1. says


    Shouldn’t it be the landlord’s responsibility to fix/replace the washer? (IIRC you rent.) Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything, the landlord here still hasn’t fixed the broken dryer in the laundry room.

  2. Ranzoid says

    I stumbled across this video about something that Lionhead Studios got into hotwater over,

    Is she right? is she wrong? Is it a double standard for the internet media to single out only one of the two pictures and scream about sexism in a very tongue-in-cheek advertisement that uses silly puns?

  3. says

    Mormons show once again that they are two-faced liars. The mormon leaders, at least, are two-faced when it comes to GLBT issues. They made a big show, lots of PR coverage, over taking a couple of baby steps to ease housing discrimination. For the cameras they shook hands with GLBT leaders in Salt Lake City. The mormons said they “love everyone.”

    In a “friend of the court” brief, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined a number of other religions to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against same-sex marriage becoming legal nationwide.

    The LDS Church filed an amicus brief alongside faiths such as the Southern Baptist Convention, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Free Methodist Church – USA, and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in urging the court to uphold a traditional definition of marriage.

    “Notwithstanding our theological differences, we are united in declaring that the traditional institution of marriage is indispensable to the welfare of the American family and society. We are also united in our belief that a decision requiring the States to license or recognize same-sex marriage would generate church-state conflicts that will imperil vital religious liberties. […]

    The filing says the Mormon faith “teaches that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, that the traditional family is the foundation of society, and that marriage and family supply the crucial relationships through which parents and children acquire private and public virtue.” […]

    The LDS Church recently backed a bill in Utah that guarded against discrimination in housing and employment for LGBT people, as well as a bill that lets county clerks opt-out of performing same sex marriages, provided someone in the office does it. […]

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

    Yay for Audley!

    I’ve been a Maudlin Anti-heroic X-man without you.


    Smoking cigars, drinking scotch that just won’t intoxicate me, and cutting through the deadbolt when I lock myself out have all become too damn routine. I missed you.

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


    What is “traditional marriage” to the LDS church?

    If there was an anti-polygamy “revelation”, was that long enough ago that monogamous marriage is “traditional” now? How long are we talking about, to establish a tradition?

  6. Hoosier X says

    @Crip Dyke

    How long are we talking about, to establish a tradition?

    As far back as the last vision of the archangel Macaroni.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    Are visions associated with lysergic acid viable for inclusion in the canon?
    Also, do images in burnt toast Count as visions?

    And if my spell check randomly inserts capital letters at the beginning of Words (it happens a lot) does this mean my new PC is posessed by demons?

  8. cicely says

    Previously, in the [Lounge]:

    Once again death out-races me.

    Damn, FossilFishy; I’m sorry.
    *hugs* are available if wanted/needed; fresh-squeezed, finest-quality.

    Happy late-birthday, Rawnaeris, and I’m sorry about your…condition.
    I offer *hugs*, and *the barf bucket*—at your discretion.

    Tony!, I’m sorry about your washed-up machine.
    Those symptoms sound all too familiar. The first couple of times, it was something The Husband could send off for the malfunctioning part and fix it. After that, though, it couldn’t be made to *vooom*.
    Do you have anything like ReStore in your area? Used furniture and appliances, and assorted other things of a building supply/home improvement nature, some of them very good that have been donated because someone simply is replacing a functional unit with another one they like better, and often at quite good prices.

    Mellow Monkey…I am so sorry about your friend.
    Fuck cancer.

  9. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    FYI: Netflixs Daredevil show is 13 episodes and they should all be available now.
    Thats the plan for all the MCU/Netflix movies.

  10. magistramarla says

    A quick note to the horde about my recovery from spinal fusion surgery.
    I still don’t feel enough pain to justify even taking a Tylenol. A glass of wine is quite justified, though.
    The docs said to walk, walk, walk. Since it’s hot, humid and rainy in South Texas, we’re doing my walking in buildings.
    Yesterday, I walked on my walker in the grocery store, pointing out what hubby should put in the cart.
    Today we walked in the mall, stopping at Soma for more soft sleep shirts to wear under my back brace and a quick stop at Starbucks.
    My biggest problem is that our pillow top mattress traps me and my brace like an upside down turtle, and I can’t move all night. That will be solved when my rented hospital bed arrives tomorrow or Tuesday.
    I’m now feeling that I’m starting to recover and I’m looking forward to starting PT. I’m also looking forward to water aerobics when the pool opens this summer.

  11. rogue74656 says

    I am not sure this is allowed, but the rules say “anything” so here it goes:

    My high school academic team is raising money to go to a national tournament in Atlanta in less then 2 weeks.

    We have a GoFundMe account ( ) set up. If you donate, we would appreciate it.
    If you cannot afford to donate, at least spread the site.
    If Memories Pizza can raise 800K, why can’t a small rural school raise enough to do this?

    Thank you for your help.

  12. says

    magistramarla @20:
    Woo-hoo! I can only imagine how good it must feel to be rid of the pain. Many happy hugs (I’ll even throw in a few *higs* too).


    I had another pleasant conversation with two guests tonight. These two are a married, heterosexual couple who frequent the restaurant at least once a week. They often discuss politics and current events. I’ve chatted with them about many things going on in the world, and we share many of the same progressive views. Last week when they came in, I showed them an article over at This Is Colossal and they both geeked out. I could tell from watching them how much they enjoyed scrolling through past entries and I warned them that this could be a timesink.
    Anyway, we chatted about tax season, which led to talking about how long they’ve been together, which led to a discussion about why they don’t currently have wedding bands. That led to a chat about how we all don’t like how society pushes people to associate love with material objects (in this case, diamond engagement rings).
    Having shared with them some of my political views in the past, N asked me if I was active in any local political organization, to which I told her no and explained a little about my current situation (financial, transportation) and my slight introversion around people I’m unfamiliar with. That last part shocked them as they’ve seen me interact at work with many people. Once I told them that being at work makes the difference, they understood.
    Somehow-I don’t recall the exact specifics-something D said prompted me to respond with “I’m black, gay, and an atheist”. He (D) did a double-take. “What was that last part?” he said. When I repeated that, both of them kinda had that look of acknowledgment and responded “so are we”.
    I thought that was so cool. It felt like we moved into a new employee/guest territory. We chatted about separation of church and state, and being an atheist in the South. D told me about his father who is a Baptist pastor, and N told me about her mother who prays for her because she doesn’t believe. They both told me that they keep to themselves a lot socially and in their work environments. I gathered that’s in part due to their atheism, as well as their social justice views.
    It really was a very pleasant conversation with two really cool people, and I’m glad we weren’t so busy at work that I couldn’t converse with them. From what I could tell, they seemed to feel similarly.


    Dalillama @1:
    I do rent, but it’s a home. And I bought the washer.


    Thanks for the heads up on the washing machine. I’ll check in the next day or so on that.

    Good night all.

  13. Menyambal says

    I got a comment-awaiting over on another thread. I had three of the last four comments …

    Magistramarla, so glad the back pain is minimal. Wow.

  14. says


    Belated Happy Birthday, Rawnaeris

    YAY! magistramarla
    Your description of the shopping trip made me laugh, as it reminded me of the scene I witnessed when I visited my parents last week. One of the neighbours, lets call her “Aunt Elsie”, is as old as my gran, but a lot better healthwise. Still, she’s 89 and now she needs a walker and crutches which means that she can’t plant potatoes anymore! So she made her 50someting son plant the potatoes, standing next to him with her crutches, detailing what exactly he had to do and pointing to each lump of earth that was NOT in the correct space, in her opinion.

    Goodness, stupid monkey brain.
    I really needed to check my transcript of records to see if everything that should be on it IS on it and that I really do have all the classes I need. Should be easy, right? ONly that the thought that something might be wrong made me panic so I pushed the thought away. Today I was a good girl and checked the stuff and while some classes have not been put on the transcript yet, I know I did them and everything is fine.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    ‘Star Wars’ Imperial Army Invades Los Angeles, Attacks Southern California Landmarks (fan-made video)
    The Saudis’ War Is Failing at Everything Except Ruining Yemen
    Pope Angers Turkey by Calling Armenian Genocide a Genocide
    2-Year-Old Falls Into Cheetah Exhibit At Cleveland Zoo
    Meh. there are plenty more 2-year-olds where that one came from.

  16. opposablethumbs says

    Good luck with the ongoing recovery, magistramarla!

    Thank you for sharing that TonyTale, Tony! – fair cheered me up, that did :-)
    My commiserations on the misbehaviour of your washed-up machine, though. Hope it’s fixable.

    Assorted hugs. Particularly to TMM. My friend is coming to the Smoke for the day in a couple of weeks; I’m really looking forward to it but I’m also dreading the possibility that it might conceivably be the last time I see xir as things appear to be moving fairly fast. Fuck, I hope xe even makes it; xe’s going to meet a lot of xir friends, and has said how much xe wants to come.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    The Saudis claim that the message from their uber-mullah (claiming that a man has the right to eat the body of his wife to save himself from death by starvation) is a spoof.
    I dunno. That boss theologian has a history of claiming batshit-crazy stuff.
    I have just read “Lucky Planet” about a rather pessimistic assessment of the probability for intelligent life elsewhere. Lots of interesting background information, even if you don’t agree with the author’s conclusion.
    The observer bias means that most inhabited planets will be close to the life span of the world by the time intelligence emerges (in our case, something like 700 million years before the oceans start boiling). Also, inhabited planets should almost, but not quite be reaching orbital resonance with the rest of the system.

  18. says

    I went over to my parents’ house to help my sister with changing grandma’s sheets.
    Why can’t the poor woman just die? There’s just pain and suffering left. For decades we took good care of her heart, now the fucking thing won’t stop.

  19. birgerjohansson says

    hugs, if yo want them.

    — — — —
    More Swedish music: Avicii – The Nights (Lyrics HD)

    — — — —
    Washington DC, city of barricades.
    Further suggestions to improve Washington:
    Replacing those buildings with yurts is cool. That magic forest with happy talking animals looks like a good idea!

  20. says

    Crip Dyke @9 and Hoosier X @10: good point regarding polygamy and the current mormon insistence on “traditional marriage.”

    Ex-mormons, especially in Utah, will tell you that polygamy is far from dead as a mormon tenet. There are mormon polygamous families all over Utah. HBO’s series “Big Love” was accurate in that regard. Some mainstream mormons even leave the main church to join a polygamous offshoot based on the “traditional” definition of mormon marriage that harks back to Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, etc. The tradition is polygamy.

    The so-called manifesto against polygamy in 1890 was a classic mormon exercise in doublespeak. It advised against future plural marriages without requiring the dissolution of polygamous marriages. It was advice, and not a prophet speaking the supposed words of God. Some mainstream mormons think the manifesto is a divine revelation, but that is disputed by others.

    After the manifesto, LDS leaders traveled to Mexico and Canada to perform plural marriages. (Remember the Romney family in Mexico.) They even quietly performed a few in the USA. A second manifesto was issued in 1904 when the mormons got all kinds of heat during a congressional hearing.

    Mormons still “seal” multiple women to men in circumstances of remarriage. Those men are expected to live polygamously in the Celestial Kingdom.

    Utah’s past shows up in its present. The state has been reluctant to prosecute polygamists, even when evidence of child abuse was present. It was Texas that put Warren Jeffs in jail, not Utah.

    Some mormons think it is not just okay, but a virtue, to tell outsiders what they want to hear. Anything to preserve the Church. Many mormons are naive enough to believe their leaders when they say they love gay members of the church, for example. The anti-polygamy thing in the mainstream mormon church has grown into such a broad, public stance that many mormons believe that God told them to stop (for whatever reason). Utah getting statehood, politics, threats from the U.S. Army, etc. — that had nothing to do with it.

    LDS leaders say one thing publicly, but their actions demonstrate that they have mixed feelings.

  21. says

    This is not good news. Ted Cruz has snared a billionaire donor. That will keep him the presidential race for a long time.

    The two men share a passion for unbridled markets, concerns about the Internal Revenue Service and a skeptical view of climate change. Now the two — Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, and Robert Mercer, a Wall Street hedge-fund magnate — share another bond that could link them through November 2016: Both want to see Mr. Cruz elected president.

    Mr. Mercer, a reclusive Long Islander who started at I.B.M. and made his fortune using computer patterns to outsmart the stock market, emerged this week as a key early bankroller of Mr. Cruz’s surprisingly fast campaign start. He is believed to be the main donor behind a network of four “super PACs” supporting Mr. Cruz that reported raising $31 million just a few weeks into his campaign.

    Trevor Potter, a campaign finance lawyer, said it well: “It just takes a random billionaire to change a race and maybe change the country.”

    Yes, one guy who is ultra rich has a good chance to buy the White House.

  22. says

    A little detail from drought-stricken California:

    An investigation by the Desert Sun found that Nestle Waters North America’s permit to transport water across the San Bernardino National Forest expired in 1988. The water is piped across the national forest and loaded on trucks to a plant where it is bottled as Arrowhead 100 percent Mountain Spring Water.

    Yes, the Nestlé permit expired 25 years ago. Nestlé pays 65 cents for each 470 gallons of water pumped from the ground. They bottle it and sell it for enormous profits.

    And here’s some bottled water news from near Coachella, inside the Morongo Reservation:

    In 2013, the most recent year for which Morongo submitted reports, nearly 600 acre-feet of groundwater was tapped in the area, which translates to about 200 million gallons a year, the Desert Sun reports. That’s enough water to supply the needs of around 400 homes in the Coachella Valley.

  23. cicely says

    Spiders vs. the Sun

    Hurrah for insignificant amounts of pain!

    Tony!, it makes me happy to know that you are meatspace-meeting people who are congenial company.


    This is not good news. Ted Cruz [snip]

    I agree.
    Ted Cruz is not good news.

  24. blf says

    Is anyone else following the progress of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft?

    Is there anyone not following it?
    And don’t forget Dawn, now in permanent orbit around Ceres.

  25. magistramarla says

    Thanks to Tony and everyone else for the encouragement.
    Tony – That couple in the restaurant sound much like hubby and I. We’ve been married for 39 years and look like any other middle-aged couple around here. However, we do NOT think like the conservative Texas couples around us at all.
    We don’t socialize much with other couples our age, since we find the expected conservative views to be offensive.
    However, we have found a nice group of Texas Freethinkers and have found some good friends that way.

    Lynna – When we were stationed in Oklahoma, I worked for my midwife. We often delivered a baby at a home with the mother’s sister-wife acting as labor coach. My midwife’s attitude was that she didn’t care at all about the parents’ religion or politics. What she cared about in doing her job was to have a healthy baby and a healthy mother. I found it very interesting to observe the level of trust between two or three women in a household.

    Giliell – Warm hugs to you. We went through this with my mother and aunt with Alzheimer’s. My aunt was RC and her family allowed her to suffer to the bitter end. My mother had signed a DNR and gave me a power of attorney. At the end, she was transported to a RC hospital, and the doctor kept calling me to try to bully me into allowing a resuscitator and a feeding tube.
    I stuck to what the directive said. Little did he know that his emotional ploy wasn’t working with me, since this was my childhood abuser, not a beloved mother. That being said, I feel that even for a beloved mother, it is more loving to let them go.
    Best wishes to your family.

  26. Audley Z Darkheart says

    And to answer everyone about DarkToddler:
    She is amazing. Two-and-a-half now and every bit a completely awesome and nerdy kid. Her favorite things right now are My Little Pony and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Because of course my kid is a total geek. ^_^

    I’m just so in awe of her every day and it’s the usual toddler stuff, but man. It’s incredible watching a little person learn how to speak and push against rules and develop an imagination (right now, she’s in her crib talking to her Batman toy instead of sleeping). Being a parent is way more fun than I ever thought it would be.

  27. says

    Believe me, neither my sister nor I would do that for our mother. But our gran, she’s our beloved. My sister tries to keep her comfortable and out of pain, while our mother argues with her that morphine is quite unnecessary. Our mother is lucky that we still would not be as cruel to her as she’d be to gran if we let her.

  28. blf says

    Tpyo has colonised my PC as well. Time for an exsorcism.

    Pouring Tipp-Ex into your computer will annoy Tpyos so much the computer will probably stop working. Or start tipyng random gibberish (which does same thyme and effort, so it”s not all bad). No cilantro was harmed in the production of this comment.

  29. says

    magistramarla @48:

    Lynna – When we were stationed in Oklahoma, I worked for my midwife. We often delivered a baby at a home with the mother’s sister-wife acting as labor coach. My midwife’s attitude was that she didn’t care at all about the parents’ religion or politics. What she cared about in doing her job was to have a healthy baby and a healthy mother. I found it very interesting to observe the level of trust between two or three women in a household.

    Very interesting. I’ll bet you had some memorable experiences.

    I’m not one of those people who thinks that every polygamous household is bad for the women involved. It’s just that the situation is rife with opportunities to oppress women, and those opportunities expand when the family lives in a community like Short Creek (Hilldale/Colorado City on the Utah/Arizona border), or like the one in Bountiful, Canada.

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

    I’ve just got to say, that of all the patooties in existence, the brownian motion of my patootie places its mean atomic energy far in excess of my patootie’s peers.

    that is all.

  31. Moggie says

    Normally I’d say that “don’t read the comments” is good advice for pretty much any Guardian article. As a lefty and a longtime Guardian reader, it pisses me off that comment threads there are infested with right-wingers and generally unpleasant people. But the comments on this article are fascinating. It’s a fun little maths puzzle (try to solve it before reading the answer!), and the comments are full of people not getting it and refusing to accept the correct answer. It’s really kind of amazing – unless you’re a teacher, I suppose.

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


    It was, in fact, that song that prompted me to be thinking along those lines…though I stand by my objective measurements of my patootie’s average kinetic energy.

  33. carlie says

    Audley – sorry about the blog :( It was really good stuff though, if you ever are in a place to have the time/resourses/desire to do so again. Glad DarkToddler is doing well. :)

    Yay magistramarla!

    Hugs to all.

  34. The Mellow Monkey says

    Verdict on my friend: definitely cervical cancer. They’re going to start radiation as soon as possible rather than other treatment options.

    Unfortunately, she’s been confused/half-sedated when people have come in to see her and her father is a useless fool when it comes to gynecology, so information is spotty. I’ve written her a list of questions to ask and told her to get the answers in writing, because she needs to know this stuff and has a right to answers.

    I really need a week without tragedy and heart-break.

  35. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang MM, your swill is at the ready, and the pillow fort awaits.

  36. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    TMM, all the above comforts, plus a generous helping of very comforting soup. You need to keep your strength up.

  37. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    TMM, I hope that she recovers quickly and completely, she’s lucky to have you as a friend.

    And I hope that life pulls its foot off your neck soon. The beauty and joy are still out there, but seeing it while being pinned to the dirt is so very hard.

    All my hugs.

  38. chigau (違う) says

    I don’t do facebork.
    Would it be possible to use another method to inform me that an old friend is dead?
    or the dying part
    ’cause I totally could have gone for a last hug
    if someone had mentioned it
    post card

  39. chigau (違う) says

    chris61 #72
    I think MM’s friend is currently in danger of her life.
    She might want to ‘vent’ later.

  40. says

    Mellow Monkey:
    I’m sorry to about your friend having cervical cancer. I hope she’s able to get the treatment she needs as quickly as possible.
    Hugs to you, bc I imagine you’re stressed out right now.

    I hope you can get a week (or several even) without heartbreak or tragedy ASAP.


    Hugs to you as well. I’m sorry to hear about your friend.


    In another example of lessons I’ve learned at Pharyngula carrying over into meatspace–we recently hired several new employees, one of whom is a young woman (C). We were chatting about something yesterday and I made a comment about women, but said girls. As soon as it escaped my mouth, I apologized and said women instead.
    C’s reaction?
    ‘Thank you’.
    I hate that infantilizing language like that is so embedded in our society.

  41. chigau (違う) says

    It’s not the “new” technology being fucked, it’s that the new technology users are too … something to make a phonecall.
    oh well what the hell

  42. chigau (違う) says

    Thank you.
    and good for you on the ‘girl’ thing.
    We may have yet another generation before that goes away.

  43. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Oh, so ‘rupt but dammit, the last few days have had me laid out flat. I discovered that I have an allergy after sixty some years of only having reactions to poison ivy and stupidity. It’s the oak trees. They cover my car with yellow-green pollen and make my nose run and my throat sore and my eyes scratchy. On top of that, Oldest Mancub brought some kind of creeping crawling crud into the house and it laid me out for three days. Phfflaaaaa . . .

    Good news is that I woke up feeling so much better this morning that I just hauled off and went grocery shopping then I gathered all the recyclables and took them to the place that takes them and then I changed V’gers oil and filter and topped off some other fluids.
    heh . . . ‘topped off some other fluids’ . . .

    So, I’m not current here but in meat space I’m catching up rapidly.

    I’ve something very sweet to try to tell you Hoardlings and Loungelings but I’ll break it up into a few comments. Moar Soon!!

    For now, those of you who have welcomed me back are given in return my deep thanks, appreciation and affection as well as this question:
    Who among you have heard of B. Squat Woody? Anyone here from Wisconsin? Black River Falls, perhaps?

    *goes dark to compose so as to light another light pretty soon*

  44. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Hello, magistramarla from up there at # 20.
    I’ve been diagnosed with degenerative disk disease, two mushed disks cervical and two lumbar.

    I want to ask you if your diagnosis is similar to mine and if so what kind of consultation did you get when you began seeking treatment. This because I am loath to take painkillers and am, frankly, afraid of scalpels near my notocord.
    Opioids have a very bad reputation with me since they claimed my Dead Daughter and are currently threatening my Surviving Daughter. Also, they make me feel like my brain is wrapped in lukewarm felt infested with hungry, toothy worms. I refuse to take them. My fear of surgery, in contrast, is based on ignorance.
    Would you care to share your need for surgery and perhaps offer some advice based on your experience?
    Here or through email if you would like. I really need my life back. And I need my back to live. Anything you could offer would be useful.
    As well, I admire you and your mister; your comments here and on other FTBs have always elevated me. Thanks and hugs. I do so hope that your new comfort becomes your new normal.

  45. A. Noyd says

    Just signed up to auto-pay my electricity bill from my bank account. In Japanese. My brain is a bit frazzled because I suck at financial stuff in English, much less a foreign language. I have no idea how the hell people do that without being able to read Japanese. Personal banking in Japan is rather different than personal banking in America.

    Now I have to go figure out how to pay (other) bills at the convenience store or at the post office ATM. (The post office is my bank.)

  46. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    So then, to something sweet. Nearly unexpected. I might have foreseen something like this had I been paying closer attention but then, how closely can one look without missing something else?

    Younger Mancub got home from school about a half hour before yesterday’s planned launch of the launch of Falcon 9 and Dragon to resupply the International Space Station. I had NASA TV steaming on my ancient desktop and we watched the countdown reach T minus four minutes and then there was a scrub due to high level storm clouds. We were both bummed. Twenty four hour delay.

    YM asked if he could kick back on my bunk and watch some vids on his fondleslab and I said, “Sure, make yourself comfortable”. Well he did. I returned to perusing the news as I usually do. After a half hour or so I realized that I needed to take the drained oil from V’ger to the recycle facility and I asked if he wanted to go along with me. No answer. I looked over at my bed and he was kicked back, turned slightly to the wall, his slab held close to his face. I got up and reached to nudge his arm, asking again, “Wanna go with?” He was sound asleep. So I went by myself.
    I was back in twenty minutes. Went inside and the kid hadn’t moved. His phone still held up above the mattress, his eyes closed, his breathing even, soft. In a move that I thought surely must wake him I gently took his phone from his hand and turned it off. I placed it on his chest. He didn’t wake. I went back to news gathering.
    Three hours later I found myself turning to look at him. He’s 13 whole years old and there he was, snoozing the snooze of the innocent on my bunk. I thought of a time long past when I surely snoozed on my father’s bunk, a long lost time when my father surely looked upon me and felt something between envy and wonder. I grinned as if I knew all about sleeping sons and wise fathers, or even more wisely, grand fathers. The longer I looked, the more I saw and the less what I had assumed.
    I saw the arc of his relaxed eyebrow and something familiar was there. It took a moment but then memory came to the fore and it was the line of my mother’s eyebrows. I looked at the slope of his closed lids and there were my father’s eyes. My breath came into me and held for a long moment. My eyes roamed his face, his posture, his fingers relaxed, his whole form stretched upon my bed to my own full length. Something happened to time; it spread open and I saw through a veil, through generations past and not yet present.There lay his ancestors, there lay I and there lay children I will never know but for this brief glimpse.
    I have never gazed upon another as I gazed so privileged upon this young fellow. I will never be the same. He is my grandson, the life of myself, his great grand parents, his great great grandparents, some of them I remember only dimly or who died before I could even form memories of them. Time didn’t stand still instead it seemed to rush past me like a squall, like an afternoon storm that suddenly stirs the leaves of my life and then, after freshening the air invigoratingly, lets the leaves go back to what they were doing, now moistened and blown clean. All in a rush, all in a moment, all in a life, all in the way of things.

