[Lounge #474]


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

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. says

    As someone said upthread, it may be best to rely on your own risk/reward judgements….but if you’re just looking for anecdotes…
    I have known two people who had ECT done. One person had it done once (I think), and was pleased with the results. He described it as a much-needed reboot of his brain. I had another friend who went through it several times. I’m not sure why she needed so many treatments. She may have been more coerced into it by her family, so maybe she wasn’t ready for any sort of treatment anyway. She did have some memory loss at the time (early to mid 1990s), but seems fine now.

  2. says

    rq @493:

    That is not a number around which my head can wrap. Not computing.

    If you ever figure out a way to wrap your brain around that number, can you let me know please?

    On a related note, when I first started getting heavy into comic books (early to mid 90s, when I had a job and a vehicle and could start buying back issues, which I did-a *lot*), I was really into stats about heroes and villains. I was obsessed with knowing how strong, tough, or fast characters were. I gobbled up the old Official Handbooks of the Marvel Universe (in all volumes). I’d read stats that said Thor was Class 100, which meant he was one of the strongest heroes in the Marvel Universe, and was able to lift (or press) in excess of 100 tons (someone like Spider-Man was said to be able to lift approximately 10 tons under optimal conditions). DC Comics’ ‘Who’s Who’ never gave exact figures. They always said stuff like ‘the yellow sun grants Superman tremendous superhuman strength’ or ‘blessed with by the goddess Demeter with the power and strength of the Earth, Wonder Woman is one of strongest heroes on Earth’.

    The thing is, I couldn’t really grasp any of that. The Marvel Handbooks gave figures, like 10 tons or 50 tons, or Class 100, but that doesn’t really give any indication what they can do with that strength (and Class 100 was used to describe a broad range of characters, some who could lift a few hundred tons, and others that could lift tens of thousands). Meanwhile DC didn’t give any stats, which made things even more vague.

    I remember finding a DC role playing book at one point and noting they listed categories for the heroes (such as Aquaman’s strength being like Class 10). They *also* listed benchmarks, so that you could wrap your head around the figures far easier. Instead of merely saying that a character could lift 5 tons, they’d say ‘this character can lift 5 tons, which means they can easily lift an automobile over their head’ or ‘Character X has a strength level of Class 75, and can lift a blue whale weighing around 200 tons’. That kind of stuff really helped. I couldn’t grasp how much 6, 40, or 84 tons was, but I could better understand that some helicopters can weigh 6 tons, a fully loaded 18 wheeler can weigh 40 tons, or the Army’s new armored ground vehicle tank weighs 84 tons. Those benchmarks helped me out quite a bit.
    (as an aside, I noticed that it was easier for me to grasp the speed levels of certain characters-with Quicksilver, it was said he could run 3 times as fast as a cheetah, for a time the third Flash could only run at the speed of sound, and the second Flash was able to run at the speed of light; despite the speed of light being rather incomprehensible, knowing that light takes roughly 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach earth, or that the circumference of the Earth is 24,901 miles gave me something of an understanding of how fast one would be if they could travel approximately 186,282 miles per second).

    All of that is to say it would be nice to have some benchmark with which to understand how much $25,022,300,000 is.

  3. rq says

    Mellow Monkey
    Plus there’s the fact that, I’m sure, humans haven’t always been as hung up about sex and talking about it as they are now.
    The connection to babies seems pretty firm, though – man puts penis inside woman’s vagina, baby eventually comes out of vagina. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

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

    @Tony!, #(50)4:

    It means that their spendthrift is Class 100, but they have a weakness: when using on their own money, their spendthrift drops to 0.

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

    @Anne, #500:

    ugh, the world is a horrible place. I feel the need to hug someone. Any takers?

    Oooh, there’s me.

  6. rq says


    Well, I know it’s a heckuvalot of potatoes.
    And peas.
    But I expect the number of potatoes and peas would be pretty difficult to grasp, too.

  7. chimera says

    I don’t even know how to say $25,022,300,000

    Twenty five _______, twenty two _______, and three hundred thousand.

  8. rq says

    25 billion 22 million and three hundred thousand, unless you are (like me) in Europe, then that becomes 25 milliard 22 million and three hundred thousand. :)

  9. Morgan!? Militant Pacifist says


    Made the cheesecake! It looks fabulous. I haven’t tasted it yet. I’m saving that for the BBQ. The guests are my taste testers. Managed to figure out the question I wanted to ask you. I’ll give you a report later today and post the rewritten recipe.

  10. says

    Lynna 492
    ‘Fiscally conservative’ is semantically identical to ‘has no comprehension whatsoever of macroeconomics and a shitty grasp of microeconomics’. AFAICT, it has never had another meaning.

    Yes, never mind that for a culture that a) is concerned about lineage/inheritance/etc and b) has no access to blood typing, DNA tests, etc. matrilinealism makes a good deal more sense, on the grounds that who your mother is is a lot more proveable; pregnant woman + midwife go into room. Not-pregnant woman+midwife+baby come out, and both of them agree that, yup, this is her kid. Very hard to fake. This is one reason patrilineal societies are such controlling assholes about women’s sexuality; it’s harder to prove who the father is. Indeed, at least some of the pre-Christian Celtic societies were matrilineal, and per the surviving mythology they were definitely pretty clear on how you got babies. Those societies also allowed women considerably more sexual freedom than patrilneal societies tend to.

  11. rq says

    Mmmm, yay!!! Can you post a photo?
    And yes, tweaks, please, plus the full report. I hope the reviews are excellent! (Otherwise I’ll have to reconsider my alternate career as the owner of a cheesecakeshop. I’m actually a bit nervous about this, kind of like after a test before knowing the result – you know, that whole science thing about replicable results and all. *gulp*)
    What was the question? Or is it no longer relevant?

    Is it not possible for me to comment at your blog, or is it just that comments go straight to moderation with no warning message of that fact?

  12. yazikus says

    Today is a cooking day!
    I’ve roasted a chicken and some fingerling potatoes this morning and am about to embark on my first canning adventure. I’ve got a flat of beautiful tomatoes, and I’m planning on making sauce out of them and then water-bath canning. Any tips or advice from those who have canned before?

  13. says

    rq @ (5)17:

    Is it not possible for me to comment at your blog, or is it just that comments go straight to moderation with no warning message of that fact?

    First time comments go straight to moderation, but once I approve them, they don’t have to be approved again. I’ve approved all the comments that have come through (except this fool who keeps saying “fuck you Ni**er”). I haven’t seen any comments by you to approve.

  14. rq says

    I just left a couple today, but they may be under a different login (my hotmail email). :/ Oh well. It wasn’t anything particularly important, plus I’ll try from home.

    Umm is canning the same as putting in jars? Though I don’t use a water-bath method, I use the electric oven method. I’ve been unusually productive this year (about 3 litres of salsa, 1+ litre of zucchini+garlic sauce, 1 litre of ‘mediterranean’ vegetable sauce, 1 litre raspberry jam, 1 litre plums+apple jam, 1.2 litres blackberry+raspberry jam – all of that, versus the usual maaaybe 1 litre [berry] jam), so I don’t have any really good, consistent results to prove my method or to have any tips (since jams don’t tend to go to ruin anyway), but I could let you know sometime next summer…?

  15. yazikus says

    Yes, that is amusing, I suppose I should be calling it ‘jarring’. You have been quite busy! What went into your zucchini garlic sauce? Because that sounds delicious. I’ve got a good book with instructions, so I am cautiously optimistic.

  16. says

    rq @ (5)20:

    I just left a couple today, but they may be under a different login (my hotmail email). :/ Oh well. It wasn’t anything particularly important, plus I’ll try from home.

    Important or not, I want people to be able to comment if they desire. I hope it’s an issue of your computer (I take it you’re at work?).

    I’ve been online all day, and have kept a tab open to Pharyngula during that time, so I can see when someone (like Dalillama just did) leaves a comment on my blog.

    Hopefully when you get home you’ll be able to comment.

  17. rq says

    Yes, the work computer is odd about things in general. I’ll let you know if I try again and it doesn’t go through.

    Zucchini was basically just that, zucchini and loads of garlic, plus salt, pepper and thyme. I don’t use recipes, besides reading which ingredients are necessary for which particular flavour (e.g. the salsa). For jams, because I can’t get pectin all on its lonesome here for some strange reason, I have to use the jamming sugar, which has pectin added, plus an acid regulator and potassium sorbate, which I don’t really like, but I have no options – so my recipe consists of boiling the berries with lots n lots of sugar (added towards the end of the process).
    The Method (learned from my mum):
    – prepare the filling and keep it hot;
    – preheat oven to 125 Celsius;
    – wash all jars and lids in HOT water: jars go WET into the oven for about 20 minutes, lids into a small pot to be boiled;
    – once jars have been heat-sterilized, ladle [filling] into them, leaving some headspace (important to deter boiling over in the next step), and screw a lid LIGHTLY onto the jar (LIGHTLY is key!);
    – place full jars into oven for another 20 minutes or so;
    – turn oven off, tighten lids COMPLETELY and leave to cool (COMPLETELY is key here; I think you can take them directly out of the oven, but I prefer the slightly slower cooling while leaving them in the oven, with door open; some people flip them upside down here);
    – lids should pop in – if they don’t, supposedly you can re-heat and re-seal, but I usually put those jars aside in the fridge for immediate to soon use (don’t get much of them, if the lids are tightened correctly).
    Seems to work, for the most part. :)

  18. rq says

    A pair of tongs is a good thing to have, since you have to retrieve the lids from boiling water – also, a good pair of oven mitts.

  19. says

    I made pumpkin soup today!
    Took a pumpkin from the garden, roasted, plopped in a pot with some caramelized onions and roasted pepper (garden!), some chicken broth, various spices, blended and finished with some half-and-half. Turned out pretty well for a no-recipe adventure.
    And Honey come over and took down the ugly old ceiling fan and installed the new (old) light!
    Hooray for accomplishments!

  20. rq says

    Unfortunately, searching the DNA database is a rather poor way to determine someone’s character. [/silly questions]

  21. says

    Anne @ #500, I know how you feel. Even PZ noted the discouraging awfulness of this morning’s posts. However, I highly recommend going back to the comments below the It’s Labor Day post. People have come up with so many antidotes for the Sarah Palin video that it’s positively uplifting.

  22. A. Noyd says

    rq (#5) [#505]

    The connection to babies seems pretty firm, though – man puts penis inside woman’s vagina, baby eventually comes out of vagina.

    The reverse observation is even more telling. If someone with a vagina never has sex with someone with a penis, a baby will never come out.

  23. toska says


    The connection to babies seems pretty firm, though – man puts penis inside woman’s vagina, baby eventually comes out of vagina.

    I also think it is a reasonable possibility that early humans knew instinctively what causes reproduction. There are many animal species that have some understanding of this, such as male horses that will kill foals or attempt to abort pregnancies of mares that newly join his herd. Observations suggest that these stallions are operating under some sort of primitive understanding that they didn’t have sex with that horse, so that isn’t their baby, and they don’t care to ensure its survival.

  24. says

    Dalillama @15:

    $25,022,300,000 works out to a little more than two aircraft carriers, or, alternately, free lunch for every school-age child in the U.S. for a year.

    Thanks for that. I can wrap my head around that much easier.

  25. The Mellow Monkey: Singular They says


    I also think it is a reasonable possibility that early humans knew instinctively what causes reproduction. There are many animal species that have some understanding of this, such as male horses that will kill foals or attempt to abort pregnancies of mares that newly join his herd.

    Something similar has been observed in rats. Any buck who mates with a doe will be more protective toward her subsequent offspring. They don’t even need to be that buck’s pups, so it’s not a matter of smelling a relation between himself and the pups; simply the fact that he mated with the mother is enough. But if a buck hasn’t mated with that doe, then he might kill her offspring.

