Pharyngula

The attack beasts of Pharyngula have been talking about their pets, so here are some vicious carnivores devouring their prey.

Talk about whatever you want.

Comments

  1. #1 Shala
    March 26, 2010

    I’ve been highly considering getting a leopard gecko lately.

  2. #2 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 26, 2010

    I’m really hungry all of a sudden.

  3. #3 Shala
    March 26, 2010

    Be careful to wash your hands after eating a baby.

  4. #4 Ol'Greg
    March 26, 2010

    I miss my snake some times. But the cost of setting up another aquarium and mini fish farm seems prohibitive.

  5. #5 Shala
    March 26, 2010

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrlD2POrDD8

    Now you know the greatest pet ever.

  6. #6 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Portcullis crash! My carryover…

    David:

    and “velocity”?

    Speed.

    Nope. Velocity is a vector quantity, with both magnitude and direction; speed is a scalar quantity, the magnitude alone of velocity. Acceleration is change in velocity, not speed… which is why circular motion is always an accelerated frame even when the speed of travel around the circle is constant.

    Not bad for a guy who flunked second-semester college physics — twice! — before giving up on Engineering and becoming an English major, eh?

  7. #7 iambilly
    March 26, 2010

    Pets (our cats) are not children. I agree. They are, however, members of the family. Who don’t leave home and go off to college.

    If this thread had been created by a higher power, implying that it was created with perfection, then the thread would not be continuously evolving to meet the needs of the thread users and perusers. There is ample evidence that this thread has evolved (this version alone has gone from whale penises to taxation to (oh, hell, I can’t go through all of the peregrinations of just this itteration of the thread) where we are now which is discussing the ability of the right to convince people to vote against their own interest and discussions of the thread itself. Definately not intelligently designed.

    Though some may argue that some/many of these comments were created by sovereign intelligences. Others can point to me and claim the opposite.

  8. #8 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    I’ve got a large number of micro-organisms I keep as pets. They’re cute, and round, and lovely – and boy do they breed well!
    The only problem is that, when I wash, a trillion of them die.
    Sigh. I was so attached to little Spiro Keats.
    Oh, never mind, they’re back again!

  9. #9 Shala
    March 26, 2010

    Definately not intelligently designed.

    But what about the complexity of designing such a thread? Why is it that a thread seems to flow in such a way so that any human can read it?

    Proof of an intelligent designer on this blog. QED.

  10. #10 iambilly
    March 26, 2010

    And my previous comment (I was writing it when the gate crashed) should actually refer to the previous itteration of the thread, not this one.

  11. #11 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 26, 2010

    this thread does need more BACON!

    No, but this site does need two everlasting threads. One exclusively for food so that it doesn’t fill up the other one every day, and so

    a) it doesn’t take two hours for those of us not obsessed with food to trawl through to catch up ever time,
    b) the food fetishists don’t have to search XLIII threads for their favourite recipes. :)

    So, what, if anything, repels slugs?

    Coffee grounds.

    My dogs get top shelf grub

    Where I grew up there were three categories of meat. In descending order of quality – “meat” (for white folks), “dog meat” (for pets), and “boys’ meat” (for servants).

    MrFire – you should be sent to the Dungeon for posting an Elton John link. Some things are beyond a joke.

  12. #12 Carlie
    March 26, 2010

    Velocity is a vector quantity, with both magnitude and direction; speed is a scalar quantity, the magnitude alone of velocity. Acceleration is change in velocity, not speed… which is why circular motion is always an accelerated frame even when the speed of travel around the circle is constant.

    I think I linked to it – easy way to remember:
    I’ve got speed (that’s how fast I am moving)
    I’ve got velocity (that’s my speed and direction)

  13. #13 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 26, 2010

    ‘Tis Himself,
    You have my sincere condolences and my empathy. We lost our 22 year cat, Kachina in 2008. We’d had her for the last 16 of those years. She was an awesome cat. Not only did she even put up with the 2 puppies we adopted after the loss of our dog and roommate, Bear, she taught the puppies to mouse. This led to some species confusion on the part of our pitbull-boxer mix, who to this day tries to pur when you pet her (I’m not joking!).

    In our grief over the loss of Kachina, we wound up adopting 4 cats. Hmm, lose one dog, adopt 2 puppies; lose one cat, adopt 4. I’m seeing a worrying trend here.

  14. #14 iambilly
    March 26, 2010

    Shala: But if it had been intelligently designed, it would have been perfect from the start. Between double postings, typos, comment registration problems and other imperfections, it seems to be as ‘intelligently designed’ as the human knee — two pedestals, one atop the other, held together with rubber bands). Obviously, this a random scattering of brain farts which only look designed because human beings are patter-seeking organisms.

  15. #15 Shala
    March 26, 2010

    Shala: But if it had been intelligently designed, it would have been perfect from the start. Between double postings, typos, comment registration problems and other imperfections, it seems to be as ‘intelligently designed’ as the human knee — two pedestals, one atop the other, held together with rubber bands). Obviously, this a random scattering of brain farts which only look designed because human beings are patter-seeking organisms.

    PZDIDIT!

    *runs*

    I so totally won that argument god damn!

  16. #16 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    Be careful to wash your hands after eating a baby.

    And remember to wash your baby after eating your hands.

    In other news, Pope Stupid is claiming to be the victim of “a smear”.
    Ewwwwwww!

  17. #17 David Marjanovi?
    March 26, 2010

    But this is so clearly socially destructive!? When your fellow citizens are your enemies you have turned your back on civilization entirely.

    Ignorance and fear are effective blocks against reaching defensible conclusions.

    Ignorance produces fear, and fear produces conservativism.

    I’m a non-pet person for the opposite reason. It’s a huge deal, I get really attached, and bonding with something with a 20 year tops life-span is something I’d rather avoid.

    I can imagine!

    “but how do you get people to believe in something despite all evidence being against it”

    By just not telling them about that evidence.

    The guy who’s been telling everyone to throw bricks at Democratic offices, for instance, lives entirely off of Social Security Disability.

    <headdesk>

    Not bad for a guy who flunked second-semester college physics ? twice! ? before giving up on Engineering and becoming an English major, eh?

    Becoming an English major may not be coincidental. That’s because this distinction is simply not made in German, regardless of how technical a text is. There’s only one word for both.

    And yes, I knew that a circular motion is constantly accelerated because it’s a constant change in direction.

  18. #18 skeptical_hippo
    March 26, 2010

    I can’t believe I’m getting sucked into this thread.

    I have a house full of various geckos (10 at last count), and also shelties. My dogs and I compete in sheep-herding trials (think _Babe_, the movie with the sheep-herding pig), which is a great opportunity to discover how thousands of years of instinct on the part of the dog can trump human reasoning.

  19. #19 David Marjanovi?
    March 26, 2010

    this distinction is simply not made in German

    It certainly is, just not with different words ? “speed”, “the speed vector”, “the absolute value of the speed vector”? where “absolute value” can be as short as Betrag.

  20. #20 Shala
    March 26, 2010

    And remember to wash your baby after eating your hands.

    This thread is slowly becoming delicious.

  21. #21 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    Becoming an English major may not be coincidental.

    An English General would disagree…

  22. #22 Shala
    March 26, 2010

    And remember to wash your baby after eating your hands.

    This thread is slowly becoming delicious.

  23. #23 Sili
    March 26, 2010

    Sorry to hear about all the dead pets. I have bawled my eyes out over several over the years. I prolly will again now that I have one of my very own (even if he’s still young).

    I see the speed/velocity scalar/vector issue has already been clarified – I’m too slow. The distinction exists in Danish, but is never used outside the specialised field of Physics.

    Why would I call bread a cake…? Are you confusing me with someone?

    You insisted my plain white bread had to be brioche, just because I used a little sugar to get the yeast going. :raspberry:

  24. #24 MrFire
    March 26, 2010

    MrFire – you should be sent to the Dungeon for posting an Elton John link. Some things are beyond a joke.

    Don’t go breaking my heart, RTL.

    And if I do get sent to the dungeon, I think it’s gonna be [for] a long, long time.

  25. #25 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    Leomongrass, basil, and chili.
    The only problem is eating with your feet. Using chopsticks. And babies don’t fit into my oven.
    Free range, though.

  26. #26 Brownian, OM
    March 26, 2010

    So, what, if anything, repels slugs?

    Kevlar and advancements in coin-operated machinery.

    In other news, Pope Stupid is claiming to be the victim of “a smear”.

    So even God is helpless against the liberal media. I guess we can add pulp and ink to the list God wishes he’d never created, right under ‘iron for chariots’ and ‘the human brain’.

  27. #27 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    David:

    …this distinction [i.e., between velocity and speed] is simply not made in German, regardless of how technical a text is.

    That’s fascinating: I thought German was the mother tongue of all physics… but it would seem that failing to make such an elemental distinction would make things really confusing. Perhaps mere Newtonian mechanics isn’t hifalutin’ enough for the quantum Germans, eh? ;^)

    There’s a similarly confounding linguistic problem regarding mass and weight, for those of us philistines whose daily life is not yet ruled by SI units: Because the slug is not well known, the pound is commonly used to refer to both weight (force) and mass… which tends to make it hard to get students to understand that weight and mass are in fact fundamentally different. Try explaining to an American layman that even though objects in microgravity (e.g., in Earth orbit) are virtually weightless, they still possess the same mass they would in the familiar 1G environment.

    In my workplace, the engineers are in the habit of distinguishing units of weight or force from those of mass by referring to pounds force (lbf) for the former and pounds mass (lbm) for the latter. Makes my head want to ‘splode!

  28. #28 Feynmaniac
    March 26, 2010

    Nope. Velocity is a vector quantity, with both magnitude and direction; speed is a scalar quantity, the magnitude alone of velocity

    Correct.
    speed= distance/time
    velocity= displacement/time

    Displacement is change in position, hence a vector.

    And what are “mass”

    The charge of gravity.

    It can also refer to the inertial mass i.e, resistance to acceleration. The equivalence principle states that the inertial mass and the gravitational mass (i.e, “charge of gravity”) are the same.

  29. #29 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 26, 2010

    Ok I’m off for a weekend of debauchery at the most red neck of locations, Myrtle Beach South Carolina.

    But fear not Pharynguloids, I will be elbows deep in funky southern fried music and whiskey at the House of Blues and not on the strip with the bike shorts, Coors Light tall boys and mullets.

    You people behave yourselves.

  30. #30 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    David:

    Just so you know, I hadn’t seen your clarification (argument with yourself?) @19 when I composed my comment @27.

  31. #31 Quackalicious
    March 26, 2010

    Unfortunately, I just have to take the comments in the order they are received. If you?ve written profanity and I don?t get back to you, please feel free to keeping typing like drunken monkeys.
    Thank you Nerd, for showing me just how scientific you are. Rather than engage in independent thought, you want your religious text editors in the Skeptical Inquirer to do your thinking for you.
    Dear Carlie,
    Unfortunately for your oft repeated argument that shows you haven?t been following the thread, I have provided large scale, double-blinded studies. I?ve actually provided the meta-analyses of hundreds of those studies to prove various parts of my discussion. The wit of trying to claim that alternative medicine that works becomes medicine denies the basic realities of modern medicine. Simply because something works does not mean it will be used in medical practice. It is a horribly naļve view of the way medical care is provided. Please take a moment to read a few of the previous posts.
    Yay, Bride has provided a study, which is a FIRST for this thread. If you notice, it covers two states and extrapolates from that data. I?m going to use the http://nccam.nih.gov/news/2008/nhsr12.pdf data because it is the most recent I could find: ?Consistent with results from the 2002 NHIS, in 2007 CAM use was more prevalent among women, adults aged 30?69, adults with higher levels of education,? noting that CAM use does not necessarily convert to Naturopathic Doctor visits. The vast majority of CAM users do so without telling their conventional doctors and without using an alternative practitioner. It is the most dangerous situation possible, and we still don?t see large scale deaths from CAM use.
    Carlie still hasn?t read the thread but asks me if pregnancy is a disease. Healthy body functions are not a disease, but when healthy body functions get out of balance, we call that a disease. That is why we have people who specialize in pregnancy. Women who vomit for three months non-stop need help.
    Ol?Greg, unfortunately they rarely have an organic disease that can be treated with surgery. Most often it is a hormonal imbalance that I can help with, particularly if they cannot tolerate the standard BCPs.
    Bride, no, being female isn?t a disease. Life itself is a terminal condition. But we do the best we can to muddle through and improve quality.
    Nerd, are you for real? What was the deal with B?s first three lab reads turning up positive? If you are the scientist you claim to be, why don?t you provide some data, or better yet address the specific data I have provided? Honestly, you write like some 13 year old meth addict from the Bronx and show the same sort of logic. ?Do everybody here a favor and shut the fuck up? are not the words of any scientist, or any adult.
    Ol?Greg: actually, there are easily twenty life style changes a woman in that situation can do to alter her hormones without resorting to replacement.

    Bride: when the editorial was written H1N1 vaccine was not widely available here in Maine.

    Sven: The stuff at the end referred to the lovely individual that you all defended so vehemently here and across the web because I was ?prosecuting? him. I shall not name him, because it?s obvious who he is and he doesn?t deserve any more publicity. He has managed to get himself ?censored? by a social networking site, but I haven?t heard any hew and cry from this lot. He?s also decided that, regardless of reality, I?m responsible for causing him to have a pathetic no-life. So, with all of your blessings, he?s started stalking me. Here?s a repeat of who he is, your true Myers disciple:
    The anatomy of a skeptic:
    18 year old English major.
    Desperately lonely.
    Starts blogging to make friends, falls into Pharygula.
    Starts attacking older, attractive bearded men and fixates on them.
    Gets parking ticket, spends time attacking local police force. Returns to beard obsession.
    Creates ?newspaper,? and delivers said paper to Quack?s neighborhood in the predawn hours. Frightens disabled retirees who think he is a burgular.
    Cackles on blog about how clever he is. Doesn?t realize he has just become a stalker.
    Receives praise and encouragement from many other bloggers who also do not have lives.
    Myers pretends he hasn?t received any warning about his encouragement of this behavior. Denies responsibility for creating a stalker.

    Ol?Greg evidently took this one personally, which is a bit bizarre. MH is an individual but he exemplifies many of you. The speed with which you swallowed and rebroadcast Myers? error shows a complete lack of independent thought.
    I?ve found the term I was looking for to describe what I see here: authoritarianism. Altemeyer has written a free book describing the mob attack, the unthinking obedience, the illogical attachment to being scientists but maintaining a dogmatic stance. To be clear, this is a wonderful discussion of the religious right and gives a tremendous insight into the compartmentalization of fundamentalists. Altemeyer basically loves you guys, but you aren?t open minded scientific thinkers. http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/Introduction_links.pdf
    ?Bruce Hunsberger and I asked a sample of active American atheists the same question, only it was along the lines, ?Is there anything conceivable that could happen that would make you believe in the traditional God??Fifty-one percent of them said no. ?Most (64%) of our active atheists also said they would be uninfluenced by the discovery of a ?Roman file on Jesus? that confirmed much of the Gospels, including the resurrection?
    ?I have given several groups of atheists the mirror-image scenario in which a teenager who had been raised as a strong and active Christian comes to them for advice because he is now questioning things. Very few Manitoba parent atheists said they would tell this teen that his parents were wrong, nor would they try to get him to become an atheist. Instead they almost all said they?d tell him to continue searching and then decide for himself. A sample of active American atheists was pushier. About two-thirds would have thumped the drum for atheism, loudly or softly, and about half said they would want the teen to become a nonbeliever. But far, far more of the fundamentalists, we saw, would have tried to convert an atheist?s child.?
    ?Bruce Hunsberger and I found in our study of active American atheists that the few members of that sample who said they had ?advertised? their atheism through such things as bumper stickers found that it attracted a lot of parking tickets and vandalism. Some highly religious people are outraged that atheists would publicly declare their lack of faith. Accordingly many of the people who belong to atheist associations hide their beliefs from most others, knowing from experience it could affect their employment, membership in other clubs, and social connections.?
    If you take the time to look through the book, there is a wonderful section on zealotry, which can happen to any group of individuals.

    If we look at nerd again, we see his multiple postings do not address any of the logical arguments I have made. He may have a degree, but his arguments do not attempt logic, only profanity. The relative anonymity of the web allows him to express who he truly is: an authoritarian.

    Myers is uncomfortable with who he has become, a leader of a conformist movement, but he is no longer a liberal in any sense of the word. As he has calcified in the crust of certainty, he has ceased to question even his own snap judgments. When they are wrong, he is unable to examine the basis of his decisions and apologize. He also maintains a fearless persona but only attacks non-entities like myself rather than say, going after the pope. The truth is he is terrified of actual confrontation with a larger authority figure like the pope, because somewhere inside he realizes that that same tactics he promoted for attacking me will land him in prison if he starts on an established figurehead. I simply don?t have the resources to confront him, allowing him and you to bully without fear of reprisal: classic mob behavior.

    Ambulocetacean, discussing one or two of my pages without looking at the whole is a bit bizarre. I don?t do chelation therapy, but patients ask me about it. I don?t promote or reject vaccination, I discuss it. I?m a scientist, we discuss things. I give information. The Poling case is the clearest example we have of vaccination causing a problem. You need to look at the Hopkins data and not spout the ?authoritarian? AMA propaganda. She was growing and flatlined for two years. Then she ?magically? recovered from her ?rare mitochondrial disease? and is doing much better. Why don?t you attack my stance on acne, or back pain? Cherry picking from my site to try and support any sort of quackery on my part is foolish.

    By the way, why don?t you have a look at my site again? I refund money if my treatments don?t work. Ask any conventional doctor to do the same. I have the highest level of integrity and I suspect you do not
    .
    Bride, using me as a screensaver? I don?t want to be your personal obsession. I have MH already and I?m not comfortable with the groupie thing. It?s not a fake, I use it to listen to lungs to check for things like bronchitis and pneumonia. For which I sometimes ?gasp- prescribe antibiotics.

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space: need to read the thread. Never had a patient die on me, had a metastatic patient die last year while co-treating with local conventional cancer center. When I look in the mirror I see me. Someone trying to help people, without being attached to any one doctrine or idea. What do you see?

    Stephen Wells: Clever derogatory comment duly noted. How about reading the thread?

    A. Noyd: you are a very disturbed human being. I was such a problem for Novella he called in Atwood for backup. When I followed him over the homeopath thread, we were just getting started talking about things. Read the thread again, without your ?authoritarian? worship glasses this time.
    In terms of attention? Please, I never wanted any of your attention. But you all decided I was a ?fun? target, so I?m here to tell you once again that you are a thoughtless mob incapable of independent, open-minded, or scientific thought.
    David, the reference is directly about MH, who has definitely been lurking all over my neighborhood.

    Jadehawk: great, you take that BCP. Just remember the study where it showed an increase in nearly every disease. The older pill was much safer. My stuff blocks breast cancer, yours raises your risk factors. Thanks for the profanity, I had a feeling I wasn?t pissing people off enough anymore.

    Alan: Evidently, you are all suffering from an overdose of homeopathic whale sperm. Best to ask Myers for his cure (maybe his excretions are better:)

  32. #32 Carlie
    March 26, 2010

    Yet another thread? People, we are going to fill up the whole internet at this rate.

  33. #33 troels.jakobsen
    March 26, 2010

    That clip reminds me of this music video (slow-mo dogs set to a hardcore techno track).

  34. #34 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 26, 2010

    Bill Dauphin,
    Personally, I’m holding out for conversion to the slug-furlong-fortnight system. I’ve threatened to start truning in all my technical reports in those units. Or better yet, I may start writing procurement specs in that system and watch the heads of salesmen ‘splode.

    Passive agression can take you a long way in the work world.

  35. #35 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    Velocity vs speed eh?
    OK, Ready – Steady – Go!
    Pfft. Speed loses. Went off in the wrong direction.
    Plus, also, speed is stupid, keeps you up for days. and has a hideous comedown.
    Ecstacy, on the other hand…
    Oh, fuck, I cut them off.
    Well, baby meat was worth the price.
    And touch-typing with my toes seem such a small price to pay.

  36. #36 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Don’t shoot MrFire; he’s just the piano player! (Sorry, no YouTube links from work.)

  37. #37 iambilly
    March 26, 2010

    Shala: Of course, I read what I wrote at #15 and see no less than 7 typos/grammatical errors/punctuation errors, so more proof for no intelligent design.

    AnthonyK: I much prefer a schmear. On a bagel. Not a Popetart.

  38. #38 MrFire
    March 26, 2010

    Oh, FFS. Not you again, phoney doctor dude.

  39. #39 Dianne
    March 26, 2010

    Definately not intelligently designed.

    Perhaps the “creator” of this blog, PZ Myers is a myth altogether. That supposed photo of him does look a little photoshopped.

  40. #40 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 26, 2010

    MrFire#24 Stop it! I don’t care! I hope that’s the last song of Elton’s that you link to, but I know it ain’t gonna be easy.
    And, anyway, you’re wasting your time :) My IP is giving me a max of 112 kbs at the moment, so I can’t watch any videos.

  41. #41 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    Quackalicious – you’re a fuckwit, so please go away.

  42. #42 iambilly
    March 26, 2010

    This just occured to me in referrence to Carlie @ 32: Advances in speed, commerce, and storage on the internet thingies was credited to the growth of the online porn market. Do you suppose this evolving thread will force internet providers to open up even more bandwidth to accomodate? Or will some providers just start blocking this site?

  43. #43 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 26, 2010

    Translation from quackese:

    Meta-analysis=fraud.

  44. #44 ronsullivan
    March 26, 2010

    Caine: The oft-changed story of Berenice/Veronica, right? Veronica’s veil and all that.

    That would be the one. ISTR I had to threaten to wash a couple kids’ faces at various times in gradeschool over that.

  45. #45 Givesgoodemail
    March 26, 2010

    Those wacky Teabaggers are at it again (sigh).

  46. #46 Menyambal
    March 26, 2010

    Speaking of pets:

    Has anyone had any luck turning tropical house geckos loose inside a house in a temperate zone–with heating and cooling, I mean–like Missouri?

    And can someone please breed a designer dog that is a cross between a dachshund and a pug? We could portmanteau the names into “dag”, which, around here at least, will be pronounced “dog”.

  47. #47 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    Perhaps the “creator” of this blog, PZ Myers is a myth altogether. That supposed photo of him does look a little photoshopped.

    Yup, he’s a myth – well, technically a mythter – and no one who posts here “believes” in him.
    However, it has to be said that, for a non-existent being, his influense is ultimately greater than the god he denies.

    Plus he’s witty and clever.

    I hold to my irrational faith in PZ Myers

  48. #48 Becca
    March 26, 2010

    My son’s HS physics teacher didn’t make the distinction between mass/weight and velocity/speed. My engineer husband Had Words with him. don’t know how much good it did – teacher said he did it to “avoid confusing the students.”

  49. #49 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 26, 2010

    I see our purveyor of Placebo is back with another tl;dr attempt to pretend he is scientific (not). What a loser. He has no chance of convincing us he is anything other than a fraud, as every well run test of his methods shows Placebo, Placebo, Placebo. He needs to find a morally better job. Executioner might be good. That way, when they die at his hands, it will be because the state paid him to make sure it happened. But then, he would probably give them homeopathic poisons…no doubt it would take them a while to die, like the rest of their natural life spans…

  50. #50 negentropyeater
    March 26, 2010

    Unusual groups of languages:

    Languages with a different word for the vector velocity and the scalar speed:
    eg
    English (Velocity, Speed)
    Spanish (Velocidad, Rapidez)
    Swedish (Hastighet, Fart)

    Languages with the same word for both:
    eg
    French (Vitesse)
    German (Geschwindigkeit)
    Italian (Velocitą)

    Strange.

  51. #51 Givesgoodemail
    March 26, 2010

    @47: “Yup, he’s a myth – well, technically a mythter”

    I thought he wath a profethor.

  52. #52 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    The stinkin’ vet couldn’t comprehend that I didn’t want his remains

    Dude. The skull.
    In retrospect, you wanted the skull, no?

    (or…is that just me?)

    Analogizing between human and gull tracheal/esophageal interchanges might be dubious

    Not at all. Totally homologous. In fact, the amniote esophagus/trachea crossover is just a variation on the ridiculous sharing of the pharynx between the gut and the respiratory system (which forms, embryonically, as a gut outgrowth, whether gills or lungs) which dates back to the first ur-vertebrates with gills; arguably back before that to the ur-deuterostomes that invented pharyngeal slits.

    Jake doing some miracle thing with a guitar playing “While my guitar gently weeps”

    Fantastic. But not a guitar. (And more fantastic for that.)

    Sorry to hear about all the dead pets.

    quoted for poignancy.

    bonding with something with a 20 year tops life-span is something I’d rather avoid.

    Get a tortoise.
    Or a parrot.

    And what is “energy”?

    Force * distance.

    And what is “work”?

    The exact same thing.

    Not quite. “Energy” is an extraordinarily slippery concept that is usually defined with a wave of the hand as “the ability to do work.” Therefore it’s measured in the same units as work, but they are not synonymous concepts. It’s kind of like defining ‘water’ as ‘the ability to quench thirst’ (no, I will not be defending that analogy).
    Here’s a favorite quote of mine, from Stephen Vogel:

    “Energy is a very peculiar stuff. It’s usually defined only by what it can do–”the ability to do work”–really quite a monstrous evasion! So let us honestly admit to treating energy as an imaginary device, to simplify the task of describing the operation of the real world. It permits us to express a conservation law, and of the latter, the more the better.”

    Bill D. has “velocity” covered.

    There’s a similarly confounding linguistic problem regarding mass and weight

    Indeed. How can you be so sensible, Bill, and still be so wrong about “data”?
    [need it be added? smiley-thing]

    I will be elbows deep in funky southern fried music and whiskey at the House of Blues

    ah, the Rev refers here to his go-to fave Widespread Panic, new and improved (IMO) by Jimmy Herring playing the shit out of lead guitar.
    Rock on, my friend. Both shows?

    aw, jeez, Maloney.
    Dude. Fuck off already.

    the lovely individual that you all defended so vehemently here and across the web because I was ?prosecuting? him

    I’m sorry, notaDoc, I do not know what you are talking about. I’m guessing this all refers back to PZ’s original post(s) about you?
    *shrug* I don’t care. Personally, I have never “defended” anybody you were allegedly “prosecuting,” and the same is true for the vast majority of readers and Threadizens.
    So deal with your personal shit on your own blog, is my civil suggestion.

    Please, I never wanted any of your attention. But you all decided I was a ?fun? target, so I?m here to tell you once again that you are a thoughtless mob incapable of independent, open-minded, or scientific thought.

    Your concern is noted.
    Now, please, fuck off.

    Is my incivil suggestion.

  53. #53 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Becca:

    My son’s HS physics teacher didn’t make the distinction between mass/weight and velocity/speed. … said he did it to “avoid confusing the students.”

    Aaarrrrrggggghhhh!!!!

  54. #54 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    “avoid confusing the students.”

    I’m a teacher (maths/English) – education involves “confusing the students” – until you enlighten them, that is.
    They, like me, are ignorant, – but not “stupid” – until they learn. And yes, delightfully, there is much confusion in education: the delight is in sorrting it out. And learning, is, of course, a delight in itself.

  55. #55 Carlie
    March 26, 2010

    “It’s a myth! Myth!”

    “Yes?”

  56. #56 llewelly
    March 26, 2010

    Greta Christina has written an Open Letter To Believers, a wonderful letter thanking believers for their concerns abount our rude and uncouth potty mouths, and their kind and generous explanations of the best tactics and strategies we should use when trying to promote viewpoints opposed to theirs.
    Chris Mooney and Matt Nisbet, though not believers, would do well to read this letter.

  57. #57 Feynmaniac
    March 26, 2010

    That’s fascinating: I thought German was the mother tongue of all physics… but it would seem that failing to make such an elemental distinction would make things really confusing. Perhaps mere Newtonian mechanics isn’t hifalutin’ enough for the quantum Germans, eh? ;^)

    Yes, they did manage quite well. They also gave us the terms ansatz and gedankenexperiment.

    Reminds me of something I read awhile ago: Americans generally don’t know what ‘schadenfreude’ means nor have a single word for it, but many have definitely taken pleasure from the suffering of others.

    Nowadays, physicists tend not to like needlessly complicated terminology. For example, if you look at the Very Large Hadron Collider article at wikipedia you see: “Not to be confused with Large Hadron Collider or Super Large Hadron Collider.” Or, as Neil deGrasse Tyson points out, they saw spots on the sun and what do they decide to call them? Sunspots.

  58. #58 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    self-corrections:

    the first ur-vertebrates with gills

    should be ur-craniates, possibly even stem chordates

    Get a tortoise.
    Or a parrot.

    Was partially jocular; I do not condone the vast majority of the exotic pet trade in any way. Verified captive-bred animals are another story IMO, though most are still only second- or third-generation from their unethical removal of their ancestors from the wild.

  59. #59 nigelTheBold
    March 26, 2010

    Swedish (Hastighet, Fart)

    Heh. negentropyeater said “fart.”

  60. #60 MrFire
    March 26, 2010

    Touché, Ring Tailed Lemurian. It seems you’re not left-handed either :)

    (any excuse to link to one of my favorite scenes ever)

  61. #61 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Feynmaniac:

    Americans generally don’t know what ‘schadenfreude’ means nor have a single word for it, but many have definitely taken pleasure from the suffering of others.

    In a related note, Americans generally don’t know what irony means, either! (North Americans, that is… Alanis!)

    BTW, regarding neg’s lists @50… geschwindigkeit is such a f*ckin’ awesome word that I take back any previous comments that sounded like I was criticizing German! Off the top of my head, the only cooler word I can think of is ausgezeichnet!

  62. #62 Carlie
    March 26, 2010

    In a related note, Americans generally don’t know what irony means, either!

    And yet they insist on using the word whenever possible.
    How ironic. :P

  63. #63 Paul
    March 26, 2010

    Get a tortoise.
    Or a parrot.

    My older brother has a parrot. Some breed of Macaw. It always scared the crap out of me. Those things are mean.

  64. #64 Becca
    March 26, 2010

    Attention, anyone who gives a damn:

    I just changed my Facebook profile to list myself as officially an atheist. It was surprisingly hard.

    I listed my political affiliation truthfully: fuzzy-thinking liberal.

    that is all; you may return to your previous conversation.

  65. #65 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    nigeltheBold (@59):

    Shut up, Beavis!

    ;^)

  66. #66 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2010

    And if Pz doesn’t exist?
    I’m cool with that. But wow. I was such a beleiver! What next – homeopatthy?

  67. #67 Carlie
    March 26, 2010

    Becca – good on you. That’s something I can’t bring myself to do; too many complications. :(

  68. #68 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    geschwindigkeit

    ausgezeichnet!

    Gesundheit!

    Hey, I just watched the video, and I canNOT believe that teh CO used a freakin dogfood commercial.

    Instead of, for example, the greatest petfood commercial of all time.

    Of ALL TIME!!!

  69. #69 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    Wow, not even 100 posts yet and that idiot Quack is off on another condescending rant with no scientific backing.

  70. #70 Sili
    March 26, 2010

    Heh. negentropyeater said “fart.”

    Please don’t come to Copenhagen.

    I don’t think you’ll survive the kanalrundfart. Nor the occasional lift saying “I fart”.

  71. #71 Michelle R
    March 26, 2010

    Shut up Quack! The dogs are jumping! IN SLOW MOTION.

    Much more interesting to watch. Oooo look at that graceful fur.

  72. #72 iambilly
    March 26, 2010

    I was at a forest fire in northern California some years ago working as a security specialist 2 (means I don’t carry a gun). I worked night shift to keep the locals out of the camping area (in a city park) occupied by the firefighters. I came on duty at 4:00pm and was off at 9:00am.

    Around dusk, I walked down toward the picnic area and heard some scrabbling sounds in one of the trees. I looked up and saw a parrot. An African Blue parrot. He was three-walking along a branch.

    I met the owner a few minutes later. He said the parrot was wild-caught in 1929(!) when already an adult. The wings were broken so he couldn’t fly. This man was the third owner — he inherited the bird from his grandmother. He figured the bird was around 80 to 90 years old. If he was being honest (and I have no reason to doubt it), holy crap! Damn bird was pushing 90 and still climbing trees. If only I could be so lucky.

  73. #73 Ol'Greg
    March 26, 2010

    I just changed my Facebook profile to list myself as officially an atheist.

    Congrats. I have not done this.

  74. #74 Becca
    March 26, 2010

    well, it’ll be interesting – the leader of my Circle is a friend on FB. We may have some interesting conversations. Still, our tradition has always been about practice, with the individual putting what ever meaning onto it that they choose.

    I’ve been reading so much about the LGBT movement (my daughter is working on the play The Laramie Project this spring), and coming out, it just seemed the right thing to do. It’s not the same, no where near the same, but still…

  75. #75 mattheath
    March 26, 2010

    One more data point on speed vs. velocity: in Portuguese they are separate if you are doing physics: “rapidez” and “velocidade”, but these are both everyday words for speed (is the similar thing true in Spanish?). Also “velocidade escalar” (“scalar velocity”) is a synonym for “rapidez” in technical use.

  76. #76 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Becca (@84) and Carlie (@87):

    IIRC (though I haven’t actually checked it in some time), my FB profile lists my religious affiliation as “gradually disappearing.” I’m considerably farther down that road now than when I established my page, but I probably won’t update it: I don’t want to be too in-your-face with my wife’s (Catholic) family, nor do I want to create a PR problem for my friends and allies in local politics.

