1. says

    Benjamin Cole, the press secretary for a Republican Congressman, is trying to walk back his racist comments (see my comment #498), but I’m not believing him one bit. Here are some more comments Cole posted:

    I just think it would be nice for the Presient to have his own house of worship. [a reference to Cole’s suggestion that a mosque should be built on the Whitehouse grounds.]
    I’m all too worried about the deportables, as you know. I am doing, however, my absolute best to put as many Black criminals who live and loiter on my street behind bars. And if I found any White, Hispanic, Arab, Aleutian Islander, or other such race causing mischief in my neighborhood, I would pursue their arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment as well.

    The fact remains that White people who live in my building are routinely harassed by Black miscreants who blockade the sidewalks and entryways in front of and behind my building. […]


  2. says

    The high risk investments that tanked the economy at the end of George Bush’s tenure as president have had a makeover. They are coming to a bank near you as “bespoke trance opportunities.”

    […] Goodbye, “collateralized debt obligations.” Hello, “bespoke tranche opportunities.” Banks including Goldman Sachs are marketing that newfangled product, according to Bloomberg, and total sales of “bespoke tranche opportunities” leaped from under $5 billion in 2013 to $20 billion last year.

    Like other derivatives, these “BTOs” allow investors to place wagers on the outcome of various loans, bonds, and securities in which they are not directly invested. Hedge funds and other sophisticated financial industry actors use derivatives both as a form of insurance to manage the total risk they are exposed to across their whole investment portfolio, and to gamble on real-world economic events such as mortgage payments, municipal bonds, and the price of physical commodities.

    The resulting web of complicated contracts can be very difficult to untangle, and can involve impossible-sounding amounts of money. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission concluded that derivatives “were at the center of the storm” and “amplified the losses from the collapse of the housing bubble by allowing multiple bets on the same securities.” In 2010, the total on-paper value of every derivative contract worldwide was $1.4 quadrillion, or 23 times the total economic output of the entire planet. […]

    Here’s a brief description of the “bespoke” financial scam:

    An investor tells a bank what specific mixture of derivatives bets it wants to make, and the bank builds a customized product with just one tranche that meets the investor’s needs. Like a bespoke suit, the products are tailored to fit precisely, and only one copy is ever produced. The new products are a symptom of the larger phenomenon of banks taking complex risks in pursuit of higher investment returns, Americans for Financial Reform’s Marcus Stanley said in an email, and BTOs “could be automatically exempt” from some Dodd-Frank rules. […]

  3. says

    birgerjohanssen @478:
    I’m so sorry to hear that. My sympathies.


    Lynna @482:
    I have no problem with you (or anyone) quoting anything from my blog. I’m glad you found something I said useful/informative.

  4. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli but forgot the password) says

    “Bespoke Trance Opportunities” would be a good name for a electronic dance music act. Mind if I use it, Lynna?

  5. says

    Ice Swimmer @8:

    “Bespoke Trance Opportunities” would be a good name for a electronic dance music act. Mind if I use it, Lynna?

    The financial scam is actually spelled “Tranche” but you are welcome to interpret it as “Trance.” I like it. Banks have their gullible marks in a trance with the word salad they produce when offering bespoke tranche opportunities.

  6. says

    Benjamin Cole has resigned:

    Benjamin Cole, a senior adviser to Schock, told POLITICO he resigned and that Schock, a Republican, accepted his resignation. The posts had Cole likening black people to animals and said a mosque should be built on the White House grounds for President Barack Obama.

    Politico link.

  7. says

    Good news:

    LGBT communities around the world will soon have a powerful advocate in the State Department whose sole job is to watch out for their interests. Later this month, the State Department will name a special envoy to focus on the rights of LGBT people globally, a department official tells Mother Jones. In an emailed statement, the official said that Secretary of State John Kerry and his staff are in the final stages of selecting an openly gay Foreign Service officer as the United States’ first-ever diplomat to focus on LGBT issues. The position will not require Senate confirmation. […]

    Mother Jones link.

    Note that we will have this LGBT advocate precisely because the position does not require confirmation from the Republican-dominated Senate.

  8. says

    Utahans seem to take, in general, a Mitt Romneyesque stance toward corporations.

    Compared to other states, Utahns think quite highly of corporations, but they have little faith in the media.

    Only the good people in Wisconsin and Minnesota trust corporations more than Utahns. The Beehive state gave the business world a 73.4 percent approval rating. But the media has the confidence of only 41.4 percent of Utahns, the lowest in the nation. We won’t lie, that is a bit of a bummer for us at The Salt Lake Tribune, but we’ll soldier on. […]

    Salt Lake Tribune link.

    I think the faith in corporations is misplaced. For one thing, Utah has one of the highest scam rates in the USA, mostly as a result of mormon-run multi-level marketing schemes.

    […] Utah leads the nation in number of MLM companies per capita. […]
    Product-based pyramid schemes are legal in Utah. […]

  9. rq says

    Lynna @6
    The normal person in me is all grossed out, while the inner microbiologist is gleefully rubbing her gloved hands together. :P

  10. says


    Does the new chair come with laser beams?

    No, but I’m getting a reflector kit — yeah, it’s an option now — holy shit the option packages! I’m also going to be super adventurous — ordered the green paint job instead of the usual black.

  11. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Anyone have any suggestions for a book in the vein of “Other People’s Polyamory for Dummies?” I’m getting realllly tired of my mom force-fitting my relationships into a mental model of “monogamy but not serious about it/doing it badly” and it seems like it might be easier to get her to get her mind around this than to get her to stop asking me intrusive questions in the first place. >.>

  12. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    ….apparently taillight bulbs are designed so that it’s physically possible for the wires in them to come “loose” as an intermediary step to failing entirely, such that you can get a tail light that’s “out” but comes back on when you jiggle the wiring connection a bit on the way to replacing the bulb…due to a failure in the bulb, not the attached wiring.

    …I take back any time I’ve ever spoken up in defense of electrical engineers as a group.

  13. chigau (違う) says

    re: car parts
    Do you live somewhere where it gets COLD?
    Carparts can get right weird in the COLD.

  14. bassmike says

    WMDKitty I hope your new chair is all you want it to be. Green? That is adventurous!

    Re car parts: Trying to get to the bulbs at the rear of my car is a exercise in contortion and all done blind, as once you have your hand in the space for the bulb assembly you can’t see inside. There must be a better way!

    BTW for those that are interested: I will hopefully have three double bass bows to try out in the next few weeks. In the meantime my old bow has been glued back together. It remains to be seen whether it will stand the rigors of Bernstein on Sunday!

    Also, I’m off to the ballet tomorrow night. It’s almost like a date night :-)

  15. rq says

    Oooh, I hope you have a good production, that one’s usually a treat for the eyes!!

  16. bassmike says

    rq I hope so too! It should be good. We’re lucky enough to live close to a city that has good venues for musics/theatre/ballet etc.

  17. Saad says

    President Obama got Republicans outraged by denying American exceptionalism.

    Better yet, he did it during the National Prayer Breakfast.

    At a time of global anxiety over Islamist terrorism, Obama noted pointedly that his fellow Christians, who make up a vast majority of Americans, should perhaps not be the ones who cast the first stone.

    “Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history,” he told the group, speaking of the tension between the compassionate and murderous acts religion can inspire. “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

    Uh oh, they got mad. I love it.

  18. says

    Tony @24

    Woman finds mystery creature in her tuna, expert says it’s a tongue-eating parasite

    Damnit, Tony! I keep striking things off my list of edible food, and now this.

    Just last night I watched Chris Hayes tell the salmonella-chicken story, which also appeared in The New Yorker. 48 million people in the USA get food poisoning every year. Despite this, the federal regulatory system is getting less effective, not more.

    Other first-world countries, like Denmark, have effective regulation of food and of food sources. In the USA we just want our food producers to make more money, to hell with safety.

  19. says

    Chris Hayes also covered store brand nutritional supplements which do not contain the herb(s) listed on the label. Of all the Walmart brands tested, only 4% contained any of the listed herb(s). Walgreens, GNC and other retail outlets were almost as bad as Walmart.

  20. says

    More on the herbal supplement fraud:

    As Hayes points out, Senator Orrin Hatch is the guy who made sure supplements could escape regulation, since Utah is the “Silicon Valley” of the supplement industry.

    That’s right, it is/was Moments of Mormon Madness that make this problem much worse, and that codified in law a way for nutritional supplement manufacturers (all those Utah constituents!) to scam the public

  21. says

    Lynna @36:

    Chris Hayes also covered store brand nutritional supplements which do not contain the herb(s) listed on the label. Of all the Walmart brands tested, only 4% contained any of the listed herb(s). Walgreens, GNC and other retail outlets were almost as bad as Walmart.