  26. says

    *hugs CD, rq, awakeinmo, anyone else who wants a hug*

    I fell asleep after lunch, so I must’ve needed a nap. That being the case, why do I feel so ghastly now?

    Paul is happily sorting 1959 baseball cards all over the table. He’s so cute when he’s really into something.

  27. screechymonkey says

    Via Ophelia’s:

    JREF is closing its L.A. office, D.J. Grothe no longer affiliated, James Randi taking over as acting President.

    Me, I blame ragedramabloggers.

  28. toska says

    Mellow Monkey
    I think this behavior has also been observed in lions and some apes. At any rate, it seems possible that animals (including humans) understand that sex makes babies in the same way babies understand that sucking on nipples can give them milk.

  29. Pteryxx says

    I don’t even remember where the latest Sarkeesian discussion was, so I’ll just leave this here (via Skepchick)

    Tropes vs Anita Sarkeesian: On passing off anti-feminist nonsense as critique

    Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the common ways in which Anita Sarkeesian is portrayed in the gamer community, and how to assess and critique the mistakes that are made in responding to her work. There are lies passed off as truths and meaningless non-sequiturs presented as devastating proofs by the kinds of people who like to bang on and on and on about the “marketplace of ideas” as if that justifies being a total ass. They don’t send death threats, but they build and sustain the environment that means a woman like her is treated the way that she is.

    (They won’t agree with me. I don’t really care.)

  30. cicely says

    ‘Rupt—but with reason
    …so I’m just gonna pick up on Page 2.


    I’m going to make potato salad with my very own hand-dug potatoes.

    I actually used a shovel.

    I generally use potatoes.


  31. Morgan!? Militant Pacifist says

    Dear Loungelings,

    I did it! I converted rq’s Killer Cheesecake recipe into a low-carb, sugar-free version and presented it to the guests at today’s Labor Day Barbeque. It was entitled Latvian Marble Cheesecake. Everyone was intrigued. They started eating dessert first. One of the guests in a Cordon Bleu trained chef. The reaction was uniformly overwhelmingly positive and they didn’t leave any for me to take home. Guess I’ll just have to make another one. So here is the reconfigured recipe:

    Low-Carb, Sugar-Free, Latvian Marble Cheesecake

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heavily butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan.


    1 1/2 cup almond meal
    3 tablespoons melted butter
    1/2 cup powdered sucralose (Splenda)
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

    Mix crust ingredients together very well and press evenly into bottom of pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

    Base Filling:

    2 8-ounce packages Original Full-Fat Philadelphia cream cheese (room temperature)
    16 ounces Ricotta cheese (room temperature)
    3 eggs (room temperature)
    1/4 cup powdered sucralose (Splenda)
    2 tablespoons Instant Cream of Wheat cereal

    Mix all ingredients very well with electric mixer, about 3 minutes at high speed. Taste for sweetness. Divide filling equally into 2 bowels.

    For Chocolate layer:

    4 ounces Unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate, broken into chunks
    4 tablespoons powdered Sucralose (Splenda)
    1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder (I use Gebhardt’s)
    3/4 cup full fat sour cream

    Place Chocolate in microwave safe bowl, microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating. Takes about 4 times depending on your microwave. Add sucralose, Chile Powder and sour cream and stir very well. Taste for flavor and sweetness and adjust as necessary. Add this Chocolate Filling to one bowl of Base filling, mix very well and set aside.

    For Lemon-Lime-Ginger layer:

    Juice of 1 lime, plus zest
    Juice of 1 lemon, plus zest
    1 1-inch cube of fresh ginger, grated
    1/3 cup powdered sucralose (Splenda)
    1/2 cup sour cream

    Mix all ingredients together well. Taste for sweetness. Add this filling to the other bowl of Base Filling and mix very well.

    Pour half of Chocolate Layer filling onto cooled crust in springform pan. Pour half of Lemon-Lime-Ginger Layer filling into pan. Pour the rest of the Chocolate Filling, then pour the rest of the Lemon-Lime-Ginger filling. Gently shake pan to evenly distribute all the filling. Run a knife gently through the filling (do not touch bottom crust) to create a marble effect.

    Wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan with foil to make it waterproof. Place springform pan in larger baking pan and add boiling water to larger pan, about half way up the springform pan.

    Bake for about 35 minutes at 350 F, then turn off oven and leave cake in cooling oven for at least one hour. Remove cake from oven, remove foil, and let cool completely, on a rack, uncovered, until it reaches room temperature.

    Run a knife around edge of cake, then remove sides of springform pan. Place cake, loosely covered in the refrigerator to cool overnight.

    There are a few ways this could be additionally tweaked, but such is true of all recipes. It is a bit labor intensive, but well worth it.

  32. says

    cicely, congratulations on the addition to your family!

    Well, there’s a lot I didn’t get done over the weekend, but there are some things I did. I took Kitty shopping for her art class supplies (good paintbrushes are expensive, but at least they were on sale, and they’ll last for more than one class), I did stuff around the house, and I finished the bead strings and the rest of the noodling around my studio, and got out the beads for a pair of hairsticks I’ve been planning.

    Tomorrow, back to the regular schedule.

  33. yazikus says

    That cheese cake sounds amazing! The last time I made cheese cake was on Kodiak Island in Alaska. I was visiting for Pascha with an old friend of mine. The ingredients for two blueberry cheesecakes topped $90 (and this was a while back). I was shocked! It was delicious though, after many weeks of veganism, and a really long midnight service, to dig into such a rich and dairylicious delight.

    Thanks to all who helped with canning tips- I’m pretty sure we succeeded in our quest! This weekend produced: a bunch of apple sauce, a roasted chicken and fingerling potatoes, a salad of Israeli cous-cous, tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh mozz, two large jars of canned tomato pasta sauce and three jars of pickled beet & cucumber! Also, the lead fishing weight that little dude swallowed on Saturday was retrieved tonight from his fourth bowel movement today.

    Poison control had told us to bulk up his diet with fiber, and luckily he loves fruits and veggies. He has been having salad plates almost non-stop since the indecent happened. They told us we needed to inspect his feces to make sure it passed, so the last few days every time he called, “I need someone to wipe me!” also included a “foraging” (his word) expedition in the toilet. He was so proud when it turned up tonight.

  34. yazikus says

    And how did I miss the mention of a grandbaby!, Congratulations! May you never have to sift through their poo!

  35. The Mellow Monkey: Singular They says

    Grandbaby! Woohoo!

    I couldn’t let that go unremarked upon before I trundle off to bed.


  36. says

    cicely @(5)41:

    ‘Rupt—but with reason…


    Woo Hoo! Doing the Shoop-meets-conga rats-dance!


    I’m glad the cheesecake turned out to be a hit. You and rq should go into business together :)


    That was the cutest video. At one point he looks like he just gave up, and sat there waiting for one of you two to take the pillowcase off.
    Hee Hee.

  37. thunk: Prater arcade winnings says

    Hello. Doing fine; helped a person find themselves earlier. Can’t say I’ve helped myself though.

    Woo! Grandkids!

    23 billion dollars is roughly, among other things:
    –The combined US spending on cancer treatment and tobacco marketing
    –the charitable giving of the Gates Foundation from 1994-2011
    –the net worth of each of the Koch Brothers
    –the cost to buy the world ten Cokes per capita
    –five times the value of all the tea in China
    –the spending on the Manhattan Project or the Channel Tunnel
    –the value of 100 Airbus A380s

    from xkcd.com/980

  38. rq says


    Divide filling equally into 2 bowels.

    There’s a bit much for only two bowels… ;)
    But the adjustments sound fine, I might try a couple myself (like pre-baking the crust (I tend not to) or adding an extra egg). Now I can officially say it’s Cordon Bleu approved. ;)

    Congratulations! Look forward to talking (pretty much only) about sleeping and poo for the next little while. ;) Hope the family and new baby are well!!

    Good for the little dude? How did he swallow the lead?? (Should I be asking? :/)

    I tend not to sleep during the day, even if I think I need it (except maybe 15 minutes powernap) because it makes me grumpy for the rest of the evening/night. Really grumpy. Maybe it’s similar for you?


    Good morning to everyone! Today we begin regular school-and-kindergarten scheduling. Everyone’s excited. Except for the early-waking part. :P

  39. says

    rq @(5)53:

    Good morning to everyone! Today we begin regular school-and-kindergarten scheduling. Everyone’s excited. Except for the early-waking part. :P

    I was wondering what was up. I wasn’t planning to go to sleep for a few more hours and you’re up?

  40. yazikus says


    How did he swallow the lead??

    We have taken up fishing for our summer hobby, so gear is everywhere. He was playing with a tube, and had apparently put the small fisihing weight into it. He was blowing in and out with the tube, and sucked the weight in. He ran to us immediatly, and said, “I think we need to call poison control. I just swallowed a lead wight”. So there it is, at least he knew to tell us about it! For the record, he did volunteer to sift through his own feces.

  41. yazikus says

    Thanks, Tony. I was properly panicked. I called poison control back after the first call to make sure that I had made it clear that it was a lead weight, but apparently unless it is chewed, or obstructing passage, lead takes a long time to break down, so high fiber it was. Good thing spawn loves veggies and fruit.

  42. rq says

    Watch out, I’ve heard fuji can get quite large.
    And possibly eruptive.

    Whew, I can imagine the moment of panic! I’m glad all is well. Kids these days. ;)

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

    Ugh. I’m going to have to apologize to Pteryxx. I’m not looking forward to it.

    Pteryxx, if you’re around, I’m sorry for leaving off the Good Morning America thread without answering your questions.

    Your questions really need some background established before they can be directly answered. I did a bunch of that background, but couldn’t continue. It must have seemed like a tremendous non-sequitur. Really, I want to get ’round to your questions about bloggers and priorities and all that, it just couldn’t happen in a timely manner.

    Moreover, I wanted to cover the complex relationship between qualified immunity (which is a civil concept) and the court’s approach to interpreting criminal civil rights statutes. In a nutshell, the courts do respect the original definitions of “willful” etc. But they are reluctant to interpret a statutory criminal prohibition to be applicable where an official has civil immunity. I can’t say anything about the past history of s242 interpretation itself, but when the questions were general about how to go about interpreting such a section (which is the exercise in which we were engaged when dissecting “willful”), it’s important to note that the court will **at least tend to** interpret the wording so as to protect from criminal liability at least as many people as are protected from civil liability. That means that we have to look at qualified immunity and see if the limits on immunity there are greater than would be provided by a requirement like “willful” in s242. And it turns out that they are.

    So we can say that willful “merely” means X (which we did, and which it does), but if we want to predict the real-world difficulties in successfully prosecuting and the real world behavior of the potential prosecutors, we have to understand this layer of interpretation superimposed on the statute.

    Unfortunately to really understand it, I’d have to mark up the specific statute, and I don’t have a statutory mark up tool available to me just now that includes US statutes in its database.

    So all I can really say without a lot of work that will take 20-60 times as long and STILL be less reliable than if I’d had access to a good mark-up tool is that, well, s242 is exactly the kind of statute that is likely to be interpreted through the lens of qualified immunity without qualified immunity applying per se, which means a lot of hemming and hawing about being to quick to impose criminal liability on government officials, but only occasional outright mentions of the source of the reluctance – qualified immunity doctrine. It may be that the court has found a specific legal reason to dispense with the reluctance that results from using the qualified immunity lens for the specific statutory provision/s contained in 18 USC s242. It’s unlikely, but possible, and would require mark-up to rule in or out. But without someone specifically discussing this on those blogs, it’s probably safer (from our perspective, where “less ability to prosecute” is considered the conservative bound on the governmental power in which we’re interested) to assume that the “knowing” and “willful” components will be given a little more power than normal.

