[Lounge #477]


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

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. says

    Good morning
    In about an hour I’ll take the kids to their grandparents and the Mr. and I will set out for a day at the Spa.

    Big hugs
    What Pteryxx said, what Carlie said.
    I will add that for the abused child, denial is strong. We incorporate the abuser’s views into our self-concept. As an adult I didn’t need my mother telling me how bad and selfish and inadequate I was anymore, I was (and sometimes still am) perfectly able to do that myself. It’s hard work to break those patterns, but it’s damn well worth it.

    I’m wondering what those raceists (atheist + racist) would be OK with to eat if they were in need of assistance? Bugs, maggots, tripe plus assorted vitamins?
    Also, whoever in the USA claims that immigrants need to give up their culture with an straight face, and who is not an American Indian, needs to shut up until they can say it perfectly in all the languages their ancestors spoke.

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

    needs to shut up until they can say it perfectly in all the languages their ancestors spoke


    Hello. I should comment more. I miss you people.

  3. 2kittehs says

    Tony! – Noooo! Imagine those tiny needle-point claws on bare skin! OW OW OW

    I’d rather be like this gorgeous pic and logick the dreaded authorities into letting me have All The Kitties.

    rq – Do not mention budgie-smugglers! That other Tony, our ever-repellent Prime Minister, has tainted them forever. (If y’all want to google that, go ahead, but I ain’t linking it.)

  4. rq says

    I’d forgotten about that! :D
    I remember hearing the term for the first time from my dad’s sister in Canberra (that, and ‘the wrinklies’ to mean the adults). So much awesome in that term, I’m sad Mr Abbott has turned out to be far too competent in destroying other people’s joy.

  5. says

    The comments, the stupid, it buuuuuuuurns.
    You have:
    -People unable to grasp the concept that if a city needs to support X amount of people with food banks then dedicating one of them to meet the needs of a particular community who are already part of X doesn’t actually take away resources, but probably even adds resources because that community puts in a lot of their own.

    -Vegans declaring it a non-issue because meat is murder anyway

    -The holier than thou I can feed 2000 people of three loaves of bread and a fish people.

  6. A. Noyd says

    Esteleth (#479)

    Especially since most of the Somalis in the Twin Cities are refugees. Saying that they came here willingly is breathtakingly offensive and minimizing of the trauma they fled from.

    I like that in our English class, the instructor makes a point in the question-asking exercises of having the questions “What don’t you like about America?” and “What do you miss about where you’re from?” rather than only using positive questions. Invitations to complain and be negative in English are good.

    I’d love to work with a higher level class on a unit about what they think the positive values are from their home cultures that could make America better.

  7. rq says

    So far, the people writing this contracts have, in addition to Goods, attempted to transport Gods and Goofs. I wonder what else they can get on a train?

  8. 2kittehs says

    Why don’t people like the term steampunk, rq? Genuine question: I’m not into the genre but my bff writes it (first book of her second trilogy published, yayyyyyy!) and that’s the term she uses. Which isn’t a “she says it’s good so it must be!”, I’m interested to know.

  9. soogeeoh says

    Hm, yesterday a drunk guy blew a fuse, at me. I’ve seen him once before. Got into my face, came uncomfortably close and pushy. I didn’t escalate the stupid, I’m not tough like that. Friends tried to calm him and he switched targets but nothing came of it (they can be tough like that, and they know each other since childhood FWIW. I consider one a friend, and meet the others when visiting him and I’ve warmed up to most, I’m … not very outgoing. They were angry about him afterwards, more’n me). Everyone went their ways. Well, when I took the bus home, I didn’t notice he and his friends were on it too, I sit down and he calls me, he confused names, but I understood and realized and didn’t react. I was a bit afraid then of what shit might have happened to me alone if we got off at the same stop, but they got off way earlier thankfully.

    I guess why I’m telling this is “I’m worried and confused. So the first rule in the book is to spread it around.”, sorry

    It’s not even about the stupid aggression thing, because the reason for it all was:
    there’s another guy who often hangs out with all, absent at the time, who has problems at home, mother threw him and his sister out and they stay with a cousin.

    Aggro dude shouted about friends not helping in shitty situation. I don’t really remember details, because I had drunk too, but that was the theme.

    Now what I wrote earlier about my less strongly felt connection to some feels like a pathetic attempt to have an out, to avert responsibility, since it was I who got the first dose of aggression. *confused*

  10. says

    Tony, the residential schools were the most shameful thing Canada’s ever done (see also Chinese head tax, nisei internment, endless treaty violations, and the MV St. Louis). I’m utterly unsurprised that one or more were torturing children. Our huge and ongoing racist issue is treatment of our First Nations people, with the same kind of institutional racism as recently spotlighted in Ferguson.

  11. rq says

    There was some discussion by Crip Dyke annnd… Cait? and I forget? (sorry?) of that in the previous Lounge (or Thunderdome?) regarding the term and how it co-opts the term ‘punk’ without keeping any of the original meaning of the word. Kind of thing. Like it’s not real punk as punk was meant to be? But not in a bad criticism way, it was actually a really cool look into words and language and meaning and time and stuff.

    *appropriately squeezy huuuuuugs* I’ve been remiss in your hugs lately, I hope you’ve been as well as can be! (Also, email.)

    *[gesture of support of your choosing]*
    Not sure what else to say, stay safe?? Glad it ended well. For a certain definition of well.

  12. rq says

    Stahp the train, The Daily Show may have gone too far… in calling out people’s racism! Never mind, carry on, Engineer.
    I’m sorry, CBC, but I expect better from you. It shouldn’t even be a question. People should be upset about their horrible views and complacency in the face of objectification of an entire race of people. Perhaps they should think about how their actions are perceived by those who are so ‘honoured’.

  13. says

    So why did a Pew poll find an increase in the number of people who want to erase the separation of church and state? Tribalism?

    […] The results of the Pew Forum’s study […] show sudden reversals in key areas. As recently as 2010, for example, a majority of Americans believed houses of worship should steer clear of day-to-day political disputes, but in 2014, a plurality believes the opposite. The reversal can be attributed almost entirely to self-identified Republicans, who’ve moved sharply to the right on this issue in recent years.

    Indeed, the same report found that GOP voters, unlike the American population at large, increasingly want churches to endorse candidates for elected office, and believe there’s “too little” talk about religion from U.S. politicians.

    […] Republicans in the Obama era have quickly turned against evolutionary biology, too, not necessarily because GOP voters are more anti-science than they were six years ago, but because of tribal instincts. As Paul Krugman put it a while back, “The point … is that Republicans are being driven to identify in all ways with their tribe – and the tribal belief system is dominated by anti-science fundamentalists.”

    It’s quite possible we’re seeing a similar dynamic in the new Pew Forum data – Republicans are suddenly eager to merge religion and politics because they’ve come to see constitutional principles like church-state separation as “liberal.” […]




  14. blf says

    Excuse me, I’m a bit shaken…
    I was talking to the owner(? manager?) of the seafoods restaurant I went to for lunch today, and she told me her best girlfriend is a close friend of the Frenchman recently decapitated by (fruitcakes linked to?) the isis fruitcakes.

    She was obviously shook up, I was flabbergasted, and her girlfriend is devastated.

  15. rq says

    That’s globalization.
    Which is also why I disagree with anyone who says that those issues happening Over There have no relation to their own lives. Maybe not directly, no, but in the end, the world isn’t quite as large a place as some would believe (as I would wish it to be sometimes).

  16. says

    A summary of Values Voter Summit speeches:

    Here are a few excerpts:

    Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver trotted out his favorite claim that the contraception mandate means that America is literally worse than countries like Nazi Germany or Rwanda because those nations never forced their citizens to directly participate in carrying out genocide. “Now, in America of all places, you and I are being forced to participate in human genocide by the HHS mandate,” Staver said.
    E.W. Jackson closed out last night’s session at the Values Voter Summit by lashing out at those pushing for marriage equality, thundering, “How dare you try to redefine an institution that God himself ordained!”
    Mike Huckabee spoke at last night’s session of the Values Voter Summit, where he made the case that President Obama was re-elected and America is now “on the precipice of disaster” because conservative Christians ignored God’s call to vote in the last election.
    Gary Bauer’s speech to the Values Voter Summit today was a parade of anti-Muslim rhetoric — fitting for a conference on protecting “religious liberty”— that led up to him accusing President Obama of being “more interested in defending the reputation of Islam than he [is] in saving the lives of Christians.”
    Back from defending anti-gay laws in Russia, Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage introduced Rick Santorum at today’s Values Voter Summit. Brown spent most of his time pushing back on claims that the GOP’s opposition to abortion rights and LGBT equality is dragging down the party, suggesting that Republicans would win more elections if they nominated more social issue crusaders in the mold of Rick Santorum.
    When not reflecting on Common Core’s threat to national security, Major Gen. (Ret.) Robert Dees told Values Voter Summit attendees that Nashville, Tennessee, Lackawanna, New York, Greenville, North Carolina and Dearborn, Michigan are “all Islamic sanctuaries in the United States within which there are fundamentalist sleeper cells.”