    I read about that the other day. It made me curious about which supplements I still have in my kitchen. Yeah, I bought quite a few kinds of supplements back when I was working out regularly. Also, before I knew that the vast majority of supplements I was taking was completely unnecessary. I have some L-Arginine, Melanin, and Glucosamine Sulfate. I wonder if I can send them somewhere to get them tested.

  22. says

    Remember that friendly Super Bowl bet between Chris Evans and Chris Pratt? They did exactly what I hoped they would do.

    Following some friendly trash-talking online, Boston native Evans and Seattle resident Pratt settled on a wager: If New England won Super Bowl XLIX, Pratt would wear a Patriots jersey and make an appearance at Christopher’s Haven, a home away from home in Boston for young cancer patients and their families while they undergo treatment at nearby hospitals (it’s a favorite charity of Evans). However, if the Seahawks won, Evans would dress as Captain America and visit Seattle Children’s while carrying a 12th Man flag.

    In the end, the Patriots won — and so did both charities: Evans and Pratt announced they’d be visiting both Christopher’s Haven and Seattle Children’s Hospital. (Their wager also inspired a charity T-shirt from TeeFury, with proceeds going to both organizations.)

    “The generosity of Chris Evans and Chris Pratt is overwhelming,” Joyce Duvall, executive director of Christopher’s Haven, said in a statement. “They turned a simple, friendly wager into something very significant for both Christopher’s Haven and Seattle Children’s. The fun and goodwill that they have generated will stay with the children a long time.”

    You can donate to Seattle Children’s and Christopher’s Haven through their fundraising sites, or by texting TEAMPRATT (for Seattle Children’s) to 501501.

  23. says

    Hey, Tony, I don’t usually buy nutritional supplements thanks to low income, but I do have one in my cupboard. It’s not a store brand, which is what was tested. I don’t like this lack of reliability, lack of information, and lack of regulation at all. I too want to have my supplement tested.

    Oh, yeah, and some of these bogus supplements contain fillers that would trigger people’s allergies.

    The “peppercorn crusted” part sounds good, as does the “light beurre blanc.” The “tongue-eating parasite heads” not so much. I wonder what the recommended temperature would be to render the parasite inactive.

  24. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I have some L-Arginine, Melanin, and Glucosamine Sulfate.

    The L-arginine is probably that. The melanin has probably degraded and should be pitched. The glucose amine sulfate is stable. But it isn’t glucosamine sulfate. It is a mixture of glucosamine hydrochloride and sodium or potassium sulfate. If you need more, buy the hydrochloride salt, as it isn’t adulterated.
    As an aside, I have made real glucosamine sulfate. It isn’t as stable as the hydrochloride salt, but the early studies with glucosamine used that salt.

  25. says

    Speaking of health-related matters, one more Republican has come to his senses concerning the Medicaid expansion and health care for low-income people in general:

    “Why join the Democratic Party and run for lieutenant governor? I’ll tell you: We are all Mississippians first. Elected officials should be in the business of helping all Mississippians, not picking out who to hurt.

    “The Republican Party leaders’ actions against supporting Medicaid expansion and threatening our local hospitals was the final, deciding factor for me.”

  26. says

    You know that Republican Representative that decorated his DC off like a Downton Abbey set? Well, Congressman Schock is now in trouble for more than accepting free services (small bribes).

    It seems Rep. Schock made deal with a big donor to have his house in Illinois purchased for about three times its market value, thus pocketing $796.750 in profit. The donors, Mr. and Mrs. Bahaj had already donated to maximum allowable monies to Schock’s 2008 campaign, so they just arranged to give him some more moola through this money laundering scheme.

    There’s more: free luxury travel and accommodations, for example. The guy is a crook in bed with influence peddlers and other crooks.

    And, yes, there was a quid pro quo:

    The article in Blue Nation Review also details blatant quid pro quo in the Schock home sale. The buyer was a Vice President at Caterpillar, and Schock has apparently become a rabid booster of the company – including going on Fox News to defend Caterpillar’s $2 billion Swiss tax dodge. He also publicly blamed recent Caterpillar layoffs on President Obama.

    Daily Kos link.

  27. blf says

    peppercorn crusted tongue-eating parasite heads in a light beurre blanc

    They are much better as sushi — especially mildly deranged penguin–style, swallowed whole, alive and still wiggling, with some Pilsner Urquell to wash it down.

  28. says

    I is confuzzled.
    Lord of the MRAs, Paul Elam, says “I don’t think men are oppressed”.
    One of the things MRAs drone on about is how unfairly men are treated and how they aren’t privileged. I’ve seen many of them say that women are the privileged ones and have more power than men. I haven’t read enough of Elam to know that he’s said the same things, but I do suspect he has.

    Paul Elam said Thursday that Vox writer Emmett Rensin was wrong to claim that the men’s rights movement believes it is men, not women, who are most oppressed.

    “There’s been an implication, and I think it’s an accurate one, that if you look at the definition of oppression, one of the ways you would define oppression is that laws are stacked against a group — that they are treated differently in criminal cases, in civil cases, simply because of the identifying characteristics of that group,” he said.

    Elam said that individual men faced injustices, citing divorce cases, but men as a whole were not being oppressed.

    “I don’t think men are oppressed. I really don’t,” he continued.

    “But I can understand why some people might feel that way. If they’re coming out of a courtroom, and the court took their children, took their property, and threatened to jail them if they didn’t pay up, that individual I think has a rightful claim to make that statement,” Elam said.

    “Are men as a class generally oppressed? I don’t think so, and I don’t know anybody who talks that way.”

    Why do I think he’s being dishonest?

  29. says

    Republican men just can’t help themselves. They have to say stupid stuff about rape.

    “Obviously rape is awful,” Kurcaba said. “What is beautiful is the child that could come from this.”

    That’s West Virginia Delegate Brian Kurcaba who was objecting to Democratic amendments to a 20-week-abortion-ban bill. The Dems wanted to add an exception for rape victims. Kurcaba sees no need for such an exception. Link.

    I don’t get why any sane woman would vote for the likes of Kurcaba.

  30. says

    This is a followup to Saad’s post #34. Yes, the rabid rightwing is really, really mad about any interfaith dialogue promoted at the National Prayer Breakfast, including the presence of the Dalai Lama and President Obama’s speech. Here’s an example:

    Janet Mefferd was, unsurprisingly, not pleased with President Obama’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday, and suggested on her radio program last night that Christians should stop attending the interfaith event.

    Mefferd wasn’t only perturbed by the president’s comments on Islam, but was also outraged at the presence of the Dalai Lama, all of which she said revealed “the fundamental problem with interfaith prayer breakfasts in general.”

    After reading excerpts from Obama’s 2012 prayer breakfast speech in which he pointed out similarities in the teachings of some of the world’s major religions, Mefferd said she didn’t know why Christians in the audience didn’t walk out because Obama’s interfaith “garbage” does nothing “to spare me from Hell.” […]


  31. blf says

    I don’t get why any sane woman would vote for the likes of Kurcaba.

    That’s why cootie-carriers shouldn’t be allowed an independent vote.

    (B.t.w., a sane man wouldn’t vote for this cupcake either.)

  32. says

    This is a follow up to comments 34 and 49:

    The hosts of “Fox & Friends” were not amused on Friday by President Obama’s reminder to Christians that the Muslim world has not been the only corner of the globe to deal with deadly religious extremism.

    “How shocked were you,” Brian Kilmeade asked viewers, “about the President’s remarks yesterday at that prayer breakfast, equating the Crusades in the year 1095 to what we’re experiencing today and witnessing with ISIS and their brutality?”

    The three co-hosts then angrily talked over each other while introducing the clip of Obama speaking on Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast.

    The footage showed Obama discussing the Islamic State terror group and religious violence more broadly by mentioning the Crusades, initiated by Pope Urban II. The President said Christians should not get on a “high horse” about religious barbarism.

    Back in the studio, co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck was visibly agitated.

    “Christians had nothing to do with a man being burned alive in a cage we saw on Wednesday that we saw took place last month. Nothing to do it!” Hasselbeck said.

    “Yet he named them, invoked the name of Christ — our savior! — three times and talked about Christians but couldn’t call radical Islam for what it was, couldn’t name the person behind the match,” she added. […]

    Please deliver pearls and faint couches to rightwing christians in the USA, stat.

  33. blf says

    Please deliver pearls and faint couches to rightwing christians in the USA

    No can-do. One of them is currently being. er, supporting, a certain Shoop.

