Pharyngula

When we last left the never-ending thread, the subject was cooking. Eat this!

One thing that annoys me in these shows is the completely uncritical acceptance of a culture’s primitive beliefs in sympathetic magic. It’s meat, people. It’s got no powers other than the basic, material ones of providing nutrients.

Comments

  1. #1 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    You can talk about your gourmet cuisine all you want, but for me? There’s nothing quite like a good bacon, lettuce, tomato, and bull-penis sandwich.

  2. #2 Knockgoats
    February 28, 2010
    provided (as I hope), he’s by then a productive member of society being reasonably recompensed for what he does.- Me

    I have put in bold the most important advantage a parent could hope to pass on to their children. – llewelly

    But I want that for everyone llewelly – only of course I have a particular responsibility for my son, being 50% responsible for his very existence. That’s different from wanting to pass on material wealth or social status that will advantage him relative to others. OK, as things are, I won’t go out of my way not to, but i’d much rather live in a society where this was not possible to anything like the extent it is now.

  3. #3 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    While I’m at the top of a subThread here, I’d like to thank PZ for paying attention enough to turn over a new subThread at the exact 1-year mark.

    And hey, look: episode numbers!

    This is a class operation.

  4. #4 Givesgoodemail
    February 28, 2010

    Pat Allen, the woman who used to run the Alley Theater in Houston, used to use a cane covered with leather made from what was euthemistically called a “bull’s goober”.

    Claimed it gave her the strength to do her job.

    Right.

  5. #5 Sili
    February 28, 2010

    Speak of the devil…

    You flatter.

    Speaking of ‘cooking': I’ve just filtered the last batch of sloe schnapps. Smells loverly. Now it’ll just have to last till next Winter.

    Can I get the recipe for that chicken potpie mentioned yesterthread? I have some chicken thighs in the freezer.

  6. #6 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    provided (as I hope), he’s by then a productive member of society being reasonably recompensed for what he does.

    channeling today’s Doonesbury?

  7. #7 JD
    February 28, 2010

    In the words of Peter Gabriel: “This time you’ve gone too far.”

  8. #8 Q.E.D
    February 28, 2010

    I tasted bull penis in Bejing last year. It had a rubbery and slimy texture. It was pungent. I cannot recommend it.

    I can also attest to the fact that it did absolutely nothing for my libido.

  9. #9 Armand K.
    February 28, 2010

    Diners who seek it out not only for its romantic and medicinal effects, but also for its taste.

    The lecturer definitely got it backwards. Shouldn’t taste (and nutritional value) be the primary reason to eat something, way before superstitious beliefs.

    And speaking of bull genitalia… In some parts of the world, where bull fights are popular (mainly in Spain, I suspect), the balls are a highly prized delicatesse. I wonder if it comes with the same set of nonsense about boosting virility?

  10. #10 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    Today is blockuqote day. Almost every single instance gets spelled this way at first.

    Also, 47 Things That Never Happen on Star Trek. Of course, most of them fit the rest of TV/Hollywood just as well.

    Richard Dawkins has gone to the trouble of designing a test for homeopathic medicines.

    Perfect. Prince Charles really should fund it.

    Well, I possibly created an exaggerated impression when I said “intensive” weight-training.

    So what? I’ve never done any training for my arms whatsofuckingever. Next to no body fat (as determined by poking and tweaking myself), probably not quite 60 kg (though I haven’t weighed myself in months, perhaps years). You can’t escape having more muscle mass than I and therefore weighing more, never mind the 3 cm of bone.

    And younger men may need to add snacks to the five-meal regimen.

    I have one big meal per day and spend the rest snacking. Grazing ? continuous eating the way all other apes do it.

    Speak of the devil…

    Before I forget, Wiener Schnitzel isn’t eaten with anything but rice and the oil it was fried in.

  11. #11 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 28, 2010

    In some parts of the world, where bull fights are popular (mainly in Spain, I suspect), the balls are a highly prized delicatesse.

    I remember an old Dallas episode where they were serving the balls from the steer making process at a luncheon. Texans, is this still the case?

  12. #12 Odonata
    February 28, 2010

    Here is a first hand account of an experience with a different highly prized delicacy. Cocka-doodle-doo!

  13. #13 Matt Penfold
    February 28, 2010

    I wonder if it comes with the same set of nonsense about boosting virility?

    Yeap, it does. At least in Spain it does.

  14. #14 Knockgoats
    February 28, 2010

    Sven DiMilo@6,

    Well, I’d much rather my son played the piano in a brothel, or even joined the army, than became an investment banker or private equity fund manager!

  15. #15 Walton
    February 28, 2010

    Before I forget, Wiener Schnitzel isn’t eaten with anything but rice and the oil it was fried in.

    Really? I’ve seen it served with chips before (and this was in Austria). But maybe that’s only for the tourists, and, admittedly, I haven’t been to Vienna (only to Salzburg, Vorarlberg and the Tyrol).

  16. #16 Sili
    February 28, 2010

    Rice?!

    No, Brasenkartofln.

  17. #17 Walton
    February 28, 2010

    So what? I’ve never done any training for my arms whatsofuckingever. Next to no body fat (as determined by poking and tweaking myself), probably not quite 60 kg (though I haven’t weighed myself in months, perhaps years). You can’t escape having more muscle mass than I and therefore weighing more, never mind the 3 cm of bone.

    Yes, that’s probably true. Before I started going to the gym regularly (at the age of 17/18), I was stick-thin and weighed about 56 kg, while being about the same height I am now. So I’d like to think that a lot of the gain over the last few years has been muscle mass. This is borne out by the fact that I still have a narrow waist, and little apparent body fat.

    Despite this, I still (irrationally?) worry about my calorie intake, especially when I’m not exercising regularly.

  18. #18 chuckgoecke
    February 28, 2010

    Bull, or actually calf testicles are pretty standard exotic fare in the ranching areas of North America. They sometimes call them “Rocky Mountain Oysters” or just mountain oysters. At the local grocery store(Fiesta), when I’ve seen them, they’re called “Calf Fries”. Having tried them in several ways, I’d say they are okay, sort of weird tasting, like most organ meats. They are also reported to have aphrodisiac properties, which may have a minute bit of truth, especially of eaten raw. They probably do have a bit of testosterone, which if it survived cooking, and your digestion, would make you feel a bit randy. Especially if you are a woman, and not already poisoned with the stuff.

  19. #19 Doug
    February 28, 2010

    These stupid superstitions might be simply laughable in cases like this, but many of them are far from benign. For example, use of bear bile as a “medicine” has lead to a great deal of poaching of wild bears and of obscence cruelty to caged bears.
    Why is it that “potency” aids never come from really prolific animals like rats?

  20. #20 machintelligence
    February 28, 2010

    Here in Colorado I have heard a waitress explain Rocky Mountain Oysters to a tourist: “Them’s bulls balls, maam”.

  21. #21 Matt Penfold
    February 28, 2010

    Here in Colorado I have heard a waitress explain Rocky Mountain Oysters to a tourist: “Them’s bulls balls, maam”.

    I have to admit I would not have known what they are. If pushed I would have hazarded a guess they were not a freshwater shellfish delicacy though.

  22. #22 Monty Burns
    February 28, 2010

    Bulls penis – No, thank you. personally, I prefer nursing at the wife’s teets. “Milk makes strong bones”.

  23. #23 Ben in Texas
    February 28, 2010

    I know I’ve seen a couple of studies about the evolution of morality here in the past few months or so. Anyone have any links handy? Thanks.

  24. #24 Knockgoats
    February 28, 2010

    Why is it that “potency” aids never come from really prolific animals like rats? – Doug

    In case this isn’t a rhetorical question, it’s because they wouldn’t then be difficult to obtain, and thus no-one could charge a lot of money for them.

  25. #25 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawk2Xt_ci2IMcjbRErnvDqx2xkKuOJj7KLU
    February 28, 2010

    Bull penis as an aphrodisiac? Come on, that the the most direct example of “placebo effect” in the world. Sex drive is 90% mental (if not higher), so here we have the perfect case study. (“Damn, Johnny, those are the biggest sugar pills evar!”)

    (Wow, signing in via google really chews up your name, doesn’t it?)

    Got my kids an order of Rocky Mountain Oysters some years back. Didn’t tell them what they were until we were in the car heading out. My ears are still ringing from the screams…

  26. #26 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    Only 22 comments so far? What is this, slow-news day!?!

    I’ve seen it served with chips before

    That’s very common, but only in restaurants AFAIK.

    Steamed potatoes are occasionally eaten with Schnitzel.

    Brasenkartofln

    Do you mean Bratkartoffeln? Fried potatoes?

    Despite this, I still (irrationally?) worry about my calorie intake, especially when I’m not exercising regularly.

    Eat. Eat till you stop being hungry.

  27. #27 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    Got my kids an order of Rocky Mountain Oysters some years back. Didn’t tell them what they were until we were in the car heading out. My ears are still ringing from the screams…

    Frankly, you deserved it.

  28. #28 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 28, 2010

    Seems like a lot of effort for an aphrodisiac… what ever happened to just making out?

    I remember an old Dallas episode where they were serving the balls from the steer making process at a luncheon. Texans, is this still the case?

    I have not been offered any balls since I landed in Texas. At least not in a literal sense. :)

  29. #29 Matt Penfold
    February 28, 2010

    Only 22 comments so far? What is this, slow-news day!?!

    It is quiet even on the climate change threads.

  30. #30 blf
    February 28, 2010

    Only 22 comments so far? What is this, slow-news day!?!

    Recovery from Six Nations Rugbybazillion pints ‘o beer day.

  31. #31 ButchKitties
    February 28, 2010

    I watch a lot of travel/food shows. The pattern I’ve noticed is that anytime the locals claim a dish is an aphrodisiac or has a medicinal property, what they really means is that the dish is disgusting and some sort of lie is needed in order to convince people to eat it.

  32. #32 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    What cultural heritage, especially with food? Nearly every major cuisine in the country that is edible comes from people who are, or recently were, disdained minorities. When they weren’t virtually wiped out, like the Native Americans.

    you do realize that a lot of European traditional food is also stolen from Native Americans? or where do you think the main ingredients for marinara sauce, pierogi filling, or Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte comes from?
    And why does it matter that American traditional foods are “minority” foods? how does that make them NOT traditional American foods? or are only WASPs real Americans now?! how absurd…

    American cuisine before the big ethnic trends starting in the 50s/60s, was to cook (usually by boiling) until all flavor is a distant memory. There wasn’t much confidence around the spice cabinet, and it showed. Still does, in way too many parts of the country without heavy ethnic/minority influences.

    I’m sorry, but I’m not buying that. Thanksgiving alone would suffice as a proper “traditional American” food culture. Shoot, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie alone would suffice.
    Most traditional foods were holiday foods because they were expensive and rare; the rest of the time people ate some boring, flavorless staple. This is not something magically unique to the U.S. of the past.

    So actually, on the food level, America has done itself a favor by rejecting its WASP culture heritage and embracing ethnic diversity. Even small cities like Tyler have

    ah, so I was right. you do for some reason think only white Americans legitimately qualify as bearers of American (food) culture. WTF?

  33. #33 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    The apparent slowdown is not illusory. The Threadiversary subThread registered (slightly) less than 200 comments/d, which was typical of late January. (data shown here)

    Teh Thread is merely dropping back to a sustainable long-term pace.

    I hope.

    [Those knowledgable in population ecology may be reminded of a logistic growth curve with time-lag-induced overshoot (e.g.)]

  34. #34 Pygmy Loris
    February 28, 2010

    Aquaria #666 on the last thread

    American cuisine before the big ethnic trends starting in the 50s/60s, was to cook (usually by boiling) until all flavor is a distant memory.

    Perhaps you meant northern American cuisine? In the South we fry everything and it’s quite tasty. I can’t think of anything other than cabbage and soup in our traditional, rural Southern cuisine that my family boils.

  35. #35 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Despite this, I still (irrationally?) worry about my calorie intake, especially when I’m not exercising regularly.

    yes, it’s definitely irrational. to be honest, it’s sounding borderline anorexic. you don’t need to worry about calorie intake; worry about the quality of the food you’re eating, instead.

  36. #36 ~Pharyngulette~
    February 28, 2010

    In some parts of the world, where bull fights are popular (mainly in Spain, I suspect), the balls are a highly prized delicatesse.

    But isn’t the bull the loser in this case? Wouldn’t it be considered more desirable to snack on the balls of the clear winner – in this case, the matador’s?

    /snark

  37. #37 Pygmy Loris
    February 28, 2010

    Aquaria,

    I just finished reading the last Thread, and I’ve got to say something.

    None of the women (the primary cooks) in my family used cookbooks. My grandmother never owned one and my mom only uses them to make dishes that are not part of our cultural heritage (i.e. dishes she learned to make from her mother). Using cookbooks, especially commercial creations like Betty Crocker, isn’t telling you that much about what people ate, especially rural people.

  38. #38 Caine
    February 28, 2010

    Aquaria:

    American cuisine before the big ethnic trends starting in the 50s/60s, was to cook (usually by boiling) until all flavor is a distant memory.

    No, not at all. I have several ‘Inquire Within’ type books, complete with cookbooks, dating from the the 1800s. I’ve deciphered many of the recipes (no temps and few cooking times, this was pre-modern stoves/ovens) and the food is tasty.

  39. #39 Opus
    February 28, 2010

    By my primitive calculations it’s brunch time on the West Coast (USA), lunch time in the rest of the USA and approaching dinner-time in Greenwich & a few more time zones to the east. What to cook?

    How does this sound?

    For those waxing nostalgic about food from the ’50s, one visit here should cure such notions.

  40. #40 Sili
    February 28, 2010

    Ah. Anchovies! I knew there was a reason I’d repressed the memory of that garnish. I’ve never had Schnitzels that way, myself.

    There’s even a FB page

    Do you mean Bratkartoffeln? Fried potatoes?

    Probably. Boiled, then fried potatoes. Often a way to use leftover boiled spuds, but also made specifically for some things – like Schnitzel.

  41. #41 Pygmy Loris
    February 28, 2010

    Sili,

    You reminded me of another food we boil, potatoes for mashed potatoes! That’s the only reason I ever boil potatoes, otherwise, I pan-fry them or bake them.

  42. #42 Lynna, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Mormon Elders are working hard to add Spanish-speaking peoples to their horde (and to the tithing hoard), but they also want them to conform. Spanish speakers are encouraged to drop any cultural practices that don’t jive with mormon nonsense.

    More than 700 Spanish-speaking members in the San Jose, Calif., area gathered to hear Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve speak in their native tongue during a question and answer fireside held on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010….
         He also asked every member to eliminate cultural traditions inconsistent with gospel principles, accepting the culture and language of the country in which they live….
         After asking the members to identify cultural traditions they need to alter, many of the members shared personal points they planned to change. Some of the topics included attending Church regularly, punctuality in meetings, eliminating filthy language from their vocabularies and to cease the worship of “images.” A less machismo attitude and eliminating watching soccer on Sundays were also mentioned.
         ”Change what needs to change,” Elder Scott said, asking members to prayerfully consider gospel principles and how Church members can be consistent with Latter-day Saint teachings….
         Finally, in a frank and honest exchange of questions and answers, Elder Scott asked all members to recognize and understand the customs of the country in which they live and encouraged all members to learn the language of the country where they reside. …

  43. #43 Lynna, OM
    February 28, 2010

    More news about Catholics and mormons uniting to fight secularism

    If it was not for Mormon involvement in Proposition 8, there is every chance the same-sex marriage ban in California would not have been passed. The fact that Mormons had the money and organization to defeat gay marriage in California makes them a natural and powerful alley[sic].
         While their theological differences are huge, their political enemies are the same: Women and gays. Both Catholics and Mormons take pride in the notion that they defend the unborn and push for traditional marriage. “Protecting the unborn” is code for denial of women’s right to reproductive health care; “protecting traditional marriage” is code for homophobia, and the denial of basic rights to the GLBT community….

  44. #44 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Givesgoodemail (@4):

    Pat Allen, the woman who used to run the Alley Theater in Houston…

    It makes me feel older than I like to admit to hear someone other than Nina Vance referred to as “the woman who used to run the Alley Theater”!

    My mother was an arts critic in Houston in the 70s and 80s, and wrote a history of Houston theater¹, in which, as you might imagine, the Alley figures prominently.

    &sup1 I clicked through to view the used copies available for sale, and was surprised at the prices being asked for them… up to $125 for a signed copy! Hell, I wouldn’t pay that, and she’s my mother! (Of course, I already have a signed copy….)

  45. #45 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Pygmy Loris (@34):

    American cuisine before the big ethnic trends starting in the 50s/60s, was to cook (usually by boiling) until all flavor is a distant memory.

    Perhaps you meant northern American cuisine? In the South we fry everything and it’s quite tasty

    Whut part o’ the South y’all frum, Hon’? ‘Cuz my Georgia-raised Grandma mightuv fried chicken and catfish and breem, but she shore as shootin’ BOILED them snap peas and turnip greens the whole doggone day… in a big ol’ pot with about a pound o’ baconfat.

    Hey, it’s Nostalgia Day!! ;^)

  46. #46 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    the rest of the time people ate some boring, flavorless staple

    Or worse. See the comment from July 30, 2009 11:39 PM at this page (I can’t link to the comment directly) after having a look at the post itself.

    Even in richer areas, the diet was somewhat monotonous and predictable, as explained on August 5, 2009 04:34 PM on the same page (in German, but I can of course provide a translation).

    ah, so I was right. you do for some reason think only white Americans legitimately qualify as bearers of American (food) culture. WTF?

    <leans back>
    <pretends to eat popcorn>

    you don’t need to worry about calorie intake; worry about the quality of the food you’re eating, instead.

    Oh, that reminds me… artificial sweeteners, like those of the famous Diet Pepsi, are approved for pig fattening. Mammals, unlike bees, are fooled by the sweetness into preparing for an onslaught of sugar that doesn’t come; this creates a hunger attack.

    But isn’t the bull the loser in this case? Wouldn’t it be considered more desirable to snack on the balls of the clear winner – in this case, the matador’s?

    It is indeed thought by some that the winners, not the losers, of the sacred ball games of the Maya were sacrificed. Not in that way, though.

    Boiled, then fried potatoes. Often a way to use leftover boiled spuds, but also made specifically for some things

    Yes. To quote out of context: “yumyum”.

  47. #47 Caine
    February 28, 2010

    Pygmy Loris @ 37:

    Using cookbooks, especially commercial creations like Betty Crocker, isn’t telling you that much about what people ate, especially rural people.

    I wish we weren’t still buried in snow. Nothing like a dandelion bud & chive blossom omelette. Or a cattail salad.

  48. #48 Mike Wagner
    February 28, 2010

    A great show for seeing some of the “weird” stuff people eat, and actually making you want to try some is “Bizarre Foods” with Andrew Zimmern. I have a whole list of things I want to try now. He says that camel tastes like what beef should have if we hadn’t bred the flavor out of it. Bring on the camel!

    Angie The Atheist is still being called a murderer and sinner, among other things. Her latest video on the topic of abortion can be found here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72oITn2ZEhE

    And a little plug of shameless self-promotion here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBZ7shVluQ0
    Send it to all your loving Christian friends. :P

  49. #49 Pygmy Loris
    February 28, 2010

    Bill,

    My grandparents were from Arkansas and Tennessee. My memories of what my grandmother cooked are colored by what I liked to eat, fried chicken, fried catfish, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, fried squash, fried hushpuppies, fried corn fritters, and so on, so I forget about stuff like canned (at home) green beans and peas and such, but my grandmother never made turnip greens because none of the family liked them. I have extended family, however, that makes turnip greens and they do boil them all damn day, in a crockpot!

    One of the things I remember is that at Grandma’s house we rarely at anything from the oven in the summer because it was just too damn hot to cook in it with no air-conditioning. At Thanksgiving we would have roasted turkey, cornbread dressing, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, so much tasty stuff.

  50. #50 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    Pygmy brings up a good point about the variety of “American” cuisine. Before I lived in the south for three years, I thought “American” food was that boiled, un-spiced, blanched-of-all-color-and-flavor stuff I knew from growing up in the Northeast.* That stereotype about bland, boiled American food is actually true in areas and among families (like mine) that descended from the Brits and the Irish. I love ya, my UK friends, but you full well your indigenous cuisine is exactly like that:) Aside from fish and chips, you never had anything good to eat until curry takeaway became your national past-time.

    I learned the uses of buttermilk, hot sauce, ham bones, and lots of other good stuff during my time in the South of the US. But on the flip side, I found that the local cuisine was just as “one-note” in its own way as what I grew up with. It was nigh-on impossible to find anything that wasn’t fried, soaked in fat, or any veggies that weren’t boiled with pork. I love all that stuff, but not every day, for every meal.

    * Waspy Americans really have been terrified of the spice cabinet until very recently, equating “spice” with “my mouth will burn off.” One of the funniest things I ever read was in the late, lamented Weekly World News. They hired a “typical American family” (I really think this was legit, not satire) to taste-test the various fried chicken sandwiches at national fast food chains. Their verdict on Burger King? “That was a little too spicy for my family.” Still kills me.

  51. #51 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Or worse. See the comment from July 30, 2009 11:39 PM at this page (I can’t link to the comment directly) after having a look at the post itself.

    that reminds me… what is it with Europeans and their habit of naming new foods “apple”?

    earth-apples (potatoes), chinese apples (oranges), deep red apples (pomegranate), golden apples (tomato), pineapples (really? pine apples!?)….

  52. #52 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I learned the uses of buttermilk, hot sauce, ham bones, and lots of other good stuff during my time in the South of the US.

    mmm….buttermilk biscuits with gravy…. *drools all over keyboard*

  53. #53 blf
    February 28, 2010

    Pineapple was what we now call a pine cone. The tropical pineapple resembles a pine cone, hence the transfer of the name. From the Online Entomology Dictionary:

    pineapple late 14c., “pine cone,” from pine (n.) + apple. The reference to the fruit of the tropical plant (from resemblance of shape) is first recorded 1660s, and pine cone emerged 1690s to replace pineapple in its original sense. For “pine cone,” O.E. also used pinhnyte “pine nut.”

  54. #54 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    minor etymology fail: apparently, the “granate” in pomegranate doesn’t come from the color (deep red, or purple; which, come to think of it, probably takes its name from the fruit, not the other way round), but from a word for seeds/grains.

    anyway, it’s still an apple.

  55. #55 Mike Wagner
    February 28, 2010

    @Josh, #50

    The fear of spicy food turns up everywhere. I’ve got something wrong with my guts, and a lot of foods make me violently sick – but I love spice.

    So *any* time I eat something spicy in front of someone else who knows about my digestive problems I have to verbally fence with them several minutes about how spices or hot peppers have nothing to do with it. Typical responses are “Oh my god! No wonder your guts are messed up!”

    I can eat banana peppers out of the jar all day and suffer no ill effects. But specific fats, sugars, and vegetables might as well be poison.

    Bring on the heat!

  56. #56 blf
    February 28, 2010

    what is it with Europeans and their habit of naming new foods “apple”?

    Until recently, apple was a generic term for all fruit. Also from The Online Entomology Dictionary:

    apple … As late as 17c. a generic term for all fruit other than berries but including nuts. Hence its grafting onto the unnamed “fruit of the forbidden tree” in Genesis. Cucumbers, in one O.E. work, are eoržęppla, lit. “earth-apples” (cf. Fr. pomme de terre “potato,” lit. “earth-apple;” see also melon). Fr. pomme is from L. pomum “fruit.”

    That’s something new to me, I was always wondering why the unnamed fruit in the Eden story is commonly called an “apple”.

  57. #57 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    February 28, 2010

    If a bull’s penis really gives a boost to your sex drive, I think, by now Pfizer would be already marketing it to people.

  58. #58 monado
    February 28, 2010

    Chuckgoeke, the dish is also called prairie oysters, and there was/is a band Prairie Oyster.

  59. #59 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Until recently, apple was a generic term for all fruit. Also from The Online Entomology Dictionary

    oooooooohhhh….. now it all makes sense

    one more thing to add to the “things I learned on Pharyngula” list :-)

  60. #60 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    @Mike, #55

    The fear of spicy food turns up everywhere. I’ve got something wrong with my guts, and a lot of foods make me violently sick – but I love spice.

    I should have been more clear. The fear of spice I was talking about was the equation of flavor from spice with heat. They’re not the same thing. For example, beef in much Middle Eastern cooking is highly spiced – cinnamon, cloves, garlic, onion – but it is no more “hot” than an American meatloaf. Many Americans mistake the word “spice” for “tongue-burning heat,” and run away screaming.

  61. #62 monado
    February 28, 2010

    I’ve heard rumours that the traditional Irish shillelagh is made from a boar’s penis, which is a tough and fibrous spiral. Most people say it’s club of tough wood such as oak or blackthorn. Any opinion?

  62. #63 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    SC, #61 – Boy, am I glad to see that. Now, who wants to place bets on whether Ruth Gledhill or Andrew Brown will devote as much column space to this as they did to the distorted version of the forum closing that they used for gloating?

  63. #64 Caine
    February 28, 2010

    Josh, Official SpokesGay @ 60:

    Many Americans mistake the word “spice” for “tongue-burning heat,” and run away screaming.

    Truth. I was lucky, both my great-grandmothers and grandmother cooked with the full range of herbs and spices. I grew up eating nicely spiced food; learned to cook that way. When I was newly married (30 some years ago), my husband was rather shocked by all the herbs & spices I bought, but he learned quickly and couldn’t imagine cooking without them now.

  64. #65 monado
    February 28, 2010

    Of course it’s a slow day. All right-thinking people are rushing around finishing their weekend tasks so they can watch the Canada-U.S. hockey game at 12:00 Pacific Time. The U.S. won handily last time, thanks to their great goalie.

  65. #66 llewelly
    February 28, 2010

    Why is it that “potency” aids never come from really prolific animals like rats?

    That’s why you should drink beer. Yeast are far more prolific than any rat.

  66. #67 ~Pharyngulette~
    February 28, 2010

    (Whee! A topic I know something about!)

    I have to respectfully disagree that American cooking in the early part of the 20th C was bland and unimaginative. I?m rather proud of my 20+ years of collecting 19th and 20th Century US (and Australian and British) cookery books. Just glancing at a few that I pulled off the shelf this morning give these interesting recipe titles:

    Abalone Dinner DeLuxe
    A Novel Way with Venison
    Poached Eggs Espagnol
    (these from Sunset?s New Kitchen Cabinet, 1938)

    Bran Upside-Down Apple Cake
    Lobster a la Newburg
    Almond Soup
    Belgian Hare Fricassee
    (from The Settlement Cookbook, 1940)

    Crab Meat Timbales
    Lake Trout Baked in Paper Bag w/ Sauce a l?Italienne
    Egg Plant Saute
    (from 52 Sunday Dinners, 1915)

    These are all American cookbooks. Given how difficult it would have been to get food out of season and to distribute unusual ingredients, I think our foremothers were clever and did rather well with what they could actually get at their shops.

    Oh sure. There are some truly awful, bland and horrible concoctions from the same era (someone already pointed out Lileks’ site upthread), but I don’t think that it’s fair to paint with too broad a brush when judging historical cooking styles. Though I do agree that some of the muck from the 1950s was a nadir in flavour and adventurousness!

  67. #68 SC OM
    February 28, 2010

    SC, #61 – Boy, am I glad to see that.

    Me, too. I was hoping for something like that, which I thought there was good reason to expect after he apologized recently for something else. (I do wish he had said something about the deleted users’ posts, though, and I wouldn’t blame people if they were wary about being involved with Timonen still at the helm, especially since he hasn’t apologized publicly for his actions.)

    Before I lived in the south for three years, I thought “American” food was that boiled, un-spiced, blanched-of-all-color-and-flavor stuff I knew from growing up in the Northeast.*

    *eyeroll*

    That stereotype about bland, boiled American food is actually true in areas and among families (like mine) that descended from the Brits and the Irish.

    It’s true among some, no doubt. You shouldn’t generalize like that – that’s the problem with stereotypes, dude.

  68. #69 davem
    February 28, 2010

    Josh:

    That stereotype about bland, boiled American food is actually true in areas and among families (like mine) that descended from the Brits and the Irish. I love ya, my UK friends, but you full well your indigenous cuisine is exactly like that:) Aside from fish and chips, you never had anything good to eat until curry takeaway became your national past-time.

    Outdated, Josh. Times past. Yes, curry – and Chinese and French and Italian and Vietnamese and Thai and …oh, yeah, Fast American.

    Surprising factoid for the day:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/bunhillbritish-garliceaters-nose-ahead-of-france-1570298.html

  69. #70 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    It’s true among some, no doubt. You shouldn’t generalize like that – that’s the problem with stereotypes, dude.

    Oh, knock it off SC. I’m allowed to make generalizations about the region and families I personally grew up in without your self-righteous eyerolling. Do you understand the difference between speaking about that which you know from personal experience, and extrapolating that unfairly to that which you don’t know? There are worthier targets out there than me, SC. Aim somewhere more important. Dude.

  70. #71 Bastion Of Sass
    February 28, 2010

    My apologies if this has been already posted:

    Westboro Baptist’s version of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.”

    Although I usually avoid anything involving Westboro, a friend assured me that I’d laugh when I saw this, and I did.

  71. #72 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Me, too. I was hoping for something like that, which I thought there was good reason to expect after he apologized recently for something else. (I do wish he had said something about the deleted users’ posts, though, and I wouldn’t blame people if they were wary about being involved with Timonen still at the helm, especially since he hasn’t apologized publicly for his actions.)

    me, three. it’s great that he’s gonna archive the old forum, but that’s not gonna bring back the 15000+ deleted posts by the removed posters. and people might well be wary of believing that this sort of thing won’t happen again, considering no criticism or chastisement of, or apology from, the actually guilty party has been forthcoming.

  72. #73 SC OM
    February 28, 2010

    Oh, knock it off SC. I’m allowed to make generalizations about the region and families I personally grew up in without your self-righteous eyerolling.

    You don’t seem to understand what “self-righteous” means, Josh. You’ve used it about me twice in the last several days, and on neither occasion was it apt. Look, you’re making dumb generalizations about and contributing to a false impression of the region I grew up in.

    Do you understand the difference between speaking about that which you know from personal experience, and extrapolating that unfairly to that which you don’t know?

    Yes. You apparently don’t.

    There are worthier targets out there than me, SC. Aim somewhere more important. Dude.

    I’ll aim wherever the hell I please. I don’t like stereotypes.

  73. #74 NitricAcid
    February 28, 2010

    Jadehawk #54- I always thought it was an “apple of Granada”, which bears the fruit in its coat of arms.

  74. #75 Bastion Of Sass
    February 28, 2010

    Attn: Baltimore Pharyngula Fans!

    Just a reminder that our next get-together is this week: Thursday, March 4 @ 7 PM. More complete details on the group site.

    Hope to see you there.

  75. #76 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    SC – You have many admirable qualities, which is one of the reasons I jumped to your defense in the whole Greg Laden affair. But you do have a tendency, on occasion, to take offense where I don’t think there’s a good reason to – and you’re very aggressive about it.

    When I made my comments about the region I grew up in (yep, that’s right, I did too, not just you, SC), I was specifically referring to the place, and the families, in which I was reared, and where I went to school, etc. I’m allowed to make characterizations of my own family, friends, and hometown and regions, because I lived it. That’s not stereotyping, that’s personal experience. I was careful to qualify what I said to make sure people knew I was talking about my experience. What more could you want?

    You’re allowed to have a different view, and a different experience. But it’s not legitimate to characterize my personal observations about a place and people where I grew up as an illegitimate stereotype. Are you telling me I don’t know my own family? My own friends? My own hometown? Seriously – what is it that you want?

    And yeah, I do find you self-righteous sometimes. I don’t appreciate you policing things and finding offense in the most innocuous statements. As someone myself who has a passionate temperament, and is often too quick to make a snarky or judgmental comment, I have to do a fair amount of apologizing when I speak more quickly than I should. It bothers me that you don’t seem to be capable of doing the same. You’re never wrong, it’s always someone else. It stings even more because I respect your politics, your passion, and your eloquence.

    Sigh. If we want to continue to debate this, we probably shouldn’t derail the thread with a personal disagreement. I’m sorry for my contribution to that. You can always email me at spokesgay at gmail, or not.

  76. #77 Opus
    February 28, 2010

    Anyone who equates boiled food with bland has never tasted boiled chittlins, aka chitterlings. More here.

    Disclosure: I am among the group which firmly believes that this dish is one of the few foods which could reasonably classed as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

  77. #78 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    Anyone who equates boiled food with bland has never tasted boiled chittlins, aka chitterlings.

    I’ve never been able to work up the nerve to try them. Everyone I’ve talked to who’s been in a kitchen where they were cooking says the scent is. . . singular. Anyone here actually had them?

  78. #79 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    1)that Westboro Clip is…. fucking disturbing, on multiple levels.

    2)after watching that, I actually watched some real Lady Gaga music clips, since I’ve never actually heard any songs, because I don’t listen to pop. Turns out she’s not bad at all. lyrics are stupid, but the music is fun enough.

  79. #80 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    That stereotype about bland, boiled American food is actually true in areas and among families (like mine) that descended from the Brits and the Irish.

    Waspy Americans really have been terrified of the spice cabinet until very recently,

    Josh, the statements above are NOT just about your friends and family, it’s generalizing from your family and friends to the whole of the groups you mentioned. you can argue whether this is worth getting upset about, and whether SC is unfairly singling you out, but you can’t argue you didn’t stretch your personal knowledge into a generic and general area.

  80. #81 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 28, 2010

    After seeing the Westboro clip, I kinda wish that I liked Lady Gaga…but I can’t make myself.

  81. #82 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    Josh, the statements above are NOT just about your friends and family, it’s generalizing from your family and friends to the whole of the groups you mentioned. you can argue whether this is worth getting upset about, and whether SC is unfairly singling you out, but you can’t argue you didn’t stretch your personal knowledge into a generic and general area.

    All right, true enough, I can see that. Do I think reading that much offense into it is an overreaction, and am I irritated about that, yep. But you make a good point.

  82. #83 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    only pop singer I can honestly say I really like: pink

  83. #84 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    Aside from fish and chips, you never had anything good to eat until curry takeaway became your national past-time.

    Interestingly, chicken ?ikk? masala was apparently invented in Scotland because the Brits were used to having a sauce with meat. It’s now, says the same article, the most commonly sold restaurant dish in the UK according to a survey.

    Had it last year in Bristol. Was good…

    that reminds me… what is it with Europeans and their habit of naming new foods “apple”?

    Easy: in Europe north of the Alps, there simply aren’t any native fruits other than apples, pears, and a few berries. Even cherries are an import (as the word attests: it’s from Latin ceresia ? must have entered Proto-West-Germanic or whatever when the Latin c was still pronounced as [k] in all environments).

    Just like how there are no vegetables native to Europe north of the Alps other than <voice mode=”despise”>cabbage and turnips</voice>.

    buttermilk biscuits with gravy….

    Interesting, a food that sounds good even though I don’t already know it <duck & cover> ;-)

    For “pine cone,” O.E. also used pinhnyte “pine nut.”

    That’s got to be the plural. Hnutu, hnyte just like German Nuss, Nüsse, or so I’ve read.

    but from a word for seeds/grains.

    <lightbulb above head>

    From “grain” itself (Latin granum), I suppose: pomum granatum, “grained fruit/apple”…?

    The stone being named after the color of the fruit makes a lot of sense.

    Online Entomology Dictionary

    Entomology is insect biology. En-tomon = in-sectum = cut in. Compare ana-tom-ia, “cutting apart”, and “tome” = “volume” = “section of a series of books”.

  84. #85 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    David:

    Interestingly, chicken ?ikk? masala was apparently invented in Scotland because the Brits were used to having a sauce with meat.

    Is it also true that chicken korma is a sort of British/Indian fusion dish that didn’t exist originally in Indian cooking? Sort of like chop suey is an Americanization of Chinese cooking?

    It’s interesting to look at what we consider “ethnic” foods, and how they change over time as they get into the mainstream, and blended with other traditions.

  85. #86 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    chicken ?ikk? masala

    A tip for those, like me, who don’t cook much: Trader Joe’s frozen version is my current favorite food. Just behind: their cheese & green chile tamales.

  86. #87 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Even cherries are an import (as the word attests: it’s from Latin ceresia ? must have entered Proto-West-Germanic or whatever when the Latin c was still pronounced as [k] in all environments).

    ooh! ceresia = czere?nia!

    Through all the years of Latin in school, it always amazed me how many Polish words are from Latin originally. It doesn’t seem like a very obvious transition, since I don’t remember Romans ever having any direct contact with that part of Europe…

  87. #88 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010
  88. #89 SC OM
    February 28, 2010

    SC – You have many admirable qualities, which is one of the reasons I jumped to your defense in the whole Greg Laden affair. But you do have a tendency, on occasion, to take offense where I don’t think there’s a good reason to – and you’re very aggressive about it.

    All right, true enough, I can see that. Do I think reading that much offense into it is an overreaction, and am I irritated about that, yep.

    You’re the one reading that much offense into it. “*eyeroll*” somehow became in your reading a “self-righteous eyeroll”? What the hell?

  89. #90 Ol'Greg
    February 28, 2010

    Hmm… here in Texas the more “traditional” food tends to be anything but bland. The other side of my family is Polish and central to eastern Europeans are fond of a lot of pungent things that may not be to everyone’s liking. Mmmmmm…. cabbage and beets anyone? Although kluski lane and milk, or pumkin/squash is still a favorite comfort food of mine and it’s pretty bland.

    As for the bull’s penis, while I think the “magic” is silly I don’t see what’s wrong with eating a part of the meat of a slaughtered animal that way.

    People getting so touchy about it ought to consider what goes into the mechanically reclaimed meat that is in most hamburgers. Hint hint!

    Waste not want not.

  90. #91 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    SC, I wouldn’t rather continue having a disagreement in the thread.

  91. #92 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    I always thought it was an “apple of Granada”, which bears the fruit in its coat of arms.

    So perhaps it’s the other way around…?

    I’m allowed to make characterizations of my own family, friends, and hometown and regions, because I lived it. That’s not stereotyping, that’s personal experience.

    But you’re generalizing that to all of New England.

    You’re never wrong, it’s always someone else.

    Well… I haven’t been paying that much attention, but I can’t actually remember an occasion when she was wrong :o)

    only pop singer I can honestly say I really like: pink

    :-o

    OMFSM. She actually sings, instead of desperately trying ? and failing ? to scream louder than the drums. The rhythm doesn’t give you heart-chamber fluttering…

    I had no idea this kind of thing even still existed.

    The (rather short) lyrics are rather disturbing, except for the funny part. Britney Spears X-D

    Interesting how she pronounces the r in star, are, and doctor as such, but vocalizes it in more every single time.

  92. #93 Bill Dauphin, OM
    February 28, 2010

    PL (@49):

    fried hushpuppies,

    As soon as I hit “Submit” on my previous comment, I remembered that I’d left out hushpuppies. But I can’t recall that my grandmother ever fried a vegetable in her life: I recognize fried okra and fried green tomatoes as Southern classics; they just weren’t part of Grandma’s repertoire.

    And my grandparents lived (when I knew them; there were already in their early 60s by the time I was born) lived in a residential neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida (in the house my father grew up in), with not much more than a postage-stamp sized lot, so no home-canned veggies for them. They did, however, have a couple fig trees and a couple pecan trees, so we got fig preserves and what my wife assures me must have been only the second best pecan pie in the history of the world, no matter how I recall it.

    My granddaddy had a little skiff, and he used to go out in the marshes and side-streams of the St. Johns River and bring home fresh panfish — sunfish, bream, Sailor’s Choice, whatever you call ‘em — which my grandmother would pan fry and serve up with hushpuppies, corn on the cob, and the aforementioned boiled-to-mush turnip greens (it was years before I realized any other part of a turnip was even edible!).

    And, of course, the second best pecan pie in the history of the world for dessert… maybe with a little ice cream from the Piggly Wiggly.

    I don’t think I ever actually appreciated these meals as a child — it just seemed like old folks’ food — but what I wouldn’t give for one now, overcooked greens and all.

  93. #94 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    I can’t actually remember an occasion when she was wrong

    *comment retracted just in time*

  94. #95 Lynna, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Can Campus Religious Groups Exclude Non-Believers?

