Pharyngula

Since every one of these undying threads turns into something about geology, including the last one, it is only fitting that we reveal the truth here: rocks are evil. They want to turn everything into stone.

Now watch: no one will talk geology at all in this open thread.

Comments

  1. #1 Zeno
    December 31, 2009

    Boy, most of those rocks sure are burning up far away from the earth. The atmosphere must extend a lot farther out than we thought.

    Or the rocks are trying to trick us! (Sneaky rocks!)

  2. #2 Glen Davidson
    December 31, 2009

    OK, they want to reproduce, but they’re all interested in making everything vapor and dead first.

    They do make some nice rocks when they’re small, though. Pallasites, for one.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  3. #3 Dania
    December 31, 2009

    Hey, I was submitting a comment on the other thread when you closed it! I got this:

    Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:

    Comments are not allowed on this entry.

    And my comment did have the word “limestone” in it…

    no one will talk geology at all in this open thread.

    *pouts*

  4. #4 Andyman
    December 31, 2009

    Really, I always thought rocks gave you Teh Ghey (TM). Well there goes my logical reasoning.

  5. #5 Josh
    December 31, 2009

    Ahh, that reminds me. I do still need to finish my reply to that douchebag in that other thread.

  6. #6 blf
    December 31, 2009

    Look, squishy organic semi-evolved proto-slime, without me and my friends, the best you could have been was a sub-intelligent shade of the colour yellow. So go back into your rock-walled cave and close your calcium-filled gob.

  7. #7 Nakarti
    December 31, 2009

    Geology! Are you nuts? The Moai are coming for us dum-dums!!
    Everybody PANIC!

  8. #8 vanharris
    December 31, 2009

    That had about as much to do with Geology as Creation Science has to do with Science. No, on reflection, it did have significantly more.

  9. #9 Glen Davidson
    December 31, 2009

    Also, I’ve always wanted the IDiots to explain a bunch of fast and hard objects coming in and killing most life periodically, and whatever the whole Permian extinction was.

    They’re silent about “design” through the bit of intelligence they actually have, though. What? We’re not here to explain anything except for complexity, which is easy to do through an omniscient God if you’re open-minded enough to grant its existence sans evidence.

    They should be pressed on the huge numbers of “gaps” (there’d have to be connections for there to be real gaps, however) when they can be, no matter how much they try to avoid any honest discussion of ID.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  10. #10 JackC
    December 31, 2009

    That sure sounds like Bill Conrad. You sure this isn’t another chance to bring up Rocky and Bullwinkle?

    JC

  11. #11 blf
    December 31, 2009

    GOATS ON FIRE! The above comment by me (blf) was supposed to have been an ?anonymous? comment by Rock:

    Look, squishy organic semi-evolved proto-slime, without me and my friends, the best you could have been was a sub-intelligent shade of the colour yellow. So go back into your rock-walled cave and close your calcium-filled gob.

    Not sure why/how the SciBorg’s goofyware figured out it was me?

  12. #12 JackC
    December 31, 2009

    Oops!! I meant Paul Frees – and it is!! Wow. Old ears still work.

    JC

  13. #13 Steve
    December 31, 2009

    I keep waiting for the ‘bots to come in!

  14. #14 sbtech001
    December 31, 2009

    Geology is a scam created by miners so they can continue to be paid way above board for the supposed “danger” of being under the so called “ground”

    Of course no one here will believe me because you don’t have open minds!

    need more proof check out these poorly maintained geocities websites from 1996!

    http://www.rocks-not-all-theyre-cracked-up-to-be.com
    http://www.geology.doesnt.rock.com

    on a side note I hope those sites are real… XP

  15. #15 daveau
    December 31, 2009

    I always confuse geography with geometry. What? Oh…

  16. #16 eddie
    December 31, 2009

    I’ve only done geology at foundation level, but am fascinated by it. The stuff here from Josh and others is most welcome.
    If you guys do requests, could you talk more about the distinction between continental and oceanic crust. I know there.s a progression in continent building from small island chains to larger chains with more continental crust being made through subduction and volcanos, to larger continents.
    My basic question is: is the amount of continental crust always increasing? I know that subduction can take continental rocks with it, but one they have once went through a process of change, can this be reversed to make the ricks oceanic type again?

  17. #17 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlLc8Gfo6oZ8uAX3dYeOBxChVtMasvnHck
    December 31, 2009

    Up until the last few seconds that
    could have been a promo for the 2001
    film “Evolution”.

    “Coming to wipe that silly smile off
    your planet.”

  18. #18 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    It reminds of one of my favorite MST3K quips; It’s the monsters of rock tour.

    I am sorry, it had me rolling on the floor.

  19. #19 PaleGreenPants
    December 31, 2009

    “Sneaky rocks”

    *snicker.

  20. #20 Sven DiMilo
    December 31, 2009

    Dude, there is one and only one “undying Thread.” All the little pieces that you slap goofy titles on are but subThreads of the glorious Whole.

  21. #21 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Must. Not. Post. Too. YouTube. Videos.

  22. #22 Lynna, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Owlmirror @663 on the previous thread:

    a 1.90 m tall guy told me he took a jackhammer, swung it through a wide arc against that rock

    It could not have been a jackhammer (powered by a compressor, also called a pneumatic drill), if he swung it.
    Probably a sledgehammer, yes?

    My thoughts exactly, Owlmirror. In fact the idea of swinging a jackhammer through a wide arc had me laughing. A jackhammer big enough to make headway in difficult rock is truly heavy, so the dude that was swinging it must have been a helluva man.

    I have been inclined to swing a jackhammer when/if the damned thing wouldn’t start, or wouldn’t engage the chisel tool, but so far, no jackhammers have been swung by the Reflector of God’s Light?. (Nickname given to both me and my brother by an admiring fan, and now used by me with a large dose of irony.)

    Usually, one swings various sizes of sledge hammers at chisels. You manage to work a chisel into a crack, and then you strike it until the rock loosens. Or, you may strike it to no apparent effect, take a break to let the rock rest and relax, then when you come back, you may be blessed by the miracle of loosened rock. Sometimes you have to let it rest overnight.

    Single jacking is when you both hold the chisel in place and use your other hand to swing a sledge to strike the chisel. Double jacking is when someone else holds the chisel while you use both hands to swing a bigger sledge. I’ll hold a chisel while my brother swings a sledge, but my brother will never hold a chisel while I swing a sledge hammer … I wonder why that is? Double jacking at the breast is when two miners are working at the end of a tunnel or trench, extending the mine where the vein is exposed but not yet accessible for removing ore.

  23. #23 Knockgoats
    December 31, 2009

    OK, here’s a non-geological, but topical topic: what is next year (or this year for those in and around the western Pacific) called. I know it’s 2010, but is that going to be “two thousand [and] ten”, or “twenty-ten”? Throughout the noughties, the Two-thousand-ites have prevailed, but I predict a strong comeback for the Twenty-ists. Their victory will surely be complete by 2020 – how can this be anything other than “twenty-twenty”?

  24. #24 natural cynic
    December 31, 2009

    #4 Andyman:

    Really, I always thought rocks gave you Teh Ghey (TM). Well there goes my logical reasoning

    They do! They do!!!
    Isn’t it about how you get your rocks off??!!??

  25. #25 Lynna, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Dania @3: To salve your frustrated desire for a post with the word “limestone”, here’s some W.H. Auden:

    If it form the one landscape that we, the inconstant ones,
         Are consistently homesick for, this is chiefly
    Because it dissolves in water. Mark these rounded slopes
         With their surface fragrance of thyme and, beneath,
    A secret system of caves and conduits; … Dear, I know nothing of
    Either, but when I try to imagine a faultless love
         Or the life to come, what I hear is the murmur
    Of underground streams, what I see is a limestone landscape.

  26. #26 neon-elf.myopenid.com
    December 31, 2009

    A friend of mine asked in an email earlier tonight if the new decade was to be call the Tens or the Teens. I hope it’s the tens. I mean, who wants a rebellious, angsty decade that never cleans its room and wants to borrow the car keys.

  27. #27 Sean McCorkle
    December 31, 2009

    Yay! “Monolith Monsters” is one of my favorite old B films. It was pretty original I think. The images of gigantic crystal obelisks smashing a farm was pretty cool. And there’s actually a bit of the scientific method present in the plot – towards then end the characters try to isolate the component in a compound which attacks the substance.

    And if Im not mistaken, that is Paul Frees narrating! the voice of Sci Fi!
    Who could forget his parts in “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” and “Colosus: The Forbin Project”!

  28. #28 Carlie
    December 31, 2009
  29. #29 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 31, 2009

    Double jacking at the breast is when two miners are working at the end of a tunnel or trench, extending the mine where the vein is exposed but not yet accessible for removing ore.

    Was this intended to titillate?

  30. #30 vanharris
    December 31, 2009

    Was that the voice on the old Hinterland Who’s Who films in Canada?

  31. #31 Lynna, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Josh @690 on the previous thread (and Alan B before that):

    tufa: ambient temperature freshwater carbonate rock, usually from carbonate precipitation in springs or streams (to be distinguished from lacustrine limestones and from hot water travertines)
    tuff: a suite of deposits composed of fine-grained volcanic detritus. Tuffs are complex and it would take a while to get really into them here, but for the purposes of this comment, they are volcaniclastic* sediments, as opposed to tufas, which are water-derived carbonate sediments.

    Thank you! I knew that, but suffered from brain-offline-from-hunger syndrome … that temporarily obscured the difference between tufa and tuff. Cascade Springs in Utah (not far from Mt. Timpanogos) is a good place to view freshwater carbonate rock.
    Crystal Peak in the Wah Wah Range of Utah is a great place to view volcanic tuff.

  32. #32 Cheryl
    December 31, 2009

    @#27 – That was one of my favorites, too. Every Saturday afternoon there was a local TV station that showed all the scifi B-movies. I miss those where the scientist girl, who was a lot of times also a scientist.

  33. #33 Lynna, OM
    December 31, 2009

    @29

    “Double jacking at the breast is when two miners are working at the end of a tunnel or trench, extending the mine where the vein is exposed but not yet accessible for removing ore.”
    Was this intended to titillate?

    “Double jacking at the breast” is an eye-opener. Be sure to wear your protective goggles and hardhat.

  34. #34 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 31, 2009

    hee hee
    (When will I grow up?)

  35. #35 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    There should have been a “Many.” in #21. How can a person keep dropping words like this? Is my brain made of swiss cheese. Did I consume some prions a few years back?

    moans…

  36. #36 Katrina
    December 31, 2009

    RE: Tufa and Tuff.

    I first learned the difference while living in southern Italy. Most everything you see there is Tuff, but to make things more confusing, the Italian for tuff is “tufo.” So everyone who wouldn’t ordinarily know the difference hears “tufa.”

  37. #37 Dania
    December 31, 2009

    @Lynna, thanks. That was beautiful. I grew up surrounded by limestone landscapes. :)

    My post (*shakes fist at PZ*) was about a failed attempt by me and my cousin to “climb” a slightly rounded slope of highly weathered limestone when we were young. It wasn’t very high and it wasn’t steep, but we soon realized that there was no way in hell we could make it to the top without having small blocks of limestone slipping down underneath our feet at every step we took. We were young, and we really wanted to reach the top that way, but thankfully we both ended up agreeing that it would be better to give up and go back to the foot-path.

  38. #38 Nathaniel
    December 31, 2009

    Nobody else is going to mention meteors being from “stars whose dying light is too far away to be seen” as opposed to our own solar system?

  39. #39 badgersdaughter
    December 31, 2009

    Was this intended to titillate?

    Mining and petroleum geologists and engineers have some of the most unintentionally (or not) hilarious jargon ever. I work in a large firm specializing in oilfield equipment. Another female coworker and I were laughing ourselves breathless last week. We were bored because support calls were few, and we were playing around with the engineering database.

    We found whips, chains, straps, belts, cages, restraints, lubricants, bottom subs, bottom plugs, nipple clamps, vibrators, male extension equipment, a “power coupler,” something called a “rubber finger,” something called a “female banana plug” (further identified as a “johnson component”), and much more.

  40. #40 Nemo
    December 31, 2009

    YouTube poster fails at DVD ripping. It looks like it was played on a software DVD ripper, and fed back through a capture card.

    Nice meteor though.

  41. #41 badgersdaughter
    December 31, 2009

    Or, as I said to her at the end of the day, anytime you work in a field where the whole business is devoted to ramming long, hard, tools designed for penetration into deep, dark, hot, wet holes, you’re going to get that sort of thing.

  42. #42 LD Reynolds
    December 31, 2009

    Hey! I want to see the movie! (Just kidding) It does bring to light the fact that same old “50’s mentality” is alive an well in 2009-10.

  43. #43 Nemo
    December 31, 2009

    Sorry, a software DVD player. And to think, I even previewed.

  44. #44 dixonge
    December 31, 2009

    I haven’t seen this movie in forever! I think the last time I saw it I had nightmares….

  45. #45 NewEnglandBob
    December 31, 2009

    Kryptonite is the only worthwhile rock.

  46. #46 Josh
    December 31, 2009

    (*shakes fist at PZ*)

    *giggle*

    I first learned the difference while living in southern Italy. Most everything you see there is Tuff, but to make things more confusing, the Italian for tuff is “tufo.” So everyone who wouldn’t ordinarily know the difference hears “tufa.”

    And probably even further complicated by the fact that tufa is a fairly obscure type of sedimentary material.

  47. #47 Romeo Vitelli
    December 31, 2009

    Hey, I don’t see geologist bloggers writing about evil cephalopods. Be fair.

  48. #48 Lynna, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Janine:

    There should have been a “Many.” in #21. How can a person keep dropping words like this? Is my brain made of swiss cheese. Did I consume some prions a few years back?

    I don’t know about you, but when I am attempting to proofread my own work, I see what should be there, instead of what is there. The brain fills in the missing pieces, and auto-corrects the wrong pieces. It’s a nuisance. The only way around it is to proofread the text in a different form, like copy-pasted into a text document displaying a larger font. That’s too much trouble to go through for online chatting. When in doubt, blame Rev BDC — it gives him a sense of purpose.

  49. #49 Dania
    December 31, 2009

    And probably even further complicated by the fact that tufa is a fairly obscure type of sedimentary material.

    And isn’t turf a type of sedimentary material too?

  50. #50 Dianne
    December 31, 2009

    Now watch: no one will talk geology at all in this open thread.

    Ok, since you requested a new topic, I’ll talk about the new airline regulations.

    According to the NHSTA, about 16,600 people died in MVAs in the first half of 2009. If the second half is about the same, then about 32,000 people died (or will die tonight) from MVAs in 2009. If the new “unpredictable” airline screening and in flight rules make it such a pain to fly that traffic increases by 10% without any compensating changes (better cars, fewer people talking on cell phones, etc) then an additional 3200 or so people will die in car crashes in 2010. In short, TSA’s body count should equal al Qaeda’s 911 body count within a year. Two at most.

  51. #51 David L
    December 31, 2009

    One of the craters shown in this clip is not from a meteor strike. It’s Ubehebe Crater in northern Death Valley, and is the result of upward migrating magma contacting groundwater, causing a great steam explosion.

  52. #52 JeffreyD
    December 31, 2009

    Carlie at #712 on the just closed thread. Glad you liked it. Theft is the sincerest form of appreciation. Kidding, of course. (grin) Happy New Year.

    Ciao

  53. #53 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    When in doubt, blame Rev BDC — it gives him a sense of purpose.

    Lynna, I have informed Chimpy that I love him for his typos. It just struck me that I am about the only person who gets away with calling him Chimpy.

  54. #54 Lynna, OM
    December 31, 2009

    I am about the only person who gets away with calling him Chimpy.

    That’s true love.

  55. #55 windy
    December 31, 2009

    OK, they want to reproduce, but they’re all interested in making everything vapor and dead first.

    It’s a rock monster, it doesn’t HAVE motivation!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPND-I2_1dk

  56. #56 timrowledge
    December 31, 2009

    Double jacking at the breast is

    … geologist bukakke?

    Does anyone have any idea about the number of meteors (or related objects) that actually might have come from other star system? You’d think that in 4+ gigayears it might have happened at least once. Whether we’d be able to tell, I have no idea.

  57. #57 eddie
    December 31, 2009

    Re 36 and others;

    Not to be confused with tofu.

  58. #58 Patricia, OM
    December 31, 2009

    *smirk* I calls him Chimpy too.

  59. #59 Jeff Martin
    December 31, 2009

    Here is some geo and some evo.

    When meteor crash into Earth, they create amino acids. Likely meteor strikes on the early Earth created the building blocks for life.

    citation

  60. #60 Patricia Queen of Sluts, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Holy shite! My comment got through! Thanks for doing your magic PZ.

  61. #61 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Welcome back, my Queen.

  62. #62 Josh
    December 31, 2009

    And isn’t turf a type of sedimentary material too?

    You had to go and complicate things… :P

    It depends–well actually, no…I don’t think so. I don’t think that you can divorce “turf” from the vegetation which is growing on the soil*. And even if you can, soil isn’t sediment; it is, at best (i.e., in those cases where the soil in question has developed on sedimentary parent materials (as opposed to developing on, say, a basalt flow**)), modified sediment. Soils geology is a different field from sedimentology; usually, soils scientists aren’t sedimentologists, and vice versa. The classes I took in sedimentology didn’t really address soil (except for some discussion of paleosols***), and the classes I took in soils geology weren’t really sed. classes. The subjects are kept separate, and there is a good reason for doing so. There are issues of biology and geochemistry that need to be included in any discussion of soil; issues that don’t come into play when considering many of the sedimentary processes that are out there (and much of the geochemistry that does come into play when dealing with sedimentary processes is distinct from that which occurs during pedogenesis****). Soil and sediment simply aren’t the same animal.

    So no, having never actually considered that exact question before, I guess I don’t think I would refer to turf as a sedimentary material.

    *Wikiblabbia doesn’t seem to think so, but of course the Wikiblabbia entry on turf also wants to include peat under the umbrella of soil, which doesn’t make sense to me at all.
    **Where most of the weathering product (i.e., in this case broken down bits of basalt) doesn’t really get transported and redeposited–so a smaller proportion of the parent material would be technically sediment (an unimportant distinction).
    ***$100 word for “ancient soil” or (yuck) “fossil soil” (as opposed to “active soil”)
    ****$100 word for “soil formation processes”

  63. #63 reyfox
    December 31, 2009

    Up until the last few seconds that
    could have been a promo for the 2001
    film “Evolution”.

    “Coming to wipe that silly smile off
    your planet.”

    Sadly, that tagline is more clever and funny than the entire movie.

  64. #64 SteveN
    December 31, 2009

    @DavidL–exactly! Ubehebe Crater is a phreatic crater rather an impact crater, but it is also is short drive from LA to film the shot.

    When I think of the significant fraction of my adult life spent looking through a petrographic microscope, trying to distinguish trondhjemite from monzosyenite from anorthosite, I heartily agree with PZ: Rocks Are Evil. :)

  65. #65 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    #47 Romeo Vitelli

    Hey, I don’t see geologist bloggers writing about evil cephalopods. Be fair.

    That’s because once they are fossilised they become GOOD. Anything that’s rock is GOOD.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/03/images/090319-octopus-fossil-picture_big.jpg

    VERY GOOD!

    http://www.baystatereplicas.com/images/amm_octopus_phil.jpg

    (OK. So it’s a photo of a replica. No one’s perfect.)

    http://www.heathermccurdy.com/archives/robyn%20octopus.JPG

    Er. No!

    http://www.chinookcyclingclub.com/images/octopusGarden.gif

    Question:

    Would PZ rather have this or his mount at the Creation Museum?

  66. #66 Andreas Johansson
    December 31, 2009

    That rocks are evil has been obvious since about when EAC agents started to find fossils in them.

  67. #67 Josh
    December 31, 2009

    Anything that’s rock is GOOD.

    fossil =/= rock.

    *ducks*

  68. #68 eddie
    December 31, 2009

    Re Diane @50 {a lady doesn’t disclose her age ;-)}

    Good shout, although some would argue with the estimates. F’rinstance; more congestion should mean both slower moving cars, with the lower collision speeds leading to less fatalities, while the cars being closer together should lead to drivers working harder at paying attention to the road. It’s IMHO more likely for a stupid person to use their mobile while driving on an open road than in heavy traffic. But why am I thinking stupid people will be rational?

    Re geologist bukakke: Depends how the meteors (oro) originate. Are they formed like proto-planets, from accumulated dust, or are they fragments form earlier collisions? I’d guess that only individual dust grains may have extra-solar origin, on the basis of the energy needed for a collision fragment making it out of the solar system entirely is so much higher than for it just leaving the gravity well of it’s origin planet or asteroid.

    How do you spell bukkake anyway?

  69. #69 Dania
    December 31, 2009

    You had to go and complicate things… :P

    *smiles*

    Actually, I think I’ve always had that doubt. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask you, could I? :)

    Thank you.

  70. #70 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    #46

    And probably even further complicated by the fact that tufa is a fairly obscure type of sedimentary material.

    I know you are bigger than I am, Josh, but you’re talking about a rock I love! And I haven’t finished with Southstone Rock.

    It has a claim to fame: it’s the youngest hard* rock used for buildings in the UK!

    * hard rock. I’m talking about a man’s rock – hard, strong, capable of taking a load and carrying an 80lb pack of equipment (sorry, got carried away). Not floppy sands and gravels.

    Southstone Rock tufa was used in building at least one major cathedral (OK, I realise that may not be a winning move – forget that.) It’s still GOOD stuff.

  71. #71 eddie
    December 31, 2009

    Are! You! Ready!… To RAWK?!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmYY6D_h84g

  72. #72 Josh
    December 31, 2009

    Alan, my friend, I never said I didn’t like tufa. It’s sediment–how could I not? It’s a perfectly cromulent rock. But you have to agree that if you were to poll 1000 undergraduates who were standing in line to receive degrees in geology, the number of them who knew what the hell tufa was wouldn’t be that large.

    Who’s floppy?

  73. #73 Josh
    December 31, 2009

    I couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask you, could I? :)

    HUMPF.

    I think you do it because it amuses you when I get all geeked out.

    I don’t believe I wrote several paragraphs on turf.

    *shakes head*

  74. #74 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    #67 Josh

    You had better duck when I throw a piece of GOOD ROCK at you! OK so it isn’t a fossil duck. I couldn’t pick this up

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65397115@N00/62411819

    so I had to make do with a duck-billed platypus:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/Eomaia_scansoria.JPG

    Now, tell me that isn’t a GOOD rock …

  75. #75 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    #72

    Ignorance is no excuse!

  76. #76 madbull
    December 31, 2009

    Its new year in India !! Happy new yr my godless friends :) .. If I could , Id jump into my monitor and live in Pharyngula.. Pardon the beer
    :*
    Gow

  77. #77 Dania
    December 31, 2009

    it amuses you when I get all geeked out.

    Now, that I cannot deny…

    I don’t believe I wrote several paragraphs on turf.

    But I enjoyed it. It could have had some more asterisks, though…

    *ducks*

  78. #78 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    I was raised on the good book Jesus ’til I learned to read between the lines.

    I have not heard this song in a couple of decades until the other day. Now I cannot stop listening.

  79. #79 Paul
    December 31, 2009

    It’s IMHO more likely for a stupid person to use their mobile while driving on an open road than in heavy traffic. But why am I thinking stupid people will be rational?

    You say IMHO, but I really think any assertion of this manner requires some sort of evidence. Granted, living in California may skew my perception, but I’ve noted many more people text messaging or calling in traffic than on open roads. If you’re focusing on driving fast, that occupies your attention. If you’re bored or going slower than expected in traffic, you’re more likely to fiddle with your phone or feel the need to otherwise occupy your time productively utilizing your phone.

    Of course, I don’t even own a cell phone, so I’m not personally biased either way.

  80. #80 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    eddie round-up

    #71 eddie

    Call that rock music? This is rock music (just in case anyone missed it at the end of the last thread):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-8K8Hj8bxE&feature=related

    #57 eddie

    [tufa] … Not to be confused with tofu.

    It seems like only a handful per 1000 US geology students can tell the difference.

    I looked up tofu just to make sure whether it was igneous or sedimentary. Turns out to be bean curd with the comment:

    The creation of tofu was probably accidental.

    I guess what they mean was it was a mistake.

    /removes tongue from cheek

  81. #81 Josh
    December 31, 2009

    It could have had some more asterisks, though…

    Oh you are so gonna get it…

  82. #82 Dania
    December 31, 2009

    *wishes everyone a Happy New Year and leaves thread whistling innocently*

  83. #83 Josh
    December 31, 2009

    Ignorance is no excuse!

    Now you’re talking.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/Eomaia_scansoria.JPG

    That thing is fucking awesome. Nice preservation.

  84. #84 Slaughter
    December 31, 2009

    Stone joke that is as old as rocks:

    One night some neighborhood kids were peeking through the window as a neighbor lady undressed. One of them abruptly ran off.
    “Where are you going, Joey?”
    “Home! My mama said if I ever saw a lady naked I’d turn to stone — and part of me is getting hard already!”

  85. #85 mythusmage
    December 31, 2009

    Now here I go getting some people upset again…

    For I went and looked up the topic of hot springs, finding this list of them. Select the state by dropdown menu and hit ‘select’. You’ll find that places such as California and Nevada have a shit load of hot springs. New York State? One. That’s it, one.

    Overall the eastern United States is just not all that geologically active. Nowhere near as active as the western U.S. Certainly not active enough to be a reliable indicator of such tectonic business as subduction, unless it’s at a real low level. More likely is that there is minor upper mantle upwelling providing a small amount of heat for powering hot springs. Once again you see how demonstration trumps assertion.

    I’m still not persuaded that the west North Atlantic floor merges seamlessly into the North American Continent. I admit it is possible, but evidence it is would appear to be buried deep beneath the talus slope we call the continental shelf.

    Where continental crust is concerned, my apologies for taking the major constituent for granite. That was rude, and showed no consideration for the subject in question. I just didn’t treat it gneiss.

  86. #86 mythusmage
    December 31, 2009

    How is biology like geology?

    Research can be rocky.

  87. #87 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  88. #88 Josh
    December 31, 2009

    I just didn’t treat it gneiss.

    ALAN! Now you’ve got him doing it, too!

  89. #89 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    #85 mythusmage

    I’m still not persuaded that the west North Atlantic floor merges seamlessly into the North American Continent. I admit it is possible, but evidence it is would appear to be buried deep beneath the talus slope we call the continental shelf.

    Where is your evidence that it does not or even that it might not? Do you have anything other than speculation and your inability to conceive of it being so?

    The status quo of science is the product of a huge amount of work although it is always a work in progress. Progress comes from producing evidence. “Thought experiments” (or speculation with inadequate understanding) just don’t cut it.

    wrt evidence of subduction of the Atlantic Ocean floor under the East coast of America. That would be some discovery! Especially as oil companies have done a lot of speculative seismic work in the coastal area of the US. It is not my speciality but seismic imaging would show up your “talus slope” and what lies beneath it.

    Have you thought of doing any searching for yourself to see if there is any seismic imaging available along the E coast of the USA?

    P.S. Pity you didn’t respond to my message on the last thread about your “Leanon Spring” link. Do you have a link you want us to follow up?

  90. #90 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  91. #91 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  92. #92 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  93. #93 Patricia Queen of Sluts, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Is it stoning time yet?

  94. #94 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  95. #95 Sean McCorkle
    December 31, 2009

    Cheryl@32:
    It would be really fun to compile or even see a list of old B films where the women characters were at least strong if not the heros. One favorite of mine, “Them“, comes to mind -if I recall correctly, the daughter of the senior entomologist is herself an entomologist and is the first one into the dangerous situation. Not bad for 1954.

  96. #96 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  97. #97 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  98. #98 blf
    December 31, 2009

    [W]hen I am attempting to proofread my own work, I see what should be there, instead of what is there. The brain fills in the missing pieces, and auto-corrects the wrong pieces. It’s a nuisance. The only way around it is to proofread the text in a different form…

    I’ve the same problem. Whilst I do use the different format trick at times (usually just printing it out is sufficient), what works best for me is to take a break, drink a coffeebeer and do something else for awhile, and then come back to the proofreading. I still miss things, but it’s not quite as bad as proofreading more-or-less immediately after the writing/editing session. (Reading aloud to yourself is another good trick, albeit one with practical difficulties.)

    Biggest self-auto-correction problem I have is adding the ?not? that I meant but didn’t write. For instance, I’ll write ?Cretinism is science? when what I meant to write (and what I silently read to myself) is ?Cretinism is not science?. Needless to say, this can cause rather annoying problems later…

    But as you say, these tricks seem like overkill for most netversations.

  99. #99 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    #92 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    Hi Janine:

    This video contains content from Vevo, who has decided to block it in your country.

    Pity. What have I missed?

  100. #100 mythusmage
    December 31, 2009

    Alan B, #89

    Where is your evidence that it does?

  101. #101 mythusmage
    December 31, 2009

    Alan B, #89; re Lebanon Springs

    An example of an eastern American hot springs, that and nothing more. Serving primarily as an example of how lacking in tectonic activity the eastern U.S. is. It’s the sort of thing that persuades me where assertion will not.

  102. #102 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Alan B, that would be I Want You Back by The Hoodoo Gurus off of their Stone Age Romeos album. (I still use the word album.)

    As you can guess, I am feeling just a bit silly today. And I have nothing to say about geology. Nothing against the subject but I am surrounded know a lot more about it than I do.

  103. #103 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  104. #104 mythusmage
    December 31, 2009

    Observation

    It is when reason sleeps when monsters are born.

  105. #105 mythusmage
    December 31, 2009

    Janine, #102

    A bit?

  106. #106 Lynna, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Check out Comment 911 on the Mormon Prophecy thread. I’m reposting the first couple of sentences here because the comment is too good to be missed just because it appears on a thread that is off the radar.

    In the late 60s as a young man I was a professional water moccasin collector. That took me to the swamps of NE North carolina where I chanced to become friends with the local head of the KKK. One dark and stormy night he invited me to stay at his house.

  107. #107 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  108. #108 Patricia Queen of Sluts, OM
    December 31, 2009

    I’m going to riot if someone doesn’t turn off the damned snow machine. It’s deep enough out there to go up the pullets skirts, and they are not amused.

  109. #109 Lynna, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Here’s a poll that’s currently too close to call. It’s the Ass Clown of the Year Award, and it is a race between Glenn Beck and Joe Lieberman. Personally, I feel that Glenn Beck should get the award because he’s always an Ass Clown, while Lieberman is occasionally an Ass Clown. Consistency, people, consistency.

  110. #110 'Tis Himself, OM
    December 31, 2009
  111. #111 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  112. #112 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    You used to laugh about everybody that was hanging out.

    ‘Tis, that is one of my most favorite things ever!

  113. #113 SC OM
    December 31, 2009

    Observation

    It is when reason sleeps when monsters are born.

    Observation

    Eres megatwit.

    Goya told me to tell you that.

    ***

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qHAZ25HYqU

  114. #114 Patch
    December 31, 2009

    I loved that film! A true gem for MST3K fans. Best of all, despite the horribleness of the plot, they did a wonderful job with their model work at the end when they flooded the rocks. Water is hard to scale down for film, and they must have had a huge set for those scenes. It’s better f/x than a lot of other films created.

  115. #115 Patricia Queen of Sluts, OM
    December 31, 2009

    ahhh…there’s always room for Dylan.

  116. #116 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    SC, great song. But I am working a theme here.

  117. #117 WowbaggerOM
    December 31, 2009

    Janine wrote:

    Alan B, that would be I Want You Back by The Hoodoo Gurus off of their Stone Age Romeos album. (I still use the word album.)

    Janine, my estimation of your music-foo is now in the stratosphere. I didn’t realise anyone outside of Australia had heard of the Hoodoo Gurus – one of my favourite 80s/90s Australian acts and the first band I ever saw live.

    Incidentally, that gig was also the first – and, at this point in time at least, last – ‘date’ I ever went on; that I totally bombed out may be why it was the last.

  118. #118 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Wowbagger, when I was a college radio DJ in the late eighties, Electra was trying to break them in the US. For Blow Your Cool they had The Bangles singing backup vocal. At that time, The Bangle were big. (Though never as good as their first album, All Over The Place.)

  119. #120 eddie
    December 31, 2009

    Re Janine SWOP, OM @103;

    Our Family Stone is more like a Pet Rock.

    Also, Alan B, mythusmage said something about you supporting the status quo. Nice one. That’s the first record I remember rocking out to as a kid.

  120. #121 Katrina
    December 31, 2009

    Josh, the only reason I was familiar with tuff is because that was one of the main ingredients in Roman construction. And no wonder; we saw it everywhere in the Naples area. If I can dig up some of my photos, I’ll link them.

