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

    Wow, I get to break the new thread in?

    The past two days have been my “weekend” (that is, I haven’t had to go to work, and I’m working tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday). I’ve spent 90% of my non-sleeping time watching those absurd videos Buzzfeed posts.

    That, and taking pseudophedrine, because I’m recovering from being sick.

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

    Thanks, Tony!
    Yesterday I went into to have a PPD placed, so my left arm is rather red. No induration, which is good.

  3. varady72 says

    A brief note and question:

    Steven Pinker adroitly noted the power of language and syntax when he observed:

    1) We belong to a species with a remarkable ability: we can shape events in each other’s brains with exquisite precision. That ability is language. Simply by making noises with our mouths or by scratching marks on paper, we can reliably cause precise new combinations of ideas to arise in each other’s minds. The ability comes so naturally to us that we are apt to forget what a strange and miraculous gift it is.

    2) Who could not be dazzled by the creative power of the mental grammar, by its ability to convey an infinite number of thoughts with a finite set of rules?

    3) With language I can cause you to be thinking thoughts about a vast array of topics, anything from the latest developments in your favorite TV show to theories of the origin of the universe. This is what I think of as the miracle of language: its vast expressive power… And it’s a phenomenon that still fills me with wonder even after having studied language for 35 years. And it is the prime phenomenon that science of language aims to explain.


    Does the vast expressive power of language and our creative capacity to engineer an infinite variety of sentences still periodiocally fill you with a sense of wonder?

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

    I seriously need to go thrift-store shopping/ Value-Villaging/ Goodwilling*1…

    …cause there just ain’t enough spoons around.

    I saw you offering extra spoons to JAL, rq, and I thought, extra????


    *1 …do the international folk get any of these references?

  5. jste | cogito ergo violence says

    *1 …do the international folk get any of these references?

    In Australia we have St Vinnies. People dump unwanted stuff in collection bins, someone gets the fun job of sorting it all out, and then St Vinnies outlets sell it for pennies and use the money for charity stuff. Same sort of thing?

    Young kids around here love buying some of their clothes there, I believe from some strange love of outdated fashions and styles you don’t find in regular retailers.

  6. says

    After I got back from errands, I decided to spend the rest of the morning sitting and reading. So anyway, I have some spoons to spare for those in need. They’re a bit dinged up, but they’re clean and shiny. I’ll just put them next to the hugs, higs, and other supportive gestures.

    One of the crafty magazines I read had artsy things using embellished vintage spoons. Spoons… gestures of support for those in need of same… Might be fun. I’ll add it to the long list of ideas.

  7. opposablethumbs says

    As an international folk, I think I get them from context :-). Everything I have ever worn for as long as I can remember (with the exception of underwear and … nope, that’s it, just underwear, plus one “interview” outfit, two jackets and one pair of trainers all of which were 25 years ago) has come from charity shops and the school jumble sale (also applies to almost everything worn by the rest of the family (the kids have occasionally had new things)). Charity shops are brilliant!!!!

  8. says

    Here, unfortunately, thrift shops are becoming overpriced boutiques. The Goodwill (which is most of them around here) is particularly bad that way – seriously, when I can buy the exact same item new at Target or Michael’s for less than it’s marked used, isn’t that rather defeating the purpose? I blame eBay and the Antiques Roadshow.

    Grumble grumble takes all the fun out…

  9. jefrir says

    *1 …do the international folk get any of these references?

    They’re pretty clear from context, and I’ve come across them in books and films before, so yes, near enough. The British equivalent is charity shops, of which there are many.


    I know there are a good number of boardgamers here, so I figured some of you might be interested in the Wizard’s academy kickstarter. It’s an extremely good game that I helped playtest and thoroughly enjoyed playing every time – even when everything was on fire and we were definitely going to lose.
    I’m also dating the designer, so may be slightly biased – but given that I met him by playtesting this game, I’d argue that the bias runs the other way: I like him more because he creates awesomeness like this.

  10. A. Noyd says

    Today was my last day teaching English in the US, though I didn’t do much with the students because it was the end of quarter party. The other teachers and students made me a book of photos and thank you notes to take with me. Also, some of the students gave me little gifts, which was so sweet.


    Ogvorbis (#156 [#656] last thread)

    Get a receipt. Seriously. I regularly donate books to our library (a few have ended up on the shelves, most get sold) and can write of $10 to $20 for hard cover and $1.00 to $3.00 for softcover (depending on condition).

    Yeah, they’ll be sending me a tax receipt automatically. Like, they didn’t ask me if I wanted one, just asked where to send it.

  11. jste | cogito ergo violence says

    Those automated links appear to be generated by this company and would appear to be part of the advertising used here.

    The internet needs a new funding model. For the few minutes that I had adblock disabled this site was virtually unusable. (Intolerably slow page load speed, a popup, two (TWO!!) auto-play videos, and the whole page shunted sideways to make room for some “side bar” ad).

    I know PZ’s response is usually “We don’t control it” or similar responses, but holy fuck the ads here are out of control.

    And the ad-free link is not visible with adblock running either. What’s up with that?

  12. says

    I’m using Nixie, a Nexus 7 tablet, so there are no adblockers*. The ads are quite interesting sometimes.

    *Yes, I know there are supposedly ways to install an adblocker on Android, but I’d have to go in and tinker with the roots or something, and I am so not doing that. I might break something.

  13. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist Wonder Flogger of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    In Australia we have St Vinnies. People dump unwanted stuff in collection bins, someone gets the fun job of sorting it all out, and then St Vinnies outlets sell it for pennies and use the money for charity stuff. Same sort of thing?

    yep. Absolutely. Also, many hipsters – and me, but I totally don’t qualify as a hipster. No. Never. – will shop there for mismatched silverware, b/c it’s funky that way.

    I do not do the hipster shopping for 60s/70s appallingly colored vases & plates, etc., because by buying something that looks hideous you’re making an ironic comment on popular culture. Even if I wanted to make an ironic comment on popular culture, I wouldn’t subject myself to that sort of thing in my kitchen.

    Young kids around here love buying some of their clothes there, I believe from some strange love of outdated fashions and styles you don’t find in regular retailers.

    And perhaps the aforementioned ironic comment on popular culture? Ugh. […shivers…]


    Ack. I should have remembered. I’ve been introduced to the “charity shop” lingo. But glad it was apparent anyway.

  14. jste | cogito ergo violence says

    @Crip Dyke

    My fingers much prefer to spell your ‘nym as Cryp Dike. Stupid fingers.

    yep. Absolutely. Also, many hipsters – and me, but I totally don’t qualify as a hipster. No. Never. – will shop there for mismatched silverware, b/c it’s funky that way.

    I totally plan on doing that one day, not from any love of silverware in particular, but because I can take that mismatched silverware and turn it into some cheap and hopefully attractive jewelry. But Spoons is one thing. The tools and decorations to assault spoons with is a whole other class of expenses I don’t need right now.

    And perhaps the aforementioned ironic comment on popular culture? Ugh. […shivers…]

    Possibly. I’m largely out of touch with people any more more than 5 or 6 years younger than me though. I think most of them just genuinely like 70s fashion.

    The age gap doesn’t sound like a huge number of years, but at 27, I interact with 21 and 22 y/os via a few clubs I’m still active in at uni, and it’s like… I’m sure I (thought I) was an adult at that age, but these creatures are mere children!

  15. Grewgills says

    @rq #142 last thread
    I love the science clothes for girls. Fortunately my wife is very crafty and we can find fabrics to make things like that for my daughter, but I like seeing that people are out there making these. We might have to support them.

  16. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Anyone in the Baltimore area? I have a friend who may potentially need a safe place to escape to in the next few days…

  17. says

    Court rules former Paramus Catholic employees cannot be charged with sexual assault

    A state Supreme Court ruling that dismissed charges Wednesday against two former Paramus Catholic High School chaperones accused of having sex with students during an overseas trip will leave parents worried about sending their children on trips, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said. He called on lawmakers to amend the state’s criminal code to remedy the court decision.

    Defense attorneys and some legal experts, meanwhile, defended the ruling as one that was based on a long-established principle that crimes should be prosecuted where they were committed.

    “I am hopeful that school districts throughout New Jersey recognize the significance of this ruling, at least until it is corrected by statute,” Molinelli said in a statement Wednesday. “Any school-sponsored class event outside of the state of New Jersey and where a similar incident is alleged to have occurred might meet with the same result, much to the surprise of parents and guardians that might believe otherwise when they authorize their child to attend such events.”

    The state’s highest court ruled unanimously that Artur Sopel and Michael Sumulikoski, two former ­employees of the school, cannot be charged in New Jersey for alleged acts |in Germany.

    Molinelli said authorities had looked into the possibility of having Sopel and Sumulikoski prosecuted in Germany. However, he said he has not talked to anyone there about pressing charges.

    “I am not certain their conduct would violate any laws in Germany,” he said. “If it did, German authorities would have to initiate” the charges.

    The court decision overturned rulings by a state appeals court and a trial judge in Bergen County who had found that the two men, who assumed their positions of trust in New Jersey, can face charges here.

    The 6-0 ruling dismissed 14 of the 25 counts in the indictment, throwing out all charges against Sumulikoski. It returned the case to Superior Court in Hackensack for further proceedings on the remaining counts, all of which relate to Sopel, who faces charges that he tampered with witnesses and sexually assaulted another 17-year-old girl in River Edge in 2010. A hearing on those charges is scheduled for April 6.

    The justices acknowledged the implication of the ruling in their 28-page opinion.

    “We recognize that the outcome here may be unsettling,” the justices wrote. “It is troubling to think that a teacher responsible for the care of young adults can sexually assault them on a school trip abroad and not be subject to prosecution in our state. That outcome, though, is driven by existing statutory law. … The legislature may consider amending the law.”

    I hope the legislature gives serious consideration to amending the law.

  18. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist Wonder Flogger of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    I’d probably support amending the law for government employees, like public-school teachers – but the teachers in this case weren’t from a public school.

    yes, it sucks. But I don’t like the practice of criminalizing behavior that takes place entirely in another jurisdiction. What happens when Alabama wants to prosecute an 18 year old for having queer sex with a 17 year old in a manner that was legal where it happened … because the 17 year old is a minor with an Alabama address?


    Government employees can have their conduct regulated while acting as government employees. Public school teachers chaperoning an overseas trip (or even just out-of-state trip) are acting in their governmental capacity. Their behavior can be regulated with fairness – even if they aren’t aware of the exact nature of criminal statutes, they are certainly aware that while chaperoning they are accountable to the government for their behavior. Maybe they think it will be with the Superintendent or Principal, but that hardly matters. They’ve accepted governmental jurisdiction over their job-related behavior. So (although it could be done in a bad way that I would oppose) in principle, criminal statutes can apply. (And, frankly, some statutes do: for instance spending school money on non-school related things while on that trip can be prosecuted as a form of theft even though the actual thievery took place outside of the jurisdiction.)

    But as a general thing? No. I’m aware that not every jurisdiction in the universe makes exactly the laws I would make, but I still think attaching the legislation to a body instead of a territory of authority opens up all kinds of bad doors.

    It’s not that the current system is Yay! Awesome! It’s that I’m worried more about the alternative.

    And, yes, that puts sexually abusing Catholics beyond prosecution yet again. But it puts all the more pressure on the lawsuits against the church. Especially since employee benefits and/or the church directly seem to have paid for some of the legal work.

    They earn no points with the legal community for winning this fight. Yep, they were right on the law. But helping their employees escape legal accountability – even if they did it legally this time – will be noted when the time comes to consider punitive damages.

  19. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist Wonder Flogger of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, opposablethumbs and chigau:

    This is it. I’m tired of waiting for y’all to notice, so I’m changing it back.

    Nice while it lasted, though, eh?

  20. jefrir says


    The internet needs a new funding model. For the few minutes that I had adblock disabled this site was virtually unusable. (Intolerably slow page load speed, a popup, two (TWO!!) auto-play videos, and the whole page shunted sideways to make room for some “side bar” ad).

    Yeah, it’s pretty bad. I’ve also found that if I scroll far enough into the comments, there’s something that sometimes makes the whole page vibrate. I assume it’s the shunty-sideways thing not working properly, but it’s awful.

  21. rq says

    jste @20
    Oh dear the gods, yesterday (or was it the day before?) I accidentally turned something on (more likely off) in my browser, and it couldn’t even load one page of Pharyngula without crashing. :( I think two pop-ups, one banner at the bottom, and other items, all with at least one blinky feature. I freaked out because for a moment I thought I’d never be able to read Pharyngula again.

  22. chigau (違う) says

    Crip Dyke
    I tend to focus on the avatar and the next ‘nym thingy.
    Especially when there is time-depth.
    I like the lack of ‘fuck’ in your ‘nym.

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

    I like the lack of ‘fuck’ in your ‘nym.

    A lass, for you, she was temporary.

    Still, “wonder flogger” wouldn’t have had even a temporary place had it not been that it delighted my whimsy.

    So thank you & opposable thumbs for that.

  24. says

    Holy exasperation Batman!
    Nevada GOPer suggests racism is over, calls black colleague ‘colored man’ during hearing .
    Rant ahead (reposted here from my FB page, bc I’m still fucking annoyed):

    For the 50 billionth time, racism is not just “discrimination or bigotry towards an individual based on their actual or perceived race”. The sociological definition of racism is ‘power plus prejudice’.
    Racism is more than lynching.
    It is more than calling black people, American Indians, Latinos, or Asians one of the many bigoted slurs used to deny them their basic humanity (slurs which continue to be used to this day).
    Racism is more than making black people sit at the back of the bus or enter the back door of an establishment.
    Racism isn’t limited to the US imprisoning Japanese Americans in WWII.
    It’s more than the Tuskegee Experiments.
    It’s more than ‘Birth of a Nation’.
    Racism is more than just the way people act, or the things they say. Racism is also about institutions. Institutions like the USAmerican criminal justice system that treats white people more fairly than people of color.
    Racism is about people failing to realize that People of Color and African-American are not interchangeable terms.
    Racism is also the way politicians speak about and craft legislation concerning undocumented immigrants.
    Racism is also the way people refer to African-Americans as thugs (which is a stand-in for N*gger) or the way political pundits drone on and on about “black on black” violence while ignoring the fact that white people commit almost as much violence against other white people.
    Racism is also about hateful politicians fighting to end or reduce the effectiveness of government assistance programs. Far too many douchebags in power think that those making use of government assistance are all unemployed, lazy black people. They’re ignorant of the facts that show huge numbers of people who *have* jobs and still need government assistance to survive. They’re ignorant of all the poor white men and women who use government assistance, as well as the children of poor families who need it and the senior citizens who need it. Meanwhile, corporations across the country get tax breaks–i.e. government assistance–and there’s not a peep from these politicians.
    Racism is also about voter ID laws.
    Racism is also the way people think of Muslims as being a threat (yes there is a racial component to anti-Muslim bigotry; I’d love to see someone say, with a straight face, that they include white Muslims in their “criticism” of Islam).
    Racism is also about the implicit racial biases that float around in the back of the minds of even those people who think they aren’t racist. These ingroup/outgroup biases are at play in the minds of the Hollywood elites who choose which films and actors get nominated for Academy Awards.
    No, racism is not over you ignoramus. Go fucking educate yourself.
    Hell, even OVERT examples of racism have not gone away, as your remarks exemplify.

  25. birgerjohansson says

    This Woman Has A Plan To Take Care Of Your Dog — Or Donkey — After You Die

    — — —
    Australian Family Rescues Abandoned Baby Magpie, Now Has The Coolest Pet Ever

    — — —
    Detection of mini black holes at the LHC could indicate parallel universes in extra dimensions

    — — —
    Planets in the habitable zone around most stars, calculate researchers Bode’s law revisited.

  26. opposablethumbs says

    Damn, CD, I missed your nymetamorphosis there. May I say it looked very good on you. (may I also say I think you look awesomely good no matter what nym you’re wearing)

  27. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Who wants a mopey downer? I’ve got some moping to share.

    My daughter is currently being taught high school biology by a creationist. She’s teaching the controversy with respect for everyone’s beliefs. 0.o Basically, she’s teaching as little as she can and the students are learning as little as they can.

    She attends the nicest public school in the area. I drive from city to county everyday so she can receive the best education possible. Her gov. and econ teacher is a libertarian. When she goes to the local community college she’ll get much of the same.

    I don’t even care anymore. It’s just not important enough to protest and if I did, who’d have my back? Nobody. My kid would have a target on her back for the next two years or more. I don’t need her bullied to death. A few years ago I’d have fought for facts in the classroom. Now, I know better.

    In two years there have been three suicides at that high school. One of them was from her circle of friends. I just want her to get out of school alive. She’s already not allowed to see her best friend because her parents are afraid my daughter will give their daughter the gay (Little do they know she’s already got it). Two years ago she was thrilled to go to high school like only a homeschooled kid going to high school for the first time can be. Now, she’s jaded and depressed, but her grades are still good so…yay?

  28. opposablethumbs says

    Fuck, Jackie, I’m so sorry. Sorry your daughter has to put up with this crap – and that you have to deal with such a shitty situation; but it’s totally wonderful that she’s got you in her corner. I guess a lot of kids don’t have a parent who’s watching their back, even though the social environment you describe clearly makes that horrendously difficult.
    Wishing both of you luck and sending hugs. How many years does she have to go still? I don’t know how it’s structured in the US but this is what, another 2 or 3 years???? Hopefully what comes next will be better! I hope so!

  29. Ogvorbis: qui culpam, non redimetur says

    Crip Dyke @22:

    You do realize that you can get Wonder Floggers &tm; in avocado green, harvest gold and woodland brown?

    because by buying something that looks hideous you’re making an ironic comment on popular culture

    Which, to me, sounds like a really strange way to be hipstir. See, I thought being a hipster meant you didn’t care about popular culture and just wanted to be comfortable and that the irony just came along for the ride. Intentional hipstirring is, to me, the antithesis of hipster.

    jste @23:

    I think most of them just genuinely like 70s fashion.

    And if they are doing it for that reason, that is hipster. Accidental irony = hipster. Intentional irony = trying too hard.

    Tony! @35:


  30. rq says

    All I’ve got is some *hugs* and… hang on… oh, some *internet chocolate*! I’m so sorry the school situation is such crap, glad she’s keeping grades up, and I wish it could be better. I’m so glad she has you for support, and please know that you have all of my long-distance internet-stranger support.

  31. Ogvorbis: qui culpam, non redimetur says


    Safe hugs to you and your daughter.

    I remember high school when it felt like I was one of a half-dozen ‘outsiders’ who had a clue what the real world was actually like. Not the same thing, but I sort of understand and definitely sympathize.

  32. Ogvorbis: qui culpam, non redimetur says

    On this date, in 1965, exactly 50 years ago today, a Brockway tractor trailer combination lost its brakes on Route 307 heading into Scranton, Pennsylvania, while carrying thirty thousand pounds of bananas.

  33. says

    What are little cats made of, made of
    What are little cats made of?
    Snarls and spits and hissy fits,
    And that’s what little cats are made of.

    They’ll be fourteen next week, and it’s still an armed encampment around here. I remember when they used to sleep in one furry purry heap. Alas, those days are long gone.

  34. says

    Good news:

    Though polls show broad public support for an increase in the federal minimum wage, political progress on the issue is non-existent. Congress’ Republican majority has ruled out the possibility of a wage hike, while a growing number of GOP presidential hopefuls suggest the federal minimum wage shouldn’t exist at all.

    Outside the political realm, however, many Americans are getting a raise anyway. As we talked about last month, some of the nation’s largest retailers — Gap, Ikea, and Wal-Mart, among others — have already raised their company’s minimum wages, as did TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods.

    Today, Target joined the club. […]


  35. says

    “Why is the Congress rolling over and letting this Communist dictator destroy my country? Y’all know what he is and I know what he is. I want him out of the White House; he’s not a citizen; he could have been removed a long time ago…

    “Ted [Cruz?] told me I’ve got to wait for the next election. I don’t think the country will be around for the next election. Obama tried to blow up a nuke in Charleston a few months ago! And the three admirals, and generals. He has totally destroyed our military. He’s fired all the generals and all the admirals that said they wouldn’t fire on the American people.”

    That was one of several whacked-out questions that audience members asked at the South Carolina National Security Action Summit last week.

    Featured speakers included Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, and Bobby Jindal.

    In case you were wondering, President Obama did not try to nuke Charleston. He was not even trying to drop conventional bombs on Charleston. The “nuke Charleston” conspiracy theory has legs on the far rightwing, though.

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

    A single indication that I consider calling random women bitches in casual conversation rude, and I’m supposedly pretending to be better than common folk and I actually want someone to call me a bitch (which I supposed is just an alternative way of saying “you want to be somebody’s bitch”).