    The Supreme Court will soon hear arguments to determine whether official student organizations at public universities can exclude students based on their religious views.
         The Christian Legal Society (CLS) is a national association of lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students with chapters at universities across the country. In 2004, CLS members at the University of California Hastings College of the Law requested recognition as an official student organization, hoping to secure benefits including financial support and meeting space. The University refused, saying CLS violated its nondiscrimination policies by denying membership to practicing homosexuals and anyone who refuses to sign the group?s ?statement of faith.?
         ?Religious groups on campus have a choice,? says Ethan Schulman, a lawyer representing the school. ?If they want to be eligible to receive public funds and access to facilities, they cannot discriminate in selecting members and officers. If they wish to discriminate, they can continue to meet, but without the benefit of public funds and support.? …

  95. #96 SC OM
    February 28, 2010

    SC, I wouldn’t rather continue having a disagreement in the thread.

    Fine with me. And while I mentioned it at the time, I’ll say it again – I really appreciated your vocal support during the Laden thing.

    ***

    Ken Cope posted this a while back:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/jennifer_8_lee_looks_for_general_tso.html

    ***

    I’ve been eating Indian food – especially the spinach/paneer – that’s like preserved with the space-mission methods, in those silver pouches. I was eating the ones from Kitchens of India, but those are way expensive here so I switched to some other brands that are pretty good, too.

  96. #97 Lynna, OM
    February 28, 2010

    The Westboro Baptist Church ditty cannot be accused of being overly subtle: “Your whorish face” and so forth. What I find interesting is that the ladies of Westboro studied the original long and hard. That should foster a bit of creative cognitive dissonance, if nothing else.

  97. #98 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I grew up in the Midwest. My paternal great-grandparents came from England and Ireland and my mother was born and raised in England. I had spicy food, including genuine Indian curries and real Mexican (not Tex-Mex) food, frequently when I was a child.

    Sorry about shattering any illusions.

  98. #99 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    I’ve been eating Indian food – especially the spinach/paneer – that’s like preserved with the space-mission methods, in those silver pouches. I was eating the ones from Kitchens of India, but those are way expensive here so I switched to some other brands that are pretty good, too.

    If you like paneer (and I’m addicted to it, especially in spinach), you might try making your own. It’s super easy, although it takes a little time. All that’s required is a gallon of whole milk, lemon juice, salt, and cheesecloth. Much less expensive than buying it, though you do have to be patient while pressing the water out of it. Best to have some on hand from yesterday so you don’t go crazy with cravings.

  99. #100 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Interesting how she pronounces the r in star, are, and doctor as such, but vocalizes it in more every single time.

    that’s because the whole phrase (don’t[…]no more) has its own pronounciation, like “you betcha” or “howdy partner” or any number of other short phrases imported into Standard American English from slang or local dialects.

  100. #101 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    ‘Tis –

    Sorry about shattering any illusions.

    Oh, they’ve been quite thoroughly shattered already, have no fear. My mother has some answering to do, it seems, about why we had to grow up with boiled string beans:)

  101. #103 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    The only two Southern (US) foods I don’t like are pecan pie (too sweet) and catfish. To me catfish has a particularly unpleasant muddy taste. As in tastes like mud. I tell this to people and they often say “Oh but you’ve never had my mother’s/my Greataunt Berthatrude’s/the Catfish Shack restaurant in Bumfuk, Mississippi’s catfish.” And every time I try Berthatrude’s catfish it still has a nasty, muddy taste.

  102. #104 Lynna, OM
    February 28, 2010

    CPAC, The Tea Party And The Remaking Of The Right — This is a podcast (text also available) in which journalist David Weigel is interviewed about his attendance at CPAC and a host of other right-wing events. I say “right-wing”, but Weigel makes it plain that what was once right-wing is now, for the most part, mainstream. The only John Birch Society message he could name that was not being bandied about at CPAC was a message dissing fluoride in public water systems.

    The interview is interesting for the way it highlights the intention of politicians like Ron Paul, Dick Army, and Sarah Palin to take the USA back to the federal government of about 1912 (before Roosevelt, at least).

    Glenn Beck was keynote speaker, Dick Army spent half his speech questioning Obama’s citizenship — you get the idea. Weigel makes it clear that right-wing talk shows and Fox News (as well as other right-wing organizations) have played a big part in turning the fringe right into an acceptable almost-middle.

    Before this year’s CPAC, the John Birch Society was marginalized. Now they’re co-sponsors. Ron Paul was once denied the privilege of a debating spot on a Fox News-sponsored event. Now he’s all over the news, and he’s the straw-poll presidential candidate (not an official candidate, but the recipient of the most votes at CPAC).

    Weigel tells how much the Teabaggers really believe all that crap they’re spouting, including the conspiracy theories and the “Obama is ruining our nation” stuff.

  103. #105 Lynna, OM
    February 28, 2010

    For Johnny Cash fans, there’s a good retrospective, done to celebrate what would have been his 78th birthday, up on Fresh Air. They air quite a few of Cash’s last recordings, plus replay earlier interviews. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124074975

  104. #106 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    “Oh but you’ve never had my mother’s/my Greataunt Berthatrude’s/the Catfish Shack restaurant in Bumfuk, Mississippi’s catfish.”

    Greataunt Berthatrude – LOL! Right there with you on catfish; I find it tastes like mud, too. I’ve tried it in the cheapest greasy spoons, and in upscale restaurants. No matter, it still tastes nasty to me.

  105. #107 Caine
    February 28, 2010

    Josh, Official SpokesGay @ 102:

    Under a bill that has passed the legislature and awaits signature by the governor, miscarriages that result from an “intentional, knowing, or reckless act” would be treated as illegal abortions, punishable by life in prison

    *Sigh* Every day, that little corner of my brain which tries to insist that people just can’t get more fucked up is dying at a faster and faster rate.

  106. #108 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    so, i looked up “paneer”; by the looks of it, it resembles polish bia?y ser. my mom used to make that when we were still in poland. only required leaving the milk bottles out for a couple days, then heating it, and then squeezing the results through a diapercheesecloth

  107. #109 Menyambal
    February 28, 2010

    Under a bill that has passed the legislature and awaits signature by the governor, miscarriages that result from an “intentional, knowing, or reckless act” would be treated as illegal abortions, punishable by life in prison.

    Wha?

    Miscarriage from a “reckless act” is fairly hard to define.

    So is “miscarriage” for that matter.

    And God causes an awful lot of pregancies to terminate, often without the woman knowing anything about it. But He surely is knowing. Can we put Him in jail? Please?

    LIFE in prison for illegal abortion?!?!? That seems way the hell excessive.

  108. #110 Ol'Greg
    February 28, 2010

    Catfish. Oh yeah I eat it but then I eat almost anything. It tastes like what it is, a bottom dwelling substrate sucker often from particularly nasty rivers. The goal with catfish, I always thought, was to fry them and eat them with spicy enough seasoning that you wouldn’t know whether you were eating fried rubber anyway. The muddy taste you guys, Josh and ‘Tis Himself, are talking about is called catfish flavor. That’s the way the fish tastes. It never tastes like orange roughy. I think even with soaking the meat for a while the taste still stays there. It’s either tolerable to you or not :P

  109. #111 Carlie
    February 28, 2010

    Pink is phenomenal. I fell totally in love with her when I heard Stupid Girls and haven’t looked back since. She’s had a few poppy bubblegum songs, but most of them are clever in all sorts of ways. Her videos are even better – take one like So What, which sounds mainly like an aggressive proud solo anthem, but the video adds an undercurrent that it’s a cover for the pain of being jilted.

    I also adore Amanda (fucking) Palmer, who’s Who Killed Amanda Palmer album has the most brain-twisting homage to abortion ever. Is it taking a serious subject too lightly? Is it being ironic? Is it showing that girls in that situation are better served by taking it lightly, or just showing that they do? Great stuff. Plus she just got engaged to Neil Gaiman, so rock on. I’m a little put off by her latest Evelyn/Evelyn project because it’s a big wad of crip drag, but I’m reserving judgment for awhile.

    Lady Gaga is growing on me. Her entire persona has a decent amount of subversiveness, and she’s just got creativity oozing out every pore. The songs don’t sound so fantastic, but the videos are something else entirely. (Start with Paparazzi)

  110. #112 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    ooh! ceresia = czere?nia!

    Except for the n, which I can’t explain at all, that one looks like it must have been passed on through some sort of Germanic, but before… hang on a second… “probably before 500 CE”. Such second- and tenth-hand loans are common phenomena worldwide.

    Except… can’t give the links to the Wikipedia articles because there are too many; don’t get confused by the sour cherry if you decide to look them up yourself*… Czech t?e?e? and BCSM tre?nja begin with t, which confuses the story beyond my ability to figure it out. As if that were not enough, it’s ?ere?a in Bulgarian, without the bizarre ? of the other forms that comes out of nowhere if we assume a Latin origin. Then there’s Slovene ?e?nja… Oh, and then there’s this, which just doesn’t make any sense I can see. I retreat to bed with a headache.

    Greek kerasiį.

    * Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte my ass. Those aren’t cherries (Kirschen), they’re sour cherries (Weichseln, called Sauerkirschen somewhere in Germany). Various relatives of the Polish wi?nia are used for that species** in various Slavic languages, except that, judging as always from Wikipedia, this is the cover term for both cherries and sour cherries in Polish.

    ** And even as a girl’s name. I’m actually related to a Vi?nja who lives in Belgrade. Compare Japanese Sakura = AFAIK cherry blossom.

  111. #113 SC OM
    February 28, 2010

    *blush*

    I’m wrong all the friggin’ time!

    ***

    If you like paneer (and I’m addicted to it, especially in spinach), you might try making your own. It’s super easy, although it takes a little time. All that’s required is a gallon of whole milk, lemon juice, salt, and cheesecloth. Much less expensive than buying it, though you do have to be patient while pressing the water out of it. Best to have some on hand from yesterday so you don’t go crazy with cravings.

    Well, if I’m being honest, I’ll probably never make any. Would love to try yours, though.

    ;D

    ***

    I love how Dawkins’ admission that he acted badly and apology is making Laden, who apparently has no clue what’s going on, look even sillier:

    Knockgoats, I do wonder what people like you do in real life. Surely, not interacting with other humans, one would hope.

    Debunk:Might be better if you gave Richard Dawkins and whoever wrote that condescending note to the forum moderators one.

    Blaming again. Huh. I suppose this is a hard point to get across to people who have spent their entire life without watching a single Dr. Phil episode….

    Debunk, who has what that someone else wants? If the moderators have only one goal …. TO SCREAM THEIR ASSES OFF UNTIL THEIR POINT IS HEARD IN BOCA RATAN … then they have already done that. If, on the other hand, they want to have a conversation with an outcome better then the one they’ve got now, they’ve got to put the “co” back in “conversation.” Not just score points, not just blame, not just Fight the Injustize!!!*

    ‘Tis Himself: Nice example of above mentioned “YER DOING IT RONG” trolling. I think for you to reappear on my site I might want you to start using your real name. OK? Thanks.’

    This is a couple posts before someone linked to Dawkins’ apology. Heh.

    *He’s calling this a “Blastulista” approach.

  112. #114 WowbaggerOM
    February 28, 2010

    I also adore Amanda (fucking) Palmer, who’s Who Killed Amanda Palmer album has the most brain-twisting homage to abortion ever.

    I’ve probably mentioned it already, but I’m seeing her Thursday night. It should be awesome. I saw Dresden Dolls a few years back and really enjoyed that.

  113. #115 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I also adore Amanda (fucking) Palmer,

    lol. that reminds me of Belinda Carlisle, Belinda Fucking Carlisle.

  114. #116 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Today’s bit of useless trivia.

    During the American Civil War the Union usually named battles after nearby rivers and streams and the Confederates usually named battles after nearby towns. Thus the first big battle of the war was named First Bull Run by the North and First Manassas by the South (Second Bull Run/Manassas was fought about a year later). There were a few exceptions like Gettysburg. Both the North and South called one battle “Chickamauga” after the stream which runs through the battlefield. That’s because the nearest town was Snodgrass, which doesn’t have the right ring for a battle.

  115. #117 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I’ve probably mentioned it already, but I’m seeing her Thursday night. It should be awesome. I saw Dresden Dolls a few years back and really enjoyed that.

    oh yeah, have I mentioned yet that I hate you? stop seeing bands/singers I want to see, you bastard.

  116. #118 Carlie
    February 28, 2010

    I’ve probably mentioned it already, but I’m seeing her Thursday night

    AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaa…..

    YOU SUCK, WOWBAGGER. Give her a kiss for me. Or don’t, since that would probably get you arrested for assault. :)

  117. #119 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    Here is a recipe I saved for Chimpy,and all bacon lovers, this looks like the appropriate thread to post it on:

    PIG NUTS

    1 pound bacon
    2 cans (8.5 oz. ea.) whole water chestnuts
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup catsup

    Fry bacon (not crisp), divide pieces in half. Wrap around water chestnuts, secure with toothpicks. Combine brown sugar and catsup, pour over hors d’oeuvers. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
    January 1987 issue of The Workbasket

  118. #120 Feynmaniac
    February 28, 2010

    WOOOOO!

    Canada wins gold in men’s hockey after defeating the US in overtime!!!!!!!

  119. #121 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    <lightbulb above head>

    The ? thingy suddenly makes sense (perhaps!) if it’s the German(ic) plural ending!!! This kind of misunderstanding is very common in loanwords worldwide. Off the top of my head, skunks is actually the singular, but the final -s was misinterpreted as the English plural ending. English cakes became German Keks, singular, plural Kekse, in the 19th century…

    There’s a term for such words that spread through a region from one language to the next. But still, the variation in the initial consonant doesn’t make sense to me.

    that’s because the whole phrase (don’t[…]no more) has its own pronounciation

    Hereby added to the list of things I learned on Pharyngula.

    so, i looked up “paneer”; by the looks of it, it resembles polish bia?y ser.

    Judging from Wikipedia, that must be true; it’s cottage cheese, German Topfen/Quark, French fromage blanc ( = “white cheese” again).

  120. #122 WowbaggerOM
    February 28, 2010

    Jadehawk wrote:

    oh yeah, have I mentioned yet that I hate you? stop seeing bands/singers I want to see, you bastard.

    You mean you don’t enjoy living vicariously through my smug announcements?

  121. #123 Lynna, OM
    February 28, 2010

    SC @113: I don’t know how you, Knockgoats, and ‘Tis (and others that are used to reading here) can stand to read the Laden blog. One has to fight too many errors to get to the meaning.

  122. #124 Carlie
    February 28, 2010

    Pink is touring mainly in the UK this year. Walton, I’d suggest you go to one of her concerts. It would be quite an experience for you. :)

    As for food, there are a lot of ideas out there on why food in the 50s and 60s middle-class US got so bizarre. Most of the hypotheses swirl around the move for women to go to work after they did it during WWII and then got banished back to the kitchen, and the rise of “technology will save everything” and “if it’s tech it’s good” wrt food, and things like that. Also, if you go back further, there were a lot of great recipes that got lost when there was a big shift from rural to urban and people sort of lost their heritage (including their moms teaching them how to cook), in addition to losing time to cook and not having good ingredients available.

    And then there’s the whole idea that bland = bad. On the frontier there weren’t necessarily a lot of spices to work with (and the people moving in didn’t know how to use the ones that were there), but people did the best they could and came up with foods that still tasted good, just didn’t pack much punch. I think there’s a conflation of “bland food” with “bad food” that’s a little unfair. I have my great-grandmother’s recipe for chicken and dumplings that has no seasoning other than salt and pepper (and parsley flakes if you’re feeling all wild), and it is sublime. Oh, speaking of that, there’s also the problem that following old recipes now might result in a worse-tasting product than it did historically. I pooh-poohed at the idea that factory farmed chickens have had most of the taste bred out of them in favor of large meat masses etc. until I actually started buying heritage breed chickens from a local organic farmer who keeps them out on the grass to eat most of the summer and OH MY GOD CHICKEN. Same with the eggs and bacon we buy from him. Different breeds and different food fed to them really do make a substantial taste difference – they’re a lot more flavorful.

  123. #125 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 28, 2010

    Regarding the vocalized “r”: I think Lady Gaga is from New York. People from that area often are inconsistent with “r” vocalization… eg “whateva”, and “fuhgettaboudit”. When I was very young, my family moved from Staten Island to southeastern Ohio, and the foremost difficulty that I faced was communicating with new classmates*. It took me a while to figure out when to pronounce the “r” without overpronouncing it. My relatives in Jersey** have a terrible time, often adding an “r” where it doesn’t belong, as in “idear” (rather than idea), or “sawr” (rather than saw). I still find after many years that I revert to “r” inconsistency when I am either tired or drunk.

    *Unrelated, but equally difficult was spelling. When the letter “r” is pronounced inconsistently by those around you (including teachers/parents), it is difficult to remember how to spell words.
    **My peeps in the Shaolin Slum (SI, NY) have an even greater problem, sometimes pronouncing “r” like the letter “v” or to use the technical linguistic term “r-v smooshing”, eg my cousin “Patvick”.

  124. #126 Lynna, OM
    February 28, 2010

    @113: What’s with the requirement that ‘Tis Himself use his real name? Or am I reading that incorrectly? Sounds like Laden is telling ‘Tis that he can no longer post on Laden’s blog unless he uses his real name. That strikes me as really odd.

  125. #127 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    Carlie – You are spot on about the eggs and chickens. I recently started trading eggs to an organic sheep farm, what a difference some pasture makes!

  126. #128 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Judging from Wikipedia, that must be true; it’s cottage cheese, German Topfen/Quark, French fromage blanc ( = “white cheese” again).

    cottage cheese and quark are only marginally like bia?y ser. completely different texture and taste. for recipes requiring bia?y ser where none is available, I use ricotta.

  127. #129 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    Finally found the lyrics of the parody of the Marseillaise. Not a working video, though.

  128. #130 Kliwon
    February 28, 2010

    #25

    Think yourself lucky that they didn’t throw up. We had frogs with ginger in Malaysia a few years ago. When one of the girls was told what she’d eaten, she made a hasty dash for the toilets with one hand over her mouth.

  129. #131 SC OM
    February 28, 2010

    SC @113: I don’t know how you, Knockgoats, and ‘Tis (and others that are used to reading here) can stand to read the Laden blog. One has to fight too many errors to get to the meaning.

    I don’t really read it. I was reading a couple of threads because they were about the Dawkins thing and I wanted to see if he would be as sloppy and incoherent as usual. Didn’t disappoint. I don’t think ‘Tis and Knockgoats read it, either, but that they were also amused that he would be offering condescending lessons in communication.

    @113: What’s with the requirement that ‘Tis Himself use his real name? Or am I reading that incorrectly? Sounds like Laden is telling ‘Tis that he can no longer post on Laden’s blog unless he uses his real name. That strikes me as really odd.

    It’s totally odd. I think it’s fairly risky commenting there at all – he’s shown he can’t be trusted not to alter people’s posts or reveal their emails.

  130. #132 Pygmy Loris
    February 28, 2010

    Tis Himself,

    The only two Southern (US) foods I don’t like are pecan pie (too sweet) and catfish.

    You should try buttermilk pie, which is, IMHO, even sweeter than pecan pie.

    The muddy taste of catfish is a result of insufficient soaking before preparation. Many people don’t realize you have to soak it at least overnight if it’s river fish. It’s always disheartening to have nasty muddy river fish at a restaurant.

  131. #133 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    often are inconsistent with “r” vocalization… eg “whateva”, and “fuhgettaboudit”.

    That’s consistent… it’s a vowel both times.

    My peeps in the Shaolin Slum (SI, NY) have an even greater problem, sometimes pronouncing “r” like the letter “v” or to use the technical linguistic term “r-v smooshing”, eg my cousin “Patvick”.

    Oh yeah, r-labialization. I encountered that in Bristol; I had read about it, but it was still a bit difficult to keep up with. At first I heard [w] all the time (it’s actually between [w] and [v]).

  132. #134 Caine
    February 28, 2010

    From Mrs. Owens’ Cook Book and Useful Household Hints [1887]:

    Confederate Army Soup, as made at General Pickett’s Headquarters.

    One ham bone, 1 beef bone, 1 pod red pepper, 1 pint black-eyed peas. Boil in a mess-kettle in 2 gallons salted water. Splendid soup for a wet day.

    – contributed by Lieut. Col. S.G. Leitch

  133. #135 Pygmy Loris
    February 28, 2010

    Carlie,

    I also adore Amanda (fucking) Palmer, who’s Who Killed Amanda Palmer album has the most brain-twisting homage to abortion ever.

    I had the good fortune to see Amanda Palmer in concert last year and she was fucking awesome! One of my favorite singers/songwriters.

  134. #136 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    Sounds like Laden is telling ‘Tis that he can no longer post on Laden’s blog unless he uses his real name.

    No ? he’s telling him to suck up or he, Laden, will divulge ‘Tis’ real name next time. It’s a threat. A particularly evil one.

    completely different texture and taste.

    I only care about the smell and the acid :-ž

  135. #137 Ol'Greg
    February 28, 2010

    Cottage cheese and quark are only marginally like bia?y ser. completely different texture and taste. for recipes requiring bia?y ser where none is available, I use ricotta.

    I use requeson, which is usually available in Mexican groceries. Taste is pretty similar. I used to use that in place of paneer too because no where near me sold paneer for an acceptable price.

  136. #138 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    The hambone they were boiling was Gen. Pickett….pffft!

  137. #139 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    It’s a threat. A particularly evil one.

    A fate worse than bannination.

  138. #140 Pygmy Loris
    February 28, 2010

    I have my great-grandmother’s recipe for chicken and dumplings that has no seasoning other than salt and pepper

    Salt is the seasoning I use most often, but, as I mentioned above, I love Southern food and it’s full of salt.

  139. #141 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I only care about the smell and the acid :-ž

    you’re every hobby-cook’s nightmare.

  140. #142 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 28, 2010

    What Carlie #124 said: My mother rarely uses spices when she cooks, but across the board her food is delicious. Using good ingredients in the proper combinations and cooking things at the right temperature for the right amount of time makes a big difference.

    We ate a lot of boiled cabbage growing up, and I have not a single complaint. A quick plunge in boiling water renders the leaves cooked yet crispy…a little salt, pepper and butter…delish*. Also, the woman in my experience has never made a turkey that wasn’t damned near perfect. Again, not a lot of spices involved, but delish.

    My wife (who is from a Sicilian family) does all of the above and is a genius with seasoning. In our first year of cohabitation, I put on 50 lbs (23 kg) from all the good eating.

    *She makes wonderful turnips also, with nothing more complicated than water, butter, salt, and pepper.

  141. #143 Walton
    February 28, 2010

    Pink is touring mainly in the UK this year. Walton, I’d suggest you go to one of her concerts. It would be quite an experience for you. :)

    Please, tell me you’re joking.

    (I’d only vaguely heard of her, but after seeing your post I went and read her Wikipedia article. I’m sure I’ve heard plenty of her songs without knowing it – it’s impossible to escape pop music, since shops, gyms and so on insist on blasting it at their customers all day – but I’m too tired to bother to search for her on YouTube. I don’t particularly want to have some ghastly pop song going round and round in my head all night.)

  142. #144 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I take umbrage at your labeling of Pink as “ghastly pop”. she’s Teh Awsum

  143. #145 Ol'Greg
    February 28, 2010

    but I’m too tired to bother to search for her on YouTube. I don’t particularly want to have some ghastly pop song going round and round in my head all night.

    I’m with you. I get enough of it incidentally. Nothing I’ve willingly subjected myself to has improved it in my mind. Yes there is pop that exhibits more talent than others, but if you don’t like the things that make pop, well pop, then it’s like trying yet another type of beer when you really just don’t like beer.

    Another thing people keep forcing on me. Beer. Keep it to yourselves, it’s all nasty to me.

  144. #146 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    You need help Walton.

  145. #147 SteveV
    February 28, 2010

    boiled=bland

    Kippers??

    Christmas Pudding??

  146. #148 Walton
    February 28, 2010

    You need help Walton.

    With what?

  147. #149 Caine
    February 28, 2010

    Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM @ 138:

    The hambone they were boiling was Gen. Pickett….pffft!

    I suspect you’re right…nothing more was heard from Lieut. Col. Leitch.

    One soup recipe from that old book I do make once a year is Chestnut soup. Yum.

  148. #150 Carlie
    February 28, 2010

    Walton, Pink is smart pop. She also has ballads – here’s one about George W. Bush. The reason I specifically suggested her to you is that she’s a pretty fierce gung-ho feminist (not perfect, but fairly consistent) and the vibe at her concerts would probably be a kind of crowd you’re not used to dealing with but might enjoy. And you might meet some incredibly awesome women there. ;)

  149. #151 Kel, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Less than 2 weeks until the GAC in Melbourne and Carl Wieland still hasn’t accepted Rorschach’s and my offer to debate him and another of his creationist cronies. What’s he afraid of?!?

  150. #152 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    you’re every hobby-cook’s nightmare.

    Interestingly, one of my favorite dishes actually contains the stuff. With lots of herbs, surrounded by a variably noodle-like dough, and copious quantities of molten butter. It’s so much work my mother usually makes it only once a year, for my birthday.

    Another thing people keep forcing on me. Beer. Keep it to yourselves, it’s all nasty to me.

    We had that topic a few subthreads ago :-)

    With what?

    If you’re not eating, why are you still up? :^)

    As I said above, judging from the 3 videos linked to above, Pink is quite a lot less ghastly than most to listen to. Still not my taste, though.

  151. #153 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    With being a young man instead of an old soaked mattress.

  152. #154 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2010

    Patricia, stop the peer pressure. Not everyone wants to have an external influence take over control of their heartbeat. I, for one, prefer music where the rhythm is a side-effect of the tune rather than the other way around.

  153. #155 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I’ve just posted the following on Greg Laden’s blog:

    Hey Greg, if you don’t want me to post on your blog then you can ban me. It’s your blog and you can do what you want with it. Since you’ve already shown you’re an arrogant, arbitrary ass, I wouldn’t be surprised if you ban me.

    But you don’t have to bother. I won’t be back again. Have a mediocre day.

  154. #156 Ol'Greg
    February 28, 2010

    With being a young man instead of an old soaked mattress.

    I don’t want to embarrass anyone but I’ve always found Walton’s slight stodginess endearing. It encourages me to think that there are guys out there in my approximate age bracket that can combine progressive thought, lack of religion, and still have a that pleasant reserve about them.

    Well anyway.

  155. #157 Carlie
    February 28, 2010

    My family’s chicken and dumpling recipe, for an example of classic midwestern farm food:

    Take one chicken, put it in a pot, cover with water. Add an onion, a carrot, a few peppercorns, and a celery stick if you feel like it. A bullion cube or two is useful if it’s a bland chicken, not if it’s a fresh home farm one. Cook until the chicken falls apart. Disassemble chicken and save all meat bits (this is the fun part that makes me feel all pioneer thrifty woman – look, I can get the meat off of the vertebrae!). Strain broth to get any yucky bits out.

    Dumplings (there are two definitions of dumplings I’ve seen in the midwest: thick noodles and biscuits. We’re noodle people.)
    1 cup of the broth, 1 raw egg, 1 cup flour, some celery or parsley flakes. Mix into a dough adding more liquid/flour as needed, roll and cut into 1/8 inch thick strips about 1/2 inch wide. Let dry overnight on racks, flipping halfway if needed. (I’ve tried making it with fresh, but it turned into goo.)
    Put some water in a pot, add dumplings (broken into about 1 inch lengths), some of the chicken chicken that’s been cut to your liking (shredded or just chunked), cook about 1/2 hour until dumplings are done. Add copious amounts of pepper and flake salt. Eat and be happy.

  156. #158 SteveV
    February 28, 2010

    Happy St David’s day to my old Welsh chums!

    MMMM! Lava Bread!

  157. #159 llewelly
    February 28, 2010

    Oh yeah, r-labialization.

    Exercise for the reader: What skeptical podcaster(s) have this speech feature?

  158. #160 Bastion Of Sass
    February 28, 2010

    CPAC, The Tea Party And The Remaking Of The Right — This is a podcast (text also available) in which journalist David Weigel is interviewed about his attendance at CPAC and a host of other right-wing events. I say “right-wing”, but Weigel makes it plain that what was once right-wing is now, for the most part, mainstream. The only John Birch Society message he could name that was not being bandied about at CPAC was a message dissing fluoride in public water systems.

    Also read “The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged” by Frank Rich from The NY Times. Scary stuff.

  159. #161 WowbaggerOM
    February 28, 2010

    Walton asked

    With what?

    I suspect that if we choose to answer this, we’re going to need a bigger boat thread.

    Hey, since people are already pissed off at me for the stuff I’m seeing, it’s probably a good time to let you know I’m online right now buying tickets for Sir Ian McKellan and Roger Rees in Waiting for Godot

  160. #162 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    His stodginess might be amusing if one imagined it being spoken by an upside down turtle.

  161. #163 Caine
    February 28, 2010

    WowbaggerOM @ 161:

    I’m online right now buying tickets for Sir Ian McKellan and Roger Rees in Waiting for Godot…

    I didn’t hate before, but I do now.

    ;D

  162. #164 windy
    February 28, 2010

    Walton, maybe you’d prefer this cover of Pink?

  163. #165 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I don’t want to embarrass anyone but I’ve always found Walton’s slight stodginess endearing.

    seconded. personally, I prefer the clumsy/shy geek/nerd types of reserve, but this is cute, too; sometimes.

    which has nothing to do with why Walton should hang out at a Pink concert, at least once. Or some other feminist musician (I can’t suggest any, cuz the ones I know are all punk, which Walton likes even less, apparently)

  164. #166 llewelly
    February 28, 2010

    You should try buttermilk pie, which is, IMHO, even sweeter than pecan pie.

    So one year, instead of following the buttermilk pie recipe I had inherited from family (one of the few non-horrible things I inherited), I decided to prowl the internet and compare different buttermilk pie recipes. Some of them had as much as 4 times the sugar! Interestingly (though not surprisingly), 4 times the sugar doesn’t make them 4 times as sweet; they’re maybe 1.5 – 2 times as sweet. A little extra salt goes farther.

  165. #167 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Dumplings (there are two definitions of dumplings I’ve seen in the midwest: thick noodles and biscuits. We’re noodle people.)

    Dumplings are round balls, noodles are long and thin. You’re making noodles but, for some inexplicable reason, calling them dumplings.

    cook about 1/2 hour until dumplings are done.

    No wonder your fresh noodles turn to mush, you’re cooking them far too long. I use a dumpling recipe similar to your noodle recipe and I cook inch to inch-and-a-half balls for fifteen minutes. When I make Italian style egg noodles I cook them for four to five minutes, not half-an-hour.

  166. #168 llewelly
    February 28, 2010

    Waiting for Godot

    If you’ve followed human spaceflight significantly anytime since at least 1985, you’ve seen Waiting for Godot enough times to fill a lifetime.

  167. #169 Pygmy Loris
    February 28, 2010

    llewelly,

    how much sugar does your family recipe call for? Mine uses 2 cups.

  168. #170 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    29022

    30K probably Thursday.

  169. #171 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 28, 2010

    llewelly–c’mon…I’m dying to know…wait, wait, I got it. Is Rosy Perez a podcaster?

  170. #172 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Two cups of sugar in a pie? I can feel my teeth decaying just reading that.

  171. #173 Carlie
    February 28, 2010

    You’re making noodles but, for some inexplicable reason, calling them dumplings.

    It’s a regional dialect thing – everyone where I’m from calls them that. No different than “chips” having two entirely different definitions. At the basic level a dumpling is boiled dough, no matter what the shape.

  172. #174 Carlie
    February 28, 2010

    For example, a Google image search for chicken and dumplings comes up with this as one of the first hits, which is basically what mine looks like.

  173. #175 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 28, 2010

    Carlie–I’ve heard it both ways too. I never had the biscuity dumplings until I was in my late twenties.

    I like ‘em both.

  174. #176 Ol'Greg
    February 28, 2010

    I only like some punk, most of it old, and it’s really hard to pin down what I like and don’t like. I think it comes down to my perception of *sincerity* of it. Although I almost never will commit to really liking or disliking a genre because there will often be one or two things I like in something I don’t generally like, or one or two things I just absolutely HATE in something I like. For instance if I said, I like jazz… oh but not that jazz, or any of that, or that… no that neither. Well what I mean is I like *this* album. And so it goes with everything for me. I can safely say the genre with the least stuff I like in it is probably alt-rock or new country, but pop is right up there with them in the generally disliked. Oddly enough I can be very fond of some hip-hop. Go figure. Fulla contradictions that one.

    I wouldn’t try and recommend music to Walton though anyway. Besides music is one of those things were the things you find on your own are more meaningful than the things other people foist on you. Or at least that’s how it’s seemed to me.

  175. #177 Pygmy Loris
    February 28, 2010

    ‘Tis,

    Two cups of sugar in a pie? I can feel my teeth decaying just reading that.

    But it’s sooooo good. I don’t eat many sweet things, but when I do eat something sweet, it’s really, really sweet.

    Carlie,

    People around here make the noodle style dumplings, and they’re really good.

  176. #178 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I wouldn’t try and recommend music to Walton though anyway. Besides music is one of those things were the things you find on your own are more meaningful than the things other people foist on you. Or at least that’s how it’s seemed to me.

    if that were true, then none of the music I listen to would be “meaningful”. I found all the music I know because other people made me listen to it.

  177. #179 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    30K probably Thursday.

    I don’t think it’ll be that cold.

  178. #180 Ol'Greg
    February 28, 2010

    I found all the music I know because other people made me listen to it.

    Now that’s interesting to me! I find I have to wait a while and give another listen generally because when some one tells me I just have to hear this my initial reaction is usually something along the lines of “No I don’t.” This can sometimes result in me coming around to something that I took six months to hear because I got tired of being encouraged to do so :P

  179. #181 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    Is Rosy Perez a podcaster?

    Yes; she can be seen casting pods in the first four minutes of this vid:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpDzd5Sw5HU

  180. #182 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    I don’t think it’ll be that cold.

    Ha. Not in Groton, certainly, but it’s probably not a bad approximation for the Universe as a whole.

  181. #183 Ol'Greg
    February 28, 2010

    Adding: this would be a lot worse for me if I weren’t such a neophile that I’m constantly searching for new things to listen to anyway.

    Bleh… I got the blabbermouth block from scienceblogs :(

  182. #184 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    well, I just don’t ever bother to “find” music either i overhear it somewhere, or I hear it during a show, or someone tells me about it & makes me listen to it. and then I pick whatever I like. and in any case, when you live with someone who owns almost 100Gb of music and something is always playing, there’s no more need to go looking for more.

  183. #185 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    February 28, 2010

    My mother made the biscuit style chicken & dumplings. I can’t remember the last time the Redhead made it, but I think it was back when I was in grad school.

  184. #186 WowbaggerOM
    February 28, 2010

    Right, I have my Godot tickets.

    Llewelly wrote:

    If you’ve followed human spaceflight significantly anytime since at least 1985, you’ve seen Waiting for Godot enough times to fill a lifetime.

    Three important words: Sir Ian McKellen. If he were doing spaceflight then I’d probably be interested in seeing that. Yes, Godot is unburdened by plot, but that gentleman’s on-stage presence alone will be worth the 100 clams I just forked out.

    Re: music recommendations – the majority of what I like is stuff I’ve found by stumbling across it, but there are exceptions; for example, I learned about Grandaddy and Elbow because they were suggested to me.

  185. #187 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    it’s probably not a bad approximation for the Universe as a whole.

    ah. Nope. An order of magnitude too high.

  186. #188 boygenius
    February 28, 2010

    Congratulations to all the Canadian Pharyngulites on the Olympic hockey gold. I’m disappointed for the U.S. team but, as a hockey fan, that was one HELL of a game.

  187. #189 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    Here’s a song I’ve liked ever since I first heard it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPOIS5taqA8

  188. #190 Carlie
    February 28, 2010

    I was thinking more of Walton having the experience of being in a party crowd of fierce rioty womyn and their associates. :D

  189. #191 Ol'Greg
    February 28, 2010

    Haha… I am some one with over 100 GB music! But, and this is funny… I have to go to a concert now! Later :D

  190. #192 boygenius
    February 28, 2010

    when you live with someone who owns almost 100Gb of music and something is always playing, there’s no more need to go looking for more.

    Almost 100Gb? Oh my FSM, you poor impoverished thing. I must have close to 1T on drives in addition to at least 2,000 CD’s.

    And I still get bored listening to what I have and seek out new stuff.

  191. #193 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    Here’s a song

    Ugh. No, it’s a fine song, but it is associated indelibly in my memory with an incident that haunts me still.
    I was attending a party at the Topanga Canyon home of a good friend* of my ex-wife’s. Many people there were in the Industry (i.e. showfolk). At some point, one of those completely OTT stage-mothers insisted that everybody stop socializing to pay attention to her daughter, who had a song she wanted to perform for us.
    Oh, that poor, poor kid. Six years old, face all made up and in a beauty-pageant “sexy” dress, sang that tune, complete with coy eyelid-batting and flirty lipsticked-mouth-pouting. All very well rehearsed. It was sad and entirely inappropriate and made everybody extremely uncomfortable.
    So I hate that tune for making me think of that poor kid and her horrible mother.

    *(and also an instantly recognizable minor TV celebrity, whose identity I shall not kw*k)

  192. #194 Urmensch
    February 28, 2010

    Jadehawk @87
    My Polish partner has told me that the reason many of the names for fruits and vegetables in Poland are more Italian than Slavic goes back to when the Italian princess Bona Sforza became queen of Poland.
    She influenced Polish cuisine because of her love of fruit and vegetables and to this day Polish food has more of a mediterranean style than other Slavic countries.
    He has remarked how Czech people have such an aversion to vegetables they even throw away what little salad comes with a hamburger, but that might have been an exaggeration.

    As for paneer, while it’s likened to cottage cheese it is slightly different being pressed curds made from scalded milk split with acid, usually lemon juice. It seems closer to twaróg than bia?y ser, though I’ve only made paneer and cooked with the Polish cheeses.

  193. #195 Yubal
    February 28, 2010

    Hey guys!

    Get off the screens and have a look a the full moon! This one is awesome! ! !

    ( At least down here at the buckle of the bible-belt )

  194. #196 Knockgoats
    February 28, 2010

    The poor reputation of British cuisine was certainly justified in the 1950s and 60s (aside from fish-and-chips, kippers, and cakes, puddings, scones etc.), when I was growing up, but not since. It’s primarily the influx of European, Caribbean, Asian and African immigrants – and not just for takeaways, Josh, these immigrants and their kids and grandkids are British and so are their cuisine, music, languages etc. – and the first two at least have mixed and combined with that of the pre-existing population. However, the general availability of a far wider range of fruit, vegetables and spices would have happened even without that. As a child I never saw chili, capiscum, eggplant, broccoli, red onions, garlic, root ginger, fresh coriander… Many of these can be grown outdoors here, the rest in greenhouses which have along tradition of use, they just never were.

  195. #197 Knockgoats
    February 28, 2010

    Oh, I forgot cheese. British cheese has declined in quality, but it’s still far better and more varied than that in most of Europe (France and Italy are good), or anything I’ve had in my visits to the US. I’m not saying there isn’t much better in the US, I haven’t been shopping much there – but do you have specialist cheese shops?

  196. #198 llewelly
    February 28, 2010

    Pygmy Loris | February 28, 2010 7:22 PM:

    how much sugar does your family recipe call for? Mine uses 2 cups.

    1 1/3 cups

  197. #199 Feynmaniac
    February 28, 2010

    Walton, maybe you’d prefer this cover of Pink?

    Or maybe Alanis Morissette – My Humps?

  198. #200 Knockgoats
    February 28, 2010

    boiled=bland

    Kippers?? – Steve V

    Take that man out and shoot him!
    Boiling the noble kipper is unforgiveable: a kipper (which should not be filleted) should be fried on both sides in a little butter, then sprinkled with coarsely-ground black pepper and eaten with wholemeal bread.

  199. #201 WowbaggerOM
    February 28, 2010

    I’m not saying there isn’t much better in the US, I haven’t been shopping much there – but do you have specialist cheese shops?

    I bet the US doesn’t have this cheese shop…

  200. #202 Sanction
    February 28, 2010

    Knockgoats @197:

    but do you have specialist cheese shops?

    Surdyk’s in Minneapolis, for one.

  201. #203 llewelly
    February 28, 2010

    Knockgoats | February 28, 2010 8:04 PM:

    I’m not saying there isn’t much better in the US, I haven’t been shopping much there – but do you have specialist cheese shops?

    Yes, we do … most of the best cheeses they carry are imported from Europe.

  202. #204 cicely
    February 28, 2010

    Bill Dauphin:

    (it was years before I realized any other part of a turnip was even edible!).