    I guess that’s a bit cowardly on my part, but there it is. Nobody would hate me or abandon if I used the A word, but it would cause pain and difficulty for people I care about.

  77. #77 nigelTheBold
    March 26, 2010

    Please don’t come to Copenhagen.

    I don’t think you’ll survive the kanalrundfart. Nor the occasional lift saying “I fart”.

    Yeah. People would wonder why I was always in hysterics. Probably not good.

    It’s rather sad my only contribution today is an adolescent bi-lingual pun. I think my emotional development stopped 30 years ago.

    Should I see a doctor about that?

  78. #78 Ol'Greg
    March 26, 2010

    Still, our tradition has always been about practice, with the individual putting what ever meaning onto it that they choose.

    It probably won’t be that hard then. I became increasingly distanced from meaning in ritual and began to view all of it as a sort of performance art.

    My family does Tarot readings and things like that. I still like to play with them but I don’t consider it anything but a physical way to talk to myself.

    Over time I just became comfortable saying I just flat didn’t believe in God. Since I hadn’t believed in what most people considered God and had been more and more distant from it, no one was really surprised.

    But I don’t put my religious, political, or relationship status on facebook. I figure anyone who needs to know, knows.

  79. #79 daswollff
    March 26, 2010

    That’s all I have to say about dogs and their owners.

  80. #80 Michelle R
    March 26, 2010

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/03/26/constance.mcmillen.tension/index.html?hpt=C1

    Look guys, some more news about the lovely lesbian that “ruined” everyone’s prom (so they think.).

  81. #81 Becca
    March 26, 2010

    But I don’t put my religious, political, or relationship status on facebook. I figure anyone who needs to know, knows.

    Yeah – I’d previously left most of those personal fields blank, and may very well go back and delete them, because as you say, anyone who needs to know knows. Entering Atheist was more symbolic though. My parents just recently came out to me as atheist, and I to them, with the general feeling of “well, that’s out of the way!” and then we went on with our conversation.

  82. #82 negentropyeater
    March 26, 2010

    Oh don’t talk to me about dog fur… this is the moment when my Golden Retriever starts sheding bags full of really long and fluffy hair, I must brush him every day, and he seems to think this is just another playtime moment.

    Anybody knows if it’s possible to use that stuff for kniting a sweater?

  83. #83 MrFire
    March 26, 2010

    Hi strange gods, SC, Jadehawk (I think), and anyone else who might be interested:

    The Roy/Chomsky Seminar ‘Democracy’s Endgame?’ is now going to be streamed and archived on MIT’s TAC website.

    Hopefully everyone will be able to enjoy it!

  84. #84 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    Anybody knows if it’s possible to use that stuff for kniting a sweater?

    Not sure about GRs, but the mom of a childhood friend had 2 big long-haired dogs of some kind, and she carded and spun her own yarn and knitted awesome fuzzy sweaters & stuff.

  85. #85 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    mattheath (@75):

    Yah, it’s the same in English, of course: Velocity and speed are generally interchangeable in common, nontechnical usage. But my comment was made in the context of a more technical discussion (i.e., I wasn’t totally being a pedantic asshole!).

    Sven (@68):

    I can’t hit the link from work, but I’m guessing that’s a live Alpo commercial from the old Tonight Show? What’s next? Tomahawk-throwing demonstrations by Ed Ames? ;^)

    Becca (@74):

    …the leader of my Circle…

    …our tradition has always been about practice, with the individual putting what ever meaning onto it that they choose.

    Forgive my potentially ill-informed question, but do I take this to mean you’re a Wiccan (well, a Wiccan atheist, obviously)? If so, did you happen to catch the conversation we had in the recent thread about unbelieving priests, concerning whether Wiccans and neopagans believe in the supernatural in the same way followers of more mainstream religions do? Any thoughts?

  86. #86 Paul
    March 26, 2010

    My parents just recently came out to me as atheist, and I to them, with the general feeling of “well, that’s out of the way!” and then we went on with our conversation.

    Oh, that would be nice. I couldn’t talk about atheism with my Dad because strong God-belief was the only positive thing he brought back from his tours in Viet Nam, and I can’t bring it up with the rest of my family because fuzzy happy afterlife with dead relatives in the clouds is the only thing that keeps them from going to pieces over Dad’s passing.

    Sorry, going to visit family this weekend. Not a good day. Feel free to ignore.

  87. #87 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    I’m guessing that’s a live Alpo commercial from the old Tonight Show?

    nope. Not even close.
    Though now I’m-a haveta google up that tomahawk clip.

  88. #88 Feynmaniac
    March 26, 2010

    Off the top of my head, the only cooler word I can think of is ausgezeichnet!

    Zeitgeist and Götterdämmerung are also cool words. German has a bad reputation in North America. While French and Spanish are considered “sexy” languages German is considered “angry”. Maybe that’s because one of the few times it’s heard here is when one is learning about Germany in the 30′s and 40′s. I like how it sounds however.

  89. #89 Shadow
    March 26, 2010

    We’d had a furred fiend of a cat named Magic — Tortie with catitude. She passed away after encountering the contaminated pet food (at a vet’s!) and we haven’t found a new friend yet.

    Waiting on whether Shadow-spouse’s parents are coming over to visit, or we’re going there. In the first case, the fiend may take a dislike to spouse’s parents (previous one didn’t like any of Shadow-ling’s friends — some wierd bonding I guess). Since the in-laws didn’t have pets, dealing with one that was stalking them would be ‘bad’.

    In the second case, we’d be gone 1 to 2 weeks, and don’t have any neighbors who would care for the new pet (besides not really being fair to it either).

    So, we’re in limbo — especially since spouse was just ‘downsized’ and wouldn’t have any vacation to go to Tokyo.

    Still miss the morning ‘conversations’ with Magic, though.

  90. #90 Bertie B
    March 26, 2010

    Check out the name of the author of this piece on the Vienna Boys? Choir scandal…

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7065824.ece

  91. #91 Epikt
    March 26, 2010

    Feynmaniac:

    Yes, they did manage quite well. They also gave us the terms ansatz and gedankenexperiment.

    Not to mention zitterbewegung. But nobody ever mentions poor zitterbewegung.

  92. #92 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Check out the name of the author of this piece on the Vienna Boys? Choir scandal…

    SRSLY? How sure are we that’s not a cleverly disguised link to The Onion? ;^)

  93. #93 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Sven:

    now I’m-a haveta google up that tomahawk clip.

    If you haven’t seen it/don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve got a treat coming. Don’t watch with a mouthful of milk!

  94. #94 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    Check out the name of the author of this piece on the Vienna Boys? Choir scandal…

    That is funny. Reminds me somehow of ‘stralian friends sniggering when the Roto-Rooter truck goes by.

  95. #95 iambilly
    March 26, 2010

    Check out the name of the author of this piece on the Vienna Boys? Choir scandal…

    In colonial America, a fictional character who showed up in humourous writings as a stand in for sexual intercourse. In a book on colonial sexuality (name escapes me for the moment (and the book is at home)), the diary entries of one colonist refer repeatedly to ‘roger[ing] my wife last night.’ So Roger Boyes is amazingly un-apropo.

  96. #96 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010
  97. #97 AJ Milne
    March 26, 2010

    Well, I took Quackboy’s somewhat lengthy and generally content-free ravings from above, dumped ‘em into a file. Ran a script that picked one letter out of ten, sprinkled ‘em into a new file of the same length, but otherwise full of spaces…

    Took the output out of that file, ran it through the same thing again…

    Did that 30 times. Our result:

    … an entire file full of spaces.

    … which, actually, come to think of it, was rather an improvement from the original input, coherence-wise.

    (/So someone call Nature. I believe I may have just demonstrated the methods of homeopathy may, after all, have one use, anyway. Nobel nomination, here I come.)

  98. #98 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    I’d seen it, but somehow forgot Carson’s pefectly wait..for…it-timed tagline.

    That guy was a comedic genius IMO.

  99. #99 Feynmaniac
    March 26, 2010

    One more data point on speed vs. velocity: in Portuguese they are separate if you are doing physics: “rapidez” and “velocidade”, but these are both everyday words for speed (is the similar thing true in Spanish?)

    I can only speak for my particular dialect, but ‘velocidad’ in everyday speech is used to mean both speed and velocity. I have no experience in how its used when doing physics, but looking at the Wikipedia Spanish article it seems that ‘celeridad’ and ‘rapidez’ are used for speed and ‘velocidad’ for velocity.

    It’s also interesting that in everyday English ‘acceleration’ usually refers the scalar quantity of change of speed over time and only if the speed is increasing (deceleration for when it is decreasing). When doing physics however it refers to the vector of change in velocity over time. Probably somewhat responsible over the confusion that an object in uniform circular motion is “accelerating” that Bill mentioned. A lot of confusion can come from not figuring out how words are being used!

    Reminds of this comment:

    “It’s extraordinarily difficult to do this in a language originally designed for telling other apes where the ripe fruit is.”

  100. #100 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Ol’ Greg (@79):

    I became increasingly distanced from meaning in ritual and began to view all of it as a sort of performance art.

    A few years ago, when my Lovely Bride© and I were doing the tourist thing in Salem, I found myself in a bookstore scanning through books on Wicca and paganism, and being really intrigued and attracted… until it dawned on me that I was thinking of it as a sort of lifestyle hobby, equivalent to RennFaire or SCA or Civil War reenactment, rather than as an actual belief system… so your comment about performance art rings a bell for me. I ultimately decided it wouldn’t be prudent to merely dabble in something — as a game — the adherents of which (and opponents, as well) took seriously.

    This is partly why I was so fascinated by the conversation in that other thread: I’m still not sure how much of it is “real” woo, and how much is just sexy games in the woods.

  101. #101 nothing.beside.remains
    March 26, 2010

    Is #31 a poe? I remember Malarkey Maloney from a while back, but I didn’t think he would still be here. How can you, without irony, accuse someone else of having an obsession with a bearded guy on the internet when you’re still around Pharyngula posting TL; DR diatribes? Did anyone figure out why his handle was Quackalicious?

    Another, more important, question. Why do fools think that “freedom” means “freedom from criticism”? It’s like the ultimate idiot gambit, the calling card of every quack, charlatan, crank, and conspiracy theorist, used basically to tell you “Fuck off, you can’t criticize me or you’re an authoritarian! And by authoritarian I mean a Nazi-Fascist-Communist who hates free speech!!!!”

    Seriously, though, what a silly world they all must live in, with enormous conspiracy theories involving scientists, organizations, megacorporations, and powerful individuals, all working in tandem to prevent the “truth” from coming out, and the conspiracy theorists (of which cranks and frauds are simple subtypes) are the only people who know the “truth” about how alternative medicine works better and the medical establishment is covering it up/how UFOs are real and the government is covering it up/how the government sabotaged the World Trade Centers and committed 9/11. I could go on and on with such nonsense.

    I wonder about the prevalence of these conspiracy theorist-types worldwide. My guess would be that in more collectivistic cultures, this type of conspiratorial thinking would be much less common. The “last stand at the Alamo”/”one man against the world” mind sets of the conspiracy mongers lead me to believe it’s mostly a by-product of the “rugged individualist” mythology.

    Oh well. This astounding observational nugget from Malarkey made my day:

    The truth is he is terrified of actual confrontation with a larger authority figure like the pope

    Does he read this blog at all?

  102. #102 KOPD
    March 26, 2010

    My religious views on Facebook is just listed as “none of the above.”

  103. #103 cicely
    March 26, 2010
    So, what, if anything, repels slugs?

    Coffee grounds.

    Truly? Without messing up the dirt’s pH or anything?

    Instead of, for example, the greatest petfood commercial of all time.

    My cats eat Friskies cans, and I can tell you, they ain’t that impressed!

    I suspect that the ad’s production team slipped something hallucinogenic into the demo can.

    Anybody knows if it’s possible to use that stuff for kniting a sweater?

    You said “long and fluffy”, so I’m thinking yes. I know there was a woman in Oklahoma a few years back who advertised that if you’d send her bags of your departed pet’s fur, she’d knit you up a little something to remember them by, for a price. I dunno; maybe if it was really short staple, it might have to be mixed with some other fibre, which would seem to qualify it as Forbidden for Biblical Literalists.

    There’s probably a joke in there somewhere about guarding the purity of your Fluffy hairshirt, but I can’t for the life of me see it….:P

  104. #104 ursulamajor
    March 26, 2010

    On the slim chance that it hasn’t been mentioned before, there seems to be an entire store dedicated to covering babies in bacon before consumption:

    http://www.babybaconboutique.com/id1.html

  105. #105 nigelTheBold
    March 26, 2010

    So, what, if anything, repels slugs?

    Crushed abalone shells. They are decorative, too.

  106. #106 https://me.yahoo.com/a/SaqGVG0xvJEQVwURVamS3DTCdvov0BLhXK1jOsYPPJQ-#b4893
    March 26, 2010

    Oh, boy. Texas creationists are just lunatics. They’re getting into it with Mark Morford now.

    Here’s their quote:

    Texas Freedom Network, Planned Parenthood, and the Human Rights Campaign work together as ‘triplets’ and speak with one voice. Mark Morford is a part of that network. What parent in his right might would want TFN and their network to have any influence over what impressionable and vulnerable students are taught?

    Read more here and here.

    MikeM

  107. #107 ursulamajor
    March 26, 2010
  108. #108 cicely
    March 26, 2010

    “It’s extraordinarily difficult to do this in a language originally designed for telling other apes where the ripe fruit is.”

    Which reminds me of this:

    It is hard to convey five-dimensional ideas in a language evolved to scream defiance at the monkeys in the next tree.

    from The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch.

  109. #109 nigelTheBold
    March 26, 2010

    What parent in his right might would want TFN and their network to have any influence over what impressionable and vulnerable students are taught?

    Impressionable? Vulnerable? Have these guys ever been inside an American high school?

  110. #110 Shadow
    March 26, 2010

    Does he read this blog at all?

    Does cherry picking count?

  111. #111 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Is #31 a poe? I remember Malarkey Maloney from a while back, but I didn’t think he would still be here. How can you, without irony, accuse someone else of having an obsession with a bearded guy on the internet when you’re still around Pharyngula posting TL; DR diatribes? Did anyone figure out why his handle was Quackalicious?

    No, the Qwackster is not a Poe. Just an idjit. Somehow, he thinks he becoming an authority via his repetative posts, so we will believe his malarky. That isn’t working, and he looks more desparate and deluded with each post. If he had even a smidgeon of intelligence he would just fade into the bandwidth, and quit wasting his time.

  112. #112 A. Noyd
    March 26, 2010

    I’m basically waiting on my cat to die, but she’s stubborn. She needs oral chemo twice a week, and subcutaneous fluids, an appetite stimulant, a stool softener and steriods daily. Despite all that, she’s generally stable and giving no indications at all that she’s weary of life. I don’t want her to die but it’s hard, too, having her so dependent on daily care and monitoring.

    Speaking of animal remains, I got to touch a chunk of fresh hippo skin and a piece of intestinal wall with its carpet of villi yesterday. Holy shit, their skin is dense. Also, speaking of predators, I’m in the middle of Where the Wild Things Were by Will Stolzenberg about the relationship of predators to ecosystems. Fascinating so far. I was put off by his writing style at first, but it’s starting to grow on me.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    Gyeong Hwa Pak (#69)

    that idiot Quack is off on another condescending rant with no scientific backing.

    But everything he says is scientific. All you have to do is agree to his redefinition of “science” and join him on the carousel of circular reasoning.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    nothing.besides.remains (#102)

    Another, more important, question. Why do fools think that “freedom” means “freedom from criticism”?

    I wish I knew. I suspect the devaluing of expertise and the postmodern notion of equality of ideas is a large part of it, though. I had several people tell me the other day that all opinions are true because they’re opinions. So I asked them if I held the opinion I could fly by flapping my arms, would that be true. The only person who replied said that was a “belief,” not an “opinion,” and then refused to explain the difference between the two.

  113. #113 Ol'Greg
    March 26, 2010

    My parents just recently came out to me as atheist, and I to them, with the general feeling of “well, that’s out of the way!” and then we went on with our conversation.

    That has to be a nice feeling. My dad’s in AA again, so he’s got religion again. He’s also really not, nor has he ever been, interested in what I think. Or if he is he can’t wait long enough for me to say anything before he starts talking again.

    Ever met one of those people who are like “So tell me about your religion because I don’t know if you know about mine but…”

    Somehow the opportunity to respond never manifests.

    My mom is reading about genetics and human consciousness, and becoming more and more willing to think about it, but she’s basically a non-skeptic by default. She thinks skepticism is bad. She thinks skepticism is bad even if it is being skeptical of a bum asking for money really needing that money for what he says he needs it for or even being honest enough not to rob you. Yeah, she yells at me for not handing out cash to random drunks on the street :(:(

    I donate shittons to PP and other organizations I support! I don’t support begging in the street. Ever.

    She still thinks atheism is just “making up a religion around no god” which doesn’t even seem to strike her as an illogical statement.

    She could at least say she doesn’t like atheism as a political platform or something, but then again that would suggest there are atheist politicians or, like, more that 6 of them in the US…

    Poor mom. She’s so damned smart too! She reads much better than I do and can digest books I find painfully complex. But she hates hates hates anything that is critical of anything else.

  114. #114 KOPD
    March 26, 2010

    @102 & 113
    Re: “freedom of speech” vs “freedom from criticism”

    It’s a very prevalent misconception. Just a few months ago a relative of mine said something to the effect that there’s no freedom of speech any more because when he voices his opinion people call him a homophobe. Being the polite relative that I am, and the fact that we were together for a funeral, I didn’t say anything. I didn’t tell him that freedom of speech is why they get to say that (though I wish I had). Calling somebody a name and preventing them from expressing themselves are totally different things and silencing the voices of dissent is not freedom.

    I also remember a few semesters ago the local campus newspaper had some comics that criticized Christianity. It caused an uproar, as you can imagine. A Facebook group was started to call for the comic to be banned. Now, I know free speech doesn’t guarantee the right to choose the medium, but they were trying to restrict the expression of a dissenting opinion. The funny thing was their response. They said that it was their free speech to call for the ban. How fucking stupid is that? Of course you’re free to call for the ban, that doesn’t make it any less immoral or stupid.

  115. #115 David Marjanovi?
    March 26, 2010

    You insisted my plain white bread had to be brioche, just because I used a little sugar to get the yeast going.

    Ah, but I’d never call brioche “cake”. It’s its own category where I come from.

    I’ll have to read the recipe.

    So even God is helpless against the liberal media. I guess we can add pulp and ink to the list God wishes he’d never created, right under ‘iron for chariots’ and ‘the human brain’.

    Win.

    ?Do everybody here a favor and shut the fuck up? are not the words of any scientist, or any adult.

    The Nerd isn’t incredibly productive here, but let me, as a scientist, disagree with your claim. Scientists have not undergone the full kolinahr, and I can’t see a reason why they should if they could.

    The stuff at the end referred to the lovely individual that you all defended so vehemently here and across the web because I was ?prosecuting? him. I shall not name him, because it?s obvious who he is and he doesn?t deserve any more publicity.

    I still don’t get who he is. So, how about some evidence for your claims??

    ?Bruce Hunsberger and I asked a sample of active American atheists the same question, only it was along the lines, ?Is there anything conceivable that could happen that would make you believe in the traditional God??Fifty-one percent of them said no. ?Most (64%) of our active atheists also said they would be uninfluenced by the discovery of a ?Roman file on Jesus? that confirmed much of the Gospels, including the resurrection?

    Define “conceivable”, and explain why we should automatically assume that the “file” was genuine and, if so, not based on hearsay?

    By the way, why don?t you have a look at my site again? I refund money if my treatments don?t work.

    So? What criteria do you use to determine whether a treatment has worked? Surely they don’t boil down to “I know it when I see it”?

    Besides, if you didn’t live in a country without universal health insurance, this wouldn’t even apply.

    I like how it sounds however.

    Different kinds of German sound very different?

  116. #116 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 26, 2010

    Jadehawk: great, you take that BCP.

    lol. way to not pay attention, idiot.

  117. #117 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    March 26, 2010

    Just dogs! Not too terrifying.
    That being said, the vid is just an ad for canines.

  118. #118 Ol'Greg
    March 26, 2010

    The stuff at the end referred to the lovely individual that you all defended so vehemently here and across the web because I was ?prosecuting? him.

    I really just don’t know what this refers to I guess. David M seems to be equally uninformed of this mad newspaper terrorist that PZ has apparently employed via his vast mind control or perhaps through secret desires which convey chemically through our hive?

    So obviously we didn’t “all” defend anybody. Just sayin’

  119. #119 SteveM
    March 26, 2010

    Related to the topic of “speed” and “velocity” in various languages; how about the colloquial expression of “rate of speed” as in “The NASCAR driver slammed into the wall at a high rate of speed”.

  120. #120 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Different kinds of German sound very different?

    We used to make our HS German teacher, Frau Rollinson, lose her shit by deliberately pronouncing our memorized dialogs with a thick Texas accent:

    <drawl>”O, Mutti! Dieser Pullover! Es costet nur dreißig Mark!”</drawl>

  121. #121 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    “O, Mutti! Dieser Pullover! Es costet nur dreißig Mark!”

    Quatsch! Mein Pullover kostet fünfzig USD.

  122. #122 Becca
    March 26, 2010

    @86

    Forgive my potentially ill-informed question, but do I take this to mean you’re a Wiccan (well, a Wiccan atheist, obviously)? If so, did you happen to catch the conversation we had in the recent thread about unbelieving priests, concerning whether Wiccans and neopagans believe in the supernatural in the same way followers of more mainstream religions do? Any thoughts?

    yeah, I followed that conversation with interest.

    this is going to be long – feel free to skip over it (as if you needed my permission!)

    My path has been a long and windy one, but I’ve been (sometimes more, sometimes less) affiliated with a specific tradition of Wicca since 1975 or thereabouts. I never *believed* in a pretty young thing with a crescent moon on her forehead being chased through the woods by the stag king with a major hard-on — but I liked the sense of what they stood for, a dynamic dance between elemental forces in the universe for creativity and life and intelligence.

    I still like what I believe Circle stands for, a recognition of, and wonder at, the cycles of life: spring, summer, winter, spring again. But then, the circle I’ve been affiliated with these last several years has been more philosophical and astronomical in orientation than mystical. We do have one member of our circle who is very invested in studying what she calls the subtle energies (but then, while I have a great deal of respect for her sheer intelligence, I have less respect for how she chooses to use it).

    I’ve had several cycles where I suffered a “death” of sorts (death of dreams, of a way of life) and had to re-create myself de novo to appreciate the symbolism of life/death/rebirth. But I’ve come to not believe in any life after this one, and while I tend to be pantheistic in my view of the universe, I don’t believe that there’s an overarching intelligence behind it all. If anything, I’m a Terry Pratchett stylist in my more theistic moments: we create the gods we (think we) deserve.

    OTOH, I could never lead a circle again, because I recognize that there are people in our circle who *do* take the stories more literally, who do believe in a literalness of our gods. For whatever reason, they need that story in their lives, and while I wouldn’t try to take it from them, I don’t have to believe it either.

    My tradition strongly stresses orthopraxy, but is militant about not defining any orthodoxy.

    My husband doesn’t understand my love of ritual, of celebrating the seasonal changes, but he humors me. My kids don’t understand it either, and that’s cool. Daughter’s finding her path in biology and technical theater. Son’s not sure what his path is, but doesn’t let it bother him. Husband and I share our science books (man, you should *see* the books in our house. We don’t have shelves for any given topic, we have rooms.) It’s all good.

  123. #123 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 26, 2010
    I like how it sounds however.

    Different kinds of German sound very different?

    quite. And I’m completely incapable of understanding any “local” German spoken south of the Harz, east of the German/German border, and north of the Elbe. :-p

  124. #124 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 26, 2010

    If we look at nerd again, we see his multiple postings do not address any of the logical arguments I have made. He may have a degree, but his arguments do not attempt logic, only profanity. The relative anonymity of the web allows him to express who he truly is: an authoritarian.

    Ah, the Quackster thinks we are having a discussion. Sorry Quackster, you have made no logical arugments for many posts now. Hence nothing for me to discuss. You have been refuted by the scientific literature. Take your arguments there. Your whole practice is based on nonsense and illogical thinking, and the Placebo effect. You are just preaching your nonsense at us, and that can be ignored. If you truly had logic arguments, you would also be able to cite journals like Science, Nature, JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, or Lancet, to back up your claims. The journal of alternative medice is a quack organ, and meaningless to any rational scientific discussion.

    By the way Quackster, I don’t swear at you. I just call you a fraud, delusional fool, and victimizer of your poor patients. That isn’t profanity. It is also the truth. Neither is suggestion you find a more moral profession. If you think so, then you think anybody who doesn’t agree with you profains you. What an inflated loser ego. Here is some real profanity. Fuck off fuckwit.

  125. #125 CJO
    March 26, 2010

    ?Most (64%) of our active atheists also said they would be uninfluenced by the discovery of a ?Roman file on Jesus? that confirmed much of the Gospels, including the resurrection?

    Piffle. It’s just an utterly naive idea of what historical research consists of to imagine that a “Roman file” (I suppose their filing system was unstoppable?) turning up would settle much of anything. For one thing, the resurrection is a claim about how God acted in the world. It is not, cannot be, a fact of history that someone was resurrected. There are always going to be more plausible explanations than divine activity, and similarly to the state of affairs in science, that simply isn’t allowed in history as a reason for anything, because it could be the reason for everything.
    Agincourt? Will of God.
    Kennedy assassination? Will of Allah.
    Reunification of Germany? Will of Odin.
    Election of G.W. Bush? Satan!

    See how that really just doesn’t work at all?

    History is a secular discipline, every bit as much as science is. Your “file,” at most, and if genuine, would show only that there were persons in the Roman administration who believed one thing or another about Jesus, not that anything supernatural took place. So 64% of atheists are perfectly correct to say so.

  126. #126 Ol'Greg
    March 26, 2010

    I used to confuse things on purpose by tossing in some Yiddish slang here and there for no good reason (I’m not Jewish)…

    Ich habe kein pullover. Ich bin zu arm. Vielleicht,
    wenn ich eine Koorvah geworden bin, die ich mehr Geld machen würde…

    (My German is horrible now that I never use it at all.)

  127. #127 Ol'Greg
    March 26, 2010

    My husband doesn’t understand my love of ritual, of celebrating the seasonal changes, but he humors me.

    I wish more people around me approached it the way that you do.

  128. #128 Dianne
    March 26, 2010

    deliberately pronouncing our memorized dialogs with a thick Texas accent:

    You were hoping to be mistaken for Bayerish then?

  129. #129 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 26, 2010

    I used to confuse things on purpose by tossing in some Yiddish slang here and there for no good reason (I’m not Jewish)…

    Ich habe kein pullover. Ich bin zu arm. Vielleicht,
    wenn ich eine Koorvah geworden bin, die ich mehr Geld machen würde…

    (My German is horrible now that I never use it at all.)

    to someone who speaks both German and Polish, that sentence is fully comprehensible and… interesting.

    Yiddish seems to be precisely that: a mix of Polish (or some other slavic language) and German, with exotic spelling.

  130. #130 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    Yiddish seems to be precisely that: a mix of Polish (or some other slavic language) and German, with exotic spelling.

    I thought Yiddish was a high German language with fusion of Hebrew and Slavic written in the Hebrew script.

    Say can you comprehend Pennsylvanian German, Jadehawk?

  131. #131 Becca
    March 26, 2010

    I gotta go to work – don’t have too much fun without me.

    oh, yeah: the bacon jam recipe was a disappointment: too much onion, not enough bacon. I gotta try the idea with more bacon next time, see if it comes out any better.

  132. #132 Pharyngulette, Plucky Comedy Relief
    March 26, 2010

    Re: knitting with dog hair…

    Among my other ‘old-e-world-e’ skills (brewing, soaping, sourdough etc), handspinning fibres is something I enjoy – I use a top-whorl spindle – so I have a little experience here.

    Sheep’s wool is very easy to spin and makes a nice solid yarn because of the surface of each fibre has interlocking scales that tend to bind each hair together when twined. Other animal hairs don’t necessarily bind in the same way and can be much more difficult to keep wound, unless the staple (the length of the locks) is long enough to twist several times and give the strength needed to knit or weave the yarn. Alpaca hair, for example, isn’t nearly as easy to spin as sheep wool. Vegetable fibres are similarly hard to spin, though not, of course, impossible. Just not as strong when finished. (One way around that is to double up the yarn and spin it again, around itself.) I’ve not tried dog hair – or cat hair, even with a house full of ginger tufts on the furniture, sigh – because the hairs are too short for hand spinning. Maybe with a spinning wheel…

    Having said all that, I know it’s possible to knit dog hair into jumpers and scarves as I once saw a display of a bunch of such things, knitted by a woman who owned Samoyeds. They were attractive to look at but… Honestly? The idea of wearing dog hair made my skin feel itchy. Ultimately, I think if you’re really determined, I’m sure you could do it.

  133. #133 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 26, 2010

    My husband doesn’t understand my love of ritual, of celebrating the seasonal changes, but he humors me.

    Sounds like the Redhead. This weekend, the St. Pat’s day stuff comes down, and the Easter decorations go up. “Packy” (me carrying the boxes) will be busy.

  134. #134 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Becca:

    this is going to be long

    Hah! If you think that was long, you obviously haven’t been reading my stuff! ;^)

    feel free to skip over it

    Hardly: What you wrote was precisely the sort of thing I hoped to elicit with the question. Thank you for sharing (and I say that without the slightest hint of snark).

    I’ll ruminate on it, but at first blush it seems as if you’ve found for yourself the sort of thing I was musing about: Something that satisfies many of the same personal and emotional needs — including esp. the desire for ritual and practice — as religion, but without requiring any theistic belief.

    I continued to observe (however imperfectly) Lenten fasting long after I stopped believing there was any God to care what I ate, or when. I eventually gave it up, because it seemed like a sham… but I confess, I miss the notion of a ritual behavior tied to the seasons like that.

    BTW, orthopraxy is a fabulous word! I’d never heard it before; now I’m going to have to look for excuses to work it into conversation! ;^)

    Gyeong Hwa:

    D’Oh! I can’t believe I spelled kostet with a c! Just goes to show you how far removed I am from my German studies, eh?

  135. #135 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 26, 2010

    Say can you comprehend Pennsylvanian German, Jadehawk?

    I don’t know, since I never heard any of it.

  136. #136 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Shala:

    I’ve been highly considering getting a leopard gecko lately.

    I highly recommend monkey-tailed skinks. Fantastic lizards. Large, prehensile tails, capable of scaring large cats, eats an easy vegetarian diet.

    Rev. BDC:

    Ok I’m off for a weekend of debauchery at the most red neck of locations, Myrtle Beach South Carolina.

    Woohoo, have fun!

    You people behave yourselves.

    Oh please. How the hell do you expect us to behave when our Reverend is off partying?

    Auntie Ron:

    That would be the one. ISTR I had to threaten to wash a couple kids’ faces at various times in gradeschool over that.

    Hahaha. Ahem. Yes, that ‘cloth’ could be pulled quite tight, I imagine.

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

    For Fuck’s Sake, don’t you have people to kill, Quackass? Go away.

    Becca:

    I just changed my Facebook profile to list myself as officially an atheist. It was surprisingly hard.

    Yay! Congratulations, Becca. That’s a big step.

    A. Noyd:

    Also, speaking of predators, I’m in the middle of Where the Wild Things Were by Will Stolzenberg about the relationship of predators to ecosystems. Fascinating so far. I was put off by his writing style at first, but it’s starting to grow on me.

    I read that a while back. I enjoyed it, it was very interesting. I’m sorry to hear about your cat, that has to be wearing on you.

  137. #137 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    I don’t know, since I never heard any of it.

    Hier ist eine Stichprobe auf Wikipedia:

    Wikipedia iss en Uffguckbichli mit iwwer zwee hunnert fuffzich Schprooche. Des deitsch Wikipedeli hot sei Schterdt in 2005 grickt unn sidder 2006 sinn mir an pdc.wikipedia.org. Alleweil henn mir 1.744 Ardickele in die Schprooch. Alli-ebber kann schreiwe unn helfe.

  138. #138 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 26, 2010

    Shit, the dialect reminds me of a modern German dialect, but I can’t recall which one (basically as I was reading it, I was seeing a particular German comedian speak it, because it looks the way he’d speak in parts) :-p

    I can read it, but I suspect it would be tricky to understand it when spoken

  139. #139 Feynmaniac
    March 26, 2010

    Different kinds of German sound very different?

    True, I should have been more precise. Judging from the little German I have heard (no, I couldn’t tell you what dialects they were) and the few loanwords in English I think it’s a cool language.

  140. #140 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Tea party rally to draw angry crowds, scrutiny

    LAS VEGAS ? Tea party activists want to turn conservative anger over the health care overhaul into political muscle in November elections as they call thousands to the hardscrabble desert town that is home to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

    Sarah Palin is headlining the event Saturday in Searchlight, about 60 miles from Las Vegas, and a strong turnout could help affirm the popularity of the loosely organized tea party movement and build momentum against Reid and other Democratic candidates who backed health care reform.

    The national media lens will be focused on the former mining town, sending images across the country.

    Some have even accused Palin of inciting violence after she urged supporters on the social networking site Twitter to: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!”