    *raises eyebrow*

    We are really casual at work, but there is such a thing as too casual and no, I don’t care that she and some other (male) colleagues call each other bitches affectionately.

    I think my colleague is a chill girl and/or “one of the guys”, while at the same time being a “proper woman”.

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

    [I’m sorry about stupid * in this comment, but I think the naughty words caught it in the spam filter on the first try.]

    A single indication that I consider calling random women bi*es in casual conversation rude, and I’m supposedly pretending to be better than common folk and I actually want someone to call me a b*h (which I supposed is just an alternative way of saying “you want to be somebody’s bi*h”).

    *raises eyebrow*

    We are really casual at work, but there is such a thing as too casual and no, I don’t care that she and some other (male) colleagues call each other bi*s affectionately.

    I think my colleague is a chill girl and/or “one of the guys”, while at the same time being a “proper woman”.

  38. A. Noyd says

    I probably should have donated my inflatable mattress last. Lucky for me, my haulers are a small, local business and are willing to do a secondary pick up to grab what I need for an overnight so I don’t have to get a hotel for the night after they come.

    Also, whoever thought to start a business that hauls everything and donates or recycles as appropriate is a fucking genius and my extreme procrastinating idiot of a self adores them.

  39. Sili says

    Apropos of nothing, I’m in London this week.

    I regret staying so centrally, though. It took me fever to find a pub that wasn’t crowded this evening. And the one I found played annoying music. And then a gaggle of loud, young things arrived.

  40. Sili says

    Sorry. “F’ever”.

    Or I could just blame autoc’rect.

    Anyway. Recommendations are received with thanks. I’m on the Strand, just behind the Lyceum.

  41. rq says

    12 women who don’t want children, and aren’t sorry for it.

    Also, Ice Balls. And no, it’s not a fun post about balls of ice, but an article about being trans (or thinking that one is trans, I suppose…), masculinity, and femininity. It’s the author’s personal story. Even with that, though, I can’t help but feel there’s a subtle ‘being trans isn’t real’ vibe underneath. Thoughts, anyone? Excerpt:

    Femininity and I had been duking it out since I was 11 and the girls in my grade started giving blowjobs to boys and it has felt the whole twenty years since that femininity was kicking the shit out of me. To transform from an androgynous kid at 11, praised for being a tomboy, into a big bootied 13 year old who had to take the train across the city every morning and afternoon in a school girl getup was fucked up. To this day I have not recovered. Add to that the list of sexual trauma and gas-lighting which is now the norm for women in their teens and twenties and I responded in a sort of extraordinary way- I created a fantasy self who was a dude. I thought pretty constantly about who I could be and what I could do if I weren’t trapped in my body. There were a number of problems with this fantasy. The biggest was that I assumed my parents would have to die before I’d work up the nerve to ever transition.

    Then I hit 30 and I couldn’t have sex without disassociating and my fantasy self loomed larger and larger- was I going to spend the bulk of my life waiting until it was safe to trot him out?

    I did the unthinkable and announced to my family, my boss, my friends, my grad school adviser, that I was transitioning, that they shared a fundamental misunderstanding about who I was. Then, in the grand tradition of the utopian minded, I moved to California.

    Secret selves, shielded from social feedback, can freeze into misleadingly hard shapes. My fantasy self had been my companion for years and promised a solution to my freakish problems. I would know the map of my body. My ego and loudness and anger would make intuitive sense to people. I wouldn’t feel like I was watching every sexual encounter from the ceiling like a creepy ghost. It was easier to blame my pervasive discomfort on gender rather than trauma- everyone I had told about my various traumatic incidents had not seemed to think they were a big deal. They didn’t seem big enough to explain this constant, intense disassociation I kept running up against. My misery was big enough only a big explanation could suffice.

  42. rq says

    Everyone seems to have a picture and/or a sighting of the solar eclipse except me. :( It was cloudy, dammit!!

  43. bluentx says

    rq said:

    Everyone seems to have a picture and/or a sighting of the solar eclipse except me. :( It was cloudy, dammit!!

    Well, that answers THAT email ! : )

  44. birgerjohansson says

    Pharyngula alert!
    Do you have any useful references to past times spineless big cheese have said “we canot react to this ( insert horrible injustice in some foreign country) (South Africa etc) because this would hurt out exports” ?? I need arguments to be presented for fellow Swedenianites.

    -Saudi Arabia has instigated a widespread reaction against Sweden in the arab world (they own the asses of the other arab countries who rely on Saudi $$$) after Sweden dared criticise human rights in Saudi.
    Now the business leaders are wetting their pants fearing the loss of export money, even though we have less trade with arab countries that with Russia.
    The Saudis have succeeded well in intimidating Swedish politicians. Especially the conservative leader has become a de facto Saudi ambassador. (but she does not argue about the costly sanctions against Russia, surprise surprise)
    A medieval system demands “respect”… and the Swedish leaders are kowtowing. Fuck the spneless fuckers.

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

    @Anne, #67:

    With sweetie & kids out of town, it turns out that I’ve accumulated a pile of unused hugs. I’m splitting it in half. Half to welcome the family back home this weekend, half I’m going to leave right here.

    One presumes one-half of two-weeks’ unused hugs is helpful enough to mention?

  46. says

    I’ll gladly take one, thanks, and leave the rest for others.

    I think I’ll go sort beads or something; I’ve been thinking about making a pair of earrings for Aged Mum’s Easter goodie bag – so far it’s got socks and a bag of TJs jellybeans. Something sniny* is called for.

    *Hit wrong key, decided to leave it, because I think I remember “sniny” being a Hoard thing when I first started reading.

  47. rq says

    Here’s some carrot cake flavoured *hugs* for you, Anne. Just wrapped up this week’s kitchen project with Eldest and Youngest.
    On the one hand, I love it that they love to cook and help out in the kitchen (to the point where all three have their own little children’s aprons). On the other hand, sometimes I wish they wouldn’t. But I think I want another nap now, never mind the laundry that won’t hang itself. It is, after all, Friday.

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


    Do you think that Latvia is more prone to publish human stories to how people are reacting the the Fukushima no-go zone than maybe press in other parts of the world? And if so, do you think some of that is related to the relative proximity of Chernobyl?

    I think the US has a tendency to avoid those conversations rather than have them, because of the emotional proximity of Hiroshima and Frenchman’s Flat.

  49. says

    Hunter, a journalist who writes for the Daily Kos, has adopted a new adjective: Gohmertian. Yes, Representative Louie Gohmert has earned this coinage by being the most surreal dunderhead of them all.

    The excerpts below aren’t from Hunter, but I liked his analysis so well that I’m adopting Gohmertian as a useful adjective for rightwing doofuses.

    During an appearance on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told host Tony Perkins that “we need to encourage this administration to go take out Iran’s nuclear capability” instead of pursuing negotiations: “I think it’s time to bomb Iran.”

    “I’m hoping and praying the president will realize, despite the agenda he has that has put Christians in jeopardy around the world, that he will not want to leave the Democratic Party so devastated that they won’t recover for many decades,” Gohmert continued, [absentmindedly chewing on one of his shoes.]

    […] “that maybe he’ll start being more helpful to Israel instead of slapping them around as an unwelcomed visitor and start treating them like a friend. And maybe once he starts doing that he’ll realize we do need to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities that we know of and anything that they move to fix, we bomb that as well.”

    Gohmert went on to quote “End Times” author, Joel Rosenberg.

  50. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    I never thought of that, since the Latvian media tend to have more global stories as is – could be? I know that Chernobyl is still a bright (though dark) spot in a lot of people’s memories, so there could be some sort of emotional connect there.

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

    Chernobyl: A glowing beacon on the horizon.

    You make me wax poetic, you rq, you.

    Sure, Latvian media has a ton of global stories in it, I’d believe that in a second (not being able to read those, ahem, slavic languages, y’know). Canada has a much higher percentage of stories about countries not-the US even after you exclude all the stories about Canada from the Canadian media but NOT the US media. Hell, if you looked at the US media, you’d think that there are 7 countries in the world: the USA, China, Russia, the UK, Canada, Mexico, and France. The rest of the map is shaded one consistent color and titled, “Vieques” or something similar. Maybe “White Sands”.

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

    Occasionally, though, there are travel articles about other places that may, or may not, have their own governments. The distinctions between “Tepuis” and “Guyana” are pretty abstruse for our journalists.

  53. says

    Paul Krugman’s column is excellent. Excerpts below:

    By now it’s a Republican Party tradition: Every year the party produces a budget that allegedly slashes deficits, but which turns out to contain a trillion-dollar “magic asterisk” — a line that promises huge spending cuts and/or revenue increases, but without explaining where the money is supposed to come from.

    But the just-released budgets from the House and Senate majorities break new ground. Each contains not one but two trillion-dollar magic asterisks: one on spending, one on revenue. […] If either budget were to become law, it would leave the federal government several trillion dollars deeper in debt than claimed, and that’s just in the first decade. […]

    […]outrageous fiscal mendacity is neither historically normal nor bipartisan. It’s a modern Republican thing. And the question we should ask is why.

    ….I’m partial to a more cynical explanation. Think about what these budgets would do if you ignore the mysterious trillions in unspecified spending cuts and revenue enhancements. What you’re left with is huge transfers of income from the poor and the working class, who would see severe benefit cuts, to the rich, who would see big tax cuts. And the simplest way to understand these budgets is surely to suppose that they are intended to do what they would, in fact, actually do: make the rich richer and ordinary families poorer. […]

    The entire essay is excellent. I feel like it is wrong to just present excerpts here, but the wall-of-text comment is something I do too often.

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


    I think that part of what makes something a wall of text is not length, but lack of formatting. The lack of formatting makes it intimidating and unfriendly at a glance, but worse, it is strongly correlated with lack of ability with other tasks necessary to clear writing. Even worse, sometimes the inability to paragraph or paginate itself associates things that wouldn’t be associated were they to occur in clearly spaced paragraphs. Thus, it is not only correlated with confusing writing, in some circumstances, it can actually be the cause of the confusion.

    You don’t do that, and Krugman is a clear writer. You’re fine.

  55. says

    Now we know why rightwing organizations and politicians claim that protestors are not local, are paid shills, etc. They try to manipulate protestors so that the claim is true.

    […] Project Veritas sends undercover operatives with hidden cameras to try to trick people into making harmful statements. This past January, during a season of protests in New York City, O’Keefe [James O’Keefe, shameless asshole] and the Project Veritas pushed one of their employees too far and fired him when he wouldn’t do their dangerous bidding.

    O’Keefe […] ordered one of his employees, an American Muslim, to try and get peaceful protestors to say they’d like to kill NYPD officers. The man refused on the grounds that it violated his faith. His supervisor, who has brothers that are retired NYPD officers, also refused to follow through on it, and now claims in a lawsuit that he was fired for his refusal.

    Here is Mohammed Alhomsi’s account of what he was told to say:

    As a minority and a Muslim, I know what it’s like when the police treat me unfairly. They have even searched my little daughter’s body. Can you believe that? Do you know what it’s like to have your rights violated because of the color of your skin or because of your name?

    Sometimes, I wish I could just kill some of these cops. Don’t you just wish we could have one of the cops right here in the middle of our group?

    What would you do if we could get Officer Pantoleo (who killed Eric Garner) right here in this crowd? What would you do to him?

    Yep, that’s one way to turn peaceful protestors into a violent mob; and it is one way to discredit protestors. James O’Keefe should be in jail.

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

    Germany was photoshopped out by the Lubavitchers because it was considered indecent company for good nations.

  57. rq says

    France is now a ‘good nation’? Missed the memo.

    You should have email, by the way, CD.

  58. says

    Republicans have come up with a way to promote their version of immigration reform. They are using photos of white people, only white people (like Britney Spears) to spice up their press releases about their immigration proposals.

    Their “reform” consists of turning all the decision-making authority over to local officials, like Sheriff Arpaio I presume. A recipe for disaster, a sanction for racism and prejudice, and a guarantee of unequal treatment under the law.

    The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday issued a press release filled with GIFs of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Britney Spears to promote a Republican-sponsored immigration bill.

    The press release trumpeted how a bill […] allow local and state law enforcement to take federal immigration law into their own hands.

    […] “Since he’s [President Obama, that evil tyrant dontcha know] the boss of federal immigration enforcement officers, he’s told them to stop enforcing our immigration laws.” […]

    […] the bill would also give law enforcement broader power to deport immigrants. The bill would turn being in the U.S. without papers into a criminal rather than civil offense, as well as eliminate low-priority deportation designations for, say, undocumented parents of children who are U.S. citizens […]

  59. Ogvorbis: qui culpam, non redimetur says

    Spring starts in a few hours.

    [looks outside]

    Five inches of snow.

    NEPASpring is not the same as real Spring.

  60. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Anne @92:
    What makes it even worse is when oh, say, a Catholic Church in CA installs a watering system for the purpose of driving away homeless people.

  61. says

    Ted Cruz gets everything wrong … again.

    Federal govt has no business sticking its nose in education. We need to repeal every word of Common Core! [Ted Cruz tweeted]

    Common Core is a federally created curriculum that the state’s ‘Race to the Top’ grants are tied to. So if the state does not adopt the standards, it gives up the grant money. But since the federal government created this mess, there should be a way to undo it. [Statement issued by Cruz’s spokeswoman}

    All wrong. Wrong in every way.

    From NPR: “the federal government played no role in creating the standards, nor did it require that states adopt them.” Common Core was created, on a voluntary basis, by the states.

    Common Core is not a curriculum.

    Federal law actually prohibits the federal government to “to endorse, approve, or sanction any curriculum designed to be used in an elementary school or secondary school.” Common Core is a set of math and English guidelines that outline a set of skills one should have at the end of each grade. The curriculum used to obtain those skills is left to school districts, schools and teachers.

    “Race to the Top” grants are not, and have never been, tied to a state’s decision to adopt or refuse common core standards. And furthermore, Race to the Top funds have already been given out. Twenty states received grants. Even if there had been an unspoken incentive to adopt Common Core in order to receive Race to the Top funds, that incentive is long gone.

    Common Core continues to be pummeled by the rightwing as a conspiracy to teach kids liberal values and ideology. Common Core is seen by the rightwing as having been forced on local schools by none other than Evil President Obama. Education systems may need reform, but starting from a platform of anti-factual nonsense will not help.

  62. says

    Rightwing religious dunderheads continue to equate gays with Hitler.

    Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality appeared on the Monday edition of Voice of Christian Youth America’s show “In Focus,” where he spoke to host Jim Schneider about “the ingraining of homosexuality in society.” […]

    “Homosexual activists know that they have to change the minds of young people, like all radical movements. We saw this under the Communists, under Hitler,” LaBarbera said. “This is a movement that directly threatens kids.”

    After blasting parents and teachers who accept LGBT children, LaBarbera lamented that schools “will never bring in an ‘ex-gay’” to address students “because then kids can see that homosexuality is not about who you are, it’s about what you do, and if you can practice homosexuality you can leave homosexuality, you can leave it behind with the help of Jesus Christ.”

    Right Wing Watch link.

  63. says

    In1963, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state-sponsored Bible readings before the start of classes violates the First Amendment. Lots of public school officials ignore this ruling.

    In East Texas, the Superintendent of White Oak schools, and other school employees, were called out for the practice of biblical readings to start the school day. They read the bible over the intercom as part of morning announcements. The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a formal complaint.

    Fifty years after a definitive court ruling, it is still a struggle to get fundie christians to stop pushing their religion in public schools.

    White Oak must be a very conservative community. The parents of the students have sided with Michael Gilbert, the Superintendent.

    “I do support our principal [Dan Noll]. I do support our superintendent, and I do very much believe that God is still alive in this town and he has gone nowhere,” says Mandy Schroeder […]

    A student who asked to remain anonymous alerted the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The student issued a statement:

    […] while others pray for me, I will think for them.

  64. says

    Terrible news from Yemen:

    Four suicide bombers hit a pair of crowded mosques in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa on Friday, killing at least 137 people and injuring more than 300 others, officials told NBC News.

    The ISIS affiliate in war-torn Yemen claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to Flashpoint Intelligence, a global security firm and NBC News consultant. It was the first large-scale attack claimed by the Sunni militants in Yemen, which has been in a state of chaos since Shiite Houthi rebels launched a violent power grab. […]

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, the final pieces of my computer surgery/upgrade were shown today. I had been unable to boot from my external HDs for a while. The cleaning and reset NVPRAM to recognize the new SSD drive seemed to fix that problem. I was even able to boot from a couple of flash drives (ssllooww, as USB 2 speeds, not the fault of the flash drives).
    Last Monday I upgraded my cable modem to one that supposedly played nice with both Comcast and my Airport Extreme. Solid for five days running, almost a record for this year.

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

    got your e-mail rq.

    Will reply, but not tonight.

  67. says

    Anne 67

    Sometimes I think I am running out of hugs, and then I check my pockets and sure enough, there’s another one available. And look, this latest one is just for you!

    Lynna 78, quoting RightWingWatch’s quote of Gohmert

    “we need to encourage this administration to go take out Iran’s nuclear capability” instead of pursuing negotiations: “I think it’s time to bomb Iran.”

    “I’m hoping and praying the president will realize,

    He’s praying, I guess, to his Prince of Peace, that we should bomb people? That we should just kill. Kill, kill, kill. I can’t even.

    Ogvorbis 90


    Above Scranton/Wilkes Barre? Smack-dab? Asking ’cause SEPA here. And spring this year is not any better.

  68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Does anyone have experience with the Kindle for iPad app?

    I have a few books on it. Works like the iBook as far as I am concerned. I find it easier to use than paperbacks these days with my iPad stand. You can also upsize the font if necessary. I don’t need to do that, but I think the Redhead would need to do that.

  69. vereverum says

    Tony! #93 Anne #98
    I keep thinking someone talking about the least of these.
    Amen dico vobis, quamdiu fecistis uni ex his fratribus meis minimis, mihi fecistis. (Mat 25:40, Biblia Vulgata Clementina)
    So technically they are actually doing it to Jesus their leader. And this from people who go absolutely ape over the mishandling of a cookie.

  70. Saad says


    The Afghan woman is dragged onto a roof and hit with a stick, as a horde of angry, screaming men swarm around her.

    At one point, video shows her standing with her face covered in blood. She is pushed and falls over, and her beating continues with feet, with rocks, with boards. Then, in the last part of the video, her body is engulfed in flames — though it’s not known whether, by that point, she was already dead.

    This horrific scene played out in Kabul on Thursday. It’s already had ripple effects, including a United Nations statement on Friday condemning what it called “the brutal killing and burning of a 27-year-old mentally ill woman.”

  71. Pteryxx says

    Longread from Rolling Stone: The Fate of Trees: How Climate Change May Alter Forests Worldwide

    The current climate was testing his conclusion even as Williams was reaching it. In 2000, the Southwest had entered an extreme, ongoing drought — the worst since a 20-year-long drought in the middle of the last century. Conditioned by near-record temperatures, dry soils and a lack of rain, the atmosphere stripped trees of moisture with exceptional force. “That extreme evaporative demand was a hint of what you’d see if you increased temperatures by a couple of degrees, as the models predict for the 2050s,” Williams told me. In terms of precipitation levels, the mid-century drought was worse, but humans had spent the intervening 50 years heating up the planet, and the drought of the 2000s has consequently killed many more trees.

    “It was like looking through a telescope into the future to see how forests would respond, and it felt awful,” Williams says. “The result was totally unimaginable: wildfires, bark beetles, a huge reduction in forest growth, massive mortality. In the afternoons, I’d go on jogs on the trails outside my office and take mental inventory of who was dying and who was living. All over New Mexico, trees keeled over. It was like they’d been transported onto a new planet where climate is entirely different than what they were evolved for.”

    At the hottest, lowest edge of the local ponderosa pine range, where trees already lived at the limit of what they could tolerate, the future seemed to have arrived. “Watching those trees die, I was aware I was also watching that species’ geographic distribution change,” Williams told me. “It looked slow to me, but on the time scales that these trees work on, the transition was a flash, like a border being suddenly constructed, and the few unlucky ones on the wrong side being sentenced to death.”

    Williams’ postdoctoral adviser at Los Alamos, Dr. Nate McDowell, an expert on mechanisms of tree death, had been concurrently conducting his own experiments on conifers in the wild. He’d erected a series of clear Plexiglas cylinders around individual piñon pines, and systematically heated and dried them while monitoring their vital signs. Simulating climate conditions for the remainder of the century, McDowell could see in his Plutonian chambers what Williams had foreseen. “The Southwest is going to be a grassland, with the occasional rare tree,” McDowell says. “It’s going to be a different place. And there’s reason to think that’s the same for big chunks of the world.”

  72. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    I use the Kindle app all the time. What do you need to know ? I might be able to help.

  73. chigau (違う) says

    Nerd and pHred
    re: Kindle for iPad
    I just wanted to know that it works.

