.

  137. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    each time my comment is eaten up

    Eaten up you say… interesting…

  138. says

    CaitieCat, Gorogh:
    Maybe the dark ones did not want the truth to come out…
    …no matter their efforts, I will not stop. The truth is out there, and I will bring it to the people!

  139. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    The truth is out there, and I will bring it to the people!

    Famous last words…

  140. David Marjanović says

    So they’re pretty much on their own. If they wanted help, they should have chosen to live in a more geopolitically important region.

    Many of them do choose exactly that. And then they drown in the Mediterranean, and/or the watchmen on the walls of Fortress Europe catch them and send them back.

    I thought the reason it was called “Xmas” was to make the holiday more secular

    Nope. There’s no mathematical variable involved there. X is the first letter of Christ.

  141. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    chosen to be born in a more geopolitically important region

    Even if late, FTFY.

  142. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Sorry, I just realized I’m kinda flying in Captain Obvious mode AND spam mode at the same time. Will shut up for a while.

  143. cicely says

    Belated *hugs* for Giliell.
    Family Drama sucks.

    *hugs* and sympathies for rq.

    *careful, gentle hugs* for CaitieCat, and stern admonitions to the evil Back; straighten up and behave yourself!
    (I wish I was meeting rq and CaitieCat….)



    Sideways, and running.
    I cannot believe the number of people who think that this could never turn around and bite them on the butt.

    What’s the color of envy?

    A sickly, putrescent yellowy-green, with slight phosphorescent effects.
    (Even Later)
    I’m looking forward to the upcoming Groo vs. Conan mini-series.

    morgan ?!, that is one very handsome dodo!

    Hi, The Squeaking; Welcome Back In!…and my sympathies.

  144. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Oh lawdy! Now Tony’s gravitar shows up here but not in T’dome.

    Technology….. How do you do it?

  145. says

    I understand how you feel.
    I woke up today and had a new gravatar pic. The one I had set up vanished on its own (I haven’t attempted to tweak anything in a day and a half), and this other one showed up. I’m not going to mess with it again. Who knows what many tentacled entity might show up in place of my face…


    Have ya’ll heard about this:

  146. says


    Sorry, I just realized I’m kinda flying in Captain Obvious mode AND spam mode at the same time. Will shut up for a while.

    No need to shut up. I’m glad you’ve chosen to comment here.

    Similarly, I think I recall CaitieCat mentioning way back when she started posting here that her commenting might be sparse around here (or something to that effect). I’m glad to see that she chose to hang around here more. You both bring your own unique perspectives and personalities to the mix, and add to the warm, friendly, caring atmosphere in The Lounge. I’m glad to have you both in whatever capacity you choose.

  147. dianne says

    Who knows what many tentacled entity might show up in place of my face…

    You mean, who knows when you might accidentally let your real face show up?

  148. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Thanks Tony, I appreciate that. But, apart from the actual fear that I might annoy others, I positively annoy myself sometimes, so I leave myself no other choice than issue a call to order. If I do so in public, it helps me stick to that resolution. Does that make sense?

    Oh and I have a stupid application to write. Hate it, but have to. So uhm… lurking I am, but still trying not to post until the evening.

    Now that I’m at it though, another encouraging development in your link in #185. And Caitie @181, you’re welcome! And dianne, don’t ask questions you don’t want to hear an answer for!

  149. David Marjanović says

    I’m to tired to understand this, but apparently it’s cause for optimism? Title: “Why the Hobby Lobby Ruling Will Be Mostly Irrelevant Soon”.

  150. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Ehehe don’t be too hard on yourself, David Marjanović. And I have no clue concerning the conclusion from your, but right now I find myself willing to believe anyone who asserts – with any sort of confidence – that it’s really not a bad thing*.

    Damn it.

    And damn it. I’m not even drunk.

    *The good thing is, we’ll find out soon enough…

  151. dianne says

    And dianne, don’t ask questions you don’t want to hear an answer for!

    Given my current mood, I’m all for the elder gods coming back–as long as they eat Scalia first.

  152. dianne says

    Well, before me anyway. “First” might be altogether too merciful. I just want to see the Supremes get consumed by the Elder Gods, preferably after having their buffer zone ignored.

  153. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    as long as they eat Scalia first

    Not going to happen. Even Azathoth would spurn him, and Azathoth is not picky.

  154. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    I just want to see the Supremes get consumed by the Elder Gods, preferably after having their buffer zone ignored.


    Did you watch Rachel Maddow @buffer zone?

  155. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Does it strike anybody else as the perfectly logical development when putting all the “not a scientist”-rhethoric (e.g. here, maybe here as the most recent example) in context with this?

    The deliberate shift began with the Gingrich Revolution in the mid-1990s, when the new GOP majority went on a firing binge, getting rid of lawyers, economists, investigators, auditors, analysts, and perhaps most notably, subject-matter experts.

  156. says

    *takes all the hugs*

    So, one of my professors assigned a number of texts for us to read in preparation for the lectures.
    So far we’ve had Marx, Althusser, Gramsci, Bordieu… Your typical Saturday afternoon reads. Don’t forget Said. Never forget Said.
    This week is a more modern text I consider quite good:

    “Live in Your World, Play in Ours”: Race, Video Games,and Consuming the Other
    David Leonard
    Washington State University

    Only I have the idea that it’s going to fly a mile above the heads of my fellow students.
    Lots of talk about white supremacy, the Other, ministrelsy, blackface, white privilege….

  157. says

    Look at this BULLSHIT:

    Responses to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby are a study in contradictions. It’s “a landmark victory for religious liberty” that gives bosses “license to harm their female employees in the name of religion.” A “struggle for the First Amendment has been vindicated,” while the law is being “used as a sword to thwart anti-discrimination laws.” All the rhetoric sets up the same dichotomy: religious liberty vs. women’s reproductive rights. How did two kinds of freedom come to be seen as mutually exclusive?

    Here are the basics of the case (insofar as it’s possible to call anything about a Supreme Court decision “basic”). In 2012, Hobby Lobby, a crafts company owned and operated by a religious couple named David and Barbara Green, contested the so-called “contraception mandate” in the Affordable Care Act. This part of the law initially required organizations of a certain size to cover FDA-approved contraceptives in their insurance plans. The Greens, along with a Mennonite family that owns a company called Conestoga Wood, said that four of the listed contraceptives violated their religious beliefs because they might possibly prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. Even if they weren’t taking the drugs themselves, they said, they felt morally culpable for paying for their employees to take them.
    Most importantly, this ruling won’t necessarily prevent women who work at Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood, or other religious companies from accessing birth control through their insurance plans. In the majority opinion, Alito specifically suggests that the government could use the same kind of exemption it has set up for non-profit organizations: Companies would have to sign a short document certifying that they object to providing birth-control coverage, and then the government would take over coverage from there. Several separate court cases about this accommodation are still pending in lower courts, but the point is that the Court doesn’t think bosses should get to deny affordable birth-control access to their employees—they just shouldn’t necessarily have to pay for it.


    In other words, nobody gets to be “right” in this case. No one’s religious beliefs can trample someone else’s health needs, and even if the government can’t force closely held private companies to pay for contraceptives, these companies can’t stop their employees from being on birth control. Hobby Lobby is a balancing act, not a bludgeon—and certainly not an attack on women’s rights.

    Throughout the entire article, the author takes pains to seem like she understands both sides. She’s trying to achieve some middle ground that enables both sides to be right and wrong simultaneously.
    She fails spectacularly, IMO.
    The basis for Hobby Lobby’s complaints rests on their so-called religious freedom.
    The basis for the opposition rests on the fact that access to contraception is part of women’s health, and therefore an essential part of healthcare.
    Hobby Lobby denies or rejects the importance of women’s health, not based on reason and evidence. Not based on science and empiricism, but on religious grounds. They think they have the right to dictate to their employees what type of health insurance they can have bc religion. They don’t.
    I note that no matter which way the decision went, the owners of Hobby Lobby wouldn’t have been measurably impacted. They could still practice their religious beliefs with no interference. If they didn’t want to purchase or utilize birth control, they wouldn’t have to, even if SCOTUS ruled against them.
    But not so for women. Depending on the outcome of the decision, the lives of women could be made measurably easier, or more difficult. As we saw with the SCOTUS decision, basic healthcare for women has become more difficult. Access to contraception is not easy for many women. Paying for contraception is not easy for many women.
    It seems like this came down to a conflict between religious beliefs and women’s health. Despite the wealth of information available to SCOTUS, information that proves that access to contraception makes the lives of women that much better, they opted to side with Hobby Lobby, thus showing a preference to religion, over women’s health. They’re saying that religious beliefs are more important. I Am Not A Lawyer (IANAL), but when rights are in conflict, I think it is important to determine who would stand to be harmed the most and in what ways. Were Hobby Lobby to lose, they would not have been measurably harmed. If they could be said to lose anything, it would be some vaguely defined notion of religious liberty. Instead, women lost. Now women’s health has been unduly burdened in a measurable way bc SCOTUS chose to side with religious liberty proponents.

    I’m NOT sorry, but when religious beliefs come up against human rights, those religious beliefs ought to lose. I just wish SCOTUS agreed with that.

  158. cicely says

    Given my current mood, I’m all for the elder gods coming back–as long as they eat Scalia first.

    “Professional courtesy.”

  159. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Hahaha how charming…

    Later in history, the [Know-Nothing] party is also referred to as the “American Party”.

    In a more serious vein, I am not sure this is actually aligned to my point. The “know nothing”-aspect in that party seems to refer to its secretive nature (as in “I know nothing about the inner workings or plans of my party”), whereas the (arguably) recent republican non-talking point seems to refer to a sort of non-committal excusing gesture to the politician’s [scientific, economic, etc.] illiteracy.

    Or am I mistaken here?

  160. says

    Oh and I have a stupid application to write. Hate it, but have to. So uhm… lurking I am, but still trying not to post until the evening.

    Notes the above from Gorogh. Not having much luck with the not posting, eh?

  161. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    How did the important case go on Monday? Well, I hope.

  162. says

    I would think that someone defending the historicity of Jesus, when I mention the lack of contemporary sources, and the lack of reference to contemporary sources in the later writings that do exist- someone trying to overcome that I would expect to mention the hypothesized Q document. If Q’s mere existence could be put on solid ground, it would likely constitute the best evidence for a historical Jesus we have. If the content could be put on solid ground, I’d be just about ready to call it in favor of “the dude was real”.

    Of course, going from “a real person is behind these stories” to “these stories are completely true” is a big jump and even the original manuscript of Q in its entirety would be woefully insufficient, but at least it would be a start.

  163. blf says

    That’s weird… A week or so ago my Internets modem didn’t want to power-up. I keep meaning to contact the ISP to get a new one (it’s supplied as part of the package), but forgetting. So every now and then I tried powering it up again, on the off-chance the Gremlins decided to move to a less abusive locale.

    They may have. Sort of. As you can guess, they apparently did move. The modem powered-up.

    Now it is the network switch which is unhappy, and going blink blink. (Not sure what that means, I’ll have to find the manual (gasp! documentation?!) or something…) So, at the moment, the home network is mostly down, with just the computer plugged directly into the modem.

    It occurs to me I’ve got an old switch somewhere which I thought blew up in a lightening strike several yonks ago. (Which, I suppose, might have been what happened… there was an electrical storm the night before the modem wouldn’t power-up — and is the reason I powered it down in the first place.) I should perhaps try that old switch.

    Bloody Gremlins. They’re almost as annoying as peas. Almost.

  164. says

    FremantleMedia has announced a significant step forward in the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods television adaptation. Starz will develop the series, hiring Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies) and Michael Green (Heroes) as showrunners. The duo will also write the pilot and serve as executive producers alongside Gaiman.


    Skulls. They’re what’s for dinner.
    Actually they would probably be dessert.

    Cannibalism never tasted so good. These anatomically accurate chocolate skulls are life-size because, well, they were cast from a mold taken from a genuine human skull. They’re the creation of UK-based chocolatier BlackChocolateCo, a duo who combined their passion for art and chocolate, which yielded this fantastic creation that they sell over on their etsy shop.

    Each edible skull is hand-made from fine Belgian chocolate and is available in 4 different flavors. Guaranteed to make your dinner party a bit more grisly.


    New World shopping mall, a four storey former shopping mall. Originally constructed as an eleven storey building. It was found to be in breach of old town Bangkok’s four storey limit on building heights. The top seven floors were demolished to adhere to building codes in 1997. In 1999 the mall burned due to suspected arson committed by a competitor in the area. The disaster resulted in several casualties, and the building has remained abandoned ever since. Not having a roof, the basement floor remains under several feet of water year round.

    At some point in the early 2000s an unknown person began introducing a small population of exotic Koi and Catfish species. The small population of fish began to thrive and the result is now a self-sustained, and amazingly populated urban aquarium.

  165. says

    Well … bound to be some upcoming Moments of Mormon Madness associated with this:

    An international conservative group that opposes homosexuality is planning its first worldwide conference in the U.S. next year — a four-day gathering in Utah, a state that has become a focal point in the gay marriage movement.

    The World Congress of Families is based in Rockford, Illinois, and has about 40 partner organizations, including Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. The group brings together people of different religions and ethnicities to promote the “natural human family,” which it believes consists of a man and woman raising children with love and discipline.

    Nothing arrogant or insulting about that phrase “natural human family,” no, nothing at all.

    […] The World Congress of Families chose Salt Lake City for its October 2015 gathering because it has many good partner organizations in Utah, spokesman Don Feder said. The Sutherland Institute is leading the planning for the event, which is expected to draw about 3,000 people.

    The Sutherland Institute is composed of mostly mormons, mormons so conservative that even LDS church leaders occasionally have to distance themselves. (Issues related to education and immigration have caused LDS leaders to pointedly refrain from backing up the Sutherland Institutes addlepated policies.)

    […] Ty Cobb, the Human Rights Campaign’s director of global engagement, said the World Congress of Families is a network of extremist groups that has been working to promote anti-LGBT rhetoric and legislation abroad including in Russia and several African countries. […]

    The World Congress of Families opposes homosexuality and abortion. It doesn’t partner with religions, but Feder said there are certainly members of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints among its devotees.

    “Marriage between a man and a woman forms the sole moral context for natural sexual union,” the World Congress of Families’ website says. “Whether through pornography, promiscuity, incest or homosexuality, deviations from these created sexual norms cannot truly satisfy the human spirit.”

    The theme of the Salt Lake City event likely will be religious liberty, Feder said. […]

  166. says

    The books of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament appear to be working from the same precursor document, of which there are no longer any extant copies. This document is referred to as the Q document, (from German Quelle, or Source).

  167. Pteryxx says

    random awesomeness because sometimes going down the tumblr rabbit hole yields treasures.

    Ursula Vernon – Toad Words

    Frogs fall out of my mouth when I talk. Toads, too.

    It used to be a problem.

    There was an incident when I was young and cross and fed up with parental expectations. My sister, who is the Good One, has gold fall from her lips, and since I could not be her, I had to go a different way.

    So I got frogs…

  168. says

    More diversity in the ‘Arrow’ cast:

    After being introduced in multimedia to the general public through the animated series Beware the Batman, Katana is coming to live action in the 2014-2015 season. The character will be a recurring guest star on Arrow in season 3 of the CW hit, played by Devon Aoki.

    Assuming she dons her alter ego’s identity, and not just that of the casting notice, Tatsu Yamashiro, we should see Aoki wielding her signature Katana – something comic book fans have already seen the actor do on screen in Sin City as Miho. According to Deadline, Tatsu will be primarily in the flashback sequences, as one of Oliver’s instructors now that he’s in Hong Kong under watch of Amanda Waller and ARGUS, as revealed in the season finale.

  169. says

    I’m home. Mission accomplished: 60 new fish added to the system. Also, while I was away, the existing fish finally started laying a few eggs, and my students got to see them for the first time without me there. Maybe I’m finally going to get this summer research program going.

    Except now I have to pack up an expedition worth of science demo stuff into two cars. We leave for Convergence tomorrow morning!

  170. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Finally. Made some headway on that application, but not as much as I would have liked. Anyway, I’m at home now and determined to get at least halfway through Dexter Season 8 tonight (one thing I seriously hate is that there are only normo-attractive people in the series, especially the background actors; this is stupid; if you’re going to have scenes in gyms or strip clubs, fine, but please add some flavor except plastic). But first, the new 24 episode; always feels weird to type in “”.

