Pharyngula

I do feel a little embarrassed that the most active comment thread on all of scienceblogs is often the endless open thread on Pharyngula, which is about nothing at all but what you crazy people want to say…and that’s in spite of the fact that I keep closing the old thread and opening a new one. Anyway, here we go again.

So say something.

Comments

  1. #1 Miki Z
    February 11, 2010

    Palin has helpfully clarified in our earlier discussion about calling people ‘retards’. Here’s the rule: it’s okay if you’re making fun of them, but not if you’re serious.

    Also, Obama should bomb Iran if he wants to win again.

  2. #2 Miki Z
    February 11, 2010

    Oops, wrong story in #2 — that is a response to this story.

    If Palin were to, somehow, win a nomination and then the presidency, would she be a 3 year president or a 7 year president? (No point in serving out that final year when you know you won’t be in the job next term.)

  3. #3 Code Monkey
    February 11, 2010

    But.. The most active post is the last never ending thread, not this one. We must try harder!

  4. #4 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    Whoa! Early portcullis on that one; took me by surprise.
    Poor form there Marjanovi?. You know< how teh CO feels about firsties posts. I hope he deletes it.

  5. #5 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    You know

    …how teh CO feels about firsties posts. I hope he deletes i–ah, already done.
    Let that be a lesson to us all.

  6. #6 AJ Milne
    February 11, 2010

    Continuing the discussion re the portrayal of unbelief in religious communities:

    For some of the creationists, I’m not to sure this holds.

    Fair enough. Or more than. Because I quite agree. I was thinking specifically of my experiences in said denominations specifically about just general unbelief, not so much creationism, and averaging, too.

    And come to think of it, I’m probably being a bit too kind even in that context when I say that ‘no one’ just actively and consciously chooses to tell a huge howler. Some of them, depending on how much exposure they’ve actually had to unbelievers, or how hard they’ve thought about this stuff themselves, almost certainly do. In those cases, it probably just is a simple and very conscious copout, the easy thing to do under a form of peer pressure they live under. Because they know saying, honestly, ‘actually, they’ve got some really quite excellent reasons’ is as good as saying they’re an unbeliever themselves. And in that sense, they might actually be, come to think of it. But still closeted, stuck in the social situation of it, for whichever complicated reasons of their own.

    I’d add that thinking about this really does focus me on that attitude we hear so much that what’s objectionable to people isn’t unbelievers, but unbelievers who won’t just remain politely silent about the whole deal. Because you’ll note in this situation, the whole point of the deceptions that spread out (see again comments re the similiarity here to propaganda spread) is they’re entirely a defensive strategy: it’s not going to fool anyone who doesn’t believe–these are deceptions passed around within the community of believers to prevent erosion by the existence of unbelievers and the actually quite good reasons they do have for rejecting the rather absurd claims the religion makes.

    And that whole thing really does start to break down if too many people in the community have actually been exposed to people who really can present and have presented good reasons for rejecting the religion’s overtures. It only works well in an environment where you can prevent that–or at least count on the exposure being isolated and rare enough that you can pass on the various lies and half-truths without them being too directly exposed as such. Just like that spreading propaganda, you need repetition, and an environment in which people can pass on those little lies themselves and not too obviously have to face the fact that that’s what they are–and if they haven’t met anyone who’s a living contradiction to the claim–or at least haven’t met too many, or not too recently–that’s a lot easier. If unbelievers become too numerous and too visible, people are going to start to notice too much, the claims are going to start sounding way too much like the deceptions they are, and the spread may well start to break up.

    So, shorter, no one should be too surprised there’s a lot of pressure in that direction, and especially from relatively ‘moderate’, mainstream denominations, even. That’s their modus operandi you’re fucking with, when you’re happy to live too out loud.

  7. #7 Miki Z
    February 11, 2010

    Although it has rendered #2 oddly self-referential.

  8. #8 nunnjosh
    February 11, 2010

    Not sure how Palin got into this but since she is rather keen on leaving a lot of Americans to die I suppose remarking on the fact is always allowable.

  9. #9 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 11, 2010

    What? DM called firsts? Tsk, Tsk. Still, this was a pretty abrupt change over. I figured another hundred post on the old thread.

  10. #10 PZ Myers
    February 11, 2010

    666 is the new magic number. When I see a thread reach that many comments, I close it and open a new one.

    Sometimes it goes way over because you rascals run up the numbers while I’m sleeping or trapped on an airplane or am in a dance marathon or something.

  11. #11 SC OM
    February 11, 2010

    [Thread Cop posts stupid rant]

    Laden:

    Shit, Paul-Dub, I think you finally got Stephanie mad. And, she’s pretty much dead on with this comment. Well said, Stephanie.

    Yeah, that’s enough. I’m done with them.

    [Thanks for putting up with me. I thought there was something worth salvaging (with Greg, not Stephanie). Now he's gone even further and insulted other people I respect. Alas.]

    ***

    OK, so I found the jar! (I’ve moved several times recently.) It’s now out on the counter, mocking me. I don’t want to open it until I’m planning to use it, but I may make something Mexican tonight. I’ll keep you posted (so to speak)!

  12. #12 Sara
    February 11, 2010

    “666 is the new magic number. When I see a thread reach that many comments, I close it and open a new one.
    I KNEW IT! PZ has latent superstitious tendencies.
    We need to get some one in to do a exorcism. Poor thing.

  13. #13 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    They shoot horses, don’t they?

    So it is the Number of the Beast that (theoretically) triggers the portcullis. Good to know.

    The first anniversary of teh Thread is approaching rapidly; the original Science of Watchmen post went up at 22:28 (EST) 24 Feb. 2009. Just under 2 weeks away.

    At the current rate of about 3.5 d per subThread, we ought to be able to get at least 4 more subThreads in before then. Let’s go for 6.

  14. #14 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Ahh, it feels like a new day! Between a couple hair-on-fire busy days at work and then the Snowpocalypse That Wasn’t©¹, I mostly missed the last subThread, and the thought of getting caught up was rather daunting. Nice to have a clean sheet of virtual paper!

    ¹ I recognize some folks got truly swacked by Wednesday’s storm, but for most of CT other than the NY metro area and the shoreline, it was an exercise in headscratching and wondering why we closed all those schools and businesses. I did shovel my driveway, but what I was shoveling was so meager I honestly worried that my neighbors would think me daft.

  15. #15 Carlie
    February 11, 2010

    Yes! I finally got in the last word on an endless thread incarnation!
    I wonder if I can put that on my annual evaluation.

  16. #16 Frank b
    February 11, 2010

    Even in a college town there is a baptist church. My daughter went to a youth group, and asked some pointed questions of the counselor. Some girls had some problem answering my daughter’s questions, so I think there is some hope for some of baptist youth.

  17. #17 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010
  18. #18 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    I’m done with them.

    There you go!
    Fuck ‘em.

    Speaking of Sgt. Z., btw, I keep thinking about her first comment on that trainwreck, which I asked about here when it first appeared.

    Doesn’t it suggest strongly that the Sarge, Laden’s editor-in-another-context and indefatigable defender of his Honour and clarity, actually thought the post was about capital punishment?

    Seriously, I can’t parse it any other way. I think that’s decent evidence for the complete opacity of his stupid, stupid metaphor.

  19. #19 Carlie
    February 11, 2010

    I thought there was something worth salvaging (with Greg, not Stephanie)

    In the past I had seen it the opposite; Stephanie has written a few really brilliant things. But now it seems those were a fluke.

  20. #20 Dianne
    February 11, 2010

    Day after the Snowpocalypse in lower Manhattan. It was a pretty good snow storm here. This AM the streets and sidewalks are almost all plowed/shoveled. I’m quite impressed with the sidewalks. They’re clear in front of apartment buildings, abandoned construction sites, federal buildings, state institutions, buildings housing tiny businesses…in fact, everywhere except for the large, ostentatious church on the corner. It hasn’t been shoveled at all. Perhaps they’re waiting for god to do it.

  21. #21 Lynna, OM
    February 11, 2010

    I am so far behind I may never catch up, but I did want to send a shout-out to Smoggy Batzrubble.

    Smoggles, your post #517 in the previous chapter of the endless thread was prime Grade A snark. It was so good that I copied it and sent it to my children. Being the excellent progeny that they are, the scarring will probably not be permanent.

  22. #22 Bernard Bumner
    February 11, 2010

    …firsties posts…

    Particularly contemptible if they actually appear first, too.

    Meanwhile, in Flatland the ongoing attempt to understand the third dimension is proving even more futile (as though such a thing is possible):

    …If you really think I need to understand your perspective on the things I’ve said, respect mine about the things others have said. If you really think I should pay some attention to how you feel about this situation, attend to the things you do that will shape how I feel about you.

    I’m tired of your double standards, Paul..

    …I think you finally got Stephanie mad. And, she’s pretty much dead on with this comment. Well said, Stephanie.

    Mad, you say?

    1. Of an animal: abnormally aggressive; spec. (esp. of a dog) suffering from rabies, rabid.

    2. Of a person, action, disposition, etc.: uncontrolled by reason or judgement; foolish, unwise. Subsequently only in stronger use (corresponding to the modern restricted application of sense 4a, from which it is now often indistinguishable): extravagantly or wildly foolish; ruinously imprudent.

    3. a. Of a person: carried away by or filled with enthusiasm or desire; wildly excited; infatuated.

    How is mad, good?

  23. #23 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    We got ‘pocalypsed pretty good here on Lon Gisland. I should probably go out and disinter the Jeep. I think I have to teach this afternoon.

  24. #24 Carlie
    February 11, 2010

    Theme for the next endless varietal: you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

  25. #25 Feynmaniac
    February 11, 2010

    the endless open thread on Pharyngula, which is about nothing

    A thread about nothing.

  26. #26 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    oy, the Eagles.
    “Peaceful Easy Feeling” was my Class Song in high school. (Of course, we called them the Iggles, but that’s a ‘Burgh thing.)

  27. #27 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 11, 2010

    or trapped on an airplane

    Bwahahahaha, just wait until PZ is on the plane to/from Austrailia.

  28. #28 Dianne
    February 11, 2010

    the endless open thread on Pharyngula, which is about nothing

    Since the endless thread is about nothing, wouldn’t posts early in a new sub-thread saying things like “first” technically be on topic and therefore not subject to deletion?

  29. #29 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Carlie, I am sorry but I have to respond.

    NSFW. But some might guess exactly what it is.

  30. #30 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Feynmaniac (@25):

    A thread about nothing.

    Was there a link to Seinfeld¹ missing there?

    ¹ As usual when I post from work, that YouTube link is a blind posting; I hope it means what I think it means!

  31. #31 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    technically, schmechnically
    It’s, like, the only Rule so I don’t feel too bad that it’s irrational and arbitrary. Also, such posts annoy the hell out of me too.

  32. #32 Carlie
    February 11, 2010

    Janine – but we’re not allowed to dissent from each other! Hive mind! Hive mind!

  33. #33 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    Every semester for about the last 15 years, I have tried the hilarious joke that the Loop of Henle was “discovered by the lead singer of the Eagles.”

    Fewer and fewer people laugh every year.

    Come to think of it, this is true of a lot of my “jokes”.

  34. #34 IanM
    February 11, 2010

    The future is certain
    Just give us time to work it out

    Problem is, by the time we’ve worked it out, the future is past.

  35. #35 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010
  36. #36 Carlie
    February 11, 2010

    Fewer and fewer people laugh every year.

    Come to think of it, this is true of a lot of my “jokes”.

    I almost cried the time I used a Monty Python reference in class and no one got it.

  37. #37 marcelocgreco
    February 11, 2010

    a dance marathon

    Details, please.

  38. #38 Celtic_Evolution
    February 11, 2010

    Hello all… just dropping in to say sorry I haven’t been by much to comment… but I was involved in a serious accident… out of the hospital now but still recovering. I’ll be keeping up but probably not posting much for a while. More details at my blog.

    Cheers to all, and good health!

  39. #39 Dianne
    February 11, 2010

    Also, such posts annoy the hell out of me too.

    There is that…in the context of a thread that’s a killer argument.

  40. #40 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 11, 2010

    CAB

    The Dude, in the back seat of a taxicab that rocks and squeaks with every bump,is gingerly touching at sore spots on his face and scalp.
    “Peaceful Easy Feeling” is on the radio.

    DUDE’S POV

    The back of the driver, a large black man with rasta dreds under a knit cap.

    DUDE
    Jesus, man, can you change the station?

    DRIVER
    Fuck you man! You don’t like my fucking music, get your own fucking cab!

    DUDE
    I’ve had a–

    DRIVER
    I pull over and kick your ass out, man!

    DUDE
    –had a rough night, and I hate the
    fucking Eagles, man–

    DRIVER
    That’s it! Outta this fucking cab!

    Aaaaaand FREEZE.

    The Eagles, Sven? AND the Dead? What evil did rock and roll ever visit upon you to make you reject it so utterly?

  41. #41 Feynmaniac
    February 11, 2010

    Was there a link to Seinfeld¹ missing there?

    No, but it probably would have been better to include one. Dangers of posting before morning coffee.

    As usual when I post from work, that YouTube link is a blind posting; I hope it means what I think it means!

    It does.
    /thinks of something witty to add

    /starts brewing

  42. #42 IanM
    February 11, 2010

    I have a suggestion for eliminating firsties although I don’t know if it is technically feasible. When the number of posts exceeds some predetermined number, in this case 666 (or my favorite 668 – the neighbour of the beast) start the new thread with the overflow.

  43. #43 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010

    C_U, trapped for an hour? That must have been scary. At least you are around to tell the story. I always have a fun time telling my story of the plate and seven screws in my right wrist.

  44. #44 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 11, 2010

    marcelogreco (@37):

    a dance marathon

    Details, please.

    Yah, I was wondering about that, too. I’m imagining some sort of Dancing With the Secular Humanist Stars.

    Of course, it could’ve just been crafty misdirection on PZ’s part.

  45. #45 SC OM
    February 11, 2010

    That’s awful, C_E! I’m glad it wasn’t worse, and that you’re back home, but wow. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    (Dude, are you posting and responding to DM’s insanity?)

  46. #46 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010

    CHIMPY!!!!!!

  47. #47 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 11, 2010

    C_E (@38):

    Oy! Sorry to hear about your troubles; get well quickly!

    We have Mollies here, and a Poet Laureate, and we’ve talked about Tentacle Clusters; I think we need a Pharyngulan equivalent of a Purple Heart for our walking wounded, such as Lynna and now C_E!

  48. #48 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    What evil did rock and roll ever visit upon you to make you reject it so utterly?

    huh wha?
    I’m with the Dude on this one. man (as on so much else). “Peaceful Easy Feeling” was my class song by vote. At the time I would have likely thrown away my vote to make an elitist statement like “A Love Supreme” or something. In fact, I did reject “rock” music along with “pop” almost completely for many years (always excepting teh Beatles, Santana and Steely Dan). It was the improvisation of the Dead that made me start listening, then I started appreciating the songs, and that started a process of opening up to everything from Radiohead to Nanci Griffith to Gregory Isaacs to sometimes even Counting Crows.

    I still don’t care for the Iggles, though they did not make my recent list of bands I white-hot burning hate. For the record.

  49. #49 PZ Myers
    February 11, 2010

    Crafty misdirection? Yeah, I don’t dance. You caught me.

    It was a kissing marathon.

  50. #50 Celtic_Evolution
    February 11, 2010

    C_U, trapped for an hour? That must have been scary. At least you are around to tell the story.

    Yes… it was very scary… and yes, I am very lucky it wasn’t much worse…

    But I can think of no better place than here to state plainly, it was NO miracle. It was the wonderful effort and dedication and hard work of the medical and emergency professionals on the scene. I didn’t need prayers nor help from on high, just the quick and professional response of the people who helped rescue me and get me safely to the hospital.

    To them I give my highest thanks and gratitude…

  51. #51 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Deciding that I should at least try to stay in the theme suggested by our cruel tentacled overlord, here is a happy Star Wars themed song.

  52. #52 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    CE, glad to hear you’re going to be OK. That must have been a tough hour!
    Heal up, now, here?

  53. #53 Celtic_Evolution
    February 11, 2010

    Dude, are you posting and responding to DM’s insanity?

    Oh… his death threats on my blog, you mean? I forwarded them along to the proper authorities some time ago…

  54. #54 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010
  55. #55 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 11, 2010

    C_E (@50):

    It was the wonderful effort and dedication and hard work of the medical and emergency professionals on the scene, at least some of whom almost certainly worked for the ebil, socialist public sector. I didn’t need prayers nor help from on high, just the quick and professional response of the people whosocialized EMS that helped rescue me and get me safely to the hospital.

    Not “fixed,” but enhanced!

    Forgive me for piggybacking a political point onto your personal crisis, but it bears repeating, against the din of Reagan’s “government is the problem” echoing down through the decades, that government fucking saves lives!

    And thank FSM for that, eh? ;^)

  56. #56 nigelTheBold
    February 11, 2010

    CE:

    Oi! I’m relieved you are feeling relatively chipper about that whole thing, and saddened you had to go through the whole ordeal.

    Best wishes for healing up and getting on with your life.

  57. #57 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010

    For those of you on Facebook. Can this dung beetle get more fans than Glenn Beck?

    Cue the Kw*k jokes.

  58. #58 Lynna, OM
    February 11, 2010

    To Cicely @636 on the previous thread. The first, and least expensive test, is well-covered, with money left over. Thank you to everyone. For the CT Angiography of my head, I have about half of that covered — It’s way too expensive if you ask me, $1302 for the CT, plus $93.75 for the contrast. That’s almost $1400, and I’ll have to ask Rorschach about this, but a little research online shows other countries doing the same test for about half that. I’m also having trouble getting the imaging company to agree to a discount — however, I haven’t given up on that route. Maybe they will offer the discount if I wave cash in their face — you know, “Look, no paperwork for you! No follow-up bills? Now can I have a discount?”

    I’ll post the results of the first test, rescheduled now for February 16th as soon as I have them. AFAIK, my doctor has to interpret them before I get a result.

    I’m sure everyone is dying to know what my carotid arteries look like.

  59. #59 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    I’m sure everyone is dying to know what my carotid arteries look like.

    chicka-wow-chicka-wow-wow

  60. #60 Carlie
    February 11, 2010

    Lynna,
    Thanks for the updates. But I hope you don’t feel like you have to: I don’t think anyone who contributed to the diagnosis fund thinks they’re owed any information about the results, if you’re not comfortable sharing.

    CE – rest up, and be kind to yourself. Glad everything worked out.

  61. #61 Paul W.
    February 11, 2010

    Well, I’ve gone another round with Greg and Sgt. Z, if only to emphasize that the lack of respect is quite mutual, and yes, we’re at an impasse, and that if I should “grow up” Stephanie should get her condescending head examined. (I said that last bit twice.)

    Naturally I took a few extra words to say that, and said a few other things along the way, as is my wont.

  62. #62 Lynna, OM
    February 11, 2010

    To Katrina @644 on the previous chapter of the endless thread. Yay! That was damned speedy for “media rate” mailing. With your mother living in Idaho, and your grandfather having been a park ranger, your family are ideal readers — what luck to have an audience like that. Let’s just hope they don’t find any mistakes. I’ll pass your comments on to my brother.

    If you’d like to expand a little on “Your descriptions of the Idaho wilderness around the places that I remember took me right back to my own childhood” I’d love to add your review/blurb to the website.

  63. #63 David Marjanovi?
    February 11, 2010

    X?n nián h?o! The canteen was decorated for the Chinese New Year today, and Cantonese rice was one of the available choices. (Not for me, though ? there are peas in it.)

    That‘s it, Paul W. for Molly.

    Also, snow ? but still only a few mm.

    When I heard Dr. Myers talk about his experience of coming to an Intelligent Design conversation, and how poorly he was treated, it made me angry! My pipe dream is to one day see some of these scientist sit down in a room together in an atmosphere of respect, to talk through the evidence, and learn from each other.

    The problem here is that Intelligent Design isn’t science. It’s just not.

    It’s hard not to make this look like a “holier than thou” insult, but please bear with me. There is no hypothesis of ID, nothing to test, just “an unspecified number of designers* did unspecified things at unspecified times in the past; there’s no way to figure out what the designers were thinking, so there’s no way to test anything here**, but teach it as an alternative to the scientific theory of evolution anyway”.

    And then there’s the Wedge Document, which spells out that all this ID stuff is just a front for Christian Dominionism of the most sickening kind.

    It’s not surprising that ID proponents don’t even try to find evidence for ID and instead look only for evidence against the theory of evolution. Their lack of knowledge about the latter has so far prevented them from succeeding even in this completely irrelevant goal.

    * Actually, they always imply there’s exactly one such designer, which I find very telling, but they never try to find out what the number of designers is. They just? so? assume it’s 1. Just assuming things without testing them isn’t science either. It’s not surprising, therefore, that not a single scientific publication supports ID.
    ** This goes so far that the ID proponent Michael Behe testified at the Dover Trial that, if ID is to count as science, the term “science” needs to be redefined for a meaning so broad it includes even astrology.

    I have a complex relationship with Cicero

    :-)

    Why don’t you go take however long as you need to think about what answers you’ve gotten so far. If you feel like coming back, try introducing one concept at a time. Really take the time to explore that one concept before moving on to others.

    Repeated for truth.

    proper scientific evidence is only found in the peer reviewed scientific literature

    That’s not true in theory, but, nowadays, almost true in practice ? almost all scientific journals and edited books are consistently peer-reviewed these days.

    Faux News Poll, ‘What it the teabaggering movement about?’

    Small government and fiscal responsibility 16%
    Exposing Democrats’ socialist agenda 1%
    Voicing outrage at out-of-touch politicians 6%

    Fruitless mix of racism, conspiracy theories 76%
    Other (add your comment) 1%
    Total Votes: 163,209

    Strange how they split their preferred answer in three and left only one for the sane people. Usually they’re sneakier than that.

    Seriously – what kind of incompetent blogger needs a fucking editor?

    Last time I checked (months ago!), Laden posted so much every day (more than PZ when he doesn’t have tests to grade) that this doesn’t really surprise me.

    If I remember anything correctly this late at night, it’s specifically sleep apnea

    Unsurprisingly, I didn’t. It’s lack of long enough good sleep in general? of which sleep apnea is, however, among the leading causes.

    I suppose it’s also possible they merit the coveted title of mad scientist.

    =8-)

    At the time Jericho was supposedly genocided, it was deserted. There were no walls standing to even fall down.

    Same thing with the city of Ai. Ai in Hebrew means “ruins”. An odd name for a city. [?] Archaeology shows it had been abandomed centuries before it was supposedly massacred.

    Evidently, stories to explain all the ruins in the countryside were coupled to stories about “worship Yahwe or else”?

    Yep, we live in Ruins right down the road from Brickpile.

    Priceless.

    SC, did you finally get your freaking jar open?

    Please tell us!

    As a lifelong atheist I don’t know what religious people might be told about ‘the other side’, so I was wondering about that – would he have been told that there are good arguments against religion, or would his teachers/church elders/whatever have simply lied and said that atheists just deny God without having any good reason to do so?

    Depends on the denomination, and on the individual(s) he talked to.

    the heddles of the world tend to insist that all ‘real’ Christians have an indepth knowledge of scripture and are aware of all the apologetics and counterarguments to the logic of atheism

    Not heddle. heddle doesn’t believe for any rational reason; he literally believes it’s a miracle that he believes, and completely ineffable why he believes and you or I don’t.

    For some of the creationists, I’m not to sure this holds. Like the ones who have scientific training – it’s really hard to think that the likes of Jonathan Wells could possibly be that ignorant of the underpinnings of his own discipline.

    I do think that most of them really believe at least part of what they’re saying ? Wells, though, is lying and proud of it! Check him and Moon out in PZ’s quote list.

    Why aren’t creationists trying to learn all they can about evolution?

    At least some seem to be genuinely scared shitless that the devil might leap off the page or screen and into their faces. Alan Clarke for instance.

  64. #64 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Lynna (@58):

    It’s way too expensive if you ask me, $1302 for the CT, plus $93.75 for the contrast. That’s almost $1400,…

    I’m vastly relieved to see your ability to estimate simple sums remains unimpaired! ;^)

    Also, let me second Carlie (@60): I’m sure none of us who contributed to Project Diagnose Lynna© feel our mite boxes entitle us to any of your private medical information. Just let us know if you’re OK, and if/when you need more help. And be well!

  65. #65 Stephen Wells
    February 11, 2010

    @63: if the ID people were really honest they’d be looking for evidence _against_ ID, wouldn’t they?

  66. #66 Lynna, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Re the topic of Palin, here’s my favorite quote: “We really do love our trees,” Palin said. “I named my daughter Willow. Isn’t that granola enough for them?” – Associated Press

  67. #67 nigelTheBold
    February 11, 2010

    if the ID people were really honest they’d be looking for evidence _against_ ID, wouldn’t they?

    Only if the took Popper’s epistemology seriously. Which if they did, they wouldn’t just blithely accept “the Bible says it, so it must be true,” as bats aren’t bugs! Or birds.

    Intentional self-deception is the worst kind of dishonesty. I believe all creationists are essentially dishonest. They just try to rationalize their dishonesty through the acceptance of poor philosophy and the delusion that they must be correct, because everyone else is against them.

  68. #68 DLC
    February 11, 2010

    I was living in the northeast for the big storms of 79 and 88. The talking head twits are all crowing that this somehow disproves “Global Warming”, when anyone who’s really spent some time studying the issue knows full well it does not.
    Now.. global average temperatures decreasing over the next couple of decades — that would go far toward disproving it. But how many of you think that’s going to happen?

  69. #69 David Marjanovi?
    February 11, 2010

    ah, already done.

    No fair. I did put in an incredibly relevant mention of how I had to catch up. <pout>

    + 2

    Also, it’s CEO (Cephalopod Evil Overlord), not carbon monoxide.

    Particularly contemptible if they actually appear first, too.

    :-Þ

    668 – the neighbour of the beast

    ?

    It was a kissing marathon.

    *overwhelmed by cuteness*

  70. #70 David Marjanovi?
    February 11, 2010

    But how many of you think that’s going to happen?

    Not me ? just for the record.

  71. #71 Feynmaniac
    February 11, 2010

    Favourite Palin quote (during her resignation):

    Let me go back quickly to a comfortable analogy for me and that’s sports. Basketball! And I use it because you are naïve if you don’t see a full court press from the national level picking away right now. A… good point guard here’s what she does: she drives through a full court press pro…tecting the ball, keeping her head… up because she needs to keep her eye on the basket and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win *gasp* and that is what I’m doing – keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities remember they include energy independence and smaller government *gasp* and national security and freedom and I know when it’s time to pass the ball… for victory.

  72. #72 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 11, 2010

    DLC (@68):

    The talking head twits are all crowing that this somehow disproves “Global Warming”, when anyone who’s really spent some time studying the issue knows full well it does not.

    I can’t hunt up the link from work, but Rachel Maddow had a most excellent smackdown on this point as part of last night’s show (or maybe it was Tuesday’s show; I listen by podcast, and sometimes the lag confuses me).

  73. #73 David Marjanovi?
    February 11, 2010

    for victory.

    FOR GREAT JUSTICE.

  74. #74 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010

    I was amused by Colbert’s bit about peek-a-boo-ologists.

  75. #75 Lynna, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Sometimes it goes way over because you rascals run up the numbers while I’m sleeping or trapped on an airplane or am in a dance marathon or something.

    We need an Eye on Myers camera, our own version of the lidless eye, so that we know when to run up the endless thread numbers.

    On another subject, I’m still chuckling over Mike the Christian admitting in the previous thread that he was confused by Smoggy. Smoggy is God’s way of making christians suffer, while simultaneously entertaining atheists.

    I could get into this business of crediting god with everything.

  76. #76 SteveM
    February 11, 2010

    I was amused by Colbert’s bit about peek-a-boo-ologists.

    damn, beat me to it. Yes, “the only thing that can ever happen is what ever is happening, right now

    The Daily Show‘s take on it was pretty funny also. And Sunday’s The Simpsons also presented the same point when Homer declared Global Warming a myth because Springfield had just been hit with a huge blizzard.

  77. #77 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010
  78. #78 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Janine:

    If one of those Star Wars links-I-can’t-follow isn’t to Eddie Izzard’s bit about Darth Vader in the Deathstar cafeteria, it should be!

  79. #79 Lynna, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Celtic_Evolution @38:

    Hello all… just dropping in to say sorry I haven’t been by much to comment… but I was involved in a serious accident… out of the hospital now but still recovering. I’ll be keeping up but probably not posting much for a while. More details at my blog.

    Fucking aiyiyiyiy! So sorry to hear that. It took them an hour to get you out of the car! Not fun, not fun at all. The tree is probably fine.

    I hope you have someone to look after you. Busted up like that, you’ll have a hard time moving around without causing pain.

  80. #80 Bernard Bumner
    February 11, 2010

    More Star Wars flotsam and jetsam.

    Fader Gladiator – Battle of the Planets

  81. #81 SteveM
    February 11, 2010

    Also, it’s CEO (Cephalopod Evil Overlord), not carbon monoxide.

    I assumed that CO meant Commanding Officer in that context.

    Re DLC:

    I was living in the northeast for the big storms of 79 and 88. The talking head twits are all crowing that this somehow disproves “Global Warming”

    I think you meant ’78 (and I think ’89, but I’m less sure of that), and I don’t remember any noise about GW back then (’78), much less that the blizzard disproved it. But then again I was a pretty oblivious college student back then, so maybe I just wasn’t aware.

  82. #82 Celtic_Evolution
    February 11, 2010

    Not fun, not fun at all. The tree is probably fine.

    I hope you have someone to look after you. Busted up like that, you’ll have a hard time moving around without causing pain.

    Thanks, Lynna (and of course all of you wishing me well. You guys are the best.)

    The tree is apparently none the worse for wear.

    And yes, I am being well looked after… don’t know what I’d do if I weren’t.

  83. #83 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010

    As demanded by Bill Dauphin. Just one question; can’t Vader dry a tray with his thought?

  84. #84 Lynna, OM
    February 11, 2010

    That’s it, Paul W. for Molly.

    I’ll second that. And I especially liked Paul W. writing that Greg was doing a Glenn Beck. That’s perfectly apt.

  85. #85 A. Noyd
    February 11, 2010

    Diane G. (#662)

    BTW, thanks, A. Noyd, for your efforts @ the Causabon’s Book thread…

    Well, thanks. I got a chuckle when you twitted Sharon about Ehrlich. I wish I’d made more of an earlier effort to steer things back toward the point I was making. I still have no idea if dewey understood it and was deliberately dragging things off into the land of vague and fluffy excuses for religion or if he really thought there was some connection. I think what irritated me most was his insinuation that there is some source of knowledge beyond science coupled with his refusal/inability to give an explicit example.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Antiochus Epiphanes (#671)

    Maybe Mike is a poor compartmentalizer, and occasionally finds his gorge rising when he contemplates reality and Jesus simultaneously.

    Hell, he was having trouble putting conflicting ideas together from within his faith!

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Carlie (#60)

    I don’t think anyone who contributed to the diagnosis fund thinks they’re owed any information about the results, if you’re not comfortable sharing.

    Seconded. (Thirded?) I’d be curious whether you (Lynna) get some answers for yourself, but I definitely don’t need details if you want to keep that private. On the other hand, if you get something out of sharing, go for it!

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    David Marjanovi? (#69)

    668 – the neighbour of the beast

    ?

    In the USA (and various other countries), your next door neigbor’s street address is yours ±2.

  86. #86 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Thanks to Bernard Bumner, I saw a Storm Trooper doing The Pelvic Thrust. I had to find a Star Wars/Rocky Horror crossover.

    Kind of NSFW.

  87. #87 Miki Z
    February 11, 2010

    Our address here is done hierarchically: city, ward, neighborhood, (section), building #, apt #. Population density determines which of these can be omitted. Building # usually depends on the order in which the buildings were constructed, not on relative geography.

  88. #88 Paul
    February 11, 2010

    Not heddle. heddle doesn’t believe for any rational reason; he literally believes it’s a miracle that he believes, and completely ineffable why he believes and you or I don’t.

    He wasn’t talking about heddle’s religious beliefs, he was talking about heddle’s way of discussing other Christians. If you ever describe a conversation where you, an atheist, describe stumping a Christian with your superior Biblical knowledge, he either calls you a liar or implies the Christian is of the No True variery. It’s sickening to watch, and the main reason I don’t reply to heddle anywhere he posts anymore.

  89. #89 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    I assumed that CO meant Commanding Officer in that context.

    oh, my, no. The poopyhead’s authority does not receive any such respect. The formulation is Evil Cephalopodian Overlord, and when feeling charitable toward the guy I leave off the E.

  90. #90 nigelTheBold
    February 11, 2010

    “I named my daughter Willow. Isn’t that granola enough for them?”

    They named Bristol and Willow after places, not things. Back in the 70s or 80s, there was much talk of moving the state capital from Juneau to Willow, which is about 50 miles from Anchorage.

    Palin being disingenuous? No! Say it ain’t so!

  91. #91 A. Noyd
    February 11, 2010

    Miki Z (#87)

    Building # usually depends on the order in which the buildings were constructed, not on relative geography.

    Yes, it’s one of the most insane addressing systems ever. Which is why there are little “how to find X place from Y station” maps attached to absolutely everything and a zillion ads for the latest in personal GPS guidance systems. And why big city cab drivers are almost always assholes towards foreigners. Madness!

  92. #92 DLC
    February 11, 2010

    Bill Dauphin, OM @ 72 : I saw the same segment, Wednesday night, with Bill Nye “the science guy.”

    SteveM @ 81:
    Sorry for the confusion, I was just doing a bit of “Dammit, back in my day, we really had trouble!”
    (and I walked to school, too… uphill, both ways… in the snow)
    the latter part of my comment about AGW should have been a new paragraph. However, the first studies on global warming were published around 76-80. Google Scholar only goes back to 1991, but if you look in some of the papers you’ll see references to works going back to 1976. Also, AGW gets mentioned in one episode of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” series, in Episode 4 “Heaven and Hell.”
    Not so much as today’s AGW, but as a cautionary tale in the line of “this could happen to earth, if we allow it.”
    Or at least so my memory tells me.

  93. #93 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    Peeve #1 of the day: people with snowblowers who choose to blow the foot and a half of snow off of their private driveway and into the middle of the public street.

    Peeve #2: People who are too lazy to brush the foot and a half of snow off the top of their SUV, which they then take onto the parkway, where the unbrushed snow comes off in a huge, hurtling slab of whiteness that slams into the windshield of the unlucky driver following just behind.

    Peeve #3: oh, just people in general. Present company excepted.

  94. #94 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010
  95. #95 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010
  96. #96 Paul W.
    February 11, 2010

    Sven,

    Yet another round with Sgt. Z in at Gregs… and I used the bit about her misunderstanding Greg’s analogy and nattering about capital punishment.

    The irony’s pretty serious given how she and her ilk make Greg’s post out to be so clear that we’re stupid to think it’s about us, when it explicitly is, but not just us, and not that way… and besides we deserve it and are in denial.

  97. #97 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Sven (@93):

    IIRC, Peeve #2 has the force of law, at least here in CT.

  98. #98 Sili
    February 11, 2010

    A new one?! But I haven’t even read the old one yet! (Or the one before that, or the one before that, …)

    Thanks for the updates. But I hope you don’t feel like you have to: I don’t think anyone who contributed to the diagnosis fund thinks they’re owed any information about the results, if you’re not comfortable sharing.

    Speak for yourself. I want my money’s worth.