    “We have been infiltrated,” he said. “The enemy is within.”

    Dees, who now works at Liberty University, also claimed that “entitlements” and policies “catering to illegal immigrants” represent “a pervasive culture of appeasement” that are undermining America’s strength and might.

    More Values Voter Summit nonsense was posted in the older comments of this thread. See #’s 465, 466, 471, 472

  17. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    Hello Lounge –

    pouncehug back to cicely :D

    It’s a beautiful day – how’s everyone doing?
    (I’m so rupt, I’m sorry)

  18. blf says

    The horror. Just spent two hours trapped under a kitten. *shudder* The little furball even cleaned my nails.

    The Canadians, eh, have teamed up with the, eh, Dodos to retaliate for, eh, something, eh… Watch out for the attack, eh, moose, eh! (On second thought, don’t bother. Eh’ll be distracted by the potatoehs.)

  19. blf says

    It’s a beautiful day — how’s everyone doing?

    We’re having a puppy-and-baby roast this evening under the stars, with some good vin, a local band (for starters), and cheese. And moar cheese for desert.

    And MUSHROOMS! season is starting, so I sortof expect the mildly deranged penguin to make an appearance. (Thinks about that for a sub-nanosecond… Um, Ok, maybe you should hide yer cheeseboads, and move to another Universe.)

  20. rq says

    And MUSHROOMS! season is starting

    Every self-respecting mushroom eater knows the season is actually coming to a close. There may be a couple more good weeks of good mushrooming left, but the suilloid* and boletoid* mushrooms were at their peak a week, a week and a half ago. The chanterelles have been over for at least a month.

    * Self-invented terms to cover all types of beka and baravika of the edible variety.

  21. opposablethumbs says

    soogeeoh that sounds disturbing and frightening. I’m sorry you went through that and I hope you’re OK.

  22. blf says

    Amy self-preserving MUSHROOMS! eater knows how to spell the name, is familiar with diversionary tactics, and knows about the real MUSHROOMS! They are also not infested with potatoe or horse, both of which dull the senses, dim the mind, attract cats, and invade Canada. Then there is the matter of cheese, moar cheese, and Chocolate, which with the intertubes contain too few electrons to explain all the errors…

  23. rq says

    Ah, but any self-preserving and self-respecting mushroom-eater also knows that they grow best on buried zombies. Which is exactly where potatos and horses grow best, too. The other side-effects are insignificant to those brilliant enough to recognize Real real mushrooms. This is my Nyah! face.

  24. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Amy self-preserving MUSHROOMS! eater

    Wow, Amy has a complicated last name!

    (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

  25. blf says

    What kind of wine?

    Not entirely sure, actually. I’m responsible for a salad, and have decided on ground amy Latvian MUSHROOMS! fiend, with a generous helping of cheese, bacon, and no peas, probably with a buttermilk or soured milk, pepper, and olive oil dressing.

  26. rq says

    ground amy Latvian MUSHROOMS! fiend

    Dunno ’bout you, UnknownEric, but I’m starting to worry for Amy…

  27. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Just wanted to say hello really briefly; my wife visited for a month until recently, and now the usual madness is back with applications and deadlines… ah well. Can’t keep up with blogs right now ._.

    I actually wrote a comment in the excellent Disillusionment thread, but censored myself. Can’t listen to myself these days.

    Mushrooms. I love them. Have really great memories of looking for mushrooms in the forest with a fellow undergraduate, an eternity ago. We found a Krause Glucke (our German name for this mushroom is just funnier) once. Tasted like detergent, but it was a nice experience.

    Good times, probably won’t come back…

    Good luck with your foraging though, blf and others!

  28. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Wait that might not even have been a mushroom. I have no clue about that specific kingdom of life.

  29. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ugh, got a stack of mail today that looks like doctors bills. There goes the medical/dental account back into the red.

  30. says

    An Open Letter To Fox News About ‘Boobs On The Ground’

    We are veterans of the United States armed forces, and we are writing to inform you that your remarks about United Arab Emirates Air Force Major Mariam Al Mansouri were unwarranted, offensive, and fundamentally opposed to what the military taught us to stand for.

    First, foremost, and most obvious to everyone other than yourselves, your remarks were immensely inappropriate. […]

    As it turns out, women have been flying combat aircraft since before either of you were born. Over 1,000 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) flew during World War II. Seeing as U.S. Army Air Forces Commander “Hap” Arnold said “Now in 1944, it is on the record that women can fly as well as men,” we can probably guess he thought their parking was adequate. The WASP legacy reaches into the present day; on 9/11, then Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney scrambled her F-16. Completely unarmed, she was ready to lay down her own life to prevent further devastating attacks on American soil.

    Thus the skill of women as fighter pilots is well established. And before you jump to the standby excuse that you were “just making a joke” or “having a laugh,” let the men amongst our number preemptively respond: You are not funny. You are not clever. And you are not excused. […]

    The less obvious implication of your remarks, however, is that by offending an ally and cheapening her contribution, you are actively hurting the mission. We need to send a clear message that anyone, male or female, who will stand up to ISIS and get the job done is worthy of our respect and gratitude.

    We issue an apology on your behalf to Major Al Mansouri knowing that anything your producers force you to say will be contrived and insincere. Major, we’re sincerely sorry for the rudeness; clearly, these boys don’t take your service seriously, but we and the rest of the American public do.

    Very Respectfully,

    Michael Breen, U.S. Army
    Shawn VanDiver, U.S. Navy
    Kristen Rouse, U.S. National Guard
    Andrea Marr, U.S. Navy
    Kristen Kavanaugh, U.S. Navy
    Richard Wheeler, U.S. Army
    Leo Cruz, U.S. Navy
    Aryanna Hunter, U.S. Army
    Geoff Orazem U.S. Marine Corps
    Scott Cheney-Peters, U.S. Navy
    Jonathan Murray, U.S. Marine Corps
    Timothy Kudo, U.S. Marine Corps
    Welton Chang, U.S. Army
    Michael Smith, U.S. Army
    Gordon Griffin, U.S. Marine Corps
    Kelsey Campbell, U.S. Air Force
    Matt Runyon, U.S. Army
    Richard Weir, U.S. Marine Corps
    Scott Holcomb, U.S. Army
    Jon Gensler, U.S. Army
    Erik Brine, U.S. Air Froce
    Rob Miller, U.S. Marine Corps
    Josh Weinberg, U.S. Army
    John Wagner, U.S. Air Force
    Terron Sims II, U.S. Army
    Sonia Fernandez, U.S. Marine Corps
    Dan Hartnett, U.S. Army
    Dan Futrell, U.S. Army
    John Margolick, U.S. Marine Corps
    Daniel Savage, U.S. Army
    Matt Pelak, U.S. Army,
    LaRue Robinson, U.S. Army
    Anthony Woods, U.S Army
    Margot Beausey, U.S. Navy
    Dustin Cathcart, U.S. Army
    Kayla Williams, U.S. Army
    Dan Espinal, U.S. Army
    Jonathan Hopkins, U.S. Army
    Tony Johnson, U.S. Navy
    Andy Moore, U.S. Army
    Kevin Johnson, U.S. Army
    Brett Hunt, U.S. Army
    Russell Galeti, U.S. Army
    Gail Harris, U.S. Navy
    Katelyn Geary van Dam, U.S. Marine Corps
    Mick Crnkovich, U.S. Army
    Jonathan Freeman, U.S. Army
    Chris Finan, U.S. Air Force
    Robert Mishev, U.S. Air Force
    Matt Zeller, U.S. Army
    William Allen, U.S. Marine Corps
    Sharmistha Mohpatra, U.S. Army
    Adam Tiffen, U.S. Army
    Alex Cornell du Houx, U.S. Navy
    Jason Cain, U.S. Army
    Rob Bracknell, U.S. Marine Corps
    Karen Courington, U.S. Air Force
    Justin Graf, U.S. Army
    Lach Litwer, U.S. Army
    Andrew Borene, U.S. Marine Corps


  31. rq says

    Lynna @43
    I love the response and the pre-emptive apology. “Contrived and insincere”, indeed! Well done.

  32. rq says

    Really, to be perfectly sublime, it’s missing a few letters of the alphabet. *hands over a kerchief* (*whispers* Sorry for the stains.)

  33. Ogvorbis says


    But I have an excuse.

    I am so fuckkng buzzed.

    Oxycodone plus valium equals I cannot even read a book.

    But there is little pain.

    Sentences don’t make sense, but ther eis is little pain.

    The kane pillers are good.

