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

    Did I kill the last thread? Go me! :D

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

    I’ll take that lion’s suggestion and go to sleep. Past my bedtime already.

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

    It’s May 27, and it’s 90 degrees out (Fahrenheit, before the non-US people have a stroke imagining Celsius temperatures that high). This forebodes poorly for July and August.

  4. says

    Gaaaaaah, what the fuck is wrong with people?

    A certain commenter at Hemant’s, with a history of anti-psychiatry crankery, is now claiming that it’s sufficient to simply tell your molesting son “don’t do that”, and that legal consequences aren’t “appropriate” for such a child. Of course, she also claims that the offender doesn’t need counseling or any other kind of intervention besides a slap on the wrist and a stern “don’t do that.”


    Fucking rape enabler!

  5. ottomarxhausen says

    I’m teaching a new thing: incoming students who have already been accepted to my university, and who belong to “low-retention” groups. It’s a summer program that is designed to get them acclimated to the university before they actually start classes in the fall. So it’s likely a mix of: first generation in college, low-income, black, indigenous, and Hmong students.

    I’m super nervous; the only pople I’ve ever taught have been college students, and these guys are kind of high schoolers; they haven’t even started their first semester. I’m used to treating students like adults, which sometimes means enforcing some pretty rough consequences for behavior. I don’t know if I should still do that with a bunch of kids (yeah, okay, they’re probably all eighteen) who are vulnerable to punishment in a way other students are not.

  6. says

    I think I’ve now missed the last two Lounges. Mostly, it’s camping, but there has also been some playing of video games. And some planning out of Pathfinder games thrown in. And we binge watched The Blacklist. (I see now how Spader got tagged for Ultron. He is fantastic in the show, and the setting/background is pretty good, but everyone else is a muddled mess. Except Aram – I like him.)

    So, lawnmower baffles have taken my wife to Omaha for a couple days.

    Yes, this post is mostly so I can get the email updates and feel like I am part of the world again. Thanks for that.

  7. Lady Mondegreen says

    Thanks, Anne. (Currently catless, but I’m a Cat Lady in spirit, too.) I found it years ago. Sadly, I’ve forgotten the painter’s name and haven’t got it written down anywhere.

    Word was some people decided to go because they were sure MS wouldn’t be there. They must be feeling betrayed.

  8. carlie says

    Esteleth – it’s really weird. Last year here it only got to 90 once, near the end of July. Then this year, it hit almost that right after Mother’s Day.

  9. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    YAY! CaitieCat!!

    Update: I did the things today. There were problems all along the way but nothing bad enough to derail.

    Good News: Rental assistance came through with $480, which covers what we owe for May and leaves $498 owed for June. The caseworker was fucking awesome. He even gave us 4 $10 gift cards to a local grocery store.

    Mixed News: He did say that for the rest of next month I could come back next month, if I have another 5 day notice. Since I was just there, I’m not sure how to excuse an early 5 day notice on the 1st. And since their fiscal year ends in June, he said they typically purposefully use up their funds in the first week. No clue what the fuck to do yet as I just got back home an hour ago and I’m just so exhausted. Brain think-y no work-y right now.

    Bad News: I got lost in the giant building complex (it stretches from 40th street to 48th street). I was already limping before I got lost and it just got so.much.worse. I check my feet when I got home: left food has a giant wound on the…back part, like above the heel and the right foot’s pinkie toe is completely red still with a small blister on top and a blister on the bottom the entire length of the toe. I also realized I’m still seeing blood after wiping using the bathroom and it’s 8 days til my next period. =/

    Oh, and I’ve got all of 8 mins left on this stupid free phone. >.< I've been using Roomie's and I've got the number saved if they call but what if I missed it and they pick someone else??! Scenarios like this have been fucking with me all the time lately.

    Good News: I think the interview went well. Even with being late, which they were super understanding of (and I called to ask for directions and update them so it's not like I just blew them off or anything), I gave solid answers he seemed to like. (Tho of course I started nitpicking everything I did as soon as I was limping back to the bus stop.) The next step is a background check and then they make a decision. He said the background check differs on the time frame obviously but usually within 10 days. So short, so close, yet so fucking far. Roomie says saying that usually means I got the job but godamn, I dunno anymore. I thought the last interview went well and I got a rejection email before I even got home.

    I fucking want this job. It’s fucking awesome. I need any fucking job but *this* job is MY JOB. MINE! GIVE IT TO ME! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease.

    While I was gone all day, Roomie took Little One to get her b-day treat (she picked ice cream), which was awesome and I’m super grateful of because I ain’t doing shit tonight. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to do stuff tomorrow. I’ve been up since 4 am, my head hurts, my feet are killing me and I can’t sleep yet.

    A good productive day, but the struggle continues and I’m all out of spoons.

    I love ya’ll so much. *hugs* and *higs* and hold those thumbs.

  10. says

    Ugh. I didn’t know “poverty porn” was a thing. Now I do, thanks to this article from the Independent:
    (note-not porn in the sense of XXX)

    The BBC will make the unemployed and low-paid workers compete against each other for a cash prize in a controversial Hunger Games-type show to find “Britain’s Hardest Grafter”.

    Only the UK’s lowest-paid workers will be invited to compete to “show their worth” in the reality show, capitalising on the trend for “poverty porn” established by the Channel 4 series, Benefits Street.

    Applications for Britain’s Hardest Grafter, which will be screened on BBC2, are limited to those currently earning less than £15,500 per year.

    The BBC is seeking 25 British workers, a mix of the unemployed, the under-employed and those earning the minimum wage, who will be given the opportunity to “prove themselves” through a series of challenges. A cash prize is on offer for the winner.

    A representative of the production company Twenty Twenty told the website Graduate Fog: “In each episode, people will be put to the test in a series of challenges and tasks.

    “At the end of each episode, those who have produced the least will be eliminated and by the end of the process, just one worker will remain. The winner will receive in the region of £15,000 which is a year’s living wage (outside of London).”

    An advert for applicants asks “Have you been out of work since leaving school? Are you sick of living off your parents? Are you losing out on jobs because you’ve got no experience? Have you got a degree but not a graduate job?” The producers are seeking “people who feel passionately about the issues in the UK today”. The series will investigate “what effects people in the workplace”.

    The producers, previously responsible for Benefits Britain 1949, in which claimants volunteered to live by the rules of the first year of the welfare state, asked Graduate Fog to publicise the show on its website “so we can attract more graduates who are struggling to secure a decent living wage.”

    Twenty Twenty said participants would be paid a compensatory figure “not below the national minimum wage” for the length of their contribution to the programme.

    Graduate Fog questioned whether the show would simply “exploit desperate young workers for entertainment value.”

    That closing line? That’s exactly what this show sounds like.

  11. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Typical pre-bed discussion.
    Nerd: Call me when you need to be changed.
    Redhead: Don’t know if I can hold out until 2:00.
    Nerd: Call me when you need to be changed.
    Redhead: But if I call too early, you have to come down at 6:00 (weekday wake-up time)
    Nerd: Call me when you need to be changed. Then call me at 6:00 if needed.
    Redhead: But, but, but….
    Nerd: Call me when you need to be changed. Then call me at 6:00 if needed. I still have time to make you your omelet (1 egg) before I leave for work.
    Redhead: But, but, but….
    Nerd: *upstairs to “bed”*

  12. Ragutis says

    Just a small public service announcement:

    If you like the band Rush at all, like even just a song or two, I heartily encourage you to grab whatever tickets remain for the show closest to you and GO! They are really having fun (Neil. Smiling. Repeatedly!) The production and setlists are fantastic (Peter Dinklage rapping. The lasers. Oh, the lasers!). And this is pretty likely their last time around, at least at this scale. If Alex’s arthritis is progressing as badly as people were talking about, I doubt there’ll be an R50 tour.

  13. chigau (違う) says

    Keep up the heroic work.
    And fucking take care of yourself, too.

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

    Well, I can just second chigau’s previous 2 comments.

    Good morning.

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

    EeeeksEgrek, Dalillama!

    I totally get how that would be upsetting. I have other friends in your neck of the woods who also cycle as a basic transportation strategy and I’m sure **none** of them are feeling at all good about it, but 1 block from your home? Egads.

  16. rq says

    Also, JAL, you’ve got *all the thumbs* for the job. I really hope this is your break the one that you need, and your poor feet :( hope they heal fast!

    Seconding chigau too.

    I didn’t want to finish reading that excerpt, but I did. I shouldn’t have. :(

    Hi, ajb47!!!


    the only pople I’ve ever taught have been college students, and these guys are kind of high schoolers; they haven’t even started their first semester

    Here’s the deal, they’re as much college students as any first-years. Have you taught first-years? If so, treat them like first-years (or at least, not like high school students :P).

    I’m used to treating students like adults, which sometimes means enforcing some pretty rough consequences for behavior.

    I’m just wondering, what is ‘rough consequences’ by your definition? And for what kind of behaviour?
    Regarding the vulnerability, that, yeah, definitely figure out different consequences, esp. if these kids/young adults have already been disadvantaged by systems that deal too harshly with them. They’ve probably had a much harder time making it to college, and now they’re here, you don’t want to discourage them. At the same time, it’s not good to leave the impression that you’re letting them off easy. Good luck finding a balance with that!

    I don’t think I have any particularly specific or good advice, just… be kind, be understanding, don’t be an asshole, and give them a listening, supportive ear, at the very least. They probably have concerns about college different from the usual students you deal with, listen to those. They’re very real, even if they might seem ridiculous to you sometimes. Treat them as legitimate people and legitimate students, and you should be fine.

  17. says

    Ranting, entitled assholes edition.
    Today I found a very angry email from one of my Spanish students in my inbox. Yes, she sent me an email last week and I overlooked it. Searching for it, I found it in my inbox, unopened. Oops. Apparently, that’s a crime now. Apparently I don’t care if my students learns anything.
    Thing is, she and her friend ahowed up, I don’t know, 4 or 5 times out of 12 so far. It’s a beginners class. You cannot make it in a beginners class if you only show up every third evening unless you’re either a genius or really working hard at home. And believe me, she and her friend are neither.
    Also, it’s NOT fucking standard in this institution to hand out your personal contact information. I always give them my email, my landline, my mobile. So if she’d been that fucking anxious to know what we did she could have contacted me through other means, which is again, totally voluntary on my side.
    Those people are around 40, but they expect me to care more than a primary school teacher. What’s next? Should I call them every time they miss a class? Drive by to drop off their homework? If you wanna be treated as a fucking adult, behave like one.

    End of rant


    The BBC will make the unemployed and low-paid workers compete against each other for a cash prize in a controversial Hunger Games-type show to find “Britain’s Hardest Grafter”.

    Progressive people should stop writing novels. They took the Handmaid’s Tale as an instruction manual, too.

    The little one wants one…

    Have a nice holiday!

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

    Finally! We learn exactly how to recognize god’s voice when the tricksy, invisible one is speaking.

    How, you wonder? What is this marvelous new “practical” information that enables us to know when Jesus the Greasy is speaking?

    At least for me, God did not speak to me and tell me what to do. He used other people to relay His message

    So, yeah. The takeaway is “God doesn’t actually talk to anyone, but never give credit to human beings’ knowledge, intelligence, creativity or compassion when you can chalk it up to god instead.”

    Imagine my surprise.

  19. carlie says

    ottomarxhausen – it sounds like one of the goals of the program is to teach the students about college expectations. That means you still keep your standards, but shift to helping them learn the standards rather than swift enforcement. I’m trying to think about the kinds of things you might mean – something like “if you talk to each other while I’m talking I’ll ask you to leave the room”, or “if you turn in work late I won’t accept it”, that kind of thing? You want to tell them your standards, and point out every time they break it, and go over with the class what the consequence will be, but maybe give them a couple of chances before instituting it. Then be sure they understand you’re not criticizing them as a person, but their behavior and how it is detrimental to them and the whole class learning when they do X.

    For low retention students, it’s also really important to emphasize how they can get help and that they should, early and often. One of the biggest struggles I have, marginal population or not, is getting students to understand that if they don’t understand the material to come see me (or go to a campus tutor) right away, before the situation gets out of control and they’re staring down an F at the end of the semester. I’m here to help, I’m here to help, I’m here to help. Yes, I’m here to enforce standards, but I’ll do everything I can to help you learn and work to those standards, and I’ll point you to other people in the university who can help you in other ways. That’s probably the most important skill they need. Good luck – it sounds like a pretty fun (if challenging) program!

  20. bassmike says

    Hello everyone.

    Tony that show looks despicable. I’m very disappointed that the BBC would even contemplate the idea. Having said that, they did a series where they put celebrities into a Victorian world in various different scenarios. I couldn’t watch as everything became more contrived and stacked against the celebs. Also it had the odious Ann Widdecombe in it.

    Sometimes Pharyngula is bad for me health: I have been reading the ‘Not Quite Home’ thread and wishing I hadn’t.

    Giliell some people feel so entitled that they want everyone to do their work for them. It must be incerdibly frustrating.

    Waves at Portia

    Not much to report chez Bassmike . We appear to be over potty training, just working on dry nights now.

    I’ll drop off a pile of *hugs* while I’m here.

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

    Cardinal Raymond Burke has delightfully reminded us

    that gay couples and divorced and remarried Catholics who are trying to live good and faithful lives are still like “the person who murders someone and yet is kind to other people.”

    Aw. Thanks! I almost forgot that.

    This delightful perspective was given in an interview to, an outlet to which he is apparently quite attracted, because that interview conducted in January but embargoed until a few days ago isn’t the only one to be published this week by

    No, he’s not done! In this interview conducted a few days ago (and this time immediately published), Burke has some advice for those of us who might like to tell a queer relative coming for a holiday visit, “Sure! Bring your partner(s)!”

    We wouldn’t, if it were another kind of relationship — something that was profoundly disordered and harmful — we wouldn’t expose our children to that relationship, to the direct experience of it. And neither should we do it in the context of a family member who not only suffers from same-sex attraction, but who has chosen to live out that attraction, to act upon it, committing acts which are always and everywhere wrong, evil.

    Yeah, we wouldn’t allow our pro-slavery relative to drag along a fresh-bought slave to the festivities! So why is it that we would welcome Marty’s primary partner?

    “Why is that?” Burke wonders while clearly having no clue as to the actual answer. Oy.

    Oh, and also? During the big Synod on the Family in Roma just now? Dozens of bishops, archbishops and cardinals talking about how one-cis*-man-with-one-cis*-woman marriage is necessary for humans to reach their moral potential and that marriages which are unbreakable, marriages in a context where divorce is not a possible option, are marriages in which that lack of freedom is a strength and a blessing.

    Haven’t yet seen media printing reporters asking the natural follow up: “How the fuck would you have any idea?” and/or the responses.

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

    Hey bassmike.

    Haven’t sent you any personal greetings or well-wishes lately, so I’ll take this opportunity to hope things continue to go well for you.

  23. says

    We wouldn’t, if it were another kind of relationship — something that was profoundly disordered and harmful — we wouldn’t expose our children to that relationship, to the direct experience of it.

    That’s why I don’t let my kids go to church…
    Now, the Irish referendum has some ripple effects and apparently one of the smaller public tv stations cobbled together a program on gay marriage. The first was a documentary about a male gay couple on their way to the Lebenspartnerschaft (ur seperate and unequal version). Only that one of the guys is devout catholic and by devout I mean mass un Sunday PLUS watching the pope on TV afterwards. I got so angry. About the amount of harm that institution inflicts on that man and angry about the amount of harm he inflicts on his partner because of that religion.

    I currently have a bunch of chicken drumsticks marinating in the jerk. I also have an idea for the molasses: sugar beet syrup, which is dark and tangy.
    Side dish will be arróz congrís, rice and beans.

  24. bassmike says

    Freethought blogs tried to eat my comment. I foiled it by making a copy. Take that flaky website software!


    Hey bassmike.

    Haven’t sent you any personal greetings or well-wishes lately, so I’ll take this opportunity to hope things continue to go well for you.

    Thank you, you’re message is very much appreciated. I follow things on Pharyngula quite closely and your comments are always insightful and I make sure that I read them. Unfortunately, I’m not always in a position, for various reasons, to post comments. In a lot of threads, by the time I have read the comments, there’s someone who’s said what I would have done. I appreciate all your heavy lifting, especially on the difficult threads. Long may you continue!

  25. Akira MacKenzie says

    Did the server go down? I haven’t been able to bring up any FtB site for the last 30 minutes. I was afraid it was getting hit by a DoS attack.

  26. says

    Well, Hello everyone.

    I’m currently still at work, in an empty library with Carbon Based Lifeforms in the background and a sun glare induced headache. Trying to come up with some way to promote my library without any funds. I’m quite pessimistic, and the fact that one of the books I’ve bought for the urban fantasy sub-section on a friends recommendation is on a below-average-fanfic level doesn’t help.
    But then I browse through FTB(it was down for a while), and it helps a lot. At least I know there are people who also care. Even if they’re mostly on the other side of the world.

    Best regards from the barbaric north of Poland.

  27. ottomarxhausen says

    Thanks, rq and carlie. I don’t mean that I’m in the habit of dragging students out into the woods and leaving them for the wolves, but if something in the syllabus or on an assignment gets ignored, I’m not very lenient. Because it’s RIGHT THERE! I WROTE IT DOWN FOR YOU! I guess I should direct energy towards that.

    I really am excited to teach the class. I hope I’m able to channel that excitement into a good experience for them.

  28. carlie says

    OMG, the syllabus issue. I have SENIOR classes wherein we have this discussion:
    “When is (blah blah blah policy or due date)?”
    “What does it say in the syllabus?”
    *blank stares from entire class*
    “Anybody know? What does it say about that in the syllabus, that I gave you three months ago and is online and that we went over on the first day?”

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

    @Mariusz Butrykowski, #37:

    Best regards from the barbaric north of Poland.


    I’m currently still at work, in an empty library with Carbon Based Lifeforms in the background and a sun glare induced headache.

    I am sorry about the headache, but for some reason I latched onto “Carbon Based Lifeforms”. Suddenly I found myself wondering what we’re going to do with that phrase (stop using it, redefine it, add a modifier?) when we’ve got graphene and nanotube based circuits. In plastic housings.


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

    @Giliell, #33:

    I currently have a bunch of chicken drumsticks marinating in the jerk. I also have an idea for the molasses: sugar beet syrup, which is dark and tangy.

    Ah, sugar beet syrup, “dark & tangy” – sounds perfect.

    Glad you’re getting mileage out of the jerk. I’ve been as well. Just last night I made up jerk-marinated yams & tofu with jerk-fried (but not marinated, to preserve texture) veggies.

    Tonight it’s going to be that delicious chiles-ginger-sesame-&-peanut sauce you throw on cold noodles. mmmmm.

    It’s also possibly the easiest of the delicious-sauces to make from scratch on a moment’s notice. 1/3 cup of peanuts or peanut butter, a tablespoon of tahini or (and this makes the sauce substantially more time consuming) do a bit of mortar-n-pestle magic on some sesame seeds or (in emergencies) just drop in some sesame oil (maybe 2 teaspoons) without the seed-meat, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1-2 teaspoons dry, chiles and/or sri racha to taste, 1 packed teaspoon brown sugar, then soy sauce & water for the levels of salt and viscosity you desire.

    For this recipe, the dry, powdered ginger works almost as well as fresh. Also, dry ginger doesn’t need to be cooked before storage, so it can be used as a dressing right away, a sauce right away, or stored right away, with no heating at all. The fresh ginger is hardly more of a challenge: microwave it for a minute and you can store it just fine. If you use it right away (as you really should) it doesn’t need cooking any more than the powdered-ginger version.
    It’s an absolutely amazing little sauce. It’s forgiving, it’s delicious. It’s fast. It uses only ingredients you probably have in your kitchen all the time anyway. Of all of Szechuan cooking, this is the only thing that I make on even a semi-routine basis.

    I’m sure that there are easier sauces to make, but none easier that cause me to smile at the dinner table saying, “Wow, that’s so good!”

    NOTE: I never measure the ingredients here, I just eyeball it and it almost always comes out perfect on the first try. That might be my experience with it, but I really don’t think the flavors need to be balanced against each other much. So I’ve suggested amounts, but they’re only to give you a vague starting place. it should end up fine this way, but it would also end up fine with more tahini, less or more ginger (yes, even with less ginger it still can be great with the heat foregrounded and the ginger a savory background), or even upping the sugar and backing off on the heat to make a version for kids who haven’t learned to embrace spices yet. Once they love it (and most will eventually, by age 10 or 11 at latest; I’ve had kids dig right in at age 5) you can gradually boost the ginger and heat and back off the sugar until they’re eating something that’s actually pretty authentic, that tastes far-from-European, and that gets kids ready to try more complex flavors and higher levels of heat until the little tykes don’t slow down the satisfaction of your spice cravings a bit.

  31. magistramarla says

    Hi Horde!
    I’m recovering from spinal fusion surgery and I’ve been having a very, very difficult time with it. I think that I have post-surgical depression. I’ve never dealt with depression before, and I’ve been very confused and in a dark place most of the last seven weeks.
    It’s not pain – that hasn’t been bad at all, even though I can’t take most pain medications due to an opioid allergy.

    It’s the restrictions and heartache that are getting me down. I can’t bend or lift, which means that I can’t cook.
    My health issues have taken all of my joys away from me – teaching, driving, independence. Cooking was the last joy I had left, and now I can’t even get out a pie pan to bake a pie or lift out a casserole dish to make a lasagna. Instead, I’m living my life in a recliner.
    Hubby broke his promise that he would take some FMLA time to take care of me and went right back to work because the office needed him. I’m having a difficult time forgiving him for that. It seems to me that he could have given me a couple of solid weeks of support. Even now, if he would just take a couple of weeks off to concentrate on helping me with rehabilitation, it would at least begin to make up for neglecting me when I most needed him.
    This was an elective surgery, and I wish that I had never agreed to it.
    Yesterday my daughter, who just had surgery a week ago herself, came to see me. She brought me a tiny little rescued kitten to take care of. I’ve named her Princess Leia and she is sleeping next to me on the recliner right now. She has been the best thing yet for me. She’s very young and needs lots of care, so she distracts me from how I feel.
    This is going to be a long, lonely miserable time for recovery from this awful surgery.
    I will never, ever agree to surgery again for as long as I live.

  32. carlie says

    big hugs, magistramarla. It does sound like you’re depressed, which is perfectly understandable given what’s going on with you. Please vent here as much as you need to.

  33. says

    magistramarla, hugs and healing. I’m not surprised that you’re depressed, given all that you’re dealing with right now. Good on your daughter. What does the kitten look like?

  34. rq says

    Oh, the syllabus. I had a TA who would regularly insert syllabus-/information-type questions into his entomology quizzes. Give the Latin name for the order to which beetles belong to. What is your TA’s full name? Name three families of the order Dermaptera. What are Prof. [name]’s office hours? Insects have ____ body segments. In the month of April, you have ____ assignments due. That sort of thing. It was really interesting watching people get all upset about those questions, but as he said, “It’s important for you to know”.

    Just be mindful that these students may have really, really important reasons why things may or may not get ignored on the syllabus or assignments. (As happens with everyone, I’m sure.) Anyway, good luck, and I hope your new students pick up on your enthusiasm and confidence!!