  74. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    Yep. It works. I prefer it to other reading apps because I can have a black background with white text, which I have found to be easier on my eyes.

  75. Scr... Archivist says

    I have a question that I would like to share with the Loungers here.

    Some religions hold up key figures as moral exemplars, people whose lives we should try to emulate. Usually they are their founders, but some were actually awful people and their followers do awful things explicitly in their names. I wonder if there are better people we could cite instead.

    What historical figures do you think lived exemplary lives? And I ask not about great discoveries or deeds, but about how they conducted their lives overall. Bonus points for the figures who weren’t perfect; a flaw or two demonstrates that they were human like the rest of us, and thus provide a more reachable example.

    Does anyone here have any suggestions?

  76. A. Noyd says

    pHred (#110)

    I prefer it to other reading apps because I can have a black background with white text, which I have found to be easier on my eyes.

    I like the beige background, myself. I just wish you could scroll through Kindle books. With the shiny screen of the iPad, sometimes it would work better to move the text into the area without reflections rather than trying to tilt the iPad itself.

  77. says

    Hey all,
    Hugz to anyone who’d like some. Sorry, I’m a bit behind the thread.

    Today, I said the word “walk” out loud. For sixteen years, that word was taboo in my house, because the dog would go caca cookoo if she heard it. Now nine months after she died, I said that word out loud. Just a funny little milestone here. I do miss her so.

    To Scandinavian fellows: How do you pronounce the word “rosemaling?”

  78. says

    ajb47 @101: The “Prince of Peace” thing always get me. They like to say that but the fundamentalist Christians and their God, including the Jesus splinter, are raving war hawks.

  79. says

    Legislators in Arizona have passed some new gun laws. They thought they needed to make it easier for Arizonans to carry concealed weapons. Before they passed the laws, legislators had a theological debate:

    At issue in the Arizona state House this week were two bills related to firearm ownership: a proposal to make it easier for Arizonans to carry concealed weapons in public establishments and a bill related to transferring guns between states. One lawmaker, Republican Eddie Farnsworth said the ability to buy a gun is among Americans’ “God-given rights” […]

    “Twice on this floor I’ve heard members say that I have the God-given right to bear arms, and since I know that God didn’t write the Constitution, I just wanted to state that,” she [Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales, a Democrat] said. “And I vote no.” […]

    Farnsworth, unimpressed, argued in response that “those who penned this” believed that Americans are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

    “This,” however, was in reference to the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. The former says we are “endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights” – firearms are not mentioned in the document – while the latter makes no mention of God and establishes a government created by “we the people.” […]

    Phoenix New Times link
    Talking Points Memo link
    Maddow Blog link

  80. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    A. Noyd (#112)
    I am rather embarrassed to admit that I actually have an iPad (2nd gen I think), a Nook (the old color version) and a Kindle. I was trying to keep up with the everlastingly stupid drive by college administration to try to make textbooks seem cheaper – nope still can’t read electronic textbooks – I need paper copies and I tend to cover them in notes and highlighting (the only thing I like is the search function, since publishers have stopped generally paying for the services of a good indexer) – and to move classes on-line, whether they belong there or not.

    I tried the various sepia/brown/beige backgrounds on all of the variations and could never get comfortable with reading on any of them until I stumbled on the white on black option in the Kindle app – since then I have read lots of books for fun that way – I am currently working my way through the City Watch Discworld books. I have also discovered some manga.

    Anyhow – I totally agree about the scrolling thing – that would be nice. OTOH – I have been ‘turning the pages’ with my nose or elbow while cooking or doing dishes – so what I really want is a verbal command to turn the page – because I look like a total twit reading books like that.

    Strangely enough, neither of my children shows the slightest interest in reading on a electronic device. They both want “real” paper books.

  81. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Dear Horde,
    For St. Pat’s day I made the requisite American/Irish dinner of corned beef etc, but then I made some authentic Irish soda bread (divine) and to top it off (drum roll please) a Chocolate Guinness Cake with Cream Cheese/Butter cream frosting. Oh Laird! I wish I could send some to you good folks. It was heavenly. If there were a heaven, this cake would qualify for entrance.

  82. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’ll be cooking the belated St. Patrick’s day corned beef & cabbage tonight in the crock pots (3) while I sleep. Three pieces of meat, one for the neighbor, and we keep two, plus veggies galore. Don’t have to cook for a couple of weeks. All the veggies boiled into semi-mush. I bought soda bread at the grocery store. The Redhead has a recipe for barm braugh (spelling?) bread that is heavenly that she used to make. I don’t have time to make it.

  83. opposablethumbs says

    awakeinmo, my sympathies. I know that for us, one day in the future, it’ll be opening the hall cupboard door (this cupboard houses the boiler, and much Stuff including the nail upon which there hang the collar and lead, so opening that door arouses a great deal of Very Vigorous Interest). Virtual gestures of dog-appreciating sympathy to you.

  84. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Why I Cook:
    I am an old lady with a variety of skills and have lived an odd life. I am acutely, very painfully aware of the horrid state of most of culture, politics, and the environment. There is very little I can realistically do to remedy the woes of this earth and its life forms, but I can cook and I do it very well. I give away most of the good stuff I cook to friends and others. I volunteer my time and effort where I can. As I’ve said for years and years…”I am just one woman trying to survive in a hostile world.”

    I wish I could cook a feast for the Horde. What a party it would be!

  85. A. Noyd says

    pHred (#116)

    I am rather embarrassed to admit that I actually have an iPad (2nd gen I think), a Nook (the old color version) and a Kindle.

    I was using two different MacBooks and an iPad simultaneously last night, so you’re in good company.

    I have been ‘turning the pages’ with my nose or elbow while cooking or doing dishes – so what I really want is a verbal command to turn the page – because I look like a total twit reading books like that.


Yeah, I’ve perfected the art of using the knuckle of my little finger to click and scroll for when I eat extremely messy food with my hands. Maybe a function that tracks eye movement would work better, though, because otherwise you’d be the twit talking to your electronic device like it’s a particularly stupid dog—which is not much of an improvement.

  86. leerudolph says

    slurping down a bowl of stew on the fly

    Could have been worse. Could have slurped down a fly on the bowl of stew.

  87. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin’s solution to the problem of reading whilst cooking is to eat the book. Soak it in a egg batter, fry it, adds lots of cheese, some additional cheese just to be sure, moar cheese for taste, and eat.

    Professional Tip: Don’t eat the frying pan, even if you can’t find it under all the cheese.

  88. Saad says

    Marc Randazza thinks the University of Oklahoma students shouldn’t have been punished

    America used to be a place where we said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” We live by a credo that “freedom isn’t free,” and that our Constitution is worth dying for. How inspirational it is to believe that this is the wind of thought that blows underneath the Eagle’s wings.

    Unfortunately, whenever that wind becomes just a little too gusty for comfort, we find out just how little relationship our poetic credo has to our collective guts.

    Uh oh… I’m worried where this is going. I have a feeling we’re about to get a serving of frozen peaches.

    The latest example: Nine seconds of video of a number of boys singing an offensive song. Immediately, the University of Oklahoma expelled two of the boys for their speech. Forget whether you like the speech or not. That is not relevant. These boys got kicked out of a public school for singing a song, on their own time, in a privately rented bus, simply because the government didn’t like the content of their song.

    I don’t like the song or its message either. I can’t imagine anyone reasonable who would. But I want to live in a country where the government does not listen to my songs and then decide whether or not I should be punished, based on what words I used. That is not freedom.

    But I feel no kinship with anyone who would harm the First Amendment to fight racism. Some things are worse than racism — like a loss of the right to speak your mind and think your own thoughts. Unfortunately, that is a price that too many of us are willing to pay.

  89. bluentx says

    Morgan @ # 121:

    I wish I could cook a feast for the Horde. What a party it would be!

    BTW, how ARE those plans for the post-apocalyptic Commune going ????

  90. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    The plans are proceeding apace, however, geography seems to be a bit of a stumbling block.

  91. tbtabby says

    Today I had a problem viewing Pharyngula on my iPhone. The page would start to load normally, then an adbot would take over and send me to the store to hawk some app. At first I thought I’d clicked an ad by mistake while scrolling down, but nope; it happened every time I tried to load the page. Worse, the address for the adbot took the place of Pharyngula in my history, so I couldn’t get back to it by hitting back. It’s working okay now, I was just wondering if anyone else has had that problem.

  92. says

    Here’ s the best video I’ve seen this week.

    Unfortunately, but understandably, comments are not permitted on the video. (I wanted to comment with a resounding “YES!”) Gun fondlers will soil themselves when they see it and undoubtedly report it as “offensive” because their “free speech” is being violated.

  93. bluentx says

    Remember Dale Hansen ? :

    At the time I sent him an email : [in part]…

    “Thank you for your positive remarks regarding gay athletes. The video, I would say, has gone viral online.Some are concerned that your comments will generate a large backlash against you. Being in Texas myself, sadly I think this is more than just a possibility. If so, please know that there are MANY others who appreciate your words.An online comment in regard to this was, “Well, if he’s burned his bridges, at least he’s done it from the right side of the river.” I (and several subsequent commenters) second this.

    His reply:

    “They [WFAA] haven’t and won’t … and I love that line about the bridges

    Thank you very much

    dale ”

    Well, Dale is at it again (if you haven’t heard) :

    I am not a sports fan …. and this [the hypocricey] is a MAjOR reason why. Especially in the U. S., athletes are treated as if they can do no wrong [role models….. PAALEEEASEE !]

    If only more sports commentators/analysts were like Mr. Hansen !!!!!

  94. bluentx says

    Here’ s the best video I’ve seen this week.

    Posted to my FB timeline with the opening: “I know posting this will not be popular with some of my Facebook friends but watch it (all) and think …. (“well regulated” 2nd amendment rights or…….):

    h/t to: left0ver1under

  95. bluentx says

    Me @ #65:

    I DID NOT mean to exclude any other European (sp?) experiences.

    How was it [eclipse] for you ?/ Throaty/raspy/ sexy voice……. **

    Your interpretation of SOLAR turn on? **

    ** Does that sound TOO creepy ?

  96. cicely says

    *jumping on-board the already-speeding Thread*
    Hi, all! ‘rupt yet again.
    *hugs with or without pounce*, *chocolate and other nummynoms*, sympathies and commiserations, all where needed/wanted.

    Extra *hugs* ration for Jackie.

    *extra large hug with all the trimmings* for Anne.
    Sorry about the Aged Mum stress nightmares.

    *hug* for awakeinmo.

  97. bluentx says

    In an attempt to liven things up around here:

    —- Horses, peas , mayonnaise/ Miracle Stuff ….. RULE…. !!!….. Also……… CCCCILANTRO !!!!!!

  98. opposablethumbs says

    left0ver1under, thank you for the link to the video – it’s excellent.

  99. says

    Thanks, cicely, and anyone else I may have missed.

    Yes, it’s 5:40 in the AM on Sunday. Yes, I’m awake. I got up to feed cats and knew I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep, so here I am. At least there’s nowhere I need to drive today, and when I do go out, it’ll be a family expedition driven by the Husband.

  100. says

    Re rq’s comment 139: don’t be alone in parks?! Oh FFS. How would all the non-women feel if their lives were restricted like that?

    I for one, love to walk in parks. That’s what parks are for, right? And I like to be alone. It’s part of my creative process.

  101. plainenglish says

    When I walk in my park (Crown Land in British Columbia) I do with the ease of knowing that it is only an occasional bear or cougar one must remember to avoid. City parks are not as safe at all and require bear spray, perhaps…
    Lynna, OM, the walk is part of my creative process too and the solitary aspect is essential. When I go with somebody else, it is still a glory but not the same thing at all. To have that solitary walk restricted by deranged bipeds is truly shite.

  102. says

    Hulla, I’m back!
    Did you miss me?
    That’s sweet, I missed all of you, too!

    Short version of events:
    -Heidelberg is a really nice city. I’m not sure if I can say that of its inhabitants as well, certainly not of the bus drivers.
    -I tried a Long Island Icetea. While it was kind of refreshig, I’m not particularly fond of it. The amount of different booze makes it taste of none in particular.
    -Congress itself was very interesting. I’m pretty proud of my University. Our folks know how to do a presentation.
    -Our group was really cool, too, so we had a lot of fun apart from learning tons.

  103. rq says

    Yeah, way to go, Victorian police. Also, love the use of ‘females’. Makes me feel so… acknowledged as a human person.

    In other news, I’ve been loving this song:
    Avenue of Hope – I Am Kloot, from the Sunshine soundtrack.

    don’t let me falter, don’t let me hide
    don’t let someone else decide
    just who or what i will become

    Speaking of music, this is the piece Choir will be performing on Wednesday in commemoration of the second mass deportation in 1949, for choir, organ, baritone solo and tenor solo. It’s what I like to call a tragically epic piece – c’mon, it’s titled God, Your Land is Burning and is full of religion, melodrama, accidentals, and wonky time signature changes. And one of the most beautiful renditions of Our Father right in the middle ([/opinion]). It’s also nearly an hour long, which is a bit heavy to sit through if you can’t make the emotional connect. We’ll be performing in the Small Guild, which to my mind is too small a venue to sufficiently feel the drama (a large church or empty stone cavern is best, in my opinion), but we’ll see, we have two fantastic soloists to assist (ha).
    * Note: the choir performing in the video above is not a Latvian choir, and has a tendency to mispronounce the ‘ie’ sound, which should end in an open ‘ah’ especially when singing, but they sing it with the ‘eh’ sound. The two soloists are Latvian, though.

  104. blf says

    Horses, peas , mayonnaise/ Miracle Stuff ….. RULE…. !!!

    Although poopyhead has declared his tentacled self on the side of the peas, that does not mean yer even vaguely correct, rational, or not a heretic. Yer not only deluded, wrong, and heretics, but won’t get any cheese from the mildly deranged penguin herself.

    (Of course, you wouldn’t if yer were even vaguely correct either — no point in surrendering a good cheese!)

    (The trick to getting the mildly deranged penguin to stand her round of drinks at the pub is to nail her to the lower floor so she can’t easily disappear, and then announce “free cheese on on the upper floor”. Letting a few horses into the lower bar helps…)

  105. rq says

    Just to clarify, the piece is for choir, organ, baritone solo and tenor solo, not the deportation. Bit of a mix-up in phrasing there.

  106. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, Cliven Bundy category.

    To be fair, there are more than just mormon dunderheads involved in the latest madness, but there are still lots of mormons adding that special Holy-Crap! spice that has its own unique flavor.

    Nevada state Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R) and supporters of Nevada ranger Cliven Bundy are planning on gathering in Carson City, Nevada on March 31 for a hearing on legislation sponsored by Fiore that prevents the federal government from owning Nevada land without the state’s permission.

    The bill, which a committee of the state Assembly will hear on the 31, is called the Nevadan’s Resource Rights Bill and is a measure that comes as a result of Bundy’s resistance to paying grazing fees and the resulting confrontation with the Bureau of Land Management one year ago […] That standoff attracted militia members and Fiore to Bundy’s ranch. […]

    Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy, sent an email out to supporters urging them to go to Carson City for the hearing.

    Excerpt from the Ammon Bundy email:

    […] Over 15 Nevada State Legislators sponsored the NRR bill and have asked that we fill the house during the committee hearing. We must show up in person and make our presents known. If we fill the house, the committee will pass it […]


    To round out the religious background for this nonsense, I should note that Michele Fiore is Catholic. She also uses the phrase “colored man” to refer to an African American colleague. Is this an improvement over Bundy’s disquisitions on the history of “the Nigra [Negro]” and how they were better off during slavery? Fiore is also the doofus who claimed that cancer is a fungus you can flush out of your system.

    Buddy’s son Ammon is named after a Book of Mormon character who is famous for cutting off the arms of bad Native Americans (Lamanites), and for converting good Lamanites to mormonism — all while looking like a mormon missionary circa 1970. Link.

    Additional Links:
    Talking Points Memo
    Ralston Reports
    Michele Fiore interview, with Chris Hayes
    Wonkette, “The Coloreds should go to college and stop playing the race card.”

    Supporters of Cliven Bundy and of his political aims:
    Nevada State Assembly Woman Michele Fiore
    U.S. Senator Dean Heller (was for Bundy, then against him, now partially for him)
    Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
    U.S. Senator Rand Paul
    U.S. Senator Ted Cruz
    Texas Governor Rick Perry
    Presidential hopeful Herman Cain
    Lots and lots of conservative mormons in the morridor

  107. says

    Giliell! [Hugs!]

    On parks: oh dear, the Elder Daughter has gone birding at our local park this morning. Should I have arranged for an armed escort (all male, of course), or just made sure she had protection (pepper spray, gun, taser, etc)? And here I thought all she needed to worry about was aggressive bluebirds. Bad mom, I am.

    ED says that walking around the park helps clear her head. I find that walking helps me that way, too.

  108. blf says

    Also……… CCCCILANTRO !!!!!!

    Them’s fightin’ words!

    From Supporting the Fight Against Cilantro! (emboldening in original):

    Cilantro. The most offensive food known to man.

    Welcome! You are visiting the web site of a growing community of cilantro haters. We are, however, rational people. In fact, we are the most rational people on earth. No normally functioning human being would ever in a lifetime consider cilantro edible.

    That site has confused cilanto with peas. This is an easy mistake to make. Both are green.

    Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge suggests why this mistake occurs:

    Different people may perceive the taste of coriander leaves differently. Those who like it say it has a refreshing, lemony or lime-like flavor, while those who dislike it have a strong aversion to its taste and smell, likening it to that of soap and bugs.

    The people with an alleged “strong aversion” have clearly been corrupted by peas, thinking everything should be tasteless and textureless, a void space in the meal.

  109. blf says

    Soap, okay, I’ve tasted soap, too&nbsap;— but bugs?

    No idea about soap.
    But I have had “bugs” and they were Ok. I’d need to try a few more recipes to make up my mind (or dissolve it completely), but they seem to be tastely (unlike peas), generally nutritious, and nothing at all to do with cilantro (albeit fresh lime to squeeze over the “bugs” was served).

  110. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    if you like cranberry juice, you may like a Long Beach Tea. Its nearly the same as a Long Island, except that cranberry takes the place of coke.


    I found a great new resource on race in USAmerica. Im at work all day so cant link anything yet. Thought you might like it:

  111. says

    Thank you for your kind words.
    Isn’t it funny? I’d never judge anybody else for doing something like this. It’s not like I locked her up at home with food and water and wandered off for some amusement…

    What Caitie said.
    I know how manipulative parents can be and yours is to the utmost degree. Remember that at some point it’s her choice. She’s choosing him. You have a choice, too, even if it’s a heartbreaking one.

    Damn, that sucks. At least your daughter can get the correct information from you. I feel for the other kids.

    I didn’t get anything of the solar eclipse either. And I didn’t get the last one, which was a full one…

  112. Al Dente says

    Other than cilantro tasting exactly like soap there’s nothing wrong with cilantro which throwing every cilantro plant into bonfires wouldn’t fix.

  113. blf says

    Birds & parks: The mildly deranged penguin is an expert on the matter (as well as on all other matters). She is, need I point out, an ex-dinosaur. Like all birds, ducks excepted.

    The basic problem, she squawks and bites, is a lack of cheese. And even less moar cheese.

    Plus, the average pack isn’t big enough for a herd of T. rex.

    Lack of food, lack of space, of course the starving cramped birds are going berserk and attacking everyone (not just republicans and other thugs). It increases the food supply, and, over time, potentially increases the available space as well.

    Plus, it reduces the nesting sites for the pea.

  114. rq says

    Al Dente
    Cilantro as fumigate? Sounds about appropriate. As long as it keeps the mosquitos at bay.

    Glad you had a good time at the conference, anyway. :) Has your family forgiven you for abandoning them yet? ;)

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

    Giliell, I’m glad you had a nice time

  116. rq says

    Thanks for that link, by the way – it looks like an excellent resource and an additional timesink. :D I’ll see if I can post some stuff from it today or tomorrow. :)

  117. says

    Hmmm, it wasn’t the coke that I minded, more like the over-amount of flavours that IMO cancelled each other out. Personally I like cocktails or longdrinks where 3 or 4 ingredients go together and set each other off. Like on christmas I combined gin, grapefruit juice and amarena cherries and I found it delightful as the over-sweetness of the amarena cherries was counter-balanced by the bitter taste of the grapefruit juice and both together set off the gin.
    It was worth a try. It’s not like I’d turn one down if it was free, but I wouldn’t order one if I have to pay.

    Well, #1 didn’t mind much, the change in things also didn’t throw her off balance much (my biggest worry, actually). The little one made sure to remind me that she wanted to be with me whenever I called, but once I had snuggled her she was quite content. I also brought each of them a pound of gummi bears.