    I was looking at him as he awoke. I wanted to look away, thinking to not embarrass him but I could not. His return was all stretching and flexing and blinking and deep breath. In a simple kindness of life he opened his eyes as his head turned my way and he caught me looking. Improvising, I said, “welcome back” and he sat up and check his fondleslab. Seeing the time he apologized for taking up my bunk for so long. I told him that it was no bother. I told him that if he need a quiet and welcome place my bunk would always be for him. We stood up as he said he was going to look for food but I could not let him go without a warm hug and telling him that I thought he was a very cool young man and that I love him awesomely and that I hoped that amazing things would happen in his life. He hugged me hard and said the words that lift my life. “I love you, Grandpa. I really love you. Thanks. I’ll try to be here tomorrow for the rocket launch.”

    I hope, I mean I hope with a desperation and stern conviction that is as old as the human race, a hope that has been more of a driving force than war, than wealth, than power, than acquisitiveness, than superstition or craft and deceit and deception or promise or failure and regret and dying vengeance, I dearly hope that someday he, my grandson, will gaze upon a child and feel time slip aside and to be moved to a greater knowledge of love, of connection, of belonging. And I hope, no, I trust, that he will be moved to speak as I have spoken. There will be ears in those days as eager to hear as mine today.

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

    …you know, it’s funny. When I was around 15-20, I would have been squirmily excited over this. Now all I can think is “…I don’t wanna dust it…” (Also that there’s probably plenty of lovely leverage points for my Wretched Cat to send it flying).

    I feel like I’ve lost something. >.>

  48. opposablethumbs says

    Chigau, I’m sorry.

    TMM I’m wishing you all the strength and spoons. Good thinking preparing that list of questions and telling friend to get the answers in writing; it’s hard to remember under even ordinary stress levels, let alone stress like this. I hope she was diagnosed in time and gets good treatment.

  49. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    TMM, I’m sorry to hear about your friend.

    I hope she gets good care and that it was detected in an early stage. The prognosis can be quite good in the earlier stages.

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

    Yay, Crudely. Thank you for your #82.

    Less lyrically, I introduced my youngest to Kipling yesterday. She’d never kipled before, and though many would contend kipling is pretty fucking racist and sexist well, I still want her to know what a “just so story” is before she encounters evolutionary psychology.

    She no longer asks me to read to her every day – not even every week, lately, the last few weeks she’s been on a big independence kick, don’t need nothing from no momma. But I checked out Just So Stories from the library on Sunday, just in case. Then monday night she asks me to read to her.


    The cat-obsessed little being of course chose The Cat Who Walked Alone first and How the Leopard Got Its Spots second. We didn’t have time for more last night, so I didn’t find out what would have attracted her attention after the feline-featuring stories were done (Elephants, maybe? Or the First Letter?), but I’m introducing her to some classics. (I’ve already read her the first Harry Potter, The Hobbit, or There And Back Again, a chapter of a novelization of the Iliad told from the point of view of Patroclus, and a good bit of the Epic of Gilgamesh) and having a grand time doing it.

    She’s not yet (age X), though she’s gotten over the (age X-0.5) hump now. She’s going to have a solid liberal-arts education by the time she’s (age X+3) or my name isn’t Crip Dyke.

  51. says

    That was lovely.

    I’m glad your friend has you.


    I just received a letter from my BFF. After skimming the first half page I have a pretty good idea where it’s going, so I’m not going to read the next 5 a half pages before I have to go to work, but could you please all be here for some hand holding in about 4 hours?

  52. birgerjohansson says

    Rescued Cats Transform Inmates’ Lives With Love At Pendleton Correctional Facility
    “Cats admit perverse love of heat”. Cats are incredibly keen on high temperatures despite having thick pelts, it has emerged.
    Cat: “My love of extreme heat freaks everyone out, especially when they see dogs who generally have lighter coats but look completely fucked when it’s even moderately warm.”
    Also, “Cameron realising Britain just really hated Gordon Brown”

  53. birgerjohansson says

    Snowball Earth: New study shows Antarctic climate even gripped the tropics
    At the time, there were already cyanobacteria that did photosynthesis. How the hell would they have survived a snowball event? There must be a mechanism to preserve substantial open-water refugia.
    “But if the land where the rocks originated was so cold because it was several kilometres above sea level, the possibility that the planet was more of a Slushball Earth, with open seawater near the equator, cannot entirely be ruled out.”
    -But since Rodinia, lacking a plant cover, would suffer intense erosion (prior to the snowball event), only narrow mountain ranges in active mountain-building regions would provide such environments.

  54. cicely says

    Additional *hugs* for TMM.

    chigau, I’m so sorry.

    Crudely Wrott, oak trees are evil, the way they go promiscuously forcing their nasty pollen on the sinuses of the unwilling.
    As for your 82, all I can say is *sniffle*—and that ain’t just the sinuses talkin’.

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

    and extra *hugs* for TMM’s friend

    Yeah, people suck. I don’t have anything else. Seriously .Just because it’s more convenient to use Facebook doesn’t mean they can’t invest that tiny little bit more effort to phone you. Gad.
    My condolences and I’m sorry you didn’t get the chance to say goodbye.

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

    @Giliell –

    I calculate that as about 45 minutes from now.

    I’ll probably be AFK for about an hour starting right then, but I’ll be checking the lounge just before and just after.

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


    I very often appreciate you link dumps, and your second article is good and interesting*1, but damn if I didn’t groan when I read that second link, thinking, “Now we’re going to have to listen to the new-age-loons go off on quantum criticality. Ugh.”

    *1: as is your 3rd…the 1st and 4th are fine, but less interesting to me.
    …I have no idea why I’m saying this. I meant to thank/compliment you and now it sounds like I’m criticizing. Sigh.

  58. blf says

    Cheese incident…

    You want a lesson from the mildly deranged penguin on what is and isn’t cheese?!
    Velveeta (YUCK!! I’d managed to forget that stuff exists…) certainly is not, and Cheez Whiz is an abomination unto well, just about everything, including horses, peas, and itself.

  59. says

    Oh god, I should have read the letter to the end. It is NOT what I thought.
    You can all relax and so can I. My friend’s looking for artificial insemination and I thought she might be looking for a sperm donor. She’s not. She’s asking us to become guardians should she have a child and should something happen to her. I’m totally honoured by her trust in us. I’m not sure what I would have said to the other wish*, I’m glad I don’t have to think about it.

    *It’s all your fault. All you people with your non-traditional families make me get ideas.

    Thank you

  60. cicely says

    *relaxing per Giliell‘s instructions*
    Wrong, somehow.
    *tensing back up*
    Normality has been restored.

  61. The Mellow Monkey says


    She’s asking us to become guardians should she have a child and should something happen to her. I’m totally honoured by her trust in us.

    Oh, that is so sweet. ❤

    One of my oldest friends in the world is also a cis man who is about to get married. He and his wife-to-be have agreed that he can be my donor when I’m ready for one, should I not end up with someone who will provide sperm somehow in the meantime. Funny thing, considering how uncertain I was about having kids with my ex-partner: now that he’s out of the picture, I’m actually sure about all the things I do want.

    And fortune be praised for that, because this whole thing would have been so much harder if we’d had kids together.

  62. blf says

    Also that there’s probably plenty of lovely leverage points for my Wretched Cat to send it flying

    No, no, yer doing it all wrong. Wretched Cat should have the flying lessons. The mildly deranged penguin offers a kitty launching service, normally using a trebuchet (there’s a large selection), but for a reasonable fee and a few mountains of cheese, other launchers are available.

    Now all I can think is “…I don’t wanna dust it…”

    She also has a housecleaning service. Well, a house incineration service. Very hygienic. Any germs, virus, walruses, dust bunnies, and horses are guaranteed to become small piles of ash. So is the neighborhood, so you don’t have to worry about recontamination. Peas and British industrial cheddar extra. There have been no complaints from any of her previous clients, all of whom could provide references, once you reassemble their respective Universes. Payment in advance.

  63. says

    The “Flush Rush” campaign has racked up another success.

    Indianapolis’ WIBC has broadcast Rush Limbaugh’s show for 22 years. Despite this long history, parent company Emmis Communications announced April 13 that they are dropping Limbaugh’s show from WIBC’s lineup. […]

    There are some–primarily national–advertisers that refuse to air commercials during Limbaugh’s show […]

    While it was already reported that major radio companies were hemorrhaging millions of dollars due to Limbaugh’s toxicity, the Journal’s analysis of the effect at the local station level was revealing […]

    WIBC is just the latest in a string of reminders that Rush Limbaugh is bad for business.

    The Journal report also confirmed that advertisers continue to leave and stay away thanks to a dedicated group of independent organizers in the Flush Rush and #StopRush communities. Their participation matters and is having a tremendous effect. […]

  64. blf says

    Borscht by tube? Space menu served up to mark Soviet achievements:

    A vending machine in Moscow is giving diners the chance to eat like Russian cosmonauts. …

    To mark cosmonautics day — Russia’s annual celebration of Yuri Gagarin’s 1961 trip into space on 12 April — a vending machine at the country’s exhibition centre is now selling space food.

    Situated in the Cosmos pavilion at the VDNKh centre in Moscow, visitors have the chance to try a three-course cosmonaut dinner which has been freeze-dried and then squeezed into a tube.

    The starter is either borscht (beetroot soup), schchi (cabbage soup) or rassolnik (pickled cucumber soup), the second course is lamb or pork, and then dessert: cottage cheese with fruit puree — apricot, blackberry or sea buckthorn. Each tube costs 300 roubles (£4).

    The mildly deranged penguin is confused. Well, more confused than usual. On the one hand, there’s no cheese. That’s bad. And good — it means the Russians have more sense than to consider Cheez Whiz or Velveeta cheese.

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

    Yay for Giliell!

    Welcome for oldermancub!

    Oldermancub, has anyone explained to you how your login need not be how your name is displayed? I mention this because your ‘nym as presented by wordpress has no spaces, but in the text you use “older mancub”. Of course that could be autocorrect, but if you’d prefer spaces, you can make that happen.

    I know how important just the right ‘nym can be.

  66. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Like the Grinch, or maybe much moar than the Grinch, my heart has suddenly grown by several sizes. Perhaps by even an order of magnitude.
    I give you Older Mancub.
    You may do with him what you will but you will do it kindly.
    He just turned sixteen a week ago and has not yet rotated above the fires of purgatory long enough to be considered edible. With a bit more time and with tender basting I am certain that he will please even the most discriminating palate.
    I am obviously (well, I should hope it shows!) delighted that he has stuck his nose under the tent of the Lounge. He is bright, he learns quickly and has a most admirable curiosity. Those factors bode well in terms of future possibilities.
    Next school year he will be shuttling between his high school and the local community college for courses.

    Obvious Proud Grampa is obvious.

    I’d tell you more but it would be not only polite of me and more entertaining for you to let him tell you himself.

    Hey, Tony! Got something tasty but not too invigorating for this sprout?

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

    @Crudely & oldermancub:

    Obvious Proud Grampa is obvious.

    and proud.

    Hey, Tony! Got something tasty but not too invigorating for this sprout?

    I recommend poached water, with a delicate camellia sinensis infusion.

  68. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    @Crip Dike #109

    Thanks for welcoming the sprout. Your mention of displayed nym is well received and in fact, at this very moment it is being addressed.

  69. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says


    Perhaps with a bit of cream? For the cat, that is.

    *smirks runs and hides*

  70. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    A big welcome for Older Mancub. Because there is no “Junior Division” in the lounge, you will be expected to complete the standard questionnaire. I imagine rq, our official paper shuffler, will be here shortly to administer it. You will find, I hope, that we value truth, hilarity, irony, inquisitiveness, silliness, forthrightness, kindness, and respect, all flavored with a sprinkling of wisdom. And the oxford comma.

  71. opposablethumbs says

    Giliell, that’s good news – glad to hear it.

    Pleased to make your acquaintance, oldermancub. Somebody will probably administer The Questionnaire at some point – you might like to consider your opinions of Peas, Horses, and dammit what was the other one … oh, yes, cheese, sorry, Cheese. And the bonus question: Miracle Whip (clue: it’s an abomination unto all sentient beings but shh, you didn’t hear me say that).

  72. says

    Pretty ‘rupt; *hugs* and condolences to chigau, happy birthday to somebody, I misrecall who, welcome to Older Mancub.

    My allergies are back with a vengeance, and have taken my sleep with them; I am also trying my hand again at (tabletop) game writing, which is occupying much of such faculties as I’ve got. Also, one of my teeth seems to be going further south on me, which is a joy, since we’re broke and afaict uninsured; I went to apply for the Oregon Health Plan, but I never heard back, and can’t get through on the phone due to exceedingly long hold times and random disconnections. sigh.

  73. says

    morgan @114:

    You will find, I hope, that we value truth, hilarity, irony, inquisitiveness, silliness, forthrightness, kindness, and respect, all flavored with a sprinkling of wisdom. And the oxford comma.

    Hmmm, perhaps we should make a tweak to the questionnaire- ‘what is your position on the Oxford comma?’

  74. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Hey Tony!! I’ve been lurking since winter and your stories have been part of what has sustained me. Really nice to be back in the Lounge with you and all the Hoardlings.

    Say, got anything that is invigorating for me? Perhaps something with bourbon in it?

  75. says

    Welcome oldermancub!

    Speaking of old, you are indeed too old to begin the training to become a Jedi–

    Wait, this isn’t the jedi council…nevermind, my mistake.

  76. Older Mancub says

    Thanks for all the Welcome’s. This is pretty difficult to do on my phone but I’ll try my best.

    Dalillama I feel for you my allergies are horrible this time of year. Especially with my asthma.

  77. says

    Crudely @119:
    How about some Jim Beam Black?
    Or perhaps Crown Special Reserve?
    There was a bottle of Woodford Reserve, but it went missing a few weeks ago. I did find the culprit after dusting for prints. Turns out it was PZ!

  78. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Mister Jack, Tony!, if you please. He’s an old friend and I’ve been missing him lately.

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

    what is your position on the Oxford comma?’

    The only position for the Oxford comma in the movement is prone.

    Damn, uppity Oxford commas!

  80. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Upon reflection, the Crown Special Reserve sounds enticing. Perhaps with something lemony in it.

  81. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Damn, uppity Oxford commas!

    I have, on occasion, inserted an Oxford quote while standing. I think those times were when a short pause was needed for clarity and easier reading.

    *or catching or breath*

  82. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    erm, “catching of breath”

    When I die Tylpos will claim my soul.

  83. Older Mancub says

    Well I’m much too old for pillow forts but i love cookies! Who is Hobbes?

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

    Ah, Crudely, have you no shame? Such intellectual and social deprivation you have inflicted!

    Why, Older Mancub might end up depraved on account’a he’s deprived!

    Fortunately there are Hordelings that exist to fulfill the needs of the soul.

  85. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Heh . . .
    “too old for pillow forts . . .”

  86. Older Mancub says

    That’s exactly what he said when he read my comment himself. He reminded me of what that was. I haven’t read many but I know what that is for the most part.

  87. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Ah, Crudely, have you no shame? Such intellectual and social deprivation you have inflicted!

    You have found the chink in my armor. Comes the revolution I shall surely pay. Deeply and dearly.

    On the other hand, I am grooming a champion for my dotage.

    I am, then, a shameless gold digger. To be fair, it is all in the family.

  88. says

    Hey Lynna, have you heard about Stripling Warrior, the world’s first gay mormon superhero?

    Stripling Warrior stars Sam Shepard, a happily out and newly married gay man who is visited by an Angel from Heaven on his wedding night. The Angel Abish – a rare female named character from the Book of Mormon – calls Sam to become the Hand of God on Earth, tasked with smiting those in need of smiting.

    Why was he chosen? How does his homosexuality impact his role as a servant of the divine? And how does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints react when they hear of a homosexual man on a mission from the heavens? (*hint* Not great.)

    Stripling Warrior will explore all of this. The comic is a sexy story without being XXX-Sexy (not that there is anything wrong with XXX Gay Comics). This book isn’t just about a gay superhero who’s gay in name only. Sam’s romantic life will be prominently featured along with plenty of fisticuffs, humor, an exploration into the mythology of the LDS Church, and of course, heroic banter and super villains.

    Sketches and preview pages available at the link. The art is nice, but the writing is…not good.

  89. says

    Older Mancub @135:

    Well I’m much too old for pillow forts but i love cookies!

    I’ve found that pillow forts are nice when you want to temporarily retreat from the horrors of the world.

  90. says

    I would contend, Older Mancub, that you may be both too old and too young for pillow forts. Dignity is (understandably and reasonably) a very important consideration in your chronological region – I say that as observation, not criticism – and pillow forts and the need therefor are rarely dignified.

    As a cranky old Nana of 48 1/2, though, I can say that I occasionally make pillow forts in my apartment, because I can, and because sometimes it just feels like the right thing to do. The world is large and scary sometimes, and a fort made of pillows absorbs a lot of ills. But my dignity stopped being important when I dyed my hair blue a few years ago, so I’m good with being undignified.

    Welcome to you, and welcome back Crudely, and Audley, and OMG you’re all back at once it’s kinda cool! :)


    I’ve spent the evening doing the AMAZINGLY BORING part of game design: the making of multiple things of repetitive design. In the case of my pro bending game, currently 420 cards for the entire two-player game, each of which consists of a set of five icons (chosen from three; 243 possibles, of which I’m using 210), plus another symbol and a small diagram of required movement. Each card is very slightly different, and because I’m obsessive, they also need to be aligned perfectly and distributed evenly and visually bifold (shape plus colour, helping to make sure that icons are discernible to people with various low-viz situations) and the characters used have to be right and and and…

    So it’s utterly boring stuff, but requires close attention to detail to satisfy me. Deadly combination. I’ve set myself a goal of two pages a day – 30 cards per sheet, taking about 90 minutes per sheet. It’s just hard to maintain the level of concentration needed to keep at it, another sly little component of depression.

    Definitely DEFINITELY doing better on that front, btw; the Black Dog is sleeping in the living room, now, at least, and not on my bed. Exhibit A is the game; by this point when I’m properly depressed, I’d be giving up despite good intentions, as I have with so many games before. But I’ve got enough optimism back to think that this is a bloody good design, and that I really think there’s a good chance that they’ll want to publish it. It’s simple enough for probably bright six-year-olds – definitely the average eight-year-old could handle it, if they’ve seen the show Legend of Korra – but in the same sense that chess is simple rules with complex outcomes, the interaction of the cards and strategies therewith, with the three-per-side nature of the game, with the dice rolls (enough to smooth out the probabilities, and single-die success/failure rolls), gives a pretty wide range of possibilities for approaching the game. The rules are currently two pages, total, and I’m aiming for a final of four or less.

    Way more detail than you needed, I expect, but hey, the point is, I know all this stuff because I’ve got it all worked out, it’s all in notes and files and diagrams, and this card-making is the final step in hand-making the prototype. And I’m applying myself to actually getting the notes transcribed into an actual game that I can send out to actual not-me playtesters, and then actually try to get published.

    And y’know, maybe as a wee side note, possibly getting to meet Bryan and Mike. Cause, OMG SKA-WHEEEEEE! that would be (ahem) pleasant.

  91. carlie says

    Welcome, Older Mancub! You are most welcome here. Although some of us are old enough to be your parents (I have a 16 year old at home myself), there are also younger people who pop in on the Lounge thread from time to time. Thunk is one who comes in and out as his studies allow; hopefully you will cross paths at some point, and there are a lot of people here in their low-to-midd-ish 20s, not too far off.

    The pillow fort is for anyone who has had a bad day/week/month/year who needs extra kindness and internet love. It’s a good place to rest and recoup when needed. :)

  92. says

    Oh for fucks sake!!!!!!!!!!!

    My in laws are considering going to Oklahoma and getting the so-called “Jesus shot” which the doctor “Dr Mike” claims can cure you of pain forever for the low low price of $300. But don’t fucking ask what’s in it! And they don’t care that he’s spent time in a federal prison for fraud. Or that his medical license was revoked in Ohio befor he ran away to Oklahoma. And no! Second opinions aren’t an option because all of the other doctors out there are covering this miracle cure up so that they can force you to get more expensive pain control options–like aspirin for arthritis that one has or the knee replacement for the bone on bone knee that the other does.

    And they are believing this shit! And aren’t listening to me or their son while we’re going “wait what? Are you sure you want to blindly trust someone like that? Really?”


  93. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Hi, carlie!! I meant to give you a shout out before, so, how ’bout now?!

    Also warm regards, hugs, grog, comfy chairs and fair winds to you and also to:

    Anne, doing yeoman’s work keeping my hug pile stocked the last few months.

    Crip Dyke for all around wonderfulness and cutting insight into law and related stuff.

    Cicely for sniffling with me. Fortunately the pollen blizzard is waning but your loveliness shines on!

    Giliell who almost needed emergency hugs; will a calm and infinitely redeemable hug coupon be welcome instead? Good. It’s yours.

    I’ve no doubt missed some but you are not neglected. My bad but keeping up with every comment here and keeping up with RL and et cetera tasks even my Herculean abilities. (probably should have used lowercase there, or invoked a lesser god like Barney Fife who would, if lowercased, simply vanish.)

    I extend thanks and nods of appreciation for those of you who have, and those of you who will, welcome my grandson into the Lounge. I know that the kindness that you have graced me with over the years of following this blog will be his as well. Too, the gentle corrections and advice that are signal of the bright spirits who dwell here in this place between places.

  94. thunk: prawo jazdy says

    Hello! Welcome to the lounge, Older Mancub! It is nice to see aspiring young minds on here. I’m freshly into college, as carlie has pointed out. (And as Tony! says, my gender is not very clearly defined either. Especially to myself. I don’t really mind anything but “he”, though).

    And aside from that, I’m doing various kinds of things meant to satisfy the nitpicky demands of my various professors, my side projects (when I’m bored– Must District (62% done, i think))

    And to whoever asked about the quizbowl thing last lounge, I believe: We appreciate your presence here, but understand that this is more of a place for comfort, idle chitchat, and support. People usually only tend to donate money in cases when a trusted regular needs it for some emergency (paying rent and the like) — many of us don’t have much, if anything to spare. HSNCT and the like can be expensive; I’ve had to pay significant amounts out of pocket two years I went. I suggest going to the hsqb forums ( and asking there. I do hope you can make it; academic competition can be fun (if a bit problematic).

  95. carlie says

    *swears* I’m really sorry, thunk. I do know better, and should have remembered.

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

    My day today:

    4:30: Why am I awake?
    5:30: Fuck it.
    6: Get out of bed.
    6:30: Leave for work.
    6:45: Tea!
    6:55: Crap, gotta hit the time clock.
    7:15: Oh great, he just vomited.
    8: Awesome, he just vomited again.
    9:15: That’s blood. Crap.
    12:00: Crapcrapcrapcrap runrunrunrun
    12:30: Okay, crisis averted.
    12:40: Did the doctor just address the patient as “sweetcheeks”?
    13:15: Lunch!
    13:45: Okay, back to work.
    14: Great, he just wandered off. Did he sign the forms? Glad I’m leaving soon.
    15: Hey, where’s the nurse coming in to relieve me?
    15:30: Guess i’m not leaving soon.
    16:30: Why did I get both of the new admits?
    17: Oh yay, we’ve got a spitter.
    18:30: Awwww, we rang all the bells for that long-term patient as they left. And they bought us flowers. Cue a mass hug/weepfest in the med room.
    18:45: Okay back to work.
    19: Finish this fucking paperwork.
    19:30: Okay, so after waiting for 10 hours for the provider to come by, the family left and the provider shows up 5 minutes later. Perfect. Whatever, I’m leaving that mess for the night shift.
    19:40: Is the sun still up? Yes! I’m seeing the sun today!

    The good news is that I’m off tomorrow, and that extra 4 hours got me overtime. :D


    Hello, Crudely Wrott! Excellent seeing you again! And welcome to the cub!

  97. cicely says

    Hi, oldermancub (or, as may be, Older Mancub); Welcome In!
    So. Down to Real Business:
    1) Horses?
    2) Peas?
    3) Cheese?
    4) Miracle Whip™?
    (Ignore the opposablethumbsian propaganda re Miracle Whip™; though in all other ways a fine, nay, an excellent example of a sapient being, in this respect, there is evidence of considerable, and erroneous, bias.)

    *hugs for Dalillama; I’m sorry to hear about the allergies and The Madness of the Tooth.
    I know both these circumstances but too well.

    5) The Oxford Coma?
    I mean, Comma.

