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

    …damnit. And I’m too buzzed to strap a couple of engine blocks to my feet and go stomp around on the roof to get the point across to the shitheads in the room upstairs…

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

    blf, how difficult do you suppose it would be to convince the MDP to obliterate one hotel room but spare the one below it?

    (I hope that isn’t “threats of violence.”)

  3. says

    Azkyroth @2:

    (I hope that isn’t “threats of violence.”)

    Oh, but it is (to someone whose last name rhymes-sorta-with regent).
    Prepare thyself.
    The time of reckoning is at hand.
    You shall be next in line for a 5 gazillion word rant about tone.

  4. chigau (違う) says

    So, I’m a bit surly tonight but I find nothing remotely adorable about:
    “Spouse just had to do a 30 year residence history for a background check.”

  5. opposablethumbs says

    carlie, definitely a high score on the adorableness stakes :-)
    (ps a check that goes back 30 years????? wow)

  6. birgerjohansson says

    Obama chides Democrats criticizing trans-pacific trade deal: ‘I take that personally’
    Dude, if you hadn’t spent the first years of the presidency appeasing the reptilians people might have trusted you,..
    Also: “Murder Doesn’t Matter Under U.S. Trade Deals, AFL-CIO Reveals”

  7. birgerjohansson says

    UK election:
    “Boris Johnson both Tory and Labour secret weapon”
    The Tories are hoping his bumbling, mop-headed Bertie Wooster-style persona will convince voters the party does not consist solely of thin-lipped, dead-eyed monsters and that Tory governments are ‘fun’.

    Meanwhile, Labour is hoping his bumbling, mop-headed Bertie Wooster-style persona will mobilise voters who hate public schools and everything they stand for.
    — — —
    David Cameron admits the United Kingdom is a terrible idea
    — — —
    Thousands flee England to escape SNP tyranny
    There were chaotic scenes across England today as tens of thousands of people fled the country rather than stay and face up to the prospect of the Scottish National Party taking power. The crisis reached a tipping point as today’s Daily Mail front page headline, ‘Scottish Natzis coming to kill your families and drive down house prices’, triggered widespread panic.

  8. carlie says

    Giliell – it does! I’m almost scared to jinx it by talking about it, but he just got a part-time office job working for a small place that does daycare/skills training for developmentally disabled adults (hence the extended background check because of state regs). The only drawback is that it’s a fair distance to drive for the amount of money he’ll make, but it fits his skills and comfort level and desire to work somewhere that’s doing good things for people so much that it’s worth it.; he thinks he’ll really enjoy it. I hope it works out well. :)

  9. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    This is just a new level of religious assholery

    Prosperity gospel pastor Creflo Dollar responded recently to critics of his campaign to buy a very pricey Gulfstream G650.

    Dollar noted in a recent address to his congregants that the devil was attempting to discredit him in regards to his campaign seeking $300 from 200,000 people globally to help buy the luxury jet.

    In a newly posted five-minute clip on YouTube, the Atlanta-area pastor speaks to his followers at World Changers Church International, tackling his critics and allegations about tithes, his real name and reports alleging members of having to reveal their W2 statuses to come into the church’s sanctuary.

    “(The devil thinks) I got to discredit that man before he starts showing people Jesus!” Dollar preaches to loud applause.

    “I’m on my sabbatical, and the enemy’s trying to discredit me,” Dollar stated.

    Dollar is focused in the video on getting his point across and slams critics of his original request by stating to the people gathered, “I never one time came to you and asked you for a dime for this airplane, did I?”

    So someone who exposes a religious fraud millionaire is the devil? This Satan fella sounds pretty cool to me.

    The pastor has said the two incidents involving his old plane — including one in which a mechanical failure caused the jet to skid off a runway in London while his wife and their three daughters were aboard — have shown him it was time to turn to God for a new airplane.


    Prosperity gospel is a theology that promises wealth and health to those who tithe 10% of their income to the church.


  10. opposablethumbs says

    I wish we could watch Sweden’s troll-confronting programme trolljägarna (sp?) – and I wish they made a local equivalent of this programme in every country. I’ve never been into reality tv, but for this I would make an exception.

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

    Could someone please explain what ” a 30 year residence history for a background check” means in practice?

    Do they actually check the data you supply or it’s just to make sure you want the post enough to submit to bullshit requests or something completely different?

    (carlie, the letters bit really is cute and sweet I’m just weirded out by the background check)

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

    Giliell – it does! I’m almost scared to jinx it by talking about it, but he just got a part-time office job working for a small place that does daycare/skills training for developmentally disabled adults

    Oh, hey, my Primary-ish does that. ^.^ (…with an electrical engineering degree, oddly enough. O.o)

  13. carlie says

    Azkyroth – I know, it’s stupid, I just can’t shake it. :)

    Beatrice – I think it’s a combination: they probably get all of that data from the check and want to cross-check to be sure you’re not trying to hide anything, but also if there’s anything the initial check doesn’t find that you’ve listed they follow up on that too. (probably for the purposes of checking each state you’ve lived in to be sure there are no outstanding warrants, for example).

  14. blf says

    [H]ow difficult do you suppose it would be to convince the MDP to obliterate one hotel room but spare the one below it?

    She points out this is quite easy. Just stuff all the other hotel rooms, corridors, staircases, et al — basically, the entire hotel except for that special room, the “one below” — full of British Industrial Cheddar. And, to make certain, encase the hotel in the stuff, in all eleven dimensions. No-one will be able to get out. No-one. Not even those in the “one below” room, who will be quite safe, if stuck forever. British Industrial Cheddar is indestructible, impenetrable, and inedible. It’s proof against horses, even deters peas, and is thought to survive collisions with Black Holes and republicans.

  15. says

    The Citizens United ruling didn’t just add another layer of big-money corruption to politics in the US, it also made an already shaky justice system more likely to be unjust.

    […] one impact of Citizens United has gone without as much public discussion as it deserves: It’s making it harder for criminal defendants to get a fair trial.

    Last fall, the American Constitution Society released a report by two Emory University law professors illustrating that the big spending that Citizens United let loose in state judicial elections created a climate in which elected judges were more reluctant to side with defendants in criminal cases.

    Joanna Shepherd and Michael S. Kang found that outside groups seeking to influence judicial elections — usually for reasons unrelated to criminal justice policy — often relied on “Willie Horton” style attack ads implying that targeted judges were “soft on crime.” The proliferation of outside spending and the attack ads that the spending bought, they found, correlated with a decrease in the frequency with which elected state appellate judges ruled in favor of defendants in criminal cases. […]


  16. says

    Fingers are metaphorically crossed.

    Well, it looks like my laptop is finally dying.
    Does anybody here have experience with Asus laptops?
    And, is it just me or are laptops with Win 7 by now more expensive than those with win 8?

  17. says

    Here’s a mormon polygamy update that comes with a TRIGGER WARNING for rape, and for general abuse of women.

    Moments of Mormon Madness: rape, misogyny, polygamist colonies, difficulties with lawful remedies.

    The legal wife of Lyle Jeffs, the man running the day-to-day operations of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [FLDS], has filed for divorce and wants custody of some of her children, in part because of some practices in the church that she describes as “illegal.”

    Documents filed by Charlene Wall Jeffs, 58, describe life in the FLDS under her husband and his imprisoned brother, Warren Jeffs — from restrictive diets to sexual policies that she describes as rape.

    “Under Lyle’s reign as substitute Prophet, the FLDS Church as become even more disturbing than it was under Warren,” Charlene Jeffs says […]

    […] Charlene Jeffs said she is appalled at practices within the FLDS, including one adopted in recent years referred to as the “seed bearer” doctrine where men are no longer allowed to have children with their wives. Instead, a group of seed bearers have been chosen.

    “It is the husband’s responsibility to hold the hands of their wives while the seed bearer ‘spreads his seed,’ ” Charlene Jeffs wrote. “In layman terms, the husband is required to sit in the room while the chosen seed bearer, or a couple of them, rape his wife or wives.”

    It’s not the first description of such a policy. In 2014, two University of Utah researchers published a paper on polygamy that, drawing on interviews, discussed how only 15 worthy men were allowed to procreate. That paper said the husband holds down the wife while one of the 15 men rapes her. […]

    Salt Lake Tribune link

    Of her ten children, Charlene Jeffs, is most concerned about the two that are teens. FLDS tradition pushes for early marriage, and she is right to fear that her teenagers will be forced into unloving marriages — after which, all manner of perversity supported by the polygamist colony will follow.

    And there’s this: “In the FLDS Church, children belong to the Priesthood and can be transferred to different mothers or different parents all together upon an order from the Priesthood.”

    There’s also a concern about lack of education for FLDS children, about dietary restrictions that forbid milk and ocean fish, and about the “Law of Sara” which requires FLDS females to practice sex with each other in preparation for sex with a man.

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

    Thank you for the explanation, carlie. So basically an inconvenience of living in such a big place with many jurisdictions.

    Invisible hand of the market?
    1. win 8 sucks
    2. people want win 7 back
    3. win 8 still sucks
    4. profit

  19. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    I drove the 2 1/2 hours down the mountain to Los Angeles yesterday to visit with the brittle, entitled, bitter, acerbic and rude mother-in-law. But hey, other that that she is a dear. /snark

    I carpooled with a good friend and that made the trip much easier.

    The MIL knows no empathy or compassion. The sister-in-law’s suicide attempt is being perceived as a personal affront to MIL. I very, very patiently and kindly tried to explain to her that brains can get hijacked, and that SIL needs kindness and love right now, not condemnation. The story of my knowledge is long and complex and does not need to be told here. But MIL dislikes me intensely, even though I am the only family member who immediately steps up when anyone needs help. She hates that I am not Jewish, that I did not have children, that I am atheist, that I have an education (she does not). She is wealthy due to family inheritance. She thinks I married her son for her money. If that were true that would make me a damn poor gold digger.