  118. blf says

    “Long Island Iced Tea” is best served with soap. Its one of the most awful drinks I’ve ever had, with (seemingly) its only purpose being to disguise the staggering amount of alcohol it contains. (The soap does nothing for the taste, other than remind you how tasteless it is, and if you fail to notice, the next morning the memory (if any) of drinking a soap chaser reminds you how drunk you were.)

  119. opposablethumbs says

    Hi Giliell! Glad it was what sounds like a great trip :-)

    Thank you for the clarification, rq. It would be evil to deport a choir and soloists, and somewhat difficult to deport an organ.
    Apparently there is a basilica in Portugal somewhere that has six organs. And two complete carillons of some ridiculously large number of bells each, because when they told the king that one carillon of this size was a bit on the excessively expensive side for such a small country, he took umbrage and ordered two.
    … which makes me wonder, has there ever been a royal family anywhere who weren’t a bunch of fucking parasites? There must have been some somewhere sometimes who were a good deal for “their” subjects, but my knowledge of history is sadly lacking and I don’t know of any.

  120. opposablethumbs says

    Wow. The inspiration behind Bloody Stupid Johnson, perhaps? :-)
    The one I was remembering is apparently in the basilica of Mafra. I have no idea whether they really mean multiple instruments or if this is actually a single instrument constructed in multiple parts, though.

  121. blf says

    More thug antics, Republicans’ new weapon against Obama’s immigration plan: celebrity gifs:

    House Judiciary Committee turns to animated images of Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone and the Little Mermaid for help making its case

    In the latest attempt by elected officials to reach America’s youth, the House Judiciary Committee has posted a critique of Barack Obama’s immigration stance that relies heavily on gifs of young white celebrities.

    The press release features images of actors and pop stars — including Emma Stone, Britney Spears and Jennifer Lawrence — alongside comments accusing the president of not enforcing immigration law.

    The National Council of La Raza, a Latino civil rights advocacy group, asked “Has the House Judiciary Committee Majority Lost its Mind?” in a blog post responding to the content of what it described as an “asinine ‘press release’”.

    “On the odd chance that you’re looking for a case study in how to ignore facts and turn a heartbreaking situation for millions of American families into a juvenile BuzzFeed rip-off, you’re in luck,” NCLR said in the post.

    There is also an ironic twist in the judiciary committee using the images that are primarily sourced from popular films and television shows, wrote ZDNet blogger David Gewirtz. He said these images tread the line of fair-use and could be seen as copyright violations. This, by the committee that oversees copyright law.

    I presume a number of the people whose images were used are sufficiently talented to do a Dixie Chicks or a Rolling Stone’s Highwire. That is liable to be both faster and more effective than a lawsuit. (I am, of course, assuming at least some of those people object to the thugs, their position, and/or their tatics.)

  122. blf says

    The inspiration behind Bloody Stupid Johnson, perhaps?

    Nah, he was too smart to believe in a roundworld floating though space without a turtle, much less any supporting elephants (or any support at all, for that matter), and certainly didn’t believe any species claiming to be sentient wouldn’t have discovered slood.

  123. rq says

    Yup, Mafra it is? It’s a national palace formerly monastery, with a basilica containing all six organs (!!). Wow. They seem to be six separate instruments. Meant to be played together on occasion. Can you imagine the sound?

  124. says

    Republicans are still holding up the passage of a previously non-controversial bipartisan bill so that they can make sure victims of human trafficking do not have access to abortions.

    The result is Republicans: the party of forced birth for teenage sex slaves.

    More information explaining the sneaky tricks pulled by Republicans, and how, (surprise, surprise), Republican legislators are wrong when they explain the anti-abortion stuff added to the bill:

    […] Republican leadership is so insistent on the anti-abortion provision that they have banged their heads against the wall with five doomed cloture votes, are lambasting their House colleagues for not including the language in their version of the bill, and are refusing to even consider the nomination of Loretta Lynch for attorney general until the bill passes as is. […]

    Republicans have been claiming that the anti-abortion language they tried to sneak into the JVTA without anyone noticing is similar to typical Hyde Amendment language that has been featured in annual appropriations bills for the past many years, but it’s not. T

    […] the Hyde Amendment prevents federal funds from being used for abortions (subject to rape, incest and health exceptions, but more on those in a bit). But the money that the Hyde Amendment seeks to restrict are taxpayer-funded programs.

    The victim restitution fund that would be created by the JVTA isn’t taxpayer-funded in that sense; instead, its funding structure is dependent on fines collected from convicted traffickers. But Republicans are seeking to restrict even that. And secondly, while typical Hyde Amendment language has to be renewed on an annual basis, the anti-abortion language in the JVTA extends for the entire five-year authorization of the restitution fund. […]

    BTW, the Hyde Amendment does not work as advertised in the real world. A woman on Medicaid should be able to access abortion services if she is raped, or is pregnant due to incest. Legislators made the paperwork required for doctors to perform abortions for women on Medicaid so onerous, and they made it so difficult for hospitals and doctors to reimbursed that:

    […]Only 37 percent of women ended up getting eligible abortions funded by Medicaid. As a consequence, a quarter of women on Medicaid who planned on getting an abortion ended up giving birth instead, according to a study (pdf) by the Guttmacher Institute.


    […] The consequence of the Hyde Amendment language in the JVTA is that teenage sex slaves will be forced by circumstance to give birth to the children of the johns who raped them. It would be easy for Republicans in the Senate to fix this. They should simply drop the language from the bill and make it align with the language of the House version. Theoretically, they could even add a provision clarifying that underage victims who got pregnant while being trafficked should automatically be considered rape victims for the purposes of the Hyde Amendment language. But they’re not doing any of that.

    Instead, Senator Cornyn, Majority Leader McConnell, and their colleagues have chosen to die on this hill. They refuse to let the bill pass unless it has language that will impose forced birth on teenage sex slaves. They are refusing to hold a confirmation vote on Loretta Lynch unless they can keep the provision that will impose forced birth on teenage sex slaves. And they are so desperate that they have scheduled five cloture votes that they know will fail in an attempt to ram through the language that will impose forced birth on teenage sex slaves. […]

  125. says

    Governor Jerry Brown had a few choice words for Ted Cruz:

    “What he said is absolutely false,” Brown said. “Over 90% of the scientists who deal with climate are absolutely convinced that the human activity, industrial activity, generation of CO2, methane, oxides, nitrogen, and all the rest of those greenhouse gases are building up in the atmosphere. They are heat trapping. And they are causing not just warm, drought in California, but severe storms and cold in the East Coast. So it’s climate disruption of many different kinds. And that man betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of existing scientific data. It’s shocking and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

  126. Saad says

    Gamergaters are knowledgeable about the issues they say they care about.

    They did a petition to get EA to “remove Anita Sarkeesian from Mirror’s Edge 2 game development”

    We the undersigned are presenting our names in solidarity against the decision of EA Games and DICE to include Anita Sarkeesian in any aspect of the game development of Mirror’s Edge 2. Our reasoning follows as thus:

    Anita Sarkeesian has no credibility or experience in game development. She is merely a self proclaimed critic and her opinions should offer no sound foundations in the development of this or any game. She has no experience in the industry.

    Anita does not speak for gamers, female or otherwise, on the difficulty or appeal of games. She only offers personal insights catering to her own agenda. In fact, she went so far as to say that women needed a whole new “simplified” control set for this game, based on her personal experiences, passing them off as the opinion of the female gaming community.

    EA’s response:

    This petition is based on inaccurate information. EA is not working with Anita Sarkeesian on development of Mirror’s Edge.

  127. rq says

    They all seem to be single manual organs, much like the Milan one was before they put them all together into one single organ. Also, if you watch the performers while they’re playing, there seems to be a significant time delay between pressing the keys and sound coming out. :D Usual for an organ, though I don’t understand how they can get so used to it.

  128. rq says

    Here’s some inspiration: Reaching new heights: girl ascends to rock-climbing royalty – at only 13 .

    Open Your Mind Direct – a typically quirky name in the world of climbing – has been climbed by no more than a handful of the sport’s top men since British climber Tom Bolger first vanquished the 140-foot route in 2010.

    Nobody had been up it since one of the fragile holds broke off recently as someone clung to it, increasing its degree of technical difficulty.

    The route’s new grading, and therefore Ashima’s record, await consensus in a sport where top bragging rights are jealously guarded, closely scrutinised and often aggressively challenged, and routes’ grades of difficulty have an element of subjectivity.

    But there seems little doubt that Open Your Mind Direct is now regarded as a 9a+ climb in European grading language, 5.15a in American grading language.

    No female climber, woman or girl, has ever climbed a 9a+ / 5.15a climb. There are only two recognised grades of difficulty above this, at the very pinnacle of rock climbing.

    In 2005, a Spanish woman, Josune Bereziartu, had climbed a rock face called Bimbaluna in Switzerland that is graded between 9a and 9a+ – but no female had ever climbed a solid 9a+ until last week.

    Now I don’t really know what those numbers mean, but it sounds impressive. Congratulations to Ashima!

  129. carlie says

    I just saw that Fire Mountain Gems is having a dollar sale, with many strands on clearance for a dollar or less. I am struggling mightily to wait until payday to do anything rash (and something rash will happen – oh yes, it will).

  130. opposablethumbs says

    Hope your throat behaves, rq.
    And that rashness happens in a way that pleases you, carlie!

  131. says

    rq, I hope you can hold off the strep until you’re ready to deal with it.

    carlie, I know that feeling well. I try to remind myself that I already have lots and lots of (whatever craft shiny thing it is at the moment), but sometimes I just have to give in.

    Speaking of which, the family expedition was a qualified success. The one Japanese market and bookstore (Marukai and Bookoff) were not what they used to be, alas. The other one (Mitsuwa Marketplace, Kinokuniya, and a few small shops), which is easier to get to by freeways anyway, as it happens, was, as always, too much fun. I bought Sarasa pens and cute pink folding scissors.

    Husband offered to treat us all to lunch at Sushi Boy around the corner, which was much better than one would expect from a name like Sushi Boy. Then Elder Daughter asked if we could go to the Crystal Cave, since it was open by then. So we did, and more fun was had. Yes, I know, metaphysical shops, pooh pooh, but it’s a very soothing place, they have lots of pretty and shiny things, and it’s enjoyable even if you don’t buy into the woo. So there.

  132. Grewgills says

    I’m not sure whether cilantro tastes like soapy dirt or dirty soap, but either way it’s nasty and even a small amount can ruin otherwise delicious food.
    If the devil existed it would be made of cilantro, brussel sprouts, and sebaceous cyst squeezings.

  133. cicely says


    blf, on cilantro:

    The people with an alleged “strong aversion” have clearly been corrupted by peas, thinking everything should be tasteless and textureless, a void space in the meal.

    I cannot be corrupted by peas, because I avoid them like the plague that they are.
    Texturelessness in food would be intolerable.
    But food should not taste of soap.
    If it does taste of soap, it should be because someone didn’t rinse the dishes thoroughly enough—so you can castigate them properly.

    No strep, rq‘s throat.

    carlie, I would so love to be rash, where Fire Mountain Gems is concerned! The Husband suspects me of having magpies somewhere in my ancestry.

  134. Azkyroth - TOTOTTERTARIANISM! says

    So it appears that I am literally the first person in the history of the universe who wants to purchase a strand of actually *twinkling*, not just blinking-on-and-off-all-at-once, LED lights that is less than 10 feet long. >.>

  135. says

    Is the anti-cilantro crowd larger than the anti-pea crowd?


    john @186:
    Wish I could help, but I have no clue.


    Seems like it’s been a while since I’ve seen your nym around here (although that could be due more to my diminished presence around here rather than yours). Hope all is well with you and yours.


    Anne @185:
    Are you and I the only ones who like cilantro?
    I’d hate to not like it bc I dearly love salsa.

    2 new species of vampire crabs discovered

    Meet two tiny new species of “vampire crabs” from Java, Indonesia! One has gorgeous purple claws, the other has stunning orange nippers, and they both have intense yellow eyes that give them their vampiric appearance. While new to science, both species have been in the aquarium trade for many years already.

    In the last decade or so, colorful land-dwelling crabs from the genus Geosesarma have been sold in Asia and Europe and exported around the world. The two most popular of these vampire crabs are the violet ones and the bright orange ones, but where they originated has been a bit of a mystery: Dealers have claimed that they come from Sulawesi, Java, Krakatau, or Riau Islands in Indonesia.

    Now, a trio of researchers led by Peter Ng of National University of Singapore have established that the two species are, in fact, native to central Java. The new crabs were found along hillstreams about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from each other, and the team have named the purple one Geosesarma dennerle and the orange one Geosesarma hagen.

    There are images of the crabs at the link. There is also a link for those who want to download the pdf for the current volume of Raffles Bulletin of Zoology where the crabs are described.


    Huh…preview is acting up. I’m not even getting a message saying that it’s malfunctioning. It just doesn’t do anything. Annoying. May tpyos have mercy on my sole.

  136. A. Noyd says

    chigau (#187)

    I like coriander ( the fruit aka seeds), hate the leaves.

    I don’t mind the seeds, but sometimes people call the leaves “coriander” and then you get a nasty surprise.

  137. says

    I don’t mind the seeds, but sometimes people call the leaves “coriander” and then you get a nasty surprise.

    Well, it’s the same plant. In German you get Koriander and Koriandergrün (coriander green), which is quite clear to everybody involved.
    I happen to like both.

    *pouncehug* right back!

    *serves ginger tea*
    Get well soon.

    carlie, Anne
    While I’m not the biggest beader out there, I still have quite a nice collection of beads. My favourites are Bohemian glass beads. Most I can do is to not put them in my mouth…

    Funniest (and kind of embarassing) moment of the conference:
    One of the professors gives a presentation. At the start he says that he’s ging to focus on the idioms and words and ignore pronounciation and intonation for the moment. During the Q&A another guy who’s apparently an expert on intonation and who felt his field slighted objected and the discussion went back and forth between the two of them a bit and when the moderator tried to get a bit of structure back into it, the intonation guy actually exclaimed “He started it!!!”. I wanted to go like “KIds, I don’t care who started this. You stop RIGHT NOW or no dessert!”

  138. bluentx says

    You * make a drive-by comment about cilantro after months (?) of non-participation in The Lounge and create a fire storm of controversy among The Hivemind ? ! **

    * Read: “I”.

    ** i feel SO powerful right now ! Thanks, Lounge Lizards ! [*waves*— while ducking from the anti-cilantro crowd with their torches and pitchforks ]

    [Preview not working]

  139. carlie says

    I love cilantro.

    I am also a fan of peas. Especially fresh peas, just barely steamed enough to make just the outsides a tiny bit soft. The longer they’re cooked, the less appealing they become. I’ve never tried pea soup.

  140. rq says

    Just signed a petition to initiate legal recognition of civil-type partnerships in Latvia. The language was as gender-neutral as is possible to be in Latvian, plus it specifically never specifies anything besides ‘family’, ‘consensual adult relationships’ and ‘partner’, and it is clear that it is meant to cover all relationships, not just the religiously acceptable, cis-hetero-childful ones. This is about as close to same-sex marriage as things are likely to get, for now. If the petition reaches 10 000 signatures, it will be submitted to the Saeima (Parliament), which isn’t to say that anything in the long run will come of it, but the initiative is, at least, there. (Plus Estonia already formally recognizes all partnerships, though not all kinds of marriage as such, so once again they’re trail-blazing and making us look bad, ha.)

    In bad news, there’s a bunch of people planning to protest Europride, which has to happen in Riga this year because it is currently the EU capital, annnnd people are totally misunderstanding the words ‘morality’, ‘gay’ and ‘pride’. I really, really hope it doesn’t devolve into shit-flinging, like it did in 2006…

  141. opposablethumbs says

    Ah, you know the Hivemind – always up for a jolly good firestorm of controversy :-) (can’t be a lounge lizard, though – not rich or prominent enough :-( Maybe a lounge newt …. ?)

  142. rq says

    Here’s a neat book trying to be published: Mammoth is Mopey.

    Mammoth is Mopey is an alphabet book celebrating two great joys: prehistoric animals and language. […]

    Our book is for people of all ages who love prehistoric animals. You may know a miniature science geek or two who can rattle off tongue-twisting dinosaur names with ease. The fun of prehistoric beasts goes so well with the joy of language, we combined them into this book. To be honest, we think that Mammoth is Mopey will hit the spot for anyone who loves reading with children.

    From artistic Ankylosaurus to zany Zygosaurus, the book features a whimsical cast of prehistoric animals familiar and obscure. Each gets its own spread, and since we span over 500 million years and visit places around the world, we include a bit of context about when and where each lived. Even more useful, the pronunciation for every animal’s name is included. If you don’t know how to say the names, you can have fun learning to sound them out with young readers.

  143. A. Noyd says

    Giliell (#194)

    Well, it’s the same plant. In German you get Koriander and Koriandergrün (coriander green), which is quite clear to everybody involved.

    Yeah, we just need some consistency over here in English. The frozen meal that tricked me recently wasn’t even consistent with other dishes in the same brand.


    Saad (#200)

    Cilantro is great as a garnish on so many Indian/Pakistani dishes.

    I think you mean cilantro completely ruins so many otherwise great Indian/Pakistani dishes.

    I absolutely loved it the one day when the Indian restaurant near my (now former) job ran out of cilantro so their entire lunch buffet was cilantro-free. That was amazing.

  144. rq says

    Yesterday I posted a link to a piece my choir will be performing this week.
    In the process, I discovered this Piano Concert in f# minor by the same composer (Lūcija Garūta), as performed by the Latvian National Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by my choir’s (now former) head conductor and artistic director (Mārtiņš Ozoliņš), with one of our bright piano stars at the keyboard (Liene Circene). I think Lūcija is my new favourite composer.

  145. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    My very own trophy wife has found it prudent to alert wait staff that if her food comes garnished with cilantro/coriander leaf they will be treated to an unforgettable spectacle of projectile vomiting. When we go abroad, it is one of the first words we must learn in the local language so that we can avoid it.

    It does nothing for me–I’d just as soon not have it anywhere near my food, but I don’t hate it.

    Evidently, some folks like my wife lack an enzyme, so the leaf tastes utterly vile to them (mildewy is how my wife describes it). There is even a website devoted to those who hate the stuff (, I think)

  146. rq says

    Whelp, our power just went out. Thank you, spring winds – apparently the transformator down by the river is getting all the worst from branches and the like.
    Here’s to hoping things are back online before our heating system overheats – no power = no circulation = heat/pressure buildup. Heh.
    I’ll be back later, shutting down for now.

  147. rq says

    … Annnnd that last comment was waiting for power to back on because duh the modem doesn’t work without electricity, but all seems to be well at the moment. Silly wind.
    That’ll learn me, though – I posted those tedcruz links three times, and *BOOM* the power goes out. Coincidence?

  148. cicely says


    So it appears that I am literally the first person in the history of the universe who wants to purchase a strand of actually *twinkling*, not just blinking-on-and-off-all-at-once, LED lights that is less than 10 feet long. >.>

    Untrue! It’s been a couple of years, but I was able to get a mighty-fine, 9′ long string of LED fairy lights here, suitable for winding around my quad-cane—which is what I wanted them for, so that was convenient. They came with a 3 “speed” control—steady, all blinking at once, and twinkling. Maybe they have something that would work for you?


    2 new species of vampire crabs discovered

    *dreamy-eyed creativity*
    Make ’em bigger, and stat those suckers up!

    Hi, bluentx!
    *waving flaming pitchfork*
    (But in a totally non-threatening, not-in-any-way-about-to-burn-your-castle-to-the-ground kinda way.)

  149. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    chigau (違う)

    む ? or should that be む か

    Holstein, Black Angus or simply 無 going on right now ?

  150. says

    I’ve been neglectful.

    1. Our wireless router at home has died. New one on order, won’t arrive until tomorrow. But it means I can’t post or browse from home.

    2. My annual report was due today, in which I have to justify my existence and explain to the university why they should give me a raise. It ended up being an 8-page long wall of text. We’ll see if they buy it.

  151. chigau (違う) says

    (I’m 下手 at haiku, I thought I’d give koans a try.)

  152. rq says

    As long as you warned them about the impending cephalopod invasion if they don’t, you should be fine.

  153. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says


    Oh dear. What came to mind for me was part of a meditation skit that ended with “I can’t come out. My horns are too big for the door.”

    Sorry I spent all day at the doctors office. My mind has warped.

  154. blf says

    Now, lavender tea, that does taste like soap.

    I am not going to eat / drink some soap to see that is an accurate description of the taste, but lavender tea disgusting. Although I believe it is safe to use as a drain cleaner.

    I doubt the harmless herb cilantro/coriander would tame the exceptionally vile pea.

  155. HappyNat says

    I don’t like to listen to music at work depending on the task, but sometimes I’m forced to to drown out the cop loving, Catholic, Republican I share a cube wall with. My memory may be jammed, but my blood pressure stays down.