    Mariusz Butrykowski
    I return your kind regards from the land even further north of you, which recently finished the new National Library.
    Which, as it happens, already has a leaky roof.
    Funding libraries, how does that work, again?

  35. opposablethumbs says

    Damn, magistramarla, I’m really sorry the post-surgery situation is so crap :-((((

    I hugely hope you get your mobility back soon. I guess you’re probably doing masses of reading already anyway – still, I hope there are at least sometimes some things you can read/write/watch that give you a bit of a lift; and here’s to Princess Leia – hope she’s a cuddler!

  36. magistramarla says

    Ann, the Cranky Cat Lady,
    Leia is a Siamese with bright blue eyes, and from her markings we think that she’s a Lynx Point. She’s a fuzzy kitten, so I’m thinking that she might be a long hair, too. She was found in a parking lot in a deluge of rain. She was covered in mud and my daughter said that she never saw so many fleas on such a tiny creature. They were even covering her eyes.
    She’s now fat, happy, bright-eyed and purring next to me, as all kittens deserve.
    I have a ten year old Flame Point Siamese named Casper who isn’t too thrilled with the new baby.
    My husband’s Maine Coon named Dax surprised us and has adopted her as his own baby. He will groom her and guard her from Casper.
    My GSD mobility dog named Conner is offended that Leia won’t allow him to come near her yet. He wants to be friends with every creature he meets.
    It’s an interesting mix in this house.

  37. says

    ::Hugs offered::
    I’m sorry you’re going through depression. I hope it ends ASAP.
    ottomarxhausen, Mariusz Butrykowski:

    Hello to you both and welcome to the Lounge!

  38. rq says

    Feel free to ignore the following, it’s just more self-indulgent whining (of which I seem to be doing a lot (more than usual) lately, excuses.

    But anyway.
    I think I’m going to quit choir.
    It’s not the fact that I haven’t been going to rehearsals, as I’ve been on hiatus before – this is a manageable and alterable state. But. I went this week (by special request) due to a concert tonight and a lack of altos, and… I just felt so disconnected. And not even particularly because of not going regularly for the past season, as there are people in the choir I see outside of choir, so it’s not a matter of re-integration. Just… totally, utterly disconnected. As in, October 2014 levels of disconnected, when I last went to a choir social event during my dad’s last few days, and it… just… wasn’t. Anything. So yeah, disconnected.
    I don’t think I like that, as I’ve been keeping choir around as a vaguely social outlet, as something other than kids and Husband (exchanging occasional comments with the CSG do not count as social interaction). And on the one hand it’s not really being that for me right now, but on the other, I don’t have anything else.
    Also: the music. My entire life I’ve had music of some kind as hobby-outlet (piano, violin, church choir (the least religious church choir ever, for what that’s worth)). And yeah, I have a piano at home, but I already don’t play it nearly often as I should / would like to. I want to buy a guitar, but let’s be honest here – it’ll spend time sitting around more than being played (by me, at any rate).
    Anyway, I’m kind of in a tangle here about what to do about it, but it looks like I’ll be quitting the choir. Which makes me kind of sad, because I’ll miss the music.
    So, I have come up with the ultimate solution: The Lounge needs a band. I would like to be part of a mediocre, for-fun band that bums around with tunes and equipment just for the heck of it. No pressure.

  39. rq says

    That’s a very interesting family dynamic. :D I’d warn Conner about being friends with cats, though. The ones I know are… rather sharp, if you know what I mean. Poor Argo is always so confused, because he just wants to be FRIIIEEEENNNNDS. Good luck with everyone getting acquainted and friendly, and may they all bring you great comfort.

  40. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    magistramarla, I am so sorry you feel like bunk. Immobility and depression suck. I hope things improve soonest and hubby sees the error of his ways. A new wee beastie is a very good thing. Gentle hugs.

  41. says

    One of *the* cutest things my cat (Kayta) does is stick a portion of her tongue out of her [closed] mouth. I call it “the tongue thing” (real original, I know). No idea why I find it adorable, but I do.

  42. NitricAcid says

    I have discovered The Darkest of Hillside Thickets. I don’t know if PZ is already familiar with them, but I feel he would relate to this song:

  43. magistramarla says

    Yes, that’s my Conner in the picture. My youngest daughter is an animal trainer. Conner was her demo dog when she was training puppies. She re-trained him to help me get around before they left to be stationed in Germany,
    She’s been responsible to bringing home each of the critters who currently live in this house.

    Yes, those pictures at your link look just like my Casper. He looks like a miniature white tiger. He has a very sweet and loving personality. It really surprised me that he didn’t take to Leia. I guess he’s just feeling old and cranky.
    Daughter brought him home when she was in college and a guy in a neighboring apartment was throwing him out after the girlfriend moved out, leaving her cat behind.

    Dax the Maine Coon is the odd cat. He literally has thumbs on his front paws. He has seven toes on one paw and six on all the rest. Daughter brought him home when a guy was trying to sell kittens in front of her work and after he was busted, he left one behind with a note that said it was “deformed”. We think that polydactyl cats are really cool.
    We tend to collect kitties who desperately need a place to fit in.

  44. Nick Gotts says

    Best of luck JAL, commiserations to magistramarla and rq, greetings to everyone else – I’m going to try to keep up with this edition of the Lounge.

    TwoThree pieces of good news. First, all being well, I’m going to be teaching a short course at the University of Turin next January-February, of my own choosing as long as it’s on agent-based simulation and fits in with the masters in “Economics and Complexity” they run. The course is taught in English, as it attracts international students. The money will be nice, but more than that, I’m looking forward to the challenge, and it will give me more opportunity to get to know people here, and practice my Italian. My wife is going to be here most of the time until a year in July, and I’ve found it rather hard to get involved in anything – I’m pretty self-sufficient, but being wholly dependent on one person for anything more than minimal social contact, even your wonderful life partner, is not ideal. Second, I’ve finally got access to (some) online journals from a UK university, where a friend who’s a professor got me a visiting research fellowship. It’s only taken us 8 months to get through the bureaucratic obstacle course! Third, my son has got himself a near-perfect summer job repairing bicycles for a thoroughly worthy organization (free or cheap bicycle repairs, training prisoners to repair bikes, donating bikes to nurseries in Edinburgh…). He’s been volunteering there on Saturdays for the past year, and got the job via an interview, and a trial shift. It’s his first full-time, and first decently paid employment.

  45. magistramarla says

    Hugs and lots of understanding about the choir.
    I used to be one of those sopranos who could be counted on to hit that note that was somewhere up there in the rafters.
    I loved to sing in choirs since jr. high, and was often a soloist.
    Even though we were never “true believers”, I used to be a member of the Episcopal Church choir when we lived in Ohio and loved singing with them.
    As a military wife, I sang with The Skylarks. We sang at military events, nursing homes, schools, got to perform with the AF band a few times and sang onstage with (gasp!!) Lee Greenwood when he came to our base.
    In another cruel twist of my health, I’ve had spasmodic dysphonia since 2006. My vocal cord spasms uncontrollably.
    That’s why I can no longer sing or teach. Botox shots into the vocal cord help some, but not enough for me to ever hit those high notes again – sigh.

  46. says

    rq 54

    I’ll play trombone. Depending on genre of music this band plays, I might get back to teaching myself to play guitar for it.

    magistramarla Sorry you are going through such a tough time. Hope the kitten helps.

  47. says

    Here’s some nice news-
    Teens are fleeing religion like never before: Massive new study exposes religion’s decline:

    America’s rising generation of adults are the least religiously observant of any generation in six decades, determined an expansive study led by Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State.

    “Unlike previous studies, ours is able to show that millennials’ lower religious involvement is due to cultural change, not to millennials being young and unsettled,” Twenge says in a San Diego State University news release. .

    In one of the largest studies ever conducted on Americans’ religious involvement, researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the University of Georgia collaborated with Twenge and her colleagues in California to analyze data from four national surveys of U.S. adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18. The surveys were taken between 1966 and 2014, and include responses from some 11.2 million people.

    The researchers’ findings were published this month in PLOS One.

    According to Twenge and her cohorts, today’s adolescents view religion as less important, report less “approval” of religious organizations, and spend less time on prayer than did their similarly-aged predecessors. Some 75 percent of American 12th graders, the paper finds, believe that religion is “not important at all” in their lives.

    Twenge cites a surge of individualism as the force behind atheism’s relative appeal to a young, self-centric generation. She’s literally written the book on the subject: “Generation Me.” In it, Twenge provides academic rationale to support the allegation that children born in the 1980’s and 1990’s form an “Entitlement Generation,” which she describes as being “tolerant, confident, open-minded, and ambitious but also disengaged, narcissistic, distrustful, and anxious.”

    “These trends are part of a larger cultural context, a context that is often missing in polls about religion,” Twenge says. “One context is rising individualism in U.S. culture. Individualism puts the self first, which doesn’t always fit well with the commitment to the institution and other people that religion often requires. As Americans become more individualistic, it makes sense that fewer would commit to religion.”

    The study also notes an “increasing acknowledgment that religion is not consistent with scientific understanding” could be driving adolescents away from religion. It is possible that “debates about teaching creationism or intelligent design in U.S. schools, such as those in Kansas in 2005, pushed some young people away from religion,” Twenge and her colleagues write in the study.

    Overall it sounds like a positive shift in our culture. Note the possible conflation of moving away from religion with atheism though. Spending less time praying, considering religion less important, or disapproving of religious organization does not make one an atheist.

  48. opposablethumbs says

    Hugs to rq. I’m sorry that particular social outlet just isn’t cutting it for you any more :-( Here’s to creating/finding a musical connection that does!
    And I’m very sorry for the damage to your voice, magistramarla.
    Conversely, nice one for the several bits of good news Nick Gotts!

  49. says

    rq, I think if you want a guitar, you should have one.

    magistramarla, you have a thumbcat? Does he get into mischief? I expect your Siamese get into everything too.

    I finished slaying today’s usefuls, so I worked on a silly project I’ve been mulling for a while. My silly shiny thing. Now all I need is a waistcoat to put it on and a reason to wear a waistcoat…

  50. says

    A few days ago, a meme was posted on a friend’s FB feed. It was basically, “What movie have you seen 5 times that you still find entertaining?” I restricted myself to recent movies because if I tried to name them all, I’d still be trying to get my post done. My answer was John Wick and Winter Soldier. Because there are too many if I had gone back any further (I could answer every recent Marvel movie, for example).

    But later, it made me wonder what movies I have seen one time and am still entertained by. I mean, is there a movie I have seen once, have no desire to see again, but still find it to be a good movie. I am placing “The Godfather” in that category, as well as “Sixth Sense” and “Das Boot”. I might put “Maltese Falcon” and “Casablanca” there, too.

    Consider this a thought experiment. (Most of you see what I did there.) Especially since there no wrong answers. It’s totally open. (I should stop now.)

  51. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Re: Da Lounge Band,
    Jeez, if I had any musical skill or training I’d offer to play the oboe or the tenor sax in Da Lounge Band. The sounds of those instruments are astoundingly haunting and lyrical and lovely.

  52. Rob Grigjanis says

    ajb47 @70:

    I mean, is there a movie I have seen once, have no desire to see again, but still find it to be a good movie.

    The only such movie I can think of is Testament, and the only reason I couldn’t watch it again is that it was utterly heartbreaking.

    How about films you just have to see at least once a year? For me, Seven Samurai, The Third Man, The Naked City, On The Town, Forbidden Planet, The Thing from Another World,…

  53. says

    ajb47 @70, the only movie I can think of that I watched once and couldn’t a second time was Brazil – I had nightmares. But some day, I’m going to watch it again. It’s one of the most brilliant and disturbing dystopias I’ve ever seen.

    There are movies I will stop what I’m doing for, but that’s actually a longish list now that I think of it.

  54. magistramarla says

    The top of my list has to be Jane Eyre. I’ve read the book over and over, and I love several of the movie versions.
    Next would be the mini-series Julius Caesar that I used to show my classes for “Julius Caesar Week” when the core classes were testing and those of us who taught electives were encouraged to do something that wasn’t challenging. I still like to watch those DVDs in March.
    Next would be almost any Star Wars or Star Trek film. We love our scifi in this house, from the hubby and I to the grandkids.
    Another one for me would be Dirty Dancing. My girls and I consider it our favorite chic flick.

  55. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Good News Department:
    Remember awhile ago I was talking about starting a soup company?
    *Drum roll please*
    Primordial Soups is now a real thing. I’ve applied to get my kitchen certified by the state of California so I can do all of this legally. The parent company is call Primordial Fare and will cover whatever products I come up with that are not soup. There is a new organic/natural foods shop in town that is looking for local product. The owner is a wonderful woman who knows her stuff and has some great plans for growth that could really benefit the community (and the community needs all the help it can get. The primary city in our county declared bankruptcy 3 years ago and is just now beginning to work their way out of it.)
    There will be websites and such, but for now I’m working on legalities. My initial products will be Tuscan Tomato Soup, Garlic Soup, and three variations on Gazpacho plus a Seasonal Fruit Soup.
    And away we go!

  56. carlie says

    Yay Morgan!

    *hugs* rq. That sucks, but it sounds like you know when to cut the cord and move on. Maybe there’s another group out there for you, or you can start doing some open mic nights or something.

    Movies I appreciated but wouldn’t watch again: mostly hard ones. Magdalene Sisters I couldn’t watch again, same with Jesus Camp.

  57. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Last night the Redhead fell asleep just after 2:00, and didn’t wake up until 3:45. At the far end of my get-back-to-sleep-readily time. Never felt like I really got back to sleep, but dozed for a few minutes here and there. She got her mushroom/onion omelet in the morning though.
    Re, the band, I’d played at various times, flute, piccolo, clarinet, alto sax, and oboe. A Jack of all woodwinds.
    Conga Rats on the soup making Morgan. Sounds delicious. Given the veggie nature of your soups, Chikken Soop would be approved by the Pullet Patrol™.

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

    I’d play guitar or bass except I know that others would be better.

    I’d play a rock-percussion kit, except…I know that others would be better.

    Why don’t I take the triangle?

  59. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    CD, you take the triangle and I’ll do either the tambourine or the maracas. That way we can save the woodwinds for someone who knows what they are doing. I can also tap dance.

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

    @Anne, #80:

    I can play the kazoo, if one is wanted.

    I like the kazoo.

    We are, however, still in need of a vuvuzela.


    What’s the only sound better than throwing a banjo out a sky scraper window into a dumpster?

    Hearing it break an accordion when it lands.

    Not my joke, btw. I like banjos much more than the friend who tells me that joke once a year. Still, seemed the right time to put it here.

  61. rq says


    or you can start doing some open mic nights or something

    GAH! NO! I don’t sing alone. Never have, never will. My sister was supposed to be the rockstar, according to everyone. I try to sing alone, I freak out. Nobody wants to listen to me alone. This is why I need a band, or a choir!

    But yes! Lounge band! Everyone bring whatever instrument and play whatever song comes to mind! That is, if I was director, that is how it would happen.

    That is EXCITING news! I hope it goes well with lots of rave reviews and that both you and Wonderful Woman are able to have a mutually constructive professional relationship! One filled with delicious food.
    Also, I read this:

    CD, you take the triangle and I’ll do either the tambourine or the maracas. That way we can save the woodwinds for someone who knows what they are doing. I can also tap dance.

    And I thought to myself, ‘best background dancers EVER’.

    Thank you opposablethumbs, Anne and Tony. I will eventually buy a guitar, but right now I know I’m not going to be the one playing it, so it can wait, it’s no emergency. I’m more worried about just maintaining music in my life somehow. Hence, Da Lounge Band.

    Crip Dyke
    What ‘ave you got against accordions? :(

    Movies: for some reason, I can watch Gladiator over and over again. Please don’t ask why, I don’t know. Sahara and Stargate are up there, too. Again, I have no idea why. For the sappy kind of movie, Music & Lyrics, because I think it’s funny and surprisingly not misogynist. Nothing particularly recent, though.
    Not sure if I have any movies that I thought were good but would never see again. None are coming to mind right now.

  62. says


    Flute. I used to be vaguely competent at playing the flute. My primary school music teacher said I had a talend for music and it would be good if I learned an instrument. But one you play with your mouth so I wouldn’t sing….

    I’m sorry the black dog is visiting and that your husband let you down.

    The jerky chicken was delicious and surprisingly mild. I mean, I used about a cup of the jerk on it. When the chicken was done I removed it from the pan and added some cranberry juice to make it a smooth sauce.


    That’s soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cool.

  63. says

    I soooooooooo want something slathered with Jamaican Jerk sauce.


    Finally! I’ve been wracking my brain for a few hours trying to come up with a movie that I’d seen 5 times but still find entertaining, and by jove I think I’ve got it! But I’m gonna make ya’ll work for it :)

    Hint #1-

    Hint #2-

    Hint #3-
    1980s movie

    Hint #4-
    Tim Curry

    Hint #5-
    “I. Am. Your singing telegram!” BLAM!

  64. chigau (違う) says

    I saw all three LotR movies in a theatre with my (now deceased) BFF.
    We thought that they were very pretty.
    I regret we never had the opportunity to watch them on video, in the comfort of a home, so we could yell at the screen.

  65. says

    Also, if you all will pardon the shouting I’m about to do-
    I can’t wait til we get the Commune built, bc I want my bar right next to the kitchen (maybe even an island *in* the kitchen), so I can watch you work your primordial magic.

  66. says

    Tony 86

    Only needed the first hint. Though I may have used, “I’m going to go home and sleep with my wife.” Or maybe, “I’m the butler. I… buttle.”

    Also, I think your first two hints are off. The argument was about the final number and your hints both add up to the same number, which leaves nothing for the chandelier.

  67. says

    ajb47 @89:
    D’oh! I should have used one of those lines.
    Also, you’re right about one of the first two hints. The numbers should have been ‘1+1+2+1’ and ‘1+2+2+1’.

  68. chigau (違う) says

    Anne CCL #73
    I totally agree about Brazil.
    When I watch it again, it will be in full daylight, summer, singing birds in the background.

  69. says

    How do you know you’re reading too much Pharyngula?
    There’s an author you frequently quote by the name of “Meyer” and every second time you pause, go back and change it to the correct form because you wrote Myers. Again.

  70. says

    Oooooh Lounge Band would be lovely. I’d cheerfully play any of the single-reed woodwinds, though I’ve been meaning to get around to learning violin.
    I just got done puking my guts out about half an hour ago, my stomach still hasn’t decided if it’s going to put me through a round two or not, so I’m laying on the bathroom floor in a nest of towels, wishing I could fall asleep.

    I’d only been asleep for two hours when the stomach rebellion began and I still need to go to work for at least a little while tomorrow. I’ve got a couple of assignments running up against a deadline that isn’t flexible.
    magistermarla sorry to hear the black dog is following you about. Your puppy and kittehs sound adorable, I hope they can comfort you some.
    My puppy is on “no jumping on/off things” orders from the vet. The “no on” things is easy, the fact he stopped is how we knew something was wrong, the “no off” on the other hand we haven’t been real successful at. For a 10 year old pug, he sure can move fast when he feels like it. He hurt his knee somehow (probably belly flopping off the couch, as he does) so he was on twice a day pain killers for a few weeks. Think he’s just about better now.
    *waves* to everyone

  71. opposablethumbs says

    Yay morgan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Byooooootiful soup!

    Seen once, left indelible memories, very glad to have seen but would probably not see again in most cases (mostly dark and/or horrible (and also darkly horribly funny in spots) and mostly bleak): includes Brazil, Pixote and Das schreckliche Mädchen. Oh, and also Le Salaire de la peur (though that one I could easily watch again). And La historia oficial, unbelievably powerful imo and the only time in my life I have actually fainted (momentarily) in the cinema.
    Seen several times (funny and hopeful): Wilby Wonderful

  72. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli) says

    Surfacing again, though the ice is long gone, still swimming in the sea once a week though.

    The Lounge Band

    Synths and a computer as a sequencer, I could make some rhythm and comp tracks others could improvise over. I can’t play anything in real time, but I’d like to play harpsichord, lute or decacorde* (and have a robot to tune the first two 8-).

    * Decacorde is like classical guitar, but with four extra bass strings, which produce some sweet and deep bass notes and symphatetic resonance. I happened to find her CD in the library and loved what I heard.

  73. bassmike says

    Well done Morgan . It sounds like an awesome venture.

    magistermarla you have my sympathies. It’s no wonder you’re depressed given the circumstances. I hope things improve quickly. At least the kitten is a lovely distraction.

    Nick Gotts the opportunity in Turin sounds great. I spent a few months in Italy and it did help my Italian.

    Films I enjoy watching again and again: The Company of Wolves & Pink Floyd – The Wall. Maybe I’m kind of weird.

    The Lounge band: pick me pick me!! I can play double bass or bass guitar. Even flute, though there do seem to be enough woodwind players. Maybe guitar at a pinch.

    rq I’m sorry to hear about you leaving the choir. Is the that particular choir or choirs in general? There may be other choirs you could join. I do agree that you could do with something non-family related to do otherwise you can begin to feel trapped. I am insistent on continuing to play in my orchestra even if it causes the occasional issue, as it is so important to me.

  74. rq says

    Ew, I hope your guts give you a break and let you get some rest for tomorrow! :( *warm ginger-mint tea* I’ve heard it helps. Feel free to get rid of it any way you like/need to.

    Me, I just start dreaming about commenting (like last night), though I think your ‘too much’ sounds somewhat saner.

    Ice Swimmer
    The decacorde sounds like something very intriguing, indeed. Do you know of any artist that might be worth listening to to hear it?


    I’ve got a feeling I want to see Brazil. I love dystopian movies, even if I only watch them once. If needed, I’ll watch it in bits and pieces.
    Honestly, I can’t think of a single movie that I have seen that I thought was good but would never see again. Either I’ve been avoiding a lot of impactful movies that might be hard to see, or I’m just a glutton for emotional punishment. Huh.

  75. says

    I heard they are a thing. Longer than 30 minutes, right?
    At the moment I have NO energy to watch any. I still have “12 Years a Slave” in the cellophan wrapping. Everytime I see it I think “yeah, I really want t see this, but NOT tonight.”

    But I must have seen Tangled and Frozen and How to Tame your Dragon and stuff like a hundred times. Not entirely voluntarily.

  76. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli) says


    The only decacorde artist I know is the same Mari Mäntylä to whose website linked. The recordings page contains some samples . I think you can mail order her CDs to Latvia.

