Pharyngula

Episode XL: An Australian romance

The undying thread needs a rejuvenation. Here’s a pornographic video to get you excited.

As I mentioned, I’m away from my wife during our 30th anniversary, but she doesn’t have to worry — after seeing Australian courtship rituals, I cannot be tempted at all.

Comments

  1. #1 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    [continuing from the previous instantiation of The Thread]

    negentropyeater,

    No, we know how we could interpret this result, ie an imaginary Lorentz factor: you’d get an imaginary time dilation, it would mean that what would be travelling faster than light relative to the inertial frame of reference of the observer, would be travelling backwards in time relative to the other frame.

    Eh? Imaginary ≠ negative.

    Such a violation of causality has never been observed, which means we’d get a meaningless result.

    We’re arguing semantics. The key word here is ‘meaningless’.

    You’ve provided an interpretation, so unless you’re a hardcore positivist, it is meaningful; that this is not congruent with observation doesn’t make it meaningless, it makes it empirically false.

  2. #2 David Marjanovi?
    March 17, 2010

    growl

    With overtones, I mean, so that the tune is in the overtones. I don’t know if they’re seriously audible outside my head, though.

  3. #3 Owlmirror
    March 17, 2010

    Free the word “Caledonian”!

    Fuck censorship!

  4. #4 Jadehawk, OM
    March 17, 2010
  5. #5 Glen Davidson
    March 17, 2010

    Hoodlums, the progeny of criminals, all of them.

    They don’t even reproduce properly, you know.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  6. #6 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 17, 2010

    With overtones, I mean, so that the tune is in the overtones. I don’t know if they’re seriously audible outside my head, though.

    I highly doubt anyone else can hear them. It’s probably an acoustic phenomenon only audible inside one’s own skull.

  7. #7 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 17, 2010

    In the spirit of looking forward to Spring and freshly harvested tomatoes:

    Green Tomatoes w/ Sour Cream & Havarti

    1 lb – 1 1/2 lbs green tomatoes
    Flour for dredging
    2 Tbsp. butter
    3/4 cup sour cream
    1 tsp dried dill weed
    1/2 cup havarti cheese, grated

    Cut tomatoes into thick slices, dredge lightly in flour, and saute in the butter, in a pan with an oven proof handle, turning as needed until tender. Stir in the sour cream and dill and heat gently. Strew the Havarti over top, then pop under the broiler for a few minutes until it’s bubbly.

  8. #8 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    They don’t even reproduce properly, you know.

    You have no idea. :)

  9. #9 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 17, 2010

    Speaking of overtones – my shower has a distinct overtone above the fundamental noise it makes, a sort of metallic ringing. Until I figured out that it’s exactly the same pitch as my cell phone, I kept running out of the shower to grab the phone, only to wonder why it was never ringing.

    The tone is a high F natural, in case you’re interested. But who would be? This is the kind of useless shite SpokesGay gets up to when he’s procrastinating on a writing project.

  10. #10 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    Why do they need to use artificial insemination?

  11. #11 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    Old Aussie joke: “He’s like a wombat: eats roots and leaves.”

  12. #12 JeffreyD
    March 17, 2010

    Just because I am in that weird mood tonight, and because Australia bring this one to mind, one more video. Not a happy one, you have been warned (:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urtiyp-G6jY

    Now maybe I will go to sleep.

  13. #13 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    “He’s like a wombat: eats roots and leaves.”
    For those who don’t know, roots in strine means copulates.

  14. #14 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 17, 2010

    Patricia asked in the last thread:

    Does anyone know if there are special togs for the kite flying sport?

    Something like this would be good. Or you could be a little more formal. But the old standby is always appropriate.

  15. #15 Capital Dan
    March 17, 2010

    I need to take up kite flying.

  16. #16 skeptical scientist
    March 17, 2010

    Man, that’s horrible! Those poor Koalas…

  17. #17 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 17, 2010

    David Marjanovi?, I was wondering if you, (or any of the other really annoying people here who know lots about almost every subject under the sun) could explain to me something that has confused me for years.

    How do speakers of a tonal language compose songs (ie with music and lyrics)?

    Do they write the music and then pick only the words which can be sung to the music (seems very limiting), or do they do exactly as one would do in a non tonal language, thus, I presume, making the listener guess which of the possible meanings is meant (making every song rather like a cryptic crossword puzzle), or what?

    Is that why I have such trouble listening to Chinese music (eg opera, which, to me, just sounds like cats fighting). I listen to, and enjoy, music from most areas of the word, but I cannot appreciate Chinese music at all.

    For instance, I can listen to Cambodian (Khmer being non tonal) songs, but not Chinese, although the music itself sounds fairy similar to me.

    PS I understand (but could quite easily be wrong) that modern Chinese pop uses (non tonal) slang for lyrics.

    Thanks, in advance.

  18. #18 SteveV
    March 17, 2010

    Josh OSG #9
    IIRC John Dankworth, who died a couple of weeks ago, once defended himself against a speeding charge by claiming that he couldn’t possibly have doing 40mph because ‘the gearbox wasn’t playing that note’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e48tmnqg5bc

  19. #19 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 17, 2010

    Tis – Gee thanks, but I think I’d better forego the Swiss Miss outfit. The wind where I’m going is the same that makes the sailboats show their bellies (bottoms), well something. I prefer not to have my skirt blown up over my head on the kiting field. *smirk*

  20. #21 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 17, 2010

    Patricia, is this invite from the garden show/picnic gentleman? Or is someone else dandling from your hook? ;)

  21. #22 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 17, 2010

    One of the better covers of Michael Peter Smith’s “The Dutchman”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-KtRI2bNX0

    I know Steve Goodman’s cover is the best known, but I don’t particularly like it. Anyway, today is an appropriate time to give a song sung by Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem.

  22. #23 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 17, 2010

    Caine – Same gentleman. *BLUSH*

  23. #24 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 17, 2010

    Patricia, Alright! (You know if you keep blushing like that, he’s just going to think you’re more adorable than ever.) :D

  24. #25 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 17, 2010

    Adorable has nothing to do with it, it’s the food. ;)

    Seriously, does anyone know what is appropriate for kiting? I would guess jeans, t-shirt and windbreaker. But maybe it’s cleats and knee-pants? One never knows.

  25. #26 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 17, 2010

    Same gentleman. *BLUSH*

    All right, young lady, let’s lay down some rules:

    * You will be home by 11 PM every night. You have to be bright and bushy-tailed in the morning to slop the chickens.

    * No more than two glasses of wine/cans of beer in a four hour period. You need to keep your wits when out with the gentlemen.

    * No sex until the sixth date. You don’t want to get a reputation as a slut.

    * Remember to be lady-like in your language. The words listed below should never enter your vocabulary. No man likes to hear V*gemite discussed by a date.

  26. #27 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 17, 2010

    I would guess jeans, t-shirt and windbreaker.

    Depending on chilly it is, substituting a sweatshirt for the t-shirt might be advisable. That is what I’ve seen the Redhead’s sister wearing when flying kites at the beach. The SIL lives in the valley near OSU, and crossed the coastal range to the beach.

  27. #28 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 17, 2010

    Patricia:

    Seriously, does anyone know what is appropriate for kiting? I would guess jeans, t-shirt and windbreaker.

    I have friends who do the ‘serious huge kites which lift you up’ kiting, and jeans, t-shirt and windbreaker is what they normally wear. You might want to pack a sweater in case it gets cooler than you anticipate, but that’s all I can think of to add.

  28. #29 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 17, 2010

    I have friends who do the ‘serious huge kites which lift you up’ kiting

    Maybe Patricia should wear lead-weighted diving boots, just to be safe?

  29. #30 ronsullivan
    March 17, 2010

    Here’s something for that suicidal mood from the last thread. Sunny ‘n’ cheerful just don’ cut it. Lardsakes, he’s so young in that one.

    Patricia, you might want to wear your shades too; if all goes well you’ll be looking up a lot. You’ll notice I did not mention If He Um, never mind.

    Another lullaby with an interesting tension between song and performance.

    Slainche, everybody!

  30. #31 Sven DiMilo
    March 17, 2010

    FUCK EUPHEMISM WEEK
    VEGEMITE SUCKS DANK MOONEY COCK

  31. #32 Sven DiMilo
    March 17, 2010

    hmmm…I must’ve typo’ed

    Well, I’ve had a few Guinesses for that bastard snake-handler. Maybe a Jameson too.

    my daughter’s part Irish

  32. #33 Sven DiMilo
    March 17, 2010

    *looks around*

    this particular subThread looks extra large

  33. #34 Sven DiMilo
    March 17, 2010
  34. #35 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    Sven, your heroic vulgarity is appreciated.

  35. #36 Cowcakes
    March 17, 2010

    JeffreyD

    Just because I am in that weird mood tonight, and because Australia bring this one to mind, one more video. Not a happy one, you have been warned (:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urtiyp-G6jY

    Now maybe I will go to sleep.

    Redgums classic anti war song about our mistreatment of Vietnam Vets still makes the hair on the back of my next stand up and brings a tear to the eye. I’ve met many of these guys, some the older brothers of friends and what they and in fact all veterans went and are still going through is horrific. Even an uncle who was involved in the Malayan and Sandakan campaigns in WWII still occasionally gets that haunting stare that you only see from someone who has seen combat.

    With ANZAC day coming up next month I will again be attending the service then afterward raising a glass to him and his peers. Because of them I’ve not had to face what they did.

  36. #37 David Marjanovi?
    March 17, 2010

    cannonball cat

    Looks remarkably convincing. Especially because the cat seems to agree.

    How do speakers of a tonal language compose songs (ie with music and lyrics)?

    Depends. In northern China, the tones are ignored in singing (and sometimes this makes the lyrics difficult to understand). In southern China, people try to fit the tune and the tones of the lyrics to each other, somehow.

    There is no such thing as “non-tonal slang”…

    I haven’t actually ever heard Chinese opera. Other genres seem unremarkable to me.

    You don’t want to get a reputation as a slut.

    ROTFL!

    Slainche

    Spelled Sláinte in Ireland and Slàinte in Scotland. What happens to the t, phonetically, is a consequence of the e after it and the silent i in front of the consonant cluster.

  37. #38 DLC
    March 17, 2010

    Sven : It’s a Sub-Thread ?
    I suppose it’s pining for a Dom Thread somewhere.
    . . .

  38. #39 Jadehawk, OM
    March 17, 2010

    I haven’t actually ever heard Chinese opera.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5qQcT_0DRA

  39. #40 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 17, 2010

    Tis @26 – Oh dear! Sixth date…well, I’ll just have to tighten my laces, there can’t be anyone thinking I’d do anything sluttish.

    Caine – Thanks, that’s what I wondered. I didn’t know if kiting was like golf or polo, and had some special garb. Yes, this gent does peri-fols, stunt kites and all such manner of serious stuff.

  40. #41 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 17, 2010

    Missed out on posting this at the end of the previous Thread, but everyone take Walton’s hit and click on Ol’ Greg’s name to hear her music. Good stuff!

  41. #42 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    Cowcakes @36, it gives me that feeling, too.

    “I was only 19″. Says it all, really.

  42. #43 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 17, 2010

    Cowcakes

    My Dad’s a Vietnam vet. He was a surgeon in the RAN during the time aboard the HMAS Duchess and the HMAS Vampyre ( surely the military ship in the planet with the COOLEST name)and was seconded to an American Army base on land for about 2 years.

    He doesn’t talk about it but somewhere he has a training vid he made with the Americans which was intended for incoming medical personnel eyes only to give them a heads up on what they were in for in terms of medical work. Its absolutely painfully real and horrific.

    Any how I’ve been to every dawn service since I was about 7 and so will my kids and hopefuly I’ll get to take them to the Gallipoli peninsula as my parents took us.

  43. #44 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    [meta]

    Enough of coyness:

    Tis @26 – Oh dear! Sixth date…well, I’ll just have to tighten my laces, there can’t be anyone thinking I’d do anything sluttish.

    Patricia, too late (and a good thing, too!);)

    (Hint, hint. Take it as it comes.)

    Love ya.

  44. #45 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 17, 2010

    John, I think Patricia’s gentleman is looking to sweep her off her feet with the kite date. ;D

  45. #46 tdanielmidgley
    March 17, 2010

    Hey, wait! That koala’s pouch is facing the wrong way! It opens down instead of up! Who designed this thing? Anyway?

  46. #47 Pygmy Loris
    March 17, 2010

    Oooh, Patricia, a kite date. That sounds like fun. I hope it goes well. :)

  47. #48 MrFire
    March 17, 2010

    Ring Tailed Lemurian:

    Gyeong Hwa Pak will also have a lot of answers for you. Shamefully, although I am part Chinese, I wouldn’t have a clue.

    but not Chinese, although the music itself sounds fairy similar to me.

    [emphasis mine]

    Sorry, I cannot resist linking to this.

  48. #49 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 17, 2010

    Now, now, I’m a respectable widow… this is only a third date.

    You naughty minded things!

  49. #50 givesgoodemail.com
    March 17, 2010

    It’s fraud day over to the house. C’mon in, set a spell, take yer shoes off.

  50. #51 ronsullivan
    March 17, 2010

    “Slainche”
    Spelled Sláinte in Ireland and Slàinte in Scotland.

    Yesh, I know. Ash it’sh Amateur Night, I’m gettin a jump on ‘em.

    I got all dolled up in my least-wrinkled aloha shirt and snake earrings and seized the chance to see a garden when a Chron fotog met its designer at his client’s place. (Follow that? Never mind.) Client was in mid-remodel, installing the Butchest Bathroom Evah, all tile with shower stall, plumbing for a sink, and a urinal. Period. So to speak.

    Fortunately I bit my tongue for a moment and then realized that that probably wasn’t the only bathroom; I mean this was clearly not an overnight job. So I didn’t blurt the obvious question. I guess I’m just not the investigative-journalist type.

    Patricia, the other thing about a sport that involves looking up a lot* is that the participants frequently need neckrubs afterwards.

    *Warbler Neck, q.v.

    That koala’s pouch is facing the wrong way!

    Clearly it’s a transitional species, on its way to marsupial bat-hood. A veritable crocoduck!

  51. #52 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    phantomreader42 has written a most beautiful post, it deserves wider attention:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/03/kent_hovind_is_still_in_jail_a.php#comment-2358405

  52. #53 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    What Caine said.

  53. #54 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    #10?

  54. #55 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 18, 2010

    I’m with you SC, I don’t see why they need AI. *snort*

  55. #56 Patricia, Ignorant Slut OM
    March 18, 2010

    ronsullivan – Thank you, I think I will look forward to a neck rub…this being my first time kiting, no doubt I’ll need one. :)

  56. #57 Carlie
    March 18, 2010

    SC – not knowing anything in particular about these marsupials, but in general for AI:

    One of the biggest issues is genetic variability. You don’t want to let them get too inbred when there aren’t that many to start with, so it’s often fairly tightly controlled as to who “ought to” mate with whom to ensure that maximum genetic diversity is kept. That might not quite match the animal’s own ideas on who to mate with, so AI takes out that fussiness.

    Speaking of fussiness, animal mating is all sorts of screwed up for any that are in captivity, so often they just don’t feel like it no matter how attractive the potential mate is; not the right environment, space, mood lighting, etc.

    Going back to the variation, it’s easier to mail around bunches of syringes full of gametes rather than moving the animals themselves across continents and whatnot.

    That’s just a few potential reasons off the top of my exhausted and overworked head, so hopefully they’re in any way relevant and I won’t come back tomorrow to find that I somehow wrote out Josh’s Gay Enchilada recipe in the comment box rather than anything actually about AI.

  57. #58 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    SC,

    #10?

    No need, is there. Prudent, it is; prudent, and scientific.

    </Yoda>

  58. #59 Pygmy Loris
    March 18, 2010

    I’ve been catching up on the Thread this evening, and now I’m feeling all melancholy after listening to Puff the Magic Dragon, Smile, and You Are My Sunshine.

    Here’s the Dixie Chicks singing Silent House.

    These walls have eyes
    Rows of photographs
    And faces like mine
    Who do we become
    Without knowing where
    We started from

    It’s true I’m missing you
    As I stand alone in your room

    Everyday that will pass you by
    Every name that you won’t recall
    Everything that you made by hand
    Everything that you know by heart

    And I will try to connect
    All the pieces you left
    I will carry it on
    And let you forget
    And I’ll remember the years
    When your mind was clear
    How the laughter and life
    Filled up this silent house

    One room
    Two single beds
    In the closet hangs
    Your favorite dress
    The books that you read
    Are in scattered piles
    Of paper shreds

    Everything that you made by hand
    Everything that you know by heart

    And I will try to connect
    All the pieces you left
    I will carry it on
    And let you forget
    And I’ll remember the years
    When your mind was clear
    How the laughter and life
    Filled up this silent house
    Silent house

    In the garden off the living room
    A chill fills the air
    And the lilies bloom

    And I will try to connect
    All the pieces you left
    I will carry it on
    And let you forget
    And I’ll remember the years
    When your mind was clear
    How the laughter and life
    Filled up this

    And I will try to connect
    All the pieces you left
    I will carry it on
    And let you forget
    And I’ll remember the years
    When your mind was clear
    How the laughter and life
    Filled up this silent house

    Silent house

  59. #60 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    Pygmy Loris @59, AFAIK, this is my first listen to this.

    So sad, so life-affirming. Thanks.

  60. #61 Pygmy Loris
    March 18, 2010

    John M,

    It’s one of my favorite songs, but I always have to skip past it when I’m driving because it makes me cry. Silent House is from Taking the Long Way, the album the Dixie chicks made after the big controversy over Natalie Maines comments in England.

  61. #62 ambulocetacean
    March 18, 2010

    Just watched a Nat Geo doco about how LSD research is coming back. Apparently the shape of the LSD molecule allows it to click right into serotonin receptors.

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but they’ve made a non-hallucinogenic form called bromo-LSD or something, which is a miracle cure for cluster headaches.

  62. #63 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    ambulocetacean:

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but they’ve made a non-hallucinogenic form called bromo-LSD or something, which is a miracle cure for cluster headaches.

    That’s interesting. If it really works on cluster headaches, there will be a lot of very grateful people.

  63. #64 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Just found out that Alex Chilton died. Like any indie rock fan of the eighties and nineties, Big Star was one of my favs. I am going to indulge now.

    September Gurls

    Stroke It Noel

    Back Of A Car

  64. #66 ambulocetacean
    March 18, 2010

    Hi Caine,

    Yeah, I’d never heard of cluster headaches before but they look absolutely horrible. This guy in the doco was rolling around on the floor sucking an oxygen tank to try to get some relief.

    If I had them and they were as bad as they look on telly I think I would have topped myself ages ago. The doco is an instalment of Nat Geo’s excellent “Inside” current-affairs series.

  65. #67 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Like a lot of people in the eighties, The Replacements was to entry point for this bliss.

    I never travel far without a little Big Star.

    When My Baby’s Beside Me

    Thirteen

  66. #68 Rorschach
    March 18, 2010

    Sorry, haven’t been following, but this is what a cluster headache feels like.

  67. #69 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    ambulocetacean, a friend of mine gets them. He would do anything to not have that pain in his life anymore. Cluster headaches are also known as Suicide headaches.

    I get severe migraines myself, and the pain my friend has described is much worse than what happens to me; given what I feel during a migraine, I can easily imagine suicide might seem like a viable option.

  68. #70 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 18, 2010

    For instance, I can listen to Cambodian (Khmer being non tonal) songs, but not Chinese, although the music itself sounds fairy similar to me.

    Please clarify. Traditional Chinese and Cambodian songs are vastly different. Modern Khmer Pop songs, OTHO, are often cheap translation of Chinese/Korean/Japanese originals.

  69. #71 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 18, 2010

    Ah. How sweet it is to have finished a whole chapter for an upcoming book. After procrastinating my ass off all day.

    Yes, yes, thank you – you’re right – I do deserve kudos. You’re all so gracious-and so right-to throw flowers at me! It was a difficult, emotionally and intellectually draining journey. Who among us, save a select few, can understand the agony of the writer? The depths to which he must plunge, fearlessly, to dredge up Some Kind of Crap to Fill a Page.

    Oi. I’m makin’ me’self sick!

  70. #72 John
    March 18, 2010

    Re: John Morales@1

    It isn’t necessary to consider v>c if you know what’s necessary for an object to approach the speed of light.

    The equation for kinetic energy would require an infinite amount of energy for any object to reach the speed of light. This is the simplest reason that only massless particles can travel at the speed of light. Special relativity precludes anything traveling faster than light. Formula for Relativistic Kinetic Energy

  71. #73 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 18, 2010

    Janine:

    I’m ignorant, and clearly need any education. I have no idea who Alex Chilton is. I never heard the song “September Gurls” until the Bangles covered it. Yes, I know, this makes you want to smack me, and you may.

  72. #74 Jadehawk, OM
    March 18, 2010
  73. #75 Rorschach
    March 18, 2010

    This is very, very funny satire wrt #atheistcon :

    http://newmatilda.com/2010/03/17/hell-atheist-convention

  74. #76 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 18, 2010

    Further to Janine:

    OK, now I’m mad about my ignorance. Apparently the original lyrics to “September Gurls” included:

    September gurls do so much
    I was your butch
    and you were touched

    . . .yet all I got was the sanitized version:

    September gurls do so much
    for so long, ’til we touched

    I was cheated. And now I’m out for blood. With a chainsaw. Sideways (I’m lookin’ at you, KirshenooneyKwak).

    Gyeong Pickachu, Imperial Dim Sum, or whatever it is you’re going by today – take this as a lesson. Know how I’m always poking gentle (but slightly biting) fun at you for being young and unaware of anything beyond your generation? Well, this is what happens. We end up with soaped-over cover songs that sanitize real sh*t. You’re not immune. Mind carefully:)

  75. #77 ambulocetacean
    March 18, 2010

    Caine, G-d that sounds horrible. Apparently psilocybin can help as well.

    My Google-fu is weak today, but I’m sure anyone who’s interested can track down stuff about LSD/psilocybin trials that have been done at Harvard and some university in Iowa and also Germany and/or Switzerland.

  76. #78 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010
  77. #79 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    John,

    It isn’t necessary to consider v>c if you know what’s necessary for an object to approach the speed of light.

    Yeah, it is — that’s how one knows its significance and what is necessary.

    The equation says that as vc, mass → ? (and the object’s length (in the direction of travel) → 0); hence, for a mass m to reach c requires infinite energy and would result in it becoming infinitesimal in size (in the direction of travel).

    It establishes limits, and thus avoids paradoxes.

  78. #80 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 18, 2010

    We end up with soaped-over cover songs that sanitize real sh*t. You’re not immune. Mind carefully:)

    But I’m so use to washed cover songs. By default I assume the naughty version is the original.

  79. #81 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 18, 2010

    But I’m so use to washed cover songs. By default I assume the naughty version is the original.

    As to be expected, at your tender age. You’ll learn.

  80. #82 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    ambulocetacean:

    Caine, G-d that sounds horrible. Apparently psilocybin can help as well.

    Wow. I didn’t know that. I’ll do some looking around and let my friend know about all this.

  81. #83 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    Just watched a Nat Geo doco about how LSD research is coming back.

    A friend of mine’s mother once asked him if he was experimenting with LSD. Without skipping a beat, he replied: “It’s more like full-blown research.”

    Seriously, though, it’s about time the DEA got over their amide/amine phobia and allow research into the quite novel effects these substances have on the brain.

    The friend I mentioned above spent many years working for MAPS. I believe they are the organization responsible for the cluster headache research, though I may be mistaken.

    /googles-off to dig deeper

  82. #84 Jadehawk, OM
    March 18, 2010

    winner in the “missing the point” category of worst cover songs ever: My Generation butchered by Hilary Duff.

    the original

  83. #85 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Dixie Chicks = Win

    *clenched-fist salute*

  84. #86 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Big Black Car

    In The Street

    Watch The Sunrise

    Josh, my dear fake husband, I have other reasons to smack you upside the face. But not for not knowing about a rather obscure band that came to an end thirty five years ago. As it stands, I love power pop. And Big Star was about as good as it got.

  85. #87 ambulocetacean
    March 18, 2010

    Hi Caine. Happy to help, but I’m not a doctor. Your friend should probably consult a real physician, or at least a blissed-out hippie :)

  86. #88 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 18, 2010

    @Janine:

    Josh, my dear fake husband, I have other reasons to smack you upside the face.

    Sigh. I’m sure all my fake wives do. Smack away – I shall bear up SpokesGayfully. (Was it the whole “Imperial Dim Sum” thing I said to our little pocket monster? If so, don’t bother. He had it coming. Little sh*t: ‘Sides, it was funny:)

    But not for not knowing about a rather obscure band that came to an end thirty five years ago. As it stands, I love power pop. And Big Star was about as good as it got.

    I’m glad to be introduced to them, nonetheless.

  87. #89 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 18, 2010

    Speaking of cover songs and Asian pop music, it seems to me that whenever a song is released, it becomes imperative that every nation makes a cover of that song.

    For example: 1, 2, 3, and 4.

    Note that the 3 says 9999 while the 4 is completely off topic.

  88. #90 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    I just lost 9.36 minutes of my life watching the whole Lady Ga Ga telephone thing. What a big load of overhyped, bollocky, shite.

    I feel mentally abused.

  89. #91 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    BTW, PZ, time to ditch the GAC promo from the sidebar…

  90. #92 Jadehawk, OM
    March 18, 2010

    since SC mentioned them, here’s more Dixie Chicks:

    Sin Wagon

    Goodbye Earl
    :-)

  91. #93 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    Josh OSG

    Sigh. I’m sure all my fake wives do. Smack away – I shall bear up SpokesGayfully.

    ..see now, me, I prefer it a little rough so can I be a fake wife of Locutus of Gay instead?

  92. #94 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 18, 2010

    Bride of Shrek:

    I just lost 9.36 minutes of my life watching the whole Lady Ga Ga telephone thing. What a big load of overhyped, bollocky, shite.

    I feel mentally abused.

    Well, her music ain’t my thing, but I can’t get all up on my high horse, considering I hung on Madonna’s every utterance in the 80s. I suspect pop music sensibility is a generational thing, and there’s no way around it.

    I do, however, think GaGa has the most highly polished videos out there, from a visual point of view. Love the outrageous costumes. They’re just ridiculous.

    Oh, and I LOL’ed at the opening titles of that video, when it said, “Prison for Bitches.” Like something out of a John Waters movie. . .

    Yeah, I LOL’ed. And I’ll LOL again.

    (ducking and running)

  93. #95 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    And I know it’s faintly racist to laugh at Japanese karaoke game shows but anyone who doesn’t get a chuckle out of this is a liar. Ans they are in some strange way suprisingly good. Specially Springsteen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdsxjSZFuTo&feature=player_embedded

  94. #96 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    Jadehawk @92, “This video contains content from Vevo, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”
    :(

    (Yeah, I could search, but it’s a disappointment regardless.)

  95. #97 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 18, 2010

    Bride of Shrek:

    ..see now, me, I prefer it a little rough so can I be a fake wife of Locutus of Gay instead?

    I speak for the Borg. Lower your lingerie (but take care to keep your modesty panels in place) and prepare to be assimilated. Fashion as you know it has come to an end. Your sartorial distinctiveness will be added to our own ( maybe). Resistance (or, frankly, choosing your own outfits) is futile.

    Comply.

  96. #98 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    ambulocetacean, no worries. :) I’ll let him know about the research, he has a good doc he can discuss all this with and I know plenty of blissed out hippies. :D

  97. #99 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    Yeah Josh you betetr duck and run

    Go and stand in the corner NOW. The gay one. That’s be the one painted pink.

    ok, I must admit I did like the dancing because it’s really really co-ordinated and I, who has to be incredibly inebriated anyhow to be coaxed to dance, always looks like I have a ferret up my knickers.

  98. #100 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 18, 2010

    (Was it the whole “Imperial Dim Sum” thing I said to our little pocket monster? If so, don’t bother. He had it coming. Little sh*t: ‘Sides, it was funny:)

    ?
    ?
    ?
    ?

    Leeks

  99. #101 Jadehawk, OM
    March 18, 2010

    “This video contains content from Vevo, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”

    oh bloody hell, seriously? *headdesk*
    almost all decent music videos on youtube are on vevo now :-(

  100. #102 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010
  101. #103 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 18, 2010

    It appears I have forgotten a blockquote tag.

  102. #104 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 18, 2010

    ?
    ?
    ?
    ?

    Leeks

    Closed it for you, Pikachu.

    I find you simultaneously adorable, vexing, and in need of a good slapping-around. I shall deal with you tomorrow.

    /SpokesGay to bed

  103. #106 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    Gyeong, Josh: You’re amusing me no end, and I’m straight as an arrow! :)

  104. #107 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Janine hates the Dixie Chicks.

  105. #108 John
    March 18, 2010

    Re: John Morales @79

    It isn’t necessary to consider v>c if you know what’s necessary for an object to approach the speed of light.

    Yeah, it is ? that’s how one knows its significance and what is necessary.

    I feel you’re being deliberately dense. The reason it’s unnecessary to consider v > c is because it’s impossible for v to reach c. As v?c, Ke??.

    that this is not congruent with observation doesn’t make it meaningless

    Since v can never reach c, values of v > c are meaningless. Since you can never reach c, by definition you can never exceed c. It’s not necessary to consider the imaginary result of v > c, because the domain of v does not include speeds greater than c.

  106. #109 Kel, OM
    March 18, 2010

    BTW, PZ, time to ditch the GAC promo from the sidebar…

    Why didn’t you end up coming?

  107. #110 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    Jadehawk, thanks.

    Of those, I like the 3rd the best; but then I’ve always preferred studio-recorded music to live tracks.

    (I do have a personal friend who is and has been a muso (and who I’ve known since high-school) and we have discussed this; we each understand the other’s viewpoint¹. I regret to say I’m a tad uncultured.)

    ¹ “Live not Canned” is one of the stickers on his van. And he’s good.

  108. #111 Pygmy Loris
    March 18, 2010

    SC and Jadehawk,

    How lovely to see other Dixie Chicks fans around these parts :)

    I’m really regretting my inability to stop reading about painful conditions once they’re mentioned. I am so very happy that I only have migraines and tension headaches. Cluster headaches sound horrifying. Trigeminal neuralgia sounds even worse. What kind of pain must a condition cause that 10% of sufferers commit suicide?

    Another painful condition, platypus envenomation. Nerve blocks are the only thing that works.

  109. #112 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 18, 2010

    Gyeong Pickachu, Imperial Dim Sum, or whatever it is you’re going by today

    Ah yes, I forgot to explain my new moniker. This song should cover it. There are multiple covers of this song of course.

    Gyeong, Josh: You’re amusing me no end, and I’m straight as an arrow! :)

    Well that’s just me us.

  110. #113 JeffreyD
    March 18, 2010

    Cowcakes, John, Bride of Shrek – I salute your uncle, father, friends. The treatment of all veterans has been pretty bad worldwide and I am sorry to hear that it is the same in Australia. All modern wars have their own music – memory evokers. However, Redgum?s song is the only one I know that seems to catch in the throat of pretty much all veterans, at least those who speak enough English to follow it. I have given it to or played it for vets from the Spanish Civil War International Brigades to Afghanistan and it has always resonated. Sometimes the resonance is, ?please do not ever play that for me again?.

    BOS, your Dad spent two years pulling medical duty in Nam? Gawds, that is awful. I was an SF medic and that was horrible enough. I cannot imagine spending two years in a hospital working with wounded every day. I do not have that kind of courage. Modern war produces some hideous wounds, especially when the opposing force relies heavily on improvised weapons and feces smeared punji stakes. Vietnam had a horrendous variety of wounds. Twenty-five years later I developed a cyst on my back that, upon removal, contained a small screw from a home made device. A friend of mine still has to dress and clean a wound on his leg that he picked up in 1969. It has never healed properly – a physical manifestation of an internal issue is what he thinks.

    Most of the wars waged have been unnecessary, but the people who fought them still suffered and suffer still.

    Specifically for our Aussie friends, have you seen the movie Australian movie Kokoda? It is about the stand of Australian troops in New Guinea early in the Pacific war. It is one of those movies that gave me nightmares, which is usually a pretty good indication of how well it conveys the mood of war. Due to terrain and weather type it is also evocative of conditions in Vietnam. I do recommend the movie, would just warn vets that it is a nightmare inducer.

  111. #114 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    Kel,

    Why didn’t you end up coming?

    I’m quite shy, and I’m slack, and a touch anthro.

    Not very admirable, but there you go.

    PS sold my place in early January, moving from the Barossa to the new place I’ve bought in the Adelaide Hills Council area, on April 1. Really.

    PPS since I’m moving soon, I have few qualms about revealing the location of my current residence: 34°42’28.22″S, 139° 5’30.94″E.

    Nice, nah?

  112. #115 Kel, OM
    March 18, 2010

    I’m quite shy, and I’m slack, and a touch anthro.

    Not very admirable, but there you go.

    Fair enough. Just too bad, we would have had 4 Molly winners in the same place :P (plus it was superfun awesome time)

  113. #116 Rorschach
    March 18, 2010

    John Morales,

    would have been good to have you there, in fact we missed you, the one of the regular contingent not there ! I’m sure we’re no less socially awkward than you, but I think we managed ok in the end…:-)

  114. #117 Kel, OM
    March 18, 2010

    I’m sure we’re no less socially awkward than you

    I was surprised given how socially awkward I normally am how unawkward that entire weekend was.

  115. #118 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    Pygmy Loris:

    Another painful condition, platypus envenomation. Nerve blocks are the only thing that works.

    Well, that takes the shine off of platypus charm. Eeesh.

  116. #119 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    JeffreyD

    The sadness of it all is the deep founded repurcussions it had not only for the vet such as my Dad but sadly the family as well. I started this post thinking it may be deeply cathartic for me but it’s also incredibly painful. I find I can say online to “strangers” what I have never said in real life.

    Growing up with my Dad was “interesting”. He is an incredibly intelligent man with a fantastic sense of humour but , at the same time savagely and profoundly remote. I was born in 1970 so I do not remember the time he was away at war but my mother has related how very difficult it was for her, with 4 small children being moved from naval base to naval base without any support. This of course continued after he returned and left the Navy in 1975. My older sister ( I’m No 2) copped the brunt of this as she endured 16 different schools at primary level. I only went to 7. This in itself gave life long issues in that I, with my constant mnoving schools became the class clown or the joker to make friends quickly. I still struggle with this shallow way to introduce myself to new people.

    I was about 20 when I realised I had never, in my life, ever experienced any physical closeness from my father, never a hug nor a kiss yet I had spent many wonderful hours with him. I had never known any different so I never knew this was not “normal”. This has coloured my relationships with partners and, quite franklly, I think I still suck at being intimate and loving in a “real” relationship. I find it awkward and uncomfortable to hug and kiss and I am devestatingly bad at “goodbyes”.I hate holding hands. I will walk away from someone without turning my back rather than see tears or hurt. My brother and 2 sisters are the same.

    This of course is without the actual physical problems we endured. The loss of a brother at 2 weeks old which was put down to an undiagnosed problem but he was covered in the same rash my father came back with and endured for years post war. We all “caught” this rash and I remember a childhood of rashes, itchiness, disfiguration and bathing in a dandruff hair product in our baths because it was the only thing that brought relief. It is noted my father worked in areas that Agent Orange was routinely sprayed.

    So the aftermath, after the physical is the psycholgical which extends sadly to the next generation. Out of the 4 siblings I have, 1 is a chronic alcoholic, 1 has OCD, 3 have had eating disorders and between us we’ve had 5 failed marriages.

    I wil not let this extend to the next generation though. I hug my 3 children often and freely and do not have a problem doing so.

    War fucking sucks.

  117. #120 WowbaggerOM
    March 18, 2010

    John Morales, there was some loose talk about getting people together some time next year, and Adelaide was suggested as a possible destination; would you come down from the hills for that?

  118. #121 Rorschach
    March 18, 2010

    I am devestatingly bad at “goodbyes”.I hate holding hands. I will walk away from someone without turning my back rather than see tears or hurt. My brother and 2 sisters are the same.

    The Django way. Works for me.

  119. #122 Walton
    March 18, 2010

    Argh… I may have spoken too soon about my “recovery”. After a night of violent coughing fits, high temperature, headache, sore throat, and waking up drenched in sweat, I’m not too sure that this is what “recovery” is meant to feel like. I think I’m going to call the doctor now.

    (My previous post was held for moderation, because I forgot about euphemism week and inadvertently said f*ck.)

  120. #123 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    Wowbagger @120

    You’re being coy there with the “Adelaide” invitation. As I remember it was specifically YOUR HOUSE that was going to be the location of the next Aussie get together. We can bring tents but I hope your plumbing is up to a 100 or so visitors.

    I’m only coming if you and I can go on a wine tour though and get hopelessly pissed together (again!)

  121. #124 Jadehawk, OM
    March 18, 2010

    And now, some Psychobilly:

    Horrorpops

    Mad Sin

    Nekromantix
    :-)

  122. #125 Rorschach
    March 18, 2010

    /Pharyngula physician mode

    Walton, get yourself some Roxithromycin or Klarithromycin for your friggin atypical pneumonia already, and stop tempting me to post the manflu clip….

    /end Pharyngula physician mode

  123. #126 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    Wowbagger @120, um. Maybe.

    I shan’t rule it out, scary as it sounds. Strangely enough, I’ve never gotten my car driver’s license, though I’ve been riding bikes since 1977 (currently my 2003 GSX750F, nearly 90K on the clock).

    If I travel to town for an evening, I can’t afford to be bibulous. :(

    My wife has the car.

    John @108,

    Since v can never reach c, values of v > c are meaningless

    Assuming that equation is correct, then yes.

    Alas, We don’t know what we don’t know, nor can we be sure we’re apprehending primary phenomena.

  124. #127 Walton
    March 18, 2010

    Re discussions above: I freakin’ love the Dixie Chicks.