    You are mistaken. No part of the turnip is edible, though I understand you can make turnip o’lanterns out of them. Apart from that, they are a dead loss with no insurance.

  203. #205 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    Knockgoats:

    nd not just for takeaways, Josh, these immigrants and their kids and grandkids are British and so are their cuisine, music, languages etc.

    Don’t worry, I’ve been well and truly spanked for painting with a broad brush:) In my defense, I’m working on my second head cold in a month, and I’m def. not at tip-top form.

    British cheese has declined in quality, but it’s still far better and more varied than that in most of Europe (France and Italy are good), or anything I’ve had in my visits to the US. I’m not saying there isn’t much better in the US, I haven’t been shopping much there – but do you have specialist cheese shops?

    It’s very hit or miss, and very regionally dependent. You’re more likely to find good quality specialty cheese shops in urban and more affluent areas in my experience. But, there are some surprising exceptions. When I lived in the rural Southern US, there were none for many hundreds of miles. But once you got to a college town, or a larger city, you could find them.

    Here in Vermont, there’s a thriving artisan cheese industry, and the quality is on par with some of the best cheese I’ve had from around the world – shockingly good. And, lucky for me, there’s a wonderful gourmet cheese/wine/imported foods store near me with amazing prices:

    http://www.cheesetraders.com/

    I shop there several time a week (it’s one of the only places you can get British cheese at all around here).

  204. #206 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    Carlie @190 – That is exactly what I think Walton needs too. *evil smirk*

  205. #207 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    This is my hillbilly grandmas recipe for noodles:

    2 cups flour
    3 egg yolks
    1 egg
    2 tsp. salt
    1/4 to 1/2 cup water

    Put the flour in a mixing bowl, make a well in the center. Add egg yolks, 1 egg and salt. (In the well) Add water 1 tsp. at a time, until you can form the dough into a ball. Cover with a clean cloth and let rest 10 minutes. Divide ball of dough in half, then roll it out to the thickness of a lady’s little finger. Slice the noodles a fingers width. Lay them out on a clean cloth to dry for about two hours.

    We cooked the noodles in a thick meat broth such as chicken or venison, and added the left over meat back to the broth about 10 minutes before serving. I still make these in the winter.

  206. #208 Diane G.
    February 28, 2010

    #132Posted by: Pygmy Loris | February 28, 2010 6:29 PM

    The muddy taste of catfish is a result of insufficient soaking before preparation. Many people don’t realize you have to soak it at least overnight if it’s river fish. It’s always disheartening to have nasty muddy river fish at a restaurant.

    Thank you, Berthatrude.

    ;)

  207. #209 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 28, 2010

    I’m kind of like Ol’ Greg wrt music preferences…I both like and hate something from any genre I know…however, some with more intensity*. I didn’t like hip-hop until my sister gave me good stuff that was little-known at the time: Talib Kweli, Aesop Rock, Common, Mos Def, etc have since blown-up. And then I started listening to older stuff that I now love, like Wu-Tang and Public Enemy. Listening to hip-hop is really different than rock (or country or opera), because the lyrics matter so much more…don’t get me wrong…I like my rock with sharp lyrics, but at the same time will head-bang to the u**ber-retarded likes of AC/DC. Hip-hop without sharp lyrics is just a beat.

    *I don’t dig jazz for the same reason I suspect that I don’t care for Ulysses. I don’t get it. I don’t have the ear/neurons to understand what it is. And I can listen to blues and zydeco for ~15 minutes before I want to hear something else.
    **I know…it is spelled with an umlaut, but I don’t know how to do that. I guess I am u**ber-retarded too.

  208. #210 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    There is no accounting for taste in food or music. Let me know if you want to hear my opinions on either.

    Well, OK, here’s a couple, gratis: AC/DC sucks! Mushrooms SUCK!

  209. #211 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 28, 2010

    Hee hee…
    :)
    Sven: I agree that AC/DC sucks. And I love them. Because I am u**ber-retarded.

  210. #212 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    Abruptly shifting gears – know what I hate about Bejewelled? It won’t let you save your damned progress. If you get to level 15 and you can’t make any more moves on the board, you have to start at level one again. Arrgh. Yes, this seems overpoweringly important to me during my period of reduced cognitive capacity due to excess phlegm production.

  211. #213 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 28, 2010

    Yet, Def Leppard sucks. And I hate them.

  212. #214 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    Ah! Common ground.

  213. #215 WowbaggerOM
    February 28, 2010

    Antiochus Epiphanes, the shortcut for ü is Alt-0252. There’s also an html code for it, but I don’t know what it is…

  214. #216 WowbaggerOM
    February 28, 2010

    Yet, Def Leppard sucks.

    Heck yes. I used to love them until I discovered good music. Listening to Hysteria now makes me want to vomit because of how slickly overproduced and soulless it is.

  215. #217 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 28, 2010

    Motley Crüe…Thanks, Wowbagger!

  216. #218 windy
    February 28, 2010

    AC/DC sucks

    Heh, I just saw these gals this weekend.

    Deep rifts!

  217. #219 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    Mushrooms don’t suck.

  218. #220 Carlie
    February 28, 2010

    Mammals all suck.
    Except monotremes, which lick.

  219. #221 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I’m unfamiliar with Mushrooms. Are they a punk band? The only videos I could find on YouTube were about fungi.

  220. #222 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    Well, OK, mushrooms don’t all suck.

    Just the ones passed off as ‘food’.

    Also, no thread mentioning AC/DC cover bands would be complete without Hayseed Dixie.

  221. #223 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I bet Sven doesn’t care for Toto either.

  222. #224 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    I bet Sven doesn’t care for Toto either.

    Don’t make me call down the rains down in Africa on your ass, ‘Tis.

  223. #225 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    If the conversation is going to turn towards the merits of licking versus sucking I’d better go mix up some Sangria….

  224. #226 Carlie
    February 28, 2010

    I tried, Patricia, but no one seems to be taking the bait.

    So was the weekend good? I won’t ask for details, just a general thumbs-up or down. :)

  225. #227 WowbaggerOM
    February 28, 2010

    Don’t make me call down the rains down in Africa on your ass, ‘Tis.

    Don’t forget the wild dogs crying out in the night…

  226. #228 Ichthyic
    February 28, 2010

    I HAZ NEW FISH STORYZ:

    http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/2010/02/the_hidden_face_codes_of_fish.php

    color and communication in fishes has always been a subject close to my heart, if not my pocketbook.

  227. #229 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    Sven – Have you ever had morel mushrooms rolled in cornmeal, well peppered and fried in bear fat?

  228. #230 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    I’m unfamiliar with Mushrooms. Are they a punk band?

    Not plural, and…no:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mym2qi0m5dg&feature=related

  229. #231 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    Don’t forget the wild dogs crying out in the night…

    I couldn’t, Wow, no more than I could forget Kilimanjaro rising like Olympus above the Serengeti.

    Oh, a pox on you, ‘Tis, for infecting me with that god-damned song. Sure as shit I’ll have some terrible nightmare featuring it, as always happens when I’m sick.

  230. #232 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    Carlie – I had a lovely time at the show, and allowed myself to be kissed twice in a rather genteel way accordingly proper to the status of a lady recently widowed.

    Thank you for asking.

    And no, you horny toads may NOT ask if it involved licking or sucking.

  231. #233 Caine
    February 28, 2010

    Patricia @ 232:

    And no, you horny toads may NOT ask if it involved licking or sucking.

    Spoilsport. :p I’m glad you had a good time.

  232. #234 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    I had a lovely time at the show, and allowed myself to be kissed twice in a rather genteel way accordingly proper to the status of a lady recently widowed.

    Oh, so glad to hear it, Patricia! And I loved your description.

    Perhaps you’d like to borrow some of my fantasy wardrobe for your next date. I had this bizarre -but very stylish – dream last night that I was trapped at a dreadful boring conference. I escaped by donning Victorian widows’ weeds (complete with face-obscuring veil) and running away across a meadow, assuming everyone would think I was just Some Troubled But Picturesque Victorian Lady.

    Freudians, have at it. I plead non compos mentis, on account of my cold/fever. I want that dress, though.

  233. #235 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    Have you ever had morel mushrooms rolled in cornmeal, well peppered and fried in bear fat?

    ah, here we go

    Why, no, can’t say as I have.
    However, in every single one of the hundreds of other times I have tried eating mushrooms (“Have you ever had charcoal-grilled portabellos?” “Have you ever had shitake stir-fry?” “Have you ever had freaking Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots, mushrooms, and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam?”) I have found them disgusting. Not just “eh, I don’t really care for that, thanks anyway” but gag-reflex disgusting.

    I do not like them, Sam I Am; I do not like them in a box, with a fox, wearing Crocs or served in jocks.

    So if you’re going to roll something in cornmeal, pepper it well, and fry it in bear fat for me, morels would not be my first choice.
    But I would try it.

  234. #236 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    Yes, thanks, it was a rather Victorian “date”.

    Josh, for several years I played the role of a Confederate widow at some re-enactments. That’s how I developed my fondness for corsetry. You could SO get away with that role, if properly costumed.

    OK Sven you get a pass, I’ll save the morels for myself…but damned if Spam rolled in cornmeal and fried in bear fat doesn’t sound intriguing!

  235. #237 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    Freudians, have at it.

    I am aFreud that I am no longer Jung.

    -Daevid Allen

    Shit, I forget what tune that’s from…as I recall, though, it’s on the album with these cheerful little ditties:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jlQX8i3Abc

    [p.s. in search of a vid I googled the phrase and got only one hit: Pharyngula! I can only assume that this was me, sockpuppeting solely to use the nym.]

  236. #238 Katrina
    February 28, 2010

    I was trying to remember what we usually ate, growing up in the Pacific Northwest.

    I remember pot roast, and meatloaf. Mom’s potato soup (she is from Idaho, so. . .) Dad made a spicy, flavorful chili that he cooked all afternoon in a huge iron skillet. There were casseroles with lots of spices. Dad’s marinara sauce would spend the day in the big skillet, too. Vegetables were steamed, until the invention of the microwave, then they were cooked in there until just barely done. And there was ALWAYS tossed green salad.

    We had a pretty extensive spice cupboard, but I think I cook with a wider variety of spices than my dad did.

    Oh, and catfish. I am deathly allergic to them.

  237. #239 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    oo, I had forgotten about this one with the twisted Bo Diddley beat and Gary Windo on sax:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YETauZzktC8

  238. #240 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010
  239. #241 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    Katrina – Growing up in the Pacific Northwest (that’s where I live and am a native) did you try the local mushrooms?

    Sven – your tune included the headline Black September, that was a terrorist group that ‘saved’ my late husband from being sent to Viet Nam during the war. I mention it in case you are too young to know what Black September refers to. He had to go deal with ammunion at the US Army base during their attacks. So much for ancient history. :)

  240. #242 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    Patricia:

    Josh, for several years I played the role of a Confederate widow at some re-enactments. That’s how I developed my fondness for corsetry. You could SO get away with that role, if properly costumed.

    What fun! Although you may get sassed a bit around these parts:)

    Back in college, when my fellow SpokesGays and I used to put on cabaret shows, we discovered the wonders of corsets (oddly enough, the talented seamstress who made them for us was one of the most out, politically active lesbians in our class.) If you’re really gonna look the part (especially if you have Man(TM) proportions), you gotta cinch that shit in. Whoa, did I learn a new respect for the torture women have taken upon themselves throughout the ages.

    We did look fine though – lol!

    One of these days I’m going to go all out, just one last time, for a Halloween party. I want to walk into the room looking like I’m wearing a damned wedding cake, 18th-century French Court-style.

  241. #243 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    I do not like them, Sam I Am; I do not like them in a box, with a fox, wearing Crocs or served in jocks.

    Brilliant, Sven. You win the whole Internet back again.

  242. #244 Jadehawk, OM
    February 28, 2010

    I must have close to 1T on drives in addition to at least 2,000 CD’s. And I still get bored listening to what I have and seek out new stuff.

    see, I don’t get that. I mean, I understand it on an intellectual level, since that’s how I feel about verbal information (doesn’t matter if its actual information, or fiction; I always want more, but am not really interested in re-listening to/re-reading information I already know). But I don’t understand how that works for music. Music is not information, it’s a mood altering substance. I don’t need a million different and new ones, I just need the right one at the right time.

    Or maybe Alanis Morissette – My Humps?

    that’s some awesome dissonance, hehe.

    I don’t dig jazz for the same reason I suspect that I don’t care for Ulysses. I don’t get it. I don’t have the ear/neurons to understand what it is.

    ditto. I can’t feel jazz, and therefore it is useless to me.

    I had a lovely time at the show, and allowed myself to be kissed twice in a rather genteel way accordingly proper to the status of a lady recently widowed.
    Thank you for asking.
    And no, you horny toads may NOT ask if it involved licking or sucking.

    pffft…. ;-)

    Josh, for several years I played the role of a Confederate widow at some re-enactments. That’s how I developed my fondness for corsetry. You could SO get away with that role, if properly costumed.

    awesome. the closest I’ve ever come to that was wearing a costume during RenFaire. does wonders for my posture, that.

    and now for some music I discovered thanks to my favorite Seattle radio station (107.7 The End): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKWHr3mznME

  243. #245 Antiochus Epiphanes
    February 28, 2010

    If you’re really gonna look the part (especially if you have Man(TM) proportions), you gotta cinch that shit in.

    Probably a really dumb question…couldn’t the added shoulder width of a man more than offset the thicker middle? In which case you wouldn’t need a corset as much as a prosthetic ass…to get that hourglass shape.

    You may be surprised to know that I have little experience in costume design.

  244. #246 Sven DiMilo
    February 28, 2010

    I mention it in case you are too young to know…

    But you flatter me.
    I was too young to go to Vietnam, ’tis true, but I watched it on TV every night.
    And I remember vividly the ’72 Olympics in Munich when Black September killed all those Israelis. Fucking fuckheaded fucks.

  245. #247 Katrina
    February 28, 2010

    Patricia

    did you try the local mushrooms?

    I never did, growing up. The mushrooms that were local to us were in pastures, if ya know whatta mean.

    Now that we’re (finally!) back in the PNW, I’m hoping to be more adventuresome. My next door neighbors are mushroom-hunters, and I learned (too late this year) that we had at least three deliciously edible varieties growing on our property.

    Speaking of local foods at our new home, the entire wooded side of our property is full of huckleberry bushes.

  246. #248 cicely
    February 28, 2010

    I was too harsh, and too hasty.

    You can always feed the turnips to hogs, leading, eventually, to bacon.

    (I can’t listen to that Toto song without laughing….“Frightened of this Thing that I’ve become”. I can’t see the Serengeti for all the tentacles.

  247. #249 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    February 28, 2010

    I do not like them, Sam I Am; I do not like them in a box, with a fox, wearing Crocs or served in jocks.

    I might have them if they were served on jocks.

    I want to know which one of you painted my damn moon.

  248. #250 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    Antiochus:

    Probably a really dumb question…couldn’t the added shoulder width of a man more than offset the thicker middle? In which case you wouldn’t need a corset as much as a prosthetic ass…to get that hourglass shape.

    Not a dumb question. But no, the shoulder width isn’t enough. If you’re trying to do a convincing impression (and I do mean impression; drag is about performing a certain constructed notion of womanhood, not women themselves), you have to do more. Cinching in the waist to get the proportions of waist-to-hips is key to the illusion. Even good drag queens who don’t corset end up ruining the illusion, because men’s waists and hips are flat and in line with each other – it gives the whole thing away.

    I say all this as someone who hasn’t done drag for 15 years, since I was a kid from a small town bursting at the seams (!) to go wild in my newly liberal college environment. I’m a fairly staid, ordinary looking guy with a white collar job these days:)

  249. #251 Carlie
    February 28, 2010

    What a delightful-sounding date, Patricia!

    I love the look of corsets, but surprisingly, given that they are supposed to be a slimming garment, it’s tough to find them in fat sizes. Also I would have nowhere to wear one besides the RenFaire once a year.

    As for music variety, I get stuck on things for up to months at a time, and have been known to play a single song dozens of times in a row. But then eventually I tire of them and can’t stand to listen to them for months to a couple of years and need new things. I’ve really glommed onto Pandora for free variety and finding new bands.

  250. #252 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    Sven – Those are exactly the fucks I ment.

    Katrina – My outlaws live in Tillamook, so I know just the pasture mushrooms you mean. So far as the Huckleberries go, in the summer we used to ride our Harleys to Trout Lake, WA – there is an ice cave there that will sooth the over heated bosom in 100 degree plus weather – and the local burger stand serves huckleberry milk shakes that are to die for! Yumm!

    Josh – You naughty dumpling, I only lace that above the navel.

  251. #253 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    Josh – You aren’t figuring in the illusion created by veils and hoops.

  252. #254 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    Josh – You naughty dumpling, I only lace that above the navel.

    Whatever:) Go here, and scroll forward to 5:20.

    “Our new one-piece lace foundation garment, zips up the back, no bones!”

    Disclaimer: It’s from the 1939 picture, The Women. It’s a cesspool of sexism and dreadful caricatures of society women. It’s dated, and in poor taste. And it has the most delightfully catty insults in cinema history.

    Oh, and it has Crawford. And her shoulders.

  253. #255 Katrina
    February 28, 2010

    Patricia – the first time I ever tasted huckleberries was on a horseback riding trip through the Coast Range. We picked a bunch of them one morning and had them in pancakes. Luscious!

    When we noticed the Robins were absolutely stuffing themselves every morning on some berries at our new place, we took a closer look. Sure enough, they were huckleberries. We had some fine pancakes that morning, and my eight-year-olds got to have their first wild-berry harvest.

  254. #256 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    Josh – You aren’t figuring in the illusion created by veils and hoops.

    Oh, but I am. The veil is absolutely necessary to give the skin the. . impression of poreless beauty, beyond what mere Mac Cosmetics can do (and trust me, they can do a lot. Even for gentlemen who have to appear on TV, but not look made up). And the hoops definitely help to balance out the whole I Have a Man’s Blocky Body thing.

    But ain’t nothin’ does it like a waist-cinching corset, Patricia, and you know it:)

  255. #257 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    February 28, 2010

    waist-cinching

    that is a thought, but I was rather thinking of the bosom elevating properties.

    Somebody is going to chime in here & tell us to get a room with a large wardrobe and a steam iron. *grin* The 1939 movie – I got so hung up on the knitting scene I almost missed the all in one.

    Carlie – I’ve seen some ladies that would make a Clydesdale seem petite ordering corsets at re-enactments.

  256. #258 Mr T
    February 28, 2010

    Antiochus Epiphanes, #209:

    I don’t dig jazz for the same reason I suspect that I don’t care for Ulysses. I don’t get it. I don’t have the ear/neurons to understand what it is.

    Jazz is made of the same stuff as all other music. If you’re not accustomed to listening to the improvised stuff, then the unpredictability probably would make you feel a bit uncomfortable. Don’t expect it to sound like a (“popular”, “classical”, “folk”, etc.) song with an easily-hummable melody. Instead, try to focus on whatever is happening and appreciate it for what it is.

    And I can listen to blues and zydeco for ~15 minutes before I want to hear something else.

    I also suffer from blues fatigue, because twelve-bar blues is often too predictable. Zydeco I don’t listen to very often, so when I do it at least has some momentary novelty value.

    Being a musician, it’s hard to simply stop here. Now for a few more music musings…

    Music, to create harmony, must investigate discord. ~Plutarch

    Although I would reword “harmony” as “consonance”, since harmony has a more general meaning which includes dissonance (or discord, if you will). By definition, every piece of tonal music contains both consonance and dissonance. Most of us just happen to disagree about their “proper” proportions and arrangement in time, because most of you people haven’t yet come to understand my impeccable taste. ;)

    “If ya don’t got it in ya, ya can’t blow it out. ~Louis Armstrong

    “Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” ~Charlie Parker

    It’s important to understand why there is so much dissonance and chaos in some music. Just remember that it’s an artform which isn’t simply for dancing or entertainment. If you can’t stand the heat… well, you know.

    I also want to make it clear that instead of jazz or hip-hop, I could just as easily be talking about the Beatles, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, etc. Many are deliberately trying to not let you settle into a comfortable illusion that all is well with the world. It was not alright in their experience, and they attempted to represent that with sound. I’m not claiming that is the raison d’źtre of dissonance or anything silly like that, just trying to describe how it is typically employed by a wide variety of musicians across history.

  257. #259 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    February 28, 2010

    Carlie – I’ve seen some ladies that would make a Clydesdale seem petite ordering corsets at re-enactments.

    Oh, dear lord, I’m spurting liquid refreshment out my nose.

    Carlie, if your seamstress can’t make you a corset that fits/flatters your body, she’s doing it wrong. Srsly. It’s not about fat/thin, it’s about what works for the client.

  258. #260 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    more from The Fratellis, just because: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b9BdFmM8S8&NR=1

  259. #261 boygenius
    March 1, 2010

    Music is not information,

    ?????????

    it’s a mood altering substance.

    Yes, yes it is.

    I don’t need a million different and new ones, I just need the right one at the right time.

    But… but.. you just never know how a new one might make you feel. Just like (chemical) mood altering substances: some depend on set and setting, some will blow you away regardless of either.

    It’s that possibility of being blown away that keeps me seeking new music. (And new psychoactive substances.)

  260. #262 Mr T
    March 1, 2010

    Jadehawk, #244:

    Music is not information, it’s a mood altering substance. I don’t need a million different and new ones, I just need the right one at the right time.

    How about that, I entirely disagree. Deep Rifts.

    Music is much more than something that alters one’s mood. Let me ask an impossible rhetorical question: how would you describe paintings or architecture or literature, if you had to use the same “mood-altering substance” language?

    That last part about your needs makes some sense to me, but there is already far too much out there to know what is “the right one”. I, for one, do not intend to stop looking for new music, or to stop creating it myself.

  261. #263 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 1, 2010

    MrT:

    Although I would reword “harmony” as “consonance”, since harmony has a more general meaning which includes dissonance (or discord, if you will). By definition, every piece of tonal music contains both consonance and dissonance. Most of us just happen to disagree about their “proper” proportions and arrangement in time, because most of you people haven’t yet come to understand my impeccable taste. ;)

    This is very interesting, especially your use of the word “tonal,” which I take to mean “somewhat related to Western diatonic scales.” Is that right?

    My ear is prejudiced toward classical modes. I enjoy major and minor “harmonies” skillfully done, in a conventional “common practice period” sort of way.That includes most of the conventional chord progressions and deviations therefrom we hear in pop music, jazz or not. Because of that, a lot of “freestyle” jazz sounds, to my ear, “a-tonal,” or excessively dissonant. I realize some of this is a matter of acculturation, and taste.

    But I have to wonder if all of it is. I have some friends who are into. . . excessively. . .avante garde “music.” The kind of stuff that adheres to no tonal scale at all. My friend Cath – who is married to one such afficianado – describes it as “throwing forks on a concrete floor.” That’s exactly what it sounds like to me. Wretched, dissonant for the sake of dissonance, almost as if it’s actively trying to frustrate the listener.

    I can appreciate harmonic adventurousness, but, to me, there’s a limit beyond which I have to suspect the human mind’s organization of sounds just can’t be tortured any further. Your thoughts?

  262. #264 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 1, 2010

    Goodnight sweethearts, this cunning conversation of corsetry has this old vixen verily vaporous.

  263. #265 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Music is much more than something that alters one’s mood. Let me ask an impossible rhetorical question: how would you describe paintings or architecture or literature, if you had to use the same “mood-altering substance” language?

    exactly the same, since I don’t process either at any level other than “how does it make me feel?”
    music has the added layer of lyrics, which I don’t always care about either, though. (well, representative art also has stories, but sometimes I don’t care about that, either)

    and the reason I’m not looking for more is because the mood-altering effect wears down with use. I need most of my time to be sound-free. filling it all with music reduces the music to headache-inducing background noise.

  264. #266 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawncr0FDc8gdl7yJBz0SJ15D0etcTIOtL0s
    March 1, 2010

    Noodles vs. dumplings: Same difference, as my sainted mother used to say, with pot pie vs. pot pie. Where I come from, pot pie is a sort of chicken stew with homemade and used-immediately noodledumplings, maybe 1/8 in. thick, if that, and 2 – 3 in. square. You use vinegar as a condiment at the table. That’s Pennsylvania Dutch, and if you want a fine North American cuisine there you have it.

    I make Mom’s coleslaw sometimes, by ear, so to speak. Half a head of cabbage wants three eggs and a third of a stick of butter, plus vinegar, sugar, and salt. I suppose it’s a sort of hollandaise; you cook it. The sauce, not the cabbage.

    I’ll be struck down dead for saying this, but Joe makes better potpie than my mother did. He uses a Reading recipe, with saffron.

    Shoo fly pie. Schnitz un knepp. Pot cheese, cup cheese, boova schenkel. It’s supposed to rain this week, so the weather’s right for this stuff. Now I’m hungry.

    How to tell if a cookbook actually got used? If the pages are clean: No.

  265. #267 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 1, 2010

    Noodles vs. dumplings: Same difference, as my sainted mother used to say, with pot pie vs. pot pie.

    No.

    Dumpling vs. Noodle

  266. #268 PZ Myers
    March 1, 2010

    Wasn’t someone just complaining about pecan pie being too sweet? Shoo fly pie is lethally sweet.

    You didn’t mention scrapple.

  267. #269 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    No.
    Dumpling vs. Noodle

    wrong.

    Dumplings vs. Noodles

  268. #270 Mr T
    March 1, 2010

    I can appreciate harmonic adventurousness, but, to me, there’s a limit beyond which I have to suspect the human mind’s organization of sounds just can’t be tortured any further. Your thoughts?

    I think you’re right. Maybe at some point, we would experience something like a Total Perspective Vortex, but well before that we just can’t grok it.

    However, I still have to try to balance that with what I know about our society and our history. What is considered “avant-garde” for most people today could easily have been written over a hundred years ago. To be just a bit condescending about it, the plebs simply haven’t caught up with the times. Maybe pop music will catch up one of these days. The fact is there are only so many things you can do with triadic harmonies, circle progressions, waltzes and marches.

    It’s been a long time since composers began exploring what else was possible. This is fair game as far as I’m concerned, but without some arbitrarily-imposed limits or conventions (such as triadic harmony or the twelve-tone method) there simply are no rules to follow, which has both good and bad consequences. It’s not necessary to disregard all the great things about tonal music, but it’s also not necessary to limit oneself to that. For example: Debussy didn’t write tonal music. If you can find someone who thinks his music is ugly, I can find someone who is tone-deaf.

    I’ll try to briefly explain some basic things about harmony which sadly many don’t understand… Because of their simpler proportions, some intervals are in some way easier for the human brain to process. They provide us a feeling of order or well-being, because of the mathematical relationships between the frequencies. Rather than complicate things with equal temperament, just consider them as pythagorean ratios: octaves are 2:1, while fifths and fourths are 3:2 and 4:3, respectively. Easy. Things get more interesting once you introduce major and minor thirds, sixths, seconds, sevenths, and the tritone.

    I hate how po-mo it sounds, but dissonance is relative, once you put it in context, add a note here or there. For example, a minor second (or major seventh), which most feel is very dissonant, is a ratio of 256:243. However, in the context of a major seventh chord like C-E-G-B, it sounds quite pleasant or relaxed — the C-G is a fifth and so is E-B. Fifths are easy, so we can deal with the slight pinch between the C and B.

    The tritone’s ratio is 729:512, and is also considered dissonant, but as part of a V7-I cadence it’s probably the most commonly heard harmony and the most convincing resolution one can write. As we all know, it’s a nice feeling when tension is released (is anyone else thinking of sex right now?). Hang on too long, and we get bored or annoyed.

    I think there are a lot of things just about everybody understands about music at a basic level, but applying that to a new creation is much more difficult. Still, those are the kind of things which are helpful to consider no matter what kind of music you’re writing. It requires a lot of trial and error, as well as borrowing/stealing things you know have worked in the past.

  269. #271 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 1, 2010

    wrong.
    Dumplings vs. Noodles

    It’s very hard to compare Goulash to

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  270. #272 Mr T
    March 1, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    exactly the same, since I don’t process either at any level other than “how does it make me feel?” music has the added layer of lyrics, which I don’t always care about either, though. (well, representative art also has stories, but sometimes I don’t care about that, either)

    You seem to be describing what you want from music or what you get out of it, rather than what it is. And that’s okay.

  271. #273 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage

    grrr… there aren’t any other good pictures of it on the web. and it’s not the goulash you’re supposed to be looking at, anyway.

    ok, so I temporarily stole the picture and re-posted it: http://inlinethumb44.webshots.com/45739/2757027580075107219S600x600Q85.jpg

  272. #274 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 1, 2010

    MrT – I’m way too tired to be coherent, and I’m going to bed. But this conversation about consonance and dissonance is fascinating – you can talk to me about Pythagorean intervals, and equal temperament, all night long, and I’d never get bored. Hope it comes up again as a topic of conversation! If not, please email me.

  273. #275 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 1, 2010

    Okay, it has decided to load. But I still don’t see the similarities. Dumplings that I’ve worked with either looked like this or this.

    As opposed to this and this.

  274. #276 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    I have returned. Show was good, made better by a waaaay over-enthusiastic girl shrieking (it was pretty low key show) so that was fun.

    Music is not information, it’s a mood altering substance.

    Ah, this I don’t get. Music is not just information it’s sort of my primary input for information. Other information is just parts of music, out of time, or in other formats. Everything comes down to music for me in my head, but then I’m a musician so that shouldn’t be too surprising!

  275. #277 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    You seem to be describing what you want from music or what you get out of it, rather than what it is. And that’s okay.

    well, of course, since I was talking about why I don’t feel the need to have a very extensive music collection. but really that IS what music is, for me. I’m not in the slightest concerned with what it’s made of, why, or how. I am sometimes somewhat interested with the culture/message of a some music, but mostly it exists in my life only as a mood altering device.

  276. #278 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    But I still don’t see the similarities.

    huh? similarities to what? one picture was of potato dumplings, one picture was of egg-drop noodles.

  277. #279 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 1, 2010

    huh? similarities to what? one picture was of potato dumplings, one picture was of egg-drop noodles.

    To the original statement that noodles and dumplings are the same.

  278. #280 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    To the original statement that noodles and dumplings are the same.

    ah, I wasn’t even dealing with that. I was just poking fun at your definition of “dumpling” and “noodle”

    dumpling and noodle aren’t the same, it’s just that “dumpling” doesn’t seem to mean anything and is applied to all sorts of things; including noodles.

  279. #281 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    I think there are a lot of things just about everybody understands about music at a basic level, but applying that to a new creation is much more difficult. Still, those are the kind of things which are helpful to consider no matter what kind of music you’re writing.

    Oh neat, yeah. Some times I think some of older avan-garde classical is referenced at least a little bit by some post-rock bands, and it always excites me even to see that tiny bit of risk taking. Some times I think the point of some of that music, if nothing else, is simply to make you consider the nature of music. Well you might also think of abstraction after representation fell by the wayside, then people were thinking about form and pattern and nothing else for a while. Some music of that era also follows suit. Similarly in minimalism you see focus on the underlying structure, and even music which is intended to draw attention to the resonance of the room or to the ear itself. Not that all things sync up between the two, but I do see form/visual input as sort of fused with auditory input anyway.

  280. #282 Rorschach
    March 1, 2010

    So Dawkins has arrived in Oz for his book tour apparently.
    And PZ is going to see Skippy next Thursday, which I just learned from the FB invite I received from the UMSS.I’m not going, I have to work until 6 that day.

    Poor PZ, I better start stockpiling drugs for the man’s sore back already…:-)

  281. #283 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 1, 2010

    dumpling and noodle aren’t the same, it’s just that “dumpling” doesn’t seem to mean anything and is applied to all sorts of things; including noodles.

    I was brought up with one concept of dumpling. Later in life, I thought it was odd that people would use dumpling to describe Jiaozi and Baozi when Baozi is so radically different.

  282. #284 Sili
    March 1, 2010

    Hey, since people are already pissed off at me for the stuff I’m seeing, it’s probably a good time to let you know I’m online right now buying tickets for Sir Ian McKellan and Roger Rees in Waiting for Godot…

    DAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMNNNNN YOUUUUUUU!

    I had to miss a Peter Hall Ensemble performance of it, since I had to go home before they got that far in the repetoire.

    No link (at ‘work’), but Derek Lowe has nice recipe for pecan pie as well – go back to Thanksgiving for it.

  283. #285 llewelly
    March 1, 2010

    If music is not mood-altering, you should delete it, because it’s fucking boring.

  284. #286 Mr T
    March 1, 2010

    llewelly, I agree with you, but I hope you aren’t misinterpreting me. Let me put it this way:

    If music is only mood-altering, you should delete it, because it’s fucking boring.

    Is “mood-altering” a necessary condition for something to qualify as “music”? Maybe so. Is it sufficient? No. That isn’t an adequate way of describing what it is or should be.

    It’s also just plain wrong to say “Music is not information”. Why not? How could that possibly be true? It’s not the same kind of information as numbers or language, but that is beside the point.

  285. #287 windy
    March 1, 2010

    If music is not mood-altering, you should delete it, because it’s fucking boring.

    Boring is mood-altering.

  286. #288 Paul W.
    March 1, 2010

    windy:

    Boring is mood-altering.

    You’ve been listening to Brian Eno again, haven’t you?

    “Repetition is a form of change.”

  287. #289 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    It’s also just plain wrong to say “Music is not information”. Why not?

    interesting. so what does music inform you about? what new knowledge do you gain from it? what do you learn from it?

    I’m honestly asking, because music doesn’t do that for me, therefore it’s not information to me. which is why i don’t get bored with it to the point of having to constantly find new music the way I have to with sources of information; because receiving the same information multiple times is, indeed, boring.

    IOW, music does not perform the function of an information-source for me. does it do that for you?

  288. #290 llewelly
    March 1, 2010

    Mr T | March 1, 2010 3:11 AM:

    If music is only mood-altering, you should delete it, because it’s fucking boring.

    I didn’t think about what I wrote in that much detail, but I can agree with this.

  289. #291 Rorschach
    March 1, 2010

    Kel @ 151,

    Less than 2 weeks until the GAC in Melbourne and Carl Wieland still hasn’t accepted Rorschach’s and my offer to debate him and another of his creationist cronies. What’s he afraid of?!?

    I plan on being pleasantly inebriated for the duration of that weekend, and would probably just become exasperated debating that fool, unless the Bride of Shrek and 20 other hot atheist women would care to cheer us on from the audience, preferably by throwing pieces of underwear at us for every killer blow argument delivered to some creationist nonsense !

  290. #292 Kel, OM
    March 1, 2010

    I plan on being pleasantly inebriated for the duration of that weekend

    Aside from getting there, I realised recently that I have nothing planned for that weekend at all. Should have gotten the Saturday night dinner ticket

  291. #293 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    well, I’m about to go to sleep, so I won’t be able to continue this conversation until later tomorrow, so I just wanted to clarify real quick:

    Information is something that I receive, absorb, and then do not need to receive again, unless I’ve forgotten all of it. and even then, re-receiving it isn’t nearly as enjoyable as the first time round. And I was saying that if someone perceived music that way, I could see how they’d be able to have 1Tb and 2000 CDs worth of music, and still get bored with it.

    But it simply doesn’t work that way for me. For me, music is a sensual experience, like food. And just because I had one slice of cheesecake, doesn’t mean I won’t want a second, or a third, or a tenth (well, ok; maybe not a tenth). And even though I am interested in new foods, I do not need to search them out in the same volumes as new information, since the foods I already know don’t stop being tasty just because I’ve eaten them before. On the other hand, a piece of information is only enjoyable once, after which it’s boring, and I need a new piece of information.

  292. #294 Walton
    March 1, 2010

    Carlie @#150:

    Walton, Pink is smart pop. She also has ballads – here’s one about George W. Bush.

    Wow. I just clicked on the link, and it was surprisingly not bad. I’m not sure I agree entirely with the political message, but it was a clever and meaningful song. So I will have to admit that my (prejudiced?) assumptions were not borne out.

    (Although I can’t help finding it jarring to hear a multi-millionaire musician, who is as personally wealthy as Bush himself, singing about the hardships faced by single mothers on minimum wage.)

  293. #295 Rorschach
    March 1, 2010

    Kel, if you are in Melbs Thursday, mail me or the BoS, same goes for Wowbagger.

  294. #296 SteveV
    March 1, 2010

    Knockgoats #200

    ?Take that man out and shoot him!
    Boiling the noble kipper is unforgiveable: a kipper (which should not be filleted) should be fried on both sides in a little butter, then sprinkled with coarsely-ground black pepper and eaten with wholemeal bread.?
    And I deserve shooting.
    In mitigation I have to share the house with Miss M, whose nose rivals a mass spec in sensitivity. Now I know that this only compounds the grossness but the only way I can have kippers is if they are the Boil in Bag variety.
    *cringes, expecting blows*
    In the summer, however, we can cook outside.
    Sprats, grilled pilchards, fresh mackerel MMMMMM

  295. #297 Mr T
    March 1, 2010

    interesting. so what does music inform you about? what new knowledge do you gain from it? what do you learn from it?

    I guess we’re discussing two different kinds of “information”. Here’s some information:

    729

    What did that inform you about? What new knowledge did you gain or learn?

    And remember, this is for posterity, so be honest. How do you feel?

    IOW, music does not perform the function of an information-source for me. does it do that for you?

    I’m not talking about whether we consider it an “information-source”, but whether information is in fact present. I do not think music can represent anything in particular, in the same way we try to represent things with language or other symbols (although even these kinds of information are inexact).

    If someone plays a C+7 chord on a piano followed by an F major chord, I hear the notes C E G# Bb followed by F A C. From past experience, I know to call that an authentic cadence (V-I). I hear the chords in whichever register and configuration they were played, in some rhythm and at some volume, with the tone colors of that particular piano in that particular room. I also get information about the room I’m listening in (if different), the speakers or instruments directly transmitting the sound to me, and which direction it’s coming from. If I play name-that-tune, or someone plays a short clip from an artist with whom I’m familiar, I can usually recognize the name and all sorts of other associations come to mind.

    Aren’t all of those different kinds of information?

  296. #298 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    I’m not talking about whether we consider it an “information-source”, but whether information is in fact present.

    well, that’s so trivial as to be a non-point. in that sense, everything is information. but it is of course not what I was talking about, as I explained.

    And it’s completely missing the point I was making, which was to describe the only situation in which I could imagine amassing such a large collection of anything and still being bored with it, which is to consider it a single-use source of pleasure*. information (or knowledge, if you prefer; but that’s less accurate) does that for me, whereas music does not. they are completely separate categories, and as such one can be reused and therefore I need less of it, and the other cannot, therefore I need constantly more of it.

    ok, NOW I go to sleep :-p

    ——

    *hmm….but then… why keep all of it? the reason I have no books is because there’s no point in buying something I’ll read only once… is it just a matter of virtually non-existent storage costs (in terms of actual money, and space)?

  297. #299 Kel, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Kel, if you are in Melbs Thursday, mail me or the BoS, same goes for Wowbagger.

    Nah, I’ll be getting in Friday evening and leaving Monday morning. Thanks for the offer though.

  298. #300 Rorschach
    March 1, 2010

    Thanks for the offer though.

    Uhm, if you knew what the offer was for you would reconsider lol……

    I have btw an empty house over that weekend, if 30k out of the city, and a bit of space in my apartment over the road from the convention centre.

  299. #301 Kel, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Enough space in the apartment to crash at?

  300. #302 Rorschach
    March 1, 2010

    Yeah easily….It’s been done before lol

  301. #303 Kel, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Awesome, that makes things a lot easier. Thanks

  302. #304 Kel, OM
    March 1, 2010

    email me kelskye(at)gmail(dot)com if you can, and name your poison :P

  303. #305 Mr T
    March 1, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    So we agree that it’s information, at least in some trivial sense. I thought I was stating the obvious, but there still seems to be confusion. I don’t really understand the point of the distinctions you’re making. I will again state the obvious, but let me know if somehow this doesn’t sound right to you:

    Music can be a really interesting type of (mood-altering) information (substance), so much so that it’s not necessarily boring to receive it over and over, as information is ordinarily defined by Jadehawk. Also, since it’s possible for music to be memorized and recalled at will (as musicians and others do quite regularly) like other information, it’s not actually necessary to receive it over and over, despite the fact that many take pleasure in doing so.

  304. #306 Rorschach
    March 1, 2010

    Kel, check mail !