    Hope you have a happy reëvolution, Celtic.

  99. #99 heddle
    February 11, 2010

    Paul, #88

    If you ever describe a conversation where you, an atheist, describe stumping a Christian with your superior Biblical knowledge, he either calls you a liar or implies the Christian is of the No True variery. It’s sickening to watch, and the main reason I don’t reply to heddle anywhere he posts anymore.

    In this case you are, well, a liar.

    I have never said that an atheist cannot stump a theist with biblical knowledge–I have seen it and and have myself been on the receiving end of many a good butt-kickings. And I have never said that Christians who cannot respond to knowledgeable atheist are not True Christians.

    What I have said is that anecdotes from atheists (or theists) that fit this pattern: I spoke a magic sentence that left my opponent speechless and decomposed into a pile of quivering jello are bullshit.

    So you are, in fact, a liar. As such, I am glad you don’t reply to me. Please continue the practice.

  100. #100 SteveV
    February 11, 2010

    Don’t know if the CC can hear this, but give it try at about 44.00 in.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00qgsgc/PM_11_02_2010/

  101. #101 strange gods before me, OM
    February 11, 2010

    heddle, in the cases when an atheist stumps a theist, isn’t it probable that sometimes there is in fact a particular idea (likely phrased as a sentence) which leaves the theist confounded?

  102. #102 Walton
    February 11, 2010
    It was the wonderful effort and dedication and hard work of the medical and emergency professionals on the scene, at least some of whom almost certainly worked for the ebil, socialist public sector. I didn’t need prayers nor help from on high, just the quick and professional response of the people whosocialized EMS that helped rescue me and get me safely to the hospital.

    Not “fixed,” but enhanced!

    Forgive me for piggybacking a political point onto your personal crisis, but it bears repeating, against the din of Reagan’s “government is the problem” echoing down through the decades, that government fucking saves lives!

    Bill, that’s not a good argument. I don’t think even the most dyed-in-the-wool libertarian would deny that people who work for government agencies can save lives. Of course government can save lives; it can also destroy them. Much the same could be said of corporations, and of virtually any other powerful entity you care to name.

    I’m not saying that emergency medical services should not be a government function – indeed, I’d say they are a good example of something which the state can legitimately provide. I just don’t think that you can make a categorical statement like “government saves lives”, and imply from this that government intervention in general is a great thing. It would be as simplistic as me pointing to the war in Iraq, or the Farm Bill, and saying “government kills people”.

  103. #103 Sili
    February 11, 2010

    Peeve #3: oh, just people in general. Present company excepted.

  104. #104 Katrina
    February 11, 2010

    In keeping with the theme: Vader Sessions.

  105. #105 heddle
    February 11, 2010

    strange gods before me, OM, #101

    Can you get someone flustered? Sure. But generally they will respond with something, not matter how stupid. Perfect stories a la I like to say this to Christians [whatever the magic sentence is], you should see their jaws drop! — usually spoken with smugness and superiority emanating from the pixels, never happen. Of course they are often told in the other direction too– And I said, well, OK, then tell me, wouldn’t evolution lead to nobody ever being homosexual since it provides no reproductive advantage? Ha ha! You could almost hear the gears grinding! I don’t believe that variety either.

  106. #106 Lynna, OM
    February 11, 2010

    A Moment of Mormon Madness, courtesy of Steve Benson:

    In an episode disturbingly reminiscient of life under the iron boot of facist control, I am aware of a case where a believing Mormon–lonely, burdened and unhappy in a small LDS-dominated town–struck up a long-distance internet correspondence with someone that was personally fulfilling to both of them but that remained properly platonic.
         One of this person’s young children noticed their parent’s time spent corresponding with this person across the country and secretly reported it to the bishop of the local ward.
         The bishop called this person in for a personal worthiness check and took away their temple recommend, pending repentance and review.
         The person privately regarded it as an improper use of authority by the bishop but obediently went along with the sanction without protest.
         Welcome to Mormonism’s version of Germany under the SS.
         And no, I’m not talking Sunday School

    And in a similar tattle-tale moment, über mormon, Daniel Peterson reported that most of the people in his Singles Ward had confessed to him that they masturbated. He didn’t name names, so I’m sure it’s okay for him to report that bit of personal information to the world at large. Peterson makes the point that he didn’t ask about masturbation, but that “more people than I could possibly count have voluntarily brought it up to me…I support the Church’s teachings on sexual behavior — including what it has to say about masturbation…”

    For the Canadians, the National Geo channel aired “Inside Polygamy”, with a focus on the FLDS community of Bountiful. It aired February 10, but should show up as a rerun soon. The FLDS community in Bountiful is connected to Warren Jeff’s polygamist compound in Hilldale/Colorado City. The leader in Bountiful, Winston Blackmore, has 121 children… so far.

    The documentary film that details the LDS Church’s push to pass Proosition 8, “8: The Mormon Proposition”, has been bought by a distributor. It was well-received at Sundance, and it’s great to see that it will be getting wider distribution.

  107. #107 blf
    February 11, 2010

    So say something.

    Something.

  108. #108 Autumn
    February 11, 2010

    @ Walton,
    My thought is that certain goods/services (indeed, most of them) are fairly distributed by the market pricing model. Some goods/services, however, are so integral to the functioning of the community, state, or nation, that their disbursment simply by cost is inimical to society. In these cases (I would include primary education, utilities, health care, security, and some others) the government has an obligation to society to provide them. In many areas I think that governments should stay the hell away, but in others I think that the government is the only way to go.
    In the US, this approach makes me a Communist, apparently.

  109. #109 Owlmirror
    February 11, 2010

    The formulation is Evil Cephalopodian Overlord

    We’re in an ECO chamber?

  110. #110 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    We’re in an ECO chamber?

    Why, yes! Yes, we are!

    Why, yes! Yes, we are!

  111. #111 Alan B
    February 11, 2010

    Breaking World news

    Afghanistan defeats USA!!

    (at 20/20 cricket)

  112. #112 eshamlin
    February 11, 2010

    @108

    In these cases (I would include primary education, utilities, health care, security, and some others) the government has an obligation to society to provide them. In many areas I think that governments should stay the hell away, but in others I think that the government is the only way to go.
    In the US, this approach makes me a Communist, apparently.

    Amen & likewise.

  113. #113 windy
    February 11, 2010

    Naturally I took a few extra words to say that, and said a few other things along the way, as is my wont.

    And now they’re attacking you because of that story you told about the grad student. That’s just perfect. I would be careful of posting anything about your personal life over there.

  114. #114 blf
    February 11, 2010

    Afghanistan defeats USA!!

    (at 20/20 cricket)

    I recall reading several articles/blogs in The Grauniad that the Afghan cricket team is extremely good. For example, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/01/cricket-afghanistan-world-cup (I don’t know if they actually qualified for the World Cup or not?).

  115. #115 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Lao Daung Duen
    February 11, 2010
    So say something.

    Something.

    Rice.

    Die Ostküste hat zu viel Schnee. :)

  116. #116 negentropyeater
    February 11, 2010

    We had a snowpocalypse here today.
    Well what we might call a “snowpocalypse” on the French Riviera, 12 inches of snow that held all day.

    Total chaos, this hadn’t happened for the last 30 years. A normal year is no snow at all. We have nothing planned for this.

    Most villages and towns have no equipement to deal with this amount of snow on the roads. There are cars parked all over the place along the roads in our very hilly country side : drivers who abandoned their cars because they couldn’t go any further. Very few cars even had snow tires. Shops were sold out of wheel chains in a matter of a few hours. No public transports apart from the train are running.

    And to make matters worse, the demand for electricity has been so immense (what do people do when they can’t drive and go anywhere : they stay home, put the heater on, watch TV or the internet, take a warm bath, etc…), that the network had to be rationed : 1 hour shut down for each district, rotating. We expect more shut downs during the night (and my house is all electric).

    Our local government and the electricity company don’t budget their investments to cater for such a mess that happens only every thirty years. Most people just don’t want more taxes but they get really pissed off when shit happens.

    I have read that one of the predictions of climate change for our area is that winters are going to become shorter and colder and snowier, whilst summers are going to become longer, hotter and drier.
    So far we’ve had two exceptionally cold and wet months preceeded by eight exceptionally warm and dry months.

    I predict that most people here are going to continue resisting more taxes and government investments, whilst climate change will increase the chance of chaotic situations : we are going to be slow at reacting, at adapting to our new environement.

    And I’m talking about here, the French Riviera, one of the most fortunate and temperate places on earth. It is going to get much worse elsewhere.

  117. #117 Alan B
    February 11, 2010

    At this rate, I will go to bed early one night and find a whole incarnation of THE THREAD has whisked past by lunch time the next day!

    How far can this be extrapolated?

    PZ opens a new thread but everyone is waiting for him and within the hour it’s full? This needs the Viral Theory of Thread Relativity (VTTR).

    Can the everlasting thread speed up so much that the Special Theory of Thread Relativity (STTR)has to be established to explain it?

    Closely followed by the General Theory of Thread Relativity (GTTR) to explain how THE THREAD bends the whole of internet space.

    Will a whole new alphabet be needed to explain the phenomenon? (NATTR)

    Will it out-evolve all attempts to control it?

  118. #118 blf
    February 11, 2010

    Die Ostküste hat zu viel Schnee.

    Und es kann halten Sie es! (Übersetzt mit Hilfe von Google Generalissimus.)

  119. #119 blf
    February 11, 2010

    Well what we might call a “snowpocalypse” on the French Riviera, 12 inches of snow that held all day.

    Where I am it’s not too bad. It’s only started(?) snowing (c.7pm), and so far there’s only a light dusting of the stuff on the parked cars, with it immediately melting elsewhere (as far as I can tell in the dark). We’ll see what happens overnight.

  120. #120 windy
    February 11, 2010

    I had a wife once who “hated the word ‘bucket'”

    Was her name Hyacinth, by any chance?

  121. #121 Owlmirror
    February 11, 2010

    Can you get someone flustered? Sure. But generally they will respond with something, not matter how stupid.

    Obviously not necessarily.

    Perfect stories a la I like to say this to Christians [whatever the magic sentence is], you should see their jaws drop! — usually spoken with smugness and superiority emanating from the pixels, never happen.

    I doubt perfect stories too, especially after seeing how YECs — and other believers — can ignore and shrug off counterarguments.

    It might be an artifact of people not being mind readers. If someone on the receiving end has not heard the argument before, they could well be silent simply because they have no immediate response, and are thinking, “There must be some counterargument, even if I don’t know what it is.” And they don’t say it out loud because they don’t want to admit ignorance.

    That would look like stunned silence.

    Of course they are often told in the other direction too– [...] I don’t believe that variety either.

    Someone might get caught on the wrong end of a Gish Gallop; a long tirade of blunt assertions that is overwhelming in how many distortions it contains. Where do you start?

    People sometimes ignore counterarguments, as well.

  122. #122 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Lao Daung Duen
    February 11, 2010

    Und es kann halten Sie es! (Übersetzt mit Hilfe von Google Generalissimus.)

    Muss die dritte Person der Dativ sein?

  123. #123 negentropyeater
    February 11, 2010

    blf,

    here (I’m near Cannes, up in the hills), it started snowing at 11am and it stoppped around 5pm.
    Where are you ?

  124. #124 blf
    February 11, 2010

    Muss die dritte Person der Dativ sein?

    Wenn ich mich erinnern konnte, dass ich nicht verwenden würden Generalissimus Google. Oder habe ich einen Tippfehler?

  125. #125 negentropyeater
    February 11, 2010

    Und es kann halten Sie es! (Übersetzt mit Hilfe von Google Generalissimus.)

    What did you mean to say ?

  126. #126 heddle
    February 11, 2010

    Owlmirror,

    That’s not how these “slam dunks” are described. Not that the loser is lost in contemplative silence, but that he is stunned and utterly and totally destroyed when the brilliant rhetorical trap is sprung.

    As for the Gish Gallop–that’s but an unpleasant memory. I tend not to argue with YECs anymore. Mostly I argue with atheists or with other Christians about theology, but not over creation. Generally in both cases (atheists and theology debates) people argue reasonably. But YECs are, by far, the most annoying people on the planet to argue with (over creation).

  127. #127 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    February 11, 2010

    Afghanistan defeats USA!!

    USA has a cricket team?

  128. #128 blf
    February 11, 2010

    negentropyeater, I’m very near La Ciotat (which is East of Cassis, West of Toulon, and South(-ish) of Aix-en-Provence). I’m about 100m from the Mediterranean Sea, at or just below sea level. It wasn’t snowing up in the hills (at least on this side) today (up to c.6pm); I have no idea what it’s doing now up there. I imagine (without checking) that it’s snowing in Aix and maybe Marseille, since it seems to be the pattern that if there’s a bit of snow here, there’s a lot more snow there.

  129. #129 negentropyeater
    February 11, 2010

    But YECs are, by far, the most annoying people on the planet to argue with (over creation).

    Where I live, we don’t get too many Yecs (I like that spelling better), but one can get to argue with many annoying astrology and homeopathy firm believers. They are often the same btw.

  130. #130 blf
    February 11, 2010
    Und es kann halten Sie es! (Übersetzt mit Hilfe von Google Generalissimus.)

    What did you mean to say ?

    Something like (I don’t recall the exact words now) And it can keep it! (Translated with the help of Generalissimo Google.) In context, that was intended to mean the East Coast (of the USA, I presume) can keep its snow—We’ve now got our own…  ;-)

  131. #131 MrFire
    February 11, 2010

    Classic Star Wars lines sound better when you substitute the word pants in the appropriate place.

    As in:

    – A disturbance in the pants. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master.

    – The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of my pants.

    – She must have hidden the plans in her pants. Send a detachment down to receive them. See to it personally, commander.

    – Don’t worry – Chewie and me have gotten into a lot of pants more heavily guarded than this.

    Luke: Lock the door.
    Han: And hope they don’t have pants.

    – I find your lack of pants disturbing.

    – Jabba has no time for smugglers who drop their pants at the first sign of an imperial cruiser.

    – I have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved his pants permanently.

    – We should be able to get a reading on those pants, up or down!

    – You are unwise to lower your pants.

    – Away with your pants! I mean you no harm!

    – Han will have those pants down. We gotta give him more time!

    – Search your feelings Father. You can’t do this. I sense the conflict within you – let go of your pants!

    Leia:Stop that. My pants are dirty.
    Han: My pants are dirty too – what are you afraid of?

    – I cannot teach him. The boy has no pants.

    – I am altering the pants. Pray I don’t alter them any further!

  132. #132 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Walton (@102):

    Bill, that’s not a good argument. I don’t think even the most dyed-in-the-wool libertarian would deny that people who work for government agencies can save lives.

    Spoken like someone who’s never stood on a streetcorner in a U.S. town, holding a sign that begs people to vote for the town budget. While I’m sure the people you talk politics with at Oxford are thoughtful and intelligent (even those who come to conclusions with which I categorically disagree), that doesn’t really reflect the street-level political dynamics here in the U.S.

    I’m not talking about principled discussions of whether this or that social good is most appropriately supplied by the public sector; I’m talking about the pernicious meme — most conspicuously trumpeted by Reagan and carefully nurtured by movement conservatives ever since — that says government never effectively provides anything of real worth, and thus all taxes are waste (at best), if not outright theft.

    The result of decades of this I got mine indoctrination is that many Americans — including even many who vote Democratic and think of themselves as liberals — thoughtlessly accept the notion that government can’t do anything well, and the corollary belief that less government is always better.

    As a consequence, when local government faces a revenue shortfall — as my town does at the moment, because of cuts in state aid and the generally crappy economy — we can’t even talk about raising taxes to adequately fund vital public services… including the very sorts of services that rescued C_E, and possibly saved his life…. because the public has been carefully trained not to see any of the benefits government does provide.

    The fact that government fucking saves lives is in no way contradicted by the fact that it sometimes kills people, too. I’ve put in my days protesting the Iraq war, and working to turn the people who jinned it up out of office, but the burr under my saddle on this particular day is the extent to which people fail to see or value all the good government, at all levels, does on a daily basis.

  133. #133 Opus
    February 11, 2010

    Those who have been participating in the ongoing catastrophe at Gr*g’s place may need to hang around a little longer: the investigators from the NTSB should be on-site shortly to interview the participants. There’s no official statement from NTSB but off-the-record comments indicate that Gr*g and St*ph may have caused the biggest train wreck since the Hammond Circus Train wreck.

    Completely off topic: My mama always said I was a day late and a dollar short. With advancing age I’m now a couple of threads and a handful of Euros short. I realized in the middle of a bout of insomnia that the ultimate ear-worm song had been missed in that thread. Here it is.

  134. #134 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 11, 2010

    I spoke a magic sentence that left my opponent speechless and decomposed into a pile of quivering jello are bullshit.

    Word. Especially when the opponent begins the argument in that state.

    RBDC: I was just about to ask that very question.

  135. #135 Owlmirror
    February 11, 2010

    That’s not how these “slam dunks” are described.

    Sure; I was just pointing out how (mis)interpretation can occur.

  136. #136 Stogoe
    February 11, 2010

    In these cases (I would include primary education, utilities, health care, security, and some others) the government has an obligation to society to provide them. In many areas I think that governments should stay the hell away, but in others I think that the government is the only way to go.
    In the US, this approach makes me a Communist, apparently.

    I would include access to the internet in ‘utilities’, myself, but that would probably make me a double secret uber-terroristic commienazi of the Splodey-Head Squadron.

  137. #137 Kel, OM
    February 11, 2010

    At least some seem to be genuinely scared shitless that the devil might leap off the page or screen and into their faces. Alan Clarke for instance.

    That was an infuriating few weeks. Had to press him time and time again to see if he even understood what evolution is, and he comes back with “evolution is that God doesn’t exist”. I really didn’t get how someone could possibly say such a thing and not even bother to look up wikipedia on the matter considering how he decided to argue against it so strongly.

    Upon reflection, I’m reminded of those conservatives who rallied against Obama’s healthcare because of “government death camps”. Do lies told by “trusted” authority figures have more weight under conservatives?

  138. #138 Epikt
    February 11, 2010

    negentropyeater:

    We had a snowpocalypse here today. (what do people do when they can’t drive and go anywhere : they stay home, put the heater on, watch TV or the internet, take a warm bath, etc…),

    You might check to see if there’s a mini-baby-boom in nine months.

  139. #139 Alan B
    February 11, 2010

    #114 blf

    I recall reading several articles/blogs in The Grauniad that the Afghan cricket team is extremely good…(I don’t know if they actually qualified for the World Cup or not?).

    This was part of the qualifier for the World Cup. Ireland, The Netherlands, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates are through to the “Super Fours” with the top 2 going to the World Cup in the West Indies.

    #127 Rev. BigDumbChimp

    USA has a cricket team?

    Oh yes! USA has indeed entered the civilised world. It’s just that so far they are not very good! They have yet to master the fact that they have to shuttle between the plate and the pitcher’s mound instead of setting off towards square leg!!

    The Afghans secured their third successive victory with a 29-run success against the United States.

    Ireland boosted their chances of qualifying for the ICC World Twenty20 by beating the United States by 78 runs in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

    However, USA did beat that great cricketing nation, Scotland, by 20 runs.

  140. #140 Alan B
    February 11, 2010

    So say something.

    “Something full stop/period” (for US readers?)

  141. #141 llewelly
    February 11, 2010

    DLC Author | February 11, 2010 12:10 PM:

    The talking head twits are all crowing that this somehow disproves “Global Warming”, when anyone who’s really spent some time studying the issue knows full well it does not.

    True. Explanation here.

  142. #142 Walton
    February 11, 2010

    Jadehawk (from the last thread):

    your beliefs are abso-fucking-lutely irrelevant. we already had this conversation: you motivations for your political actions/positions are irrelevant. What matters are the effects of enacting certain policies in the here-and-now are real. Since you’re allied to a group of people whose job it has been to make life harder on immigrants and poor people, and since the policies you imagine would help people would merely cause even more misery and poverty, you are an ally of Tancredo via the real-world effects and outcomes of your politics, even if not in motivation or desired/imagined outcomes.

    In no way am I “allied to a group of people whose job it has been to make life harder on immigrants and poor people”. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    And which of my proposed policies would cause “more poverty and misery”? Ending agricultural subsidies and tariffs, and giving producers from the developing world a fair chance to compete? Closing the asylum “detention centres”, and guaranteeing the basic civil rights of refugees and asylum-seekers? Open immigration policies? Decriminalising recreational drugs, and abolishing the insane practice of imprisoning non-violent drug users? Supporting gay marriage, gay and transgender rights, and abortion rights?

    I hope you’re not going to say what strange gods is saying, and accuse me of conspiring to hurt the poor and oppressed merely because I support the Conservative Party. The UK Conservative Party is not dominated by wingnuts. Someone like Tom Tancredo would be thrown out of the party on this side of the Atlantic (and would probably be relegated to one of the fringe far-right anti-immigration parties). We are a sane, modern, progressive, reality-based party. And good people, with a sincere desire to do good, can be found within all the major British political parties. Human decency and compassion is not a monopoly of the left.

  143. #143 llewelly
    February 11, 2010

    Bill Dauphin, OM | February 11, 2010 3:19 PM:

    As a consequence, when local government faces a revenue shortfall ? as my town does at the moment, because of cuts in state aid and the generally crappy economy ? we can’t even talk about raising taxes to adequately fund vital public services… including the very sorts of services that rescued C_E, and possibly saved his life…. because the public has been carefully trained not to see any of the benefits government does provide.

    The link I have added does not refer to Bill’s town. Yet.

  144. #144 Kel, OM
    February 11, 2010

    The UK Conservative Party is not dominated by wingnuts.

    That’s only because their in opposition and going for the moderate crowd. The second they get back into power, it’ll be BAM! wingnut city.

  145. #145 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 11, 2010

    The money quote from llewelly’s link (@143):

    Seriously, there are two types of conservatives: millionaires and suckers.

    I’m mindful of (but not qualified to pass judgment on) Walton’s insistence that mainstream conservatives in the UK are a different breed of beast, but this certainly seems an apt description of conservatives here in the U.S. Especially if you understand that suckers, in this context, really means people who think they might be millionaires someday, and are therefore willing to vote against their own interests today.

  146. #146 Jadehawk, OM
    February 11, 2010

    We are a sane, modern, progressive, reality-based party. And good people, with a sincere desire to do good, can be found within all the major British political parties. Human decency and compassion is not a monopoly of the left.

    true. but policies that result in improving people’s lives generally tend to come from the left, not the right. which is the whole point: your intentions are irrelevant, the results are far more important. And the left has consistently delivered more humane and compassionate results than conservatives, whose main job everywhere seems to be at best to maintain a status quo, and at worst roll back advances achieved by the left.

    and please, stop whining at me about the things you’d LIKE to see happening, but which won’t happen, won’t happen by allying yourself with conservatives, or could happen but only have the results you’d like them to have in your own mind. it all doesn’t matter. really.

  147. #147 Desert Son, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Celtic_Evolution,

    Glad to hear you are alive! Heartiest wishes for a rapid recovery, with thanks to the good work by the rescue and medical personnel involved!

    I will invoke an old anecdote: years ago, a very good friend and I were scheduled to attend a reading by Harlan Ellison at a small college in the Chicago area. We both had our hardback copies of one of Ellison’s books ready for an autograph and were looking forward to the event. The day before, my friend had to go in for emergency surgery, and was convalescing in hospital, so could not attend. I took both books, and asked Ellison if he could sign both mine, and the one for my friend, owing to the circumstances. Ellison asked my friend’s name, agreed, and scrawled the following on the title page:

    “Derek,

    SURVIVE!

    Harlan Ellison”

    So, Celtic_Evolution, from myself (and I hope the other Pharyngula readers, as well) I bid you SURVIVE!

    Still learning,

    Robert

  148. #148 Owlmirror
    February 11, 2010

    @#649 on NWSTNETN:

    /steam geek

    This is hella fun.

  149. #149 Desert Son, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Sven,

    Peeve #2: People who are too lazy to brush the foot and a half of snow off the top of their SUV, which they then take onto the parkway, where the unbrushed snow comes off in a huge, hurtling slab of whiteness that slams into the windshield of the unlucky driver following just behind.

    As a former resident of both Maine and Chicago, I sympathize. I suspect some people, in addition to laziness, simply assume, “Well, it’s snow! It can’t do any harm! After all, it comes down in dainty flakes soft as kitten kisses!”

    Clearly people in need of some edification re: the strength of the hydrogen bond and the weight of water.

    Safe driving!

    Still learning,

    Robert

  150. #150 Walton
    February 11, 2010

    Jadehawk,

    Maybe you’re right. I’m not really sure. On the things I know a lot about (human rights, civil liberties, the criminal justice system, etc.), I seem to have become massively liberal in the last couple of years. These days, I’m really only a “conservative” on economic issues, and I’m conscious of the fact that I really don’t know enough about economics to trust my own judgment.

    For example, right-leaning economists tend to say that Thatcher’s reforms in the 1980s saved the UK economy from disaster by eliminating unsustainable public enterprises, cutting taxes and creating an entrepreneur-friendly economy; equally, left-leaning economists tend to say that the same reforms stored up economic problems for the future by eliminating the manufacturing base and creating over-reliance on services and the financial sector, as well as creating mass unemployment in the short term. They both seem to have a point, but I just don’t have enough knowledge of economics, or enough understanding of the facts and figures, to evaluate their claims and tell who’s right. I just wish the right answers were more obvious.

  151. #151 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 11, 2010

    the endless open thread on Pharyngula, which is about nothing

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HmJX11_AQE

  152. #152 JBabs073
    February 11, 2010

    Lawlz.
    Quality choice of video, P.Z.

    And what of these dance marathons you speak of?
    Surely there must be video footage of this?

  153. #153 Barrett808
    February 11, 2010
  154. #154 David Marjanovi?
    February 11, 2010

    your next door neigbor’s street address is yours ±2.

    Oh, of course, thanks.

    What did you mean to say ?

    Und sie kann ihn (sich) behalten ? “and she [the east coast] can keep him [the snow] (for third-person-self)”.

    You might check to see if there’s a mini-baby-boom in nine months.

    Didn’t happen in the famous New York blackout. Apparently everyone used protection.

    On the things I know a lot about (human rights, civil liberties, the criminal justice system, etc.), I seem to have become massively liberal in the last couple of years. These days, I’m really only a “conservative” on economic issues, and I’m conscious of the fact that I really don’t know enough about economics to trust my own judgment.

    Epic. :-)

  155. #155 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Josh, Official SpokesGay (Last thread) #649

    You won’t likely see this, ‘Tis, since it’s so far down in the thread, but please tell me the Advanced Steam Locomotive Project has a chance.

    I don’t know why people think I’m an expert on railroad trains. I have a mild interest in them, but I don’t know that much about them.

    I do know why diesel-electric and electric locomotives replaced steam locomotives. The reason is one word: money. A diesel-electric is cheaper to build, operate and maintain than a steam engine of comparable power. For instance, each steam locomotive requires an engineer (engine driver) to run it even with an automatic stoker or an oil fired boiler. This lashup requires just one engineer to run all three locomotives (these are EMD GP50s).

    Steam locomotives look impressive (2-10-4 “Texas” locomotive, circa 1935). Everyone admits that. But impressive doesn’t put money in corporate coffers.

  156. #156 SC OM
    February 11, 2010
  157. #157 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 11, 2010

    These days, I’m really only a “conservative” on economic issues, and I’m conscious of the fact that I really don’t know enough about economics to trust my own judgment.

    Walton, if you’re interested I can recommend some basic economics books to read. However, since you’re already going to that impressive institute of thinkology, you can take an introductory economics course.

  158. #158 thou 386sx
    February 11, 2010

    Tried checking in on other thread. Was not allowed comment. (Now commenting this thread.)

  159. #159 llewelly
    February 11, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself, OM | February 11, 2010 5:45 PM:

    Steam locomotives look impressive (2-10-4 “Texas” locomotive, circa 1935). Everyone admits that. But impressive doesn’t put money in corporate coffers.

    Link fixed for ‘Tis. (Protocol changed from ‘ttp’ to ‘http’ .)

  160. #160 thou 386sx
    February 11, 2010

    I do not like the smell of melons.

    You are quite mistaken my friend. The casaba melon has no aroma.

  161. #161 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    February 11, 2010

    Ooh! What have we here? It looks like John Mashey–one of the early UNIX pioneers and amomg my favorite writers on how science actually gets done–has tackled the current climate conspiracy.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/plagiarism.conspiracies.felonies.v1.0.pdf

    Rutee, this is one you should probably look at. I’ve just started, but John takes no prisoners with this one. A good read.

    I guarantee that the Discovery Institute is following this very closely, and given the butt-kicking they got in Dover, it’s likely they will resort to a lot of these tactics. The one advantage biology has is that there isn’t a big, baby blue target like the IPCC on which they can focus.

  162. #162 Paul W.
    February 11, 2010

    Latest on the trainwreck at Greg’s:

    It got to the point of me telling Stephanie to fuck off, in so many words, and her saying she wouldn’t waste any more time on me.

    Let’s hope it’s true. What a mess.

  163. #163 Knockgoats
    February 11, 2010

    a mild degree of hedonism called “Take Back Sunday”– It goes like this. Sunday is awesome when you don’t believe in God. – Antiochus Epiphanes

    That’s real wisdom there, AE. Thinking about it, that’s what started me on the road to atheism as a nipper – being pissed off at having to waste Sunday morning at Sunday School. Mind you, I think getting us 4 kids out of the way was a bit of hedonism for my parents!

  164. #164 Lynna, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Ban that Fucking Holiday! Ahem. Saudi Arabia bans Valentine’s Day.

    Each year, the religious police mobilize ahead of Feb. 14 and descend on gift and flower shops, confiscating all red items, including flowers.
         Attitudes toward Valentine’s Day vary across the Arab world, with devout Muslims opposing the holiday as a Western celebration of romantic love that corrupts Muslim youth.

  165. #165 thou 386sx
    February 11, 2010

    If Smoggy or one of the sock puppets are reading this, I hope they took no offense from the previous thread. It’s just that the vile jokes are offensive to sensitive people who don’t like the vulgar language. But yes, they are very funny.

  166. #166 Carlie
    February 11, 2010

    Paul W., I wish I could give you a giant sundae with three kinds of topping and plenty of whipped cream. Kudos to you for trying over there.

  167. #167 Knockgoats
    February 11, 2010

    Celtic_Evolution @38,

    Very sorry to hear that. Get well soon!

  168. #169 WowbaggerOM
    February 11, 2010

    Paul W:

    I’ve been following that thread and wishing I could contribute to it; there isn’t, however, much I could say that you haven’t already. I admire your determination and the way you’ve expressed yourself.

    Train-wreck is right. The whole thing is just baffling.

  169. #170 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Get better soon, CE.

  170. #171 SC OM
    February 11, 2010

    Paul W., I wish I could give you a giant sundae with three kinds of topping and plenty of whipped cream. Kudos to you for trying over there.

    I couldn’t agree more. Thanks again, Paul.

    I really don’t know whether to be angry or amused. The rhetoric about this Very Important Issue seems to be escalating. You’d think that for such a serious and abiding problem, the people writing blogs posts about it could muster, y’know, a couple of actual examples.

    The point I think Greg was trying to make is that these knee-jerk reactions and statements of staunch opposition (bordering on hate-speech) to statements by religious groups should not be embraced or utilized and some of the rhetoric made by atheists can seem, to an untrained observer, to be endorsing intolerance or violence towards a specific demographic. This would make it possible for a very bigoted individual to easily hide within the group.

    I?m not entirely sure if this was indeed his point, but this is what I gathered. Please, if I am wrong here, explain the error of my ways.

    Who cares if that’s what he was arguing? What knee-jerk reactions? What opposition that borders on hate speech? What rhetoric? What the hell are you talking about?

  171. #172 https://me.yahoo.com/a/KtrH9g4llpHui8s2.0ezzjBOheU0WpQaoHA-#ab4e8
    February 11, 2010
  172. #173 Knockgoats
    February 11, 2010

    SC@156,
    A comment at Salty Current awaiting your approval! I finally got an ID that doesn’t reveal my secret identity!

    Goodnight all.

  173. #174 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Greg’s initial “people might get the idea” post was almost a “have you stopped beating your wife” statement. When challenged to support SC’s supposed or apparent or possibly perceived or “whatever the hell Greg was referring to” anti-semitism, neither Greg nor his partisans could find actual anti-semitic remarks. Rather than admit to this failing, Greg et al went on the attack. Everyone questioning Greg were still beating their wives.

  174. #175 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 11, 2010

    I finally got an ID that doesn’t reveal my secret identity!

    Your real name of Augustus Quincy St. Abelard Dorkoff-Buttmunch III is still safe.

  175. #176 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    February 11, 2010

    I am glad to see people are finally standing up to bad traffic habits in Cambodia.

    The last time I was there, people still refused to stop on red. Of course, traffic rules are subjective.

  176. #177 SC OM
    February 11, 2010

    A comment at Salty Current awaiting your approval! I finally got an ID that doesn’t reveal my secret identity!

    I was approving it as you were posting! Goodnight!

  177. #178 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 11, 2010

    #172

    Thank you for that.

    If you like articulated steam locomotives (and who doesn’t?), here’s a video for you:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUh-3k2-rEU&feature=related

  178. #179 WowbaggerOM
    February 11, 2010

    I think Greg’s evasive approach to who he’s describing can be described as him seeming to want to both have his poo and fling it, too.

    This kind of evasive shuck-and-jiving [paraphrasing] – ‘I mean people like Pharyngulistas, but not just Pharyngulistas – I mean the regulars on all the blogs out there named for something scientific and with a science professor as its owner/figurehead who includes a significant proportion of hard-science posts along with atheist topics; you know, the vast number that meet that criteria‘ – makes me wonder if he’s not thinking about entering politics.

  179. #180 David Marjanovi?
    February 11, 2010

    can be described as him seeming to want to both have his poo and fling it, too.

    :-) :-) :-)

    makes me wonder if he’s not thinking about entering politics.

    :-) :-) :-)

  180. #181 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    @ Tis

    I guess I just thought you were a train expert because I was skimming the previous comments too fast. Anyway, I was just indulging in some mechano-romantic fantasizing. I love steam locos – they make me all googly-eyed and weak-kneed. I know they’ll never come back, but couldn’t you just lie to me and let me indulge? Is that so wrong?

    Once I get this out of my system, I’ll start up mourning the death of Kodachrome, and then everyone will be sorry.

  181. #182 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    - makes me wonder if he’s not thinking about entering politics.

    I walked by Greg on the street the other day, and saw him slip into a dark alley. He went to scratch his chin, which made his Greg Laden mask slip just a little bit. I could swear a caught a glimpse of Chris Mooney behind it. . .

  182. #183 tferrisjr
    February 11, 2010

    You guys really need to go over to Omegle.com and start telling people there is no God. It takes a few tries before you get a Christian nut, but once you, it’s a whole lot if fun.

  183. #184 Celtic_Evolution
    February 11, 2010

    Thanks to all the well-wishers both here and over at my blog… I can’t express enough how much it means to me, but really, after all the years I’ve been coming here I’ve learned to expect nothing less. And not a one of you offered to pray for me… brought a tear of joy to my eye. ;^)

    Godless indeed!

  184. #185 KillJoy
    February 11, 2010

    CE;

    I’m kind of a newbie here, but I wanted to send along my good wishes for a speedy recovery as well.
    Having been in a similar spot myself, I know how much of a pain in the butt the process can be. When I recovered from my injuries I found as many of the rescue personnel as I could locate, and thanked them personally. I can’t stress enough what an excellent, and necessary job most of the guys do.