    The event, sponsored by the Tea Party Express, kicks off a 42-city bus tour that ends in Washington on April 15. One of the leaders of the group is Sal Russo, a veteran Republican operative from California.

  141. #141 https://me.yahoo.com/hairychris444#96384
    March 26, 2010

    My religious views on Facebook is just listed as “none of the above.”

    I list as “Militantly Ignostic Apathist” because I’m a smart-arse…

  142. #142 Sili
    March 26, 2010

    Talk about whatever you want.

    You’re not the boos of me! Poopyhead!

  143. #143 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 26, 2010

    Milne @98: Ha!

    … an entire file full of spaces

    or

    …an entire pile full of feces.

  144. #144 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    AJ Milne:

    … an entire file full of spaces.

    … which, actually, come to think of it, was rather an improvement from the original input, coherence-wise.

    Bravo! You’ve proved the dilution of quacks does indeed improve them. Absolutely brilliant.

  145. #145 Carlie
    March 26, 2010

    Bill @76:

    I guess that’s a bit cowardly on my part, but there it is. Nobody would hate me or abandon if I used the A word, but it would cause pain and difficulty for people I care about.

    I really liked your longer comment on the same subject from a thread or so ago; that’s how I feel exactly. I don’t tell my family lots of things (like how I really don’t like my mom’s recipe for lima beans), and this is one of them because it would hurt them a lot more than it would make me feel “good” about being all “real” with them. I do stand up against the encroachment of religion in places it shouldn’t go, and even with them I stand up against intolerance of other people, but I guess my laser sights are on the institutional effects of religion rather than specific practitioners. I’m not an accommodationist, but I’m not going to try and rip religion out of my mom’s hands, either (or stomp all over it right in front of her).

  146. #146 Shala
    March 26, 2010

    The monkey-tailed skink does look nice, although I am a bit worried since it’ll be my first lizard and I heard leopard geckos are good to start with. I wasn’t sure from the website how easy it is to handle the skinks other than their diet.

    Thanks for the suggestion. :)

  147. #147 StevePr
    March 26, 2010

    At 45 secs on the video at the top anyone tell me the breed of that dog.

    We have one that looks near identical and were told it was a cross skye terrier / papillion but looks more like a Jack Russell / something else.

  148. #148 Rorschach
    March 26, 2010

    Facebook atheist for years, although I have work people as friends there, I don’t think anyone cares much.

    Quacky I will ignore.

    The tea party movement, its backing by Fox and everything to do with it has me a bit worried, they might just succeed and turn the USA into an idiocracy, if it isn’t already one.

  149. #149 Ichthyic
    March 26, 2010

    We have one that looks near identical and were told it was a cross skye terrier / papillion but looks more like a Jack Russell / something else.

    not important! all that’s important is that it’s a…

    Terrier!
    ;)

  150. #150 tkm
    March 26, 2010

    What’s better is dogs with lasers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BxM47oHrfI

  151. #151 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Shala, there are a lot of sites with in-depth info about Corucia zebrata. Damien was fairly easy to care for; they do appreciate a large habitat, with the ability to climb very high and plants to curl up in. Damien was fond of sleeping on the curtain rods or curled up in a hanging Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) plant. He had large pothos plants in his enclosure, they do eat those as well as sleep in them. Temperature, air flow and humidity control are important, but they are with all leezards. The prehensile skinks like a good soak too, so a very large water dish is a must.

    Damien was a joy, he enjoyed riding around on my shoulders with his tail wrapped around my neck in the late evening. They live to be 15 to 25 years old and can grow to 30 inches. They also have one hell of a bite, so bonding properly is important. :D

    If it’s your first leezard, yes it is best to go with an easy one and one where the habitat will be easy to provide and maintain.

  152. #152 Pygmy Loris
    March 26, 2010

    David,

    No, seriously. This thread is easily 90 % of my social life.

    You are not alone :)

    Sven,

    Dude. The skull.
    In retrospect, you wanted the skull, no?

    I want skulls! The boyfriend brought an immature possum skull home from a hike the other day. It’s now sitting on my dresser.

    Feynmaniac,

    I like how it sounds however.

    I actually like the way German sounds, too. My friends think I’m crazy. My favorite German word is Blitzkrieg, though Zeitgeist is a close second.

    It never occurred to me that my German had an accent until I went to Germany and the lady who worked at the bakery where I picked up my salami brötchen every day remarked on how cute* she thought I was with my American accent.

    As for understanding different dialects, I can’t. The only German I understand is standard German. Even then, I have a very good grasp of grammar, but my vocabulary is atrocious. I need to spend more time reading German, but I’ve got enough to read in English :)

    *She was of an age with my mother and saw me as a poor lost kid since my German was so elementary and I was only 19 (looked about 12) when I was there. Incidentally, when the same lady asked me how old I was, my actual German classes came in handy. Ich bin neunzehn Jahre alt.

  153. #153 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    tkm @ 151, just link, please. Don’t post vids in thread.

  154. #154 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Rorschach:

    The tea party movement, its backing by Fox and everything to do with it has me a bit worried, they might just succeed and turn the USA into an idiocracy, if it isn’t already one.

    It only takes about a minute of reading at a site or forum they populate to be fairly convinced that idiocracy is encroaching.

  155. #155 Ichthyic
    March 26, 2010

    Quacky@31:

    Unfortunately,…

    TLDR

    yeah, nobody gives a shit about what you have to say here.

    feel free to become a part of my spam filter though.

  156. #156 Kel, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Quacky@31:

    Wow, he’s still going. He must have taken the whole “not a real doctor” thing personally. Even though it’s true.

    You’ve got to wonder how it is he can take on a martyr complex like that. When a whole group of people say “you’re wrong”, it doesn’t mean they are conformist. There’s always the possibility that you’re, in fact, wrong.

    But that can’t happen, Quacky is a real docor. The state of Maine says so…

  157. #157 John Morales
    March 26, 2010

    German has some wonderful words, a number of which express concepts that require circumlocution in English.

    My favourite: Zugzwang.

  158. #158 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Kel:

    But that can’t happen, Quacky is a real docor. The state of Maine says so…

    Actually, the state of Maine doesn’t say so. It’s quite explicit in that he cannot call himself Doctor in the medical sense. Only ‘doctor’ of naturopathy/naturopathic doctor, etc.

    Quackass seems to have been quite certain, recently, that I’m male. So much for his doctorin’ skillz. He certainly displays zero reading or comprehension skills. ;D

  159. #159 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 26, 2010

    He must have taken the whole “not a real doctor” thing personally. Even though it’s true.

    The farce and Dunning-Kruger is strong in this idjit. So far, nothing of conclusive scientific evidence from him, just blather and woo woo woo nonsense, like citations to the quack journal, journal of alternative medicine (what an oxymoron, emphasis on moron).

  160. #160 Rorschach
    March 26, 2010

    Quackass seems to have been quite certain, recently, that I’m male. So much for his doctorin’ skillz.

    To be fair, a lot of people would probably associate the name “Caine” with David Carradine…:-)

  161. #161 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 26, 2010

    Hast du etwas Zeit für mich, dann singe ich ein lied für dich…

    Ich habe Schadenfreud.

  162. #162 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    But, but Nerd, you’re not a real scientist ’cause you don’t do sciencey things in the endless threads! /Quackass’s notion of logic.

  163. #163 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Rorschach:

    To be fair, a lot of people would probably associate the name “Caine” with David Carradine…:-)

    :D Indeed they do. That was one of the considerations when I initially chose it waay back in my usenet days.

  164. #164 Peter G.
    March 26, 2010

    @158 JM A fascinating term. I studied game theory a few decades back and never ran across it. It is concise.

  165. #165 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 26, 2010

    But, but Nerd, you’re not a real scientist ’cause you don’t do sciencey things in the endless threads! /Quackass’s notion of logic.

    Yeah, he is a real Qvack-up. I think my day job employer would beg to differ. I do believe the word scientist appears somewhere on my business card, along with my degree.

    I don’t spend a lot of time trying to refute the Quackster’s nonsense, because it will never take. I’m waiting for him to demonstrate he scientifically right. And I will be waiting for the conclusive paper that homeopathy/reiki/therapeutic massage is truly scientific and gives results above placebo until my dying day. Same for the cold fusion crowd. Meanwhile, ridicule is called for. And more bacon. And the whiskey cake the Redhead made. Just got called for the latter.

  166. #166 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    Leopard geckoes are super easy lizards. So are bearded dragons. Both are bred to excess in captivity so it’s all good ethically. Corucia is a super, super cool lizard, no doubt, for many reasons. But ooh. The reptile pet trade is so evil, and has been for so long, that I cringe a bit about keeping something like that. YMMV as always.

    (Disclosure: I have 3 turtles but I neither bought them nor removed them from natural habitat.)

  167. #167 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Sven, my Corucia zebrata was captive bred, not wild collected.

  168. #168 Kel, OM
    March 26, 2010

    It’s getting quite frustrating. I’m the eyes of the quacks, I’m either some conformist trapped in a cult of personality, or I’m a Big Pharma shill. It can never be that maybe I disagree because the evidence simply isn’t there… Nope, can’t be that. It must mean I’m brainwashed or something. That I must not be seeing how evil Big Pharma really is. That I don’t know about these alternative therapies that would only be available and even more effective if not for the fact that they won’t make a profit.

    I’m really sick of this shit, I’ve grown up around this. If it weren’t for my Dad I wouldn’t have even been vaccinated because people were in my mother’s ear about the dangers of vaccines (this was before the autism scare too!). I’ve taken herbal “remedies”, homoeopathic solutions, had acupuncture done on me, just to name a few. Yet if I ever dare question the efficacy of supposed alternative therapies, suddenly I’m being closed minded, or a shill for Big Pharma, or I haven’t tried it out for myself. Meanwhile I’m apparently pumping unnatural chemicals in my body when Nature provides us with all our bodies need. I don’t actually take much of anything, but that’s besides the point. I’m just a big pharma brainwashed drone…

    … yet in 10 years, what has the CAM actually shown in terms of positive results? Multi-billion dollar funding and double-blind scientific treatments and where’s the holistic revolution? It doesn’t exist. Meanwhile, alt-med is itself a multi-billion dollar industry, one that is unregulated and propagates by word of mouth. Any testing done shows treatments to be at best placebos, and in some cases even more dangerous. And those people have the nerve to question my motivations of supporting a multi-billion dollar industry?

    You know, magicians make a living out of lying to their audience. When you go to a magic show, you are going there to be fooled. In a way there’s honesty in that lying. Similarly, pharmaceutical companies don’t pretend to be anything but corporations. Meanwhile there are shelves at my supermarket stocked with supplements, herbal remedies for common illnesses line the shelves while over-the-counter medication beyond the absolute basics (aspirin, paracetamol, cold remedies) don’t exist. I can buy herbal allergy medication at the supermarket, I have to go to a pharmacist to get shit that actually works (again, I’ve tried the herbal solution – it did sweet fuck-all other than taste bad).

    The alt-med industry is worth a fortune. It’s as much as business as any other, yet it spreads on the lie that they are the little guy going up against the evil industry. Pretending that it’s not about the money while raking in the money – that’s being dishonest. An industry run on dishonesty is bad enough, combine that with pseudoscience and controlled outrage and you’ve got alt-med.

  169. #169 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    glad to hear it, Grasshopper.

  170. #170 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Kel, Quackass has heard all that and more due his persistence in showing up in the endless threads. He’s a fraud and a liar who happens to be afraid of blood.

    I’d dearly like to see him constantly intrude in the threads over at Orac’s.

  171. #171 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Sven:

    glad to hear it, Grasshopper.

    :D It’s the only way to go.

  172. #172 Knockgoats
    March 26, 2010

    Quackalicious,

    I?ve actually provided the meta-analyses of hundreds of those studies to prove various parts of my discussion.

    When I followed up the two meta-analysis references I saw, one turned out to produce the stunning conclusion that sick people like being touched sympathetically, while the other had been thoroughly taken apart by real medical scientists, and rewritten in a way that effectively abandoned the claim that prayer had an effect. You then completely misrepresented what I had said about these meta-analyses – although your powers of self-delusion are evidently so strong this may not have been a simple lie.

    He also maintains a fearless persona but only attacks non-entities like myself rather than say, going after the pope.

    Again, only a self-deluding idiot would expect such an obvious falsehood to impress anyone. I conclude that you are living in a fantasy world of your own creation – but not a very interesting one.

  173. #173 John Morales
    March 26, 2010

    Video time!

    Kung Fu – TV intro

  174. #174 Pope Maledict DCLXVI
    March 26, 2010

    Kel,

    out of curiosity how did the watching of Expelled finish up, or did I miss a follow-up post to the half-way mark comment last night? I haven’t yet compelled myself to a viewing (and don’t intend to, either)…

    Ugly misogyny and transphobia on display in the Palin thread, as well as the usual hyperbole that people (all too easily) mistake for literal intent rather than metaphor. Suggesting the hockey mom should go back to playing the flute is obviously a liberal suggestion (“The flute is not an instrument that has a good moral effect; it is too exciting.” attrib. to Aristotle)

    Oh well, back to what I was doing… (have been doing a variety of other things?, so am currently in Pharyngula lurking mode)

  175. #175 Feynmaniac
    March 26, 2010

    Previous thread,

    You’re not reading anything into it.
    [Bush]‘s still an asshole.

    I’ve heard some explanations that he has a bit of OCD/germ thing going, but that’s still no excuse. People with OCD do things like make sure they have whatever they need to feel clean handy (sanitizer in the pocket or whatnot); they don’t do things so obviously rude as to wipe on other people.

    The real question is if you want to feel clean why on earth would you touch Bill Clinton?

    …I’ll get my coat.

  176. #176 Ol'Greg
    March 26, 2010

    To be fair, a lot of people would probably associate the name “Caine” with David Carradine…

    It’s just that it has been clarified more than once. You’d think he’d at least notice.

  177. #177 David Marjanovi?
    March 26, 2010

    While French and Spanish are considered “sexy” languages

    What about the stereotype that French “sounds gay” when men speak it?

    (My sister hates it when men speak French and women speak Spanish. Though it can’t be that bad… she has learnt Spanish.)

    We used to make our HS German teacher, Frau Rollinson, lose her shit by deliberately pronouncing our memorized dialogs with a thick Texas accent:

    Justice has been served. Arnie, in Twins, on the plane…

    Ei hef newer lissend tu det keind off mjusik bifooooohr!

    man, you should *see* the books in our house. We don’t have shelves for any given topic, we have rooms.

    <drool>

    Different kinds of German sound very different?

    quite. And I’m completely incapable of understanding any “local” German spoken south of the Harz, east of the German/German border, and north of the Elbe. :-p

    That latter one actually becomes easier if you know English, because the main distinguishing feature of its sound system is the lack of the High German consonant shift, a feature it (obviously) shares with English, and because some of the vocabulary is shared with English, as is a bit of grammar.

    I’m not aware of any great east-west divides between German dialects, except in the south (Alemannic vs Bavarian).

    In central Germany, just south of the Harz if I’m not being confused, there are dialects that have undergone crazy sound shifts. From what very little I’ve read about them, I’d have serious trouble understanding them.

    I’ve already expounded on the following at least once… I understand about half of spoken Flemish. This includes cheating by knowing English and French (unsurprisingly, there are greater numbers of French loanwords in Flemish than in most kinds of German). I also understand about half when the Swiss speak, and this includes cheating by speaking an East Middle Bavarian dialect that is more closely related to everything Swiss than to Standard German, and by being an armchair linguist who has some idea of what kinds of sound correspondences to expect (this also holds for Dutch/Flemish).

    When everyone speaks their own dialect, I can have a conversation with a Tyrolean, but west of that would very quickly become very difficult. To the northwest, I suppose it would work up to and including the Franks, but probably no further.

    In contrast, you will chat freely with the Czechs (and I do mean those from Prague) and the Slovaks if any come (from Bratislava), and everyone (except me…) will understand everything except the month names* and “ice cream”. Oh, and, by now they can probably restrain themselves should you ever mention you’re looking for something.

    I’m told this works even between Polish and Russian, though I’m somewhat skeptical about that… last but not least because it was a commenter on an armchair-linguist blog who wrote that, though she did claim to be talking about her own experience, and my Russian simply isn’t good enough that I could try this on my own. (Apart from the fact that speaking Russian in Poland, at least, with the generations who had to learn it at school, still isn’t a good idea.)

    But then, it’s also said to work or almost work between German-north-of-the-Elbe and Yorkshire English. I know such a German who was an exchange student or something… when the people there didn’t want to be understood by the exchange students, they spoke their dialect, with the opposite effect.

    * Most of the words are the same, so you’ll think you understand, but the sequence is variously interrupted, shifted by one, and the like. Maddening to me, because I’m always confronted with both at the same time. There is something to be said for the Chinese system ? the months of the Western calendar, and the days of its week, are just numbered…

    Election of G.W. Bush? Satan!

    Worse. Much worse.

    to someone who speaks both German and Polish, that sentence is fully comprehensible and… interesting.

    Yes.

    (Only one Polish, Russian, or whatever word in that particular sentence, though.)

    Yiddish seems to be precisely that: a mix of Polish (or some other slavic language) and German, with exotic spelling.

    At the base it’s a mix of a lot of southern-but-not-too-southern German dialects (very confusing ? for instance, I can’t predict whether any given word will have /a/ or /o/, they’re probably drawn at random). Add to this Hebrew words for something like all abstract terms (not only religious ones). Then add lots of words from Polish, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Russian, and presumably Lithuanian, and the sound system of that region, as well as a couple of grammatical elements. And write it all in Hebrew letters.

    Say can you comprehend Pennsylvanian German

    I probably could understand most of it. Can you point me to sound files…? The Wikipedia snippet makes it look easy.

    (Can you believe it! They actually shrunk Wikipedia! X-D They formed its diminutive. Very Alemannic of them, almost Swiss.)

    Shit, the dialect reminds me of a modern German dialect, but I can’t recall which one

    Swabian.

    True, I should have been more precise. Judging from the little German I have heard (no, I couldn’t tell you what dialects they were)

    It gets worse! There’s regional variation within Standard German! =8-) It’s subtle, but it consists mostly of those things that are most likely to trigger emotional reactions.

  178. #178 Kel, OM
    March 26, 2010

    out of curiosity how did the watching of Expelled finish up

    Haven’t finished it yet, will probably do so tonight. It’s a pretty tough film to get through, Ben Stein playing a scripted sceptic is painful to watch.

  179. #179 skeptical_hippo
    March 26, 2010

    Speaking of pets:
    Has anyone had any luck turning tropical house geckos loose inside a house in a temperate zone–with heating and cooling, I mean–like Missouri?

    That made me laugh. When I was a kid, my family moved from Ft Lauderdale to Ohio and we somehow ended up with a bunch of anoles in the moving boxes. We were catching anoles for months… they apparently got along just fine in the new place.

    I have a hemidactylus fasciatus gecko that I’m half expecting to accidentally turn loose one day. She moves at the speed of light and it’s a challenge cleaning the vivarium.

    Shala, I have six leopard geckos. They make a really nice first reptile. Crested geckos are another good starter gecko — very simple care, although they’re a little jumpier. If you have space, you might consider a blue-tongue skink… docile, easy to handle, and seem to enjoy human interaction.

  180. #180 David Marjanovi?
    March 26, 2010

    Ouch. Language is mentioned, and I write 4 1/2 laptop screens about it…

    Hast du etwas Zeit für mich, dann singe ich ein [L]ied für dich…

    HWAAAAARGH!!!

    Ich habe Schadenfreud[e].

    <pout>

  181. #181 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Ol’Greg:

    It’s just that it has been clarified more than once. You’d think he’d at least notice.

    Yes, you would. Especially since I posted a link to a photo of myself wearing a bra and a calendar. Along with the other random woman talk, periods and such stuff.

  182. #182 Vashti
    March 26, 2010

    My dogs’ 2nd favorite thing in the world is bunnies*. Their favorite way to enjoy bunnies is Bunny Stew:

    2 bunnies (cut each into 6 pieces at joints)
    flour
    salt & pepper
    1 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
    6-8 cloves garlic (omit garlic if serving to dogs)
    1 cup white wine
    2 cups chicken stock
    butter
    parmesan
    candied lemon peel**
    optional: chickpeas, carrots, and of course BACON (go easy on salt if adding bacon or pancetta)

    Season bunny pieces with salt & pepper, coat in flour and brown over med-high heat (might need a little oil if your bunnies are lean)

    Remove bunny pieces from pan (add small amount of olive oil if pan is dry or remove some bunny fat if obscene amount). Cook garlic and rosemary about 1 minute (stir constantly). This might be a good place to add bacon or pancetta…

    Bunny pieces go back into pan and add wine and chicken stock. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes (add carrots or cooked chickpeas) – simmer some more until bunny meat is falling off bone.

    Remove bunny from pan and reduce sauce over med-high heat till nice & thick. (Remove bunny meat from bones if you want a more sophisticated dining experience.)

    Add bunny meat back into pan and warm. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Add a wee bit of butter for fun.

    Serve over egg noodles or some other tasty starch and garnish with candied lemon peel & parmesan shavings.

    * Their #1 favorite thing in the world is cats which are not on the menu at our house.

    **Candied lemon peel is just lemon peel simmered in sugar & water until translucent (about 6-7 minutes). The remaining liquid can be used as simple syrup for drinks, tea, etc.

  183. #183 Feynmaniac
    March 26, 2010

    What about the stereotype that French “sounds gay” when men speak it?

    I guess there’s also a negative perception in America, especially due to the French opposition to the Iraq war. Freedom fries and all that. I remember hearing Kerry’s campaign not wanting the public to know that he spoke French. About “sounding gay”….I’m not sure about that. I’ve been in Canada too long….

    (My sister hates it when men speak French and women speak Spanish. Though it can’t be that bad… she has learnt Spanish.)

    I find a woman speaking Spanish (without a non-native accent) to be pleasant. I’m sure much of that is due to my background. However, I can tell you that at least some North American girls like to hear a man speaking Spanish during intimate moments….

    I’d only embarrass myself if I tried in French though. I started learning it at about 12 when my family moved to Ontario. Knowing Spanish helped a lot, but because of the way it was taught I only really learned French as a written language. Now, I can read a French news article and understand most of it, but cannot really carry a conversation and speak it with a strong English/Spanish accent. Oddly enough, when I had a free slot in my timetable and took an intermediate Spanish course in university I would hear Spanish with an English/Québécois accent. Remembering my difficulties I didn’t laugh about all the letters that weren’t being pronounced.

  184. #184 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    random woman talk

    For some reason, that just makes me Lol. Maybe it’s because you followed it up with “periods.” Well, the least you can do missy is complete the list:

    headaches, reading clubs, your kids, scented bath beads, chocolate, applique sweaters, your kids, JoAnn Fabrics.

  185. #185 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    When everyone speaks their own dialect, I can have a conversation with a Tyrolean, but west of that would very quickly become very difficult

    Oh you Germanic people. I have a hard enough time understanding spoken Hochdeutsch. I can only imagine how a conversation with a southern dialect would go. I suppose German has a greater level of intelligibility than Chinese (Teochew, my ancestral dialect, sounds nothing like Cantonese which sounds nothing like Mandarin). Then you have Papuan making Unserdeutsch, a creole language, and the Amish German. And don’t get me started on the dialects and creole of English!

    That said I understand* all the dialect of Khmer, even Surin which sounds hella Thai.

    *By understand, I mean hear and understand. I?m quite illiterate in Khmer. I try learning and the most I could read and write is my name and the word ?I?.

  186. #186 MrFire
    March 26, 2010

    Are any Miyazaki fans in the house?

    His collaborator, composer Joe Hisaishi, composes some of the most beautiful music ever. One of my favorites is:

    The Sixth Station – Spirited Away

  187. #187 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    For the linguists – could anyone give me a definition or example of the difference between a dialect and a language that could help me intuit what “dialect” means? I know I can Google it, but what I find doesn’t exactly help.

    As an ignorant English-only speaker (tiny, tiny smattering of French, ability to read just enough Spanish, sometimes, from having taken Latin), I’m trying to find an analogy that would help me discern the difference. It seems to me that “dialect” is used to describe vocabularies and grammars that are so different that those who don’t speak the “dialect” (but ostensibly speak the same overarching “language” that the dialect is part of) can’t understand a word of it. So, what makes a dialect different from a language?

    Is there any English analog? I’m not aware of any part of the the world where English is spoken so differently that I couldn’t immediately converse with such a speaker. I’m probably hopelessly confused, and look forward to having my ignorance corrected. Thanks!

  188. #188 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Josh:

    headaches, reading clubs, your kids, scented bath beads, chocolate, applique sweaters, your kids, JoAnn Fabrics.

    There, tailored. With a proviso on the JoAnn Fabrics, which gets “eh, sometimes” as I’m not into sewing, but do like to embroider. And you forgot tea. And beer. *frowns*

  189. #189 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    MrFire:

    Are any Miyazaki fans in the house?

    *raises hand*

  190. #190 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    For the linguists – could anyone give me a definition or example of the difference between a dialect and a language that could help me intuit what “dialect” means?

    The difference is hazy at best. Example, people purports that Chinese is one language, but someone speaking Mandarin will find it near impossible when speaking to a Hokkien speaker. On the other hand, Lao and Thai are considered different languages but a Lao speaker can understand a Thai speaker.

    Is there any English analog? I’m not aware of any part of the the world where English is spoken so differently that I couldn’t immediately converse with such a speaker

    Englog and Singlish.

  191. #191 Pygmy Loris
    March 26, 2010

    Josh,

    IANAlinguist, but in my few linguistics classes, here’s how it was explained to me. Dialects of languages are to some degree mutually intelligible. They become different languages when the two dialects are mutually unintelligible to a great degree, say 70% or more. I think of the languages like organisms. Sometimes two populations are very different, so we name them separate sub-species. When the sub-species become distict enough that they can no longer interbreed, we call them separate species. There’s a lot of gray area though. Some populations don’t interbreed in the wild, but they do in captivity (the Sumatran and Bornean orang utans are an example). Some sub-species only hybridize in small geographic areas, so we may call them separate species anyway (baboon species are like this).

    Another thing is convention. From everything I’ve read, Cantonese and Mandarin are completely mutually unintelligible. They are, for all intents and purposes, separate languages, but for largely historical/political reasons they are called dialects of one language.

    There are dialects of English that I cannot understand. Welsh English, the Scottish dialects to a large degree, and so on. I do, for the most part, understand all of the American dialects. To my ears, the most distinctive dialect in the USA is African-American Vernacular, which has distinctive vocabulary, pronunciation rules and grammar.

  192. #192 Pygmy Loris
    March 26, 2010

    I somehow didn’t really finish my comparison of languages to populations of organisms. So, sub-species are dialects and species are languages. Once you reach mutual unintelligibility (inability to interbreed in the species illustration) you have two new languages!

  193. #193 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    Caine:

    There, tailored. With a proviso on the JoAnn Fabrics, which gets “eh, sometimes” as I’m not into sewing, but do like to embroider. And you forgot tea. And beer. *frowns*

    Cripes, how could I forget about the beer (and tea/coffee)?

    I was hoping hoping to provoke you into making up a snarky list of “random gay talk,” but ah well:)

    A proviso about the fabric store – since I knit, I find myself occasionally, by necessity, in one of those horrid places. But I try to get in and out with my yarn as soon as possible. They give me the creepin’ willies.

  194. #194 Pygmy Loris
    March 26, 2010

    Caine,

    Since you know how to embroider, I have to ask you a question. Is it possible to teach oneself how to embroider, or do I really need someone to teach me. I’d really like to learn (along with knitting and crocheting), but I don’t know anyone who knows how :(

  195. #195 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    I was hoping hoping to provoke you into making up a snarky list of “random gay talk,” but ah well:)

    Careful, that provocation could lead to dark places. ;)

    A proviso about the fabric store – since I knit, I find myself occasionally, by necessity, in one of those horrid places. But I try to get in and out with my yarn as soon as possible. They give me the creepin’ willies.

    Mm hm. I feel the same way. I’ve found it better in recent years to order from JoAnn’s online. I’m jealous you knit, I never did pick it up as a kid. I did some crocheting, which I really enjoyed. I’ve often thought I should try to grok knitting again one of these days.

  196. #196 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    Gyeong:

    Englog and Singlish? Will have to Google those, thanks.

    Pygmy:

    Your comparison to speciation is elegant – nicely done.

    There are dialects of English that I cannot understand. Welsh English, the Scottish dialects to a large degree,

    Same here, though I wonder how much it has to do with pronunciation and accent, rather than differences in vocab/syntax/grammar. I find very thick Scottish accents almost (and sometimes completely) impossible to understand. Though since I don’t understand, I guess I can’t know what feature of the speech I’m not understanding.

    To my ears, the most distinctive dialect in the USA is African-American Vernacular, which has distinctive vocabulary, pronunciation rules and grammar.

    See, that’s interesting. I wouldn’t consider AAV a dialect, at least if dialect means anything close to “mutually unintelligible.” I can understand it perfectly, and I don’t know anyone in the US, even the most racist whites, who would say they can’t understand it. Oh, they’ll mock it crudely, of course. But anyone in the US who grew up with Standard English (but who hasn’t lived under a rock and have ever had friends who use AAV) can not only understand it, but “speak” it (though one wouldn’t, for various reasons).

    Guess “dialect” is a fuzzy category.

    I forget, Pygmy, where are you from?

  197. #197 MrFire
    March 26, 2010

    *raises hand*

    Here’s some more for you, then:

    Itsumo Nando Demo (Always With Me): Spirited Away ending

  198. #198 Becca
    March 26, 2010

    Josh: go online to knitpicks.com for your yarn: better quality than JoAnn Etc. and better prices.

    home from work, now succumbing to a very bad cold. Husband and kidlets are coughing in synchrony in the other room. I really wish my family wasn’t quite so much into this “sharing” bit.

  199. #199 Pygmy Loris
    March 26, 2010

    Josh,

    I can understand it perfectly, and I don’t know anyone in the US, even the most racist whites, who would say they can’t understand it.

    I can understand it, but I think it’s more distinct from the other American dialects. Our dialects just aren’t that different compared to the variety in the British Isles.

    I forget, Pygmy, where are you from?

    I’m originally from the Mid-South.

  200. #200 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    Caine:

    I’m jealous you knit, I never did pick it up as a kid. I did some crocheting, which I really enjoyed. I’ve often thought I should try to grok knitting again one of these days.

    I didn’t learn until one of my Aunties taught it to me when I was 30. It isn’t hard at all to get the basics. Now, I’m no pro by any means. . .most of what I do is standard knit/purl stuff. Scarves, small blankets, etc. I haven’t gotten around to taking any classes for more advanced stuff, though I may. For me, it’s the repetitive motion that’s relaxing and distracting. . .it’s not what I’d call a creative outlet (though for many it is).

    A word of advice: the Continental/German stitching method is quicker and requires less unnecessary hand movements compared to the English/American method. It produces the same stitches, just without unnecessary hand movements to move the yarn around. I don’t know why anyone does it the American way (prepared to receive bricks to the head from those who disagree:))

  201. #201 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, yes, you can teach yourself to embroider. There are some good basics here: http://www.needlenthread.com/2006/06/basic-embroidery-stitches.html

    Just searching Embroidery Basics will yield lots of results. I know there are a lot of videos on how to do stitches too. You can always start with a stamped embroidery project too, just to get you used to doing it.

  202. #202 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    You folks and your embroidery and knitting. I’m just content that I can sow. In fact, I’d love to make a quilt if I had the time.

  203. #203 Pygmy Loris
    March 26, 2010

    Thanks Caine, that looks like an excellent site! I guess when I finish my current (I’ve been working on it for more than a year) cross-stitch project I’ll pick up a stamped embroidery project and start learning.

  204. #204 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 26, 2010

    In central Germany, just south of the Harz if I’m not being confused, there are dialects that have undergone crazy sound shifts. From what very little I’ve read about them, I’d have serious trouble understanding them.

    not just just south of the Harz, but from the Harz southward all the way into Italy :-p

    Swabian.

    aaah, yes, thanks

    I’m not aware of any great east-west divides between German dialects, except in the south (Alemannic vs Bavarian).

    so I’m guessing you’ve never been angesächselt before? :-p
    The Berliner dialect OTOH is ok, unless they really really try to not be understood.
    And then there’s Silesian, which I can’t understand very well either, despite having a few Silesians in the family*. But it sounds nice :-)

    So, what makes a dialect different from a language?

    like with “species”, there really isn’t a single solid definition. it’s all very fuzzy around the edges. Though usually at least the writing is the same, even if the pronunciation has become mutually incomprehensible. Or as some Swiss kids said to their mom when they listened to my family talk: “oh look, they’re speaking written German!”

    *some of whome apparently, as my mom just informed me, live like an hour north of Krasiejów. Clearly my geographical memory sucks, since I didn’t notice that.

  205. #205 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Josh:

    A word of advice: the Continental/German stitching method is quicker and requires less unnecessary hand movements

    That would be good. I’ll check that out.

  206. #206 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    Pygmy:

    I’m originally from the Mid-South.

    And don’t I feel dumb proffering an explanation to you as if you weren’t also from the U.S.! We’re international here, and I didn’t want to make that assumption based on faulty memory – please know I wasn’t trying to sound condescending:)

  207. #207 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 26, 2010

    Is there any English analog? I’m not aware of any part of the the world where English is spoken so differently that I couldn’t immediately converse with such a speaker. I’m probably hopelessly confused, and look forward to having my ignorance corrected. Thanks!

    wasn’t it ‘Tis Himself who told the story of the Alabaman and the Scot who had to write notes to each other because their dialects were mutually incomprehensible?