  77. rq says

    Right now, it’s this choir in general, though finding a replacement won’t be easy. Most choirs at that level of musicianship (totally a word, my autocorrect says!) only take youth singers (people under 25 or something like that), and most adult choirs have a distinctly lower level of artistry. Plus this one has that great social family-like dynamic due to so many members being together for so many years. I might look around a bit more locally, find something at least half-way decent, but at the moment I’m not sure.
    In September I think Eldest will be starting karate, and I’m interested in going with him, so that might be an option to take care of the social thing. But I still need my formalized music fix. :( Even an amateur orchestra would be nice, I could brush up on ye olde violinne and all, which would be kind of awesome, but again, I… sort of get picky about the level of music and material, and that’s where it gets challenging, since a lot of the amateur stuff that’s relaxed enough about attendance has a dismal level of play. I mean, I’m not super-amazing, I’m somewhere mid-intermediate with decent skills, once they’re brushed up, and I like it when everyone around me also sings and/or plays in time and in key. And a good conductor, that’s always important, too.
    I have the same issue with adult ballet classes. I don’t want to do all the basic stuff for exercise, I want to do DANCE stuff because I can and it’s more fun, but there’s not that many grown-up intermediate-failed-professional dancers out there for a decent group. (I feel like this kind of makes me a lesson snob a bit, esp. since I’m woefully out of shape and could probably use the basics, but I also know what I’m capable of, and I don’t want to be bored.)
    Eh. Some thought required. Thanks for listening. :)

  78. carlie says

    And a good conductor, that’s always important, too.

    Just an anecdote about conducting: our high school senior concert was last week, and each of the kids who is going on to college to study music got to conduct a song. One of them is a good singer, but also an amazing cellist, and is going on for cello performance. He’s fantastic to watch and listen to when he plays. Generally he seems to have a bit of a stiff demeanor, but when music is involved he becomes fluid and graceful. Well, he got up to conduct his piece, and it was magic. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a conductor so mesmerizing as he was; it was like he was channeling the music through him, and he gave everyone performing every cue and encouragement they needed to coax the best out of them. And this was from an 18 year old who has performed with professional orchestras, but I don’t think had ever really conducted before. Most of the time you watch performers and think oh, they’re good, or oh, they’ve obviously practiced a lot, but then you see someone like him and realize there’s another whole dimension of performance that some people just naturally have. It was amazing.

    (Oh, and is anyone else bothered by the recent change to auto-add a thread link to any blockquote? HATE)

  79. bassmike says

    rq I fully understand you’re requirement for a particular standard. I don’t think it’s a snobbish thing. Some people will play for a group below their standard if they’re rusty and want to get back into playing, or feel that they can help the other players improve. But ultimately it’s about satisfaction and enjoyment. It you’re not getting that, then it can get you down.
    My orchestra has a training band associated with it. Their standard is lower and they draft some of our players in for concerts. However, there are some who prefer to remain playing with them as there is less pressure. Personally, I couldn’t wait to play in the main orchestra, though I’ve helped out with the other band when I’ve been able.

    I agree with you about the conductor – they can make a huge difference to your enjoyment. (If blf were here they’d probably make a good conductor joke about iron or copper)

    BTW where is blf ? I haven’t seen any comments from them for a while.

  80. Saad says

    I read this comment on a gaming forum yesterday, but I’m still savoring the delicious irony and self-unawareness this morning. This was the comment:

    I don’t get this new wave of over-sensitive babies in the gaming industry.

    The context of this is that a popular online PC game retailer has refused to sell the game Hatred, a game where the player is a

    …misanthropic mass-killing sociopath who begins a “genocide crusade” to kill as many human beings as possible…

    Wah! An independent, private website is using its judgment to not sell a particular game they don’t want to sell. Wah!

    Oversensitive cry-babies indeed.

    A rare voice of reason among gamers says:

    And good for them if they don’t want to sell a game. That is their right.

    To which another one replies:

    Yea, I agree, it’s their right, as it is the right of wedding planners to NOT host weddings for gays.

    I’m becoming more and more convinced that if you’re a bigot in one way, you’ll very likely be a bigot in every way. It’s like each bigotry is a gateway to all the others.

    Actually, if you think about it, this is the problem with the “freeze peach” mentality. Once you start eating the peach frozen yogurt, you start seeing peaches being thawed all around you and thus every form of bigotry and every vile privileged attitude starts to feel like it should be under the protection of the Peach.

  81. Saad says

    In other good video game news, EA Sports has announced that FIFA 16 will feature women’s teams for the first time.

    Today, we are proud to announce the inclusion of Women’s National Teams to FIFA 16. As one of the most requested features in recent years, this is a huge milestone for both our franchise and the sport.

    FIFA 16 features 12 National Teams, including eight of the top ten nations currently in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking.

    I hope there are tears. I want to see the tears.

  82. Nick Gotts says

    Nick Gotts the opportunity in Turin sounds great. I spent a few months in Italy and it did help my Italian. – bassmike@96

    Oh, I’ve been in Turin most of the time since November! My wife’s teaching English here and I’m kind-of-retired (reasonable pension, no actual job, but still writing papers, going to conferences, taking part in a grant proposal). Unlike my wife, who’s progressing rapidly, I’m not linguistically talented, and I don’t get much opportunity to practice conversation. So I can read reasonably simple things (I can make sense of a newspaper article if I have some idea of the topic), understand speech much less, make myself understood very little. This way, I should get more opportunities and incentive for conversation with Italian colleagues and students, even though I’ll be teaching in English.

  83. rq says

    I hope there are tears. I want to see the tears.

    This should keep me stocked for at least another couple of months, though I have to say, the tears have been quite torrential lately. I’m stocking up for the low season.

    Thanks for making me feel less bad about it. :) And I’ve often found that it’s the conductor who makes the band/choir – as the leader, members take their social cues from him or her, and they can really set the tone for the internal dynamic of the choir. Of course, in addition to the musicianship. carlie‘s example sounds like a young person to watch in a few years, perhaps even on the international stage. I love musicians like that, it’s like they breathe the music and that ability to have everyone else understand and follow (preferably with an economy of motion)? Yeah.

    That’s who I forgot to mention. :) Glad to hear you’re having opportunities (yay teaching!) and a decent time in Turin. I hope the social situation opens up a bit, I perfectly understand being limited only to one’s partner and/or offspring for extended periods. Hope the Italian improves by leaps and bounds!

  84. says

    For the real FIFA 16 tears, wait til they see the list of trophy requirements, and “win a game with a women’s team” is among them, and the completionists realise they won’t be able to finish the game without gettin’ COOTIFIED! That will exceed the deliciousness of the tears from those who are just upset that there’ll be a whole new SECTION they have to ignore.

    As to the Lounge Band, I will happily cede the bass to bassmike, and retreat to my high school euphonium. I was the soloist for the #2 band in Toronto in the early 80s (curse you, Markham! you richies always got first place in the bad teen movie they should have made of this experience: Always Coming Second, an amusing teen romp of sex and sixteenth notes). In a pinch, I can also contribute on most of the other horns found in your average ska/r&b band, save trumpet: trombone or any sax (played sax in the junior band, while euphonist in the senior). Reasonably good drummer if I only have to use my hands (African drums, et c.). Can sing, even a capella once on stage. :)

  85. rq says

    I would also like to take a moment to note that summer vacation is way overrated. Starting next week, I’m 3 kids during the day and work at night, and summertime is supposed to be a happy time, but pardon me if I come here to stress out more often than usual. At least this year we’re far more mobile, Middle Child having learned to ride a bike with no training wheels (to his own massive, massive delight and ever-growing skills), and Youngest still small enough to sit in the childseat.
    Why does it need to be three months long, though? Why?
    (September, though, should see another more positive upheaval in everyone’s schedule, with Eldest in school, Middle Child possibly in pre-school (in lieu of kindergarten/daycare because we’re thinking of sending him a year early) and Youngest in kindergarten/daycare… which means one thing: NORMAL WORKING HOURS FOR ME! Actually, I find the idea rather intimidating. Spending time with co-workers? Sleeping at night? No more random scheduling and weekends spent wasting away in the lab? I’ve spent most of my time at work on the off-hours, so it’ll be an adventure and adjustment, as much as I’m hoping to enjoy it.)

    Seriously, y’all, thank you for listening.

  86. rq says

    BTW where is blf ? I haven’t seen any comments from them for a while.

    Same with Azkyroth – hope you are well, for whatever that’s worth, Azkyroth, and if you need/want/like, have some *hugs*!

  87. David Marjanović says

    For the real FIFA 16 tears, wait til they see the list of trophy requirements, and “win a game with a women’s team” is among them

    *half an hour of evil laughing*

    Link-dump time again:

    Petition to USDA Secretary “to end destructive industrial-scale old-growth logging on the Tongass more quickly than the Forest Service’s proposed 10-15 year timeline.”

    Petition to “Hillary Clinton and all Democrats to make big ideas like debt-free college central to their 2016 campaigns”.

    Bernie Sanders blows Wolf Blitzer’s mind with a simple idea ( guess it doesn’t take much)“: “On a May 19 CNN broadcast with Blitzer, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled a plan to eliminate college tuition by taxing Wall Street speculation.” I haven’t watched the video myself yet.

    Chaos Follows Right Wing Takeover of Wisconsin Supreme Court” – “It won’t just look like justice is for sale. It really WILL be on sale.”

    Westboro Baptist tries to protest against Ireland by hanging its flag upside down. Isn’t sure which way is down.

    Cartoon: “The bad intelligence“. “Once there was a peace-loving administration”…

  88. says

    What are Latvian parents supposed to do with their kids, rent them out to the circus?
    But yay for better childcare arrangements next year. We are right now in the middle of a strike which has been going on for three weeks now. Thank goodness for my in-laws so I get at least half a day of writing.

    That preschool/kindergarten thing:
    You’re having it backwards. Kindergarten is where kids age 2-3 to 6 go. The last year of that is called preschool.

  89. David Marjanović says

    The last year of that is called preschool.

    Huh. Where I come from, Vorschule was held in the school building, and was by all accounts much more similar to school than to kindergarten. It was restricted to kids that weren’t deemed mature enough for school at the end of kindergarten.

    But then, in France, kindergarten (école maternelle) is much more school-like than what I’m used to.

  90. rq says

    Well, to be fair, most kindergartens are open for most of the summer, though they all have an obligatory 4 weeks off at some point – which means some kids get shuttled from daycare to daycare throughout the summer. Or left out in the country with gran, for those with such options.
    And yes, Middle Child will most likely be going to preschool next year, Youngest will just be starting his kindergarten-daycare days… Though technically Middle Child should have one more year of kindergarten and then pre-school, but we’re going to try and figure out if he’s mature enough to go to school in a year. I think yes, as he’s got his letters down and he has great handwriting, and connecting the dots to reading won’t be a problem, plus he’s figured out simple arithmetic all on his own, so one more year, and he should have all of that, easy. And I think there’s less hoops for us to jump through than you had with yours.
    The circus, though, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea – know any that are hiring???


    Anyone here see Fury Road yet? The hyped reactions and huge enthusiasm actually make me hesitant to see it… But here’s a feminist look at it, one among many.
    And I have to say, as many women as there are doing ass-kicking in that movie, it’s still an uber-violent action movie, which means I probably won’t go see it… But I might. I don’t know. I love natural disaster movies with high death tolls (the worse science, the better), but I hate human-on-human violence. Weird, huh?

  91. says


    I think yes, as he’s got his letters down and he has great handwriting, and connecting the dots to reading won’t be a problem, plus he’s figured out simple arithmetic all on his own, so one more year, and he should have all of that, easy.

    I’m also amazed that elsewhere kids are supposed to already know reading and writing when they start school. Here that’s what first grade is for. And since we’re not totally falling behind in international comparisions I’m wondering whether that’s not something where later is better.
    Preschool is integrated in kindergarten here (which unfortunately means that those who don’t go to kindergarten miss out) and it’s mostly exciting stuff! Like visiting the firefighters, police, hospital, fine motor skills training…

  92. Saad says

    Hundreds of assholes plan “freedom of speech rally” (i.e. intimidate and harass Muslims rally) outside Islamic community center in Phoenix, AZ

    Not only that, they’re encouraging people to bring guns to kill people with… ahem, I mean to exercise their sacred Second Amendment right!

    Jon Ritzheimer is a former Marine, and he has no middle ground when it comes to Islam.

    A T-shirt he wears pretty much says it all: “F— Islam.”

    Ritzheimer is the organizer of Friday’s “Freedom of Speech Rally” outside the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix.

    [. . .]

    Ritzheimer anticipates possible problems because of the rally and says people should bring their guns.

    “People are also encouraged to utilize (their) second amendment right at this event just (in case) our first amendment comes under the much anticipated attack,” the event’s Facebook page says.

    Bikers will be there too, according to the post.

  93. birgerjohansson says

    Freeze Peach rally with guns and bikers…. not exactly Gandhi, are they? If there is any hapless sikh around he might get gunned down before the geniuses realise it is the wrong religion.
    I hope the police have a strong presence to deter any violence.
    — — — — —
    David Hasselhoff – True Survivor (from Kung Fury)
    Everybody knows a T-rex will give you a faster ride than a horse.

  94. birgerjohansson says

    You can bring a T-Rex to the river, but you cannot make it drink.
    And I would not recommend trying.

  95. rq says

    Yup, in Canada, too, reading was something we learned in grade 1, and same with writing, with handwriting covered over the course of grades 2 – 4 (learn the letters in grade 2, huge amounts of practice from then on).
    But yeah, here they expect kids to at least be able to string together syllables by grade 1, and be able to print all the capital letters. Which, I find, they sort of learn on their own (n = 3) because of book reading and signs and asking what the hell those funny squiggles are.
    Though I’m not a huge fan of the school system here, it leaves a lot to be desired in hands-on learning (very academic, if you will), but we’ll see how it goes, there’s signs of this changing already, so my kids should benefit from the changes in attitude. *fingers crossed*
    Also, pre-school is more or less integrated (as in, kids attending kindergarten will get the pre-school stuff automatically), but for kids not in kindergarten, pre-school is obligatory – at least as half-day lessons in the year before going to school, so they get some acclimatization to a classroom-like environment and socialization. The reason it’s an issue with Middle Child is that he’s currently still attending daycare in the city (a half-hour drive away, more during rush hour, poor Husband), but we want to get him transferred closer to home, which means getting him into the obligatory pre-school program somewhere locally (which, technically, if the kid doesn’t take the first year, can be continued into a second year to be sure he’s prepared). So… yeah. Eldest just got the whole pre-school stuff with his kindergarten group, and it should be the same for Youngest, who, once in a daycare-kindergarten, will most likely be all the time in the same one!

  96. birgerjohansson says

    Records show Texas governor started ‘pandering to idiots’ on Jade Helm 15 after wild public forum
    A former Republican state lawmaker, Todd Smith, sent a scathing letter to Abbott afterward accusing the governor of “pandering to idiots.”
    “I am horrified that I have to choose between the possibility that my Governor actually believes this stuff and the possibility that my Governor doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to those who do,” Smith said. “I’m not sure which is worse.”

    (but isn’t this standard operating practice? My comment)

  97. rq says

    If there is a better movie than Iron Sky, it can only be Kung Fury :D

  98. David Marjanović says

    Anyone here see Fury Road yet?

    I haven’t, but the Facebook people who’ve seen it love it – to a large part for the feminist reasons mentioned in the article.

    If there is a better movie than Iron Sky, it can only be Kung Fury :D

    What about “Turkish Star Wars” and its parody sequel? :-)

    (They actually got the actor who played the protagonist in the original to participate as the same character in the parody sequel. Both are on YouTube at full length; the original has English subtitles, the parody sequel doesn’t need any to be funny. I finally need to finish watching both.)

  99. says

    I would like to see Fury Road, but here in Morris we have one theater with one screen, so we’re limited…and there are no promises that it will show here at all.

    Currently playing: Tomorrowland. It’s directed by Brad Bird, and it’s got the trademark Bird traits of Hope and Wonder and Humanity, but they’re carried to excess and married to the most incoherent, shitty plot of any movie I’ve seen this year. It’s a time travel story, sort of, that undermines its own plot with disneyesque niceness, and also annoyed me with its theme of “if only we’d all be optimistic, everything will work out” bullshit.

    I’d have to drive up to Alexandria to see Fury Road, but my wife has plans for the weekend, and if I’m making that effort, I’d rather see it with her then alone. I may have to wait for it to come to Netflix, which will be a while.

  100. David Marjanović says

    I wrote:

    “Bernie Sanders blows Wolf Blitzer’s mind with a simple idea ( guess it doesn’t take much)“: “On a May 19 CNN broadcast with Blitzer, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled a plan to eliminate college tuition by taxing Wall Street speculation.” I haven’t watched the video myself yet.

    I have now. Can’t see Blitzer’s mind being blown; he asks, Sanders answers, that’s it. :-|

    Anyway, this version of the doom song includes a few extra seconds with extra doom at the beginning. ^_^

  101. says

    Anyone with a few free seconds ought to Google ‘what happened to the dinosaurs’ and check out one of the first few links. I’ll go ahead and spoil it for you-it’s from Answers in Genesis.

  102. says

    Washington’s iconic Memorial Bridge between the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery “is so badly corroded” that federal officials will commence emergency repairs, as well as implement an indefinite “10-ton load limit” that will force tourist buses to find an alternate route between two of the capital’s most-visited sites. The bridge is considered “structurally deficient.” […]


    That’s the bridge that was built to symbolize the “strength of the a united nation.” It is now 83 years old, and it symbolizes the corrosion and decay of the of the USA.

  103. says

    Oh, no, I sense trouble coming. A dude from Baltimore that styles himself as a “freedom fighter” is raising and training a “Christian army to fight ISIS.”

    Matthew VanDyke is providing free military training for christians who want to fight terrorists. He calls his organization “Sons of Liberty International.”

    VanDyke has run into problems, thank goodness. There are money problems, rifts with other christian militia groups, problems with breaking US laws that are related to Vandyke’s having not been authorized to train foreign nationals, etc.

    More here, in a Mother Jones article.

  104. says

    Tony @ 136,

    Well, that’s just silly. Nothing happened to the dinosaurs, they just got smaller and featherier and lost their teeth, and they’re swarming the backyard feeder right now. Both feeders, in fact – we got more thistle seed and put the goldfinch feeder out today, for the first time this year.

  105. says

    Doctors Without Borders is pulling out of the world’s largest refugee camp.
    Think Progress link

    Amid civil unrest in the Northeastern region of Kenya and threats of violence against medics, Doctors Without Borders will suspend medical activity at the world’s largest refugee camp and evacuate its medical team from the facility — depriving hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees of much needed care.

    Doctors Without Borders operates a 100-bed hospital and two health posts at the Dagahaley camp, one of five sites at the Dadaab complex, home to 350,000 refugees. Increasing insecurity and a dearth of funds has threatened humanitarian activity in recent years. Doctors Without Borders’ announcement follows the closure of four health posts and the suspension of care for expectant mothers. […]

    “Refugees and medical staff are bearing the brunt of the deteriorating security conditions,” Charles Gaudry, Doctors Without Borders’ head of mission in Kenya, wrote in a press statement. “The current security situation is severely limiting the ability of our medical staff to provide humanitarian aid to people who desperately need it.” […]

  106. magistramarla says

    Hi everyone,
    Today is actually a lovely day in South Texas. A storm went through in the wee early hours, so this morning was cool with low humidity. When I took a walk at 7 am it was 65 degrees and felt almost as good as Monterey, Ca, which is where I’d rather be.
    I decided to take another walk after breakfast, since it was only 70 degrees and still low humidity at 10 am.
    Daughter came to see me and is happy that this morning the docs removed some of the uncomfortable equipment that was so painful and finally cleared her to drive again. She gets the stent removed from her ureter in four weeks and will finally be clear of equipment. She’s lucky – I’m stuck with three pins in my spine for the rest of my life.
    Leia is doing great – very playful and feisty. Dax happily plays with her and Casper is getting more patient with her.
    She will almost approach Conner, but is still afraid of him. Conner knows how to meet smaller animals. He stays very still and low to the floor, allowing the smaller creature to approach him. It’s fun to watch a 110 lb GSD being so incredibly patient with such a tiny kitten. She’ll probably be climbing all over him in a week and he will be a happy pup.

  107. opposablethumbs says

    Conner sounds adorable and absolutely lovely. Sadly I suspect that any up close and personal meeting between our probably-mostly-GSD rescue and any of the neighbours’ cats would be a risk too far. Eh, formative years play a big part I expect.

    Good health and recovery wishes to both you and your daughter, and I hope the ongoing inter-animal socialisation process continues to go beautifully :-)

  108. says

    Some goods from the women’s reproductive rights arena: Idaho’s most recent attempts to restrict abortion have been ruled unconstitutional.
    Reuters link

    An Idaho law that prohibits abortions of fetuses 20 or more weeks after fertilization is unconstitutional, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday.

    The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, also struck down an Idaho law that required all second-trimester abortions to occur in a hospital.

    Bans on abortion after 20 weeks have been passed in 12 U.S. states since 2010, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights advocacy group. The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure this month that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, and Democratic President Barack Obama opposes it.

    The Idaho laws have not been enforced in the state, as a lower court judge had reached the same conclusion as the 9th Circuit. […]

  109. says

    Good news from the marriage equality front lines:

    North Carolina magistrates won’t be allowed to refuse to officiate all marriages as a way of getting out of officiating the same-sex ones, after Republican Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed a bill that would have legalized such discrimination. […]


  110. says

    Former Republican House Speaker, Denny Hastert, was paying all that money to a man that Hastert had sexually abused decades ago. Hastert paid the victim to shut him up.

    Hastert allegedly committed the crime when he was a high school teacher and wrestling coach.

    The details have not been confirmed, it’s all allegations at this time.

    Los Angeles Times link

  111. says

    Hey all.
    I’m jobless again. Fourth time in 5 years. This one is a bit different. I decided to quit when I got to work. I didn’t want to, bc I liked working there. I liked the people. I liked many of the guests. I built some nice friendships and met so many cool people. Unfortunately I found out last week that I had customer complaints. I wasn’t told what the complaints were, how many I had, nor how often they occurred. I was told by management that they were phasing some people out and that my shifts this week and next week would be cut. Last week I had my normal 7 shifts. This week I was cut to 5. I was told next week that I’d only have four. When I asked if I should find another job, I got a head nod in the affirmative. I figured I’d search for another job and continue working there on whatever shifts I was scheduled.

    But then I got to work today, around 4 pm. When I spoke to the mgr in charge of the schedule, I made a small request. I asked her if I could keep my double shifts on Sunday and Monday bc those were money making shifts for me (I usually pulled @ $400 between both days). She said she’d have to talk it over with the other managers. I could feel myself getting angry and despondent at the thought of continuing to work somewhere that I wasn’t wanted. Plus I was frustrated at being screwed over with only a vague clue why. On top of that, I knew what they were doing. Almost every employee that management has wanted to get rid of has had their shifts cut, rather than firing them. I suspect the thinking is that an employee won’t be able to survive working one or two shifts a week and will simply quit. That prevents them from being fired.

    So I weighed my options. I only have $125 to my name, and still owe $125 for utilities, $35 for water, and rent is due next Thursday ($412). I still have to take a cab anywhere I want to go (it was $20 one way to work), so I have to account for that when searching for a job (although my two regular drivers have said I can pay them when I get a steady job). So yeah, lots of bills. On the other hand, I was feeling so frustrated. So angry. So morose. I’m not good at hiding my emotions, especially when they’re on the more extreme end. I figured I wouldn’t be an effective employee tonight or Sunday or Monday.