  156. rq says

    I can’t work without music. (One of the benefits of working alone at night: ain’t nobody around to hear me belt it off-key renditions of every song on my playlist.) Though we’ll see how that goes as the years advance.
    Also, I like lavender, especially in my provencial herbs. Can’t have too much, though. Just a touch. Can’t say as I’ve ever had lavender tea, though. Husband’s Elder Brother’s Girlfriend once brought back peony tea from China, that is some vile, vile stuff – unless there’s some special way to prepare it that makes it palatable. Ugh, drain cleaner for sure, that one.

  157. blf says

    lavender tea tastes like soap smells

    (Hurries off to the nearest sink to check the bar of soap for a sneakily hidden nose…)

    Soap has many different smells, some deliberate. Whilst I prefer soap and similar which doesn’t have an obvious smell, some soaps do smell Ok. Others smell like pea farts.

  158. rq says

    That is so odd, because it’s not a link for me. Just as previously, someone put the word ‘ebay’ in a comment that showed up as a link (Anne?), but it didn’t for me. Is this a geographical thing?

  159. chigau (違う) says

    The word eBay in my response to Anne is also a link.
    The word meditation in my comment #230 is not a link.
    I think it’s poltergeists.

  160. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    The word meditation was a link but I refreshed the page and it is no longer. I actually clicked on it while it was linked and it leads to an online, paid membership meditation source/service. Hmmmm. Maybe these are “flash links.” I’ve not seen that term used anywhere, but the concept seems sneaky.

  161. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    The word eBay in #232 is linked. Let’s see how long it remains so.

  162. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    It is now now linked, less than a minute later. This is nasty marketing.

  163. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    “Not” now…

    I am playing with this. The word got linked in my comment too.

  164. chigau (違う) says

    Both meditations in your #233 are now links.
    They morphed into links while I was reading your comment.

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

    hmmm. no links
    but I’m running noscript and adblock

  166. rq says

    I have no sneaky flash links anywhere.
    Maybe PZ is trying to make some money on the side with sneaky links like this.
    Though I like the idea of a ghost in the machine network much better!

  167. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    Okkkaaayyy –

    I posted that when I was out picking up my son, so I was on the browser on my phone using cell service not WiFi. Not during preview, but after posting med-it-ation showed up as a link when I posted.

    Now at home, med-it-ation in my comment is still a link (that I didn’t put there) but it isn’t a link in some of the other posts. And the bay with an e is also a link. This is so weird!

    The ad service on freethoughtblogs is getting totally out of hand.

  168. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    I also noticed A-ma-zon showing up as a link in something earlier today and thinking it was weird. I can’t remember which post it was now, unfortunately.

  169. Pteryxx says

    The word e-Bay shows as a link in #232 and 235, and med-i-tation in #233, once I set my script blocker to allow skimresources dot com along with a few other things. The in-text ads might disappear on refresh to make them supposedly less intrusive (as if). I’ll try a few more times.

  170. Pteryxx says

    It’s definitely coming from a script run by skimresources dot com. I have *no* other scripts enabled (beyond the usual two that let FTB comment boxes work) and both e-bay and med-i-tation are turning up as links – but it takes roughly 10 seconds after each page refresh for them to do so. Try refreshing the page, stare at the text, and after a count of 10 the words become links.

  171. Pteryxx says

    also it’s not changing every single instance into links – in #232, e-bay turns into a link but med-i-tation does not, while in #233 both instances of med-i-tation are links.



    When I refreshed the page and hit preview immediately, two of the six copies of the M-word above – 1 and 5 – turned into links, after the same 10-count. Apparently the script reads the text after that 10-second delay and only then chooses some words to turn into links – so they do show up in preview if it’s soon enough after the page loads. Now I’m going to refresh and preview again.

    So far it’s turning the *same* instances of the M-word into links every time, though I’ve altered this preview text along the way. Adding some more copies now.


    Same thing happens, links at copies 1 and 5.

  172. Pteryxx says

    The ad links in my #249 above are in the same places they appeared in my preview, 1 and 5.

  173. says

    I didn’t even need a ten-count on Pteryxx’s 249 — more like 4. The first and fifth turn into links for me. Using Firefox 36.0.1 on OS 10.10.2 and haven’t played around with any browser plug-ins (meaning I have only what comes with the browser).

  174. says

    Inability to say the C word:

    Gov. Rick Scott’s chief of emergency management, Bryan Koon, testifying Thursday before the Legislature, had a half-dozen chances to use the term “climate change.”

    But he would not say the C-words.

    Scott has denied news reports that employees of the Department of Environmental Protection were barred from saying “climate change,” “global warming” and “sustainability,” but he has declined to discuss the subject in detail.

    Koon was talking to a Senate budget subcommittee about his agency’s request for federal funds to improve emergency life safety notifications for residents and visitors in advance of floods, tornadoes and hurricanes in Florida. Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, asked Koon if it’s true that states need to have “climate change plans” to qualify for that federal money.

    Yes, Koon replied, referring to “language to that effect.”

    “I used ‘climate change,'” Clemens said, “but I’m suggesting that maybe as a state, we use the term ‘atmospheric reemployment.’ That might be something that the governor could get behind.”

    Senators roared with laughter, and the chairman, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, almost literally fell out of his chair.

    Koon said Clemens was right, and the state’s next hurricane mitigation plan, due in 2018, must include “language discussing that issue.”

    “What issue is that?” Clemens asked.

    “The issue you mentioned earlier,” Koon replied.

  175. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    I can … sort of … understand brand names getting the link treatment, but I really, really object to random words getting stolen. It makes it appear that the commenter put the link in i.e. endorsing the damn thing.

  176. Pteryxx says

    pHred – yes it does, and in Greta’s case, it looks like she’s endorsing that silly meditation site in her article. (The M-word immediately after her bolded “Sex and Secular Mindfulness” turns into an ad link for me.)

  177. rq says

    I wonder if I write meditation, it will turn into a link for other people but not me.

    Also, “atmospheric reemployment”. It sounds like they’ve laid off the atmosphere for a while, and want to reinstate it. How would that work? Though there’s a strange sort of sense in that idea…

  178. chigau (違う) says

    So where is this thing?
    Is it in my iPad?
    I’m scared.
    What was that noise???

    I did not put any links in this comment.

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

    There are creepy links I can’t see here, and there are cat memes on my work email (started by me, that’s what happens when you work 11+ hours I guess).

    .. it’s probably time for bed.

  180. pHred いつでも今日が、いちばん楽しい日 says

    Does noscript stop it from happening when you comment or does it just stop you from seeing them ?

  181. Pteryxx says

    pHred – noscript is stopping you from seeing the links, and the skimresources script is adding them to whatever text is on the FTB page. There’s no way Greta C put that link in her article back in December.

  182. Pteryxx says

    and by turning the skimresources script off in my script blocker, all the ad links are gone. I should note that I also have an adblocker enabled (in Firefox) and these in-text ads showed up anyway.

  183. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says


    and by turning the skimresources script off in my script blocker, all the ad links are gone. I should note that I also have an adblocker enabled (in Firefox) and these in-text ads showed up anyway.

    Huh. I don’t have a scriptblocker, just adblocker and I don’t see them at all. But I’m on Chrome (desktop) with Adblocker Plus.

    I wonder if PZ’s heard of Project Wonderful for ads or if it would be enough for the whole network supporting. It seems great and I’ve seen them at work on a couple sites I visit (mainly webcomics).

    But at this point I’d think anything was an improvement over the current crap. WTF advertisers are thinking, I don’t know. It’s not like being more invasive is ever going to get them more revenue. Unless…
    *tinfoil cap*
    it’s a conspiracy to make you buy subscriptions to the websites you’re are on.

  184. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Oh shit, I should note that Project Wonderful link was put in by me to their website.

    Sheesh. Stupid ads.

  185. chigau (違う) says

    Yeah. This could get to be a pain.

    I did not put any links in this comment.

  186. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    I use Firefox with adblock plus but was still getting the errant links. I downloaded Firefox’s noscript and viola! no links. Yay!

  187. chigau (違う) says

    I think voila, as a ferren word, should be in italics.
    viola are pretty flowers, so that’s OK

  188. says

    Good morning.
    I think we should do a study and see if we can correlate cilantro liking with pea liking and then write an Evolutionary Psychology paper about it. It will be as valid as any other EP and much less harmful.

  189. bassmike says

    Hello everyone. I had a long weekend of car hunting and days out.

    How is everyone? Did you even notice I’d gone?

    Does anyone car savvy know anything about the ‘DPF’?

  190. rq says

    I was hoping you’d have a comment on the music I posted above: so yes, I did notice you were gone, but for entirely selfish reasons. ;)
    Unfortunately, I know nothing about the ‘DPF’.

  191. bassmike says

    Sorry rq by the time I caught up with the lounge I missed any opportunity to comment.

  192. opposablethumbs says

    Hi bassmike.
    DPF??? Dominions, Principalities and FurryTribbles? No, you did say cars … um, sorry, nope :-(

  193. bassmike says

    opposablethumbs oh how I wish it were ‘Dominions, Principalities and FurryTribbles’! It’s actually, for those who are unaware (which was me up until last week), the Diesel Particle Filter. It make diesel engines less damaging to the environment/people.

  194. says

    They’re standard in Germany, though they can cause problems.
    Don’t get a Toyota. I have no clue if they fixed their problem by now, but we bought an Avensis in 2006. There is a fault in the design that means the engine doesn’t manage to burn the exhaust parts free of soot, which means that after some time, especially after pulling the caravan the car would suddenly lose 70% of its power. The first time this happened we didn’t know what it was and the official, albeit small Toyota garage didn’t know either. The large one did. The problem was known to Toyota and they didn’t let their own garages know. That was still within warranty. The second time it happened we had to cough up 500€ to burn it free with no guarantee that it would work and the offer to replace the faulty parts with the exact same but new faulty parts for 4000-5000€!
    At that point we changed to a Peugeot 5008 which has served us faithfully since.

  195. katybe says

    To provide a bit more anecdata on the linking issue, I get e-bay links embedded in the text to the UK site. And I noticed it first a week or so back when someone referred to an individual by the name John Lewis, which also happens to be a UK department store, and I got a surprise bonus link which nobody else commented on seeing.

  196. bassmike says

    Thanks Giliell you’ve highlighted my issue! I mainly do town driving with longer distance maybe 4 to 5 times a year and I’m concerned in case that not often enough to clear the DPF.

  197. Okidemia says

    bassmike #80

    It make diesel engines less damaging to the environment/people.

    Interesting. That and considering diesel engines might easily be transformed as diester using vehicules when we’ll run out of gas (assuming no change is expected before we consumme the whole stock available).

  198. Okidemia says

    chigau (違う) #271

    … as a ferren word…

    What does ferren mean? does it stand for ‘foreign’?

    rq #272

    I think voila wants an accent, like so: `.

    How do you type accents? Is it a keyboard feature or did you manage to learn alt key codes as a consequence of practice?

  199. says

    I can only speak from personal experience, but our Peugeot is doing well (multiple long distance trips including towing the caravan to Barcelona and back) and so did my parents’ Citroen, which stands to reason since it’s the same company. Maybe ask friends who haul caravans and stuff

  200. chigau (違う) says

    ferren = furrin = foreign
    The virtual keyboard on the ipad lets you type diacritical marks by pressing on a key, which shows a range of choices. You click the one you want.

  201. Azkyroth - TOTOTTERTARIANISM! says

    Hello everyone. I had a long weekend of car hunting and days out.

    Didn’t realize cars were in season. O.o

  202. Okidemia says

    rq #289

    (…) you can learn to do everything. :)

    Yep, I’ve just spent half an hour on a similar site investigating the available alphabets. Your suggestion is nice because of its single page overview, but apparently I have a browser issue and many alphabets letters don’t make it through, thus reducing the experience wonder… (Well, that and the fact that it doesn’t name the alphabets so you’re left with aesthetics but no possibility to document yourself further once you spot an amazing one).

    I was also wondering about your own experience, since somewhere (maybe here, maybe at another thread, sorry I can’t remember exactly I’ve been drifting through too quickly), you’ve been placing Latvian accents with ease (your favourite compositeur). So I was wondering if you had any keyboard facility or if you were experienced with typing all the Alt shortcuts…

    chigau (違う) #290

    ferren = furrin = foreign

    Ferren is a lovely and very attractive spelling.

    The virtual keyboard on the ipad (…)

    Arg. Unfortunately I’m a dinosaure from another era. To me, typing a virtual keyboard is probably way more difficult than learning Alt codes by heart… :-) (which I did at some point).

  203. opposablethumbs says


    Didn’t realize cars were in season. O.o

    No whitewall tyres after Labour Day, bien sûr!

  204. blf says

    Unintended hilarious quote of the day, from Bomb experts try to defuse 1,000lb second world war explosive in London: “‘Once it has been made safe, the device should be leaving the site late this afternoon,’ said the council [local government]. ‘For residents, we very much hope that this will mean they will be back in their homes this evening. However, please be aware that this situation could change at any tim[—BOOM!]e.'”

    (There isn’t much chance of the bomb exploding, and the bomb disposal experts will have taken precautions to limit the danger in the unusual case of an explosion. And, as noted in the article, the bomb was apparently found by a construction vehicle hitting it. There is a WW ][ bomb found every year or so in London.)

  205. blf says

    chigau@230: “The word ‘meditation’ in #222 is a link.”

    Not here, not now, not in my browser. And I am 99% sure I didn’t miss it when pHred wrote @223.
    There is no link there!

    I also checked the HTML source (as it exists now).
    Same result: There is no link there!

  206. rq says

    Ah, that. I just have a Latvian keyboard option – actually, two. The one I’ve brought over from Canada is the Alt-key method, where I hold down the Alt key and press the required letter-to-be-accented. The local system (which I can switch to and have on my work computer) uses the apostrophe key, so any letter-that-can-be-accented that is hit after the apostrophe key gets accented. If I press something like T, which has no accents, then it writes out ‘T, but if I hit, say, E, then I get Ē. So it’s less a matter of personal exploration than a pre-set keyboard. If that helps any!
    Any other accents I need (and I’ll admit, sometimes I just skip them), I use the html code.

  207. blf says

    I can neither confirm nor deny the magical links are related to skimlinks / skimwords, but there are a LOT of complaints, etc., about this behaviour on the ‘Net. I will not go to the skimresources site to see what the feck they fink they are doing.

    It is not necessarily malware, but there are a few reports of it corrupting sites, and also reports of being highjacked by malware. Apparently, some versions of AdBlock defeat the intrusion.

    I have no idea at all why I’m not seeing them, albeit I suspect a mixture of browser, OS, and geographical location is involved (all are “unusual”, at least to a site on the wrong side of the Atlantic), plus some attention paid to the security and privacy settings of my system.

    (There are NO links in this comment.)

  208. chigau (違う) says

    I still see a link in #222, the word meditation.
    John Lewis

    I put NO links in this comment.

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


    As long as they are not in the other kind of season. I’m still learning how to drive, it would be really unfortunate if my car decided to hump another.

  210. Okidemia says


    Any other accents I need (and I’ll admit, sometimes I just skip them), I use the html code.

    Makes me wonder why there isn’t still any “international” version of keyboard for latin alphabet users allowing the use any kind of accent regardless of the main local use intended. Maybe there’s one and I’m just unaware of it. That would be especially helpful because nowadays it’s not as if you never write to friends or colleagues using accents beyond your own natural uses. I would love to be able to use ’tilde’ accent any time I need.

  211. rq says

    It’s one thing I like about touchscreen alphabets, by holding a letter down, you get the entire (or most of) string of options for accents in all kinds of languages for any letter. (Some of them have LOTS!!)
    It would be nice to have a similar feature on a writing program for ordinary computer, though – that whole ‘insert [symbol]’ stuff is tedious. :P

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



    I love love love Gillian Anderson and I used to have a crush on Fox Mulder (I was young!)

  213. Okidemia says

    Now I have to resist the temptation to look at accents uses in languages using latin alphabet roundwide.

    I first stepped in Ngbaka minangende (putting the French page because it includes the accents in use in the aforementioned language, the English version is much shorter and doesn’t include any accent fascination :) ). (And sorry to link to wikipedia, I know this is not of the owner’s taste but I haven’t any scholar intent beyond the basic content).

    Maybe we should stop using accents once and for all… :)

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


    After watching The Fall, I’m sure Gillian Anderson will be unapologetically feminist. Dana Scully was rocking the men’s world in the past already, she only could have gotten better now.

  215. rq says

    *high five*
    I spent years crushing on Fox Mulder. *siiiiiigh*
    This was the ’90s. ;)
    And yeah, I’m absolutely certain Dana Scully will kick some manly ass this time around, too.
    … And I still have to watch The Fall. :P

  216. rq says

    Funny, as the digital age came around, there was serious discussion in Latvian linguist circles about scrapping the written accents completely – with the idea that an alternative writing system would be invented. Trouble is, that makes things unnecessarily letterose (like verbose but with letters! yes I just made it up!). For instance, a simple word like ‘muļķis’ (fool) would become ‘muljkjis’. The classic unpronounceable phrase ‘šķiņķis uz šķīvja’ (the ham on the plate) would become ‘shkjinjkis uz shkjiivja’.
    I think I prefer accents. They look so pretty. ;)

  217. Pteryxx says

    blf @296: for your entertainment, when I enable the skimresources scripting, the M-word and the John L-word in chigau’s 300 have turned into links – but the source HTML still does not show any links there, even though I waited for the links to turn up before hitting ‘show source’.

  218. Okidemia says

    rq # 311

    I think I prefer accents. They look so pretty. ;)

    Indeed, while letterose is also a lovely word, I feel like Latvian is easier to learn with accents…

    Also, you made me realise that “digital” was actually a prophecy, since nowdays you need your fingers to be fully digital. :)

    I’ll probably jump into touchscreen when kids will mock me for being too old fashion. I still have a few years to go… :)

  219. rq says

    I really, really hate it when my depressive episodes coincide with Husband’s depressive episodes, because guess whose get preferential treatment. And all I want is a *hugs* for me and some acknowledgement that an impending lack of toilet paper in the house is, in fact, a dire situation. Yes, I’m selfish like that.

  220. says

    Cross posted from the Ted Cruz thread:

    Ted Cruz is signing up for Obamacare.
    The Hill link

    Sen. Ted Cruz is signing up for ObamaCare one day after launching his presidential bid.

    Cruz, one of the biggest ObamaCare foes in Congress, found himself without health insurance after his wife, an executive at Goldman Sachs, announced she is taking an unpaid leave to join his campaign. He will now head to to sign up for a plan. […]

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


    Impending lack of toilet paper is a dire situation.

    *hugs* and *higs* for you

  222. says

    Here’s a shiny hug just for you. I covered it in chocolate.

    Well, you have probably heard of that horrible plane crash in France. Flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. On board a Spanish class and their teachers, which means that about everybody is asking how I feel because WTF?
    I’m really sorry for the people who died and their relatives. But just because I’m a budding Spanish teacher who might one day go on an exchange, this isn’t about me at all.

  223. blf says

    for your entertainment, when I enable the skimresources scripting, the M-word and the John L-word in chigau’s 300 have turned into links – but the source HTML still does not show any links there, even though I waited for the links to turn up before hitting ‘show source’.

    That does not particularly surprise me. Whatever fecking stoopid game skimresources is playing at, it seems quite likely the intrusion is happening locally (i.e., on your machine) after the page has been downloaded but before it has been rendered. As such, I would expect basically the results reported: No obvious interference in the downloaded “source” despite the rendered display being noticeably different.

    The “site corruption” I noted apparently happened to embedded JavaScript, and was found by examining the input to the JavaScript parser / engine — which, again, happens after downloading but before “rendering” (or, in that case, parsing and execution by JavaScript).

    Obviously the browser (at least) probably matters here, but it all seems broadly consistent: For some reason, skimresources is being allowed, either by FtB or by the ad service(s) FtB uses, to play exceptionally disingenuous games with the (rendered) CONTENT and distorting the commentator’s intent. (Whether or not the OP’s — i.e., poopyhead’s — post is also altered is unknown to me, but I presume that it is also at-Risk.)

    (I have put NO links in this comment.)

  224. blf says

    Oh FFS, California lawyer seeks to put ‘shoot the gays’ proposal on 2016 ballot:
    “Matt McLaughlin wants homosexuality punished ‘by bullets to the head’
    State attorney general may be powerless to stop proposal going forward”.

    And “[t]he initiative would also make it a crime to support gay rights, punishable by a $1m fine, up to 10 years in prison and expulsion from the state.”

    In what would seem like good news — except we are dealing with lawyers here — “[State senator Ricardo] Lara, along with members of the legislature’s LGBT caucus, filed a formal complaint with the state bar against McLaughlin on the grounds that attorneys are supposed to demonstrate ‘good moral character’ [snickers].”

