Pharyngula

Hey! You took advantage of my prolonged absence trapped in a metal tube hurtling at 37,000 feet above the Atlantic to fill up the last endless thread. Sneaky. You’re making it hard to keep up.

Go ahead. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m in Ireland and you’re not, so I don’t care.

Comments

  1. #1 Kausik Datta
    January 31, 2010

    Let me sneak in and repost something that was languishing at the end of the previous subthread…
    Something to amuse you all:
    Ten Signs You Are An Unquestioning Christian
    Enjoy!!

  2. #2 Zeno
    January 31, 2010

    I never participate in endless threads.

    Oops.

  3. #3 blf
    January 31, 2010

    Fill. Up. Last. Endless. Thread.

    Er… if it’s the last it’s not endless, if it’s full it’s not endless, and I think we both need another pint.

  4. #4 Kausik Datta
    January 31, 2010

    The Rev BDC at the previous subthread:

    If Pharyngula turns into a den of grammar nazis, I’m going to have call in the entire fleet and storm Normandy.

    Please Rev… I crave your indulgence! I am learning so much about diverse and fascinating viewpoints on points of grammar.

  5. #5 Owlmirror
    January 31, 2010

    I wish to correct the term I used @883 on the previous thread. It was not a “can opener” as such, but rather, the lid-puncturing end of a churchkey.

  6. #6 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Whee, that was some flying.

  7. #7 vanharris
    January 31, 2010

    Seeing the beached ship, i thought we were gonna drop in on Father Ted there.

  8. #8 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    once the nation emerged from the crucible of that war, “the United States are became “the United States is.”

    This is not quite true ? both forms existed before and after ? but, IIRC, there does seem to have been a shift in frequencies.

    Source: LanguageLog. Me: too lazy to look it up there, or rather, I have stuff to do…

    ridiculously named law

    It was discovered four times independently. This is all documented. :-)

    And no, deliberate mistakes merely confirm the rule which compels you to add a mistake even if you failed to do so at first. B-)

  9. #9 Carlie
    January 31, 2010

    Kausik,
    I think the description you gave is better than mine, but explaining the same thing? When you put staff into an “of the” phrase it becomes a descriptor, not the actual subject? I’ve lost the correct words for these things.

    David,
    With the cafeteria food, was just having a conversation with a friend about their experiences with institutional UHO. :D

  10. #10 Feynmaniac
    January 31, 2010

    Walton (previous thread),

    I’ve wondered about this before. Should one use singular or plural verbs in relation to collective nouns? For example, is it correct to say “the staff were all on strike” (which is what I, and most people, would instinctively say), or should one say “the staff was all on strike”?

    From what I gather Americans tend to use singular for collective nouns (e.g, “the government is”) and while you Brits use plural more often it varies greatly depending on the noun (e.g, “the government are” is frequently seen, though less often than the singular, but ‘committee’ is almost always singular).

    Reference:

    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=877

  11. #11 Owlmirror
    January 31, 2010

    If Pharyngula turns into a den of grammar nazis, I’m going to have call in the entire fleet and storm Normandy.

    “We shall typo on the beaches, we shall tyop on the landing grounds, we shall toyp in the fields and in the streets, we shall topy in the hills; we shall never surrender”

  12. #12 Lynna, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Ireland — there’s some sort of green stuff covering most of the rocks. That shouldn’t be allowed.

  13. #13 Dania
    January 31, 2010

    Aaargh. You did it again!

    Well, as I was saying when you closed the subThread:

    In British English “the staff were” is usually used while in American English “the staff was” is more common.

    And that confusion arises from the fact that, in English, there’s only one definite article, the, both for plural and singular nouns. Because of that, neither form is obviously wrong.

    Does that ridiculously named law take into account that there will be times when the mistake is inteshunal intenshunal intentiunal delibrate on purpoise?

    You did feel the need to put it there, didn’t you? :)

  14. #14 PenguinFactory
    January 31, 2010

    All I can think of when I watch that video is the Father Ted opening.

  15. #15 Moggie
    January 31, 2010

    In the video, at 1:45 there appear to be some aquatic horses, or possibly cows. Transitional species?

  16. #16 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Ireland — there’s some sort of green stuff covering most of the rocks.

    It’s mold.

  17. #17 Draken
    January 31, 2010

    @14, I was just about to ask if PZ will be visiting the folks on Craggy Island.

  18. #18 Kausik Datta
    January 31, 2010

    Carlie:

    I think the description you gave is better than mine, but explaining the same thing? When you put staff into an “of the” phrase it becomes a descriptor, not the actual subject? I’ve lost the correct words for these things.

    From my admittedly meager knowledge of grammar, I think – in your example sentence – ‘the staff’ is the object of the preposition ‘of’. So even when you use that phrase (‘of the staff’) as a modifier or descriptor, the subject of the verb ‘be’ (‘were’, in plural) remains ‘All’ which is, appropriately, a plural expression used in a plural sense.

    If OTOH one uses ‘All’ in a collective sense, All can be singular as you doubtlessly know. For example, ‘All is well with the world meatspace!’ (That is a new word I learnt recently!!)

  19. #19 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Here’s my favorite Irish song, sung by Robbie O’Connell:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN2s0J3Y8mc

  20. #20 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    was just having a conversation with a friend about their experiences with institutional UHO. :D

    Hmmm. I understand just enough to figure out it must be utterly hilarious, but just not enough to get where exactly the jokes are supposed to lie! Apparently it’s made in the chemical factory of Pardubice from the light fraction of petroleum and ammonia…

    Chuckolate!

    Still laughing about how “edit” is called “vandalize” on Uncyclopedia X-D

    Jadehawk, get yourself this. Especially the two maps. Japan is going to join the EU in 10 years? :-þ

  21. #21 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2010

    Ah, there’s the portculiis!
    wait, I’m still typing replies to the last sT…

  22. #22 Alan B
    January 31, 2010

    Longman’s guide to English Usage – Collectives
    (slightly paraphrased to save typing)

    In American English, a singular collective noun normally takes a singular verb. In British English, however, a singular collective may be treated as either singular or plural, depending on the point of view of the writer: when the group is considered as a whole, the singular is preferred; when it is viewed as consisting of individuals, the plural is preferred.

    Consequently in British English, both these alternatives are correct:

    The jury has not yet reached a verdict
    The jury have not yet reached a verdict

    Verbs and Pronouns should be consistent with the collective:

    The jury is considering its verdict
    The jury are considering their verdict.

    In each pair, the first statement considers the jury as a whole; in the second the jury is considered to be made up of individuals.

  23. #23 Alan B
    January 31, 2010

    Only caught a glimpse of the plane’s shadow briefly (around 2:00). Us pedants look for such things.

    I’ve got a soft spot for you gals and guys
    It’s a bog on the West coast of Ireland!

    /only joking

  24. #24 Alan B
    January 31, 2010

    #16 ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Drat. Beat me to it!!

  25. #25 A. Noyd
    January 31, 2010

    Alan B (#1038)

    Where did I justify it? I merely said, this is the real world and unless or until it gets changed, that is the world in which they are going to have to find their way.

    Oh, so you wouldn’t have turned down an otherwise qualified applicant who just happened to sound “uneducated” due to dialect? You disagree that a lower class dialect is a good measure of a person’s capabilities? Even if you wouldn’t intentionally discriminate, this throwing up of your hands is silly. You could be part of the change by not letting prejudice make decisions for you, by realizing that language is a wee bit more complicated than “learning to do it right” and “being uneducated,” and by understanding that the current prescriptivist culture is about maintaining elitism more facilitating communication.

    I suspect the change will come with the fading out of a generation who were taught their language, via Latin or by way of structured teaching of English.

    Taught a particular dialect, not taught “their language.” They acquired their language naturally like all children and then learned to speak an unnatural one to satisfy prescriptivist beliefs about linguistic propriety.

  26. #26 Lynna, OM
    January 31, 2010
    Ireland — there’s some sort of green stuff covering most of the rocks.

    It’s mold.

    I suspected as much. The whole place looks to be dampish-to-wet.

    PZ can clean the mold out of his beard when he returns to dry land.

    Those were horses being driven by the plane into the water. The sheep scattered every which way, but the horses played follow-the-leader.

    I would like to see a herd of horses drive a pack of photographers and a gaggle of videographers into the water.

  27. #27 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 31, 2010

    Please Rev… I crave your indulgence! I am learning so much about diverse and fascinating viewpoints on points of grammar.

    You obviously haven’t been reading my comments here because if you had you would know that I suck at English.

    And it’s the only language I know.

    me fail english? Thats unpossible

  28. #28 Kausik Datta
    January 31, 2010

    I have a few questions for SC. She said:

    I don’t have the energy for another one of these discussions right now, but sexism is built into the language

    I am curious about your opinion on this (I hope you are well rested by now).
    (a) Would you support ‘Chairperson’ as a universal mode of address, say, even when you know whether the Chair is a woman or man?
    (b) Same thing about Headmaster. In my corner of the world, I have always had Headmasters and Headmistresses (and commanding equal respect, if I may add). Is it important to change it into a gender neutral Headperson or Head Teacher?
    (c) Do you support the alternate spelling of ‘woman’, viz. ‘womyn’, that some people have tried to promote?
    (Please don’t take my questions in any other sense; I am curious only about the points of the language)

  29. #29 Kausik Datta
    January 31, 2010

    You obviously haven’t been reading my comments here…

    Now that is truly unpossibel. FYI, I always stop by yours when I am scanning (the red ‘V’ makes it easy, I must admit).

  30. #30 iasasai
    January 31, 2010

    I can’t help but thinking of these threads in the imagery of an Ouroboros, occasionally puking it’s guts out… Oh look! More room!

  31. #31 david.utidjian
    January 31, 2010

    All that coastline and surrounded by water yet, they never became a seafaring nation. Too nice to leave? Under the heel of the British? Not enough trees?

    -DU-

  32. #32 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2010

    And another endless thread is reaching its end!

    Point of order: There is but one endless Thread.
    It does not end.

    Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band on American Bandstand

    How do you make that smiley thing that looks completely astonished? Wow! I mean, it’s not Bat Chain Puller or even Trout Mask Replica, but…wow.
    My world is slightly expanded today; thanks, Janine.

    Now, please don’t tell me your wife “eats gluten-free” because she’s convinced she’s “sensitive” to gluten? If she’s got celiac disease, then OK.

    [starfart]
    A, It’s none of your fucking business. Snidely judging peoples’ spouses on the internet in the complete absence of information is bad form.
    And where do you get off telling people what is and isn’t “OK”?
    Further (B), the fact is that nobody can fully digest gluten–even you, SpokesGay. Research is ongoing, but it’s perfectly plausible that this could cause a variety of intestinal discomforts that, although not autoimmune in nature like celiac disease, would nevertheless be real.
    Bill D. was polite later but your snotty, smugnacious comment pissed me off. Sorry.
    And your #989 didn’t help much. ‘Organic Moms’ are doing their best to do the best they can for their children. Are all of your food purchases “fact-based,” snarkwad?
    Personally, I see a big difference between feeding your children the healthiest food you know how to and can afford and pure woo like, say, homeopathy. People can actually be harmed by belief in the efficacy of homeopathy. Eating less wheat? Not so much.
    And you? the self-dubbed “Official SpokesGay”? say that “Right wingers are totally hung up about sex. Left wingers are totally hung up about food, and the moral/fake-health-consequences-there-of. I hate them equally.”? Really? That’s an equivalence you wish to draw?
    Not to mention that food-choice really does have an array of ethical (if not moral) and, yes, real health consequences that you’re blithely lumping in with your hated trendiness.
    I think you’re the one with the issues here, frankly.
    [/starfart]

    he actually was an editor for Science (IIRC) at the time.

    Nature, actually (as you note yourself later), and yeah, he’s still a senior editor there.

    ban this blogwhore?

    When he’s not blogwhoring, he’s trolling as a means of blogwhoring. “Insipid” doesn’t come close to the Sortaprof’s outbut.
    Thumbs up on the banhammer. He sucks.

    I had a Yellow Submarine/Peter Max lunchbox

    There’s one on the shelf of my office. A recent re-issue, but still. [Max, btw, had nothing to do with YS; it's not even clear who ripped off whom re the general style]
    I have a YS sticker on my Jeep, too, but alas, the sun has faded it to an albino sub.

    I thought I had hit cancel in time.

    It cannot be done. Submit is final and absolute instantaneously.

    How about some Steely Dan?

    Always welcome! Those guys have two great talents: writing relatively simple and hookily catchy pop tunes with relatively sophisticated jazz harmony, and hiring bad-ass pros to back them up.

    “In formal as in common speech…once the nation emerged from the crucible of that war, ‘the United States’ are became ‘the United States is’.”

    That is interesting (even as relative frequencies). One of the last bastions of the plural was (is?) the Reader’s Digest column “These United States”.

    portcullis

    Yikes

    Yikes is right. Preliminary stats are in on the previous sT and the CR (commenting rate) was an absurdly whopping 356 comments/d. It was also the briefest sT yet, juuuuust under 3 d (by 12 min).
    Soon we will break the internet! Onward!!

    You’re making it hard to keep up.

    no shit, brother

    Here’s my favorite Irish song

    Beautiful.
    Can’t find a vid, but if I could I’d link to Charlie Haden’s recent version of “Fields of Athenry” with Pat Metheny on guitar…you want some goosebumps?
    Please do not link to the travesty of the Dropkick Murphys version. kthx

    I would like to see a herd of horses drive a pack of photographers and a gaggle of videographers into the water.

    Yes! Oh, yes!! I’d laff!

    ok, posting and moving on to meatspace stuff

    something like 21520

  33. #33 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Please Rev… I crave your indulgence! I am learning so much about diverse and fascinating viewpoints on points of grammar.

    Rev BDC serves as an excellent example of how not to do it.

  34. #34 A. Noyd
    January 31, 2010

    iasasai (#30)

    I can’t help but thinking of these threads in the imagery of an Ouroboros, occasionally puking it’s guts out… Oh look! More room!

    Puking its guts out of its guts? Out of its guts out of its guts out of its guts out of its…. AAH!

  35. #35 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2010

    My personal favorite typo I have ever made:

    “Insipid” doesn’t come close to the Sortaprof’s outbut.

    Ha! So close to correct!

  36. #36 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    from the previous thread:

    A couple of fundies from Germany sought political asylum in the US for the right of homeschooling their children- and they got it.

    I feel an idiotic* sense of schadenfreude at the fact that Germany is solving its creobot problem by exporting them overseas.

    from this thread:

    Jadehawk, get yourself this. Especially the two maps. Japan is going to join the EU in 10 years? :-þ

    those maps are funny, indeed. the second one seems to imply that Poles are reversing those famous NY to Paris google directions, hehe.

    Also, the thing over Japan says they’re trying to figure out what’s gonna be popular in Europe in 10 years :-p

    ——

    *Idiotic because while Germany is still home, they’re exporting them to where I currently am, thus not helping my situation at all.

  37. #37 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Here’s Paddy Reilly’s rendition of “The Fields of Athenry”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9InnXP64To

    This is Brian Kennedy’s rendition:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxdxgH3-tU0

    My favorite version is by Johnny McEvoy but I can’t find a video of it.

  38. #38 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 31, 2010

    A. Noyd:

    Taught a particular dialect, not taught “their language.” They acquired their language naturally like all children and then learned to speak an unnatural one to satisfy prescriptivist beliefs about linguistic propriety.

    I absolutely agree with the points you and Pygmy Loris have been making about class/status and dialect, but I also agree, somewhat obliquely, with Alan B’s point about teaching grammar through a second language.

    That it, if you desire students to have some knowledge of the structure of their language, and to be able to use a consistent metalanguage to talk about it, it’s useful to have them study a language that they did not “acquire naturally like all children.”

    My experience as both a student and a schoolteacher has been that students — and I mean even bright, engaged students here, not just the lazy and disinterested ones of naysayers’ caricatures — never quite understand the need to learn how to do something they feel they already know how to do, and that they have been doing without conscious effort for literally as long as they can remember.

    I was a bright and literate student, destined for an advanced degree in English, but nothing I was taught about grammar in elementary or middle school ever really stuck with me. It wasn’t until I started studying German in high school, and actually needed to think about structure in order to construct competent utterances, that grammar started to sink in. And once I started learning German grammar, English grammar started to make sense as well: It’s not that the two grammars were the same; it’s that this was the first time I was really aware of the very concept of language having a logical structure, as opposed to be purely “natural” and organic. I imagine it’s similarly different for most students to really “get” grammar if all they know is their mother tongue.

    So I tend to agree that second-language teaching is a key tool for teaching grammar… but I don’t agree there’s any special magic to the second language being Latin (except maybe that with a so-called “dead” language you don’t get distracted by, you know, actually trying to produce useful language), and I don’t agree with the prescriptivist notion that the reason to teach grammar is to enforce a high-status dialect as a prerequisite for a decent life.

    I just think understanding the structure of one’s language… and the very idea that language has structure… gives one better command of one’s linguistic toolbox. You know, that “expressing themselves” stuff somebody sneered at upthread (or maybe in the last subThread; I couldn’t locate the quote).

  39. #39 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010
    Ireland — there’s some sort of green stuff covering most of the rocks.

    It’s mold.

    that’s exactly the same reaction my boyfriend had to Germany.

    Moss-haters, the lot of you.

  40. #40 aratina cage of the OM
    January 31, 2010

    Go ahead. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m in Ireland and you’re not, so I don’t care. -Great Tentacled Overlord

    We’ve come this far. We must go on. We have to go on. *

    You should see my favorite birthday cake… I could live off it… as I could off peppermint ice cream with chocolate chips -David Marjanovi?

    Mmmm! Mint chocolate chip is one of my favorites, too.

    In cylindrical coordinates, 4-dimensional space coordinates are given as
    (radial, azimuthal, vertical, bacon) -Miki Z

    Useful in determining your degrees of bacon.

  41. #41 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 31, 2010

    “Insipid” doesn’t come close to the Sortaprof’s outbutt.

    I like that change…

  42. #42 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Come on, people. This thread’s been open for two freakin’ hours and there’s less than fifty comments on it. If we dawdle the Professional Poopyhead will make his escape from Ireland without having to close this thread and open a new one.

    Let’s Go!

  43. #43 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    Ten Signs You Are An Unquestioning Christian
    Fooking saved!!!

    BS

  44. #44 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 31, 2010

    We did laundry yesterday. Now I’m putting my stuff away, but still have to match all the socks (typical nerd, I have a pile each of dark brown and navy blue, and match the lengths before putting them in the drawer). Of course, sometimes there is the odd number of socks…

  45. #45 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2010

    Damn it, ‘Tis (@#37), bring a fucking tear to me eye, why don’t ya.

    OK. Listen to ‘Tis’s versions, then check out the Haden/Metheny rendition (to which I finally found a strange (Vietnamese?) link, below). Starts out traditionally, but slowly gets reharmonized, hits a groove, and then suddenly there’s a jazz piano solo, then-wtf! Jerry Douglas on dobro!…back to traditional briefly, and from there it’s all Metheny.
    Damn I love this track.

    Hope you like it too *wink*.

    http://mp3.xalo.vn/cakhuc/320425055570/The-Fields-Of-Athenry-Feat-Petra-Haden~Charlie-Haden.html

  46. #46 Gregory Greenwood
    January 31, 2010

    aratina cage of the OM;

    We’ve come this far. We must go on. We have to go on.

    I take my hat off to you in respect for the awesomeness of that quote. Poor Kane, we loved you so but you were perferated on the mess hall table (ohh, kinky) by a weirdly phallic immature xenomorph to the utter consternation of the rest of the cast (who apparently had not been warned about exactly what was going to happen).

    My other favourite quote from that movie has to be;

    Lambert: You admire it, don’t you?

    Ash: I admire its purity; survival. Unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.

  47. #47 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    All that coastline and surrounded by water yet, they never became a seafaring nation. Too nice to leave? Under the heel of the British? Not enough trees?

    Iron bound coastline. (sheer cliffs, no decent harbors.)

    BS

  48. #48 A. Noyd
    January 31, 2010

    Bill Dauphin (#38)

    So I tend to agree that second-language teaching is a key tool for teaching grammar… but I don’t agree there’s any special magic to the second language being Latin…

    I very much agree with that. (And it’s useful having a second language for it’s own sake, as well as to build interest in the structure of languages!) The thing about Latin is that there’s often not enough acknowledgment that Latin’s grammar doesn’t graft on to English at all. Given the massive differences, it would be even better to introduce features of grammar from all sorts of languages. I remember learning about prefixes and suffixes in grade school, but didn’t know about infixes till college, even though we use them occasionally in English and they’re common in other languages.

  49. #49 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    I’ve got a soft spot for you gals and guys
    It’s a bog on the West coast of Ireland!

    :-D

    Also, the thing over Japan says they’re trying to figure out what’s gonna be popular in Europe in 10 years :-p

    Oops. That happens when I just guess the verb.

    I don’t think they’re trying to figure it out, however. Whatever they make will be popular over here. :^)

    I just think understanding the structure of one’s language… and the very idea that language has structure… gives one better command of one’s linguistic toolbox.

    Absolutely. In fact, I think all the basics of linguistics should be taught in school.

    the lot of you.

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. <headshake> I, for one, love moss. It’s like the natural-history museum in Vienna ? the third time you look at it, you still discover something new!

    And under a binocular microscope it’s just mind-blowing.

  50. #50 Gregory Greenwood
    January 31, 2010

    perferated? *sigh* That should be ‘perforated’.

    Sorry.

  51. #51 JackC
    January 31, 2010

    … storm Normandy.

    Sorry Rev – been there, done that.

    (I imagine the caption will be nuff splainin)

    JC

  52. #52 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2010

    Latin is a dead language,
    As dead as dead can be.
    It killed the Roman Empire
    And now it’s killing me.

    -Anon.
    [taught to me by my grandmother, a veteran teacher of English and Latin and a descendant of a long line of teachers of English and Latin tracing back to the first professional Latin teacher in North America, John Cary of Plymouth Colony]

  53. #53 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    I just love how the latest subthread stays in the “Top 5 Most Active” even after it’s been closed… :-)

    and match the lengths before putting them in the drawer

    Me too! Me too!

    Vietnamese?

    Yes.

  54. #54 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2010

    BTW, some knowledge of Latin–vocabulary more than grammar–is of immense help in learning the modern biological sciences.
    Sure would have helped me, anyway.

  55. #55 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Sven #45

    You’re obviously more jazz oriented than me.* Metheny has a beautiful voice and I enjoyed her singing. The jazz interlude struck me as nice but unnecessary. It’s a folk song, not a jazz song.

    *I refuse to write “than I”.

  56. #56 Dania
    January 31, 2010

    The alt-text for this subThread:

    This is the Irish thread. Everyone must type with a brogue. Or at least wear green while commenting.

    By coincidence, I happen to be wearing green today. But I refuse to type with a brogue.

    And it’s “the Irish subThread“, not “the Irish thred”.

    (And yes, the comma and the period are in the right place. :P)

  57. #57 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    My high school Latin teacher: Camilus Temple. Much hilarity ensued.

    BS

  58. #58 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    but still have to match all the socks

    this is why I buy my socks in bulk. they’re all the same shape and color, so I don’t have to pay attention to such details when putting them away.

  59. #59 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    It killed the Roman Empire

    That’s a vile lie. Txting killed the Roman Empire.

  60. #60 Dania
    January 31, 2010

    not “the Irish thred”

    Indeed, it isn’t. Not even “the Irish thread“.

  61. #61 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Sven (@starfart):

    I’m sorry Josh pissed you off, but I remain unbothered. There’s always a fine line to be walked between rational critique of fadism and woo, on the one hand, and demonization of people just trying to do the right thing, on the other. That is, IMHO, one of the worst things about the most cynical purveyors of woo: They muddy the waters for people honestly trying to figure out how to live well.

    As it happens, my wife is somewhat susceptible to irrational fears (I suspect it’s a post-traumatic reaction to our daughter’s cancer, but that’s admittedly an unscientific “diagnosis”), and that complicates our life together… especially when, as is the case with gluten, real health issues overlap with the domain of fads and quackery.

    On a happier note, or rather, the collection of notes that is “Fields of Athenry,” I first heard the song as performed by The Wild Oats1, a now-defunct group my RennFaire/SCA-lovin’ sister-in-law turned me on to. I couldn’t find a video to link to, but “Athenry” is on an album called Weed ‘Em and Reap. They also did a version of “Whiskey in the Jar,” which is on their other album (yes, there were only two), A Few Oats Shy of a Haggis. Both albums are still available for download, at least, if not as physical CDs. While I couldn’t find any freebie links to those songs, I did find some videos of others. (Note that the quality of these vids doesn’t reflect how good the studio albums sound.):

    Jolly Red Nose

    John Barleycorn

    Donald MacGillavry

    And in searching for the above, I came across a filksong by the band’s founder, Eben Brooks, that might be somewhat amusing to this august crowd.

    1 My search in this matter revealed that there have been a metric shitload of bands called The Wild Oats; I’m only talking about the one I’m talking about.

  62. #62 Knockgoats
    January 31, 2010

    They acquired their language naturally like all children and then learned to speak an unnatural one to satisfy prescriptivist beliefs about linguistic propriety. – A. Noyd

    Or in order to be more widely understood. When natives of Aberdeen, where I now live, converse in Doric (the local dialect), I can rarely understand what they’re saying (and not just because I’m a Sassenach – nor can most Scots). Fortunately, they switch to standard (though accented) English when addressing incomers – apparently automatically.

  63. #63 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Arrggh! I keep hearing tales of moderation Hell, but it’s never happened to me ’til today. Trying again, in parts:

    Sven (@starfart):

    I’m sorry Josh pissed you off, but I remain unbothered. There’s always a fine line to be walked between rational critique of fadism and woo, on the one hand, and demonization of people just trying to do the right thing, on the other. That is, IMHO, one of the worst things about the most cynical purveyors of woo: They muddy the waters for people honestly trying to figure out how to live well.

    As it happens, my wife is somewhat susceptible to irrational fears (I suspect it’s a post-traumatic reaction to our daughter’s cancer, but that’s admittedly an unscientific “diagnosis”), and that complicates our life together… especially when, as is the case with gluten, real health issues overlap with the domain of fads and quackery.

    On a happier note, or rather, the collection of notes that is “Fields of Athenry,” I first heard the song as performed by The Wild Oats1, a now-defunct group my RennFaire/SCA-lovin’ sister-in-law turned me on to. I couldn’t find a video to link to, but “Athenry” is on an album called Weed ‘Em and Reap. They also did a version of “Whiskey in the Jar,” which is on their other album (yes, there were only two), A Few Oats Shy of a Haggis. Both albums are still available for download, at least, if not as physical CDs.

  64. #64 boygenius
    January 31, 2010

    ‘Tis,

    Metheny is playing the guitar. The vocalist is Petra Haden.

    And what’s wrong with a little fusion, especially when it’s as well done as this?

  65. #65 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 31, 2010

    [Part 2 of @62]

    While I couldn’t find any freebie links to those [wild Oats] songs [@62], I did find some videos of others. (Note that the quality of these vids doesn’t reflect how good the studio albums sound.):

    Jolly Red Nose

    John Barleycorn

    Donald MacGillavry

    And in searching for the above, I came across a filksong by the band’s founder, Eben Brooks, that might be somewhat amusing to this august crowd.

    1 My search in this matter revealed that there have been a metric shitload of bands called The Wild Oats; I’m only talking about the one I’m talking about. [Ooops; just realized I split the footnote from its marker.]

  66. #66 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    some knowledge of Latin–vocabulary more than grammar–is of immense help in learning the modern biological sciences

    Except one would need a bit of Greek, too.

    And yes, the comma and the period are in the right place. :P

    <clenched-tentacle salute>

    this is why I buy my socks in bulk.

    Good idea. I have never bought socks myself. :-)

  67. #67 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2010

    Metheny plays guitar; the singer was Petra Haden. And yeah I am “jazz oriented” for sure, though I can find something to like in most genres. I find the folk/jazz hybridization on that track impressively seamless, one reason I love it.

    Beyond matters of taste, about which to each her or his own of course, there is a backstory to that record that may help to at least appreciate its intent.

    Charlie Haden grew up in Springfield MO in a family that had a hillbilly-music radio show in the Carter Family mold. He was singing and yodeling in public and in broadcasts from the time he was like 3, and then learned the bass to fill in the bottom of the family band. Then in young adulthood he somehow found himself in LA playing bass in the most avant-garde jazz group of the time, Ornette Coleman’s. He’s been playing hard-core jazz ever since, with Ornette, Keith Jarrett and his own groups.

    Pat Metheny is also from Missouri, and although he plays in a wide range of jazz and jazz-like styles, he has always had a strummy acoustic/folk vibe that he incorporates. (He is also, IMO, the baddest-ass musician currently active, period. So there’s my bias.)

    The two of them started playing together on Metheny’s fucking awesome 1981 record 80/81, which was mostly heavily Ornette-influenced acoustic jazz but had a strummer or two as well. Many years later they recorded a beautiful, ultramellow album of bass/guiar duets (and toured).

    Haden’s 2008 album Rambling Boy is his nostalgic return to his country/folk roots, with guest appearances by all kinds of his family and friends. My point, I guess, is that as far as jazz/folk fusion goes, this is as legitimate and perfect as it’s ever going to get.

    YMMV

  68. #68 Kausik Datta
    January 31, 2010

    You’re obviously more jazz oriented than me.*
    *I refuse to write “than I”.

    …And the battle continues. :D
    What you write is fine. You are using ‘than’ as a preposition, with ‘me’ as the object to that preposition.
    OTOH, writing ‘… more jazz oriented than I’ is fine too, for people who consider ‘than’ to be a conjunction. The complete construction of the sentence would be ‘… more jazz oriented than I am‘.
    In this regard, a post made by Jadehawk (AFAIR) was very illuminating, explaining the difference in meaning between ‘You like reading Pharyngula more than I’ and ‘You like reading Pharyngula more than me’.
    According to Ken Wilson’s The Columbia Guide to Standard American English1:

    Than is both a subordinating conjunction, as in She is wiser than I am, and a preposition, as in She is wiser than me…. Since the following verb am is often dropped or ?understood,? we regularly hear than I and than me. Some commentators believe that the conjunction is currently more frequent than the preposition, but both are unquestionably Standard.

    1 Thanks to a Grammar Girl post that I had saved long back.

  69. #69 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Blind Squirrel FCD #47

    Iron bound coastline. (sheer cliffs, no decent harbors.)

    Ireland has some very good harbors (or harbours, if you prefer). Cobh, in the south of Ireland, is a large natural harbor. It was a British naval base from the Napoleonic wars to after World War I. Cork is also a good natural harbor. During World War I the British Grand Fleet operated out of Lough Swilly near Londonderry until facilities were built in Scapa Flow (in the Orkneys).

  70. #70 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Good idea. I have never bought socks myself. :-)

    please tell me your mother isn’t still buying socks for you…

  71. #71 Sili
    January 31, 2010

    this is why I buy my socks in bulk. they’re all the same shape and color, so I don’t have to pay attention to such details when putting them away.

    Yeah, but I never wear mine evenly, so eventually some are in worse states of disrepair than others and I top up. But I’m not gonna throw out perfectly good socks, just because they’re too worn to wear out of the house.

    That is to say, I’m another sock-matcher. (When I can be arsed.)

  72. #72 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    and I top up.

    why? bulk socks don’t care if there’s one fewer of them, and you really only need to re-buy them once you’re down to a pair or two…

    and what does “too worn to wear out of the house” mean? a sock with holes so large they cannot be fixed is a dead sock.

  73. #73 Walton
    January 31, 2010

    I almost always end up wearing odd socks, as they get mixed up when I wash them and I really can’t be bothered to match them up into pairs. I got into this bad habit when I was in secondary school and wore plain black socks at all times, so there wasn’t any need to match them. Unfortunately, with patterned socks it can create a bit more of a problem, as I’ve realised in recent years.

    So… why are we talking about socks, exactly?

  74. #74 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    So… why are we talking about socks, exactly?

    because apparently it’s laundry day

  75. #75 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Bill Dauphin, OM #64

    Thanks for the link to “Hey There Chthulhu”. May you be eaten first.

  76. #76 Kausik Datta
    January 31, 2010
    Good idea. I have never bought socks myself. :-)

    please tell me your mother isn’t still buying socks for you…

    No, Jadehawk, I am sure he stalks the basements containing washers and dryers, and whenever people throw away a single, clean sock because they can’t find the other of the pair, he sweeps down and snatches them away.

    *Runs away. Fast.

  77. #77 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    please tell me your mother isn’t still buying socks for you.

    What else are mothers for?

  78. #78 iambilly
    January 31, 2010

    this is why I buy my socks in bulk. they’re all the same shape and color, so I don’t have to pay attention to such details when putting them away.

    I actually do not have a single pair of socks which I have purchased. I work for the government (NPS) and just order a half-dozen of whatever the hiking socks in the catalogue are. For the past five years, no two years have been the same. Luckily, I wear them out in about three years, so I generally only have 15 pairs of brown socks of three different designs/patterns/shades/shapes/sizes etc.

    And I generally just let (((Wife))) sort them.

    Signed:

    the former (((Billy))) The Atheist (before all this sign-in stuff started (and I miss my old name (so I guess I will continue to sign the bottom (((Billy))) The Atheist))).

    And thank you American tax payers for keeping me in socks. Socks is good.

    Now all I have to do is convince the uniform company to start selling scotch (Pinch is preferred) and thick-sliced bacon.

  79. #79 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2010

    Chicken-soup recipes?

    Sock-sorting tips?

    I mean, the Thread is many things to many virtual people, but I sure hope it’s not turning into Hints from Heloise here.

  80. #80 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    Good idea. I have never bought socks myself. :-)

    please tell me your mother isn’t still buying socks for you…

    Funny how the mind works: I simply assumed he was saying he never wears socks!

  81. #81 Patricia, Queen of Sluts OM
    January 31, 2010

    I like knitting socks.

  82. #82 Lynna, OM
    January 31, 2010

    When I see the Endless Thread on the front page, it confuses me. We’re supposed to be in the back room, or kicking back in the back bar spouting Latin. It’s odd to be in the spotlight, blinking. PZ needs to post enough new stuff to push us off the front page, to close the door on all that sunlight.

    Here’s an update on the Baptists from Idaho who were arrested while trying to take orphans from Haiti to the Dominican Republic. After the orphans were rescued from the Baptists, they were turned over to a secular aid agency that is now doing what the Baptists should have done, searching for the childrens’ relatives.

    There are a couple of things that really bother me about the Baptists transporting the orphans. Why were the kids still dehydrated when they arrived at the border? Didn’t the good church folk brink any water for them? Did they lie to the kids about where they were taking them? Note the comment from an older child who thought a vacation/camp was the destination.

    …The children, some of them sick and dehydrated, were taken to an orphanage run by Austrian-based SOS Children’s Villages, which was trying to find their parents or close relatives, said a spokesman there, George Willeit.
         ”One child, an 8- or 9-year-old, said she thought she was going to some sort of summer or vacation camp in the Dominican Republic,” Willeit said.
         The Baptist group planned to scoop up 100 kids and take them by bus to a 45-room hotel at Cabarete, a beach resort in the Dominican Republic, that they were converting into an orphanage

    Then there’s the problem of self-righteousness wed to poor planning, as in this quote about the Pastor at the home church:

    Some members of the Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho, wept on Sunday as Pastor Clint Henry reported the team had been detained and asked for prayer

  83. #83 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    Thanks Tis Himself, When I spoke in the universal negative, I realized I was setting myself up for correction. I should have said Few. Any theories on why the Irish didn’t become a seafaring nation?

    BS

  84. #84 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2010
  85. #85 Carlie
    January 31, 2010

    My mother gets me socks for Christmas every year.

    I remain unbothered.

    This made me think of Lauren Cooper. (also fun re:conversation about learning different languages and grammar)

  86. #86 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 31, 2010

    I like knitting socks.

    That was a beautiful pair you knitted that the Trophy Wife? displayed a while back.

    The Redhead got a book over the Holidays by a knitter who tends to start in unexpected places. Like the heel, instead of the toe or top.

  87. #87 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    Tis: aren’t Cobn and Cork the same place?

    BS

  88. #88 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2010

    When I see the Endless Thread on the front page, it confuses me.

    I know. At the moment, two of the “Five Most Active” threads ScienceBorg-wide are subThreads.

    Will success spoil the Thread?
    *shivers*

  89. #89 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 31, 2010

    @Sven de Milo

    And you? the self-dubbed “Official SpokesGay”? say that “Right wingers are totally hung up about sex. Left wingers are totally hung up about food, and the moral/fake-health-consequences-there-of. I hate them equally.”? Really? That’s an equivalence you wish to draw?
    Not to mention that food-choice really does have an array of ethical (if not moral) and, yes, real health consequences that you’re blithely lumping in with your hated trendiness.
    I think you’re the one with the issues here, frankly.

    Um. . wow. Yikes. Sven I’m genuinely surprised my toss-off snarkfest pissed you off that much. It was far more glib than serious (though, yes, I do think there’s a lot of diet woo going around), which seemed in keeping with the everything-goes nature of the thread. It’s not the first time the lack of tone and facial cues on the Internet has gotten me in trouble.

    Yes, I do observe a stereotypical exaggerated concern about things like sex and food that does index to some degree, in some people (note the disclaimers) along political lines. No, of course I wasn’t serious when I said “I hate them all equally.” I was exaggerating for (failed, obviously) comic effect.

    Yes, there are legitimate health and ethical concerns about food choices and production. But yes, there’s also a lot of non-fact-based folklore that people are heavily invested in. I know there’s a difference.

    And Sven, the “SpokesGay” label is just a joke – something lighthearted. I am but one Gay, and cannot speak for All Teh Gay, no matter my ambitions for world domination.

    I’m genuinely sorry to piss off someone like you – a fantastic commenter on Pharyngula. I’ll try harder to remember to be more clear about what’s supposed to be exaggerated for humor, and what’s serious. But I don’t think I deserved that thorough dressing down from you. If my original commentary was one-sided and exaggerated, then your complete dismissal of it was too.

    Again, it was never supposed to be so serious. . sigh.

  90. #90 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Funny how the mind works: I simply assumed he was saying he never wears socks!

    that would be an extra special type of nerd that sorts his socks, but never wears them.

    My mother gets me socks for Christmas every year.

    my boyfriends mother does too. Except last Christmas, which I think might be a sign that it’s supposed to be my job now to supply him with socks. :-/

    I don’t think I will ever understand this reflex of supplying your grown children with clothing*, and socks in particular.

    ——

    *not that I’m complaining, since my mother reacts the same to seeing me wear old shoes, pants and jackets. it’s just weirding me out.

  91. #91 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 31, 2010

    KG (@61):

    Or in order to be more widely understood. When natives of Aberdeen, where I now live, converse in Doric (the local dialect), I can rarely understand what they’re saying (and not just because I’m a Sassenach – nor can most Scots).

    In most cases, there’s not so great a divide in comprehensibility between dialects of American English. I gather there are a few places — parts of Maine, the Outer Banks, backwoods Louisiana (aka Cajun country) — where the local dialect is incomprehensible to speakers of Standard American English, but for the most part that’s not the case: Most regional dialects, and low-status urban and rural dialects, are understandable to speakers of the “standard” dialect (and vice versa); they just “sound wrong.”

    Which raises the question: When does a dialect become, in fact, a separate language? I’m just ignorant enough about both linguistics and evolutionary biology to wonder if there isn’t a useful analogy to speciation: At what point in the divergence of two variants of one thing can we say there are now actually two things?

  92. #92 Patricia, Queen of Sluts OM
    January 31, 2010

    My knitting skills have improved some since the trophy socks were done. I was given an Elizabeth Zimmermann book over the holidays & it’s got some fun stuff.

  93. #93 Carlie
    January 31, 2010

    Oh wait, better Lauren Cooper, in chemistry class.

    I wish I could knit socks, but the heels scare me.

    Our family sock gift is a tradition. When I was a kid my parents would always let me open one single present on Christmas eve, and every single year I’d manage to pick the nightgown or socks or what have you. Every. Year. It wasn’t like I was being tricked; I had a decent selection to choose from. I just always managed to pick the not fun one. So the annual socks are the symbolic carryover, since I’m not there to pick one to open any more.

  94. #94 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    that would be an extra special type of nerd that sorts his socks, but never wears them.

    D’Oh!! Shows you how good I am at keeping the slurry of conversation here straight, doesn’t it?

    But then again, do we not think David is “an extra special type of nerd”? ;^)

  95. #95 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Posted by: Rev. BigDumbChimp| January 31, 2010 12:54 PM [

    You obviously haven’t been reading my comments here because if you had you would know that I suck at English.

    And it’s the only language I know.

    me fail english? Thats unpossible

    Reminds me of a mean spirited but funny joke a friend said of me. “English is your second language but you lack a mother tongue.”

  96. #96 Carlie
    January 31, 2010

    Oh, my first Lauren Cooper in French class video was frizzed.

  97. #97 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    please tell me your mother isn’t still buying socks for you…

    When I’m in Vienna, I live, you know, at home. When I’m in Paris, I have enough socks with me that I don’t need to buy any because I only need to do the laundry once every 4 weeks… So, yes, she has bought all of my socks so far.

    Of course, most socks last for years now that I’ve stopped growing, maybe decades.

    Basically the same holds for other clothes. I bought two T-shirts at the SVP meeting of 2008 (I’m wearing one of them in the photo with the red eyes), but that basically is it :-)

    (When I can be arsed.)

    Priorities, man! Should we revoke your nerd certificate?

    it’s laundry day

    Exactly.

    I am sure he stalks the basements containing washers and dryers, and whenever people throw away a single, clean sock because they can’t find the other of the pair, he sweeps down and snatches them away.

    No such sock I’ve ever found has matched any of mine. This was always immediately visible. Thus, alas, I can’t use this method. But I don’t need to, as explained above.

    I simply assumed he was saying he never wears socks!

    That’s not me, that’s my sister as far as she can get away with it outside of France.

    Wozu Socken? Sie schaffen nur Löcher!
    “Socks? What for? They only create holes!”
    ? Albert Einstein

    Why were the kids still dehydrated when they arrived at the border?

    HULK SMASH!!!

    I thought only glibertarians lacked empathy. How stupid can one be?!?

  98. #98 The Bobs
    January 31, 2010

    For those who asked about why Ireland wasn’t a maritime nation, it is my understanding (sorry I can’t find a reference)that the English largely deforested Ireland in support of their maritime ambitions.

  99. #99 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Carlie:

    Funny link.

    Re unbothered, I confess a liking for such words. When Roger Clemens testified before Congress and used the word misremembered, he caught an Imperial buttload of crap for it from sports reporters (!) who took it as evidence of Clemens’ ignorance.

    Now, whatever you think of Clemens, misremembered strikes me as a perfectly cromulent word. It’s not a foolish way of saying didn’t remember; it’s a way of saying did remember, but did so incorrectly… a completely distinct cognitive phenomenon.

    Sadly, I’ve misremembered plenty of things in my time. A fact about which I am not unbothered!

  100. #100 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Of course, most socks last for years now that I’ve stopped growing, maybe decades.

    decades? that’s some high-quality socks you’ve got there…

  101. #101 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 31, 2010
  102. #102 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    Any theories on why the Irish didn’t become a seafaring nation?

    Only a speculation: they were too busy fighting with each other?

    that would be an extra special type of nerd that sorts his socks, but never wears them.

    I haven’t been in the military, so I lack the compulsion to put everything into order :-)

    When does a dialect become, in fact, a separate language?

    Hah! That depends entirely on the definition! When asked like this, linguists tend to give up immediately and cite Max Weinreich, who wrote (in Yiddish): “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.”

    I’m just ignorant enough about both linguistics and evolutionary biology to wonder if there isn’t a useful analogy to speciation: At what point in the divergence of two variants of one thing can we say there are now actually two things?

    Bingo.

    There are, as of February 2009, no less than 147 definitions of “species” out there, and all of them produce different results. For instance, depending on the definition, there are between 101 and 249 endemic bird species in Mexico.

    I submit that all these definitions have nothing in common except the word “species”. Indeed, there have been calls to abolish this term altogether.

  103. #103 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 31, 2010

    If only I could find a way to compel my cats to do my laundry. Seems only fair recompense that they should have to trudge up and down the cellar steps with my clothes, after all the time I spend down their cleaning their litterbox.

    Has anyone else noticed that cats violate the laws of thermodynamics? They actually leave more in the litterbox than they eat and drink. It’s a scandal.

  104. #104 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    actually, I now recall that my mom did buy me a pair of socks. the fuzzy, feet-warming kind. that’s because when I was visiting last time, I refused to wear crocs, and she refused to watch me run around the apartment barefoot. :-p

  105. #105 https://me.yahoo.com/a/KtrH9g4llpHui8s2.0ezzjBOheU0WpQaoHA-#ab4e8
    January 31, 2010

    Carlie,

    Here’s a sock pattern with no heels!

    I’ve used it a couple of times, though not in that colour scheme, and it works fine.

    mb

  106. #106 iambilly
    January 31, 2010

    Of course, most socks last for years now that I’ve stopped growing, maybe decades.

    That’s some seriously high quality socks. My (admittedly supplied by a government low-bid winner) socks last two, maybe three years.

    And Bill Dauphin @ 98:

    Misremembered is a really good word. (((Wife))) and I both remember our past. She remembers what actually happened and I misremember what happened (even when later proven correct, I am still the one who misremembers). Whether vacations, when I went to which forest fire, who died when, who was born when, what we had for dinner last week, doesn’t matter. (((Wife))) remembers, I misremember.

    (((Billy))) The Atheist

    PS: (((Wife))): do not read the above paragraph.

  107. #107 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    January 31, 2010

    If only I could find a way to compel my cats to do my laundry. Seems only fair recompense that they should have to trudge up and down the cellar steps with my clothes, after all the time I spend down their cleaning their litterbox.

    I’d argue that cats should do the laundry because they’re the ones who make my clothes dirty. Them and Cheetos.

  108. #108 SC OM
    January 31, 2010

    [I've had some strange connection issues and don't want to risk the previous incarnation right now, but will go back in see if anyone has said anything to me there soon.]

    Speaking of gluten, Orac posted this recently

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/01/pumping_autistic_children_full_of_an_ind.php

    He quotes this:

    An industrial chemical developed to help separate heavy metals from polluted soil and mining drainage is being sold as a dietary supplement by a luminary in the world of alternative autism treatments.
    Called OSR#1, the supplement is described on its Web site as an antioxidant not meant to treat any disease. But the site lists pharmacies and doctors who sell it to parents of children with autism, and the compound has been promoted to parents on popular autism Web sites.