    This is probably their best song.

  125. #128 Rorschach
    March 18, 2010

    Nice pic from the staff party of the #atheistcon on Sunday arvo here:

    http://podblack.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/GAC-presenters-and-crew.jpg

    (via Kylie)

  126. #129 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    March 18, 2010

    Dear Walton,

    I fear you have the violent flu-like symptoms that accompany an original infection of herpes. You haven’t been fellating yourself while sporting a cold sore have you?

    If you can definitely rule that out then get help. But don’t forget to keep posting from the ICU.

    SB

    PS Did someone say we are all going to get pissed at Wowbaggy’s? I have to cross the tasman ditch soon for work and I could do with somewhere to rest my weary head.

  127. #130 Walton
    March 18, 2010

    Did someone say we are all going to get pissed at Wowbaggy’s? I have to cross the tasman ditch soon for work and I could do with somewhere to rest my weary head.

    No doubt this “work” involves passing off some powdered ram semen as a “patent remedy” to unsuspecting Australians. :-)

  128. #131 Feynmaniac
    March 18, 2010

    I feel you’re being deliberately dense. The reason it’s unnecessary to consider v > c is because it’s impossible for v to reach c. As v?c, Ke??.

    Yes, it’s impossible to get particles which have their velocity below c (i.e, time-like) above it.

    However, if a particle starts off with velocity greater than c then, conversely, it is impossible to get their velocity below c for similar reasons.

    As I understand it, it is thought that a world with tachyons (i.e, particles with velocity greater than c) that interact with normal matter would be unstable because normal particles could just emit a tachyon at any time.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachyon

  129. #132 Smoggy Batzrubble OM4Jesus
    March 18, 2010

    Erm… nope. We’re actually over to milk the Australian rams. Like most Ockers they have a lower sperm count, thus less wastage of potent little swimmers in the dehydrating process.

  130. #133 Feynmaniac
    March 18, 2010

    Fair enough. Just too bad, we would have had 4 Molly winners in the same place :P (plus it was superfun awesome time)

    Fortunately, 3 OMs are sufficient to summon Captain PZ.

    Must be weird for PZ to have the bacon-fueled orgies rotate clockwise*.
    __
    * I’m aware that that’s a myth. The Coriolis effect determining the motion of drainage, that is. The Pharyngula orgies are very real.

  131. #134 WowbaggerOM
    March 18, 2010

    Well, I’d love to play host but I live in a two-bedroom flat – and one of those is referred to, quite accurately, as the abode of the ‘spare room boxes of death’; my backyard would allow one small tent, tops.

    Basically, anything more than a dozen (or a baker’s if everyone’s open-minded) would be the max.

  132. #135 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    Fortunately, 3 OMs are sufficient to summon Captain PZ

    ..and my nepotism will show here but it should really have been 4. Rorschach helped with the “herding of cats” that was the Pharyngula get together in Melbourne. That, and the usual quality of his posts over the last few years HAS to have him get a Molly ASAP.

    If Rorschach doesn’t finally get his well deserved Molly in March I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue.

  133. #136 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    Wowbagger

    Well, I’d love to play host but I live in a two-bedroom flat

    ..everyone else can fend for themselves. I’m assuming you have at least a double bed so I’m set for the duration.

    Do you prefer righties or lefties on the bed? I can bring my own pillow.

  134. #137 Rorschach
    March 18, 2010

    I hear there are hotels in Adelaide…:-)

    And that Molly thing is for clever people…..

  135. #138 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    Smoggy,

    Like most Ockers they have a lower sperm count

    But of course! Quality over quantity.

    (Admission: Kiwis lack the latter, not the former.)

  136. #139 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    Rorschach,

    And that Molly thing is for clever people…..

    Damnit, you’re (over)due one, except that the rules don’t favour your style. Damnit!

  137. #140 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    Rorschach

    And that Molly thing is for clever people…..

    ..I am living, breathing proof that you can get one just for being a smartarse alone (well actually thats not true, Smoggy is floating here with me).

    Apart from some very early on postings, circa 2 years ago, with some GW denialists when I exhausted the sum knowledge of my science background in microclimatology fighting them, basically everything else I’ve posted since has been bollocks. I am a living example of someone restng on their laurels.

  138. #141 nuada-oz
    March 18, 2010

    Australian National University Job advertisement:

    Mammalian Biologist

    duties include:
    masturbating male marsupials
    inseminating female marsupials

    please send resume to bigkoala@ANU.edu.au
    note all applicants must undergo an Australian Police Name Check

  139. #142 Carlie
    March 18, 2010

    Here’s a really interesting interview with the woman Lady Gaga makes out with in the new Telephone video.

  140. #143 Stephen Wells
    March 18, 2010

    @Walton: on three occasions I’ve had something that started as a simple little cold, settled to my chest and left me coughing for weeks, and it needed antibiotics to clear the pneumonia and a ventolin inhaler to stop the cough. The good news is that once you actually get down to your doctor for that prescription, you get better!

  141. #144 Walton
    March 18, 2010

    I saw the college nurse this morning. Apparently, in addition to the original viral infection, I now have tonsillitis and need antibiotics.

  142. #145 PZ Myers
    March 18, 2010

    I rather like Lady Gaga…but I think both the song and the video Telephone sucks.

  143. #146 Feynmaniac
    March 18, 2010

    WTF?

    Apparently Ray Comfort is giving away leather jackets he made himself to atheists by draw. This SO needs to be Pharyngulated. It would go nice with the iPod PZ got from Eric Hovind.

    In any case, this leather working needs to be encouraged. At least then Ray Comfort is actually doing something useful.

  144. #147 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 18, 2010

    Bill Dauphin if you read this, I sent you an email and entered a bracket for you but if you can check your email add your bracket to the group with the info I sent you.

    If anyone is still interested there is still a few hours to jump in the Pharyngula NCAA bracket “challenge”.

  145. #148 JeffreyD
    March 18, 2010

    Bride of Shrek at #119 – ?War fucking sucks.? No argument from me.

    Bride, I hope you did get some catharsis from your post. I always hesitate to post some of these things because I know it can hurt others. I dislike the idea that my detox can hurt others. I am glad you hug and love your kids even though you can not easily be intimate with others. I can be intimate with friends, and also hug and kiss my kids. Of course, as an American Southerner, physical intimacy is normal for me, even though it was not present directly in my family.

    I am sorry about your father and about his medical issues. I was lucky and the only physical manifestations I have are scars and burns. Other family members were not so lucky. My second oldest brother died in Autumn 08 from a variety of medical problems, complicated by his extensive exposure to Agent Orange. Everyone except the Government agreed that AO was a major factor in his medical issues. I blogged about so I will not go down that road again

    The wounds of war touch family, friends, generations. It is hard for vets to talk to non vets, but I have found it is useful to try. Not sure why it is useful exactly. It is, tho. Writing here helps, even though, like I said, I wonder about bringing pain to others. You are correct, sometimes easier to talk to ?strangers?.

    Of the four kids, two siblings were also male and are vets. Both are/were alcoholics or drug abusers. I avoided that – I am just a badly glued together chain smoker who can often only be safely wakened from across the room.

    If people want me to quit going down these dark alleys, just say so. They are a bit of a downer.

  146. #149 maureen.brian#b5c92
    March 18, 2010

    Bride of Shrek and JeffreyD,

    If you can do it without upsetting yourselves unduly then do, please, keep posting about these things. There are too many people, including those making decisions about war, who simply have no idea.

    My Dad and his cousin/best friend both served on the Western Front. The latter was weird for the rest of his life and played a part in my having a distressing adolescence. Dad had endless health problems and, essentially, died in 1952 from a head wound then treated as minor and inflicted in 1917. Neither could talk about their experiences.

    My late partner – a POW in Korea – knew he ought to get some of it out of his system but could only really talk when he sometimes had a sort of malaria episode. He was more or less coherent despite the shakes but it took that to unblock the defences and allow him to describe his experience.

    Of course it must be up to each of you to decide what to say, when and to whom but in my book more honest talk should mean fewer stupid wars.

    No, I’m not suggesting it could end all war but too many wars in my lifetime have been willy-waving exercises and those we do not need.

  147. #150 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    Dixie Chicks not my thing (not much of a country fan)… but allow me to introduce you to Charlotte Martin…

  148. #151 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Posted by: SC OM| March 18, 2010 3:59 AM

    Janine hates the Dixie Chicks.

    Sorry I did not join the the DC lovefest last night. The lead of one of my favorite bands died yesterday. I did not see the point in listening to a band I have no use for.

  149. #152 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    Soooo…. many…. posts.

    I’ll have to catch up. I went out for happy hour yesterday. But then we went to another place and then another and the band was awful, and people kept buying rounds. But rounds of Jameson are not like rounds of beer. Oh my.

    Scrolling… hey Walton got medical attention finally!

  150. #153 iambilly
    March 18, 2010

    Thank you, Bride of Shrek and JeffreyD. I am a disabled vet (non-combat). I was in MI and never saw a day of combat. Never even got posted overseas. I admire all who serve, and those who serve in combat have my sympathy. And, in a small way, my understanding.

    In September, 2001, I was on the fire call out list. This means that I could be called up and sent across the country to a forest fire, hurricae of other federal incident. I was at work when the terrorist attack happened. I was called that Friday and sent to New York City where I spent three weeks providing security for the team providing support for the search and rescue teams.

    Because I was one of the few easterners, they all assumed I was comfortable driving in New York City (easy — drive as aggresively as possible except when it is a taxi or a bus) which meant that, on multiple occasions, I was down at ground zero.

    I still have panic attacks and nightmares. the panic attacks (and the ensuing nightmares) are usually associated with smell — the smell of putrefaction, the smell of burned metal, the smell of burned plastic. Oddly, I have come to associate these smells with fanatacism — in my mind, the smell of extreme religion. Those three weeks I visited a bar every evening for some self-medication. Drank more in those three weeks than I normally do in a year.

    This morning I passed a dead dear while behind a trucker who was riding his brakes. I had to pull off for about five minutes to let the wave pass through me. Same thing happened a year and a half ago, ironically enough, on September 11.

    I know it affects my family but I try to answer, honestly and without rancour, any questions about those weeks. I don’t force my memories on them, but I try to be willing to talk about it so that there is not a wall between us.

    Sorry for being maudlin, there. Seeing the comments about veterans, coupled with the damned dead deer and normal road smells, I just had to say it, or write it. This seemed like an apropos setting.

  151. #154 Sven DiMilo
    March 18, 2010

    wow…thanks

    teh Thread takes another turn

  152. #155 Sven DiMilo
    March 18, 2010

    Although I don;t hate the Dixie Chicks (not like I hate, say, Styx), I just have never made time for them. Perhaps a listen to the links above will test that.
    Here’s someone I used to be in love with:
    http://www.spike.com/video/nanci-griffith-i/2793580

  153. #156 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 18, 2010

    Sven your bracket isn’t filled out yet….

    You have 30 mins.

  154. #157 Sven DiMilo
    March 18, 2010

    shit!
    I was waiting for an e-mail but not checking the right account!
    On it!

  155. #158 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 18, 2010

    you’ve still got 15 mins…

  156. #159 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Sorry I did not join the the DC lovefest last night. The lead of one of my favorite bands died yesterday. I did not see the point in listening to a band I have no use for.

    Sorry – I was kind of trolling. :/ I’m not actually a fan of the Dixie Chicks, but I liked Shut Up and Sing and that song (and a few others).

  157. #160 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    This is proving to be a painful but beautiful thread to read.

    I would share a bit about my parents after the war (my mother moved to the country) but I’m actually incredibly private about other people and can’t stand thinking I may have said something that the other person might feel was too private.

    So instead I’ll just say a very general war is horrid and some of my friends who have been returning from it are doing so in a way that makes me very very sad and gravely aware of the impact it has on everyone.

  158. #161 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    Oh and Bill… thanks so much! I’m trying to get better quickly. I really hadn’t been able to sing for the past month, and I had been trying to improve my voice up until that point. It’s rather sad. Currently I’m trying to get myself ready to try desperately to play some little venues around town. I’d really like to play live again but I never have done it *alone* and I’m terrified!

  159. #162 Sven DiMilo
    March 18, 2010

    The lead of one of my favorite bands died yesterday.

    The Box Tops?

    just kidding; Big Star, right? Chilton was talented, no doubt.

  160. #163 Matt Penfold
    March 18, 2010

    Does anyone know if the Kwak has sent his complaint to Seed yet ?

  161. #164 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    The lead of one of my favorite bands died yesterday.

    I just read this earlier. So sad. That is three musicians I loved who have died this year now :(

  162. #165 Numenaster
    March 18, 2010

    Warning, topic dropping in from nowhere.

    Further warning, this has undoubtedly been answered before and at length, but I stay away from the undying threads because, well, I’m too obsessive-compulsive to read them only partway through.

    On to the question:

    What science blogs/feeds do people read regularly just to keep on top of new discoveries? I get the Bad Astronomy daily digest but am looking for something to add.

    Feel free to direct me to previous answers on this topic and I’ll go away quietly. Thanks.

  163. #166 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    Does anyone know if the Kwak has sent his complaint to Seed yet ?

    Yes. They didn’t take us off the internet though and now there is a vid of his reaction youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5xbv4a37Vg

    I’m bad for this :(

  164. #167 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    I’m bad for this :(

    Yes. You are. Very bad. Dammit I can’t believe i sat through that whole thing… although I can totally imagine Kwakadoodle beating himself upside the head with his shoe like that…

    also, I swear I heard the kid demanding a camera from his mom…

  165. #168 Matt Penfold
    March 18, 2010

    Nah, That can’t be the Kwak.

    The kid is too coherent for one.

  166. #169 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010
  167. #170 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    Hi Endless Thread!

    I have a dilemma that needs worked out.

    Tomorrow afternoon, after I get home from work, I am going to bring my parents into my apartment. They’ll be happy and jovial because we’re spending the day on Saturday at a few museums here in DC. I am halfway sure that will all immediately change upon my parents seeing my bookshelf, and upon said shelf will be the following books: “The God Delusion” and “Why Evolution is True.”

    You see, my parents are fundie Christians. They believe the Bible as much as any fundie, my father thinks Glenn Beck is brilliant, I’m sure my parents don’t believe in evolution, and – while it pains me to say this – I know they’re bigots. (My father thinks gay rights is so that they can shut down churches, my mother thinks we should pull Arabs out of airline security and check them instead of marginally inconveniencing her.)

    I love my family to death, they are incredibly important to me in every sense of the word, but I am totally afraid what’s going to happen when they learn I’m an atheist.

    How can I soften the blow?

  168. #171 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 18, 2010

    SC, et al. (@85, et seq.):

    Dixie Chicks = Win

    *clenched-fist salute*

    Add my clenched fist to the salute!

    When I first heard about the Dixie Chicks, my initial eye-rolling thought was that they would be to country music what the Spice Girls were to pop (all-female group, all young and pretty, “Girl”/”Chick” in the group name…). No doubt that was a reflection of some cultural reverse-prejudice regarding the talent of pretty people (and pretty women in particular), but I was soon edumacated on that point: The Dixie Chicks are contstructed entirely of awesome!

    I was wowed by their talent even before they showed incredible courage and insight with their stand on Bush and the war (which, for those of you outside ‘Murrica, was braver than it might seem, given who they sell their music to).

    Not for nothin’, but it turns out that there was more “there” there WRT the Spice Girls, too¹… certainly more substance than their Pretty-Girls-Named-After-Stereotypes-About-Pretty-Girls image would indicate. In particular, their movie Spice World was hilarious, full of in jokes (and how can you not like Meat Loaf as their bus driver?).

    As for Lady GaGa’s little film… well, my life has been enriched in many ways by being the father of a young woman, but sitting through her watch party for the TV premiere of Telephone was, I’m afraid, not one of them. Can anyone tell me what all the Prison for Bitches-Natural-Born Killers-Thelma and Louise-Kill Bill stuff has to do with the actual song??

    Also, I don’t give a rat’s ass whether she has a dick; YMMV.

    ¹ Don’t judge me for knowing enough about them to have an opinion: I have a daughter whose pre-teen years fell smack-dab in the middle of the SGs’ 15 minutes.

  169. #172 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 18, 2010

    How can I soften the blow?

    I’m not sure I’d want to.

  170. #173 Walton
    March 18, 2010

    The work of “Lady GaGa” is somewhat disturbing. I prefer to avoid her music, but it’s her videos that really scare me.

  171. #174 Numenaster
    March 18, 2010

    @Kevin #170:

    Do they value having an ornery independent streak? This might give you an opening to link your independence to their sense of being persecuted as Xians, if that’s a sense they have.

    Do they value reason in any area except their religion? (you must have picked it up somewhere).

    There’s also the approach “What there’s evidence for, I’m happy to rely on. What I haven’t seen evidence for, goes in the category of ‘waiting for the evidence’.”

    Failing that, do they subscribe to “hate the sin but love the sinner”? This worked for me when I came out as gay–I actually asked them “Still love me?” which pretty much forced them to say yes.

    Failing that too, you might try redecorating until you’ve had a chance to drop hints in more casual conversation. You have to pick the time for your battles as well as picking the battles themselves, and this may not be the time for this one.

  172. #175 timrowledge
    March 18, 2010

    let’s lay down some rules:
    * You will be home by 11 PM every night.

    Pretty much the only advice my ever gave me that I can remember was
    “If you’re not in bed by 10… come home”

  173. #176 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Bill, I have to give DC a little credit, they did not take their name from that ghastly Girl Power BS. They nicked it from Little Feat.

  174. #177 Walton
    March 18, 2010

    Kevin: If I were in your position, I would not tell them. It should be easy enough to hide the books; and I just don’t see any reason to make life harder, both for you and for them, by letting them know that you’re an atheist. It is likely to cause them pain – especially if they are fundamentalist Protestants who believe in justification by faith alone – and, frankly, sometimes it’s better to conceal the truth in order to protect the feelings of those one loves.

  175. #178 Sven DiMilo
    March 18, 2010

    needs worked out

    Kevin, are you from western PA?

  176. #179 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Walton, you are not showing them much respect by going that route. Also, perhaps knowing that a loved one does not believe as they do will force them from the easy path of mindless faith. It would not be the first time.

  177. #180 iambilly
    March 18, 2010

    needs worked out

    Or the Cumberland Valley (Western Maryland)?

  178. #181 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    @Walton, Rev BDC, Nume:

    I’m paying attention to the thread, don’t think I’m ignoring you all if I don’t respond.

    @Sven:

    Very close to Philly, actually. I went to college in Shippensburg (mid-PA.)

  179. #182 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    How can I soften the blow?

    Well, I’m not sure you can.

    I will toss in a few of my own cents though…

    First, let me make an assumption (based on your description of your parents) that you were, at one time at least, a christian. For one like you, becoming an atheist after years of indoctrination requires a willingness to challenge doctrine, a curiosity about the real world that most staunch believers simply don’t have, or repress, and attraction to science and a tendency to question authority. These are traits common to most atheists I know who were once christians.

    These are also traits that are not easily concealed, and certainly do not develop overnight. So you may be surprised to learn that your parents might not be all that surprised to learn it. In my experience, they also would never have spoken about it or approached you with those fears before, for fear of driving you even further towards this mentality, which might to you appear as if they never suspected.

    At any rate, you are who you are, and your parents know you as the person you are. They will either accept that your views do not have to mirror theirs in order for them to love you, or they are frankly undeserving of your love (this sounds harsh and simplistic, but is the most honest way I can put it).

    You seem to be a thoughtful person, and while your parents may be bigots and fundies (by your own admission), it’s clear that you share a strong bond with them. I suspect that will not be permanently damaged, but may be strained.

    I recommend not forcing it to be an issue, while not hiding from it either. Be respectful of them, and if they berate you, don’t engage in defensive argumentation. Remember, you are unlikely to change their views (at least not right now anyhow), so no defense of your lack of belief is going to be understandable to them. Instead, tell them that you understand why they feel like they do… and that you love them, and respect them, but you are an adult, and you simply can not accept what they accept, and hope that they would afford you the same respect you would give them.

    This is more or less the way I approached my parents, who are strongly christian but hardly fundamentalist. It was strained for a little while, but we have learned to find a peaceful place where the subjects of religion and politics are kept fairly off limits. And within those confines we enjoy a very loving, close relationship.

    In recent years my mother has begun to ask more questions about why I see things the way I do… I’m not sure if its because she has begun to question or just wants to understand me better… either way, I try to answer her as firmly and accurately as possible without simply insulting her for her beliefs.

    That’s my pound of limited wisdom… but, as you all know, YMMV.

  180. #183 iambilly
    March 18, 2010

    Kevin: That good ol’ Cumberland Valley showing through. Did you also learn to “wersh” your car and then “rinze” it? (I went to high school in Wershington County, Merland. Played for the Wires (In real talk, that would be Washington County Maryland, and Warriors).

  181. #184 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    @iambilly:

    I try to hide the oddest inflections of the accent. I don’t deny ‘needs -ed’ though, because it’s quicker to type and say than the alternative, which I suppose is the proper way to say it, and ‘needs -ed’ is the alternative.

  182. #185 Walton
    March 18, 2010

    Kevin: I would add that I certainly don’t think my personal reaction is objectively the “right” choice. It’s ultimately up to you to make the decision. Some others here may give you completely different advice, and many are in a better position to do so than me. (I grew up in a liberal Christian family, and my parents are aware of my atheism, though I don’t talk to them about religion much any more.) In the end, you’re the one here who knows your parents and knows best how they will react, so I’m not in a position to tell you what you “should” do.

  183. #186 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 18, 2010

    I’m paying attention to the thread, don’t think I’m ignoring you all if I don’t respond.

    No that’s fine, I didn’t really give much advice, mainly because “coming out” to my parents was easy. So easy I didn’t really even have to “come out”. It just sort of happened organically.

    I can’t imagine what dealing super fundy parents would be like.

  184. #187 Pygmy Loris
    March 18, 2010

    needs worked out

    This particular construction is hardly limited to Pennsylvania or Maryland. I have heard it all over Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas FWIW.

  185. #188 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    @Pygmy Loris:

    Though I doubt it’s much of a factor – I was born in Arkansas, and lived in Missouri until I was 4.

  186. #189 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    I try to hide the oddest inflections of the accent. I don’t deny ‘needs -ed’ though, because it’s quicker to type and say than the alternative

    Ugh… try growing up in Boston and then moving… well, pretty much anywhere else. You immediately become everyone’s favorite party trick.

    “Hey, Celtic, say Pahk the cah in Hahvud Yahd”.

    To which I eventually would reply “Ahsk me that again and I’ll shove my size uhlevun Cohnvehrse right up yuhr ahhsss”.

    18 years later I’ve simply lost the accent (except when I talk to my family and revert, which my ex-wife used to find hilarious).

  187. #190 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    @Celtic_Evo:

    Oh yeah, I lived there, too! And New Jersey.

    Talk about living in some of the worst places for accents. I’m now in Northern VA (right near DC) so I dunno what kind of accent to expect here.

  188. #191 Pygmy Loris
    March 18, 2010

    Kevin,

    That’s funny :) Are your parents from Arkansas?

    My advice is to leave your books out, but don’t directly confront your parents about your religious views. If they ask you, explain what you think honestly. I didn’t tell my mother about my lack of belief because I see no point. I’m not going to change her mind and it would only serve to hurt her. She happily believes that I’m some sort of nature worshiper because she’d rather me be non-Christian than an atheist. That’s just my family though. Dad knows and it doesn’t bother him because he’s just like me (Mom did know this when she married him) :) He’d been going through the motions because my mom wanted my brother and me to be Christians.

  189. #192 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    Kevin –

    How funny… if things work out, that’s exactly where I will be in about 2 or 3 months. Likely Reston, VA.

    From my interactions with the people there, I will say that in the DC area and areas immediately surrounding it, the accent is fairly nondescript. However, get out a few down miles or more into places like Richmond, and even moreso once you get near Charlottesville (where my ex wife’s family lives), you begin to notice a much more distinct Carolina southern drawl from the local population.

  190. #193 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    Hey look, nerd porn (with links to even more juicy, under the hood type pics) –

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/191766/inside_the_atari_1040stf.html

    @Pygmy Loris:

    No, my parents are from Philly. My father was in the Air Force, so we moved a lot (not mentioned in my list of residences (#190) is Germany.)

  191. #194 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Janine:

    Walton, you are not showing them much respect by going that route [i.e., his suggestion that Kevin not come out to his family as an atheist].

    I disagree… to a point: If Kevin thinks he has a chance to deconvert his family, and thereby give them a chance at a happier, less guilty, more peaceful life in the long term, then he should buck up his courage and go for it.

    But if he thinks he cannot change their minds about the truth of their faith (and assuming they actually take their faith seriously), then coming out to them as an atheist will force them to live the rest of their lives in the belief that their beloved son is doomed to eternal torture. Any parent who seriously believes that will be wracked with emotional pain. And is whatever Kevin might gain by being strictly truthful and unburdening himself worth the burden of fear and pain he would be laying on them? It doesn’t really matter that their fear would be misguided, and their pain in some sense self-inflicted; it would be no less real for all of that.

    IMHO, Kevin should do whatever he judges is the best, most loving thing for his family (which, please note, may not necessarily be what’s easiest or most comfortable for him)… and he should allow himself to consider hiding his atheism from them as one of the possible solutions.

    Rev BDC (@147):

    By now you will have seen my e-mail re bracketology. Everyone else in the contest will benefit from my presence, no doubt: My picks (esp. involving teams outside the Big East) are about as well informed as my wife’s habit, back in the days when we occasionally attended dog racing, of picking based on which dog’s tail was curlier!

    Ol’ Greg (@161):

    I realize the town you’d be playing “around” is a long way from Hartford, CT, but if you ever have a gig in New England, be sure to let the crowd know. I’m sure I’m not the only Pharyngulan who’d love to be in your audience.

  192. #195 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    Ol’Greg, I am assuming this is one of whom you are talking about.

    Yep.

  193. #196 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    But if he thinks he cannot change their minds about the truth of their faith (and assuming they actually take their faith seriously), then coming out to them as an atheist will force them to live the rest of their lives in the belief that their beloved son is doomed to eternal torture.

    Well, I disagree with this… for me, anyhow, the importance was not in my parents having their minds changed, but in them accepting me as I am and not as they would want me to be. That was too important for me to pretend otherwise.

  194. #197 windy
    March 18, 2010

    Nah, That can’t be the Kwak.

    The kid is too coherent for one.

    Kwak is alright:
    http://baselinescenario.com/

    Much more coherent than that other Kw*k.

  195. #198 Sili
    March 18, 2010

    What science blogs/feeds do people read regularly just to keep on top of new discoveries? I get the Bad Astronomy daily digest but am looking for something to add.

    Universe Today covers everything spacerelated.
    The Guardian Science Weekly Podcast is good for a bit of news and discussion as well.

  196. #199 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    Did you also learn to “wersh” your car and then “rinze” it?

    OH MY! So that’s why my family talks like that? My grandparents were from Maryland although my grandfather was a immigrant child. I always thought their speech was odd.

  197. #200 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    I’m not actually a fan of the Dixie Chicks,

    I meant that in the sense that I haven’t bought much of their music and don’t know that much about them. But what I have heard I do quite like.

    (And I propose “Not Ready to Make Nice” as the official song of The Thread.)

  198. #201 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 18, 2010

    C_E (@196):

    Well, I disagree with this… for me, anyhow, the importance was not in my parents having their minds changed, but in them accepting me as I am and not as they would want me to be.

    I respect your position on this, and depending on a number of variables whose values we do not know in this particular case, I might even agree with it. But at the end of the day, I would not rank my own need for acceptance ahead of avoiding a lifetime of pain for someone I loved.

    Depending on exactly what version of Christian doctrine Kevin’s parents believe and exactly how literally/seriously they take it, their reaction to Kevin’s atheism could be anything from mild disappointment to a crushing and irredeemable sense that they’ve failed as parents and are personally responsible for their son’s eternal damnation. If the reality is closer to the former end of the spectrum, the value to Kevin of being honestly and correctly understood probably exceeds the cost to his parents; if they’re closer to the latter end, maybe not so much. I don’t pretend to know the right solution, but that’s how I, personally, would define the solution space.

    It’s the same, I would imagine, for many other situations involving telling uncomfortable truths: Do you come out to your parents about your sexuality? Do you confess an undiscovered (and ended) affair to a spouse? And on a trivial level, but structurally similar, do those pants make his/her ass look fat? I place a high value on truth, but an even higher value on not harming someone I love; it’s strikes me as important to get the calculus right.

    Of course, it’s all pretty easy for me to say, because I haven’t been faced with any real crisis along these lines: My parents were never particularly religious, despite drifting in and out of several churches over the years, and my own drift first into and then back out of Christianity was essentially without occasions for drama. Nor have I faced any other similar conflicts between truth and the feelings of my loved ones. I would never criticize the actions of anyone who wrestles honestly with issues like this, regardless of the conclusion they reach.

  199. #202 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    No arguments, Bill… I respect what you say… I just feel differently personally, and for my situation.

  200. #203 JeffreyD
    March 18, 2010

    maureen.brian at #149 – Fortunately or unfortunately, everyone will have a different view, it is probably not possible to get me to stop posting about these things at times. I try not to get too deeply into it, it can be boring, but I think it does help. I had a real career and did well with my life. I was fully functional for nearly 30 years and hardly gave my history a thought. Things changed. PTSD is a reality for me, actually already had issues before the last three years kicked me in the face. Sorry your Dad and late partner could not talk about things. So many vets of that time period were unable to unload – it just was not manly. WW2 was a bit better, but cultural issues/self imposed bans still existed about being unmanly. Also, I believe, after the two big wars, people, the culture, just wanted life to go back to normal and encouraged the burying of discussion. Korean vets were just ignored and Vietnam vets were often seen as the ?losers?. For a while, a lot of the Vietnam vets were not even welcomed in vets organizations in the US – not a great loss I might add, but painful to those who experienced it.

    iambilly at #153 – you sound like a combat vet to me. Working 9/11 may not technically qualify as combat duty, but it resulted in situations much like combat. To wit, death, destruction, smell, etc. Yes, sounds very much like combat to me.

    I know what you mean about smell and how that can trigger panic or memory. Smell does seem to take us directly into our primal selves. I can still smell certain things and feel the hackles rise on my neck. One of the most embarrassing moments was going to pick up my youngest daughter late one hot summer evening at a friend?s house. I had never met the friend and did not know her family. So, I walk to the door in the dark, sultry green, get a deep sniff of Vietnamese fish sauce and hear a burst of Vietnamese. I was curling up in the bushes searching desperately for my non-existent gun when the door opened and my daughter and her friend appeared. Obviously, they were immigrants from Vietnam. Her father actually understood and asked me not to to apologize. Talk about feeling like a ass. This is one of those times when I started to realize, decades later, that perhaps I was not quite over the experience.

    You will have nightmares and panic attacks – that is normal. You do seem to be trying to cope with them. For myself, therapy was very valuable as it allowed me to talk without someone either saying ?there, there? or freaking out over what I was telling them. Sometimes it was valuable for me to tell the stories almost as if they happened to someone else.

    Not really a video for any purpose, but this is what I am listening too right now and I love the words.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VOYcRXzs1Y

  201. #204 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 18, 2010

    And I propose “Not Ready to Make Nice” as the official song of The Thread.

    I second that emotion.

  202. #205 iambilly
    March 18, 2010

    JeffreyD: I view my experiences after 9/11 as a combat experience. Right now (well, not ‘right now’ (simultaneity in blog comment conversations is an interesting concept, just as it is when contemplating speeds approaching c) but in my real life) I am trying to get someone to admit that my problem is associated with that service. It’s an uphill battle.

    The nightmares — for about 14 months (SEP08 to OCT09) my nightmares were with me three, four, even five times a week. Then I got pneumonia (had both flus at once) and the nightmares are back to once a fortnight.

    I have been in therapy which has not been all that useful. The coping mechanisms I use are ones that I have developed myself and my therapist says, ‘Wow. Good idea. Mind if I steal that?’ (he did that at least twice).

    All: Sorry for venting. The smell trigger this morning was a jolt and I need to drop some of this dreck now so I don’t overload (((Wife))) when I get home.

    And right now, I’m listening to Pink Floyd, “Is There Anybody Out There: The Wall [Live]“. Fits my current mood.

  203. #206 Carlie
    March 18, 2010

    Kevin – a hard break is difficult emotionally. If you want it to be easier, drop hints for awhile. No, I’m not going to church right now, I haven’t found anything I like yet. No, I’m still not going to church anywhere. Oh, I happened to read X secular book. Hey, did you hear this story about churches acting badly in the news. It’s the sneaky way for them to step down gradually, but it doesn’t work in all cases (I know some would step up the concern and upset at each point, so a quick band-aid pull is the best). It really depends on you and your parents and what you think would be the best for both of you.

  204. #207 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 18, 2010

    Why is Scienceblogs taunting me with a B*H photo add on the sidebar showing the last 3 lenses I’ve looked at?

    Not very nice.

  205. #208 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    In other news. I’m arguing with a Creotard in a Ray Comfort blog post… and I’m losing patience and brain cells trying to do so.

    I looked on TalkOrigins and flipped through my Why Evolution is True book, but the answers to a few of his statements elude me. So *ahem*

    EVOLUTIONISTS! ASSEMBLE!

    In response to my post: Why do you not think [evolution is] a theory?

    Because it makes no testable predictions. It has no potential falsifiers. When people advance a “potential falsifier” for evolution, it is always something that can be effectively ruled out through analysis of the existing data (e.g. the infamous rabbit) or something previously ruled out by experiment (an absence of evidence for chromosome fusion in human chromosomes only became a “potential falsifier” after they found the evidence for chromosome fusion.)

    In response to my post: Evolution would, indeed, be falsified if [a bird fossil was found earlier than a reptile fossil.]

    In other words, you are making a prediction based on analysis of the existing data, and the same prediction would be made by someone who believed evolution to be false but had the same knowledge and understanding of the data.

    If evolution were really a scientific theory, nothing would be advanced as a potential falsifier that people hundreds or thousands of years before the idea was conceived would agree could never happen (e.g. a cat giving birth to a dog.) If someone were advancing a new “theory” of astrophysics and said that every sunrise was a test of the theory because “the sun rising in the west” was a potential falsifier, you would rightly conclude that he was peddling a pseudo-science. Well, your “potential falsifiers” are of the same caliber.

    There is something else you should know. When Ray advances something as a “potential vindicator” for evolution and you advance the same thing as a “potential falsifier” for it, it simply tells me that you both consider the possibility ruled out, that it can be excluded without appeal to evolution being true or false, and that you are, therefore, both out of line for presenting it as a meaningful test. (Examples of such “vindicator/falsifiers” are the crockoduck, the dog giving birth to cat, and the cat giving birth to dog. I have little doubt that if you continued to give more examples from Why Evolution is True, that you would have had more overlap.

    Alright, any help, besides to call him an idiot creotard and laugh at his ignorance of evolution. Seriously, everything Ray Comfort and other creotards posit as evidence for evolution is evidence AGAINST evolution. They don’t get it, and I’m the one who is doing the research to be less ignorant.

  206. #209 blf
    March 18, 2010

    JeffreyD@12, thanks for the link to Redgum’s I Was Only 19. I’ve no recollection of ever hearing that song before. As you say, it’s not a happy one, but it is nonetheless impressive and unforgettable.

    Unfortunately, some of the comments on that YouTube link are absolutely vile.

  207. #210 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    On September 11th, my friend and I walked over to St. Vincent’s to try to donate blood. We were inhaling…people.

  208. #211 iambilly
    March 18, 2010

    Kevin: Point out that when palaeontologists were looking for ‘transitional fossils’ to help fill in some ‘gaps’ in the fossil record for whales, they determined where and when (geologically speaking) to search based on previous discoveries. In other words, they predicted that certain early whale fossils might be found in sediments of the correct age in Pakistan. And they found (correct me if I’m wrong (depressed historian here)) they found Pakicetus. That is but one example of scientists using a prediction based upon the theory of evolution. You may (make that will) need to do some more checking before using that one as I may have the name wrong and I don’t know the time fram involved.

  209. #212 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    Regarding cluster headaches and LSD/psilocybin upthread, the journal Neurology&reg has an abstract that seems promising. The full text is behind a paywall, unfortunately. Anybody here have access?

    The authors interviewed 53 cluster headache patients who had used psilocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to treat their condition. Twenty-two of 26 psilocybin users reported that psilocybin aborted attacks; 25 of 48 psilocybin users and 7 of 8 LSD users reported cluster period termination; 18 of 19 psilocybin users and 4 of 5 LSD users reported remission period extension. Research on the effects of psilocybin and LSD on cluster headache may be warranted.

  210. #213 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    It’s less known than the unofficial name of I Was Only 19 but the real name of the Redgum song is “A Walk in the Light Green”.

    It’s from the colouration of the maps in the area the troops were sent. Dark green meant thick jungle and relative safety. The light green meant open land and dangerous exposure. Hence being ordered to “walk in the light green” was a terrifying prospect.

  211. #215 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    What science blogs/feeds do people read regularly just to keep on top of new discoveries? I get the Bad Astronomy daily digest but am looking for something to add.

    http://scienceblogs.com/notrocketscience/

  212. #216 nigelTheBold
    March 18, 2010

    EVOLUTIONISTS! ASSEMBLE!

    I was not put on this earth to listen to meat!

    How about evolution in the laboratory? The experiment had a single prediction: that bacteria from a single strain would adapt to a changed environment. This very simple prediction would hold only if evolution through natural selection was a valid theory. If the bacteria did not adapt physically, and if those adaptations weren’t accompanied by genetic changes, the experiment would’ve called into question the validity of evolution via natural selection.

    The experiment was a greater success than they could’ve hoped. Not only did the bacteria adapt, but one genetic change in one population adapted the bacteria to metabolize citrate.

    This is just one experiment among many that made a prediction based on adaptation that was borne out by experimentation.