    (Besides, the fundienuts seem to have remarkably empty skulls, and would probably float up, up, and away — hopefully, far away, never to return — if it was actually possible for them to faint (as opposed to the usual, exploding in rage and hypocrisy).)

  34. says

    Biggest Trigger Warning ever … for torture.

    Some people in the USA used to burn people alive.

    […]Take a good look at Jesse Washington’s stiffened body tied to the tree. He had been sentenced to death for the murder of a white woman. No witnesses saw the crime; he allegedly confessed but the truth of the allegations would never be tested. The grand jury took just four minutes to return a guilty verdict, but there was no appeal, no review, no prison time. Instead, a courtroom mob dragged him outside, pinned him to the ground, and cut off his testicles. A bonfire was quickly built and lit.

    For two hours, Jesse Washington — alive — was raised and lowered over the flames. Again and again and again. City officials and police stood by, approvingly. According to some estimates, the crowd grew to as many as 15,000. There were taunts, cheers and laughter. Reporters described hearing “shouts of delight.” When the flames died away, Washington’s body was torn apart and the pieces were sold as souvenirs. The party was over. […]

    […] as young Jesse Washington was being tortured, students his own age, some of them studying for the ministry, were just finishing their spring semester. In 1905, when another black man had been lynched in Waco, Baylor’s president became a leader of the anti-lynching movement. But ugly memories still divided the town.

    […] Between 1882 and 1968 — 1968! — there were 4,743 recorded lynchings in the US. About a quarter of them were white people, many of whom had been killed for sympathizing with black folks. My father, who was born in 1904 near Paris, Texas, kept in a drawer that newspaper photograph from back when he was a boy of thousands of people gathered as if at a picnic to feast on the torture and hanging of a black man in the center of town. On a journey tracing our roots many years later, my father choked and grew silent as we stood near the spot where it had happened.

    Yes, it was hard to get back to sleep the night we heard the news of the Jordanian pilot’s horrendous end. ISIS be damned! I thought. But with the next breath I could only think that our own barbarians did not have to wait at any gate. They were insiders. Home grown. Godly. Our neighbors, friends, and kin. People like us.


    To be wary of “othering” entire groups of people — that should be an educational goal. Christians are up in arms about non-christians being honored at the National Prayer Breakfast. They should take a step back and get some perspective. And as PZ pointed out in another post, there is no elite versus moron divide that can be justified.

    The racist asshole Benjamin Cole should have been fired, but more importantly, should never have been hired by Representative Aaron Schock. We are really only a few steps away from shooting so-called “traitors” and from torturing people who are supposedly inferior.

  35. says

    Here’s some good news:

    […] last month, Aetna’s C.E.O., Mark Bertolini, announced that the company’s lowest-paid workers would get a substantial raise—from twelve to sixteen dollars an hour, in some cases—as well as improved medical coverage. Bertolini didn’t stop there. He said that it was not “fair” for employees of a Fortune 50 company to be struggling to make ends meet. He explicitly linked the decision to the broader debate about inequality, mentioning that he had given copies of Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-first Century” to all his top executives. “Companies are not just money-making machines,” he told me last week. “For the good of the social order, these are the kinds of investments we should be willing to make.” […]

  36. says

    Some more thoughts on the ways in which Christians are hopping mad about President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast (comments 34, 49, 51), and about the ways in which christians have used religion to place whole groups of mostly non-white people into categories that attempted to justify intolerance and mistreatment (comment 56):

    […] With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so.

    It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances, or to question them. For His own purposes, He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made “one star to differ from another star in glory.” The great objects of humanity are best attained when there is conformity to His laws and decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else. Our confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. […]

    That’s Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens using christianity to justify the confederacy and the mistreatment of African Americans. Stephens also maintained that dark-skinned people could only be converted to christianity via slavery. This asshole was one of many who pushed the USA into a war in which 750,000 people lost their lives.

    As Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote in a recent article for The Atlantic:

    […] In his “Segregation Now” speech, George Wallace invokes God 27 times and calls the federal government opposing him “a system that is the very opposite of Christ.”

    Now, Christianity did not “cause” slavery, anymore than Christianity “caused” the civil-rights movement. The interest in power is almost always accompanied by the need to sanctify that power. That is what the Muslims terrorists in ISIS are seeking to do today, and that is what Christian enslavers and Christian terrorists did for the lion’s share of American history.

    [in reference to President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast] That this relatively mild, and correct, point cannot be made without the comments being dubbed, “the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime,” by a former Virginia governor gives you some sense of the limited tolerance for any honest conversation around racism in our politics. And it gives you something much more. […] Pointing out that Americans have done, on their own soil, in the name of their own God, something similar to what ISIS is doing now does not make ISIS any less barbaric, or any more correct. That is unless you view the entire discussion as a kind of religious one-upmanship, in which the goal is to prove that Christianity is “the awesomest.”

    Obama seemed to be going for something more—faith leavened by “some doubt.” If you are truly appalled by the brutality of ISIS, then a wise and essential step is understanding the lure of brutality, and recalling how easily your own society can be, and how often it has been, pulled over the brink.

  37. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ugh, been a long day of cleaning, both at work and at home. But I was able to remove the broken garment rack, and rescue the Redhead’s checks (so she can pay her caregivers). Now, all I have to do is to move the garments from a temporary rack to their resting place on the new metal rack. Think I need some more grog to attempt that, as the back is cranky.

  38. chigau (違う) says

    Whoever designed that human spinal chord / upright bipedalism crap probably failed Shop in Junior High.
    also HomeEc.

  39. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It’s already established that the designer of the body was a Civil Engineering major. Which explains everything.

    (Seriously, who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?)

  40. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Normally the heated water bed is good for relieving back crankiness. But it has been slightly overfilled since the new mattress was put in, and it hasn’t stretched enough since then to make it totally comfortable. I need to remove a couple of gallons of water.

  41. blf says

    I need to remove a couple of gallons of water [from the waterbed].

    You put water in a waterbed?

    Here’s a tip from the mildly deranged penguin: Put bier (bottles, barrels, firkins, hogsheads, supertankers, full of) in the water. Use a soft cheese (like brie) to fill the void between the bottles, barrels, et al. That way, whenever you get hungry or thirsty from all that lying down and sleeping, you can just reach into the bed for some refreshment. (The waterboard basically beir the brie and bier, possibly as a sort of brei.) She says this is quite popular in Bire and Beri.

    Do not use peas. Or horses.

  42. Saad says

    I saw the title of this article and thought it was bad enough: Oregon judge: taking photos up girl’s skirt not illegal.

    Then as I started reading…

    An Oregon judge has acquitted a 61-year-old man who admitted taking photographs up the skirt of a 13-year-old girl as she shopped at a Target store in suburban Portland…

    Holy fucking shit…

    He should be fired for a) promoting sexual harassment of women, and b) promoting sexual predation of children. Sick, sick fuck.

    The guy’s defense lawyer is a piece of shit too (but no surprise there):

    “He did not deny it and he feels real bad about it too, by the way,” Lawrence said.

  43. rq says

    I’m pretty sure it’s called the fucking ‘turn signal’ for a reason.
    (Not everyone needs to follow the First Rule of Taxi Driving – Thou Shalt Not Let Other Drivers Know Where Your Client Is Going.)

  44. says

    Hulla there
    Talking about tongue eating parasites…
    Last night I wanted to make some baked pasta. When the pasta was almost finishes I peeked into the pot and noticed some brown stuff in there. Apparently the maccaroni had been infested by food moths…
    Since it was too late to start fresh…
    …I smothered the pumpkin-salmon mixture with instant mashed potatoes and made some form of shepherd’s pie.

  45. rq says

    For shame.
    The current fashion when talking about the sustainability of food here is to include insects into one’s diet. I’m pretty sure moths count.
    And yet you passed up the ideal opportunity.

  46. says

    When the opportunity arises to have properly prepared insencts I will try them.* But I will not eat larvae complete with their poop for dinner.

    *Seriously, it’s ridiculous that I pay good money for shrimp but wouldn’t eat a grasshopper?

  47. carlie says

    Just put this question on a test. Wondering if any of the young whippersnappers will get the reference.

    Some of the main active transporter protein families are:
    A. ABC
    B. 123
    D. UNME

  48. rq says

    So boiled in water like pasta no longer counts as ‘properly prepared’? Tsk. I’ll be sure to tell my elbow macaroni. ;)
    You’d think you’d get by without any special recipes. :)
    (I’m still thinkin about that larval poop. I do seem to recall that these moths are generally harmless and do not transmit/carry any evil germs, but there is no mention of that here. But in essence, I agree with you, though the one time a couple of them floated up to the surface of the rice water, I could not afford to toss the whole pot so I scooped them out and went on with dinner. :P We got rid of the infestation after clearing all the cupboards and washing everything down with a mild bleach solution.)