    “I sprinkle the powder into Bella’s morning juice and onto Mia and Gianna’s gluten free waffle breakfast sandwich,” wrote Kim Stagliano, managing editor of Age of Autism and mother of three girls on the autism spectrum, in an enthusiastic post last spring. “We’ve seen some nice ‘Wows!’ from OSR.”

    So the kid’s waffle breakfast sandwich (whatever the hell that is) is covered in an untested industrial chemical, but happily it’s free of gluten. Swell.

    I am curious about your opinion on this (I hope you are well rested by now).

    It was more a case of not having the energy for this specific subject. :) It really isn’t a focus of my attention in any other contexts.

    (a) Would you support ‘Chairperson’ as a universal mode of address, say, even when you know whether the Chair is a woman or man?

    If you know the gender, though, I prefer “chairwoman/-man.” If you don’t know, “chairperson” or “chair” are cool. (That’s how it’s done with congresspeople now, AFAIK.)

    (b) Same thing about Headmaster. In my corner of the world, I have always had Headmasters and Headmistresses (and commanding equal respect, if I may add). Is it important to change it into a gender neutral Headperson or Head Teacher?

    I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary, since a female form exists. If you didn’t know, you could always ask “Who’s the Headmistress or Headmaster?” Head Teacher sounds strangely narrow to my ears, though I’m fine with Headperson or Head of School.

    (c) Do you support the alternate spelling of ‘woman’, viz. ‘womyn’, that some people have tried to promote?

    I don’t use it, or “hu,” either. But I don’t care if other people use them, and I don’t find the reasoning behind them silly. I guess I like to see language change in ways that are a bit more fun. (BTW, has anyone seen Code 46 with Tim Robbins? People speak this kind of blended language, which isn’t playful but is interesting.) For example, I’ve mentioned before that many Spanish speakers now substitute -@s for plural endings in place of -os in writing. I like that, but of course it doesn’t solve the problem in speech. I’d love to see something new start to catch on (maybe borrowed from another language…?), but till then I think alternating and s/he, his/her, and so on are workable approaches.

    (Please don’t take my questions in any other sense;

    Moi ? ;)

  109. #109 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    that’s some high-quality socks you’ve got there…

    Maybe, but they’re all from cheap supermarkets in Vienna.

    Is it because here in Paris I (can) only wash at 40 °C?

  110. #110 Lynna, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Well, I watched the elephant masturbation link provided by Sven @83. Thank you, Sven, that was very educational. I note that the masturbator had to put his whole body into it. Talk about vigorous. Protective devices, like goggles and full-body plastic apron were also interesting. Can’t gauge much of a reaction from the elephant’s face, can you?

  111. #111 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    (That’s how it’s done with congresspeople now, AFAIK.)

    then they’re doing it wrong. the correct term is congresscritter

    :-p

  112. #112 Patricia, Queen of Sluts OM
    January 31, 2010

    mb – That’s an interesting sock pattern, but what do they actually feel like when you walk on them? That ribby type stuff doesn’t please my feet much.

  113. #113 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 31, 2010

    I am afraid that this is really predictable coming from me but, dammit, I want this song blasted at my funeral.

    And here is a version where you can understand all of the words.

  114. #114 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Is it because here in Paris I (can) only wash at 40 °C?

    I doubt it. American laundry machines seem to only operate with warm water, too (can’t say for sure at which temperature precisely, since no American laundry machine I’ve ever encountered ever bothered to tell me the exact temperatures of “cold”, “warm”, and “hot”)

  115. #115 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Tis: aren’t Cobn and Cork the same place?

    Oops, yes they are. The city of Cork is on one side of Cork Harbour and the city of Cobh (ex-Queenstown) is on the other side.

  116. #116 Patricia, Queen of Sluts OM
    January 31, 2010

    Humm, regarding the elephant video, the doctors at the vet hospital where I work must be really lazy – they have a machine jokingly called an electrojack that does the job.

  117. #117 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Reminds me of a mean spirited but funny joke a friend said of me. “English is your second language but you lack a mother tongue.”

    Some years ago a French Canadian said to me, “I speak English, I don’t understand it.”

  118. #118 Alan B
    January 31, 2010

    #25 A Noyd

    I don’t intend to carry on this conversation because both sides have made their points and I sense an “edge” developing.

    But I feel I should answer some of your questions.
    (This reply has taken some time to write and dinner and family activities have taken precedence.)

    What you look for in an applicant depends on the nature of the job. What skill/experience set is necessary? How far am I willing to go to train the person if they lack some of the skills? For example:

    Is a first degree necessary for the job? (If it isn’t then you can’t reject someone just because they are not a graduate.)
    Is post graduate experience necessary?
    Does this person have to have on-the-job experience?
    Is the person in a wheelchair? Does it matter? (If it is an office job we already have facilities that would allow otherwise suitable staff to carry out their role. If the person had to regularly climb in and out of confined areas on plant a reasonable person – even an unreasonable one – would see that the wheelchair was a hindrance.)
    Are they able to read English? (If not, how are they going to be able to follow detailed written procedures required for their safety. And IIRC our Regulator required it.)
    Is red/green colour blindness important (it is in the control rooms of a nuclear power station!)
    Is writing or presenting good clear English important? If it is then I can justify the choice of someone where this is a skill they possess already. If it is not then to refuse someone for this reason is discrimination in the negative sense.

    With the safety of the public, the staff and the environment at the forefront at a nuclear power station we would not want to turn the best candidate away just because the do not have a skill that is not required for the post.

    Where I worked I was responsible for producing the short list for interview for posts in my Section, but with advice from Personnel Department to supply consistency and to be sure we met Employment Law. If challenged (and I sometimes was) I would have to justify why I chose one but not another.

    At the interview there was myself as line manager, another line manager from another Section and a fairly senior member of Personnel Department. We agreed what skill/experience set we needed before the interviews started and we agreed the weighting we would give to each requirement.

    After each individual was interviewed we would independently mark against each requirement and on the rare occasions when we were in major disagreement we would try to rationalise our differences because this suggested one or more panel members were not clear about the actual requirements of the post.

    At the end we would independently make our assessment of how we ranked the candidates and would have to justify our tentative conclusions. All our “workings” were collected and filed by Personnel so that we could justify our decisions if necessary.

    I believe our system was transparent and as far as is reasonably possible for human beings in our culture I believe it was free from discrimination in the negative meaning of that word.

    One example of where a challenge was made was a student originally from North Africa who was black (sorry if that is no longer P.C. but he was). I had already discussed this with Personnel, explained why he was not in the top half dozen and should we shortlist him? Personnel agreed with my assessment but thought it would be sensible since he was the only non-British candidate to have him along for interview to see what he had to offer. He was a dead loss. Not suitable for the job, indeed, not capable of doing the job and bottom of the list on all counts. When he had the rejection letter he accused us of prejudice both on colour and that he was a French-speaker! Because we had identified the requirements of the job and could demonstrate how he did not meet them, his appeal was rejected.

    Up to the time I retired the Company had never lost an unfair dismissal or discrimination complaint.

    HOWEVER, I am sure that some other employers are not as scrupulous and some WILL judge on language and accent for reasons that are nothing to do with the requirements of the post. If our young people do not realise that I think we are letting them down.

    The situation has only got worse with the recession.

  119. #119 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    when idiots are responsible for education, everybody loses.

    And in that story, I wish the dumber minds had prevailed. That’s how bad it’s getting.

  120. #120 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010
    waffle breakfast sandwich

    WTF. Is this an unholy crossing of a waffle and a sandwich?

    Or a sandwich for a waffle breakfast (whatever that is), a waffle-breakfast sandwich?

    Or a breakfast sandwich with a waffle in it even?

    <headspin>

    no American laundry machine I’ve ever encountered ever bothered to tell me the exact temperatures of “cold”, “warm”, and “hot”

    <headdesk>

  121. #121 chuckgoecke
    January 31, 2010

    I hope PZ has some green visual receptors that are not totally fried out by this trip to Ireland, although He(sic) will have 3 or 4 months for them to recover before He needs them in Minnesota.

  122. #122 Linnea
    January 31, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself @19:

    Purist nitpickery compels me to point out that the song you link was written by a couple of Murikans.

  123. #123 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    WTF. Is this an unholy crossing of a waffle and a sandwich?

    Or a sandwich for a waffle breakfast (whatever that is), a waffle-breakfast sandwich?

    Or a breakfast sandwich with a waffle in it even?

    research indicates that it’s either this, or this.

    no idea which one was the one crazy mom was using. the former version is apparently the more common one overall, but the latter is the “healthy” version, which seems more likely in this instance

  124. #124 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    when idiots are responsible for education

    <sigh>

    I suppose it’ll take another generation or two till some sort of sanity will prevail.

  125. #125 Alan B
    January 31, 2010

    #80 Patricia, Queen of Sluts OM

    I like knitting socks.

    Many, many years ago (when I was c.11) I knitted a pair of socks, including turning the heel. And a pair of gloves on 4 needles. I rather enjoyed it.

    My parents encouraged it because it was supposed to help my manual coordination.

  126. #126 Carlie
    January 31, 2010

    Thanks for the sock pattern, mb! I’ve been itching for something to try.

    Elephant cake from Cakewrecks. (not a wreck)

    no American laundry machine I’ve ever encountered ever bothered to tell me the exact temperatures of “cold”, “warm”, and “hot”

    That’s because it’s dependent on the initial temperature of the water going into the machine, set by the water heater. Having a temp control and heater on the machine itself would make it cost more, which means it wouldn’t sell well.

  127. #127 https://me.yahoo.com/a/KtrH9g4llpHui8s2.0ezzjBOheU0WpQaoHA-#ab4e8
    January 31, 2010

    Patricia,

    They are not the greatest but with boots or over, say, a fine pair of cotton socks for the very cold weather they do fine. Certainly great for toddling about the house in.

    I used that pattern first because I had not turned a heel since the olden days when I had my great aunt sitting next to me – ready either to sort things out if I made a mess or to keep me at it.

    The twisty rib ones got me through a psychological barrier. Yes, I could knit socks! Now I turn heels without worrying though I do admit most socks tend to end up with the heel pattern I like doing. I’m sure you’ve been there.

  128. #128 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    I was taught to knit in the 4th year of school, even with 5 needles (though not something as complex as gloves). Haven’t tried ever since, but I’d probably quickly remember if pressed.

    it’s either this

    What an appalling waste of perfectly good bacon!

    or this

    Disgusting. :-)

    Thanks anyway.

  129. #129 Dania
    January 31, 2010

    Has anyone else noticed that cats violate the laws of thermodynamics? They actually leave more in the litterbox than they eat and drink. It’s a scandal.

    Absolutely. And by that I don’t mean they eat little…

    For example, I’ve mentioned before that many Spanish speakers now substitute -@s for plural endings in place of -os in writing. I like that, but of course it doesn’t solve the problem in speech.

    I do that. It’s less cumbersome than the alternatives, -os/as or -os(as), and it works just as well. It may not solve the problem in speech, but at least when reading aloud it works as a reminder to alternate.

  130. #130 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 31, 2010

    AlanB, RogerS posted again on the old Ken Ham thread. I invited him to come over here, explaining how this was just a continuation of his previous threads, and left a link. Hopefully he will show up.

  131. #131 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    Elephant cake

    X-D

    But who could eat such a thing?!?

  132. #132 Carlie
    January 31, 2010

    though not something as complex as gloves

    I did see somewhere recently a way to do gloves by making the fingers out of i-cord – seemed like a nice cheat to me.

  133. #133 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    That’s because it’s dependent on the initial temperature of the water going into the machine, set by the water heater. Having a temp control and heater on the machine itself would make it cost more, which means it wouldn’t sell well.

    so does that mean “hot” is merely as hot as tapwater gets? interesting. next laundry day, I shall have to stick a thermometer in the tub to see what precisely “hot” means.

  134. #134 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Purist nitpickery compels me to point out that the song you link was written by a couple of Murikans.

    Even more compulsive nitpickery compels me to point out the song was written by one man named Peter Jones.

  135. #135 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 31, 2010

    so does that mean “hot” is merely as hot as tapwater gets? interesting. next laundry day, I shall have to stick a thermometer in the tub to see what precisely “hot” means.

    If your washer is like mine, “cold” pours in whatever water comes from the cold tap. “Warm” pours in a mix of hot and cold, in my case not quite warm enough for a comfortable bath. “Hot” is water straight from the hot water heater.

  136. #136 Patricia, Queen of Sluts OM
    January 31, 2010

    Alan B – Gloves! Oh my. I can make socks on 4 or 5 needles, but I’m not up to all those fingers yet.

    mb – I’ve noticed that lots of people get scared by socks. I decided if little children could do it as drudge work for hours every day during Victorian times, I should be able to figure it out as an adult.

  137. #137 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 31, 2010

    blockquote fail!

  138. #138 Alan B
    January 31, 2010

    #129 Nerd of Redhead, OM

    Yes, I noticed that and gave him a cordial invitation. Suggested there was some unfinished business with him explaining Flood Geology.

    My #218, your #220

  139. #139 Carlie
    January 31, 2010

    Yes, I believe it’s the same hot as the hot water tap (unless you have exposed pipes and it cools down before it gets there). When I had my first child one of the big safety tips that’s pushed is checking the hot water heater temp and lowering it until the water out of the tap doesn’t go past 120 degrees F. Standard setting is around 140, and I think some of them can go as high as 160.

  140. #140 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    If your washer is like mine, “cold” pours in whatever water comes from the cold tap. “Warm” pours in a mix of hot and cold, in my case not quite warm enough for a comfortable bath. “Hot” is water straight from the hot water heater.

    yeah, I don’t actually know what that is supposed to mean in the context of an apartment building.

  141. #141 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    January 31, 2010

    yeah, I don’t actually know what that is supposed to mean in the context of an apartment building.

    It means the temperatures will correspond to those you find when you turn on your own taps in the apartment, unless of course the washer is elsewhere and hooked up to a separate tank. Who knew laundry could be so engrossing?

  142. #142 Patricia, Queen of Sluts OM
    January 31, 2010

    Carlie – I pick up some of my best tips from gay mens knitting blogs.

  143. #143 Knockgoats
    January 31, 2010

    When does a dialect become, in fact, a separate language? I’m just ignorant enough about both linguistics and evolutionary biology to wonder if there isn’t a useful analogy to speciation: At what point in the divergence of two variants of one thing can we say there are now actually two things? – Bill Dauphin, OM

    I think there are useful parallels, especially if you think of each speaker’s idiolect as an individual “organism”. Idiolects then reproduce, although typically an idiolect has multiple “parents”. At any rate, just as with species, (hyou get both languages that are neatly defined, and others that blend into each other, but are mutually incomprehensible (don’t “interbreed”) at the far ends of the distribution (Zulu and Xhosa for example: if you go south down the east coast of South Africa, most people speak Zulu in the north, most speak Xhosa in the south, but they blend into each other). Nationalism and mass media have tended to standardise languages, but this process is far from complete. English apparently developed all down the east coast of Britain around the 7th-8th century, as a lingua franca (ha!) between all the groups who were mingling, trading, fighting etc. in that area – hence its loss of grammatical gender and other peculiarities. “Doric”, incidentally, was originally a derogatory term, applied to Scottish dialects of English as a whole, and meaning “rustic” (by analogy to the Doric form of Greek spoken in Sparta, considered inferior by the Attic speakers of Athens), but the term is now a proud badge of local NE Scots patriotism.

  144. #144 WowbaggerOM
    January 31, 2010

    Well, I watched the elephant masturbation link provided by Sven @83.

    This is one of those rare occasions that I’m glad I don’t have access to YouTube at work…

  145. #145 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    A further note on the song “Kilkelly”.

    Peter Jones was going through his grandparents’ attic when he found a bundle of letters sent to his great-grandfather. That man had left the small village of Kilkelly in County Mayo 130 years before Jones found the letters. The letters told of family news, births, death, sales of land and bad harvests. The were from the family in Ireland to remind the son that he is loved, missed and remembered by his family in Ireland. The final letter informs him that his father, whom
    he has not seen for over 30 years, has died. Jones used those letters to write the song.

  146. #146 Jadehawk, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Yes, I believe it’s the same hot as the hot water tap (unless you have exposed pipes and it cools down before it gets there). When I had my first child one of the big safety tips that’s pushed is checking the hot water heater temp and lowering it until the water out of the tap doesn’t go past 120 degrees F. Standard setting is around 140, and I think some of them can go as high as 160.

    and

    It means the temperatures will correspond to those you find when you turn on your own taps in the apartment, unless of course the washer is elsewhere and hooked up to a separate tank. Who knew laundry could be so engrossing?

    so, that would mean that the absolute hottest the “hot” setting can be is 70C, but only in optimal conditions. 60C is standard, and most likely NOT what the laundry machines I have been using were set at; my guess is 50C maximum.

    Definitely sticking a thermometer in the laundry machine next time.

  147. #147 Alan B
    January 31, 2010

    #135 Patricia, Queen of Socks

    From memory (it’s a LONG time ago) I found the gloves a bit fiddly but straight forward. I was very slow, of course.

    Some background:

    My birth was arduous for my mother, for me and for the midwife. Eventually, and out of desparation, the midwife sat on my mother to try to get things moving! I suspect that was unacceptable even in those days (shortly after Semmelweiss retired from the local hospital).

    Left me with a lack of coordination (unable to catch a beachball at 9). And with a speech defect which turned into a debilitating stammer at around the same time. Anything that improved my coordination was encouraged – origami, fishing, knitting, fly tieing eventually(!). It seemed to work and I gradually grew out of the problems although the stammer took decades rather than years.

  148. #148 ianmhor
    January 31, 2010

    KG #61. You were lucky. When I got to Aberdeen in the 70’s my landlady was not at all willing to drop many of the Doric words from her conversation and while I was Scottish and she might just have expected me to understand my flatmate was English. When we first heard her refer to us as loons and talking about loons and quines we hadn’t a clue!

    Young men and young women for those who wish to know.

  149. #149 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Left me with a lack of coordination (unable to catch a beachball at 9). And with a speech defect which turned into a debilitating stammer at around the same time. Anything that improved my coordination was encouraged – origami, fishing, knitting, fly tieing eventually(!). It seemed to work and I gradually grew out of the problems although the stammer took decades rather than years.

    My daughter is dyslexic and had almost unreadable handwriting at the age of 9. She took calligraphy lessons for three years and I taught her typing. When she was 13 her handwriting was quite legible and she could type faster than she could write.

  150. #150 Kagato
    January 31, 2010

    I think Zach’s figured out who his audience is.

    Today’s SMBC

  151. #151 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 31, 2010

    ‘Tis (@144):

    A further note on the song “Kilkelly”.

    I had missed your link @19, but this prompted me to go back and check it out. “Kilkelly” is another one of the songs I encountered by way of The Wild Oats (see me @62 and 64), and it never fails to make me cry: The doomed earnest hopefulness that John will ever return from America, the blameless but permanent division of this loving family, always gets to me.

    That’s a lovely version, BTW.

  152. #152 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    Laundry day for me also! An excuse to drive into town, where I saw my first human face in 5 days.

    I can well believe the English denuded Ireland for trees for her navy. When the first colonist hit the new world, there was an official who went about branding certain tall trees as the property of the queen for masts for ships. There was so much trade across the Atlantic that the streams of England were picked clean of stones for ballast, and it was necessary to open quarries to obtain the same.Savanna Georgia was built from ballast stone; that’s were I saw my first pudding stone.

    BS

  153. #153 A. Noyd
    January 31, 2010

    Knockgoats (#61)

    Or in order to be more widely understood.

    That was in the context of defending those who sound “uneducated.” I already put in a favorable word about teaching a standardized (rather than “proper”) English for purposes of cross-dialect communication.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Carlie (#84)

    My mother gets me socks for Christmas every year.

    I got some awesome socks for Xmas this year. They’re nice and thick and actually stay up inside rubber boots.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Bill Dauphin (#90)

    I’m just ignorant enough about both linguistics and evolutionary biology to wonder if there isn’t a useful analogy to speciation: At what point in the divergence of two variants of one thing can we say there are now actually two things?

    Pretty much. There are some new languages (creoles) that develop naturally within two generations, but I guess some plants can speciate in two generations, too?

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Alan B (#117)

    Is writing or presenting good clear English important?

    I appreciate the explanation. It sounds like a very fair and meticulous process. I note that you’re talking now about “clear” English, but earlier you were referring to people sounding “uneducated,” which are different concepts. Yes, education can improve clarity for some people, but it has the opposite effect in others. (Granted, it’s about written English, but surely you’ve read Politics and the English Language by George Orwell?) And a person’s use of low status grammar doesn’t necessarily mean they’re uneducated (even in English!) or that what they say will be unclear. A shift from propriety to clarity in English classes would do the world a hell of a lot of good, in my opinion.

  154. #154 Patricia, Queen of Sluts OM
    January 31, 2010

    Alan B – Sounds like you are lucky to be here at all! My most fiddly stuff is knitting Estonian lace. Nine stitches into one called a nupp , rhymes with soup.

  155. #155 Linnea
    January 31, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself @ 133:

    Wikipedia says it was written by Steven and Peter Jones, both. Hmmm.

    Back in the 1980’s, I used to do a Celtic/British Isles folk radio show. People would call and request “Kilkelly” pretty much every week. Eventually, they started to be outnumbered by the people calling to request that I *not* play it that week, for a change.

  156. #156 Kyorosuke
    January 31, 2010

    So, there was this sort of interesting article in the NY Times Magazine today:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/magazine/31ecopsych-t.html

    About “ecopsychology”; I was wondering what people thought of it, because it seems kind of woo-ish, but I don’t know enough about the subject to really make that determination. Thoughts?

  157. #157 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Bill Dauphin, OM #150

    it never fails to make me cry

    Me too, Bill.

    Every few years Robbie O’Connell performs at the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival. Five years ago I heard him sing “Kilkelly” there and bought his CD on the basis of that one song. Last year O’Connell performed at the Festival again and I made a special point of asking him to sing “Kilkelly.” He did. The tears streamed down my cheeks.

    O’Connell also sang Stan Rogers’ “Sailors Rest”. It’s another song I love.

  158. #158 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Linnea #154

    Wikipedia says it was written by Steven and Peter Jones, both. Hmmm.

    The cover notes for Robbie O’Connell’s CD Recollections, Vol. 1 just lists Peter Jones.

    You pays your money and you takes your choice.

  159. #159 Linnea
    January 31, 2010

    It was a tasty nit, either way.

  160. #160 Bill Dauphin, OM
    January 31, 2010

    ‘Tis:

    Every few years Robbie O’Connell performs at the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival.

    Maybe we should plan to meet there this year? I’m no expert on sea music, but it sounds like the sort of thing I’d love.

  161. #161 redrabbitslife
    January 31, 2010

    Re: dialect and language.

    I am a Newfoundlander. Ostensibly, then, a native speaker of English.

    If I were to attempt to do my job whilst speaking my native dialect, nobody would take me seriously. I doubt indeed I would ever have gotten in to medical school in the first place.

    In Canada, I would get Newfie jokes. In the US, I would get “Huh? Can you say that again?” In the UK, I would get mistaken for Irish, and get the discrimination that goes with that.

    So, fair or not, I see that dialects like mine are dying because the people who would otherwise sustain them are being forced to change for social and economic reasons.

    I can understand it though. The grammatical constructs- many of them are technically incorrect (“I likes them boots, I do.” “What are ye at over there?”), and some words simply don’t exist in modern English. It makes me sound uneducated and by extension unprofessional.

    So then wouldn’t I go to Quebec and instead of learning standard French, learn Joual. *sigh* I’m the only person I know who gets service in English as a matter of course in Paris.

  162. #162 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    others that blend into each other, but are mutually incomprehensible (don’t “interbreed”) at the far ends of the distribution

    Dialect continua are common. Dutch, German, and Luxembourgish (to name the three standards that have been developed from it) form one: the dialect of one village is always understood in the neighboring villages, but it adds up. When the lowland Swiss or the Flemings speak, I understand about half (and in the latter case I have to cheat by drawing on knowledge from English and French). I can have a conversation with a Tyrolean where each speaks their own dialect, but beyond that, it would get difficult…

    I guess some plants can speciate in two generations, too?

    In one even, by polyploidization. Can’t think of a linguistic analogy to that one. :-þ

    nupp , rhymes with soup

    Except that Estonian distinguishes short and long consonants (here’s a long one, written double) and short, middle, and long vowels (the latter two are both written double, and I don’t know how they tell them apart).

    So… nuup would more or less rhyme with soup, but nupp doesn’t.

  163. #163 Chmee,Speaker to Animals
    January 31, 2010

    I make a habit of binning odd socks as soon as they appear then finding their partners about a week later – sigh.

    Ok, my stupidometer is seriously uncalibrated at the moment because I have been working all night so please indulge me if you are inclined.

    I invented a product last night that I think might have legs so to speak.
    A Solar Powered Hi-Fi (proper hi-fi, low noise and distortion atc).
    Basically a small solar panel, 12V battery, microprocessor controlled battery charger, 20W stereo amplifier, USB charger for Ipods and such and a funky colour changing Led to make it look cooler.
    Designed to be be bolted to a patio or verandah with appropriate outdoor speakers. Just plug in your MP3 player or Ipod (if you must :)), turn it up and away you go.
    Why am I seeking advice from this forum?, you may well ask. Firstly, it is 7:30am here, so none of my friends are up and I am impatient, Secondly, you guys might not laugh at the idea outright, Thirdly, this thread is so wide ranging that it might not be out of place and finally I am interested in your feedback.
    There may be similar products out there already, but I am not too fussed about that.

    I followed a thread earlier that referred to ant behavior, in particular how one species would go away from the nest to die.
    When I have observed ants going about their business, they always seem to pick up the corpses of their sisters and return them to the nest.
    I always assumed that this was because the remains were useful as food or building material.
    It strikes me as odd that an ant would remove itself from the vicinity of the nest to die, when sooner or later another ant will come along and drag it back.
    What purpose would this behavior serve?
    Maybe some ants have an “Altruistic gene” :).

    My musical pick of the day.

    An Englishman in New York – Godley and Creme

  164. #164 'Tis Himself, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Bill,

    I’ll be there with wife and daughter. I’d be happy to meet you and enjoy some music together.

  165. #165 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 31, 2010

    Hello bottle of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.

  166. #166 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    I see that dialects like mine are dying

    In Newfoundland???

    The grammatical constructs- many of them are technically incorrect

    They would be incorrect in Standard English. But it’s not Standard English in the first place. :-| Grammar differs between dialects, that’s normal.

    some words simply don’t exist in modern Standard English.

    Fixed it for you.

    It makes me sound uneducated

    Even if you speak it in, like, a bar???

    I’m the only person I know who gets service in English as a matter of course in Paris.

    Even this is normal these days ? as soon as they find you stuttering, all below the age of 40 immediately switch to English, and English pronounced in the French sound system is really hard to understand sometimes. Fortunately I’m enough of a nerd about my own pronunciation, and have amassed a sufficiently large vocabulary, that I hardly get that anymore.

  167. #167 Chmee,Speaker to Animals
    January 31, 2010

    Another sort of interesting thing.
    As I have been getting older, my eyesight is slowly deteriorating, getting a little farsighted you see.
    Anyway, I happened one day to have a bright blue LED powered up and pointed it at a page that I was trying to read, to my surprise the page snapped into focus and I could read it without trouble and without glasses.
    I haven’t as yet investigated the reasons for it, I suspect that it may have something to do with the near monochromatic colour of the LED and the eye only having to cope with focusing just that colour.
    I attempted to validate the effect by collaring a few friends who also wear glasses and they all noticed some improvement.
    Cheers

  168. #168 David Marjanovi?
    January 31, 2010

    and the eye only having to cope with focusing just that colour.

    Pretty much. The lens of the vertebrate eye, so praised by the cretinists, does not correct for chromatic aberration (the fact that refraction separates the wavelengths).

  169. #169 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Can never have too much Pogues.

    Whiskey You’re The Devil

    Streams Of Whiskey

    Whiskey In The Jar with The Dubliners. Fits in with the other versions of the song already posted and last night rather strange jar talk.

  170. #170 Patricia, Queen of Sluts OM
    January 31, 2010

    David – The spelling nupp, and translation came from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush. Trust me, the word gets even more badly butchered at the Local Yarn Shop.

  171. #171 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    Chmee,Speaker to Animals: I can just hear the Horde scrambling to explain the phenomenon to you, so I will skip over that and suggest another experiment: Punch a small hole in a piece of paper and hold it close to your eye and view the page. You will be amazed.

    BS

  172. #172 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    Dave M, if that explanation were accurate, a red led would suffice. Recall that the highest resolution microscopes use ultraviolet light.

    BS

  173. #173 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    Allow me to clarify; that should read “entirely accurate”.BS

  174. #174 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    January 31, 2010

    I haven’t as yet investigated the reasons for it, I suspect that it may have something to do with the near monochromatic colour of the LED and the eye only having to cope with focusing just that colour.

    The CSI shows have devices that will show monochromatic light of differing wavelengths on burnt/degraded documents. Sometimes the right wavelength increases contrast sufficiently to be able to read the object. I suspect you are seeing such an improvement.

  175. #175 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    No one? Ok, I’ll go: The shorter the wavelength of radiation used the more sharply an image can be focused. The monochromatic effect also contributes.

    BS

  176. #176 Octopoggle
    January 31, 2010

    @96 – This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes attributed to Einstein: In reply to congratulations on a birthday, he is supposed to have said, “Yes, I have reached the age where, when somebody tells me to put on socks, I don’t have to.” (Google is failing to find confirmation of the quote, but it certainly confirms a lifelong aversion to socks.)

    @117 – I appreciate your description of hiring procedures designed to be transparent and non-biased. Research shows that this kind of mindfulness is exactly what is effective in overcoming subconscious bias. Most of us in our culture acquire and carry with us at least some of this bias, despite its not being consistent with our explicit values. In my line of work, we need to write really good, clear reports, but we also need good research underlying them, and the research (applied social research on a variety of populations, especially those not in the mainstream) is greatly improved when our team includes people who have life experience outside the mainstream. I’ve found it’s not too hard to edit a draft report for the writing bits, but not worth trying if the thinking is not clear. As a mainstream member, my editing skills can make up for someone else’s lack of same; but no skill I can acquire can supply the value of a different kind of life experience. Many of the older team leaders in our group will disqualify an applicant if the writing sample is not up to par. Our team is more diverse, and does better research, because when we have an applicate with a different background we look at the underlying thought quality and not just the editable surface parts.

    /end rant about implicit bias and unequal opportunities

  177. #177 redrabbitslife
    January 31, 2010

    Obviously, in a bar nobody cares whether I’m educated. It was the fact that to be employed, to be employable, I had to change the way I spoke.

    I don’t even know that I can speak my native dialect any more.

    In Newfoundland, things are different. Screw the dialects, whole communities are disappearing. My dialect no longer exists because the village where I grew up no longer exists, and living elsewhere, everyone has had to change. It’s the way it goes, probably everywhere.

    Ah well, at least I have not picked up the Great Lakes accent so far. Ever see the movie Fargo?

  178. #178 Chmee,Speaker to Animals
    January 31, 2010

    Thanks Blind Squirrel,
    I tried it, yep it made a difference :)
    As I said, I haven’t really investigated why the Blue LED seems to work so well and I look forward to being educated.
    I brought it up because possibly someone might find it a useful technique for reading without glasses. Of course it would tend to cause pictures to look a little odd.

    I spent some time a few years ago writing a program to help visually impaired people to read.
    This was for people who are technically blind but with some sight remaining and for those who have the opposite of tunnel vision (can’t remember the name of the condition, sorry).
    I stumbled across an article somewhere that discussed how presenting text a word at a time on a monitor could aid comprehension and make reading physically easier for some people.
    I also remembered that dyslexics can sometimes read more easily with a particular combination of differing text colour and background colour.

    My program attempts to combine the two ideas.
    Basically the top half of the screen is dedicated to presenting one word at a time to the viewer, the remainder of the screen is used for controls.
    The current version of the software uses ordinary .txt files (Gutenberg library files for example) and allows the user to select background and foreground colours, font, font size, reading speed and a file selection dialog. It also remembers the last word read when the program is closed.

    You may think that reading one word at a time without moving your eyes is a little weird, but I easily read half of Stephen Hawkings “A Brief History of Time” sans pictures, at well over 1000wpm.
    Truth to tell, it is pretty trippy and comes close to a “stream of consciousness” type of experience.
    I noticed improved comprehension myself and the few people who have tried it commented that their ordinary reading speed was substantially improved afterwards.

    If anyone is interested in trying it out, let me know and I will poke in on my website as a download.

  179. #179 redrabbitslife
    January 31, 2010

    @ Chmee #177:

    This was for people who are technically blind but with some sight remaining and for those who have the opposite of tunnel vision (can’t remember the name of the condition, sorry).

    Maybe: macular degeneration?

  180. #180 Chmee,Speaker to Animals
    January 31, 2010

    Redrabbitslife,
    That may well be it.
    The afflicted have only peripheral vision.
    My attempted solution is to have the text move around the centre of the display area in as big a circle as possible (font size is the constraint here) to excite the peripheral vision.
    I haven’t coded it yet, but intend to in the future.
    I don’t know if it will work, but I am sure that I can find a volunteer somewhere to try it.

  181. #181 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    I easily read half of Stephen Hawkings “A Brief History of Time” sans pictures, at well over 1000wpm.

    Could you please explain the last chapter to me?:)

    BS

  182. #182 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    January 31, 2010

    Blind Squirrel, Not sure I agree on the explanation you gave for the blue LED making it easier for Chmee to read. Yes, it is true that blue light gives finer resolution, but unless he’s reading microfiche, the image is not diffraction limited. It may be that the blue cones are more responsive, or it may be that the lens is allowing passage of more blue light. Hard to tell without more info.

  183. #183 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space: I believe blue cones are more responsive; certainly shorter wave photons are more energetic. The greater resolution comes when the image is focused on the retina. Consider how shorter wavelengths are used in photolithagraphy, up to x -rays, to make computer chips.
    I have used this effect in industry to demonstrate the density variation in granola bar depositors and retro-reflective materials demonstrations.

    BS

  184. #184 Lynna, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Setting priorities: The mormon church is spending more money to build a mall and related condos, etc. in Salt Lake City than it has spent in total charitable aid in the last 30 years.

    “City Creek Reserve is spending more than $1 million a day on construction, and the project ultimately will cost around $3 billion, said Chris Redgrave, a KSL executive who also chairs the Salt Lake Chamber’s Can-Do Coalition, which is looking for ways to jump-start the downtown economy.”

    In January, 2006, the LDS Church PR department said, ?since 1984, the LDS Church has donated nearly $750 million in cash and goods to people in need in more than 150 countries.?
         That averages to 37.5 million per year. The total of $750 million in 22 years spent in cash in goods to people in need is less than half what the church is spending on the mall and associated buildings. The Mormon church is spending less than 1% of its income to help the poor.
         It’s also noteworthy that the Jesus Mall project was first estimated at “close to $1 billion”, then that estimate went to $2 billion, and now it is at “around $3 billion”.

    On top of the $3-plus-billion ‘Jesus Mall’-and-condos project (City Creek) in SLC and the multi-million-dollar (est. $100+ million) ‘Jesus Polynesian Hotel’ in Oahu (being built this year), LD$, Inc. recently spent a reported sum of $25 million (pocket change for the Mormon Church, really) to acquire 13 acres of prime real estate in downtown SLC (ref. http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_14142357).
         The LDS Church on Saturday [January 30, 2010] confirmed it has purchased the KJZZ studio building west of the Salt Lake City International Airport, a deal that represents its third noteworthy real estate acquisition in recent weeks.

    That any church decides to shift focus from charitable/humanitarian service to money making, is as legal as any business deciding to shift focus on to more ethical or social issues. But defending the church on grounds that their actions are currently legal, is about as lame as defending OJ now on grounds that he was “legally” acquitted…
         It seems to me that an argument can be made that the church is operating under cover of tax exempt laws which favour it over other business institutions in the project of money making. In addition, its members are not privileged to see any financial statements, as are those participating in other companies as shareholders or interested parties. I don’t see how that is fair. Whether you have the words “Jesus Christ” in your organization’s name or not, if you’re in business, I don’t see why you shouldn’t have to play by the rules of business. — Tal Bachman

  185. #185 Chmee,Speaker to Animals
    January 31, 2010

    The start of an answer may lie here.

    Georgia State University

    “Blue” Cone Distinctions

    The “blue” cones are identified by the peak of their light response curve at about 445 nm. They are unique among the cones in that they constitute only about 2% of the total number and are found outside the fovea centralis where the green and red cones are concentrated. Although they are much more light sensitive than the green and red cones, it is not enough to overcome their disadvantage in numbers. However, the blue sensitivity of our final visual perception is comparable to that of red and green, suggesting that there is a somewhat selective “blue amplifier” somewhere in the visual processing in the brain.

    The visual perception of intensely blue objects is less distinct than the perception of objects of red and green. This reduced acuity is attributed to two effects. First, the blue cones are outside the fovea, where the close-packed cones give the greatest resolution. All of our most distinct vision comes from focusing the light on the fovea. Second, the refractive index for blue light is enough different from red and green that when they are in focus, the blue is slightly out of focus (chromatic aberration). For an “off the wall” example of this defocusing effect on blue light, try viewing a hologram with a mercury vapor lamp. You will get three images with the dominant green, orange and blue lines of mercury, but the blue image looks less focused than the other two.

    Ain’t the Internet grand sometimes :)

    The above seems to explain the phenomenon, the blue cones are possibly closer to the required focus than the others.

    Nice :)

  186. #186 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 31, 2010

    Chmee,Speaker to Animals: Check this though: the refractive index for blue light is enough different from red and green that when they are in focus, the blue is slightly out of focus (chromatic aberration).
    The focus of the eye is dominated by the red and green frequencies when they are present. When only blue light is present, the eye focuses them just fine and the above effect vanishes.
    This Wiki article goes into some detail about the use of shorter wavelengths to produce finer detail.

    BS

  187. #187 Chmee,Speaker to Animals
    January 31, 2010

    A few decades ago I dated a morman woman a few times.
    I asked her why there were no women in the church hierarchy.
    She didn’t know, but promised to ask the church elders the coming weekend.

    The response was more or less as follows.
    Women have a sacred duty to bear and look after children, cook, clean and so on.
    They shouldn’t worry their heads about church matters, what they were doing was much more important anyway.

    A little misogynistic I thought and pointed it out to her.
    Sadly, it didn’t change her mind a bit.

  188. #188 Lynna, OM
    January 31, 2010

    Christopher Hitchens wrote A Fault Is Not a Sin in response to the earthquake in Haiti. He comes up with some interesting tidbits, including the fact that “It was widely asserted in earlier times that earthquakes were caused by sodomy, yet San Francisco still stands, and when it suffered thousands of deaths in the catastrophic 1906 earthquake, it was rather more heterosexual than is is now.”

    On Nov. 1, 1755?the feast of All Saint’s Day?a terrifying combination of earthquake and tsunami shattered the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon. Numerous major churches were destroyed and many devout worshippers along with them. This cataclysmic event was a spur to two great enterprises: the European Enlightenment and the development of seismology. Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were only some of those who reasoned that no thinkable deity could have desired or ordained the obliteration of Catholic Lisbon, while other thinkers?Immanuel Kant among them?began to inquire into the possible natural causes of such events.

  189. #189 Katrina
    January 31, 2010

    because apparently it’s laundry day

    It would have been mine, too, but the sun came out and so I spent the day rescuing my garden from the clutches of blackberry vines, instead.

    The laundry will still be waiting for me tomorrow.

  190. #190 Epikt
    January 31, 2010

    Sven DiMilo:

    Damn I love this track.
    Hope you like it too *wink*.

    Oh yeah. And lovely reharmonizations. Metheny’s?

    More Petra, with Bill Frissell:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_4_QV_RV_o&feature=related

  191. #191 otrame
    January 31, 2010

    Re: Elephant video

    Did I miss it or did no one mention the old Elephant Joke–what’s gray and comes in quarts?

  192. #192 Epikt
    January 31, 2010

    Sven DiMilo:

    The two of them started playing together on Metheny’s fucking awesome 1981 record 80/81, which was mostly heavily Ornette-influenced acoustic jazz but had a strummer or two as well.

    Metheny and Haden (the elder) also collaborated on Song X, which featured Ornette himself.

  193. #193 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2010

    Song X

    Right; great record. I’d forgotten that Haden was on that.

  194. #194 OurDeadSelves
    January 31, 2010

    I don’t think I will ever understand this reflex of supplying your grown children with clothing*, and socks in particular.

    It’s weirder when it’s not even your own parents! Mr. ODS’s grandmama buys me a new sweater every time she goes to a department store/Target/outlet-type store. His parents also tend to give me socks on special occasions*. I chalk this up to: 1) I’m pretty frigging difficult to buy gifts for, and 2) I work outside year-long and they don’t want me to be too uncomfortable or cold.

    * Nice socks, not like a 12 pack of athletic socks or anything.

  195. #195 DLC
    January 31, 2010

    Can God make a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it ?

  196. #196 Pygmy Loris
    January 31, 2010

    Can God make a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it ?

    No. God doesn’t exist, so he can’t make anything.

  197. #197 Owlmirror
    January 31, 2010

    I know no Estonian, but I note that Google translate includes Estonian, and offers nothing for nuup, and for nupp, has:

    1. knob
    2. button
    3. bud
    4. winder

    FWIW, YMMV, HTH

  198. #199 Miki Z
    January 31, 2010

    then savor the flavor of some weißwurst

    Oh, man, I love weißwurst, but it’s been a long long time since I’ve had any. I had a pale imitation in Copenhagen a few years ago, but it just made me regret having settled.

    I asked her why there were no women in the church hierarchy.
    She didn’t know, but promised to ask the church elders the coming weekend.

    When I was growing up the Official Doctrine was that women were so incredibly special and lucky that they go to bear children and did not need the extra god-juice that the priesthood provides. The priesthood was promoted as a sop to men for their deficiencies. Any woman who complained was denying herself the incredible power of creation with which she had been gifted.

    I never heard such women called ungrateful bitches for asking, but Mormons are generally good about saying vile things without using particular ‘bad’ words.

    I personally would much rather hear “Fuck yes you have a say!” than “I so regret to inform you that you have no right to voice an opinion because of your genitalia.”

  199. #200 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    February 1, 2010

    Oh, man, I love weißwurst, but it’s been a long long time since I’ve had any. I had a pale imitation in Copenhagen a few years ago, but it just made me regret having settled.

    Weißwurst spoils too quickly. Darn Bavarians.

  200. #201 Thunderbird 5
    February 1, 2010

    Ooh white sausage. Mustard and beer and more beer…

    Here in Cornwall (Ireland big deal – Cornwall is the most beautiful part of the British Isles hands down and no argument) we have a variation on the better-known British black pudding (which originated in the North) called white pudding. BP is made from the blood and fat and bits of pig with rusk/oatmeal. WP is made from like pig stuff, oatmeal and herb/spice seasonings and, like BP, is encased in ‘skins’ and then sliced and fried for brekkie.
    It is very good when bought of the butcher or a farm shop.

    Re Lynna #187 – the Great Lisbon Earthquake caused a hefty tsunami to tear up the Cornish coast, with considerable loss of life and -especially- livelihood. Cornwall is a region long renowned for exceptional hardship and poverty (we still have the lowest GDP in the UK) which, back then, was largely due to the capitalist-industrialists enabled by corrupt landowners (including the monarchy viz. the Duchy of Cornwall lands) to exploit the tin, copper, mineral and clay mining that the peninsula uniquely afforded the British govt.

    The ethnic-socio-cultural make-up is historically different from the rest of the UK down in the far SW. The local equivalent of the working-class trade union movement was a movement galvanised by the independent Protestant churches (Wesleyan, Methodist), who still have an unusually vigorous presence that attests to the traditional influence they once had.
    As a result, all classes of Xtians feel an overwhelming need to come and try to gab themselves a piece of the residual evangelical feeling they seem to feel certain must be floating about the area all lost and looking for salvable souls and stuff. Born and bred down here, I left in my late teens. In the 3 and a half years since I moved back I have been visited by the:

    -Jehovah’s Witnesses (x3)
    -Mormons (x1)
    -Elims (x1)
    -Christadelphians (x4)
    -local Church of England (apologists ++) (x2)
    -local Independent Baptist church (x5)
    -the dotty old bag down the road who feels the call (via her dead sister-in-law) to start a Spiritualist congregration asap (x lost count).

    But I maintain this parade of nuttiness is not a fraction as bad as having the Ulster versions around me. Between the likes of Ian Paisley Prods and The Pope People, that place is a bloody good advertisement for good, sane atheism.

  201. #202 Miki Z
    February 1, 2010

    You get more religious visitors than I get unexpected visitors at all. I think my list over the past year is something like:
    – Door-to-door stove hood filter salesman (x3)
    – Door-to-door dry cleaning solicitation (x1)
    – Wrong door (x1)

    The mailbox gets stuffed with various things:
    – fliers for delivery sushi, pizza, dry cleaning, prostitutes
    – notices of neighborhood construction
    – ads for real estate for sale or rent
    – tissues
    – magnets

  202. #203 Benjamin Geiger
    February 1, 2010

    Today’s SMBC Theater: “Both Sides”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGArqoF0TpQ

    (Made of WIN. And funny. But mostly win.)

  203. #204 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    February 1, 2010

    I haven’t got door-to-door jesus salesmen in a while. The last I got were two Korean men who wanted us to know Jesus, but only in Korean apparently (they left as soon as I said that I don’t speak Korean, but they spoke English.) But lately, my mailbox has been filled with pseudoscientific crap ranging from crystal energy to pyschics.

  204. #205 Ellie
    February 1, 2010

    I’m sorry if this makes it clear I’m a complete newbie and also for cutting across whatever is happening in this thread, but please please tell me you guys are responsible for this:

    http://objectiveministries.org/kidz/art.html

  205. #206 John Morales
    February 1, 2010
  206. #207 Rorschach
    February 1, 2010
  207. #208 windy
    February 1, 2010

    At the moment, two of the “Five Most Active” threads ScienceBorg-wide are subThreads.

    Will success spoil the Thread?

    Ha! We’re clearly dealing with a punctuated equilibrium, which defies your simplistic projections of progress!

