This is Thunderdome, the unmoderated open thread on Pharyngula. Say what you want, how you want.

Status: UNMODERATED; Previous thread


  1. says

    Well this is just stupid and offensive:
    Why Is A State Historical Society Honoring A Discredited Book About Matthew Shepard?

    The Wyoming State Historical Society honored a book that asserts college student Matthew Shepard wasn’t murdered because he was gay, but was instead killed in a drug-related incident – even though the book relies on wild extrapolation and questionable or anonymous sources and has been denounced as “fictional” by lawyers and investigators involved in the case.

    On September 6, the society gave Stephen Jimenez’s The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard an honorable mention in the nonfiction book category at a Gillette, WY luncheon.

    Jimenez’s book contends that Shepard’s 1998 murder in Laramie was actually the result of Shepard’s involvement in the methamphetamine trade – and that, through the meth trade, Shepard knew his attackers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, prior to their encounter at a bar the night they brutally bludgeoned Shepard. What’s more, Jimenez claims that Shepard and McKinney were actually secret lovers – a claim McKinney has steadfastly denied and for which there’s no evidence besides the word of a few shady Laramie characters. The Book of Matt dismisses strong evidence of McKinney’s homophobia – including his use of the epithet “fag” to describe Shepard , his statement that he had “hatred for homosexuals ” the night of the attack, and his reference to himself as a “drunk homofobick [sic]” – by blaming such language on McKinney’s fondness for rap music.

    People familiar with the case – including Henderson’s appellate attorney , Albany County Sheriff Dave O’Malley, and Albany County Undersheriff Robert Debree — condemned Jimenez’s book as factually challenged, and the Matthew Shepard Foundation noted that The Book of Matt relied on “rumors and innuendo .” Its biggest fans so far have appeared to be right-wing media personalities, who seized on the book to assail the LGBT community.

    So why is the Wyoming State Historical Society honoring the book?

    Rick Ewig, the society’s president, told the Billings Gazette that the award “doesn’t mean we accept the interpretation” of the book, suggesting that the society was honoring the book simply because it attempted to investigate part of Wyoming’s history:

    Why would you want to honor such a deceptive piece of shit like that book?

  2. says

    Hi CD, I very much appreciate your reply, and to short-circuit a lengthier series of responses – rather than take the discussion to an OP where, as you suggest, it might well interfere with the separate progress of the gender workshop, would it not be both simpler and wiser to postpone that particular discussion to a later, more appropriate date? I am very amenable to the idea of letting the topic ‘sit’ not only because I am aware of the complex series of social and cultural interactions and responses that surround the issues (which I am happy to admit my brief responses barely skimmed the surface of), but also because it would be especially obtuse to attempt to tease out those issues in adversarial format, and if you have my e-mail address as I think you already do, then there is nothing stopping us from privately working that out on our own rather than troubling our squidly overlord.
    Also with love and respect – CX.

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


    I think you slightly misunderstand.

    The issues came up by virtue of an interaction with you, but I’ve wanted to address them for a long time anyway. When I was teaching women’s studies, I covered this. It’s part of my bag of tricks. I don’t want to e-mail you to hash out the issues with you.

    I wanted to e-mail you, if you desired, to make sure that you understood that I **wasn’t** intending to create a public Diana-v-Xanthë cage match in Battle of the Trans* lay-experts in Psychology 40. If you don’t want me to address the issue publicly because of the optics, I will not address the issue at the time because optics are a valid concern, even if it is not as important to me as substance. E-mail was a chance to say things like, “I would feel attacked,” to me without having to say it to everyone in TD.

    It wasn’t because I felt the need to “work something out with you”. Just trying to make sure that my actions don’t harm you. I’m perfectly comfortable that I have enough information (even though one could always have more) to justify the types of conclusions (practical and ethical) I have made. You could certainly persuade me otherwise, but I’m doubtful, as I’ve been having conversations for 20 years now on the ethics of DSM inclusion, psychological and pharmacological and surgical gatekeeping, and the interplay of harm reduction and oppression eradication in a pro-trans* humanity movement. In those 20 years, my opinions have changed quite a bit, but not for some time. It’s been many years since someone raised a point I hadn’t considered seriously, and longer since a revision in my conclusions was more than an adjustment in strategy or tactics given a changing social environment.

    So, no, I don’t feel a need to hash things out. I feel a need to talk about this stuff, thought it timely, but worried very much about doing so in a way that would be hurtful to you.

    If you do end up changing my mind, however, it would be no less than I expect from someone who takes her advocacy and her facts and her love of others so seriously.

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

    Or maybe you understood that already & I’m just projecting because of my nervousness of hurting someone.

    Whatever. We’re both coming from good places, it’ll be fine.

  5. yazikus says

    I don’t think I’ve ever left the five hundredth comment before. But, I don’t want the awesomeness that is the art of Andy Goldsworthy to get lost in the T-Dome. Seriously, if anyone needs a neat documentary to watch, Rivers and Tides was great. I think I’m loving my new gravatar.

  6. yazikus says


    I’m still not seeing the new you.

    Words I said to myself every time I moved growing up. Three years was the max I lived anywhere (six months was the least), and I always had the idea that I could be a ‘new me’ in the new place. Doesn’t work very well. Time will tell?

  7. Ichthyic says

    I always had the idea that I could be a ‘new me’ in the new place. Doesn’t work very well.

    I, and millions of others, will support your experiences with similar observational data.

  8. yazikus says

    I am bored. Can’t sleep, and bored. I need to be not-bored.

    But Daz, surely there are some chores you could do, right? That is what my mom always told me… /justkidding
    Do you have access to netflix? There are some great documentaries you could watch… A Man Named Pearl was great, and Planet B-Boy was super fun. If you are up for feeling sad, Dear Zachary will break your heart. I’ve been enjoying the latest iteration of Anthony Bourdain’s show, Parts Unknown. The Myanmar episode was fascinating, and the one on the DRC was hearbreaking, and important.

  9. says

    Question for anyone plumbing minded: The faucet in my kitchen sink leaks just a tad (for that matter, so does the bathtub faucet). Is this a fix I can do myself?
    If it isn’t obvious, I’m woefully inept at stuff like that (I don’t know why I’m just not asking anyone about this, as the drips have been ongoing for YEARS).

  10. Ichthyic says

    Is this a fix I can do myself?


    if you take the faucet apart, it should be obvious which part has gotten worn (often a gasket is either worn or has become too stiff with age).

    …just make sure you remember to turn off the water pressure to the faucet first :)

  11. Ichthyic says

    Sadly, I don’t have netflix.

    rabbithole trip through youtube. always good for killing a couple of hours… at least.

  12. says

    Ah, thanks.
    I suppose I’ll need some replacement parts, which means I have to wait til my job starts (waiting on the damn liquor license to arrive at the restaurant). I’m really ready for this “summer vacation” to be over.

  13. says

    Lack of transparency in the media? No waaaaaaaaay.

    The Society of Professional Journalists, the “leading professional association of working journalists,” overhauled its Code of Ethics to include new transparency provisions partly in response to 60 Minutes’ Benghazi debacle and CNN’s failure to disclose Newt Gingrich’s political ties, the group’s ethics chair said Monday.

    He also cited Washington Post columnist George Will’s failure to disclose his ties to conservative group Americans for Prosperity as the type of conflict of interest journalists should seek to avoid.

    On September 6, SPJ announced the release of its first new Code of Ethics in 18 years, Smith said. The group explained that the “code is voluntarily embraced by thousands of journalists, regardless of place or platform, and is widely used in newsrooms and classrooms as a guide for ethical behavior.”

    Kevin Smith, outgoing SPJ ethics chair, told Media Matters the revisions were done in part to address the growing problems with transparency, including news outlets failing to disclose clear conflicts of interest.

    “I think there is a lot of room to criticize a lot of media today for their lack of transparency,” Smith said following the release of the new code on Saturday. “On Fox, I’ve seen it happen, on CNN, the Wall Street Journal, these conflicts that show up, they do not reveal them in the story.”

  14. Ichthyic says

    typically, faucet leaks are easy fixes with cheap parts.

    mine usually get fixed for under ten bucks.

    they aren’t complicated things, really.

    only complications arise when there is a crack in the main fixture or something obvious like that, in which case you’ll have to replace the fixture.

  15. Ichthyic says

    …btw, if your fixture is a common one, often hardware stores will sell kits with the parts you need to fix just such leaks.

    All you have to do is go to your local hardware/plumbing store and say:

    “I have fixture “X”, and it’s leaking. got a kit?”

    and they likely will be able to provide you with all the parts you need to fix it up good as new.

  16. Ichthyic says

    enjoy your new found career!


    seriously, faucet fixes are easy, but if you have actual leaky pipes?

    it’s time to call a plumber.

  17. says

    I tend to hear annoying sounds, so sitting in my living room, I can hear the drip in the kitchen sink, so I have to angle the faucet so that the leak hits the center of the sink juuuuust right, so as to produce the most minimal of annoying sounds.

    Boy I don’t want to know how much water has been wasted over the years…

  18. says

    Want to do Something to Reduce the Achievement Gap for At Risk Children?–Support Music Education:

    Recently released results of a study on the effect of music lessons on the cognitive abilities of disadvantaged children add more data to the ever growing body of evidence that music has a powerful and positive impact on the human brain, especially in children.

    Researchers from the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern spent two summers with children in Los Angeles who were receiving music lessons through Harmony Project, a non-profit organization providing free music education to low-income students. In order to document how music education changed children’s brains, students were hooked up to a neural probe that allowed researchers to see how children “distinguished similar speech sounds, a neural process that is linked to language and reading skills,” according to a press release.

    After two years of music lessons students at the Harmony Project were performing at a much higher level than other students in the same area.

    Since 2008, over 90 percent of high school seniors who participated in Harmony Project’s free music lessons went on to college, even though the high school dropout rates in the surrounding Los Angeles areas can reach up to 50 percent, according to a Northwestern press release.

    For musicians, music educators, neuroscientists and pretty much anyone paying attention to the existing and emerging research on music and the brain, this comes as no surprise. What is a surprise is that with such a wealth of scholarly data on the value added by music to the academic achievement of children, it is still the first subject to be cut from most any public school curriculum.

  19. says

    @ Tony

    Should be suite easy to fix. You will likely find you only need to replace some washers. Definitely get the right size spanners, and turn off the water supply to that area, before you start. Washers are usually in standard sizes, so you can take a picture of your tap, with dimensions, to your hardware store and get a few. Or take the whole tap if they are nearby.

    When in doubt, Youtube can sort you out!