    I don’t even pretend to be a geologist, but I have a few friends who are and have always found it fascinating.

  121. #122 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    #107Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM

    Can you surry?

    Only if its got a fringe on top:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss1CXo8QMi8

  122. #123 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    #120 eddie

    No, I think I first mentioned Status Quo (#80) and the status quo (#90). The second use was intended to be in part humorous. Obviously not too subtle for you to catch …

  123. #124 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Alan B, I was going to break form and link to Oklahoma USA by Ray Davies but I was not happy with the sound quality. And the video ends in the middle of the song.

  124. #125 mythusmage
    December 31, 2009

    SC, #113

    There is a treatment for that rash.

  125. #126 Katrina
    December 31, 2009

    Here are some of the cliffsides I found rummaging through my Italy photos. I can tell you where each was taken, but only know (with certainty) the story for one of the photos.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/patnkatng/RocksAroundNaples#

  126. #127 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  127. #128 Josh
    December 31, 2009

    Hey all. Have a great time celebratin’ if you’re celebratin’. SC, thanks for the email. Reply to come tomorrow or thereabouts.

    Okay, I’m out. I’ll talk to you all next year (local time).

    *pops smoke*

  128. #129 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  129. #130 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    #104 mythusmage (also #113 SC OM)

    It is when reason sleeps when monsters are born.

    mythusmage: Why are you misquoting Goya?

    Wiki gives an interpretation:

    The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (Spanish: El sueño de la razón produce monstruos) is an etching made by the Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco de Goya. Etched between 1797?1799,[1] it is plate 43 of the 80 etchings comprising the Los Caprichos series and was initially intended to be the frontispiece.[2] It consists of a self-portrait of the artist with his head on a table, as owls and bats surround him, assailing him as he buries his head into his arms.[3] Seemingly poised to attack the artist are owls (symbols of folly) and bats (symbols of ignorance)…

    What are you trying to say by deliberately misquoting the great Spanish painter? I am not even sure whether your version makes any sense.

  130. #132 David Marjanovi?
    December 31, 2009

    It’s obscenely warm and rained a bit today. :-(

    Probably a sledgehammer, yes?

    Oh, the jackhammer is the pneumatic one? Then it’s a sledgehammer.

    But srsly, SB doesnt like it if you post too many comments in too short a time, spammers and all, I’m not sure what the time period is exactly, 2 minutes or something.

    Half a minute. Didn’t it use to be mentioned in the error message?

    Not sure why/how the SciBorg’s goofyware figured out it was me?

    Because you’re logged in!

    the dude that was swinging it must have been a helluva man

    He is, he is…

    So everyone who wouldn’t ordinarily know the difference hears “tufa.”

    Provided they only speak English and/or Danish and therefore pronounce all unstressed vowels the same… :-)

    Holy shite! My comment got through! Thanks for doing your magic PZ.

    He simply switched registration off. Temporarily.

    so I had to make do with a duck-billed platypus:

    I don’t get the joke. Eomaia is our dawn mother, not that of the monotremes and not even that of the marsupials. It’s a eutherian (though not a placental, rather far from it).

    I’m still not persuaded that the west North Atlantic floor merges seamlessly into the North American Continent.

    It’s not at all seamless ? there’s just no present or past subduction, as shown by oil exploration drills and seismic imaging (see comment 89). The latter reaches all the way down to the mantle at the very least.

  131. #133 blf
    December 31, 2009

    It’s just turned into 2010CE here.
    Yawn!
    Only two-ish years to go before the End of Life, The Universe, and Everything…  ;-)

    Cheers!

  132. #134 Patricia Queen of Sluts, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Temporarily.
    Aww Jehovah!

  133. #135 SC OM
    December 31, 2009

    Probably a sledgehammer, yes?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1tTN-b5KHg

    Yes, I’m antisocial. I’ll go join the party soon…

  134. #136 llewelly
    December 31, 2009

    More cheer with which to ring in the New Year:
    Science Teacher John Freshwater Fired.

  135. #137 llewelly
    December 31, 2009

    Er, wait, that’s old news, he was fired in 2008. My apologies.

  136. #138 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    Hi Josh

    You have e:mail on the address I have used before.

  137. #139 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    #137 llewelly

    The trial / inquiry / panel (whatever) still goes on … and on … and on. Have a look at The Pandas Thumb. This is the latest:

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2009/12/freshwater-dec-1.html#more

  138. #140 Alan B
    December 31, 2009

    I’m out of here, guys and gals. See you in the New Year (23:30 GMT)

    I need my beauty sleep although many would say it is far too late …[Ed. Indeed they would!]

  139. #141 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  140. #143 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    December 31, 2009
  141. #144 Lynna, OM
    December 31, 2009

    It’s harder to celebrate New Years Eve in Utah. The number of liquor licenses was cut, and now runs dry

    A lot of people celebrated when Utah lawmakers trashed the private-club law that used to require club membership before anyone could buy a drink at a bar. Too soon, my friends. You should have known that the Utah lawmakers (about 90% of whom are mormons) would have a sneaky plan up their sleeve.

    The little-known restriction on bar numbers came into play this month when the state ran out of licenses.
    Since September as the number of licenses dwindled and then went dry, more than a dozen businesses owners have gone away empty handed when they asked for a license to open a new bar. At the December meeting of the Utah Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, eight bar owners vied for a single available license.
    State liquor license quotas for both bars and restaurants are based on the state’s population.
    The state also is running out of restaurant liquor licenses. And although one lawmaker says he’ll sponsor legislation easing or dropping some quotas, he appears to have little backing from the governor, key legislators or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose leaders have traditionally exerted their influence in shaping liquor laws to restrict drinking.

  142. #145 Patricia Queen of Sluts, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Lynna – On one of my trips through SLC we stopped for refreshments at the Dead Goat Saloon. Do you know if it is still there? They had great T-shirts.

  143. #146 boygenius
    December 31, 2009

    Lynna,

    You probably know this but others here might not. One of the quaint Utah liquor laws (before the change you referenced) allowed a non-member to drink if they were “sponsored” by someone who is already a member. So, you could walk into a bar and say “I need a sponsor”. Custom dictates that you buy your “sponsor” a beer/drink. A lot of locals would stake out a seat near the entrance so they could get free drinks by sponsoring random people.

    On a snowboarding trip to Park City years ago, I attended a concert at Harry O’s (a rather largish night club). There were four separate gates to enter the club, each with a person taking tickets. As they tore your ticket, they would tell you “If anybody asks, Dave is your sponsor”. My other friends went through different gates and were told that Matt was their sponsor, or James, or whoever.

    Point being, the old system was to easy to subvert. Much easier to limit the number of available licenses to keep people away from the demon likker.

  144. #147 Antiochus Epiphanes
    December 31, 2009

    Lynna: The trick to getting obliterated in Utah is to drink at high altitudes, which are pretty easy to get to*. They have CRAZY baroque liquor laws, but a little 3.2 beer at 3,000m goes a long way.

    *OK…the best way is to bring your own stuff in and camp in the mountains. I like Logan Canyon, and west of Salt Lake, but I here S. Utah is rad too.

  145. #148 boygenius
    December 31, 2009

    Patricia, my Queen:

    The Dead Goat had to shut down as a music venue in ’03-’04. (Due to changes in the liquor laws; go figure.) They reopened as a strip club (with no liquor) under the name Crazy Goat shortly thereafter. I don’t know if they are still open or not. I haven’t been down to SLC in 4-5 years.

  146. #149 'Tis Himself, OM
    December 31, 2009
  147. #150 boygenius
    December 31, 2009

    ‘Tis:

    Thanks for that. I’m taking a cup of kindness as we speak. ;-)

  148. #151 Patricia Queen of Sluts, OM
    December 31, 2009

    Thank you boygenius. Aww, dang, the Dead Goat was a place I looked forward to going to again if I ever got to Utah again.

  149. #152 'Tis Himself, OM
    December 31, 2009

    The Leaving of Liverpool Just because I like the song.

  150. #153 Beth
    December 31, 2009

    I remember this movie from when I was a kid, watching the Creature Feature on the weekend! Thanks for a fun memory…this was one of the cheesiest of all the cheesy movies, and I remember it fondly.

  151. #154 Sphere Coupler
    December 31, 2009

    To usher in the new year and to admire a glimpse into the dawning of light…I’ll quote Leucippus,

    Nothing happens at random (maten), but everything from reason (ek logou) and by necessity.

    Have a happy.

  152. #155 eddie
    December 31, 2009

    Aah! Apologies to Anne McCaffrey, and to Ursula K leGuin. I confess I have only read short stories by either of them and not been convinced to buy any of their novels.

  153. #156 John Morales
    December 31, 2009

    Patricia, don’t you dare use lack of registration as an excuse to stop posting when rego is on!

    I have no doubt at all that what others have managed to do, you can too.

    (If you really can’t get an account, I’m sure someone here can provide you with one.)

  154. #157 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    December 31, 2009

    OT I’m back on the non-snowing side of Lake Michigan. Later the Redhead and I will have some cake my mother sent home with us with some peach spumante. All finished off with a good nights sleep in our own bed. Looking forward to that the most. Happy New Year everybody.

  155. #158 boygenius
    December 31, 2009

    The Leaving of Liverpool brought this to mind. I loves me some seafaring ballads.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfJZQNF5CDc

  156. #159 Rorschach
    December 31, 2009

    *drags poisoned body into thread and counts remaining braincells*

    Well, a happy new year to everyone out there, mine was spent at home quietly..

    For the new year, I’m reminded of the great german philosopher Dragoslav Stepanovic’s words :

    “Lebbe ged weida” !

  157. #160 Sven DiMilo
    December 31, 2009

    happy newt year
    16071

  158. #161 aratina cage
    January 1, 2010

    Happy New Year!

  159. #162 Pullet_Patrol
    January 1, 2010

    Hm. Does this work?

  160. #163 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    Works like a charm, O prized pullet!

  161. #164 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    … Though I note name changes are retroactive…

    And by “like a charm”, I mean unreliably! ;)

    But it works.

  162. #165 Testing name change...
    January 1, 2010

    (This is not actually Patricia — I wanted to try creating a Moveable Type account that I could hand off to her)

  163. #166 boygenius
    January 1, 2010
  164. #167 Lynna, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Happy Twenty-Ten my friends! Here’s some good news to start the year out right: Gay Marriage in Argentina!

    After their first attempt to wed earlier this month in Buenos Aires was thwarted, gay rights activists Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre took their civil ceremony to the capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province, where a sympathetic governor backed their bid to make Latin American history.
         The couple exchanged rings Monday in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, closer to Antarctica than Buenos Aires. The informal ceremony was witnessed by state and federal officials.
    “My knees didn’t stop shaking,” said Di Bello. “We are the first gay couple in Latin America to marry.

    Touch My Balls, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcmtMIR0LQQ
    Astronomy Picture of the Day for January 1, 2010: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap100101.html

    P.S. Thanks, boygenius, for keeping Patricia up to date on the Utah dens of iniquity.

  165. #169 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Den of Iniquity? Never heard of it. Did you mean this:

    http://www.thedenofiniquity.net/dun.html

    ?

  166. #170 Lynna, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Well now, that is a nice fetish playground of the future, but I was thinking of the Dead Goat, the only strip club in the USA without a liquor license — a Utah specialty.

  167. #171 eddie
    January 1, 2010

    AAARRRGGGHHH!!! My eyes. Lynna, you can be cruel sometimes in ways that would make boygenius’s mistress of bdsm blush.

  168. #172 mythusmage
    January 1, 2010

    Alan B, #130

    Because it is when reason sleeps — when reason slumbers, is off duty, taking a break, on sabbatical, asleep at the wheel, lost in the ozone — that monsters, the monsters of irrationality and elder night, arise. It is only when reason is alert, aware that monsters are banished. But never to be utterly dispelled, for they always wait in the dark for reason to sleep again. Those who employ reason must always be alert, always vigilant, for monsters are ever ready to come creeping out of their holes whenever they hear the soft snoring of slumbering reason.

  169. #173 mythusmage
    January 1, 2010

    On matters geological, here’s a link to an article (pay) from the January 2010 Scientific American. The premise is that asteroids in the early days provided the nucleus of the continents.

    I’m inclined to say that asteroids weren’t necessary, but I don’t know enough to say they weren’t involved.

    BTW, check out the thread with it. Woo addiction can be found in a lot of places.

  170. #174 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Lynna:

    Miss Sally’s in Nyssa, OR was a totally-nude strip club that did not have a liquor license. Lots of places will let you look at naked people as long as you’re not drinking. Other clubs will allow you to look at scantily clad lasses while drinking an $8 cocktail. It depends on where you live, I think.

    *Or so I’ve heard.*

  171. #175 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    eddie:

    My mistress does not blush.

    I do.

  172. #176 Rorschach
    January 1, 2010

    Lots of places will let you look at naked people as long as you’re not drinking

    And what exactly is the fucking point with that ?

    :-)

    Lynna, you can be cruel sometimes in ways that would make boygenius’s mistress of bdsm blush.

    My mistress does not blush.
    I do.

    A discussion I clearly missed ! Which I somewhat regret since it sounds like it was fun..:-)
    What part of the polulation is into BDSM I wonder ? 8% of australians go to church, I can’t imagine the number of bdsm folks would be much less !

  173. #177 Ralph Dosser
    January 1, 2010

    I remember this movie from when I was a kid. The only way to stop the mineral menace was with …. salt water. We all know how much rocks hate salt. Fortunately the monoliths had all bunched up at the bottom of the old salt quarry, which happened to be below the big, poorly constructed dam.

    Boy was that a stupid movie.

  174. #178 F
    January 1, 2010

    Rocks from space – full of refined petrochemicals!

  175. #179 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    The full story behind my BDSM sweetie and myself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COdabvBaiug

  176. #180 F
    January 1, 2010

    Someone mentioned, “Get your rocks off”.

    As expected, somebody else mentioned Dylan.

    Therefore:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbBncrbzk3c

  177. #181 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    I will donate 2 internets to anyone (other than Sven) who can tell me what song the band teased before they started playing Steep Grade, Sharp Curve in my link @179

  178. #182 Alan B
    January 1, 2010

    #181 boygenius

    “If There’s Still Ramblin’ in the Rambler (Let Him Go)”

    ??

  179. #183 SC OM
    January 1, 2010

    I’ll go join the party soon…

    Yeah, I’m really

    really

    really wishing I hadn’t done that so early.

    Or at least had eaten something first.

    Ouch.

    boygenius,

    Lost Sailor? Terrapin Station?

  180. #184 Sven DiMilo
    January 1, 2010

    oo!
    OO!
    I know! (so does SC)

  181. #185 cnocspeireag
    January 1, 2010

    Thanks a bunch, Pharyngulytes. You could have warned me before I eventually got to play my DVD of Watchmen.
    I’ll never again be able to listen to Leonard Cohen singing ‘Hallelujah’ without the remembered image of a naked Malin Akerman.
    How could you do this to me?

  182. #186 Lynna, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Miss Sally’s in Nyssa, OR was a totally-nude strip club that did not have a liquor license. Lots of places will let you look at naked people as long as you’re not drinking

    I’m with Rorschach on this one. WTF? But how can all the nude strippers look great without the alcoholic haze? And isn’t a drink or two helpful in the realm self-delusion as well — as in, “that woman is dancing just for me” and such like delusions?

    And as for the concept of nude male strippers and no alcohol to ease the pain of that …. aiyiyi. That’s got to be harder on the eyes than Drew leaving mormonism and getting caught up in the knitting cult (link @168).

    What has gone wrong in Nyssa, OR? Did the mormons invade?

  183. #187 JeffreyD
    January 1, 2010

    Sven? SC OM? You both appear a tad fragile this morning. Hope you feel better – going to go have some runny eggs on toast, smoked kippers, haggis and blood pudding, and some smoked oysters. Hope I have some of the chili cheese topping left for the oysters. (evil grin)

    Ciao folks

  184. #188 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    And here we find ourselves on the other side of this arbitrary line. I hope everyone is doing well. It’s a fairly warm first morning of 2010 here (cloudy, 43F (6C)). I just finished a long ruck* and now I’m about to head to brunch. mmmmmmmmmmmmm…brunch. I think we should officially propose that all work weeks close with brunch.

    *I’d write “a nice long ruck” except it wasn’t particularly nice (probably due in no small part to last night’s festivities).

  185. #189 Sven DiMilo
    January 1, 2010

    Josh’s Ruck ‘n’ BrunchTM

    Franchises now available!

  186. #190 Walton
    January 1, 2010

    SC, a quick reminder that my comment is still waiting for you over on this thread.

  187. #191 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Josh’s Ruck ‘n’ BrunchTM

    Ha!
    I love it, but who the hell would our clientele be? Most people aren’t going to be thrilled about six-twelve miles of punishment before they get their bacon…

    We would serve a bad ass Bloody Mary, though.

  188. #192 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Josh’s Ruck ‘n’ Brunch?

    Ooh, offer discounts based on length/time/weight of the ruck, downgraded to civilian standards. Old farts like me could watch the younger folks exercise while swilling bloody Marys and eating omelets, while paying full price.

  189. #193 David Marjanovi?
    January 1, 2010

    Eating pork medallions wrapped in bacon right now.

    The alt-text at the “quick link to the latest endless thread” has changed to “Rock it.” :-)

    Nothing happens at random

    Wrong.

    It’s hard to overemphasize how important it is that this is wrong.

    It’s also hard to overemphasize how… peculiar it is that this discovery, made in 1927, still hasn’t become common knowledge!

    Drew left mormonism only to fall in with a knitting cult

    :-) :-) :-)

    aiyiyi

    ¡¡¡Ay, ay, ay!!!

  190. #194 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Ooh, offer discounts based on length/time/weight of the ruck, downgraded to civilian standards. Old farts like me could watch the younger folks exercise while swilling bloody Marys and eating omelets, while paying full price.

    What a fucking weird world, but you’re right–it would probably work. Shit, now I have all sorts of ideas flowing through my head (like an ruck route that surrounds the open-air deck).

    Eating pork medallions wrapped in bacon right now.

    YUM.
    Okay, I’m off for some bacon of my own. And a couple of Bloody Marys.

    OUT

  191. #195 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    SC OM wins 2 internets. Technically it’s Lady With a Fan but Terrapin Station is close enough.

    Lynna, the strippers at Miss Sally’s needed more than dim lighting and alcohol to look great. There is a bar directly across the street, and most people probably tie one on prior to going to the dance. *Or so I’ve heard*

  192. #196 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    I think a few people here can probably relate to this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIlKiRPSNGA

    I know I can relate. It might explain my random italics above. :0

  193. #197 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Lynna@186:

    What has gone wrong in Nyssa, OR? Did the mormons invade?

    Plenty of Mormons in the area, of course. There is also a fairly large Mennonite population and they are far more conservative than the Mormons, believe it or not.

    http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/I32.html

  194. #198 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Ooh, ooh. We have Quakers around here as well. It’s a good thing they’re pacifists.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15751662/

    Anybody else in need of some hair o’ the dog this morning? All I have in the house is beer, and it’s going down like rust. I would kill for a Bloody Mary, but I’m not willing to leave the house just yet.

  195. #199 Lynna, OM
    January 1, 2010

    boygenius, Thanks for the link to the Mennonite colonies in Idaho. Odd that most of them are clustered around heavily mormon areas. I wonder if they siphon off discontented mormons. People who think mormons are not conservative enough … whoa, nelly!

    A school in Nampa, Idaho has been in the news lately for its plans to use the Bible as a textbook. But I don’t remember what flavor of crazy they are.

    I don’t have any bloody mary ingredients in my house, and it’s snowing like crazy here. I wish Josh’s Ruck ‘n Brunch was next door. I already shoveled snow for about an hour and a half, and I’ll have to do it again this afternoon. I think this should qualify as a substitute for a ruck.

  196. #200 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Lynna, the Nampa Classical Academy is right down the street from me. I can’t believe my tax dollars are funding this “school”. The uniform policy and student handbook are… interesting.

    http://www.ncacharter.org/

    Here’s an interesting article from our weekly liberal rag:

    http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/classical-class/Content?oid=1098884

  197. #201 Lynna, OM
    January 1, 2010

    The girls at the Nampa Classical Academy are required to wear bike shorts under their skirts? That will be nice in the hotter months. It’s also not a medically sound requirement.
    Nobody’s tax dollars should fund schools like this. I notice that they also list “patriotism” as one of the main subjects they teach. Wonderful.

  198. #202 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    And what, exactly, is a “gender appropriate hairstyle”? (/asks the Deadhead who’s had hair halfway to his ass for 20 years)

    re: curriculum
    I agree, patriotism is not something that can be taught. “My country, right or wrong” written 100 times on the blackboard?

  199. #203 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    I already shoveled snow for about an hour and a half, and I’ll have to do it again this afternoon. I think this should qualify as a substitute for a ruck.

    As an ex-Yooper, I would definitely say that shoveling that much snow qualifies as aerobic exercise. I’ll back your claim to Josh.

  200. #204 eddie
    January 1, 2010

    Josh’d Ruck’n’Brunch

    If you already carry 20lbs of extra weight around, do you get the discount, or does it have to be in a rucksak?

  201. #205 SC OM
    January 1, 2010

    You’re a mean one, JeffreyD! Fortunately, I had returned to sleep and was feeling somewhat better by the time I read that.

    I think we should officially propose that all work weeks close with brunch.

    Seconded. Brunch is the best meal. Eggs Florentine. Yum.

    SC, a quick reminder that my comment is still waiting for you over on this thread.

    Yes, Walton, I haven’t forgotten. I’ll get back to you later today or tomorrow. Unless you remind me again – then I won’t.

    :)

    SC OM wins 2 internets.

    Yay! Only hours into the new decade and I’ve already won two internets!

    Technically it’s Lady With a Fan but Terrapin Station is close enough.

    Yes. Blame the hangover.

    Anybody else in need of some hair o’ the dog this morning?

    I’ve never been a hair-o’-the dog person. Can’t conceive of wanting a drink when I’m feeling like that (other than the occasional brunch mimosa). More of an I’m-never-drinking-again kind of girl. I may be up for a walk along the water, though, if I can get out in the next few minutes…

    Speaking of Mennonites and the like, the Doukhobors

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doukhobor

    are an interesting community that I heard of because Peter Kropotkin helped arrange with the Canadian government for them to migrate from Russia to Canada. I was just checking out the Wikipedia entry, and parts of it sound ridiculously biased and lacking documentation, e.g.:

    Peter V. Verigin’s son, Peter P. Verigin who arrived from the Soviet Union in 1928, succeeded his father as leader of the Community Doukhobors. He became known as Peter the Purger, and worked to smooth the relations between the Community Doukhobors and the larger Canadian society. His policies, seen by the radical Sons of Freedom as ungodly and assimilationist, were answered by increasing protests on the part of the latter. The Sons of Freedom would burn the Community Doukhobors’ property, and organize more nude parades. The Canadian Parliament responded in 1932 by criminalizing public nudity. Over the years, over 300 radical Doukhobor men and women were arrested for this offense, which typically carried a three-year prison sentence.[16]

    In 1947-48, Sullivan’s Royal Commission investigated arsons and bombing attacks in British Columbia, and recommended a number of measures intended to integrate the Doukhobors into the Canadian society, notably through the participation of their children in public education. Around that time, the provincial government entered into direct negotiations with the Freedomite leadership.

    But W. A. C. Bennett’s Social Credit government, which came to power in 1952, took a harder stance against the “Doukhobor problem”. In 1953, 150 children of the Sons of Freedom were forcible interned by the government agents in a residential school in New Denver, British Columbia.

    Abuse of the interned children was later alleged although there was no evidence to this claim albeit fit well with the Doukhobors’ senseless mantra of government persecution. The real abuse was on the part of the Doukhobor community that failed to educate their children other than to drill into them government conspiracy theories and train them to commit acts of violence towards their own families and community members (through well documented bombings and acts of arson). In less than a half a century Sons of Freedom acts of violence and arson rose to 1112 separate events and over $20 million in damages (bill to taxpayers) that included public school bombings and burnings, bombings of Canadian railroad bridges and tracks, the bombing of the Nelson, B.C. courthouse, and a huge power transmission tower servicing the East Kootenay district resulting in the loss of 1200 jobs.

  202. #206 eddie
    January 1, 2010

    Sorry. Hangover makes bad typong.

  203. #207 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Nerd, what is the origin of the term Yooper?

    Is it some mangling of Upper in the regional dialect?

  204. #208 Alan B
    January 1, 2010

    “Share and Enjoy”

    Real Geology Series (with GOOD rocks)

    I left you last time** staring in amazed enjoyment at some REALLY GOOD rocks. Well, one really big rock – Southstone Rock.

    It is pretty unusual because it is a young tufa, only around 6000-7000 years old i.e. formed as Britain came out of the last Ice Age (or just before the Universe was created if you are a YEC delugionist).

    What you are looking at is a modified quarry face. Stone (tufa) was removed from this face and used in a variety of places locally, notably in churches and in Worcester cathedral for reasons we will come to. Since then parts have been modified for storage and what was probably a hovel (later a chapel) was built on the flat top of the rock. This was replaced by a cottage, remains of which are visible if you walk round the front and up to the top. Since then the cottage was removed and stout saplings have taken over.

    Over time the rock has slowly moved down the steep hillside. Splits and cracks in the bulk of the rock makes it an interesting area to explore and imagine being in a “Lord of the Rings” fantasy land. No doubt the rock will eventually crash down the hillside. Hopefully with no geologists busy measuring the downhill displacement!

    The rock is remarkably open in structure with large pores, some of which contain pieces of moss that are intimately mixed in with the rock. Also, the surface is covered with spider’s web silk which has put off a number of climbers from what is quite an attractive ascent.

    The stream that cascades down the valley (dingle) is displaced to one side of the rock and there is an attractive waterfall over more of the tufa. The stream goes back well beyond Southstone Rock to a spring high up on the Bromyard plateau above. More interesting is another spring which skirts the table top and joins the valley stream just above the waterfall. This emerges at the junction of a calcrete layer (probably the Bishop’s Frome Limestone) and an underlying marl (calcareous clay). This is, of course, a classical location for a spring with water flowing into and through the limestone but with it being blocked from percolating downwards by the impermeable clay layer. There are several calcrete layers in the side of the Teme Valley and the springs arising feed the many dingles (steep-sided valleys).

    The spring water is saturated with calcium carbonate in solution as calcium bicarbonate. It is common to find stones in these dingles covered with a thin layer of calcium carbonate and the waterfall covered with tufa shows the process going on today. The difference comes in that the layer formed is a superficial coating. Where did this thumping great block of rock come from?

    There are two keys factors:

    1) The moss growing in the spring water. This is an unusual variety (Palustrielle commutata) which causes calcium carbonate to precipitate from the cold water of the spring. My guess is that it takes the carbon dioxide (plant food) out of the water causing the calcium carbonate to come out of solution. In many places the moss can be seen surrounded and apparently being engulfed by the tufa it forms. Eventually, the moss dies leaving a highly porous matrix of low density but high strength.

    2) From the sheer volume of the rock produced it is believed that the spring water collected in the past in a pool, perhaps formed by trivial amounts of coating gradually producing a lip to hold back the water. Thus, instead of being whisked down the valley, it ponded and there was time for more tufa to be formed and to collect. Over several thousand years the rock built up to form a partial plug in the dingle.

    While there are other places where water cascades over tufa terraces in the side of the Teme valley, there is nothing else with the scale of Southstone Rock. It is more widespread than it appears at first site. There is a path up the dingle which ends up at the top of the woodland and onto a minor road. Part way up I have seen evidence of badgers. Where they have dug out their earths, the “soil” has many pieces of tufa. This suggests there have been other springs in the past higher up the dingle which have contributed to the formation of tufa over a wide area.

    **Comment 630 on the huge pulsating brain thread:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/the_huge_evergrowing_pulsating.php#comment-2172303

    (Next part to follow quickly)

  205. #209 Alan B
    January 1, 2010

    What is the importance of the tufa?

    First of all its the largest block of tufa anywhere in England and possibly in Europe. Roderick Impey Murchison (of Silurian and Permian fame) comments on it in his exploring of the Welsh Marches. It should be noted that the method of formation (i.e. in cold water and encouraged by mosses) is quite different from the travertine formed in “volcanic” hot springs in Italy and elsewhere. There the calcium carbonate is laid down in a more dense form.

    Secondly, it is likely that the tiny spring that formed this great mass of rock was sacred in pre-Christian times. The rock was at one stage “home” to a hermit and later to a small number of monks. They may have been involved in helping travellers and visitors to this holy site.

    Thirdly, the tufa makes a remarkably light-weight building material. For a rock so open in structure it is surprising how much load it can take and how resistant it is to weathering. The initial construction of some of the local churches was entirely of tufa and other churches further afield have incorporated tufa into the building. In some places this might be because of the lightness combined with strength (e.g. in the roof vaulting of Worcester Cathedral). There are so many churches in Herefordshire in particular that contain small amounts of tufa that it is believed that it was incorporated deliberately. The theory is that the spring was sacred and hence the rock produced by the spring carried some of the same holiness with it into the new church building.

    Fourthly, the rock, unexpectedly emerging from the woods, has a beauty and a stature that demands attention. The lack of visitors is primarily that it is “off the beaten track”. Unlike when the monks were there you have to take your own picnic lunch and find suitable places in the woods for other requirements.

    Or, perhaps, not enough people enjoy looking at REALLY GOOD rock!

    Footnotes

    For a geology trail guide and more information unload a pdf at:

    http://www.geopark.org.uk/documents/publications/SouthstoneRockTrailGuide.pdf

    (Photograph 8 shows tufa used in a local church to frame a medieval window. At 150% or 200% zoom the open structure is easily seen)
    For a local church built entirely of tufa (St Andrew’s, Shelsley Walsh) see:

    http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1172257

    (Shelsley Walsh is the site of a world famous (car) hill climb where the enthusiasts are allowed (encouraged) to mix with the competitors in the pit area. But that is another story!)

  206. #210 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Nerd, what is the origin of the term Yooper?

    Is it some mangling of Upper in the regional dialect?

    That’s what Wiki says. It is also the way way it sounds in Finglish. When I lived up there, the most popular local show on the PBS station was about Finland and in Finnish.

  207. #211 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Nerd,

    I should have guessed, being 1/2 Finnish myself. I have fond memories of my maternal grandmother speaking Finglish to me when I was a lad.

    SC OM,

    Thanks for the link to the Doukhobors. Very interesting. I had never heard of them before, although I have walked past the Nelson, BC courthouse that was bombed. Nelson is an awesome little town with phenomenal back-country skiing/boarding in the Kootenays. Anyone who is up for the experience of a lifetime should check out Baldface Lodge:

    http://www.baldface.net/

  208. #212 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Shoveling definitely counts.

    You still have to wear a ruck, but it can be 20lbs lighter than whatever the weight would be.

    Discounts for All.

  209. #213 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Seconded. Brunch is the best meal. Eggs Florentine. Yum.

    Yum.

    I had turkey Benedict (same as traditional, but the Canadian bacon has been replaced), a pile* of really good home fries, toast, and a side of bacon, chased with coffee and…a Bloody Mary.

    *And I mean a pile.

  210. #214 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    a Bloody Mary.

    The Redhead is making me grill steaks later, and already has put in her demand for a Bloody Mary. Ten dollops of Salsa Brava, extra hot…

  211. #215 Sphere Coupler
    January 1, 2010

    David, Get a grip.

    Leucippus was alive at a time long ago, our knowledge today is built upon the succeses and failures of those before us, just as those who come after us will build upon our knowledge base.

    Really…try to understand the inflection within the context of the whole.

    You act as if Heisenberg uncertainty principle is a secret known only to you, thatsa mighty high horse your riding.

  212. #216 Dania
    January 1, 2010

    More of an I’m-never-drinking-again kind of girl.

    Sounds like me today.

    Bah.

  213. #217 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Hooray! Alan B is giving geology lessons again.

    Thank you, Alan.

  214. #218 eddie
    January 1, 2010

    My favourite xmas present is a book called ‘F in Exams’. It[‘s a collection of daft answers to simple exam questions.

    For example, in a history exam:
    Q: What did Mahatma Gandhi and Genghis Khan have in common?
    A: Unusual names.
    While, in a maths exam:
    Q: What is a six-sided polygon known as?
    A: An empty bird cage.

    I’m still trying to find the correct answer to the first question. All I came up with on UGoogle was they met on Celebrity DeathMatch.

  215. #219 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    I’ve never understood the I’m-never-drinking-again mentality.

    Like cures like, doesn’t it? At least that’s what my homeopathist tells me.