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

    Now that rq started it, I can admit that I would do the same with the moths (and I think I might have scooped one out of rice at some point, but we haven’t had a problem with them in a while) :)

  50. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Beatrice, rq:
    I am with you both. I would fish out the moths and eat the meal.
    (Not a criticism of Giliells decision)

  51. says

    Saad @69, so the up-skirt photographer was not prosecuted because there is no law on the books in Oregon that makes it illegal to shoot up-skirt photos of 13-year-old girls? What!? [slaps forehead]

    I mean, why exactly do we have to have a law that specifies each and every invasion of privacy via camera as illegal? Isn’t a general principle good enough? Maybe we need a law that says you can’t take up-skirt photos of 1 year olds, a law that is the same for 13 year olds, ditto on up to 110. Then we need an additional 110 laws to specify similar constraints on up-skirt videos.

  52. says

    Ahhh, the German kids’ news broadcast now covered Pope Francy the child beater two nights in a row, emphasising how that is totally not ok and completely illegal in Germany and that children have a right to grow up without violence.
    Good people. Tell them the RCC is a bunch of evil bastards early!

  53. carlie says

    Showed the test question to my kids, Child 2 got it. :)

    Kids were at play practice all day, so I went to work. Spouse was up half the night with a cold, so I figured he’d like the house to himself. Picked up the kids, we all got home, and he snipped at me three times in about two minutes just during the normal hey we’re home exchange. I think I’ll bring the computer into my room and lay low the rest of the afternoon/evening.

  54. says

    Republicans in Congress say and do more stupid stuff.

    Rep. Joe Barton (Texas) isn’t about to have his prized legislation get tagged with a 666 – the number of the beast. […]

    “It quickly became clear that the original bill number carried many different negative connotations,” Barton spokesman Sean Brown said in an email.”

    Most proposed legislation is assigned a sequential bill number, without any regard for supernatural beliefs, and plenty of measures have accepted 666 as a bill number in previous Congresses.

    But when Barton’s bill to lift restrictions on crude oil exports, his office balked. House officials agreed to change the designation from H. Res. 666 to H. Res. 702. […]

    After President Reagan left the White House, he and Nancy Reagan bought a home in California. The street address was 666 St. Cloud Road.

    As the L.A. Times noted, the Reagans “had the address changed to 668 to avoid the ‘number of the beast.’”

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

    A colleague talking too loudly at work prompted me to finally buy a new set of earphones. Of course, now I have to make a song list for work.
    *rubs hands*
    This is going to be fun.

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


    No, that little girl couldn’t possibly be any cuter. Yes, that is the only right way to eat Nutella.
    Although, Nutella filled pancakes may be a close second.

  57. rq says

    Nutella pancakes is for when you feel like putting some work into eating the Nutella. :)

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

    OK, I think watching Iron Man prior to starting to compile the list might be influencing my choices.

    So…. I promised myself I would start studying this weekend. Well, there’s still half of the weekend left. I’m lazy but I also want to get a good hold of this and eventually be able to do all this other stuff at work I’m not even allowed to sniff close to right now. Challenges, challenges.

  59. says

    This meme is gathering steam on rightwing websites and radio talk shows: they against tuition-free community college, and against any other actions to lower college tuition or the interest rate on loans, because that mean taxpayers are paying to teach kids to hate Republicans and white people.

    Ann Coulter is not a fan of President Obama’s plan to provide tuition-free community college, or of federal college loans in general. Coulter told Florida radio host Joyce Kaufman on Monday [February 2] that such programs are just a “scam” to “subsidize the most left-wing industry in America, that spends its days indoctrinating kids to hate Republicans.”

    “And to hate white people,” Kaufman added. “The whole white privilege thing that’s going on there is killing me.”

    “Yeah, and they’re never called to account for it,” Coulter agreed.

    Right Wing Watch link.

  60. says

    Now that we’ve the longest period of job growth in U.S. history, Republicans are scrambling to spin this as bad news. One of the spins they’ve come up with is that this is a “part-time” economy. Chris Hayes debunks this myth with actual facts. Imagine that, Republicans got the facts wrong … again.

    Also available here, in case you have problems with the link above:
    “Strongest run of good economic news in more than a decade […]”

    There’s also a discussion that mentions the disparity between the 1% and the rest of us.

  61. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, taking a break before I put the hutch on my rebuilt computer desk. I should be adding peripherals to the desk within an hour. I’ll save the computer for last.

    I took the iMac downstairs so the Redhead could watch AppleTV. Something funny happened. Since the iMac was on WiFi, rather than ethernet, pointing the remote at the AppleTV caused window with the video to open on the iMac. A head scratcher, until I have time to Google possibilities (tomorrow).

  62. chip says

    I…just wanted to vent a little, you guys. I’m friends on Facebook with a woman who is one of my sister’s oldest friends; I’ve known her at least 30 years, she and I were both bridesmaids at my sister’s wedding, etc. etc. etc. She posted something yesterday in support of Stanislaw Burzynski, and I (assuming that she must have been mistaken), replied with links to a couple of P.Z.’s posts on the subject. It turns out that she’s on the Burzynski bandwagon and silly little things like “facts” and “science” are no persuasion in the face of feeling really good and fuzzy.

    I always thought that she had her head screwed on pretty straight, and now I’m sad.

  63. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still have to hook in one DVD burner, then I am done with the rebuild, but not the cleaning and reoganization. Rock steady and level. Vast improvement.

  64. carlie says

    rq, I would put all of those up in my office. :)

    Sigh. Spouse and I haven’t gotten into it like this in quite a while, I guess we were due. Where “getting into it” means “aggressively not speaking to each other so as to claim the mantle of passivity”. Back in the day before we became actual adults we could go a week or more without speaking to each other. This should blow over by tomorrow night. It’s nothing big, but it is annoying.

    Speaking of which, my computer just gave me a scare. I had to restart it, and after I did it was all “Oh hai no there is no wireless adapter here what do you mean? There isn’t an adapter or drivers and has never been so and I don’t even know what you’re talking about NO NETWORKS FOR YOU”. I finally restarted it just in case and now it works, so huh? Bah. Maybe I’m getting sick too, and being a grouch is the first symptom.

    Here. Have this adorable Android commercial.

  65. cicely says


    Woman finds mystery creature in her tuna, expert says it’s a tongue-eating parasite

    Those of us who have read The Apocalypse Codex know what it really is….


    Whoever designed that human spinal chord / upright bipedalism crap probably failed Shop in Junior High.
    also HomeEc.

    Intelligent Design.
    Also-and-relatedly: knees.

    In what way do up-skirt pics of under-age girls not qualify as “child porn”???

    Sorry that Spouse is cranky.

    I recommend Nutella as cake frosting.


    Werner Herzog on motivational posters.

    “Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.”

    chip, I’m sorry.
    That really sucks.

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

    Haven’t been around much, completely ‘rupt, but thinking well of all you folks.

    Anyone got any thoughts on a movie as mindless distraction fodder?

    Gone Girl? I’ve heard it’s good, but nothing specific.

    Also, I watched the first 2 episodes of Gotham this week. Good enough, I suppose, but I practically keeled over laughing when I saw the “Trident Intercontinental Shipping” logo at the beginning of episode 2.

    I looked it up, apparently it’s a thing. Been in DC before and DC animated U before. I’m just wondering

    a) which peacenik genius put this into DC comics in the first place?
    b) why doesn’t the Gotham wiki mention the obvious joke/reference in transporting warheads?
    c) is it really just that I’m way too old? 40s doesn’t seem that old, but I guess if I was in my 20s still it’s hard to know how much I’d know about the Tridents, given a post-Berlin Wall Fall birthday.

  67. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …I’m pretty sure most people’s associations will be chewing gum.

  68. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    Yah, gum is what first comes to mind with ‘Trident’, though that might seem a bit weird in a show like Gotham.

    I hope all is resolved soon with some sleep and some rest – and that everyone feels better afterwards. *hugs*
    Also, may the computer behave from now on. As much as possible.


    Well, if that blizzard don’t clear up in a couple of hours, it’ll be no ice sculptures for us today.

  69. says

    Good morning

    *pouncy hugs*
    Hmmm, I’m still looking towards 40 from the 30 side, but it’s getting rapidly closer. It’s the kids, I think. They accelerate time, I think.