  185. #186 KillJoy
    February 11, 2010

    most of THOSE guys, that is, and gals too.

  186. #187 Kamaka
    February 11, 2010

    I love steam locos – they make me all googly-eyed and weak-kneed.

    The Milwaukee County Zoo has a miniature railroad that runs a steam locomotive. It’s pretty cool, takes you on a ride around the perimeter of the zoo.

  187. #188 Katrina
    February 11, 2010

    Josh (OSG) and ‘Tis:

    I grew up with a steam engine. My family actually owned one. It was slim gauge (2-foot scale) but nevertheless a real, steam-powered 4-4-0 locomotive. We actually converted it from coal to propane. The tanks were on the tender, and fire was “shot” into the firebox.

    One of the best days I had in military officer training was the day we got to walk around inside the cut-out of a ship’s boiler. Being able to see that stuff on a considerably larger scale was pretty exciting.

    I’ll see if I can find a link to anything resembling our family’s train.

  188. #190 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    Oh, that’s fantastic, Katrina! Please do try to find a pic of what yours looked like. I know little about gauges – is a two foot a real, life-sized loco?

    Thanks for the linky, too, Kamaka.

  189. #191 Katrina
    February 11, 2010

    Kamaka, that’s the right scale, but it looks nothing like our engine. Looking back at old photos, I realized that it was an 0-4-0, not a 4-4-0.

    Here’s one that is close in size and shape, but ours was red and green.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nS5wnLwafU

  190. #192 Katrina
    February 11, 2010

    Josh, yes 2-foot, or slim gauge, was mainly used in areas where a standard sized train wouldn’t fit. I may be getting some details wrong (I was probably about 10 years old the last time I read up on them) but I believe they were used for mining, especially. They were also handy because you could place a third rail in the center of a standard size track and run them, too.

    We ran our train on a Christmas tree farm. The engine pulled three passenger cars and two flat cars loaded with trees. My uncle built a diesel “push” engine out of an old Jeep and some plywood. It looked a lot cooler than it sounds. Anyway the two engines were able to haul over 200 passengers and the two flat-cars loaded with trees on each trip.

  191. #193 Pygmy Loris
    February 11, 2010

    Lynna,

    In an episode disturbingly reminiscient of life under the iron boot of facist control, I am aware of a case where a believing Mormon–lonely, burdened and unhappy in a small LDS-dominated town–struck up a long-distance internet correspondence with someone that was personally fulfilling to both of them but that remained properly platonic.
    One of this person’s young children noticed their parent’s time spent corresponding with this person across the country and secretly reported it to the bishop of the local ward.
    The bishop called this person in for a personal worthiness check and took away their temple recommend, pending repentance and review.
    The person privately regarded it as an improper use of authority by the bishop but obediently went along with the sanction without protest.
    Welcome to Mormonism’s version of Germany under the SS.
    And no, I’m not talking Sunday School

    How truly Orwellian, using children to spy on the parents. That’s truly disturbing.

  192. #195 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    Katrina, I would have been in hog heaven growing up in your house. I used to take every library book out that had any reference to steam locos and obsess over them (not to mention my model train set).

    I’ve always loved mechanical things, especially elegant machines. Trains, cars, whatever. When I had my 1975 Dodge Dart, I used to yearn for tune-up time to come along, so I could get right up under the hood and adjust the valve lash until I got that perfect, clickety-click sewing machine sound of a well-tuned slant 6 engine.

    Ahh. . .

    /geekgasm

  193. #196 Kamaka
    February 11, 2010

    When I had my 1975 Dodge Dart

    Oh, that’s cool! Back in the day, I drove a slant six Dodge Dart (’72?) as a taxicab…we got 400,000 miles out of that thing with just one rebuild. We finally had to take it off the road because it had been banged up so many times, we couldn’t keep it in one piece anymore. But that engine was still clickin’!

  194. #197 Diane G.
    February 11, 2010

    Did anyone else find it unintentionally funny that SC’s comment

    [Thread Cop posts stupid rant]

    immediately followed one of PZ’s posts?

  195. #198 Katrina
    February 11, 2010

    Josh, we had a ’70 Pontiac LeMans with a 350 big block. That’s what I learned to do tune-ups on.

    It’s been too many years since my parents closed the farm and sold the train for me to find any remnant of it on YouTube. I will see if I have any old photos and post links to them, if I can.

  196. #199 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    Kamaka, you should not have gotten me started! Our family car growing up in the early 80s was a retired town police cruiser, a 1969 four-door white Dart with a slant 6 that still had its spotlight on the driver’s side door. The interior was blue vinyl. It looked like this, except not jacked up. It was a sedate four-door.

    That baby had 260,000 miles on her when we sold her to move from CA to NY.

    Then, my mom bought a 1977 Aspen wagon, also with a slant 6, that looked like this. Great car. She hauled us to the drive-in theater in 1984 to see Star Trek IV, and us kids though it was so cool to see a movie inside the car, with those tinny speakers hanging on the window.

    I was so in love with Chrysler slant sixes, I bought that ’75 Dart in 2000 from an old farmer in rural Virginia when I was working as a newspaper reporter. He had it sitting in his yard with a hand-lettered sign that said: “$500 – AIR-CONDITIONING WORKS!”

    It looked like this one, only forest green.

    I drove that car everywhere, even to NYC, where I got bus drivers honking their horns and asking me at red lights “What year? Slant six or V-8?”

    I literally cried like a baby when I had to finally tow her to the junk yard. The engine still purred at 250,000, but the body was falling apart.

    Oh, dear. I better stop before I wear out my welcome. . . .good times.

  197. #200 Kamaka
    February 11, 2010

    Yah, Josh, they had a convention of automotive engineers and I was taking one of them to the airport in said cab, he said the slant six was the best engine ever made. That would have been sometime around 1979.

  198. #201 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 11, 2010

    One of the best days I had in military officer training was the day we got to walk around inside the cut-out of a ship’s boiler.

    I was a Machinist’s Mate in the Navy. I worked with steam engines (turbines, not reciprocating).

    In the US Navy the older submarines were diesel-electric and the newer ones were steam powered (steam generated by nuclear reactors, but still steam). There aren’t any more diesel subs in the US Navy any more. The last three, USS Barbel (SS 580), USS Blueback (SS 581) and USS Bonefish (SS 582), known affectionately as the B-Girls, were decommissioned in the late 1980s after Bonefish suffered a nasty fire which killed three sailors.

  199. #202 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    February 11, 2010

    thou 386sx @165 said “If Smoggy or one of the sock puppets are reading this, I hope they took no offense from the previous thread. It’s just that the vile jokes are offensive to sensitive people who don’t like the vulgar language. But yes, they are very funny.”

    Why would I take offense? I’m about as offensive to people who stray blindly into Pharyngula as it’s possible to be. Poor Christian Mike (and no, he’s not a sock puppet of mine, I’ve never had any sock puppets, there’s just me and that prick Happy Kiwi, who thinks he has proprietorial rights over me)…as I was saying, poor Mike had no idea what hit him. Sure he believes stupid shit, but he’s probably a nice guy, most likely a good father, and he got a hefty verbal assault for his pains.

    Anyway, I didn’t come here to bitch. The fact is the homicidal Happy Kiwi is the one who wants a word, so I’m going to leave him to it.
    ———————-
    Hello Pharyngulistas,
    Some of you may recall me being around when Smoggy first invaded this blog (for which I take dubious responsibility). I’m amazed he has survived here this long–I thought people would get tired of him much more quickly than this (and that PZ would probably boot him off after while).

    But Kel and thou were of a similar mind to me when they suggested on the last thread that Smoggy is getting a little tiresome. I’m finding him less original and more repetitive than when I first started doing Smoggy-riffs. As well, there seem to be less of the really obnoxious religiots around of the sort Smoggy enjoyed savaging. I guess most of them are in the dungeon now, and there’s no satisfaction teasing the Mikes of this virtual world.

    To cut a long peroration short, I think the time may have come to send Smoggy back to prison for importing powdered ram semen, and this time with no internet connection. I’m not surprised his humour doesn’t appeal to SOME Nth Americans, with the exception of a late discovery of George Carlin, Smoggy’s humour is purely British and antipodean: The Goons, Monty Python, Not the Nine O’Clock News, Billy Connolly, Rowan Atkinson (Blackadder and Baldric), Billy T. James, Fred Dagg, Kevin Bloody Wilson, Norman Gunston, Little Britain, Kenny Everett etc. etc.

    I should also add that although I share Smoggy’s views on the evils of dehumanizing religion, most of his attitudes and behaviours are completely fictional. I’m boringly straight, and many of the things Smoggy comes out with shock me (not least because of what they suggest about the roiling cesspit of my unconscious). The original Smoggy Batzrubble was actually a character in a children’s fantasy novel I never got around to writing. I’ve enjoyed writing Smoggy’s chats with Jesus and quite a bit of his smoggerel, even if it can’t hold a candle to Cuttlefish. The poem I’m most pleased with is the little limerick he wrote on the rock thread about my girlfriend named’Gamina’ who has laminar flows (although Floyd inserts a Shofar always makes me laugh).

    I won’t kill off Smoggy, he’s a wonderful safety valve when the respectable everyday world gets too tedious, and I find I’m quite fond of him. But he won’t be showing up that often, unless he has something really worth saying (or a poem worth offering). Thanks for putting up with him. If he’s offended any of you deeply in any way, then although he’s not sorry, I am.

    Finally, sincere thanks to PZ for allowing me to indulge my penchant for fiction and satire on his blog.

    Happy Kiwi

  200. #203 crowepps
    February 11, 2010

    Considering that arabic numerals didn’t come into use in the Middle East or Europe until after Islam was established, the Number of the Beast in Revelations should correctly be written as DCLXVI

  201. #204 Kamaka
    February 11, 2010

    Here’s a picture Josh, it’s the blue 4-door.

    http://www.valiant.org/dart/1972.html

  202. #205 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    The slant six was the best engine ever made in an American car. It was indestructible, dependable, and fuel-efficient for its day. And it had a delightful sound. That Dodge was the last car I owned that I could maintain myself with a modicum of knowledge and some basic tools. There was enough room under the hood to maneuver, and the only electronics were in the ignition system (and you just replaced a coil or a box if it went bad).

    Now, I love my four-wheel-drive Subaru, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t love the fact that I can’t repair it, that it has to be “diagnosed” by computer, and it doesn’t have half the charm of my old Dodge.

    Oy. If I don’t stop this, I’ll have to forfeit my title as Official SpokesGay. We are, you see, supposed to be so rarefied and refined that we wouldn’t deign to get motor oil on our hands!

  203. #206 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    Here’s a picture Josh, it’s the blue 4-door.

    And how pretty it is. Is that the model you drove for a cab?

  204. #207 Carlie
    February 11, 2010

    Dear god, Google Buzz is a clusterfuckastrophe.
    Anyone with a google account: buzz is on whether you clicked on it or not. If you never made a public profile you’re almost ok, but not quite. Here for more information.

  205. #208 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 11, 2010

    The first car I owned was ’68 Valiant with a slant 6. It got me through grad school and post-doc. The body was falling apart when I replaced it in late ’79, but the engine was still good.

  206. #209 thou 386sx
    February 11, 2010

    Happy Kiwi, you shouldn’t pay attention to what I say cuz I get in weird paranoid moods sometimes. (I thought you were being mean to me, which makes no sense at all, I know.) Didn’t mean no harm.

  207. #210 Katrina
    February 11, 2010

    ‘Tis, I remember the B-Girls. After OCS, I spent two years playing “Hunt for Red October” in Bermuda.

    Josh, I’ll keep looking for pictures. I suspect my mom has them all. We had the train from the mid-’70s, to the early ’90s. Bought it from the Nebraska State Fairgrounds, if I recall correctly. There was another one, twin to ours, that ran for a while somewhere in California.

  208. #211 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    The first car I owned was ’68 Valiant with a slant 6. It got me through grad school and post-doc.

    I officially re-christen you Nerd of SpokesGay (deference and apologies to the Redhead).

  209. #212 Kamaka
    February 11, 2010

    Is that the model you drove for a cab?

    Yes, for sure. I spent much time in that thing…it was close to that color, too.

  210. #213 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    February 11, 2010

    Happy Kiwi here, can’t seem to sign in as anything but Smoggy:

    Seriously ‘thou’ @ 209, I knew you meant no harm and no offense was taken. It’s more that the last thread was the catalyst for something I’ve been considering for a while–that Smoggy should leave the building while the music was playing. The day will inevitably arrive when the majority will have had enough of him. Now seems like a good time.

    HK

  211. #214 thou 386sx
    February 11, 2010

    Brother Smoggy, you stick around. I’m the one retiring, because, frankly I only weird myself out what with trying to interact with people and whatnot. It never works out very well. :D

    I’ll be over here trying to be a famous musician, never giving up, and if you ever hear a Smoggy Batzrubble song, well, that’ll be me in my weird apologetic ways.

  212. #215 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus/Happy Kiwi #202

    I won’t kill off Smoggy, he’s a wonderful safety valve when the respectable everyday world gets too tedious, and I find I’m quite fond of him. But he won’t be showing up that often, unless he has something really worth saying (or a poem worth offering). Thanks for putting up with him. If he’s offended any of you deeply in any way, then although he’s not sorry, I am.

    While I can understand wanting to ease back on Smoggy, he still can be useful in dealing with certain types of godbotters, particularly proselytizers. I got many good laughs due to Smoggy’s irreverence in the name of Jesus.

  213. #216 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 11, 2010

    I officially re-christen you Nerd of SpokesGay (deference and apologies to the Redhead).

    I won’t tell her, but if she does find out, beware of ladies knitting. She is a Knija Knitter after all.

  214. #217 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    February 11, 2010

    Thanks ‘Tis @ 215

    I wanted to say (since I’m having a cathartic moment) how much I enjoy the other commentators here. Ones like you who really know what they’re talking about. The science discussions in particular when someone shares their expertise (Alan on rocks, Itchy on fish etc.) and the excellence in debate when some particularly obdurate fundie shows up. I’m no scientist (actually an English prof) but science has always been a passion and biology would have been my academic fallback. The fact most of you enjoyed Smoggy when you’re such uncompromising critics was a quiet source of pride to one who aspires to create fictional characters.

    HK

  215. #218 Kamaka
    February 11, 2010

    While I can understand wanting to ease back on Smoggy

    Me, too. But there have been posters here who so richly deserve the kind ministrations of Smoggy, he just has to stop in every now and again. (Bwahaha, the guy who called you “just sick”, I still chuckle about that.)

    Dear god, Google Buzz is a clusterfuckastrophe

    Thanks for the useful link. Their company motto is “Don’t be evil”. Oops, they come close this time.

    The door is slammed.

  216. #219 Lynna, OM
    February 11, 2010

    World’s Most Precise Clock Keeps Time to One Second in 3.7 Billion Years

    Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built an enhanced version of an experimental atomic clock based on a single aluminum atom that is now the world’s most precise clock, more than twice as precise as the previous pacesetter based on a mercury atom. The new aluminum clock would neither gain nor lose one second in about 3.7 billion years, according to measurements to be reported in Physical Review Letters.
         The new clock is the second version of NIST’s “quantum logic clock,” so called because it borrows the logical processing used for atoms storing data in experimental quantum computing, another major focus of the same NIST research group. The second version of the logic clock offers more than twice the precision of the original.
         ”This paper is a milestone for atomic clocks” for a number of reasons, says NIST postdoctoral researcher James Chou, who developed most of the improvements. In addition to demonstrating that aluminum is now a better timekeeper than mercury, the latest results confirm that optical clocks are widening their lead ? in some respects ? over the NIST-F1 cesium fountain clock, the U.S. civilian time standard, which currently keeps time to within 1 second in about 100 million years. Because the international definition of the second (in the International System of Units, or SI) is based on the cesium atom, cesium remains the “ruler” for official timekeeping, and no clock can be more accurate than cesium-based standards such as NIST-F1.
         The logic clock is based on a single aluminum ion (electrically charged atom) trapped by electric fields and vibrating at ultraviolet light frequencies, which are 100,000 times higher than microwave frequencies used in NIST-F1 and other similar time standards around the world. Optical clocks thus divide time into smaller units, and could someday lead to time standards more than 100 times as accurate as today’s microwave standards. Higher frequency is one of a variety of factors that enables improved precision and accuracy.

  217. #220 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    Keeps Time to One Second in 3.7 Billion Years

    close enough for jazz

  218. #221 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    Keeps Time to One Second in 3.7 Billion Years

    close enough for jazz

    Sven wins the whole Internet. All of it.

  219. #222 Kel, OM
    February 11, 2010

    But Kel and thou were of a similar mind to me when they suggested on the last thread that Smoggy is getting a little tiresome.

    I didn’t say you were getting tiresome, I said I found you a bit try-hard. Not to my humour, that’s all.

  220. #223 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    Oh, and also, I just made the most rockin’ macaroni and cheese. Yes, I used Velveeta, which is trashy. But it’s soooo good. You all wish you were at my house right now. Mmm-hmm.

  221. #224 Kamaka
    February 11, 2010

    Yes, I used Velveeta, which is trashy. But it’s soooo good.

    Velveeta? Yuck, that is soooo gay.

    You all wish you were at my house right now. Mmm-hmm.

    Oh, so you put bacon in it?

  222. #225 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    February 11, 2010

    You all wish you were at my house right now.

    Is that an invitation?

  223. #226 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    Kamaka, I took the best job I good, so you and your sister could eat, and have a place to sleep, and some clothes on your backs.

    Aren’t the tentacles enough? Do you have to degrade me?

  224. #227 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    Thanks for the Internet, Josh. It’s…it’s just what I’ve always wanted.

    You guys can just, I don’t know, put it over there? For now? I guess. Thanks.

    I found Smoggy tiresome from day one and said so. I killfiled that motherfucker so fast that the little greasemonkeyface down in the corner was briefly depilitated. But I peeked, as I always do, and I realized that I was right in the first place.
    Then I changed my mind.

    And then, again with the tiresomeness.

    What I’m saying, so long, Smoggy.

    So and also, I usually enjoy that 386sx guy’s contributions, personally.

    SC, good, tight, straightforward post. What else can you do, really. All the information is out there. Laden’s a buffoon.

    Yet I canNOT believe Z. I find her weirdly fascinating, in an odious bizarro/opposite-world sort of way. The two sentences thing, I actually gasped.

  225. #228 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 11, 2010

    Is that an invitation?

    Yes, yes it is, my little pikachu. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

  226. #229 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    February 11, 2010

    Yes, yes it is, my little pikachu. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    When you say that, I’m reminded of this song and this song at the same time.

  227. #230 Sven DiMilo
    February 11, 2010

    hmm
    ‘depilitated’ or ‘depilated’?

  228. #231 A. Noyd
    February 12, 2010

    Kamaka (#218)

    The door is slammed.

    Careful, I think they stuck tape over the latch bolt.

  229. #232 Kamaka
    February 12, 2010

    Josh links @ 226, 228

    Gyeong Hwa Pak links @ 229

    What is wrong with you people, how would you even know about such crap?

    para lang sa iyo

    Filipino, too, Pikachu?

  230. #233 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Dear sweet (and salty) Smoggy. While you may feel that you should phase out your fictional self, I do hope you are around enough to confound the odd christian troll. I always found you to be funny even though I am an american. Go figure.

    Remain strange but do not be a stranger.

  231. #234 MrFire
    February 12, 2010

    I must be the only one, then, who would like Smoggy to get even more deranged, if that is possible. Then again, I found Bob Saget’s telling of the Aristocrats joke…well, tame.

    Happy Kiwi, I would like to thank you for Smoggy. I also want you to know that you can expect to hear from my lawyer, on account of you having nearly killed me with laughter a number of times.

  232. #235 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    yep. So long, Smoggy.

    See ya.

  233. #236 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    I also think that Smoggy should go into semi-retirement only if Smoggy himself tires of the commenting.

    As for Google – gah. I’m angry enough that I’m about to switch entirely over to Yahoo. Even if you don’t have a google profile and don’t turn on Buzz, the followers/following are still there until you go in and manually delete them, then you can turn it off. And as Isis pointed out, in a lot of cases that’s revealing real names of pseudonyms for people who comment on blogs under pseuds but using their real google account for the sake of the blogowner only. (Ex. – if I go by the name Smoggy but email PZ using my real name attached to my gmail, knowing that PZ won’t give me away, buzz will put my real name in his list of contacts for everyone else to see if he has a public profile.)

  234. #237 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    February 12, 2010

    What is wrong with you people, how would you even know about such crap?

    para lang sa iyo

    Filipino, too, Pikachu?

    Para lang Kamaka

  235. #238 Kamaka
    February 12, 2010

    Oh, that’s a good link, GHP. I’m supposed to be learning to speak Tagalog, but damn, it’s tough.

  236. #239 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    February 12, 2010

    Oh, that’s a good link, GHP. I’m supposed to be learning to speak Tagalog, but damn, it’s tough.

    Lol. I don’t really know Tagalog. I just like foreign music.

    and now I’m calling you.

  237. #240 Nick
    February 12, 2010

    Thank God (or Allah) that someone is making sure that there are no evil red roses around on Valentines Day. Who knows the terror they could inflict on poor, unsuspecting Saudis.

    From theage.com.au –

    Saudi police launch Valentine’s Day crackdown February 12, 2010 – 8:40AM

    The Saudi religious police have launched a nationwide crackdown on shops selling items that are red or in any other way allude to the banned celebrations of Valentine’s Day, a Saudi official says.

    Members of the feared religious police have been inspecting shops for red roses, heart-shaped products or gifts wrapped in red, and ordering storeowners to get rid of them, the official says. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to reporters.

  238. #241 aratina cage of the OM
    February 12, 2010

    Happy Kiwi, I have always appreciated Smoggy and always will. He has brought me to tears several times from laughter. Thank you for taking the conversation to such absurd heights for our amusement and the befuddlement of trolls. Long live Smoggy Batzrubble!

  239. #242 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    February 12, 2010

    Smoggy, you can always change your name by clicking on your name on the commenting box.

    goodbye my Smoggy

  240. #243 Kel, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Damn, I feel bad now.

  241. #244 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    So Greg has finally listed all of the comments SC made that he thought could be seen as antisemitic, and… none of them are, and I don’t see how anyone could interpret any of them that way. I guess at least he laid it on the table.

  242. #245 Kamaka
    February 12, 2010

    I just like foreign music.

    Like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Zu4ffLIlI

  243. #246 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    February 12, 2010

    I just like foreign music.

    Like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Zu4ffLIlI

    A didgeridoo!

  244. #247 Kamaka
    February 12, 2010

    Kel @ 243

    Damn, I feel bad now.

    Why? Smoggy is a fairy tale. Things have changed since required registration, the “best” we’ve seen in trolls lately is the smug and arrogant dendy. And I do believe he got sent away, praise jebus!

    Nah, Smoggy is cool laying back. He can always rise from the dead.

  245. #248 WowbaggerOM
    February 12, 2010

    Kel wrote:

    Damn, I feel bad now.

    Kel killed Smoggy!

    Nah, I agree that Smoggy has had a good run and should now be used for the occasional impact comment rather than on an everyday basis. But, that being said, the keen insight of his puppeteer, Happy Kiwi, should appear more often!

  246. #249 ~Pharyngulette~
    February 12, 2010

    Happy Kiwi, re: Smoggy’s demise

    Personally, I’m really sad to see Smoggy locked back inside your unconscious mind again. He was growing on me, ripening (like a particularly-acrid cheese) and was always good for hilarious shock value when those other, non-OM xtians came marching in, waving their bibles. I’ll miss that.

    Mark me down as one of Smoggy’s fans.

  247. #250 Leigh Williams
    February 12, 2010

    There is too much win on this thread . . . I can’t keep up!

    C_E, I’m sorry to hear you’re so busted up. Your rib cage must have taken a hell of a lick. May your recovery be swift and your pain meds teh awesome. But I’m very glad you’re here to tell the tale, thanks to those socialist commie nazi EMT’s and firefighters and whatnot.

    Happy Kiwi, I for one love Smoggy and hope to hear from him at suitable times in the future. And to see more from you in your own voice, too!

    Owlmirror, Lovelace and Babbage are GREAT! I have a kid into steampunk now; can’t wait to show it to her.

    And speaking of steam, Josh, this one’s for you; here is a picture of a locomotive used in harvesting Southern pine from East Texas in the thirties, now conserved at the Diboll History Museum (home of Temple-Inland Forest Products).

    Josh, Mr. Science also makes incredible mac-n-cheese, also using the white-trash staple Velveeta, plus cream cheese and sour cream too. You can feel your arteries clogging as you eat. Velveeta’s the only way to go, in my opinion (and yes, I’ve made it with white sauce, gruyère, and other fancy stuff — Velveeta’s better).

    Walton:

    On the things I know a lot about (human rights, civil liberties, the criminal justice system, etc.), I seem to have become massively liberal in the last couple of years.

    Our young fella is growing up! (surreptitiously wipes a tear from the corner of an eye) It takes me back to this exchange you, JeffreyD, negentropyeater, Bill Dauphin, Etha Williams, Kseniya and I had in 2008; you’ve come a long way, baby!

  248. #251 Leigh Williams
    February 12, 2010

    Lynna, share only as much of your medical progress as you feel comfortable doing. You know we’re all on your team and worrying just a bit.

    What a week this has been! I’ve had the flu for over a week, possibly H1N1 (didn’t get to the doc to know for sure); my biggest client shipped out trucks and front-end loaders to haul snow in Maryland — a first for us, and our Texas-bred folks don’t even know how to drive on snow and ice; and we’ve got two young Korean students coming to stay with us starting Saturday in an exchange from our sister school in Seoul. That last necessitates a wild house-cleaning orgy. Should be a ton of fun, though!

    Somehow I haven’t settled down to deliver the promised pink fluffy god theology lecture. I’ve done some research, but it’s not coming coherently together right now as I bounce between the bed, the bathroom, the pharmacy, and remote support for my intrepid snow-haulers. Soon now, I hope, though the project has all the charm of an overdue sophomore-level research paper to me right now.

  249. #252 John Morales
    February 12, 2010

    Leigh,

    Somehow I haven’t settled down to deliver the promised pink fluffy god theology lecture.

    Leigh, please don’t feel under pressure.

    I want you at your best. <g>

  250. #253 Owlmirror
    February 12, 2010
  251. #254 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    For all you train fans in the states: A trip worth taking!

    BS

  252. #255 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Somehow I haven’t settled down to deliver the promised pink fluffy god theology lecture. I’ve done some research, but it’s not coming coherently together right now

    There’s a surprise.

    that Smoggy should leave the building while the music was playing. The day will inevitably arrive when the majority will have had enough of him

    Disagree, and very upset at Smoggy’s demise, agree that his puppetmaster Happy Kiwi should post more and keep Smoggy in reserve at least !

    I guess at least he laid it on the table.

    Yeah, in another thread, one he named “private letter to SC”, talk about blog traffic hey !

    Dear god, Google Buzz is a clusterfuckastrophe.

    I stay away from anything “google”, but I read an article about this in german today pointing out why and how they integrated gmail into Buzz by default, how it is not particularly easy to get rid of this default setting, and how your “friends” can via one mouse click easily see who you write emails to.
    This has so many security concerns that I will just stay away from google, like I have done in the past.Other people should, too.

  253. #256 Leigh Williams
    February 12, 2010

    Rorschach: “There’s a surprise.”

    Hold the snark until after you read it. My brain has been working at half-speed, possibly because I’ve blown it all out my nose. Or maybe it was the massive amounts of decongestants and pain/fever relievers I’ve been ingesting all week. To put it bluntly, I’ve been feeling like warmed-over dog shit and sleeping 12 or more hours a day. Up until today, I’ve had the attention span of a fruit fly and the sunny disposition of a rabid warthog.

  254. #257 llewelly
    February 12, 2010

    Kel, OM | February 12, 2010 1:06 AM:

    Damn, I feel bad now.

    Good grief.
    Shape up and be a proper atheist. Kill without remorse!

  255. #258 John Morales
    February 12, 2010

    Which reminded me (this is cross-threaded from the Video conference? post back in January).

    To his credit, the Pastor has (sort of) acquiesced to repeated calls for his supporting his contention that “Theology is self-correcting, like science.” here.

  256. #259 John Morales
    February 12, 2010

    Leigh,

    Up until today, I’ve had the attention span of a fruit fly and the sunny disposition of a rabid warthog.

    Did your co-religionists pray for you to get better? Did you?

    Seems to be working…

    <ducks>

  257. #260 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Hold the snark until after you read it.

    Your brain caught a much worse virus then the current one in your body long ago, so I’m not holding my breath.

    I’ve had the flu for over a week, possibly H1N1

    Noone cares about that anymore, we don’t test for it anymore either, unless you’re pregnant, under 6 months old or have cancer or something.

    I liked your link to that 2008 thread though, made me send Etha a message tonight, who is one of the people I really miss here, same with Mrs Tilton and Kseniya.

  258. #261 John Morales
    February 12, 2010

    [meta]

    Interesting. My comment got through (#259) but I was informed that it had failed, with this message (which I’ve never before encountered):

    Comment Submission Error
    Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:
    Publish failed: Renaming tempfile ‘/var/www/vhosts/scienceblogs.com/html/pharyngula/2010/02/open_thread_again_well_be_here.php.new’ failed: Renaming ‘/var/www/vhosts/scienceblogs.com/html/pharyngula/2010/02/open_thread_again_well_be_here.php.new’ to ‘/var/www/vhosts/scienceblogs.com/html/pharyngula/2010/02/open_thread_again_well_be_here.php’ failed: No such file or directory
    Return to the original entry.

  259. #262 Walton
    February 12, 2010

    Leigh, on the ancient thread to which you linked, you said to me:

    In a aside, I want to personally welcome you to the board and tell you how glad I am to hear a true and rational conservative voice. This is the most fun I’ve had in quite a while.

    But perhaps you were too kind. Perhaps I wasn’t a rational conservative voice, since I’ve completely changed my outlook since then. I was younger and more naive in those days; I was making an argument from legal-philosophical principle, without really understanding its social context or its actual consequences in the real world. I have since learnt much more about these issues, and have entirely changed my legal philosophy.

    Over the last two years, I’ve changed from a raging right-wing conservative and vague (non-practising) Christian, into an outspoken atheist, secularist, civil libertarian and human rights advocate. This is not a transition I ever intended or expected to make. But, as Thomas Jefferson said, “the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds.”

  260. #263 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Just because of general awesomeness( and because I havent linked to them for at least 6 months) :

    Paint it Black–Live

    Far away Eyes–Live

    Shine a Light–Live

  261. #264 Stephen Wells
    February 12, 2010

    @Walton: you could become quite tolerable company one of these days if you’d just ditch the Tories :)

    I had a thought which I hoped might illustrate to you why a lot of people are pretty down on Thatcher’s policies. Do you recall the infamous statement that there’s no such thing as society? Thatcher had a chemistry background. If she’d declared that there’s no such thing as water, only molecules, how seriously would you have taken that?

  262. #265 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Shit, I forgot one, some might say, the best ever :

    Sweet Virginia–Live in Tokyo

    Throw one in for good measure because of Keith’s awesomeness :

    As Tears go by–Live

    And this one just because I can(not thinking of any pharyngulans in particular !) :

    Shw was hot–Live

  263. #266 windy
    February 12, 2010

    Brother Smoggy, you stick around. I’m the one retiring, because, frankly I only weird myself out what with trying to interact with people and whatnot. It never works out very well. :D

    I like both Smoggy and 386sx, I’m never quite sure how to interact with you two though.

    Greatest hits of 386sx:
    -the “Jesus flying around like a birdie” meme
    -Rebuttal of the “Augustine is just so freakin scientifical wonderful” meme
    -I’m sure there are lots more but I’m too lazy to look them up

  264. #267 ianmhor
    February 12, 2010

    Happy Kiwi:

    As a relative newcomer to this blog I will be sad to see less of Smoggy but can understand your reasons. Some of the best laughs I have had recently!

    Have you (or anyone else) got links to Smoggy’s best encounters? Trawling the archives is not easy (or I haven’t found an easy way) and doesn’t find the gems.

  265. #268 Knockgoats
    February 12, 2010

    ‘depilitated’ or ‘depilated’? – Sven DiMilo

    Well it’s “depilated” usually, but I think “depilitated” is a good word for what happened to Samson.

  266. #269 Knockgoats
    February 12, 2010

    Despite our still frequent disagreements, I cannot but commend Walton for his demonstrated readiness to change his mind on rational grounds, and admit it.

  267. #270 Stephen Wells
    February 12, 2010

    @269: seconded.

    @268: if a pilus is a hair and depilation is loss of hair, isn’t depilitation the act of being deprived of Pilates classes? :)

    In Foucault’s Pendulum, Eco’s characters create an imaginary scholastic discipline of tetrapiloctomy; the art of splitting a hair into four.

  268. #271 Walton
    February 12, 2010

    I had a thought which I hoped might illustrate to you why a lot of people are pretty down on Thatcher’s policies. Do you recall the infamous statement that there’s no such thing as society? Thatcher had a chemistry background. If she’d declared that there’s no such thing as water, only molecules, how seriously would you have taken that?

    I think it’s a misunderstanding of what Thatcher meant. Like many famous quotes, the “no such thing as society” remark has been taken entirely out of context. The whole quote is this:

    I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation and it is, I think, one of the tragedies in which many of the benefits we give, which were meant to reassure people that if they were sick or ill there was a safety net and there was help, that many of the benefits which were meant to help people who were unfortunate?” It is all right. We joined together and we have these insurance schemes to look after it” . That was the objective, but somehow there are some people who have been manipulating the system and so some of those help and benefits that were meant to say to people:”All right, if you cannot get a job, you shall have a basic standard of living!” but when people come and say:”But what is the point of working? I can get as much on the dole!” You say: “Look” It is not from the dole. It is your neighbour who is supplying it and if you can earn your own living then really you have a duty to do it and you will feel very much better!”

  269. #272 John Morales
    February 12, 2010

    Walton, you might find current discussion on the ?You are a religious man and you know this is not acceptable behaviour.? thread interesting.

  270. #273 David Marjanovi?
    February 12, 2010

    While I can understand wanting to ease back on Smoggy, he still can be useful in dealing with certain types of godbotters, particularly proselytizers. I got many good laughs due to Smoggy’s irreverence in the name of Jesus.

    Thirded, fourthed.

    Disgusting as Smoggy (deliberately) is, his humor overcomes all!

    I like both Smoggy and 386sx, I’m never quite sure how to interact with you two though.

    Not at all. Just sit back and enjoy. :-)

    “depilitated” is a good word for what happened to Samson.

    :-D

    isn’t depilitation the act of being deprived of Pilates classes?

    Win.

  271. #274 triskelethecat
    February 12, 2010

    @Happy Kiwi: I, too, will miss Smoggy and hope that he breaks out of prison now and then. (BTW…what is the usual sentance length for his crime?) Not all Americans misunderstand him and Floyd.

    @Leigh Williams: I hope you keep feeling better. I haven’t had the flu, just a bad cold for 8 days, and that is draining enough, can’t imagine how you are coping with your job! Hope your Texans are coping with the snow and ice on our East Coast roads.

    @Celtic_Evolution: hope you, too, keep improving. Many kudos to the EMS people who got you out. You are in my thoughts.

  272. #275 David Marjanovi?
    February 12, 2010

    Like many famous quotes, the “no such thing as society” remark has been taken entirely out of context. The whole quote is this:

    Fine, but I still prefer the reasoning given in the US Declaration of Independence for why “Governments are instituted among Men”.