  225. carlie says

    rq, I will give you all the hugs. Although, if I’m in a downswing too, it might take the form of just flopping front-to-back over a few times towards you as best as possible and flinging my arm across your general vicinity. :)

  226. cicely says

    (That was the sound of a dump-truck-full of hugs backing up to the [Lounge].

  227. rq says

    Thanks, everyone.
    I think, carlie, that we can flop around bonelessly together in each other’s general vicinity. That sounds like a good plan.

  228. rq says

    Middle Child, building a Lego house this morning: This is going to be a house. A house in the jungle. An old house in the jungle. An abandoned house. And here’s one guy who survived, everyone else is dead. All the other people died from strange diseases. He has a motorbike and a boat. And look, there’s leaves growing over the door. It’s a very old house, and they’re going to eat fish for lunch, but the other guy doesn’t like fish, so he left. For now.

  229. rq says

    Unfortunately they didn’t get to have lunch because a monster came, punched holes in the boat, and ate all the fish, so they had to fight the monster all night. Lego body parts all over the house (where do these people keep coming from?), it was a huge battle.

  230. rq says

    And the Middle Child character just had a robot had transplanted because the monster bit it off. But they’re going to trap the monster and train it to carry heavy things.
    Good luck.

  231. rq says

    The Lego people! They all died! And then they came back! … Or did the lone survivor bud them off? Find them in the cabbage patch? Call a stork? I don’t know how this happened.
    So confused. :P ;)

  232. bassmike says

    Hi Cicely! Nice to see you.

    rq *hugs* and I hope your depressive mood passes quickly.

    Children’s role playing can get confusing. We haven’t got to the zombie lego people or robot’s with head transplants. But at various times I’ve been the ‘baby’ to be looked after. However, who is the baby changes by the minute and it’s almost impossible to keep up! We had a major tantrum last night due to me cutting up my daughter’s pear in the wrong manner. She wouldn’t explain how she actually wanted it cut just had a melt down. *sigh*

    On the plus side she was in a great mood this morning…it makes life sooooo much easier!

  233. rq says

    Just wait until you slice the cheese wrong. o.o

    Also, I’m fine with zombie Lego people, as long as they stay in the box at night – stepping on some of their sharper points and tools is not something my bare feet enjoy.

  234. bassmike says

    rq we’re still at the Lego Duplo stage, so we stand a greater chance of seeing any rogue pieces before they imbed themselves in your unwary sole.

    oddly enough there is a specific way that cheese must be cut. But I know what to do with that…….until she changes her mind without telling me.

    On the bright side my daughter is kind enough to tell us when she’s finished her tantrum.

  235. rq says

    That’s definitely a good thing! Sometimes we just have to guess, and woe is us, if we time it wrong!

  236. Okidemia says

    Lotsovluck! Yesterday evening kids just completely disappeared until diner. They also managed to shower by themselves (oh good!). No freaking idea whether monsters or zombies got in the way, though we heard a few scare screams in the process.

    Meanwhile, a colleague, visiting shortly, told us she met God in the afternoon. Disappointingly, she’s not black. If true, he’s a WSAP (sic erat scriptum).

    Son did not finish the book about the flat man.

    And I flopped the diner because, too much lemon. (No cilantro available).

  237. says

    Governor Chris Christie is trying to sound like Ted Cruz:

    Send me a Republican legislature. And with a Republican legislature you’ll have a governor who will respect, appropriately, the rights of law-abiding citizens to be able to protect ourselves…. No rights are given to you by government. All are rights are given to you by God.

    Second Amendment stuff, combined with Bible stuff.

  238. says

    Republican politicians routinely fail when it comes to math.

    “If you just do simple multiplication,” Sessions [Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Rules Committee] said, “12 million [consumers] into $108 billion, we are talking literally every single [ACA] recipient would be costing this government more than $5 million per person for their insurance. It’s staggering…. $108 billion for 12 million people is immoral. It’s unconscionable.”

    It’s unconscionable that guys like this have been elected as legislators.

    Let’s see, divide $108 billion by 12 million, and that is, surprise!, not $5 million. Try $9,000. Even the $9,000 per person is wrong.

    […]The Congressional Budget Office, in a March report, said that the cost of coverage in fiscal 2016 for Obamacare (in the exchanges and Medicaid expansion) would be $95 billion, after penalty payments and other revenue. But the reduction in the number of uninsured Americans would be 23 million people.

    So if you do the math correctly, that’s a cost of $4,130 per uninsured individual in 2016. So that’s more than half the figure that would have resulted from properly dividing Sessions’ numbers. The CBO also reports that about 15 million people on insurance exchanges would qualify for insurance subsidies – and the average subsidy would be $4,040 per person. […]

    Senior lawmakers should not be uttering nonsense math on the House floor.

    Washington Post link

  239. says

    This is a followup to comment #342.

    I meant to mention that a math failure, or a math deception, in the speeches of Republican politicians shows up when they take a ten-year budget number and divide by the number of insured individuals in a single year.


  240. says

    Did you know that atheists are all for Sharia Law in the USA? Neither did I. Leave it to Pat Robertson to trumpet the warning.

    Televangelist Pat Robertson seems to be under the impression that liberals in America are advocating for the implementation of Islamic law, telling “700 Club” viewers today that liberals “want to rebel against the established order” that is “basically Christian” and replace it with Islamic fundamentalism.

    “So here comes an ideology out of Saudi Arabia, 7th Century Saudi Arabia, talking about persecution of women, cutting off hands, decapitating people, butchering whole populations because they happen to share a different faith and the so-called Left is saying, ‘this is the ideology we want,’” Robertson said. “And you say, are you crazy? This is an outrageous return to barbarism. You want to turn away from your freedom that has brought this tremendous civilization to you and you want to undermine it? Well that is exactly what the Left is doing. It is doing it in America, it is doing it in Germany, it is doing it all over Europe. This is not some crusade for freedom, it is a return to bondage.”

    Right Wing Watch link

  241. says

    I should have said “liberals are all for Sharia Law,” not “atheists are all for Sharia Law.” There’s a lot of overlap in Pat Robertson’s mind. I’ve been reading too many of his pronouncements. It’s damaging.

  242. says

    Trigger warning for biblical violence against babies and women; and for non-mythical violence against pregnant women.

    Last week, a pregnant woman in Colorado was attacked by a stranger who stabbed her in the stomach and cut her baby out of her womb, and Republican state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt is attributing the attack to God’s curse upon America for the sin of legal abortion.

    On his “Pray In Jesus Name” program today, Klingenschmitt discussed the story and tied it to a passage from Hosea in which God curses the people of Samaria for their rebellion by declaring that “their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.”

    “I wonder if there is prophetic significance to America today in that scripture,” he said. “This is the curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb and part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open.”


  243. says

    More voter suppression from Ohio. This amounts to a poll tax on college students.

    Under a last-minute addition to Ohio’s transportation budget, close to 116,000 college students will have to pay what a Democratic lawmaker is calling a “poll tax” in order to vote.

    Republicans in the state Senate late last week inserted into the budget bill a provision which would require people who move to the state and register to vote to re-register their cars with Ohio within 30 days. Otherwise, they would be required to surrender their driver’s licenses from their home state. […]

    […] out-of-state college students will have to pay close to $100 to re-register their vehicles in Ohio in order to cast a ballot in their new home state, placing another barrier on voting in a state whose elections chief’s efforts have actually made it harder for people to vote. […]

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

    So there I was, calling my friend to check if she will be very late to our meeting, only to find out I was 24 hours early.

  245. Okidemia says

    Saad #352

    Anyone know why Tauriq disabled the comments on his blog?

    He’s been writing at length about cyber bullying and threats. I think he’s done because of his experience.

    Apparently some posts may be commented, under some period constraints.

  246. says

    For years Republicans have fought funding increases for the Federal Aviation Administration. When the FAA has been funded the amount has been unpredictable, and the timing of funding also unpredictable.

    Sequestration laws in 2011 made the FAA funding situation worse. Cuts affected hiring, training, and plans for the NextGen upgrade.

    So, now that Republican legislators have hobbled the FAA, they are busy pointing out air traffic control failures. What do they offer as a solution? Privatize the FAA!

    Yeah, let’s put profit first when it comes to air traffic control. Let’s make those controllers work a shift that is two hours longer. Reminds me of the drastic cuts to public education, followed by dissing public education, followed by privatize-everything laws, followed by more failures and scams in the educational system. Prisons likewise. Now they’re coming for air traffic control.

    Republicans use the power of the purse to break stuff, then they privatize stuff, which breaks more stuff. But some businesses make money, so it’s all okay. Also, as someone else observed, “Real people have their own jets and access to smaller or private airports.”

  247. says

    Lynna @351:
    I listened to that video a few weeks back. It’s good, but has some problematic elements in it towards the end (IIRC, he engaged in some ableism).

    If you’re still in need of hugs, I have one two three I can offer you (or I can save them for later).

  248. yazikus says

    Hello Loungers! Long time no lounging. I hope everyone is doing well.

    Any Flaming Lips fans around? I always liked them, I saw them live in 2007 and it was a blast, and I haven’t thought too much about them in the last few years. Apparently I missed quite a bit. The frontman Wayne Coyne, is apparently bffs with Mylie Cyrus, a defender of Christina Fallin (daughter of OK Gov. Mary Fallin and obnoxious cultural appropriator) got a divorce, is dating a much, much younger woman and I’m like woah. Not sure what I think. (This only came up because they are coming to do a show this year where I live, which I was pretty excited about when I first heard). Anywho.

  249. says

    I love this! Remember the proposed ‘Sodomite Suppression Act’? LGBT activist Charlotte Laws has proposed a law of her own:

    Deciding that she would fight fire with fire, she filed a completed measure with language that mirrors McLaughlin’s bill but, with some major distinctions: the act, called the “Intolerant Jackass Act,” mandates three hours of sensitivity training a month for 12 months and a $5,000 donation to an LGBT rights group for anyone who’s found to be an “intolerant jackass.”

    And while Laws, who works as a community activist, is aware that it will never become law because it violates the First Amendment (see, look at that; the one chance Christians have to live their persecution fantasies and the legal system steps in and protects them), she said the measure is a “symbolic” one.

    “We have a very open-minded state and country,” she said. “This is one guy, and there are millions of us who do not agree with this.”

  250. cicely says


    Think how much money this Intolerant Jackass Act would collect in fines!!!

  251. rq says

    Because of a quirk in spelling, I just googled for the local zone doctor instead of the dentist.
    Yesterday was a triumph (concert went well).
    Today is a trial (taking all three four (Husband, too!) to the dentist).
    Tomorrow – dunno yet.

  252. says

    Here is an awesome story (so awesome that I’m still wiping the happy tears from my eyes):

    There’s something to be said about people who just flat-out want to help and solve issues within their communities. Madison Chandler and Mark Smesrud are those kind of people, and the impact they’ve made with one small coffee shop has changed numerous lives.

    Chandler and Smesrud co-founded the nonprofit Purple Door Coffee two years ago, which hires homeless youth “who have been homeless and want to leave homelessness behind.” But this cafe doesn’t stop at giving homeless teens and young adults jobs. Taking in the young homeless three at a time, the shop actually gives its employees a 52-week curriculum along with their employment, which teaches far more than what one can learn in school – such as much-needed skills like budgeting and banking. Employees also learn how to keep their health and well-being – whether physical, emotional or mental – in check. If that weren’t enough, the organization also helps them find a place to live.

    I had to send them a message:

    I just read an article from Addicting Info (here’s the link: about this company and their practice of hiring homeless youth (and much more). I just wanted to say that this fills me with such joy. I stay up-to-date on current news around the US, and there are so many stories of bigotry, discrimination, oppression and so much more. It is so refreshing to read about people who are actively trying to make changes in the world. Changes for the better. Changes that help empower others to improve their lives. I don’t live anywhere near Denver, CO, but if I ever visit the city, this establishment will most definitely be on my list of places to patronize.
    Thanks again for doing your part to help improve the lives of others.

  253. says

    And look at how they respond to a recent break-in of their establishment.

    Since I’ve had time to reflect on the break in at Purple Door I’ve unpacked it a little more. This post of Facebook is still my heart and response to the situation. Here is what we shared:

    While the recent break-in is unfortunate and frustrating, this does not change how we feel about our neighborhood or any individual in the neighborhood. We love Five Points and the surrounding area. The break-in was an individual or group of individuals that still have incredible worth and value. We are saddened that they feel a need to do such things, but this does not change the fact that we care about them. We are also so thankful for the way the neighborhood has supported us up to the break-in and since the break-in. We will continue being who we are and doing what we do! Thank you so much for supporting us!

    This is certainly how we still feel, but there is also more to it.
    When Purple Door was broken into I thought about how fragile a thing it is. The Coffee shop could burn to the ground, we could be completely vandalized, or we could simply fail as a business from a financial perspective. So, what does that mean for us? What is actually the importance of this thing called Purple Door, and what would that mean for me as an individual if Purple Door Coffee were to simply cease to be? What I have come to realize over this past year is that Purple Door is the vehicle that we are driving at the time. It isn’t the point. It’s not the destination. Purple Door allows us to do what we believe we are supposed to do. Our value in our mission, the value of each employee or each customer and my own value are never in question, even if Purple Door Coffee were to fail. The Kingdom of God is bigger than any single organization, group of people or individual. Purple Door Coffee fits into the Kingdom of God, but it is not the Kingdom itself. And so if Purple Door ceases to be, or if it shifts in how it functions, as long as we are true to what God has for this world, we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. And so, things like a break-in are seemingly insignificant. They create opportunities for us to be who we say we are. It’s easy to proclaim the value and worth of people when times are good and when everyone is treating you well. It’s a different story when people are doing things that impact you in a negative way. We must continue to proclaim the value and worth of those that are against us, otherwise we will cease to hope for their future, and if we see cease to hope for anyone’s future, we no longer proclaim what God has for this world. And that is the only way we can truly fail.
    And so when we function out of this truth–we cannot fail until we cease to be faithful to the life God has called us to–we are free to do that using whatever vehicle we choose, and if said vehicle breaks down, gets in a wreck, is stolen, it doesn’t change who we are or who we are called to be.
    That said, we hope to have Purple Door Coffee be here for a very very long time, with other opportunities growing from it.

    Yes, there’s god talk, but beneath that?
    Such warmth.
    Such empathy.
    Such compassion for others.

    Pardon me. I thought I’d gotten all the dust out of my eyes. I was wrong.

  254. bassmike says

    Tony! That’s a coffee shop I’d support.

    rq I was at the dentist yesterday. Had a crown filed down. Sounds rough but there was no pain involved.

    Some good news: my university has set up a new secondary school and I hear that the head of engineering and the head of science will both be women. Now that’s a positive message to send out!

  255. carlie says

    Tony, that’s amazing.

    And here I just came on to complain that Richard Dawkins is filling up my timeline retweeting other people telling him happy birthday. (but seriously, how narcissistic is that?!)

  256. rq says

    I don’t follow RD, but I got a few retweets of his retweets on my TL. Like, seriously.
    (Similarly, it slightly pisses me off when famous authors also retweet all the compliments people send them, even those without any particular artistic merit.)

    No dentist for me, for the kids… which is a different kind of experience, but overall it went well. Eldest got one filling (his first) and Middle Child will be needing more extensive work (as in, full-body anaesthesia at the children’s dental clinic to fix all his 8 fillings o.o and here’s me terrified of doctors, so Husband will be taking him, whenever that happens!). He has really, really, really bad teeth, and I don’t know how to make it better – they don’t fluoridate water here, but he brushes regularly, at home and in kindergarten, and it’s not like he has a free hand with the sweets and other sugars. Youngest has perfect teeth – but that’s the least I’d expect for someone just under 3 years old. :P

    Such a happy story! :) Thanks for sharing here, and thanks for commenting over there – it’s such a small yet kind thing to do in support of them!

  257. bassmike says

    rq it must be frustrating that one child has bad teeth when the others are fine. My daughter’s been to the dentist twice, but neither time did she allow the dentist to really check her teeth. We’re the same as you with regard to her dental hygiene and we avoid sweets too. We an only hope.

    I forgot to say that I’m glad the choir concert went well. Were you singing or in the audience? Our big concert is on Saturday. We’re hopeful that it will be a good one!

  258. rq says

    I sang, though I attended a shamefully low number of rehearsals. But I’ve sung the piece twice previously in concert, and it’s of the kind that, once you know it and have it in your ear, it’s pretty easy to remember (though it’s far from easy itself). Main thing is to keep an eye on the conductor and to sing when he points at your voice group. ;)

  259. Okidemia says

    Tony! The Queer Shoop #364

    We can be heroes, doctors, lawyers, janitors, teachers, anthropologists, astrophysicists, engineers, and yes, villains.

    You forgot God in your list… Or was it included in the villains category? :)

  260. bassmike says

    rq @375:

    Main thing is to keep an eye on the conductor and to sing when he points at your voice group

    isn’t that the essence of playing in any classical music group?

    Having said that, our conductor point to me so rarely that if he does I assume that either he’s pointing at someone else, pointing at the wrong person or I’ve made a mistake!….. or maybe I’m just paranoid.

  261. rq says

    Ha, reminds me of the time when we were part of a rather large massed choir, in rehearsal, rehearsing this one piece that has some cymbals for accent. Anyway, the percussionist was a non-professional, and all he had to do was hit the cymbal on the drumkit when the conductor points. So you know how that usually happens, conductor points and cymbals happen. Percussionist, instead, followed this protocol: conductor points, percussionist raises sticks in acknowledgement, nods for a beat, then hits the cymbal. About two beats too late. I think the conductor spent a good 15 minutes explaining to him what The Point actually meant – and then basically decided Fuck It, and cued him two beats early for each entry. :P

  262. bassmike says

    rq fortunately our percussion section is currently very good. However, we once had a percussionist who wasn’t quite so good. There was one piece in which they had to play an important triangle part. Everyone in the orchestra knew how it should be played….expect said percussionist. Happy times!

  263. says

    This drummer dies and goes to heaven (No, really) and finds he’s been chosen to play in God’s orchestra. He knows he’s hit the big time, finally. How magnificent to play in God’s orchestra! Overjoyed at being part of the music that an orchestra conducted by God must play, he takes his place at his drum and sees that he’s got a 400 year rest.

    He sighs as God counts off the beat and the violins start playing. He counts his rest eagerly as the woodwinds and brass play. He even manages to take a nap as the other percussionists start playing. The triangle and the glockenspiel both get their turns.

    Finally, they’re coming to the end of his rest. The drummer readies his sticks, keeps his eyes on God for his cue. His anticipation builds as his turn to join in with the beautiful music being played coms up. God raises his baton…

    And the guy is so excited he rushes his entrance by half a beat. God waves his arms and taps his baton on his music stand until everyone stops. He looks around and says, “Let’s take it from the top.”

  264. rq says


    Ha. I thought you were going for a version of the classic, “How do you know the drummer’s at the door?”
    Answer: “He doesn’t know when to come in.”

  265. says

    HI there
    Apparently the co-pilot of the crashed plane crashed it on purpose. He murdered over 150 people. This is, of course, not considered terrorism as he is a white guy. I doubt they will even remember him as the biggest mass murderer in times of peace.
    Ironically, it was the safety meassures installed after 9/11 that allowed him to do so, locking the pilot out of the cockpit when he’d gone for a pee or something.

  266. says

    This is another money-vs-principles story, a story in which money wins. Some of our lower-income workers in the USA are not yet close enough to slave labor to please corporation owners, so the 1%ers have come up with yet another way to screw their employees.

    Nearly two dozen major corporations, including Walmart, Nordstrom, and Safeway, are bankrolling a quiet, multistate lobbying effort to make it harder for workers hurt on the job to access lost wages and medical care—the benefits collectively known as workers’ compensation.

    The companies have financed a lobbying group, the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation (ARAWC), that has already helped write legislation in one state, Tennessee. […] the corporations ultimately want to change workers’ comp laws in all 50 states. […]

    Laws mandating workers’ comp arose at the turn of the 20th century as a bargain between employees and employers: If a worker suffered an injury on the job, the employer would pay his medical bills and part of his wages while he recovered. In exchange, the worker gave up his right to sue for negligence.

    ARAWC’s mission is to pass laws allowing private employers to opt out of the traditional workers’ compensation plans that almost every state requires businesses to carry. Employers that opt out would still be compelled to purchase workers’ comp plans. But they would be allowed to write their own rules governing when, for how long, and for which reasons an injured employee can access medical benefits and wages. […]

    You can already see where this is going, right? If employers are allowed to write their own rules they will drastically curtail workers’ benefits. Having worked for decades to weaken unions, legislators in conservative-dominated states will get away with this.