  213. #218 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    There is a Boise man suffering from cluster headaches that has been profiled on the local news for the last year or so. He has traveled to California (?) to have the surgery where they implant a wire/electrode in his brain to suppress the headaches. A procedure that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, is fraught with all the dangers of mucking about in the brainpan, and is not covered by insurance because it is “experimental”. The first go-round didn’t work, so he’s going back to have another attempt.

    It would seem that (if it proves to be effective) a few pennies (literally) worth of psilocybin or LSD would be the sensible route, no?

  214. #219 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    boygenius:

    It would seem that (if it proves to be effective) a few pennies (literally) worth of psilocybin or LSD would be the sensible route, no?

    Yes, of course. Getting the U.S. to drop its manufactured drug paranoia, that’s another animal altogether.

    One of ND’s congress critters has long fought for the right to grow hemp here. Supposedly, it’s legal, but two brothers we know who have repeatedly tried to grow hemp keep getting nasty, destructive visits from the DEA.

  215. #220 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Sven,
    :)

  216. #221 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    Sili what an amazingly cool blog! I love reading about medicine and surgery. Some times I deeply, and I mean deeply, regret not studying medicine. The only reason I didn’t is that two member of my family did (who I considered much smarter than me) and couldn’t cut it and I didn’t want to let my mom down by failing at it and end up buried in debt with nothing to show for it.

    It’s so stupid the reasons we can think are good reasons at the time.

    If I’d have known what undergrad would have looked like for me in the next two years oh the things I would have done differently. There’s really nothing short of my own death that could have made it harder or worse and now I figure if I could handle all that I could probably handle just about anything.

  217. #222 nigelTheBold
    March 18, 2010

    The experiment was a greater success than they could’ve hoped. Not only did the bacteria adapt, but one genetic change in one population adapted the bacteria to metabolize citrate.

    D’oh! As I re-read this, I realize I made a mistake. It was more than a single genetic change that allowed the bacteria to metabolize citrate. It was at least 2 mutations.

  218. #223 Sili
    March 18, 2010

    GAH! &lt/a>, not </em>!

  219. #224 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    Kevin –

    In response to your talking point addled creationist:

    Because it makes no testable predictions.

    Call bullshit! Then have them explain Tiktaalik. Here’s a quick blurb from Panda’s Thumb.

    Scientists predicted the existence, based on the Theory of Evolution, of a creature with certain characteristics in a specific point in the fossil record. And lo and behold they found exactly what they predicted should be there, right about when it should be there. This is a testable prediction that was confirmed.

  220. #225 Sili
    March 18, 2010

    Ol’Greg,

    Yeah, he’s very good (I really should get his book at some point).

    Do drop him a line/comment and tell him what you liked. I think he could do with the encouragement.

  221. #226 Bastion Of Sass
    March 18, 2010

    Today’s Baltimore Sun has an article that promotes the use of homeopathy for treating allergies, although it does seem to somewhat confuse “herbal remedies” with homeopathic ones.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bal-gl.hs.allergies18mar18,0,7691960.story

    The on-line version of the article permits comments if you’re so inclined.

  222. #227 Feynmaniac
    March 18, 2010

    This is just one experiment among many that made a prediction based on adaptation that was borne out by experimentation.

    And that’s why at least one creationist, Andy Schlafly, tried to denigrate the work. He didn’t even read the entire paper (“I did skim Lenski?s paper”). Big time fail.

    The event was (and still is) hilarious. You can read about it here:
    http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Lenski_Affair

  223. #228 Sili
    March 18, 2010

    Breaking News!

    (via Slog)

    “This is what patriotism looks like.

    Hella props to Lt. Choi and Capt. Pietrangelo!

  224. #229 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    It has no potential falsifiers. When people advance a “potential falsifier” for evolution, it is always something that can be effectively ruled out through analysis of the existing data (e.g. the infamous rabbit) or something previously ruled out by experiment (an absence of evidence for chromosome fusion in human chromosomes only became a “potential falsifier” after they found the evidence for chromosome fusion.)

    This is a patently stupid statement. Just because an examination of the existing data does not provide such a falsifier does not mean one can not exist! Using his own example, “the infamous rabbit”… a fossil of a Precambrian rabbit, or any other animal falling outside of where it should based on the ToE, would be a potential falsifier. The fact that the preponderance of data “effectively rules it out” only strengthens the theory… it doesn’t toss out the possibility of such a falsifier, in and of itself. What idiocy!

  225. #230 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    Caine, I’ve halfway been following the hemp battles in ND. As far as I know, Monson and Hague have come closer to breaking through than anyone else in the nation.

    Don’t even get me started on the ridiculous situation in SD with the Oglala Sioux on the Pine Ridge reservation. Why on earth does the DEA have any jurisdiction in a sovereign nation?

  226. #231 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    “This is what patriotism looks like.

    Hella props to Lt. Choi and Capt. Pietrangelo!

    Courage. I hope many more will join them!

  227. #232 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    In other words, you are making a prediction based on analysis of the existing data, and the same prediction would be made by someone who believed evolution to be false but had the same knowledge and understanding of the data.

    He’s playing word salad with you here and intentionally trying to re-word what you said.

    You don’t need to play these games. You aren’t making any prediction with regards to “the analysis of existing data”, you are making a falsifiable truth claim based on the principals of the Theory of Evolution. Evolution states that species change over time… a clear proof that evolution is wrong in that assessment would be the existence of animals that do not fit within the parameters defined by the Theory, for example a mule dear fossil in the Cretaceous fossil layer.

    Using his ass-backwards logic, no claim that hasn’t been falsified can be considered falsifiable. That is pure lunacy.

  228. #233 Sili
    March 18, 2010

    Forgot the closing ” (I type like a drunken kiwibird).

    “This is what patriotism looks like.” From tex.

    It’s all over the gay blogs (if you’ll pardon the expression).

  229. #234 Celtic_Evolution
    March 18, 2010

    Still stewing about the stupidity wafting from the Ray Comfort idiot Kevin is debating…

    Kevin, be warned, it’s a common creationist tactic to simply dismiss evidence or arguments they don’t like or can’t refute as irrelevant. This guy basically hand-waves everything from “Why Evolution Is True” away with a dismissal using the argument “how can you expect me to consider something as falsifiable that’s been ruled out by the evidence”, which may be one of the stupidest arguments I’ve ever had the misfortune to come across.

    I’m just floored by it, which is surprising considering how much creationist stupidity I’ve been exposed to.

  230. #235 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 18, 2010

    On September 11th, my friend and I walked over to St. Vincent’s to try to donate blood. We were inhaling…people.

    On 11 September 2001 I was at work when I first heard about the planes, and my first response was to call my wife and tell her not to turn on the TV in the room where my daughter was recovering from 14 hours of brain surgery a couple days before. Shortly I joined them, and we all sat hoping (praying, it would’ve been, but by then I already doubted there was anyone/anything on the other end of the prayer) that the pathologists’ verdict would be benign… but pretty much knowing that hope was forlorn. At lunchtime we watched Bush’s first speech on the TV in the cafeteria, and I remember being furious with the perpetrators for, along with all the obvious reasons, screwing around with my family’s crisis. The next day we met our oncologist for the first time.

    Because it overlaps so perfectly in time with the single biggest personal crisis of my life, I’ve always suspected that 9/11 resonates differently for me than for most other people; mostly my 9/11 narrative is disjointed fragments of news coverage on various hospital TVs.

    I also haven’t been personally touched by war in the way others report: I never served in the military myself (too young for Vietnam; too old for the Gulf War), and never lost anyone close to me in war: My brother-in-law served an infantry tour in Iraq, but came through unscathed. My father was a Korean War fighter pilot, and even once had to bail out of his F-86, but it was due to a midair with a squadron mate, not combat. My mother lost an older brother in WWII when she was a teen, but that was (obviously) long before I was born. My grandfather was a WWI vet, but reached the front too late to see any combat (though he did nearly die in France during the 1919 flu pandemic). I can only guess at what it must be like to live with the scars of war, or with others who suffer from them.

    I felt a little bad earlier, when I fairly glibly praised the Dixie Chicks for their anti-war stance, and then began to read some of the posts (which I had not previously seen) about the personal effects of war. It has been my experience that the political opponents of the Iraq invasion, despite all conventional “wisdom” to the contrary, care deeply about the suffering and hardships of soldiers, veterens, and their families, and are grateful for the sacrifices those peole have made. I know that’s true of me. Nevertheless, if my breezy manner this morning was an occasion for any pain, I apologize.

  231. #236 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    Boygenius:

    Caine, I’ve halfway been following the hemp battles in ND. As far as I know, Monson and Hague have come closer to breaking through than anyone else in the nation.

    I’m really beginning to think it’s simply never going to happen here. Hemp would be an outstanding crop here, it’s excellent for rotation, and given that it can be grown for cloth, paper and oil means that farmers could actually make some money. I’ve seen the DEA storm a hemp crop, complete with effing flamethrowers. Godsdamned idiots.

    Don’t even get me started on the ridiculous situation in SD with the Oglala Sioux on the Pine Ridge reservation. Why on earth does the DEA have any jurisdiction in a sovereign nation?

    Oh, the list of atrocities pulled at Pine Ridge are insane and *long*. SD has turned into a nest of viperous, toxic fundagelicals. Its a very scary place these days. Things have never been right at Pine Ridge, but it’s gone past absurd these days. The DEA should not only have no business at PR, it shouldn’t have any business when it comes to legal crops or legal medical marijuana. Doesn’t stop them from arresting people left and right though.

  232. #237 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    Do drop him a line/comment and tell him what you liked. I think he could do with the encouragement

    I did, actually I just put his book in my amazon cart so I look forward to reading it.

  233. #238 Paul
    March 18, 2010

    I can only guess at what it must be like to live with the scars of war, or with others who suffer from them.

    My dad was in the Marines for 20 years. He did 2 tours in Vietnam. Certain horrors and events where he was lucky to be alive served to reinforce his religion, and were basically his proof that God exists and loved him. I was never able to come out as an atheist to my dad because I was scared of how it would end up, with God being basically the solution to all his war issues. He died a year ago next week and I never really was able to get respect for who I am, instead of who I pretended to be.

    Tying back into Kevin’s dilemma, I’d do my best to be open with my beliefs and values. But then, it’s somewhat hypocritical of me to say so.

  234. #239 SC OM
    March 18, 2010
  235. #240 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    On 11 September 2001 here in Texas I was in school.

    It was eerie that morning when I got to class. There were no people in front of the school, it was quiet, and I kept thinking I had forgotten maybe that it was a holiday or that there was some kind of testing.

    Then there was a girl just standing in a hall and she was saying something very cavalier about a plane crash and laughing about it.

    When I got to class everything was quiet and no one said anything about my being late which was getting increasingly disconcerting. The TV was on and the news was showing footage over and over again of a burning building, and then the second plane hit.

    We all just stared at it and didn’t say anything.

    Then we started talking about it, and kids started panicking or getting upset. Most people kept saying “why would they do that?”

    Then everyone went home. We didn’t know what to do. We just sat and listened to the radio (didn’t have TV or home internet then.)

    Sat, listened, sat, listened… and at some point we all went out (the whole city it seemed) and bought groceries.

  236. #241 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    I guess my point was that as remote as I was it was so disturbing. I can’t imagine what it was like for people there.

    Some of my friends were in school nearby and watched as it happened. I really can’t imagine.

  237. #242 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 18, 2010

    On September 11, 2001 my wife and I were on a train going to Chicago. We were having breakfast and a British tourist was on the phone to somebody. This somebody had the TV on and said “somebody just flew a plane into a skyscraper in New York.” The tourist passed the word on to those of us in the dining car. There was a discussion and the general consensus was a horrible accident had happened. We didn’t find out any details until we got to the railway station in Chicago.

    My younger brother was flying from San Francisco to Milwaukee. His plane was diverted to Salt Lake City. After two days in SLC he and three other people rented a car and drove back to San Francisco.

  238. #243 Paul
    March 18, 2010

    On 11 September 2001 here in Texas I was in school.

    I was as well (except in California). I had a zero period AP Physics course, and I would show up early even for that in case people needed help with homework or the previous days’ lecture, whatever. There was nobody around campus at large, seeing as it was 6:30 or so. The teacher had the television on, which he never had before. It was surreal. It took me several minutes to realize something was wrong (I can be rather slow). I don’t recall any widescale disturbance, aside from abstract talk about how horrible it was and more concrete talk about how they’d be reinstating the draft. Well, actually, there were some people freaked out about how Disneyland would be destroyed by terrorists (it’s in the same city I grew up in), but at the time that just seemed silly to me. I didn’t even remember it until right now.

  239. #244 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    Caine:

    Things have never been right at Pine Ridge

    Yeah, you’d think especially after the Leonard Peltier incident (just to pick a modern conflict) the feds would have more of a hands-off approach to Pine Ridge. I guess the stormtrooper mentality runs deep. Jackbooted thugs, indeed.

  240. #245 JeffreyD
    March 18, 2010

    Bill Dauphin at #235. for what it is worth from me, I noticed neither a breezy manner from you nor had any concern with what you were saying.

    9/11 – I was in DC, downtown, State Dept on C Street. Watching the horror show just like everyone else. Of course, we, like New Yorkers, had the added soupçon of wondering whether there was another plane heading our way. The Pentagon hit just added to that concern. I finally made it home, settled the family, packed a bag and went back to work. Did not even exit the building as such for the next five days, eating pizza and sleeping on couches in the lounge. I think it took longer for those of us in the Dept, military and the Agency to come to terms with the attack as we worked through the aftermath for such long stretches. An analgesic of fatigue as it were.

    Apparently started something on this thread. Again, not sure it was a good idea. I always wonder if people really need to relive pain. It is cathartic for me, but it is OK to inflict it on others? Well, like I said before, I doubt I can fully stop, so hope it is a good thing overall.

    A little brother Solomon Burke
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9rgVks29rs

  241. #246 Sili
    March 18, 2010

    The only things I can say about my reäction to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center would most likely paint me – rightly – as a heartless, godless monster.

    From my position at the time, it was easy to not share in the sorrow and pain of the victims and observers. Reading The Thread shames me for my glibness.

    Another Viet Vet, who admittedly doesn’t write much about his experience.

  242. #247 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    On 9/11, I saw the news coverage of the first plane while getting ready for work. Heard about the second plane on the radio on the way to the jobsite. Rounded up my employees and we all went to the nearest bar with a TV, opened a tab on the company credit card and spent the entire day watching it all play out. I wish my memories of that day could be as blurry as they were when we finally left that bar. Unfortunately, the subsequent media saturation is still with me.

    The worst thing? I suspect we shall see a repeat performance sooner rather than later. Radical Islam + piss-poor foreign policy = 9/11 II, the Redux. :’(

  243. #248 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 18, 2010

    Gyeong Hwa Pak #70

    Please clarify. Traditional Chinese and Cambodian songs are vastly different. Modern Khmer Pop songs, OTHO, are often cheap translation of Chinese/Korean/Japanese originals.

    Sorry to respond so late, been out all day, and then it took an hour to read this thread. Those combat etc experiences deserved to be read properly, and not skimmed.

    In reply to your request – I possess very little Cambodian music, and it’s all before 1975, and Pol Pot. I have “Cambodia Rocks”. and imho, a much better compilation collected in street markets in the early seventies by an American muso entitled “Cambodian Swing Machine” (artists unknown, all murdered ofc, crazy Western influenced pop). Everything else I have heard on the internet somewhere. Bits of traditional folk music, that sort of thing. Hard to find, and impossible to find to download. Never been there.
    The Chinese music I’ve also mainly heard on the net, but i was in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore in the early seventies and I “experienced” street opera a few times, and also heard the odd person/combo playing folk music, on street corners, bars, on doorsteps.
    Is that what you wanted to know?

    My question about how one writes songs in tonal languages really came about because, although I can listen to Chinese instrumental music, once the voice is added it loses me completely. Everything goes weird :) So, is it just me, or is there something different happening there because the language is tonal?

    (It gets more complicated because I don’t have the same problem with, eg, “tonal” v “non tonal” West African Music. But then it’s obviously a different musical tradition, and the language families use tonality differently.)

    Of course, the vast majority of speakers of tonal languages have perfect pitch. Why doesn’t it sound like that to me when they sing? :)

  244. #249 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    Sili:

    The only things I can say about my reäction to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center would most likely paint me – rightly – as a heartless, godless monster.

    Why? Was your reaction of the “chickens have come home to roost” variety? I admit to feeling a bit of that myself, though it did not detract from my sorrow and sympathy for the victims.

    What was your position at the time that made it hard for you to relate to the situation. Don’t feel obligated to answer me, but I’m genuinely curious.

  245. #250 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 18, 2010

    JeffreyD,

    I always wonder if people really need to relive pain. It is cathartic for me, but it is OK to inflict it on others? Well, like I said before, I doubt I can fully stop, so hope it is a good thing overall.

    If it helps you to write about it, we’ll read it and some of us will even comment. While I’m a military veteran I never served in combat so I can only sympathize, not empathize.

  246. #251 Sili
    March 18, 2010

    What was your position at the time that made it hard for you to relate to the situation.

    Living in the UK with no US contacts. Had I been a Pharyngulista then, I would likely have had very different experience.

    Why? Was your reaction of the “chickens have come home to roost” variety?

    No. I came into the dept. very late that day, so I was alone in my office. I checked my mail, and there was a message for the chaplaincy (prolly to the exchange student mailing list or some such thing) offering support and councelling to anyone affected by “the tragic events of today” or words to that effect. I assumed that there had once again been a school shooting of some similar minor, selfinflicted incident. Something that those silly Americans were as usual blowing out of proportion as if they were the centre of the world. Only then did I go to the BBC News.

    Still, I flew to France later that month on a mostly empty plane, and I said with out remorse that I had to admire the terrorists for their creativity (a very poorly chosen word for an act of destruction).

    I still think that the public reäction was out of proportion, but I think that of just about all public expressions of emotion. At least it was more appropriate than the Diana-orama, but the claims of this somehow being the worst humanitarian catastrophe EVAR, makes it very hard to find any sympathy of the general American.

  247. #252 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    I still think that the public reäction was out of proportion, but I think that of just about all public expressions of emotion.

    It was surreal. On one hand it was traumatic in a very real way. On the other hand I was most disturbed by my feeling like there was nothing to do. All around me were places to vent lots of emotions, but I’m not a person who feels better by venting emotions. I only feel better by actually doing something.

  248. #253 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 18, 2010

    I still think that the public reäction was out of proportion, but I think that of just about all public expressions of emotion. At least it was more appropriate than the Diana-orama, but the claims of this somehow being the worst humanitarian catastrophe EVAR, makes it very hard to find any sympathy of the general American.

    I’m with Sili. Of course, I was horrified by what happened, as everyone was. After the initial shock wore off, though, I was quickly nauseated by the self-obsessed, maudlin, jingoistic aspect of the whole thing. We Americans had, to a greater or lesser extent, the sympathy and solidarity of the world in the days just after the attacks. Then our government blew it for us.

    What pissed me off more than anything was the (warning: some of you are going to get angry at what I write) smarmy, insincere shows of “solidarity” with the NY fire and police that I witnessed when living in the South. I had gone to school just outside NYC, and moved to rural Virginia after graduating. Before September 11, everyone had nothing but contempt and mockery for “New York liberals-faggots-jews-elites”. My having come from NYC was a source of mean-spirited amusement for the hicks – cuz, ya know, they were real ‘murcans. People used to openly wish New York City (and the whole damned Northeast) would carve itself out of the US and float off into the Atlantic. Ha-ha.

    But, oh, didn’t all the rural volunteer firefighters start wearing FDNY caps and proclaiming their “brotherhood” with the NYC firefighters when Sept. 11 happened. Yes, some of it was genuine human compassion and solidarity. Some of it was very kind, even noble. But a boatload of it was nothing but an excuse to grandstand and make themselves feel important and “connected” to a tragedy that happened 1,000 miles away, to people (like me) they were happy to write off as fake Americans the week before.

  249. #254 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 18, 2010

    Oy, blockquote fail. My apologies.

  250. #255 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 18, 2010

    the claims of this somehow being the worst humanitarian catastrophe EVAR, makes it very hard to find any sympathy of the general American.

    I think you’re going to regret saying that.

    I had the day off work and watched it all unfold on TV. I thought it was horrific, mass murder committed by religious lunatics.
    I also thought, with only a sense of weariness, that people had been saying for years that if you assist in the overthrow of governments (Iran), in the destructuon of others (Lebanon) and the support for military dictatorships (Iraq), wiping out all possible political options, exterminating the left and the democrats (Indonesia) then you leave people with nothing but the Violence( State or private) and Religion. What do you expect?
    The three most secular, “westernised”, ME countries were Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon. Now look at them.
    But nothing absolves anyone from killing civilians en masse. Not in New York, Madrid or London, and not in Gaza, Beirut or Baghdad.

  251. #256 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    Sili, thanks for your reply. I guess I can understand your position. We Yanks are more than a bit self centered, taken as a whole. (Though I believe the average USian Pharyngulite is much less ethnocentric than the population at large. Exponentially so, even.)

    Most of the people I interact with in meatspace don’t even realize that more Americans have been killed in Iraq than in the 9/11 attacks. Not to mention the 100K+ Iraqi civilians killed. In a stupid, pointless war that we (well, some of we) were lied into.

    While there has been some condemnation of the war in Iraq, it doesn’t square with the body count when compared to 9/11.

  252. #257 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    the claims of this somehow being the worst humanitarian catastrophe EVAR, makes it very hard to find any sympathy of the general American.

    In general, I think there is something very wrong with the *idea* of ranking atrocities.

    For instance the “worst case” of child abuse…

  253. #258 Kel, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Because it makes no testable predictions.

    I really hate this line of argument for two reasons: 1. evolution does make testable predictions, otherwise how would we know it happened? And 2. testable predictions a science makes not. The prediction that the world is going to end next tuesday is a testable and falsifiable prediction, when next wednesday I wake up and the world is still standing I know that such a prediction has failed.

    Their ignorance of evolution is not an argument against evolution, no matter how much they think it is. Until they realise it, we’re going to be perpetually trying to show that the straw man they have constructed is indeed made of straw – despite them thinking they have just punched through steel.

  254. #259 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 18, 2010

    drat! should read “…exterminating the left and the social democrats and the democratic right (Indonesia) then you leave people with nothing but Violence..”

  255. #260 Sven DiMilo
    March 18, 2010

    “Cambodian Swing Machine”

    This sounds absolutely fascinating and I happen to know that it can be obtained, as it were, online. I may even have done so. If I had, though, it wouldn’t have risen to the top of the listening queue yet, probably.

    Here is a blogpost about it, if you know what I mean, and I think you do nudge wink saynomore Squire

  256. #261 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    Hey,I’m sorry all I’m having some email trouble but Bill D I replied to you but I don’t know if it will go through. The account name may look like spam though from that address.

    If you see phthalocyanine in the sender’s name that’s me.

  257. #262 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    Bah!! The whole point of my #256 is that the Iraq war is a worse humanitarian catastrophe than 9/11, and equally unnecessary.

  258. #263 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 18, 2010

    Sven, Yes, that’s where I got it from. Although after I later posted a link to it here, months ago, I found it wasn’t working any more. Maybe it’s back.
    I love it, especially the second half. Track 2 is the original tune for Dengue Fever ‘s “Tiger Phone Card”.

    (I also have their DVD documentary “Sleepwalking through The Mekong”).

  259. #264 Katrina
    March 18, 2010

    We were living in Okinawa on 9/11, and I was nine weeks pregnant with twins. Because of the time difference, we only learned about it on the morning of the 12th.

    For us seeing the towers was a shocking, yet remote thing. But seeing the Pentagon was worse still. Friends knew people there; it was more personal.

    Years later, again living overseas, one of my neighbors told me that her husband was working in the Pentagon that day. In fact, his office was one of the ones that was closed for renovation – which was what saved his life.

    Much of the events of that day remind me of Pearl Harbor in the sense that it was a loss of innocence (of sorts).

    I’m probably not expressing this very well. I’m not sure that I can. Perhaps after some wine, I’ll become a bit more fluent.

  260. #265 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    Kay

    For Creotard first – I think I’m just going to dismiss him with a ‘if you can’t debate correctly, then I’m not going to bother.’

    Second, for my family coming up. I’ve decided, I’m just going to leave my books on my bookshelf. They’re not anywhere special, nor are they hidden. I’m not going to make mention of them at all. If my mother or father decides to question them, I’ll simply admit I’m an atheist. I’ll let them know of my love of science. I’ll let them know that I just don’t have the same belief anymore. Whatever happens, happens.

  261. #266 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    Luckily no one cares about my books.

    I remember once my mom visited me and a friend of hers was with her and quickly the friend began rifling though my bookshelf, picking out books, and asking my mother about them in front of me. Both my mother and I were just kind of staring at him. He pulled out a book of erotic short stories by Anais Nin and made the funniest face, and then he pulled out a book on skin diseases with lots of colorplates, and then my copy of the satanist bible. Hahah… I still have that thing for precisely the same purpose. Nothing funnier than some people’s faces when they see something like that. It’s just a freaking paperback too. Really though the skin disease book is a lot more disturbing.

    So is some of anais nin’s writing actually.

  262. #267 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    Feynmaniac back at #146

    I had a close friend die in Tower 1 so after this thread I decided to cheer myself up and enter into Ray’s offer to give away a jacket. If PZ can get an iPhone from the godbots, I can get a jacket. Here’s my entry which I sent to the email address he supplied:

    Hi

    I’m an atheist but want to win your jacket. I make no pretensions about this, in that other than winning your jacket and getting massive kudos from the atheists I consort with, I have no other motivation. Give me your jacket. Really, it’s a a nice jacket and I think I can be seriously godless in it.

    Cheers

    Victoria

    ..if I win I am sooooo going to show off.

  263. #268 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    Er, I meant ‘seriously’ not ‘correctly.’

    @Ol’Greg:

    That’s a little… rude of her friend. “I’m gonna go through your stuff *rummagerummage*”

  264. #269 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    @Bride of Shrek:

    I actually entered his $100 groceries drawing… cause I could use free groceries for a couple weeks.

  265. #270 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 18, 2010

    ..if I win I am sooooo going to show off.

    If you got it, flaunt it…

  266. #271 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    Wow… Sastra just pwnd another thread.

    And coined a phrase!

  267. #272 Kel, OM
    March 18, 2010

    For Creotard first – I think I’m just going to dismiss him with a ‘if you can’t debate correctly, then I’m not going to bother.’

    Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say “if you don’t even understand the basics of what you’re arguing, then there’s no point to continue”, then list a number of books on the matter so that he can inform himself on what he is arguing against. Otherwise he might mistake your futility for cowardice.

  268. #273 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    Aaand.. I didn’t read far enough down the thread to realize that all y’all are already over there and probably saw Sastra’s brilliance before I did.

  269. #274 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    @Kel:

    Well, yeah. I was going to do that, too. It’s obvious that he, and people like Ray Comfort don’t really understand evolution. I’ve been researching it, myself. I bought ‘Your Inner Fish’ and ‘Why Evolution is True’ recently and I just finished WEiT.

  270. #275 iambilly
    March 18, 2010

    I was at work on 9/11. (((Wife))) called and told me a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I figured it was no big deal. After all, during WWII, a North American B-25 Mitchell managed to his the Empire State Building. THen one of my co-workers said anothe plane had hit and I knew that this was not an accident.

    We pulled a TV into the Visitor Center and decided not to even open up the fee booth. We were right. The park was closed by 11:00. And was closed the next day.

    On Friday I was sent down to New York City. Drove down. Had to take a marked vehicle. The only one the park could spare was a 1986 Ford Tempo which used to belong to the USMC. When I got down to the Javitz Center, a Forest Ranger said that he would never again claim that the NPS got all the money.

    At the time, we had three people in California at a forest fire, one in Montana at a forest fire, and another one in Idaho. They were kinda stranded out there.

    The whole experience was unreal. Stopping at the elementary school to tell my kids I was headed down to work the incident. Calling (((Wife))) on her cell phone to find out where she was so I could say goodbye. Telling her I would miss her birthday. Again.

    My parents still remember where they were when they heard the news about Jack Kennedy. And Martin Luther King. And Bobby. I had always wondered how they could possibly remember after all those years. Today, I can still remember little details like exactly what I was doing (coding html in notepad), what I was drinking (a cherry coke).

    Thanks for putting up with me today. And I apologize for steering the endless thread onto some emotional shoals.

  271. #276 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Kevin,

    It’s obvious he’s attacking a strawman version of evolution. Ask him to explain to you what evolution is. Tell him you want his explanation to make sure you’re both arguing from the same premises. If he refuses then you can withdraw from the discussion since he’s not arguing in good faith. If he gives a weak explanation then you should correct him. Don’t allow him to define evolution as anything but “the process of change in life forms over generations by means of natural selection, mutation and genetic drift” or something similar to that.

  272. #277 David Marjanovi?
    March 18, 2010

    <sigh> I take one day off The Thread to read other threads get some work done as long as I’m still in Paris, and well over 200 comments accumulate. I don’t want to pull an all-nighter, I haven’t got enough sleep all week… <sniff>

    Anyway, before I forget: check this awesome abstract out, and then read the popularization ? yes, it’s New Scientist, but it’s three pages long and well written.

    Also, more Austrians are leaving the [Catholic] Church than ever before, surpassing the record set only last year.

    And, I finished the bread and a plate of cress soup. Cafeteria today: couscous.

    I haven’t actually ever heard Chinese opera.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5qQcT_0DRA

    This is a pattern ? ten minutes (literally this time) after I go to bed, Jadehawk turns up and teaches me something.
    :-)

    Could be that this is what adapting the tune to the tones of the language is like. Of course, the screechiness is deliberate; it’s about the same thing as the stupid timbre of Western professional singers, none of whom seems capable of holding a tone ? they actually try not to.

    but not Chinese, although the music itself sounds fairy similar to me.

    [emphasis mine]

    Sorry, I cannot resist linking to this.

    I think only the Cantonese get confused about r and l. But of course that’s what most Chinese immigrants to America used to speak.

    excellent response, I’d say. Dixie Chicks = Win
    :-)

    With those 12 words they made themselves internationally famous. :-)

    The second of the videos is on Vevo. :-(

    winner in the “missing the point” category of worst cover songs ever: My Generation butchered by Hilary Duff.

    the original

    I find the lyrics hard to understand in both versions. Are they written down somewhere?

    I gather the original is about a 1960s generation conflict (you know, the psychological phenomenon that was considered a universal fact in schoolbooks up to at least the late 1990s), which doesn’t occur anymore, so Hilary Duff had little chance of getting the point?

    Speaking of cover songs and Asian pop music, it seems to me that whenever a song is released, it becomes imperative that every nation makes a cover of that song.

    For example: 1, 2, 3, and 4.

    Note that the 3 [no, 2] says 9999 while the 4 is completely off topic.

    What language is 3 in??? The transcription looks like it’s supposed to be Cantonese, but what the guy actually sings sounds like southern Mandarin, except he lets a syllable end in -m. ~:-|

    Also… what is the topic? :-) I only understand “flower”, “heart”, and “heaven”, and that’s in version 3… I like what Khmer sounds like, but… :o)

    Leeks

    Oh horror.

    Will I ever be able to eat that stuff again.

    Do you prefer righties or lefties on the bed?

    ?

    Dixie Chicks not my thing (not much of a country fan)… but allow me to introduce you to Charlotte Martin…

    No, I don’t allow you. I’ve been watching enough videos tonight. It’s half past 2 pm, I better stop reading at that comment (150)…

  273. #278 cicely
    March 18, 2010

    Kevin, best of luck with the parentals.

    My Dad was a career Marine, and did 3 tours of Vietnam; I only recently found out about the 3rd. He only ever talked about it once in my hearing, for about 15 minutes.

    The weekend after 9/11, I found out that a friend of mine had worked in one of the Towers up until about 6 mo. previously. She was pretty shocky about it, since she had a lot of friends and acquaintances that were still there. As is so often the case in tragic circumstances, I wasn’t sure what the socially correct response was; “I’m so sorry” doesn’t cover it, and always leaves me feeling frustrated and wishing I could think of something that would actually help.

  274. #279 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010

    On September 11, I was still working as a bike messenger in Chicago. I was heading down the lakefront at about eight in the morning, biking in from Edgewater, about a nine mile ride to start my day. The radio station switched to CBS’ television coverage.

    I could make out that a plane hit one of the Twin Towers. But I remember that a plane hit The Empire State Building during WWII. I thought it was an accident. It was bad for the people involved but that was that. Because the news show was busy interviewing over the phone people in the building, I could not make out the scale of the first strike. (Sad to think that probably most of those people interviewed that I heard died that morning.) When I heard about the second strike, it was obvious that it was organized.

    At nine o’clock, I was making my first pick up. I had about fifteen daily runs in the morning. They were all canceled, all of the buildings were closing up and people were heading back out. By nine thirty, I completed my first run of the day. That was only because the building I was delivering to was just in the process of closing when I got there.

    I spoke with some people in the offices about what was happening. While some were worried that an attack might happen in Chicago, it seemed by this time, it was not going to happen. I assumed that the Air Force would shoot down any other planes still in the sky. I found a quiet street corner read my newspapers, knowing that they were already quite irrelevant. I just wanted to be out of the way and wait for my dispatcher to find me a delivery taking me back home.

    I could see the line outside of the nearby Hertz office. Finally at around eleven, I got a pick up. I spoke with the security guard for a few minutes, agreeing that this attack gave the administration their excuse to do what they wanted. This was before I learned that both towers collapsed. I delivered to The Saddle Club, just off of the lake. While the television was on on the ballroom, the news of the day was not going to stop these people from having their little gathering. It was an odd scene.

    Finally I got home where I caught some of CNN’s coverage. My roommate at the time was a tremendous news junky and filled me in on all of the speculations flying through the air. She was also not the most mentally healthy person, she was on the verge of a break down when I got home. We spent the rest of the afternoon talking about what all of this could be. Finally, that evening, I had to go for a walk by myself, just to clear my head. There was not many people walking around that night, it was strangely quiet.

    And what struck me was just how beautiful the day has been what what a lovely twilight I sat through. Ignore the news and it was as perfect a September day as one could hope for.

    When I got back home that night, my roommate thanked me for helping her stay sane that day. I thanked her for doing the same for me. Even this could not get us ready for the absolutely surreal weeks that followed.

  275. #280 David Marjanovi?
    March 18, 2010

    Well, no. It’s half past 2 am.

    Don’t allow him to define evolution as anything but “the process of change in life forms over generations by means of natural selection, mutation and genetic drift” or something similar to that.

    Descent with heritable modification.

    Explained by the {theory of evolution by mutation, selection, and drift}.

  276. #281 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    Sili:

    I still think that the public reäction was out of proportion, but I think that of just about all public expressions of emotion. At least it was more appropriate than the Diana-orama, but the claims of this somehow being the worst humanitarian catastrophe EVAR, makes it very hard to find any sympathy of the general American.

    Josh:

    I’m with Sili. Of course, I was horrified by what happened, as everyone was. After the initial shock wore off, though, I was quickly nauseated by the self-obsessed, maudlin, jingoistic aspect of the whole thing. We Americans had, to a greater or lesser extent, the sympathy and solidarity of the world in the days just after the attacks. Then our government blew it for us.

    Add me to the choir here. I was shocked and horrified by the event, I have very close friends in New York, one in particular living waaaay too close to the towers. I was in a suspended state, waiting for word. Even through all I was feeling, I was well aware that the U.S. had been extremely lucky in the terrorist attack department. Other people around the world lived with this threat all the time.

    As Josh said, “the self-obsessed, maudlin, jingoistic aspect of the whole thing” – there was so much of that crap, it made me cringe. Lisa Beamer alone, with her harpy-ish grip on whatever attention and cash she could grab made me ill. Then there was our so-called govt. That’s still embarrassing, to say the least.

  277. #282 cicely
    March 18, 2010

    Oh, and Kevin, if your folks do notice the books, and do kick the issue over, it may help to point out to them that evolution and abiogenesis are not the same thing. A lot (most?) of theists are confused on this issue, and some feel better for knowing that evolution isn’t about how life originated. After that, you can sometimes get them to go along with micro-evolution, which is at least a starting point in the direction of macro-evolution.

    Then worry about disengaging god(s) from the start-up process later.

  278. #283 Jadehawk, OM
    March 18, 2010

    This is a pattern ? ten minutes (literally this time) after I go to bed, Jadehawk turns up and teaches me something.

    *drags mind forcefully out of the gutter*

    I gather the original is about a 1960s generation conflict (you know, the psychological phenomenon that was considered a universal fact in schoolbooks up to at least the late 1990s), which doesn’t occur anymore, so Hilary Duff had little chance of getting the point?

    it’s worse than that.

    original lyrics
    the butchered lyrics

    please note the addition of a certain word which completely ruins the meaning of the line to which it’s added. which she did because the original “sounded too negative”

    *facepalm*

    Do you prefer righties or lefties on the bed?

    preferred side on which to sleep, and source of a large percentage of fights among couples ;-)

  279. #284 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Hillary Duff covered My Generation? Well, how about that. I am pleased I have never heard a thing she has done. I will forget that she has done so. Just as I have forgotten the last thirty years of The Who’s existence.

  280. #285 Quackalicious
    March 18, 2010

    Dear Josh

    The ?white boy? was, unfortunately, too clever a jibe. It would require that someone from this thread follow complicated instructions like viewing a Youtube video by Russell Brand (still available on http://www.maloneymedical.com under quackery) all the way to the end. If you take the time, it will become clear.

    Another poster with a name playing on the term Annoyed defended this group?s ability as scientists to change their viewpoints based on evidence. While I must cynically point out that I haven?t received very little scientific thought and a great deal of profanity, I remain open to the possibility of some (perhaps a few?) of you being open to scientific thought.