    So yeah, I quit.
    Like I said, I didn’t really want to, but I just couldn’t bring myself to continue working somewhere I wasn’t wanted. I’m feeling a mixture of emotions.
    I can’t stop wondering what I did, bc management could have been right. Maybe I did do something wrong. Or several somethings wrong. But I have no clue what they were other than “customer complaints”. Whatever it was wasn’t sufficient to outright fire me, but significant enough to begin the process of weeding me out of there. It feels so sudden. A month ago, everything was fine (from my perspective). And now, barely a year after being fired from my last job, I’m jobless again.

    I feel like such a loser right now. Can I borrow the pillow fort? I may need it a while.

  112. says

    Oh, Tony, all the hugs, big guy. Better to jump than be pushed; it sounds like a basic constructive dismissal, but good luck finding a court that would do anything about it in these times. :/

    *puffs up pillows in fort to make ’em comfier*

  113. says

    CaitieCat @150:
    The lovely thing about living in Florida is that it’s a ‘right to work’ state, so barring a few exceptions, you can be fired for pretty much anything and employers don’t have to give you a reason. So I don’t think court is an option.

  114. says

    Tony, of course you can borrow the pillow fort, anytime! Hobbes has hugs for you and so do I. Fingers and toes crossed for you to find a better job soon and one where your managers appreciate you as they should.

  115. says

    Kind of ‘rupt, making some brief responses.
    *hugs* Hopefully you can find another outlet.


    That sucks a lot. *hugs*
    This is now on my daily commute when I leave home, only it’s currently buried so deeply in flowers that you can’t see but a bit of the front wheel. There’s been a vigil by it AFAICT continuously since it was installed Thursday morning.

  116. says

    Warning: Long post ahead. Teal deer at the top.

    In light of recent discussions here, I am going to endeavour to begin the first steps on the path leading to a physical instantiation of the Commune. In order to do so, I need an idea of the actual scale of the project for budgeting and related purposes. Thus, the following question: who here is actually interested in physically relocating to the Commune? If yes, continue reading. If not, but you would like to be involved in the project in some supportive capacity, you might also want to continue reading.
    The Commune will be physically located in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area in the U.S. (Other locations are possible, but 1)I can actually survey sites here personally and know where likely spots are located, 2)I like it here, and it’s pretty civilized for Yankeeland, 3) there is a majority of North Americans on here IIRC, and I don’t think I can get Canadian residency, and 4) I know that cooperatives are doable under Oregon corporate law.

    The Commune will be operated on democratic lines by the residents. (I prefer a consensus model akin to that of C.T. Buter’s On Conflict and Consensus, but others are possible)

    Monetary costs of residency will be present bu minimized to the greatest of the commune’s ability.

    There will be food production onsite in the form of hydroponic and other forms of gardening, and most likely goats, chickens, fish, and/or rabbits as livestock.

    There will be workrooms and areas on site fit for a variety of crafts, as well as storefronts to retail same onsite. The Commune will support members’ business ventures with capital and other resources as available.

    Structure will most likely rely heavily on cob, recycled cargo containers, and other recycled materials

    with some type of onsite energy production (probably a mix of solar, wind, and possibly biogas. I’d like onsite sewage reclamation as well; it’s a shameful waste letting that go into the river via the municipal sewers.)

    Other stuff too, but discussion is needed.

  117. says

    Brony @156:
    Resources? None that immediately come to mind.
    Help? I think there is one friend who can help me financially. Of course I still owe him $1500 from when he helped me last year, so there’s a part of me that’s reluctant to ask for help again. I’m going to try my parents first.

    Bought some groceries and picked up an application for a bar (not a restaurant) that’s very close to home. The place advertised on Craigslist that they were looking for a part-time bartender. I could walk there in perhaps 15 minutes. It’s one of those neighborhood bars. Decent size. At a glance, the bar seats @20 people. 2 pool tables. They apparently have karaoke there (not a fan of that). There’s a part of me that’s worried that-
    A: they’re looking for a woman, because so many bars prefer female bartenders (a woman was working the bar when I walked in)
    B: they won’t want me bc I’m black. Every customer in there was white. I wish this wasn’t something I had to worry about, but well…I probably don’t have to explain to anyone here why this may be a possible obstacle.

    And I can’t even afford any alcohol to get drunk tonight.

    No washing machine.
    My pets need to visit a vet.
    No car.
    Next to no money.
    No job.

    I feel like such an utter loser and a waste of humanity.

    I’m sorry ya’ll. I’ll stop. Bye.

  118. says

    I’m sorry ya’ll. I’ll stop. Bye.

    Uh, given the nature of that post, I should point out that while I’m frustrated and depressed, I’m not considering anything drastic. That closing sentence could be taken that way.

  119. chigau (違う) says

    *hugs* Tony!
    What is the point of telling you there have been ‘customer complaints’ but not telling you what the complaints were?

  120. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Hey Tony, I’m guessing that their unwillingness to tell you just what customers were complaining about is a shitty little power play. Somebody just doesn’t like you. Bastards. Good luck on the job hunt again. Are you sure you don’t want to move away from Florida? There are lots friendlier other places.

  121. says

    Morgan @162:
    Oh, I definitely want to move out of Florida (in fact, my current FB status reads “God I hate Florida”), but with only $125 to my name, I’m not getting very far.

  122. Saad says

    I’m sorry to hear about the job, Tony. That’s a very unfair thing for them to do.

    Best wishes to you and I hope something good will turn up soon.

  123. chigau (違う) says

    Tony! #164
    If the
    You Really Don’t Know?
    image was on a t-shirt, I’d buy one.

  124. chigau (違う) says

    re: where are you from?
    I’ve thought about it.
    The only times I have asked this kind of question,
    I was prompted by the other person’s accent.
    Not sure what that means…

  125. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Dear Horde,
    Are there any old school surfers in our midst? If so, you might recall the name of Dave Sweet. He was one of the pioneers, in fact “the” pioneer of the development of the foam surfboard in the 1950s. I met Dave in 1990 and he became a close and dear friend. We had some great times. And he sure as hell disliked being famous. Dave died on May 18 in Los Angeles. There is a nice obituary that is going to be published on the front page of tomorrow’s Los Angeles Times. Give it a read. He was a marvelous person, and a dear, dear friend.

  126. chigau (違う) says

    I have no idea why, but I know who Dave Sweet is/was.
    Sympathy to you and his family and friends.

  127. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    chigau and CD, it truly warms my heart that you knew about Dave. Thank you so much for letting me know.

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

    Chigau, or any chinese speaker…

    In southern dialects of Chinese, what would “Shao” mean? and, I’m not sure if I have this right, but perhaps, “Ke”?


  129. chigau (違う) says

    CD #176
    I do Japanese.
    I have gone down bad rabbit-holes trying to do Japanese/Chinese equivalences.
    If you have the chinese character for the word, that makes it easier.
    Tony! #178
    I guess that CD did something that let her browser do it’s own thing.
    I have found that auto{anything} leads to mayhem and horror.

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

    ooops. Sorry, chigau.

    Well, there’s still Theophontes.

  131. says

    Tony, my sympathies in your bad situation. It makes me sad, desperate and angry at the same time that the treatment your employers gave you is even legal anywhere in the so called “civilized” world, because it is barbaric.

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

    Restating my ginger-peanut-seseame-chile sauce b/c I forgot the vinegar, D’oh!

    It’s also possibly the easiest of the delicious-sauces to make from scratch on a moment’s notice. 1/3 cup of peanuts or peanut butter, a tablespoon of tahini or (and this makes the sauce substantially more time consuming) do a bit of mortar-n-pestle magic on some sesame seeds or (in emergencies) just drop in some sesame oil (maybe 2 teaspoons) without the seed-meat, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1-2 teaspoons dry, chiles and/or sri racha to taste, 1 packed teaspoon brown sugar, 1 scant tablespoon vinegar – I prefer a sweet vinegar like berry vinegar or cider vinegar – then soy sauce & water for the levels of salt and viscosity you desire.

    Of course, you just blend all this together and it’s fab, but if you’re using tahini and peanut butter you can even mix it by hand.

    For this recipe, the dry, powdered ginger works almost as well as fresh. Also, dry ginger doesn’t need to be cooked before storage, so it can be used as a dressing right away, a sauce right away, or stored right away, with no heating at all. The fresh ginger is hardly more of a challenge: microwave it for a minute and you can store it just fine. If you use it right away (as you really should) it doesn’t need cooking any more than the powdered-ginger version.

    It’s an absolutely amazing little sauce. It’s forgiving, it’s delicious. It’s fast. It uses only ingredients you probably have in your kitchen all the time anyway. Of all of Szechuan cooking, this is the only thing that I make on even a semi-routine basis.

    Missing bits added in BOLD …but not upper case.

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


    I’m sorry about the job loss.

  134. says

    Huh. This is interesting. This is a…I don’t know what to call it. It’s not a conversation. Is it a series of reblogs on multiple Tumblrs? In any case, I found all this on Feminist Batwoman
    (I really hate how reblogging works on Tumblr. This will obviously look different than if you click the above link. And I’m not even going to attempt to see how many blockquotes within blockquotes can be done. Changed my mind. I’m curious to see if this will work)

    i’m watching this documentary about halloween and there’s a part where they’re explaining that ghost stories got really popular around the civil war no one could really deal with how many people went off and died and

    the narrator just said

    “the first ghost stories were really about coming home”


    #but wow let me tell you about how the american civil war changed the whole culture of grief and death #because before that people died at home mostly #where their family saw them die and held their body and had proof they were really dead and it was a process #but during the war people left and never came home their bodies never came back there was no proof #people died in new horrific ways on the battlefield literally vaporized by cannonballs or lost in swamps and eaten by wild animals #and there were NO BODIES to send home #and people simply couldn’t grasp that their son or father or husband was really gone #there are stories about people spending months searching for their loved ones #convinced they couldn’t be dead if there were no body they were simply lost or hurt and they needed to be saved and brought home #embalming also really started during the civil war as a way for bodies to be brought home as intact as possible #wow i just wowowow the culture of death and grief and stuff during this time period is fascinating and sad #history (via souryellows)

    #quietly reblogs own tags #also the civil war was when dog tags and national cemetaries became a thing #and during the war there was n real system in place to notify families of the deaths #like they’d find out maybe from letters from soldiers who were there when their loved one died nd stuff #but there was no real system #and battlefield ambulances were basically invented because so many people died on the battlefield when they could have been saved if they co #…could have been moved frm the battlefield to a hospital #like there was this one really inlfuential dude whose son died that way and he became dedicated to getting an ambulance system in place

    I’m not doing this in the correct tag-style, but.

    IIRC, the Civil War also played a huge part in forming the modern American conception of heaven as this nice, domestic place where you’re reunited with your loved ones. People (particularly mothers) responded to the trauma of brother-killing-brother by imagining an afterlife in which families would once again be happy together.

    (also not doing this in the correct tag-style, because I wanna KNOW— )What documentary is this? Or is there more than one? Any books on the subject? THIS IS FASCINATING.

    cool (ghost) story, bro.

    reblogging because, as a us history phd student, i want to say YAY for how much of this is totally on point. i also want to rec the book where a lot of this is covered very, very well, which is Drew Gilpin Faust’s “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War.”

    a lot of books on the Civil War are deadly dull because they’re about battles and shit, but as a transformative moment in mindset and ideology, it becomes *fascinating*

    the other book I’d even more highly rec is David W. Blight’s “Race and Reunion,” which is about how the “(white) brother against (white) brother” image of the war was invented and how throwing African Americans to the merciless viciousness of post-Reconstruction racist whites was part of constructing this “oh everybody was white men and everybody was noble let’s celebrate them all” approach to Civil War remembrance

    very good stuff

    Thank you! This looks like exactly the sort of reading I’m after! *adds to wish list*

    Also, look for David Blights recordings of his Yale lecture series on The Civil War. 21 hours of class lectures, and its FASCINATING. He barely touches on the battles other than to use them as timestamps as to what was going on. Most of it focuses on what the mindset of everyone was going into the war, and what happened on the way out. It’s an amazing series that will change your entire perception of the war – how it happened, and how it wasn’t going to be possible to avoid it, because of the inherent evil of slavery and how it was destroying damn near *everyone* except rich white people.

    I didn’t know about the free Blight lectures. You can listen to them here:

    They look awesome!

    There’s also this PBS documentary, which I’m guessing is based on the book mentioned above (I’m watching it now):

  135. says

    Good morning
    We had a really nice evening yesterday.
    The muscial was a “Cosmic Pop Musical”, which means they used pop and rock songs from the 60s to the 90s and cobbled together a really shallow story to go with it. And as shallow stories go, it was stereotypes time. We had The Guy, white man hero space ship commander, The Girl, his wife, starts out as bespectacled wallflower and turns into vamp. The Black Guy, sexual threat to the white marriage, plus part time bad guy of the production, The Russians, whose commander spelled “Camp” to me.
    Why was it still nice? Well, the performance. The dancers were really good, and two of the three protagonists were superb. And in an everlasting irony, it was the White GUy who got thoroughly outperformed by the other two. Their voices were really good, with a wide range of styles. I mean, he sang Prince, and you didn’t miss Prince. She sang Bonny Tyler and you didn’t miss Bonny Tyler. White GUy sang Queen and you were longing for Freddy (though it also an unfortunate part to give to somebody whose voice isn’t that strong.).
    Afterwards we went for a beer. We even figured out that we could get a taxi since we didn’T need kiddie seats. During our first beer we had to admit that it was Friday night, our day had started at 6, we had a full shift on our backs and we are no longer 20 and haven’t been for a long time. So I drank the rest of Mr’s beer and we wen back to the car and drove home.
    Shit, I’m sorry. Fingers are crossed.
    You are a wonderful person. A person’s worth is not meassured by their money. Donald Trump may be fucking rich, but look at what a place he wants to make the world. Then look at you.

    The little one can write most capital letters, but the whole writing thing is still magic for her. She can write her name, but it’s like “hocus pocus”. But she also still has a year. And her sister drills her on maths, that might be a probe when she starts….
    We kept #1 from reading and writing on purpose, so she wouldn’t get bored in school, but we filled her brain with lots of other stuff.

  136. says

    Giliell @186:

    You are a wonderful person. A person’s worth is not meassured by their money. Donald Trump may be fucking rich, but look at what a place he wants to make the world. Then look at you.

    ‘Thank you’ doesn’t adequately sum up the appreciation I feel for the 36 words above. I’ve been coming out of my funk/melancholy/depression slowly but surely over the last few hours, but your words were a jolt. A much needed one. So even though thank you just doesn’t seem sufficient-thank you.

  137. opposablethumbs says

    Fuck, Tony! I’m so sorry. Certainly sounds like constructive dismissal all right. Labour law in most places is so massively stacked against those who actually labour, especially towards the blue end of the collar.

  138. says


    Talking about kids and reading…
    We went grocery shopping this morning and I bought mozarella balls for the little one.
    When we returned home I unloaded the box and was surprised that there were two packs. And one of them was “light” loww fat, which I’d never buy.
    I asked Mr whether he’d bought them. NO, he didn’t, must have been one of the kids. Probably the one who can’t read but knows the packing…

  139. Nick Gotts says

    Just to add my commiserations to Tony. That anyone should be treated as you have been by employers is appalling; that someone as brimming with intelligence and empathy as you should be so treated is – well, I can’t find words strong enough. Don’t forget that the Horde can provide practical as well as emotional support.

    The lovely thing about living in Florida is that it’s a ‘right to work’ state, so barring a few exceptions, you can be fired for pretty much anything and employers don’t have to give you a reason. – #152

    The depth of cynicism in calling the removal of right to fair treatment by your employer “right to work” is breathtaking.

  140. rq says

    It’s because of people like you that I get really, irrationally, pissed off that the world isn’t fair. As Giliell said, it’s not the money that maketh the person, but seriously, you are one of the awesomest people I know and you deserve a heckuvalot better than you’ve been experiencing over the last few years. You have so much to offer the world in terms of empathy and intelligence, and it’s really disappointing, frustrating, and rage-inducing to see the world not give you anything in return. :( #LifesNotFairLetsPooOnLife
    I’ll keep a few thumbs on hold for you for the close bartending job, because heck, it might work out. I can understand your concerns, though, and they’re perfectly valid – sadly.
    Anyway, just want you to know that I’m rooting for you all the way, and if there was any way to help you out in a more (shall we say) physical way, I’d be all over that. ♥
    Which reminds me, I have a stack of mail to send (sorry to those affected, it’s been that kind of past little while). BTW, Tony, would some chocolate from Latvia help (we can work out the details on FB)? :)

    Wow, you’re going to go ahead and try to realize our dream of a Lounge Commune, at least in some incarnation?? You, my friend, have a lot of guts and I salute you, and also, that makes me immeasurably happy.
    I’d be more comfortable with something not in the USAmerican territory (perhaps something that straddles the Canadian border?) but aside from declaring our own independent State of Lounge, I guess that’s just something that may need to be dealt with.
    I’ll give it some thought, though, if there’s anything that I can think of that might help you out.

    You sound like Husband and I, last time we tried to go out. We had: dinner, the show, drinks, dancing on the list, but by the time drinks rolled around, it was near midnight, and we realized we could catch the last bus home… so we did. :D (Because dancing would have been too much.)
    Now we plan less strenuous activities, like a movie or just dinner. You know, something that takes less than 4 hours and gets us home at a grown-up hour, incl. travel. :)
    I’m glad you had fun, though!


    Gahds, I look at the stacks of work at work and it’s like my hands just won’t pick themselves up to do it. Oh well, here we go.

    Oh, in happier news, I made a similar announcement last year, but as of today, there are no children under the age of 3 in the rq household! No more toddlers! Ha. Slowly but surely.

  141. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Tony, I don’t know what state unemployment insurance law is in Florida, but here in CA if you voluntarily quit a job you are generally ineligible for unemployment payments. However, the “constructive dismissal” I believe qualifies as involuntary termination. Therefore, if you can, please do apply for unemployment payments. It will probably work. Good luck, my friend.
    Jeez, I wish my Primordial Soup enterprise were up and running and grown to the restaurant stage. I’d hire you in a quick New York minute. And that would get you out of Florida.

  142. rq says

    How can I help you speed up the process of evolving your Primordial Soup? :)

  143. rq says

    We’re doing the official Marking of the Date tomorrow, with cake. I will share. :)

  144. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ugh, one of those late spring days where the temperature drops 15+ degrees from the morning as a cold front moves through. No chance of frost, but the fans I installed in the windows last weekend are big leaks due to the winds. I did cut a piece of plastic that covers the fan, and attached velcro stickum pads to the corners last summer. So today, I just reattached the plastic via the velcro tabs, and the drafts are much reduced. The forecast indicates it really won’t warm up until the middle of next week.

    Since the Redhead wanted an omelet this morning, I kept adding things and more eggs until I had a three egg omelet saturated with mushrooms, onions, green pepper, sausage, ham, bacon, and cheddar cheese. The one-third portion served disappeared quickly. So I have at least two more mornings where I can open a plastic bag unto a plate, and nuke the omelet for 40 seconds, pepper, and serve. All part of my dastardly plan for quick weekday mornings.

  145. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    rq, thanks for the “offer” of help in the evolution of Primordial Soups. In fact, in your super-abundant spare time (chuckle), you could provide a bit of international research. I will be developing a line of Soups of the World and want to offer authentic soups from cultures far different from mine here in the US. I am seeking recipes for items that are usually common fare in other countries but are not necessarily common here. These will probably call for some unusual ingredients, but that is not a problem. I of course can do this research, but if any Lounglings from countries other than mine have a huge favorite, please let me know. Many thanks for your efforts.

  146. says

    Ah, yes, married with children ;)
    We hold out a bit longer on Saturdays, but Friday nights? no way…

    I can offer you my favourite potatoe soup, courtesy of my grandma:
    Lightly fry onions and some diced carrots in a bit of oil. Also, for non-vegetarian, a thick bacon rasher
    Add diced starchy potatoes, a laurel leaf, some stock (veggie or beef depending), just enough to cover everything, black pepper, bit of oregano.
    Cook until everything falls apart, remove bacon, mash thoroughly. At this point it should be more like mashed potatoes than soup and a bit too salty. Add milk until you have a smooth soup. Cut the bacon into small pieces, dice an onion. Fry in some oil and add to your soup. You can garnish with some sour cream and parsley, serve with wiener sausages or, and that’s how we do it, sweet waffles.

    I’ll post a recipe for Northern German veggie soup tomorrow

    Sounds clever and delicious

    Tomatoes have been replanted, so the miniature “greenhouse” is free for the chilis

    Small TW
    OK, last night at the pub I also withnessed the following. There was a group of 20ish year olds. One of the guys, visibly drunk, wraps his arm around one of the young women, pressing himself against her. She told him off, pushed him away and did exactly what everbody always tells us we should do. For the next 10 minutes the group swarmed around him, making sure he was ok, calming him down, soothing him and his wounded pride… Nobody checked in on the young woman.
    And then they wonder why those guys think that they have been horribly wronged and resort to violence one day.

  147. rq says

    Do you do cold soups, too? Because I have a couple of recipes for those, too. So yes, I can think of a few delicious soups for you to at least try out. :)

    I love little time-saving things like that. :) Hope it lasts two mornings, and doesn’t end up eaten a whole lot faster!

  148. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Giliell @201
    I am a huge fan of “Grandma’s Recipes.” Thanks for the potato recipe. I’m looking forward to the Northern German Veggie soup recipe tomorrow.
    Hey rq, do Latvians do anything different with potato soup that I should know about?

  149. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    rq, I LOVE cold soups, and my variations on gazpacho and fruit soup are going to be part of the initial summer line up. Bring ’em on!

  150. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I love little time-saving things like that. :) Hope it lasts two mornings, and doesn’t end up eaten a whole lot faster!

    The planned overs are in two bags, and as long as I stay away from them, no problem. I serve the redhead on our medium sized salad plates, while I still use the larger dinner plate. Since she isn’t on the go, her appetite is down. They are sized for her appetite.

  151. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I must confess that the Redhead had one complaint. I should have added a fourth egg, and made four omelets…

  152. rq says

    Hm, I don’t actually know (re: Latvian-specific potato soups). I know when potato harvest time rolls around, there’s all kinds of potato-y dishes, though few soups. I have a few soups in mind that I could share with you (meatball soup, beet soup, cold beet soup, cold cucumber soup, solyanka (which may or may not differ from the Russian version), milk soup (can be sweet), a Cuban bean soup I actually got via Portia), so I’ll try and look up some of the recipes (or search my memory, a couple are recipe-less). Oh, and chowder. I have an awesome salmon chowder recipe. And something similar for shrimp. Let me know if you already know some of these. ;)
    (As the old joke goes, if you want to make a food Latvian, just add potatoes and dill.)

  153. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    rq, send ’em on! There are always variations on all the themes, but I am interested in personal favorites.
    I must be part Latvian somewhere along the DNA chain. The addition of potatoes and dill is like mother’s milk to me.