    The weather up here on the mountain today is chilly and damp. I love the rain. I am spending a healing day in bed with my doggies and a good book.

    Be well my friends.

  20. says

    Journalist Irin Carmon posted a summary of all of the amicus briefs filed prior to the Supreme Court’s hearings on marriage equality.

    Some of the “friend of the court” briefs are from the nutbaggery category. You can see the whole summary at the link. Here are a few excerpts:

    1. Marriage equality will kill people. […] They are concerned that “Justice Kennedy is apparently unaware of the strong scientific linkage that has been documented between same-sex marriage and early mortality.” The authors claim that “individuals who engage in homosexuality” die younger. […]

    2. Marriage equality will cause more opposite-sex couples to break up. […] a brief co-authored by National Organization for Marriage co-founder Maggie Gallagher explains, “if society understands marriage to exist predominantly for adult happiness […] then the idea of sticking through hard times for the good of others, be it children or a spouse, will decline further.” […]

    3. Marriage equality will cause 900,000 abortions. A brief from “100 Scholars of Marriage,” led by a former clerk of Justice Antonin Scalia, takes that same highly suspect argument that heterosexual marriage will decline if more states recognize the rights of gay couples. Combining that with the unrelated data point that the abortion rate is higher among unmarried women, the “scholars” predict that “under reasonable assumptions,” the Supreme Court’s recognition of marriage for same-sex couples would lead to “nearly 900,000 more children aborted” in the next 30 years. […]

    9. Marriage equality will undermine men attracted to men who are married to women. […] These men argue that a marriage equality win would imply that “for the same-sex attracted, marriage to a member of the opposite sex is an impossibility, even meaningless, and only same-sex marriage can bring gays and lesbians the personal and family fulfillment and happiness that is the universal desire of the human heart.”

    Other amicus briefs equated marriage equality with racial segregation, that marriage equality discriminates against poor women, and that it will undermine heterosexual men. Oh, yeah, and marriage equality is hate speech against the bible.

  21. says

    […] the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) because it’s been denying reproductive medical care to refugee minors whom it’s been contracted to care for by the federal government. As the conservative-leaning [Washington] Times puts it, the suit “could force Catholic charities to provide contraception and abortions for illegal immigrants in their care.” […]


    Hooray for the ACLU. Those foul beasts at the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops are shouting “religious liberty” as an excuse for not providing the proper healthcare to refugee minors. My bet is that USCCB is planning to sell place in two-parent Catholic homes any babies that result from their lack of reproductive care.

    USCCB is receiving taxpayer money.

    ACLU has received complaints that USCCB has been denying reproductive healthcare services, such as abortions, for female immigrants, many of whom suffer sexual assault or rape during their journey to the U.S., Ms. Amiri said.
    Almost 60,000 unaccompanied minors illegally crossed the U.S./Mexico border last year. Nearly a third were young girls and up to 80 percent of those girls were victims of sexual assault. USCCB was awarded a $73 million overall contract and received $10 million in 2013 alone to care for those unaccompanied minors.

    “We don’t think that religious organizations should be awarded the contract if they are unable to do the work that is required,” said Ms. Amiri.

  22. opposablethumbs says

    Bloody hell, Morgan. I’m sorry your MIL is such a disaster area. And I hope she steers clear of your SIL so she at least gets a chance to recover – and that you get to recharge your batteries too.

  23. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Big thanks o’thumbs. I am very lucky that my hubby does not cower to his horrific mother. It is unlikely that MIL will want to visit SIL, thank Maude. I am just wondering what might be attempted in celebration of Mother’s Day, May 10. I hope we just skip it.
    My batteries are recharging nicely. I’m comfy and warm gazing out on my personal patch of the forest.

  24. vereverum says

    @ Giliell #19
    I’ve had an ASUS for about two years and haven’t had any physical problems with it. About a year ago I had a question and went to their website to register my machine. It was a trip to the Twilight Zone. I left an inquiry which they responded to after about two months. That was the best thing that happened. Fortunately I didn’t need any support from them. I’m happy with the machine but I doubt I’ll buy another but only because of that one website experience. Not a very good reason. If you’re considering an ASUS, go to their website, look it over and make contact with them. Their site was/is my only complaint and that may’ve been an aberration. It’s the only data point I have.
    Windows 7 is much more popular than 8. Has about a 58% share of the desktop users. Even XP has more users than 8 (17% v 14% for 8+8.1) and it’s not even supported anymore. I use all three and have no complaints about 8. It looks like 10 will be free! OTOH that may be an admission by MS that no one would actually be willing to buy it.

  25. says

    *big hugs*
    Holy fuck, suicide isn’t fucking selfish, because if you succeed, you’re dead.
    Well, in my family I got the wonderful MIL, Mr. got the shitty one.

    Thanks for the feedback.
    Bad support is, of course, bad, but maybe the German support is better. I also have friends who are computer savy.

  26. says

    Newt Gingrich said in March of 2011:

    I have two grandchildren — Maggie is 11, Robert is 9. I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.

    Rick Santorum said in April 2015:

    For the first time in the history of our country, the government is attacking people, prosecuting people, calling for people to be rehabilitated…. We have the state establishing a new religion, a secular state religion…. We have now the secular church that is being imposed on this country and anybody that defects is subject to persecution and prosecution.

    Mike Huckabee recently opined that the US is getting ever closer to the “criminalization of Christianity.”

    Republicans need to get a new script. The one they have is filled with contradictions, ignorance and outright whackadoodle-ism.

  27. says

    Evangelicals are gearing up to get out the christian vote, and to effect public policy in ever more negative ways. They recently went to Las Vegas to learn how to be more organized.

    […] David Lane, an evangelical political activist and event sponsor, is eager to get preachers to tackle government policies from the pulpit and energize the estimated 30 to 40 million evangelical Christians who are not registered to vote.

    […] “By us staying home, we’re electing people who oppose our values. Evangelical believers and pro-life Catholic Christians, our constituency, has to engage if we’re going to save America.”

    There are about 65 to 80 million evangelical Christians in America, half of those are not registered to vote, and only about 25 percent of the ones who are registered do, according to Mr. Lane. […]

    Mr. Cruz detailed to the National Journal this month his plan to take the White House, which consists of two parts. The first is motivating Christians who stayed at home in the 2012 election to vote. The second is to be so true to his evangelical, constitutional values that he pulls in people who have never voted before or sways others to chose him regardless of political party.

    […] Rick Tyler, Mr. Cruz’s campaign spokesman, [said] “If you can get this constitute group, which meets every Sunday in the same place — even if you moved them a little bit, say 10 percent, that’s 2.5 million new voters — which is a flood in the electorate.” […]

    Mr. Lane founded the American Renewal Project, the sponsor of Thursday and Friday’s Las Vegas pastor conference […] the group estimates it turned out 141,151 votes in North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa and Arkansas combined. Republican senators won each of those contests, and overall, only 324,146 votes decided them. […]
    Washington Times link

  28. says

    Straight high school student shocks his gay best friend with prom proposal

    Anthony Martinez is an openly gay high school student in Nevada. He has volunteered for all of the dances, but has yet to be asked to one. He sent out a tweet saying it’d be nice to have a date, even if his date was straight. The next morning, his best friend–Jacob Lescenski–gave him the surprise of his life:

    Jacob popped the question by unfurling a giant banner that read “You’re hella gay, I’m hella str8, but you’re like my brother so be my d8!”

    Nice photo at the link.

  29. says

    I don’t like seeing the proliferation of “civil war,” “armed rebellion,” and other calls for a fight if the Supreme Court approves marriage equality. And this is in addition to the increasing references to the Christian students in Kenya who were murdered by terrorists — comparisons that claim christians in the USA are being “killed” or suppressed by the “gay agenda.”

    (I know, it makes no sense. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that some christians are buying into this crap and arming themselves to fight another civil war.)

    James Dobson was explicit. He said, “Talk about a Civil War, we could have another one over this.”

    E.W. Jackson was also explicit in his references to violence:

    Conservative activist E.W. Jackson said at an anti-gay press conference at the National Press Club earlier today that conservative Christians are prepared to die in the fight over gay marriage, just like the Christian students in Kenya who were recently murdered by radical Islamic terrorists.

    Jackson, who was the 2013 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, added that gay marriage is “sowing the seeds of our eternal destruction” as it is removing people’s reliance on God’s truth. “We will give our lives standing for the truth,” he said.


    There are a lot more, but you get the idea.

  30. says

    Ha! This is kind of funny and good all at the same time:

    Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who is openly gay, on Friday introduced a bill to keep Rep. Steve King (R-IA) from legislating in response to a bill introduced by King related to gay marriage.

    King on Wednesday introduced the “Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act of 2015,” a bill aimed at keeping federal judges from weighing in on gay marriage.

    And so Polis wrote up the “Restrain Steve King from Legislating Act,” which would block King from introducing legislation related to judicial authority […]

    According to a statement form Polis’ office, “the bill would prevent Steve King from abusing taxpayer dollars by substituting the judgments of the nation’s duly serving judicial branch of government with his own beliefs.” […]

    Talking Points Memo link

  31. raven says

    Evangelicals are gearing up to get out the christian vote, and to effect public policy in ever more negative ways. They recently went to Las Vegas to learn how to be more organized.

    1. This is nothing they haven’t done before. I wouldn’t trust their numbers at all. Fundies only make up 26% of the US population and 20% of them voted for…Obama.