  34. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says


    D’awwwwwwwww I had a Samoyed when I was a teenager – she was a rescue. Can’t say all the ways that pup was just the best. I got her when I was 13 and I was in college when she had to be put down (though my stepdad could have told me he was going to take her in).

  35. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Heya Tony, I was never really gone but just in serious lurking mode. Mostly being annoyed at myself I guess. I can recommend the irony emoticon, which saved a friend of mine and myself quite a few discussions because we tend to misinterpret each other’s intention. It’s simply


    Ogvorbis, show that pain where it belongs! Plus, I am generally a little envious of buzzes.

    Also, good night everyone *goes back into lurking mode*

  36. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    p.s.: Tony and others, I first have to read up a little lounge business to see how you all are (e.g. what became of your applications etc.)… hope you’re all well, atheism crisis or not.

  37. says

    Portia @56:
    Aw, I’m sorry to hear about your dog being put down (that was an asshole move on the part of your stepdad).
    Hope you’ve been well.


    Heya Tony, I was never really gone but just in serious lurking mode. Mostly being annoyed at myself I guess.

    I hope it’s not for anything related to here.
    In any case, whether you choose to comment or lurk, I hope you know your presence is always welcome.

    Also, I’m employed though it’s slow going at the moment. We have decent business, but we’re overstaffed (as most restaurants are when they first open and I knew this would happen), so there’s not enough shifts available (I’d love to work 45-50 hours a week, but all that’s available are around 25-30). I hope this changes soon, and I suspect it may, but it still doesn’t change my mild frustration. Still, it is quite a bit better than being jobless.

  38. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    “Assholes moves” are sort of his thing. : p Thank you. She was a good puppy.

    I’ve been pretty well. I had my one year work anniversary last week. My boss gave me congratulations on getting better at my job, and told me I’m getting a raise. I was told when I started that I would be reviewed for a raise on an annual basis, but didn’t expect it to be automatic. I guess he did say he was impressed with how well I’ve been handling the extra work, so maybe the partners did a review and that was the result *shrug*

    I had a lovely day today – vacuumed with my new vacuum that I bought with the bonus the boss gave me that same day. Yay for a vacuum that actually works. I feel very adult to be excited about a vacuum ^_^

    how are you doing, my friend? *hugs*

  39. says

    I’m well. I just wish I was working more, but hopefully that will come in time.

    As for vacuuming, I’m envious. With dogs, and cats, and the evil that is carpet throughout the house my house needs to be vacuumed. Sadly all *5* of our vacuum cleaners are on the fritz and have been for longer than I was jobless. So yes, the carpet hasn’t been vacuumed in months. Ugh.

  40. 2kittehs says

    rq @ … 15? Stupid numbering system …

    There was some discussion by Crip Dyke annnd… Cait? and I forget? (sorry?) of that in the previous Lounge (or Thunderdome?) regarding the term and how it co-opts the term ‘punk’ without keeping any of the original meaning of the word. Kind of thing. Like it’s not real punk as punk was meant to be? But not in a bad criticism way, it was actually a really cool look into words and language and meaning and time and stuff.

    That makes sense! It seemed an odd description to me for that reason. SF-fantasy with a Victorian look doesn’t seem very punk to me, either. Unless we’re talking steam engines going ta-punka ta-punka ta-punka, maybe.

    blf @18, I’m so sorry. Hugs. And @42,

    So-called “Real real mushrooms” are amy cow solents orking.,


    Lynna @43, that is an excellent letter.

    rq @47, those pics are the best! I hope Roger got a huge laugh out of them too. XD

  41. blf says

    Where Do Ideas Go

    Into places like the big warehouse glimpsed at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. They sometimes reach critical mass and a burst escapes, usually in the direction of the Discworld, where they rain down on individuals such as Leonard of Quirm.

    The mildly deranged penguin claims it is possible to locate and mine such warehouses, and has said she’s never found any cheese. What she has found I don’t know. When asked she orking.

    I suppose that is a clew. Such a useful word, action, place, thing, counter, concept and so on, like orking, seems like it might have been found in such a place. On the other hand, orking is so basic, fundamental, and necessary, like slood, it’s difficult to conceive of a place without all three. Philosophers have tried for ages, but simply start giggling. Usually with orking and extra slood.

  42. rq says

    Not sure, I think my ideas just sort of plop out of the side of my head and die on the street (or under the bed) with the dust bunnies.

  43. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, I had a horrible idea for a beverage.

    1 shot Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
    1 shot Canadian Club Whisky
    Shake over ice, serve, add splash of grenadine

    Working title is “Fur is Murder.” ^.^

  44. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I can recommend the irony emoticon, which saved a friend of mine and myself quite a few discussions because we tend to misinterpret each other’s intention. It’s simply


    Shouldn’t the “irony” emoticon resemble an anvil?

  45. rq says

    Thank you, Jewel song. I now have the perfect way to characterise the atheist non-leadership so averse to including those less represented and making a fuss about criticism: “fashionably sensitive, but too cool to care [about inclusivity]”.

    Also, gender inclusive language corrections just make me feel so… fuzzy and warm. Little things, little things.

  46. David Marjanović says

    CREATIONISTS!!! IN THE SCIENCEBLOGS VERSION!!! Spoofing Richard Dawkins and me – aw, couldn’t he have done that a few years earlier, so I’d have felt flattered?

    Too bad the TROLLS!!! IN THE DUNGEON!!! video with the Lithuanian subtitles is no longer on YouTube. :-( TROLIS!!! POŽEMYJE!!! TR-R-R-ROLIS!!! POŽEMYJEEEEE!!!

  47. David Marjanović says

    Sadly all *5* of our vacuum cleaners are on the fritz and have been for longer than I was jobless. So yes, the carpet hasn’t been vacuumed in months. Ugh.

    :-o At that point, I’d comb dust out of the carpet with my fingers and put it in the compostable waste one handful at a time!

  48. David Marjanović says

    I want to substitute the authority point for the exclamation mark in my nym…
    Also, we need to circulate the sarc mark and the snark mark.

    The sarc mark is copyrighted. However, thanks to the wonders of Unicode, the rhetorical question mark is available – it’s used in Arabic.


    Note it inverses the direction you’re writing in.

  49. rq says

    Ugh. It’s naptime. I have been productive:
    – finished that danged translation correction;
    – cleared a few unwanted cultures out from the fridge with minor upheaval (thanks for almost co-operating, super-sensitive gag reflex – I’m still hoping you’ll recover from all those pregnancies and return my cast iron constitution sometime);
    – mowed the lawn (parts of it twice, please don’t ask);
    – cleaned most of the kitchen;
    – did assorted picking up of items and children’s clothing from various floors;
    – lit a fire in the fireplace.
    I believe I have about an hour and a half until the family returns. Cheers!

    Things left to do:
    – fold all the clean laundry.

  50. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says


    Oh, man, that is rough. *hugs*


    Also, gender inclusive language corrections just make me feel so… fuzzy and warm. Little things, little things.

    You know how much I love that:)

    Of course, it’s pretty much canceled out when someone pointedly looks at me and says “Fireman…sorry, Portia, firefighter” like I will eviscerate them if they misstep. I’m not a jerk, jerk, so stop acting like my simple requests make me a jerk. JERK.

  51. blf says

    mowed the lawn (parts of it twice, please don’t ask);

    Ok, so why did you mow parts of the lawn only once ?

  52. blf says

     – did assorted picking up of items and children’s clothing from various floors;
     – lit a fire in the fireplace.

    Easier and more hygienic that washing the clothes, I suppose.

    Things left to do:
     – fold all the clean laundry.

    Well, at least you’re not going to iron the ashes first. That would be silly!

  53. blf says

    So, I had a horrible idea for a beverage.

     1 shot Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
     1 shot Canadian Club Whisky …

    Please eliminate the use of guns. Just pour, or chisel out, or whatever, some of the eye of newt and other ingredients. Putting the bottle / crate / whatever on top of the glass and shooting it — even if you only use one shot — may be messier and LOUD and hence more fun (in a mildly deranged penguin sort of way), but it might hurt the wall or cheese or something, and perhaps more importantly, does not improve the taste.

    For a true mildly deranged experience, instead of pouring or shooting, use a chainsaw whilst yodeling Walk Like an Egyptian to a backing electric tuba and steampunk harp band. An advantage is you then won’t need to decide on shaken or stirred; the drink will be sufficiently traumatized you don’t need to further subdue it.

  54. blf says

    I feel very adult to be excited about a vacuum

    Next lesson in our continuing series, “Feeling Like An Adult”, is Changing Underwear.

  55. blf says

    ‘Extinct’ cat-sized chinchilla found alive in shadows of Machu Picchu:

    Living arboreal chinchilla rat thought to have been extinct is tracked down in Peruvian cloud forests…

    Below one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, scientists have made a remarkable discovery: a living, cat-sized mammal that until now was only known from fossils [sic].

