1. Yellow Thursday says

    *takes a couple hugs off the pile and wraps them around me like a blanket, then sits in the pillow fort*

    I had a good weekend. I really did. Mostly. I just get so tired of having to have the same conversations (mostly in online spaces) over and over again. “Don’t call me ‘dear,’ ‘honey,’ ‘hun,’ ‘sweetie,’ ‘baby,’ or ‘miss.'” “Don’t tell me to dance with you. Ask me.” “Yes, I’m really a woman. My age doesn’t matter. I live in the US, but I’m not getting any more specific than that.” I’m glad most of the online spaces I visit have a decent block feature.

  2. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    *Sneaks a hug, wallows in it*

    Yellow Thursday:
    Oof, the pet name thing.
    I encountered an older gentleman who called me “hon” and “honey” at every other breath. I called him “sweetie” and “sweetheart” until he switched (pretty quickly) to “ma’am” and “[Portia]”. ^_^
    But I feel your pain.
    People are so good at being tiring.

  3. Yellow Thursday says

    Portia @502:
    That’s an interesting tactic. I might try that for repeat offenders. :)
    The one that really pissed me off was after I said I’d rather he didn’t call me “dear” started calling me “hun.” *rolls eyes*

    Thanks for the extra hugs, Anne. Sounds like we may need them. :)

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

    PZ not writing about Nigeria makes me sad

  5. says

    Honey, I’m home!*
    I declare Germany to be the weirdest country currently in existence.
    When I heard that Pegida was going to march in our state capital last Monday, I was hoping that we’d out number them. Today there was 9.000 people at the counter protest. Pegida cancelled their “walk through the city” and just met in front of a shopping centre. 300 people too much, but 30 times as many of us is fucking good. Has probably something to do with our closeness to France, but fuck yeah.
    2 people asked me what “Baga” meant. I told them it used to be a town in Nigeria. They’d never heard of it. But yeah, #allgodsdamnfuckinglivesmatter
    Now my neck is hurting because the little one rode on my shoulders for a large time.

    *Yes, I am 12

  6. Esteleth, RN's job is to save your ass, not kiss it says

    Hopefully a few people felt led to google Baga and learn about what happened. Hopefully some of them will feel led to do something.

    I have to admit I chuckled at the Pegida assholes being chickenshit.

  7. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m refilling the basket of hugs right now. Looks like it’s going to be needed today.

    *nonchalantly stuffs a few in pockets*

  8. says

    I have seen some of the photos related to terrorism in Nigeria posted on Instagram. Quest Love of The Roots band posted one. People seem to be slowly waking up.

    In other news, racist billboards have been put up in Alabama.

    A billboard displaying a message tied to […] white supremacists has cropped up outside of Birmingham, Alabama, a city that has seen several racially charged, separatist signs posted in recent years.

    […] a billboard reading “Diversity means chasing down the last white person #whitegenocide” was posted on I-59 in St. Clair County.

    The news website noted the similarity between the billboard and one posted within Birmingham city limits in June 2013 reading “Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.” […] both phrases are attributed to the White Genocide Project, a group composed of white supremacists and segregationists. […]

    The president of the neo-Confederate group League of the South, Michael Hill, claimed responsibility last fall for the 2013 billboard, according to the news website. Hill said last year that the removal of another of the group’s billboards reading “SECEDE” on a highway near Montgomery, Alabama was a Stalinesque move to squash dissent. […]

    Talking Points memo link.

  9. nich says

    If you want to get right wingers to pay attention to Baga, just post something on Twitter about Obama not attending the Baga rally…

  10. nich says

    The more I think about it, the more it pisses me off. Scores of children kidnapped, thousand of people killed, and the most the world has to offer is a fucking hashtag campaign and conservatives scoff at the White House for fucking tweeting along. But Obama sends “only” an ambassador to the fucking Paris rally for a handful of white people, and he is excoriated by fucking right wing weasels and a bunch of idiots for whom Baga is likely a little guy with hairy feet who fought Smaug in the Lonely Mountain. #lovedthatmovie

  11. Esteleth, RN's job is to save your ass, not kiss it says

    Tonight, I had red wine and Latvian chocolate for dinner.

    The latter was courtesy rq.

    I don’t read Latvian, so it was a bit of a surprise, figuring out what each one was.

    I do think, though, that “šokolāde rigonda” means that the chocolate has hazlenuts. Because that’s what was inside the wrapper.


  12. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The home-health-care doctor saw the Redhead today. Physical therapy will be prescribed.
    The first grog or swill will be my treat tonight.

  13. says

    Unfortunately some white American girl, preferably blonde and a missionary, will have to be kidnapped by Boko Haram before Fox will take the story seriously. That would also get Nancy Grace involved as well.

  14. Rob Grigjanis says

    Esteleth @20: No idea what ‘rigonda’ means, maybe it’s a brand name, but the Latvian for ‘hazelnut’ is lazdu rieksti. My mum’s cousin recently sent us some chocs made by the company Laima (named for the goddess of fate), with the wording šokolāde ar veseliem lazdu riekstiem, ‘chocolate with whole hazelnuts’. Fuckinloverly.

  15. rq says

    When sending to friends, I only use Laima. ;)

    The ‘Rigonda’ is just the name of the chocolate. That the one with the palm tree? :)
    And I’m glad you are enjoying it!!! (They should have tiny writing in English on the back.)

  16. chigau (違う) says

    hugblankets are whatever you want them to be

  17. Tapetum says

    My personal hugblanket is moderately weighty, and extremely soft/furry, something like a really giant cat, minus the purr, and the allergy – but everybody has their own sweet spot.

    Yay for PT for the Redhead!

    There are Je Suis Charlie posters all over around here, but I’ve only seen one Je Suis Ahmed, and nothing on Baga at all, which is depressing.

    My schedule seems to be trying to force me to choose between karate and everything else in my life, which is deeply annoying. Karate is a whole four hours a week, two hours Tuesday night, and two hours Thursday night – so how is it that both nights are managing to be double-booked over and over again right now (mind you, I’ve been doing karate for more than ten years now, and I’ve never had this level of scheduling conflict before). Makes me want to punch things – irony!

  18. says

    Good morning
    Ouch. My neck and shoulders hurt

    My hugblanket…
    …needs washing.
    Maybe I should do it right now because I still can use Mr’s for not getting cold.
    It is also very old and mostly brown, with a swan on it.


    Unfortunately some white American girl, preferably blonde and a missionary, will have to be kidnapped by Boko Haram before Fox the world will take the story seriously.

    Last night the German news had a 5 minutes segment on “football player of the year” and how the German goalkeeper didn’t win it. Yeah, really, that sucks. Being a millionair, worldchampion, beloved hero and not getting an award. With so much human misery, you can’t expect people to care about Nigeria on top of it.
    I think the lack of interest in islamistic terror that doesn’t kill westerners is two-fold. First of all it’s simply racism. PoC getting killed? Duh, those brutes kill each other all the time, at least they’re not killing us (this ties in neatly with the idea that we should send people “back to where they came from”)
    Secondly, if the majority of those killed are muslims, you cannot easily point your finger at Islam, because believing in one certain variety of stupidity obviously didn’t make the victims brutal murderers. A christian missionary would prevent people from thinking about that, of course. You can simply pretend that the thousands before were just collateral damage…

    BTW something else that totally pisses me off are the posters with the faces of the 4 cartoonists. They’re heroes, they are martyrs, everybody else is just dead. Ah, but they died for their convictions!* Right, and everybody else died for their convictions, too. The policemen didn’t get a choice in that. The jaintor who didn’t even know that CH was in that building didn’t get a choice to take that risk. They’re just as dead anyway, but they’re already being erased.
    *Not that I believed in that simplistic explenation anyway

  19. rq says

    But Giliell, duuuuude*, they were having a meeting on combatting racism when they were killed – obviously died for their convictions.

    * Used intentionally but without malice. ;)


    So in keeping with the uneven weather, the roads outside are slippery – slippery enough that a fire truck caused a 5-car pile-up, killing 2 people and injuring 3 (of whom 2 are firefighters). Just yesterday I was listening to the news in the car, about how deadly this year has already been to people on the streets (pedestrians, drivers and passengers – also in a couple of rather bizarre accidents), and then this. That’s 11 people dead on the roads this year already. And it’s the 13th of January. *sigh*

    Also, mum was supposed to fly in today, but there was something up with the plane they couldn’t fix (though they made everyone sit for 2 hours in the plane until they figured out they wouldn’t be fixing it just then) and now we have no idea when she’s arriving. *sigh*

    I realize I have no concept of fashion: I just skimmed through both the best and worst dressed lists for the Golden Globes, published here, and I could not really tell the difference. *sigh*

    And the rest of the world just sucks.

  20. rq says

    Oh, and the basement is still leaking. Or again. Not sure.

    There, that’s the morning whinge out of the way.

  21. says

    I see what you mean
    I guess the larger gallery with 20 pics is the best and the smaller one is the worst (I simply opened bith in a new tab and forgot which is which). But that’s just because some of those were spectacularly bad* (the one with the X instead of a top). But seriously, Keira Knightly’s dress reminded me strongly of my bedroom curtains and then there was another woman who looked like she had spent lots of energy on her skirt and then ran out of time and grabbed the topmost black sweater in the closet.
    Personally I don’t like it when the underboob line is showing, but that could be mere jealousy on my part.
    *Also note how these women tend to be older or non-conventional

  22. rq says

    re: your asterix, yep, that’s what I noticed, too.
    Also, I kind of like Conchita Wurst’s combination… Esp. the dark green velvet. I don’t see why it has to make the ‘worst’ list, unless people are being idiots and letting their biases influence their opinions on the dress. But I mean, people aren’t thaT shallow, are they? :P
    The only commentary the local fashion people (at least, I’m assuming it’s the local fashion people) could come up with for Uzo Aduba’s dress (which, while not particularly flashy, isn’t what I would consider terrible) was to say that ‘it doesn’t appear to be suitable for the red carpet’. Like what the hell does that even mean? :P
    Oh, and the one you mention, the sweater + skirt combo? That one received admiration for being ‘interesting’. And they forgot to add a picture for Claire Danes, besides spelling her name wrong.

  23. bassmike says

    I see that there is a large hug pile in the lounge. As I’m not doing too badly at the moment I’ll start a new one just next to it. Feel free to take as many as you like.

    The media obsession with what women wear on the red carpet is infuriating: the men can wear the same suit to all the different award ceremonies and no one says a things, but woe betide any woman that wears the same outfit twice. Also it has to fit into the media’s conception of appropriately fashionable.

    My daughter is having less and less accidents of a lavatorial nature which is great. The only issue is that she’s going through a phase of waking during the night and needing to have her pull-up changed. Not sure how you get her out of it.

  24. rq says

    Yay for the daytime progress, and for the nighttime – same thing, just time and patience until she learns to wake up when her body needs it. Even when she learns it, during periods of stress or after particularly exciting and/or exhausting days, she’ll probably still need changing in the night – but it gets better!
    Yay also for doing a little better!
    How did the cats-and-dogs end up yesterday?

  25. bassmike says

    rq I have no doubt that this phase will end, but it’s a little tiring right now!