    The weakness of the prevailing capitalist-gradualist theories of thread evolution will be revealed in an upcoming paper! Or actually, it’s just a title, so far. Or half of a title:

    The Portcullises of St Paul (the Poopyhead) and the Paradigm of Perennial Procrastination

  208. #209 ambulocetacean
    February 1, 2010

    LOL @ the breathtaking arrogance and stupidity of the evangelicals (#206) who plan on turning Darwin into a city of God.

    Good luck in a place where men outnumber women something like three to one and are mostly rather non-pious uranium miners, fishermen and natural gas-rig workers.

    Sex workers from cities in the south and the east fly in for a week or two and make a bundle. But if the evangelicals want to be popular with the red-blooded blue-collar crowd they won’t want to start off by preaching about that.

    One good thing that might come out of it is that at more Americans will learn that we actually named a city after the great Charles D. Bwahahaha!

  209. #211 llewelly
    February 1, 2010

    More Patrick Koster “Lavaman” photos of volcanoes.
    (Some of the photos in the sky news article are also in the telegraph article, but the telegraph article has a total of 24 photos, including many not in the sky news article.)

  210. #212 shatfat
    February 1, 2010

    Via ThinkProgress:

    CBS greenlights a controversial anti-abortion ad (featuring Tim Tebow! whatever) from virulently anti-gay PAC Focus on the Family, but refused to air a commercial ad for Mancrunch.com, a gay dating hookup service.

    The ad is funny and, imo, inoffensive, unlike Tim Tebow (a known MALE) whining about his alleged rights to other people’s wombs.

    Oh yes, a right-wing hate group can get primo air time no problem, but the UCC, which ran an ad about how inclusive they are (including welcoming gays) was also rejected for the Superbowl only a couple years ago.

    FotF is bankrolled by Coors, IIRC. DO NOT BUY COORS.

  211. #213 llewelly
    February 1, 2010

    FotF is bankrolled by Coors, IIRC. DO NOT BUY COORS.

    But Mary Cheney worked hard to get Coors back into gay bars!

  212. #214 Carlie
    February 1, 2010

    Is there any reason anyone would buy Coors in the first place?

  213. #215 iambilly
    February 1, 2010

    Windy@207:

    We’re clearly dealing with a punctuated equilibrium, which defies your simplistic projections of progress!

    I would argue that this never ending thread is a perfect example of punctuated equilibrium (or (possibly) punctuated inebrium). The thread will meander for a while, then someone writes something either breathtakingly stupid or breathtakingly brilliant and the following comments shift to adapt to the new equilibrium.

    Carlie@213: Some people by Coors (or (even worse) Coors Light) because they don’t like beer. (Last night I had a Saranac Brewery Black Bear, and excellent beer.)

    Coors is like making love in a canoe.

  214. #216 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    iambilly (@214):

    Coors is like making love in a canoe.

    David Sedaris reference, or does that joke predate him?

    Come to think of it, your “tone of voice” here occasionally reminds me of Sedaris’ representation of his brother (who’s the one he quotes as making the canoe joke); you wouldn’t by any chance be said brother?

    BTW, punctuated inebrium FTW!!

  215. #217 Rorschach
    February 1, 2010

    Hey troups, any suggestions for a good book on origins and basics of the abrahamic religions ?

  216. #218 Carlie
    February 1, 2010

    iambilly, you must be somewhere near my neck of the woods if you’re drinking Saranac. In fact, once a year I take my college food/society class on a tour of the Saranac brewery itself. I would tell you to be jealous, except that every time we get to the end of the tour and I have to use my free drink coupon on a ginger beer instead of something good because I’m driving a university vehicle. That’s always a letdown.

  217. #219 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Re Coors: The funny thing is that, back in the 60s and 70s, when I was a kid, Coors was full of geek cache… not because anybody necessarily thought it was great beer, but because it was hard to get. I forget the precise reasons — something to do with the fact that Coors was not pasteurized? — but Coors was unavailable, even illegal in most states outside the West.

    I know my father and all his geeky engineer pals would invariably bring home a six-pack (a case, if they could manage it) of Coors whenever they went on business to states where it was legally sold. It wasn’t about flavor, it was about knowing about this (then) relatively obscure regional brand, and about the thrill of having something scarce and only quasi-legal.

    In fact, the interstate smuggling of Coors was the basis for a trashy classic of a movie.

    Now that you can find a terrifying ziggurat of Silver Bullets at any megamart, the geek factor is… shall we say… somewhat diminished.

    Eastbound and down, y’all!!

  218. #220 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    Objective Ministries is a parody site, but it comes very close to proving Poe’s Law on some pages.

    weißwurst [?] a pale imitation

    ROTFL!

    The Portcullises of St Paul (the Poopyhead) and the Paradigm of Perennial Procrastination

    What I just said.

  219. #221 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Urrrk! By cache (@218), I obviously meant cachet.

  220. #222 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    It wasn’t about flavor, it was about knowing about this (then) relatively obscure regional brand, and about the thrill of having something scarce and only quasi-legal.

    TSIB.

  221. #223 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    David (@221):

    TSIB

    Dude, don’t shoot the messenger. I call’s ‘em as I see’ssaw ‘em!

  222. #224 ianmhor
    February 1, 2010

    Rorschach #216: Karen Armstrong “A History of God”
    covers a lot of ground. Wouldn’t say its a wonderful read but I found it well researched (as far as my limited needs and expertise goes).

  223. #225 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Alan B @209. Thanks! Great photos. However, Lavaman is flirting with the devil. So far, he’s forty years old and hasn’t been fried yet, but he’s pushing it.

    I liked the caption to one photo, the one that said Lavaman reorganized his honeymoon plans so that he wouldn’t miss any eruptions — hmmm. I’m sure his wife appreciated his thoughtfulness.

  224. #226 iambilly
    February 1, 2010

    Bill Dauphin@215: I first ran across the joke watching a video of Monty Python in LA. As to someone’s brother, I’ll have to google David Sedaris.

    (Long Pause)

    Sorry, no relation.

    Come to think of it, I don’t even have a brother. Never have. Sorry.

    Carlie: If your neck of the woods is Northeast PA, you have my sympathy.

  225. #227 strange gods before me, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Mark S. Smith is a fine scholar of the early Yahweh cult.

    I must caution that he does not write with the popular audience in mind. The work is not inaccessible, but it is dense. And his findings are not nearly as exciting as L. Ron Hubbard’s scholarship on the subject.

  226. #228 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    shatfat (@211):

    CBS greenlights a controversial anti-abortion ad (featuring Tim Tebow! whatever) from virulently anti-gay PAC Focus on the Family, but refused to air a commercial ad for Mancrunch.com, a gay dating hookup service.

    No inconsistency here: Both decisions ultimately reflect the worldview that says sex is bad and freighted with consequences, and the only good reason to ever have it is to have teh babeeez. Since gay men hooking up is never going to result in a story as “heroic” as Mama Tebow’s, there’s obviously no reason to advertise it, right?

    BTW, I’m a sports fan, and have enjoyed watching Tebow play football. Obnoxious godbothering aside, he seems like a decent human being, and it probably is true that the world would have been diminished if he’d been aborted… but then again, the world has also probably been diminished by the loss of the three children my wife and I lost to miscarriage, too. The fact that shit happens, and sometimes the world suffers, is no justification for placing the imaginary “rights” of a ball of cells over the unquestioned human rights of an adult woman.

    I said I have been a fan of Tebows; I won’t continue to be one, as long as he pursues (under the disingenous pro-life label) this anti-living agenda.

  227. #229 Paul W.
    February 1, 2010

    Bill Dauphin:

    David Sedaris reference, or does that joke predate him?

    I’m pretty sure that joke predates David Sedaris in every sense.

  228. #230 Carlie
    February 1, 2010

    iambilly – No, upstate NY.

    Hi, strange gods! I’ve been missing your comments. If I’ve just been overlooking them, sorry I’m dense.

  229. #231 Sven DiMilo
    February 1, 2010
  230. #232 strange gods before me, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Oh hi Carlie! I’m afraid I’ve been ridiculously busy. I have been peeking in though, and once in fact said to myself, “good thing Carlie’s handling this one.”

  231. #233 strange gods before me, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Mind you I am only now being trolled into commenting on that other thread… ;)

  232. #234 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Regarding the Tim Tebow ad, the fundies are out in force, painting all of us as people who wish Tim Tebow had never been born.

    It’s not surprising that the progressives don?t want Tim to tell his wonderful story. They want his story hidden from the public. It disturbs progressives. It threatens them. It may persuade a woman to keep her baby.
         Of course, this is not so surprising considering their past. Progressives have a history in genocidal movements and have a history of hiding this fact.
    Founding Bloggers reported:
         When the Progressive movement in this country gained steam in the early twentieth century, they spawned the genocidal Eugenic movement which directly led to the Holocaust. That?s not an exaggeration either. American Progressives worked DIRECTLY with the Nazis in their quest for race purity.
         Progressives own the Holocaust, a fact they conveniently ignore today. Funny how they make a big stink about everyone else owning up to their history, but when it comes to them, they are exempt from their own rules.
         And, of course, abortion was seen as one way for progressives to get rid of the undesirables.
         Progressives don?t want you to know Tim Tebow?s story and they don?t want you to know their history. That?s part of their game.
         These heartless progressives owe Tim Tebow and his mother an apology.

    I think it was mentioned earlier that there’s something a little fishy about the story of Tebow’s mother refusing abortion, since abortion was illegal in the Philippines at the time, with jail time and fines included for mothers who had abortions, and for doctors that performed them. Which is not to say that the story is false — because the doctors may have suggested an abortion even though abortions were illegal. It’s just unlikely.

    The Womens Media Center countered with a letter to CBS, but it looks like CBS plans to go ahead with the ad.

    “It (the ad) uses one family’s story to dictate morality to the American public, and encourages young women to disregard medical advice, putting their lives at risk,” said the letter sent to CBS by the Women’s Media Center.

    I don’t wish Tim Tebow had never been born — what a stupid thing to say. He’s here and he’s successful, and he’s fun to watch. Go, Tim! But an ad misrepresenting abortion in this way reminds me of the “What if the Mary, the mother of Jesus, had aborted her baby?!”

  233. #235 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    February 1, 2010

    Progressives own the Holocaust

    Facepalm

  234. #236 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    To participate in the beer discussion, I present Polygamy Porter. You can even buy a sign on ebay That bears the Polygamy Porter logo and the slogan, “Why have just one” — It’s made by Wasatch Beers.

    Ex-mormon, Richard Packham has a pale ale page on his website:
    http://packham.n4m.org/pale-ale.htm “Oh God, beer is good for my mouth!” This is in reference to part of the mormon temple endowment ceremony:

    Until the 1990 changes in the ceremony, this secret sign was made by raising the hands above the head and lowering them while saying “Pay Lay Ale,” and repeating this three times. The words were supposed to mean, in the sacred language used by Adam in the Garden of Eden, “O God, hear the words of my mouth!” Since 1990 the original words have been replaced in the ceremony by the vernacular translation, probably because of the possible confusion which is illustrated here. [see image on website]

  235. #237 Paul W.
    February 1, 2010

    ianmhor @ 223

    Rorschach #216: Karen Armstrong “A History of God” covers a lot of ground. Wouldn’t say its a wonderful read but I found it well researched (as far as my limited needs and expertise goes).

    I hope it’s better than Armstrong’s The Case for God, which I read and found interesting but ultimately came away thinking it was largely bullshit revisionism.

    She wants to make it sound like the core of religion, cross-culturally, is basically something like apophatic theology, and that everybody who didn’t or doesn’t think so was just Doing it Wrong.

    That’s basically her response to the New Atheism, and it’s an extended No True Christian / Courtier’s Response rant against fundies and New Atheists, making it sound like they just “don’t get” religion.

    Her basic mode of argument is too pooh-pooh and condescend, and present her views as the obvious reasonable ones for anybody who “gets it,” without ever clearly stating what those views are—presumably because she is doing a Mooney and trying not to alienate the moderates by letting them know just how radical she is and how much she thinks the vast majority of people’s theology is wrongheaded too. She never really gets around to justifying what she does state about her oh-so-wise views, e.g., the idea that there’s an intellectus that transcends mere reason and can intuitively recognize Deep Truths about the Ultimate Ground of Being, which are beyond words, much less the ability of mere “scientistic” reasoning to critique.

    Various scholars of religion have pointed out that her scholarship sucks.

    There’s a pretty funny takedown of just the opening paragraph by Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch, which I highly recommend.

    I’m not a Jihad Watch kind of person myself, but I found Fitzgerald’s criticism of Armstrong more convincing than Armstrong herself:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2005/04/fitzgerald-a-tribute-to-karen-armstrong-or-the-coherence-of-her-incoherence.html

  236. #238 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Sven, here’s How to Poop, with subtitles:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIXXkj-KCDc&NR=1

  237. #239 Sven DiMilo
    February 1, 2010

    We’re clearly dealing with a punctuated equilibrium, which defies your simplistic projections of progress!

    hmmmm…perhaps you’re correct. Perhaps I am an unwitting captive of the prevailing panadaptationist gradualist capitalist misogynist racist ultradarwinian poopyhead paradigm. Perhaps I would benefit from adopting a more, hmm, pluralistic worldview.
    If only someone would step forward and write a rhetorically brilliant if metaphorically hamstrung corrective!!

    The Portcullises of St Paul (the Poopyhead) and the Paradigm of Perennial Procrastination

    Yeah! Sort of like that!
    If you get me the manuscript by Friday, I’ll fake the peer review and get you published in the IJTS by Sunday. Saving space, so hurry up!!

    Is there any reason anyone would buy Coors in the first place?…
    back in the 60s and 70s, when I was a kid, Coors was full of geek cache [sic]… not because anybody necessarily thought it was great beer, but because it was hard to get….

    Bill beat me to it, here, including the reference to S&tB. There really was this idea floating around that Coors was “great beer” (of course, it should be noted that this was back in the day before Sam Adams or even Pete’s Wicked, when Michelob was widely considered to be “good beer”), but only because it might as well have been unobtainium. We learned.

    Urrrk! By cache (@218), I obviously meant cachet.

    Self-correction leads directly to forgiveness.
    At least you are not like the odious Dr. Isis, who recently used “cache” when she clearly meant “cadre” but then wouldn’t even admit error.

    Saranac Brewery

    I often buy their sampler 12-packs here in the NYC metrorea. All of them are quite delicious, and relatively inexpensive for craft beer to boot. Recommended.

  238. #240 ianmhor
    February 1, 2010

    Paul W #236:
    That’s one of hers I won’t be reading.

    She does have her own view about religion that comes with her books that can be read around but would be annoying if that’s all she had to give.

    I am no religious scholar but did think she covered the ground which for me at the time was the history of Islam in relation to Judaism and Christianity.

    Can’t go and check for more detail as it’s already gone off to the charity shop so it wasn’t a book I thought worthy of keeping for future reference. I have kept Hinnells’ “Handbook of Living Religions” a useful reference which might suffice though it covers a lot more.

  239. #241 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    But an ad misrepresenting abortion in this way reminds me of the “What if the Mary, the mother of Jesus, had aborted her baby?!”

    Hmmm… let’s play with that one for a moment: First, assuming abort refers to a well-founded medical procedure, rather than some horrifying folk “remedy” for inducing a miscarriage, the mere fact that she would have had that option would indicate a two-millennia headstart on medical science in this counterfactual world, compared to the world as it actually played out.

    But leaving that aside, what if there had been no Jesus? Leaving aside the possibility that there was no Jesus, and that he was invented, and that he would have been invented no matter what, it strikes me as possible that, in a world without the Jesus story, monotheism itself would have withered away. Failing that, it’s possible that modern, Western monotheism would’ve developed more along the lines of Judaism1, with substantially less emphasis on “winning souls for” a personal savior, or on preparing for a personal afterlife.

    Either way, it sounds like not a bad alternative to what we actually ended up with. Of course, it’s also possible that something even more virulently anti-humanist than Christianity would’ve sprung up in its absence… but that’s kind of hard to imagine, isn’t it?

    In any case, it’s interesting that people who pose the “what if Mary had aborted Jesus” question never seem to wonder what it would’ve meant if Stalin’s mother, or Pol Pot’s, or Hitler’s, had aborted her bundle of joy. The argument that every child is a unmitigated blessing is hard to sustain, if you make it from the “look how they turned out” POV that the Tebow ad apparently will adopt, and if you expand your field of view to include more than just messiahs and quarterbacks.

    1 What follows is based on my very untutored impressions of Jewish theology and history. It’s possible I’m talking through my sphincter here, but I promise I mean no harm, and am ready and eager to be corrected/enlightened.

  240. #242 Paul W.
    February 1, 2010

    ianmhor,

    To understand what’s wrong with Karen Armstrong’s theology, you might want to read the discussion of what it means for something to be supernatural and/or falsifiable in the recent “Comity and Reconciliation” thread:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/01/comity_and_reconciliation.php#comment-2225963

    One of the reasons I wrote that stuff was because of reading Armstrong’s (woefully misnamed) The Case for God.

    Without saying so, Armstrong is trying to take the supernaturalism out of religion, and claim that the religion has never really been about the supernatural, and that religion done right is entirely consistent with scientific knowledge.

    She could not be more wrong, but given that we don’t generally have a shared vocabulary for discussing such things, it’s hard for most people to see why.

    The basic reason is that science has a lot to say about the human mind, and what mystical states really are, and how religion actually works.

    On the scientific view, the human mind is simply not the kind of thing that could do what Armstrong claims it can. It can’t meditate/introspect and find Deep Truths about the Ultimate because it’s basically a computational phenomenon with extremely limited and fallible introspective abilities.

    Expecting human minds to apprehend such Deep Truths without using evidence and reason—to divine them by intuitive introspection or some utterly extraordinary kind of perception—is like expecting an AI program running on a digital computer to introspect down many levels, past the language it was written in, past the actual machine language of the computer, to the nature of transistors and far beyond—past physics to some deep Underlying Reality.

    If the scientific view of the mind is right, this is utterly ridiculous.

    And it gets worse. What Armstrong claims that people find, if they do religion right, is that there’s a deep connection between mind and matter, and that in Hindu terms, the Atman (mind stuff) is the same thing as Brahman (universe stuff), and that that’s the reality of God.

    That is exactly supernaturalism in the sense that Sastra and I discuss in the Comity and Reconciliation thread, and it is horseshit, scientifically speaking.

    That’s the reason it’s important to get clear on what “supernaturalism” really is—so that we can see that people like Armstrong are wrong, for the same deep reason other religious people are wrong.

    Their ontological presuppositions include very basic category mistakes about minds and matter, of the same general kind as the fundamentalists they loathe and condescend to.

    It’s also why scientific theories of religion like Pascal Boyer’s (in Religion Explained) are important. They make it clear that when people like Armstrong make religion “done right” out to be a particular sort of thing, with a grand tradition of ancient wisdom, they are simply factually mistaken—that is not what makes religion actually work, and never has been. It is a marginal phenomenon, and an aberration, as well as being scientifically just as wrong as other religion.

  241. #243 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    I am an unwitting captive of the prevailing panadaptationist gradualist capitalist misogynist racist ultradarwinian poopyhead paradigm.

    I’ll have that on a T-shirt, please: XXL, if you don’t mind!

  242. #244 ianmhor
    February 1, 2010

    Paul W #241: Thanks for that pointer I will look it over in due course. I will admit that my interest is more historical that theological and I have let most of Karen Armstrong’s musings on what religion is go over my head. I remember lots of mythos and logos references raising a passing query as something I had not been exposed to before but I did not dig deeper as it was not what I was reading the book for. Having read a few reviews of “The Case for God” I realized it was unlikely to be any use to me. You have now confirmed that. Many thanks.

  243. #245 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    Good to see you back, SGBM. I was almost at the point of emailing you.

    ***

    At least you are not like the odious Dr. Isis, who recently used “cache” when she clearly meant “cadre” but then wouldn’t even admit error.

    How strange that the same word would come up twice in mistakes in such a short span.

    (I’m still in the Henry Gee battle over at Greg Laden’s, which is making me increasingly angry…though it has recently taken a turn for the amusing. Say, anyone know the Yiddish term for “douchebag”? ;))

    ***

    Leaving aside the possibility that there was no Jesus, and that he was invented, and that he would have been invented no matter what,

    I recently followed one of Zeno’s links (in his summary of one of PZ’s talks) to Richard Carrier’s site

    http://www.richardcarrier.info/jesus.html

    and got caught up reading his blog. It’s fascinating, especially the lengthy discussions about historical evidence.

  244. #246 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    February 1, 2010

    Blind Squirrel@182 OK, I know I’m late to the party–but, shorter wavelength only gives a sharper resolution if the image is diffraction limited. That is not the case here. The reason why they use extreme UV for semiconductors is because the feature sizes are so small–and hence diffraction limited.

    I think it’s more along the lines of the greater sensitivity of the blue cones–as we all know from those damned blue headlights!

  245. #247 iambilly
    February 1, 2010

    I, too, buy the sampler packs. I really wish that Yuengling would start selling a sampler pack again. With the amount of beer I drink (not much), the sampler packs are a good way to do it.

    Have you noticed that Palin and Tebow both brag about the fact that the mom ‘chose’ to have the baby? And now want to deny the choice to everyone else?

  246. #248 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    February 1, 2010

    Miki Z #201

    Magnets? You get unsolicited magnets in the mail? Not fair, I want magnets. All I get are bills and a lot of mail for the hundred-and-twenty-foot-high-Baptist-church-down-the-road-that-looks-just-like-a-church-and-absolutely-nothing-like-my-house-and-has-an-address-nobody-could-possibly-confuse-with-mine.

    Do I take any of this misdirected mail to the church?
    Only if there is no money enclosed. :)

  247. #249 Sven DiMilo
    February 1, 2010

    I really wish that Yuengling would start selling a sampler pack again.

    That would be good. During the 4 years I lived in eastern PA I developed a serious addiction to their Lord Chesterfield Ale. Cheap, tasty, and in a green bottle too.
    I can’t find it around here.

  248. #250 Owlmirror
    February 1, 2010

    Say, anyone know the Yiddish term for “douchebag”? ;)

    Google translate has Yiddish, but I would be careful…

    It says (??????? ????), which is a transliteration of “doutshe zak” (the latter word being “sack”, of course)(I think the transliteration is simply wrong, since it’s a French “che”=>”sh”, so the “t”/”?” and “e/”?” should be removed).

    Translating “douche” from French (“shower”) gives (?????? ????); “shprits zak“.

    ====

    Magnets? You get unsolicited magnets in the mail?

    I’ve gotten magnetic adverts with my phone books. They are terrible weaksauce magnets, and are not worth the effort of putting them on the fridge.

  249. #251 Miki Z
    February 1, 2010

    Magnets? You get unsolicited magnets in the mail?

    Of the sort that Owlmirror describes: terrible weaksauce magnets

    I keep some of them — water company, gas company, etc.

    We have a box with a 1cm x 10cm slot. There are no rules against putting unstamped items in the slot (as there are for mailboxes in the U.S.), so a variety of things get dropped through.

    Our favorite is the tissue. This is a pretty ordinary advertising item here, the way pens are elsewhere. We save these packs as handy travel items.

    ianmhor,

    I highly recommend “The Varieties of Religious Experience” by William James. It’s more than a century old (1902), but very tightly written. It’s available online here, and also in print from several publishers. It is not, however, specific to the development of the Abrahamic religions, but to how religion is actually practiced.

  250. #252 https://me.yahoo.com/a/KtrH9g4llpHui8s2.0ezzjBOheU0WpQaoHA-#ab4e8
    February 1, 2010

    Don’t worry about a precise translation, SC. Though online dictionaries are a bit prissy here, for most purposes schmuck will do fine.

  251. #253 blf
    February 1, 2010

    I am sure he stalks the basements containing washers and dryers, and whenever people throw away a single, clean sock because they can’t find the other of the pair, he sweeps down and snatches them away.

    You mean s\he (whoever it is we’re talking about) is the sockeater?

    Re washing machines, at least in the UK (and presumably Ireland) some models only have a cold water input and heat up the water themselves. I was stuck with one of those once (a long time ago), and as I now recall, it was dreadfully slow. I don’t think my current French machine is like that (this isn’t entirely clear); and in any case, it claims to go up to 90°C, albeit I haven’t stuck a thermometer in check.

  252. #254 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    I hope it’s better than Armstrong’s The Case for God, which I read and found interesting but ultimately came away thinking it was largely bullshit revisionism.

    It is. She must have written it during her short atheistic phase, because it isn’t nearly as mushbrained as her later books. Actually, I don’t remember it being mushbrained at all, but it WAS the first book of that kind I ever read, so I might be misremembering.

  253. #255 Carlie
    February 1, 2010

    But an ad misrepresenting abortion in this way reminds me of the “What if the Mary, the mother of Jesus, had aborted her baby?!”

    Not to mention that Mary had kind of a big reason not to, having been impregnated by God himself and all. I think she knew she would be in pretty deep shit if she tried to change her mind.

  254. #256 aratina cage of the OM
    February 1, 2010

    Sven #230, that pretty much sums up Lion IRC’s entire time?spent here on Pharyngula.

    ?????????????????

    I’m not sure we were as successful toilet training him as they were with the tiger in the video, but you can’t say we didn’t try.

  255. #257 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    I might be misremembering.

    <clenched tentacle salute!>

  256. #258 SteveM
    February 1, 2010

    Blind Squirrel@182 OK, I know I’m late to the party–but, shorter wavelength only gives a sharper resolution if the image is diffraction limited. That is not the case here. The reason why they use extreme UV for semiconductors is because the feature sizes are so small–and hence diffraction limited.

    I think it’s more along the lines of the greater sensitivity of the blue cones–as we all know from those damned blue headlights!

    It was suggested earlier that the problem with “older” vision could be chromatic aberration, that is, not being able to simultaneously focus red, blue and green. This seems like a pretty good hypothesis and I think a good way to test would be to use monochromatic green LED’s. You would get the advantage of a more sensitive detector than red, with more sensors in the fovea than with blue. Would seem to be the optimal combination.

    As for the blue headlights; if we really do have more blue cones in our peripheral vision, maybe that’s what makes blue headlights so annoying. That even though you look away, you don’t really reduce their perceived brightness as when looking away from the older “yellow”(ish) headlights.

  257. #259 boygenius
    February 1, 2010

    Speaking of tigers, the first interview With Bill Watterson in 15 years:

    http://www.cleveland.com/living/index.ssf/2010/02/bill_watterson_creator_of_belo.html

    Sadly, it’s rather short and dry. He does get off one good line re: the Calvin and Hobbes postage stamp coming out this summer.

    Q: How soon after the U.S. Postal Service issues the Calvin stamp will you send a letter with one on the envelope?

    A: Immediately. I’m going to get in my horse and buggy and snail-mail a check for my newspaper subscription.

  258. #260 blf
    February 1, 2010

    Herr Rat, Paedophile-Major, is at it again, this time in it’s role as Gayphobic-General and Bullshiter-Serjeant, Pope condemns gay equality laws ahead of first UK visit:

    Benedict XVI says legislation safeguarding rights of same-sex couples violates ‘natural law’

    The pope urged the bishops to make their voices heard and to defend the faith, saying Christian teaching did not undermine or restrict the freedom of others.

    His remarks drew swift criticism from the National Secular Society, which said it would stage protests during the visit.

    Terry Sanderson, the society’s president, said: “The taxpayer is going to be faced with a bill for £20m for the visit ? in which he has indicated he will attack equal rights and promote discrimination.”

  259. #261 blf
    February 1, 2010

    Arrggghhhh!!!1! That should be this time in its role as Gayphobic-General and Bullshiter-Serjeant. I do know the difference between it’s and its, and whilst Herr Rat is a person, I prefer not to use he/him for it and similar feckers.

  260. #262 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 1, 2010

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space: I’m looking at the formation of the image on the retina. Blue light can be focused sharper than red, regardless of what the original image is of. The image on the retina is very tiny, analogous to the limitations of photolithography. Think of the low resolution of infrared telescopes compared to optical scopes. I don’t feel like I am explaining this very well. Anyone else?

    BS

  261. #263 Kausik Datta
    February 1, 2010

    SCOM@244:

    Say, anyone know the Yiddish term for “douchebag”? ;)

    Retrieved this from an old Salon article: (actually, the letters section corresponding to that article)

    As for Yiddish put-downs, there are many, but none that are anywhere close to “douchebag”, seeing as a douche was very hard to come by in the world of the “Jewish Pale” i.e. Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania in the Russian Empire, where Yiddish was the main language among Jews. Some are “shmuck” and “putz” for the male member (i. e. “prick” etc.). Another is “mamzer” roughly, “dirty SOB”; if you want to find a lot more (there are of course dozens) get a copy of “The Joys of Yiddish” by Leo Rosten” or “Born to Kvetch” by I-don’t-recall-who-but- Google-does.

  262. #264 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Here’s an update on the Prop 8 trial, more of a summary really, since we’re still waiting for a verdict. These are just a few excerpts from a much longer article by Joanna Brooks:

    Documents compiled by Mormon supporters of same-sex marriage?including campaign time lines and donor profiles?show that LDS Church ecclesiastical structures, resources, and relationships were fully mobilized to generate the majority of volunteers and donations for the Yes on 8 campaign, even as Church members were coached to handle their Mormonism carefully in campaign contributions and activities.
         There was nothing plausibly deniable about the Church?s relationship to the Proposition 8 campaign when, in Sunday meetings on June 29, 2008, a letter from Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Thomas Monson was read over the pulpit of every Mormon congregation in California urging Church members to ?do all you can? to support the ballot measure.
         Early donations from Mormons were solicited in July, when letters read in Sunday meetings of men?s and women?s church auxiliaries conveyed a $10 million fundraising goal for July and August and instructed Church members to donate exclusively to protectmarriage.com. Donors were asked to identify their home congregation on donation forms, according to campaign observers, so that Mormon congregations could track their progress towards meeting fundraising targets set for each congregation based on their ability to pay as assessed from records of church offerings.
         The Church-coordinated fundraising drive intensified in late August, when select LDS Church members identified as potential large donors were invited to participate in conference calls with members of the Quorum of the Seventy, a high-ranking Church leadership body. (Mormon Yes on 8 campaign observers believe that tithing records were used to identify call participants.) On the conference calls, high-ranking church leaders encouraged potential large donors to individually contribute $25,000 to protectmarriage.com.
         That?s when Nadine Hansen, a Mormon veteran of the campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment, initiated an effort to document the extent of Mormon funding for the Yes on 8 campaign. … she prepared to undertake the same donor-identification project for Proposition 8 at the Web site mormonsfor8.com.
         In early September, a surge of $25,000 donations began to appear in campaign finance records compiled by the California Secretary of State. Hansen and a crew of Mormon supporters of same-sex marriage began to comb large donor records to identify Mormon Church members….successfully identified more than 50% of the large donors as members of the LDS Church.
         ?And we know that we did not identify all of the Mormon donors,? Hansen relates. ?You can see that in some places virtually all the money that came in came from Mormons. It?s a safe bet to say that Mormons contributed over half the money. It might be as high as 75%.?
         Mobilizing highly centralized and hierarchical ecclesiastical structures, Mormons also contributed as much as 80-90% of the volunteer labor for the campaign.
         Implementation of a statewide grassroots volunteer structure began in late July, with volunteers coordinated through geographically-organized Mormon ecclesiastical units called ?wards? and ?stakes.? Church members received ?callings,? or ecclesiastical assignments understood by orthodox church members to be divinely inspired, from their local church leaders to serve as regional (or ?stake?-level) directors and zip code (or ?ward?-level) supervisors for grassroots campaigning. One LDS zipcode supervisor reported that the Mormon Church was ?the only member of the Protect Marriage coalition? to participate in the Yes on 8 ground campaign.

    Chino Blanco adds, “At this Mormon Studies conference [http://www.uvu.edu/philhum/religious/ ] last spring, LDS pollster Gary Lawrence publicly stated that he wrote the ‘Six Consequences if Prop 8 Fails’ document.”

  263. #265 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Lynna (@263):

    Forgive my ignorance, but is inappropriate/illegal political activity on the part of the LDS Church part of the actual case? I had had the impression that the primary argument was that Prop 8 exceeded the allowable scope for referenda… in essence, that it subjected to popular vote aspects of rights that the constitution doesn’t really allow the public to overturn.

    I don’t question the pernicious role of the Mormons; I just didn’t realize that was part of the legal case. Enquiring minds want to know!

  264. #266 Paul W.
    February 1, 2010

    I’m still in the Henry Gee battle over at Greg Laden’s, which is making me increasingly angry…though it has recently taken a turn for the amusing. Say, anyone know the Yiddish term for “douchebag”?

    It’s not a literal translation, but I’d say he’s a bit of a meshuga putz, with some serious chutzpah.

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

    I wish I knew how to say “paranoid.”

    FWIW, I posted the following in that thread at Greg’s blog. It’s stuck in moderation a the moment, but I’m posting it here for reference.

    (Partly so that the Pharyngulan hordes don’t descend on Greg with too much redundant wrath and incinerate the intertubes.)

    Greg, Stephanie,

    I’m sorry, but Greg Godwinned this thread in the title, and again, in comment 36—after SC’s crucial comment 31.

    Stephanie further Godwinned the thread by trying to defend Gee against the charge of paranoia.

    There is no way in hell this thread is going to stop being about Henry Gee, and all the issues that Henry’s behavior brings up. It is far too late for that. If you want a thread that’s not about him, I suggest that you start a new thread that doesn’t mention him.

    Sorry, but Henry Gee is quite clearly a bit paranoid about the Jewishness thing. He really, really is. It’s perfectly understandable why he might be paranoid about it, given the history, being in Britain etc., but that doesn’t make him not paranoid when he comes over to ScienceBlogs and pisses on PZ’s rug, clearly implying that some people there—including me, I’d guess—are really genocidal antisemitic zealots, or at least condoners and enablers of such things, who should stop being such reprehensible New Atheists because their criticisms of his particular religion (among all religions) will lead to persecution of his people.

    There are norms of civility at Pharyngula. Greg is dead wrong to imply that “anything goes” there, such that Henry can’t have done anything wrong by stooping to our utterly uncivilized level:

    In the cited case, Gee is blasting away at pharynguloids. That is normal for that blog. [...]
    So, really, unless I’m missing the point … Henry Gee pissing all over other commenters and the blogger at Pharyngula is normal and expected and is not exceptional or relevant to this argument.

    Greg could not have more thoroughly missed the most fundamental point about the subject than that.

    The whole issue of online civility is what counts as civility, and which standards of civility are and defensible tenable where, vs. having no standards of civility at all.

    Greg basically used Pharyngula as an example of the latter—it’s just a troop of poo-flinging screechy monkeys anyway, so who the hell are they to complain about Henry calling them Jew-hating baby-killing Nazis, or at best hypocrites for not having the courage of their convictions, such that they wouldn’t bother to vandalize Jewish graves and actuallly burn synagogues?

    Holy crap. You think Pharnyngula’s standards are simply low, and that they’re that low?

    Let’s take what SC quoted in comment 31 paragraph by paragraph, since a lot of people seem to have missed the significance that struck many pharynguloids like myself as over-the-top to say the least:

    I am not asking to be liked, I am not asking that people join in … I am asking to be accorded the choice that is the privilege of all civilized societies to be allowed to practice their beliefs without molestation or being vilified for what they do, irrespective of how rational they think it.

    Here Henry is either arguing with a straw man—the idea that New Atheists are uncivilized because they vilify people for their religious views, rather than acceptably disagreeing with their religious views—or is begging the question of when it is acceptable to criticize someone’s beliefs bluntly, as opposed to being a demagogue who singles people out for persecution.

    If that’s not clear, read on:

    But of course, some of you probably think I am an untermensch, as did the people who killed my grandparents and my two aunts — one a toddler, I have recently discovered, the other a babe in arms, and then recycled them as soap and lampshades, and presumably deserving of no better fate.

    Wow. Henry is clearly saying that some of us at Pharyngula agree with the Nazis that Jewish babies deserved what they got when the Nazis killed them and turned their bodily tissues into household items.

    Seriously. He said that. No, he didn’t say that everybody at Pharyngula was that bad, but I think it’s clear that he was implying that Pharyngula’s moral standards are so low in that regard that such people would not be clearly unwelcome outliers in that community.

    …Now, back to this ‘respect’ thing. I am sometimes told by atheists that they ‘respect’ me but not my religious beliefs, and expect me to be happy with that curious point of view. My response is usually to say that if they disrespect my religion, then, surely, that disrespect must take some concrete form* – defacing stones in cemeteries, perhaps? Or torching synagogues? If not, then this disrespect is simply empty posturing. The atheist usually then gets rather cross, which suggests I have touched a nerve.

    Wow again. He’s saying that we New Atheists who explicitly disrespect all religion, including his, have every reason to desecrate Jewish graves and torch synagogues, and no good reason not to. And if we disagree vehemently, he must be right—he’s touched a nerve.

    Fucking right he touched a nerve. He’s hammering on pretty much every anti-New Atheist canard, making us out to be the kinds of amoral and immoral villains who perpetrated the Holocaust, or at best cowardly enablers with no moral standards.

    Then there’s this:

    I predict that in five or ten years time, thanks to Dawkins and others, then scientists who profess any kind of religious belief will find it hard to get tenure, and then jobs, and then papers published, and finally their employers, responding to pressure, will be forced to fire them or retire them early. It will start with the Jews, of course, because these things usually do, as they have done many times in the past.

    Isn’t that at least a bit paranoid? Isn’t it at least a bit simplistic, in a broad-brush way that is at least a wee bit paranoid with regard to some of the people he’s tarring with his broad brush?

    Shouldn’t he at least note that even if the situation is as bad as he paints it some places, perhaps the UK, the mostly American audience at Pharyngula might not be aware of the evil he claims they’re contributing to, and the immediacy of the threat of persecution?

    Shouldn’t he assume that we have some decency, and explain the threat clearly, and appeal to our better natures, rather than vilifying us every way he knows how, especially in the very worst possible way?

    Holy crap. Most of us regulars at Pharyngula are liberals and staunch civil libertarians, for whom the Nazis are about as morally repugnant as it is possible for something to be. Many of us are Jews and/or people who work with Jews daily and fail to notice our own alleged antisemitism, or insensitivity to the issue.

    As somebody who’s served on promotion and tenure committees in the U.S., discussiong and voting with Jews and gentiles regarding the cases of Jews and gentiles, I’m simply shocked. I really never noticed how antisemitic we are, given the disproportionate number of Jews we have in academia, and how nobody seems to mind. (Or if they do, they keep their damned mouths shut about it, apparently because they wrongly think that we’d be shocked and offended by antisemitism.)

    Come on, the guy’s fucking paranoid, however understandable that might be, and it makes him a simplistic hypocrite who thinks that free speech about religion—at least his religion—is just not worth the cost in enabling substantive persecution, even on a very short timescale.

    He is clearly implying that there ought to be norms, if not laws, that prohibit the free discussion of whether Judaism is a dopey religion like we New Atheists think that all religions are.

    And note that Henry pulls out all the stops, in that thread and elsewhere, with the usual litany of fallacies and slanders.

    He’s exactly the kind of demagogue that he’s accusing Dawkins and the New Atheists of being.

    By his own logic, the New Atheists should be shut up some means means—somehow deprived of their free speech, at least, because what they say will predictably be used to justify more persecution of the Jews and others, and apparently serves no valid purpose.

    At best, they should be vilified and marginalized by right-thinking people, but if Henry is not to be the kind of “hypocrite” he accuses us of being for not burning his synagogue down, it seems that the threat he says we pose would justify much harsher measures.

    Greg, I’d say you blew it in a big way, from the start, and repeatedly since, by not recognizing that even Pharyngulans deserve a little better treatment than such clear comparisons to Nazi psychopaths and their sociopathic enablers.

    This is very sad. One thing I’d like to point out is that Henry himself is (at least now) an atheist.

    As a Jewish atheist, his viewpoint could be very interesting in straightening many of us alleged persecution-enabling demagogues out about Judaism.

    As I understand it, most of us Pharyngulans are not racist and having nothing against Jews on racist or ethnic grounds. It’s trite and ludicrous, but some of our best friends are Jews, really—my best friend, for example.

    Some of us have even gone regularly to synagogue, at times, and socialized primarily with Jews. (Me for example.)

    Some of us think we’re able to appreciate Jewish people and culture while still being New Atheists.

    Perhaps we are just wrong, and need to have our consciousness raised.

    What we don’t need is to be painted as Nazis and sociopaths, and told that people who paint us that way are not paranoid.

  265. #267 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    “Diagnose Lynna” or “What the hell is wrong with that woman anyway?” is underway.

    Teton Radiology charges $1,302.00 for the CT Angiography (Head), as ordered by Dr. Leland Krantz. Plus, there’s a charge of $93.75 for the contrast. So, $1395.75 for that bit of diagnostic imaging.

    Snake River Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Laboratory charges $440.00 for an ultrasound described as “Carotid Duplex (Complete bilateral scan of extracranial arteries)” — however, this company will give me discount of 50% off if I can prove than my earnings are below the poverty line, and I can do that. So, $220.00 for that bit of diagnostic imaging.

    Teton Radiology is more difficult to work with when it comes to asking for a discount. One has to do the test first, then apply for a discount and/or a payment plan. There’s no way for me to know for certain, but a typical discount is 25%, and they will set up one-year payment plans.

    To use my daughter’s Paypal account for donations, enter her email of littlemy@rcn.com, and that will bring up her information as a registered user. Identify your donation as either “Diagnose Lynna” or “What the hell is wrong with that woman”. My daughter is completely trustworthy, but feel free to email her first if you have any questions. Also, if you want to speak to my daughter before sending off hard-earned cash, contact me via the email on my website and request my daughter’s phone number(s).

    I have a feeling that the “discounted” costs for such tests are close to what insurance companies pay, so they are not really discounts, just less gouging of people without health insurance.

    This is fucking embarrassing, and odd, and goes against the grain in so many ways that I think I’ll go hide now.

  266. #268 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    February 1, 2010

    ambulocetacean #208

    Good luck in a place where men outnumber women something like three to one

    3:1! That’s a vast improvement over the ratio when I lived there in 73/4. It was over 25:1 then (and almost all the women were married), which probably explains why, when out in the bush working for weeks, I once woke to find someone’s hands inside my sleeping bag. Of course, it was the most vocally homophobic workmate who did this. (He then pulled his rifle on me and told me not to tell. I agreed, if he stopped immediately, which he did. Then, when he was otherwise occupied, I stuffed some twigs way down the barrel. I hope it blew up in his face the next time he used it).

    Sex workers from cities in the south and the east fly in for a week or two and make a bundle. But if the evangelicals want to be popular with the red-blooded blue-collar crowd they won’t want to start off by preaching about that.

    I got a lift from Alice to Darwin in a very nice motorhome which was rotating sex workers between the various towns between Port Augusta and Darwin. The girls hated the men in Darwin (“violent”) but loved the opal miners in Coober Pedy (“generous”).

  267. #269 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Lynna (@266):

    As soon as I get home this evening. Count on it.

    And now for something completely different:

    Me want! Sniny!

  268. #270 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    There was a question up-thread about the legality of the mormon church contributing time and means to the Prop 8 campaign. I’m too debilitated right now by embarrassment to provide my own thoughts, or a summary of the legal issues. So, in lieu of that, here are some good sources:
    http://lds501c3.wordpress.com/
    News for the Mormon Legal Community
    Understanding Proposition 8

  269. #271 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Ah, damn! I posted my daughter’s email in a way that invites spam. I should have posted it so that it was not recognizable as an email address to harvesters. It should have been littlemy at rcn dot com.
    Crap.

    Maybe PZ can delete the post and I can put it up again properly?

    Does anyone with more internet savvy know how much trouble I may have caused?

  270. #272 boygenius
    February 1, 2010

    Lynna,

    I’m confused about the Paypal thing. (Never used it before.) Where is one supposed to enter the email address? I didn’t see a likely spot for it on the Paypal site and their search engine returned no results when queried w/ the email you provided.

    I can’t do much, but I’d like to help out a little. I’m just not down with the procedure.

  271. #273 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Me want! Sniny!

    meh. I’m still praying to the Spaghetti Monster for this:

    Oh LordFSM, won’t you buy me a Mercedes BenzTesla Roadster?

    Alternatively, I’ll take this cute little critter.

  272. #274 Miki Z
    February 1, 2010

    Does anyone with more internet savvy know how much trouble I may have caused?

    Somewhere from “mildly annoying” to “not even noticeable”, depending on your daughter’s isp and mail habits.

    My person email address has been posted near-daily on the web for about 10 years now. I used to get in excess of 500 spam emails a day, but recently the isps have gotten better and better at sorting these, and I usually get no more than 10 per month now that aren’t handled by either my isp or my mail program.

    Unless your daughter is prone to opening emails to fill out delivery forms which need her bank account info to deliver packages she has not ordered, or if she thinks a Nigerian prince needs her help smuggling money out of his country, the result is likely to be annoying at worst.

  273. #275 MrFire
    February 1, 2010

    Lynna:

    I’ve auctioned off creepy basement paraphernalia to fellow weirdos in order to raise revenue :)

    This is fucking embarrassing,

    Nonsense. Glad to help anytime!

  274. #276 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    The distinction between my “me want” and yours just goes to show you how thoroughly domesticated I am!

    That said, the Volt looks (and, if the article is to be believed, feels) surprisingly unboring. More to the point, my daily round-trip commute is <40 miles, and I find the prospect of driving for weeks without pumping any gas very sexy indeed.

  275. #277 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    I’m confused about the Paypal thing. (Never used it before.) Where is one supposed to enter the email address? I didn’t see a likely spot for it on the Paypal site and their search engine returned no results when queried w/ the email you provided.

    the thing with personal pay-pal accounts is that they only accept money from other pay-pal accounts(which are free, BTW), AFAIK.

    An alternative is to set up a website with a paypal-button, which then does accept credit cards, but charges a small fee, like all other credit card transactions.

  276. #278 A. Noyd
    February 1, 2010

    Lynna (#270)

    Does anyone with more internet savvy know how much trouble I may have caused?

    Probably not much, presuming her ISP/email service has decent spam filters as most do these days. And I’m sure PZ can just edit your post for you, if you want to lower the spam risk further.