    2. They are definitely dropping in numbers and probably rather rapidly.

    America’s Largest Christian Bookstore Chain Files for bankruptcy …

    www. christianitytoday. com/…/family-christian-stores-files-bankruptcy-chap…
    Feb 12, 2015 – Family Christian Stores (FCS) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Yet the ministry assured customers yesterday that it “does not …

    3. In my area, the xian churches are losing members and money rapidly. They’ve had to lay off people and defer maintenance on their buildings.

    Oddly enough, they have absolutely no idea why according to their newsletter, which I occasionally get.

  32. raven says

    Amanda Marcotte at Alternet said what I’ve noticed.

    The fundies are in a positive feedback loop.

    The more they lose, the more extreme they get. Which drives even more people away.

    Hopefully, this won’t end well. For them.

    PS I did my part. They drove me out of xianity a decade ago.

  33. says

    Raven @ 35, Good point. We shouldn’t trust the numbers the fundies throw out. This is one case in which their delusion will come back and hit them on the head. I hope.

    It’s kind of amusing that they held their conference in Sin City

    In other news, I enjoyed the video of Bill Nye and President Obama discussing climate change.
    Talking Points Memo link
    Scroll down for video.

  34. says

    In May, 2010, Kalief Browder, a sixteen-year-old high-school sophomore, was arrested in the Bronx for allegedly stealing a backpack. He insisted that he was innocent, but he was taken to Rikers Island, New York City’s four-hundred-acre jail complex. Browder spent the next three years at Rikers, awaiting trial while his case was repeatedly delayed by the courts. In May, 2013, the case against him was dismissed. (Last fall, I wrote about Browder for the magazine.) This week, The New Yorker obtained two ​surveillance-camera video clips that depict the dual horrors of Browder’s years in jail: abuse by a guard and by fellow-inmates. […]

    Trigger warning for physical violence. The video appears first on the page.

  35. Annie Bruce says

    So I get my performance review. A big chunk of it is based on how the store overall is doing… and since we got a new manager those numbers have shot up quite a bit. On all the individual measures, “meets expectations” is the worst I got, several were higher. So I got a decent merit based raise(well, decent for low level retail).

    Then… apparently, people have complained a lot about pay for the last couple years on our annual engagement surveys. So they went ahead and gave everyone a raise. At least, the survey is the official reason. I suspect it might have more to do with the Wal Mart pay raise- we’re after the same pool of people more or less for employees, and while our reputation for treating people isn’t in the gutter like Wal Marts, the amount of money they are offering likely would have tempted a good number of people away. Whatever the reason, it was enough to bring me a little over $10/hr.

  36. The Mellow Monkey says

    When a Depressed Partner Falls Out of Love

    Talking about “inner pain” suggests despair or other unbearable hurt that demands an explanation and must be escaped as quickly as possible. Since depression is a condition that can vary from day to day, that active side of pain can be the driving motive. But there is another dimension of depression that can lead to the idea of escape as the answer.

    It’s the one that causes depressed partners to say they’re no longer in love and have never loved their partners. It’s called anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure or interest in anything.

    For me, it was a kind of deadness. Rather than an excess of painful emotion, it was the lack of pain, the lack of feeling, that was the undercurrent of all the surface turmoil. I believed that the relationship was holding me back. It had become hollow, empty of the intensity I longed for. I could only find happiness and passion with someone else. It was the fantasy of the perfectly passionate mate that was a constant lure.

    Wow. That’s…actually incredibly helpful. It doesn’t change anything, but it’s comforting to know I wasn’t necessarily completely unlovable, y’know?

  37. carlie says

    (Last fall, I wrote about Browder for the magazine.) This week, The New Yorker obtained two ​surveillance-camera video clips that depict the dual horrors of Browder’s years in jail: abuse by a guard and by fellow-inmates. […]

    I read that story when it came out. It was heartbreaking. And now there is more abuse thrown on top into it…

    Yay Annie Bruce!

    *hugs* for Morgan

  38. says

    *hugs* You are entirely lovable, and ex-partner’s issues are not your fault. Depression sucks for more than just direct sufferers. Anhedonia particularly sucks, although it’s easier to cope with if you know what’s happening. *hugs*

    An ill-advised beverage last night made me horribly ill all evening (fun way to spend a worknight or my birthday, let alone both).

  39. The Mellow Monkey says

    Thanks, Dalillama

    I’m sorry to hear about your horrible illness. That’s a terrible combination of events right there. Ick.

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

    Whoa, what? A birthday for our Surrealistest Camelid?

    *****Yaaaaa[kermit arms]aaaaaY*****

  41. cicely says


    Not a fan of centipedes, eh? :)
    I don’t think we can nuke ‘em from orbit without a lot of collateral damage.

    But at least some of the collateral damage will be Horses, and peas. And undesirable, plasticky pseudocheeses.
    Hmm…this Google doodle test may be worse than useless.
    Right there, very first question—nowhere does it mention “Tossing dice with friends at tabletop RPG”.
    2) What are my best friend and I doing at a party?!?
    3) Some confusion; “snack” ≠ “meal”. Where is the chocolate?!?
    4) I don’t think “good sense of humor” is best described as “loud grunting noises”…which seems to be the closest available option.
    At least 5) does offer “none of the above” for the hobby.
    I am (apparently) a pangolin.
    A confused pangolin.
    Perhaps a were-pangolin; I turn into a pangolin when the answers Do Not Apply.

    A new restaurant is opening in Dallas, TX. It’s billed as the male counterpart to Hooters. I give you ‘Tallywackers’.

    Beats my suggestion, “All-Beef Wieners”.

    The NRA may be in trouble. They’ve been caught illegally funneling buckets of cash to GOP candidates

    Shocked! Shocked, I tell you!
    *fainting dramatically, with gasping and full back-of-hand-to-forehead protocol*

    They *finally* confirmed Loretta Lynch. The United States has its first female African-American Attorney General.


    I can only envy you in your New Car Ownership.

    *waving, belatedly, back at Saad*

  42. cicely says


    […snip…] collisions with Black Holes and republicans.

    *pausing in dazzlement of a beguiling mental image*
    Can…can we somehow arrange for this???
    I’m okay with it being a painless process, so long as it is thorough.

    *hugs* for Morgan!?. MIL sounds like a real charmer. /snark


    We shouldn’t trust the numbers the fundies throw out. This is one case in which their delusion will come back and hit them on the head. I hope.

    I am reminded of their shocked disbelieve that, somehow, Romney lost the election.
    They were so sure he would win.

    TMM: What Dalillama said.

    Dalillama, happy birthday, and my sympathies regarding the Infelicitous Beverage.

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

    Happy Birthday, Dalillama!

    Some good news from my country;
    Day after pill is now available in pharmacies without prescription! YAY!
    You know there was bullshit to follow, right? I even have to number the bullshit so as not to forget something:
    1. EU forced our hand, so….
    2. Minister for Health sent instruction to pharmacists for how to deal with those lusty wenches who need that pill
    3. Pharmacist HAS TO single the woman out of the line and take her to a separate room, where they and gather data abouit her sex life, sex without protection, monthly cycle and previous use of contraception.
    4. Girls of 17 and under will get the same treatment except they also need parent(s) to be there,
    5. My family doctor will be informed of my baby murdering ways
    6 And OF COURSE, there’s also the obligatory conscientious objection.

    I feel ragey.

  44. opposablethumbs says

    All my best birthday wishes, Dalillama, and I’m sorry about the evil drink that ambushed you.

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

    I tried driving dad’s car today. Operative word “tried”.

    We didn’t get out of the parking lot. The car I learned driving on was a fairly modern thing and a lot smaller than ours. And my dad is… the way he is. I was calm, really calm. Obviously, they way I was used to opearting a car wouldn’t work on this one.
    The moment I turned the engine on: “No!, what are you doing, you’ll break everything in the engine, you have wait a little…”. ANd I stayed calm and explained that that car was different aand I didn’t know this. Then I was trying out the stick, and it was… well, sticking. But no, the stick works perfectly it’s obviously me who doesn’t know anything. Fine, that’s why I asked to sit by me, to help me.

    After some back and forth, I started crying. Not my proudest moment, acting childishly.
    Nevertheless, after I calmed down and he supposedly made an effort to calm down, we tried again.

    I never got out of the parking. He wouldn’t explain anything just got upset after I did it wrong. And of course, it’s going to be me who’s irrational and crazy and at fault for everything because I left the car in tears to go home.

    I feel so alone.

  46. says

    *hugs* Stick shifts are wildly unituitive if you’re used to an automatic. My brother had the same kind of problems, and afaik he still can’t really drive stick. (I learned on a stick to start, so at least I expected to be crap at it). Also, your dad’s an asshole.

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


    I learned stick. I just didn’t have time to get used to this one, and the car is about 17 years old so there’s probably some issues to it that my dad is used to but I don’t know about.

  48. says

    Beatrice, I don’t think there’s anything childish about crying while being bullied by someone who should be kind to you. DL has it right: your dad’s being really assholish.

    All the hugs, dear woman, plus some higs and either a bosom or a boson, your choice.

  49. opposablethumbs says

    Beatrice your dad is a grade-A arsehole. I know what this feels like, and I’m really sorry. Is there any chance you could practice with your mother instead, and would that be better? If not, is there anyone around – friend or relative – who would be a better driving partner?

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

    Thank you, Dalillama, CaitieCat and opposablethumbs.

    We arranged another outing for the afternoon, this time on a big empty parking lot. So we’ll see how that goes.

    If I have to, I’m going to swallow some pride and ask a coworker to help my with dad’s car… but I’m not sure dad will be happy about it. I’m a bit lacking in “friends and relatives” department.
    I’ll have to act much quicker in finding some used car for myself, I hoped I’d be able to get by with this one until I can search for something.

    Trying to calm down now, because I need to work. Emotional wreck right now.