  273. #276 Paul W.
    February 12, 2010

    OK, the new thread at Greg’s is not quite such a trainwreck. This is progress, I think. And despite what Stephanie thinks.

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/02/a_private_letter_to_salty_curr.php

  274. #277 Stephen Wells
    February 12, 2010

    I still don’t see any excuse for the claim that “There is no such thing”. Its context of “if you don’t have a job it’s your own fault, you workshy scum” doesn’t no much to improve it.

  275. #278 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Happy Darwin Day, everybody!

  276. #279 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Paul W – How is it that Stephanie still doesn’t get it? Even after a dozen comments of people saying that it’s good that he put out all the comments, and them saying that now they get the problem but really don’t see the antisemitism, for her to say that no one wants to talk about the comments? She’s gone entirely off the deep end now.

  277. #280 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Again, just because I can :

    Donovan–Universal Soldier Live

    Barry McGuire–Eve of destruction Live

    And again, just for awesomeness :

    Pogues–Maggie May

  278. #281 Diane G.
    February 12, 2010

    #276Posted by: Paul W. | February 12, 2010 7:15 AM

    OK, the new thread at Greg’s is not quite such a trainwreck. This is progress, I think. And despite what Stephanie thinks.

    Progress in continuing to “clear” Salty’s name (as if she needed it). Greg’s looking worse than ever, muddled, typo-ridden, nonpologizing, & holding up comments way longer than usual. (I wonder what’s NOT getting through?)

    Why does he get away with such groundless speculation and stream-of-consciousness rambling? Just about every (non-GL) comment is better written than his posts are.

    The trainwreck of Greg intensifies, and I find I no longer care to even give him the benefit of ‘holdover liking’ for some of his past work.

  279. #283 SteveV
    February 12, 2010

    I’m at work, so i can’t:
    But someone find a link to Tom Waits’ ‘The Pontiac’ (Orphans) for JoshOSG.
    Post #199 made we wonder if he IS Tom Waits:-}

  280. #284 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    Greg’s looking worse than ever, muddled, typo-ridden, nonpologizing, & holding up comments way longer than usual. (I wonder what’s NOT getting through?)

    My last hasn’t appeared yet. It really makes it impossible to have an argument. Of course, this is also complicated by the fact that some of the commenters there are braying jackasses who seem incapable of coherent thought. They keep repeating the same dumb line without ever backing it up with anything.

  281. #285 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Ok, I’m drunk, go easy on me please…:-)

    Peter Paul and Mary–Puff the magic dragon

    Leaving on a Jet plane–PPM

    Mary Travers dying is such a loss, it’s not funny,she was just such an awesome person.

  282. #286 aratina cage of the OM
    February 12, 2010

    I’m so with you in your sorrow, Rorschach.

  283. #287 Knockgoats
    February 12, 2010

    who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families… Walton, quoting Thatcher

    This is still exactly like saying: “what is a gas? There is no such thing! There are individual atoms and there are molecules…”

    The popular version wouldn’t have stuck if it had not summed up her attitude for people – just as with Callaghan’s “Crisis? What crisis?” – which he never said at all, but which captured his apparent failure to appreciate the seriousness of the “winter of discontent”. Most modern politicians rely on soundbites in place of rational argument or even inspiring rhetoric, so they are in a weak position to complain if they sometimes get “soundbitten”!

  284. #288 Stephen Wells
    February 12, 2010

    @284: I think so far Irene[46] has the dumbest possible comment in the “private letter” thread, although StephanieZ’s performance in “Am I wrong?/Yes you are wrong/ Don’t tell me” is a close second. I thought Creationists were unbeatable in Logical Fallacy Bingo, but – wow.

  285. #289 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    I’m so with you in your sorrow, Rorschach.

    Lovely link, rat….:-)
    I better retire for the nite lol

  286. #290 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    @284: I think so far Irene[46] has the dumbest possible comment in the “private letter” thread,

    And now #53! I’m almost hoping Irene is some sort of stupidity troll. It’s disturbing that anyone could be that dumb and commenting on Sb.

  287. #291 Walton
    February 12, 2010

    It’s disturbing that anyone could be that dumb and commenting on Sb.

    Scienceblogs doesn’t require an intelligence test before people are allowed to comment. :-)

  288. #292 aratina cage of the OM
    February 12, 2010

    Lovely link, rat….:-)
    I better retire for the nite lol

    Yours too. :) Night!

  289. #293 davem
    February 12, 2010

    @C-E:

    I can sympathise with you – I broke my sternum 2 1/2 weeks ago. Advice – don’t get into a sit-down bath; you’ll never get out without a hoist. Do not cough, and definitely do not sneeze, or you’ll explode.

    I survived my first sneeze this morning. Ouch, that hurt! After 2 weeks, I can move around OK. Hope that you will soon, too.

  290. #294 Walton
    February 12, 2010

    Knockgoats and Stephen Wells: I still think you’re caricaturing Thatcher’s remarks.

    No one denies that societies exist, to a given value of “exist”. They exist in the same way that ecosystems exist, or that economies exist. Societies are systems created by the complex web of interactions between individual human beings. Like ecosystems and economies, they display certain features and patterns which it is important to study and understand.

    But Thatcher was trying to make the point that societies are not entities in themselves; they consist of individual men and women. In and of themselves, societies don’t produce anything or own anything; and it’s simply nonsense to talk of someone “owing a debt” to society, or, conversely, to talk of society “owing someone” a living. Individuals produce things, and when you rely on society, you really rely on the efforts of other individuals. In short, she was trying to de-anthropomorphise society.

    You can agree or disagree with her remarks. I personally think her comments were a little unfair, given that the structural economic changes of the 1980s inevitably created temporary mass unemployment. Those changes may well have been necessary, but it certainly wasn’t legitimate to criticise the unemployed for their own predicament, and remarks of that nature only inflamed the perception of “class war” and the bitter (and largely unnecessary) social conflict that characterised the era. But it’s important not to caricature her comments, or her motivations.

  291. #295 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Ok, now this is just awesome :

    500 miles–Live

  292. #296 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Looks like when I get off work tonight. I’ll have to hoist a libation is memory of Mary Travers, to C-E’s recovery, a salute to Smoggy so that he may reappear to confuse some godbots, and to Happy Kiwi.

  293. #297 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Wow – I didn’t think it was possible to Godwin that thread any more thoroughly than it already was, but Saadia did it @#40.

  294. #298 Paul W.
    February 12, 2010

    Carlie,

    Yeah, she backed the train up, added cattle cars full of Jews, and sent it full steam back into the trainwreck.

    :-(

  295. #299 Lynna, OM
    February 12, 2010

    I love Smoggy. I just hope I haven’t loved him to death. Come back whenever you feel like it Smoggy. I’ll be gentle.

  296. #300 llewelly
    February 12, 2010

    Rorschach | February 12, 2010 8:48 AM:

    Ok, I’m drunk, go easy on me please…:-)

    Peter Paul and Mary–Puff the magic dragon

    I can’t believe you posted a link to that deplorable song. It advocates drug abuse. IT LURES INNOCENT CHILDREN STRAIGHT INTO OPIUM DENS!!

  297. #301 Lynna, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Leigh as a “rabid warthog” is a very useful images. It sticks in the mind and keeps on giving. My particular Leigh -rabid-warthog also has a runny nose. Amusement, Texas style.

  298. #302 Lynna, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Thanks for all the Rolling Stones links, Rorschach. It’s not the evening of the day here, but the Stones are good with breakfast too.

  299. #303 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    A didgeridoo!

    Gesundheit!
    Actually, wow. That’s a tough instrument to make do anything more than one-dimensional. She’s impressive.

    a wild house-cleaning orgy

    This is either one of the all-time great oxymorons or a violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    A trip worth taking!

    I have taken it, and it was indeed well worth it. Except for the horrible air pollution. I felt bad about that. But then, you’re looking down at bright-orange creeks already.

    I was younger and more naive in those days

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsfashDI6vU

    what happened to Samson

    Inevitable and NSFJ:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhRJK6W7Oic

    Happy Darwin Day, everybody!

    Happy Monkey to all!

    Where have all the flowers gone
    500 miles–Live

    That is the shit right there. I’m tearing up here.
    Nostalgia warning: “WHATFG” was at one time one of the 3 or 4 songs I knew on the guitar. I used to sit out in the middle of the Mojave Desert by myself and bang that one out for fucking hours. Reggae versions, strummy pseudoMetheny versions. Four excellent chords right in a row, man.

    Leigh as a “rabid warthog” is a very useful images.

    That’s not what she meant to say!!!
    (I think.)

    I can’t deal with reading the Sarge yet today.

  300. #304 Lynna, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Bleh. I am making Rev BDC-ish mistakes, as in #301, where “images” should not be plural. I think I’ll go out and shovel snow as penance.

  301. #305 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    Right, so that was what she meant to say.
    My bad.
    (I think.)

  302. #306 Alan B
    February 12, 2010

    Celtic_Evolution

    I’m way behind on the thread but may I add my best wishes to all the others. The order is:

    1) Survive – you seem to have managed that.

    2) Get well – sounds like you are doing OK with that.

    3) Get back to what you enjoy doing (like commenting on this thread!)

    All the best from the English side of the pond.

  303. #307 Miki Z
    February 12, 2010

    Walton,

    I think you’re mistaken in saying that because societies are composed of individuals and arise from the interactions that they don’t (can’t) create.

    Society does not exist independently of its members, but neither do people exist independently of their cells — at least not without bringing in some dodgy propositions. Societies give rise to art, science, law, war, and so on. It was not coincidence that Newton and Liebniz simultaneously and independently invented calculus — European (including British, at the time) society was primed for this discovery; it was perhaps inevitable that it be discovered very close to when it was.

    This does not in any way diminish the achievements of individuals. But those achievements arise and are recognized when the conditions for them exist. You do “owe” society for the legal education that you are receiving — it is only now, in the society in which you live, that you can receive that education. It is in the attempt to quantify and collect that debt that mistakes are made.

    There are, undoubtedly, some people who choose not to work when they could. But Thatcher in her speech paints all people “on the dole” as malingerers; she does not offer a way to tell the difference. Not only are they stealing from society, they are stealing the bread directly out of your mouth.

    Hate them. Scorn them. Drive them out. They are thieves and parasites. We have nothing to do with this. They made their gutter: let them die in it.

    That is Thatcher’s “no society” argument.

  304. #308 Lynna, OM
    February 12, 2010

    It’s okay, Sven (@305), when you’re wrong, you’re wrong in an entertaining manner.

    Seems the mormons are moaning about their rights to be bigots, racists, and prejudiced far beyond reason. They are maundering on about how these precious rights may be abridged by the Gay Marriage battle. Oh, noes!

         …
         Elder Wickman, an attorney for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, made the remarks Thursday as part of the 2010 J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference at the University of Utah.
         ”I believe that the greatest challenge faced by the church,” Elder Wickman said, “is the challenge to religious liberty that is growing worldwide. ? A battle is looming over the effort to acquire civil social rights at the expense of civil religious rights. … Perry seeks a court declaration that, as a matter of law, religious views may not be used to justify the denial of a social civil right,” he said….
         ”These are serious allegations and represent an arrow directly at the heart not only of traditional marriage but at the place of religion and religious views in the political dialogue of this country.”
         Elder Wickman quoted extensively from the speech Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve delivered at BYU-Idaho in 2009 about the legal ramifications of the same-sex marriage debate..”
         Perry seeks a court declaration that, as a matter of law, religious views may not be used to justify the denial of a social civil right,” he said. “Stated differently, they essentially claim that the voters, from whom all authority in a democracy flows, may not consider religious views and values when deciding these alleged social and cultural civil rights.
         ”These are serious allegations and represent an arrow directly at the heart not only of traditional marriage but at the place of religion and religious views in the political dialogue of this country.”
         Elder Wickman quoted extensively from the speech Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve delivered at BYU-Idaho in 2009 about the legal ramifications of the same-sex marriage debate.

    I like that bit about “a disturbing slide downward

  305. #309 Feynmaniac
    February 12, 2010

    Arghh….

    Matthew Segall*, frankorsaurus and Hyperon all on the same thread.
    ____

    * Well, redliterocket4. Even if they are not the same person they post pretty post the same stuff.

  306. #310 Lynna, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Oh, holy crap! More cut-paste errors. That’s it. I’m fit for shoveling snow and nothing else this morning.

  307. #311 Miki Z
    February 12, 2010

    Feynmaniac@309:

    Someone posted a link to Matthew Segall’s blog where he posted redliterocket4’s “contributions” here and lists redliterocket4 as himself. I forget who, as is typical for me.

  308. #312 Walton
    February 12, 2010

    I bet I can beat Rorschach when it comes to posting good music. (And I’m not even drunk.)

    Various versions of one of the best TV themes ever:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSHr4ubuD64

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCRae5mRoRE

  309. #313 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    Oh, I am rubbernecking the circus-trainwreck.
    Oh, oh.

    OK, but this one is quoted solely for loud LOLz:

    Laden was right to tell you in the original comment thread that you might consider what you words would sound.

  310. #314 aratina cage of the OM
    February 12, 2010

    The person who linked redliterocket4 to Matthew Segall would have been Rev. BigDumbChimp (link here).

  311. #315 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 12, 2010

    I forget who, as is typical for me.

    I think it was Rev. BDC.

  312. #316 Miki Z
    February 12, 2010

    Lynna,

    This sentence here seems to be the crux of it all:

    “These are serious allegations and represent an arrow directly at the heart not only of traditional marriage but at the place of religion and religious views in the political dialogue of this country.”

    The Mormons, having finally bought some clout, are loathe to do anything which might diminish it. If a new religion started which enshrined marriage equality as the highest good, would the LDS church support their right to religious freedom? I suspect they would claim it wasn’t a “proper” religion.

    (If someone who can speak for the Mormon church is here and knows that the LDS church would support religious freedom, please, consider that religion started! It’s name is “Marriage Equalityism”. Get to defending my religious liberties!)

  313. #317 MrFire
    February 12, 2010

    Irene @67 on Laden’s Private Letter thread:

    I expect an apology for the personal insults to me on this thread and on Pharyngula.

    The Kw*k is strong in this one.

  314. #318 Knockgoats
    February 12, 2010

    But Thatcher was trying to make the point that societies are not entities in themselves; they consist of individual men and women. – Walton

    Absolutely, totally, unquestionably, wrong. Consider all the physical infrastructure, domesticated plants and animals, not to mention the natural environment, that are essential to their functioning. Methodological individualism is an egregious blunder, but one that is very useful to propagandists of the right.

    remarks of that nature only inflamed the perception of “class war” and the bitter (and largely unnecessary) social conflict that characterised the era. But it’s important not to caricature her comments, or her motivations.

    It was perceived as a class war because that is what it was. The rich, led by Thatcher, looted the public coffers, trashed communities, and killed many people. Her motivations were hatred and contempt for everyone not “one of us”.

  315. #319 Lynna, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Shorter Mormon Lawyer argument: If my religion demands that I abridge your civil rights, then you must allow me to do so.

  316. #320 Vashti
    February 12, 2010

    A message for Brother Smoggy Batzrubble, care of Happy Kiwi

    Dearest Brother Batzrubble,

    Please do not utterly abandon this horde of marauding atheists. Surely, it is Lucifer himself who tempts you to desert your post now, when you are so close to success. Only through great pain, perseverance, and suffering will you ever achieve the salvation of a single atheist soul.

    As the daughter of missionaries, I know that the only thing more daunting than witnessing to primitive headhunters and cannibals is testifying the True Word? to atheists. Let me express my deepest admiration for you and your work here amongst the truly depraved. If you cannot bear to carry out your work in the venomous pit of Pharyngula any longer, I am certain that Wycliffe Bible Translators (also know as the disarming Summer Institute of Linguistics or SIL) could find a harmless group of cannibals for you to minister to. Remember the saga of Operation Auca and the ultimate triumph of the saintly Rachel Saint and Elizabeth Elliot and remain stalwart in The Faith?. (I know, the original missionaries to the Huaorani ended up dead, but sometimes one must make sacrifices in the name of Truth? and Big Oil…)

    If you feel the need to ease back a little, please take the customary missionary furlough (and do remember that you are supposed to spend this furlough fund-raising) so that you can return to us refreshed and renewed in The Spirit? (and flush with cash). I have always found your humour quite enjoyable and it has even caused me to break my New England reserve and chuckle out loud on occasion (though I admit to being a little intimidated by Floyd).

    Yours (but no longer His) Truly,
    Vasti

  317. #321 aratina cage of the OM
    February 12, 2010

    Shorter Mormon Lawyer argument: If my religion demands that I abridge your civil rights, then you must allow me to do so.

    Right. Also: If my religion claims ownership over some public institution, that institution leaves the public sphere and becomes a part of our religion and you can’t touch it by our First Amendment rights.

  318. #322 cicely
    February 12, 2010

    Depilitating, from a debilitating depilation?

    Happy Kiwi, don’t incarcerate Smoggy, just send him on a vacation.

    davem, sorry to hear about your sternum, glad it’s recovering.

  319. #323 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    Depilitating, from a debilitating depilation?

    yeah.
    Well teh Google sez I am at least not unique in inserting that ‘it’.

  320. #324 AJ Milne
    February 12, 2010

    It is my personal opinion this thread is suffering from dangerously low levels of Sparklehorse and Tom Waits collaborations

    (/Fixed now.)

  321. #325 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    if a woman commenter tends to agree with a male blogger, she’s a sidekick? Seriously?

    FFS

    SC, whose sidekick did you mean to suggest I am?

    *snort*

    Greg’s.

    haw

  322. #326 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    I just left a post on Greg’s latest trainwreck thread. I’ve rarely seen anyone act in such an ethically scummy way, and that’s saying a lot considering some of the crap that’s occurred on Scienceblogs over the years. That it comes from Greg Laden – who I never would have thought capable of it – is genuinely shocking.

  323. #327 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    Thought that was you, Josh. Nicely put. If I hadn’t ostentatiously flounced Forever, I’d give you the CTS over there, but this will have to do:

    *clenched-tentacle salute*

  324. #328 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    Happy Monkey!

    (new! improved! now with better image!)

  325. #329 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    Guys, you’re just teaching Greg that if he shits on the carpet he gets attention and blog hits. Not a good way to potty train.

  326. #330 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    *tentacle-bumps Tulse for #102 at GL*

  327. #331 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    Josh, thank you. (Everyone else, too.)

    I’ve rarely seen anyone act in such an ethically scummy way, and that’s saying a lot considering some of the crap that’s occurred on Scienceblogs over the years. That it comes from Greg Laden – who I never would have thought capable of it – is genuinely shocking.

    I know. And this latest comment is exactly where it leads. That he said it, clearly in anger, is forgivable. But that he’s allowed it to keep going and perpetuated people’s ignorance so they wouldn’t know what’s going on is just…

    This has been really emotionally trying.

  328. #332 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Guys, you’re just teaching Greg that if he shits on the carpet he gets attention and blog hits. Not a good way to potty train.

    I know, but if everyone ignores him, then the shit just sits there and causes a walking hazard.

  329. #333 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    If I could change my moniker to SC, OM, Greatest Bitch on the Internet there would be a tiny silver lining.

  330. #334 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    SC, I’m sorry that you ended up somehow being the whipping post in all of this. I think there are a lot more readers there who do get it than there are the ones agreeing with G/S, and I don’t know that they could reason their way out of a paper bag in the first place.

  331. #335 Lynna, OM
    February 12, 2010

    SC @333: do it. Then we’d have Patricia, Queen of the Sluts, Janine (Foul-mouthed, plus many more descriptors), and SC, OM, Greatest Bitch on the Internet. Let us do battle.

    More hugs for Smoggy (assuming Floyd is not standing too closely by, with lash in hand).

  332. #336 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Walton (@I_Forgot_the_Number):

    No one denies that societies exist, to a given value of “exist”. They exist in the same way that ecosystems exist, or that economies exist.

    One of the problems I always encounter in discussing politics and political philosophy with people who are basically rational and well intentioned is that they habitually underestimate the existence and impact of people who are not rational or are (worse yet) rational but not well intentioned.

    As has been noted (and as we’ve just been reminded by Leigh’s invocation of the wayback machine), your thinking has evolved in ways that I consider distinctly positive, but even before most of that evolution, you were clearly an intelligent person trying to deal honestly and rationally with the issues in front of you. This just in: Not everyone is like you!

    Some people are stupid, or have been seduced by irrational dogma, or just fucking selfish… and plenty of those people really do deny the very existence of “society,” at least as that term is used to indicate a collective of people with needs, and capabilities to act, that are distinct from those of individuals or individual families. I could name some such people who have been regulars here during your tenure… but I’m afraid naming them “aloud” would summon them from hell.

    My wonderful wife is a passionate advocate for the public schools, and hates attempts to cut schools’ funding or otherwise undermine them… but because she herself is a rational being, whose opinions are honestly held with the most generous-spirited of intentions, she finds it impossible to believe me when I tell her that some segments of the political population are deliberately trying to bankrupt the public schools by advocating things like vouchers, charter schools, and homeschooling advocacy, and by attacking teachers and their unions. To her, that seems evil, and because she has a hard time imagining people that evil, she just assumes I’m being hyperbolic.

    Sometimes I feel the same way with you: You’re not evil, I’m quite sure, but some of the people who hold views you have in the past at least partially identified with are evil, in ways you apparently have a hard time recognizing.

  333. #337 Lynna, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Miki Z @316

    If a new religion started which enshrined marriage equality as the highest good, would the LDS church support their right to religious freedom?

    And the answer is … fuck no! Very good point, though — and you should register your new religion right away, preferably on an Indian Reservation in Utah. But the mormons aren’t thinking along those lines, since, as you pointed out, theirs is the only True Religion?.

    Basically, we’re just saying that, no, you don’t have a right to abridge the rights of non-members. And as aratina cage pointed out, no, you don’t have the right to claim a secular institution, like marriage, for example, as your very own Religious Ritual?.

    I think I’ll go on a little googling spree and see if I can find out how many of The Quorum of the Seventy, and The Quorum of the Twelve, and The First Presidency are lawyers. How many of those damnable lawyers are being paid a “stipend” (fat salary) out of tithing funds to strip their fellow citizens of their civil rights.

  334. #338 Sili
    February 12, 2010

    I have just been given a bottle of Bruichladdich (along with a very warm letter of recommendation).

    Comments? (And how the fsck is it pronounced? I think I know just enough Dutch spelling for it to ruin any idea I might have about Scots.)

  335. #339 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Sven, thanks for the CTS!

    I only use the “SpokesGay” id here, since it’s a Pharyngula-specific joke and identity. Without that context, people on another blog wouldn’t get it, and there’s always the risk someone would get their knickers in a twist and accuse me of being “insensitive.” I’m definitely not trying to sock-puppet or hide who I am (I know you didn’t think that, just offering clarification generally).

  336. #340 David Marjanovi?
    February 12, 2010

    Scienceblogs doesn’t require an intelligence test before people are allowed to comment. :-)

    :-D

    Sometimes I feel the same way with you: You’re not evil, I’m quite sure, but some of the people who hold views you have in the past at least partially identified with are evil, in ways you apparently have a hard time recognizing.

    Reminds me of when a top-level Social Democratic politician in Austria said during a TV debate that she was sure all parents want the best for their children.

  337. #341 https://me.yahoo.com/a/YRe8SCBtqMkQJkBPZYStZMd3BWBpWA--#d1801
    February 12, 2010

    PZ and friends,

    If I may just briefly direct your attention to a different topic: A dung beetle is fighting for its life against Glenn Beck and needs your help.

    http://trueslant.com/daviddisalvo/2010/02/11/glenn-beck-vs-the-dung-beetle/

    Please support the little guy – he can’t do it without us.

    Best

  338. #342 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    Mooney’s first PoI guest will be Paul Offit, a doctor who has been demonized by the anti-vax types for writing a book telling the truth about the whole autism/vaccine brouhaha.

    I would have expected him to have on Jenny McCarthy or Kim Stagliano. You know, I note a decided lack of bridge building on Mooney’s part.

  339. I only use the “SpokesGay” id here, since it’s a Pharyngula-specific joke and identity.

    What’s the joke?

  340. #344 SteveV
    February 12, 2010

    Josh #199

    I’m home from another day in the money mines so I can post this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F9AoKJGWis

  341. #346 Lynna, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Well, I got bored really quickly while trying to find out how many lawyers currently reign in the LDS Church’s top leadership. But here’s a sampling of Mormon Lawyers:
         Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge, Lawyer, shareholder and senior attorney at a Salt Lake City law firm. Married Jacquelyn Gayle Shamo, five children.
         Elder James J. Hamula, 50, Employed as an attorney at an Arizona law firm. Married Joyce Anderson, six children.
         Elder W. Eugene Hansen, received juris doctorate from the University of Utah; former trial lawyer, president of the Utah State Bar Association. Wife, Jeanine Showell Hansen, parents of six children.
         Elder Earl C. Tingey, Formerly corporate attorney for Kennecott Copper Corp. [only 4 children, he must be slacking off]
         Elder D. Todd Christofferson, [earned] his law degree from Duke University. He practiced law in Washington, D.C. and has been a senior vice president and associate general counsel for major banking institutions.
         Elder L. Whitney Clayton, His professional career was in law where he was a business litigation attorney with a California law firm. [Wife] Kathy Ann Kipp ? parents of seven children.
         Dallin Harris Oaks is an American attorney, jurist and religious leader. Since 1984, he has been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He is a former professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School, a former president of Brigham Young University, and a former justice of the Utah Supreme Court.
         Elder Tad R. Callister, Worked as an attorney with a firm in California. Married Kathryn Louise Saporiti, six children.

    And here’s a good example of an old white dude who is not a lawyer:
    Elder F. Michael Watson, Temple Sealer. Secretary to the First Presidency of the Church. Married Jolene Mann, 12 children.

  342. #347 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    @Pikachu

    What’s the joke?

    I don’t remember the original thread or comment that inspired the SpokesGay identity, but it was something on Pharyngula. I just think the concept of an “official spokesgay,” making official pronouncements on behalf of Teh Gay, is funny.

    Every once in a while, my alter ego appears. Locutus of Gay speaks for The Collective, and everything he says is srs bizness. No sense of humor, that one.

  343. #348 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    Guys, you’re just teaching Greg that if he shits on the carpet he gets attention and blog hits. Not a good way to potty train.

    True enough, but we reinforce trolls with attention too. I’ve never noticed anyone refraining from the later, so I hardly would expect folks to avoid the former.
    It is my understanding that adblock software blocks blog hits as well.

    BS

  344. #349 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php

    Nice! Sounds like classic pwnge.
    I do hope for Walton’s sake that Lambert has gotten all the peerage protocol correct.

  345. #350 Sili
    February 12, 2010

    I’m very pleased to report that (some) ‘ordinary’ Americans seem to fully comprehend the issues surrounding climate change. It’s very easy to forget that there might be hope, when the blogs I follow all focus on reporting on the denialist nutcases.

  346. #351 David Marjanovi?
    February 12, 2010

    only 4 children, he must be slacking off

    Or the others are all elder than he, and he’ll catch up by the time he reaches their age.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php

    :-) :-) :-)

  347. #352 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    The Kw*k is strong in this one.

    Oh and btw that was pretty funny.

  348. #353 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    True enough, but we reinforce trolls with attention too. I’ve never noticed anyone refraining from the later, so I hardly would expect folks to avoid the former.

    Confirmation bias. With any given troll, there are quite a few people who decide to ignore them to starve them of attention, at different points in the troll’s “career”. What is interesting occasionally is which people killfile which trolls…people have some oddly different sensibilities, from what I’ve seen.

    It is my understanding that adblock software blocks blog hits as well.

    If that’s the case, I might check out the train wreck. I felt morally obliged not to contribute to his well-being in any manner based on his current asshattery, and even adding to blog hits seemed a bit too much for my taste.

  349. #354 A. Noyd
    February 12, 2010

    Walton (#262)

    Perhaps I wasn’t a rational conservative voice, since I’ve completely changed my outlook since then.

    Well, isn’t the definition of a rational conservative one who eventually changes into a liberal? Mwahaha!

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Paul W. (#276)

    OK, the new thread at Greg’s is not quite such a trainwreck.

    The people spewing the “yes, that’s totally anti-Semitism or could be if the person reading was a naive little puppy-wuppy (unlike me!) and how dare you stomp the puppy-wuppies, SC!!!, you would-be maybe-accidental Nazi” bullshit kind of made me rage. Made me rage enough to call them all out. For all the good it will do. *sigh*

  350. #355 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    Depilitating, from a debilitating depilation?

    On further reflection, I suspect a likelier cause is the rhythm-rhyme with ‘depilatory’, which is the form in which I (and probably many others) first encounter the word, in connection with ‘cream’.

    (I was a swimmer, OK? My relay went to the State meet.)

    (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

  351. #356 Tulse
    February 12, 2010

    I have just been given a bottle of Bruichladdich [...] how the fsck is it pronounced?

    I typically see it represented as “brook-laddie”, although you have to sound like you’re swallowing your tonsils on the first syllable.

  352. #357 windy
    February 12, 2010
    I like both Smoggy and 386sx, I’m never quite sure how to interact with you two though.

    Not at all. Just sit back and enjoy. :-)

    That’s what I usually do, but I don’t think that was the kind of interaction that 386sx was talking about.

  353. #358 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    Back again from Hammond.*

    Just curious as to whether anyone has ever encountered ‘Elaine’, ‘Irene’, or ‘Dunnigan’ previous to these thread?

    *[look, Sarge, I'm speakin' metaphor!]

  354. #359 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Here are three covers that I like.

    Within You Without You-Sonic Youth

    Break On Through-Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog

    I Put A Spell On You-Diamanda Galás

    I will leave it to you to figure out which two of the three originals I like.

    On a different note, that is a field that is not only salted but there is broken glass and rusty syringes buried in the dirt. SC, the advise given to trolls here is to stop digging. While I think SC is in the right, it does not seem that any amount of arguing are going to convince some of those people. Shit, Irene seems to be as foolish as any troll who has tripped and fell through this blog.

    Isn’t time to just withdraw? It just seems to be a lot of frustration and getting nothing in return.

  355. #360 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    [Incidentally, in real-live meatspace I have been to Hammond many times in my life, though all before 1985, because my father grew up there. My grandfather was a railroad man on the Nickel Plate line. Yet I never heard the story of that wreck until somebody (Owl? Wow?) linked it here.]

  356. #361 blf
    February 12, 2010

    John Morales@261, yeah, I got one of those as well as a few days ago. Like you, my comment was indeed posted, and I also don’t recall ever seeing the message before. It was so weird I saved a copy:

    Comment Submission Error
    Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:
    Publish failed: Renaming tempfile ‘/var/www/vhosts/scienceblogs.com/html/pharyngula/2010/02/now_ive_got_that_song_stuck_in.php.new’ failed: Renaming ‘/var/www/vhosts/scienceblogs.com/html/pharyngula/2010/02/now_ive_got_that_song_stuck_in.php.new’ to ‘/var/www/vhosts/scienceblogs.com/html/pharyngula/2010/02/now_ive_got_that_song_stuck_in.php’ failed: No such file or directory

    I haven’t bothered trying to report it to the SciBorg’s webmaster since, last I checked (c.2 weeks ago), that e-mail is still b0rked.

  357. #362 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010
  358. #363 Feynmaniac
    February 12, 2010

    Wow…just when I think I’ve seen it all heddle comes to the defense of SC!

  359. #364 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    Just curious as to whether anyone has ever encountered ‘Elaine’, ‘Irene’, or ‘Dunnigan’ previous to these thread?

    I actually looked up “Elaine” earlier. Found a couple of hits, but didn’t bother to click on them. I wouldn’t put it past them at all. (Though I can’t imagine anyone being strange enough to create a clueless buffoon like Irene as a sockpuppet.)

    Isn’t time to just withdraw? It just seems to be a lot of frustration and getting nothing in return.

    I withdrew a few hours ago. I don’t know if he realizes the damage he’s done, out of vanity it seems more than anything else. I hope he does eventually. Of course it’s already too late to undo a lot of it – the false seed is planted in people’s minds.

    I’ve said what I had to say. And when the ones speaking out against what he’s doing are people I respect like you guys and Russell Blackford – whom I very much admire even though I’ve disagreed with him in the past (never did tell him how cute I thought his “Mark my words…I told you so” posts concerning the Yoko Ono lawsuit were…) – and those mindlessly supporting it are people like Irene, Elaine, and Dunnigan, I’m pretty comfortable with the long-term prospects.

  360. #365 blf
    February 12, 2010

    I have just been given a bottle of Bruichladdich … And how the fsck is it pronounced?

    Not sure, but drinking it helps. Probably.

  361. #366 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    Wow…just when I think I’ve seen it all heddle comes to the defense of SC!

    Now I really am speechless.

  362. #367 windy
    February 12, 2010

    Pharyngula gets a huge number of views and commenters, not all of them American. Why feel so safe in assuming that there isn’t a wolf in sheep’s clothing among them? If Gee is right about anti-Semitism being all too common even among respectable people, then the chances of there being rot in your midst are higher than you might think.

    Indeed! We must ever be vigilant to the dangers of allowing the decadent, non-apple-pie-loving European rot to establish itself! In fact I happen to know that many here are already admirers of long ‘pamphlets’ written by a charismatic if socially awkward young man who hails from Austria! WHERE WILL IT END?? Wake up people!!

  363. #368 blf
    February 12, 2010

    We must ever be vigilant to the dangers of allowing the decadent, non-apple-pie-loving European rot to establish itself!

    You mean like the poopyhead himself going to, oh, I dunno, Ireland?

  364. #369 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Wow…just when I think I’ve seen it all heddle comes to the defense of SC!

    My eyeballs are sitting on my lap.

  365. #370 David Marjanovi?
    February 12, 2010

    windy, my stomach tries to rotate and presses most painfully against the liver and the pancreas. :-}

  366. #371 windy
    February 12, 2010

    You know who else had stomach problems? ;)

  367. #372 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 12, 2010

    I smell Godwin!

  368. #373 Tulse
    February 12, 2010

    Wow…just when I think I’ve seen it all heddle comes to the defense of SC!

    Heddle may be many things, but in his own way he is scrupulously honest and fair.

  369. #374 Paul W.
    February 12, 2010

    Kudos to Heddle.

    I gotta say, I’m surprised and pleased, and it’s bizarre in a way… but it doesn’t actually seem out of character for Heddle to do that, IMHO.

    I find his religious views to be bizarre and… well… wrong, wrong, wrong, but he isn’t just an adversarial troll who wouldn’t stand up for somebody he disagrees with about something else.

    (Then again, I’m not a Heddle expert. I generally ignore most conversations he’s in. YMMV)

    Ah… I see Tulse just posted a similar sentiment.

  370. #375 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmHzDpTLP2mp-qpt639sa9q2J8Wl4QREfQ
    February 12, 2010

    Er PZ today is Friday, I have noticed something missing from the main blog (as of 20;20 GMT-which is what I am on) I hope the fact the Friday Cephalopod is absent doesn?t mean there is a problem at PZ towers but it is just late.
    If we can help just let us all know someone will have the HTMLfu to post one.

  371. #376 Sili
    February 12, 2010

    You know who else had stomach problems? ;)

    Darwin?

  372. #377 davem
    February 12, 2010

    Just curious as to whether anyone has ever encountered ‘Elaine’, ‘Irene’, or ‘Dunnigan’ previous to these thread?

