A Field Guide to Surreal Botany

The world of surreal botany has long remained hidden – since the 18th Century, this field of study was often derided even by trailblazing naturalists such as Carolus Linnaeus and Joseph Banks.

What are they doing in the Olympics with Honey? (Not eating it, or this would not be interesting.) Here.

I live in a working class trailer-trashy neighborhood with a fair amount of crime (for the US). Most of the criminals are Mexican or White, because most of the people are Mexican or White. The last time somebody killed someone else outright anywhere near here it was an old white guy … a gun nut …. blowing a young teenager in half with a gun he kept by his bed. The kid had entered what he thought was an abandoned house on a dare. There was no communication …. the old man sat quietly waiting for the figure he saw moving in the dark to come close enough, then he pulled the trigger. His neighbors, all white, lauded his bravery.

So this made me laugh. (but not funny ha ha):

Room With A View

There is a room of twenty people, four are black and the other sixteen are white. Black people make up twenty percent of the population while white people make up eighty percent …. Of the four black people, one of them is a criminal. … Of the sixteen white people, three are criminals. … because the black people have a higher rate, the majority of the people in the room, the white people, decided that the most effective way to combat the potential for crime in the room was to watch the black people since they had a higher rate of criminality.

Been near … in an elevator, a waiting room, on a bus … a black person lately? Better check your wallet….

Then we have: Women With Their Sexy Hawt Bodies: How’s A Man To Look Away? Really…

A Starter Kit for the Willfully Ignorant

The taste of the Star Wars Imperial March – if you had synaesthesia

Remember the Massachusetts Chem-Hobbiest busted for being a Chem-Hobbiest? Check out this commentary: A professional chemist doing for profit chemistry is not a hobbyist


  1. #1 wazza
    August 20, 2008

    I found that post by Zuska interesting, but I’ve always found her style incredibly abrasive. This post, for instance, took one guy’s stupid comment (his example was bad, even if he was making a valid point) and expanded it out to a generalization I thought was completely unwarranted.

    If we’re going to have equality of the sexes, we’re going to have equality of the sexes. That means actually accepting the weaknesses of both genders, be they reduced running speed due to hip design in women or stronger urges to look at people we find attractive in men. Both evolved for reproductive reasons and both are just something we have to put up with, and work to overcome, rather than complaining that they’re obviously just an excuse for women not to compete against men at the olympics.

  2. #2 Tom Nichols
    August 20, 2008

    “I’ve always found her style incredibly abrasive”

    Same here.

  3. #3 wazza
    August 21, 2008

    I wonder if it’s just because, as males, we’re the target of her abrasiveness.

  4. #4 Stephanie Z
    August 21, 2008

    I think some of it is that she’s writing for an audience that is a combination of people who are still saying there are no problems and women who need the catharsis because they’re dealing with those people. I don’t know that she’s writing more broadly for folks who get it and are working through the problems, but those are a lot of the readers she’ll get through the rest of Sb.

  5. #5 pat.r
    August 21, 2008

    Everyone needs to get it. And she needs to get it too. It might relax her.

  6. #6 themadlolscientist, FCD
    August 21, 2008

    It’s not just you XYs. I’m an XX, and I think she can be pretty abrasive too. But Paul Murray’s comment was way out of bounds, and he was the first to make the generalization – which is, after all, what a stereotype is. She just ran with it, albeit in an unexpected direction (and IMO a valid one, since the veiling business is basically the notion of “we can’t help looking at them; it’s their fault, so they’d better hide” taken to ridiculous and sometimes tragic extremes). [I could mutter something here about testosterone poisoning and being stuck somewhere in the middle of the last century, but I won’t. =grin=]

    (That having been said, I’ve never been too concerned about whether anyone was staring at my boobs. I’m flat as a board, so there’s nothing there to see, and I like it that way. Why some women want to stick water balloons in their chests, I’ll never know.)

    As for women going googoogaagaa over babies….. yes, they’re really cute and cuddly (go check out Steelykid if you haven’t already), but on the whole I’m far more likely to go googoogaagaa over kittens.

    Speaking of Steelykid, Chad’s about as googoogaagaa these days as anyone can get. New dads are TEH FUN-NEEEEEEEEEE!!!1! (His dog, however, is not nearly so impressed.) LOL!

  7. #7 wazza
    August 21, 2008

    I go googoogaagaa over kittens too…

    but all my girlfriends tell me how girly I think. I sort of take it as a compliment…

    Personally, I don’t think western guys would want women to cover up. We like looking at you, so we’ll put in the effort to learn to do it without making you feel uncomfortable. Or something.

  8. #8 wazza
    August 21, 2008

    As to the question of Zuska’s abrasiveness, it’s really only useful for catharsis, in which case it should be kept for in-group bonding moments. Not because we must keep the women in the basement, but because it’s more effective there, where moderates cannot stand up and say “wait a minute, there are more factors to consider here” and ruin the moment.

    Against the 1950s minds, the best weapon is a quiet, gentle, assimilatory approach… followed by grabbing them by the balls, growling “Assimilate this!” and squeezing.

    Otherwise, you won’t get close enough for a decent grip.

  9. #9 tony
    August 21, 2008

    I *like* looking at breasts, boobs, tits, …

    My wife has always liked looking at hunky guys (shoulders, chests, backs, ‘packets’) (especially as I’ve spread “down and out” as I’ve gotten older!)

    I think the issue here is that from a ‘modern’ non-misogynistic male perspective – I (my wife, also) am simply admiring the beauty that is the opposite sex – vive la difference!

    From a general culture perspective, however, Zuska is right on — men still hold a dominant (dominating) place in society. Misogyny still rules, and while it does we modern males just need to demonstrate a little more circumspection in our behaviors

    or beat the crap out of the misogynists till they go away

    wait. that would be wrong too, wouldn’t it?

  10. #10 wazza
    August 22, 2008

    I’m not saying her position is wrong. I’m just saying her tactics are wrong. Just ease up a bit and give stupid commenters the benefit of the doubt and a chance to correct themselves.

  11. #11 Paul Hutch
    August 22, 2008

    Thanks very much for the link Greg.