  277. #279 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    The distinction between my “me want” and yours just goes to show you how thoroughly domesticated I am!

    it might also have to do with the fact that I have no idea what I’d do with a car that has four doors. why are all american cars so needlessly huge?! The moment there’s an electric 2 door hatchback(preferably with collapsible backseat), I’m sold :-)

  278. #280 boygenius
    February 1, 2010

    Oh, and Lynna;

    There is absolutely NO shame in accepting help when it is offered, be it from friends or strangers. I know exactly the position you are in. I am self-employed, uninsured, and living in Idaho. I just thank FSM I haven’t had any medical issues to date.

  279. #281 blf
    February 1, 2010

    Jadehawk@272, those both my if-I-ever-bother-with-a-car-again current favourites. (I have not had a car for years now.) The catch is that I’m spending a fair amount of time at the moment in a somewhat isolated seaside village, I’d need a bit of range (and mountain-climbing ability) for trips outside the village. However, up to a point, the train is quite good, so it’s not a killer… Around the village and immediate area, however, it’s either bus, bicycle, or walk, and there are situations where none of the three is a good choice. (Taxis are expensive and rare, and hire (rental) cars even more expensive.)

  280. #282 boygenius
    February 1, 2010

    Jadehawk,

    Thank you. Done and done.

  281. #283 Sven DiMilo
    February 1, 2010

    why are all american cars so needlessly huge?

    They may seem to be needlessly huge, but we need extra room for when we need to transport turtle traps out to the field site and back.

    (or…is that just me?)

  282. #284 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    Actually, my own personal car is a 2-door hatchback (a Hyundai Accent), and if there were a version of that car with a Volt-like drivetrain, I’d be on it like white on rice! But ever since our daughter was born, it’s been the rule that at least one of the family cars be a 4-door (my wife’s current car is a Honda Accord sedan)… and now that my daughter is not so much of a concern (she has her own car), we’re beginning to have adult friends who’re of an age that doesn’t easily accommodate crawling into the backseat of a 2-door.

    Ah, well; if that’s the worst thing about getting old, I think I can live with it.

  283. #285 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    They may seem to be needlessly huge, but we need extra room for when we need to transport turtle traps out to the field site and back.

    bah. my trusty Acura Integra 2-door hatchback fits everything I own (including boyfriend), as was proven when I moved from WA to ND :-p

    It also easily fits two mountainbikes plus backpacks. That is entirely sufficient.

  284. #286 boygenius
    February 1, 2010

    I wish I could get by with only a compact car. :( They just fare poorly when pulling a trailer filled with 3,500 pounds of woodworking equipment. This requires me to maintain insurance and upkeep on both a 3/4 ton work truck and a grocery-getter (Geo Prizm).

  285. #287 Sven DiMilo
    February 1, 2010

    You haven’t seen my turtle traps.

  286. #288 windy
    February 1, 2010

    Discussing beer on a Monday morning? Very cruel. Now I want a Fat Tire *sulk*.

    hmmmm…perhaps you’re correct. Perhaps I am an unwitting captive of the prevailing panadaptationist gradualist capitalist misogynist racist ultradarwinian poopyhead paradigm. Perhaps I would benefit from adopting a more, hmm, pluralistic worldview.
    If only someone would step forward and write a rhetorically brilliant if metaphorically hamstrung corrective!!

    On the other hand, considering the spirit of the thread, maybe the corrective could be published in a less articulate but more entertaining form, as an Irish drinking song:

    Plura-loora-loora-lism,
    plura-loora-loora-lism,
    give that man a jar of porter!

    etc.

  287. #289 Miki Z
    February 1, 2010

    My current car has laces. In the summer, I usually switch to straps. There are days I miss the convenience of having a personal automobile, but not many. An air-conditioning unit made for pedestrians would make fewer such days.

    This is the first place I’ve lived where not having a car was a realistic option — though I’ve done without one in places where it’s a major hassle — and nearby effective public transportation is now one of my requirements for a residence.

  288. #290 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    I dream of the day I can finally live in a place where a car isn’t necessary*. Fargo will be a big step up from the current wasteland, though.

    —–

    *not that I actually use it much. mostly, it’s there so my boyfriend can get to work. Which means it’s not actually ever used in the summer, where bikes are the preferred form of transportation.

  289. #291 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    I’m confused about the Paypal thing. (Never used it before.) Where is one supposed to enter the email address? I didn’t see a likely spot for it on the Paypal site and their search engine returned no results when queried w/ the email you provided.
    I can’t do much, but I’d like to help out a little. I’m just not down with the procedure.

    You have to choose the “Send Money” feature first, then the email field shows up. And I think Jadehawk is correct in saying that you need a paypal account of your own to send money to another paypal account.

    Unless your daughter is prone to opening emails to fill out delivery forms which need her bank account info to deliver packages she has not ordered, or if she thinks a Nigerian prince needs her help smuggling money out of his country, the result is likely to be annoying at worst.

    Nope, she wouldn’t fall for any of those scams. So this puts my mistake in the mildly annoying category — my usual modus operandi.

    I’ve auctioned off creepy basement paraphernalia to fellow weirdos in order to raise revenue :)

    There are fellow wierdos? Oh, my.

  290. #292 Dania
    February 1, 2010

    Apropos of nothing, but I just saw an interesting and sort of unexpected advert on TV for a HIV prevention campaign. Target audience: men who have sex with other men. It made me smile. I’m so glad to see that we’re going in the right direction.

    So, I went looking for the ad on YouTube and found out that there are two of them, one depicting a casual encounter and the other a stable relationship. Nice.

  291. #293 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Interesting blockquote fail in comment #290. I would have to try hard to do that on purpose.

  292. #294 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    Dude, don’t shoot the messenger.

    Didn’t mean to. I was just too lazy to spell out that the attitude you describe is one of my pet peeves and the root of 30 % of all evil.

    It’s made by Wasatch Beers.

    I suppose it’s not as old as the oldest known horses, though?

    Deep Truths about the Ultimate Ground of Being, which are beyond words

    …but not Beyond Capital Letters, it seems.

    PZ wrote a destruction critique of The Case for God a bit after Newtonmas, IIRC.

    And then Sastra weighed in and showed that Armstrong isn’t a Christian ? she’s a faitheist. (…Unless I’m confusing Armstrong with someone else here.)

    it strikes me as possible that, in a world without the Jesus story, monotheism itself would have withered away.

    Unlikely; the Jews would have kept going, people would have kept converting to Judaism (at a low rate), and there’s always Zoroastrianism. Wasn’t the Mithras cult rather monotheistic, too?

    But it’s nonetheless possible that the ancient Roman attitude ? “all religions were thought by the common people to be equally true, by the philosophers to be equally false, and by the magistrate to be equally useful” ? would have stayed in force and prevented what always happens when a religion gains secular power.

    Epicureanism would have spread a lot. But Epicurus is the guy who invented the concept of dogma ? he thought that doubt makes unhappy! The moron! Considering how the Pauline epistles are to a large part a reaction to Epicureanism, he seems to have a lot of blood on his hands, posthumously.

    (Warning about that link… it’s a night-waster.)

    Benedict XVI says legislation safeguarding rights of same-sex couples violates ‘natural law’

    Note how hard he tries not to give a religious reason.
    Note how hard he fails.

    I wish I knew how to say “paranoid.”

    There’s not going to be another word for this concept that, IIRC, Freud came up with. There isn’t in German…

    But perhaps Gee merely needs to be reminded that the Nazis didn’t care about the Jewish religion? They defined “Jew” by ancestry, and by ancestry only. A couple of Catholic saints are such primarily because they were killed for being Jewish.

    Me want! Sniny!

    Making street-colored or otherwise background-colored cars should be forbidden. If I ever buy a car, it will be SCREAMING YELLOW. Embarrassing? Sure. But it beats causing an accident because I wasn’t seen.

    Does anyone with more internet savvy know how much trouble I may have caused?

    Depends on your daughter’s spam filter.

    I’m still praying to the Spaghetti Monster for this:

    Oh for crying out loud. Is the testosterone crystallizing out of your blood already?!?

    But, actually, it fits your interest in canine teeth, I suppose.

    Alternatively, I’ll take this cute little critter.

    An electric Smart! That’s neat.

  293. #295 WowbaggerOM
    February 1, 2010

    I dream of the day I can finally live in a place where a car isn’t necessary*.

    In the warmer (and drier) months I avoid the car as much as possible: bus to work and ride the bike to anything nearby. But I couldn’t live without one – some things are too far to ride (and carry everything, like beer) and while the public transport is great between home and the city, using it to get anywhere out of the way is a nightmare.

    The Adelaide Fringe starts soon; I ride to that to avoid parking and so I can get from venue to venue quickly when I’ve got half an hour between the end of one show and the start of the next.

  294. #296 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Oh for crying out loud. Is the testosterone crystallizing out of your blood already?!?

    pffft. just for that, I’m now informing you that it’s snowing, and that I’ve spend this morning building a snowmanperson on my roof.

  295. #297 boygenius
    February 1, 2010

    Jadehawk @289:

    Fargo will be a big step up from the current wasteland, though.

    From your posts, I was under the impression that you were in Fargo. Goodness knows what kind of a wasteland you must currently reside in if Fargo is a big step up? Grand Forks? Wahpeton?

    *shudder*

  296. #298 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    Blockquote fail in the very first line of comment 293.

    * * *

    From the sidebar…

    I slept with Faith, and found a corpse in my arms on awaking; I drank and danced all night with Doubt, and found her a virgin in the morning.

    [Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies]

    * * *

    everything I own (including boyfriend)

    Nicely put. :-)

    You haven’t seen my turtle traps.

    For this kind of turtle?

  297. #299 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Goodness knows what kind of a wasteland you must currently reside in if Fargo is a big step up? Grand Forks? Wahpeton?

    Minot

  298. #300 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    David M., my blockquote fail in #290 was more spectacular than yours in #293. My blockquote fail is bigger than your blockquote fail.

  299. #301 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    Thanks for the Yiddish douchebag information, people! To be clear, my inquiry was related to a funny exchange between Laden and CPP. I wasn’t looking for something to call Gee. Although, having now read his responses to Arikia Millikan here

    http://network.nature.com/people/U6E5B2CE1/blog/2010/01/26/nature-network-blogs-receives-50-000th-comment

    … Grr.

    “Putz” was always one of my favorites, but I had to give it up when I stopped using “prick.” Alas.

    ***

    Great post, Paul W. I’ve had one in moderation for a few hours now, too.

    ***

    Lynna,

    My small donation has been sent. It may come through with my real name and information. I would prefer that your daughter not reveal that, if possible. Please keep us updated.

  300. #302 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    pffft.

    Seriously, I get all aggressive just from <HRRR> looking at it. Road rage even.

    it’s snowing

    It snowed heavily over here in the morning!

    But only for about an hour, and it was too warm.

  301. #303 Kausik Datta
    February 1, 2010

    Hello, Pharynguhorde! Question for you:
    (much obliged if you respond)
    I saw this on BBC’s news site:
    Female suicide bomber kills dozens in Iraq, along with the news report and the thought that immediately crossed my mind was: Some religion of peace this is! People are killing followers of their own religion, including innocent children, women and men.

    My question is: Does this make me a bigoted Islamophobe? I do know that this event was politically, rather than religiously, motivated. I also know that Islam, the religion of the people from these parts, plays a huge role in their daily lives, and the political party and ideology line is drawn chiefly on religious basis (Shia and Sunni).

    What I want to consciously guard against is forming an irrational bias against any group.

    Please help!

  302. #304 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    You haven’t seen my turtle traps.

    Ooooh, baby.

    (I realize that makes no sense, but anything that starts with “You haven’t seen my” invites, nay requires, flirtatious silliness.)

  303. #305 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    February 1, 2010

    To be clear, my inquiry was related to a funny exchange between Laden and CPP

    I read that post, but did CPP actually threaten to sue Laden? That sounds absurd. Childish even.

  304. #306 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    My blockquote fail is bigger than your blockquote fail.

    <sob> I want to play in the snow with Jadehawk… <whimper>

    Oh, I almost forgot… I bought bread yesterday. Pérène multicéréales again. <nom nom nom>

    a funny exchange between Laden and CPP

    Ouch. X-D I don’t dare looking it up!

  305. #307 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    But perhaps Gee merely needs to be reminded that the Nazis didn’t care about the Jewish religion? They defined “Jew” by ancestry, and by ancestry only.

    He was back on that thread. He ignored it (or was already gone – I can’t remember). The problem is far, far larger.

  306. #308 boygenius
    February 1, 2010

    Minot

    Oh, dear. Worse, much worse, than I had imagined. Get. Out. Now.

    May I be so bold as to inquire your initial reason for moving to Minot, of all places? I was under the impression that Minot was a place people moved away from.

  307. #309 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Female suicide bomber kills dozens in Iraq, along with the news report and the thought that immediately crossed my mind was: Some religion of peace this is! People are killing followers of their own religion, including innocent children, women and men.

    My question is: Does this make me a bigoted Islamophobe?

    for starters, this issue is as much a question of “killing followers of their own religion” as the Catholic vs. Protestant violence in Northern Ireland (i.e. they don’t really consider themselves to be of the same religion, and it’s not really about religion per-se anyway).

    Secondly, it certainly invalidates any claims of Islam making people more peaceful in the same way Christianity’s claims at making people more moral are invalidated on a regular basis.

    Any thoughts beyond that would be unwarranted, and if you start accusing every Muslim you meet of being a potential suicide bomber, you have a problem.

  308. #310 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    I don’t dare look[...] it up!

    Ehem.

    Does this make me a bigoted Islamophobe?

    Religion might help with kamikaze actions, and it obviously provides something to quarrel about, but it’s not necessary. Anything will do if people consider it worth dying for. This is most clearly shown by the PKK, the Kurdish Workers’ Party, which had suicide bombers (many female) a few decades ago, and which is a Stalinist organization. In other words, those are atheists we’re talking about here, atheists who don’t believe in any afterlife at all whatsoever.

    did CPP actually threaten to sue Laden?

    ROTFL!

  309. #311 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    I read that post, but did CPP actually threaten to sue Laden? That sounds absurd. Childish even.

    Nah, they were playing. CPP was actually making the opposite point with his “threat.”

  310. #312 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    My small donation has been sent. It may come through with my real name and information. I would prefer that your daughter not reveal that, if possible. Please keep us updated.

    All information will be considered private. I’ll specifically ask my daughter not to pass on any personal info. That’s a good point. Thanks, SC, for the reminder.

    Thanks to everyone for the help.

    For that kind of money you’d think these tests would be guaranteed to reveal all my faults.

  311. #313 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    February 1, 2010

    Nah, they were playing. CPP was actually making the opposite point with his “threat.”

    They were? I didn’t pick that up. (Though I honestly didn’t understand most of that thread.)

  312. #314 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    May I be so bold as to inquire your initial reason for moving to Minot, of all places? I was under the impression that Minot was a place people moved away from.

    well, it has extremely low living costs, which allowed me to scale back on crappy McJobs to finally start working as a freelance graphic designer/illustrator, resulting in not having to have McJobs at all now*. Which means it’s time to get out of here.

    And will it make it worse if I told you I moved here from Seattle?

    ——-

    *And oh yeah, my boyfriend was here.

  313. #315 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 1, 2010

    *checks personal account*
    Looks like Seti@home will have to wait.

    Tried putting a new battery in my old iPod, and appear to have upset the touch panel. Grrr. But the new nanos are quite sniny.

  314. #316 boygenius
    February 1, 2010

    And will it make it worse if I told you I moved here from Seattle?

    Holy culture shock, Batman…

    Don’t they have boyfriends in Seattle? ;)

  315. #317 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    So many trees downtown…

    …and four Christian radio stations.

    Also from there:

    While the city’s leadership has been trending towards the conservative, Minot’s liberal factions have been active in recent years and have had somewhat more success than in other areas of the state.

    Heh. Let me guess who arrived “in recent years”…

  316. #318 Miki Z
    February 1, 2010

    Kausik Datta,

    If you think Islam encourages violence and extremism, leads to the slaughter of innocents, suppresses science, women, and others not of their faith: this does not make you an Islamophobe as that term is normally used. If you believe Islam does this and other religions do not, you may qualify as an Islamophobe.

    I think of myself as a fundie-phobe. I don’t particularly worry whether the particular fundie religion and culture uses suicide bombing, random shooting, machetes, poison gas, knife attack, vehicular bombs, plane crashes, beheading, crucifixion, drowning, burning at the stake… if your particular group thinks killing others for not being you is a viable option, your group should be stamped out. Education, legislation, liberalization, prosperity seem to be the best at stamping out extremism.

  317. #319 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    They were? I didn’t pick that up. (Though I honestly didn’t understand most of that thread.)

    I warned everyone that with the history involved you’d need like flip charts and a pointer. :) A lot of it loses me, too. It’s like a soap opera.

    Read this comment as sarcastic:

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/01/should_just_anyone_be_allowed_1.php#comment-2242114

    (It’s especially funny if you’re familiar with the way he writes on his blog.)

  318. #320 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 1, 2010

    Minot

    I was under the impression that Minot was a place people moved away from.

    Always wanted to visit again after they built that cool phased array radar site and closed it down. Imagine, a huge concrete and steel pyramid on an endless plain.
    I suppose it would get a little old after a while.

    BS

  319. #321 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    which allowed me to scale back on crappy McJobs to finally start working as a freelance graphic designer/illustrator, resulting in not having to have McJobs at all now*. Which means it’s time to get out of here.

    I cannot quite follow…

  320. #322 WowbaggerOM
    February 1, 2010

    Someone posted this on one of the other pages: the Global Atheist Convention has sold out – even with no help from any level of Australian government.

    The sad thing is, of the two major parties it is the slightly less right-wing one that is in at both national and (my) state level. I’d like to vote against them to indicate my disgust but doing so risks putting the even more scumbag bunch back in.

  321. #323 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    It’s especially funny if you’re familiar with the way he writes on his blog.

    LOL!

  322. #324 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Don’t they have boyfriends in Seattle? ;)

    The ones I wanted didn’t want me, and the ones that wanted me were creepy.

    So many trees downtown…

    that’s not downtown. that’s about half the town right there. The other half is at the photographer’s back and includes Minot State and Minot AFB. Downtown is that small, tree-free part in the middle.

    Also, I can totally see my house :-p

  323. #325 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Okay, Lynna, my comfortably off old white male widower’s mite has gone off into the æther.

  324. #326 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 1, 2010

    I cannot quite follow…

    Her business has been successful enough they can move to a bigger, more costly area and still make ends meet.

  325. #327 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 1, 2010

    *headdesk*
    Block
    Quote
    Failure

  326. #328 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    I cannot quite follow…

    I meant the whole point of moving here has now been accomplished, so I no longer have a good reason to stay here. I now make enough that I won’t have to get a McJob in Fargo either, for that matter.

  327. #329 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    February 1, 2010

    (It’s especially funny if you’re familiar with the way he writes on his blog.)

    So he wasn’t arguing with Laden? I must say that I really don’t understand many things about the other SBs. I was on Chu-Carroll’s blog and that just went way over my head. I guess I’ll stick with PZ’s, Yong’s, and possibly Brayton’s blog.

  328. #330 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2010

    Makes sense. I should have gone to bed long ago (I’m not quite healthy at the moment).

  329. #331 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 1, 2010

    David, how is Opera working out as your browser?

  330. #332 Pygmy Loris
    February 1, 2010

    Lynna,

    This is fucking embarrassing,

    Don’t be embarrassed. We, as a country, should be embarrassed that you can’t get the medical care you need.

    I sent you an e-mail from my RL name and email address. I would greatly appreciate it if you don’t mind keeping it to yourself.

  331. #333 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    So he wasn’t arguing with Laden?

    Not there, no.

    I must say that I really don’t understand many things about the other SBs. I was on Chu-Carroll’s blog and that just went way over my head.

    Well, that’s a different kind of complicated. :) (They seem very nice, though. Once I stopped over there to ask if someone could come by here and clear up a math question, and they did! Were very patient about it, too.)

    I guess I’ll stick with PZ’s, Yong’s, and possibly Brayton’s blog.

    There are a number of good ones. It’s good to go to the Sb home page once in a while, or click on some links on the right of this one.

  332. #334 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    SC said…

    Lynna,

    My small donation has been sent.

    Yah, mine, too.

    It may come through with my real name and information. I would prefer that your daughter not reveal that, if possible.

    Heh, that ship has sailed in my case, hasn’t it? Though with some of the stuff I’ve posted about porn in the other thread, I’m beginning to wish I were anonymous!

    Please keep us updated.

    Yes, please do!

    BTW, PL wrote…

    Don’t be embarrassed. We, as a country, should be embarrassed that you can’t get the medical care you need.

    Yup. I was delighted to contribute to Project Diagnose Lynna ™, but I would’ve been happier still to pay the same amount, or even 10× as much, in higher taxes so that neither you nor anyone else would have to face a crisis like this.

  333. #335 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Though with some of the stuff I’ve posted about porn in the other thread, I’m beginning to wish I were anonymous!

    The bit about the whips, chains and lemon cream pie was a bit risqué

  334. #336 Miki Z
    February 1, 2010

    Has anyone else seen this study on sex education for 6th and 7th graders?

    Efficacy of a Theory-Based Abstinence-Only Intervention Over 24 Months

    They report a lower prevalence of self-report of initiation among the ‘abstinence-only’ group than the two groups that include sex-ed and the control group (health class, no sex ed).

    No difference was found as far as condom usage between the groups, but the abstinence only instructors were specifically told to give accurate information about condom effectiveness if asked. There’s no indication whether or not these questions were asked in the groups.

    Do any health researchers here have experience with this type of study? I’m wondering about the accuracy of the self-reporting. Does the abstinence-only group have a stronger incentive to misreport (perceived — there’s no indication that there was a real incentive to do so)? How are such things controlled for?

    The designs in this study were carefully responsible: the abstinence education does not disparage sex or characterize it was ‘wrong’, the truth is told about condoms, etc. What they did is not what is typically “abstinence-only” education.

    What is the chance that we can move the “abstinence-only” advocates towards this model and prevent the study result from being used as justification for sin-based abstinence education?

  335. #337 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    May I be so bold as to inquire your initial reason for moving to Minot, of all places? I was under the impression that Minot was a place people moved away from.

    well, it has extremely low living costs, which allowed me to scale back on crappy McJobs to finally start working as a freelance graphic designer/illustrator

    Gee, here I’d been thinking you just got off on big airplanes and throbbing missiles hauling nukes! ;^)

    But seriously… mindful of everyone’s concern for maintaining anonymity, is there any way we could see samples of your work? And am I right in thinking that in addition to your commercial work, you’re also a fine artist? I stand ready to be an adoring fan!

  336. #338 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    the commercial art is googleable via “jadehawk” (i seem to take up the majority of google images under that handle :-p). The fine art isn’t really present on the internet much, especially since I haven’t had the time or motivation for that in years… all I have is my old Elfwood account;

  337. #339 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Dang, found the fried ribbon trace in my old iPod. No wonder there was a burnt smell.

  338. #340 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Miki Z:

    The designs in this study were carefully responsible: the abstinence education does not disparage sex or characterize it was ‘wrong’, the truth is told about condoms, etc. What they did is not what is typically “abstinence-only” education.

    I don’t mean to be snarky to you, Miki, with that FTFY, but really, by what definition is a 6th/7th grade sex ed curriculum that neither demonizes sex nor discourages condom use considered “abstinence only”? I suspect most curricula advise kids that age that they should delay sexual activity; AFAIK, what distinguishes curricula as “abstinence only” is precisely that they do identify premarital sex as “wrong” and they do withhold information about safer sex practices, including condoms.

  339. #341 Miki Z
    February 1, 2010

    by what definition is a 6th/7th grade sex ed curriculum that neither demonizes sex nor discourages condom use considered “abstinence only”?

    The study authors consider this quite carefully. A name search on them turns up a lot of other published research, and JAMA has got a good rep. The thinking seemed to be (and this is my own reading) that the way “abstinence-only” is taught now is dangerous and running a study on that would be unethical (i.e., worse than nothing, since they had a “nothing” group).

    Their abstinence only group was focused on the possible consequences of sex (pregnancy, disease) and on techniques for turning down sex. If the children asked about condoms, etc., they were given accurate information.

    This is why I ask specifically about how we move “abstinence-only” as it’s “taught” now to the model used in this study. The authors are careful to note their skepticism that this model would work at all for older children; the mean age for the study was 12.2 years old.

    I’m concerned that the sinful-sex folks will grab at this study and try to use it to justify continuation and expansion of the sinful-sex and bad-info program. From the other research done by the authors, I’d be surprised if they weren’t concerned by the same thing.

  340. #342 Rorschach
    February 1, 2010

    Karen Armstrong “A History of God”
    covers a lot of ground.

    I bought that book because it seemed to be the only one in the store that was about what I was after, read the first 50 pages and threw it away.
    It irritated the crap out of me that she treats jesus and god as actual historical figures and biblical stories as facts.Her writing style makes it obvious that she has no doubts that all those accounts are historical facts.
    I just couldn’t stand it.

    So, any others ?

    In the cited case, Gee is blasting away at pharynguloids. That is normal for that blog. [...] So, really, unless I’m missing the point … Henry Gee pissing all over other commenters and the blogger at Pharyngula is normal and expected and is not exceptional or relevant to this argument.

    Greg could not have more thoroughly missed the most fundamental point about the subject than that.

    I like Greg’s blog, but he (and Stephanie Zvan btw) get this wrong all the time and then cry and scream when it is pointed out to them.
    How annoyingly and irritatingly stupid to confuse emphasis on content of messages instead of tone with poo-flinging and stupid talk of the kind Gee or our creobots commit .

  341. #343 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    This and other images (fabric patterns? computer wallpaper? whatever; they’re really cool) at us.123rf.com are yours? Also sci-fi/fantasy illustrations at Elfwood? This and others at dreamstime?

    I love it all!

  342. #344 shatfat
    February 1, 2010

    Say, anyone know the Yiddish term for “douchebag”? ;))

    Well, there’s shmuck (prick) and TL or tuchus-lekker (brown-noser). The Acura TL never ceases to amuse me.

    Really, I think shmuck best expresses the idea of a “self-absorbed, arrogant waste of humanity”, but I am open to being corrected on that.

  343. #345 Carlie
    February 1, 2010

    Man, Jadehawk, I am drooling over your art deco.

    I have a lot of trouble with Greg’s blog. Sometimes I like what he writes, other times I want to smack him, and when he and Isis fight they both seem entirely wrong.

  344. #346 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    February 1, 2010

    ll, that’s a different kind of complicated. :) (They seem very nice, though. Once I stopped over there to ask if someone could come by here and clear up a math question, and they did! Were very patient about it, too.)

    I had notice that Good Math, Bad Math had been on the “most active” list and I went there to see if I could join in. It just reminded me of why I hate math. (I thought I should explore other online communities. After reading my post on Towleroad, I realized raven was rubbing off on me.)

    Lynna, I made a small donation. Hope it helps.

  345. #347 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    This and other images (fabric patterns? computer wallpaper? whatever; they’re really cool) at us.123rf.com are yours? Also sci-fi/fantasy illustrations at Elfwood? This and others at dreamstime?

    yup, that’s mine :-)

  346. #348 Ichthyic
    February 1, 2010

    speaking of Henry Gee…

    this was his last post on the blogwarz thread on NN:

    Saturday, 30 Jan uary 2010 – 23:51 UTC

    Henry Gee said:

    For the last time, it wasn’t my rug, Greg, it was John Wilkins’s. Do at least try to keep up.

    I’ve been quote-mined by creationists for years and years. I’ve been insulted in print and online and in person more times than I can count. This is all par for the course. One of the first things the Late, Great John Maddox told me when I joined Nature was ‘in this job, you will make enemies’.

    Now I find that all I have to do is say, quite reasonably, that ‘This Halibut Was Good Enough For Jehovah’, and now I am the subject of all sorts of abuse from a lot of yahoos on ScienceBlogs who seem to have nothing better to do, and their various hangers-on who like to swear a lot. But what perhaps irks me most is a public ticking-off from Maxine. I started on NN to supply it with some easy content (free, too) and people seemed to appreciate my doing so. But it could be that my work here is done. I certainly have better things to do. All this tzores, and no stats, either (yeah, yeah, it’ll be here someday. Do you know what? I think I can see the continents begin to drift apart).

    seriously?

    He’s gonna take his ball and go home?

    who the fuck does he think he is, Eric Cartman?

    I don’t understand how someone who is supposed be a “good” communicator and editor can have such thin skin.

    Frankly, I’d be sorely tempted to call him on his bluff.

  347. #349 Miki Z
    February 1, 2010

    And, as if to taunt me, the Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council have already released statements lauding the scientific backing of their abstinence only programs and calling for an end to programs “promot[ing] high risk sexual-behavior” (FRC) which “didn?t affect youth behavior at all.” (Heritage)

    These are not even factually correct: the study found a statistically significant but modest decrease in the likelihood of multiple partners among those who received the “safe sex” education. This decrease was not seen in the “abstinence-only” group.

  348. #350 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Miki:

    This is why I ask specifically about how we move “abstinence-only” as it’s “taught” now to the model used in this study.

    As the quickness of my initial reply no doubt indicates, I haven’t read the study. As you describe it, though, I think the best way to “move ‘abstinence-only’ as it’s ‘taught’ now to the model used in this study” would be to call the study model something other than abstinence only. This model would not satisfy the existing abstinence-only advocates, and calling it that will torque off everybody else.

    The authors are careful to note their skepticism that this model would work at all for older children; the mean age for the study was 12.2 years old.

    So the goal is to get preteen middle-schoolers to delay initial sexual activity until they’re teenaged high-schoolers? I’m OK with that… but I’m still surprised that it’s any different from current, non-abstinence-only programs. Are current curricula really not already suggesting that 11- and 12-year-olds should wait a few years before they start boffing each other? Sounds like I should get myself back to middle school! ;^)

  349. #351 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    well, it has extremely low living costs, which allowed me to scale back on crappy McJobs to finally start working as a freelance graphic designer/illustrator, resulting in not having to have McJobs at all now

    I’ve had people laugh out loud when I tell them how low my mortgage payment is. Living in the rural outskirts of an Idaho town has allowed me to pursue my goals as a writer. Cheap digs are essential. Of course, I travel with my brother Leland so much for book research that I don’t feel restricted, and it’s still not Minot. This Nowhere where I live is actually well-placed as a home base for adventure travel … lot’s of wilderness within my range.

    ‘Tis Himself, your mites are welcome. (That sounds like I am accepting a shipment of bedbugs.)

    Bill, thank you. BTW, if everyone paid into a universal health care service like any other sensible first world nation, it would cost you less, not more, to help people like me. And there would be a strong possibility that I, as a tax-paying citizen, would also be a contributor to my health care. I don’t know why people vote against their own best interest.

    Pygmy Loris, I will keep your info private. However, I will give you public thanks and hugs here. Orgy of mushiness!

  350. #352 Ichthyic
    February 1, 2010

    btw, that’s a very juicy thread, if you’re so inclined:

    http://network.nature.com/people/U6E5B2CE1/blog/2010/01/26/nature-network-blogs-receives-50-000th-comment

    a great poke at Henry:

    Saturday, 30 Jan uary 2010 – 03:53 UTC

    Arikia Millikan said:

    Hey Henry Gee, you know who doesn’t like you? Me.

    I was sitting behind you in Dr. Isis’s session on civility at ScienceOnline, and the way you belligerently yelled at the woman sitting next to me made me sick. Furthermore, at the conclusion of the session that you single-handedly turned into an episode of Jerry Springer by exhibiting a complete lack of self-control and masculine aggression, when you stood over her (and me) and yelled insults at her again before storming off, it made me afraid for the physical safety of us both. You may as well have physically attacked her, because the outcome was the same ? it created a chilling, silencing effect. Because of what you did, the brave woman sitting next to me, as well as others in the room, might be deterred from speaking out against hegemenous patriarchal constructs in the future because they’ll be afraid assholes like you will come at them with testosterone-fueled rage. What you did there was defaming to you and the institution you were there representing, and are here representing on this forum, and you deserve every bit of criticism you have coming.

    If there is anyone who is casting a pall over the enterprise, Henry Gee it is you.

    again, the true Henry becomes exposed.

  351. #353 Jadehawk, OM
    February 1, 2010

    As you describe it, though, I think the best way to “move ‘abstinence-only’ as it’s ‘taught’ now to the model used in this study” would be to call the study model something other than abstinence only.

    there’s such a thing as abstinence plus, which is pretty much what this study seems to describe: emphasis on “don’t do it!”, but you still get all the actually useful and necessary info.

    those are the ones that often score the highest marks on keeping teens healthy and non-pregnant.

  352. #354 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Lynna:

    BTW, if everyone paid into a universal health care service like any other sensible first world nation, it would cost you less, not more, to help people like me. And there would be a strong possibility that I, as a tax-paying citizen, would also be a contributor to my health care. I don’t know why people vote against their own best interest.

    From your fingertips to FSM’s ears!

  353. #355 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    shatfat:

    tuchus-lekker (brown-noser)

    Is that literally something like butt-licker, or am I turning lekker into a false cognate?

  354. #356 Pygmy Loris
    February 1, 2010

    Hugs for you too, Lynna. I hope you can get to the bottom of what’s going on. Any little bit us Ebil Atheists can do is well worth the disrepute that comes from doing good ;)

  355. #357 shatfat
    February 1, 2010

    I don’t have a car, but my wife does, making us car-lite. I usually ride a bike to work… yeah, hypocritical of me as a bus driver, but hey, I need reliable transportation. Actually, in all seriousness, somebody has to show up before the first bus leaves or to leave after the first bus comes in… and that would be me. I can walk to work, too.

    Cold weather is just fine (layers, batting gloves), but I can manage in heat, too. Mild rain is okay and I’m working on being able to bike in heavier rain. (The problem with cheap bikes is that they don’t take fenders. Boo! Hiss!)

    I draw the line at wind and lightning.

    Oh, and guys? You can totally bike to/from the grocery store. Use a backpack, cold packs from the freezer (if you lack these, just buy some frozen peas) and those thermal bags you can buy at the grocery store for your dairy and whatnot. Giant cranberry juice jugs and 50lbs of cans are probably off the menu, though. ~_^

    Hell, when I lived in Worcester, MA and worked in Boston, I just picked up fruit from the vendor outside South Station on my way to the train and everything else from the Lebanese grocery on my way home from the Worcester commuter rail station. So, okay, occasionally I went to Price Chopper, but I walked there too. I know there’s a bus in Worcester (“The” RTA) but I never rode it once!

    Dirty secret: fruits and vegetables go bad if you buy them in bulk once a month, anyway. *index finger to nose* Just sayin’.

  356. #358 Sven DiMilo
    February 1, 2010
  357. #359 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    Well, he apologized, but of course it was their fault:

    Oh, hegemenous constructs to you, too. Sure, I should have kept shtum, and I regret not having done so. But since that whole episode I have discovered how suckered I?d been. There I was, thinking that I was going to attend an interesting session. But then I woke up to find I?d entered a nest inhabited by some very strange people, who on the one hand say, very high-mindedly, that ?rules? are discriminatory ? and on the other use rules in an ad hoc manner simply to silence the people who disagree with them. Honestly, I had absolutely no idea, before that session, that people exist who think like this. More fool me.

    Flying into a rage and becoming physically aggressive is like totally understandable. I mean, he was confronted with unfamiliar and hostile viewpoints.

    Well, I for one am glad Arikia* has crawled back into her cave. Seems like she and her ilk think it?s fine to be as rude and insulting as they like to anyone without restriction, but as soon as anyone retaliates in kind they come over as poor pathetic wee girlie victims of the White Male Patriarchy; especially when it happens in person with no blog to hide behind. Yes, I am very sorry I was angry at Zuska at Scio10, and I have apologised to her. But the more this goes on, the more I realise that there are some corners of SciBlogs that are as hypocritical, bullying and sexist as they themselves cloak some kind of moral right. All I said was that there should be rules, and immediately I get told, very pompously, that rules are discriminatory and sexist ? and this from a person who on her own blog tries to enforce rules on an ad hoc basis (in a blog about ? now get this ? ?mansplaining?, suggested equivalent ?femwhining?). It was
    made clear that this was somehow
    my fault. Now, I responded- rather more forcefully than I should have, that I belong to a minority (the Jews) that is despised by the same cadre of Left-leaning academics who speak up so pompously for women and minorities. such hypocrisy is like a red rag to a bull. Later on I rounded on Zuska and told her ( in a state of rage) about how when a Jewish community website I ran got national coverage and was targeted by 200 malicious virus attacks, even though we?d been perfectly civil to everybody- so I didn?t need people like her to effing lecture me on civility. What astonished
    me is that there are still people in the world who take this stuff seriously, 40 years after Private Eye characterized all that stuff as ?loony feminist nonsense?. It?s not as if we at NN haven?t discussed the very real problems facing women in academia. Except we, as adults, have debates in an attempt to share experiences and get to the root of the problem, rather than (in the absence
    of clear rules) descend into catcalls and bullying insults.

    His hypocrisy aside, he actually scares me a little. He did when he was here as well. Bull, indeed. I’m very glad I have no need to submit anything to Nature.

    *I looked at her profile, by the way. She’s 23.

  358. #360 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 1, 2010

    From what I’ve read of Dr. Gee, my armchair psychological evaluation is the guy has some real anger problems.

  359. #361 Ichthyic
    February 1, 2010

    SC,

    Do you think when Henry said this:

    But it could be that my work here is done. I certainly have better things to do.

    in the post i quoted earlier in thread, he really meant it?

    Or is he just being a petulant child, as usual.

    I do get the distinct impression that several other regular bloggers at NN were attempting, discretely, to distance themselves from him.

    maybe that’s what he meant by his “continental drift” comment?

    Could we be seeing Henry shooing himself out?

  360. #362 Owlmirror
    February 1, 2010

    It occurs to me that SEF and Henry Gee have the same psychological problems.

    SEF: “A group of people criticising/mocking me are gang-rapists !!

    Gee: “A group of people criticising/mocking me are genocidal Nazis !!

    Hm.

    Has anyone ever seen them together?

  361. #363 Pygmy Loris
    February 1, 2010

    I received what would probably be categorized as abstinence-plus sex-ed in high school. Our health class, book and videos emphasized abstinence as the only sure-fire way to prevent STIs and pregnancy, but birth control options were described. Discussion of condoms focused on the fact that they’re the only birth control method that also protects against STIs.

    I also read YM and Seventeen magazines back then. They regularly ran articles that listed various methods of birth control, their efficacy rates, how to get them, and whether or not they were effective against STIs.

  362. #364 Ichthyic
    February 1, 2010

    maybe that’s what he meant by his “continental drift” comment?

    nawww, looking back on it, I think he was referring to the slowness of NN to adopt viewable stats.

  363. #365 windy
    February 1, 2010

    SC:

    I’m still in the Henry Gee battle over at Greg Laden’s, which is making me increasingly angry…though it has recently taken a turn for the amusing.

    Just sit back, relax and grab some popcorn.


    Lynna:

    Ah, damn! I posted my daughter’s email in a way that invites spam. I should have posted it so that it was not recognizable as an email address to harvesters. It should have been littlemy at rcn dot com.

    Sorry for my undue curiosity, but would that be littlemy as in Little My?

  364. #366 Sven DiMilo
    February 1, 2010

    I belong to a minority (the Jews) that is despised by the same cadre of Left-leaning academics who speak up so pompously for women and minorities.

    I do not doubt that behind that is a can o’ worms, but wtf?
    This does not sound like any of the (many, believe me) pompous left-leaning academics I know, many of whom, y’know, are Jews.

  365. #367 shatfat
    February 1, 2010

    The sad thing is, of the two major parties it is the slightly less right-wing one that is in at both national and (my) state level. I’d like to vote against them to indicate my disgust but doing so risks putting the even more scumbag bunch back in.

    So… how long have you lived in the USA?

  366. #368 Ichthyic
    February 1, 2010

    It occurs to me that SEF and Henry Gee have the same psychological problems.

    so did that “Nancy” person, IIRC.

    Didn’t she threaten to sick her pet anthropologists on us at some point?

  367. #369 Gyeong Hwa Pak, the Pikachu of Anthropology
    February 1, 2010
  368. #370 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    Do you think when Henry said this:

    But it could be that my work here is done. I certainly have better things to do.

    in the post i quoted earlier in thread, he really meant it?

    Or is he just being a petulant child, as usual.

    No idea. The “better things to do” bit was really respectful of his readers/commenters/fellow bloggers, though. Stay classy, Henry.

    I do get the distinct impression that several other regular bloggers at NN were attempting, discretely, to distance themselves from him.

    Hm.

    maybe that’s what he meant by his “continental drift” comment?

    Oh, possible. I found that totally cryptic.

  369. #371 Ichthyic
    February 1, 2010

    Just sit back, relax and grab some popcorn.

    just read that…

    ROFLMAO

    perfect.

  370. #372 Rorschach
    February 1, 2010

    Regarding Gee, I hadn’t read much of his stuff here, always thought it was just the usual religious cult persecution complex of a group that via lobbying and direct political representation actually has a large amount of political and social influence.
    Like, with all the other religious kooks.
    But yeah, he does seem to have anger management issues.
    Btw, I noted that SEF commented in some thread yesterday, rehab already completed ?

  371. #373 windy
    February 1, 2010

    Screwed up the link in #364… this Little My.

  372. #374 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Giant Squid Invasion!!!!!

    Did you click through to the TV report linked from that article? I had no idea there was any such thing as sportfishing for squid, but the story was all about charter boats going out full of clients and catching these by the hundreds.

    Why? Are these Humboldt squid edible? I had the impression that the bigger the squid, the less tasty; not so? If they’re not edible, what’s the allure? Do they fight like finny gamefish?

    <HeadScratch>

  373. #375 Sven DiMilo
    February 1, 2010

    Do they fight like finny gamefish?

    That’s my impression, yes.

  374. #376 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Any little bit us Ebil Atheists can do is well worth the disrepute that comes from doing good ;)

    All of y’all are blithely ruining your reputations as Ebil Atheists.

  375. #377 Sven DiMilo
    February 1, 2010

    21864
    Think I’ll nip down to the bar for a beer or two (Rev–they’ve got Brooklyn Black Chocolate on draft this month!)

    hold down the Thread

  376. #378 AJ Milne
    February 1, 2010

    Hrm…

    Well, it does occur to me, having read a bit of the Gee stuff, that I may have failed to follow broadcasting code guidelines re adequately frequent repetition of my standard position statement…

    So without further ado…

    (Clears throat)…

    I think Judaism is incredibly fucking stupid…

    I also think Christianity is utterly fucking moronic…

    And you’d have to be completely fucking brain dead to buy a word of Islam…

    Oh, and Hinduism, Mormonism… All pretty much spectacularly fucking stupid, too. Just what do you people take us for, anyway? Gods ‘n demons? Right. Tell us another one. I mean, have any of you checked the calendar lately? Here’s a hint: it says ‘2010’ somewhere in there. Get a fucking life already.

    And this has been your hourly call sign identifier.

    Oh, also, for the record: I have no interest in sticking either Mr. Gee nor any member of his family (nor any member of any other spectacularly moronic religion, whatever it might call itself) in a gas oven… Tho’ I might just feel compelled give Mr. Gee some noogies or somethin’ if he won’t stop it with the obsessive-compulsive Godwinning bit of his already…

    Yeah, that’s right, baby. Mad noogies. And I will feel no pity. And I will not stop until you have a brand new bald spot. That’s just the kind of sick, demented, Reichstag-burning psychos we New Atheists™ are, see…

    (/Oh, and that Godwinning shit was pretty fucking stupid, too. Thankew and good night.)

  377. #379 strange gods before me, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Thanks, SC! I went ahead and sent you one anyway. :)

  378. #380 shatfat
    February 1, 2010

    Yes, it’s literally arse-licker. My bad if I spelled it wrong. (Actually, all American orthography of Yiddish is a kludge. It’s properly written in Hebrew letters. It also went through a major phoneme shift. Medieval Yiddish can be accurately rendered with German orthography, but 19th century Yiddish is a significantly different beast.)

    I’m aware “lekker” means “interesting” in Dutch, but Yiddish owes more to medieval Hochdeutsch (Southern German), as well as Polish.

    IIRC, the Netherlands were inhabited by significant communities of Sephardic Jews. In some Hanseatic cities there were both Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities.

    Okay, this is just logorrhea at this point. I’ll stop. I wish my damn browser’s idiotic spellcheck would realize that Sephardic is SO a word, though. Sephardic, sephardic, sephardic. Happy now, Firefox?

  379. #381 strange gods before me, OM
    February 1, 2010

    And while this thread is on-topic:

    Greetings, Janine! Meet you in Brest. I’ll bring vodka.

  380. #382 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Lynna:

    Just followed the link in your profile to your website. I need more time to poke around, but I’m very impressed.

    If you’re ever in Connecticut and can stand the company of an aging tenderfoot, let me know and we can take a little stroll on the AT.

  381. #383 shatfat
    February 1, 2010
    I belong to a minority (the Jews) that is despised by the same cadre of Left-leaning academics who speak up so pompously for women and minorities.

    I do not doubt that behind that is a can o’ worms, but wtf?
    This does not sound like any of the (many, believe me) pompous left-leaning academics I know, many of whom, y’know, are Jews.

    Replace “Jew” with “rabid right-wing authoritarian Zionist” and you will have accurately described academia since 2001.

    The fear factor has dropped off considerably since 2001, but let there be another “oh shit” moment and this group will be back with a vengeance.

    (This group is not exclusively made up of Jews. As we all know there are extreme nutty Christian evangelical groups who make common cause on this issue.)

  382. #384 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 1, 2010

    shatfat:

    Yes, it’s literally arse-licker. My bad if I spelled it wrong.

    No, brown-noser is probably a perfectly good idiomatic translation: It means essentially the same thing as butt/ass-licker would, and is probably in more common usage. I was just curious about the literal translation. Thanks.

  383. #385 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    you might as well finally hear the story of the civility panel that I have avoided telling (including naming Henry Gee by name) because Henry Gee made it such a hot heap of stinky awkwardness that I thought I might do him a small kindness by not making “Henry Gee completely lost his shit” trivially Googleable.

    OK, that was pretty good.

    I defined the goals for my blog – establishing a community where individuals can discuss issues related to being a woman or “other” in science. Part of trying to achieve those goals means constantly reevaluating what you are doing and how that affects the health of the community, including maintaining a tone that your audience finds welcoming or “civil.” I confessed that I am not sure that I always do this effectively,

    Say it ain’t so!

    (Superficially, I find her “rules” and their rationale a bit, well, totalitarian.)

    ***

    windy, can you remember where it was that you asked Gee about the earlier conversation here – when che called Pharyngula a rough bar?