    The Machu Picchu arboreal chinchilla rat (Cuscomys oblativa) was first described from two enigmatic skulls discovered in Incan pottery sculpted 400 years ago.

    Dug up by Hiram Bingham in 1912, the skulls were believed to belong to a species that went extinct even before Francisco Pizarro showed up in Peru with his motley army. Then in 2009, park ranger Roberto Quispe found what was believed to be a living Machu Picchu arboreal chinchilla rat near the original archaeological site.

    The scientists — led by Horacio Zeballos the curator of the department of mammalogy at the Museum de Arequipa and Gerardo Ceballos from the Instituto de Ecología of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México — headed into the field in 2012 and tracked down the elusive mammal in the cloud forests near Wiñayhuayna…

    (quibble) Four hundred year old skulls are unlikely to be fossils.

  56. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Portia, I didn’t quite get what you meant with “my stepdad could have told me he was going to take her in”? Do you mean he should have lied to you, or did they kill the dog without your knowledge? :O Also, congratulations for your anniversary plus raise, plus vacuum cleaner (I chuckle when you say “new vacuum” because physics and… ah nevermind…).

    Tony, not my invisibility has nothing to do with Pharyngula, except maybe in the sense that I (usually) have certain quality standards to coherence and relevance I felt I would not meet when posting. As to your job, do the 25-30h/week at least pay your bills? 45-50h, bah, I don’t even want to think about that, I’d be so annoyed.

    Azkyroth, the anvil… that would be way too witty. Also, how would you type an anvil in Skype? Furthermore, the :i has a slightly tongue-in-cheek appearance, which is very apt for an emoticon!

    As to the punk discussion, too bad my wife isn’t here, she knows quite a bit about the punk movement. Seems like you’re only referring to physical appearances though?

    I actually looked up mushroom and will forthwith call them toadstools because I like the idea of a toad sitting on it. Anthropomorphic or not, the toad would wear a little mantle and wield a tiny sceptre, ruling over the business of lesser toads in a very dignified manner.

    Wait did I say something about relevance?

    Anyway, where my ideas go is back into that murky lake of indiscernible proportions where they live there slippery lives, to be occasionally lifted out of the water by that stray traveller (me) on his shaky boat… and I tell you, they are very slippery, it’s rare you can really keep a hold on them.

    I also looked up orking, and found nothing. Does it have something (or anything?) to do with Tolkien?


    lit a fire in the fireplace.


  57. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    I had a chinchilla once. He was awesome and made the cutest noises, but unfortunately extremely shy. I would love to see free roaming chinchillas at some point in my life, cat-sized or not.

  58. says

    Gorogh @81:
    No. Those hours don’t pay my bills. My parents stepped in again for the month of September and paid all my bills, including my half of the rent for October. I’m probably going to skip paying my bills for October so I can try to get ahead with money, especially since next month is my parents’ anniversary and they’re taking a trip to see one of my uncle’s for his wedding so they won’t have any free money next month.
    The restaurant has only been open a week and a half, so there hasn’t been much time to build up money. As I said, I hope that changes. Soon.

  59. says

    Religion as a political weapon:

    Before Ronald Reagan was inaugurated in 1981, and introduced the phrase, “God bless America,” as his standard speech closing, it had only been used once by a president in a major address. That president was Richard Nixon and he used it during an Oval Office speech on April 30, 1973, in an attempt to contain the Watergate scandal. Reagan’s use of the religious rhetoric was a dramatic change in presidential addresses. According to David Domke and Kevin Coe, writing for Time Magazine in 2008:

    From the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 — which most observers view as the beginning of the modern presidency — to the end of Carter’s term in January 1981, Presidents gave 229 major addresses. Nixon’s use of “God bless America” was the only time the phrase passed a President’s lips. In contrast, from Reagan’s inauguration through the six-year mark of the current Bush Administration, Presidents gave 129 major speeches, yet they said “God bless America” (or the United States) 49 times. It’s a pattern we unearthed in our book The God Strategy: How Religion Became a Political Weapon in America.[…]
    Daily Kos link.

  60. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Sorry to hear that, Tony. My sympathies for your situation – good if there is a chance that it changes for the better soon.

  61. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Incidentally, Lynna, I just finished watching Jesus Camp yesterday (after several attempts where I had to stop watching it for a few weeks). Almost had to throw up seeing Ted Haggard… but finally made it through. These developments are sickening – I find the whole deliberate historical revisionism (~nation founded on Christianity, notwithstanding what-you-just-quoted as a recent phenomenon) as one of the most offensive parts.

  62. Ogvorbis says


    I just rubbed a rack of spare ribs with raw sugar, smoked salt, cracked black pepper, garlic powder and some chlie powder. It is now wrapped in foil and sitting on the grill at 175F. For the next four hours. When it is done, I]’ll pull off the foil, brush on some BBQ sauce and ‘crisp it up’ a little.

    We also just put some brownies in the oven.


    Watching NASCAR.

    Sitting in a mildly buzzed haze while mildly buzzed.

    Have an ice day, all.

  63. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, injustice and cruelty categories.

    Less than a month after a district judge denied a motion filed by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to disband the Colorado City, Arizona/Hildale, Utah, Marshal’s Office for allegations of corruption, the local marshals, having avoided impending disbandment, are now allegedly turning up the heat of discrimination in these Utah/Arizona border communities known to locals as “Short Creek.”

    Check out the photos published with this article. Trigger warning for abuse of young men and boys.

    […] alleged retaliatory acts committed by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints against ex-FLDS and non-FLDS members – are now being investigated as hate crimes by the FBI, and the Department of Justice has now reportedly become involved, as well.

    Local residents are claiming the Marshal’s Office is not only protecting the perpetrators in these incidents but has tampered with evidence in one of the cases.

    Well, thank goodness for the intervention of the DOJ. However, a lot of this abuse could have been preempted if they had only disbanded the FLDS law enforcement system (which was really more of a religion-enforcement posse).

    Sunday, the truck of an ex-FLDS Hildale resident was blown up by explosives. Tuesday, a 16-year-old Hildale boy, a relative of the man whose truck was blown up, was sideswiped by a passing truck while riding his bike, a truck that has allegedly been identified by investigators as being registered to the FLDS church. Earlier this month, another Hildale boy – whose family has also left the FLDS church – was riding a four-wheeler when a truck driving past going the opposite direction allegedly saw the boy, flipped a U-turn, came up behind him and rear-ended his ATV with such force that it sent the boy flying off his four-wheeler and up over the top of the assailant truck, landing in the roadway behind it. In Colorado City on Sept. 4, a person or persons not yet apprehended by local law enforcement shot the office window of a victims advocate who works for Mohave County.

    Details concerning the deliberate tampering with evidence by the local Marshalls religion-enforcers is also provided in the article, along with their attempts to intimidate the victims.
    St. George, Utah News source link.

  64. blf says

    What is so triggering about meat?

    A desire To eat another puppy… To find a pea orking and, ah, well, Ok, that is rather disgusting, even to carnivores… To rocket all zucchini into the Sun… To mow the entire lawn only once with a broken vacuum cleaner… …

  65. Ogvorbis says


    There are some vegans and vegetarians on Pharyngula and I want to give them a chance to not read about cooking meat.

  66. blf says

    Oh for feck’s sake… I did Preview me@92 — I had problems convincing it to render properly — and then the idiotic blorking software goes and eats the second half of my comment !

  67. says

    Mormon Moments of Madness, patriarchy category:

    For the first time, the Mormon general women’s meeting — being held in the LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday night — no longer will be open to reporters or photographers to attend in person.

    Journalists can pick up copies of the speeches to be given during Saturday night’s 90-minute meeting and/or watch the proceedings, which will be streamed live on the Internet and broadcast on several stations, but they will not be allowed into the cavernous building or its media room. […]

    The two meetings, of course, can never be handled completely the same, given that male authorities attend and speak at the women’s meeting, while no females speak or attend the gathering for boys and men.

    Further, scores of men have acted as ushers, security or media representatives at the women’s meeting. By comparison, no women are present at the priesthood session. […]

    With rare exceptions through past decades, only male reporters were allowed to cover that priesthood meeting. Eventually, even male reporters were not given media access, though they could go in and watch the proceedings without raising suspicions because they were men. […]

    Raise suspicions of what, exactly? Being journalists.

  68. rq says

    Yes, the cool autumn evenings call for a fire in the fireplace, and I must say, it’s a lovely thing. :)
    I like your thoughts-like-fish picture. Slippery is a good word.


    I wonder, do these people get married? Have wives, children? Do they ever get over their fear of women? I mean, the obvious answers are yes, yes and yes, but I wonder how it works out for them… how do they have sex? How do they live with their wives? daughters?
    (via Dana Hunter, via Ed Brayton)

  69. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Tony, not my invisibility has nothing to do with Pharyngula, except maybe in the sense that I (usually) have certain quality standards to coherence and relevance I felt I would not meet when posting

    There is, as you may have noticed, no particular expectation of either here :)

    Azkyroth, the anvil… that would be way too witty. Also, how would you type an anvil in Skype? Furthermore, the :i has a slightly tongue-in-cheek appearance, which is very apt for an emoticon!