    Also, just had a pitcher of Blue Moon with my boss while watching the 90 minutes of USA vs. Belgium. Game is still going on.

    I like to throw in some random insults against peas. Hate ’em.

  171. says

    Glad to hear it, PZed. :)

    I just heard from Smokey the Advocate (aka Portia), who’s out watching the US-Belgium game at a pub, and celebrating having won her case: NOT GUILTY!, she e-mailed me.

    And that US-Belgium game – no spoiler, in case someone’s watching later, but holy cats, what a superb game this has been.

  172. says

    I was bored, so I took this Which Deadly Sin Are You Guilty Of quiz thingy.

    I got Sloth.

    Which Deadly Sin Are You Guilty Of?

    You got: Sloth
    You have no issue just staying in, watching Netflix and ordering delivery. Good for you! You do you! Just leave your blanket fort sometimes and go to that dumb party you were like “eh” to. Just do it once a month. It’ll probably be more fun for you than everyone else anyway because you’ll have no expectations and hey, you’ll make someone really happy that they finally saw you! Also, Seamless is a gift and a curse. Use wisely.

    Uhm… yeah. Totally guilty, here. I’m, like, the poster-kitty for Sloth.

  173. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    I just heard from Smokey the Advocate (aka Portia), who’s out watching the US-Belgium game at a pub, and celebrating having won her case: NOT GUILTY!, she e-mailed me.

    Nice, thanks for the info and kudos to Portia!

  174. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says


    Pick a dog: Cat

    :D nice. Also,

    You got: Envy

    You have big dreams and high expectations for yourself, which is baller and all, but you also end up comparing yourself to random people on Facebook and being like “I wish I were holding two drinks in this photo to look cooler” and you forget that people only post their positive experiences on social media, thus creating an unrealistic standard of happiness that’ll inevitably make you doubt your self worth based on completely arbitrary factors. GO OUTSIDE AND RUN FREE.

    First it didn’t compute anything because there is no social media site I checked (because there was no social media site I checked). I ended up picking Twitter anyway, so here we are!

  175. says

    Looks like House Republicans are looking for more ways to hide the fact that they are influenced by free trips and other goodies from lobbyists. The Koch brothers will certainly benefit from the freedom to give more expense-paid trips to Congress critters:

    It’s going to be a little more difficult to ferret out which members of Congress are lavished with all-expenses-paid trips around the world after the House has quietly stripped away the requirement that such privately sponsored travel be included on lawmakers’ annual financial-disclosure forms.

    The move, made behind closed doors and without a public announcement by the House Ethics Committee, reverses more than three decades of precedent. […]

    Last year, members of Congress and their aides took more free trips than in any year since the influence-peddling scandal that sent lobbyist Jack Abramoff to prison. […]

    National Journal link.

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

    Well, good job Belgium.

    2-1 in overtime isn’t bad though.

  177. says

    I got envy.

    Which Deadly Sin Are You Guilty Of?

    You got: Envy
    You have big dreams and high expectations for yourself, which is baller and all, but you also end up comparing yourself to random people on Facebook and being like “I wish I were holding two drinks in this photo to look cooler” and you forget that people only post their positive experiences on social media, thus creating an unrealistic standard of happiness that’ll inevitably make you doubt your self worth based on completely arbitrary factors. GO OUTSIDE AND RUN FREE.

    I’ve never seen a Ryan Gosling movie, so I picked the Notebook, which was the only movie I recognized.

    The bit about people only posting positive experiences on social media is *so* not true. I’ve seen plenty of negative experiences from people (at least on Facebook).

  178. says

    Not bad, Esteleth? Take it from me*, that was outstanding by the US. Tim Howard may have just had the best game by a goalkeeper in a World Cup that I’ve ever seen. Fifteen+ saves, many of them top-drawer.

    No shame at all for the US in that game. The sheer quality of this Belgian team, being able to keep a star like Lukaku waiting on the bench for impact substitution, would be very hard to beat for most teams. They’re strong at all places in their lineup, including maybe one of the top three keepers in the world in Courtois. Before the Cup started, they were the team I was recommending to low-info friends for a low-odds pick to go far in the tournament.

    They sure looked buckets better than England did in this tourney, the US.

    * My resume: I started playing at 4, played varsity for high school and university, began refereeing when I was 28 (19 years ago), coaching when I was 32, and been a fan of England and Tottenham since…well, birth, really. In the great Victorian concept, my mother happened to be emotionally very affected by England winning the World Cup just a month before I was born. I think the football hormones bathed my developing mind, and I was hooked for life. I’ve long since forgiven her, of course, because I love the game so much. Shh, I know.

  179. says

    I lost 60 pounds eating McDonald’s:

    To jump-start his weight loss, Cisna started eating at the fast food chain for every meal and working on an amateur documentary with a team of students.

    Rather than ordering huge meals, he tried to adhere to a 2,000-calorie diet.

    When Cisna told the local McDonald’s franchise about his plan, the restaurant said they’d give him meals free of charge.

    Here’s what he’d eat on a typical day:

    Breakfast: Two Egg White Delights, a bowl of maple oatmeal and a bottle of 1% milk.

    Lunch: Salad.

    Dinner: A Value Meal with fries. Cisna said his favorite is the Big Mac.

    Cisna said his unconventional diet proves that fast food isn’t evil.

    “It’s our choices that make us fat not McDonald’s,” he told the news station.

    I don’t think that’s the type of meal plan many people go by.
    No mention is made of how many people lack knowledge about nutrition. He also doesn’t recognize that many parents rely of fast food bc its convenient (especially when you don’t have time to cook for your kids).

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

    Oh yes, Howard was on fire. I am impressed. I’m also pleased that the US scored the only goal Belgium has allowed this cup.

    So yes, we went out with style.

  181. Rob Grigjanis says

    Esteleth @229:

    …the only goal Belgium has allowed this cup.

    Not quite; Belgium 2 Algeria 1 in group play.

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


    *over-the-top fake outrage*

  183. says

    David Finch, the upcoming artist on DC Comics’ Wonder Woman, is reluctant to refer to the titular character as a feminist:
    Really, from where I come from, and we’ve talked about this a lot, we want to make sure it’s a book that treats her as a human being first and foremost, but is also respectful of the fact that she represents something more. We want her to be a strong — I don’t want to say feminist, but a strong character. Beautiful, but strong.

    Why don’t you want to say feminist? Is it a bad word? Would it be bad for a hugely feminist icon to not be referred to as a feminist?

    The comment attracted a strong reaction online, with criticism pointed towards David Finch’s apparent reluctance to describe Wonder Woman, a character long associated with feminist ideology, as a feminist. Mother Jones reported on the situation, under the headline, “Man Tapped to Draw the New Wonder Woman Doesn’t Want Her to Be Feminist.”

    One of his Tweets:

    I wasn’t saying Wonder Woman is not for being equal, and therefore a feminist. I just want her to be a human being, fallible and real.

    Does this mean feminists aren’t fallible human beings? I think Finch, like many people, doesn’t understand feminism.
    BTW, the first link above contains an image of Wonder Woman that is *crappy*.

  184. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    Rupt and exhausted so I narcissistically searched for my nym

    Thanks for asking after my case, morgan:D
    and thanks Cait for relaying for me:D
    Thanks for the grats Gorogh, hope you’re well (Ima catch up, I hope)
    And thanks to Tony for the happy email.

    I feel like the system worked today. It doesn’t always, or even often, and I’m not just saying that because I won. I feel good about this not guilty. Weeeee.

    This is my victory dance. I’m not a good dancer. But for the moment, I don’t feel like a half-bad lawyer:)

    Thanks for the new post-nym, Cait!

  185. says

    Tony! – While that experiment certainly doesn’t show McDonalds to be a generally great idea, it doe show that it’s not the automatically terrible thing it is often made out to be.

    The best solution, rather than going after fast food, would be to improve nutritional education and ensure food providers give information on the nutritional content of their food. Which in a sane world the right wing would love- they claim to be all about personal choice. This would simply enable people to make these choices for themselves, rather than for whoever made the most clever TV ad.

    Funny how the right wing doesn’t like that. “People should make their own choices- and be allowed to refuse to give any information which is relevant to anothers choice”

  186. A. Noyd says

    Speaking of eating and what’s good for you, this week in the ESL class I volunteer in, we’re on a unit about health. The current subsection of the textbook for the health unit stresses how eating three meals a day is healthy. We just happened to arrive at this subsection on the first week of Ramadan. In a class where at least a third of the students are Muslim. The instructor had to jump through some serious hoops to be culturally sensitive and make an exception for purposeful fasting.

  187. cicely says

    Hurray, Portia!

    I got…Wrath???
    I could see Sloth…but I don’t think I am a Wrathful person.

  188. says


    Tony! – While that experiment certainly doesn’t show McDonalds to be a generally great idea, it doe show that it’s not the automatically terrible thing it is often made out to be.

    The best solution, rather than going after fast food, would be to improve nutritional education and ensure food providers give information on the nutritional content of their food.

    Overall, I agree with you, but I do think fast food restaurants (FFR) contribute to health issues like obesity:

    Over the past thirty years, the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases in the U.S. has risen sharply. Since the early 1970s, the share of children age 6 to 19 classified as overweight has more than tripled, from 5 percent to 17 percent, while the share of adults classified as overweight or obese rose from half to two-thirds of the population. Over this same period, the number of fast food restaurants more than doubled. Exposes such as “Supersize Me” and “Fast Food Nation” as well as reports in the popular press have frequently suggested that fast food is at least partly to blame for the U.S.’s rising obesity rates.

    Despite the popularity of this view, it has been difficult to empirically establish a causal link between fast food and obesity. The simple fact that fast food restaurants and obesity have both increased over time is insufficient proof of this link, as are studies that rely on differences in fast food consumption across individuals, since people who eat more fast food may be prone to other behaviors that affect obesity.

    In The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity (NBER Working Paper 14721), researchers Janet Currie, Stefano DellaVigna, Enrico Moretti, and Vikram Pathania undertake a careful study of the effect of fast food on obesity using the exact geographic location of fast food restaurants. Specifically, the authors examine whether proximity to a fast food restaurant affects the obesity rates of 3 million school children and the weight gain of over 1 million pregnant women.

    The authors have several strategies to overcome the concern that children whose school is close to a fast food restaurant may be more prone to obesity for other reasons. First, the authors compute whether the fast food restaurant is within 0.10, 0.25, or 0.50 miles of the school and test whether there is a differential effect by distance. Given that there is a fast food restaurant in the general area, whether the restaurant happens to be very close to the school is arguably random and thus a good way to identify the effect of fast food access on obesity. Second, the authors control for a rich set of school and neighborhood characteristics in their analysis and allow these to vary over time. Finally, the authors estimate models relating changes in obesity to changes in access to fast food restaurants, relying on schools that gain or lose a nearby fast food restaurant during the sample period to identify the effect of fast food access on obesity. The authors estimate their models using data on all California 9th graders for the years 1999 and 2001-2007.

    In their analysis of pregnant women, the empirical approach is similar – the authors include women for whom they observe at least two births in their sample, so that they can examine whether changes in fast food access between one pregnancy and the next are associated with changes in the probability of excessive weight gain. The authors use Vital Statistics data from 1989 to 2003 for Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas, the states for which they were able to obtain confidential data with mothers’ names and addresses.

    Turning to the results, the authors find that proximity to a fast food restaurant significantly increases the risk of obesity. For children, having a fast food restaurant within 0.10 miles of school increases the probability of obesity by 1.7 percentage points, or 5.2 percent. Interestingly, there is no significant effect of having a restaurant 0.25 or 0.50 miles from the school. The effects of fast food access are larger for girls.

    Is the magnitude of this finding reasonable? To probe this, the authors estimate how many additional calories would be needed to push enough students over the overweight threshold (85th percentile of the historical BMI, or body mass index, distribution) to generate the estimated 5.2 percent increase in obesity. They estimate this to be 30-100 calories per day (per student). Given the large number of calories in typical items from a fast food restaurant, the magnitudes seem plausible.

    For pregnant women, having a restaurant within 0.10 miles increases the probability of gaining over 20 kilos during pregnancy by 0.2 percentage points, or 2.5 percent. Unlike for children, the effects are still discernable at 0.25 and 0.50 miles. The effects are largest for African American mothers and mothers with a high school education or less. For pregnant women, the estimated increase in calories needed to generate this effect is much smaller, only 1-4 additional calories per day.

    The authors conduct several other interesting analyses. First, they explore the effect of other types of restaurants and find that only fast food restaurants affect obesity. Second, they ask whether the future presence of a fast-food restaurant is associated with greater obesity today. If that were the case, it would suggest that fast food restaurants locate in areas where obesity is trending up, providing an alternative explanation for the paper’s findings. However, the authors find that only current fast food locations matter.

    Overall, the study suggests that proximity to fast food significantly increases the risk of obesity. One possible explanation is that proximity to fast food reduces the costs of fast food, principally travel costs. A second explanation is that easier access to fast food tempts consumers who have self-control problems. The fact that the effects are larger for teens and fall off more quickly with distance suggests that travel costs are more important for teens than for pregnant women.

    The policy implications of these findings are potentially important. As the authors conclude, “policies restricting access to fast food near schools could have significant effects on obesity among school children, but similar policies restricting the availability of fast food in residential areas are unlikely to have large effects on adults.”

    I agree that improving nutritional education (especially among children) and ensuring guests have access to nutritional information at FFR are both of great importance, it might be helpful to reduce the number of FFR within a certain range of schools.

    Below, I found some info I thought might be interesting, and relevant to the above (but not to any specific point I was making)
    Ten most popular McDonald’s menu items.

    Despite these changes, which altered their trademark taste, McDonald’s french fries remain eternally popular with our fast-food nation. The restaurant chain serves approximately 9 million pounds (4 million kilograms) of fries a day [source: McDonald’s].

    That is a lot of fries in one day.

    Here are the nutrition facts from McDonald’s as of 7/1/14.

  189. says

    A. Noyd:

    The instructor had to jump through some serious hoops to be culturally sensitive and make an exception for purposeful fasting.

    While I understand that, and to an extent support it, Muslims are still human beings. 3 meals a day benefits them too. I don’t want anyone forced to eat, but I find it amusing to carve out an exception to human health bc of religion, and oh boy as I just typed that sentence, I’m reminded of SCOTUS.

  190. jste says

    Grats, Portia!

    That silyl quiz. I got Wrath too, which was amusing. Some of the questions really needed an extra option or two. “Pick one of these Ryan Gosling movies:” – Where is my “who the hell is ryan gosling?” option?

  191. rq says

    *hugs* and *minion umbrellas*

    I may be late to the party, but CaitieCat is about the awesomest person ever (together with all other pharyngulite loungers I have so far met). As she said, we had an awesome but quiet time, and the hours that I had went way, way, way too fast. If I had a chance to go again, I would. Immediately.

    Y’all may be amused to know… Remember how I said that some people started some rumour about me and one of the basses? Well. Unbeknownst to anyone else, he actually made me an offer. I have had a hard time refusing, but we both took a couple of days to think it over, and nothing’s going to come of it, except a potentially lovely and close friendship. We actually understand each other rather well. So, really, no loss in the end. Except, damn, I haven’t felt that turned on and attracted and attractive in years. But that’s what having a busy home-work-kids schedule does.
    I’m pretty confident that if Husband and I had more time for ourselves, we could rekindle the Flames of Amazing Attraction. It’s just that I haven’t been ages somewhere by myself with people not my family, so it’s like relearning a whole new social dynamic.

    Love to you all!
    I swear, once this is over, I’ll catch up.

  192. chigau (違う) says

    Is there any reason for anyone to think that “three meals a day is healthy”?

  193. says

    Good question, and an assumption that I’ve long held (which I don’t have a firm basis for holding…need to fix that). I’m checking now, but thus far, the recommendation for 3 meals a day (or 6 smaller meals) is aimed at people trying to lose weight, rather than an optimal number of meals for the average person to consume in a day.