  20. says

    On the subject of music education, a petition:

    Across England, thousands of children are being denied a proper music education.

    In one school I visited, the annual music budget was just £2.20 per pupil per year. Some teachers have nothing at all.

    It’s a scandal.

    Learning an instrument changed my life. It actually saved my life. And now I’m lucky enough to perform around the world as a concert pianist.

    But music doesn’t just bring us joy. The UK music industry contributes £3.5billion to our economy.

    Learning an instrument has also been proven to boost children’s self-confidence, discipline, teamwork, concentration and performance in other subjects.

    The Government knows this. In the National Plan for Music Education published in 2011, it declared: “Children from all backgrounds and every part of England should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument”.

    This isn’t happening.

    And from the email alert:

    What instrument did you learn at school? Probably not a rubbish bin, a margarine tub, or a chocolate tin. Yet that’s what some of our children are playing, as their schools don’t have real instruments.

  21. Derek Vandivere says

    #36 / Daz – That’s actually already better than what they do here in Holland! You get some chorus and maybe recorder, but Dutch public education seems to have no real music programme. All my bandmates think it’s kind of weird that I came up playing in school bands (especially marching band).

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

    crossposting Lounge/TD:

    Does anyone know anything about the Macbook pro retina?

    My computer is not recognizing its battery

    So the moment the magsafe slips, my computer is toast – instant shutdown now shutdown process, info lost.

    Of course, I can restart it when I plug the cable in again, but that doesn’t help the lost info and it doesn’t help the nervousness of knowing that any second everything you’re doing could be lost.

    I’ve reset the SMC. The reset happened appropriately (orange-flashgreen-orange cycle on power cord LED indicated it happened appropriately anyway).

    No change in ability to draw power from battery.

    Interestingly, the battery power sits @46% – so it’s obviously talking to the battery in some way.

    I know this is a model (MacBook Pro retina display, December 2012) that says I shouldn’t remove the battery on my own.

    Is there anything else I can do?

    As far as sources of the problem, I did leave the machine on the bathroom counter while I took a steamy shower. Nothing was spilled on the computer. Battery behavior changed immediately after hot shower. Nothing else remotely occurs to me as a possible source for the troubles. No drops, no nothing. I really, really don’t have money for fixing this, so any help is appreciated.

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


    1: will an apology to the leather community come out of HRC, like, ever?

    2: “underrepresented or unrepresented”
    what about the “misrepresented and attacked”?

    Seems like weak tea…and I know something about tea.

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

    I’ll look around, but when I was more connected nationally…well,mostly when Kerry Lobel was in charge of NGLTF b/c I had a good working relationship with her and a close relationship with her mentor, but I did have contacts @ HRC itself as well and other avenues for info… it was something of an inside scandal that HRC forced out its first openly leather member of its board. They specifically recruited this person so that leather communities could be represented, then when the person turned out to be **unapologetically** leather (I think they were looking for the SE Cupp of the leather community and got Greg Epstein by accident) though still a bridge builder, they forced this person out. They had recently gotten the first Trans* member of the board. The trans* member quit in solidarity.

    So, yeah, specifically on the leather community, but even when they aren’t calling out the leather community, what do you think its about when they do all their media with those suburban, lesbians-with-kids carried by one mom with the egg donated by another, or suburban (always white – lesbians can be people of color, but not the fags!) gay men with their adopted kids or kids for whom they provided the sperm and hired a surrogate for 10s of thousands of bucks?

    “Just like you” = not a scary black man, not a scary assless-chaps fag, no leathers, no drag community, no freaky gender – Chai Feldblum’s fine*. Quo-li Driscoll less so.

    *And Chai Feldblum is fine. This isn’t a slight to Chai who is quite nice in person and quite a competent lawyer, possibly even an excellent one, though I’m not in a position to judge. Not to mention quite determined to create a better environment for human thriving, so there’s that too.

  25. says


    Imma gonna get back at Tpyos! (I’ve switched my keypad to “Afrikaans”. Let’s see how long hierdie ploy lasts…)

    Crip Dyke

    I get mixed emotions seeing you posting here:

    1. Gratitude, because you helped me with understanding a bit of the opportune concepts in labour law,
    2. Guilt, because I have not filled you in on the denouement to that whole horrible affair. (Spoiler Alert: It ended in our favour.)

    Enough time has passed now. If you see comments by me that look like liturgies to Tpyos, they will be the meaty bits in ROT13.

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


    Listen, Mark over in the “I get e-mail” thread has some very sophisticated math, not yet shown, but I’m sure thoroughly accurate, that will show that there has not been enough time since the universe began for random interactions to mix your e-motions. Clearly your emotions were created like this. They are as good and natural as trees, pirates, mountains, and midgets.

    Really. you owe me nothing. All praise is to our Noodly Creator.

    If you happen to drop something in rot13, I’ll be happy to read it. And I remember the general thing you’re talking about, so knowing how it worked out isn’t bad either. But really, you owe me nothing. No sweat. Not even any drool.

  27. AlexanderZ says

    Aftermath of the Israel-Gaza war:
    Israel is now investigating about 100 cases of potential criminal acts on its part in Gaza. Judging from previous similar investigations, Israel is likely to single out a couple or so low-ranking scapegoats to protect itself and its image from any serious international investigation.
    Human rights groups aren’t impressed either.
    While this goes on, another person is killed in the West Bank and Israel prepares to appropriate even more land there.

    In other news, Russia is engaging in a show of force in Crimea, by conducting military exercises against naval targets only a short distance away from NATO warships. Russia has also abducted an Estonian security officer, driving the tension with NATO even higher. On Russian television politicians, including Putin, are talking about developing new and redeploying existing MIRV nukes “for defense purposes”.

  28. AlexanderZ says

    Crip Dyke #41
    i don’t know anything about Macs, but if you’re using MS Office for Macs you can configure your documents to autosave every 5 minutes. Won’t help you anywhere else, but at least you’ll lose less stuff when your computer drops dead.

  29. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    First, I wan to thank all of you. Your support, your honesty, your willingness to call me on the bullshit when my depression was getting the worser of me, has helped me immensely.


    Three or four years ago, if anyone had asked, I would have told them that I didn’t like being a Cub Scout. If they had pressed me, I might have just said that one of the leaders was a pervert and left it at that.

    On June 15, 2012, thanks to a now-banned asswipe, I made this comment . As far as I know, that was the first time, ever, I admitted what happened to me. The first time I actually thought that what he had done to me was rape. And, I suspect, that I couldn’t even have given details.

    That changed.

    Over then next year, the next two years, the memories came fast. And hard. Sometimes reducing me to tears. Sometimes driving me into deep depression. Sometimes driving me into a barely-controlled rage. The guilt, the shame, the remembered pain, the remembered pleasure, the knowledge that I hurt others, the knowledge that I helped to recruit other children, was almost — almost — overpowering. His teachings, the ones that accompanied the rapes, were scary. He taught me to be a man — and a man is allowed to use children/girls/women for his own pleasure whether they agree or not and dammit, kid, you will be a man unless you want men hurting you like this for your whole life.

    You saved me. The collective you — the horde. Without you, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have ended up in the hospital again for depression. Or maybe this time my suicide attempt would have been successful. Though I had suicidal thoughts — often — I never came close to acting on them. And for that, I thank all of you.

    A year ago, in a truly frightening thread about rape, which drifted into the realm of those victims who offend, I remembered, and wrote about, the time that I did what he trained me to do. When I hurt S, a girl of four or five, I was under the direct control of my rapist. The first times he told me what to do — after that, I learned what he wanted, and needed no direction. He had turned me into a weapon, a weapon he used so that he could get off watching one child abuse another. When I was 12 1/2, I walked into a room where the three girls that I was babysitting were engaged in very adult sexual ‘play.’ And, though he was not there, though he had no physical presence, he was in my mind and I did what he taught me to do. I performed as a weapon the way that he had taught me, indoctrinated me, brainwashed(?) me.

    And I realized that this was wrong. On every level, it was wrong. And I never went down his road again. Ever. As a child, a teenager, an adult, the thought of raping, abusing, molesting, assaulting, a child or an adult makes me feel physically ill.

    In other words, he failed to make me into another one of him.

    But I still did what I did.

    When I found Pharyngula, all of this shit, what I was, what I had done, what was done through me, what was done to me, was behind a brick wall. I had, however, found a place that I felt welcome, a place where I could be me, a place where I could be happy. And then, as that wall crumbled, and the memories came through, I crumbled, too. And I was so deliriously happy that, as I related my memories, you were still supporting.

    And I got so wrapped up in feeling accepted that I did not realize that I was making survivors uncomfortable. That I was making survivors feel unwelcome, feel threatened, feel revictimized.

    Happiest Sadist, I am so sorry. I was so selfishly wrapped up in my own problems that I did not see what I was doing to you and to other survivors.

    All survivors, I apologize. My selfishness has hurt people, has hurt survivors.

    Be safe, all of you.

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

    Thanks, AlexanderZ:

    Before Mavericks, autosaves weren’t easily implemented, and weren’t at all implemented in the iLife programs and many of the otherwise-good programs designed for low-cost, ease-of-use, reliability, and platform/program independence that is frequently the strength of software for the mac.

    Post-Mavericks, autosaves are easily globally implemented and Pages and other software really do autosave and autorecover much better, much easier, much more thoroughly.

    No, it’s longwinded comments on internet websites that will frustrate me if lost – no one implements autosave of web comments.

    Fortunately, I have never been known to be longwinded on the internet.

  31. says


    I’ve missed you. I love you. I care. I want you in my life.

    And I got so wrapped up in feeling accepted that I did not realize that I was making survivors uncomfortable. That I was making survivors feel unwelcome, feel threatened, feel revictimized.

    You have not, and are not, making survivors uncomfortable. You made a few people uncomfortable, people who do not hang out at Pharyngula. Happiest Sadist has not been back since raging at you. You are a longstanding member of this community, and you are wanted, needed, and cared about here.

  32. cicely says

    First, *immense-hug-backlog-dump*

    My selfishness has hurt people, has hurt survivors.

    You are also one of those survivors.
    Don’t forget this.
    Observation suggests that it is not possible to be able to write in certain knowledge that you are not tap dancing, all unsuspecting, on somebody else’s triggers.
    For that, there are empathy, sympathy, and (where needed) apologies; ideally, on the part of all parties involved.
    Please don’t let your inadvertent triggering of others chase you away.
    You are an Important Part of This (Oddly) Balanced Breakfast.