  208. #208 John Morales
    March 26, 2010

    Gyeong,

    I’m just content that I can sow.

    :)

    Homophony is evil!

  209. #209 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, are you doing counted cross stitch? That is such a pain to do, but the results can be astonishing.

  210. #210 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    Becca:

    Josh: go online to knitpicks.com for your yarn: better quality than JoAnn Etc. and better prices.

    Thanks, bookmarked! Unfortunately, I’m so far into a full-sized blanket for my bed that I have to keep buying the same brand/color of the cotton yarn I’m using. That’s just one project though.

  211. #211 Carlie
    March 26, 2010

    Unfortunately, I’m so far into a full-sized blanket for my bed that I have to keep buying the same brand/color of the cotton yarn I’m using.

    Ack, no! Dye lots, darling, dye lots! Better to buy too much all at once than to risk it disappearing.

  212. #212 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    :)

    Homophony is evil!

    Ay hate it when yew right too words that sounds the same. lol

  213. #213 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    Carlie:

    Ack, no! Dye lots, darling, dye lots! Better to buy too much all at once than to risk it disappearing.

    Oh, I know, I know. But, this is a national brand, and this particular color scheme is a longstanding one that’s unlikely to go away. Yes, the dye lots are slightly different, but since it’s a variegated (though not too much so) yarn, the difference is barely noticeable. After putting together the strips, rearranging the squares randomly, and washing a few times, you won’t even notice.

    But yeah, you’re right, and were I starting again. . .

  214. #214 Pygmy Loris
    March 26, 2010

    Josh,

    No worries :)

    Caine,

    Yep, it’s counted cross-stitch. It takes me a very long time to finish a project, but I do like the results. I doing a 5×7 forest scene right now, and I only have about 1/6 of it left to do. I do have two other projects started, but I’ve lost interest for awhile. I’ll come back to them next time there’s a power outage :)

  215. #215 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    Oh. My. God. I cannot believe I’ve gotten myself caught up in a knitting derail. We’ve already alienated poor Sven with the recipes; now we’re really going to bring out the pitchforks with knitting/embroidery talk. We should be careful, Order of the GLOP.

    Plus, Ima look like a walking stereotype. . .lol!

  216. #216 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    Plus, Ima look like a walking stereotype. . .lol!

    What do you mean Josh?

  217. #217 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Josh, hahahaha, see, I didn’t need that snarky list at all. :D

  218. #218 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    What do you mean Josh?

    Oh, young Gyeong, you keep angling for that spanking, but I told you many threads ago you’re just not going to get it. You’ve been bad, and you don’t deserve any treats:)

  219. #219 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, if you’re doing counted cross stitch, you are doing embroidery.

  220. #220 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Josh, you don’t have to worry about knitters. The Kninja Knitters will keep you safe…unless you insult them. Then you had better protect your spleen…

  221. #221 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    One moron spotted in http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/03/ayala_fires_a_shot_across_the.php:

    PS – I’m not blogwhoring. I’m atheist baiting

  222. #222 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    Caine: link FAIL in #222:)

  223. #223 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    [Rocky Rococco] Needles? Do you know what I like to do with neeedles? Heh! I like to put them on syRINGES!! Haha!! Yes! HypoDERMics! Heh! And then USE them! to INJECT! my EXPERIMENTAL S-SERUM!! In ject the serum into DOGS! YES!! It’s…it’s a Fiendish EXPERIMENT! [/Rocky Rococco]

    (The recipe for Mr. Rococco’s Experimental Serum to be swapped later under separate cover.)

  224. #224 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    Oh, young Gyeong, you keep angling for that spanking, but I told you many threads ago you’re just not going to get it. You’ve been bad, and you don’t deserve any treats:)

    All this teasing. . . you’re trying to make me beg aren’t you. :P

    On another note

    I came out to my sister, and all she could say is that I was “icky”.

  225. #225 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    @Gyeong:

    On another note

    I came out to my sister, and all she could say is that I was “icky”.

    Came out as gay? And she said “icky?” Yeesh, I’m sorry. Don’t let it get to you (easier said than done, I know).

  226. #226 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    That’s Rococo (2 Cs, not 3, my bad) on the left.

  227. #227 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 26, 2010

    I came out to my sister, and all she could say is that I was “icky”.

    ugh :-/

    all I have to make you feel better are fresh baked key lime tartlets.

  228. #228 Lynna, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Oh, boy, it’s good to be back on the endless thread…but I’ve got a shitload or a fuckton or a whale of a lot of catching up to do.

    I see bacon, some quacks, and other goings on… what’s this about needles!? And why are there so many examples of Idaho moronics on other threads — do they pop up when they know I’m not here to knock them down? Raven and others smacked them around nicely. :-)

    Well, my lovelies, I promised pics of the trip to Crack Canyon and I will deliver (even though no one met me at the trailhead… Carlie, I’m talking to you). This is blatant blog whoring, and maybe even geology whoring.

  229. #229 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Aarrgghh…corrected link.

    Thanks, Josh.

  230. #230 Sven DiMilo
    March 26, 2010

    ah, here it is
    Rococo @ 1:55

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5XfXECpU6w

  231. #231 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Gyeong Hwa Pak:

    I came out to my sister, and all she could say is that I was “icky”.

    Damn. That’s not nice at all. I’m sorry you had to hear that, especially from your sister.

  232. #232 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 26, 2010

    w00t! Lynna’s back, and so far apparently fully functioning :-)

  233. #233 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    Lynna!!!!!!Eleventy!!ONE!!111!!!

    We missed you!

  234. #234 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    Came out as gay? And she said “icky?” Yeesh, I’m sorry. Don’t let it get to you (easier said than done, I know).

    Yeah. Well basically it boiled down to being “icky”. She said “weird” and “gross”. She believes people can be born gay (from a religious standpoint) but she “has a thing against the idea of two guys kissing or having sex” (her words). Then she berated my ability to flirt with guys saying that I flirt like a “sissy”. Her response sounded like grade schooler, but at least it?s over with and I berated her dear glittering vampire.

  235. #235 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    Her response sounded like grade schooler, but at least it?s over with and I berated her dear glittering vampire.

    Ha! You got her good – that’s the way to do it. Seriously, her reaction was offensive and rotten, but I think it’s likely in six months or a year, she’ll think better of it and be rightfully ashamed and apologetic. Not that we gay folk should have to forebear and put up with it, I’m just describing what I think is likely.

    In the meantime, you don’t have to put up with her – or anyone else’s – disrespect. But you don’t need me to tell you that.

  236. #236 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 26, 2010

    That sounds like an interesting trip Lynna. Interesting pics.

  237. #237 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 26, 2010

    I berated her dear glittering vampire.

    it there ever was anything in the world that required berating, glittering vampires are it :-)

  238. #238 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    That sounds like an interesting trip Lynna. Interesting pics.

    Yeah. Especially when she captions her pics thus:
    “Leland casually climbs yet another cliff in Crack Canyon. .”

  239. #239 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    I’m waiting for Lynna’s pics of Coin Slot Gulch. Oh, and also for Leland’s phone number. Thank you.

  240. #240 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 26, 2010

    Gyeong Hwa Pak:

    Her response sounded like grade schooler, but at least it?s over with and I berated her dear glittering vampire.

    Good! Dear glittering vampires deserve to be shredded with all due viciousness.

  241. #241 Lynna, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Josh @239: LOL! Sheesh. Ah well, Leland is not your flavor, more’s the pity. But I’m sure you can get his phone number off his website.

    And here are his Facebook links, where he posted more images than he did on his website:
    Crack Canyon
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=405559&id=196647110439

    Devils Garden
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=405560&id=196647110439

  242. #242 Pygmy Loris
    March 26, 2010

    Lynna’s BACK!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!

    We missed you.

  243. #243 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 26, 2010

    Lynna, I’m glad you’re well. I was beginning to worry. Beautiful pictures by the way, but your site is not cooperating with my browser. X(

    it there ever was anything in the world that required berating, glittering vampires are it :-)

    Gosh yes, I have so much to trash on about that book series.

  244. #244 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    @Lynna:

    Ah well, Leland is not your flavor, more’s the pity.

    (In Eartha Kitt voice) Eeeeevery man is my flavor. . .hahahhahahahh!

    Don’t worry, I shan’t stalk your brother. I have you, my pretty, and your brass bosoms too!

    They really are stunning photographs, Lynna, and I hope you had as much fun on your trip as we’re having looking at them.

  245. #245 Pygmy Loris
    March 26, 2010

    GHP,

    That’s sad that your sister couldn’t be more supportive. I’m sorry. Hopefully she’ll get better. I did.

  246. #246 Lynna, OM
    March 26, 2010

    w00t! Lynna’s back, and so far apparently fully functioning :-)

    Ah, Jadehawk, you and Nerd might be counting my brain cells before they’ve hatched. Wait…that doesn’t make sense.

    As far as people coming out as gay (my dear PaK Man) and other people saying stuff like “icky” — well for heaven’s fucking sake! That sucks, and not in a good way. It should be outlawed to “icky” like that.

  247. #247 Pygmy Loris
    March 26, 2010

    We just about had a fire here a few minutes ago. Apparently one of the extension cords had been chewed by a mouse and when a shake was spilled on it it started sparking. I’m glad I didn’t freak out until after I yanked the cord from the outlet! Damn scary. I’m still shaking.

  248. #248 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 26, 2010

    Damn scary. I’m still shaking.

    OMG – I’d be shaking too. Don’t fear, Pygmy – same thing happened to me with an air conditioner cord that got frayed, and then water got on it. It produces a terrifically scary arcing, and a loud noise, but if you shut off the circuit/pull it out, everything’s good. I know how you feel, believe me.

  249. #249 Lynna, OM
    March 26, 2010

    Hmmm, sorry to hear my site does not play nice with Pak Man’s browser. Tomorrow I’ll put the pics up at larger sizes on my Facebook page, so friend me there and… problem solved.

    Pygmy Loris, I missed you. I hope you kept the mormon hounds at bay. We have a reputation to uphold.

  250. #250 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Random Woman Talk&trade here. My netflix discs arrived, I’m watching The September Issue.

  251. #251 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Josh,

    Yep, exactly as you described :) It was just so unexpected. We’re okay, but the boyfriend is going on a rampage through the house checking all of the cords for fraying and rodent damage. He grabbed the wire just before I yanked the cord, so his hand is twitching a little.

    Lynna,

    I tried valiantly, but I don’t have the secret anti-mormon underwear. Do you think you could send me some? ;P

  252. #252 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    We’re okay, but the boyfriend is going on a rampage through the house checking all of the cords for fraying and rodent damage.

    I don’t blame him, but I hope it doesn’t keep him up all night. Do you have mice in the house? If so, I recommend a cat (obviously). Traps work too, but you have to have a stronger stomach for those.

  253. #253 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    I should add to my little drama that not once did I turn to prayer! I started shouting fire! fire! and tried to figure out which outlet that particular cord was plugged into. No waiting for god to intervene necessary.

  254. #254 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Pygmy Loris:

    I’m glad I didn’t freak out until after I yanked the cord from the outlet! Damn scary. I’m still shaking.

    You did right, you kept your head, stayed calm. You’re alright, you’re alright, boyfriend is alright, house and all occupants are alright. I’m very glad you’re alright. :)

  255. #255 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    Random Woman Talk? here. My netflix discs arrived, I’m watching The September Issue.

    That ain’t just woman talk, that’s Fag Talk?. I’d watch it. Can’t be half as entertaining as the fictionalized version, though. Meryl Streep was fierce hunny.

  256. #256 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    They really are stunning photographs, Lynna, and I hope you had as much fun on your trip as we’re having looking at them.

    Thanks, Josh. A good time was had by all. I have scratches on my butt where I was down-climbing over some sharp rocks and slipped. The rocks cut me right through my pants. I think I need TLC from the boyfriend.

    I also have (more) holes in my hiking pants at the knees — from crawling over snow fields. Hardened spring snow has quite a bit of surface texture, which I saw up close, and appreciated of course, but… ouch. As long as there’s still more pant than holes, we’re good. (Note to self: add double-knee pants to wish list.)

    I can usually rate how great a trip was by the number of minor wounds and decimated clothing. The more, the better.

    Leland and I met a cowboy on Hole-in-the-Rock road. He had the knees completely gone out of his wranglers. “This ain’t nowhere, but you can see it from here.”

  257. #257 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 27, 2010

    I’m glad I didn’t freak out until after I yanked the cord from the outlet! Damn scary. I’m still shaking.

    Glad you’re alright. Fires are scary.

    Pygmy Loris, I missed you. I hope you kept the mormon hounds at bay. We have a reputation to uphold.

    Actually, there hasn’t been mormons here for awhile. Where’ve they been?

    Thanks for all the support about coming out. It sucks that she had to be so condescending but at least she didn’t take it any further.

  258. #258 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Josh,

    If so, I recommend a cat (obviously).

    We have two, but this is the boyfriend’s old, drafty, holey house. There’s a dog who can’t keep his food in his bowl or mouth (it ends up under cabinets, the stove, chairs, whatever), so there’s always something to entice mice into the house. If we didn’t have cats, we’d be overrun in no time.

  259. #259 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Josh:

    That ain’t just woman talk, that’s Fag Talk?. I’d watch it.

    Of course. Didn’t mean any sort of exclusion, M’dear. :) It’s interesting, especially the bits with Anna Wintour speaking. She just talked about coming of age in the 60s, but it was brief. I wish there was more.

  260. #260 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, you have fucking cord-eating mice!? Yikes.

    It would be great if the little beasts would just electrocute themselves, but you probably can’t count on that. Besides, they might still start fires while electrocuting themselves.

    Out! Out, damned mice!

    There are mountain goats in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness that eat tent tie-downs, rope, well, anything really. Beasts.

    Glad you’re okay. I’m sure you shouted “Fire!” in a way that would make us all proud.

  261. #261 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    Gyeong:

    Thanks for all the support about coming out. It sucks that she had to be so condescending but at least she didn’t take it any further.

    You know you have friends here, even if we all don’t know each other in real life. Many of us have been through it ourselves. Remember, when you’re an adult, you get to have a chosen family. You’ll develop relationships with groups of people whom you’ll get very close to, who will support you through thick and thin, and who will treat you the way we all wish our “natural” families would. And, people like your sister are likely to surprise you – they often get over their wretchedness. But even if they don’t, you can always have trusted friends to fall back on.

  262. #262 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Thanks Caine :)

    My dad worked in industrial fire insurance for most of his career so I have detailed moment by moment plans for fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and the like. I have an escape plan for every room in my place and the boyfriend’s, an object suitably heavy enough to bust out windows in all rooms and at least one fire extinguisher for every two rooms.

    I may be crazy and paranoid, but I don’t want to die in a fire because I couldn’t be bothered to plan. The boyfriend gets a little annoyed when I make him do nighttime fire drills though (only once every other month!).

  263. #263 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    See you tomorrow, my lovelies. My body is still in rise-before-dawn mode, so I’m crashing now.

  264. #264 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 27, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, you have fucking cord-eating mice!? Yikes.

    That’s the one thing my furry housemates don’t do. The house is full of cables, but there’s not the slightest nibble anywhere, not even in the areas they do frequent.

    maybe I’m feeding them enough that they don’t feel the need to eat plastic :-p

    or they’re only nibbling in the inner wiring of the stove, which I wouldn’t know cuz I can’t see in there :-/

  265. #265 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Gyeong, everything Josh said #262. We are all here for support whenever you need it.

  266. #266 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    Pygmy:

    We have two, but this is the boyfriend’s old, drafty, holey house.

    Ah, yes, I get it:) I hope it has enough charm to make it worth the while. I have a 140-year-old house that, thankfully, makes up for its faults with its own attractions. Yeah, you’re always going to have something in an old haunt.

    With an old house, you’ll probly never be able to prevent all critters from getting in, but there are a few things to check:

    1. Plumbing holes – are there big gaps where your sink pipes go to the cellar? If so, sealing them with spray foam could help.

    2. Attic – do you have squirrels/mice living up there? If so, can you plug up any holes where they might be getting in? While you’re at it, laying down more insulation is good too.

    3. Are your walls filled with insulation, or are they hollow? Rodents like hollow walls (and it costs you heat dollars).

    We lived in an old Victorian for many years when I was growing up. There was no way to make sure that no mice ever got into the house, but when they tried to overrun us in the spring, my mother put out traps baited with peanut butter on crackers. That helped. Now, you may have qualms about that, so it’s up to you.

    Caine:

    Of course. Didn’t mean any sort of exclusion, M’dear. :)

    Oh, I know that, silly:)

  267. #267 Shala
    March 27, 2010

    Damien was a joy, he enjoyed riding around on my shoulders with his tail wrapped around my neck in the late evening.

    That sounds adorable.

    Thanks for your and skeptical_hippo’s suggestions.

  268. #268 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Gyeong,

    What Josh said.

    In cord related news, the boyfriend has completed his cord survey and found one other nibbled cord (from the same general area as the one that started arcing). He even pulled out the range and we found dog food and mouse poo under it.

    I’m feeling better now. Drama is over, cords have been examined, maybe I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

  269. #269 Ichthyic
    March 27, 2010

    I hate to say it, but traps are far more effective than cats at getting rid of mice.

    had mice living behind my stove once in a studio apt in Santa Cruz, CA.

    bought a box-trap (one where it has a lever to actuate the trap inside the box, and you just pull the level to release the trap again, so you never actually have to “see” the mouse in the trap), put peanut butter in it, and waited quietly about an hour…

    *snap*

    aha! got it, i thought, and dumped the critter unceremoniously into the garbage. Then thought… better make sure…

    12 *snaps* later… it’s now 2 am, and finally got the last of the buggers.

    trust me, those traps *do* work.

  270. #270 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Josh,

    Now, you may have qualms about that, so it’s up to you.

    No qualms about traps, but worries that one of the cats might get hurt. I’m going to pick up the sticky ones tomorrow at Wal-mart. Also, the cats and I need to have a talk. They’re not living up to their end of the room and board bargain :)

  271. #271 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, I was in bed but got up again because I couldn’t stop thinking about your problem with the frayed cords. For now, you could just unplug everything before going to sleep. Do you need one of my headlamps to wear so that you can make your way around your house?

  272. #272 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Shala:

    That sounds adorable.

    Oh, it was. :D Even so, it is a bit strange to feel a tail go all the way around your neck (with overlap). What’s a bit of a wake up is forgetting you have monster leezard sleeping on your shoulder, and bending down or otherwise moving quickly – it’s quite noticeable when that tail tightens up a bunch!

  273. #273 Ichthyic
    March 27, 2010

    but worries that one of the cats might get hurt.

    they have lever traps in boxes, like I said, so kittehs no get hurted.

  274. #274 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Pygmy Loris:

    I’m going to pick up the sticky ones tomorrow at Wal-mart.

    Not to be a downer, but the snap traps are more humane. Mice can actually rip limbs off on the sticky traps and other rather cruel and gory things.

  275. #275 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Ichthyic,

    Can I get those traps at Wal-mart? I’m seriously angry at the mice.

  276. #276 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    Ich wrote:

    I hate to say it, but traps are far more effective than cats at getting rid of mice….12 *snaps* later… it’s now 2 am, and finally got the last of the buggers.

    trust me, those traps *do* work.

    Yep, sometimes traps do a way better job than a lazy cat, I know. That’s why my mom resorted to them when we were growing up. If you’ve just got to get rid of the mice, you’ve just got to get rid of them. We used the old classic steel-sprung traps that broke their necks, but they worked. Whatever. They didn’t suffer, and it’s not like they’re endangered.

    Pygmy:

    No qualms about traps, but worries that one of the cats might get hurt. I’m going to pick up the sticky ones tomorrow at Wal-mart. Also, the cats and I need to have a talk. They’re not living up to their end of the room and board bargain :)

    I can understand the worry about kittehs getting hurt, but in my experience, the kittehs have no interest in peanut butter on a cracker, on a plank, under the sink. None of our cats ever toyed with the mouse traps.

    But yes, you absolutely have to sit those cats down and give ‘em what for. I mean honestly, they get free food, water, a clean litter box, nuzzles, and they can’t even keep your house rodent-free? It’s almost enough to make me vote Republican.

  277. #277 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    Lynna:

    Pygmy Loris, I was in bed but got up again because I couldn’t stop thinking about your problem with the frayed cords.For now, you could just unplug everything before going to sleep. Do you need one of my headlamps to wear so that you can make your way around your house?

    Oh Christ, Lynna, you’re giving other people your OCD! Jeez woman, Pygmy’s got it bad enough without you telling her you got up in the middle of the night because of her problem:)

    As a genuine sufferer of OCD, I order:

    a. Lynna to shut her well-intentioned mouth and go to bed

    b. Pygmy Loris to just go to sleep and ignore Lynna

    Don’t make me spank you.

    Love,

    SpokesGay

  278. #278 Ichthyic
    March 27, 2010

    heh, the best our cat ever did was manage to “hunt down” a cocktail weenie from the neighbor’s trash…

    and even then he lost it under the couch.

    *sigh*

  279. #279 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 27, 2010

    Halo-Halo: Filipino Shaved Ice

    2 ripe mangoes or 1 cup canned ripe mango
    1 cup firm gelatin set into gel and cut into 1/2 inch cube (or by the pre-made ones. It doesn’t matter :P)
    1 cup canned ripe jackfruit
    1/2 sweet red beans
    1 cup young shredded coconut, fresh or canned
    1 cup cooked sweet yams or taro, cut into 1 inch cubes
    2 cup shaved ice
    2 cup of sweet condensed milk
    4 scoops of taro ice cream
    1/2 cup chopped peanuts

    Cut everything into small cubes if it isn’t done already.
    Prepare four glasses, and distribute the ingredients (except for shaved iced, ice cream and peanuts)
    Put the ingredients in the glasses.
    Place the shave ice on top.
    Place the ice cream on top.
    Sprinkle some nuts.

    Thanks guys you are right. I’ve had much better time when I came with my friends. I thought my best friend’s response was interesting; he said that it doesn’t matter since he still sees me the same way he’s always sees me.

  280. #280 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Caine,

    I didn’t know that about the sticky traps. Thanks. Although I don’t have a problem killing the mice, I don’t want to be inhumane.

    Lynna,

    Like I said, the boyfriend has now surveyed all of the cords for fraying and we unplugged the only one with damage. I do appreciate the offer of a headlamp :) The batteries in mine died awhile ago and since I haven’t been out camping at night in quite some time, batteries for the headlamp are on the list of non-necessities.

  281. #281 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    Gyeong:

    Thanks for the recipe; snagged for the cookbook.

  282. #282 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, a lot of people are unaware of that aspect of the glue traps. I have a houseful of utterly vicious predators who happen to purr now and then, so I don’t worry about mice. If we do have any, they don’t make any obvious appearances.

    It’s mostly because I have a rat, I suppose, that I do have compassion for the rodents; I understand the need to kill them, but I just don’t have the stomach for inhumane killing. Even imagining my Bruce pulling one of his limbs apart in a struggle to get loose makes me queasy. Better a quick death, if death it must be.

  283. #283 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Josh,

    It’s almost enough to make me vote Republican.

    I’m convinced my cats are libertarian. They’ve got theirs so fuck you…

  284. #284 cicely
    March 27, 2010

    Caine, when I saw your by-line, I thought of Zelazny’s Amber books. The word ‘grasshopper’ never once came to mind.

    it there ever was anything in the world that required berating, glittering vampires are it :-)

    Absolutely!

    And besides, the moment the hawt wolf-dude took off his shirt, Sparkletoes became yesterday’s old fish-wrappings! :)

    Lynna, glad you’re back, how’re you doing?

  285. #285 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 27, 2010

    I understand the need to kill them, but I just don’t have the stomach for inhumane killing.

    That’s what cats are domesticated for!

  286. #286 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Cicely:

    Caine, when I saw your by-line, I thought of Zelazny’s Amber books. The word ‘grasshopper’ never once came to mind.

    Ah, that takes me back. :)

  287. #287 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Gyeong:

    That’s what cats are domesticated for!

    I know! As I mentioned, I have a house full of vicious killers hunters. ;) Mine are a bit unusual in that they don’t go for the whole “play and torture it” business, they go straight for the kill. It’s sudden death, and much better than a glue trap.

  288. #288 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Caine,

    On the last sub-thread I mentioned our old girl is getting tired, so she doesn’t hunt as much anymore. The young feller hunts, and he has killed several mice in the last couple of weeks. It’s spring and I think the mice are coming in too fast for him to keep up. It’s just a seasonal thing, I think.

  289. #289 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, yes, the mice could be breeding already. I remember my most beloved Shandy Kane (this was when we lived in SLC) going outside with me one day. She ran off around the side of the house, and came back with a grin and a tiny tail hanging out of her mouth. She’d found a nest of newborn mice. Got every single one.

    *Yes, I was rather appalled at her joy in slaughtering newborns, but she was a cat. The evil just comes with ‘em. ;D

  290. #290 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 27, 2010

    My cats bring mice whole to my door. I grusome gift if there ever was one. One of them was still alive, so I released near a hill next to my house. Don’t think it lived long though because there are snakes up that hill.

  291. #291 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Caine,

    I bet that was cute, though :)

    Cats are evil, but so cuddly and cute and purry. I’m amused by your rat stories. I’ve never felt much affinity for rats or mice. Both of my parents grew up in farm country so rats and mice were viewed as vermin in our home. After our class pet rat in high school biology developed cancer and died very quickly I decided they were too delicate to have as pets. OTOH I’ve had gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters. No more hamsters, they’re nasty, mean, smelly, and cannibalistic.

    Gyeong,

    A friend of mine actually has a cat door, so her cat can go in and out as he pleases. He once brought a whole, live rabbit into the house so he could finish playing with it indoors.

  292. #292 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 27, 2010
  293. #293 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Pygmy Loris:

    After our class pet rat in high school biology developed cancer and died very quickly I decided they were too delicate to have as pets.

    Aaaw. That’s hard to take. They actually aren’t all that delicate, at least mine haven’t been. No cancer deaths, but the average life span is two to three years, with four being pretty amazing.

    The latest monster, Bruce, he’s a story in himself. Some asshole somewhere bred for aggression, and succeeded. I usually rescue, but came upon Bruce at PetSmart when we were there for other stuff. All his siblings had been tossed to snakes out of anger by the store staff; several people had been severely bitten.

    I didn’t really think I’d be able to do Bruce for a while, he seemed damaged beyond my ability to help. Things have gotten much better, although he’s not a easy going guy like my others were.

    The story of Bruce:

    1. http://moblog.net/view/900854/bruce

    2. http://moblog.net/view/901743/cant-do-it

    3. http://moblog.net/view/902309/cry-freedom

    4. http://moblog.net/view/903668/the-longshot

    5. http://moblog.net/view/903891/you-can-call-me-chuck

    6. http://moblog.net/view/915078/bruce-the-intrepid

    7. http://moblog.net/view/918689/bruce-loot

    8. http://moblog.net/view/922542/recycling-of-a-sort

    Right now, Bruce has run off with two slices of pizza, and is having a rest after wrestling them up 3 flights of rat ladders.

    *Apologies if this is boring you (or anyone else) half to death.

  294. #294 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Oops, I got held in moderation. Too many links. I’ll try this in parts.

    Pygmy Loris:

    After our class pet rat in high school biology developed cancer and died very quickly I decided they were too delicate to have as pets.

    Aaaw. That’s hard to take. They actually aren’t all that delicate, at least mine haven’t been. No cancer deaths, but the average life span is two to three years, with four being pretty amazing.

    The latest monster, Bruce, he’s a story in himself. Some asshole somewhere bred for aggression, and succeeded. I usually rescue, but came upon Bruce at PetSmart when we were there for other stuff. All his siblings had been tossed to snakes out of anger by the store staff; several people had been severely bitten.

    I didn’t really think I’d be able to do Bruce for a while, he seemed damaged beyond my ability to help. Things have gotten much better, although he’s not a easy going guy like my others were.

    The story of Bruce:

    1. http://moblog.net/view/900854/bruce

    2. http://moblog.net/view/901743/cant-do-it

  295. #295 ronsullivan
    March 27, 2010

    **Candied lemon peel is just lemon peel simmered in sugar & water until translucent (about 6-7 minutes). The remaining liquid can be used as simple syrup for drinks, tea, etc.

    I do that the other way ’round. A friend gives us a bag of Meyer lemons every couple months and I make simple syrup with some of them. Then I take some of the candied lemon slices and sliver them very very fine with an equal part of the North African-style salted lemons that Joe makes out of some of the rest. Good instant relish for, oh, porkchops and the like.

    I got into making syrups because we can get fizzy water cheap at Costco to mix up sodas. Basil makes a good one too. Two cups sugar, two cups water; boil till dissolved, turn off heat, add a big handful of slivered fresh basil leaves and stems, put lid on, let steep overnight. Strain and bottle and refrigerate.

    Anybody who likes to cook should rush right out and buy Willian Woys Weaver’s books. Interesting take on the language (“Pennsylfaanisch”) too. I was browsing one of them from our shelves when I found out about the Lebanon bologna available here, too. We finished off a pound of that today. Thuringer sausage is the closest thing to it that I’ve found so far, and it’s not exactly It.

    Languages? Here, you want to feel old? I used to be pretty fluent in German, less so but OK in Spanish. Took four years of German in highschool, two of Spanish; started as a German major in college. (Ask me about Georgetown sometime, but wait a couple weeks, OK?) All gone.

    I was rummaging through mostly-blank notebooks the other day and found one with a couple lines of Farsi on the back page. In my handwriting. I have no idea what I wrote, though of course I did when I wrote it.

    Gyeong Ha Pak, on the one hand Yes that was a nasty reaction fro your sister. On the other hand, she’s your sister. That’s what sibs think about each others’ sex lives no matter what. On the gripping hand, what a bringdown. Yuck.

    I’ll have to go look at the Mizayaki Sixth Station tomorrow. Think I’ll wash my own face and go to bed.

  296. #296 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    The rest of the Story of Bruce can be found here: http://moblog.net/tag/Caine/Bruce

    Go from the bottom up.

  297. #297 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Jadehawk,

    Thanks for the German music. The video for the last one was pretty bad since I didn’t really understand what they were saying (low volume combined with my utter inability to understand lyrics in any language unless I listen to the song over and over and over!). Then I checked out an English translation. Weird to know the lament of the Nice Guy™ transcends cultures.

  298. #298 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 27, 2010

    aaaaand, some northern German “culture”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgERvJBLR4w&feature=related

  299. #299 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Caine,

    Bruce is reasonably cute all things considered (you know, the whole rat thing :D) I’m glad that he has settled down because those bites look very painful.

  300. #300 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    A friend of mine actually has a cat door, so her cat can go in and out as he pleases. He once brought a whole, live rabbit into the house so he could finish playing with it indoors.

    Hah! I’ve been there, done that. I have always had cat doors, mostly because I hate doing the litterbox cleaning thing but also because I like to give my cats the same autonomy that I would want, were our roles reversed. Chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, birds; all in varying degrees of eaten.

    I currently have a doggy door. A couple years ago, I was having a quiet evening at home when the dogs went BATSHIT CRAZY. I went to the back room to investigate and found a young raccoon cowering in the corner. Had to wrestle the dogs into another room and try to shoo the coon out the sliding glass door. Coon was cornered and didn’t want to move so I ended up putting a laundry basket over it and sliding it to the door. Gave the little fucker a boot out the door and never saw it again.

    I’m just glad it wasn’t a skunk.

  301. #301 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 27, 2010

    I should have guessed that Lynna has read some Edward Abbey.

  302. #302 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Pygmy Loris, sorry if I bored you (or anyone else half to death), that bit of my first post got lost. ;D

    Bruce is a monster, there’s no getting around that. He’s a relatively happy monster these days though. The bites were bad, but everything healed up fine and it was a good while ago. No point holding grudges.

  303. #303 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    Caine, I have to admire your patience and compassion. Bruce would have bitten me once. Full stop.

  304. #304 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    boygenius,

    Wow, poor little baby coon. It must’ve been terrified.

    My cats don’t go outside. The young feller wants to and he escapes every so often, but the boyfriend lives near a road that people tear down at all hours, and I routinely see cats, among other animals, killed on the side of the road. The old girl has no interest in going outside. She was feral before she followed the boyfriend home one day, so I think that she gets how posh the indoor life is. Young feller was brought in when he was only 12 weeks old, maybe he didn’t get the chance to sow his wild oats :)

    Yes, I’m anthropomorphizing my cats, but I like to entertain myself with little stories about what they’re thinking.

  305. #305 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Elroy:

    Hah! I’ve been there, done that. I have always had cat doors, mostly because I hate doing the litterbox cleaning thing but also because I like to give my cats the same autonomy that I would want, were our roles reversed.

    Nice sentiment and all, but it’s one I take issue with. My cats have a very large, completely enclosed kennel they can access 24/7, all year round. This lets them get outdoors, prevents an untimely deaths, and more to my point, avoids them being an unholy, nasty pain in the ass to any neighbors.

    I do live rural, and have no neighbors to either side; however, cats outside roam. I get irritated enough by assholes who let their dogs free roam and said dogs end up on my property; I do not like other people’s free roaming cats on my property either. Fucking cats go under my deck, threaten wildlife I feed, spray all over the damn place, etc. Sorry, Elroy, but I think people’s cats should be kept on their fucking property.