  194. says

    Even the above document from the USDA doesn’t have a recommended number of meals. It gives nutrition recommendations, such as the amount of fiber, protein, carbohydrates, etc that one needs. It discusses which areas Americans need to cut back on, and which ones they need to increase. It’s strange, because I wouldn’t think it would be good to consume all your daily nutrients in one meal (say, lunch), bc what happens when you get hungry the rest of the day? Obviously, going hungry is not a good idea, but there’s just no advice that says “eat 6 small meals a day”.
    Aside from that, I haven’t found a source for the recommended number of meals per day.

  195. A. Noyd says

    Tony (#241)

    Muslims are still human beings. 3 meals a day benefits them too.

    The Muslim students are all vocally supportive of that (with a few who are adamant about three plus a snack being better). If it were a health class, that might be another thing. Though, criticizing Ramadan in a health class would take decent knowledge of how it’s unhealthy. (Like, given that meals during Ramadan are managed to make up for the fasting, I’d think the greater concern would be the not drinking anything part or the dangers of fasting while diabetic.)


    chigau (#244)

    Is there any reason for anyone to think that “three meals a day is healthy”?

    Actually, my anthropology class (years ago) taught that it depends a lot on ingrained cultural routines that determine when you get hungry, the type of food you eat, and how strenuous your workday is. Not eating when you’re hungry is bad, but if you grew up eating two meals a day, everything else being normal, you’ll only feel hungry twice a day. I don’t know how true that is, but it’s what we learned.

  196. chigau (違う) says

    Just a general comment
    If we want to go all Natural™…
    Our Ancestors™ ate when there was food and didn’t eat when there was no food.
    Some people still do that.
    Time of day is not very relevant.

  197. A. Noyd says

    It’s always weird reading news stories written in past tense a few minutes after an event. It is nice finding out almost immediately what some commotion was all about, though. In this case, a fire about a mile away from me. The building is a block or two away from one of the fire stations here, but that station must have had most of its units dispatched elsewhere. I heard a ton of units coming from the other direction when it started.

  198. says

    Good morning

    Seven Deadly Sins
    I always say that on a good day I manage 6 out of 7, but sloth and lust are incompatible if done right.
    Apparently I’m Pride
    I’ll take that if they paint it in rainbow colours ;)

    I guess a lot of the “those crazy muslims” sentiment, whether dressed up as “crazy muslims” or “honest concerns” comes from a lack of information, because the Qran is surprisingly sensible on this issue (even Allah has his 5 minutes). No fasting for the elderly, sick, pregnant women, kids, women who menstruate, people who do hard work. So there isn’t actually any problem with a diuretic taking care of their health. There’s also a rule nowadays that if you live in a nordic country or far in the South you can go by Mekka time. You don’t have to starve yourself in Finland.

    Nutrition in general
    I recently read an article that made a lot of sense to me. The problem isn’t so much information. Apart from a few things that are really misleading or surprising (since we talked about McD, I recently checked out the nutritional values of a Frappée. Holy shit, that thing has as many calories as a pizza!), we generally know what is healthy and what isn’t. I think that many of us can relate to this.
    The thing is more that first of all, our bodies are the result of millenia of food shortage. Apparently you can see those patterns in prehistoric skeletons as well: growth happened or was arrested depending on whether people had food or not. That’s why sugar and fat make us happy.
    Secondly, we reinforce that link by having the “best”, the fattest and sweetest food on occasions we associate with positive emotions. Just think Christmas or birthdays or even a summer barbecue with friends. Nobody nibbles kale and celery at a summer barbecue.
    And that doesn’t even touch the whole issue of food deserts, middle class privilege, time, school/canteen food etc.

    It’s nice to know that you are still desired, isn’t it?
    But I hear you with how difficult it is to keep the lovers alive while the parents have a really busy time. And I only have 2 kids, not three. I regularly want to hit people who suggest rules like have one date night a week, get a babysitter and go out”. Do these people actually have kids, and jobs, and a tight budget? We’re always trying to carve out some time for the two of us. Even if it’s just for a drink on the balcony on a Saturday evening.

  199. A. Noyd says

    Giliell (#250)

    So there isn’t actually any problem with a [diabetic] taking care of their health.

    Yeah, the article I linked covered that Islam doesn’t require sick people to fast but points out that many diabetics still try anyway.

    Secondly, we reinforce that link by having the “best”, the fattest and sweetest food on occasions we associate with positive emotions. Just think Christmas or birthdays or even a summer barbecue with friends.

    Apparently, that can be a problem with Ramadan, too! People are feeling festive, so they cram a lot of junk food into the 6 hours they’re allowed to eat.

  200. bassmike says

    rq it’s always good to find that someone finds you attractive. I think your caution approach is a good one.

    Giliell I only have one child and trying to sort out parent only time is hard enough! Even spontaneous events have to be planned well in advance!

  201. opposablethumbs says

    Belated congratulations to Portia – you deserve to feel great about that!

    Assorted hugs and waves to the Horde. Reading the Lounge is kind of a beacon in the day, really!

  202. birgerjohansson says

    If any moslems up here have problems with Ramadan (sun only down for three hours) I will just say “I grant thee dispensation in the name of Buddha*”.

    *Buddha is no god, so technically it would not violate the Allah is the only Allah clause.

    — — — — — — —
    Moderate Syrian Rebel Application Form

  203. rq says

    Even spontaneous events have to be planned well in advance!

    Ayuh, that’s about how our schedule works: we plan spontaneous sex (or anything else) about 2 days in advance, with the assumption that it might not happen at all.

    I love how you’re all (generally speaking, I presume) so non-judgmental about possible extra-marital affairs. It makes me feel less guilty for having feelings.
    But I’m actually quite proud of myself for handling it so maturely, instead of being spontaneous and then having to deal with my emotional and retrospectively guilty self. Because that’s how it would be. I guess learning that whole ‘more communication’ thing has been useful.

  204. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Even spontaneous events have to be planned well in advance!

    Tell me that’s an Oscar Wilde quote. It is too awesome for contemporary people to make.

  205. rq says

    It is too awesome for contemporary people to make.

    You can’t possibly be suggesting that contemporary people can’t invent awesome quotes all on their lonesome? Personally, I think bassmike makes some pretty good ones most of the time.

  206. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    You can’t possibly be suggesting that contemporary people can’t invent awesome quotes all on their lonesome?

    Hehe – no, quite the contrary. That was meant as a compliment: Kudos to bassmike.

  207. bassmike says

    rq we all have all sorts of feelings, but only you can judge as to what action to take on them. These things are never simple and none of us know the circumstances except you. It sounds like you’ve handled it very well. Occasions like choir tours can be very highly charged, so being mature is commendable.

    Many years ago (when I was single) I unexpectedly ended up in a situation where (as far as I could tell) an offer was made to me. The person concerned was in a relationship with someone else at the time so I declined as I did not want to be responsible for causing any distress to anyone. I did not like the person who would potentially be hurt, so the less charitable part of me required some convincing! I still think I did the right thing.

  208. rq says

    Sounds like you did. *high five* for handling musical tours maturely! ;) We totally rock.

  209. carlie says

    Congrats, Portia!

    rq – it is so nice to be flattered, isn’t it? Good on you for talking through it in a grown-up way. :) I don’t have a lot of advice on the marriage – we didn’t take time for ourselves, and our marriage suffered greatly for way too long. All I can say is that kids eventually grow up and take less time, and at the end of it you do realize how amazing it is that the other person stuck with you through it all, and you each appreciate each other so much more once you have the time to stop and think about what all you went through together.

    The current subsection of the textbook for the health unit stresses how eating three meals a day is healthy. We just happened to arrive at this subsection on the first week of Ramadan. In a class where at least a third of the students are Muslim. The instructor had to jump through some serious hoops to be culturally sensitive and make an exception for purposeful fasting.

    But why? Fasting all day isn’t “healthy”, and the point of doing it is to show that you’re willing to sacrifice yourself for your religion. It’s not supposed to be “get healthy month”, it’s “do something that hurts to show how your willpower and how dedicated you are to your god and your religion” month.

  210. says


    But why? Fasting all day isn’t “healthy”, and the point of doing it is to show that you’re willing to sacrifice yourself for your religion.

    Yeah, but stigmatizing people isn’t cool either. We all know how “unhealthy!” is flung at people as an insult and a way to ostracize them.

    All I can say is that kids eventually grow up and take less time

    I’m already glad that they have reached advanced stages of “can be dragged to all kinds of events”. So we don’t have to decide between “things the kids like” and “things we like” (which almost always gets decided in favour of the kids because they would ruin the things we like anyway).


    Ayuh, that’s about how our schedule works: we plan spontaneous sex (or anything else) about 2 days in advance, with the assumption that it might not happen at all.

    Let me put it like this: While there is no deeper reason why the bedroom door is stuck, there’s a damn good reason why it doesn’t get fixed. I swear the little one smells it when we have some adult time…

    As for this extramarital thing: You’re an adult and you know what’s best for you. People work in more than one way.

  211. bassmike says

    Tell me that’s an Oscar Wilde quote. It is too awesome for contemporary people to make.

    Not Oscar, just me. *blushes*

    *high five* for handling musical tours maturely! ;) We totally rock.

    Oh yes, we rock! *high five*

  212. opposablethumbs says

    ::continues to think that rq is the bees knees, only more so::
    ::reads on a bit. Continues to have xtrmly high opinion of Horders::

  213. says

    rq is definitely all the bending joints of all the Anthophilae.

    And I have a selfie picture of us on my chesterfield*, and it’s probably one of the least flattering pictures of me I’ve ever seen, and I’m going to put it up on the web today for y’all to see anyway, because of the bees’knees-ness of rq, who is also in the picture (and gave permission for its posting).

    Proud of myself this morning because I overcame my anxiety and Got Some Shit Done. I’ve not paid the rent yet, because my welfare is late, because they needed a form from my doctor. I dropped off the form last Tuesday, but they hadn’t contacted me about picking it up yet, so I called this a.m., and found out that it is now ready. But it’s Wensdy, and they close up early on Wensdies. I can’t physically get there before they close up.

    Now, many times, this would have been the cue for despair and shutdown. I’d have shut down til tomorrow, and then panicked to find a way to get there, get back to the social services office, and get the form in, maybe to get my money by Friday, else to be a week late in paying it next Monday.

    Instead, I called the social worker, asked if it could be faxed over, she said it could provided the original follows within a week, got the number, called the office back, and got them to do the thing with the thing, so the thing gets done. As it were. Sorry for the technical jargon.

    So now instead I can pay the rent tomorrow (just about, in the British sense, but better that than the US sense). Which will make the landlord happy.

    Now, can I sustain the momentum and get some other stuff done? Wish me the good fortune which does not exist, pull your thumbs in a futile but supportive gesture, all that stuff, k? Thx.

    * It’s a Canadian thing. I don’t actually call it that, but it’s a fun name for a couch or sofa, no?

  214. bassmike says

    Transatlantic thumbs up for Caitie . It sounds like you’re on a roll.

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

    I wanted to call bullshit on that McDonalds article, but I’m not really coherent right now. Too hungry. But that meal plan looks horrible.

    I made a woman cry today. I feel so bad. She’s under pressure and I made an insensitive comment. It’s not really untrue, but I should have been more diplomatic.

  216. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Last night I read a short story by Frank Herbert that I had never before run across. Passage for Piano. Dated (written about when I was born) but a good story.

    (sorry, that’s all I gots today)

  217. says

    About that adult time, we’ve got two adult offspring attending college while living at home, and the last… yeeesh, ten years, about, has also been filled with Aged Parental crises of one sort or another. Sadly, we’re down to one AP now, but my mom’s needs are ever-expanding. The offspring pull their weight around here, and I love them, but they are always underfoot.

    So even if we had time for us that was more than the occasional lunch out while running errands, we wouldn’t have the energy. I could do with some me-time, too, but the only way to get that is leave the house, and what I really want to do is find a bad movie to watch while I do craftsy things.

    I guess that’s why they call us the “Sandwich Generation”.

  218. says

    I mentioned that I thought Tim Howard had been historically good as the US’ goalkeeper in the game against Belgium.

    History agrees. When you concede two goals as a keeper, lose the game, and are still the consensus best player, you’ve played a blinder. As World Cup goalies, I’d put his name in the mix with men like Vasily Rats, Joel Bats, the evil but brilliant Schumacher, and the ever-dominating Kahn.

    The US does seem to turn out some quality keepers.

  219. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    The US does seem to turn out some quality keepers.

    But of course. We here in the US are very used to people shooting at us.

  220. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Well, yes, but goalkeepers are the ones who lean toward the shots…:)

    Well, many of us tend to lean towards the shots. Whisky, rum, . . .

  221. cicely says

    In case no one has linked to it, yet.
    ‘Cause it is awesome…and topical!

    CaitieCat, congrats on Getting Some Shit Done.

    Well, yes, but goalkeepers are the ones who lean toward the shots…:)

    Well, many of us tend to lean towards the shots. Whisky, rum, . . .

    Flu, tetanus, whooping cough….

  222. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Random things….

    Extra-marital affairs… About ten years ago when I was about 55 I was visiting my younger sister. She owns a small rural cafe and there were a few locals hanging about. I had a charming conversation with one young fellow who was at least 30 years my junior. The conversation lasted long into the evening. I finally said good night. My sister subsequently pointed out the the lad was hitting on me for all he was worth. Duh. The fact that I was married made no difference to him, nor to me, because the whole concept was so inconceivable to me that I was oblivious. Had I realized the intent I probably would have laughed and hurt his feelings.

    Chesterfield…….. We always called the couch the Chesterfield. But then, my mother was from Canada.

    Off to cook a sugar-free, gluten-free birthday cake for a good friend. And it will be yummy.

  223. A. Noyd says

    carlie (#261)

    Fasting all day isn’t “healthy”, and the point of doing it is to show that you’re willing to sacrifice yourself for your religion.

    From what I understand, the sacrifice is the inconvenience more than anything done to one’s health because there are lots of practices set up to compensate for the dangers of fasting all day. (Assuming they follow the practices, which, being people, they don’t always.) The inconvenience of, say, eating your second meal of the day at 2am.

  224. says

    Hi all!


    I’ll take more of this please:

    Also, I believe that the Republican Party has allowed these groups of extremist to have too much of a voice and because of that, the platform of the Republican Party has shifted too far to the right in my opinion. For example, the drastic cuts on needed federal funding that these groups of Republican extremists support would leave society weak and crippled.
    Secondly, their far right stance on immigration is not only ignorant, but it is cruel. After all our country is a nation of immigrants and should welcome immigrants from every country. My father was an immigrant from Cuba and came to America in 1959 because of the freedom that this nation offers. This freedom should be available to each and every individual that wants to come work hard and pursue his or her goals in America.

    Finally, I believe the Republican Party has not done enough to put a stop to the hatred and cruel words and actions of the far right extremist in the party. The Republican Party consistently says they are trying to appeal to minorities, but this will never happen when we allow members of party to say cruel and ignorant things about Women, African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities in our country.

    The writer, Leslie Salzillo :

    Spoken like a true Democrat. Now my questions are:

    I don’t think this happens enough. More of the democrats with political power need to speak up and say these things.

  225. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Eddy’s in the space-time continuum….

    Nelson Eddy? Eddy Gourmet? Eddy Rabbit?

  226. says

    Took him long enough:

    The leadership team has been weighing a complex issue, and I want to be sure everyone understands our thoughts and ultimate decision.
    As you’ve likely seen in the media, there has been a debate about whether guests in communities that permit “open carry” should be allowed to bring firearms into Target stores. Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so. But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.

    We’ve listened carefully to the nuances of this debate and respect the protected rights of everyone involved. In return, we are asking for help in fulfilling our goal to create an atmosphere that is safe and inviting for our guests and team members.

    This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief: Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.

    I don’t see what’s so complicated here though. Target is not a literal warzone. There is no reason to openly carry guns while you’re shopping for diapers, televisions, or cereal. Just as importantly, customers have no idea the intent of gundamentalists. They’ve no way of knowing if someone is a responsible gun owner (grrr…if they were, they wouldn’t carry them into Target, but I digress) or if they’re going to be a murderous assclam. That creates an environment of fear and terror which does seem at odds with a business. What business wants their customers to be worried about their lives while they’re trying to shop? This is a good decision here, even if it’s too long in coming.