  33. says

    I, like many people here, still call you friend, and care deeply about you. I think you’ve grown into a really great person, and I’d love to see you stay around here.
    Whatever you choose, be well my friend.

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

    Og, I’m not going to tell you your actions haven’t hurt other survivors.

    But I will say that we all have a bit of narcissism. I’m full of self-hate and self-loathing and yet I frankly love it when I can nail the conversion of an important point that I think more people should understand AND lace it liberally with humor. I can get very self-satisfied when i think I’ve done that. My efforts to achieve that, in memory of efforts I perceive as past successes, have probably led me to say things that hurt people.

    Given failed humor is amongst the least worthwhile excuses for that shit, I have, I’m sure, as much reason to be self-critical as you. If you want to take the time to be self-critical, I’ll hold your hand. I’ll hold it as we look back into the searing light together.

    And if HappiestSadist or any other survivor among the Horde ever wanted the same, I’d happily be there for that person as well.

    You can suggest it as many times as you like, but I will never condition my support for survivors on their perfection. Never.

  35. says

    I’ll also add that it’s probable I’ve triggered people, Ogvorbis. It will happen, we can’t cover every possibility. And while you feel very responsible on that point, you’ve forgotten one: you’re also a pillar of support to a lot of people, I’m one of them. So call me selfish, but my life is made better and easier for having you in it.

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


    you’re also a pillar of support to a lot of people, I’m one of them. So call me selfish, but my life is made better and easier for having you in it.

    Something I also should have noted. I tend to be upfront about conceding your faults, Og, because I don’t want to fight about them. Frankly, there are times when I disagree, at least with the spirit, of your fault finding.

    But I don’t want to ever, **ever** communicate the idea that no, you’re actually worthy of support because you’re actually good. Because then any time you’re not feeling like you’re good, you are at risk of believing that if I only knew X, I would find you “bad” or at least “bad enough” and with you no longer “good enough” I would cease to support you.

    So I tend to concede everything, and say, fuck it. You can do evil without being a monster. You can make a horrible choice for which you deserve to be held accountable, and not have any of that accountability be the loss of status as a human being, the loss of the support of the people around you in genuine, good faith efforts to be a better person.

    I concede, in short, because I don’t want to contribute to a debate in your head about whether or not you are worthy of support. Dealing with your rape? You get the support any rape survivor gets. Because you’re a rape survivor, not because you’re perfect or good or just like me.

    But it’s also true that, in trying not to play into the scripted debate in your head which imagines there is some “good enough” line in relation to which some number of people exist on each side, I don’t scrutinize the good you do. I don’t do it primarily because I don’t want you to ever think that it’s this or that act, rather than your basic humanity, that earns you my support.

    But you do do good. And it needs to be said sometimes. Iyéska said it a moment ago. I’m saying it now:

    You deserve support because you are a human being whom another raped. You get the love you do, from me, from Iyéska, from many others, because of the good you’ve done and the connections you’ve forged.

  37. opposablethumbs says

    Ogvorbis, I am very happy to see you again. I hope you stay – when you want, for as long as you want. I think CD has put it very well.

  38. says

    Does anyone else get a ‘something’s off’ vibe about Acetylcholine? In the Anti-Feminist Logic thread, and the Every time I’m sure they’ve sunk as low as they can get, they start drilling deeper thread, their contributions all had to do with retaliation.

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

    yeah, I’ve gotten that, Iyéska. Not just you.

  40. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    An Oggie sighting!!!!!!
    Grog, swill, and bacon sammiches for all.
    Stay Oggie, stay…..
    *dang, that put an old Dylan earworm into my head*

  41. says

    Here’s a scenario where “Hey kid, get off my lawn” *should* have been said (with literal intent), rather than pulling out a gun:

    A Texas man was charged with assault this week after he opened fire at a teen who was trying to retrieve a Frisbee disc that landed in his yard.

    City spokesperson Sara Higgins told the Midland Reporter-Telegram that the 19 year old had been playing Frisbee golf on Tuesday when the disc accidentally flew into the yard of 43-year-old Buddy Myers.

    The teen reportedly knocked on the man’s front door, but no one answered. He then tried to peer over the backyard fence. That’s when Myers allegedly exited the home with a pistol, and fired a shot in the direction of the teen.

    When Midland police arrived on the scene at around 10 a.m., they found Myers barricaded in his home. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

    City officials said that the teen had a legal right to retrieve his Frisbee from Meyers’ yard.

    “They weren’t trying to go into the backyard to do any harm, they were trying to retrieve their own property,” Higgins explained to KMID. “Again, we wouldn’t advise to do that, and to take matters into your own hands. But what they did, did not warrant getting shot at.”
    Neighbors told KOSA that Meyers had hated the Frisbee golfers playing in a park behind his home.

    “The park’s really booming back there but Buddy didn’t like the Frisbees flying in his back yard,” neighbor Steve Conley noted. “So it was obvious that he was hot about it.”

    You’re so mad at kids playing frisbee golf that you’re willing to kill over it?
    Yet another taintstain who should NEVER be allowed to possess a gun.

  42. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Ogvorbis, you are not the one hurting people by being here. That fault is with the dishonest brokers who use your story to try to smear those they hate.

    As it stands, if you continued to act this way once you were away from your abuser, you would deserve to be condemned. But your story is a classic case of a child being abused and groomed. And those who try to use you as a weapon are engaging in victim blaming.

    Not that any of this can help you feel better about what happened.

    Ogvorbis, be well. And I hope you do not go away.

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


    I actually think it looks cool. If they had a soy cheese or almond cheese that they darkened with squid ink, and a vegan patty, I’d totally try it.

  44. The Mellow Monkey says

    A burger with smoked everything? I can dig it. Like CD, I’d prefer a vegan patty and cheese alternative, though.

  45. Dhorvath, OM says

    Glad I am to read you again. Take care and if you should come around more often, well, I would welcome that too.

  46. vaiyt says

    How’s the yearly Truther circus going on over there in the States? Some of my hangouts always got visited by them every year around this day, but this time things got a bit quiet.

  47. knowknot says

    I just have to say this somewhere.
    Was just watching Jon Stewart talking with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
    With regard to “certain developments” in the world he said this:

    How can you be so cruel, as a human being?

    Note that he doesn’t have the kind of problems with English that result in accidentally cute or sentimental verbal constructions.
    I spent 20 seconds trying to remember when I’d last heard anything similar to this, in any form, from anyone involved in anything like “high level” politics.
    Then cried.

  48. says

    I’ve never watched anything from Jon Stewart*, though I’ve heard many good things about him across FtB. Knowknot, your comment above mine has convinced me to watch the clip you speak of. Would you happen to have a link?

    *my laptop is borked. I can only use it effectively in safe mode, but volume is disabled in that mode. I also don’t watch much television. I don’t think I even get whatever channel Stewart’s show comes on. Then there’s the fact that I’m just not that much of a video guy (I hate that sites like i09 make use of so many videos. I’d rather read an article.)

  49. Pteryxx says

    The clip’s well worth watching, just to hear Ban Ki-moon in his own voice. I transcribed a bit of it with the help of Comedy Central’s captions, but the text really doesn’t do it justice. Jon Stewart’s asking him about getting consensus and dealing with all these multiple crises all over the world.

    Ban Ki-moon: Some people may think that the president has all the powers, but I think it’s the people. The civil society, NGOs, they have now more power, more voice. I think particularly young people, they should raise their voices: ‘Look, Mr. President, this is my world, I’m going to live in this world so please make this world safe and prosperous and where everybody’s human dignity is respected. I think they have the legitimate prerogative, rights. That is why I’m asking our young generation, you have all the tools, like social media, that they can, you know, generate a strong power all around the world. So, raise your voice.

    Jon: Do you still believe in the idealism that can rise up and snuff out the types of extremism that we’ve been seeing? You are still an optimist?

    Ban Ki-moon: We have to work and we have to address them. We have to be united. This is unacceptable, in the name of humanity. How can they be so brutal? How can they be so cruel, as a human being.

    Jon: Yes.

    Ban Ki-moon: We have address this one. I’m asking whole world, regardless of political ideology one may have. We have to unite in the name of humanity.

    Jon: Well, you would hope that we will get to that tipping point and there will be that type of groundswell. And I appreciate you very much for being here, I know you have a tremendous amount of work to do.

  50. knowknot says

    @82 Tony!
    Lathe of Heaven!!!
    The Dispossesed!!!
    Left Hand of Darkness!!!
    The first two are my personal favorites.
    I – again personally – never liked her short stories. Felt to me as though her imagination and compassion for character were just imprisoned in short form…

  51. says

    Cross posted from the Lounge:
    Here’s an interesting study on Hollywood’s treatment of LGBT actors. It’s apparently the first of its kind.
    Here’s an article from Deadline about the study:

    A survey of 5,700 SAG-AFTRA members has found that more than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual performers “have heard directors and producers make anti-gay comments about actors” and that “53% of LGBT respondents believed that directors and producers are biased against LGBT performers.” The study (read it here), conducted by UCLA’s LGBT think tank Williams Institute and funded by the SAG-Producers Industry Advancement and Cooperative Fund, will be presented formally tonight during simultaneous guild town hall meetings in L.A. and NYC.
    The study also found that more than a third of respondents reported that they had witnessed “disrespectful treatment” to LGBT performers on the set. Almost one in eight of non-LGBT performers reported witnessing discrimination against LGBT performers, including anti-gay comments by crew, directors and producers.
    “We found that LGBT performers may have substantial barriers to overcome in their search for jobs,” said the authors of the study, M. V. Lee Badgett, a Williams Institute Distinguished Scholar and Director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, and Jody L. Herman, manager of Transgender Research at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law.

    One thing I’m becoming increasingly annoyed with is the tendency to use ‘gay’ as shorthand for LGBT. It’s not. Unless you’re specifically talking about gay people, ‘gay’ shouldn’t be used. If you’re referring to both sexual orientation and gender identity, LGBT should be used, or queer (though I don’t know how much that’s used outside of the queer community-obviously not counting when it’s used as a slur).

  52. says

    I’ll be out back for a while, digging a ditch for “wait for all the facts before judging Darren Wilson” and “politically correct”. If anyone wants to help, you can carry bring the guillotine, the shovel, the stake and the flamethrower. Gotta make sure both of them are toast.
    So fucking sick n tired of hearing both of those.

  53. says

    Scientists trace Jewish history using DNA:

    An in-depth study of the entire genomes of 128 Ashkenazi Jews has the potential to provide tools to prevent or treat genetic diseases common in the community. In the process, however, it has turned up evidence of an extraordinary genetic bottleneck 700 years ago.