    I was starting to think that they were Stephanie’s sock puppets myself. They all have the inability to read a simple sentence and come to the obvious meaning, rather than reading what they desperately want to read – anti-semitism.

    Greg has now posted that he doesn’t want any more criticism. He’s completely lost it, as far as I’m concerned, and needs to make a lot of apologies before he gets any credibility back.

  373. #378 fermata
    February 12, 2010

    Hello! I’m new here (from Europe), just recently interested in this great blog because of a long term debate with a creationist friend, would you someone recommend some other great atheist pages also on the net? You know FAQ-style, like how to argue with creationists, or info about evolutionary origins of religion.. :)

  374. #379 David Marjanovi?
    February 12, 2010

    Greg has now posted that he doesn’t want any more criticism.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

  375. #380 Kel, OM
    February 12, 2010

    You know FAQ-style, like how to argue with creationists

    Only site you’ll ever need: http://talkorigins.org/

  376. #381 Sili
    February 12, 2010

    Not sure, but drinking it helps. Probably.

    I’ll try that at some point. (That’s why I suggest a bottle instead of a gift basket or a new phone – I knew full well that I’d never get myself to actually fork over the money for some good stuff.) It’ll just have to wait for the next time I have guests over.

    Also I need tumblers. Does anyone here have the knowhow to cut ‘highball’/’Collins’ glasses down?

  377. #382 fermata
    February 12, 2010

    Thanks Kel, looks good :)

  378. #383 Paul W.
    February 12, 2010

    My latest contra Sgt. Z over at Greg’s:

    I fail to see what’s “diminishing the scope of the problem” by pointing out, correctly and relevantly, that it isn’t normal for someone to accuse people in the course of a debate of desiring to torch synagogues and perpetrate a holocaust.

    It isn’t. My Jewish friends don’t resort to that, without good reason—which there evidently was not—and would be astonished by any denial that it isn’t normal.

    Imagine SC had said, in that context, that it is normal for (Jewish) people to accuse people in the course of a debate of desiring to torch synagogues and perpetrate a holocaust.

    Holy crap.

    That would be tantamount to saying that Jews cannot and should not be reasoned with, and that would be horrendously antisemitic, as well as being blatantly false.

    Some things Stephanie is saying—and the degree to which she strains at such things—seem to indicate that she thinks that Jews cannot and should not be reasoned with.

    I don’t think she thinks that, but she’s arguing a very weird position here, which seems to amount to advising people not to get into arguments with Jews—even if they come onto your turf and pick a fight—because if they falsely accuse you of being genocidal, you’re seriously fucked and can do no right. If you argue with a Jew, and they play the Nazi card, you lose.

    That can’t be right.

    I’m sorry, but I have a considerably more respect for Jews than that, based on long experience. I am quite certain that most are not Henry Gee, or even close.

  379. #384 Kamaka
    February 12, 2010

    Does anyone here have the knowhow to cut ‘highball’/’Collins’ glasses down?

    Bandsaw.

  380. #385 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    To think, once you guys get tired of wasting time on Greg/Stephanie he’ll actually have to come up with something interesting to get back on the Top 5 most active.

    Taking bets on whether we’ll see “Congo Memoirs” mark 2 or “Glenn Beck someone and call them names when they get mad at being misrepresented” mark 2. Of course, I’ll have to take your word for it, because there’s no way I’m following that blog after the way he’s composed himself this last week.

  381. #386 Stephen Wells
    February 12, 2010

    StephanieZ posted this gem at me: “Stephen, I see no evidence that you’re actually happy that Greg posted the language he was referring to. I do see quite a bit of evidence that you’re invested in me being wrong about…whatever. Given all that, I conclude that you’re less than sincere.”

    Blink. Blink.

    She said I no happy. I said I happy. She say I lying and I not happy.

  382. #387 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Walton

    But Thatcher was trying to make the point that societies are not entities in themselves; they consist of individual men and women. In and of themselves, societies don’t produce anything or own anything; and it’s simply nonsense to talk of someone “owing a debt” to society, or, conversely, to talk of society “owing someone” a living. Individuals produce things, and when you rely on society, you really rely on the efforts of other individuals. In short, she was trying to de-anthropomorphise society.

    Thatcher had no particular expertise in either anthropology or sociology, both of which study society or culture. Societies are composed of individuals, yes, but they, like humans, are more than the sum of their parts (thanks for the metaphor, Miki Z). You can “owe a debt” to society because you benefit from the privileges of society. Those benefits are more than the benefits of simply living in close proximity to your conspecifics. The society/culture existence is an interesting debate.

    Bill Dauphin,

    Some people are stupid,

    And most people are average. That’s something that’s hard to come to terms with, especially when you’re used to interacting with the intelligent and highly educated (those are two separate, yet overlapping groups). On top of that, many people of all intelligence levels have no intellectual curiosity. In many cases they live lives that provide no challenge to the ideas and beliefs their parents handed down to them, whereas others actively seek lives that insulate them from contrary views so that they are never challenged to think in any significant way. That’s one thing that sets Walton apart from many conservatives e.g. the American Tea Party Movement.

    I think you’re absolutely right about how many people just can’t understand that there are evil people out there who want to tear down the institutions that serve society so well. It has only been in the last few years that I’ve come to know a few people who are evil in this manner. They don’t respond to either empathy or rational argument. They truly embody the “I’ve got mine, fuck you.” mentality of fringe libertarianism. It’s difficult to interact with people who understand the rather dramatic consequences of destroying public education, social security, social welfare programs, FEMA, etc. and still support getting rid of these institutions. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that the evil people never think they will be the ones to suffer the most severe of the consequences of their ideas.

  383. #388 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Pygmy Loris (@387):

    The sad thing, as I argued way upthread, is that the I’ve got mine; fuck you attitude isn’t limited to the evil people: We’ve been so steeped in the Reagan-era mantra of government sucks, so look out for No. 1 that by now, even people who are well intentioned and think they’re liberals often end up going along with tax-cut/budget-cut ideology that passes for “moderate” here in the U.S., however right-wing it looks from the vantage point of the rest of the developed world.

    llewelly linked to an article that discussed the defunding of local government in Colorado Springs, and it included the line “There are two kinds of conservatives: millionaires and suckers.” My response was that the suckers are really just people who think they might be millionaires someday, and are therefore willing to vote against their own current interests in order to preserve their hope of “pie in the sky by and by.”

    The thing is, those suckers aren’t necessarily evil; they’re just hopeful… and that makes them easy to seduce into supporting evil policies. Frankly, I’m somewhat stumped as to how to even start changing this situation.

  384. #389 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Bill,

    I remember that. I don’t understand the internalization among liberals of the government doesn’t work mentality. My grandfather receives his social security check on the same day every month. When my friend’s house caught fire the firefighters were there within minutes to fight the blaze. My friends’ children go to schools everyday that provide and education at no cost to them.

    I have a couple of acquaintances who say that Katrina proved the government wasn’t capable of responding to disaster. Why don’t they understand that the problem wasn’t “the government” in a general sense, but rather that those who were supposed to be governing abused their positions to appoint friends to important administration positions rather than people with actual qualifications? Why don’t they understand that the Rethuglicans are serious when they say they want to defund government so that people will think it doesn’t work and will support the dismantling of our most important institutions? I don’t get it. The residents of wingnutistan outright state their intentions, yet people simply don’t believe that anyone could be serious about dismantling the government. It’s so freaking infuriating!

  385. #390 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    We’ve been so steeped in the Reagan-era mantra of government sucks, so look out for No. 1 that by now, even people who are well intentioned and think they’re liberals often end up going along with tax-cut/budget-cut ideology that passes for “moderate” here in the U.S., however right-wing it looks from the vantage point of the rest of the developed world.

    That’s such a true, concise statement, Bill. It’s truly amazing how out of touch most US people are. As you said, they have no idea how extreme and right-wing these ideas are – they actually think they’re “centrist” or “liberal.” The rest of the world scratches its head.

  386. #391 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    “There are two kinds of conservatives: millionaires and suckers.” My response was that the suckers are really just people who think they might be millionaires someday, and are therefore willing to vote against their own current interests in order to preserve their hope of “pie in the sky by and by.”

    I agree with llewelly, Bill. I personally know conservatives that have absolutely no interest or expectation of being millionaires someday. They align with the government sucks, so look out for No. 1 measures without recognizing that they are not in their own best interests, currently or in the future. And if they recognize that it is not in their own best interest (this is fairly rare), that just means their beliefs are so justified and right that they’re willing to sacrifice to do the right thing. These would be a subset of the suckers, not all of whom fit your characterization. It may be relevant that I work mostly with engineers who are more interested in building interesting gadgets than accumulating wealth, yet are still in a right-wing, religious area and absorb the talking points with little filtering for rationality.

  387. #392 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    Knockgoats, you’ve posted the same thing on Laden’s blog four times now. Are you not seeing your previous posts?

  388. #393 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Laden’s turned on the moderation, because he’s concerned about people not following the rules. Here’s what I posted, which is currently being held in moderation:

    there will be no bashing of the blogger (me) of the person who whom this missive was written (Salty Current). . . I’ve noticed that some of you are not following the rules of this thread. Don’t make me warn you again.

    Says the man who opened up his blog as a platform for publicly bashing and misrepresenting her. That’s rich, Laden.

  389. #394 SEF
    February 12, 2010

    Some C of E people, who are also union members, whinge that freezing their pay is not “Christian behaviour”. It’s clear that what they’re demanding there is a pay rise. It doesn’t even seem to occur to them that taking a pay cut would be more consistent with story-book Christianity (though not the real-world, greedy, evil version).

    (Either that or they should have taken their religious “talents” and made extra money out of them themselves, eg by inventing their own religion and investing in their own religious scams, in order to qualify for being given more.)

  390. #395 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Pharyngulites, mind if I stir the pot even more? The King of Concern himself is warning about how he’s going to prevent anonymous commenting on his blog, because it promotes incivility. Guess that means his average comment count will go from 3 to 0.

    And yes, the post carries the obligatory Simpering, Soft-Sounding Title With Au Courant Lingo Playing the Role of Plain Language(TM):

    The Right Room for a Dialogue

    Ooooo, baby, great hair. . .wanna dialogue with me?

  391. #396 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Paul (@391):

    I agree with llewelly, Bill.

    First, let me be clear: The quote about millionaires and suckers was from an article llewelly linked to; I didn’t mean to put words in his/her mouth.

    Next, it was admittedly careless of me to suggest that my characterizaton was valid for all the “suckers.”

    Still further, I didn’t mean to suggest that people consciously make the calculation, “I know this is bad for me, but it’s good for millionaires, and I’m going to be a millionaire someday, so I’ll vote for it anyway.” Rather, I meant to suggest that people internalize the aspirational aspects of the “American dream,” and therefore (mostly unconsciously) vote as if they were already members of the privileged class they aspire to join… without realizing that the policies they’re voting for are not in their best interests in the meantime.

    I actually don’t think we’re in much disagreement here.

  392. #397 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    OK – I’m shocked. Greg Laden actually altered a post of mine by editing it and putting words in my mouth that I didn’t write. Here’s what I actually submitted:

    Says the man who opened up his blog as a platform for publicly bashing and misrepresenting her.

    Here’s what he actually posted, with his addition in bold type added by me:

    Says the man who opened up his blog as a platform for publicly bashing and misrepresenting her. That’s rich, Laden. But what do I know, I’m a moron.

    Whoa! Am I off-base in thinking it’s totally, completely uncool and unacceptable to do that?

  393. #398 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    I wasn’t sure, Bill, but it did seem you were equivocating directly between “suckers” and “people who hope (subconsciously or no) to be millionaires” (which is actually why I didn’t want to say I disagree with you, as I wasn’t sure :-) ). With the addendum, I don’t think there is any disagreement. I’ve had similar thoughts myself in the past.

  394. #399 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    Whoa! Am I off-base in thinking it’s totally, completely uncool and unacceptable to do that?

    That’s a pretty big line to cross. Attributing words to someone they didn’t say, in a manner that nobody could tell he had altered them? The guy is unhinged. No idea what his damage is, but he keeps digging and digging.

  395. #400 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Paul, I thought so too. I can’t believe it. For clarification, I did write “that’s rich, Laden.” I accidentally deleted that in my post above. The moron portion is entirely Laden’s, though. And no, you can’t tell that he wrote it. . .he left it in the same typeface and line-structure as my original post.

  396. #401 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    The guy is unhinged. No idea what his damage is, but he keeps digging and digging.

    It’s so bizarre that I’m genuinely wondering if something really serious is going on with him. I mean that honestly, without sarcasm, and without ill-will.

  397. #402 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    *stomps in*
    Damn, but I’m mad at NBC. They just showed the luge accident video THREE TIMES. God. And I get CBC but not CTV, so I can’t switch to Canadian coverage of the Olympics this time. NBC, snuff film central.
    Oh, and now they’re showing a video helpfully telling us Mericans what Canadians are like. Argh. I need a drink.

    *looks around*
    Oh, sorry. Let the Laden bashing continue.

  398. #403 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Damn, but I’m mad at NBC.

    Sorry I can’t join in on that, Carlie, as I don’t have TV (so I’m totally out of touch), but I’ll join you on the drinking part!

  399. #404 John Morales
    February 12, 2010

    Josh, WTF?!

    <checks> Yup.

    Despicable.

  400. #405 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Josh,

    Oh. My. FSM. That’s just completely unacceptable. How fucking sleazy.

  401. #406 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Carlie,

    ugh. I had no idea there had been an accident (I don’t watch the news until 9:00 CST). It’s really sad that the man died, but why does NBC have to show the video over and over. That’s just creepy voyeurism.

  402. #407 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Also just saw that there was a shooting at the Univ. of Alabama Huntsville – three faculty dead, two in critical condition, at least one more injured but stable. :( It was a biology faculty who had just been denied tenure that day and went into the afternoon faculty meeting.

  403. #408 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    It was a biology faculty who had just been denied tenure that day and went into the afternoon faculty meeting.

    HOLY SHIT GET OUT OF HERE

  404. #409 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    And no, you can’t tell that he wrote it. . .he left it in the same typeface and line-structure as my original post.

    Ok, now that’s frightening. Not in any way comparable to all of the tragedies of today frightening, but in a “what on earth is actually happening in his head, because this has gone from hyperbolically unhinged to literally unhinged.”

  405. #410 Katrina
    February 12, 2010

    I don’t have TV either, but since Carlie mentioned it, I checked out the news. He was clocked at 88mph/142kph just before he lost control of his luge and hit that metal support head first.

    I don’t miss TV. At all.

    If I can’t see it on hulu or netflix, I probably didn’t want to watch it anyway.

  406. #411 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 12, 2010

    they’re showing a video helpfully telling us Mericans what Canadians are like. Argh. I need a drink.

    Remember, Canadians drink Molson or Lablat beer.

  407. #412 A. Noyd
    February 12, 2010

    Oh yeah, he’s lost it well and truly: 160-164.

  408. #413 Walton
    February 12, 2010

    Bill Dauphin, Pygmy Loris, et al.:

    I think the problem largely arises when people repeat political slogans as though they were universal laws of nature. In the real world, government intervention is neither uniformly bad nor uniformly good; it’s good in some situations and bad in others, depending on the circumstances and the social goals we’re trying to achieve. Reagan’s statement that “government is the problem” shouldn’t be read as laying down a universal rule that government can never be the right solution to anything. Leaving aside the question of whether Reagan was right, his slogan was a response to a specific set of problems and socio-economic conditions. It doesn’t mean that government action can never be justified in any situation. (Indeed, Reagan himself certainly didn’t follow the same approach in every policy decision; he massively expanded the role of government with regards to defence and foreign intervention, for instance.) Any conservative or libertarian today who simply repeats “government is the problem” as a mantra, as if it were applicable equally to every circumstance, is just an idiot, and has a very shallow understanding of political and economic theory.

    There are some things that government should be doing, because they just can’t be done adequately by the private sector: policing, fire services, emergency management, the military, social security, conservation, and so on. These achieve broader social goals which can’t be attained by profit-motivated individual action alone. At the same time, there are other things that government is bad at, and that the private sector, with the laws of supply-and-demand, does much better: the manufacture and supply of consumer goods, for example. And there are still other areas in which a mix of government and private action is appropriate, such as education and health care.

    There’s plenty of room for legitimate debate over what belongs in each category. But someone who simply says “government is the problem”, and insists on cutting every government service regardless of any evidence as to its usefulness, is not helping matters. Nor, equally, would it be useful to repeat a mantra like “government is good” or “government saves lives” and to offer legislative action as the right solution to every real or perceived social problem. Rather, the sensible thing is to look at evidence, determine the social and economic objectives we want to attain, and decide which services should be provided by government, which by the private sector, and which by a combination of both.

  409. #414 Katrina
    February 12, 2010

    In other news: A former Blackwater employee claims Blackwater charged the government for prostitutes.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/12/blackwater.suit/index.html

  410. #415 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    story on alabama.

    The shooter was a woman, which is highly unusual (first of its kind, apparently). She was also taken into custody alive, which also doesn’t happen often. The article I just linked to, though, spends a lot of real estate on some student who had a concealed carry petition turned down and says that she’d feel safer if everyone on campus was packing heat. ‘Cause of course in a chaotic situation like someone opening fire in a lecture hall, she would have the presence of mind and accuracy to take out the shooter without hurting anyone else.

  411. #416 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    ‘Cause of course in a chaotic situation like someone opening fire in a lecture hall, she would have the presence of mind and accuracy to take out the shooter without hurting anyone else.

    Of course. And if you don’t immediately assent to that impervious logic, you hate America. And you’re a feminazi bitch. And a faggot. And stuff.

  412. #417 Feynmaniac
    February 12, 2010

    Whoa! Am I off-base in thinking it’s totally, completely uncool and unacceptable to do that?

    Totally uncool. Just, wow….

  413. #418 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Since Laden is doing that sort of editing, it’ll be a very long time before I go back to his blog.

  414. #419 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    Hey, I’m on Laden’s list of people whose comments get held for moderation. For calling out Stephanie for false equivalence. Nice.

  415. #420 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Watch your posts, Paul. They’re likely to come out with words inserted by Greg, word that look like you wrote them.

  416. #421 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    In moderation, we’ll see if it goes. I wasn’t exactly measured, but that shit was ridiculous:

    Seriously Paul? Really?

    No, and don’t put those words in my mouth. You’ve been fucking slandering SC for days with shit like calling her “Salty Cracks” while refusing to actually answer to anything she said. If you said nothing, that is one thing. When you present things in a one sided fashion to make someone look bad, you do not deserve any such assumption of fairness (which is what I was talking about, Stephanie’s assertion that you and her deserve the same assumption of innocence that SC does in this situation).

  417. #422 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    That’s just, like, the worst blogbehavior I have ever heard of. Beyond buffoon, Laden is a dick, as I previously publicly suspected. *shrug* Lotta guys are.
    Who can police the thread-police?
    We are lucky that teh CO is not really so E.

    I noticed, btw, that dendy received the banhammer. Anybody have a link?

  418. #423 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    I should add that if he had said nothing, the issue wouldn’t have came up in the first place because he would not have implied SC is an anti-semite. I wasn’t really thinking clearly while typing, because he’s seriously being ridiculous at this point.

  419. #424 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Sven, the most frustrating part is that I’m unable to let anyone else there know that I didn’t write that. Laden won’t let any of my comments through now. That’s the most douchebaggy behavior I’ve ever, ever seen.

  420. #425 RMM Barrie
    February 12, 2010

    Walton @ 413

    Agreed, but where is your action plan to get it done?

    Or as Bill Dauphin, OM said

    Frankly, I’m somewhat stumped as to how to even start changing this situation.

  421. #426 Lynna, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Josh, Official SpokesGay (and I still love your nick), Laden adding words to your post and not identifying them as his addition is … well, unbelievable. Can you imagine PZ ever doing that? No, you can’t, because to do something like that says, “I have no personal integrity.”

    I’ve admired and enjoyed some of Laden’s past posts, so I can only assume that he’s lost perspective through some emotional or even physical problem. I was trying to think up an excuse for his attributing words to you that you didn’t post, and the only thing I can come up with is that he intended to identify the addition as his snide comment, but he messed up the formatting and failed to do so. Seems highly unlikely — he could have posted the snide comment without including it in your post.

  422. #427 David Marjanovi?
    February 12, 2010

    Weather: Frozen! :-) There’s still some snow left, even though today was sunny enough for much to sublimate.

    Jadehawk has left me alone on the “Religion: adaptation or byproduct?” thread to deal with both Frankosaurus and Hyperon! :-( They’re so clueless! So ignorant! Have they never known any babies personally?!?

    The thing is, those suckers aren’t necessarily evil; they’re just hopeful… and that makes them easy to seduce into supporting evil policies. Frankly, I’m somewhat stumped as to how to even start changing this situation.

    And then come the pessimists and say that America was founded on escapism. <way too smug grin>

    No, I think education can fix this in the long run. That means funding the public schools properly. And that means… hey, look, a vicious circle. Please stand by while I get my holy wrath.

    Oh, while I am at it: China has completely privatized its health insurance market. It’s worse than in the USA: basically, there are hospitals for rich and hospitals for poor people, and the old people just die at home. I can still laugh about China now needs to introduce socialism, but then I can also laugh about the decades-long joke that is North Korea… :-|

    No, actually, at half past 2 at night I can’t laugh at those anymore.

    Why don’t they understand that the problem wasn’t “the government” in a general sense, but rather that those who were supposed to be governing abused their positions to appoint friends to important administration positions rather than people with actual qualifications? Why don’t they understand that the Rethuglicans are serious when they say they want to defund government so that people will think it doesn’t work and will support the dismantling of our most important institutions?

    Because they don’t know any better.

    And that’s because they get all their information, little as it is, from Faux Noise and/or other Reptilian propaganda outlets.

    It doesn’t even seem to occur to them that taking a pay cut would be more consistent with story-book Christianity

    …on their side. On the employers’ side, a pay raise would be more consistent with it.

    Greg Laden actually altered a post of mine by editing it and putting words in my mouth that I didn’t write.

    WTF.

    o_O

    O_o

    0.8 Tc. Needs professional help. Has been needing it for an unclear but long stretch of time, as shown by the fact that he got all the way to 0.8.

    What next?!? Will he make sockpuppets?

    I think PZ should blog about this whole clusterfuck.

    It was a biology faculty who had just been denied tenure that day and went into the afternoon faculty meeting.

    <headshake>

  423. #428 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Josh,

    He just gets sleazier and sleazier. That’s horribly dishonest behavior.

  424. #429 David Marjanovi?
    February 12, 2010

    A former Blackwater employee claims Blackwater charged the government for prostitutes.

    Why isn’t the whole company simply illegal. What happened to the violence monopoly of the state…

    …oh, right, the 2nd Amendment. Carry on. <headdesk>

    ‘Cause of course in a chaotic situation like someone opening fire in a lecture hall, she would have the presence of mind and accuracy to take out the shooter without hurting anyone else.

    One reason why I don’t miss Holbach and his violent hero fantasies.

    I noticed, btw, that dendy received the banhammer. Anybody have a link?

    To the comment where it happened? I’ve seen it, but don’t remember exactly which thread it was in and can’t look for it right now…

  425. #430 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Jadehawk has left me alone on the “Religion: adaptation or byproduct?” thread to deal with both Frankosaurus and Hyperon! :-( They’re so clueless! So ignorant! Have they never known any babies personally?!?

    Sorry, David, but you’re on your own. I killfiled both those cretins some time ago.

  426. #431 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    One of the best things about the Dungeon is that PZ links to the interns’ blogs.
    That’s class, to me.

  427. #432 John Morales
    February 12, 2010

    David,

    Jadehawk has left me alone on the “Religion: adaptation or byproduct?” thread to deal with both Frankosaurus and Hyperon!

    Yeah, I saw. I couldn’t muster the will to confront them, in particular the egregious Hyperon, but they’re clearly clueless about women.

  428. #433 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Sven, I will drop you off at the beginning of the end. PZ finally brings down the banhammer 141 comments later. There are lots of taunts by old fuckface in between. Have fun.

  429. #434 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    February 12, 2010

    Ronald Reagan said Government was the problem, and he and his successors have spent the last 30 years trying to make it so. I was in college in 1980, and I saw the man speak. He was utterly incoherent.

    But there were a lot of boarded up shops all over the US, we had people held hostage in Iran and Jimmy Carter was telling us we had a bad case of malaise.

    Ronald Reagan may have been the worst President we ever had–mainly because he systematically dismantled the civil service, which was the mechansim by which we’d survived all the other crappy presidents we’d had. Now government has no autopilot, so when Junior got the keys to the country in 2000, I knew it was going to be bad. Sure enough, Junior crashed the country, just like he crashed Arbusto petroleum and every other thing he’d touched. And damned if in ten years you don’t have Republican Congressmen trying to pull the same crap with Bush they did with Reagan. Mark my words, I expect to see both these bastards up on Mt. Rushmore someday, even if they have to chisel them out of Thomas Jefferson’s forehead.

  430. #435 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    I’m going to engage in a bit of needless nationalism here.

    The Star Spangled Banner is just so much more awesome than O Canada.*

    However, the young woman who sang the anthem just now for the Opening Ceremony was phenomenal.

    *I do like O Canada and actually know all the words from years of going to baseball games. For some reason we always got tickets for when our team was playing the Expos, so they always played both anthems before the games. This might be where my love for national anthems comes from. I think it’s interesting what different countries choose to represent them. I just wish American TV showed more of the medal ceremonies where other countries win gold. It’s really cool to hear the national anthems and see the athletes mouth along with them.

  431. #436 Desert Son, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Carlie, thanks for the update, sad to hear about that.

    Concealed carry was recently an issue here at UT Austin. I wonder how many of those who advocate for concealed carry, or even open carry for that matter, would actually prove to be cool heads in a firefight. I know there are numerous people who handle firearms with the caution, expertise, and proficiency that makes for safe ownership. I’m personally conflicted over the firearms issues that we have in the states, as I own one and come from a family that has long owned them and used them safely.

    Ggranted, the rifle I own is a muzzle loader, so it’s not likely to do me much good in a surprise personal defense situation as anything other than a club: “Pardon me, intruder in my domicile, will you allow me the 30-seconds-to-1-minute I require to pour powder, seat and ram patch and ball [IYKWIMAITYD], pull the cocking trigger, set the hammer on half-cock, fish out and afix a percussion cap, pull the hammer to full-cock, raise, aim, and fire, in my defense? Perhaps we could adjourn outside and settle this at 10 paces?” To say nothing of whether I’d have the psychological fortitude to actually use a firearm to shoot at someone, and here’s hoping I never have to find out.

    But I worry that for everyone who took firearm safety seriously, and diligently attended to it, there’d be one or more who were just looking to “get strapped,” and in the event of some disgruntled lunatic bent on solving a job/relationship/philosophical issue with gunplay, would do far more harm than good. Firefights are crazy, with noise, confusion, adrenaline, and panic. Every year there are hunters who fail to adequately assess what’s behind the animal they’re stalking, and someone gets hurt. Suddenly that situation is transported into a busy classroom, and with the potential for numerous firearms available? It’s sobering to say the least.

    I don’t have an answer on this. But I worry that many people imagine that in a desperate situation they’d be Wyatt Earp at the O.K. Corral, when the reality is it takes a lot of time, practice, and careful attention to get there (to say nothing of the role pure chance plays in those circumstances.

    Total information overload aside, but I’m also sad to hear about the luge accident. Need to get some dinner, and probably sign off. Long day, long week, I’m tired. Anyway, thanks for the updates, y’all.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  432. #437 Feynmaniac
    February 12, 2010

    Jadehawk has left me alone on the “Religion: adaptation or byproduct?” thread to deal with both Frankosaurus and Hyperon!

    Normally I wouldn’t bother with them, but for some reason my SIWOTI syndrome is strong tonight.

  433. #438 RMM Barrie
    February 12, 2010

    Pygmy Loris @ 435

    The Star Spangled Banner is just so much more awesome than O Canada

    What, because there are no bombs bursting instead of just standing on guard?

  434. #439 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    Fuck. Did Laden really do that? I was actually having a polite exchange with him at the Great Moments in Evolution thread. I just asked him if he is adding words to peoples posts without attribution. We will see if the comment goes through.

    Bs

  435. #440 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Carlie:

    Damn, but I’m mad at NBC.

    I dunno…. Maybe showing it three times was a bit much, but I thought generally they handled it like a straight-ahead news story, with reasonable dignity. And they did warn viewers before showing the video. I don’t really have much of a beef with them.

  436. #441 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    Yes, it went through. Now do I get an answer?

    Personal note: I don’t have a TV either. I’m rather pleased to learn I am not alone in this matter. Also Hulu doesn’t work because of the slow connection.
    Saw my first human face today after 5 days of isolation due to snowfall and other unrelated factors.

    BS

  437. #442 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    He deleted my post. He’s lost it completely.

    BS

  438. #443 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Bill – I could have handled a picture of it, but to show the video crosses a line for me personally. Watching a person actually die is just too voyeuristic for me.

  439. #444 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    RMM Barrie,

    What, because there are no bombs bursting instead of just standing on guard?

    Actually it’s the last two lines of the first verse “Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

    It actually brings tears every time I sing it. Maybe I should specify that I like the first two verses of my national anthem. The third is just gross and the final has that god crap in it. This is why I oppose changing the national anthem to God Bless America or America the Beautiful. We don’t need god in our anthem.

  440. #445 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 12, 2010

    PL (@435):

    The Star Spangled Banner is just so much more awesome than O Canada.*

    However, the young woman who sang the anthem just now for the Opening Ceremony was phenomenal.

    I actually feel just the opposite: Despite being a loyal American, I think the Canadian flag and O Canada totally pwn the SSB and our flag. That said, while I agree the young woman who sang O Canada tonight was very good, I hated that draggy arrangement.

  441. #446 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    The Georgian delegation was so sad. I read a news report about the accident and they said the track in Vancouver is one of the most dangerous in the world. Athletes are calling it the 50-50. It must be terribly frightening to be competing on that thing.

  442. #447 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    Ha!
    Thanks, Janine. I see that I missed the ban by 5 comments and 9 minutes.

  443. #448 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Bill,

    TRAITOR!!! Liberal, commie bastard!!!! If you love Canada so much why don’t you go there!!1!!!!

    Okay, that actually hurt to write. :)

    The SSB pwns everyone on difficulty to sing. That’s why no one ever sings it properly. I’ve got news for all these pop stars they hire to do it at sporting events and such: the song has actual notes in it. I know when you’re hitting the wrong ones or making it up as you go along.

  444. #449 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    He deleted my post. He’s lost it completely.

    Yikes. This is so vexing. I administer the comments section for the organization I actually work for, and I would never, ever, consider altering a commenter’s words that way. If I have a problem with something a commenter says – for example, if they give out misleading information – I insert a comment [in brackets] and identify my comment as coming from the editor of the site. Or, I counter it with a post of my own.

    The only comments I delete are complete spam, or that are so off-topic and feckless they’d derail the thread. And in those rare cases, I write directly to the commenter to let them know (when time permits).

    Inserting words in a commenter’s mouth is (if I believed in it) a cardinal sin as far as I’m concerned. Deleting follow-up comments that question this action is a close second.

    I’ve tried to give Laden the benefit of the doubt, but I’m at teh Fuck Right Off Douchebag point.

  445. #450 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 12, 2010

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space #434

    Ronald Reagan may have been the worst President we ever had–mainly because he systematically dismantled the civil service, which was the mechansim by which we’d survived all the other crappy presidents we’d had.

    Working for the Treasury Department under Reagan was strange. Before him, while the appointed political leadership might posture and spin facts to meet ideology, the civil service wonks would just keep working, giving our political masters factual data for them to fold, spindle and mutilate. But when Reagan became Maximum Leader and Don Regan became Secretary of the Treasury, that changed.

    Regan was a strong proponent of “Reagonomics” and wanted everyone to support it. He would get position papers from underlings and, if they weren’t ideologically pure, would write “unsatisfactory” in red marker across the title page and kick them back to the originator. Often he wouldn’t tell us the unsatisfactory particulars. He was not liked nor highly regarded by the civil service or even the other Treasury political appointees.

    Regan’s replacement, James Baker, suffered from the same problem. Political purity was more important to him than reality. Fortunately he would listen to his Deputy Secretary, Dick Darman, who was a genuine economist and who would listen to us staff economists. Baker was a much more effective SecTreas than Regan, as shown by the Plaza Accord and the basic idea for the Baker Plan which was implemented in his successor’s Brady Plan

  446. #451 John Morales
    February 12, 2010

    Blind Squirrel, yeah, I saw that. First it was there, then it wasn’t.

    As good as a confession; and in such a classy way.

    (He’s getting page hits from me, for now, because I find the debacle fascinating — but once this is over, nevermore.)

  447. #452 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    @ Blind Squirrel:

    Personal note: I don’t have a TV either. I’m rather pleased to learn I am not alone in this matter.

    I haven’t had TV since I could no longer steal (with her permission) my neighbors’ cable and split the bill with her. I quickly found I didn’t miss it. And, when I’m subjected to it now in bars and airports, I actively resent being yelled at and condescended to by the idiots on “news” shows and by the fucking commercials. Once you’re weaned off it, you literally can’t stand watching it.

    This isn’t some smug “I don’t watch TV, and I look down on those who do” thing. Not at all. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying it. But I doubt I could ever go back to it. in my own house.

  448. #453 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    ‘nother TV-free domicile

  449. #454 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    My comment was: “Greg, are you really adding words to peoples posts with out attribution?” I think he has closed the thread. There has been no new posts for 20 minutes. I picture him trembling, cowering behind his sofa.

    BS

  450. #455 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    needless to say, I am a White Person

  451. #456 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    ‘nother TV-free domicile

    One good Clenched Tentacle Salute deserves another!

  452. #457 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    OMG, Sven, please don’t send me to Stuff White People Like. I’ll never, ever get to bed because I’ll be puking my guts out from laughter.

    If I may lower the discourse a notch or two, let me introduce you to People of Walmart. Yes, it’s classist. It’s not at all nice. It’s probably most unseemly, and ethically questionable. But I like it.

  453. #458 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    I’m going to go against the grain and say I love TV! The bf has the fancy TV (i.e. cable) and I watch it all the time. My house is essentially TVless ever since the digital transition. I don’t pick up enough signal to even watch broadcast TV anymore and I refuse to pay for it.

  454. #459 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Trainwreck :

    Did you also notice that Salty Current is the greatest bitch on the internet

    Damn, I knew it !!!

    :P

    Just curious as to whether anyone has ever encountered ‘Elaine’, ‘Irene’, or ‘Dunnigan’ previous to these thread?

    I had the same thought, Elaine maybe, it’s a common name, the 2 others pretty sure I hadn’t seen before.

    I don’t know if he realizes the damage he’s done

    I agree with David M, I think PZ should blog about this, because the damage is not only to Greg’s and his blogs reputation, but also to the reputation of Pharyngula readers and commenters, and of how people perceive the level and quality of discourse here.

    Inserting words in a commenter’s mouth is (if I believed in it) a cardinal sin as far as I’m concerned

    If this indeed occurred while your post was held in moderation, it would utterly ruin his credibility, or what’s left of it.

  455. #460 RMM Barrie
    February 12, 2010

    Pygmy Loris @ 444

    Agreed is the best two lines. The problem is the violence in the rest of it, and can get somewhat reflected with news events of this evening in the U.S.

    The Canadian anthem is boring, just like us in many ways, but is reflective of the country after we got away from singing God Save the Queen (King). Sorry Walton et al., but when we phoned and said we were leaving, that was it, no revolution to lose again.