  227. opposablethumbs says

    Eh, aren’t we all :-\
    Right there in the eddies with Eddy. Hopefully he’s not the Ripper after all, though.

  228. says

    It’s that time of year again.
    Preeeeeeeety Fireworks.
    False sense of exceptionalism.
    Worship of the Founding Fathers as if they’re nigh unto deities.
    Ignorance of history-both modern and ancient (hey, Republicans forget things they said a few years ago, we can’t blame them for not knowing stuff from a few hundred years ago; that’s like ancient news, man)
    I would swear we did this last year and the year before (and if you’re FOX News, you do it everyday, except possibly for the fireworks; but I bet they have fireworks in the background everytime they say BENGHAZI!)
    Yup, it’s almost the 4th of July. How do I know? I heard fireworks on June 30 (and I really did–at like 2 am; it’s a good thing I didn’t need to be asleep for work bc that might have woken me-hey there’s something else exceptional about the US…our unemployment rates). I don’t care for fireworks. I’ve got nothing against people enjoying them, but I’ve seen more than enough bright sparkly, sploding things, I don’t need more. I figure once you’ve seen a few, you’ve seen them all (I’m aware there are exceptions, but I don’t make it to the huge celebrations where the amount of fireworks used would make a gundamentalist get a raging hardon at the thought of all the destruction that such splosions could cause).

    In honor of the impending celebration of all things people think are great about the US, but if they paid attention to facts, they’d realize really, really aren’t true…where was I going with this again? Oh yeah, for your listening pleasure:

    Let none doubt, I am the current owner of the Snark Hat!

  229. blf says

    Fireworks, and firework rockets / mortars: Spreading Teh Chemtrails at low altitude.

    This year’s fireworks have a “seek gun fondler’s bum” feature.

    Fireworks are a “false flag” operation to distract from Benghazi. Because Obama.

    FEMA will be launching fireworks from black drones to herd people to the trains to take them to the reeducation camps.

    (What other nutty rumours can we start…)

  230. says

    (What other nutty rumours can we start…)

    Fireworks at the White House mean that Obama is trying to distract from the continuing moral decline of the US he orchestrated. And still he fails to show his birth certificate.

  231. thunk: Hevelland says

    Obama secretly supported Belgium in a plot to deject the American people and thus pass anti-freedom laws while everyone was distracted…

    In more serious news, there is a tropical storm east of florida. The good news is that I have something to do this summer. The bad news is for anyone going to North Carolina soon…

    As brought up by Birgerjohannson, religious practice in the polar regions is tricky, partially because of the lack of a coherent day-night cycle. Space is even harder; I believe there was a conference in Malaysia to figure out how astronauts should practice Islam.

  232. says

    I have, after great study of the charges against our Kenyan Muslim Atheist Communist Usurper and considerable mulling over the evidence provided by the brave patriots on the Right, come to the conclusion that there is only one way that Obama could have perpetrated all of the offenses of which he is accused.

    He’s a time traveler. An evil time traveler. Barack Obama is The Master.

    I think my brain just melted.

  233. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    The Eddy whose Chesterfield sofa it is.

    You refer to Lord Edward “Eddy” Chesterfield. I presume?

    (What other nutty rumours can we start…)

    Obama has used HAARP technology to artificially create Tropical Storm (soon to be hurricane) Arthur which will affect the area between the carolina outer banks and Long Island on July 4th thus preventing millions of Real Americans (older white men in giant gas-guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks) will be prevented celebrating Fourth of July with fireworks, firearms, firecooking, firesex, and fireracism.

  234. says

    Anne D:
    If Obama is the Master, and the Master is dead
    and if Obama is Glory and Glory is dead
    that means Obama is The First Evil!
    Oddly enough, isn’t that like being the Antichrist?

  235. says

    PZ recently wrote about Stefan Molyneux aka Captain Douchebag (I made that part up). Captain D had this to say at the recent MRA conference:

    Stefan Molyneux, a Canadian radio host, blamed mothers for the violent behavior of men.

    Molyneux said that because 90% of a child’s brain is formed by the experiences it has before the age of 5, and women have “an almost universal control over childhood,” violence exists in the world because of the way women treat children.

    “If we could just get people to be nice to their babies for 5 years straight, that would be it for war, drug abuse, addiction, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases,” he said. “Almost all would be completely eliminated, because they all arise from dysfunctional early childhood experiences, which are all run by women.”

    One wonders why the fathers weren’t present during those 5 years.
    One also wonders how fathers have so little influence in the lives of their children.

  236. says

    From “we don’t need no stinking regulation” and “we don’t need public oversight” Texas comes this alarming news:

    It’s been well over a year since a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, exploded, killing 15 people and injuring more than 200 others, while leveling a significant part of the small town. […] the plant had no alarms, automatic shutoff system, or firewall. It was also time for a discussion about zoning laws that allowed a highly-explosive plant to be built across the street from two schools and a nursing home.

    A year later, however, no new safeguards have been created.

    […] Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), the frontrunner in this year’s gubernatorial race, declared that state records on dangerous chemical locations can be withheld from the public. The Texas Tribune reported yesterday on the state A.G.’s rationale.

    Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, under fire for blocking public access to state records documenting the location of dangerous chemicals, said Texans still have a right to find out where the substances are stored.

    As long as they know which companies to ask.

    “You know where they are if you drive around,” Abbott told reporters Tuesday. “You can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not. You can ask them if they do, and they can tell you, ‘Well we do have chemicals or we don’t have chemicals,’ and if they do, they tell which ones they have.”


    I hope this fuckupedness from Abbott bites him hard. Wendy Davis needs a break.

  237. says


    You refer to Lord Edward “Eddy” Chesterfield. I presume?

    Hah, that’s an extra level of the joke I never got before. The initial remark was a reference to the second or third book of the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy; when alien Ford Prefect and hapless Earthman Arthur Dent are trapped in Earth’s prehistoric past (long story), they see a Chesterfield sofa drifting across a field. Arthur inquires where it came from, and Ford replies “Eddies in the space-time continuum” “Who’s Eddy?” and cue Abbott and Costello routine. I’ve noticed that Hitchhiker fans are as bad or worse than Python fans about assuming everyone’s seen/read the source material as many times as they have (I’m guilty of both myself, I admit). I have no doubt that the Jumbotronic song title is derived from the books. Tony referenced the title of a popular cartoon (which I personally cannot stand), the title characters of which share a given name.

  238. dianne says

    One wonders why the fathers weren’t present during those 5 years.

    Fathers are only significant if you need them to slut shame, i.e. need to pressure women into obtaining an owner aka get married before having children. Once they are properly owned, of course, the fathers can disappear and it matters not at all because everything that goes wrong with young children is due to the mothers. Well, ok, there is one exception: Fathers are important if the children involved are racial or ethnic minorities and you need an explanation for why they’re doing poorly in school other than having no resources. In that case, fathers are to blame almost coequally with mothers.

    Me? In a bad mood? I can’t imagine where you got that idea.

  239. David Marjanović says

    Bryan C. Sykes, Rhettman[*] A. Mullis, Christophe Hagenmuller, Terry W. Melton and Michel Sartori (2014): Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates, Proceedings of the Royal Society – B: Biological Sciences 281: article number 20140161. Open access!

    Contains an interesting, unexpected result: Himalayan brown bears may contain admixture from ice-age polar bears. This was known from other populations of brown bears, but I think they’re all closer to the modern range of polar bears…

    * Seriously?!?

    Apparently, Limbaugh is experiencing a boycott, and it really hurts him to the point that there’s collateral damage!

    Already dumped on another thread, but just in case: “What if a Muslim Company Used the ‘Hobby Lobby’ Decision to Impose Its Values on White Christians?

    One wonders why the fathers weren’t present during those 5 years.
    One also wonders how fathers have so little influence in the lives of their children.

    One further wonders whether “promiscuity” really belongs into that list of troubles.

  240. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    No, that was not a HGttG reference. That was me being weird. Honest.

  241. David Marjanović says

    A year later, however, no new safeguards have been created.

    Doomed to repeat history. Death included.

  242. says

    I meant that cicely was making a HttG reference originally. I may not have been totally coherent, because I was also trying to compost something else, and also it’s bastard humid right now and the temperature’s rising, which doesn’t help my focus.

  243. David Marjanović says

    …Yup, he’s called “Rhettman” in the very short pdf (3 pages), too. I assume “he” because of “-man”.

  244. says

    Just as expected:

    The day after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, a group of religious leaders sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking that he exempt them from a forthcoming executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people.

    The letter, first reported by The Atlantic, was sent on Tuesday by 14 representatives, including the president of Gordon College, an Eric County, Pa., executive and the national faith vote director for Obama for America 2012, of the faith community.

    “Without a robust religious exemption,” they wrote, “this expansion of hiring rights will come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom.”[…]

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

    Is there something strange about “Rhettman”?

  246. says

    Just to avoid confusion, this is still Anne D. I just decided to prettify up my name a little bit.

    I love this place. There’s nowhere else I could joke about Obama, BtVS and Dr Who and not be greeted with either incomprehension or outrage.

  247. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    One of the cats in ee cummings Book of Practical Cats

    So, Anne, will you be teaching the mice crocheting and tatting?

  248. David Marjanović says

    New specimen of Archaeopteryx provides insights into the evolution of pennaceous feathers” – the description of the 11th (skeletal) specimen, in Nature.

    Abstract (references removed):

    Discoveries of bird-like theropod dinosaurs and basal avialans in recent decades have helped to put the iconic ‘Urvogel’ Archaeopteryx into context and have yielded important new data on the origin and early evolution of feathers. However, the biological context under which pennaceous feathers evolved is still debated. Here we describe a new specimen of Archaeopteryx with extensive feather preservation, not only on the wings and tail, but also on the body and legs. The new specimen shows that the entire body was covered in pennaceous feathers, and that the hindlimbs had long, symmetrical feathers along the tibiotarsus but short feathers on the tarsometatarsus. Furthermore, the wing plumage demonstrates that several recent interpretations are problematic. An analysis of the phylogenetic distribution of pennaceous feathers on the tail, hindlimb and arms of advanced maniraptorans and basal avialans strongly indicates that these structures evolved in a functional context other than flight, most probably in relation to display, as suggested by some previous studies. Pennaceous feathers thus represented an exaptation and were later, in several lineages and following different patterns, recruited for aerodynamic functions. This indicates that the origin of flight in avialans was more complex than previously thought and might have involved several convergent achievements of aerial abilities.

    Stunning photos behind the paywall; even more stunning figures in the Extended Data Figures (not part of the Supplementary Information!), which seem not to be behind the paywall. – In particular, now we finally know where the tail feathers ended.

    Further quotes (references removed):

    “Although Archaeopteryx still plays a pivotal role in discussions of avialan origins and basal relationships, information on the plumage of this crucial taxon has so far mainly been limited to the London [1st] and Berlin [2nd] specimens, with some additional information from the recently described Thermopolis [10th] specimen.”

    “The plumage of the new specimen is preserved mainly as imprints, with a few patches showing possible preservation of organic material.”

    “The body plumage of Archaeopteryx consists of bilaterally symmetrical pennaceous feathers, possessing long, thin and slightly curved rhachides with regularly oriented barbs, forming narrow vanes (Fig. 2d). Parts of the neck plumage had separated from the cervical vertebrae with the skull and are preserved between the vertebral column and the skull remains (Fig. 1 and Extended Data Fig. 3); they show that pennaceous feathers also covered the neck up to the head.”

    “These finds contradict an interpretation of the plumage of Archaeopteryx based on the Berlin specimen, according to which the number of primaries is reduced and the coverts are extremely elongated. Thus, the wing morphology of Archaeopteryx conforms to that of modern birds, as previously suggested (see Extended Data Fig. 5 and Supplementary Information).”

    “For the first time the distal end of the tail is completely preserved in Archaeopteryx (Fig. 2e). The distal rectrices are symmetrical in shape and extremely long, measuring about 99–114 mm (up to 61% of the length of the bony tail). The rhachis morphology resembles that of the wing feathers. The preserved shape of the tail plumage is probably narrower than originally, because some rectrices are completely covered by others. The distal end of the tail is bifurcated (Fig. 2e), but it cannot be ruled out that this might be caused by a moulting process of the terminal feather, which would indicate a centrifugal moulting pattern as in recent birds. Lateral rectrices are slightly shorter than distal ones and clearly asymmetrical in shape (Fig. 2f). This may suggest that the tail of Archaeopteryx possessed an additional aerodynamic function increasing the total lift of the animal.”

    There are phylogenetic surprises; for instance, birds and troodontids come out as closer to each other than either are to the dromaeosaurids. Balaur remains on the bird side of things, and Rahonavis remains a dromaeosaurid. Jinfengopteryx is far out, man.

    “These results contradict the hypothesis that the flapping flight of modern birds was preceded by a four-winged gliding stage, and indicates that flight ability in Avialae and Microraptor evolved convergently and was functionally different.”

    “The current results show that pennaceous feathers were present in the common ancestor of Pennaraptora. As in extant birds, this feather type probably fulfilled several biological roles related to body insulation, manoeuvrability, brooding, camouflage and display. However, given the great diversity of pennaceous feathers found within different body regions and across the phylogeny, it seems plausible that the evolution of this feather type (especially in the wing, hindlimbs and tail) was primarily driven by display functions. These structures then represented an exaptation that was repeatedly, and probably convergently, recruited for aerodynamic functions. This indicates that the origin and evolution of flight in theropod dinosaurs were more complex than previously thought, and (as already shown for other anatomical complexes, for example forelimb myology and breathing apparatus) could draw on structures that evolved in different functional contexts.”

    In very different news, I got an e-mail titled “BREAKING: Victory at TARGET!” It quotes John Mulligan, the CEO of Target, as saying: “Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.” This is sourced by a footnote that goes nowhere.

  249. David Marjanović says

    Is there something strange about “Rhettman”?

    Of course. “Rhett” is bizarre enough, but at least there’s famous precedent; adding “-man” is not just bizarre, but doesn’t even fit the Mormon pattern of “random jumble of letters that is pronounceable in English”.

  250. opposablethumbs says

    Old Gumbie Cat from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by TS Eliot
    ::hurrying in order to be able to contribute a trivial rectification for I think the first time ever in the Lounge, and I bet that by the time I finish typing this sentence it will be factually incorrect because someone else will have said it first … ::

  251. opposablethumbs says

    … and Don Marquis gave us the immortal and utterly wonderful mehitabel …

    and I confused him with ee cummings because of the no caps thing.

  252. says

    re: fast food, weight and health, starting with Tony’s link at #228
    Important things to keep in mind: This person can lose weight on a carefully crafted McDonalds menu ≠ anyone can lose weight on the McDonalds menu, and really, really ≠ McDonalds food is healthy/good for you. But this crap:

    “It’s our choices that make us fat not McDonald’s,” he told the news station.

    is really the worst part of the article. It’s part and parcel of the way that libertarian bullshit has wormed its way into every corner of society, along with those assholes over in the Hobby Lobby thread castigating people for not having options about where they shop. It’s the way people insist on making every fucking thing about personal choice made via contracausal free will and furthermore the ‘choices’ you make are each and every one a test of your moral character, such that if you suffer in any way whatsoever, it’s because you’re evil, weak, stupid, or otherwise morally deficient (and yes, on this view those latter two things are, indeed, considered moral failings). This perspective of course completely ignores social pressures and economic realities, not to mention the myriad of more subtle influences that fill our environment. Not least among these are our innate desires (mentioned already by others) for fats and sugars, and the fact that junk food providers have spent millions of dollars and tens if not hundreds of thousands of person-hours into carefully crafting their foods to stimulate appetites but not stimulate feelings of satiety (see Kessler’s The End of Overeating for more on this), essentially using our underlying physiological responses to make an end-run around concious choice (there are many, many ways of doing this with other types of common reflexes, and marketers have gotten quite good at some of them), which is why there need to be fucking regulations not just about what information is provided but about what people are actually allowed to sell and in what fucking quantities.

    The best solution, rather than going after fast food, would be to improve nutritional education and ensure food providers give information on the nutritional content of their food.

    This has been done some places. It has no effect. See above for why.

    Which in a sane world the right wing would love- they claim to be all about personal choice.