  306. #306 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Caine, I have to admire your patience and compassion. Bruce would have bitten me once. Full stop.

    Thank you, Elroy. Believe me, I got close to killing him. Too close for comfort. It wasn’t his fault though – he had been bred for aggression, and nothing in his life had informed him to be any different. I couldn’t fault him for that. He does well now, and wouldn’t think of biting me these days. The intense fear which drove him is gone. :)

  307. #307 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Caine,

    Not bored at all. I actually like hearing about other people’s pets :) Bruce is cute.

  308. #308 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Thanks, Pygmy Loris. I am, of course, biased. :D

  309. #309 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    Caine;

    Sorry, Elroy, but I think people’s cats should be kept on their fucking property.

    I can see your point of view. I have had this debate many times with many people and have always had to agree to disagree. Your points are quite valid, I just have a philosophical objection to restricting the activity of the feline masters. (Don’t even get me started on the de-clawing gig.) It’s kind of the same way I feel about keeping a bird in a cage.

    I’ve had cats my whole life and never had a complaint from a neighbor. (Believe me, I’ve had some neighbors who would not hesitate to complain about the smallest perceived slight.) Never had a cat get hit by a car. (Jerry used to sit at the curb and look both ways before crossing the street, just like a responsible child would do.) As far as natural predators like dogs, coons, raptors, coyotes, etc; my philosophy is “let the chips fall where they may.”

    Now, dogs roaming loose is a different kettle of fish.

  310. #310 Rorschach
    March 27, 2010

    Love the “Wizo” YT link by Jadehawk above !! And they are from Sindelfingen where I used to live, yay !!

    And Lynna is back, WB !!

    I can only imagine how a conversation with a southern dialect would go.

    I used to be pretty good at speaking one of them, and can still understand them, struggle a bit with the northern varieties tho.

    Josh @ 188,

    For the linguists – could anyone give me a definition or example of the difference between a dialect and a language that could help me intuit what “dialect” means?

    Gerhard Polt—bavarian dialect(southern german)

    Juergen Becker–rhine region dialect(north-west german)

  311. #311 Sili
    March 27, 2010

    they get free food

    and they can’t even keep your house rodent-free?

    Hmmmmm …

    I only have mice when the stupid cat brings them in.

    Sorry to hear about your sister, GHP, but to be fair to her, I don’t particularly want to know about my sister’s sexlife, myself. But I take it her reäction was a bit more than that.

  312. #312 Sili
    March 27, 2010

    Any other poopyheads going to Copenhagen in June?

    I haven’t been there as a tourist since I was a wee kid (pre-metro and -bridge), so I’m thinking it might be worth it to go on the sightseeing tour. But I’d rather hang with some ossum Pharyngulistas. Any chance of combing fun with pleasure? PeeZed – pub or bus?

  313. #313 Rorschach
    March 27, 2010

    For the linguists – could anyone give me a definition or example of the difference between a dialect and a language that could help me intuit what “dialect” means?

    Oh, and I forgot the classic :

    A language is a dialect with an Army and a Navy

  314. #314 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Elroy:

    I’ve had cats my whole life and never had a complaint from a neighbor.

    That’s just grand, but I doubt your cats are perfect little angels when they are not on your property. What good would it do it your neighbors did complain? It’s not like you’d care enough to keep your animals on your property.

    Your cats are your responsibility, and I simply do not fucking care for other people’s cats coming onto my property, trying to (and often succeeding) killing songbirds I feed; spraying on my house, etc. It’s damn arrogant for people such as yourself to shrug and say “well, they are cats, they weren’t meant to be locked up.” In that case, you shouldn’t have them, unless you live on a property large enough that they don’t roam off it.

    You have options, you could compromise, like I do, but no, your cats can do whatever the fuck they like, where they like. You don’t like cleaning out catboxes? Well, I don’t like dealing with other people’s catshit in my garden. The fact that you understand all this and simply don’t care is one of the reasons I find attitudes like yours unbearable.

    As for the declawing and all that, people who declaw infuriate me, so I do understand where your feelings stem from; however, I compromise so that everyone can be happy, including my cats. They have a tree in their enclosure, everything is allowed to grow wild, etc. They will, of course, howl to get out when they see me outside with the dogs, but that’s in the nature of any animal. Cats running loose are no less destructive or a pain in the ass than dogs.

    So, we’ll agree to disagree on this one. Honestly though, I can’t respect the view that it is wrong to keep an animal on their own property. It’s a pet owner’s responsibility, so be responsible. That’s hardly too much to expect.

  315. #315 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    Oh, and Caine, I should mention that in my experience the “problem” cats I’ve had to deal with have either been feral or barn cats. Sure, I admit that house kittehs may cause some problems here and there, but for the most part the biggest culprits are feral. (Not neutered or spayed, don’t have a full food dish waiting at home.)

    YMMV.

  316. #316 Sili
    March 27, 2010

    Oh, by the way. This seems to be a week for lizards.

  317. #317 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 27, 2010

    Sure, I admit that house kittehs may cause some problems here and there, but for the most part the biggest culprits are feral. (Not neutered or spayed, don’t have a full food dish waiting at home.)

    that’s crap. cats are killers, and if they roam, they will kill rodents and birds. my old cat is like that. she’s always been an indoor cat, but she’d still catch birds in flight on the balcony and throw them indoors to finish them off (not anymore, since she’s completely blind now).

    And when she was staying at my aunts place when we were gone, she wouldn’t eat catfood. she’d roam and kill her food, and deliver “gifts” to my aunt. And all because my aunt couldn’t be bothered to keep the cat indoors.

    and declawing is fucking cruel. so glad it’s illegal in Germany

  318. #318 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    Caine,

    I can see that I have touched on a sore spot. I’m sorry. I have been cat-less since last summer and have no immediate plans to acquire another. So, for the time being, the neighborhood gardens and bird-feeders are safe.

    Peace.

  319. #319 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Elroy:

    Sure, I admit that house kittehs may cause some problems here and there, but for the most part the biggest culprits are feral. (Not neutered or spayed, don’t have a full food dish waiting at home.)

    That’s a bunch of catshit. The cats who are allowed to free roam onto my property – all of them have loving homes, are well fed, and most of them are spayed or neutered.

    I’ve begun to make money with my bird photography. I have an excellent set up for it, and for every single person like yourself, who thinks it’s cruel a/o unnatural to keep cats “locked up”, one of those damn “kittehs” gets into my set up, on my property and fucks things up no end. That literally takes money away from me.

    What it comes down to, is that attitudes like yours cause damage you never see, let alone think about. It might be a hoot to you that your cats slaughter the wildlife at will; it’s not funny to me.

  320. #320 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Elroy, peace. And thanks.

  321. #321 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    Caine,

    I must say that you have given me more reasons to reflect on my free-range-kitteh policy than anyone has in the past. I shall have to ruminate on it.

    I do take exception to:

    It might be a hoot to you that your cats slaughter the wildlife

    It’s no more a “hoot” to me than when an alligator slaughters a wildebeest. Mother Nature is a cruel mistress. A cat, when killing birds and rodents, is just being true to it’s nature, no?

    Anyway, I’ll stop digging my hole now. You have given me something to think about and that is something I always appreciate.

  322. #322 Rorschach
    March 27, 2010

    boygenius,

    Anyway, I’ll stop digging my hole now

    You weren’t.

    Are you a subbie??
    Just curious……

  323. #323 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    it’s, its, whatever :(

  324. #324 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    Are you a subbie??

    ???
    Define the term please.

  325. #325 Rorschach
    March 27, 2010

    Define the term please

    Sub

    You just seem so apologetic all the time, and I dont think you have any reason to be, since your arguments are usually good and well thought-out…:-)

    Well sorry, not my business at all really….

  326. #326 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    Rorschach,

    Not so much submissive as passive/aggressive? I’m a poor communicator in the best of circumstances and even worse when communicating via keyboard. (I’m also still a bit intimidated by the intellects ’round here.)

    Caine was presenting a much better argument for her position than I was for mine, so I decided to stand-down.

    since your arguments are usually good and well thought-out.

    :):):)

  327. #327 Cath the Canberra Cook
    March 27, 2010

    Pets! Kittehs!

    I have 2 new kittens, and I need names. One is a silver spotty tabby and I really don’t want to be so cliched as to call him Misty or Smoky.

    (And they will be let out, eventually. Our older cat is a fearsome exterminator of rodents, but has never touched a bird.)

  328. #328 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 27, 2010

    A cat, when killing birds and rodents, is just being true to it’s nature, no?

    housecats are an invasive species pretty much everywhere. that’s not very “natural”.

  329. #329 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    I have 2 new kittens, and I need names.

    Don’t ask me, I have a dog named Muggs and a dog named Toad and am constantly having to explain the origins thereof.

    Our older cat is a fearsome exterminator of rodents, but has never touched a bird.

    Don’t let Caine hear you say that! ;-)

  330. #330 Rorschach
    March 27, 2010

    I have 2 new kittens, and I need names

    Benson and Stabler.

    Starsky and Hutch.

    Goran and Eems.

    Mork and Mindy.

    Oscar and Felix.

    Mick and Keith.

    Paul and John.

    ….

  331. #331 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 27, 2010

    Sodom and Gomorrah…

    *runs*

  332. #332 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    I do take exception to:

    I apologize for that, Elroy. I’m sorry. Yes, it’s in a cat’s nature to hunt, just as it’s in a dog’s nature. The thing is, you either go with an animal being domesticated or you don’t. I can understand that; what I don’t like is someone refusing to take responsibility for a domesticated animal on the grounds that’s its nature isn’t domesticable. To me, it’s both silly and a casual dismissal of responsibility.

    My cats manage to catch and kill birds which fly through the chainlink of their enclosure; they’ll try like hell to kill the bats which get in the house and they’ll kill any rodent they find, in the house or outside in their enclosure. I don’t punish them for that, I wouldn’t dream of it. As you say, it is their nature. For the most part, anyway. I’ve had cats who really couldn’t be arsed to to lift a paw. It’s also in a cat’s nature to piss, shit and sometimes spray. For all that, I take the responsibility, and all those things aren’t inflicted on anyone else, on their property.

  333. #333 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Cath:

    I have 2 new kittens, and I need names. One is a silver spotty tabby

    Years ago, I named my silver gray boy Argent. It’s a nice choice in that regard.

  334. #334 SteveV
    March 27, 2010

    *grumpy*

    Our older cat is a fearsome exterminator of rodents, but has never touched a bird.

    Does it dig up daffodil bulbs and shit in the hole at all?
    */grumpy*

  335. #335 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 27, 2010

    Don’t let Caine hear you say that! ;-

    )

    Oh, fuck it. I give up, Elroy. Headed for bed. ;D

  336. #336 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    housecats are an invasive species pretty much everywhere. that’s not very “natural”.

    Cows, pigs, Asian carp, Eurasian milfoil, starlings,etc. are all “invasive species” in N. America. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t being true to their nature when they do what they do, right?

  337. #337 SteveV
    March 27, 2010

    Any of you cat lovers remember This Movie ?

  338. #338 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    I feel you Caine. I need to crash as well. Let’s find something else to argue about tomorrow, eh? ;-)

  339. #339 Rorschach
    March 27, 2010

    Watchmen is the beginning and end of this thread :

    Comedian’s funeral

    Rorschach’s death *sniff*

  340. #340 El
    March 27, 2010

    My father lives in a very small village where all the cats live free and mostly outside, and the most part of the dogs too. There are a lot of mastiff guarding the sheeps, and hunting dogs sleeping in the street, at the door of their houses. Sometimes they kill a cat, or they kill a hen if they can, but the dog’s owner pays the price of the hen, and nobody says anything more, because the dogs are dogs.

    I had a siamese that used to scratched the dogs faces, she used to wait to the last moment when the dogs try to cacth her. A lot of dogs feared her, including our alaskan malamute.

    Now my sister haved a cute, ankle-bitter westie, when she first came to the village she tried to hunt the cats, now she is scared of them. Sometimes she run after the cats, but in the moment a cat stop and look at her she run off.

    There is no road near the village, and there are only a few cars so no dog, or cat is killed by a car. But there are foxes and owls, so sometimes a cat disapeared.

  341. #341 Rorschach
    March 27, 2010

    Oh shit, I forgot !

    Got to Please the lord !!

    Should have known, since The times they are a’changing !

  342. #342 Rorschach
    March 27, 2010

    This is also on the Watchmen soundtrack, but this version is much better :

    Jimi Hendrix–All along the watchtower

  343. #343 Cath the Canberra Cook
    March 27, 2010

    Jadehawk: do you have a key lime recipe somewhere? I’m a little confused about what to use, since I have read that key limes are small and yellow – but over here I can get small dark green limes (generic limes) and large yellowish limes (Tahitian).

  344. #345 Carlie
    March 27, 2010

    I’m late to what was the overnight (for me) knitting party, but :

    A word of advice: the Continental/German stitching method is quicker and requires less unnecessary hand movements compared to the English/American method

    Oh hells yeah. I taught myself to knit from a book, and since I had learned crochet from my grandmother, I just held the yarn the same way as in crochet and accidentally set myself up in the Continental method. Once I joined a knitting group no one could figure out how to help me with a few stitches until finally someone said “Hm, you hold the yarn like X does, you need her to help you”. Turned out X was German, and that’s when I found out I had been knitting Continental. So much easier.

    Now I’m thinking about knitting – the last thing I made was a squid baby hat, but that was over a year ago. I’m overdue for a project.

  345. #346 Carlie
    March 27, 2010

    And yea Lynna’s back!

    Sorry about the micey fire, Pgymy Loris. I also vote for snap traps, baited with something like peanut butter. Effective and fast. Can you find places to put them that the kitty can’t reach, like under the sofa or bookshelf? Depends on how much yours gets into stuff, but even a shoebox with a tiny mouse-sized cutout put over the trap might work.

  346. #347 iambilly
    March 27, 2010

    Do any of ya’ll sleep?

    We used to make our HS German teacher, Frau Rollinson, lose her shit by deliberately pronouncing our memorized dialogs with a thick Texas accent:

    If you ever want a painfully humourous experience, attend a performance of My Fair Lady done in full Southernese. I experienced that while in high school in Western Maryland. To hear Professor Henry Higgins drawl and say ya’ll, to hear Eliza Doolittle dropping aitches while adding or subtracting other sounds (southern Cockney?) makes it hard not to laugh in the wrong places. And most of my friends did not understand why a few of us were damn near rolling on the floor trying not to guffaw loudly.

    My German is limited. Mostly to military terms: panzerkampfwagon, funkwagon, sonderkraftfuhrzeug, etc. I can read German (as long as I have my handy-dandy decoder ring (er, dictionary) on hand).

    Cats and mice.

    Last fall, a mouse wandered into our kitchen. It cowered in the middle of the floor trying to blend into the linoleum unsuccessfuly. Sherman (our oldest (and most neurotic) and balding cat) took one look, let out a yowl of fear and was not seen again for the entire day (he hides in the basement ceiling). Dust (our 25+ pound mook) tried to play with the mouse. Not the way a cat does — picture a dog crouching down with a ball between his front paws. Oreo (our most catlike cat) walked over, batted the mouse across the kitchen and up against a cabinet door and, as the mouse lay there, stunned, she dispatched it with a quick bite to the back of the neck. KC (a 5-pounder who is also the youngest) just watched. (The whole thing happened so fast I was unable to catch the mouse in a tupperware container which I had grabbed — the mouse was going back outside. I wasn’t fast enough to get it while still alive).

    So only 25% of my cats have any survival instinct at all. The responses were terror, play?, kill and watch.

    Und Guten Morgan, ya’ll!

  347. #348 Becca
    March 27, 2010

    Lynna, those are wonderful pictures – makes me want to go back to backpacking again. Don’t know whether I’d be physically up for it or not.

    The cat who just died last Monday was our best mouser. Our other cat doesn’t seem to be interested in them. We have to use snap traps, but it does seem to keep the population down. We live way out in the country – I’ve never seen our cats go out of our property, but we tend to try to keep them indoors if we can. We had one cat who was so desperate to get out that she clawed all the screens out of the windows.

    we had a cat door for awhile, but had to close it up because the only critters who used it were the raccoons, to get at the cat and dog food. (you know your dog’s a beta animal when even the raccoons aren’t afraid of it.)

  348. #349 Sven DiMilo
    March 27, 2010

    Not that we gay folk should have to forebear

    now that sounds ‘icky’
    (Inigo Montoya does not think it means what you think it means)

    the sticky ones

    As Caine points out, they don’t kill, just hold. “Pulling limbs apart” is hyperbolic for the vast majority of cases, but the struggling animal is permanently stuck until it dies of dehydration probably. I agree they’re inhumane in practice.
    Plus, a curious cat paw in there, maybe with a mouse stuck, and the fun really begins.
    (Should something like that happen, btw, vegetable oil will melt the glue; corn oil seems to work especially well. I have used them to catch many many lizards. Alive and well, but stuck real good. The tails are a bitch.)

    I’ve had much better time when I came with my friends.

    that’s like just too easy.

    I have always had cat doors, mostly because I hate doing the litterbox cleaning thing but also because I like to give my cats the same autonomy that I would want, were our roles reversed. Chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, birds; all in varying degrees of eaten.

    Aw, man. I just have to say that this kind of shit is not OK with me. Google up Stan Temple’s work for a clue about what your little subsidized introduced predator is doing to local wildlife populations. [linked directly below after I got steamed enough]
    Unless you’ve got a barn full of mice, cats should be kept indoors, always, full stop.

    I just have a philosophical objection to restricting the activity of the feline masters.

    deep, deep rifts here…I’m solidly on Caine’s side.
    Seriously, that’s a bullshit anthrompomorphic position to take, with real, documented consequences for the animal populations that fucking belong where you happen to live. And despite your anecdotes, you’re not doing your cats any favors in terms of health and life expectancy, and there are clear data on that too.
    but this is my last word on the subject since I gave up internet arguments

    he had been bred for aggression

    how could you possibly know this of a rat bought at PetSmart?

    but for the most part the biggest culprits are feral.

    Nothing pisses me off more than feral cats and their enablers, but their existence hardly trumps personal responsibility.

    A cat, when killing birds and rodents, is just being true to it’s nature, no?

    Gah!!! It is not “true to their nature” to be in fucking North America at all! And the real point is that it’s not “true to the nature” of the wildlife that does belong here to even know what a cat is.
    Here:
    http://wildlife.wisc.edu/extension/catfly3.htm
    http://www.audubonmagazine.org/incite/incite0909.html

    Our older cat is a fearsome exterminator of rodents, but has never touched a bird.

    You. Cannot. Know this. To be true. See links above.

    man, teh Thread has put me in a shitty mood off the bat today.
    Think I’ll spend the day in RL.

  349. #350 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 27, 2010

    I have 2 new kittens, and I need names.

    Genghis Khat & Kublai Khat

  350. #351 iambilly
    March 27, 2010

    Sven: All four of our cats are strictly indoors (We do take Dust (a Maine Coon / Ragdoll mix) outdoors to brush — produces a hairball the size of a basketball. As soon as the brushing is over he runs back inside and hides for an hour.)

    When I lived at Grand Canyon back in the 70s (no, I am not ‘place-dropping’ a la the one who shall remain nameless — I am merely putting it into context) we got permission from the NPS to have cats or dogs. Only two. Must be indoors only (dogs (outdoors) had to be on a leash with a human attached to the other end!

    When we moved back east, the cats really were not all that interested in going outside. They preferred sleeping in a sunny windowsill to sleeping outdoors in the sun. And yes, they lived to ripe old age and were quite healthy.

  351. #352 Sven DiMilo
    March 27, 2010

    Oh, but a quick peek at the Pharyngula March Madness Bracketologicality Challenge shows me and Billy tied after the round of sixteen…we’re each down to four of eight, but we both still have the potential to have picked 3 of the Final Four.
    Unfortunately for Billy, he had Georgetown winning it all. It’s going to be close, but I am liking my chances a lot here.

    Bill, Rev, Celt: thanks for playing, better luck next year. What do we have for our losers, Wink?

    oh, nothing?

  352. #353 iambilly
    March 27, 2010

    Sven: That game was hard to watch. I really though Georgetown had a real chance at a surprise championship. Now, I’m just cheering for the underdogs. Bust everyone elses to shreds.

  353. #354 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 27, 2010

    350 comments in a thread I’ve only just touched. That’s what I get for having a social life outside of The Thread.

    I live in an apartment. We have cats because they’ll live quite comfortably being indoors. In her 18 years of life my* cat Hammerstein has never been outdoors. She doesn’t appear to be too traumatized over not going outdoors.

    There’s the further point that indoor cats usually live longer than outdoor cats. Indoor cats don’t have to suffer cars, raccoons, roaming dogs or angry neighbors.

    *She sees it more as I’m her human.

  354. #355 blf
    March 27, 2010

    Over at Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science, someone just posted a link to a (possibly rather old) post, Gravity:

    If a pen is dropped on a moon, will it:

    A) Float away

    B) Float where it is

    C) Fall to the surface of the moon

    “The gravity of the moon can be said to be negligible, and also the moon’s a vacuum, there is no external force on the pen. Therefore it will float where it is.”

    “It will fall to the earth by force of gravity and by the attraction between the earth and the moon”

    “Because the gravitational pull of the moon is much weaker than that of the earth. And object such as a pen is so lite that it will float”

    “[It will float away] Because there would be no gravitational force to hold it there or make it fall to the surface of the moon”

    “The moon doesn’t have gravity like the earth which would bring the pen down to the surface instead the moon’s atmosphere would cause it to float above the moon’s surface.”

    “Gravity will not pull it down, because there is less of it. It shouldn’t float away just because I’ve never seen it happen. There’s a balance between gravity and the opposite force.”

    And here I was thinking The Man in the Moon would complain about you being messy and leaving your pens and other rubbish behind…

  355. #356 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 27, 2010

    Caine,
    Since cats are quantum beasts, capable of teleporting into dimensions we know not of–particularly when one is trying to put them into the cat carrier for a trip to the vet or to bathe them–I would suggest good quantum mechanical names: Schroedinger, Heisenberg, Hilbert, bra and ket, and so on. And on the matter of naming cats, it pays to consult an expert:

    The Naming of Cats
    The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
    It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
    You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
    When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

    First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
    Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
    Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey -
    All of them sensible everyday names.

    There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
    Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
    Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
    But all of them sensible everyday names.

    But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
    A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
    Else how can he keep his tail perpendicular,
    Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?

    Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
    Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
    Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -
    Names that never belong to more than one cat.

    But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
    And that is the name that you never will guess;
    The name that no human research can discover -
    But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.

    When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
    The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
    His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
    Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
    His ineffable effable
    Effanineffable
    Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

    - T.S. Eliot
    (from “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”)

  356. #357 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 27, 2010

    Whoa, I go away for 48 hours and the living beast that is the “never ending thread” overtakes me.

    I note that the Quack has responded and whilst I hesitate to state it’s name lest it come back I must discuss this point

    I use it to listen to lungs to check for things like bronchitis and pneumonia. For which I sometimes ?gasp- prescribe antibiotics.

    .. this is in reponse to a jab I made regarding the stethoscope that our resident Quack has around his neck in a photo.

    I am now completely and utterly horrified that a person with no real medical training can “diagnose” serious illnesses such as pneumonia and be in a position to treat such. I did a 3 year B.Sc in Nursing Science to gain my R.N. status in Australia and yet am still unable( legally and also professionally) to be in a position to diagnose such illnesses let alone prescribe medications for such. And, quite honestly, I would not be so arrogant to be able to presume to do so after only 3 years training.

    This is is solely the province of real doctors, you know Quack, the ones that have done 7 years of training.

  357. #358 iambilly
    March 27, 2010

    blf: The pens will end up in the kitchen junk drawer with the scissors, the tape, twelve keys for unknown locks, dry-rotted rubber bands, a tube of dried glue, one shoe lace, and some paper clips. The pens will not end up staying on the moon.

  358. #359 Ol'Greg
    March 27, 2010

    I’m with Sven and Caine on this. There are just too many good reasons not to let your cat roam around. Digging in neighbors yards,killing off the birds, lizards, frogs, and other small animals native to the area, and lastly the risk to the cat from disease, contact with feral cats, contact with larger animals, or contact with automobiles.

    I have two kitties. One is older and has been declawed (not by me!) and the other I raised from a kitten. Neutering males early helps prevent spraying, and plenty of attention/interaction really seems to keep the scratching to a minimum. Mine does scratch some of the furniture though, including a freaking $$$ seat cover I just had replaced. Meh… that’s part of the sacrifice I guess. He leaves the speaker cabinets alone so we’re ok.

    Where I live, in a addition to the damage my kitty would do, I also have to worry about coyotes which will re-instate the natural order of things pretty quickly if they get hold of a kitty.

    For that reason he suns himself on the enclosed back porch and that’s as much of the great outdoors he’ll ever see. As for the other one, she’s too afraid of the outside door to sit out there even.

    Plus some people just hate cats and will poison them, or shoot them. I don’t trust people enough to let my kitty potentially get killed by a “harmless joke” but YMMV. This is Texas :(

  359. #360 blf
    March 27, 2010

    I have 2 new kittens, and I need names.

    Fuck & You.  ;-)

    Slightly less mischievously:

    Oook! & Oook!

    Or a little less sensible:

    Frumious Bandersnatch & Jabberwock.

  360. #361 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 27, 2010

    I am positively and utterly convinced that Ol’Greg does not sleep. It takes the intestinal fortitude of a camel to not only do the US time sweep but also but here and cognisant for us Antipodeans.

    *tentacle fist salute to Ol’Greg*

  361. #362 blf
    March 27, 2010

    What makes you think there’s only one Ol’Greg?

  362. #363 iambilly
    March 27, 2010

    blf: Do not create entities withoug necessity — Occam.

  363. #364 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Janine @301

    I should have guessed that Lynna has read some Edward Abbey.

    Friggin’ Abbey pissed me off the first time I read his work. He had stolen, stolen I tell you, my use of “whiskey” to describe a certain light. “Hey, I thought of that,” says I to myself. There were other similarities as well. The fact that Abbey and his work predates me doesn’t preclude my view of him as plagiarizing my work. I assume he time-traveled to the 21st Century, read Lynna’s books and stole the best phrases! Yeah, that’s what happened there.

    I do admire his impulse to throw a single beer can into one painfully pristine setting just to put a dent in its perfection. Not that he did, mind you. He did kill a Moab-based rabbit with a rock.

  364. #365 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 27, 2010

    Ok

    *Tentacle fist salute* to all of you that do not live to the west of the International Date Line that still continue to post far and beyond normal waking hours (from our perspective).

    Of course I write this at 12:30 a.m. so it’s pretty obvious I don’t have a life…

  365. #366 Shala
    March 27, 2010

    Oh, it was. :D Even so, it is a bit strange to feel a tail go all the way around your neck (with overlap). What’s a bit of a wake up is forgetting you have monster leezard sleeping on your shoulder, and bending down or otherwise moving quickly – it’s quite noticeable when that tail tightens up a bunch!

    That sounds suspiciously like a facehugger from Alien.

  366. #367 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 27, 2010

    Try again to get some REAL meaning

    *Tentacle fist salute* to all of you that do not live to the west of the International Date Line that still continue to post far and beyond normal waking hours (from our perspective).

    Of course I write this at 12:30 a.m. so it’s pretty obvious I don’t have a life…

    … and give me some fucking credit for being able to do HTML commands when I’ve had a (quite) few fine glasses of verdelho.

  367. #368 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    cicely @285

    Lynna, glad you’re back, how’re you doing?

    You are a dear for asking. I think both Leland and I needed a trip into the backcountry. We’re not healthy without occasional expeditions into the wild — but I needed it more. Leland paid for the gas and did all the driving. I haven’t had even a hint of trouble since the brain-offline-event of January 15th. I’m still a little wary, but am beginning to think it was a random and possibly not repeatable event. Nevertheless, I used some of my medical funds to see my doctor again earlier this month, and am being tracked and watched more closely than before, just in case. … Besides, I don’t want any of my doctors to lack for funds. They have boats and vacation homes to care for after all.

  368. #369 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 27, 2010

    Nah, bollocks. HTML commands are beyond me..

    I was trying to say those of you that DO live west of the IDL.

    .. see what I did there though!

  369. #370 blf
    March 27, 2010

    iambilly, the possibility of multiple Ol’Gregs seems about equally likely to BoS’s postulated posting camel, albeit I concur, dogs are well known to post. However, come to think of it, camels are widely misunderstood. So we have proof! Ol’Greg is a camel.  ;-)

    The coherency of this post is not guaranteed. Your sanity will vary. Read with caution.

  370. #371 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Caine @314: Jeez, I wish my neighbors took care of their cats like you take care of yours. I have one shrub that stinks so much of cat spray that I think I may have to just dig it up and throw it away. Unfortunately, it’s close to a spot in my yard where I like to sit to watch the sunset, so every time I smell the cat stench I’m ready to kill the little fuckers. Not that I actually would. I’ve tried raking and washing the area frequently, but nothing deters the neighborhood cats.

    I added cactus to my south-facing flower/rock garden. That worked to keep the little shitters out of there.

    I caught one of my neighbor’s cats shitting in my yard, while the neighbor was also in her yard, watching. I asked her to come over and shovel the feces into a bag and she refused because, “Cat poop makes me throw up.”

    I think our main problem is over-population. The number of dogs per household is sort of, sometimes enforced. Cats… have as many as you want.

  371. #372 iambilly
    March 27, 2010

    Bride of Shrek OM: We all live west (and east) of the International Date Line. Go either way far enough and . . .

    So does that mean that today is both yesterday and tomorrow? And how does Daylight Savings Time affect that? Would that make the equator the International Seasonal Line (and in the National Park Service, seasonal means you can work 1039 scheduled hours)? Or have my sinus medications (Northeastern Pennsylvania may be the worst place on earth to be allergic to red maples) affected my thinking? Or what I percieve within my linear patterns to be thinking?

    blf: Actually, we have on old Greg who works here. A law enforcement officer who just may be the most gormless mook ever to inhabit human form. As for dogs posting — I’ve seen cats tread the keyboard lightly. I have difficulty picturing a Rottweiler pounding away at the keyboard.

    Not to be taken orally. Not to be taken anally. Not to be taken nasally. Not to be taken seriously. May provide temporary relief of some symptoms (but not the ones you want relieved). Do not read while driving or operating heavy equipment. Do not use metal cooking utensils as it may finish the scratching.

  372. #373 Ol'Greg
    March 27, 2010

    I am positively and utterly convinced that Ol’Greg does not sleep.

    Oh, I am a little embarrassed! Yeah, I sleep here and there. I post from work so that helps, and I usually am up by 5.

    So anytime from US Central 5am to 2am I may be around. I actually do things besides post on here!!!! I just always seem to have access to the internet though.

    I work 8-10 hours a day so in the evenings I try to cram all the things I care about, and take my breaks on the nets. Weekends are about the same.

    I go out, but I’m usually home by 12 which leaves a couple hours of spindown time. Yeah… so maybe I don’t sleep.

  373. #374 Jessa
    March 27, 2010

    I see that Quack has left yet another steaming pile of droppings on the endless thread.

    I wish he would stop posting his drivel, thus allowing it to become more dilute. Call it an experiment in homeopathic trolling.

  374. #375 Quackalicious
    March 27, 2010

    AJ Milne: Thanks, it?s good to read a true scientist at work. Now try sanction?s experiment (at home in privacy please).

    Nothing besides remains: I?m here because I?ve been trying to understand the mindset that allows people to continually claim to be scientists while exhibiting illogical mob behavior. When confronted with an argument, I provide data. When you are confronted with an argument you all generally respond with profanity. Then you accuse me of being unscientific and later claim that you have beaten me in debate.

    The Quackalicious handle is a clear indication that I don?t really care if you call me a quack. On this thread the term is horribly ill defined (see http://www.maloneymedical for where someone used the term to describe Mormons). It does not hurt my feelings, and it doesn?t help improve the level of conversation. Despite all of the arguments that scientists abound here, I have yet to deal with a single person providing contrary data from medline supporting the general assumptions maintained here: 1) I have harmed people 2) nothing I do works. When I have provided peer reviewed studies showing the contrary position, no one has responded coherently, or even at an adult level with the exception of Sastra.

    As a result of the inadequacy of your logical thought, I have finally found a context within which it makes sense: authoritarianism. The book quotes I gave are based on surveys taken by the author of atheists and show fairly clearly that I?m working against a belief system rather than a logical group of thinkers. You are also a group that is widely prosecuted in the real world, so you have a sub-culture here online. Myers maintains an open thread, but the prejudice and ?group think? here is absolutely evident.

    Myers criticizes the pope and range of authority figures, but he has not, at least recently, called for a web wide attack on the pope, as was done in my case. Since my personal experience was one of violent threats, I suspect strongly that Myers would find himself in serious legal issues if he were to go after someone truly able to defend themselves.

    Nerd: You have created a false personal avatar online. It must be fun, being a juvenile meth addict and pretending to be clever. I quoted your swear words back to you in my post. Try to maintain your fiction better. I also must say you need to get caught up on your medical knowledge. We don?t use individual journals as authorities anymore. We use meta-analyses. Why don?t you go back to school, get a real degree and try to make a logical argument against what I?ve already posted? No, you haven?t engaged in any sort of logical response, showing your ineptitude as an adult. But I keep giving you chances to try again.