    For those not familiar, since it is short, am pasting the English version:

    O Canada!
    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.

    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!

    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    As can be seen, the god parts are a mutual problem. At least our appeal is to a non existent entity, instead of war.

  456. #461 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Pygmy, girl, then leech off that boyfriend’s cable, absolutely! I’m too damned cheap to pay for it too, but I have no compunctions about soakin’ up other peoples’ TV shows if they invite me over. I pay for my high speed intertubes because I cannot go without my Pharyngulas, and other tube-based entertainments.

  457. #462 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    I think that inserting language into a comment without self-attribution, and then deleting comments that ask about it, should be grounds for getting kicked out of ScienceBlogs altogether.

    I’d go over and ask about it, but at this point I’m skeeved out just thinking of him having my email address as filled out on the comment form.

  458. #463 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    Post are getting through on Laden’s blog and are being deleted by the minute. Why doesn’t he just hold them all in moderation?

    BS

  459. #464 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    @Rorschach:

    Laden did, indeed, insert words into my post so as to make it seem I said things that I didn’t. I know, it’s really unbelievable. Read up in this thread for the details.

  460. #465 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    And yes, the post carries the obligatory Simpering, Soft-Sounding Title With Au Courant Lingo Playing the Role of Plain Language(TM):

    The Right Room for a Dialogue

    #12. And a no-holds-barred Bora Z. (who likely isn’t fond of me after this Gee thing):

    Attracting people of the same view assumes there are people of the same view. Also, formation of a defensive-to-dissenters echo-chamber in one’s comment threads is only possible where regular commenters respect the blogger. Since Matt has lost everyone’s respect a long time ago, people no more have any qualm about coming here and blasting him, and there’s not much of a defense army he can call upon to defend him in the comments.

    and

    Another thing that your post demonstrates is that you have no idea what blogging is.

    That’s exactly what I argued to Mooney a while back.

    ***

    Josh and others:

    Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I’m shocked.

    It’s so bizarre that I’m genuinely wondering if something really serious is going on with him. I mean that honestly, without sarcasm, and without ill-will.

    I am, too.

  461. #466 Greg Laden
    February 12, 2010

    449 Josh, Official SpokesGay

    What is the URL for your blog. I want access, and I want to say whatever comes to mind in the comments on your blog and I want you to like it. Would that be fair?

    Oh,wait, you don’t have a blog. You’re just some asshole who likes to temporarily own other people’s blogs.

    Do correct me if I’m wrong. But here, not on my blog. I just threw out the trash and I don’t like to do that too often.

    Any further comments on this issue that show up on my site will result in … me having my way with you.

  462. #467 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    I think he just changed another post and substituted the person’s nym for his e mail address. I’m not completely sure. Did anyone get a screen capture?

    BS

  463. #468 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Greg Laden:

    You put words in my mouth, and you made it seem as if I’d said them. That’s not fair play. You don’t have to allow me to comment on your blog. You have every right to ban me if you want, and you have every right to mock me or any comment I make on your blog.

    But you don’t have the ethical right to edit my comments to make it seem like I said things I didn’t say. That’s dirty pool. I wouldn’t do that to anyone, no matter how much I disagreed with what they said.

  464. #469 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Is that you, Greg? Do you honestly not understand the difference between doing your own moderation, sometimes deleting comments you don’t like, and making up shit and writing it in a comment so that it appears to have come from another actual person?

  465. #470 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    BS,

    How do I do that?

  466. #471 RMM Barrie
    February 12, 2010

    Bill Dauphin, OM @445

    Despite being a loyal American, I think the Canadian flag and O Canada totally pwn the SSB and our flag

    And could I interest you in a little universal health care plan?

  467. #472 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    RMM Barrie,

    It’s violent, but it’s about our first victory after the Revolutionary War. The British may have burned Washington, but we beat ‘em and our anthem exists just to rub it in.

    Some things bring out irrational patriotism in me, reading the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, watching the Olympics, singing the national anthem.

    Of course I’m normally a “blame America first” liberal ;)

  468. #473 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    BS – the last comment there a few minutes ago was by CCP (with active link), without the “me” comment at the bottom. That one’s gone, with it quoted and the “me” bit after, by another name altogether.

  469. #474 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    Cute.
    Laden’s ethical breaches multiply. He just published my private e-mail address here. I had entered my real initials in the ‘Name’ slot and he put up the e-mail instead.
    He also added the words “Me. And you are next.” to my comment, without attribution, for the record. Is there a record?

    I’m actually starting to feel bad for the guy, though also royally pissed off.

  470. #475 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    There is a Firefox add-on for that. I don’t have it. I don’t know about Windoze except that there are free stand alone programs you can download. Anyone?

    BS

  471. #476 Greg Laden
    February 12, 2010

    There is no limit to what I will do to abusive commenters. None. You can imagine whatever rules you like. You can imagine that you have some sort of right to tell me what the rules are. But that is no more real than unicorns and leprechauns.

    If you are unsure of my policies, read my about page. But do be aware that I have the right to arbitrarily change them if it amuses me to do so.

  472. #477 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Oh. My. God. Sven.

    I hesitated to even mention this, but I’m hoping PZ can have a private talk with Greg. I can understand why he doesn’t want to get involved with this, but Greg has gone way, way too far.

  473. #478 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Laden,

    You’re being a dishonorable person and you’re acting in bad faith. Your sycophants may not mind, but the rest of us are watching.

  474. #479 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    I have IE.

  475. #480 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    Carlie: That jibes with my impression.

    BS

  476. #481 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Some things bring out irrational patriotism in me, reading the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, watching the Olympics, singing the national anthem.

    Reminds me :

    Show must go on

    BS – the last comment there a few minutes ago was by CCP

    Curious, it now shows up as the commenters email address in the name field, I wonder if he has decided to publish email addresses ?

  477. #482 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    abusive

    delusional

  478. #483 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Do we need to start writing directly to the Scienceblogs administration, Greg? You’re way out of line.

  479. #484 Greg Laden
    February 12, 2010

    OMG THE PYGMY LORIS IS WATCHING ME.

    Oh, were you aware of the fact that we are trying to avoid using the word “pygmy” even when it fits into an existing animal name because it is considered insensitive and inappropriate?

    It’s a little tricky when it comes to animal names because they are somewhat standardized. But certainly, to use such a term as your handle is unnecessary. You really should be fucking ashamed of yourself, either for your racism or your abject ignorance.

  480. #485 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Sven,

    This is why I have a separate e-mail address just for commenting on blogs and registering for various sites.

  481. #486 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Holy crap. Does he somehow think that he is tagging them as blogowner comments? Because that’s the only thing that even makes the remotest bit of sense, that he’s replying to you by saying “me” as the author. But then the threat of “you’re next”, and publishing your email address with an obvious name on it – that’s even a worse ethical breach in my mind than adding comments, because exposing someone’s nym and real name and address is violating an expectation of privacy that everyone on ScienceBlogs has adhered to up until this point.

    Fuck, people have reasons for using pseudonyms. And it’s none of anyone else’s fucking business to judge why they use them. Some people might do it just for fun, others might have serious repercussions to worry about from their job, their family, scary stalker exes, etc. It isn’t anyone’s business to question them, and it sure as hell isn’t ever anyone’s prerogative to decide to expose them.

    That makes me entirely speechless with rage. There is really no lower place to sink from here, in my opinion.

  482. #487 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    OK, backing up a bit. Do we know if the recent commenter is actually Greg Laden? Perhaps not, and I shouldn’t jump to that conclusion without evidence.

  483. #488 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    SC:
    1. Press the Print Screen key on your keyboard. It may be labeled [PrtScn].

    2. Open an image editing program, such as Microsoft Paint.

    3. Go to the Edit menu and choose Paste.

    4. If prompted to enlarge the image, choose Yes.

    5. Optional: Use your image editor’s crop tool to crop out unnecessary portions of the screen shot.

    6. Go to the File Menu and choose Save As.

    7. Navigate to the folder where you want to save the image.

    8. Type a file name for the image.

    9. Select a file type.

    10. Click the Save button.

    Tips:

    1. Hold the Alt key down while pressing Print Screen to capture only the active window.

    2. Generally the GIF format works best when saving screen shots of application windows. The JPEG format usually makes screen shots (especially those with text) blurry, blotchy and discolored.

    3. See related resources below for more screen shot tips and listings of screen capture software that offers many more options for capturing screens and portions of screens on Windows and Macintosh computers.

    4. The Windows “clipboard” is a term used to describe the temporary storage space in memory where an item is placed when you copy or cut. When you paste, the item is transferred to the program you’re working in. If you copy something else, the old item is replaced with the new. You can’t manipulate the clipboard directly; it’s only used for copy and paste operations.

    5. If you have windows Vista, you can capture screen shots much more easily using the Snipping Tool included with Vista.

    or install this: http://www.etrusoft.com/

    BS

  484. #489 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    I have it. Thank you, snip tool.

  485. #490 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Josh,

    Do you think it’s not Laden? This person just outright called me a racist. I’m literally shaking with rage right now.

  486. #491 Caine
    February 12, 2010

    Greg Laden @ 466:

    Do correct me if I’m wrong.

    You’re wrong. On more than one front. Moderating does not include editing other people’s posts in such a manner. I’m a moderator (not on sciblogs), and I wouldn’t dream of doing what you’ve done. You have seriously fucked up and you keep making it worse. You’ve lost all credibility with me and I won’t be visiting your “blog” anymore.

  487. #492 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Do we know if the recent commenter is actually Greg Laden?

    No, we don’t.We also don’t know if he is indeed editing comments, because no screen dump pre and posts of this have been shown.
    At this point, all I would like to say if Greg is reading this is, please step away from the computer and from blogging for 48 hours, because nothing good can come out of this mess at this point.I’ll glady do my part and not comment about it in here anymore.

  488. #493 Feynmaniac
    February 12, 2010

    This is getting very weird, and it was already pretty weird.

  489. #494 RMM Barrie
    February 12, 2010

    Pygmy Loris @ 472

    There is indeed a lot to be proud of, so understand your sentiments.

    Actually it was us who came to Washington and burned (a little bit)the house of the President. At the time it was blue, so you guys overnight whitewashed it, and in the morning nothing was said about any fire. The origins of The White House.

  490. #495 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    I don’t think it would do much good for bystanders to do so, but I would strongly urge Josh and Sven to contact SciBlog administration about the breaches they’ve just experienced. Those are both seriously out of line things to do, and SciBlogs should be aware that one of their bloggers is doing it.

  491. #496 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    Josh: good point.
    I too use a garbage email address. Everyone should since it seems like we can’t trust the people we thought we could trust. I don’t believe I have ever seen someone who styles them self a professional melt down so completely. It’s actually creepy.

    BS

  492. #497 Caine
    February 12, 2010

    Holy shit. Sven, I’m sorry you’ve been subjected to such despicable treatment. This is waaaay over the line.

  493. #498 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    We also don’t know if he is indeed editing comments, because no screen dump pre and posts of this have been shown.

    Shouldn’t the SciBorg overlords be able to tell, though? I would imagine that there are digital records of all submissions/comments/edits/and such on backup.

  494. #499 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Person posting as Greg Laden,

    Could you please point me to some references as to the inappropriateness of using the term pygmy in relation to animal names? I actually love the pygmy loris and that is why I chose it as my pseudonym. I have never heard anything about there being any controversy surrounding the term pygmy in animal names.

  495. #500 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    1. I don’t know definitively if the person posting here on Pharyngula is, in fact, Greg Laden.

    2. I do know definitively that whoever moderates comments on Greg Laden’s blog did alter my post by adding words I didn’t say

    I’m fed the fuck up with this shit. No one wants to be the tattle who goes to the principal, but Laden’s behavior is way, way beyond the pale.

    Cut the shit Greg, or I’ll play dirty too.

  496. #501 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    I’ve privately e-mailed Laden and PZ.

    I have received a laughably cliche tough-guy response from Laden and I feel bad about trying to get PZ involved, since it’s really not his problem.

    Fuck the Borg.

  497. #502 Desert Son, OM
    February 12, 2010

    This is getting very weird, and it was already pretty weird.

    It’s down the fucking rabbit hole, and creepy to boot.

    *shudder*

    Still learning,

    Robert

  498. #503 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    We also don’t know if he is indeed editing comments, because no screen dump pre and posts of this have been shown.

    We don’t have proof, that’s true. We do have at least 3 witnesses, however.

    BS

  499. #504 Rawnaeris
    February 12, 2010

    This is getting ridiculous. Altering posts and displaying peoples e-mails is…unfathomable. I looked around on SciBlogs site, but I can’t find any way to report account abuse. Does anyone else know how?

  500. #505 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Actually it was us who came to Washington and burned (a little bit)the house of the President.

    I learned about that in a song.

  501. #506 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Josh,

    I, for one, do not doubt your truthfulness. If it really is Laden who just called me a racist for using an animal’s name as my pseudonym, he’s lost his shit. My original comment about us watching him merely meant that other people are aware of his dishonest behavior and it lowers our opinions of him. I didn’t intend anything more sinister than that.

  502. #507 RMM Barrie
    February 12, 2010

    Greg Laden @484

    You really should be fucking ashamed of yourself, either for your racism or your abject ignorance.

    If that is you, I suggest that you withdraw and have a complete physical workup.

    There is nothing wrong with using the word pygmy

  503. #508 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Sven, I can’t seem to find any comments made by you on the “private letter” thread ?
    And no email addresses are published anymore afaict.

  504. #509 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    BTW person posting as Greg Laden,

    Oh, were you aware of the fact that we are trying to avoid using the word “pygmy” even when it fits into an existing animal name because it is considered insensitive and inappropriate?

    Who the fuck is we? I can find tons of articles published in the last few years that refer to Nycticebus pygmaeus as the pygmy loris. Again, where can I find discussion of this move to no longer use pygmy in animal names?

  505. #510 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Sven, I just sent you an email. If you didn’t get it, please write to me at spokesgay at gmail.com. I promise you I won’t pull a Laden and divulge your ID.

    Grrr.

  506. #511 A. Noyd
    February 12, 2010

    RMM Barrie (#494)

    At the time it was blue, so you guys overnight whitewashed it, and in the morning nothing was said about any fire. The origins of The White House.

    Wrong. But it’s a cute story.

  507. #512 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Yeah, he’s changed it back now, and I didn’t grab a screencap. Did anyone?

  508. #513 Rawnaeris
    February 12, 2010

    Sven, he did, he changed it back. Fuck I didn’t get a screenshot of it w/your email up. Did you or someone else get one?

  509. #514 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    @ Pygmy Loris:

    My original comment about us watching him merely meant that other people are aware of his dishonest behavior and it lowers our opinions of him. I didn’t intend anything more sinister than that.

    I know, I know (hug). No worries at all babe.

  510. #515 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    Greg, if you’re reading this –

    Please stop now. I don’t know how this has spiralled out of control, but I feel responsible for what is happening. Shut down the comments on that thread, post about it again later, never mention it again, whatever. But please don’t keep doing what you’re doing.

  511. #516 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Shit, I just closed the window with Sven’s email address published in it. I’m sorry.

  512. #517 A. Noyd
    February 12, 2010

    Well, I got a screenie of the edited version where he had Sven’s email on display if anyone needs. It’s crap quality, though.

  513. #518 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Sven, he did, he changed it back.

    Might just have been a SB software glitch, who would know !
    I’d ask him on FB right now, but this mightn’t be a good time LOL.

  514. #519 SC OM
    February 12, 2010

    Fuck I didn’t get a screenshot of it w/your email up. Did you or someone else get one?

    I did, and I’ve emailed it to Sven.

  515. #520 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    I saw the window with Sven’s email address published for all the world to see, even if Greg changed it. That’s how I was able to send an email to Sven (which I shouldn’t have been able to do). If he claims he didn’t publish it, he’s a liar, and I’ll say so.

    Oooh, I’m fucking furious.

  516. #521 Rawnaeris
    February 12, 2010

    @ SC:

    I’m a late-comer to all of this, and even I can tell that this is not your fault.

    *hugs* fwiw

  517. #522 A. Noyd
    February 12, 2010

    Now #169 says “And, and thanks for your understanding” where it used to say “And you are next.” WTF?

  518. #523 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Might just have been a SB software glitch, who would know !

    But a glitch that published it correctly for a few minutes, then incorrectly for another half-hour or so, then back again? And it only affected that one comment? Not remotely parsimonious; I don’t think he could get away with claiming that. And there’s also the bit about how the last line “Me. And you’re next” was added on later (although I didn’t get a screencap of that either).

  519. #524 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Oh, and SC, you are not responsible for any of this. It’s all at Greg’s feet. You were wronged, we stepped in to try to correct that wrong, and he went batshit.

  520. #525 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Josh,

    Thanks for the hug. Here’s one for you (hug!)

    SC,

    This is not your fault. Laden accused you of anti-semitism, serious charge without a basis. You have always put yourself out there to challenge bigotry and misogyny, and that kind of accusation hurts.

  521. #526 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Holy fuck, now Sven’s already-edited comment has been changed again, and says “Me, but thanks for your understanding.”

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  522. #527 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 12, 2010

    I’ve been watching this go on all week, going WTF? Something isn’t right.

  523. #528 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    I finally got my act together and did a screencap of what’s there now for Sven’s comment, and cut the window big enough to include the current date/time from my toolbar if you need it, Sven.

  524. #529 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Sven’s already-edited comment has been changed

    Link, Carlie? Surly minds want to archive:)

  525. #530 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Holy fuck, now Sven’s already-edited comment has been changed again, and says “Me, but thanks for your understanding.”

    Ehm, yeah, indeed it has.Creepy.

  526. #531 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Carlie, I’d really appreciate the screencap as well, since I fully intend to flounce to the principal’s office tomorrow and report Laden for Criminal Douchebaggery. Please sent to spokesgay at gmail.com

    Thank you.

  527. #532 RMM Barrie
    February 12, 2010

    A. Noyd @511

    Wrong

    Will paraphrase John Kenneth Galbraith here, which went something like: when faced that one is wrong or proving one is right, most people get to work on the proof. Will go off and search, as read it somewhere reliable, could be wrong.

    Refer often to Snopes but also point out that they originally said bisphenol A (BPA)was safe where now it is hedged. Wrote them several times.

  528. #533 Caine
    February 12, 2010

    SC OM @ 515:

    I don’t know how this has spiralled out of control, but I feel responsible for what is happening.

    Oh no, no, you aren’t responsible in the least nor should you feel that way. This is all on Greg Laden.

  529. #534 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Josh – is there an email address you’ve published already to send to, or is there some roundabout way to get it to you? I’ve never been savvy at how people contact each other without going HERE’S MY EMAIL SPAMMERS out on the thread.

  530. #535 Feynmaniac
    February 12, 2010

    I also got the screen caps if anyone wants them.

  531. #536 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Never mind there it is right there it’s late and I’m tired.

  532. #537 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    This is all on Greg Laden.

    It sure is. As is the fact that he altered my post and put words in my mouth to make readers think I said something I didn’t say.

    Sorry to keep harping on that, but I’m as fucking mad as I’ve ever been. That’s about the lowest, most assholish thing I can imagine. And you’re a complete fuckwad for doing it, Laden.

    Fuck you.

  533. #538 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    @ Carlie:

    Josh – is there an email address you’ve published already to send to

    Sure. Email me at spokesgay at gmail.com. Any Pharyngulite can use that, but assholes will be dealt with most severely:)

  534. #539 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Sorry Josh – I couldn’t read.
    Now if I end up in your google buzz feed because I emailed, I’ll slug you. ;)

  535. #540 Caine
    February 12, 2010

    Josh @ 537:

    It sure is. As is the fact that he altered my post and put words in my mouth to make readers think I said something I didn’t say.

    Sorry to keep harping on that, but I’m as fucking mad as I’ve ever been.

    You have every right to be fucking furious. That’s a despicable thing to do, especially where words are all and a lot of readers aren’t familiar with you. It doesn’t just cross the line, it stomps on it and erases it entirely. Someone who can’t be bothered with ethics shouldn’t have the power to fuck people around in such a way.

  536. #541 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Carlie. . you mean you couldn’t read the email I sent you in Gmail in response to yours?

  537. #542 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    No, just that I couldn’t read where you put your email RIGHT THERE in that first comment asking for the screencap.

  538. #543 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Sorry Carlie, I’m kinda dense. All I can say is that I did receive your email in my inbox, and I did respond. Are we communicating by email?

  539. #544 Jadehawk, OM
    February 12, 2010

    this clusterfuck has officially jumped the shark :-/

  540. #545 Carlie
    February 12, 2010
  541. #546 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    Wonder what is going through Sgt. Stephanie’s mind right now. This is going to be tough to defend.

    BS

  542. #547 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    Dr. Laden is playing little games.

    I suspect that my “understanding” refers to some private e-mail correspondence, which of course I won’t reveal.

    Let’s just say I won’t be interacting with Dr. Laden in any way online in the future.
    The disappearance of my e-mail address is probably not independent of that fact. Everybody’s happy.

    *shrug*

    Thank yinz for your support etc.

  543. #548 A. Noyd
    February 12, 2010

    RMM Barrie (#532)

    Will go off and search, as read it somewhere reliable, could be wrong.

    Well, the way I heard it, the house was originally green. Being curious, I tried looking up on wikipedia which color it started out as and the article mentioned the story as a legend. A bit more digging got me the Snopes article. Oh, and the majority the info I can find says it was originally unpainted sandstone.

  544. #549 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Glad it’s all set for you, Sven. I’m not willing to let bygones be bygones. I think Greg Laden has violated some fundamental ethical boundaries. I’m spending some time thinking about how to respond to those.

  545. #550 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    btw, Laden’s privacy policy:

    1) The “private” data I collect from you… your IP address, etc. is no longer private. I never promised you that it was private, but I prefer to keep such things private. But now, starting today, your email address, any private communications you send to me, all of it, is mine to use as I wish, if you do not start to behave. You can avoid this situation by behaving or going away quietly.

    This comes into effect if he considers you “annoying”. At least Myers requires physical threats before any info will be shared.

  546. #551 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    But in other news, following up again on recent Thread themes, I posted a weird train video over on my “weblog”. It’s a diesel though. And computer-animated. Scroll down to the hi-res link if you have the bandwidth.

    I was once very familiar with the terrain.

  547. #552 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    I forgot to note that he doesn’t say he’ll edit your posts to say whatever the fuck he wants without proper attribution. That’s fucking inexcusable, even if he did say he reserves the right though.

  548. #553 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 12, 2010

    Interesting, Paul. I wonder if Laden’s “privacy policy” changed just today, on the spur of the moment.

    I don’t give a shit what his privacy policy is. He’s acted like a complete son of a bitch. He’s a liar and a cheat; he alters the comments from posters to make it appear that they’ve said things they didn’t say. Dirty, dirty, dirty.

    Keep it up Laden.

  549. #554 Carlie
    February 12, 2010

    Thing is, Sven didn’t really do anything, as far as I could tell. Certainly he wasn’t as strident or argumentative or outright as some other commenters were, so why was he suddenly the one picked on like that? It’s so random.

    Paul – that must be his new privacy policy? The one he started using before telling anyone what it was?

  550. #555 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 12, 2010

    Laden,

    What you did was unethical. It was also bullying people who have no recourse. Neither of these traits are acceptable for a blogmeister. Have a good rest of your life. I won’t be visiting your blog ever again.

  551. #556 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    There isn’t a timestamp, Carlie. He specifically cites racists, though, which I know have been a problem for the last month (that said, he’s been baiting people with very vague race related postings, and assuming anyone who disagrees is a racist).

    I’m with you Josh. I just wanted to provide the information for those who might be interested. Whatever his policy is, his behavior is inexcusable.

  552. #557 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    I think Greg Laden has violated some fundamental ethical boundaries.

    I don’t think there’s any doubt at all about that.
    It comes down to the fact that I don’t care about Greg Laden.
    I told him what I thought about his behavior.
    Not surprisingly, I got the feeling he didn’t care about me either.
    I do not need the blogosphere if I want to interact with assholes. Assholes I got IRL. I come (virtually) here for cool smart funny people.

  553. #558 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010

    Hey, look, is that a music vid?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G861C3J9ms

  554. #559 Pygmy Loris
    February 12, 2010

    Paul,

    So it’s disagreeing with him that makes you a racist? ‘Cause my pseudonym apparently makes me one.

    Did I mention I’m pissed about that?

    Here’s why I love this name

  555. #560 Paul
    February 13, 2010

    So it’s disagreeing with him that makes you a racist? ‘Cause my pseudonym apparently makes me one.

    Well, it’s hard to describe without context. Greg likes to equivocate between racist referring to anything implicitly affected by race (as a neutral term) and using it as a derogatory term, though, so obviously a lot of people get confused or offended. I don’t want to talk much abou it though since I’m really not interested in having the discussion at this point. He likely only lashed at you because he’s completely fucking off his rocker right now.

  556. #561 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 13, 2010

    @ Sven, SC, Paul, Carlie, Pygmy, A. Noyd, and anyone else of good will –

    Thanks to all of you, and please excuse my tart tone of voice. I’m really fucking angry at Greg Laden, which means I need to back off and cool off. I don’t trust myself to do much more than cuss a blue streak right now.

  557. #562 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 13, 2010

    Another comment mentioning Laden’s editing of Josh’s comment has appeared on his blog. Will it stand?

    BS

  558. #563 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2010

    man, that was the worst Darwin Day ever

  559. #564 Pygmy Loris
    February 13, 2010

    Paul,

    Thanks for the info.

  560. #565 AJ Milne
    February 13, 2010

    Well, I’ve generally been avoiding this whole thing. Don’t need the drama. I can get that in real life, thanks…

    But I finally cracked, started reading a few threads over at Laden’s, and, umm…

    I won’t be doing that again.

    I mean ever. Thanks, but that kinda sleaze, it just doesn’t wash off.

    Worse, the general volume o’ slime oozing from those still bizarrely trying to find some way to make this SC’s fault is starting to give Gee’s original psycho Godwin bit a run for its money in the reeks-to-high-heaven department. Really, really have to say there’s a few people in that thread amazingly doggedly flinging that shit however many days in it is now (Do their arms not get tired? Have they no more rewarding hobbies?) oughtta be completely fucking ashamed of themselves.

    The record of the whole thing looks to me like it might well make the textbooks, someday: ‘Kay, class, now here’s just why you do need to keep that ‘when in a hole, stop digging’ thing you may have heard here and there in mind…

    Anyway, that’s it. That’s all. I’m off to the showers to try to wash off anything I might have picked up in those threads. And on the way, I figure I’ll probably burn these clothes, too…

    (/Oh. Yeah. I’d make that comment over there ‘n all, but as if. My email and identity aren’t especially sensitive matters, actually, but thanks all the same, I’ll be doing my own editing, see.)

  561. #566 Carlie
    February 13, 2010

    Hm, he also states in his privacy policy that he declares himself free to out email addresses AFTER he notifies the commenter that he will do so if they continue commenting in that way, so if he didn’t send a warning email to Sven, he’s still violating his own policy.
    I’m off to bed, having watched the sadly malfunctioned Olympic cauldron lighting.

  562. #567 Caine
    February 13, 2010

    Pygmy Loris:

    Here’s why I love this name

    I’d never heard of a Pygmy Loris until I saw your user name some time back. I did a search and came on a page of two people who do extensive work with them and was enchanted. Amazing little creatures. So thank you very much.

  563. #568 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 13, 2010

    Thank you to whoever pointed out, on Greg’s blog, that he dishonestly altered my comment. I appreciate that. It’s one thing to disagree with a commenter, and to chastise or mock a commenter. That’s fair game.

    It’s entirely another to put words in that commenter’s mouth, then not allow him to post and correct it. What a fucker.

  564. #569 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 13, 2010

    I wrote a really funny post on the Minnesota creationists thread…It is long like a Marjanovic’ post but without intelligence or attention to detail. It may cheer you up? Yes?

    I don’t read other blogs than this one, but I checked out the Greg Laden blog…but DIDN’T POST A FUCKING THING. It’s not too interesting, anyway.

  565. #570 Diane G.
    February 13, 2010

    OK, this latest Laden insanity is just unspeakable. Weren?t some of his bulldogs getting all huffy about Paul W?s supposed ethics breach a while ago? If adding content to a comment post isn?t a breathtaking breach of ethics, what good is a blogosphere in the first place?

    And…I have my own little bit to add; I think he played a little trick like this on me much earlier.

    Back when I made my comment upthread here (# 281, 8:15 AM) about posts being held up forever in comment moderation at GLB, it was because a simple little comment of mine hadn?t been posted for over an hour…I don?t know when exactly it finally was posted, but there were well over 50 comments at the ?Private letter to SC? site when I noticed it had finally been inserted?as comment #17, timed at 7:11 AM.

    Worse, in a post in which I?d complained about the annoying lack of proof-reading in his ?letter,?* there was a glaring typo right in my post. (So I thought, good thing the thread?s hurtled past #17 by now?maybe almost no one will notice it…)

    BUT?I could have sworn the error wasn?t there in my previews; because I?m pretty anal about checking them, especially when I?m writing a fucking post griping about someone else?s errors.

    Me being me, I was going to just figure that?s what I deserved for getting on my high horse…but NOW…now that we know that comments have been tampered with…combined with my pretty confident recollection of previewing with a fine-toothed comb, and with the oddly extreme posting delay…

    Suffice it to say that ?someone might think? Greg had a hand in that little ?typo.? Makes sense to me?I musta struck a nerve or something.

    I would never have wasted so many words here on such a stupid little story if I didn?t need to just let off steam somewhere. FWIW, if I ever decide to post on GLB again, I?m sure as hell gonna copy my post and save it somewhere before I hit submit. Maybe we need a notary?

    *I mean, come on?I get that blogging is not supposed to be polished or anything, but, esp. when someone claims to be trying to make himself so damned clear, it?s pretty amazing how many errors appear in his writing lately (standing in stark contrast to the often excellent clarity & syntax of so many of the commenters**). I do understand infant-in-the-house-sleep-deprivation and all, but there comes a point when as a reader, I?m just insulted by so many blatant typos, not to mention the fact that they impair comprehension significantly. Don?t bloggers get to be bloggers because they?re supposed to be able to write half-way decently?

    **Especially Pharynguloids. :-) (Not including myself, mind you. I don’t even consider myself one of the group here…)

  566. #571 Paul
    February 13, 2010

    Well, ThreadCop is back. Looks like her tack is to ignore Laden’s ethics and chastise commenters (on matters not directly related).

  567. #572 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 13, 2010

    I wonder if Stephanie (thread cop) knows that Greg is altering commenters’ posts?

  568. #573 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 13, 2010

    @Diane:

    I do understand infant-in-the-house-sleep-deprivation and all, but there comes a point when as a reader, I?m just insulted by so many blatant typos, not to mention the fact that they impair comprehension significantly

    Hear, hear, girl. I complained about Laden’s sloppy-ass typos several threads ago, and I thought I was the only one who noticed what a bad, bad writer he was.

  569. #574 Pygmy Loris
    February 13, 2010

    Caine,

    I’m glad you went for a look about the pygmy loris. They are really cool and we just don’t know that much about them. There are only a handful of people who have done research on them in the wild.

  570. #575 RMM Barrie
    February 13, 2010

    A. Noyd @ 548

    majority the info I can find says it was originally unpainted sandstone

    Have some notes here about the history of Quebec and is about a Canadian raid on August 19, 1814, where we did not do a very good job of setting anything much on fire, but did blacken the sandstone, hence the paint. The British landed on the same day at the Patuxent River, went on to Washington, and really burned the White House on August 24,1814.

    Still do not have a good text reference though. Is pretty obscure.

    What I remember most, from many years ago studying the War of 1812, on both sides of the border, there is no doubt in Canada, we won, and in the U.S., the Americans won.

  571. #576 Pygmy Loris
    February 13, 2010

    RMM Barrie,

    where we did not do a very good job of setting anything much on fire,

    That’s why we built our stuff from stone ;)

  572. #577 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 13, 2010

    Oh o, I ‘m on a list at Laden’s blog.

    Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.

    BS

  573. #578 boygenius
    February 13, 2010

    While we’re on the topic of trains, here’s something to cheer up Sven, SC, and perhaps others (NSFJ). The only video footage I’ve ever seen where Jerry is intoxicated on ethyl alcohol.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bEHsovtadw

  574. #579 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 13, 2010

    Oh o, I ‘m on a list at Laden’s blog.

    .

    Consider yourself lucky. My advice would be not to comment on his blog at all. He’s got a demonstrated track record of altering commenters’s posts so that you appear to say things that you didn’t actually write.

  575. #580 Kyorosuke
    February 13, 2010

    I don’t have any stake in this whole Laden thing, but I commented on the recent thread that Josh’s comment had been edited because I felt that any independent observers deserved to know.

    Now, admittedly, I should hope that any independent observer would realize that SC didn’t do anything wrong and that Greg Laden is completely nuts, but I’ve overestimated people’s general intelligence before.

  576. #581 Caine
    February 13, 2010

    Paul @ 571:

    Well, ThreadCop is back. Looks like her tack is to ignore Laden’s ethics and chastise commenters (on matters not directly related).

    Oh holy, I wanted to slap her silly. A. Noyd deserves a gold star for patience and repeatedly spelling things out to ThreadCop.

  577. #582 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 13, 2010

    He’s got a demonstrated track record of altering commenters’s posts so that you appear to say things that you didn’t actually write.

    You know, for all that Prof. Dendy didn’t allow comments on his blog, (except for a very few) he never deleted one after it was posted nor did he ever AFAIK change the wording of one or reveal e mails. At this point he stands as a paragon compared to Greg Laden. And he was an asshole.

    BS

  578. #583 Pygmy Loris
    February 13, 2010

    he [Dendy] never deleted one after it was posted

    Yes, yes, he did. He posted a comment from me about his dishonesty. Replied to it. Then deleted my original comment, leaving his reply as a regular comment. It’s why I never commented on his blog again.

  579. #584 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 13, 2010

    Yes, yes, he did

    I stand corrected.
    He did seem to have it in for you.

    BS

  580. #585 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Well, all the sound and fury signifying we know not what on Greg Laden’s blog makes me appreciate our Professional Poopyhead PZ all the more.

    Parts of the Olympic Opening Ceremony were boring, but K.D. Lang singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was awe-inspiring. Odd that K.D. now looks kinda like Johnny Cash.

  581. #587 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Old fuckface had it in for a few of us here.

  582. #588 Pygmy Loris
    February 13, 2010

    BS,

    He had problems with a few of us. Oh well. Troll is gone, so I’m unconcerned.

  583. #589 Diane G.
    February 13, 2010

    Hear, hear, girl. I complained about Laden’s sloppy-ass typos several threads ago, and I thought I was the only one who noticed what a bad, bad writer he was.

    –Josh,OSG

    I remember. That’s partly what emboldened me.

    Interestingly PZ himself chimed in more than once on the Firing Squad thread to ask Greg WTF he was talking about (more or less…)

  584. #590 SC OM
    February 13, 2010

    Thanks to all of you, and please excuse my tart tone of voice.

    Josh, you have no need to explain. I still can’t believe he did what he did to you and Sven (and possibly Diane G.). Tart it up.

    (Not including myself, mind you. I don’t even consider myself one of the group here…)

    I do. :)

  585. #591 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 13, 2010

    @ SC:

    Josh, you have no need to explain. I still can’t believe he did what he did to you and Sven

    At the risk of sounding like I’m playing a game of Rank Oppressions (TM), I have to say the biggest wrong has been done to you, SC. This entire affair was an obscene hit job on you. And I’m not going to forget it.