    And it’s always just another anti-regulation dogwhistle. They mean that you should have the choice to pay $10 for a shit sandwich or $100 for an actual meal (containing undisclosed but probably lower amounts of fecal matter). What’s that? You can’t afford $100 per meal? Well you should have chosen to be rich like me. Enjoy your shit sandwich, peon.

    This would simply enable people to make these choices for themselves,

    No it wouldn’t, anymore than it does now, because the nutritional content isn’t the major reason for the choice. The fact that it’s all you can spare the money/time for, the fact that no place in miles sells anything else anyway the fact that you need some kind of pleasant stimulus after the hell morning you’ve had at your shithole job, to cushion you for the hell afternoon, but you’re not allowed a beer or a bowl and couldn’t afford one anyway, these are what drive the ‘choices’ to eat fast food/junk food. Nutritional information is basically irrelevant.

    rather than for whoever made the most clever TV ad.

    Wrong again, they’d just keep putting misleading bs about their supposed nutritional edge over the other chains; look at diet food.

  253. says

    Yeah, that carefully crafted McDonald’s meal doesn’t reflect how many people actually eat. I mean, geez, look at that breakfast he ate. I *like* oatmel, but really, how many people are eating that on a regular basis? No, they’re going for the McGriddle (which I admit to liking once or twice a year) or an Egg McMuffin. That’s part of the reason I included a link to the top 10 menu items at McDonald’s. Of them, the only thing that appears nutritional are the salads, but even they are loaded with sodium, and empty calories (and that’s before the addition of dressing).

  254. says

    I learned something today. There’s racism behind the history of marijuana criminalization in the US:

    The term “marijuana” enjoys a secure place in the American lexicon. The recent drive to legalize the drug for medicinal purposes has certainly helped loft the word into the mainstream. Marijuana-legalization movements for recreational use in Colorado and Washington state have played a role, too, as has the nascent legalization and decriminalization campaign sweeping through Latin America, most notably in Uruguay.

    But throughout the 19th century, Americans used the word “cannabis” when referring to the plant. Pharmaceutical companies like Bristol-Myers Squib and Eli Lilly used cannabis in medicines — widely sold in U.S. pharmacies — to treat insomnia, migraines and rheumatism. From 1840 to 1900, U.S. scientific journals published hundreds of articles touting the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

    So why does the term “marijuana” dominate the discourse in the United Sates, while most people in Europe and large swaths of Latin America refer to the drug as cannabis, the botanical name for the plant?

    The answer, in part, is found in the Mexican Revolution, which began in 1910. After the upheaval of the war, scores of Mexican peasants migrated to U.S. border states, taking with them their popular form of intoxication, what they termed “mariguana.”

    Upon arrival, they encountered anti-immigrant fears throughout the Southwest — prejudices that intensified after the Great Depression. Analysts say this bigotry played a key role in instituting the first marijuana laws — aimed at placing social controls on the immigrant population.

    In an effort to marginalize the new migrant population, the first anti-cannabis laws were targeted at the term “marijuana,” says Amanda Reiman, a policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance. Scholars say it’s no coincidence that the first U.S. cities to outlaw pot were in border states. It is widely believed that El Paso, Texas, was the first U.S. city to ban cannabis, when it approved a measure in 1914 prohibiting the sale or possession of the drug.

    Around the same time, West Indian and Mexican migrants started taking marijuana with them to ports along the Gulf of Mexico — most notably New Orleans, where the media began associating cannabis use with jazz musicians, blacks and prostitutes. Media outlets across the country helped fuel the hysteria, churning out headlines like “Loco weed now cultivated and smoked in cigarettes” and “Murder weed found up and down coast.” By the early 1930s, 29 states had banned marijuana.

    But nobody played a larger role in cementing the word in the national consciousness than Harry Anslinger, director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 to 1962. An outspoken critic of the drug, he set out in the 1930s to place a federal ban on cannabis, embarking on a series of public appearances across the country.

    Anslinger is often referred to as the great racist of the war on drugs, says John Collins, coordinator of the LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project in London.

    Collins is not certain if Anslinger truly was a bigot. “But he knew that he had to play up people’s fears in order to get federal legislation passed,” Collins said. “So when talking to senators with large immigrant populations, it very much helped to portray drugs as something external, something that is invading the U.S. He would use the term ‘marijuana’ knowing that it sounds Hispanic, it sounds foreign.

  255. chigau (違う) says

    I guess it’s summer.
    30°C (86°F).
    I’ve watered the patio plants twice today. So far.

  256. says

    Justice Alito’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case should not come as a surprise. Here’s some background on Alito that begins in November 2012, right after Obama won the presidential election.

    […] at this annual gathering of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, arguably the most powerful legal organization in the country, Justice Samuel Alito was defiant. […]

    Just a few months earlier, the Court had rejected a request that it repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, based on a tenuous reading of the Tenth Amendment that one prominent conservative judge dismissed as having no basis “in either the text of the Constitution or Supreme Court precedent.” Justice Alito dissented in the Court’s health care decision. He wanted Obamacare gone. […]

    Referring to the text of the Constitution, Alito quipped that “[i]t’s hard not to notice that Congress’ powers are limited, and you will see there is an amendment that comes right after the First Amendment, and there’s another that comes after the Ninth Amendment.” He spent much of the rest of the speech criticizing legal arguments the Obama Administration had made in his Court. [A speech given at the annual gathering of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, arguably the most powerful legal organization in the country.]

    So, when Chief Justice Roberts opened the final session of the Supreme Court’s term on Monday by announcing that Justice Alito would deliver both of the Court’s remaining opinions, liberals immediately knew that they were about to hear some very bad news. In quick succession, Alito dealt sharp blows to public sector unions and to women whose employers object to birth control. […]

    Hobby Lobby is also the latest in a series of decisions Alito has handed down diminishing the rights of women in the workplace. Prior to Hobby Lobby, his most famous decision was undoubtedly Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire, the pay discrimination case that Congress overturned in the very first bill President Obama signed into law. […]

    Last year, in an opinion with potentially much further reaching consequences than Ledbetter, Alito gutted a core protection helping prevent workers from being racially or sexually harassed by their boss. […]

    unlike the many partisans in Congress and other elected positions, Alito cannot be voted out of office. His appointment to the Court lasts for his entire life.

  257. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    Damnit! You are, of course, correct. Wrong title. Wrong poet. Nice to know I am me.

    Tony! @324:

    I will have to look for it, but I also seem to remember the term ‘marijuana’ showing up in the yellow press at the time of the Spanish-American War — those evil Spanish soldiers all hopped up on marijuana commiting (mostly imaginary) attrocities.

  258. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Injustice Alito’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case should not come as a surprise.

    FIFY. >.>

  259. chigau (違う) says

    It’s all cats.
    I made the same misattribution but was too late to comment.

  260. says

    Tony! I wouldn’t advise testing me for malleability.

    Ogvorbis, knitting and crochet, yes, but sadly, I don’t tat.

    opposablethumbs, that’s the one. “On whom well-ordered households depend” beats the hell out of “reliable-dog-geyser-person”. Although I also feel a certain kinship with Susan Sto-Helit, as being the one who always tips the wee out of the shoe after everyone else has panicked.

  261. says

    cross posted from the ‘Dome:

    A comment I left at Think Progress about the Missouri Governor vetoing a 72 hour waiting period on abortions:

    While I’m glad he vetoed the waiting period, the Governor can do better. Much better. Start by championing women’s rights. Actually, start by listening to women. I did that, and found that many women do not wrestle with the decision to get an abortion. Many of them are very happy to have one. Like so many people, he ought to base his opinions on facts and verifiable information, rather than his gut.

    This was a response I got:

    I sincerely doubt whether any of these “many” women you’ve spoken to are happy about getting an abortion. They may be relieved, yes, and even grateful that this medical procedure is still safe and legal, but happy? If you are a proponent of a woman’s right to choose, please don’t say this. And if you are anti-abortion, then please make sure you always wear a condom, or better yet, get a vasectomy. To characterize women as being happy about terminating an unwanted pregnancy is insensitive and just plain wrong.

    The fuck. So I’m wrong for stating a truth? Women have told me they were happy to get an abortion. I’m not lying when I say this.
    I also see the commenter assumes I’m heterosexual.

    That kinda pissed me off. I’m unreservedly pro-choice, with no exceptions and I’m quite vocal about that, so the insinuations being made are fucking irritating.

  262. opposablethumbs says

    Ogvorbis, I’m quietly confident that this will prove to be the one and only time I get in first on a minor mis-remembering. Mind you, I’m happy to spend the other 99.999….. % of the time reading and learning from you and the rest of the Horde! :-)

  263. says

    *Old Gumbie Cat opens one eye and unsheaths a sharp and shiny claw in Azkyroth’s direction. Having made her point, she curls up and goes back to sleep, purring.*

  264. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Well fuck. I learned around noon today that I will give a 45 min presentation tomorrow at noon (I didn’t strictly have to agree to it, but it would be such a missed chance to present some ideas that I hardly have a choice). Have a lump in my stomach ever since and am not quite sure I will sleep at all tonight. Not only because of the stress, mind you, but because I need the time to work on it.

    What’s most unacceptable about this is that I have asked if I could present something two weeks ago, and only today got the “good news”. Grrrrrrr.

    I don’t have to start entirely from scratch in terms of content, but in terms of rationale and argumentative structure I do. And I obviously have no time to practice or anything. It’s not a large panel, but important to me; plus many unknown variables in terms of who will attend. Double Grrrr.

  265. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    I’m a bit rupt.

    Good luck, that really sucks. : ( I know you can do it!

  266. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    The wind is carrying all the smells from the bar and grill down the block. Oh man. I’m getting unreasonably hungry

  267. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Thanks folks that really does help. Making headway but it still sucks, perfectionism and all.

    Oh btw does anyone live in Washington, DC? I don’t have any plans for Saturday yet…

  268. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Maybe I should elaborate @Washington, I’ve never been there before, so I certainly want to look around a bit, museums and the like. If a Horde member wanted to accompany me, that would certainly be nice!

    *continues pushing around slides and pixels*

  269. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says


    I’m not there, but I love the museums. Naturally, I was attracted to the crime and punishment museum.
    The Holocaust Museum is a…I don’t want to say. “a must” …but I’d encourage you to check it out.

  270. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    I’m having it out with a good friend about our issues. They have partly arisen because he has flipped out on me over politics over and over. (He’s libertarian). He just admitted to me that he thought I was faking being a liberal in order to “make it” in my profession. He thought I was lying. He literally couldn’t grasp that someone would…believe what I believe. This from a Mormon.

    …I can’t even process this.

  271. cicely says

    I hate family drama.
    :( :( :( :( :(

    “New specimen of Archaeopteryx provides insights into the evolution of pennaceous feathers”

    Petition signed.

    Good luck with your presentation, Gorogh!

  272. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    me too:(
    esp when they put you in the middle

  273. says

    I haz a content belly. Pizza and cookies. Nom Nom


    Well look at this! Kudos to her (the Navy should be ashamed that its taken this long though).

    Michelle Howard might be used to being the first to do a lot of things, but Tuesday’s first is a big one.

    In a ceremony at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, Howard became the first woman promoted to the rank of four-star admiral in the Navy’s 236-year history. She will serve as the vice chief of naval operations, the Navy Times reported.

  274. says

    *hugs* Hope it’s resolved soon.

    Congratulations on the case, sympathies for your current crogglement.

    Just got my paycheck, confirming tat I am indeed short on the rent again. I hate being poor.

  275. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    Thanks and *hugs* to you.

    Today a legal assistant in my office asked “Don’t you feel guilty getting someone off like that?”

    Dirty jokes aside…I was flabbergasted. Like…this is sort of the point of our business….to advocate….successfully….

  276. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    This is drive-by and mostly threadrupt. It has been a busy and interesting week so far.

    I turned 52 on Monday–and spent the morning at the Supreme Court pro-choice demonstration. It was very hard to be standing there and then hear the devastating news. Despite the news, however, I did have a very nice birthday.

    Today I went 4-0 and took first place in a local Magic the Gathering standard tournament with my Monored Devotion Deck. This is the best win I have ever had. And to think I almost didn’t go tonight because I was feeling a bit under the weather. (This is true in several senses as it was raining pretty hard at the time.)

    I’ll leave this huge pile of *hugs, pouncehugs, and chocolate* for all who want/need them. Please take care.

  277. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    *drags himself to bed and tries to get two hours of sleep before he has to get up to catch his flight*

    Thanks for the good wishes everyone, I appreciate it. Hope nobody was praying for me though!

  278. opposablethumbs says

    Portia, !!!headdesk!!! (honestly, a mormon questioning somebody’s principles … ? There must be some kind of meters going spoing all over the place)

    , good luck!

    Hekuni Cat
    , happy belated birthday! (sounds like a great way to spend it, despite that news)

    , glad you’re on the sidelines, but ugh – commiserations. I hate that shit.

    , shit I’m sorry. Wish I had more than just hugs.

    , I thought we preyed on Sundays? There’s plenty o’ good tasty theism-and-bigotry-mockin’ on a Sunday!

  279. bassmike says

    I hope your presentation goes well Gorogh

    Happy Birthday Hekuni Cat

    *hug* and grog to all.

    Daughter used the potty again this morning, so last week wasn’t a fluke!

  280. says

    Good morning

    You can sit here in the family drama afflicted corner. I bought Fudge today

    Hekuni Cat
    *belated birthday pouncehugs*

    I turned 52 on Monday–and spent the morning at the Supreme Court pro-choice demonstration. It was very hard to be standing there and then hear the devastating news. Despite the news, however, I did have a very nice birthday.

    My great grandma, who was born at the end of the 19th century, was arrested and sentenced because she protested against the German ban on abortions. That same fucking law is still on the books. I’m wondering if, should I have great-granddaughters one day, they will have to keep on fighting or whether by the turn of the next century women have finally become people.

    From the department of “we used to be smarter but can’t exactly remember when”:
    Last night my RPG crew was here. Two of the four arrived a bit early and helped me laying teh table and everything. My friend A. offered to take out the rubbish and I gave him my keys to the dumpsters. After they left I went straight to bed. This morning I found an email and several messages from my friend A. He still had my keys, but he set off as soon as I called and we still made it on time for #1’s school.

    Musing about RPGs: It kind of struck me how our RPG characters often really reflect what we have and want in real life. Me, with my wonderful husband and children, I’m playing somebody who wants lots of casual sex, adventure, and whose ambition is to be found worthy to join her church’s armed branch. My friend’s, who is involuntarily single, wants to find a husband and settle down…

    From the department of “don’t try “because I say so” with me”.
    Today was sauna-day for me at the swimming pool (4 times exercise = 1 time sauna). The swimming pool has reduced prices for kids, students, disabled people… So I wnated to pay the reduced price for the sauna as well. “We only have reduced prices for disabled people at the sauna”. OK, can you tell me where it says so? “Everywhere!” Show me please. “Uhm, right, it doesn’t say so, but that’s how it is!” Look, I just want to be clear about the rules and for that there mist be a place where the rules are written. “You’ve gotta wait for my colleague” OK. Colleague: “It’s like that!” Sure, where can I look this up so I can know in advance what I have to pay? “Nowhere, but it’s like that!” Look, you really need to have this in writing or everybody can just say what they want. “Well, I’ll tell my boss to fix it!”
    Jeezes, first rule of holes. You don’t go on defending your complete lack of documentation and act like your costumers are uppity for wanting reliable information that conforms to legal regulations.

    Mini rant: #1 got hooked on “TopModel” (warning, annoying music on autoplay). They are all white and they all have eyes bigger than their mouth and they are all standing like they really need to go to the loo.
    It tells you how much I love my gran that I bought a book so she can give it to #1 as a birthday present. I bought the “Fantasy Model” under great pains. At least the Mermaid doesn’t have a thigh gap.
    You know, generally I refuse to shame the kids for liking shit society tells them they should like, but this is on the border of obscene.

  281. birgerjohansson says

    Glittering reception celebrates Britain’s biggest twats

    — — —
    Tony Blair applies to be Caliph “ I am already a figure both universally known and universally hated in the West, which is great positioning for ISIS.”