  384. #386 boygenius
    February 1, 2010

    Sven @357:

    Thanks for those links. Amazing!

    You always know when you hear people say “I don’t like [insert instrument] music,” what they really mean is “I don’t know how to listen to (hear?) music.”

  385. #387 shatfat
    February 1, 2010

    Also, it should go without saying, but doesn’t for some folks, so I will point this out: not all Jews are anywhere close to be reactionary Zionist right-wing authoritarian fucks.

    In fact there have been for many years liberal Jews fighting for the recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people.

    What *is* true is that Jews, as a group, tend to be paranoid. This is completely rational. In the early 20th century, the idea of Germany committing genocide against Jews was as outlandish as the same thing happening in the United States would seem today. It’s not paranoia if they really ARE out to get you.

    So after 9/11 every Jewish institution under the sun was convinced they were next. I was at Brandeis at the time and was told in all serious that Brandeis was “Israel in America” and the terrists were coming for us next. There were anthrax scares. (Never mind that ‘Deis had a bio lab with anthrax in it already!!! Don’t let science or logic get in your way, people!) People turn into right-wing authoritarians when they get scared. I never got scared so it looked like everyone just collectively went nuts.

    You can only shit your pants repeatedly every day for so long, though, so eventually people moved on to other, everyday fears, like where their next paycheck was coming from. Even my wife’s neurotic mother (all mothers of a certain age are neurotic), who went full wing-nut after 9/11, voted for Bush (“he’ll protect Israel”), yadda yadda, eventually got over Hillary losing in the primary and has started supporting Democratic candidates again.

  386. #388 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 1, 2010

    I gave up reading Greg Laden some time ago when he jumped down my throat when I pointed out errors in one of his posts. “I was wrong” apparently isn’t in his vocabulary. At least he hasn’t been around here blog-whoring lately.

    BS

  387. #389 Ichthyic
    February 1, 2010

    actually, fishing for humboldt squid is fun, up to a point;

    the problem with cephalopods, and the reason fish are still masters of the sea, see, boils down to one simple fact:

    Hemocyanin is not as efficient as Hemoglobin at delivering oxygen to tissues.

    so, while you do indeed get a nice initial fight out of a big squid, they tire much more rapidly than a similarly sized fish would.

    as to edibility?

    oh yes, quite tasty. However, it takes some extra preparation over regular squid:

    Making calamari from jumbo flying squid

    As with any fishing, the thrill of the catch should be followed by the sizzle of the grill. Martin Pena of Fisherman’s Landing said he found lots of good calamari recipes on FoodTV.com. Former commercial fisherman Mike Irey has some suggestions for transforming the large doormat of a fillet that comes from these jumbo squid into a tasty meal.

    1. Ice your catch as soon as you can and then wash the fillet thoroughly. Irey uses a high-pressure garden hose and really washes it. “They’re loaded with enzymes,” Irey said.

    2. Soak the fillet in milk (some prefer buttermilk) overnight or, preferably, for 24 hours. Deckhands charge $2 to gut and behead the squid, but go the extra step and allow them, for $4, to completely fillet it and take nearly all the membranes off.

    3. To cook it, Irey cuts the fillet into half-inch-thick, 6-inch by 8-inch pieces and tenderizes each fillet by lightly pounding. He wraps the strips around two slices of pepperjack cheese and a strip of Ortega chile. He secures the fillet with toothpicks on the ends and in the middle. He breads the fillet in egg white diluted with a tablespoon of water for each egg (whip until foamy) with two parts white corn meal to one part corn starch. He uses peanut oil, 320 to 350 degrees, for three minutes or so on each side (if you see the cheese come out the other end, you know). He tops it with drawn butter, garlic and lime juice and salts to taste.

    from:

    http://legacy.signonsandiego.com/sports/outdoors/20050129-9999-lz1s29squid.html

  388. #390 MikeG
    February 1, 2010

    Take care, Lynna. I sent what I could.

    We can’t afford to lose our Morridor connection.

  389. #391 shatfat
    February 1, 2010

    @Bill

    The profanity of the expression is probably why you’re more likely to hear “TL”.

    If you want really weird, the Yiddish slang for a gay man is feygele, which means “a little bird”. (Equiv. to the English slang “fairy”?) To American ears, however, it sounds like you just called someone a “fag-ele”.

    Mel Brooks got away with saying it in “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” in the 1980’s, but I don’t know if it would pass today.

  390. #392 Miki Z
    February 1, 2010

    Oh, and guys? You can totally bike to/from the grocery store. Use a backpack, cold packs from the freezer (if you lack these, just buy some frozen peas) and those thermal bags you can buy at the grocery store for your dairy and whatnot.

    The grocery store in my neighborhood has a dry ice machine. You buy refrigerated goods, and you can get the ice for free. Bags cost extra, though — they really want people to bring their own.

  391. #393 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Windy @364

    Sorry for my undue curiosity, but would that be littlemy as in Little My?

    oops, your Little My link doesn’t work. It’s the Little My from the Moomintroll books: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moomin There’s a picture of my daughter in the 9/11 blog entry.

    MikeG @389

    We can’t afford to lose our Morridor connection.

    lol. That’s what I figured. I’m a rarity, an atheist at the jello potluck.

    Bill @381

    Just followed the link in your profile to your website. I need more time to poke around, but I’m very impressed.

    Damned good thing — otherwise you’d be wanting your money back. :-)

    If you’re ever in Connecticut and can stand the company of an aging tenderfoot, let me know and we can take a little stroll on the AT.

    I’d love that! My daughter lives on the East Coast, so it’s not too unlikely. Besides, I loves me some tenderfoots because they like to take a lot of breaks — you know, stopping to look around. And that’s exactly what the writer in me needs.

  392. #394 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    @372, Yes! That Little My. Though my daughter is not an angry, aggressive little being. We both love the truth-telling aspect of Little My. And her ability to cause mischief is admirable. ~:) We can fix our hair to look like that. Little My is notably not afraid of adventure, she revels in it. Big forces of nature come in small packages.

  393. #395 Rorschach
    February 1, 2010

    What *is* true is that Jews, as a group, tend to be paranoid. This is completely rational

    You might want to read that again. Which part of being paranoid is rational ?

    Is it understandable after the Holocaust ? I guess.Christians have mastered that art since roman times.
    Is it widely used to godwin any argument a jewish person sees as being in danger of losing ? You betcha.

  394. #396 ambulocetacean
    February 1, 2010

    Ring Tailed Lemurian @ 267,

    Wow. Sounds like you had some wild times up North.

    I just pulled the 3:1 figure out of my arse. I have no idea what the ratio really is. 25:1 is amazing, though.

    How do you think that evangelical family will go up there?

  395. #397 Owlmirror
    February 1, 2010

    windy, can you remember where it was that you asked Gee about the earlier conversation here – when che called Pharyngula a rough bar?

    Google knows all, tells all…

    It also brought up this amusing paragraph in the thread linking to there:

    Pharyngula, on the seedy waterfront of Blog City, its denizens sluts and hard-drinking scientists, where arguments cut like a knife and cyberpistols are drawn with little provocation. Keep your head down, and don’t bring up Dawkins unless you’re looking for a fight… — SC

  396. #398 strange gods before me, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Is it widely used to godwin any argument a jewish person sees as being in danger of losing ? You betcha.

    Not by a single Jewish person I am acquainted with offline. Honestly I think this impression is driven by a very few very loud professional advocates for the state of Israel — high profile on op-ed pages, but not significantly representative of the norm.

  397. #399 strange gods before me, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Addendum: When the on-topic discussion is actually the legitimacy of the state of Israel, expansionist political Zionism, etc., then fears of future anti-Semitic persecution do fly more freely. But as Israel was founded in part for this purpose in the wake of the Shoah, that doesn’t count as Godwinning.

  398. #400 Ichthyic
    February 1, 2010

    Honestly I think this impression is driven by a very few very loud professional advocates for the state of Israel — high profile on op-ed pages, but not significantly representative of the norm.

    does Henry Gee count as one of those?

  399. #401 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    Thanks, Owlmirror!

    Ichthyic, I can’t remember – have you seen the post Owlmirror just linked to?

  400. #402 Rorschach
    February 1, 2010

    Not by a single Jewish person I am acquainted with offline

    Hm yeah, I was over-generalizing there.Some of my jewish collegues do have that habit, fwiw.

  401. #403 strange gods before me, OM
    February 1, 2010

    I really have no idea who Henry Gee is, nor any interest in finding out. The idiot Stuart did something similar here last month: “leftists are throwing Jews under the bus, etc.” When prompted for examples post-Stalin, he had none.

    But these people apparently spend much of their time trolling the Internet looking for the opportunity to have fights about Israel. Through this advocacy, we come to know them, and there’s the opportunity for selection bias. Most Jewish people have, you know, other shit to do with their time.

  402. #404 cicely
    February 1, 2010

    Lynna,

    Re project Diagnose Lynna, is there a snailmail address to send donations to? (Though I won’t be able to follow through ’til after the 15th. Oh, to be independently wealthy!) Maybe I could email the Art Meets Adventure address, and you could sorta slip me an address?

  403. #405 strange gods before me, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Some of my jewish collegues do have that habit, fwiw.

    No doubt there are a few. They have to live and work somewhere in order to support that Internet trolling habit.

  404. #406 SC OM
    February 1, 2010

    The idiot Stuart

    I’m somewhat suspicious of Stuart’s claim to be Jewish, though I could be wrong.

    did something similar here last month: “leftists are throwing Jews under the bus, etc.” When prompted for examples post-Stalin, he had none.

    Neither has Gee. Doesn’t seem to stop him:

    I pointed this out to a particularly patronizing member of the audience. I didn’t hang around for a response. I thought Jew-hatred was a pathology of the militant Left in UK academia but it turns out it’s rife in the U. S. and A., too.

    He also asserted flat-out in the comments on his blog that “The Left hates Jews.”

    Zuska and others have asked what was said that was antisemitic (not that it would be reasonable to jump from a single comment to such wild claims), and I haven’t seen an answer from him yet.

  405. #407 strange gods before me, OM
    February 1, 2010
  406. #408 windy
    February 1, 2010

    Richard Galliano is the hippest accordion player in the world.
    You think that’s oxymoronic? You haven’t heard Richard Galliano.

    er. no offense, but how many other accordion players have you heard?

    …that second video was pretty good though. So OK, maybe he’s the ‘hippest’. But I’d say there are plenty cooler accordion players:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEoNb2QldYk&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8–FQM8rwGM&feature=related

    Of course the real trick is making a polka sound cool…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8–FQM8rwGM&feature=related

  407. #409 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Perhaps Lynna could send her address to PZ and PZ could pass it on to those regulars that ask?

  408. #410 Lynna, OM
    February 1, 2010

    Hi, cicely @403, go to artmeetsadventure.com and click on the Work History & Resumé link. That should do it.

    In other news, Janine has started a bar fight on “Numbers herein..” thread.

  409. #411 strange gods before me, OM
    February 1, 2010

    The Left hates Jews.

  410. #412 Lynna, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Owlmirror, that was a great link, not to mention a tremendous demonstration of google fu. From the linked comment:

    Sure, I shouldn’t have sunk to the low standard of debate in which Pharyngula regularly wallows. I think I was provooked, though. I had the sensation that everyone was standing back while a person called ‘ichthyic’ started hurling abuse, suggesting that the reason I didn’t like Dawkins was that he’s sold more books than I have. He has, but what’s that to do with anything? At one point somebody else chimed in to say I shouldn’t mind ichthyic’s outrageous attacks on my Judaism, because s/he had laid into a Christian the week before, or something — as if it made everything all wright.
         I get the impression that Pharyngula is a rather rough bar where only people actively damaged by religion can hang out, so as to lick their wounds in company of their own choosing. What’s sad is that these people seem to think that because they haven’t had a good time, then nobody else is allowed to, either.

    Posted by: Henry Gee | September 17, 2008 4:16 PM (I realize that I didn’t really need to identify Gee, as he identifies himself quite well.)

    Ichthyic, I was so pleased to see that you had been hurling abuse and making outrageous attacks.

    I take exception to the description of myself as someone who hasn’t “had a good time”, and I am even more insulted by the claim that I don’t want anyone else to have a good time either. Bring on the vibrating lingerie.

  411. #413 Kausik Datta
    February 2, 2010

    Jadehawk, thank you, and thanks to David M, too, for your comments.

    Any thoughts beyond that would be unwarranted, and if you start accusing every Muslim you meet of being a potential suicide bomber, you have a problem.

    I don’t (start accusing, I mean). The reason I don’t may sound silly, but that’s what it is. I have grown up with quite a few Muslim friends, and looking back, I have never found any of them to conform to the stereotype that exists today. Therefore, I have had no reason for any animus towards Muslims as a group.

    In the Eastern part of India, people of my parents’ generation – who were subjected to Islamist atrocities in Bangladesh, then known as East Pakistan – hold quite a different view altogether, but our generation was born in an independent India, and we have grown up with the idea that all religions are to commingle freely.

    The irrational bias (that I am afraid of, that I am trying to avoid) has to do with the current events and ideas that I now come across. These have forced me to rethink, and reevaluate my understanding of Islam as a religion, and I have found it at odds with what I have so long known.

    And it is not specific to Islam; Christianity (in all flavors) has the exact same issues. Looking at the present state of world (not just in the US, but in other countries as well, including India), it appears to me that these religions explicitly decree absolute faith, sanction violence, and breed insularity and ignorance.

    But I do realize that these problems are not isolated or restricted to just these two. Other religions also do these more or less. That’s why, as an atheist, it is all the more important for me to stay rational and avoid bias in the comparative evaluation of these beliefs that many of my fellow human beings hold.

    Daily dose of sanity = one of the many reasons I come to Pharyngula.

  412. #414 windy
    February 2, 2010

    Not that it isn’t fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way, but should we be wasting all this effort psychoanalyzing you-know-who?

    (Superficially, I find her “rules” and their rationale a bit, well, totalitarian.)

    See, their morals, their “code”… it’s a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these “civilized people”, they’ll eat each other. We are not monsters. We’re just ahead of the curve.

  413. #415 SC OM
    February 2, 2010

    For the record (and I believe I’ve noted this before), the person who brought up book sales and whom Gee instructed not to be “so fucking impertinent” was not Ichthyic.

  414. #416 Lynna, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Perhaps Lynna could send her address to PZ and PZ could pass it on to those regulars that ask?

    I’m not sure that’s a good idea. It’s already stretching the limits of PZ’s hospitality to air my troubles here. Asking him to participate when he’s already battling whole armies of trolls, spammers, and pints of Guinness… nah, that’s beyond the pale. He’d put me in the dungeon. (If you do put me in the dungeon, PZ, please fill the cell with oranges.)

    Just for fun, here’s a wee bit of prose from Kevin Barry:

    Behind the bar: the Guinness tap, the Smithwicks tap, the lager taps, the line of optics, the neatly stacked rows of glasses, and a high stool that sat by a wee slit of window that had a view across the water toward Mweelrea. The iodine tang of kelp hung in the air always, and put me in mind of embalming fluid.

  415. #417 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    er. no offense, but how many other accordion players have you heard?

    Oh, that’s offensive all right. If you’re not going to discuss accordionists civilly then I’m not going to discuss accordionists with you.

    But I’d say there are plenty cooler accordion players:

    um…
    Look, I hate to break it to you, but those people are not “cool” by any reasonable definition of “cool.” Oh, I mean, sure, they’re Finns and everything, and I guess Finns are generally sort of “cool,” at least when they’re not sweating in the sauna and, like, whacking each other’s naked backs with birch branches and shit like that.
    But musically, even the one you posted twice is not “cool” by any reasonable non-Finnish criteria. Sorry.

    Those guys are master technicians and very well-practiced and all that, and even musical, but improvisation at the level that Galliano can improvise is way, way beyond any stupid polka shit in coolness, hipness, and neat-o-daddy-o-itude. srsly.

  416. #418 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Just a suggestion. I do not have nor want a credit card. Just wanted to have a way to send a few dollars. Sadly, seeing that I do not have much, it would be just a few.

  417. #419 SC OM
    February 2, 2010

    Not that it isn’t fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way, but should we be wasting all this effort psychoanalyzing you-know-who?

    As opposed to wasting it how? Because, make no mistake, I am fully dedicated to wasting my efforts. I will not be deterred from my path of procrastination.

    (Seriously, it’s been an annoying day, with Gee, Stephanie, Zuska’s post, and now this Mooney nonsense. Gah.)

  418. #420 Lynna, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Janine, much love from me to you. I figure if PZ knew me personally, that would be different.

    I am saddened and heartened at the same time by your few dollars. I dislike the whole credit card industry, so don’t patronize ‘em I say.

    Here’s a wee bit more prose from Kevin Barry (for Janine, change the pronouns: “him” to “her” and “he” to “she” for maximum effect):

    Vivien slapped and roared at him as he stroked her massive haunches. She reddened and chortled as he twisted her around and pulled her vast rear side into his crotch area. Nobody apart from me paid a blind bit of attention to the spectacle.

  419. #421 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlH43C0KJjZ3cIZcfl4E6ISoeZbmBZWecg
    February 2, 2010

    Firk-Ding-Blast! Name things all ate up, as usual, so I’m Badger3k.

    Lookin’ for comments. I listened to the Point of Inquiry podcast, which was good, even if DJ soft-pedaled some things some time. Now Mooney is going to be a host (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2010/02/01/im-now-a-podcast-host-for-point-of-inquiry/) along with Robert Price and Karen Stollznow. I like the other 2, but Mooney … I’m not sure I could take his sucking up and pearl clutching. Should I drop the podcast in favor of Randi’s new one (not sure if it’s out yet) with DJ at the helm, or do I have to edit my podcasts?

    Anyone have comments?

  420. #422 Leigh Williams
    February 2, 2010

    Lynna, please don’t apologize for providing a way for us to do what we wanted to do all along . . . help you get a diagnosis. We want you safe, whole, and happy!

    My contact info is included with the money I sent this evening. DO NOT HESITATE to email me if the fund comes up short or if further tests are needed.

    Love,
    Leigh

  421. #423 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Lao Daung Duen
    February 2, 2010

    Leigh!

  422. #424 windy
    February 2, 2010

    But musically, even the one you posted twice is not “cool” by any reasonable non-Finnish criteria. Sorry.

    Oops, copy-paste error. This was meant to be the second cool one, not so much Maria Kalaniemi.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw89so4gEZs

    PS. Bigot.

    Those guys are master technicians and very well-practiced and all that, and even musical, but improvisation at the level that Galliano can improvise is way, way beyond any stupid polka shit in coolness, hipness

    Maybe I just have a different idea of the concepts ‘cool’ and ‘hip’.

    And Galliano may be supreme as jazz improvisateur, but it doesn’t immediately leap out at me as the most amazing use of accordion qua accordion ever. Sorry. And if you had heard much stupid polka shit, maybe you could tell the difference between a “master technician” playing polka shit and an artist playing polka shit (guess which one was which).

    Anyway, how about this:
    http://www.minnaweurlander.com/eng/

  423. #425 ambulocetacean
    February 2, 2010

    Yay! The atheist conference is getting some press down here in Melbourne. The religion blog of The Age newspaper has a thread on it:

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/blogs/the-religious-write/2500-people-with-nothing-to-talk-about/20100202-naam.html

  424. #426 windy
    February 2, 2010

    (Seriously, it’s been an annoying day, with Gee, Stephanie, Zuska’s post, and now this Mooney nonsense. Gah.)

    What’s Mooney done now?

  425. #427 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Mooney is going to be one of the new hosts of the Point Of Inquiry podcast.

  426. #428 Miki Z
    February 2, 2010

    Hmm. Now I have to decide if I will listen to Mooney on POIP U.S.

  427. #429 Ichthyic
    February 2, 2010

    I mean, sure, they’re Finns and everything, and I guess Finns are generally sort of “cool,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGWqtwhS2KY&feature=related

  428. #430 Jadehawk, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Just a suggestion. I do not have nor want a credit card. Just wanted to have a way to send a few dollars. Sadly, seeing that I do not have much, it would be just a few.

    i don’t have a credit card either, hence the usefulness of a paypal account, which doesn’t require you to have one.

  429. #431 Miki Z
    February 2, 2010

    I’m in a holding pattern while I wait for the confirmation code from paypal, but I’ve caught SIWILH (Something is Wrong in Lynna’s Head) syndrome, and I’ll try to help fix that asap.

  430. #432 John Morales
    February 2, 2010

    Hi, Leigh.

  431. #433 SEF
    February 2, 2010

    Someone else spotted another consequence of low standards of English (quite near PZ).

  432. #434 Miki Z
    February 2, 2010

    China warns Obama about meeting with the Dalai Lama or there will be “corresponding action”. (source)

    I wonder what this will be? Maybe the Chinese president will meet with these guys.

  433. #435 Mr T
    February 2, 2010

    You folks can argue about “cool” accordionists and polka all you like; but without a doubt, Astor Piazzolla is the best bandoneón player, EVAR. I know I’ve posted several of his videos before, but here’s another: Otoño Porteño.

  434. #436 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    February 2, 2010

    ambulocetacean #395

    Wow. Sounds like you had some wild times up North.

    Craziest place I’ve ever been, without a doubt, and the only place I’ve ever been raped (by a woman!) Wild, and virtually lawless once you left town. (Well, it was, and still is, a Territory, not a State.) ALL The people I worked with would regularily have 6 beers for breakfast, and then carry on drinking all day.
    If it hadn’t been for the local magic mushrooms I don’t know how I would have survived my time there.

    How do you think that evangelical family will go up there?

    No idea. Haven’t been back since. I imagine that things are very, very different now, post Typoon Tracy and almost 40 years. Probably much like any other medium sized Australian town now (except with a worse climate).
    Let’s hope those evangelists are stupid enough to go for a swim :)

  435. #437 Carlie
    February 2, 2010

    So who came up with the idea that whether or not it was sunny at the beginning of February indicated future weather, and who thought that a groundhog would be the best arbiter of said amount of sunlight?

  436. #438 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 2, 2010

    And who said it had to be a real groundhog?

    BS

  437. #439 Miki Z
    February 2, 2010

    No groundhogs here, but February 3 is bean throwing day in Japan.

  438. #440 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 2, 2010

    SEF: It took me 2 tries, but I got it:)

    BS

  439. #441 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw89so4gEZs

    OK, that one was cool. (but not exactly “qua”)

    Maybe I just have a different idea of the concepts ‘cool’ and ‘hip’.

    uh, duh. Kind of the whole point of my comment (I’m really not a bigot…those were the jokes.)

    maybe you could tell the difference between a “master technician” playing polka shit and an artist playing polka shit

    Oh, lighten up. I said they were “musical,” and that’s what I meant. I play the fucking box myself, OK? I can tell musical artistry a mile off.

    Seriously, though, and I don’t really know how to express this without appearing to be condescending to non-musicians, but there really is a world of difference between artistically playing something that you have practiced extensively exactly the same way (and ws usually composed by somebody else) and the kind of spontaneous self-expression that is possible in improvisation. There really is.

    If it’s accordion qua accordion you want (assuming that doesn’t mean polka-shit), pick up Galliano’s solo Paris Concert. Holy mackerel that guy can play. (He’s also badass in the context of Piazolla-style tango nuevo).

  440. #442 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    Might already have been posted but:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/02/02/meet-the-mormon-man-with-239-grandchildren-115875-22012171/

    In the article:

    Former president Warren Jeffs, who claimed to be God?s mouthpiece on earth, is serving a 10-year jail sentence over a rape. There are 11 other church members awaiting trial in Texas.

    (The Daily Mirror is one of the red top tabloids – not quite in the Wall Street Journal class. Possibly more like the National Enquirer.)

  441. #443 Lynna, OM
    February 2, 2010

    More people to thank this morning: I see I get to both thank and congratulate Leigh. Mucho bowings in your direction. The Molly awards to both Leigh and John Morales were well deserved. For you guys, a line of congo rats wearing sparkly outfits.

    Thanks also to Miki Z!

    There are more contributors, and I’ll get to that soon. Gotta go to work now so that I’m also contributing to the fund.

  442. #444 MrFire
    February 2, 2010

    Lynna:

    I’m signed in on Paypal right now, but I haven’t seen the option to choose a ‘Diagnose Lynna’ or ‘What the hell is wrong with that woman’ account. Does it matter? I’m sure I have the right email, since Krystl’s name is brought up.

    Sorry for the delay!

    Mr. Fire

  443. #445 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 2, 2010

    MrFire (@443):

    I think the procedure is to go ahead and send money to Krystl (cool name, eh?), and put the Diagnose Lynna in the subject line of the system-generated e-mail that goes with it.

    At least I hope that’s the procedure, because that’s what I did!

    Now for a couple conversation starters:

    About frickin’ time, eh?

    …and…

    I don’t quite know what to make of this: On the one hand, piercings for cats strikes me as (as my wife might put it) the outside of enough. OTOH, if it’s not cruelty to pierce a human child’s ears, why should it be a crime to do it to cats? I know there’s an issue of consent, but worrying about consent sort of flies in the face of the whole concept of pet ownership, and pets are regularly subjected to cosmetic/elective surgeries — bobbing of ears and tails, declawing, etc. — far more involved than decorative piercings. Not that I would get my cat’s ears pierced (she’s not declawed, either), but is it really a crime?

  444. #446 CaseyAllan
    February 2, 2010

    A little help, please.

    About a year ago I managed to dislocate my kneecap. I couldn’t bend the leg at all and walking became almost impossible.

    I was staying over with a friend and her roomate was very into crystals and their, apparently, magical energies. She insisted that her crystals could fix my leg and that I wouldn’t need to go to any hospital.

    I was a little surprised – after the crystal waving – to discover that the leg could, once again, support my weight and was capable of being slightly bent (at least enough to allow me to walk a little more steadily). I’m sure, however, that that’s more to do with the support bandage that was immediately wrapped around it rather than the crystal waving itself.

    I can’t get my friend to accept that it was the bandage, and not the little pink crystal, that gave me back some use of my leg. She insists there’s no actual proof that bandages are of any help other than to prevent infection entering open wounds.

    I’ve tried searching online but all I find are companies selling support bandages and no-one actually giving any kind of proof/detailed description as to how they support damaged muscles/tendons etc.

    Does anyone here know where I can find any article proving the point?

    Thanks :)

  445. #447 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 2, 2010

    CaseyAllan (@445):

    I’m no expert, but I’m struggling to understand why this requires one: When you’ve got a dislocated body party, and you supply mechanical support to correct/maintain its location, it strikes me that any claim on behalf of some suggested alternative reason you feel better is the one that requires proof.

    Jus’ sayin’….

  446. #448 MrFire
    February 2, 2010

    Thanks a lot, Bill Dauphin (cool surname, eh? :D)

    Lynna-Aid now has somewhere between zero and infinity dollars from me.

  447. #449 Lynna, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Thanks, Bill, for giving out instructions. I am so bad at this. I should have had Jadehawk organize it.

    1. go to paypal

    2. select the “Send Money” option

    3. fill in the email field to send money to with this email: littlemy at rcn dot com

    4. fill in amount, your email and so forth

    5. put “Diagnose Lynna” or something similar in the subject line

    In happier news, dino tail feathers were similar in color to Conan O’Brien’s hair: http://www.scientificcomputing.com/news-IN-Dino-Tail-Feathers-were-Carrot-Colored-012910.aspx

    That 125 million-year-old tail has the same internal cellular coloring agents as the hair of a red-haired person, said study lead author Mike Benton, a professor of paleontology at the University of Bristol in England. And the same finding provides what some outside experts say is even more conclusive evidence that some dinosaurs had feathers, further linking them to birds.
         Benton and his colleagues didn’t actually see the reddish color itself. Using an electron microscope, they spotted the specific cellular signs of the color. An earlier study by another group of researchers and Benton’s team found similar cellular color hints in prehistoric bird feathers.

  448. #450 CaseyAllan
    February 2, 2010

    Bill Dauphin, OM (@#446):

    Ah, good point. I’ve just been trying to convince her that it wasn’t the work of the little pink crystal or the positive thoughts from the person waving it.

    I should turn the argument around and have her provide the proof on the workings of the crystals. Thanks :)

    I’m a little embarrassed at not thinking of it from that angle, actually. My only excuse (lame though it may be) would be my over-focusing on one side of the disagreement.

  449. #451 Lynna, OM
    February 2, 2010

    A broad range of thanks (somewhere between zero and infinity) goes out to MrFire. And by way of MrFire, to MrsFire (in whom all decisions reside, may she flourish).

  450. #452 Carlie
    February 2, 2010

    To add to the “how to use Paypal” – it’s only after you put in the email address and amount and go ahead and click “submit” (or continue, I forget which) to get to the next screen that you can then verify that you did the email right and click on it to get Krystl’s registration info up. There’s still another click or so after that before the donation is final, so don’t worry on the first page that you’re submitting right then and there to what you hope is the right email.

  451. #453 Dianne
    February 2, 2010

    I haven’t read this whole thread, much less every thread so maybe this has been discussed already, but…Baptists kidnapping Haitian kids under the guise of “aid” to Haiti. Apparently, they wanted them for cheap adoption fodder for another Christian organization. Scary.

  452. #454 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    The use of “sniny” always brings to mind the use of the word “slithy” in the poem, The Jabberwocky, by (the Rev.) Lewis Caroll:

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    “Beware the Jabberwock*, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought —
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.

    And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    “And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
    He chortled in his joy.

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    * Jabberwock – any relation to Jadehawk? We never see them together!

    Several of the nonsense words now appear in the English language. Pity the word “slithy” has been corrupted but perhaps it’s American English.

  453. #455 Matt Penfold
    February 2, 2010

    I haven’t read this whole thread, much less every thread so maybe this has been discussed already, but…Baptists kidnapping Haitian kids under the guise of “aid” to Haiti. Apparently, they wanted them for cheap adoption fodder for another Christian organization. Scary.

    The story has been getting quite a bit of coverage here in the UK, generally unsympathetic to the child-stealing American religious idiots.

  454. #456 Carlie
    February 2, 2010

    The Baptist kid thing came up in some thread or other – I linked to this post which is a nice dissection of the intersections of privilege and racism and whatnot that are going on with the whole “save the Haitian babies” concept.

    I saw something on the news about it and it’s weirdly complicated in this instance – the guy who’s the titular head of the orphanage is based in the US, and he said it was ok for them to go get the kids, but paperwork wasn’t done right, and not all of the families were told what was going on, and the ones that were weren’t necessarily told it was permanent, and so on.

  455. #457 AJ Milne
    February 2, 2010

    I’m unsurprised, in the Baptist kid bit, to see, again, that these folk we’re doing ‘God’s work’…

    There’s somethin’ about that phrase always makes me check that my wallet remains where I last left it. And I just as regularly find myself, hearing said claim, thinking Johnson might have misspoke a smidge about patriotism.

    As in: patriotism may only be the second to last refuge of scoundrels. The ‘I was doing God’s work’ bit is just as often the last.

  456. #458 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Lao Daung Duen
    February 2, 2010

    The Baptist kid thing came up in some thread or other – I linked to this post which is a nice dissection of the intersections of privilege and racism and whatnot that are going on with the whole “save the Haitian babies” concept

    I find that there is a great deal of racism in missionary work altogether. The kidnapping Haitian baby scandle is one such example.

  457. #459 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    #445 CaseyAllan

    She insisted that her crystals could fix my leg and that I wouldn’t need to go to any hospital.

    It almost sounds like sympathetic magic. Someone must have read that there are “dislocations” in cystals so if you wave a crystal full of energy over the kneecap it will give up some of its energy and absorb the dislocation into its own structure. I’m surprised the crystal didn’t fall apart as a result!

    Evidence?

    Perhaps X-ray crystallography will show how there are a lot of dislocations in the crystal after she used it on you. That it proves it works!

    Every quack* should invest in rose quartz wands, available here and at many other suppliers:

    http://crystal-cure.com/symbol-rosequartz-wand.html

    /sarc

    (* Aplogies to any ducks reading this.)

  458. #460 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Alan B (@453):

    I love that poem; I actually <totalgeek>used to read it at high school speech tournaments</totalgeek>. Now here’s a key conundrum:

    I’ve always pronounced slithy (both in my head and while reciting) with a long i sound (i.e., the same vowel as in shinysniny), but I’ve also heard others pronounce it as a short i. Discuss. (And we’ll pass right over the issue of whether the th should be voiced or unvoiced.)

    Similarly: gyre and gimble… hard or soft g? The same for both, or split? And is this the same gyre Yeats was talking about?

    It’s not like I think these questions are as important as, say, cat piercings, but surely y’all can scare up an opinion or three? ;^)

  459. #461 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    #458 “Aplogies” also to anyone who thinks I can type korrectly.

    Apologies.

  460. #462 Knockgoats
    February 2, 2010

    I’ve always pronounced slithy (both in my head and while reciting) with a long i sound (i.e., the same vowel as in shinysniny), but I’ve also heard others pronounce it as a short i. Discuss. (And we’ll pass right over the issue of whether the th should be voiced or unvoiced.)

    Similarly: gyre and gimble… hard or soft g? The same for both, or split? And is this the same gyre Yeats was talking about?

    You’re undoubtedly right about slithy. Both Humpty Dumpty, in Ch.6 of Looking Glass, and Carroll himself, in a hand-lettered “periodical” called Misch-Masch, written for his younger siblings when he was 23, define it as compounded of “slimy” and “lithe” – which also indicates that the “th” is voiced. In Misch-Masch gyre is derived from “gyaour” or “giaour”, and means to scratch like a dog, while Humpty Dumpty defines it as “to go round and round like a gyroscope”. While Dumpty could be wrong about the meaning, Carroll would surely not have put into his mouth a meaning that suggested an incorrect pronunciation – so in gyre, the “g” is soft. In gimble it is hard, since both sources link the meaning to that of “gimlet”.

    These are of course matters of great significance, as it is known that Jabberwocky is actually a set of instructions for travel in a fourth spatial dimension (see Lewis Padgett: Mimsy Were The Borogoves). Get the pronunciation wrong, and you could end up in Tumbolia!

  461. #463 Epikt
    February 2, 2010

    Alan B:

    CaseyAllan:
    She insisted that her crystals could fix my leg and that I wouldn’t need to go to any hospital.

    It almost sounds like sympathetic magic. Someone must have read that there are “dislocations” in cystals so if you wave a crystal full of energy over the kneecap it will give up some of its energy and absorb the dislocation into its own structure.:

    If she suggests heating you to high temperature to anneal out the dislocation, run the other way. Er, if you can.

  462. #464 A. Noyd
    February 2, 2010

    Bill Dauphin (#444)

    OTOH, if it’s not cruelty to pierce a human child’s ears, why should it be a crime to do it to cats?

    Well, I’d be worried about the cat damaging itself by scratching at the piercing site or getting caught up on sheets or bushes or whatnot and tearing the piercings out. Most people use breakaway collars on their cats for this same reason so it makes me wince to think of a cat with piercings having to rip its own skin apart to get unstuck.

  463. #465 Knockgoats
    February 2, 2010

    Crystals are, like, magical, you know. When they form, order appears from disorder by natural processes involving randomness without any directing intelligence!!! As is well known, this violates the second law of thermodynamics.

    /IDiot

  464. #466 David Marjanovi?
    February 2, 2010

    David, how is Opera working out as your browser?

    Unlike Safari, it’s too stupid to cooperate with the character table*, so I need to undertake complex copypasta movements whenever I want to comment on a blog other than this one. And while just about all of Unicode is displayed, Cyrillic letters are spaced very widely apart in most fonts, which is completely baffling? though I haven’t needed that this far.

    I think I mentioned I finally found out how to turn off the spellchecker. There’s only one word I need to have spellchecked, lbockqutoe, and it didn’t know that one?

    * That of the Mac anyway. At home, where I have Windows, I keep IE!

    Man, Jadehawk, I am drooling over your art deco.

    I wish my papers were this easily appreciable ;-)

    and when he and Isis fight they both seem entirely wrong.

    :-D

    Yeah, they’re both a bit strange. I only read their blogs when some interesting post title turns up in the Top 5 Something?

    or am I turning lekker into a false cognate?

    No ? even though the correspondence of /k/ to /k/ is not regular.

    I’m very glad I have no need to submit anything to Nature.

    <pft> They reject almost everything anyway. :-) Many a manuscript goes through a multi-stage process: submitted first to Nature, then to Science, then to PNAS (or Cell where appropriate)?

    actually, fishing for humboldt squid is fun [?]

    so, while you do indeed get a nice initial fight out of a big squid

    I’ll never understand that attitude. When I want a fight, I don’t need to go kill something. I just walk over to my little sister and let her teach me some Wing Tsun the hard way. (?Or so I think, till she tells me “I’d have poked you in the eyes 20 times already”.)

    And before she got that far, I got more fights than I wanted anyway, because my brother gets aggressive when he’s scared, and he’s usually scared.

    and pints of Guinness…

    “403 Forbidden

    Access to this resource on the server is denied!”

    Now, isn’t that interesting.

    Someone else spotted another consequence of low standards of English

    :-D :-D :-D

    But, seriously, that’s just the spelling. The w in whore isn’t even etymologically justifiable.

    if it’s not cruelty to pierce a human child’s ears

    I think it should be.

  465. #467 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmHzDpTLP2mp-qpt639sa9q2J8Wl4QREfQ
    February 2, 2010

    Pope Rat has been interfering in UK politics, specificaly objecting to The Equality Bill currently going through parliment, he objects to the catholic church having to treat all people as equals rather than discriminate on gender and/or sexuality grounds. I was reading the comments on the Telegraph website and came across this,

    I can’t believe we’re letting this guy into the country without arresting him for crimes against humanity.
    His lies about contraception are directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of Africans.
    This latest diatribe is as vindictive as it is stupid. He claims that the equality bill restricts religious freedom. Damn right. It restricts religious freedom to discriminate. He says that “the effect of some of the legislation … has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs.”
    It is only right that religious organisations are limited in their freedom to act in accordance with their beliefs when those beliefs are discriminatory or dangerous.
    Alan B
    on February 02, 2010
    at 03:58 PM

    My question is is this our AlanB?
    If so Excellent!

    Tayschrenn

  466. #468 Sili
    February 2, 2010

    Mooney is going to be one of the new hosts of the Point Of Inquiry podcast.

    Squidus Christ.

    I finally started listening to POIP when Grothe was made prez of JREF. Very nice bloke, indeed.

    I even listened to Mooney and that director/producer fella whose name I can’t recall. Not as bad as I’d expected, but certainly not someone I’d like to listen to regularly.

    Ah well, the Guardian just told me that the Royal Society has a podcast of their own. Time to switch.

  467. #469 Knockgoats
    February 2, 2010

    He [Ratfinger] says that “the effect of some of the legislation … has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs.”

    He’s right, you know. Just as the legislation against murder imposes unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to slaughter heretics and unbelievers.

  468. #470 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 2, 2010

    KG (@461):

    Now that is why I love this place so much! ;^)

    These are of course matters of great significance, as it is known that Jabberwocky is actually a set of instructions for travel in a fourth spatial dimension (see Lewis Padgett: Mimsy Were The Borogoves).

    One of my very favorite SF stories! Sadly, what I read about the movie version released a few years ago so disappointed me that I didn’t bother seeing it.

    A. Noyd:

    I hadn’t thought about the scratching issue. But really, that sounds like an engineering problem, potentially solvable by breakaway jewelry, or jewelry carefully designed to avoid snagging on claws (and, of course, declawing would make it moot… if declawing weren’t an horrific practice). Mind you, I’m not in favor of the practice — quite the opposite — I just thought charging the person with animal cruelty was a bit of a disproportionate response. A regulation banning the practice in future might have been better advised, IMHO.

    David M:

    if it’s not cruelty to pierce a human child’s ears

    I think it should be.

    That’s a whole ‘nother discussion!

    My Lovely Bride® doesn’t have pierced ears, and had no intention of getting my daughter’s ears pierced… until she begged for it (@~7 yo, IIRC). Of course, after the first ear, she also begged to be allowed to leave the second one unpierced, but my wife (and her mother) insisted on symmetry. AFAIK, she’s now very glad to have the extra holes in her head… but she has not shown any interest in getting stabbed anywhere else. The relationship between pain and the quest for beauty is a complex one, no? ;^)

  469. #471 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    she has not shown any interest in getting stabbed anywhere else

    …as far as you know…

  470. #472 David Marjanovi?
    February 2, 2010

    Discuss.

    From here?

    “16 English spelling doesn’t need a reform – it needs a bloody revolution! (See under Spelling Reform.)”

    And while I am at it?

    “04 Noam Chomsky should stick to politics, Roger Penrose should stick to interior decorating, and Andrew Lloyd Webber should stick to the ceiling if hurled aloft with sufficient force.”

    If she suggests heating you to high temperature to anneal out the dislocation, run the other way. Er, if you can.

    ROTFLMAO!

  471. #473 Paul
    February 2, 2010

    Since someone mentioned Mooney taking over 50% of the upcoming PoI podcasts, here’s what Ronald A. Lindsay, President and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, had to say in response to Russell Blackford’s post questioning the choice:

    As president & CEO of the Center for Inquiry, I am confident that all three of our new hosts will do an excellent job at what they were hired to do — namely conduct probing interviews on topics of interest to those within the CFI community and many outside this community.
    All three, including Chris Mooney, were hired as hosts and interviewers, not advocates. Chris’s depth of knowledge on issues of science and public policy is almost unmatched among science journalists — as evidenced by his best-selling books and successive fellowships at Princeton and MIT.
    There seem to be two concerns about Chris. One, Chris will be “unfair” in his editing of interviews. I am dismayed that atheists — individuals who supposedly adhere to the ethics of belief and strive to conform their beliefs to the evidence — are so quick to pass judgment based on assumptions and suspicions. Can’t we leave dogma to the relgionists? Listen to Chris’s podcasts first and then make your judgment.
    The second is that Chris may put some of his guests to the test and force them to defend their views. Actually, we expect him to put all his guests to the test. At CFI we maintain that all views, including views critical of religion, should be subject to examination. I’m disappointed that Russell (whose blog posts I have generally found insightful) thinks having Chris as a host is a setback for “reason.” In what sense? If “reason” cannot defend itself in the crucible of intellectual debate then it doesn’t deserve that name. “Reason” thrives in the light of scrutiny; it is only dogma and pseudoscience that shrinks from and withers in this light. We expect Chris and all the other hosts to shine a bright light on all views, including views with which they may agree. Finally a footnote: a few months ago, CFI was excoriated by some, principally “accommodationists” in the matter of critique of religion, for sponsoring Blasphemy Day. Now we are being criticized from the other side, by those who believe in a very robust, not to say harsh, critique of religion. Both criticisms miss their mark and show a misunderstanding of what CFI is about. We don’t pull punches at CFI and we don’t just preach to the choir either. We hold nothing sacred. Everything must be examined and defended — including our own principles, values, and views.
    Enjoy the podcast. By the way, it’s called Point of Inquiry.

    And my response:

    Looks like the CFI president and Mooney have a lot in common. Let’s start with a penchant for unsunstantiated assertions:

    Chris’s depth of knowledge on issues of science and public policy is almost unmatched among science journalists — as evidenced by his best-selling books and successive fellowships at Princeton and MIT.

    Book sales don’t show depth of knowledge, especially when one cannot defend the viewpoints when challenged in anything approaching an intellectually honest manner.

    Now equivocation between NA’s and fundamentalists:

    Can’t we leave dogma to the relgionists?

    Unfortunately, our misgivings on Mooney are based on past evidence, namely the way he plays fast and loose with the truth in the media when it comes to selling his point of view. Dogma has nothing to do with it. We welcome inquiry, but it’s telling when your choice of inquirer seems to prefer the role of inquisitor.

    Next, apparently poor reading comprehension:

    The second is that Chris may put some of his guests to the test and force them to defend their views.

    The issue isn’t having to defend one’s views. The issue is the concern that the interviewer will be pushing a certain agenda and taking what you say out of context. For fuck’s sake, Mooney has in the past tried to pass off the words of a commenter on Pharyngula as something PZ himself said. Talk about taking things out of context. While one has to expect this sometimes, when a formerly honest and amiable interviewer is replaced by someone more interested in selling something one is less motivated to speak with them.

    Now, I am not personally familiar with the President of the CfI. But while that statement might have been suitable for a press release where one expects unflinching support of what is being done, it is completely out of place as a comment in response to a blog post, where one would expect engaging with the actual substance of the post instead of just copypasta of press copy. Just figured I’d toss that out there for anyone who is in any way interested in the ongoing Mooney saga.

  472. #474 David Marjanovi?
    February 2, 2010

    until she begged for it

    That’s something else.

    (Though, isn’t 7 a bit early?)

  473. #475 SteveM
    February 2, 2010

    re Knockgoats @461:

    While Dumpty could be wrong about the meaning, Carroll would surely not have put into his mouth a meaning that suggested an incorrect pronunciation – so in gyre, the “g” is soft. In gimble it is hard, since both sources link the meaning to that of “gimlet”.

    Answers.com disagrees:

    The definition offered for ?gyre? in the second line is ?to scratch?; ?gimble? is defined as ?to bore holes.? Carroll has directed us to pronounce these both with a hard ?g.?

    Not to be authoritarian about it, just adding another data point for the discussion. Personally I think it sounds better with both having a hard “g”, but that’s just my opinion.

  474. #476 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 2, 2010
    she has not shown any interest in getting stabbed anywhere else

    …as far as you know…

    Nah… my wife likes to chat with her while she’s taking a bath. Leaving aside the manifest unfairness of the fact that this opportunity for unguarded conversation is forever forbidden to me, it does mean that if any new body mods had shown up, I’d’ve heard about it.

  475. #477 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Jebus, David (@473), this is my daughter we’re talking about!! ;^)

  476. #478 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 2, 2010

    SteveM (@474):

    I like the alliteration with both hard gs as well, but I don’t assume what I like necessarily matches the author’s intent.

  477. #479 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    #459 Bill Dauphin, OM

    It has alreadt been pointed out that i know nothing about the science of language or grammar but since this is pronunciation (not pronounciation) …

    “slithy” I have only heard with a long i. As in shiny and, I have assumed, sniny.

    “gyre” and “gimble”: again I have only heard as a hard g. Since you raise it, “jimble” (soft g) seems wrong but “gyre” could be either in the OED. I have only ever heard “gyrate” as a soft g sound. “Gimble” is not in the OED. “Gimbals” (different word) is given as a “J” sound but I have never heard anything other than a hard g.