    Here we have a study on the long term effects of the basis of what I practice on hospital patients. What I do has a profoundly positive effect on outcomes, and the effect is long lasting. Do not reply with profanity, show me conflicting studies (that would be medline, not some random website or newspaper link) that what I do (Naturopathic Medicine) is either harmful or ineffective. If you cannot, any scientists among you must acknowledge that I have evidence on my side and am, by logical deduction, not a quack.

    Honestly, I expect profane name calling and derision, but those who do so are simply not scientists by any stretch of the term.

    Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2002 Oct;9(5):269-76.

    [Evaluation of inpatient naturopathic treatment--the Blankenstein model. Part II: Effective strength and health status of patients over the course of time]
    [Article in German]

    Ostermann T, Beer AM, Matthiessen PF.

    Lehrstuhl für Medizintheorie und Komplementärmedizin der Fakultät für Medizin, Universität Witten/Herdecke, Germany.

    BACKGROUND: In order to check the possibilities and limits of naturopathic treatment within the field of inpatient care, in January 1997 a model department of naturopathy was established at the Hospital Blankenstein, Hattingen. For a period of 3 years (starting on July 1,1999) it has been scientifically accompanied by the Chair of Medical Theory and Complementary Medicine at the University of Witten/ Herdecke. AIM: The scientific evaluation focuses on the following question: How does a 3-week inpatient treatment with naturopathic methods effect different outcome parameters regarding a pre-post comparison and a half-year follow-up? METHODS: A prospective observation study with 4 defined times of measurement (hospitalization, discharge, 3 and 6 months after the end of the inhospital stay) and an analysis of the subgroups of patients with rheumatic diseases. The data of 1026 patients of the department of naturopathy were considered, who have been treated because of rheumatic diseases, metabolic diseases, chronic-bronchial diseases and allergic discomforts from July 1, 1999 to December 13, 2000. The mean value of age was 57.3 years, the median 58.5 years. 69.4% of the patients were capable of gainful employment (17-65 years). The patients were treated with classical naturopathic methods (hydrotherapy, phytotherapy), individually adapted to the patient’s situation. Outcome parameters were quality of life (measured with the HLQ and the SF-36), mood (measured with the Bf-S), physical complaints (measured with the GBB24) and pain perception (measured with the SES) of the patient. RESULTS: All subscales as well as the total scores of the psychometric test instruments showed highly significant changes (t test, p < 0.01) between the time ‘hospitalization’ and ‘discharge’. Within the follow-up these values were stabilized on a level significantly higher than the initial level. Patients with rheumatic diseases showed a profile different from that of patients with similar diseases. CONCLUSION: The results show a stabilization of the patients within the follow-up, which proves the long-lasting effect of naturopathic treatment. This is of special importance for the section of naturopathy, where the temporal dimension of treatment plays an important role and it is often asserted that therapeutical effects can above all be recognized in the long term. Copyright 2002 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg

    PMID: 12417803

  281. #286 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    Comment by Quackalicious blocked. [unkill] ?[show comment]

    Aaaaaaaah. Nice.

  282. #287 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Yawn, still nothing cogent from the fraud, fake, quack. He needs to get his act together and understand his vain attempt to prove he is not a woomeister, doesn’t help his cause at all. It still hinders his cause. There is nothing that will help his cause, as the science says all he has a a wonder drug called Placebo. Found in any sugar jar, where a teaspoon of sugar will do all the good that Qwack does to his victims, but for pennies. Silence is his best bet. But silence appears to be beyond his ken. What a loser.

  283. #288 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 18, 2010

    it’s about the same thing as the stupid timbre of Western professional singers, none of whom seems capable of holding a tone ? they actually try not to.

    Melisma

  284. #289 Kel, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Tell him you want his explanation to make sure you’re both arguing from the same premises.

    Of course the problem with this is no matter how wrong the creationist is, they’ll insist that their understanding of evolution is the correct one. “That’s not what I’m arguing for” doesn’t cut it with people who cannot grasp the world in any way other than they see it.

  285. #290 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    I expect profane name calling and derision

    So as not to disappoint:

    I’m not a scientist by any stretch of the term. You are a dishonest fucking quack. Please, take your Mooney and stick it up your Kirshenbaum until your cock feels like a cunt and it hurts so damn bad that you shit Vegemite.

    If that’s too clever a jibe for you, let me know and I’ll give you some complicated instructions to follow. (I might even be able to come up with a YouTube video for you.)

  286. #291 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 18, 2010

    Janine #39
    Just seen that. It was mild.
    This is more like what I saw.

  287. #292 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010

    That is Jadehawk at #39.

  288. #293 Jadehawk, OM
    March 18, 2010

    Janine #39
    Just seen that. It was mild.
    This is more like what I saw.

    well, the point was to highlight the singing, rather than the music, since that was the topic :-)

  289. #294 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 18, 2010

    JadeHawk, It’s when the music and the singing collide that the real fun starts.

  290. #296 boygenius
    March 18, 2010

    total scores of the psychometric test instruments

    What is your IQ, by the way?

    showed highly significant changes

    Were these changes for the better or the worse? Define “significant”.

  291. #297 Pope Maledict DCLXVI
    March 18, 2010

    David M. @ #277,

    Anyway, before I forget: check this awesome abstract out, and then read the popularization ? yes, it’s New Scientist, but it’s three pages long and well written.

    Yep, for NS, it?s not a bad write-up at all. Apparently the original star was ~ 300 M?, so the amount of mass converted directly into Ke would have been phenomenal ? by the sound of it, way more energetic than the conventional type I or II supernovæ.

    Of course, the screechiness is deliberate; it’s about the same thing as the stupid timbre of Western professional singers, none of whom seems capable of holding a tone ? they actually try not to.

    Vibrato is a deliberate technique of natural amplification of the voice, and properly employed with a tight focus on the fundamental note, it shouldn?t involve undue distortion of the pitch despite giving it a systematic wobble; unfortunately, some singers use such a large vibrato they can?t avoid changing the pitch. (e.g. ?That singer?s vibrato was so wide you could drive a truck through it??)

    RTL @ #288,

    Melisma

    No, melisma is just the nature of a melody where one must sing more than one pitch to a given syllable; a lot of Gregorian chant utilises melisma where a single syllable can be greatly extended to support long phrases ? and some Teutonic hymns were constructed on the reverse principle, that each syllable must only be sung to a single note. Singers using so much vibrato so that a single note can no longer be discerned is simply bad singing, whether unintentionally or otherwise…

  292. #298 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    Outcome parameters were quality of life (measured with the HLQ and the SF-36), mood (measured with the Bf-S), physical complaints (measured with the GBB24) and pain perception (measured with the SES) of the patient

    ..well yes, given a stay comfortable surroundings, hanging out, eating 3 square a day, wacthing television ansd having kind people look after me I’d probably increase in all of those areas too. Numbskull.

    They gave people a 3 week vacation and analysed that they felt better?!?

    ..and don’t think for one minute it escaped us exactly WHO was doing the “scientific” analysis in that study. The ultimate peer review. Quacks analysing quacks.

  293. #299 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 18, 2010

    Hey Quack

    If naturopathy is so bloody safe and effective how come it’s illegal to practice it in South Carolina or Tennessee?

    ..and how come I just read a study (published by your own “woo” puveyor the Alt Med Journal) that clearly identifies the statistically normal patient for you idjits is a woman, white, of around the 45-50 year ols bracket who presents with tiredness, mailaise and general unwellness. And typically you see that “patient” for no less than 10 consultations.

    Could it be, surely not possible *gasp* that you are fruadulently gouging the wallets of menopausal women with non-specific yet typical symptoms?

  294. #300 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    Bride of Shrek:

    They gave people a 3 week vacation and analysed that they felt better?!?

    Hell, if you gave me a 3 week vacation, I know I’d feel better in a lot of ways. As to whether or not that vacation would make my spinal pain levels better, no, it wouldn’t. All the fabulous vacations in the world wouldn’t affect that pain.

    I haven’t read Quackass’s latest (I find killfiling him helps a certain type of pain), but I never fail to be surprised by how these fraudsters never deal with conditions which cause actual severe levels of pain.

  295. #301 A. Noyd
    March 18, 2010

    I think this thread is in need of some cuteness therapy, so here is a vid of two of the gorillas I get to spend my Thursdays cleaning up after. The mother, Amanda, is very silvery and visitors often think she’s a male. The baby, Uzumma, is now almost two and a half. She’s way past learning to walk and loves to swing around on the climbing structure in that enclosure.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    David Marjanovi? (#277)

    I think only the Cantonese get confused about r and l. But of course that’s what most Chinese immigrants to America used to speak.

    Well, pinyin uses the letters l and r, but the r sound is distinctly different from any of the English r’s, so I don’t know that it’s any easier for a Mandarin speaker to distinguish between the English l and r sounds.

  296. #302 A. Noyd
    March 18, 2010

    Quackalicious (#285)

    While I must cynically point out that I haven?t received very little scientific thought and a great deal of profanity, I remain open to the possibility of some (perhaps a few?) of you being open to scientific thought.

    Your reasoning is off because you’ve failed to account for the possibility that your evidence is bogus and your beliefs are wrong. If the only conclusion you can draw from our rejection of your pseudoscience is that we’re not thinking scientifically, then your mind is not as open as you seem to believe.

    Do not reply with profanity, show me conflicting studies (that would be medline, not some random website or newspaper link) that what I do (Naturopathic Medicine) is either harmful or ineffective. If you cannot, any scientists among you must acknowledge that I have evidence on my side and am, by logical deduction, not a quack.

    So, rather than making any responses of substance, you’re going to continue with the playacting, finger-pointing, whinging and tantrums? How sad to have my expectations fulfilled. It’s killfile time for you. Buh bye!

  297. #303 Sven DiMilo
    March 18, 2010
  298. #304 Ol'Greg
    March 18, 2010

    of around the 45-50 year ols bracket who presents with tiredness, mailaise and general unwellness

    Not to mention one that is often somewhat left feeling unhelped by medical doctors.

    My own unfortunate foray into woo medicine was because of frustrating bladder symptoms that were persistent, chronic, horribly painful, and yet doctors didn’t take much interest in or find much helpful to do about it. Not wanting to spend another year on antibiotics and/or just have a script for some kind of painkillers I turned to increasingly stupid “cures” including but not limited to homeopathy. They didn’t help, and the next year I had less money when I inevitably went back to the doctors. Not to mention failing to treat things from the start caused a couple of trips to the ER that were completely unneeded due to massively bloody and excruciating incontinence. I sympathize with those hyenas. There was a time I almost bit an ER doctor I was so delirious with pain when he asked me on a scale of 1 – 10 how much it hurt I thought I’d kill him. 1 – 10? When some one presents with pain and they’re pasty white and panting, shaking like a junkie, and blood is pouring out of them… it’s a fucking TEN.

    But feeling unhelped by doctors is not an excuse to spend money on people who will make you *feel* like they’re doing something. Or biting them.

    As frustrating as it is to have a doctor treat you like you’re making things up because they don’t know what it is that’s bothering you (and I do understand how it can seem that way when you can’t find a *reason* for the problem)… it’s no better to have some one giving you false hope that whatever underlying problem is going away.

    I still don’t really know what exactly is wrong with me there, but it’s been better for the last couple of years. We’ll see after my next physical I guess if anything turns up.

    So far IC was the top candidate. But I don’t know if IC gets better on its own ever.

  299. #305 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 18, 2010

    Quack, # 285:

    Dear Josh,
    The ?white boy? was, unfortunately, too clever a jibe.

    Not even clever enough by half, you fraud. You’re a liar, you’re a con artist, and you hurt people with your fraudulent “medicine.” You think your smiling face, complete with white coat and stethoscope, makes you a real doctor? It doesn’t. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. But, of course, you aren’t, as quacks like you never are. You have no moral compass. It’s all about convincing gullible people to part with their money to keep you in the undeservedly comfortable lifestyle you think is your due.

    F*ck you Maloney.

  300. #306 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    Josh, in regard to your link, every frelling time I’ve seen that, I read it as baloneymedical.com.

  301. #307 ambulocetacean
    March 19, 2010

    Bwahahaha! It was priceless to watch Steve Novella dismantling the Quacktard’s gibberish over on the Science Based Medicine blog a few weeks ago. The Quack just kept coming back in the comments for more and more – and he got it.

    At one stage the Quack was trying to tell Novella (a neurologist) that he was out of his depth interpreting a particular study because he wasn’t a cardiologist.

    As I asked the Quack in the comments: “Are you a cardiologist? Oh, that’s right – you’re not even a doctor!”

    Naturopathy is just a catch-all for everything that science has shown not to work.

    No doubt most naturopaths believe their own bullshit but it doesn’t change the fact that the only thing they really know how to do is fool the desperate and the ignorant into parting with their money and keeping them from getting proper treatment. Lethally dangerous, irresponsible, woo-pushing parasites they are.

  302. #308 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    ambulocetacean:

    At one stage the Quack was trying to tell Novella (a neurologist)

    Quackass vs a neurologist? Hahahahaha, that’s not a fight, it’s a massacre. :D

  303. #309 Owlmirror
    March 19, 2010

    @ Kel — just wondering if you saw my posting of the citation from Guenter Lewy’s book on the RCC and the NSDAP?

    Granted, it was Pilt who was demanding the citation, but I thought you might be interested in the corroborating info.

    @ Kevin — as perhaps already noted, your interlocutor’s “definition” for falsifiability would eliminate anything from being a scientific theory! He’s complaining that the very fact that it having testable predictions would make it “not falsified”. He doesn’t know anything about science at all.

    Of course, the reason for this strawman distortion of science is because he wants to force a false equivalence between evolution and creationism. No. Creationism really does make no unfalsified-but-falsifiable predictions, and really does not explain anything at all.

    (copying and pasting a useful boilerplate, here:)

    These are from the end-notes for The Sandwalk Adventures, by Jay Hosler — everything between the rows of “=” signs is by him:

    ================

    ?? 1. As a result of mutation creating new alleles, and segregation and independent assortment shuffling alleles into new combinations, individuals within a population are variable for nearly all traits.
    ?? 2. Individuals pass their alleles on to their offspring intact.
    ?? 3. In most generations, more offspring are produced than can survive.
    ?? 4. The individuals that survive and go on to reproduce, or who reproduce the most, are those with alleles and allele combinations that best adapt them to their environment.

    ================

    Ultimately, I think that those postulates (near enough), define what biological evolution is. “ID”-ists, YECs, and other delugional creationists have to demonstrate how those are false, or not falsifiable/testable.

    (end copy-and-paste)

    The thing of it is, he can’t complain that because confirmation of each of those sub-components of evolutionary theory is constantly being found that they aren’t “falsifiable” — the burden of proof is on those who want to falsify them, and they have to find and demonstrate the falsification!

    Is gravity “not falsifiable” because it’s constantly being confirmed by every use of ballistics?

    That having been said, I would drop the whole “fossil found in strata earlier than all of the fossil’s predecessors” as being a falsification of evolution. Look at the four postulates above. They’re about iterative reproduction and survival rates. Which of those would such a fossil falsify?

    No, I think Haldane was just flippant, possibly confused, and definitely wrong. I insist that such a fossil would demonstrate a violation of causality that would throw all of science into an upheaval — but evolution, like all science, would still, for the most part, be true.

    The whole point of falsifiability is that once you do have falsifying empirical evidence, the new theory must still be able to explain everything that the previous theory did, but do it better precisely because it also explains the new falsifying data as well.

    I think this essay by Isaac Asimov explains this concept of iterative falsification with new and better empirical evidence very well:

    http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/RelativityofWrong.htm

    Getting back to your parents — what denomination are they?

    I ask because it just seems to me that if they’re Calvinists, or of a Calvinist-derived sub-denomination, you could always claim, in a calm and deadly seriousness manner, that if God does he exist, God does not want you to believe in him.

    The whole point of “total (so-called) ‘depravity’” being that humans cannot choose to believe in God; faith is a gift. But that means that God can withhold that gift.

    (Or you could shrug and change the subject, which is probably what I would do.)

  304. #310 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 19, 2010

    I just watch a documentary on the first flowers. I?m really excited to see if Archaefructus liaoningensis really was the first flowering plant.

    My question about how one writes songs in tonal languages really came about because, although I can listen to Chinese instrumental music, once the voice is added it loses me completely. Everything goes weird :) So, is it just me, or is there something different happening there because the language is tonal?

    Not sure. Since I speak the only non-tonal official language in mainland Southeast Asia, I?m not accustomed to actually listening to anything tonal. If you want more varities of traditional music, iTunes carries them. They don?t carry any of the recent artists but I can find them easily on youtube because there?s virtually no copyright enforcement.

    What language is 3 in??? The transcription looks like it’s supposed to be Cantonese, but what the guy actually sings sounds like southern Mandarin, except he lets a syllable end in -m. ~:-|
    Also… what is the topic? :-) I only understand “flower”, “heart”, and “heaven”, and that’s in version 3… I like what Khmer sounds like, but… :o)

    Opps, I meant to point at number 2 not 3. Number 3 sounds Mandarin, but the romanization appears to be Hokkien. The chorus of the song is 999 roses.

  305. #311 ambulocetacean
    March 19, 2010

    Hi Caine. Yeah, it was pretty funny.

    My bad, though. It wasn’t Science-Based Medicine, it was Neurologica

  306. #312 Kel, OM
    March 19, 2010

    @ Kel — just wondering if you saw my posting of the citation from Guenter Lewy’s book on the RCC and the NSDAP?

    I didn’t, but thanks for bringing it to my attention. I don’t own the book (I borrowed it from a friend [OMG socialism!]) so I wasn’t able to verify the statement.

  307. #313 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 19, 2010

    Ol’ Greg:

    Got your e-mail; will reply tomorrow.

  308. #314 Rorschach
    March 19, 2010

    In case anyone wonders, I have decided it’s not worth wasting any time in dealing with the quack, so I won’t.
    Also, trying to read Pharyngula standing in front of my PC because of disk prolapse sustained during moving house this week is not very comfortable.

    Oh, and wrt that, I passed on the hydrotherapy and herbals bit, and went straight to stuff that works.

  309. #315 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    Rorschach, sorry to hear that, glad you have the stuff that works. I have degenerative discs, my own personal pain factory for the last 14 years. Hope you’re feeling better quickly!

  310. #316 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    standing in front of my PC because of disk prolapse sustained during moving house this week is not very comfortable.

    Ouch! I know exactly how that feels. And yes, hydrocodone is way better than hydrotherapy.

    The quack&reg would probably prescribe unicorn farts and faerie kisses, but I’d recommend opiates every time.

    Hope your back feels better soon, Rorschach. I can certainly relate to what you’re going through.

  311. #317 Rorschach
    March 19, 2010

    Thanks guys….

    I just had the most wonderful experience !! A nice man in a van drove up to the house, and delivered booze and cigs groceries to me !

    Oh, hey Jadehawk, do you remember those Dr Oetker Spinaci pizzas in Germany?? I used to live on them in med school, and hadn’t seen one for like, 10 years, but Coles online in Oz sell them yay, I love being a cripple !!

  312. #318 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    Caine, I only have one (1) bad disc. That’s bad enough. I can’t imagine all of them going to hell at once.

    When are those durned scientists going to come up with an effective spine transplant?

  313. #319 ambulocetacean
    March 19, 2010

    Priority for spine transplants should be given to politicians who deal with religious lobby groups.

  314. #320 ambulocetacean
    March 19, 2010

    Sorry if that sounded unsympathetic, guys. I was just being a smartarse. I’m sure back trouble is horrible. But I guess that’s what we get for evolving from quadripeds so quickly. :(

  315. #321 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    For some reason, I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for the spines of politicians in general, let alone those who get all squicky with lobbyists.

  316. #322 Kagato
    March 19, 2010

    Ok, no way am I working my way back through all of this…

    To my regret, I couldn’t attend the convention despite only being one scant state away.
    However, if there is an Adelaide get-together, I can’t really afford to pass that opportunity up.

    On another note, I see the usual suspects are at it again at the Intersuction. I suggest we just leave them to it and let them soil their own blog.

  317. #323 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    Boygenius:

    Caine, I only have one (1) bad disc. That’s bad enough. I can’t imagine all of them going to hell at once.

    One is bad enough! Darn things just aren’t durable enough. I have four fully blown discs, those are the hellraisers. Have you done spinal shots? When they work, it’s great, but the longest they’ve lasted on me is eight days.

    When are those durned scientists going to come up with an effective spine transplant?

    That’s something I could get behind! Years ago, after I was first diagnosed, I decided to consult with a neurosurgeon. At the time, MedCenter was inbetween neurosurgeons, so I reluctantly consulted with a doc at St. A’s, the catholic hospital.

    Doc has a spiel, and he starts in after viewing my scans. He started doing fusion, using cadaver bone. Okay, so far, so good. Then he tells me, I don’t go in through the back. Oh no, this doc, he goes in from the front, moving all those pesky internal organs to the side. Naturally, this necessitates a week long stay in the hospital post surgery. When he slows down a bit, I ask him how many of these he has performed. I’m told 30, and he proudly adds, only nicked one abdominal aorta, caught it in plenty of time!

    As I’m attempting to replace my jaw, which has fallen to the ground, he happily adds, “oh, and before the surgery, the OR staff and nurses all come in and we have a prayer circle.” I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

  318. #324 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    ambulocetacean, while spine transplants for pols isn’t a bad idea at all, I’d plump for them all getting brain transplants first. ;D

  319. #325 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    Oh, and at the end of my consult with PrayerDoc, he asked me to let him know my decision, even if I decided not to have the surgery. I said “I’ve already decided I won’t be having the surgery. I don’t want a surgeon who prays to god for success, I want a surgeon who thinks he *is* god.”

  320. #326 ambulocetacean
    March 19, 2010

    Boygenius, no sympathy here, either. It’s just obvious that most pollies are in desperate need of some backbone.

  321. #327 Pygmy Loris
    March 19, 2010

    ambulocetacean

    Boygenius, no sympathy here, either. It’s just obvious that most pollies are in desperate need of some backbone.

    I don’t think politicians have a problem with their backbones. They seem to have plenty of spine when standing up for insurance companies and banks.

  322. #328 blf
    March 19, 2010

    [W]hile spine transplants for pols isn’t a bad idea at all, I’d plump for them all getting a brain transplants first.

    Fixed.

  323. #329 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    Caine, never done spinal shots. (my problem is acute, not chronic) When I first injured my back I queried a half dozen friends with the same injury. They had all had discectomies (sp?) and regretted it. Worse off than they were before. I refused to let them cut on me. I still have pain and problems, but at least I can still work for a living.

    Back pain is a helluva thing. Intelligent Designer, indeed.

  324. #330 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    Blf, too right. Thanks for the fix. :)

  325. #331 ambulocetacean
    March 19, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, Very true. Sometimes my thinking can be a bit simplistic.

  326. #332 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    Boygenius, yeah, you have to be careful when it comes to surgeries, in this regard, they just don’t have a high success rate. I’ve had to have two in order to relieve pressure on nerves, but that’s as far as I’ve gone. A friend of mine did the metal plate and screws option, she was in for a second surgery less than a year later.

  327. #333 Rorschach
    March 19, 2010

    They had all had discectomies (sp?) and regretted it

    Ok, argument from personal anecdote here because it’s too hard to find the studies standing up atm, discectomy does have a 80-90% success rate measured as relief of symptoms or improvement of neurology, if, and that’s the big one here, if the indication for surgery is right.
    So to repeat, if the indication is right, surgery is indeed very successful.

    As to “spinal shots”, which means injection of a local anaesthetic and a steroid into a facet joint, I haven’t seen convincing evidence that it’s better then just popping Cortisone tablets.When the surgeon suggested this to me, I asked him to show me evidence that it is superior, and he couldn’t, so I said no thanks.

    In my case it was L5/S1 disk prolapse impinging the root leading to drop foot and leg pain, surgery(incidentally, by a guy I happily refer to as god)fixed it so that I woke up afterwards and had my leg function back and was painfree.
    What I have now is an angry L4/L5 disk, that plays up when angered by things like, say, moving house on my own !!

  328. #334 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    Look at us. A bunch of old farts sitting around kvetching about our sciatica and what not. I wonder what the cool kids are doing tonight?

  329. #335 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    Rorschach, yep, that’s what spinal shots are. I did them three times, first time, it helped considerably, especially as I was out on long photography trips with hikes at the time. The next two times, not at all. I don’t have cortisone tablets though, so no comparison in that regard for me.

  330. #336 Owlmirror
    March 19, 2010

    This is a test, pay no mind:

    Testimonium, Syriac Historia Ecclesiastica
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=

    ??? ?? ???? ???? ???? ?? ????? ???? ????. ?? ??? ?? ????? ???????. ?????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ????? ?????? ???? ????. ???? ?????? ?????? ?? ?????. ??????? ?? ?????? ??????? ??? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???. ????? ??? ?????? ???. ??? ??? ??? ?????? ????? ????? ????. ???? ?????? ???? ???? ??????. ????? ??????? ?? ???? ?? ????. ????? ???? ??? ?? ??? ???? ????? ??? ?? ??. ????? ????? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???? ????? ??????. ???? ?????? ?? ????? ??? ???????????? ?????

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=

    Testimonium, Michael the Syrian
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=

    ?????? ???? ??? ??? ???? ?? ????? ???? ????. ?? ??? ?? ????? ???????. ?????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ????? ?????? ?????. ??????? ?? ????? ??? ???? ?????. ?????? ?????? ?????? ???. ??? ??? ?????? ???????? ???? ??????. ???? ?????? ??????? ?????? ???? ????? ??? ??????? ?? ???? ?? ????. ????? ???? ?? ??? ? ????? ?? ??. ???? ??? ????? ????? ???? ???? ????? ??????. ????? ?????? ?? ????? ??? ???????? ???? ????? ?????.

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=

  331. #337 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    Boygenius:

    I wonder what the cool kids are doing tonight?

    They’re bitching about their spines. ;D Speaking of, I’m going to lay mine down for the night. Er, morning. G’night all.

  332. #338 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    Rorschach, L5/S1 is exactly where my problem is. I had drop foot and serious leg pain for @ two weeks. After two weeks of PT, I was at a point where it was tolerable and with no more drop foot.

    I still have numbness down across the front of my shin and over the top of my foot to my big toe, but the horrid electrical nerve pain has mostly gone away.

  333. #339 Pygmy Loris
    March 19, 2010

    ambulocetacean,

    I think we all say that politicians have no spine when what we mean is that they have dramatically misplaced priorities. Fundraising, protecting monied interests, supporting the status quo, etc. are not the deep values we wish they would support, so we say they’re spineless. It’s very frustrating to realize the people we vote for either don’t have the same commitment to our values or lie about their own values to get into office.

    I’ve been trying to read some of the famous dystopian novels lately (specifically Nineteen Eighty-four and Fahrenheit 451), and one of the things that occurred to me has to do with what values a person is willing to sacrifice for. My values, equality before the law, opportunity, social and economic justice, preserving the biosphere and endangered species, freedom of speech and inquiry, are very important to me. I’d sacrifice quite a lot for these things, but I don’t think politicians are willing to sacrifice much for the same values. They’re not even willing to sacrifice their jobs, more less something like their lives. Meanwhile the same politicians ask our young soldiers to sacrifice their lives for meaningless wars. It’s all very depressing.

    The question in my mind is what can be done to get people into office who are willing to make the difficult choices and commit to building our society into a better one.

  334. #340 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    G’night, Caine. May the morning bring you a spine showered with unicorn farts and faerie kisses.

    Failing that, pop an oxy.

  335. #341 Usagichan
    March 19, 2010

    Pygmy Loris @339

    The question in my mind is what can be done to get people into office who are willing to make the difficult choices and commit to building our society into a better one.

    I think the first problem is one of democracy – most politicians realise that as soon as they start to make ‘difficult’ choices they will be removed from the position of making choices. Populist sentiment (upon which most modern democracies seem to be built) is not conducive to any sort of uncomfortable self-sacrifice required for long term goals.

    There seems to me to be two possible ways to change this. The simplest would be to impose some sort of consistent long term decision making power external to democratic process. Of course the main problem with this idea is that the decision making power may not be making decisions consistent with your stated aims (getting some sort of agreement on what would constitute a ‘better’ society would only be the first challenge – regulating and ensuring that the power responsible for achieving it would be a major headache).

    Alternatively you could try educating the populace to a level where the democratic process transcended the short-term knee-jerk model it seems to have settled into today. Of course the assumption here is that a better education would naturally lead to a desire for a better, more egalitarian society, and that people would support politicians acting against their short-term interest in favour of their long-term interest.

    In practice I doubt either ‘solution’ would produce the results I would desire. I think the best we can hope for is a series of ‘little’ victories, where small changes to the system are frequently made and the most beneficial of the changes tend to be retained while the least beneficial tend to be repealed – a sort of Political natural selection.

  336. #342 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    Pygmy Loris:

    The question in my mind is what can be done to get people into office who are willing to make the difficult choices and commit to building our society into a better one.

    I don’t pretend to know the answer, but one of the things we can do is take the money out of the process by publicly funding campaigns. Imposing term-limits might help. Constructing guillotines outside every statehouse. Torches and pitchforks. Perhaps we could do something as radical as teaching our children a strong background in history and civics.

  337. #343 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    Sorry, ‘Tis, I left out economics. My bad.

  338. #344 WowbaggerOM
    March 19, 2010

    Owlmirror, #336 – all of a sudden I believe in G-d! And crap, it’s Friday afternoon and the sun’s setting; for some reason I feel that that’s important – what did you do?!?!?

  339. #345 ambulocetacean
    March 19, 2010

    Pygmy Loris,

    Aargh. I wrote a bunch of stuff directly into the comment box but it’s been held for moderation because I used the word sh*t. Once.

    Anyway, it wasn’t that profound or interesting and it will no doubt turn up eventually. I can’t be arsed writing it again because I really should be working.

  340. #346 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    Dvalin Zvena Ethan is one potent Hcima Dshmh Jesus.

    I don’t know what it means, but it makes me feel uneasy.

  341. #347 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    ambulocetacean,

    <Sven DiMilo&gt

    Fuck Euphemism Week!

    </Sven DiMilo&gt

  342. #348 Owlmirror
    March 19, 2010

    Owlmirror, #336 – all of a sudden I believe in G-d! And crap, it’s Friday afternoon and the sun’s setting; for some reason I feel that that’s important – what did you do?!?!?

    This is a truly unexpected side-effect of messing about with transliterating Syriac to modern Hebrew script in Unicode.

    If I tweak a few more things, maybe I can turn water into wine.

    That would be awesome !!

  343. #349 Rorschach
    March 19, 2010
    Aargh. I wrote a bunch of stuff directly into the comment box but it’s been held for moderation because I used the word sh

    *t. Once.

    Back button on your browser, change the offending word, and post it again ?
    Been there, dont that a lot this week…:-)

  344. #350 ambulocetacean
    March 19, 2010

    Hi Rorschach,

    Thanks. I did try that, but it didn’t work. Said the page had expired or something, I refreshed it and got a blank comments form. No biggie, apart from the fact that Pygmy Loris’s post to me deserved a response. It’ll turn up.

    Boygenius, is that what that said? I thought it was the Hebrew lyrics to La Cucaracha. And how do you and Sven do that?

  345. #351 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 19, 2010

    PopeMaledict, thanks. Not the first time I’ve been misled by Wikipedia, then.

    melisma is a common feature of Stevie Wonder’s music; the trend in R&B singers is considered to have been popularized by Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love”. In recent years, there has been increased criticism of melisma being abused by singers, in part due to the popularity of shows such as American Idol and the trend of contestants imitating the artists who popularized the technique.

  346. #352 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 19, 2010

    So I was listening to ESPN radio this morning and one of the people on there talking about the basketball tournament said this about whoever was in charge of picking what games were being televised.

    “They should be taken out back and summarily shot.”

    I wonder if the Colgate Twins home for wayward crybabies is going to mount a campaign against ESPN now?

    Because of course we all know Doug Gottlieb really wants that person shot.

  347. #353 Rorschach
    March 19, 2010
  348. #354 Alan B
    March 19, 2010

    As the first item in a new trend (?):

    It’s A Strange World Out There I

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/weirdnewsvideo/7456716/Micro-pig-turns-heads-in-London.html

    I hope the owner had her licence with her!

    Didn’t you know that if you wish to take your pet pig out for a walk in England and Wales you have to have a licence? Your Local Health Authority will issue you with a “Pet Pig Walking Licence” which is valid for a year. Walking your pet pig is recommended for the health of your pig. And we all want healthy pigs don’t we? Healthy pigs make great B****. [Checks Euphemism list - finds the word is not banned - BACON].

    You must carry the licence with you each time you take your pet pig for a walk. The route to be followed must be submitted by the applicant for the licence for approval. Once approved, it must be defined on the copy carried by the walker. Deviation from the route is not allowed.

    This only applies to England and Wales. Pet pig walking is not allowed in Scotland. The Scottish Government does not appear to care whether you have healthy pigs or not.

    You think I’m joking?

    See page 7 of your helpful, handy Government Guide on everything you need to know about keeping pet pigs – but didn’t know you had to ask. Remember, ignorance of the Law is no excuse.

    http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalhealth/publications/Advice_Guidance/A_G_Pigs171209.pdf

    Also, be aware of the requirements of the 40 pages of:

    http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/movements/documents/la-guidance.pdf

    Walking pet pigs also requires a licence issued under article 13 of the Pigs (Records, Identification and Movement) Order 2007 (PRIMO) and Article 12 of Pigs(Records/Identification/Movements)(Wales) Order 2008. This licence should be issued by the DVM. The owner will be required to specify the route(s) and provide maps of the route(s). The licence is valid for up to one year, and the owner of the pig is required to carry a copy of the licence when walking it. Local Authorities should forward any applications for pet pig walking licences to their local DVM.

    And it might be helpful to do a search of the DEFRA site:

    http://www.defra.gov.uk/defrasearch/search_results.jsp?template=&category=&doctype=&options=&date=&database=Internet_Files%2B&batchsize=20&query=PET+PIG+WALKING+LICENCES+

    This turns up 52 items. Remember: ignorance of the Law is no excuse. Happy pet pig walking!

  349. #356 Stephen Wells
    March 19, 2010

    I’m sure we all agree that the Telegraph is absolutely the most reliable guide to reality. Hint: their business depends on telling their readers that they, the sturdy yeomanry of Olde England, are being unfairly and unjustly put-upon by overweening bureaucrats, preferably European. Hence this sort of bullshit, and of course the traditional EU-regulations-require-straight-bananas bullshit.

    Actually scanning the defra document, which is only 40 pages of BIG F’ING PRINT, shows that the regulations are perfectly sensible. You have to specify a walking route (once a year! big deal) so that, if you’re planning to walk your pig through a livestock market or somebody’s farm, you can be told not to be such an idiot. Foot-and-mouth, blue tongue, various influenzas: you want to keep a pet pig, you don’t get to start a panzoonotic.

    The Torygraph can go kwok themselves sideways with a Leica rangefinder.

  350. #357 Stephen Wells
    March 19, 2010

    On a more positive note, have you seen the thing in Nano Letters about photosynthesis in a frog-based foam? A group from U of Cincinnati (Prof’s name is Carlo Montemagno) have put just the essential enzymes for photosynthesis into a foam substrate and got really impressive energy-conversion efficiencies for making sugar from sunlight. If this scales up it’ll knock bioethanol and algaculture into a cocked hat. The coolest part is what they made their foam from. Detergents were bad for the enzymes and vesicles in the photosynthetic system, so they went with a surfactant protein, Ranaspumin-2; which, as the name suggests, is a frog foam protein. One of those rainforest frogs (Tungara) that lays eggs in a stable foam. Don’t worry, you don’t have to milk a frog to build the system- they put the gene into a bacterial system to get their surfactant.

    Now can we please try not to make things extinct? That obscure rainforest organism might just have what it takes to save our collective ass.

    I look forward to a future of photosynthetic amphibian meringue.

  351. #358 Kevin
    March 19, 2010

    @Steven Wells:

    Wow… that’s a unique kind of science there.

  352. #359 Walton
    March 19, 2010

    The Telegraph is better than most British newspapers. Like all major British newspapers, it does have a political bias, but unlike some of its more downmarket rivals, I’ve never known it to just make stuff up.

    There are a few newspapers which I will not read, due to their record of inventing utter bullshit in order to sell more papers, as well as feeding irrational public scares and cheerleading for authoritarian policies. These include the Daily Mail, the Sun and the News of the World.

  353. #360 Walton
    March 19, 2010

    Hint: their business depends on telling their readers that they, the sturdy yeomanry of Olde England, are being unfairly and unjustly put-upon by overweening bureaucrats, preferably European.

    Despite your caricature, I don’t think the Telegraph can be blamed for bringing to light the gradual erosion of individual liberty in this country by over-regulation. This ranges from the relatively trivial but annoying (speed cameras, which do nothing for road safety but provide a convenient revenue stream for local authorities) to the very serious and dangerous (the national identity database, biometric passports and so on).

  354. #361 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 19, 2010

    frog-based foam

    Easily my favorite phrase I’ve come across in the last few days

  355. #362 Stephen Wells
    March 19, 2010

    A little digging does show the Telegraph may not be as clean as all that. Their science coverage, particularly, stinks:

    http://www.badscience.net/2009/01/the-telegraph-misrepresent-a-scientists-work-on-climate-and-then-refuse-to-correct-it-when-he-writes-to-them/

    http://www.badscience.net/2008/09/dont-let-the-facts-spoil-a-good-story/

    They provide a home to Christopher Booker, a climate change denialist who produces this kind of bullshit:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/6679082/Climate-change-this-is-the-worst-scientific-scandal-of-our-generation.html

    I stand by my earlier comments in re lateral photoapparatic autokwokage.

  356. #363 Sven DiMilo
    March 19, 2010

    put just the essential enzymes for photosynthesis into a foam substrate and got really impressive energy-conversion efficiencies for making sugar from sunlight.

    Ranaspumin-2

    they put the gene into a bacterial system to get their surfactant.