    — — —
    Medieval-style, literal surnames to be reintroduced Medieval-style surnames that describe a person’s job or characteristics are to be brought back, the British government has announced. The move will make it easier to assess someone’s suitability for a job or social interaction thanks to surnames such as Electrician, Accountant, Friendly, Pisshead and Twat.
    The spokesman added that if crime-related surnames, such as Simon Murderer and Barry Insurance Fraudster, had been introduced earlier it “would have saved a lot of police time”.

  282. thunk: Hevelland says

    G’morn all. Woke up early today to stare at satellite imagery of Hurricane Arthur… (big bad storm)

    Also likely threadrupt for the next few days.

  283. David Marjanović says

    And today’s link dump.


    Kickstarter for capitalism! Agriculture is mostly an oligopoly nowadays. “Ten agro-chemical firms own 73% of the commercial seed market, and 93% of seed varieties have gone extinct. In the US alone 85% of apple varieties have disappeared.”

    “But farmers are resisting, saving seeds in banks and barns across the world. Now they have devised a revolutionary project — the first ever, non profit “eBay” of seed where any farmer, anywhere can source a wide variety cheaper than from the chemical companies. This global online store could re-flood the market with all kinds of seeds and slowly break the monopoly that is putting our food future at risk!

    This is the most innovative agricultural idea in decades. But chemical companies bully and sue those that get in their way, and farmers are calling on us to support them. If we raise enough now we can help them launch the online site, support seed storing in key countries, finance marketing and advertising, and fund the legal defense to fight back.

    Pledge to help kick start this revolutionary project — Avaaz will only process donations if we raise enough to launch the whole initiative.”

    Not sure why the companies are called “chemical”, but otherwise this idea looks good to me. There’s a lot more information, especially links to news articles, in the e-mail I got.


    Here’s How Vancouver Responded to London’s ‘Anti-Homeless Spikes’” – good news!


    Denounce the Supreme Court’s disgusting ruling that corporations can deny women birth control coverage.

    Sign the pledge: Boycott Hobby Lobby


    Pledge to donate for a TV ad that will point out that the big fossil-fuel companies in the US are getting at least 20 billion $ in subsidies, apparently per year.

    “As Congress debates yet another round of budget negotiation, perhaps no programs are less worthy of government support than those which subsidize Big Oil, Gas, and Coal.

    We need to be sure the public and our representatives in Washington know what’s really going on, and not get duped by industry spin. Help us place this important ad on the air, so we can push our Representatives in Washington to end this wasteful spending, and promote policies that protect our children’s futures.”

  284. David Marjanović says

    The spokesman added that if crime-related surnames, such as Simon Murderer and Barry Insurance Fraudster, had been introduced earlier it “would have saved a lot of police time”.

    “Thief” was in fact a traditional surname in Mongolia till the communists came, abolished the whole system and burnt the records or something. So was “Family of seven drunks”.

    This is why, when surnames were reintroduced in the late 90s, it was decided to let people decide on their own surnames rather than trying to dig up the old ones. Of course, half the country is called Borjigin* now, but…

    * Chinggiz Khaan’s clan, as I’m sure you’ve guessed.

  285. birgerjohansson says

    Re. thread “Muslim creationists are as obtuse as the Christian kind”.

    Check the name of the creationist! He is a proxy for Dr. Davros, operating from within the Kaled dome!

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

    At the clients’ place I’m hanging around this week:

    One guy had a tab open on conservapedia- homosexual agenda, yesterday. He didn’t seem embarrased that I saw, so I figured it was sincere and not just informing hinself about weird bigots. It was confirmed today when he pulled out the bible during lunch break.

    How sad. And I even found him likeable. No horns or green skin, even.

  287. says

    Beatrice, I can confirm, from personal, being-beaten-up-and-receiving-death-threats experience, that bigots against queerfolk come in all sizes, shapes, range of human colours, and genders, but that unless they have a very unusual fashion sense, they almost never have horns or green skin, or any other convenient external identifier, beyond a “Hi, I’m a Mormon missionary named Gary!” sticker, perhaps.

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

    Oh, and the woman I accidentaly made cry yesterday was a bit sour towards me in the morning but we were fine by the afternoon. I left her in a good mood.
    That made the day a bit better.

    I hope everyone is doing well. I kinda just parachute in here in the afternoons, drop a couple of words and then close the laptop and go out for a walk.

    Nice life that, with 8-hour workdays (at least this week).

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


    sorry, that was a bad attempt at jokingly going crap, how could I even accidentaly find a person like that likeable? Ewww.

    I’m really sorry about all you’ve suffered from bigots. *hugs*

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


    Oh, I was horrible. I don’t know how to deal with people in tears, especially when they are strangers to me.
    She did all the work by being really nice and not holding my words against me for long.

  291. says

    I knew it was, and no harm, no foul, promise. Just gave me a sad, reminding me that it would be so much easier a world if they came with horns. :(

    I brought some of it on myself, to an extent, and I was aware it would happen; the death threats and some of the beatings-up were when I was leading a local campaign in favour of a provincial same-sex rights omnibus bill. I wrote op-eds in local papers, was interviewed on TV, radio, and in print, and generally made a huge nuisance of myself trying to get visibility and convince our local MPPs to vote in favour. I got death threats on the phone (which, with the newly-deployed Caller ID, were probably an error on their part), by letter, and a couple delivered in person to my door by their issuers. I met them at the door with my buddy “Lou” Slugger (you may have heard of him in his baseball connection), and was glad this country doesn’t go big for the whole handgun thing.

    I even gave an interview to a local student paper, in which she asked me how I could stand up and do so when I was receiving such threats (serious enough that the police were aware, and there was a trace-back on my line until the vote had gone by). I pointed out that I was single, that I lived nowhere near my family of origin (who didn’t support me anyway) who didn’t share my surname, and I had no kids or even pets. The only person being endangered by my activism was me, and as a former soldier, I was perfectly willing to accept personal danger for things I believed in.

    That played pretty well, actually, got mentioned in some of the other local press, and favourably.

    I failed utterly, unfortunately. Of the locals, six of them, five were NDP (the government party, and my party, and nominally leftists), and four of them, along with the sixth local who’s a Catholic and bigot, voted against the measure.

    And we lost by nine votes. Meaning if I’d swung the four local NDP MPPs to vote for the measure, we’d have been within a single vote of passing. If I’d swung all the local votes, we’d have passed it, but that couldn’t be done, as Mike bloody Farnan in Cambridge wouldn’t have voted to support queer people unless the Pope told him to. And that butthead JP2 never listened to me, not once, and I wrote him like half a dozen times asking him to stop being suck a jackass. No, I really did.

    Bob Rae betrayed us; he should never have made it a free vote. I spoke to Marion Boyd (a hetero mensch to the gay community, if there ever was one), who’d introduced the bill, later, and she admitted she’d had a HUGE blowup argument with him about it, that if ever the NDP wanted to have a signature piece of legislation, something to erase the bad taste of the Social Contract, their Orwellian name for an austerity programme that fucked over a LOT of their voters, then this was it.

    And so it never came to pass that we had a law mandating belt-onions, though I certainly tried.

  292. bassmike says

    CaitieCat I’m impressed with anyone who can stick to their guns under such overt displays of hatred. I have even more respect for you than before..which is going some. Your experiences, and those of others in the horde, emphasize how fortunately mundane my life has been so far.

    BTW you talked about posting a photo yesterday. Did I miss it?

  293. says

    You did not miss it. I ran out of Getting Shit Done juice.

    I refilled my glass this morning, so let’s see. What did I make the password for that public flickr I made a few weeks ago? Hmm. When I figure that out, or get annoyed and reset it, then I’ll post the pic.

    I was thinking, à propos de rien, that it would be cool if we had a Pharyngulounge flickr account, where we could submit pictures that we wanted one another to be able to access, without having to expose private accounts to any asshole who happens to read along. I’d be willing to be an administrator of it, as long as there were someone else who did so as well, for when the Black Dog is sitting on my chest insisting we play.

    It would inevitably mean that certain assholes would have stuff they could use to do more Photoshop-harrassment, but if we can cope with that, it might be a nice addition?


    Separately – it’s funny, Beatrice, because people say that, but it doesn’t seem exceptional to me. I just…happened to be the one who was there. Not many people had my advantages in being so free of others to endanger (fsv of ‘advantage’, in being alone in the world at the time other than a few friends), a decent ability to make my arguments, and a face white enough to get attention when I made them. I wasn’t completely alone in it, either, my friend Yvon was with me for much of it. He was 6’4″ and an amateur kickboxing champion, so I definitely felt a lot less worried at public events we both went to. :)

    He died, later. Fucking HIV. I’ve lost so many friends to that.

    But it didn’t, and doesn’t, seem like an unusually brave thing to do. Is that weird? Maybe, I guess. But it was just a thing that needed doing, and I was the closest person with the ability to do it. Or not do it, as it turned out, but the ability to at least have a go.

    But thank you, I appreciate your kind words, very much.

    Some time, I have to tell the story of when I tried to get the local city councils to declare Pride Day. That was fun.

  294. cicely says

    Here’s an interesting-sounding book.

    *gathering up hugs and snuggling into ’em*
    Thanks, gang.
    Family drama on top of arguably the most stress-filled couple of weeks we’ve had at the office in something like 15 years—and it ain’t over yet—makes cicely a seething ball of anxiety.
    Seethe, seethe, seethe. If it goes on much longer, I’ll turn into a seethe.

    *hugs* for Dalillama.
    If I had money, I’d send you some.
    Heck, I’d send some to everyPharyngulite who’s in need of cash.

    Hekuni Cat!
    Happy (belated) birthday!
    *beverage(s) of choice and chocolates*
    Also, congrats on the Magic win.

    *settling in next to Giliell*
    Trade you some dark chocolate M&Ms for fudge?

    Musing about RPGs: It kind of struck me how our RPG characters often really reflect what we have and want in real life.

    My characters tend to have a lot more artistic talent (exhibited as Skills, or however the game system arranges hobbies and suchlike), in any of several various areas, than I have in Real Life.

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


    I think that was bassmike you meant there, but I second his words. You’re awesome, and you absolutely have a lot to be proud of.

  296. says

    Grb, you’re quite right. And thank you.

    And sorry, bassmike, for misidentifying you, though at least Beatrice is a lovely person to be misidentified as. :)

    And thank you, too.

    I think that covers it.

  297. says

    If your M&Ms are free of peanuts I’ll share.
    Peanuts and sweet don’t go together in my world.

    I don’t think you failed. You will have greatly educated lots of people, prepaing the way for others who came after you.

    I once got my adult students to cry. that was so horrible.

  298. cicely says

    Giliell, unfortunately (from the sharing-with-friends pov) peanuts are involved in my M&Ms. I love ’em.

    I don’t think you failed. You will have greatly educated lots of people, prepaing the way for others who came after you.


    :( :( :( :( :(
    Now my eyes are leaking, too.

  299. says

    The White House released a new report from the Council of Economic Advisors on Wednesday, detailing the healthcare and economic impact of refusing to accept Medicaid expansion, as 24 states have. Bottom line, it’s 5.7 million people who would qualify for Medicaid, but be uninsured by 2016, “and these states will forgo billions in federal dollars that could boost their economies.” […]

    Yeah. And guess what, 70% of those 5.7 million people are women. I am one of them.

    Daily Kos link.

  300. says

    Well, there’s some things we could be doing right now that would make a huge difference. When I was at that bridge in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., yesterday, we were talking about the fact that we’ve got $2 trillion of deferred maintenance: roads, bridges, an air-traffic control system that’s creaky, an electrical grid that wastes too much energy and is highly inefficient, and we could be putting hundreds of thousands of folks back to work right now and not only put a big boost to the economy in the short term, but also lay the foundation for economic competitiveness in the long term. That creates a lot of middle-class jobs. The challenge we have is not that we don’t know what to do. The problem is that we’ve got a Congress right now that’s been saying no to proposals that would make a difference. — President Obama

  301. says

    Conservatives are explaining the backlash against the Hobby Lobby decision as, basically, whores and sluts want to have consequence-free sex.

    In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, conservatives couldn’t resist making a ruling officially about religious liberty into how women will no longer be able to freely have sex on the government’s dime.

    Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh held nothing back on Wednesday when criticizing liberals for considering birth control to be part of preventative care for women.

    “Pregnancy is something that you have to do to cause. … Yet we treat it as a great imposition that women need to be protected from. It’s a sickness, it’s a disease, it’s whatever, and there’s gotta be a pill for it,” he said on his show. “Yet they wouldn’t have the problem if they didn’t do a certain thing. It’s that simple.”

    Red State’s Erick Erickson boiled the Hobby Lobby case down to religion versus “consequence free sex.” […]

  302. says

    It’s funny how in Rush Limbaugh’s world, babies are caused by women having sex.

    Not men. Men are apparently not involved. If women would just stop having sex, there would be no pregnancies. Men should keep having sex, apparnetly.

    So what he’s really saying is, “Guys, get out there and get you some GAY SEX!”

  303. says

    Nice action from moderate christians:

    A group of clergy handed out condoms to customers in front of an Illinois Hobby Lobby store on Wednesday, staging a creative, faith-based protest against the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to grant the craft store giant religious exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. […]

    Think Progress link.

    CaitieCat @392, you made me laugh out loud with that analysis. See this page about Scalia’s wife. Possible source for some of his anti-choice attitudes?

  304. says

    Oops. Borked the html. Having a crappy day. Still haven’t been contacted about the job, so now I gotta move on. Feel like my best friend/roommate doesn’t like me or want to talk to me. I’ve been home almost all day, every day for nearly a month, and we’ve had the equivalent of maybe a 15 minute conversation. It kinda hurts my feelings. I’m lonely. I’m alone. I feel like a loser.

  305. says

    My folks are able to help me with the rent, which is good.

    Hekuni Cat!
    Happy bday.
    I haven’t read that one, but I strongly recommend Buckell’s work in general
    And this kind of bs is why I really don’t want to see the U.S. adopt a Canadian-style plan; because if we do, the whole thing will be organized at the state level, and we’ll have the same crap with healthcare we have with UI or food stamps, where the conservative states can (and will) just fuck people (especially people who happen to be women, queers, or a little too brown) over for laughs while the Feds do nothing.

  306. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    Almost makes me willing to eat at Burger King.

    I wonder if they will create a wrapper for the ones freaking out over this? Maybe a white wrapper, with a pointed hood?

  307. says

    Funding this guy, Bill Gothard, reveals the depths of the Green family’s fundamentalism when it comes to religion. Their Hobby Lobby court battle is just part of the picture.

    For a decade or so, Hobby Lobby and its owners, the Green family, have been generous benefactors of a Christian ministry that until recently was run by Bill Gothard, a controversial religious leader who has long promoted a strict and authoritarian version of Christianity.

    Gothard, a prominent champion of Christian home-schooling, has decried the evils of dating, rock music, and Cabbage Patch dolls; claimed public education teaches children “how to commit suicide” and undermines spirituality; contended that mental illness is merely “varying degrees of irresponsibility”; and urged wives to “submit to the leadership” of their husbands.

    Critics of Gothard have associated him with Christian Reconstructionism, an ultrafundamentalist movement that yearns for a theocracy, and accused him of running a cultlike organization. In March, he was pressured to resign from his ministry, the Institute in Basic Life Principles, after being accused by more than 30 women of sexual harassment and molestation—a charge Gothard denies. […]

    The academy also runs a program for girls 15 and older. The website for that program notes that “skirts are required to encourage the girls to remain feminine in an active lifestyle.” The application—under the heading “mental health”—asks girls if they are struggling with “day dreaming,” “fantasy,” or “lustful thoughts.” […]

    The article also presents details of the funding provided by Hobby Lobby: $299,000 here, $3.5 million there, a training center in New Zealand, etc.

  308. says

    ‘No animals were harmed in the making of this film-where did this come from?

    As soon as the film industry really began to take off in the 1920s, the American Humane Association sought oversight of its treatment of animals. As time went by, the organization grew more insistent, especially as Westerns and war films increasingly popular, as both genres tended to treat horses as if they were taking part in actual battles.

    In particular, the use of trip wires (to tangle horses and show them dropping as if shot by guns or arrows) was protested. However, while there were films where more than a dozen horses were killed by this technique (the filming of the 1939 Erroll Flynn film The Charge of the Light Brigade saw more than two dozen horses killed by trip wires), it was the death of a single horse that finally pushed the film industry into allowing the American Humane Association to dictate how animals were treated.