  70. says

    Portia, congratulations on your new vacuum! Is it called The Abhorrence?

    We got Aged Mum to sign all the places on the huge pile of papers, and then I went back and made sure everything was properly filled out, and we stopped at the local FedEx office and dropped off the package on the way home. It’ll go out tomorrow. Then we all have to wait for the application to be approved and find out what repairs need done, and so on.

    But for right now I’m just going to try not to think about any of it. I’ll be over here in the pillow fort reading my library book about the Hundred Years War.

  71. says

    Gorogh @81:

    Tony, not my invisibility has nothing to do with Pharyngula, except maybe in the sense that I (usually) have certain quality standards to coherence and relevance I felt I would not meet when posting.

    Nothing wrong with having standards about your particular writing style (I frequently worry about it while blogging). I just hope you remember that this is an informal area. Think of it as a literal lounge where a bunch of people are hanging out and chatting. Pretty much the only rules for discourse are kindness and IMO some attempt at properly conveying your thoughts and/or intent (obviously the former is the only rule PZ has; the latter just makes interaction easier). I include the latter since we’re interacting with each other here, and if we don’t put in some effort to ensure our thoughts are put to screen properly, we may find communication to be difficult (but I suppose that’s a rule for any type of communication).
    In any case, no matter how you comment, we’re happy to have ya.

  72. rq says

    Is that book influencing your thoughts?

    Also, what Tony said… The standards of coherency are lower in the Lounge, though the standard of behaviour is higher. Feel free to come and skewer some of those slippery thoughts with us, we can roast them over the fire later, with lemon and dill and garlic…

  73. carlie says

    It took me a good year to bring myself to watch Jesus Camp, and then I almost lost it from the opening scene – you know, the one that is only someone driving along a highway. I didn’t know where some of it was based before I watched it, and it was a location I recognized from when I lived quite near there. I had already known it would be difficult from how much I’d identify with it, and then when it was literally places I had lived… yeah. And that woman who was in charge was basically me, and what i would have been if i’d still been in it (with slightly less zeal and no laying on of hands or speaking in tongues). I was basically locked in shell shock for a few days after, even after spending all that time gearing myself up for it.

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

    ISRO kicks some interplanetary butt in their first Mars mission!

    [Crudely Wrott alluded to this a couple days ago, but I don’t think anyone has linked to any articles on the mission. Note that this is a science article and that it barely mentions other implications of having India successfully launch an interplanetary science craft.]

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


    Have good support?

    I found Jesus Camp a little hard during the watching, but not really anything that stuck with me. But then, I didn’t live the Jesus-thing when I was young.

  76. carlie says

    Crip Dyke – it was after almost a year of therapy, so I was basically ready for it, and I felt at the time that it was something I needed to to do. And I waited until I was by myself for a week and on vacation, so I didn’t have to take care of anyone and didn’t have to talk to anybody. If I remember, I then came here and spewed out a lot about it too, so yes, there was good support. :)

  77. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says


    ISRO kicks some interplanetary butt in their first Mars mission!

    Definitely. Raised a tankard of grog to toast their success when they achieved orbit around the red planet.
    They are close to the equator at 13º40’N, which could mean cheap launches for geocentric orbit satellites, compared to ESA/NASA prices.

  78. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says


    Uh… yes that could work. It looks anvilly.

    Azkyroth, Tony and rq, fair enough, I appreciate the sentiment of being welcome. As a matter of fact, I knew before that you’re all amiable. The lounge is a nice place. And I’ll make sure to bring some slippery thoughts next time, maybe a handful of young potatoes, too. Speaking of salmon, I accidentally left open the fridge’s door yesterday morning, and when I came back, everything has perceptibly started to thaw, including the salmon I bought that same morning. I am wary of eating it now…

    carlie, I am sorry to hear about your averse emotions regarding Jesus Camp. Good that you had braced yourself/were prepared. I have no idea what you are referring to concerning your own experience, and it’s perfectly okay if you don’t want to talk about it – but I’d like to hear it in case you do want to.

    As I said, I had to stop watching it a few times (almost ended up like Lynna not finishing it), but thankfully not because I identified with any of it. While I was an altar boy in a Catholic church for about three years, and had some serious esoteric attitudes during puberty, I was only exposed to the mild mainstream indoctrination prevalent in my country… probably nowhere comparable to the US, for example. I had a problem with it because it was hard to bear seeing the indoctrination going on.

  79. toska says

    I also had a strong reaction to Jesus Camp. I grew up in a fundamentalist culture and had actually been to a similar camp during my elementary school years. I had absolutely hated the experience and forgot all but a few snippets, but watching the film brought some of those back to me, and it wasn’t pleasant. It did help me identify and come to terms with my upbringing though, and it helped me realize how extremist my background is, even though I had never considered my family to be extreme (It wasn’t as extreme as many of the other families in my area, so I thought we were more moderate than we were). Thankfully, the camp I attended did not do the laying of hands or speaking in tongues though. I’m still uncomfortable with strangers touching me, but as a child, I was downright terrified of adults and would not have handled the physical elements very well. My heart breaks for children like me who were forced into those experiences anyway.

  80. tbtabby says

    I also had a strong reaction to Jesus Camp. I didn’t have a particularly religious upbringing, I just suffer from a condition known as Basic Human Decency.

  81. rq says

    I don’t know what Jesus Camp is. Sounds like I’m better off not knowing. :/
    *hugs* for the lot of you!

    And yes, Tony, there is definitely enough lemon, dill and garlic for your salmon.

  82. says

    Oh I don’t have the salmon yet. I was hoping one of the intrepid Loungers in here was good at fishing and might catch some. They catch. I’ll cook.


    Did ya’ll know that Republicans are people too?

    Yes, after years of being forced to constantlty counter vile and often outlandish statements, batshit crazy assertions, racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, even sexophobic (like Rick Santorum’s comments about people who feel free to “do stuff in the sexual realm”) remarks, and wildly unhinged theories, it turns out that the poor widdle wepubwicans are the ones who got their widdle feewings hurt…

    And that’s why one Republican strategist came up with the ad campaign titled, wait for it… “Republicans Are People Too”.

    Yes, you read that right. And that sense of deja vu you have? Well, just say it like this, “Republicans ARE people, my friend.” Kinda like corporations. And with about the same moral compass.

    The campaign consists of a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, the hashtag #imarepublican (which is hilarious reading), and a youtube video (below) that’s reminiscent of a bad sales meeting powerpoint, full of slides of stock photos of Republicans doing the kind of stuff that gets you labeled a “R.I.N.O.” (Republican In Name Only} by the right wing press and the GOP’s Tea Party base. Things like driving a Prius, or recycling, or reading the New York Times in public, or being black. OMG!

    The campaign’s creator, GOP strategist Vinny Minchillo, aka @yovinny, was (not surprisingly) on of Mitt Romney’s “Mad Men” from the 2012 campaign. And now he works for (and you really can’t even make this stuff up) Glass House Strategies, a conservative strategic firm. You know, like the old saying, “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. How ironic.

  83. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Okay, my second BFG 9000 formulation is definitely better, but I was right; the first IS drinkable (except 7 ice cubes and a reasonable topping-up of Mountain Dew won’t fit in a pint glass).

  84. 2kittehs says

    Tony! @113

    For the kitteh lovers. The Hit n Run antics of a Roomba ridin’ kitteh!

    I knew that’d be the Max-Arthur clip! I love texasgirly79’s videos.

  85. birgerjohansson says

    “beards not being allowed at mormon-run BYU”
    Lynna, as we all know, those prophets and disciples were all clean-shaven, thanks to their Gillette razors. The greater prophets got Braun shaving gear. With electric rechargers using AngelTech(TM)
    — — — — — —
    “the opening scene – you know, the one that is only someone driving along a highway. ”
    Yeah. The opening scene of The Shining is powerful. Then there is the spookiness that comes later, you know, “stay with us, forever and ever”
    (Haggard as Jack Nicholson?)
    — — — — — —
    Sorry to hear about your dog :-(

  86. birgerjohansson says

    “Under The Skin” also has driving along a highway. I hope the participants of Jesus Camp never get absorbed into the black alien substance. Nanotech goo?

  87. carlie says

    toska –

    It did help me identify and come to terms with my upbringing though, and it helped me realize how extremist my background is, even though I had never considered my family to be extreme (It wasn’t as extreme as many of the other families in my area, so I thought we were more moderate than we were). Thankfully, the camp I attended did not do the laying of hands or speaking in tongues though.