    The cats and dogs ceased their activities about fourish. There was a lot of standing water on the way home…a lot of which is still there. It’s been quite a nice morning here so hopefully things will dry out.

    Have you had any more thoughts on joining the police?

  26. rq says

    No, not really.
    I’ve been unable to reach my boss so far today, but some days are like that since she’s out and about.
    Had a preliminary conversation with Husband, but it’s mostly about deciding whether the benefits will be worth the hassle (esp. if I have to take a 3 – 6 month paycut, never mind a higher salary on the other side).

  27. rq says

    Interesting, I read a piece that said it originated in the man in Goya’s Third of May, the one with his arms raised – though turned upside down for reasons.

    I drew myself: the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya’s peasant before the firing squad. I formalized the drawing into a line and put a circle round it.

    I guess we’re talking about the same person, except the peasant does not have his hands down.
    Anyway! Thanks for that history.

  28. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    Good morning!
    I can’t find the clip to link, but the Daily Show just did a very clever sketch in which the Muslim guy is asked to condemn the CH attacks, and then the white guy is asked to apologize for the NAACP bombing in Colorado.

  29. says

    I’m holding all of Australia responsible for Rupert Murdoch until every single person apologizes for him.

    Hmm, this book on Postfeminism (written from a feminist perspective) is damn interesting, but I’m not sure it’s relevant for my thesis…
    I also had a mild heart attack moment when I inserted my USB (I scanned it at the library) and then I couldn’T find the file. Until I noticed that I was searching the SD card…

  30. pHred says


    I realize I have no concept of fashion: I just skimmed through both the best and worst dressed lists for the Golden Globes, published here, and I could not really tell the difference.

    Tell me about it – one of the dresses that they were badmouthing the worst on a broadcast I saw was one that I thought was just lovely. On the plus side they actually did rate the men as well.

    And looking at the lists you posted I now have confirmation that the ‘fashion world’ is just making this stuff up. I recognized some of those worst from a best list that was broadcast while I was in the dentists office (and vice versa as well). Ha! I always suspected that they were full of it!

    I started making up my own lists – most glue/tape needed, most comfortable looking, most likely to be impossible to go to the bathroom in … important stuff, right?

    I am leaving a basket of hugs and dark chocolate for anyone who wants it. My face is throbbing too much to think about the world today. Sigh. I am supposed to be prepping lectures for environmental case studies class – that’s gonna cheer me up :-/

  31. rq says

    haha pHred I didn’t see your comment when I posted that! :D Ironically, the article lauds Conchita’s sense of style and colour, while the Latvian fashion people ranked her among the worst-dressed.
    (And personally, I love the category ‘most glue/tape needed’, though that could be replaced with ‘least movement required’.)

  32. pHred says

    I have just realized something – there is one person who was distinctly missing from all of the best/worst lists I have seen in the states (not the many admittedly – but still). I’ll give you three guesses and bet you need only one.

    Here is the one from the LA Times

    Right – must work now.

  33. birgerjohansson says

    Another reader of the Vorkosigan books? (Wawes at monitor)
    Did I remember to post this?

    “Life might thrive a dozen miles beneath Earth’s surface” But….does that mean the microbes were not carried around by Noah’s Ark?

    — — — — —

    I am coming back from a budding flame-war at “Aardvachaeology” (Scienceblogs).
    Apparently, I am a racist. Using a writing style I developed at Pharyngula might be tone-deaf, but I never expected to run into commenters holding the pro-chinese ruling group in Hong Kong in high esteem. An educating experience.
    Below is my latest comment.
    — — — — — — — — — —
    ““The unrest in Hong Kong was (very simplified) about the hurdles a political candidate must face to get the candidacy recognised, and, by extension, Beijing’s ability to veto candidates. This is a very inflamed issue that cuts through demograpics, a fact I was unaware of.
    -My view is based upon examples from many countries*; leaders who want to slow down or curtail the expression of democracy are rarely the friends of those they govern. Being deaf to vox populi, they can take a bit of name-calling. Here I follow the example of Charles Hebdo, although I cannot compete with their scatological humor.
    *No, I didn’t visit the Ukraine either.
    PS Racist? I called British UKIP wankers, and some East Asian functionaries wankers so I am a racist?”
    — — — — — —
    (I might be a bit grumpy early in the day, but I am equal-opportunity grumpy)
    (I am now off to boost my racist credentials by eating a pizza at a joint run by a Swedish-Iranian friend. Have a good Tuesday,)

  34. pHred says

    rq I was more thinking about how uncomfortable that stuff is. Depending on what you are using, it can be surprisingly flexible to move around it.

    The worst thing I ever had to wear on stage was a Victorian dress – OMG – it weighed a ton and I felt like a battleship moving around in that thing. Someone had to come over and unzip me (zippers – one of the benefits of stage clothing vs the real clothing) so that I could take a deep enough breath to sing at the end of Act I. I lost virtually all body shame during that show – I was so desperate to get out of that dress I would strip it the second I was off stage. I would take a butterfly costume and rolls of tape over that any day!

    Well – not anymore – that was ages ago now.

  35. rq says

    Your past sounds interesting. :)
    And there are still a few dresses in which, I would expect, it’s best not to move around in. But point taken.
    Also, you don’t mean Helen Mirren, do you? As the missing person? (Because honestly, I don’t follow enough celebrity to know if it would be anyone else…)

  36. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    Here are some more hugs for the pile. I just happened to have gotten some from elsewhere last night.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a blogging platform? I’m finally at the point where I’m ready to put a near final draft in and start playing with formatting. I have an old blog on wordpress that I don’t do anything with anymore (I had no idea what I was doing) , but I’m curious about other platforms and what opinions are.

    Also can I get some opinions on a stylistic solution that I think I have found for a problem? I have been worried about a couple of things when it comes to style, bias and accuracy:
    *Getting the brain science accurate, understandable and contextualized
    *Relating the general experience of Tourette’s Syndrome accurately
    *Relating my experience of Tourette’s Syndrome with all the emotion that I need to use
    *Clearly separating my speculation (reasoned or otherwise) from everything.

    I think I have found a way. I’m going to post as my normal self as much as possible, and I’m going to personify my “demon” as a character in parallel that I dialog with. For a similar comparison consider Colbert’s “Formidable Opponent” skits.

    I think this works because I can be careful and accurate about the science as much as possible, and try to faithfully and accurately represent others with TS or any other groups I need to discuss. My “demon” can be used as commentary to give the impressions of my experience of TS, and my personal views on what the science means in a general sense. By transforming the tourettic parts of my perception into that character not only can I separate myself from the material, but I can also use all the metaphors that society left for me. And it’s scary how well they fit.

    Thoughts? I was thinking of letting my demon use comic sans…

  37. pHred says

    Conchita Wurst wasn’t on any of the mainstream best/worst stuff that I saw. And that ensemble definitely deserves comment. I am having green envy (I have red hair and green eyes) – though I would have to wear a stronger color underneath due to my deathly pale skin (great for hiding in show drifts!) – not that I could wear something like that anymore but still – it is really hard to find rich greens like that!

    Oh and I agree about the ‘dress you better not move around much in’ thing- I think this is a great new category.

    Ugh. I have to go out and hunt down some Ibuprofen – now that the shot is wearing off my whole face is throbbing.

  38. says

    I’m wondering if your issues weren’t due to the fact that the dress was a wannabe Victorian dress instead of the real thing, where a careful construction of the different parts balance the mass of fabric.

    And yep, they definitely make that shit up. Looks like silver glitter was in high fashion this year. I quite enjoy dresses, they’re an art form.

    Sorry, can’t help you much there.

  39. says

    Hmm, I thought the bottom half of Conchita Wurst’s dress worked well, evoking a bit of regionalism with the colour and the fabric and also brought those legs out. The top half didn’t, the colour should have been brighter and it should have had a bit more volume if you asked me.

  40. Esteleth, RN's job is to save your ass, not kiss it says

    Well, rq, I cannot see “lazdu rieksti” anywhere on the label, but then I was uninterested in squinting at the tiny print on the back.

    But yes, it is the one with the palm tree.

    I’m trying to figure out the other two: I think “tumšā šokolāde ar kakao krispiem” is chocolate with crispy rice, and “rūgta šokolāde ar dzērvenēm un veseliem ladzu reksteiem” is chocolate with something and hazlenuts? What’s that something? The label has a picture of a berry, I think?

    *chomps on chocolate*

  41. rq says

    Because I liked the top half of the dress a lot (in addition to the bottom) – perhaps not the beige corset underneath (something different – white, light green, etc.) but I especially liked that the top was just as rich in colour as the bottom. And the buttons, love the buttons. Just wondering what kind of straps it had, though, as I haven’t seen any pictures showing them. Maybe they could have been more voluminous.

  42. rq says

    Dried cranberries. That’s my personal favourite, that one. And yes, whole hazelnuts. And dried cranberries. In dark chocolate.
    The crispy one is pretty darn good, too! Cocoa crisps, actually, but how that differs from a kind of crispy rice (in texture – I know, it’s not rice), I don’t know. :)

  43. says

    I have to disappoint you, because the corset is exactly what I meant by the “top half”.
    I’m not sure, I think didn’t use “bright” correctly here. I meant bright as in “more colourful” probably just mistranslated from German

  44. pHred says

    The dress was actually designed specifically for me, like a wedding dress. I got measured in places I didn’t know that I had places. I had the underpinnings (stays with a planchet so I could put it on myself ) and everything – the only concessions to modernity were the fabrics used and the zipper on the back of the dress. I bet the wardrobe mistress would have made us use ties except that there was no one to help with some of my wardrobe changes. It was pretty accurate – early Victorian ladies were just not supposed to breathe in their day dresses – they were supposed to embroider or something, I guess.

    The only reason that I could sing once the dress was unzipped was that I have rather large, um, assets, and they couldn’t make the stays too tight or things got way out of hand, plus they were the kind that basically end just under the bustline. When they unzipped the dress (somewhere out there are scripts with stage directions that say “Matthew unzips [my name]”) I could breath deeply with the top half of my lungs – not the best way to sing. I should have had an evening gown for that but that would have been way too expensive for a secondary character.

    Sorry I am babbling – I am sure that was TMI. I hope the ibuprofen kicks in soon.

  45. pHred says

    Ugh – I really am babbling – the dress was just way more clothing than I was used to wearing, with all of the layers and everything. I am a jeans and tee-shirt type of person. I can’t even wear turtle-necks. It was exquisitely designed and the fanciest thing I have every worn. I appreciated it, but the idea of having to dress like that for ones entire life oppresses me.

    Also – I think that if I were a red carpet male I would have to do something other than a modern suit. A brightly colored tailcoat with buff pantaloons or something. Not full press Georgian dress but at least wear a fancy waistcoat or something.

  46. rq says

    The thing about wearing jeans and t-shirts all the time is that it’s a real treat (even if a hassle) if you get to wear something more exciting. I once got to wear something resembling a cabaret outfit, complete with gloves, fishnets and a peacock-feathered headdress (just a small one, though).
    I saw some pictures of men wearing sparkly shoes and very neat suits, actually. Still mainly black-and-white, but very suave overall.