    Ashkenazi Jews, who until the 19th Century lived mostly in central and Eastern Europe, had a population of close to 16 million prior to the Holocaust. However, according to a study published in Nature Communications, between 25 and 32 generations ago there were just 350 ancestors.

    This doesn’t mean the Ashkenazi population at that time was that small, but that any others from that era do not have living descendents. The small ancestral population helps explain why certain genetic conditions are common among Asheknazi Jews, including both some with disastrous effects when transmitted by both parents, but debated benefits when seen on only one chromosome.

    The study found a fairly even mix of European and Middle-Eastern ancestry in the population, refuting the theory that Ashkenazi Jews have predominantly Khazar ancestry, a hypothesis supported by some credible researchers, but also often raised with racists motivations.

    Co-author, Columbia University’s Itsik Pe’er says the study was done because research into genetic diseases in the Ashkenazi population had to use non-Jews as controls. When studying Ashkenazi genomes researchers would come across variations which did not appear in other populations, but Pe’er says “the genome was not there to distinguish the variants that are there and to tell us whether they are normal or whether we should get worried.”


    First ever swimming dinosaur ate sharks:

    Finally, meet Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, a fantastic swimmer and the biggest meat-eating dinosaur ever discovered. This 95-million-year-old Cretaceous predator had a massive, spiny sail on its back, and it paddled in the river, eating sharks. Whole sharks. The findings were published in Science this week.

    The very first S. aegyptiacus fossils were discovered about a century ago in the Egyptian Sahara, and it was named “spine reptile.” Those first fossils were housed at the Bavarian State Collection, but were destroyed in World War II during an April 1944 Royal Air Force raid of Munich. “We had to wait close to 100 years for a new skeleton,” Nizar Ibrahim from the University of Chicago says in a telebriefing statement. “The animal we are resurrecting is so bizarre, it is going to force dinosaur experts to rethink many things they thought they knew.”

    Paleontologists working on desert cliffs called the Kem Kem beds in eastern Morocco recently unearthed a more complete set of fossils — including portions of a skull, axial column, pelvic girdle, and limbs — that suggests the dinosaur was semi-aquatic. This is a first: Dinosaurs were thought to be terrestrial, having never colonized aquatic environments like marine reptiles.

    Combining CT scans of new fossils with museum specimens and old sketches, Ibrahim and colleagues created a digital model of an adult specimen. Hunting down all these fossils (new and seemingly lost), along with century-old notes “was like searching for a needle in a desert,” Ibrahim says in a news release. The team also filled in the blanks by inferring from adjacent bones and using surrogates modeled after other spinosaurids like Suchomimus, Baryonyx, Irritator, and Ichthyovenator.

  54. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Someone must have paraphrased Dworkin at him and attributed the concept to all mainstream feminists. I eagerly await the excessively long and self-aggrandizing blog post wherein he “apologizes” for failing to anticipate that people would accuse him of being a blithering idiot for saying idiotic shit on Twitter.

  55. yana566 says

    So now it’s turning out Sarkeesian very likely fabricated her story about having gone to the police in the wake of the harassment she supposedly received: http://www.gamerheadlines.com/2014/09/anita-sarkeesian-faked-death-threats/

    “Davis Aurini, decided to dig a bit deeper and get in contact with Albie Esparza, San Francisco Police Department’s Media Relations officer. What Aurini found out is quite intriguing.



    Aurini: I’m calling about an incident which occurred in your district on August 26th to a Miss Anita Sarkeesian; she is a prominent cultural critic who received a number of death threats over Twitter, which wound up driving her out of her own home. This has been reported throughout the gaming media, as well as in other mainstream sources such as the LA Times, and The Telegraph-

    Esparza: I’m very familiar with the case… the incident. There’s nothing, there’s no record of any incident occurring on the 28th of August [Ed: this would be the date that she reported it, the 26th is when she received the tweets]. I’ve been trying to reach her for the past two days. If you have a way to contact this person and ask them for a case number, we’d appreciate that. There’s no record from our dispatch centre that I called and asked. There’s no record of any report being taken. So, when I saw her tweets it says “authorities”; Anita should make sure she reports to the San Fran police how she did this because there’s no record.

    Aurini: She said the officers told her she should stop doing her cultural commentary if she was receiving threats – is this the sort of thing that you would say to a victim of harassment?

    Esparza: No, but that’s hearsay. That’s third party information, so I’m not going to speculate on whether or not that was said, but we wouldn’t say that to someone.

    Aurini: Would that possibly be disciplinary action, if an officer were to say such a thing?

    Esparza: We’re not going to talk about hypothetical situations because that would be hearsay. There’s no record of that incident occurring, so I’m not going to speculate. It’s inappropriate to make comments on that.

    Aurini: I have some colleagues who have received harassment in other districts, and the police there recommended that they not respond it, or discuss it online, once the investigations has begun. Is that your department’s policy, and if not, what advice would you give to somebody who was receiving threats?

    Esparza: If somebody receives a threat – and we’re talking specifically online: text messaging, twitter, email, that type of stuff – it’s important to document it. So they should somehow save – either a text message or an email or a tweet – if they can capture that and bring it to the police station as evidence, that would be booked. It’s very important that they document it, as long as can do so safely. It’s very important because, again, if they don’t do it and this continues, you never know what can happen. At least document it, if the person has any leads we will do our best, we take it seriously when somebody makes threats against someone’s life, so we would ask that they file a report, bring the evidence, so we can initiate an investigation.

    Aurini: Would your department handle online harassment, or is this the sort of thing that you would pass on to the FBI or somebody else?

    Esparza: Well, certainly it depends on the nature of the threat. Typically, for a threat our department would handle it. If it’s anything more significant – as far as maybe local domestic terrorism, that kind of stuff – it would move to the FBI or federal agents, but typically the city would handle it.

    Aurini: If it was an online anonymous account – we don’t know who the person is, it’s a fake account – would you possibly pass that on because it’s not a local issue, such as a domestic violence issue between a local couples

    Esparza: We would certainly investigate it if we feel that it’s something that is happening on a larger scale, we would share with our regional partners or even federal agents. Every case is an individual and the needs are different, but typically it’s something [garbled] it would be shared amongst our law enforcement partners.

    Aurini: You said you were trying to get a hold of Ms. Sarkeesian because you’ve never heard of it? You would like the case number that she would have received if she reported it as she claims?

    Esparza: Right, so I do have a report for Ms. Sarkeesian was a victim of threats as well, but this was back in March of this year. So that’s the only record I found. But there’s nothing as of yet for August.

    [~20 seconds of audio redacted; Anita’s contact information was mentioned]

    Esparza: The things it says on her tweets, she reports “authorities” but there are multiple police agencies in San Francisco, so I want to make sure she reported the harassment to the local police, and I did call the local precinct where she lives, they don’t have any records of an investigation with her name currently. The only thing that came up in my system was a case from March of this year.

    Aurini: So you are the public representative for the entire San Francisco area? All of the districts within?

    Esparza: San Francisco PD, yes.

    Some more sources backing up the story above have been located.

    Twitter user, @Nero (also known as Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos), has been conducting a similar investigation into Anita Sarkeesian’s death threat incident, and has posted the following tweets (listed in chronological order):

    “San Francisco Police Department has confirmed to me that it received no complaint from Anita Sarkeesian in August, as she claims. #GamerGate”

    There’s also an email that they received from Esparza again confirming they received no complaint from Sarkeesian on 28th of August, though there was one in March.

    Yiannopoulus has also stated the following:

    “On Monday morning I’ll be submitting a FOIA request to the FBI, to see what, if anything, they’ve discussed with Sarkeesian. #GamerGate“

    FOIA stands for “Freedom of Information Act.” You can see what it entails below (from FOIA.gov):

    “The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the right to access information from the federal government. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.”

    It will be interesting to see what information the FOIA request reveals.

    Now, a pertinent question would be, “What if Anita Sarkeesian didn’t report the death threat incident to the local (San Francisco) police department, but the FBI instead?” However, that would be another article entirely.

    If what Esparza, the SFPD’s Media Relations officer, is true, then what exactly is going on? Did Anita Sarkeesian fabricate the entire thing only to gain media attention or financial support for herself? Or is this some major communication breakdown?

    What can be said, regardless of the situation, is that what the gaming industry (and culture) truly needs right now is transparency and integrity. It doesn’t matter who you are. Game journalist, reporter, developer, publisher, programmer, et cetera. It’s irrelevant. If you are going to voluntarily be part of an industry that relies primarily on its community for financial support and interactive feedback, honesty and forthrightness will do wonders for both sides of the party.

    As for this Anita Sarkeesian situation, you can be sure that this won’t be the last you hear about it. I’ll update this article accordingly if, or when relevant information surfaces. Hell, if the the above information (or any article I publish that touches on hot-button topics based on outside sources) turns out to be fake or unreliable, I’ll take that shit right down.

    But I believe readers are interested in this type of information. I’ll leave it up to you to read, digest, and subsequently form your own interpretations of current video game industry/culture events.

  56. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But I believe readers are interested in this type of information.

    Why should I be from a source that wants to trash somebody’s reputation…

  57. says

    Must be my two X chromosomes that make me fail to understand how the direct way from “Police department A didn’t get the report” to “she made it up for the money*”
    *The money she already received and is spending on the videos which are coming at regular intervals…..

  58. Esteleth is Groot says

    *studiously ignores the troll*

    Knownot, re LeGuin’s short stories:

    I must disagree with you. The short stories are excellent if you read the associated novel first (i.e. read The Left Hand of Darkness before reading “Coming of Age in Karhide”). Also, of course, there is the glory that is “The Matter of Seggri.”

  59. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Oh, so much to catch up on but quickly, Iyéska I must say I LOVE your new profile picture. If you have any information to share about it (and want to), I’d love to hear it.

  60. AlexanderZ says

    Tony! #97
    Then there are the possible genetic links between Jews and Palestinians.
    It’s curious that the study pin-points the bottleneck to about 700 years ago, because it coincides with the English Edict of Expulsion, as well as later edicts in other European countries. Very possible that many Jewish communities chose to be converted to Christianity and stay, thus causing the bottleneck in the remaining.
    Then again, there were a great many similar edicts, pogroms, forced conversions, etc., before, after and throughout the Middle Ages, so maybe the bottleneck is related to something else? The establishment of the early Inquisition, perhaps? The plague?
    Probably it’s the plague.


    The source for the following comes from Davis Aurini’s website…
    At the end of his piece, Aurini requests that readers support a documentary he is working on related to Anita Sarkeesian (The Sarkeesian Effect – Inside the World of Social Justice Warriors) by way of Patreon.