  305. #307 DLC
    March 1, 2010

    and when they came for my blog comments section, there was no one left to protest . . .

    (meaningless comment made for the sake of humor)

  306. #308 Kel, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Checked, and replied.

  307. #309 Carlie
    March 1, 2010

    Oh no DLC, you are not bringing that argument over to this thread.

    (You have inadvertently stepped on the third rail. I chuckle at your joke but pull you off of it very fast.)

  308. #310 Rorschach
    March 1, 2010

    I dont know what the third rail is, but DLC seems to have a habit of making bad analogies that are quite unfunny……

  309. #311 Walton
    March 1, 2010

    Can we please quarantine the RDF-related arguments to the latest designated thread? It doesn’t need to spill over into the endless thread. Let’s keep this thread for random ramblings about food, music and the insanity of Mormons.

  310. #312 John Morales
    March 1, 2010

    Walton, you must be joking.

    The thread is what the thread is, not what you would have it be.

  311. #313 Rorschach
    March 1, 2010

    Even PZ is sick of Greg’s shenanigans :

    These weird comments about “Blastulistas” are kind of annoying, since they’re supposedly not about me or my site, but the name leads everyone to think you’re talking about me. Or maybe you are.

    How about talking about Ladenistas instead? Or Isisites? Or Physioprofiloids? Or just come clean and call them Pharyngulites. I’m a big boy, I can take it, and so can they.

  312. #314 Carlie
    March 1, 2010

    Invoking its name brings it here! Stop, for the love of all that is tentacled, before you recite it three times!

    I’ve anointed the Thread screen with calamari sauce; perhaps that will help.

  313. #315 David Marjanovi?
    March 1, 2010

    Take one chicken, put it in a pot, cover with water. Add an onion, a carrot […] and a celery stick if you feel like it.

    Only one of each for an entire chicken??? And then it’s even optional???

    Cook until the chicken falls apart. Disassemble chicken and save all meat bits (this is the fun part that makes me feel all pioneer thrifty woman – look, I can get the meat off of the vertebrae!).

    Then donate the entire skeleton to Darren Naish or your other favorite anatomy collection. :-)

    He has remarked how Czech people have such an aversion to vegetables they even throw away what little salad comes with a hamburger, but that might have been an exaggeration.

    From my experience with Czechs, it is. Which isn’t to say there aren’t individual people like that ? I, for one, don’t eat lettuce.

    As for paneer, while it’s likened to cottage cheese it is slightly different being pressed curds made from scalded milk split with acid, usually lemon juice. It seems closer to twaróg than bia?y ser, though I’ve only made paneer and cooked with the Polish cheeses.

    Oh yeah ? twaróg is probably even the same word as northern German Quark.

    I need most of my time to be sound-free. filling it all with music reduces the music to headache-inducing background noise.

    Am I glad I’m not the only one in my generation (with my brother, that is). Am I glad there are still people out there who don’t think their life needs a soundtrack.

    :-)

    That’s a good place to stop, I need to go; I’ll catch up later. I’ll also post links to horned toads.

  314. #316 Carlie
    March 1, 2010

    No new comments in a whole hour? I think I’m getting the shakes.

    Only one of each for an entire chicken??? And then it’s even optional??

    The celery is optional, because celery is an evil vegetable spawn of Satan. And the amounts are small probably because it was from a, shall we say, not hugely successful farming family. You use what you got. If the chicken is chickeny enough, it doesn’t need much else.

    I have made paneer – it was ridiculously easy. But then again, it was only once, so it may have been a fluke. I’m quite excited – some farms in my area have banded together for a new co-op, and one of them has non-homogenized milk (still pasteurized, of course). Although I can’t stand the taste of whole milk, I’m interested in watching the cream rise and skimming it off for other fun uses.

  315. #317 SteveV
    March 1, 2010

    At work eating smoked salmon on brown bread when Ian Dury’s ‘Poo Poo in the Prawn’ comes over my phones.

    *tries hard not to heave – succeeds just*

  316. #318 ButchKitties
    March 1, 2010

    @Carlie, The video you posted contains the greatest high-five in the history of high-fives.

  317. #320 Matt Penfold
    March 1, 2010

    Dydd Gwyl Dewi!

    Or for non-Welsh speakers (including me), Happy St David’s Day.

    I would also like to recommend a cheese-maker based only a mile or so from where I live. Caws Cenarth make wonderful cheese, and if you ever get the chance to try some, do! The Golden Cenarth is especially good.

  318. #321 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2010

    “Tribbles are fuckin’ hot!”

    disclaimer: I was never like those guys (@#319).

    Never

  319. #322 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2010

    Over at Tet Zoo reading about babirusas, and whether there are multiple species or not and what it even means to ask that question, and Naish dropped this little citation and then quickly backed way, way away:

    Woodley, M. 2009. Is Homo sapiens polytypic? Human taxonomic diversity and its implications. Medical Hypotheses 74, 195-201.

    Talk about yer proverbial can o’ worms!
    The abstract and a bit of intelligent-seeming commentary can be found here.

    (Googling ‘Woodley polytypic’ also brings up some truly stomach-turning supremacist stuff, as might be expected.)

  320. #324 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    I hear the chords in whichever register and configuration they were played, in some rhythm and at some volume, with the tone colors of that particular piano in that particular room. I also get information about the room I’m listening in (if different), the speakers or instruments directly transmitting the sound to me, and which direction it’s coming from.

    Oh this completely. Here’s the thing. Let’s pretend I’m listening to some kind of music. For the sake of argument let’s make it rock, let’s say it’s the album Iron Curtain Innocence, or maybe that Grizzly Bear album. Whatever, it could be the Misfits it wouldn’t really matter for my illustration. Ok, so maybe the first time I listen to the album it’s in my house and I’m not writing or working on something. So I may not pay that much attention, but if something stands out I may go back and listen to that song, this time just actually listening the way you might read a passage in a book.

    Now if I like it, I may move the album onto my ipod or phone and start listening to it in the car. I have to drive a lot because I live in Texas which means the car becomes a big music listening to room for me. Now as I continue to obsess over my new find I will start to listen to the structure of songs I particularly like. I will listen to the production. I will notice changes in the drums, snare heavy sections, basslines. Eventually I will understand the lyrics. I will notice harmonies in the guitar line, I will notice how the synth parts work, and probably get to where I can play them at home when I’m practicing if my mind wonders that way.

    I do that a lot, sort of dallying around and then oops… haha… that’s some one else’s song!

    What’s always amazing to me is that with all the years of playing essentially similar music you can still *recognize* some bit of some one else’s song when you hear it. Just that particular arrangement, inflection, etc.

    After a while I will become some what absorbed in a little world created by that song. I’ll notice how it sounds in my headphones at night, or how it has become my driving soundtrack. I’ll notice how it sounds when I’m ignoring it, or maybe I’ll use it to give myself a break at work (where I work gets NOISY some times because my coworkers are talkative and eat frequently in the office so tuning out is a must some times).

    Now multiply that by lots of songs, and you can see how that if *how music works* is of some kind of interest to you as a special or privileged type of information then it can be the kind of thing you develop a consuming desire to expand your exposure to. Because, all of those little moments, I may revisit but the sense of discovering them is only new once. So it becomes an endless observation of how *they do it* or how it seems in this situation, etc.

    That’s not even touching the subject of live shows! Like some one said above, honestly I could be talking about classical with this just as well. The same process applies for me.

  321. #325 Lynna, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Here’s Greg Laden coming almost clean: See the comment link pasted in below — it’s actually a comment that’s up a screen or two from PZ’s comment. http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/02/an_open_letter_to_richard_dawk.php#comment-2310979

  322. #326 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 1, 2010

    I am going the indirect route here, I do not want to listen to this and I do not want to inadvertently make anyone listen to it or provide site hits. But the alleged song is called OTP (One Term President) and it is by WOLVERINES!

    Why do some deranged people think that Red Dawn is a documentary instead of a rather crappy action movie with a very dubious premise? Why, yes, I can see how an armed high school football team can defeat those damned socialists!

  323. #327 Becca
    March 1, 2010

    I don’t get Greg Laden. He says he doesn’t read blogs, doesn’t like blogs – why does he have one, then? I visit there every now and then, and for the most part his seems generally pretty content-free.

  324. #328 Matt Penfold
    March 1, 2010

    I don’t get Greg Laden. He says he doesn’t read blogs, doesn’t like blogs – why does he have one, then? I visit there every now and then, and for the most part his seems generally pretty content-free.

    He used to have interesting things to say. In the last six months or so he started producing great long posts on his blog that seem to be written in way that is intended to hard to understand. I have read some and been none the wiser as to what he on about. Not quite in Karen Armstrong class of waffle, but getting there. If someone has something to say, but cannot be bothered to do so in a concise and understandable way I am no longer interested in trying to pick the gems out of the dross.

  325. #329 David Marjanovi?
    March 1, 2010

    In the cafeteria today: paupiette de veau ? a sausage-like phenomenon filled with minced veal and surrounded by a delicious mushroom sauce. (With mushroom slices so large I was able to just leave them on the plate.)

    wrong.

    Dumplings vs. Noodles

    That soup looks really good! But I’m somewhat surprised the term “noodle” is stretched that far in English. The closest thing I know to those kluski are csipetke ? made from more-or-less-noodle-dough, but not themselves noodles.

    “dumpling” doesn’t seem to mean anything and is applied to all sorts of things

    =8-)

    Later in life, I thought it was odd that people would use dumpling to describe Jiaozi and Baozi when Baozi is so radically different.

    Baozi: Knödel.
    Jiaozi: Tascherl. Uh? Täschchen? How do you say in Germany?

    the reason I have no books is because there’s no point in buying something I’ll read only once…

    Then I envy your memory! :-) There are books that I like to read again every few years or so.

    Even PZ is sick of Greg’s shenanigans :

    Now it gets interesting.

    Woodley, M. 2009. Is Homo sapiens polytypic? Human taxonomic diversity and its implications. Medical Hypotheses 74, 195-201.

    Medical Fucking Hypotheses!?! Wow. I overlooked that. Too bad I can’t comment on that blog you linked to.

    I don’t understand why the abstract talks about amounts of variation in connection with the Phylogenetic Species Concept. Are there separate lineages, or not?

    ?No. The only human populations that have been isolated for centuries or more are the Easter Islanders (till a few hundred years ago) and probably the Tasmanians (till about 200 years ago). All else is just one single clade with lots of clinal variation ? and a separate cline for every single gene that varies. Skin color doesn’t covary with any blood group, for instance?

    I thought eastern (including mountain) and western gorillas being separate species was now textbook wisdom? (Except that not many textbooks can’t have been printed in those last few years.)

    Now I want some souuuuup?

    Oh yeah. Horned toads, aka pacman frogs.

  326. #330 Lynna, OM
    March 1, 2010

    More mormon gossip — this time our high-profile mormon is Kevin Rahm who plays a gay dude on the TV show “Desperate Housewives”. Gossip from the morridor is that playing a gay character so charmingly falls into the “appearance of evil” category, that in some scenes his mormon garments can be discerned under his costume, that he dropped out of pre-law at Brigham Young University because he really is gay (or because he really is not gay, but really is talented), etc.
    http://www.affirmation.org/news/2007_097.shtml
    From Deseret News:

    THERE WAS A MORMON reference in Sunday’s episode of “Desperate Housewives.” And it did involve polygamy.
         Gay couple Lee (Kevin Rahm) and Bob (Tuc Watkins) moved to Wisteria Lane, and Susan (Teri Hatcher) rushed over to welcome them to the neighborhood and ingratiate herself.
         She failed miserably at the ingratiation. Susan didn’t get that Lee and Bob are partners, so Bob clarified. They’re “life partners.”
         ”That’s super! I’ve seen a lot of cable so I get it!” she exclaimed.
         ”Thank you,” Lee deadpans. “I hope we can live up to your stereotype.”
         Lee wasn’t enthusiastic about leaving the city for the suburbs. So Bob reminded him that he was “the one who said moving here would be better for Raphael.”
         ”So, there’s three of you,” Susan says uncomfortably. “Well, that must be … cozy.”
         Overcoming his momentary shock, Lee replies sarcastically, “Yes, we’re gay Mormons.”
         Raphael is their dog.

    This excerpt is brought to you by your friendly Reassurance Board, who would like to confirm that, yes, most TV is a waste of time, most scripts are still inane, and, no, there’s no reason for you to rush out and buy a TV. And, yes, there are gay mormons, but unless they want to be excommunicated, they just play gay mormons on TV instead of in real life…. maybe.

  327. #331 badgersdaughter
    March 1, 2010

    But I’m somewhat surprised the term “noodle” is stretched that far in English. The closest thing I know to those kluski are csipetke ? made from more-or-less-noodle-dough, but not themselves noodles.

    My Hungarian father always called them “Paprikįs noodles.”

  328. #332 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 1, 2010

    Baozi: Knödel.

    Jiaozi: Tascherl. Uh? Täschchen? How do you say in Germany?

    Knödel kann aus Baozi sehen, aber Baozi muss immer Brötchen sein. Ist Täschchen eine Handtasche? Ein Tascherl ist süß, aber Jiaozi ist salzig.

    (I need an excuse to practice German)

  329. #333 Lynna, OM
    March 1, 2010

    The LDS Church has an intelligence-gathering service called the Strengthening the Members Committee. Excerpts are from a post by Steve Benson:

    …it has been a privately-acknowledged fact by high Mormon Church authorities that ongoing tabs are, in fact, kept on suspicious Church members by a shadowy committee which then provides the intel it gathers to local Church leaders.
         In behind-closed-doors discussions I had with LDS Apostles Dallin Oaks and Neal Maxwell in September 1993 in Maxwell’s Salt Lake City Church Administration Building Office, Oaks admitted to the existence of a clandestine snoop organization the operates from Church headquarters and essentially spies on the activities of troublesome Church members of interest….
          He described it [apostasy] as “clear, deliberate and open opposition to the Church or its leaders.” He said it involved “persisting in teaching as Church doctrine when corrected otherwise by Church leaders.” Oaks defended Mormon Church disciplinary action against apostates, arguing that “any organization has to draw the line. You can’t ignore apostasy.”…
          He said that “we don’t want ‘telephone justice'” (referring to the practice of a ranking Church leader picking up the phone and ordering a subordinate to take action against a member considered to be an apostate).
         Oaks said, however, that a stake president can ask for a meeting with a General Authority and that the General Authority “can’t turn him down.” Oaks said the General Authorities can “relay information to local leaders” through the “Strengthening the Members Committee,” but that “they don’t tell them what should be done.”
         In defending the existence of the “Strengthening the Members Committee,” Oaks said there have been cases were bishops and stake presidents have been so “busy” that they “didn’t read newspapers about crimes committed by their members.”…

    Benson goes on to document instances of phone taps. Other ex-mormons add their own experiences of surveillance to the thread.

  330. #334 Sili
    March 1, 2010

    I sorta wish I understood music, but when you start discussing it, this is all I hear.

    Happy Chicken, Chopin!

  331. #335 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2010

    a separate cline for every single gene that varies

    Well, that gets to the heart of the issue.
    I am not an expert, and no time this week for reading up, but it’s my strong impression that that is simply not true: There is a lot of covarying, clustered genetic variation. Even the shopworn blood-type example: what is it? No B allele in the Americas?

  332. #336 Aquaria
    March 1, 2010

    Jadehawk: I think you and others have misconstrued what I was trying to say about the acceptance of ethnic cuisines within the majority WASP culture of America, a culture which does exist. I’m not condoning it (and you’re putting words in my mouth if you imply that I do); I’m merely pointing out the reality of WASP influence in America. Supporting ethnic diversity (as I do) does not change that.

    What I was saying was in regard to the political/cultural implications of the current diversity in American food, which has given America a richer culture than it had when the WASPS had a stranglehold on the culture at large (not so long ago). Diversity has improved our cuisine, and is a decided improvement on the culture we had before.

    Sad as their treatment by whites and attempts to obliterate their cultural contributions have been, the Native Americans aren’t the only peoples of this country with a cultural heritage, and certainly not the only ones to be pissed on by the dominant WASP culture. It is to these people and their contributions to our continuing heritage that I was speaking of.

    My point was that America has been a culinary backwater because the dominant WASP culture did everything it could to deny ethnic cultures, and that included the food of those cultures, and the reason for that has everything to do with the racist heritage that their denial of others has created in America.

    Most ethnic cuisines are viciously castigated for many years before they’re ever accepted; it’s a reflection of the dominant culture’s fears of being diminished.To give you an idea of what I mean: Do you think Chinese food was popular, right away in America? Or Mexican food?

    If you think the food and ethnicity issues weren’t jumbled up together, it wasn’t so long ago that has dominant white culture routinely and openly called Mexican-Americans beaners and taco-benders as pejoratives (“beaner” is still in common use amongst racists today). Why use food to refer to Mexican Americans? Might it be because it is something basic and obvious that quickly distinguished them from the dominant culture, a sign of “other”-ness?

    You cannot look at the history of food in America without looking at the racism prevalent in the country, and how the rise of acceptance for various minorities (or at least awareness of them) has coincided with the acceptance of their cuisines into the mainstream of American life. Even the Italians dealt with this when they first came to America in large numbers in the late 1800s.

    If you look at it this way, then, yes, we have a much richer culture now than we’ve ever had, and definitely superior. I am saying that the WASP culture didn’t offer much. It was not a statement about what they took and didn’t give credit for.

    Besides, you have the contributions of Native American food culture respected and acknowledged in modern America. Unless you think that Mexican food isn’t derived from Native culture.

  333. #337 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Just dropping in; between the Olympics and a project at work that’s been keeping me not only crazy busy but also away from my regular computer, I’m afraid I’ve been pretty hit-and-run lately. And also lagging behing the wave of comments. Forgive me?

    Carlie (@124):

    Pink is touring mainly in the UK this year. Walton, I’d suggest you go to one of her concerts. It would be quite an experience for you. :)

    I see this comment has been well discussed since you made it, but I confess my first reaction was: “Yeah, because what Walton needs most is to hear an empowered woman sing it’s just you and your hand tonight! at him at FSM-knows-how-many decibels!” ;^)

    At to the ensuing conversation, I agree that Walton’s primness is sometimes… umm, endearing isn’t a term I usually apply to other men; let’s just say amusing… and I support his right not to like pop music. That said, though, I agree that Pink is teh awesome (though I might not know that if I didn’t have a teen daughter!) and I’m pleased to see that W. is at least open to learning that.

    Cicely (@204):

    You are mistaken. No part of the turnip is edible, though I understand you can make turnip o’lanterns out of them. Apart from that, they are a dead loss with no insurance.

    Funny, I don’t have much use for cooked turnips, either, but I had a fascinating experience as a youth: A friend gave me a turnip freshly pulled from his mother’s truck garden, and I impulsively bit into it like an apple. I was shocked at how good it tasted, spicy like a radish (no surprise, I guess; AFAIK turnips and radishes are pretty closely related, and what passes as a “radish” in East Asia looks mor like a turnip to my nonbotanist eyes).

    What I’ve discovered is that a bunch of food (veggies) I hate in its “normal” cooked form is awesome when eaten raw (or nearly so). You couldn’t pay me to eat the typical cooked beet, but recently I’ve been ordering a dish at my favorite Indian place that comes with shoestrings of raw beet as an edible garnish, and it’s totally fabulous!! Who knew?

  334. #338 Pygmy Loris
    March 1, 2010

    David M,

    I thought eastern (including mountain) and western gorillas being separate species was now textbook wisdom? (Except that not many textbooks can’t have been printed in those last few years.)

    Basically, yes. There are holdouts, but most textbooks now list two species, and several sub-species, of gorilla. Gorilla gorilla is the western clade and Gorilla beringei is the eastern clade. Though it’s not textbook, I know many people who classify mountain gorillas as their own species, too.

    I think part of the push to put mountain gorillas in their own species is due to conservation efforts since they’re critically endangered, and don’t reproduce in captivity. However, they are behaviorally and physically distinct, so it does make sense.

    Anyway, back to work.

  335. #339 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    You know what is funny about food in the US is that if you happen to have a branch of your family that goes back far enough and covers enough ground (my maternal side goes back to Jamestown) you get to see through various family artifacts the real richness and diversity of culture through a long line of time. Yes this means you may have unpleasant things to see like records of people sold as slaves, their job and physical stats, monetary value, etc. It also means that you get to see recipe books and notes going back for generations to the days when nut-loaf was served because meat was scarce, or when cabbage dishes became “liberty salads” because German names had to be avoided, or the wonderful fifties when people discovered the joys of instant puddings and canned peaches, and further back when it becomes clear that cooking was something sort of different (done in outside houses by staff, etc.) and so on. One thing that becomes evident is that what is eaten varies. Poke dishes are in my family. That’s highly regional. The contributions of slaves as they worked in the old kitchens created dishes like benne cookies that became accepted by WASP culture so much so that their origin gets overlooked. Then there’s other old groups, the French in Louisiana where my family picked up it’s “pullet” dishes and at the same time where there was an undeniable blend of culture.

    As various immigrant groups gain acceptance the marriages bring in different twists and traditions. Anyway, it’s hard to ascribe as single flavor to it, and I think that’s where some of the “dominant” WASP bull comes in. People select a few things and decide they’ll represent (and only temporarily though people will deny it) whatever that dominant WASP flavor is meant to be… but from what I’ve seen (and honestly I’m NOT AN EXPERT, but I do enjoy reading about US history) there’s always been more diversity than is generally acknowledged. From what I’ve really seen a lot of the WASP branding comes from the 20’s-50’s but falls apart if you follow the family history past that point. And this is from some one with family members on both sides of the civil war.

    I dunno, like I said… these are really idle and sophomoric musings. I just think it’s interesting how much identity gets tied up into something that is so ephemeral.

  336. #340 negentropyeater
    March 1, 2010

    Has anybody read Jaron Lanier’s new book:

    You Are Not a Gadget : a manifesto
    the longtime tech guru/visionary/dreadlocked genius (and progenitor of virtual reality) argues that unfettered–and anonymous–ability to comment results in cynical mob behavior, the shouting-down of reasoned argument, and the devaluation of individual accomplishment. Lanier traces the roots of today’s Web 2.0 philosophies and architectures (e.g. he posits that Web anonymity is the result of ’60s paranoia), persuasively documents their shortcomings, and provides alternate paths to “locked-in” paradigms. Though its strongly-stated opinions run against the bias of popular assumptions, You Are Not a Gadget is a manifesto, not a screed; Lanier seeks a useful, respectful dialogue about how we can shape technology to fit culture’s needs, rather than the way technology currently shapes us.

    There’s also a video of him presenting the book at zocalo public square (where he talks quite a lot about evolutionary biology).

    (He’s a weirdoe and a nerd and a visionary, it’s well worth listening to him)
    He makes a lot of claims about how the internet is affecting human behaviour, and not only in a positive way. Some of his claims, I think, are well supported, others less.

    It’s true that in the past, we have mainly reacted to technologies, we weren’t capable nor willing to see the long term benefits and costs a particular technologies over the long term, say 50 years. But are we now capable and willing to do this?

  337. #341 Sili
    March 1, 2010

    Are we already having another fundraiser? “Get Walton Laid”.

    I really need to find a job, if you keep finding these charitable cases.

  338. #342 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    Wow. Greg Laden really hates us! Good thing I never kept up with his blog much I guess. I hate being hated, especially over something trivial like where I choose to leave internet comments :(

    But whatever… onward and upward! I come here to hang out and talk to people who share a couple things in common, and to learn through observation and interaction. You know, I think a lot of people really do thing the world would be a better place if there were only a certain type of people in it.

  339. #343 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 1, 2010

    negentropyeater,

    I’ve long thought that the anonymity on the internet brings out the stupid. One can be as dumb, nasty and disruptive as one wants and there are no consequences.

    It is one of the interesting things about Pharyngula–it seems to function as a quasi-anarchhy, but under the benevolent despotic hand of PZ when some asshole-jerkoff gets out of control. To someone in the trenches of the current climate wars, it presents an interesting contrast.

  340. #344 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    I’ve long thought that the anonymity on the internet brings out the stupid.

    It does but it also gives marginalized people like myself a chance at feeling human, which is something different. You see, in the sea of internet stupid, you can see your worst in contrast with others worst too.

  341. #345 cicely
    March 1, 2010

    Well, I suppose a more radish-y tasting turnip could only be an improvement.

    One year, my folks’ garden produced a bumper crop of turnips. I am not given to the frivolous dropping of f-bombs, so you may get some inkling of the vehemence of my loathing for turnips when I say that we ate fucking turnips, frozen or left-over, every fucking day of the next fucking year.

    The freezer ran out of boxes of the damned things just in time for the next year’s fresh crop.

  342. #346 Feynmaniac
    March 1, 2010
  343. #347 SteveV
    March 1, 2010
  344. #348 SC OM
    March 1, 2010

    Laden:

    PZ: Sorry to be annoying. My intent was not to annoy you. The original meaningof the term “Blastula” was clear and explicit. It was meant to refer to the body of interent commenters who share certain characteristics such as: Atheism, an interest in promoting secular, rational, and skeptical issues and discussions, and on-line activism. I chose the term “Blastula” in honor of, and to honor, Pharyngula (and because I thought it was funny), but it was meant to refer to similar blog readers/commenters on my site, on Dawkins site, on IIBB, and so on.

    The context in which that term was used also included a mild critique of us (us “blastulas”) and a number of individuals took exception to that critique, apparently never having had their modus operendus questioned before, and went on the warpath. The conversation never progressed beyond a giant blame-game orgy that itself amply demonstrated that the critique I had proposed was not only pretty close to true, but that the situation was for some worse than I ever thought possible.

    During that process, the meaning of “Blastula” became corrupted and misused, and it became part of the “Greg Laden Runs a Train Wreck Blog and is Ruinging the Internet for Everyone” trope.

    Ironically, but perhaps expectedly, the commenters who never understood the meaning of “blastula” and when I re-explained it to them chose to call me a liar and a cheater and a mommy fucker are all your readers. (Not all of your readers, just a subset.)

    So, PZ I would be annoyed as well if I were you, but you’ve contacted the wrong person about it.

    [my bold]

    The problem here is that there was never any substantive critique. There was a lot of insinuation (ludicrous in my case), but no substance ever offered no matter how many times it was requested. I asked for it at Mors Dei and got the same response: nothing. What is this language people should be careful about, and in what contexts? Nothing. What are some examples of reasonable allies being alienated due to our statements? None. What are the benefits of moderating our language (somehow) in the context of the real advantages of being able to speak freely in some spaces? Nada. Just ‘I criticized people with nothing to back it up and they got angry, so I must be right’.

    He appears just to want to slime people (though he claims to include himself, he doesn’t give examples of his own mistakes, and hasn’t chosen a term to “honor” his own damn blog). If he were serious about this he would come up with some substantive examples that reasonable people could discuss. Of course, after what he’s done and given what a horrendous communicator he is, few are listening anyway, but I thought it needed to be pointed out.

  345. #349 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 1, 2010
  346. #350 SC OM
    March 1, 2010

    The original meaningof the term “Blastula” was clear and explicit.

    Quite:

    Now, imagine a hypothetical blog that is very popular among atheists. Let’s call it Blastula, because it is run by a developmental biologist at a small university campus in, say, Lake Wikiwookie Wisconsin. The conversations that make up the threads on Blastula are often about atheism, and tend to be down on religion. Over time, Blastual actually becomes one of the all too rare places on the internet where atheists can feel comfortable being atheists, criticizing religion and religiosity, and promoting ways of thinking that are explicit non-religious.

    Now, if you asked Professor SP Simpson, the professor who runs Blastula, what he thought about killing religious people because of their religion, he’d tell you to buzz off. He does not condone violence of any kind. “Live and let live. Even though they are obviously wrong,” is the kind of thing he might say. He, and as far as one can tell by reading the blog, his commenters condemn violence generally and have very negative things to say about genocide, holocaust, that sort of thing.

    Nonetheless, the commenters on this hypothetical blog are in some ways like the members of the firing squad….

  347. #351 Dania
    March 1, 2010

    I’m another one of those people who is always seeking out new music. Not that I get tired of listening to the old stuff, but I like to explore, to try out new genres* and to do it at my own pace. I really enjoy listening to something that is totally new for me for a while and then getting back to my all-time favorites**. It’s like traveling: you get pleasure from getting away from what you’re used to and from getting back to it. At least I do.

    * The latest being trip-hop. I don’t remember what triggered me to listen to this stuff, but for some reason I’m liking it. Listening to Massive Attack’s Inertia Creeps right now…

    ** And yes, Wowbagger, that includes Faith No More. So I still hate you. A lot. :P

  348. #352 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2010

    Laden wouldn’t know “clear and explicit” if it bit him on the ass.

  349. #353 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 1, 2010

    Having just buzzed over to Ladens blog to look at the link above, I have to agree with you Sven.

  350. #354 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    1)If you music lovers would bother rereading my first comments about this music thing, you’d notice that I did say that the only way boygenius’ huge collection could bore him would be if he perceived music the way I perceive knowledge (and you’ve all now supplied sufficient evidence for that hypothesis, I think); and I was saying that while I intellectuall understand that, I don’t “feel” it, because to me music is virtually content-free. it is not a source of knowledge, it’s an experience. for me. personally. not in some sort of general, universal way. so can we stop talking about it as if I claimed that “music is not information” was supposed to be some sort of general fact of life?

    2)Aquaria, I don’t give a flying fuck about the mainstream american food culture. I never ever talked about it. what I WAS talking about was the fact that many Americans are no longer cooking the recipes of their parents and grandparents (of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds!); it seems fewer and fewer people cook in general and prefer to go to restaurants, and when they do they have bookshelves full of “asian cooking” and “indian cooking”; but not much in the way of “stuff my great-grandparents cooked”; REGARDLESS of what ethnicity or culture those great-grandparents were from. Too many Americans are throwing away their local food-culture in favor of the big international food culture, because local food culture is, as Bill D said “old people food”. and i find that to be a great loss. that’s all.

    3)I’m gonna go away now for a while, because I’m in an incredibly bad mood today, and Pharyngula isn’t helping right now, and I don’t feel like accidentally ripping someone’s head of, which i might regret later.

  351. #355 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2010

    tried weed?

  352. #356 David Marjanovi?
    March 1, 2010

    Ein Tascherl ist süß

    Nicht unbedingt. Käse-Topfen-Tascherl, Kräutertascherl (?auch mit Topfen?)?

    Baozi muss immer Brötchen sein

    Ah, also doch. Dann sind es wirklich keine Knödel!

    (I need an excuse to practice German)

    Knödel können wie Baozi aussehen/ausschauen.

    Benson goes on to document instances of phone taps.

    LDS? No Such Agency!

    it’s my strong impression that that is simply not true: There is a lot of covarying, clustered genetic variation. Even the shopworn blood-type example: what is it? No B allele in the Americas?

    This covaries with what?

    Anyway, less that a year ago Pharyngula provided me with a series of maps of allele distributions for blood groups and the like. I’ll post a link soon.

    Basically, yes.

    Hahaaa! I make a guess about textbooks based on a popular article I once read, without actually knowing any textbooks, and I get it right! <mad cackling>

  353. #357 SteveV
    March 1, 2010

    weed – munchies – food

    *withdraws head under carapace*

  354. #358 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    If you music lovers would bother rereading my first comments about this music thing

    I get it!

    so can we stop talking about it as if I claimed that “music is not information” was supposed to be some sort of general fact of life?

    I never took your comment that way. Pardon me for sharing a type of experience with you. You can assume if you want that any further discussion on music that I might post on this thread is not directed to you or even intended to include you. Better then?

  355. #359 David Marjanovi?
    March 1, 2010

    and I don’t feel like accidentally ripping someone’s head of

    A little venting might, however, help.

  356. #360 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    The latest being trip-hop

    I still like this stuff. It was what I listened to all the time in middle school/early HS! Massive Attack, Tricky, Portished, Goldfrapp, Bowery Electric, DJ Shadow. Now I get all nostalgia-y about it. That and Radiohead. That already is dating me, some day it will prove that I am old. Meh… that’s cool. Old is ok. I like lots of old people :P

  357. #361 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    You know though, I think as time goes some things sound dated and other things still sound relevant. I don’t know why. Often I continue to like the things I once liked but every once in a while something I was into once seems less… interesting after a time. That happened with Tori Amos. I was obsessed with her say around the time I entered middle school. By college I was kind of embarrassed by her.

    To this day I only some times like to go back and listen to a song or two from her b-sides usually, and usually a cover. She’s just doesn’t reach me now.

  358. #362 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2010

    some day it will prove that I am old

    I watched The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.

    old.

  359. #363 Bobber
    March 1, 2010

    and I don’t feel like accidentally ripping someone’s head of(f), which i might regret later

    To avoid that kind of regret, I find it helpful to purposely rip someone’s head off – metaphorically speaking, of course. That way, there is only satisfaction!

    I wish I had gotten into this food conversation. I am of an age where my parents could leave this mortal coil any day, and so I have been spending a great deal of time going through photographs and old films from “the old country”, which in my case is Italy. I am trying to learn to cook as much of my mother’s recipes as possible, so that the knowledge won’t pass with her; both my siblings feel the same. Food represents more than just memory, but also connection, a tether to my parents’ past and to the region in Italy where my cousins still live.

    Now, I’m going to have a slice of my mother’s bread with a chunk of parmesan sent to me by my father’s cousin, while wishing I had my uncle’s hot home made pork sausage to add to it…

  360. #364 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 1, 2010

    Americans are no longer cooking the recipes of their parents and grandparents

    My Grandmother and mother were and are terrible cooks.

    One of the reasons I’m a badmother fucker in the kitchen. Out of necessity.

    Though I’d be interested in what the mountain folk of North Carolina were cooking in the 1700 and 1800s, just haven’t really looked into it (hence your point above).

  361. #365 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2010

    This covaries with what?

    All of the alleles that give rise to the distinctive phenotypic characteristics of Amerindians as a group (as well as, I’ll hypothesize (because I am too busy and lazy to look it up), enzyme variants). The old categories of “race” lack clear boudaries, are social constructs, etc. but they were not based on nothing. They were based on geographically covarying, more-or-less fixed phenotypic traits (and not just, as current American social constructs imply, skin color).

    Anyway, less that a year ago Pharyngula provided me with a series of maps of allele distributions for blood groups and the like

    I have them too, and I’ll grant at the outset that those allele frequencies correlate poorly to “racial” characteristics. That’s a somewhat special case, though, since it’s a polymop[hic locus nearly everywhere and (iirc) there is reason to suspect that selection (as well as the clear founder effect in the New World) has been involved.
    I should probably shut up abnout this.

  362. #366 Bobber
    March 1, 2010

    Though I’d be interested in what the mountain folk of North Carolina were cooking in the 1700 and 1800s, just haven’t really looked into it (hence your point above).

    There are few things more rewarding that finding those old recipes and digging in on a Saturday night, music in the background and wine at your fingertips. But then, I am a major “foodie” as my previous comment demonstrates.

    As a history guy, though, it really is true that the food that is your heritage gives you a connection to your past. It’s one of the reasons why, whenever I travel, I make it a point to try something on a menu that I’ve never heard of, but that the locals tell me is part of their cuisine – if you want to get to know a people, one of the best ways is to know what they eat!

  363. #367 negentropyeater
    March 1, 2010

    The problem here is that there was never any substantive critique. There was a lot of insinuation (ludicrous in my case), but no substance ever offered no matter how many times it was requested.

    I think self-critique is difficult to organise on the internets. I thought Greg’s original idea was a good one, but he didn’t express it well and it was poorly organised, and it turned sour. It became them versus us.

    I agree with what a_ray said in #343. And I value anonymity. But I think what Jaron Lanier talks about (see my #340), the cynical mob behaviour, is generic to all blogs and forums with anonymous commenters that are so distant apart.

    We should look into this for the blog we care about, try to reduce its potentially negative influence if we can detect it.

  364. #368 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 1, 2010

    Nicht unbedingt. Käse-Topfen-Tascherl, Kräutertascherl (?auch mit Topfen?)?

    Ja, Ich sehe. Du bist fast richtig.

    Knödel können wie Baozi aussehen/ausschauen.

    Oh, Knödel ist Plural? Ich hatte vergessen, dass “aussehen” trennt.

    Deutsch ist sehr schwer.

    Nederlands is eenvoudig. ;-)

    )I’m gonna go away now for a while, because I’m in an incredibly bad mood today, and Pharyngula isn’t helping right now, and I don’t feel like accidentally ripping someone’s head of, which i might regret later

    You need a hug.

    In news: truthwinsout.org reports that Rev. Martin Ssempa, mastermind of the kill-the-gay bill in Uganda, is blogging about his homophobia. He says “sodomy is not a human right, it is a human vice” to which I respond “faith is both a human right and a malicious vice.”

  365. #369 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2010

    I’d be interested in what the mountain folk of North Carolina were cooking in the 1700 and 1800s

    vittles

  366. #370 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 1, 2010

    Yeah.

  367. #371 SteveV
    March 1, 2010

    ‘some day it will prove that I am old’

    Saw the Beatles live Bristol Colston Hall 1963

    old

  368. #372 Carlie
    March 1, 2010

    I am trying to learn to cook as much of my mother’s recipes as possible, so that the knowledge won’t pass with her; both my siblings feel the same.

    Bobber – DO IT. Good on you. I can barely make my grandfather’s braciole and have no idea on the sauce because I kept thinking I’d learn the next time I was in town, and then it was too late. :(

  369. #373 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 1, 2010

    Chimpy – I left you a silly bacon recipe up thread.

  370. #374 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    ‘some day it will prove that I am old’
    Saw the Beatles live Bristol Colston Hall 1963
    oldAwesome

    There. I fixed it.

  371. #375 Bobber
    March 1, 2010

    Carlie, I still can’t approximate my mother’s sauce, nor can I duplicate her bread. And if I can’t do either, I will never be able to make her pizza – which is as fine a food as will be found in any place, any time, in this world.

    Now, I haven’t tried my hand at her braciole – but now that you mention it, I really really need to.

  372. #376 aratina cage of the OM
    March 1, 2010

    That happened with Tori Amos. I was obsessed with her say around the time I entered middle school. By college I was kind of embarrassed by her.

    To this day I only some times like to go back and listen to a song or two from her b-sides usually, and usually a cover. She’s just doesn’t reach me now.

    Heresy (just to me)! How could you be embarrassed by her? Well, actually, it is getting harder and harder to put up with faitheism, spiritualism, deism, and what have you after reading Pharyngula for several years and watching all those Dawkins’ lectures and Hitchens’ debates, and I was disappointed to learn that Tori falls in there somewhere. Still, I don’t get the feeling that she puts her beliefs in her music.

  373. #377 Caine
    March 1, 2010

    Sven DiMilo @ 369:

    vittles

    All of my old Household books have extensive sections on game cookery. Mrs. Owens’ Cook Book [1887] does have Opossum:

    Clean like a pig – scrape, not skin it. Chop the liver fine, mix with bread crumbs, chopped onion, and parsley, with pepper and salt; bind with a beaten egg, and stuff the body with it. Sew up, roast, baste with salt and water. In order to make it crisp, rub it with a rag dipped in its own grease. Serve with a gravy made of browned flour. Serve it whole on a platter, and put a baked apple in its mouth. It is very nice stuffed with apples peeled and sliced. Opossum may be made into a very palatable stew.

    Other recipes under Four-Footed Game include Beaver-Roast, Hare-Jugged, Rabbit Pie, Rabbit Stew, Pemmican – To Prepare, Squirrel Pie, Venison Sausage, Venison Steaks and Woodchucks and ‘Coons.

  374. #378 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2010

    mmm ‘coons

  375. #379 SC OM
    March 1, 2010

    I think self-critique is difficult to organise on the internets.

    I have no idea what this means. If a certain kind of language or behavior is troubling you enough to post about it, you should describe it concretely and provide some examples for people to talk about. If you’re saying “I find myself doing it,” you should be able to say when. (By “you” I mean Laden.)

    I thought Greg’s original idea was a good one,

    What idea? That we aren’t avoiding being “racist slobs”? Show me where that is. He alleged a problem (a problem with other people) but never showed that it existed.

    but he didn’t express it well and it was poorly organised, and it turned sour.

    It was always sour, because he didn’t have a case.

    It became them versus us.

    Well, he was talking about “us.”

    We should look into this for the blog we care about,

    Who says we don’t? And Laden wasn’t saying that there’s a generic “cynical mob mentality” on blogs, but that on atheist blogs – this one in particular – a rejection of religion in practice dangerously shades over into racism. It’s bullshit, and his example about our alleged response to information from a “religious source” was ridiculous.

    try to reduce its potentially negative influence if we can detect it.