  51. says

    Hi folks
    Gran finally died last night.
    Think me cruel, but all I could feel at first was great relief. No more suffering, no more pain. So this morning I drove to my parents. The sky was blue, the trees were blooming, the meadows a lush green with thousands of flowers. The radio played “Under Pressure” and I felt like I was in a movie. A bad one. Which idiot thought up that scene?
    I said goodbye to gran, gave her a last kiss. There’s no hope for the faithful atheist, just sweet memories.

    Happy Birthday, Dalillama

    Sticks can be nasty thingies. Especially if they’re old, especially if they’ve been driven by one and the same person for a very long time. I remember a trip home from a con with my friend’s very old VW Jetta. I couldn’t get the second gear for the love of dog. I would have needed a hammer to make it, so i always had to choose between first and third.

  52. says

    MM @40:
    You *are* lovable. Hugs.


    Annie Bruce @39:
    Congrats on the raise! More money is always a good thing.


    Dalillama @43:
    Happy belated birthday buddy!
    Bummer about the drink and feeling unwell. I hope you were able to get some enjoyment out of your birthday.


    Beatrice @49:
    It sounds like a really good thing mixed up in some awful, awful terms and conditions.

    I’m sorry your father was being such an ass and I wish there was some way I could help you feel less alone.
    Many sympathies my friend.


    ::waves to CaitieCat::
    I’ve missed you.


    Giliell @57:
    I don’t think it’s cruel at all to be happy that your gran is no longer in pain or suffering.


    For about 2 months now, my morning cab driver, M, has known that his older brother was going to die soon. I can’t recall the specifics at the moment, but I know he had some type of cancer that he was undergoing chemo for, but he also had some other major health problems and those problems were exacerbated during the chemo process. From what M told me, his brothers body was just failing left and right. He got the call at 5 am yesterday. It hit him rough. Especially because his sister just died around Xmas last year.
    Other than listening and offering condolences, I really didn’t know what to say, though I did inquire if M had some great memories of his time with his brother (he did).

    I know death is a part of life, but damn, it really sucks sometimes.

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


    My condolences.
    Feeling relieved that a loved one was relieved of suffering is not cruel. *hugs*

    so apparently, driving for 15 minutes just in first or second gear, with occasional stopping overheats the engine to the point of that little warning light going off. But I have to take some time to get used to it, which is difficult when I can’t actually practice on a parking lot (and I’m having too much trouble with changing gears to get straight on the road)

    Yeah, I kind of wish I had known to start looking for a car a bit earlier. But I wasn’t informed the situation was that bad. As I heard today, the engine overheats just if it takes him a bit longer to park… that car sucks.

  54. says

    Giliell, hugs.

    Beatrice, your dad is a bully. I don’t blame you for getting emotional; sounds like that was what he was going for anyway, the asshole. I hope you can find someone who can actually help you figure out the car.

    Dalillama, Happy Belated Birthday!

    Tony, CaitieCat, hugs just because.

  55. blf says

    An ill-advised beverage last night made me horribly ill all evening…

    Unless it was pea juice or squished zucchini — in which cases yer quite lucky it was only for a single evening — that means, the mildly deranged penguin observes, you either didn’t eat enough cheese, didn’t drink enough of the beverages (plural (why stop at one or even a few dozen?)), or else there was a nearby horse. Possibly bearing a cask of pea juice.

  56. opposablethumbs says

    Giliell, my sympathies – and fwiw I think relief at an end to suffering is loving, not cruel in the least. I thought you gave us a beautiful picture, with humour – moments of a bad film like that don’t turn up in real life very often :-) – and from everything you’ve told us over the years, we know your Gran was deservedly very well loved.

  57. blf says

    […] collisions with Black Holes and republicans.

    *pausing in dazzlement of a beguiling mental image*
    Can…can we somehow arrange for this???

    Republican – Back Hole collision dynamics, despite being an extremely interesting area of theoretical and applied physics and politics, is a bit in the doldrums at the moment, partly due to lack of funding, but mostly due to the impossibility of modeling a republican (“assume a spherical republican…” immediately breaks down since there is no such thing as a well-rounded thug) and the lack of nearby Black Holes (albeit CERN’s LHC is desperately trying to make one, at least according to various unreliable sources, presumably including the intended collision targets). The best-known model is the KABBOP Synthesis, who, sadly, broke up several years ago. However, I believe some of their records can still be found in collector’s and specialist music shops.

    According to the KABBOP (KA-Blam!!! BOom!!! Puzzzt) Synthesis results, most of the arsehattery and arseholes (with heads still inserted) rapidly spiral even further downloads, digging an even deeper hole, and eventually cannot escape. However, random blobs, if broken off at just the right velocity, escape this fate. The RNCKKK then applies (RecombiNed Crooks of the KKK), and the scattered thug shards will pop up again, usually in a burst of white sheets, more (and more pointless) wars, exceptionally bad economics, and even fewer cooties-carriers (who are all required to be pregnant with long hair).

    However, as the authors of the original study admitted, “It is probably a mistake to suppose the results completely describe the results of a such a collision, if one were to be arranged. For simplicity, we assumed one inert thug (republicans have a strong repulsive field, so assuming one inert specimen vastly simplifies the calculations and is safer for our applied colleagues to handle) with its head so firmly inserted in its arse it could be modeled as an ultra-dense pinhead. In reality, there is more than one non-inert mafia of thugs, leaving open the possibility at least one thug is not a pinhead.”

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

    Because I make food when I’m upset, but I also have a ton of work I am not doing but really really should… a quick dinner:

    pizza dough (if you have time, make it yourself, that’s half the fun)
    while the dough rises, mix cottage cheese and some sour cream, add salt, pepper and chopped dill
    make balls with the mixture inside
    some cheddar coarsely grated on top of the balls

    and… I just made this up so we’ll see how that turns out when I get it out of the oven.

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

    Also, random*hugs* for CaitieCat and some just because *hugs* for Anne, Cranky Cat Lady.

  60. blf says

    Could we substitute black holes with just deep dark holes, instead? It’s less extreme, and less scienterrific, but has a similar effect.

    Several problems. First, that is the current situation, as I just commented at Ed’s place:

    […] I assume this nutter is scared of the Sun and only comes of his deep underground pit when he needs more industrial-grade cleaner to wipe away the spittle.

    Second, they dig holes. Which is why they are already in “deep dark holes”, but also means that by accident or digging deeply enough (even the flat-earthers (who are in for a surprise!)), they can emerge again. The possibility is still open that could not happen with a collision with Black Hole.

    And third… Er, nuts! I’ve forgotten the third point, since someone has just started playing French Rap so loud (that is, audible). That so-called “music” is even more effective at destroying rational thought than thugs, albeit neither is powerful enough to make either or both go away. I vaguely recall reading that someone looked into the possibility of feeding the entire French Rap scene into a Black Hole, but concluded the result would be a giant mobile torture device. Just park it near your target and everything within a few dozen parsecs is reduced to mindless drivel (resembling peas) in a few seconds.

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

    Addendum to the recipe:
    Don’t forget to make cuts on top so that the steam can escape!!

    Guess what I didn’t do :)

  62. blf says

    Don’t forget to make cuts on top so that the steam can escape!!
    Guess what I didn’t do :)

    The mildly deranged penguin is now eager to try your original recipe (it had already caught her attention due to the presence of cheese, even if it in a totally inadequate amount (there were other ingredients)), albeit without this modification — she likes things that go BOOM!, especially if they are LOUD and accompanied by screams. And cheese. And moar cheese.

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

    I know I was very precise with that measurement of “some sour cream” so now I’m going to make it somewhat more clear:
    a bit less sour cream than that “some” I used.

    Aside from that, yummy.

  64. says

    That sounds very yummy, Beatrice.

    Speaking of eating (fair warning, it’s gross) –

    Patches just caught and dispatched a huge mouse and is now devouring it in the patio. For a fluffy ladylike cat, she’s quite a good hunter.

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


    What would MDP, as an expert, say about the probable quality of cheddar that “matured for a minimum of 12 months”, from Staffordshire.

    We don’t usually get cheddar in these parts, especially not the good stuff, so I’m curious about this supposedly quality cheddar that I bought (it even says Vintage on the packet so it must be good ). I mean, it tastes great, much better than one that I used to buy but I just don’t know better.

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

    … cause y’all always mock industrial cheddar and I don’t really know cheddar from cheddar

    except that now I feel like repeating “cheddar” some more, out loud.

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

    Random peeve:

    I hate when articles about rape have titles like “Sex scandal in [insert public institution/famous private company/other]”.

    It would have been a sex scandal if that police officer was caught having an affair with his colleague’s wife, it’s hardly a sex scandal if he tries to rape her.

  68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, wow. I had a long nap yesterday, and last night slept for 2+ hours twice before needing a biobreak. The urologist/surgeon chased me out of his office Friday for being too healthy, thanks to his good work. Feel perkier today than in months. Maybe by the end of this week, I won’t feel like something the buzzards would ignore as being dead for too long.

  69. blf says

    What would MDP, as an expert, say about the probable quality of cheddar that “matured for a minimum of 12 months”, from Staffordshire.

    She says there are three basic tests:

    (1) You must be able to lift it, nail it to the cheeseboard, and cut it with a sharp knife without it breaking away and falling to the centre of the Earth. If it does break away, or falls to the centre of the Earth, or fails to scream and wiggle, it’s not real cheddar, and so is probably the British Industrial stuff.

    (2) Real cheddars are often “farmhouse”, name the cheesemaker, and are protected by various anti-penguin spells (traditionally cast by a ueleda wearing a dress of finely-spun cootie). Whilst lack of these properties is not definitive proof the cheddar is of the British Industrial variety, lack is a good reason to be suspicious.