    I wish I could give you a better vision of the actual implications in practical, clear prose. But I can’t without a whole lot of work I’m unlikely to get done any time soon.

    Again, sorry.

    I’ll try to wind all this background into an answer to your questions at some point soon.

    in the mean time, maybe Portia could do a quick mark-up for me of 18 USC s242 and give me a case list to look at. Then I could get a better understanding of the history of interpretation of the specific section and how relevant all this speculation is…plus it would give me more to go with in evaluating exactly how accurate those bloggers are, which I suspect isn’t as accurate as I would like.

    More when I can. Next time it will be placed in Good Morning America and be written with an eye towards readers other than Pteryxx, and with prose that will try to fit into the dialogue flow of those comments over there.

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


    Grandbabies are the bomb.

    Watch out, cicely, the merconium explosion happens first, but there are a whole lot more to come.

  45. says

    This Is Colossal is one of those glorious time sinks. I’ve taken to just typing in random pages to see what cool new stuff I can find. I’m almost always guaranteed to find at least one article per page that showcases lovely art. This is no exception:

    Romania-based photographer Dan Cretu creates all sorts of fun everday objects like cameras, radios, and bicyles using cut fruit and vegetables. Cretu says the pieces aren’t digitally altered and that due to the organic nature of the medium, each piece has to be constructed and photographed in less than four hours. You can see much more over on Tumblr, and just launched an Etsy shop where you can get prints of his work.

    My favorite is the last image with the motorcycle made out of limes and peppers.

  46. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Okay so there’s this book I read that has a trans* woman as a minor character. It’s never written out as trans* but she’s changed her name, her pronouns and such. In the second book, it’s made clear she’s on hormones, them being in the fridge and moved by the protagonist, currently living with her, to get something to eat. (Or it may have been just in the bathroom cabinet to get something else, I’ll have to look) Her best friend, the protagonist doesn’t call her a cross dresser at all (just double checked the second and third books I have in e-book form) though she does mention her past as a former badass drag queen in the 80s.
    She faces trans* abuse from others but not the protagonist who in fact never bats an eye when first finding out and when their forced to change in front of each other (they’re werewolves), the protag minds her own fucking business and makes a point about genitals not mattering.

    My problem is with other reviewers straight up calling her a cross dresser or just a drag queen. It’s not my imagination that is extremely disrespectful and ignorant right?

    Part of the reason I’m uneasy is that it’s fiction and I can’t find any words from the author on the subject except for our own correspondence where she didn’t think twice about that character inclusion because of her friends, and because calling out other reviewers, even vaguely and not naming names is dangerous. I don’t worry about the author retaliation in this case at least.

    …..Never-fucking-mind. Writing that all out solved my uneasiness about saying something. Thanks everyone!

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

    Congrats to everyone involved and a welcome to grandbaby

  48. bassmike says

    I’ve tried to catch up a bit, so I apologize to the newcomers who have arrived in my absence for not having welcomed them.

    Hi rq I hope the drunken fireworks haven’t messed with your head too much. Coincidentally, I was walking home from a night out to the accompaniment of fireworks on Saturday.

    Hi Tony! I’m sorry to hear about your relationship problems. I’ve been in similar situations and you can’t help self-analyzing and second guessing. None of it is healthy, but the human brain will do its thing.

    Cicely congrats on grandbaby. May you have many happy hours spent with them, but with the option to give them back when you’re done!

    *Hugs* and pillow forts to anyone who wants them.

    Personal stuff: We had a good time in Great Yarmouth (though it’s not the greatest holiday destination on earth). Daughter enjoyed it. She went on a steam train and saw different animals in the zoo. She went swimming too, which she loved. So though it wasn’t so much of a holiday for her parents, she had a lot of new experiences.

    She’s well and truly potty training now. She’s very much getting the hang of liquid expulsion, but not solids. So it can all get a bit messy for the present.

  49. rq says

    Potty training can be a long confusing mess sometimes, but it’ll all work out in the end!
    We’re more or less at the same stage with Youngest: liquids are excellent, solids are… work in progress. :)

    Oh, regarding the fireworks – I wasn’t drunk during the fireworks, that happened afterward, at home. But the sparks came up right in front of the window where we were standing on the 11th floor, was pretty cool!

  50. bassmike says

    Sorry for the misunderstanding rq . I have to own up to skip-reading the thread in a vague attempt to catch up.

  51. chimera says

    An open letter

    Dear Senator Feinstein,

    I am proud to have you as my senator. However, I don’t much like the way you respond to the sort of letter/petitions I sign. Your responses are boilerplate, however carefully crafted.

    I would appreciate, after the initial and obligatory “thank you for writing…” (for which I don’t need to be thanked, thank you very much), just a “I voted or will vote for / against this”, followed by “And here’s why.” I would like this “Here’s why” to be crafted like a newspaper article. In other words, the first sentence summarizes the information to follow. Then the following text expands on each point. You could include links to further in-depth information on the topic.

    This way of responding would be much more respectful of your constituents’ intelligence and time. They could decide for themselves how much of your explanation they would like to read, how much time they would like to attribute to analyzing the information.

    Boilerplate, Ms. Feinstein, is very much The Sound of Silence and I am sure that you, like me, are old enough to remember that song.

    Very Sincerely,

  52. birgerjohansson says

    Beer cubs sound cool. And the whatchamaycallit Icelandic volcano is having a nice little eruption, lava fountains but no ash.
    — — — — —
    “The connection to babies seems pretty firm, though – man puts penis inside woman’s vagina, baby eventually comes out of vagina. ”
    There are exceptions. Just ask John Hurt as “Ash”.

  53. says

    Dalillama @13:

    Lynna 492
    ‘Fiscally conservative’ is semantically identical to ‘has no comprehension whatsoever of macroeconomics and a shitty grasp of microeconomics’. AFAICT, it has never had another meaning.

    Yes, I think you have defined “fiscally conservative” succinctly. Made me smile.

  54. says

    rq, thanks for the links to the salsa-dancing technologically wonderful spider, and to the back-to-school treks for those children. Aiyiyi, some of those journeys look really dangerous for the kids! Great scenery, but OMG.

  55. Esteleth is Groot says

    Hooray for grandbabies!

    It is hot. Really fucking hot. I am disappointed in this – needing to bathe 3 times a day just to get the sweat off is excessive.

    But – hoorays! I took Morgan to the vet, the vet examined the gunk in her ears, and pronounced it ear wax. Her canals are clear.

    Yay for healthy kitties!

  56. carlie says

    Went in to get my lab class ready, and found that the tarantula died. Honestly, I don’t really care about the tarantula itself much, but it was one of the first things acquired by my good friend and colleague when she was hired 11 years ago, and she just left for another job a few weeks ago, so… yeah. It’s like it couldn’t live without her.*

    *and YES, we fed it, so there is not that causal link there (!)

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

    @JAL, #69

    My problem is with other reviewers straight up calling her a cross dresser or just a drag queen. It’s not my imagination that is extremely disrespectful and ignorant right?

    yeah, I’ve been in an important anthology – the kind that gets nominated for awards and wins them, [though I don’t remember this one actually winning] the kind that gets used in Women’s Studies courses for many years, the kind that may, I actually kinda hope, becomes a legendary feminist touchstone in decades to come – where there was one (1) transgender contributor. One (1) transsexual contributor used his piece to specifically attack the conflation of gender and sex and the use of “transgender” for transsexual people. Then I did the kind of thing that I do, which didn’t specifically say, “Don’t call me transgender” (my relationship to transgender is just complicated enough for it to be actually appropriate in some rare circumstances) but which was, in fact, pretty hyper-precise with the language of gender and sex, always eschewing transgender and embracing transsexual, both quite deliberately.

    After having 2 people ID as transsexual and one of the pieces be entirely about how transsexual is not a subset of transgender (there is, of course, an argument to be made otherwise. I don’t agree with the arguments, but they exist. My point isn’t that the anti-conflation piece was definitive and damning, but that it was, in fact, an anti-conflation piece as its entire fucking point) in an anthology with only one (1) person IDing as transgender…

    …reveiwer after fucking reviewer spoke of how good it was to have multiple transgender authors in the volume. Again, you may not end up being persuaded by the anti-conflation piece, but it was clearly pretty angry and pretty straightforward. It wasn’t difficult to read or understand. I directly said that naming someone transgender when they have named themselves transsexual is fucking wrong. Either wait for someone to actually use transgender in relation to themselves, if you’re just desperate to use that term, or merrily use the language chosen by the person involved, whatever it happens to be, but (according to that author) for fuck’s sake don’t just turn transsexual people transgender against their will.

    And then how do you get plural transgender authors except by completely ignoring the substance of this anti-conflation piece? Really. Seriously. How the fuck is it possible?

    It’s not. The reviewers either didn’t read the piece and were just enjoying their butt plugs a little too much to pay any attention at all to what they were writing, OR they rejected the argument but didn’t even bother to say that they rejected the argument and decided, consciously, to call transgender this person who is literally and literarily begging not to be called transgender.

    And even the plural which admitted no conclusion other than that the reviewer was being a disingenuous jackass, wasn’t enough. No, many of them called out that essay in particular as having been written by a “transgender” contributor. Or they would use the name of the author and describe that author, by fucking name, as transgender.

    It was fucking sickening.

    What was worse? There were two editors, but the one with whom I was primarily corresponding actually repeated this mistake herself. I ignored it, not wanting to start a fight or anything – I really was appreciative of the work that went into the volume. But in another exchange the editor specifically asked me what I thought about that other person’s contribution. I wrote her back, detailing what I thought about the essay itself as well as a few observations about the reaction to it. These included comments on the disrespectful dismissal of everything the author had said, and the horribly insulting overriding of the author’s own autonomy in describing himself.

    She took it as a critique of herself, which I didn’t mean it to be, directly (I was talking about published reviewers), but I wasn’t disappointed that she noticed the criticism applied to her and that she was attempting to take it to heart.

    The whole thing, I guess, was pretty disturbing is the point.

    So I get being really upset that these characters are doing this apparently fucked up shit and you’re not even given the information to know for sure that it is fucked up (Is, or isn’t, the character concerned happy with being labeled a “drag queen” in the present given that the label once was accurate in the past?), much less given the satisfaction of having the characters doing something immoral (if, indeed they are…as seems likely) have to face accountability for their immoral actions.

    Even if the consequences the jerks faced were ones the jerks were happy to laugh off (e.g. the character whose autonomy they ignored shuns them, and the reader is clear this shunning is because of the immoral assault on the character’s autonomy) the accountability and consequences are there to show that this is, in fact, immoral behavior not to be taken as a model, not to be repeated in real life.

    I don’t **mind** that fictional characters do immoral things in books. You have to have someone make the immoral choices so that it can be contrasted with moral choices. You can’t actually label a behavior immoral if you can’t identify the behavior in the first place. So, sure, if we want to comment on anti-trans fuckeduppedness, we’ll have to show anti-trans fuckeduppedness.


    If slandering trannies is described without comment the way that making toast would be described without comment, then those readers less thoughtful than our Right Reverend selves will believe that they can slander the trannies with as little moral implication and with as little blowback or accountability as one faces for making toast.

    If anti-trans slander was as commonly (in senses both of quantity and proportion) condemned as, say, passing out free tickets to a “Freedom Works” camp with a high-tech new oven-based heating system, though few emissions controls, THEN the silence by one author could be reasonable interpreted as “duh, everyone except the idiotic deniers knows it’s wrong, and the author isn’t talking to the idiot deniers, so why fuss?”

    in the current state of the world, I expect more from any author attempting to engage trans lives in their stories.

    a LOT fucking more.

    Now, all that said, the reviewers aren’t specifically the responsibility of the author.