  47. says

    The media obsession with what women wear on the red carpet is infuriating: the men can wear the same suit to all the different award ceremonies and no one says a things, but woe betide any woman that wears the same outfit twice.

    Which actually kind of bugs me both directions; there’s the whole policing of women’s appearance part going on, of course, but I also wish that men at these types of things would show some creativity in their style now and then.

  48. pHred says

    Very true. But when you have to do it every night for 4 hours, plus a matinee on weekends, for a few months, it becomes work, not fun. I love dressing up as a one-off too.

    Cool! I didn’t see anyone but George Clooney in the photos. Funny too, since one of the things I was thinking about was the sparkly high heeled shoes men used to wear.

  49. says

    A policeman in Las Vegas has called for a race war … and the guy still has his job. The same guy also threatened President Obama.

    People who threatened police in New York were arrested, even when those threats were posted online and had not included action. The policeman in Vegas is getting a pass because he only posted online the calls for race war and the threats against the president

    Detective Bobby Kinch of the Las Vegas Police Department […] openly admitted and defended every word [He] took to his personal Facebook page to let the world know how he really felt.

    Including pictures of him pointing his gun at plates with the face of President Obama, Kinch posted the following message, “Let’s just get this over! Race war, Civil, Revolution? Bring it! I’m about as fed up as a man (American, Christian, White, Heterosexual) can get!” […]

    According to the Las Vegas Sun, Kinch’s supervisor just asked him to delete the posts. […] Kinch’s fellow detectives, white and black, were so disturbed that they took their own screenshots and continued to press the case.

    Kinch wouldn’t back down though. He made it clear to his fellow officers that he actually meant what he said. To this very day, Kinch, speaking to the Las Vegas Sun, stands by his comments and suggests he deserves some extra protection BECAUSE he’s a police officer. […]

    Finally, Kinch was suspended by an African American lieutenant, Clint Nichols, and an investigation began. Yesterday, after nearly a year, it was announced that the investigation was over, and Detective Kinch was allowed to go back investigating cases with no true consequence.

    Not only that, but, according to the Las Vegas Sun, in a sick twist, in a tactic not known to the general public, he’s primarily in charge of investigating African Americans […]

    Daily Kos link.

  50. cicely says

    2015 is off to a rather tentative start.


    The home-health-care doctor saw the Redhead today. Physical therapy will be prescribed.


    I have never understood Fashion.
    I mean, Annie Hall, and then something that looked for all the world as if the models were wearing trash bags, and clompy-looking boots with ruffly hiked-up-in-front dresses….
    *shaking head*

  51. rq says

    Someone Turned Star Wars Into An 80’s High School Love Story. They load a bit slow, but some are quite creative. I’d watch a movie based on those pictures – very gritty, too. Though it does somehow emphasize one thing – how alone (in being a woman) Leia is in the story. Because at least in high school, you’d hope to see one or two other girls around.

    I’ll see if I can find some men’s shots for you. Saw some nice ones last night.

  52. toska says

    If it’s alright, I’d like to snatch a hug or two out of the hug pile. But don’t worry! I’m replenishing them with my own additions to the pile! The hugs shall not run dry! Or something…

    Lynna 71,
    While it’s not particularly surprising, it is a bit ironic that this officer would come out of Las Vegas, where 2 officers were killed by white supremacists just last year. You’d think the loss of his fellow officers would give him pause before associating with such vile beliefs.

    rq 73,
    I heard a joke a while back that the reason Amidala died was because she was giving birth to Leia, and only one woman can exist in the Star Wars universe at any one time. This rule isn’t exclusive the the Star Wars universe though. It should also be applied to any action/super hero team. Heck, apply it to all media. One woman is all that’s needed in all the things except reality! *sigh*

  53. says

    Don’t forget the important corollary: if there are three women in a media property, they must be blonde, brunette, and ginger. Few shows will violate this rule.

    I can’t figure whether it’s because we all look alike to the people in charge in Hollywood so they have to mark us as different from each other, or so we can make sure hetero men have women for “every”* taste, or what, but it’s weird and annoying anyway.

    * FSV of “every” meaning “as long as your taste is for very thin young white cis women within a narrow range of femme presentation, we got your back bro”.

  54. rq says

    Well, yes. But he tried. Within the limits of someone’s imagination.

    I’ve noticed that, too. These days, sometimes the brunette is replaced with a woman of colour, but the blonde (usually the more main lady) and the redhead are obligatory. :P

  55. rq says

    Latvian internet users show a sense of humour. Basically, they created the hashtag #VainoValsti (which means, essentially, ‘blame the state’, analogous to ‘blame the government’ or ‘blame Obama’ elsewhere – among us atheists, ‘blame Rebecca Watson’).
    Some examples within include:
    “I’m not pretty, but I am stupid #BlameTheState”
    “It’s dark outside already! #BlameTheState”
    “I don’t pay my taxes, roads are shitty, bad schools, medicine, defense, small pension #BlameTheState”
    “My bowl isn’t particularly clean #BlameTheState”
    “It gets windy at sea during a storm #BlameTheState”
    “I like pastries! #BlameTheState”
    “The weekend is only two days long #BlameTheState”
    “The hornets didn’t like it when I shook their nest #BlameTheState”
    “Ice is slippery #BlameTheState”
    “Water freezes when it’s cold #BlameTheState”
    “I left the window open, my house is cold #BlameTheState”
    It’s more or less making fun of the (Latvian?) tendency to blame the government for everything – the past few days, up to and including the terrible weather, which nobody seems to be able to keep up with (hence the currently high mortality). I dunno, right now, I find it hilarious.

  56. says

    Bloody cold here again today. Went to the doctor, had to seriously bundle up. Wore leggings under my trousers, hooded sweatshirt, snood, scarf, heavy gloves, boots, and my best winter coat. Worked well, my legs got a bit chilly, but not intolerably so. Forecast says should warm up in the next few days, that’d be nice.

    Got a new med I’m starting, pending figuring out how to get the scrip to the pharmacy. Bit scary that it’s an antipsychotic, but it has a second use as an amplifier to the kind of antidepressants I’m on. Since I’m at the max safe dose for that antidepressant, but it’s been having an effect (else I’d be an uncommunicative bedridden lump by now), we’re hoping the amplifier will make the difference. Watch this space.

  57. says

    Glad to hear Caitie Cat is moderately warm despite the weather, and that antidepressant meds are working sort of well. Hope to see even more improvement — keep us apprised.

    In other news, Wonkette posted a funny and very accurate review of the TLC show, “My Husband’s Not Gay.” Link.

  58. rq says

    Ah. Thanks, Cait.
    I’m glad to hear (as always) that you are doing well. And here’s to hoping that the new meds have the desired effect!
    And for a lower windchill. ;)

    The Wonkette in general tends to write pretty awesome things. Thanks for that link, Lynna.

  59. says

    You’re welcome rq. I just loved the descriptions of the characters on the show. Excerpt:

    […] Not to get too deep into the rabbit hole here, as we have dick jokes to make, but that lawsuit against JONAH involves “ex-gay” counselors making their clients take their pants off and hold onto their junk in front of the mirror and stuff. You know, typical therapy sessions. That’s what Jeff ‘n’ Pret were speaking out in support of, probably because they’re not allowed to fulfill their desires to hold junk in any healthy sorts of ways, due to the Mormon Truth that every time a guy touches another guy on the Down Theres, Mormon God knocks a continent off the planet they all get when they bite it.[…]

  60. says

    Speaking of women in film, around Christmas I was watching martial arts movies on YouTube. A couple were from the early ’70s and featured Taiwanese actor Angela Mao, Hapkido and Lady Whirlwind. It’s funny that those films have Mao playing characters that are far more kickass than most female characters get to be in current action films after 40 more years of feminism. Both also have a young Sammo Hung in supporting roles.

    On the other hand I also watched a film, 1977’s The Shaolin Conspiracy, that literally had no female characters. Not even any non-speaking roles. One character’s mother gets mentioned, but is never seen. Still worth watching if you like ’70s kung fu films, especially for the fight sequences in the last 30 minutes or so of the film, and for Sammo Hung as an evil Tibetan monk who fights with cymbals.

  61. Tapetum says

    “Snoods” (I hope that bit of html works. My first try in a long time.) This is not me, but someone I know distantly (she went to my college two years ahead of me), and who I know does good work. I still have a snood she made me way back when, though I don’t really have thick enough hair to pull one off well.

  62. Funny Diva says

    Tom and Lorenzo are my (very occasional) go-to snarky fashion blogger gurus.
    They have a whole series of posts from the Golden Globes.

    From their short list of candidates for “best-dressed” (as decided by the readership) I really like Felicity Jones’ gown a lot. Very classy.

  63. rq says

    My only complaint would be the lack of menfolk featured. ;) But as Dalillama points out, a penguin-suit is a penguin-suit!


    Whoops, that was an electric glitch. Time for bed, though – but is the Second Giantest Storm of This Century making a comeback? Eh.
    Here’s to hoping mum gets in okay tomorrow.

  64. says

    Blatant homophobia in Atlanta:

    […] Last week, Atlanta’s former fire chief, Kelvin Cochran, was dismissed due to a self-published book Cochran authored entitled Who Told You That You Were Naked? In that book, Cochran attacks “uncleanness — whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion,” and he describes sex between two men as a “vile, vulgar and inappropriate” act that “defile[s] their body-temple and dishonor[s] God.”

    In announcing his decision to fire Cochran, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D) cited the city’s nondiscrimination policy, adding that anyone who “creates an environment where that is a concern” will not remain a city employee. […]

    The story is not over, as the Family Research Council is standing up for Kelvin Cochran’s right to discriminate against gays. The FRC is calling the dismissal of Cochran “religious discrimination.”

  65. David Marjanović says

    Oh hey! I just got a good chunk of work done – why not dump a few links?

    (And hugs and chocolate.)

    The German un-word of the year 2014 has been chosen. That distinction has been going, since 1991, to the worst bit of sloganeering or headlinese. This time it’s Lügenpresse, a Nazi-smelling term for the “lie press”. Second place: “enhanced interrogation methods”; third: “Russia-understander”, modeled on “women-understander”, which is a self-ironic term (along with “warm-showerer” and “shade-parker”) for not sufficiently toxic men.

    There was that march for solidarity with Charlie Hebdo in Paris where all those heads of state and other politicians walked in the first rows. Nicolas Sarkozy, former president of France, was supposed to go in the fourth row, but (as should have been expected) he walked right in front. The Internet mocks him by photoshopping him into the first row (or similar) of everything else; pictures at the link.

    Legitimately in the first row were Federica Mogherini (charged with the EU’s foreign policy) and Angela Merkel. The ultraorthodox newspaper Hamodia (in Jerusalem) refuses to publish pictures of women. Not mentioning the march isn’t an option for a newspaper – so they retouched the photo and put that on their front page! Immediately, the secular newspaper Maariv mocked this. Pictures at the link.

    And now, all the trigger warnings. Quotes from this article which links to the actual paper:

    According to the survey, which analyzed responses from 73 men in college, 31.7 percent of participants said they would act on “intentions to force a woman to sexual intercourse” if they were confident they could get away with it. When asked whether they would act on “intentions to rape a woman” with the same assurances they wouldn’t face consequences, just 13.6 percent of participants agreed.