    And when you do detect it, I’m happy to discuss it.

  376. #380 Dania
    March 1, 2010

    Massive Attack, Tricky, Portished, Goldfrapp, Bowery Electric, DJ Shadow.

    You do realize, don’t you, that now you’re just feeding my new obsession? ;)

    Often I continue to like the things I once liked but every once in a while something I was into once seems less… interesting after a time.

    I think that happens to everyone. There’s a lot of stuff I was into that I just don’t care about anymore. Things that once made feel so good and now just feel indifferent. There’s even stuff I once loved that now I just can’t stand. But then there are those songs I grew up listening to that still give me the same feeling when I listen to them today… And no matter how many times I listen to them, they never get old.

  377. #381 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    How could you be embarrassed by her?

    Too… cutesy, out of touch,safe? It’s hard to define. I know when I was in HS I realized some of her references and sources and it started to seem like she just borrowed from relevant (and irrelevant) issues and threw in the right keywords, mixed with quirky cute overkill, and maybe a sort of mixed metaphor/personal symbol so that it was always just a little shy of active. But I respect her playing.

    She was kind of a hero to me as a young girl. I played the piano, and sang, and wrote music, and wanted to be famous. When I first saw her I was probably 10 or so. I was blow away because I didn’t think that through-written music existed anymore in popular music, especially that which involved a clunky instrument like piano.

    Now I play the piano, and sing, and write music, and know I’ll do that for the rest of my life without ever being famous. I can certainly respect having what it takes to make it, even to get into a tour. So maybe some of the reason I’m so hard on her is that during my own life as a musician I moved so far away from what she was trying to do/be. Yet I still gotta say if people ask who do you sound like. PJ Harvey, Tori Amos… etc.

  378. #382 SC OM
    March 1, 2010

    He alleged a problem (a problem with other people) but never showed that it existed.

    And I’ll also mention that since he admitted to only having read 5% of the immediate discussion (and none of the original) that led to his original insinuation and then the firing-squad post, and now has acknowledged that he doesn’t really read blogs, it should be pretty obvious where he’s pulling his observations and analyses from.

  379. #383 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2010

    It’s bullshit

    quoted for truth

  380. #384 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 1, 2010

    Chimpy – I left you a silly bacon recipe up thread.

    sweet

  381. #385 Sven DiMilo
    March 1, 2010

    Too… cutesy, out of touch,safe?

    cloying?

    affected?

    pretentious, even?

    YMM of course V

  382. #386 windy
    March 1, 2010

    “Tribbles are fuckin’ hot!”

    @19:

    Why is it that “potency” aids never come from really prolific animals like rats?

    Or tribbles?

    OTOH, rats and tribbles may rate less well in, ahem, endurance.

  383. #387 Carlie
    March 1, 2010

    Bobber – now I’m having visions of my grandpa stirring up a big pot of “gravy” that’s been sitting on the back burner all day, full of meatballs and braciole… *whimper*

  384. #388 Carlie
    March 1, 2010

    Ol’Greg, you want to talk embarrassing high school music? I have you beat, hands down. I used to listen to stuff like this. And this. And this.

    I’m sometimes surprised I ended up as well-adjusted as I did, little thought that is.

  385. #389 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    cloying?

    affected?

    pretentious, even?

    YMM of course V

    Yes. Those words are more precise and more accurate than mine. That is the gist of what I was trying to say.

  386. #390 David Marjanovi?
    March 1, 2010

    Modern Human Variation.

    I should probably shut up abnout this.

    Why? :-)

    Yes, of course selection and the founder effect exist and have left visible traces; I’m just saying the correlations are never very high and drop further the more genes are involved.

    Oh, Knödel ist Plural?

    Auch.

    Deutsch ist sehr schwer.

    Nederlands is eenvoudig. ;-)

    B-)

    You need a hug.

    I do hope it’s that simple.

  387. #391 Dania
    March 1, 2010

    Form Carlie’s first link (#388):

    The sophomore effort from one of the superstars in Christian music, Smitty’s pop gems always please while sharing God’s truth!

    Uh…yeah, I think you… win. Don’t even need to click the other two…

    Ugh.

  388. #392 WowbaggerOM
    March 1, 2010

    Ol’Greg wrote:

    I still like this stuff. It was what I listened to all the time in middle school/early HS! Massive Attack, Tricky, Portished, Goldfrapp, Bowery Electric, DJ Shadow. Now I get all nostalgia-y about it. That and Radiohead.

    Dammit, I was going to stop with the smug announcements but I’ve just got to throw out just one more after seeing this list; Massive Attack will be in Adelaide the weekend after the GAC, and I’ve got tickets to them, too…

    It’s the last one, I swear!

  389. #393 Dania
    March 1, 2010

    Oh, but I hate you so much…

  390. #394 aratina cage of the OM
    March 1, 2010

    Too… cutesy, out of touch,safe? It’s hard to define.

    Interesting. I would never have chosen those words in describing Tori Amos.

    I know when I was in HS I realized some of her references and sources and it started to seem like she just borrowed from relevant (and irrelevant) issues and threw in the right keywords, mixed with quirky cute overkill, and maybe a sort of mixed metaphor/personal symbol so that it was always just a little shy of active.

    I guess I can see that transpiring, and you probably know more about what she references and what issues she borrows from in her work than I do. Her words and imagery have normally had great significance for me ever since I started listening to her, especially so with the Boys for Pele album, my first of hers.

    She was kind of a hero to me…

    For me too but for different reasons. I was particularly drawn in by her blasphemous lyrics (things like, “Muhammad my friend, it’s time to tell the world, we both know it was a girl, back in Bethlehem”) as I began my breakaway from Christianinsanity. I find myself able to connect her music to the vagaries of my life even today. She is still kind of a hero to me even though her newer stuff is getting a little esoteric.

    Even though her music still clicks with me, I think I can understand what you meant now and how you grew away from her music.

  391. #395 aratina cage of the OM
    March 1, 2010

    cloying?

    affected?

    pretentious, even?

    YMM of course V

    I don’t think “vary” even begins to demonstrate how differently we think on this matter. “Worlds apart” might be better.

  392. #396 WowbaggerOM
    March 1, 2010

    Janine wrote:

    In Chicago, Illinois, there is a celebration of a mercenary who fought for the revolutionary side. And here is a song about the day that I am sure most of you will hate.

    I – for one – don’t hate it. I have Chicago and it’s an amazing album (though some of the songs are far better than others); Sufjan Stephens is a freaking genius, despite being sadly woo-soaked.

  393. #397 David Marjanovi?
    March 1, 2010
    Walton, Pink is smart pop. She also has ballads – here’s one about George W. Bush.

    Wow. I just clicked on the link, and it was surprisingly not bad.

    Seconded.

    It’s especially good that the No Child’s Behind Left Act is mentioned, even though they mangle its name.

  394. #398 David Marjanovi?
    March 1, 2010

    Sidebar quote:

    It wasn’t a dark and stormy night. It should have been, but there’s the weather for you. For every mad scientist who’s had a convenient thunderstorm just on the night his Great Work is complete and lying on the slab, there have been dozens who’ve sat around aimlessly under the peaceful stars while Igor clocks up the overtime.

    (Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens)

  395. #399 WowbaggerOM
    March 1, 2010

    Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens

    I had this fleeting daydream that, while Amanda Palmer was in Adelaide playing, NG would be here too and and I’d bump into him at the gig and have the sort of profound conversation that would result in us becoming friends (and him agreeing to show my short stories to some publishers).

    However, the more I thought about it, the more I remembered that 1) my short stories aren’t that good, and 2) I become an absolute blithering idiot in the presence of even semi-interesting people; to even try to talk to someone as mindbogglingly awesome as him would almost certainly result in a) my head literally exploding, b) my response to seeing him being limited to falling to the ground at his feet shouting ‘We’re not worthy’ ą la Wayne and Garth to Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World 2, or c) both.

  396. #400 Caine
    March 1, 2010

    WowbaggerOM @ 399:

    I become an absolute blithering idiot in the presence of even semi-interesting people; to even try to talk to someone as mindbogglingly awesome as him

    If you ever do meet him, just remember he was a scientologist. That ought to keep him in the “firmly human” camp in your head. ;)

  397. #401 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    A lot might be explained if I said that by the time Boys for Pele came out I was really into The Swans albums like Children of God and Public Castration is a Good Idea.

    …Yeah God is mine
    Yeah my sin is me/ and God is mine/ Now I am ready/ to receive/the new mind
    Now people get ready
    The sex in your soul will damn you to hell…
    Let the light come in
    Damn you to hell
    Let the light come in
    Damn you to hell
    Now save your soul
    Damn you to hell…

    etc

  398. #402 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    WowbaggerOM, do you always have that many amazing things going on!?

  399. #403 negentropyeater
    March 1, 2010

    I have no idea what this means. If a certain kind of language or behavior is troubling you enough to post about it, you should describe it concretely and provide some examples for people to talk about.

    I think when a community of people decide to say what troubles them about a certain kind of language or behavior, it’s already quite difficult to arrive at a constructive result when it’s face to face. On the internet it’s even more difficult because of the anonymity and the physical distance, people tend to be more hurtful and crude than they would be face to face, there is no body language, signs, and it can degenerate rapidly into a pissing contest.

    What idea? That we aren’t avoiding being “racist slobs”? Show me where that is. He alleged a problem (a problem with other people) but never showed that it existed.

    I think (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt) he wanted to start a conversation with a critique of blastulas (a generic term for atheist/secularist/rationalist blogs, which he never explained properly) but he failed for all the reasons you have pointed out.

    And when you do detect it, I’m happy to discuss it.

    I detect it now, in the way people who read both blogs have been behaving since this thing with Greg started. You have perfectly good reasons to feel hurt and angry about what he said. Greg should have apologized to you early on. Then it was more people who felt angry, and it’s degenerated rapidly into cynical mobs fighting against each other in devaluating comments.

    So, one may think that it’s all Greg’s fault, but could we have behaved in a better way ? Are there things that were said that should have been avoided in order to calm things down and arrive at a more positive result?

  400. #404 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    Hay guise?

    Just out of curiosity, is there a link to an explanation of what all this argument with Laden comes from or is about? I’m totally lost and confused. Part of me figures I should just ignore it and ultimately that’s likely what I’ll do, but I’m also kind of curious what has even been going on.

  401. #405 Caine
    March 1, 2010

    negentropyeater @ 403:

    So, one may think that it’s all Greg’s fault, but could we have behaved in a better way ? Are there things that were said that should have been avoided in order to calm things down and arrive at a more positive result?

    I don’t know how closely you followed Greg’s mega-fuck-up, but plenty of people took a great deal of time to repeatedly explain things in long, thought out, calm posts. Every one of them garnered juvenile responses from both Greg and Sidekick. The whole nasty mess was Greg’s making from the outset, and they kept on making it worse.

  402. #406 Rorschach
    March 1, 2010

    Are there things that were said that should have been avoided in order to calm things down and arrive at a more positive result?

    Well he sort of lost me early in the process, with the firing squad analogy.

  403. #407 timothy.green.name
    March 1, 2010

    As a by-the-way, what’s happened to the archives at Pharyngula.org?

    TRiG.

  404. #408 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Laden lost it when he gave SC the have you stopped beating your wife being antisemitic post.

  405. #409 Caine
    March 1, 2010

    Ol’Greg @ 404:

    Just out of curiosity, is there a link to an explanation of what all this argument with Laden comes from or is about?

    You can start here: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/02/what_does_an_atheist_firing_sq.php

  406. #410 Paul W.
    March 1, 2010

    Caine,

    I don’t know how closely you followed Greg’s mega-fuck-up, but plenty of people took a great deal of time to repeatedly explain things in long, thought out, calm posts.

    Not just that; the worst part was that when we asked direct, relevant, clarifying questions, they were ignored. Over and over again, different questions or the same ones, it just didn’t matter. All we got was abuse.

    Despite

  407. #411 Caine
    March 1, 2010

    Paul W:

    Not just that; the worst part was that when we asked direct, relevant, clarifying questions, they were ignored. Over and over again, different questions or the same ones, it just didn’t matter. All we got was abuse.

    That’s true. It made reading highly frustrating (nothing near the level those posting experienced) because the posts and questions were so clear and could have been easily answered. Instead, there was a lot of doublespeak and insults flung back.

  408. #412 Paul W.
    March 1, 2010

    oops… another one got away from me. Damn this tiny keyboard.

    Lest I be accused of apologizing for a short post, though… there you go. That’s it. (Ignore the “Despite.”) Hope you like it.

  409. #413 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    Hmmm… that struck me as sanctimonious horse poo. Are there racists, sexists, etc. among us? Sure. Actually. I’m just not really sure what his point is!

    I wish he’d just say something like:

    I have the following problems with Pharyngula. Some posters, like this one, or this one, make comments that lead me to believe that this social problem is being exhibited and even condoned when it is really anti-social and shouldn’t be tolerated… or something like that.

  410. #414 Caine
    March 1, 2010

    Ol’Greg @ 413:

    I wish he’d just say something like:

    I wish he’d said nothing at all.

  411. #415 Pygmy Loris
    March 1, 2010

    Sven,

    They were based on geographically covarying, more-or-less fixed phenotypic traits (and not just, as current American social constructs imply, skin color).

    Except that the traits used to identify “races” were anything but fixed. Most of the phenotypic traits that were used to establish racial classification schemes were not only distributed in clines, but also plastic in expression.

    That’s a somewhat special case, though, since it’s a polymop[hic locus nearly everywhere and (iirc) there is reason to suspect that selection (as well as the clear founder effect in the New World) has been involved.

    Most of the loci that actually code for the phenotypes used for racial classification are polymorphic. The traits themselves are also polygenic. This was why blood groups were a huge deal in physical anthropology. People thought, finally, traits that have no environmental influence on expression and no adaptive value! We’ll have our racial classifications perfected in no time. The problem is that while the former assumption is largely true, the latter is not. There are very few, if any, phenotypic traits that have no adaptive value.

    We saw a similar attitude when the early mtDNA studies came out. “Ooh look, mtDNA isn’t affected by natural selection, so it just reflects population divergence times! YAY!”

  412. #416 SC OM
    March 1, 2010

    I think when a community of people decide to say what troubles them

    No community of people did decide to do that. Laden did, making serious charges with nothing to back them up but lies and misrepresentations.

    about a certain kind of language or behavior,

    What language, specifically? What behavior, specifically? Where were we racist slobs?

    it’s already quite difficult to arrive at a constructive result when it’s face to face.

    It’s always difficult to have a constructive result when you accuse people of things without offering any evidence.

    On the internet it’s even more difficult because of the anonymity and the physical distance, people tend to be more hurtful and crude than they would be face to face, there is no body language, signs, and it can degenerate rapidly into a pissing contest.

    Whether or not this is true in general, it’s completely irrelevant here.

    I think (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt) he wanted to start a conversation with a critique of blastulas (a generic term for atheist/secularist/rationalist blogs, which he never explained properly)

    He explained it in a way that made it clear which blog he was talking about.

    but he failed for all the reasons you have pointed out.

    That it was a malicious, baseless charge, yes. Not because it was poorly organized or expressed.

    I detect it now, in the way people who read both blogs have been behaving since this thing with Greg started.

    You detect what now? The behavior Laden was describing in his firing-squad post? Anger? What? He leveled a terrible and false accusation and then a baseless “critique” (which he is still talking about), his sidekick lied and misrepresented, and then he proceeded to do things to commenters that were completely unethical. The people affected were and are annoyed or angry about it. That doesn’t signify anything about internet culture or any broader, generic issues. Nor does it demonstrate any validity to his initial insinuations, which were not generic. And I’ll say another thing: the firing squad post, it appeared to me as I was reading it at the time, looked like a cynical fishing expedition. He was looking for someone, anyone (connected to these blogs or not), to say something bigoted or extreme so as to latch onto it as evidence, however tenuous, for his claim.

    You have perfectly good reasons to feel hurt and angry about what he said. Greg should have apologized to you early on.

    Yes, thank you.

    Then it was more people who felt angry, and it’s degenerated rapidly into cynical mobs fighting against each other in devaluating comments.

    They’re not mobs, and they’re not cynical. Neither are most of the people who are upset at what happened at RDF. Sometimes people have legitimate reasons to be angry. Before chalking everything up to psychological motives or group dynamics or dismissing it as internet drama, I think we should look at what people are actually saying they’re hurt or angry about and whether it has substance.

    So, one may think that it’s all Greg’s fault, but could we have behaved in a better way ?

    I don’t regret how I behaved. What of your behavior do you regret? What specific behavior of someone else are you criticizing?

    Are there things that were said that should have been avoided in order to calm things down and arrive at a more positive result?

    A positive result for me is a public apology and a retraction. I don’t want to calm things down. It’s not my responsibility to make Laden grow up and show some character.

  413. #417 David Marjanovi?
    March 1, 2010

    Hay guise?

    :-D

  414. #418 David Marjanovi?
    March 1, 2010

    Except that the traits used to identify “races” were anything but fixed.

    Yeah. Whose classification exactly? I’ve seen some from the early 20th century with up to 66 races.

    Ooh look, mtDNA isn’t affected by natural selection

    ROTFL!

  415. #419 Louis
    March 1, 2010

    Given the DRAMA over Laden and the DRAMA over RDF I think that Internet Drama is Dramatic.

    I may go and have a lie down and clutch my fainting salts whilst on my smelling pearls. Or something.

    Mind you, it is more fun than television.

    Louis

    P.S. On the other topics:

    1) Don’t you have any good music*?

    2) Recipes? Grandparents’ recipes? Grandparents? If it’s not kleftiko made with properly stoeln lamb, I don’t want to know.

    * The best indicator that you have invited an enormous wanker to your party is if they look at your music collection and ask this question in a supercillious tone. I think it is a good indicator of abject muppetry and responding with violence is the only rational course of action.

  416. #420 WowbaggerOM
    March 1, 2010

    WowbaggerOM, do you always have that many amazing things going on!?

    It’s just the time of year – festival time. The tail end of the summer rock festivals and the beginning of the autumn arts/comedy/cabaret season. Adelaide’s a pretty big place (pop. 1,000,000 or so) with a reputation for being arts-friendly so we get most (sadly, not all) of the big name international acts who come here.

    But even by the normal standards there is an unusual level of great entertainment going on now and in the near future; I’m kind of blown away by it, actually.

    It’s both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because I love bands and cabaret performers and world-renowned stage actors (who happen to have also played über-nerd idols like Gandalf and Magneto on screen); a curse because – with so much happening at once – it’s exhausting both my energy levels and my bank balance.

    On a related note I’m not going to tonight’s big show, AC/DC. I’m now trying to work out if it’s going to affect me getting to what I am seeing: Antigone followed by a stage adaptation of Frankenstein.

  417. #421 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    Either way if he wants Pharyngula off scienceblogs or something I’m sure there are proper channels to vent his frustrations to, and probably to mitigate from PZ’s end. Lashing out and getting down and dirty with commenters seems pointless from both sides to me especially when he didn’t just start by calling out whatever or whoever it was that prompted the observation.

    OMG some atheists are assholes! Say it ain’t so! People have a wide variety for any opinion they may hold, and some opinions may be held for nasty reasons. Point taken.

    Well anyway, thanks. I kind of get it. Like I said I’ve just never really kept up with his blog so all this was weird and confusing for me.

  418. #422 llewelly
    March 1, 2010

    1) Don’t you have any good music*?

    No. Have some more bad music.

  419. #423 aratina cage of the OM
    March 1, 2010

    A lot might be explained if I said that by the time Boys for Pele came out I was really into The Swans albums like Children of God and Public Castration is a Good Idea.

    I totally missed that band. Ah heck, I missed a lot of the best of the music scene in the 80s and 90s. I’m listening to “Love will save you” right now on YouTube. It sounds like a cross between NIN and Johnny Cash. :)

  420. #424 Caine
    March 1, 2010

    Ol’Greg @ 421:

    Well anyway, thanks. I kind of get it. Like I said I’ve just never really kept up with his blog so all this was weird and confusing for me.

    Yeah. I used to read his blog semi-regularly, but with the firing squad/open letter posts, he lost me completely. All he did was out himself as a beetle-headed witling who was desperate for attention.

  421. #425 SC OM
    March 1, 2010

    Not just that; the worst part was that when we asked direct, relevant, clarifying questions, they were ignored. Over and over again, different questions or the same ones, it just didn’t matter. All we got was abuse.

    You were about as calm and conciliatory as could humanly be expected (and thank you again). Got nowhere.

    I wish he’d just say something like:

    I have the following problems with Pharyngula. Some posters, like this one, or this one, make comments that lead me to believe that this social problem is being exhibited and even condoned when it is really anti-social and shouldn’t be tolerated… or something like that.

    And even after dozens of people requested such examples, he ignored or belittled them and the sidekick attacked them.

    ***

    By the way, I’m not at all saying that I’m never a major participant in escalation or that I couldn’t try to calm things down more often. Some of my arguments with truth machine (if people want to call those internet dramas I won’t dispute it), for example, have been as much my creation as his (and that’s saying something!). There are plenty more examples of times in which I’ve said hurtful or unproductive things, and I’ve tried to express my regret but sometimes failed to. This is not one of those times, and I don’t think anyone else from “here” did anything wrong, either.

  422. #426 SC OM
    March 1, 2010

    Either way if he wants Pharyngula off scienceblogs or something I’m sure there are proper channels to vent his frustrations to,

    Nah, he’s an atheist and he and PZ are friends. He’s just a dipshit.

  423. #427 PZ Myers
    March 1, 2010

    That doesn’t matter. I have not lobbied nor will I ever lobby to have anyone ejected from Sb.

  424. #428 Paul W.
    March 1, 2010

    Speaking of not wanting people off Pharyngula…

    I do think that Greg has crossed a couple of lines that ought to be against the rules at Sb, and that that the lines should be clarified and enforced.

    In particular, he’s threatened to out pseudonymous posters he doesn’t like, and in one case exposed a pseudonymous poster’s real identity briefly.

    IMHO, that is way, way uncool. It’s his blog, and if he wants to censor or ban people, thats his prerogative. Outing pseudonymous posters is something else entirely.

    Is there a Sb rule about that? If not, I think there should be. Either way, Laden should be warned not to go there.

  425. #429 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    That doesn’t matter. I have not lobbied nor will I ever lobby to have anyone ejected from Sb.

    Oops! If this was because of me then that’s not what I meant to imply. Only that if some one wanted this blog off there’s probably some countermeasure that could be taken in defense… anyway.

  426. #430 SC OM
    March 1, 2010

    That doesn’t matter. I have not lobbied nor will I ever lobby to have anyone ejected from Sb.

    Huh? Of course not. I think she was speaking about Laden wanting you off, which is a mistaken impression.

  427. #431 negentropyeater
    March 1, 2010

    I’m seeing too much of this mob thing, forget it.
    I have nothing else to say.

    And thanks SC and others for your clear thinking comments on Greg’s self-immolation.

  428. #432 Caine
    March 1, 2010

    Paul W @ 428:

    In particular, he’s threatened to out pseudonymous posters he doesn’t like, and in one case exposed a pseudonymous poster’s real identity briefly.

    Yes, he recently threatened ‘Tis Himself with that one.

  429. #433 WowbaggerOM
    March 1, 2010

    In particular, he’s threatened to out pseudonymous posters he doesn’t like, and in one case exposed a pseudonymous poster’s real identity briefly.

    Which is the worst, lowest kind of scumbag move there is – it almost guarantees self-censorship or non–participation beyond the kind of echo-chamber they insist takes place here – but clearly, as the RDNet thread illustrates, doesn’t.

    I didn’t spend much time on his blog before; this, combined with his ‘editing’ of people’s posts, means I won’t spend any time there now. How the heck do I know that any post is what the poster themselves actually wrote?

  430. #434 SC OM
    March 1, 2010

    I’m seeing too much of this mob thing, forget it.
    I have nothing else to say.

    And thanks SC and others for your clear thinking comments on Greg’s self-immolation.

    Was this last part sarcastic? If not, I guess I don’t mind being part of a mob as long as it’s a virtual, clear-thinking mob.

    ;)

    ***

    Speaking of the horde, Heathers, and such, it is officially Molly time….

  431. #435 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    Huh? Of course not. I think she was speaking about Laden wanting you off, which is a mistaken impression.

    Yep, and thanks. What I meant was rather more like:

    If he wanted Pharyngula off I’m sure there appropriate ways to lodge real complaints, and appropriate ways to defend one’s self from those complaints if they prove unfounded.

  432. #436 negentropyeater
    March 1, 2010

    NB: I have nothing else to say … about the Ladenwreck.

    But I’m like the Walrus, I can talk of many things, of shoes and ships and sealing-wax of cabbages and kings.

    And lemons.
    Anybody has some ideas what to do with lemons? I just harvested my two lemon trees and have stacks of beautiful juicy non treated fruits.

    I plan to prepare some Limoncello and make jars of citrons confits (no idea how translate this : Lemons preserved in salted water, to be used later in various recipies such as yummy Lamb Tadjine with Lemons)

    What else ?

  433. #437 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Speaking of the horde, Heathers, and such, it is officially Molly time….

    I’m doing a bit of campaigning on behalf of Paul W. I’m thoroughly impressed by him and I’m going to nominate him for a Molly. I ask you all to consider joining me in the nomination.

  434. #438 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Posted by: WowbaggerOM| March 1, 2010 5:33 PM

    I – for one – don’t hate it. I have Chicago and it’s an amazing album (though some of the songs are far better than others); Sufjan Stephens is a freaking genius, despite being sadly woo-soaked.

    If you actually hit the link I provided, you would have known it was not Sufjan Stephens. I will not be linking to anything by him. I will leave that to the younger and more hip indie kids.

  435. #439 negentropyeater
    March 1, 2010

    Was this last part sarcastic?

    No.

  436. #440 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 1, 2010

    How ’bout some Doobie Bros:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqZ95a249p0

  437. #441 Katrina
    March 1, 2010

    Rev:

    You sound just like my dad. Cooking was his passion, for many years. He told me he learned to cook out of a sense of self-preservation. He used to say that his mother would know when the bacon/fried hamburger/fried whatever meat was done because the smoke detector would go off. I have no idea how she could tell before they invented smoke detectors.

    Dad’s cooking was a combination of West Coast cookery, with East Texas and Japan thrown in.

    Oh, and in response to the question earlier about “chitlins.” Yes, I’ve helped prepare them and have eaten them. Once. My (not yet) mother-in-law sort of bullied me into it. Family traditions and all that. Yes, I suppose I let her bully me, but I was much younger then, and she was pretty intimidating to me.

    At least I can say I’ve tried them. And they are not a part of our own family tradition. It’s been 20 years now, and my husband has never once spoken of them in wistful tones, so I’d say I’m safe.

  438. #442 llewelly
    March 1, 2010

    negentropyeater | March 1, 2010 8:11 PM:

    Anybody has some ideas what to do with lemons? I just harvested my two lemon trees and have stacks of beautiful juicy non treated fruits.

    Ingredients:

    • 9-inch pie shell
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 1 1/3 cups sugar
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 2/3 cup buttermilk
    • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

    Instructions:

    Separate eggs. Set whites aside (I meringue the whites later). Whip yolks until smooth. Add sugar slowly. In a separate bowl, shred (or cut) butter into flour. Pour in buttermilk, and whip until smooth. Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir in yolks. Pour into pie shell.

    Preheat oven to 425. Cook at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes, or until just before browning (I know, hard to judge, but a little browning doesn’t hurt) . Let cool at room temperature. The pie will set up as it cools.

    Meringue the egg whites, and top pies with meringue after they have cooled. Optionally, put the meringued pies back in the oven at 425 for about 2 minutes to brown the meringue. Let pies cool before serving.

    (I admit it doesn’t use up very many lemons. Oh well. Guess you’ll just have to make some lemon jalapeno jam.)

  439. #443 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Then I envy your memory! :-) There are books that I like to read again every few years or so.

    it’s not about good memory. My memory isn’t any better than most people’s. It’s just that I get less-to-no enjoyment out of re-learning something, so instead I go learn something new. which means I have a stupendous amount of half-remembered, disjointed knowledge.
    Pharyngula has been a pretty good tool for fixing that problem, since information here gets repeated (thank FSM for trolls!), but often in a new way, from a new perspective. so it doesn’t bore me to have all this knowledge constantly reinforced. That’s why the stuff I learn here actually sticks, whereas everything else usually doesn’t (or only in small, random bits)

    IOW, I’m a knowledge slut.

    You need a hug.

    I do hope it’s that simple.

    mostly, yes. something to get rid of that massive headache that’s been plaguing me all day would help, too. and a magical dish-washing fairy.

  440. #444 Caine
    March 1, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself, OM @ 437:

    I ask you all to consider joining me in the nomination.

    I already planned on nominating Paul W. He more than deserves it.

  441. #445 Carlie
    March 1, 2010

    Lots of candied lemon peel. Store in airtight jars and you’ve got a whole year’s worth.

  442. #446 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 1, 2010

    negentropyeater,

    You could make lemon curd.

    125 ml (1/2 cup) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
    100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
    2 large egg yolks
    2 large eggs
    pinch of salt
    85 g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed
    zest of 1 lemon

    In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the salt and lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.

    In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 min. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 80°C (175°F) on a thermometer. Don’t let the mixture boil.

    Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

  443. #447 WowbaggerOM
    March 1, 2010

    Janine wrote:

    If you actually hit the link I provided…

    You got me – I can’t; I don’t have YouTube access from this PC. I just calculated the probability that anyone else would have written a song about Casimiar Pulaski that would be on YouTube and found it quite low – so I ran with the assumption that it was the Sufjan Stephens song.

    I’ll have a look/listen when I’m at home and can actually view it.

  444. #448 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 1, 2010

    mostly, yes. something to get rid of that massive headache that’s been plaguing me all day would help, too. and a magical dish-washing fairy.

    Will anthropomorphic singing animals do?

    Along with this helpful organic molecule.

  445. #449 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    I’m doing a bit of campaigning on behalf of Paul W.

    he’s probably gonna get mollified with the January molly, so you’ll have to find someone else to nominate for February.

  446. #450 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Trouble-Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions

  447. #451 Jadehawk, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Will anthropomorphic singing animals do?

    well, look at that. David is in that clip, pretending to be a deer.

  448. #452 Opus
    March 1, 2010

    Rev, you said you’d

    be interested in what the mountain folk of North Carolina were cooking in the 1700 and 1800s, just haven’t really looked into it (hence your point above).

    I can’t help with what they were cooking, but I have some family documents from 100 years ago that shed some light on the ingredients. My grand-parents were sharecroppers in NW Georgia and they ‘shopped’ at a store owned by my great-grandfather. I’ve got the store account book, so for the month of May 1910 the total food purchases were:

    100 pounds of flour
    16 pounds of sugar
    6 1/2 pounds fish
    2 1/2 pounds of cheese
    3 1/2 pounds of coffee
    1 gal syrup
    1 bushel meal
    2 (?) salmon

    Total cost $12.20, settled up at harvest time.

    What they did with it is anyone’s guess, but I’m thinking that biscuits and cornbread played a big role. Since they didn’t buy meat or lard I’m also assuming that they butchered their own hogs in the fall.

    The Foxfire books are one of the best sources I’ve run across for details on how people in the rural, southern Appalachians lived. You can see more here.

  449. #453 negentropyeater
    March 1, 2010

    llewelly,

    thx for the recipie.
    Lemon jalapeno jam ? sounds nice, any recipie you can recommend ?

    And, Yes, I’m looking for ideas that make use of lots of lemons and can be stored. I got 30 Kg of lemons, so you see what I mean.

    And there’s no hope giving them to friends and neighbours ,they also have stacks of lemons. In the nearby town of Menton, it was last week the lemon festival, where entire streets and floats are laden with lemons and oranges.

  450. #454 negentropyeater
    March 1, 2010

    ‘Tis,

    how do you eat lemon curd ? like a jam ? Or is it more like a cream ?

  451. #455 Katrina
    March 1, 2010

    neg: do you want my recipe for limoncello?

  452. #456 cicely
    March 1, 2010

    Anybody has some ideas what to do with lemons? I just harvested my two lemon trees and have stacks of beautiful juicy non treated fruits.

    You could make…more liqueur, only with the pulp of the lemons. Unfortunately, I eye-ball the quantities, and therefore don’t have a recipe as such, but I do know that the big jar I use (something like 5 1/2 qt.) takes 22-24 lemon innards, kinda chopped up. (Aside; when I first did this, on the fly, it never occurred to me that you could use the peel of the lemons, so I peeled them suckers. Lemons, unlike oranges and tangerines, resent being peeled. Bitterly. It took hours.) I then added some nebulous amount of vodka, about a cup of honey, and a cinnamon stick, and set the jar in the closet for 3 months. I suspect that it doesn’t really need that long, but the reviews have been very favorable, so I figure it ain’t broke.

    And I also vote for Paul W. for Molly.

  453. #457 MAJeff, OM
    March 1, 2010

    Anybody has some ideas what to do with lemons? I just harvested my two lemon trees and have stacks of beautiful juicy non treated fruits.

    Gelato
    Lemon Tarts
    Lemon preserves
    candied lemons

  454. #458 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 1, 2010

    Take one bag of lemons and make whatever lemony shit everyone here thinks you should. Take the other bag out to a softball diamond and get your fruit game on with some friends. Hitting a lemon with a softball bat is a sublime pleasure that few have ever enjoyed.

  455. #459 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 1, 2010

    A thread about penises and now lemon recipes.

    SQUEEZE ME BABY, TILL THE JUICE RUNS DOWN MY LEG!

    Someone had to do it.

  456. #460 llewelly
    March 1, 2010

    negentropyeater | March 1, 2010 8:48 PM:

    Lemon jalapeno jam ? sounds nice, any recipie you can recommend ?

    I wish. Now and then I have a craving for it, but I’ve not yet encountered a recipe, and I don’t know enough about jams to devise my own recipe.

  457. #461 Carlie
    March 1, 2010

    how do you eat lemon curd ? like a jam ? Or is it more like a cream ?

    The times I’ve made lemon curd it’s like a super thick pudding – useful in tarts, or larger pies, or as a layer in bar cookies, or in cream puffs.

  458. #462 Ol'Greg
    March 1, 2010

    Maybe you could adapt a lemon-ginger marmalade recipe to use jalapenos instead of ginger?

  459. #463 Bobber
    March 1, 2010

    Lemon curd is great on biscuits, crackers, and breads of all sorts. I can’t seem to find it around my area (northern Piedmont region of NC); had no trouble up in New England.

  460. #464 Rorschach
    March 1, 2010

    SC @ 425,

    Some of my arguments with truth machine (if people want to call those internet dramas I won’t dispute it), for example, have been as much my creation as his (and that’s saying something!).

    Ah, them were the good times !!!

    I’m doing a bit of campaigning on behalf of Paul W.

    Doesn’t look like he needs anyone campaigning for him…:-)

    As to Music, I just had a look, and there is about 20 Gb or so, but in day-to-day life I only listen to maybe 5% of that ever, and mostly the same stuff, except for in the morning when hungover, then I usually pick a trance or groove internet radio station, but I wont know or care about band’s names.I know who Lady Gaga is, but thats about it, in terms of contemporary music.

  461. #465 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 1, 2010

    The Redhead recently served some lemon curd as a topping for gingerbread. I liked it better than whipped cream.

  462. #466 kantalope
    March 1, 2010

    Have to offtopic vent: for economic reasons I’m taking some college classes. Taking an intro class on childhood education. Worst textbook Evah.

    Anyway this is the second written assignment: after doing the readings “the student will determine which theory-based body of knowledge most closely coincides with his or her personal beliefs as it pertains to how children, grow, and develop.”

    Beliefs? What? I try not to ‘believe’ anything. “Based on some stuff I just made up, Freud is right…blah blah blah.??? Is this typical for Education…um education? I am just flabbergasted.

    /end soapbox

    For your patience in reading: the best chocolate pie that is good for you.

    Thanks to Alton Brown over a food network:
    * 2 cups chocolate chips,
    * 1/3 cup coffee liqueur
    * 1 block silken tofu
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    * 1 tablespoon honey
    * 1 prepared chocolate wafer crust

    Directions

    Place a small metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Melt the chocolate and coffee liqueur in the bowl. Stir in vanilla.

    Combine the tofu, chocolate mixture, and honey in the blender jar. Liquefy until smooth.

    Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the filling is set.

  463. #467 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawncr0FDc8gdl7yJBz0SJ15D0etcTIOtL0s
    March 1, 2010

    Lemon curd: spread it on toast or English muffins.

    SHAKER LEMON PIE
    From ?Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes, and Honest Fried Chicken? by Ronni Lundy

    2 thin-skinned and juicy lemons*
    2 cups white sugar
    4 eggs
    2 crusts for a 9 inch pie

    Wash lemons, cut off knobs. Slice in half lengthwise, remove white pith from center, and discard seeds. Lay the lemon half, pulp side down, on cutting board and using a knife that will cut thin, slice the lemons into paper thin slivers.

    Put lemon slices and their juice in a glass or ceramic bowl and pour sugar in, mixing the two together until every shred of lemon is coated with sugar. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours. If you let the lemons sit overnight, refrigerate and bring them back to room temperature the next day before proceeding.

    Preheat over to 450 degrees. Put one crust in bottom of pie pan. Break eggs into small bowl and beat until buttery yellow but not foamy. Blend eggs with lemon and sugar until all is mixed well and pour into pie crust. Top with second crust, trimming and crimping it closed, then slashing several air vents.

    Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 20 minutes more, or until knife blade inserted near the edge comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool thoroughly before slicing.

    * Recipe doesn?t specify Meyers, but they?re perfect for this pie.

    Not many lemons but it’s really really good

    Moroccan-style preserved-lemons recipe coming up; Joe’s typing it up. Easy to do.

    Also: I make lemon simple syrup, and comb9ine the leftover rinds from that the a preserved lemon, half-and-half and chopped fine together, as a fast and nifty relish for lamb and such.

    PZ: Shoo fly pie is lethally sweet.

    Joe’s is less sweet than his pecan pie, and/but deeply brown. So to speak. Wet-bottom of course. He uses a recipe from Edna Eby Heller IIRC. Best with coffee; some of us have it for breakfast. Recipe on request.

    You didn’t mention scrapple.

    Mmmmmm, scrapple. And haggis. And boudin. Gawd I’m a cheap date.

    I have no idea WTF is going on with Laden but I’d saw off my own head before I’d admit to being his editor. I read that post three times and still have only the vaguest idea what he was trying to write about. Honest to rocks, what offended me most was the insult to the language.

    I third the rec of the Foxfire books.

    The thing about Graanychow is that we don’t have to stop eating/cooking it to enjoy everyone else’s Grannychow. Three meals a day, 365/year… Lots of opportunities there. You should see our cookbook shelves. (I got a Rumanian cookbook the other day just because we didn’t have one. What grabbed me is that the Rumanian word for “carp” is “crap.”)

    NORTH AFRICAN LEMON PRESERVE
    (Meyers are perfect for this)

    Put 2 tsp coarse salt in a scalded Kilner or Parfait jar. Holding a lemon over a plate to catch the juice, and using a sharp, stainless-steel knife, cut lengthways as if about to halve the fruit, but do not cut quite through?leave the pieces joined. Ease out any pips. Pack 1 tbsp salt into the cuts, then close them and put in the jar. Repeat with more lemons, packing them tightly and pressing each layer down hard before adding the next layer, until the jar is full.

    Squeeze the juice of another lemon over the fruit. Sprinkle with more coarse salt and top up with boiling water to cover the fruit. Close the jar tightly and keep in a warmish place for 3-4 weeks. Do not worry if, on longer storage, a lacy white film appears on top of the jar or on the lemons, this is quite harmless, and rinses off easily.

    Option: A mixture of 1 stick of cinnamon, 3 cloves, 6 crushed coriander seeds, 3 black peppercorns, and 1 bay leaf can be layered with the lemons.

    Once the jar has been opened the lemons will keep for up to a year, out of the refrigeration, but a layer of olive oil floated on the surface will help to preserve their freshness.

    Source: Hilaire Walden, ?North African Cooking?

    The firing squad trope made me recall the distinction between left-wing firing squads and right-wing firing squads. They’re both circular; the difference is which way they’re facing.

  464. #468 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawncr0FDc8gdl7yJBz0SJ15D0etcTIOtL0s
    March 1, 2010

    Oy. #467 was me.

    One of these days I’ll hunt down and slay a few of my Usenet ghosts.

