Sweden was always getting freaky

Scene of the crime

I know, you think Scandinavians are staid, boring, normal white people, but I can tell you that deep in their bosoms beat the hearts of the weird. Witness the events in Insjön a few years ago.

It was Friday night in the village of 2,000 souls when two teenage siblings wandered out with their smartphones to play Pokémon Go.

But instead of finding Pikachu or Squirtle they soon came face to face in the park with a couple who must have seemed scarcely more real.

The teenagers’ mother, who reported the incident to the police, told newspaper Dalarnas Tidningar:

“They wore rubber masks depicting pigs’ heads and they started screaming and waving a green laser.”

A laser beam hit one of the teens in the face and the children rushed back home, shaken but luckily unharmed.

The masked shooters, who also wore T-shirts labeled ‘King’ and ‘Queen’, were next spotted by incredulous motorists as they had sex beside the hamlet’s waterwheel.

As one does. It wasn’t even midwinter yet, when brains turn into a hamster wheel of desperate crazy seeking release.

What kind of job is it to work at a student medical center?

I find this whole idea disturbing and alien. Daniel Kelly, an MD who worked at USC and UCLA, is currently under investigation for sexual abuse of a large number of gay and bisexual men who received ‘care’ from him — he seems to have been fond of overlong, invasive rectal examinations, and of prolonged fondling of patients’ genitals. He would, for instance, give a rectal exam if a young man had symptoms of a cold.

But that’s not what bugs me — if found guilty, he’s just another sick abusive man, and we’ve got evidence of plenty of those. No, the bothersome bit is how the university handles these situations.

Kelly joined UCLA in 1980. In 2002, he stopped working there, signing a confidential settlement that paid him $68,320 and barred him from seeking employment at any University of California campus. In a statement, UCLA said the settlement was “unrelated to allegations of sexual misconduct.”

He did something that got him banned from any UC campus, but it was all wrapped up under a confidentiality agreement, and he got paid? I don’t get it. I keep my nose clean my whole life, I do my job, and my university never takes me aside and hands me a big check while telling me I can’t talk about it. I’d happily not talk about it for that much money!

Especially when that much money is just about exactly what I need to pay our lawyer.

But no, it always seems to get paid to creeps who objectify and abuse students, and nope, I’m not willing to do that. Why is it always corruption and crime that are so lucrative?

13 days

One of my students had to mention that we only have 13 days until classes start again.

I am not ready.

Next week, I have to get my syllabi ready and figure out this brand new courseware they’re forcing us to switch to, at the same time when my granddaughter Iliana is visiting. This is going to be impossible. Unless Ily is ready to help? She’s what, 10 months old?

Yeah, she’s ready. Looks eager, even. I’m sure she can hammer out a syllabus in no time.

Start your morning with a hair-raising close call

This is a drone video shot in the UP of a lovely lake scene, some kayakers, and…HOLY CRAP THE CLIFF JUST COLLAPSED.

So…don’t go kayaking near the base of a cliff, it might fall on you. Don’t go hiking along the edge of a cliff, it might fall under you. Don’t go near cliffs, period, they’re evil. The midwest gets mocked a lot for being boring, but at least it’s mostly flat.

The curse of having Wisconsin as a neighbor

I had a terrible dream last night. I had to buy a gun, and not just any gun, but a high-powered assault rifle, to defend myself. I’d been browsing the interwebs before bed, and last thing I’d seen was this map.

How awful, I thought, that those irresponsible Wisconsonites next door are so slack in regulating their kangaroos.

So of course I dreamed of wanton kangaroos hopping across the border…wearing cheese hats and smuggling cases of LaCroix into my neighborhood. I had to shoot them.

Tonight I’m going to make a point of reading something less traumatic before bed — I’m about halfway through Kameron Hurley’s The Light Brigade, so that should be soothing. So far, there aren’t any kangaroos in it at all. Or LaCroix.

IRIS IS BACK! And cancer sucks.

It’s been a rough couple of years for two of our bloggers at FtB. They had colon cancer. Caine at Affinity was open about her experience, and had a public cancer journal. Iris at Death to Squirrels kept it quiet, and only a few of us knew about it — she also maintained a private account of her travails, sent by email to a few friends. The experiences of both were harrowing, both approaches were valid, although I’ve got to say even getting second-hand accounts of their treatment was terrifying, and I can’t imagine what it was like to go through it personally.

The good news is that Iris’s cancer is gone, although as you’ll discover, the second-hand effects are going to be with her for years. She’s dealing with it by explaining everything in a webcomic. It’s very good. It will make you uncomfortable. It’s art. You really should read it.

As for Caine, she gets a significant mention. I miss her, and I’ve missed Iris.

Meanwhile, here at Skepticon, the first talk of the morning is going to be from Miri Mogilevsky, who is also a cancer survivor.