    A. Noyd: go look at the book. He adores you guys and the information I quoted is based on your surveys. If scientific = reality, I live here and you don?t.

    Caine, if you?re going to comment, at least read the posts. Otherwise, you are unable to even claim to be a rationale human being.

    Ichthyic and Rorschach: hmmm. ?We?re ignoring you, go away.? Why do I feel like you both never made it out of junior high emotionally. Adults ignore, children come and tell you they are ignoring you. Good boys, just wait till I leave and then tell everyone what a great whooping you gave me.

    Kel: I?m trying to help you all understand not only each other, but your opponents. I now consider you a repressed minority with all the equivalent anger. Of course you lash out incoherently, because very few of you are out of the closet to your family and friends as atheists. I?m not being attacked because of logic, but because you see me as some who holds some beliefs contrary to your own. What is strange is that I do not. I don?t ?believe? in the things I do, I use what works from many different medical traditions. I don?t believe in homeopathy any more than I would believe in a wrench. I don?t believe in one diet or treatment program, and I created custom built treatment plans for patients based on their beliefs rather than applying my own.

    Caine, I?m glad my confusion about your gender is providing you with enormous pleasure. But you took a male name as you yourself admit. I simply assumed your French was poor.

    Nerd: please run over to http://www.maloneymedical.com for the Cochrane analysis and several back up studies on therapeutic touch. Looks like your days are numbered, because the data exists. You just haven?t bothered to read it: authoritarian.

    Kel: Here?s a plan. Don?t take alt. med. It?s like complaining about all the people who are forcing you to go to church. I don?t think you?re a conformist or a shill, but I do think you?ve got a chip on your shoulder about alt. med. Even when I do have good data on a treatment like butterbur for migraines, sometimes it doesn?t work. A lot of my patients show up precisely because the drugs don?t work for them. Even if the drugs are effective, my patients are the ones telling me they don?t want them. Sometimes they have to suck it up and take the meds, but other times they can change their lifestyles, drop fifty pounds and normalize their blood pressure without meds.

    Caine: I?m here because you attacked me. If you don?t want attention, don?t attack people. And it isn?t blood, silly, it?s needles. Stop commenting if you don?t read the posts.

    Knockgoats: follow the thread (or go to http://www.maloneymedical.com to get my posts). In response to Sastra?s comments I posted a meta-analysis of acupuncture that discusses the hundreds of studies done on this ?energy? medicine as well as the definitive Cochrane analyses of those studies. Being an inept researcher means you need to ask for clarification.

    As I mentioned before, Myers has not ordered you all to attack the pope in the same way you attacked me. To do so would mean his eventual imprisonment.

    Bride: four years undergraduate, two years Harvard premed, four years N.D. med school, hundreds of clinical hours and a year overseas for internship with D.O.s. Where do you get your idea of no medical training? You may not like it, but I?m qualified. In Australia N.D.s aren?t licensed and that?s your problem.

  375. #376 blf
    March 27, 2010

    Methinks The Rat’s international paedophile ring is getting rattled, Child abuse scandal is war ‘between church and world’, says Italian bishop:

    Pope Benedict was today [Friday 26-March-2010] accused of being involved in the mishandling of the case of a child-abusing priest in his former archdiocese of Munich, an allegation which directly links him to the burgeoning scandal in the Catholic church.

    Italy’s foreign minister, Franco Frattini, said on his Facebook site that the pope was being subjected to “scandalous and disgraceful” attacks. One churchman, Antonio Riboldi, the emeritus bishop of Acerra, declared that it marked the start of a war “between the church and the world; between Satan and God”.

    A spokesman for the archdiocese said: “The report [in the New York Times] does not contain false information, but the interpretation ? that Cardinal Ratzinger knew ? is pure speculation.”

    Documents posted to the New York Times’s website showed that the pope’s then deputy, Tarcisio Bertone, who has since become his right-hand man as secretary of state, decided to scrap the trial [of a dying American priest, Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused up to 200 deaf boys]. This was despite opposition from Murphy’s archbishop, who told a meeting in Rome that the priest remained unrepentant.

    The scandal has brought out a sharp difference between the views of Italy and the Vatican on the one hand, and those of other countries. The latest allegations have emerged in Germany, where this week a poll for Stern magazine indicated that confidence in pope Benedict among Catholics had collapsed since the end of January, from 62% to 39%.

    [I]n Rome, Sandro Magister, who runs a Vatican-watching web site, http://www.chiesa, argued that the criticism of the pope was “reinforcing his authority, both in respect of the bishops and the Catholic faithful. He is coming out of this stronger than before as a very strong, very decisive man who is seen within the church as the one who has done more than any other to fight the plague of child abuse.”

    The New York Times report ? the second in two days ? stirred heated rejoinders from a number of the pope’s admirers, including several politicians campaigning ahead of voting in 13 Italian regions on Sunday and Monday.

    Maurizio Ronconi, a leading Italian Christian Democrat, said: “For years, a masonic-secularist offensive against Catholics has been under way.”

    A centre-left opposition MP, Pierluigi Castagnetti, said: “It is now quite clear that the campaign against the pope and the secretary of state of the holy see by certain great foreign newspapers is not fortuitous, nor does it stem from any journalistic right or duty, but is rather a precise design intended to strike the Catholic church at the top.”

    There multiple articles on the New York Times site, including (but not limited to):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/world/europe/25vatican.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/26/world/europe/26church.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/27/us/27wisconsin.html

  376. #377 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Oh, no, Ron Meldrum is back in the news. Remember his lying ass from previous threads? He even produced a “documentary” (scare quotes well-earned) in which he abused and misused the work of real scholars, and for which, Expelled-style, he tricked real experts into participating. Excerpt from current news:

    …Next week, Meldrum, Porter and colleague Wayne May will conduct two conferences exploring the heartland model, which they believe answers the question that has enthralled generations of Mormons: Where did the historical events of The Book of Mormon take place?
         Meldrum expects 300 to attend his conference Thursday and Friday at Zermatt Resort in Midway, just before the church’s General Conference.
         Porter says 600 already were signed up 10 days in advance for the conference sponsored by LDS Promised Land, a travel company, at SouthTowne Expo Center in Sandy. That conference also is Thursday and Friday.
         The latter was promoted with an ad blitz, including blurbs by Mormon talk-show host Glenn Beck on the radio and the Internet….
         Mormon DNA experts say the latest DNA evidence cannot prove nor disprove The Book of Mormon, Carr says.

    The only good thing about this is that, with mormons fighting among themselves about the historicity of the BoM, a few of them may, accidentally learn the truth and stumble out of the dark ages. The comments that follow the Salt Lake Tribune article are good reading.

  377. #378 blf
    March 27, 2010

    I?m qualified

    NO, you are a fraud: You deprive people of health and money.

  378. #379 Sven DiMilo
    March 27, 2010

    oh. Maloney again.
    Hi NotaDoc. I sincerely hope you will fuck off soon. Thanks ever so much.

  379. #380 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 27, 2010

    In Australia N.D.s aren?t licensed and that?s your problem.

    .. no not really MY problem since I wouldn’t pay your ilk a squillion even if you were offering me the cure to cancer.

    The problem is the misinformed, the uneducated and the gullible… your target audience.

    BTW they’re not licenced for reason here in Australia- because we recognise you for the charlatans you are and would never disgrace the honourable term of “doctor” by allowing you to be called such.

  380. #381 Carlie
    March 27, 2010

    I caught one of my neighbor’s cats shitting in my yard, while the neighbor was also in her yard, watching. I asked her to come over and shovel the feces into a bag and she refused because, “Cat poop makes me throw up.”

    Please tell me that you then deliberately walked over, picked it up, and deposited it on her front porch while she was watching.

  381. #382 Becca
    March 27, 2010

    OK, guys, I’m home sick with a horrible cold, and don’t have anything but old romantic suspense novels to read — entertain me!

    I’m caught up with all the blogs that I follow and all my email lists. You folks are letting me down by doing silly things like sleeping, working, having a life… somebody post something controversial!

    thank you.

  382. #383 Sili
    March 27, 2010

    Besides, I don’t want any of my doctors to lack for funds. They have boats and vacation homes to care for after all.

    Spoken like a trooper!

    We need to keep that economy going.

    –o–

    Btw, has anyone seen Lynna around?

  383. #384 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 27, 2010

    I see the grand Duck of Placebo is back, inanely trying to justify his unscientific and predatory existence with another tl;dr inane and insane post.

    *holds envelope up to turban ala Carnac*

    *how does one describe the Qvack’s post?*

    *Opens envelope, failure, like always.*

    What a loser. How can we tell he is a loser? The Qwackster is still trying vainly (and it will always be vainly, since REAL scientific evidence seems to elude him and his “profession”) to convince us he isn’t a fraud. He should just give it up. But he is too stooooopid and too much of a loser to do so.

  384. #385 blf
    March 27, 2010

    [S]omebody post something controversial!

    Er, Ok: ?Something controversial!?

    Feel better now?
    What we need is a poll:

    Is the something too controversial?
     ?  Yes.
     ?  No.
     ?  No.
     ?  Answer 6.
     ?  MUSHROOMS!

  385. #386 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 27, 2010

    I have 2 new kittens, and I need names

    Pride and Prejudice
    Sense and Sensibility
    Will and Grace
    Greg and Dharma
    Crime and Punishment
    Alibaba and the 40th thief
    Abercrombie and Fitch

  386. #387 Becca
    March 27, 2010

    blf @ 385: you’re too good to me.

    and the kids won’t let me cook with mushrooms, say that they’re gross. I don’t know where I went wrong with them (that’s what I get for teaching the kids to think for themselves.). But at least they’ll eat broccoli – what they don’t feed to the dog, that is.

  387. #388 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Please tell me that you then deliberately walked over, picked it up, and deposited it on her front porch while she was watching.?Carlie @381

    I nicely double-bagged the cat poop so it wouldn’t stink too much, then I took it to my neighbor’s door…and she called the police. The local policeman came and talked me into “never doing that again” as it may be a prosecutable offense. If fact, I was instructed to never step onto her property again. Maybe he owned cats that ran free?

    That neighbor finally moved away and took her unspaded and eternally-breeding cats away with her. I still have cat problems, but they are much less now. I don’t think I have a criminal record, but who knows. The police probably recorded the “warning”.

    I once had a dog owner tell me that her little yapper dog never dug holes, and she said this while the dog was digging a hole in my flower bed. I’ve come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t comment about people’s children or pets.

  388. #389 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Sili @ 383 asks if anyone has seen Lynna around. Is that a joke, Sili? If not, here’s official return to the endless thread.

    BTW, I appreciated your encouragement to keep the economy going. I am particularly concerned about the upper middle and the upper classes. They are not good at being poor, so I’m doing my bit to shield them from that experience.

  389. #390 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Becca @382, Sorry to hear you’re under the weather. Sniffling about and being intimate with disease, are you?

    This is not really as controversial a subject as you’d like to distract you from your virus-laden condition (unless you think turning Africans into mormons is a good thing?), but it is interesting, and it does ping the old irony meter nicely:

    Surprisingly, just three decades after the Utah-based church ended its century-old ban on blacks being ordained to the all-male priesthood, the American-born faith has more than 300,000 members in some 30 nations across the continent. Little by little, it is building a nucleus of believers from Ethiopia to South Africa, from Cameroon to Namibia, filling Bountiful-looking LDS chapels that have sprung up on the African savannas and relying on core members who often found the church while living in the United States.
         These newly minted Mormons are trading in their drums for organs, their dashikis for white shirts, beads for CTR (Choose the Right) rings, and their ecstatic religious services for subdued reverence….
         Mormonism faces many challenges in trying to bring its foreign faith to a continent beset by AIDS, dire poverty, political instability and corruption, tribal conflicts, civil wars, disease and a plethora of languages.
    Not to mention the fact that polygamy, given up by Mormons at the end of the 19th century and forbidden in today’s church, still is practiced in many African cultures. Oh, and coffee and tea — barred by the church’s health code — are among the main crops.

    The excerpt is from an article in the Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com/ci_14751371?source=most_viewed

    BTW, Becca, thanks for your earlier compliment about my photos from the trip to Crack Canyon (every time I write “Crack Canyon” now it reminds me of Josh, Official SpokesGay’s comments — Crack Canyon will never be the same).

  390. #391 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 27, 2010

    So, what do you guys make of the UFC and Wrestle-mania ads on the side right now?

  391. #392 Matt Penfold
    March 27, 2010

    I have 2 new kittens, and I need names

    Mooney and Kirshenbaum ?

    Or are those names better reserved for pet weasels ?

  392. #393 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Interesting comments culled from readers of the Salt Lake Tribune:

    Hopefully, most Utahns remember enough about our state’s history to recall that Congress insisted on two conditions that would have to be met before the Utah Territory could attain statehood. First, we’d have to renounce that “relic of barbarism,” polygamy. Second, we’d have to prove that we had a working two-party system where religious leaders weren’t calling all the shots politically.
         Now, 114 years later, polygamy is practiced openly, and we have reverted to a one-party state that is heavily influenced by the predominant religion. Therefore, since we have reneged on the original agreement, I propose that Congress initiate proceedings to rescind statehood. That would save Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, and other legislators all the time they currently spend trying to secede.
    M.J. Ogden
    North Ogden

    Where else can a state House Majority Leader, from a dominant, extremely conservative, family-values-trumpeting political party, confess to paying $150,000 in hush money to silence a woman he had lured into a hot tub naked when he was a married adult and she was 15 years old — and then receive from his colleagues hugs and a standing ovation? What the $#%@!? Here are possible explanations for the adulation:
    1. They were exercising their right to bare not just arms but other unconcealed weapons. If a hot tub isn’t the place to pack heat, what is? 2. It demonstrated Garn was not gay. 3. The feds declared the hot tub a national monument, so by sitting in it naked he was standing up for states’ rights. 4. By burning fossil fuels to heat the tub he was sticking it to the Chicken Little global warming alarmist Nazis. 5. They spent the whole time in the tub talking about how they hate sex education and abortion. 6. This was just a relaxed family home evening. 7. They ended their hot-tubbing with prayer and a commitment to cut taxes. 8. They were just auditioning for “Big Love.”
    It all makes sense to me now!
    Brian Moench
    Salt Lake City

  393. #394 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Pat Condell has new video out that comments on the latest sex scandal involving the Catholic Church (blf commented on the scandal up-thread). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKg4HLsu5gE

  394. #395 Jessa
    March 27, 2010

    Mooney and Kirshenbaum ?

    Well, cats are accommodationists of a sort, in that they expect you to accommodate them.

  395. #396 Carlie
    March 27, 2010

    The local policeman came and talked me into “never doing that again” as it may be a prosecutable offense.

    Oh, good grief. So you putting it on her property is an offense, but her putting it on yours (via her cat) isn’t? Good riddance to her. I have zero tolerance for people who let their pets outside without being tethered either by a leash or inside their own jump-proof fence. Once when I was growing up a dog across the street that “wouldn’t hurt anybody” according to its owner ran over into our yard and bit my little brother while we were getting into the car, giving him a huge bruise (thankfully the dog was old and had worn-down teeth) and a lifelong phobia of dogs. Just…no. A person’s dog or cat might be just fine to them, but they never know how it will act around other people, and they don’t know what kind of damage they’re doing to the other person’s yard and/or pets, and they have no idea whether the person down the street is deathly allergic to them and now has cat or dog hair all over their own porch.

    BTW, those pictures on Facebook of your trip are beautiful!

  396. #397 Becca
    March 27, 2010

    Lynna: Husband went to a SF convention (one of our odd hobbies: working security and operations for special interest conventions) a couple of weeks ago and brought home a particularly nasty version of the Con Grunge. Son spiked a 103.5 fever and missed a solid week of school (and David is *never* sick). It’s hard to tell how much of Tori’s lassitude is Grunge and how much is mourning the death of her cat last Monday. By comparison, I’m doing fairly well — except that the damn cat (we had 2) woke me up at 5:30, and there are just so many science podcasts I can listen to before getting antsy and needing to get up.

    The whole Mormon take-over of Utah upsets me. I wouldn’t live in Utah (be it never so beautiful) for the world. I tend to be a live-and-let-live type, but that’s just the trouble, they don’t “let live” if you’re not One Of Them.

    I’ve been reading Making Light and PZ isn’t the only one invoking the specter of Kristallnacht. Yeah, the parallels aren’t exact, but the seething anger (but I think the Tea Partiers are angry at the wrong people) and unthinking calls to violence are similar. It’s all very upsetting. If I wasn’t such a pacifist, I’d wonder whether we needed to get a gun just to protect ourselves from the Weird Right. I remember when cities burned during the race riots, and worry about it happening again.

  397. #398 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Carlie @396, yeah, you never know with pets. I was once bitten by a dog while the owner was shouting, “Don’t worry! He doesn’t bite!” This was in Minnesota, many years ago. What “He doesn’t bite” means is, “He doesn’t bite members of my family” or “He’s never bitten me” — I was doing nothing but standing still on a walking path.

    Ahh, you looked through the Facebook album. See what you missed? And did you see the lovely setting for the “kitchen” where we could have set up your stove?

  398. #399 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Becca @397: Alien virus! Those SF conventions attract aliens, you know.

    Well, I prescribe a nice, long nap, if you can manage it.

  399. #400 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Here’s Christopher Hitchens’ take on the Catholic sex/pedophile scandal: http://www.slate.com/id/2248557/ Excerpt:

    … “Of course, I wasn’t strictly speaking in any trouble with the law. I’m a Catholic priest, so we don’t bother the police or the courts with that stuff. We take care of it ourselves, if you catch my meaning”?
         Yet this is exactly what we are forced to read about every day. The happiness and the health of countless children was systematically destroyed by men who could count on their clerical bosses to shield them from legal retribution and, it seems, even from moral condemnation. A bit of “therapy” or a swift change of locale was the worst that most of them had to fear.
         Almost every week, I go and debate with spokesmen of religious faith. Invariably and without exception, they inform me that without a belief in supernatural authority I would have no basis for my morality. Yet here is an ancient Christian church that deals in awful certainties when it comes to outright condemnation of sins like divorce, abortion, contraception, and homosexuality between consenting adults. For these offenses there is no forgiveness, and moral absolutism is invoked. Yet let the subject be the rape and torture of defenseless children, and at once every kind of wiggle room and excuse-making is invoked. What can one say of a church that finds so much latitude for a crime so ghastly that no morally normal person can even think of it without shuddering?
         It’s interesting, too, that the same church did its best to hide the rape and torture from the secular authorities, even forcing child victims (as in the disgusting case of Cardinal Sean Brady, the spiritual chieftain of the Catholics of Ireland) to sign secrecy oaths that prevented them from testifying against their rapists and torturers. Why were they so afraid of secular justice? Did they think it would be less indifferent and pliable than private priestly investigations? In that case, what is left of the shabby half-baked argument that people can’t understand elementary morality without a divine warrant?
         One mustn’t claim all that much for secular justice either, since Cardinal Brady and many like him have neither been dismissed by the church nor prosecuted by the civil power. But this dereliction on the part of the courts and police has mainly occurred in countries or provinces?Ireland, Massachusetts, Bavaria?where the church has undue influence on the bureaucracy. When are we going to see what the parents and relatives of the devastated children want to see and need to see: a senior accomplice of the cover-up actually facing a jury?
         Pope Benedict’s pathetic and euphemistic letter to his “flock” in Ireland doesn’t even propose that such people should lose their positions in the church. And this cowardly guardedness on his part is for a good and sufficient reason: If there was to be a serious criminal investigation, it would have to depose the pope himself. Not only did he, as Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, protect a dangerously criminal priest in his own diocese of Munich and Freising in 1980, having him sent only for “therapy” instead of having him arrested…..

  400. #401 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Rorschach, a belated thanks for the Janis and the Jimi.

  401. #402 Dust
    March 27, 2010

    On the subject of pet names, I was once asked the name of my horse, and my reply was “Blaze, but sometimes it’s “GODDAMN IT BLAZE!”and other times it changed to “WHOA DAMMIT!” which is a common nick name for many horses. :)

    Blaze was my good grey horse and I named him when he was born as he was a dark red with 4 white socks and blaze of white down his face. However, as he greyed out his marking disappered and I was asked more than once why I called him Blaze.

    Alas, when Blaze was 9 years old he broke his R front leg and had to be put down. :(:( I cried over that horse for two weeks straight. That happened over 10 years ago and I can still cry for that horse sometimes…..

  402. #403 blf
    March 27, 2010

    After listening to Pat Condell (Lynna@394), this was suggested as a related link: Those Old Fat Catholics (sung to the tune of “That Old Black Magic”).

  403. #404 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    Alas, when Blaze was 9 years old he broke his R front leg and had to be put down.

    I know nothing about horses, so I’ve always wondered why they “have to be put down” when they break a leg. Why can’t the leg just be given medical care?

  404. #405 Sili
    March 27, 2010

    Just let out the cat (sorry) and started my first ever sourdough (not sorry).

    And, yes, Lynna, I was joking. Yesterthread I asked what had happened to you, despite having read that you were going trekking. Of course, I had to be reminded to recall that.

  405. #406 Becca
    March 27, 2010

    alien virus, eh? that explains why pseudoephedrine doesn’t help much.

    I only know about horses what I read in Dick Francis novels, but it seems to me that horses are so over-bred that they’re actually very fragile. I know colic can kill them. Wasn’t there a famous race horse recently (last few years) that broke his leg, and they had to put it in a sling to keep it upright but off the leg, and they spent millions of dollars on it, but it died anyway?

  406. #407 Becca
    March 27, 2010

    ha! found it.

    Why do they have to kill race horses after they break something?

    also, the horse I’m thinking of was Barbaro

  407. #408 Dust
    March 27, 2010

    Hi Josh,
    Good question. A horse is a quadraped and carries about 60% of it’s weight on it’s front legs. In order for many injuries to weight bearing limbs they are required be non-weight bearing (NWB) for a long time, for humans 3 months NWB very common. Also, many breaks require internal fixation (plates, screws and pins and the like) plus physical therapy once the limb can begin to carry weight again.

    For a horse this means to be NWB it must be put in a sling, for months.
    This can create all kinds of other problems for the horse which can be quite horrible, not to mention life threatening in their own right (acute laminitis) for example.

    Another prolem is simple transport, ie; taking a horse to a vet center. Horse ambulances do exist, but they are few and far between. Just the thought of trying to put my broken legged horse into a horse trailer was a nightmare, the loading of the horse and the horse being transported the 150 miles (over the Sierria Nevada mtns. to the Davis Uni vet hospital) would have been very, very cruel.

    Horses can heal and recover from broken limbs, but it depends on where the break is on the bone column and how sever it is. My horse’s break was high up and just an impossible injury to come back from. I read in a vet book that type of injury had a very dim prognosis in the best of circumstances, and then the horse would not be expected to ever fully recover it’s original soundness. The most humane thing I could do for Blaze was have him put down. :(

    What was ironic to me was 4 years before this I had fallen of Blaze and broke the shit out of my L ankle (5 pins, 2 screws and plate needed to put it back together.) I could be put back together, but Blaze could not.

  408. #409 Ol'Greg
    March 27, 2010

    Lynna, next time the animal is on your property call animal control. Two can play at that game. If you keep calling and the cat is found there even once they will take it. She can also be fined.

    Two can play at that game.

  409. #410 Ol'Greg
    March 27, 2010

    But now I’ve got to head out again and oooh I am becoming self conscious of posting here :P

  410. #411 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 27, 2010

    my old cat doesn’t have a name. depending on the situation, she’s either called kittykitty or varmint

  411. #412 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Lynna,

    What a tacky neighbor to let her cat crap in your yard and then call the cops when you bring the poo back to her.

    The boyfriend’s dog isn’t on a leash when he goes outside to potty, but he is voice trained and never unattended. Several of the neighbors allow their dogs to roam free in the village. It’s dangerous and we have to be careful not to take his dog out when those dogs are around the house. The loose dogs also urinate on my garden and poo everywhere. I hate that so much!

  412. #413 Dust
    March 27, 2010

    As I said, some horses are lucky and heal broken legs. There are many successful cases out there. But alot of horses owners are like me, their horses is an expensive, if not extravagent pet that is not paticularly valuable, except for the intrinsic value for the owner.

    The cost of treating a horse like Blaze can quickly outstrip it’s value. Blaze was a gelding so he had no value as a breeding animal, but even if he had been a female, that still would have been true. The reality for many horse owners is having to decide how much vet tratment they can afford and what to do if they can’t afford much.

    I don’t know how Blaze broke his leg as I found him broken in the pasture and as far as I know, no human witnessed the injury. Such things happen.

    There is an agrument to be made that there is an overpopulation of horses from back yard breeders. Since I could be called one of those for producing Blaze (the one and only horse I have ever created) I promised him I would give him a home for life. And I did, still sad it was so short tho.

  413. #414 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Dust,

    I hadn’t thought about the difficulty of transporting an injured horse before. I followed Barbaro’s injury and treatment in the news, and it seemed to me that he was undergoing tremendous pain and discomfort for treatment that had only a small chance of working.

    I’m sorry Blaze had to be put down. That’s never easy no matter how necessary or humane it is.

  414. #415 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    Dust – thank you for the explanation.

  415. #416 Dust
    March 27, 2010

    Thanks Pygmy Loris,
    On a horse list I used to read, these types of issues were frequently discussed. One poster said something along the lines of ‘the reality of owning livestock is that they will eventually become deadstock’. Too true, but still sad, whether the livestock sleeps in the barn or sleeps on the bed.

  416. #417 JeffreyD
    March 27, 2010

    I have 2 new kittens, and I need names

    Karl and Groucho, the Marx Brothers.

  417. #418 Ichthyic
    March 27, 2010

    I saw the first two eps of “Life” with Oprah as the narrator yesterday.

    let me tell you one thing:

    *shudder*

    [comic book guy]
    worst narration, ever.

    [/comic book guy]

    randomly mispronounced words, randomly emphasized words…

    just…

    horrible.

    I feel quite sorry for any audiences forced to watch the whole series in such fashion.

    I’ll be grabbing the original BBC version from here out.

    Overall, the photography is good, nothing terribly new or extraordinary so far. Did learn about an amphibian with opposable digits in SA I had not know about before.

    If you can only find the Oprah version, suggest just turning off the sound and playing some nice background music would be the way to go.

  418. #419 blf
    March 27, 2010

    Ichthyic, try complaining to the BBC. They’ve been know to taken mutilation of their programs seriously.

  419. #420 Ol'Greg
    March 27, 2010

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fld7YmVpymY&feature=player_embedded#

    I love it. Some people might not like her music style. She shot this in my city though. Damn, if I’d been downtown on the right day I could have seen Erykah stripping down the street!

  420. #421 Ichthyic
    March 27, 2010

    I?m here because I?ve been trying to understand the mindset that allows people to continually claim to be scientists while exhibiting illogical mob behavior.

    well, there’s your problem.

    you’re lying to yourself.

  421. #422 Ichthyic
    March 27, 2010

    Ichthyic, try complaining to the BBC. They’ve been know to taken mutilation of their programs seriously.

    I doubt that muchly, in the case of the Discovery Channel, which the BBC has sold them programs before they have slaughtered.

    no, unfortunately I will bet anything it comes down to a big paycheck for the BBC for selling out to the Discovery Channel.

    Please, show me to be wrong. Give me hope that the BBC will attempt to show some integrity in the future, and NOT allow their documentaries to be hacked to death and dumbed-down for american audiences.

    I remain cynical.

    *sigh*

    I keep thinking back to how, not that long ago, even the americans were able to produce good documentaries themselves. “Nature” comes to mind.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_%28TV_series%29

    now… americans get fucking “Ice Road Truckers” or “Dangerous Catch”, and the average (yes AVERAGE) nature series the BBC produce (like Planet Earth and Life) get hacked and the narration replaced simply in order to try and attract a slightly larger audience of dumbed-down americans, now used to the very things like “Dangerous Catch” as “nature documentaries”.

    sorry, I’m getting my rant on here, I know, but it was nature encyclopedias and those very nature shows that got me interested in being a scientist when I was a kid.

    now? WHAT is there really to interest a kid in looking beyond “Oooh, purty animules!”

    *sigh*

    fuck me, but you’d think after 30 years of doing nature documentaries that talk about evolution, the writing would have evolved past an elementary school level of addressing the issue, for one thing.

    GRRRRRRRR.

    *pant* *wheeze*

    ok, deep breath…

  422. #423 Buffybot
    March 27, 2010

    Calm down Ichthyic. Think of the wily tool-using capyouchin or the icy vistas of Antarticker.

  423. #424 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 27, 2010

    I used to like the Green Channel… but they’re going the way of all other originally sciency channels now, too :-(

  424. #425 Ichthyic
    March 27, 2010

    buffybot isn’t kidding about the pronunciations, btw,

    that IS how Oprah pronounced them.

    “Antarktiker”

    *sigh*

    sorry, whatever the argument was about getting more people to watch based on Oprah’s fan base was entirely destroyed by the hugely oversimplified writing, and her entirely hackneyed attempt at narration.

    even if there WERE more people watching, it’s actually a bane instead of a boon, at least seeing the first two episodes.

    maybe it gets better later on?

    one can only hope.

  425. #426 David Marjanovi?
    March 27, 2010

    Have to post this in two parts. Too many links in it, even though I edited the quoted YouTube ones. It’s seriously long anyway.

    I’ve only read till comment 396.

    I suppose German has a greater level of intelligibility than Chinese (Teochew, my ancestral dialect, sounds nothing like Cantonese which sounds nothing like Mandarin).

    :-| Chinese is like the Romance languages. And Mandarin is like French, the one that drops consonants at the ends of syllables.

    For the linguists – could anyone give me a definition or example of the difference between a dialect and a language that could help me intuit what “dialect” means?

    At this point most linguists will refer you to comment 313.

    As has been mentioned, it’s like “species” and “subspecies”: there are lots of competing definitions, and each one has counterintuitive results when applied consistently. A tree cannot be divided except arbitrarily.

    Once you reach mutual unintelligibility (inability to interbreed in the species illustration) you have two new languages!

    For both species and languages, that’s just one definition out of a lot.

    so I’m guessing you’ve never been angesächselt before? :-p

    Indeed not, but from what I’ve read it’s remarkably close to Standard German.

    The Berliner dialect OTOH is ok, unless they really really try to not be understood.

    The actual dialect, which few people speak anymore, was a Low German one, similar to “north of the Elbe”.

    And then there’s Silesian, which I can’t understand very well either

    From what I’ve read about that (I looked it up last time you mentioned it), there’s a lot of diversity within it, but I should be able to cope with most of it.

    Though usually at least the writing is the same, even if the pronunciation has become mutually incomprehensible. Or as some Swiss kids said to their mom when they listened to my family talk: “oh look, they’re speaking written German!”

    It’s not that the writing is the same, it’s that German dialects are not written*; instead, Standard German is used as the written language. Consequently, it’s called “writing-language”, Schriftsprache, where I come from. (Hochdeutsch, High German, is a geographical term; it refers to the dialects that are spoken where the country is literally high, as opposed to the Northern German Plain. Standard German was developed from a sort of mixture of eastern southern and eastern central dialects in the 16th century, so it counts as High German, even though my dialect is quite a bit Higher.)

    * Except from remarkably inconsistent attempts by the occasional poet or the like, and now a couple of Wikipedias with similarly inconsistent spelling systems that (again) make very clear that nobody is used to writing or reading any German dialect.

    *some of whome apparently, as my mom just informed me, live like an hour north of Krasiejów.

    There are also German-speakers left in Krasiejów itself. We could do a linguistic survey of the village if we get one of the speakers of Polish Silesian to join ;-)

    wasn’t it ‘Tis Himself who told the story of the Alabaman and the Scot who had to write notes to each other because their dialects were mutually incomprehensible?

    Indeed, some prefer to speak of “the Scots language” rather than calling it a group of dialects of English.

    At a scientific conference early last year I encountered an amateur who now lives in England, and has started dropping his Rs, but otherwise speaks Standard English with the Scots sound system. Occasionally I didn’t even recognize it as English ? even though, once I reminded myself that it was English (every time anew), I understood almost every word.

    One moron spotted in [corrected link] :

    PS – I’m not blogwhoring. I’m atheist baiting

    I think I’ve dealt with what little Jadehawk and a few others left of him. Including the “baiting” metaphor, which could be part of the Biblical “fishing of men” metaphor.

    On another note

    I came out to my sister, and all she could say is that I was “icky”.

    That surprises me. Doesn’t she understand how it’s possible to be into men? ~:-| She’s not lesbian herself, is she?

    Well, my lovelies, I promised pics of the trip to Crack Canyon and I will deliver (even though no one met me at the trailhead… Carlie, I’m talking to you). This is blatant blog whoring, and maybe even geology whoring.

    I was going to write “I can hardly resist”… then it turned out I can’t resist at all :-ž

    Beautiful rocks, beautiful photos.

    From there:

    Crack Canyon is cut through Wingate Sandstone by seasonal runoff, flash floods, and a small, sulphurous spring. Wingate is one layer of the Glen Canyon group, which includes the Kayenta Formation and Navajo Sandstone. Wingate layers vary in color from buff to pale orange to red. The cliffs of Crack Canyon reveal remnant sand dunes of Jurassic age, with some sources noting Early Jurassic, and others Late Jurassic. (If any geologists reading this can sort out the controversy, please let me know.)