    BUT if the authors’ characters did face accountability, then the reviewers might not think that they choose to call the character a “drag queen” with as little expectation of accountability (or even a need for accountability) as they would face for making toast.

    So fuck the reviewers, but fuck the author, too, for helping to create the situation.

  58. rq says

    Depending on the next couple of days, I may or may not need to take a social break from hanging out with allayou quality folks. No, it’s nothing specific, just the new routine of night-shift + being up early to take Eldest to school + general housework seems like it will be taking a toll on my energy levels. I’ll probably still try to post links to the Ferguson thread, but I’ll have to see about that, too.

  59. cicely says

    Here’s something on comics and diversity.

    Many thanks for the many congrats. Son, Partner, and Grandson are all well, if still somewhat tired.
    I am, of course, calm, cool, collected, and not in any euphoric.


    Another Dachshund video. He’s trapped in a pillowcase.

    I nearly aspirated corn-muffin-with-preserves.

    Why are we trying to spend 23 billion dollars?

    yazikus, it’s good to know your kid knows when to mention something is wrong, isn’t it?
    Glad to hear that it all came out okay in the end.

    Crip Dyke, I am well aware of the appalling nature and directions of the possible effluents. Happily, so are Son and Partner, so they weren’t alarmed.


    Let the spoilage begin!

    Oh, yessssss!

    Esteleth, I’m glad your kitty’s ears are okay. Hurray for healthy kitties!

  60. says

    Hugs, hurrahs and more hugs! Grandbaby! Healthy kitty ears! Good first day of school!

    Back from errands, I have the new Seanan Mcguire, squeeeee!

    I think I have successfully epoxied the two special things that broke during our earthquake (my half-doll seems to be properly stuck; Emily’s glass unicorn is still setting, as the leg took two tries) and made a new pair of hairsticks with shiny a/b crystal beads on top. The hairsticks were entirely from things I already had, and took nothing but my time. I don’t know whether to be appalled at how many beads and findings I have, or proud.

    I’d better do something about lunch before I get distracted again. I’ll drop in later.

  61. says

    Looks like ISIS had beheaded another American journalist.

    The Islamic State of Syria and Iraq has reportedly released a video showing the beheading of Steven Joel Sotloff, a U.S. journalist being held by the group.

    The New York Times, Reuters and the Washington Post cited a report from the SITE Intelligence Group on the video that purportedly showed Sotloff’s killing. […]

    “We have seen a video that purports to be the murder of U.S. citizen Steven Sotloff by (ISIS). The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity,” Bernadette Meehan, White House National Security Council spokesperson, said in a later statement. “If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We will provide more information when it is available.”

    Sotloff’s condition had been almost entirely unknown to the public until he appeared in the video of Foley’s killing last month, according to the New York Times. He had been abducted in northern Syria, where he was reporting on the ongoing civil war. He had also reported from Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey and Libya, according to the Times. […]


  62. says

    Trigger Warning: Rape


    An Arizona man owes more than $15,000 in child support payments for a daughter he fathered as a result of statutory rape.

    Nick Olivas engaged in a sexual relationship with a 20-year-old woman while in high school, reported the Arizona Republic, but state law prohibits children younger than 15 to consent as an adult under any circumstances.

    Olivas did not press charges at the time, saying he was unaware that was an option, and he lost touch with the woman – whom he believes took advantage of him.

    The state served him with papers two years ago demanding child support for a 6-year-old daughter he fathered during the relationship.

    “It was a shock,” said Olivas, who is now 24 and working as a medical assistant in Phoenix. “I was living my life and enjoying being young. To find out you have a 6-year-old? It’s unexplainable. It freaked me out.”

    He said he ignored the legal documents and never submitted to the required paternity test, but eventually authorities tracked him down.

    A court determined he owed back child support and medical bills, plus 10 percent interest.

    The state seized money from his bank account and now garnishes about $380 from his wages each month.

    Olivas said he wants to be part of his daughter’s life and pay child support going forward, but he doesn’t think it’s fair to make him pay for years when he was unaware the girl existed.

    “Anything I do as an adult, I should be responsible for, but as a teenager? I don’t think so,” he said.

    Courts have consistently found that states may order statutory rape victims to pay child support in similar – but rare – cases.

    Making the victim of rape pay child support doesn’t seem right.

  63. says

    Duck Dynasty and homophobia, following the example of Jesus:

    Phil Robertson, the patriarch of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” reality TV show, appeared on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday to promote his new book […]

    Robertson was criticized after he denounced homosexuality as a sin in a GQ article that was published in December. In his interview with the ABC program, Robertson explained his comments.

    “The only place I know of that I could have gone to answer that question would be a Bible,” Robertson said. “The dictionary wouldn’t have explained it. An encyclopedia wouldn’t have explained it, whether it was a sin or not. So I went to the only source I had to answer his question.”

    Robertson balked when GMA’s Ryan Owens asked him whether he considered himself a homophobe.

    “I’m as much of a homophobe as Jesus was,” Robertson said. “People who are participating in homosexual behavior, they need to know that I love them.” […]


  64. says

    Police arrest a black man on stupid and/or trumped up charges. At least they didn’t shoot him or beat him up. I guess that counts as improvement.

    The stars of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays movement took the stage on Labor Day at Charlotte’s Marshall Park to condemn the state’s record on voter suppression and racial profiling, and urge the community to organize and turn out at the polls this November. Just a few hundred feet away, police cuffed and arrested local LGBT activist and former State Senate candidate Ty Turner as he was putting voting rights information on parked cars.

    “They said they would charge me for distributing literature,” Turner told ThinkProgress when he was released a few hours later. “I asked [the policeman] for the ordinance number [being violated], because they can’t put handcuffs on you if they cannot tell you why they’re detaining you. I said, ‘Show me where it’s illegal to do this.’ But he would not do it. The officer got mad and grabbed me. Then he told me that I was resisting arrest!” […]


  65. says

    Dunderheads in the Texas education system prove that they are dunderheads:

    Malachi Wilson’s parents are Navajo and Kiowa, and they believe that their 5 year-old son’s hair is sacred and should not be cut. So Wilson arrived for his first day of kindergarten last week with his long hair in a braid. The principal at F. J. Elementary School in Seminole, Texas promptly send Wilson home, saying that he was not allowed to attend school with long hair because he is a boy. […]


  66. says

    Yes, right-wingers are still talking about impeaching President Obama. And now they have begun to more blatantly promise, or hope for, or threaten “armed rebellion” if he is not impeached.

    Tom Tancredo spoke to Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association today about why he supports impeaching President Obama, telling the “Today’s Issues” host that impeachment is the only process to remove Obama “short of armed rebellion that everybody constantly — you know, a lot of people, I guess I should say, think to themselves is either coming or a potential — and God knows that’s not something we want to see.” [Calling BS on that last phrase. Tancredo is promoting armed rebellion.]

    […] Tancredo previously said that if Republicans fail to impeach and remove Obama from office, “then the war is already lost and we should all stock our ammunition shelves and join a militia.” […]


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

    Ah, that lovely situation when a friend bemoans how she doesn’t go out at all, but then accidentally sends a message “Just us girls on Friday, or everyone?”.
    It’s not like I would have invited myself, you know. That really isn’t in my nature.

    Take care, rq!

  68. says

    More offing off-the-wall conspiracy theories are growing like a virus in the right-wingers preparing for the November elections. For example, President Obama supports ISIS, and he is plotting to remain in office indefinitely. The implication is that every red-blooded American right-winger should vote for Republicans post-haste.

    Oh, yeah, and God, God and more God.

    After explaining how President Obama attended a mosque in Washington D.C. while simultaneously vacationing in Hawaii on Christmas, Kamal Saleem told “Trunews” host Rick Wiles last week that Obama is supporting ISIS and other violent groups as part of his anti-American agenda.

    In fact, Saleem said ISIS will soon bomb America … allowing Obama to declare martial law and remain in office.

    “When the Muslim comes to America and they start doing bombing,” Saleem explained, “it will establish martial law and it will establish that probably the president doesn’t have to step down for years until the martial law is done with.”

    Saleem warned that Obama is using abortion rights and LGBT equality to “devastate the Christian fundamental power and establish the authority of Islam” in America, adding that Obama is “waging jihad” and “engraving Islamization into the history of the United States of America and in the future of the United States.”

    “It will have to be a miracle from God that America can walk out of this,” he said.


  69. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Just saw this on tumblr (on my phone) and had to share:

    If you’re promoting changes to women’s behaviour to “prevent” rape, you’re really saying “make sure he rapes the other girl.”

    LOVE IT. Maybe this will be enough to slap some sense into the victim-blamers, as there’s always a woman out there whose skirt is a little shorter, heels are a little higher, or who is walking down an street alone that is a little less well-lit.

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


    Another restatement:

    Your protection from date-rape drugs doesn’t have to be better than the date-rapists’ skills at dosing. It just has to be better than the protection of the woman next to you.

    Now where was that emesis bag?

  71. Brony says

    Hi everyone!

    I’ve been distracted by lots of stuff including some really in-depth stuff on brains, minds, and emotion at Butterflies and Wheels so I have also noticed how keeping track of what is going on with everyone here is like trying to keep track of everything in a hurricane. Except that I like this particular force of nature very much.

    I was curious about things related to the second article that Beatrice posted in the thread about the people so disturbing that I hope they really don’t mean it and it’s situational motivated reasoning,

    How does one find out if their computer is being remotely accessed? There are a lot of reasons to want to know even if we want to create consequences for such behavior as a larger social priority. Also Beatrice, the articles you post are awesome. You don’t get enough thanks for posting them.

    Also also, congratulations to cicely.

    Also also also, Tony I hope that you have the phone number for a friend from here or any other community to call when you get as depressed as you were. Different solutions work for different people but getting to talk it out might really help. My thoughts are with you.

  72. Brony says

    Also Lynna gets many thanks for her article posting. There are too many great people here that deserve more attention for what they provide.

  73. Saad says

    Reading about the murder of Sotliff by ISIS is really disheartening and sad. I think it’s the fact that we all saw it coming and there was nothing that could be done about it. Just had to sit and wait for the news.

  74. Saad says

    Saleem warned that Obama is using abortion rights and LGBT equality to “devastate the Christian fundamental power and establish the authority of Islam” in America…

    Yes, because if there’s one defining feature of Islam, it’s respect for homosexuals. Moron.

  75. Esteleth is Groot says

    It is too hot.

    My A/C is cranked to the maximum setting, and I sit here at my computer eating my sandwich and I’m sweating.


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

    Said of Tom Lehrer:

    underneath the jolly piano vamps and atrocious slant rhymes of his ditties lurks a deep, dark hatred and distrust of humanity, and the bitter tragedy that is modern life: people are foolish idiots, governments are corrupt and ineffectual, and complete annihilation is only one botched political conflict away


    If only someone, someday, would remember me so lovingly and well!

  77. The Mellow Monkey: Singular They says

    Warriors and women: the sex ratio of Norse migrants to eastern England up to 900 ad
    They sexed the remains osteologically rather than just shrugging and saying “buried with a sword? must be a dude. jewelry? ladeez”. Innovative and forward thinking of them, no?

    Six of the 14 graves examined were identified as having female remains, seven as male, and one was indeterminate. Popular press coverage here. There’s a lot of conflation of sex and gender, unsurprisingly, and the limitations of sexing remains in general isn’t mentioned in the USA Today article.

  78. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    They sexed the remains osteologically rather than just shrugging and saying “buried with a sword? must be a dude. jewelry? ladeez”. Innovative and forward thinking of them, no?

    Glad they didn’t bone it up this time.

  79. The Mellow Monkey: Singular They says

    ::golf clap:: Well done, Azkyroth.