    A survey of U.S. teens found that many young men are manipulating their partners into sex and getting away with it. And a study that focused specifically on teenage girls in the United States found that most of them assume sexual coercion and violence is normal, because they think men simply can’t control their sex drives.

    In order to reach the population of men who don’t currently associate forcible sex with rape, the lead authors of the new study suggest education programs that focus on defining sexual consent and encouraging healthy relationships. Simply pushing an anti-rape message won’t necessarily reach those men, they point out, because they don’t think of themselves as rapists.

    Bizarrely, the paper doesn’t mention which university the surveyed students (mostly juniors) go to. But presumably it’s the U of North Dakota (Grand Forks), home to the first two authors, or perhaps ND State U, where the third author is based (ignored by the article). This is also the first time I see a non-medical scientific paper where the authors’ titles are mentioned with their names.

  66. says

    I always found Victorian corsets mightily comfortable (having the privilege of grown ribs that weren’t crushed by early life tight lacing). But nobody expected me to sing, since that’s listed as a crime of war.

    Musing aome more on those red carpet pictures: What’s the universal hatred against necklaces? There’s so many outfits where I think a necklace or a chocker would have really added something.

  67. says

    David M. @93 — OMG for the ultra orthodox Jews photoshopping women out of the Paris photo. Really!? I am disgusted.

    As far as the Family Research Council goes, I don’t think those rightwing dunderheads have any idea what they mean by naming their organization that. They hate everyone who is not them.

    Anti-abortion news:

    Next week, on the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the country, House Republicans will mark the occasion by voting on — and, in all likelihood, advancing — a national abortion ban.

    After making significant gains in the 2014 midterm elections, GOP lawmakers have wasted no time pursuing the anti-abortion agenda that leaders of the party pledged to prioritize this year. Last week, as soon as the 114th Congress kicked off its new term, Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) immediately introduced a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks. Now, the House has scheduled its first vote on it. […]


  68. says

    Brian Brown, head of the National Organization for Marriage, recently spoke at an event in Russia. Brown is exporting homophobia and other forms of hate.

    He likes Russian laws that prevent same-sex couples from adopting children.
    He likes laws that restrict marriage to one man and one woman.
    He urges Russians to be faithful to God.

    Brown is not alone. As Right Wing Watch documents, many rightwing religious doofuses from the USA have been featured at Russian conferences.

    The World Congress of Families sent Don Feder and Lawrence Jacobs. They decried the “sexual revolution,” and joined Glenn Beck in praising Russia as “the new global champion of Christianity.”

    […] “Russian Eastern European leadership, I believe, is necessary to counter the secular, post-modern, anti-family agenda and replace want I’m calling the cultural Marxist philosophy that’s destroying human society, in particular destroying the family,” he [Jacobs] said.


  69. says

    Sooner or later the Russians or the American antigay crusaders will do something to piss the other off. I’d guess it’s most likely from the Russian side when the Russian Orthodox Church gets sufficiently upset with some group of American evangelists, and asks that something be done about them.

  70. says

    I hope you can get the meds and they be useful

    I’m glad I only have to take Thyroxin. If it were something serious I woukd have to seriously become an adult.

    I posted the Haredi newspaper thingy on the satire thread. As I said there, I don’t know what’s sadder: that they did this or that they only had to remove 3 people…

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


    Oof. That sucks. My mom got diagnosed around 64yo. She’s got the money to make taking care of herself a little easier than if she were living in poverty, with only SSI/D, but still….

    Another friend is living paycheck-to-paycheck with diabetes and hasn’t been managing it well for, oh, the entire adult phase of her life. Hell on her girlfriend.

    Hope you get what you need.

  72. says


    Sorry you have to deal with that. Hope everything goes as smoothly as it can. I’ve got a friend who’s been living with it for probably 8 or 10 years now.

    My wife is on her way to Minneapolis now, to take a deposition on a case about lawnmowers. More specifically, the baffles on lawnmowers. A couple weeks ago she had to go to Madison, Wisconsin to handle a deposition on a case about the baffles on lawnmowers. A couple weeks before that, she was on a conference call deposition on the case about the baffles on lawnmowers that lasted 10 hours.

    Seriously. Can there really be that much to talk about with baffles on lawnmowers? (And yes, we’ve run through a lot of the “baffling” jokes on her Facebook already.)

  73. A. Noyd says

    I found out today that Islam has the equivalent of those obnoxiously pious Christians who get all bent out of shape if you say “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas.” According to a (Muslim) coworker, if you wish certain obnoxiously pious Muslims a “happy New Years” around Jan 1st, they’ll reply that “New Year was a while ago” (ie. by the Islamic calendar).

  74. says

    WMDKitty @102:
    I’m sorry to hear that. My sympathies.


    Had a short conversation a few days ago at work (with the same guy-B- who told me a short time ago that there was evidence for the existence of god).
    (paraphrased bc I don’t recall the exact wording used)

    B: Do you believe in the Iluminati?
    Me: No. I’ve seen no evidence to prove that they exist and I try to base my beliefs and opinions on facts and evidence.
    B: So what do you believe?
    Me: What an odd question. I believe all sorts of things, but as I said, I try to base my opinions on facts and evidence. I believe the sun will rise tomorrow based on evidence.

    (At this point, another employee-Z-briefly jumps into the conversation)
    Z: But you don’t know that for sure.
    Me: True. We can never know anything with 100% certainty. But based on the fact that sunrise has been happening for billions of years, I think it’s safe to say it shall rise tomorrow.
    Z: (Z shrugs his shoulders)
    B: Do you believe in ghosts?
    Me: No, bc there’s no evidence that they exist.
    B: Do you think aliens exist?
    Me: There’s no evidence that any extraterrestrial life exists. That said, I think it’s entirely possible that alien life exists in some form.
    B: Screw it. I give up. I can’t debate anything with you.
    Me: Technically we weren’t debating. You asked me questions and I gave you answers. It was more a Q&A. If we were going to debate, you’d need to come up with some idea you sought to convince me (or someone else) of and present the arguments you feel best support your position. That didn’t happen.

    While B and I were “debating”, a lone guest at a nearby table picked up on some of what we’d been saying. I noticed that he nodded as if to agree with me when I mentioned my reasons for not believing in the Illuminati and decided to chat with him a bit more. It turned out that he used to be a preacher, but questioned his beliefs to the point that he could no longer fully embrace theism. He referred to himself as an agnostic, not an atheist bc he didn’t know for sure whether god exists.

    I told him that I felt he might be making a mistake conflating belief with knowledge, and then explained what I felt was the difference between atheism and agnosticism, with the former being a lack of belief in a higher power or powers (and I added that I don’t believe in the thousands of other gods humanity has created) and the latter being uncertainty about the existence or non-existence of a deity-with the added point that agnostics say they can’t know either way.

    From there, he mentioned Richard Dawkins’ belief scale and how RD doesn’t rate himself a 7, bc he doesn’t know for sure that there is no god.

    The conversation continued for a short time longer as he told about how questioning his faith caused enough friction in his first marriage that they divorced. Now on his second marriage, he’s married to a woman who-while a believer herself-doesn’t have a problem with his lack of faith.

    There was a little bit more, but I don’t recall the rest. It was really nice to chat with someone in meatspace about atheist/agnostic issues (oh, yeah, I just remembered that he not only mentioned Hitchens, but the God Delusion, and the 4 Horseman–and yes, I could just go back and edit this post to include that info, but I’m writing this as it comes to my brain and I’m too lazy to go back and make such an edit :)

  75. says

    Good morning

    Sorry to hear. That sucks.

    One day you’Re going to be into trouble for causing unnecessary thinking in people ;)

    A. Noid
    Hehe. I don’t think I’ve run into that sort of people yet (though most people don’t care about what you wish them in December anyway)

  76. rq says

    I think B’s ‘I can’t debate with you’ was pre-emptive. See, xe was trying to figure out your weak spots – hence all the questions – and, discovering that you already have all the answers, came to the conclusion that anything worthy of the name ‘debate’ would be useless. ;)

    That really sucks. :( I hope you get your appointment.

  77. says

    Oh dear. Good news me! (Negative points for not reading this in Dr. Farnsworth’s voice)
    I ordered the complete Futurama box last year, and now it’s delivered to the so called post office nearest to me!
    To the R-Kioski, I say, maybe?
    *scuttle* Woop woop woop woop!

  78. Saad says

    Lynna, #92

    Blatant homophobia in Atlanta:

    […] Last week, Atlanta’s former fire chief, Kelvin Cochran, was dismissed due to a self-published book Cochran authored entitled Who Told You That You Were Naked? In that book, Cochran attacks “uncleanness — whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion,” and he describes sex between two men as a “vile, vulgar and inappropriate” act that “defile[s] their body-temple and dishonor[s] God.”

    In announcing his decision to fire Cochran, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D) cited the city’s nondiscrimination policy, adding that anyone who “creates an environment where that is a concern” will not remain a city employee. […]

    So proud of my city :rolleyes:

    I’m happy Mayor Reed got rid of him.

    I read the world’s most clueless opinion piece in the paper yesterday. Someone criticized Mayor Reed for punishing people for having different religious views. They ended the piece by saying, you know who else does that? That’s right, the Taliban! Yup, because the Taliban would totally punish someone for saying homophobic things…

    A. Noyd, #108

    Even more annoying are those who correct you when you say khuda hafiz (a parting phrase very commonly used by Muslims meaning “may god protect you”) instead of Allah hafiz. Their reason is that khuda was the Persian term used by Zoroastrians, and thus not Islamic. Also, khuda technically means a deity and not specifically Allah even though it is very commonly used to mean Allah by Muslims.

  79. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says


    Well, don’t you know that the default is white?!
    Never mind that the Scandianvian nations had indigenous POC. NEVER MIND THAT.

    They didn’t exist. Duh.

    Also love how that guy calls the WOC princesses “ethnic”
    Right up there with “oriental” in terms of sensitivity.

    Also, isn’t Merida Scottish, not Irish.

  80. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    *have. Not had.
    *mutters to self*
    Sheesh, Portia, don’t be part of the problem.

  81. says

    […] in 2015 the poorest fifth of Americans will pay on average 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the middle fifth will pay 9.4 percent and the top 1 percent will average 5.4 percent.

    “Virtually every state’s tax system is fundamentally unfair,” the report concludes. “Unfair tax systems not only exacerbate widening income inequality in the short term, but they also will leave states struggling to raise enough revenue to meet their basic needs in the long term.” […]

    Kind of takes the wind out of Romney’s 47% sails … and that doofus is basically making all the same claims he made before as he gets ready to run for president again. I think we the people need to stop subsidizing Romney. That dude is part of the 1% that pays, on average, about half of what the 47% pay into state and local tax funds (measured as a percentage of income).

    […] Mitt Romney believes that 47% of the American people are “dependent on government, believe that they are victims…believe the government has a responsibility to care for them…believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it” all because they don’t pay federal income tax.