    That was it for me too, exactly. To plagiarize the Bible, it was as if the scales had fallen from my eyes and now I could see. I’m thankful we were as moderate as we were, but yeah. It’s tough looking back from a new vantage point and realizing how far off from the mainstream we were; it’s having to recalibrate everything, my entire life history. It wasn’t an “oh shit, I was abused” kind of realization; I still don’t put it anywhere near actual abuse. It was more just the weirdness of realizing how odd the reality I grew up in was, and how much different it was from everyone else’s reality, and that feeling like if you were about to fall off a cliff but found your balance at the last second? That feeling of looking down and seeing just what could have so easily happened. (and, of course, guilt for having tried to talk so many other people into it)

  88. birgerjohansson says

    Starwatch: The October night sky (as seen from Britland. Merkuns live further south) http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/sep/28/starwatch-stars-planets-comet
    At 23.00 Pegasus is high in the south, Deneb and Vega are shining in the west. Capella is shining in the east, heralding the rise of Auriga and Taurus.
    — — — — — —
    NB! ECLIPSES!!!!!
    The Moon passes through the N half of the Earth’s shadow in a total lunar eclipse on the 8th. (not visible from Europe)
    The Moon is totally eclipsed it sets for observers in the E of the USA.
    The second of the month’s eclipses, a *partial* solar eclipse on the 23rd, is visible from most of N America and the NE Pacific. At its best, over N Canada, more than 80% of the Sun’s diameter is hidden by the Moon but this dips to 35-65% for watchers in the USA who see mid-eclipse between 22:00 and 23:00 GMT. The Sun sets during the eclipse for the E half of the USA and Canada.

  89. says

    we can roast them over the fire later, with lemon and dill and garlic…

    Now that’s what I call cruel and unusual punishment…

    Hello folks!
    Yes, I’m still alive, too, though very busy. But I found a new way to skip cleaning the floor: I broke the broom in two.

  90. birgerjohansson says

    (klaxons, whistles and bells going off)
    (Chinese economy overtakes USA!)
    I dag växer Kina om USA (Swedish text) http://www.dn.se/ekonomi/i-dag-vaxer-kina-om-usa/
    USA’s *nominal* GNP will remain higher for a few years, but since the Chinese currency is undervalued, the World Bank estimates the shift to Chinese economic supremacy takes place today.
    ”Måndagen den 29 september blir ett datum att minnas.”
    (Monday the 29th will be a date to remember)

  91. says

    Tony @119

    I read the blurb you posted and just had a feeling I couldn’t put words to about it, and then I read the article and he had the words for it (Rachel Maddow, too): If you have to run ads to try to convince people you are humans with feelings, then maybe you should look at what you’ve been doing and saying.

    Giliell @129

    Breaking the broom, very clever.

  92. 2kittehs says

    rq, those were fascinating photos. I thought most of them were sad rather than creepy, though I bet those places would be eerie to visit.

    The roller coaster off New Jersey immediately made me think of Born to Run, which I always thought had a post-apocalyptic feel to it anyway.

    The amusement park rises bold and stark
    Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
    I want to die with you Wendy on the street tonight
    In an everlasting kiss

  93. says

    Gah. The back bathroom drains are backing up. Instead of spending today resting until it’s time to drive Elder Daughter to her evening class, I get to spend the morning waiting for a plumber. I did get the earliest possible window, 8-10AM, to be refined once the plumber gets going. But still, so much for my quiet day of rest and catching up on little things around the house. Gah.

    At least I got Aged Mum’s important document package dropped off yesterday, or I’d be frantically trying to fit a FedEx run in this morning as well.

  94. birgerjohansson says

    Re. China passing USA.
    China was the economic world leader until the 19th century, when the country fell apart under pressure of the colonial powers. Then in sedan 1872 (142 years ago) USA passed Britain as the largest economy in the world.
    China is continuing to grow faster than USA, so it will pass USA even nominally in a few years, and never mind the undervalued Chinese currency.

  95. Pteryxx says

    Adam Lee just posted a piece calling out the “wall of silence” protecting Shermer – specifically Randi, Dawkins, Nugent, Coyne – and DJ Grothe, because Pamela Gay has gone on the record.

    …Today I received the following threat from the person I thought was my friend, the person who intervened for me, person B. It was in the context of trying to get me to say nothing ever happened. He wrote, “I will also publicly speak about this as necessary, providing all documentation as necessary, including photos, emails, etc., and contact all relevant employers, as well.” He cc’d Famous Person A.

    I’ve corresponded with Dr. Gay, and she’s agreed to speak on the record. According to her, “person B” is D.J. Grothe, the former president of the James Randi Educational Foundation. (The Buzzfeed article cited Grothe as saying that “he had never once received a complaint” about Shermer’s behavior.)

    The Wall of Silence Around Michael Shermer

  96. birgerjohansson says

    Ancient human genome from southern Africa throws light on our origins http://phys.org/news/2014-09-ancient-human-genome-southern-africa.html An extinct lineage in South Africa is closest to “mitochondrial Eve”
    — — —
    The Greatest Paper Map of the United States You’ll Ever See http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2012/01/the_best_american_wall_map_david_imus_the_essential_geography_of_the_united_states_of_america_.html
    — — —
    Paul Krugman dismantles notion that the 1 percent’s lack of humility is the real problem http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/paul-krugman-dismantles-notion-that-the-1-percents-lack-of-humility-is-the-real-problem/

  97. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    I’ve been married over a week, and it’s great.

    That’s very nice, congratulations Kevin. May your marriage last long and prosper! That said, well, I tend to agree with Tony’s implication. From my own experience, it didn’t change all that much to get married, BUT I have to say that some subtle changes in perception did occur when it comes to feeling responsible for each other and such things.

    Of course, there are those legal and fiscal implications too. It just makes me sad to think that it is such an epitome of state-sanctioned sexuality. The idea of promoting procreational partnerships for “society’s continued existence” is just too convenient a fig leaf for suppression of other forms of cooperatively pursuing happiness.

    Bah. Anyway! Enjoy your new status, and welcome back to the daily torture of the commonplace!

  98. says

    Lovely! My best you you and the spouse.

    Sorry about the plumbing. I had a sewer backup two days before christmas last year. Nasty, nasty. The poor rooter guy was out in the cold dark night fixing the thing, guided only by the glow of his cigarette. It looked quite festive from inside the warm house.

    On Saturday Honey came over to help me spread my dog’s ashes in the yard. I was not prepared for the emotional outburst I had. I asked Honey if he had ever done the ashes thing with any of his dogs. “No,” He said. “I haven’t spread ashes since…my mom.” And then we both busted out crying and laughing at ourselves. It really is nice to have someone like him around.

  99. says

    Let’s add this to our Republicans-saying-stupid-stuff file:

    As DeKalb County, Alabama, prepares to elect its next sheriff, one local Republican has taken it on herself to ask voters a tough question: In the likely scenario that President Obama suspends the 2016 elections and seizes dictatorial power, can the local citizens count on a Democratic sheriff to oppose him?

    Betty Mason, a Republican donor who is married to a longtime leader of Alabama’s Republican Party, posed the question in a letter she mailed last week to voters in DeKalb County, which covers a rural community in the northeast corner of the state.

    “Obama is determined to be a dictator with the executive orders he signs,” she wrote. “He has left the US Constitution in shreds. If Obama decides to run again (against US law) or declares a National Emergency to suspend elections in 2016, what will our Democrat sheriff do? I am concerned he will go along with this lawless president.”

    The county’s current sheriff is Jimmy Harris, a Democrat, who is running for reelection. Mason encouraged voters to support his challenger, Republican Rex Leath, who is the assistant police chief of Collinsville. “Leath has pledged to defend our citizens even against a lawless President,” she declared. […]


  100. says

    Published authors take note:

    Last spring, when Amazon began discouraging customers from buying books published by Hachette, the writers grumbled that they were pawns in the retailer’s contract negotiations over e-book prices. During the summer, they banded together and publicly protested Amazon’s actions.

    Now, hundreds of other writers, including some of the world’s most distinguished, are joining the coalition. Few if any are published by Hachette. And they have goals far broader than freeing up the Hachette titles. They want the Justice Department to investigate Amazon for illegal monopoly tactics.

    They also want to highlight the issue being debated endlessly and furiously on writers’ blogs: What are the rights and responsibilities of a company that sells half the books in America and controls the dominant e-book platform?

    Andrew Wylie, whose client roster of heavyweights in literature is probably longer than that of any other literary agent, said he was asking all his writers whether they wanted to join the group, Authors United. Among those who have said yes, Mr. Wylie said in a phone interview from Paris, are Philip Roth, Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, V. S. Naipaul and Milan Kundera. […]


  101. blf says

    The last week-plus at work has been dealing with a rather nasty (in its effects, but easily found) bug. Not one of my doing (I just happen to be the local subject-matter expert).