  586. #592 Paul
    February 13, 2010

    At the risk of sounding like I’m playing a game of Rank Oppressions (TM), I have to say the biggest wrong has been done to you, SC. This entire affair was an obscene hit job on you. And I’m not going to forget it.

    The absolute worst part of it imo is that the initial statement was likely only poorly phrased with no offensive intent. But all this is the fallout from a jackass professor doing anything to keep from honestly apologizing and analyzing his behavior and way of expression (the latter of which he constantly berates everyone else to do).

    It’s painful to watch.

  587. #593 llewelly
    February 13, 2010

    SC OM | February 12, 2010 10:56 PM:

    I don’t know how this has spiralled out of control, but I feel responsible for what is happening.

    No. Greg could have stopped at any time. He started the manipulation, he made every significant escalation. The only error made by you, or Paul, or Pygmy Loris, etc, is that you have all continued to feed a troll. That’s a mistake, but it doesn’t make you responsible; you all had good intentions.

  588. #594 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 13, 2010

    K.D. Lang singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was awe-inspiring.

    Dang! I knew I’d dozed off for a few minutes, but I guess I missed more than I thought. I’m very sorry to have missed this performance.

  589. #595 Rorschach
    February 13, 2010

    This seems a fitting link for the Thread at this point :

    Billy Connolly–Colonoscopy

  590. #596 Rorschach
    February 13, 2010
  591. #597 Diane G.
    February 13, 2010

    I do. :)

    –SC

    Aw, thanks, Salty!

    …doing anything to keep from honestly apologizing and analyzing his behavior and way of expression…

    –Paul

    That’s exactly it, especially the “way of expression” part, IMO. I was maybe halfway through the “Letter” thread when I think I finally understood what “Firing Squad” had ostensibly been supposed to be about. And if I understood right it might have made for an interesting discussion if the well hadn’t already been poisoned by the damning-by-association of Salty and the metaphor of the mythical “Blastula” which of course was NOT to be taken to represent any actual blog…

    I don’t think I’m an anti-metaphorist, but there’s ways and then there’s ways…PZ’s “science filling the silos” recently was brilliant.

    Come to think of it, is there really any profitable way to go if you start out with the premise of an atheist firing squad?

  592. #598 Miki Z
    February 13, 2010

    I thought an atheist firing squad is what the “Intelligent” “Design” people want to start up for the education system.

    Is Greg hallucinating? It can be disturbing, but there are techniques to cope.

  593. #599 A. Noyd
    February 13, 2010

    RMM Barrie (#575)

    Still do not have a good text reference though. Is pretty obscure.

    How about a non profit org for White House history which says it was painted white starting in 1798? And here’s someone who claims to have gotten their info from a guided tour of the place.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Caine (#581)

    Oh holy, I wanted to slap her silly. A. Noyd deserves a gold star for patience and repeatedly spelling things out to ThreadCop.

    I dunno, do people get gold stars for talking to walls? But thanks. I hope I at least helped expose her a bit to any third parties. Maybe I’ll check to see if any of the others take up the challenge I set, but I’m done with the irrational, sycophantic, rabid attack-chihuahua herself. I don’t know how someone that dumb doesn’t electrocute herself to death making toast.

  594. #600 Diane G.
    February 13, 2010

    It’s interesting that Greg has declared a moratorium on anyone dissing Salty or him, but has left Steph Z hung out to dry…

  595. #601 Rorschach
    February 13, 2010

    I hope I at least helped expose her a bit to any third parties

    Awesome job over there mate.I hope that your and Paul W’s efforts can help a bit to sway the folks reading this wrt the perception of the debating culture on Pharyngula.

  596. #602 Darkling
    February 13, 2010

    I’ve been lurking for a while and seldom comment. I stopped following Laden?s blog some time back. He seems to be a mixed bag. His Congo series are some of the most interesting blog posts that I’ve read. Yet at other points he seems to wander off the deep-end. And recnetly not wander so much as jump on the fastest vehicle he could find and drive full throttle off the pier. I only noticed this Charlie foxtrot when one of his posts appeared in the top five most active. I took the time to read and since then have had a hard time pulling myself away from the train wreck. Usually when people hit bedrock they stop digging, instead he’s pulled out the explosives and heavy equipment (how long before he reaches China?).

    Laden always seems to have thought of himself as a clever writer. Unfortunately in practice he seems to fall far short of that. At the end of the day he’s sloppy and you can see that in posts themselves and in the comments that he makes. How many comments he needs to spend clarifying his posts and explaining what he actually meant?

    At this point I won’t be paying attention to any more of his posts. Any goodwill or benefit of the doubt that I had towards him is gone. He may or may not have other stuff going on in his life but unless he comes up with a substantial mea culpa, he’s just a wanker.

  597. #603 windy
    February 13, 2010
  598. #604 Walton
    February 13, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, et al:

    I love both The Star-Spangled Banner and O Canada, and know all the words to both (along with numerous other national anthems, since I’m a massive anthem-geek).

    I do like God Save the Queen, but, in terms of both musical and poetic value, I will be the first to admit that it’s not in the same class.

  599. #605 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Pygmy Loris #559

    Here’s why I love this name

    Oh no, Pygmy Loris is a fan of Margaret Keane.

  600. #606 Rorschach
    February 13, 2010

    I do like God Save the Queen

    You’re welcome !

  601. #607 Walton
    February 13, 2010

    Ugh, Rorschach. Not that one. That’s revolting.

  602. #608 Kel, OM
    February 13, 2010

    I wrote the following argument, which I’d like to get ripped apart if possible. It’s about the impossibility of omniscience, much in the same line of the “can God create a rock even he can’t lift?”

    Suppose a being can hold all the knowledge about everything. But to hold knowledge about everything creates a new fact, that there is a set of knowledge that contains everything. And that in itself creates a new fact, that there is a set of knowledge that contains the set of knowledge that contains everything. And so on. So no matter how one wants to encompass all the facts, doing so creates new facts. Thus absolute knowledge can never be reached. Thus omniscience is impossible. QED

    Anything wrong with this argument?

  603. #609 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    The Spanish national anthem, the Marcha Real, is rather stirring:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKK38OFkC2M

  604. #610 Rorschach
    February 13, 2010

    That’s revolting.

    *grin*

  605. #611 Kel, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Ugh, Rorschach. Not that one. That’s revolting.

    God damn it Walton, you somehow like the most boring national anthem ever written but reject one of the most important songs of the 1970s as revolting?

  606. #612 Rorschach
    February 13, 2010

    Anything wrong with this argument?

    I would probably argue that the premise “But to hold knowledge about everything creates a new fact, that there is a set of knowledge that contains everything” is dodgy, in an affirming the consequent kinda way.

    :-)

  607. #613 Jadehawk, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Ugh, Rorschach. Not that one. That’s revolting.

    you’ve got absolutely no taste in music. the Sex Pistols are fucking awesome.

  608. #614 Kel, OM
    February 13, 2010

    I was going for the whole Godel incompleteness theorem argument.

  609. #615 Walton
    February 13, 2010

    Other good national anthems

    Monaco – one of the few remaining texts in the dying Monégasque language:

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

    Andorra

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxHyrgc8rew

    The South African one is also very interesting, since it’s a combination of two anthems, the Xhosa and Zulu Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika and the Afrikaans Die Stem van Suid-Afrika (the two were combined to create a “uniting” anthem after the end of the apartheid era). It’s the only national anthem in the world which has lyrics in five different languages, and which finishes in a different key from the one in which it started.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXKur2FAN7g

  610. #616 Walton
    February 13, 2010

    you’ve got absolutely no taste in music. the Sex Pistols are fucking awesome.

    I don’t think my taste in music is that bad. I don’t listen exclusively to national anthems from around the world, though I do love them; I also like some classic country and western music, as well as some jazz (particularly Dixieland) and gospel songs.

    This is awesome, for instance:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSHr4ubuD64

  611. #617 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Kel, OM #608

    Suppose a being can hold all the knowledge about everything. But to hold knowledge about everything creates a new fact, that there is a set of knowledge that contains everything. And that in itself creates a new fact, that there is a set of knowledge that contains the set of knowledge that contains everything. And so on. So no matter how one wants to encompass all the facts, doing so creates new facts. Thus absolute knowledge can never be reached. Thus omniscience is impossible. QED

    What you’re giving is a form of Achilles and the Tortoise. Logically Achilles will never pass the Tortoise but, given real distances and speeds, it can be calculated when Achilles will pass the Tortoise. Similarly, the omniscient being will be able to hold all data including the data that it knows all data.

  612. #618 Walton
    February 13, 2010
  613. #619 nejishiki
    February 13, 2010

    @ 608
    One possible objection is that omniscience doesn’t consist of knowing a set of facts, but of knowing general rules for generating facts. With these rules you could see that the ‘problem’ you specify is recursive and doesn’t end. It’s the same thing as saying that an omniscient being would need to know all the digits of pi, rather than just a rule for calculating them.

  614. #620 Knockgoats
    February 13, 2010

    Paul@392,

    The reposts were an odd interaction between my broadband, which was running slow, and Laden’s site: when I tried to post a new comment, I got timed out, then when I went back to the thread and refreshed, the old comment was reposted. I’ve had the same happen on one other side. I did preface my next (and last) comment with an apology there, as you may have seen.

  615. #621 Jadehawk, OM
    February 13, 2010

    I also like some classic country and western music

    see, I told you you have no taste in music :-/

    this is real music.

    and this is so bad, it’s awesome. :-D

  616. #622 Rorschach
    February 13, 2010

    and this is so bad, it’s awesome

    Oh !! That is hilarious !!

  617. #623 Knockgoats
    February 13, 2010

    Is Greg hallucinating? It can be disturbing, but there are techniques to cope. – Miki Z.

    Well I’ve never followed his blog, but according to a number of commenters both here and there, there’s been a fairly sharp deterioration in both tone and coherence over quite a short period. IANANeurologist, but these could be symptoms of either early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, or a brain tumour. I’m not saying I think they are, of course, but other people might advice him to consult his medical adviser.

  618. #624 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    I also like some classic country and western music

    Walton listens to both kinds of music, country and western.

    I like some Muddy Waters:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3FSXshAB1s

  619. #625 Kel, OM
    February 13, 2010

    What you’re giving is a form of Achilles and the Tortoise. Logically Achilles will never pass the Tortoise but, given real distances and speeds, it can be calculated when Achilles will pass the Tortoise.

    But what I’m arguing for here is not the real-world application of knowing (whether one can know everything I would allege is impossible given our universe) but the ontological application of omniscience. Arguing a priori, pure and simple. Not to dismiss your objections, I’m just trying to see whether the argument holds water or not.

    Where’s truth machine when you need him? :P

  620. #626 Miki Z
    February 13, 2010

    Kel,

    The axiom of choice is problematic for your suggestion. You’re essentially asserting that there is a chain of facts with no choice function. Unless you are willing to accept that only a finite number of facts can exist, it’s not a compelling argument.

  621. #627 Knockgoats
    February 13, 2010

    The British may have burned Washington, but we beat ‘em – Pygmy Loris

    Nonsense! It was a draw! :-p

  622. #628 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    There are two types of omniscience: Inherent omniscience – the ability to know anything that one chooses to know and can be known; and total omniscience – actually knowing everything that can be known. Some theologians argue that god’s omniscience is inherent rather than total. God chooses to limit his omniscience to allow freewill. Other theologians use total omniscience as a justification for predestination.

  623. #629 Miki Z
    February 13, 2010

    I realize 626 may be a little sparse for those not familiar with this type of mathematics, so I’ll expand and pontificate.

    Assume that we have some basic set of “facts” which are not fact-referential. This means that the facts won’t reference knowledge about facts, only about non-fact things. Let these be x1, x2, etc.

    Let a set be knowledge that the members of the set are known. E.g. { x1, x2 } is the statement “It is known that it is a fact that x1 and x2 together are a fact.”

    Begin with the set of basic facts. Call this F0. Then P(F0), the power set of F0, contains knowledge that any particular subset of F (including the whole thing) is a fact. P(P(F0)) is knowledge about knowledge about, etc.

    This lets us construct a chain:
    F1 = P(F0)
    F2 = P(F1)
    and so on.

    If God cannot be omniscient even by assumption, then there is a set in the chain for which no choice function will pick out a particular fact. If the axiom of choice is assumed, this is a contradiction, because the axiom of choice guarantees us a choice function.

  624. #630 SteveV
    February 13, 2010

    ‘The British may have burned Washington, but we beat ‘em – Pygmy Loris

    Nonsense! It was a draw! :-p’

    Nonesense! As the primary aim of the US was to annex Canada, WE won!
    *loser, loser*

  625. #631 SteveV
    February 13, 2010

    Missed most of this thread what with work and sleep, but do I understand that GL is accused of altering other peoples posts?

    Deleting for reassons of taste or tediousness I can understand, banning I can understand but altering is so far beneath comtempt as to demand another word (if such exists).
    It falls into the same catagory as falsifing data FFSM sake!
    It’s Bearing False Witness.
    I’m speechless.

  626. #632 davem
    February 13, 2010

    Walton:

    I do like God Save the Queen, but, in terms of both musical and poetic value, I will be the first to admit that it’s not in the same class.

    But do you knwo ALL the words, including the “Rebellious Scots to crush,” bit?

  627. #633 davem
    February 13, 2010

    Anyone else see this – finally a good use for star wars technology?
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123680870885500701.html

  628. #634 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    But do you knwo ALL the words, including the “Rebellious Scots to crush,” bit?

    Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
    May by thy mighty aid,
    Victory bring.
    May he sedition hush,
    And like a torrent rush,
    Rebellious Scots to crush,
    God save the Queen.

    Incidentally, Field Marshal George Wade failed to crush the Scots. He was Commander in Chief of the Forces in England. When the Jacobites rose in 1745 the speed of their advance from Scotland left Wade in the lurch. He failed to counter their march into England and was dismissed. Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland replaced Wade and headed the army to the decisive Battle of Culloden in 1746.

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

  629. #635 negentropyeater
    February 13, 2010

    Anybody familiar with nephrolithiasis (acute kidney stones attack) ?

    Been suffering for the last 5 days. Difficult to follow Pharyngula.

    Azimov wrote about this in his memoirs.

  630. #636 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 13, 2010

    but do I understand that GL is accused of altering other peoples posts?

    Yea, he altered posts and deleted innocuous posts to avoid questions. He is also holding posts in moderation now and refusing to let them go through. It is difficult to express the degree of contempt I feel. I don’t know how his reputation can ever recover.

    BS

  631. #637 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    The font of all knowledge, wikipedia, has led me to understand that the last Jacobite pretender to the thrones of Scotland, England and Ireland is Franz, Duke of Bavaria (Herzog von Bayern), although he does not make any claim to the crown.

  632. #638 co
    February 13, 2010

    nejishiki, #619:

    I was going to write exactly the essence of what you did, only my version was a much more long-winded, awkward one. Nicely done.

  633. #639 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2010

    boy g, thanks for the Great North Special clips. I love it at the end when Garcia declares his love for Janis.
    “Never had such a good time in my life before…One good ride from start to end.”

    Cheesecake!

    Dr. Teeth is covering Pops on that one.

    you’ve got absolutely no taste in music.

    Then neither do I. The Pistols were a important cultural phenomenon (more Monkees than Beatles, IMO) but as music it’s purest crap. Yes, I understand that was part of the point.

  634. #640 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    The Pistols were a important cultural phenomenon (more Monkees than Beatles, IMO) but as music it’s purest crap.

    Are you suggesting the Monkees didn’t produce great music? How can anyone hear

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9daWKeyB8KM

    and not be moved?

  635. #641 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 13, 2010

    Aaannd they’re back in action. Laden and the Sargent are defending their behavior. Apparently Josh was warned and that makes it OK. Yech.

    BS

  636. #642 AJ Milne
    February 13, 2010

    …but as music it’s purest crap…

    (Holds up hand shyly, guiltily…)

    I must confess, speaking even as someone who kinda does like some music which as music is pretty much purest crap, I’ve never really got the fawning over the Beatles.

    They were… okay. Fun, even, sometimes. Twist and Shout was a great, fun tune at the high school dance when it came back around the time I was at those. Some of their more introspective bits were nice in that they do have some real soul, are listenable, and pushed back the borders of what you could do on a pop album.

    And… Umm… That’s about all I got. A good band, sure, and I absolutely respect that. But the various essays ya find about how they’re fucking supergenius magical music men, umm… Sorry. Never quite saw that.

    (/Cringes, writing that, realizing he’s probably inviting someone to write some more such bumpf to try to convince him anyway. Seriously. Anyone considering this, please. Spare us. I’m pretty sure by now it’s all been said.)

  637. #643 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    February 13, 2010

    Kel and Miki Z.,
    The argument Kel is positing seems to me to be related to some of Kolmogorov’s later thinking about probability and random processes. It would seem that as long as there are no truly random processes, one could summarize knowledge in terms of a finite number of facts (e.g. position and momentum of every particle in the Universe) and a finite number of rules (e.g. classical mechanics) relating to those facts from which we could derive other facts. When you throw in totally random processes, though, then by definition there is no rule that precisely predicts a priori the random variable. Thus, even a posteriori, the only way the knowledge of the random sequence can be summarized is by the random sequence itself. If the random sequence is infinite, then it takes an infinite amount of information to specify. If it is finite, then how do we know it is in fact random and, for instance, doesn’t begin to repeat on the next trial?

    Now if you throw in quantum mechanics, things get even more interesting. One could then argue that everything is random, and so cannot be predicted a priori. One could also argue that an atom decaying at time t and at time t+e (e~planck time) are in fact indistinguishable states. So in fact, one could argue that knowledge in a quantum Universe is more tractable than knowledge in a classical universe (at least one that admits random processes).

    In any case, speculations of this sort probably explain why if there is a God we haven’t heard from him. He’s probably gone crazy thinking about it and is resting in a quiet place somewhere (and somewhen?).

  638. #644 Carlie
    February 13, 2010

    Wow, take a gander at the epic thread of sleazeball behavior now. Not only did GL admit to changing Josh’s post, he’s proud of it. (Yes, I screencapped that one right away.)

  639. #645 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2010

    Are you suggesting the Monkees didn’t produce great music?

    NO, of course not*! I merely suggest that they were initially put together as a concept novelty act by a controlling manager-type rather than foming more organically as one might wish a true band-as-cultural-phenomenon to do.

    *And I hereby present my best argument to the contrary:
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2856490/the_monkees_porpoise_song_from_head/

  640. #646 RMM Barrie
    February 13, 2010

    SteveV @630

    aim of the US was to annex Canada, WE won

    War of 1812, revisited

    As early preparations for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 get underway in Canada and the United States, organizers in Canada have run into an unexpected hitch: Their American counterparts seem to think they won.

    National Post September 28, 2007

  641. #647 Alan B
    February 13, 2010

    For lovers of trains and poetry and genuine period pieces. All of this and a slice of one of the great documentaries about life in the 30s.

    I give you:

    NIGHT MAIL

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

    Notes: You will need to turn up the sound. Follow the links to the full documentary if you want to see how the BBC did things in the early days.

  642. #648 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Approaching the number of the beast. Time to get in one last post before running off to the grocery store, and upon return, finding PZ has opened a new eternal thread. May the thread keep chugging along…

  643. #649 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Pygmy Loris #559: Here’s why I love this name

    Awww. Almost too feckin’ cute to live.

  644. #650 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Sven, you anticipated me. I was waiting for you or someone else to rip into the Monkees and I was going to bring The Porpoise Song out.

  645. #651 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    ‘Tis @624: great Muddy Waters link. Yet another of my brothers, this one named Robert (lives in Alaska, all too close to Palin’s home town for his comfort), is a great blues guitarist, and a fair, if eccentric singer. My love of Muddy Waters began when Robert was learning those licks.

  646. #652 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Sven, you anticipated me. I was waiting for you or someone else to rip into the Monkees and I was going to bring The Porpoise Song out.

  647. #653 David Marjanovi?
    February 13, 2010

    <shock>

    Jadehawk, are you already awake or still awake? Both possibilities are rather scary.

    Sure enough, Junior crashed the country, just like he crashed Arbusto petroleum and every other thing he’d touched.

    Has been called the Reverse Midas Touch: everything he touches turns to shit…

    am pasting the English version

    The French text is completely different and has lot of Catholicism ( = Québec patriotism) in it.

    Do correct me if I’m wrong. But here, not on my blog.

    …Maybe it’s because I’m a scientist, but I’m really taken aback.

    If I’m wrong, I want to be corrected as quickly as possible and in such a way that everyone who has seen my error will see the correction ?

    You want to keep being wrong in your reader’s eyes???

    I don’t get it.

    It’s violent, but it’s about our first victory after the Revolutionary War. The British may have burned Washington, but we beat ‘em and our anthem exists just to rub it in.

    Some things bring out irrational patriotism in me

    Emphasis added. Who is this “we” you speak of? :-) You didn’t participate in the battle, did you?

    If you are unsure of my policies, read my about page. But do be aware that I have the right to arbitrarily change them if it amuses me to do so.

    So you openly admit to being this type of asshole. Good to know.

    OMG THE PYGMY LORIS IS WATCHING ME.

    It’s got big eyes, you know…

    I feel responsible for what is happening.

    <voice mode=”Last Action Hero”>Mighty big mistake.</voice>

    I wrote a really funny post on the Minnesota creationists thread…It is long like a Marjanovic’ post but without intelligence or attention to detail.

    :-) I need to check it out :-)

    Cheesecake!

    So I finally put “cheesecake” into images.google.com. Turns out my suspicion is most likely right: the most commonly available dessert in the canteen here is indeed several kinds of cheesecake.

    I wrote the following argument, which I’d like to get ripped apart if possible. It’s about the impossibility of omniscience, much in the same line of the “can God create a rock even he can’t lift?”

    Doesn’t the argument require that it’s not possible to know that one knows everything? If so, it fails on these grounds, I’d say.

    The Spanish national anthem, the Marcha Real, is rather stirring:

    In the “related videos” list there’s a version where you can actually hear (and read…) the text. Himno de la fe :-/ ? but still better than the Austrian one! Don’t get me started. :^)

    The version you linked to starts with the Chinese characters for “country”, “king” and “walk”. I don’t know the last two.

    but reject one of the most important songs of the 1970s as revolting?

    Well, duh. Of course! The 1970s are revolting in their entirety! I’m not being sarcastic.

    Monaco – one of the few remaining texts in the dying Monégasque language:

    Then where is the text!?! You linked to an orchestra-only version! :-)

    The tune isn’t bad, but the text would be the interesting thing!

    Andorra

    The best that can be expected for a country with this kind of bizarre history. :-) Not bad, all in all. Well, a bit kitschy, but I already mentioned the Austrian one.

    The South African one is

    :-o

    Genius. Pure genius. Nerdy outright!

    This is awesome, for instance:

    I froze in shock and horror so I couldn’t stop.

    My eyes have glazed over…

    My heartbeat…

    I feel all weak. Good that it ended, otherwise I’d have started trembling.

    How about this:

    The text is fairly funny, but the tune… forget about it.

    (Of course, that’s on purpose, it’s supposed to be a parody and all. But that doesn’t make it any more beautiful.)

    this is real music.

    Surprisingly, I can stand the tune, but the rest, like most modern music, is just a couple of guys shouting. :-\ Of course, I don’t understand the text beyond “I have two left hands”, so maybe all the fun passes me by…

    and this is so bad, it’s awesome. :-D

    That’s a way to put it. The text is largely funny…

    The best part is the flamethrower X-D

    Where’s truth machine when you need him? :P

    B-D

  648. #654 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    I double posted. Oh well, it all counts towards the 666th post.

  649. #655 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space @643: loved that entire post, but especially this:

    In any case, speculations of this sort probably explain why if there is a God we haven’t heard from him. He’s probably gone crazy thinking about it and is resting in a quiet place somewhere (and somewhen?).

    That’s pretty much the conclusion that I came to in high school, though not near so eloquently. God was defeated as soon as he put on the cloak of infallibility. I mean, think of the scope of his responsibilities just for a starter. He said to Himself, “Self, you have fucked up royally.” And off he went to whimper and blow his ruddy great nose. He now makes appearances as Mr. Deity because he read somewhere that self-depreciation is good for the soul.

    This revelation is somehow connected to my first exposure to topology in a geometry class. I forget the exact chain of thought, but I remember making mobius strips for several days. Some things just don’t get old.

  650. #656 Walton
    February 13, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself: Yes, I know most of the words, including the Marshal Wade verse (which was never in official use, but is occasionally sung for comedy value and to annoy the Scots). In full, there are five verses of which I’m aware, though only the first one is usually sung.

    From memory:

    God save our gracious Queen,
    Long live our noble Queen,
    God save the Queen!
    Send her victorious,
    Happy and glorious,
    Long to reign over us,
    God save the Queen!

    O Lord our God, arise,
    Scatter our enemies,
    And make them fall;
    Confound their politics,
    Frustrate their knavish tricks,
    On Thee our hopes we fix;
    God save us all.

    Thy choicest gifts in store
    On her be pleased to pour,
    Long may she reign;
    May she defend our laws,
    And ever give us cause
    To sing with heart and voice
    God save the Queen!

    There is a fourth verse which starts “From every latent foe / From the assassin’s blow…”, but I can’t remember all the words right now.

  651. #657 Walton
    February 13, 2010

    David,

    but still better than the Austrian one! Don’t get me started. :^)

    I quite like Land der Berge; the lyrics may not be fantastic, but the tune is by Mozart.

    The Swiss anthem (the Swiss Psalm) is better, though.

  652. #658 Walton
    February 13, 2010

    In the “related videos” list there’s a version where you can actually hear (and read…) the text. Himno de la fe :-/

    The text of the Marcha Real doesn’t actually have any official status, IIRC; it’s one of the few national anthems without official lyrics. (There are two sets of lyrics in common use, one from the Franco era and one more commonly used today.)

  653. #659 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2010

    The Porpoise Song

    Great minds and such. Nice cover.
    I love Head, the movie btw. What can you say about a flick with Jack Nicholson, Frank Zappa, Annette Funicello, Teri Garr, Victor Mature, Carol Doda, Sonny Liston, and Peter Tork?
    (plus Dennis Hopper in an uncredited nonspeaking cameo)

    This business of anthems reminds me of another point to be made about the idea that the Sex Pistols were in any way all that. Behold the National Anthem of the Yippie Nation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM6nasmkg7A

  654. #660 Keymaker
    February 13, 2010

    PZ: I was in the audience for your Sierra College talk. I was impressed with the aplomb and grace you showed handling the aggressive and vitriolic attacks of the deluded young man who came to the debate unprepared to debate. It was like watching an intellectual Jedi warrior school a Paduwan kindergarten. And then you invited him into the the inner sanctum of true believers (BJ’s) and continued to treat him with respect. Thank you for the work you are doing. Like a true master you make it look easy when it is not and you seem to be having a lot of fun. Happy monkey, and may a crocaduck bite your enemies on the ass!

  655. #661 SC OM
    February 13, 2010

    Thanks for the links, boygenius!

    ***

    That they’re now trying to justify this is mindboggling. Few times in the history of blogging have people been so unaware of how they’re making themselves look and the lines they’re crossing.

    And in truly the most ridiculous, grasping ploy, people who have called me what they have and now been openly apologetic for misogyny are trying to make an argument about “Steph” and “sidekick.” Seriously.

    Find me places where “sidekick” is used to describe the guy in a male-female pair.

    Willie Garvin. Yes, had to look it up, but I can’t think of a single female sidekick to a male, either. Every such pair I can think of is male-male or female-female. The emblematic sidekick to me is Captain Hastings. FTR, the two I was thinking of there were Smithers, but I didn’t want to steal it and was too sick/lazy to look back to see who mentioned it (I’m also not familiar enough with the show not to be open to arguments that Smithers had more redeeming qualities), and Marcie from Peanuts, but as I recall she was more of a voice of reason and tried to prevent Pattie from acting rashly, which is obviously not the case here. So I went with the generic.

    I thought A. Noyd was a woman.

    ***

    At this point, it looks like a pathological tendency toward self-destruction. Greg, you’ve basically acknowledged that in your actions online you hold yourself to no ethical standards.

  656. #662 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    As most of you know by now, some of my mormon friends keep me on their email list, and I receive lots of emails that are sent out by mormons to mormons in mass quantities. The one I received today is a scare tactic. It’s meant to defeat health care reform.

    For a more objective view of the rumor mill and the truth or truthiness actually contained in the bill, see
    http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/h/health-plan.htm

    Here are some choice excerpts from the scare-you-silly email:

    …Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of proposed House Bill 3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with particular emphasis from my area of expertise, constitutional law. I was frankly concerned that parts of the proposed law that were being discussed might be unconstitutional. What I found was far worse than what I had heard or expected.
         To begin with, much of what has been said about the law and its implications is in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are saying. The law does provide for rationing of health care, particularly where senior citizens and other classes of citizens are involved, free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession.
         The Bill will also eventually force private insurance companies out of business, and put everyone into a government run system. All decisions about personal health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats, and most of them will not be health care professionals. Hospital admissions, payments to physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly controlled by the government.
         However, as scary as all of that is, it just scratches the surface. In fact, I have concluded that this legislation really has no intention of providing affordable health care choices. Instead it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred, or even been contemplated If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed….
         This legislation also provides for access, by the appointees of the Obama administration, of all of your personal healthcare direct violation of the specific provisions of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution information, your personal financial information, and the information of your employer, physician, and hospital. All of this is a protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures. You can also forget about the right to privacy. That will have been legislated into oblivion regardless of what the 3rd and 4th Amendments may provide….
         So, there are three of those pesky amendments that the far left hate so much, out the original ten in the Bill of Rights, that are effectively nullified by this law It doesn’t stop there though.
         The 9th Amendment that provides: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people…
         I could write many more pages about this legislation, but I think you get the idea. This is not about health care; it is about seizing power and limiting rights. Article 6 of the Constitution requires the members of both houses of Congress to “be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution.” If I was a member of Congress I would not be able to vote for this legislation or anything like it, without feeling I was violating that sacred oath or affirmation….
     Michael Connelly Retired attorney, Constitutional Law Instructor Carrollton , Texas
         AFTER HAVING READ THIS, PLEASE FORWARD….
         If you don’t care about our constitution, or your rights under it, just do nothing.
         WE MUST HOLD CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

    The entire screed can be read here:
    http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/c/michae-connelly-hr3200.htm

  657. #663 nuada-oz
    February 13, 2010

    dia dhuit

    Amhrán na bhFiann

    Sinne Fianna Fáil,
    atá faoi gheall ag Éirinn,
    Buíon dár slua
    thar toinn do ráinig chughainn,
    Faoi mhóid bheith saor
    Seantír ár sinsear feasta,
    Ní fhágfar faoin tíorán ná faoin tráill.
    Anocht a théam sa bhearna baoil,
    Le gean ar Ghaeil, chun báis nó saoil,
    Le gunna scréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar,
    Seo libh canaig amhrán na bhFiann

  658. #664 David Marjanovi?
    February 13, 2010

    finally a good use for star wars technology?

    ROTFLMAO!

    Incidentally, Field Marshal George Wade failed to crush the Scots.

    :-D :-D :-D And it’s still in the anthem! :-D :-D :-D

    They should apply the German solution: only the 3rd stanza of this here is the anthem, all the rest has been quietly dropped.

    Though, actually, I still wonder if they should actually restore part of the previous text…

    Und wer weiß schon, dass die Urfassung eigentlich ein WM-Song war: “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser!”

    LOL in meatspace.

    (…Note how cleverly I wrote “previous” instead of “original“. I guess everything has to start as a love song.)

    In any case, speculations of this sort probably explain why if there is a God we haven’t heard from him. He’s probably gone crazy thinking about it and is resting in a quiet place somewhere (and somewhen?).

    ROTFLMAO!

    This is (yet) a(nother) Molly nomination.

    As early preparations for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 get underway in Canada and the United States, organizers in Canada have run into an unexpected hitch: Their American counterparts seem to think they won.

    I’m laughing a lot today, aren’t I.

  659. #665 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    The other mormon mass mailing I received today repeated rumors about Social Security, and came in the form of a petition (already bearing almost a thousand names of mormon worthies).

    PETITION for President Obama: Dear Mr. President:
    We, the undersigned, protest the bill that the Senate voted on recently which would allow illegal aliens to access our Social Security. We demand that you and all Congressional representatives require citizenship as a pre-requisite for social services in the United States.

    This one is all fiction, with no depends-upon-interpretation, nor mixture of truth and fiction about it. See http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/p/petition-illegals.htm

  660. #666 SC OM
    February 13, 2010

    Well, someone has to do it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM-E2H1ChJM

    Do correct me if I’m wrong. But here, not on my blog.

    …Maybe it’s because I’m a scientist, but I’m really taken aback.

    It’s also pretty funny. “Correct me on the blog that gets thousands more hits than mine.” Brilliant.

  661. #667 David Marjanovi?
    February 13, 2010

    the lyrics may not be fantastic, but the tune is by Mozart.

    Yes, I was talking about the :-S lyrics.

    the Marshal Wade verse (which was never in official use

    Oops. <blush>

  662. #668 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Re Alan B’s “Night Mail” link @647:
    In the farm she passes no one wakes,
    But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.
    Dawn freshens, the climb is done.
    Down towards Glasgow she descends
    Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes,
    Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
    Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
    All Scotland waits for her:
    In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs
    Men long for news.
    [excerpt from Auden's poem, which is recited in the Night Mail documentary film]

  663. #669 Feynmaniac
    February 13, 2010

    Andorra


    Nation Of Andorra Not In Africa, Shocked U.S. State Dept. Reports

    [Andorra] received over 3 billion dollars in US aid money last year. That funding has now been cut off following the revelation this week that Andorra is not a war-torn African region (as previously believed), but in fact is a very wealthy western European country.

  664. #670 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 13, 2010

    All this talk of anthems reminds of an air show sometime in the early-mid ’60s they had out at the local airport (this is Battle Creek, so guess who the airport is named after). They had a bunch of WWI planes (and some others) flying around. Took about a half hour of standing in the bright hot sun to play all the anthems of the planes being flown.

  665. #671 David Marjanovi?
    February 13, 2010

    Well, someone has to do it:

    Slowly I’m accumulating a classical education. :-)

    Tried to find the famous old parody (jour de boire, “day of drinking”) on YouTube, but can’t.

  666. #672 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    February 13, 2010

    Lynna says “This revelation is somehow connected to my first exposure to topology in a geometry class. I forget the exact chain of thought, but I remember making mobius strips for several days. Some things just don’t get old.”

    Yup! And some people claim philosophy will screw you up. Topology, Set theory and Non-Euclidean geoetry will F*CK WITH YOUR MIND. Back in physics grad school, the guys who did general relativity and cosmology were all uniformly nuts.

    So what do I do? I go and find an application of non-Euclidean geometry to statistics and probablity: Information Geometry.

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

    It’s a pretty interesting way of looking at the subject and seems to formalize some of the approaches I’ve been taking in spacecraft reliability calculations. I expect to be stark raving mad in a week or two.

  667. #674 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    It’s a pretty interesting way of looking at the subject and seems to formalize some of the approaches I’ve been taking in spacecraft reliability calculations. I expect to be stark raving mad in a week or two.

    Please retain one tiny corner of sanity, and from that corner send me a missive that tells me where you and god are hanging out … and what you are drinking.

  668. #675 Miki Z
    February 13, 2010

    Lynna@665:

    It’s enough to make me want to move back and claim to be an illegal. The benefits are great!