    Never mind that the people Romney is insulting as freeloaders are paying state and local taxes at higher rates than the wealthy, lower-income working Americans also pay a much higher percentage of their income than do the wealthiest when it comes to payroll taxes (which, of course, were levied only on the first $117,000 of income in 2014). […]

  82. rq says

    Exactly. Exactly. I love the sort of shoehorned comment about how there were non-white minorities in all of those countries, but c’mon, who wants to hear about them anyway?? They certainly weren’t royalty. 18th century France had no black people, no brown people, ANYWHERE. All white. :P
    My. Ass. (Considering French colonization was still at a pretty high level back then, I’m pret-tee sure. Not to mention the Dutch. Not sure about the Danes, I bet at least they were all-white. :P Go Ariel – and by the way, Danes were and are mostly blonde, so why is Ariel a redhead, huh huh?)
    I read some of the comments, and they’re full of ‘race-baiting’ and ‘sticking to historical accuracy’ and ‘this is not a documentary’… that last one, kind of makes the point against historical accuracy, but oh well. People saying racist things say racist things.

    Sorry, this response got rather longer than probably necessary. :P

  83. A. Noyd says

    Saad (#114)

    Even more annoying are those who correct you when you say khuda hafiz […] instead of Allah hafiz.

    Interesting! On that note, I’m surprised Christians aren’t clamoring to restore “goodbye” to “god be with ye.”

  84. says

    Sticking to historical accuracy. Just a documentary, then, is it, about mermaids falling in love with human princes?

    Makes as much sense as the GRR Martin argument that GoT must have rapey rapeyness everywhere, just like in the real world of ice zombies and dragons, or it wouldn’t be historical enough. Or Tolkien’s work having only a few china dolls and a single badass woman in it, and how the dark-skinned races are inherently and irredeemably evil, y’know, just like real life.

    I think I just sprained my optical bone rolling my eyes so hard.

  85. rq says

    Here, allow me to splint that for you. Rest, my dear – I’m sure there will soon be a thread where you’ll need all those optical muscles and bones to roll once again.


    Now I’m even more depressed: it’s January fucking 14th and 16 people have died on Latvian roads this year already. Looking to beat the record set in November 2013 (27).
    And of course, it’s everybody else’s fault. Our driving culture is fine.

  86. says

    Tsss, didn’t you know, white people are now the experts on what is racism.
    Also, really, this person thinks that Brave is set in Ireland. Maybe, just maybe, until they can get the fucking island right they should not share their opinion on the net.
    Also, I demand that all Cinderella adaptations must have an all Chinese cast ’cause that’s where the story comes from. Plus, why not sit down with your kids and watch Sleeping Beauty, the original version (the one with the rape…)
    In that spirit…

  87. rq says

    … Not that, you know, January 1 as such is a particularly good signpost in measuring road fatalities, but… it’s been a rather stunning past couple of weeks.

  88. rq says

    Cinderella, Chinese? Really?
    I always thought it was Egyptian! (At least, my Egyptian friend has always insisted the story originated in Egypt – but in the Egyptian story, the princess is, actually, a white Greek slave with green eyes… How’s that for something resembling irony?? But a handsome Egyptian prince? Hmmmmmm…)

  89. says

    No, that’s where the tiny shoe element comes from, Chinese foot binding. That’s how Cinderella shows she’s actually the noble one, unlike her stepsisters who came to the wealth later in life.
    You know, when in doubt, always look up the Klingon original….

  90. says

    Well, this is just bloody awful.

    When hundreds of Vanessa Collier’s closest loved ones crammed into the pews of New Hope Ministries in Lakewood, Colorado on Saturday to attend her funeral, they settled in for the mix of melancholy and merriment that often accompanies a burial: mourning, storytelling, and a passionate celebration of life.

    But after about 15 minutes, Pastor Ray Chavez abruptly brought the service to a halt. In a move that shocked those present, Chavez said he wouldn’t proceed with the ceremony because Collier, a mother of two, was a lesbian.

    According to the Denver Post, Chavez said he would only continue the service if images of Collier and her wife, positioned around the casket, were removed. The family, outraged, refused, and “picked up programs, flowers and eventually the dead woman’s casket itself” before relocating at a mortuary across the street. The scores of attendees, many of them reportedly lesbians themselves, followed suit, abandoning the church. […]

    Chavez, who reportedly referred to Collier’s sexuality as an “alternative lifestyle,” has yet to refund the family the cost of the funeral. […]

  91. says

    You know, fantasy is my favourite genre. Always has been. but the more I understand the more I’m disappointed with large parts of it. Too often it’s the uni-myth of white man saving the world and it is often simply an excuse to write racist and sexist shit you know wouldn’t fly if you wrote novels set in the here and now. Indulgence in a world where it’s just OK to rape and abuse PoC and still be the good guy.
    Thankfully I’m also discovering more and more fantasy thatis written by more progressive people who don’t throw a temper tantrum when you mention this. PoC as protagonists, or at least problematization of structures of power.

  92. rq says

    I always thought the point of fantasy was, you know, the fantasy part, where you diverge from historical accuracy, but I’ve been wrong before.
    That being said, it’s definitely been rewarding to seek out less-known authors and less-visible authors (basically, anyone not male and white) and more interesting story-lines. Turns out a lot of them have been around for a while.

  93. rq says

    Thanks for those! I found similar links already. I’m also finding other sources and they either list the 8th (sometimes 9th) century Chinese story as the original, and sometimes the 1st century Greek one (sorry, not Egyptian after all, should have known, if the princess is white :P). The Chinese version fits better with the story as I know it, though.

  94. The Mellow Monkey says

    On the subject of folk tales and mythology and fantasy… I’m looking for good examples of redemption stories. The older, the better. Any suggestions?

    I’ve got an idea that won’t leave me alone after spending far too much time power-reading through comics over the past couple days. It involves a very ancient being in modern times trying to turn over a new leaf, but not really knowing how to redeem themself. So the being tries to fall back on what they know from mythology.

  95. Saad says

    A very beautiful and touching tribute to the children murdered in Peshawar.

    I wish it was subtitled, but it’s a child singing to his mother about the TTP terrorist who killed him. These are some of the best lines:

    Tell me what he’s searching for, I can be found inside my books.

    I am the future that is to come, why would he kill me in the present?

    I am from a nation whose children he is afraid of.

    The fact that he’s singing to his mother gets me right in the feels. Damn it.

  96. rq says

    Can someone link me up to the ‘Later this morning’ thread? I had to restart the work computer and using the Search function on Pharyngula doesn’t seem to be turning it up at all (happened once before when I wasn’t logged in, don’t know why it’s doin it now). :(

  97. says

    I just remembered something I wanted to share, hee hee.

    A door to door salesperson called me an evil witch last night – she rang the bell, hammered on our door repeatedly, and when I politely said we were eating dinner, not interested, thanks, have a good evening, she took umbrage. Loudly, and all the way down the sidewalk to the next house, including calling upon her deity to bless me because obviously I needed it, being an evil witch and all. Tee hee, and I wasn’t even wearing my pointy hat…

  98. says

    Speak of entitlement. Yours, of course. Thinking you could have a dinner in your own home!


    I always thought the point of fantasy was, you know, the fantasy part, where you diverge from historical accuracy, but I’ve been wrong before.

    Well, you can. As long as you still have the white man saving the world.
    It is acceptable to let him start poor, though.

  99. says

    My favourite was the two Mormons who came to my door a third time, after two of my kids had told them we weren’t interested. The third time, I answered the door wearing a sarong (my breasts covered, though legally I could have been naked), and told them I’d totally love to chat, but my coven were coming in an hour and my baby stew wasn’t ready yet. It was kinda like a cartoon, the way their eyes bugged out and they headed for the sidewalk in a hurry.

    Wouldn’t do it on the first one, nor even the second, but if you won’t get that no means no, all bets are off. :)

  100. rq says

    The nerve of you! The Deity is obviously much more important than your dinner. You’re far too materialistic for your own good. Next time, wear the pointy hat straightaway and leave the black cat out on the porch – maybe they’ll stay away completely!

    Well pfft, he has to start poor – starting rich is just too easy. Plus, I hear being poor automatically endows one with a slew of strong characteristics such as honour, honesty and a penchant for pure love (as opposed to the sex, the sexy parts, ew!).

  101. rq says

    Back when I was a single unwed mother (for about six months of my life), a lutheran pastor friend of mine was over visiting and we were walking in the Old City when we were approached by a pair of mormons. My lutheran pastor friend was interested in the theological conversation, but once they started asking personal questions, they (the mormons) got all weird about our information – I was catholic, childfully unwed, and he was a lutheran pastor, not the father of my baby and also not a boyfriend, in a relationship of his own, and yet here we were together, without a chaperone of any sort. I don’t think they had enough salvation for the both of us.

  102. says

    Hehe, the last time I saw Jehowa’s Witnesses was when I was 8 months pregant and still sharing a flat with my BFF. They arrived at the top of the stairs (87 steps) and were trying to catch there breath to preach to my BFF when I walked out, my belly arriving some 5 min before me, put my arm around my BFF and smiled.
    They vanished quickly…

    It’s completely legal to open your door naked here. After all, it’s your flat you’re in. My uncle used to work for a private postal service. The rules were that if the name was on the mailbox, you could just put the letter in, but if it wasn’t you had to ring the bell and deliver in person. Whenever he had to deliver mail to the brothel, where for obvious reasons the names wouldn’t be on the mailbox, the women would open in various states of naked. He also said they were extremely friendly and often would offer him a glass of water.

  103. rq says


    He also said they were extremely friendly and often would offer him a glass of water.

    Well, that’s how it always starts in the films…

  104. rq says

    … And the head of the Latvian islamic community just came out in favour of corporeal punishment such as breaking fingers for blasphemy and cutting off hands for thieving (reduces theft up to 99%!). The breaking fingers bit came as a reference to ‘those cartoonists didn’t deserve to die, perhaps the punishment could have been less severe’.
    All the while he keeps pointing out Latvia’s own double-standard in freedom of speech (i.e., in Latvia, it is a criminal offense to deface the flag or any other state symbol – as can be proved by one of my colleagues’ current cases, where a Latvian flag was nailed to the ground in a public place, allowing people to walk on it – yes, there’s a criminal case open for that).
    And then he goes on to defend islam as a peaceful religion.

    I just. People. How do they work? Seriously. Like what.

  105. rq says

    At least it’s a small country, a small community… I can chalk it up to fringe elements, right?

  106. rq says

    I suppose so, it’s the Islamic Cultural Centre here, I think. The director was interviewed. From what I understand, yes, he represents the entire muslim community as such. But there’s no real way to know how representative his comments are, since none of the other members of the muslim community have been interviewed.