    *pouncehug* for CaitieCat.
    And may you punt the Black Dog back out through the doggie flap.


    My in laws are considering going to Oklahoma

    Bad move.
    Bad move.

    and getting the so-called “Jesus shot”

    So, munching His Flesh and slurping His Blood is no longer good enough; now he demands to be inserted subcutaneously as well?

    can cure you of pain forever

    …as can a baseball bat to the back of the head…

    for the low low price of $300.

    …and the baseball bat is much cheaper.
    I’m so sorry.

    Armadillos aren’t just cute like everybody supposes….
    Also—News Flash!—they are not, repeat, not Naturally Housebroken.
    Anyone who tells you different, is only going to avoid paying to have your upholstery cleaned, afterwards.

    Nastily active, if seasonally-appropriate, weather in OK, just here lately. I hope you’re riding it out okay.

    *hugs* and *chocolate, coffee, and/or Something Stronger* for Esteleth.

    12:40: Did the doctor just address the patient as “sweetcheeks”?

    Enjoy your day off; it certainly sounds like you’ve earned it!

  98. cicely says

    Annie Bruce, formerly gworroll, I hope it goes better at the state level. The recent local display of mostly-religiously-fueled bigotry was both frustrating and depressing.

  99. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Trying a pain pill to see if I can sleep longer than just a few minutes before the bladder alarm goes off enough to wake me up. It had better work, or tomorrow is going to be a very, very long day.

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

    Just because I’ve still got the warmfuzzies over it, I want to expand on my “we rang all the bells” thing.

    Back in the day, patients were given a little bell that they could use to get the attention of the staff (nowadays, their beds are equipped with a push button that sets of a “ding” at the nurses’ station). The old bells live in a box in the storeroom.

    Someone who’d been with us awhile (and who came to us in a very bad situation) was discharged today. So we – the staff – lined the hallway, each of us carrying one of those old bells. And as our former-patient passed by on their way out, we rang those bells.

    We rang those bells so damn hard.

    Eyes got misty.

  101. chigau (違う) says

    Esteleth #147 & #153
    *wiping tears*
    Please clone yourself and your co-workers and send them to the next ER I visit.

  102. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Oh. Percy Sledge. Seventy three. Voice is stilled. Memories of high school dances. Slow dancing.

    Hello Esteleth! A note has been made of your job performance. I know it’s around here some where . . . riffles papers on desk, looks under desk, goes for call button . . . archivist, stat!

    I think I missed sending a greeting to to chigau. Here, have some tea and some pillows, on me. I had all these extras and then here you come just wandering by. Just in time; I’m behind schedule turning these things over.

  103. says

    Good morning
    I take all the hugs, I give all the hugs, crudely

    Welcome, Older Mancub
    Before you answer the questionaire, let me inform you that each question has a definitely right and a definitely wrong answer. The trouble is that few people can agree on which is which ;)

    That sounds busy. Also criminal of your employer. Take care of yourself. I come from a family of healthcare workers and the conditions often break down good and dedicated staff

    I’m glad you have somebody who’d do that for you and I’m glad things are looking clearer for you now. It’s not an easy decision and I’m glad we don’t have to make it. Best I can say is that I would really have thought about it Especially since German laws are completely fucked up patriarchal monsters. Women are not considered actual rational beings, therefore you have huge difficultuties getting treatment unless you’re married to a guy and gus cannot agree to donate sperm personally without the risk of being sued for child support. Allegedly in the name of the child’s wellbeing.
    Did I also mention that we get to hear every other week how women aren’t popping out enough babies?

  104. Daniel Dunér says

    My posts never seem to show up in the Stop Bragging-thread. Have I been marked as a spammer or is it just bugging out on me?

  105. A. Noyd says

    I shocked a pair of Japanese Jehova’s Witnesses half to death this evening. There aren’t very many foreigners living in this city, so my appearance at the door was rawther unexpected. I wish I could have watched when they got to my coworker’s apartment at the other end of the building. Because if I was shocking to them as an average-height white woman, well, he’s a black guy over 6 feet tall.

    Also, that coworker and I are lucky we didn’t get kicked out of the convenience store near our apartment building earlier this evening. We ran into one another there after work, and as we were chatting, this adorable little kid with a two-toned mullet came up and made friends with us. Then he got totally wound up and ran around “killing” us like thirty times each with imaginary swords, guns, laser beams, magic powers, etc. There we were: two foreigners in business suits getting repeatedly and gorily “murdered” by an over-excited first grader all up and down the aisles of a convenience store during their evening rush. At least we made a good impression on the kid’s grandmother(?).

  106. Okidemia says

    I wish to apologise personnally to Jackie, social justice WIZZARD and since I don’t know when the best opportunity to do so could happen, I’ll leave it there on the Lounge so please tell her if she’s not seeing it.

    Over the course of our previous (mid January) argument, I used a quite dumb non-argument unfairly in response to a “bet” (I had no idea what she was refering to, and admittedly, a bit upset about it). The nature of the non-argument was sexually implicit, and while it wasn’t hard pressed it was still fully inappropriate.

    So I apologize to her.

    Only a few days ago did I realise that I was mistaken on her person.

    To my defence, I genuinely thought it was directed to “him” as a guy, and not to her as a woman, since the surname is masculine in my country. I don’t direct that kind of insensitive pseudoarg to women, though I sometimes happen to use it when the interlocutor is male, because it has the advantage of clearing off the ground of potential homophobes.

    Please note that if anybody else in here feels like I owe xir apologies, I’ll genuinely consider the request. (I think potential exceptions have been banned already).

  107. says

    I read upthread that there may yet be hope for Missouri? Well…
    Missouri Republicans are trying to ban food stamp recipients from buying steak and seafood
    My fave part of the article:

    “I have seen people purchasing filet mignons and crab legs with their EBT cards,” he [Rick Brattin] said. “When I can’t afford it on my pay, I don’t want people on the taxpayer’s dime to afford those kinds of foods either.”

    He also wants to prevent them from buying cookies, chips, energy drinks, and soft drinks.

    Maybe he thinks people on assistance should just eat dirt?

  108. says

    Also, forgive my poor manners…
    Welcome to Older Mancub
    and huz to all in need. With special thoughts to TMM and chigau.

    Allergies! The generic version of Claritin I was taking has stopped working. I’m trying good old fashioned Benadryl now. It seems to be helping a bit more. Is it just me, or is there a real science-y reason that allergies seem really bad this year?

  109. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The generic version of Claritin I was taking has stopped working.

    That appears to happen with Claritin. The Redhead complained about that, and I switched her over to a store version of Zyrtec. About the same price as the store version of Claritin. There are a couple of other OTC anti-allergy drugs you could try.

  110. says

    Chlorine, uses and abuses in Syria:

    Chlorine, which is widely used for water purification, sanitation, and the manufacture of modern medicines, is essential for human well-being in today’s world. As epidemics of waterborne diseases escalate across Syria in besieged and opposition-held areas, the Syrian government’s systematic withholding of the primary means to decontaminate water in these areas can be considered an indirect weapon of mass destruction.

    However, although minute quantities of chlorine are life-saving, if too much is inhaled in its gaseous form, it can cause death in under thirty minutes. Recently, the Syrian government has used chlorine directly against civilians as a chemical weapon. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has thus transformed a principal element of public health into a tool of both disease and terror. […]

  111. says


    I switched her over to a store version of Zyrtec.

    Yeah, I read somewhere that Zyrtec tends to be more effective than Claritin. I did not know there was a store version of it, though. I’ll need to check the aisle more carefully next time.

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

    Giliell, I’m not inclined to hold a surprise! stay-late against my employer. This is not at all a routine occurrence, and it’s not my manager’s fault they had a no-show. In any case, the decision to stay late was made by me. When it was realized we had the no-show, I was asked, “Would you be interested in staying until 7?” I said yes. I could have declined (in which case they would have approached the other people getting ready to clock out at 3, and had they all declined as well, gotten on the phones) without any penalty at all. The only reason I was asked first is because when the manager started looking for the out-at-3 people, I was the first person she saw. But yes, it was exhausting.

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

    Oh, and Nerd, the active ingredient in Zyrtec is cetirizine, for the sake of your generic-hunting.

  114. says

    A tax-day article that puts taxes into perspective:

    The top 1 percent of earners are expected to pay nearly half of all 2014 federal income taxes, while the lowest 80 percent will pay 15 percent. However, according to the IRS, the top 400 taxpayers by income saw their total real income grow 338 percent between 1992 and 2012, while their average tax rate dropped more than 35 percent. […]

    And while federal income tax rates go up with income, when you account for state and local taxes, the effective tax rate faced by each income group starts to look less progressive, according to Citizens for Tax Justice. And, as Vox’s Dylan Matthews points out, the tax burden for roughly 65 percent of American families comes from payroll taxes along with state and local taxes. […]

    In the last 60 years, the share of federal tax revenue from individual tax income has remained relatively stable. Meanwhile, the share from payroll taxes has steadily increased while corporate taxes’ share has declined. While companies complain about steep taxes, consider that major US companies have stashed billions in profits overseas, beyond the reach of the IRS.

  115. says

    Gun violence costs have soared. In the USA, gun violence costs about $700 per American per year. We spend more as a result of gun violence than we do on obesity, and the gun-violence costs ($229 billion) are almost equal to Medicaid spending ($251 billion) per year.

    […] Every time a bullet hits somebody, expenses can include emergency services, police investigations, and long-term medical and mental-health care, as well as court and prison costs. About 87 percent of these costs fall on taxpayers. […]

    Louisiana has the highest gun homicide rate in the nation, with costs per capita of more than $1,300. Wyoming has a small population but the highest overall rate of gun deaths [….] with costs working out to about $1,400 per resident. Among the four most populous states, the costs per capita in the gun rights strongholds of Florida and Texas outpace those in more strictly regulated California and New York. Hawaii and Massachusetts, with their relatively low gun ownership rates and tight gun laws, have the lowest gun death rates, and costs per capita roughly a fifth as much as those of the states that pay the most. […]

  116. blf says

    I just spilled some boiling water on my hand. (Not very much, and, at the moment, I seem to be Ok.) It was supposed to go into the teapot, but I wasn’t paying attention…

    …because I’m still fuming over pointy-haired at work. He’s been doing a number of dumb things lately, but the one which kidnapped the herd of goats was an e-mail to me, and CC-ed to several others, saying to “never use bork“, making it clear he thought it was a rude or impolite term.

    I immediately sent back an easily-found definition from the ‘Net, which was, in essence, “an incorrectly configured computer”. Which is essentially what I meant (I was actually referring to a piece of software). Pointy-haired neither replied nor apologized.

    What he is supposed to be doing is fixing the borked software so that we can send it to customers (he agreed to this is in a team meeting awhile ago). The customers are now screaming for it (quite legitimately, it’s not only overdue, but really is desperately needed — and pointy-haired has been saying for at least a month now it can be fixed in less than one day (and, if it wasn’t pointy-haired himself who is supposed to being it, he’s probably correct)).

    The main reason we know it is borked is because I insisted on testing it before release, due to previous releases having a history of borkology and no-one noticing until either someone in my team (perhaps the internal users who use and are most likely to put the borked software under stress), or a customer, starts to complain. So this time I put my foot down and refused to release the software I work on, which needs pointy-haired’s borked software, until we were satisfied it wasn’t borked.

    The e-mail conversation was an attempt by pointy-haired to shift the blame for the inordinate delay to my team.

    (At the moment, after my reply, pointy-haired has shut up, but I won’t be too surprised if the Orwellian tactics resume in the future…)

  117. blf says

    The tea, b.t.w., is a nice organic Earl Grey, with some organic honey and a shot of Kraken Black Spiced Rum. A rather hefty shot. There is more water than rum (even after spilling some of it on my hand), but there could be more rum (by volume) than tea leaves…

  118. carlie says

    I read somewhere that Zyrtec tends to be more effective than Claritin.

    Personal anecdote only: I’ve been taking Zyrtec for years, ever since I first started going to an allergist and it was prescription. Once last year I had an allergy shot and couldn’t find any Zyrtec, so I took a Claritin that my husband had bought instead. I ended up having an anaphylactic reaction to the shot. Luckily the symptoms didn’t involve throat closure, but it was still quite unpleasant (especially, but not limited to, the side effects of the emergency dose of epinephrine). So for me, Zyrtec definitely works and Claritin definitely doesn’t.

  119. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and Nerd, the active ingredient in Zyrtec is cetirizine, for the sake of your generic-hunting.

    [I’m a chemist and read the labels first to confirm identity] At drug store XXXYYY, the store brands are XXX-itin and XXX-zyr. Other drug/mega stores may have similar changes identifying the name brand they are selling under their logo.

  120. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Borked the blockquotes #178 [facepalm]. Been that type of week so far.

  121. says

    A woman in Georgia was denied a prescription because the asshat pharmacist refused to fill it:

    When Brittany Cartrett lost her pregnancy in March, her doctor prescribed Misoprostol to help her complete the miscarriage. The drug, which would allow her to avoid a more invasive surgical procedure, is the same one used to induce many abortions. Which is why, Cartrett suspects, two different pharmacies in central Georgia refused to fill her prescription.

    […] When she asked the pharmacist why she wouldn’t fill her prescription, Cartrett claims, “She looks at me over her nose and says, ‘Because I couldn’t think of a reason why you would need that prescription.'” Cartrett says she then explained that she’d had a miscarriage, and the pharmacist replied, “I don’t feel like there is a reason why you would need it, so we refused to fill it.”

    Cartrett is blaming the incident on a law, passed 15 years ago, that guarantees pharmacists the right to refuse to provide contraceptives or abortifacients on religious or conscientious grounds. Georgia is one of six states with such a law on the books. […]

    The woman mentioned above is not the only one who was refused prescription medication by a pharmacist.

  122. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Lynna, #180

    That’s disgraceful.

    Walmart’s excuse about the prescription not following FDA guidelines is bullshit. Shame on them. There is no principle on which a pharmacist would realistically refuse to fill a misoprostol prescription from an OBGYN. Unless it was an obvious issue (like bizarre quantity or weird instructions), the pharmacist wouldn’t scrutinize a prescription for something like that.

  123. says

    A woman in Georgia was denied a prescription because the asshat pharmacist refused to fill it:

    That shit shouldn’t be legal.

    You may remember that my uncle died a few weeks ago. As he had debts, his wife and daughters declined the inheritance. Which means that now the rest of the family needs to do so as well: his siblings, his mother, his nieces and nephews, even my kids.
    Not only do we have to take half a day off to go to the courthouse, we also have to pay 30 bucks each for the privilege. That’s 90 bucks for us to get out of an inheritance we don’t want.

  124. cicely says

    Giliell, I take it that anyone accepting this inheritance also takes on responsibility for settling up said debts? Even if the inheritance doesn’t cover them?

  125. says

    Cartoonist stands by controversial drawing depicting young shooting victim:

    Editorial cartoonist Milt Priggee, who stirred up controversy with his portrayal of a 2-year-old shot and killed in Bremerton, stands by his drawing.

    The cartoon depicts Kaden Lum as an angel and Uncle Sam as the devil with two handguns and the phrase “America’s gun culture” written on his jacket.

    Rantz: Cartoon exploits dead child for political points

    Priggee defended the cartoon in an interview with KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz, who took issue with the drawing.

    “A cartoon is a simple machine to make the reader think, not joke,” Priggee said. “It’s not a comic strip, it’s not entertainment, and this is where newspapers have fallen down. They have not taken any kind of opportunity to educate the public because a lot of times people come to an editorial cartoon and they say, ‘Well there’s nothing funny about this. Why is this in the newspaper?'”

    In this particular case, Priggee’s aim was to get readers to think critically about America’s gun culture, something he believes is a problem on both sides of the political spectrum.

    “On one side, we have a bunch of liberals that don’t care, and then on the other side, you have people that are blocking whatever little improvement could be made on tightening up whatever,” he said. “The problem is that we, as a society, are not discussing it enough. That was the intention of the cartoon.”

    Image of the cartoon available at the link.

  126. says

    Yep, inheriting means all or nothing, so if the debts are bigger than the assets, you have to pay them off. I don’t know how that is if somebody leaves you a specific item, but that’s not what we’re talking about.

  127. says

    This is cross posted from the thread, “A weird, strange, sad argument against gay marriage.” Moments of Mormon Madness have run into a snag.

    Whoa, wait a minute here! One of the mormon couples included in the U.S. Supreme Court case filing have objected to being included. Looks like some mormon lawyers included the couple without their permission or knowledge.

    […] The Weeds told The Salt Lake Tribune on Tuesday they didn’t consent to be included in the filing, nor do they share its point of view.

    Among the filing’s arguments: Constitutionally mandated same sex-marriages can exist only by “erasing, marginalizing and demeaning the same-sex attracted who live in man-woman marriages” and would send a “harmful message that it is impossible, unnatural and dangerous for the same-sex attracted to marry members of the opposite sex.”

    “What does that have to do with us at all?” asked Josh Weed, an openly gay man who has been married to a woman for 12 years. “I feel no devaluation of my marriage status by having marriage equality.” […]

    “My wife and I support marriage equality,” Josh Weed said. “That is sacrosanct to us and important to us because we know many wonderful people who are hurt by the current state of affairs. To have this amicus brief out with our names associated with it is very hurtful.”

    Josh and Lolly Weed want their names removed from the “friend of the court” brief.

    The mormon attorney who filed the brief is Darrin Johns from American Fork, Utah. It’s mostly mormons all the way. Furthermore, it is mormons connected to North Star, one of the heinous reparative therapy organizations run by mormons.

    […] The brief includes quoted statements and references to online video interviews from nearly 20 individuals and couples about the joys or challenges of their relationships and their reasons for choosing mixed-orientation marriages.

    All but one appear to be Mormons with ties to North Star, a support group and resource for mixed-orientation Latter-day Saints. […]

    The one non-mormon in the group is a catholic, Doug Mainwaring. He is also a founding member of the National Capital Tea Party Patriot group.

  128. says

    Cross post from the “sad argument against gay marriage thread.” More Moments of Mormon Madness being exposed.

    A few excerpts from the readers’ comments associated with the Salt Lake Tribune article (link in #50):

    People can deny it all they want, and LDS leadership can continue to allow them to believe it, but it does not change the fact that LDS leaders, from the VERY VERY top of the hierarchy, instructed thousands of gay men to marry women.
    The LDS church for decades instructed gay men, like myself, to marry women and to have children. I was personally told, by a Senior member of the quorum of the 12 apostles that God wants his gay children to marry in the temple and that he will cure them of their gay attractions if they will do so.
    In our large extended family, there have been several gay men who all served missions and all had to be interviewed by General Authorities to go after coming out to their bishops. Each one was told the same exact thing. Pray it way and get married in the temple. Each was promised that he would stop being gay if he would just do as Church Leaders counseled, promised a spiritual “cure” that turned out to be a cruel lie that would shape the rest of their lives. Any gay Mormon or family member of a gay Mormon who turned 19 before 1983 knows this is true.
    The church even supported a group called Evergreen and who knows how many members were screwed up by being sent there to get cured! I was smart enough to know better and bypassed that one! They even used one lesbian’s story in a book about how she was cured! That one didn’t last long, because she wasn’t cured!

    They did advise people for years to get married. […] They play these stupid little games with the lives of others and they don’t give a damn what happens as long as their truth prevails! […] I am tired of the BS! I have been with my partner over 15 years and I would never get married to a woman again! Been there, tried that, and no thanks.

  129. says

    Older Mancub @190:
    It’s just a lighthearted exercise.
    Personally, I like horses and cheese, but I hate peas with a passion and Miracle Whip is an abomination before Hades.

  130. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Older Mancub,
    I know I’m not supposed to be coaching or lobbying for correct answers to The Questionnaire (of which there are several (answers not questionnaires)) but may I just opine that if Crudely is a concerned Grandpa, he will not have allowed exposure to the vile Miracle Whip. Just sayin’. :-}

  131. says

    Why, oh why, did I buy a bottle of cheap rum (bc I had limited funds on me when I went to the liquor store)? You’d think a bartender would know better. Maybe I’ll cook with it.

  132. says

    Tony! Rum balls? Toffee with rum? Bread pudding with rum? I’m sure you can find something to do with the cheap stuff – if all else fails you could always pour it over something and set it alight.

  133. says

    I’ve found that sometimes, the seemingly smallest of things can brighten my day. Earlier today, I read an article at Raw Story about a pastor who condemned a fellow clergyman for not supporting death by stoning for gays.

    Someone in the comment section left this comment:

    We already know that he’s gay himself. It’s the people who can’t deal with the scary truth inside of them who are the most filled with hate. He hates himself, so he hates all gays.

    My response:

    No, we don’t know that.
    This meme really needs to die. There aren’t droves of homophobic bigots who later come out of the closet. That some homophobes later turn out to be gay does not therefor mean that all or most homophobes are secretly gay people.
    It is often the case that bigotry is just bigotry, rather than being indicative of internalized hate and self-loathing.

    I figured my response would fall on deaf ears. I was pleased as punch to be proven wrong. The commenter later responded with this

    Yeah, you’re right. I was just being hyperbolic. But you are right, and I shouldn’t perpetuate it.

    Bigotry in all its forms, for whatever reason, stemming from any source, is wrong and vile. And while it’s upsetting that some of the worst homophobes turn out to be homophobes because of their self-hatred for their own gayness, they are truly a small percentage of the full spectrum of hate-filled anti-gay bigots out there. So…mea culpa.

    And the very fact that our society is so filled with anti-gay hatred and bigotry that some gay people end up hating themselves is indicative of how big the problem is. It simply should never happen. There is no more reason for a gay to hate himself then there is for a left-handed person to hate himself.

    After I thanked hir, xe actually thanked me for making a good point-one that xe felt made hir a better person.

    So refreshing.

  134. Older Mancub says

    Well, I love horses,peas and cheese. Miracle whip is horrible whipped cream is where its at. No Oxford commas here.

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

    Yep, inheriting means all or nothing, so if the debts are bigger than the assets, you have to pay them off. I don’t know how that is if somebody leaves you a specific item, but that’s not what we’re talking about.

    Weird. I’m pretty sure the US at least has reformed laws such that if debts exceed estate at death, that just means your heirs get nothing.

  136. carlie says

    Quiz time: you have had a tough week. There are three items on the table in front of you. Which do you eat?
    a) cheesecake
    b) nachos
    c) beer

  137. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    carlie @198,

    All of them, of course. But always eat dessert first.

  138. says

    Had a decent day, today.

    Got the grocery shopping done. Sure, that’s a normal Wednesday for me, but the trip was drama-free, and I had a pleasant chat with the most adorable little old lady.

    I had to, uh, see a friend about a plant (if you know what I mean), and since the weather was nice, I decided I’d take a wander on the trails. Had a nice wander.

    It felt so good to get outside again!

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

    As long as I’m doing memes…

    How can anyone believe that a universe that contains these people was in any way influenced by a benevolent god?


  140. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Got more/longer sleep with the pain pill last night, so I’m repeating the experiment. I really need to sleep in a couple of hours past normal wake-up time. But not until the weekend. Ugh.

  141. says

    Cicely- yeah, the SOGI repeal pissed me off. At myself, too, because I neglected to get my voter registration changed over from Dallas County in time. Thankfully at work, our corporate policies(which have been enforced even in Texas) pretty much cover all of that, and the one coworker I’ve discussed it with was also anti-repeal. And it was close enough that even if things don’t happen in Jefferson City, we’ve got a decent chance of the next attempt in Springfield actually working.

    I especially hated the “we don’t need to be a leader” objection, because, well, it’s true. In fact, the bathroom panic objection is better, because at least that’s technically possible. We don’t have to be a leader, because we *can’t* be in this area. Other cities, entire states, have comparable laws and nothing has broken. It’s not as offensive as the bathroom panic arguments, but it’s just SO STUPID.

    awakeinmo- Yeah. These people have so little clue. It’s getting to the point with some of the restrictions I hear about that it would probably be cheaper, and better for public health, to just issue the food directly. At least that way it wouldn’t require recipients to know calculus in order to work out how to keep their families properly fed on their ludicrously small budget.

  142. says



    Why, oh why, did I buy a bottle of cheap rum

    There was this one bottle I bought in Cuba that couldn’t be made drinkable no matter how much lime, sugar and hierba buena you added. Finally I used it as alcohol to desinfect my mosquito bites…

    Sorry for not having been clear: You don’t have to inherit debts here. If the debts exceed the assets you just turn the whole thing down and say “no thanks”. We’re only in this position because my aunt and cousins sensibly did that. I only find it pretty unfair that we have to pay 90 bucks for not being burdened with some debt we didn’t make.