  216. #220 SEF
    January 1, 2010

    Apropos of nothing much:

    Earlier today, I suddenly realised that tomorrow would be a palindromic day (in my preferred YYYYMMDD date format): 2010 01 02. Of course, the Australians will already be living it by now.

    There’ll be another one along at the end of next year but a bit of a gap before the next two. Then they only turn up singly for a while.

  217. #221 SEF
    January 1, 2010

    @ Sven DiMilo #160:

    happy newt year

    If only. It has been nearly 3 years since my last newt. :-(

    I do have the promise of getting some newt-spawn this year if possible though (from a friend of a child of a friend!). At the moment I’m just hoping most of my frogs survive the ice and snow.

  218. #222 Tigana
    January 1, 2010

    Ref #209 – really interesting because my impression is there isn’t much of it in the UK to view.

    The only bit of fossilized/ late glacial tufa in Britain I have actually seen was a recently described set at White Scar /Witherslack area in the South Lakes UK on an OUGS trip. Westmorland Geological Society mapped the whole area as a managed project that the BGS accepted and have just released as a new 1:10,000 map of the area. Shows that geology, like astronomy, is one science where you can actually produce new findings that enter the literature.
    http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/7302/

  219. #223 Katrina
    January 1, 2010

    boygenius re: Yooper

    It’s a contraction of U.P.’er, or someone from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Home made eggs Benedict and mimosas at our house this morning. No rucking, though I am dismantling Christmas decorations.

  220. #224 Dania
    January 1, 2010

    Like cures like, doesn’t it? At least that’s what my homeopathist tells me.

    But s/he is right! You just forgot the “dilute dilute dilute dilute dilute and dilute some more until there’s no ethanol molecule left” part. :)

    (In short, rehydrate yourself.)

  221. #225 Knockgoats
    January 1, 2010

    What did Mahatma Gandhi and Genghis Khan have in common? – eddie@218

    One possible answer does concern the “names” they are commonly known by: neither is actually a name, both are titles. Gandhi was Mohandas Gandhi – “Mahatma” means “great soul”. Genghis Khan was called Temujin: “Genghis Khan” means “lord of the Earth”.

  222. #226 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Just remember not to confuse Yooper with Youppi.

  223. #227 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Hooray! Alan B is giving geology lessons again.

    Thank you, Alan.

    Ack, Thanks ‘Tis for reminding me of my manners. Excellent posts Alan B. You made today a good day as I learned something.

    It’s a contraction of U.P.’er, or someone from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

    I lived there for 15 years, and I was only considered an honorary (because I lasted over 10 years) Yooper by the locals. Only those born there are considered “true” Yoopers.

  224. #228 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Dania@224:

    But… doesn’t the dilution and succussion make make it even more potent? Wouldn’t the “dilute dilute dilute” approach result in my demise due to alcohol poisoning?

  225. #229 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Okay, I think I easily win today’s dumb ass award. I just stubbed by toe and it hit the wall just right so that I actually tore off a toenail (little toe). There is blood all over my goddamn sock.

    I hereby propose that weeks do not end with brunch + toe stubbing.

    Fuck.

  226. #230 RickR
    January 1, 2010

    Josh- OUCH!!

    Just popping in to say- I love “Monolith Monsters”. One of the coolest 50’s sci-fi flicks.

    That, and “Kronos”.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050610/

  227. #231 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Josh:

    I feel you, brother. Nothing can bring a grown man to tears more easily than a stubbed toe. If we actually had an Intelligent Designer (TM), you would think he would have placed fewer nerve endings in a portion of our anatomy that is prone to kicking things.

  228. #232 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Hey Alan, the .pdf you linked to in #209 didn’t open for me.

  229. #233 Alan B
    January 1, 2010

    #229 Josh

    I hereby propose that weeks do not end with brunch + toe stubbing.

    I second that emotion!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tAUDiS4rak

  230. #234 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    …you would think he would have placed fewer nerve endings in a portion of our anatomy that is prone to kicking things.

    Indeed. Actually, I’d have some words for it regarding the overall anatomy of the little toe. Nothing on a person much more poorly designed I fear than my stupid stubby little toe.

  231. #235 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Josh, you sound like my sister. She was practicing a cheer (back in Jr. High) and kicked the wall in her bedroom, breaking her little toe. I keep stubbing that toe on a number of things, but it remains intact.

  232. #236 Feynmaniac
    January 1, 2010

    My favourite xmas present is a book called ‘F in Exams’. It[‘s a collection of daft answers to simple exam questions.

    Here’s some from failblog:

    Q: Can a man still reproduce with only one testicle?
    A: No, girls don’t find that shit attractive.

    http://failblog.org/2009/11/16/answer-fail-2/

    Q: Given linear transformation f with f(1,1)=(a,3) and f(2,1)=(1,2a), find all values of a, if any, such that f(1,2)=(5,5).

    A: [Attempts problem] I couldn’t figure out this problem, but here is an amateur drawing of a Charizaras, I hope that helps…

    The marker gives the solution and draws a Blastoise with remark: “Blastoise uses water canon. It’s Super Effective! Charizaras fainted.”

    http://failblog.org/2009/12/09/calculus-fail-2/

    Note: actually more of a linear algebra fail, though the fail by no means ends there.

  233. #237 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Your sister’s experience sounds pretty dreadful.

    My little toe is strange. It’s a tiny bit smaller than you might expect and it articulates slightly more proximal to the ankle than the rest. As such, I’m rather prone to stubbing the little bugger. But, of the stuff I’ve actually broken, my toes aren’t to my knowledge yet on the list.

  234. #238 Dania
    January 1, 2010

    Wouldn’t the “dilute dilute dilute” approach result in my demise due to alcohol poisoning?

    Good point. If homeopathists are correct, then yes, it will make it more potent. But then again, from a homeopathic point of view that’s a good thing because like cures like. So you will only die from alcohol poisoning if they are half right. Or something like that.

    I just stubbed by toe and it hit the wall just right so that I actually tore off a toenail (little toe). There is blood all over my goddamn sock.

    Ouch… not pleasant. Hope it’s not hurting too much. :/

  235. #239 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Hope it’s not hurting too much. :/

    *shrug*

    It hurts pretty damn good, but now that I’ve gotten it bandaged it’s much better than it was.

  236. #240 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Dania @238:

    So you will only die from alcohol poisoning if they are half right.

    So… let me get this straight. I can cure my hangover by drinking myself to death?

  237. #241 Dania
    January 1, 2010

    I can cure my hangover by drinking myself to death?

    Er… Look, whatever you try to do, I have nothing to do with it I have not given you any ideas. ‘Kay?

  238. #242 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Homeopathy is confusing. :(

  239. #243 Dania
    January 1, 2010

    Indeed, it is. And you’ve confused me even more! :)

    Well, I’m off to bed… I really need a good night* of sleep.

    G’night everyone.

    *Several, actually. I’ve successfully fucked up my sleeping patterns in the last two weeks or so… and I WANT THEM BACK!

  240. #244 Josh
    January 1, 2010

    Alan, in comment #208 wrote:

    It is pretty unusual because it is a young tufa, only around 6000-7000 years old i.e. formed as Britain came out of the last Ice Age (or just before the Universe was created if you are a YEC delugionist).

    It’s actually pertinent to The ThreadTM that you referenced the delugionists here. This is pretty young for a GOOD HARD rock, but you can find tufa that’s younger. Heck, you can find it being deposited now.

    http://www.latrobe.edu.au/geosci/Downloads/pdfs/John%20Webb_Jan%2009/Geomorphology/Ihlenfeld%20et%20al%202003.pdf

    http://www.newcastle.edu.au/school-old/environ-life-science/our_staff/downloads/Sedimentary%20Geology%202003%20KC.pdf

    References herein:
    http://www.newcastle.edu.au/school-old/environ-life-science/our_staff/downloads/Sedimentary%20Geology%202003%20RD.pdf

    Zák et al., 2002, Climate-induced changes in Holocene calcareous tufa formations, Bohemian Karst, Czech Republic. Quaternary International 91(1):137-152. Abstract: About 70 localities where Holocene calcareous tufa is formed recently and/or was formed in the past are known in the Bohemian Karst, a small karst area located SW of Prague. All known tufa accumulations display a very similar pattern of lithological and biostratigraphic evolution, reflecting climatic changes, erosion events and biota succession. A 17 m thick tufa accumulation at Svatý Jan pod Skalou was selected and thoroughly studied as a typical, well developed representative of local tufa deposits. Tufa formation started at about 9500 BP, on a flat fluvial gravel terrace of Late Glacial/Early Holocene age. Deposition of lithologically uniform, pure hard porous tufa continued until about 6500 BP. From that time, a more unstable climate with several dry periods and erosion events produced a lithologically varied complex of loose tufa alternating with embedded soils and scree layers. Termination of the tufa deposition occurred about 2500 BP, and was followed by partial erosion connected with relocation of the spring below the tufa body. Holocene climatic changes were recorded in lithology, molluscan assemblages, and oscillations of oxygen and carbon stable isotope ratios in carbonate. The observed patterns are in good agreement with the evolution of calcareous tufa deposits throughout Central Europe.

    Viles et al., 2007, Facies evidence of hydroclimatic regime shifts in tufa depositional sequences from the arid Naukluft Mountains, Namibia . Sedimentary Geology 195(1-2):39-53. Abstract: The Naukluft Mountains on the eastern edge of the central Namib Desert contain numerous, largely inactive, fluvial tufas within headwater streams of the ephemeral Tsondab River which currently terminates in a vlei in the Namib sand sea. Extensive tufa barrage deposits have been mapped and described along the Brandfontein River, a small (6.5 km long) tributary of the Tsondab River. Here, a series of large barrages have developed along the river system which culminate in a large tufa cascade feature at the mountain front. Tufa facies at Brandfontein include cemented colluvial and fluvial gravels and boulders, moss tufas, as well as reed and root facies. The sequences provide evidence of several cut and fill phases which are interpreted as indicating alternating periods of tufa deposition and fluvial downcutting. The Brandfontein tufas are used to propose a three phase arid fluvial tufa deposition model in which erosive high magnitude, low frequency floods punctuate periods of quiescence and tufa deposition. Extensive downstream prograding ramped barrages and tufa cemented fluvial gravels are key components of this tufa deposition model, which illustrates the role of climate and topography in shaping tufa deposit morphologies.

    Tufa is a great carbonate because it’s easy to study. It’s ambient temperature and it’s fluvial (forms in rivers and from spring flow), so you don’t have to be a diver in the Bahamas* to watch the deposition happen. The delugionists are fond of asking us why we never see the processes that we infer for the past happening today with respect to sedimentology. Tufa is one example of how ignorant this question is. It’s forming today in shallow fresh water all over the world. A world that’s far more interesting than the deulugionists would have us view it as.

    Good stuff, Alan.

    *I know, because that would be fucking awful, right?

  241. #245 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Ahh,

    Checklist:
    1. Confuse Dania
    2. Confound Sven re: Jerry phrasings.
    3. Learn something about Mormons that Lynna doesn’t already know.

  242. #246 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Q. What do Bozo the Clown, Bullwinkle the Moose, and Attila the Hun have in common?

  243. #247 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 1, 2010

    They have the same middle name, the.

  244. #248 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 1, 2010

    I don’t know how one makes Duck a l’Orange…hell, I don’t even know if there really is duck in it. But I assure you, my friends. It is a delicious dish*.

    *Go Bucks

  245. #249 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 1, 2010

    Janine has shown that she is a 4th Grade graduate by knowing the correct answer to my silly question.

  246. #250 boygenius
    January 1, 2010

    Damn you, ‘Tis Himself, OM.

    Do you have any idea how much time I spent searching Google to find the answer to your silly question? The Amazing Randi would be proud of you!

  247. #251 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    Antiochus inspires me.

    I’m a pretty slack cook, but if I say so myself I make a damn good pseudo-Coq au vin which is quite cheap too:

    * a couple of tablespoons of olive oil
    * an onion or two, sliced roughly
    * some slices of short bacon, chopped-up fine
    * a couple of garlic cloves, chopped quite small
    * a couple of cups of stock
    * a couple of pounds of chicken thigh¹ fillets, chopped-up
    * a decent glass of red wine

    – brown chicken pieces, set aside
    – fry up the onion on medium heat, until nearly caramelised
    – then add bacon bits, fry some more
    – add garlic, fry for a little bit (burns easily)
    – add wine and use it to thoroughly deglaze
    – add browned-up chicken pieces
    – add enough stock to cover chicken
    – simmer uncovered, stirring ocassionally, until liquid is well-reduced.

    PS Like a curry, I think it better when reheated on the second day.

    ¹ Breast meat is too dry and not robust enough for this, IMO.

  248. #252 Sven DiMilo
    January 1, 2010

    Nerd, what is the origin of the term Yooper?
    Is it some mangling of Upper in the regional dialect?

    No, no. It means from the U.P. A “Yoo-Pee-er.” A Yooper. I knew a bunch of em in college and they referred to folks from the lower penninsula as flatlanders or trolls (from under the bridge…this was long, long before even usenet).

  249. #253 Sven DiMilo
    January 1, 2010

    As already pointed out
    *shrug*
    +1

  250. #254 MrFire
    January 1, 2010

    It[‘s a collection of daft answers to simple exam questions.

    I once heard this one:

    Q. Why was there no room left when Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem?

    A. Because it was Christmas.

  251. #255 cicely
    January 1, 2010

    I can has sign in?

  252. #256 cicely
    January 1, 2010

    Yesssss!

    Only, now I don’t know where all the posts in all the threads I wanted to comment on, are. *sigh*

    Turnips for TypeThing’s stocking, this year.

  253. #257 John Morales
    January 1, 2010

    Um, I see no evidence that you’re signed in, cicely.

  254. #258 mythusmage
    January 2, 2010

    Alan B, 208 and 209

    So tufa is something that grows on you.

  255. #259 mythusmage
    January 2, 2010

    Returning now to a conversation from the last thread, here’s a link to a skeptic’s look at skeptic’s fail. Or how skeptics can blow their chance to convince others by being rude, snide, sarcastic, and irrational. My personal favorite is #10…

    Thinking that disrespect and mockery are ever effective outreach. At best, superiority entertains the base.

  256. #260 SEF
    January 2, 2010

    @ Josh #229:

    I just stubbed by toe and it hit the wall just right so that I actually tore off a toenail (little toe).

    Nasty! :-o

    At least I haven’t done that (so far). Mine dislocate so easily that the lightest brush against a mat will do it, no significant impact is required. A toe does hurt a bit (and feel “nervous”) for a couple of weeks after I’ve wrangled it back into its slot though. (Yes, mostly I do do it myself rather than having to go to A&E.)

    Do you know how long your toe is going to take to get better (insofar as it will at all)?

  257. #261 Alan B
    January 2, 2010

    #222 Tigana

    Thanks for the information! I was unaware of the mapping project and of them finding tufa is substantial amounts (by UK tufa standards).

    Are you studying with the OU or tagged onto the OUGS field trip? (Don’t answer if you don’t want to – I know personal information is rarely asked for or given on the internet).

    I shall have to have a read of the report. I’m interested in the environment in which it might have formed and whether there is evidence of moss – ancient or modern. Hopefully, I shall find it there otherwise I will probably contact the survey team.

    Thanks again.

  258. #262 Josh
    January 2, 2010

    Do you know how long your toe is going to take to get better (insofar as it will at all)?

    Well, the area under the now-absent nail is still really damn tender, as you might expect (but it’s also currently bandaged, which is putting some pressure on the wound). I just need to wait for the nail to regrow, which will take a few weeks. From previous experience with my other foot, the area in question should toughen up to the point where it’s functionally no different from the toes around it by next weekend or so. I’m not going to run this morning in order to give it a moment to heal up some, but I’m going to be rucking again on Monday, so that’ll be…pleasant.

    And because this is my life, the timing is poor. I’ve got a PT test coming up in a couple of weeks where my running speed is going to matter, so this is not when I need to be skipping run (or ruck) days. Fuck.

  259. #263 David Marjanovi?
    January 2, 2010

    What about Plitvice? Is that tufa?

    Nerd, what is the origin of the term Yooper?

    Is it some mangling of Upper in the regional dialect?

    That’s what Wiki says.

    Erm, no, the article you cite says comments 223 and 252 are right.

    You act as if Heisenberg uncertainty principle is a secret known only to you, thatsa mighty high horse your riding.

    What, if anything, was the point of citing Leucippus when you know full well the quote has been falsified?

    WTF?

    Genghis Khan was called Tem[ü]jin: “Genghis Khan” means “lord of the Earth”.

    Does it? What about the “ruler who is as the ocean” idea, with chinggiz from the word for “sea” in Turkic languages (tingiz/tengiz/dengiz… Turkish deniz, because Turkish has turned every ng into n… Mongolian always turns ti into chi)?

  260. #264 Knockgoats
    January 2, 2010

    “ruler who is as the ocean” – David Marjanovi?, OM @263

    That’s much more poetic! I’m only repeating what I read in a history of Central Asia – my knowledge of Turkic languages is limited to the fact that they are agglutinative. Possibly your phrase could be a literal and ine a metaphorical translation?

  261. #265 Josh
    January 2, 2010

    What about Plitvice? Is that tufa?

    Yes. And it’s one of the best examples of this sort of precipitation/deposition. Waterfall turbulence and resultant precipitation, formation of tufa dams in active fluvial channels, vegetation getting actively interred. Classic. Happening right now.

  262. #266 Knockgoats
    January 2, 2010

    On another, topic, Irish atheists strike back!

  263. #267 Josh
    January 2, 2010

    So tufa is something that grows on you.

    Yes.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=9XMPAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA633

  264. #268 SEF
    January 2, 2010

    On a “qui custodiet” note (including physical but non-sentient “guards”, eg on the “watcher” device itself). Although it’s slightly worrying that it’s pretty much only being covered in The Sun and a bunch of foreign copyists. :-/

  265. #269 Rorschach
    January 2, 2010

    Ok this thread needs music !!! Dont think we’ve had Queen for a while…

    Play the game !

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    Show must go on

  266. #270 SEF
    January 2, 2010

    @ Josh #262:

    I just need to wait for the nail to regrow, which will take a few weeks.

    That’s pretty speedy (even given that it’s probably your smallest nail)!

  267. #271 Tigana
    January 2, 2010

    Alan B #261

    They interpreted the Witherslack tufa as forming in an ice tunnel, we looked at a couple of easily accessible large blocks of tufa in a field but there were many more in the woodland following the line of the tube, so they may be no moss to identify. Try Michael Dewey at Cumbria RIGS / WGS for more details.

    I have just finished the Geology S260 course & am starting “Understanding the Continents” in Feb, plus go on fieldtrips with number of groups inc OUGS. I tend to lurk on this thread for the geology links. Hopfully, the more I study, the better I will be able to contribute to the conversation.

  268. #272 Josh
    January 2, 2010

    Regarding continental rises and slopes and such: It’s really not appropriate to refer to them as talus slopes or alluvial fans or anything like that. These are complex geomorphic features that reflect the rifting origins of the ocean basins that they edge. They are not talus slopes or alluvial fans.

    Talus is a weathering product.
    These are talus slopes:

    The person is standing right on the edge of the talus slope.
    3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/landslide/images/arroyo_seco4.jpg

    This mesa-like outcrop is skirted by talus.
    depts.washington.edu/natmap/habitats/images/talus_slope_kmd.jpg

    Slightly vegetated.
    http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_3251_sum08/05_talus_slopea.jpg

    http://www.boliviaweb.com/travel/jason/images/day4_camino%20a%20titisani.jpg

    This is a closer view of the talus material itself.
    spanishpeakscountry.com/images/mountainimages/mestas/talus2.jpg

    Alluvial fans are depositional features.
    These are alluvial fans:

    The black line is a road that’s running on the fan itself and basically traces is geography.
    http://www.windows.ucar.edu/earth/geology/images/alluvial_fan_lg.jpeg

    and
    3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/landslide/images/copper_canyon_fan.jpg

    Nice clear one. The v-shaped or cone-shaped feature at the bottom of the canyon that is in contact with the lake.
    http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/Atlas/Images/Glossary/Alluvial_fan.jpg

    gsc.nrcan.gc.ca/landscapes/photos/ne/baffin/brodeur/fans.jpg

    img2.allposters.com/images/RHPOD/29-1117.jpg

    Nice very small one that is the result of high-energy fluvial transport.
    http://www.rmnp.com/Scenery/RMNP-AlluvialFan001.JPG

    And, just to be an ass, here is an intermittent alluvial fan developing between two talus slope lobes.
    http://www.restondigital.com/banff/images/alluvial_fan.jpg

    Now, these are continental slope images:

    3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/landslide/images/monterey_small.jpg

    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/image/2minsurface/1350/45N090W.jpg

    See the differences? Now, there can definitely be talus and alluvial fan development on the large-scale features that are the slopes, but the slopes themselves are rather more complex than fans and talus slopes.

    http://geology.isu.edu/Digital_Geology_Idaho/Module3/Passive_Margin.gif

    http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/nyc/images/fig112.jpg

    You can feel free to conflate these terms if you want, but what you’re really doing if you do that* is analogous to looking at a tiny stream draining across a beach,

    http://clasticdetritus.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/dscf5206.jpg

    that’s depositing a small fan in a gully, and asserting that this fan is the beach and that the processes that formed the fan are those which are responsible for forming the beach. In reality, however, the processes that built that little fan aren’t at all the same ones which are responsible for producing the overall beach.

    *Or at least, this is what appeared to be happening in the previous installment of The ThreadTM when the term talus slope was being used to refer to the continental slope, which is why I’m bringing it up.

  269. #273 Josh
    January 2, 2010

    Now, if you look at this figure from that last comment I wrote,

    http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/nyc/images/fig112.jpg

    the abrupt contact between the oceanic crust and the continental crust is probably going to piss you off. But you really need to remember that any of these margin cross-sections(1) are going to be schematic. Far more important than that, however, is the fact that the contact between the oceanic crust and the continental crust in this case(2) is pretty abrupt. Remember, you’re discussing an ocean basin that was initiated and continues to open because of processes that are broadly explained by the hypothesis of sea-floor spreading.

    References and Notes
    1. http://www.lisrc.uconn.edu/images/geology/images/225-145mya.jpg
    2. The eastern coast of North America.

  270. #274 JeffreyD
    January 2, 2010

    Oh, sorry SC OM, I had no idea that what I said might have made you ill. (silent chortling)

    I am one of those rare people who just never seems to get a hangover or ill from drinking, even to excess. I also wake up chipper, fully alert, and wanting to converse. Yeah, I know, I know – every women who has ever shared a bed or room with me hates that. On the other hand, I do like to snuggle in the morning so none of them ever actually tried to kill me for being the way I am. Well, not in the morning at least. The one attempt on my life was entirely unrelated to my morning behaviour. Or have I said too much again?

    Josh, sorry about your toe man. However, I am willing to trade my foot issue with you if you accept without knowing the details. (grin) Try some Tuff Skin or Betadine on the area to toughen it up before you have to run.

    Ciao y’all

  271. #275 Josh
    January 2, 2010

    FUCKING SB!

    Please ignore #273. I’m working on something.

    Josh, sorry about your toe man.

    Thanks, man. Yeah, no trade–I can live with this… :)

  272. #276 Sphere Coupler
    January 2, 2010

    Posted by: Sphere Coupler | December 31, 2009 10:05 PM

    To usher in the new year and to admire a glimpse into the dawning of light…I’ll quote Leucippus,

    Nothing happens at random (maten), but everything from reason (ek logou) and by necessity.
    Have a happy.

    OK David I’ll try to clean up your “WTF”.

    Notice the date and time of the original post.
    It was New Years Eve.
    It is customary to look back at the past as you look forward to the future.
    If you know who Leucippus is, then you know that he is considered the first Greek to develop the theory of atomism.
    His work is approximately 2444 years old.
    Whether he was right or wrong does not matter in this context, it was the fact that not much survives of his writing, yet that which does has helped to lead those who followed in the direction of Atomism.
    “admire a glimpse into the dawning of light”

    It was a new years greeting that was perhaps *to abstract for the uninitiated.*

  273. #277 SC OM
    January 2, 2010

    Apropos of nothing, I think this is cool:

    http://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/project-pages/coastal_mass/

    But then, I just like maps. :)

    ***

    On the other hand, I do like to snuggle in the morning so none of them ever actually tried to kill me for being the way I am.

    I’d want to kill you more. :)

    ***

    The nails on my pinky toes are so small as to be very difficult to find (mm or two). I’m sure I’d notice if I lost one, but it wouldn’t take long to heal, that’s for sure.

    And because this is my life, the timing is poor. I’ve got a PT test coming up in a couple of weeks where my running speed is going to matter, so this is not when I need to be skipping run (or ruck) days. Fuck.

    Aren’t you able to report any injuries that might interfere with your training/performance?

  274. #278 Dania
    January 2, 2010

    FUCKING SB!

    Did you hit submit instead of preview or are you sure you hit preview but it somehow got submitted instead?

    I ask because the later situation has happened to me once and I’m still not sure who’s fault it was.

  275. #279 Josh
    January 2, 2010

    I’m sure I’d notice if I lost one, but it wouldn’t take long to heal, that’s for sure.

    Yeah, they don’t take long to regrow, but they do hurt like hell when they come off.

    Aren’t you able to report any injuries that might interfere with your training/performance?

    Of course, but it has to be something that’s perceived as a “real” injury. Something that really would prevent you from getting the job done if it happened in the suck. Otherwise, injuries are an unfortunate part of being down range. In the case of something as trivial as a toenail getting ripped off, my teammates are gonna be like “WTF? It’s a toenail…get on the fucking chopper. We’ve got shit to do.”

    Did you hit submit instead of preview or are you sure you hit preview but it somehow got submitted instead?

    No, I absolutely hit submit instead of preview.
    Fuck. But the latter has happened to me in the past.

  276. #280 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 2, 2010

    It’s snowing. The third snowstorm in four days. I just get dug out from the last one when the next one shows up. The weather people are threatening snow for tomorrow and Monday as well.

    Looks like I’ll have time to finish my Civ4 game this weekend.

  277. #281 Lynna, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Thanks, Alan B, for the posts on the tufa. I especially liked the details regarding the placement in the dingle, and the relationship of tufa formation to water flow(s).

    A “dingle” quote from Dylan Thomas’s “Fern Hill”

    Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
    About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
    The night above the dingle starry,
    Time let me hail and climb
    Golden in the heydays of his eyes,…

    Here’s a good example of tuff (not tufa): Photos and geological info on Crystal Peak

  278. #282 Sven DiMilo
    January 2, 2010

    Geology: still boring.
    Josh’s toe: also boring.
    2010: kind of a disappointment so far.
    PZ: still a poopyhead.

  279. #283 JeffreyD
    January 2, 2010

    Cool map SC OM. Also a map freak.

    Re snuggling, always been lucky that my partners are snugglers – wonderful on a chilly morning when you don’t have to be anywhere in particular.

    Well, coffee and food time – Ciao y’all

  280. #284 SC OM
    January 2, 2010

    Of course, but it has to be something that’s perceived as a “real” injury. Something that really would prevent you from getting the job done if it happened in the suck. Otherwise, injuries are an unfortunate part of being down range. In the case of something as trivial as a toenail getting ripped off, my teammates are gonna be like “WTF? It’s a toenail…get on the fucking chopper. We’ve got shit to do.”

    Well, of course. But we’re not talking about that situation. It’s training. I guess I look at it from a sports POV: you get injured during practice or just on your own time and the trainers tell you to sit out some practices or even games to allow it to heal properly. That’s the rational thing to do from a long-term perspective.* (I don’t know what complications could result from running with that specific injury – Rorschach? – but there probably are some; though of course it’s not like a possibly-broken bone – you’d have to be crazy to run/ruck with that ;).) I don’t understand the mentality that thinks some level of toughness will magically make things heal quickly or correctly despite not allowing them to. Madness.

    *Ah, there’s the problem right there – I was somehow expecting rationality from the military.

    :)

  281. #285 Kristjan Wager
    January 2, 2010

    Completely unrelated to anything going on before in the comment section (I presume, I scrolled past).

    I’m leaving for a vacation in Perth, Australia tomorrow – most of the time is going to be spent visiting family, but can anyone tell me if there is anything I should make sure to see while in town?

  282. #286 Lynna, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Shoveling definitely counts.
    You still have to wear a ruck, but it can be 20lbs lighter than whatever the weight would be.
    Discounts for All.

    Thanks, Josh. Sounds reasonable to me. I do think you should require ruck weights that are a percentage of the rucker’s weight — that way this petite female will not have to carry the same weight as a 200 pound man.

    I lost a toenail while rafting the Bruneau River. The raft and I were popped up like toast in a rapid, and then further tossed around individually. When I was finally able to tow my one-man raft into an eddy and crawl out on the bank to recover, I discovered that I was minus one toenail. The cold water, plus the adrenaline rush of swimming for one’s survival, made the loss more an object wonder than of pain … at least for a little while.

    The problem with wounds that are foot-associated is that one has to keep walking on them, hence the horror of blisters.

  283. #287 Sven DiMilo
    January 2, 2010

    Warning: Should the discussion here continue to concern toenails, I WILL post graphic descriptions of mine, one by one, and, should it become necessary, photos. There may be fungus involved, but I am neither confirming nor denying that possibility at this time. This is your only warning.

  284. #288 SC OM
    January 2, 2010

    It’s snowing. The third snowstorm in four days. I just get dug out from the last one when the next one shows up. The weather people are threatening snow for tomorrow and Monday as well.

    I’m so fucking sick of the snow. I was able to get out for my walk yesterday (not that fun in any case – too many people, too dark, too hung over), but it wasn’t really relaxing since I knew it would be the last chance I had before the multi-day storm hit. I have things to do here at home today, but if I’m stuck inside through Monday I may lose it.

  285. #289 Jadehawk, OM
    January 2, 2010

    It’s obscenely warm and rained a bit today. :-(

    aah, home, sweet home :-p

  286. #290 Josh
    January 2, 2010

    This is your only warning.

    *looks around to see if anyone is creeped out by this*

    *sees no one*

  287. #291 Lynna, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Witherslack

    Looks like slack withers, does it?

  288. #292 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 2, 2010

    I’m leaving for a vacation in Perth, Australia tomorrow – most of the time is going to be spent visiting family, but can anyone tell me if there is anything I should make sure to see while in town?

    The Iguazu Falls are a little out of the way, but well worth a visit. Here’s an overhead view.

  289. #293 Lynna, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Well, Sven, I say, “Bring on the fungus, if you must.” However, I hope you’ll note that I did try to change the subject to slack withers.

  290. #294 Lynna, OM
    January 2, 2010

    I’m outta here for an hour or so. Gotta shovel snow again. I shoveled enough yesterday to make my muscles sore, so I know I earned brunch at Josh’s Ruck and Brunch. I’ll have to take it slow today until I break a sweat. The break-a-sweat point usually coincides with muscles loosening up and deciding that they will work after all … if I insist.

  291. #295 Sven DiMilo
    January 2, 2010

    Looks like a classic nor’easter.

  292. #296 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 2, 2010

    I lost a toenail while rafting the Bruneau River.

    Don’t worry. I found it. Put it in the mail for you if you want.

  293. #297 Walton
    January 2, 2010

    Jadehawk,

    Sorry for derailing the thread (since there seems to be an unwritten rule that all open threads have to be devoted to snow, interesting rocks, bad music, bacon and inventive uses for the word “sniny”), but I wanted to continue a discussion about consumerism we were having a few weeks ago on this thread before it got derailed by insanity seasonal high spirits. :-)

    Having given some thought to it, I still have to disagree with your perspective on consumerism. Consumer capitalism gives us so many things which it would be difficult to live without. I’m not talking about wall-mounted singing fish; rather, I’m talking about refrigerators, computers, central heating, mobile phones, digital watches, and all the other technology we use on a daily basis without even noticing. And the idea of living on “local food” is great if you happen to live in an agricultural region, but not so great if you live in, say, Iceland or the Falkland Islands and are allergic to fish.

    In the end, a person who has, for instance, a refrigerator has a better quality of life than a person who does not have a refrigerator. This is not a culturally contingent truth; the need for refrigerators is not artificially created by “consumerist culture”. Ditto for computers, and heating, and air conditioning. And thanks to consumer capitalism, more people in the world than ever before have access to these things – a situation which, sadly, is probably unsustainable because of limited environmental resources.

    The point I’m trying to make is that while I recognise the necessity for environmental action to be taken, I don’t think we can kid ourselves and claim that we’ll all be happier without a “consumerist lifestyle”.

  294. #298 Lynna, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Don’t worry. I found it. Put it in the mail for you if you want.