  154. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Morgan, since you seem to be heading for veggie soups, here’s one from the Redhead’s collection:

    Cream of Artichoke Soup
    Vegetarian Version

    3 14½ Oz. cans artichoke heats, quartered, drained
    6 Oz. portabello (and button if desired) mushrooms, sliced and roughly chopped
    2 Cups fresh spinach leaves in chiffonade
    1 Cup milk
    1½ Cups heavy cream
    ⅛ Cup flour
    4½ Tablespoons sweet unsalted butter
    2 14½ Oz. cans vegetable stock
    4 Large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
    ½ Teaspoon salt
    Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    9 Oz. Mazzetta roasted yellow and red sweet peppers, or Mancini roasted red bell peppers
    1 Medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
    1 Teaspoon fresh parsley
    2 Bay leaves
    ⅛ Teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
    ⅛ Teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    ½ Teaspoon dried basil leaves
    1 Teaspoon fresh dill leaves
    ⅛ Teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
    ¼ Teaspoon Szeged sweet Hungarian paprika

    Saute onions, garlic and mushrooms in half the butter. Remove from pan. Make roux of flour and remaining butter. Add sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms, drained artichokes, roasted peppers, spices and herbs. Simmer until flavors meld. Add milk and cream. Add spinach. Season with freshly grated parmesan cheese atop bowls.

    Note: As original recipe included chicken which was either roasted, rotisseried, or grilled horizontally or vertically, (as with beer can chicken), additional spices had been added through this infusion, and some of these flavors could be added. Those flavors added to meat are underlined. Examples of those flavor pathways: 1) Roasted chicken,; Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, golden sherry, onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, seasoned salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika, fine herbs, thyme leaves and bay leaves. 2) Rotisseried chicken have been done in several flavor combinations whether done vertically or horizontally on electric or charcoal rotisseries, or store bought. Flavors have included lemon and Italian herbs with Balsamic vinegar; olive oil and garlic; BBQ dry rub and sauce,;hickory or mesquite wood smoking; Moroccan spices; Jamaican herb spices; teriyaki flavors, tequila lime marinade; 5 spice and Chinese flavors. 3) Beer can chicken was also done with a dry rub of brown sugar, sweet paprika, kosher salt and the flavor of the beer within the can. Any of these flavor directions offers possibilities for enriching and enhancing the total taste of the soup.

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

    I’m looking forward to all the soup recipes.

  156. says

    rq @194:
    Regarding chocolate-Other than a few years during my teens, I’ve never been much of a chocolate person. Plus I don’t have much experience with chocolate other than the kind found in candy bars (hangs head in shame). I know next to nothing about the kinds of chocolate, how to pair chocolate with anything, or really anything else.
    That said, I’d certainly be willing to try some Latvian chocolate. The idea of sampling food from other cultures appeals to me greatly.


    Oh, and chowder. I have an awesome salmon chowder recipe.

    Ooooh, sounds interesting!

    (As the old joke goes, if you want to make a food Latvian, just add potatoes and dill.)

    I take it dill is popular in Latvia? A certain shoop is quite fond of that herb as well. Not as much as rosemary, which is like the god of herbs to me, but still pretty darn good.


    Potato soup…nom nom.
    Now I want some. I suppose I could cook some, seeing as I have a bag of (I think) russett potatoes in the crisper. I don’t really have much to throw in with the soup though. My fridge is sparse. I *think* I have some onions. I know there’s some cheese. Not much else off the top of my head.


    Giliell @201:

    For the next 10 minutes the group swarmed around him, making sure he was ok, calming him down, soothing him and his wounded pride… Nobody checked in on the young woman.

    They checked on him because he was [rightfully] rebuffed after being an ass and violating that woman’s personal space?! Sigh. Entitlement mentality FTW.

  157. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Nerd, the Cream of Artichoke soup sounds scrumptious. I will probably try it this weekend. Re whether my offerings will be solely vegetarian or not, I personally am not a vegetarian, but many people are and it is very easy to make most soups conform to veggie standards. No problem with that. I want my products to appeal to as wide a variety of tastes and choices as possible.

  158. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    ALSO…… I will be offering two Chocolate Soups, a sweet one as a dessert, and a savory South American Chile-Chocolate Soup similar to mole’ sauce. Hmmmmmm, maybe I should publish the Primordial Soups cookbook. Fun.

  159. says

    An ultra-orthodox Jewish sect in London has banned women from driving.

    […] The letter, signed by rabbis from the Belz Hasidic sect in Stamford Hill and sent last week to parents in the community, says that female drivers are a violation of “the traditional rules of modesty in our camp.” It also states that, beginning in August, children driven by their mothers will be barred from attending school […]

  160. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hmm…I noticed milk and heavy cream in the Artichoke Soup recipe. Good ovo-lacto-vegitarians, but not true vegans. I would presume for true vegan fare, this could have soy milk and coconut milk as substitutes.

  161. rq says

    A Primordial Soups cookbook? DEFINITELY.

    I’ll add you to the list of recipients. See FB sometime tomorrow for more details. :)

  162. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    A mango shake recipe (dictated today by the Redhead),
    1 ripe mango
    16 oz milk
    4 rounded scoops of vanilla ice cream
    Either pit mango scoop the fruit from the skin, or squeeze the ripe fruit/scrape the skin until devoid of juice into a blender with milk. Add the ice cream. Blend and pour into into serving container.
    Enjoy. Redhead approved.

  163. says

    *hugs* and condolences
    More *hugs*

    I’d be more comfortable with something not in the USAmerican territory (perhaps something that straddles the Canadian border?) but aside from declaring our own independent State of Lounge, I guess that’s just something that may need to be dealt with.

    Honestly, so would I, but immigration controls. For preference, I’d be going with an OTEC based floating artificial island in international waters, but the practical difficulties are entirely insurmountable at this time.
    Nick Gotts

    The depth of cynicism in calling the removal of right to fair treatment by your employer “right to work” is breathtaking.

    Technically, Tony’s running afoul of ‘at-will employment’ laws. ‘Right to Work’ is (one of) the reason(s) he hasn’t got a union contract that overrides the at-will crap. Also, ‘Right to Work’ bills often have all kinds of other “fuck the employees” riders as well. You’re not wrong about the depthless cynicism and doubletalk though.

  164. says

    Sometimes I love the Internet. There’s apparently a meme running around featuring Captain America and Winter Soldier being a couple. It’s referred to as #Stucky and some of the fan art is awesome!

  165. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli) says

    Hope you’ll find a new and better job.

    My condolences.

    If cabbage soups are acceptable, here’s one traditional from Finland (and the only cabbage soup I like):

    Maitokaali (milk and cabbage)
    One small head of white cabbage
    1 pint of water
    3 pints of milk
    1 large carrot
    2 tablespoons of wheat flour (white bread flour)
    1 tablespoon butter

    Cut the cabbage into small pieces (a bit smaller than inch x inch squares) and slice the carrot. Boil both in the water until soft but the cabbage not yet mushy. Add nutmeg and salt to taste. Add boiling milk. Mix the wheat flour with a small amount of cold water and add to the soup while stirring to thicken the soup. Let cook for 10 minutes. Add parsley, chives and butter.

  166. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli) says

    A small correction to the maitokaali recipe:

    The salt should be added to the water along with cabbage and carrots. Also boil the cabbage and carrots in the water without a lid because a) there may be so much cabbage in the beginning that you cannot close the lid anyway (it will shrink considerably) and b) you will get rid of some smelly sulfurous compounds in the cabbage which improves the taste and odour.

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

    Lazy, lazy, lazy…

    …or you can chalk it up to this week’s monumental pain.

    Either way:
    Short grain brown rice
    Long grain brown rice
    wild rice:

    Mix, steam for 70 min.

    One medium-large onion
    300-400 grams fresh green beans
    one large eggplant (cubed and soaked in salt water for 1 hour before cooking)
    1 pkg tofu (350 grams, firm)
    1 420ml/ 15 oz can coconut milk
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    2 tablespoons water
    3 tablespoons store-bought green curry paste.

    Chop shit
    Sautee shit
    add tofu, coconut milk,
    blend curry paste, soy sauce, & water so that I don’t have to worry about leftover large clumps of curry paste.

    Add sauce blend to every thing else.
    let simmer 10 minutes


    Just no effort possible tonight. I got nothing but store-bought sauce, canned coconut milk and all of 4 ingredients to pour it over.

    Maybe after some sleep & pain drugs I can cook something better tomorrow.

  168. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Ice Swimmer,
    This maitokaali looks wonderful and it is completely different from anything I’ve cooked. it looks like grand peasant food… my favorite kind. I’ll let you know how mine turns out. Thank you.

  169. Okidemia says

    Tony! The Queer Shoop #168
    I’m not really around, I was just fast reverse reading but -oh my Greed! and I only left for a day or two?
    First, sorry for what happened to you.

    Now, thanks a lot for the link. I’m still laughing. That’s it. Exactly _it_.
    “Yeah, but where are you from?”

    Sometimes it’s as weird as
    “Yeah/No, I understand that, where are you _really_ from?”
    Earth? Wait, maybe I’m from the Moon after all… :-)

    Sometimes it’s “Hum, I’m sure you have…(pause) ‘origins’*…”
    Of course! Don’t you?
    * you can even hear the brackets, I swear!

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

    Did I say cover and simmer?

    No, that didn’t work out so well. Too much water in the eggplant already.

    Simmer uncovered.

    Still tasted fine, but didn’t have as creamy a sauce texture, given the water the eggplant sweated out, and didn’t have a complex a veggie texture. I don’t want the green beans to crunch, but I wanted them more fresh than soggy, and the covered simmer was a bit too much for them and the eggplant both.


    I should have been paying attention as it was simmering, but as I said, lazy.

    And in pain.

    Double sigh.

  171. thunk: Bulba 9000! says


    Summer is going on. Nothing much. Just the usual being exacerbated with the oh-so-Russian cultural attitudes of my folks. The oh-so-Russian hockey fanaticism is more fun. I did turn 19 several days ago, though.

    Sorry, Tony, that you lost your job. Constantly searching for work seems like a painful experience–and one that I’m privileged enough not to have experienced. My condolences, and hugs.

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


    Do you ever read fanfiction? Because those two are a popular couple. And with all the Winter Soldier’s trauma and memory loss there’s enough fodder for many many stories (I only know the movies, so I’m not familiar with different story lines from comic books) and some fanfiction writers deal with his trauma much better than a lot of published authors can write about consequences of torture or abuse.
    Anyway, I don’t have the bookmark on my laptop, but I recently read a really good story that starts off after the fall of Hydra, with WInter Soldier lacking someone to reset him, so he learns everything he can about Bucky and goes to Captain America pretending his memory came back. And then shit happens and there are of course still some Bad Guys :)
    Want me to look it up?

    I warn you, reading fanfiction can get addictive. There of course exist shit writers, but there are some trully talented people there as well.

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


    I’m interested, even if Tony! isn’t.

    Happy Happy, Thunk!


    I don’t know what to say. Being out of work again truly sucks. I wish you better luck in finding a job soonest. USB comfort headed your way…

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

    A Slovenian drag queen explaining the difference between what he’s doing and gender dysphoria, on the radio. Very positively.
    The radio host is a bit… not so good. And their choice to describe trans* identity as someone having a woman’s soul in a man’s body (or vice versa), even if it includes silly talk about souls at least gets the point mostly across.

    All in all, quite good. It seems the guest actually hosts a show of his own, where he talks openly about sexuality and considering his progressive views, I think I should check that out. I had no idea we had shows like that in these parts, a bit backwards as we are.

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

    Oh, and I appologise for all the tpyos and wrong spellings you’ll see in my comments for the next week or so. I have automatic spellcheck on my PC; but not on this laptop. I’m taking that as a challenge, so I’m not going to search how to turn it on either. Mwahaha :)

    So… lots of free time on my hands. I’m going to the store to buy something for lunch and then I’m going to clean this place up. I have ants on the terrace. That will not do.

  176. says

    Good morning

    I hate it.
    Hate it.
    HATE IT.
    It’s one of the things that keeps me from shopping at the Russian supermarket more often. The whole place smells of dill as they always have huge fresh bunches of the stuff and it always makes me gag.

    The little one has figured out who will finally think of the children.
    It’s the local spice and herbs company.
    I was running out of some things that cannot be allowed to run out (cinamon!) and some things were simply getting too old, so I placed an order with them. Among the stuff were vanilla pods, the little glass tube in bubble wrap. Now, the kids were pretty disappointed with the parcel that arrived. Nothing but bags and bags of herbs and spices. And then the bubble wrap. The little one exclaimed: “Finally somebody who thinks of the children!”
    Also, their vegan bacon powder is quite nice.

  177. says

    And now
    1.2l vegetable stock
    600g potatoes (not starchy)
    250g stem turnip
    200 g carrots
    120 g green beans
    250g white aspargus
    150 g green peas
    fresh garden herbs
    200g cream
    salt, pepper
    lemon juice
    pinch of sugar
    300g smoked salmon

    Cook sliced and peeled potatoes in stock for 15 min
    add sliced and prepared veggies, cook for further 7 minutes
    Add herbs, cream, juice, season to taste
    Serve with salmon and some herbs

    Now, that’s the “original” recipe.
    You can vary the veggies as you like, just take care they are done at roughly the same time. You can substitue the salmon for some rare ham, like Para, Serrano or Black Forest. Or whatever vegetarians like.

  178. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli) says

    Giliell and rq

    Dill is strong here in Finland too. In three weeks or a month from now the first crop of local new potatoes are ripe. They are cleaned and skinned with a brush and cooked with dill added to the water in the end of the cooking and enjoyed with butter and/or pickled herring (often seasoned with dill). Then there are freshwater crayfish in the late summer, cooked with… you guessed it, dill among other things. (Funnily/sadly enough, when the crayfish were plentiful here in the 19th century, Finnish peasants considered them inedible, but were happy to sell them to the wealthy Russians in St Petersburg. Then, after crayfish plague from Americas decimated the crayfish population, they started to become popular for all people.)

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

    Dill has only started becoming popular here the last couple of years. Before that, people kept being surprised we were always using it so much. I don’t know where my grandma got the love for dill from. Maybe it’s often used in Slovenia, or she just liked it.

    I like to fill a carp with plenty of dill, parcley and garlic and bake it in the oven like that.
    Also great : bread with dill and sausage.

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

    I like dill in moderation and only occasionally. Don’t know why, but it’s just one of those herbs that I’ve never cottoned to. Still, nothing like Giliell’s reaction. Though who knows, if I lived in an area where it was overused, the negatives might start outweighing the positives… perhaps even dramatically.

    As it is, though, I’ll use it every so often, but not so you would notice the dill on my herb shelf getting used up without some seriously long-term time lapse photography.

  181. rq says

    Dill is not my favourite herb, but I don’t have any particular animosity towards it, either.
    It’s just a Latvian thing, they’ll add it to lasagne (WRONG) and potatoes (ok, I guess) and, well, everything… Fish dishes, especially. I’m more of a garlic person. Oh, you meant herbs? Thyme and rosemary, then. :)

    Ice Swimmer
    re: the new potatoes
    Yep, we do something similar here! Though we add sour cream, and when dill is not in season (DILL IS ALWAYS IN SEASON, according to some people :P) we put chives (chopped green onions?) on the sour cream and/or pickled herring. It’s not my favourite dish, but it’s nice and easy and non-labour intensive on hot summer days.

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

    Dill on potatoes is the only use that is generally accepted (besides pickles), and potatoes are the only things you’re likely to find me seasoning with dill these days. But I’ve used dill successfully in risotto once. It’s been a long time, so I don’t remember what I did, but I do remember it worked.

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

    Dill on lasagne is an abomination.
    Mum tried that once. ONCE. No more.

    Crip Dyke,
    Hmm, dill works with mushroom risotto.
    It’s such a staple for me I can’t actually remember when I use it. It’s just one of those things I throw in the pan when I feel it would fit.

  184. says

    Dill isn’t very big in the south-ish of Germany as it’S mostly associated with seafish, but by now people have the habit to torture poor dead fish with it. As I really don’T like it, I taste it in homoeopathic amounts. My mother, who really likes it, usually wasn’t able to taste it when I was already turning down food.

    new potatoes
    Boiled with the skin, served with farmer’S cheese with chives and garlic. And some butter.

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

    I made such an English language FAIL.

    All this time I was gushing over dill? I was talking about chives. I don’t even like dill (actual dill) all that much. After reading Giliell’s comment, I googled chives because they sounded familiar but I couldn’t place them.

    So… carp with CHIVES; mushroom risotto with chives… all the stuff I said about dill, just imagine chives instead.

    Regarding dill – maybe a tiny amoung added to omelette. Otherwise, not a fan.

  186. says

    I am a dill in moderation person. I mostly put it on fish, although I also love pickled veggies of all sorts.

    Giliell, your little one made me smile. It’s lovely when bubble wrap is all it takes to make them happy.

  187. opposablethumbs says

    Ah, well now I can agree with you Beatrice! I don’t care much for dill, but I love chives (and well-written fanfic) :-)))

  188. says

    Most of us already know that Joe Biden, currently the lovable if sometimes exasperating Vice President of US, has experienced quite a bit of tragedy in the form of deaths in his family.

    Now there is another tragedy to add to the list, his son, Beau Biden, has died of brain cancer at the age of 46.

    […] “Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware’s Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse.

    More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father’s saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did. […]

    Quote is from Joe Biden’s release about the death.


  189. says

    Some people, especially politicians high up in the hierarchy, do get prompt medical attention when they are hurt.

    This is so different from the scene we saw on video where policemen stood around not attending to Tamir Rice after they shot him.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg in bike crash Sunday, apparently after hitting a curb, […]

    Paramedics and a physician were on the scene with his motorcade at the time and provided him immediate attention. They quickly decided to order the 10-minute-long helicopter transport. […]

    Kerry was airlifted to a Swiss hospital.

  190. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Urgh. I am in the process of sterilizing my kitchen in preparation for a certification inspection. This is a huge job. My house is 65 years old. We bought it 18 months ago. The kitchen is nearly original and of course has never been sterilized. First the cleaning, then the paint. Ouch, my poor aching back. /whine

  191. rq says

    Lynna @248
    To be uh fair?, Kerry’s accident occurred in Europe, where the standard of response is slightly different than that of USAmerican police officers…

  192. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    rq#250, a diplomatic passport and a security detail didn’t hurt either.

  193. says

    […] We imagined a universe of stars and galaxies gleaming brightly against a black sky. What we see is multicolored patterns of fluid motion, looking like eddies in a river or clouds in a sunset. The patterns are made of dust. Dust is made of tiny solid grains of carbon and rock and metals. The grains condense out of cooling interstellar gas, just as grains of smoke condense out of cooling flames over a forest fire. Most of what we see in the universe is dust. The reason is simple. We see only the surfaces of things, so that things appear big in our pictures when they have a big surface area. Dust has far more surface area than stars or planets. That is why the most striking pictures in this book are pictures of dust. It is not accidental that the editors chose to print on the jacket a spectacular picture of a huge dustcloud giving birth to newborn stars in the constellation Carina. […]

    That’s Freeman Dyson writing in The New York Review of Books. It’s an interesting article. Especially if you’re interested in dust.

  194. says

    Nikon rigged a camera to a dog in such a way that a photo was taken every time the dog’s heart rate went up.

    Not too surprisingly, food and other animals got their photos taken. But flip-flops?


  195. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Redhead got one of her caregivers to make roast duck. Now she wants me the convert the remainder into Duck Soup. Oops, not the movie, more like this, or this. Now for the instructions….

  196. rq says

    Taking the RQling Bros. Circus to work tomorrow during the day.
    Wish me luck.

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


    The first 1:27 already has me crying I’m laughing so hard.

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

    Your pecs are epic!

  199. says

    In a press conference for Fury Road, a member of the press said the following to Tom Hardy:

    “I’ll preface my remarks by saying I have five sisters, a daughter, a wife, and a mother, so I know what it’s like to be outgunned by estrogen. As you were reading the script, did you ever think “Why are all these women in here? I thought this was supposed to be a man’s movie.”

    Hardy’s response to that stupid as fuck question (available at the link) is niiiiiiiiiiiice.

  200. says

    Huh. I mentioned to the Husband that it’d be nice if we could go out to dinner just the two of us, sometime this summer, since we haven’t done that in, well, some years. So last night he said, how about Sunday.

    We had a nice dinner at a local place that does good formal-ish food, I guess you’d call it, where we’ve gone for anniversaries before. I had a cocktail and prime rib. There’s still half of my dinner left for tomorrow; I already shared some with the daughters and will share the rest later. So that was nice, and sort of makes up for the last five years of our not being able to go away for a weekend together or anything much else, thanks Aged Parents.

    I’ll just refill the basket of hugs, and offer decaf tea to any one who would like a cup.

  201. says

    Good luck!

    How nice.
    I admit that one of my biggest fears is becoming a “parents couple”. Tell me if you’ve heard that story before: Young couple get married, they have kids. The do their best, work hard. Family vacations and trips, making sure the kids can go to college and so on. And then the kids leave for college and they suddenly notice that they no longer have anything in common and split up…
    I’m therefore a big fan of going out together together.

  202. says

    I stumbled across this over at Everyday Feminism-

    Supposedly, and to the surprise of every pothead who has ever existed, marijuana causes people to commit violent crimes, like shooting the police. What a perfect excuse to incite mass fear and hatred of Chicanx and Latinx people – and to validate the horrific police and military violence targeting that group during that time (and still today).

    I don’t think the ‘x’ in Chicanx or Latinx is accidental. But what does it mean?

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

    I just wanted to set automated reply to my work email, after I realized I had forgotten. Not read emails with tasks that completely ignore that I’m on vacation, or emails that answer my “I didn’t finish task X, as far as I know it’s not urgent” with “That’s ok, it’s not, but did you finish task X?”


  204. opposablethumbs says

    I don’t think the ‘x’ in Chicanx or Latinx is accidental. But what does it mean?

    I would guess it’s aimed at being inclusive, to avoid the gendering inherent in Spanish usage Latino / Latina and Chicano / Chicana.
    I’ve seen some people use the @ symbol, as it could be read as combining an o and an a (e.g. Latin@, Chican@)

  205. birgerjohansson says

    Novel X-ray lens sharpens view into the nano world
    -But is the device small enougho be carried by Dr. Manhatan?

    A safe fast neutron reactor??? “Recycling nuclear waste via advanced reactor design”

    — — — — — — — —
    Very serious businesss from The Daily Mash:

    Professional football sickened by FIFA’s culture of greed

    European leaders not allowing David Cameron to use toilet
    The prime minister, whose breakfast with Polish leader Ewa Kopacz was accompanied by pints of water and who drank three steins of ale over lunch with Angela Merkel, has dropped all demands for concessions in favour of squirming in his seat while grimacing.
    EU president Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I noticed he’d hired a cheap private jet with no loo and called everyone telling them to keep him hydrated

  206. Ice Swimmer (was Nakkustoppeli) says


    The flipflops may may have a familiar person’s smell.

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

    Ok, I’m managing this weird anxiety I have going on right now with a cleaning spree.

    I forgot how dead this place gets during the day.

  208. says

    Well, if you run out of space to clean, you are always welcome here*.
    I also promise that once I get back with the kids, “quiet” isn’t an option.

    *You’re also welcome here if you don’t clean and just hang around

  209. says


    Saw your messages about your job after I got home from camping. I’m sorry you have to go through that and another job search.