    What? Late Jurassic? All of it is Early Jurassic (not even Middle), except for the bottom of the Wingate Sandstone which is Late Triassic.

    it there ever was anything in the world that required berating, glittering vampires are it :-)

    :-)

    Beautiful pictures by the way, but your site is not cooperating with my browser. X(

    It is with mine (IE8), except that it eats up a lot of RAM. Scrolling took forever, and changing to another tab took forever; I closed the tab immediately when I had finished watching the photos.

    The boyfriend gets a little annoyed when I make him do nighttime fire drills though (only once every other month!).

    X-D

    random assortment of German music:

    .youtube.com/watch?v=a7nPmn3soiM

    “Random”? LOL. You designed it intelligently. This one is fully on topic ? one of them speaks very northern indeed.

    .youtube.com/watch?v=nMlEsFbWuvo

    I laughed almost the whole way through!

    This one is also good (and, as music, a whole lot better):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gO0ooqAnuQ&NR=1

    For those who don’t understand the lyrics, just look at the pictures and keep in mind that the lyrics are about a golden turd that is awarded like the golden raspberry… to all the right people.

    Near the end, is that a failed attempt to imitate the distinctive smoky voice of Gerhard “Gazprom” Schröder?

    .youtube.com/watch?v=BWwhz4hPkSk

    “Even though nobody likes me, I’ll soon sit in [parliament]” is brilliant, but I take issue with the resignation that the world is evil. Perhaps this generalization went a step too far, and it’s only the living who are evil, as opposed to the undead.

    (…Been looking for an excuse to post this ever since I read it about 24 h ago. There comes Jadehawk and delivers one on a silver platter. Verily, there is a FSM.)

    aaaaand, some northern German “culture”: .youtube.com/watch?v=TgERvJBLR4w&feature=related

    X-D Typical Wäänää: the watchable parts are fucking hilarious, the others are revolting. The whole thing is a bit… overdone, especially towards the end, like so much German humor.

    Gerhard Polt—bavarian dialect(southern german)

    Most of this isn’t in the dialect, it’s in Standard German with a remarkably strong Bavarian accent. But he code-switches back and forth mid-sentence all the time.

    (Deliberately. He’s changing the level of formality he has with the audience: whether he gives his speech or comments on it; whether he uses stock phrases or speaks freely. That’s widespread in Austria, too, except the separation between dialect and standard tends to be stricter.)

    Juergen Becker–rhine region dialect(north-west german)

    You’re shitting us. There’s just one sentence in dialect at 1:57. (Had to listen to it twice, because one word has a completely unexpected pronunciation.) All the rest is in almost pure Standard German except for a bit of accent.

    Stevie Wonder Institute for Observation of Buildings? Huh? What has that guy got to do with the self-destruction of Cologne?

  426. #427 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 27, 2010

    well, evidently David is better at understanding dialects. I only understand Hochdeutsch of the Lower-Saxony variant, and American English of the Northern variant :-p

    Saxon is incomprehensible, and the fuckers know it, too.

  427. #428 David Marjanovi?
    March 27, 2010

    Part 2 of 2.

    (Yay, that was a seven-screener. I’ve caught up now.)

    Any other poopyheads going to Copenhagen in June?

    What? This year already? And 160 $, travel and lodging not included? No chance.

    when an alligator slaughters a wildebeest

    :-D You Fail Geography Forever.

    Myers criticizes the pope and range of authority figures, but he has not, at least recently, called for a web wide attack on the pope, as was done in my case.

    What are you talking about?

    And your glib assertion that you take what works ? how do you find out what works? What method is there to reliably and repeatably find out what works other than the good old double-blind clinical trial, which is something you can’t afford?

    MUSHROOMS!

    Enough.

    (Warning: behind this link lurks greater horror than Rawhide.)

    But at least they’ll eat broccoli – what they don’t feed to the dog, that is.

    I can help you with that one. To be rendered edible, broccoli must be put through a blender and served as a soup with a bit of butter in it. It’s not so much the taste (beyond what the butter takes away), but the texture that is annoying, and blending takes care of that.

    a continent beset by AIDS, dire poverty, political instability and corruption, tribal conflicts, civil wars, disease and a plethora of languages.

    :-D :-D :-D

    Don’t you just love it how they put the languages among the horrors? :-D

    a dog across the street that “wouldn’t hurt anybody” according to its owner

    Yeah, that’s what they all say.

    So, what do you guys make of the UFC and Wrestle-mania ads on the side right now?

    I’m getting one for Bitefight instead, a free Gothic Fantasy online game. B-) In French.

    Did learn about an amphibian with opposable digits in SA I had not know about before.

    Wow. I didn’t know about that either. Do you remember any info that might make Google find it?

    And finally…

    German dialects are not written

    Part of the reason is that the sound systems of many don’t even line up with that of the standard (or each other). Basically, every dialect has undergone its own phoneme splits and mergers from Middle High (or Low) German. So, just taking the sound-letter correspondences of the standard doesn’t work.

    All this also holds for most English dialects, except that the sound system differences are even crazier.

  428. #429 Becca
    March 27, 2010

    I know I asked to be entertained, friends, but really! Importing Graeme Bird over on the These Guys are Dangerous Nuts thread, and Daniel Smith on Sins of Omission — it’s all I can do to keep track of the hilarity. What fun. Beats listening to science podcasts and knitting (which I haven’t the attention span for anyway). I don’t know what I can do to express my appreciation [/sarcasm]

  429. #430 blf
    March 27, 2010
    MUSHROOMS!

    Enough.

    (Warning: behind this link lurks greater horror than Rawhide.)

    Hee, hee, I knew what that link was before stomping on it. So have some shish kebabs in return…

  430. #431 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 27, 2010

    *grabs libation, and settles in to read DM’s cogent long post, unlike the Q*ster who is a incoherent*

    *finished reading post, raises libation in salute to DM*

    Sorry Becca, sometimes the idiocy level gets out of hand. DS tries, but can’t examine or acknowledge the concept his deity doesn’t exist, so will always fail because he is a presuppositionalist. GB has the Aussies apologizing for him. I salute our regular Aussies…

  431. #432 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    David,

    For both species and languages, that’s just one definition out of a lot.

    Well yeah…I just use it to illustrate the messy nature of both biology and linguistics. Just to ask, which species concept do you favor? Do you like different concepts for fossil vs. extant species?

  432. #433 Becca
    March 27, 2010

    Well, I’m at least learning a little from the discussion with DS. One of these days I’ve got to take a course on formal logic. our local community college offers a class on critical thinking that I’m encouraging my kids to take next year – if they do, I might take it with them.

    but as I said on that thread, you can use logic to prove just about anything, depending on where you start, so I don’t totally trust it.

  433. #434 David Marjanovi?
    March 27, 2010

    Part 3 of 2:

    Also:

    • I’ve been informed that jäääärne is the adjective to “ice edge” in Estonian, not the noun itself. Either I misremembered, or Wikipedia got it wrong. The noun is… jäääär.
    • More Estonian collisions of long vowels, from the same source: Kuuuurijate töööö jäääärel “the moon researchers? work-night at the ice edge”.
    • I’m further informed that Finnish avoids this in spelling by inserting a hyphen: pää-äänenkannattaja “‘main voice carrier’: usually, a newspaper that promotes the views of some organization”.

    well, evidently David is better at understanding dialects.

    Well, duh ? I speak one natively, one that is pretty far away from the standard (though tame when compared to anything Swiss, or even actual Alpine-valley Tyrolean*).

    I’d appreciate a Saxon sound sample, however! :-)

    * Once met a South Tyrolean ( = from Italy) who… sometimes I had to ask back. For instance, “that stuff” is dieses Zeug /?di?s?s?t?s???g/* in Standard German. In my dialect, das Zeug is used instead, and pronounced [d?es?t?s???g?]. That guy said [s???t?su??g?] ? yes, that first word is completely different (reminds me of French celle), and it ends in an English-style “dark L”, and the rendering of eu is unique as far as I know.

    * Note my clever use of phonemic slashes so I don’t need to go into the phonetic detail that differs within the standard.

    Finally, the recipe, which I used again today:

    Rice with artificial gravy

    (Almost vegetarian, depending on the gravy.)

    Ingredients:

    Rice:
    1 mug Basmati rice from a 5-kg sack from a French supermarket
    enough oil to cover the floor of a frying pan
    2 mugs water
    large amounts of pretty much all spices you have; curry is mandatory; no salt beyond the following item (the salt is in the gravy)
    salted butter (or, obviously, salt and butter separately… or maybe no salt at all if you don’t like it! I have low blood pressure and like salt a lot.)

    Gravy:
    4 gravy cubes from an Austrian supermarket
    1/2 l water

    Cover floor of pan with oil. Pour rice in, mix well. Set stove to 2/3 of maximum heat. Stir occasionally, keep going till the rice looks fried… it should not get brown, or at most it should just begin to do so. At that point, pour in the water and set the heat to maximum. Throw in spices and stir; put lid on pan. (Careful with the lid; mine is too small for the pan and rests on the wooden spoon, so there’s no danger of anything boiling over.) When the water boils, set heat to 1/2 or 1/3 of maximum. Stir occasionally. When the water is gone, the rice should be cooked if the lid closes well enough; if yes, turn the heat off; if not, add water and stir. When the rice is done, add copious amounts of salted butter (more than you think) and stir it in.

    Then prepare the gravy as it says on the box (basically just boil the cubes in the water under a lot of stirring). I did that in 2 settings because I ate the rice in 2 settings and neither wanted the pan or the casserole to run over nor the fat to freeze out of the gravy while I’m still eating.

    Put rice and gravy together. I took half of the rice out of the pan, put it into the casserole with the gravy, ate that, made the second serving of gravy, poured it in the pan, and ate that.

    That should be 2 to 4 portions for people with normal eating behavior. I didn’t eat anything else today, unless you’re generous enough count the two mugs of milk or the now 6 or 8 sugar-coated aniseed grains.

    For spices, I had a cheap so-called curry (it’s yellow, and smells & tastes much like the real thing, but it’s not hot at all), “cinq parfums” (a mixture that smells like some kinds of dark bread and consists of fennel, aniseed, cinnamon*, black pepper, and cloves), and nutmeg.

    * Though not as much that the rice would taste like what’s eaten with ?ikk? masala. On the other hand, that wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

  434. #435 David Marjanovi?
    March 27, 2010

    So have some shish kebabs in return?

    So I finally find an opportunity to watch that one. LOL.

    I just have to whine about the facial anatomy…

    DM’s cogent long post

    Cogent perhaps, but only the part after each quote is even supposed to be coherent :-ž

    Just to ask, which species concept do you favor?

    Several concepts designate biologically interesting kinds of entities that have nothing in common besides the word “species” and usually don’t overlap perfectly. I think there should be parallel nomenclatures to account for them all.

    Clades should be named separately ? so separately that the requirement to assign every organism to a species should fall. For things like… all or almost all Mesozoic dinosaurs, where no approximation of population biology can be done, all we can do is name clades, and it should be all we need to do. (All the way down to the LITU, Least Inclusive Taxonomic Unit, if necessary.)

    For Mesozoic dinosaurs that’s pretty much what’s already being done. Almost all genera have a single species, and almost all newly discovered species get a genus of their own; the genus is almost being treated as the unit of biodiversity.

    The Biological Species Concepts require systematists to figure out if populations can or do interbreed. If the populations don’t reproduce sexually, that’s not applicable. Indeed, Ernst Mayr wrote that asexually reproducing organisms “do not form species”. But the currently valid codes of nomenclature force him and his successors to pretend anyway.

    DS tries, but can’t examine or acknowledge the concept his deity doesn’t exist, so will always fail because he is a presuppositionalist.

    Sastra disagrees, and he showed up to agree with Sastra: he really does believe his faith is founded on reason & evidence, and convincing him that this isn’t true would make him deconvert.

    So far, however, he’s above his head in medieval philosophy and can’t look at the world any other way. (Aristotle’s Four Causes! For crying out loud!) As long as he can’t get out of that, he might just as well be a presupper. :-/

    but as I said on that thread, you can use logic to prove just about anything, depending on where you start, so I don’t totally trust it.

    Whether you’re starting at the right place is what science can tell you. For instance, Aristotle & Aquinas started from the assumption that everything has a cause and nothing comes from nothing; the Casimir effect, radioactive decay, that gihugrongous supernova I mentioned a subthread or two ago, and other things strongly suggests that this assumption is wrong. Any conclusion validly drawn from at least one false premise will itself be wrong, according to pure logic.

  435. #436 Kel, OM
    March 27, 2010

    For our persistent alt-med troll, Quacky: Where’s my Big Pharma money?

  436. #437 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Sili:

    And, yes, Lynna, I was joking. Yesterthread I asked what had happened to you, despite having read that you were going trekking. Of course, I had to be reminded to recall that.

    Ah. I suspected as much. Obviously, I haven’t caught up on the back issues of the endless thread yet, so I’m flailing around in the dark. I may never catch up because (and this is a good thing), I have work to do for three clients who need some writin’ and designin’ done.

  437. #438 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 27, 2010

    I have work to do for three clients who need some writin’ and designin’ done.

    Our loss, not theirs…

  438. #439 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 27, 2010

    well, I looked for some examples of saxon dialect, but I’ve only found accented samples; nothing even close to what my mom’s former co-workers used to do when they wanted to be assholes to us non-saxons :-p

  439. #440 Pharyngulette, Plucky Comedy Relief
    March 27, 2010

    Kitty names:

    Fella and Ursula

  440. #441 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    David M:

    Crack Canyon is cut through Wingate Sandstone by seasonal runoff, flash floods, and a small, sulphurous spring. Wingate is one layer of the Glen Canyon group, which includes the Kayenta Formation and Navajo Sandstone. Wingate layers vary in color from buff to pale orange to red. The cliffs of Crack Canyon reveal remnant sand dunes of Jurassic age, with some sources noting Early Jurassic, and others Late Jurassic. (If any geologists reading this can sort out the controversy, please let me know.)

    What? Late Jurassic? All of it is Early Jurassic (not even Middle), except for the bottom of the Wingate Sandstone which is Late Triassic.

    Thanks, David M. That’s what I thought, but I found an unreliable source on wiki (I know, I know) that talked about a fossil that changed the dating. There was one other source that questioned the dating as well, but I’ll be damned if I can find it again. Anyway, I’ll amend the post on my blog.

  441. #442 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 27, 2010

    wasn’t it ‘Tis Himself who told the story of the Alabaman and the Scot who had to write notes to each other because their dialects were mutually incomprehensible?

    They didn’t really have different dialects but rather their accents were un-understandable.

  442. #443 blf
    March 27, 2010

    Rice with artificial gravy
    (Almost vegetarian, depending on the gravy.)

    If I make my gravy out of a vegetarian, then wouldn’t be be natural gravy?

  443. #444 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Gravy = watery flavor plus cooked rendered fat plus starch (so says the gravy maker for the Nerd ouch, Redhead household).

  444. #445 iambilly
    March 27, 2010

    Kitty Names:

    Sacco and Vanzetti
    Damnit and Shit
    Peeves and ???
    Plus and Minus
    Breakfast and Lunch
    Hey and You

    What do I know, though: My cats are Sherman (named for William Tecumsah, an ancient neurotic and partially hairles gray tabby), Oreo (real original — she’s black and white), Dust (a 25+ pounder tiger stripe with white blotches and a tiny dustlike spot on his back) and KC (a little bitty version of Dust, who is Katie’s Cat — KC). We’re not the most original when it comes to cats.

  445. #446 blf
    March 27, 2010

    The smell of a Rat starting to fry, Pope faces fresh wave of child abuse scandals in Italy:

    The head of the Catholic church is bracing himself for a new round of allegations by victims of paedophile priests ? in Italy

    After the latest allegations ? that Benedict took no action in the US when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s enforcer ? the church is now “terrified” as more victims stand up to be counted in Italy, according to Roberto Mirabile, head of La Caramella Buona, an Italian anti-abuse group. “With the scandals erupting abroad, we will see a huge growth in victims’ groups in Italy in coming weeks,” said Mirabile yesterday. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict handled abuse cases at the Vatican for 24 years before he became pope in 2005.

    “We are likely to discover that the Vatican worked even harder in Italy with bishops than elsewhere to hide cases, simply because the contact was closer and the church is so powerful in Italy,” Mirabile added.

    Sergio Cavaliere, an Italian lawyer who has documented 130 cases of clerical paedophilia, also believes that the Vatican’s backyard could [produce] a wave of abuse revelations. “The cases I have found are just the tip of the iceberg given the reluctance of many victims to come forward until now,” said Cavaliere. “And in no single case did the local bishop alert police to the suspected abuse.”

    Another startling development is how recent most of the allegations are…

  446. #447 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Several concepts designate biologically interesting kinds of entities that have nothing in common besides the word “species” and usually don’t overlap perfectly. I think there should be parallel nomenclatures to account for them all.

    Interesting, but Linnaean taxonomy is so ingrained in biology that this may not be possible.

    Clades should be named separately ? so separately that the requirement to assign every organism to a species should fall.

    This is largely where Linnaean taxonomy is going. Each named category is/should be a distinct clade. That’s the reasoning behind the shift to hominin for humans and our direct ancestors instead of hominid. Hominid is now the entire great ape clade.

    The Biological Species Concepts require systematists to figure out if populations can or do interbreed. If the populations don’t reproduce sexually, that’s not applicable. Indeed, Ernst Mayr wrote that asexually reproducing organisms “do not form species”. But the currently valid codes of nomenclature force him and his successors to pretend anyway.

    The BSC was only ever applicable to sexually reproducing organisms, but I think it is tremendously useful. When genes can no longer pass between two populations, we know that the genetic distinctiveness of both populations is now permanent. Each species (should they survive long enough, of course) will produce genetically distinct clades of daughter species. Until the gene pools of both populations are permanently separate, that can change*.

    Everyone working on hominins names species. It’s sort of our holy grail to find a new species. I like to watch paleoanthropologists justify their new species by saying “I just don’t think it would interbreed with species xyz.” They’re using morphology to approximate the BSC, so the big debates are how much morphological variation we can expect in a single interbreeding species/population. The extreme splitters will justify their view by referencing galagos. Thirty years ago only two or three galago species were recognized, but now, thanks to actually studying them there are ten or more species. None of these species exhibit very much variation in their skeletal structure. The specific mate recognition systems are largely based (from our view) on various patterns of dark and light facial fur, which is very distinctive during the night (galagos are nocturnal). The people using this model say it’s better to err on the side of caution than to underestimate the number of species, but I think it’s mostly so that they can name a new species every time they find a new fossil that’s slightly different from its contemporaries.

    Anyway, I guess that was a long way of saying I don’t have a problem with using Linnaean taxonomy. It’s ingrained in the literature now, so we might as well tweak it a bit to fit phylogenetic taxonomy.

    *Plants, so I’ve been told, are different. I fully admit to being ignorant of plant genetics and reproduction beyond the very basics. Sorry.

  447. #448 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 27, 2010

    iambilly: Sherman is from my hometown. Had I a son, he would be named William Tecumseh.

  448. #449 Walton
    March 27, 2010

    In the event that anyone’s noticed: the reason for my recent lack of posting here is that I’ve been studying all week for twelve or thirteen hours a day (I am not exaggerating) and don’t have the mental energy to get involved in any kind of intelligent discussion. And I’ve got two more months of this to go until my exams. :-(

  449. #450 Feynmaniac
    March 27, 2010

    Hitchens and Maher talk about the Catholic Church:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6Wsm5LBe0w

    Surprisingly, they don’t have good things to say…..

  450. #451 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    David,

    1 mug Basmati rice from a 5-kg sack from a French supermarket

    4 gravy cubes from an Austrian supermarket

    Wow, that’s an expensive recipe. Do you have any idea the cost of airfare to France and Austria from the US? ;P

  451. #452 PZ Myers
    March 27, 2010

    I have two cats, both inherited from children who abandoned us to live on their own in apartments that don’t allow pets, leaving us to tend to their responsibilities. Their names are Midnight and Merle. Not my choice. If I had my way, they’d be called Neurotic and Trichobezoar.

    But nooooo. I’m stuck feeding them and cleaning up their poop, but I don’t get to give them more appropriate names.

  452. #453 Feynmaniac
    March 27, 2010

    Oh, and another surprise to add to #450: Hitchens was likely drunk. He even had a drink in his hand during the interview.

  453. #454 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    :-D You Fail Geography Forever.

    :-/ Croc, gator, whatever! I’m no herpetologist, just a lowly woodworker. (Trial run on p-bucket, hope it works.)

    Wood is good! :-)

    /Thanks for the clarification David M. I always get those two critters confused.

  454. #455 A. Noyd
    March 27, 2010

    A bit on the impact of domestic cats on biodiversity from Where the Wild Things Were by William Stolzenburg. (Spelling errors are my own.)

    Since its domestication four thousand years earlier by the Egyptians, Felis catus had become the world’s secondmost fearsome predator (behind only the rat, which, to be taxonomically fair, is a generic name ascribed to at least three species). The domestic cat, from the backyard venturer to the abandoned pet gone feral, had over the past five hundred years spanned the continents and major islands of the world. Turned loose upon the global fauna of native rodents, rabbits, birds, snakes, and lizards, it had chalked up a conservative estimate of thirty-three extinctions and uncounted decimations.

    When curious scientists first started taking serious note of the predatory habits of the presumably harmless house cat, the enormity of the massacres stunned them. In the British village of Bedfordshire, biologists Peter Churcher and John Lawton enlisted an entire community of cat owners as field assistants in what would become a landmark study of domestic predation. They went door-to-door with their feline census, tallying seventy-eight cats variably attached to 173 houses in the community. Churcher and Lawton instructed their amateur corps of wildlife scientists to bag the contents of any prey their cats brought home. By years’ end, the villagers of Bedfordshire had proudly presented the carcasses and body parts of 1,100 little animals. Mammals were especially popular, the bags filling with mice, voles, and shews, here the occasional rabbit, there a weasel. One cat specialized in slaying bats. An impressive sampling of birds rounded out the cats’ take. House sparrows, thrushes, robins, and blackbirds were all brought home for the master of the house. Some of the more industrious cats were bagging a hundred bodies a year, and it was not hard to imagine at least that many more victims never quite made it home.

    When Churcher and Lawton started extrapolating Bedfordshire’s results across Britain, the quaint little survey grew morbidly huge. The cats’ annual countrywide take came to seventy million mammals and birds. The ecological gravity of those numbers was lost on many of the killers’ owners. When the scientists published their results, other cat owners proudly wrote in–some apparently with Guinness Book ambitions–bragging about yearly scores of up to four hundred animals.

    Bedfordshire became a microcosm not only of Britain but of the world. Fed and sheltered by society, unhindered by disease or starvation, their killing dampened neither by satiation nor scarcity of prey–immune to the hardships faced by its competitiors attempting an honest living in the wild–the cat as recreational hunter had become a formidable blight on both predator and prey. In the United States alone, there lived anywhere from sixty million to one hundred million cats, most of the household pets, with uncounted millions lurking in semiwild populations. In rural Wisconsin, free-ranging cats had exceeded one hundred per square mile, outnumbering by several times all the native foxes, raccoons, and skunks combined. There were cats in America that could put the Bedfordshire hunters to shame, some credited with one thousand kills in a year. When all were accounted for, U.S. house cats were each year dispatching upward of a billion mice, voles, and baby rabbits, plus hundreds of millions of birds.

    And not all of those populating the hit lists were garden-variety creatures. On the dunes and sands of coastal Florida, the cats were plundering imperiled populations of beach mice and piping plovers. On Key Largo, a colony of five hundred feral cats had taken up residence within stalking range of an endangered species of wood rat.

    On naļve island faunas around the world, the cats’ consequences magnified. The house cat ambushed its way through rare rodents in the Caribbean and Baja and rare lizards of New Zealand. Before dispatching the last of the Guadalupe storm petrel, a small seabird nesting in burrows, cats were killing nearly half a million petrels per year. Before conservationists stepped in and killed the cats on Natividad Island off the coast of Mexico, the cats had been cropping a nesting colony of black-vented shearwaters by a thousand birds a month.

    Hunting might be the cats’ “natural” behavior, but their living conditions and numbers are anything but natural, which wreaks havoc on nature at large. Stolzenburg explains that nature’s solution is to have other predators like coyotes keep the cats in check, but most pet owners don’t like their freedom-loving babies getting chomped. For the sake of the rest of nature, however, it has to be that or keeping them confined.

  455. #456 Becca
    March 27, 2010

    watched the Hitchens and Maher video. Hitchens does indeed seem drunk – it’s very sad, and casts a shadow over anything valid he has to say.

  456. #457 John Morales
    March 27, 2010

    Just caught up, and I shall borrow David’s technique herein.

    Or are those names better reserved for pet weasels ?

    Better reserved for pet tapeworms.

    Any conclusion validly drawn from at least one false premise will itself be wrong, according to pure logic.

    Not necessarily — it just makes the argument unsound, the conclusion could still be correct even if not logically implied.

    And I’ve got two more months of this to go until my exams. :-(

    I know it seems like a biggie to a 20-y.o., but from my perspective two months is but a while.

    Years are beginning to zoom past, in my awareness.

    Sigh.

  457. #458 David Marjanovi?
    March 27, 2010

    I found an unreliable source on wiki (I know, I know) that talked about a fossil that changed the dating

    Where?

    Oh, perhaps it’s the phytosaur that indicates a Late Triassic age for the bottom of the Wingate Sandstone, and you misremembered that as Late Jurassic?

    Gravy = watery flavor plus cooked rendered fat plus starch

    Tsk, tsk. “Watery” isn’t true with 2 cubes per 1/4 l, and the rest… One brand of cubes:

    Vegetable fat, lactose, starch, iodized table salt, flavor enhancers (monosodium glutamate, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate), 3.5 % onions, yeast extract, table salt, aroma, spices, garlic, beef extract from lean beef, soy sauce (soybeans, wheat), sugar.

    The other:

    Starch, aroma (with celery, soy, wheat), flavor enhancers (monosodium glutamate, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate), table salt, lard, vegetable oil, yeast extract, sugar, glucose syrup, onions, garlic, spices, beef, cichoria extract, guar, antioxidants (tocopherol-rich extracts [of what???], fatty-acid esters of ascorbinic acid).

    (Fatty-acid esters of vitamin C? Too cool!)

    Interesting, but Linnaean taxonomy is so ingrained in biology that this may not be possible.

    It’s not. But of course parallel nomenclatures would be very cumbersome!

    The BSC was only ever applicable to sexually reproducing organisms, but I think it is tremendously useful.

    Both of them (the one that requires ability to interbreed in captivity, and the one that requires interbreeding in the wild) require enormous effort to test. Accordingly, they have been tested for very, very few pairs of populations.

    Thirty years ago only two or three galago species were recognized, but now, thanks to actually studying them there are ten or more species.

    Looks like that’s “just” another species concept at work, if not even splitting vs lumping within a morphological species concept…

    The people using this model say it’s better to err on the side of caution than to underestimate the number of species

    LOL!

    In my field, people tend to say it’s better to err on the side of caution than to risk creating a junior synonym or a nomen dubium! That’s why the Australian tyrannosauroid hasn’t got a name! :-D

    Anyway, I guess that was a long way of saying I don’t have a problem with using Linnaean taxonomy. It’s ingrained in the literature now, so we might as well tweak it a bit to fit phylogenetic taxonomy.

    15 years ago I tried. I gave up when it turned out I needed 21 ranks to cover just the currently named taxa between Dinosauria and Hadrosauridae or between Dinosauria and Aves (IIRC). That’s nothing but silly anymore.

    And I’ve got two more months of this to go until my exams. :-(

    :-S

    We’ll try not to miss you.

    (BTW, I think this is the first time I’ve been awake during a change to summertime.)

  458. #459 Walton
    March 27, 2010

    Damn… just remembered about the hour change. So it’s actually 2am here instead of 1am, meaning that I get an hour’s less sleep before I have to get up again and face the excitement of the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943.

  459. #460 David Marjanovi?
    March 27, 2010

    Years are beginning to zoom past, in my awareness.

    I somehow get both perspectives simultaneously: last year is both very recently and very long ago at the same time. Sometimes even when seen from the same topic, I think.

  460. #461 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Looks like that’s “just” another species concept at work, if not even splitting vs lumping within a morphological species concept.

    Not really. Before studies in the wild, most people just thought all of these little creatures were sub-species of one larger species because they looked so similar. It was assumed that they interbreed. When people went out and watched them they realized that the named sub-species didn’t interbreed, even where their ranges overlapped. Hence, they were moved into separate species.

    I guess I’m pampered because the species I look at the most have been rather extensively studied. Gorillas, chimpanzees, orang utans, all have long term field research.

    The wild versus captive interbreeding and the BSC is interesting. Bornean and Sumatran orangs don’t interbreed in the wild because they can’t swim between the islands. They interbreed just fine in captivity though. Some researchers are pushing to call them separate species, some think it’s fine to keep them together. Ah well.

  461. #462 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 27, 2010

    BSC isn’t really used in plants (and obviously can’t be used in dinosaurs)…I’m sure this occurs sometimes in vertebrates as well, but often entity A can interbreed with entity B and entity B can interbreed with entity C, but A and C are inter-sterile, and can’t share genes except through a “B” population.

    Or sometimes A and C form sterile hybrids that only become fertile by chance duplication of chromosomes.

    Or A and C form nearly sterile hybrids, but fertility is recovered through segregation in the rare F2…which also may not be interfertile with A or C.

    Point is, its a soup sandwich. I tend to like a nice explicit morphological species concept when making taxonomic decisions myself… with the understanding that species aren’t stable entities, that setting species delimitations is subjective, but that if the author is explicit, at least people can identify sources of disagreement.

    I also prefer lumpers to splitters, only because an error in lumping is easy to deal with later, while the proliferation of names associated with splitting has caused me a tremendous pain in the ass.

  462. #463 Opus
    March 27, 2010

    One brief note re the Quack’s veracity. I note that he says he had

    four years undergraduate, two years Harvard premed, four years N.D. med school

    IIRC Harvard College has no premed major, nor has it had such during the past 40 years. Students at Harvard College who wish to pursue a medical career can concentrate in any subject they wish. (One doesn’t ‘major’ at Harvard, one ‘concentrates.’) They only have to take the courses required for admission to medical school. It does, however, have a summer school. The Quack most likely spent two summers in fair Cambridge, possibly even in ‘adult enrichment’ courses, and uses this to burnish his lightweight academic credentials.

    Anyone who is surprised is sentenced to 24 hours in time-out, without access to the Eternal Thread. No one leaving? Carry on as you were.

  463. #464 AJ Milne
    March 27, 2010

    Crime and Punishment…

    Probably I’ve mentioned this somewhere already, but our two consumers of catfood and producers of cat droppings are Thelma and Louise.

  464. #465 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    boygenius, #454

    I’m no herpetologist, just a lowly woodworker.

    Lowly? The woodwork in those pictures is stunning.

  465. #466 Pygmy Loris
    March 27, 2010

    Antiochus Epiphanes,

    I’m sure this occurs sometimes in vertebrates as well, but often entity A can interbreed with entity B and entity B can interbreed with entity C, but A and C are inter-sterile, and can’t share genes except through a “B” population.

    I know there are ring species in arctic birds, so it applies to vertebrates too. As an aside, I got into this by comparing mutual intelligibility concepts for language vs. dialect to the BSC. You get something like a ring species in languages as well where Village A can speak to and understand Village B who can speak to and understand Village C, but C and A cannot understand each other…

    All of the species concepts are sorta extra to me. Except for a brief foray into paleoanthropology, I’ve only done any research on anatomically modern Homo sapiens.

  466. #467 AJ Milne
    March 27, 2010

    As I mentioned before, Myers has not ordered you all to attack the pope in the same way you attacked me. To do so would mean his eventual imprisonment.

    ?

    Wow. That’s even stupider that most of his shit.

    (Reads the rest of his shit again…)

    Oh. Okay. So I stand corrected.

    But I do wonder where Quackboy gets the idea anyone here takes ‘orders’. From anyone.

    Quackboy, here’s the thing: I’m not even sure I ever read Myers’ thing on you. I generally like his stuff, but I don’t always get the time to get to it all. But reading him as much as I do, I’d be rather surprised if he issued ‘orders’ of any kind in any mention of your sorry ass… His opinion it was well worth calling you on your shit, that I guess I might buy (he’s said as much, effectively, about the pope, too, by the way, or so I recall, despite your weird little lying whinge to the contrary), but then, I guess, I don’t strictly know…

    Regardless, me, at least, I’m calling you a quack not so much because anyone’s issuing instructions or opinions in this regard but because (a) you happen so obviously to be one, and (b) because you happen to be a particularly odious, shameless, and generally disgusting one by your own clear demonstration, right here in these threads, and (c) because you happen to be available, and (d) because it seems to me I’d generally be shirking my responsibility to my fellow hominids if I didn’t point out the jackal in our midst, and (e) because it’s so obviously easy to feed your obsession with this place, and I figure while you’re on the net arguing with us, you’re at least temporarily distracted from ripping anyone else off with your generally disgusting woo.

    Now I know this is probably going to be terribly difficult for your rather meagre excuse for a forebrain to grasp, but this, dear fool, is going to be the way of it now, whether your sorry ass likes it or not. Not because some Minnesota bio prof notes you’re a sorry, lying sack of shit, but because everyone is noticing you’re a sorry, lying sack of shit.

    Yes, I’m afraid it really is that obvious. And your friends shouldn’t have to be the ones to tell you. It’s how this stuff works, dude. It’s called getting a reputation. And congratulations, babe: you done gone and got yourself one.