    Speaking of money, car repairs are 600 €. *sigh*
    I guess I should be glad the kids like cheap meals…
    I’m glad to hear that it’s an exception at your workplace. I simply know too many healthcare workers who got burned out because their employers simply blackmailed them with the fact that they’re good people.

  143. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    I don’t know if a term needs to be coined for this (Inverted Dear Muslima?), but listening to right-wing Christians like Ben Carson bemoan the “lack of rights” of Christians in America when there’s actual oppression of Christians going on in some Muslim countries and places like ISIL controlled territory is pretty funny.

    “If you’re a brown Christian in Iraq, the worst they can do is behead you. In the U.S. they’d expect you to sell cake if you’re in the business of selling cakes!”

  144. birgerjohansson says

    Another part of the explanation for the Fermi paradox?
    The proto-Earth needed to engulf a Mercury-like proto-planet to get the radionucleids needed to heat the core and get a magnetic field and plate tectonics going.
    “Earth ate a Mercury-like body early in its history, study finds”
    — — — — —
    After the recent failure to save and reuse the first stage of a Falcon rocket, this is reassuring:
    “Space open for business, says Electron launch system CEO” “…the first oxygen/hydrocarbon engine to use 3D printing for components”

    — — — — —
    Zoologger: “Hollow marine monsters as big as whales”
    meh. If they cannot eat humans, who cares about them?

  145. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Giliell, #211

    That’s pretty cool!

    And yeah, looking forward to all those hurt fee fees.

  146. Okidemia says

    Tony! The Queer Shoop #193

    Why, oh why, did I buy a bottle of cheap rum (bc I had limited funds on me when I went to the liquor store)? You’d think a bartender would know better. Maybe I’ll cook with it.

    If you plan for a cook bottle, there’s one thing that usually works well: put vanilla sticks in it. If the rum is white, it’ll turn an amazing brown and flavour almost never fail to bring the best for cooking (especially flambé bananas). (That said, I don’t know if this is somewhat dependant on the rum brand: it may happen that bad rum to drink makes bad rum to cook).

    If you think nothing can save it, I’d suggest to put hot peppers and let it go. It works well when you have friends in need of something special that they would’nt dry up themselves (but would like to give a try). Then you have such a specialty bottle that may last or not but will have success whatever the initial quality. Pepper flavour is good at masking bad rum flavtastosity and is a precious add-on…

  147. polishsalami says

    birgerjohansson #214 (bottom link):

    A Haast’s Eagle in full flight (esp. trying to take down a Moa) would be a remarkable sight.

  148. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    CaitieCat, #216

    You’re welcome. It was a great show. Looking forward to season 2!

  149. says

    Most wonderful denizens, can I pick your combined awesome brains again?
    You may not have been able to forget about that thesis of mine.
    Now, one of the things I’m really critical about in Pierce’s series is the heteronormativity. While some tropes are attacked in the Lioness books, it’s 100% heteronormativity. I don’t think that anything else ever features, not even as an insult. In the Protector books there are some passages.
    1. The heroine’s friend defends her “honour” by suggesting that the male villain is in bed with his male croonies. The heroine informs him that where she grew up (as an ex pat), that was not considered an insult, but just something some people did.
    2. Again, her knight master defends himself against the accusation that everybody will think that he fucks her with the reply that for ages everybody thought he was fucking his male soldier. He marries a woman in the end.
    3. An actually gay person! Unfortunately he’s dead and we only get to know now as part of the “individualising the dead” part. He was much fancied by all the young women but secretly met his male lover in the evenings. Our heroine did not disapprove of this.

    I would not put those instances down as a challenge to heteronormativity. There are no LGBTQ characters, we don’t get to know them as people. It’s straight people talking about homosexuality. While the intent is clearly good, as in Keladry’s little speech, I’d rather characterise it as a challenge to homophobia.

    Feedback? *puppyeyes*

  150. says

    Chris Christie epitomizes cluelessness about low and middle income households in the US.

    […] “The fact that my wife and I, who are not wealthy by current standards, that we have to file a tax return that’s that thick … is insane,” Christie told the editorial board of the Manchester Union-Leader on Monday, holding his thumb and forefinger several inches apart. “We don’t have nearly that much money,” he said. […]

    Actually, the Christies are very well-off. According to the governor’s 2013 tax returns — the most recent information available — the Christie family’s annual income is about $700,000. That’s not just 1 percent status, that’s 0.8 percent status.

    […] Christie makes more than eight times the median household income in New Jersey. […]

  151. blf says

    carlie@198, The mildly deranged penguin suggests throughly searching the planet, starship, or whatever with the table for cheese, and eating that. And the table, and items on it, just in case any cheese happens to be hiding. And in any case, since properly made nachos are mostly cheese and chilies with a few chips and cilantro and stuff as decoration (similarly for the cheesecake, but with more chilies), it’s all probably just a diversion. Search throughly for the stashes of cheese.

  152. blf says

    Why, oh why, did I buy a bottle of cheap rum…? You’d think a bartender would know better. Maybe I’ll cook with it.

    Ok, so the bottle gets cooked. What will you do with the rum?

  153. cicely says


    Had a decent day, today.

    I’m sure that you and your catnip will be very happy together.

    Nerd: Hurrah for more/longer sleep!

    Annie Bruce: I was so disappoint. I’m out in the county, so I couldn’t vote on it.
    I take some comfort in the knowledge that all of my friends living in the city—even the one who’s a Republican—were on the correct side of the question, and voted.

    “Earth ate a Mercury-like body early in its history, study finds”

    Earth says, “*burp*”.

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

    Giliell, having met and talked with Pierce on this topic, I’d suggest looking at the representation of LGBT people longitudinally – i.e. how the representation fares as a function of the publication date of the book/story. Pierce has been pretty open about how she agrees that her early depictions of LGBT people rather sucked. That said, I do agree that she’s still got some limitations.

  155. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Tony, #229

    These people who will turn away customers for being gay keep using the term “immoral behavior”. I do not think they know what it means.

    Dear Christiana would actually be an accurate response to their “plight”.

  156. says

    Saad @230:

    These people who will turn away customers for being gay keep using the term “immoral behavior”. I do not think they know what it means.

    No, they really don’t.
    (minor rant ahead)
    For many people, morality is all about following the rules of their book of myths. Morality is not following rules though. From what I understand, morality is more about discerning the best (or right) course of action to take in interactions between people.

  157. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Welllllll, more in the “good news” dept. I just got my homeowner’s insurance policy canceled because….. (drum roll please)…….. I have a dog. Two in fact. This was not unknown to them. Could it really be because I live in drought stricken California on a mountain in a forest that is very prone to forest fires? And this seems to be the early beginning of the fire season?

    I am not generally paranoid. I am not a conspiracy theorist. But, something seems amiss here.

  158. says

    Morgan @233:
    Ugh. That’s awful.

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one-
    Man claims he’s seen Bigfoot multiple times

    Dr. J, 53, is a licensed clinical psychologist from Puyallup. He works with patients who were found not guilty by reasons of insanity.

    He says he saw Bigfoot for the first time July 1, 2000 at the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserves. He was hiking along a mountainside with his wife and three kids, ages 5, 7 and 9.

    They came across a terribly pungent smell and then heard deep, guttural noises paralleling them in the forest.

    Woomp. Woomp. Woomp.

    Something was walking along with them.

    “When we would stop, the walking would stop, the noise would stop,” Dr. J said. “And I looked at my family and said ‘Did you guys hear that?’ And they’re like nodding their heads ‘Yes.’”

    Shortly after, the noise went away. A little later they stopped to rest. Dr. J felt Mother Nature call so he hiked up the mountain a bit. The kids played with a bug on the trail with a stick while his wife watched.

    “I did my thing and was plodding down the slope of the mountain while I was up there behind a natural blind that’s when I saw it: the Bigfoot,” Dr. J said. “It was peering out from behind and watching my wife and kids and then I ran down through the brush and trees and got to the trail and got top my family and got them out of there as fast as I could.”

    Dr. J lived in Alaska for 20 years. He’s seen his share of big animals. He was even chased by a grizzly bear once.

    “I know what a grizzly bear looks like, what I saw was not a bear. Not even close. It was walking upright — bipedal like a human being,” Dr. J said.

    Ever since that day, he’s been trying to make sense of what he saw. For 15 years, he’s been researching Bigfoot.

    At first, he did it the “old school” way: trail cameras, high tech equipment, blasting out calls into the night. It was quasi-paparazzi and he was getting nowhere.

    “We would find the tracks, we’d find the bedding areas, we’d find the scat piles, you know, hear ‘em moving around, but they always kept their distance,” Dr. J said. “And after 10 years of that I was smacking my head up against a brick wall going ‘Is this it?’”

    For some time, a few other “Bigfooters” had suggested he switch to a more passive habituation method, similar to what Jane Goodall employed to gain the trust of chimpanzees in Tanzania in 1960. Seeing no reason not to, he gave it a shot.

    “That’s what I’ve been doing for the last five years,” Dr. J said. “And the amount of visuals and interactions have increased exponentially.”

    Dr. J does his habituation research in the Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon. He says he’s been in contact with a Bigfoot family of six. The biggest of which he claims is 9 feet tall.

    “They’re upright bipedal walking relic hominids who look very human. Yet, they’re not completely human,” Dr. J said. “The North American Indians have been right all along. They’re forest people.”

  159. broboxley OT says

    thanks Tony, need to keep extremely low profile due to work Read but don’t post. That thread was an exception

  160. says

    Good to see you!

    Yeah, I know, especially the circle books (which I haven’t read yet) are supposed to be much less heteronormative, and there’s a trans woman in the Beka Cooper books, but I got to stick to the Lioness and Protector books. My prof was even sceptical about me analyzing 8 novels for the thesis, and it’s not exclusive about the heteronormativity, which is just one aspect.
    Actually, the core of my thesis is that the Protector books are a kind of an improved revision of the lioness books, with a more nuanced, more informed, more intersectional feminism at their core. Re-reading them, the Lioness books are a typical strong-(het white cis)-woman-empowerment narrative. Also pretty racist. In the Protector books Pierce herself shows how this falls flat and that horrible things don’t happen because of one or half a dozen villains, but that the issues are within the system.
    I think the passages about gay people in the Protector are part of this, but I also think that they fall short, probably because she was/is not fully clear on what heteronormativity is.

  161. katybe says

    So this is the place I think to come with a query on science! A few years ago now, I remember reading a press release that said coffee could help a bit with hayfever. I’m pretty certain it was more recently than this story based on where I was working/living at the time but I can’t find the actual link (there’s a good chance it was in the Metro paper – if I had to guess, I’d say between 2008 and 2012). So I filed this away as worth bearing in mind, and periodically get an extra shot of caffeine when my hayfever kicks off in the spring before I have chance to buy that year’s drug supply. Did that today, and then thought to wonder if it was actually true or not. On a quick google, I’m finding a bunch of sites saying it helps, and a bunch saying it makes it worse. Does anyone actually know if those studies have been born out? I’ve got a couple of hours to ponder the subject til I can get to the pharmacy for drugs!

  162. carlie says

    For coffee, it’s the caffeine that is the active ingredient. Adrenaline causes constriction of blood vessels, which is how an epi-pen works. If you have an anaphylactic reaction, your blood vessels dilate and that causes rashes, blood pressure drop, your lung musculature/bronchi contracts, and your heart rate can slow down. An epi-pen gives you a huge shot of adrenaline and that causes the vessels to constrict, heart rate to go up, and lung muscles to relax and bronchi to open. Caffeine also induces an adrenaline rush, which then can have similar effects (although at a much lower amount).

    So, it can be useful for short-term relief if you are having an episode, but I wouldn’t trust it alone and the effects wouldn’t last longer than an hour or so max. As for long-term effects as an antihistamine, I haven’t seen much that says it can work that way, other than the article you posted.

    Disclaimer: i’m not an allergy doc, so this is all just from a) teaching it at a freshman college level and b) dealing with it personally. I have on several occasions popped a soda open during “oh crap, am I having a reaction?” moments, but it’s always been just to be on the safe side in conjunction with antihistamines and probably a large dose of the placebo effect.

  163. katybe says

    Thanks Carlie – looking to go and get antihistamines fairly soon, but today’s the first day this year I’ve been set off and I didn’t have any with me. Good to know there’s something behind it – it’ll help the placebo effect out a bit!

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

    Totally threadrupt

    I passed the driving test!

    *drinks for everyone*

  165. Wendell says

    Hi people first time poster long long long time reader. I have a question. I just received an Email from Some outfit called Openly Secular ( inviting me to come out to people as secular on openly secular day (4/23) . On the face of it it seems reasonable and they have the regular affiliations (Secular Student Alliance Richard Dawkins, etc…) but I have never heard of this and am naturally suspicious. It is also unimpressive that “Over 850 people” have taken the pledge to share being secular on that day. 850 ?? With an internet blast I cannot imagine there is anything I could not get 1,000 people to do.

    So have any of y’all heard of this effort or know anything about it?

  166. cicely says

    I just got my homeowner’s insurance policy canceled because….. (drum roll please)…….. I have a dog. Two in fact. This was not unknown to them. Could it really be because I live in drought stricken California on a mountain in a forest that is very prone to forest fires? And this seems to be the early beginning of the fire season?

    Morgan!?, that does seem odd to me. Our policy would give us a price-break if we had a dog—something about crime deterrence.
    My paranoia suggests that yours might be on to something, there.

    Hi, broboxley! It has been a bit.


    I passed the driving test!


    Hi, Wendell; Welcome In!
    Hi haven’t heard of this—but then, I live in a cave at the bottom of a well which is under a barrel, so that means nothing.

  167. says

    The Governor of Florida is suing President Obama. Well, really, who isn’t? Rightwingers love to sue Obama. But Rick Scott’s lawsuit is just so stupid that he is a laughing stock.

    […] Back in 2006, the Bush/Cheney administration created a Medicaid pilot project intended to provide funds to help hospitals treat the uninsured. The policy was called “Low Income Pools” (LIP) and Florida received some money through the initiative.

    Not surprisingly, the Affordable Care Act made the LIP project unnecessary, and began phasing out the policy.

    In Florida, Scott seized on this in the most bizarre way possible – if federal officials are willing to scrap LIP funding, the governor said, then maybe they won’t fund Medicaid. The Republican found a convenient excuse to reject billions in federal funds and a lifeline to 800,000 of his struggling constituents.

    Yesterday, the governor took this one step further, announcing a lawsuit to force Washington to give Florida federal funds for a program that will no longer exist. Scott wants money from the Obama administration to help Floridians (through LIP), but at the same time, he also doesn’t want money from the Obama administration to help Floridians (through the ACA).

    Joan McCarter joked that Scott only wants a check “that doesn’t have Obamacare cooties.” Greg Sargent added that the governor could very easily clean up this mess by re-embracing Medicaid expansion through the ACA and simply claiming “it isn’t Obamacare.” […]


    The state senate is Florida is controlled by Republicans. Even the rightwing president of the state senate said that Governor Scott’s lawsuit is senseless.

  168. says

    Governor Bobby Jindal, and his rightwing cohorts in the Louisiana legislature, are hurtling headlong down the path of sanctioned discrimination against gay individuals. Of course, they are doing this in the name of “religious freedom.”

    HB 707 — the “Marriage and Conscience Act” — says the state can’t take “adverse action” against someone for opposing same-sex marriage for religious reasons; sponsor Rep. Mike Johnson told msnbc he’s hoping the bill will come up for a vote in the next few weeks. If passed, this law would likely ensure, for example, that the state couldn’t punish a state worker who refuses to process paperwork on a name change following a gay marriage in another state, or a police officer who didn’t want to police a same-sex wedding ceremony.

    “This Louisiana bill really does what people accused the Indiana law of doing,” leading religious freedom expert and University of Virginia law professor Doug Laycock told msnbc. While Indiana’s law offered up individuals accused of discrimination a legal defense that a judge could then weigh, Laycock explained, this law gives religious individuals absolute protection from state action, without balancing interests of – for instance – whether a gay individual’s right to services outweighs the religious individual’s freedoms.

  169. says

    Tim McGraw performed at a fundraising event for Sandy Hook. The country music world (underworld? underbelly?) berated him mercilessly.

    Tim McGraw is defending his decision to headline a Connecticut concert to benefit a Sandy Hook group, responding to critics who call it a “gun control fundraiser.”

    Gun rights advocates took to Facebook and Twitter, calling the country singer a hypocrite for appearing in the event that will benefit Sandy Hook Promise, which seeks to protect children from gun violence.

    “Let me be clear regarding the concert for Sandy Hook given much of the erroneous reporting thus far. As a gun owner, I support gun ownership,” he said. “I also believe that with gun ownership comes the responsibility of education and safety — most certainly when it relates to what we value most, our children. I can’t imagine anyone who disagrees with that.”

    “Through a personal connection, I saw first-hand how the Sandy Hook tragedy affected families and I felt their pain. The concert is meant to do something good for a community that is recovering,” he added.

    It’s all about guns.

    Timmy thinks that all of us ‘regular’ people should be dis-armed while his family can do whatever the hell they want because he is a celebrity?
    To all the women supporting Tim if a day comes when your mugged & raped you will wish you had a gun.
    Nothing like a bunch of Libtards

    There were rays of hope. McGraw received messages of support as well.

  170. blf says

    Why am I still awake?

    You hid the cheeseboard, so the mildly deranged penguin overturned the bed with you it, and is now jumping up-and-down on it?

  171. opposablethumbs says

    Speaking of cheese … Taleggio. Soooo delicious. blf and other cheese-appreciating-type-people, am I right or am I right? And it is the ultimate cheese bits of which one may dot among the mozzarella for the ultimate home-made pizza. Into which I hope to be sinking my teeth in about 40-50 minutes’ time.

    Respects and greetings to the Horde.

  172. says

    Maggie Gallagher spouted some anti-gay stuff with a new twist on her oft-exposed bigotry:

    Maggie Gallagher, the former head of the National Organization for Marriage who is now a senior fellow at the American Principles Project, writes in the National Review today that she, unlike Sen. Marco Rubio, would decline to go to a gay or lesbian friend’s wedding and would instead tell them that they are driving the one they love away from “God’s plan” and into sin.

    While she praised the “great dignity and kindness” of Rubio’s statement — that he would attend the wedding of a gay or lesbian loved one while still opposing marriage equality as policy — Gallagher said that she would personally tell her loved one that “on your happy day you should be surrounded by people who can honor your vow and help you keep it” and “I can’t do that.”

    At the end of her draft speech to her hypothetical gay friend, Gallagher urges, “let us somehow against all odds find a way to love each other as we are, and not how each of us would wish the other to be.”

    Right Wing Watch link.

  173. blf says

    Speaking of cheese … Taleggio.

    Ah, you’ve just sent up a penguin signal. The mildly deranged penguin should be visiting you shortly, making pleading eyes, or jumping up and down on you, or both — whichever gets her moar cheese faster — which is perhaps good news for chigau, who can now crawl out from under the overturned and dented bed, and get some sleep.

  174. says

    Pickup artist and general asshat, Roosh V, thinks women who cut their hair short should be monitored by state authorities:

    If a woman cuts her hair to a short length, or shaves it outright in a Skrillex haircut, we can now confidently say that she is making herself appear less fertile, less beautiful, and less healthy. A woman cutting off healthy hair is one step away from literal cutting of her skin with a sharp object, because both behaviors denote a likely mental illness where the woman presents herself to society as more damaged than her genetic condition would indicate, suggesting that she has suffered environmental damage that has reduced her overall fitness. She must be monitored by state authorities so she doesn’t continue to hurt herself.

    We Hunted the Mammoth link.

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

    All right people, you know what’s up.

    It’s DareDevil time, and I need answers without spoilers – for me post-episode6 but for everyone, regarding any episode.

    Use rot13 if you feel you need to be more explicit than would otherwise be respectful of those who intend to but haven’t yet seen the series.

    Here’s my question.

    There 9 people in a tunnel/set of tunnels near the end of episode 6. Two of them are talking to each other and one has one of the black daredevil-before-daredevil masks.

    It seems to me that of the two people talking, the one who doesn’t have the mask is the one that could really use it. But the first one holds onto it. It seems like it would change the plot somewhat, given what happens in the rest of episode 6, if person one had handed the mask over, but it also seems quite logical that it would happen and it wouldn’t change the plot in a bad way. [Personally I think it would change the plot in a good way.]

    Is there a reason this DareDevil evidence wasn’t exchanged between the two characters?

    Haven’t seen ep7 yet, but after lunch I will. Maybe it will be answered, maybe not. To me it seems like a missed opportunity.

    Thanks, all.

  176. says

    A followup to comment 266, Roosh V had more to say:

    What should we think when deluded women are actively encouraged by society to harm themselves by cutting their hair instead of growing it out and looking beautiful? One that doesn’t care about the fertility of its women and, in turn, the needs of men who want to mate with fertile women. Unless there is something within a society that promotes beauty in the form of long hair, we have little choice but to conclude that it is sick, grotesque, and sterile.

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


    Gallagher urges, “let us somehow against all odds find a way to love each other as we are, and not how each of us would wish the other to be.”

    holy I am Groot!, that’s – as I’ve heard recently – too much projection to fit in one multi-plex. We are the ones who need to learn to love people as they are? Great Galloping Gigabits, any internet-based irony meters better have serious surge protection.

  178. says

    A bunch of reasonable doctors signed a letter urging that Dr. Oz be fired — fired, basically, for his quackitude.

    A group of doctors from institutions including Stanford and the University of North Carolina have written a letter to Columbia University asserting that heart surgeon and TV personality Mehmet Oz’s appointment on the Columbia medical faculty is “unacceptable.” The letter […] asserts that Oz “has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain.”

    Responded a Columbia spokesman: “As I am sure you understand and appreciate, Columbia is committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding faculty members’ freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion.” […]

    Oz is an experienced surgeon, yet almost daily he employs words that serious scientists shun, like “startling,” “breakthrough,” “radical,” “revolutionary,” and “miracle.” There are miracle drinks and miracle meal plans and miracles to stop aging and miracles to fight fat.

    Oz defends himself, sort of, in the New Yorker piece, telling its author that he sees his job as one of listening to layperson patients and presenting them with all possible options, even though those options often aren’t supported by data. “I would take us all back a thousand years,” he says, “when our ancestors lived in small villages and there was always a healer in that village—and his job wasn’t to give you heart surgery or medication but to help find a safe place for conversation.”[…]

  179. says

    The mildly deranged penguin will search in vain for cheese on my table – I ate it all for lunch. Neener neener, MDP!

    She is, however, welcome to forage for sunflower seeds under the feeder, with the ground-feeding birds and Squirrel Nemesis.

  180. blf says

    … women who cut their hair short should be monitored by state authorities [for self-harm]

    Well, cooties don’t normally inhabit hair, so someone with shorter hair is liable to have a lot more cooties. Yeah, he’s wrong. it’s not about hair or self-harm at all, it’s all about the cooties!

  181. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin will search in vain for cheese on my table — I ate it all for lunch.

    You can eat all the tables you want. She’ll have the cheese. Consuming the table, building, planet, and occasionally, a nearby horse, is just an accidental byproduct of enjoying cheese. Very much an accident in the case of the horse, unless it was à la mode flamethrower, with MUSHROOMS!, mustard, and moar cheese.

    And in any case, that’s another reason she was jumping up-and-down on the overturned bed, you were being a meanie.

  182. Pteryxx says

    Science fiction fans – Mary Robinette Kowal is sponsoring supporting Worldcon memberships (meaning, you can vote for the Hugos) for fans who can’t otherwise afford to participate. She’ll draw randomly from everyone who applies before midnight (Central US) tonight at her blog: Talk with me about being a fan of science fiction and fantasy

    So this is my call to action for all of you — Become more inclusive. Invite your friends and family to participate. Buy a supporting membership for someone who can’t afford it. Welcome people who like different work than you do. Ask them to recommend a book. Read it. Recommend something to them. Talk about why you like it.

    But please, please let’s stop trying to make fandom a special little enclave. It has always been the place where people could come, regardless of what they were fans of, and be welcome. It’s where we can wear Regency attire next to a Transformers cosplay. This isn’t to say that we should tolerate bad behavior, but liking something different isn’t bad behaviour.

    And to my readers — If you can afford it, I encourage you to buy a membership to WorldCon and become part of fandom. If you cannot afford it… I will buy a supporting membership to WorldCon for ten people, chosen at random, who cannot afford it. I am in no way constraining how that member nominates or votes. All I ask is that you read the nominations and join the conversation.

  183. opposablethumbs says

    The mdp will find the last bit of pizza in the fridge. I recommend warming it a bit before eating (the pizza, not the fridge (hopefully).
    Damn, it was good.

  184. says

    Crip Dyke @259:

    Great Galloping Gigabits, any internet-based irony meters better have serious surge protection.

    That made me laugh, as welcome relief after Maggie Gallagher broke my irony meter.