    I’ll out myself as one of these fake gamer girls who likes to play casual games on mobile devices. I just found a new “How to train your dragon” spin off game. Would you believe it, not only can I play as a female character (actually, female was what came up first, I would have had to switch to change to male), it is a fully dressed female character. And what’s more, I can easily customize my fully clothed female character to be a black fully clothed female character.
    That’s a free online game. Somebody tell me why that’s apparently impossible for so many other games…
    Unfortunately, it looks like my tablet is good enough to play it without crashing.

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

    Crip Dyke,

    I just watched the first episode of Penny Dreadful last night. Not bad and it doesn’t have too many episodes per season so it shouldn’t get stale.
    Warning : they went all out with blood and gore

  71. says

    Giliell: LOL, I play casual games as well, as do many of the men I know who game, if they’re not stuck in that 5yo “girls have cooties!” mindset. Plague Inc, City Evolution, Sim City Builder, FIFA 15, doctor who: legacy, lots of good fun games I can and do play on my tab or phone. Fuck prejudice. :)

  72. rq says

    Also, that moment when you have 5 to 10 pages left of a book and nobody’s giving you the time to finish it… (And yes, I say that as I type a comment on a blog……….)

  73. says

    Dalillama @91:

    Wages are still shite, though. Not that Republicans would help on that front.

    Quite true. Chris Hayes briefly addressed that fact, though the segment wasn’t focused on that issue. Republicans not love low wages for the underclass, many of them want to dispose of the minimum wage altogether.

    rq @97, That was funny. I particularly liked the image of the chicken, with the “inspirational” quote about looking into its eyes and finding a “completely flat, frightening stupidity.” I have a few friends who post aw-shucks photos of animals on Instagram. Most of those also have the dead-eye syndrome. There are exceptions, but mostly people are seeing what they want to see. Chickens, even baby chickens, are not humans.

  74. says

    chip @98, I know what you mean, and I feel your pain. I have a cousin who is intelligent, a friend to me for a long time. Now she’s taken a slight propensity to be gullible and turned it into a full time career. She’s getting a degree in aromatherapy, and she’s selling “essential oils.” I get Facebook blather from her that extols her “path to her authentic self.” Crap.

  75. says

    Since somebody was just joking about that scene on Twitter: Imagine you’re a dancer. Imagine you got the job of your life. Imagine you were hired to dance during the Superbowl half time show. And you can never tell anybody because you were the left shark….

  76. rq says

    Giliell @119
    Actually, I do, when it comes to a dance performance in front of millions of people. :P
    I guess I just don’t understand the charm of left shark. :)

  77. says

    Sure, we all wanna be Right Shark, but we’re much more likely Left Shark: You really care and you want to do everything right and you sort of do but still you somehow fuck up. But i mean, even ahd Left Shark danced perfectly, it would be a hilarious story. Imagine telling your frinds: “I was on the half time show” and they ask cool, where?” and you say “in the shark costume” or even worse “one of the palm trees”

  78. carlie says

    Maybe it’s because we couldn’t see Left Shark’s face, so we were spared any embarrassment the dancer might have had about not getting the routine right. And even if they cared to begin with, at some point they had to have just gone “eh, fuck it, as long as I move with the beat I’m ok”. Without any facial expressions, we can pretend that Left Shark is the new honey badger. He just doesn’t give a shit, and he doesn’t care who knows. :)

  79. Saad says

    Boko Haram launches attacks in Niger, 21 people including one child killed in suicide bomb

    I had to type “Boko Haram” into the Google News search field to find this out. If it happened to any of the default people, you would literally have to shut yourself in for a week and avoid all media to remain ignorant of it.

    Also, what’s with the news specifying the gender when a woman carries out a suicide attack?

    A health official reached by telephone said earlier that a female suicide bomber blew herself up, killing a child and wounding 20 people.

  80. Grewgills says

    @Saad #124

    Also, what’s with the news specifying the gender when a woman carries out a suicide attack?

    Virtually all suicide attacks have been carried out by males. When something is different about an attack the news will comment on it.

  81. cicely says

    Crip Dyke!

    I’ve got a guy panicking—based on a HuffPo article—about alleged cover-up of whistleblowers at the CDC, about the MMR vaccine using a measles variant that no longer is a match (thanks to mutation) for the measles that is currently so very popular. Best I can tell, it’s a mistake for an article that claims that the mumps virus in the MMR is no longer current; and I’ve read another article that says:
    “It’s extremely unlikely that measles virus will become more transmissible, deadly, or that the vaccine will stop being effective in protecting people against it.
    “Measles is solid as a rock. The measles virus that causes disease today is the same virus that caused disease in 1934,” Schaffner said.
    Although viruses such as the influenza virus and HIV are constantly mutating in significant ways, measles virus doesn’t change very much. The vaccines that were developed from the measles virus circulating in the 1950s and 1960s work just as well against modern versions of the virus, according to the Journal of Infectious Diseases.”

    Anybody got useful and reliable sources I can check?

  82. birgerjohansson says

    Crip Dyke,
    “Anyone got any thoughts on a movie as mindless distraction fodder? ”

    “Lock, stock, and two smoking barrels”?
    “Hot Fuzz”
    “Riiddick” (the latest Vin Diesel) is pretty cool, although there is a scene early on that is rather sexist.

    Also, there are a million films out there that are so bad that they end up funny.

  83. birgerjohansson says

    Indian ‘woman’ has twins despite discovery she is mostly male
    (The fertility specialist Sunil Jindal is presumably not related to medical ignoramus Bobby Jindal)

    — — — — —
    There can only be one!
    Tapeworms battle it out to control shared host
    Let’s say USA is the copepod and D and R are the tapeworms…. or would it be the banks?

    — — — — —
    Ancient Anglo-Saxon era stone carving found among lawn ornaments

    — — — — — —
    Stockholm producer Max Martin picks up Grammy

  84. birgerjohansson says

    Good news!
    China’s coal use falls for first time this century, analysis suggests (excerpt) The cause of the reduced coal-burning was reduced demand, with China’s statistical agency noting that economic growth was increasingly coming from the service sector instead of heavy industry, as well as new renewable energy such as hydropower and wind power.

    — — — — — — — — —

    Arnold Schwarzenegger Calls For Climate Change Action At Munich Security Conference
    Schwarzenegger says the issue shouldn’t be politicized and people should work together for solutions.
    He says “we all breathe the same air.”
    (he can only say that away in distant Munich without being called a RINO)

  85. rq says

    The new Riddick has several problematic plot points, but I confess that being able to ogle so many muscley and manly arms made the experience a bit better. And it wasn’t just the one sexist scene, by the way. And that whole bit about who dies first was HORRIBLE. And I hated the ending.
    So basically I watched that movie for the manly muscley arms.

  86. birgerjohansson says

    Apollo Speeches

    Ukraine to be put up high where Putin can’t reach it

    Fake nice people worse than authentic bastards

    Fox ‘historian’: More evidence than atheists ‘would ever imagine’ that Jonah was ‘swallowed by a whale’

  87. birgerjohansson says

    The way I see it, as long as it isn’t as horribly bad as the Predator vs. Alien fims, it is *almost* good. And yesterday I watched “sharknado” on TV …for almost ten minutes. (sounds of retching)

    Then, when you have given up on the human race, along comes a rare film like “Inception” :-)

    Another film that does not fit any label: “Intacto”.
    Odd, low-budget time-travel film: “The sticky fingers of time”
    Film that is an interesting failure: “The Hunger”
    The ending makes no sense, but you can feel the deep fear of ageing of the non-human protagonists.

  88. rq says

    I think we can agree on the relative goodness of the Predator vs. Alien films. :P
    Also, thanks for the odd suggestions, I like weird unknown films, even if they’re sometimes utter failures.

  89. birgerjohansson says

    Another film suggestion: the brilliant Brit comedy “Whoops apocalypse”
    ( “unemployment is caused by pixies” )

    It exists both as a film, and an even better TV series (the latter has John Cleese as a nuclear terrorist).

    The original “Django” film from the 1960s.

    Also, a French SF film from ca. 1967 with a private investigator arriving on a planet where a city is run by a creepy computer, I don’t know the English title yet.

  90. birgerjohansson says

    …and there are a few good East European SF films, unfortunately few of them exist with English subtitles.
    (you will already be aware of the Tarkovsky films Solaris and Stalker)

    -You might like the original Norwegian “Insomnia” or the original Mexican El Mariachi, much different flavor from the American versions.
    Weird TV: The cartoon “The Maxx”, originally run by MTV
    and “Death Valley” (comedy: reality TV cops fight zombies and vampires in the San Antonio valley).