    So, the report on Sarkeesian’s “fabricated claims” is made a person who is now collecting money to make a program about her? A bit of projection, don’t you think?

    A look through Davis M.J. Aurini’s “Stares at the World” site (I won’t bother linking to him – he’s so full of himself that he doesn’t need anymore clicks bolstering his ego) shows exactly what kind of a loon we’re dealing with here. From his “About” section:

    I’m an author, a strategist, a neoreactionary monarchist, and an entrepreneur.

    He dedicates his time to refudiating Climate Change, fighting to protect the legacy of White Men and, of course, the evils of women in gaming.

  61. says


    Oh, so much to catch up on but quickly, Iyéska I must say I LOVE your new profile picture. If you have any information to share about it (and want to), I’d love to hear it.

    Oh, you mean the one I’m using now? That’s from an art work I did, Unrepentant Cenobite. (I was going through a Clive Barker phase.) You can see the whole thing here: http://caine.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v3/p1009468995.jpg I did that back in ’03, after having a ferocious argument as to whether or not choosing hell would be an alright choice (positing the existence of xian god, heaven and hell). I was in a very pissy mood. Then, back in ’07, I think, it was used as the cover for the digital mag Nontheist Nexus.

    And thanks!

  62. AlexanderZ says

    Forgot to mention this. You know all those cries of Redittors about “freedom of speech”? Turns out it’s all about the money:
    A week of celeb nudes could pay for a month of reddit’s servers, says mod:

    After temporarily linking to recently leaked celebrity nude photos, reddit collected enough money in subscriptions to cover its server costs for nearly a month…
    …The subreddit was shut down on September 6, nearly a week after the photos originally started circulating.
    …While Wong wrote there may have been idealistic or moral reasons to ban the subreddit, that’s not what reddit was actually acting on. Instead, the closure was due to the issues of rights and the influx of takedown requests.
    Hours later, admin Jason Harvey followed up on Wong’s post. Harvey said that rights problems with r/TheFappening was not the whole story: the subreddit was actually crushing the entire site under the weight of its traffic…
    Menese told Wired that the subreddit drew in over a quarter billion pageviews during its week-ish existence. On its peak traffic day, September 1, r/TheFappening cleared 141 million views.
    …After the weekend r/TheFappening was shuttered, reddit raised $50 million in funding, putting the company’s valuation at $500 million.

  63. says

    Rats below, Dawkins defenders are one dim group of people. I am reaching a seriously angry point over the “oh, old” “oh, product of his times” “oh, old and confused” crap. Does ageism only matter when it’s against the young now? Am I to be arbitrarily consigned to the “oh, old” box at a certain age, with the label of “confused, can’t think”?

    I really wish people would keep in mind that most of them will be Dawkins age one day, and just maybe they wouldn’t like such idiotic assumptions aimed at them.

  64. AlexanderZ says

    They know that. Their arguments today intend to justify all the stupid things they’ll say and do when they are too old to care what others think and say what’s reeeeally on their minds. All preemptive-like.

  65. says

    Facebook enacts a new policy that forces Drag Queens to use their birth names, rather than their stage names. Excerpt:

    If there were ever a group of individuals not to piss off, it’s drag queens. These personalities and performers have fought too long and too hard for acceptance, let alone stage time, to go down without a fight. Yet Facebook is doing just that: blocking performers from using their assumed names rather than their legal ones. Performers including Sister Roma.

    Sister Roma, a widely known LGBT personality and member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, was targeted by Facebook on Wednesday for having her stage name, rather than her legal one, appear on her personal Facebook profile. “I was automatically logged out and told my account was suspended because it appears that I’m not using my real name,” Sister Roma told the Daily Dot. “I was instructed to log in and forced to change the name on my profile to my “legal name, like the one that appears on your drivers’ license or credit card.'”

    Until Roma conformed to the site’s demands by adjusting the page to reflect her legal name, Michael Williams, her account was suspended. Having been on the site as Sister Roma since 2008, this was the first time she had ever been prompted to change her name.

  66. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says


    Oh, so much to catch up on but quickly, Iyéska I must say I LOVE your new profile picture. If you have any information to share about it (and want to), I’d love to hear it.
    Oh, you mean the one I’m using now? That’s from an art work I did, Unrepentant Cenobite. (I was going through a Clive Barker phase.) You can see the whole thing here: http://caine.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v3/p1009468995.jpg I did that back in ’03, after having a ferocious argument as to whether or not choosing hell would be an alright choice (positing the existence of xian god, heaven and hell). I was in a very pissy mood. Then, back in ’07, I think, it was used as the cover for the digital mag Nontheist Nexus.
    And thanks!

    Amazing. I’ve booked marked that because I know I’ll want to keep looking at it. It’s more than just striking. You remember that Puzzle Person conversation? (I seriously need to find that damn thread again) It reminds me of that, of something shifting into place. Because as we talked about then (or later? So much of myself is here, I forget) about discovering pieces of ourselves and finding home in things like books. That piece reminds me of one of those books. But it goes beyond that too. Because it’s made by you.

    I hope that makes sense. I’m in a different sort of headspace than usual. Not bad, but shifting like cleaning sand from a broken hourglass.

    BTW, I reversed image searched it too after you mentioned the magazine. They have a picture of it up posted in ’08 with an artist name, in case you wanted to know. I won’t say or link, if you want to change because of connections with that. I hope that’s not a security problem for you. :(

  67. says

    Iyéska (from the Dawkins thread):

    Ichthyic @ 161, if I got to go to the Galapagos, I’d still be bouncing with excitement 10 years later. (This is assuming someone would be able to actually get me back home if I went to the Galapagos.)

    Your animal companions might miss you a bit if you didn’t come back. :)

  68. Ichthyic says

    “oh, old and confused” crap.

    yeah, guilty as charged on that one. I have to say though, it’s only from experience in academia.

    can’t count the number of times I have seen really smart academics say really stupid things more and more often the older they get.

    it’s very likely they thought these things all along, but their recognition that saying them out loud would be a very bad idea seems to have faded.

    so, yeah, to be clear myself, I don’t think that age CAUSES people to change what they think necessarily, I DO think it tends to cause them to often be less cautious about saying what they think though.

    hell, I’d probably have never said this 20 years ago.

  69. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #117 Iyéska

    JAL, yes, you’re making sense, and thank you so much! The puzzle people stuff starts around here, I think:

    You’re quite welcome. :) Wow. Reading that old thread again is something else. I notice changes in my writing voice since then, but it’s not borrowed, just growing. Mine. What a wonderful feeling. Thank you for linking that.

    Still working on it in meatspace, but I’ve noticed subtle changes there too. The other day I had one of those normal, everyday conversations with Roomies about e-readers. I was showing him my old Nook and let him try one of his programming books on it. So I made the corny joke about coming to the dark side and followed it up with “no, really there’s no color here” automatically since he didn’t get that right away. He laughed and said I was worse than someone else at his work who I’ve never met. Alike but not copied. It was a nice. He didn’t notice and won’t ever understand what it means but I doubt I’ll forget it.

    Ah, it was ’08. Everything there is fine, Sinister was my nym at IIDB, and still is at Rants ‘n’ Raves, and Talk Rational.

    Yay :)

  70. says


    Wow. Reading that old thread again is something else. I notice changes in my writing voice since then, but it’s not borrowed, just growing. Mine. What a wonderful feeling.

    Yes, yours. You are fierce.

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

    @Tony, #113, who was speaking to Iyéska about not coming home from the Galapagos:

    Your animal companions might miss you a bit if you didn’t come back. :)

    That’s why you have Mr to get them food, water, and transport to the vet, and Skype (again serviced by Mr) for visiting the wee ones.

    Of course, it’s not like she wouldn’t have animal companions on Fernandina.

  72. knowknot says

    @107 Esteleth is Groot

    (…) re LeGuin’s short stories:
    I must disagree with you. The short stories are excellent if you read the associated novel first (i.e. read The Left Hand of Darkness before reading “Coming of Age in Karhide”). Also, of course, there is the glory that is “The Matter of Seggri.”

    Thank you… I’ll have another shot, it’s been quite a while. It’s worth it; I have a lot of respect for her.

  73. The Mellow Monkey says

    I’m feeling pissed off at sexism. Golly, I must be getting my period or something. :muttergrumbleswear:

  74. says

    Let me guess: yana566 has come back to say that the “Anita Sarkeesian didn’t go to the authorities!” story was actually a monumental beat up, and it has been confirmed that she has been in contact with the FBI?

    What, they haven’t come back to correct their troll shit?

    Colour me sooooooo surprised at that.

  75. says


    I’m feeling pissed off at sexism. Golly, I must be getting my period or something. :muttergrumbleswear:

    :Snort: But, but…it’s not all men! For realz and stuff, and by the way, I’m just fascinated about how periods can modulate those wimminz’ intellects! Trufax.

  76. The Mellow Monkey says

    Tony!, you’re welcome to join me in the period shame hut. We can be inarticulate and hormone addled together!

    With pie.

  77. chigau (違う) says

    We rescued the last of the tomatoes and basil and a couple of onions and garlic
    and cooked them…
    I believe we have achieved Ambrosia

  78. gog says

    Is it just me, or do they Gish Gallop like fucking crazy? Helen and Jared’s posts were just chock full o’bullshit (and just as bitter and unsatisfying as the coffee whose name the phrase resembles).

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


    I may be the only person on Earth who likes Scrappy Doo.

    Scrappy Doo has a maximum likeability, on his best days, minimally sufficient to evoke “like” from a human mind?


  80. says

    It’s so nice to see a man ‘get it’:

    I’m glad there are posts like Jeff Bogle’s about how it only gets better when it comes to raising daughters because I need to be reminded that my girls themselves are just fine. That the decisions they make are made for them only and that as long as they feel strongly about what they want to do in life, they’ll be able to do it.

    I worry a lot though. About my girls.

    I worry that some of my daughter’s 4-year-old classmates are already spouting off tales of boys only liking blue and girls only liking pink.

    I worry that in 2014 it’s progress that a law has been passed that requires people be educated that you have to be given affirmative consent before engaging in sexual activity with another person. Are you kidding? We’re realizing this now and we have one state acknowledging it?

    I worry that 17-year-old’s (an age my girls get closer to every day) think it’s appropriate to hold a sign saying “honk if you’re dropping off your daughter,” at a residence move in weekend at a university. And that there even needs to be a poll after the story asking if the sign is inappropriate and sexist. And that a single human has answered that no it is not (forget the fact that no was leading the poll when writing this).