  185. says

    I think Chris Christie is trying to make sure he beats Sam Brownback as “Worst Governor Ever,” especially in financial terms.

    Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded New Jersey’s debt rating, dealing the Garden State its record ninth ratings cut since Gov. Chris Christie took office.

    The ratings drop by one notch, from A1 to A2, on $32.2 billion worth of bonds underscores the state’s “weak financial position and large structural imbalance, primarily related to continued pension contribution shortfalls,” Moody’s said in a statement Thursday…. Credit downgrades make it more expensive for the state to borrow money to pay for things like road improvements and school construction.

  186. blf says

    Of course I’m a big meanie, I’m a cranky old cat lady. And if she jumps on my bed, I will grab her by her scruff and toss her outside.

    Well, you do seem to be someone who can make the mildly deranged penguin laugh so long and hard (and, of course, LOUD) that she actually paused — for about a half a yoctosecond — before talking a bite of horse. She meant to take a bite of cheese but was either confused by the unusual act of pausing, or was wondering why there was bit of flamethrown horse to bite instead of moar cheese.

    The mdp will find the last bit of pizza in the fridge. I recommend warming it a bit before eating (the pizza, not the fridge (hopefully).

    It is, of course, easier to just eat the entire fridge. Less time-consuming. The main drawback, besides sometimes containing pea, is there sometimes is, inexplicably, more fridge than cheese. And on rare occasions, there is actually celery. Or even zucchini.

  187. opposablethumbs says

    No celery. Abomination unto – well, you know the drill.
    Courgettes tend to get eaten the same day they are bought, but if not they stay in the vegetable rack – so there won’t be any in the fridge.
    Sadly we’ve eaten all the raclette and the conté and I can’t remember the name of the other one that Friend brought from Paris when they came to visit, so the mdp will only find cheddar at the moment. It is Extra Mature, though.

  188. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Anne, #281

    I first read that as “I’m almost glad to be useful” and felt so bad for you!

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


    And here I thought that you liked your hair the way I like mine:

    short, manageable, and quick dyeing.

  190. says


    That’s actually one of the things the Aged Ps did to me – I’m worth nothing if I’m not useful to others. This time, however, it was intended as snark aimed directly at the MDP.

    Cranky cranky cranky old cat lady. Who made a shiny thing today. There will be a picture later, when I get around to posting to my online journal.

  191. says

    A question for the Hive mind – if I was going to read some of John Scalzi’s novels, which would be a good one to start with? I’m not a huge fan of hard sf anymore, with a few exceptions, but I’ve been following his blog and I enjoy his way of thinking.

  192. cicely says

    Cranky Anne, so far I’ve only read Scalzi’s The Android’s Dream and Redshirts; they were okay, but I like his blog stuff better.

  193. Pteryxx says

    Anne – for what it’s worth I didn’t care for Old Man’s War (confusing and boring) but Fuzzy Nation is *excellent*. I have to re-read it any time I hear it mentioned, pardon…

  194. says

    For those who didn’t click the above link, here’s the relevant quote, straight from the horses asses mouth:

    “This is a blatant and intentioned violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution,” Klawiter told the council on Jan. 26. “I dispute your lawful ability to do what you claim. I will not sign the application. I cannot and will not give up my civil rights, especially when requested by a government entity for which the Constitution was designed to limit the power of.”

  195. chigau (違う) says

    Anne #292
    very very pretty pretty

    you murrkins are so very strange

  196. opposablethumbs says

    So, this happened.

    A while ago, in response to a plea for advice about a job interview my Spawn#1 was going for, vereverum very kindly gave me some excellent advice about interviewing for jobs. Spawn was pipped at the post (apparently) by an internal candidate; I reminded xir about vereverum’s advice about asking for feedback. Xe asked for feedback. A couple of days later xe got an email saying they really liked xir, but there was this internal candidate … but they liked xir so much they were going to ask if they could create an extra post. And a week or two after that, xe got an email saying yay, we got the go-ahead to create another post, expect to hear from HR soon. And a couple of days after that xe heard from HR saying fill in the forms and send us a scan of your ID etc.
    I am personally convinced that what made them decide to actually do this rather than just thinking oh well too bad and letting it go was the email Spawn sent asking for feedback. Vereverum, from however many thousand miles away and never having met xir I think you actually just tipped the scales and got Spawn xir first job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Xe graduates in a couple of months from now and is supposed to start after graduation. THANK YOU VEREVERUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now my Extremely Messed-Up brain immediately kicks in. Am I being ridiculous? Very likely.
    On the one had xe is (and I am) over the moon; xe told me the people seem nice, it’s in the city xe wants to move to, it’s a nice facility, it’s lab work rather than admin and there’s no shift work – all of which are major factors for xir. Also, I note, they actually took the initiative to add xir to their team by adding another post, so they must have liked xir.
    I am, however, an inveterate pessimist. After hoping and hoping xe would get this (because it means xe can move to Destination City, and all the other things) now that xe has got it I can’t stop myself thinking (because xe’s technically way overqualified for it and it’s low paid) that xe should have held out for something xe’s not overqualified for and better paid. I am always looking for the downside – I am essentially an idiot in many ways.
    But. a) this means xe can concentrate solely on finals!!!! Phew!!!!! and relax about job-hunting, because xe’s got something now that xe could do for her first year or so (or more, if xe finds xe’s really happy there).
    b) it’s the NHS, the biggest employer in the whole country, which means working there comes with annual reviews, a careers development structure, and apparently encouragement to go on courses in-house in order to up your grade. Also apparently a better pension scheme than most. And because xe’s overqualified going in, they told her xe’d only have to do a couple of modules to qualify for the next designation up.
    So I’m daft, right? I’m just looking for something to be negative about, right? I’m just scared maybe I’ve advised xir badly. I’m always scared of that. Sure, some of her cohort will be going straight into much higher-paid jobs … but this means xe can relax and look around at xir leisure while working. And working with nice people in a nice place is important.
    Why is my brain so messed up? It just is, and I can’t stop fretting about it. I’m thinking this is more something wrong with me than with the situation.

    Please excuse the long-winded ramble. This idiot is leaving the computer for the day. I will “see” you all soon.
    Please accept a barrel of hugs and my affectionate and respectful salutations.

  197. says

    carlie @ 246

    So, it can be useful for short-term relief if you are having an episode…

    Can I pour it directly in my eyes? I’m about to scratch them out.

    Congrats on the driver’s test!

    Love the sparklies.

    Tony! @293
    *Nelson Muntz-style “Haaa haa” at the business owner
    I almost feel sorry for him.

    You’re a parent. As I understand it, it’s your job to worry about the Spawn. You’re not daft. And it’s clear you’re also able to enjoy the positives of the situation, so it all evens out.

  198. says

    Rightwing religious dunderheads in the USA never tire of finding ways to inject christianity into public education. Christian activists tried to distribute bibles to school children in Oklahoma, but they got some wait-a-minute feedback from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

    After this, Attorney General Scott Pruitt weighed in. Pruitt sent a letter to public school superintendents in Oklahoma:

    Few things are as sacred and as fundamental to Oklahomans as the constitutional rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion,” Pruitt wrote Tuesday. “It is a challenging time in our country for those who believe in religious liberty. Our religious freedoms are under constant attack from a variety of groups who seek to undermine our constitutional rights and threaten our founding principles.

    Tulsa World link

    Pruitt’s office told school officials that the law protects “distribution of religious literature in public schools.” That’s not quite right.

    Christian activists try this kind of stuff all the time, especially in red states, but it is not common for the person tasked with upholding the law, the State Attorney General, to be that clueless.

    US courts have never said that a religious group can distribute bibles or the Koran or satanic charms etc. to public school children. What schools can do is host an open display in which everyone is allowed to show their religious wares — not that most schools in Oklahoma would do that … but they could, legally.

    Could be a good lesson for the kids. Your state’s attorney general is confused and wrong, but let’s talk about “religious liberty.” No religious faith has a constitutional, god-given right to exclusive distribution rights in public schools. That’s the opposite of religious freedom.

  199. says

    Oh, FFS. Idaho legislators win the Whackos of the Week award.
    Wonkette link

    The Idaho Legislature’s 2015 session came to an exciting end Friday with a small group of nutjob Republicans killing off a bill to enforce child support judgments so Idaho wouldn’t have to fear living under the yoke of radical Islamic law.

    The decision to kill the bill endangers the state’s access to about $46 million in federal funding and to programs that help with processing child support payments and tracking down delinquent parents. But isn’t that a small price to pay to remain free of the taint of Sharia?

    The Senate version of the bill passed with no difficulty, but when it got to the House, state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll — who had voted for it in the Senate — testified to the Judiciary Committee that she regretted that vote and urged the House to strangle the bill before it forced everyone in Idaho to pray toward Mecca five times a day.

    You see, Nuxoll had done some research, possibly on the internet, and believed that provisions in the bill that brought Idaho law into line with federal law were actually a super-secret backdoor that would Tread On Us by subverting Idaho’s precious, precious sovereignty, since that language incorporated provisions of an international agreement regarding cross-border recovery of child-support payments, the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Family Maintenance. […]

    None of the treaty signees operate under Sharia law (80 countries).

    Sheryl Nuxoll is one of the Catholic wannabe-white-supremacists in the Idaho legislature. She is buddies with the mormon and christian fundamentalist wannabe-white-supremacists, and together they have bashed the Hindu religion (false gods and all that), claimed that Idaho can ignore federal EPA regulations, etc. Oh, yeah, and Obamacare is the Holocaust of our time. Their main worry, though, is that Muslims want to takeover Idaho.

    Idaho’s Health and Welfare Department officials say the state will lose $16 million in funding (2/3 of their budget), plus $30 million in temporary assistance to needy families, if the Governor doesn’t call a special session to pass a non-whacko version of the law.
    Idaho Statesman link

  200. says

    opposablethumbs, [hugs]. I think worrying about the Spawn is just one of those things we parental units do. Congratulations, sounds like Spawn did good!

    Thanks everybody for the nice words about my shinies. I need to do more crafty stuff. It really helps beat back the depression, if I can get started in the first place.

  201. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Well, it seems I’ve been given a reprieve on the homeowner’s insurance. I called up the good folks at Huge Insurance Co. and they claimed “oops, oversight, mistake, yadda, yadda, yadda.” Although they admitted it was their foul-up, they are sending me more papers to sign and return promptly or my insurance will assuredly be canceled. And they couldn’t accommodate my request that we accomplish all this over the ‘net. Has to be snail mail. Something smells very fishy. But I am complying with their requests and we shall see what we shall see. I am fully expecting more crap from them. It is difficult to find coverage up here on the mountain because it is a high fire danger area. Two other Huge Insurance Cos have stopped writing policies and are using any excuse to cancel policies. Whatta world.

  202. says

    Yipiehhh for opposablespawn

    Aaaaand for Morgan
    It sounds to me like “let’s try it, we can say it was a mistake if somebody complains”

    Can you hear that? No?
    Neither can I. The little one is in bed. I love that kid to death, but she keeps talking non stop all day, mostly to me. Seriously, I have a hard time finishing sentences in my head.

    missing rq in the Lounge, missing rq

  203. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    *announcer over loudspeaker* “A call for rq, will rq please come to the white courtesy telephone.”

  204. rq says

    Is it okay if I use the blue one?
    I’ve been on temporary repair from the Lounge. I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about.
    D’you need a doctor’s note?

  205. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    You can try to use the blue one, but it is just a decoy. Nope, no doctor’s note required. It is just that we worry warts get a tetch concerned when you go silent. Not to pry, but is everything okay? No need to reply. (well, I was prying a bit)

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


    I was about to settle down for a much needed nap before going out this evening, and then Miri’s tumblr linked me to a blog piece that was probably insightful or something, but I didn’t read because it opened with another (really condescendingly, sneeringly phrased) repetition of the Big Lie that men who prefer/enjoy it when their female partners shave their pubic hair are all closed pedophiles.

    Why do people feel like it’s okay to promulgate this shit?

  207. cicely says

    I especially like the one on the left.

    opposablethumbs, speaking as someone whose brain automatically defaults to Obsessing Over The Least Positive Outcome…I know how you feel.
    I’ve been trying for ages to get a Panic Interrupt switch installed in my brainmeats, but it seems the parts are on Eternal Backorder.

  208. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    They don’t even try to disguise the racism much anymore

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie questioned Friday whether President Barack Obama cares about the United States, adding that, more than six years into Obama’s presidency, “we still don’t even know” who he is.

    “I feel like we really have had a President for the last six and a half years that we still don’t even know,” Christie said at a town hall event in Exeter, New Hampshire. “We don’t know what he really believes in. We don’t know what he really is willing to fight for. We don’t know whether he’s really willing to fight for anything.”

    Christie added: “We don’t know who he really likes or dislikes. We don’t know whether he really cares about his own party, or the other party, or about the country.”

  209. says

    Azkyroth @309:
    Sorry you were robbed of a nap :(
    Do you happen to have a link to the blog in question (not doubting you…I’m just curious if the post offers any insight into the reasoning behind the authors’ position)?

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


    Do follow up for us, will you, Dalillama?

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

    Another boat capsized near Lampedusa. Probably hundreds dead.

    These people will keep trying and apparently no one cares that they will keep dying before reaching shore. Just relax the fucking borders already. People on this side? They won’t be lighting candles like for the passengers whose plane crashed in the Alps. No, they’ll say they feel sorry, but why do all these people have to try infesting our countries? *spits*

  212. says

    Another boat capsized near Lampedusa. Probably hundreds dead.

    Well, that’s what you get a Nobel Prize for Peace these days for…
    Need to buy kiddy toothbrushes and toothpaste on Monday and send a parcel to the refugee home. Sunblocker would probably be a good idea, too. I guess our authorities are working under the assumption that brown people cannot get sunburn at all and if they do it’s their problem.
    Yes, we’Re such a rich country that we let people drown in the Mediterranean and then deny those who made it here even basic necessities.


    Good to see you!

  213. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, awakeinmo, Anne, Gilliel, cicely! My brain persists in being an idiot; thank you for bearing with me :-)

  214. says

    The earth is singing, or rather, it is humming. American Geophysical Union link

    […] It’s long been known that earthquakes can cause the Earth to oscillate, or ring, for days or months, but in the late 1990s, seismologists discovered that the planet constantly vibrates at very low frequencies, even when there are no earthquakes. This ever-present background tremor can’t be felt by humans, but can be detected by sensitive seismic instruments. […]

    Long ocean waves can extend all the way down to the seafloor. As they make their way back and forth to the open ocean from the coast, these long waves travel over the bumpy ocean bottom. The pressure of the ocean waves on the seafloor generates seismic waves that cause the Earth to oscillate, said Fabrice Ardhuin, a senior research scientist at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Brest, France, and lead author of the new research. […]

    The researchers concluded that instead of one theory explaining all of the microseismic activity, both theories are needed – one to explain the shorter seismic waves and another to explain the longer seismic waves responsible for the Earth’s hum. They suggest that most of the hum comes from the movement of the long ocean waves over the steep continental shelves. […]

  215. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Ben Carson needs to pay attention to where Christians truly are being persecuted.

    ISIS operatives have beheaded two groups of prisoners, believed to be Ethiopian Christians, in Libya, according to a video released Sunday by the terror network’s media arm.

    The al-Furqan Media video — which is highly produced and titled “Until There Came to Them Clear Evidence” — shows two groups of men in orange and black jumpsuits being killed at different locations in Libya, according to the video’s narrator.

    [. . .]

    “You pay (tax) with willing submission, feeling yourselves subdued. Our battle is a battle between faith and blasphemy, between truth and falsehood, until there is no more polytheism — and obedience becomes Allah’s on its entirety,” the narrator says.

    Earlier in the video, a different speaker says Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul were given the choice to embrace Islam or maintain their Christian faith and pay a tax.

    “The Islamic state has offered the Christian community this many times and set a deadline for this, but the Christians never cooperated,” the speaker says.

  216. says

    All this discussion of F&SF, classic and otherwise, got me thinking about a favorite author of my youth, Hal Clement, and wondering if his books would hold up after all these years.

    I have a few of his novels in old ratty paperbacks, somewhere in a box, probably up where I can’t reach them. So I checked our library system and discovered that there are several collections which include stories I’ve never read plus the ones I remember.

    I ended up ordering all three volumes of The Essential Hal Clement, used. Which means I’ll have to rearrange the bookshelves again. When are we getting the dimensionally transcendental bookcases we were promised, huh?

    Yes, I know, ebooks. Which I don’t like to read while I’m eating, which require electricity to function, and which I can’t read for too long because of my bifocals. I’m just an old-fashioned girl…

  217. says

    Good morning
    I need a bit of a comfort place before I delve into the racism of the “Hopkins” thread.
    Apart from that I have the little one home today because the preschool teachers are on strike and #1 wil come home at about 1 o’clock because the after school daycare teachers are on strike.
    Fuck our government(s). We have money for everything. We have money to heavily subsudize two premier league football stadiums for two third league football clubs. But we have no money for refugees or for the people who do the important job of raising children.

    Glad to hear.

    I’m glad I can read ebooks easily, because urgh, space. We have an 83 square metres flat. Space is a very limited commodity here.

  218. birgerjohansson says

    Tpyo. Stoled = stolen

    — — — — — —
    The overlooked third man
    (Darwin + Wallace +Matthew)
    “Patrick Matthew’s version captures a valuable aspect of the theory, namely, that natural selection is a deductive certainty more akin to a ‘law’ than a hypothesis or theory to be tested.”
    “There is a law universal in nature, tending to render every reproductive being the best possibly suited to its condition that its kind, or that organized matter, is susceptible of, which appears intended to model the physical and mental or instinctive powers, to their highest perfection, and to continue them so. This law sustains the lion in his strength, the hare in her swiftness, and the fox in his wiles.” (Matthew, 1831: 364)

    This gospel is a darn sight more interesting than his earlier one!
    — — — — — —

    SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon unveils manifesto for undiscovered planets

  219. says

    Mike Huckabee thinks that young people should not join the armed forces in the USA … not, that is, until after God is installed as the commander-in-chief. Sort of.

    There’s nothing more honorable than serving one’s country and there’s no greater heroes to our country than our military, but I might suggest to parents, I’d wait a couple of years until we get a new commander-in-chief that will once again believe ‘one nation under god’ and believe that people of faith should be a vital part of the process of not only governing this country, but defending this country.

    Right Wing Watch link

    Publicly discouraging people from enlisting in the armed forces? I wonder how that is going to play on the far right.

    Huckabee also said that christians are being persecuted in the military.

    This administration has had an open hostility toward the Christian faith. […] when you have a president whose administration orders its chaplains to put its Bibles away, not to pray in Jesus name, not to counsel people on the issues of sexual morality; when you have this attitude that is more about promoting gay marriage and gay rights in the military than it is about being able to protect religious liberty for those people of faith, it’s going to be hard to find people that are truly devoted people of faith and Christian believers and Orthodox Jews and others.

    Sounds like an “onward christian soldiers” kind of thing is Huckabee’s dream. He wants to command christian soldiers as President of the USA.

  220. says

    Reporters for Der Spiegel unearthed documents that detail the birth of ISIS.

    A former intelligence officer for the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was the mastermind behind Islamic State’s takeover of northern Syria, according to a report by Der Spiegel that is based on documents uncovered by the German magazine.

    Spiegel, in a lengthy story published at the weekend and entitled “Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State”, says it gained access to 31 pages of handwritten charts, lists and schedules which amount to a blueprint for the establishment of a caliphate in Syria.

    The documents were the work of a man identified by the magazine as Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi, a former colonel in the intelligence service of Saddam Hussein’s air defense force, who went by the pseudonym Haji Bakr.

    Spiegel says the files suggest that the takeover of northern Syria was part of a meticulous plan overseen by Haji Bakr using techniques — including surveillance, espionage, murder and kidnapping — honed in the security apparatus of Saddam Hussein.

    The Iraqi national was reportedly killed in a firefight with Syrian rebels in January 2014, but not before he had helped secure swathes of Syria, which in turn strengthened Islamic State’s position in neighboring Iraq. […]

    The story describes Bakr as being “bitter and unemployed” after U.S. authorities in Iraq disbanded the army by decree in 2003. Between 2006 to 2008 he was reportedly in U.S. detention facilities, including Abu Ghraib prison. […]

    Reuters link

  221. rq says

    Or is it just me?

    The streets are full of people biking and running. I don’t think I’m in Riga anymore.

  222. says

    Jon Stewart hasn’t retired yet. He ripped into Dick Cheney … again. Scroll down for excellent video.
    Daily Kos link

    […] “a man rotten to his very core, which is in itself a tiny black hole from which no joy or light can escape” and “the jagged-toothed forest demon who steals our children,” […]

  223. says

    Rightwing “bathroom police” in California haven’t given up.

    It has been over a year since conservatives failed to collect enough signatures to challenge California’s law protecting transgender students (AB 1266) with a referendum. AB 1266 guarantees transgender students full participation in all facilities and activities in accordance with their gender identity. Conservatives are still fighting in court to have their signatures validated, but the law is in place in the meantime — as are the many school policies that long predated the statewide law. Now, though, they have proposed a new law that will ban transgender people from using the proper bathrooms in government buildings, including schools and universities.

    The so-called “Privacy For All” coalition has introduced the “Personal Privacy Protection Act” for consideration as a ballot initiative. It would require that “a person shall use facilities in accordance with their biological sex in all government buildings.” Though never using the word “transgender,” it seeks to erase transgender people by defining “biological sex” as “the biological condition of being male or female as determined at or near the time of birth or through medical examination.” […]

  224. says

    Michele Bachmann is hoping that The Rapture will put an end to her increasing irrelevance and whacko nutjobishness. That’s my interpretation.

    In an interview with End Times broadcaster Jan Markell that was aired this weekend, former Rep. Michele Bachmann said that people should “not despair but rejoice” that the world has reached the “midnight hour” and that “we in our lifetimes potentially could see Jesus Christ returning to earth and the Rapture of the church.”

    The former Republican congresswoman from Minnesota said that President Obama’s policies, including support for marriage equality and nuclear negotiations with Iran, are to blame for the world’s imminent demise. “We need to realize how close this clock is to getting towards the midnight hour,” Bachmann said. “Barack Obama is intent, it is his number one goal, to ensure that Iran has a nuclear weapon.” […]

    Right Wing Watch link

  225. says

    John Oliver on Patent Trolling:

    […] in this day and age, there’s another unfortunate entry point for understanding patenting: Patent trolling. That is, the act of creating a vaguely defined patent so that you can later demand payment for anything that kind of, remotely, fits the description of what you laid out on your patent. Classic example: Uniloc, the software company that once claimed they were entitled to every Android app.

    “Calling them trolls is a little bit misleading,” Oliver said. “At least trolls do something: They control bridge access for goats and ask people fun riddles. Patent trolls just threaten to sue the living shit out of people.” […]

    Salon link. Scroll down for video.

  226. blf says

    An idea for the thugs to make them even more loathsome to the 99% (and thus beloved by some of the 1%, notably Faux & Kochroache Bros.), Backlash as Belarus imposes ‘social parasite’ law to fine unemployed:

    New rules that effectively criminalise those out of work have been criticised as a Soviet-era throwback.

    […A new law], known local [sic] as the “social parasite” law, has sparked dismay in Belarus, where many struggle to make ends meet. It has previously been described as a move to criminalise unemployment.


    Adults who have not paid income tax covering at least 183 days of employment per year will be fined. Failure to pay will be punishable by additional fines and ultimately by detention, followed by community service.

    According to the decree, certain categories of citizens are exempt, including students, parents caring for three or more children, minors, and people over the retirement age.


    “So a woman who has three children is good, but a woman who has two children and who brings them up and takes care of the house is now a social parasite?” wrote one signatory [of a petition “demanding that the controversial new law be scratched”] .


    Critics are also poking fun at the law with the hashtag […] (literally translated as “think up a tax for Belarus”) inviting users to propose their own, mock tax initiatives.

    The Twitter account @Belaruski_front suggested taxing newborns: “Congratulations! You have given birth to another taxpayer! 3200! The cashier is on the first floor!”


    Another suggested imposing a tax on stargazing. “Look at the sky… It’s free but not in Belarus.”

    (I omitted the Cyrillic hashtag because I have had problems in the past with including an unclear-subset of UCS/Unicode characters on FtB.)

  227. blf says

    Take it to the bridge: the Tehran architect striking the right chord in Iran and beyond:

    Leila Araghian was 26 when she came up with Tabiat bridge. Five years on, the 270-metre structure is a reality, despite sanctions, garnering awards and paving the way for a new, more avant garde generation of Iranian designers


    Tabiat (“nature”) bridge, the largest of its kind in Iran, was architect Leila Araghian’s first project. She designed it five years ago while a student, winning a local competition for a plan to connect two parks separated by a highway in north Tehran.