    I already grew another one, so you can keep the bloody thing if you like. Better yet, sell the toenail to Mr. Fire for his creepy basement display of Lynna-related oddments. Mr. Fire claims to have the vibrating lingerie (technically the property of Smoggy Batzrubble, but stolen long ago by Lynna), but I fear Mr. Fire has been bamboozled by sellers of faux Lynna undies. He should have checked the DNA. Perhaps you could check the DNA of the toenail found in Bruneau Canyon before you set your price for Mr. Fire.

    A calm stretch of the river on which the toenail was lost is pictured here.

  295. #299 Kristjan Wager
    January 2, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself, yes South America is a bit out of the way when I’m in Perth, Australia. Iguazu Falls looks breathtaking though

  296. #300 mythusmage
    January 2, 2010

    Here’s something covering geology, geography, and oceanography, Drain the Ocean; 8pm Eastern Time, 5 pm Pacific Time on the National Geographic Channel. (Thought folks would be interested.)

  297. #301 mythusmage
    January 2, 2010

    Josh, #273

    Actually, that’s what I was talking about; a abrupt transition from oceanic to continental crust, no blending of the two.

  298. #302 mythusmage
    January 2, 2010

    Where toenails are concerned, I’ve lost a grand total of three from my big toes. The first time I lustily jammed the big toe of my right foot against something hard. I think a street curb, but it’s been awhile and I have the Asper’s malfunctioning memory. The nail grew back, then fell off again. The second regrowth took.

    The third time it was the nail on the big toe of the left foot, and this development required a bad case of toenail fungus plus the application of a toenail fungus treatment. Unlike the other two times this occasion included a fair amount of bleeding.

  299. #303 Josh
    January 2, 2010

    Actually, that’s what I was talking about; a abrupt transition from oceanic to continental crust, no blending of the two.

    Yeah, as you can see from my accidental posting, I’m working on a reply to that issue. I was working on it pretty well, but then got distracted by some other stuff. I doubt I’ll finish it tonight. Sorry about that.

  300. #304 mythusmage
    January 2, 2010

    I just struck me, over at American Scientist there are people working there who visit this blog on regular occasion (it’s in their list of links on their front page) who read these comments. I have to wonder how often they wonder if maybe their fellow scientists are a few light bulbs short of a chandelier.

  301. #305 mythusmage
    January 2, 2010

    Josh, #303

    Better late and correct than early and wrong. BTW, I don’t know if I’ll be able to check out all your links, but I do appreciate you providing them. I expect others will be able to take advantage of the leads you provided.

  302. #306 David Marjanovi?
    January 2, 2010

    It was a new years greeting that was perhaps *to abstract for the uninitiated.*

    Definitely.

    aah, home, sweet home :-p

    I’m going to fly to Paris tomorrow, er, later today. Something tells me that’s not the right destination.

  303. #307 SC OM
    January 2, 2010

    I just struck me, over at American Scientist there are people working there who visit this blog on regular occasion (it’s in their list of links on their front page) who read these comments. I have to wonder how often they wonder if maybe their fellow scientists are a few light bulbs short of a chandelier.

    On what do you base this, specifically? Can you point to some comments in particular? I can’t find that, by the way. Could you provide a link?

    And I think you mean chanderlier:

    http://www.yousuckatcraigslist.com/?p=3746

  304. #308 Jadehawk, OM
    January 2, 2010

    I’m going to fly to Paris tomorrow, er, later today. Something tells me that’s not the right destination.

    well, I’d mail you some snow (FSM knows we have more than enough of it… and it’s snowing again right now), but something tells me it won’t make it to Paris intact :-p

  305. #309 Jadehawk, OM
    January 2, 2010

    Walton,
    1)Before I even get into this conversation, let me make something very clear: if you ever again dismiss data simply because you don’t like the uses/conclusions of the source without providing evidence that the data is faulty, I will permanently killfile you. This is a strategy used by creotards and AGW denialists as an excuse to never read anything on TalkOrigins or RealClimate, and I do not have the time or the patience for that crap.

    2)You seem to either conflate capitalism and consumerism, or you think consumerism is the only form of capitalism that has ever existed/can ever exist. This isn’t a conversation about capitalism; it’s a conversation about the consumerist version of it, which is a very modern phenomenon, a deliberate consequence of the fact that everything a person actually needs can be made relatively cheaply and quickly and little human labor, thus resulting in need saturation and labor glut. A good article about the birth of consumerism is here.

    3)Consumerism is a flavor of capitalism that requires people not to buy, own, and use things, but to consume them. Things aren’t used, they’re used up. There are two ways of achieving this: one is by making people feel like they need more than they actually do, and by planned obsolescence.
    I’m not even going to bother with the former, because if you don’t think desires (i.e. “needs”) can be artificially created, you clearly don’t live on the same planet as me, where advertising is ubiquitous and highly profitable.
    The latter is what happens when things that are actually useful and even needful are made in such a way that you will have to buy them over and over again even when theoretically buying it once would be quite enough. American cars are the best known example of this: they were specifically designed to fall apart almost instantly so that people would have to repair them all the time and replace them often. This is true for a lot of other things too: most regular clothing, tools, appliances etc. are of such low quality that they need to be replaced every couple of years. Especially since fixing/”upgrading” broken things has become severely sidelined (by stigmatizing it, or by making it impossible via design of the object in question, or simply via the fact that buying a new item can be cheaper than fixing the old, due to various price distortions).
    This is all done on purpose, but is often not visible to the public at large. For example, bra companies such as Victoria’s Secret are pushing hard to make every woman out there believe the myth that she needs to replace all her bra’s every 6 months, and that a woman can’t just wear the same bra-size for decades. Those are both absurd statements: firstly, many women do wear the same size for many many years, so of course they can; secondly, 6 months is ridiculous*, even in times of severe change such as puberty and childbearing. And yet, that’s precisely what they’re telling their customers, and their products are also not designed to last longer than 6 months (usually they do, but wear and tear is visible very quickly, and as I just mentioned, most people don’t fix clothing, they replace it). Add to this the fact that “old” is being pushed as a sufficient reason to replace something (even something that still works just fine), and you have the wasteful, neurotic consumerist culture in which we currently live. This isn’t necessary or even particularly conductive to actual happiness (because no addiction ever is, and consumerism is addiction to buying stuff): my mom has had the same furniture and appliances since she moved to Germany 20 years ago; my boyfriend’s family has appliances that are almost 30 years old, and cars from the 50’s and 60’s; my car is 20 years old, my furniture is older than I am, and several of my clothes have been worn by my mother and my aunt when they were in college. And this despite the fact that none of these things were ever meant to last that long, because we weren’t supposed to FIX them, only replace them**. How much better still would it be if things were designed in such a way as to make them durable, fixable, and modular (i.e. upgradable in parts***)? Stuff made, sold, and bought that way would still be part of a capitalist system, but one that doesn’t sacrifice resources and quality of life at the altar of the consumerist economy.****

    4)No amount of “environmental protection” is going to be even remotely effective as long as the world continues to function according to the rules of consumerist growth economics. We’ve touched on this in the discussion about population growth (these economies need constantly increasing customer basespopulations, which is obviously counterproductive to trying to stop and reverse overpopulation), but exactly the same thing applies to resource management; it even applies to energy efficiency: where electricity is handled by a business rather than a non-profit or government itself, efficiency will be actively hindered by the fact that an increase in efficiency is likely to hit the provider hard or even drive them out of business, because suddenly they can’t sell enough electricity to make a profit. Thus, they will actively resist any such developments, or alternatively find loopholes that promote efficiency at one end, but increased energy use at another.

    5)Ecosystems that are completely incapable of supporting large populations shouldn’t have large populations. The environmental cost of shipping food halfway across the globe aside, such ill-placed population centers do immesurably more damage to the environment than population-centers in more sturdy, suitable environments. Las Vegas is an example I’ve used of a city where none should be… but pretty much all of the American Southwest is overpopulated for its carrying capacity, especially in terms of water. Aquifers underneath Nevada, Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico are being sucked dry at alarming levels; the same goes for the Colorado and the Rio Grande. The population-centers in this area (Las Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and LA)are responsible for the rapid , total, and irreparable destruction of ecosystems which stretch for many thousands of miles, and which could have otherwise supported the populations residing there. Just think about this: the settlement of these entirely unsuitable places has dried up one of the largest rivers in North America, and is on its way to do the same with another!
    Anyway, the point here being that areas like that will have to be severely depopulated if we’re to prevent the environmental death of these areas. And if that sounds draconic, please keep in mind that they’ll end up depopulated eventually anyway, because of the destruction going on (you can transport water only so far before it becomes too expensive or before you run out of places willing to sell you their water); the issue is merely to do it before the damage is done, not wait until afterwards

    6)As far as agriculture is concerned, there are only two directions this whole thing can go: we can continue with the current system which is more or less feeding the current world population, but is destroying arable land at a ridiculous pace and is therefore unsustainable and will eventually collapse and result in mass starvation; or we can make the (admittedly painful) switch to sustainable agriculture, which we would be able to continue indefinitely. Now, the main “argument” against sustainable and local agriculture is that it can’t feed all of the world’s population. Which is true only in a very shallow sort of way, i.e. when you think of sustainable agriculture solely in terms of quaint, “organic” family farms that produce much less food than industrial agriculture. If that’s all there were to it, then switching to sustainable agriculture would result in starvation. This isn’t the case luckily. Part of developing a sustainable agriculture is solving sustainability and productivity problems with the help of technology. And for places that have sufficient water but insufficient arable land (either because of poor or non-existent soil, or because of urban sprawl), the vertical farm is probably the best solution i’ve seen so far. Which would solve the “fish allergy in Iceland” problem just fine :-p

    eh… yeah, that’s enough for now I think.

    ——-
    *they even unknowingly admit that this is crap, because they will also tell you that a woman needs to gain/lose 25lbs before she needs a different bra size; what woman constantly gains and/or loses 25lbs every 6 months?!

    **incidentally, at this point I’d commit murder for a sieve that doesn’t break every 8 months, ffs. My mom’s strainer is also fucking ancient, why can’t they make them like that anymore?!

    ***think of this as a desktop vs. laptop issue. When you buy a laptop, you’re stuck with whatever specs you started out with, so when one part becomes obsolete, you have to replace the whole thing. OTOH, desktops are more modular: you can add and replace individual parts, so that overall you waste less resources and money on it. The same concept can and should be applied to other things; part of this being the compatibility of newer parts with older machines, which is one of the main reason a lot of old things cannot be fixed: the parts just aren’t made anymore.

    ****two things I remembered in regard to this: the first was an article at the beginning of the current economic crisis giving people advice on how to weather the recession. It actually told people that while they should limit their spending somewhat, under no circumstances should they completely stop spending money, because then they’d make the economy even worse. This was advice to people who were losing their houses, jobs, etc, and yet they were told to sacrifice their shrinking, insufficient incomes for the betterment of the economy! The second one was an article about china, in which it was mentioned that the chinese (I don’t remember if they were talking specifically about the chinese middle class, but I suspect so) save 20% of their incomes and how they must be coaxed and tricked into spending much more money, for the good of the economy. Both of those were pretty damn good examples of how consumerist economies are bad: for one, what’s good for the consumerist economy is bad for actual people; two, once you are stuck in a consumerist economy, you’re in a lose-lose situation where both spending and not spending money will bite you in the ass

  306. #310 Walton
    January 3, 2010

    Jadehawk,

    I see your point. And obviously I can’t argue with the obvious fact that manufacturers design products that will break or become obsolete after a certain length of time, so as to compel people to buy more and therefore increase demand. Nor can I argue with the fact that businesses artificially stimulate demand through advertising.

    But I disagree that this is necessarily a bad thing. Think about it. The cheap, low-quality consumer goods we consumer are now largely manufactured in the developing world. Making cheap products for Western markets has already lifted South Korea and Taiwan out of poverty, and is doing the same for many parts of China and India. For the first time, people whose ancestors were peasant farmers living at subsistence level now have jobs, incomes and a chance to climb the social ladder. If we stopped buying cheap stuff in vast quantities from foreign factories, these people would be put out of work, and those countries would be denied the chance to enrich themselves.

    As you acknowledge (and as the linked article also acknowledges), modern industrial technology allows us to produce far more stuff than we need, meaning that manufacturers are compelled to create markets artificially. But think how many people rely on this whole process for their livelihoods. Not just industrial workers, but advertisers, retail staff, warehouse and logistics workers… in fact, our economy is built almost entirely on this process of producing too much and creating demand for stuff. Get rid of that, and you put millions out of work, as well as destroying the tax revenue base which sustains the public sector.

  307. #311 negentropyeater
    January 3, 2010

    Walton,

    in fact, our economy is built almost entirely on this process of producing too much and creating demand for stuff. Get rid of that, and you put millions out of work, as well as destroying the tax revenue base which sustains the public sector.

    But that’s precisely the problem, that our economic system requires rapid growth to provide full employement. In qunatifiable terms, we know that our system demands an average yearly growth rate of ca. 3.5% per annum of its output in order to provide full employement (at NAIRU). But you can easily see that this is doomed to collapse one day, and that day will be some time in this century : if the output needs to double roughly every twenty years (and the consumption of resources with it), this means that before the end of this century, the world population will need to consume more than 16 times what it is consuming today.
    This is of course not sustainable, and we will need to transition towards a much more resilient system most probably within our lifetime…

    Which one ? Thats is the question, and I don’t think there exists a complete answer yet, but I hope that when a growing population will recognize the need to move away from the current system of finance-led capitalism and consumerism, we will find a new satisfactory way forward.

    Oh and about fish allergic people in Iceland, read this:

    At end of 1998, there were around half a million sheep in Iceland but with the addition of lambs in summer, a total sheep stock of 1.1-1.2 million may be assumed.

    There are about 30,500 milch cows, producing a total of around 100 million litres of milk per year.

    Other crops include potatoes (the harvest of which meets about 80% of domestic consumption), turnips and carrots. Cultivation of vegetables and flowers in geothermally heated greenhouses is extensive. In total, greenhouses produced about 800 tonnes of tomatoes in 1998, which was two-thirds of annual consumption. By area under cultivation, cucumbers come second in importance after tomatoes, and the output of 700 tonnes supplies over 70% of domestic demand.

  308. #312 Walton
    January 3, 2010

    negentropyeater: I agree that the present system is unsustainable, but I think it’s wishful thinking to believe that there can be a “new satisfactory way forward” which jettisons “finance-led capitalism and consumerism” while maintaining a high quality of life for ordinary people.

    Realistically, my prediction is that, as you point out, the global consumer capitalist economy will eventually run out of resources and collapse. Billions worldwide will then be plunged into poverty and deprivation, and the result will be a new Dark Age. The simple truth is that there is no alternative to capitalism that provides equally high material living standards to the average person. Every other socio-economic system ever attempted has produced poverty and misery.

    The best thing we can do, IMO, is find more inventive ways to exploit the world’s resources so that they last for longer. Hopefully, given the impetus of impending doom, we will eventually develop means of colonising and exploiting other planets, though I don’t know enough about space science to know whether this would be technologically possible.

  309. #313 negentropyeater
    January 3, 2010

    Walton,

    we haven’t tried anarchism yet. Abolishing property and money-as-debt would be a good start.

    But, sadly, I tend to agree with your prediction : we will probably have to wait first until the current system collapses, with the unavoidable resulting misery and wars, before we find a new way forward…

  310. #314 negentropyeater
    January 3, 2010

    And about colonizing and exploiting resources from other planets, I don’t see a physical reason why it should be technologically impossible.
    But we do need to have more visionary leaders, who decide to invest more seriously in the kind of programmes that will be needed to enable it.
    Unfortunately the current growing libertarian trend of distrust of government isn’t helping : the more it continues, the more we will end up with the kind of leadership we expect, untrustworthy and short-sighted.
    And I sincerely doubt private businesses will ever find it sufficiently attractive to invest there.

    I am not malthusian because I believe we can develop the technologies that will enable us to go beyond our current ecological limits on planet earth.

  311. #315 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 3, 2010

    The simple truth is that there is no alternative to capitalism that provides equally high material living standards to the average person. Every other socio-economic system ever attempted has produced poverty and misery.

    SC would strongly disagree with this statement.

    One of my concerns for the future is that a system of commercial feudalism will replace the present capitalist-democratic system we have now in the Western World.

  312. #316 Rorschach
    January 3, 2010

    Kristjan Wager @ 285,

    I’m leaving for a vacation in Perth, Australia tomorrow – most of the time is going to be spent visiting family, but can anyone tell me if there is anything I should make sure to see while in town?

    In Perth itself there are various parks with the famous black swans and plenty pubs with live music and awesome local beers, a few hours to the north and east respectively are the spectacular Pinnacles and Wave Rock.

  313. #317 Sphere Coupler
    January 3, 2010
  314. #318 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Jadehawk, OM #309

    an article at the beginning of the current economic crisis giving people advice on how to weather the recession. It actually told people that while they should limit their spending somewhat, under no circumstances should they completely stop spending money, because then they’d make the economy even worse. This was advice to people who were losing their houses, jobs, etc, and yet they were told to sacrifice their shrinking, insufficient incomes for the betterment of the economy!

    The basis of Keynesian economics is that money circulates. If money is removed from circulation then the economy shrinks.

    In a recession or depression even people with jobs and income are worried that they won’t have a job next month. So they save their money in case there’s a problem putting food on the table rather than going to the movies or to a restaurant. When enough people aren’t going to the movies then the woman who sells popcorn loses her job. The cycle continues.

    As I said in a post from last April:

    To put it very simply and simplistically, Keynes’ economic theory was based on an circular flow of money. One person’s spending goes towards another’s earnings, and when that person spends her earnings she is, in effect, supporting another’s earnings. This circle continues on and helps support a normal functioning economy. When the Great Depression hit, people’s natural reaction was to hoard their money. However, under Keynes’ theory this stopped the circular flow of money, keeping the economy at a standstill.

    Keynes’ solution to this poor economic state was to prime the pump. By prime the pump, Keynes argued that the government should step in to increase spending, either by increasing the money supply or by actually buying things on the market itself. This pump priming is called activist stabilization policy. And despite what you may have heard on Fox News, it worked during the Great Depression.

  315. #319 David Marjanovi?
    January 3, 2010

    several of my clothes have been worn by my mother and my aunt when they were in college.

    Same with me, brother, and uncles. And there are two 40-year-old pieces my dad wore in communist Yugoslavia that I still wear often…

    Even his Soviet-made wind-up watch, about 50 years old, still works, though it’s only used in emergencies (which may be why it’s still not broken, who knows).

  316. #320 Lynna, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Glenn Beck’s popularity is dissected by columnist Dana Milbank in the Washington Post Excerpts:

    It’s official: Americans admire Glenn Beck more than they admire the pope.
         This news, at once unsettling and unsurprising, came from the Gallup polling organization on Wednesday. Beck, the new Fox News host who has said President Obama has a “deep-seated hatred for white people” and alternately likens administration officials to Nazis and Marxists, was also more admired by Americans than Billy Graham and Bill Gates, not to mention Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. In Americans’ esteem, Beck only narrowly trailed South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, the man who defeated apartheid.
         The 45-year-old recovering alcoholic and Mormon convert has become the first true demagogue of the information age. His nightly diet of falsehoods and conspiracies on Fox, and his daily outrages on the radio, have propelled his popularity past even Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. His method is simple: He goes places where others are forbidden by conscience. [emphasis mine]…..
         Lieberman didn’t mention that he wrote a letter of recommendation that helped get the high-school-educated Beck into a non-degree program at Yale. Beck quit after just one course in religion — and now this theology dropout has earned a status in America more exalted than the Holy Father’s.
         As Glenn Beck likes to say: I fear for my country.

  317. #321 mythusmage
    January 3, 2010

    SC, #307

    Why link to Pharyngula if you didn’t think it worth your time?

  318. #322 Lynna, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Christopher Hitchens wrote an interesting article for Vanity Fair, In Defense of Foxhole Atheists Excerpts:

    It?s no secret that conservative Christians dominate the U.S. military, but when higher-ups start talking about conversion missions, it?s time to worry. The author meets a group of soldiers who aren?t having it.
         One Monday in May, I was setting off from Washington to Colorado Springs, home of the United States Air Force Academy. I had kindly been invited by the academy?s ?freethinkers association,? a loose-knit group of cadets and instructors who are without religious affiliation. As I was making ready to depart, and checking my e-mail, I found I had been sent a near-incredible video clip from the Al Jazeera network. It had been shot at Bagram Air Force Base last year, and it showed a borderline-hysterical address by one Lieutenant Colonel Gary Hensley, chief of the United States? military chaplains in Afghanistan. He was telling his evangelical audience, all of them wearing uniforms supplied by the taxpayer, that as followers of Jesus Christ they had a collective responsibility ?to be witnesses for him.? Heating up this theme, Lieutenant Colonel Hensley went on: ?The Special Forces guys, they hunt men, basically. We do the same things, as Christians. We hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down. Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them in the kingdom. Right? That?s what we do, that?s our business.?…
         …unexamined extremist Christian conservatism is the cultural norm in many military circles. One Lutheran chaplain at the academy, Captain Melinda Morton, resigned from the service after being transferred for protesting that the evangelical pressure was ?systematic.? And, despite the tolerance for Pentecostal hellfire rants, by no means all forms of expression could be indulged; a nonbelieving cadet was forbidden to organize a club for ?freethinkers.?…
        …More alarming still is a book called Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, by an air-force lieutenant colonel named William McCoy, publicity for which describes the separation of church and state as a ?twisted idea.? Nor is this the book?s only publicity: it comes?with its direct call for a religion-based military?with an endorsement from General David Petraeus….

    There’s a video on page two of the article, “U.S. Soldier’s Bible Group in Afghanistan”.

  319. #323 mythusmage
    January 3, 2010

    On the subject of tufa (you do remember tufa), the January 2010 issue of Scientific American has an article on The Truth About Nanobacteria

    Basically, animals such as molluscs and vertebrates take advantage of the tendency of certain minerals — calcium carbonates and calcium phosphates for example — to self assemble and have evolved mechanisms for guiding that self-assembly in certain locations; leading to the formation of such things as bone and shells. So you could think of your bones as a sort of tufa variant.

    The article also reminded me of an essay I read years ago on how sea urchins regrow spines once they’ve been damaged. In a sense we use tufa all unknowingly all the time, and even manufacture the stuff — depending on how you define tufa.

  320. #324 Lynna, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Kurt Andersen talks about the Large Hadron Collider. Excerpts:

    …The L.H.C. is not merely the world?s largest particle accelerator but the largest machine ever built. At the center of just one of the four main experimental stations installed around its circumference, and not even the biggest of the four, is a magnet that generates a magnetic field 100,000 times as strong as Earth?s. And because the super-conducting, super-colliding guts of the collider must be cooled by 120 tons of liquid helium, inside the machine it?s one degree colder than outer space, thus making the L.H.C. the coldest place in the universe….
         …And so, around midday on September 19, 2008, the connection ?quenched??which means a super-conducting cable suddenly lost its super-conductivity, turning into an ordinarily conductive wire that couldn?t take the 11,000 amps of electricity.
         Sparks erupted. An intense electrical arc began burning a hole in the dipole?s steel jacket. Pressurized helium turned from liquid to gas and blasted into the tunnel, creating a huge pressure wave. In a domino-like chain reaction, 35-ton dipoles were jerking and smashing against other 35-ton dipoles, some blown two feet off their moorings.
         The main damage was done within 20 seconds. It was all over a half-minute after that. Ten of the million-dollar dipoles were wrecked and smoldering. Twenty-nine more were damaged. The destruction extended for more than 2,000 feet, and smoke and soot billowed through the tunnel. In the vicinity of the accident the air had been instantly supercooled by the tons of escaping helium?which meant that several hundred feet underground, sealed off from skies and weather, snow began to fall. ?Some say the world will end in fire / Some say in ice,? wrote Robert Frost, but in this sector of the Large Hadron Collider, the showstopping spectacle involved both at once….

  321. #325 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2010

    Geology: still boring.
    Economics: not even boring. Beyond boring.
    PZ: still a poopyhead.

  322. #326 Lynna, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Jadehawk @309: I appreciated all your comments, and will add some comments to your listing of Las Vegas as being one of the cities in a place where there should not be a city. Yes! And it’s not only because of the water problem, but the city also sits in a nature-made bowl, so it traps all the bad air created by auto traffic and industry. The air quality is horrible, unhealthy in the extreme. Also, the city is surrounded by power stations, with tremendous pressure to build more. The march of power-carrying lines and poles into Vegas is astounding.

    Vegas uses a lot of that power (and a lot of water) for show, including landscaping and what I’ll call “architecture scaping”. It’s a sin that Sin City is not known for these sins instead of the hookers and gambling, (not to mention the Osmonds).

  323. #327 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2010

    Why link to Pharyngula if you didn’t think it worth your time?

    WTF are you talking about?
    You asserted that “people working at American Scientist” who read comment threads at Pharyngula might “wonder if maybe their fellow scientists are a few light bulbs short of a chandelier.”

    SC asked what you were talking about–care to mention specific comments or scientists that might evoke such wonder?

    You also claimed that Pharyngula is “in their [=American Scientist] list of links on their front page”
    SC said she couldn’t find this. Me neither. Can you clarify?

  324. #328 SC OM
    January 3, 2010

    SC, #307

    Why link to Pharyngula if you didn’t think it worth your time?

    You’re hurting my head. Try to follow along. My post contained two parts.

    I just struck me, over at American Scientist there are people working there who visit this blog on regular occasion (it’s in their list of links on their front page) who read these comments. I have to wonder how often they wonder if maybe their fellow scientists are a few light bulbs short of a chandelier.

    Part 1: On what do you base this, specifically? Can you point to some comments in particular?

    I read your comment as suggesting that there was reason for (a doofus like you or) scientists to find indications in the comments of scientists on this blog that they were “a few light bulbs short of a chandelier.” I asked for some examples of the comments on which you based your suspicion. And I’ll do so again: Which specific comments indicate to you that the scientist-commenters here are “a few light bulbs short of a chandelier”?

    Part 2: I can’t find that, by the way. Could you provide a link?

    This was unrelated to my first request, as indicated by “by the way.” You had mentioned a link to Pharyngula on the front page of American Scientist. I looked for it (cursorily) and didn’t see it, so I was simply asking for a link. Thanks.

  325. #329 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    SC said she couldn’t find this. Me neither.

    It’s not exactly on the front page, but it is there (under “Science Blogs”):

    http://www.americanscientist.org/science/

  326. #330 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2010

    obviously, SC can speak for herself.

    Hey SC, what part of New England do you live in these days?

  327. #331 Carlie
    January 3, 2010

    I just struck me, over at American Scientist there are people working there who visit this blog on regular occasion (it’s in their list of links on their front page) who read these comments. I have to wonder how often they wonder if maybe their fellow scientists are a few light bulbs short of a chandelier.

    I also wonder what the point was supposed to be re:American Scientist employees. It’s a fun magazine that explains things in easy to understand form and has some good comics and some really thorough book reviews. Why exactly do you think that they regard Pharyngula commenters as stupid?

  328. #332 SC OM
    January 3, 2010

    Thanks, Dania.

    Hey SC, what part of New England do you live in these days?

    Ahem. I included you when I sent out my new contact information.

    …Maybe it went to your spam folder. I’ll email you in a moment.

  329. #333 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2010

    Ah, OK, there it is. Thanks Dania. That’s a click past the front page.

  330. #334 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 3, 2010

    negentropyeater says, “And about colonizing and exploiting resources from other planets, I don’t see a physical reason why it should be technologically impossible.”

    So, are you sure that this isn’t a case of the Dilbert principle: “Anything you don’t understand must be easy?”

    Barriers to exploiting the resources of space include:

    1) Launch costs. The cost of launching anything into space is about $25000-35000/kilogram and has remained about the same for 20 years despite considerable effort to lower costs. Most efforts to lower cost have wound up compromising reliability, and subsequent efforts to improve reliability have raised the costs into the $25-35K range.

    2)Space is a hostile environment. Radiation, spacecraft charging, micro-meteorites, high UV and x-ray flux… They all limit the lifetimes of materials and electronics in space. In addition, radiation and spacecraft charging can result in errors and failures of spacecraft software and hardware.

    3)Space is largely empty. Most of the stuff we’d be interested in is a really long way away from us. Getting there would take time. Getting back would take more. Searching for, identifying and accessing promising sources of rare materials would be time-consuming and costly.

    4)Getting resources back to Earth is a fraught proposition. Somehow you have to slow down a projectile hurtling toward Earth at several km per second to speeds where it won’t burn up on re-entry. Even if you have your factory in space, you still face this hurdle.

    5)Control, communications, manned vs. unmanned. The success of the Mars rovers was unprecedented and has completely overshadowed the fact that the distance covered by the little beasties is less than a man could cover on a short, brisk walk. Recovery from errors via ground control takes time, but autonomous recovery risks damaging valuable assets.

    And so on.

    It is not merely a lack of will at work here. The problems posed are quite hard to solve. I am not saying that surmounting these obstacles is impossible, but anyone who sees exploitation of the solar system as a solution to our problems in the near or even the medium term either hasn’t looked very deeply into the issue or is delusional.

  331. #335 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2010

    I’ve been ignoring my work e-mail account for the last week or two. I’m sure it’s full of students with queries about their grades that I can’t answer by e-mail anyway. And probably a series of increasingly alarming notices from the registrar that my final grades are not reported yet.

    New Year’s Resolution: Deal once and for all with the chronic procrastination problem.

    yeah, it’s exactly the same as the last 30 years of resolutions, but hey [whine] it’s haaaaaaard! [/whine]

  332. #336 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    But I didn’t get the “their fellow scientists are a few light bulbs short of a chandelier” comment either. So, yeah, an explanation/links to relevant comments would be nice.

  333. #337 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2010

    Good list, rids (@#334), but you forgot that one of the most daunting barriers to long-term space exploration or colonization is not our technology, but our physiology. Disuse atrophy of skeletal muscles and (especially) bone tissue under conditions of microgravity are big, big problems without easy solutions.

  334. #338 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    New Year’s Resolution: Deal once and for all with the chronic procrastination problem.

    Hey, that reminds me… I have stuff to do! What the hell am I doing here…

  335. #339 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 3, 2010

    Sven @337. I am assuming that any scheme to exploit the rest of the Solar System will be robotic. A manned program would be ludicrous! Every day spent in space would require several kg of expendable cargo, plus other support equipment. And if you think it’s hard to get resources back down to Earth, humans are so fragile they require re-entry in a frigging egg carton.

    Robotics is definitely the way to go. We lose nothing and save a whole helluva lot of problems.

  336. #340 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2010

    There ya go. Robots ftw.

  337. #341 Jadehawk, OM
    January 3, 2010

    so alton, your response to the looming resource cliff is: “there’s no easy fix, so I’d rather just drag it all out long enough so the collapse comes after I’m not around anymore”?

    how incredibly cowardly and selfish.

  338. #342 SC OM
    January 3, 2010

    Hey Sven: Just sent you a note, so you should get it whenever you can bring yourself to check them.

    Walton: I haven’t forgotten the other thread. Haven’t been up to writing anything that requires any real concentration, but I will respond soon.

    ***

    The sun is out! The sun is out!

    …Well, sort of. At least it’s not snowing for the moment. Out to the beach soon!

  339. #343 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 3, 2010

    We lose nothing and save a whole helluva lot of problems.

    Except that the robots get to make first contact. You don’t think they’ll steal the credit and turn on their former masters, allying with the aliens in an invasion of the earth? Goddamned robots of the future!

  340. #344 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Robotics is definitely the way to go. We lose nothing and save a whole helluva lot of problems.

    I concur, and have thought so for many years. Which reminds me, I haven’t checked in on the rovers this week.

  341. #345 WhatIsOptimalTemperatureOfThePlanet
    January 3, 2010

    Wht s th ptml tmprtr f th plnt?

  342. #346 Jadehawk, OM
    January 3, 2010

    2 degrees above the boiling point of stupid.

  343. #347 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    Fuck off, troll.

  344. #348 WhatIsOptimalTemperatureOfThePlanet
    January 3, 2010

    Hw ntllgnt! Dd y cm p wth tht ll by yrslf r dd Dddy hlp y wth t whn y wr n bd wth hm lst nght?

  345. #349 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Ah, our loser idjit troll thinks he has something cogent to say. Never mind that while he could post, he never said anything scientific or cogent. Total abject loser, with no redeeming features. Pure unadulterated attitude without cogency. Bye-bye fuckwit.