    In other news: Diamond Lil, the San Francisco webcam’s peregrine, has laid two eggs.

  465. #469 Feynmaniac
    March 2, 2010

    The whole discussion on the RDF thread about material for future historians got me wondering. Centuries from now will some poor historian be reading through this endless thread to examine the early Pharyngula movement? Perhaps trying to find the earliest instances of Pharyngulistas pointing their computers towards Morris. Or trying to find out who was the author of “The Genesis of the Thread”. Maybe they’re documenting all the bacon-related humour.

    To any future historians reading this I say ‘hello’. How good is your knowledge of early 21st century internet culture? Are you aware of all internet traditions? If I said ‘play him off keyboard cat’, would you know what that meant? Are you now wondering if you are wasting your life reading material that was quite unimportant even in its own time? I don’t think you are, but then again I’ve been dead for centuries (unless science discovers immortality in my lifetime *crosses fingers*).

    I have many questions about the future. Are humans joined with aliens in a united federation? Or are they the slaves of (other) apes? Do people swear in Chinese? However, it appears this communication is one way. Anyway, on behalf of my contemporaries I apologize for ruining the environment for you guys just because we were too lazy to walk.

    /brain broken from overuse

  466. #470 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    Centuries from now will some poor historian be reading through this endless thread to examine the early Pharyngula movement?

    I don’t think it’s so much about internet history.
    But think of how many people use Pharyngula to educate themselves outside their own field of study, and the same I guess was true for the RD forums(I didnt read there much).

    A lot of people have taken huge amounts of time to write comment posts that hundrets of people use to inform and educate themselves about a wide variety of topics, and I think that accumulated knowledge and wisdom is worth preserving.

    I hadnt read anything useful outside my own field since graduating in medicine really, and I painfully realised that after coming here, and now have a library full of science and other books, plus almost 3 years worth of reading here, and I can only imagine how it must have been for other people, coming here or to RDF.

  467. #471 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    Ah, this has to be shared :

    Article about the Secular Coalition visiting the White House

    Check this out, from the comments :

    I hope somebody from the evolutionist side explain how plants were formed thru evolution or natural selection when there was only soil, water, air and the sun.

    What kind of selection took place? Selecting the right mud?

    Thousands of questions need to be answered first before we allow evolution to jump from sci-fi comic book classification into serious science.

    *Priceless*

  468. #472 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 2, 2010

    I hope somebody from the evolutionist side explain how plants were formed thru evolution or natural selection when there was only soil, water, air and the sun.

    facepalm

    Do idiots like these even read, anything (even their own bible)?

  469. #473 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 2, 2010

    Gyeong Hwa Pak, where did that come from?

  470. #474 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 2, 2010

    Gyeong Hwa Pak, where did that come from?

    The quote or my reaction?

    The quote came from Rorschach who quoted an a commenter who was outraged that the administration would acknowledge the existance of people without religion.

    My reaction was normal.

  471. #475 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 2, 2010

    I must be tired, I missed that completely. Once more, I wish I could delete my more clueless comments. Also, I meant the quote.

    Don’t these fools know that soil is the result if billions of organisms? Even in my current mental fog, their ignorant questions offends me.

  472. #476 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 2, 2010

    Even in my current mental fog, their ignorant questions offends me.

    God choose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise.

    1 Corinthians 1:18-27

    Being shit stoopid was God’s plan for them.

  473. #477 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 2, 2010
  474. #478 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    I was listening to the radio earlier today, and they had a vet on telling me that 1 in 5 pets(“like humans”)have a mental illness. Apparently there is a new drug out that combats “canine compulsive disorder”.

    I headdesked and facepalmed, and then wondered about the broader philosophical implications…..I guess dogs and cats have a neocortex, and can have neurotransmitter disturbances, but mental illness, really ?

    Doesnt a mental illness require a “mens” in the first place ?
    I’m curious what people here think about this.

  475. #479 Kel, OM
    March 2, 2010

    I was listening to the radio earlier today, and they had a vet on telling me that 1 in 5 pets(“like humans”)have a mental illness.

    Sounds like there’s at least one vet out there that has a mental illness. Got anthropomorphism?

    (not to say that other animals can’t suffer from mental illness – just sounds like something a crank would pull out of his arse in order to sell a product)

  476. #480 neddy-s
    March 2, 2010

    From reading other threads, it seems the ‘endless thread’ has become the place to post random questions to the group, and I’ve had this one for a long time. Please stop me anywhere along the chain where I’ve heard/understood wrong:

    I’ve been told that Darwin suggested increased sexual dimorphism was adaptive, and that humans, among other species, were increasing in sexual dimorphism. I’m not sure how that could happen unless the genes that express all of the characteristics (physical, mental, emotional) identified with gender were all on the Y chromosome, or something like that. Let’s say, for example, that human males are becoming more burly and human females are becoming more graceful. If a burly male and a graceful female mate, wouldn’t all of their children of both genders have both burly and graceful characteristics? And wouldn’t that tend to reduce sexual dimorphism, even if sexual selection seemed to encourage it? I must be missing something, and I bet someone here will be able to tell me what it is. I guess I’m most interested in this argument as it pertains to emotional/mental characteristics, as I’ve heard people argue that women are becoming, for example, more innately submissive as men become more innately dominant because that’s what mates are selecting for.

  477. #481 Kel, OM
    March 2, 2010

    I’m not sure how that could happen unless the genes that express all of the characteristics (physical, mental, emotional) identified with gender were all on the Y chromosome, or something like that.

    As far as my understanding goes, the Y chromosome doesn’t really have much on it. Rather the difference is on the X chromosome. For women, the gene has to be on both copies of the X chromosome while for men whatever X they inherit is what they get*. So as I was told by the lady who sequenced the platypus genome, genes on the X are more likely to be expressed in men and thus dimorphism.

    *this is probably a very simplistic way to put it, and probably wrong. Best to check this claim out.

  478. #482 maureen.brian#b5c92
    March 2, 2010

    neddy-s,

    I’m sure someone will give you a more coherent answer in due course but, until they all wake up, check out Gregor Mendel on wikipedia. (And the link towards the foot of the page on Mendelian Inheritance.)

  479. #483 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    as I’ve heard people argue that women are becoming, for example, more innately submissive as men become more innately dominant because that’s what mates are selecting for.

    Sometimes I hate the 3-comment rule PZ.

  480. #484 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    Rorschach,

    Are you interested in anecdata? Is dementia a mental illness?

    My last dog had an rather dramatic personality change accompanied by strange behaviors as she aged. She would bark at things that no one else could see when before, she never barked at all. Sometimes she would behave as though she didn’t know where she was. She developed a compulsive chewing problem, but she only chewed the edges of doors. It was very strange.

    On a more general note, I don’t see any reason a non-human animal couldn’t develop some of the symptoms of mental illness such as auditory and visual hallucinations.

    Zoo animals are well-known for developing “stereotyped behaviors,” but those are a result of stress. One would have to know whether the behavior was a result of mental illness caused by stress, I guess.

  481. #485 maureen.brian#b5c92
    March 2, 2010

    Deep breaths, Rorschach! Deep breaths!

  482. #486 Kel, OM
    March 2, 2010

    I guess I’m most interested in this argument as it pertains to emotional/mental characteristics, as I’ve heard people argue that women are becoming, for example, more innately submissive as men become more innately dominant because that’s what mates are selecting for.

    Until it is shown how genes affect this behaviour and that they are being selected for (it seems a very bare assertion claim), it’s best to avoid such anecdotal offerings. That there is dimorphism is one thing, to extend from that to the emotional is playing a dangerous game – and using evolutionary psychology as a basis for this only serves to denigrate evolutionary theory.

    Ask yourself: are men getting more dominant? Are women getting more submissive? How does this express itself in genes? Which genes lead to this behaviour? What environmental factors are causing this? Otherwise you’re writing yourself a post hoc explanation which is based on nothing more than sheer conjecture.

  483. #487 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    Let’s say, for example, that human males are becoming more burly and human females are becoming more graceful. If a burly male and a graceful female mate, wouldn’t all of their children of both genders have both burly and graceful characteristics? And wouldn’t that tend to reduce sexual dimorphism, even if sexual selection seemed to encourage it?

    Well, genes carried on the X-chromosome are sex-linked leading to disproportionate expression of recessive traits in males. There’s a whole host of other genes that are carried on the autosomes (all of the chromosomes except the X and Y) that are sex-influenced. The presence and concentration of sex hormones influences the expression of a trait. Many forms of baldness are sex-influenced. High concentrations of testosterone mean a greater expression of the trait.

    Many primate species exhibit high levels of sexual dimorphism. For instance, male gorillas are about twice the size of females. Female gorilla skulls are much more gracile than their male counterparts too. Baboons and mandrills have very high levels of sexual dimorphism in size and pigmentation.

    My understanding of developmental biology is that most of the sexual dimorphism in primates (I’m not going to generalize outside of this order because I simply don’t know that much about the others) is caused by high concentrations of male sex hormones. Female is the “default” body configuration. So, selection for larger males and (relatively) smaller females clearly happens and it’s because of the way gene expression is influenced by the environment, in this case the concentration of sex hormones.

    I’m going to stop now. I’m very familiar with sexual dimorphism among the great apes/humans, but I’ve not investigated enough into how it comes about.

  484. #488 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    Oh, somehow I missed that last paragraph.

    I guess I’m most interested in this argument as it pertains to emotional/mental characteristics, as I’ve heard people argue that women are becoming, for example, more innately submissive as men become more innately dominant because that’s what mates are selecting for.

    Ack! I’ll second what Kell, OM said. There’s several huge problems here. First, we need objective evidence that women, on average, are becoming more submissive, which would require a standardized definition of submissive and what behaviors/thought patterns reflect “submissiveness.” Then we’d have to do the same thing for men and dominant.

    After that, the link between these two particular behavioral repertoires and specific genes would have be investigated. If such a link was found, we would then need to show how the genes are expressed differently in males and females, and finally there would need to be a demonstration that genes for female submissiveness and male dominance were increasing in frequency through time which would indicate selection for such traits.

    Also, why in the world would males be the primary ones doing the selecting. In many species, females have many mating options, so they tend to be picky. The idea the females respond to selection by males, and not the other way around is antiquated; just look at peacocks/peahens.

    To summarize, the assertion you heard is laughable because there’s no evidence to back it up.

  485. #489 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    Is dementia a mental illness?

    It is according to the DSM-IV .

    I’m just not sure what say, schizophrenia would be like for a dog, they obviously won’t be hearing god in their ear telling them to kill their mother, or think the TV news is a secret message to them.

  486. #490 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 2, 2010

    Why is there a troll trying to make the argument that all gender characteristics come from the X or Y chromosome? What is the troll’s point?

  487. #491 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    In many species, females have many mating options, so they tend to be picky

    Yeah, tell me about it !!

    The idea the females respond to selection by males, and not the other way around is antiquated

    There’s several huge problems here

    As I said, damn the 3 comment rule ! :-)

  488. #492 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 2, 2010

    Rorschach, I think it is more of a suggestion instead of a rule. Sick ‘em!

  489. #493 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    Janine, yeah but I would have to read up on sexual dimorphism, and I’d rather keep playing guitar for the moment…:-)

  490. #494 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    Rorschach,

    Thanks, I’m too tired to even use google right now :)

    I guess part of the question is whether we consider mental illness as only the physical problems like low levels of serotonin or what have you, or is the diagnosis of mental illness dependent on the sentience of the patient. Does the patient have to be aware that they have a “mind*” in order for their “mind” to be sick.

    As for a schizophrenic dog, I don’t really know what would happen to a dog that had hallucinations. It would probably be weird. I’m pretty sure though that 20% of our pets are not mentally ill in a way that impacts their quality of life.

    * I put mind in quotes because brain doesn’t really seem to fit here, but mind feels kinda fuzzy to me.

  491. #495 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 2, 2010

    Rorschach

    I was listening to the radio earlier today, and they had a vet on telling me that 1 in 5 pets(“like humans”)have a mental illness.

    I was always taught when I was nursing that mental illness fell into two (very broad and generalist) categories (albeit thay can and do often overlap). There was reactive type mental illness ie the illnesses that are respondent to certain situations or ie PTSD, Post Natal Depression etc and the illnesses that there was a gentic disposition to ie “general” depression, schizophrenia, OCD etc.

    I’m wondering whether this holds true (indeed if it’s true at all for humans- maybe someone out there with a background in mental health can clarify?) for other mammals and whether any studies have been done on this.

  492. #496 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    Does the patient have to be aware that they have a “mind*” in order for their “mind” to be sick.

    Fascinating question, isnt it !! Do you have to be self-aware to be “mentally ill”. And I’m not talking about a dog or cat being held in the laundry without any place to run and hunt and play and do dog and cat things getting sad here….

    Anyway, I thought that was interesting, I think what the CCD thing is really, is a great way to sell antidepressants to pets and get rich with it.

  493. #497 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    Rorschach,

    Anyway, I thought that was interesting, I think what the CCD thing is really, is a great way to sell antidepressants to pets and get rich with it.

    I think you just hit the nail on the head. On that note, I’m going to head off to bed.

  494. #498 llewelly
    March 2, 2010

    Pygmy Loris | March 2, 2010 3:20 AM:

    Does the patient have to be aware that they have a “mind*” in order for their “mind” to be sick.

    No. A brain, however high or low its computing power, is capable of malfunction, and thus of being ill. This is true whether it has the right structures for self-awareness or not. It’s like asking whether an eye that cannot see 3 primary colors (but, say, only 1 or 2) can have cataracts.

  495. #499 Walton
    March 2, 2010

    What “3-comment rule”? I’ve never even heard of it. Is that like the 3-revert rule on Wikipedia?

  496. #500 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    What “3-comment rule”?

    Well the one by which we are meant to show leniency to stupid first and second comments, and only murder them after the third attempt.
    I dont like it, in case you wonder LOL

    The one upthread seems to have been a drive-by anyway.

  497. #501 Kel, OM
    March 2, 2010

    What “3-comment rule”?

    It’s a rule of thumb here to give someone new a chance, so what might have been genuine curiosity is not taken to be malicious.

    For the person above, now it could be that they were just curious as to something they had heard, or it could be someone who is looking for some justification for their sexist views. It’s best to give them the benefit of the doubt at least initially, hence “the 3-comment rule”

  498. #502 John Morales
    March 2, 2010

    Walton, it’s not a rule, it’s but “A suggestion for the comments” by PZ.

  499. #503 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    Ah, John thanks, I had been looking for that !!

  500. #504 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    And actually, looking through that thread, Pygmy Loris/Monado/Chimpy/Ichthyic/Owlmirror/Kristine/Ron Sullivan were all there in 2006 !!

  501. #505 windy
    March 2, 2010

    I’m gonna go away now for a while, because I’m in an incredibly bad mood today, and Pharyngula isn’t helping right now

    I know what you mean.

  502. #506 negentropyeater
    March 2, 2010

    I dont like it, in case you wonder LOL

    Why ?

    I agree that there are some first comments where it doesn’t apply (eg a new commenter called Evolutionisascam asks the why are there still monkeys question).

    But for many cases, I think it’s a fair rule.
    For instance, I think it applies to the nelly-s comment above.

  503. #507 badgersdaughter
    March 2, 2010

    I guess dogs and cats have a neocortex, and can have neurotransmitter disturbances, but mental illness, really ?…I’m curious what people here think about this.

    I I have always been extremely good at understanding and rehabilitating pet dogs and cats with emotional issues. I don’t know if this rises to the level of the sort of thing you’re thinking about, but here are some anecdotal examples.

    When I was a teenager, we adopted a little cocker spaniel bitch. Sandy was so timorous around men that when she met my father (also good with dogs), she peed herself and shook. Patient and careful handling got her to where she would accept him and look up to him, but she would hide whenever another man came to the house. As my brothers grew, she became more and more scared of them, even though she had no reason to fear them. Not a phobia, I suppose, and I’m sure that somewhere in the past she had been abused by a man, but if she had been a human, she would have reason to see a professional to work out her fear issues. She had a puppy who we raised and who turned out to be smart, devoted, and well-adjusted, so the available evidence is for trauma and against a heritable disorder.

    I have three cats. My vet (one of the directors of the Winn Feline Foundation) told me that their studies show that female cats inherit their personality traits from their fathers. In the case of my kitty Ink, I had occasion to meet her father (unmistakably so) when we came to pick her up as a kitten, and though he was feral, he was so social that he investigated us as we approached the house. He was obviously an arrogant and dominating cat with an ingratiating manner, and his kitten is the same, always bossing my other (larger) cats around and giving me just enough affection to “keep me in line,” so to speak. She is quite manipulative, though I would not say she is unhealthy.

    My other two cats have issues that I would identify as possible mental problems. Snark, an ordinary domestic shorthair, was picked up as a half-drowned eight-week-old in a driving rainstorm, huddled next to his dead mother behind a dumpster. Since then Snark has had issues dealing with water in a normal way. He cannot be bathed in even an inch of water in a dishpan because he howls with great fear and desperation, and bites if the water touches his face. Whenever I take a shower, he sits outside the tub and whines. He approaches his water dish cautiously and makes ritualized motions and sounds that, if directed at another cat, would be postures of defensive aggression. A slowly dripping faucet seems to be relatively nonthreatening. Snark also appears to suffer from short fear episodes every few weeks where he huddles against the wall and moans for a few minutes. He is not physically ill. After an episode, he will come to me and bury his face in my side and purr; this is the only time he ever does purr.

    Smoky is a Maine Coon rescue. Maine Coons are one of the most intelligent breeds, as well as the largest, and Smoky is certainly both. When I got him he was depressed and in need of constant reassurance and cuddling. He has a history of being picked on by other cats. His mannerisms are childish; he often tries to nurse on Ink, who is half his size, and she gets irritated (ear and tail flicks and stiff, resistant “body language”) and tries to walk away, then he gets upset (insistent meows) and they spat. He has a cute but irritating habit of tapping me with his outstretched claws as far up as he can reach (my shoulder, when I am seated at the computer) when he thinks he needs something, which is every half hour when he isn’t asleep. Despite his insecurity and attitude problems, Smoky is a good cat and has gotten much better over the past few years.

    Actually they are all good cats and dogs. None of them were destructive or wild. All of them learned to behave properly (I have zero scratches in my upholstered furniture and we have no litter box “accidents”).

    Could cats and dogs have things organically wrong with their brains that affect behavior? Certainly. I’ve known dogs who could not, even as puppies, be socialized or taught to control their elimination. I’ve known retarded cats, and weeks-old kittens with bizarre behaviors. My vet says that many diseases and disorders affect behavior. I guess my take on all of this is that if you can define how cats and dogs act as “personality” and “behavior” and “socialization,” it is legitimate to ascribe some “emotion” and “thought” to them as well.

    This does not mean I’m going to run off and join PETA. Cats and dogs are not humans; at best they share certain characteristics with us in a way that we are best positioned to recognize easily and respond to. That is why they “make good pets.” Animals that do not make good pets are those that share fewer characteristics with us, or that we find more difficult to understand.

  504. #508 David Marjanovi?
    March 2, 2010

    A new, cloudless day, two new gaps in the fossil record!!!

    Meet Sanajeh, the intermediate-mouthed snake (open-access pdf) from the end of the Cretaceous.

    Today there are narrow-mouthed snakes, which can’t swallow anything larger than their heads, and there are wide-mouthed snakes (Macrostomata); the latter have amazingly mobile skulls, including mobile palate bones for pulling themselves over prey (the palate bears teeth as usual). Sanajeh provides an intermediate: the mobile palate is present, but the mouth can’t be made very wide. The 3.5-m-long skeleton was found together with sauropod dinosaur eggs; the snake wasn’t able to swallow the spherical eggs, so it probably waited for the 0.5-m-long hatchlings to come out. Check out fig. 2.

    Close relatives of Sanajeh have been known for a long time, but only from incomplete remains, especially no snout/palate bones. Too bad they died out a few tens of thousands of years ago (Australia had the last ones).

    IOW, I’m a knowledge slut.

    <increasing heart rate>
    <slight opening of mouth; hissing sound at every inhalation>

    something to get rid of that massive headache that’s been plaguing me all day would help, too.

    Aspirine? Sold over here in pharmacies in huge amounts ? the fizzing tablets I bought have 500 mg aspirine each.

    <pushes tablets into tubes of Internet>

    (…Paracetamol? WTF. That’s an industrial-strength one. Do Americans seriously take paracetamol against a simple headache!?!)

    he’s probably gonna get mollified with the January molly, so you’ll have to find someone else to nominate for February.

    Feynmaniac and a_ray_in_dilbert_space as usual.

    well, look at that. David is in that clip, pretending to be a deer.

    :-)

    Anyway this is the second written assignment: after doing the readings “the student will determine which theory-based body of knowledge most closely coincides with his or her personal beliefs as it pertains to how children, grow, and develop.”

    WTF.

    Beliefs?

    Theory-based knowledge as opposed to knowledge-based theory!?!

    …Ignore me, I’m getting holy wrath again.

    To any future historians reading this I say ‘hello’. How good is your knowledge of early 21st century internet culture? Are you aware of all internet traditions?

    I laughed so hard…

    If I said ‘play him off keyboard cat’, would you know what that meant?

    What does it mean?

    Do people swear in Chinese?

    It does sound good to say “fuck” in Mandarin: cąo, with a very loudly aspirated [ts?] at the beginning, and an inbuilt exclamation mark (that’s the “`” part). It being a verb, it’s not used alone, but rather you say “I fuck” when you’re not content with the general situation: w? cąo.

    I guess dogs and cats have a neocortex, and can have neurotransmitter disturbances, but mental illness, really ?

    Sure, why not?

    Although, of course, this applies:

    (not to say that other animals can’t suffer from mental illness – just sounds like something a crank would pull out of his arse in order to sell a product)

    I suppose a careful diagnosis is needed. 1 in 5 sounds a bit much.

    I’ve been told that Darwin suggested increased sexual dimorphism was adaptive, and that humans, among other species, were increasing in sexual dimorphism. I’m not sure how that could happen unless the genes that express all of the characteristics (physical, mental, emotional) identified with gender were all on the Y chromosome, or something like that.

    Gene regulation, for instance. There’s a gene on the Y chromosome that switches the transcription of genes on other chromosomes on… it gets a lot more complicated, but that gene (SRY, “sex-determining region on the Y chromosome”) is one well-understood example.

    Importantly, however, if Darwin really claimed we humans are getting more dimorphic over time, he was wrong. Not only is it not happening, we are also considerably less dimorphic than chimps, gorillas, or orang-utans.

    Do you have to be self-aware to be “mentally ill”.

    Well, what is self-awareness in the first place.

  505. #509 Matt Penfold
    March 2, 2010

    If one wants evidence that animals can suffer mental illness you need only look to the behaviour some wild animals exhibit when held in captivity.

  506. #510 badgersdaughter
    March 2, 2010

    Paracetamol? WTF. That’s an industrial-strength one. Do Americans seriously take paracetamol against a simple headache!?!

    What? Over here we call it Tylenol, and we used to call it Panadol, and we call it all sorts of things, if you’re referring to acetaminophen. It’s so common over here I can spell it without looking it up. It’s basically the default pain reliever. We give it to infants for minor fever. I take it because aspirin, ibuprofen, and ketoprofen irritate my stomach.

    Your reaction does, however, explain the concern of a pharmacist in Langenhagen when I asked her for some for slight post-surgical pain (I was feeling it a little after a long work day). She asked me if I was sure I knew what it was and if I had ever taken it before.

  507. #511 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    Well, Amanda Palmer’s gone down a few notches and still sinking. Not that I’m surprised, but I expected better of her. Also, “technically” doesn’t mean what she thinks it means.

  508. #512 AJ Milne
    March 2, 2010

    Sometimes I hate the 3-comment rule PZ.

    Reading the post you’re responding to, and your own, I’m strangely reminded of some old Dilbert cartoon. For some reason, the titular character is in some weirdly sadistic training session in which he is required not to flip out on a guy brought in expressly to say some spectacularly stupid shit… He is finding this extremely difficult, as said stupid shit builds up extremely rapidly. In the last panel, we see him holding his head, apparently experiencing pain due to the sheer effort involved…

    … ‘kay, so actually, like a lot of Dilbert, it was really only vaguely funny at best. But it did contain the word ‘Yugo’, which is one of those oddly intrinsically funny words–sorta like ‘bagel’ and ‘rutabaga’… So it worked okay, on balance, I guess.

    (/*Anyway, my point is, I feel your pain. There is something slightly sadistic to those with functioning forebrains about the three-comment rule. And, more to the point, if we had a proper method of measuring stupid, and could set that as the shenanigans threshold instead, that comment would easily have passed it on its own, I’m sure.)

  509. #513 negentropyeater
    March 2, 2010

    Facepalm Alert, Bill Donohue’s latest press releasewhining :

    OBAMA AIDES HOST CATHOLIC BASHERS

    If President Obama does not want to go to church, that is his business. But it is the business of the American people, most all of whom are believers, to know where the president and his administration stand with regards to their concerns. It is not likely that this outreach to anti-religious activists?many of whom would crush Christianity if they could?will do anything to calm the fears of people of faith. Indeed, it will only alienate them even further.

    Poor little people of faith who fear the big bad atheists who want to crush Christianity. I’m going to praycry for them :

    HIIIII-HIIIII-SNIF-SNIF
    (that’s the french version of crying)

  510. #514 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 2, 2010

    I don’t spend much of my time considering evolution in humans 1) because I find humans to be a sadly boring organisms (only two interacting genomes, no persistent embryonic tissue, and a completely milquetoast breeding system), and 2) because claims of evolution in modern humans are often retarded, such as that being discussed here. Sexual dimorphism aside: Human populations are so panmictic that selection pressures would have to be immensely strong to allow any new variant to spread with any efficiency, AND the strength of selection would have to be uniform across human populations.

  511. #515 David Marjanovi?
    March 2, 2010

    It’s basically the default pain reliever. We give it to infants for minor fever. I take it because aspirin, ibuprofen, and ketoprofen irritate my stomach.

    If your stomach gets irritated, that’s obviously a good reason, and surgery isn’t the same as a headache, but over here the default against headache is aspirin, and most people don’t ever take any other pain reliever. Interesting cultural difference.

    OBAMA AIDES HOST CATHOLIC BASHERS

    They host Catholic bashers? They host bashers who are Catholic?

    Oh, they host Catholic-bashers?

    They do host Catholic bashers, too, I bet. Just not at the same time.

    I find humans to be a sadly boring organisms (only two interacting genomes, no persistent embryonic tissue, and a completely milquetoast breeding system)

    <thumbs up>

  512. #516 David Marjanovi?
    March 2, 2010

    HIIIII? I only know OUIIIIIIN !!! That sounds a lot better. Nobody cries “ee”.

  513. #517 AJ Milne
    March 2, 2010

    …a completely milquetoast breeding system…

    … I’m just posting this comment to say that I’m passing on the probably six billion vaguely Benny Hill-esque punchlines this line offers only because I’m a better person than that.

    (/Not much, no. But a little, at least.)

  514. #518 Jadehawk, OM
    March 2, 2010

    Aspirine? Sold over here in pharmacies in huge amounts ? the fizzing tablets I bought have 500 mg aspirine each.

    To be honest, I rather avoid painkillers for headaches. I’m so prone to them that I’m afraid I’d eventually just start popping painkillers on a daily basis “just in case”.

  515. #519 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    Catholics? Check out this article about Catholics:

    Study: Female Students More Promiscuous at Catholic Colleges.

  516. #520 David Marjanovi?
    March 2, 2010

    Posted by: Jadehawk, OM | March 2, 2010 10:09 AM

    I can’t resist asking: already up or <shudder> still up at 9 in the morning?

    I only take aspirin for extreme or long-lasting headaches, which aren’t common (for instance when I have the flu). I tend to sleep instead (?which I’d do anyway, but? well).

    Catholics? Check out this article about Catholics:

    From there:

    A new study concludes that women at Catholic colleges are more promiscuous than their peers at secular colleges, raising new alarms about the state of Catholic higher education.

    Researchers from Mississippi State University looked at a survey of 1,000 college students nationwide and were surprised to find that ?women attending colleges and universities affiliated with the Catholic Church are almost four times as likely to have participated in ?hooking up? compared to women at secular schools. A ?hook up? is defined as a casual physical encounter with a male student, without the expectation of an ongoing relationship.

    The researchers consider whether the data challenges the ?moral communities? argument, according to which some analyst believe that campus communities with shared moral convictions tend to have a strong moral influence on students.

    ?At first blush, these results might appear to challenge the ?moral communities? thesis,? the researchers write, because students are behaving contrary to Catholic teaching while attending Catholic institutions. ?On closer inspection, however, our findings might instead suggest that not all religiously affiliated colleges and universities constitute ?moral communities.??

    Overall, the study found clear differences in the sexual activity of Catholic students who attend weekly Mass. Whereas 24 percent of Catholic women who attend Mass weekly have ?hooked up? (compared to 38 percent of nonreligious students), the rate more than doubles to 50 percent of Catholic women who attend Mass infrequently?far more than their nonreligious peers.

    Being on the Internet, I’ve heard about the stereotype, but? how does this work? It doesn’t make any sense for there to be a difference by a factor of 4.

    At Catholic colleges, however, ?annual declines in religious service attendance [are] approximately 2.5 times the rate of students enrolled in public higher education.? The declines are primarily found among non-Catholic Christians, but Catholic students are no more religious than their peers at public universities?a finding that is confirmed by the Georgetown study. Hill attributes the lax religiosity at Catholic colleges to the lack of a ?clear, robust, religious tradition on many of these campuses.?

    In a report last month, Catholic researchers at Georgetown University found significant declines in Catholic practice and fidelity among students at 34 Catholic colleges in the United States.

    Likewise, a 2008 study published by The Cardinal Newman Society found that 46 percent of current and recent students at Catholic colleges nationwide?and 50 percent of female students?said they had engaged in sex outside of marriage. Three out of five agreed strongly or somewhat that premarital sex is not a sin, and 78 percent disagreed strongly or somewhat that using a condom to prevent pregnancy was a serious sin.

    This, on the other hand, doesn’t surprise me at all, except that I think Hill has cause and effect mixed up.

  517. #521 Feynmaniac
    March 2, 2010

    It does sound good to say “fuck” in Mandarin: cąo

    It seems like they didn’t use it in Firefly (AFAICT). In Firefly Mandarin and English are used in space because China and the US were the ones who settled it. I guess in the future Chinese is used for obscenities much in the same way as in English where (generally) German based words are considered more vulgar than the Latin/French derived equivalent (due to historical reasons). Considering all the poor Hispanics in the US I still think Spanish will become a major source of vulgarity for American English (funny, since its a Romance language). There already are some examples, like cojones or huevos.

  518. #522 David Marjanovi?
    March 2, 2010

    Case in point: I’m probably having a mild headache right now, because of the weather or so. I didn’t notice, because I thought I’m just being tired, which in fact I am, additionally.

    :-)

  519. #523 Ol'Greg
    March 2, 2010

    Well, Amanda Palmer’s gone down a few notches and still sinking.

    I’m strangely relieved, but only because I’ve always hated her voice. She’s a horrible singer. I’m sorry, I’m sorry!!!!!!! She and Gwen Stefani. Blech.

  520. #524 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 2, 2010

    Finally kindly tell your fellow blogger to mind their manners when they are discussing. Continue to challenge their racial bigotry which makes it look like an African cant have a PhD or be able to blog! Some of these comments are vulgar, obscene and totally lacking objectivity with which constructive debate can be engaged in.

    Isn’t this lovely? A wannabe murderous monster tries to hide behind charges of the alleged racism of his critics. It also seems that a concern troll can run their own blog.

    As for obscenity, this person shows gay scat porn as examples of ‘typical gay porn’ at churches in order to gain support for his murderous desire. But you better be fucking civil to his PhD!

  521. #525 Jadehawk, OM
    March 2, 2010

    I can’t resist asking: already up or still up at 9 in the morning?

    the headache send me to bed extra-early, so already up, this time.

  522. #526 Jadehawk, OM
    March 2, 2010

    Being on the Internet, I’ve heard about the stereotype, but? how does this work? It doesn’t make any sense for there to be a difference by a factor of 4.

    Students of Catholic Universities who themselves aren’t all that Catholic are probably from strict religious families and have their first taste of freedom when entering college. so they go completely overboard, where kids from less strict upbringings have a more measured response to college-freedoms.

  523. #527 Mr T
    March 2, 2010

    Jadehawk, OM, #518:

    To be honest, I rather avoid painkillers for headaches. I’m so prone to them that I’m afraid I’d eventually just start popping painkillers on a daily basis “just in case”.

    That’s about how I am as well. I’m not sure if they’re actually migraines, but they’re usually not so unbearably painful that I simply must find a painkiller right away. They are usually coupled with nausea and sensitive to light and sound. If it gets bad enough, and something is readily available, I Otherwise, I just suffer through it.

    * * *

    By the way, Jadehawk, I hope I didn’t put you in a bad mood. I get what you’re saying now (#354 helped), and I just think about music differently. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    I’m more inclined to think about music, rather than have it playing in background without paying attention. It’s almost certainly due to my experiences and training as a musician, but I do feel like I get some “knowledge” when listening to music (new, or old from a different performer or in a different context). What exactly that is probably depends on the situation. I recognize melodies, harmonies and rhythms I’ve heard before, etc. I already have knowledge of music and about music, so whatever new stuff I hear adds to that and refers back to it. To some extent everyone does this, but perhaps some aren’t entirely aware of it.

    Anyway, except for responding to what I interpreted as an incorrect factual claim (triggering my SIWOTI syndrome), I just like to write about music and could do it endlessly, even longer than the endless thread itself. My apologies if anyone finds it excessively boring or annoying.

  524. #528 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 2, 2010

    Janine, you should see what the wannabe murderer wrote here:

    Thank you for your kindness in advertising my blog. But why are you indulging into racism by reading me as the Ugandan Rick Warren? Why is it every time a black man does something good..like a blog, or the anti homosexuality bill, you want to credit a white man ie Rick Warren or some White Americans who visited Uganda? Please go ahead and read my blog as I read yours..and have the kindness to leave a polite comment. Check out the new video of the demo?and the statement on the expose on what homosexuals really do?Thanks and let the truth win out.

  525. #529 Mr T
    March 2, 2010

    Uh oh, I accidentally deleted some important words…

    If it gets bad enough, and something is readily available, I take the drugs!

  526. #530 Epikt
    March 2, 2010

    Mr T:

    I just like to write about music and could do it endlessly, even longer than the endless thread itself. My apologies if anyone finds it excessively boring or annoying.

    Oh, not at all. Keep it up. It’s one of my vices, too.

  527. #531 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 2, 2010

    Gyeong Hwa Pak, I do not want to sound overly critical but when you quote, you should provide a link. But it is obvious where you got that.

    I have to laugh. Why does he call having a blog a good thing? Plenty of sub literate pissants operate their own blogs. But it takes a special person who uses their blog to advocate for the imprisoning and killing of ten to twenty percent of the population.

  528. #532 AJ Milne
    March 2, 2010

    Uh oh, I accidentally deleted some important words…

    … oddly enough, I’d delete different ones:

    If it gets bad enough, and something is readily available, I take the drugs!

    (/I keed. I keed. I’d actually say I’m actually sorta cautious, too, ’bout overusing anything, whether over-the-counter or prescription. My philosophy is not so much just ‘suck it up’ so much as ‘kay… let’s count some costs and benefits, here’… but anyway.)

  529. #533 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 2, 2010

    Gyeong Hwa Pak, I do not want to sound overly critical but when you quote, you should provide a link. But it is obvious where you got that.

    I normally do. Must be too early.

  530. #534 Paul
    March 2, 2010

    Even Orac is calling out the Colgate Twins for data on their unsubstantiated claims (this time in response to Kirshenbaum opining on how Science Blogs are getting so mean and possibly without value now):

    Clearly Sheril never experienced the wild and wooly world of Usenet back in its heyday in the 1990s through the early 2000s, before web-based discussion forums and blogging in essence killed it to the point where many ISPs don?t even maintain a Usenet server anymore. If Sheril thinks the blogosphere is nasty, I can show her some discussions in various newsgroups that would show her that the blogosophere is relatively tame. There are threads where I was labeled a pedophile, among the milder things they called me, all for doing two things (1) opposing Holocaust denial and (2) arguing for science in medicine. I recall one thread where an elderly WWII vet was taunted as a ?murderer? by a neo-Nazi because he was a fighter pilot who had engaged in strafing and bombing runs. The list goes on.

    None of this is anything new at all, of course. Only the youngsters coming to it are new. Having never seen it before, they think that somehow the blogosphere is getting nastier when in reality it?s just a massive case of confirmation bias. Of course, if someone could show me some data somewhere to substantiate the claim that the blogosphere is getting progressively nastier, like any good skeptic I?d be open to possibly changing my mind if the evidence is sufficiently compelling, but absent that all this handwringing about how horrible the blogosphere has allegedly become betrays a profound lack of experience and knowledge of the history of online discussion forums.

    God, I feel old after having said that.

    Emphasis mine.

  531. #535 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 2, 2010

    Mr T: I have a friend who is a percussion professor, and I like to get him talking about music…Music is a weird thing in that every one is familiar with it on some level, but some people just know a whole lot more than others. Like you, my friend is not an ambient music guy…he either listens or he turns it off. There was a day when we were sitting in my office drinking coffee, and he slowly faded from a conversation that he had more or less initiated…as if he had become entranced. When I finally got his attention he told me that he was listening to my coffee maker, and that he really enjoyed the sounds of puffs of steam that come at the end of the process. We sat and listened for a little while…pretty rad, in my book.
    One of my favorite things about academics is that I am guaranteed to be surrounded by people who know a lot about diverse and interesting things, and who don’t take sound for granted.

    Also, Dania: Faith No More rawks! Ever hear their cover of War Pigs?

  532. #536 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 2, 2010

    Oh yeah… Mr. T: The point was keep writing. I think what you have to say is interesting, submoronic as I am about such things.

  533. #537 Feynmaniac
    March 2, 2010

    Arghhh….apparently Bilbo has replaced Kw*k as the InterDungeon star. Honestly, do they go out of their way to recruit Pharyngula rejects?

  534. #538 AJ Milne
    March 2, 2010

    Plenty of subliterate pissants operate their own blogs…

    Hey now, leave me out of this!

    (… Also, look on the bright side: it keeps me off the streets.)

    Somewhat more seriously, re Ssempa’s porn show, and his threat/offer to take it to parliament, did he?

    I’m just wondering because I’d like to read the transcript. Especially the opposition questions:

    ‘The honourable member for X province would like to know: where and how did Mr. Ssempa find this material?…’

    (/…And what is Mr. Ssempa doing Friday evening? A few of us on this side of the house could bring him along on our regular thing… Our feeling is he may find it liberating…)

  535. #539 Paul
    March 2, 2010

    Arghhh….apparently Bilbo has replaced Kw*k as the InterDungeon star. Honestly, do they go out of their way to recruit Pharyngula rejects?

    It was inevitable the way they used attacking PZ to crank up blog traffic. People who could put up with the echo chamber that they try to foster would stay, and they are not challenged since people are more interested in being “right” than being “correct” (and the people that cared about rigor and supporting arguments through honest debate were turned off by Mooney’s sleazy behavior). And the Pharyngula rejects are nothing if not self-righteous. They fit right in, as long as they’re willing to agree with the host and bash New Atheists. You see Mabus and Davison occasionally there, among others. I stopped following the blog some time ago, but have been poking my head in since the Templeton thing out of morbid curiousity. They still haven’t added “Templeton Fellow” to the intro blurb for the blog.

  536. #540 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawncr0FDc8gdl7yJBz0SJ15D0etcTIOtL0s
    March 2, 2010

    In a typical example of great timing, I posted the URL for the San Francisco falconcam on the day they changed it. Here’s
    the new one .

    There’s one in San Jose too.

  537. #541 David Marjanovi?
    March 2, 2010

    Students of Catholic Universities who themselves aren’t all that Catholic are probably from strict religious families and have their first taste of freedom when entering college. so they go completely overboard, where kids from less strict upbringings have a more measured response to college-freedoms.

    ?argh? sorry, I’ve read about this effect (more in the context of fundie protestants, but still), it’s immediately intuitively obvious, and yet I forgot about it, not having ever witnessed it firsthand. It’s a very quiet day, and I’m preparing an illustration (a time-calibrated phylogenetic tree) for the next manuscript, which is very meditative work.