    I should point out that article is a couple of years old, so it’s not exactly “news” any more. Still interesting for a richer picture of the past, though.

  80. Saad says

    Someone just posed this gem of a question to me in a Jennifer Lawrence thread on another forum I post on (not even a current events related forum, but a computer and tech forum):

    So you’re saying that, since it unfortunately seems we are going to use this analogy, a woman with full knowledge of the implications and risks who walks down a street in a bad part of town at midnight wearing absolutely nothing has no blame in what happens? It’s not in any way her fault?

    Yeah, it’s pretty pervasive. And to think in a supposedly civil society in 2014.

    This was my response:

    I’m just going to quote this horrible, malicious, misogynistic tripe again to bring special attention to it.

    It is a minimum requirement of a civil society (and a cornerstone of human solidarity) that you must not violate other people’s privacy and safety. The blame and fault is 100% with the rapist in 100% of the cases. No exceptions. Same goes for hacking into someone’s stuff. Same goes for secretly taking photos of someone and then posting them. You name it.

  81. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So you’re saying that, since it unfortunately seems we are going to use this analogy, a woman with full knowledge of the implications and risks who walks down a street in a bad part of town at midnight wearing absolutely nothing has no blame in what happens?

    Were it not specified to be occurring at midnight, I would concede that her getting a sunburn would be totally her fault.

  82. says

    I need to register for classes, but first I need to convince my brain that it’s a good idea. Last term went extremely poorly, and I have a job now, albeit one that’s very part time, but maybe I can parlay it into another job, and that’s more certain than that a new degree will really help anything. OTOH, I’ve already put this much time, effort, money, etc. into it, not all of which was mine (esp. the latter), and want it to have been worthwhile. And time is passing quickly indeed, I may well be missing deadlines as I type. I’m too stressed about it to go check right now, though.

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

    @awakeinmo, #95:

    Hooray for earwax!

    You wouldn’t say that if you were eating Bertie Bott’s.

  84. Pteryxx says

    Crip Dyke, I did find your #65 eventually <_< and if I knew what a mark-up tool even *was* I'd try to help. Thanks for trying, anyway – and probably we'll all have till October to hash the legal stuff out before any news comes out of the Ferguson grand jury anyhow.

  85. bassmike says

    Why am I always here when everyone else is not?

    Stupid BST. Where’s rq when you need her?

  86. rq says

    bassmike – I’m here! Cleaning house, that’s all. Not exciting or comment worthy (no ancient treasures or remains uncovered amongst the dust bunnies beneath the couch).
    Just to be clear, I haven’t left yet. :)
    But I’m pondering the implications of having to be up at 7 (I know, the horror!) after working until 1 or 2 AM, plus the effort that comes with entertaining a 2+-year-old during the day, only to do it all again. (chigau – Yes.)


    Remember the uncanny valley? It may not exist.

  87. bassmike says

    Hi rq , if you do find treasure lurking beneath the furniture, let me know and we can send round some archeologists to take a look. They might amuse the 2+ year old for a while. My 2+ year old has been a pain since last night. Hopefully it’s just a bad day. We all get those.

  88. rq says

    I’m far more likely to find the ancient remains of sandwiches, but I’ll let you know. :) We should probably put the 2+ year olds together, I’m sure they could entertain each other endlessly.

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

    So very ‘rupt.

    Hey bassmike. Since we’re both here I’d like to apologise for never answering your kind email. Despite my rudeness it was very much appreciated. And to answer your question: I’m not doing too well.

    Nothing major, just some minor setbacks like a series of persistent viruses on top of what I now realise is some emotional aftermath of the truly crappy year I’ve had. I feel like I have nothing positive to say so I’ve been keeping to myself. Nobody’s fault, and no real cause for concern, I’ll get through it as I always do. But in the meantime I can’t handle the feeling, real or not, that I’m ‘that guy’. The one who’s so caught up in his own petty misery he can’t partake in the joy of others. So I’ve been lurking out behind the bike sheds until I’m fit company again.

  90. bassmike says

    No worries whatsoever FF , I’m glad you’re doing well. I’m the kind of person that quite often notices when regular posters suddenly stop posting. I was relieved when I saw that you had posted again. Never feel under any obligation to reply to anything I send. A lot of us here share similar issues and I’m the last person to want to put anyone under any pressure. I also know all too well the desire to avoid company when the need arises.

    I’m simply glad you’re okay and I hope you have a better year from now on.

  91. rq says

    *hugs* for FossilFishy, and here’s to a better year, plus the eradication of persistent viruses.

  92. birgerjohansson says

    Scalia Once Pushed Death Penalty For Now-Exonerated Inmate Henry Lee McCollum http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/02/scalia-death-penalty_n_5756362.html
    But in Scalia’s defence , that guy was guilty of blackness.
    Another article on the same conviction:
    “Lawyers for the men petitioned for their release after DNA evidence from a cigarette butt recovered at the crime scene pointed to another man. That man, who lived close to the soybean field where the dead girl’s body was found, is already serving a life sentence for a similar rape and murder that happened less than a month later.”
    But, surely, you cannot expect the police to connect two similar crimes that happen close by each other.

  93. birgerjohansson says

    Jon Stewart Finds The Senate Is Gridlocked ‘Even When It Comes To Sh*tty Sexism’ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/03/jon-stewart-senate-sexism_n_5757238.html
    Happy Accident With Garden Hose Leads To ‘Really Significant’ Stonehenge Discovery http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/02/stonehenge-full-circle-stones_n_5752134.html
    Hahaha! Britain: The Trotskyites of the right are wrecking the Conservative party http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/trotskyites-right-wrecking-tory-party
    Study claims cave art made by Neanderthals http://phys.org/news/2014-09-cave-art-neanderthals.html

  94. birgerjohansson says

    Famous Feynman lectures put online with free access http://phys.org/news/2014-09-famous-feynman-online-free-access.html.
    Who Deserves Credit for Guardians of the Galaxy’s Great Script? http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/08/04/guardians_of_the_galaxy_co_writer_nicole_perlman_vs_director_james_gunn.html?wpisrc=obnetwork
    Weathering the storm http://phys.org/news/2014-09-weathering-storm.html
    “…recount hiking 10 miles uphill in 3 feet of snow to get to school—and home.”
    Luxury! In my childhood we had to (…insert long rant about the horrors of North Swedish winters)”.

  95. birgerjohansson says

    (sorry for the infodump. I am still suffering from a cold, so I have to rely on other people writing interesting stuff.)

  96. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Used to be most webcomic authors either reliably wouldn’t Get It or they’d take a Stupid Neutral position on controversies…

  97. says

    Brony @111, thanks for that link. Here’s an excerpt from that article:

    Here’s what my teachers’ should have told me: “Reconstruction was the second phase of the Civil War. It lasted until 1877, when the Confederates won.” I think that would have gotten my attention.

    It wasn’t just that Confederates wanted to continue the war. They did continue it, and they ultimately prevailed. They weren’t crazy, they were just stubborn.

    Well put.

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

    Fucking doctors. She treated me like I’m stupid and/or makung shit up.
    She can’t feel anything and I have such a thin little neck, I musthave thought my perfectly normal limf nodes have swelled.
    Except that this isn’t the first fucking time I touch my fucking neck so that I would be surprised by it. Jesus fuck.
    Also completely ignored that it doesn’t hurt BUT Ifeel discomfort in the upper neck area.

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

    It’s not like I’m in some great pain, and it’s probably just a little swelling that would go away by Monday if she’d given my antibiotics.
    But the way she talked to me…. like I’m a fucking moron. And “for the peace of my mind” I can go make some blood test. Oh, have I checked sugar, ever? We can do that too. Whatever, since I’m already there.

    Fuck her. I’ve been to see her exactly two times before now, since I haven’t visited a doctor since childhood. I don’t visit the doctor every week for breaking a nail. If I’m there, then something is bothering me.

    Gah, I feel like wringing her neck.

  100. rq says

    If it’s swollen lymph nodes, there’s a good chance it’s a virus, in which case antibiotics will not help you at all. Best thing is to treat the symptoms: warm teas (I like them with lemon), camphor oil or other soothing kind of cream on the outside. Ask a pharmacist, they seem to know more about simple home remedies for the most part (at least, over here).
    Sorry the doctor was an ass to you.

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


    I’m meeting my best friend for coffee tonight, and she’s a pharmacist so I’ll ask.

    My mum told me I’m overreacting a bit. I probably am. I don’t remember the last time I was this angry. I just don’t take humiliation* well and this felt really humiliating.

    * I can’t even see humiliation on TV

  102. says

    We’ve had good news from judges lately as they review the lame arguments that states have brought forth in an anti-gay-marriage legal marathon. Now we have bad news out of Louisiana when U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman bought the conservative logic:

    A federal judge broke ranks on Wednesday, ruling that Louisiana’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages is constitutional. […]

    This Court is persuaded that Louisiana has a legitimate interest…whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of others…in linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents, as specifically underscored by Justice Kennedy in Windsor.

    For example, must the states permit or recognize a marriage between an aunt and niece? Aunt and nephew? Brother/brother? Father and child? May minors marry? Must marriage be limited to only two people? What about a transgender spouse? Is such a union same-gender or male-female? All such unions would undeniably be equally committed to love and caring for one another, just like the plaintiffs. […]


    Feldman is a Reagan appointee, and a bigot.

  103. says

    This is a followup to my comment #101 in which I posted a link to an article about conservative Supreme Court justices citing pseudo-data and pseudo-facts in their decisions.

    The universe is thwapping Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on the head, but sadly his head is probably way too thick to feel it. On Tuesday, North Carolina death row inmate Henry Lee McCollum was exonerated by DNA evidence showing that another man—a man currently in prison for a rape and murder similar to the one that sent McCollum to death row—was at the crime scene. McCollum and his half-brother, Leon Brown, had been convicted on the basis of coerced confessions, without any physical evidence. But where does Scalia come into it?

    In 1994, concurring in the Court’s refusal to review an unrelated death penalty case, Scalia cited McCollum’s case:

    “… for example, the case of the 11-year-old girl raped by four men and then killed by stuffing her panties down her throat. How enviable a quiet death by lethal injection compared with that!”

    He didn’t mention other circumstances that might have given one pause even before the DNA evidence exonerated McCollum, circumstances with which Justice Harry Blackmun responded, writing that “Buddy McCollum […] has an IQ between 60 and 69 and the mental age of a 9-year old. He reads on a second grade level. This factor alone persuades me that the death penalty in his case is unconstitutional.”

    In addition to McCollum’s exoneration, recent events have put a serious dent in Scalia’s characterization of the “quiet death by lethal injection.” But all the available evidence suggests that Scalia is far too bloodthirsty to comprehend any of these points.


  104. says


    Conservatives on the Supreme Court are using, and citing, pseudo-data and pseudo-facts in their decisions.


    *hugs* Lots of doctors are right assholes, unfortunately.


  105. says

    Polygamy update from Utah: this is good news. Some of Warren Jeffs’s old stomping grounds are being wiped clean.

    […] everything else on the 4 1/2-acre property will be demolished this week. […]

    The buildings were home to Alta Academy — the school operated by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Its principal was Warren Jeffs, the current FLDS president serving a sentence of life plus 20 years in a Texas prison. Jeffs was convicted of sexual assault charges related to taking two underage girls as brides.

    [The property] has changed hands multiple times and was recently purchased by Garbett Homes. After demolishing the existing structures, the company plans to build 15 single-family homes there.

    The acres sit at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon and should be attractive to skiers or anyone wanting a close view of the Wasatch Mountains. […]

    At Jeffs’ 2011 trial in Texas, a nephew and a niece both testified that Jeffs raped them at Alta Academy. […]


  106. says

    Availability of water in the southwestern portion of the USA is going to diminish. The news ranges from bad to catastrophic.