  346. #350 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Just for the hell of it.

    janphar at yahoo dot com

  347. #351 WhatIsOptimalTemperatureOfThePlanet
    January 3, 2010

    Nrdy Rdhd = Qn f Prjctn

  348. #352 llewelly
    January 3, 2010

    In reply to WhatIsOptimalTemperatureOfThePlanet:

    Modern humans have existed for about 100,000 years. But only during the last 10,000 years has civilization developed. Those 10,000 years have been the most climatologically stable years of the last 100,000. Further, the historical record clearly shows that very small local climate changes – much smaller than 2 C – have done severe damage to many past civilizations, and some of them have collapsed as a result. Rapid change in climate is demonstrably a bad thing for human civilizations. Therefor, it is best to keep the temperature of the planet as close to the pre-industrial as possible.

    But wait. You’ve already heard that answer. You’ve already been presented with the enormous evidence in support of it. Not once, and not a dozen times either, but hundreds of times. You have never offered any good arguments against it. But you continue to deny. Why? Because you are fundamentally dishonest.

  349. #353 WhatIsOptTemp
    January 3, 2010

    How do you explain the Medieval Warming Period?

  350. #354 iamjadehawk
    January 3, 2010

    How do you explain the Medieval Warming Period?

    you mean that elusive “period” that in some places lasts from 600 to 800CE, in other places from 1200 to 1400CE, and in most doesn’t show up at all?

    don’t make me laugh.

  351. #355 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 3, 2010

    No, iamjadehawk!

    Sorry, I could not resist. I can resist everything except temptation.

  352. #356 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 3, 2010

    As I said, temperature loser never presents any peer reviewed information. After all, one would think scientists like myself could be swayed with the proper data instead of ignorant attitude. But then, that data must be validated as being scientific.

  353. #357 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    WhatIsOptimalTemperatureOfThePlanet

    I will say this once:

    If you write without vowels I will never read it!

    No matter what you think you stand for or how clever you think you are, you loose all credibility in my eyes with your stupid messages.

  354. #358 mythusmage
    January 3, 2010

    Sven di Milo,

    You fuss too much.

  355. #359 Josh
    January 3, 2010

    I’m going to preface this comment with the following disclaimer: I’m not a goddamn structural geologist. This continental transition bullshit isn’t in my comfort zone.

    Okay. Now, if you look at this figure from that last comment I wrote,

    http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/nyc/images/fig112.jpg

    the abrupt contact between the oceanic crust and the continental crust is probably going to piss you off. But you need to remember that any of these margin cross-sections(e.g., 1) are going to be schematic. But far more important than that is the fact that the contact between the oceanic crust and the continental crust in this case(2) really is fairly abrupt when you consider the scales at which they are drawn.

    Okay, so why is the transition abrupt? Well, recall that we’re discussing an ocean basin that was initiated and continues to open via processes that are broadly addressed by the hypothesis of sea-floor spreading(3, 4). The Atlantic dates to the Late Triassic(5) and opened in a sequence schematically along the lines of this(6), which won’t be news to anyone likely to actually wade through this comment. What is pertinent for us here are the beginnings of that opening. That’s where the key(7), such as it is, to this abrupt transition between oceanic and continental crust lies.

    Right. So you’ll variously see the initiation of the Atlantic depicted like this(8), and it will seem ridiculously oversimplified and cartoonish. And yes, like so many illustrations in science, it is ridiculously oversimplified. However, despite everything that it doesn’t show, this cartoon actually does basically address the point of contention here, which is the continent-seafloor transition (at the scale at which the diagram is depicting the process).

    Recall that we started out in the early Late Triassic with Pangea all welded together into one big happy fucking continent(9), to which we of course have to append the label “super,” because we’re people and we like to do that kind of shit. So how did a big beast of an ocean like the Atlantic come out of situation like we see in (9)? Well, it began with rifting, like we see near the Red Sea today. Indeed, as I’m sure everyone still reading this knows, the East African Rift(10) is usually offered up as perhaps the best modern analog to what happened during the initial opening of the Atlantic. The process is very similar to what we infer from the rock record with the Atlantic.

    So pretty much as soon, geologically speaking, as Pangea got assembled, it began to think about fragmenting(11). The detailed story of this is way beyond a foolish blog comment, but in essence, massive regional extensional stresses led to crustal thinning and stretching(12). The stretched crust fractured and split (because a parcel of crust can stretch by a factor of 2 for 4 times during this process), so we ended up with lots of normal faulting and subsidence along the faults(13, 14). The result of this was the formation of a bunch of fault-bounded basins(15, 16), the remains of which are preserved all up and down the eastern seaboard of North America(17) and in various places in Europe and Africa.

    Now, note the volcanics shown in (13). Because of the crustal thinning and stretching that causes rift-basins to form, the faults that bound the basins and the blocks end up having not too far to travel before they intersect mantle material. Some of them thus provide easy conduits for that mantle material to travel (refer to that schematic in (15) again). This is why rift-basin sediments are so commonly associated(18, 19) with volcanic rocks (and, incidentally, why rift-basins are such great places to search for fossils(20): lots of accommodation space for rapid sediment accumulation and intercalated datable igneous rocks).

    This is a complex system of extension. There are rips and tears occurring in numerous places, sometimes geologically at the same time(21-23 these are key to the whole point of this comment; go look at them). Over time, as the crustal thinning continues, the sediment accumulation in the basins becomes increasingly subordinate to the magmatism in the basins until finally you start forming really shallow basins that are dominated by volcanism (see Figure 8B and C in (22)). You are also, at this point, starting to large scale subsidence, partial melting of continental material, intrusive activity, etc. You’re at the boundary between the continental crust and the incipient ocean basin (see Figure 8C and D in (22); see also (24)). There are some great figures in this paper:

    http://geology.rutgers.edu/~schlisch/aapg_inversion_98.pdf

    which is a really nice overview of passive margin tectonics in the Atlantic. I’d spend some time with it. You also might start at slide 31 of this:

    http://geology.rutgers.edu/nbhydro/abs/Roy-Schlische-I.pdf

    The transition zone isn’t completely worked out nor totally understood. But it isn’t some huge mystery, either, and it’s certainly nothing that requires a subduction zone (that we can’t see) to explain. And the problems that I raised before with the Subduction-on-the-now-Atlantic model remain. Look at Figure 1 in (21). Look at the cross-sections in the other papers. The sections in most of these papers are balanced cross-sections based on outcrop data, well data, and seismic data, to name a few sources. There is a lot of depth that is accounted for, and we know where the oceanic crust isn’t. If you’re gonna try and stuff a pile more oceanic crust under the eastern seaboard, then where is it? And how does it fit?

    References and Notes
    1. http://www.lisrc.uconn.edu/images/geology/images/225-145mya.jpg
    2. “This case” being the eastern coast of North America.
    3. I don?t think we need to get into the specific mechanisms operating here in much more detail than the level of the image in (1). In this comment, I?m really only concerned about the issues that were raised (in the previous installment of The ThreadTM) regarding the abruptness of the transition between the continental and the oceanic crust on the North American edge of the Atlantic Ocean. I think that the level of resolution/precision/understanding/whatever suggested by (1) should be sufficient for my purposes (and should help prevent this comment from becoming book-length…).
    4. For those who want it, the basics of SFS are addressed fairly well here: http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/10i.html.
    5. See the Introduction on page 11 of this .pdf: http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~polsen/nbcp/olsen_et_al_89_all_sm.pdf
    6. museum.gov.ns.ca/fossils/geol/images/globe2.gif
    7. And in writing key, I of course mean “currently accepted understanding of…”
    8. faculty.mccfl.edu/rizkf/oce1001/Images/seafloorspread1.gif
    9. geology.rutgers.edu/103web/Newarkbasin/Pangea_NB.html
    10. astro.wsu.edu/worthey/earth/html/im-geology/east-african-rift.gif
    11. geology.rutgers.edu/103web/Newarkbasin/ENAtectonics.html
    12. geology.rutgers.edu/103web/Newarkbasin/extension_origin.html
    13. http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/documents/2007/07024ianev/images/4s_4.jpg
    The sub-vertical black lines are normal faults. The little arrows beside them indicate direction of fault block motion. To envision the stress directions, imagine another red arrow opposite and opposed to the one that is shown.
    14. Here too: geology.rutgers.edu/103web/Newarkbasin/halfgraben.html
    15. maps.unomaha.edu/maher/GEOL3300/week14/TrRiftUSGS.jpg
    16. As shown here too. This is kind of a crappy figure, for which I apologize. The intertubes really are lacking: http://www.amnh.org/learn/courses/images/W2E2_3.jpg
    17. See Figure 1 (page 7 of the .pdf); the black and brown represent basins that we know are there: http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~polsen/nbcp/olsen_et-touhami_08.pdf
    18. http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~polsen/nbcp/dosecc_fieldtrip2.pdf
    19. See Figure 6 on page 21 of this .pdf. This is a map of Jurassic basalt dikes associated with the rifting: geology.rutgers.edu/~schlisch/CAMP_schlische.pdf
    20. http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~polsen/nbcp/GAC-MAC_field_whole_sm2.pdf
    21 this is important. See Figure 7A, here (page 7 of the .pdf): geology.rutgers.edu/~schlisch/SEPMrifts.pdf
    22 this is important. See Figure 8A here (page 31 of the .pdf): geology.rutgers.edu/~schlisch/A42_2005_GCSSEPM.pdf
    23. That this system of extension is so complex is reflected in the number of basins which are preserved (refer to (17, 19) again).
    24. See Figure 15 on page 19 of the .pdf (note the caption of that figure…): faculty.gg.uwyo.edu/holbrook/papers/Holbrook_1994_JGR_Mid-Atl.pdf

  356. #360 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    If you write without vowels I will never read it!

    Oh, the troll doesn’t write without vowels. It’s just that this troll is banned here and gets disemvoweled at sight.

    Sven di Milo,

    You fuss too much.

    What?

  357. #361 SC OM
    January 3, 2010

    mythusmage,

    Show some character – examples or a retraction.

  358. #362 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    #244 Josh said:

    This is pretty young for a GOOD HARD rock, but you can find tufa that’s younger. Heck, you can find it being deposited now.

    I agree. I did not express myself well. Tufa is indeed being deposited now in many places in the Teme Valley, including the waterfall right alongside Southstone Rock and terraces in another stream with public access.

    Incidentally, there is a detailed paper on Southstone Rock in the “literature”. It is a paper produced by members of the Woolhope Natural History Society, now “Woolhope Club” (one of the oldest such societies, formed late 1851). I have a copy buried somewhere. It is not available in electronic form.

    Incidentally, thanks for the references – it encouraged me to look further and I have found others via Google & Google Scholar.

  359. #363 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    #258 mythusmage said:

    So tufa is something that grows on you.

    Only if you lie down in a freezing cold stream and allow moss to grow on you first.

  360. #364 Josh
    January 3, 2010

    Only if you lie down in a freezing cold stream and allow moss to grow on you first.

    Did we just gain some insight into what Alan does in his spare time…?

  361. #365 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    #272 Josh

    One of your urls may be curtailed:

    http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_3251_sum08/05_talus_slopea

    If this is the full url then it is no longer available.

  362. #366 Josh
    January 3, 2010

    Fuck. Well, there are plenty of images out there. All I did was a Google image search for talus slope.

    And you’re right–that one doesn’t seem to work. Damn. Sorry.

  363. #367 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 3, 2010

    just so I’m clear is mythusmage = Alan Kellog?

  364. #368 Dania
    January 3, 2010

    Alan, #365:

    It works for me when I add “.jpg” to the end of the url. Like in Josh’s post.

    http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_3251_sum08/05_talus_slopea.jpg

  365. #369 Owlmirror
    January 3, 2010

    It occurs to me to ask: Is it correct to refer to all carbonate deposits as “tufa”, as implicitly done @#323?

    I mean, if it’s defined as freshwater-fluvial-deposit carbonate, then all other examples of carbonate deposits should not be confused with it.

    The talus slope URL is just missing a “.jpg” extension, hence:

    http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_3251_sum08/05_talus_slopea.jpg

  366. #370 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    #282 Sven DiMilo said:

    Geology: still boring.

    Alan B says:

    I’m sorry for you – I feel your pain (but especially Josh’s)

  367. #371 windy
    January 3, 2010

    No, iamjadehawk!

    that reminds me:

    Off all the horrible Kubrick endings the worst one is Spartacus.

    We spend almost 3 hours thinking Kirk Douglas is Spartacus and at the END of the movie it turns out it could have been ANY one of those guys?!?

    Gimme a break.

    Hey Kubrick, desperate for a twist ending much?

  368. #372 Josh
    January 3, 2010

    I mean, if it’s defined as freshwater-fluvial-deposit carbonate, then all other examples of carbonate deposits should not be confused with it.

    That’s correct. Tufa refers to freshwater spring or fluvial carbonates. It shouldn’t be confused with other kinds of carbonate deposition.

  369. #373 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    #305 mythusmage said:

    I don’t know if I’ll be able to check out all your links

    Do you realise how discourteous this sounds? You come to a site. Shoot your mouth off saying a mixture of nonsense with some good stuff. You are directed to sites which help you understand the basic science and a highly competent geologist takes time to help you understand and you casually dismiss it.

    I expect others will be able to take advantage of the leads you provided.

    You bet! But why not you? Or don’t you want to learn more? I do and I am in my 60s. Never too young to learn.

  370. #374 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    Or too old!!

  371. #375 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    #316 Rorschach

    Thanks for the info on pinnacles and Wave rock – looked them up and how they formed. Fascinating – especially the calcrete rout for formation of the pinnacles.

    #321 mythusmage

    Wow! Just, WOW (see #305/#373) I would remind you that SC did not launch into a dynamite-into-a-garden-pond post on geology but you did!

    Slowly catching up and I see I still have a huge post by Josh to come …

  372. #376 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    #365, #366, #368, #369

    Thanks for that. I got the message from the earlier pictures. The url was still curtailed on several of your messages. Presumably mixture of screen width and print size?

  373. #377 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    #363/#364 Josh

    Did we just gain some insight into what Alan does in his spare time…?

    The locals don’t call me “The Hard Man” for nothing!

    [Ed. They wouldn’t call him “The Hard Man” even if he paid them …]

  374. #378 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Alan B, you are begging to have dick jokes told at your expense.

  375. #379 Josh
    January 3, 2010

    Alan B, you are begging to have dick jokes told at your expense.

    Damn! You got to it before I could.

  376. #380 SC OM
    January 3, 2010

    I’m not a goddamn structural geologist.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MULMbqQ9LJ8

    :P

  377. #381 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    #360 Dania

    Oh, the troll doesn’t write without vowels. It’s just that this troll is banned here and gets disemvoweled at sight.

    Ah! You learn something every day! So he’s not being clever/stupid. Just a run-of-the-mill-lurking-under-bridges-type troll.

    I tried to find the old song: “I am a troll … follderoll”

    But ended up with something rather more nasty:

    Make sure young children aren’t watching:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMc-zCGYMhs&feature=related

  378. #382 Josh
    January 3, 2010

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MULMbqQ9LJ8 :P

    Ha! “First of all, Jim…I do not fa la la.”

  379. #383 Rorschach
    January 3, 2010

    just so I’m clear is mythusmage = Alan Kellog?

    Yup.

    Alan B,

    I posted those links to Wave Rock and the Pinnacles for K Wager as travel tips, but could have guessed it would interest the geologists…:-)

    In other news, Pakistan is making Australia look silly by being 0/73 in reply to our measly 127 all out yesterday !

  380. #384 Alan B
    January 3, 2010

    #378 / #379

    Serves me right!! You guys have a wonderful way of taking people down.

    Just for that, here is one of the real hard men of soccer: Vinny Jones

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkwHtnz12Yk&NR=1
    (How to do it – in eye-watering detail)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2P9gGElMB4&feature=related
    (And doing it to music)

  381. #385 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Economics: not even boring. Beyond boring.
    PZ Sven DiMilo: still a poopyhead.

    Fixed it for you, Sven. That’ll be $29.95, cash only please. Have to keep that currency circulating.

  382. #386 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2010

    I think we’re all poopyheads on this bus.

  383. #387 PZ Myers
    January 3, 2010

    Yeah, but only one of us poopyheads is driving the bus and collecting fares from those annoying advertisers at the top and in the sidebar.

  384. #388 Lynna, OM
    January 3, 2010

    PZ is a paid poopyhead.

  385. #389 PZ Myers
    January 3, 2010

    I prefer the term “professional poopyhead.”

  386. #390 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 3, 2010

    I’ll be paid too, as soon as Sven coughs up my $29.95.

  387. #391 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 3, 2010

    I prefer the term “professional poopyhead.”

    The rest of us are just amateur poopyheads.

  388. #392 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2010

    your check is in the mail

    poopyhead

  389. #393 aratina cage
    January 3, 2010

    Darned atheists and their poopyheadedness!

  390. #394 Lynna, OM
    January 3, 2010

    Here’s a Mormon Moment of Madness (mmm) for my fellow poopyheads. The info is from an ex-mormon who is anonymous for now:

    I had a private conversation with a church-employed software developer a while ago. One of my questions to him was about whether name removals actually occur or whether we are just flagged and still counted in the 13 million.
         He told me that people who have had their names removed are indeed taken out of the church’s database of members, which means we are not counted among the 13 million. However, our names are then added to another database so that they can keep tabs on us if we try to rejoin the church or anything like that.

    Big Mormon Brother.

  391. #395 Owlmirror
    January 3, 2010

    Monolith Monster Poopyhead => Coprolithhead

  392. #396 Owlmirror
    January 3, 2010

    Keep Han in Hanuka…

    Keep Kwan in Kwanzaa…

    Keep Saturn in Saturnalia…

    And keep Chucks in Nunchucks

  393. #397 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2010

    That image reminds me of WARNING NOT FOR THRE SQUEAMISH this one, posted by somebody nymed Quidam on another thread.

  394. #398 Dania
    January 4, 2010

    Monolith Monster Poopyhead => Coprolithhead

    Note to self: Do NOT try to catch up with The Thread while having breakfast.

    That image reminds me of WARNING NOT FOR THRE SQUEAMISH this one, posted by somebody nymed Quidam on another thread.

    Note to self: But also not a few minutes after having breakfast… And pay more attention to warnings.

  395. #399 John Morales
    January 4, 2010

    Owlmirror,

    Monolith Monster Poopyhead => Coprolithhead

    Might as well go the whole hog: Copropetrocephalos.

  396. #400 strange gods before me, OM
    January 4, 2010

    SC,

    But then, I just like maps. :)

    Just in case you haven’t seen it yet: http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/

  397. #401 negentropyeater
    January 4, 2010

    a-ray,

    So, are you sure that this isn’t a case of the Dilbert principle: “Anything you don’t understand must be easy?”

    I didn’t write anything that implied that I thought it would be easy.

    Clearly, colonizing and exploiting resources from other planets is going to be orders of magnitude more difficult (and costly) than landing a man on the moon. And it’s certainly not a solution to our problems for this century.

  398. #402 mythusmage
    January 4, 2010

    BDC, #367

    mythusmage = Alan Kellogg

    A person who looks at the world from a strange vantage point. Think of me as the Strange Quirk of Pharyngula.

  399. #403 SEF
    January 4, 2010

    Not as a corny flake then?

  400. #404 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 4, 2010

    A person who looks at the world from a strange vantage point. Think of me as the Strange Quirk of Pharyngula.

    So wait, was that a yes?

  401. #405 Walton
    January 4, 2010

    Jadehawk,

    so alton, your response to the looming resource cliff is: “there’s no easy fix, so I’d rather just drag it all out long enough so the collapse comes after I’m not around anymore”?

    how incredibly cowardly and selfish.

    No, that’s not at all what I said. Rather, I’m arguing that we should keep the current consumer-capitalist economy going for as long as possible because, at the moment, the only alternative is poverty and deprivation for billions more people; and, since I care about other human beings, I would like to stave off that poverty and deprivation for as long as possible. The only hope, longer-term, is to find technological solutions which will allow us to access and exploit more resources.

    On a personal level, I’m doing my part: I’ve pledged never to have children. I think others should do the same. This helps on two levels: first, it reduces population growth and therefore lessens the impact of overpopulation on scarce resources; and secondly, it ensures that if there is a total collapse of civilisation and a new dark age of poverty and misery, there will be fewer people there to experience the consequent suffering.

  402. #406 SEF
    January 4, 2010

    Aside:

    Is the fabled G-spot more or less real than the god-shaped hole many people claim (others) to have? Are both merely convenient fictions (for some), like gods. Or do some people genuinely have a random physical advantage or psychological defect respectively.

  403. #407 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 4, 2010

    Is the fabled G-spot more or less real than the god-shaped hole many people claim (others) to have? Are both merely convenient fictions (for some), like gods. Or do some people genuinely have a random physical advantage or psychological defect respectively.

    Not to intentionally offend the more squeemish (cover your eyes walton) my wife definitely has what would be considered a G-Spot. Now what that means I don’t have a clue.

    I believe the “myth”…

  404. #408 SEF
    January 4, 2010

    Does your wife have a twin?

  405. #409 Rorschach
    January 4, 2010

    Is the fabled G-spot more or less real than the god-shaped hole many people claim (others) to have?

    Goodness.
    I come home from work and have to give anatomy lessons !

    *NSFW*( but not pornographic)

    G-Spot anatomy

  406. #410 SEF
    January 4, 2010

    You failed to read the linked article on the apparent non-existence of this piece of anatomy. Otherwise it is the BBC and the researchers whom you should be trying to teach.

  407. #411 Rorschach
    January 4, 2010

    You failed to read the linked article

    I read it.

    The women in the study, who were all pairs of identical and non-identical twins, were asked whether they had a G-spot.

    Asking women whether they think they have one does not equal them having one.
    Men suck at finding it and playing with it, so women mightn’t know about it, I sure have found it in some women who didn’t know they had one !

  408. #412 SEF
    January 4, 2010

    So the researchers would somehow need to control for men who were rubbish at it vs those who were proficient (despite the men being predisposed to lie and claim to be the bestest lover ever or being the victims of false reporting by their partners) – or have a crack squad of G-spot activators on hand to try out with all the study subjects equally … somehow I don’t think that version of the research is going to fly.

    If it’s men which “suck” rather than women, then an alternative and less controversial version might be to collect only reports of G-spot presence or absence from women who have masturbated (ie ditch the need for an adequate sexual partner altogether). Or do you have personal reason to believe that wouldn’t work either?

  409. #413 Rorschach
    January 4, 2010

    I appreciate the stimulating topic after a hard day’s work LOL.

    If it’s men which “suck” rather than women, then an alternative and less controversial version might be to collect only reports of G-spot presence or absence from women who have masturbated (ie ditch the need for an adequate sexual partner altogether)

    My experience is, a lot of women are not very familiar with their bodies and its sexual functions, be it through lack of experience, or religious/social inhibitions, that’s one, the other thing is women fiddling themselves is not the same as being fiddled, if you know what I mean, not in the head, and not in the field….:-) A lot of women’s masturbation is via clitoral stim, or vibrators, not aware of any woman that fingers her g-spot routinely….

    And of course, everyone is different, while I’m pretty sure every woman has an urethral sponge, women are stimulated by different things, nipples, bottom, cuddling, biting, whatever, and for some the g-spot might just not be the main area of stim.

    Need more female commenters on this…:-)

  410. #414 negentropyeater
    January 4, 2010

    Walton,

    you do realise that our current system is far from staving off poverty for all of mankind.

    Also, you seem to assume that the Economic Problem (how to determine what is to be produced and how the factors of production are to be allocated in a world of finite resources) is more difficult to solve than the Technological Problem (how to expand the ecological limits of our scarce resources).
    It is true that, so far, this has been the case. But it doesn’t mean that it will still be the case in the future.

    Keynes wrote that he thought the Economic Problem could be solved before the end of the 20th century. He was too optimistic. But it doesn’t mean that he will still be wrong at the end of this century : the world surely can produce enough resources for 9 billion people to live comfortably and in a sustainable way, but clearly not if they consume and waste as much as we do today in the West. It’s strange, but understandable, that you think that it is harder to solve that problem than to exploit resources from outer space.

  411. #415 Rorschach
    January 4, 2010

    Also, don’t forget, about 10% of women (in the US, probably similar elsewhere) are anorgasmic and have never climaxed, so they wouldn’t have a clue about whether they have a g-spot.

    Source

  412. #416 aratina cage
    January 4, 2010

    Rorschach, why is the G-Spot in that video not touched on by this new G-Spot research? Isn’t that the urethral sponge that is being stimulated in the video?

    I think it would be interesting to find out if there is a correlation between believing in the G-Spot and not believing that male circumcision, which cuts off an innervated organ, reduces pleasure during sex. In the former case, some people believe in an erogenous zone despite the inability to agree on where to pinpoint such an area. In the latter case, some people disbelieve in an erogenous zone even though the area under question does contain sensitive nerve endings. To me, these seem like exact opposites, and I wonder if the holding of one implies the holding of the other (or some other relationship).

  413. #417 Rorschach
    January 4, 2010

    Oh noz, not the foreskin discussion again !!

    Which by the way is not an organ, but a piece of skin with nerve fibres, of course it’s sensitive.
    Had a guy with a little technical accident to his today which led to a torn foreskin and frenulum, he was not a happy camper !!

    why is the G-Spot in that video not touched on by this new G-Spot research?

    How would I know, ask them ! Wasn’t so much research then an opinion poll though, this “do you think you have” business.
    If they had gone and specced the ladies and gone looking for it, that would have been different.

    Well, as far as anecdotal evidence goes, I have yet to find a woman who doesnt have one. Go me, I guess…:-)

  414. #418 windy
    January 4, 2010

    SC, have you seen this? (Honduras, Iran, what’s the difference?)

  415. #419 SC OM
    January 4, 2010

    Just in case you haven’t seen it yet:

    I hadn’t! Added to my feeds, thanks.

    Possibly of interest here:

    http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/421-faith-science-and-the-flood/

    SC, have you seen this? (Honduras, Iran, what’s the difference?)

    I had read something brief about it the other day, but not the longer piece in Rebelión. Thanks! The amazing thing is the fact that they gave the same images the opposite spin in the real vs. the fake contexts: in Honduras (real)*, legitimate police actions against violent anti-democracy miscreants; in Iran (fake), outrageous human rights violations against peaceful pro-democracy forces. So clear.

    BTW, I was going to post this recent talk by Chomsky about Honduras on my blog, but I’ll do it here first:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKwJI9axblQ

    The US as mafia don.

    *(when they were shown at all, which was rare)

  416. #420 aratina cage
    January 4, 2010

    Oh noz, not the foreskin discussion again !!

    Sorry. I thought it would be an interesting comparison is all.

  417. #421 Rorschach
    January 4, 2010

    They are just not functionally equivalent tissue….
    So what’s happening in Honduras ?

  418. #422 SEF
    January 4, 2010

    Well, given that the penis’ nerve endings can be trivially shown to physically exist, the burden of proof in the foreskin controversy falls squarely on the side claiming that the loss of that tissue and its nerves doesn’t make a difference. The only people then qualified to have an opinion would be those males who were circumcised relatively late in life and had experienced sex fairly extensively both ways. Although one should probably also have kept their excised tissue to double-check that the nerves removed did appear to have been viable ones (and it might be necessary to check whether, for some people, any nerve regrowth occurs on the “stump” left behind).

    However, I think I might have a new twist on that topic. Given the problem of pain in phantom limbs, are there any reports of phantom foreskins still giving pleasure to their former owners? Or is this one of the universe’s manifestly unfair double-standards in which only sensations of pain persist.

  419. #423 Rorschach
    January 4, 2010

    Given the problem of pain in phantom limbs, are there any reports of phantom foreskins still giving pleasure to their former owners?

    Good nite….:-)

  420. #424 Sven DiMilo
    January 4, 2010

    Nerve endings transduce a variety of stimuli, even in the penis skin. It’s an unjustified leap from “more nerve endings” to “more pleasure.”

  421. #425 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 4, 2010

    Phantom Foreskins: Excellent band name.

  422. #426 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 4, 2010

    Phantom Foreskin and the G-Spots

  423. #427 aratina cage
    January 4, 2010

    The claim is that the G-Spot is not tissue at all according to the referenced twin study. That’s why it is interesting to me: one erogenous zone (which is debatable) clearly is sensitive tissue, the other is not doubted as being erogenous but it is debatable as to its corporeal existence (your reference to real tissue notwithstanding but in this case it is said to be all in the head). Put in tabular form:

                | Erogenous  | Tissue
    ------------|------------|------------
    G-Spot | Yes | Maybe
    Foreskin | Maybe | Yes
  424. #428 SEF
    January 4, 2010

    I didn’t actually make the claim of “more pleasure” in #422, merely that the physical evidence indicated there was quite likely to be a difference of some sort (which would be worth investigating). It’s possibly notable that the reverse claim, viz of getting better sensation after circumcision, doesn’t tend to be made though. The closest claim I can recall from the pro male-circumcision lobby amounted to one of admitting less sensation by claiming it results in fewer cases of premature ejaculation. However, I haven’t bothered to keep track of any links on this perpetual argument.

  425. #429 Jadehawk, OM
    January 4, 2010

    the only alternative is poverty and deprivation for billions more people

    I can’t decide if this is a false dichotomy of simply an argument from incredulity, but either way, your inability or unwillingness to accept that consumer capitalism isn’t the best, or even particularly good, at producing happy, healthy people* is not a valid argument for not doing anything to try to prevent the whole world falling off the resource cliff.

    —-

    *and incidentally, happy and healthy people are more important than merely wealthy people. wealth itself doesn’t make anyone’s lives better, especially when there’s wars being fought over diminishing resources, and western levels of wealth can create stupidly high levels of mental disease and life dissatisfaction.

  426. #430 David Marjanovi?
    January 4, 2010

    Go evacuate Bangladesh, troll.

    2 degrees above the boiling point of stupid.

    2 degrees above the flash point of stupid.

    Assuming, that is, that stupid oxide isn’t a greenhouse gas. If it is, that might explain why the warming is happening according to the upper end of the range of IPCC models?

  427. #431 David Marjanovi?
    January 4, 2010

    ?and would finally give Thomas Lee Elifritz his runaway greenhouse effect, unless it’s such a weak greenhouse gas that there isn’t actually enough stupid in the world for?

    ?

    I’ll just stop here.

  428. #432 Alan B
    January 4, 2010

    #383 Rorschach

    In other news, Pakistan is making Australia look silly by being 0/73 in reply to our measly 127 all out yesterday !

    204 behind, 1 wicket in hand end of 2nd day. There’s going to have to be some hard grafting at Sydney.

    On Test Match Special from S Africa, one of the commentators mentioned that someone from either Pakistan or Australia was suggesting that Test Match cricket had run its course and should be dropped. Can’t quite remember which of the 2 countries he came from …

    Seems nicely balanced in S Afica …

  429. #433 Alan B
    January 4, 2010

    #359 Josh

    Working through your magnum opus. Problems with figure in 6. I tried copying and pasting several times but something was making it go astray (perhaps it did not like bypassing the set-up for the moving plates?). It worked for me only by getting into the museum site:

    http://museum.gov.ns.ca/en/home/default.aspx

    Choosing “Online resources”

    Then learn about fossils of Nova Scotia – the 5th bullet. This took me to:

    http://museum.gov.ns.ca/fossils/

    and then manually typed in the rest. It then worked fine.

    (Carrying on reading …)

  430. #434 Owlmirror
    January 4, 2010

    Might as well go the whole hog: Copropetrocephalos.

    Or rather coprolithocephalos (????? is already Greek…)

  431. #435 blf
    January 4, 2010

    I prefer the term “professional poopyhead.”

    But Little Professional Poopyhead Ped Zed doesn’t scan quite as well as (and is harder to type than) Little Poopyhead Ped Zed. I suppose Professional Poopyhead Little Pee Zed is a possibility…

  432. #436 Kristjan Wager
    January 4, 2010

    In Perth itself there are various parks with the famous black swans and plenty pubs with live music and awesome local beers, a few hours to the north and east respectively are the spectacular Pinnacles and Wave Rock.

    Rorschach, thanks for the advise. You can’t know this of course, but I have actually been to Perth several times before (6 or 7) and have visited both the Pinnacles and Wave Rock in the last (the later just last year) – I agree that both are spectacular, and would recommend them for anyone.

    I just realized that I haven’t actually done much in actual Perth, so I wondered if there was anything I was missing.

    It’s primely a family visit, but I will be getting to Perth (and Fremantle) regularly.

  433. #437 David Marjanovi?
    January 4, 2010
    …More alarming still is a book called Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, by an air-force lieutenant colonel named William McCoy, publicity for which describes the separation of church and state as a ?twisted idea.? Nor is this the book?s only publicity: it comes?with its direct call for a religion-based military?with an endorsement from General David Petraeus….