    Because of alliteration, as long as both g’s are the same, I would guess you could have either.

  478. #480 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    Actually, both “gyre” and “gimble” are pronounced something like “throatwarblermangrove.”

    Hope this helps.

  479. #481 Bastion Of Sass
    February 2, 2010

    While perusing the non-credit course catalogs of two local community colleges, I discovered to my dismay and disgust that they both offer a fairly extensive list of classes in woo and pseudoscience including: Ghost Studies; Awaken Your Purpose through Numerology; Dowsing for a Healthy Home; Soul Coaching; Healing with Gemstones and Crystals; Past Life Regression/Future Life Progression; and Develop Your Psychic Ability.

    I’ve been ranting about this for the last three days on my eponymous blog Bastion of Sass. Drop in, read and weep, and leave some comments.

    Next, I’m going to check the for-credit classes at these community colleges, plus the courses offered by other area universities and colleges. I want to find out if there’s more teaching of new-age nonsense, woo, and pseudoscience going on in my community.

  480. #482 Knockgoats
    February 2, 2010

    SteveM@474 – yes, turns out they are right! Carroll says gyre (as well as gimble has a hard “g” in the Author’s preface to Looking Glass; which raises the question: how was “gyroscope” pronounced in Victorian England? Merriam-Webster online says in British English it can be pronounced with either a soft or hard g – I’ve never heard the latter as far as I recall, so that’s the source of my error. I agree it sounds better with a hard g.

    In the same preface, he also says slithy is pronounced “as if it were the two words “sly, the”, and that “rath” should be pronounce to rhyme with “bath” – but as “bath” is pronounced with a long “a” in southern England and a short “a” in the north, that doesn’t help! Carroll was born in Runcorn, Cheshire (the north), but educated at expensive schools, where any northern accent would probably have been thrashed out of him. Come to think of it, “the” is pronounced differently before a vowel and a consonant, but slithy must surely have a final “ee” sound!

  481. #483 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    #459 Bill Dauphin, OM

    Bill, while you are here, can you clear up a mystery? Are you indeed “The Lost Dauphin”??

    I worked it out because you retain the family name (Bill) of two of the candidates: “Williams” and “Wilhelm”. DNA testing conducted in 1993 proved however, that Wilhelm Naundorff was not the Dauphin.

    So, are you indeed descended from Eleazer Williams, a missionary from Wisconsin of Mohawk Native American descent? If so, may I be the first on The Endless Thread to acknowledge your rank – or do you still wish to hide behind your OM as being of higher merit?

    Your people of France, indeed the world, want to know!

  482. #484 Leigh Williams
    February 2, 2010

    Hi, guys! I am back from behind the Pine Curtain, but still pretty tied up with working (now remotely, thank God). There is some small chance I may have to go to Oklahoma to help work the ice storm, however.

    In another life, when I had a real job, I got to go to Rome and Chicago and L.A. and NYC. Now I go to East Texas and Oklahoma. How the mighty have fallen.

  483. #485 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    Bill’s more the Duke, I think…

  484. #486 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    #466 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmHzDpTLP2mp-qpt639sa9q2J8Wl4QREfQ

    We need an abbreviation for this …

    My question is is this our Alan B?

    No.

    Signed: The REAL Alan B©

  485. #487 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    February 2, 2010

    Delving back through the thread, I see The Jabberwocky has been up for discussion. Have you consulted the Michael Haynes recording? My favourite, and based on good Carroll scholarship I believe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLBjOIVIGqY

  486. #488 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    #486

    Nice one, Mr Batzrubble. Very much the way I was taught it at school and have heard since in the UK.

  487. #489 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmHzDpTLP2mp-qpt639sa9q2J8Wl4QREfQ
    February 2, 2010

    @ 485 The Real AlanB, the handle at 466 is awful so I go by the name Tayshrenn (only because Imperial Historian and Anomander Rake have been taken and Quickben would be ridiculous)*

    The other Alan B’s comments on Pope Rat were still excellent. There have been suggestions that Rat should be arrested for crimes against Humanity when he comes to the UK. A similar attempt was made against an Israeli cabinet minister-she cancelled the trip in a high dudgeon as a warrent was issued.

    *Go to TVtropes and look up Steven Erickson or Malaz Book of the dead-obligatory warning of serious time wasting potential.

  488. #490 Walton
    February 2, 2010
    if it’s not cruelty to pierce a human child’s ears

    I think it should be.

    IMO, it would be cruel to pierce a human child’s ears if the child did not consent. But if the child really, really wants her (or his) ears pierced, I don’t think the parents should deny this.

    Piercing animals’ ears is a whole other issue, since the animal can’t consent.

  489. #491 Sanction
    February 2, 2010

    Hey, I just noticed that one of my comments is next to Lynna’s entry on the Molly page.

    That is all.

    Except to say that Cuttlefish’s poem in the sold-out thread is a stunner even for Cuttlefish.

  490. #492 Jadehawk, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Mind you, I’m not in favor of the practice ? quite the opposite ? I just thought charging the person with animal cruelty was a bit of a disproportionate response. A regulation banning the practice in future might have been better advised, IMHO.

    but it IS animal cruelty. too bad English (and therefore English-speaking societies; or vice versa) lack the concept of artgerechte tierhaltung (which I’m not even sure how to translate). You’re right that it should be forbidden; so should be declawing :-/

    Anyway, all the talk about piercing body parts and children reminded me of the story a friend (now an evangelical christian housewifey type, but a runaway punk and later stripper in her youth) whose “rebellious” nephew was bragging about his nipple piercings and asking her if she wanted to see them, just to shock her.
    To which she just shrugged and announced that it’s no big deal, she had them, too.

    I would have paid a weeks income to see the expression on his face! :-p

  491. #493 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmHzDpTLP2mp-qpt639sa9q2J8Wl4QREfQ
    February 2, 2010

    oops that should be “Malaz Book of the FALLEN” at 488

  492. #494 Jadehawk, OM
    February 2, 2010

    I wish my papers were this easily appreciable ;-)

    oh shush. you get drooled at and over quite sufficiently around here; and not just by me, either

  493. #495 Walton
    February 2, 2010

    There have been suggestions that Rat should be arrested for crimes against Humanity when he comes to the UK.

    That’s complete nonsense. “Crimes against humanity” is a term with a very specific definition in international law. The most up-to-date definition is that contained in the Rome Statute, which is the international treaty establishing the International Criminal Court (to which the UK is a party).

    For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

    (a) Murder;
    (b) Extermination;
    (c) Enslavement;
    (d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
    (e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
    (f) Torture;
    (g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
    (h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
    (i) Enforced disappearance of persons;
    (j) The crime of apartheid;
    (k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

    Essentially, a crime against humanity is a widespread, systematic violent attack on a civilian population, such as the systematic murder, torture or rape of a particular group. Recent events in the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo perhaps qualify, for instance.

    As much as I dislike Pope Benedict, and deplore his insane views on contraception (which are indeed causing massive amounts of suffering), nothing he has done amounts to a crime against humanity, within the legal definition of the term.

    A similar attempt was made against an Israeli cabinet minister-she cancelled the trip in a high dudgeon as a warrent was issued.

    Yes, an arrest warrant was issued against Tzipi Livni, as a result of which she cancelled her trip to the UK. Though it should be clarified that this arrest warrant was issued for war crimes contrary to the Geneva Conventions, not crimes against humanity; they are different things. Also, to the best of my knowledge, she was a former, not current, cabinet minister; had she still been in office, she would have been exempt from the jurisdiction of the British courts under the principle of immunity ratione personae (as confirmed, inter alia, by the International Court of Justice in the recent case of Democratic Republic of Congo v Belgium).

  494. #496 Knockgoats
    February 2, 2010

    Hi Leigh; there’s something waiting for you on the “Catching up with Molly again” thread.

  495. #497 Carlie
    February 2, 2010

    I wish my papers were this easily appreciable ;-)

    I just looked at one at random, and have to say (with no drop of snark) that evaluating the lower stratigraphic confidence interval for a clade and using it to smack down ridiculous molecular diversification dates is hot. My fossilized little heart flutters every time gene jockeys claim they know more about major early group splits than paleontologists do and then get the data and their asses handed back to them.
    (I know you do both, I’m just talking about the arrogantly wrong molecular biologists)

  496. #498 Jadehawk, OM
    February 2, 2010

    well, I don’t know Walton… IANAL, but his condom policy for Africa comes pretty damn close to:

    (k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

    don’t you think?

  497. #499 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Alan B (@482):

    I had written a tediously long answer that got lost in the aether when my MT sign-in timed out. Short answer: No relation. My mother traced the name back in this country to before the “lost” Dauphin was born.

    Walton (@489):

    Piercing animals’ ears is a whole other issue, since the animal can’t consent.

    A cat can’t consent to being owned, either, nor to any of the unambiguously beneficial veterinary treatments we subject them to (e.g., we just had to have several of my cat’s teeth pulled, because their decay was affecting her ability to eat).

    The consent issue strikes me as a potential argument against the very concept of keeping pets in the first place (not one I’d agree with, but a plausible one nonetheless), but given that we do keep pets, consent per se doesn’t strike me as a valid argument against cosmetic body modification of pets.

    That said…

    but it IS animal cruelty. … You’re right that it should be forbidden; so should be declawing :-/ [Jadehawk @491]

    …I would support the banning of declawing, and of cosmetic pet body modifications like bobbing ears and tails (I’ve never done any of these things to my cats, and never would)… but given that these things are currently not banned, and that we routinely do something similar to ear piercing to tag animals in the wild, it seems plausible that this groomer could have had a good-faith belief that the piercings she was doing were within existing standards of humane animal treatment.

    IOW, I think this is something that needs to be corrected rather than punished.

  498. #500 Paul
    February 2, 2010

    For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

    (g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;

    (k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.< ?blockquote>

    How does sheltering and moving pedophiles around in the church not qualify? Not to mention Jadehawk’s point on their policy in Africa.

  499. #501 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Bill, there is no need to lose your long post. Just go back to the screen where you composed it, save your work, sign back in and paste your work.

  500. #502 Jadehawk, OM
    February 2, 2010

    IOW, I think this is something that needs to be corrected rather than punished.

    well yes, you’re right with that… but it’s not like lawmakers can think of every possibly cruelty a person can think of and specifically forbid it (that would only be for very specific and common things). that’s why we have this catch-all term of animal cruelty, after all.

    As for wildlife tags… I always wondered if those things don’t make life harder on the critters they’re attached to. especially true for smallish critters (those tags are pretty big usually), and I’ve also wondered about this when I was watching a show about tundra critters, when they were attaching black tags to white snow hens (i think). doesn’t that make them a wee bit too visible?

  501. #503 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    but it IS animal cruelty. … You’re right that it should be forbidden; so should be declawing :-/ [Jadehawk @491]
    …I would support the banning of declawing,

    Can’t agree. It’s just not that big a deal (to the cat, as far as I can tell from direct observation of at least 6 cats–not mine–that I have known before, during and after), and if it means that more people will keep their cats indoors then I’m all for it.
    Flame away.

  502. #504 cicely
    February 2, 2010

    He’s right, you know. Just as the legislation against murder imposes unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to slaughter heretics and unbelievers.

    Indeed, as well as infringing upon the rights of those whose religion mandates human sacrifice.

  503. #505 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    As for wildlife tags… I always wondered if those things don’t make life harder on the critters they’re attached to.

    It’s not a trivial concern. There are informal limits on the weight of a tag (usually 5% or less of body mass), and people in general try hard not to kill or harm their study animals! But shit happens. It’s not widely known that the first experimental release of captive-bred black-footed ferrets failed because several animals were killed when dirt compacted under their radio collars as they burrowed and were strangled.

    attaching black tags to white snow hens (i think). doesn’t that make them a wee bit too visible?

    Yeah, that’s just stupid (on the part of the taggers, I mean).

  504. #506 uselesstwit
    February 2, 2010

    Most farmers where I grew up switched from branding livestock to eartags to show ownership. If millions of livestock are pierced through the ears how can it be a crime for pets?

  505. #507 Jadehawk, OM
    February 2, 2010

    I can’t be bothered with another animal cruelty argument. declawing isn’t necessary (I’ve seen cats with claw covers, for those who can’t handle their precious furniture scratched), and I just can’t support pointless animal mutilation. But then, like I said, attitudes towards pets are vastly different between the U.S. and Germany, and most of the common practices about pets in the U.S. would never fly in Germany, because it would be considered animal cruelty (or more precisely, it would violate the concept I mentioned earlier. I really need to come up with a good translation for it; after more coffee maybe)

  506. #508 Jadehawk, OM
    February 2, 2010

    If millions of livestock are pierced through the ears how can it be a crime for pets?

    I’ve not known any cows to ever scratch themselves behind their ears with their claws; nor have I ever seen one tear through shrubbery and/or narrow gaps in furniture.

  507. #509 cicely
    February 2, 2010

    Walton, Walton, Walton! Are you not supposed to be keeping your nose pressed to the grindstone?
    ;)

  508. #510 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Janine (@500):

    Yah, I know; I’ve done that before. In this case, though, I got distracted and copied something else before I’d pasted my previous comment, wiping it out of the buffer. C’est la guerre, eh?

    Sven (@502):

    Flame away.

    Sorry, no flame from me. I’ve never had a cat declawed (and mine is a strictly indoor kitty), but I’ve known cats who were, and as you say they didn’t seem any the worse for it. OTOH, the procedure itself, if described, seems pretty awful. On balance, I’d probably support a ban (and one on the other things I mentioned)… but it’s a fairly close call for me, and not something I’d really fight for.

    I clicked on the goth kittens link this morning because I thought it would be a cute/funny story that might give the crowd here a chuckle, and then when I read that the groomer involved was being criminally charged, I thought that was a bit harsh. All in all, though, I mostly just thought it was a News of the Weird sort of item.

  509. #511 Jadehawk, OM
    February 2, 2010

    It’s not a trivial concern. There are informal limits on the weight of a tag (usually 5% or less of body mass), and people in general try hard not to kill or harm their study animals! But shit happens. It’s not widely known that the first experimental release of captive-bred black-footed ferrets failed because several animals were killed when dirt compacted under their radio collars as they burrowed and were strangled.

    attaching black tags to white snow hens (i think). doesn’t that make them a wee bit too visible?

    Yeah, that’s just stupid (on the part of the taggers, I mean).

    Interesting; thanks :-) (and I’m glad to hear that I wasn’t just being stupid about worrying about black tags on white birds)

  510. #512 MrFire
    February 2, 2010

    Some suggested themes and names for future thread incarnations follow.

    Literary: Where Angels Fear to Thread

    Princess Bride: The Thread Pirate Roberts

    Shaolin Monk: The Thread-itation Chamber

    Kitsch 90’s pop: Right Said Thread actually fuck this it’s crap

    Robocop: Thread or Alive, You’re Coming With Me

    and my personal favorite:

    Lord’s Prayer: Give Us This Day Our Daily Thread

  511. #513 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 2, 2010

    We look to be on track for 1000 comments sometime Thursday. Carry on…

  512. #514 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    Not meaning to perpetuate a conversation you’re not really up for (per #506), I nevertheless wanted to clarify my earlier point:

    …it’s not like lawmakers can think of every possibly cruelty a person can think of and specifically forbid it (that would only be for very specific and common things). that’s why we have this catch-all term of animal cruelty, after all.

    I wasn’t making a whatever-isn’t-explicitly-forbidden-is-permitted argument: Of course, we have to be able to punish unanticipated innovations in evil behavior. But given the context of what’s currently considered acceptable — including cutting off parts of the ears and tails of dogs and cats just so they’ll look “right” in shows — I think this groomer could make the argument that a reasonable person could conclude what she was doing was no less acceptable than unambiguously legal practices.

    Punishing her, personally, does nothing to change the context.

    And that, as Forrest Gump might put it, is all I have to say about that! (Didn’t mean to start anything unpleasant.)

  513. #515 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 2, 2010
  514. #516 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 2, 2010

    A tribunal of mercy

    As I face Alzheimer’s, I want to die at a time of my choosing. We need a better way of assisting loved ones who wish the same

    Terry Pratchett

    As a pallid and nervous young journalist, I got to know about suicide. It was part of my regular tasks to sit in at the coroner’s court, where I learned the manifold ways the disturbed human brain can devise to die. Coroners never used the word “insanity”. They preferred the more compassionate verdict that the subject had “taken his life while the balance of his mind was disturbed”. There was ambivalence to the phrase, a suggestion of the winds of fate and overwhelming circumstance. In fact, by now, I have reached the conclusion that a person may make a decision to die because the balance of their mind is level, realistic, pragmatic, stoic and sharp.

    And that is why I dislike the term “assisted suicide” applied to the carefully thought-out and weighed-up process of having one’s life ended by gentle medical means.

    The people who thus far have made the harrowing trip to Dignitas in Switzerland to die seemed to me to be very firm and methodical of purpose, with a clear prima-face case for wanting their death to be on their own terms. In short, their mind may well be in better balance than the world around them.

    I got involved in the debate surrounding “assisted death” by accident, after taking a long and informed look at my future as someone with Alzheimer’s. As a result of my “coming out” about the disease, I now have contacts in medical research industries all over the world, and I have no reason to believe that a “cure” is imminent.

    And so I have vowed that rather than let Alzheimer’s take me, I would take it. I would live my life as ever to the full and die, before the disease mounted its last attack, in my own home, in a chair on the lawn, with a brandy in my hand to wash down whatever modern version of the Brompton Cocktail some helpful medic could supply. And with Thomas Tallis on my iPod, I would shake hands with Death.

    This seems to me quite a reasonable and sensible decision for someone with a serious, incurable and debilitating disease to elect for a medically assisted death by appointment.

    The Care not Killing Alliance assures us that no one need consider a voluntary death of any sort since care is always available. This is questionable. Medicine is keeping more and more people alive, all requiring more and more care. Alzheimer’s and other dementias place a huge care burden on the country. A burden that falls initially on the next of kin who may even be elderly and, indeed, be in need of some sort of care themselves.

    A major objection frequently flourished by opponents of “assisted dying” is that elderly people might be illegally persuaded into “asking” for assisted death. Could be, but the Journal of Medical Ethics reported in 2007 that there was no evidence of the abuse of vulnerable patients in Oregon where assisted dying is currently legal. I don’t see why things should be any different here.

    Last year, the government finally published guidelines on dealing with assisted death. They did not appear to satisfy anybody. It seems that those wishing to assist a friend or relative to die would have to meet a large number of criteria in order to escape the chance of prosecution for murder. As laid out, the best anyone can do is keep within the rules and hope for the best.

    That’s why I and others have suggested some kind of strictly non-aggressive tribunal that would establish the facts of the case well before the assisted death takes place. The members of the tribunal would be acting for the good of society, as well as that of applicants, to ensure they are of sound and informed mind, firm in their purpose, suffering from a life-threatening and incurable disease and not under the influence of a third party. I would suggest there should be a lawyer, one with expertise in dynastic family affairs who has become good at recognising whether there is outside pressure. And a medical practitioner experienced in dealing with the complexities of serious long-term illnesses.

    I would also suggest that all those on the tribunal are over 45, by which time they may have acquired the gift of wisdom, because wisdom and compassion should in this tribunal stand side-by-side with the law. The tribunal would also have to be a check on those seeking death for reasons that reasonable people may consider trivial or transient distress. If we are to live in a world where a socially acceptable “early death” can be allowed, it must be allowed as a result of careful consideration.

    I would like to die peacefully before the disease takes me over. I hope that will not be for some time, because if I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, then suddenly every day would be as precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice.

    ? This is an edited excerpt from Terry Pratchett’s Richard Dimbleby lecture for 2010, delivered on Monday 1 February 2010. Read an extended version of the lecture in G2

  515. #517 Celtic_Evolution
    February 2, 2010

    Apologies if this has already been pointed out (I’ve kept up with about 90% of this thread, but I might have missed a relevant post here or there), but remember that absolutely horrible and thoroughly discredited article published by the Lancet in 1998 that attempted to link vaccines to autism?

    Well, it should come to no-one’s surprise that the Lancet has retracted the study.

    This is long overdue, but if nothing else it is at least very public and publicly damning to the anti-vax movement, and I say “huzzah!”

  516. #518 blf
    February 2, 2010

    The total stupidity and complete incompetence of the clewless fools who run Sciborg continues:

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    For fucks sake, you fucking brainless twits, get a fucking clew!

  517. #519 Paul
    February 2, 2010

    Well, it should come to no-one’s surprise that the Lancet has retracted the study.

    This is long overdue, but if nothing else it is at least very public and publicly damning to the anti-vax movement, and I say “huzzah!”

    Yet they waited until there was a General Medical Council finding of misconduct against Wakefield to do so. Seeing as the report was thoroughly discredited long before then, this is no credit to a “respected medical journal”. It appears to be little more than saving face, as opposed to caring about the accuracy and authenticity of their studies.

  518. #520 Celtic_Evolution
    February 2, 2010

    Yet they waited until there was a General Medical Council finding of misconduct against Wakefield to do so. Seeing as the report was thoroughly discredited long before then, this is no credit to a “respected medical journal”. It appears to be little more than saving face, as opposed to caring about the accuracy and authenticity of their studies.

    No argument… The Lancet should have done this years ago… their actions (or, more accurately, failure to act) are reprehensible.

    Nonetheless, the facts and the headline are getting some real press and that’s a good thing, in my opinion.

  519. #521 Kausik Datta
    February 2, 2010

    Completely OT:

    Nerd of RedHead! Help!

    IIRC you are a chemist, right? Would you be willing to kindly help me with a problem? A protocol I am using calls for using a 120% KOH solution. I warmed up the water slightly when I was making it because I found that it assisted solution. But now I can’t pipette it out (using a plastic pipette or a micro-pipette tip). If it’s warm, the pipette is bending. If the temperature drops even by a couple of degrees, the KOH is falling out of solution. When I pipette it out, it is crystalizing and solidifying inside the pipette. Can you offer any insight?

  520. #522 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Celtic_Evolution (@516):

    Apologies if this has already been pointed out

    It has! Neener, neener, neener!!

    That said, my mention of it got lost in a gyre of jabberwocks and kittens; you, they pay attention to!

    ;^)

  521. #523 Carlie
    February 2, 2010

    I was just pointed to this on another blog, and it seems like an appropriate coda to some of the discussions of the last week. I have no interest in starting that particular discussion back up again; it’s just a nice dissection of the issue by someone who writes well if anyone is interested in reading about it further. (the post is titled “Since when is being criticized like having your limbs blown off by a landmine?”)

  522. #524 Knockgoats
    February 2, 2010

    we just had to have several of my cat’s teeth pulled, because their decay was affecting her ability to eat – Bill Dauphin, OM

    Well, commiserations from my dog to your cat! Said dog just had four teeth taken out, because of tartar build-up. The vet said this is due to diet: most dogs, including ours, don’t get the raw meat and bones they are adapted to eat. Still, given that the average lifespan of a wild wolf is estimated at 8 years, and our dog is 10 and looks good for a few years yet, I think she’s getting a reasonable deal. She seemed completely over the extraction after 24 hours, anyway – shovelling her grub down at maximum speed as usual.

  523. #525 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Carlie, that reminds me of why I use the word bash in a very specific case, when a person is physically assaulted. It drives me up when a speech is called a bashing. While words help to create a hostile environment,it is still not the same as a boot to the ribs.

    It has always annoyed me when I see a person preface their comment with, “I know I will be attacked for saying this…” It struck be as being a dishonest form of arguing.

  524. #526 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Kausik Datta

    A protocol I am using calls for using a 120% KOH solution.

    Well, first of all, you can’t make a 120% solution. This would require 120 g KOH per 100 g of solution (g KOH plus g water). Probably a typo, where 12.0% solution is used (that should be 2-3 M). If you used 120 g KOH and 100 g water, you would end up with a very viscous 55% solution. The commercial stuff we use here is only 50%. If you can give me some more information, I might be able to determine what happened.

  525. #527 Celtic_Evolution
    February 2, 2010

    It has! Neener, neener, neener!!

    Dammit.

    That said, my mention of it got lost in a gyre of jabberwocks and kittens; you, they pay attention to!

    ‘Tis the peril of posting in the maelstrom of the never-ending thread… I myself posted a link to what I thought was a fairly interesting study on the Evolution of Adaptive Behaviour in Robots by Means of Darwinian Selection in the last incarnation of “the thread” that I thought might provoke some interesting conversation… but alas, I was mistaken.

    I don’t take it too personally… lots of topics flying by in the endless thread… ;^)

  526. #528 Kausik Datta
    February 2, 2010

    Thank you, NoR, for responding. Can I get a PDF across to you in some way? This has the protocol that I am following. The assay I am doing is for chitin; the KOH (the protocol asks for dissolving 120g of KOH in 100ml of water) is used to deacetylate chitin into insoluble chitosan. My email address is kdatta1 at jhmi dot edu. May I request you to send a blank email so that I can attach a PDF and send it to you?

  527. #529 MrFire
    February 2, 2010

    A protocol I am using calls for using a 120% KOH solution

    That’s about the upper limit for solubility of KOH at 25 deg C – 21M!!!!!!

    Nerd’s answers will no doubt be more helpful than mine, but since I’m around:

    1. I would avoid using a pipette – your solution is pretty saturated and putting it in a thin capillary with a lot of surface area will pretty much guarantee crystallisation. Use a measuring cylinder if you can, and keep the solution at 40 deg C or so. Or weigh it.

    2. Is it absolutely necessary to be 120% (I assume weight for weight)? If you go to 100%, it becomes more workable.

    3. Safety – I presume you know this, but just in case, KOH going into water is quite exothermic, so watch out for large amounts of heat generation.

    What experiment are you doing?

  528. #530 David Marjanovi?
    February 2, 2010

    artgerechte [T]ierhaltung (which I’m not even sure how to translate).

    We can always try…

    Animal keeping [ad]just[ed] to the species…
    …species-specific petkeeping & animal husbandry…
    …species-fitting…
    …according to the requirements of each species…

    oh shush.

    :-)

    (I know you do both, I’m just talking about the arrogantly wrong molecular biologists)

    The funny thing is that, when we did molecular dating, it turned out that dates conforming rather closely to the fossil record come out of it as soon as enough calibration points are used and some of them have maximum and not just minimum ages. There’s nothing wrong with the method, it merely needs to be calibrated properly, and usually it isn’t.

    (In case anyone else is reading this, molecular dating would only give relative dates on its own, and even that would only work under the demonstrably wrong assumption of a current rate of evolution. Therefore, calibration points are required ? several branching points in the tree need to be assigned a minimum and/or maximum age* a priori, and the program then tries to work out the ages of the other nodes. Calibration points tend to come from the fossil record… and the gene jockeys tend to be poorly acquainted with it, often taking their information from way outdated compendia that don’t explain any context and hardly any uncertainties.)

    * Or a normal distribution of ages, or a lognormal one, and so on and so forth. A lot of things have become possible that hadn’t yet been invented when we wrote that paper.

    X-Failed-Recipients: webmaster@scienceblogs.com

    Uh…

    You tried to contact the webmaster, and you were told “the group you tried to contact doesn’t exist”???

  529. #531 Kausik Datta
    February 2, 2010

    Mr. Fire:

    2. Is it absolutely necessary to be 120% (I assume weight for weight)? If you go to 100%, it becomes more workable.

    That’s my question, too. Unfortunately, the source papers for this assay don’t mention any of that. I am extracting chitin from fungi as well as infected lung, and the KOH step is to deacetylate the chitin into an insoluble chitosan. If 100% KOH would work, I would be so there.

  530. #532 MrFire
    February 2, 2010
  531. #533 Kausik Datta
    February 2, 2010

    Mr. Fire, thank you for that link to the patent. Unfortunately, I am not enough a chemist to know how this method would differ from the published method that I was using – particularly since getting the chitosan is but the primary step to further reactions downstream prior to quantification. Let me copy-paste from the method that I have:

    Chitin assay. For quantification of fungal growth in the organs, the chitin assay
    was used (7, 18). Lung, brain, and kidney samples were homogenized in 5 ml of 0.9% NaCl, centrifuged, resuspended in 4 ml of 3% sodium lauryl sulfate (Sigma, St. Louis, Mo.), and heated at 100 deg C for 15 min. After cooling, the pellet was washed once with distilled water, resuspended in 3 ml of 120% (wt/vol) KOH solution, and heated at 130 deg C for 1 h. After cooling, the alkaline solution was mixed with 8 ml of ice-cold 75% (vol/vol) ethanol and the tubes were shaken until the alkaline solution and ethanol formed a single phase. The tubes were kept at 48C for 15 min, and 0.3 ml of Celite suspension (the supernatant remaining after
    1 g of Celite 545 [Sigma] was mixed with 75% ethanol and left to stand for 2 min) was added. After centrifugation, the supernatant was discarded and the pellet was washed once with 10 ml of ice-cold ethanol (40% [vol/vol]) and twice with cold (4 deg C) distilled water. The pellet containing insoluble chitosan was stored at +4 deg C until assay.

  532. #534 David Marjanovi?
    February 2, 2010

    120% (wt/vol)

    If this means 120 g KOH per 100 ml solution, it… most likely still wouldn’t work, so I guess it’s a typo. I mean, trying to suspend anything in such a concentrated solution would make the KOH crystallize out, if the solution can exist in the first place.

    KOH has a molar mass of 56. 112 g KOH are therefore 2 mol… that dissolved in 100 ml water would be a 20 M solution… or pretty much what comment 528 says. It’s possible in principle, but write to the authors and ask if it’s a typo for 12.0 or something.

  533. #535 Kausik Datta
    February 2, 2010

    It’s possible in principle, but write to the authors and ask if it’s a typo for 12.0 or something.

    I wish it were, David. I have 6 different papers with the exact same protocol, and the earliest one dates back to 1975. So it would appear that people have been using this method, but how they get by the difficulties in this particular step – I haven’t a clue. Five of my precious samples were ruined today. I am currently deep in the doldrums.

  534. #536 David Marjanovi?
    February 2, 2010

    112 g KOH are therefore 2 mol… that dissolved in 100 ml water

    No, in much less if 100 ml of solution are supposed to result. What is the volume of 120 g dry KOH? …Oh, wait… the density of KOH is a bit over 2 g per ml, so 120 g would be 60 ml. Dissolving that in somewhat but not much more than 40 ml of water might be just possible if you keep it hot.

    This could explain why the water didn’t simply boil away when they heated it to 130 °C. They say they still had an “alkaline solution” afterwards.

  535. #537 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    #520 Kausik Datta

    KOH solution

    To state a blinding glimpse of the obvious:

    You have a powerful chemical there. It will attack human skin and muscle and cause permanent damage to sight. It reacts vigorously with a number of materials. Just dissolving it in water will generate a lot of heat. Serious accidents have taken place handling KOH and its solutions.

    You will have a SAFETY DATA SHEET (or whatever it is called locally).

    READ IT, BELIEVE IT, ACT ON IT.

    Hopefully, you will have a risk assessment for the work you are doing. If you don’t, insist a suitably qualified and experienced person prepares one to cover the work you are doing. Not an all-purpose, MSDS. What you will do, how you will do it. You personally should discuss the hazards and risks with this person. Make sure you understand what you are doing, why you are doing it and how to be sure that you are doing it safely.

    In the UK this is required by law under Health and Safety etc. at Work Act, and in particular, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations.

    Unless you are in a third world country, you will have comparable laws.

    It seems to me (from the questions you are asking) that you do not understand what you are doing (please take that as being no more than a statement of fact).

    PLEASE stop and find out.

    I’m sorry guys, good-meaning advice on a website does not fit the bill.

    THIS COULD BE DOUBLE PLUS UNGOOD.

  536. #538 feegz
    February 2, 2010

    Ok, completely OT but this is the place for that and I feel a need to rant.

    I am a lawyer. In Australia, you have two options for signing affidavits – you can swear them (by god) or you can affirm them (not by god).

    Probably more than half of my colleagues just automatically delete the affirm option without even asking the witness which they’d rather do.

    I’ve handed draft affidavits to supervisors to check (I’m pretty junior) where I have asked the witness and they’ve elected to affirm and had them returned to me with “affirm” corrected to “swear”.

    I’ve also noticed that one of the partners feels it necessary to make a big song and dance about the fact that he affirms affidavits (partners have to do a lot of them). So I’m not the only one that this assumption annoys.

    Anyway… that’s my rant for the day.

  537. #539 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    #536

    While I was prepaeing this, several posts have come up. It seems you are using limited quantities of solution. This is part of the process of reducing risk.

    However, after several failures, I believe it is time you stopped, had a good think, and got formal advice that someone will stand by in court and for which the person has adequate insurance.

  538. #540 Carlie
    February 2, 2010

    That does seem like an insanely large amount of KOH. Given that a 5% wt/vol solution gives a pH of close to 12, saying it’s “still alkaline” is a bit of an understatement. Honestly, my guess is that if several papers say the exact same thing, they’ve just copied off of each other and perpetuated a potential typo, while mentally inserting a decimal without realizing it. I’d also suggest stopping for now and contacting one of the prior authors.

  539. #541 Kausik Datta
    February 2, 2010

    Dissolving that in somewhat but not much more than 40 ml of water might be just possible if you keep it hot.

    Yes, dissolving it has not been so much of a problem as has been keeping it in solution! It falls out of solution at the slightest pretext, even when I am trying to pick up 3 ml to put into my tubes!

    Only if NoR or someone could give me an idea if the same reaction would work with a less concentrated KOH solution.

  540. #542 Kausik Datta
    February 2, 2010

    Alan B:

    It seems to me (from the questions you are asking) that you do not understand what you are doing (please take that as being no more than a statement of fact).

    Thank you for giving me a much needed laughter at the end of a what turned out to be unproductive day. But I appreciate your concern, and yes, I am aware of the potential safety issues. I have been in this business for quite some time, and my present predicament is of a different, very specific nature.

    Carlie:

    I’d also suggest stopping for now and contacting one of the prior authors.

    Absolutely my next step. Though 12% (in place of 120%) would not work. From the patent link Mr. Fire provided me, they use NaOH (instead of KOH) at 55-70% (wt/vol) for extracting chitosan from chitin.

  541. #543 David Marjanovi?
    February 2, 2010

    But you certainly don’t need a more concentrated solution of KOH than of NaOH ? KOH is a slightly stronger base, not weaker. Perhaps try 40 % wt/vol? If that doesn’t work, 50?

  542. #544 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    And now for something completely different. In the general category of the b******g obvious:

    “Blood dripping through office ceiling sparks police murder hunt.”

    I guess it might, at that!!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1248014/Blood-dripping-office-ceiling-sparks-police-murder-hunt.html?ITO=1708&referrer=yahoo

  543. #545 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 2, 2010

    I think I got Kausik straightened out (after taking the Redhead to the train station). He should be adding the 120 g KOH to 100 mL of water. He should end up with about 160 mL or so of solution. It is a 55% solution (120 g KOH/ (120 g KOH + 100 g water)

  544. #546 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    In the general category of just plain STUPID:

    Tesco shopper, 24, forced to show ID… because she was ‘too young to buy slice of QUICHE’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1247925/Girl-told-ID-buy-QUICHE-Tesco-looked-21.html?ITO=1708&referrer=yahoo#ixzz0eQVep8vw

    (Background: stores are running scared because the Stasi British Government imposes swingeing penalties on shops that sell hazardous goods such as knives; plastic knives, fork and spoons; tobacco products; alcohol; boxes of eggs and bags of flour on Saturdays (where they might be used to throw at police or at other football supporters) etc. etc. The law is that you must be over 18 (although I do not know the law which makes it illegal to sell plastic spoons, eggs or flour). The Governement has threatened shopkeepers and cashiers so badly that they are demanding proof of age if they think you might be under 25. I can only assume that a slice of quiche is such a risk to health that the public must be protected from themselves.)

    Another example from the same article:

    Grandmother Tina MacNaughton-Jones, 47, refused a bottle of wine in a Waitrose supermarket in Worthing, West Sussex – because she could not prove she was over 18. Her 22-year-old daughter then produced a driver’s licence to buy the bottle but she, too, was turned down over fears that she would pass the alcohol on to her mother.

    Beware: The idiots are running the assylum over here!

  545. #547 A. Noyd
    February 2, 2010

    Alan B (#545)

    Tesco shopper, 24, forced to show ID… because she was ‘too young to buy slice of QUICHE’

    Well, if she un-baked the quiche, she might have gotten her hands on both flour and eggs. Did you ever think of that?!

  546. #548 David Marjanovi?
    February 2, 2010
    Her 22-year-old daughter then produced a driver’s licence to buy the bottle but she, too, was turned down over fears that she would pass the alcohol on to her mother.

    X-D

    <headdesk>

  547. #549 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    #546 A. Noyd

    You may have cracked it!

  548. #550 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    routine update

    It looks like there is no longer any immediate danger of asymptote. So that’s good.

    22038

  549. #551 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    bah! munged the link and didn;t preview

  550. #552 Alan B
    February 2, 2010

    #544 Nerd of Redhead, OM

    It seems to me (and has done for many years) that we have a fundametal problem with quoting solution strengths as “%”, especially for strong solutions. There are better (i.e. clearly defined and hence repeatable) ways of expressing solution strengths such as:

    g per kg (or litre) of water
    g per litre of solution
    Molar or Molal (although this will lead to total confusion)
    mole fraction – possibly the best for strong solutions.

    (In a nuclear power plant we were more used to ppm and ppb i.e. mg/kg and µg/kg, respectively.)

    On a different but related sunject, do you know what the strength is of concentrated HCl? IIRC it is quoted almost universally as 30% (or thereabouts). 30% of what?

    Also, when using HCl for checking for carbonates we are told to use 5% HCl. Again, anyone know what this means? (It matters because we are told that dolomite hardly fizzes unless finely divided or stronger acid is used. If the original “5%” was incorrectly made up then we may be sowing confusion).

    With that I must awa’ to my warm bed.

  551. #553 MrFire
    February 2, 2010

    I’m sorry guys, good-meaning advice on a website does not fit the bill.

    THIS COULD BE DOUBLE PLUS UNGOOD.

    In the end, this is probably the best advice we could give you. You’re basically handling Drano here.

    But if you really have to do it and you’re working with only 3mL solution, consider combining the chitin, KOH, and water at the same time, using only enough KOH and water so as to make that 3mL, 120% solution in situ when you heat it. I’m pretty sure it won’t make much of a difference.

  552. #554 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    Have you tried swizzling it vigorously with a swizzlestick?
    That works sometimes. Or, bang it with a butterknife.

  553. #555 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Alan B, I taught general chemistry for many years. Percent solution is defined as grams solute per 100 g of solution. So, for 30 hydrochloric acid, this means 30 g of HCl (hydrogen chloride) per 100 g solution. The unspoken solvent is always water unless specified. For example, I could have a 10% solution of DMF in toluene.

    It is useful, in that I don’t have to think much to make a 5% solution, from a 30% solution. 15 g of the 30% solution (4.5 g solute) and dilute to 90 g total with 75 g of water.

  554. #556 llewelly
    February 2, 2010

    Sven DiMilo | February 2, 2010 7:42 PM:

    routine update
    It looks like there is no longer any immediate danger of asymptote. So that’s good.
    22038

    Sven, your link is b0rk3n. It should go here.

  555. #557 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    On the other hand, nothin from nothin leaves nothin.

  556. #558 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 2, 2010

    The Governement has threatened shopkeepers and cashiers so badly that they are demanding proof of age if they think you might be under 25.. . .

    Another example from the same article:

    Grandmother Tina MacNaughton-Jones, 47, refused a bottle of wine in a Waitrose supermarket in Worthing, West Sussex – because she could not prove she was over 18. Her 22-year-old daughter then produced a driver’s licence to buy the bottle but she, too, was turned down over fears that she would pass the alcohol on to her mother.

    Sadly, this hysteria has been common practice in the US for 20 years. When I was a teen working as a cashier at a supermarket, I was required to ask for ID from every single person in the party, if any of them looked underage. Yes, even if it was obvious that it was a mother with her children (they could be teens, you know, putting her up to buying them booze).

    Apparently it never occurs to the shopkeepers that people who really are trying to buy booze for kiddies aren’t going to drag the kiddies into the store with them .

    In most every grocery store I shop at now, there are signs proclaiming that I should be prepared to give identification if I look under 40.

    What’s worse, some of the stores have cash registers obviously programmed to “catch out” any clerks that just make up a birthdate, because the young workers are obsessed with entering one’s real birth date. They think nothing of saying – in a loud voice audible to everyone – “Date of birth?” – to women obviously in their 60s and 70s who feel quite indignant about having to announce their birth date publicly.

  557. #559 Kausik Datta
    February 2, 2010

    [b]Thank you, thank you, thank you![/b]
    *bows to all
    [b]Thank you especially to Nerd of Redhead, Mr. Fire and David M.[/b] The patent that Mr. Fire provided, a remark from David and the discussion with NoR – everything contributed to an epiphany which made me go back to the original 1975 paper. There they wrote “120g KOH in 100ml of water”, NOT 120% ([i]that[/i] was the interpretation of a more recent French paper that I was following).

    From what David pointed out upthread, adding 120g of KOH in 100ml of water makes for a 75% (w/v) solution (120g of KOH/approx. 60ml of volume occupied by the 120g of KOH + 100ml of water) (*nods to David M).

    Using simple wt. calculations that NoR indicated (Sorry I usually don’t do calculations based on the wt. of the solvent), it is a 55% (w/w) solution (*nods to NoR).

    Either way, this concentration is more believable, particularly since the patent that Mr. Fire provided mentions using 55-70% NaOH for making chitosan from chitin.

    My problem is, therefore, resolved, and what’s more, I may not have lost the samples that I thought I did. [b]Yay!![/b]

    And Alan B. Thank you, too. I absolutely agree about not using % as a concentration estimator; much less ambiguous to quote the actual amounts in the paper.

  558. #560 Carlie
    February 2, 2010

    I almost wondered if they meant 120 in 100 as “120%”, and then thought no, couldn’t be. I guess it could! Glad Nerd figured it out.

    I have noticed that older papers tend to give more information about procedures; I think it’s that space is so dear now that methods get abbreviated to the point of being almost incomprehensible. Or in some cases, totally incomprehensible.

  559. #561 Kausik Datta
    February 2, 2010

    Damn BBcode! Damn my inability to check that the text-formatting toolbar (awesome BTW) had BBcode selected instead of HTML! Damn my laziness in not putting the HTML codes by hand! Damn! Damn! Damn!

    *Whew!! That’s out then.

    Now, properly, Thank you NoR, David M and Mr. Fire, not to forget Alan B.

  560. #562 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 2, 2010

    I have noticed that older papers tend to give more information about procedures;

    Chemical Abstracts prior to WWII would often provide a terse summary of experimental procedures. That was very useful, as we didn’t always need the original paper (which might be in a foreign language) to make a little of something. After WWII, there were so many papers being abstracted per year, they stopped doing that. Then we had to obtain the original paper. At the moment, the abstracts are just copied from the papers themselves. I think last year they abstracted 1.5 million plus papers, so I can understand the need for simplification.

  561. #563 aratina cage of the OM
    February 2, 2010

    @Janine MOFMA, OM #515, Re: A tribunal of mercy

    This part

    As a result of my “coming out” about the disease, I now have contacts in medical research industries all over the world, and I have no reason to believe that a “cure” is imminent.

    And so I have vowed that rather than let Alzheimer’s take me, I would take it. I would live my life as ever to the full and die, before the disease mounted its last attack, in my own home, in a chair on the lawn, with a brandy in my hand to wash down whatever modern version of the Brompton Cocktail some helpful medic could supply. And with Thomas Tallis on my iPod, I would shake hands with Death.

    left me in tears. Powerful stuff. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

  562. #564 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 2, 2010

    Lynna, sent a little gift your way. Your instructions made it easy.

  563. #565 Ichthyic
    February 2, 2010

    Posted by: SC OM Author Profile Page | February 2, 2010 12:13 AM

    For the record (and I believe I’ve noted this before), the person who brought up book sales and whom Gee instructed not to be “so fucking impertinent” was not Ichthyic.

    not only that, but everything Gee said about me in that link Owlmirror provided was utter hyperbole.

    It’s easy enough to see what I actually said in the original thread, and most will realize he was merely deflecting having to defend anything he said about Dawkins or religion.

    again, I found this weaseling very unbecoming someone who is a senior editor of Nature, of all things.

    As someone else mentioned, I’d hate to have a paper reviewed for publication by that guy.

  564. #566 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 2, 2010

    oops that should be “Malaz Book of the FALLEN” at 488

    Actually it should be The Malazan Book of the Fallen.

  565. #567 feegz
    February 2, 2010

    @Janine MOFMA, OM #515, Re: A tribunal of mercy

    My grandmother always insisted that she’d go on her own terms if she thought her mind was slipping or if her body stopped being useful. She had my father make up a very strongly worded “do not do anything to keep me alive” card that she wore on a chain around her neck for years once she considered her self frail.

    Unfortunately, she (and we) didn’t notice her mind was going until it was already gone.

    Sadly, the problem with Alzheimers and dementia is that the final assault tends to sneak up on you. And then it’s too late.

  566. #568 windy
    February 2, 2010

    Oh, lighten up.

    You first ;) (“bigot” was a joke too)

    Seriously, though, and I don’t really know how to express this without appearing to be condescending to non-musicians, but there really is a world of difference between artistically playing something that you have practiced extensively exactly the same way (and ws usually composed by somebody else) and the kind of spontaneous self-expression that is possible in improvisation. There really is.

    I know that’s what you meant. But the point was that that lady is also considered an artist of the latter kind so that’s kind of her slumming on the polka shit, if you want to see it that way. Maybe I’m just imagining it but IMO there’s a certain “jay nay sez quay” compared to the regular polka shit. But whatever, keep on hating the polka shit.

  567. #569 MrFire
    February 2, 2010

    No problem Kausik. Good luck with that witches’ brew.

  568. #570 Sven DiMilo
    February 2, 2010

    Aw. Ain’t hatin’.
    Please understand; it’s a cultural divide.
    I was brainwashed as a child and youth to associate the word “polka” with this guy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFbuYNTu208
    OK?

  569. #571 Pygmy Loris
    February 2, 2010

    Josh @557,

    The poor clerks are just trying not to go to jail. When the cops sent an underage kid through my line at Wal-mart I would have sworn he was at least 30, but when I carded him he turned out to be 16. If I had sold him the beer he was trying to buy, they would have taken me out of the store in handcuffs and I would personally have to pay a very large fine in addition to the punishment Wal-mart would have been subjected to. Two cashiers were arrested while I worked at Wal-mart. Both failed to card kids sent in by the police.