    […] The researchers concluded that odds of a decadelong drought are “at least 80 percent.” The chances of a “megadrought,” one lasting 35 or more years, stands at somewhere between 20 percent and 50 percent, depending on how severe climate change turns out to be. And the prospects for an “unprecedented 50-year megadrought”—one “worse than anything seen during the last 2000 years”­—checks in at a nontrivial 5 to 10 percent. […]


  107. says

    This is a followup to my comment #106 in which the rightwing conspiracy theory about Obama declaring martial law is discussed.

    I feel like I’m watching this conspiracy theory metastasize in real time. Now we have a rightwing book fleshing it out:

    Promoting his new book, “Stop the Coming Civil War,” right-wing radio host Michael Savage said President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security are hoping to “mow down” white people and “stimulate insurrection in this country in order to declare martial law.”

    Savage, speaking on his radio show last month about the demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri and the Bundy Ranch standoff, said he believes Obama is so close to inciting a civil war by enacting immigration reform that he asked his publisher to move up the release date of his book.

    “This entire government is geared up to fight a war against white people,” Savage said. […]

    Savage also claimed that the Department of Homeland Security isn’t paying attention to groups like ISIS because they are too busy “planning your insurrection” and preparing to gun down “all you evil white crackers.”


  108. says

    I have a friend who will be sorely disappointed – regarding the coming out, that is. :P

    I never understood the obsession with celebrities’ sexual orientation.
    I mean, my chances of hooking up with them are not dramatically changed by the fact that they’re only into polka-dotted space camels. And if you talk about your own private fantasies, well, anyody can be a space camel in those ….

  109. Brony says

    Why do people like Stanly Kubrick so much? I don’t get that.

    @ rq
    I’m cleaning house too. No “treasures” unless you count the cats hairballs and the cat that seems to like to hang her butt over the edge of the litter box (and it’s a covered box). I have a nice jumping spider population keeping the other critters at bay though.

    @ FossilFishy, Beatrice
    *Hugs* I hope you get better soon. Don’t worry about mentioning problems FF. Expressing them is healthy. Most problems in that area have to do with excess and how they are expressed but that is a less common problem in general.

    @ Lynna 146
    That line stuck out at me too. Now I keep thinking about functionally dealing with the people that think admitting our countries mistakes are some sort of attack.

    A fun game is go to google images (USE SAFE SEARCH! Fandoms are, complicated…) to combine almost any thing you can imagine in popular culture (and just about anything else) with “pony”, “me little pony” or similar. Almost everything has been “ponified”. The comparison of memes to viruses is very accurate.


    I never understood the obsession with celebrities’ sexual orientation.

    There is something strange about the psychology of celebrity. It’s one of those “double-edged-sword” things. On one hand people obsess about them and relate to them far too much and in really dumb ways that mess up how they think. But on the other hand they provide a useful source of “authority” in social situations. Having celebrities who are affected by internet harassment and similar is useful and authorities outside government, economic, and other social structures can be useful.

  110. Morgan!? Militant Pacifist says

    A favor please, my friends. Does anyone have a recommendation on a good resource for the refutation of astrology. I know there are numerous books, articles, etc. but does anyone have a favorite? I have an acquaintance who I’d rather not alienate with my simple dismissal of astrology. But boy howdy is she an ardent believer. She is well aware of my atheism and claims that she too does not believe in god, but she is really down with magical thinking. It is inevitable that the topic will at some point come up and I’d like to have my armaments at the ready when it does.

  111. Esteleth is Groot says

    Today in lecture we heard about the disparities in health care in the modern US. Lecturer said she wanted to discuss why a person of color might hesitate to seek medical attention or ignore medical advice. So she talked about J. Marion Sims.

    Dr. Sims is regarded as the father of modern gynecology. He more or less invented, singlehandedly, modern gynecological and obstetric surgery.

    His guinea pigs were slaves. Human slaves. He almost never used anesthetic, even though it was available at the time.

    One of Sims’ greatest achievement was the development of a surgical method to repair obstetric fistuae, where a traumatic birth has left a woman with a tear in her vaginal canal, which can result in incontinence. The lecturer noted that many of the “patients” Sims’ tested his procedures on were women sent to him by other slave owners, as they could not “do their duty.”

    She then asked, “Now, what precisely was the “duty” an enslaved woman could not perform adequately if she had severe perineal damage that often left her incontinent?”

  112. says

    Morgan @1(5)66:
    The Skeptics Dictionary is a good resource

    Astrologers emphasize the importance of the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, etc., at the time of birth. However, the birthing process isn’t instantaneous. There is no single moment that a person is born. The fact that some official somewhere writes down a time of birth is irrelevant. Do they pick the moment the water breaks? The moment the first dilation occurs? When the first hair or toenail peeks through? When the last toenail or hair passes the last millimeter of the vagina? When the umbilical cord is cut? When the first breath is taken? Or does birth occur at the moment a physician or nurse looks at a clock to note the time of birth?

    Why are the initial conditions more important than all subsequent conditions for one’s personality and traits? Why is the moment of birth chosen as the significant moment rather than the moment of conception? Why aren’t other initial conditions such as one’s mother’s health, the delivery place conditions, forceps, bright lights, dim room, back seat of a car, etc., more important than whether Mars is ascending, descending, culminating, or fulminating? Why isn’t the planet Earth—the closest large object to us in our solar system–considered a major influence on who we are and what we become? Other than the Sun and the Moon and an occasional passing comet or asteroid, most planetary objects are so distant from us that any influences they might have on anything on our planet are likely to be wiped out by the influences of other things here on Earth.

    No one would claim that in order to grasp the effect of the Moon on the tides or potatoes one must understand initial conditions of the Singularity before the Big Bang, or the positions of the stars and planets at the time the potato was harvested. If you want to know what tomorrow’s low tide will be you do not need to know where the Moon was when the first ocean or river was formed, or whether the ocean came first and then the Moon, or vice-versa. Initial conditions are less important than present conditions to understanding current effects on rivers and vegetables. If this is true for the tides and plants, why wouldn’t it be true for people?

    Finally, astrology is probably the most widely practiced superstition and most popular Tooth Fairy science in the world today. Nevertheless, there are many who defend astrology by pointing out how accurate professional horoscopes are. Astrology “works,” it is said, but what does that mean? Basically, to say astrology works means that there are a lot of satisfied customers. There are a lot of satisfied customers because thanks to subjective validation, it is easy to shoehorn any event to fit a chart. To say astrology “works” does not mean that astrology is accurate in predicting human behavior or events to a degree significantly greater than mere chance. There are many satisfied customers who believe that their horoscope accurately describes them and that their astrologer has given them good advice. Such evidence does not prove astrology so much as it demonstrates the Forer effect and confirmation bias. Good astrologers give good advice, but that does not validate astrology. (They also make ambiguous claims like the oracle of Delphi who told Croesus before he attacked Persia: “If you cross the river, a great empire will be destroyed.” So armed, Croesus attacked, resulting in the destruction of his own empire.) There have been several studies that have shown that people will use selective thinking to make any chart they are given fit their preconceived notions about themselves and their charts. Many of the claims made about signs and personalities are vague and would fit many people under many different signs. Even professional astrologers, most of whom have nothing but disdain for sun sign astrology, can’t pick out a correct horoscope reading at better than a chance rate. Yet, astrology continues to maintain its popularity, despite the fact that there is scarcely a shred of scientific evidence in its favor. Even the former First Lady of the United States, Nancy Reagan, and her husband, Ronald, consulted an astrologer while he was the leader of the free world, demonstrating once again that astrologers have more influence than the stars do.

  113. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Does anyone have a recommendation on a good resource for the refutation of astrology.

    An introductory physics text might be a good supplement.

  114. chigau (違う) says

    Esteleth #167
    I think just about everything would be affected by incontinence, not just copulation.
    But the situation the lecturer described seems to narrow it down.

  115. Esteleth is Groot says

    Right, chigau. A woman who is incontinent may be capable of doing field work while wearing a pad, for example. And I’d guess that a slave owner wouldn’t drop $$$ for the sake of her comfort.

  116. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Crip Dyke, a question if I may…

    In light of the sentiments you expressed in post 91, regarding “transgender” and “transsexual” identification, is the following (excerpted from here) incorrect:

    The concept of transsexualism is flawed and cissexist, as it equates one’s gender to their anatomy. The term transsexual should only be used as a medical term to describe an individual who has had realignment surgery. Even so, many transgender individuals are offended by this term, so it should be used extremely sparingly.

    Or am I missing something? :/

  117. A. Noyd says

    An Arabic-speaking student today was having trouble with the pronunciation of “prescription” so I thought I’d look up how to write an approximation in Arabic script (or, at least, the order of the consonants) only to find out there’s no letter for “p.” Though, this response to a question about how to write “p” is interesting:

    as the others said…no p in arabic
    but sometimes…in “slang” arabic, we write it just like a “b” which is ب
    but we place 3 dots instead of 1..of course it is not included in the keyboard so i can’t write it here…it would look exactly like the inverse of a ث

    Also, a lot of Arabic script charts irritatingly only have one version of each letter even though there are at least four of each (initial, medial, final and stand-alone).

  118. chigau (違う) says

    cicely #178
    Just dug the garlic.
    Can we put that in the soop?
    (the ones not destined for re-planting)

  119. A. Noyd says

    CaitieCat (#179)

    A Noyd, perhaps an Arabic-language IPA chart would help? If you think he might respond well to a technical approach?

    She. And that might be too technical for either of us, but maybe there are some Arabic-English dictionaries at work that have less ambitious pronunciation keys that are explained in Arabic.

  120. thunk: Prater arcade winnings says

    feeling nice, for once. However, my textbooks, that I vitally need to be able to do things like “homework” have so far failed to arrive. I just hope this will end soon.

    Brony, 164:

    “Fandoms are complicated”, indeed. I just wish my brain could deal with them sensibly– and not wishfully think way too much about FiM. (cue more thoughts, redacted to prevent renewed obsession).

    Speaking of wishful thinking, I think I’m at some level very vulnerable to it. As a youngling, I used to make up elaborate pseudo-spiritual fantasies and believe to some extent in their reality. I still do so to some extent, as it helps me get to sleep at night, but fully understand rationally that these things are Not Real.

    A. Noyd:

    As an interesting side note, your student is probably foiled by Grimm’s law, which moved all the stops to their corresponding fricative positions, so that the voiceless labial /p/ is not present anymore. (I think this is right, but I’m not sure).


    I’m sorry the doctor treated you that way. It’s despicable. *hugs, if wanted*

  121. chigau (違う) says

    goodnight thunk
    I hope your books arrive.
    Tomorrow there will be stewed fruit for breakfast.
    anyone want some?

  122. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #91, Crip Dyke,

    Sorry for taking so long to respond. Little One came down with a cold and so generously passed it on.

    The whole thing, I guess, was pretty disturbing is the point.

    Oh gods, that is really disturbing. I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine disregarding and overruling how someone labels themselves. I feel icky enough applying an all inclusive label to a fiction character who doesn’t state a preference.

    So I get being really upset that these characters are doing this apparently fucked up shit and you’re not even given the information to know for sure that it is fucked up (Is, or isn’t, the character concerned happy with being labeled a “drag queen” in the present given that the label once was accurate in the past?), much less given the satisfaction of having the characters doing something immoral (if, indeed they are…as seems likely) have to face accountability for their immoral actions.
    Even if the consequences the jerks faced were ones the jerks were happy to laugh off (e.g. the character whose autonomy they ignored shuns them, and the reader is clear this shunning is because of the immoral assault on the character’s autonomy) the accountability and consequences are there to show that this is, in fact, immoral behavior not to be taken as a model, not to be repeated in real life.