    Also, Tom Hardy’s expression when he was asked that question is a thing of beauty.


    Good luck with the circus, though that may be done by the time you read this.

  210. says

    Giliell @271,

    My worst fear is that he, having an actual social life and work life outside the house where I don’t, will get tired of me and dump me – but that’s been one of my nightmares for years anyway.

    Maybe it’s because we met first as friends, but we have a lot of interests in common beyond the daughters. It’s just the time to do things together beyond going to the hardware store, just the two of us, that’s hard to find.

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


    Haha, as long as you provide internet connection for pauses between cleaning I’m good. Especially if you have a lot of windows, I find washing windows especially relaxing.

  212. says

    Aargh. Developed a painful earache last night — and its affecting the left side of my jaw. It’s eased back in intensity today, so it’s just a dull constant throb…but it’s amazing how distracting continuous low level pain can be.

  213. says

    PZ Myers 283

    When my jaw/ear starts to hurt, it’s usually one of my wisdom teeth doing their one annual duty to remind me they are still there. Yes, I’m 48 and still have all of my wisdom teeth. I don’t know if that makes me wise or not. Hope it feels better soonest.

    As for continuous low-level pain — simple chapped lips leave me so annoyed that I have ChapStick squirreled away throughout my life (every jacket has a tube, my car has three, one is left on my kitchen counter at all times).

    Beatrice 282

    We have 24 windows and a sliding glass door here. Is that enough? You’d have to deal with a bunch of clutter, because of course you would. Also, it’s rainy and humid here today, so I can understand if you’d rather not.

  214. birgerjohansson says

    Fischer: Texas Flooding Due to ‘Witchcraft and Sodomy’


  215. rq says

    We’re back. Everyone accounted for, including Ninnis the Elephant.
    I’m going back to work later tonight to relax. :P

    Anne and Giliell
    I so understand what both of you are saying re: relationship and kids.

  216. says

    I only have one wisdom tooth, and it’s on the other side (it’s also grossly twisted, and grew out with a forward angle…which is why it’s still there. Extraction would be risky or at least messy.)

    Damn evolution. If selection were as powerful as many think it is, I should have been extinguished at an early age and my wretched genes & wisdom teeth never propagated into the gene pool.

  217. says

    Nice summary of hypocrisy in action:

    If I understand the history correctly, in the late 1990s, the President was impeached for lying about a sexual affair by a House of Representatives led by a man who was also then hiding a sexual affair, who was supposed to be replaced by another Congressman who stepped down when forced to reveal that he too was having a sexual affair, which led to the election of a new Speaker of the House who now has been indicted for lying about payments covering up his sexual contact with a boy.

    Washington Post link

    – President Clinton
    – Speaker Newt Gingrich, adulterous affair with a younger aide
    – Rep. Bob Livingston, successor to Gingrich, also having an adulterous affair
    – David Vitter, successor to Livingston, adulterous affairs with prostitutes
    – Dennis Hastert, the former Speaker who is now accused of sexual misconduct with a high school student

    That’s the lineup of Republican House speakers and interim speakers, but there’s one more Republican from the Clinton impeachment era that should be added to the list:
    Representative Henry Hyde, an impeachment “manager” that presented the case to the Senate. Hyde was having an adulterous affair.

  218. says

    Police officers suffocated a Latino man, Robert Minjarez Jr., in Louisiana:

    For about five minutes, the report said, Minjarez is heard on dashcam audio screaming, “Help! Help! Help me! Get off! You’re going to kill me!” The report also quotes him as saying “You’re going to suffocate…” and “I can’t breathe” three times. He cried and screamed, his voice becoming “increasingly muffled, hoarse and strained” while repeating “I can’t breathe,” the report added.

    About five minutes after he was restrained, the report said, Minjarez groaned and gurgled, and an officer said, “You got 265 pounds on your back, you’re not going anywhere.” The suspect groaned “and no more sounds are heard from him,” the report said.

    Cause of death: “compressional asphyxia due to face-down physical restraint by law enforcement officers.”
    Associated Press link

    The officers have not been charged. A grand jury declined to indict the officers.

  219. rq says

    In the interests of promoting my family members (in this case, my own brother – he’s been mentioned here before), can I recommend Rome’s Invisible City, from the BBC? He got to do a bunch of the undercity exploration for this programme, and I am very, very excited to see it. That link is to the company that provided much of the 3D scanning equipment used in the show (LOTS OF AMAZING IMAGES), and I think tonight is the premiere, so check your local BBC listings, I suppose?

  220. says

    Religious right-wingers from the USA are once again promoting their regressive policies in other countries.

    At a World Congress of Families regional event in Belgrade in April, the group’s communications director, Don Feder, declared that a worldwide effort is needed to overthrow the “sexual revolution,” including the widespread acceptance of contraception, which he said leads to “death” by “preventing life from happening” and will ultimately lead to the “extinction” of humanity.[…]

    Right Wing Watch link

    “Demographic Winter” is one of their favorite concepts. Conservatives in European and Slavic countries are already worried about slow birth rates among white or whitish citizens, and about the growing populations of immigrants. They’re ripe for swindling by the World Congress of Families.

    Are you reminded of the Duggars?

    “We won’t find our way out of the forest of demographic winter until the sexual revolution is overthrown, its premises rejected, its prophets exposed, its dogma debunked. Ladies and gentlemen, ultimately the sexual revolution is about death: death through abortion, death through contraception (preventing life from happening), death through sexually transmitted diseases, death through pornography, death through promiscuity, all of this in place of monogamous marriage and childbearing.”[quoted from Don Feder’s speech in Belgrade.]

    The dunderheads from World Congress of Families plan to hold their annual conference in Salt Lake City this year. That’s a good venue for them. They can hold hands with regressive Mormons.

    The World Congress of Families is, of course, rabidly anti-gay. The event in Belgrade was “organized by representatives of the Serbian far-right Dveri movement, which worked with WCF to get a Belgrade gay pride parade canceled in 2013.”

  221. says

    I feel like I just asked (even though it was last year), but can I request that the Horde signal be raised? I just cooked my last eggs, sausage, and grits. I have very little food left in the house, and as I mentioned upthread, I have $412 I have to pay in rent by Thursday. The other bills can wait until the end of the month, but food and rent is essential. I have enough pet food to tide me over for about a week more, so that’s not vital. Obviously, I understand that not everyone can help out, and there are no guarantees on any amount, but anything anyone can give would surely be of help.
    My PayPal email account is t*a*n*t*h*o*n*y*v*@*y*a*h*o*o*.com (without the asterix, but with the @). Thanks all.

  222. says

    This is the 13th floor. Are you sure you want to clean the windows? The view is nice, though…

    rq and Anne
    My hope is that being aware of the problem helps to avoid it. I don’t believe in “happily ever after” but I believe in divorce. So I have to work to make it last, right?

    Talking about dysfunctional marriages, my father will go on a holiday in two weeks. Alone. I’ll believe it when he’S gone. But my sister is taking care of the furnoses*. I’m glad because I was wondering how to convert the balcony into a rabbit home…

    *bunny wabbits

  223. rq says

    I read ‘furnoses’ as a typo of ‘furnaces’ and was wondering Why does the furnace need taking care of this time of year? before I read your asterisk.
    And yes, “happily ever after” is the facade of a long, hard, tiring slog behind the scenes. Not just the big things, too, but the tiny, everyday stuff that piles up all the time (I believe Chekhov said it well). This is why communication is key, for mutual awareness and mutual encouragement. So… love is work, I suppose, rather than butterflies and sunbeams. But it works.
    (Mostly. :) Sometimes the sledgehammer helps.)

    *hugs* All I can do is chocolate right now. :( Sorry.

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


    I also live on the 13th floor :)

  225. Okidemia says

    PZ Myers #289

    Damn evolution. If selection were as powerful as many think it is, I should have been extinguished at an early age and my wretched genes & wisdom teeth never propagated into the gene pool.

    [Caution: Just so story ahead]

    Yeah, but what if wretched gene version resulted in “older” men (whatever that means in the paleo-anthropic env it got selected from) staying home because of someday’s ache while youngiers gone hunting and consequently propagated genes more actively due to the relaxed sexual competition?
    That would be a “bad” gene being selected for despite not confering any adaptation. Selection does not imply adaptation (and you know it). I think you were rather thinking “adaptation” with regard to the wrong wisdom tooth developmental design.
    Or, once upon a time long ago, developping “late” teeth at an age most other ones had disappeared may have produced fitness effects that were selected for even if so-called teeth were only grossly doing their job… (What use is half a tooth? A good one!).

    Of course this is just a modest proposal to revive a bunch of selective hypotheses, I don’t take them for granted at all (but for teasing, they’re fun!). Just as I feel a bit sorry that natural selection be dismissed too easily in a grand critique of the 70’s panadaptationism. The latter is unfortunately just a leitmotiv that carries the same inner faults that the ideas it was supposed to be critical of.

    /Of course, random fix is expected in populations (for better or worse), and certainly do wisdom teeth result from this. This was my post-hoc disclaimer after an evo-trolling :) /

  226. Okidemia says

    Tony! The Queer Shoop #296
    I’m sorry I can’t do anything to help before this september. I sincerely hope you’ll find a solution before, but I’ll comment to your blog at this time so that you get my email and send me the papal informations back. If opportunities change my ability to help, I’ll write earlier than that.

  227. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Tony, I wish I could help with some cash but I have none to spare. That is why I am upgrading my kitchen myself rather than hiring someone to do it.
    Have you ever considered becoming a video blogger? There could be some money in that and you certainly have good things to say.
    Here are many , many hugs. And a pot of your preferred soup.

  228. says

    Morgan @303:
    I never thought about video blogging. I will keep that in mind for the future. Unfortunately right now, my laptop only works in safe mode and in that setting, volume doesn’t work, so I couldn’t be a vlogger at the moment. Thanks for the idea though.

  229. thunk: Bulba 9000! says

    Today must be the week of stopped clocks, what with the USA going after FIFA, and Rand Paul going after the NSA. The latter just goes to show that nobody is absolutely bad.

    As to the former, Putin’s making noises about persecution while the scandal still hasn’t gotten to him yet. Given the culture of corruption in Russia, I would not be shocked to find out that the 2018 World Cup was also bought.

    Giliell, 234:

    I hate it.
    Hate it.
    HATE IT.
    It’s one of the things that keeps me from shopping at the Russian supermarket more often. The whole place smells of dill as they always have huge fresh bunches of the stuff and it always makes me gag.

    Uh…sorry about that.

  230. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, it’s sometimes nice I am a pack-rat. The Redhead wanted some old “Dancing with the Stars” (four seasons worth) converted to .mp4 format from DVD (.mp2) so she could watch it on Apple TV. I have a nice commercial program that converts DVDs to .mp4, and it allows the disks to be chained, except when the newly installed BR/DVD/CD RW burner in the iMac. is one of the drives Then it barfs either going to or coming from that optical drive. My old 15-year-old firewire optical drive, which burns at X1, comes to the rescue. With it in the mix, I can have three disks running overnight, and three during the day, so that this time Wednesday, I will be done with the project.
    Then I wait for the next task…..

  231. rq says

    So you don’t think Mary’s just been posting pictures of her children the whole time? Good. Because I didn’t think so either. :)

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

    Don’t throw used latex gloves into other people’s gardens. Thanks.
    (especially since there are 2 places where you can throw away garbage in a 20 meter radius)

    And if that glove was used for what it looked like it was used… don’t have sex in public.

  233. opposablethumbs says

    Tony! I’m awed by the people here. I’m so sorry I’m not one of them (I’ve had a bit under one day’s worth of work in the last two and a half weeks) but I am so happy people have been able to help you. And I am crossing every tentacle you get a job with decent people and working conditions soon.

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

    Fingers crossed, Giliell.

  235. rq says

    I’m torn between long-distance jealousy, happiness and relief on your behalf, and a desire to wish vengeance of some uncathartic sort on you. ;) I’ll hold some thumbs anyway. :)

  236. bassmike says

    rq I caught the end of the program about Rome and I wish I’d seen the whole thing. The technology made the whole visualization fascinating. What part did your brother play? Was he part of the scanning team?

  237. rq says

    Yep, he’s part of the scanning team – in fact, I believe he’s the main scanning technician or whatever, he travels the world doing these things but I think the Rome one has been so far the most fascinating (it’s the only one that was done with the BBC, too, I think). I think he did some of the renderings on the website I linked, as well. (He does the data analysis usually.) I’m extremely, extremely envious of his opportunities. :) You can watch the whole thing here.

  238. says

    Donald Trump says stupid stuff, and proves once again that he is not as worthy of our attention:

    I’m the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far,” he said, apparently equating “success” with financial wealth. “Nobody’s ever been more successful than me. I’m the most successful person ever to run. Ross Perot isn’t successful like me. Romney — I have a Gucci store that’s worth more than Romney.”

  239. David Marjanović says

    Something Democratic… oh yeah: the Progressive Change Campaign Committee ( wants to know your opinions about the Democratic primary campaigns – Martin O’Malley has now officially joined – and about such things as which issues are most important to you.

    I would not be shocked to find out that the 2018 World Cup was also bought

    What a cautious way to put it :-)

    Remember the Olympics?

    I’m the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far,” he said, apparently equating “success” with financial wealth

    Hah. Everybody knows to equate success with impact factor. *dives under table*

  240. Okidemia says

    David Marjanović #321

    Everybody knows to equate success with impact factor.

    I wish that’d be true, but I find that my papers published in lower IF journals generally have greater success than the others. At the very least, IF is a good predictor of how fancy was your research question at the time you tried the experiment out, which basically means that you were not ahead of time but merely in the move.

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

    @rq, #319:

    I liked @greendoondoon’s addition:

    And Cool Whip. Seriously, what the fuck is Cool Whip?!

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

    well, clothing and shoe sizes are certainly reliable:
    First pair of sneakers I was considering was European 37,5 which the label said was equivalent to US 5. The label on the second pair said they were European size 37 and US 5,5.

  243. says

    In Iran, freedom of expression is under attack. Iranian artist Atena Farghadani has been jailed for 12+ years for drawing members of parliament as animals:

    Farghadani, a 28-year-old Iranian artist and activist, rendered visual judgment last year, lampooning members of her nation’s parliament over their vote to restrict contraception and ban certain birth-control methods — just one of her works satirizing the government. Tehran’s Revolutionary Court has now announced that it is rendering its own brand of judgment.

    Farghadani has been sentenced to 12 years and nine months in an Iranian prison, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights and the Northern Virginia-based Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI). According to some sources, the longest that she can legally be imprisoned is seven years and six months, and an appeal is said to be planned.

    The artist’s crimes include “insulting members of parliament through paintings” and “spreading propaganda against the system,” according to Amnesty International.

    Her “crimes”.
    ::near fatal eye-roll::

    The parliament members not only think they shouldn’t be mocked or criticized, they think she should be jailed for drawing pictures they don’t like.

  244. says

    Betcha didn’t know Canadian currency is advertising for Freethought Blogs. One of the serial number prefixes on the current issue ten dollar bill is FTB.

  245. says

    Marvel continues to court girls with Ant-Man micro-technology challenge:

    Marvel has announced a new program entitled “The Ant-Man Micro Tech Challenge” that aims to bring girls ages 14 through 18 into the world of science (and by extension, raise awareness of July’s Ant-Man among that demo).

    The challenge involves building a DIY project out of readily available and found materials that includes at least one micro-technology component. Winners will team with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education) programs in their areas to lead teams in recreating their projects. One grand prize winner will receive a trip to the Ant-Man premiere. Those interested can apply and learn more at the challenge’s official website.

    Here’s the site-

  246. says

    I’ll admit, I did a little dance when I saw that bit of news, Tony (@330, Blatter resigns). The man’s been a corruption plague for decades. I hope he’s indicted, and ends up in prison.

    Which would, of course, lead me to ask why, if they can do that to FIFA, they can’t do it to Citibank or Goldman Sachs.

  247. says

    This is not good.
    Supreme Court Makes The Internet A Little Less Safe For Women

    Among other threats to his ex-wife, Anthony Douglas Elonis posted this on his Facebook wall:

    If I only knew then what I know now, I would have smothered your ass with a pillow, dumped your body in the back seat, dropped you off in Toad Creek, and made it look like a rape and murder.

    At trial, Elonis’s ex-wife and co-workers all testified that they felt afraid from what he had posted, and viewed these posts as serious threats. Elonis was convicted for making online threats via interstate commerce and sentenced to 44 months in prison, after the judge had instructed the jury that Elonis could be convicted so long as “a reasonable person would foresee that the statement would be interpreted by those to whom the maker communicates the statement as a serious expression of an intention to inflict bodily injury or take the life of an individual.” (Elonis’s defense was that, as a budding rapper, “Tone Dougie,” he was merely engaging in artistic expression like Eminem.)


  248. says

    WMDKitty 334

    Not necessarily,

    Here’s the biggest: Elonis claimed that for a jury to conclude that his statements were threats, prosecutors had to prove that he intended them as threats — that they had to show he wasn’t joking or writing fanfic or otherwise screwing with his audience.

    The court rejected that argument. Flatly.

    This is the first victory in the opinion, and it’s a big one. The court said that a threat counts as a threat under federal law not only if it’s intended as a threat, but also if the writer knows it will be interpreted that way:

    There is no dispute that the mental state requirement in Section 875(c) is satisfied if the defendant transmits a communication for the purpose of issuing a threat, or with knowledge that the communication will be viewed as a threat.

    Note that “there is no dispute” language. If you make a threat online, and you know the person who receives it will see it as a threat, you’re guilty of violating federal law. It doesn’t matter if you claim that it’s protected speech, or put a smiley face at the end, or point out later that the threat was really just lyrics from an old Beatles song. If you send a threat and you know it’ll be interpreted as a threat, you’re guilty. Period.

    I was going to put a link to my friend’s article up here anyway, but you gave me an explicit opening to do so.

  249. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Vermont Governor signs law eliminating vaccination exemption loophole.

    Applaud the spirit of the law, but my solution is more diabolical. Every child infected with any disease preventable by vaccines by your child is an $10,000 liability, if hospitalized, a $100,000 liability, and death results, a $1,000,000 liability, with no way to avoid paying; bankruptcy is irrelevant.
    I bet your liability insurance will see you precious one doesn’t infect others. That way, it’s not the government….

  250. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Carolyn, welcome to the Lounge. Anne is in charge of the pillow fort with Hobbes for cuddling. It contains a transporter for the serving of food and beverages. I’m the grogmaster at the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor, Patricia, Princess of Pullets, Proprietor, and Tony runs the saloon between paying jobs. Tony listens well. Currency is in e-ducats. All newcomers get 10 e-ducats of credit.
    We serve only grog or swill (regular drinks in permanently dirty glasses), and some food like bacon sammiches, popcornz, and Chikken Soop*

    *Chikken Soop is approved by the Pullet Patrol as no chickens are involved in its ingredients

  251. Caroline says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls, If the greeting is for me, I will take it with great cheer. I go by Caroline, so if there is a Carolyn here, I got your grog …and your E-ducats.

  252. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Welcome Caroline,
    rq will be along soon with The Questionnaire. It is essential that you complete it, and of course there are correct answers, we just have decided which ones they are. I am the SoupMaster and I take requests.

  253. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Have “NOT” decided which ones they are. This gets confusing.

  254. rq says

    I can see your friend’s point, but in this specific case. the fact that specific facebook posts responded to specific situations with extremely violent rhetoric that is quite frightening. The phrase

    with knowledge that the communication will be viewed as a threat

    Smells of ‘intent is magic’, to me, at least. So while what he did may have been legally within the definition of what is NOT a threat, entirely practically, his words are way over the line. So as long as we care about the legal aspect, sure, the internet is just as safe for women as before. But considering this could be precedent used in other cases? I would say, from a practical point of view, it’s another brick in the Woman Be Silent wall, re: online harrassment.

    Welll hello and welcome!
    I hope nobody scared you with the obligatoriness of the questionnaire it’s only…. *quickly counts* 53 pages, single-spaced, size 8 font and should take you the rest of the year and then some to complete. Not so bad, right?
    Just kidding. Here it is:
    Please express an opinion on
    1) horses
    2) peas
    3) cheese
    4) Miracle Whip
    Answers may be as long or as short as one likes, and since this is an entirely voluntary obligatory exercise, non-answers are also accepted. :)

    Welcome! Tony‘s usually good for a drink or two, and Anne has a stock of tea. Someone usually has cookies free for the taking. And here, you get the comfy chair for the day. Just don’t sit on the Snark Hat. :)

  255. thunk: Bulba 9000! says

    I somehow have never answered the Questionnaire.

    1) horses.
    Okay. I’ve been around a few, but no prolonged/close contact. Not that I’d want it, hearing of other people’s experiences.
    2) peas
    Bleh. Especially the canned kind floating in brine. I have no idea what motivates my mother (or the French) to keep eating them.
    3) cheese
    Can be pretty delicious, but I stick to the mild stuff.
    4) Miracle Whip
    is blasphemy. It is not and shall never be real wholesome mayonnaise. I wouldn’t even get near it.

  256. rq says

    Hmm, maybe I should post up the questionnaire every now and then, as it seems that every time I do it anyway, someone of the regularish regulars turns up who hasn’t answered yet. :D
    Your answers have been noted and have been placed in the file for the archive. Merci!


    In other news, today is the first discussion/vote for the new Latvian president. Technically, I don’t have to worry about this because I don’t have to vote (it’s the parliament that does it), but I’m still a bit anxious about the results. One candidate has clear intentions of aligning with Russia (and his party comrades have also said that if he doesn’t get enough votes, then they will not vote for any of the other candidates, is this kindergarten?). One candidate has very christian-conservative leanings (he wrote the new Preamble to the Latvian Constitution, the one that now includes ‘christian values’). One candidate is a former basketball player formerly aligned with the nationalist party (but because he couldn’t get elected with them, he transferred to the new Regional Alliance which is about as patriotic and conservative but without the historical mythological component). And the fourth candidate has said he intends on following directly in the previous president’s footsteps (and the previous president has been… well, boring, incompetent, and a terrible speaker). Oh, and they’re all men! Surprise.
    It’s a circus, I tell you.

  257. says


    Welcome Caroline!

    Wow, my very own Ministerpräsidentin* just came out against marriage equality with the dumbest of all dumb arguments. Yes, you guessed right. “If we allow gays to get married then other people will want to get married, too, like close relatives and more than two people.” As a member of the christian party she should be aware that those are perfectly biblical. I’m astonished she didn’t mention dogs…

    *That’s the “chancellor” of a federal state

  258. bassmike says

    Welcome Caroline . I see that the formalities have been done. If you’re of the musical persuasion you’re welcome to join me and anyone else who’s interested, in the practice studio annex. The Lounge Band is open to all and accepts a wide variety of instruments.

    Feel free to take any of the *hugs* I’m leaving by the bar.

    We’ve had a couple of disturbed nights with my daughter waking up at stupid-oclock in the morning. You may find me asleep. I’ll try really hard to stay awaZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  259. says

    rq — signed and shared.

    I don’t mind if violence against women is a plot point (a la “Special Victims Unit”).