    It was built over two years and was unveiled in late 2014 by Tehran’s mayor, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. It has since become a popular place for hangouts and morning sports. Last month, as Iranians celebrated an ancient festival of outdoor picnicking, thousands flocked to the bridge.

    “I didn’t want it to be just a bridge which people would use to get from one park to another,” said Araghian […]. “I wanted it to be a place for people to stay and ponder, not simply pass.”

    Built on three large pillars, the 270-metre curved structure has broad entrances, multiple pathways and three floors of restaurants and cafes and sitting areas. It was recently named among the winners of the Architizer A+ awards, a global architectural competition based in New York.

    Tabiat is reminiscent of Isfahan’s Siosepol, whose name means bridge of 33 arches, and Khaju bridge, which are a place for public meetings, poetry reading and traditional tea houses.


    Unfortunately, being from Iran, she has been banned from entering an architecture competition — in the UK, by the UK “government”.

  228. cicely says


    Update on aged employer: apparently the problem was principally stress, employer is resting comfortably at home.

    Good news!

    Giliell, I can’t send you my jump rings, but here’s a video of something that kinda looks as if it’s made of jump rings—only prettier: Sea Gooseberry.

  229. says

    blf @336, sounds like a situation in a book by Dickens. All those fines will send the unemployed to the poor house.

    Counterproductive in every sense.

  230. says

    Former Army lieutenant colonel and former member of the United States House of Representatives (Florida, Republican, Tea Party activist, African American), Allen West thinks he can prevent high school football injuries. His solution is prayer.

    Discussing a conflict between the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the University of Tennessee about sectarian prayers before football games, West said that in the days of state-sponsored school prayer, there was no problem with football injuries.

    “Now see, I remember growing up in the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia,” he said. “I went to Grady High School and I played football and we didn’t have all this high-speed gear and everything like that, there was no such thing about ‘targeting.’ I mean, you were not a tough football player unless you did try to hit someone head-on. And even in high school, before every game at Grady Stadium, the pastor would come down and pray before every football game. I don’t remember catastrophic injuries. I don’t remember anyone getting carted off that field paralyzed.”

    Needless to say, West’s selective view of the history of football injuries is not exactly accurate.

    Allen West is currently a Fox News contributor.

    Right Wing Watch link

    History of Football Head Injuries

  231. says

    Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. Alex Jones had a few things to say, all of them wrong.

    [Jones insisted] that the attack, which left 168 people dead, was a government “false flag” operation aimed at discrediting conservative talk radio and “the liberty movement.”

    Jones called the Oklahoma City tragedy a Nazi-inspired “open-and-shut” false flag that was used to paint all conservatives as terrorists.


  232. opposablethumbs says

    UK comedian Frankie Boyle is an arsehole of the first water, imo (sexist, ableist), but I’m setting aside my dislike of him for just a moment because he wrote this sentence in a piece just published by the Guardian newspaper –

    We fear the arrival of immigrants that we have drawn here with the wealth we stole from them.

    Puts it rather succinctly, really.

  233. says

    opposablethumbs @343, that is a succinct way of putting it. Well worth repeating.

    In another tale of stolen wealth, Matt Taibbi recently covered the way(s) in which Private Equity firms steal from the companies they buy (take over), and from their limited partners. This is another insider look at the slimy world from which Mitt Romney and his ilk crawl. Rolling Stone link

  234. says

    PZ has blogged about David Brooks in the past. He’s one of those guys that right-wingers put on a pedestal as one of their very own “intellectuals.” Matt Taibbi recently took Brooks to task for some of his many intellectual failings.

    For David Brooks, the Rich Are People, the Poor Are Numbers


    […] with this week’s “The Cost of Relativism” column [David Brooks] has written roughly his 10 thousandth odious article about how rich people are better parents than the poor, each one apparently written without the benefit of actually talking to any poor people.

    The column is a review of a new book by the academic Robert Putnam called Our Kids, about a widening gap in the way the children of different classes are raised in America. […]

    [Brooks concludes] that poor people need to get off the couch, stop giving in to every self-indulgent whim, and discipline their wild offspring before they end up leaving their own illegitimate babies on our lawns […]

    Traditional social norms were abandoned, meaning more children are born out of wedlock. Their single parents simply have less time and resources to prepare them for a more competitive world… Liberals are going to have to be willing to champion norms that say marriage should come before childrearing and be morally tough about it.

    I snipped a bunch of examples of David Brooks’ cluelessness, fascinatingly horrifying though they are. In the next excerpt, we move on to the people on whom Brooks heaps praise.

    These are kids who spent the crucial years between ages 16 and 24 winning the approval of their elders. Others may have been rebelling at that age or feeling alienated or just basically exploring their baser natures. But the people who made it to [the Times society page] controlled their hormonal urges and spent their adolescence impressing teachers, preparing for the next debate tournament, committing themselves to hours and hours of extracurricular and volunteer work […]

    I guess the offspring of the rich had time to volunteer because they weren’t working while attending high school. They probably weren’t working while they attended college either.

    Brooks has the rightwing disease: empathy deficit.

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

    …if the wages of sin are death…

    ….and Christians’ sins are canceled by accepting Christ as their savior…

    …doesn’t that make Christians basically slave labor?

  236. carlie says

    Anybody seen my box with the jump rings?

    I got some split rings here, will that work? I can’t do jump rings for crap. They always come apart. Maybe I need stronger ones.

    opposeblethumbs, congrats on the Spawn getting that job! I hope it’s a great experience for him.

  237. opposablethumbs says

    Aw, thank you carlie! (It was DaughterSpawn who got the job; SonSpawn is a bit younger and just in first year). It’s not a great job in itself by any means, but it is in the city where she wants to go – and she says the people seem nice – and maybe, maybe there could be a chance of working her way up to more responsibilities and a bit more pay in a year or so if all goes well. My fingers are x’d, anyway :-)

  238. says

    Moments of Mormon Madness, PR spin and delusion categories.

    Rather than admit that mormon history and mormon doctrine is problematic, mormon leaders have decided to spend more money on PR spin.

    With defections rising, the [LDS] church has launched a program to staunch its losses. The head of the church… Thomas Monson… has called the campaign ‘The Rescue’ and made it his signature initiative… The church has a very progressive research and information division, with tremendous public opinion surveyors… Among other steps, it has hired an expert in search-engine optimization to raise the profile of the church’s own views in a web search.

    The “very progressive research and information division” is actually an exercise in obfuscation.

  239. says

    Anti-gay students in “Pennsyltucky”:

    McGuffey High School in Claysville, Pennsylvania made headlines over the weekend when a group of students organized an “Anti-Gay Day’ in direct retaliation to the LGBT youth-supportive National Day of Silence (NDOS) on Friday.

    A student named Ashley, wrote to G Philly saying that organizers of the anti-gay movement asked students to wear flannel shirts and write “anti-gay” on their hands if they opposed the LGBT community. “Stickers and flyers are also being placed around the school and on queer kids’ lockers that read ‘ANTI-GAY,’ she wrote. […]

    Philly Magazine link

  240. Pteryxx says

    via BB, a short film listening to North African refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean. Vimeo link, 8 minutes

    Hearing about the EU’s plan to ban operation Mare Nostrum, Ben Falk and John McCarthy travelled to Italy last year to try and meet some of the people making the crossing from North Africa. They wanted to get their stories, their true motivation for making such a perilous journey and try to gauge what effect the end of search and rescue operations might have.

    They have recently finished this small documentary of the footage they came back with and interviews with some key people working in the field of migration. (WARNING: Contains graphic scenes) With the current tragic news of more drownings and EU policy makers meeting to discuss the situation we thought it important to get, in any way possible, their voices and stories into the discussion. So we’re making this public today.

    From BB:

    Warning: when James says “distressing,” he means it. This is an ugly and terrible situation, made vivid by this film, and it is difficult to watch.

  241. blf says

    In the unsurprising category. No link between MMR and autism, major study concludes:

    Research involving cohort of 95,000 children is latest research to contradict findings of discredited gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield

    A major study published in one of the world’s leading medical journals [Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama)] has concluded that there is no link between the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination and autism in children.

    The findings from the study of a cohort of around 95,000 children will not surprise most scientists, who have been reassuring parents of the jab’s safety for 17 years, since the publication of now discredited research by the gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield.

    But the belief that autism and vaccinations are linked continues to cause many parents to decide against having their children immunised. As a result there have been avoidable measles outbreaks…

  242. blf says

    In the at-first-glance looks a bit surprising category, Bishop resigns years after conviction for shielding paedophile priest:

    Robert Finn, of Kansas City diocese, had long been seen as emblematic of the Vatican’s failure to adequately address sex abuse. He was the highest-ranking US church official to have been found guilty of an abuse-related crime, but had not been made by the church to suffer any consequences for that verdict.


    Finn will retain the title of bishop but will no longer lead the Kansas City diocese. […]

    Finn was found guilty of a misdemeanour charge in 2012 after he failed to alert authorities to the fact that pornographic images of young girls had been found on the computer of a priest in his charge, the Rev Shawn Ratigan.

    He was sentenced to two years of probation and his diocese was fined $1m (£670,000).

    Abuse advocates began calling for his resignation three years ago, but the demands fell on deaf ears. Church officials said at the time that Finn would continue to carry out the “important obligations placed on him by the court”.


    Finn’s resignation may be seen as setting a standard in which bishops will only be ousted if, like him, they have been convicted of a crime.

    In other words, no notable change. The cult will continue to rape children and will only, reluctantly and quite a bit later, frown at those who are caught.

  243. cicely says

    Re-Creating the Middle Ages as They Should Have Been

    The SCA is an enormous bundle of potentially all-consuming hobbies; painting, archery, music, clothing, dancing, woodworking, cooking, smithing, glass working…oh, yes—and also fighting.
    Somehow, the fighters always end up getting all the best press.

  244. says

    Waves at Lounge denizens.


    I haven’t watched DD yet. Plan to today or tomorrow.


    Will libertarians soon have their so-called paradise in Europe?

    The world’s latest contender for statehood, Liberland, is a tiny new, self-proclaimed country sandwiched between Croatia and Serbia that lives up to its “live and let live” motto by offering optional taxes, its president said Monday.

    “The key idea is voluntary taxes, creating a state so small that there’s almost no state,” Vit Jedlicka, a 31-year-old Czech politician from the liberal right-wing Free Citizens Party, told AFP.

    To make his dream come true, Jedlicka used seven square kilometres (three square miles) of no-man’s land by the Danube river between Serbia and Croatia to create Liberland on April 13.

    While Croatia is an EU member, Serbia is not.

    “Croatia claims that the territory is Serbian but Serbia doesn’t want it and this situation has lasted for 24 years,” Jedlicka said about the new country, located some 160 kilometres (100 miles) northwest of the Serbian capital Belgrade.

    “The land is now ours,” he said.

    All Jedlicka had to do to claim possession of the land was make a declaration, which has now become part of a package Liberland is sending out to foreign ministries worldwide.

    The politicians of this “constitutional republic with direct democracy features” will now have to negotiate free movement of goods and people across the border and other economic issues, Jedlicka said.

    He claims someone has already offered to invest in Liberland’s telecommunications infrastructure.

    Solar panels will ensure energy self-sufficiency, though “it would be nice to have cross-border electrical wires”, Jedlicka added.

    Interest in the novel project is huge with its website ( registering 1.3 million visits in the past three days.

    “This goes hand in hand with a huge interest in citizenship. We’ve received about 250,000 applications for citizenship in the past four days,” Jedlicka said, adding that even diplomats worldwide are curious.

    “I think we’ll have a million (applications) by the end of the week.”

    Liberland’s website sets high standards for citizenship.

    Anyone wanting to acquire it must respect other people and their views, respect private property, have no criminal record and have no record as Communists, Nazis or other extremists.

    (h/t Addicting Info)

  245. Okidemia says

    Tony! The Queer Shoop #359
    Notice that they are liberals, not libertarians… ;)
    I wonder how volunteers will pile up onto those 7 km2. But sending out there these one million may actually be a solution, don’t you think?

  246. says

    France to spend 100 million euros to combat racism

    “Racism, anti-Semitism, hatred of Muslims, of foreigners, homophobia are increasing in an unbearable manner,” Valls said in the Paris suburb city of Créteil, the scene of a brutal attack on a Jewish man and his girlfriend in December.

    On Thursday the country’s Islamophobia watchdog said anti-Muslim acts had jumped six-fold in the first three months of the year compared with the same period in 2014, fuelled by the January 7-9 attacks when Islamic extremists went on a killing spree that left 17 dead.

    The Jewish community is also increasingly worried, with anti-Semitic acts doubling last year compared with 2013, prompting a rising number of Jews to leave for Israel.

    “French Jews must no longer be scared to be Jewish” and “French Muslims must no longer be scared to be Muslim”, Valls said.

    And it is not just these two communities – the largest in Europe with an estimated four to five million Muslims and around 600,000 Jews – that are targets.

    The Roma, a minority group that comes mainly from Romania and Bulgaria, are also discriminated against, according to activists.

    Valls said the programme would include new legal measures as well as a clamp down on online racism.

    Currently, racist and anti-semitic acts and comments are dealt with under France’s media laws.

    They will henceforth be “written into the penal code” and treated as criminal offences, Valls said, adding that “any passivity there has been towards racism and hate speech online is finished”.

  247. says

    Okidemia @360:

    Notice that they are liberals, not libertarians… ;)

    ?? I’m confused as to why you pointed this out.

    ‘Bookkeeper of Auschwitz’ goes on trial in Germany

    Oskar Groening, in what could be one of the last big Holocaust trials, is accused of assisting in the murder of 300,000 people although he did not kill anyone himself.

    “In moral terms, my actions make me guilty,” Groening told the court in the northern town of Lueneburg at the start of the trial.

    “I stand before the victims with remorse and humility,” he said. “On the question of whether I am guilty in legal terms, you must decide.”

    Groening was 21, and by his own admission an enthusiastic Nazi, when he was sent to work at Auschwitz in 1942. His case is unusual because unlike many of the other SS men and women who worked in concentration camps, he has spoken openly in interviews about his time at the camp in occupied Poland.

    Wearing a sleeveless beige sweater over a white shirt, the white-haired Groening was calm and composed, leaning back in his chair and looking at papers, as prosecutors read out the indictment.

    He laughed when his lawyer asked the judge to speak louder so that Groening could hear him. At one point, taking a sip of water, he joked: “I’ll do that like I drank the vodka at Auschwitz”.

    His job was to collect the belongings of deportees after they arrived at the camp by train and had been put through a selection process that resulted in many being sent directly to the gas chambers.

    He inspected their luggage, removing and counting any bank notes that were inside, and sending them on to SS offices in Berlin, where they helped to fund the Nazi war effort.

    “By sorting the bank notes he helped the Nazi regime to benefit economically,” said Jens Lehmann, a lawyer for a group of Auschwitz survivors and relatives of victims who are joint plaintiffs in the case.

    Demjanjuk case decisive

    The case goes to the heart of the question of whether people who were small cogs in the Nazi machinery, but did not actively participate in the killing of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, are guilty of crimes. Until recently, the answer from the German justice system was no.

    In past years, prosecutors in Frankfurt decided not to pursue the case against Groening and other concentration camp workers, saying there was no causal link between their actions and the killings that occurred around them.

    Prosecutors in Hanover disagreed, emboldened by the case of Ivan Demjanjuk, who in 2011 was convicted of being an accessory to mass murder despite there being no evidence of him having committed a specific crime during his time as a guard at the Sobibor extermination camp.

    “It is certainly not an easy trial for us,” the judge Franz Kompisch told the court. “This is a trial which is attracting and creating a lot of attention and setting off emotions.”

    The charges against Groening relate to the period between May and July 1944 when 137 trains carrying roughly 425,000 Jews from Hungary arrived in Auschwitz. At least 300,000 of them were sent straight to the gas chambers, the indictment says.

    Groening described some of the murders that he witnessed at Auschwitz. On his first day on the ramp where Jewish prisoners exited the trains, he saw an SS colleague grab a crying baby and slam its head against a truck until it was quiet.

    “I was so shaken. I don’t find what he did good at all,” Groening said, telling the court that he later went to his commander to request a transfer from Auschwitz.

    He also told of an incident in late 1942 when he witnessed naked Jews being herded into a converted farm house near the camp. A fellow officer shut the door, put on a gas mask, opened a can and poured its contents down a hatch.

    “The screams became louder and more desperate but after a short time they became quieter again,” Groening said.

    “This is the only time I participated in a gassing,” he added, before correcting himself: “I don’t mean participated, I mean observed.”

    In an extensive interview with German magazine Der Spiegel in 2005, Groening said he felt “nothing” when he saw Jews being taken to the gas chamber.

    “If you are convinced that the destruction of Judaism is necessary, then it no longer matters how the killing takes place,” he said, describing his feelings as a young SS officer.

    He felt ‘nothing’. That’s horrifying.

  248. says

    Rightwing doofuses have been saying more stupid stuff about the drought in California:

    […] talk radio host Dennis Prager was a guest on Glenn Beck’s radio program this morning, promoting his new book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code,” during which he blamed California’s historic drought on the fact that the state has been violating the commandment against worshiping false gods.

    “A false god is one that you really do worship because you think it is godlike,” Prager stated. “God created nature. Nature is subservient to God. Nature is created for the human being. Today it is the opposite. Where I live in Southern California, the reason we have no water is not because of drought, it is because of the worship of nature. For example, the incredible amount of water that is taken from humans in order to save some six-inch fish. This is the worship of nature.”

    Prager’s assertion is untrue, but Beck agreed and used the discussion to reiterate his belief that the world is unknowingly worshiping the false gods Baal and Moloch […]


  249. says

    Well, well. According to rightwing dunderheads, President Obama is not just making sure that Iran gets nuclear weapons, he is also allowing nukes to be brought into the US from Mexico.

    Conservative activist David Horowitz told Florida talk radio host Joyce Kaufman on Friday that President Obama’s “heart is with the enemy,” which is why he is allowing terrorists to “walk across” the southern border carrying nuclear weapons. […]


    And this relates, in part to blf’s comment #355, in which a video about refugees dying by the thousands when they try to cross the sea to safety in Europe also highlights the millions of refugees that have been forced out of Syria. Horowitz, the rightwing dunderhead mentioned above, thinks that US program to resettle Syrian refugees is another way for Obama to import enemies of the US, along with chemical weapons, and, yes, more nukes.

  250. carlie says


  251. JustBen says

    For the record

    OpenID 2.0 for Google Accounts has gone away

    Is this something you’re planning to deal with or am I going to have to adapt to some new procedure? This is an emergengy account and I’d much prefer to not have to use this, going forward.

  252. opposablethumbs says

    Argh, carlie, nooooooooo ::shudders:: I’m so sorry about the tickattack – how do you get rid of them, do you just have to wait a bit until your white cells do their thing so you can, um, eliminate the whole shebang as if it were a pimple? Because of where I live I’ve never really had to deal with ticks. Sounds unpleasant to say the least.

    (eh, I certainly wouldn’t expect people to keep remote invisible Spawn straight! – I’m notoriously bad at it myself! I can just about keep track of the fact that Giliell has two girls, rq three boys, Og one of each, you have – it’s two boys? Did I remember right? Hope you and yours are OK! )

  253. carlie says

    So the tick ended up in the sink, and I had a discussion with my spouse whether I should bag and keep it, and he kept saying no, it couldn’t have been there long, so I washed it down the drain, and now I”m convinced that it was a 2 day sized tick and I must have somehow not noticed it since I was outside on Sunday and I must have Lyme disease by now.

  254. carlie says

    Heh. I was creeped out enough that I went and took the sink drain apart to see if the tick was still there, AND IT WAS SO NOW I HAVE IT. I have a couple of those handy reference cards to the size of your tick, but I think they’re at work.

  255. chigau (違う) says

    Do you have the whole tick?
    Did you get the head out of your neck?

  256. Ogvorbis: qui culpam, non redimetur says

    opposablethumbs @368:

    Og one of each, you have – it’s two boys? Did I remember right? Hope you and yours are OK!</blockquote

    One of each.

    A Dick and Jane family — older boy, younger girl.

    Boy is a chef at a nursing home. Girl will spend an extra year at university — major: psychology; minors: women’s studies, sociology, music performance (she was in a concert on Sunday (community band through her university) at a local pro-cathedral with fantastic acoustics. Did a piece called Angels in the Architecture which was incredible.). She wants to go into family violence.

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

    Okay, DD is getting a second season. I’m pleased. I’ve seen a number of episodes, though I didn’t actually binge-watch the whole thing.

    But why-oh-why did you bury the lede, Tony!

    The last sentence of your link’s story tells us that AKA Jessica Jones is being released

    later this year

    Sweet Christmas! I get to see JJ in action (with cameos by LC) by december?

    There is a bullet-proof Santa Claus.

  258. Snoof says

    Accursed weather. I’m in Sydney which has been hit by pretty big storms. We’re now into the second day without electricity at home (posting from work, yay) though thankfully we’ve still got gas, so there’s hot water and we can use the stovetop. We got off pretty lightly, though – on the way home the other night, we saw a car that had been hit by a falling tree, and in the immediate neighbourhood there’s houses that have had trees come through their roofs too, and there’s people who’ve lost their homes and lives to flooding elsewhere in the state.

  259. Rowan vet-tech says

    Urgh. So much animal drama in my life. Abandoned box turtle finally ate on his own, hooray! … had to euthanise my old, blind snake, boo. Took my 5 year old dog to the vet to get an exam and put on an allergy medication and checked out to go under for a dental… and tada! heart murmur. Damnit! But Bramble is doing well and looking like she is going to defy our thoughts on an early demise by being a very small cat and not progressing any further with symptoms of the scoliosis. So yay! And I’m due for new bottle baby kittens by the end of the week. I’m petrified they’re going to have something *weird*. >_<

  260. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Big sigh.

    My sister-in-law, the one who so blithely condemns any and all for any small infraction, attempted suicide this morning. She drove her car off a high embankment. Four broken ribs and a few other things, but not critical. The story is long and subtle and unfortunately most of the family members are not attuned to subtlety. I spoke with her daughter who lost her husband of one year to cancer not too long ago.

    Suicide is NEVER a conscious, reasoned choice. The brain get hijacked. All we can do is be patient, love, try to remember than no matter how much we are upset it is NOT FUCKING ABOUT US. Listen to her. Listen hard.

  261. chigau (違う) says

    Good for you and all you do.
    My cat had a heart murmur and she lived to 22.
    I need a kitteh.

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

    Re: liberland

    I am amused. But please don’t send all your libertarians there, they’ll just swarm my country instead.

  263. says

    Rowan @379:
    Hugs. Hopefully you’ll get some relief from the animal drama soon.

    Morgan @381:
    Major hugs my friend.
    And I agree with you about the importance of listening.

  264. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Wow Morgan, that’s really crappy to have to deal with. *hugs* if you want them.

    chigau If you need kitteh, you must get kitteh!

    Good luck finding time for your thesis, <b.Giliell. It can be a real challenge. Hope it’s better today.

  265. says

    4 hours of sleep would have been nice, especially if 2 or so had been in one piece. Poor kid. She’s git a really nasty cold. But I guess she’s getting better cause she made it from being mostly asleep to beeing mostly awake and complaining about how her brain is mush.
    Also, I have a cold sore, which is usually a sign that my immune system is about to give in as well.

    Oh no. Ticks are such useless beasts.

    Good to see you!

    re: Lieberland
    I’m looking forward to them building all of it. Solar panels, really? Don’t get me wrong, they’re wonderful things, but did they remember that it gets dark at night? Or will they simply turn on the lights then to keep their energy production up?
    I guess they’re simply trying to create another tax haven, with a population density of 100 people per square metre on the paper.
    BTW, don’t get confused about European “liberals”. Most of them are libertarians with a bit of social conscience left. Or as I call them: libertarials.

  266. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    All the hugs are heartily appreciated my friends. Sleep is not possible tonight. Everyone is welcome to join me in the pillow fort. I’ll be hugging Hobbes.

  267. carlie says

    rowan – you are a good person. I know I couldn’t care for animals with the stamina and reserves that you do.

    morgan – that is a very kind and compassionate way to describe it. Hugs and I hope your family all rallies around for support.

    chigau – I think so, Spouse checked with a flashlight and didn’t see any embedded tick parts. I’ll check the tick under a microscope at work today to see how much is missing.

    Tony – only keeping it for the emotional safety blanket. I’ll check its size at work to make sure it doesn’t look like it could have been there long, and keep it a couple of weeks in case I start feeling tired and get paranoid and want to get Lyme checked.

    opposablethumbs – yep, just wait for it to be expelled like a tiny splinter. If I had realized what it was, I could have pulled it out more properly and not had a problem. Since I wrenched it off, there might be a mandible or two still embedded. I do have two boys, both teenagers. Luckily neither often surly.