  570. #572 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 3, 2010

    Pygmy Loris,

    I understand that. Did you think I was disagreeing? Notice that in my post, I talked about clerks refusing to sell to someone who *was* of the appropriate age. The example I gave was of when I, too, was a cashier, having to refuse to sell to a mother who was over 21, but whose kids were not. That’s a different story.

    I’m not disputing that clerks need to card people. I’m disputing that it makes sense to have to card everyone in the party, no matter how ridiculous the circumstances. And though I can’t be sure, I don’t know of any state law that bars selling alcohol to a legal adult simply because there are others in the party who may not be (I’m willing to be wrong, of course!).

    Again, you don’t have to talk me into it – I know what your job was like because I’ve done it to:)

  571. #573 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    For the record, this is the “obnoxious” email I sent to Greg Laden (in response to one about a technical issue) after he implied that I was an antisemite:

    What you implied was horrible. Why the hell do you think I reacted so strongly to what Henry Gee said? It’s probably the worst accusation I can think of. I can’t believe you said that. We don’t have a nascent friendship. I want nothing to do with you right now.

    I would make some joke about how some people might justifiably come to believe that Laden likes to rape ducklings…I mean I personally don’t think so, though the evidence does appear to suggest it… But I’m far too upset at the moment.

    Please carry on.

  572. #574 Pygmy Loris
    February 3, 2010

    Josh,

    Honestly, I’m not sure what I thought. I just had a moment where I remembered irate customers who didn’t have ID on them yelling at me about how they’re in their 30s or what have you and I got all defensive. We also weren’t supposed to sell to people who were visibly drunk, and when I refused one guy he tried to grab me over the register. Sometimes I would card someone who was underage and they’d beg me to let them have cigarettes or alcohol. Even some of them became physically aggressive. Luckily, every incident I had was witnessed by other customers or other cashiers, and I witnessed incidents between other cashiers and customers.

  573. #575 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 3, 2010

    Pygmy, I know what you’re talking about. The clerk always has to take shit from the customer, and shit from management. Thank frak my days as a cashier are behind me (I hope yours, too!). Ever waited tables? We could trade some real war stories!

  574. #576 Miki Z
    February 3, 2010

    If the police are concerned about shoulder-tapping (i.e., underage drinkers getting legal adults to procure alcohol for them), they should set up stings to target the purchasers, not the clerks. If the clerks card, that ought to be enough to protect them.

  575. #577 Pygmy Loris
    February 3, 2010

    Josh,

    Never worked as a server; the only food service I did was fast food for a couple of years and I hated every freaking minute!

    Miki Z,

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but we weren’t liable for this “shoulder-tapping,” just selling to actual minors. The only place I’ve worked where I sold cigarettes and liquor was Wal-mart, so I had the advantage that every time I asked for ID it was on camera (like everything else I did)!

  576. #578 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Lynna, sent a little gift your way. Your instructions made it easy.

    Thank you, Nerd! It only me took three days to post instructions.

    I think I didn’t want to think about it long enough to figure it out. I’m having trouble facing the whole problem head-on. If I avert my gaze, maybe it’ll go away? Nope, probably doesn’t work that way.

  577. #579 Ichthyic
    February 3, 2010

    For the record, this is the “obnoxious” email I sent to Greg Laden (in response to one about a technical issue) after he implied that I was an antisemite:

    wth?

    I must have missed that whole exchange.

    when did Greg imply you were an antisemite?

    was it simply because you were focusing on Gee?

  578. #580 Miki Z
    February 3, 2010

    Lynna,

    Do you have any idea whether you lost your memory after the fact or just didn’t form the memories at all? (retrograde vs. anterograde)

    As comfortable as averting the gaze may be, sadly it doesn’t work — you eventually forget you’re averting your gaze at all, and this just causes more trouble. Sounds like you already know, of course.

  579. #581 John Morales
    February 3, 2010

    Ichthyic @578, Greg didn’t, as such, in this comment:

    Much of your commentary together with this statement could lead some people to assume that you have some serious antisemitic issues to deal with. I’m not saying that, but I just want you to know that it could look this way. (I don’t happen to think it is the case.)

  580. #582 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    wth?

    I must have missed that whole exchange.

    when did Greg imply you were an antisemite?

    was it simply because you were focusing on Gee?

    Honestly, I can’t know. He hasn’t explained it.

    End of this comment:

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/01/should_just_anyone_be_allowed_1.php#comment-2246278

    Much of your commentary together with this statement could lead some people to assume that you have some serious antisemitic issues to deal with. I’m not saying that, but I just want you to know that it could look this way. (I don’t happen to think it is the case.)

  581. #583 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    Greg didn’t, as such,

    What? What do you think he was suggesting there, John?

  582. #584 Miki Z
    February 3, 2010

    What? What do you think he was suggesting there, John?

    That Brutus is an honorable man?

  583. #585 Ichthyic
    February 3, 2010

    holy crap, that thread sure got juicy after I left it!

    for those unawares…

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/01/should_just_anyone_be_allowed_1.php

  584. #586 John Morales
    February 3, 2010

    SC, I’m suggesting Greg insinuated it (as in that he claimed that the evidence pointed that way), but simultaneously ostensibly repudiated that he sees it that way himself.

  585. #587 Ichthyic
    February 3, 2010

    I gotta go with SC here John.

    to me that says:

    “Not that I’M calling you an anti-semite, mind you, but the things you say and do sure make it seem like you are one.”

    yes, he called her antisemitic, based on her approach and writing, and I rather think the reason he did that was simply because he was tired of the discussion, and was probably hoping SC would leave in a huff.

    boy, did that backfire, and rightly so.

  586. #588 John Morales
    February 3, 2010

    Deep Rifts.

  587. #589 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    I’m suggesting Greg insinuated it (as in that he claimed that the evidence pointed that way), but simultaneously ostensibly repudiated that he sees it that way himself.

    Well, John, I’d like to be able to take your interpretation seriously, but unfortunately much of your commentary together with this statement could lead some people to assume that you have some serious mental problems to deal with. I’m not saying that, but I just want you to know that it could look this way. (I don’t happen to think it is the case.)

  588. #590 windy
    February 3, 2010

    I would make some joke about how some people might justifiably come to believe that Laden likes to rape ducklings…I mean I personally don’t think so, though the evidence does appear to suggest it… But I’m far too upset at the moment.

    It’s not worth it, IMO. Can Laden actually clearly argue for a case as opposed to stringing together non-sequiturs?

  589. #591 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    Deep Rifts.

    This isn’t funny, John.

  590. #592 blf
    February 3, 2010
    X-Failed-Recipients: webmaster@scienceblogs.com

    Uh…

    You tried to contact the webmaster, and you were told “the group you tried to contact doesn’t exist”???

    Yep! For months now…

    The original problem has long since been sorted out (thanks, I suspect, to Pee Zed).

    I’ve been periodically sending test e-mails to try and check whether or the clowns every actually do anything or just suck up the Sciborg’s money. During that time, the nature of the failure (bounce-back) may have changed, but for at least the last month, it’s been this insane dribble about being unable to post to a Generalissimo Google™ Group.

    Keep in mind <webmaster@scienceblogs.com> is a publicly-listed contact e-mail address at http://scienceblogs.com/channel/about.php#contact albeit the COMPLETE FUCKING INCOMPETENT CLEWLESS IDIOTS have even managed to screw that up—the links on that page are of the form:

    <a herf="mailto:webmaster@scienceblogs.com">webmaster@scienceblogs.com</a>

    It’s blatantly obvious these jerks don’t know what they are doing, DON’T BOTHER TO TEST, and are incapable of finding their way out of wet paper bag.

  591. #593 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    It’s not worth it, IMO. Can Laden actually clearly argue for a case as opposed to stringing together non-sequiturs?

    Much of his commentary together with this recent statement could lead some people to assume that he has some serious logical issues to deal with. I’m not saying that, but I just want him to know that it could look this way. (I don’t happen to think it is the case.)

    [Sorry. I'm furious. I'll stop now.]

  592. #594 John Morales
    February 3, 2010

    SC,

    This isn’t funny, John.

    No, it’s not funny, and I guess I fail at sardonicism.

    I get that you’re furious, and I think with good reason.

  593. #595 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    Sorry, John. I really appreciate your comments over there, btw.

  594. #596 Ichthyic
    February 3, 2010

    Did Laden just Banhammer you SC???

    I understand you’re rightly angry, and I did make some commentary there to attack greg’s antisemitic remark, but I find it utterly amusing that the man, after jumping in with both feet but forgetting to bring his brain along, frackin banhammers you!

    wow.

    I think I would light up a ciggy at this point, if I smoked.

  595. #597 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    And Ichthyic, in reference to your comments on the other thread here: Awwwwww. Made me smile.

  596. #598 Pygmy Loris
    February 3, 2010

    SC,

    I haven’t followed the conversation at Laden’s blog, but I am really angry that he would call you an anti-semite, however obliquely. Your commentary has always made me admire you for standing up against misogyny and bigotry. Laden is wrong here and he needs to apologize.

  597. #599 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    Did Laden just Banhammer you SC???

    I guess so, prompted by my “obnoxious” email, apparently. The sad thing is that he still doesn’t seem to recognize the seriousness of what he (or Gee, more plainly but more generally) implied.

  598. #600 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Damn. I have not followed what happened at that blog. Tomorrow, I will have to pick through the wreckage.

  599. #601 Miki Z
    February 3, 2010

    Oh, those lovable Baptists. Why do people pick on them so when they are out gathering young fruit for their child garden:

    “The Americans apparently enlisted a clergyman who went knocking on doors asking people if they wanted to give away their children,” Jeanne Bernard Pierre, the director of Haiti’s social welfare agency, told the Associated Press news agency.

    “One child said to me: ‘When they came knocking on our door asking for children, my mom decided to give me away because we are six children and by giving me away she would have only five kids to care for,'” he said. (source)

    I have decidedly mixed feelings (is that an internally consistent phrase?) about adoptions of kids with living parents, particularly foreign adoptions, but under no meaning of the word ‘orphan’ in English does this work, and the baptists have been bleating “We were saving orphans!” loudly.

  600. #602 Ichthyic
    February 3, 2010

    I guess so, prompted by my “obnoxious” email, apparently. The sad thing is that he still doesn’t seem to recognize the seriousness of what he (or Gee, more plainly but more generally) implied.

    I hadn’t even realized that Gee had called me an antisemite on his blog after that pharyngula thread months and months ago, or I would have been just as indignant about it as you are having greg imply it now.

    I think Gee’s. then, was even a more blatant attempt at poisoning the well than Greg’s was though.

    i just goes to show that no matter what your position of responsibility, no matter how much experience you have in communicating your ideas, we can all be entire asshats at times.

    I’m sure Greg will offer some kind of notpology, much like Henry’s, in the next day or so.

    I’m tired of arguing with the likes of them, frankly.

  601. #603 windy
    February 3, 2010

    [Sorry. I'm furious. I'll stop now.]

    I think Greg has a pattern of making unnecessarily cryptic remarks, and then refusing to follow up on them. Much of his commentary together with his recent statement could lead some people to assume that he’s doing it to make other people feel stupid and/or to make himself look smarter. I’m not saying that he is, just that it could look this way, mind you. Normally it’s just annoying, not full-blown offensive.

    Sorry if this seems concern-trollish, but I’m actually a bit concerned that you’re letting his comment get to you so much. You have every right to be furious, but not worth it, imo, for something so lame and oblivious.

    And even if that part of it wasn’t funny, this was pretty funny:

    …I can tell you that there are people who do not participate in PZ’s blog’s conversations because they do not feel comfortable. Voices are being silenced by you* and Salty Current and whomever. I’m sure there are also voices that are being encouraged on Pharynugla that might be silenced elsewhere.

    *that would be Paul W. WTF?

  602. #605 llewelly
    February 3, 2010

    Excellent interview with Jerry Coyne on the latest episode of Freethought radio (Starting at about 19:45). Strangely, I cannot find any reference to this interview on whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com .

    This episode of Freethought Radio also contains an excellent reading of James Wood’s excellent NYT op-ed Between God And A Hard Place, starting at about 6:40

    Annie Laurie also reports on this awful case of a rape victim receiving 101 lashes for becoming pregnant, and discusses the role of religion in such horrible parodies of justice.

    Next week Freethought radio will have an interview with Richard Dawkins.

  603. #606 Carlie
    February 3, 2010

    I think I didn’t want to think about it long enough to figure it out. I’m having trouble facing the whole problem head-on. If I avert my gaze, maybe it’ll go away?

    But though you may avert your gaze, we shall still smother you with love! and concern! and any remotely related tips we can find! and other stuff like that!

    Oh, wait, we’re supposed to be an uncivil evil godless horde around here. Um, fuck off, ya soddy git! (*psst* – we’ll drop by with the casseroles later)

  604. #607 llewelly
    February 3, 2010

    windy | February 3, 2010 4:19 AM:

    And even if that part of it wasn’t funny, this was pretty funny:
    [Greg Laden:]

    …I can tell you that there are people who do not participate in PZ’s blog’s conversations because they do not feel comfortable. Voices are being silenced by you* and Salty Current and whomever. I’m sure there are also voices that are being encouraged on Pharynugla that might be silenced elsewhere.

    *that would be Paul W. WTF?

    (Links added by me. Paul’s comment is a worthwhile description of how Pharyngula works – or, at least, how it should work.)

    The natural conclusion: Sometimes, it does not actually matter whether you are as aggressive as Salty Current(0) or as nice as Paul W. Sometimes, people find your words offensive because of the content, not the form. Some people are offended by facts, not by the way they are presented.

    (Denial of this reality is one of the more infuriating aspects of framesters like Chris Mooney.)

    (0) Apropos of nothing, SC’s blog is the top google link for “Salty Current”.

  605. #608 Mr T
    February 3, 2010

    I don’t read Greg Laden’s blog very often. His post are occasionally interesting, but generally I leave them feeling that I’ve wasted time and learned nothing. I agree that he’s often very cryptic, which is not the best quality for a blogger.
    Anyway, it didn’t take long to give up reading the comments on his recent rug-pissing post, so perhaps I’m out out of my element here, like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie… but I digress.

    Voices are being silenced by you and Salty Current and whomever. I’m sure there are also voices that are being encouraged on Pharynugla [sic] that might be silenced elsewhere.

    And whomever? Could he be more vague? He forgot to mention “etc., &c., and others, and so on, and so forth….” For that matter, it’s also not clear whose “voices are being silenced”. He may think that he’s saying something here — perhaps even something important — but as far as I can tell he’s not.

    This from the beginning of the same comment also strikes me as laughable:

    Paul (and I suppose CPP): The pissing on the rug metaphor is perfect. A metaphor that is a perfect match is a description. A metaphor is supposed to be general and it is not supposed to match reality exactly.

    So, he declares the metaphor is “perfect”, and is not a perfect match to reality, because then it would be a “description”. To me, that speaks volumes. He could’ve tried to improve or expand on the metaphor. He could’ve opted for a “description” instead, one which does correspond to reality to at least some extent. Perhaps he did later, but I don’t know because I simply gave up. The point is that when the opportunity to do so presented itself, he flatly rejected it and continued the obfuscation. If he wants his scribblings to be taken seriously (by me at least), he’ll have to do much better than that.

  606. #609 Carlie
    February 3, 2010

    So, based on that thread and the highlights of llewelly’s links: Greg thinks that it’s important to moderate a blog for civility so that it doesn’t turn into a cesspool like Pharyngula, but when informed that Pharyngula does have civility moderation (via commenters), says that their enforcement of civility stifles comment and pushes people away. So moderating for civility is good, except that it’s bad. This is why I almost never understand a fucking thing he says.

  607. #610 ambulocetacean
    February 3, 2010

    Ring-Tailed Lemurian,

    I’m glad you survived your ordeal up there. Yikes.

  608. #611 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    *awakens after a few hours’ fitful sleep*

    Sorry if this seems concern-trollish, but I’m actually a bit concerned that you’re letting his comment get to you so much. You have every right to be furious, but not worth it, imo, for something so lame and oblivious.

    I guess what’s most upsetting about it is that it insinuates that I really hate actual people whom I love. But you’re right, it isn’t worth it.

    I agree that he’s often very cryptic, which is not the best quality for a blogger.

    I remember once reading a discussion (over at Zuska’s?) in which Physioprof said that he was leaving himself open to certain charges because of the opaqueness of his writing. (I’m paraphrasing; you have to imagine it in his colorful style.) This in general is one of those times, though I thought he expressed himself clearly in the comments of Gee’s blog and that I basically agreed with him. At this point, I have no idea what he and Stephanie are talking about. (I don’t understand this distinction he seems to be trying to make between saying “You run your blog like an asshole and it excludes people” and “You shouldn’t run your blog the way you do, asshole – it excludes people.” They’re both critical, expressing disagreement with someone’s viewpoint or behavior. In neither case is there any possibility that the person criticizing could control anyone’s behavior even if (s)he wanted to. And I don’t understand Stephanie’s claims about “telling people how to feel.” Of course I’m trying to change how people think when I’m arguing with them. That’s what arguing is.)

    The natural conclusion: Sometimes, it does not actually matter whether you are as aggressive as Salty Current(0) or as nice as Paul W. Sometimes, people find your words offensive because of the content, not the form. Some people are offended by facts, not by the way they are presented.

    Yeah, the thing about Paul W. was…odd. I probably should moderate my aggression sometimes. I try to recognize if I’ve been excessively belligerent – as with Leigh recently – and apologize. The thing is that I wanted to talk about the implications of certain specific standards or environments, but no one there seems interested in that. And when Paul writes long, cogent posts about the environment here and why it “works,” they’re ignored.

    (0) Apropos of nothing, SC’s blog is the top google link for “Salty Current”.

    w00t! (I just discovered I got a donation from a very thoughtful person; I hope to start posting again today or tomorrow.)

  609. #612 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Do you have any idea whether you lost your memory after the fact or just didn’t form the memories at all? (retrograde vs. anterograde)

    I think I just didn’t form memories for a brief period of time. But I don’t know for sure, and AFAIK there’s no way to tell. In addition to the period of lost or “offline” time, I also have hazy memories of a period of only partially offline time, perhaps half an hour? All of this guessing is based on gathering clues from email, cell phone and internet activity, none of it is certain.

  610. #613 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    w00t! (I just discovered I got a donation from a very thoughtful person; I hope to start posting again today or tomorrow.

    Good to hear, SC! Lines of conga rats, dancing and arguing gleefully, are celebrating for you.

    As for the arguing and aggression and accusations of anti-semitude, I would think that there’s so much difference between what persons are comfortable with, what they expect, and how well their intellects work under pressure that you can’t avoid at least a few clashes on the internet.

    The option of not commenting and blogging in order to avoid conflict is not appropriate in your case, since most of the time you present very cogent arguments.

    Mistakes will be made … and not always by you. /joke

  611. #614 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    Laden:

    One was the “When you say things like that it makes you look antisemetic even though you are obviously not” comment.

    This was the exchange:

    An interesting feature of the above discussion is the interesting problem of avoiding being racist/whateverist and being generally tolerant but being intolerant of religion. That turns out to be pretty tricky.

    I don?t find it tricky at all.

    What could he possibly be reading into my comment? I don’t find it tricky in the same way ethnically-Jewish atheists don’t find it tricky not to hate themselves.

    ***

    Paul,

    Your example is not an apt comparison to what I was saying. The context was a discussion in which Gee was attaking Dawkins for not writing a theology-level book. It was being pointed out to him (not by me) that most people are not theologians and that this is the reality of religion, especially Christianity. In this context, though I can’t remember precisely in response to what, he made some remark about not being concerned about what Christians do in their churches. I was saying that this is dangerously complacent, given the long history and present of Christianity. It wasn’t even Godwinning anything, as I made no comparison to the Nazis or the Holocaust. I was directly referring to this 2000-year history. I consider some forms of Christianity (and, of course, Islam) to be real and present threats to Jewish people (though not only), and presented some evidence. Gee can’t seem to appreciate this because he’s fixated on atheists and, as I learned later, his caricature of “the Left.” His apparent complacency in the face of real threats (to him and to me) is something I felt it necessary to comment on. That’s it. I don’t understand the point Stephanie was trying to make by bringing it up.

  612. #615 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    So moderating for civility is good, except that it’s bad. This is why I almost never understand a fucking thing he says.

    That was worth a laugh, Carlie.

    I think what he’s trying to say is that any/all moderation for civility should be done to suit his sensibility. If you’re not him, you’re wrong.

    PZ is a rarity in letting much of what he may dislike personally appear in the comments, all in order to foster the greater good of a freewheeling atmosphere. That atmosphere is conducive to occasionally brilliant contributions to social discourse. You can’t have the sniny stuff without the stuff that makes you inwardly groan. Still, of all the blogs I’ve read, Pharyngula has the highest percentage of enlightenment over dumbitude.

  613. #616 Miki Z
    February 3, 2010

    Lynna,

    It sounded from your description like you weren’t forming memories for a short time, but I was just wondering how it seemed to you. I get anterograde amnesia following attacks — I’ve seen video of myself saying “I’m not going to remember this, but…” and indeed I don’t. I try to make myself notes and lists and then put them somewhere that I’ll see I made one. :)

  614. #617 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Miki Z, I find it fascinating that you know you’re not going to remember something, so you take notes. How odd can the human brain be?

    llewelly @604: That was a great link. Thanks. That was my “eating breakfast and watching the sunrise” entertainment this morning.

  615. #618 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    This may have already been mentioned, but if so, I will add my voice to say that I was really heartened when I heard that the Pentagon had a spokesperson saying that gays should be able to serve in the military without hiding their sexual orientation.
    http://www.freep.com/article/20100203/NEWS07/2030313/1001/NEWS/Repeal-of-Dont-Ask-Dont-Tell-gets-

    Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said Tuesday that he supports allowing gays to serve openly in the military, providing powerful support for President Barack Obama’s call to lift the legal ban on their service.

  616. #619 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 3, 2010

    This morning I am experiencing acute but probably benign idiopathic blepharospasms. I imagine I resemble Clouseau’s archnemesis. Should probably lay off the caffeine a little.

  617. #620 Sven DiMilo
    February 3, 2010

    *shrug* Laden.
    I agree with PhysioProf that Laden is a crappy writer even when he is apparently trying to be clear. His thought processes always seem strangely muddled, but it’s not discernable whether it’s his thinking or his writing that gives that appearance.
    But often it seems he’s not even trying to be clear–he posts these cryptic opaque statements on purpose and then sort of sits back feeding the infant or whatever and laughing at how everybody is so stupid as to get him wrong. It’s a fucked-up game that he plays and I for one refuse to be puppeted about by his stupid whims. He strikes me as a dick who actually enjoys being a dick but with a lot invested in not appearing to be a dick.

    And what is the deal with his nitpicking schoolmarm thread-cop Stephanie Z? I mean, they’re friends and have each other’s backs and everything, fine, but wow. She is over the top every time I look over there.

    Which isn’t often, and is likely to be even less frequent from here on.

  618. #621 David Marjanovi?
    February 3, 2010

    the links on that page are of the form:
    <a herf=”mailto:

    <headdesk>

    ARGN!

    I want my rock hammer.

    And when Paul writes long, cogent posts about the environment here and why it “works,” they’re ignored.

    That one was so long that I bet most readers treated it as tl;dr!

    But it’s a good reminder of why I don’t bother reading Laden’s unnamed blog much.

  619. #622 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Okay, this is from Moments of Mormon Madness circa 1976:

    ?We recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial background generally, and of somewhat the same economic and social and educational background (some of those are not an absolute necessity, but preferred), and above all, the same religious background, without question? (?Marriage and Divorce,? in 1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year [Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1977], p. 144).

    That old time religious racism has since been dropped or at least modified, right? It’s still in the Choosing an Eternal Companion lesson for the Aaronic Priesthood (young men). They are slightly sneakier as to how they get the point across, but they do harp on it from several angles.

  620. #623 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    Ah – this is what he was responding to:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/dr_who_dr_dawkins.php#comment-957259

    It’s interesting to note that I was just one of many who were trying to get him to appreciate this.* He did eventually express some minor acknowledgement, but this was unconnected to his discussion of immediate threats to Jewish people, despite several posts explaining this connection. Then he went completely off the rails.

    *This is aside from the matter that Ichthyic argued that his characterization of TGD was wrong.

    ***

    Stephanie Z:

    As for how I react when someone calls me a Nazi: approximately the way I reacted to John’s assertions upthread. I laugh my head off. If it’s not true, and I don’t think anyone reasonable is going to believe it, how does it hurt me instead of the person saying it?

    So the person going on and on about respecting people’s feelings laughs her head off when someone calls her a hateful, murdering fascist. I suppose she would also mock the ADL. I submit that Stephanie is either lying or stupid and a bit crazy.

    I certainly don’t bring it up to bloggers nearly two years later in order to complain about their post titles.

    OK, stupid for sure.

  621. #624 Miki Z
    February 3, 2010

    Miki Z, I find it fascinating that you know you’re not going to remember something, so you take notes. How odd can the human brain be?

    This is pretty much a description of earning a degree. :) But, mostly, my wife lets me know I’m going to forget, since this is brought on by seizures. If I realize I’m giggling or my face hurts from smiling or I feel drunk, I try to take notes. It’s become enough of a pattern that I tend to do so even when I feel perfectly fine, since it doesn’t do any harm to take unnecessary notes on the computer.

  622. #625 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Carlie @605

    But though you may avert your gaze, we shall still smother you with love! and concern! and any remotely related tips we can find! and other stuff like that!
    Oh, wait, we’re supposed to be an uncivil evil godless horde around here. Um, fuck off, ya soddy git! (*psst* – we’ll drop by with the casseroles later)

    I object to “soddy git!” I think I’m supposed to be a “soddy cow” — or perhaps a “sodding atheist cow”.

    I like all the love, and am embarrassed to the point of blushing.

    To conform to the traditions in my neighborhood, you have to bring a jello salad (green), a jello dessert (preferably with the sweetness index raised to the pain level by miniature marshmallows), and a casserole that features tuna or macaroni or both.

    The Ebil Atheists, godless fucking hordes, and uncivil wielders of dramatic facepalms will not be able to mend their reputations after this. I have seen the face of true kindness, and no amount of swearing far better than a sailor will dissuade me from loving you back.

  623. #626 Celtic_Evolution
    February 3, 2010

    So the person going on and on about respecting people’s feelings laughs her head off when someone calls her a hateful, murdering fascist.

    Well, DUH SC…

    The problem is not that someone implied that you might be an antisemite, the problem is your reaction to it, of course.

    “Well, sure, I implied that some might think of her as a shit-eating child rapist… but it was for her own good, cause I care, and I certainly don’t think she eats shit… but whatever, look at how she reacted to it! There’s clearly something wrong with her.”

  624. #627 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 3, 2010

    I thought casseroles were an entirely Protestant phenomenon. Mormons too? I was raised Catholic and the only casserole I experienced was the ubiquitous string-bean mess* on the back of the Durkee can.

    *Which is delectable.

  625. #628 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 3, 2010

    David, do you still think you need to upgrade your OS on the G5? I backed up my volume with the 10.5 OS, and could send you the install disk if needed. Not sure how to get it past customs though.

  626. #629 David Marjanovi?
    February 3, 2010

    I thought casseroles were an entirely Protestant phenomenon.

    Then why is the word French? :-)

    (But there it designates the pot, not what’s in it.)

    do you still think you need to upgrade your OS on the G5?

    No, thanks. I mean, it wouldn’t hurt, but I don’t think I need it.

  627. #630 Celtic_Evolution
    February 3, 2010

    the only casserole I experienced was the ubiquitous string-bean mess* on the back of the Durkee can.

    *Which is delectable.

    Indeed! I pretty much only make it / have it served during Thanksgiving, but it’s my second favorite dish on the table after the turkey itself. Rarely does something that looks so unappealing taste so positively yummy.

    As for other casseroles, I was also raised in a catholic household and casseroles were a staple (although it may have had more to do with the fact that we were a very low income family than the fact that we were catholic). Tuna-Noodle casserole was a weekly event, and scalloped corn casserole was a fairly regular “dish-to-pass” item. We also used to have a tex-mex style chicken and rice casserole, and on occasion we’d have a ham, cheese and hashbrown casserole for breakfast.

  628. #631 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    I have decidedly mixed feelings (is that an internally consistent phrase?) about adoptions of kids with living parents, particularly foreign adoptions, but under no meaning of the word ‘orphan’ in English does this work, and the baptists have been bleating “We were saving orphans!” loudly.

    You probably already saw the quotes from the Baptists saying that they were going to bring the joy of Christ into the children’s lives. My brother (the geologist brother), says it strikes him as being sort of like buying a pet and then taking the pet to obedience school. The Baptists arrogantly override the individual humanity of each Haitian child.

    I’m still pissed about the Baptists carting the kids to the border, with plenty of time to feed and water them on the way, but no, some of the children arrived so dehydrated that it required immediate care. No doubt, the clean water shortage caused them to be dehydrated in the first place, but poor planning and a focus on souls-for-Jesus played a part in the Baptists prolonging the dehydration.

    Sources with more info:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100201/ap_on_re_us/us_haiti_idaho_church (This source details the recent incorporation of a non-profit organization by a Baptist woman who was in considerable financial difficulty. It’s hard to ignore the judgement against her for more than $4,000 — and then the non-profit being poorly run and poorly organized.)

    http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/8ef5320729ce4298abefc1903704c7d5/Article_2010-01-31-CB-Haiti-Americans-Detained/id-p6097a288af624b5da31c41ad416de14f

    Henry, the senior pastor, said the 500-member church wanted to help “because we believe that Christ has asked us to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world, and that includes children.” He said church members had given several thousand dollars to the mission.

  629. #632 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 3, 2010

    Tuna-Noodle casserole was a weekly event, and scalloped corn casserole was a fairly regular “dish-to-pass” item. We also used to have a tex-mex style chicken and rice casserole, and on occasion we’d have a ham, cheese and hashbrown casserole for breakfast.

    Lunchtime!!

  630. #633 Miki Z
    February 3, 2010

    It’s hard to ignore the judgement against her for more than $4,000 — and then the non-profit being poorly run and poorly organized.

    The more that comes out about them the more bizarre they seem. From the same story, you get this gem:

    James Keller, the church’s pastor, said the church willingly gave [Drew Culberth] time off to go on the trip since his firefighting experience and EMT training would make him a valuable addition to the mission team.

    In case he had to pull any children out of burning buildings? This was weeks after the earthquake. You’d also think that an EMT would be able to recognize the signs of dehydration. One claim of the group is that they were rushing the children to medical care… 100 miles or so into the DR.

  631. #634 Rorschach
    February 3, 2010

    You probably already saw the quotes from the Baptists saying that they were going to bring the joy of Christ into the children’s lives

    Hope they rot in some haitian prison for a while.Weirdos.
    Heard on the radio they had planned on renting some Hotel in the DomRep and to use it as orphanage to “bring Christ” to those kids.Turns out most of them still had living parents or relatives.

  632. #635 windy
    February 3, 2010

    Oh, wait, we’re supposed to be an uncivil evil godless horde around here.

    Well, the properly moral thing to do would have been to kidnap Lynna and drag her across the border to Canada, and then decide what to do. But noooo, the people here just had to do SENSIBLE things like try to get ‘EVIDENCE’. Can atheists truly be moral if they are not willing to do CRAZY SHIT without thinking?

  633. #636 David Marjanovi?
    February 3, 2010

    windy wins the subthread.

  634. #637 Rorschach
    February 3, 2010

    And what is the deal with his nitpicking schoolmarm thread-cop Stephanie Z?

    *giggle*

    Bit like John Wilkins and Susan Silberstein, but on a lower intellectual level :P

  635. #638 AJ Milne
    February 3, 2010

    Well, the properly moral thing to do would have been to kidnap Lynna and drag her across the border to Canada, and then decide what to do…

    Hey now! That’s my fantasy, dammit…

    Oh. Wait. We were talking about the MRI thing, were we?

    Well… Then… Umm… Never mind.

    (/Shuffles off red-faced…)

    Hope they rot in some Haitian prison for a while. Weirdos…

    Yeah. I must confess this was one of the (rare) occasions on which I also found myself briefly thinking mebbe the principle behind the writ of habeas corpus is a mite overrated.

  636. #639 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Lao Daung Duen
    February 3, 2010

    You probably already saw the quotes from the Baptists saying that they were going to bring the joy of Christ into the children’s lives.

    I find the Baptists response to be extremely loaded.

    First, most Haitians are already Christians. They “have” Christ already.

    Secondly, the idea that they need Christ rather than, you know, life essentials like food and medical care just boils my broccoli. Idjit bastards.

    Thirdly, perhaps I’m reading into this, but the idea that they need to save these children from themselves, from their culture, makes me think about the white man’s burden. These people feel the need to save them children as though it’s an obligation as they’re primitive and backward. Actually the whole idea of missionary work is degrading and dehumanizing. It takes the premise that the lives of the people sucks and the “civilized” people need to save them. That’s why whenever a missionary asks me if I am happy, I insist that I am (even though they insist I’m not.)

    Oh btw, a radical Rabbi says gays caused the earthquake in Haiti among other things.

  637. #640 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 3, 2010

    windy wins the subthread.

    Can’t argue with that.

  638. #641 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Lynna (@617):

    Not just a “Pentagon spokesperson”; as Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mullen is the chief uniformed military advisor to both the President and the SecDef. Further, per the interview Rachel Maddow had last night with a gay military person who’s facing discharge under DADT, Mullen’s testimony (which I didn’t see) came across as heartfelt and sincere, and not at all a matter of simply saluting his boss.

    I actually think change is about to happen on this front.

  639. #642 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2010

    @Sven DiMilo, for your tortoise expertise — If you could maybe take a look at the picture in this comment @ TetZoo.

    WTF is going with that poor testudinid’s nethers?

  640. #643 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Bill, thanks for the correction about Adm. Mullen. I’m with you on this — it’s damned good news.

    As for those who are fantasizing about kidnapping me and taking me to Canada, let’s stop on the way at one my favorite places for local color, the Good Grief Cafe, a last node of what passes for civilization in Idaho before one crosses the border. You might want to kidnap me using a pickup truck for transportation — camouflage yourself as a local.

    BTW, most first world nations charge half what facilities in the US charge for the same tests, so Canada had already crossed my mind. I think I need a Canadian husband, but Jadehawk had only Germans on offer.

  641. #644 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2010

    BTW, most first world nations charge half what facilities in the US charge for the same tests, so Canada had already crossed my mind. I think I need a Canadian husband, but Jadehawk had only Germans on offer.

    Canada has same-sex marriage. The pool of potential spouses is double what you might at first think, unless you’re opposed to it personally for some reason.

  642. #645 SteveM
    February 3, 2010

    Re Adm. Mullen:

    Anyone listen to NPR’s interview of Rep Duncan Hunter (R CA) in response to Mullen?

    BLOCK: Admiral Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said today in the Senate hearing that hes talked to counterparts in other countries where they do allow gays to serve openly in the military, and there has been no impact, he says, on military effectiveness. What do you think about that?

    Rep. HUNTER: Let me answer with this too. Admiral Mullen is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, a political appointee. And thats fine, he has his opinion. But his opinion is not necessarily that of the chief of staff of the Army or the Marine Corp commandant. But I would say in answer to your particular question, the U.S. is not Canada and we’re not Great Britain and I would argue that we have a superior military [emphasis added] and a much larger military than any other country. Thats why were kind of the world’s security force.

    Did he just call Canada and Great Britain’s militaries inferior because they let gays serve openly?

  643. #646 windy
    February 3, 2010

    What could he possibly be reading into my comment?

    You’re assuming that Greg has some sort of point in mind, and that he’s trying to express it, and that it’s directly related to what you said. It may be a mistake to assume that.

  644. #647 negentropyeater
    February 3, 2010

    GHP #638,

    link not working.

    But I found this :
    1000 Rabbis Warn: Open Homosexuality in the Military is a Disaster and May Cause Further Natural Disasters

    We have seen the underground earthquake, tsunami, Katrina, and now Haiti. All this is in sync with a two thousand year old teaching in the Talmud that the practice of homosexuality is a spiritual cause of earthquakes.

    There’s even a fun video of the crazy Rabbi !

    I wonder how he explains that Israel, where gays serve openly in the military, has seen no earthquakes. And what about The Netherlands, Spain, etc… still no Katrina, no Tsunamis, no earthquakes.

  645. #648 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Lao Daung Duen
    February 3, 2010

    negentropyeater

    That’s the same story that my failed link was suppose to go. Except my source was from Truth Wins Out.

  646. #649 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    I wish I could vote for Paul W. for a Molly a second time. :)

    Stephanie Z, Thread-Cop on Duty:

    It isn’t your place or anyone else’s to tell Henry…

    I do not understand this business about people’s “place.” It’s creeping me the hell out. Of course it’s his place, or mine, or anyone else’s. In this case – as with AGW – there’s a moral responsibility to tell people they need to be concerned. And it’s Gee’s place to tell us to stuff it, or to make and support a countercase, or to change his mind. Just as it was Gee’s place to criticize Dawkins, and Ichthyic’s place to tell him was full of shit. Welcome to democracy.

    windy:

    You’re assuming that Greg has some sort of point in mind, and that he’s trying to express it, and that it’s directly related to what you said. It may be a mistake to assume that.

    Yes, I’m increasingly coming to realize this.

  647. #650 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    I wonder how he explains that Israel, where gays serve openly in the military, has seen no earthquakes. And what about The Netherlands, Spain, etc… still no Katrina, no Tsunamis, no earthquakes.

    This was one of my favorite comments ever:

    http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201001130024#689186

  648. #652 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Canada has same-sex marriage. The pool of potential spouses is double what you might at first think, unless you’re opposed to it personally for some reason.

    Oh, I am a poopyhead for not thinking of that! Hmmm. I doubt that the boyfriend would object.

  649. #653 Jadehawk, OM
    February 3, 2010

    This was one of my favorite comments ever:

    rationality + dry humor = Epic Win

  650. #654 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    @646

    We have seen the underground earthquake, tsunami, Katrina, and now Haiti. All this is in sync with a two thousand year old teaching in the Talmud that the practice of homosexuality is a spiritual cause of earthquakes.

    I should send that link of the crazy rabbi to Christopher Hitchens. He wrote about the sodomy/earthquake link as if it were history to everyone but Pat Robertson. Rabbis too, huh? Isn’t that just dandy.

  651. #655 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Lao Daung Duen
    February 3, 2010

    SC, which comment was it?

  652. #656 Celtic_Evolution
    February 3, 2010

    I do not understand this business about people’s “place.”

    With one exception, of course… it’s no-one’s place to tell anyone else what their place is.

  653. #657 David Marjanovi?
    February 3, 2010

    Did he just call Canada and Great Britain’s militaries inferior because they let gays serve openly?

    Not really. I think he meant “we’re God’s Own Country, so God asks higher standards of us than of mere secular countries out there“.

    You’re assuming that Greg has some sort of point in mind, and that he’s trying to express it, and that it’s directly related to what you said. It may be a mistake to assume that.

    winny, uh, windy wins again.

    I do not understand this business about people’s “place.”

    Welcome to the club! <clenched-tentacle salute>

    This was one of my favorite comments ever:

    Who is RuPaul?

    http://epicwinftw.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/129090484261187061.jpg

    Perfectly designed ad :-)

  654. #658 Sven DiMilo
    February 3, 2010

    WTF is going with that poor testudinid’s nethers?

    ew!!! I don’t know! IANAV, but the word “hernia” leaps immediately to mind.

    SC, don’t let the bastards wear you down.

  655. #659 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    SC, which comment was it?

    It didn’t take you to the comment? Huh.

    “The moral of the story is, stay away from fault lines and coasts and you can pretty much be RuPaul.”

    With one exception, of course… it’s no-one’s place to tell anyone else what their place is.

    Well, naturally. We can’t have that, now, can We?

    ;)

  656. #660 MrFire
    February 3, 2010

    [An anecdotal rant concerning fundie diminuition of the Haiti tragedy follows.]

    Some days ago while on the train home, a woman sat next to me with a Jesus pamphlet. A self-help/salvation piece, slick and glossy, and a little longer than the usual tract. She began to read it intently, and I, to my discredit, began to rubberneck.

    After some comparatively innocuous blather (‘How to Pray for Success’, or some such) she moved on to my absolute pet peeve: ‘Why Good Works are Not Enough’. This argument never fails to enrage me, because it so smugly, cynically, and consciously tries to undercut our basic faith in human nature. So what was so special about this time? Well, this time, it came with an especially mean sting in the tail:

    “…good works or acts of charity, even for disasters such as the tragedy in Haiti, will fall short of what is required by God…”

    My first question was: Why? Why bother saying that? Why bother going out of your way to show that you’re not just turning out boilerplate nonsense: you are actively keeping track of which tragedies can be callously dismissed? Did you rush to the presses, thinking: “This is great! A real-world example of just how little we think of human suffering, and how the agony in Haiti can serve as a stagelight for the importance of our own souls!”?

    My only conclusion is that the producers of this booklet are so scared of people realizing they don’t need God to be good, they are prepared to poison the very notion of being good in the minds of their followers.

  657. #661 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    February 3, 2010

    Yeah by all means, more crazy fundies please do speak up. That oughta make some real convincing testimony for congress and stuff like that. Please do speak up, crazy fundie bedfellows.

  658. #662 Ichthyic
    February 3, 2010

    I don’t understand the point Stephanie was trying to make by bringing it up.

    frankly, i can’t recall a single cogent point that StephanieZ brought up in that entire thread.

    I kept picture a tiny, terrorizing, terrier, barking loudly at nothing in particular.

  659. #663 Sven DiMilo
    February 3, 2010

    SC, are you getting any e-mails from me besides that one to which you responded in puzzlement?
    I’m paranoid that maybe nobody is getting my e-mails (following a recent institutional switch of e-mail platforms).

  660. #664 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    February 3, 2010

    Please do speak up, crazy fundie bedfellows.

    Maybe “constituents” is a better word. By all means, please bring in the crazy fundie anti-gay constituents and have them testify about all the earthquakes it’s gonna cause.

  661. #665 blf
    February 3, 2010

    The moral of the story is, stay away from fault lines and coasts and you can pretty much be RuPaul.

    Sorry, I don’t get it. What’s a RuPaul?

    Wikipedia says there is some performer who goes by that name who, apparently, is a cross-dresser and doesn’t care whether s\he is addressed as she or he. Assuming that is what\who is meant, I totally don’t get the relationship between this performer, her\his antics/performance, and Robertson’s odious Haiti “swore a pact to the devil” insanity.

    And what the feck does “fault lines” (I presume the baffling commentator means (earthquake) faults) and (ocean?) coasts have to do with Robertson’s insanity? He’d be insane if you stuck him in the middle of the desert or down a deep cave; and he’d be insane if the disaster happened in a cave or a desert or to my dessert.

    Total fail (possibly on my part).

  662. #666 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    winny

    :D

    SC, don’t let the bastards wear you down.

    Thanks, love.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU9_Q7PJuNQ

    (The first minute is part of why the show I saw at Saratoga like 20 years ago was tedious. Still.)

    Who is RuPaul?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APqD2mfKPCI

  663. #667 negentropyeater
    February 3, 2010

    Who is RuPaul?

    The drag-queen that most straight folks in America know of.

  664. #668 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Nice rant, MrFire, @659:

    My only conclusion is that the producers of this booklet are so scared of people realizing they don’t need God to be good, they are prepared to poison the very notion of being good in the minds of their followers.

    In the mix of eye-widening Jesus excuses from the Baptists who were shopping for bargain Haitian children, there was a quote from a pastor who reminded his congregation that God was not surprised by the earthquake in Haiti, that they should pray for the incarcerated Christian rescuers bungling idiots, but not to worry too much because it was all part of god’s plan. This diminishment of the tragedy is lamentable, as you noted, and the odor of self-righteous self-congratulation rises to the heavens.

  665. #669 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    I would like to thank Alan B for “double plus ungood”, a phrase I tend to steal and use.

    In other news, the kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart had a complicit wife that aided and abetted. Now the wife’s kids have spoken out:

    “I think the media portrayed my mother as being a victim of Brian David Mitchell, and I think one of the reasons I wanted to come on this show is to kind of expose her for the monster she is,” said one of the kids.

    http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Wanda-Barzees-Children-Speak-Out

  666. #670 Sven DiMilo
    February 3, 2010

    Lynna: Of course, Alan stole it himself (from another Englishman).

  667. #671 blf
    February 3, 2010

    I am a poopyhead for not thinking of that!

    No no, Pee Zed’s the poopyhead. A professional one even. You’ve just got something wrong in the head. (Meant in the nicest possible way.)

    Please get better. Then you too can be a poopyhead.

  668. #672 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    Total fail (possibly on my part).

    Yeah. I hate explaining humor – it kills it. Could you maybe try one more time?

    Not only is this thread a waste of time, but with the “clarity” of your writing skills, I rather think you might at least need a break from blogging for a while.

    *gasp* Ichthyic! Know your place!

  669. #673 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Double plus ungood is not even English. It is duckspeak.

  670. #674 Jadehawk, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Sorry, I don’t get it.

    i know jokes die when they’re explained, but the point is that “god” seems to “punish” only the gays who live on fault lines. so as long as you in the netherlands, sweden, and even north dakota, you can be as queer as possible, and god won’t send an earthquake to punish you. funny that.

  671. #675 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    but the point is that “god” seems to “punish” only the gays presumed violators of fundie ideas of cosmic obedience who live on fault lines.

  672. #676 boygenius
    February 3, 2010

    I noticed that when you click through to the crazy Rabbi video from negentroyeater via Gyeong Hwa Pak, the top clip in the “related videos” sidebar is Bill Hicks doing his hunk on gays in the military.

    Serendipity rules!

  673. #677 strange gods before me, OM
    February 3, 2010

    I used to read Greg Laden, and there might be a few reasonable posts I still have bookmarked.

    I stopped last year when he was asked, in a comment thread, to provide citations for some assertion. His response was, paraphrased, “I have degrees and field experience in this. This is my area of expertise. You can take my word for it. Besides, this is just a blog post.” Thanks, Greg. We probably can take your word for it, but you learned it somehow, and it would be nice if we could see where you learned it, if for no other reason than to study it in more detail.

    So I realized I was wasting my time over there. Also, Sven’s summary of him @619. The games are tedious.