    (3) An empty package with penguin footprints is definitive confirmation it was real cheese, and definitely was not British Industrial Cheddar.

    And of course, if there are any crumbsmolecules left, you can try tasting it. If you develop an instant craving for more and moar and MOAR!, it just might be the real stuff.

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

    For the fun of those who work in IT and/or with customers.

    Last week, we received an email saying “Something isn’t working. Please check.”
    I really wanted to answer with “I checked something. It was working.”
    I made a very polite phone call where I asked for specifics instead.

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

    @Beatrice, #78:

    Random peeve:
    I hate when articles about rape have titles like “Sex scandal in [insert public institution/famous private company/other]”.

    Worst ever? Might just have been the Oregonian’s headline about an investigative reporter getting the scoop on ~40 year old Neil Goldschmidt’s rape of a 14 year old girl.

    Goldschmidt confesses ’70s affair with girl, 14

    He confessed? No. He was uncovered. “’70s” – so that just means the cover up was ongoing for 20+ years. “Affair”?


    Fuck you, Oregonian. Just fuck you.

  72. says


    I think the ex-mouse may have had a pink nose and ears, before Patches bit its head off. Does that count?

    Reminds me of that Kliban cartoon – “Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I love to eat, bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet.”

  73. cicely says

    *hugs* for Beatrice. Stick shifts can be tricksy, yes, tricksy and false. I’m sorry that your dad couldn’t be more understanding of this simple fact.

    *hugs* also for Giliell, with a side-order of sympathy; and I don’t think you’re at all cruel, in your relief that your gran is no longer suffering.
    Sweet memories are better than false hopes.


    I vaguely recall reading that someone looked into the possibility of feeding the entire French Rap scene into a Black Hole, but concluded the result would be a giant mobile torture device.

    I believe that the Geneva Conventions specifically mention attempting this as Unacceptable Behavior, and actual deployment of such a device as a Crime Against Humanity, punishable by Drowning In Horses.

  74. Rowan vet-tech says

    Hugs on offer. Not cruel in the slightest. While I haven’t faced that feeling with a human yet, I’ve faced it with plenty of animals.

    On the critter front, because this is me and my ‘zoo’ after all, the turtle has eaten a snail (hooray) and I have two new foster kittens. One is black, and wrinkly, and dehydrated and thus named Prune. So, of course, his not wrinkly and not dehydrated, white and gray sibling is Plum. Both of them have eye infections.

    Can I just say that one of the few things that make me nauseous in this field is prying a kitten’s eyelids apart to release the pressure of the pus? That upwelling of greeny yellow stuff is just… hrk. Especially as it looks like there’s no way that much pus could be behind those crusted lids.

  75. Rowan vet-tech says

    I’m still finding hair from Kumo, and I haven’t had that dog for 4 years. :/

  76. blf says

    I vaguely recall reading that someone looked into the possibility of feeding the entire French Rap scene into a Black Hole, but concluded the result would be a giant mobile torture device.

    I believe that the Geneva Conventions specifically mention attempting this as Unacceptable Behavior, and actual deployment of such a device as a Crime Against Humanity, punishable by Drowning In Horses.

    Slightly garbled there. The Geneva Conventions specifically mention any attempt to use a Black Hole as “scienterrific, but Not Really Acceptable”. It is an actual deployment of French Rap “music” (in any form (even as written lyrics which have been burnt)) that is not only a Crime Against Humanity, punishable by Drowning In Horses, but any damages must be repaid. In cheese, of course (and in a later adjustment to the protocols, goes on to specifically list certain not-cheeses, such as British Industrial Cheddar).

  77. blf says

    How do you drown in horses?

    Stand outside in the current rain. The silly buggers are splashing down right now, along with cats and dogs and other critters.

  78. rq says

    ‘rupt, of course.
    We have established the root-and-salad bar, staked out the location for next year’s tomatoes and cucumbers, and replaced 3 of the (5) dead roses plus added a centre-piece rose which could be assumed to take the place of a 4th dead rose but due to its location, nah. I didn’t get the new rose variety I wanted (Piano), but I’m 96% sure I got a new Amazing Carlie Rose to replace the weedy little one that didn’t survive last spring’s weird ups and downs, and whose real name is something weird and German and I don’t remember anyway. The picture looked like the right kind of colour, but I’ll just have to wait and see when it blooms, so here’s to hoping it will be the perfect shade of magenta, as before.
    The other two new varieties are Ashram and a pale lilla variety whose name was also unnecessarily long and complicated (not in the picture, I don’t think).
    Also established in the garden: a rhubarb, a garlic, and I replanted the pretty little bell hyacinths because they’re pretty.

    *hugs* and *higs* as appropriate, and cheddar.

  79. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Ted Cruz is so funny

    Sen. Ted Cruz argued Saturday that Democrats have become so extreme and “intolerant” of religious views that “there is no room for Christians in today’s Democratic Party.”

    “There is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after believing Christians who follow the biblical teaching on marriage,” the Texas Republican said in his speech before a Christian conservative audience in Waukee, Iowa.


    Cruz urged the audience to “fall on our knees and pray” ahead of the Supreme Court’s final ruling on the issue, which is expected this summer.

    “We need leaders who will stand unapologetically in defense of marriage,” he said.

  80. opposablethumbs says

    Oooh, liberal facism, Saad! That’s the very worstest ooogedy boogedy kind!

    O hai Giliell and all of our many polyglot Horders – lookit lookit:

    rq! It’s good to see you! And your roses :-)

    Well, SonSpawn has done really well in his music practicals this year so far (I think he came second or even maybe joint top, not sure) – and is about to utterly, totally and completely fail the one written element, to the point of not being able to hand it in at all. Not even a rough draft. (this is first year, and these marks don’t count towards the final mark)
    It occurs to me that maybe this will show them that he really really does need learning support … if they had any doubts. It’s taken all this year so far to even complete the application process for extra support, so of course he hasn’t had any.

  81. says

    opposablethumbs, the “yay” was for how well SonSpawn has done so far, and I am crossing all appendages that he gets the support he needs. Too early, no caffeine, sorry about not comprehending all the way through your post.

  82. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Anne! No worries :-)
    We were very happy the performance assessments went well, but he basically can’t deal with writing or paperwork to save his life :-\ It drives me up the wall not to be able to help, but I’m sort of hoping there’s a faint silver lining of sorts to this failure as far as his course is concerned, in that this is concrete evidence of how badly he needs help with certain things. We’ll see, I suppose!

  83. birgerjohansson says

    Faith Hill on exoplanet spectroscopy!

    — — — — —
    “Republicans fretting over ‘GOP demolition-derby circular firing squad’ like it’s a bad thing”

    “-It means thanks to the collapse of campaign finance reform, Republicans have gotten the dream landscape they worked so hard for?
    A land where any upstanding wealthy person can choose the candidate that will kowtow to their needs the most efficiently, and single-handedly turn them into a national contender?

    A land so awash in purchasable candidates and Americans wealthy enough to purchase them that competing wealthy people, each wanting national policy to hew to their own vision and none other, battle each other for control of the party on the presidential debate stage?”

    BWAHAHAHAHA! I want to do like Eric Cartman and lick their tears.

  84. polishsalami says

    birgerjohansson #105:

    There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.

    — Ken Olsen (President, Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977)

  85. cicely says


    How do you drown in horses?
    Is it like bleeding peas?

    Ah, but what you have to keep in mind is that drowning in Horses is a cruel and unusual punishment! And so would bleeding peas be; at some point, someone would have to force the peas into your veins—in great quantities—so they could bleed back out.
    Guess where (and how) the Horses would have to be intruded?

    *hugs* for Rowan.
    By your description, de-pus-ing kitten eyes wouldn’t appeal to me, either.

    *pouncehugging* rq.

  86. says

    The National Organization for Marriage held a “March for Marriage” in Washington DC over the weekend. They claimed to have 10,000 attendees, but news sources reported closer to 6,000. Still, that’s quite a few anti-gay-marriage dunderheads in one place.

    Some of the dunderheads were bussed in for the rally, including brainwashed catholic teenage boys:

    […] Participants were greeted by the red banners and capes of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), a conservative Catholic organization. TFP’s troupe included many young teenage boys — no women. In a brochure they distributed at the rally, they argue that “human nature cannot be both ‘straight’ and ‘homosexual’ at the same time.” They believe that this is the case based on “logic,” what they call the “principle of non-contradiction.” They also claim that psychologically, “same-sex affection is friendship,” thus, “to seek conjugal love with a person of the same sex is an abnormality, a psychological deviation.” […]

    Sheesh! Scroll down to see photos of these boys. Tragedy.

    There were also plenty of signs supporting reparation therapy. In one of the photos, a sign reads, “Not Born or Stuck With It! 8 World-Wide Identical Twin Studies, Only 11%: Both Gay!”

    Members of the Orthodox Church were there to honor the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay work in Russia.

    A significant subgroup rallied against women’s reproductive rights.

  87. says

    More from the “March for Marriage” (see comment 109):

    At today’s March for Marriage, Pastor Jim Garlow offered a lengthy explanation for why he believes marriage equality is wrong, asking the audience to repeat several Hebrew words found in Genesis before rearranging the letters to make the word “fire,” which of course proves that if you allow marriage equality you are going to Hell.

    “You mess with the definition of marriage, and you burn, you’re toast, you can’t win that one,” he said. […]


  88. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Dang, just saw some photos of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing who now have prosthetic leg(s) :(

  89. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin is intrigued. One of the monster breeding pits has been found, ‘Bizarre’ Jurassic dinosaur discovered in remarkable new find:

    Chilesaurus diegosuarezi was related to Tyrannosaurus rex, but was vegetarian and has other curious features

    [… T]he animal belongs to the theropod group of dinosaurs, which includes the carnivorous tyrannosaurs and velociraptors. But unlike its meat-eating cousins, Chilesaurus had switched diets and become a vegetarian. Meat eaters tend to have sharp teeth and large heads supported by thick necks. Chilesaurus had a horny beak, flatter teeth for chomping plants, a small head and slender neck. “It’s a therapod that turned vegetarian,” said [Fernando Novas at the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum in Buenos Aires]. Details are published in the journal, Nature.