    I’m not a lawyer, but if my understanding is correct a “citizens only” test for social security would violate several treaties on reciprocal treatment for foreign social security programs. I know that our family pays into the Japanese social security system, but that if we moved back to the U.S. we would be credited with enrollment during this time in the U.S. social security scheme. I don’t remember the exact details of how this works.

  669. #676 A. Noyd
    February 13, 2010

    David Marjanovi? (#653)

    The version you linked to starts with the Chinese characters for “country”, “king” and “walk”. I don’t know the last two.

    ????? = kokuou koushin-kyoku
    kokuou = king
    koushin-kyoku = march [as in the type of music]
    ? itself means “go” or “move” in Japanese
    ? means “progress” [the theory of evolution is ??? (shinkaron) - progress change theory]
    ? means “song”

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    SC (#661)

    I thought A. Noyd was a woman.

    Indeed I am. I take it that I’ve been granted yet another honorary penis over there or something? (Talk about unwanted gifts.) I’ll go see what’s up when I’m more awake.

  670. #677 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space sent us to a wiki page that read, in part:

    The main tenet of information geometry is that many important structures in probability theory, information theory and statistics can be treated as structures in differential geometry by regarding a space of probability distributions as a differentiable manifold endowed with a Riemannian metric and a family of affine connections distinct from the canonical affine connection.[citation needed] The e-affine connection and m-affine connection geometrize[clarification needed] expectation and maximization, as in the expectation-maximization algorithm.
    Fucking citation bloody well needed, and new, turbo-charged brain as well.

    I kinda, sorta, half-assed get the “differentiable manifold” as a useful way to treat the questions you want to answer, but all the rest might as well be the worst postmodern gumbo ever cooked up.

    If I can think of a suitable way to retaliate …

  671. #678 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 13, 2010

    NASA Scientists Plan To Approach Girl By 2018

    We should modify this plan for Walton.

  672. #679 Miki Z
    February 13, 2010

    If you come across Japanese more than infrequently, you might find rikaichan to be helpful. It’s a firefox add-on that will give pop-ups of kanji with their meaning (including multi-character words).

  673. #680 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    David M., the link @673 (Feynmaniac), contains info on socks lost in dryers. Just didn’t want you to miss it. :-)

  674. #681 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    I take it that I’ve been granted yet another honorary penis over there or something?

    Join the club. I have been granted, more than once, an honorary adolescent penis that apparently is part of the equipment I have in my basement. And this is despite the “a” on the end of my name, which in most languages is a feminine signifier.

    Excuse me, I have to go pop my zits.

  675. #682 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    I know that our family pays into the Japanese social security system, but that if we moved back to the U.S. we would be credited with enrollment during this time in the U.S. social security scheme. I don’t remember the exact details of how this works.

    Interesting. I didn’t know that, but it makes sense. However, you must realize that conservative mormons do not like pesky, subtle details. Therefore, I think we should just conveniently forget that reciprocal agreements exist. And we should forget this as well:

    But because of so many illegal workers who use bogus Social Security cards to get jobs, billions of dollars of Social Security deductions are made each year as well as employer payments into Social Security on behalf of those workers. Illegals are not supposed to collect on Social Security and because their Social Security numbers are manufactured, they cannot collect so the money has become a part of the controversy over Illegal immigration. There have been some estimates that more than $60 billion a year are being paid into the system because of illegal immigrants, money that would disappear if the immigrants did.

    Hmmmm. $60 BILLION — wonder what we can do with that?

  676. #683 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Hmmmm. $60 BILLION — wonder what we can do with that?

    Leave it there. I’m down to single digits for retirement…

  677. #684 Sili
    February 13, 2010

    I hate computers. Flashplayer’s just started going choppy, so I can neither use Youtube, nor listen to the BBC Iplayer. Annoyingsome. (And, yes, I’ve tried the obvious – reïnstalling and rebooting.)

    Damn. Someone needs to stage an intervention in the Laden home.

  678. #685 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    If I can think of a suitable way to retaliate …

    Tom Lehrer’s “Lobachevsky”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL4vWJbwmqM

  679. #686 Paul W.
    February 13, 2010

    I posted this Greg’s at 10:19 AM. Given the recent censorship and silent mangling of what some people post, I thought I’d post it here too, for the record, verbatim and character-for-character, typos and all.

    ————–

    Stephanie,

    I said Greg pointed to comments, not to quotes.

    My impression has been that Greg generally made reference to her comments or “her commentary” without being clear which particular comments were objectionable, or what particular ideas expressed in them were the objectionable ones.

    That is why we were pleasantly surprised—and sincerely glad, contra your protestations—when Greg posted the current post. Finally we had some specifics to look at, to try to make sense of his claims. That really is something we’ve been asking for, over and over, for days, and we got it. Cool.

    The fact that we don’t see those specific quotes as damning doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate having the specifics to judge for ourselves.

    The fact that we disagree with you doesn’t mean that we are insincere, as you seem to think.

    You and sometimes Greg keep bringing up the issue of whether you trust us, enough that it’s worth explaining or justifying yourself to us.

    For us, that is no the issue. The issue is whether we should take your word for it that you’re seeing something that’s actually there, and making reasonable accusations rather than unreasonable ones.

    In our world, the burden of proof is on the person making the claim, most especially if that claim is an unflattering accusation, such as antisemitism—or even a supposed appearance of antisemitism by someone who strives not be or appear antisemitic.

    Through all of these threads you have tried to make it sound like people from Pharyngula kept dragging things back to the subject of Henry Gee, and specific events at Pharyngula, when that’s not what this is about.

    I think there’s a little truth to that, but not much. One reason we’ve been unable to get off that subject is that you and Greg keep confirming to us that you do think particular things about that event, which we disagree with, and that you do take them as examples of what you’re currently talking about.

    You also appear to be using what Greg is overtly saying as a justification for what he and you said earlier, which we disagreed with, and still do.

    In the thread titled “Should Just Anyone be Allowed to Piss on Henry Gee’s Rug?”, I brought up what I considered an important issue, which has still mostly gone unaddressed.

    Greg conveniently talked about civility as though the issue was whether commenters stayed within blogger-stated and blogger-enforced rules, which I and others thought was simply wrong. What constitutes civility is largely a matter of social norms over and above the ground rules enforced by a blogger stating policies, censoring comments, and booting people. Even at Pharyngula.

    Greg persisted in this framing, which we persisted in disagree with.

    That had a big effect on the ensuing mess, to this day.

    One convenient consequence of Greg’s convenient framing is that Henry Gee apparently did not violate any relevant norms of civility at Pharyngula. He didn’t piss on the rug, or it doesn’t count, because people regularly piss on the rug and each other at Pharyngula, and PZ lets it happen. That framing allows you and Greg to say that Henry’s irrelevant, and is not an interesting example of the civility issues we’ve been talking about throughout.

    More importantly, that framing allowed Greg and you to freely dis SC. You could portray her as a whiner groundlessly claiming that Henry violated norms of civility that, supposedly, do not exist. You could ridicule her and other people at (or from) Pharyngula as people who can dish it out but can’t take it.

    We thought, and still do, that that framing is wrong, obtuse, misleading, and rather sleazy. There are important norms of civility at Pharyngula, and whether those norms are valid is central to all the major arguments we’ve been having through these three trainwreck threads. Not just about the specifics of what Henry did or didn’t say, or what SC did or didn’t advertently imply that might be construed as antisemitic, but about

    1) what constitues actual civility,

    2) whether there are basic principles of civility that apply across blogs, including Pharyngula and Greg Laden’s blog, and

    3) who has or hasn’t been violating those norms of civility

    One problem that you’ve had getting the conversation away from Henry and SC is that you keep appealing to your convenient framing when you dis and try to dismiss SC, and we don’t go along, on principle.

    Another problem is that you keep saying things that we think are simply false. We won’t let those things pass, even if they’re off topic, especially if they are unflattering to us or specifically SC.

    Once you make false claims about people, you can’t say that their responses are off-topic; you made them the topic. Deal with it.

    One of the persistent falsehoods, as we see it, is that you’ve claimed that Greg made things clear, and gave examples, when to the best of our knowledge, he hadn’t until the current post. You kept appealing to a certain view of events that we did not think was a consensus view, and still don’t. You used that as an excuse to dis SC, which we thought was sleazy, and still do.

    As I said, that’s why we are truly glad to have something concrete to evaluate.

    Another persistent falsehood that you kept asserting—in support of your convenient framing, and in the specific context of trying to marginalize and ridicule SC—was that we were making a straw man claim about Henry having called us Nazi-like.

    In this thread and the previous one, you’ve said things to the effect that SC’s an assclam for making something out of nothing, and derailing perfectly good threads to dwell on her petty old grievances.

    If you wanted to get off the subject of Henry Gee, or SC, you couldn’t have picked a worse way of going about it.

    Once you accuse somebody of being unreasonable, you have made that the topic.

    Once you accuse someone of falsely representing things, you have made the validity of their claims the topic.

    You made sure that SC had very good reason to discuss what Henry Gee actually said, and whether her grievances were real, and whether they were petty.

    If you don’t want people to defend themselves, stop accusing them. If you don’t want them to discuss their grievances, stop saying that their grievances are nonexistent or just petty.

    In your comment 21, you said to me:

    I got distracted by the fact that the rest of that comment is about getting other people to judge Henry. If that hasn’t been your actual intent in this thread of threads, I’m open to hearing what it is.

    As I briefly said before, you are quite right that one of my goals was to get people to judge Henry.

    I want to make it explicit that I was doing so because you made it the topic. SC’s petty old off-topic grievances are not that petty, are not that old, and are certainly not off-topic.

    The underlying themes of these three threads have been what constitutes civility on blogs, and on specific blogs, and now what constitutes intentional or inadvertent antisemitism or racism, or appearances of same.

    Notice that the only concrete instances of any of that have been around Henry Gee, Pharyngula, and SC.

    Like a lot of other people, I find a lot of what Greg says appealing at a certain high level and in a certain metaphorical way.

    But many of us have concerns about how the rubber meets the road. We have questions, and we need to work through examples, so that we can try to get clear on crucial issues like:

    1) when, exactly, are you being uncivil for focusing on a “rational argument,” and ignoring people’s strong feelings, vs. giving away the store by tiptoeing around loaded subjects

    2) what, exactly, constitutes antisemitism, or an appearance of antisemitism, or an inadvertent but negligent use of a dog whistle that sounds like antisemitism and might be reinforce antisemitism.

    We are not uninterested in what Greg is talking about. We just don’t know how the rubber meets the road, and we are wary because it often seems that he’s taking a circuitous route to justifying things he’s already said, which we disagree with, and doubt that he will ever address squarely enough to change our minds.

    I think that’s a reasonable suspicion, given his and your style of argument lately.

    We don’t think it’s any coincidence that Greg’s spectacularly loaded metaphor about firing squads is explicitly about Pharyngula (but not only Pharyngula) and about antisemitism or appearances of same at Pharyngula.

    It is utterly inevitable that we’d think the post was about Henry Gee and SC, because

    1) that is clearly the elephant in the room, and everybody who’s been paying attention knows it, and

    2) it is the only specific example of that sort of thing that we’ve been given, and it’s natural that we’d try to map the supposedly useful analogy onto that specific case to see if we can make the rubber usefully meet the road.

    3) you keep making specific, concrete claims about those people and those events, e.g., that Greg had already given specifics, and that SC was beating a straw man w.r.t. Henry.

    If you want to change the subject, change the subject.

    You can’t let go of what we consider to be some very convenient straw men. If you want us to agree with you, you have to make your case.

    It does not help to condescend to us, and tell us that you don’t care about our opinion. You evidently do, or at least you care about the subject of our opinion enough to keep trying to get the last word and frame things to your liking, and to get us to shut up.

    It doesn’t work, and isn’t going to work. That is not how we roll, and for us, it’s a matter of principle, as well as a matter of self-defense. We do have certain strong social norms at Pharyngula, and we think they’re valid in ways that apply here, too.

    We are not going to let it go before you do.

  680. #687 Desert Son, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Quick stop through to send good wishes for health and recovery to negentropyeater!

    Also commiserations to SC, Sven, Josh, Blind Squirrel, and others for the recent maelstrom at an elsewhere blog. The craziness of all that has left me fairly gobsmacked.

    As an addition to the musical selections on this particular section of the endless thread, I humbly submit the only Miracles I believe in.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  681. #688 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Tom Lehrer’s “Lobachevsky”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL4vWJbwmqM

    Suitable retaliatiion, ‘Tis. Thanks. Now I’m wondering if Ray Comfort watched that video and took as a How-To-Look-Smart manual — the advice regarding plagarism, for example.

  682. #689 Knockgoats
    February 13, 2010

    The emblematic sidekick to me is Captain Hastings.

    Sidekicks seem to be a feature of detective/police stories, from Holmes and Watson onward – there, of course, it had the advantage of enabling the stories to be told from Watson’s point of view, thus concealing Holmes’s chain of deductions until the end. In British TV police procedurals two of the best known pairings are Barlow and Watt (Z-Cars and Softly, Softly – I’m showing my age here), and Morse and Lewis in Morse – all male – but in Prime Suspect 2 by Linda La Plante, D.I. Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) had a (black) male sidekick, Sgt. Robert Oswald (Colin Salmon). The original Prime Suspect had a strong feminist theme, with Tennison struggling against sexism in the force as well as catching a serial killer of women, but this theme was downplayed in subsequent series.

  683. #690 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 13, 2010

    I am like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know…

    This Greg Laden guy (if I’m not mistaken) disapproves of the word “pygmy” in Pygmy Loris…am I wrong?

    In the “About” tab on his blog I found this:

    I had the good fortune of starting my thesis work with Glynn Isaac, and working with the Efe Pygmies in the Ituri Forest, of Zaire.

    Maybe the word pygmy is only offensive when it refers to entities that are not humans. Like lorises, hippos and hamsters.

  684. #691 nejishiki
    February 13, 2010

    #638 co

    I was going to write exactly the essence of what you did, only my version was a much more long-winded, awkward one. Nicely done.

    Well, thanks. It was written at 3 in the morning, so I was just surprised when I woke up and found that it was even semi-coherent.
    One should not discuss theology at an ungodly hour.

  685. #692 Lynna, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Wow, Paul W. More power to you. You made a good effort to clarify the issues.

  686. #693 RMM Barrie
    February 13, 2010

    David Marjanovi? @653

    The French text is completely different and has lot of Catholicism ( = Québec patriotism) in it.

    Not sure which official version you are referring to, as there is the French direct translation version from English or the French version:

    « O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux,
    Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
    Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
    Il sait porter la croix!
    Ton histoire est une épopée
    Des plus brillants exploits.
    Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
    Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
    Protégera nos foyers et nos droits. »

    English Translation of the French Version:

    O Canada! Land of our forefathers
    Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
    As in thy arm ready to wield the sword,
    So also is it ready to carry the cross.
    Thy history is an epic of the most brilliant exploits.
    Ch.
    Thy valour steeped in faith
    Will protect our homes and our rights
    Will protect our homes and our rights.

    To save referring back, this is the English version:

    O Canada!
    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.

    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!

    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

    Then there is the bilingual version, which has the words changed depending on the region and artist.

    Anyone know of any country that has 4 versions of a national anthem, and then multiple bilingual versions?

  687. #694 Carlie
    February 13, 2010

    What gets me is that Greg’s being so “Yeah, so?” about the comment changes and email exposures. His reply was that he’s an asshole, deal with it. Well, there’s a big difference between being an asshole and being unethical. There can be honor even among assholes.

    Today he’s at the homeschool science fair exhibition, so he probably won’t do much with the blogging during the day. Interestingly, he’s blown up on his homeschool science thread too, over someone saying that it was kind of jerky to just go make fun of the displays, then him saying that’s not what he said he was going to do, and then the person saying that he wasn’t very clear about it in his post. Is “Greg can’t write clearly and then gets mad about it” going to be replayed on every post he makes from now on?

  688. #695 Knockgoats
    February 13, 2010

    The emblematic sidekick to me is Captain Hastings.

    Sidekicks seem to be a feature of detective/police stories, from Holmes and Watson onward – there, of course, it had the advantage of enabling the stories to be told from Watson’s point of view, thus concealing Holmes’s chain of deductions until the end. In British TV police procedurals two of the best known pairings are Barlow and Watt (Z-Cars and Softly, Softly – I’m showing my age here), and Morse and Lewis in Morse – all male – but in Prime Suspect 2 by Linda La Plante, D.I. Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) had a (black) male sidekick, Sgt. Robert Oswald (Colin Salmon). The original Prime Suspect had a strong feminist theme, with Tennison struggling against sexism in the force as well as catching a serial killer of women, but this theme was downplayed in subsequent series.

  689. #696 Sili
    February 13, 2010

    Chief Superintendent Foyle has a female sorta sidekick in his chauffeuse.

    By the way, Walton. If a duke (or his heir apparent) joins the catholic clergy, does he get to keep his title, or does it transfer to his younger brother immediately upon ordination?

  690. #697 Paul W.
    February 13, 2010

    I’ve been wracking my brain and I finally thought of a male-female pair with a female sidekick.

    I can’t remember their names.

    They’re on a British mystery series with an tall, dark-haired upper-class police inspector and a working-class female sidekick.

    Anybody know the name of the show or characters I’m thinking of?

  691. #698 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2010

    Before I forget, Paul W., if you somehow do not receive the next Molly, I’m giving you mine.

    I’m washing my pixel-stained hands of the whole Laden Affair.
    I put together a chronological collection of who said what when featuring a key screencap (thanks SC!) and Laden’s admission of altering Josh’s post, should it ever become useful or interesting.

    While doing so it occurred to me that I may have given the impression, via my veiled reference to e-mail correspondence, that Laden and I had negotiated some sort of quid pro quo, and I’d like to go on the record (of the Thread!) to say that’s not what happened. Without breaching my own online ethics, my perpective at the time was that he sent me a terse internet tough-guy cliche, and I responded with a four-word blow-off of the ‘whatever you say, dude’ variety. Subsequent events revealed that Laden interpreted our exchange differently than I had (quelle surprise!).
    That said, I shall not darken his servers again.

    I would also like to point out that the Hammond circus train wreck did not occur on the Nickel Plate road, and in any case my grandfather was only 15 at the time.

    Finally, this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv2pHN8fHiI

    watch the portcullis, now

  692. #699 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 13, 2010

    They’re on a British mystery series with an tall, dark-haired upper-class police inspector and a working-class female sidekick.

    The Inspector Lynnley mysteries, based on books by Elizabeth George. Barbara Havers is the sidekick/partner. As happens with fiction, Ms George lives in southern California.

  693. #700 Walton
    February 13, 2010

    They’re on a British mystery series with an tall, dark-haired upper-class police inspector and a working-class female sidekick.

    Anybody know the name of the show or characters I’m thinking of?

    The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

  694. #701 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2010
  695. #702 Walton
    February 13, 2010

    Argh, Nerd beat me to it. There I was hoping to look clever. :-)

  696. #703 Rorschach
    February 13, 2010

    Up at 530 am to watch the german soccer, in case anyone wonders…

    Anybody familiar with nephrolithiasis (acute kidney stones attack) ?

    Been suffering for the last 5 days

    Rule of thumb, if under 5mm the stone should pass within 2-3 days max, if >5mm might have to be retrieved.Standard care would be a CT scan to determine stone size and degree of kidney and ureter swelling, sometimes needs a stent or stone smashing to clear the pipe.
    I should start charging for this…:-)
    Get better soon Neg !

  697. #704 RMM Barrie
    February 13, 2010

    A. Noyd @599

    Thanks, saw those, and am not making much progress. There is mention but is not a good source for the standards here. Am looking at the Canadian Forces College library and there is the Library and Archives Canada None of my texts that I have here have a reference as I thought.

    Close to conceding to a combination of unprovable fact and legend.

  698. #705 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    February 13, 2010

    Male and female sidekicks in popular culture:

    Well, there’s The Avengers, Dr. Who, Get Smart…

  699. #706 Desert Son, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Sven,

    Thanks for the Fleck/Sangare link! I’d never heard that before – so cool!

    Still learning,

    Robert

  700. #707 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Argh, Nerd beat me to it. There I was hoping to look clever. :-)

    But you the link. I call it a tie.

  701. #708 Carlie
    February 13, 2010

    They’re on a British mystery series with an tall, dark-haired upper-class police inspector and a working-class female sidekick.

    I see it’s been answered, but my first thought was “Inspector Gadget?”

  702. #709 Sili
    February 13, 2010

    The original sidekick?

    No.

    The original female sidekick?

  703. #710 Knockgoats
    February 13, 2010

    Sorry – another double post. I blame the Illuminati.

    Maybe the word pygmy is only offensive when it refers to entities that are not humans. Like lorises, hippos and hamsters. – Antiochus Epiphanes

    Exactly! And of course, he’s quite right. Just like “dwarf” is only offensive when applied to mongooses (as in “d***f mongoose” – sorry to have to even hint at that offensive term simply to reinforce Greg’s point), “giant” only offensive when applied to fish (“g***t manta ray”), etc.

  704. #711 A. Noyd
    February 13, 2010

    RMM Barrie (#704)

    Close to conceding to a combination of unprovable fact and legend.

    Odd that it’s not more accessible a fact, whatever the reality.

  705. #712 Paul W.
    February 13, 2010

    My wife thought of Get Smart, but I was too slow, and I don’t recall how sidekicky 99 was.

    Anyway I think a_ray wins. It doesn’t get much better or definitively sidekicky than Dr. Who and his whole series of female sidekicks.

  706. #713 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2010

    Thanks for the Fleck/Sangare link! I’d never heard that before – so cool!

    He’s got two amazing records out now of his travels in west Africa in search of the roots of the banjo, and apparently there’s a documentary film out too.

  707. #714 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2010

    Rule of thumb, if under 5mm the stone should pass within 2-3 days max

    You have a tiny thumb, my friend.

  708. #715 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 13, 2010

    The popular CSI shows have made use of the lead and main assistant/sidekick of the other sex. The original had Gus Grissom and Katherine Willows for many years, and now it is Katherine and Nick Stokes. Similar patterns with the other shows, Caine/Duquesne and Taylor/Bonasera.

  709. #716 davem
    February 13, 2010

    When I think ‘sidekick’, I always think of western movies – the baddies always have various toothless sidekicks. Wikipedia says :

    The origin of the term comes from pickpoop slang of the late 19th and early 20th century. The “kick” is the front side pocket of a pair of trousers, and was found to be the pocket safest from theft. Thus the “side-kick” became an inseparable companion.

    I think Stephanie as ‘Smithers Z’ works fine for me.

    I’m probably one of the few here that have also visited the Ituri pygmies, albeit only on holiday. They’d gather around your tent at 7am, sitting in a circle, already smashed out of their heads on weed (available for 15 cents a handful). Their exposure to westerners hasn’t done them any favours in the dignity stakes, even if it has in financial terms. After a while one got fed up of their antics trying to extract money off you. There;s only so long that you can watch a guy pretending to shiver in 30C heat, because he wants your T-shirt. The ones who weren’t healthy were a wretched bunch indeed. I don’t think their life expectation exceeds 30 years.

  710. #717 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2010

    Hmmm, no portcullis?

    Latest projections (whole-Thread data fit to a 5th-order polynomial model) predict just about exactly 27K comments on the anniversary.

    24539

  711. #718 david.utidjian
    February 13, 2010

    I wouldn’t call the role played by Honeysuckle Weeks (Samantha Stewart) in Foyle’s War a sidekick. Seems to me that a sidekick is usually someone who has no other role than that of friend and confidant. Sam was Foyle’s “official driver”. Foyle never confided in her anyhting about the cases he was working on nor his personal life. Foyle was “typically British” and reticent when it came to anything personal and very professional when it came to a case under investigation. This, to my mind, was in stark contrast to the typical role of sidekicks in this genre.

    I really enjoyed Foyle’s War and watched the whole series again last summer (my local library has it on DVD.) I liked it because it was different. I liked it because it was semi-historical. Many of the episodes are based on true stories that actually happened during the war, though nowhere near Hastings. I liked it because the chemistry between the principal actors worked so well.

    I think it could even be cloned (like so many British TV shows) and re-done in a US setting. Even a different period (Cold War, Vietnam, Global War on Terrorism.) Some really interesting stuff could be tried using the Foyle’s War formula.

    -DU-

  712. #719 Jadehawk, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Jadehawk, are you already awake or still awake? Both possibilities are rather scary.

    I’m not sure in which universe you think I’m capable of being already up at 6am :-p

    No, I was promised tamales for dinner and insisted on staying up until I actually got some. they were tasty, and worth staying up for. Besides, it’s not like this is the latest I’ve ever stayed up.

    So I finally put “cheesecake” into images.google.com. Turns out my suspicion is most likely right: the most commonly available dessert in the canteen here is indeed several kinds of cheesecake.

    your cafeteria serves cheesecake? And it didn’t occur to you to mention that back when you were trying to convince me to study at your university?!

    Surprisingly, I can stand the tune, but the rest, like most modern music, is just a couple of guys shouting. :-\ Of course, I don’t understand the text beyond “I have two left hands”, so maybe all the fun passes me by…

    just be glad I didn’t link to another of their songs, entitled “kibel”.

    Also, at least as far as the metal-version of roaring into the mike is concerned, women sound identical to men. Which I discovered a couple weeks back when I went to a show* with a couple of metal bands playing; and after getting past the tall, scrawny teenagers, I realized that the guy screaming was actually a woman :-p

    PETITION for President Obama: Dear Mr. President:
    We, the undersigned, protest the bill that the Senate voted on recently which would allow illegal aliens to access our Social Security. We demand that you and all Congressional representatives require citizenship as a pre-requisite for social services in the United States.

    ah, yes. because citizens and illegal immigrants are the only two options. I guess I don’t exist in the mormon-verse.

    NASA Scientists Plan To Approach Girl By 2018

    *giggle*

    ——
    *like a concert, except in the basement of another business, with crooked and sticky floors and space heaters to keep us from freezing

  713. #720 Thebear
    February 13, 2010

    I can’t belive anybody would call themselves something as offensive as “greg laden”.

  714. #721 Knockgoats
    February 13, 2010

    Commiserations, but I’m afraid no useful advicve, to negentropyeater. Damned painful, so I understand.

  715. #722 Paul W.
    February 13, 2010

    Nerd,

    I’m not so sure that the CSI examples fit well. I don’t have the sense that most of those are clear duos, which seems important. It’s different if it’s a team, which happens to have a boss, without a clear Dynamic Duo-style duo dynamic.

  716. #723 Jadehawk, OM
    February 13, 2010

    oh, and on the subject on national anthems: I have to admit that the Polish national anthem does make me feel sentimental. Mostly because I’ve always had a thing for historical underdogs, and the Polish national anthem (and its historical context) expresses that sentiment perfectly.

  717. #724 David Marjanovi?
    February 13, 2010

    One should not discuss theology at an ungodly hour.

    :-D

    And Enkidu as the original sidekick is a great idea, too!

  718. #725 Sili
    February 13, 2010

    Cheesecake!

    Damn, that’s catchy. Gobble, gobble.

    (Anyone for beefcake?)

    Kong Christian stod ved højen mast
    I rø-øg o-og da-amp.
    Han ha-avde i-ingen bukser på,
    Og det ku dronningen ik forstå.

  719. #726 Walton
    February 13, 2010

    Jadehawk, I will never understand why you love punk so much. I listened to a punk song once when I was doing A-Level music (it wasn’t on the curriculum, but I was working in the same room as the class doing the separate A-Level in “music technology”). It didn’t sound like music, just someone shouting incoherent profanities over the top of some loud electronic noise.

    Then again, de gustibus non est disputandum. And I suppose a lot of people would consider it weird that I actually sit and listen to national anthems from around the world (so much so that I know the words by heart to anthems of countries I’ve never visited). :-)

  720. #727 Jadehawk, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Jadehawk, I will never understand why you love punk so much.

    because punk sounds the way I feel.

    Plus, a lot (though not the examples I posted yesterday) of it is acrid and necessary political criticism of the sort you just don’t see anywhere else.

  721. #728 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Paul W. I guess it all depends on how one defines the genre. My CSI pairings might be stretching it a bit.

    I look at my mystery book pile, and Jonathon Kellerman’s (there are three of the Kellerman family publishing now) Alex Delaware/Milo Sturgis is definitely a pair, but I would have a hard time saying who is the sidekick.

  722. #729 Sili
    February 13, 2010

    Female detective, male sidekick.

    I’m sorta digging the punk. I must have mellowed out in old age. (Zum Glüch bin ich ein alter Mann?) I wonder what Jappus is up to these days.

  723. #730 David Marjanovi?
    February 13, 2010

    I have to admit that the Polish national anthem does make me feel sentimental. Mostly because I’ve always had a thing for historical underdogs, and the Polish national anthem (and its historical context) expresses that sentiment perfectly.

    Jeszcze Polska nie zgin??a, kiedy my ?yjemy ? “So far, Poland is still not lost*, as long as we live [anyway]“! Can’t but love it.

    * Or is “has disappeared” closer? Would fit the fact that Poland disappeared from the map several times.

    I’ve never bothered to find the rest of the text. I think I’ll do that now. … Of course, here it is.

    No, I was promised tamales for dinner and insisted on staying up until I actually got some.

    You’re tough.

    your cafeteria serves cheesecake? And it didn’t occur to you to mention that back when you were trying to convince me to study at your university?!

    You make it sound like I had ever stopped trying to convince you to study over here. :-) The university year starts in October; you still have time to make up your mind…

    (However, it’s not yet clear whether I’ll still be here. Currently looking for financing for a postdoc. If I can’t find any, I’ll have to try elsewhere ? Stuttgart, Berlin, London, Bristol, Chicago, Beijing, Cape Town, who knows.)

    I didn’t mention it earlier because I wasn’t sure what cheesecake was, and because cheesecake came up a month or two later, didn’t it?

    entitled “kibel”.

    HANDS OF MAH BUKKIT!!1

    What’s up with it? Do they puke in it?

    Also, at least as far as the metal-version of roaring into the mike is concerned, women sound identical to men.

    :-D

    I can imagine. My little sister once gave me a parody of black metal to listen.

    KRIIIIIIEG!!! BLACK METAL IST KRIIIIIIIEG!!! IHR WICHSER! BLACK METAL IST KRI?I?I?I?I?I?I?I?I?I?I?I?I?I?I?I?I?I?E?G!!!1!!!eleventy!!!!

    (“War, black metal is war, you wankers, black metal is war.”)

  724. #731 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 13, 2010

    @David,

    I’m curious about the pronunciation of your surname. My guess (to spell it phonetically) is:

    Mar-yon-oe-vich

    Did I get it right or wrong?

  725. #732 Jadehawk, OM
    February 13, 2010

    HANDS OF MAH BUKKIT!!1
    What’s up with it? Do they puke in it?

    not bucket; toilet.

    You make it sound like I had ever stopped trying to convince you to study over here. :-) The university year starts in October; you still have time to make up your mind…

    I’ll reconsider it if/when I get unfavorable responses from NDSU and the FAFSA people. I have to admit that I simply like the structure of American universities better than that of European ones, though.

    However, it’s not yet clear whether I’ll still be here. Currently looking for financing for a postdoc. If I can’t find any, I’ll have to try elsewhere ? Stuttgart, Berlin, London, Bristol, Chicago, Beijing, Cape Town, who knows.)

    Chicago would be awesum ;-)

    I didn’t mention it earlier because I wasn’t sure what cheesecake was, and because cheesecake came up a month or two later, didn’t it?

    I do not concern myself with such mundane details as chronological consistency.

  726. #733 Thebear
    February 13, 2010

    I’m wth jadehawk on the punk.

    This one is a favourite, I’d wish it wasn’t still relevant, but it sadly is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5GoFz6CPtI

  727. #734 David Marjanovi?
    February 13, 2010

    Kong Christian stod ved højen mast
    I rø-øg o-og da-amp.
    Han ha-avde i-ingen bukser på,
    Og det ku dronningen ik forstå.

    Please explain the joke…

    Of course, anything with at gotens hjelm og hjerne brast cries for being parodied. That’s even less subtle than The Star-Spangled Banner or the Marseillaise.

    Glüch

    Glück.

    I’m not sure in which universe you think I’m capable of being already up at 6am :-p

    Horrible emergency… sudden craving to see a sunrise in the snow… Or it could have been temporary: you needed to go to the toilet and got a sudden craving for the endless thread… what do I know :-)

    Full disclosure: when I was digging in Crayssac (the place with the pterosaur footprints, including the recently published track of a landing pterosaur), we dug in the evening and then again till 4 at night; we went to bed at sunrise (6 am) and slept till 2 pm. The idea was to have very low light for not overlooking the footprints.

  728. #735 Sven DiMilo
    February 13, 2010

    Glargh, now I’m in a SIWOTI-fueled flamewar with some asshole on the Huntsville thread.

    You know what? This isn’t that fun recently. I’m going to try to stay off the blogosphere for a while. If I’m not around, that’s why. (If I am, I’m sicker than I’d hoped and you-all should, like, intervene or something).

    I’ll be back before Thread-Everlasting Day (2/24/10), I’m sure. Hold shit down.

  729. #736 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Chicago would be awesum ;-)

    Shubin and Sereno. AWESOME!

  730. #737 David Marjanovi?
    February 13, 2010

    Did I get it right or wrong?

    About as close as you can get in English terms. The stress is on the second syllable (not the third as it would be in Polish), and the o is closer to “aw” than to “oh”.

    not bucket; toilet.

    I see…

    I get the sudden urge to post the lyrics of a song I learned in elementary school, most definitely not from the teachers. So far I can still restrain myself. :-)

    Chicago would be awesum ;-)

    OK, I’ll write to this guy first. … Hey, lots and lots of famous people there… would be awesome indeed… and one of them is a Postdoctoral Fellow, so it’s possible to do postdocs there “even though” it’s a museum! Hmmmm.

    :-)

  731. #738 Sili
    February 13, 2010

    Glück

    Bugger. That’s what I get for not going with my gut.

    When did you get the degree? I’m soooooo out of the loop. Congo rats! though. (Bristol would be nice – I’d come visit if I ever go back to Bath.)

    Please explain the joke…

    Commonly made up words by kids to the tune:
    He wasn’t wearing any trousers
    And that puzzled the queen.

  732. #739 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 13, 2010

    Sili #696

    By the way, Walton. If a duke (or his heir apparent) joins the catholic clergy, does he get to keep his title, or does it transfer to his younger brother immediately upon ordination?

    My recent intensive research¹ into Jacobite pretenders revealed HRH Duke Henry Benedict Cardinal Stuart. His Grace and Eminence was the Duke of York in the Jacobite peerage. The Papacy did not recognise Henry as the lawful ruler of England, Scotland and Ireland, but referred to him as the Cardinal Duke of York.

    ¹Reading a couple of wikipedia articles.

  733. #740 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 13, 2010

    Chicago would be awesum ;-)

    You have to be kidding. I wouldn’t wish living in Chicago on my worst enemy. I live in the upper Midwest and I plan my trips to avoid Chicago.

    I can only assume you would find it awesum to have Dave around.

    BS

  734. #741 Jadehawk, OM
    February 13, 2010

    I like chicago. it’s one of the cities i’d love to move to (if only because it would solve the problem of having to travel for days to get my passport renewed :-p ), but can’t. what’s your issue with it?

  735. #742 Sili
    February 13, 2010

    Last!

  736. #743 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 13, 2010

    Word, Jadehawk and TheBear. I like all kinds of punk-rock myself. I have always been a guts over technique type. This might explain the revocation of my drivers license.

  737. #744 PZ Myers
    February 13, 2010

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