    So the person going on and on about respecting people’s feelings laughs her head off when someone calls her a hateful, murdering fascist.

    And apparently she can’t imagine anything like “it hurts just that someone would think that about me.”

  674. #678 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Oh, yes, 1984. Newspeak. Apparently it’s been too long since I delved into George Orwell. We really don’t have that much time before Oldspeak is obliterated, obsolete. Newspeak is supposed to be ascendent by 2050. If so, that will definitely be double plus ungood.

    But I note that, even with a restricted vocabulary, novel combinations can still be generated — though I’m sure that counts as rebellion.

    Aspiring to Poopyheaddom, over and out.

  675. #679 negentropyeater
    February 3, 2010

    blf,

    Assuming that is what\who is meant, I totally don’t get the relationship between this performer, her\his antics/performance, and Robertson’s odious Haiti “swore a pact to the devil” insanity.

    The comment was more in response to Robertson’s and the Rabbi Levin’s claim that homosexuality caused natural disasters :

    [sarcasm on] you can be as open as you want about your homosexuality, as long as you live outside of disaster prone areas [sarcasm off]

  676. #680 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    And apparently she can’t imagine anything like “it hurts just that someone would think that about me.”

    Thank you for that.

  677. #681 windy
    February 3, 2010

    Thank you, David, but I’m starting to suspect you’re just letting me win ;) (I wasn’t being snarky in #645, btw: does it still count?)

    #622: I don’t think she’s stupid. Last year when people were piling on ERV for criticizing the Intersectionists, she wrote this incredibly patient explanation/defense which I thought was really outstanding. And ironically reminds me of Paul W.’s comments a lot. But on Laden’s blog, I don’t know what’s going on, maybe it’s something in the water over there.

  678. #682 blf
    February 3, 2010

    But Robertson’s arse farting about the people of Haiti having “sworn a pact to the devil” over two hundred years ago has got bugger-all to do with Teh Gay. (I know the kook blamed Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans’s gays.) If the commentator had said “Stay away from the ocean so Robertson can nuke a baby whale for Jesbozo” or “… practise his fish-slapping dance” or “… so you can’t hear him” it would have at least made a tiny bit of sense.

    Sorry for being extremely dense here, but I don’t see the humour, albeit I may get the point.

  679. #683 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2010

    I wonder how he explains that Israel, where gays serve openly in the military, has seen no earthquakes.

    Well… Israel does get earthquakes, but no major ones recently.

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

    And there are quakes in nearby Anatolia and Greece.

    But if the earth shakes at all, clearly God must be fuming mad !!

    If you think the earthquake thing is nuts, I recall reading about some exegesis involving eclipses… I can’t find the exact text, but a citation of the work says that it says that eclipses of the sun are caused by one (or, I suppose, more) of the following:

    1) A great sage not being buried according to his rank.
    2) A virgin who has been raped and her cries unheard.
    3) Homosexual activity.
    4) Two brothers simultaneously murdering each other.

    Naughty homosexuals!! You are changing the moon’s orbit (or the sun’s — did I mention that this same exegesis also takes geocentrism for granted?) with your antics!! Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?!

  680. #684 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    RIP RuPaul Joke

    2010 – 2010

  681. #685 Paul
    February 3, 2010

    *gasp* Ichthyic! Know your place!

    I’m waiting for the explosion. Laden tends to freak out when people “tell him what to do with his blog”.

    Double plus ungood is not even English. It is duckspeak.

    Double plus ungood is not even duckspeak, it’s Newspeak.

  682. #686 Jadehawk, OM
    February 3, 2010

    If the commentator had said “Stay away from the ocean so Robertson can nuke a baby whale for Jesbozo” or “? practise his fish-slapping dance” or “? so you can’t hear him” it would have at least made a tiny bit of sense.

    eh? none of those would make any sense to me

    *confused*

    and btw, SC’s correction makes even more sense… it’s not about Teh Gay specifically, it’s just the example the commenter picked. would have worked the same for something blatantly voodoo-ish/pagan-ish/satan-worshippy: you can do that too without having to worry about god punishing you, as long as you do it away from disaster-prone areas.

  683. #687 blf
    February 3, 2010

    The comment was more in response to Robertson’s and the Rabbi Levin’s claim that homosexuality caused natural disasters

    Ah! Thanks, I get it. I had assumed it was a comment about Robertson’s specific nonsense about the Haiti earthquake, rather than about a generalisation of Robertson et al.’s inhumanity.

    Ok, I’ll crawl back into my holecavetavern now…

  684. #688 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    February 3, 2010

    Gays are too valuable of a resource to risk having them go into the military1:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/video/gays_too_precious_to_risk_in

    1Okay, it’s not the funniest of Onion videos. Fine. But it is a funny concept.

  685. #689 SteveM
    February 3, 2010

    The comment was more in response to Robertson’s and the Rabbi Levin’s claim that homosexuality caused natural disasters :

    [sarcasm on] you can be as open as you want about your homosexuality, as long as you live outside of disaster prone areas [sarcasm off]

    Yes, to analyze and kill the joke even further: Robertson (or one of his clones) also blamed Hurricane Katrina on “teh geys” also, hence the comment about coastlines and faultlines being dangerous for “teh gays” (so San Francisco must be “double ungood” for teh geys).

  686. #690 Sven DiMilo
    February 3, 2010

    Double plus ungood is not even duckspeak, it’s Newspeak.

    Duckspeak is a more specific subset.

  687. #691 strange gods before me, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Duckspeak — one of my semi-retired insults for Walton — refers to the ability to recite propaganda from the pre-conscious areas of the brain.

  688. #692 Sven DiMilo
    February 3, 2010

    Zombie Joke!!!!!!

  689. #693 Alan B
    February 3, 2010

    Catching up with a few posts:

    #554 Nerd of Redhead OM

    Thanks for your clarification. Unfortunately, not everyone is as consistent as that. I have seen other %s used. Having seen the results of confusion here (no critcism of anyone on this thread) I will be even more careful with my use of units.

    #557 Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Currently, it is legal over here for a parent to give their children alcoholic drinks provided they are over 5years old. There are many who would want to raise the age (often to 15) to prevent them starting on the downhill track to binge drinking. My view? Unprintable but can be boiled down to somewhere between, “Mind your own business” and “Go forth and multiply”.

    http://www.drinkingandyou.com/site/uk/child.htm

    (towards the bottom of the page, “The Law”)

    #558 Kausik Datta

    Glad it got resolved! But have you got the process to actually work and give you believable results? Is there any way you can use non-important samples to confirm it?

    I don’t apologise for taking a strong stand on chemical safety – it was only urgent action by my mother when she was at University that saved her sight when something “went wrong”. Everyone else ran around like headless chickens. I used to be the COSHH Nominated Officer responsible for chemical safety for a site with several hundred people. We had no incidents because the management took it seriously and gave me full support.

    #573 #576 Pigmy Loris

    In the UK it is an offense to sell alcohol to anyone who appears to be drunk. A publican could loose his/her license. It is also an offense to threaten someone so a drunk would be at risk of being dealt with by the boys in blue.

    The problem in the UK is, as I said, the (understandable) over-reaction of stores to threats of oppressive action by the Government. They are fighting what they say is a war against what they claim is a major escalation in binge drinking. In reality, alcohol consumption has been decreasing over several years but when did facts ever stop a government from imposing its will on the people? Thousands of new laws in the UK since the current government came in. We are changing from English Common Law – you can do anything that is not banned – to what some describe as European Law – Everything is banned unless it is specifically allowed.

  690. #694 MrFire
    February 3, 2010

    Nice rant, MrFire

    :D Thanks, Lynna – and I hope we’re helping edge you toward your diagnosis.

    RIP RuPaul Joke

    My condolences on your loss.

    Oh, yes, 1984.

    Pivotal in my deconversion. Probably a cliche, but my understanding of The Party exactly reflected my conception of God.

  691. #695 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 3, 2010

    You know, because I’ve never even set (virtual) foot on Greg Laden’s little patch of cyberreal estate, about 2/3 of this thread has been utterly lost on me.

    Jus’ sayin’….

  692. #696 David Marjanovi?
    February 3, 2010

    Note to self: improve dry humor.

    I wasn’t being snarky in #645, btw: does it still count?

    Absolutely. I interpreted it as being meant literally.

    4) Two brothers simultaneously murdering each other.

    Too cool.

  693. #697 Jadehawk, OM
    February 3, 2010

    You know, because I’ve never even set (virtual) foot on Greg Laden’s little patch of cyberreal estate, about 2/3 of this thread has been utterly lost on me.

    Jus’ sayin’….

    I’ve no flaming clue what that shit is about either, and I do occasionally read his blog. I just don’t bother with threads like that, and I very much doubt I’ll start caring now.

  694. #698 Paul
    February 3, 2010

    Duckspeak is a more specific subset.

    Ah, but Duckspeak isn’t a subset of the language! It’s a particular way of using it. Saying “double plus ungood” would only be Duckspeak in the occasion that it is used in toeing the Party Line without conscious thought.

  695. #699 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Thanks for your clarification. Unfortunately, not everyone is as consistent as that. I have seen other %s used. Having seen the results of confusion here (no critcism of anyone on this thread) I will be even more careful with my use of units.

    I often see now where further clarification is made with using percent composition of solutions. Clarification is added in the form of w/w, w/v, or v/v. (v/w is possible, but IIRC, I have never seen it.) So, I might see a SOP that describes the HPLC solvent as methanol with 0.1% TFA (v/v). Or 1 mL TFA into a liter of methanol.

  696. #700 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    February 3, 2010

    I don’t know either. I thought maybe the fate of the entire universe hinged upon it or something. Seems really important I guess. Hopefully everything will be okay.

  697. #701 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    Sven – nothing since 5:20 PM yesterday (to which I responded).

  698. #702 David Marjanovi?
    February 3, 2010

    We are changing from English Common Law – you can do anything that is not banned – to what some describe as European Law – Everything is banned unless it is specifically allowed.

    Erm, no. Common Law ? which no country has ever introduced of its own free will, not even Louisiana ? is “judges can make law by establishing a precedent”, while code law is “the written law is the law, judges only interpret it; precedents are interesting, but they are not law”. Over here, too, everything that’s not explicitly banned is allowed.

    Code law ultimately comes from Emperor Justinian’s Codex Iuris Civilis, it starts from written law; common law goes back to ancient Germanic unwritten law.

  699. #703 Celtic_Evolution
    February 3, 2010

    You know, because I’ve never even set (virtual) foot on Greg Laden’s little patch of cyberreal estate, about 2/3 of this thread has been utterly lost on me.

    I used to visit from time to time… even liked a few of his entries… but I stopped after reading one too many posts filled with confusing, almost self-contradictory babble and his propensity for “saying, but not really saying”… could never really figure out where the guy really stood on a given topic. It was frustrating, so I stopped going.

    I have no such difficulty understanding PZ’s position on most things, agree with them or not.

    Oh, and by the way, I will now only refer to Stephanie Z as “Smithers”.

  700. #704 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    :D Thanks, Lynna – and I hope we’re helping edge you toward your diagnosis

    Amazingly enough, Krystl says there’s about $600 in the diagnose Lynna fund, so I can schedule at least one of the tests next week. I’ll go for the least expensive of the two tests for now, and will continue to save money for the other test. I’m still shaking my head over everyone’s generosity.

  701. #705 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    …eclipses of the sun are caused by…:

    4) Two brothers simultaneously murdering each other.

    That’s a film!

  702. #706 David Marjanovi?
    February 3, 2010

    HPLC

    High Pressure/Performance/Price Liquid Chromatography.

  703. #707 Celtic_Evolution
    February 3, 2010

    I’m still shaking my head over everyone’s generosity.

    Don’t. That’s how we roll… and you’d do the same. ;^)

  704. #708 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    Oh, and by the way, I will now only refer to Stephanie Z as “Smithers”.

    Someone please remind me of this at Molly time next month.

  705. #709 Jadehawk, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Amazingly enough, Krystl says there’s about $600 in the diagnose Lynna fund

    yay us! :-)

    hope this test actually gets you some results. I’ve found that there’s little that’s more frustrating than throwing hundreds of dollars at a doctor, and then find out that the tests didn’t explain anything at all. (“well, we know it’s not X” only feels worth it if X was really dangerous :-p )

  706. #710 Sven DiMilo
    February 3, 2010

    Sven – nothing since 5:20 PM yesterday (to which I responded).

    ?
    This is weird and now I’m worried that I need to troubleshoot my new e-mail connection and also re-send a whole bunch of shit to a whole bunch of people.

    SC, please help me out (with apologies to everyone else):
    I received an e-mail from you stamped Tue 2/2/2010 12:05 AM with your original request.
    I have records of sending you e-mails in reply at:
    Tue 2/2/2010 1:46 PM
    Tue 2/2/2010 1:48 PM (a duplicate oops)
    Tue 2/2/2010 1:49 PM (apologizing for the dupe)
    [this is the one to which you responded with the sent stamp: Tue 2/2/2010 4:42 PM]
    [...to which I responded at:]
    Tue 2/2/2010 5:19 PM
    [and]
    Tue 2/2/2010 5:21 PM (which was a forward of my original reply for what to me was the third time]

    All in all I have received 2 emails from you and sent you five.

    How does this square with your records, if you wouldn’t mind checking? Thanks

  707. #711 Alan B
    February 3, 2010

    #659 MrFire

    My only conclusion is that the producers of this booklet are so scared of people realizing they don’t need God to be good, they are prepared to poison the very notion of being good in the minds of their followers.

    I suspect, MrFire, that you may have missed the point the author was trying to get across. Alternatively, the author may have missed it as well!

    It is a fundamental difference between Islam and Christianity that Islam believes in salvation by works while Christianity believes in salvation by grace.

    To be a good Moslem you have to pray 5 times a day, take part in the Haj at least once in your lifetime, fast in the month of Ramadan, give alms, fear Allah, love fellow Moslems but hate everybody else, avoid contact with unclean things such as dogs (unless they are working dogs. You must not enjoy life. Enjoyment is for the future that you have earned and when you can take pleasure in 72 virgins (or raisins). [Hard luck women. You seem to get to live forever with your Moslem husband - assuming you ever get out of hell which is populated mainly with women according to Mohamed.] If your good works outweigh your bad works and if Mohamed speaks for you on Judgment Day, you will get your heart’s desire.

    For a Christian, good works cannot earn salvation. You do not gain merit or eternal life, “go to Heaven” or however else it is expressed by what you do because humans will always fail to reach perfection. Even giving to help those in Haiti will not gain salvation. Hence the quote:

    “…good works or acts of charity, even for disasters such as the tragedy in Haiti, will fall short of what is required by God…”

    What is required by God is perfection and we will always fall short of that.

    I suspect that the tract would have gone on to talk about how accepting the sacrifice of Jesus on the stake/cross cleanses us from sin and we are then given the righteousness of Jesus Christ by Him living in us.

    Jesus helped the sick, fed the hungry, forgave the adulterous woman (where was the man? It generally takes 2 to commit adultery …). He spoke to women and to Samaritans. He held up as an example the Good Samaritan who helped someone who was injured.

    A Christian with Jesus living His life in them will go and do likewise. But he/she should know that they will not earn salvation as a result. Good works will (or should) naturally follow as a result of a person being a Christian – they will not earn merit.

    It may be that the tract was playing down the goodness of others but I doubt it. If that was the aim then it was NOT in line with Christian understanding.

  708. #712 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Heh, “Smithers”, very funny. That character has one of those smiles that give one the willies.

    Jadehawk @708: Yes, I know just what you mean. This is not one of those clear-cut cases where a combination of engineering and medical expertise fixes my torn shoulder, for example.

    There is a chance that the tests will rule certain things out, but still not provide a definitive diagnosis. In this case “X” could be dangerous, but “X” could also be an undetectable ghost in the machine who made one haunting visit, didn’t like the environment, and left without a trace.

    Most people would just get the frigging tests done because the odds are the tests should be done … and they would have the money or insurance to do so. But tossing money at Ifs and Maybes is not my style, so I’m having to force myself to follow through on the basis on intellectual reasoning alone. Well, there’s also a level of trust in my doctor. He has proven to be a clear-headed, honest, straight-forward man in the past, which puts his cover-my-ass quotient at the low end for medical professionals.

    I wish I could just go in there and check things out myself, you know, look around, see if anything is out of place, turn down the orange-craving dial, vacuum, dust, make sure the laundry is done, and send any orphan socks I find lying around to David M.

  709. #713 Alan B
    February 3, 2010

    #668, 669

    Feel free! I make not pretence at originality! I merely used it to emphasise a point.

  710. #714 Alan B
    February 3, 2010

    #667 Lynna OM

    and the odor of self-righteous self-congratulation rises to the heavens.

    I understand the angels have been issued with super-effective gas masks to save them from the stench!

  711. #715 Ibis3
    February 3, 2010

    @Canadians: 31 days of action
    Please get involved and show that you don’t support a government that is not accountable to Canadians.

    http://tinyurl.com/31daysofaction

    For more information:
    http://www.noprorogation-nonprorogation.ca/ (letter from professors expressing their opposition)

    http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?—
    “the inherent flexibility of our parliamentary traditions require, indeed demand, that the politicians of the day act as committed custodians, not cynical performers. ”

    @non-Canadians: Not sure what you can do to help, but if you can think of something, please do. In case you’re not aware, Stephen Harper is of the Bush school of ideology, but he’s a hell of a lot smarter. Not only has he suspended our parliament for the second time in a year (this time to avoid uncomfortable questions about transferring of Afghan detainees, while at the same time allowing him to stack the Senate so as to push through legislation without amendment), but he’s quietly cut funding to women’s groups, science and research (his Min. of State for Science & Tech is a creationist minister who’s also a chiropractor), and brazenly dropped even the pretense of an environmental plan. All this and he doesn’t even have a majority in parliament (only about 25% of eligible Canadians voted for his party in the last election).

  712. #716 Alan B
    February 3, 2010

    #701

    OK. Terminology incorrect.

  713. #717 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    All in all I have received 2 emails from you and sent you five.

    How does this square with your records, if you wouldn’t mind checking? Thanks

    Oh, FFS – just went through a whole explanation that could be concisely summarized (*rolls eyes at self*): I received four from you (the other was a duplicate, it seems, so nothing missing). I sent you three, the last at 9:02 PM yesterday. Should I resend?

  714. #718 Knockgoats
    February 3, 2010

    Alan B.@692,

    Thanks! I was unaware that UK alcohol consumption had been falling, no doubt because it’s not an issue I’ve taken any interest in, so I’ve found myself a victim of propaganda. Here’s a particularly amusing example, from Summary of “Drinking in the UK: An exploration of trends” by Lesley Smith and David Foxcroft, published by
    the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

    Here’s the headline:

    “Rising alcohol consumption is a cause for concern. This evidence review summarises interesting trends in drinking in the UK and discusses possible causes.”

    Here’s the first “key point”:

    “There has been a slight overall decline in weekly drinking by men and women in Great Britain in recent years, especially amongst adults aged 16-24. But there has been a notable increase in weekly drinking in Northern Ireland since 1986.”

    My guess is that the reason for the NI increase is that money has been poured into the place in a largely successful attempt to bribe the nationalist and unionist communities to stop supporting violence against each other, so most people there are a lot better off.

  715. #719 Jadehawk, OM
    February 3, 2010

    speaking of drinking, paranoia, and really misguided attempts at “fixing” a problem:

    when I was in Germany last time, I saw a TV report about increased teenage drinking and increases in binge-drinking. The solution touted by the program and apparently also by officials was to ban sales of alcohol during late-night hours.

    It made me laugh out loud, since this is the “solution” that many places in the U.S. have implemented, and it doesn’t work even a little bit. teens are not idiots; they they’re perfectly capable of planning ahead and going to the store earlier and stocking up.

    you want to keep kids from drinking themselves into a coma, you have to give them something better to do with themselves, not ban them from drinking or buying liquor (or you could implement the method favored by my favorite club when I was a teen: selling what was basically beer-flavored water :-p )

  716. #720 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    Mal Adapted, which thread are you referring to?

    ***

    Laden (echoing private email response), 2-3-10, 12:04 AM:

    This is no longer embarrassing. This is you being a psycho. This is you being asked by me to leave this blog and not come back for a while, until you’ve come down from this rage. Wipe the range from your eyes and read this paragraph a couple of times so that you understand it. This is the “go away” paragraph. Sorry, but that is how it has to be. This is not a blog thing, it is a life thing. I avoid the crazies these days. Had enough of them.*

    Laden, 2-3-10, 5:38 PM:

    Mal: It’s a pity that SC is exiled (temporarily, I hope), She is not exiled. She just went away.

    I…

    *Let’s be clear on what preceded this, btw – my telling you I wanted nothing to do with you right now.

  717. #721 Alan B
    February 3, 2010

    Totally unrelated to current sub-threads.

    I went to the local lending Library on Monday (you remember, those big buildings with lots of dusty shleves with sheaves of paper bound into helpful packages – pity someone typed all over them. Libraries were what we used BCE – before computer era. We are now in CE times – computer era).

    Came across a new book by Darren Naish who also has a scienceblog:

    http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/

    “The Great Dinosaur Discoveries”
    ISBN978-1-4081-1906-8
    Published 2009.

    Picks key events/finds from the history of dinosaur discovery rather than going through every species in an encyclopedic way. Obviously, I am not an expert on dinosaurs although I did spend much of my youth in the Natural History Museum, S Kensignton and could take you to just about any public display but I liked it.

    Very much in the modern style of displaying dinosaur reconstructions with feathers, bright colours etc.

    Well worth a look IMO.

    Any comments about it David Marjanovi??

  718. #722 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 3, 2010

    I’m still shaking my head over everyone’s generosity.

    What are friends for? Besides supplying fresh babies to barbeque.

  719. #723 SC OM
    February 3, 2010

    Mal Adapted:

    I think SC is too sure of her own political virtue. I would have said the same thing to her.

    Would have? Say it, and explain wtf you’re talking about.

    Laden:

    It was an idle threat. The statement says “you can come back when you calm down” but in reality she can come back any time even if she is not calmed down. She would be welcomed.

    Go to hell.

  720. #724 Amelia 386sx Earhart Jr. (No relation.)
    February 3, 2010
  721. #725 Alan B
    February 3, 2010

    #720

    RBDC syndrome strikes again:

    S. Kensington (of course)

  722. #726 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 3, 2010

    I occasionally dropped into Laden’s blog but I was never particularly impressed. He was a poor writer and struck me as a sloppy thinker. I stopped reading the blog because it wasn’t really discussing much I was interested in.

  723. #727 David Marjanovi?
    February 3, 2010


    She is not exiled. She just went away.

    What an asshole. Bans someone and is too cowardly to admit it!

    “The Great Dinosaur Discoveries”

    Haven’t seen the book myself, but, uh, Darren knows what he’s talking about…

    Thread about the book here.

  724. #728 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Irishmen in America singing about Australia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AeKimjRIn0&feature=related

  725. #729 Kyorosuke
    February 3, 2010

    500 comments later, but…

    Carlie @ 229: Howdy neighbor, it’s good to know that I’m not the only pharyngulite ’round these parts (depending on what you mean by “upstate” of course; but up here in the frozen north I suspect there are more than a few atheists hidden away in the nooks and crannies)

    In other news, the GOP wants to reach out to women:

    Women sometimes need a little more handholding, or they need their friends to help them make a decision. And by our going in and talking to them and recruiting and educating and training them to either get involved in a campaign or become a candidate, we’re giving them the tools so that they can do that on their own,” Larimer added. [emphasis added]

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_02/022223.php

    Somehow, I don’t see this being terribly successful.

  726. #730 Kausik Datta
    February 3, 2010

    Alan B:

    Glad it got resolved! But have you got the process to actually work and give you believable results? Is there any way you can use non-important samples to confirm it?

    The step in question, the KOH deacetylation reaction, is one of the end steps, and as NoR and another chemist friend remarked, the relative quantities in the protocol were grossly overkill. So it did not make much of a difference, and today I did get the chitosan pellets from my samples. I also set up a small control experiment to assay the chitin from another source, and it tallies to earlier results. Which is good.

    I don’t apologise for taking a strong stand on chemical safety

    No apologies necessary, Alan B. Thank you for driving an important point home.

  727. #731 Paul
    February 3, 2010

    What an asshole. Bans someone and is too cowardly to admit it!

    I don’t think SC confirmed that she could not, in fact, post there due to technological restraints (she said “I guess so” with regards to being banned”). However, Laden did straight out tell her to leave the blog for awhile, and the next day claim that she simply chose to leave instead of being told to. It was amusing to see Mal Adapted agreeing with his general point while still calling him out on being less than honest. At least some of his commenters are willing to discuss things honestly.

    Just wanted to point out that it’s not obvious SC is actually banned, but with the way Laden requested she leave any person with a sense of self-respect and decorum would treat it as a ban.

  728. #732 Carlie
    February 3, 2010

    Holy crap, and SC was polite (or should I say civil) to leave right when Greg said to, not arguing or saying he was being unfair, and then he turns around and claims he didn’t have anything to do with it? Sheesh. What a dope.

    I’m still shaking my head over everyone’s generosity.

    Nah, it’s just like Bill said: if I can’t make the government take money out of my paycheck to pay for universal health care, I’ll just have to do it my own damned self.

    Kyorosuke – I was surprised to learn when I moved here that everything north of Poughkeepsie is “upstate”. :)

  729. #733 Walton
    February 3, 2010

    We are changing from English Common Law – you can do anything that is not banned – to what some describe as European Law – Everything is banned unless it is specifically allowed.

    This is a massive over-simplification, and is entirely wrong on many levels (though this is not the first time I’ve heard it asserted).

    I will not tackle the task of explaining this now, however, as I have a ton of work to do tomorrow and need to get some sleep.

  730. #734 Ichthyic
    February 3, 2010

    Go to hell.

    seconded from my end.

    Greg’s off the deep end, far as I can tell.

    He actually threatened me.

    fucking ridiculous.

  731. #735 Walton
    February 3, 2010

    Why is everyone on this thread getting so worked up about events on someone else’s blog? I’ve only vaguely even heard of Greg Laden (mainly through links in the sidebars on ScienceBlogs) and I don’t see what this has to do with Pharyngula, or why all this acrimony needs to fill up the endless thread. (I preferred it when the endless thread was mainly devoted to pictures of bread, snow and bacon.)

  732. #736 Ichthyic
    February 3, 2010

    …I can only think of one word to describe Greg on that thread:

    disingenuous

  733. #737 John Morales
    February 3, 2010

    As this thread draws to a close, I want to say that, though I love much about Ireland and the Irish (their lilt!, their mythology!, their character!), they did piss me off by creating that abominable fad that was Riverdance.

  734. #738 negentropyeater
    February 3, 2010

    1. We have seen that the deadliest earthquakes in recorded history have stricken in the following countries.

    2. We have seen that the same counries with the deadliest earthquakes are only amongst those that still ban Teh Gays from the military.

    3. The only notable exception being Italy, but that’s the place where Palpatine Homophobe the XVIth resides.

    All this is in sync with a seven thousand year old teaching in the Negentropyetarmud that the practice of homosexuality in the military is a spiritual deterent of earthquakes. Except when the imposteur who falsely pretends to be the representant on earth of the one true God and is an evil homophobe resides within less than 200 km away of the potential area. Then it’s not protected because that imposteur helps the True Satan to exert his negative influence in that area too.

    For those who do net yet know, the Negentropyeatermud is a very recently discovered spiritual text that is considered by the experts in Negentropyeaterlogy as being the most ancient authentic spiritual text discovered todate.
    It was found last week at a fake antique dealer in KowLoon, by a snake oil salesman.

  735. #739 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Lao Daung Duen
    February 3, 2010

    It didn’t take you to the comment? Huh.

    Oh that comment. Yeah I didn’t get it.

    I was in lab and I forgot to wear my goggles while working with some halogens. Now I’m paranoid for my eyes.

    Women sometimes need a little more handholding, or they need their friends to help them make a decision.

    The GOP thinks women are children?

  736. #740 Ichthyic
    February 3, 2010

    Why is everyone on this thread getting so worked up about events on someone else’s blog?

    Walton, if you don’t know, and are too lazy too follow the thread chains yourself, why not do the right thing, and STFU?

  737. #741 Carlie
    February 3, 2010

    and I don’t see what this has to do with Pharyngula,

    Partly because he keeps holding Pharyngula up as a shining example of how terrible and awful things can get without heavy moderation, and completely mischaracterizing it in the process. We must defend our honor!

  738. #742 A. Noyd
    February 3, 2010

    Kyorosuke (#728)

    “Women sometimes need a little more handholding shotgun, or they need their friends to help them make a decision shoot patronizing assholes in the face.”

    Ahh, much better.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Walton (#734)

    I’ve only vaguely even heard of Greg Laden (mainly through links in the sidebars on ScienceBlogs) and I don’t see what this has to do with Pharyngula, or why all this acrimony needs to fill up the endless thread.

    Know what I do when The Thread strays into an area I don’t particularly care about? I skip those posts. Try it.

  739. #743 Paul
    February 3, 2010

    Greg’s off the deep end, far as I can tell.

    He actually threatened me.

    fucking ridiculous.

    It got better. He claimed that nobody would say the things you say to him in person unless they are drunk. I thought you were rather civil, really. I don’t get where his head is at.

  740. #744 David Marjanovi?
    February 3, 2010

    Why is everyone on this thread getting so worked up about events on someone else’s blog?

    Laden is wrong.

    On the Internet.

    :-)

    (And I have about 1/3 of my bread left. Might have to buy another loaf soon.)

    a fake antique dealer in KowLoon

    :-D

  741. #745 John Morales
    February 3, 2010

    Walton,

    I don’t see what this has to do with Pharyngula

    We’re held as an exemplar of incivility, where pissing on others is expected, and comment threads are akin to a cage match.

    The relevant thread is linked above; if you want to see for yourself, feel free.

  742. #746 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 3, 2010

    I don’t apologise for taking a strong stand on chemical safety

    At my work, all that PPE is supposed to protect the product from us. The reverse is also true…

  743. #747 Knockgoats
    February 3, 2010

    Bloody hellfire, I’ve just been over to Greg Laden’s blog, which I can’t recall having visited before. What a self-satisfied dunderhead!

  744. #748 Ichthyic
    February 3, 2010

    see, comments like this are why I am now labelling Greg a disingenuous asshat:

    It was an idle threat. The statement says “you can come back when you calm down” but in reality she can come back any time even if she is not calmed down. She would be welcomed.

    In reality?

    LOL

    when blog owners start laying down idle threats repeatedly, there is a problem.

  745. #749 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Off topic (on an open thread?) Titanoboa strikes again. This time at crocks.

  746. #750 Knockgoats
    February 3, 2010

    Someone should tell the “Oh noes! Gays in teh military meanz they wont fite!” crowd about the Theban “Sacred Band” – an elite troop of 300, made up entirely of pairs of male lovers. Admittedly, the Band did in the end get slaughtered to a man at the battle of Chaeronea by the Macedonians under Philip VI and his son Alexander (later “The Great”); reportedly because, when called upon to yield when the battle was lost, they shouted that they did not know the word, and supposed it must be Macedonian. Come to think of it, they could also take a lesson from Philip and Alexander themselves, both well known for their sexual relationships with other men as well as their military prowess.

  747. #751 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2010

    Why is everyone on this thread getting so worked up about events on someone else’s blog?

    The point is a potentially interesting meta-level question on proper modes of interaction online and in meatspace, and what exactly constitutes violations of those norms and why, and potential inconsistency and double-standards in applying those norms.

    As someone interested in politics and law, there may be analogies to the subjects you’re studying and interactions you yourself have had online and/or in meatspace.

    Or not.

    =====

    We have seen that the deadliest earthquakes in recorded history have stricken

    I’m pretty sure that should be “have struck“. Possibly because it’s being used actively rather than passively, but if I’m wrong about that detail, I’m sure that the real grammar Nazis will launch a strike into Usageland.

    “A disaster strikes” / “A disaster has struck.”

    “The country was {struck/stricken} by the disaster.”

    “Strike that from the records” / “It was {struck/stricken} from the record.”

    “{He|She} looked stricken.”

  748. #752 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Kausik Datta: A 729: I couldn’t add to the chemistry discussion, but was interested anyway. I was glad to hear that there were no disasters, that you survived, and that chitin is where and how it’s supposed to be. Alan B resorting to all caps was pretty exciting. :-)

  749. #753 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    @728, That was hilarious. Women need the help of Republican Men to make a decision? They need hand-holding? That dude, and his ilk, have no clue.

  750. #754 Qwerty
    February 3, 2010

    Nerd: From your linked article: “Today’s anacondas, for example, are known to gulp down caimans in the Amazon. Titanoboa could’ve swallowed such toothy prey as though it were an appetizer.”

    This reminds me of the post where a pet boa attemtped to eat a child.

  751. #755 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    they did piss me off by creating that abominable fad that was Riverdance.

    My lasting impression of Riverdance is this thought, “Holy Bosoms! What kind of bras to those women wear?” There was an awful lot of vigorous hoping about and very little bosom bounce. It was impressive.

  752. #756 windy
    February 3, 2010

    I think what happened was that Greg (and Henry) got a bit confused because everyone keeps mentioning the Jews.

  753. #757 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2010

    reportedly because, when called upon to yield when the battle was lost, they shouted that they did not know the word, and supposed it must be Macedonian.

    retreat: “the order or disposition in which a fleet of French men of war decline engagement, or fly from a pursuing enemy. [...] As it is not properly a term of the British marine, any fuller account would be entirely out of place.”

    (William Falconer’s Dictionary of the Marine)

    (Submitted purely as an example of classical snark in a similar mode, with apologies to the French.)

  754. #758 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Lynna:

    [you @703] I’m still shaking my head over everyone’s generosity.

    [C_E@706] Don’t. That’s how we roll… and you’d do the same. ;^)

    What C_E said! Squared!

    Plus which, it hit me out of the blue this evening how staggeringly calm you’ve been in the face of what must be an utterly terrifying experience. I am, my dear friend, in fucking awe of you. When I need it (FSM forfend that day should come!), can I borrow some of your zen?

  755. #759 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 3, 2010

    they did piss me off by creating that abominable fad that was Riverdance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W22gpBv00gg

  756. #760 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 3, 2010

    I don’t know what it is with our local “classical music” radio station, but when they get tired of opera, symphonies, and the like, they put on Celtic folk music.

  757. #761 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2010

    Re: Titanoboa and crocs,

    The Laelaps posting on the study also has a link to an art process blog, which has a painting of such an encounter:

    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2009/09/titanoboa-part-1.html

    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2009/09/titanoboa-part-2.html

  758. #762 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 3, 2010

    GHP (@738):

    The GOP thinks women are children?

    This comes as a surprise to you??

    ;^)

  759. #763 llewelly
    February 3, 2010

    Jerry Coyne sneaks into PZ’s territory:
    Giant squid, sort of.
    He mentions the invasion of Humboldt squid into California waters, and that the media are misidentifying Humboldt squid as “giant squid”.

  760. #764 Kel, OM
    February 3, 2010

    In regards to this whole civility issue, it might be appropriate if it were actually helpful for debate. But so often here I see even those who try to offer a substantive argument initially end up just complaining about the tone instead of actually addressing the objections. When there are several who focus purely on argument, there’s no excuse to just ignore them and complain about tone.

    Complaints about civility are nothing more than an excuse for people who can’t argue their position. It’s never that they can’t argue, it’s always that people here are mean and cruel and poopeyheads. Just look at the bullshit that Kevin offered up in the Wheels Within Wheels thread. Several posts playing the persecution card, until finally we’re able to drag a pseudo-argument from him (that turns out to be a standard set of creationist talking points) and from there all he can do is preach, appeal to emotion and talk about how angry we all are. He had the chance to engage his position but chose not to.

    If that were a one-off thing, then maybe there would be something to a point. But time and time again this pattern is followed. Civility doesn’t stop morons saying moronic things, it just means they go about being morons without being called one.

  761. #765 otrame
    February 3, 2010

    Erm… Is someone going to call me an anti-semite if I confess I actually rather liked Riverdance?

  762. #766 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Nerd (@759):

    when they get tired of opera, symphonies, and the like, they put on Celtic folk music.

    A Feature, Not a Bug®, if you ask me!

  763. #767 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Is someone going to call me an anti-semite if I confess I actually rather liked Riverdance?

    No, but…Patricia, load up the trebuchet… ;)

  764. #768 Carlie
    February 3, 2010

    I do believe this is one of our faster fill-ups on the Thread. Closing in on 800 already!

  765. #769 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 3, 2010

    otrame (@764):

    No, but you might be an anti-dentite!

  766. #770 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    As it is not properly a term of the British marine, any fuller account would be entirely out of place.

    lol. Snark married to understatement. And I’ll bet he wrote it without even cracking a smile.

    The denizens of Professional Poopyhead’s salon and uncivil cesspool do indeed know how to roll.

    Bill, I’ve had my moments. I just don’t parade most of them here, since this is my happy place. Pharyngula is one secret to whatever zen I enjoy — odd that we have a reputation as the roughest bar. Someone is missing the point of Pharyngula.

    You can borrow zen anytime you need it. I attribute the ability to keep going, in part, to having been in positions where I had to keep going, like hiking the more remote parts of the Continental Divide Trail. If Josh were here, he’d recognize the syndrome immediately. No cell phone coverage, no signs of man, just that long, sinuous Divide and one step after another to get where you’re going.

    ‘Tis Himself recently put up some links to tear-jerking videos, and I thought, “Well, at least the subject of the song died quickly.” [inappropriate smile]

    I find myself oddly fascinated (when I’m not being horrified) by the drama in my brain.

  767. #771 Kel, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Why is everyone on this thread getting so worked up about events on someone else’s blog? I’ve only vaguely even heard of Greg Laden (mainly through links in the sidebars on ScienceBlogs) and I don’t see what this has to do with Pharyngula

    Read the thread (there’s even a reference to you in there), but basically it was about how uncivil this place is which intimidates people and stops others from commenting. The way it’s made out is that this place is nothing but a free-for-all with no convention whatsoever. Which is wrong, utterly wrong and severely misleading.

    The difference between this place and others is that this place is intimidating not because of tone, but because anyone saying something stupid will be ripped apart. If you can’t hold an argument, then you probably shouldn’t be here.

  768. #772 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 3, 2010

    Trebuchet at the ready…my aim may bad I’m starting a new lace shawl tonight, can’t take my eyes off it.

  769. #773 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 3, 2010

    A Feature, Not a Bug®, if you ask me!

    Actually, I wouldn’t quibble with that analysis much, but then I have to listen to the Redheads tirade about the practice.

  770. #774 A. Noyd
    February 3, 2010

    Civility doesn’t stop morons saying moronic things, it just means they go about being morons without being called one.

    And for some reason, “civility” as defined by the people most concerned with it doesn’t preclude being a condescending asshole so long as you avoid calling someone a dumbass outright.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    And speaking of trebuchets, people at my volunteer job today were wondering what the difference is between a catapult and a trebuchet and didn’t believe me when I told them. What’s the point of having a vast store of trivial knowledge if the one time you get to use a particular fact, people think you’re wrong? *cry*

  771. #775 Lynna, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Oh, A. Noyd, don’t cry, just get Blind Squirrel to come to your place of employment and give a demo. Blind Squirrel could use the doubters as loads for the trebuchet.

  772. #776 Kel, OM
    February 3, 2010

    And for some reason, “civility” as defined by the people most concerned with it doesn’t preclude being a condescending asshole so long as you avoid calling someone a dumbass outright.

    Yeah, that’s pretty much it. The standard for civility is that it’s okay to steal someone’s wallet just as long as you have a smile on your face while you do it. Call them out on stealing your wallet however… “How could you yell at me? Did you not see the smile on my face?”

  773. #777 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Kel (@770):

    The difference between this place and others is that this place is intimidating not because of tone, but because anyone saying something stupid will be ripped apart.

    Not even that, really: I’ve said plenty of stupid things here, and lived to tell the tale. What is true is that if you’re unremittingly stubborn about your Stupid Things™, you’ll get keelhauled… but in my experience, this is a really wonderful place to be stupid-but-educable.

    Lynna (@769):

    I attribute the ability to keep going, in part, to having been in positions where I had to keep going, like hiking the more remote parts of the Continental Divide Trail. If Josh were here, he’d recognize the syndrome immediately. No cell phone coverage, no signs of man, just that long, sinuous Divide and one step after another to get where you’re going.

    I envy you that, at least. I’ve never been more than a very occasional day-hiker, but I yearn for a life that would accommodate a long-distance walk. I’m not the meditative type by nature, and the closest I ever get is when I’m doing some mindlessly repetitive physical task. The notion of being on a long trail, with nothing to do or think about but putting one foot in front of the other, and nothing to look at but beauty, sounds like heaven.

  774. #778 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Lao Daung Duen
    February 3, 2010

    This comes as a surprise to you??

    ;^)

    It’s one of those questions where I already knew the answer but just wanted to reiterated it.

    :D

    In other news, wingnut’s anti-immigrant rant inadvertently supports gay marriage

    In other other news, Japan to tackle monster Jellyfish threat.

  775. #779 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 3, 2010

    A. Noyd #773

    And for some reason, “civility” as defined by the people most concerned with it doesn’t preclude being a condescending asshole so long as you avoid calling someone a dumbass outright.

    Many tone trolls will show their utter disdain and disgust at associating with us godless evilutionists in a condescending, pompous manner. If it weren’t for the necessity to show us the error of our ways and bring us to The Light™, they wouldn’t come within shouting distance of us.

  776. #780 WowbaggerOM
    February 3, 2010

    Bill Dauphin wrote:

    The notion of being on a long trail, with nothing to do or think about but putting one foot in front of the other, and nothing to look at but beauty, sounds like heaven.

    Really? Sounds like heaven’s polar opposite to me; I loathe walking. But a similar trail begun while astride a mountain bike might be a different story…

  777. #781 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 3, 2010

    GHP:

    Forgive me for asking a couple potentially nosey questions?

    I know you’ve said you don’t speak Korean, but your name looks (sounds) Korean to me; where are you from (by which I mean to ask what your national heritage is, not necessarily where you were born)?

    Also, from my time in Korea (or maybe just from watching women’s golf!), I’m familiar with Pak (aka Park) as a family name, but I also know that the custom in many East Asian cultures is to put the family name first, preceding the given name… so, is Pak your family name and Gyeong Hwa your given name (i.e, a Westernized rendering)? Or vice versa? Or is the whole thing a pseudonym in any case? (I’m stupid about these things: For the longest time, I thought the aratina in aratina cage was just a pretty, if somewhat exotic, girl’s name; you wouldn’t like to see the shade I turned when I read that it was really a rat in a cage!)

    Finally, I note the recent addition of another name, Lao Daung Duen, to your handle. Have you been joined by a partner in posting? Or is that just the way you write Pikachu in your mother tongue? ;^)

    If any of these questions are too personal, or might compromise your identity in RL, feel free to ignore me altogether; I’m just a curious cat.

  778. #782 John Morales
    February 3, 2010

    Lynna,

    My lasting impression of Riverdance is this thought, “Holy Bosoms! What kind of bras to those women wear?” There was an awful lot of vigorous hoping about and very little bosom bounce.

    Sports bras, I guess. :)

    That said, I guess the degree of endowment is significant: I saw the women’s final of the Australian Open and, ahem, Serena Williams’ bosom was rather mobile, though she presumably wears the best.

    (BTW, she is truly magnificent! A true champion, and a most impressive specimen.)

  779. #783 John Morales
    February 3, 2010

    Kel,

    Read the thread (there’s even a reference to you [Walton] in there)

    Heh. I just used him specifically as an example of civility in that thread.

    Bill, I seem to recall Gyeong Hwa Pak is of Cambodian (nee Kampuchea) descent.

  780. #784 AJ Milne
    February 3, 2010

    Is someone going to call me an anti-semite if I confess I actually rather liked Riverdance?

    Just an anti-Semite?

    I mean, as if we’d stop there…

    (Clears throat…)

    Ahem.

    Sure. She just likes Riverdance. This is always how it starts. But this kind of vitriol, we know where it ends…

    I mean, I figure with a few more years of this loose talk, this unbridled rhetoric, and people who don’t like Riverdance, they’re not going to be able to get tenure anywhere…

    And then they’ll be driving us anti-Riverdance types out of our homes, into the ghetto…

    And then will come the gas ovens…

    Yeah, yeah, sure, you say that’s not what you’re thinking. But then, why aren’t you? If you’re consistent, if you really like Riverdance, the way you say you do, that’s where you should be driving this. To the gas chambers. You genocidal bastards.

    (/Alternately, I was thinking mebbe I coulda just gone with ‘And you know who else liked Riverdance? Hitler. That’s who.’ But it seemed a little too obvious.)

  781. #785 Owlmirror
    February 3, 2010

    It is a fundamental difference between Islam and Christianity that Islam believes in salvation by works while Christianity believes in salvation by grace.

    Actually… I think it’s way more complicated than that. There is not a single Christianity; there are (and have been) many Christianities.

    But a discussion of the different theological concepts of soteriology strikes me as being less than entirely interesting at this point in time.

  782. #786 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 3, 2010

    Trebuchet at the ready…my aim may bad I’m starting a new lace shawl tonight, can’t take my eyes off it.

    Well, if your aim might be off, forget about the trebuchet, and concentrate on the important stuff (the Redhead is out at a knitting meeting tonight). Better get to bed early anyway…

  783. #787 A. Noyd
    February 3, 2010

    Lynna (#774)

    Oh, A. Noyd, don’t cry, just get Blind Squirrel to come to your place of employment and give a demo. Blind Squirrel could use the doubters as loads for the trebuchet.

    To make that even more sadistic, the topic was brought up as a suggestion on how to get midday snack into the far end of the gorilla exhibit when the weather’s bad and they won’t come into reasonable yam- and apple-chucking distance.

  784. #788 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 3, 2010

    John:

    I seem to recall Gyeong Hwa Pak is of Cambodian (nee Kampuchea) descent.

    Thanks for the clue-in. Now that you mention it, it dawns on me that I’m utterly clueless about how Cambodian (or Laotian, for that matter) names look or sound. I suppose if forced to guess I would’ve imagined they were similar to Vietnamese names, just based on proximity.

    I’m another Ugly American who doesn’t know anything about geography, I guess… 8^(

    Also, re Serena Williams1: She is definitely a magnificent champion, but every time I watch her play, the second thing I think (after wow, can she play!) is always Jebus, that must hurt!

    The old joke about Ginger Rogers was that she did everything Fred did, but backwards and in heals. It stri