    Anyways, one of the key questions in devising a work-around (for some fundamental technical reasons (physics) a fix is impossible under the (valid) constraints) is the value of a certain facility, call it X. There are four possibilities: There is no X, There is a fully-controllable X, and Two forms of automatic X (one of which cannot possibly work with the system in question).

    Ok, so ask the intermediary: Which form of X is the customer using?

    First answer: There is no X, they are using part N1.
    Look at the info on N1, and it has a fully-controllable X. Try again…

    Sorry, it’s N2.
    Look at the info on N2, and it has the impossible-to-use automatic X. Try again…

    Isn’t there a form of X where it isn’t needed?
    Only in phantasy physics. Try again…

    (Pointy-hair pipes up.) Use X, it solves the problem.
    It’s a lot of work, isn’t clear it is a better solution, and we still don’t even know if the customer has it. Try again…

    It’s N3.
    Look at the accompanying info, which is for N4. Try again…

    (And a few more rounds of this nonsense…)

    Anyways, today everyone finally agreed it is part N∞, which does not have X at all.

    Fortunately, in the interim I architected a work-around which assumes that if there is an X, it is not an automatic type, so the only thing we’ve lost, to-date, is another desk from me pounding my head into it.

  102. says

    The plumbers just finished. There was a huge root from the tree outside the kitchen window which took a long time to cut through. I don’t think any of the work that was done before went through that access, so it’s had years to grow. We’ll need it trimmed back once a year so it doesn’t get so bad again. Owning a home sure is interesting. On the other hand, at least I can call the repair people instead of waiting for a landlord to get around to it.

    I think I’ll just take the rest of the day off, at least until it’s time for Aged Mum to call. I’ll be over here in my comfy chair with my tea and my book.

  103. rq says

    Hope the repair goes as uneventfully as possible!
    And pre-emptive *hugswithtea* for the day.

    That’s just the first week of many. :) Yay! Routine will settle in shortly.

    D’Awwww… *hugs*

  104. says

    Mormon Moments of Madness, infrastructure and saturation categories.

    […] [LDS Church sources online list] at least 1,210 meetinghouses in the three counties. That is one for every 2.5 square miles, which includes a lot of mountains, wetlands and desert where no one lives.

    Salt Lake County has one LDS chapel for every 1.3 square miles, while Davis is only slightly behind with one for every 1.4 square miles. Utah County — which is larger geographically — has one for every 4.6 square miles.

    When it comes to population, the three counties have one Mormon meetinghouse for every 1,614 residents of any belief, not just Mormons. […]

    The second-largest religious denomination in Utah is the Roman Catholic Church. The website for the Diocese of Salt Lake City lists 24 meeting places in the three counties.

    That comes out to one for every 127 square miles or one for every 81,404 residents. […]


  105. says

    “Let them drink cake …” A bankruptcy judge has decided that the poor people of Detroit do not have a right to water.

    Detroit water shutoffs can continue, thanks to the judge overseeing the city’s bankruptcy. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes was asked to block the shutoffs for six months, but refused. He not only refused, he took the opportunity to embrace the logic of the shutoffs […]

    The U.N. Special Rapporteur on drinking water issues said that “when there is a genuine inability to pay, human rights simply forbids disconnections.” The city of Detroit has raised water rates by triple-digit percentages in recent years despite having one of the poorest customer bases in the country. […]

    Daily Kos link.

  106. cicely says

    Weekendly ‘rupt.


    Still alive.


    *hugs, or other-and-acceptable gestures of comfort and support* for soogeeoh

    *hugs* for blf.
    “Flabbergasted” is a pretty good word for unexpectedly finding one’s self X-Degrees-Of Separation from a far-away tragedy.
    I went to an SCA event the weekend after 9/11, and found that one of my SCA friends was shocked and devastated because she’d worked in the Two Towers area a few years before, and had several friends who were killed in the attack. It shortened the hell outta my convenient emotional distance, I can tell you that.
    :( :( :(

    To rocket all zucchini into the Sun…

    I Approve This Message.

    My sympathies for Nerd for his bills infestation.
    I know that feeling all too well.

    Surreal mushrooms….

    *waving* at Gorogh.
    Welcome back from lurkerdom, however briefly or lengthily.

    Portia, congrats on the raise!

    David Marjanović (over at the ScienceBlogs version):

    For one evolution violates the Law of the Fixity of Species.

    There is no such law. No, not even if you write it with Three Capital Letters.

    :D :D :D
    Also, *pouncehug*


  107. opposablethumbs says

    pouncehugs for cicely, just because.

    Whereof one cannot get it together enough to say anything coherent, thereof on must shut up until and unless one subsequently can after all :-\

  108. says

    From Dan Froomkin at The Intercept:

    Zacks Investment Research urges investors to buy Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman:

    It is likely that the conflict with (IS)* will continue for a while. Such a campaign is likely to provide impetus for defense stocks in the days and weeks ahead. These stocks would make excellent additions to your portfolio.

    How’s that for cold-blooded capitalism at its creepiest?

    * Following a quite reasonable public plea from a very nice woman named Isis Martinez, I’m using the non-hurty version of their name in English. I doubt the assholes in question care much what we call them, so long as we don’t call them late for the next gruesome and pointless atrocity, and Ms. Martinez must be having ‘ell of a time, so I’m changing my usage.

  109. cicely says


    Chinese companies export tools of torture

    Not clicking.


    Yes, I’m still alive, too, though very busy.


    Congratulations, Kevin!

    *return just-because pouncehugs* for opposablethumbs
    If this one awaited certainty of coherence and/or gotness of togetherhood as a requirement for commenting, this one would scarcely comment at all.
    Therefore, coherency and togethergettingness can just go whistle.

  110. says

    If this one awaited certainty of coherence and/or gotness of togetherhood as a requirement for commenting, this one would scarcely comment at all.

    Therefore, coherency and togethergettingness can just go whistle.

    cicely, this one would just like to say that she admires your attitude greatly, and wishes to offer you sincere applause and your choice of beverage and treat in appreciation.

  111. cicely says

    Anne, this one modestly accepts the offer of sincere applause, and could really go for a margarita, right about now.
    :) :) :)
    One also proffers dark chocolate peanut M&Ms, and/or Bit o’ Honeys, in reciprocation.

  112. says

    Don’t be too tough on Anne — she’s been sitting in the comfy chair in the corner sipping tea and reading… wait, is that Calvin and Hobbes?

  113. says

    You know, I blew the other half of what I wanted to say. It was something about thinking you were reading some great tome that explains some deep meaning of life, or something about string theory, and instead you were reading Calvin and Hobbes. This is what happens when I ignore togethergettingness. I ruin my jokes.

    Also, has anyone else heard about the constipated mathematician who worked it out with a pencil?

  114. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Also, has anyone else heard about the constipated mathematician who worked it out with a pencil?

    Sounds like a great way to get an inflection. >.>

  115. Hj Hornbeck says

    Hello, everyone! For months now, I’ve been working on and off on a statistical analysis of a particular sexual assault case a potential bird nesting site, and at long last all five parts are online. It probably won’t change that many minds in this audience, but I bet many of you will find the last part quite useful when it starts dropping tidbits like this:

    7.15 Jurors were typically told on a number of occasions throughout the trial that the burden of proof was on the prosecution to prove all the ingredients of the offence “beyond reasonable doubt”. The judge invariably included this in the summing-up. However, in conformity with appellate court direction, judges did little to elaborate on this or explain what it meant, assuming that “beyond reasonable doubt” was a well understood term which juries would apply in a common sense fashion.

    7.16 However, many jurors said that they, and the jury as a whole, were uncertain what “beyond reasonable doubt” meant. They generally thought in terms of percentages, and debated and disagreed with each other about the percentage certainty required for “beyond reasonable doubt”, variously interpreting it as 100 per cent, 95 per cent, 75 per cent, and even 50 per cent. Occasionally this produced profound misunderstandings about the standard of proof.

  116. says

    I’ve started a multi-part series on racial caricatures of black people on my blog. For all that I’m black, and live in the southeastern US, I’ve been ignorant of the history of racist epithets towards black people (other than the N* word). I also didn’t know the history of racist epithets and racial caricatures, nor did I know how they have evolved over the years. As I’ve been reading up on this, I’ve come to realize that these caricatures are still present in the US. I also can see how some of them (such as ‘The Brute’) play a role in white on black violence (such as Darren Wilson’s murder of Michael Brown). This has been eye-opening, and more than a little horrifying (especially unsettling was reading graphic details of the lynchings of black people).

  117. says

    WMDKitty @176:
    Oh, I agreed with that even before I started reading up on the racial stereotypes. Now that I’ve learned a bit more, he’s been elevated from annoying pest who added nothing of value to the Star Wars films to offensive racist caricature that should never have seen the light of day. Blech!