  91. says

    I know by now you’Re all tired of my final thesis but you’ll have to bear with me for a while longer.
    thesis warning
    I’m at the point where I re-read my primary texts to look for support of the points my brain is totally convinced there are. Going well so far, also I get to do some mostly pleasure reading.
    But ach, white feminism. One of my points is how Pierce uses names to indicate power and othering.
    In the first “Protector of the Small” book the heroine is never called her name or “page” by those hostile to her, but a variety of other things. This serves to show how she is socially subordinate and lower in rank. A particularly telling episode is just before she gets into a fight with some of her main adversaries. And then, most likely unknowingly Pierce does the same thing to the one brown boy in that group. While all the other boys get refered to by their name he gets refered to by his name or ethnic origin, being “the Bazhir”*

    *Race is a really problematic issue in the Tortall books and the Bazhir, a people
    resembling North African tribal societies in particular.
    end thesis rambling

  92. says

    Indian ‘woman’ has twins despite discovery she is mostly male
    (The fertility specialist Sunil Jindal is presumably not related to medical ignoramus Bobby Jindal)

    Notice how the assholes are trying desperately to uphold their fucking biologistic gender essentialism?
    Putting woman in scarequotes, saying that this was basically a man giving birth, yadda, yadda, yadda. They always need to shift, shift shift their definitions to protect their preconceived notions of sex being TOTALLY REAL!!!11!!!
    She has a vagina, she has a uterus, she’s fucking capable of giving birth*, all the traditional hallmarks of being totes a woman**, but somehow the existence of a Y chromosome in parts of her genome negates that. We can’t be having that!

    *Oh, I can hear them, “but she needed extensive treatment!”. Yeah, because no other woman ever needs extensive fertility treatment despite having all the right chromosomes.
    **not that I would subscribe to that definition of woman anyway. It’s just that this is generally the criteria used for assigning people as male or female. Who amongst us know their actual genome anyway?

  93. birgerjohansson says

    maybe they still believe in nature striving for a Platonic ideal, you know, a theory that is only 2400 years out of date…
    I wonder how they would have reacted if she had had the same number of arms as Shiva?

  94. rq says

    Musical interlude!
    Here are some ocntenders to represent Latvia in this year’s Eurovision contest. It was the usual line-up of pop artists and old regulars trying to maintain a name, but three artists stood out for me – two of which made it to the final selection (next week, I believe).
    Here’s three songs that I liked (Riga Metro didn’t make it to the final).
    Riga Metro – High Heels | Eurovision 2015 (Latvia – National Final)
    MNTHA/MINTA “Nefelibata” – Supernova 2015
    And my favourite, Aminata Savadogo – Love Injected

  95. The Mellow Monkey says

    Giliell, the “rarest of rare” description is particularly silly. Without genotyping, who the fuck knows exactly how rare her situation is?

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


    thanks for the recommendations. I’m going to look up, “Whoops, Apocalypse.”

  97. birgerjohansson says

    But Seriously, ‘Ought Women to Learn the Alphabet?’
    — — — —

    HPV vaccination not linked to riskier sex
    — — — —

    New opportunity to treat drug-resistant leukemia discovered
    — — — —

    Burying Vietnam, Launching Perpetual War

  98. birgerjohansson says

    Mechanistic finding may help deal with side effects of lifespan-extending drug rapamycin

    — — — —
    Planets orbiting red dwarfs may stay wet enough for life

    — — — —
    The Battle for Libya’s Oil On the frontlines of a forgotten war

    — — — —

    When a drone hits home

  99. birgerjohansson says

    56% of congressional Republicans are science deniers
    This only covers climate change deniers, the vaccine sceptics and other categories are not included.

    — — — —
    Fox ‘historian’: More evidence than atheists ‘would ever imagine’ that Jonah was ‘swallowed by a whale’

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


    You should be. There’s bound to be more punk in her steampunk than in any 10 random steampunk novels.

    Just tell her to be careful with showing the punk themes in school until Uni. Teachers can get a little scared when they see things like:

    One of the biggest parts of punk was a creating explicitly outward identities of sexuality. Everything that was normally supposed to be hidden was brought to the front, both literally and figuratively.

    Punk aesthetics determine the type of art punks enjoy, usually with underground, minimalistic, iconoclastic and satirical sensibilities. Punk artwork graces album covers, flyers for concerts, and punk zines. Punk has generated a considerable amount of poetry and prose. Punk has its own underground press in the form of punk zines, which feature news, gossip, cultural criticism, and interviews.

    Punks can come from any and all walks of life and economic classes. Compared to some alternative cultures, punk is much closer to being gender equalist in terms of its ideology.

    I have no doubt a Giliell-spawn is “much closer to being gender equalist in terms of … ideology” than the average Berra.

    But will she engage in cultural criticism? That criticism would have to include sarcasm and satire, wouldn’t it?

    Soverign Punks want to know! (Don’t they?)

  101. Rob Grigjanis says

    birgerjohansson @147:

    BTW, what the hell is an oik?

    What snobbish public school types call lower-class people.

  102. blf says

    Cows are extremely snobbish and consider everything, even other cows (or themselves, if you use a mirror), an oik. Just look at how stand-offish, bored-looking, and do-nothing they are — upper-class twits the lot.

  103. blf says

    Today in school she drew robot horses and cats and birds with … cogwheels and stuff

    Just wait until she stops drawing from nature and starts imagining things: Cats not being launched from a trebuchet, horses that are not evil, ex-dinosaurs eating peas, and cogwheels without stuff (other that a mechanic stuck in the teeth).

  104. blf says

    … other than a mechanic …

    (I should stop imaging I’ve fund all the miss takes which Prewiev>.)

  105. says

    I think it will still take some time, but she’ll get there. She’s still at the “I hate boys” phase and given many of her classmates I can’t entirely blame her for it.
    Though I do of course emphasize that there are also nice and kind and well-behaving boys in her class.

    Let me see if I can scan that pencil drawing…

  106. rq says

    Sometimes when I’m alone late at work, I get sad over the silliest things, like how no one will ever sing love ballads for me. My life is hard.
    At least it’s hometime!

  107. rq says

    Also, if you were in a lab working the evening-to-night shift, where would you leave your glasses?

  108. jste says

    Also, if you were in a lab working the evening-to-night shift, where would you leave your glasses?

    1. On that chair you’re just about to sit o- *crack* oops.
    2. Next to my backpack on that shelf over there. Oh, let me just grab my- *crack* oops.
    3. On that table in the cafeteria. Let me just go back and get them. Oh. They’re gone. Huh.

    (None of these being lab specific or even evening shift specific. Screw glasses.)

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

    @Giliell, #155:

    I think it will still take some time, but she’ll get there. She’s still at the “I hate boys” phase and given many of her classmates I can’t entirely blame her for it.

    We can deplore it while it exists, but in a sexist world it’s a necessary phase for most thinking girls.

    Re: #156:
    Wow! The Tintenfisch reminds me of the Tamora Pierce metal spider-monsters from Protector of the Small. (Though it is, of course, a mechanical octopus – obviously expected from any spawn of a phrayngula regular.)

    My littles would probably prefer the Katze, but I’m totally digging on the Schnecke.

  110. says

    Link to my comment on the “tell us what you really think Orac” thread.

    Some anti-vax parents in California are hosting “measles parties” in order to intentionally expose their children to measles.

  111. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hello Lounge!

    Here seemed the best place to add my absinthe 2c. :)
    Didn’t want to derail the absinthe thread – it was about the video after all…

    The 1989 Scientific American article was pretty much trumped by this one:
    Which, coincidentally was the start of my fascination with the drink.

    A quick guide to absinthe (sorry for the length):

    Get some good absinthe!

    It doesn’t have to be really expensive – just make sure it actually is absinthe. There is a lot of crap out there pretending to be authentic. The first clue is spelling: make sure it is spelt “absinthe” – a lot of the crap avoids accurate spelling. Check online at review sites ( is a good start) – let other people put it in their mouths before yours…
    “Tasted like mouthwash mixed with disinfectant” and “it was the worst thing I have put in my mouth… ever”.
    … Are clues that you may have the wrong bottle.

    Prepare it the traditional way with a sugar cube and ice water – none of this setting it on fire crap. Who the hell does that to good spirits anyway?

    Don’t believe the whole hallucination thing. The levels of the guilty compounds are just far too low in proper absinthe and you would probably be poisoned before you hallucinated anyway.

    Read the fascinating book ‘Hideous Absinthe’ by Jad Adams. It follows the history of art and literature alongside absinthe consumption.