    Oh, so that’s why I’ve seen him called Betrayus.

    The Truth About Nanobacteria

    …would interest me a lot. Unfortunately the link doesn’t work.

    Pangea all welded together into one big happy fucking continent

    :-) :-) :-)

    I have already mentioned my SUPPORT A UNITED PANGEA T-shirt by the Pangean Unification Foundation (One continent. One world.™), haven’t I? Buy your own at the next SVP meeting or… wherever in teh intarwebz!!1!!eleventyone!!

    (Alas, the map on the REUNITE GONDWANALAND T-shirts is all wrong. :.-( )

    References and Notes

    Today I have to go to bed. Will I find time to work tomorrow?

    Oh, the troll doesn’t write without vowels. It’s just that this troll is banned here and gets disemvoweled at sight.

    And the sight of poopyheads isn’t perfect, as comment 353 shows !!

    My experience is, a lot of women are not very familiar with their bodies and its sexual functions, be it through lack of experience

    Not just such people and not just such functions. I had long read that some people have that, but I was over 10 years old when I found out I have functional, innervated ear retractor muscles. In fact, I can’t (or would have to train to) smile without using them! It took me perhaps another 10 years to figure out that I have separate ear retractors and lifters that I can all operate independently.

    (I do seem to lack ear protractors and have to wait for elastic recoil. Takes only maybe half a second, though.)

    Well, as far as anecdotal evidence goes, I have yet to find a woman who doesnt have one. Go me, I guess…:-)

    May I ask about the order of magnitude of the sample size…? Because… I, too, “I have yet to find a woman who doesnt have one”, but I also have yet to find one who has one… :o)

    <duck & cover>

    Going to read up on the urethral sponge tomorrow. <vehement nodding>

    Nerve endings transduce a variety of stimuli, even in the penis skin.

    Temperature, most conspicuosly.

  434. #438 David Marjanovi?
    January 4, 2010

    -u-

  435. #439 Rorschach
    January 4, 2010

    Oh noz !! More headache for creationists….

    Single atom controls motility required for bacterial infection

  436. #440 Sven DiMilo
    January 4, 2010

    Hey, Pope Ratzi said some good stuff the other day. Any more of this kind of shit and I’m going accomodationist.

  437. #441 Patricia, OM
    January 4, 2010

    Sven – If he ever mentions over population I’ll join you.

  438. #442 windy
    January 4, 2010

    First the Pope goes green, then George Will goes all spacey? Unsettling.

  439. #443 mythusmage
    January 4, 2010

    David Marjanovic, #437

    On Nanobacteria

    Dang. I can only advise going to the SciAm site itself and clicking on the “current contents” link on the right. Or picking up a copy of the issue itself.

    I also liked the article on life in alternate realities using variant physical constants, even though it was metaphysically conservative. :)

  440. #444 Antiochus Epiphanes
    January 4, 2010

    A connection?

    Single Atom Responsible for “G-spot”: Hidden Markov Model for Assessing Quantum Contributions to Frustration.

  441. #445 Sven DiMilo
    January 5, 2010

    Wow, windy…did somebody dose Will’s Earl Grey?

    Patricia: excellent point

  442. #447 strange gods before me, OM
    January 5, 2010

    *clears throat*

    Thank you for coming.

    *clears throat again, spits*

    I have been authorized by the Central Committee of Commenters on Pharyngula to make the following announcement:

    Not only am I truth machine, I am also SC. As you might imagine, this keeps me rather busy. So if I’m not answering my messages, go on and forward them to Nerd of Redhead, whom I aspire to be next.

    (Yes I realize this is an extraordinary claim, and no I can’t cite the peer-reviewed literature. Use your other ways of knowing, people.)

  443. #448 John Morales
    January 5, 2010

    Hm, as an unsnipped male, I will note that (in my experience) the function of the foreskin is to protect the extremely sensitive glans rather than to provide pleasure in itself, and I imagine that its removal cannot but desensitise the glans (since we all wear clothing in intimate contact).

    At the risk of providing too much information, my bit excruciates upon contact with anything not moist and soft if the foreskin is retracted for whatever reason.

  444. #449 SC OM
    January 5, 2010

    He’s lying. I’m Knockgoats and occasionally truth machine

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/07/fyi.php#comment-981664

    Who is Jadehawk?, is the question…

  445. #450 Rorschach
    January 5, 2010

    SGBM,

    you have been commenting for 48 hours straight, get some rest man…:-)

    And not only am I SC and have always been( I love Honduras), but I’m clearly and obvious to anyone also truth machine, I reject your ludicrous claim !

    ;)

  446. #451 strange gods before me, OM
    January 5, 2010

    I have slept! I swear! At least I’m pretty sure I remember waking up. It’ll be another four hours before I can again though.

  447. #452 strange gods before me, OM
    January 5, 2010

    before I can what again… wake up? go to bed? I’m pretty sure it’s the second one.

  448. #453 SC OM
    January 5, 2010

    “sinister, Leninesque demagogue” was a classic.

    must

    sleep

  449. #454 windy
    January 5, 2010

    I am the goat

  450. #455 SEF
    January 5, 2010

    But are you on fire? Or are you one of those splitter goats?

  451. #456 mythusmage
    January 5, 2010

    If you learn that you’re actually me please be aware that you’ll find yourself espousing some really odd things, reasoning in a really odd manner, and stating things that will strike others as non-sensical. You may find that you may now be an avatar of God, or even more importantly, a Glenn Greenwald sockpuppet.

    For the sake of your sanity please remember that we are all PZ Myers strawmen.

  452. #457 Alan B
    January 5, 2010

    #359 & #433

    I have found 2 issues with the websites Josh has put up.

    1) I have problems getting into about 1 in 3 sites. I have now worked out that several problems are caused by my own ham-fistedness and lack of knowing quite what I am doing! Occam’s Razor suggests it is likely that any remaining problems also result from the same cause.

    2) However, by having to chase round some of these University sites I am finding a lot more interesting stuff! Especially when you can get back into the list of files that are accessible by going to the Directory. I’m not explaining myself very clearly but I know what I mean!!

    [Ed. Pity nobody else does!]

    Thanks Josh. Not got to the end of #359 (yet) but I will do …

  453. #458 Sven DiMilo
    January 5, 2010

    I am the goat

    goo-goo goo-joob

  454. #459 Josh
    January 5, 2010

    I have now worked out that several problems are caused by my own ham-fistedness and lack of knowing quite what I am doing!

    Alan, please clarify–is there something I’m doing with the reference citations that is making things difficult? Aside from typos, of course. I’ll change the format if that one doesn’t work.

  455. #460 David Marjanovi?
    January 5, 2010

    Going to read up on the urethral sponge tomorrow. <vehement nodding>

    Link sez?

    The urethral sponge is often synonymously called the G-spot (Gräfenberg spot)[1], although some say that the two are separate.[citation needed]

    It also says the whole thing is pretty similar to the prostate, compressing the urethra during arousal and containing glands that are? said to be homologous to the prostate in their own Wikipedia article, which then goes on to connect them to female ejaculation and to state that they’re absent in some women. How nicely it all fits together.

    Dang.

    By “the link doesn’t work” I meant that you had screwed up the HTML ? nothing happens when I click on it. But anyway, I followed your suggestion, went to the main page, and searched for “nanobacteria”. The result is this article. Most of it is inaccessible, but the rest presents the main finding anyway, so thanks for making me notice it! :-)

    *clears throat*
    Thank you for coming.
    *clears throat again, spits*

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Central Committee of Commenters on Pharyngula

    I finally need to start using this term!

    whom I aspire to be next.

    (Yes I realize this is an extraordinary claim, and no I can’t cite the peer-reviewed literature. Use your other ways of knowing, people.)

    You win one (1) sniny new Internets.

    the function of the foreskin is to protect the extremely sensitive glans

    Obviously. At the risk of providing way too much information*, mine never retracts for more than leaving a hole of half a cm in diameter, and even that much is impractical even when it doesn’t hurt (remember my infamous and unexplained hypersensitivity ? Asperger’s is supposed to correlate with the opposite).

    Never had any urinary tract infection or anything. Nothing gets in. And that even though I live a less hygienic life than most of you probably do.

    * Actually? no, I think I already mentioned that in my first circumcision thread several years ago.

    For the sake of your sanity please remember that we are all PZ Myers strawmen.

    I do, but I think the guy who blew the whistle on that one simply didn’t know what “sockpuppet” (?not “strawman”?) means.

    Unless he’s just another of PZ’s sockpuppets. B-)

  456. #461 David Marjanovi?
    January 5, 2010

    I think I already mentioned that

    I now clearly remember I did, because the hygiene argument was getting trotted out. I gave details on my hygiene habits, so don’t try to search for it :-þ

  457. #462 Jadehawk, OM
    January 5, 2010

    Who is Jadehawk?, is the question…

    well, usually I’m either a stoopid American who doesn’t know anything about Europe, or a stoopid European who doesn’t know anything about America.

    And that even though I live a less hygienic life than most of you probably do.

    I was gonna say “not bloody likely”, but then I googled* for the relevant post, and I have to admit we’re about equally unhygienic

    *you have only yourself to blame; shouldn’t have told me not to.

  458. #463 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 5, 2010

    Strange Gods, I missed the sinister, Leninesque demagogue the first time around. Damn, I love it. No surprise that it was Hyperion. I give you greetings from one of the organizers of The Beer Hall Putsch.

  459. #464 Sven DiMilo
    January 5, 2010

    Change it to ‘Lennonesque’ and it seems accurate enough.

  460. #465 Alan B
    January 5, 2010

    #459

    No. I was self-correcting #433 which implied there was something wrong. Having looked further I found I was making mistakes on at least some of the references and without going back on all of them, I suspect I was making mistakes on all the “problem” references. I won’t say what the nature of the mistakes was. Just to say they were idiosyncratic (read “stupid”) mistakes made by somebody who is not aware of the finer points of what he is doing (but learning).

    Needless to say, I am interested enough to find a way through …

    The second comment is still true. Because of the mistakes I made I got to look further into some of the sites and found lots of interesting Figures and papers.

  461. #466 mythusmage
    January 5, 2010

    David, #460

    We are all PZ Myers. And considering some of the things we do, it makes you wonder about PZ’s sanity.

  462. #467 Sven DiMilo
    January 5, 2010
  463. #468 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 5, 2010

    Hey! Sven! How ’bout Lennon’s good drinking buddy? Is it Beatlesque enough?

  464. #469 eddie
    January 5, 2010

    “You’re my friend. I poopyhead you for nothing.”

    On foreskins: I once had one that wouldn’t retract (my early teens and before). Then one time it did, suddenly and with some pain. Now it it, as far as I can tell, normal.
    I figured it’s a male analog of the hymen but I’m not an anatomist.

    On g-spots: I’m not an expert :-(((

  465. #470 Sven DiMilo
    January 5, 2010

    Let’s listen in as Bill Dembski has The Talk with his teenaged son.

    Janine, do you know about this museum of all things Schmilsson?

  466. #471 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 5, 2010
  467. #472 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 5, 2010

    Change it to ‘Lennonesque’ and it seems accurate enough.

    I am the Walrus

  468. #473 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 5, 2010
  469. #474 Sven DiMilo
    January 5, 2010

    goo-goo goo-joob

    Ah Neko…I am so totally infatuated with that woman…

  470. #475 Sili
    January 5, 2010

    Just dropping in to say “phimosis”.

    As you were.

  471. #476 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 5, 2010

    A decade ago, I was able to see Neko Case play at very small venues in Chicago.

    All of her albums are wonderful but her second one, Furnace Room Lullabies is my favorite.

    Mood To Burn Bridges

    Furnace Room Lullaby

    And Sven, if you like Neko Case, you have to check out Kelly Hogan. They are friends and have sang on each other albums.

  472. #477 Owlmirror
    January 5, 2010

    Over on Highly Allochthonous, Chris posted about processes that cause isotopes to be differentiated, or occur in different ratios.

    Apparently the enzymatic processes used by life use 12C over 13C, so finding 3.85 billion-year-old residues with a high 12C/13C ratio suggests that life may have evolved that far back.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~douglaspage/id87.html

    Alan B: He’s also discussing the terranes that make up the British Isles, which you also might find of interest.

  473. #478 David Marjanovi?
    January 5, 2010

    well, usually I’m either a stoopid American who doesn’t know anything about Europe, or a stoopid European who doesn’t know anything about America.

    :-D

    A Thread-appropriate image.

    :-) :-) :-)

    Apparently the enzymatic processes used by life use 12C over 13C

    You didn’t know that? Photosynthesis is especially famous for it. Methane generation and methane eating have much stronger effects, though.

  474. #479 John Morales
    January 5, 2010

    So, while catching up on the news, I noticed this:
    Six arrested in Indonesia for ‘sexy dancing’.
    Pullquote:

    Indonesian police arrested six people for the alleged performance of a “sexy dance” at a cafe in the early hours of New Year’s Day, a police official said Tuesday.
    Police arrested six people – four female dancers, the dance group’s leader and the cafe owner, local police chief detective Arman Achdiat said.
    “We’re charging them for preparing the dance and performing it in public, which is against morality,” he added.
    Achdiat did not give any details about the dance but said the dancers, who had performed at a live music cafe in Bandung, south of Jakarta, were in skimpy clothing.
    “It could be described as sexy dancing. But more importantly, they were wearing minimal clothing and performing in public, which can stir desires,” he said.

  475. #480 David Marjanovi?
    January 5, 2010

    Okaaaaay… based on the first paragraph, I technically have phimosis, but I don’t suffer from it, and it’s nowhere near as extreme as in the photo.

    The photo looks painful for a number of reasons.

  476. #482 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 5, 2010

    It could be described as sexy dancing. But more importantly, they were wearing minimal clothing and performing in public, which can stir desires

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK0gYi1YEZ8

  477. #483 Owlmirror
    January 5, 2010
    Apparently the enzymatic processes used by life use 12C over 13C

    You didn’t know that? Photosynthesis is especially famous for it. Methane generation and methane eating have much stronger effects, though.

    If I ever knew it, I forgot it.

    Is there any reason known for why the chemistry of isotope differences exists?

  478. #484 eddie
    January 5, 2010

    Seems that it’s down to the metabolic pathways in photosynthesis that favour lighter or heavier atoms.

    I understood most of the wiki article but the hard science is here;

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/1310735?cookieSet=1

  479. #485 eddie
    January 5, 2010

    The jstor page only gives abstract and first page of the article unless you pay. Wiki here;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopic_signature

  480. #486 Owlmirror
    January 5, 2010

    First page of the paper:

    During photosynthesis, plants discriminate against ¹³C because of small differences in chemical and physical properties imparted by the difference in mass.

    OK, but is there anything that describes exactly what those “small differences” are? ¹³C is more massive than ¹²C, but why should that affect the chemistry?

    What is going on at the chemical/physical level that is affecting the chemical reaction?

  481. #487 Rorschach
    January 5, 2010

    Owlmirror,

    this might help explain it.

  482. #488 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 5, 2010

    Owlmirror, the heavier isotopes are slightly harder to move during the transition state formation in biosynthesis. This difference isn’t usually seen with regular chemical reactions as they don’t run at the edge of being energetically favorable to form the transition state. This appears to be due to difference in mass, or one part in twelve for carbon. This is only seen for the lighter atoms. It is much higher for hydrogen/deuterium. In fact, there have been a couple of sci-fi stories where dideuterium oxide was used to kill someone by slowing down their metabolism.

  483. #489 mythusmage
    January 5, 2010

    Owlmirror, #486

    The science article on isotopes in the March 2010 Analog mentions this. The most extreme example being the chemical differences between hydrogen and deuterium. Why this occurs I do not know, but it would appear that mass does have an impact.

  484. #490 Janine, She Wolf Of Pharyngula, OM
    January 5, 2010

    Willie Mitchell just died, he was eighty-one. Here are a couple of songs he produced.

    I Can’t Stand The Rain

    Could I Be Falling In Love

    Tired Of Being Alone

  485. #491 mythusmage
    January 5, 2010

    (This link may not work, if it doesn’t look for local Savannah GA media sites and have a look at their weather news).

    Observation: San Diego CA is north of Savannah GA (when you adjust for longitude). San Diego is found next to a cold water current coming down from the north, while Savannah is found next to a warm water current coming up from the south. Yet San Diego (at 70°) is supposed to have a warmer day than Savannah (at 47°). Could it be there is something more to the story of local weather than told in popular accounts? :)

  486. #492 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 5, 2010

    Yet San Diego (at 70°) is supposed to have a warmer day than Savannah (at 47°). Could it be there is something more to the story of local weather than told in popular accounts?

    Prevailing winds, both from the west. Blow ocean temps inland in San Diego, but land temps blow to the ocean at Savannah. I see this all the time where I live, since I live about a mile from Lake Michigan. The lake will give us a microclimate slightly warmer/cooler than inland areas unless the wind is strong from the west. Then we get prairie temperatures.

  487. #493 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 5, 2010

    Yet San Diego (at 70°) is supposed to have a warmer day than Savannah (at 47°). Could it be there is something more to the story of local weather than told in popular accounts? :)

    There is a massive high pressure system covering eastern North America. Miami has a current temperature of 37°F (or pretty damn cold for Florida in °C). It’s actually warmer in southeastern Connecticut than it is in Atlanta.

  488. #494 negentropyeater
    January 5, 2010

    Janine,

    Ann Peebles singing I can’t stand the rain is just… perfection.

    Thank you for this.

    Please sign this petition to fix the broken comment registration system
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/fix-scienceblogs-registration

  489. #495 SC OM
    January 5, 2010

    ‘Tis: This is on PBS right now:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/killersubs/

  490. #496 Katrina
    January 5, 2010

    Prevailing winds, both from the west. Blow ocean temps inland in San Diego, but land temps blow to the ocean at Savannah. I see this all the time where I live, since I live about a mile from Lake Michigan. The lake will give us a microclimate slightly warmer/cooler than inland areas unless the wind is strong from the west. Then we get prairie temperatures.

    That’s also why the Willamette Valley in Oregon and Puget Sound in Washington have milder weather than the eastern two-thirds of the states. Here, we actually use the phrase, “It’s too cold to snow.” I found there is no such thing as “too cold” when living in Michigan.

  491. #497 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 5, 2010

    Owlmirror, keep in mind that chemical reactions are mediated by atomic FORCES, and F=Ma. A lighter isotope will simply react more quickly, leaving the heavier isotope as a wallflower.

    This is one of the ways we know that the carbon that is increasing atmospheric CO2 content is from a fossil source–and hence anthropogenic.

  492. #498 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 5, 2010

    SC,

    One of the miniature subs involved in the Pearl Harbor attack is at the Submarine Force Museum, about five miles from my house.

  493. #499 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 5, 2010
  494. #500 Louis
    January 5, 2010

    There’s a (brief) discussion of the kinetic isotope effect and biosynthesis and I missed it whilst Nerd and Rorschach get there first….

    MUH-THA-FUCK-AH!!!!

    The one time my field is mildly relevant to this blog and I miss it. Excuse me, I’m off to commit seppuku to assuage the shame I have brought on my ancestors.

    {shakes fist}

    DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU ALL!!!!! And you punk kids get off my lawn while you’re at it!

    Louis

  495. #502 mythusmage
    January 5, 2010

    Nerd of Redhead, #492

    Exactly!

    Though as a later commenter pointed out, the presence of a high pressure system in the east is screwing with the picture.

    Just as a high pressure system in the west is screwing with the picture out here (our temperatures are supposed to be in the mid60s this time of year, not the low 70s).

    Still, the presence of a (relatively) warm ocean west of San Diego versus the presence of a (relatively) cold continent west of Savannah does make a difference. But, events such as high pressure systems and the presence of the California Current and the Gulf Stream do make a difference.

    (BTW, an off-shore flow is supposed to raise local temperatures to the low 80s; here’s hoping things warm up a bit back east as well.)

  496. #503 mythusmage
    January 5, 2010

    Katrina, #496

    It also helps that you get cold air masses off of the Russian Far East via the Gulf of Alaska. On great occasion you pass such an air mass on to us, and so local temperatures can drop as much as 40 degrees in an hour’s time. (I remember a day when people were in shirt sleeves in the morning, and piling on sweaters and jackets in the afternoon.)

    On a really unrelated note, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) once observed that the coldest winter he’d ever experienced was a summer in San Francisco.

  497. #504 Owlmirror
    January 5, 2010

    The one time my field is mildly relevant to this blog and I miss it. Excuse me, I’m off to commit seppuku to assuage the shame I have brought on my ancestors.

    If you can take a moment and remove that sword from your gut, maybe you can answer the followup question I have. Of course, maybe NoR will get there first…

    OK, so the Wiki on Kinetic isotope effect, Mathematical details in a diatomic molecule states “Thus, the zero-point energy (n = 0) will decrease as the reduced mass increases. With a lower zero-point energy, more energy is required to overcome the activation energy for bond cleavage.”

    Am I correct in understanding that that means that ¹³CO2 will require more energy to break down (and thus participate in a reaction) than ¹²CO2?

  498. #505 Owlmirror
    January 5, 2010

    Oh, and the section of the Wiki article on heavy water/dideuterium monoxide about metabolism was fascinating — toxic at 50% of body water, but also a potential longevity treatment at 25% of body water (in fruit flies).

    Not that I’m volunteering for human trials or anything.

    Yet prokaryotes don’t seem to have any problem with it at all. Hmm.

  499. #506 Owlmirror
    January 5, 2010

    Whoops, I mistyped.

    25% of body water causes sterility, eep!

    The percentage that putatively lengthens lifespan is not stated on the wiki article.

    And I see that it was reported on in… New Scientist. Confidence level falling… falling…

  500. #507 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 5, 2010

    Louis, wherefore are you????? Here’s your chance…

  501. #508 boygenius
    January 5, 2010

    If anyone wants to feel really, really insignificant, there are new Hubble photos available here:

    http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2010/01/image/a/

  502. #509 Patricia, Queen of Sluts OM
    January 5, 2010

    OK that’s it. Nerd & Rorschach off to the spanking couch the both of you.

  503. #510 John Morales
    January 6, 2010

    Heh. Found this link via Jerry Pournelle’s blog, thought I’d share: First Atomic Clock Wristwatch.

  504. #511 Alan B
    January 6, 2010

    #477 Owlmirror

    Alan B: He’s also discussing the terranes that make up the British Isles, which you also might find of interest.

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ll take a look. Where I live is close to where 3 microterranes meet with (minor) earthquakes on one of the fault systems.

  505. #512 windy
    January 6, 2010
    It could be described as sexy dancing. But more importantly, they were wearing minimal clothing and performing in public, which can stir desires

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK0gYi1YEZ8

    That’s not what I’d call ‘minimal’ clothing ‘Tis, or were you being ironic?

    A bit closer to minimal:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZRsflSLw28

  506. #513 John Morales
    January 6, 2010

    Windy, perhaps Himself was pointing out dancing can be um, “sexy”, even with voluminous amounts of clothing?

  507. #514 Alan B
    January 6, 2010

    #512

    It is my understanding that the can-can dancers, did not, shall we say, always wear such voluminous underwear. Indeed, sometimes they wore none at all …

  508. #515 Louis
    January 6, 2010

    Being a UKian, I had to sleep, sorry for my lateness!

    Nerd, your generosity shall not go unnoticed….just unrewarded. ;-) Should I start singing “This is my Moment”? I’m going with “no”.

    Owlmirror #504/505/506:

    Yes, that’s what it means. However, the 13C substituted molecule vs the identical 12C substituted molecule reaction rate differences are (typically) much smaller than D vs H. This is, rather obviously, largely due to the fact that a difference of ~ 1 mass unit in 13 is less significant than a difference of ~ 1 mass unit in 2. This is without considering the effect of orbital overlap and bonding modes btw (this becomes more significant for heavier nuclei with very different isotopes).

    As for the biological effects, I can’t really add much to the Wiki article without getting technical! Simply put those biological reactions/processes which rely particualrly heavily on hydrogen bonding (like mitosis), or where D has substituted for a crucial H, will feel the pinch of the stronger D-X bond the most. (BTW I’m using X here for any atom D is bound to, C, O, N, S, etc)

    Reading around a little, something that struck me was that it seems like relatively “fast” biochemical reactions were significantly effected (various reactions with cytochrome P450 for example) by heavy water/D-labeled molecules. That impression makes sense to me at least, especially if we’re condiering primary kinetic isotope effects. Hmmmmm…

    I’m off to the library!

    Louis

  509. #516 eddie
    January 6, 2010

    On plants and carbon, I fount this article most intereesting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_plants#Evolutionary_record

    I meant to link to it in my post above.

  510. #517 Katrina
    January 6, 2010

    Had an interesting conversation with my 7-y-o skepchick over dinner last night.

    She informed me that one of her classmates has been going around saying, “God made us. God made us. God made us.” She said she finally got tired of it and said to him, “No he didn’t. Charles Darwin proved more than a hundred years ago that we evolved from non-human ancestors.”

    Her second-favorite book (her favorite is whatever she happens to be reading) is Voyage of the Beetle, by Anne Weaver and George Lawrence.

  511. #518 Islander
    January 6, 2010

    Katrina, if I ever have a child (or children), I dearly hope s/he is as smart as your daughter seems to be.

  512. #519 Katrina
    January 6, 2010

    This child of mine begs me to play NOVA specials for her on my computer.

    Of course, I comply. ;-)

  513. #520 Alan B
    January 6, 2010

    Let’s have a try at isotope fractionation by a purely physical processes to show how enrichment /depletion can occur.

    Graham’s Law of gaseous diffusion dates back to 1829 and states that the rate of diffusion is inversely proportional to the square root of its density. Thus, for 2 gases with densities d1 and d2, the rates of diffusion (D1 and D2) will be in the ratio:

    D1/D2 = Sqrt (d2/d1)

    For ideal gases, 1 mole of any gas occupies a fixed volume at constant temperature and pressure. (For example, the density of carbon dioxide with C-12 will be slightly less than the density of carbon dioxide with C-13.) So:

    D1/D2 = Sqrt (M2/M1) where M1 and M2 are the molecular weights.

    Let’s look at 3 examples. In each case M1 is the lower value:

    1) Carbon dioxide in plants

    M1 = 12 + 2*16 = 44
    M2 = 13 + 2*16 = 45

    Hence, D1/D2 = Sqrt (45/44) = 1.011.

    Thus, C-12 carbon dioxide diffuses about 1.1% faster than C-13 carbon dioxide.

    Since diffusion of carbon dioxide into a plant leaf is the first stage of incorporation into plant cells there will be a slight increase in the ratio of C-12 to C-13 available to take part in photosynthesis and the ratio of C-12 : C-13 in the plant material will be slightly enhanced. (Or C-13 slightly depleted). Chemical porcesses then occur each of which will be affected slightly by the difference in the rates for C-12 and C-13. In general, the activation energy for reactions involving C-12 will be slightly faster than those with C-13. This will add to the depletion of C-13 in the plant-produced carbohydrates. Finding this depletion in C-13 is an indication that there may have been life. In addition, the quantitative depletion in C-13 depends on the photosynthetic route (C-3 & C-4) but this is out of my depth without looking up the detail.

    2) Enrichment of Uranium in U-235

    Natural Uranium (a mixture of U-235 and U-238) in enriched in U-235 by gaseous diffusion of the hexafluoride – UF6. Here the density difference is less:

    M1 = 235 + 6*19 = 349
    M2 = 238 + 6*19 = 352

    D1/D2 = Sqrt (352/349) = 1.004

    Thus, the slightly lighter UF6 (235) will diffuse through a hole or porous medium 0.4% faster than the undesirable UF6 (238). Collect the light fraction and you will have a slight enrichment in U-235. Repeat ad nauseam and you get bomb grade Uranium.

    3) Finally, water containing O-16 and O-18.

    M1 = 18
    M2 = 20

    D1/D2 = Sqrt (20/18) = 1.054

    Thus, water molecules that have diffused out of the surface of the sea in evaporation will be slightly enriched in O-16 water, leaving behind water slightly enriched in O-18. This depletion/enrichment is observed.

    If you want to know more about these processes then I can give you a reference work from Cornell Uni.

  514. #521 Alan B
    January 6, 2010

    Cornell reference:

    http://www.geo.cornell.edu/geology/classes/Geo656/656home.html

    and click on Lectures on the LHS to give you a full set of lecture notes delivered 2009.

    You will want Part IV Stable Isotope Geochemistry.

  515. #522 Josh
    January 6, 2010

    Alan, I’m going to enjoy reading #520 (I think you and Nerd should geek out to your chemistry strengths whenever you like). But first, dinner calls.

  516. #523 Alan B
    January 6, 2010

    #477 & #451

    Looked further at the site. Interesting.

    The concept of multiple “slices” making up Great Britain is well known. In addition, the Midlands platform as shown in his figure is believed to be made up of 3 pieces. I have found 1 or 2 reliable references that assume this to be so. There is a paper that presents the evidence but I can’t put my hands on it (yet).

  517. #524 Alan B
    January 6, 2010

    #522 Josh

    You surely don’t want a “KemistryKorner” as well as “Share and Enjoy”?

    Remember, except where I had to use it in my job, my chemistry is over 40 years out of date. On second thoughts, I am quoting Graham’s Law from 1829 – maybe some things don’t change.

  518. #525 Alan B
    January 6, 2010

    #515 Louis

    Remember, the effect of the 2 carbon isotopes is likely to be not 1 part in 12 / 13 but 1 part in the molecular weight (whatever the molecule). Likewise for H-1 and H-2.

    For carbon dioxide 44 vs 45.
    For deuterium it would probably be 16 vs 17 (for water).

  519. #526 Alan B
    January 6, 2010

    #525

    (Unless the hydrogen was involved in a reaction as the ion, “H+”, where the effect would be larger. Depends on the rate limitting process.)

  520. #527 eddie
    January 6, 2010

    It’s OK guys. The race is over. These guys won.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkVzmWPUayM

  521. #528 Josh
    January 6, 2010

    You surely don’t want a “KemistryKorner” as well as “Share and Enjoy”?

    Oh, I don’t think that would be a bad thing…

    Hey Nerd, I’ve very recently (and am sitting here on a second bottle of Best Brown Ale) discovered Bell’s Brewery, which hails from Comstock, MI. Are you familiar with the brand? It’s not UP, but…was curious. The “Best Brown Ale” is tasty.

  522. #529 mythusmage
    January 6, 2010

    Through his comment series Alan B shows another reason why I like this blog and its commentors, the generosity.

  523. #530 eddie
    January 6, 2010

    Sorry. Shoulda caught up first. They guys came a close second to Katharine’s 7yo.

  524. #531 Lynna, OM
    January 6, 2010

    Well, Alan B, I should know something about geochemistry, but really I know fuck all. I truly enjoyed your comment 520.

    I won’t remember the math, but I will remember that the formula exists … so I can look it up if needed. Mostly, I’ll remember the concept behind the diffusion rates (especially liked the explanation of carbon in plants), and the relationship to porous mediums, hole sizes, etc.

    Do you feel like tackling the chemistry behind irradiated topaz (changing common brownish shades to blue)? ‘Tis Himself gave us an overview some time back, and I either need to be told again, or I need a more detailed explanation. Throwing the stuff into a nuclear reactor, and the dangers that result (hot gemstones!) made for an interesting discussion.

  525. #532 Lynna, OM
    January 6, 2010

    Rex Rammell, the candidate for governor of Idaho that feels like he is ordained by God and prophesied by Joseph Smith to save the constitution is in the news here again (or still in the news).

    Idaho is on the cusp of another political season with the legislative session beginning Monday, Jan. 11, followed by a primary election in May and general election in November. And that means the time for prophesying is nigh.
         Just ask gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell, who feels ordained by a Latter-Day Saint prophesy to save the U.S. Constitution.
         ”We are in America’s second Revolutionary War to save our freedom, which we paid for with blood. We need God’s help and I am not ashamed to ask for it!” Rammell declares.
         Though the Mormon Church has distanced itself from Rammell’s campaign, the large animal veterinarian is meeting with LDS elders to share his interpretation of a former church president’s interpretation of a statement attributed to Joseph Smith.

    I agree with Rex Rammell on one point, he knows no shame.

  526. #533 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 6, 2010

    Hey Nerd, I’ve very recently (and am sitting here on a second bottle of Best Brown Ale) discovered Bell’s Brewery, which hails from Comstock, MI. Are you familiar with the brand? It’s not UP, but…was curious. The “Best Brown Ale” is tasty.

    Josh, yes it is a tasty ale. I grew up near Comstock in Battle Creek, and still have family there. That ale is served in one of the restaurants in BC, which we often visit while in town. I grew as a troll, but did spend 15 years near Superior. Don’t tell me you were training at Ft. Custer.