  118. says

    Awwww, this is just all kind of precious!
    Firefighters save tiny baby hamsters with tiny baby oxygen tubes

    A group of Washington firefighters who wanted to provide “good customer service” revived a family of baby hamsters with tiny little breathing tubes after responding to a burning home last week.

    Apparently no humans were home when the fire broke out, but a loving hamster family was trapped inside.

    Firefighters then found two adult hamsters and their three babies next to a marriage certificate filled out using crayons.

    “Apparently they were married… The family had made a marriage certificate for Oreo and Madonna. It was pretty cute,” Hulse said in regards to the adult hamsters.

    The adults appeared to be OK, but two baby hamsters were sluggish and one was not moving.

    Many people might scoff (though not around here) at what these firefighters did, but me…the fact that they took the time to save the lives of these animals says something wonderful about them.

  119. rq says

    Just read a piece on homeopathy (how amazing it is!) where the process of potentising (Eng.?) is comparable to accelerating and decelerating particles in a particle accelerator. o.O That’s a powerful arm some people have.

  120. 2kittehs says

    Lynna @148 – LOL! Cleese is right, though I’m not sure about being no good at something meaning you also lack the skill to know you’re not good at it. There are plenty of things I know I have no skills for – arithmetic and sport heading the list. But damn, he’s spot on about Fox!

    When I mentioned the town of Nar Nar Goon to a friend a while back, she asked if that was Jar Jar Binks’s less obnoxious cousin.

    Tony! – Yay for those firefighters! Firefighters saving animals always gets to me, because the thought of dying in a fire is one of the most frightening ways to go I can think of, and the thought of animals dying that way is worse.

  121. bassmike says

    Hello everyone.

    The most recent posts above give me hope for humanity. May there be more of these and less of the opposite.

    Potty training is still a little hit and miss, but we have adopted an incentive scheme: each time my daughter performs either of the functions in the appropriate receptacle she get a ‘pom pom’ (the pom poms are the little luminous fluffy balls you get from a hobby shop) to put in a jar. Every time she does it wrong we take one out. It appears to be working! It’s amazing that giving her a small fluffy ball to put in a jar can have such a profound effect on her behaviour.

  122. birgerjohansson says

    “Iran executes man for doubting tale of Jonah and the fish”
    I am not providing the link, it is so fucked up I should puke.

  123. rq says

    You can put that hope away again (see birgerjohansson @184).
    Nice on figuring out an incentive system that works, hopefully it keeps working! (In the end, what worked for Eldest, was cutting off all access to chocolate in any context…)

  124. bassmike says

    *sigh* why do I ever say that I have hope for humanity? There’s always someone who will to prove me wrong! Thanks for bursting my vaguely optimistic bubble birgerjohansson . *Shakes fist ineffectually*

  125. says

    Ugh. Classes start today (for me), early in the morning. Due to stress (notably over calculus), I didn’t sleep last night and my stomach is killing me this morning, but I don’t think I can justify not going. It doesn’t help that I’m feeling increasingly ambivalent about the whole matter, less and less convinced that it’s really going anywhere, going to do me any good, or be worth the time, effort and money that I’m sinking into it.

  126. birgerjohansson says

    rq, bassmike,
    if you want to cheer up, you can scroll through “Dispatches From the Culture War”s by Ed Brayton.
    He reliably provides links to ROFL-level examples of stupidity. And the comments are stellar.

  127. rq says

    That actually does little to restore any faith or hope in humanity, rather convinces me even more that, you know, we’re a stupid, unteachable lot. :P But thanks for the suggestion anyway.

  128. bassmike says

    Birgerjohansson I approve! When I got married I toyed with the idea of including as many Beatles lyrics into my speech as possible, but chickened out in the end. In some ways I wish I’d done it.

  129. says

    In a recent article in the New York Times, there are lots of additions for our Republicans-saying-stupid-stuff file. It looks like the far-right contingent in the House of Representatives is moving further to the right. Hard to believe, I know, but here’s proof:

    One nominee proposed reclassifying single parenthood as child abuse. Another suggested that four “blood moons” would herald “world-changing, shaking-type events” and said Islam was not a religion but a “complete geopolitical structure” unworthy of tax exemption. Still another labeled Hillary Rodham Clinton “the Antichrist.” […]

    Mr. Petri, one of the last of the veteran Republican centrists, is likely to be replaced by Glenn Grothman, one of the most conservative members of the Wisconsin State Senate. Mr. Grothman has explained his opposition to equal-pay legislation by saying, “You could argue that money is more important for men.” He has also suggested that some gay teachers “would like it if more kids became homosexuals.” […]

    Then there is Mr. Hice. Having once called evolution a lie from “the pit of hell,” Mr. Broun, the departing representative from Georgia, would be hard to beat on the inflammatory front. But Mr. Hice has a record. He once said of women in politics, “If the woman’s within the authority of her husband, I don’t see a problem. ”

    […] In a satirical book, he claimed he had found a homosexual agenda to “sodomize your sons” by seducing them “in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms.” […]

  130. says

    rq @180, thanks for that link. Smile-worthy indeed. Love it when students stand up for transgender classmates — and they did so in a picture-worthy way.

    In other news, maybe Republican “people” are corporations?

    […] the Republican Party has taken on a public relations task that dwarfs all other efforts at opinion-making. They boldly aim to convince the American people that Republicans are people too. […]

    Minchillo’s video is a simple production that seeks to enumerate a series of “regular” folks that he labels with a the hashtag “IAmARepublican.” It is a fairly comprehensive list of average Americans who are not generally associated with the exclusivity, racism, and intolerance of the Republican Party. […]

    […] they were photos taken from stock image suppliers. […] the video produced in order to convince everyone that Republicans are real people is populated by fakes. They are models pretending to be the characters that the video claims represent actual members of the Republican Party. And that’s about as real as it gets for the GOP.

    Daily Kos link.

    From the video:

    Did you know Republicans Drive Priuses, recycle, listen to Spotify, put together IKEA furniture, are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, read the New York Times, use Macs, are grandmas, daughters, moms, are left-handed, are doctors, welders, teachers, donate to charity, enjoy gourmet cooking, shop at Trader Joe’s, like dogs, and cats, have tattoos, have tattoos and beards, have feelings, are people who care.

    Well, maybe the stock footage models do all that, but Republicans in general do not.

    If Republicans feel they have to produce something like the “I’m a Mormon” campaign to convince the rest of us that they are regular “people who care,” the party is too far gone to rescue. Flop.

  131. blf says

    Also, tigers are cool. Well, actually they’re warm and furry, but you know what I mean.

    They have sharp claws and teeth, and consider you lunch. Is that what you meant?

  132. Saad Definite Article Noun, Adverb Gerund Noun says

    Just checking to see … my posts today didn’t show up in the on-topic threads.

  133. cicely says

    Tony!, my comics-geekness is hardly encyclopedic, and generally fairly narrowly focused. Mantis is new to me.
    And the margarita was delicious. Thank you, and Anne.

    *hugs* and encouragement for Dalillama.

    Tigers—they’re warm, they’re cool, they’re All-Temperature Felines!

  134. says

    Conservative Supreme Court justices have, once again, done the dirty work for Republicans who want to restrict voting:

    The usual suspects on the Supreme Court have blocked the beginning of early voting in Ohio, putting a hold on a district judge’s ruling protecting early voting. Crucially at issue are the “Golden Week,” during which people can register and vote on the same day, and Sunday voting.

    Whatever the Supreme Court finally does, the hold announced today will do away with the Golden Week:

    The practical effect of the order will mean at least early voting will not be allowed this week — a period that supporters of early balloting have called “Golden Week.” That permits voters to register and cast their ballots on the same day.

    Depending upon the timing of the state’s filing of a petition for review, Monday’s order may also mean that early voting will not be permitted on most Sundays between now and election day, November 5, and will not be permitted in evening hours — that is, after 5 p.m.

    These restrictions, of course, make it more difficult for low-income and black people to vote, which is why Ohio Republicans like Secretary of State Jon Husted want them. […]

    Daily Kos link.

  135. says

    More voter suppression, this time in Nevada:

    What Republicans need to succeed statewide in Nevada, apparently, is a way to have a lot fewer voters. So that’s what the Republican running for secretary of state, Barbara Cegavske, wants to do: suppress the vote.

    State Sen. Barbara Cegavske, who is running for secretary of state, says she supports a voter ID law for Nevada. […]

    She also says she opposes same-day voter registration and same-day voting, however, because such last-minute activity could put too much pressure on election workers and make it tough to prevent fraud. […]

    There’s not a lot of cases of voter fraud in Nevada, just like everywhere else. There is one notable, and pretty funny exception, the Republican who said she tried to vote twice in the 2012 general election on purpose, to prove just how easy it is to commit voter fraud. Which she didn’t, because she was caught in the second attempt, at a second site by poll workers who determined she had already voted at a different precinct. […]

    Daily Kos link.

    Las Vegas Review Journal link.