    That’s very very VERY cool. Much respect for the coiner of the term “ranaspumin-2″ (actually, I guess, for whoever had already coined it for what became ranaspumin-1, after they characterized -2). (But I think both the ‘ranaspumin’ and the ‘-2′ are necessary for full enjoyment.)

    Oh, and
    FUCK EUPHEMISM WEEK!
    (you have to spell it right, with the all-caps).

    And when I type “FUCK EUPHEMISM WEEK!,” I am paying homage every time to my hero Paul Krassner, who published this window sign [important:] in 1963:

    [large, profane, classic, and NSFpearl-clutchingW]

  357. #364 Sili
    March 19, 2010

    Thanks for putting up with me today. And I apologize for steering the endless thread onto some emotional shoals.

    Don’t apologise. I for one am learning a lot and appreciate the honesty.

    As for the squandered goodwill, perhaps David will be able to dig this up for me. I believe one of the major French papers ran this headline on the 12th “Aujourd’hui tous le monde sont Americains” (pardon my French). I always think of that when I hear of ‘Freedom Fries’, but I haven’t been able to dig up photographic evidence.

  358. #365 maureen.brian#b5c92
    March 19, 2010

    Walton,

    I hope that you are beginning to feel better but right now you sound just like Lord Pearson of UKIP did on the Today programme this morning.

  359. #366 Sven DiMilo
    March 19, 2010

    J*hn Kw*k:

    If nothing else, the Obama Administration may be writing its own political epitaph now as the most ideologically driven, least productive, presidential administration that I know of in my lifetime (or even my parents?). It doesn?t matter that the administration has one Cabinet secretary who is a Nobel Prize laureate in physics, or that two of Obama?s closest advisors, Axelrod and Holder, are fellow alumni of my high school.

    Can you believe the guy? I mean, can you? Because I just can’t believe the guy.

  360. #367 Ol'Greg
    March 19, 2010

    Sven! Ahahahahaha… seriously. It’s like he has a highschool mentioning tic.

    I can only imagine it if he went to Oxford or something. You know who graduated from there. You know who else. And who else… etc.

    He’d never have time to eat.

  361. #368 Sven DiMilo
    March 19, 2010

    jeez that whole thread is full of amazing Hammondisms. Kw*k and McCarthy are arguing about the proper online place for Pharyngula after they successfully get it kicked off teh Borg.

    I can’t stand it…must…log off…

  362. #369 Walton
    March 19, 2010

    maureen @#365: I’m now on a regime of penicillin for the tonsillitis, which is slowly helping. But I’m still quite ill. Last night was not fun (many of my symptoms, such as high temperature, shivering fits and sweating, seem for some reason to occur only at night) and I didn’t get much sleep.

    As to Lord Pearson, I’m not sure whether to take that as a compliment or an insult. :-) But I’m not at my best right now.

  363. #370 Feynmaniac
    March 19, 2010

    Hmmm, I wonder if Don Kwokixote de la Stuyvesant is like one of those child stars. Achieving your high point in life before the age of 18 seems to psychologically damaging. You end up being a drug addict, a porn star, or sidekick to Ray Comfort (Growing Pains indeed).

  364. #371 Stephen Wells
    March 19, 2010

    @360: I find it hard to regard speed cameras as a threat to civil liberties, inasmuch as they only extract a revenue stream from people who are breaking the law and endangering others- by speeding. It seems weird that anti-speed camera vandals were getting cheered on as righteous vigilantes (e.g. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3597911/Labour-targets-middle-class-criminals.html ) by people who’d have a heart attack if faced with a “burglars against burglar alarms” campaign.

  365. #372 maureen.brian#b5c92
    March 19, 2010

    Thanks for the update, Walton, and I hope that progress continues.

    As for Lord Pearson – not so much an insult as bewilderment. He was up against Evan Davis and for two minds to meet, well, you need to minds two begin with!

  366. #373 Ol'Greg
    March 19, 2010

    Achieving your high point in life before the age of 18 seems to psychologically damaging

    But at least the child star did something other than being in a certain place. I mean, what does he do other than talk about his school? Maybe I’m just naive here and he’s quite accomplished, but it just seems odd. I mean even if it is a school with a very rigorous admissions program, it is still just a school. The school itself isn’t the prestigious part it’s about the resources the school makes available in the hopes that the better kind of person they admit will then in turn achieve greater things.

  367. #374 Ol'Greg
    March 19, 2010

    Ugh. Don’t read the comments on yahoo news stories. I need to write that on my hand.

    Walton, I’m glad to hear you’re starting to get better. It’ll take a week or so probably. Get lots of rest. Those infections can be hard to kick. You don’t seem exactly like the sort of person who stays up every night dancing but try not to kill yourself with studying either :P

  368. #375 Walton
    March 19, 2010

    You don’t seem exactly like the sort of person who stays up every night dancing but try not to kill yourself with studying either :P

    At the moment, I’m doing neither… mostly just sleeping, taking medicine, and commenting on Pharyngula. Studying is what I should be doing, given that I have finals in June and nine subjects to revise. :-(

    But I’m leaving Oxford and going home for a few days; it will hopefully be easier for me to recuperate at home, where I won’t have to worry about cooking my own meals and the like.

  369. #376 Matt Penfold
    March 19, 2010

    Walton,

    Make sure you have plenty of fluid, and rest.

  370. #377 Celtic_Evolution
    March 19, 2010

    Story about Irish Catholic Church abuse scandal on front page of CNN webpage this morning.

  371. #378 Celtic_Evolution
    March 19, 2010

    Pope Benedict XVI is due to intervene in the crisis within days.

    He is expected to release his official statement on the abuse scandal Saturday, in the form of a pastoral letter to the Irish faithful.

    That should prove to be most entertaining…

  372. #379 Celtic_Evolution
    March 19, 2010

    Yeek… just avoid the comments… the depth and breadth of faith-born stupidity in this country just somehow still amazes me.

  373. #380 Sven DiMilo
    March 19, 2010

    Walton,

    Make sure you have plenty of druids, and fester.

  374. #381 Kevin
    March 19, 2010

    Hey, you’ll never guess what’s happening!

    Ray Comfort is misrepresenting evolutionary theory again! This is my surprised face :|

  375. #382 IndieGirl
    March 19, 2010

    Sorry if this has already been viewed and dissected elsewhere, I have been away from Pharyngula for the past couple of weeks.

    Article by Hitchen’s brother

  376. #383 Pygmy Loris
    March 19, 2010

    Usagichan,

    Long-term planning does seem to be a big problem in politics, especially because of the short-term election cycle for the House of Representatives here in the States.

    boygenius,

    Education would, hopefully, make a difference in how the masses approached voting, but I don’t know that that’ll happen any time soon. Did you see the Daily Show on Wednesday? The TSBOE decided Oscar Romero shouldn’t be in the standards because they didn’t know who he was. GAH! What is wrong with these people?

    BTW Sorry for the late reply. I went to bed last night before y’all posted.

  377. #384 Paul
    March 19, 2010

    @382

    For some reason the page comes up blank when I click that link. Considering one of the other recent articles on the blog is More sex education means more teenage pregnancies…always, I doubt I am missing much other than a religious wretch trying to improve his readership by emphasizing his relationship with a better known relative (sure, he’s an atheist bastard, but I still love him because religion is all about family values!).

  378. #385 Matt Penfold
    March 19, 2010

    Peter Hitchins has never once had anything worthwhile to say for the whole of his miserable existence.

    There is no reason to suppose that has changed with the article that was linked to.

  379. #386 Kevin
    March 19, 2010

    Is it just me, or does Peter Hitchens seriously need a little bit of manscaping on that forehead caterpillar of his?

  380. #387 Celtic_Evolution
    March 19, 2010

    Oh, sweet jebus… Bill Donohue has come out to defend the catholic church in an editorial to CNN.

    I have not yet read it… but I wanted to pass it along, as no doubt this will require some discussion here…

    Now, off to intentionally hurt my brain… OWWWW…

  381. #388 nigelTheBold
    March 19, 2010

    Donohue’s defense?

    “Other people rape children, too. Why pick on the Catholic Church for rapes that happened decades ago, that we then hushed up just like everyone else during that time?”

    SRSLY.

    I think I just threw up on my keyboard a little.

  382. #389 Menyambal
    March 19, 2010

    Donohue seems to forget that the Catholic Church was supposed to be above the world, and to be setting a good example. For him to use the defense that everyone else was doing it is rather lame. Especially since not everyone else was doing it–churches and schools are just about the only organizations that people trust their children to, for improvement and education.

  383. #390 dingdong
    March 19, 2010

    Morning / Afternoon / Evening all.

    I haven’t reallya ctually read the previous 400 or so posts, so this might be a bit off topic but it seemed like a good place to start.

    I am English, and an atheist. I live with my American wife in Ohio. She is a baptist Christian. Not one of the extreme ones, but still basically a fundie (she has lots of other redeeming features).

    Being married does not stop the debate, or there is no apologetic behaiviour, or accomodationism…the discussions are great fun.

    Anyhow, seeing as we were out having a nice dinner the other evening, the topic came up and we were being remarkably civil about it. A few points made here and there, everything you’ve all heard, read and argued about yourselves. At the end though, she said “I would like to be able to speak to someone who used to believe what I believe, and doesn’t any more”.

    I’m going to call this progress, and in the light of this, I want to actually find someone who falls into this category. Are there any prior Mid-West Baptists who were real literal believers and are now atheists?

    If there are, it would be great for you to get in touch. It might work, it might not, but I’d appreciate anyone putting themselves forward.

    Thanks.

  384. #391 KOPD
    March 19, 2010

    @dingdong

    I’d suggest she read one of Dan Barker’s books, such as Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists.

  385. #392 Sili
    March 19, 2010

    Finally got round to signing the Libel Reform Petition. Not that I think it helps much. But I’ve also written the BCA and asked if they have made or will make a public statement of support against the BCA. Anyone here a member of the British Cement Association or other such unfortunately named organisations? It might be fun to have a Project BCA akin to Project Steve.

  386. #393 Kevin
    March 19, 2010

    Ugh, Donahue makes me sick.

    Even IF other people do it, you do not then just ignore the crime, hide it away – and here’s the kicker – let it continue!

    That is what people are criticizing the Catholic Church for. Yes, other people rape little children. It’s sad, it’s a sickening thing, but those people are usually taken out of situations where they can continue to rape those kids.

    If a teacher rapes a student, that teacher is fired and never, ever allowed to work in a school again. The Catholic Church is condoning the behavior by not properly protecting the young children.

  387. #394 Celtic_Evolution
    March 19, 2010

    There was so much vile, disgusting, abhorrent filth in that Donohue editorial, I didn’t want to stuff it all here. I decided to attack it on my blog instead, if you’re interested.

  388. #395 KOPD
    March 19, 2010

    I’m imagining Donohue on an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He’s the expert witness for the defense and his testimony goes like this: “the defendant is not the only one who has molested children, so why are you picking on them?” Cue priceless look on Meloni’s face.

  389. #396 Alan B
    March 19, 2010

    #356 Stephen Wells

    Stephen, I can only assume in your haste to attack the Daily Telegraph you did not bother to read the link/story or, if you did, you made no attempt to tie it in with my comment.

    The Telegraph story was neutral. It made no mention of the fact that you DO need a licence to do what the breeder did. That was my comment on the rather twee story. Those documents do exist. You do need a licence to walk a pet pig. You do need to carry that licence with you and you are not allowed to change your route once it has been agreed.

    I find this obtrusive and rather silly. Of course you don’t take a pet pig into places where it could spread disease. But do you really need to have a licence rubber stamped by some officious official with the threat that if you go out without it or as much as walk down a different road, or in a different order, you can be prosecuted?

    I’m sure we all agree that the Telegraph is absolutely the most reliable guide to reality.

    Well, I most certainly don’t agree. What an emotionally-loaded comment! It’s a lot better than most of the other English newspapers (which says little when you look at The Sun, The Star, the People and the News of the World to say nothing of the Daily and Sunday Sport**). And it out sells the other broadsheets. The Garundia (famous for its liberal/left bias and typographical errors) makes a loss and only stays afloat because the Government subsidises it by placing all Civil Service ads in the Guardian (and, as far as I can tell, nowhere else in the Press). The Independent is a disaster.

    **

    Some people would question whether the Sunday Sport deserves to be included in a list of newspapers at all ? there?s no real news in it, just a collection of bizarre and off-beat stories of the ?I was abducted by aliens for sex? type, together with photos of ?glamour ? models and pages and pages of adverts for chatlines and telephone porn. It achieved on its launch in 1986 what few had thought possible; it succeeded in going even more downmarket than the News of the World.

    http://www.britishpapers.co.uk/redtops/sunday-sport/

  390. #397 Menyambal
    March 19, 2010

    Dingdong, you might ask around some of the college students in your area. I knew several kids who lost it during college.

    I am a midwesterner myself, but I was pretty much done with Christianity before my parents took us to Baptist churches. Baptists certainly finished it off, though.

    “If you’re an atheist, thank a Baptist”

  391. #398 Kevin
    March 19, 2010

    @Celtic_Evo:

    Bet it felt good to get that off your chest, huh?

  392. #399 Celtic_Evolution
    March 19, 2010

    Donohue’s defense?

    “Other people rape children, too. Why pick on the Catholic Church for rapes that happened decades ago, that we then hushed up just like everyone else during that time?”

    SRSLY.

    I think I just threw up on my keyboard a little.

    Oh, you mean you didn’t like the end? The little bit of blatant antisemitism where he makes the argument that “Jews and Public School Teachers are just as bad, but don’t get the publicity”?

    I actually coughed up a lung after reading that. How is this guy allowed to be anywhere near anyone?

  393. #400 Sven DiMilo
    March 19, 2010

    Jews and Public School Teachers are just as bad

    oO

  394. #401 Alan B
    March 19, 2010

    #360, #361

    I agree with Walton about speed cameras. The problem is that they indeed were sold to the public as a way of improving road safety. The cameras were set up in areas with a high frequency of accidents. The Government then “proved” they worked by showing that the number of accidents went down where the cameras were. Capable statisticians who pointed out that this was nonsense were pilloried by the Government who could not understand that this was merely regression to the mean.

  395. #402 Alan B
    March 19, 2010

    “Euphemism week”

    I notice that v*gemite is banned. How about “Marmite”?

  396. #403 Menyambal
    March 19, 2010

    Dingdong, I am a little concerned that your wife might be looking for someone to lead her to atheism. Most of us, perhaps you as well, got here on a long journey of self-discovery…or some such rot.

    Sanction asked why she wants so specific a person to talk to, to which I say that many Baptists tend to be True Christians, and wouldn’t value the testimony of a Catholic (who obviously was wrong in the first place. And which makes me think she may be seeking a guide, instead of getting there on her own.

    But, dingdong, you know her best (and love her most). Congrats on such a good relationship and good luck with making it even better.

  397. #404 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    Celtic Evolution @ 387, I really don’t need to see such vileness before I’m completely awake. I clicked though and now I’m feeling sick.

    Donoabomination:

    Employers from every walk of life, in both the U.S. and Europe, have long handled cases of alleged sex abuse by employees as an internal matter. Rarely have employers called the cops, and none was required to do so.

    Ugh, ick, *spit* How in the hell can this man creature write this with any sort of sincerity? Does he think all the priests did was follow kids around hinting how sexy they were?

    According to a report by the New York Times in October, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office had filed charges in 26 cases of sexual abuse involving members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

    See, Jews did it! Therefore, leave priests alone. *facepalm*

    The Church preaches an ethic of sexual restraint

    Well, that’s one way to put it. Donoabomination is concentrated nastiness.

  398. #405 Kevin
    March 19, 2010

    Alright, well I’m off work. I’ll let you all know how the weekend goes – with the whole fundie parents possibly finding out I’m an atheist thing – or at least that I believe evolution is real, thing.

  399. #406 Celtic_Evolution
    March 19, 2010

    Good luck, Kevin!

    Oh… but, minor nit to pick:

    or at least that I believe evolution is real, thing.

    just remove the word “believe”… evolution is fact and is real. Period. No belief required.

  400. #407 KOPD
    March 19, 2010

    Re: “believe”, but only tangentially

    On Facebook a while back I saw a friend of mine defending her church to her mother. Her mother thinks the church is culty “because they believe in dinosaurs and astrology.” My first thought was, “well astrology is crap.” Then I did a double-take. I could not bring myself to email my friend and ask her what her mom thinks about dinosaurs. How do you not “believe” in them? It occurred to me that either 1) she meant “believe that dinosaurs were alive millions of years ago rather than much more recently” or b) her mom thinks dinosaur bones were planted by the devil to trick us. I like them both too much to get in the middle of that.

  401. #408 Paul
    March 19, 2010

    Want a painful demonstration of why Kirshenmoon make a habit to attack PZ every once and awhile?

    Mooneybanned made a post about Rush Limbaugh and the “go kill yourself” incident. He didn’t mention PZ at all. In 3 days, it has 58 comments, about 55 of which are devoted to talking trash about PZ.

    Early this morning, he made a post about his PoI shows, asking for feedback to help brainstorm new ideas and plot new directions. Between The Intersection and the CFI forums, he’s gotten 3 comments. One is a contentless McCarthy rimjob, one is a “good job, but perhaps you could interview someone you’re not already in bed with ideologically”, and the third just agrees with the second and recommends a source of inspiration.

    Basically, he’s built up a cult of personality centered around attacking New Atheists. If he doesn’t give them food for their paranoia and anger, his blog looks like a wasteland. It’s painful to watch.

  402. #409 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    KOPD:

    Her mother thinks the church is culty “because they believe in dinosaurs and astrology.”

    Maybe they believe dinosaurs were the first mystic astrologers, a la the centaurs in the Harry Potter books. ;p

  403. #410 David Marjanovi?
    March 19, 2010

    About 20 °C outside, like yesterday. :-)

    Friday Weird Science: Why does asparagus make your pee smell? A closely related topic was brought up a few subthreads ago, I’m sure you all remember it vividly.

    I’ve read till comment 372 on this subthread?

    What science blogs/feeds do people read regularly just to keep on top of new discoveries? I get the Bad Astronomy daily digest but am looking for something to add.

    I’m on the Dinosaur Mailing List, so I don’t miss any new dinosaur discoveries and not too much else. I daily read Tet Zoo, Pharyngula, and Jadehawk’s blog? and I click on “Now on ScienceBlogs” and “Top 5 Whatever” when I see an interesting title there.

    No feeds.

    I was wowed by their talent even before they showed incredible courage and insight with their stand on Bush and the war (which, for those of you outside ‘Murrica, was braver than it might seem, given who they sell their music to).

    I know. This got, IIRC, several days of coverage in the main TV evening news! “Ha, ha, laugh at the crazy? and deeply scary Americans! :-S ”

    The work of “Lady GaGa” is somewhat disturbing. I prefer to avoid her music, but it’s her videos that really scare me.

    Is “scare” the word you intend? Do you perhaps mean “disgust”?

    Disclaimer: I haven’t seen any of her videos. I prefer reading about Fedexia.

    Kwak is alright:

    I’ve been thinking of this one all the time. ? Turns out I had no idea whatsoever about the contents; I only knew the title character and the weird title song from TV. Turns out I actually missed something.

    So, I walk to the door in the dark, sultry green, get a deep sniff of Vietnamese fish sauce and hear a burst of Vietnamese. I was curling up in the bushes searching desperately for my non-existent gun when the door opened and my daughter and her friend appeared. Obviously, they were immigrants from Vietnam. Her father actually understood and asked me not to to apologize.

    ?

    ?

    I think I’m too shocked to cry. At least it ended halfway well.

    And I propose “Not Ready to Make Nice” as the official song of The Thread.

    I second that emotion.

    What exactly does “make nice” mean here?

    I have been in therapy which has not been all that useful. The coping mechanisms I use are ones that I have developed myself and my therapist says, ‘Wow. Good idea. Mind if I steal that?’ (he did that at least twice).

    My experience with psychologists (fortunately haven’t needed any outright psychiatrists) has been that they know far too little about the diversity of, uh, the human condition. It’s of course not as bad as with Freud anymore, who generalized his few turn-of-the-century-upperclass patients to all of humankind ever, but it’s still not enough.

    In response to my post: Why do you not think [evolution is] a theory?

    Because it makes no testable predictions. It has no potential falsifiers. When people advance a “potential falsifier” for evolution, it is always something that can be effectively ruled out through analysis of the existing data (e.g. the infamous rabbit) or something previously ruled out by experiment (an absence of evidence for chromosome fusion in human chromosomes only became a “potential falsifier” after they found the evidence for chromosome fusion.)

    Poppycock. How does “analysis of the existing data” rule out the infamous Precambrian rabbit, unless you already assume that evolution happens (or maybe day-age creationism or something else strongly sequential)?

    Especially? how would it in 1859, before even Archaeopteryx had been discovered, let alone any Precambrian fossil?

    And what does “previously ruled out by experiment” mean in this context? Finding that humans have 23 chromosome pairs while the others have 24, and finding that the chromosomes don’t line up, would be strong evidence against a recent common origin. That just didn’t happen.

    If someone were advancing a new “theory” of astrophysics and said that every sunrise was a test of the theory because “the sun rising in the west” was a potential falsifier, you would rightly conclude that he was peddling a pseudo-science.

    Absolutely not. “Test” doesn’t mean “proof”.

    Tell them that there is no such thing as proof in science. There are only falsification and parsimony. Passing a test just means “it hasn’t been disproved yet”.

    As long as you can answer the question “if I were wrong, how would I know?” all the way down with something other than “I wouldn’t”, you’re doing science. As soon as you stop being able to do that, you’re not doing science anymore.

    Some times I deeply, and I mean deeply, regret not studying medicine. The only reason I didn’t is that two member of my family did (who I considered much smarter than me) and couldn’t cut it and I didn’t want to let my mom down by failing at it and end up buried in debt with nothing to show for it.

    Easier said than done, but in principle you could move to a country where studying doesn’t mean debt?

    I felt a little bad earlier, when I fairly glibly praised the Dixie Chicks for their anti-war stance, and then began to read some of the posts (which I had not previously seen) about the personal effects of war. It has been my experience that the political opponents of the Iraq invasion, despite all conventional “wisdom” to the contrary, care deeply about the suffering and hardships of soldiers, veterens, and their families, and are grateful for the sacrifices those peole have made.

    “Support the troops ? bring them home”

    given that it can be grown for cloth, paper and oil

    At home I have a page bookmarked that explains why hemp paper doesn’t work. I’ll post it.

    although I can listen to Chinese instrumental music, once the voice is added it loses me completely. Everything goes weird :)

    Do you also get this effect from more modern compositions, like? The East Is Red? (Though that one is based on an old love song.)

    Of course, the vast majority of speakers of tonal languages have perfect pitch. Why doesn’t it sound like that to me when they sing? :)

    1) Perfect pitch is more common among native speakers of tonal languages, but “the vast majority” isn’t true.
    2) Some such languages make a lot of use of pitch. Others, like Mandarin, don’t ? the 4 tones of (Standard) Mandarin differ mostly in contour. I haven’t tried to learn Cantonese, but I think I’d find it a lot harder than Mandarin.

    Wow… Sastra just pwnd another thread.

    And coined a phrase!

    Awesome.

    My parents still remember where they were when they heard the news about Jack Kennedy. And Martin Luther King. And Bobby. I had always wondered how they could possibly remember after all those years. Today, I can still remember little details like exactly what I was doing (coding html in notepad), what I was drinking (a cherry coke).

    I was watching my brother play a very, very nice game of Civ II, full of prairie, when someone switched the TV on in the other room? I don’t remember other details, though.

    Except that I was constantly reminding me “this looks like a movie, but it’s not one”.

    This is a pattern ? ten minutes (literally this time) after I go to bed, Jadehawk turns up and teaches me something.

    *drags mind forcefully out of the gutter*

    *drags mind forcefully into the gutter; what could she mean?*

    Agh! LOL! I didn’t even think that far! X-D

    I’m not going to forget this anytime soon. X-) Thanks for making me aware!

    Which in turn means? thanks for confirming the pattern. Took you 11 minutes this time; that must be within the standard deviation. <duck & cover>

    Oh Moonenbaum, I said “deviation”? <facepalm>

    please note the addition of a certain word which completely ruins the meaning of the line to which it’s added. which she did because the original “sounded too negative”

    *facepalm*

    <headdesk>

    Rusty chainsaw, sideways.

    preferred side on which to sleep, and source of a large percentage of fights among couples ;-)

    Oooh, I should have figured that out on my own. You see, I sleep on my belly; I actually like the pressure (that’s a symptom of Asperger’s), and (surprisingly) my shoulders stick out too far that I could lie on a side for any length of time without pain, not to mention the lack of padding around my legs ? it’s uncomfortable to stack them. On a weirder level (again Asperger’s, I suppose), I don’t think I’d like the asymmetry of preferring a side.

    Lying on my back, while I’m at it, means I can’t fall asleep except when I’m very tired, and in that case I immediately get a nightmare, wake up, and use that opportunity to turn around and finally relax. Somehow I hate having to lift all my internal organs against gravity just to breathe.

    </TMI>

    Honestly, I expect profane name calling and derision, but those who do so are simply not scientists by any stretch of the term.

    I interrupted writing this comment twice (for hours at a time) to get some work done, and everything important has already been said, so I’ll simply make cheap ad-hominem attacks on your sources:

    Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd.

    Forschungen in Komplementärmedizin und klassischer Naturheilkunde? Research in complementary medicine and Classical Natural Healing?

    Lehrstuhl für Medizintheorie und Komplementärmedizin der Fakultät für Medizin, Universität Witten/Herdecke, Germany.

    Professorship for medicine theory and compl. medicine at the medicine school of East/West Bumfuck, somewhere in Germany?

    Well, pinyin uses the letters l and r, but the r sound is distinctly different from any of the English r’s,

    I find it very similar, in southern Mandarin it can even be identical.

    so I don’t know that it’s any easier for a Mandarin speaker to distinguish between the English l and r sounds.

    In my experience, they never get them confused. The Japanese do all the time, and the one Cantonese I’ve heard spoke good English but couldn’t get friend right.

    That having been said, I would drop the whole “fossil found in strata earlier than all of the fossil’s predecessors” as being a falsification of evolution. Look at the four postulates above. They’re about iterative reproduction and survival rates. Which of those would such a fossil falsify?

    You’re right, it’s parsimony, not falsification, that’s at work here.

    I just watch a documentary on the first flowers. I?m really excited to see if Archaefructus liaoningensis really was the first flowering plant.

    No, the earliest ones are about 20 million years older. They’re not as spectactularly preserved, though!

    Number 3 sounds Mandarin, but the romanization appears to be Hokkien.

    Oh, that makes sense, I think.

    The chorus of the song is 999 roses.

    Thought of this as soon as I had switched the computer off. Of course. “999 roses” doesn’t occur in 4 at all.

    Oh, and at the end of my consult with PrayerDoc, he asked me to let him know my decision, even if I decided not to have the surgery. I said “I’ve already decided I won’t be having the surgery. I don’t want a surgeon who prays to god for success, I want a surgeon who thinks he *is* god.”

    Very well said!

    This is a truly unexpected side-effect of messing about with transliterating Syriac to modern Hebrew script in Unicode.

    Huh? To me, in Opera for Mac, it looks like ordinary Hebrew text. No weirdness anywhere.

    have put just the essential enzymes for photosynthesis into a foam substrate and got really impressive energy-conversion efficiencies for making sugar from sunlight.

    Fucking awesome.

    I believe one of the major French papers ran this headline on the 12th “Aujourd’hui tous le monde sont Americains” (pardon my French).

    Your French!?! The two of us are the resident armchair linguists here, so you can kwok yourself sideways with a Leica rangefinder. Would be “Aujourd’hui tout le monde est des Américains” (hm? bit awkward?). Specifically, tous is the plural, and, uniquely, the s is even pronounced!

    But it wasn’t. I remember clearly that it was “Nous sommes tous des Américains” (we are all Americans). No qualification about time or anything. Very impressive; I didn’t expect it.

    or that two of Obama?s closest advisors, Axelrod and Holder, are fellow alumni of my high school.

    ROTFLMAO!!!

  404. #411 Jadehawk, OM
    March 19, 2010

    I daily read Tet Zoo, Pharyngula, and Jadehawk’s blog? and I click on “Now on ScienceBlogs” and “Top 5 Whatever” when I see an interesting title there.

    maybe I should finish writing the post I've been working on for 3 days now :-p

    What exactly does “make nice” mean here?

    “make nice” = accomodationism

    preferred side on which to sleep, and source of a large percentage of fights among couples ;-)

    Oooh, I should have figured that out on my own. You see, I sleep on my belly;

    I meant side of the bed, not side of their own body.

  405. #412 monado
    March 19, 2010

    JefferyD, Maureen, and others who’ve been talking about PTSD, re comment #203: my son and I have been talking lately about the behaviours he’s observed and heard of in police and both of us think that is a combat-like experience, although much milder. The police tend to break out in alcoholic self-medication, spouse abuse, and emotional turmoil. Then there’s the natural consequences of feeling “above the law” because their colleagues won’t turn them in.

    And of course there’s the experiences of the civilians on the ground, who may experience panic when they hear a helicopter coming back or see someone in uniform. How do you think a pile of machetes at the garden store affects someone from Rwanda? Or the sight of Christmas Mass or the Pope in his robes on the front page of a newspaper for a victim of sexual abuse? Or an alcohol ad, a siren, a fire alarm for those touched by related trauma?

    Those of us who have been lucky so far are DAM lucky. So how about a little public healthcare that includes counselling, physiotherapy, and diagnostic tests for previous injuries or poisoning?

    Best to all… Let’s be gentle to each other.

  406. #413 monado
    March 19, 2010

    Same here, SC, OM. I went to donate blood in Toronto and was told there would be a wait of at least five hours.

  407. #414 Sili
    March 19, 2010

    I remember clearly that it was “Nous sommes tous des Américains” (we are all Americans). No qualification about time or anything. Very impressive; I didn’t expect it.

    No wonder I couldn’t find it again! Thanks. The sentiment was correct at least – squandered goodwill.

    have put just the essential enzymes for photosynthesis into a foam substrate and got really impressive energy-conversion efficiencies for making sugar from sunlight.

    I guess I should try to find out more about this. My immediate thought is: What’ll they do once the substrate saturates with the sugar? They need to immobilise the photosynthetic machinery in a way that allows them to rinse away the downstream products. I guess the foam is a first step, but I doubt it’s firm enough to allow for any kind of continuous production.

    ::goes to look at the Jadeblawk::

  408. #415 David Marjanovi?
    March 19, 2010

    Hmmm. It’s half past 10 pm, and the rain doesn’t stop. Maybe I should just go home anyway.

    The Independent is a disaster.

    How did that happen?

    I was taught it really was independent, by a self-confessedly conservative teacher who didn’t regard any other UK newspaper as independent.

    I could not bring myself to email my friend and ask her what her mom thinks about dinosaurs. How do you not “believe” in them?

    Google finds 265 hits for “dinosaur denialist” in 0.11 seconds.

    maybe I should finish writing the post I’ve been working on for 3 days now :-p

    Yessssss :-)

    I meant side of the bed, not side of their own body.

    What? That’s something people can have preferences about? o_O

    ?sheltered life?

    The police tend to break out in alcoholic self-medication, spouse abuse, and emotional turmoil.

    Or in smashing wasps with their unprotected hands, as my great-grandfather is reported to have done.

    Best to all… Let’s be gentle to each other.

    Except to the accommodationists. :-þ

  409. #416 KOPD
    March 19, 2010

    Be excellent to each other. :-)

  410. #417 Paul
    March 19, 2010

    I was taught it really was independent, by a self-confessedly conservative teacher who didn’t regard any other UK newspaper as independent.

    Where I live (in California, ffs), many people hold Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to be the only honest, independent news(!!) reporters.

  411. #418 David Marjanovi?
    March 19, 2010

    I guess I should try to find out more about this. My immediate thought is: What’ll they do once the substrate saturates with the sugar? They need to immobilise the photosynthetic machinery in a way that allows them to rinse away the downstream products. I guess the foam is a first step, but I doubt it’s firm enough to allow for any kind of continuous production.

    Keyword “foam nest”. That sounds like it can withstand rain. Just wash the sugar out?

    (That would be almost too good to be true. Almost.)

    ::goes to look at the Jadeblawk::

    :-D

    Looks like I’m doing her blogwhoring for her X-D

  412. #419 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    David Marjanovi?:

    What? That’s something people can have preferences about? o_O

    Oh yes. It can lead to relationship hell in some cases. I have to be on the left side, can’t sleep if I’m not. Some people are um…ambibedtrous, for a lack of a word. :D My husband can sleep on either side of the bed.

  413. #420 Carlie
    March 19, 2010

    I’m going to call this progress, and in the light of this, I want to actually find someone who falls into this category. Are there any prior Mid-West Baptists who were real literal believers and are now atheists?

    Ooo, ooo, pick me, pick me! Southern Baptist born and bred, in the heart of the great midwest.

  414. #421 monado
    March 19, 2010

    Ring-tailed Lemur, if Chinese music sounds untuneful to you, is it in a quarter-tone scale instead of a half-tone scale like ours, so the intermediate notes sound out of tune?

  415. #422 blf
    March 19, 2010

    I have to be on the left side, can’t sleep if I’m not.

    So if you moved the pillow from one end to the opposite end, then you would have to sleep on the other side of the bed?

    I’m not sure if that sounds weird, kinky, or you have a deep-seating fear of falling out of bed on your right side.

    I mean, if one side of the bed was covered in sharp poisoned rusty caltrops and the other had an eager naked squid/slave/significantother/something I can imagine someone might, just might, prefer one side over the other…

  416. #423 jenbphillips
    March 19, 2010

    Man, what a deep thread.

    Kevin: I really hope the visit goes well with your parents.

    Bride & others with postwar remembrances: Dad and Stepdad were both career army officers; Dad served as an infantryman in WWII, Korea and Vietnam; Stepdad was a green beret in Vietnam. Mom was born in 1941 in London, so experienced regular visits from B2 bombers and rationing from a young age. The ways in which their lives, and mine, were irrevocably affected by these circumstances is incalculable.

    Vertebral discs: Another anecdotal datapoint for successful (cervical) discectomy and fusion here. Titanium cage, cadaver cells, negligible loss of mobility, pain happily resolved. So glad I did it.

    Donohue: What a festering chunk of hagfish excrement.

    NCAA Backet: Gaah! Taintlapping Hoyas.

    maybe I should finish writing the post I’ve been working on for 3 days now :-p

    Maybe I should finish writing the post I’ve been working on for three *weeks* now. I have the most maddening case of writers block for this particular piece only, it seems. I want to write it. I need to write it. I just can’t fuCKing write it. What the hell is wrong with me?

  417. #424 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    blf, what can I say? I’ve tried to sleep on the right, I just lay awake.

  418. #425 Owlmirror
    March 19, 2010

    Huh? To me, in Opera for Mac, it looks like ordinary Hebrew text.

    Excellent. Looks like it worked, then. Although, while it uses Hebrew letters, it is still in Syriac (basically a dialect of Aramaic). There’s more than a few cognates with Hebrew, and very similar grammar, but a different language in the same family.

    No weirdness anywhere.

    The “truly unexpected side-effect” was the text making Wowbagger feel… pious… !!

  419. #426 blf
    March 19, 2010

    [W]hat can I say?

    ?The time has come?, the Walrus said,
    ?To talk of many things:
    Of shoes?and ships?and sealing-wax?
    Of cabbages?and kings?
    And why the sea is boiling hot?
    And whether pigs have wings.?

    Hum, guess you’re right. No mention of which side of the bed. So what can you say…?

  420. #427 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    Hum, guess you’re right. No mention of which side of the bed. So what can you say??

    I prefer the left. ;D

  421. #428 Feynmaniac
    March 19, 2010

    Dear lord,

    Anderson Cooper finished Celebrity Jeopardy with $0, losing to Cheech Marin (yes, Cheech Marin of Cheech & Chong). This isn’t an isolated incident. Nancy Grace and Soledad O’Brien also finished third. As did Wolf Blitzer, finishing with negative $4,600. I remind you this is Celebrity Jeopardy. I think this really says something about CNN.

  422. #429 monado
    March 19, 2010

    Re spinal problems, I had an apparent disk problem that was helped by physiotherapy (the Robin McKinley method). The physio actually scooched the disk back where it belonged with her pointy little elbow.

    The cool kids are going to a lecture on evolutionary imagery at the Ontario Centre for Inquiry.

  423. #430 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 19, 2010

    boygenius #343

    Sorry, ‘Tis, I left out economics. My bad.

    I’m depressed that few people have any real knowledge of basic economics. I was trying to explain the economic problem1 to someone recently and we got bogged down in definitions. Budgets2, purchasing priorities3 and surplus4 are not arcane jargon used to obfuscate concepts. Economists use these words pretty much in the same manner as normal people.

    1The economic problem is most simply explained by the question “how do we satisfy unlimited wants with limited resources?”

    2A budget is a list of all planned expenses and revenues. In microeconomics, a budget line is the trade-offs between two or more goods.

    3Purchasing priorities are the factors which determine which goods and services are bought before other goods and services. Most people will buy food before they buy liquor but for some people liquor may be more important.

    4Surplus is used in economics for several related quantities. The consumer surplus is the amount that consumers benefit by being able to purchase a product for a price that is less than they would be willing to pay. The producer surplus is the amount that producers benefit by selling at a market price higher than they would be willing to sell for.

  424. #431 SteveM
    March 19, 2010

    re David Marjanovi? @411:

    Lying on my back, while I’m at it, means I can’t fall asleep except when I’m very tired, … Somehow I hate having to lift all my internal organs against gravity just to breathe.

    I’m a little puzzled by this. Seems to me that being on one’s back requires the least effort to breathe (discounting snoring and apnea issues) in that it allows the ribcage to expand pretty freely and none of the internal organs are directly attached to the ribcage so why are they being lifted? Alternatively, diaphram breathing would be pushing the organs around but not really lifting them. Whereas, being on your stomach, expanding the ribcage does lift the whole body.