    Other anatomical peculiarities have surprised paleontologists. Its forelimbs were stocky, like an allosaurus, and instead of sharp claws, it sported two stumpy fingers. Most of the Chilesaurus remains belonged to juveniles, no larger than turkeys, but the team found bones from adults too that suggest the animals reached 3 metres from snout to tail when fully grown.

    The remains of the animals were found alongside bones of small prehistoric crocodiles and huge herbivorous cousins of diplodocus. The researchers hope to return to the site next year to uncover more bones, including those of the predators that must have stalked the land long before the Andes had formed.

    The curious form of Chilesaurus is an extreme example of mosaic convergent evolution, where different parts of an animal adapt to the environment along the same path taken by other creatures.

    Paul Barrett, a dinosaur researcher at the Natural History Museum in London said Chilesaurus ranks as one of the most interesting dinosaur discoveries of the past 20 years.

    “It has an unbelievably weird mixture of anatomical features. If you found isolated bones from this one animal in different places you’d probably conclude that the bones came from completely different dinosaur groups, rather than representing one unusual species,” he said.

    “Some of the bones look like they belong to an early theropod, others like they belong to a group of weird plant-eating theropods called therizinosauroids and yet others look like they belong to a completely different dinosaur group, the prosauropods. A truly odd mix.”

    She recalls this critter, which was being bred and trained to sniff out cheeses, like pigs and dogs are trained to sniff out truffles. As far as she can now recall, it had an extreme allergy to peas, and was very skittish, running away from its own shadow. But it would freeze and point at a mere whiff of cheese, until it noticed its shadow had caught up with it.

  90. The Mellow Monkey says

    My best friend’s cancer has metastasized. They say there’s no getting rid of it at this point.

  91. blf says

    Extreme weather already on increase due to climate change, study finds:

    Researchers say heatwaves that previously occurred once every three years are now happening every 200 days thanks to global warming


    Global warming over the last century means heat extremes that previously only occurred once every 1,000 days are happening four to five times more often, the study published in Nature Climate Change said.

    It found that one in five extreme rain events experienced globally are a result of the 0.85C global rise in temperatre since the Industrial Revolution, as power plants, factories and cars continue to pump out greenhouse gas emissions.

    What represents an extreme day varies depending on the background climate. In the south-east of England, for example, temperatures used to reach 33.2C once every 1,000 days, but are now happening as much as once every 200 days.


    Future warming will bring a more volatile, dangerous world, even if the world manages to keep temperature rises within a 2C limit to which governments have committed, [Dr Erich Markus Fischer (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)]’s research found. On average, any given place on Earth will experience 60% more extreme rain events and 27 extremely hot days.

    Numbers of extreme weather events spiral even higher at a rise of 3C, a level of warming that the world is on track to exceed with current levels of manmade global greenhouse gas emissions.

  92. blf says

    Last week, we received an email saying “Something isn’t working. Please check.”
    I really wanted to answer with “I checked something. It was working.”

    (I’m fairly sure I’ve told this story before…)
    Many yonks ago, at a company in a country far away, one of the engineers got called by the IT support dufus (and sorry, IT/support people, this dufus really was a dufus, a dufus’s dufus, in fact). The dufus asked where the install tapes (yes, that long ago!) were for a certain critical machine.

    “Why do you want the install tapes?”
    “It isn’t working, so I need to reinstall the machine.”
    WHAT! Why do you say ‘it is not working’?”
    “It isn’t responding.”

    None of us could check from the location we were at, but this sounded totally implausible, and in any case, reinstalling that particular machine was not a decision to be made lightly.

    “Ok, do not do a thing. DO NOTHING. Don’t even go into the machine room! We’ll be over in so-and-so many minutes. Just wait for us. Have a coffee, and stay out of the machine room!

    When we arrived at the location, the first thing we did was check one of the VDUs. It was working just fine, no hint of a malfunction.

    “It seems to be working, why do you think it’s not working?”
    “The console isn’t working.”

    So we march into the machine room. The first thing we notice was the machine’s blinking lights were blinking in the usual healthy fashion. So we look at the console. It is indeed silent and unresponsive. So one of us (I think it was me but honestly cannot recall now) looks at the dark LEDs and then turns the console ON. By coincidence, the machine almost immediately spews out a status message saying its alive and there are no detected faults (it did periodic self-checks).

  93. opposablethumbs says

    TMM, all my sympathy – hugs and tears and objects thrown against the wall. You and I have coincided in very similar boats at the moment – my friend is on palliative care. I’m seeing her soon, hopefully, as she’s determined to visit the city.
    All my hugs to you. It’s fucking horrible.

  94. says

    More rightwing dunderheads are jumping on the “recuse Ginsburg and Kagan” bandwagon. They do not want these liberal Supreme Court justices to vote in the marriage equality case. Some of the dunderheads include Sotomayor in their recusal list.

    Religious leaders are calling on members of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing to recuse themselves from the blockbuster gay-marriage case that the court will begin considering on Tuesday.

    Standing on the steps of the Supreme Court, Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, told reporters he’s filing a motion with the Supreme Court calling for the recusal of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. […]

    He and more than a dozen leaders of anti-gay-marriage groups stood behind a wall of empty cardboard filing boxes stacked on the steps of the court on Monday morning.

    The boxes — 60 in all — were there to “symbolically” represent 300,000 restraining orders that Faith2Action President Janet Porter said will be delivered to the Supreme Court and to Congress to keep the justices from ruling on gay marriage.

  95. rq says

    I fucking hate cancer.
    All I can offer is a share in the hanky-stack, TMM. Please know that it is available, even if I’m slow or bad at responding. I’m currently trying to ignore as much cancer as possible, as my paternal uncle (and godfather) has been diagnosed with the same variety that et away my dad last autumn. Which is partially why I’ll be merely floating in and out of the Lounge at a decreasing frequency while posting silly things about gardens and possibly cats.
    But you have all the support and *hugs* (where welcome) that I can muster.
    Same for you, dear opposablethumbs.

  96. says

    Rightwing doofuses are still having a good time going after Hilary Clinton based on false information. Some of these doofuses are not even from Fox News.

    MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough suggested that the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton removed Algeria from a list of state sponsors of terror because the nation donated money to the Clinton Foundation, a baseless charge given that Algeria has never been on the State Department’s list of terror sponsors. […]

  97. says

    Follow the money when it comes to smearing Hillary Clinton:

    “The sister companies of News Corp and 21st Century Fox own HarperCollins, which published Peter Schweizer’s book; they own The Wall Street Journal, which first raised the issue of the foreign donations; they own the New York Post, which broke the details about the Schweizer book; and they own Fox News, which gave the story oxygen and legs.” —Newsmax CEO and editor Christopher Ruddy

    It’s worth noting that Newsman is a conservative publication, but they have some vestiges of journalistic integrity. They are not buying the “unsubstantiated, unconnected, and baseless” made in the book “Clinton Cash.”

  98. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you rq, and many many hugs to you too. Shit, I’m so sorry about your uncle.

  99. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    TMM, o’thumbs, rq, and everyone else who is experiencing a hellish time, or anticipating it, or has a friend/relative who is suffering, to everyone I send warm hugs and good thoughts. I feel inadequate. I wish I were able to do more. I want to take away your pain.

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


    Yeah… OMSI has disappointed me a number of times. One might wish that they were better. Back when Jason Todd was doing star parties, I think that there was a bit more of an emphasis on evidence and how to interpret it reasonably. These days? Well, all the science museums that I’ve visited multiple times (Exploratorium, Seattle, Telus WoS in Vancouver, Boise’s Idaho Exploratorium…) seem weakening on that front. Cool factoids are more the rage. If the cool factoid is science-y all the better, but even if it’s not, a factoid presented in a science museum is by (too many museums’) definition science these days.


    OTOH – though it had nothing to do with science OR industry, seeing Tibetan Lamas put together a sand-mandala over a period of days @ OMSI was pretty awesome.

  101. says

    Big hugs for TMM, opposablethumbs and rq
    You’Re right. Fuck cancer.

    If this cheers you up: I just found out again how much of driving depends on knowing the car. I currently have an exchange car ’cause mine’s being repaired and holy shit I’m driving as if I’d been granted my license last week.
    Also, somebody smoked in that car. It’s disgusting.

    Also, I’m sick. My tonsils are swollen, my throat burns and my head is mildly aching fluff.

  102. opposablethumbs says

    Many thanks, awakeinmo, Anne, Morgan, Giliell. It’s much appreciated.

    Message to Giliell’s flu germs – go away plz, ur presnce not reqd.

  103. birgerjohansson says

    Trigger warning:
    Georgia man’s life destroyed after he is jailed for 7 months — and then acquitted in 45 minutes
    Cancer patient with a week to live flees Kansas for-profit Medicaid for life-saving surgery in Memphis

  104. birgerjohansson says

    Cancer sucks.

    — — — — —
    Chemistry of seabed’s hot vents could explain emergence of life
    Electric solar wind sail could make bidirectional manned Mars flights economically feasible
    Explanation of electric solar wind sail: Space sailing soon: A one-kilometer-long electric sail tether produced

  105. Ogvorbis: qui culpam, non redimetur says

    The Mellow Monkey:

    Non-intrusive hugs to you and your friend. Cancer is the ultimate suck.