    It’s when violence against women is the entirety of the thing, with no other plot or purpose, that’s problematic.

  260. says

    I love you guys.

    Okay, I kinda hate you guys, too, right now, but that’ll pass.

    Mostly, I just love you guys. You call me out when I’m wrong, and sometimes when I’m right (but I’m right for the wrong reasons).

    I shouldn’t have called Josh a pet anything. That was stupid, mean, and was pretty much the equivalent of casting an AoE spell to hit a tiny little spider and hitting everybody in my group instead. (Sorry for the gaming metaphor, I hope it makes some sense!)

    I was wrong.

    For half-right reasons.

    But I was WRONG.

    I’ll be over here, beating myself up. Feel free to pile on.

  261. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Caroline, sorry about calling your Carolyn. My short term memory is shot due to chronic lack of sleep.

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


    Good to see you in the lounge!

    I’m too late, apparently, to hand out grog and swill, but I can still tip you my dyke-ly hat.

  263. Saad says

    Tony, #336

    Vermont Governor signs law eliminating vaccination exemption loophole.


  264. Pteryxx says

    WMDKitty, I appreciate the apology, but you should apologize in the ‘Dome where the offense you’re addressing happened. Some regulars read and post in the Dome or the Lounge but not both and you can’t assume the people meant to receive your apology will even see it over here.

  265. katybe says

    Received the latest union magazine at work this morning and it included a feature on this group – they seem to be doing good work campaigning for LGBTQ rights on the Channel Islands, so I thought I few people here might like to know about them. The charity was co-founded by a union rep last year, and seem to be making great strides in changing the culture, including, according to the feature I read, successfully lobbying for gender reassignment surgery to be state funded, and educating the wider community about relevant issues. I was surprised to read that the Channel Islands don’t have an equivalent of the UK Equality Act – I always forget they have their own legal system.

  266. says

    #352, WMDKitty: The purpose of the Thunderdome is to segregate the fighty bits from the thinky bits. The purpose of the Lounge is to provide a quiet space for the feely bits. Do not ever bring the fighty bits to the feely bits, under any circumstances.

    If anyone feels the need to discuss it further (and I hope you don’t), take it to Thunderdome.

  267. rq says

    Ugh, the clouds have been so low and so dark all day, it could just thunderstorm and get things over with. I don’t like the pressure right now (the meteorological pressure, that is).

    Having Husband’s family over for dinner, as his dad is in the City for the week, and I’m going to make lasagna (by popular request – and by ‘popular’ I mean ME). Too bad I’m going off to work, it’s going to be delicious.

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


    I’d take some of those clouds. Sunny and warm was nice, sunny and hot less so. I think my blood pressure is lower than a chicken’s IQ right now.

  269. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    Its 8:15 am and I am walking to the store. The weather is lovely and the sun is warming me perfectly.

  270. rq says

    OH MY GOSH the baby moose and the mum’s all “SETTLE DOWN” but they’re loving the sprinkler…

    The problem is it’s hot. Low clouds, no sun, but that oppressive feeling of hot and humid that makes muggy and really short tempers. :(
    See moose above for relief.

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


    Ah, I’m sorry, You’re in similar trouble then. I wish we had those sprinklers.

    That reminds me of the zoo in Budapest. I was there at the height of summer and they actually have sprinklers for humans. They’re very refreshing.

  272. says

    Hello, and welcome to the Lounge. I’m around, so if you need a tasty beverage from the bar, let me know. We have an extensive selection of products. Pretty much anything you could want. There are also a variety of non-alcoholic drinks if you care.

    This time of year is perfect for a strawberry/mango colada (w/ or w/out alcohol).

  273. says

    Would it be inappropriate for me to offer what I see in the conflict in the Thunderdome? I would like to help resolve the situation, but my filters are not really giving me any good information here on if I should keep out of it.

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


    I don’t know. I wish I could keep my mouth shut and not get involved, but then I always “try to help” anyway. I really don’t know what’s best for you.

  275. rq says

    I don’t know if it’s a situation that can be resolved as such. I’m also kind of wary about discussing it here in the Lounge, as it’s a Thunderdome issue, even though it’s already been brought up.

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

    You’re right ,rq.
    OK, new conversation line, ignore the T-dome here!

    I have fresh rosemary here and it really can’t be compared to the dry stuff. I made some chicken for lunch and the rosemary made it taste great, and the smell in the kitchen… amazing.

  277. rq says

    OMG I just realized, our new president (they managed to elect one today) looks a lot like Stephen Harper… this scares the bejeezus out of me.

  278. rq says

    Okay maybe not that much, but enough to give me the shivers.

    Also, fresh rosemary (or fresh [any herb]) can’t compare to the dry stuff. As in, the fresh stuff is always more aromatic and absolutely amazing than the dried stuff.
    The dried stuff does well in a pinch, though. :) Fresh is just… mmMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm…

  279. says

    Since it had to do with preventing things from becoming worse I thought a quick opinion here might be wise. But point taken, I don’t have as good a sense about the separation between the two boards as I wish, and adding those emotions I added might not have been worth what I was trying to reduce.

    I like dill. On pizza and pasta and scrambled eggs. Yeah I said it. I still read the lounge.

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


    yeah, I’m already planning how to wrap some up and take it to a 5-hour bus + train journey without ending up with … well, rubbish.

  281. David Marjanović says

    I have fresh rosemary here and it really can’t be compared to the dry stuff. I made some chicken for lunch and the rosemary made it taste great, and the smell in the kitchen… amazing.

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

    Video: Own goal of the year! Fan is let onto the Holy Lawn, kicks, and the ball flies straight backwards. Last sentence: “Humor is when you laugh anyway.”

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

    *whispers to self*
    Dill is not chives. Dill is not chives. Don’t mix them up again. Dill is not chives.

  283. says

    I have many Important Things to do today. So I will likely just have some drinks and play old chansons on the piano.

    I don’t mind dill, if used moderately in certain situations. But only as a background flavor, if that makes sense. I don’t want to taste something and say “Oh. Dill.”

    Anyone hear of Sing-A-Majigs? They’re singing dolls. Well, I think I get to voice the new iterations of them! (Tentacles crossed. I kinda need the job.)

    And in whiny news…It been almost a year since my dog died, and I still get really upset about it. Sad. :(

    AND a gardening question:
    Does anyone have experience/opinions on transplanting a growing melon plant? I planted seeds, but only one sprouted. I’d like to buy a young plant to put in the garden, but I’ve heard that melons Do Not Like transplantation. Anyone know about that?

  284. says

    awakeinmo @382:

    And in whiny news…It been almost a year since my dog died, and I still get really upset about it. Sad. :(

    I don’t think it’s whiny in the slightest. Missing a beloved pet is hard. Hugs and commiserations.

  285. David Marjanović says

    *peeks in*

    Parthenogenic honey badgers?

    *immediately runs back to work*

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

    *stuffs rosemary into USB port*
    Oh well, I hope whoever uses that USB port next won’t mind stray rosemary leaves.

  287. says

    Tony! I have a pretty goodsized rosemary bush. Here, have a branch. Just be sure to rinse it, the birds are fond of the pomegranate tree over the rosemary.

    This is going to be a very slow day – I got up, took my morning pill, fed cats, fed husband, went back to bed and fell asleep again. Just got up a little while ago and ate breakfast. I’m trying to work up the energy to take care of a few chores, but it all seems insurmountable today.

  288. rq says

    Such anniversaries are never easy, esp. when it’s been a good and loyal friend who has passed. *hugs*
    re: the melon, whatever advice you get, I’ll be listening in! I have five melon plants total to replant (I put in 12 seeds each regular yellow melon and watermelon, got 7 regular yellow melon sprouts and 2 watermelon sprouts, but we brought 4 of the regular yellow melon out to the country to put in the greenhouse there). I’ve selected a nice sunny location that’s mostly out of the way of little running feet, but I’m hesitant, as I want to do it right… I suppose I have room to err, but then again, lots of fresh melons would also be nice.
    I’m thinking doing it somewhat the usual way, with a bag of nice black earth and some peat and being gentle and picking a day with good weather for it. Seems to work with most things. Oh yes, and some kind words of encouragement or perhaps a song. :D

  289. says

    So, it turns out that one of the places I wanted to apply at has a preference for female rather than male bartenders. The other place hasn’t contacted me, so I’m thinking the same applies to them. Sigh. At least a good friend has offered to drive me around to apply at various places. That’s one frustration off my back.


    Anne & Beatrice:
    ::I spy with my left eye a leaf or three of Rosemary::


    Sorry you’re feeling lethargic.


    Disney may be making a live-action movie centered around one scene in ‘Fantasia’.

    And in news that has been long-awaited by ME, Brad Bird has confirmed that his next movie will be Incredibles 2!!!!

    I’m a huge fan of the original movie. In fact, I need to go watch it again.

    Also, I had no idea that some people think Brad Bird’s movies are thinly-veiled homages to Ayn Rand.

  290. says

    Melon transplant facts*:
    Transplants should have 2-3 mature leaves and a well developed root system when they are moved into the garden.
    Seedlings that develop tendrils or more than four leaves may have difficulty later in establishing roots.
    Peat pots or other biodegradable pots are best, so you can just plant the whole thing without disturbing the roots at all.
    Transplanting on a cloudy day and watering newly transplanted watermelon thoroughly immediately after planting further reduces transplant shock.

    *Facts as far as the internet is concerned.

    I don’t know how reliable all that is, but I will look for plants in peat pots instead of plastic. That makes sense to me.

  291. rq says

    Well, I think mine are about 4 leaves each so I better get this done… My one issue is that my three regular yellow melon sprouts are all in the same littls container which means tangled roots. :( (My logic was that if I plant 3 seeds in each little container, max one or two will pop up, making transplanting easy… Of course, the universe always co-operates with my logic.)
    Tomorrow looks like a good day to plant. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Still holding onto those thumbs on your behalf. *hugs*

  292. says


    Sorry, I found that selling things takes all the fun out of it, not to mention that most of them are things I probably couldn’t do a second time. I’d be glad to help you make shiny things of your own though, at least as much as I can.

    If there’s an Intelligent Designer, why do mockingbirds never shut up? They sing all day and ALL NIGHT in the summer, when I need the windows open to cool the bedroom!

  293. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Also, I had no idea that some people think Brad Bird’s movies are thinly-veiled homages to Ayn Rand.

    I’ve long had issues with the Incredibles for it’s Randian “if everyone is special, nobody is” turd of a message.

  294. says

    Funny Diva @398:
    I just did.
    Thank you very much.

    And thank you again to everyone else who was able to help. I have rent, utilities, and water taken care of. Such a relief.

  295. says

    kind of ‘rupt, kind of frustrated. Computer troubles getting worse, made it so I couldn’t post at all yesterday. Hopefully this one goes through. Just try to imagine what I’d say in other threads until I get this sorted. *hugs* all ’round, and hello and welcome to Caroline.

  296. says

    Lynna, good on Baltimore! Having a good breakfast could make all the difference for those kids.

    Dalillama, hugs back to you.

    I haven’t accomplished much of anything today, just the basics and sorting the stuff I’ve collected for my mother so far this week. I’m about ready to write the rest of the day off, call it a sick day and go back to bed until it’s time for my mother to call. I wanted to work on something creative. I’m just too tired and nothing seems worth the effort. Gah.

  297. says


    Well, we just had some kind of omlette with some fresh herbs
    I’m also pretty annoyed with Mr. whose major contribution to my day was to remind me of all the household things I have neglected recently on accounts of having to write a final thesis while the daycare for both kids is on strike.

  298. rq says

    So Monday was a pretty hardcore day at work, so I decided to do some easier paperwork today, in preparation of a rather hectic and labour-intensive weekend. Trouble is, I can’t even make myself do the paperwork right now. :P As we say in Latvian, “My hands are simply not lifting themselves”. Ah well. I’ll probably manage to get something done and still be home at a reasonably decent hour (i.e. before 1AM).

    *hugs* and some *energy*, hope you feel better soon!

    Hope the IT issues get sorted quickly, I miss your voice around here!

  299. rq says

    Also, Giliell, but hey, you’re a woman so all those household-y things should just come naturally, no matter what other pressures you are facing! It’s biologic! :P *hugs* and I hope the kids, at least, are causing you as little grief as it is possible for kids that age to cause.

  300. says

    Tony, I am glad to see that you are out of the worst for now. I would like to help, but I do not have and I do not intent to have paypal account and therefore I do not know how to use it. If there is another way to send a few bucks your way across the atlantic should you again be in grave need, let me know how. If your paypal account is valid e-mail adress (verifying returned “bad” result) I will send you my e-mail and we can discuss details.

    I wanted to share with the horde these two webcomics I found lately and got immediately hooked:
    Prague race – a rather weird fantasy webcomics with wery interesting characters. Weird, really weird and often unlikable characters, but captivating at the same time.
    Hominids – hard sci-fi comics about a planet inhabited by different hominid species and conflicts between them. The artwork is exceptionally beautifull.

    When I was a kid, I dreamed about being an artist to making comics like these. I still dream, but reality does not let me believe those dreams anymore :-(

    Both authors and their comics seem conscious of social justice, religious bigotry and its consequences, racism and feminism and even maybe gender issues (at least as far as can be seen in the comics – both are very heavy on the “show, don’t tell” principle, so none of it is actually spelled out).

    I hope someone will enjoy them as much as I did.

  301. opposablethumbs says

    awakeinmo, hope you get the voice gig! And beloved-pet-related hugs. I have some idea how that goes :-(

  302. says

    Well, he apologised. That’S something at least.
    The kids, they are difficult right now. The little one misses her friends and sees that I have no time for her which means she’s getting her attention in other ways. #1 is out of her routine as well (not good for mildly autistic kids) and we fight about two hours a day about math homework.*

    *Homework. Useless, useless, useless (in large parts). But a serious pain in the arse.

  303. lucy1965 says

    For anyone interested in more fic re: Cap and the Winter Soldier, i can recommend Owlet’s This, You Protect: Sam Wilson actually doing VA counseling things! Steve Rogers singing rude songs about venereal disease! (No, really.) The person formerly known as the Winter Soldier recognizing that he can’t go back to being James Buchanan Barnes, and that he has some issues.

    Also emphatic opinions on coffee, running as exercise, cats, and grilled cheese sammiches.

    There are chapter warnings for triggers; you can also write the author if there’s anything specific you need to know about before reading.

  304. says

    McDonalds owners thought up another way to screw their low-wage employees, while simultaneously giving money to banks:

    […] workers faced a $1.50 charge every time they used an ATM to access their wages, and a $5 charge for withdrawing the money over the counter at a cash register. Where a worker who misplaced a standard paycheck would be able to get a replacement check, the JP Morgan Chase prepaid cards charged a $15 replacement fee if lost or stolen. Paying bills online with the card meant spending an additional 75 cents on bank fees, and merely checking the balance of a card triggered a $1 fee. […]

    This scam did not turn out well for the owners. All kinds of lawsuits were filed, and the bank ran scared and refunded the fees. This problem is, however, not limited to McDonalds. Others use payroll cards to pay employees. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is working ways to regulate payroll cards — another reason to thank Elizabeth Warren.

  305. says

    More on the issue of payroll cards (see comment 414):

    With millions of Americans lacking access to banking services, the cards can be an important and beneficial tool for workers so long as they come with the right safeguards, the National Consumer Law Center has argued. Close to 5 million people were paid through such cards in 2012, a number projected to double by 2017. Similar prepaid debit cards are also being used in some cases to pay public benefits such as unemployment insurance. The banks that provide the cards and charge the fees are trying to recoup some of the profit they lost when Dodd-Frank regulations curtailed their old business practices involving fees for standard debit cards.

  306. says

    OK, I’m feeling cranky.

    Long day at work. Frustrating day, too, for reasons.

    This ear infection whatever ain’t going away. Currently, my jaw is wrecked — can’t close it all the way, can’t chew without pain, I’m living on soup.

    And Thunderdome…!

    I just can’t deal with it right now. Thunderdome is closed until I can.

    My plan right now is to tune into MockTM in a bit, with a tall glass of single malt to kill the pain.

  307. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    with a tall glass of single malt to kill the pain.

    Single malt? Isn’t a side effect you start talking with a Scots accent?

  308. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Naturally, on my last of run of converting DWTS past seasons, the program conversion program barfs and leaves off a whole hour of the finals part 1. I wondered why I had two disks that appeared identical for that episode. More grog needed….

  309. opposablethumbs says

    Sounds very unpleasant, PZ – my sympathies. And it does sound awfully like those-drugs-chigau-mentioned-a-time-or-two are required (unless there’s any chance a dentist is what you need? Instead of, or as well?)
    A good whisky makes everything seem a little less painful, it’s true, so enjoy a drop until you can get the requisite drugs.
    Wishing you well.

  310. AlexanderZ says

    Since I’m here,
    PZ #416

    Currently, my jaw is wrecked — can’t close it all the way, can’t chew without pain, I’m living on soup.

    This is a serious suggestions since this is something I do when I have problems with my jaw: Have you tried grabbing the jaw with both hands, firmly but carefully, and then slowly pulling it down until you feel it’s moving more freely and then carefully release your hold so that the jaw would move to a better position?

  311. gog says

    This article popped up on my Facebook feed. I read it and got a “fearmongering about SJWs” vibe from it. Also it’s by a college professor writing under a pseudonym who makes statements about being afraid of being denied tenure because his students were offended by subject matter in course material or statements during lecture.

    Can somebody else maybe skim it and weigh in? It seems fishy.

  312. says

    gog @424:
    I read a good portion of it, but I have a headache and couldn’t concentrate as much as I’d have liked. To be honest, I think a teacher or professor would be the best person to ask for feedback on the article from.

    That said, while I can see where one could get a vibe of fearmongering about SJWs, what I read seemed sympathetic to social justice advocates, while also uncertainty on how to present classroom material for fear of students complaining (and potentially jeopardizing said professor’s job).

    I may try to read it again when this blasted headache goes away.

  313. gog says

    @Tony! #425

    while also uncertainty on how to present classroom material for fear of students complaining (and potentially jeopardizing said professor’s job).

    And that’s the part that confuses me. Is it that easy for a student to complain and jeopardize the job of an adjunct without tenured faculty having something to say? I’m not a professor, so I’m a little concerned that maybe I’ve idealized the environment in which they work. Still, some of the statements left a bad taste in my mouth (and it’s not just the swill I’m drinking).

    I’d say more, but I haven’t had time to give it another careful read and now the dog is making demands for attention.

    Sucks about your headache.

  314. says

    Anyone want a good laugh? Addicting Info has an article about Ken Ham’s attempt to school John Glenn on evolution.
    That’s worth a chuckle on its own, but this comment is what I found amusing:

    Thank-you guys for your responses…childish as they may be. Mark whether you accept my statement of being able to get back to respond seems to be your problem, not mine. The likelihood that you guys will take any scientific information that gives the true facts on the mere guess work and not proof of Evolution seems unlikely based on your responses already. However, one of the many challenges with evolution is quoted the lack of a viable mechanism for producing high levels of complex and specified information. Related to this are problems with the Darwin Ian mechanism producing irreducible complex features and the problems of non-functional or deleterious intermediate stages. Sources: Evolution News and Reviews March 2, 2010. Casey Lusk in. Reference sources: The NCSE, Judge Jones and Bluffs about the Origin of New Functional Genetic information. Additional sources: Opening Darwin Box by Michael Gene. Other sources: Can Random Mutations Create New Complex Features. Evolution News And Views June 22, 2012. Other sources : Do Car Engines Run on Lugnuts? Tests of Irreducible Complexity for The Bacterial Flagellum.

  315. carlie says

    gog – it is being mercilessly mocked on twitter by many people.

    Tony – I’m sorry I missed the call, but I’m glad you got what you needed.

    PZ – ow! Take care of yourself, there. Chewing up and spitting out stupidity can take a toll on the jaw muscles.

  316. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That’s worth a chuckle on its own, but this comment is what I found amusing:

    Obviously those dumbshits never read theKitzmiller v. Kitzmiller decision, or looked at Nova’s Judgement Day, which demonstrated that science had examples of every intermediate step to flagellum. Funny how delusional fools don’t understand what scientific evidence is and what it says….

  317. says

    Ugh. Watched @MockTM movie. It was awful. Watched Duggar interview. It was worse. Jaw is not working at all, even hard to talk. That’s the worst.

    Going to bed. Might die in my sleep. Feeling like that wouldn’t be so bad.

  318. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, just after 10 pm ct, have the Redhead taken care of until the ~3:00 am call. Only one thing to do. Like PZ, go to bed. See everybody on the other side.

  319. says

    I hope you feel better tomorrow.


    Does anyone else read Raw Story on a regular basis? I do, and it could very well be some bias on my part, but it seems like they’re reporting more on stories involving racism in the last few months. Maybe it’s just me not noticing before.

  320. Menyambal says

    Ear infections hurt. I have a trick for draining mine, but one doctor assured me it was impossible. I mentioned that it worked for me, that I had read of others doing it, and that the reason I had brought it up was that the diagram of the inner ear on the office wall showed the drain for the inner ear. The doc told me it was all bogus, and that the stuff would just reabsorb, and that I should just take Echinacea – I politely never went back.

    Warning – icky and possibly unsafe.

    Anyhow, the Eustachian tube drains the inner ear, connecting to the back of the throat. It is what you use to pop your ears when diving or aviating, either through holding your nose and blowing, or by yawning. The trick is to blow air up into the inner ear, and let that force the gunk back down and out.

    I find that I can get my Eustachian to open a bit more if I pull down the shoulder on the side of the ear that I am trying to clear. So I hold my nose, close my mouth, drop that shoulder, and try to exhale through my nose. (I keep my head level, or tilt that ear up a bit.) Then, when my ear pops, I turn loose of my nose, and wiggle my jaw, stretch that side with the shoulder down, and try to yawn. I can feel the open and close, and the slide of the gick, sometimes. It does go into the back of the throat, so swallow it down. I have never tasted it, but I have felt icky in my tummy, but I figure that is better than keeping it in my ear.

    Disclaimer: This is not advised by some doctors, because you can blow bad stuff up into your ears – some advise against blowing one’s nose for the same reason. I may have got my right ear susceptible to infections, from doing this, so go easy.

    Do really put your shoulder down, and try to feel for getting air up and glop out.

    Good luck.

    I am not a doctor.

  321. chigau (違う) says

    I liked it better when I thought I was just solid inside, like a potato.
    (I was ca. 6 years old)
    Animals are just disgusting sacs of disgusting sacs of goo.
    No need to talk or even type, just continue to beam your orders telepathetically.
    We™ will obey.
    And take care of yourself.

  322. rq says

    Take care of yourself.
    Are you up-to-date on your tetanus shots?
    Please don’t die in your sleep.

    *analgesic hugs*

    Also, at the end of November, I will no longer be the only sibling in the family (my side or Husband’s) with kids!!! Very excited to see my new relative. Who is, supposedly, the size of a lemon right now. :D

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

    Take care.

    Congrats to future parents of Little Lemon.

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


    Would you say that the relevant Wiki page is mostly accurate?
    (first result when googling the date)

  325. says

    I’ll be off for a few days. The little one is already whining.
    BUT: Next week the daycare will be open again!