    I worry that when humans take private pictures of themselves and have those pictures stolen and then displayed as part of an “art exhibit” the picture takers are the ones who “should have known better.” That our need to see what they look like without a shirt and pants on is more important than them being a human.

    I worry that laws are still made about what she can do with her body by people who are not in charge of her body.

    I worry that some people think there are varying levels of sexual assault. That there’s a serious way where you get raped and then there’s the minor sexual assault where you’re just touched in ways you didn’t ask for. Sexual assault seems like sexual assault to me, not a colour palette where you have varying scales of gray.

    I worry that there are both men and women who believe street harassment is the sincerest form of flattery. That “it’s flattering, so deal with it,” as though being yelled at by strangers about your body was the life goal of all women.

    I worry that my partner and I still have to explain to her that “those people were wrong when they said men can only marry women.”

    I worry that right now, this is as good as it gets in terms of gender equality. That the place where my girls are growing up is where women are treated “more equally” than in other parts of the world.

    I worry that none of the above are thoughts held by only a small handful of people. Many people would hold that sign, many people would share those images, many people would shrug off a little inappropriate touching & many people would tell someone on the street to “smile more.”

    I worry that all of these stories are from the past month.

    I worry that as a man I won’t be able to relate to what they go through as two quickly growing girls and that my inability to relate to them will cause me to act irrationally. That I’ll underestimate how much something I’ve never experienced can hurt them.

    I worry that many people who struggle with some of these concepts are our young children of today and that I’ll be another parent that fails to teach my daughters the value of an individual’s rights.

    I worry that I’m not educated enough, not brave enough or outright not a good enough parent to teach my girls that none of these things, should they happen to them, makes them any less important or is any way their fault.

    Really, I worry that I’m closer to being a part of the problem than I am to being a part of the solution and that by the time I figure this out, it will be too late.

    But I’m working on it.

  81. chigau (違う) says

    Where I am there are helicopters overhead
    – the air ambulance
    – the Copcopter
    – the Newscopter
    – the occasional militarycopter
    what the fuck is this yellow robinson thing?

  82. chigau (違う) says

    Really, the helicopter thing is quite mundane.
    I just notice when there is something different.
    (since I’ve been iPadding I have learned that comedy central can go fuck itself)
    I’m going to the store for smokes and chips.
    Anybody want anything?

  83. says

    I didn’t know where to put this, but here seemed safe – I’ve been thinking, as the Grand Men of Atheism all show their true colors, about how I finally admitted to being an atheist.

    I have never read anything by Dawkins, although I may still get around to it. I was raised secular humanist. For many years, I identified as agnostic. As I tried to quantify? Solidify? I dunno. Anyway pin down my beliefs, I explored paganism (too sexist), various forms of philosophical woo (couldn’t bring myself to believe), and eventually settled on the vague hope that there was a benevolent goddess out there looking out for me.

    And bad things kept happening, but nobody came to save me. I was on my own, which, eventually, on one really depressed day a few years ago, I admitted to myself. Frankly, it was rather freeing. I still collect goddess images and tarot cards, and I use them and other symbols from many cultures in my art, and I enjoy it all for what it is – art.

    For whatever that’s worth. I’ve just had all this going around in my head lately, and I knew I could spill it all here and not get laughed at or eyes rolled at me.

  84. says

    Anne @151:
    I was joking (I think) yesterday about burning my copy of the God Delusion. If you wanted to read something by Dawkins, I can send it to you.


    Anyway pin down my beliefs, I explored paganism (too sexist), various forms of philosophical woo (couldn’t bring myself to believe), and eventually settled on the vague hope that there was a benevolent goddess out there looking out for me.
    And bad things kept happening, but nobody came to save me. I was on my own, which, eventually, on one really depressed day a few years ago, I admitted to myself. Frankly, it was rather freeing.

    I feel like there I’m missing something. You say you settled on the hope of a benevolent goddess, then realized no one was coming to save you, then admitted *something* to yourself. What’s that ‘something’?

  85. Adam James says

    [Reposting this from the Lounge on Tony’s advice]

    Something’s been troubling me and I couldn’t think of a better place to get some expert perspective than the Pharyngula commentariat. Earlier this week my mother sent me a link to a petition which aims to stop some truly awful-sounding experiments on young Rhesus macaques performed at the University of Wisconsin. Some of the allegations sound almost comically evil (“solitary confinement”, “live snakes”(!)). I happen to attend another Big 10 University one state over from U of W, and I can’t imagine my school permitting researchers to do something like this. Don’t Universities have review boards that are supposed to prevent abuses from taking place? I also leave open the possibility that their is some context that I’m missing, though it’s hard to imagine what good could come of this that would outweigh the animals’ suffering. I would love to get the perspective of some of the commenters here, especially any biologists or persons whose moral compasses might be better attuned to this sort of thing. Thanks.

  86. says

    Damn, I wish I’d had this article handy during that thread on Beyonce, for that bozo saying she wasn’t a feminist. It’s from a site called the Gradient Lair and deals with black feminism and respectability politics:

    In my essay, What’s Really Going On With White Feminists’ Critiques of Beyoncé?, I primarily critiqued White women’s assessments of Beyoncé, but I also noted this about Black and other women of colour:

    Some Black women and other women of colour do not want Beyoncé associated with feminism in any way, and unfortunately, their reasoning seems to be tied into respectability politics. They think choosing the “positive” side of patriarchal binaries is what feminism is about, such as being a “good” role model and exemplifying “perfect” womanhood, as dictated by theism and patriarchy. This is also a mistake.

    I continue to see articles/tweets where Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj etc. are used as examples of what a feminist should not be and then some other Black woman is heralded above them. This is what some Black and other feminists of colour do. (White feminists tend to simply use all Black women as examples of feminist failure.) However, these articles and tweets are often riddled with classist and respectability politics-shaped perceptions. The worst part is they ultimately take on the “female/bitch vs. queen” patriarchal binary that patriarchal men use (which again reveals how women proliferate patriarchy too, though it benefits men more). The celebrities I named get placed on the negative side of the binary and the celebrities praised gets placed on the positive side of the binary. But there truly is no positive side of a binary; that’s the catch. It’s limiting and never allows Black women to be fully human. Any Black womanists/feminists taking this approach to critiquing celebrities or everyday women need to evaluate why they are using the master’s tools.


    What’s most interesting here is that once someone is placed on the latter side of the aforementioned binary (the side deemed “good”) people ignore how a lot of their behavior does not fit the “respectability” that is assigned to that side. It’s amazing to me how people put Alicia Keys on the “respectable” side of the binary versus Beyoncé. But who was fucking someone else’s husband? Reject respectability politics. It’s amazing to me how people put Erykah Badu on the “respectable” side of the binary versus Lil’ Kim. But who has several baby daddies? Reject respectability politics. It’s amazing to me how people put Janelle Monáe on the “respectable” side of the binary versus Rihanna. But who shoplifted as a teen? Reject respectability politics. It’s amazing to me how people put Lauryn Hill on the “respectable” side of the binary versus someone like Trina. But who had homophobic words recently, ones that hurt the very same people who supported her throughout the tax ordeal as many fans quickly abandoned her? Reject respectability politics.

  87. says

    Grrr. Tripped the spam filter with a comment. No idea what word it was.
    Anyways, if anyone wants to read a nice explanation of respectability politics as plays into the treatment of black female entertainers, go read this.
    I wish I’d had this site handy for that nitwit in the Beyonce thread claiming she wasn’t a feminist.

  88. Esteleth is Groot says

    Adam James,
    Any university that receives federal research dollars (and I’m damn sure that UW does) is required to have an institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) that all proposals of research involving animals have to go through. To get approval the researcher has to explain why the experiment is likely to produce useful data (not just data, data that will be helpful), explain that the methods chosen are the least painful/traumatic for the animals (if there are other methods that could work, the researcher must justify why that method was chosen), outline – in explicit detail – the methods chosen to provide the animals with pain relief and comfort, outline – in explicit detail – the methods chosen to provide the animals an environment that is stimulating, sociable, and comfortable (based on their species, obviously), and justify the use of every single animal. If a researcher waltzes in and asks to use 30 animals, they will immediately be asked “Why 30? Why not 15? Or 5?” The researcher also has to justify the use of that particular species: if a researcher says, “I want to use rhesus macaques!” The IACUC will immediately come back with, “Why not rats?”

    As that last bit hints, animals are lumped into categories based on the complexity of their brains (that is, how much they are capable of feeling pain and suffering) and how close they are to humans. Projects are given varying amounts of scrutiny and are held to varying levels of strictness based on what category the animals fall into. Rhesus macaques, along with other monkeys and apes, occupy the tier that requires the highest level of scrutiny, the smallest amount of wiggle room (for the researcher, not the animals), and the most strictness.

    Oh, and every six months every animal experiment must be re-justified.

    All of this is to say that research involving snakes and/or solitary confinement are possible, if it got approval. Which, as I outlined above, would have required some researcher to prove (not just say, prove) that doing this would yield truly helpful data, that they were doing everything else possible to provide the macaques with a comfy, pain- and trauma-free life, would be providing them therapy after if they needed it (yes, this is actually a thing that exists), that they had to use macaques, and that they were using the smallest number possible. This is not an easy hurdle to jump.

  89. Esteleth is Groot says

    Oh, and IACUCs are required to have set up a method for whistleblowers to report abuse, anonymously (if they choose anonymity) and safely. The mere rumor that a whistleblower had trouble figuring out where to report something, had their anonymity compromised, got ignored or brushed off, or got harassed is enough to bring down the wrath of the federal government, which in this case is “no more dollars for you, all research is stopping NOW, and oh by the way the truck to haul away every single animal you have is on its way.”

  90. says


    Columbia University senior Emma Sulkowicz is carrying her mattress to class every day until her rapist leaves school. In an incredibly poignant act of solidarity, other Columbia students have begun walking with her, helping her carry the load. And today, they dragged several mattresses of their own in front of the university’s iconic Alma Mater statue in a powerful protest against the administration’s mishandling of rape.

  91. chigau (違う) says

    I’m eating fresh corn-on-the-cob.
    Sorry about the spattering on the screen.

  92. says

    @ Adam James

    There was a write-up about a big name university in the US, that was getting massive amounts of funding for … well, … essentially torturing cats. Most distressing to even read about, let alone the suffering the poor animals endure. And utterly pointlessly in a scientific, if not a money-grubbing, sense. I vaguely recall it was here on FTB that I read about it. Perhaps one of the Horde has a less useless memory than I have. Otherwise I can try and google around when I have some free time.