  538. #542 Ol'Greg
    March 2, 2010

    I just like to write about music and could do it endlessly, even longer than the endless thread itself. My apologies if anyone finds it excessively boring or annoying.

    I love it! It’s one of the few times on here that a subject comes up in an area I actually feel confident talking about. Your thoughts and analysis is appreciated, at least by me, what is your musical background anyway? Do you teach?

  539. #543 neddy-s
    March 2, 2010

    Thanks to those of you who’ve pointed out a couple of things I hadn’t known–first, that because males only have one x chromosome whatever’s on that is what they get, and second that sexual dimorphism isn’t expressed in genes per se, but rather is more a result of male hormones (I think I got that right). To those of you who immediately labelled me stupid or sexist for not knowing something and wanting to understand enough about how sexual dimorphism works to dispute the contention that women are ‘evolving’ to be more feminine (as a feminist, and a very non-‘feminine’ woman, I found this difficult to swallow, but didn’t know enough to refute it), I found this very discouraging and de-motivating. And to the one of you who called me a ‘drive-by’ [presumably a drive-by stupid sexist troll], I figured I ought to at least comment once more to refute that.

  540. #544 Ol'Greg
    March 2, 2010

    Oooh bad grammar. Bad bad grammar. Apologies.

  541. #545 Sven DiMilo
    March 2, 2010

    They are usually coupled with nausea and sensitive to light and sound.

    That’s a migraine all right.
    I get them maybe 6-8 times a year, not often enough to make preventative meds worth it IMO. My physician prescribed some huge pills with acetaminophen, caffeine, and a short-acting barbiturate. Problem is the “nausea” I get involves vomiting every 20 minutes or so, so oral meds don’t help much. Only thing I can do is lie down in the dark and wait for sleep. I lose a whole day. It sucks.

  542. #546 Ol'Greg
    March 2, 2010

    @ neddy-s

    Thanks for posting again then to clarify. I hope you stick around because you’ll learn a lot more about those things (or at least I have). When I first posted here I got a similar reaction for being genuinely ignorant of some things and a little bit naive. I was a little vitamin/homeopathy woo oriented, for instance. I was also in a bit of a bad place emotionally because of some personal troubles. Of course when I started posting here I was also very young! But it’s been worth it to participate over the years, and recently I’ve done so a lot more.

    People can be prickly but it’s only because there are really a lot of people who come by and ask things like that just to provoke or try to justify their weird ideas.

  543. #547 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 2, 2010

    Neddy-S, ever hear of an internet search engine called Google? You type in search parameters, like say “human+sexual+dimorphism” (minus the quotes), and a wealth of information suddenly is available. Some of it is written by experts in the field. You can even refine the search as you discover new information.

    Your comment about women becoming more subservient did sound a bit sexist. Considering the plasticity of the human brain, and the need for cultural learning, it would be hard to assess if the the traits your mentioned are actually being selected for, or are just cultural artifacts.

  544. #548 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    Neddy-s,

    I’m glad you got the info here to refute these kinds of claims. Anytime you here stories of how selection is acting in humans, you should be very wary. The popular media tend to sensationalize very tentative findings, and evolutionary psychology is a very, very fuzzy discipline.

  545. #549 neddy-s
    March 2, 2010

    I agree–I have been learning a lot on this site; I’ve been reading it pretty regularly for a few months. But now that I’ve had personal exposure to the community, it’s really leaving a bad taste in my mouth, which is unfortunate for me as I don’t think I’ll be able to continue to read it any more without having negative feelings. There comes a point when you’re learning about something that just reading about it is insufficient, and you actually want to ask specific questions to people who can assess what you need to know and help you along, but it’s difficult to do that in a specialised field you’re not involved in yourself and where you don’t know anyone who is (I’ve actually tried discussing this issue with my biology teacher and with a woman I met at a conference who said she was an expert in genetics–I said I’d been thinking about it for a while!–but neither really seemed to grasp what it was I was trying to figure out, partially probably because I’m not knowledgeable enough to express my question(s) clearly). But I think I’m just going to have to accept my logistical limitations and stop here unless someday I happen to actually befriend a geneticist.

  546. #550 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    neddy-s: the neverending thread is indeed the place for any and all questions, but especially as you’re first establishing a persona it’s good to add in some background. Some of us are fairly quick on the trigger finger because there have been an awful lot of people who come in trying for a fight. Not as many since registration got stabilized, but still a few here and there. You didn’t mean to, but your phrasing stumbled upon the same construction that a lot of fairly nasty characters use to “just ask a question” when they are really trying to insinuate eugenic arguments. People are happy to help; you just happened to word your first comment the wrong way (like accidentally wearing the wrong color in the wrong part of town) and without enough surrounding info (you had looked it up, you’re leaning towards one answer or the other, this is how it came up wrt your situation, etc.) to be clear what was going on.
    And just as another explanation (no excuse, just explanation), huge numbers of us have been seriously on edge lately due to a lot of internet misunderstandings and are just generally more pissy than usual.

  547. #551 Epikt
    March 2, 2010

    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Like you, my friend is not an ambient music guy…he either listens or he turns it off. There was a day when we were sitting in my office drinking coffee, and he slowly faded from a conversation that he had more or less initiated…as if he had become entranced. When I finally got his attention he told me that he was listening to my coffee maker, and that he really enjoyed the sounds of puffs of steam that come at the end of the process.

    Well, that’s almost ambient music right there, though probably not in the sense you meant. Record it, replicate it, transform it, add reverb tails longer than your attention span, and put it on iTunes. Instant Eno.

  548. #552 kantalope
    March 2, 2010

    Neddy-s

    Have to agree with you on some of the comments being off-putting. This is not the place for thin skins.

    Welcome to the Jungle.

    But I have not found a care-bear forum with as much information.

    I actually have a conjecture (less than a theory you know) that pz set up pharyngula discussions as an experiment for testing the relative survivability of aggressive web-species. Grrrrr.

    Anyway, you dimorphism question has lots of things going on. Some already mentioned but another would be that the brutishness of males and the grace of females could be from the same gene and just expressed differently due to different ‘expression’ genes that are sex linked. It just gets more complicated the more you find out. And don’t just pick out the male hormones. The female ones are just as powerful.

    I think the submissive thing has some real historical troubles too…would seem, at least in the Western world, that any pressure on selecting submissiveness has lessened rather than increased, recently anyway. And then you have the trouble of no longer isolating populations. Time for another Amish study I guess, since human breeding experiments are notoriously difficult to manage and get funded. (hehe)

    Anyway good luck. I would think that people here would remember how much BAD evolutionary information is out there and hold their fire a bit but this is the internet.

    But just so you don’t get the idea that they are picking on you specifically – when I tell folks about the culture here I tell them about the thread where everyone was told that a little naive was going to stop by and ask questions and people were tossing F-bombs about – probably while she was typing her intro….ah, good times.

  549. #553 AJ Milne
    March 2, 2010

    … You didn’t mean to, but your phrasing stumbled upon the same construction that a lot of fairly nasty characters use to “just ask a question” when they are really trying to insinuate eugenic arguments. People are happy to help; you just happened to word your first comment the wrong way (like accidentally wearing the wrong color in the wrong part of town)…

    No! No! She’s wit’ da Crips, I tells ya! Get out the lead pipes!

    …’Kay, seriously, as one of those who did more than sorta go off on that, my apologies. As Carlie put it, yes, some of us are a bit twitchy, of late. I’ll go take some antispasmodics, be right back.

    (/I’d also like to blame the fact that winter seems to be ending, here, already, and it hardly just began, and this really, really makes me cranky. Anyway, again, apologies.)

  550. #554 cicely
    March 2, 2010

    We give it to infants for minor fever.

    Yep. It started sometime in the early ’80s (at least, that’s when I recall the big push starting), with a co-relation between aspirin and Reye’s Syndrome being found in kids; I think they still advise against giving aspirin to anyone under about 18 without a doctor’s advice.

  551. #555 Sven DiMilo
    March 2, 2010

    I am like the worst at taking my own good advice to myself:

    Except that the traits used to identify “races” were anything but fixed….
    Most of the loci that actually code for the phenotypes used for racial classification are polymorphic. The traits themselves are also polygenic.

    I’m willing to accept these unreferenced assertions, I guess (I know, I know, Anthro 101. Never took it).
    And I am not in any way defending any particular racial classification, nor even the classical concept of race. OK?

    But.

    I can look out into my classroom of 100 students, and for almost all of them I can infer (with varying degrees of precision) the geographical origin of (at least some of) their ancestors. I really can; so can you.
    This is not about black, white, brown, and yellow (a set of terminology, btw, that I find really unfortunate).
    It’s about sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, east Asia, southern Europe, northern Europe, etc.
    I can (most of the time) tell Italian from Irish. I can often tell Korean from Japanese from Vietnamese and East African from West African. South America from North American, etc. And be right most of the time, just by looking at someone’s face.

    How can I (and everybody else) do this?
    A: Because there really are phenotypic features that vary geographically in a regular and predictable way.
    This can only mean that there is also underlying genetic diversity that varies geographically in a regular and predictable way.

    (I am not drawing bright lines between “races” here; I acknowledge clines and exceptions and ambiguous cases, but they are exceptions that prove the general rule.)

    This kind of geographical variation can only have arisen under circumstances of limited (not zero; limited) gene flow.
    I can’t think of any reason why such circumstances shouldn’t affect other loci as well, producing clustered geographic variation.

    I can’t see how any of this could possibly be controversial in the absence of ideological preconceptions.
    But I am ready, willing, and able to be educated to the contrary if I am wrong. (More than bald assertion would be necessary though.)

    ——————-

    For women, the gene has to be on both copies of the X chromosome while for men whatever X they inherit is what they get.

    The first part makes no sense. Women only express the genes of one of their X-somes in each cell. This keeps the gene dosage the same for both sexes.

    My understanding of developmental biology is that most of the sexual dimorphism…is caused by high concentrations of male sex hormones.

    This is true for all dimorphic vertebrates afaik. Of course, estrogen also has effects. For both, the hormone + nuclear receptor act as a transcription factor, turning certain genes on or off.

    Why is there a troll trying to make the argument

    The term “troll” means something. It does not mean “somebody who annoys me” and it does not mean “somebody who disagrees with me”. The questioner has shown no sign of trolling, just naivete. That’s no crime.
    (confirmed @# 543)

    Like you, my friend is not an ambient music guy…he either listens or he turns it off.

    I find that a lot of people don’t even understand what I mean by “listening to music”. I mean doing that and only that: concentrating and focusing. A lot of folks seem to do that only when they are trying to get the lyrics.
    Yes, I am the most elitist of all musical elitists. *shrug* At least I’m relatively eclectically elitist.

    “There are only two kinds of music in this world: Good music, and the other kind.”
    -(from memory; often credited to Duke Ellington but Louis Armstrong sez it in Burns’ Jazz documentary)

    *last comment for a while; gotta grade. Will catch up, uh, tomorrow night? Watch that portcullis, now.*

  552. #556 cicely
    March 2, 2010

    Blockquote FAIL. *sigh* That should have been:

    We give it to infants for minor fever.

    Yadda yadda.

  553. #557 Becca
    March 2, 2010

    Carlie @ 251 (sorry to be so late in this, but there are too many interesting conversations here for me to keep up to date on all of them)

    I love the look of corsets, but surprisingly, given that they are supposed to be a slimming garment, it’s tough to find them in fat sizes. Also I would have nowhere to wear one besides the RenFaire once a year.

    my daughter got a lovely corset at Pennsic last year. She periodically has back aches, and wears her corset under her regular clothes sometimes to give herself additional support. The corset maker where she got hers had some in larger sizes, and said that he could make them to fit as needed – would you like me to look up his contact information for you?

  554. #558 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    Becca – thanks for the info! One of my friends also goes to Pennsic every year, so I can probably get the info from her (and then put it on my list of “things to buy when I have money”).

  555. #559 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 2, 2010

    Rorschahc waaaay back @# 291

    unless the Bride of Shrek and 20 other hot atheist women would care to cheer us on from the audience, preferably by throwing pieces of underwear at us for every killer blow argument delivered to some creationist nonsense !

    ..I was actually planning on throwing strips of bacon and just generally baring my breasts at Carl Weiland every time he opened his dimwitted mouth.

  556. #560 Sili
    March 2, 2010

    And here I just spent lunch saying that there was no way in Hell I’d get on a plane for more than 24 hours.

  557. #562 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 2, 2010

    For the first time, I am linking to a music video for the video. Here is This Too Shall Pass by OK Go. You are going to see this everywhere, I have already seen it on a couple of blogs. You might as well see it now. Come on, everybody loves Rube Goldberg.

  558. #563 aratina cage of the OM
    March 2, 2010

    Following up on Paul #534, PZ whomps troll ass at The Intersection just after Orac’s comment (link) and then returns later to call out Kirshenbaum. Now, excuse me while I stand back and watch bilbo’s head throw sparks as it spins in self-righteous fury.

  559. #564 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 2, 2010

    I would like to boast that I got bitten by a deadly spider on the weekend ( a redback ).The bite itself was excruciating for a few hours but rather than waste everyone’s time at the A & E I rang my doc who basically told me the symptoms and if they started to manifest themselves to get to the hospital. Apparently normal healthy adults will usually get a bit sick but be ok and the anti venom can make you sicker than the bite. Apart from some profuse sweating, slightly elevated pulse (90 ish) and a bad headache I was as right as rain the next day. Except now the bite site is devloping cellutitis ( I think- nothing like a bit of self diagnosis I say) so I’m off the see the doc this morning. It’s as itchy as all hell and driving me nuts.

  560. #565 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    Janine, I just got finished watching that right before I came here! Hemant Mehta just posted it as well.

  561. #566 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 2, 2010

    As an addendum can I just say that even though I survived the experience until the next day the bitch who bit me did not. Having said that I appreciate she was only doing what she does as a defence and I’ve still got her in a little bottle of alcohol to show off to people. I had a moment where I seriously thought about having her encased in something and made into a necklace but I decided that was a little Angelina Jolie even for me.

  562. #567 blf
    March 2, 2010

    Someone needs a better spider pit.

    ;-)

    Get better. And remember, spiders are your friends

  563. #568 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    aratina cage, thanks for the update. That’s some beautifully ignorant stuff there. It’s amazing how some people absolutely can’t differentiate between “bad words” and “deliberately inflammatory assaults on character”. And the two guys over there are going on and on about PZ flunky suckups, when one glance at the Dawkins thread clearly shows many longtime commenters ripping PZ to shreds over his position on it.

  564. #569 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    BoS – :( Hope the drugs work soon and well.

    My position on spiders is that they’re fine in the wild, but once they cross my threshold they have relinquished all rights to live. Some I do let stay, but they need to know it’s still my call.

  565. #570 blf
    March 2, 2010

    Some [spiders] I do let stay, but they need to know it’s still my call.

    Shelob.

  566. #571 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 2, 2010

    Unfortunately we have plagues of them in this area at this time of year but when it starts to get cooler they bugger off. The females are very territorial but don’t wander very far from their web so you almnost have to stick your hand in it to get bitten. Having said that they LOVE to nest in places such as swing sets, under the seats of the kids bikes etc etc and you quite literally have to check everything over every single day. Tragically for the spiders I have to kill them if I see them for the kid’s sake ( whilst I was ok it can be a very different matter for a little human).

    I was at my son’s soccer game and I’d taken a fold up chair from the shed and sat on it without checking first. My daughter came up to me and was cuddling me with her stomach at my thigh level and I felt pain. At first I thought it was her zipper caught on me but when I pushed her away I saw this thing biting me. I’m so incredibly glad it bit me and not her on her stomach.

  567. #572 Knockgoats
    March 2, 2010

    Glad to hear you’re OK, Bride of Shrek, OM! When I told Sven he should love spiders, I admit I was forgetting the kinds you get in Oz. Does anywhere else have really dangerous ones? (IIRC, tarantulas aren’t, and James Bond was being a real wuss.)

  568. #573 aratina cage of the OM
    March 2, 2010

    Bride of Shrek, what an experience! I hope all goes well at the doctor’s office.

    Looking at the Wikipedia photo of a redback, I’m reminded how awful I felt last summer when I accidentally cut the leg off a very large black widow (the first wild one I’d ever seen) while trying to move her from my doorway with a shovel. I’m very jumpy around spiders and kill them as a reflex if they get on me, but I felt sick to my stomach watching her bleed profusely all the same. I did manage to move her away from the house after that using much more care.

    And the two guys over there are going on and on about PZ flunky suckups, when one glance at the Dawkins thread clearly shows many longtime commenters ripping PZ to shreds over his position on it. -Carlie

    I know, everything they say is such a joke. And on the flip-side of what you said, I don’t think PZ has ever really held back on chastising us as the blog owner, either, when he feels the need.

  569. #574 strange gods before me ?
    March 2, 2010

    neddy-s: consider that people reacted unkindly because you sounded like an anti-feminist. There are worse reasons to be unkind.

  570. #575 Knockgoats
    March 2, 2010

    aratina cage of the OM,

    Most spiders can manage well enough with as few as six legs; don’t know about black widows specifically.

  571. #576 John Morales
    March 2, 2010

    Neddie:

    But now that I’ve had personal exposure to the community, it’s really leaving a bad taste in my mouth, which is unfortunate for me as I don’t think I’ll be able to continue to read it any more without having negative feelings.

    Such a sensitive soul, you are.

    Welcome to Pharyngula!

  572. #577 strange gods before me ?
    March 2, 2010

    Rorschach, this article is about how dogs, due to their specialization for human packs, make the same error that human babies make regarding object permanence, while wolves do not make the error. The error is interesting, but relevant to your question is the fact that both dogs and wolves have object permanence. How could they have object permanence, without minds?

  573. #578 SC OM
    March 2, 2010

    I just got home and I’m having a little laughing fit. The people commenting on that idiotic post at the Multi-Car Pile-Up seem to be engaging in some amusing oneupmanship involving which implements (and in which condition) they were told to violate themselves with here. And then bilbo admits he was trolling here, acknowledging that he’s in fact trolling there now.

    Too much.

  574. #579 aratina cage of the OM
    March 2, 2010

    Thanks for the info, Knockgoats. I didn’t know if it would be life-threatening for her or not, but it was traumatic enough just to watch her bleed all over the wall trying to walk and then, realizing her leg had been hacked apart, coddling her blood-spurting stump in between bouts of panic trying to escape from the area. I felt like Freddy Krueger for a moment after that.

  575. #580 SC OM
    March 2, 2010

    I can look out into my classroom of 100 students, and for almost all of them I can infer (with varying degrees of precision) the geographical origin of (at least some of) their ancestors. I really can; so can you.

    How do you do with this?

    http://www.pbs.org/race/002_SortingPeople/002_00-home.htm

  576. #581 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 2, 2010

    The term “troll” means something. It does not mean “somebody who annoys me” and it does not mean “somebody who disagrees with me”. The questioner has shown no sign of trolling, just naivete. That’s no crime.

    Sven, dear sweet one. If that was how I used the term ‘troll’, how often would I have called you one. Neddie, stumbled in , making a very clumsy argument, in a style that looked trollish. No apologies from me. She needs to clarify, which, to her credit, she did.

    (No Longer A)Bride, is there anything there that is not poisonous? (Please note, I am half kidding here.)

  577. #582 Jadehawk, OM
    March 2, 2010

    (No Longer A)Bride, is there anything there that is not poisonous? (Please note, I am half kidding here.)

    well, for starters I think spiders are venomous, not poisonous (but then, I’ve never known anyone who tried to eat one of those, either)

    that said, I think the correct answer to that is “some of the sheep”

  578. #583 SteveV
    March 2, 2010

    Late with this but why not Lemon Marmalade?
    Lemon marmalade on toasted wholewheat with salted butter and hot tea.

    As a newbie, I’m not too sure about the constant bacon references, however, I was reminded of Bacon Butties with HP sauce at 2 am from the taxi drivers stand next to neptune’s statue.

    A good memory

  579. #584 Ol'Greg
    March 2, 2010

    I for one CAN NOT spot people’s race to save my life and just don’t try. That being said it cracks me up when in all certain company of some certain race when some one begins venting some kind of race anxiety and every once in a while if it is the right race they will nervously look over and say “Hey, (my name here), you’re not (x-race) are you?” Which is funny as hell if you could see me.

  580. #585 SteveV
    March 2, 2010

    Just heard on the radio of some 60kyear old Engraved Ostrich shells found in South Africa.
    For disambiguation, that’s 60,000 years old, NOT 6,000.

  581. #586 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 2, 2010

    I for one CAN NOT spot people’s race to save my life and just don’t try.

    Seriously? All “races”? Or are you pulling a Stephen Colbert?

    Noticing differences in race and culture is not always a bad thing or a sign of racism.

    Frankly I’m interested in people’s race and what cultural differences may or may not be a product of a difference in their race from mine. I enjoy learning about people’s lives that grew up differently than myself. Now granted, someone’s race doesn’t mean there is a difference, but it might. And variety is the spice of life (yes that’s cheesy).

    I personally don’t think being aware of race or differences in culture is a bad thing. I mean I didn’t grow up in New Orleans but damn if it isn’t one of my favorite places on earth and a large reason for that is the African American culture there.

    But I also grew up in the South with all that comes along with it race being something you are always aware of. Luckily I grew up in a very liberal family that enforced the celebrate the differences ideal.

  582. #587 WowbaggerOM
    March 2, 2010

    Aargh, I just broke my self-imposed ‘don’t post on blogs dominated by complete tools with no idea’ rule and added to the Intersection pile-up about blog civility.

    Damn SIWOTI. Still, if I don’t go back there I won’t have to read the bleating responses.

  583. #588 Killer Bud
    March 2, 2010

    Ok, thought this would be a good spot to post this. My sister in law is going to this church, at first she called it a cult, and was saying how people were speaking in tongues, and laying on hands etc; freaked her out. Now 2 weeks later she is saying she cant get enough of the place and loves all the people in there.
    My other half is an atheist and flipped out on her a little bit recently when her sister was all geared up to be indoctrinated into this church, and asking for her friends and family to support her endeavers of going to some program they have set up for making people spiritual leaders in their church.
    So during the flipping out phase my wife decided to go to a link on her facebook to this church’s facebook site.
    They have specks of light on several pictures, and they are claiming they were orbs caused by the holy spirit.
    I have a few pictures of it on my blog, but if you want to go to the site and see for yourself and get a good laugh go to this link…
    /rant

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Concord-NC/FIRE-Church/212497910331#!/photo.php?pid=9996110&id=212497910331

  584. #589 badgersdaughter
    March 2, 2010

    Becca, would you please also send me the info for the corsetmaker? My username at gmail.com will get to me. Thank you.

    About looking like your race… it is a running gag in my father’s family to say that I’m really the daughter of the Irish milkman. They say this to each other, and fall all over themselves laughing, because I apparently look so typically Jewish-Hungarian that the lame joke strikes them as utterly hilarious, and because of the priceless ticked-off look on my face when my brain works through enough Hungarian to realize that yes, they are telling that stupid joke again. :)

  585. #590 badgersdaughter
    March 2, 2010

    Killer Bud, I’m sorry about your sister-in-law. I hope she gets enough of that crap quickly and comes unharmed back out the other side.

    My mother, when she was alive, belonged to a Holy Roller, speaking in tongues, Deep South cult church. She would try to make me go with her fairly often. My brother goes to one of those overly large charismatic Southern Baptist churches. It is hard, when you are an atheist and a member of your immediate family importunes you to go to church with them, and sooner or later your sis-in-law is going to try to insist that you or your wife attend with her, if she hasn’t already started.

    With my brother, I can say, “Hey, Mike, I might go sometime with you, but this morning I just don’t feel comfortable with it.” Mom didn’t care whether I was comfortable or not; she meant for me to go. The only way I got out of it was to leave the house early on church days and not come back until the danger was past. The only battle I lost was the one where Mom’s preacher invited me to sing the offertory solo that morning. I am a choir slut, haha.

  586. #591 Ol'Greg
    March 2, 2010

    No, I’m not saying I can’t have any idea. But in general no, not really. I suck at it. I’m not trying to be OTT PC or anything. It’s just that say I see light brown skin, slightly narrow eyes, curly black hair, a thin nose… I can’t put these together really well to say that person is x race or y race.

    Some people in my family have brown/olive skin, black hair, high cheekbones, long noses, dark eyes. They’re European. My coworker is paler than me with light brown hair. She’s Pakistani.

    Hispanic people can appear black, black people may not be African-American, too… many… variables.

    I work with people of so many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and most people are a mixture of racial types too. I’m all for listening and learning about people and where they’re from, their families, history, I find it interesting. Now if some one has sort of Asian features and is speaking in Japanese I have a better guess that maybe that person *is* Japanese, but for all I know they may be half Laotian. Here in the US we’d say they’re the same race. They wouldn’t.

    And if a person has one white parent and one Japanese parent what race are they? What if they look more european than asian? Are they still Japanese? I don’t know. It’s too hard to keep up with. I just let people tell me what they are if they feel like talking about it. It’s easier, say, if you’re talking to some one and they say “I’m from Hyderabad.”

  587. #592 Kel, OM
    March 2, 2010

    Aargh, I just broke my self-imposed ‘don’t post on blogs dominated by complete tools with no idea’ rule and added to the Intersection pile-up about blog civility.

    You’d think that the Intersection would take a leaf out of what it preaches and be a beacon of civility and tolerance. Instead it’s the same damn shit as everywhere else, combined with a holier than thou attitude.

  588. #593 SaraJ
    March 2, 2010

    I need to just… vent.

    I don’t know this girl personally, but a family member does. http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local-beat/Chelsea-Kings-Body-Found-86021177.html

    She went missing last week and a body was found today. All the comments on the articles and support groups are people offering prayers, and saying things like “I pray that the Good Lord will cover them, hold them, and help them through this very difficult time.”

    Now, I understand that people feel helpless and heartbroken, I am terribly saddened by this news as well. But to me, praying to a god that would let this happen (if he did indeed exist) is just sick and awful to me. It just makes me so angry that this terrible thing happened, but that peoples’ faith just seems to get stronger when this stuff happens confuses the hell out of me.

  589. #594 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    I also have a terrible time telling ethnicities, mainly because I haven’t been exposed enough to people I know are one or the other (my hometown is 97% white). I can’t tell various southeast Asian groups from each other, nor different African groups, and I’m lucky if I can get the general part of the continent right with Europeans. It’s just a lack of meeting people of specific ethnic groups combined with not wanting to ask about the backgrounds of the ones I do meet, so I’ve never developed the skill.

  590. #595 WowbaggerOM
    March 2, 2010

    To be fair, the posters on Interection do tend to use less abusive language than we (and I include myself that – and quite proudly) do here – but they’re far less intellectually honest (and often far less honest full stop; McCarthy – if he’s still there – being a good example) and way too deferential to religious claptrap.

    Give me the no-bullshit biker bar over the polite, appeasement-please tea-room any day.

  591. #596 badgersdaughter
    March 2, 2010

    …peoples’ faith just seems to get stronger when this stuff happens…

    Oh, on the contrary. “Methinks they doth protest too much.” I would hardly think they would be so keen on trotting out the old pious reassurances if they didn’t badly need to reassure themselves.

  592. #597 Becca
    March 2, 2010

    badgersdaughter @ 589 – done.

  593. #598 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 2, 2010

    SaraJ, for those that believe, it is considered a virtue to hold on to your faith when your situation is bad. But I am so far removed from when I had faith, I cannot understand why some people find comfort. Instead, I just have my rage at those people who commit murders.

  594. #599 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    Sven,

    This kind of geographical variation can only have arisen under circumstances of limited (not zero; limited) gene flow.

    No. What you’re recognizing are the centers of overlapping clines. Clinal variation does not depend on limited gene flow to develop; it is dependent on clinal variation in environmental influence.

    I know you’re not talking specifically about skin color, but I’m going to use it as an example because it’s well known and easy to observe. There are very clear clines in skin pigmentation. This is not a result of limited gene flow, but because UV radiation gradually changes with latitude. Children with dark skin will simply not survive very well in northern latitudes regardless of how much gene flow there is from more darkly pigmented populations. The children die (or have limited survival) because they cannot synthesize vitamin D. Some of the populations with the highest rates of rickets are Pakistanis in the UK, and women forced to wear burquas in the geographic area from the Middle East to Pakistan. As a consequence of differential survival, more northerly populations will have lighter skin on average, even if the population has a regular source for alleles coding more more pigmentation. Natural selection is creating these clines, not restricted gene flow. So if you took a random sample of say, 1000 people, from around the world and lined them up according to skin pigmentation, there would be a gradual shift from dark to light regardless of the amount of gene flow for any particular population.

    For more on variation in things like craniometrics, you could read this issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Some forms of human variation are more geography specific, but again there are no clear boundaries between populations. Sure you can tell a Brit from an Italian, but it’s much more difficult when you take people from adjacent populations between say, London and Rome, and try to say clearly where the Northern European phenotype ends and the Mediterranean phenotype begins.

    Books that are useful include:

    Reflections of Our Past by John Relethford
    “Race” is a Four Letter Word by C. Loring Brace

    the textbook I used for class:

    Mielke JH, Konigsberg LW, Relethford JH (eds). 2005. Human Biological Variation. Oxford University Press.

  595. #600 Dust
    March 2, 2010

    SaraJ @ 593 lamented

    I need to just… vent

    I hear ya, where was their gawd when that girl needed help? No fuckin’ where to be found as usuall!

    We had a tradedy in the family recently, where was gawd when my family member needed, really needed and could of used some of that all knowing, loving forgiving help?

    *crickets*

    But prayers after the fact—ohhh, so impressive! Oh, NOT!
    Pardon my bad attitude you prayers, I am not amused.

  596. #601 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    I’m not sure how good that explanation was, it’s so much easier to explain what I’m talking about with visual aides. I’m totally dependent on a chalkboard/whiteboard when I’m teaching this to students!

  597. #602 SC OM
    March 2, 2010

    I got a text message from a puppy over the weekend.

    Case closed. :)

    Seriously, though, has anyone defined “mind” for the pursposes of that discussion?

    I’ve linked to this

    http://video.pbs.org/video/1200128615/

    before, but I thought the part (last segment: “Shared Goals”) about how other primates don’t understand pointing but dogs do was super interesting.

  598. #603 PZ Myers
    March 2, 2010

    Grrr. CM&SK have cultivated a nice crop of trolling goons over there. They seem obsessed with the violations that get you banned here–and don’t seem to realize that the rules have nothing to do with whether you’re on my side or not. Bilbo is a moron, but this “Philip Jr” guy is just lying non-stop to advance his thesis that I’m discriminating.

    I had to post this over there.

    Bilbo was banned for, and I quote his own words, ?I?m only taunting to piss them off.? He was intentionally trolling to stir up a lot of noise. It was a blatant admission that he had no interest in discussion, so he was kicked out. No loss.

    Ramsey was banned because he?s a rather revolting coward who decided my daughter was fair game for his contempt. You want to criticize me, criticize me, not my family. He frequently whines that he only did it once, as if that excuses his behavior. I think once is enough.

    As usual, Philip Jr lies. He says, ?if someone says ?go f*** yourself? but aligns with the status quo, people cheer it on, while if someone says the exact same thing, the overall reaction is often one of shock or dismay?. This is completely false. I do not censor rudeness or crude language from anyone. Try it. On Pharyngula, you can tell me to ?go f*** yourself?, and nothing will happen. You might get laughed at if that?s all you?ve got to say, but this snide and dishonest insinuation that only people on my side get any latitude is simply wrong.

    And no, posting book excerpts is not a problem, whether I like them or not. Posting a full 6400 word chapter as a great big bolus of text is simply mindless spamming ? it wouldn?t matter if it were from Lives of the Saints or Structure of Evolutionary Theory. It will get you banned for abusing my latitude in allowing a liberal amount of space for commenting. If somebody tried it here, I suspect it would also get your posting privileges shut down.

    And yeah, Bilbo is a wanker. It looks like he?s found a home here, at least.

    J.J. Ramsey is a major loser, too. He’s written me in the past a few times, asking to be un-banned. No apologies for sneering at my daughter (not that I’d be in a mood to accept them, anyway), and always this whining that he only did it once. Which isn’t true: he made the one post about it here, but then I found him complaining about Skatje on other sites, too. So bye-bye, J.J., and no, you’re never coming back.

  599. #604 Rorschach
    March 2, 2010

    Dr Rory’s Internet Practice is open :

    Apparently normal healthy adults will usually get a bit sick but be ok and the anti venom can make you sicker than the bite. Apart from some profuse sweating, slightly elevated pulse (90 ish) and a bad headache I was as right as rain the next day. Except now the bite site is devloping cellutitis ( I think- nothing like a bit of self diagnosis I say) so I’m off the see the doc this morning. It’s as itchy as all hell and driving me nuts.

    Anaphylactic reactions to the antivenom are quite rare, and it works like a charm with female redback bites, usually takes all pain away within minutes.If you still have local sweating, aches and pains and systemic signs, get the stuff.

    @ 510,

    Over here we call it Tylenol, and we used to call it Panadol, and we call it all sorts of things, if you’re referring to acetaminophen. It’s so common over here I can spell it without looking it up. It’s basically the default pain reliever.

    Yup, same here.Never works for my headaches, and never works for anyone’s pain I think, but everyone eats it, including patients in hospital.Most common drug to O/D on btw, because you can buy 100 for 5 bucks or so, and thats plenty to stuff up your liver for good, if untreated.Not a good way to go, I should add.Had 2 girls in their 20s go on the transplant list last year after Panadol O/D.

    SGBM @ 577,
    thatnks for the link, will go and check it out.

  600. #605 SaraJ
    March 2, 2010

    Janine, thanks for responding. I’m just incredibly saddened by this girl’s death and pretty angry as well so my emotions and thoughts are all in a jumble. Reading the comments from all the prayers is just making me angrier… why believe in a being that would let this horrible thing happen to (by all accounts) a kind and good 17 year old girl?

  601. #606 SteveV
    March 2, 2010

    Ol’Greg

    I’m with you. My son is ‘A person of colour’ (his term). Our family name is fairly uncommon away from Somerset and Bristol, but branches of my family are from Corsica, (with Italian surnames) and Switzerland.
    Somerset was raided by the Vikings, occupied by the Romans and is on the edge of the ‘Celtic Fringe’. My home city is a seaport and was a major centre of the slave trade with all that that implies.
    I’ve been told that I ‘look Mediterranean’ whatever that means.
    I think I share the Rev’s interest in other people’s perception of their origins but I find it very difficult to initiate a conversation about this, probably because I have gained some dim, flickering understanding of the racism that my son has endured.
    I’m afraid that I fall back on the ‘We’re all Africans’ line.

  602. #607 aratina cage of the OM
    March 2, 2010

    Killer Bud, sorry to hear about your sister-in-law, but I don’t get what they are going on about with the pictures. Those orbs are obviously lights dangling from the ceiling. I can clearly see the string holding up the left and right lights in the first photo.

  603. #608 windy
    March 2, 2010

    Is Homo sapiens polytypic?

    No, Homo sapiens is ecotypic.

    In related news: the origin of polar bears!

  604. #609 SteveV
    March 2, 2010

    Pygmy Loris
    Ref rickets in UK Pakistanis.
    IIRC there is an an influence from Chapati flour
    but my memory on this is vague.

    I understand your frustration about the lack of visual aids. I find it almost impossible to explain some points without pencil and paper. It causes Miss M no end of annoyed amusment.

  605. #610 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 2, 2010

    Clinal variation does not depend on limited gene flow to develop; it is dependent on clinal variation in environmental influence.

    Both levels of gene flow* and a selection gradient may contribute to clinal variation, and both could be taken into account. I think Sven’s point was that gene flow can actually overcome the effects of local selection if the rate of migration of an allele into a population is greater than the selection coefficient removing it–obviously restricting gene flow allows local selection pressure to change allele frequencies with greater efficacy**. Obviously in this case, the frequency of an allele along some transect will be dependent not on a selection gradient, but on the distance from the source population.

    *The tension-zone model of hybrid swarm maintenance actually predicts a steep cline while selection against hybrids (F1 and F2) is uniform.
    **Now that I think about it, this is doubly true due to the Wahlund effect…increase in homozygosity following population subdivision…trait heritability is greater in populations with excess homozygosity.

  606. #611 SC OM
    March 2, 2010

    From last night:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-march-1-2010/the-uninformant

    And he had Neil deGrasse Tyson!)

    And once again:

    http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/

  607. #612 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    Antiochus Epiphanes,

    I think Sven’s point was that gene flow can actually overcome the effects of local selection if the rate of migration of an allele into a population is greater than the selection coefficient removing it–obviously restricting gene flow allows local selection pressure to change allele frequencies with greater efficacy**.

    Except that’s not at all how he phrased it. He said:

    This kind of geographical variation can only have arisen under circumstances of limited (not zero; limited) gene flow.

    in reference to the variation that allows him to pick out Italian, Northern European, etc. students in a class.

    Yes, genetically isolated populations are more likely to be distinct, but populations with lots of gene flow can still be distinct if selection pressures are strong enough. Malarial regions of Africa have high frequencies of the sickle-cell allele not because of limited gene flow, but because endemic malaria is a rather serious selection factor.

  608. #613 David Marjanovi?
    March 2, 2010

    I think they still advise against giving aspirin to anyone under about 18 without a doctor’s advice.

    :-o

    How can I (and everybody else) do this?
    A: Because there really are phenotypic features that vary geographically in a regular and predictable way.
    This can only mean that there is also underlying genetic diversity that varies geographically in a regular and predictable way.

    […]

    This kind of geographical variation can only have arisen under circumstances of limited (not zero; limited) gene flow.
    I can’t think of any reason why such circumstances shouldn’t affect other loci as well, producing clustered geographic variation.

    It’s of course true that lots of genes show geographic variation in allele patterns. It’s just that each of these genes has its own variation; they don’t covary much. Skin color and blood groups are orthogonal to each other in this respect…

    You take this into account when you look at people to determine where they’re from: using only skin color or only eye shape or whatever would give very vague results.

    I find that a lot of people don’t even understand what I mean by “listening to music”. I mean doing that and only that: concentrating and focusing. A lot of folks seem to do that only when they are trying to get the lyrics.

    I always try to get the lyrics. :-) Remember when Walton posted the national anthem of South Africa? I can now sing the whole thing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqNaCB2GXBA

    Aaaaah, famous. Gets played every demonstration. (And I participated in a number of those while studying in Vienna… I’ll just say “right-right coalition government”.)

    As music it’s rather crappy (though it’s a lot easiert to listen to than some other Ärzte stuff!!!). The lyrics, however, are impressive. Chorus: “It’s not your fault that the world is as it is, it would just be your fault if it stays that way.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOICrM65OvI

    Reminds me of the fact that most of the abovementioned demonstrations were never mentioned on TV.

    Again, ugly as music. In fact, that guy shouts so loud he fails to hit his own ugly tune. It would almost have more impact as a poem without music.

    (…Of course, in that case, even fewer people would, well, listen. Wenn wir den Krieg gewonnen hätten, / mit Wogenprall und Sturmgebraus, / dann wäre Deutschland nicht zu retten / und gliche einem Irrenhaus ? Erich Kästner after WWI. What happened? WWII.)

    I would like to boast that I got bitten by a deadly spider on the weekend ( a redback ).

    <yaaaaawn>

    So what. It’s Australia. ;-)

    I had a moment where I seriously thought about having her encased in something and made into a necklace but I decided that was a little Angelina Jolie even for me.

    :-D :-D :-D

    Seriously, it’s great to see you can take such pain with such humor.

    I just got home and I’m having a little laughing fit. The people commenting on that idiotic post at the Multi-Car Pile-Up seem to be engaging in some amusing oneupmanship involving which implements (and in which condition) they were told to violate themselves with here. And then bilbo admits he was trolling here, acknowledging that he’s in fact trolling there now.

    I want the (rofl) smiley from Skype.

    spiders are venomous, not poisonous (but then, I’ve never known anyone who tried to eat one of those, either)

    I’m not aware of any reports of poison in a spider other than in the venom glands.

    that said, I think the correct answer to that is “some of the sheep”

    LOL! X-D

    And the drop-bears. They don’t need to be poisonous. :-)

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Concord-NC/FIRE-Church/212497910331#!/photo.php?pid=9996110&id=212497910331

    Okaaaaay…

    Give me the no-bullshit biker bar over the polite, appeasement-please tea-room any day.

    I do like tea, though :-)

  609. #614 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 2, 2010

    SC OM: Nice link. I read several of the articles (more later) and enjoyed them, especially the one by Lewontin.