    Yay for future relative!

    I haz seeds! Thank you very much. I shall plant them next week.

  326. bassmike says

    It’s a lovely day here. I don’t know whether checking Thunderdome would spoil the nice weather. Any advice?

    rq congrats on future relative.

    Tony! I hope you find employment soon.

  327. opposablethumbs says

    All the best to the inchoate parents of Little Lemon, aka WantedFoetus, rq :-)
    And hey, you and your OH will be the ones way ahead of the game here – do you reckon you’ll be asked to dispense Sage Counsel?
    It was not appreciated many years ago when I mentioned that my then-hours-old niece looked like an adorable baby monkey (in retrospect I’m not sure if that was problematic or not. Both parents are white). Considering I had described my own then-hours-old eldest a few months earlier as looking just like an avocado (the dark wrinkly kind) I thought at the time they were being unreasonable.

    I shall drink to Little Lemon’s health in a reviving draught of coffee, anyway. Cheers! :-)

  328. rq says

    My mum still pulls out all our baby pictures with the comments, “See? Evolution! Just like little monkeys!”
    I don’t know about advice, it’s my older brother, and he’s usually pretty self-sufficient. We’ll see. :) I’m going to have to figure out how to contribute to the raising of a less-sexist rq-relative, though – the danger is there. I’ll probably be looking into all kinds of subversive children’s literature next year.
    I may just have to dispense Sage Counsel unasked, thus becoming one of those know-it-all parents who always have the Right Answer (aka the One That Worked For THEM) on hand. It’ll be awesome!

    Thanks, everyone! I’m pretty excited. I can finally be an aunt and not just a mother and maybe the parenting jokes about spawn will be less concentrated on me.

    I would say, best not to go there. :/ But it depends, do you have a strong drink handy?


    Replanted the melons. Planted the beans. Improved the peppermint patch. Weeded. Added black earth and fertilizer.
    This gardening thing just might work out.

  329. Okidemia says

    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk- #441

    I haz seeds! Thank you very much.

    Yeep. I was thinking this would be about time for this path.
    Did you manage with the obscure sample code? :)

    So, Canada not yet? Germany won?

  330. says

    Tony @433,
    The video’s unbearably cute. Right up until you realise *why* they’re going to the top of the slide and falling down. Their only food is in that tray just above the top of the slide, and it’s *just* out of reach. Sorry.

  331. Okidemia says

    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物) #439
    From on now, this seems the only thing that happened this year whenever I see those four digits. Memory is such a curious thing.

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

    I took out my rollerskates after a couple of years. 15 minutes later, I’m back home because contrary to weather forecast and the bright sunny sky, it started raining. Jeeez. Sorry for overstepping my boundaries.

    Probably for the best, at least this way I returned with some dignity, because those 15 minutes felt like I was slowly and laboriously rolling towards my first heart attack. I was dripping before it even started raining.

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

    And it even stopped raining now. Oh fuck it.

    Ok, I’m done. I believe in God now.

  334. says

    OK, OK already. After a painful sleepless night and discovering that the left side of my face is beginning to swell up, I’m going to see a doctor today.

    Also not being able to hear out of my left ear, other than this constant ringing noise, was kind of a clue.

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


    Thanks for linking that fic. I’ve started it and at first it took me a little aback (I got used to serious studies of Bucky’s trauma), but I quite enjoy how it’s not taking itself too seriously.
    Now I really want to try some Starbucks coffee :)

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

    I’m glad you’re seeing a doctor, PZ. No need to suffer if you can seek help. Good luck!

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

    While I’m mentioning fanfiction:

    In several fics now, Captain America had really strong feelings about parents not vaccinating their children, which is not far fetched considering the time he was born and diseases that were still common then (he also had polio, right?). Makes me wish Marvel and Disney funded a pro-vaccination campaign with the Avengers and especially Captain America encouraing children to ask their parents to vaccinate them or their little sibbling.

    That would be so cool.

  338. says

    Bad news for education in Atlanta:

    Students in Atlanta Public Schools will return in to school August to find they no longer have orchestra and band programs at their elementary schools.

    The district is eliminating the programs and that also means dozens of music teachers are out of jobs.

    The connection between music and learning has been the subject of research for some time. We know that music lessons help children learn.

    Musical training doesn’t just improve your ear for music — it also helps your ear for speech. That’s the takeaway from an unusual new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers found that kids who took music lessons for two years didn’t just get better at playing the trombone or violin; they found that playing music also helped kids’ brains process language.

    There’s also lots of research showing that music lesson have a big, positive impact on students who attend schools in low-income neighborhoods. NPR link

    The first quote above is not quite accurate. Music teachers are being cut, but not all of them. About ten teachers in the district will be out of a job. Of the 40 teachers who are left, some will teach at more than one school. I think the people facing the budget cuts are trying to do the best they can in a difficult situation, but it would be interesting to see where the cuts were made. Are the cuts disproportionately affecting the poorest neighborhoods?

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


    Thanks for reminding us.

    I never want sacrifices like those at Tiananmen paid, but given that we have leaders Deng and weapons like tanks, we will always need the courage of those at Tiananmen.

  340. chigau (違う) says

    I read the Mayo Clinic info on swimmer’s ear.
    It sounds like you got off lucky.

  341. says

    Oh FFS! More campaign finance corruption:

    After watching the biggest donors increasingly shun the major political parties and send their six-figure checks to super-PACs and other outside spending groups, Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress made a sly bid last December to bring billionaires and millionaires back into the party fold. They slipped a provision into an omnibus spending bill that rewrote campaign finance rules to raise contribution limits for donations to the national parties.

    Under the old rules, an individual could give up to $33,400 a year to the Republican or Democratic national committees. The new rule allows donors to give 10 times that amount. And just months into the new election cycle, the effort is paying off—at least for Republicans. The RNC is pulling down big money from a who’s who of conservative megadonors. Democrats? Not so much. […]

  342. Menyambal says

    My other treatment for ears is a 50/50 mix of vinegar and alcohol. (White vin, isopropyl.) Just pour it in your outer ear, slosh it about, and drain it back out. The vinegar messes with the pH, the alcohol kills germs and helps with drying. (Yeah, they both contain water, but it is clean and it does dry.) It does kill the fungus or whatever it is.

  343. opposablethumbs says

    Ugh, sorry PZ. Hope your physician sorts you out right quick and that you are soon restored to normal operating conditions, bright-eyed and bushy-tentacled. Well, octo-tentacled. Chromatophorically-enhanced. Or whatever is appropriate for a squidly overlord, anyway.

  344. opposablethumbs says

    Swimmer’s ear? Bu – but can a squidly overlord even get that?

    Hope you have it all sorted soon, PZ.

  345. says

    Hi, Horde. Long time no see me. :) IRL very complicated, so pretty threadrupt. *hugs* to any that wants them.

    Anyway, I was reading the Louisiana thread and had a question (which led to a few more as I thought about it). I suspect that thread may be getting kinda stale, so am crossposting here.

    I live in Texas *sigh* and my daughter (aka ROTH: Red On The Head) officially became a middle schooler today. I’m not very knowledgeable about biology (I took it in rural Texas High School, on clay tablets if I recall) and I don’t really understand evolution as well as I probably should. I think I understand the basic principles, though.

    So to the question:
    How do I figure out if her science teacher will be teaching evolution appropriately (for 6th grade) . That is to say, when we have the “meet the teacher” night, what can i do to ferret out any under the radar anti-evolution plans. I’d like to try to get some hints prior to ROTH starting, as opposed to waiting until later and questioning her. And I don’t want to tip my hand either way when we do meet the teacher.

    Advice warmly accepted.

  346. AlexanderZ says

    PZ #460

    I’ve got…


    What about your jaw? That’s not a joking matter – you should get an X-ray. It’s not the first time you’ve complained about it, maybe something can be done.

    On an unrelated matter – if we promise to behave will you open the Thunderdome?

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

    if we promise to behave



  348. rq says

    HElllooOOOoo!! Long time.
    Hope you are well.
    Unfortunately, I do not have any good advice, only warm greetings and some cookies for you. :)
    And good luck to ROTH in Middle School!

    Behave, in the Thunderdome?
    I say let PZ recover a bit. Sounds like we kids need to keep it down for a while.

    Anyone up for a movie? Winnie the Pooh?

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

    (I took it in rural Texas High School, on clay tablets if I recall)

    Beautiful. Well done, YOB, and good to see you again.

    It also reminds me of the days of yore when I took chemistry. Nasty little subject. Full of bullies. 8s falling on 2s, and then, whenever some 2s get some energy, they’re jumping the 8s – in revenge, I guess. So much focus on “crystals” too. Notice that chemists are always talking about how crystals are beautiful but fragile, you don’t wanna actually use them for anything that requires endurance or toughness. They can’t resist throwing in the trans* hatred of course: deviate just a bit from “normal” patterns and suddenly you’re a quasi-crystal. Fuckers.

    The metals? Oh, they’re soooooooo tough. You can tell Mendeleev and all those guys must have been a nerdy little boy because even the tinier metal molecules are always getting credit for at least being extra strong for their weight! Sure, Beryllium. You keep telling yourself that.

    I don’t remember much more than that, because all the violent patriarchy became a little too much.

  350. Dreaming of an Atheistic Newtopia says

    I had a bachelor’s party last weekend. My cousin is getting married, we almost never get to see each other and there was paintball and a good meal planned so i said fuck it, let’s give it a go, knowing that all male occassions are really not my thing but hoping for the best. It took 30 seconds after meeting the rest of the group of guys before i new i was going to regret the whole thing. There was homophobic and sexist shit from the very beginning because you obviously can’t play paintball without behaving like a complete fucking douchebag that needs to spew constant, toxic masculinity bollocks in order to stay alive.
    During the meal i was lucky enough to be surrounded by the more palatable individuals and it was quite alright, i enjoyed myself….but then came the going out for drinks at night….and fuck me did i feel embarrashed…It was a constant stream of obscenities aimed at random women, disgusting objectification, etc, all done very loudly and with no regard to other people. And of course not participating of it was sufficient grounds to ostrasize and humilliate me because i obviously must be a f*ggot for thinking that women are human beings and that you can have fun without behaving like a disgusting piece of shit or having no interest in buying a prostitute’s time.
    Even my cousins were embarrashed, and these were their friends…
    At one point i even apologised to a young woman because they didn’t even care that she could absolutely hear the shite they were talking about her.
    And these are people my age…
    I’m aware that these things happen, that people like them are everywhere, but i’m never prepared for the shock of it, it’s just surreal to me that this shit doesn’t fucking die. Their idea of masculinity…i fucking despise it, they can keep their alpha displays and shit for themselves, i want none of it…i’m not impressed, i’m repulsed.

  351. says

    Two issues stood out to me the most when I read this after gog posted it in the Lounge.
    1) How society should think about the use of intense negative emotion directed at:
    * beliefs
    * behaviors
    * social structures
    * persons
    “Persons” is a proxy for beliefs, behaviors and social structures since people are what have beliefs, engage in behaviors and create/maintain social structures. After all we can’t do anything about problematic beliefs, behaviors and structures without actually doing things about persons (Authorities are an important subgroup).

    I could believe that students are displaying greater emotional sensitivity to subjects and emotional intensity in expression and feeling. I can believe that this is currently causing problems.

    So fucking what? What emotion is it? Expressions of suffering and outrage are very different, are contextualized differently and involve different interaction. What substance comes with it? Is the substance altered by the emotion (I respect emotion absent of distorted reasoning)? What/who is it directed at? What is the relationship between the emotion and what it is directed at? Is the person a victim or privileged person whining? What are the social forces relating to the expression of the emotion and substance?

    Whining about intensity and sensitivity is not enough. Society needs to learn how emotion works, what it represents, how to control it in oneself, how it relates to things and how to have a social conflict without dehumanizing people or letting emotion put blinders on oneself. Removing expression and feeling of intense emotion would handicap the ability of suffering people to solve that suffering. Learning how to deal with other people experiencing intense emotion can let us learn about deescalation, helping victims, how intense emotion relates to irrationality and illogic and more.

    This could be a great educational opportunity.

    2) Conflation of social support for harassment victims meant to counteract bias in society and government.

    I don’t doubt that some men are creepy at conferences — they are. And for all I know, this guy might be an A-level creep. But part of the female professors’ shtick was the strong insistence that harassment victims should never be asked for proof, that an enunciation of an accusation is all it should ever take to secure a guilty verdict. The identity of the victims overrides the identity of the harasser, and that’s all the proof they need.
    This is terrifying. No one will ever accept that. And if that becomes a salient part of liberal politics, liberals are going to suffer tremendous electoral defeat.

    The bolded part makes no distinction between a social structure, and outside social elements meant to relate to that structure. No one is talking about immediately assuming that the other person is a harasser (or rapist since this involves similar issues) and dropping consequences onto them. What is being discussed is having a system in place to provide support for harassment accusers to ensure that victims are treated fairly.

    Not all accusers are victims but the way they portray this pretty much pretends that so many are not that false accusations are worse than the status quo. Bullshit. The anonymous professor’s article (and the popehat post it references) seems to assume that the whole system must simply accept the accusation. But what is described is functionally identical to how a defense lawyer operates. The Justice system does not assume that an accused murderer is a murderer simply because of the accusation. But that system and society creates a structure to ensure fair treatment. You have to go through the motions of supporting someone who falsely accuses and have the whole structure designed to get to the bottom of the situation.

    The role the rest of us play is to know what the current social problem looks like. Since harassment and rape are common and difficult to fight society puts extra effort into ensuring that the accuser is treated fairly so that victims are supported. There is nothing that I see when I follow the citation trail that is about preventing or eliminating investigation of the accusations by a conference or the government.

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

    Much grumbling about the immigrant quotas EU is suggesting to enforce on individual countries.

    I’m so glad one woman commenting said that all this talk and complaints about numbers seems really inappropriate when we’re talking about people’s lives, and we should rather focus on successfully integrating them in the society, helping them with education and with jobs. In the end, they want to return to their homes and their families anyway and all they want here is safety and to be treated decently.
    I wish this were a mainstream opinion and not just some sociologist guest on a political show.

    Oh bloody shit, now a piece of shit ruins it. Uses the opportunity to crap on the “leftists” and why are all the immigrants in the videos healthy young men and why do we need some foreign poor people when we have enough of ours thanks to “the leftists”.

    Oh, and this is in Slovenia who is actually better at this shit than Croatia. Uhg, I want to punch that asshole in his stupid ksenophobic face.

  353. says

    Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin screws with women’s reproductive rights … again.

    The bill, which bans abortions 20 weeks after fertilization or in the 22nd week of pregnancy, would reportedly allow the father of the unborn child to sue, regardless of whether he has a relationship with the woman having the abortion.

    If the physician gives or tries to give an abortion after the 20-week mark, the father would be able to sue for damages, which include “personal injury and emotional and psychological distress,” […] the right would be provided to the father so long as the pregnancy was not the result of rape or incest.

    There’s no rape or incest exception for the woman. Women are prohibited from getting an abortion after 20 weeks, no matter what. The rape/incest exception only applies to the men this bill is meant to “protect.”

  354. says

    Ha! A lot of mormons in Utah must be fuming. A minority of true-believing-mormons support gay rights, a few more support being kind to gays IF the gays do not engage in any kind of sex, and most mormons would just prefer that gays get themselves “repaired” and marry in a proper mormon marriage.

    The group behind a “God Loves Gays” billboard in Utah is working on putting them up across the country, including three in North Carolina.

    KUTV reported that the group just put up the billboard in Orem, Utah. The next one is planned for Salt Lake City on June 14th.

  355. says

    Oh, my. I really like the way Hillary Clinton is taking on voting rights restrictions. She’s got a straight forward approach, and a partial solution.

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to call for an early voting period of at least 20 days in every state.
    Clinton will call for that standard in remarks Thursday in Texas about voting rights, her campaign said. She will also criticize what her campaign calls deliberate restrictions on voting in several states, including Texas.

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

    Oh yeah, terrorists would do all they can to do their thing, so of course we shouldn’t accept immigrants because you never know. Why are all the immigrants young men? How can we know they are escaping and they aren’t those who others are escaping from? He’d be ok with accepting a bunch of Yazidi girls, but the things (yes, things, young men are now things) we’ve seen there [on video] how can we sure what they are?

    How can some “African poor” gather as much money as we hear smugglers ask them for?

    and so on and so on… I wanna puke

    Thankfully, all the other guests are opposing this shit. Loudly and without hesitation.

  357. rq says

    I hear ya. A couple of weeks ago there was an outraged (OUTRAGED!) article pointing out that immigrant families get three times as much money in monthly state support than citizens (or, you know, Real Latvians). I mena, the state support system for families is pretty dismal here (though improving – instead of 8 lats (13 euro?) a month to buy Stuff for my children (each), I now get… dundundunnnnn… 24!), but it’s not a zero-sum sort of situation.
    And as was kindly mentioned on my FB (though nowhere mainstream media publicly), refugee and immigrant families (a) only get that support for up to a year (can be extended upon special request, but it’s damn hard to get) and (B) they’re coming to a new country with absolutely no support system and most likely without the language.
    So yeah, xenophobia is ridiculous.
    Oh, and because there’s about 500 Chinese living in Cēsis, they’ll be running the country soon.

  358. says

    Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, really wants to shoot a whole bunch of people, including the president.

    […] “The Second Amendment was designed for people just like the president and his administration,” Pratt said. “And yes, if the New York Times and the Rolling Stone, and whoever else wants to have a hissy fit, yes, our guns are in our hands for people like those in our government right now that think they wanna go tyrannical on us, we’ve got something for ‘em. That’s what it’s all about.”

    “The Second Amendment,” he continued, “is not about hunting, it’s not about target shooting, it’s about Democrats who want to take our rights.” […]

    Right Wing Watch link

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


    We have so much in common!
    I looked up the number of people who identified as Chinese who live in Croatia a couple of days ago, precisely because I needed it for the similar argument but now I forgot it. It was something ridiculously low. BUt every time a new Chinese shop opens somewhere – they’ll soon be running the country! They are stealing our jobs! Oh noes.

    I do appreciate that, while the show was doing that “two sides” shit, it was 4:1 for the good guys (and 3 0f the 4 good ones where women. Good of for them!

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

    And I still want to hit that stupid man in the face. Fucking hater.

    Too bad I missed the name of that woman who was especially awesome and kept bringing up that each and every number we mention is a person and we shouldn’t forget that.

  361. says

    Good thing I went to the doctor this morning. At the rate the pain is increasing, I’d otherwise be running to the emergency room with tears running down my face.

    All the worst pain I’ve experienced has involved ears. Fragile little things loaded with nerve endings. Also, an open tube lined with sensitive epithelia has got to be bad design, god.

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

    Yes, that’s bad design. Together with knees and the whole bleeding every month thing.

  363. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I’ve got…


    Well, give it back to the swimmer, you poopyhead! ;)

  364. says

    It’s that time gentle Lounge folk.
    What time is it you ask?
    Is it Hammer Time? Nope.
    Is it Clobberin’ Time? Nope.

    It’s that time again when a Republican does something reasonable. A Republican politician in Oregon supports measure to make women’s access to birth control easier and he’s doing it because he wants to reduce unintended pregnancies. Yeah, you’ll want to read that again.
    GOPer wants to make Oregon easiest state in nation to get birth control.

    Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill that could make their state the easiest place in the nation for women to access birth control.

    The proposal advancing through the Legislature would allow pharmacists to write prescriptions for contraceptives after women pass a risk-screening assessment.

    Patients younger 18 would need to see a doctor first, but they could get refills without returning to the physician’s office.

    A similar plan passed the California Legislature in a 2013. That bill, however, included a slew of other provisions, and the birth control plan hasn’t been implemented.

    The Oregon proposal from Republican Rep. Knute Buehler would go into effect Jan. 1.

    The plan easily cleared the House on Tuesday, and now heads to the Senate, where the Oregon Catholic Conference plans to testify in opposition.

    “Is there an unexamined assumption that expanded access to birth control is a good thing?” spokesman Todd Cooper asked.

    He added: “Will this encourage sexual activity on the part of young girls and boys? And what are the consequences of that?”

    The proposal might seem unlikely from a Republican, but Buehler has framed his bill as a common-sense solution that will reduce unintended pregnancies. The Bend representative also says his plan would create consistency, since the law allows over-the-counter purchases of the morning-after pill. “It became apparent to me that right now people can get emergency contraception without a physician visit, but they can’t get preventive contraception,” he said.

    Also, in a successful U.S. Senate campaign last year in Colorado, then-U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, a Republican, proposed making birth control pills available without prescription, like aspirin.

    Buehler said he hadn’t heard of similar proposals under consideration in other states this session.

    The plan would call for pharmacists to write prescriptions, expanding authority they currently use in Oregon to recommend vaccines.

    Before patients could receive either birth control pills or a contraceptive patch, they would have to complete a self-administered risk assessment.

    Mark this on your calendar.

  365. rq says

    I’m sure it’s a conspiracy originating in Communist China itself, to retake this corner of Europe for COMMUNISM!! before moving on to the rest of Europe. :P
    And there’s apparently sooooo many black people in the country that taking on several hundred more (I forget what the Latvian quota would be, either around 400 or 700, I mix those two up a lot) would mean ZOMG no jobs for the alcoholic people in rural areas anymore (who don’t have jobs anyway but not because people of colour are stealing them, but because they can’t hold them down because there’s no resources to help them deal with alcoholism, or jobs at all, for that matter).
    Sometimes I wonder why people want to come live in this country at all. Seriously.

  366. says

    I have a job interview to head off to in a few minutes. Woo-hoo.

    Btw, I’ve never created a resume (and need to do so to apply for another job) and have no clue how to do so. If anyone has advice, or can point me somewhere to assist me in creating one, that would be much appreciated.

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


    Just shows how bad it is where they come from.

    People suck.

    100 year anniversary of the start of WWI fast approaching and we’re still the same stupid self-centered fools.
    I read the wiki page about Tiananmen Square and June 4th Massacre this morning. That was just 26 years ago.
    ISIS is happening right now.

  368. rq says

    Plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose.

    GOOD LUCK!!!! An I hope they like what you have to offer, because honestly, what’s not to love?? ♥
    Hope someone can help you with the resume, I haven’t put together one in years (We have to update one for work every year, but it’s a very specific official format which probably won’t help you).


    Here, have a Latvian hip-hop: Where Are You, My President? In honour of the recent election.
    (Hey, we got a guy whose first words from the podium were ‘I need a drink/shot first‘. Promising. :P

  369. chigau (違う) says

    The last time I made a résumé (resume, resumé), the internet didn’t exist.
    I bet there are a ton of sites that can help you.
    I do advise you to be truthful, but not too truthful.
    I once read on a job application under reason for leaving last job:
    One of the waitresses was a bag and I wanted to kill her.
    (we didn’t hire them)

  370. says

    Tony re: resume

    I tended to find one I liked the looks of and just put my own schooling and experience on it. One of the things I learned about resumes, though, is that they are mostly to get you an interview, not the job itself. It shouldn’t have strange colors or fonts and should be clear and on clean and unripped paper.