    Texas and Oklahoma already allow employers to opt out of state-mandated workers’ comp. […] Walmart has written a plan that allows the company to select the physician an employee sees and the arbitration company that hears disputes. […]

    In an ironic twist, the open carry law in Texas makes Walmart employees more vulnerable to “assault,” so Walmart stores in Texas wrote vague language into the law that will allow them to opt out of paying for treatment of workers harmed in an “assault.” The language governing “accidents” also favors the employer.

    A 2012 survey of Texas companies with private plans found that fewer than half offered benefits to seriously injured employees or the families of workers who died in workplace accidents. (The state plan, which Texas companies can follow on a voluntary basis, covers both.) Half of employer plans capped benefits, while the state plan pays benefits throughout a worker’s recovery. […]

    Dillard’s, a department store chain with 10 locations in Oklahoma, took advantage of the change by requiring workers to report injuries before the end of their shift to be eligible for workers’ comp. […]

    […] the Tennessee Option […] allows businesses to place strict spending caps on each injured worker and to pick and choose which medical expenses to cover. […]

    The bill as introduced does not require employers to pay for artificial limbs, hearing aids, home care, funeral expenses, or disability modifications to a home or a car for injured workers. All of these benefits, notes Gary Moore, president of the Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council, are mandated under the state’s current workers’ comp system. […]

    Mother Jones link

  267. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness. All of the facts are not yet in, but it looks like a gay student at BYU [Brigham Young University] was kicked out of his apartment and physically assaulted because he admitted to same-sex attraction.

    A former Brigham Young University student has sued a Provo apartment complex over his eviction — a move he claims followed a violent dispute with roommates who wanted him ejected from the residence, the university and the LDS Church because they believed he is gay. […]

    A copy of the eviction notice, filed along with White’s civil lawsuit complaint in Provo’s 4th District Court, alleges White is a nuisance who has violated the policies in his lease, including residential living standards and BYU’s honor code. […]

    The [apartment] complex is one of several private apartment facilities near the university’s Provo campus. It is considered “BYU-approved” and agrees to hold tenants to the school’s honor code, which includes conduct and behavior standards that generally mirror the religious principles of the LDS Church, such as honesty, chastity and respect for others. […]

    White’s lawsuit states that he moved into the apartment in October 2014. In early January, he confided to one of his roommates, none of whom is named in the complaint, that he “felt same-sex attraction.” Unbeknown to White, the roommate shared the information with the two other roommates, the lawsuit states. […]

    Court papers also say that the roommates said “because of [White’s] homosexuality, he should not be permitted to live in the apartment, to study at Brigham Young University, be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or work at the Missionary Training Center.”

    White refused to leave the apartment and went to bed, but claims in court papers that the roommates entered his room, dragged him out of bed and began removing his personal belongings from the residence. The documents say the three men again threatened White with physical violence, took his keys and said they would toss his belongings from the roof.

    White left and slept in his car and later sought medical treatment for bruised ribs, the lawsuit states. […]

  268. says

    Soooo, Governor Pence signed the “religious freedom” bill and it has become law in Indiana. One company is not at all happy about that:

    Salesforce, founded in 1999, has grown into a $4 billion software corporation. It is a component of the prestigious S&P 500, and boasts 12,000 employees.

    50-year old CEO, founder, and chairman Marc Benioff (photo), who started the company in San Francisco, and his wife Lynne Krilich, have given millions to children’s hospitals.

    Recently, Salesforce came out strongly against Indiana’s discriminatory Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    “We have been an active member of the Indiana business community and a key job creator for more than a decade,” Scott McCorkle, CEO of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud division, wrote in a letter to Indiana lawmakers. “Our success is fundamentally based on our ability to attract and retain the best and most diverse pool of highly skilled employees, regardless of gender, religious affiliation, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”

    “Without an open business environment that welcomes all residents and visitors,” he warned, “Salesforce will be unable to continue building on its tradition of marketing innovation in Indianapolis.”

    This morning, Republican Governor Mike Pence signed the controversial bill into law, despite vocal objections from Salesforce, along with Gen Con, a $50 million annual gaming convention, Fortune 500 member Cummins, Eskenazi Health, Eli Lilly and Co., George Takei, Pat McAfee, Jason Collins, the mayor of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana’s tourism board, among many others.

    Last night, after Gov. Pence announced he would be signing the bill into law, Benioff responded:

    Today, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff made good on their warning.

    And he went one step further, warning his fellow industry leaders:

    UPDATE I – 2:00 PM EST:
    CNN reports, “The chief executive of tech giant Salesforce told Pence that his company — which had bought Indianapolis-based Exact Target for $2.5 billion in 2013 — would abandon the state and its expansion plans there if he signed the measure into law.”

  269. says

    From the readers’ comments associated with the Salt Lake Tribune article (link in #389):

    These “roommates” are more the “rule” than the exception at the “Y”. That Kool-Aid just keeps getting consumed.
    The LDS church teaches to love, not hate.
    is that why your church spent $8million in California to suppress gay rights in the name of your religion?
    the real victims of this so called “incident” are the students standing up for their deeply held religious beliefs.

    Mixed bag.

  270. says

    Here’s a sweet story:

    Jesse F. Nagy, an actor and director living in the Detroit area, paid a visit to family in Florence, Alabama this week, and ended up on the local news.

    Uncle Jesse was babysitting his nephews and four-year-old niece, when he found he was having a hard time connecting with the shy little girl. Fortunately, as every parent and Disney marketer knows, four is prime “princess” age, so Uncle Jesse made a date with the little girl to put on their best princess dresses and see Cinderella at the local theater. The tattooed Jesse borrowed a strapless purple prom dress from a family friend, and the two princesses stepped out to the Carmike Cinemas in Florence.

  271. rq says

    Tony @392
    That’s actually the second or third similar such story I’ve seen this week! I find that encouraging. For some strange reason. :)

  272. says

    There is no form of hating fat people – including concern trolling or hating fat acceptance – that doesn’t amount to you saying, “Uh, excuse me, what made you think you could go around having a body without justifying it to me?”

    When you talk about “fat” diseases – you’re saying: “uh, that body better be perfectly healthy in all instances forever before I give you my approval.”

    When you talk about “it’s just not attractive” – you’re saying: “I think I made it clear that if your body isn’t pleasing to me, I’m not signing off on it.”

    When you talk about “just eat less and exercise more” – you’re saying: “who gave you permission to live your life as you see fit instead of how I see fit?”

    So let me just be clear: all anti-fat arguments are always and completely invalid because fat people will never owe you an explanation or justification for their bodies, their health, or their lives.

    Fat acceptance is simply the assertion of a right fat people have always had, and one it’s long past time others started accepting.

    (source: madamethursday)

  273. cicely says

    yazikus: Doing tolerably well; and you?

    Tony!, the Purple Door people sound seriously Awesome, whether they’re hooked on god or not.

  274. blf says

    Discovery uses virus to boil water three times faster:

    A combination of nanotechnology and a virus found on tobacco could save huge amounts of energy in industrial processes

    Scientists have found a way to boil water faster, although they admit the discovery is unlikely to revolutionise tea-making.

    British priorities… The important things are: Does it make cheese even better, repeal peas, and eliminate horses?

    The technology works by coating a heating element with a virus found on tobacco plants. The coating dramatically reduces the size and number of bubbles that form around the element as it gets warmer. Air pockets caused by bubbles temporarily insulate heating elements from the surrounding water, slowing down the transfer of heat.

    [S]cientists have been attempting to develop surfaces that repel bubbles and keep the boiling surface wet. McCarthy’s team has identified tobacco mosaic virus, which is roughly pencil-shaped, as the perfect structure for wicking moisture downwards towards a surface.

    The team has developed a genetically modified strain of the virus, with “molecular hooks” allowing it to adhere to nearly any surface. The researchers grow tobacco plants in the lab and infect them with the modified tobacco mosaic virus. “When the plants are really sick, we put them in the blender and you get a sort of green soup,” said McCarthy.

    Won’t some think of the extremely ill, poor, suffering blender?

    After several rounds of centrifuging and chemical separation, which takes two days, the scientists are left with a perfectly clear solution of concentrated virus. When poured over a surface, the virus self-assembles into a layer of nano-tendrils, each pointing upward like a blade of grass.

    The surface is then covered with a microscopically thin layer of nickel, rendering the virus inert. The remaining “metallic grass” wicks liquids across the surface, allowing the water and element to remain in contact.

    In tests, the coating has been shown to more than triple the heat transfer rate, depending on the surface to which it is applied. …

  275. birgerjohansson says

    Re. 400:
    So THAT´S what a Cyberdyne Systems T-1000 looks like during construction.

  276. blf says

    The “morally misguided … motherfucking power-hungry, self-aggrandised bigot in the stupid fucking hat” comes out on the side of the child rapists, Pope faces protests by sex abuse board against bishop’s appointment:

    Incredulity over Francis’s approval of Chilean bishop Juan Barros, who is alleged to have covered up for a notorious South American paedophile

    Several members of Pope Francis’s sex abuse advisory board have expressed concern and incredulity over his decision to appoint a Chilean bishop to a diocese despite allegations that he covered up for the South American nation’s most notorious paedophile.

    In interviews and emails with Associated Press, the experts have questioned the pope’s pledge to hold bishops accountable and keep children safe, given the record of Bishop Juan Barros in the case of the Rev Fernando Karadima.

    Another commission member, Marie Collins, herself a survivor of abuse, said she could not understand how Francis could have appointed Barros, given the concerns about his behaviour.

    “It goes completely against what he [Francis] has said in the past about those who protect abusers,” Collins told AP. “The voice of the survivors is being ignored, the concerns of the people and many clergy in Chile are being ignored, and the safety of children in this diocese is being left in the hands of a bishop about whom there are grave concerns for his commitment to child protection.”

    Barros’s appointment in January sparked unprecedented opposition, in a country that is slowly coming to grips with the church sex abuse crisis that has afflicted the US, Europe and Australia in particular. More than 1,300 church members in Osorno, along with 30 priests from the diocese and 51 of Chile’s 120 members of parliament, sent letters to Francis in February urging him to rescind the appointment.

  277. says

    Moment of Mormon Madness, mixing god and politics with some mormon spice thrown in.

    Arizona Senator Sylvia Allen is a devout mormon, and she wants you, yes you, all of you, to be required to attend church. I’m just surprised that she doesn’t insist we all attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

    “Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth,” […] …

    “I believe what’s happening to our country is that there’s a moral erosion of the soul of America,” she said.


    Oh, this sounds so mormonish: Senator Allen wishes society today was more like the 1950s, when, “people prayed, people went to church.” And, I might add, mormons denied blacks entry into the priesthood, and they openly supported the KKK. Good times.

    The journalist writing for the Daily Kos suggested that we write a law requiring that Senator Allen live in the real world.

    Allen’s past excursions into LaLa Land have included:
    – saying, “the earth’s been here 6,000 years”
    – agreeing with Cleon Skousen and former Senator Russell Pearce that the US Constitution is “divinely inspired” and is threatened by commies, gays, women, people with darker skin, etc.
    – that allowing people to carry guns will encourage the “moral rebirth” she’s always on about

  278. says


    Filmed in Kreuzberg. Berlin?
    Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz – Prayer In C

    I so love that song.
    As for the location I’d say East Berlin, Prenzlauerberg. The public transport you see there going over the street is actually the subway and that’s typical for the Prenzelberg*. Also the very last shot towards the Fernsehturm.
    David could sure confirm or reject that…
    *An area horribly hit by gentrification

  279. says

    So tomorrow I start driving my family from Philadelphia-ish to Orlando. We’ve rented a house to visit with my wife’s family and the Mouse. 17 hours in my Tahoe over two days. At least we have those DVD players in the headrest so the kids can watch movies if they want.

  280. says

    Governor Pence of Indiana is getting a fuckton of well deserved pushback.
    Gov. Pence receives instant backlash for signing the anti-gay bill into law.

    Broadway star Audra McDonald just slammed Gov. Mike Pence with the most amazing Tweets.
    (her rant is particularly glorious)

    Here’s George Takei calling for a boycott of Indiana.

    I already posted this in the Nerd thread, but here’s a link to Governor Pence’s Facebook page:

    (yeah, I left a comment over there)

  281. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    The team has developed a genetically modified strain of the virus, with “molecular hooks” allowing it to adhere to nearly any surface.


  282. birgerjohansson says

    Your link gives me inspiration for an updated song text re. Allen
    Alice Cooper’s “He’s Back”, but with gender and the odd word changed

    She’s back
    she’s the one behind the mask
    and she’s out of control
    She’s back
    she’s the one behind the mask
    and she’s after your soul”

    — — — —
    “Cut your teeth Kyla la grange”
    “Cut Your Teeth (Kygo Remix)”

  283. carlie says

    Sometimes there are those little moments that show how differently your kids are growing up compared to how you did.

    I made a cake tonight, frosting and all. I went and handed each child a befrostinged beater, and each of them in turn were suspicious and kind of weirded out by this odd object I was thrusting at them like they should be happy about it. I had to explain the concept of licking the beaters with good stuff on them to teenagers. I rarely make baked sweets, and when I do I think I’ve made my own frosting maybe a handful of times total, I don’t really use the mixer for anything else, and they’ve never really hung around in the kitchen when I was making things. So yeah. They honestly didn’t know. Holy cow.

  284. says

    Governor Pence: No real justification for anti-gay law

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) was pressed by conservative radio host if something happened in Indiana to justify signing an anti-gay religious freedom bill into law. Pence said he wasn’t aware of any recent examples.

    “I’m not aware of cases and controversies. I mean as I travel around the state one thing I know for sure —Hoosier hospitality is the greatest in the nation. Hoosiers are loving, caring, generous to a fault,” Pence said in an interview with conservative radio host Greg Garrison on Thursday. “People that have strong hearts, strong values. But this isn’t about any present controversy as much as some in the media want to make it about. It’s about making sure that Hoosiers have the same protections in our state courts as they have in federal courts and as 30 other states have.”

    I’m so livid I could scream.

  285. says

    Tony 415

    Right there with you. I am still coming to grips with how to put a blog post together when you just want to grab the lapels of someone and shake them while screaming, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!?” in their face.

  286. says

    Chelsea Handler describes being invited up to Bill Cosby’s suite.
    In an interview with Esquire, Handler says:

    CH: What do you mean poor guy?!
    SR: I was just throwing that out there.
    CH: Not poor guy—he tried to Cosby me… I was in Atlantic City playing, doing stand-up, and he was doing stand-up in Atlantic City in the same hotel, and at like three o’clock in the afternoon, someone from the hotel came down and said, “Oh, you know, Mr. Cosby would really like to meet you up in his hotel suite.” And I thought, That’s really weird. This was like ten years ago. And I said, That’s really weird. I don’t want to go alone. I go, I don’t know him. So the three guys I was with—thank God these guys were with me… I brought them up with me to his room and thank God I did, because now I know what would’ve happened if I went up there alone. And I forgot about it when all the stories about Bill Cosby came out. I was like, I didn’t even think of it. Then my friend texted me the other day saying, “Do you remember that night we went up to, or that afternoon we went up to Bill Cosby’s and you were so freaked out you made us come with you?” And I said, Yeah, and he said, “Hello! You could’ve been one of his victims if we weren’t there.” And I went, “Oh my gosh …” Yeah, so yeah, he’s guilty.
    SR: I never presumed otherwise.
    CH: Yeah, I think it’s pretty obvious now.

  287. rq says

    Have a safe drive! I hope everyone behaves and requests a reasonable amount of bathroom breaks. :)

    Ha, I taught mine young, but it’s a tough line – at first, there was confusion; now – there is demand as soon as they hear the beater.

  288. says


    At least we have those DVD players in the headrest so the kids can watch movies if they want

    Those things are a real blessing.
    By now I’m beginning to understand the things my parents went through to keep us halfway happy. That was before walkmans (walkmen?) became mainstream. And I would want to listen to my kiddie casettes.
    Recently I introduced them to some music from my childhood. Mimelit the city rabbit. They love it. My love seems to grow less and less as the weeks go by and we’re still listening to Mimelit in the car….

    Well, that’S a lesson my kids learned early :)

  289. opposablethumbs says

    We’ve very rarely had to go much of a distance with the kids, the times we did there was just #1 and xe was too young for anything other than a bottle of milk. The few times we did with both of them, we would always go overnight so they spent most of the time asleep.
    But for not-so-long trips when they were a little older, we mostly had music – some great songs (Maria Elena Walsh, anybody?) and a bit later than that some solid rock that we could all join in on :-)
    That, and sandwiches and fruit mostly … But I’ve never had to face anything like two solid days of driving?!?!?!!? o.O

  290. carlie says

    ajb47 – good luck! We’ve done 16-20 hour drives every year with the kids since they were toddlers, so we got them used to it early. Frequent distractions and stops as needed are the key, depending on their ages. When ours were really little, for a few trips I went to the dollar store and loaded up on cheap toys, then handed them out from the secret surprise bag at regular intervals (or when they could not stand being in the car ONE MORE MINUTE). It was just enough novelty to limit the discontent. Once they had handheld gaming systems they couldn’t care less, until they ran out of battery power. Neither of them read well in the car without getting sick, but they could color and do word puzzles, like those huge activity books the dollar store also has. And we stocked up on all their favorite cds. Many an hour was wiled away with VeggieTales songs (we were all fundamentalists then). I think the real trick is just to have your target time of arrival, but assume you will be at least two hours behind that, maybe three. Then don’t worry about how many stops you take. If they have to go, they have to go. If everyone needs to stretch, fine. Sit-down lunch where someone brings you caffeine refills? Yep. Place advertising itself as the biggest candle in the world with billboards for 100 miles either way saying they have the best bathrooms on the interstate? You bet we’re stopping. It’s more making the trip part of the vacation than a chore.
    (that said, we also ended up usually splitting the trip back home, after we were all tired from vacation and had nothing else to look forward to, and spending the halfway point overnight at a hotel that had a pool, sprinkler patio, and adults-only hot tub)

  291. says

    Maria Elena Walsh, anybody?

    Yes, please!
    As I mentioned before, our first music always was the Canto General.

    But I’ve never had to face anything like two solid days of driving?!?!?!!? o.O

    Since we went on camping trips across half of europe I was lucky if I got away with two days. 30 years ago nobody booked a campsite in advance and you couldn’t look them up on the net, so my parents just drove somewhere and started looking. Which could take days…
    And then they went on “panoramic tours”. I mean, yeah, as an adult I saw the attraction of driving along a small road through incredible landscape, but as a kid that was just plain boring. And then I got chastised for being ignorant.

  292. says

    We’ve done 12 hours to Tennessee to visit my wife’s parents many times. When the kids were little, we’d break the trip into two days because of the need to stop. Now we do it in one. Heck, last year we even took our dog down and stayed in a pet friendly hotel while we were there. We used to buy separate DVD players that you could strap to the headrest and had wires running everywhere, but when I got my new truck a few years ago, I had them installed so I didn’t have to deal with finding a working set and having wires running everywhere.

    This will actually be my third drive down and back (and one back from Tampa when I went to help a friend drive his way back – I flew down that time), second with the family. The first time was when I was young and had no cares about how long the drive was. The last time we had two problems — traffic in Virginia on I-95 is HORRIBLE, and there was a tornado that cut across I-95 in North Carolina. For the amount of time we spent on the road that time, we should have made the trip in one shot! This time we are taking the much less trafficky I-81. The first day isn’t really that hard. It’s when you start getting ready that second day and realize you have to get back in the car for several more hours that you start feeling exhausted by it all.

  293. bassmike says

    Playing Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (amongst other things) tomorrow. Finger snaps at the ready!

  294. says

    Tony @409, loved the feedback going to Governor Pence of Indiana. Audra’s tweets were great. The governor earned every bit of the scorn.

    More reason to heap scorn on the heads of Republican legislators:

    Doctors in Arizona might soon be required to tell women that abortions can be “reversed.” As the Washington Post reports, the Arizona legislature just passed a bill that is the latest in state-based attempts to ban women from using their own health insurance to pay for abortion. What makes this bill especially Orwellian is this attempt to force doctors to put the stamp of medical authority on the fantastical belief that women en masse are regretting their abortions hours after getting them and are miraculously getting them reversed through heroic interventions by Christian doctors. […]

  295. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Oh, I just thought of something. Maybe I have different filters on than other people with Chrome + Adblock? That’s the only thing I could think of that would explain the discrepancy.

    On my filter list I have everything checked except Adblock Warnings and Anti-Social. Don’t think I’ve added custom lists and none are showing.

    Of course scriptblockers work too, but for some reason the idea just clicked when I refreshed the Lounge. I tried scriptblockers before but just found it to be too much. *shrug*

  296. says

    Ted Cruz took a swipe at “non-believers.”

    While speaking with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Ted Cruz said that he hopes and prays that God put him in the position he is in today.