  107. carlie says

    Child 2 stories – he had a county music audition thing tonight where he had to do a solo/sight reading. One of those things where everyone has a slotted time and there are several rooms and judges and such. So we get there, and of course there are kids in all types of dress from tshirts/track pants to nice dresses, and we had made him wear dress slacks and a button down and tie. The accompanist (who has known him for years) came out to get him and asked if he was ready, and he said “Yes, but I’m questioning whether I should have dressed semi-casual.” She managed not to laugh, said he looked great, and took him in. :D

    On the way there he had been grumpy at not having time to grab his mp3 player before we left the house. I asked if he wanted to listen to any of my cds I had in the car, and he said no. On the way home, he said “I guess I’ll listen to one of your cds. I just said no on the way here out of spite.” ;)

  108. says

    NYT columnist David Brooks offers a reading and his own…unique interpretation of Ursula K. LeGuin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

    Brooks offers several takes, including a final trippy one about Omelas being representative of the modern human mind (“LeGuin hacked Brooks’ brain!” quoth Flavorwire’s own Jonathon Sturgeon). But, smart fellow that he is, Brooks resists the obvious explanation that we are all the Omelas people who don’t walk away, and we are complicit.

    “The people who stay in Omelas aren’t bad,” he assures us. “They just find it easier and easier to live with the misery they depend upon.” As for the characters who do leave, he has little more than contempt — “They walk away from prosperity, and they make some radical commitment. They would rather work toward some inner purity,” he sneers. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Silly me, I actually assumed these folks were the story’s heroes, visionaries risking it all to attempt to find a better society that, as yet, we cannot imagine.

    But I was totally wrong. They’re actually narcissists searching for inner purity. Losers. Now that I’ve read Brook’s upside-down analysis of this beloved tale, though, I can’t help but wonder if I was wrong all along about lots of classic short fiction. Maybe the most disturbing short stories in the canon have a different meaning than I originally took from them in my youth.

  109. says

    Tony 161

    I think I just saw on Facebook that ShipYourEnemiesGlitter had to pull back some because of overwhelming demand. I can’t seem to find the notice I saw, but Google shows me news articles that mention it.

    And I know I don’t see an offering to tpyos.

    carlie 160

    How did he do? Or when do you find out if you don’t know yet?


    Does that mean someone will have to hang around and watch the laundry? Because that’s a pain, but at least there are books to be read, right?

  110. says


    And I know I don’t see an offering to tpyos.

    Y’know, I assumed that this

    Child 2 stories – he had a county music [snip] audition

    was a typo (‘county’ rather than ‘country’), but now that you mention it, I could be completely wrong and shouldn’t have made the assumption. My bad.

  111. carlie says

    We won’t find out for a few days at least – it’s just to sing in the large all-county choir for a big performance.

    I can’t find a typo! Now I’m obsessing over it.

  112. carlie says

    Oh! :) Yes, it was county – we have several music things here that are all the districts in the county together. That’s different from where I grew up, where it was just your own district or statewide. Nice, though; more exposure to new people and teachers, but not so intimidating as all-state.

  113. says

    I just noticed that I’ve been getting some traffic on a post I wrote a few months back titled ‘If men in comics were sexualized like women were’. The traffic is coming from a Reddit subthread, which I clicked on to check out. I feel kinda dirty now.

    (the Reddit subthread is here:; no link bc I’m not sure if Reddit links will make it through moderation)

  114. carlie says

    No problem, Tony – I had never encountered such a thing until I moved to my current location, so I should have explained it.

  115. says

    My brain tripped over it (county vs. country) at first, too, but then I remembered that when I was playing trombone in school, we had a Philadelphia School District band/orchestra that took the best from around the city (which is also the county). We also have city or county champs in school sports.

    I actually don’t know if there is a county-wide music thing for where we are now. Neither of my kids wanted to get into music. Son took violin lessons for a couple months before giving it up and daughter spent a school year in the school choir in 4th grade but didn’t want to go back.

  116. Funny Diva says

    Carlie and Tony!

    So, child #2 performs BOTH types of music? County AND District?

    (I’ll get my coat…)

  117. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Well, as of yesterday, my friend is cleared for discharge from the hospital. ^.^

  118. carlie says

    Funny Diva – only get your coat if we’re going outside to toast that awesome comment. :)

  119. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    Well, I’m glad I made SO a spare key a few months ago. I told him I left my keys at the office, and he forgot I also have my office key on that ring…would’ve been hard to go get my keys from the office…
    We met at the halfway point, 15 minute drive for each of us, and now I’m finally fed, and in bed, and zoning out. Whew what a day.

    *piles up some hugs in the corner by the blanket fort, free for the taking*

  120. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    Yeah, not to mention all the times he has used it to let himself in and start cooking dinner when he beats me here ^_^

    I ate leftover spaghetti with meat sauce – I made it a few days ago with SO’s dash-of-red-wine recipe. Very satiating.

    How are you doing, my dear friend?

  121. Portia (aka Smokey the Advocate) says

    Yeah, and the comfort food made everything feel better.

    I didn’t know Faith was your favorite. That’s interesting. How come?

  122. says

    Tony! 177
    Oh, yes, that prat. He recommends mixing butter with your coffee in the morning to get an extra energy boost (it will give you some extra calories, at least; I used to do the same thing with an egg when I was working out regularly, as otherwise I got massive headaches from insufficient calories). He’s attached a lot of woo and overpriced bullshit to the idea and made a mint.

  123. says

    Portia @182:

    I didn’t know Faith was your favorite. That’s interesting. How come?

    To be honest, I’m not completely sure. Come to think of it, if someone asked me why I liked any of the characters (whether movies, tv shows, or comic books), I’d be hard-pressed to explain why I like them.


    I really like the word ‘prat’ (and that’s something else I can’t explain).

  124. says

    Trigger Warning:
    West Hollywood is making all single-stall restrooms gender neutral.
    It’s a good, progressive move. I support the idea. However, the sample sign shown in the accompanying image shows the standard pictograms used to represent women, men, and people with disabilities. It also makes use of an image I haven’t seen before, and one that I find fucking insulting. It’s an image that combines the man and woman pictogram into one, creating a half-man/half-woman. I surmise that this new pictogram is meant to represent trans women and trans men (as well as anyone outside of the gender binary), as if they’re half of each gender. Which they fucking aren’t. A trans woman is a woman. A trans man is a man. They aren’t half anything.

  125. tbtabby says

    Surprising and unsurprising news about a gun rights group from Texas:

    They staged reenactments of the Charlie Hebdo massacre to see if it could have been prevented by as “good guy with a gun,” and the results were negative. And they acknowledged that this was the case. That’s the surprising part. What’s unsurprising is that they’re going to go on carrying guns everywhere in the belief that they can stop a mass shooting.

  126. chigau (違う) says

    there is only one restroom in the establishment?
    How about a graphic depicting a TOILET?
    (I hope they didn’t dislocate their shoulder from patting themselves on the back)

  127. says

    Good morning
    I’m always wondering who steals handmade stuff. I mean, with some generic store bought shit you can always claim you just happened to have the same item, but handmade, individual stuff? #1 had handmade stuff with her name on it stolen and believe me, it’s a name you don’t hear often.

    Ahhhh, one of those days. I did something equally smart yesterday. I drove to college to return some library books that were due, scan the relevant passages before doing so and to pick up new books.
    Well, when I left the motorway I noticed that my purse was in my other backpack, the one that was standing at home. Thankfully I could return the books without my library card or I’d have to drive there again today…

    Toilet signs are a fucked up “male as default” thing anyway. Because the sign for “man” is the default sign for “person” elsewhere. Women, otoh, are represented by a skirt.
    Yeah, why not simply have a toilet, you can add “all genders” in written…

  128. Nick Gotts says


    On Saturday, I set out on the drive from Turin to Dunfermline – the car had to return to the UK for insurance reasons – and about 45 minutes into the drive realised I’d left my phone on charge in the flat… At least it wasn’t when I reached the end of the first day’s drive (Saint Quentin) and looked for the phone to call my wife.

  129. bassmike says

    Nick Gotts Turin to Dunfermline is quite a trek. Watch out for the bad driving conditions in the UK. My brother did Marseille to Wolverhampton and back over X-Mas.

    Minor work related rant:
    It seems that academics don’t use the scientific method in the ‘real’ world. Case in point: I set up a video conference event which included broadcasting a powerpoint presentation. I was called to fix it as the presentation couldn’t be seen. I went to investigate and it turns out one recipient could see it and the other could not. Surely the logical thing would be to assume that the fault was at the receiving end that didn’t see it rather than the broadcast end? Apparently not!

  130. bassmike says

    rq @195. That’s literally too close to home! I always vote in General Elections, but this makes me more determined. My hope is that they lose their deposit at the very least. But hopefully they will get very few votes. We can but hope.

    Also, but completely unrelated, I read this BBC News article concerning a trans* girl:
    The article always used the correct pronoun, which was reassuring. It made interesting reading as it appears to show that accepting someone as trans* before puberty can make the transition a lot less painful and easier. I would be interested to hear other’s take on it as it may help with my education on such matters.

  131. says

    Hoh did we manage before mobile phones?

    I will say that if you cut your hair short your neck will feel very cold for a while and get tickled

    AFAIK trans children get puberty so the hard to undo changes of puberty don’t affect them before they then get HRT later

  132. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says


    From the bulletproof coffee link:
    “grass-fed butter”

    You can feed butter?

  133. says

    Also, today at the checkout
    Me, putting my nashis on the counter.
    Woman behind me: Excuse me, what are those?
    I explain
    She: Are they good?
    Ehm, no, I’m just buying them because I want to look sophisticated (no, I didn’t say that, but, what did she expect? And since are the tastes of the randomn person in front of you a good indicator whether you’d like something, too?)

  134. says

    I hope no one here has connections with Target Canada. It was just announced Target is pulling out of Canada. They’ve been bleeding money from the start, and it has been suggested they wouldn’t see a profit here until 2021. 138 stores will close.

  135. rq says

    Sometimes, yes, when I see someone in front of me buying something I know nothing about, I might feel a bit braver about trying it out next time I’m in the shop.
    But that’s just me. I’m usually the one with the odd assortment of random objects that make sense only to me.


  136. David Wilford says

    About the origins of the attacks in Paris last week and the fallout from them:

    Waking Up to the New al-Qaeda – Ahmed Rashid

    Almost from the moment the massacre at Charlie Hebdo in Paris was first reported last week, there was speculation that the attack might have been tied to ISIS, the extremist group whose rise in Syria and Iraq has preoccupied Western officials for months. But the main influence behind Said and Cherif Kouachi, the two brothers who committed the Paris attacks, came from a quite different organization, one that has gotten all too little attention in the West in recent months: al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is based in Yemen.

    During his standoff with police after the initial attack last week, Cherif Kouachi told a French television station that he was “sent by Yemen’s al-Qaeda” and that he had been “financed” by the Yemen-based American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone attack in 2011. Though it has not been confirmed, US officials also now say they believe AQAP may have ordered the attack. (Although a third terrorist, Amedy Coulibaly, who was killed at a Kosher supermarket in Paris on Friday, declared his allegiance to ISIS in a video released after his death, there has not been evidence that ISIS had any part in the attacks.) This should not come as a surprise. …

  137. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    When I follow a link to background material and find myself automatically responding to a three year old comment in a closed thread, I think it’s time to take a break from arguing on the internet for a day or two.

    @rq 195
    Isn’t that the same Buchanan who sometimes comments in Ally Fogg’s posts?

  138. says

    Take a well-earned break

    I sometimes play a mental “what’s for dinner?” by looking at whatever other people buy.