  527. #534 Josh
    January 6, 2010

    Don’t tell me you were training at Ft. Custer.

    I will not comment on unit operational posture. Except now–no, there is a great little package store a block away from me that has it*. Very nice stuff. The owner recommended it to me a couple of days ago and I’m going to totally be into it for a while.

    *they also have a spectacular single malt collection, but I’ve largely been good.

  528. #535 Sven DiMilo
    January 6, 2010

    I’ll chime in to the Isotopic Effect discussion, though I must admit at the outset that I am about a half-dozen pints into the evening already.

    OK. Metabolic rates of organisms are of interest for any number of reasons. By “metabolic rate” I mean “rate of energy expenditure,” which ought to be measured in units like moles of ATP per day, but are approximated instead by measurements of oxygen consumption and/or carbon dioxide production. Gas-exchange rates are measurable directly in the laboratory (not easily, believe me, but measurable). But sometimes what we want to know is “Field Metabolic Rate,” the rate of energy expenditure by animals behaving naturally in their natural habitats.
    Long story short, the best (most accurate) way to measure/estimate FMR is called the “doubly labelled water” (DLW) technique. Here’s the idea. You enrich the body water of a bunch of individuals with isotopes of both oxygen (O18) and hydrogen (H2 or H3). Wait for the injected water to equilibrate with the body water, take a blood sample, and let em go to behave naturally etc. Now the (usually) hard part: recapture the labelled individuals after an appropriate interval (24h for a small bird or mouse up to 30d for a tortoise). Nother blood sample.

    Now you distill out the water from the blood samples and analyze it for the H and O isotopes (via various radio- spectro- photo- alchemicalo- techniques). Proportions of both enriched isotopes will have decreased over time. Hydrogen isotopes are lost almost entirely as H2O, so the deuterium or tritium concentration decreases (and is interpretable as water flux rate). Now oxygen is also lost as water, BUT is lost in CO2 too. Paying attention? Subtract the rate of H isotope decrease (water) from the rate of O isotope decrease (water + CO2) and whaddaya get?

    A: Carbon dioxide production rate, a stoichiometric correlate of ATP production and (therefore!!!) chemical-energy-use rate; i.e. metabolic rate (=, btw, and via the FLoT, heat production rate). In the field. FMR.

    The technique has been applied to dozens of species of terrestrial animals. Pretty cool stuff. OK.

  529. #536 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 6, 2010

    Bells Cherry Stout is also good and their Two Hearted Ale is one of my favorites.

  530. #537 Sven DiMilo
    January 6, 2010

    Shit, I forgot the whole point: One of the things one has to take into account when interpreting rates of decrease in isotope levels is fractionation. For example, simple evaporative water loss favors lighter isotopes…

  531. #538 Sven DiMilo
    January 6, 2010

    But enough about me.
    Here’s my vote RIGHT NOW for the–yo, I’ma let you finish, but this is the greatest recording by anybody ever of All Time! OF ALL TIME!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnWry5P_WFY

  532. #539 John Morales
    January 6, 2010

    Sven, interesting. I’m familiar with energy expenditure being expressed in terms of power (i.e. units of energy per units of time), but I can see the point of expressing it in terms of units of (chemical energy source processed) per unit time¹ as a basis for determination.

    Clever biochemists!

    ¹ However, I thought the processing efficiency dependent on a number of factors, not least temperature. I guess homeostasis in organisms is taken as a given?

  533. #540 Jadehawk, OM
    January 6, 2010

    new chick tract. the message: 1)Native Americans are evil
    2)their magic is weaker than our magic
    3)we don’t care if you’re a rapist and a murderer; as long as you “accept jesus”, you’re going to heaven

  534. #541 Miki Z
    January 7, 2010

    As a teenager working a drive-thru window, I got really good at grabbing money stuff into the pages of a chick tract and letting the tract drop to the ground without coming through the window. I see they aren’t any less despicable than they were back then.

  535. #543 John Morales
    January 7, 2010

    negentropyeater, interesting link, but it’s weird.

    In contrast to Spain, where the lead-up to the legalisation of gay marriage in 2005 brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets, the bill in Portugal has provoked only muted opposition even from the right.

    Though Portugal is contiguous with Spain (where I spent my childhood) and their borders are porous, in some ways they might as well be on opposite sides of Europe.

    Anyway. I might be straight as an arrow, but I’m also firmly egalitarian, and I think this is good news.

  536. #544 Josh
    January 7, 2010

    You know it’s going to be a long day when you start it off by wandering past a dead body on your way in to work.

  537. #545 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 7, 2010

    Ugh, it’s going to be a long day here too. We are getting our first significant snowfall of the season, and the Redhead is going into Chicago (by train) to see a matinee dress rehearsal of an opera. It should be interesting when she returns (about 4-7 inches expected by then). Nothing like people unused to driving on snow, and suddenly having to cope with doing so. Scary.

  538. #546 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 7, 2010

    Ugh, it’s going to be a long day here too. We are getting our first significant snowfall of the season, and the Redhead is going into Chicago (by train) to see a matinee dress rehearsal of an opera. It should be interesting when she returns (about 4-7 inches expected by then). Nothing like people unused to driving on snow, and suddenly having to cope with doing so. Scary.

    You have no idea. I live in Charleston, SC (as you know) and they are threatening just a whisper of snow tomorrow.

    People are losin’ their god damn mind. I’m betting there is a serious run on milk and bread at the store.

    Something I never really understood.

  539. #547 Josh
    January 7, 2010

    I hate trying to drive here when it snows. Everyone seems to collectively lose their mind.

  540. #548 Miki Z
    January 7, 2010

    Also a run on marshmallows, rice, and popcorn. It’s sympathetic gastronomy.

  541. #549 Miki Z
    January 7, 2010

    So, Josh, is there a story behind the dead body, or is this a typical ‘long day’ indicator?

  542. #550 Josh
    January 7, 2010

    Someone jumped off* the bridge I walk across to get to work. His day ended early…and poorly.

    *I think. I was on the bridge, in low light, about 30 feet above him, and could see that he was crumpled on the rocks, on his back. As such, I think “pushed off” and “set in position after death” are also likely possibilities.

  543. #551 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 7, 2010

    You’re right Josh, not a great way to start the day.

  544. #552 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 7, 2010

    You know it’s going to be a long day when you start it off by wandering past a dead body on your way in to work.

    Damn. Yeah that is a bad start to your day but a worse start to theirs.

    I found a dead person once in high school, that wasn’t a great experience either. Kinda fucks you up for a while.

  545. #553 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 7, 2010

    Actually, damn come to think of it I found another dead person when I was climbing in the Tetons. Shit I had kind of forgotten about that one. ugh. That wasn’t pretty at all.

  546. #554 Josh
    January 7, 2010

    I’ve seen a lot of dead people, and so sadly I’m kind of numb to it. Indeed, my immediate reaction was to start organizing the observations in my head and erecting hypotheses for how he got into that specific position–for a good 20 seconds–before the human side of my brain was like “hey asshole–this guy’s life just ended.”

    *shakes head*

  547. #556 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    Sorry about the dead guy, Josh. Not a good way to start the day. We’re fairly used to seeing dead deer next to our roads, but it was only when we got close to Las Vegas on one of our longer expeditions that we saw a dead human. I saw human bones once in an abandoned mining site, bones probably more than a century old — still creepy.

    In another kind of creepy, here’s a story that illustrates the perversion of justice in a community that veers too close to theocracy. A girl who was slightly brain-damaged and also raised as a naive mormon girl was sexually abused. So the community prosecuted her instead of the abusers. Comments from True Believers below the story continue to prosecute the girl. The cop/father of the molesters did not investigate, the mormon Bishop to whom the girl confessed did not investigate nor report the crime.

  548. #557 Dania
    January 7, 2010

    John Morales,

    negentropyeater, interesting link, but it’s weird.

    In contrast to Spain, where the lead-up to the legalisation of gay marriage in 2005 brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets, the bill in Portugal has provoked only muted opposition even from the right.

    Yeah, it’s weird. I was expecting a lot more opposition to the bill from the right, but the opposition is mainly coming from the left*!

    All I’ve heard from the right is the usual “oh, sure, just don’t call it marriage, ‘kay?” and the very persuasive “but…but… *pulls out random red herring* What about this More Important IssueTM!? We can’t waste time with minor issues!!” I guess they’re doing their best not to sound like homophobic bigots.

    *That’s because while this bill legalizes same sex marriage it also makes it explicit in the law that married gay couples cannot adopt. The only thing keeping gay couples from adopting children** at the moment is the fact that they can’t marry, otherwise they would fit all the legal requirements to adopt. This bill removes the requirement that two people need to be of different sex in order to marry BUT it adds that requirement to adoption by couples. Needless to say, not everyone in the left is happy with this (I’m not, but it’s better than nothing).

    **As a couple. As far as I know, there’s nothing preventing non-heterosexuals from becoming single parents by adoption.

  549. #558 Alan B
    January 7, 2010

    #531 Lynna

    I’m onto the Topaz question. I may be able to write it up this evening (19:50 currently)

    best wishes

    (I have not forgotten the map! Currently we’ve had about 2-3 inches of global warming locally – you know, the white stuff. I know, I know, that’s hardly anything but it is common to have alternating snow/thaw/freeze [small fluctuations around 0 deg C] which means we end up with ice rather than the powdery stuff. Hoping to do non-essential stuff – sorry, including your map – shortly.)

  550. #559 bastion of sass
    January 7, 2010

    Am posting this here, as well as in the I WANT A UNITY CONVENTION! thread in the hopes that more people will see it, since the Unity thread has kinda wound down.

    ATTN: Baltimore Blasphemous Bastards

    We will attempt to get together for the first time on Friday, Jan. 29, between 5:30 and 8:30 PM at Brewers Art which is in the upper Mt. Vernon area of downtown Baltimore. Feel free to bring one or more companions.

    Because of the reluctance of some Pharyngulates to join Facebook, and my reluctance to pay meetup.com’s group organizer’s fees, I have set up a yahoo group for us, Baltimore Pharyngula Fans. Not as catchy as Baltimore Blaspheming Bastards, admittedly, but not as scary for the less militant who might potentially join us.

    Please join the yahoo group and let me know if you’ll be coming to this meetup or just to keep in touch with other Pharyngula fans in the Baltimore area.

    Because of the (surely) spam and (potential) troll issues, I have set moderator (that’s me, so far) approval of members and messages from new members, so there may be some delay in seeing your first message appear.

  551. #560 Sven DiMilo
    January 7, 2010

    A girl who was slightly brain-damaged and also raised as a naive mormon girl

    love the “also”

  552. #561 mythusmage
    January 7, 2010

    BDC, #552

    I recall a time when a fellow died in public, on a major street downtown, and the authorities didn’t figure out he was dead for about three days.

  553. #562 David Marjanovi?
    January 7, 2010

    Snow! :-) Half a cm of snow lying in Paris.

    All of it fell today morning, except for a single layer of snowflakes that fell yesterday morning. That’s right, a single layer.

  554. #563 Paul
    January 7, 2010

    Jadehawk,

    I reply with the the previous chick tract.

    The message I took away from it is “believe in Jesus, and he’ll kill your enemies for you”.

  555. #564 Dania
    January 7, 2010

    Josh,

    And yet another misleading headline:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20100106/sc_livescience/fourleggedcreaturesfootprintsforceevolutionrethink

    That’s nothing compared to what I just saw on the news show minutes ago:

    Footprints discovered in Poland may revolutionize the theory of evolution: First vertebrates on Earth may have appeared 20 million years earlier than previously thought

    That’s right. First vertebrates. On Earth, capital E, the planet.

    I’m not sure that’s what they meant, but it was what they wrote.

  556. #565 Josh
    January 7, 2010

    *headdesk*

  557. #566 Dania
    January 7, 2010

    *headdesk*

    Yep.

    And I’ve lost count of how many times the theory of evolution has undergone a “revolution” lately…

  558. #567 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 7, 2010

    And I’ve lost count of how many times the theory of evolution has undergone a “revolution” lately…

    And how minutely incremental the changes are…

  559. #568 David Marjanovi?
    January 7, 2010

    And how minutely incremental the changes are…

    :-D

    Will we see a punctuation of this equilibrium? Inquiring minds want to know!!!1!

  560. #569 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    The LDS Church just bought 13 more acres of downtown Salt Lake City. They already own Temple Square, part of Main Street, and several acres on which they are building a new mall, and some condos. Sounds to me like they are creating their own version of Vatican City.

    The Sinclair Companies, controlled by oil magnate Earl Holding, said Thursday it has sold about 13 acres of prime real estate in downtown Salt Lake City to the LDS Church.
         The LDS Church, which is active in real estate development, purchased a 10-acre block between 400 South and 500 South and West Temple and Main streets….
         LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter confirmed the purchase by the church’s Property Reserve Inc. “The land was purchased as a long-term investment with no immediate plans for development,” he said in a statement….

    Earl Holding is, of course, a mormon. In an interview, Stephen Trimble said about Holding:

    …Dick Cheney records the video tribute when Earl wins an award.
    Earl Holding is a recluse and an eccentric?and a forceful member of the inner circle of power in Mormon Country. He owns the Little America hotel chain, Sinclair Oil, Sun Valley and Snowbasin ski resorts, and 500,000 acres of land in the West. He is now worth nearly $5 billion, which makes him the 77th richest American on the 2008 Forbes 400 list.

  561. #570 SEF
    January 7, 2010

    Will we see a punctuation of this equilibrium?

    Perhaps if the vestigial appendix finally goes and takes more of the bowel with it you might get a semi-colon.

  562. #571 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    At first the mormons were proud of the fact that poor church members in Brazil gave the gold out of their dental work as contributions to help build a new temple (1998-2000). Then, belatedly, the mormons realized that it was pretty bizarre to everyone but them, and that the photo of Apostle Faust holding a handful of gold fillings was not as glorifying to God as they thought.

    STORY ONE Excerpt:

    He emphasized the need to sacrifice for temple building and shared how members in Argentina found ways to donate during the construction of the São Paulo Brazil Temple. They gave the gold from their dental work to help pay for the temple. He said that he had purchased some of the gold fillings for more than the market price to share with congregations the nature of the sacrifice made by these members (Church News, 9 May 1998).

    STORY TWO Excerpt:

    One memorable donation was a gold dental bridge presented by an Argentine man to a pair of missionaries. They declined the gift at first, saying they couldn’t take the man’s teeth, but he responded, “You can’t deny me the blessings I will receive by giving this to the Lord for his temple.” Elder James E. Faust, who was serving as the South America area supervisor for the Church, heard the story and paid a generous sum of money for the gold. From that day on, he kept the dental bridge as a reminder of the Saints’ countless sacrifices.”

    The photo of the handful of fillings is nowhere to be found on lds.org, but it’s archived here

  563. #572 aratina cage
    January 7, 2010

    Josh #544, that is a traumatic way to start the day. Ugh is right.

  564. #573 Alan B
    January 7, 2010

    #531 Lynn asked me:

    Do you feel like tackling the chemistry behind irradiated topaz (changing common brownish shades to blue)?

    Here goes, the second KemistryKorner (I blame Josh #528)

    (The first, not IDed as KK, was #520 on isotope fractionation by diffusion.)

    I am taking most of my information from an excellent website initially developed by Jill Banfield while she was a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The internet materials were developed in summer 1995, and distance education students began to take in Fall 1995. The course was first offered as an internet option to UW students in 1997. The course (Gems and Gem Materials) was then offered at UC Berkeley (Ref 1). The student material is freely available and well worth a look if you want a simple introduction to “Gemology”. I read through much of it some 8 or so years ago.

    “This unique internet-based course is designed for students without a strong background in basic science. The primary goal of the course is to present some introductory earth science and to provide students with a solid understanding of gemology.”

    (Colour and emphasis removed)

    The course covers a range of Gems and Gem Materials. To keep this post a sensible length, I will cover ONLY topaz and ONLY the conversion of naturally-occurring pale topaz to sky blue topaz by radiation and the implications of the process. (See Ref. 2 for the study notes on topaz.)

    Wiki gives some helpful information about topaz (Ref. 3). Topaz is a silicate of aluminium (note the correct IUPAC spelling!) with fluorine and hydroxide ions in varying ratios. Pure topaz is colourless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine, yellow, pale grey or reddish-orange, blue brown. It can also be made white, pale green, blue, gold, pink (rare), reddish-yellow or opaque to transparent/translucent.
    Orange topaz, also known as precious topaz, is the traditional November birthstone, the symbol of friendship, and the state gemstone for the US State of Utah.
    Blue topaz is the Texas state gemstone. Naturally occurring Blue Topaz is quite rare. Typically colourless, grey or pale yellow and blue material is heat treated and irradiated to produce a more desired darker blue.

    I will leave an explanation about the way radiation affects the colour and deal with the other issue:

    Is residual radioactivity a problem?

    The answer is: it depends! It depends on how the radiation treatment is done. Consider 2 different methods:

    Neutron irradiation. Firing neutrons at a topaz target risks the formation of long lived radionuclides of Scandium and Tantalum (Ref. 4). Sc-46 has a half life of 84 days and is a beta emitter (Ref. 5). No one is going to chew up and eat a topaz. For a start, it has a Mho’s hardness of 8 compared with the highest value of 10 for diamond! Some beta particles may well go through the skin but not from a mounted gemstone.

    Ta-182 is a greater concern. Thus, according to Wiki (Ref. 6):

    Tantalum has been proposed as a “salting” material for nuclear weapons (cobalt is another, better-known salting material). A jacket of Ta-181, irradiated by the intense high-energy neutron flux from an exploding thermonuclear weapon, would transmute into the radioactive isotope Ta-182 with a half-life of 114.43 days and produce approximately 1.12 MeV of gamma radiation, significantly increasing the radioactivity of the weapon’s fallout for several months. Such a weapon is not known to have ever been built, tested, or used.

    Thus, if irradiation was carried out by neutrons there is a risk of trace impurities being activated to produce small amounts of unpleasant radionuclides with long half lives.

    Electron Irradiation
    According to the Gems and Gem Materials site (Ref. 7), the most common tool for irradiation is Linac (linear accelerators) using electron beams:

    In the creation of “Sky blue” topaz, irradiation involves an electron beam with an energy below the activation threshold for all impurities except sodium (half life is about 15 hours). Thus, the small quantities of radioactive isotopes that form during electron irradiation decay away before the stones are released from the accelerator.

    Ten days (240 hours) is 16 half lives. In 10 half lives the radioactivity will have decayed to one thousandth of the initial value. A further 6 half lives will reduce it by another factor of 60. (Both figures approximate – actual value 1/65,536. A further ten days will reduce it to vanishingly low values. (The gamma rays emitted by Na-24 are easily detected).

    So the answer is if the irradiation process is by an electron beam linear accelerator there is no residual problem with radioactivity from the process. (There could, of course, be trace amounts of naturally-occurring radionuclides, as there could be with many gemstones).

    Part 2 on the effect of radiation on the physics/chemistry of the effect of radiation on colour tomorrow (if it weren’t this site, I might put “DV”).

    References

    Ref. 1 nature.berkeley.edu/classes/eps2//wisc/intro2.html

    Ref. 2 http://nature.berkeley.edu/classes/eps2//wisc/Lect10.html

    Ref. 3 Wiki article “Topaz”.

    Ref. 4 nature.berkeley.edu/classes/eps2//wisc/radio.html

    Ref. 5 Wiki article “Isotopes of Scandium”

    Ref. 6 Wiki article “Isotopes of Tantalum”

    Ref. 7 nature.berkeley.edu/classes/eps2//wisc/L10c1.html

  565. #574 Josh
    January 7, 2010

    Josh #544, that is a traumatic way to start the day. Ugh is right.

    If something fucked up happens, like as not I’ll end up in the vicinity. I have no idea why that is.

    (I blame Josh #528)

    I’m going to happily take the blame for this.

    And I’ve lost count of how many times the theory of evolution has undergone a “revolution” lately…

    That’s because there are GAPS in the theory, Dania, my love.
    Gaps I tell you! GAPS that you could drive a Mac truck through!

    GAPS!

    Did I mention the Gaps, by any chance?

  566. #575 Sven DiMilo
    January 7, 2010

    oh, the gaps

    how they gape

  567. #576 Alan B
    January 7, 2010

    #574

    And every time you fill one GAP you get 2 more GAPS!

    The more scientists look at it, the worse it gets!!

    /sarc Do I have to …?

  568. #577 aratina cage
    January 7, 2010

    /sarc Do I have to …?

    Better check in with Ed on that…

    Naah. :)

  569. #578 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 7, 2010

    Sc-46 has a half life of 84 days and is a beta emitter…the radioactive isotope Ta-182 with a half-life of 114.43 days and produce approximately 1.12 MeV of gamma radiation

    I am now going to inflict on you the lesson of the radioactive cookies.

    Let’s suppose we have three radioactive cookies, one is an alpha emitter, one a beta emitter, and the last a gamma emitter. Which cookie can you eat, which cookie can you stick in your pocket, and which cookie do you leave on the table?

    You can eat the gamma emitter, put the alpha emitter into your pocket, and leave the beta emitter on the table.

    Alpha particles (ionized helium nuclei, two protons and two neutrons) will not penetrate the cloth of your pocket. A meter or so of air will stop beta particles (electrons) so you can leave it on the table. Gamma radiation (similar to x-rays only more energetic) can only be stopped by lead or other dense material, so you might as well eat it because it’ll give you the same dose whether you eat it, put it in your pocket or leave it on the table.

  570. #579 Alan B
    January 7, 2010

    #578 ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Pretty good rule of thumb for alpha and beta although I’m trying to think of occasions when you would have pure alpha, beta or gamma other than manufactured sources.

    Not so sure about the gamma radiation. Inverse square law comes in so putting it in your pocket doesn’t seem an awefully good idea. Depending how quickly the radionuclide passes through the body, I’m not sure if I would want to eat it and have it lodge in some particular organ. Some gamma emitters also emit beta particles, of course (e.g. I-131).

    No. All told, I will keep away from the gamma and rely on the inverse square law to help me.

  571. #580 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    Alan B @573: That was lovely. Thanks. Though I don’t know why Josh gets all the credit. Unless he is getting credit only for Kutesy spelling, I object.

    Thanks, so much ‘Tis, for the radioactive cookie lesson. I assume you haven’t tested this on yourself. I think I may not ever accept any cookies from you.

  572. #581 Josh
    January 7, 2010

    Though I don’t know why Josh gets all the credit.

    No, no. I only get credit for goading him into making the post…

  573. #582 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 7, 2010

    I’d prefer to have a couple of centimeters of lead and a meter or two of diesel fuel* between a gamma emitter and me.

    *Hydrocarbons are a pretty good radiation shield, particularly for gamma radiation.

    I’m trying to think of occasions when you would have pure alpha, beta or gamma other than manufactured sources.

    Don’t be so literal minded. The radioactive cookies are a thought problem, not a real life situation. BTW, tritium (³H) is a pure beta emitter with a half-life of approximately 12.33 years.

  574. #583 Josh
    January 7, 2010

    Hydrocarbons are a pretty good radiation shield, particularly for gamma radiation.

    Huh…I didn’t know that. That’s pretty interesting.

  575. #584 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    Oh, dearie me, more pseudo-proof of the “history” portrayed in the Book of Mormon:

    For over a year we have anxiously awaited the release of this paradigm shattering new documentary film. With nearly a dozen non-LDS, mainstream, archaeologists, anthropologists, museum directors, geneticists, historians, authors and Native Americans, “The Lost Civilization of North America” is an incredibly compelling new film that finally answers the question of why most Americans (and Latter-day Saints) have never heard about the tremendous, highly advanced civilization that once existed anciently in the ‘Heartland’ of the North American continent and why theories about its origins have been deliberately and systematically erased from American history.
         I hope that you will take a moment to watch the video trailer of this fundamentally important film to all those interested in learning about and finding evidences for the Book of Mormon as a literal historical record of real people, places and things.
         This one hour and ten minute film will forever change your view about the strength of the claims of the Book of Mormon relative to where it may have taken place. Nowhere has this level of evidence been provided by mainstream, non-LDS scholars from so many fields of expertise as you will find within this extraordinarily well done film. This is truly the ‘must see’ film of 2010 for every Book of Mormon believer and skeptic alike! It has been said that Joseph Smith believed that someday the ‘Gentiles’ would prove out the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon…could it be that today is that day? Watch this film and see what you think!
    Sincerely,
    Rod L. Meldrum
    President – The FIRM Foundation

    I read somewhere that mormon bigwigs were meeting with Meldrum. Sounds to me like they paid him to make a film. Looks like followed the “Expelled” protocol and invited some real scientists to appear in the film. One wonders how many of them knew what they were being roped into. Here’s a partial list:
    You will witness video footage of interviews with each of the following experts in this film (in order of appearance).

    Roger G. Kennedy, Director Emeritus
    Smithsonian National Museum of American History
    Author, Hidden Cities: The Discovery and Loss of Ancient North American Civilization

    Alice Beck Kehoe, PhD
    Anthropology, Harvard University
    Author, The Land of Prehistory, A Critical History of American Archaeology

    Sonya Atalay, PhD
    Anthropology, University of California – Berkley
    Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Indiana University

    Wayne N. May
    Publisher
    Ancient American Magazine

    .wandering over the plains of the Nephites, recounting occasionally the history of the Book of Mormon, roving over the mounds of that once beloved people of the Lord, picking up their skulls and their bones, as a proof of its divine authenticity,…”
         So wrote the Prophet Joseph Smith in a letter to his wife, Emma while on Zion’s Camp march, which would take him nearly 1000 miles across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.
         Where are the evidences of Joseph’s words? Where are the physical manafestations of this “once beloved people”? Where are the archaeological corroboration that would confirm that an ancient Israelite people once roamed this land? And if these evidences do exist, why have we not heard about them?
         An authoritative new film, “The Lost Civilization of North America” answers these questions. Roger Kennedy, former Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, explains how very few experts “were conscious of the immensity of a place like Monk’s Mound in Cahokia, opposite the city of St. Louis, which is bigger in its footprint than the Great Pyramid of Giza.”
         He, together with Harvard PhD anthropologist Alice Kehoe, reveals the racist and religiously bigoted perspectives that developed within the early 1800’s scientific community. In the film, Kennedy and Kehoe explore the development of theories of cultural evolution and how these theories influenced Lewis Henry Morgan who would become president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS today) and John Wesley Powell, who became Director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution.

  576. #585 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 7, 2010

    He, together with Harvard PhD anthropologist Alice Kehoe, reveals the racist and religiously bigoted perspectives that developed within the early 1800’s scientific community.

    Sure there were some really bigoted scientists in the 19th Century. Louis Agassiz was the most famous (although he wasn’t early 1800s) but there were others. So what? That doesn’t say anything about there being no real evidence that two bunches of middle-easterners came to the Americas as the Book of Mormon claims.

  577. #586 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    The movie “8: The Mormon Proposition” is going to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival, and it is already drawing fire from True Believers. Here’s an example:

    A LETTER FROM A MORMON:
    Derrick Clifford
    *********************************************
         I understand that you dont have all of the information. somehow, previous to prop 8, you feel you have been wronged or unfarily targeted by the LDS church. I am a member of the LDS church and it is my life and you dont realize the damage you have done to our freedom of religion by twisting facts and taking statements out of context you are smearing my name and my belief system. We dont hate the gay community and that has never been said by any member of the church’s first presidency. As far as comparing this to the poligomy question, there is no comparison. That “alternative’ form of marriage as you called it was stopped and became illegal by our government. Your argument does not hold much water. how dare you take messages from our conferences that are so personal and sacred to me and use them to your selfish gain and benefit. i love my church and yes we believe that homosexuality is wrong but it really isnt a question of policy it is a question of morality. That I believe is why the LDS faith got involved in the first place. We as a religion fight a battle against immoral actions not people. We are doing the same thing that every church does on the planet. Please stop targeting us. It is becoming dangerous for us to exist and to live in a free society

    Freedom from spellcheck for everyone! Freedom from proper punctuation for everyone! Ample persecution for all mormons!
    Freedom from thought!

  578. #587 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself, the trailer for “The Lost Civilization of North America” shows the expert bemoaning the racism, which, as you say, is only too evident in historical records. But the trailer also reveals the unethical editing that creates an unwarranted leap from that racism to “proof” of a conspiracy to hide the “truth” of all those tribes mentioned in the Book of Mormon. It’s a fucking crime.

    And that’s just the trailer.

  579. #588 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    I didn’t realize that hydrocarbons could be used as a shield against gamma radiation. ‘Tis, you are just full of useful info. So, as part of my emergency-preparedness kit I can keep a 50-gallon drum of diesel fuel handy.

  580. #589 SEF
    January 7, 2010

    @ Lynna #584:

    One wonders how many of them knew what they were being roped into.

    If they’re contactable you could ask them. Some may even already have blogged/tweeted or whatever about it.

  581. #590 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    Good idea, SEF. I’ll get on that.

    ‘Tis Himself, did you see this bit:

    “The Lost Civilization of North America” is not an LDS-oriented film, which makes it perfect for introducing non-members to the evidences of the Book of Mormon without being ‘preachy’ with your non-member family member, friends and associates. It is very professionally done and is being submitted to the Discovery Channel for inclusion in their TV programming.

  582. #591 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    I sent an email to Roger G. Kennedy, Director Emeritus
    Smithsonian National Museum of American History. If someone wants to tweet Alice Beck Kehoe, she’s on twitter, but I didn’t find an email contact for her.

  583. #592 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    Time for a hit of music: Ashley Macisaac live. I’m in love with the slightly weird guy in the kilt.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JcGbfdljWQ

  584. #593 Lynna, OM
    January 7, 2010

    Note on my link @592: Unfortunately, they pixelated the kilt-wearing dude’s treasure when he did his high kick at the end.

  585. #594 386sx for a hundred, Alex!!
    January 7, 2010

    This really rocks my world fro some reason…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95aP0OWx4jY

    386,
    Now a Hank Fan

    Rock on, dude…

  586. #595 Owlmirror
    January 7, 2010

    If someone wants to tweet Alice Beck Kehoe, she’s on twitter, but I didn’t find an email contact for her.

    Actually, I found the following article about her on SciAm, which ends with: “In her retirement Kehoe enjoys writing and traveling: She’s off to Angkor Wat in Cambodia in January to see the pyramids there that bear a similarity to the ones in Mexico. ”

    Granted, that was Dec. 08, but she still might be traveling around somewhere.

  587. #596 Owlmirror
    January 8, 2010

    Oh, and I found her book.

    Atlantis, ancient astronauts, and pyramid power. Archaeologists are perennially bombarded with questions about the ?mysteries? of the past. They are also constantly addressing more realistic controversies: origins of the First Americans, the ownership of antiquities, and national claims to historical territories. Alice Beck Kehoe offers to introductory students a method of evaluating and assessing these claims about the past in this reader-friendly, concise text. She shows how to use the methods of science to challenge the legitimacy of pseudoscientific proclamations and develop reasonable interpretations on controversial issues. Not one to shy away from controversy herself, Kehoe takes some stands?on transpacific migration, shamanism, the Kensington Runestone?which will challenge instructor and students alike, and foster class discussion.

    I wonder if she might include the Book of Mormon under pseudoscience, or under legitimate “controversy”?

    This other book has only one mention of Mormons in it, as a putative source for petroglyphs.

    *shrug*

    ========================

    Thanks, by the way, to Alan, ‘Tis, and Sven “poopyhead” DeMilo for the contributions the Kemistry Korner.

    I read about the climate effects of δ16O/18O in Prothero’s After the Dinosaurs, but seeing the diffusion difference laid out makes it a bit clearer.

    Just to make sure I understand: Water molecules with the lighter isotope of oxygen evaporate and diffuse more easily from the sea and become precipitated as snow/ice at the poles and on glaciers. So colder climates mean there is more 18O and less 16O everywhere else, and this ratio changes during warmer climates when the snow and ice melts and the 16O returns to the seawater. Right?

  588. #598 Jadehawk, OM
    January 8, 2010

    …that once existed anciently…

    I’d love to know how to “exist anciently”.

    horrid grammar; adverbs do not work that way.

  589. #599 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    Jadehawk, yeah, the “exist anciently” was not their only sin against the English language. I particularly liked ” Where are the physical manafestations…” with “manafestations” instead of “manifestations.”

    The trailer for the movie contains dog whistle moments for mormons, like the comparison of Native American rock art to Egyptian hieroglyphics. Remember Joe Smith and his “reformed Egyptian” translations? The “Lost Civilization of North America” is really just salivation movie for mormons.