    [Richard Dawkins‘s ongoing fiasco]

    Oh Lawdy! I cannot leave the internet alone for a few days and RD hasn’t snuck in and shat on the middle of our expensive shag-pile carpet, … AGAIN. This is getting exasperating. Either we need to rip it out and replace it with cold, hard tiles, or we are going to have to lock him out.

    And what is it with JREF? Turning itself into the fucking Vatican?

  93. says

    @ Adam James

    IIRC: The university in question was Wisconsin-Madison. The cat in question was called Double Trouble, and it was tortured for months, absolutely pointlessly. At least, the only point they had in mind, was to make money off of quack research.

    Be warned that there are some very graphic and disturbing images of this cat out there.

    I has a sad now.

  94. says

    Tony @ 162:

    Rats aren’t quite as enthused with bubble pits as ferrets are, I expect it’s the size difference. Rats do love having large size pieces of styro around though, for chewing the hell out of it and making a massive mess fun.

  95. Pteryxx says

    crossposting from the Lounge because the quoted parts are disturbing.

    here’s Libby Anne drawing a connection between Christian patriarchy and an NFL player’s arrest for “spanking” his child.

    (warning for descriptions of abuse)


    WORLD continues to use the word “spank” to describe what Peterson did, and Peterson’s attorney refers to it as “discipline.” Plenty of othernews outlets have also been referring to what occurred as “spanking” and “discipline.” There is a big problem here both with definitions and with sanitation.


    Personally, I am against hitting a child in any way. I think hitting a child should be against the law. If Peterson had done what he did to his son—whipping him with a switch from a tree until his body was covered with bleeding lacerations—to an adult instead, there would be no question that that was assault. But because hitting children is legal, we have to ask whether or not he “crossed the line”—and his lawyer can argue that what he did falls under reasonable discipline.

    Another thing these discussions of Peterson’s charges have demonstrated is a stunning lack of understanding of what child abuse is and what child abusers look like. Most child abusers claim that they are only doing to their children what their parents did to them. Most child abusers insist that they have never intended to injure their children. Most child abusers argue that what they are doing is reasonable discipline. Peterson’s lawyer is using these defenses because he knows the public does not understand child abuse. And yet, the public tends to see child abuse as something only committed by parents who dislike their children and intend to harm them out of malice.


    If you read Peterson’s description of what he did—he claims he continued beating his son for as long as he did because the child didn’t cry (here’s a link, but I’ll warn you that the article contains pictures)—you’ll notice that it fits with what Michael and Debi Pearl teach in their book, To Train Up a Child. I suspect that the Pearls’ teaching that you have to hit the child until they are submissive to your authority is probably more common than we would like to think.

  96. Pteryxx says

    crossposting from the Get the facts straight thread, in case I find out anything:

    re the URL pasting: #62, 63, 68

    It’s new as of sometime today. And annoying as fuck.

    Read more: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/09/15/a-professional-responsibility-to-get-the-facts-straight/#ixzz3DQv37Vlw

    Whatever’s doing it is a script, intended to auto-paste sources when something’s quoted elsewhere, with a tag marking where the quote came from. Several other sites (such as Cracked) use the same trick. Noscript blocks it though – I read FTB with nothing but freethoughtblogs and googleapis enabled, and no readmore links got appended to my copypaste just now.

    If I can follow up on it I’ll post over in Thunderdome where it won’t be OT.

  97. Ichthyic says

    don’t care if noscript blocks it, it’s simply a bad design decision and needs to be rescinded.

    I personally don’t LIKE using noscript, as i often visit sites where I do want scripts to run, and don’t like to tinker with turning it off/on every time I suspect I do/don’t want script to run.

  98. Ichthyic says

    Firefox here. It’s possible you have your chrome set to noscript this place anyway, or it has an autodetect link spam feature.

  99. Ichthyic says

    I’m eating fresh corn-on-the-cob.
    Sorry about the spattering on the screen.

    looking forward to that here. won’t be available for another month or so.

  100. Pteryxx says

    (in the right thread this time <_< ) I agree it's a bad decision and has no place on FTB – it's crap everywhere, but it's egregious *here* where commenters have extended discussions full of quotes. Anyway, because I have scripts blocked by default and allow very few, I didn't know anything was strange until I saw y'all complaining about it and posting examples. That's just my default for my reasons, not something everyone *should* do IMHO.

  101. Pteryxx says

    Found it – tynt.com is running a script, both Cracked and FTB run it, and enabling tynt.com turns that “read more” linkspamming on for both sites. Blocking that should block the linkspam appendingness.

  102. Ichthyic says

    Found it – tynt.com is running a script, both Cracked and FTB run it, and enabling tynt.com turns that “read more” linkspamming on for both sites

    nice catch.

  103. Pteryxx says


    This can be pretty annoying if you’re just copying the text for your own purposes, and even more annoying if you would cite the text, since everyone almost certainly has their own style that they prefer (or have to) follow—not to mention the security and privacy concerns that come with Tynt sending tracking information to their servers without your consent.

    Rants about the service aside, there are a few easy ways to disable Tynt’s heavy-handed service. The simplest for Google Chrome users is Tynt Blocker, a simple extension that alerts you the first time you visit a Tynt-enabled site and asks you if you want to block the script.

    The geekier-but-more-broadly-effective solution, courtesy of John Gruber over at Daring Fireball, is to edit your /etc/hosts file to block access to Tynt’s server. We’ve covered how to edit this file in Method 2 of our guide to banning time-wasting web sites.

    Tynt – annoying net readers and privacy advocates since at least 2010. Cool move, someone-at-FTB. Sheesh.

  104. says


    I personally don’t LIKE using noscript, as i often visit sites where I do want scripts to run, and don’t like to tinker with turning it off/on every time I suspect I do/don’t want script to run.

    You do know that you can custom whitelist in noscript, right? That only has to be done once.



    Oh, that’s what it is. Just noticed it in my noscript.

  105. Ichthyic says

    Tynt – annoying net readers and privacy advocates since at least 2010. Cool move, someone-at-FTB. Sheesh.

    hmm, editing the host file to include the addy listed did not work. interesting.

  106. Pteryxx says

    Incidentally, there’s some other sort of scripting trick that disables copy/paste entirely. For instance, to copy/paste any content directly from Twitter (see: a large portion of the Ferguson news, ugh) both twitter.com and twimg.com have to be permitted to run scripting – which also turns on the auto-refresh, Twitter’s own spammy ‘join now!’ pop-up, and other such annoyances that rapidly crash my ancient computer.

  107. Pteryxx says

    Iyéska: I do use noscript’s whitelist, but I still have to visit sites all the time where whitelisting isn’t practical. The biggest one is Twitter, see above… if I need to copy/paste a tweet, I have to enable the two Twitter scripts *on demand*, because leaving them whitelisted starts scripts running on *every page that uses Twitter for anything* – and crashes my computer. Every time someone at FTB links to a Storify, or embeds a tweet instead of copy-pasting the text, that page becomes more of a load on my computer if Twitter’s scripts are running. So I have to monitor not only what tab I *need* Twitter enabled upon, but every other tab in my session that might also auto-load when I enable that script.

  108. says

    Dumb fuck on my blog who’s either a Pitter, a libertarian, a Freeze Peach defender or all of the above (can’t completely tell, bc xe has been acting *somewhat* reasonable, but the tells are there- Freeze Peach, you guys are so mean, why are you criticizing Dawkins and Harris, corporations will fix social justice issues) thinks that because I stopped responding to hir that I agree with what xe says. In reality, I just grew tired of the conversation and stopped responding (I did respond one more time to inform hir of that).

  109. says


    Comments will continue to flood into the FCC up to midnight ET, the deadline for public input on its controversial open Internet proposal. But at 3M this afternoon, the number of responses has more than doubled since late last week. And that lower number beat the record for FCC comments set after Janet Jackson’s famous 2004 Super Bowl halftime show “wardrobe malfunction.” The FCC will continue to hear different views about its net neutrality policies at a series of roundtables that begin tomorrow.

  110. Ichthyic says

    hmm, editing the host file to include the addy listed did not work. interesting.

    the reason why editing the host file does not work, is tynt changes their domain proxies constantly, to avoid being blocked by exactly that kind of thing.

    If you use adblock, here’s a good way to kill tynt that works dandy:


    as a slight medication to the instructions; the idea is to click on the “filter preferences” button in the options for the addon, click “custom filters”, then “ad blocking rules” then just add a new filter (option is upper right of the box), and in the line that pops up, just type: *tynt* you will only get 1 hit, which means you can ignore the “snail” warning.

    works perfect, and will work for ANY site that uses tynt (*spits*).

  111. Ichthyic says

    I haven’t noticed enough of a difference to make a distinction myself.

    it all reeks of “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!”

  112. Ichthyic says

    I don’t think they are as bad as was published; the magazine that originally published the photograph kinda did a bit of a poor job on it, which they actually have already apologized for.

    seems it’s in the “nothing to see here, move along” category.

  113. toska says

    I wasn’t around when Hitchens was alive either, but there are still some pretty ridiculous amounts of hero worship towards him. I checked out the facebook page for my uni’s secular student group a couple years ago, and the whole page was a wall of Hitchens quotes and pictures. That was enough for me to decide that this particular secular student group was not for me.

  114. Ichthyic says

    what was really fun?

    …the rare occasions when Peter Hitchens fans directly clashed with Christopher Hitchens fans.

    those comment threads were basically “All that and the kitchen sink” type pits of argumentative splendor, covering everything from religion to politics to cigarette brands.

  115. Ichthyic says

    yup. I’ll save that for tomorrow, when there will likely be yet another “revelation” from another skeptic beacon.

  116. Ichthyic says

    I’m starting to wonder about the male “leadership”

    I see how Donald Prothero (What the Fossils Say, and Why it Matters) talks about them, and it reminds me of a pledge admiring a frat house he got invited to.

  117. says

    A voice that fascinates humans and lures creatures from the sea

    Novoye Chaplino, Russia — Olga Letykai took the stage this summer in her usual performance attire, dressed from head to toe in seal skin, white fur at her cuffs, beaded headband on her forehead, traditional markings on her face.

    For those who had never heard Letykai before, what happened next was probably a surprise. While the frigid wind on the Bering Sea coast carried along an occasional call of a seagull, that was soon joined by the unearthly — and almost indescribable — sounds of Letykai’s throat singing: deep guttural noises mixed with heavy growling and panting, followed by sharp, bird-like trills.