    Talking ’bout breaks, don’t worry if you don’t see me much the next days. It’s my birthday tomorrow and Mr and I are going to the Spa first and then we take the kids out to the Chinese restaurant (If Döner leads to the islamification of Europe, does Chinese food lead to communism?)

  139. rq says

    Enjoy your socialist meal tomorrow. ;)
    And can I pre-emptively say Happy Birthday? :) Hope you have a great time, and that the kids behave in the restaurant! Sounds like you have a lovely day planned.

  140. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    @Giliell 211

    What funny is that this was the comment, I actually finished the response, and went to the bottom and tried to post it. XD

    I am honestly laughing at it. These are the things that remind me that the only reason I know about flawed behavior in others is that I have to deal with the same flaws in myself. Hyperfocus is a double-edged sword.

  141. David Wilford says

    Some more background on other attacks that have taken place in France in recent weeks:

    France: The Ground Shifts – Mark Lilla

    … By the week before Christmas the French public was on edge. On December 20, a Muslim convert whose Facebook page was full of radical Islamist material walked into a police station outside of Tours crying “allahu akbar,” pulled out a long knife, and stabbed three policemen, nearly killing one, whom he may have been trying to behead. He was shot and killed. The next day a Muslim man with severe psychological problems and screaming the same thing drove into a Christmas market in Dijon, killing one person and wounding a dozen more before trying, unsuccessfully, to commit suicide. The following day another mentally unstable man babbling something about the children of Chechnya did the same thing in Nantes, killing a shopper at the market and injuring many more. At roughly the same time someone fired shots into the office of a synagogue in the nineteenth arrondissement of Paris, missing the rabbi and his assistant. The first three attacks received wide, breathless press coverage, full of speculation and errors. The fourth, against a Jewish target, very little.

    And so, when news broke of the Charlie Hebdo killings, the French were in a sense primed for it. It did not seem preposterous that one of the Kouachi brothers who committed them came from what is euphemistically called here a “sensitive urban zone” where radical Islamists fished for men; that they admired Mohamed Merah and Mehdi Nemmouche and wished to emulate them; that one was drawn into radical Islam in prison and both had spent time in Yemen; or that after finishing their work they would shout “Allahu akbar, we have avenged the Prophet! We killed Charlie!” Nor was it unthinkable that their friend Amedy Coulibaly, who had also embraced jihadism in prison, would attack a kosher grocery store and murder Jews in cold blood. What no one was prepared for was the fact that these young men had military weapons and flak jackets in a country with strict gun control; that their acts were loosely coordinated and that the brothers’ attack was apparently planned by al-Qaeda in Yemen; that they had been excellently trained and went about their business calmly and professionally; and that there may be many more like them lurking in French cities or on their way back from the killing fields of the Middle East.

    The shock is that things are far worse than anyone had feared.

  142. says

    Tony @176, I think the armed customer lucked out in a way. He didn’t kill any innocent bystanders. From the article:

    As the customer held one suspect for police, he fired as the other suspect ran off. The bullets shattered the front windows of the restaurant.

  143. opposablethumbs says

    child #2 performs BOTH types of music? County AND District?

    :-))))))) Brilliant.
    Hope the audition went well, carlie!

    … and sorry, apart from that I’m totally ‘rupt again :-\ I meant to post this hours ago and my internet connection went awol. Don’t know if it’s back to stay or just taunting me.
    Hugs to those who could do with one.

  144. says

    The unvaccinated woman who started a measles outbreak in the USA was a 20-year-old from California:

    What started as a measles outbreak among seven people who visited Disneyland in December has spread to more than 26, as an unvaccinated California woman apparently transmitted the virus through airports and the theme park, health officials said.

    State health departments in California, Colorado, Utah and Washington and have confirmed cases of the extremely contagious virus, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday. Taken together, the cases would account for almost 12% of the expected measles cases for the entire year (there are 220 cases per year on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

    The virus is highly contagious, can live for up to two hours on surfaces and is transmitted through an infected person’s coughs or sneezes. Measles is so contagious that “90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected”, according to the CDC..

    I was not surprised to see that unvaccinated children from Utah are spreading the disease after their visit to Disneyland. There’s a big push in both Idaho and Utah to “stop poisoning our children.” It gains some momentum by being connected to mormon communities that spread all kinds of bad viruses. Some of the non-mormon anti-vaxxers are woo-infected.

  145. rq says

    Lynna @224
    I hope the new outbreak will make them reconsider the anti-vax stance. :( And I hope nobody is taken deathly ill, just serious enough to warrant some extra thought.

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

    The number of times I nearly killed my instructor and me per driving lesson has gotten pretty low.
    I’m so proud of myself :)

  147. rq says

    Heh. Well as it turns out, the State Security Police is reviewing the statements of the head of the Islamic cultural centre – the ones made yesterday, about breaking fingers, etc.
    I doubt it will amount to much, but they’re at least looking into it (whether the statements represent a real-life threat to anyone’s safety or security kind of thing).

  148. rq says

    And *hugs* for opposablethumbs, too, who I somehow missed last time she made an appearance in the Lounge! (Not an intentional snub!!!)

  149. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Jesus mythical blue-balled christ, is it really THAT difficult to just list the goddamn prices for the goddamn things one offers on one’s website that also lists what those things are?!

    (Self-storage spaces, in this case, but it seems to be a chronic problem.)

  150. says

    Sentinel Police Chief shot during bomb threat investigation

    According to the Mayor of Sentinel, a bomb threat was called into the Community Action Center, the head start program, early Thursday morning. As a precaution, Sentinel Public Schools canceled classes at all schools on Thursday.

    According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the suspect called 911 at about 4 a.m. and identified himself. He told dispatch there was a bomb in the school and he would detonate it at a certain time.

    The Washita County Sheriff’s Office then called the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Bomb Squad to check for an explosive device at the school. In the meantime, authorities were able to determine where the call came from.

    Around 6 a.m. Sentinel Police Chief Louis Ross and two Sheriff’s deputies went to the suspect’s home in the 200 block S. 4th. The suspect and his wife were home at the time.

    According to the Mayor, the suspect would not let the law enforcement officers inside. So they broke down the door.

    Officers cleared the first room. But as they entered the second room, one suspect shot Chief Ross three times, twice in his bullet proof vest and once in the arm, according to the OSBI.

    The Chief actually borrowed the bullet proof vest from one of the deputies just before entering the home, according to the OSBI.

    After firing numerous shots, the suspect surrendered himself to the officers. OSBI officials said no officers fired their weapons during the incident. The suspect and his wife were taken into custody. Their names will be released once they have been booked into the Washita County jail.

    I wonder why the suspect was taken alive. He was fucking firing shots at the police officers! So many law enforcement officials claim “my life was in danger” as justification for their extrajudicial killings, yet HERE, where their lives WERE in danger…no loss of life.
    I don’t need to state this for the rest of the commentariat, but for anyone reading this unfamiliar with my views, I’m glad there was no loss of life. I don’t want anyone-suspects or police officers-being killed or injured. I’m merely pointing out that police officers treat white suspects differently than African-American or Hispanic suspects. And yes, I’m assuming the suspect in this case is white. I could be wrong and if I am, I’ll amend my thoughts on this situation to reflect the facts.

  151. says

    rq @229:

    Well as it turns out, the State Security Police is reviewing the statements of the head of the Islamic cultural centre – the ones made yesterday, about breaking fingers, etc.

    Well that’s good news, modestly good anyway.

    Tony @232, sounds like another “sovereign citizen,” white of course. Sheesh.

    rq @234, those look more like snow sculptures. A snow sculpting contest is held in Driggs, Idaho every year. They prepare the huge blocks of snow to be carved by compressing snow — I think it takes them several days to build the compression forms, load the snow, and compress it. Driggs has nothing as large and impressive as those to which you linked, but I am always impressed by the care, the artistry, and the tools they use. Photos of people compressing snow the old fashioned way are available at the link.

  152. says

    Tony! 232
    Yup, he’s white. Also right wing, a survivalist, a ‘gun enthusiast’, and thunderingly racist. (I found his facebook page). When, oh when, will white people address their culture of crime and violence?

  153. says

    […] Ernst was arguably the most extremist candidate to seek statewide office in 2014. […] Ernst endorsed banning abortions and many forms of birth control; nullifying federal laws she doesn’t like, privatizing Social Security; and impeaching President Obama. She argued that Saddam Hussein really did have weapons of mass destruction and people on Medicaid “have no personal responsibility for their health.” She dismissed the very existence of a federal minimum wage as “ridiculous” and credited the Koch brothers for the strength of her candidacy. She endorsed enough conspiracy theories to qualify her as the head of a Glenn Beck fan club.

    At one point, Ernst expressed support for arresting federal officials who try to implement federal laws the far-right doesn’t like, and later, she added that she likes to carry a loaded firearm with her everywhere, in case she needs to defend herself – “whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.” […]

    Ah, yes, Joni Ernst. I suppose we should congratulate the Republicans for choosing a woman to respond to President Obama’s State of the Union address — but letting this ragged-edge-of-the-far-far-right be their spokesperson is not a good idea.

    I guess this tells us where the Republican Party is headed, policy-wise.

  154. says

    Yikes! More super bad air quality readings in China:

    […]On Thursday local time, Beijing measured “beyond index” levels of the dangerous airborne particulate matter known as PM2.5—considered hazardous to human health because the tiny particles can embed deep in a person’s respiratory system. Those sky-high levels have been measured several times since the US began measuring the city’s air using a device installed atop its embassy in Beijing in 2008, most notably during a “crazy bad” incident in 2010, and 2013’s “airpocalypse”. […]

  155. says

    Yeah, we’ve all heard how Republicans are planning to decimate Social Security, especially the part of the program that helps the disabled. Their justification comes almost entirely from rightwing media sources that have been promoting a “rife with fraud,” or “plagued with fraud” story for years. You know, all those deadbeats “gaming the system.”

    The fraud stats they quote are not true. But there’s no getting through to Republicans with the actual facts.

    […] Fox News’ Shannon Bream suggested that 100 percent of disability beneficiaries collect benefits “under false pretenses.” And in 2012, Fox Business’ Charles Payne referred to disability benefits by using the offensive term “crazy check,” implying that people can pretend to have mental disabilities in order to receive benefits. […]

    Rand Paul and other politicians have routinely quoted or referred to such media presentations.

    A report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found that about 0.4 percent of disability beneficiaries were likely receiving improper payments, because they were working before or after they began receiving checks.

    Yeah, that’s right, 0.4 percent. For such a large government program that’s not bad. According the administrators of the Social Security program, more than half of all disability claims are denied.

    The population of the USA is aging, and the number of disabled or partially disabled people is rising. The Republicans want to cut disability benefits by 20%. I just can’t fathom this. I know people living in poverty already on disability benefits. What will they do if those are cut?

  156. says

    Funny how one of the kookier right wing conspiracy theories is that “they” have a plan to murder huge numbers of people as part of the UN’s Agenda 21 or what have you. Yet here we see right wingers who want to do things that may shorten the life span of vulnerable people. Some of whom are no doubt military vets. Makes me think of their attitudes towards abortion, where babies are of no concern after they’re born.