    Oh, speaking of boys, I took my first ride in a car with Child 1 driving this weekend. Spouse has taken him out a few times already, so he was already broken in with the scariest of it. ;) I only had to quickly tell him he was TOO CLOSE TO THE CURB ON THE RIGHT MOVE LEFT MOVE LEFT several times.

  268. opposablethumbs says

    Hugs and waves to Ogvorbis, pet-related hugs to rowan, waves to carlie.
    Morgan I’m so sorry about your sil – bloody hell that must have been awful for her, and come as one hell of a shock to everyone. I hope you’re OK and able to cope. Wishing your sil well.

  269. carlie says

    Ok, I will give our local cops kudos for this idea – they are now advertising that anyone who is doing transactions with people they don’t know, like from craigslist ad sales and such, can use their lobby to a) keep people from having to give out their home address and b) having a safe place to conduct said transaction that is under surveillance. That’s not a bad idea, actually, although I wonder if it might generate so much traffic that they rescind the offer.

  270. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Because frozen peaches and both sides or something

    A judge has ruled that New York City’s buses must display a controversial ad that refers to Muslims killing Jews.

    New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) had opposed the advertisement, arguing it could incite terrorism and violence.

    But Judge John Koeltl rejected the argument and said the ad was protected under the US constitution, which enshrines the principle of free speech.

    [. . .]

    The ad is paid for the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

    It has already been displayed on public transport in Chicago and San Francisco.

    The advert shows a threatening-looking man with his head and face wrapped in a scarf, next to a quotation attributed to a music video from the militant Palestinian group Hamas.

    The quote says: “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah.”

    The advert asks: “That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?”

    I’m sure the KKK appreciates being told they can put racist ads on NYC buses too.

  271. says

    Morgan, all the hugs. I hope you can get some rest.

    Gilliel, I’m glad that your offspring is on the mend. I hope you manage to dodge whatever plague is going around. Oops, just read farther. I don’t know what Fifth Disease is, by that name anyway, but I gather that “plague” is a good designation?

    Rowan, yay for Bramble! Hugs for all the other stuff. Shadow (“my” cat, as opposed to Patches who is “Husband’s”*) also has a heart murmur. Both cats just turned fourteen this year.

    Hugs for anyone else who needs/wants ’em. I’ll just leave the basket here.

    I don’t know what’s up with my brain, but it won’t let me get to sleep o’nights. Then, of course, I can’t wake up the next morning. I’m going to try cutting back from my three cups of tea per morning, but not today. Today is another driving across county day, this time to get my annual thyroid ultrasound (yes, Tech dear, I know I only have half a thyroid. See that scar across my neck?). The traffic is horrible on the freeways, and all the routes that way via surface streets have construction going on. I’m leaving way too early and taking a book. Maybe two books.

    *Yeah, I know, we belong to them. There’s a silly story in there about what sort of cats we wanted when we went looking. Suffice it to say that we got what we deserved.

  272. says

    It’s also known as “slapped cheeks” diesease because the typical exanthema starts in the face and lets the cheels look like they’d been slapped. One of the “traditional” childhood diseases. In English it’s called “Fifth disease” because it was identified after measles, rubella, chickenpox and scarlet fever.
    It’s generally relatively benign with only 25% of people even showing symptoms, but it’s also nasty because you simply cannot contain it. When the kids fall sick and develop the rash they are no longer contagious, but they’ve been spreading it around for the week or so before. 2 weeks ago there was a notice on the daycare door that a kid had it. So while I know the origin, it’s really nobody’s fault and we’ve probably spread it around as well.
    Intelligent design, from the PoV of the virus…

  273. carlie says

    Giliell – ugh, fifth. Might as well hunker down and put a skull and crossbones on the door. At least it’s not foot and mouth?

    Hope you get some sleep soon, Anne.

  274. birgerjohansson says

    Commencing infodump:
    The Lyrid Meteor Shower Of 2015 Peaks On April 22-23. Here’s How To See It
    Surgeon Finds ‘Embryonic Twin’ Inside Woman’s Brain: Report meh. This kind of phenomena is well known. Stephen King’s novel “Stark” 25 years ago was based on the premise.
    Genocide heritage:
    Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Doesn’t Offer Customary Apology For WWII
    ‘It’s Impossible To Forget’: Descendants Of Armenian Genocide Want Legacy Of Those Killed To Live On

  275. Okidemia says

    Okidemia @360:

    Notice that they are liberals, not libertarians… ;)

    Tony! The Queer Shoop @362

    ?? I’m confused as to why you pointed this out.

    Oops, sorry, I forgot I lost the connection and was too lazzy to rewrite a past comment; plus it was on TD and not the lounge.

    There’s a divide in Europe as to how people name political currents on the extreme sides of the right/left spectrum. In England (and North Europe, but I can’t say for sure where the divide occurs as one is shifting eastward, maybe people can comment as to where they know calls vary), the common use is identical to the USA, and libertarian are mostly RW while liberals identifies LW takes. But in Southern Europe, that is reversed: libertarian is synonymous for LW anarchism, while “libertarian” are call liberals.

    That certainly stems from these sides being reversely characterised by their economic/social emphases:
    Libertarian (as in the USA) are characterised by (ultra) liberal economics, and liberals (as in the USA) are emphasized by their social emphasis.
    The common pattern is that RW is called after economic emphasis and LW after social concerns in both places.
    This situation might be explained by original liberalism philosophy including both these social and economic perspectives (and may have been a progressive position at the time with regard to existing alternatives, but I’m not versed enough in the history of politics).

    As a results, things are confusing. I think people should be aware of this peculiarity, so that encounter with people who are naturally using their own map is made easier. (The lost comment was not specific at you, I was just pinpointing that they refered themselves as liberals in the text you pasted).

    I’ve long had a hard time identifying myself as liberal to English natives, because it had strongly negative connotations to me.

    The funny thing is that I’m under the impression that the reversed scale occurs in Canada with Québecois, maybe someone can confirm.

  276. Okidemia says

    Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer @394

    The advert asks: “That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?”

    Wow. Extremely confusing wording. I don’t know if things are made clear in the further ad context.

    If I take it out of context, I’d assume it might aim to propose the jihad ‘exegesis’ interpretation whereby the word is wrongly assumed as synonymous to a war effort instead of the alternative self-improvement effort toward being a better muslim. Not exactly sure they intend this message though…

    What do they expect you* to do with it? Chosing violence as the way to fight violence?

  277. birgerjohansson says

    Most powerful space telescope ever to launch in 2018 — and it will look back 13.5 billion years
    The race is still on for a reusable rocket despite the SpaceX setback
    Chemists create wavelength ‘comb’ that detects terahertz waves with extreme precision That is important because the terahertz region of the spectrum is chock-full of information.
    Perseverance paves way for wind laser (lidar)

  278. birgerjohansson says

  279. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Okidemia, #407

    I was thoroughly confused by the whole thing at first. Then I read the part that says the American Defense Freedom Initiative is listed as an anti-Muslim group by the SPLC. Also what confused me was the MTA’s suggestion that the ad is bad because it will incite terrorism. That’s not why it’s bad. It’s bad because it’s anti-Muslim.

    It’s weird how things can have completely different meanings depending on who is saying it. If this was an ad being used in Pakistan by a group of reformist Muslims, it would be a good message to young Muslims (don’t follow the Islam of the terrorists). Used by bigots in the U.S., it’s a completely different meaning (you Muslims are terrorists).

  280. says

    […] People who make less are more vulnerable to increases in sales and excise taxes, since they spend more of their money buying basic goods and services they need to get by. This is especially the case in Kansas, where food is subject to sales tax. Kansans can receive a tax rebate for their food purchases, but those who make nothing or too little to owe income tax aren’t eligible. They pay the sales tax on food in full. […]

    Yes, Sam Brownback’s conservative experiment in Kansas has gotten even worse.

    Shortfalls in tax revenues are larger than expected, and projected to be even worse through 2017. Brownback gave tax breaks to corporations and to the wealthy — now he’s in deep shit. As is his wont, he is trying to salvage the situation by redistributing even more wealth from the bottom to the top.

    Kansas lawmakers want the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich

  281. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    I like the way the show is shot. I think there may be more subtext going on than in most cheesy (which it is) action shows. The thing that makes the show watchable is that they gave the villain all the depth and vulnerability. He’s a foil to the good guy who actually outshines him. He’s played by a much better actor too.

    I’ve noticed he isn’t in his white suit yet. I think as DD goes from black to red we might see KP go from black to white, literally shining just a little brighter. I’m sure there is lots of Jesus/devil crap, but i’m ignoring that because it’s boring. The fact that both have become (*spoiler*)

    …entangled with women in white seems interesting. The hero is discouraged, fails to sell his love interest on his quest. The villain succeeds.
    ….or did he? dum, dum,dummmm.
    It’s got layers. It’s not just a hot guy getting beat up and taking his shirt off.

    Or is it? Dum, dum, dummmmm

  282. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Jackie, #412

    Yeah, he’s definitely far better acting wise. When they were keeping him a mystery with the whole “we don’t say his name” thing, I was cringing thinking he’s going to be a “mwahahaha!” type cheesy villain or even worse: like Dr. Doom in the FF movie.

    Thanks for the spoiler warning. I stopped reading there since I haven’t finished the show. I’m familiar with a bit of Daredevil stuff through the comics (well, through my brother’s interest in comics mostly) but better safe than sorry.

  283. says

    I liked it too. My flatmate Craig said he thought it was too dark – he’s a filmmaker – but I think it was so deliberately. Yes, there were spots where they tried to show us DD’s ability to “see”, but I think the overall very dark cinematography came from two roots.

    One, it’s clearly the Frank Miller DD they’re bringing us, all blood and gore and sexy dames and ethnic gangsters (“The Russians”, “The Chinese”, “The Yakuza”, “The Italians”, et c.). Many of the scenes were shot in a two-colour style, such as when (mild spoiler ahead) Foggy knew something that Karen didn’t, and they sat in a bar talking about it. She’s lit in red, taking the side of the masked man, while Foggy’s mostly blue, showing his coldness toward that same person (because of the thing he knew that she didn’t). The old scenes are shown with that yellow tint that seventies picture prints took on, particularly Polaroids, as they aged. There’s a lot of very strong colour-coordinatedness about many of the mises-en-scene, with an almost colour-soaked chiaroscuro effect in a number of them: the screen is dark, and the few lit areas are both starkly lit and mono-coloured. These are all signature Frank Miller things, artistically.

    Two, I think it’s so dark because the main hero is blind, and it’s as close as they can get in a visual medium to what he’s experiencing. It makes sense for DD to operate in the night; he’s got a day job, for one, and he’s operating where his disadvantages are minimised, while their advantage is too. His magically-enhanced other senses don’t need light, so in an effort to get us to identify with his character, we’re given as little as they can get away with. Viewed in that (ahem) light, I quite like the approach.

    Too bad comics and superhero shows aren’t literary or artistic, huh? :)

  284. says

    Bill O’Reilly wants to rig the Supreme Court so that a decision against gay marriage is more likely.

    “These ladies have to recuse themselves,” an indignant Bill O’Reilly proclaimed on his Fox News show Tuesday night. “I’m shocked they haven’t done it already.”

    The “ladies” O’Reilly was referring to are Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, both of whom have officiated same-sex weddings in the past. O’Reilly wants these two justices to remove themselves from a group of pending cases challenging anti-gay marriage discrimination. In the unlikely event that Ginsburg and Kagan heed O’Reilly’s call; that would give the justices who dissented in the Court’s 2013 decision striking down such discrimination at the federal level a 4-3 majority — most likely changing the outcome of the case.

    […] The American Family Association (AFA), a leading anti-gay group, called for both justices to recuse the very same day that the Court announced that it was taking up marriage equality last January. “Both of these justices’ personal and private actions that actively endorse gay marriage clearly indicate how they would vote on same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court,” the AFA claimed in a statement. This, they claim, is sufficient reason for the justices to remove themselves from the case. […]

    Participation in a legal event/ceremony/institution is not grounds for recusal.

  285. cicely says

    Aiyeee! Ticks!!!
    *napalm! with Extreme Prejudice*


    Rowan, sorry about the animal-related drama (yay! no, boo! no, yay! no, boo!), for which I prescribe these *hugs*, and I hope there’ll be an unqualified yay! for the kittens.

    *big hug* for Morgan!?.

  286. says

    Personal status: very frustrated.
    I have worked about three hours on my thesis. The entire week. I don’t have a fucking office and I also cannot tell a sick kid to fuck off and leave me alone. I already told Mr. that he needs to make plans for the first and second of May because I have to catch up on my work and that’s frustrating me even more. First I don’t get my college work done because I have extra caregiver duty and then I miss out on the family fun time because I have to catch up with the rest of my work.
    Second shift? Yes please. If it’s only a second shift and not a third and fourth as well.

  287. says

    carlie @393:
    I like that idea, but I share your concern about the influx of traffic being a potential problem.

    I’m totally going to take your word about the tick. I’m staying far away from those images. ::shudder::


    What steps can we take to ensure that our Commune has no ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, or peas?

  288. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says


    What steps can we take to ensure that our Commune has no ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, or peas?

    Well trained spiders.

  289. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin suggests stir-frying ticks, tacks, tocks, and tucks (but avoid any tecks, other than as the table) in some toasted sesame seed oil with tofu, chilies, and other vegetables of your choosing (she suggests duck), letting it cool, and making a salad by mixing with cheese, raw tomatoes and similar fruits, moar cheese, some cheese for flavoring, and a topping of cheese. Apparently goes quite good with grog.

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

    @Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!!, #412

    It’s got layers. It’s not just a hot guy getting beat up and taking his shirt off.

    Or is it? Dum, dum, dimmmmm

    Yet another reason I love you.

  291. says

    Morgan, Anne:
    My brain is weird (newsflash). After reading both your comments, I got this image in my mind of a spider/oriole mashup. Head of the bird. Legs of the spider. Wings of the bird. Eyes of the spider.

    Spiderbird, spiderbird, does whatever a spiderbird can. Spins a web any size, catches worms just like flies, look out, here comes the spiderbird.

    (forgive my loopiness; just woke up)

  292. says

    New study shows that tax cuts for the rich do not create jobs.

    The study from Owen Zidar, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, found that tax cuts aimed at the top 10 percent of earners produce little stimulative effect on the overall economy. On the other hand, those aimed at the bottom 90 percent have a greater impact.

    Zidar examined the short- to medium-term impact of tax changes at the state and federal levels going back to 1948. On the national level, he found a 1 percent gross domestic product (GDP) tax cut aimed at the bottom 90 percent translates to job growth of 2 to 5 percent, but the impact of a similar cut on the top 10 percent of earners has a negligible effect. He reached similar conclusions on the state level: Tax decreases for most of the population generated 5 percent employment growth, but yielded little change when applied to the top income bracket.

    Tax hikes produce similar effects, the paper says. When applied to the rich, they’re insignificant. But when applied to the rest of the population, they have a negative effect on economic activity.

    Zidar contends that his is the first paper to quantify the economic impact of tax cuts on different income levels — something he acknowledges is “a very hard problem to tackle” because of a relative lack of data points. But he overcomes that challenge, in part, he says, by looking more closely at the regional impact of tax shocks. In other words, Connecticut, with its high proportion of top income earners, responds differently to tax cuts than Mississippi.

  293. Okidemia says

    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- #417
    Feel doubly sorry for you.

    Not sure if this can help, but there was a way that worked well for myself: slice time in 5 min chunks.
    – Do full writing sequence for a 5 min sequence even if background is full screams (and don’t care).
    – Do another sequence with total kid’s care and affect (totally forget about work).
    – Do the next sequence as parenting care while thinking and concentrate about writing bouts.
    – Go back to first sequence. Allows yourself for full stop at this point whenever needed, restart when convenient.

    It can work with longer chunks depending on the situation, but try to respect 1/3 work and 2/3 kid bouts (with 1/3 hidden work).

    We were lucky enough (we were both parenting and writing/preparing to defend at the same time, but we had only one): the day after the second defence, our daughter made four first teeth at once. She suffered a lot, but it all looked like she waited for her parents to be done with work…

  294. Okidemia says

    Tony! @419

    What steps can we take to ensure that our Commune has no ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, or peas?

    Do not get here. Three tick species, all vectors of bizarre cattle diseases with possible human transmission. I recognise 8 morpho-“species” of mosquitoes (though only four of them are really harassing humans, one is vector of both dengue and chikungunya diseases), well our cats have fleas sometimes but they don’t seem to care about humans. Numerous pea species, all harvested and sold at marketplaces (not to speak about the imported ones).

    But most importantly, you did not mention centipedes. That is the real scare (venomous and growing up to twenty centimeters). Aim the head! Aim the head! (gravid females are seeking refuge in houses in May-June).

  295. says

    Okidemia @430:
    Not a fan of centipedes, eh? :)
    I don’t think we can nuke ’em from orbit without a lot of collateral damage.
    That actually makes me wonder about something. What would be the impact on the environment if fleas or centipedes were suddenly and completely removed? Sounds like fertile ground for a SF/F story.

  296. Okidemia says

    Tony! @432
    Where the flock is that notice for the venom pump?
    That was my reaction at first bite… :)

    Actually, centipedes are really beautifull. But way too fast. And hidding too consciensciously.
    Species here eat roaches, so they might be usefull. But still. I’m no cockroach, when will they learn?

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

    @Tony!, #426:

    I’ve heard.

    For some reason I thought Angel came out a long time ago. Am I wrong?

  298. Okidemia says

    Changed offspringie diaper at work. Instead of using the trash in my office, I left it in the Lab’s one. How mean is that? Colleagues will hate me tomorrow…

    Filed in Research Despair Silliness of the Late Hours folder.

  299. carlie says

    My family did the google doodle quiz and we were all aggressive predators. I’m a giant squid, Spouse is a Komodo dragon, and Child 2 is a honey badger. We can’t convince Child 1 to play.

  300. says

    But…but…but…none of the options for ‘what are you up to on a Friday night’ apply to me. I *work* every Friday night. Sigh. Guess I’ll click ‘in my burrow’, since that’s what I do when I get off work.

    Not liking the option for ‘what are you looking for in a partner’ and have no clue which one to pick. Went with ‘complex system of glands’.

    Chose ‘none of the above’ for hobby.

    Turns out I’m not a Queer Shoop. I’m a Queer Giant Squid.

  301. says

    This morning I had my thyroid ultrasounded. This afternoon I got an email from my endocrinologist’s office to tell me that the nodules haven’t changed since last year. So no more thyroid appointments for a year. Yay. Western science is so wonderful.*

    Also I went to the local art supply store and bought more Pitt pens on the way home, because I deserved a treat after that drive.

    *I wonder where my old Cordwainer Smith books are.

  302. Okidemia says

    Tony! @432

    I don’t think we can nuke ‘em from orbit without a lot of collateral damage.

    We compost a lot, so there are earthworm which attracts a lot of centipedes.
    Then, it attracts chickens which are fond of both.
    Then the vegetables are destroyed by chickens.

    You* really have to choose between (vegetables + centipedes) or (cockroaches + chickens)… :)

  303. says

    Also, 43 GOP Senators voted against the Leahy-Collins Amendment to the anti-trafficking bill (which finally passed in the Senate). The amendment would have added language protecting homeless LGBT youth. One of those Senators was Florida’s very own Marco Rubio. I just shot him a blistering email (but I didn’t use any naughty words). If anyone is interested in reading it, I’ve posted it on my blog.

  304. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Tony, #446

    Very good email. Leave it to the Republicans to oppose bills that are simply good and nothing more. Next they’ll be voting against ice cream and puppies.

  305. says

    Camping ‘rupt. So sorry. (Camping on weekends. Lounge tends to reset late in week, just before I go camping. I don’t always find something to post about early in the new Lounge. Then, when it disappears off the first page, I lose it.) I will most likely be here and not here until the fall (in the NE USA), depending on when the Lounge starts resets.

    So this is part of a letter that was sent home from my daughter’s school. (She’s 12.)

    “Dear Parents/Guardians,

    The time is drawing near and soon your child will be moving on from [My Daughter’s] Elementary School and heading into middle school. To commemorate this transition, we cordially invite you to join us for our annual 6th grade Moving Up Day Assembly… [extra stuff that doesn’t matter for my point]

    Since this is a special day at [Daughter’s School], we are requesting that your child dress for the occasion. Boys should wear casual pants, such as khakis, and a polo-style shirt or button-down shirt with a collar and nice shoes. Girls should wear a skirt and top or a simple dress (please no strapless, spaghetti straps, halters, sequins, etc) and nice shoes (no high heels). All clothes and shoes should be comfortable since they will be worn the entire school day.”

    [It goes on to describe the rest of the day.]

    OK, so my daughter came home *knowing* this was sexist. My 12 year old daughter, complaining, because casual pants were (apparently) not allowed for girls. We have asked her repeatedly if she wants my wife and I to say anything, because we are quite willing to raise a stink about this. (I actually think they just take the same letter from 20 years ago and change the dates without giving any thought to what the thing still says — probably not much of a stink once raised I think.) She has said no, she’ll wear a dress or skirt for the day. And I really don’t think it’s that big a deal for her to do so.

    Still, her initial complaint has stuck with me. And the more I think about how this could be reworded to leave gender out of it (“Proper dress is business casual” is the easiest), the more I want to send off an email or make a phone call.

    Plus, “khaki” is a color not a style of pant, for crying out loud. It’s one of the best scenes in “Mad About You”, where they discuss the difference between Chinos and Khakis.

  306. says

    Saad 447

    Leave it to the Republicans to oppose bills that are simply good and nothing more. Next they’ll be voting against ice cream and puppies.

    Isn’t that the “joke”? That if Obama came out in favor of [ice cream and puppies] the Republicans would immediately be against them? I’ve been reading about that concept for at least a couple years now.

  307. says

    Waves at ajb47.
    That’s a good reworking of the dress code policy.

    Speaking of dress codes, a Houston, TX father is not happy with the dress code that prohibited his daughter from wearing her rainbow sun dress:

    Last Monday morning was a little colder than I expected, so I made sure that there was a warm change of clothes in my daughter’s backpack in case she wanted to change. She’d had her heart set on wearing her rainbow sun dress since the weather warmed up so I finally acquiesced and let her. Still it wasn’t too surprising to me to see her walk out of school that afternoon with her T-shirt on over the dress and her jeans on under it.
    “Did you get cold, sweetheart?” I asked her.

    “No,” she said a little crestfallen. “I had to change because spaghetti straps are against the rules.”

    I’m not surprised to see the dress code shaming come into my house. I have after all been sadly waiting for it since the ultrasound tech said, “It’s a girl.” I didn’t think, though that it would make an appearance when she was five years old.

    Five. You get me? She’s five. Cut her hair and put her next to a boy with no shirt on and she is fundamentally identical. I guess you could argue that a boy would not be allowed to wear a shirt with spaghetti straps either, but the day they sell anything like that in the boys section of a Target I will happily withdraw my objections.

    Have you ever stopped to think how weird a school dress code really is? I went and checked out the one for my daughter’s school district and it’s amazing in how hard it tries not to say what it actually means. There are literally no male-specific guidelines anywhere on that list. I mean prohibitions against exposing the chest or torso could hypothetically apply to boys except that they don’t. Not really. They don’t sell boys clothes that do that. There’s nothing that is marketed to boys that is in anyway comparable to a skirt or a sun dress. Essentially, a school dress code exists to prevent girls from displaying too much of their bodies because reasons.

    I didn’t pick up my daughter’s dress at My First Stripperwear. It’s not repurposed fetish gear from a store for very short people. It’s a dress from a mall chain store in her size. It covers everything but her shoulders and a small section of her upper chest and back. She’s worn it to church, and in the growing heat she was looking forward to wearing it a lot because it’s light and comfortable.

    You know what really grills my cheese about it? It’s not even the shirt they made her put on over her top, it’s the pants they made her wear underneath. It’s a full-length dress that she has to hold up to keep from getting wet in uncut grass. She even had a small set of shorts underneath because it was gym day. But because the top part of her dress apparently exposed the immoral sinfulness of her bare shoulders she also had to pull on jeans even though her legs remained completely covered as part of her punishment.

    This is still going in 2015. It really is. We still live in a country where someone can decide the shoulders of, and I can’t stress this enough, a five-year-old girl are so distracting that they must be sent away and decently hidden. God knows what could possibly happen to her if not.