  425. #432 Pygmy Loris
    March 19, 2010

    Tis,

    Would it make you cry if I told you the first book I ever read about economics was Das Kapital?

    We covered basic supply and demand in social studies in high school, but that was it. I took a class on global food distribution to fulfill my econ requirement in undergrad, and the two things I can remember from that course are 1)there’s enough food produced globally to feed everyone, so starvation and famine are distribution problems and 2)subsidies in the developed world hurt farmers in the developing world contributing to local famines and food insecurity.

  426. #433 Pygmy Loris
    March 19, 2010

    Wait a second, I just remembered that I learned the bare basics of Keynesian economics in high school US history when we covered the Great Depression!

    Now I get most of my econ knowledge from Paul Krugman’s blog.

  427. #434 SteveM
    March 19, 2010

    I’m depressed that few people have any real knowledge of basic economics.

    I’m more depressed that so few people understand the difference between “markup” and “profit”. Too often I see people write (or hear people say) that a store that buys a good for X and sells for 2X is making 100% profit. Or that a company that sells an item for X that costs them X/10 to make, is making 1000% profit.

  428. #435 Carlie
    March 19, 2010

    You see, I sleep on my belly; I actually like the pressure (that’s a symptom of Asperger’s),

    I’m sure you already know all about this stuff, but just in case you hadn’t come across them, there are lots of weighted blankets and such for getting that kind of sensory input.

  429. #436 SteveV
    March 19, 2010

    I posted some time ago about a little local difficulty regarding a charity and the closure of a Day Centre.
    Things have moved on a little and now Miss M is proposing direct action. She intends to deliver the following speech just before Fr. Dyson begins Mass on Sunday. Perhaps I should point out that Miss M is a fierce, redheaded atheist.

    I would like to take a few minutes of your time before you have your morning service and ask you to ask yourselves the reason why you are here today.

    Do you know that father Dyson has been complicit in the closure of St Mary?s Haven day centre?

    Do you know how important the day centre has been to the welfare of the older more vulnerable people of Penzance and surrounding areas, some visually impaired, some hearing impaired, at least one amputee and some with dementia? These people looked on the day centre as their life line where they would get a cooked meal, a bath if needed but mostly human and caring, loving contact.

    Do you know that the staff and users of the day centre were given less than three weeks notice of the closure and that there was no consultation beforehand?

    Do you know that the trustees either could not be bothered or were too cowardly to attend several public meetings before the closure?

    Do you know that a nephew of three of the founding Sisters has offered the sum of £50,000 to cover the losses projected by the trustees for the next year?

    Do you know that this offer was rejected out of hand by the trustees?

    Do you know that father Dyson is the chairman of the trustees?

    Lastly do you think this episode has demonstrated the Christian values that your presence here implies you hold?

    I would ask you to remember St paul?s first epistle to the corinthians chapter 13 in its entirety but particularly remember verse 13:

    And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

    Any suggestions?
    Any additions?

  430. #437 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 19, 2010

    Pygmy Loris #433 & 434

    Would it make you cry if I told you the first book I ever read about economics was Das Kapital?

    I’m impressed. Das Kapital is not an easy book to read. I take it you only read the first volume (there are five in all, the fourth and fifth, written by Engels, are good remedies for insomnia).

    1)there’s enough food produced globally to feed everyone, so starvation and famine are distribution problems

    There are other problems as well. Sometimes a regime will purposely block food distribution and/or confiscate food in an area. Also there might not be enough wealth in an area for people to buy available food.

    2)subsidies in the developed world hurt farmers in the developing world contributing to local famines and food insecurity.

    This is a “yes but…” situation. Because of subsidies it is cheaper to buy Texan rice in Cambodia than Cambodian rice. However since the Texan rice harvest is much smaller than the Cambodian harvest, Cambodia is still a rice exporter. But First World agricultural subsidies do hurt Third World farmers trying to sell unsubsidized food.

    I learned the bare basics of Keynesian economics in high school US history when we covered the Great Depression!

    This warms the cockles of my economist heart.

    Now I get most of my econ knowledge from Paul Krugman’s blog.

    I can think of worse sources. I also read Krugman’s blog.

  431. #438 Ichthyic
    March 19, 2010

    The physio actually scooched the disk back where it belonged with her pointy little elbow.

    I’d make sure to get multiple scans before trying that.

    If someone has an inflamed disk, it might rupture with point pressure put on it.

    …that would be bad.

  432. #439 Pygmy Loris
    March 19, 2010

    Tis,

    I take it you only read the first volume (there are five in all, the fourth and fifth, written by Engels, are good remedies for insomnia).

    I read the first three, never finished the two by Engels. As you said, they’re great cures for insomnia :)

    Sometimes a regime will purposely block food distribution and/or confiscate food in an area. Also there might not be enough wealth in an area for people to buy available food.

    I figured I was unclear. By distribution problems, I meant all of these issues (cultural, structural, geographic, etc.) that prevent the food from getting into the digestive systems of those who need it, including not having the money to get the food, regimes diverting the food to the army, in addition to actual physical problems getting food to different places.

    This is a “yes but…” situation.

    Yeah, I was just trying to condense the two things that were essentially the basis for the course. We covered subsidies extensively. One major fact that has stuck with me is that the USA is the largest exporter of food in the world, so our subsidies have a disproportionate impact on other countries.

    As for rice, I’m used to seeing it growing in Arkansas, but many of my friends from the North and Midwest are surprised that we grow any in the USA.

  433. #440 Pygmy Loris
    March 19, 2010

    Marx is hard to read. I’ve read Das Kapital and Die Deutsche Ideologie (both in English). They’re books that you can’t really skim. I’m not sure if it’s because of differences in writing styles between German and English or the mid-19th century and now. I don’t have much comparison for that time period in German. Most of the stuff I read in German is either websites or scientific articles (some that are 40 or 50 years old, but still). Anyway, Marx uses whole paragraphs to set out his points. Each part of the paragraph is necessary to understand the whole, requiring the reader to actually read all of it rather that paying attention to the beginning and ending of paragraphs and chapters. It’s very different. Origin of Species is a much easier read and from the same general time period.

  434. #441 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 19, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself,
    I sympathize with your situation with regard to your metier. I fear that our culture has become so specialized that even those of us who are educated are infintely ignorant outside of our own narrow domain.

    I never took an economics course as an undergrad. So when I got into my thirties, I decided to rectify that failing. I bought a text by Gailbraith at a used book store and started working my way through it. It was fairly intuitive, although I’m sure what little knowledge I acquired is both outdated and shallow. Even so, I could at least understand Alan Greenspan when he gave his Fed briefings. ;-) And I understood enough to see the caca streaming toward the fan long before it got there in 2008.

    FWIW, I feel the same about physics, probabilistic risk assessment and probability in general–my areas of expertise.

  435. #442 dingdong
    March 19, 2010

    @ Sacnction & Menyambal

    It was a specific request because that’s basically exactly what she said, though it was more of an off the cuff remark.

    As Menyambal mentioned, a Catholic wouldn’t do, because what they believe is nonsense, obviously.

    Irony clearly not a strong point, but I work on it.

    Basically, she has very specific beliefs and what, to her, constitutes proof. She is biblically very well informed (oxymoron?) and I think would like to ask questions to someone who would understand her specific viewpoint and have some idea of the persepctive she is coming from.

    Our discussions are between a believer, and a person who has never countenanced believing. I think it’s just a case of having the discussion who might be a little more empathetic.

    @ Carlie
    Feel free to email so I can give you the question list… mr_a_long [at] yahoo dot co dot uk

    Thanks for being easy on me…these look like dangerous waters for a posting newbie to be dipping his toe in.

  436. #443 Usagichan
    March 19, 2010

    David M @411

    Regarding oriental confusion between ‘L’ and ‘R’ (sounds) –

    [Mandarin speakers] they never get them confused. The Japanese do all the time,

    I don’t know much about Chinese, but certainly the Japanese language has a sound midway between L and R that leads to confusion when the Japanese speak a language that has those sounds – This can lead to confusion (and occasionally apt mis-translations – my wife always marks the calendar on with the days we are due to fly (holidays, visits home etc) with the ‘fright time’ – although I find her most appropriate mispronunciation is to re-name the ‘accelerator’ of a car the ‘exhilarator’).

    Of course confusion works both ways – I am assured that there is a difference between the words spider and cloud (both sound like ‘kumo’), and bridge and chopsticks (both sound like ‘hashi’) but I have never been able to discern the difference, no matter how patiently it is explained to me. Still context (as with most Japanese) is everything, and any differences in pronunciation don’t seem to lead to too much mis-understanding.

  437. #444 David Marjanovi?
    March 19, 2010

    Theodore Beale as an example of a Mensa member that suffers from the Dunning-Kruger effect… bigtime.

    Excellent. Looks like it worked, then.

    Also works in IE8, except it’s all justified to the left side, and the very last line starts with a period instead of ending with it. (I didn’t pay attention to these things in the lab.)

    Although, while it uses Hebrew letters, it is still in Syriac (basically a dialect of Aramaic).

    I know, because you said so. I can’t even read most of the letters without looking them up in Wikipedia. :-)

    I’m a little puzzled by this. Seems to me that being on one’s back requires the least effort to breathe (discounting snoring and apnea issues) in that it allows the ribcage to expand pretty freely and none of the internal organs are directly attached to the ribcage so why are they being lifted? Alternatively, diaphram breathing would be pushing the organs around but not really lifting them. Whereas, being on your stomach, expanding the ribcage does lift the whole body.

    Diaphragm breathing pulls the diaphragm… I can’t say “down”, I have to introduce the anatomical direction terms. So, it pulls the diaphragm caudally (toward the tail). The guts get out of the way in all directions, except that on the dorsal side there’s the vertebral column with its musculature, which doesn’t yield much, and, when sleeping on the back, the bed, which hardly yields at all, is also on the dorsal side. So, most of the expansion is ventral, and that means up when lying on the back. When lying on the belly, so that ventral is down, most of the expansion is sideways, with just a little flexion of the vertebral column in the lumbar region. (I just did the experiment.)

    The ribcage doesn’t seem to undergo any ventral expansion in breathing, even when I just sit here and exaggerate all ribcage movements. It’s all cranial (toward the head), lateral (sideways), and dorsal (not much, but impossible to avoid due to the shape of ribs).

    I’m sure you already know all about this stuff, but just in case you hadn’t come across them, there are lots of weighted blankets and such for getting that kind of sensory input.

    Wow. I had no idea! But… I’ll simply keep sleeping on my belly :-)

    I’ve never been diagnosed with Asperger’s or any other psychological condition. I only learned of the existence of Asperger’s from an article in New Scientist, while I was visiting my last psychologist; it looks like she didn’t know about it either. And then she explicitly refused to diagnose me because she feared I’d hide behind the diagnosis…

    She also had me do a Rorschach test, even though I protested that it had been shown it doesn’t show anything other than what you’ve last been thinking about. At least I got to demonstrate this myself by seeing exactly those things that were illustrated in the article I had read in the tramway, and showing her the illustrations in the article! I still remember the sacrum of Daspletosaurus. =8-)

    the fourth and fifth, written by Engels, are good remedies for insomnia

    Heh. I once cured my sister by reading to her from Lenin’s collected works. =8-)

    Also there might not be enough wealth in an area for people to buy available food.

    This is the one big global problem about hunger.

  438. #445 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 19, 2010

    I bought a text by Gailbraith at a used book store and started working my way through it.

    John Kenneth Galbraith was a good economist and an excellent writer. He’s a little outdated now but I’d certainly trust him for the basics.

  439. #446 Menyambal
    March 19, 2010

    dingdong, I remember several conversations here in the Missouri Ozarks where it became clear to me that the other person “had faith” and I absolutely did not. I still really don’t understand what folks mean by “faith” but I do know it is one of those slippery words that has different meaning from person to person, and, for some folks, from minute to minute.

    My own dad once said that folks had to believe in something. The way he said it made it sound both compulsory for mental health and a social requirement for fitting in. We never talked much about religion, otherwise, but he decided that I was an atheist before I did.

    My mom, God love her, avoids the whole issue.

  440. #447 Usagichan
    March 19, 2010

    David M @445

    I only learned of the existence of Asperger’s from an article in New Scientist, while I was visiting my last psychologist; it looks like she didn’t know about it either. And then she explicitly refused to diagnose me because she feared I’d hide behind the diagnosis…

    I spent some time seeing a therapist when my marriage was going through a difficult patch (my wife felt it would help both of us and encouraged me to go – it probably saved our marriage), and my therapist suggested Aspergers and refered me to a specialist who diagnosed it.

    In fact the diagnosis had little impact on me (except to help understand myself a bit better), but proved to be a great help to my wife – understanding that I wasn’t being deliberately nasty to her, that it really was a case of misunderstanding (or even ‘miss understanding’). It is not something to ‘hide behind’ but I have found that having a concrete understanding of what I have to overcome allows me to focus on the task of overcoming it.

  441. #448 Jadehawk, OM
    March 19, 2010
    maybe I should finish writing the post I’ve been working on for 3 days now :-p

    Yessssss :-)

    there, happy now?! :-p

  442. #449 boygenius
    March 19, 2010

    David M, you mentioned a paper you had bookmarked on why hemp paper doesn’t work. If you’re home now, I’d be very interested in reading it.

  443. #450 Carlie
    March 19, 2010

    while I was visiting my last psychologist; it looks like she didn’t know about it either. And then she explicitly refused to diagnose me because she feared I’d hide behind the diagnosis…
    She also had me do a Rorschach test, even though I protested that it had been shown it doesn’t show anything other than what you’ve last been thinking about.

    That sounds like a pretty horrible psychologist. Does she refuse to diagnose anything to anyone in case they hide behind it? A diagnosis is just what helps one seat what’s happening and know which directions might work best to learn coping skills.

    Of course, in a year or so you wouldn’t be able to be diagnosed with Asperger’s anyway – it’s eliminated in the new DSM-V and clustered back down into austim spectrum disorder.

  444. #451 Carlie
    March 19, 2010

    Bwah! Just for fun I googled Kwok – wanted to know if he had any actual accomplishments out there in the world besides his high school diploma. The first result in the search was this.

  445. #452 Usagichan
    March 19, 2010

    Having been pointed to a few interesting cartoon strips from this (and other threads) I have a suggestion for any manga fans out there – Saint young men is an interesting story envisioning Jesus and Buddha as on a sabbatical from heaven, living in a student style flat share (on a student budget as Buddha constantly reminds the more profligate Jesus) in modern day Tokyo. Not the most cutting satire, but I like the humour.

  446. #453 David Marjanovi?
    March 19, 2010

    I don’t know much about Chinese, but certainly the Japanese language

    The only similarities are that both only tolerate fairly simple syllables (though Japanese is much stricter in that respect) and of course that there are loads of Chinese loanwords in Japanese. Don't be fooled by the writing system. :^)

    has a sound midway between L and R

    For many, perhaps most, Japanese it’s an ordinary Italian R. The bigger issue is that there’s nothing to contrast it with.

    I am assured that there is a difference between the words spider and cloud (both sound like ‘kumo’), and bridge and chopsticks (both sound like ‘hashi’) but I have never been able to discern the difference, no matter how patiently it is explained to me.

    You’ve run into the pitch accent system ? Japanese does have tones, but only for stressed syllables, and only in very few cases is this actually used to distinguish words.

    “Foreign learners of Japanese are often not taught to pronounce the pitch accent. Incorrect pitch accent is a strong characteristic of a ‘foreign accent’ in Japanese.”

    that it really was a case of misunderstanding (or even ‘miss understanding’)

    X-D

    It is not something to ‘hide behind’ but I have found that having a concrete understanding of what I have to overcome allows me to focus on the task of overcoming it.

    Doesn’t surprise me at all.

    you mentioned a paper you had bookmarked on why hemp paper doesn’t work

    Oh yeah, sorry. It’s not a paper, it’s a detailed Pharyngula comment!

    there, happy now?! :-p

    Over four screens of what’s going on in your… appreciable intellect! ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

    That sounds like a pretty horrible psychologist.

    It also sounds like an utterly unremarkable psychologist in my experience… :-þ Hence my occasional outbursts of “psychology can be done as a science, it just usually isn’t”.

  447. #454 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 19, 2010

    Ah, it must be nice to have friends like Kw*k has. Otherwise, your business wouldn’t be on the web for folks to know who you went to school with…and who you are stalking today…

  448. #455 cicely
    March 19, 2010

    *perking up ears*
    Menyambal, where in the Missouri Ozarks are you?

  449. #456 David Marjanovi?
    March 19, 2010

    Urgh. Extreme blockquote fail! The quote should be closed between “language” and “is” in the second line (on this screen, so perhaps the end of the first line on yours); what should have been a </blockquote> tag got removed completely, together with both line breaks after it.

    The first result in the search was this.

    ROTFL!

  450. #457 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 19, 2010

    David:

    Oh yeah, sorry. It’s not a paper, it’s a detailed Pharyngula comment!

    Interesting, thank you. I’ve used hemp in handmade paper, for art work. It’s easier to use than poppy stems, which are much work for little yield.

  451. #458 Menyambal
    March 19, 2010

    cicely, I am near Springfield, mostly. I went to high school in Buffalo, college at MSU (when it was SMSU), my folks live in Marshfield (birthplace of Edwin Hubble) and I now live in Nixa (birthplace of the fictional Jason Bourne’s “real” identity).

  452. #459 Usagichan
    March 19, 2010

    David M – thanks for the link to the pitch-accent article. It is interesting to see Japanese comedy where a foreign accent is indicated by the incorrect stressing of syllables (I am thinking particularly of the character of Stresemann in the live action version of Nodame Cantible – I am always reminded of the UK comedy “‘Allo ‘Allo” for some reason).

    The main problem I find with Chinese loan word (Kanji) is the multiplicity of pronunciations they bring with them – you can often understand the meaning individual kanji with no idea of how they are pronounced (each kanji has at least one ‘Japanese’ reading (Kun yomi) and ‘borrowed Chinese reading’ (On yomi), though often more than one). How they manage to keep the literacy rate so high here is quite amazing.

  453. #460 MrFire
    March 19, 2010

    Carlie @452:

    The first result in the search was this.

    Oh, Christ. Christ Christ Christ. You’re killing me here, you’re frickin’ killing me.

    XD XD XD

  454. #461 David Marjanovi?
    March 19, 2010

    How they manage to keep the literacy rate so high here is quite amazing.

    1. Brute force. A whole culture of “learn, learn, learn”*: normal school, evening school, and a… remarkable suicide rate.
    2. I’ve read that many people do have trouble with the rarer kanji and their rarer pronunciations.
    3. There aren’t that many kanji in general use. In China, where there’s no escape, it happens that students at the most prestigious universities forget, for instance, how to write “to sneeze”… I’m thinking of chapter 3 of this page, but read the whole thing anyway. :-)

    * Of course, the guy who actually used these words most famously is Lenin.

  455. #462 Feynmaniac
    March 19, 2010

    The first result in the search was this.

    Had to read some the links there back to Survivor: Pharyngula!. Good times. It actually kept me from a few classes. Can’t believe it’s been a year.

    Nowadays there’s not much creationist/religionist targets, what with registration and the Survivor purge (most of the contestants of Survivor were eventually banned). When one does show up they generally get attacked by a large, hungry pack of Pharyngulites.

  456. #463 givesgoodemail.com
    March 19, 2010

    …and now for something completely different: the Boy Scouts of America as perverts.

  457. #464 RickR
    March 19, 2010

    Celtic_Evolution @407-

    just remove the word “believe”… evolution is fact and is real. Period. No belief required.

    Ugh. For the past couple days I’ve been having a bit of back and forth on, of all things, a “Lost” discussion forum, with a poster who made the startlingly original statement that “Science is a religion”. I took my time to write up a few lengthy, well-researched rebuttals to his/her nonsense, but he/she does what they all do- ignore them and pretend no one rebutted their drivel with reasoned arguments, including citations and sources for further reading.

    I gave up. What’s that quote about debating with creationists being like wrestling with pigs?

  458. #465 David Marjanovi?
    March 19, 2010

    Jesus Haploid Christ. How did it get 3:26 so quickly? See you all tomorrow.

  459. #466 Usagichan
    March 19, 2010

    I’ve read that many people do have trouble with the rarer kanji and their rarer pronunciations.

    This is true (rare readings are often put as ‘furigana’ (small hiragana above the kanji themselves)). It is particularly difficult for names where readings can be quite whimsical – for example characters?for ‘small birds playing’ could be read ‘Kotori asobi’ ??????but are actually read ‘Taka nashi’ literally ‘no hawks’ (i.e. small birds can play where there are no hawks).

    There aren’t that many kanji in general use.

    Also quite true, although it is all relative – to be literate in Japanese you still need approx 2000 kanji, which is far fewer than Chinese languages require, but still a substantial number for my poor memory…

  460. #467 Celtic_Evolution
    March 19, 2010

    RickR

    I gave up. What’s that quote about debating with creationists being like wrestling with pigs?

    Yup… covered in shit.

    Although, at this point I’ve decided that the potential for collateral wisdom (in which a lurker may observe the debate as a third party and come away learning something valuable) is worth the off-putting stench.

  461. #468 Jadehawk, OM
    March 19, 2010

    collateral wisdom

    that’s pretty much my reasoning for engaging in these kind of “debates”. the person I’m talking isn’t likely to learn anything, but others might; certainly more than if I’d just let the ramblings go unanswered.

  462. #469 cicely
    March 19, 2010

    Menyambal, I’m in SW Springfield, almost in Battlefield. We escaped to here from SW OK; I like it here much better, for all its faults.

    I almost choked on my drink the first time I saw that in the Bourne movie!

    Nice to ‘meet’ another local Pharyngulite. :)

  463. #470 Carlie
    March 19, 2010

    Menyambal – believe it or not, I spent a summer youth church camp once doing church plant surveys around Halfway.
    *cue “It’s A Small World”

  464. #471 John Morales
    March 19, 2010

    Reminds me of another Heinlein aphorism: ?Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.?

  465. #472 Owlmirror
    March 19, 2010

    What’s that quote about debating with creationists being like wrestling with pigs?

    You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.

  466. #473 Ichthyic
    March 19, 2010

    As for rice, I’m used to seeing it growing in Arkansas

    CA is a big rice producer as well, IIRC, to the point where it has had a major impact on state water usage over the last 20 years.

  467. #474 MrFire
    March 19, 2010

    Attn: Josh, OSG

    Ragù alla Bolognese

    1 pound ground beef
    4 tbs butter or oil
    1 cup (4oz) minced onion
    1/2 cup (2oz) minced carrot
    1/2 cup (2oz) minced celery
    1 cup (8oz) milk
    pinch (~1/16 tsp) nutmeg
    1 cup (8oz) dry white wine
    1 can (16oz) chopped plum tomatoes, with juice

    - Over med-high heat, fry the ground beef in a skillet until it is well-browned. Try to make sure that at least 75% of the water from the beef has evaporated. Remove and set aside.

    - In a heavy saucepan, add the butter/oil and fry the onion, celery, carrot over medium heat for 5 min. Add back the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, then add the milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a moderate simmer, stirring frequently, and let it bubble away completely. Add the nutmeg and stir.

    - Add the wine, and again reduce liquid down.

    - Add the tomatoes. Once more, bring to a boil, but this time turn it down to a fairly low simmer, such that a only few bubbles breaking the surface every few seconds. This should take around 3 hours.

    - The ragù is ready when the liquid has cooked down to the consistency of tomato paste*, and the fat has separated from the sauce.

    - This should make about 10 individual servings of ragù, to be enjoyed with grated parmesan and the pasta of your choice. Also, it freezes very nicely.

    *By this, I mean that there should be no extraneous water for the fat to float around in. When the fat starts to go from micelles to forming a continuous layer, that’s a good place to stop. And I would like to emphasize that I do not mean “cook it to dryness”. It becomes too concentrated, and, well, dry.

  468. #475 Owlmirror
    March 19, 2010

    I try not to worry too much about collateral wisdom. It would be nice if someone following along learns something, but I sometimes think it’s worth it for the intellectual experience itself:

    You learn the kind of arguments they use, and what they cite as “evidence”, and figure out how to phrase refutations.

    And I have to admit: sometimes, I’m spurred to do more research out of sheer infuriation at their disingenuous mendacity, which is good in and of itself, and also helps to remind me just how much real science is out there. This sometimes feeds back into the infuriation itself, given how many trolls accuse evolutionary biology of being a hoax by people who are just in it for the money (most recently by Nelis over in the year-old Kent Hovind still in jail thread).

    (– “Why are evolutionists so angry?”
    – “You mean, if someone just said that you were just a greedy selfish liar, you would respond calmly?”)

    Bah.

    On a complete tangent, I was pondering the insult popularized here by Wowbagger, “clown shoe”. It has an amusing absurdity to it, all on its own, but it occurred to me that there might be an obscure meaning behind the phrase: someone who repeatedly, forcefully, and willfully jams their foot into their own mouth, and never removes it, is doing something obviously absurd, and hence is a clown, and also is using their head and body as a “shoe”. Therefore, that person is a clown shoe.

    Piltdown Man? Clown shoe.
    Alan Clarke? Clown shoe.
    And so on.

    Excellent.

  469. #476 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 19, 2010

    Attn: Josh, OSG

    I’m on it, MrFire! That’s a damned fine looking bolognese recipe – very similar to one I make. Mine’s a little more decadent though – I use heavy cream (not a whole cup, to be sure!).

  470. #477 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 19, 2010

    given how many trolls accuse evolutionary biology of being a hoax by people who are just in it for the money

    This is something that’s always confused me. I know how much biology professors make. It’s nothing compared to what Ken Ham or Ray Comfort rake in. The money the creationists seem to think is in promoting evolution just isn’t there. If I were a PhD biologist just interested in money and nothing else, I’d be knocking on the Discovery Institute’s door.

  471. #478 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 19, 2010

    Immortal Jellyfish

    Also quite true, although it is all relative – to be literate in Japanese you still need approx 2000 kanji, which is far fewer than Chinese languages require, but still a substantial number for my poor memory…

    So much easier for Korean, where knowledge of hanja (Chinese Character) is only for advance reader.

  472. #479 Ichthyic
    March 19, 2010

    I’m on it, MrFire!

    second offer…

    if you need a place to store recipes other than these threads, I can set up a web-page for this purpose, if someone already isn’t doing that.

    email me:

    fisheyephotosAThotmailDOTcom

  473. #480 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 19, 2010

    Thanks, Ich. I don’t mind collecting them here, it’s probably more a matter of whether PZ and the commenters get sick of so many recipes. I’ll email you so we can exchange contact info.

  474. #481 Ichthyic
    March 19, 2010

    kk

    btw, thanks to Carlie for the link to the rationalwiki for the kwokster.

    just went to the the Thumb to put the screws to him with it, since he had JUST posted another one of his axe-grinds to PZ.

  475. #482 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 19, 2010

    MrFire – just realized my comment looked like stealing your culinary thunder. See what happens when you’re an Official SpokesGay? It’s all about me, me, me.

    Seriously, I’m going to try your recipe. I especially like that you included technical notes on consistency, moisture content, etc. That’s always helpful to people who can follow a recipe, but don’t necessarily have a firm grip on kitchen science and why it matters.

  476. #483 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 19, 2010

    just went to the the Thumb to put the screws to him with it, since he had JUST posted another one of his axe-grinds to PZ.

    Link please? I’m dying.

  477. #484 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 19, 2010

    Ugh. Just found the Kw*k post at the Thumb. Had to say something. Shouldn’t have bothered. Oh, how I hate him, and those assholes over at the Intersuction.

    And why, why, must Kw*k be a Star Trek geek? Can’t I have one silly, indulgent pleasure left untainted?

  478. #485 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 20, 2010

    After reading so much about Kwok, I have now maded “mendacious intellectual pornography” synonymous with him. Sould I ever encounter him, it will be the name I will give him.

    No, the earliest ones are about 20 million years older. They’re not as spectactularly preserved, though!

    Ohh, do tell its name. The evolution of flowers intrigues me because it’s not well recorded in the fossil records, for obvious reasons.

  479. #486 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 20, 2010

    maded

    Surely, that’s my illness speaking.

    And why, why, must Kw*k be a Star Trek geek? Can’t I have one silly, indulgent pleasure left untainted?

    leather

  480. #487 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    ok, so apparently P.R.A.Y.E.R (Pharyngula Randomly Answering Your Endless Requests) works!

    Y’all might remember that I’m a cat-person who would LOVE to have cats (at least to tdecimate my other furry roommates), but neither the landlord nor the boyfriend are forthcoming…

    …well, about half an hour ago, I have found a cat on my doorstep. Please keep in mind that I live on the 4th floor of a building with a locked front door, and NO ONE in this building is allowed to have pets!

    Now, the cat is tagged, so I guess I’ll have to figure out who to return it to, but for tonight, I have a kitteh :-)

  481. #488 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    Had to say something. Shouldn’t have bothered.

    it is fun to poke the monkey and watch him fling poo though.

    i think he responded to your post no less than 3 times.

  482. #489 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 20, 2010

    Now, the cat is tagged, so I guess I’ll have to figure out who to return it to, but for tonight, I have a kitteh :-)

    Jadehawk can has kitteh.

    I has many already.

  483. #490 Rorschach
    March 20, 2010

    And why, why, must Kw*k be a Star Trek geek? Can’t I have one silly, indulgent pleasure left untainted?

    As I have mentioned here before, my uber-boss, the holy Professor of Emergency at my institution, a boring suit-and-tie guy with no personality and no detectable humour, is, so sources tell me, the super Star Trek geek, we’re talking model starships on the walls and conventions….
    It’s very disturbing.

  484. #491 Pygmy Loris
    March 20, 2010

    Yay! Jadehawk has a transient kitteh!

  485. #492 Owlmirror
    March 20, 2010

    I have found a cat on my doorstep. Please keep in mind that I live on the 4th floor of a building with a locked front door, and NO ONE in this building is allowed to have pets!

    Now, the cat is tagged,

    Does the tag read “Erwin Schrödinger”, by some strange chance?

    (Copenhagen Interpretation Fantasy Camp !!)

  486. #493 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    Does the tag read “Erwin Schrödinger”, by some strange chance?

    …and if you look to see, does the cat randomly die or live?

  487. #494 Owlmirror
    March 20, 2010
  488. #495 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    Now, the cat is tagged, so I guess I’ll have to figure out who to return it to, but for tonight, I have a kitteh :-)

    Aaaw, enjoy your kitten experience. :) When we first moved to our little ‘town’, we had plenty of cats(6, all rescues). I don’t let them free roam, they have a large, completely enclosed kennel space, which they can access freely via a window. Setting it up was one of the first things we did upon moving.

    Hadn’t even been in the house a full week, when I heard howling outside. This was after dark, in the midst of severe thunderstorm, so I had closed the window access to the kennel. I opened the window, and sure enough, there’s a cat in there, howling its head off. It wouldn’t climb the cat stand to come in. I closed the window and counted cats. None were missing. I went outside and found an adult male cat (black). I picked him up and brought him in. He was starving, he weighed just under 4 pounds, and was of a fairly large build.

    I fed him, and he was growling and purring as he wolfed the food down. Someone decided we were going to be an animal shelter. Never found out who did it, but Grendel has been a part of the family for 6 years now.

  489. #496 WowbaggerOM
    March 20, 2010

    Owlmirror wrote:

    On a complete tangent, I was pondering the insult popularized here by Wowbagger, “clown shoe”.

    All I know is that it comes courtesy of Kevin Smith; Banky uses it to describe Jay to Silent Bob in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Beyond that I’ve got no idea – I just like the sound of it.

  490. #497 Rorschach
    March 20, 2010

    On a complete tangent, I was pondering the insult popularized here by Wowbagger, “clown shoe”.

    Have seamlessly integrated that one into my everyday vocabulary already.It gets the “cannot be taken seriously under any circumstances” point across very nicely somehow…:-)

  491. #498 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 20, 2010

    Oh, I love all you kitteh people. I have the biggest soft spot in my heart for cats. If I were religious, Jadehawk, I’d say “bless you” for taking care of that poor stray kitteh.

    I have two cats, one who came to me as a stray kitten, and another I took from my sister when her newborn baby proved to be allergic. Mink, my 10-year-old, came trotting out of the woods and rubbed up against my boss when he was having a roadside picnic. Apparently, some asshole had dumped her off as a kitten in the woods. She had already had a litter (at less than a year old) when I got her and spayed her.

    My boss brought her in to work, and she was the friendliest, most loving cat you could imagine. I had no intention of taking on a pet, but she was irresistible. Mink is the most awesome kitteh – she curls up in the crook of my arm when I nap, and when I go to sleep, and purrs the night away.

  492. #499 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 20, 2010

    Oh, and also, Mink went missing for three weeks when I lived in Virginia. I cried buckets over that, convinced she was dead. My landlord brought her up to my apartment, starved (you could literally see her skeleton), one day. She must have gotten trapped someplace where she couldn’t eat. Happily, she’s a well-fed, very loved, and quite portly kitteh today.

  493. #500 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    PZ’s talk was good today. Though it’s a shame it’s all over now, I’m going to be in some post-GAC funk until TAM in November.

  494. #501 Rorschach
    March 20, 2010

    I’m going to be in some post-GAC funk until TAM in November.

    Tell me about it, already there…..

    What was his talk like today ?

  495. #502 RickR
    March 20, 2010

    Josh-

    Mink? I hear that. ;)

    My little furry, purring bundle of self-absorption is named Mishu. She’s a Manx/lavender Siamese hybrid (the siamese looks are dominant) and she has a voice like a siamese.

    I’m her bitch.

    You know the old saying-
    Dogs have owners
    But cats have staff.

  496. #503 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 20, 2010

    RickR,

    I did, of course, name her after Mink Stole. And yes, I serve her, as all cats demand. She’s the only pussy that can make me obey.

  497. #504 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 20, 2010

    My little furry, purring bundle of self-absorption is named Mishu.

    Sounds fucking adorable;)

  498. #505 RickR
    March 20, 2010

    Sounds fucking adorable;)

    I see you’ve met.:)

  499. #506 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    What was his talk like today ?

    Quite interesting, he basically read a part of his book then there was a long Q&A. All the while John Wilkins was standing (from my view) over his shoulder watching like a cheetah stalking a zebra.

  500. #507 Rorschach
    March 20, 2010

    All the while John Wilkins was standing (from my view) over his shoulder watching like a cheetah stalking a zebra.

    /kw*k

    he mentioned that he was there on FB, but nothing about the Zebra bit…:-)

    /end kw*k

    Did you get to talk to John ? And is PZ heading home tomorrow already ?

  501. #508 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    he mentioned that he was there on FB, but nothing about the Zebra bit…:-)

    He just had that look about him.

    Did you get to talk to John ?

    I did on Friday night, though I wasn’t sure that the person who introduced himself as John was the John. So I got to ask him a few questions about philosophical issues, and now I’m really confused over the term philosophical naturalism. But yeah, really interesting guy.

  502. #509 Rorschach
    March 20, 2010

    So I got to ask him a few questions about philosophical issues, and now I’m really confused over the term philosophical naturalism

    :D :D :D

  503. #510 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    With all the progress I’ve made in recent times learning about biology and philosophy, there’s nothing like being brought back down into a state of complete epistemic ignorance like conversing with John Wilkins and PZ Myers.

  504. #511 Rorschach
    March 20, 2010

    there’s nothing like being brought back down into a state of complete epistemic ignorance like conversing with John Wilkins and PZ Myers.

    This is what happened to me conversing with AC Grayling.
    Biology, I might be able to hold my own, but philosophy, no chance, I have to work on that.

  505. #512 JeffreyD
    March 20, 2010

    Carlie at #452 – While waiting for the coffee to finish brewing this morning I followed your link to the RationalWiki description of Johnny AKA Qkwok. Yoko asked me why I was laughing so I read parts aloud to her, Susan Sontag and Sophia Loren. Richard Dawkins and I then did a quick Google of the Qkwok ourselves while Elvis and Jim Morrison made French toast.

    A short fifteen minutes produced the following:

    Selections from Qkwok?s Amazon Profile:

    ?In My Own Words:
    I was once a data analyst at a prominent medical school; I am a SAS programmer/analyst currently working in Institutional Research, at a prominent New York City college.?

    (Anyone see a pattern here?)

    We have all seen Qkwok claim that he was close to Frank McCourt. In fact, in a further selection from his Amazon Profile we learn: ?An aspiring author, I was fortunate to have been a prize-winning student in Frank McCourt’s creative writing class during my junior year…?. And in another posting he again states that he was, ?a former prize-winning student of Frank McCourt’s at Stuyvesant High School?.

    Fascinating. However, I also found this comment by the Qkwok to a memoriam written by an obvious protege of McCourt at SHS: ??Tis amazing Liz. Your poignant, eloquent, remarks remind me so much of what I had enjoyed for two wonderful semesters during my junior year at Stuy (And I might add that his class was a wonderful respite from my science and mathematics classes, even as my world back then was devoted almost exclusively to science.). Well remembered and well said, my fellow alumnnus. (spelling errors as found)

    Hmm, not as quick to claim close kinship in a comment to someone who actually had a relationship, eh?

    The SHS paper, or web site or something mentions a John Kwok ?78 who reported about ?
    an award-winning essay that he submitted to a citywide competition that earned second prize and either $100 or $200?.

    In a Brown Univ Alumni note, we find the following: ?John Kwok (AB ?83): My year has been unusually busy and productive. I?ve been fortunate to have borrowed several lenses from Carl Zeiss to photograph Central Park, a Brooklyn street fair and the New York City Marathon within the past few months (I am hoping to share my work with Zeiss in exchange for photographic equipment.).

    (Ah, the birth of the lust for photographic equipment!)