    Don’t do ‘absinthe shots’. That’s like doing bitters shots – pointless dumb and dangerous. Absinthe was diluted down to normal levels of alcohol consumption.

    Remember: because it is diluted, a bottle goes a lot longer than, say, an equivalent bottle of wine. So keep that in mind when you choke on the price of the good stuff :)

    Drink in moderation – you can still get pretty smashed on this stuff and it sneaks up on you! No, really!

    Keep in mind that all things interesting become the domain of the hypercritical, hipster wanker – yes, the MRAs have moved into absinthe territory after finding single malt scotch too common for them. Beware their opinions.

  112. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Incidentally, Kirkland Signature has a new London Dry Gin out that’s surprisingly good.

  113. says

    rq @161:

    Sometimes when I’m alone late at work, I get sad over the silliest things, like how no one will ever sing love ballads for me.

    I used to listen to power ballad love songs from the late 70s and 80s whenever I wanted to have a good cry about being single. Worked like a charm every time. I’d offer to sing them to you, but
    A: I can’t sing worth a crap and you’d want to put me on mute in about 10 seconds
    B: I’d probably start crying right around that 10 second mark.


    Several years ago, a cow-orker (deliberate tpyos offering is deliberate) visited a country over in Europe (can’t recall which one) and she brought back some absinthe, which she shared with the bar staff. She was instructed to do what gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet @167 said not to do (i.e. set it on fire). I remember taking my shot and thinking “this is absolutely the worst thing I’ve ever drank and I never want to taste this again”.


    Tony Tale #1 of 2:
    R (a cow-orker) recently became a father and he and his girlfriend decided to move in together. R thinks he lives in a questionable neighborhood and so he informed me on Sunday that he was planning on getting a gun very, very soon.

    Of course that set off my spider-sense, and I did my best to give him accurate information on gun ownership, such as the fact that a gun in the home increases the risk of someone in the home getting shot. I also stressed the importance of him securely storing the gun, and even suggested a gun safe (especially since he seems to want to keep the gun loaded). I told R that I routinely curate links about irresponsible gun owners on my blog and how I see far too many cases of children–even very young children–finding guns and using them. I knew I wouldn’t be able to dissuade him (though I did mention that I abhor firearms), but I hoped to be able to make him think about what it means to be a responsible gun owner.

    Incidentally, on his break between shifts, he bought a shotgun. When he came back to work and told me that, I was floored. Here was a guy who had never owned a gun before, and between making the decision to buy a gun and the actual purchase of one, not much time had elapsed. Just a few days.

    Oh, and one other thing I implored him to consider–V said he has had anger problems in the past. I made sure to mention to him that he should probably not have a loaded gun on him when he’s angry bc there are far too many stories of gun owners injuring or killing someone else in a fit of anger.

    Tony Tale #2 of 2:
    I have, slowly but surely, been developing a few regulars at my job (bar business has never been huge, but it’s creeping up, however minutely). One regular, V, came in tonight. She and I have chatted several times before. She knows I’m gay, outspoken, progressive, and a feminist. She is outspoken herself and is quite progressive (V has told me in the past about her job at a newspaper, and how she has been in charge of monitoring the comments sections of articles posted online. She’s told me of racist, homophobic comments that piss her off, and which ((unfortunately)), she could never comment on in her capacity as an employee of the paper).

    She came in tonight and shared the [what I initially characterized as unfortunate] news that she and the guy she was dating (J) had broken up, bc J is a jealous asshole. Apparently V recently had a gathering at her home and she invited several friends-women and men. Despite the fact that J knew that V had male friends and knew that she was having a gathering at her home (which he couldn’t attend bc he was working), when he asked her about the party, he became irate when she told him that men were there. She showed me the text message where he not only broke up with her, but called her selfish. He was clearly angry that she had the audacity to have men over her home when he wasn’t there.

    Reading that text and listening to her talk about the situation made me both sad and angry. The former I quickly got over, as it was a gut reaction to hearing that someone has broken up with their SO. “I’m so sorry about that”. That’s what I started to say to her and then I stopped and said “Come to think of it, this is probably a good thing for you, as you two weren’t dating long and he’s shown you a nasty side of himself.” She agreed that it pretty much did her a favor. So, nothing to be sad about.

    Anger, though? Swimming in a pool of frustration?* Yeah. Still felt that. She and I discussed how frustrating it is that so many men and women (at least in USAmerica; not sure how it is in other countries) feel that if you’re in a relationship, guys can’t have women as platonic friends and vice-versa–and if you do, often you get accused of cheating on your SO. Because if a man or woman is in a relationship with someone and they hang out with someone of a different sex, that automatically means they’re fucking. Grrr….

    We talked about multiple topics during our conversation, including her anger that the state prevented her from making a decision about her health. Several years ago, she contracted some form of cancer (can’t recall which one) and after it was successfully treated, she asked her doctor about getting a hysterectomy (she said she doesn’t want kids). The doctor said that since the cancer was treated successfully, she couldn’t have the operation, as it was something that women can only have if it is deemed ‘medically necessary’. And of course he offered the old “what if you want kids one day”. I’m sure many of you can imagine how angry she was at that. I pretty much nodded in agreement with her that it’s her body, and she should be able to make that decision for herself and that if she someday wants kids, then that’s on her, as an adult who made a decision. Whether or not she changes her mind one day is irrelevant. The choice should be hers (plus she said if she changes her mind, she is very open to adoption).

    That conversation segued into her relating a tale of a past relationship with a guy who told her he was in love with her, and not too long after that, disappeared for months. She was left hanging and wondering what the hell happened. At some point, she bumped into mutual friends and discovered that the guy had moved bc he had sex with a woman and she became pregnant. When she mentioned that he was Catholic, I had a feeling that he felt some sort of responsibility toward the woman and decided to cut V out of his life as a result (her mother apparently had the same thought).

    That story led, in turn, to V sharing a pregnancy scare she had several years ago. Upon her realization that she was 3 weeks late on her period, she shared the news with her boyfriend. She also told him that she knew exactly what she wanted to do: get an abortion because she didn’t want children. She said his response was “you can’t do that bc the baby is part mine”. When she told me that, I nearly laughed. She and I were on the same page: her body, her choice. He was from a Catholic family and was opposed to abortion on dumb-ass religious grounds.

    This led to her asking me what I knew about Catholic opposition to abortion, which I’ve read a little about and was happy to share with her.

    After that, we talked about abortion laws in the US, the increasing number of hoops women have to jump through to get an abortion, TRAP laws, and the tremendous burden anti- abortion advocates have put on low-income women.

    All in all, it was quite a pleasant conversation and I was quite happy to talk with V. I even remarked that it was nice to talk to someone in meatspace (I even used that term) about important topics such as the ones we covered.

    *Trying to visualize what anger swimming in a pool of frustration would look like.

  114. says

    Medical mystery: Hong Kong girl born with absorbed siblings organs inside her

    The unusual case, dating back to 2010, was detailed in the Hong Kong Medical Journal earlier this month. Each of the two structures found in the girl contained intestines, an umbilical cord, a rib cage, a spine, and “primitive” brain matter. They are believed to have grown to between 8 and 10 weeks before being absorbed into the girl’s body.

    The British newspaper the Mirror reported that the girl underwent successful surgery to have the two masses removed from between her left kidney and her liver.

    The case is believed to be the first documented instance of foetus in foetu, as her condition is formally known, in Hong Kong. It occurs in one of every 500,000 births worldwide.

    “It was almost impossible to detect during the prenatal check-up, as the embryo inside the baby was too small,” a local gynecology and obstetrics specialist, Yu Kai-man, told the Mirror. “Since it is impossible for the little girl to have conceived the pregnancy on her own, the fertilisation of the twin fetuses, of course, belongs to her parents, which has gone to the wrong place.”

    The report did not state a direct cause for the girl’s condition, but at one point the World Health Organization reportedly misidentified it as a form of cancer. Kai-man also suggested that it might be connected to multiple abortions done by the girl’s mother.

    “The widespread use of antenatal ultrasound in early gestation may provide more concrete evidence, and shed light on this intriguing condition,” he said.”


    Lost copy of the Magna Carta found in the archives of a county council in England:

    An edition of the Magna Carta which could be worth up to £10 million has been found after it lay forgotten in a council’s archives.

    The discovery of the version of the historical parchment which established the principle of the rule of law, in the files of the history department of Kent County Council, has been described as an important historical find by an expert.

    The document was found in the archives kept in Maidstone but belonging to the town of Sandwich.