  610. #615 Jadehawk, OM
    March 2, 2010

    Aaaaah, famous. Gets played every demonstration. (And I participated in a number of those while studying in Vienna… I’ll just say “right-right coalition government”.)

    Reminds me of the fact that most of the abovementioned demonstrations were never mentioned on TV.

    posting those two was my minor attempt at venting my frustration at people who, when told about problems, pretend they don’t exist and I’m just making stuff up, or alternatively do the “not my fault, therefore not my problem, and you’re mean for trying to make me feel guilty about it. so i’ll just ignore you” thing.

    makes me feel like any attempt at talking to people about important stuff is completely pointless :-(

  611. #616 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    SC, OM,

    Oh yeah! I need to bookmark that site. I talk about Lewontin every time I teach this stuff and we used Marks’s Human Biodiversity in one of my undergrad classes on anthropological genetics.

  612. #617 Jadehawk, OM
    March 2, 2010

    I do like tea, though :-)

    I currently have 4 different kinds of tea, and at least another 5 of “tea” to pick from. :-p

  613. #618 aratina cage of the OM
    March 2, 2010

    I have no idea if this will post, but it is too good not to dig into. Phanyngu-quotes that make Philip Jr. sad:

    • Go f*** yourself with a rusty chainsaw? (link)
    • You condescending little s***, you can go f*** yourself and f*** your stupid libertarian a**hole? (link)
    • Go f*** yourself, you useless s***-eating c**stain. (link)
    • GO F*** YOURSELF WITH SOMETHING JAGGED. (link)
    • Oh go f*** yourself you pathetic subhuman lying scumbag (link)
    • go f*** yourself with the the business end of an extra large bellows (link)
    • Karol, go f*** yourself up the a**?Then die in a f***ing fire. (link)
    • Go f*** yourself with a tire iron. (link)
  614. #619 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 2, 2010

    Pygmy Loris: Right you are…Sven said that “only” limited gene flow could result in a cline. Clearly a strong selection gradient could do that as well, even if gene flow were positively gushing alleles all over the place.

  615. #620 David Marjanovi?
    March 2, 2010

    has anyone defined “mind” for the pursposes of that discussion?

    Of course not.

    Never works for my headaches, and never works for anyone’s pain I think, but everyone eats it

    X-D

  616. #621 SteveV
    March 2, 2010
  617. #622 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    Now the ignoramuses are crowing that the number of posts tagged with “science” is lower than the number tagged with “religion”, so see, PZ doesn’t write about science as much as he does about religion!!!

    It never even enters their teensy little minds that it would be stupid to tag every post with science in it as “science”, since that kind of defeats the purpose of tagging (I’m going to tag every single post on my blog with the same tag!), and the dozen or so OTHER CATEGORIES THAT ARE SCIENCE TOPICS should be added to their total. That made me mad enough to post it over there, and now I feel dirty.

  618. #623 WowbaggerOM
    March 2, 2010

    aratina cage #618,

    That third one – ‘Go fuck yourself, you useless shit-eating cumstain‘ – is mine. Woo-hoo!

    Considering it was that über-moron pissant ‘professor’ dendy I was directing it towards, I actually consider that to be restrained.

  619. #624 Jadehawk, OM
    March 2, 2010

    wow, impressive. not a single one of the insults listed there was a random and unprovoked gratuitous insult. especially the all-caps one and the bellows one are not what Philip tries to make them look like

    what a dishonest little shit.

  620. #625 David Marjanovi?
    March 2, 2010

    people who, when told about problems, pretend they don’t exist and I’m just making stuff up

    I’m familiar with that phenomenon, from people who believed for years that I had no sense of taste nor any other sense in my mouth and that I would therefore eat anything if I didn’t see it, over people who believed my dust allergy could be overcome by just washing the bedsheets and stuff occasionally (never mind the dust in the rest of the room, in the mattress, in the pillow, in the blanket… or the washing powder), to people who believe nobody needs more than 8 h of sleep per day… and those are just the examples I can think of at 2 at night because they involve(d) me personally.

    I currently have 4 different kinds of tea, and at least another 5 of “tea” to pick from. :-p

    :-9

    I do have (small amounts of) several, but almost never find the time to cook and drink any. Some are souvenirs from conferences long past…

    I have no idea if this will post, but it is too good not to dig into. […]

    I’m developing a new fondness for the ” X-D ” smiley.

  621. #626 PZ Myers
    March 2, 2010

    I am amused that many of those flights of hyperbole were responses to people whining about profanity.

  622. #627 badgersdaughter
    March 2, 2010

    …and never works for anyone’s pain I think…

    Be careful with that. Tylenol works well for me, even in a moderate dose, not only for minor pain like a sinus headache, but also for moderately severe pain resulting from surgery or dental work. When I had my right kidney removed, the surgeon (an EXCELLENT surgeon, by the way) made a foot-long incision so he could get in there and make sure every last bit of the infection was cleared out. I was in intensive care two days with IV fentanyl, a normal hospital room four more days with a patient-controlled IV, and released with two weeks worth of (IIRC) Vicodin. I took the Vicodin for two days then switched to extra-strength timed-release Tylenol. I was just scared I would become addicted to the opioids. Yeah, I wasn’t absolutely pain free, but I was OK.

  623. #628 David Marjanovi?
    March 2, 2010

    Still laughing at the “rusty chainsaw” one.

  624. #629 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 2, 2010

    These insults are nothing compared to those levied against the moderator at the Dawkins forum…such as this gem:

    A suppurating rat?s rectum inside a dead skunk that?s been shoved up a week-old dead rhino?s twat.

    Wowbagger: useless shit-eating cumstain has its appeal, but just seems pedestrian by comparison.

    My point: We must do better. We must not rest on our laurels, nor drag ass in the fourth quarter, nor [insert sports metaphor here] when apparently all of the blogosphere is counting on us to be the crudest and most profane.

  625. #630 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 2, 2010

    Gee, whining about tone. Receiving “tone” in return. Sounds about right.

  626. #631 Feynmaniac
    March 2, 2010

    To be fair, the posters on Interection do tend to use less abusive language than we (and I include myself that – and quite proudly) do here

    Yeah, however I think they’re pretty much like those Christians who smile and say ‘God bless you’ while calling homosexuality a perversion. They are saying bad things about others, they are just being “nice” about it. I too prefer here where people tend to be more honest.

  627. #632 aratina cage of the OM
    March 2, 2010

    Considering it was that über-moron pissant ‘professor’ dendy I was directing it towards, I actually consider that to be restrained.

    WowbaggerOM, me too. Besides, we all know the purrfesser loved every minute he got to spend with us. The only one I feel bad about is the last one directed at astrounit because I went off on him once, too, but even that one was meant as a joke, I think (it’s absurd; I still laughed).

  628. #633 SC OM
    March 2, 2010

    Karol, go f*** yourself up the a**?Then die in a f***ing fire.

    Karol. He wants to use responses to Karol as an example. OK, then. Hey, maybe Karol will start posting there soon.

  629. #634 Kel, OM
    March 2, 2010

    They are saying bad things about others, they are just being “nice” about it.

    Yeah, that’s my impression from reading the comments there. There’s plenty of divisive comments and antagonism, it’s really no different from anywhere else. Yet they take that holier-than-thou attitude about it.

  630. #635 Feynmaniac
    March 2, 2010

    lol

    If you look at the dungeon page it seems some have tried to set up an anti-PZ/Pharnygula blogs. Where others have failed the C&K twins have succeeded (and I use that word loosely). I’m guessing right now somebody is happy that we’re now focusing on Colgate twins and not Dawkins or Laden.

  631. #636 Ol'Greg
    March 2, 2010

    Intersection commenters do not define inflammatory behavior the way that I do. They seem like the sort of people who tried to have me kicked out of my HS for the day because I wore a trenchcoat to school. It was raining and I had to take the bus. But in a post Columbine world you *know* that people who wear trenchcoats only wear them because they want to randomly shoot people at their high school. Much like people who swear in *any* circumstance while speaking obviously are engaging in inflammatory behavior. It’s one of those things like “insubordinate” isn’t it.

    You know suddenly it strikes me as funny that they are saying we all kowtow to PZ while complaining that we don’t kowtow to their idea of proper speech in all circumstances.

    Ah well, fucknuts, shitburgers and side of piss-sticks for me!

  632. #637 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 2, 2010

    Hi All

    Just got from the doc. Got some antiobiotics ( Augmentin Duo Forte) some topical cream for the wound (Paraderm Plus) and a tetanus shot ( because I’m a silly bint and couldn’t remember when my last one was). All good and should clear up quickly. Worst part is he marked around the redness area with a sharpie and cause I’m wearing a skirt I look all pre-schooler with markings on my thigh.

    It is at this point I point out to the anti-free healthcare brigade that all of this service was FREE. (well bulk billed which mean the doc sends the $ 87.00 bill directly to the government ).

  633. #638 Kel, OM
    March 2, 2010

    At least on here, if you’re being a fuckstick then you’re going to be called out as such. Act like a pompous self-righteous twat and expect to be called out as one.

    Sometimes I get the impression that they think it okay to punch someone in the gut and steal their wallet – just as long as you have a smile on your face while you do it. This pretence of civility, it’s a masquerade where the fear is more that the mask will slip than of what people do while wearing the mask.

    When posting here, I couldn’t care less that I’m going to be called an arsehole. I’m worried about whether my argument will hold, how it’s going to be ripped apart and whether or not the justifications I have used to rationalise my position are indeed justified. And that’s how it should be, it holds me to a higher standard than simply being civil about things. Maybe this place could be more civil, but I’ll take it as it is. It’s not perfect, but it works.

  634. #639 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    Interesting – although my last comment at the Intersection (mentioned earlier) went right through with a link and everything, and I’ve commented there before (although not often), the one I just posted is now “awaiting moderation”. And it has no links. I wonder if it’s personal, or if they periodically wipe comment email logs and have the moderation trigger set up for the second comment rather than the first. If it doesn’t go through there, this is what I wrote:

    (Directed at me, after I explained that comparing the “science” tag to the “godless” tag was stupid:)

    Go through the past month or two of Pharyngula and give up some stats. on which posts are mostly religion bashing and which ones are mostly science that isn?t based on this flawed idea of tags.

    I really don?t need to ? the tags are an ok broad proxy for topic, as long as you categorize them properly. Add up all of the tags that are science-based and compare to the ones that are religion-based.

    Genetics 86
    Neurobiology 74
    Nutrition 1
    Science 830
    Cephalopods 457
    Development 213
    Environment 108
    Evolution 429
    Fossils 106
    Galapagos 12
    Molecular biology 137
    Reproduction 144
    Science Philosophy 4
    Communicating science 136

    That?s about 2737 posts.

    Religion 728
    Godlessness 975

    That?s 1703 posts. I guess you could include the ?stupidity? and ?kooks? category, but that?s if you assume that those terms accurately describe religion. Still only takes you to 2466, less than the science categories. Carnivals (239) and Creationism (1776) span both.

    There really isn?t any call to say that there are more posts bashing religion than there are on science. It shows a misunderstanding of how tags are used, a misunderstanding of math, and in large part an enormous misunderstanding of the intersection of religion and science in this country. Fundamentalists have made it impossible to talk about some areas of science (e.g. evolution) without bashing them by default, since simply stating that evolution is true is a declaration that they are wrong.

  635. #640 WowbaggerOM
    March 2, 2010

    I’ve got a comment sitting in moderation over there where I point out the context of my abuse of dendy. We’ll have to wait and see whether or not it’ll have any effect on the fainting-couch residents over there.

    What they don’t seem to realise is that such comments tend to only occur after the polite responses have had no effect – they only see someone being called a fucking clown shoe before getting the vapours over it and leaving without seeing what came before.

    That they also don’t seem to understand the concept of rhetoric – i.e. that suggestions of physical acts of self-harm or (as I put it in my post over there) physiologically-difficult acts of self-gratification may not actually be meant to suggest the person should physically go and perform that act – is kind of bemusing.

  636. #641 Ol'Greg
    March 2, 2010

    I hope that post goes through but I’ve never gotten an “awaiting moderation” and actually had a post go through on this blog so I don’t know if it’s the same over there. BTW, I’m not saying my post was being consciously deleted… just that “awaiting moderation” from what I’ve seen means “lost somewhere.”

    That post is brilliant though.

  637. #642 Mr T
    March 2, 2010

    Antiochus Epiphanes, #535:

    Music is a weird thing in that every one is familiar with it on some level, but some people just know a whole lot more than others.

    Yet most have strong opinions about it. They may not know the theory behind it, but will nevertheless tell you, in some detail and with a surprising amount of certainty, why a song sucks. In fact, knowing theory might even reduce this tendency.

    It’s about like someone saying, “Why study English? I already speak good. *spit*” Then, they recommend a book or delve into some bizarre form of literary criticism. There is little use in debating such things or gently informing someone about their appalling ignorance. This is not to suggest that you shouldn’t have such opinions, but please (hypothetical dumbass I’m addressing) don’t feel so fucking justified about it if you can’t even spell a C major chord. Do we have a deal?

    In my experience at least, talking about music theory, musicology, etc., to the general public is not recommended. (Actually, I avoid discussing anything remotely “intellectual” with people I don’t already know are capable of having the conversation.) If it doesn’t bore them to tears, they are insulted by what they consider music snobbery and elitism. I even know quite a few classically-trained musicians who don’t like to think about or discuss theory, which to me has always been baffling as it would greatly enhance their performing abilities.

    Apparently many have gotten the mistaken impression that knowing stuff about music somehow detracts from its value. Meanwhile, fine arts education funding is abysmal. I’ve read and heard from music teachers that the arts are some of the first programs to be cut from school curricula, although I haven’t payed close attention to trends in the last few years. I chalk it up to a generally anti-intellectual culture in the U.S., which I’m sure at least the scientists and teachers among us would recognize. Hence my sincere apology above, even though I resent feeling obligated to do so (not obligated here at Pharyngula, thanks to many intelligent commenters, but the offer stands because it’s not a music blog).

    Like you, my friend is not an ambient music guy…he either listens or he turns it off. There was a day when we were sitting in my office drinking coffee, and he slowly faded from a conversation that he had more or less initiated…as if he had become entranced. When I finally got his attention he told me that he was listening to my coffee maker, and that he really enjoyed the sounds of puffs of steam that come at the end of the process. We sat and listened for a little while…pretty rad, in my book.

    Yes, sir, in my book that is also “pretty rad”. I know the entranced-for-no-apparent-reason look very well. While in conversation, if it isn’t some other noise, inflections in a person’s voice are often one of the main contributors to my seeming to be a total space cadet, even though I’m trying hard to pay attention (apparently a bit too hard or at least to the wrong input).

    Ol’Greg, #542:

    Your thoughts and analysis is appreciated, at least by me, what is your musical background anyway? Do you teach?

    I need to remain anonymous, so forgive me for being vague. I started out on saxophone; but I also play other woodwinds, piano, guitar, and whichever vibrating bodies are placed in front of me. (And yes, ladies, I am available.) I tried out teaching/private lessons for a while after graduating from college, but didn’t enjoy it. Nowadays, what I do in music is primarily composing/arranging, but of course that doesn’t pay the bills. So, by day I’m a mild-mannered office administrator. It’s boring (with lots of paper-pushing, number-crunching and people-talking) and likewise doesn’t pay the bills.

    Wow, this suddenly turned into a lot of words.

    /music rant off

  638. #643 Feynmaniac
    March 2, 2010

    Wow, bilbo is a moron (okay I already knew that).

    But the recipient of that abuse got what he deserved

    Leave it to Wowbagger to evoke a principle from the Old Testament as justification for his behavior.

    Irony.

    dildo seems to have as good a grasp of irony as Alanis Morrissette.

  639. #644 Mr T
    March 2, 2010

    (hypothetical dumbass I’m addressing)

    I probably should’ve said something more like “figurative dumbass” or perhaps “proverbial dumbass”. /self-pedantry

  640. #645 SC OM
    March 2, 2010

    Moments ago, on American Idol:

    Judges [collectively, in sum]: You blew.

    Jermaine: What should I sing next week? I’ll listen to you.

    Simon Cowell: I’m not sure you’re going to be here next week.

    Jermaine [paraphrasing somewhat]: Oh, I will. I know God.

    [Cowell rolls eyes]

    Jermaine: I know God. He’s my homie [maybe?].

    Simon Cowell (to audience): Don’t even bother with the phone lines, then.

    :P

  641. #646 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    Sorry, I have to interrupt to bring you the latest installment in science and nature are fucking awesome.

  642. #647 AJ Milne
    March 2, 2010

    How do you do with this? / http://www.pbs.org/race/002_SortingPeople/002_00-home.htm

    Ummm… 6 out of 20…

    (I can haz do-over?)

    Seriously, this doesn’t surprise me much. In my defense, I think, however, this slightly exaggerates my patheticness at this…

    Insofar as if you were to ask me to group, say, Asian *or* Amerindian (I often confuse these, especially if the Amerindian are Inuit), vs. Black vs. Other Than Those Two, I suspect I could probably handle it a bit better, at least…

    I mean, I think I could… I’d probably mangle up any Australian Aborigines in with the African Blacks, tho’, if you were so cruel as to throw some of those in, too…

    (/As to spotting various European subtypes, seriously, fucking forget it. If you’re not conveniently wearing your traditional regional costumes, you all look the same to me. And never mind that actually, that particular ‘you’ includes me.)

  643. #648 Blind Squirrel FCD
    March 2, 2010

    Carlie: Way cool, but the phenomena of iron oxide precipitation from anoxic ground water is not that uncommon. There are large “iron bogs” in Northern Minnesota. Even in Southern MN ground water needs to be treated to remove iron, else ones clothing will be stained in the wash.

    BS

  644. #649 Carlie
    March 2, 2010

    Yeah, but iron stains from sulfur-eating bacteria that have been reproductively isolated for 2 million years? That’s one cool iron stain.

  645. #650 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 2, 2010

    I left a post (awaiting moderation) on The Intersection noting that a couple of days ago, on the last richarddawkins.net thread, PZ and I had an argument. Plus I used some naughty words like “*assh*ol*e.” I wasn’t banned.

  646. #651 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    AJ Milne,

    Insofar as if you were to ask me to group, say, Asian *or* Amerindian (I often confuse these, especially if the Amerindian are Inuit)

    Inuit are not Amerindian. The Inuit migration to the Americas is more recent than the Amerindian migration.

  647. #652 Feynmaniac
    March 2, 2010

    How do you do with this?

    http://www.pbs.org/race/002_SortingPeople/002_00-home.htm

    I got 10 out of 20.

    The Hispanic/Latino category is problematic since one can fall into that group and at the same time be considered white, black, etc. It’s also possible be “mixed”. To be fair to them they do say they are using the definition of the US federal government. The government “requires that multiple responses be collapsed into one for reporting” and that have followed that example. I also wonder these test subjects were chosen randomly.

  648. #653 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    Feynmaniac,

    The Hispanic/Latino category is problematic since one can fall into that group and at the same time be considered white, black, etc.

    It’s more than that. Hispanic is not a “race” on the US census, but an ethnicity. If you check Hispanic, you still have to choose a race. This is why there’s always an asterisk next to Hispanic in charts and graphs based on US census data that reads “Hispanics can be of any race.”

    Anyway, I got 12 right, but I don’t think the little test is fair because the website is talking about race on the US census and like I said, even the census doesn’t consider Hispanic a race.

  649. #654 WowbaggerOM
    March 2, 2010

    Gah. I don’t think I can take any more of the Intersection. The current crowd seem to think that writing abusive words on a blog is tantamount to actually wanting a person to suffer harm – and my pointing this out is somehow hypocritical because they’re both overreactions.

    What a limpid pool of stupid that place is.

  650. #655 windy
    March 2, 2010

    @650: Well, I got whined at for not being “polite” in that thread, and I didn’t even call anyone a suppurating body part yet.

  651. #656 Kel, OM
    March 2, 2010

    The current crowd seem to think that writing abusive words on a blog is tantamount to actually wanting a person to suffer harm

    The irony being that actually reading the comments at The Intersection actually causes harm. ;)

  652. #657 Becca
    March 2, 2010

    I admit to not caring overmuch for strong language; my pearl necklace broke and scattered pearls all over the floor, and a fainting couch just won’t fit in my office. But I much prefer the sometimes rough-and-tumble discussions here to the genteel hypocrisy I see over at The Intersection. at least over here, I *learn* things.

  653. #658 WowbaggerOM
    March 2, 2010

    But I much prefer the sometimes rough-and-tumble discussions here to the genteel hypocrisy I see over at The Intersection. at least over here, I *learn* things.

    What I tried to explain to the vapour-stricken monocle-droppers over there was that, for the most part, any extreme profanity tends to result from frustration at the recipient either not engaging, or when they are engaging in deliberate flame-baiting or no-go behaviour like racism, sexism or homophobia.

    Trying to explain that to the people who lap-up posts taken out of context – or, as was the case in that current thread, phrases taken out of context – has proven impossible. They dislike Pharyngula and Pharyngulites and choose to hear what they want to hear.

  654. #659 Jadehawk, OM
    March 2, 2010

    well bulk billed which mean the doc sends the $ 87.00 bill directly to the government

    woman, even if they made you pay that in cash, it would have been a bargain! for $87, they wouldn’t even let me past the front desk around here :-(

    oh, and I only got 4 right on that race test. apparently, all americans look more or less white to me :-/

  655. #660 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawncr0FDc8gdl7yJBz0SJ15D0etcTIOtL0s
    March 2, 2010

    #582, being pedantic (not that there’s anything wrong with that, sez the sometime editor) and btw accurate: well, for starters I think spiders are venomous, not poisonous (but then, I’ve never known anyone who tried to eat one of those, either)

    Might be tasty. Though scorpions probably have more meat on ‘em.

    Glad you’re on the mend, BofS. When I’ve had to take Augmentin I’ve found it useful to knock back a shotglass of acidophilus culture liquid two-three times a day for the sake of my touchy guts.

    I got that tip from my allergist, sometime employer, and Irish head-buttin’ friend of many years, who died of cancer last week. I’m still in shock. I saw her last month. Jeezisbloodyfuckinchrist, as my sainted mother didn’t quite ever say.

    I’ll tell you something about getting old that maybe no one else has, you young’uns: The worst thing, worse than losing strength and agility and not being able to take a two-mile walk for granted, worse than looking over that cliff yet again at your own mortality, worse than losing your optimism when you thought you’d lost it ten times already, is all those people you miss because they died first.

    Ron Sullivan
    http://toad.faultline.org

  656. #661 Ol'Greg
    March 2, 2010

    woman, even if they made you pay that in cash, it would have been a bargain! for $87, they wouldn’t even let me past the front desk around here :-(

    Tell me about it. When I was making $200 a week to live on it cost $80 just to see a doctor, and then whatever tests, and then whatever any medicine cost.

    As a result I never went to the doctor. As a result some fairly minor problems became not so minor. As a result I went into massive debt. As a result I had to quit school for a while. As a result I delayed my potential for getting a better job. As a result I got stuck in that cycle because I had to pay off the debt. As a result I really want to see *gasp* more socialized medicine.

  657. #662 Pygmy Loris
    March 2, 2010

    Ron,

    My condolences for your loss.

    I’m still young, but my grandparents’ generation on all but one side of the family is gone. Both of my mother’s parents and all of their siblings are dead. My dad’s mother and most of her siblings are dead. Only Dad’s father’s family are still here. My parents’ generation is starting to pass away too. I know that as I get older more and more of my family and friends will die. I think this is one of the reasons I can’t imagine living to be over 100. The constant parade of funerals would simply become too depressing.

  658. #663 Kel, OM
    March 3, 2010

    Even with all this bashing of Chris Mooney and The Intersection, he’s doing alright with Point Of Inquiry – it’s still worth listening to even if he’s still finding his feet as a host.

  659. #664 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 3, 2010

    @Wowbagger:

    What I tried to explain to the vapour-stricken monocle-droppers over there was that, for the most part, any extreme profanity tends to result from frustration at the recipient either not engaging, or when they are engaging in deliberate flame-baiting or no-go behaviour like racism, sexism or homophobia.

    They’ll never get it. These are people who don’t understand the difference between hyperbole on a blog, and actual exhortations to people to literally kill themselves. You’d think we were all standing on the Golden Gate bridge urging suicidal people to jump. They’re so hung up – in a Pavlovian way – on Certain Bad Words that they can’t parse what’s really going on. They shoot their emotional load all over “profane” commenters, never recognizing what the targets of the “abuse” did to deserve it. What a twisted moral compass it takes to shriek at someone for cussing while ignoring the dehumanizing homophobia, sexism, or deliberately dishonest word games that brought it on (as you pointed out).

    That’s one thing that frustrated me about the late, lamented Dawkins forums. I saw many instances of contributors who were severely provoked by prejudiced remarks (always couched, insincerely, as “merely scientific curiosity”) lose their shit and tell someone to fuck off, only to get a warning while the original provocateur got a free pass. As just one example, one can only take so many smarmy commenters pretending to be sincerely questioning the roots of sexuality – by implying that gay people can’t be trusted to report their sexuality is not a choice, cuz where’s the evidence, that’s just your subjective report, right? – before real people can’t take any more dehumanization without losing their tempers.

    Watching the provoked get slapped for a technical infringement (personal attack) while truly loathsome commenters got off scot-free by adhering to the letter of the user agreement really galled me. I had a great respect for the mods there, don’t get me wrong. But something broke down in the implementation of the “no personal attacks” rule too often, and the result seemed very unjust.

    Seems to me the same thing goes on with the Intersection commenters who have unlimited moral outrage about “tone,” but very little bad to say about dishonest, stupid, or hateful content.

  660. #665 Lynna, OM
    March 3, 2010

    Hello, my lovelies. The maddeningly handsome Blake, he of Registered Cardio Sonographer fame, finally sent me a CD of the Carotid Duplex test. The ultrasound he sent to me is one long movie, about 70 MB, which is too big to post. However, I did excerpt several screen grabs and I posted those as Pulsing Arteries on my blog.

    So … I may not have chosen the best excerpts from the movie. Maybe someone with more knowledge, like Rorschach, can tell me what I should be looking for.

  661. #666 Lynna, OM
    March 3, 2010

    Ron @660

    I’ll tell you something about getting old that maybe no one else has, you young’uns: The worst thing, worse than losing strength and agility and not being able to take a two-mile walk for granted, worse than looking over that cliff yet again at your own mortality, worse than losing your optimism when you thought you’d lost it ten times already, is all those people you miss because they died first.

    Well said. My condolences for your loss. Sounds like your friend is one well worth missing, and well worth honoring.

  662. #667 WowbaggerOM
    March 3, 2010

    They’ll never get it. These are people who don’t understand the difference between hyperbole on a blog, and actual exhortations to people to literally kill themselves.

    Oh, I think they understand perfectly; it’s just that they are so intellectually dishonest that they’ll resort to repeated nonsensical appeals to emotion.

    There’s a chorus of bleaters over there now all dabbing at their moistened eyes and comforting each other about how mean the Pharyngulites are, not realising that they’re trivialising real acts of violence by claiming that having had someone here tell them to go fuck themselves with a farm implement is just as bad as actually being physically assaulted.

    Batshit crazy isn’t strong enough a description.

  663. #668 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 3, 2010

    The ultrasound he sent to me is one long movie, about 70 MB

    What? I’ve downloaded. . .that were bigger than 70 MB and they only last like 15 to 25 min. lol

    I do hope it will pass though. :)

  664. #669 Lynna, OM
    March 3, 2010

    Ol’Gregg @661

    Tell me about it. When I was making $200 a week to live on it cost $80 just to see a doctor, and then whatever tests, and then whatever any medicine cost.
    As a result I never went to the doctor. As a result some fairly minor problems became not so minor. As a result I went into massive debt. As a result I had to quit school for a while. As a result I delayed my potential for getting a better job. As a result I got stuck in that cycle because I had to pay off the debt. As a result I really want to see *gasp* more socialized medicine.

    Tell me fucking about it! I’m pretty much in the downward spiral thanks to medical costs right now — and it would be so very much worse without a little help from my friends, without a bunch of help from Pharynguloids. Turns out I can’t see my doctor for less than $160, and any associated tests cost about ten times that. A bunch of aging Republican Senators currently standing in the way of universal health care for U.S. citizens should live in my shoes.

    Health providers in California recently announced increases in premiums that range from 25 to 75 percent, with most people facing increases of about 40 percent. The insurers explained that, in a down economy, more healthy people were dropping their health insurance because they couldn’t afford it. This leaves the insurers serving only the very ill or the chronically ill. Talk about a vicious and self-defeating spiral.

    Obviously, dudes, you need to have a broad-based health care system that serves everyone so that you can spread the cost. If you have everyone in the system, it will actually cost less per person.

  665. #670 Kel, OM
    March 3, 2010

    Oh, I think they understand perfectly; it’s just that they are so intellectually dishonest that they’ll resort to repeated nonsensical appeals to emotion.

    Never let reality get in the way of calculated outrage.

    It makes sense though, if you can keep pointing to a pariah as a negative influence, it means you don’t have to actually produce any meaningful results. If crops fail, there’s always a black sheep you can burn as a witch instead of thinking “hey, maybe my moral actions are not linked to the survival of our food source”.

  666. #671 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    March 3, 2010

    A bunch of aging Republican Senators currently standing in the way of universal health care for U.S. citizens should live in my shoes

    Or the shoes of newly arrived immigrants, day laborers, recently graduated college students, ethnic minorities who are subject of systematic discrimination. But we all know that the GOP could care less about your suffering Lynna, so as long as they can keep another penny in there big fat privileged pockets. Yup they get to see the doctor at very little cost to them, while folks like you have to pay $160 for a visit and folks like me have to pay $150 for medications (That I only need for like a month) using money I need fir school. And somehow, they’ll say it’s our fault.

    (All their talk about not letting the government ?control? healthcare is rather ironic since their historic stance was to have the government control the healthcare of women anyway.)

  667. #672 Pygmy Loris
    March 3, 2010

    Lynna,

    Obviously, dudes, you need to have a broad-based health care system that serves everyone so that you can spread the cost. If you have everyone in the system, it will actually cost less per person.

    But then how will one know if one is superior to another person? I mean if just anyone can get health care, it won’t mean as much to those who have it. /sarcasm

    I’m going to repeat something I’ve said in the health care debates before. It is completely inconsequential to me that universal health care would cost less. This is a moral issue, not an economic one. Regardless of the cost, everyone deserves basic health care. How can anyone say someone deserves to suffer and/or die because they can’t afford to see a doctor or buy medicine or afford an apendectomy, etc? What kind of person can really think that?

    BTW, thanks for posting the pictures. They’re really cool. :)

  668. #673 Lynna, OM
    March 3, 2010

    BTW, thanks for posting the pictures. They’re really cool. :)

    They are cool, aren’t they! The movie is even more fun. If I had something like Final Cut Pro, I’d chop a little piece out of the movie and post that too.

    I wonder if I need to go back to see Blake again, just so we can watch the movie together. /wicked Lynna

  669. #674 Pygmy Loris
    March 3, 2010

    Lynna,

    I think you really need to have Blake review the video with you. It would probably be easier to see the video with the lights turned down. Perhaps you two should get comfortable on a couch or something ;)

  670. #675 Feynmaniac
    March 3, 2010

    Or the shoes of newly arrived immigrants, day laborers, recently graduated college students, ethnic minorities who are subject of systematic discrimination. But we all know that the GOP could care less about your suffering Lynna, so as long as they can keep another penny in there big fat privileged pockets.

    Yeah, there’s this Republican piece of shit, Jim Bunning, who was single handly delaying a vote on unemployment benefits because of his supposed concern for budget balance. Where the fuck was this concern when the bailouts were being given? He also had the fuckin’ audacity to complain about missing a basketball game because of HIS obstruction!!!

    I guess if this was the InterDungeon the complaint would be about my swearing and not about that fucking moron’s actions.

  671. #676 Rorschach
    March 3, 2010

    Lynna,

    I had a quick look at the scan pics( I’m at work). I used to do those tests, fully accredited for vascular ultrasound back home, but not over here, so I dont get to do them anymore, I liked it !
    Them’s some fine arteries you have there, and with normal flow velocities and Doppler flow curves, also not much arteriosclerosis(the white reflexes along the vessel’s inner walls).

    All this talk about the other blog trainwreck has me almost curious to check it out.
    But not quite.

  672. #677 maureen.brian#b5c92
    March 3, 2010

    On distinguishing people by appearance only, Ariane Sherine – she of the Atheist Bus Campaign – has the answer.

  673. #678 negentropyeater
    March 3, 2010

    What I like about Pharyngula, is that it is a place on the internet where something seldom happens, it is a place where stupidity doesn’t triumph.

    Bertrand Russel wrote, in one of his American Essays (1931-1935) “The Triumph of Stupidity” :

    the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. Even those of the intelligent who have a nostrum are too individualistic to combine with other intelligent men whith whom they differ on minor points.

    It is, I think, undeniable that the best men of the present day have a wider and truer outlook, […] but they are impotent spectators. Perhaps we shall have to realise that skepticism and intellectual individualism are luxuries which in our tragic days must be forgone, and if intelligence is to be effective it will have to be combined with a moral fervour which it usually possessed in the past but now usually lacks.

    Perhaps this is what some of the people over at the Intersection dislike about Pharyngula, that intelligence here is effective because it is cocksure and combined with a moral fervour that is usually lacking in most other places on the internet. A moral fervour to systematically combat the Dunning-Kruger effect that would otherwise prevail.

  674. #679 Carlie
    March 3, 2010

    I have tried to make myself more sensitive about using violent metaphors in conversation, because I’ve become convinced that although they’re “just words”, using them casually tends to slide the window to minimalizing the concepts they refer to, and therefore making violence itself more of an accepted everyday thing. (such as using the term “rape” to refer to getting one’s feelings hurt).

    HOWEVER, notice that all of the examples the Intersection Vapor (I’m referring to that collection of commenters as a “vapor”) refer to are quite specifically suggesting that the person in question do such acts to themselves. That’s not fantastic (for me), but that’s a loophole I can live with – it’s a different category altogether than suggesting that it would be good for a person to have violence done unto them. And most of the insults involve an activity of self-pleasure, if modified by other rusty implements. I personally wouldn’t go any further than telling someone to fuck off or go fuck themselves (indicating that they are incapable of decent conversation and therefore should just go play by themselves in the corner), but I’m fairly certain that even that would be pointed at as being terribly mean and awful and so on.

    It’s the same argument they have against New Atheism (barf) altogether – any statement of disagreement is a horrible insult and therefore shouldn’t be made. Oh no, you can’t say God is a terrible god! That’s so mean and such a turnoff! Oh no, you can’t say that people should imagine no religion, either – that’s offensive! Oh no, you can’t say that people can be good without God, that’s rude! And so on, and so on.

  675. #680 Kel, OM
    March 3, 2010

    I’ve really tried to tone down my language in recent months, figured it would be better to lose the swearing to see if it actually helped.

  676. #681 WowbaggerOM
    March 3, 2010

    The thing is, I see a place for both ‘kinds’ of blog – the nice, polite ‘if we gently ask religion nicely maybe it’ll stop riding roughshod over science eventually’ approach as well as the ‘fuck off; we’re not taking your woo-soaked bullshit for even one more second – you assclowns’ attitude we’ve got here.

    It’s the hypocrisy – the criticise us for doing to religion exactly what they’re doing to us now – that bothers me. They’re against attacking people openly – as long as the people they’re not attacking are religious; atheists they don’t agree with, on the other hand, get the royal screw-job.

    At least were consistently grouchy toward everyone…

  677. #682 boygenius
    March 3, 2010

    It’s late/early and I’m feeling whimsical. Anybody wanna fiddle around?

  678. #683 negentropyeater
    March 3, 2010

    Having said what I like about Pharyngula (#678), I’ll say what I dislike.

    I dislike that the cocksure intelligence and the moral fervour that I think are necessary sometimes translates into harsh language and a tone that can be off-putting to newcommers. I dislike when I or others are sometimes unnecessarily harsh.

    What I like about Pharyngula far outweighs what I dislike, and I realise it is difficult to expect to have one without the other. But I think we can always try to tone down the unnecessary harsh language and see if we can keep Pharyngula as efficient as before in not letting stupidity triumph.

  679. #684 WowbaggerOM
    March 3, 2010

    I’ve also tried to tone down my aggressive language – or, more accurately, save it for the most appropriate recipients; the outburst that got cited by the Vapor Squad was directed toward a particularly vapid troll (Dendy) who’d been wasting everyone’s time for days beforehand.

    And I’d do it again. Few things irk me more than inanity, homophobic idiocy and a refusal to engage.

    But there’s no way I’d be saying that to anyone who was simply disagreeing with me, and I’ve made plenty of even-handed posts meeting that description – probably far more than those I’d describe as vitriolic.

    But that’s the thing about intellectually dishonest cherry-picking – you can present things completely out of context.

    However, while the faitheists might let up if we cut out the casual cursing, the woo-soaked won’t; as noted upthread, that atheists have the temerity to not believe in their ridiculous god – and the audacity to want to be heard saying so – is enough for them to cry persecution.

    The furor over the atheist billboards being a good example. I dare say if they were to say something as straightforward as ‘Other atheists exist – don’t be afraid’ would be considered inflammatory.

  680. #685 David Marjanovi?
    March 3, 2010

    Sorry, I have to interrupt to bring you the latest installment in science and nature are fucking awesome.

    <facepalm> That was reported months ago, and I completely forgot about it! I forgot about that fascinating anoxic ecosystem! ARGH!

    The Inuit migration to the Americas is more recent than the Amerindian migration.

    …of which, it seems, there were at least two. At any rate, the Na-Dené languages and the Yeniseian languages are probably sister-groups.

    Gotta run.

  681. #686 Carlie
    March 3, 2010

    I dare say if they were to say something as straightforward as ‘Other atheists exist – don’t be afraid’ would be considered inflammatory.

    Pretty much.

  682. #687 triskelethecat
    March 3, 2010

    Catching up with the never-ending thread.

    @Josh: I have had chitlins. We had “Soul Food” day one day in the dorm when I was in college I understand the taste depends on the preparation. The ones I had were very spicy (the cooks used a LOT of pepper…) and had a singular smell, as mentioned above…rather hard to describe. I wouldn’t say they were something I would search out to eat, but, on the other hand, if they are the only thing available I would eat them again.

  683. #688 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 3, 2010

    I dare say if they were to say something as straightforward as ‘Other atheists exist – don’t be afraid’ would be considered inflammatory.

    Yep, those who aren’t like them should keep quiet so as not to offend them. Or worse yet, make them think. After all, thinking is hard work.

  684. #689 SteveV
    March 3, 2010

    I started to lurk here first because of my interest in science and my desire to stave off senility by keepng mentally active. I didn’t think I would learn so much else!
    I was born about the same time as the NHS and so, on a day to day basis, I didn’t give it any mind.
    Many of the comments here make me realise HOW FUCKING LUCKY I AM.
    Thank you all for that.

  685. #690 Alan B
    March 3, 2010

    Snake eats titanosaur dinosaur!

    Read all about it!!

    Even dinosaurs were afraid of snakes!!!

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20100303/tsc-dinosaur-eating-snake-discovered-4b158bc.html?printer=1

    (and in the current edition of PLoS Biology (but currently it is Feb 2010 and does not contain the article – no doubt this will change))

    As you would expect it’s not quite so exciting – we are not talking adult sauropod. It is interesting, however.

    Scientists have unearthed the almost complete fossil skeleton of an 11ft prehistoric snake that preyed on baby dinosaurs.
    The creature, was “caught in the act” of pursuing its latest meal 67 million years ago.
    Its body was found in a dinosaur nest coiled around a recently hatched and crushed egg, and next to it was an 18in fossil hatchling titanosaur – an edibly small version of a plant-eating giant that as an adult weighed up to 100 tonnes.
    The remains of two other snakes were also found paired with eggs at the same site in Gujarat, western India.
    The snake, named Sanajeh Indicus, lacked the wide-open jaws of modern snakes such as pythons and boa constrictors and would not have been able to swallow a whole dinosaur egg.
    But baby dinosaurs would have been just its size, according to researchers.

  686. #691 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 3, 2010

    Alan B, nice find. I saw that last night but didn’t think to post it. That makes it possible that predation of the hatchlings was problem for species survival.

  687. #692 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 3, 2010

    And for your WTF moment today.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Udc_R36pVCU

  688. #693 Matt Penfold
    March 3, 2010

    I would point out to Walton that criminal libel was only ceased to part of English and Welsh law in January this year.

  689. #694 PZ Myers
    March 3, 2010

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