    Throat singing, in which a singer can produce two or more notes at the same time, is one of the oldest forms of music. While not mainstream, most people’s exposures comes from the Tuvan throat singers, nomadic herdsmen of Central Asia, who have, literally, played Carnegie Hall. But throat singing can also be found in Africa and among the Inuit in northern Canada — and in the Russian far east province of Chukotka, where Letykai grew up in the tiny coastal village of Enmelen, close to Cape Bering, a descendant of a long line of marine mammal hunters.

    For Letykai, learning throat singing was part of a tradition passed down among generations of women in her family.

    “We learned from child,” she said in a thick Russian accent. “When I was young, I was learning like I see the bird, I should think about nature and I am like bird. Free, like nature.”

    While Letykai has performed widely, including in Switzerland, Greenland, Canada and at the Sochi Olympics, this particular performance was in her home province, where the inaugural Beringia Arctic Games, a gathering of peoples from the circumpolar North, were held this July.

    She wasn’t the only one. Throat singing has also found its place in the modern music scene of post-Soviet far east Russia. Letykai said she doesn’t practice much, but she does find ways to mix the old tradition with new, modern music.

    The link is to an article at Al-Jazeera link, where you can listen to Letykai throat sing.

  118. Ichthyic says

    Wow. When you got nothing…tone troll.

    wait, was that really their argument in the end?

    all this talk of “broad brush” was just a smokescreen for being upset at naughty naughty insults?


  119. says

    Tony! #193

    Dumb fuck on my blog…

    Heh! I’m currently trying to teach Bob, my pet fundy, how to even make an argument from anything but authority.

    Ichthyic #195

    If you use adblock, here’s a good way to kill tynt that works dandy

    Thank you! Should I ever have a first-born, where would you like the soul delivered?

  120. Ichthyic says

    Thanks to Richard Dawkins for the last 3 bingo tiles I needed, provided all in a single tweet!

    Feedingfrenzy Thoughtpolice Bullies

    that puts me right at 25

    and yes, he used those 3 words together, in that order, in the same sentence.

  121. Ichthyic says

    Thank you! Should I ever have a first-born, where would you like the soul delivered?

    You’re most welcome; thanks should also go to Pteryxx for identifying the culprit.

    No souls needed, but if you would do me the favor of butchering it first, I can use the meat for the BBQ. It’ll be handy as summer is just a couple of months away here!

    I’ll even spring for refrigerated shipping.


  122. AlexanderZ says

    Ichthyic, Daz, and everyone else who has trouble with Tynt: another alternative is to get Ghostery. It shows all trackers and enabling and disabling them can be done in two clicks.

  123. Ichthyic says

    … I typically use adblock to automatically block any trackers, but it doesn’t have a notify function like noscript.

    this looks like a nice medium between the two.

  124. says

    From Adam Lee, over at Daylight Atheism:

    Two other women, Pamela Gay and Ashley Miller, have also agreed to go on the record with stories about how Shermer sexually harassed them at other events. (Full disclosure: I’ve met Ashley several times and consider her a friend.) I happen to know there are other people who weren’t named or quoted in the article, and who have stories of their own about Shermer that corroborate or supplement these ones.

    Damn. How many women has this slimeball harassed and/or sexually assaulted?

  125. Pteryxx says

    Tony! …I hate to say this, but…

    remember Zvan saying the oldest account she knows of dates to 2004, and the random commenter at Patheos that said something about him wanting a new conquest (*hurk*) at every conference?

  126. AlexanderZ says

    Nice chart, Tony #235.
    Too bad he didn’t make one for the really big ships.
    As far as I know, the largest ship was the Magog World Ship from Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda (starring our “friend” Kevin Sorbo).
    It was both a ship and a movable solar system rigidly held together, similar to Dyson Rings.

  127. says

    Tony! 235
    Actually fairly impressive, but I’d have been more impressed if they’d included more than 1 literary source. I should think that at a very minimum if the Honorverse is represented that we’d get some General Products hulls on there, maybe a couple Kzin warcraft and the like. Not to mention the Spindizzy cities, a Chanur ship or two, something from the Humanx Commonwealth and maybe the Kite (from Discworld) or the Dahak (There’s a big one for you; it impersonates Earth’s moon). That’s just off the top of my head, I know there’s a couple other iconic ones I’m missing atm.
    rather a silly way to go about it; there’s no need to stick them all together like that, and indeed no point; it makes things infinitely harder. The Puppeteer Fleet of Worlds does the same thing, with good old fashioned orbital mechanics, and a way to control solar flares.

  128. says

    What in the actual fuck?! I’m just getting around to reading Michael Nugent’s defense of Dawkins and he doesn’t appear to understand one good goddamned thing:

    However, old habits die hard. In recent days, he has written that Richard Dawkins has been eaten by brain parasites and is grossly dishonest, that Christina Hoff Sommers promotes lies about feminism and claims them as inalienable truths, that Michael Shermer is a liar and an assailant, and that Sam Harris has scurried off to write a tendentious and inexcusably boring defence of sticking his foot in his mouth.

    Is he really criticizing PZ for making an obviously joking statement about Dawkins being eaten by brain parasites?
    Dawkins IS grossly dishonest, as his Tweets attest.
    Sam Harris DID write a tendentitious and boring defense of sticking his foot in his mouth.
    Michael Shermer IS a liar and did sexually assault Alison Smith.
    What’s your criticism Nugent?
    That PZ is telling the truth? That he’s discussing the events that are happening?
    That he’s holding people accountable for their actions and words?
    That he’s not engaged in such hero worship that he’s going to gloss over the horrible actions of people like Dawkins or Shermer?

    Last month he described Robin Williams’ suicide as the death of a wealthy white man dragging us away from news about brown people, said that a white lady who made racist comments looks like the kind of person who would have laughed at nanu-nanu, then added that he should have been more rude, because asking him to have been nicer about the dead famous guy is missing the point.

    The media DID focus a lot of attention on Robin Williams in the wake of his death, rather than on the civil and human rights violations going on in Ferguson. That’s what happened.
    The media should NOT have focused so much on the death of a celebrity that they ignored-and they motherfucking did ignore-the violations of the rights of black people in Ferguson, MO.

    I really don’t want to read the rest of Nugent’s post right now. I’m disgusted that yet another person in the atheist community-someone who is held in high esteem by many-is defending the actions of Richard fucking Dawkins and Sam Harris. Moreover, he’s actually criticizing PZ for the Grenade thread, which says to me that Nugent doesn’t believe Alison Smith.

    FUCK YOU Nugent.

  129. says

    It probably won’t be allowed out of moderation, but I felt the need to leave a comment on Nugent’s blog:

    You didn’t even address the substance of the criticisms of Dawkins, Harris, and Shermer. You handwaved them away as if they were unimportant.

    Dawkins has engaged in victim blaming with his comments comparing rape to drunk driving-there’s no comparison. He minimized the impact of child sexual abuse not just in comments in the last year, but going back to The God Delusion. His comments on stranger rape vs date rape were insensitive at best, and massively ignorant and insulting at worst.

    Your defense of Michael Shermer is ghastly. You clearly do not believe Alison Smith. You clearly side with Michael Shermer, and show that you don’t believe women when they say they’ve been raped. Or perhaps you simply don’t believe that well known, popular atheists can be capable of rape, despite the fact that rape is ubiquitous in society and is committed by people across all social levels.

    You don’t bother to mention WHY PZ has criticized Sam Harris. You don’t address the fact that Sam Harris’ comments are based on unevidenced assertions that he’s treating as fact. He embraces just-so explanations about human behavior, and doesn’t even both to provide evidence that his opinions are true.

    I can clearly see that you’re siding with the Slymepitters, the people who have been bullying others for years. You side with the harassers, who want to keep the status quo the way things are. You’re siding with those who oppose anti-harassment policies. You’re siding with a crowd that doesn’t want things to get better. You’re siding with the crowd opposed to progress. You’re siding with the crowd who wants to focus on Big Tent atheism at the expense of the little people they’re crushing along the way.

    Supporting Sam Harris’ sexism is bad enough.
    Supporting the victim blaming apologist treated as the atheist pope-he who is beyond criticism (and he who seems to think there are some subjects that should be treated as off limits to criticism)-aka Richard Dawkins is even worse.
    What takes the cake is your dismissal of the rape of Alison Smith. The fact that you could deny her testimony, and support a serial harasser and rapist like Michael Shermer is absolutely reprehensible.

    You won’t be, but you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
    I hope the next time you write such a long winded, vapid criticism of others, you take the time to actually address the arguments presented.

  130. says

    @ Tony!

    Yeah, I have had major battles on Michael Nugent’s site before. Particularly one in which he praised Dawkins to the skies. (He has also allowed his site to be used as a platform to attack one of The Horde in a most underhand and dishonest fashion.)

    I really cannot figure out what makes Michael tick. On the face of it he is essentially a decent person, but then he has allowed his soapbox to be used in really obnoxious and counterproductive fashion. My only guess is that, growing up in Ireland, he has the idea of talking through the standoffs between two opposing camps, in the manner of Loyalists/Republicans in the internecine strife in Ireland.

  131. Ichthyic says

    FUCK YOU Nugent.

    saw that and first thought was… What the hell does Ted Nugent have to do with any of this?


  132. Ichthyic says

    Whenever we have met, I have raised concerns about this. Each time, he has responded that he will tone it down

    hmm. really? I wonder if PZ recalls these conversations the same way.

    someone with his ear should ask him. I’d really like to know whether Nugent is inventing this shit whole hog.

  133. says

    @ Tony!

    “The Queer Shoop for President!”

    I recently ran into an old classmate of mine in South Africa. He had trained as an accountant, but had spent a long period working outside of the industry. When he lost his job, not too long ago, he was in a pickle, as he could not see any way he could get into accounting. Someone (jokingly, I pressume) suggested he get into politics. This he did. He registered with a local political party, waited the statutory 3 months, then immediately contested an election. He won! Hands down! So now he is a Councilor and can swan about his feifdom to his heart’s content.

    You are far more articulate than most politicians. And your moral compass is in good working order. I’d say: “Go for it!”

  134. 2kittehs says

    Icthyic @242

    FUCK YOU Nugent.

    saw that and first thought was… What the hell does Ted Nugent have to do with any of this?

    So did I. :)

  135. consciousness razor says

    Nick Gotts (et al):

    What do you think of the independence vote today?

    Journalists always love to portray everything as a mixed bag, straight down the muddled middle, and I’m already fairly clueless when it comes to UK politics. So, hearing about it from somebody I can actually trust would be nice. Normally, I’m highly suspicious of any sort of “nationalism,” but it’s hard to tell how much I should be worried about it in this case.