    Cruz told Brody that “far too many Christians have ceded the public arena to people who aren’t believers,” urging pastors to become “watchmen on the wall” who will act “just like Esther” in the fight to save America. […]

    Right Wing Watch link

  297. says

    As a followup to Tony’s comments up-thread about Governor Pence of Indiana (Pence recently signed what some are calling a “right to discriminate law”), here’s a partial list of some of the companies/entities that have said they will boycott the state of Indiana:
    Gen Con
    Sales Force
    San Francisco
    Disciples of Christ

    […] “it is unconscionable to imagine that Yelp would create, maintain, or expand a significant business presence in any state that encouraged discrimination by businesses against our employees, or consumers at large.” […]

    “Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted, […]

    “San Francisco taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by the state of Indiana,” […] [Employees barred from traveling to Indiana for work-related trips.]

    “We certainly understand the implications this legislation has on our ability to attract and retain employees,” said Lilly spokeswoman Janice Chavers told CNN. “Simply put, we believe discriminatory legislation is bad for Indiana and for business.” […]

    Disciples of Christ: “…The recent passage in the state legislature of the RFRA bill is distressing to us. It is causing us to reconsider our decision to hold our 2017 gathering in Indianapolis.” […]

    “Legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy and will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years,” wrote Gen Con’s Chief Executive Adrian Swartout. […]

  298. says

    Non-binding crap from the U.S Senate — yes, non-binding, but still a very bad sign. Utahans will be happy with this, as will the legislators in Nevada.

    The new chair of the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee secured a vote Thursday afternoon in the U.S. Senate on a controversial proposal to sell off America’s national forests and other public lands.

    U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) amendment, which passed by a vote of 51 to 49, is now part of the Senate’s nonbinding budget resolution. The proposal would support and fund state efforts — which many argue are unconstitutional — to seize and sell America’s public lands. These include all national forests, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas, historic sites, and national monuments.

    Murkowski’s amendment, which would need further legislation to become law, follows a similar proposal from House Natural Resources Committee Chair Rob Bishop (R-UT) to spend $50 million of taxpayer dollars to fund the sale or transfer of U.S. public lands to states.

    The land grab proposals in Congress this year appear to echo the calls of outlaw rancher Cliven Bundy, best known for his armed standoff with federal officials last year, who has infamously refused to recognize the authority of the federal government, including over public lands. […]

    Shortsighted, if you ask me. Tourist dollars play a big part in the economies of many western states. Also, I can’t see Cliven Bundy and his ilk doing a better job of managing public lands than the feds. Utah legislators are mostly mormons, and mostly champions of extractive industries, of a robust bribe-like culture, of doling out goodies to other well-placed mormons, etc. Corruption would be rife. Public lands would be decimated.

    Think Progress link.

    BTW, many of the Republicans who voted for this travesty are the same politicians who regularly cut funding for maintenance of public lands. Budget shortfalls have created some of the problems they gripe about.

  299. says

    The economic theories of the late Karl Polanyi proven right:

    In 1944, Karl Polanyi published what became his most notable work, The Great Transformation. Now, 50 years after his death, his work is being reanalysed by modern economists, with the result being that his claims and arguments are proving not only correct, but predictive of the current crisis we are under. Fred Block and Margaret Somers released a new book covering Polanyi’s work last year, titled “The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi’s Critique,” which does a solid job in explaining not only what his criticisms were, but moving his analysis forward and applying them to the current crisis.

    In Polanyi’s piece, the underlying principle is that many of the points presented by free market adherents are little more than politics being disguised as economics. The market, in his analysis, is but one force of many found in society, and attempting to use it for all of societal needs is not only utopian, that is an unreachable goal, but is actually detrimental to society itself. And the idea of using “the free market” for societies needs, that is for what in olden times would be called “The Commons,” is dystopian itself. Today, we call this movement to move The Commons to the Free Market “Privatization.”

    Let us adapt one of his analytical points. In the last part of the 19th century, a large number of nations switched to the gold standard for currency. This resulted in an eventual liquidity crunch, and collapse, resulting in the economic and political turmoil in the lead up to World War I. When we then take his models, and carry them forward, the result is chilling, for it accurately describes the situation today.

    He described the fallacy of the free market before the very term free market existed as we know it today. He called those who adhered to this idea utopians, that is ones who only could see the utopia promised. And like all utopian visionaries, those who adhere to the free market are blind to the dystopia and human cost of their vision.


    The implications for political discourse are critically important: If regulations are always necessary components of markets, we must not discuss regulation versus deregulation but rather what kinds of regulations we prefer: Those designed to benefit wealth and capital? Or those that benefit the public and common good? Similarly, since the rights or lack of rights that employees have at the workplace are always defined by the legal system, we must not ask whether the law should organize the labor market but rather what kinds of rules and rights should be entailed in these laws—those that recognize that it is the skills and talents of employees that make firms productive, or those that rig the game in favor of employers and private profits?

  300. Rob Grigjanis says

    blf @397: I saw Pentangle in Edmonton many years ago. They seemed so young (and Jansch was drunk, and fucked up the verses to Sally Free and Easy), but then so did I. Here’s to you, John.

  301. says

    Wow. Tony’s post @434 is chock full of good information, good analysis. I particularly liked this bit:

    […] we must not discuss regulation versus deregulation but rather what kinds of regulations we prefer: Those designed to benefit wealth and capital? Or those that benefit the public and common good? Similarly, since the rights or lack of rights that employees have at the workplace are always defined by the legal system, we must not ask whether the law should organize the labor market but rather what kinds of rules and rights should be entailed in these laws […]

  302. says

    Arkansas is following in Indiana’s footsteps. They want the right to discriminate — they want it so badly:

    Arkansas is apparently jealous of all the attention Indiana is getting, so it’s back for another whack at LGBT hate. They enacted a different hate law last month that prohibited any jurisdictions from passing nondiscrimination protections for LGBT folks. Now they’ve passed a “religious freedom” bill that will ensure the right to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds (i.e. cuz the Bible tells you so). […]


  303. says

    Women legislators are speaking out against anti-abortion bills. Some of those women are being treated rudely by their colleagues..

    Abruptly asking to speak during debate on a bill to outlaw abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, the Toledo Democrat and 15-year veteran of the legislature stood and revealed a long-kept secret. She was raped, became pregnant as a result and had an abortion.

    “You don’t respect my reason, my rape, my abortion, and I guarantee you there are other women who should stand up with me and be courageous enough to speak that voice,” she told colleagues. “What you are doing is so fundamentally inhuman, unconstitutional, and I’ve sat here too long. I dare every one of you to judge me. … How dare government get in my business.”

    [Long pause because a male colleague or colleagues started laughing.]

    I see people laughing and I don’t appreciate that. And it happens to be a man who is laughing. But this is serious business right now and I’m speaking for all the women in the state of Ohio who didn’t get the opportunity to be in front of that committee and make this statement.


  304. says

    You can add Apple to the list of corporations boycotting Indiana (see comment 430) after the Governor signed a so-called “Religious Freedom” bill that is actually a right-to-discriminate bill.

  305. says

    Ted Cruz says and does more stupid stuff:

    Just a few days before Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) became the first official candidate for president in the 2016 election, he introduced a bill which, if enacted, would repeal all federal climate change regulation in the United States.

    The American Energy Renaissance Act, also sponsored in the House by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), seeks to prevent the federal government from regulating greenhouse gas emissions through any of its executive agencies, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency. It would do so by expressly forbidding any efforts to fight climate change under five laws — The Clean Air Act, The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, The Endangered Species Act, and The Solid Waste Disposal Act.

    Additionally, if the bill became law, the government would not be able to use the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, or sulfur hexafluoride. All current attempts to regulate carbon pollution by the EPA would be repealed. […]

    “Proposals to regulate greenhouse gases are very expensive and threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs,” a statement on Cruz’s website announcing the bill reads. “The authority to regulate such gases should only occur with explicit authority from Congress.”

    Interestingly enough, all the laws that give executive agencies authority to regulate greenhouse gases were given that authority by Congress. […]

    [The bill also includes provisions to approve the Keystone XL pipeline; to increase drilling on public lands like national parks and forests; to prevent federal regulation of fracking; and to end the ban on crude oil exports. […]

    Cruz said that most climate scientists and those who accept their findings are “the equivalent of the flat-Earthers,” while comparing himself to Galileo for denying the data. […] he currently holds a good deal of power over how climate change is researched in the United States. He is the chair of the Senate Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee […]


  306. blf says

    Rob Grigjanis@437, Thanks for that wonderful link!
    I have no (clear) recollection of ever seeing Mr Redbourn or Pentangle live, but certainly have some of the recordings, being some of the oldest in my collection.

  307. Saad says

    Some asshole dudebro laughs when Rep. Teresa Fedor talks about her rape and abortion while standing up against the misogynistic Heartbeat Bill

    In Fedor’s case, not only did she feel she had to share her trauma with her colleagues, at one point she was forced to pause and address the fact a man appeared to be laughing at her while she spoke.

    “I see people laughing and I don’t appreciate that,” she said. “And it happens to be a man who is laughing. But this is serious business right now and I’m speaking for all the women in the state of Ohio who didn’t get the opportunity to be in front of that committee and make this statement.”

    Ohio’s House Bill 69 eventually passed with a 55-40 vote. The legislation now goes to the senate, and if passed, will make it a fifth-degree felony and result in up to $2,500 and possible jail time for doctors who perform the abortions.

    Post-sexism society, right?

  308. rq says

    Good luck with your concert, I hope it goes well, and that everyone gets the fingersnaps right! ;)

  309. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Hi everyone. I’ve been wanting to get involved with the Lounge for a while now, and have even tried a time or two, but my social awkwardness trips me up every time, so this time I’ll just come on out and ask: How do you get involved with the Lounge? Do you just start commenting on what people have said? Isn’t it weird that a perfect stranger just does that?

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


    Just start talking.
    I remember it being strange for me too when I first started commenting in the Lounge, but you get used to the random drifts in conversation, different streams of conversations going on at the same time and people randomly complaining about peas :)

    Besides, you’re so not a stranger.

  311. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Aw, thanks Beatrice. I’ll do that.

    So I was really disappointed last night. I belonged to a secret Facebook group for unbelievers in South Africa. It was a nice enough group, until one asshat, as is always the case, started posting degrading nudes or almost nudes and sexist jokes. Big blow out, Admins ruled that the posts were inappropriate and off-topic but also scolded me because “feminism isn’t part of unbelief either”. I hadn’t even brought up feminism other than to say that the posting was sexist and I was not okay with that, and that this is the reason why there are few women in atheism.

    *sigh*, So I left, and now I’m groupless. It’s better in any case, because the group I really want is Pharyngula.

  312. rq says

    The only entrance exam is the Questionnaire, wherein you are cordially invited to share your opinion on:
    1) horses
    2) peas
    3) cheese
    4) Miracle Whip.
    There is a right answer, but we have not yet decided what it is, so this is just for the paperwork, because no exclusive club is without its bureaucracy (and no, I have NO idea who’s actually maintaining the archive).
    Also, as Beatrice said, you’re definitely no stranger – have a seat, make a pillow fort, discover the cookie bar – welcome in!

  313. opposablethumbs says

    Gen, it’s good to see you (and yes, so not a stranger!). I think we all drift in and out a bit, I know I do.

    Sorry about the discovery that there are asshats and asshat-enablers in your SA FB group. That kind of thing feels – well, almost kind of like a betrayal, even though that might not really be the right word, but it can feel that way because we get personally invested in groups like this I guess. Feminism may not be “part of unbelief” to them, but how about being a decent human being and not shitting all over your fellow-humans? Ugh. Well at least that’s one particular behaviour we’re unlikely to encounter at Pharyngula, eh. :-s

  314. blf says

    I have NO idea who’s actually maintaining the archive

    The mildly deranged penguin has a moon, full of cheese and proof against disasters (including peas, horses, miracles, whips, et al, and certainly last and least, cilantro-haters). That’s an archive.

  315. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Thanks opposablethumbs. Like I said, I finally figured out that the group I’m actually looking for is right here!

    Ooh, a questionnaire. Well, let’s see:
    1) horses – beautiful, majestic creatures – from afar. I’m slightly scared of them up close, and have never ridden a horse.
    2) peas – yummy if steamed and fresh, yucky out of a can.
    3) cheese – good with everything. Who doesn’t like cheese?
    4) Miracle Whip – we don’t actually have that in South Africa as far as I know but i’ll check next time I’m in the grocery store, so no opinion right now.

  316. rq says

    At least on the Miracle Whip, the common consensus is best not to check it out if you haven’t already been contaminated. ;)
    South Africa, is that the same timezone as me? (GMT+2) :D

  317. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    CaitieCat Lulz, enjoy!
    rq Yes, it’s GMT +2, with no daylight savings or summer time or any changing of any clocks at any time.

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


    Oh, good of you to remind me. I would have almost certainly been early late to work thanks to forgetting about the clock change.

    Tonight? We have it tomorrow. I thought that “last Sunday in March” was standard for European countries that practice this abomination of timey wimey experimentation.

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

    That is, I would be late to work oN Monday, that sentence wasn’t very clear.

  320. rq says

    We usually change clocks on the Saturday night, because doing so on Sunday would be too dangerous. Gives us a day to adjust. :)

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


    Ooooh, that’s actually a good idea.

  322. rq says

    BUT I haven’t seen any warnings in media about the impending time change, so maybe it will be tomororw? Or next week?
    Now I’m confused.

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

    Oh joy, a major football game today. I don’t care enough to look up who we are playing against.

    Apes in the tram jumping, causing general disorder and singing fascist songs. Too loud music from the stadium. *spits*

  324. Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says

    I think that I have finally started getting to a stable level with respect to functioning in two very different communities.

    Being appropriately friendly, mean and other things in the right context, in those two very different communities has been very complicated. But also very very fascinating and useful. I’m hoping that it gets smoother from here.

  325. blf says

    YES, If you are in the EU — and this included the xenophobic Britracists — Summer Time (Daylight Saving Time to the clewless USArseholians) — starts tonight.

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

    I honestly have no idea if I’m being gaslighted or if I’m being abusive. I don’t know.

    I mean… I was angry and I was complaining but I don’t think I was yelling. Maybe I did raise my voice. I probably did. But “Why are you always yelling at me and torturing me” said 2 second after screaming at me “BARK; THEN” after I answered that Why was he asying I was yelling because I wasn’t but “I guess now I will”. (I feel like Ms Cake only in a really really bad way – I get accused of yelling and then that gets me upset enough to yell.)

    I sometimes just don’t know. Have I crossed a line? I try and try and try and then this happens and I just want to stop existing.
    We had an argument, people do that. I wasn’t over the top. I think .

    It makes me so scared. That I really am a monster. So then I walk on eggshells or just keep quiet for a while… which just makes it more probable that I’ll at some point react over the top because I won’t be able to hold everything in any more.

    I just want to know. I mean, it seems like gaslighting since I observe as a third party when he starts screaming at and insulting mum (which is often how the two of us end up with me “torturing” him) and then it’s obvious he’s the guilty party.


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

    And before all this happened, I wanted to to come here and tell rq that I was misleading her about the time change. It’s on Sunday here, but at night meaning tonight. I got things mixed up.

  328. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    It makes me so scared. That I really am a monster. So then I walk on eggshells or just keep quiet for a while… which just makes it more probable that I’ll at some point react over the top because I won’t be able to hold everything in any more.

    A deliberate desire to create this reaction is the reason people do that. Always.

  329. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Maybe it’s just me, but raising your voice as emotions go high is in my opinion natural not the same as screaming and shouting and being abusive. And “torturing”? Really? By doing what, being unhappy and complaining? Maybe I don’t get the whole context of it all.

  330. opposablethumbs says

    Beatrice, also, somebody who is genuinely worried that they might be behaving monstrously and hurting someone else … is overwhelmingly unlikely to be the monster in this scenario.
    This is about your father, yes? Sadly, that means he’s someone who’s had a long, long time learning (and in some cases helping to install) your buttons and knows how to push them.

    I remember a while ago you were thinking about how and when you might be able to move out and into a place of your own – is that anywhere on the cards?

  331. rq says

    Someone is being an asshole to you and you don’t deserve it. You’re perfectly well within your rights to react emotionally if you’re being triggered somehow, and being accused of ‘torturing’ is unnecessary and definitely assholish on Other Person’s part.

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

    I know, I should move out. I could now actually do it, financially… it wouldn’t exactly be painless but it is possible.

    It’s just that… I feel guilty because of mum and there’s also a bit of pride interfering … regarding being chased out of my home.
    Change is scary

  333. carlie says

    Beatrice – even if you are yelling, that kind of response is inappropriate and over the top. You don’t deserve to be treated like that. Please don’t think that you somehow deserve to be treated badly. You deserve better than that. At least try to keep that in mind, that you deserve better, even if you can’t leave the situation right now. The reality inside your dad’s head is not actual reality. (hugs)

  334. says

    Well, that was fun. Family night at the movie, Siffy channel version – Husband, Elder Daughter and I watched something called Apocalypse Pompeii. It was awful. Bad effects, worse writing, and they never did explain all the other volcanoes that were erupting all over the planet, either. A good time was had by all.

    I think I’ll start my new library book now, The Emperor of All Maladies, as recommended by our esteemed proprietor. ‘night, Lounge.

  335. cicely says

    Hi, Gen!
    One way to get involved in the [Lounge] would be to state your position on the subjects of peas, Horses, cheese, and the Miracle Whip™ vs. mayonnaise controversy—then prepare to defend it.
    Also, plus, and of course, you are not a stranger!
    You wanna be where ev’rybody knows your ‘nym…
    Sorry about your FB group.
    I always like to point out, in these instances, that wholesale chainsaw murder isn’t part of unbelief, either. How do they feel about standing up for that?


    I think that I have finally started getting to a stable level with respect to functioning in two very different communities.

    A stable level…pun intended?

    *hugs* and *soothing music* for Beatrice.
    Sounds like emotional abuse, to me.
    You do not need that shit.

    *pouncehug with optional toffee peanuts*
    Sorry about the Black Dog. I wish the varmint were easily banishable.

    ‘night, Anne.

  336. opposablethumbs says

    Dalillama, it’s good to see you. I’m sorry about the black dog, and hope it backs off. And I personally resent it for stopping you from talking to us; you’re one of the people whose comments I most value.

    you undoubtedly do deserve better. Nobody deserves the kind of shit it sounds like your dad is doling out. What’s he like to your mum when he doesn’t have you for an audience, is there any chance at all that lack of an audience lowers his vitriol level at all? (I absolutely don’t mean to presume; I’m just thinking about vaguely similar situations I’ve encountered myself and wondering if there’s any similarity in the dynamic)

  337. rq says

    I just spilled a whole bunch of 95% ethanol on the lab floor. Guess who’s going to have fun with the extraction robot!

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

    The world has become obscene.

    SHOCKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!

    Murdering co-pilots’ girlfriend pregnant with his child!!!!!!!!!!


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


    I’ll share all the *higs* with you.


    I don’t know.
    Things are often better when it’s just dad and one of us.
    But when that other one is mum, the issues is that she often just keeps quiet and when I’m there I’m the one causing trouble by calling dad out for his behavior.
    (mum’s hearing is a huge issue. He keeps being an asshole when she doesn’t hear him saying something… and he knows very well that she doesn’t wear a hearing aid just for funsies)
    So I think there is something there regarding an audience, but there’s also the issue of mum often just taking the abuse and in that way avoiding an argument when he can’t get the rise out of her.
    It’s great that information can be made internationally available in the matter of minutes – that’s great for the oppressed like people in Ferguson or protesters organizing under a murderous regime in some backwards country (but I repeat myself)… but there’s of course the other hand where people’s supposed “right to know” has reached obscene levels.
    No, people don’t need to know every detail of that co-pilot’s life since that also delves into details of his family or friends’ lives. No, people don’t need to know everything about his girlfriend or lover. He’s destroyed enough lives, journalists don’t need to keep at it.
    That’s not “hiding vital information” or something that the public “has the right to know”. That’s being a decent fucking person and not a vulture.

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


    Sorry for what happened on FB. Welcome to the lounge. Grog, etc., is on tap. Hugs are conveniently piled right ===>here. Beatrice and Dalillama will be dipping in to the pile, of course, as will all of us from time to time, but I’m stocking the pile up just now, so feel no guilt in hauling a bunch to your local USB port and making use of them.

    I like the “anti-axe murder isn’t technically non-belief either. When will you deplore people who condemn axe murde?” tactic that Beatrice suggested. Substituting, of course, “axe murder” with any convenient thing that anyone on the group (preferably mods themselves) has taken the time to deplore.

    @Beatrice & Dalillama: You know my hugs are here for your both. If the pile is ever empty, just take a few on credit. I’m good for them.