    You see, in a 1939 film about Jesse James (starring Tyrone Power as Jesse James and Henry Fonda as his brother Frank), the filmmakers THREW A HORSE OFF OF A CLIFF!

    In a dramatic scene toward the end of Jesse James, Frank and Jesse James are being chased by a posse. Their only way out is to jump with their horses from a cliff into a lake. Perspective was used to make a 70-foot drop seem higher, and then a stunt man jumped off of cliff along with a horse that\ was forced off using a slide mechanism. A different angle of the first shot was then replayed right after to make it appear as if the other James brother also jumped off with his horse. Then we cut to the brothers and their horses in the river getting away.

    The fall didn’t actually kill the horse (as, again, the drop wasn’t that steep), but the horse was so freaked out by the fall that it began thrashing wildly and ended up drowning itself.

  309. says

    Glad to see someone’s written the article that occurred to me right after the Hobby Lobby travesty of a decision: Why Corporations Should Have the Right to Bear Arms.

    Coming soon: corporate rights to access Social Security based on their previous income after they turn 65, corporate claims to direct representation in legislative bodies because no taxation without representation duh, corporate claims to having gender and/or race where it suits them to do so, corporate rights to not be discriminated against based on their income or other inherent qualities – what, you think you can just choose not to buy a corporation’s products because you think ‘those filthy fossil fuel corporations are just thugs and thieves’? RACIST! – and corporate access to public welfare rolls in a direct way, since they’re people and all and frequently have no income to declare.

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

    The Long Earth is my reading for this trip. I’m grateful for everything Terry Pratchett has shared with us.
    … and there’s definitely some dust in my eye.

  311. cicely says

    *big hugs* for Tony!.
    You’re not a loser.
    And if you were within feasible visiting distance, I would drop in on you like a ton of bricks.
    But politely.
    I’d call first.

    Hobby Lobby has two locations here in Springfield. One of them is twinned with Mardel, a “retail chain specializing in Christian office and educational supplies”, started by one of the Green family.

    CaitieCat, your link was too good not to drop on my Facebook page.
    This should be very interesting!

  312. carlie says

    Here’s the type of good timing I almost never benefit from:

    Had a few errands to run, about an hour’s worth.

    Got in the car, started driving, pulled over at the corner because I decided I didn’t like the CD that was in and wanted to change it.

    Looked down the road (it’s a hill, so I could see further by then), noticed “huh, pretty cloudy over that direction I am about to go”.

    Popped the cd out, and immediately heard “BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP” on the radio station, followed by the information that a severe storm was headed this way with weak rotation and hail, and would be at my location in approximately 25 minutes.

    So, I went around the block and came back home.

    I can already hear the thunder now.

    If I a) hadn’t removed the cd, b) hadn’t had the radio on that particular station, c) had it loud enough to hear, d) had the statement start at that exact time, and e) been close enough to home to warrant stopping, I would have gotten caught out in the middle of it and been quite unhappy, not to mention stuck out when the basement might be taking on water.

    In my olden days, I would have considered this a miracle of God looking out for me, rather than just good timing. But, you know, good timing. And not unusual for me to be switching out music, and having the radio on, and having the NWS issuing weather bulletins when they could do some good.

    On a related note, I’ve noticed in the last year or so that short-term weather prediction has gotten really good. I can be watching the future radar cast online, and rain will hit within about 10 minutes of the predicted time. Humans are neat in our scientific powers!

  313. carlie says

    And now it’s raining, exactly on schedule. Time to open up all the windows to let the cold breeze in.

  314. says

    Interesting preliminary finding that I’ve been right all along about sleep-deprivation causing diminished pain tolerance, for which I’ve coined the phrase “insomnialgia”; the related concept that higher pain can make it difficult to sleep (thus instigating a brutal feedback loop), I call “painsomnia”. I like the former neologism better than the latter.

    But these two things are the bane of my existence. When put alongside the incessant sleep disturbances brought on by the Black Dog’s whining and howling, my conditions reinforce and exacerbate each other in a hideous way. Being depressed/anxious keeps me awake. Being awake means my pain tolerance is lowered. Lower pain tolerance means I’m in more pain. More pain makes me anxious and depressed, as well as keeping me from sleeping in a more direct way. Anxiety and depression make it harder to sleep. And the carousel goes round and round.

    Is it not bizarre that, in the so-called socialist paradise of central Canada, there is some question whether this pair of conditions constitutes a disability?

    If I believed in luck, I’d be really bummed about my life.

    Fortunately, I don’t. And there’s a lot of good about my life, so fuck that noise. I choose to fight on.

  315. says

    Crap, forgot the link. Emphasize preliminary findings.

    No password recall yet. Time for the Afternoon Lie-Down. As usual, I got about four hours of sleep last night, and three hours of “lying down and waiting for pain to go away enough to sit up and be productive”, so I supplement with a couple of hours in the afternoon when I can. I never, ever, sleep more than four hours at a go, and rarely more than six hours in a given overall session of lying down: lie down at 1am, sleep by 2 or 3, wake at 7 because it’s time for meds, lie down for an hour, maybe sleep for an hour, maybe not. I don’t sleep more than four because four is the maximum time my pain can be reduced to the point where I can sleep, short of some kind of IV drip.

    Also, on another and related note, “I FUCKING HATE OPIATE-RELATED ITCHING,” she said, trying to stop the bleeding from her shins and tops of her feet. “Yeah, opiates, just fun fun fun all the time, from the constipation to the incessant itching. Gimme some!”

    Crap, now I sprained my eyeballs again. Anyone have a number for a good eyeropractor? Subluxation of the optical bone due to excessive strain from prolific eyerolling is a serious issue!

  316. says

    ‘Rupt, will try to catch up over the holiday weekend.

    In related news, I’m glad I didn’t have to work a full day today, because I was able to get home and take the pug out before the storms got here. Saw a pretty impressive lightening show while I was walking him though.

    Hurricane Arthur folks, stay safe please!

  317. says


    Well, cosmic coincidence can also work in your favour


    See this page about Scalia’s wife. Possible source for some of his anti-choice attitudes?

    Can we stop looking for a Woman to Blame™ , please? I’m pretty sure Scalia is capable of being nasty on his own. You could make the same argument in the other direction: Influenced by his views she got engaged in “pro-life”.

    If I’d been smart I’d have checked the recipe for ingredients I need before I went shopping this morning.
    Also, weather forecast isn’t good for Saturday. Which means getting this flat into a presentable shape. I guess that will be done mostly by packing stuff into boxes and putting it in the basement until Monday.
    At least I’m crafty and can occupy five girls with something fun.

  318. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Severe thunderstorm rolling through. so, time to lock up the buildings and walk across the wide parking area to my car. Fun.

  319. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yay, the wider wheelchair arrived, and I got the Redhead transferred to it. Less pressure points was her first comment. One advantage I see so far, is that the support for her left arm is slightly farther away, and her elbow is no longer trying to fall off the support on the outside. Still working on getting the left brake rubber/plastic handle off so I can put in a brake extender.

  320. says

    “As you (Energy & Environment Cabinet official) sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

    That’s State Senator Brandon Smith, Republican from Kentucky, speaking at a meeting to discuss new EPA rules.

    Average temperature on Mars is about minus 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

  321. says

    Comment #411:

    Can we stop looking for a Woman to Blame™ , please? I’m pretty sure Scalia is capable of being nasty on his own. You could make the same argument in the other direction: Influenced by his views she got engaged in “pro-life”.

    Oh, no, no, no, no. Sorry I worded that so poorly. I did not mean to imply that Scalia’s wife was responsible for his attitudes. Only meant to imply that she might be a factor. Yes, quite possible and likely that they influence each other in bolstering anti-choice attitudes.

    I posted that info about Scalia’s wife way too quickly, without thinking it through. I apologize.

  322. says

    #HobbyLobbyLove is a thing, but it’s not going well —
    Daily Kos link.

    America’s most prominent teen mom and walking demonstration of the failure of conservative abstinence notions Bristol Palin knows just how to say thank you to Hobby Lobby for protecting their employees from the fires of hell. (Well, or at least making sure the company gets to save a few bucks—the premise is still a bit fuzzy.) With a hashtag, of course! And so today marks Palin’s announced #HobbyLobbyLove day, a day that sounds pornographic but is in fact merely a day to take pictures of yourself buying cheap imported crap from a company that puts the womenfolk in their proper place.

    But much like abstinence education, Twitter hashtags often do not work out quite as conservatives plan they might. #HobbyLobbyLove is having a rough go of it. […]

  323. says

    Congrats on the new wheelchair, Nerd. Hope it makes the Redhead more comfortable.

    In other news, raising the minimum wage is good for everybody.

    […] An analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Ben Wolcott finds there’s been more employment growth in states that raised their minimum wages at the beginning of 2014 than in states that didn’t:

    Of the 13 states that increased their minimum wage in early 2014, all but one (New Jersey) are seeing employment gains. Furthermore, nine of the remaining 12 states are above the median for this period. The average change in employment for the 13 states that increased their minimum wage is +0.99% while the remaining states have an average employment change of +0.68%.

    As Wolcott cautions, “this kind of simple exercise can’t establish causality.” But “it does provide evidence against theoretical negative employment effects of minimum-wage increases.” In other words, it’s one more piece of evidence that when Republicans squawk about raising the minimum wage being a jobs-killer, they’re wrong. […]

    Daily Kos link.

  324. says

    George Takei had something to say about Hobby Lobby.

    “The ruling elevates the rights of a FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION over those of its women employees and opens the door to all manner of claims that a company can refuse services based on its owner’s religion.”

    (O)ne wonders,” he said, “whether the case would have come out differently if a Muslim-run chain business attempted to impose Sharia law on its employees.”

    “Hobby Lobby is not a church. It’s a business — and a big one at that. Businesses must and should be required to comply with neutrally crafted laws of general applicability. Your boss should not have a say over your healthcare. Once the law starts permitting exceptions based on ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’ there’s no end to the mischief and discrimination that will ensue. Indeed, this is the same logic that certain restaurants and hotels have been trying to deploy to allow proprietors to refuse service to gay couples.”

    Raw Story source.

  325. says

    A tracking company, EQT Corporation, in Pennsylvania has decided to buy everybody off:

    […] the company got more aggressive: it offered all of the households along Cardox Road $50,000 in cash if they would agree to release the company from any legal liability, for current operations as well as those to be carried out in the future. It covered potential health problems and property damage, and gave the company blanket protection from any kind of claim over noise, dust, light, smoke, odors, fumes, soot, air pollution or vibrations. […]

    Raw Story link.

  326. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    A tracking company,

    I presume an offering to Tpyos, meant to type fracking. And a million dollars ahousehold sound like the appropriate offering….

  327. says

    I presume an offering to Tpyos, meant to type fracking. And a million dollars ahousehold sound like the appropriate offering….

    Yes, Nerd, you are correct. I totally let autocorrect get one over on me. Fracking companies must be making tons of moola. Buying people off for whatever amount shouldn’t be allowed. Those companies are making a big environmental mess, and they know it.

  328. opposablethumbs says

    Tony!, I’m pissed off for you and sorry. You are an exceptionally ace bloke, and if there were any godsdamn justice in the universe …. argh. I’m sorry you feel alone. I know we’re all a lot of miles away and shit, and that’s not fair, but we know you are a very very intelligent compassionate eloquent and also fun person. I really hope you catch a break. Also Dalillama, who I think is incredibly wise and outstandingly smart. And CaitieCat I think you are amazing and I admire you and I hate the pain that treats you so badly.

    Tonight was the last ever school concert. SonSpawn played in a few numbers (and the jazz band played one of his compositions), it was fun. Kind of sad, though, ’cause it was the last one – at school, that is. Next one is extramural.

  329. rq says

    *minion umbrellas* for everyone

    First concert down. Middling to good. At least it wasn’t our solo concert, was the sacred music group concert. Worst part? The men’s voices missing their entry in one of the first pieces, requiring an in-concert do-over (the shame!). Best part? Our solo songs. Not our best ever ever but good enough for the audience, and considering we’ve got some sopranos and tenors suffering from too much humid air and we were technically saving our voices, a decent job all-round.
    Then I nearly fainted because my skirt is just about too tight and taking it off gave me too much of a head rush. Time to re-sew the buttons! :)



  330. saysomething says

    Hi. I don’t post here much, though I read Pharyngula and all you’re comments often.
    I’m looking for some help/direction.
    A close family member has recently begun getting help for his alcoholism, which is great. However, he stopped going to AA after a few meetings because of all the god god GOD. (He’s described himself in the past as a taoist, though he seems to be more and more agnostic and hopefully on the road to full atheism recently, but that’s neither here nor there…) The meetings were very uncomfortable, and so he has tried to self manage, but he seems to be spiraling into other addictions and making other bad choices that he has described as thrill seeking, and he’s reached out for some advice from us (my spouse and I).
    So, where are the support groups in our community? What can we do? I’m honestly not sure where to look. We live in Colorado, and I think he’d benefit most from a group support situation. Money is a factor as his job has cut back his hours significantly, and he has no health insurance right now.
    Any help in pointing us in the right direction is much appreciated. I hope this is the right place to post something like this.

  331. saysomething says

    ** Sorry for spelling and grammar! Typing one handed while I feed my offspring.

  332. says

    Welcome to the Lounge.
    Your question is perfectly appropriate here, and I wish I had some advice to offer you (I don’t, sadly). Perhaps one of the others will be able to give you some advice. I hope your family member is able to get the help he needs.

  333. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Secular Organizations for Sobriety is run out of CFI West in Hollywood, CA. by Jim Christopher, a really nice guy. There are chapters in most states. If there isn’t one close enough to your family member, contact Jim directly. He is easy to reach and he answers his calls and emails.

    Good luck.

  334. cicely says

    Nerd, congrats on the wider wheelchair; it made such a difference when I got mine! Not only the lack of pressure points, but also it became easier to wheel it, in spite of also being heavier-duty—the sides were rubbing against the wheels, and the friction often made for an uncomfortable amount of heat.
    The only problem is that some doorways are just almost too narrow to get through—and are too narrow for anything but being pushed through. In any case, it’s now advisable for me/us to get lined up as straight in front of the door as possible.

    […] but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here.

    The Stupid is strong with this one!

    And…I got the letter saying I’m not disabled enough.

    :( :( :(
    I’m sorry.
    *careful, gentle fluffy-hugs*

    1) Welcome In!
    2) Is there a local Freethinkers group? If so, perhaps someone there might be able to advise you on locally-available-and-secular resources?

  335. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    My mom just got here. She brought an adolescent kitty from Michigan, five hour drive in a carrier. The little guy was terrified. So I took it over to its “forever home” at my cousin’s. Her husband was so enthusiastic he opened the carrier right away before we could stop him. The kitty is now a forest animal, I’m afraid. Maybe he’ll come back, not sure. But….sigh.

    Yesterday I told S to stop gchatting me to make small talk. It was so hard to set the boundary, it hurt. But I know it was the healthy choice, and it protects me from the side of me that really wants to talk to him. Breakups suck.

    *minion umbrellas all around*

    Glad the performance went well:)


    welcome in. I don’t have advice but I’m glad you unlurked.

  336. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Interesting. The EMT truck is sitting in front of our house, and if the next door neighbors called, I see no lights on in their house.

  337. ck says

    So, I was wondering why my irony meter exploded the other day. It turns out that Fox News decided to steal the logo from Bioshock Infinite, a game where you go around shooting at a group of racist religious fanatics who worship the founding fathers, in order to promote the work of some Californian racist anti-immigration fanatics who worship the founding fathers. Not that the average Fox News viewer will ever realize this since their average viewership tends towards old.

    Frankly, I just pity the satirists. It must be frustrating for them to spend time trying to think up things so ridiculous that no one would ever do it, only to find out that someone has already seriously done or suggested it.

  338. says

    Question for the Horde.
    Over at B&W, I came up with some examples to illustrate how sexist and homophobic slurs work. I’m curious if these are good examples, or if I’m wrong, or maybe a little of both. They’re here and here.

  339. birgerjohansson says

    “It’s funny how in Rush Limbaugh’s world, babies are caused by women having sex”

    Parthenogenesis + homosexuality? He has maybe mixed up so many different far-right tropes that logic becomes irrelevant.