    She’s only described as a former drag queen in the 80s during the beginning for background information but is never called out loud by the protagonist a drag queen. She’s also never, ever called a cross-dresser. She makes some statements about her past like being able to make costumes and singing at home but there’s never a declaration or statement that’s how she sees herself. It’s also gives the feeling that it wasn’t just a show act but like she’s one of those badass activists from the 80s you hear about. (well, I’m young so I’ve only heard about it.) I mean it’s how the 80s is brought up in conjunction with that, she’s never just a former drag queen, and how little age matters for werewolves. Like, why else bring up that decade known for such things unless it matters in some way? You could give distance to what she did and how she is now by just keeping it vague. But it’s never directly said that she was an activist either so maybe my knowledge of the subject is coloring it.

    ::TW:Describing the trans* abuse and what happens afterwards::

    At the end of the first book, the bad guys are torturing/killing off the good wolves and that’s when they find out about the trans* woman. It’s awful and heartwrenching. But the protagonist makes it clear with her thoughts (gagged and bound at the time) how fucked up it is and in the end all the fuckers die. Including the leader of the good pack who went bad and made the trans* woman’s life hell. Yay. I was very happy and hopeful the next book.

    I have a lot of problems with the protagonist in the beginning of the second book where she’s just doing nothing basically. This is where I got really pissed with just about everyone involved. The “good” pack is the one the trans* woman belongs to and the protagonist ends up being their leader. Very reluctantly. This is where we get glimpses of how awful they are on a daily basis. Like having a bet going about the state of her genitals. She, now second in command, and the protagonist calls it out and orders them to stop bringing it up but that’s really fucking weak, IMO. She could’ve fucking outlawed that shit forever and punished them but instead didn’t. Sure, protag may talk shit about them and keep her distance from them but that’s because she’s being a shitty leader. It’s really the second and third in command (a man who makes “jokes” about the bet in front of her) doing all the leading. Then shit happens, the pack tries to kill the protagonist (and her second and third in command) who’s saved by her mate returning home. He reclaims alpha status and the issue doesn’t come up again. The trans* woman stays second in command and gets more respect since the pack respects the male alpha. But since the rest of the book deals with the inner circle, there isn’t an opportunity for the bet to be shot down again and there isn’t time with the life or death action to speak about it.

    The protagonist may hate that pack now but that’s more of a “they tried to kill me and my friends” instead of “they’re a bunch of transphobic assholes”. Which still pisses me off because I was ready to send ’em all to hell with that fucking bet bullshit. It’s just assumed that’s how things are, how they will be, and it’s the trans* woman’s responsibility to fight it and endure. I mean, the third in command engages in it too! What message does that send? Doesn’t matter how the protag says she could “take him or leave him”, the fact is she does accept him and trusts him enough to watch her back and all that shit.

    But then in the third book, more shit happens with just the inner circle and at the end, the trans* woman who’s like a mother to her leaves to raise the protagonist’s niece.

    The fourth book is about the protagonist and her mate in another world. I haven’t read it yet but I can guarantee due to the storylines certain things will happen.

    They will bring wolves who are persecuted in the other world into ours and the protagonist and her mate will lead/rule over all of them, including the regular pack. The trans* woman and niece will come back as well. What I don’t know that’s the issue here is how are they going to make shit right for her. Because while I want to find out what happens, I do not want to read about a transphobic pack of wolves. They’re all fucking transphobic like society is, it’s just this one has a target to hit. So, shit needs to be dealt with but the earliest is the 5th book and might even be later given how action packed the series is.

    in the current state of the world, I expect more from any author attempting to engage trans lives in their stories.
    a LOT fucking more.
    Now, all that said, the reviewers aren’t specifically the responsibility of the author.
    BUT if the authors’ characters did face accountability, then the reviewers might not think that they choose to call the character a “drag queen” with as little expectation of accountability (or even a need for accountability) as they would face for making toast.
    So fuck the reviewers, but fuck the author, too, for helping to create the situation.

    That is an excellent fucking point.

    And to clarify since I went back looking through it all: The top review for the second book calls her “favorite cross-dressing were” is one I mentioned earlier. The one below that says “He/she rocks…” but she’s never, ever referred to as anything but SHE. I missed that one since I didn’t expand it. Dear god. And no one calls them out on it in comments or anything either. Shit’s up up for 2 years with the first book and over a year with the second book. I apparently gave them too much credit.

    After reading your point, I wondered if it really kicked up after the second book where such shit slides. Well, for book one there’s a review that calls all the characters flawed, including the transvestite werewolf. Because that’s a character flaw?!? The rest were listed as thieves and shit…Ugh. That’s the only one I’ve found so far, most of them don’t even mention her at all. Charitably, because she doesn’t show up til towards the end. But yeah, once she was a main part of the story and the protag lets abuse slide, it really starts happening.

    Thank you because I don’t think I’d notice that pattern on my own. I lumped them all together as just being assholes. There’s no doubt I’ll be mentioning it in my review. Now since I’ll be email the author later about finally posting my review (she gave me a copy to do so), I’m thinking of how to bring the subject up with her. I’m thinking since she’ll want to know the rating and read the review before it goes live so she’ll know whether to promote it or not, I’ll just be direct about it since it’ll be included and rather hard to miss.

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

    @Brony, #164:

    Why do people like Stanly Kubrick so much?

    For the same reason that so many people like Justin Bieber so much, or Tony Orlando and Dawn, or Ed Wood.

    The answer is simple: Some people are aesthetically wrong. Kubrick took a lot of acid and loved violent movies. People that though Carpenter’s The Thing was pretty good, but needed more violence will try watching “Clockwork”. The ones that have previously enjoyed acid will think it’s better than The Thing because it’s making this statement, man, that, well, that, y’see, it’s about the mind, man. Their inability to express whatever the message might be (or even their own hypothesis of whatever the message might be) is taken as proof that the movie is inexpressibly profound, with few to none realizing that if it’s inexpressible, there’s a very, very good chance it’s not profound at all.

    The ones that have not previously enjoyed acid will think it’s trying to make some sort of statement, but the inexpressibility will be put down to incoherence rather than profundity. A fair few will further attribute the incoherence to chemical-induced brain injury.

    The ones that are currently on acid the first time they see clockwork will find it entirely unforgettable and a tremendously emotional experience, and will chalk that up to brilliant artistry rather than the effects of LSD in the presence of a certain class of stimuli which is not, in fact, only easily drawn together by great art, but is instead easily foreseen as stimuli which will fuck with you when you are on LSD because of the known impacts of LSD as revealed in the medical and psychological literature.

    I’m among the lucky few who have never seen a Kubrick movie. Not once. Nor will I ever.* I don’t need to watch violence while on acid to figure out that napalming other people is bad. Frankly, that one was pretty easy for me.

    *Said prediction not guaranteed past the border into senility. If and when I completely lose it, I suppose Nurse Ratched might inflict any number of sadistic torments on me, and suffering from senility and/or under sufficient sedation, I doubt that at that point I could successfully muster the energy to resist even the conjunction of Tom Cruise and Stanly Kubrick, a match made in…. well I don’t give a shit, it’s a match that should never have been made at all.

  124. says

    I have to say, Clockwork Orange isn’t actually the first (or even the third) film that comes to mind when I hear Kubrick’s name; that would be Dr Strangelove (which is an utter classic that I recommend even to people who aren’t Kubrick fans; persons born after ~1985 may not experience the full impact, though, or experience it differently), 2001 (a classic example of why Kubrick fans like his stuff and non fans hate it), and Apocalypse Now (some of your critiques of Clockwork may apply there, but the movie’s about how pointless and fucked up war in general and the Vietnam War in particular are, so violence and brutality are kind of par for the course).

    Brony #164
    Beautiful cinematography and obsessive attention to detail, mostly. Also, about a third of his movies are groundbreaking classics that have shaped the face of cinema. Unfortunately, the other two-thirds are pretentious, long-winded crap. The good ones also tend to suffer from the Seinfeld is Unfunny problem, to wit that they’ve been so often imitated in the years since that what was once groundbreaking is now pedestrian, or even overused, so they can now sometimes be hard to tell from the other sort.

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

    @Azkyroth, #172:


    I can’t respond in the Lounge.

    I’ll likely write something in TD in response, and then drop a note here. But I’ll be touching on such topics in another venue fairly soon as well, for other reasons…

  126. A. Noyd says

    thunk (#183)

    As an interesting side note, your student is probably foiled by Grimm’s law, which moved all the stops to their corresponding fricative positions, so that the voiceless labial /p/ is not present anymore. (I think this is right, but I’m not sure).

    I will have to look into that. Sounds fascinating.

  127. says

    Much like the onion butter that someone posted here a few weeks ago; slice fruit, boil it in juice ’til it falls apart, stir until smooth, simmer until it thickens into a spread, then store.

  128. Rob Grigjanis says

    Dalillama @187: Apocalypse Now was Coppola. Paths of Glory is my favourite Kubrick. A great anti-war film.

  129. Rob Grigjanis says

    There is combat in Dr. Strangelove, but IIRC the only casualty portrayed is a Coke machine. And a brief tussle is terminated by the President’s memorable “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.”.

  130. says

    I’m having a grumpy day. Smitey, stabby, smashy, weepy, growly, whatever. So I’ll be hanging around, but I may not say anything, becase right now it just isn’t worth the effort. Here are hugs, apply as needed.

  131. birgerjohansson says

    RQ, more about old vertebrates:
    Ancient mammal relatives were active at night 100 million years before origin of mammals http://phys.org/news/2014-09-ancient-mammal-relatives-night-million.html
    Dimetrodon would have been one of many synapsids who were active at night.
    So maybe the process of losing the ability to se a wide spectrum of colours started back then..
    More about the “nocturnal bottleneck” theory: http://phys.org/news/2012-10-effects-prehistoric-nocturnal-life-mammalian.html
    “Analyses showed that diurnal (only active by day) and cathemeral (active by both day and night) mammals don’t differ in their eye shapes. At the same time, both groups have eye shapes that are very similar to those of nocturnal birds and lizards. These results reveal that most day-active mammals have eye shapes that appear “nocturnal” when compared with other vertebrates.
    One likely reason for these findings, Kirk says, is that after the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, some nocturnal mammals became day-active and there was less pressure to evolve eye shapes for acute diurnal vision like those of other day-active vertebrates.
    Anthropoid primates are the only mammalian group that re-evolved eye shape for fine detailed daytime vision. Like diurnal birds and lizards, most anthropoids have small corneas relative to eye length as an adaptation for enhanced visual acuity”.
    ” cathemeral ” will be my new buzzword.

  132. birgerjohansson says

    Annie, I hope it gets better.

    My day has been great.
    The elder care facility where my mom lives had a big outdoor lunch, serving traditional August/September food like surströmming (fermented herring), salted herring, sausages etc. Lots of singing.
    Best of all, my mother -who for unknown reasons have been unable to eat solid food during most of the summer- seems fully recovered, and ate with a good appetite.

  133. birgerjohansson says

    Vulgo-conservatives disgrace themselves over cute video (viewers see black family, immediately assume they are on welfare). I enclose an excerpt of Ed Brayton’s blog http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2014/09/03/fox-news-fans-get-racist-in-response-to-cute-video/#more-30062
    ” What happens when a really cute video of a young boy complaining hilariously to his mother about getting an impending baby brother or sister goes viral on the internet? Well if that video is posted to the Fox News Facebook page, a whole bunch of people go full on racist, claiming the family must be on welfare and is taking their tax dollars by having so many children.
    Reality: Both parents are in the U.S. military. And what do you wanna bet some of those racist jerks just love 19 Kids and Counting? If it was a white family in the video, not a single one of them would have jumped to the conclusion that they must be on welfare. But black = welfare in the minds of right wingers.”