    Hugs for rq, Giliell, and opposable thumbs. For different reasons.

    birgerjohansson @132:

    Georgia man’s life destroyed after he is jailed for 7 months — and then acquitted in 45 minutes

    Before clicking over, I made a mental bet that he was black. The justice system is fucking broken.


    Things are much the same for me. Nothing new. Just, y’know.

  106. opposablethumbs says

    Ogvorbis, it’s good to see you! And thank you for the hugs. (Friend’s) cancer is indeed a megamonstrosity of suck.

  107. says

    So sorry to hear that some of our dear Lounge Denizens are suffering because close family members have cancer. That does suck.

    My mother died from a combo of ovarian cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Cancer is such a hard way to go. I kept wishing she’d suffer something simpler and quicker — and that’s also an awful space to occupy in one’s head. Empathy and good wishes toward my fellow Pharyngulites.

  108. Saad says

    TMM, rq, opposablethumbs, I’m sorry to hear about your friends’ and family’s illness. :(

    Such a terrible disease. I recently lost a relative to it a few months ago also. My best wishes to you all.

  109. says

    Cancer does suck. Lost my mom to it 3 and a half years ago now and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. All those dealing with it have my sympathy and empathy.

    Giliell – I used to get tonsilitis every year from when I was 7 until I was in my teens. You also get my empathies and sympathies. In my thirties, once when my doctor was checking out my throat for something (maybe strep throat), he mentioned something about “what’s left of my tonsils”.

    I get updates to the Lounge in my email. Suddenly today, the From name changed from Pharyngula to Freethought Blogs on those emails. This remark has no real point, since there doesn’t seem to be a problem getting the emails. Just noting the change.

  110. blf says

    There’s an election going on in the UK at the moment, so the sport is “who can tell the biggest lie this hour?” One possible goal-winner, Nigel Farage: the English are biggest victims of racism because of Scots: “Ukip leader tells BBC Radio 5 that he did not want racists to vote for Ukip[,] and SNP are causing the ‘biggest racism in British politics’ against the English”. UKIP is the most prominent fascist party, and has been doing alarmingly well in the polls. SNP is one of the parties that wants Scotland to not be part of the UK. I have no idea how any of the Monster Raving Loony parties / candidates are doing / polling / advocating.

  111. blf says

    Homes with mice? Cats without homes? The feline fostering app might just work:

    Offering rescue cats to people with a mouse problem could, if carefully managed, kill two birds — and many uninvited rodents — with one stone

    [Cute picture of “An untrained mouser.”]

    The animal charity Wood Green is teaming up with the cleaning and DIY service Handy to offer rescue cats to Londoners who have a problem with mice. Potential fosterers can download an app that will show them all the potential mousers, and they can choose one that appeals.


    Fosterers will receive induction and training, and Wood Green’s cat care and welfare standards will be adhered to throughout, so the signs are promising.


    Kitten fosterers can make a huge impact on cat welfare […]. Their brains are growing and they are taking in lots of information about the world around them and learning what is considered normal.

    The mildly deranged penguin offers kitten flight training services, range and altitude negotiable, and a variety of trebuchets.


    Having kittens in a home environment will be more representative of the type of surroundings to which they will eventually be transferred. Familiarising kittens with normal household sounds such as a vacuum cleaner can shape their behaviour as adult cats and thus prepare them for life. Having the opportunity to meet different people is also the best chance of increasing sociability.

    The mildly deranged penguin disagrees. Vacuum cleaners do not make particularly good kitten launchers, and most are too slow and clumsy to even catch ’em for the next training flight. On the other hand, landing in a variety of situations — through various windows and roofs, in various swimming pools and near dogs, occasionally on The Moon — does make for a more flattened cat, desperate to teach mice the joys of flying. And to put up long pigs (best done by training ’em to feed you), avoid peas, and meow “BOO!” at horses.

  112. blf says

    This would have been an interesting challenge to take, Dulwich gallery reveals fake painting among collection of Old Masters:

    After a three-month challenge to the public to spot the replica, Dulwich picture gallery reveals the work that was ordered for £70 over the internet

    The visitors came in their thousands, staring intently at the Rembrandts, Rubens and Murillos in the hope that they would be able to spot the imposter hidden among the masters.

    Now, three months since Dulwich picture gallery challenged the public to “spot the fake” after replacing one of their collection masterpieces with a Chinese replica, the gallery has finally revealed the counterfeit.

    Since 10 February, Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s 18th-century work Young Woman has been replaced by hand-painted replica, produced in China and ordered over the internet for £70, which has hung in among 270 Old Master paintings.

    The exhibition, titled “Made in China”, was conceived by American artist Doug Fishbone as a way to make people think about the way they look, appreciate and value such artistic masterpieces.

    The gallery’s chief curator Xavier Bray described it as “an extraordinary experiment which has allowed people of all generations to reconnect with the collection and re-engage with it on a purely visual basis.”

    He said: “It was certainly quite provocative because it turns everything you assume you know upside down. […Y]ou expect everything you are told on a label is correct. So suddenly having this intervention from a contemporary artist that makes you question every piece can be quite unnerving, but in a positive way.”

    Yet of the 3,000 people who visited the gallery during the experiment, the majority of them are likely to be left mortified by the unveiling of the fake — only 10% guessed correctly.


    The contemporary reproduction was also, apparently, in a very conspicuous place, so most visitors would have had to, at some level, “seen” it. They are now going to hang the reproduction and the original side-by-side (albeit with the original back in its frame) so people can see the differences.

    On “seeing” pictures in galleries, that reminds me of an incident many yonks ago. A friend and I visited Paris, with one of the objectives being to visit the Louvre. (I’d visited before, but my friend, who was something of an art freak and showed me around the Picasso Museum — which I didn’t even known existed — never had.) Anyways, he led me on a high-speed walk around a fair number of the halls, until I put a stop to it with a severe case of “Museum Foot” and my constant whinging we were rarely looking at anything, just glancing as we zoomed by, almost in-flight.

    That was all a bit annoying, albeit a good dinner made me feel much better. However, my friend never really did agree with me that we hadn’t “seen” much of anything…

  113. blf says

    What seems like an improvement, Spain moves to raise minimum marriage age to 16: “New legislation, which would raise minimum age of marriage from 14, to be debated by senate”.

    The article points (1) “While the marrying age in Spain is 18, currently Spanish law allows for two exceptions: a 16-year-old wanting to marry can do so with parental permission, while 14-year-olds are allowed to marry with permission from a judge.” And (2) The number of young teens being marrying / being married is extremely low (just one 14-year-old in 2013). (And, the average age of newly-weds is apparently in the thirties in Spain.) Nonetheless, this seems to remove a rather dubious “feature” of Spanish law, which apparently came only after “after years of lobbying by children’s rights groups”.

    As per the above quotes, apparently there is no sexual asymmetry here, i.e., none of this “females can be married at 12, males at 16″–type creepy nonsense seen elsewhere.

  114. blf says

    [T]he Resident Felines are Not Amused.

    I just asked, but no, sorry, the mildly deranged penguin doesn’t really have any tips or expertise on catching mice. That probably explains why we can’t get rid of the extremely angry mouse who has been occupying the TARDIS for quite awhile now.

    Her suggestions are to return to orbit and nuke ’em, or to take her special just-invented “Trebuchet launch into a deep canyon full of mice” offer, details still being worked out (anyone know if the Grand Canyon is for rent, and also a supplier of mice?), price on application.

  115. says

    1. I cannot remember when my throat hurt that much the last time
    2. I got my car back. Of course they found something else while they were at it (they showed me the broken part, so, yeah, fuck), so it wasn’t only 200€ more but also 1 hour later. Plan was: Collect car at 4 pm. Pick up kids at 4:30. Drive home. Leave for work at 5:30. That didn’t quite work out but it also meant that I was on the run for the last 2 hours before leaving for work which is not good when actually all you want is a bed.

  116. Ogvorbis: failed human says

    blf @150:

    Now, is the Grand Canyon for rent?

    As of right now, portions of the canyon can be put aside for private events under what is called a special use permit — limited area, limited duration. However, over on the Hualpai Nation, they are so desperate for cash that they have allowed outside groups to build a casino (only 140 miles from Las Vegas), the skywalk, and the idiot with the jetpack and wings, so I’d bet that if you throw enough dollars at them (not those weird Euros or (even worse) Pounds) they would most likely say yes to just about everything.

  117. says

    Giliell, [hot honey lemon tea and germ-free hugs]. I hope you can find time to rest, and that you feel better soon.

    3PM, 91°F, 12% rh. April in California. Wheee.

    On the other hand, this morning Elder Daughter got to pet a baby bluebird. In the course of assisting Bluebird Box Bob with checking the nest boxes, and while gently keeping it from trying to leap out of the nest, so contact was authorized. And I watched one of our backyard squirrels playing, rolling in the grass like a cat and scooting around on its furry tummy. That didn’t suck.

  118. says

    New species of dinosaur discovered

    Chilesaurus, an entirely new dinosaur species, was apparently the Mr. Potato Head of the Late Jurassic. As described today in a study in the journal Nature, Chilesaurus had the teeth of an apatosaur, the arms of an allosaur and the axial skeleton of a ceratosaur. A member of the theropod clade, Chilesaurus was essentially an adorable, turkey-sized, vegetarian T-Rex.

    “It’s a new species, genus and completely new lineage of dinosaurs that wasn’t known before,” says Martín Ezcurra, a doctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham and coauthor of the study. “Theropods were quite common during the Mesozoic, but in this part of Chile, this is the first plant-eating theropod dinosaur.”

    Seven-year-old Diego Suarez initially stumbled across the Chilesaurus fossils in 2005, while hiking with his parents near the Andes mountains. The skeletons were remarkably complete, but paleontologists were less excited—they assumed that Suarez had discovered several different species of well-known theropods. It was only in 2008, when scientists looked more closely at the findings, that they realized the skeletons likely represented an entirely new, albeit enigmatic, species.