    From Ed Brayton’s blog:
    “Satan is Behind Gay Marriage”
    He likes to throw the rice when the grooms (or brides) leave the church, the ol’ softy

  340. says

    I work with an all-female team of data scientists, in the gaming industry. This makes me the professional equivalent of Amelia Earhart riding the Loch Ness Monster.

    I love my job. Our company in particular is great. Firstly, our game (HAWKEN) is beautiful and people love it. Secondly, half of our executive branch is female. Half of them are punk rock, and all of them are badassed. Our gender awareness standards, compared to the industry at large, are top shelf. We are talking Amelia Earhart in Atlantis, at a five star resort, getting a mani-pedi from Jensen Ackles. I have it good.

    For the last six months of my tenure at Meteor Entertainment, there has been only one thing I did not love about my job. This

    It’s worth it to read the whole story.

  341. David Marjanović says

    Links to dump.


    The Daily Mash: “Americans ‘must be kept away from football’ – THE international community is working to stop America getting into football and beating everyone.”


    “In a frightening surrender of free speech rights to corporate profits, more and more states have begun adopting laws to punish activists for taping or photographing on farms. Unsurprisingly, these suppressive laws have the backing of the meat industry and their lobbyists.

    According to the New York Times, footage obtained by activists of illegal animal cruelty on factory farms have lead to prosecutions in many states. And such video documentation is among the main tools activists use to blow the whistle on particularly cruel and exploitative conditions.”

    Petition to state legislatures “by opposing any law interfering with a citizens’ right to document illegal activity in the agricultural industry”, on the grounds that that’s protected by the First Amendment.


    “When religious non-profit organizations objected to covering birth control, President Obama changed the rules. He required insurance companies to cover contraception for employees of these organizations for free, while the remainder of their health care flowed through their employer as it always had.

    Now, all President Obama has to do is change the rules again — by making insurance companies cover the costs of contraception for the employees who were hurt by the Hobby Lobby ruling — and once again all working women will have the reproductive care they deserve.”

    Petition to him to do that.


    Petition to CNBC to “apologize for soliciting ‘global warming is a hoax’ story”. Context: “In 2013, a report by Media Matters for America found that ‘… more than half of CNBC’s climate change coverage was misleading. Twenty-four out of the 47 substantial mentions or segments on climate change on CNBC, or just over 51 percent of coverage, cast doubt on whether manmade climate change existed.'”

  342. carlie says

    The stuff looks like the food fight from Hook.

    My family loves that movie so much. We do not understand why it was so roundly panned.

  343. says

    I hate to have to repeat myself and beg for attention, but I admit I’d hoped for a touch more than just cicely (for which, thank you dear) and Portia acknowledging something kinda huge for me: my disability claim was denied. Meaning, I’m stuck trying to live on 626/month. I don’t care what currency it’s in, living on it is HARD, and stressful as hell, and it’d be really nice to have a little supportivenesd maybe?


  344. bassmike says

    Tony You’re about as far from a loser as I can imagine. You’re just experiencing bad times at the moment. It will get better. Also your examples of sexism and homophobia @437 sound good to me. The first one is not a million miles away from the experience that I had that I mentioned when I first joined the Horde.

    Giliell I wish I had some spare hours! Time is such a rare commodity, especially once kids appear on the scene.

    Caitie that Black Dog is a horrible creature that haunts so many of us. I hope its visits to you are brief and infrequent.

    More *hugs* and *minion umbrellas* to all especially to Portia ; break ups are horrible.

  345. bassmike says

    Caitie posted my previous entry as your last one was coming in. Of course you have my support. It’ss horrible that you have to prove how disabled you are, and the criteria flexible enough be fair.

  346. birgerjohansson says

    Commencing infodump:
    NB! Prehistoric circle dated to same summer 2049 BC as Seahenge neighbour
    What the…! Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014: the shortlist – in pictures
    Tokyo toilet exhibition: giant poo slides and singing toilet seats – video

  347. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says


    Thanks for spreading knowledge:)

    What’s entailed in the appeal process?

    In my stuff I got back from S (we only exchanged last week) was a box of books from college I had forgotten about. Some of them are relics of past political beliefs, but some foreshadow the future of my beliefs. I saved a book from my Gnostic Gospels class, called Lost Christianities. I’m glad to have it back. My mom (the one who raised me as a conservative Christian homeschooler) is going to read it. She’s come a long way since I was a kid, just like I have.

    coffee, croissants, and hanging out with my mom. Happy Holiday:)

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

    Caitie, I’ve been away for a bit, and I just saw your previous.

    Is there anything – hordefunding, helping with appeals – that we can do to help you through this?

  349. says

    Thanks. Sorry to whinge abt it, but I can’t stop crying at the stupidity of this decision?

    Smokey, dunno yet. I can’t actially read the damn letter, bc every time i pick it up to try, i start crying so hard i literally cant see. Hell, its happening NOW, which is makimg Tpyosvery happy with me and my phone and my general overdampness.

    FUCK! I wish my partner were in-country, and not currently waiting out the iminent demise of her mother. I promised her no stress or drama until her mum goes, so I don’t even want to tell her – i will, but i feel like i suck for needing to do so.

    But yeah, we’re going to have to revive the GoFundMe drive to keep me roofed and medicated. :( I’m so fucking sick of being a fucking burden all the time.


    Thanks for support and venting space.

  350. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    Would you like me to look at the letter and see if there’s a way I can at least tell you if you have a little while before you have to face it, give you some emotional time-cushion?

  351. says

    Smokey dear woman, I could not be more grateful of you cd do thsy. Once again, i am typing blindish. I shoild go to my laptop, ican touchtype way better on a kb than a tpuchscrern.

    Obvsly. I’ll e-mail a scan or photos or something. Thx.

  352. opposablethumbs says

    Fuck, CaitieCat, I’m sorry. There is no way in the world someone dealing with these kinds of pain levels is not “disabled enough”, and the fact that you are forced to go through hoops to “prove it” is bullshit. I wish I could send more than just hugs and wishes, godsdammit.

  353. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    Oof, I hate the small screen typing, too. *hugs*

    I’ll look for your email.
    My mom and I are going to go march in a parade to support my favorite judicial candidate (who is a lovely woman and a friend) so if it takes me a little while, fear not. If I can’t open the image on my phone, I’ll at the very least acknowledge receipt if I can.


  354. says

    Tony, that’s likely because of the corporatist assault on art within the US, with new additions to the copyright length every time a major corporation might otherwise lose financial control of something. It’ s made US copyright law into a complete dog’s breakfast (aftet the pooch disgorges and reingests said meal, and further digestive processes lead to the ejection of something looking vaguely like the latest decision by the SCOTUS).

    For most of the world, Lovecraft is completely public domain. In the oligarchy south of my border, its status depends on who’s trying to make money off him, and how much speech their corporate personae spent in the most recent national legislative auction.

    I meant election, really I did, dunno how the other slipped out. ;)

  355. says

    Is there a word for a person one once considered a friend, until one realized that said person was actually more interested in being a drama vampire, rather than helping one through difficult times, so one took steps to remove said person from one’s life?

    Also, is there a word for being so drunk that when said person calls, one makes the poor decision to commit to seeing that person tonight?

    It’s going to be a long, bad weekend.

  356. says


    Anybody got some spare hours for me?
    Also, I made my first attempt at Rainbow cake. The stuff looks like the food fight from Hook.
    I hope it stays like that….

    I’ve never heard of Rainbow Cake. Is it different from other cakes in taste, or is it just a visual thing?



    And…I got the letter saying I’m not disabled enough.

    “Not disabled enough”?! That’s bullshit. I’m so sorry CaitieCat.

  357. says

    Indeed. There is the word “frenemy,” but it doesn’t quite fit, because this person wasn’t particularly malicious. She just cares more about her own drama fix than about anyone’s feelings.

    As for the second word, for now I’ll just use the phrase “well, I’m an idiot.”

    But in better news, my mom just called and invited me to go with her and dad to Cahokia Mounds tomorrow. It’ll be fun on a bun!

  358. says

    Cait, being disabled but not disabled enough in the stupid, cruel opinion of government agencies just sucks big time. Virtual hugs are not much, but I send truckloads your way.

  359. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    See if there is a local lawyer specializing in disability law.

    And massive hugs. That is absurd. I detest this shitty idea that, since one or two people gamed the system and got benefits they might not have been eligible for, we need to to make the rules so stringent that 1/4 of the people who need the benefits get shit on.

  360. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    On a lighter note, Wife just watched a small girl (aged 3 or 4) run through the visitor center. She was heading for the elevator. She was slapping herself on the chest with both hands. While chanting, “I wanta push up! I wanta push up!” Her mother was laughing. Dad looked shocked.

  361. blf says

    In any case, it’s now advisable for me/us to get lined up as straight in front of the door as possible.

    So you don’t use the mildly deranged penguin’s approach of going though the wall instead?

    Seems that would be easier in wheelchair than as a penguin. You should be able to reach higher speed (wheels vs. waddling), especially with a few rockets mounted on the back. Just make sure the rockets are pointing in a direction that maximizes the forward speed. Most other directions do not work, except maybe in circles, where you could then drill downwards — or if yer particularly clevermildly deranged — forwards (or perhaps even upwards, helicopter-style).

    And if yer squeamish about hitting the wall yerself, install a battering ram. Or a jar of peas.

    The battering ram can also be used as a jousting pole to ward off the evil horses.

    And with the right sort of rockets, and perhaps some accessorizing explosives, you too can be a firework tonight! (Just leave the peas someplace dangerous, “crop dusting” the viewing audience with peas Is Seriously Ungroovy.)

  362. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Last night, on my salad, I had cooked and chilled baby peas (still crisp and delicious), along with sugar snap peas and snow peas. And it was good. Went quite well with the Welsh-style cheddar from Vermont.

    No reason for telling all y’all this.

    Well, I’m waiting for an MDP reaction, but other than that, no reason.

  363. blf says

    I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here.

    Mars, Pennsylvania ?

    (One of sections in the linked-to Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge article is titled “Notable Martians”…)

  364. rq says

    *massive hugs* for CaitieCat, I have emailed.

    We’re about midway through our heavy-on-singing rehearsal/concert program.
    Two days ago: rehearsal 19.00 – 22.00;
    Yesterday: rehearsal 8.00 – 12.00, rehearsal 13.00 – 15.00, concert at 16.00;
    Today: rehearsal 8.00 – 12.00, cancelled rehearsal (to save voices) from 13.00 – 15.00, free time until 17.30, concert at 19.00
    Tomorrow: rehearsal 8.00 – 12.00…
    We have now lost and so-far recovered one soprano, one tenor, and just lost another tenor. No one’s used to air conditioning, plus it’s hot and humid outside, so everyone’s voices are going wonky (including mine). But we have to get into shape, tonight’s our big solo concert night. :/ The nerves are already working up quite a bit, I only hope my voice co-operates and that cough stays away.

    I would also like to note that my life is more or less complete: I am Lounging in not just a church, but a Cathedral. :)

  365. blf says

    Last night, on my salad…

    May I recommend a rather amazing modern invention?… It’s called the chair. (Wheels and rockets optional.)

    Avoids all sorts of problems with sitting on (or in) vegetables and other plant matter, such as having a curious caterpillar (the larval insect, not the bulldozer) crawl around inside yer ear, or annoying a pea by treading on it. On the other hand, a sufficiently large Caterpillar bulldozer will at least delay the pea for a few moments… — and has a chair for the driver !

    (Please note that a chair is not the same thing as a choir. Choirs are used to invade Canada. Chairs are for sitting in and watching the invading choir.)

  366. rq says

    Oh, I thought you meant the French kind of chair you can put on salads. Never mind.

  367. says

    Hello again my lovelies! I hate to barge in and ask for advice*, but hey, if not in the Lounge, where else?

    Teh Darkling and I will be taking a 6 hour road trip to visit friends next week and I’m trying to make it as comfortable as possible for her (she’s 20 months old). Right now, I’m planning to break the trip into two legs– we’ll be stopping in Boston for a few hours to see my old roommie and have lunch and maybe take a nap– and I’ll have toys and books and snack cups/sippy cups for her in the car.

    Is there anything else I can do?

    *Okay, not really.

  368. blf says

    I thought you meant the French kind of chair you can put on salads.

    Chœurs are good for that, yeah…

  369. blf says

    Is there anything else I can do?

    If you can keep it cool, several sorts of chair salads made with fresh baby should make the trip without problem. Just don’t sit in the salad.

  370. rq says

    – If at all possible, try and set up an extra in-case stop somewhere, or at least know where emergency changing can occur (that unexpected diarrhea can reeeeally suck…);
    – Try and leave as close to naptime as possible, perhaps a bit later while keeping her awake (this is, of course, assuming she has a naptime), since then she is more likely to spend much of the first leg sleeping rather than wondering when you’re going to get out of the car (I always found it easier to have them sleep while driving, then get some exercise and excitement, with continued napping afterwards – just saves on the attention-seeking, especially if I’m at the wheel);
    – Music – whether it calms her down or not, make sure it won’t drive you nuts;
    – Most of all, if it takes you longer than expected, don’t worry about it. Beginning of June, I had two lovely trips all planned out with myself and the three children, Ottawa to Toronto and then London (plus return), and even with the best of intentions and no particular delays, we were constantly behind schedule. So just expect that you won’t be 100% on time everywhere. :)

  371. blf says

    …unless yer driving a Caterpillar bulldozer, that is. They are a bit slow, so you’d have problems keep the chair salad cool for the duration.

  372. says

    Music! Genius! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that.

    We’re not pushing ourselves at all, it’s a 6 hour trip straight through, but we’re leaving by 9 am and expect to be at our final destination between 7 and 8. My friends are incredibly understanding when it comes to dealing with kids (despite the fact that they’re child free).

    Also, we’ll be on major highways most of the way and I (at least) know the stops along the Mass Pike.

    And to complicate matters, C just started potty training.

  373. opposablethumbs says

    Which is the temperature on Mars thread? I have lost track. (of so many things …)

  374. says


    I would also like to note that my life is more or less complete: I am Lounging in not just a church, but a Cathedral.

    ::sniff sniff::
    You listened to the Emperor didn’t you? You gave in to the dark side, and now we’ve lost you. You’ve become…a theist!

    ::Runs away screaming::

  375. says

    Yesterday my neighbor suggested that my dog is in heaven now. I didn’t have the heart to tell her my dog wasn’t christian.

  376. says

    Wow, Tony, that comment came right from space, eh*?

    * Canadianism to establish politeness and lower probability that you will assess this dreadful pun as being intentional. Weaponised Canucking.

  377. says

    Getting ready to go to a barbecue by my employer with L. Difficulty: social anxiety issues, especially for L. Speaking of ‘not disabled enough’, and related problems, I wish to hell that the doctors he’s able to see occasionally would prescribe him the medication that helped again instead of insisting that he really should try a different med and see if that works (usually but not always an antidepressant), but they never do (indeed, the charity clinic where he gets most of his care is now prohibited from dispensing or prescribing the right medication anymore). Occasionally, they’ll mutter something about ‘drug-seeking’, which is frankly bullshit. I mean, yes, he is seeking drugs, because they’re the appropriate medication for his condition, and help. But no, if you want a specific medication because it works, you’re a worthless junkie. I fucking hate this shithole of a country.

  378. says

    Incidentally, I thought this was an awesome comment from anteprepro in the Mansplaining thread:


    Agony In Analog, Danger in Digital

    Robocop AS Tony! Shooprano
    The Terminator AS The Nerd Of Bled Heads
    A Giant Fucking Mechanical Spider AS Chigauniggurath
    GLADOS with a machete AS Inaji
    A Fox With A Laser Cannon AS Ray Fox
    Like, the Entire Fucking Matrix AS Phaddeus Zeta Meyers
    C3PO With A Chainsaw AS ANTEBEEP0
    Conjoined Monster Trucks AS Amphi Ox
    A shit stain on the carpet AS sparkles
    Steve Buschemi AS every single lurker.
    Betty White AS The Minister of Haxxorz.

    And Robin Thicke AS Our Hero, Otis Idiotically.

    Come for the dramaz, stay for the BLOOD. IN 3D!

    I’m soooo tempted to tweak my nym.