  134. bassmike says

    Annie I hope things improve for you soon.

    Take all the hugs you need. (I almost typed ‘hogs’ which would have been a completely different offer!)

  135. says

    Big hugs

    Glad to hear your mum is eating again

    First day at home and we’re getting on with getting things clean, sorted, stashed aways again. This is really the downside of camping: you always have to get a complete household in order again.
    Also, the little one has decided that after 5 1/2 weeks with mum and 3 with dad, preschool is doooooof

  136. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    @Azkyroth, #172:


    I can’t respond in the Lounge.

    I’ll likely write something in TD in response, and then drop a note here. But I’ll be touching on such topics in another venue fairly soon as well, for other reasons…

    Oh…kay… :/

  137. cicely says

    Tree Lobsters!

    chigau, garlic is just generally a Good Thing—though no amount of garlic can redeem peas, or Horses.

    Pear butter? Is this really a thing? And is it commercially available?
    *off to Google*

    *hugs & kittens* for Anne.
    Tiny little kittens with way-too-big paws, short, spiky little sticking-straight-up tails, and a Very Serious expression on their little faces as they try—but fail—to walk on a flat surface.

    birgerjohannson, it’s good to hear that your mother is doing well.

    Wrecked knees? Nose cartilage can fix them

    *brief pause*
    Where do I go to sign up?!?!?!?

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

    Okay, there’s this stupid song – 70s guitar rock – that happens to be catchy and says something about tonight being a goodnight to fall in love or something.

    I was listening to it thinking this would make a decent campfire song given certain participants in our campfires, and even if it’s not precisely to my taste, like I said, it’s catchy. I’d be happy to play it.

    But then I let a couple days go by without googling it and it’s out of my head. I can’t remember enough of the lyrics to find the thing.

    Anyone remember a guitar rock song like that.

    I’m not at all sure this is true, but it might have the line
    “Let’s fall in love, fall in love”.

  139. Pteryxx says

    JAL, if you’re around, I just sent you an email.

    *surprise anklehugs* to all the new voices. *scurries away*

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

    Okay. Mystery solved.

    Writing that it suddenly occurred to me that I could add a couple terms about which I wasn’t sure – it couldn’t be worse than a vague search that yields 211k songs recorded 1970-1985 that include “fall in love” in the lyrics.

    The winner?

    April Wine’s “Tonight is a wonderful time to fall in love.”

    Sappy people in my age group who aren’t that good with their instruments: a dime a dozen.
    Same people just-barely-competently jamming out a thirty-year old ear worm around a fire with maybe 80 other people within 10 miles, where the number of them able to hear your pathetic but uninhibited and nostalgic jamming approaches zero: priceless.

    Fuckin’ joy: how does that work?

  141. says

    Crip Dyke @211

    How about this one by April Wine – Tonight is a Wonderful Night to Fall in Love

    I don’t want it to embed so let’s try adding a space or two (one before the // and one before the “watch”):

    https: //www.youtube.com/ watch?v=XFlNBqKl9nA

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

    Speaking of Fuckin’ Joy, not to mention April Wine, permit me to present their lyrics celebrating the reasonable boundaries with the size queen pegging you:

    You fill me up, until I get enough
    Oh girl you fill me up, can’t you see that
    You’re my girl, and enough is enough
    Baby, you’re my girl, and enough is enough

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


    Ninja’d by the question asker.

    yeah, sorry about that ajb47. i don’t know why I didn’t just consider throwing in every kitchen-sink phrase that might or might not be in there and then chucking out the ones about which I was least certain until I got something.

    That turned out to be much more fruitful than using only phrases you know you remember and then clicking through 20k pages of results. (shiver).

    But even if I did finally have the revelation, I seriously salute your memory for mediocre rock of your youth.

  144. says

    That wasn’t my memory, I did what you did and typed in “tonight’s the night to fall in love”. April Wine was the first link. First I typed in the line you thought you remembered and got links to an old jazz tune (that I like, mind) “Let’s Fall in Love” (partial to Diana Krall’s version).

  145. blf says

    Today I had to explain to my (former-)manager that just because you read something you yourself wrote, a statement such as “first, catch your pea”, as meaning “do so each time you need to pee”, doesn’t mean everyone else will read the same meaning into it…

  146. blf says

    Don’t get yer hopes up. An interesting discovery, but this isn’t the mildly deranged penguin, Two unclassifiable species found off Australian coast:

    Mushroom-shaped organisms found on south-east continental slope cannot be placed in any existing phylum

    Two unclassifiable mushroom-shaped creatures have been discovered in the ocean depths off Australia.

    Two species of the strange organisms were found that could not be placed in any existing phyla, the large families of living things that include vertebrates and flowering plants.

    The animals, known as Dendrogramma, consist mainly of an outer skin and inner stomach separated by a dense layer of jelly-like material.

    Scientists suspect they are related to ancient extinct life forms that lived 600 million years ago and may have represented an early attempt at multicellular life.

    They were discovered in a collection of organisms dredged up in 1986 from depths of 400 and 1,000 metres on the south-east Australian continental slope.

    Researchers have only now isolated the two species of Dendrogramma described in the latest edition of the online journal Public Library of Science ONE.

    The species have been named Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides.

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

    With this lyric, i hope to prove to you how much I enjoy sharing deep and horrible pain:


    She’s got eggs, don’t know how to use them
    She dates bad eggs, don’t know how to choose them
    She conceives of only how to fry them
    Would you fertilize them if you thought God stood by them
    They’re all babies, yes they’re all baaaaybies
    Yeah, so vote right.

    She’s as adult, hair down on her fanny
    When I beat off, I picture her in panties
    Every time she’s dancin’ she knows what to do
    She puts aspirin tween her knees, baby add a burka please
    Or god’ll hate my mind, hate my mind.
    Girl, go vote right.

    She’s got eggs, don’t know how to use them
    She dates bad eggs, she sure know how to choose them
    She wants a dime, to report some rapist’s crime.
    But these beta bucks are all mine.

    Oh, I want her,
    Shit I got to own her
    Her eggs all right, in His sight
    Girl, go vote right
    Go vote right!

    I wrote this in preparation for a punk rally of mock-covers parodying the right’s ideas of why would should support them.

    Though it’s intended to be played in the US, I kept the name republican out of it for more widespread utility.

  148. David Marjanović says

    *pops in*

    The paper that describes Dreadnoughtus is in open access, you know.

    A Gigantic, Exceptionally Complete Titanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from Southern Patagonia, Argentina

    I particularly enjoy how often the words “gigantic” and “giant” are used. There’s even “all truly gigantic titanosaurs (sensu Sander et al.^4; i.e., those with an adult body mass exceeding 40 metric tons)” – the term has a definition. :-)

    “Furthermore, despite its estimated mass of about 59.3 metric tons, the bone histology of the Dreadnoughtus type specimen reveals that this individual was still growing at the time of death.”

    Too bad the authors misuse the term “Old English” so blatantly. They’re off by a thousand years.

    *pops ou– naaah, reads post on Metaspriggina*

  149. says

    Hi all!

    Hope everyone is having a tolerable day. I’m working and watching The Right Stuff in the background. I love this movie. So, ah…that’s all…just checking in.

    Anyway, hugs to anyone who wants some.

  150. says

    Armed militia members who think they should be patrolling the southern border of the USA have caused all kinds of problems. One recent story detailed how a real border agent mistook a militia man for either an illegal immigrant, or a “coyote” helping immigrants to enter the USA illegally. Seeing a gun, the border agent fired. Luckily, the militia member was not shot, and he did put down his gun and surrender to the agent.

    Now we see that another problem has cropped up. Militia members are threatening and harassing conservationists and scientists conducting studies near the border.

    Conservationists studying bats in Arizona were recently confronted by a group of armed militia members who confused them for border crossers or smugglers, a local sheriff told television station KOLD.

    The TV station reported on Tuesday that Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said the militia members were wearing camouflage and were heavily armed when they arrived on ATVs and confronted the scientists on the night of Aug. 23.

    “Obviously they mistook them for smugglers or illegal entrants,” said Estrada. “They were armed. They put a spotlight on them.”

    The scientists reported the incident to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s office and were unreceptive to the militia’s apology. Estrada said the confrontation luckily didn’t turn violent but noted that the volunteer militia isn’t welcome in Santa Cruz County.

    “They really don’t accomplish anything,” Estrada said. “They really don’t. With about a 1,000 border patrol agents here in Santa Cruz County, a little group of militia men are not gonna make any difference at all. As a matter of fact, they’re going to get in the way and they could get hurt. Or they could hurt somebody else.”


  151. says

    Joan Rivers has died.

    Joan Rivers, the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities, died Thursday. She was 81.

    Rivers was hospitalized last week after she went into cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor’s office following a routine procedure. Daughter Melissa Rivers said she died surrounded by family and close friends. […]


  152. Morgan!? Militant Pacifist says

    Watched “Frozen” last night. If ever a film was designed to be a gooey Broadway musical, this is it. Ick.

  153. says

    Religion and Ebola, an unfortunate combination.

    A Nigerian doctor with Ebola carried on treating patients and met scores of friends, relatives and medics before his death, leaving about 60 of them at high risk of infection, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday.

    Members of his church visited him in hospital in the oil hub Port Harcourt and performed a healing ceremony “said to involve the laying on of hands”, said the U.N. agency.

    “Given these multiple high-risk exposure opportunities, the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt has the potential to grow larger and spread faster than the one in Lagos,” the WHO said.


  154. says


    Recent events have shown that the Internet is a safe and inclusive space for all women (JK, LOL, AHOO-HOO-HAH-HAH). Thankfully, former Facebook employee Susan Johnson has launched Women.com, a question-driven social media site that may make that dream as close to a reality as possible—and considering her aspirations for the platform, I couldn’t be more excited.

    Women.com is still in an invite-only beta stage (you can request to join via Twitter. I’m hoping to check out the party soon), and, much like Yahoo Answers, is a forum where users can pose questions and then upvote results. However, unlike the anonymous respondents on Yahoo, a Women.Com account links back to the user’s Facebook. This way members have some accountability even when accessing a more private platform than Facebook to pose tricky questions. (Slate’s article on Women.com lists a sample question as “Friend’s husband is cheating. Do I say something?” Not necessarily a question you want on your wall, unless the answer is definitely “yes.”)

    In an interview with Slate, Johnson discussed the ways she hopes the platform will evolve as it gains popularity, saying she was inspired to create the site so frequently-silenced voices could finally be heard

  155. says

    I’m feeling a bit less smitey this evening. I didn’t brandish Mr Bolty even once (although there were a couple of times I was tempted), and my remaining mending projects worked out, and so did the rest of the things I had to do.

    [returns all hugs, with interest and extra kittens and refills hugs basket.]

  156. cicely says


    Pear butter? Is this really a thing? And is it commercially available?


    Well, we have farmers markets with fresh pears for a while yet, so it certainly could be…

    A quick look at Teh Webz suggests that it runs in the $5-per-jar range, and I’m sure there’d be Shipping and Handling as well, so probably around $10 for a jar—which is a bit out of our budget for gourmet noms, right now.
    It’s a pity my kitchen skillz are such suck. Well, plus, of course, we’d have to buy the jars, and I have a vague notion that pressure canning equipment is involved.
    So, not in my stars, I guess.
    My taste buds are intrigued, though.


    A Nigerian doctor with Ebola carried on treating patients and met scores of friends, relatives and medics before his death, leaving about 60 of them at high risk of infection, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday.


    <Comic Sans>“Recent events have shown that the Internet is a safe and inclusive space for all women”</Comic Sans>
    There we go.
    Much better, now.
    Incidentally, do we have Comic Sans capability these days? The old <q> approach doesn’t seem to work….