    Speaking from Paris, Professor Nicholas Vincent, of the University of East Anglia, who authenticated the document, said: ‘It is a fantastic discovery which comes in the week that the four other known versions were brought together at the Houses of Parliament.

    ‘It is a fantastic piece of news for Sandwich which puts it in a small category of towns and institutions that own a 1300 issue.’

  115. says

    I’m sure this comment from me won’t make it out of moderation:

    This is an absolutely horrid and abhorrent piece. Rape is non-consensual sex. You cannot consent if your mind is impaired by drugs or alcohol. As for your “knowledge” on the subject of rape and why there are so few convictions…well, you could fit your knowledge into a thimble and there would still be plenty of room. Go educate yourself on this subject before you spew your misogynistic, hateful, and Rape Culture enabling views on the world.”

    It’s in response to this blog by David Osborne.
    Warning: he is a rape culture apologist and the title of his post is “She was gagging for it”.
    Makes me want to fucking puke. And of course, the comments (24 of them including mine) make me want to rage more (I read them…why?)

  116. says


    We can deplore it while it exists, but in a sexist world it’s a necessary phase for most thinking girls.

    Yep, and so is over the top pink. They identify as girls and this is what society tells them girls look like and girls play with. They are not weak for not resisting the pressure*, they understand the rules and are trying to play their part. I always want to punch something when I see people deny the influence of culture and media. I used to be the freak for my kids because I liked “boy stuff”: dragons and swords and Star Wars. Then they watched Brave and they immediately needed a sword (I was happy to oblige). One fucking Disney Princess and suddenly swords are acceptable for girls….

    *I hate it when people who got a non-conforming kid by chance tout it as a personal success. That’s like people who think it’s their good parenting that made their baby sleep through the night at 8 weeks

    Personally, I prefer the horse (don’t tell on me). I think I have to turn that into a shirt…


    Some anti-vax parents in California are hosting “measles parties” in order to intentionally expose their children to measles.

    At least that shit is illegal in Germany. Intentionally spreading contagious diseases is a crime.
    We also have a measles outbreak here, a few times the scale of the US outbreak in Berlin. Apparently part of it is a late term effect of the Balkan wars. Currently many people are fleeing the wonderful Kosovo (hey, didn’t we “liberate” them and install paradise on earth?) and many of them didn’t get their vaccinations during the war. Mix that with the high density of anti-vax wooists in Berlin and you have a nice huge outbreak.
    Of course the immigrants are much more sensible and are happy to catch up with their vaccinations when they’re offered them than the oh so educated anthroposophs.
    Me, I have perfect immunity from measles thanks to having had them. Thank you, mum, I would have prefered the vaccine.
    A lot.
    It’s a memory of pure misery.

    Well, there’s somebody who would move back into his own flat far away from me and my baby again…
    I’m also glad that V got out of there. Serious red flag. That would have gone down badly for her.
    Ye gods, the times I had men over here, even over night… Mr would have died of a heart attack if he cared by now. Same goes for me and the fact that he has female friends.

    well, you could fit your knowledge into a thimble and there would still be plenty of room.

    I’m so going to steal that.

  117. says

    In an odd coincidence, one of my coworkers was apparently arrested last week for, as I understand it, breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home while she was present, and I have no further details. I didn’t know him that well, but I wouldn’t really have expected it, which I suppose goes to show I didn’t know him very well at all, and generally that it’s often quite hard to tell from the outside.

  118. Nick Gotts says

    Well, chickenpox parties are already a thing… – rq@166

    Now that is beyond stupid. The chickenpox virus stays in the body, and can reactivate to cause shingles later in life. This is very painful, and can lead to severe complications including blindness, damage to hearing, facial paralysis and encephalitis. Which reminds me – I must see if I can get shingles vaccination in the UK; my childhood preceded most of the vaccinations now available, so I enjoyed measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis… and chickenpox.

  119. bassmike says

    Tony once again you prove what a great person you are.

    The ballet was good. On Friday it didn’t look like we were going to go as my daughter was unwell again. Fortunately, drugs kept her temperature down while her body fought the infections and she was fine by Saturday evening.

    On Sunday we took her to the 3rd birthday party of one of her friends from nursery. Good grief! A dozen small children and a bouncy castle made for a hectic afternoon. Daughter enjoyed it though, which was the important thing. She was shy for the first hour, then there was no stopping her!

  120. birgerjohansson says

    “Today in school she drew robot horses and cats and birds with … cogwheels and stuff”

    When Stanislaw Lem* illustrated some of his more humoristic story collections, he drew lots of surreal stuff like that. “The Cyberiad” comes to mind.

    *Yes, I know he was misogynic. Lem, Vonnegut and P.J. Farmer all wrote at least one rapey story each. What is it with SF authors born in the 1920s ???

    — — — — — —
    There is a fake story going round about the king of Jordan personally leading bombing raids on ISIS in retaliation for the killing of a downed Jordanian pilot.
    King Abdullah may not be flying any jets, but he was an extra in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.

  121. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli but forgot the password) says

    A superficial note on the king* of Jordan: IMHO the dude looks a lot more like (eg) Chris Christie than his dad Hussein. In fact when I first saw his picture in my thought was: “This must some American or Briton, they must have mixed up the pictures.” But apparently Hussein had one British and one American wife.

    * Or hereditary dictator. Although, I don’t like to call kings dictators because dictator was originally a kind of temporary (6 months) emergency king of the Roman Republic for the times when they couldn’t afford to have the coordination problems of the two consuls. OTOH, calling a king a dictator is a nice lèse-majesté, which is much appreciated.

  122. rq says

    re: power ballads…
    They’re a weakness of mine, too. I think what sets off the late-night sadness is my music playlist, which happens to have a few on it.
    Thanks for attempting, too. One day we should be sentimental with power ballads together. *hugs*
    Also, I realized I’ve missed your Tony Tales. You are, as you have proven once more, an awesome human being and I’m glad your customers and co-workers have you around.

    Yay ballet and children’s party, sounds like a full weekend! Glad the temperatures stayed down, did she enjoy the ballet?

    Nick Gotts
    I know, but a couple of years ago I heard about those parties in Canada, around the time the chickenpox vaccine was still coming out and everyone was all ‘hey it’s only a childhood illness!!’. For the record, I agree that it’s about the stupidest thing ever.
    And yeah, I have to go out and get all my boosters, plus the chickenpox vaccine – or whatever will work against shingles. :P I hate being stuck with a sharp object, but it’s far better than the alternative.

  123. bassmike says

    rq my daughter is still a bit young to sit for 2 hours of a ballet. When she can sit through the whole of Frozen without getting distracted, then we’ll think about what else she could go to.

  124. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli but forgot the password) says

    The Tony Tale 1 really sent chill down the spine. It’s good that you tried to inform him. I hope he will try to control his anger and that he will be careful and get a gun safe and maybe also will learn to handle and shoot the thing properly so that he know the dos and don’ts and knows how the gun behaves while shooting (eg how much the shotgun will kick/recoil). (I’ve never shot a shotgun but I’ve head that they can have a rather harsh recoil.)

  125. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli but forgot the password) says

    I’d like to complain to the Central Authority of English Language about the unnecessary features of your great lanuguage:

    Who needs indefinite and definite articles? There are languages that survive without them just fine. Also, gendered personal pronouns are an unnecessary complication.

    8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)
    (I see that I’ve forgotten some as, ans and thes and possibly used incorrect ones in incorrect places. We don’t have any articles in Finnish so the concept feels unnatural even after 30 years of learning Germanic languages)

  126. rq says

    Sorry for misunderstanding, I thought you took your daughter as well.
    Also, I’d suggest it’s worth trying to take her to live shows with a strong visual component before she can sit through the movie (though probably not quite yet) – You might be surprised, if she’s in a theatre or opera setting rather than home in front of the TV. Because mine still can’t sit through an entire movie without squirming for half of it, but they do well at the ballet, because of the completely different setting, the live aspect, and also treats at intermission. :P Just a thought, though. :)

  127. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    Oh man shotguns are nuts to shoot, you’re far more likely to injure yourself with it than anyone else, if shooting without any training at all.
    Though from Tony’s story, the person really, really doesn’t sound like the type to actually go out and get training with it. The impulsive aspect of his willingness towards aggression is frightening.

  128. Saad says

    The sweet irony of this protest aside, This is who agrees with you, Pope. I congratulate on your new-found companions.

  129. says

    Oh fun, the departmental library closed at 1pm.
    Fuck budget cuts

    Re: chickenpox
    Back in the days when they were inevitable, it made sense not to overprotect your healthy child, because they are much worse when you get them as an adult, as yours truly can testify, but now with the vaccine that’s plain child abuse