  308. says

    Tony 451

    I like his analysis of the “dress code addresses girls clothes more than boys clothes”. I never thought of it that way, but that seems to be because I think our local school district seems to handle it in a gender neutral way:

    “A student’s dress, grooming and appearance, including hair style/color, jewelry, make-up, and nails, shall:
    Be safe, appropriate and not disrupt or interfere with the educational process.
    Recognize that extremely brief garments such as tube tops, net tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, plunging necklines (front and/or back), and see-through garments are not acceptable. Neither are mini-skirts, muscle shirts, and midriff baring blouses or clothes intended for the bedroom, such as pajama bottoms or shorts, or any garment with writing on the derriere.
    Ensure that underwear is completely covered with outer clothing.
    Include footwear at all times. Due to steps and outdoor recesses, footwear that is a safety hazard will
    not be allowed, such as sneakers with skates, slippers at all levels, and flip flops at the elementary and middle school level.
    Not include the wearing of hats, bandanas and other headwear in the classroom except for a medical
    or religious purpose. Sweatbands are not acceptable on any part of the body.
    Exclude gloves being worn during school hours.
    Not include items that are vulgar, obscene, libelous, or denigrate others on account of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability; that promote alcohol or drug use or violence; or that are otherwise contrary to the school’s educational mission.
    Not promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal or violent activities.
    Exclude chains on wallets, spikes on clothing or collars”

    Seems a better wording than what that other father has to deal with. Our local one at least includes no net shirts, muscle shirts, see-through tops, and midriff baring clothes which seem more (or equally) pointed to boys than girls.

    I’m probably old-fashioned here, but I think public schools should require that business casual I mentioned earlier all the time.

  309. says

    One more thing before I head off to bed —

    Amy Schumer did a skit parodying Friday Night Lights that she called “Football Town Nights”. Holy shit did she expose Rape Culture with this. Just search for “Football Town Nights” because I don’t want to accidentally embed the video.

    A note as to content: New football coach arrives and declares the football team is no longer allowed to rape. Various scenes of shock and players trying to find exceptions. Team eventually does poorly in first half of important game, coach gives speech that is at odds with everything he has tried to teach.

    The halftime speech is what really makes the bit. This is the closest I can come without giving the whole skit away.

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

    I don’t understand what every single dress code has against spaghetti straps.
    Is it because your bra straps can be seen? And bra straps are horrible sinful because they make people think of breasts? (I have a couple of those under my clothes all the time O.o)

    I just don’t get dress codes. Clean body, clean clothes… I’d rather add something about avoiding too heavy smells (perfume, after shave) than measure the thickness of someone’s shirt straps or the length of their skirt.
    But the point is that most of dress codes are either body/sexuality shaming – mostly for women and trans* folks or demarcations of class. I’m not fond of either.

    This doesn’t go only for schools or casual workplace. I’d have no problem depositing money to a bank teller in jeans and a T-shirt. But of course that would require a much more radical change than just letting kids at school be.

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

    Oh crap, I didn’t want to say women and trans* folks as if one wasn’t included in the other.
    I’m sorry.
    Maybe just “women (trans women especially)” instead

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

    @ajb47, #449:

    You know, there are times as a parent when you do things your kids would prefer you not do.

    I certainly don’t recommend overriding your spawns’ autonomy (or spawn’s if you only have the one), but neither can they override yours.

    It’s perfectly acceptable for you to talk to the school AS YOU – not representing the feelings of any of your children, just representing your own. Moreover, the fact that she doesn’t feel she can talk about it with the school is disturbing. The school itself should be worried if girls are scared to bring up issues of sexism, and certainly you as a parent have a right to be worried for the same reason.

    Now, I’m sure that there are lots of reasons NOT to talk to the school. I won’t criticize you if you don’t raise the issue. But I want to make it clear as another parent that I don’t think that not speaking for your child means you can’t speak for yourself.

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

    @Beatrice, #455/456:

    Oh crap, I didn’t want to say women and trans* folks as if one wasn’t included in the other.
    I’m sorry.

    “trans* folks” and “women” overlap, but neither fully contains the other. Your use was perfect.

    It might be problematic if you had said, “women and trans* women” or “women and MtFs” or something – but you didn’t.

    Your way not only highlighted trans* people, which is good in a world/community that doesn’t think about gender in such ways often enough, AND included people who wouldn’t fit in “women”.

    Frankly, I think including trans* men – who are included in “trans* folks” – is a good thing: while it’s more acceptable in the US for female bodied people to wear masculine clothing than vice versa, there’s a line of persistence or of “special occasion clothing” (tuxes, for instance) that cross a line. The consequences for crossing that line can be quite severe. “No spaghetti straps” for 5th graders may not appear to target FtM trans* men, but it’s part of a culture of gender that entails extreme risks for those men. Saying that

    most of dress codes are either body/sexuality shaming

    for trans* men more than cis* men is perfectly reasonable. There IS more body/sexuality shaming for trans* men. Dress codes ARE part of how that happens.

    Your first instincts were good. Your first phrasing was lovely, useful, and appropriate.

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

    Crip Dyke,

    Thanks for the explanation. Going back to the first comment as it was, then.

  315. chigau (違う) says

    re: dress codes
    My first term in high school (September to December) (1970):
    as a girl, I was not allowed to wear trousers, I was required to wear a skirt or dress.
    boys were not allowed to wear blue jeans that had brass studs (i.e. all of them).
    by January, I (girl) could wear trousers, as long as it was not blue jeans.
    later we (girls) could wear blue jeans, as long as they had been … modified.
    (split a seam, add a bit of cloth to create bell-bottoms)
    still later, the people who were trying to create and maintain these rules gave up.
    We could wear what we wanted.
    This predates people wanting to wear beach clothes in an air-conditioned space.

  316. jste | cogito ergo violence says

    I went through Australia’s public school system, so this whole talk of dress codes for school kids is odd. We had a uniform, and if you weren’t in uniform, you were given a loaner or sent home (Some allowances were usually made for wet weather)…

  317. says

    Good morning
    Yay, full night sleep!
    I also decided that since we didn’t have to be in school at 8 I didn’t have to get up at 6.
    On the downside the pay negotiations for the preschool and daycare teachers failed, which means more strike. Fuck the employers.

    Thanks for the suggestions, but I don’t think they’ll work with me. I need quiet and concentration (yes, I’m easily distract- oh! look! squirrel!). Also the kid is 7. She’s hard to ignore because she’ll just get in my face.

    dress codes
    Nope, I don’t get them either. Occasionally they are discussions about how the teenage girls are flaunting their bodies, but they’re usually slapped down quickly. What I find most horrifying is the sexualisation of preschoolers. FFS, they don’t even know what sex is yet. How sick are the adults? Why do you let people care for preschoolers who think their bare shoulders evoke lust?
    The kids’ preschool doesn’t have locker rooms. If they change for anything they do it in the hallway where the clothing racks are. It’s not uncommon that a kid will walk out of the toilet with their pants dangling around their feet because they need some assistance.
    Yes, I do make the girls wear shorts under their dresses and skirts because, well, they’re little piggies and sand tends to get into places it’s not supposed to go. The alternative would be to restrict their behaviour, which I find worse.

    Something completely different:
    comfort food
    Is there a special food you want to have when you’re sick, or your kids want to have? Because dinner last night was “Starfish Soup” (does not contain actual starfish).

  318. opposablethumbs says

    I had to go and find it (because too late) but I’m a mantis shrimp. All right.

  319. says

    Giliell @462:

    Is there a special food you want to have when you’re sick, or your kids want to have?

    Hmmm, I have a few comfort foods:
    homemade cornbread
    red beans and rice
    chili (over rice)
    potato soup

    Those are the comfort foods that sprung immediately to mind. I think there are one or two more. Incidentally, out of that bunch, chili would be #1.

  320. says

    Book conservationist Nobuo Okano repairs tattered books to make them look brand new:

    For the past 33 years Japanese craftsman Okano Nobuo has been repairing tattered books and reconstituting them to look brand new. When a customer brought in an old Japanese-English dictionary that looked like it had been through a few wars, Okano approached it like an art conservationist repairing a painting. Using very basic tools like a wooden press, chisel, water and glue, Okano reconstituted the book to make it look like it was just purchased.

    The tedious job required Okano to take each page—all 1000 of them—and flatten out all the creases with tweezers and an iron. But not everything is repaired. Okano makes some things disappear, like the initials of an old girlfriend. And much like the way a sculptor removes pieces to improve on it, Okano applies a subtractive process to bring the book back to life.

    Once the job was done the book was returned to the customer, who presented it to his daughter as she was on her way to college. “It’s not their shape or form but what’s inside them that attracts us to books,” says Okano. For a man who makes it his job to repair the shape and form of books it’s an incredibly humbling statement and is a testament to the value we still hold in physical books.

    Images of his work are available at the link.

  321. says

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

    [Y]ahoo News just blew the lid off of a scandal that may just spell serious trouble for the NRA. It seems they’ve been illegally funneling money from contributors to their political action committee, The NRA Political Victory Fund.

    The problem with that is that the NRA accepts contributions from people for a number of reasons, including gun safety training and education, that has nothing to do with politics. By shifting this money to their PAC, which uses it to donate to Republican campaigns across the country, they’re choosing candidates for people by way of donations, which is not only unethical but illegal.

    From Yahoo’s Alan Burlow:

    The issue is not just that my donations ended up in a political fund account, but the way the NRA solicited them — and presumably those of thousands of others. In fact, each of these transactions almost certainly violated multiple provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and a legion of state and federal antifraud statutes designed to protect the public from phony charities and false or misleading solicitations.

    After the NRA entered politics heavily in the 1970’s, their tactics have become exponentially slimier. In the interest of increasing the bottom lines of gun manufacturers, who are some of their biggest donors, the NRA has become an advocate for the use of firearms by anyone, including criminals, by opposing laws designed to protect the public from felons and the mentally ill from purchasing them.

    This particular scam, though, may be more than the high-powered lawyers of the NRA can handle, as federal law clearly states that solicitations for political purposes must be clear and transparent.

  322. bassmike says

    Hi, I’ve been away from the lounge for a while for no particular reason. In the meantime I’ve bought a new car and today is my daughter’s third birthday. She’s just beginning to understand the concept of special days like this, so it makes it a bit more meaningful to us all.

    She’s young enough that the idea of dress codes hasn’t manifested yet. I’m not looking forward to it though.

    BTW I miss rq . That is all.

  323. says

    ::Waves at bassmike::


    Chinese scientists say they’ve genetically modified human embryos for the first time

    Huang Junjiu, an associate professor of biology at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, led a team of researchers who managed to alter a gene in a non-viable embryo (embryos that cannot result in live birth) that would’ve been responsible for β-thalassaemia, a potentially deadly blood disorder common among children in southern China.
    According to Business Insider:

    CRISPR, the technology that makes all this possible, can find bad sections of DNA and cut them and even replace them with DNA that doesn’t code for deadly diseases, but it can also make unwanted substitutions. Its level of accuracy is still very low.

    Huang’s group successfully introduced the DNA they wanted in only “a fraction” of the 28 embryos that had been “successfully spliced” (they tried 86 embryos at the start and tested 54 of the 71 that survived the procedure). They also found a “surprising number of ‘off-target’ mutations,” according to Nature News.

    Huang told Nature News that they stopped then because they knew that if they were do this work medically, that success rate would need to be closer to 100%.

    Scientists have argued that the human genome should not be edited because it’s ethically questionable.
    Edward Lanphier, a British biologist, said in a Nature article that “we need to pause this research and make sure we have a broad based discussion about which direction we are going here.”
    The research has been seen as a breakthrough among the scientific community in China, however, and biologists here have defended Huang and his colleagues, calling the critics’ statements arbitrary.
    “To do as they said, no research should be done on human embryos at all,” Chen Guoqiang, a professor of biology at Tsinghua University, said in an SCMP report.
    “The breakthroughs in this field of research will eventually benefit every one of us. The editing of human DNA holds the key to cure many diseases, maintain health, retain youth, live long. These will all be possible in the future and free many families from pain and sufferings.”

  324. bassmike says

    :: waves back to Tony! ::

    Care for a drink? Looks like the lounge bar is quiet?

  325. says

    To add to the discussion above about the supposed danger posed by the shoulders of a 5-year-old girl in a rainbow sundress, mormons have been fighting bare shoulders for a few decades.

    […] This concern has reached down to girls as young as 4.

    Two issues of the Friend, the church’s magazine for children, carried stories about girls who were advised to choose shirts or dresses with sleeves to be modest. One of them tells of little Hannah, who wanted to wear to the zoo a red-and-white sundress that her grandma had given her, but she noticed it didn’t have any sleeves. So her mother put a T-shirt under it. “Now I am ready to go to the zoo,” said the child.

    Bare shoulders, even on children, are off-limits in LDS Church publications. An illustration in the December 2011 Ensign, the official magazine for adult Mormons, even added sleeves to female angels in one of painter Carl Bloch’s masterpieces. […]

    Washington Post link

  326. says

    Mother Jones took a close look at the 1 percent of the 1 percenters who are now exerting way too much influence in politics.

    […] about 1,200 Americans control more than 40 percent of election contributions. Notably, between 2010 and 2012, the total share of giving by these donors jumped more than 10 percentage points. That shift is likely the direct result of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, which struck down decades of fundraising limits and kicked off the super-PAC era. And this data only includes publicly disclosed donations, not dark money, which almost certainly means that the megadonors’ actual share of total political spending is even higher.

    […] I compared the share of campaign cash given by elite donors alongside the increasing share of income controlled by the people who make up the top 0.01 percent—the 1 percent of the 1 percent. The trendlines aren’t an exact match, but they’re close enough to show how top donors’ political clout has increased along with top earners’ growing slice of the national income. […]

  327. says

    Yesterday was Earth Day. After work I took some photos of flowering shrubs and trees and shared them with friends.

    Scott Walker celebrated Earth Day by firing 57 employees from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 25% of those fired were from the “science group.”

    Walker has been consistent in carrying out his goal to defund, to hobble, the DNR. Walker really does not have good timing. His latest cuts got more negative coverage thanks to the fact that they coincided with Earth Day.

  328. says

    Mitch McConnell and other Republicans are close, close friends of the coal industry. They abhor regulations. They have advised states not to comply with EPA regulations backed by President Obama.

    This is what you get when you follow the rightwing anti-regulation policies:

    […] Nineteen households and a church in her community of Dukeville, North Carolina were sent letters by the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) warning them not to drink or cook with well water due to elevated levels of toxic heavy metals, the Associated Press reported. Like Gobble’s home, each is located within a quarter mile of a coal ash pond owned by Duke Energy. […]

    Duke Energy is denying that the contamination has anything to do with their coal ash pond.

    […] The Mahaleys were reportedly aware of their contamination before the letters were sent out, telling the AP that Duke Energy officials came to their home in November to offer them shipments of bottled water, and told them not to tell anyone about it. According to Yadkin Riverkeeper Will Scott — the lead advocate for protecting the watershed in Dukeville — Duke also gave the Mahaleys a book about the negative health impacts of vanadium.

    “The story is that Duke has known that these people had high levels of vanadium. They knew that. They gave them water. They knew they had health effects,” he said. […]


  329. blf says

    The streets are alive with the sounds of screaming long pigs being eaten by the hungry sidewalk, Woman plunges down hole in London pavement:

    Witnesses described hearing a loud scream as the woman […] vanished through a 1 metre-wide gap in the bricked pavement and fell 4 metres.


    A flower stall owner […] said the woman ignored a cordon set up around the vulnerable patch of pavement […]

    “The shop owner was shouting out to her: ‘Don’t come through there,’” he said. “We looked over and she was down, all the way down the hole. She had walked on to it and it had collapsed beneath her.”

    I’ve been almost walked-over twice in recent days by eejits paying more attention to their mobile p0rn repositories then where the feck they are walking. If there was a hole in the footpath they’d probably fall into it. Whilst the article doesn’t say, it would not surprise me if this lady (who apparently was more surprised than hurt) was also glued to a tiny screen.

  330. says

    One woo-woo health nut exposed as a fraud when it comes to her claims about cancer, but she still manages to throw in some anti-vaxxer nonsense:

    A popular Australian wellness blogger who rose to fame after claiming she overcome several different types of cancer with a healthy lifestyle alone is now acknowledging that her career is built on a false premise, and she never had cancer in the first place.

    Belle Gibson’s holistic living brand centers on her dramatic story about how she tackled her personal medical history. Gibson claimed that, after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2009 and given just a few weeks to live, she withdrew from chemotherapy and beat the cancer with the help of “healing foods.” She told reporters that she believed her health issues — which she said also included subsequent diagnoses for cancers of the liver, uterus, spleen, and blood — stemmed from a bad reaction she had to Gardasil, the vaccine that protects against cervical cancer. […]

  331. says

    Mike Huckabee, presidential wannabe, says more stupid stuff:

    Just weeks before announcing a potential presidential campaign, Mike Huckabee joined a Family Research Council conference call today with conservative pastors to promote an upcoming FRC event asking the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage.

    During the call, Huckabee repeated a litany of falsehoods about how gay marriage will lead to the “criminalization of Christianity” and demanded that states simply defy an adverse Supreme Court ruling: >“Christian convictions are under attack as never before. Not just in our lifetime, but ever before in the history of this great Republic. We are moving rapidly towards the criminalization of Christianity.”

    The former governor predicted that the government will bring “criminal charges” against people for opposing gay rights or preaching from the Bible about why gay marriage is wrong. He even defended ex-gay therapy, claiming that the government is barring chaplains from telling clients to “seek assistance” for their “homosexual lifestyle.” […]

    Right Wing Watch link

  332. says

    Cross posted from the thread about sovereign citizens, where I plopped this down by mistake:

    Donald Trump, a guy who recently rented space for his presidential campaign headquarters, said some more stupid stuff: While speaking yesterday with conservative talk show host John Fredericks, Donald Trump said that Central and South American countries are sending immigrants “they don’t want” to America while “keeping their good.”

    “The ones we are getting are the drug lords, we’re getting the gang members, and we’re getting some people that are fine, but we’re not getting the best and finest from South America, believe me,” Trump said. Trump accused President Obama of deliberately keeping the border unprotected because he wants to “build up the Democrat [sic] Party.” […]
    Yeah, I’m sure President Obama is importing South American drug lords to bolster the ranks of the Democratic Party. /sarcasm

    Mr. Trump may have forgotten Mitt Romney’s real ties to South American drug lords, to Salvadoran death squads, and to their money.
    People’s World link
    Huffington Post link
    Politico link

    Considering that what we have here may be another case of Republican projection of their own misdeeds/tactics onto the Democratic Party, maybe someone should investigate Trump’s connections to South American drug lords.

  333. says

    Anyone like science? Silly question I know, given that everyone around here rightfully knows that the way to universal truths and a proper understanding of the human condition can only be found through faith. But if you’re one of those people who insists on stuff like facts and evidence and logic and you like beer, you might like this-
    Pint of Science:

    Pint of Science returns to the pubs of London this May. Now in its third year, this booze-fuelled festival of science offers the chance to catch up on some cutting-edge research while knocking back some CH3CH2OH.
    This year the festival is international, with events in eight countries over 18-20 May. Twelve cities in the UK are taking part, with London as the mothership. Choose among 19 different pubs (with something of a bias to the north and west of town), each of which hosts multiple talks.
    Whatever branch of science excites you the most, here you’ll find an event to match. To randomly pick five appetite-wetters: dark matter, personalised medicine, life on other planets, adapting to climate change, and a penetrating talk on what makes for the perfect sperm. In perhaps the most self-referential talk, Sadie Boniface and Steven Bell will explore the effects of beer on the body, in a talk at the George in Soho.
    Although the talks are not until mid-May, a few are already sold out… so get booking now. At just £3 a ticket, this is an excellent way to learn something new about life, the universe and everything, while enjoying your favourite tipple.

    A penetrating talk about sperm? Groan.

    Runs off to find out what the heck a ‘tipple’ is.

  334. says

    Regarding Loretta Lynch’s confirmation: 43 Republican senators still voted against her, without having an actual reason do so. The vote was 56 to 43. Well, maybe the reason for the “no” vote was “we hate Obama.”

    The margin of today’s vote was larger than expected. As recently as last month, it was an open question as to whether Lynch, despite her qualifications and unimpeachable record, would find enough Republican support to be confirmed. Indeed, as recently as mid-March, only four GOP senators publicly endorsed her nomination — enough to get Lynch to 50.

    Reflecting on Lynch’s nomination in February, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reportedly boasted, “Oh, she’s going down.”

    Evidently not. Lynch actually picked up 10 Republican supporters — twice as many as expected — with Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). […]

    Although the confirmation went through, the vote was still “among the closest for any A.G. nominee in history – despite the fact that her detractors raised no substantive objections to Lynch, her background, her qualifications, her credentials, or her temperament.”

  335. says

    From the whose-side-are-you-on analysis of Republican policies, we find them, surprise!, to be on the side of predatory businesses, and against consumers.

    Proving once again how much disdain Republicans really have for the American public, the House passed a bill Wednesday, 250-173, to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Because they really, really don’t want us to have any recourse against predatory businesses trying to fleece us. No, they believe that those predatory business should be getting the protection from any regulation that might keep them from maximizing profits, however they may choose to do so. […]

  336. says

    Regarding the Iceman-is-gay conversation, Franklin Graham doesn’t like it one bit.

    Franklin Graham is outraged by the news that the character Iceman will come out as gay in a new issue of “X-men” issue. The Religious Right leader took to his Facebook page today to lament that Marvel is using Iceman in an attempt “to indoctrinate our young people to accept this destructive lifestyle.” […]


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

    a penetrating talk on what makes for the perfect sperm

    I thought that pineapple thing had been debunked O.o

  338. says

    Crip Dyke 457

    You know, there are times as a parent when you do things your kids would prefer you not do.

    Yeah, and I have gone back and forth about sending her teacher an email saying something like, “My daughter said she’ll wear a skirt or dress, but she mentioned that those rules are not really fair. Maybe that letter could be rewritten in the future to leave out different rules for boys and girls.”

    It seems easy enough to me to say, ‘Students should wear nice casual slacks (no jeans, shorts, or sweatpants), an appropriate length skirt or dress, a short sleeve polo shirt or blouse and shoes that are nice but comfortable (no sandals, flip-flops, sneakers, etc).’ I haven’t seen, heard, or read of anything else like this in the 7 years she’s been in school, so my conclusion is that they are just recycling the letter without really reading it.

  339. says

    Right-wing nincompoop and all ’round bigot Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently penned an op-ed in the New York Times where he wrote about supporting a proposed religious freedom law in LA.

    In response, the Human Rights Campaign took a red pen to his op-ed to make a few corrections:

    Instead of a statement bashing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) for his op-ed defending controversial legislation aimed at blocking the government from punishing businesses over opposition to gay marriage, the pro-gay rights advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign took a red pen to Jindal’s piece in The New York Times.

    HRC replaces parts where Jindal uses phrases like “big business” and “radical left” and replaces those phrases with “the business community” and “70% of Americans” instead.

    In another paragraph the HRC replaces “left wing ideologues who oppose religious freedom” with “Americans who oppose discrimination.”

    Over and over again HRC, in the mark-up, points out that business leaders have signaled opposition to bills like the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act. A senior executive at IBM recently sent a strongly worded letter warning signing the bill into law could create a hostile work environment for some employees.

    The response by the HRC hits on some of the key arguments opponents of the bill in question, which Jindal has repeatedly said he supports, have said —that the bill effectively opens the door to discrimination against gay people and that the majority of Americans oppose it.

    When Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) faced national criticism for pushing another religious freedom bill that aimed to block the government from forcing businesses to serve gay customers because of religious objections, the governor, couldn’t come up with examples justifying the law.

    You can read their markup at the above link.

  340. carlie says

    Can I indulge in being disgustingly adorable for a minute?

    Spouse just had to do a 30 year residence history for a background check. We had the last couple of addresses, but then of course it gets murky. Had a couple of old tax returns that cleared part of it up, but then it hit college where there was a lot of moving and such without much of a trace. Had an idea, and managed to reconstruct the entire thing. From the letters he sent me when we were dating. Which I had saved, along with all of the envelopes with the return addresses and date stamps. Chronologically arranged. In a Trapper Keeper. Heh. :)

  341. says

    carlie, that is pretty adorable!

    Today was supposed to be a day off. Except that by the time I finished all the regular Thursday chores and a couple others that couldn’t wait, I was worn out. Pfui.

  342. says

    carlie @497:
    That is really adorable!


    Does anyone have a link to the Tweet where Ayaan Hirsi Ali dismissed homophobia in the U.S. bc gays have it worse in Islamic-run countries?

  343. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Augh, sometimes I think the Redhead can’t do simple math. Due to circumstances, I can go to sleep shortly. This will require a second call for me to change her. She’s so worried about the call, she can’t factor in an extra hour of sleep minus 20 minutes to change her, which is a 40 minute increase from normal. /rant.