    What I’d really like to know is how much the LDS Church paid him to make that travesty.

  590. #600 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    Owlmirror @595 and @596: I read bit more about Alice Beck Kehoe, but, like you, I can’t tell if she would be a debunker of the Book of Mormon or not. The Kensington Rune Stone seems to show up in Rod Meldrum’s previous work and in articles about or by Kehoe. I don’t know enough about that to judge Kehoe’s assessment of the stone. Nor do I know if her assessment (runes of northeastern European origin?) means anything at all to the fantasists that adhere to the BoM.

  591. #601 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    I’ll have to look again at the list of scientists, both real and faux, involved in Meldrum’s movie to see if they have a real DNA expert instead of just those “experts” blinded by mormon confirmation bias. The movie description includes this gem:

    This film may open many tens of thousands of doors for missionary work as people around the world learn of the amazing DNA connections between this ancient civilization in North America and the ancient Semitic peoples of the Mediterranean, just as would be expected from the Book of Mormon account.

    I keep calling it a “movie” because I can’t bear to put it in the category of “documentary”.

  592. #602 boygenius
    January 8, 2010

    Lynna,

    That Rex Rammell video is a gem! Thanks.

    Gotta love the claim that he invited only Mormon elders to his campaign rally because (paraphrasing) “I didn’t realize that anyone else would be interested in discussing the prophecy.”

  593. #603 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    boygenius, All we have to do is stand back and watch Rex Rammell shoot himself in the foot over and over again. It’s like he issued a hunting license for his foot rather than that hunting tag he wanted to issue for Obama.

    I noticed that he backed off from his earlier offer that non-mormons could come to his “Elders of Israel” meetings if they just emailed him first. Now he backtracks and says that the room will be filled with Elders, so there’s no room for the gentiles … and no room for mormon women either.

    Unfortunately, I’m sure Rammell is correct about attendance. He’ll have wall-to-wall elders nodding in agreement. We’d like to think that Rammell is the only one that unhinged, but he has plenty of company.

    Only the guy with the exploding underpants on the flight to Detroit is crazier.

  594. #604 386sx for a hundred, Alex!!
    January 8, 2010

    Wow, Hank Williams had a lot of monster hit songs. Why was I not aware of this person’s existence before?

  595. #605 boygenius
    January 8, 2010

    Rex Rammell’s Ten Principles to Govern America:

    http://rexrammell.com/tenprinciples.aspx

    “Principle” #4 kind of stands out, in light of their involvement in Prop. 8.

    Lynna:

    Only the guy with the exploding underpants on the flight to Detroit is crazier.

    Angrier? Yes, absolutely. Crazier? That’s a toss up.

  596. #607 boygenius
    January 8, 2010

    386sx…,

    Perhaps you have been living under a rock since 1938? :-) You may be interested to learn that he also had a son that achieved some level of success:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4s0nzsU1Wg

    His grandson is doing quite well for himself, too:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6B-X6EEiHE

  597. #608 John Morales
    January 8, 2010

    PS For you northern-hemispherians, here is my local weather forecast (Centigrade):

    —begin quote —

    IDS10034
    Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
    South Australia

    Adelaide Forecast
    Issued at 4:00 pm CDT on Friday 8 January 2010

    Warning Summary
    The SES has issued an Extreme Heat Warning for South Australia.
    Fire Weather Warning has been issued.

    Forecast for Friday evening
    A dry, warm to hot and clear evening. Light to moderate afternoon sea breeze.
    Winds tending moderate southeasterly during the evening.

    Precis Dry. Clear.

    Forecast for Saturday
    Dry, very hot and sunny. Moderate southeasterly winds becoming light during the
    morning before a moderate early afternoon sea breeze. Winds tending moderate
    southeasterly during the evening.

    Precis Dry. Sunny.
    City: Min 26 Max 41
    Elizabeth: Min 22 Max 41
    Mount Barker: Min 17 Max 39
    Noarlunga: Min 23 Max 39

    UV Alert: 9:10 am to 5:30 pm, UV Index predicted to reach 12 [Extreme]
    Fire Danger: Severe [50-74] (Mount Lofty Ranges Fire Ban District)

    Sunday Dry. Sunny. Min 27 Max 43
    Monday Dry. Mostly sunny. Min 30 Max 43
    Tuesday Possible shower. Min 24 Max 26

    —- end quote —-

    I live and work in the Mount Lofty Ranges Fire Ban District.

  598. #609 Jadehawk, OM
    January 8, 2010

    soooo yeaaah…. I’ll take the -27C I have here over the Australian 41C

    not that I needed another reason not to move to Australia, ever :-p

  599. #610 386sx for a hundred, Alex!!
    January 8, 2010

    Perhaps you have been living under a rock since 1938? :-)

    Well, I was familiar with II, was completely unaware of III, and had known the name of I from the son, II. But I never really paid much attention to I before. Turns out he’s a genius and has got some cool moves to boot! It’s like a total fresh discovery for me.

    I think I like them in this order:

    1) I
    2) II
    3) III

  600. #611 John Morales
    January 8, 2010

    -27C !!!

    FFS! That’s downright inhospitable.

    What a hell-hole.

  601. #612 Rorschach
    January 8, 2010

    -27C !!!

    From memory, does funny things to your ears and eyebrows when you attempt to be brave and walk to the petrol station for some booze in those conditions…

    And yeah, just to contrast that, air-con running here with 34C outside…20/20 Cricket match is about to start, cold beers in the fridge, must be summer !!

  602. #613 Jadehawk, OM
    January 8, 2010

    like i said: i’ll take the cold over the heat. one can dress against the cold, but there’s only so much you can take off in the heat (and then you’ll get skin-cancer from doing that)

  603. #614 boygenius
    January 8, 2010

    386sx…,

    Yes, Hank Sr. is pure genius. Listen to as much of his work as you can, and consider the influence he had on music in general. Country/western, rock-n-roll, blues, bluegrass, americana, even jazz.

    It is indeed tragic that he drank himself to death at 29, but he’s in good company. (Pigpen, Janis, Bird, Jimmy, Jim, Frank, Jerry, Brent, just to name a few that died too soon.)

  604. #615 386sx for a hundred, Alex!!
    January 8, 2010

    Yes, Hank Sr. is pure genius. Listen to as much of his work as you can, and consider the influence he had on music in general.

    Yeah I’ve been listening to some of them, and they are songs that I’ve heard before from other people! But they were doing covers of the man. I never knew.

  605. #616 boygenius
    January 8, 2010

    Jadehawk,OM,

    I’ll second that emotion. If it’s cold, you can put on more layers and be warm. If it’s hot, you can get naked and still be hot. (temperature-wise)

  606. #617 boygenius
    January 8, 2010

    386sx…,

    Welcome to the flock. But don’t just listen to the covers. Rather, understand that Hank changed the landscape for many musicians in many different genres. If you listen to enough (American) music, you will find his influence over & over.

    For example, from Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wattjJtPT80

    Performed by Ray Charles but written by Don Gibson, who was greatly influenced by Hank Williams.

  607. #618 windy
    January 8, 2010

    Only a not-so-impressive -17C here.

  608. #619 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 8, 2010

    Positively balmy -5C here. We didn’t get the predicted 12″ of snow, but I still have to run the snow-blower before I go to work.

  609. #620 AJ Milne
    January 8, 2010

    I’d be thirding Jadehawk and boygenius on the whole too much hot versus cold thing ‘cept you know I would anyway… Reference previous comments on the relative practicalities of putting on more clothes versus peeling off your skin when all layers above that are already gone and it’s still not helping.

    Well, there’s that and the fact that I seem to have some kinda blast furnace-like metabolism probably suitable for heating up to something like a 1500 square foot space all on its own, but which also poaches me like an egg at anything more than five degrees above room temperature. I do often use those iron oxidation-based foot warmer thingies when boarding below -15 C since I also happen to have size 13 clodhoppers and my toes are so far from my heart it’s probably a long distance call, but otherwise, cold, I mostly see it as a relief. Gives me somewhere to vent the heat.

    (/Related, for the last few days, however, I’ve more been packing frozen gelpacks against skin than foot warmers. There’s a rumour going around I may have cracked a rib–or possibly two–boarding. But the X-rays aren’t back yet. And I’m crossing my fingers that it’s just bruising, since I actually boarded like that for about a week before figuring I might want to have someone look things over… The good news, anyway, is the person who did look it over sez either way I can probably still do Whistler as planned in a few weeks. Which is good. Very, very good.)

  610. #621 David Marjanovi?
    January 8, 2010

    A lot of snow is supposed to fall this weekend! :-) :-) :-) Well, whatever “a lot” means in Paris. We’ll see.

    Mho’s hardness

    Mohs hardness. The name is German, probably the same as the word Moos which means “moss”.

    Where are the evidences of Joseph’s words? Where are the physical manafestations of this “once beloved people”?

    Manafestations? Seriously? :-D

    Cahokia is utterly awesome. It just hasn’t got anything to do with Mor(m)on history, it’s a coincidence.

    runes of northeastern European origin?

    Northwestern, I hope?

    Anyway, the Kensington runestone is fairly convincing (pdf), except of course that I don’t see how the Mormons would want to profit from it. It’s completely orthogonal to their story.

  611. #622 David Marjanovi?
    January 8, 2010

    Heat only gets annoying when it’s damp.

  612. #623 David Marjanovi?
    January 8, 2010

    ?where rainforest conditions do not count as “hot”. 37 °C and damp, that gets on my nerves.

  613. #624 Sven DiMilo
    January 8, 2010

    I think I like them in this order:
    1) I
    2) II
    3) III

    Bout right. What the hell is that thing Hank 3 is wearing on top of his head?

  614. #625 Sven DiMilo
    January 8, 2010

    I’ll also note in a socio-historical mode that, whereas Woody Guthrie’s guitar read “This machine kills fascists,” Hank Williams III’s guitar reads “FUCK.”

    Probably a dissertation in there for some north-campusy type.

  615. #626 Katrina
    January 8, 2010

    Damp is never pleasant, hot or cold.

    It’s a rainy 5C here in the Puget Sound area this morning.

    ____

    I saw Hank, Jr. live in concert when I was in college. He was so drunk he could hardly stay on his stool and he kept forgetting the verses. A very disappointing concert, to say the least.

  616. #627 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    David M., Thanks for the corrections. I think we have proof that I should have stopped posting earlier in the evening — should have gone to bed when I started nodding at the keyboard.

    Yeah, the Rune Stone is from Scandinavia, I think. I see so much blather about it when I do a search that it looks too much like yet another mormon-tainted black hole. Bleh.

    Rorschach can be cruel about the weather, offering cold bear and all. Fuckin’ frozen northlands here, with the kind of cold that starts to creep inside and leave frost in unexpected places. I haven’t seen it this cold since … last January. When I lived in Alaska it was common to see frost forming on the nail heads (that’s frost on interior walls!). Lessons in cold conductivity.

  617. #628 Alan B
    January 8, 2010

    #582 (& #579, 583, 588)

    Hi ‘Tis. I want to find something to agree with first. Yes. Tritium is a low energy pure beta emitter. I would still suggest that finding a source of pure alpha, beta or gamma would not be common.

    The rest. No. The key sentence is:

    Hydrocarbons are a pretty good radiation shield, particularly for gamma radiation.

    That is nonsense. I want a source that tells me that – I can’t find one. For neutrons I would agree with you. See footnote. For gamma I do not agree with you. Some examples:
    1)

    Gamma rays are attenuated by processes which are functions of atomic number and mass  (that is  they  all  involve  interactions  near  the  nucleus  or  interactions  with  the  electrons  around  the nucleus).    Gamma  shielding  is  therefore  more  effectively  performed  by  materials  with  high atomic mass number and high density.   One such material is lead.   Lead is dense and has about 82  electrons  for  each  nucleus.    Thus,  a  gamma  would  interact  more  times  in  passing  through eight inches of lead then passing through the same thickness of a lighter material, such as water…

    Water  is  a  poor  material  for  shielding  gamma  rays;  however,  large  amounts  will  serve  to attenuate gamma radiation. Concrete,  as  discussed  previously,  is  also  a  good  attenuator  of  gamma  rays  and  is  superior  to water.   This is mainly a result of the presence of moderately high mass number elements, such as  calcium  and  silicon.    As  a  general  shield  material,  there  is  much  to  recommend    about concrete;   it   is   strong,   inexpensive,   and   adaptable   to   both   block   and   monolithic   types   of construction.

    Source: http://www.tpub.com/content/doe/h1017v2/css/h1017v2_78.htm
    (Section on shielding starts on page 18 of the pdf i.e. 78.htm, as above. The quotes on gamma rays are on page 20 i.e. 80.htm)

    The document appears to be from the United States DOE (Department of Energy).

    2)

    The most effective gamma shields are materials which have a high density and high atomic number, such as lead, tungsten, and uranium among others. Generally speaking these materials are expensive, so, in situations where space is not a constraint and where structural strength is required, concrete is used even though it is a less effective shielding material. Lead shields are frequently used where space is limited or where only a small area of absorber is required.

    Source: http://trshare.triumf.ca/~safety/EHS/rpt/rpt_7/node17.html#hvl

    TRIUMF is Canada?s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics located on the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is now owned and operated by a consortium of eleven Canadian universities.

    3)

    Gamma radiation needs heavy material to shield it effectively.

    Source: www-diva.eng.cam.ac.uk/energy/parksteaching/nuclear/4a1healthphysics.pdf

    Cambridge University Engineering Department. Based on the advice from National Radiological Protection Board, UK.

    All three are from highly reputable sources and all say the same thing – you want dense, high atomic number material such as iron (or even better lead). Water contains an element [O-16] which has a higher atomic number, and the liquid has a higher density, than hydrocarbons [C-12]. I have no figures for the effectiveness of hydrocarbons but based on the information above it does not seem likely to be any more effective than water.
    I accept that anything will shield from gamma radiation. Even in a vacuum, the inverse square law comes in and one might even argue that as a result, a vacuum is effective (but for a totally different reason). Similarly, a thick layer of water or hydrocarbon fuel will absorb gamma radiation and will keep the operator further from the source. However, to say that:

    Hydrocarbons are a pretty good radiation shield, particularly for gamma radiation.

    is straining the meaning of words when you need between 1 and 2 orders of magnitude greater thickness than common materials such as lead or iron.
    If you are in a nuclear submarine with a reactor that has to be shielded, I would agree that hydrocarbon fuel might be useful to reduce neutron exposure and, if the tanks are large enough to shield from gamma radiation. No one would choose water or hydrocarbon fuel, either of which could drain away, unless there were special conditions.

    Footnote

    Neutron shielding is complicated by the fact that the dose is very dependent on the energy and that there are no efficient absorbers for high energy neutrons.
    Shielding is best achieved by materials containing appreciable quantities of hydrogen e.g.
    water, polythene etc.
    A shield for fast neutrons should comprise a hydrogenous layer to reduce energy, a thermal
    neutron absorber (say cadmium) followed by a heavy gamma absorber since thermal
    neutrons always produce gamma radiation when absorbed by matter.

    Source: Same document from Cambridge Uni Engrg Dept.

  618. #629 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    Calling mormons out for their outrageous claims, only this time it’s not me, but a newspaper in New York, 1912. This was the first (and certainly not the last) time the Book of Abraham was proven to be a fraud.

  619. #630 Alan B
    January 8, 2010

    #621 David Marjanovi?

    Fair cop, guv. Mho’s Hardness Scale it is.

    [Ed. He started off with “Ohm’s”. Only another 4 possible wrong answers and he picked one!]

  620. #631 Josh
    January 8, 2010

    I’ve only ever seen it as Mohs.

  621. #632 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    Mormon missionaries made the news in Melbourne (there’s a lovely photo of the duo):

    MORMON missionaries are ?creepily? spruiking for new members in an underpass near Deakin University, an academic says.
         Two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints are regularly found at an underpass that leads from Deakin University to the number 75 tram on Burwood Highway.
         Deakin staff member Colleen Murrell said the pair had harassed students.
         ?It is just creepy to have two young men hanging around in an underpass all the time,? Ms Murrell said.
         ?They are standing in the middle of a narrow underpass and you have no choice but to walk straight past them.?
         The church?s east Melbourne mission president Corey Lindley denied that his missionaries were harassing people.

    One of the missionaries is Elder Woo. Nope, not kidding.
    We may have to ask Rorschach to explain “spruiking” to us.

  622. #633 AJ Milne
    January 8, 2010

    Re #629: the book of Abraham thing is one of those Mormon bits that actually seriously makes me cackle. It’s a nice, vivid reminder that not only was Smith incredibly obviously a con, he wasn’t even a particularly smart con…

    There is of course, a darker message in this: that apparently, you don’t even have to be. It almost seems as if any fucking moron who’s willing to spin up enough bullshit can start a religion if he really wants to. You get to thinking: you could probably actually start one of these things by accident… Make a three-sentence joke on Pharyngula about having received a vision to the effect that Joseph Smith was actually a space alien sent here to test human gullibility, find out six months later you’ve just become the prophet for a 1,000-member strong cult that holds this as their principal article of faith…

    But somewhat more cheeringly, I’ve actually read comments from former Mormons for whom the ‘Book of Abraham’ bit was a key part of their throwing the whole mess of silliness overboard, and getting the hell out. And yep, I can sure as hell see how that might happen.

  623. #634 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    Here’s some interesting new work on the “runes” supposedly translated by Joseph Smith. Turns out to be Latin shorthand, with origins in the writings of Irish monks (?). There’s a nice illustration of the “rune” characters.

  624. #635 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    Video from the mormons, with intent to brainwash, frighten, and blame young women.

    The video begins with a comparison of men to mosquitoes, bears, and sharks. Nice.

    If something goes wrong, it’s the young woman’s fault. No doubt about it.

    The teaching of Deadly Virtues.

  625. #636 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    Yeah, that Book of Abraham fiasco was the breaking point that turned a lot of mormons into ex-mormons. On the other hand, it turned some mormons into whirling dervishes in the Giant Spin Factory that is mormonism. To whit: Joseph Smith was “inspired” by [fill in the blank here] and was not literally translating anything. God (or Moroni or Nephi or whomever or whatever) just sent an inspirational piece of claptrap to inspire Joe. From there, Joe was on his own, spouting truth without end.

    You could probably do a better job of starting a religion than Joe Smith did. I advise a collaboration with Owlmirror. Let me know if you want to buy some seer stones.

  626. #637 Alan B
    January 8, 2010

    #630, #631

    Even when acknowledging a correction I still can’t get it right! O.K. Moh’s Hardness Scale was what I wanted.

    Actually, if you Google Mhos scale you get some links with MHOS scale with values up to 15. What’s that about, Josh? For example:

    http://www.osborn.com/lit/LITATB.pdf

    Abrasive Media Options:
    ?Silicon Carbide is characterized by a sharp jagged structure, and is the most
    popular grain choice because of its cost effective, efficient properties. (Color: gray/
    black. Hardness = 13 [MHOS Scale], Density = 3.25)

    ?Aluminum Oxide is characterized by a rounded structure and produces a finer
    finish and prevents discoloration on certain alloys such as titanium, aluminum and
    stainless steel. (Color: tan/brown. Hardness = 12 [MHOS Scale], Density = 3.99)

    ?Poly Crystalline Diamond (PCD) is characterized by a jagged structure. PCD
    is used to edge hone and radius super hard materials such as CBN and ceramics.
    (Hardness = 15 [MHOS scale])

    Is it a peculiarity of the abrasives industry and wanting a wider scale at the upper end? After all, the differences in Vickers Hardness between Diamond and Corrundum, is far larger than between, say, Quartz and Topaz. Just a thought …

  627. #638 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 8, 2010

    OK, radiation is my day job and gemstones are a hobby, so here’s my take on the subjects of topaz enhancement and radiation shielding.

    First, what is happening with irradiation of topaz when you zap it? It turns out that when you get imperfections in the crystaline lattice of topaz, these imperfections (defects) can trap charge and the trapped charge responds by absorbing some frequencies of light. This changes the color. If you irradiate with gammas or electrons, you don’t create many new defects. You only create charges that can be trapped at existing defects, so there’s a limit to how dark a blue you can get. When you irradiate with neutrons, you are creating new defects/charge traps, so you can get a deeper blue. The nice thing about topaz is that the charge traps tend to be pretty stable. In other minerals, the color can bleach if exposed to heat or ultraviolet light.

    The thing about neutron irradiation is that the neutrons can alter the nuclei in the topaz and form unstable/radioactive isotopes. So you have to wait a couple of half-lives before distributing the gems. There have been a couple of incidents where the dealer didn’t wait and you got some rather hot rocks.

    Now as to radiation shielding, there are two things to consider–ionizing dose and non-ionizing dose. Ionizing dose is just the interaction of a charged particle (alpha or beta) with the charges inside the medium it’s passing through (e.g. you). Since the nucleus is about 100000 times smaller than the atom, this means mostly the electrons in the medium.

    So to a first approximation, the shielding of a material scales with the number of electrons in it, which scales roughly with the density. So a dense material will provide more shielding per unit volume/thickness. However the same mass per square centimeter will give the same shielding to first order. (Note: second order effects (e.g. charge screening, etc.) tip the balance just slightly in favor of less dense materials–like Tis’s hydrocarbons, but the effect is slight.

    Note: When a gamma ray passes through matter, it interacts by compton scattering to produce an energetic electron–it’s this electron that actually does the damage to tissue, so gamma dose damage looks a lot like beta dose. A gamma ray has a long range because it doesn’t lose energy until it interacts and produces a compton electron. Beta particles have a shorter range because they lose energy continually in matter. Alphas have the shortest range because they are heavy and have a charge of 2 units–they do a lot of damage over a very short range (~ the thickness of a sheet of paper).

    Neutrons are especially pernicious. They cause damage by scattering off of nuclei (so-called nonionizing energy loss or NIEL) in crystalline lattices, DNA molecules, etc., resulting in dense regions of damaged lattice/tissue. Neutrons are uncharged, so they don’t interact with electrons, only the nuclei. They also scatter more effectively and lose energy more rapidly off of light nuclei–e.g. hydrogen. The more hydrogen in a material, the better it is at shielding neutrons. Unfortunately, that also makes the material very light, so you need a lot of it for an effective shield.

    Hope this helps.

  628. #639 Sven DiMilo
    January 8, 2010

    Lynna (@#635): Nice vid. It is clear that modesty and virtue will attract white men and small children instead of bloodsuckers and carnivores.

  629. #640 386sx for a hundred, Alex!!
    January 8, 2010

    Bout right. What the hell is that thing Hank 3 is wearing on top of his head?

    I’m not sure. I’m calling it a hellbilly hat though! Works for me!

  630. #641 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    As far as Hank III’s head covering, I’m postulating a new species of Cowboy Metrosexual. The hat is not as practical as a real cowboy’s hat, but it pretends to cowboyness, and it pretends to be well broken in by being worn while riding hell bent for leather. However, the distressed look and rolled brim can be bought in Manhattan, I’ve seen it.

    Still, if a guy can carry it off and still look/sound bad ass, I’m all for it.

    Sven, yes I too liked the formula for mormon women to attract white guys and perfect babies. Good tips in that video.

    I have my doubts, though, about the modest dress working as promised. I read an article some time ago (in The New Yorker, I think) that told the story of a guy visiting Saudi Arabia. At a mall, he sat with young men watching women coming down the escalator. The young men would hoot and holler when they saw a young woman. So how did they know a woman covered head to toe, with only her eyes showing, was hot? They’re good at reading subtle clues like shoes, carriage, nimbleness, amount of eye makeup, cell phone in hand, and so forth.

    Women in Iran report that virtue police berate them for running, even to catch a bus, as the movement of their buttocks while running is inflammatory and lewd.

    Then there are all the Victorian novels that have men swooning over the sight of an ankle, the back of a neck, or a wrist

    In other words, there is no way that dressing modestly will turn off the spigot of lust (true for both men and women). And the idea that women are, in the main, responsible for either exciting or controlling men’s desires is bad for society. That idea essentially gives men free reign to express lust in any way, and anywhere, without fear of offense or retribution. After all, it’s the woman’s fault. It would be much better for societal norms to be taught that require both men and women to be responsible for their own actions, and to show as much respect as is necessary to establish equality in relationships. After that, they can express as much lust as is mutually agreeable.

  631. #642 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space @638: Thanks! That was great. I have a much better mental picture now of what changes the color in topaz, and why, and how a blue topaz might damage me if handled while hot.

    However, I’m still not sure if I should keep the 50-gallon drum of diesel fuel as part of my preparation for nuclear war (jump in with a breathing tube?), or if I need an entire swimming pool filled with diesel fuel, or if I should encase my house in 50 gallon drums of diesel fuel, or if any diesel fuel at all will play havoc with my insurance costs. Maybe I’ll just go back to concrete blocks — or maybe I’ll stand outside naked and take the full blast and be done with it. Yeah, that last option sounds good.

    Anyway, practicing for the assault by standing outside naked will be good for my neighbors. They need all the excitement they can get to counteract the boredom of endless church functions.

  632. #643 Alan B
    January 8, 2010

    #638

    I have just about finished a write-up about topaz as promised. Having put the time in I will post it anyway, although it is close to what a_ray_in_dilbert_space has said.

  633. #644 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    I received an email reply from Roger G. Kennedy (see comment #584, 587 and 589, plus a few other comments from ‘Tis Himself and Jadehawk that are in the mix):

    Dear Ms. Howard.
         Thank you for writing.
         The Book of Mormon never came into my discussions with the film makers on camera or off camera. There is nothing I can do about how they edit, of course, any more than I could on a news program.
         I had my say on this subject in print in Hidden Cities. You are certainly free to quote anything you?d like from that.
    Roger G. Kennedy
    Former Director, National Park Service;
    Director Emeritus, National Museum of American History
    [home address removed by Lynna]
    http://www.rkennedy.net/
    When Art Worked:
    The New Deal, the Arts, and Democracy
    https://rizzoliusa.box.net/shared/olc5ed145r

  634. #645 Alan B
    January 8, 2010

    KemistryKorner 3

    Radiation-Induced Colour Change in Topaz – continuation from #573

    Note on language: “colour / color” and “centre / center” will be used interchangeably throughout.

    There are a number of different causes of colour in gemstones. I shall be relying heavily of the Internet-based course referred to previously and I will be dealing only with Topaz. For more general information go to Lecture 7, “Color in Minerals”:

    http://nature.berkeley.edu/classes/eps2//wisc/Lect7.html

    Topaz can derive its colour from a number of causes e.g. trace metals (e.g. Chromium). A common cause is colour centres

    From Lecture 7, “Color Centres”

    Color centers are imperfections in crystals that cause color … by absorption of light. They are most often due to radiation damage: e.g., damage due to exposure to gamma rays. This irradiation may be from both natural (U, Th, K in minerals) or artificial sources. In rare cases, UV light can produce color centers.

    If damaged by radioactive decay, electrons can be removed from their normal sites, bounce around, loose energy, and eventually come to rest in a vacant site in the structure (a trap). One crystal may have many different types of electron traps.

    Electrons in specific traps absorb only a certain range of wavelengths, [the] color that is seen is the color not absorbed by these trapped electrons.

    The last sentence is important. Coloured gemstones do not generate colour. In general (and especially with colour centres) they are the colour of the light that can get through the gem, all else being absorbed. For example a green diamond results from missing carbon atoms. This leads to absorption of red light while other colours can pass through and hence the diamond is seen as being green.

    Because they are a form of damage, color centers can be removed by addition of energy. This may involve heating the stone to a few 100 C … Because irradiated minerals may have several color centres (several traps with different energies required to allow electrons to escape, color can be manipulated by selective removal of unwanted color centers (controlled heating).

    Topaz is the most common irradiated gem on the market. Particles, or electromagnetic rays (ionizing radiation), have enough energy to produce color centers.
    Irradiation of topaz with beta particles (electrons) produces a greenish brown color (= blue + yellow + reddish tinge). Each of the components of the color is due to a different kind of color center. Least stable are the yellow and reddish: controlled heating removes these, leaving blue color centers.

  635. #646 Alan B
    January 8, 2010

    #642

    Lynna: you are a bad girl!

  636. #647 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    Here’s a book review of “Hidden Cities”, the book to which Mr. Kennedy referred me: http://articles.latimes.com/1994-11-09/news/ls-60416_1_north-america

    Alan B 2646

    Lynna: you are a bad girl!

    Thank you, Alan.

    Thanks also for more info on irradiation of topaz. I’m gathering all the info up, and then I’ll go discuss it with my brother, Steve. After that, I might actually know something.

  637. #648 SEF
    January 8, 2010

    @ Lynna #644:

    I received an email reply from Roger G. Kennedy

    Excellent. Sometimes being direct does work.

  638. #649 blf
    January 8, 2010

    Lynna: you are a bad girl!

    So spank her! Yes, yes, spank her!
    And then… the oral sex.
    Yes, yes, the oral sex!

  639. #650 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    blf, you need to provide the Monty Python link for the full effect.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtcSYPjJbgg

  640. #651 Lynna, OM
    January 8, 2010

    I would just like to add that you are all in great peril!

  641. #652 Josh
    January 8, 2010

    Oh please let us have a little peril.

  642. #653 blf
    January 8, 2010

    Alan can handle it. Really, Alan can handle it.

  643. #654 Josh
    January 8, 2010

    As I was waiting for that last comment to load, my browser was aimed at the I feel sorry for this kid and my eye fixated on this:

    It was also Adam who named all the animals…

    This part of Genesis has long bothered me*. Just think about the mentality that’s necessary if there is actually anyone out there who believes that this statement, as written, is true.

    New species of animals have been discovered and named during my lifetime. I mean extant ones. What, so Adam had some other name for each of them? Where are those names recorded?

    _____________________
    *What Josh, just that part?

  644. #655 aratina cage
    January 8, 2010

    I would just like to add that you are all in great peril! -Lynna, OM

    *cowers in fear*

    From the LA Times review mentioned by Lynna:

    Washington himself might engage in a gesture of accommodation when addressing a message to the Cherokee–he crossed out the word God and replaced it with the Great Spirit Above out of concern for their religious sensibilities

    Mwahahaha!

  645. #656 blf
    January 8, 2010

    WHo said Adam gave each animal a unique name? He could’ve just had a few names, like Big Fecker Run for Hills, Little Fecker Start the Fire, and That Thing Over There. After a while people realized that it’d be useful to more precisely distinguish the different-looking Big Fecker Run for Hills, and so started calling them things like Tigers, Hippos, and Women. Similar for Little Fecker Start the Fire, so now you’ve got Cow, Dog, and Bacon. That Thing Over There turned into Whale, Eagle, and Your Finger You Fool.

  646. #657 Sven DiMilo
    January 8, 2010

    Just posted this on another thread, but it probably belongs here too/instead.
    And now, the greatest of all trucker songs. I loved the Tom Waits version for decades before I stumbled upon the original (w/ Frankie Lee/Judas Priest background pickin):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtxU1tddH3Q

  647. #658 Owlmirror
    January 8, 2010

    New species of animals have been discovered and named during my lifetime. I mean extant ones. What, so Adam had some other name for each of them? Where are those names recorded?

    Oh, Josh. Your theology is so poor.

    Adam didn’t name each and every species. He named all of the baraminim.

    Sheesh.

    [You have to wonder a bit about the animals not being “help meet for him”…. Did he, you know, try with each one? “No… no… I don’t think it’s going to work with this…. this… sheep either. Sorry, no offense meant.”]

  648. #659 Dania
    January 8, 2010

    Just think about the mentality that’s necessary if there is actually anyone out there who believes that this statement, as written, is true.

    It’s the same mentality that allows some people to maintain the belief that one single ark built 4000 years ago was enough to save all life from extinction in the face of a global, catastrophic flood. It’s the don’t-think-too-much-about-it-or-you’ll-make-baby-Jesus-cry* kind of mentality.

    * And… “That would be bad.”

  649. #660 blf
    January 8, 2010

    Yeah, everyone knows it takes three Arks, called A, B, and C.

  650. #661 Owlmirror
    January 8, 2010

    “No… no… I don’t think it’s going to work with this…. this… sheep either. Sorry, no offense meant.”

    “And what’s this? Hm, kinda low to the ground. Lots of sharp teeth, too. Why’s that, God? What do you mean, I’ll find out? […later…] No, I don’t think it’s going to work with this…. crocodile.”

    […much, much, later…]

    “OK, God, what the — *ouch!* — hell is this? Ouch! Fuck! This… porcupine has painful sharp points everywhere. You’re just fucking with me, now, aren’t you?”

    =============

    PS: Chicxulub.

  651. #662 PZ Myers
    January 8, 2010

    Thread closed, again. Go here. Careful, merging traffic.

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