    I will not address the postings wherein he call McCourt his ?father?, metaphorically I hope. Nor do I want to get into the post where he chides the fans of McCourt for wanting to be at the memorial service versus the rights of those who knew him and ?watched him die?. Way too much there for anyone except a qualified therapist. Plus, I felt a little unclean after reading them.

    Finally, I contacted famous psychic and consultant to the dead Sylvia Brown and ask her to check with McCourt about Johnny. According to her, it was mostly unfocused sputtering, but she thinks Frank said something about the it only being a loan and when is Johnny going to return the freaking Leica? Of course, people like her mostly make things up.

    Some people have compared reading Qkwok to watching a train wreck. I think of more like watching a dog trying to pass a peach pit – lots of shaking, some howling, straining and squirming, but in the end, just another bowel movement.

    Gotta go, Eleanor Roosevelt and Helen of Troy look like they are coming to blows over a poker hand. Of course, Kafka is just egging them on.

  506. #513 Pope Maledict DCLXVI
    March 20, 2010

    Name dropper!

    I would post at greater length, but I’m busy – Mozart’s calling me from the main room, and we’ve got a scatological cantata to sing.

  507. #514 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Let’s not forget the March Equinox is at 1732 UT/GMT/Zulu today. This is the start of Spring in the civilized world and the end of Summer in Noo Zillund.

  508. #515 Knockgoats
    March 20, 2010

    Some people have compared reading Qkwok to watching a train wreck. I think of more like watching a dog trying to pass a peach pit – lots of shaking, some howling, straining and squirming, but in the end, just another bowel movement. – JeffreyD

    Quoted for hilarity. Seeya tomorrow, Jeffrey.

  509. #516 Kevin
    March 20, 2010

    Well, that was weird.

    So, I’m in my room, with my parents. My mother’s cooking dinner, my father is perusing my books. He picks up Why Evolution is True and sees The God Delusion underneath.

    He says, “You’ve got a Richard Dawkins book?”
    I respond, “Yes. And a book by Jerry Coyne, and a book by Paul Shubin.”

    He says nothing, peruses the rest of my books, and proceeds to sit back on the couch.

    Very odd.

    @Usagi-chan:

    I figure from your name you either know or are Japanese. I’m trying to learn. I’ve got most of the katakana and hiragana down and I’m working on understanding, and being able to write from memory, the kanji.

  510. #517 JeffreyD
    March 20, 2010

    Glad you liked it Knock, was feeling a tad fey today, probably the brownies Ms. Toklas made.

    See you Sunday at the place you suggested.

    Ciao

  511. #518 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 20, 2010

    My favorite Kw*k moment was during the Survivor Challenge when he was to write 200 words on “why are there monkeys” without mentioning his high school and couldn’t.

  512. #519 Rorschach
    March 20, 2010

    He says, “You’ve got a Richard Dawkins book?”

    Uhoh.
    I guess for a fundie that’s like some sort of giveaway, he has read the Antichrist !!
    Thankfully my dad-in-law, when he looked at my books, was very interested and we talked about TGD a lot, I would never have picked him as an atheist before that.Just your typical aussie, not losing many words about religious affairs at all.

  513. #520 RickR
    March 20, 2010

    So, I’m in my room, with my parents. My mother’s cooking dinner, my father is perusing my books. He picks up Why Evolution is True and sees The God Delusion underneath.

    He says, “You’ve got a Richard Dawkins book?”
    I respond, “Yes. And a book by Jerry Coyne, and a book by Paul Shubin.”

    He says nothing, peruses the rest of my books, and proceeds to sit back on the couch.

    Very odd.

    Neither of my parents have ever heard of Richard Dawkins.
    But I suppose the equivalent would be finding a copy of The Advocate or Bear Magazine in my room.;)

  514. #521 Usagichan
    March 20, 2010

    Kevin @ 518

    I don’t speak Japanese as well as I should (having been married to a Japanese lady for… well let’s just say in a couple of years time it will be decades (plural)), but now I’m living in Tokyo my Japanese is improving. My children are both fluent (in fact my daughter who is only four speaks mainly Japanese at home so its my turn to have to put the effort in to make sure she is properly bilingual), so I tend to be surrounded by Japanese.

    I have found manga very helpful (especially with colloquial Japanese) for learning written Japanese. The kanji often have furigana, so they are easier to look up (nothing worse than having to try to work through a kanji dictionary by counting the number of strokes – takes ages and I always lose the thread of what I’m reading.

    Interesting point – counted nouns have a descriptive suffix (eg ~pon/ ~hon for long thin things (bottles or pencils) or ~mai for flat things (sheets of paper but not books which are ~satsu). Small animals are usually counted ~hikki/ ~pikki except rabbits (actually the Japanese normally now use the small animal suffix for rabbits), but traditionally used ~wa the same as birds. Japanese Monks were historically forbidden from eating meat, except for birds, but they liked eating rabbit so much they simply re-classified it as a bird here is a full list and the monk story

  515. #522 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    “Yes. And a book by Jerry Coyne, and a book by Paul Shubin.”

    [pedant]

    surely you mean Neil Shubin?

    [/pedant]

  516. #523 Carlie
    March 20, 2010

    Kevin – Well, I guess Shroedinger’s cat is out of the bag and possibly dead. Still, they might just think you’re “experimenting” with reading some weird stuff. Brace for some indirect questions about where and how often you’re going to church these days.

  517. #524 Kevin
    March 20, 2010

    @Ichthyic:

    Wup, yeah. Neil, sorry.

  518. #525 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 20, 2010

    It could be Paul Shubin.

    Google is my friend.

  519. #526 Sili
    March 20, 2010

    Japanese Monks were historically forbidden from eating meat, except for birds, but they liked eating rabbit so much they simply re-classified it as a bird here is a full list and the monk story

    It’s good to see people of different faiths coming together.

  520. #527 Sven DiMilo
    March 20, 2010

    uh…thanks…I guess, JeffreyD, for that little clown-shoed stroll down Kw*k-Memory Blvd. Seems like an appropriate time and place to re-link the classic prescient Amazon review of J*hn’s novel in progress.

  521. #528 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 20, 2010

    All my years as a nuclear mechanic working with high pressure steam systems and radioactive water piping have paid off. I’ve successfully replaced the lever arm in a toilet tank.

    <Strains arm while patting self on back>

  522. #529 Paul W., OM
    March 20, 2010

    I am appalled by you reprehensible people talking about senseless killing of cats, and “joking” about “pussy.” Your propensity for sexualized violence is obvious.

    I’m going to write a letter to SEED Media, the ASPCA, and PETA insisting that they do something to PZ Myers for hosting a blog where random sexualized anti-cat violence is advocated.

    You all owe me a new string of pearls; I clutched this one to a powder. I might accept a Leica rangefinder camera instead. (Sideways is okay; I like portrait photography. I once took a prize-winning portrait of my mentor Frank McCourt at Stuyvesant High School. I got $100 for that. Stuyvesant High School is the best high school in the world.)

    I will be forwarding this to PZ’s colleagues and the president of Brown University, suggesting that they pressure him into making sure you comply with this entirely reasonable request.

    I found a dime once. That reminded me of winning $100 for a prize-winning picture of my mentor, Frank McCourt, who taught at my alma mater, which is the best high school in the universe.

  523. #530 Ol'Greg
    March 20, 2010

    You see, I sleep on my belly; I actually like the pressure

    Ooh. I have this tendency. Pretty sure that in my case it is not Asperger’s in my case though. For some reason I am comforted by this pressure.

  524. #531 Sili
    March 20, 2010

    And then she explicitly refused to diagnose me because she feared I’d hide behind the diagnosis…

    I wonder what gave her that idea …

    (But disturbing if she was unaware of the condition.)

  525. #532 Ol'Greg
    March 20, 2010

    Wow… my sentence appears to have ADD though.

  526. #533 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Paul W,

    We have read your complaint and have forwarded it to our Kuala Lumpur office for further action.

    We will be happy to send you a Leica M7 camera upon receipt of $4595.99 (small bills only, the equivalent in Canadian dollars or Euros is acceptable).

    Oh yes, congratulations on finally graduating from high school.

    Sincerely,
    The Mouthpiece for Josh Official SpokesGay LLP

  527. #534 Paul W., OM
    March 20, 2010

    David Marjanovi? @ 429 in Episode XXXIX:

    You should mention the principle of parsimony somewhere in your rant. :-)

    OK. Here’s a pull quote:

    The fact that a hypothesis is unfalsifiable is simply not a reason to avoid the usual scientific practice of making and educated scientific guess that it’s wrong. Calling something a “religious” belief does not exempt it from the principle of parsimony, and in fact strongly suggests that parsimony is applicable. We know empirically that the principle of parsimony applies to typical religious beliefs, due to the striking failure of intersubjective agreement among the religious. To exempt any particular religion or religious belief from this scientific principle would require a special argument for that particular religion or religious belief.

    Of course, it got a little longer than that. :-/

    http://scienceblogs.com/authority/2010/03/more_on_the_material_and_metap.php#comment-2358147

    http://scienceblogs.com/authority/2010/03/more_on_the_material_and_metap.php#comment-2364811

    I might have overdone it a bit. Gotta figure out how to edit that stuff down to being punchy, some day.

  528. #535 Sili
    March 20, 2010

    if you need a place to store recipes other than these threads, I can set up a web-page for this purpose, if someone already isn’t doing that.

    Please do. It’d be nice with something a bit more reliable than the search function. A wiki perhaps?

  529. #536 Sili
    March 20, 2010

    Jadehawk can has kitteh.

    Don’t give David any ideas.

    Actually, scratch that. But all means do give him ideas.

  530. #537 Sili
    March 20, 2010

    All my years as a nuclear mechanic working with high pressure steam systems and radioactive water piping have paid off. I’ve successfully replaced the lever arm in a toilet tank.

    Sorry, but you’ll get an F for that. Not a single mention of the 43rd president of the United States of America. For shame.

  531. #539 Sili
    March 20, 2010

    Paul W., OM

    Sockpuppet.

    But I’ll grant you that you kept your cover quite well. I guess you waited till you got the OM, so you could rub our noses in it.

    (Why, yes, I can’t be bothered to type up a single post with all my inane comments.)

    Speaking of lefties, righties and kittehs: Dummkatz insists on sleeping on my left when he feels the need to snuggle. Dunno if it’s just because that’s the outside of the bed, or if it’s my hard. Does cause a bit of trouble when I put down my book and he’s fallen asleep, since I prefer to sleep on my side. Lately he’s removed to the foot end, though, for some reason. Most like because I only cover my feet with the extra blanket now.

  532. #540 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 20, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself,
    Wonder if you’ve come across the latest attempt by economists to revoke the laws of physics. In this case, it is a paper by two Israeli economists (Regenweiss and Beenstock) where they attempt to “disprove” greenhouse forcing of the current warming epoch by showing that the warming and the forcing have different integration orders. In effect they wind up contending that global temperature is a random walk.

    Of course, this analysis is flawed on so many levels (failure to consider the physics, failure to consider other forcings besides CO2, etc.) that it’s astounding the authors didn’t wake up and just hit the delete key. However the climate denialosphere is calling it the “nail in the coffin”. I think that what this shows is that usually the researchers (be they economists, engineers or physicists) who utter stupid things in fields outside their expertise are usually second rate even in their own fields.

  533. #541 Kobra
    March 20, 2010

    I’d like to take this endless open thread as an opportunity to whore this link out to any atheists, gay rights supporters, and/or internet trolls who might be reading this:

    http://www.kobrascorner.com/assholery/comic-04.php

  534. #542 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 20, 2010

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space $542

    Wonder if you’ve come across the latest attempt by economists to revoke the laws of physics.

    That’s what happens when experts in one field try to pontificate in a completely different, highly technical field. They end up looking like idiots.

    When I discuss AGW I limit myself to the economic, political and sociological consequences of global warming. I know I’m incompetent to discuss the science of AGW so I don’t even try.

    I think that what this shows is that usually the researchers (be they economists, engineers or physicists) who utter stupid things in fields outside their expertise are usually second rate even in their own fields.

    I’ve never heard of Regenweiss and Beenstock so I don’t know what their reputations as economists are. However I’d be careful about denigrating them as economists for talking out of their asses on AGW. Linus Pauling was a first rate chemist who had some really nutty ideas about the health benefits of vitamin C.

  535. #543 Sven DiMilo
    March 20, 2010

    Now this is a rant:

    wow.

    No shit; homeopathic starfart!

    [repost because of fucking euphemism week]

  536. #544 OurDeadSelves
    March 20, 2010

    Really really REALLY late to this one, but:

    Jadehawk #124:

    And now, some Psychobilly:

    I am now totally, completely, and utterly smitten* with you. Having a huge, varied musical catalog is something that I’ve always prided myself on, but it’s a rare thing to find someone else who has an appreciation for psychobilly (the Necromantix in particular).

    *Don’t worry, I’ll respect you in the morning.

  537. #545 Sven DiMilo
    March 20, 2010

    Kw*k, @ Hammond:

    As an interesting anecdote, I have spoken to a fellow Ivy League-educated conserative who sells anti-Obama buttons on fair weather weekends in Central Park. Here, in New York City, of all places, people have been clamoring for Obama to assume room temperature (to use a familiar Limbaugh phrase) via means similar to what transpired with Garfield, McKinley, and, regrettably, both Lincoln and Kennedy. Of course, being a sensible man, he?s been utterly shocked by such responses. So if this can happen here in the Big Apple, can you imagine what others elsewhere in the country might be thinking?

  538. #546 Knockgoats
    March 20, 2010

    they attempt to “disprove” greenhouse forcing of the current warming epoch by showing that the warming and the forcing have different integration orders. In effect they wind up contending that global temperature is a random walk. – a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Can you explain “different integration orders”? (My maths is A-level – somewhat above high school in US terms I guess, as the UK system specialises more, includes some calculus and simple ODEs, plus some subsequent self-education and stats courses.)

  539. #547 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    I am now totally, completely, and utterly smitten* with you. Having a huge, varied musical catalog is something that I’ve always prided myself on, but it’s a rare thing to find someone else who has an appreciation for psychobilly (the Necromantix in particular).

    Love it. Saw the Horrorpops at Warped Tour last summer, and have been in love with the genre since. It’s so gloriously bipolar :-p

  540. #548 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Jadehawk talks about finding a stray cat. I am rereading the Day One Of Pharyngula Survivor thread. What a grand, epic and funny thread that was.(I would never inflict oral sex on a woman.) Even saw a couple of comments by a certain blueelm. And there was this great one about kittens accidentally giving oral sex.

    There are I time really miss the Rookie. His cluelessness could be so adorable.

  541. #549 OurDeadSelves
    March 20, 2010

    Love it. Saw the Horrorpops at Warped Tour last summer, and have been in love with the genre since. It’s so gloriously bipolar :-p

    Oh man, I am SO FREAKING (euphemism week and whatnot) JEALOUS of you right now. My younger, hipper, much more punk-rock little sister introduced me to The Necromantix and The Merrywidows this past Sept– she pronounced that anyone that likes both punk and rockabilly is hella lame for not knowing about psychobilly.

    It hurts to have a 21 year old call you lame.

  542. #550 boygenius
    March 20, 2010

    Jadehawk brought you psychobilly, I bring you cowpunk.

    Split Lip Rayfield

    Whats that… Why, yes, that standup bass is made from the gastank of a 1978 Mercury Grand Marquis and a piece of hickory and strung with one piece of Weedwhacker line. Why do you ask?

  543. #551 Sven DiMilo
    March 20, 2010

    that standup bass is made from the gastank of a 1978 Mercury Grand Marquis and a piece of hickory and strung with one piece of Weedwhacker line

    All the good gigs are taken, goddamnit.

  544. #552 Sili
    March 20, 2010

    Jerry Coyne has been compromised:

    Fig. 3. Shoe of the week for my little bagels.

  545. #553 MrFire
    March 20, 2010

    Josh OSG:

    Mine’s a little more decadent though – I use heavy cream (not a whole cup, to be sure!).

    o_O Yuuum.

    MrFire – just realized my comment looked like stealing your culinary thunder.

    Don’t be silly. I am honored to make it into your hollowed finger anals hallowed Pharyngula annals.

    Next up: Bagels, then onion-based curry paste.

    And then kitten stew.

  546. #554 Ol'Greg
    March 20, 2010

    You guys have truly inspired me. I have some bread dough rising in my kitchen right now that hopefully will turn out. I have been growing a colony of yeast and was making little cake like sweet breads from it but I decided to try my hand at sourdough. We will see how it goes but man did it feel good on my geek wrists to knead the bread.

  547. #555 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    kitteh update:

    the kitteh ate the popcorn and the bean plants my boyfriend was growing on the windowsill, which motivated my boyfriend to quickly locate the cat’s owner. Now I’m definitely never gonna be allowed to have a cat, though :-p

  548. #556 David Marjanovi?
    March 20, 2010

    Comment 476 bears repeating.

    No, the earliest ones are about 20 million years older. They’re not as spectactularly preserved, though!

    Ohh, do tell its name.

    No idea what the names are; they are several species of unspectacular pollen.

    Though, for a bit of mystery, check out Sanmiguelia which is a lot older.

    ok, so apparently P.R.A.Y.E.R (Pharyngula Randomly Answering Your Endless Requests) works!

    Awesome. Monocrystalline awesome.

    (Both the miraculous kitteh and your skill with words, that is.)

    (Copenhagen Interpretation Fantasy Camp !!)

    Awesome. Monocrystalline awesome.

    And does the cat have a pulse?

    Awesome. Monocrystalline awesome.

    (Feeling repetitive today.)

    counted nouns have a descriptive suffix (eg ~pon/ ~hon for long thin things (bottles or pencils) or ~mai for flat things (sheets of paper but not books which are ~satsu). Small animals are usually counted ~hikki/ ~pikki except rabbits [...]

    Wow. That’s imported Chinese grammar: one piece of cake, one sheet (zh?ng, like the surname!) of paper, one yuán of money, one ge of people or abstract concepts, one ti?o of elongate things like streets, fish, trousers…

    It’s a bit like grammatical gender, only more logical, and there are more of them.

    Jadehawk can has kitteh.

    Don’t give David any ideas.

    Actually, scratch that. But all means do give him ideas.

    You mean I should lick myself clean? I think I wouldn’t like the taste (especially given how rarely I shower…), and then there are the anatomical problems mentioned in the first few comments.

    but man did it feel good on my geek wrists to knead the bread.

    :-)

    (Except, with all your pushups, I don’t really think you have geek wrists.)

    the kitteh ate the popcorn and the bean plants my boyfriend was growing on the windowsill

    Wow. The ones you used to explain the difference between “than I” and “than me”?

    Two years ago at the dig in Poland, a hungry kitteh wanted to know what I had in my plastic bag. A wheat-based choco cornflakes imitate, as I showed her. She ate some, and then some more… I had no idea cats can go that far into omnivory.

    Now I’m definitely never gonna be allowed to have a cat, though :-p

    Never say never again.

    I’m thinking of where to put plants out of a cat’s reach. On a shelf attached to the wall above jumping height…? :-/

  549. #557 Sili
    March 20, 2010

    kitteh update:

    the kitteh ate the popcorn and the bean plants my boyfriend was growing on the windowsill, which motivated my boyfriend to quickly locate the cat’s owner. Now I’m definitely never gonna be allowed to have a cat, though :-p

    You could just get a cat and a new boyfriend.

    But I can’t blame him. I was very disappointed the year we came home from (one of our very rare) holidays and the geese had gotten into the veg garden and razed the beans.

    Oooh – do keep us updated, Ol’Greg. My sourdough-starter just began fermenting today. I guess I have the place a bit too cold for its taste. (I went with the liquid form: 3 dl water, 2 tbsp ryeflour, 1 tbsb wheat flour and 1 tsp honey (well, roughly, I had a jar with some still stuck to the walls that I washed out with the water.)

  550. #558 boygenius
    March 20, 2010

    I miss Lynna. :(

    Another FLDS member guilty of assault.

    Found guilty even with this clever defense tactic:

    Lead defense attorney Dan Hurley Hurley noted that Merril Leroy Jessop had been called to marry the alleged victim with half an hour of notice.

    “Was he intentionally and knowingly violating the law, or was he following the directive of the prophet?” Hurley asked.

    Texas juries are brutal. You’d think the FLDS would have taken that into consideration before building a compound there:

    Jury sentences FLDS man to 75 years in prison.

  551. #559 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    I gather the original is about a 1960s generation conflict (you know, the psychological phenomenon that was considered a universal fact in schoolbooks up to at least the late 1990s), which doesn’t occur anymore, so Hilary Duff had little chance of getting the point?

    I didn’t catch the other implication here, but are you saying there is no more generational conflict? that would be a weird claim… charts like this show that it’s still there, simmering; and it’s going to erupt bigtime once the next generation realizes we ruined the planet for them.

    Wow. The ones you used to explain the difference between “than I” and “than me”?

    yup, those ones. luckily, we already ate most of the beans, otherwise he might have thrown me out with the cat :-p

    I’m thinking of where to put plants out of a cat’s reach. On a shelf attached to the wall above jumping height…? :-/

    have you seen what American walls are made of? they’re not solid enough to have heavy things hanging from them (except in spots specifically designed to have things hanging from them)

  552. #560 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Don’t give David any ideas.

    Actually, scratch that. But all means do give him ideas.

    You could just get a cat and a new boyfriend.

    you’re really trying hard, aren’t you, sili :-p

  553. #561 OurDeadSelves
    March 20, 2010

    they’re not solid enough to have heavy things hanging from them (except in spots specifically designed to have things hanging from them)

    Easy choice, get rid of the plants! It’s worked for me and my three little terrors… er, kittehs so far. (Well, that and the fact that I am a mass murderer of potted plants.)

  554. #562 boygenius
    March 20, 2010

    Hm. Mysterious truncation of blockquote in my #560-

    The sentence for Merril Leroy Jessop, 35, is the stiffest yet handed out in the criminal trials of members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Under Texas law, Jessop has to serve half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

    The jury deliberated about four hours, according to the San Angelo Standard-Times , before deciding on Jessop’s sentence. Jurors also imposed a $10,000 fine.

  555. #563 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    no, I’m definitely not getting rid of plants. My contingency plan for the collapse of western civilization is to learn again how to grow my own food, at least partially. I miss the good homegrown food I had as a kid in Evil Socialist Poland. Indoor plants are a practice for this summer, when we’ll be growing them on the boyfriend’s lot near his parents’ place.

  556. #564 Sili
    March 20, 2010

    you’re really trying hard, aren’t you, sili :-p

    Oh no. This comes natural.

    You don’t want to see me when I’m trying.

    I miss Lynna. :(

    Don’t we all?

    I should add to the What the Hell is Wrong with that Woman pot again.

    But I also wanna go see PeeZed in Copenhagen.

  557. #565 Rorschach
    March 20, 2010

    I miss Lynna. :(

    Where is Lynna ? Did I miss something ?

    have you seen what American walls are made of?

    Same here, can’t put a toiletroll holder in without drilling through the 4mm painted cardboard that poses for a wall quite often over here.

    Now I’m definitely never gonna be allowed to have a cat, though :-p

    Ponders….Is this some BDSM thing you have going there where you need permission for stuff ? :p

  558. #566 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Ponders….Is this some BDSM thing you have going there where you need permission for stuff ? :p

    lol, no. just a consequence of living arrangements: to have a pet here, we’d be breaking the terms of lease, so it wouldn’t be fair to risk getting evicted for something half of us doesn’t even want.

  559. #567 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Lynna is on a camping trip. She loves to go to places that have no streets and have no names. She will be back soon.

  560. #568 Sili
    March 20, 2010

    Ah, thanks, Janine. Amazing how poor my memory is.

    Btw does anyone know what’s happened to Lynna?

  561. #569 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Where is Lynna ?

    She got abducted by space aliens or ran away to join the circus, I misremember which.

  562. #570 Rorschach
    March 20, 2010

    This might interest some people(via RD):

    Evolution of intelligence and consciousness explained

  563. #571 Usagichan
    March 20, 2010

    I had no idea cats can go that far into omnivory.

    All of our cats have been crazy for ramen (although I suspect that is something to do with the meaty broth), but our current feline friend is crazy about koshi-an (smooth sweet red bean paste).

  564. #572 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 20, 2010

    the kitteh ate the popcorn and the bean plants my boyfriend was growing on the windowsill,

    Your boyfriend grows popcorn? I’ve tried growing jellybeans but it only ever turns into ants.

    You mean I should lick myself clean? I think I wouldn’t like the taste (especially given how rarely I shower…), and then there are the anatomical problems mentioned in the first few comments.

    You should shower more often. It is in the shower where I solve all of life’s algebraic problems and balance all of life’s chemical reactions.

    I miss the good homegrown food I had as a kid in Evil Socialist Poland.

    Being Khmer, I know I will always have invasive exotic herbs in the backyard to depend on.

  565. #573 John Morales
    March 20, 2010

    Thanks, Rorschach, for that link @572.

  566. #574 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Your boyfriend grows popcorn? I’ve tried growing jellybeans but it only ever turns into ants.

    lol.I don’t think jelly beans work that way…
    as for the popcorn, it hasn’t actually grown to any decent size and doesn’t have any cobs; it’s just that the boyfriend found a bunch of germinating popcorn seeds somewhere and decided to stick them in the ground to see if they’ll grow. he’s been sticking everything that germinates into dirt to see if it’ll grow. I’ve had to hide various foodstuffs from him for that reason, or else we’d never actually eat any of the garlic, for example

  567. #575 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    Please do. It’d be nice with something a bit more reliable than the search function. A wiki perhaps?

    actually, I was thinking of using one of my domains in google apps.

    still awaiting feedback from Josh.

  568. #576 Stephen Wells
    March 20, 2010

    We got some garlic to grow in the conservatory just now! Last time the clove rotted but this time we’re using a lighter, sandier potting soil and it looks promising.

  569. #577 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    I have a question for a biologist, or any informed layperson on the matter.

    I was watching an episode of The Ascent Of Man yesterday, the episode on mathematics and the expression thereof in nature. It got me wondering about the expression of mathematical patterns in nature. Now I know some physicists like to explain such emergent mathematical properties in terms of the laws of physics [Stenger 2007 for example], but I was wondering if there’s a more neurological basis for it.

    To elaborate a little bit, recently I heard about a recent piece of software that could read the handwriting on checks. It did so by mimicking the way our brain does pattern recognition. So it got me thinking about why it is we like particular patterns and symmetry (particular in tonal music). Is it because our brains on the very basic level have a geometric pattern recognition device? If so, could that explain why some flowers take the form of emergent patterns – because the bees with a similar (but more basic) pattern recognition would select flowers that matched with its pattern recognition “software”?

    If nothing else, are there any books I could read on the matter?

  570. #578 David Marjanovi?
    March 20, 2010

    You could just get a cat and a new boyfriend.

    And a new landlord, which they’re already planning to do (specifically, the boyfriend is supposed to be the next landlord).

    Getting a new landlord reminds me… I still haven’t written any e-mails asking for a postdoc position… I’ll have to cram all of them into tomorrow… :-(

    I can only hope my procrastination will produce some collateral wisdom. Jack Spratt has finally come out and linked to an article by John Woodmorappe on the Darwinopterus thread; I spent at least an hour refuting it… turns out I wrote 16 1/2 laptop screens (quotes included). <headdesk>

    I didn’t catch the other implication here, but are you saying there is no more generational conflict? that would be a weird claim…

    I didn’t mean it that strongly, but it definitely is a lot weaker and a lot less universal than in the 1960s, and I’m not just talking about my own experience (unlike me, most people still want to grow up faster, not more slowly, than they do). When I compare that to my mother, her 5 siblings, and her parents… the younger the aunt or uncle, the less conservative they are :-þ

    charts like this show that it’s still there, simmering;

    Ah. Yes, it’s almost certainly stronger in the USA than in western Europe. (About eastern Europe I’m not so sure.)

    and it’s going to erupt bigtime once the next generation realizes we ruined the planet for them.

    Agreed.

    you’re really trying hard, aren’t you, sili :-p

    I don’t know why he bothers. It’s not like anyone would let him watch. X-)

    I miss the good homegrown food I had as a kid in Evil Socialist Poland.

    My grandparents, both city people, have built up a second home in the countryside of Evil Social Democratic Austria, complete with a vegetable garden and fruit orchard, both very productive. Best potatoes south of Poland, and the only place I know to get parsley roots, to mention just two things.

    4mm painted cardboard

    <headdesk>

    Man. If my siblings and I had grown up in such a house, it wouldn’t stand anymore. Just to think of what we did to a chipboard door…

    It is in the shower where I solve all of life’s algebraic problems and balance all of life’s chemical reactions.

    For me, a shower doesn’t take that long, and it’s filled with other activities: washing my hair, regulating the water temperature, wiping the “water” (concentrated lime solution) off the silly curtain… Free association like that happens more while I’m waking up.

    On very few occasions I’ve done simple additions while dreaming.

    I’ve had to hide various foodstuffs from him for that reason, or else we’d never actually eat any of the garlic, for example

    LOL!

  571. #579 David Marjanovi?
    March 20, 2010

    Is it because our brains on the very basic level have a geometric pattern recognition device? If so, could that explain why some flowers take the form of emergent patterns – because the bees with a similar (but more basic) pattern recognition would select flowers that matched with its pattern recognition “software”?

    Interesting idea. I don’t know if anything has been published on it.

    Evil Social Democratic Austria

    For American standards… no, actually, not only. Back then, the Republic owned the iron & steel corporation, and studying at a university was completely free (now there are things like time limits on that).

  572. #580 OurDeadSelves
    March 20, 2010

    And the jealousy continues!

    I am (slightly) jealous of all of you guys and your yards and gardens and what-have-you. I have a rather nice courtyard, but the ground is bricked over and, as we all know, I’d probably just kill any plant I tried to grow anyway. *sad face!*

  573. #581 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    Is it because our brains on the very basic level have a geometric pattern recognition device?

    in some sense, yes.

    innate pattern recognition has been researched for decades, btw, and was one of the first things pioneering ethologists like Tinbergen and Lorenz looked at. Behaviors like imprinting are thought to involve innate pattern recognitions.

    for books, being an animal behaviorist, I would recommend Alcock’s:

    http://www.sinauer.com/detail.php?id=2252

    this should be available at any uni library.

    as for bees specifically, they have been the subject of numerous studies on pattern recognition, some of the latest work even indicating that they have the ability to differentiate human facial characteristics.

    there is a review of all the work done on bees:

    http://frontiersin.org/neuroscience/behavioralneuroscience/paper/10.3389/fnbeh.2010.00011/

    though I would recommend reading Alcock first, as you will get a more well-rounded approach to pattern recognition in general.

  574. #582 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    oh, and there is the classic paper in Nature:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v215/n5107/abs/2151244a0.html

  575. #583 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Thanks Ichthyic. Will have to get that book, though I think for a little bit longer I may need to brush up on the basics of evolution. Talking with some Talk.Origins veterans on Friday has shattered my DK on the topic of evolutionary biology.

  576. #584 Bastion Of Sass
    March 20, 2010

    In an attempt to accommodate the Baltimore Blaspheming Bastards (AKA The Squid Squad) who have been asking for a weekend get-together, I have scheduled our April get-together for Saturday, April 3. Details on the Baltimore Pharyngula Fans group page.

    Hope you can make it!

  577. #585 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    oh, and there is the classic paper in Nature:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v215/n5107/abs/2151244a0.html

    Anyone with access? Please email me: kel(underscore)skye(at)yahoo(dot)com

  578. #586 iambilly
    March 20, 2010

    Since ya’ll are being so kind and sharing recipes, I guess I can share my favourite bread recipe:

    Chocolate Bread

    Every year, I get in the mood to bake holiday breads. One year, (((Wife))) did a fruitcake (and I don?t mean me). It filled part of our refrigerator for eight weeks. And bent a shelf. I prefer breads which can be eaten, if not immediately, within a day or two. Such as stollen or chocolate bread.

    When I first ran across the recipe in an Italian cookbook, I was a little unsure. Afterall, a chocolate bread would be sickeningly sweet, right? I tried the recipe and discovered (much to my chagrin) I was wrong. So, without further ado, here is a recipe for chocolate bread. It is quick (a single rise bread), easy (as long as you are willing to knead the heck out of it), and delicious. And it is wonderful for gifts (I baked six this afternoon, and have ten more rising right now as I type).

    Pane del Cioccolato

    4 cups bread flour
    4 cups all purpose flour
    6 Tbsp butter
    2 tsp salt
    8 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I usually use Giardelli, but Hershey?s works well too)
    2 Tbsp live dry yeast
    10 Tbsp white sugar
    3 cups hot (ca 110 degrees F) water (give or take a little (some flour is really dry and you may need more))
    2 cups good chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet (or a mixture of both (and toss in some white chocolate chips for a really neat effect)))

    In a large bowl, mix together the flours, salt, cocoa, yeast and sugar. Cube the butter and cut into the flour. Using a wooden spoon, or (my method) a large mixer with a dough hook, mix in the water until the dough begins to cling together. Knead on a lightly floured counter (or with a dough hook) for about 10 to fifteen minutes. Knead the snot out of it (sorry, I have sever allergies (Northeastern PA is the wrong place to be allergic to red maple pollen)). Knead it hard. Punish it. Beat it. Slam it (but do not break your counter (trust me on that one)). When the dough is smooth and silky and feels ?alive? in your hands, gently knead in the chocolate chips.

    Cut the dough into either five or ten approximately equal sized lumps. Knead each dough ball and shape into a thick, short baton (for ten loaves, they should be about 2? by 2? by 5?). Place on two lightly greased (Pam spray works nicely) jelly roll pans. Brush the tops with a light vegetable oil (canola or corn) and cover loosely with wax paper or plastic wrap. Let it rise for two to four hours until doubled in size.

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. When the oven is hot, place the bread in the oven (use the middle shelves if you can) for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and let it bake for another 20 or so minutes.

    Pull the bread when they are cooked through (the bottoms will make a hollow sound when rapped with your knuckles (gently!)), brush with melted butter, and let cool on wire racks.

    The bread is excellent toasted with butter and cherry preserves. Or, serve at room temperature with cream cheese. It is an excellent desert or breakfast bread.

    Enjoy!

    I have also used ‘orange chocolate’ (the balls of chocolate which, when banged against the counter, become wedges of orange flavoured chocolate) in place of plain chocolate and also added lots of almonds and some citron (candied orange peel).

    (This is another good bread for a ?first? yeast bread try. The amount of sugar means the yeast bounces quickly and the dough comes alive in your hands.)

  579. #587 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    ah, your interest in this topic let me stumble on a free downloadable version of Horridge’s book!

    http://epress.anu.edu.au/honeybee/pdf_instructions.html

    that should make interesting reading for anyone interested in pattern recognition.

  580. #588 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    Ichthyic:

    actually, I was thinking of using one of my domains in google apps.

    still awaiting feedback from Josh.

    A website would better for me than print; I keep all my recipes on my laptop, and just take the laptop into the kitchen when I need to follow a recipe.

  581. #589 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    I may need to brush up on the basics of evolution.

    Futuyma’s book is still considered the text of choice, AFAIK

    http://www.amazon.com/Evolutionary-Biology-Douglas-J-Futuyma/dp/0878931899

    again, should be readily available at any library, and since it is a popular text, used copies should be cheap to buy too.

    In fact, I realize I still am using the 1st edition, and need to update my copy!

  582. #590 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Tai Dam lum Pun
    March 20, 2010

    I’ve had to hide various foodstuffs from him for that reason, or else we’d never actually eat any of the garlic, for example

    In my family, we have a problem of storing root crops too long. For this reason, we have plenty of garlic and taro in our backyard.

    On very few occasions I’ve done simple additions while dreaming.

    Oh, I usually go over the events of the day while dreaming. If not the shower, I find that thinking in the car is wonderful and distracting. In the car, I can think about the sociological implications about things I do on a regular basis and . . . WHAT THE F*CK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? YOU CAN’T JUST CUT PEOPLE OFF LIKE THAT WITHOUT SIGNALING. I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE A F*CKING SUV, YOU’RE STILL GOING TO GET MY WRATH.

  583. #591 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    …however, Alcock’s book also covers much of the necessary basics of modern evolutionary biology, since it is so vital to understand just about anything wrt to animal behavior.

    You’d probably be fine just getting a copy of Alcock’s book, and it’s good reading, too.

  584. #592 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    ah, your interest in this topic

    When I was in high school, I got somewhat seriously into music. While I used to be one who liked to put down what music we enjoy to culture, recently I realised there must be something more fundamental as to why certain frequencies when played together sound good while some don’t. That there are mathematical relationships in our music doesn’t explain why I should find a G chord especially pleasing while playing G and F# together sound off.

    The beauty of the mathematical relationships is one thing (and I do enjoy my maths), but how it relates to my experience is another.

    that should make interesting reading for anyone interested in pattern recognition.

    Excellent, thanks again.

  585. #593 iambilly
    March 20, 2010

    Two other things:

    First, I, again, apologize for yesterday. The panic attacks are over and I’m ‘off the ledge,’ so to speak (er, write. type?)

    Second, (((Wife))) and I have four-and-a-half cats. The extra half is a twenty-eight pound rag doll/Maine coon mix (an SPCA cat, but our vet agrees on the probable lineage (and thinks he knows the two cats)) who is aggresively affectionate, drools, and is the most lovable mook ever. The other three include a 17-year-old cat with stress pattern baldness, a little bitty (6 pound) cat who looks like a miniature of the giant, and a black and white who actually acts like a cat.

  586. #594 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    thinking about deep stuff in the car results in the car driving itself to wherever I had my last McJob, regardless of where I was actually planning on driving.

    The same happens for walking.

    Locomotion and thinking just aren’t an economically advisable combination.

  587. #595 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    A website would better for me than print; I keep all my recipes on my laptop, and just take the laptop into the kitchen when I need to follow a recipe.

    ditto, which is what made me think of it.