  157. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’m sorry. I forget his name, but he invited me to have a conversation about the difference between induction and parsimony as the basis of scientific reasoning. I was arguing that science uses induction – more properly Bayesian reasoning – and that his definition of parsimony was insufficient to properly describe empiricism.

    I recognize I’m a few months late.

    For example, imagine a opaque container. Put in 1 red ball, 1 green ball, 1 purple ball, and 2 blue balls. Close and shake container. Draw one ball at random. Under Bayesian reasoning, the proper conclusion is 20%, 20%, 20%, and 40% confidence in each of the expectations. Under usual nomenclature, that means that one should not hold a positive belief about the particular color of the ball just randomly drawn.

    Whereas, under his described parsimony, the conclusion “the drawn ball is blue” is the most parsimonious explanation, and thus one would be rationally warranted – even required – to hold a belief that the drawn ball is blue. I think that is a ridiculous position. We need to talk about confidence levels for our beliefs, and for that you need a framework like Bayesian reasoning (or something like it). Finally, I want to argue that the usual common understanding of “inductive reasoning” maps very well onto Bayesian reasoning.

    For his counterexample, he gave the example that 100 years ago, no one had ever seen a meteor, and thus we had lots of evidence that meteors never struck the Earth, and thus one would be warranted under inductive reasoning to believe that meteors never struck the Earth – in spite of all of the contradictory evidence. The response is simple: Proper honest Bayesian reasoning does not allow you to ignore evidence at your leisure. Yes, the observations that we’ve never seen a meteor impact makes the hypothesis very unlikely, and thus it would take a lot of evidence to overcome that amount of evidence. Which is exactly what we have, which is why under a proper inductive Bayesian approach, they properly concluded that meteors impact the Earth without ever seeing it firsthand.

  158. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ah yes. Responding to the very honest, nice, reasonable, intelligence, knowledgeable, etc., David Marjanović.

  159. says

    Update on the story I linked to @232:
    Horton has been released from police custody, which doesn’t seem quite right, given that the police traced the 911 bomb threat call to Horton’s residence.
    They also found an explosive device at Horton’s home. While his guilt should be determined in a court of law, surely that’s enough to arrest him, no?

  160. says

    Related to the OK bomb threat-
    I read multiple news reports about the events in Sentinel, OK, but aside from FOX News, no other media outlet mentioned anything about Horton having ties to ISIS.

    An Oklahoma police chief survived being shot several times because he was handed a bulletproof vest just moments before entering the home of the suspect who posted statements about ISIS on social media. reported that the Sentinel Police Chief Louis Ross was responding to the home linked to an earlier bomb threat. While police cleared out the house, they were confronted in one of the bedrooms and shots were fired.

    Ross was hit several times in the chest and arm. A man and his wife were arrested.

    Authorities described the shooting suspect as a man in his 30s who posted statements on social media about ISIS. Authorities, however, told the paper that there is no evidence that ties the alleged shooter to the terror group.

    “I’ve known that kid all of his life,” Mayor Sam Dlugonski told the paper. “I don’t think he was tied to the Islamic State in any way.”

    I wonder if FOX has a source that no other news organization has…or if they’re making shit up. Which choice makes more sense? Gosh, I’m stumped here…

  161. AtheistPilgrim says

    Never mind … Opens bottle of Aussie Sauvignon Blanc, pours gals, proceeds to peruse Lounge comments from the top.

  162. chigau (違う) says

    It’s a good day.

    This auto fill stuff is waaaaay creepy.
    flummoxed it


  163. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I believe you’re looking for the Thunderdome…?

    Am I? I thought the difference was moderation, not content. Did I break some rule?

  164. chigau (違う) says

    The Lounge is meant to be about safe and huggy.
    Some topics are better elsewhere.

  165. rq says

    That’s the kind of conversation that’s best to occur in the Thunderdome – as it easily becomes contentious and not quite appropriate for the Lounge. It’s not so much a content thing as we can recognize where it will go.

  166. rq says

    What does one call, in English, that usually-triangular-shaped utensil with which one picks up slices of cake, torte and pie? In order to serve it?

  167. Saad says

    I’ve just heard it called a cake server. I bet there’s some obscure more appropriate term for it though.

  168. says

    rq 260

    What does one call, in English, that usually-triangular-shaped utensil with which one picks up slices of cake, torte and pie? In order to serve it?

    I’ll call it whatever it wants me to call it as long as it puts cake or pie on my plate. But yes, I’ve always heard it called a cake (or pie) server. You’re talking about this, right?

  169. Nick Gotts says


    The Faux News report doesn’t say what Horton said about ISIS, so it could have been:

    I say, these ISIS chappies are really rather infra dig, what?


    That Mooslem Antichrist Barack HUSSEIN Obama aka Barry Soetero is in league with ISIS!!!??!eleventy!!

    for example.

  170. carlie says

    Cake server here also.

    I made a watch! It is nothing like what I had wanted to make, but I like it. I gave up on the idea of ordering things, as the total plus the shipping was more than I had wanted to pay. Went back to the drawing board and decided I could live with silver, even though I never wear it (ordering online was because I wanted bronze, and no stores here carry anything but silver). I had a bunch of silver wire/findings/clasps left over from a store workshop I took a couple of years ago, so all I had to buy was the watch face and beads. Two stores, careful couponing, and a clearance bin later, I had what I needed. I found sliver flat beads that look a lot like crinoids, and black/grey round beads that look kind of like slate, so it makes my paleo side happy. And I realized I could a) do simple loops instead of wrapped and b) if I did that, I could use the eye pins in my stash and only have to make half the number of loops. ;) Hopefully this will get me through the first week of classes next week.

  171. rq says

    Yes, that.

    That’s it, stick to your guns! :D (Is that really a posh name for it?)
    I like Saad‘s version.
    And thanks for all the responses, it truly is a bringer of joy and felicity, and a most sacred server of baked goods.

    In Latvian we tend to call it ‘the little shovel’. I’m not sure if that says more about the consistency of our cakes, or our serving style. :P

  172. opposablethumbs says

    hmm … also know it as a “cake slice” or (oddly, as it probably doesn’t cut) as a “cake knife”.

    Or just om nom nom.

  173. carlie says

    (really, I’m just glad that I managed to make a plan and then actually carry it out. This is a big achievement for me lately)

  174. says

    Sgt. Valerie Deant of the North Miami Beach Police Department was appalled to arrive at a firearms training center in Medley, Fl. to find her brother’s face being used as a target. Woody Deant’s mug shot was taken 15 years ago when he was arrested in connection with a drug race. His photo was one of five used for target practice for police snipers. All the mugshots were of black men. […]

    Yes, that’s right, Florida police officers are using mugshots of black men for target practice. This practice is likely to continue.

    […] North Miami Beach Police Chief J. Scott Dennis admitted that his officers could have used better judgment, but denies any racial profiling.

    He noted that the sniper team includes minority officers. Dennis defended the department’s use of actual photographs and says the technique is widely used and the pictures are vital for facial recognition drills. […]

  175. rq says

    The coffee maker at work is making a weird noise, and I haven’t even turned it on. Should I be scared?

  176. rq says


    Actually, I think it’s trying to sing. It’s doing that weird air-escape whistle up and down the scale.
    That means it will stop on its own eventually, right?

  177. says

    I think PZ reviewed this movie once. He will be glad to know that the main character in the story has now admitted that entire premise on which the movie is based was one big fat lie.

    Christian publisher Tyndale House is pulling its bestseller “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” after its now-teenaged subject admitted he made the story up, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

    “I did not die. I did not go to heaven,” Alex Malarkey said in a statement published on the Christian website Pulpit and Pen. “I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention.” […]

  178. rq says

    Thanks for that @291! Someone on my FB posted a gawker link that didn’t work, and I was sad, but you have banished that sadness.

    “People have profited from lies, and continue to,” he added. “They should read the Bible, which is enough.”

    Yup, apparently just the lying bible is enough to profit!

    “There are many who are scamming and using the Word of God to do it,” [Beth Malarkey, Alex’ mother] said.

    I don’t think I have enough irony for this one. Anyone have extra?

  179. says

    rq @288:

    The coffee maker at work is making a weird noise, and I haven’t even turned it on. Should I be scared?

    That weird noise may have been a signal to the Decepticon forces to begin their invasion of Earth.

  180. chigau (違う) says

    “It’s doing that weird air-escape whistle up and down the scale.”
    Sounds like my rice cooker.
    How does the coffee taste?

  181. says

    Wow. I just heard a radio announcement reminding listeners of the upcoming birthday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    (it was notable for me, bc I was lamenting-just last week-that people who are Jr’s often have that suffix left off in references to them; I’m one, MLK Jr is one, Michael Brown Jr is one)

  182. says

    Walmart and other large companies are avoiding paying on-the-joy-injury costs to employees. President Obama wants to change that. The proposed regulatory changes are going to be strenuously fought by corporations and by Republican politicians. The owners of Walmart are insanely rich, but I guess they can’t be bothered to treat their employees fairly.

    Nearly four years ago, while lifting pallets of blankets during an overnight stocking shift at Walmart, Barb Gertz began to notice a dull pain in her arms. She kept on lifting and stocking, but by the time her lunch break rolled around she could no longer raise her arms. Her doctor told her she had tendinitis in her biceps, and that it was most likely caused by her job. Walmart disagreed. The retailer contested Gertz’s workplace-injury claim—and won.

    If Gertz had worked in a factory, she could have bolstered her case with evidence from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s national database of manufacturing workplace injuries. But no such database exists for retail workers like Gertz. A new regulation that OSHA is scheduled to finalize this year would change that. […] America’s biggest chains—including Walmart, Target, and McDonald’s—are fighting back hard. […]

    [I’ll just add here that the Chamber of Commerce and Republicans in general have lined up to fight with Walmart.]

    If such a database had existed when Gertz submitted her claim, it could have helped her build the case that her injury was work-related. “It will be easier to prove that it’s not just [the worker], it’s a company thing,” she says. The OSHA measure “has great potential to allow workers to make the connection between the dangerous work they’re doing and the work-related injuries that are occurring,” Robbins says. […]

  183. says

    Anti-muslim bigotry — new levels of ridiculousness:

    On her radio program yesterday, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios alleged that President Obama, whom she believes is a secret Muslim, is trying to bring more Muslim immigrants into the U.S. as part of his plan of “radically transforming the United States of America.”

    According to Rios, “the president prefers, defers to the Islamic world, he defers to the Islamic extremists in the Muslim world.”

    Rios then launched into a tirade against Rep. André Carson, repeating her contention that the House should ban the Indiana Democrat from serving on the House Intelligence Committee for the serious crime of being Muslim. […] Rios said that Carson should be booted out of Congress for “his terrorist connections, his Islamic terrorist connections.” […]

    Right Wing Watch link.

  184. rq says


    Well honestly if my employees are enjoying themselves at work so much they’re getting injuries, they’re in the wrong job.

  185. says

    rq @ 300:

    Well honestly if my employees are enjoying themselves at work so much they’re getting injuries, they’re in the wrong job.

    Ha! Good catch. I have made my obeisance to Typos. “on-the-job-injury” of course.

    When I proofread I see what should be there instead of what is there. Doesn’t work all that well.