    “The most interesting thing about this new dinosaur is that different parts of the body resemble different, unrelated groups,” Ezcurra says. “It show us how convergence evolution works.” (Convergence evolution is when organisms evolve certain traits independently, due to having to contend with similar conditions—not a common ancestry).

    After the fossils were carefully removed from the surrounding rock—a process that took about five years—Ezcurra and his team began their analysis. They were surprised to find that all signs point to Chilesaurus belonging to Therapoda, a clade that includes velociraptors and tyrannosauruses, as well as modern bird species.

  119. cicely says

    TMM, I am so sorry.
    Fuck cancer.

    *hugs* for rq, as well.
    Cancer just cannot be fucked enough.

    *haz-mat-suited hugs* for Giliell.


  120. bassmike says

    Hi all,

    Add another name to the ‘Fuck cancer’ list. It’s been a year since my Dad died and it wasn’t pleasant to watch.

    I’m getting used to the new car. I’ve refrained from carrying peas or cheese, just in case it attracts the MDP.

    My daughter had a fun birthday and we’re taking her to see rockets and stuff on Friday and she’s looking forward to that.

    Waves and *hugs* to everyone especially rq, Giliell, cicely, Tony!, Ogvorbis, blf, opposablethumbs, Anne, Lynna and Chigau .

    I’ll still be at the bar wiping the the drinks that were on me off!

  121. carlie says

    Am stupidly busy now and for the next two weeks, but am spot-reading and wanted to offer quick hugs to everyone hurting. And fuck cancer.

  122. says

    I take all the hugs and a whiskey.
    Only a virtual one because my throat hurts so fucking much.
    Oh, and that fuck cancer list? Add me again. My aunt’s lung cancer has returned.
    I know, we were naive in thinking that it was gone (4 years since the end of therapy!) when we should have been grateful that it’s been that long with a cancer with a return rate of over 90%
    Kids, please don’t smoke.

  123. Ogvorbis: failed human says

    Giliell @57:

    Think me cruel, but all I could feel at first was great relief.

    I don’t think you cruel in the least. I have felt the same way about some freinds and family who have passed away. To me, it is a very adult and responsible reaction.

    Many hugs to you and yours.

    and at 161:

    My aunt’s lung cancer has returned.
    I know, we were naive in thinking that it was gone (4 years since the end of therapy!) when we should have been grateful that it’s been that long with a cancer with a return rate of over 90%

    That really sucks. Those four years, though — that is good.

  124. Ogvorbis: failed human says

    Personal update:

    Saw my doctor on Monday. I am finally back on full duty at work (and this means I can go to fires when the season heats up).

    We both looked at the X-ray (I love dealing with digital S-rays). Normal wear and tear degradation at the top of L1 and L2. Nothing unusual.

    The L5/S1 joint, though. Shit. Damage — already some arthritic spurs and some scarring. She thinks that the damage is pretty much permanent and that I will be dealing with this the rest of my life. Not major damage, but enough to cause future problems.

    Well, this appears to be one Workers-comp case that will never close.

  125. says

    Hey all – didn’t realise I’d been so scarce around these parts, but I’m still standing.

    Finally got the entire prototype ready for my new game, we should be playtesting starting tonight. I’m excited. :)

    A resounding FUCK CANCER in chorus with all of you, for those with loved ones being taken by that horrid shit. O’thumbs, Mellow Monkey, rq, Giliell, and anyone else who’s facing it, I offer you *hugs* and such comforting gestures as suit you.

    Giliell, I completely get your relief, and have felt the very same in similar circumstances. Sometimes a peaceful end is the best outcome one can hope for, and loving someone means wanting them to not be in pain.

    MyMouse is visiting, and we’re both looking on in horror at the police/military overreaction in her hometown of Baltimore. I wish I could be there to join in the protests.

    What else…my disability hearing is in two weeks, give or take a few days. I’m quietly confident. Getting it would make a huge, huge difference in my daily life – it would add $400/month to my income, and would be backdated to when my application was received (February of 2014). Now, I’d owe about 60% of that backdated money to the welfare department, but it’d still be a significant enough chunk of change to allow me to get my phone working again, and to start looking for a place for Craig and I to share. Not sure if I mentioned that, btw; after almost a year living together without so much as a conflict (let alone an argument over such), Craig’s suggested that we’re sympatico enough to consider making it a longer-term arrangement. It would mean no dog for me for a while, because he’s allergic, but some of what the dog would give me I get from having a flatmate, and I don’t have to feed him, walk him, or clean up his poop either. No cuddles from warm puppy, either, but one can’t have everything.

    So we’ll be looking for a house to share, something big enough to have a bedroom and office/studio for each of us.

  126. says

    Hugs for all & sundry.

    I am compulsively checking the Delta flight checker thingy this morning. Husband is on his way to Ohio via Minnesota, to spend a day watching paint dry; if all goes according to plan, he’ll be home Friday evening. We both had to get up earlier than usual, plus I didn’t sleep much last night, so I’m tired to the point of walking into walls. I’m not going to do much today. Besides, I have to be awake enough to entertain Aged Mum when she calls this afternoon. All the responsibility of being an only child, plus the added bonus of being complained to about my ratbag siblings and expected to get them to do what she wants…

  127. says

    Okay, this definitely belongs in the “oh, FFS” category. Texas politicians are taking action based on totally bonkers rightwing conspiracy theories. The conspiracy theories are their “real” world, the world of paranoia that makes no sense — that’s where they live.

    Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Guard to monitor federal military exercises in Texas after some citizens have lit up the Internet saying the maneuvers are actually the prelude to martial law. […]

    Radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been sending out warnings for weeks regarding the exercise, saying it is the U.S. military positioning itself to take over the states and declare martial law. Abbott apparently has heard the concern and ordered the Guard to monitor the training and U.S. military personnel. […]

    Dallas News link

  128. says

    In other rightwing nuttiness, Florida legislators are so divided that some of them just quit and went home early.

    In this case, it is Republicans with some brain function fighting Republicans who have given up entirely on the tiresome exercise of logic and reason. Both state legislative bodies, the Senate and the House, are controlled by Republicans.

    The Senators want to use the Medicaid expansion associated with Obamacare to provide healthcare coverage to 850,000 low-income residents. The right-wingers in the House threw a hissy fit and went home early rather than countenance debate on the greatest evil of our time, Obamacare.

    The throwers of the hissy fits did not offer a reason. Their tantrums have no logic, but they do have blind hatred going for them. Their Governor, Rick Scott, backs them up. He filed a lawsuit against the federal government.

    Meanwhile, 850,000 Floridians have no healthcare coverage.

  129. blf says

    What the feck is going on? In trying to log into the FtB site, I just got challenged twice to prove I am not “bot” by doing a simple addition. This has never happened before; After passing the “challenge” successfully I was not logged-in (albeit the “challenge” said that would happen); and Doing it twice for no apparent reason seems Extremely Absurd. Furthermore, it is very very unfriendly when you don’t have a particularly fast ‘Net connection.

  130. blf says

    [H]as the MDP been playing around in the Intertoobs again?

    I believe the mildly deranged penguin is currently researching just how many mice are needed to fill the Grand Canyon, and many won’t be eaten by the trainee mousers, and so how many pelts and sides of micemeat will be available for sale once the training ends. So yeah, she’s probably currently crawling around inside the ‘Tubes, but is probably also being distracted by cheese shoppes, cheese mines, cheese farms, and even some cheeses.

  131. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    I has a happy. I took my two pooches down to our little lake which they love. I was swarmed, swarmed I tell you by several billion ladybugs! It was wonderful. They all seem to hatch over a two day period every spring and everything is covered in tiny, friendly, squirmy red bugs. I loved it. The pooches munched several.

  132. cicely says


    Before clicking over, I made a mental bet that he was black. The justice system is fucking broken.

    Me, too.
    And, hell yes.


    This would have been an interesting challenge to take, Dulwich gallery reveals fake painting among collection of Old Masters:

    I read this at first as Dunwich.
    Now I am all disappointed.

    I believe the mildly deranged penguin is currently researching just how many mice are needed to fill the Grand Canyon,

    I know that Tradition would call for assuming a spherical mouse, but I can’t help but think that cubical mice would stack more neatly.

    CaitieCat, *hugs*, and I will keep *tentacles crossed* for your upcoming disability hearing.

  133. Ogvorbis: failed human says


    I believe the mildly deranged penguin is currently researching just how many mice are needed to fill the Grand Canyon,

    Easy to accomplish. The filling, not the calculation. Just put up a semi-permeable membrane around the canyon — mice fall in, they can’t fall out. The problem is, though, the canyon is, well, a canyon. With a good sized river running through it. So the mice (cubicle or spherical would not matter, cicely — a mile down they will deform to fit all available spaces (flounder mice?)) would actually be filling up Lake Meade.

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


    I’m holding you responsible for spreading your gems. As it turns out the sniffles this time were not allergy, or at least not just allergy.

    *hugs* for all and another voice that says fuck cancer

  135. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says


    My teen’s history teacher (the Libertarian) has been telling his students that the Baltimore riots could cost them their freedom to assemble. He’s been telling them that riots are dangerous because they might provoke armed white racists to strike back and make things even worse for black folks.

    She’s speaking up against the stupid as best she can. I’m proud of her. She does not want me to get involved. She told me, “It isn’t that Mr. X isn’t a good teacher. He’s just not a good person.” That’s her way of saying, “It’s Chinatown, Mom.”

    Turns out, speaking up to pastors at her grandmother’s church was good practice. I’m glad I let her go now.