    I can just make a sub-web of crackergate.com, and make it open post.

    basic format looks like this:

    http://www.crackergate.com/

    can easily be modified to any format.

    subweb might look something like this:

    http://sites.google.com/a/crackergate.com/webcv/home

    so i could set up something like:

    “http://sites.google.com/a/crackergate.com/pharyngularecipes/home”

    costs nothing, and people can just post their recipes as they see fit, whoever wants can organize it into some categories later.

  588. #596 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    You’d probably be fine just getting a copy of Alcock’s book, and it’s good reading, too.

    Cool, sounds like just what I need. Just got to figure out whether it’s worth the extra $20 to buy a physical copy or to go the route of the eBook.

    Currently I’m reading The Selfish Gene, next I think I’ll read What Evolution Is by Mayr.

  589. #597 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    iambilly:

    and a black and white who actually acts like a cat.

    None of ours act like cats, Elvis in particular. Elvis’s nickname is Bad puppy because he not only adores the monster dogs, he likes to go out with them when we take the dogs out walking, he loves being chased by the dogs and chasing them back. He also loves sleeping with the dogs, driving them crazy cleaning them and so forth.

  590. #599 iambilly
    March 20, 2010

    Caine:

    Oreo (the black and white cat (the (((kid)))s named her) spends a great deal of her life looking down her nose at the other cats.

    Dust (the megacat) follows (((Wife))) around like a puppy dog.

    Oddly, I can go upstairs to change out of my uniform and all four cats are on the bed. After changing, I walk downstairs and there are the same four cats asleep in the living room. And they never passed me on the stairs. The most logical explanation (other than me being insane) is that cats can teleport.

    When we moved back east, my sisters were in a private school in Utah where they adopted a puppy. When they joined us at the end of the semester, the puppy (name Avatar (after one of the wizards in The Wixards)) was introduced to the house. Our old orange and white cat walked up to her (the puppy) and raked her across the nose from above one eye to her nostrils. Avatar carried the scars her whole life and was terrified of all cats.

  591. #600 David Marjanovi?
    March 20, 2010

    One year, (((Wife))) did a fruitcake (and I don?t mean me)

    :-D :-D :-D

    Pane del Cioccolato

    Hmmmm. Looks like it’s pain au chocolat, only… different. And intriguingly so.

  592. #601 iambilly
    March 20, 2010

    David: Nice to know my double entendres are noticed.

    I like the bread. I still have some in the freezer from last December and they defrost well. It isn’t nearly as sweet as chocolate bread sounds.

  593. #602 David Marjanovi?
    March 20, 2010

    Oddly, I can go upstairs to change out of my uniform and all four cats are on the bed.

    At the dig with my hungry cat, I once found both cats curled up on my sleeping bag. It didn’t even disturb them that I crept into the sleeping bag… though they were gone when I woke up a few hours later to blow my nose.

    They must have liked my smell.

  594. #603 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    it’s worth the extra $20 to buy a physical copy

    for me, it would be.

    for you? I suppose it depends on what kind of readers you have available to you.

    I’m old enough to find I learn from and read hardcopy more quickly, especially for texts.

    I will usually go the e-route for articles, simply because I don’t have the space to store the thousands of articles I’ve collected over the years, and they are digestible at a single sitting (usually).

  595. #604 David Marjanovi?
    March 20, 2010

    “My” hungry cat? WTF. Procrastinating an entire day till 2:18 is more exhausting than I’d have thought.

    Both cats were strays that lived in the fields or something. We occasionally saw them hunt.

    Good night at last. Bonne soirée, les AméricainEs.

  596. #605 iambilly
    March 20, 2010

    They must have liked my smell.

    I remember coming home (when we lived at Grand Canyon) from hiking trips, coming in the door, taking off our hiking boots, and the cats immediately shoving their heads into the dirty, sweaty boots. When they pulled their heads out, their eyes were crossed, their tongues were sticking out, and they acted confused (well, more confused than normal) for about fifteen minutes. They really liked the smell.

  597. #606 John Morales
    March 20, 2010

    Ichthyic,

    so i could set up something like:
    “http://sites.google.com/a/crackergate.com/pharyngularecipes/home”
    costs nothing, and people can just post their recipes as they see fit, whoever wants can organize it into some categories later.

    Just do it, and present us with a fait accompli.

    (As for “costs nothing”, it costs you time and effort, me it costs nothing! ;) )

  598. #607 Pope Maledict DCLXVI
    March 20, 2010

    Hi Kel!

    Glad to hear PZ?s talk up in Canberra was brilliant!

    I agree G and F# as a minor second played at the same time can be quite ugly, but the same two notes can be rather more beautiful at the distance of an octave or more (e.g. the major 7th, frequencies in the just ratio 15:8).

    On the other hand, a minor second as a properly-prepared and resolved dissonance can be made to sound very expressive ? and most people nowadays, if they are exposed to Mozart?s ?Dissonant? string quartet, cannot actually pick up the dissonance that gives the sobriquet ? which says a lot to the sorts of dissonance that 21st century ears are now accustomed to hearing.

    At a party recently frequented by some young musicians (mostly without exposure to a lot of 20th century avant garde stuff) I played some abrasive orchestral music by Stockhausen to ?open their ears? a little. One guy thought I was playing ?suicide music?!

  599. #608 Bastion Of Sass
    March 20, 2010

    Yeasty blood?

    I don’t know where to ask this question, so I thought one of the commenters with medical backgrounds could help me out.

    One of my more gullible friends has been having problems with fatigue for a long while, and her MD has been unable to find the source of the problem or to help her. So she’s now turned to a homeopath (!) who told her her problem was “yeasty blood”, gave her some kind of substance to take (don’t know if it’s traditional homeopathic water or something else), and told her to avoid eating anything with yeast in it.

    My skeptic alarms starting beeping immediately, so I googled “yeast AND blood” and all I seem to pull up are woo sites. Also went to google scholar and pubmed but can’t find anything.

    Am I just not searching under the right medical terms, or is this just more quackery? Is there better place I can look for info or ask my question?

  600. #609 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Yeasty blood?

    red beer?

    sorry, got nothing more substantive to contribute, since IANAMD/IANAB :-p

  601. #610 iambilly
    March 20, 2010

    This is a totally laymans response (historian, at that), but if your friend has a fungal infection in her bloodstream, fatigue would be the least of her problems. I would take ‘quackery’ for $1000 on that one.

  602. #611 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    iambilly:

    Our old orange and white cat walked up to her (the puppy) and raked her across the nose from above one eye to her nostrils. Avatar carried the scars her whole life and was terrified of all cats.

    Never had the slightest problem with cats and the monster dogs. The rats, however, rule. The current rat, Bruce, scares the hell out of the dogs, it’s funny to see three dogs, from 85 to 120 lbs jump to get out of his way. Bruce has never actually damaged any of them, he just makes them nervous. He did chomp on Matoska’s nose (he’s the 120 lb monster), but not hard enough to break the skin.

    Our first rat (a rescue) trained all the cats to leave rats the hell alone. He bit every single one of them. They’ve learned to respect the rat, at least the one[s] who live in my studio. :D

  603. #612 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    Bastion of Sass, a common “diagnosis” of the woo quacks is candidiasis. While that can be a real problem, it’s easy to test for it, and I’m sure her medical doctor did so. The woosters will claim candidiasis in the gut as causing all kinds of problems; I wouldn’t be surprised if “yeasty blood” is the same “diagnosis.”

  604. #613 iambilly
    March 20, 2010

    Caine: (((Girl))) has two rats (named Rizzo and Splinter) and I am amazed at how intelligent, creative, and personable they are. Dust (the megacat) is the only one who shows interest and he’s more interested in ‘play?’ ‘play?’ The rats take it in stride. We did once find him cleaning one of the rats through the bars on the cage. Or maybe he was marinating.

  605. #614 Ichthyic
    March 20, 2010

    One of my more gullible friends has been having problems with fatigue for a long while, and her MD has been unable to find the source of the problem or to help her.

    repeated thyroid tests (weekly for a month or two)

    repeated blood sugar tests (again, weekly or even more often, for a month or two)

    often, small changes in thyroid function can be missed, and I have seen a lot of fatigue issues related to that.

    still, you should post this over on Orac’s site.

  606. #615 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    iambilly, hahahaha. Our rat rescues have the deluxe treatment and they don’t get locked in. This is the rat setup: http://moblog.net/view/202021/for-sprocket (It’s easier to link photos of it than explain it). It’s been added to a bit over the years. The current boy, Bruce, loves to climb high, so I put up several climbable shelves for him.

    The rat in the shots was our first, Ash, who was a superstar. He went every where with me, even outside, nestled safely on my shoulder under my sweatshirt hood. He had been badly abused, and I was really happy to make his last years happy ones.

    Then we had Arlo & Nash, now we have Bruce, who is extremely lucky he got rescued by us, as all his siblings ended up tossed to snakes in anger, for extreme aggression.

  607. #616 John Morales
    March 20, 2010

    Hm, maybe some Mad Scientist™ will bioengineer a benign, commensal strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that thrives in the human bloodstream.

    What a way to lose weight and stay permanently pissed!

  608. #617 Bastion Of Sass
    March 20, 2010

    Thanks for the input on my friend’s “yeasty blood” diagnosis. I don’t think she’d be receptive to my telling her that her homeopath is a quackawoo. I just wanted to make sure my skeptic alarm was correctly calibrated.

    My friend’s always sending me woo advice on the causes and treatment of my breast cancer and other medical issues. That’s apparently OK since I’m so ignorant. *sigh* Yet she gets put out when I send her authoritative information that counters what she’s sent.

    But she’s a really sweet, kind and generous person, and I like her, but her gullibility WRT medical issues often exasperates me.

  609. #618 John Morales
    March 20, 2010

    On local news: prognosis re demographics:
    Alpha Generation to be the biggest yet.

    (The strine is noticeable, if familiar, even to me)

  610. #619 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    Bastion of Sass, your patience is commendable, to say the least. I doubt if she’s taking anything which is actually harmful, but you might want to try and find out exactly what she is taking and researching the “remedy”.

  611. #620 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    On local news: prognosis re demographics:
    Alpha Generation to be the biggest yet.

    eh? that doesn’t make sense to me… who’s gonna start breeding during a global recession? aren’t depressions and recessions usually correlated with drops in birthrates?

  612. #621 John Morales
    March 20, 2010

    Jadehawk, that’s why I find it of interest — it appears counter-intuitive¹.

    ¹ Of course, the population base right now is larger than it’s ever been before, so even with a lesser fertility rate it could still generate larger numbers of offspring than any previous ones).

  613. #622 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    eh? that doesn’t make sense to me… who’s gonna start breeding during a global recession?

    Most people give more thought to buying a car than breeding. Plenty of it will go on, no matter the external situation.

  614. #623 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    for me, it would be.

    for you? I suppose it depends on what kind of readers you have available to you.

    Currently the only reader I have is my computer, so it’s a bit restrictive in that sense. But really I’d have to sit down and read it anyway (can’t really take stuff like that on the bus) so it’s not a huge deal. Would need to save my pennies for it anyway, so I don’t need to make a decision today.

  615. #624 Kevin
    March 20, 2010

    Alright, well this afternoon, my said, “Tell me you’re reading Dawkins because you want to research the enemy. That man is a fool, the Bible says anyone who says there is no god is a fool.”

    I didn’t even want to answer him, but I forced out a “Yes, I know.”

    So apparently to my father, atheists are ‘the enemy.’ I can’t even fathom that idea, even as a Christian, I never thought atheists were ‘the enemy.’

  616. #625 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Hi Kel!

    Glad to hear PZ?s talk up in Canberra was brilliant!

    Yeah, it was good. The only unfortunate thing is that it officially marked the end of activities for me, so now I have to wait until TAM or even National Science Week for there to be lots of stuff to do again.

    One guy thought I was playing ?suicide music?!

    lol, that’s brilliant.

    Just checked a bit of his stuff out on Youtube, it’s pretty trippy stuff.

  617. #626 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 20, 2010

    The Redhead had me work on some old recipes of a group Chinese meal we had in Dah UP Many moons ago. I’ll toss one out.

    Sweet and Sour Spareribs

    5 T. Soy sauce
    2 T. sherry
    2 cloves garlic minced
    1 t. sugar
    1½ lbs. spareribs(I used boned beef ribs)
    1 T. cornstarch
    1 T. vinegar
    1 t. cornstarch
    oil for cooking

    Combine 3 T. soy sauce, 1 T. sherry, garlic, and 1 t. sugar, blend.well. Have butcher cut crosswise through spareribs at about 1 to 1½ inch intervals. Cut the bones apart. Pour soy sauce mixture over the sparerib. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, stir occasionally. Blend in 1 T. cornstarch.
    Blend together 2 t. sugar, 2 T. soy sauce, 1 T. sherry, vinegar, 1 t. cornstarch together in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Set aside.
    Heat approximately 3″ oil in wok.
    Drain marinade from spareribs. . Add portion of meat at a time to hot oil; cook until well browned. Drain on paper toweling. Place cooked spareribs into cooked sauce; coat well. Cover; chill. Serve spareribs at room temperature. Makes about 24?28 pieces.?Keep in mind the fact that I made double this amount when trying to envision the amount you wish to prepare.

    Additional items for Garnishing
    tomatoes, cut in rosette ribbons
    scallions, minced, fanned, and whole
    cucumbers, cut in fans
    oranges cut in half with wedge knife
    lemons, eighths
    parsley, sprigs
    carrots, cut as goldfish
    combination?of above formed into duck features
    maraschino cherries with stems
    green grapes
    red grapes

  618. #627 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Most people give more thought to buying a car than breeding. Plenty of it will go on, no matter the external situation.

    oh, I’m sure there will be plenty. but it’s not true that people don’t think about it. I find that especially women DO think about it a lot; for example, there’s a “lost generation” of sorts caused by women now in their 40′s having had remained childless to a very large degree because they were forced to chose between career and family. Plus, fertility rates really do correlate with recessions. so the only explanation I see is another echo, like my own generation was.

  619. #628 Kevin
    March 20, 2010

    @626:

    First sentence is missing a subject – that subject would be ‘father.’

  620. #629 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    And in the spirit of trippy electronica: Tangerine Dream

  621. #630 boygenius
    March 20, 2010

    Is Mooneysnuggums rubbing off on the other principals over at CFI? This article is from the executive director of the NYC branch of CFI. An individual who has a degree in rhetoric and communication, no less:

    The Problems With the Atheistic Approach to the World.

    The comments pretty much dismantle his *argument*, not that anyone here would need any of the fail pointed out to them.

    Hell, I didn’t, and I’m fairly new at this game.

  622. #631 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    Jadehawk:

    but it’s not true that people don’t think about it.

    There certainly are people who think about it. For everyone one person who does think, more don’t. It’s Happiness!/Happy accident!/Oh no, but I won’t abort/Natural/Life affirming, etc.

    It’s ancecdotal, but I know more people who fit into one of the above than I do people who gave it serious thought. For a majority of people, it’s just one of those things, part of life. And these are the people who have options, such as birth control and legal abortion. If the majority of people did actually think about breeding, we wouldn’t have the amount of people we do on the planet.

  623. #632 jenbphillips
    March 20, 2010

    Kevin @626

    Yikes, sounds like a tense moment. Fwiw, it sounds like you are playing it exactly right–giving him minimal responses as he asks questions. The best outcome would be that if he realizes someone he loves (and who loves him) is an atheist, it may change his view on atheists as ‘the enemy’. Not sure how likely that is, but it’s worth hoping. In the midst of the discovery process, though, I’m sure it’s uncomfortable, and I wish there were an easy way through for you. Hang in there!

  624. #633 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 20, 2010

    Ah, my little Pharygulites – thanks for the recipes; I’ve save them all.

    Caine – I haven’t read the thread carefully, but do I gather that you keep rats as pets? I’ve never known quite what to think about them. One minute they seem cute and I want to cuddle them, the next minute I get a shiver because they seem like. . . .”vermin.” Especially those segmented tails.

    Boygenius – Ophelia Benson has a great takedown of that CFI contributor’s poorly written article:

    http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/notes.php

    Scroll to the second article, “Oh noes, it’s the new atheists.”

  625. #634 jenbphillips
    March 20, 2010

    Ooooh, I have such a platonic crush on Ophelia Benson.

    In other news: KANSAS!!!!!!! WTF??????????

  626. #635 Kel, OM
    March 20, 2010

    “Tell me you’re reading Dawkins because you want to research the enemy. That man is a fool, the Bible says anyone who says there is no god is a fool.”

    Sounds like the perfect time to reply back “it’s quite fascinating what they believe, you should have a read of it”.

    My personal favourite response to such accusations is “the fool may say ‘there is no God’ in his heart, the wise man says it in his brain.” The heart is not for thinking, matters of the heart are not matters of the mind. Love may be a matter of the heart, but reason is a purely intellectual enterprise.

    Though on a personal note, I’ve never really known what it’s like to be so emotionally attached to a particular idea such a God. So I can’t really empathise with those who have that emotional coupling to the idea.

  627. #636 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    Josh, yes, I have rats. Well, one at the moment. See #617 for some photos of them and their set up in my studio. A lot of people freak about the tails, I’m not sure why. Usually what I hear is “but the tails are naked!” The tails are dry and smooth; that’s how rats regulate temperature, through their tails.

    They are amazingly intelligent, some of them can get quite possessive with their person, they are highly individual, one rat is never like the next.

  628. #637 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 20, 2010

    @Kevin, #626

    I didn’t even want to answer him, but I forced out a “Yes, I know.”

    I know nothing of your relationship with your parents, and I know nothing of your life. Trying to tell you the “best” way to deal with their finding out about your atheism would be presumptuous and stupid.

    But, just as an observation – you’re a grown man now. You live on your own, you pay your own bills. I hope you can get to the point where you’re not terrified of what your parents say when they see the selection of books on your walls.

    No, I don’t think I know better than you how to conduct your family relations, and I totally recognize how hard this can be. I do want to encourage you to be confident in your own decisions. When I read your posts and see the fear you have about answering your parents’ questions, I get a little angry on your behalf. You are an adult; you have a right to live as an adult man. Your parents don’t own you. To the extent that they raised you and sent you out into the world, good on them. But that doesn’t give them the right to keep an emotional or intellectual hold on you, or your views about religion or politics.

    Please don’t tremble before their judgment in your own home. You deserve better than that, and you’ve earned it.

    Please know I’m not criticizing how you feel, or dismissing your emotional reaction. Rather, I’m plugging for you to feel more confident.

  629. #638 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 20, 2010

    @jenbphillips:

    Ooooh, I have such a platonic crush on Ophelia Benson.

    Any sensible person would! Ophelia rocks my world. She’s not only incredibly insightful and sharp, she’s a damned good (uncommonly good) writer.

  630. #639 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 20, 2010

    One of the Redhead’s roommates in college had a rat rescued from the psych labs. The rat loved pizza and beer.

  631. #640 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 20, 2010

    @Caine:

    A lot of people freak about the tails, I’m not sure why. Usually what I hear is “but the tails are naked!” The tails are dry and smooth; that’s how rats regulate temperature, through their tails.

    I’m not sure why either, but it seems to be a common reaction (I have it too, as I said). Nevertheless, I do kinda like them. . . I’ve held and played with rats before. . .they’re pretty cool, and I could see how they’d be good pets. Are they snuggly? Can they learn to get along with kittehs, or will kittehs try to eat them?

    That’s one swanky set-up you’ve got for them – hope they appreciate it!

  632. #641 Carlie
    March 20, 2010

    Jen – funny, I heard that same scream coming from the other room of my house earlier. :)
    (The one about KU, not Ophelia. Although that one would have been ok too.)

    Kevin – if it helps any, I doubt your dad thinks of all atheists as the enemy, just the really popular proselytizers of atheism. You he’d think of as just misled. :( If you haven’t done it yet, go check out friendlyatheist.com – Richard Wade has started a series called “Ask Richard”, and it’s fantastic. Several of the questions have been about coping with religious family members, and he’s given incredibly good advice (as have many of the other commenters). Might help to go read it for commiseration and ideas.

  633. #642 Jadehawk, OM
    March 20, 2010

    @Kevin, #626

    awkward and unpleasant :-/

  634. #643 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 20, 2010

    That man is a fool, the Bible says anyone who says there is no god is a fool.”

    That Biblical passage has always struck me as one of the most condescending, arrogant, smug things ever written. A book pushing a particular belief has a bit that says those who don’t believe are fools. I realize it’s preaching to the choir and if the goddists kept it for home consumption I wouldn’t complain about it. However, more than half the time I’m discussing belief with a goddist they trot out this quote. First of all, the goddists are ignoring “…whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Matthew 5:22 KJV) Another point is that I’m not going to accept a piece of self-serving propaganda. Finally, it’s all I can do from saying “and a hardy fornicate you” whenever someone quotes this verse at me.

  635. #644 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    Nerd, my first rat, Ash, had a fondness for homebrewed Oatmeal Stout. Arlo & Nash didn’t care for beer, but would try to get into my glass whenever I had a nice Merlot. Bruce, I don’t know. I don’t let that boy even sniff alcohol, he’s mean enough sober. ;) Now pizza, never had a rat turn down pizza.

  636. #645 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 20, 2010

    @Caine – I do recall some of the New York City rats I had to deal with in college. Those fuckers got to cat proportions, and they scared the hell out of me when they occasionally got into the house. Those beasts were definitely not domesticated, and they were agressive.

  637. #646 John Morales
    March 20, 2010

    Josh, better yet, subscribe to the B&W RSS feed:
    http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/nandq.xml

  638. #647 Rorschach
    March 20, 2010

    The weirdest thing just happened :

    I’m unpacking at the new place, there was my old copy of TGD, so I sat down and re-read the first 120 pages.
    And while I read, I hear the words spoken in RD’s voice in my mind !

    Can’t turn it off even concentrating on it.

    (never listened to the audiobook of it or the like)

    The other thing I didn’t remember from TGD was the discussion of Pascal’s wager, and how RD argues that it could always only be a wager for feigning to believe, since you can’t just “decide” to believe.
    I didn’t remember that, good point.

  639. #648 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 20, 2010

    @John Morales:

    Josh, better yet, subscribe to the B&W RSS feed

    Everyone should! B&W has been on my daily reading list for almost five years, so I’d never miss anything O. writes.

  640. #649 Sven DiMilo
    March 20, 2010

    I actually picked Kansas to be upset, but by UNLV rather than N. Iowa. In the Pharyngula Bracket Challenge, both Rev BDC and the guy who I think is Celtic Evolution had Kansas winning the whole shebang, so thay are doubtless bummed. Georgetown’s early loss also fucked up a lot of people, again including BDC, and also Billy the Atheist who had Georgetown winning it all.

    I could end up pulling this thing out.

  641. #650 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    Josh, OSG:

    Are they snuggly? Can they learn to get along with kittehs, or will kittehs try to eat them?

    Snuggly? Depends on the rat. Ash was a snuggle bug supreme. Arlo, mid-level snuggler. Nash, extreme shy boy. Bruce, I can rarely get away with petting him. Most rats though, are happy to snuggle and shoulder travel/sit.

    Ash, the first rat, trained all the cats. Bit every single one, hard. Even my most beloved Sullivan, my Siamese. Sullivan never evinced any interest in Ash; even so, one evening Sullivan was sleeping in my spare desk chair and Ash came out, and bit his ear clean through. The cats learned to respect the rat, full stop. :) After the cats were suitably trained, they got along fine. All the rats have liked the dogs, the rats seem to think the dogs are all nice, warm, hairy pillows.

  642. #651 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    Josh:

    @Caine – I do recall some of the New York City rats I had to deal with in college. Those fuckers got to cat proportions, and they scared the hell out of me when they occasionally got into the house. Those beasts were definitely not domesticated, and they were agressive.

    Same deal with farm rats, those grow to a huge size! Definitely not pet status.

  643. #652 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 20, 2010

    Rev BDC and the guy who I think is Celtic Evolution had Kansas winning the whole shebang, so thay are doubtless bummed. Georgetown’s early loss also fucked up a lot of people, again including BDC, and also Billy the Atheist who had Georgetown winning it all.

    Connecticut’s going to take it.

  644. #653 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 20, 2010

    Haha, nice, Caine! Another animal to consider adding to my menagerie. Only if they can be fairly self-sufficient, though. That’s what I like about cats – give them food, water, and clean out their poop box, and they’re good to go.

  645. #654 John Morales
    March 20, 2010

    Rorschach,

    And while I read, I hear the words spoken in RD’s voice in my mind !

    Wow! I’d love to experience that particular synesthesia!

    (Psst, you’ve not been dipping into the pychotropic stash, have ya? ;) )

  646. #655 jenbphillips
    March 20, 2010

    Rodents of unusual size? I don’t believe they exist.

  647. #656 Rorschach
    March 20, 2010

    (Psst, you’ve not been dipping into the pychotropic stash, have ya? ;) )

    Not since I was 16…
    It’s the weirdest thing !

  648. #657 John Morales
    March 20, 2010

    jenbphillips,

    Rodents of unusual size? I don’t believe they exist.

    Au contraire (if I may crossblogulate to Retrospectacle¹).

    ¹ Now of two minds.

  649. #658 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 20, 2010

    Josh, don’t know if you noticed in the photo series about the rat set up, but Ash can be seen using his ratbox. Rats are self-sufficient, they clean themselves much like a cat; they will use a litterbox, they answer to their names, etc.

    On the water front, a lot of people use drip water bottles, my rats have all hated them and refused to use them. They have a water dish along with their food dish. All my boys have adored tea, so they have a special tea dish. They appreciate things to chew on (naturally, there are a ton of specialty rat chews) and some like toys. Bruce likes to maul and mutilate tennis balls, makes my little monster happy.

    They are social animals, so if you only keep one, as I’m doing, they do need time and interaction with you, but not to an excessive degree. Males are mostly interested in food, a bit of attention and sleeping. They will explore if you let them. Females are much higher maintenance – they like to play, have more energy and want much more attention than males. :D

  650. #659 John Morales
    March 21, 2010

    Rorschach, I hope you enjoyed it (are enjoying it?) as much as I would, were I lucky enough.

  651. #660 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 21, 2010

    Jen:

    Rodents of unusual size? I don’t believe they exist.

    They do, in comparison with pet rats. Pet rats are specifically bred and keep to size for the most part. Wild rats are generally larger than pet rats, some of them a whole lot larger.

  652. #661 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 21, 2010

    @Caine:

    Females are much higher maintenance – they like to play, have more energy and want much more attention than males. :D

    Quel surprise.

    Don’t know if I’m up for all that. See, when I wake up in the afternoon (which it pleases me to do). . don’t nobody bring me no bad news. . .

  653. #662 Ichthyic
    March 21, 2010

    Rodents of unusual size? I don’t believe they exist.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093779/quotes

  654. #663 Kevin
    March 21, 2010

    Oy, spent a good hour with my sister who’s been crying over knowing about my atheism. She’s about the last person I wanted to upset (I feel closer to her than anyone else in my family.)

    I told her honestly, I don’t have faith, I’m not strong, I believe in science and have an analytical curious mind. I don’t believe a kind and just god would punish me if he made me curious.

    I think we worked it out, though. She’s still upset, and worried, and it hurts to know that, but I can’t lie to my family.

  655. #664 Ichthyic
    March 21, 2010

    Would need to save my pennies for it anyway, so I don’t need to make a decision today.

    frankly, I would recommend it OVER any of the standard readers like Dawkins’.

    reason?

    more detail, and broader coverage.

    you’ll like it!

  656. #665 boygenius
    March 21, 2010

    Josh OSG, thanks for the OB link. I don’t read her posts often enough. I do have her bookmarked, but my bookmarks are a mess. Maybe it’s time for me to break down and figure out how to do RSS feeds (as John Morales suggested) so I don’t miss so much of the good stuff.

  657. #666 Rorschach
    March 21, 2010

    You know people, as much as I loved it that PZ was here, and spent time with me/us over 4 days, I can’t wait for him to get back home and give us some threads to discuss stuff on, read and learn s*h*i*t, and feed my SIWOTI syndrome…:-)

  658. #667 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 21, 2010

    @Kevin:

    Oy, spent a good hour with my sister who’s been crying over knowing about my atheism. She’s about the last person I wanted to upset (I feel closer to her than anyone else in my family.)

    I told her honestly, I don’t have faith, I’m not strong, I believe in science and have an analytical curious mind. I don’t believe a kind and just god would punish me if he made me curious.

    But, you are strong. It takes strength to be intellectually honest, especially in the face of all that maudlin emotional pressure.

    Let her cry it out, get it out of her system. Don’t get sucked into the idea that “I hurt her and should feel bad.” She’ll get over it. You have to be who you are.

  659. #668 Kevin
    March 21, 2010

    @Josh OSG:

    Strong in belief, I meant. Forgetting words.

  660. #669 Rorschach
    March 21, 2010

    Would need to save my pennies for it anyway, so I don’t need to make a decision today.

    I just ordered my next lot of Amazon books, had a look at the Futuyma 2nd ed, it’s 78.- AUD hardcover, didn’t buy it this time, maybe next.The Alcock is cheaper….

  661. #670 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 21, 2010

    @Kevin:

    Strong in belief, I meant. Forgetting words.

    Not trying to quibble over word meanings with you Kevin, that’s not the point. You don’t have to justify to me what you meant to say:)

    But you also don’t have to justify your lack of belief I (or anything else) to your family. Yes, I know you have emotional and familial commitments – we all do. I’m not suggesting that you be callous, I just mean to encourage you to have confidence in your own point of view. Many of us have come out to family and friends as atheists, agnostics, gay people, you name it. If your sister cries about it, let her cry it out. Just because she has an emotionally negative reaction to it is not a reason to second-guess yourself.

    It’s common to have to let our emotionally-obsessed family members thrash it out. Let them blow off steam, have a tantrum, and get exhausted. Then go back and talk to them when they’re rational people again, capable of understanding that you still love them. But honestly, don’t tie yourself up in knots when they have a predictable emotional tantrum.

  662. #671 John Morales
    March 21, 2010

    Kevin, good on you.

    I think we worked it out, though. She’s still upset, and worried, and it hurts to know that, but I can’t lie to my family.

    That you think honesty is the best policy cannot but be in your favour, morally speaking.

    Again, kudos!

  663. #672 Kevin
    March 21, 2010

    @Josh, OSG:

    She’s pretty emotional. I’ve, like I said, always been really close to my sister, and I hate seeing her cry. I told myself, ‘no one makes my sister cry’ so it kinda hurts a bit knowing that I’m the one who did it to her.

    I let her pray for me, and told her she could keep praying for me, so I think she’ll be alright.

    @John Morales:

    I love my family, and I can’t lie to them. If I learned anything about my past Christianity, it’s that I’m supposed to treat people right.

  664. #673 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 21, 2010

    Rorschach, head over to http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/03/even_the_nice_theologians_anno.php#comment-2365674 if you feel like a chew toy.

    Josh, all my rats have tailored their sleep/wake time to me. :)

  665. #674 Kevin
    March 21, 2010

    Hokay, now I sleep – tis almost 1 AM.

  666. #675 ambulocetacean
    March 21, 2010

    Hi Kevin,

    Sounds like you’re having a tough weekend.

    Have you explained or thought about explaining to your family that belief in God is not a matter of choice?

    People either believe or they don’t. You haven’t chosen to wish God away; you just don’t see any evidence for his existence. That’s not your fault. And there’s nothing wrong with that anyway.

    Hang in there. It might take time for your family to get over the initial shock, but blood is thicker than toothpaste.

  667. #676 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 21, 2010

    Kevin, you’ve done well. We are all here if you need support.

  668. #677 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 21, 2010

    @Caine:

    Josh, all my rats have tailored their sleep/wake time to me. :)

    Good. Then they are prepared for assimilation. Life as you and your rats know it has come to an end. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own.

    Comply.

    /Locutus of Gay

  669. #678 John Morales
    March 21, 2010

    Kevin,

    I told myself, ‘no one makes my sister cry’ so it kinda hurts a bit knowing that I’m the one who did it to her.

    No, you did not.

    Her inculcation and upbringing did it to her, all you did is cause cognitive dissonance¹ by revealing the truth. It can be traumatic to confront such.

    My (unsolicited, but well-meant advice) is don’t push things. Let them come to terms with the revelation and approach you, rather than you approach them.

    ¹ How can you apparently be the same (hopefully, nice) guy as before, when you’ve lost your faith? How can you still know right from wrong, how can you (as I’m sure she’s aware of) still care so much about her and your family without God?

  670. #679 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 21, 2010

    Locutus of Gay, I’m fine with that, but the rats…they have issues. Buggers insist on maintaining individuality. So, I’ll have to stay with them, after all, someone has to do it!

  671. #680 scooterKPFT
    March 21, 2010

    Speaking of over-sized, yet tasty rats, in the Gulf Coast region of the US we have nutrias

    http://www.bali.co.kr/zoo/image1/%C1%E304Nutria.jpg
    which are really huge rats, that some people do not believe in. They outweigh cats, and and are beaver-like critters with bald tails

    When I was in my twenties I worked the Louisiana bayous on small tugs and barges, and we would see people out nights hunting nutrias in rowboats

    I learned the nearby Hormel plant paid 20 cents a pound for them, so happy Vienna sausage and potted meat, America.

  672. #681 ambulocetacean
    March 21, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, waaaay back at #339

    Looks as though my reply never did make it through. Oh well.

    I agree that it would be nice to have more politicians who are prepared to stick to their principles and make unpopular decisions, but I’m not optimistic about that.

    I suspect that by the time most well-intentioned politicians have battled their way up through local and state politics and their own internal party machines they have had to make so many compromises and are indebted to so many people that they no longer even resemble the idealists they once were. Those few who do make it through seem to sh*t themselves at the first bad opinion poll.

    What amazes me the most is how working/middle-class people are so eager to vote against their own interests, whether it’s out of fear (terrorists) mean-spiritedness (immigrants/refugees) or greed (tax cuts for the rich).

    I remember reading something about it having to do with people overestimating their own prospects: I’ll be rich one day, so if we get those top-end tax cuts now I can enjoy them later on.

    People can also mistakenly think they’re on top of the heap already. I read somewhere that something like 90 per cent of Americans think they’re in the top 10 per cent of wage/salary earners. (That doesn’t sound right, I know, but I think it was something like that).

    Sitting here in Australia (where, unfortunately, we do get Fox News and The 700 Club on cable) I’m staggered by how so many Americans can be so disconnected from reality.

    The conspiracy thinking (FEMA concentration camps, death panels) and the confused and unfocused rage of the Teabaggers is frightening, even from here. They seem to live in Opposite World, where they’re angry at all the wrong people for all the wrong things. I’m so sorry we sent you Rupert Murdoch. :(

    In the couple of decades that I’ve been taking a passing interest in politics in Australia, the US and Britain, it seems as though the formerly centre-left parties have stolen the centre ground (or even the centre-right ground), forcing the centre-right parties further and further out. What do you think? I’m probably oversimplifying again.

  673. #682 Kel, OM
    March 21, 2010

    frankly, I would recommend it OVER any of the standard readers like Dawkins’.

    I think eventually I’m going to have to get proper textbooks instead of buying popular accounts, the difference in price and readability are factors though. Still, I want to know more about the topic.

  674. #683 Kel, OM
    March 21, 2010

    And I have this book that Massimo Pigliucci recommended me on Evolvability which is on my “to read” list as well.
    http://www.amazon.com/Robustness-Evolvability-Living-Systems-Complexity/dp/0691134049/

  675. #684 Owlmirror
    March 21, 2010

    Alright, well this afternoon, my [father] said, “Tell me you’re reading Dawkins because you want to research the enemy. That man is a fool, the Bible says anyone who says there is no god is a fool.”

    For whatever it’s worth, Psalm 53 goes on to condemn every single human being there is:

    http://asvbible.com/psalms/53.htm

    So apparently to my father, atheists are ‘the enemy.’ I can’t even fathom that idea, even as a Christian, I never thought atheists were ‘the enemy.’

    To be charitable, he might just mean “enemy” in a rhetorical sense. It isn’t that much of an improvement, I suppose, but it is a slight improvement.

    =======

    Oy, spent a good hour with my sister who’s been crying over knowing about my atheism.

    How did it come out? Did she actually bluntly ask?

    She’s about the last person I wanted to upset (I feel closer to her than anyone else in my family.)

    Can you get her to explain why she’s upset?

    If she’s genuinely concerned that you’ll be damned to hell, you can try introducing her to the concept of universal reconciliation.

    (The point being not that you believe it, but to offer her something to hope for.)

    If that isn’t why she’s upset, well, I don’t know what else to suggest.

    She’s still upset, and worried, and it hurts to know that, but I can’t lie to my family.

    There are ways of not exposing the full truth that don’t involve actually lying.

  676. #685 Owlmirror
    March 21, 2010

    This is a test:

    Spiritual things

  677. #686 Ol'Greg
    March 21, 2010

    Wow. I just logged on. We’re here drinking some wine and looking up old music. Hey Kevin, I just wanted to tell you I’m sorry about your sister and parents. That has to be rough. Hopefully they’ll be able to see that you’re still the person they always loved.

    Man that sounded really sappy. I’ve had like half a bottle of merlot so I’m sorry if that’s sappy. The sentiment is sincere.

    And then I saw… yeasty blood and yeasty bowels? No medical background here and I see it’s been dealt with anyway. My cousin got an internal fungal infection once. They are very rare outside of people with AIDS I think. She was in the hospital for a week and became so ill her hair fell out. If your friend really had anything like that she’d probably have gone to an ER by now.

    As far as yeasty bowels… while I was growing my yeast friends in the kitchen I became so enticed by the smell that I ate a tablespoon or so impulsively before I came to my senses. Mmmmm…

    It gave me a little gas. So does milk though, frankly.

  678. #687 PZ Myers
    March 21, 2010

    I’m in Australia, or somewhere over the Pacific, or something…but I’ve got a moment to SHUT THIS THREAD DOWN! Move on.

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