    Oh, and because there’s a rather large and growing constituency of people in the world who are really quite fed up with assholes like you who seem to think lying your ass off for a living is somehow gonna become defensible and whatever stupid shit you’d like to be true will somehow become true if you just keep farting around with the standards for evidence long enough. A large and growing constituency, indeed, who are becoming increasingly happy to keep calling you on your bullshit until you either (i) drop it and get into a more honest business*, or (ii) simply bugger off, and crawl away into a corner whimpering in abject self-loathing the way you should have done in the first place. And they don’t so much need directives, and they don’t so much need leaders to get on this task, either.

    Just any excuse, really, and handy target. You’ll do. The pope’ll do. Any dumbfuck ‘faith healer’ stupid enough to stick his pompadour into our crosshairs, he’ll do too.

    So: orders? As if these would be necessary. I am happy to kick your weasly little ass, just as long as you offer it up for the kicking, dearie. Ain’t no one so much need even to ask.

    (*/Speaking of, have you considered pimping crack whores? I figure that’s probably a few percent less loathesome than your current line, anyway.)

  467. #468 blf
    March 27, 2010

    I wonder what would happen if Quack and the Graeme Bird nutter currently infesting the These guys are dangerous nuts thread were put in the same room and the door locked? The stooopidity wouldn’t be quite as concentrated as Sarah Palin on its own, but I suspect they would somehow react. Fuse or explode, that’s the question…

  468. #469 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    Josh OSG, thank you. I like to think I have learned a thing or three in 30 years of working with wood.

    I really need to get my portfolio in order. I have pics in files and folders and CDs scattered all over the place. It’s time to consolidate them in one spot so I can just link potential clients to the whole shebang. Word-of-mouth kept me in more work than I could take on for the last 12 years. Not so much anymore. :(

  469. #470 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 27, 2010

    have you considered pimping crack whores? I figure that’s probably a few percent less loathesome than your current line, anyway.

    AJ, I think you’ve hit on the perfect means for the Non-Doctor Quack to earn some self-respect by doing something useful for the community.

  470. #471 Jessa
    March 27, 2010

    I just read through the “dangerous nuts” thread. That guy’s a complete nutter. His recent post has the following gem:

    You show up to an international airport. You claim you have your passport and its valid, and the fellow cannot prove that it isn’t valid. You claim you have a valid visa. But likewise you won’t present it. Talk to my lawyer you say. And you claim that you have in fact a pair of pants and that though you won’t wear anything to cover your private parts, the fact that you have pants, and valid pants at that, well that makes it all Okay.

    Valid pants. *snicker*

    Oh, and we’re stupid stupid stupid blockheads.

  471. #472 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    boygenius:

    I really need to get my portfolio in order. I have pics in files and folders and CDs scattered all over the place.

    Get yourself a professional, crisp-looking website with a content management system that makes it easy for you to maintain, point-and-click. I’ve managed sites using Joomla, and I love them, but there are others out there such as Drupal, and people here with more experience could give you helpful opinions.

    For your needs, I’m betting you could get a goodlooking site done for $500 to $1,000. I bid out my last one on a site called Joomlancers, and got some very competitive offers.

  472. #473 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 27, 2010

    I’ve given up on the Dangerous Nuts thread. Even after much pleading the guy won’t produce any evidence to support his claims and somehow it’s our fault he won’t.

  473. #474 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Oh, and we’re stupid stupid stupid blockheads.

    But as a chew toy, paranoid loser is keeping our coats sniny and our teeth clean of tartar…tastes bad though, compared to the Redhead’s stir-fry…

  474. #475 Jessa
    March 27, 2010

    Sorry, we’re stupid stupid stupid stupid blockheads. Forgot the all-important fourth “stupid”. My bad.

    And apparently Special Relativity is wrong.

  475. #476 AJ Milne
    March 27, 2010

    Fashion police. Fashion police. Your pants are not valid.

    Move along.

    Re our ND*’s potential new careers, thankee, ‘Tis. I got to thinking since we’re recommending he move up, career-wise, we might even come up with a list of careers less disgusting than his present one…

    So far I’ve also got:

    – drug dealer to crack whores
    – crack whore
    – Ponzi scheme mastermind
    – Amway salesperson
    – serial killer
    – host of America’s Funniest Home Videos
    – booking agent**

    … feel free to append at your leisure.

    (*/Nastily Dotty. No, really. Look it up.)

    (**/Oh, come on. They have to be used to this joke by now.)

  476. #477 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Been off being political, then in the kitchen making ice cream, all day, so I’m way behind. That said, “fools rush in,” eh?

    [Gyeong Hwa Pak @235] She said “weird” and “gross”. She believes people can be born gay (from a religious standpoint) but she “has a thing against the idea of two guys kissing or having sex” (her words)….

    [Josh, Official SpokesGay @236] …her reaction was offensive and rotten, but I think it’s likely in six months or a year, she’ll think better of it and be rightfully ashamed and apologetic. Not that we gay folk should have to forebear and put up with it, I’m just describing what I think is likely.

    Gyeong Hwa, this sucks for you, I know, because it’s personal, and I’m sorry someone you love couldn’t find it in her heart to be more supportive.

    But if we look beyond the personal hurt, IMHO it shouldn’t really be about icky. I have to confess (albeit with some trepidation) that I find the idea of kissing another man, or fellating one, fairly icky, and anal sex weirds me out, gay or straight.

    But so what? I’m sure there are things I do or like that plenty of people find icky (e.g., I’ve heard tell some folks can’t abide cunnilingus, though that position is utterly mysterious to me). That almost seems to be the point: My aesthetic reaction to sexual things you might do — or your reaction to things I might do — has no bearing on the fact that we’re human beings, perfectly equal in our fundamental moral worth and, if the world were sane and just, in our legal rights.

    The very notion of discriminating against people because they do something that one finds “icky” would be ludicrous if it weren’t about teh seks: While I know plenty of people who think eating raw fish is disgusting, none of them would ever suggest that because I do that, I shouldn’t be able to get health care or get married or serve in the military or visit my loved ones in the hospital! That would be stupidly ridiculous… but when it comes to sex, we are so thoroughly fucked up that we actually think one group’s discomfiture about something another group does¹ that isn’t what we’re used to is somehow a reason to frakkin’ deny the second group’s very humanity.

    Sheesh!

    Gyeong Hwa, I’m sorry you had a bad day with your sister, and if I were there I’d give you a hug (hugs are never icky!)… but at the end of the day, what anybody thinks about what you do ought to be irrelevant to what they think about you. If only we lived in a world that knew that, eh?

    ¹ And just one small (albeit not insignificant) subset of the vast range of behaviors that make up a person’s life, at that!

  477. #478 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    I’d give you a hug (hugs are never icky!).

    Be careful, Bill. Hugs are a gateway drug to Teh But Seks.

  478. #479 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    Josh OSG;

    Get yourself a professional, crisp-looking website

    Yeah, that thought has crossed my mind in the past. Hmm.. could you loan me $500-$1,000. I’m good for it, I swear. ;)

  479. #480 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    boygenius:

    I know $500 to $1,000 ain’t no small thang, trust me. But if you can scrounge it up, it would probly be a good investment in your business. Me, I’d love to hire you to do some work in my house, but I don’t think I can afford you!

  480. #481 Sven DiMilo
    March 27, 2010

    oy, Kentucky goes down, putting BDC (briefly!) on top. Now, I had Kentucky to win (largely because of a ham-handed disagreement with the ESPN interface plus a last-possible-second-to-pick duress, but still), so that’s Not Good. My old Alma Mater, Michigan State, must come through (plus Duke, which, btw, rejected my application), for much good to come of this travesty. Celtic Evolution (I think) is out of it; he has no more possible points. Bill Dauphin is currently in the cellar, and his only hope for any improvement is for the Baptists of Baylor to beat Duke, which, hell, why not?
    Billy the Atheist benefits from a Duke win (as do I), but has no other prospects. BDC has both Baylor plus West Virginia…so far so good.
    It’s a mug’s game, bracketology.

  481. #482 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    Oh, Sven de Milo, now that your attention is on this thread: off-topic, but were you the guy who said he’d written a paper on emotion in music, focusing on sadness from descending seconds? Or, am I just making that up?

  482. #483 Kel, OM
    March 27, 2010

    I?m trying to help you all understand not only each other, but your opponents.

    I grew up around alt-med types, I’m deeply familiar with that way of thinking in more ways that can possibly imagine.

    I now consider you a repressed minority with all the equivalent anger. Of course you lash out incoherently, because very few of you are out of the closet to your family and friends as atheists.

    Really? That’s what you’ve got? Again, what I”m asking for is evidence.

    I?m not being attacked because of logic, but because you see me as some who holds some beliefs contrary to your own.

    No, you’re “attacked” because you promote nonsense at the cost of other people’s health. Again, I grew up around this. The arguments are never beyond the anecdotal for efficacy, and if I happen to question what solid empirical evidence it is I’m told I’m close minded, that I should be more open, that I’m a tool of Big Pharma, that I have faith in science, that knowledge is relative. Not studies backing it up, not empirical evidence. Transmission of information from layperson to layperson who are so wanting to believe it is true that they demonise anyone who says otherwise.

    Yet where beyond the anecdotal is the empirical evidence? Sorry, but a story about how magnets cured someone’s knee pain are about as believable as stories about prayer being effective. And I have heard lots of those stories, personal testimonials to the truth of God…

    What is strange is that I do not. I don?t ?believe? in the things I do, I use what works from many different medical traditions.

    I’m asking for is empirical evidence of those particular treatments. Where is it?

    I don?t believe in homeopathy any more than I would believe in a wrench. I don?t believe in one diet or treatment program,

    What treatment

    and I created custom built treatment plans for patients based on their beliefs rather than applying my own.

    So basically you’re playing Mr Cultural Relativist and using the placebo effect? Well done, I should pat you on the back…

    …meanwhile if you want to understand where I’m actually coming from, I wrote this. My frustration with you is because you’re a dishonest twat, one who promotes nonsense at the same time as belittling those who are restricted by empiricism and regulation and adherence to basic standards of evidence.

    Like I said, I’ve grown up in circles where alt-med was standard. I see how people believe who use it, I see how these beliefs spread. I see the efficacy of treatments, and I have even participated in particular treatments when asked to try them. But you don’t get that, and you will never get why people mock you here. It’s not because you’re some persecuted hero who went up against Big Science, it’s not because people here are repressed and just need to take their anger out on you. It’s because you’re a promoter of nonsense, dishonest and proud of it.

    Again I ask. Show me the evidence. Show me what backs up your positions on particular beliefs. You aren’t doing it, instead you’ve created some mental profile of me to explain away why I’m asking you for evidence. Where is the evidence? Show it to me and I’ll change my mind. I’m interested in what works, whether it comes from a large corporation or grows naturally in my backyard. Where is the evidence?

  483. #484 MrFire
    March 27, 2010

    Hugs are a gateway drug to Teh But Seks.

    Well, that’s something I must have been doing wrong all these years.

    *pouts*

  484. #485 Sven DiMilo
    March 27, 2010

    Josh: ah! No, that’s true. Undergraduate Psych. Two semesters, actuallay, one on emotions in music generally and another on “The Psychology of Jazz” iirc. Long time ago. Why?

  485. #486 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 27, 2010

    Rohrschach (@330):

    I have 2 new kittens, and I need names

    Benson and Stabler.

    Heh. I mentioned earlier that our cat’s name is Miranda. My daughter named her that, just because she thought it was a pretty name… but the cat has been fairly quiet (i.e., she doesn’t meow much, though she has a loudish purr) most of her life, so I like to tell people that we named her that because she has “the right to remain silent.”

  486. #487 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 27, 2010

    Sven:

    Josh: ah! No, that’s true. Undergraduate Psych. Two semesters, actuallay, one on emotions in music generally and another on “The Psychology of Jazz” iirc. Long time ago. Why?

    Because I’m intensely interested in music theory (yep, even undergrad speculation), particularly anything that discusses emotions. There’s something about descending second intervals (esp. in the context of passing tones) that strikes me a certain melancholy way, and that I’ve noticed in certain styles of music. When you made that remark, it stuck out. Don’t suppose you have either of those papers in electronic format, and if you do, that you’d be willing to email them?

  487. #488 Sven DiMilo
    March 27, 2010

    I had a cat once named Eddie Haskell.

    Good names for 2 would be Wally & Beaver.

  488. #489 boygenius
    March 27, 2010

    I’d love to hire you to do some work in my house, but I don’t think I can afford you!

    You’d be surprised. I’ve been whoring myself out for pennies on the dollar lately. (Though there is the inconvenient fact that your home is on the other side of the continent.)

    A nifty website would be cool to have, but the high-end residential market in the Boise area is kind of a good ‘ol boy situation. All of the builders who might hire me already know who I am. Or they know someone I’ve done work for in the past. Plus, I have standing invitations from most of my customers to give tours of the actual houses I’ve done. Being able to walk someone through a house so they can see and feel the actual product is the best marketing tool I’ve ever encountered.

    The main problem is: NO ONE IS BUILDING HOUSES.

    :(:(:(

  489. #490 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    David M. @458: Arrgggh. I owe apologies to you. Yes, I misread and/or misremembered the “Late Triassic” note in this bit:

    Although traditionally thought to date to the Early Jurassic only, fossils (including a phytosaur skull) and other evidence indicate that part of the Wingate Sandstone is Late Triassic in age. The upper part of the formation, which laterlly interfingers with the Moenave Formation to the west, is Early Jurassic in age.[1][2]

    Inexcusable. I should proofread my blog as if it were text for a book. Too lax, Lynna, too lax.

  490. #491 Sven DiMilo
    March 27, 2010

    Don’t suppose you have either of those papers in electronic format

    Ah. No. These were written before “electronic format” had meaning. 1978? Seriously, long time.

    It’s actually not impossible, though, that I still have the original hand-and/or-type-written originals. I know which boxes to look in. Should they manifest, I’ll cite some references. It was pretty interesting. I remember one prof was impressed enough with my research to pass me despite a nasty Final-choke.
    There was a poorly timed shipment, put it that way.

  491. #492 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 27, 2010

    ARIDS (@356) wins the internet for quoting Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats! One of Eliot’s most delightful moments (and, of course, the one that led him to become, posthumously, a lyricist for Andrew Lloyd Weber).

    And the first gift I ever gave my bride to be, way back yonder….

  492. #493 Kel, OM
    March 27, 2010

    And this whole “you do it because PZ tells you to” is wearing really thin. If only I didn’t have my bias coloured by PZ then I would see the real person behind the quack and realise what a wonderful and brave human being you are. That PZ is the only thing standing between me recognising your role as a selfless public servant working for the greater good against the tyranny of an industry dedicated to turning us into human ATMs…

    Yet this is coming from the same person who is trying to teach us to understand your way of thinking. Been there, done that and been wearing the t-shirt long before I had even heard of the sceptical community – much less PZ’s blog. I didn’t even know what a sceptic was, I thought it was just appropriate to hold any idea to a level of critical inquiry, that the evidence would speak for itself. What I’ve found in my time looking at the movement is that it follows much along the lines of cultural relativism. It was leftist ideology in the hands of the unempirical types (or course back then I wouldn’t have been able to put it in such words).

    It’s an ideology of its own, adherents will use science whenever it suits them and will cast science off the moment science disagrees. That’s not the way of looking at evidence! So many times I’ve been told stories of how science got this wrong, and science got that wrong, and drug X has this side effect, and drug Y has that side effect. Meanwhile promoting treatments that have no basis in reality, let alone biochemically.

    Like I said, been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. At all times, I ask for evidence. At all times (so far), I get back anecdotal stories and accusations of being close minded. That’s hardly a foundation to build knowledge upon…

    Try to understand where others are coming from, you quack!

  493. #494 Lynna, OM
    March 27, 2010

    boygenius @469, I, for one, would love to have a copy of your portfolio after you put it in order.

  494. #495 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 28, 2010

    @Sven:

    It’s actually not impossible, though, that I still have the original hand-and/or-type-written originals. I know which boxes to look in. Should they manifest, I’ll cite some references

    Thanks Sven. I don’t mean to ask you to go to any trouble, though.

    I remember feeling like I’d won the jackpot when my mother got a portable Royal (I think?) typewriter in the mid-80s to write her (late-education) college term papers on. I tried to hog that thing, since I hated writing by hand, and my penmanship was so poor my work got graded down.

    Gives me shudders to think back on a world without word processing on computers.

  495. #496 cicely
    March 28, 2010

    Names for kittehs: Statler and Waldorf.

    Lynna:

    Besides, I don’t want any of my doctors to lack for funds. They have boats and vacation homes to care for after all.

    Indeed. And it is not at all impossible that they may also have Hummers and/or sport cars in need of frequent exercise, and they are very high-maintenance pets.

    David M., Order of the Stick link: :D

    blf:

    If I make my gravy out of a vegetarian, then wouldn’t be be natural gravy?

    It would certainly be organic. ;)

  496. #497 John Morales
    March 28, 2010

    Sven,

    It’s actually not impossible, though, that I still have the original hand-and/or-type-written originals. I know which boxes to look in. Should they manifest, I’ll cite some references.

    Of so, you could do more.

    Scan → [OCR | PDF].

  497. #498 Lynna, OM
    March 28, 2010

    Yeeccch. Here’s some nasty stuff from the mormons. It shows all too well how they get right into your personal life and load on the guilt, the passive/aggressive mind-fuck, etc. — all the while making sure you stay in fold, pop out new mormon babies, and pay, pay, pay.

    I’ll just include an excerpt here, because it’s a long post over on exmormon.org, but the whole thing is nightmarishly revealing if you want to go over there and dive in. Excerpt:

    The following comes from a BYU religion professor’s blog regarding marrying a non-member.
    In one of the comments below it says…”no love is worth sacrificing the eternitiy.” Some mormons believe it isn’t worth marrying at all unless they can be married to a member who has a temple recommend (which requires 10% of your income). And others have regrets marrying a non-member, as evidenced by a comment at the end of this post, “don’t settle for anything less than a faithful member of the church who can take you to the temple”.
         Wednesday, March 4, 2009: Marrying a non-member
         Question:
         My sister has made the decision to date non-members. She made this decision against her better judgment. She now finds herself in the position of being in love with a great guy who is not a member. He had some bad habits but has stopped them every time my sister has asked him to. He seems to be sincere in his feelings for her.
         She is now realizing the error of her ways because she knows that she will not be able to go to the temple. She has expressed all these things to her boyfriend and he has tried to respond positively. He even came to church with her recently. This had made her life more difficult because she does not know if he is only doing this for the short term or if he is sincere.
         It is not my place to tell her that she is not really in love. She may very well be. I have considered telling her that she will just have to make the hard choice and say to herself..I love this man but he cannot take me to the temple and so I must find a new man that can? I am afraid that may come across wrong.
         My question is, is there any council from the Brethren on this topic. I am encouraged that she is at least thinking twice about this relationship before moving forward. However, I worry that if I council her not to marry this guy and she never finds another man because no one will be exactly like her current boyfriend that she may resent me. She has said multiple times that every time she dates another man she always compares him to the current love of her life.
         Answer: Marrying a Non-member
         I am sadly amused at the lack of understanding of so many LDS. This goes back to the very basics of what life is all about. In the pre-earth life, we saw the glorious, resurrected, exalted bodies of our Eternal Parents and wanted an opportunity to become like them. We plead with Heavenly Father to set up a divine curriculum to help us attain that goal. He established laws as the stepping stones to help us progress. There was, however, to be one condition which was absolutely essential to our progress and eventual exaltation?that is, we had to exercise our agency to choose to obey the God-ordained laws. That was the very thing that Lucifer (soon to become Satan) was opposed to. He wanted to progress without regard to the keeping or breaking of laws. He wanted blessings without obedience, rewards without conforming to law. In other words, he wanted us to be able to pick up one end of the stick without there being any consequences on the other end of the stick?an eternal impossibility. Joseph Smith said the basic difference between Heavenly Father?s plan and Satan?s plan was that Satan said he could save all mankind (see Moses 4:1) and God said that certain people would not return to His presence because of their exercising their agency.
         When Satan presented his plan, a full one-third part of our Father?s children sided with him. Rather than override their agency and force them to do something that would be for their eternal wellbeing, God allowed them to commit spiritual suicide and eventually go to outer darkness for the rest of their eternal life. Now for the point.
         God is an unchanging Being. He establishes laws for the salvation and exaltation of His children. He teaches them (through scriptures, prophets, and His Spirit) the correct principles and requirements for desired blessings. Then He stands back and lets them choose. How they choose determines what kingdom of Glory they will spend the rest of their eternal life. If they exercise their agency (mistakenly called ?free agency??it isn?t free?there are consequences associated with the freedom to choose) to conform to the law?the promised blessings automatically and inescapably follow. If they exercise their agency to disobey, once they have been taught, then there should be no surprise that they would not receive the promised blessing for obedience.
         Your friend is being dubbed [sic? I think that's supposed to be duped? But maybe there's a mormon dubbing I don't know about?] by one of the most frequently used arguments I hear: ?Oh God will work it out and everything will be OK!? God has already done His part?the temples and sealing powers are available, now the choice is up to your friend. As He did with one-third part of His Spirit Children, God is not going to force your friend to choose right. However, just as He did with the one-third part in allowing them to exercise their agency to their eternal destruction, so God is allowing your friend (and all of us) to exercise our agency to our own exaltation or condemnation.

    Link: http://www.exmormon.org/boards/w-agora/index.php?site=exmobb&bn=exmobb_recovery

  498. #499 John Morales
    March 28, 2010

    PZ, there’s someone using the ID “Sanction” polluting old threads. I’d call it spamming, but there’s no content and the name link is just a profile.

    Annoying, when I check the “Recent Posts” sidebar.

  499. #500 MrFire
    March 28, 2010

    Lynna! Loads love. I still have a recommendation to write. April 9 is the deadline…right?

    *crosses fingers and goes to bed, hoping it ain’t too late*

  500. #501 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 28, 2010

    Thank you, Bill. Hopefully, things will become normal quickly between my sister and me.

    Hugs are a gateway drug to Teh But Seks.

    Really? It only ever got a fall…none of your business. :P

  501. #502 John Morales
    March 28, 2010

    Sanction, much appreciated.

  502. #503 Pygmy Loris
    March 28, 2010

    Lynna,

    This is the thing that amazes me about the LDS church. The way it has brainwashed members into being so concerned about other mormons. It was a huge deal among m1

  503. #504 Pygmy Loris
    March 28, 2010

    Sorry about that guys. The cat just walked across my laptop and managed to preview and submit a post before I could move him. Talented guy :)

    so #504 should go on to say:

    It was a huge deal among my Baptist relatives when one of my cousins married a Catholic, but they got over it. She can still go to Baptist church, and there’s no issue of her getting into heaven.

    The LDS church is so restrictive and insular. I cannot imagine trying to escape.

  504. #505 Rorschach
    March 28, 2010

    Not sure if I have linked to Sue-Ann Post before here, if I have apologies, thought Lynna(and others hopefully) might find it funny.

    She’s a lesbian ex-mormon comedian over here and had a gig at the GAC, of which Wowbagger just reminded me in a blog post he put up about that weekend.
    I’ll let him link to it, if he wants to…

  505. #506 Feynmaniac
    March 28, 2010

    The cat just walked across my laptop and managed to preview and submit a post before I could move him. Talented guy :)

    Indeed. Pygmy Loris’ cat gets my Molly vote this month.

  506. #507 Hekuni Cat
    March 28, 2010

    My cat Chloe hasn’t posted anything for me as yet, but she has deleted numerous emails by rolling on my keyboard. I’m sure she’ll add posting to her repertoire when opportunity represents itself. And quite possibly start posting her own thoughts on a variety of subjects, most of which will relate to the birds that live in our yard based on her vocalizations about them.

  507. #508 Rorschach
    March 28, 2010

    Ignoring the fact that Formula 1 is a waste of money, space and used to piss me off when Albert Park was no good for jogging for weeks because of it, it’s certainly no fun when god Michael Schumacher is trundling behind in 11th place !!

    I assume it’s his bad neck.

    (It does funny things to you when you drive around the course in non-Grand Prix times btw, one tends to just go through the curves a tad more aggressively than usual, it’s good fun, especially since the speed limit is meant to be 50…)

  508. #509 Rorschach
    March 28, 2010

    Here is NonStampCollector’s view of the GAC !

    Seems like a really nice guy, and his name is Steve…:-)

  509. #510 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 28, 2010

    Hmmm… got sidetracked when the spawn and her bf decided to come home for the (rest of the) weekend… which oddly enough turned into a long session of late-night West Wing DVD watching.

    Pygmy Loris (@503):

    The cat just walked across my laptop and managed to preview and submit a post before I could move him. Talented guy :)

    My sister’s cat once recorded the outgoing message on her answering machine! The way we reconstructed it after the fact, he must’ve stepped on the Record button and then just stood there meowing and purring for the allowed duration of the OGM.

    He also used to type on her computer. At one point, I discovered (and bought for her, for Christmas) computer software (Windoze only, or I would’ve gotten a copy for myself) that purported to train cats to stay off the keyboard: It claimed to be able to statistically identify certain non-word strings of characters as catlike typing, and the software would cause the computer to emit a tone that’s annoying to cats whenever such strings are detected.

    Never actually worked, of course, but it was one of the funniest gifts I’ve ever given! ;^)

    BTW, regarding the ice cream I mentioned @477, it’s mostly one of the recipes that came with my ice cream machine (Cuisinart ICE-20), but with a couple tweaks of my own:

    Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
    1 cup whole milk
    3/4 cups granulated sugar
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract
    1 4-oz. bar 60% cacao chocolate
    Green creme de menthe liqueur to taste

    Chop chocolate into small irregular chips and place in freezer

    Chill milk and cream in refrigerator

    Put milk and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved

    Add cream and peppermint extract and whisk lightly (don’t whip)

    Chill mixture in refrigerator for at least several hours (up to overnight), or in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes (do not allow to freeze)

    Churn/freeze mixture in ice cream machine per instructions (a total of about 22 minutes for my machine; YMMV)

    Roughly 4 minutes before the end of churning, add the chilled chocolate chips

    Drizzle in creme de menthe as desired to add color and additional mint flavor.

    Yields roughly 2 1/2 pints

    There: No cooked custard and no raw eggs, yet the final product is rich and tasty. The creme de menthe is my own addition: Many recipes for mint chip ice cream suggest green food coloring (without it, the ice cream is white, and visibly indistinguishable from regular chocolate chip), but I thought it would make more sense to use something that would actually add flavor as well as color. The alcohol content of the finished product is negligible (any significant amount of alcohol would interfere with proper freezing). I also discovered, after my first batch failed to set up properly, that it’s important everything be cold when it goes into the churn. The chocolate has a nontrivial amount of thermal mass, and if you put it in at room temperature, you may have difficulty.

    Right out of the churn, this will have the texture of soft-serve, but I always harden it in the freezer before serving. I bought, at a local restaurant supply store, a case of lidded paper 1-pint buckets (sold as soup containers) that are perfect for portioning and storing ice cream.

    Bon appetit!

  510. #511 Rorschach
    March 28, 2010

    Hey Jadehawk, although my plans atm are to arrive in Europe June 27, can you let me know if you can make it any earlier so to make it to this convention in Copenhagen? I would consider changing my flight plans if you would go with me…Would be nice to meet the euro atheists !!!

  511. #512 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    Lynna, sorry to hear about your cat woes; I’m not at all surprised by the cop’s response. One of my happiest days was leaving SLC. I don’t know of anything that will get the cat stench off your plant, perhaps repeated spray downs/rinses with insecticidal soap? Have you tried planting Rue? It won’t work on all cats, but most of them hate it with a passion, especially if you crush a stem full of fresh leaves every day. Be careful doing that though, Rue has a nasty effect on the skin. Gloves are best.

  512. #513 Kel, OM
    March 28, 2010

    It took me three sittings, but I finally finished watching Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

    It actually wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. Yes, Ben Stein playing the scripted sceptic is painful to watch, it was completely biased in the way a Penn & Teller episode is, and a million other things wrong with it. But it is worth watching, if nothing else to see how a quasi-conspiracy can be weaved into a narrative which didn’t really support it. As a propaganda piece, I give it 6/10.

  513. #514 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    Wow, that Bird character on the dangerous nuts thread is something else. I’m amazed his brain hasn’t exploded from the sheer amount of bullshit he’s shoveled into it.

  514. #515 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 28, 2010

    Caine,

    Bird doesn’t accept “space-time.” This tells me that he’s a solipsist and whatever he decides is true must be true.

  515. #516 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    ‘Tis, I saw that comment of his about space-time. My jaw did some dropping on that one. Saying these types of people are loony doesn’t even begin to cover it. I don’t think there’s one single thing he wouldn’t scream “conspiracy!” or “you can’t prove it!” over.

    I’ve encountered the wacky birthers on the net before, but this one…oy.

  516. #517 Walton
    March 28, 2010

    Argh. I just don’t have the mental energy to read and understand all these posts properly, so it all rolls together in my mind… apparently Obama was born in a giant tub of primeval mint chocolate chip ice cream, outside space time, and was brought to life by cats pressing buttons on the keyboard. And his birth certificate was doctored by a quack who claimed he’d been to Harvard, but no one could understand him because he was speaking an obscure German dialect. Or something.

  517. #518 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    A masterful summary, Walton.

  518. #519 blf
    March 28, 2010

    Caine, Bird itself has strongly implied HIV does cause AIDS, and that the holocaust did happen, so there’s two things it presumably won’t cry ?conspiracy!? or ?you can’t prove it!? over. (It hasn’t absolutely clearly said so, but I expect that level of coherence is beyond it.) And I (and others) had to ask eight times before we got an answer. This is a mooron’s mooron.

  519. #520 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    blf, yes, I caught that. It was certainly an implication. Of a sort. Normally, I’d enquire as to “several” as a response to “did the holocaust take place?” but Game Bird* doesn’t seem the sort actually clarify anything.

    *I swear, I keep reading his name as Game Bird.

  520. #521 Sven DiMilo
    March 28, 2010

    Walton, that was pretty funny.

    yeah, you’re unkilled.

    General amnesty.

  521. #522 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2010

    *I swear, I keep reading his name as Game Bird.

    I keep reading him as Bird Brained. His claim to be using the scientific method is sets my goat afire…

  522. #523 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    Nerd, considering that he believes in the expanding earth theory, his notion of scientific method is seriously out there. Somewhere.

  523. #524 Sili
    March 28, 2010

    Oh, and another surprise to add to #450: Hitchens was likely drunk. He even had a drink in his hand during the interview.

    That’s actually sorta a relief. I though he sounded like he was about to drop dead from having walked up too many stairs.

  524. #525 blf
    March 28, 2010

    his notion of scientific method is seriously out there. Somewhere.

    Someplace in that thread, and also maybe on its blog, Less-Brains-Than-a-Stuff-Turkey said something to the effect that an experiment isn’t valid unless it’s testing more than one, but not more than six, ideas. In the same(?) comment there was something great about a hypothesis, something to the effect you couldn’t have one unless you had two.

    I pretty much skipped over that inanity, perhaps because my brain was already Klein-bottle shaped from earlier and other inanities, or maybe due to a good vin and lack of sleep. (I was laughing so hard I was up for almost 24h!… SIWOTI, anyone?)

  525. #526 Sven DiMilo
    March 28, 2010

    something great about a hypothesis, something to the effect you couldn’t have one unless you had two.

    Hmm, sounds like a reified version of Platt 1964:
    http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~markhill/science64_strong_inference.pdf

  526. #527 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    blf:

    something to the effect that an experiment isn’t valid unless it’s testing more than one, but not more than six, ideas.

    Uh…okaaay. I wonder if that has anything to do with believing in six impossible things before breakfast. :D

  527. #528 Sven DiMilo
    March 28, 2010
  528. #529 Lynna, OM
    March 28, 2010

    Rorschach, you had linked to Sue Post some time back, but I’d hadn’t seen that particular video. Great fun. I loved her impression of herself, with that smiling mormon inanity between the two chopped-off braids (“plaits”, as she calls ‘em).

    Pygmy Loris mentioned how astounding it is that mormons get all up into everyone else’s business, and that it’s even worse for church members. They can form little intervention committees at the drop of a hat, giving them multi-saint power to harangue girls who are thinking of marrying outside the Returned Missionary fold, to present dire-warning choruses to guys thinking of attending any university other than BYU or BYUI, and to slime-love a reluctant mother into having yet more babies. There are no boundaries. Everything in your life, from your innermost thoughts to your innermost thighs, is fair game and needs a Piss-Poor Prophet Prescription.

    Oh, yeah, and Rorschach, thanks for the link to Non-Stamp Collector, who was nicely awed by Professional Poopyhead and other major atheist lights he met at the conference. I love all the pics of PZ obligingly getting his photo taken with his fans.

  529. #530 Lynna, OM
    March 28, 2010

    Walton @516, that was the best thread summary ever.

  530. #531 A. Noyd
    March 28, 2010

    Kel (#492)

    Try to understand where others are coming from, you quack!

    Impossible. While you’d think the “treating the individual” skills he employs for his beloved profession would make that easier, it’s maintaining belief in the goodness of that profession that keeps him from acknowledging we’re not just PZ’s willing puppets. His is so common an attitude that I actually wrote out weeks ago three of the options that the quack and his ilk could use to explain the unanimity of our response to him:

    1. You believe you’re right and you are right. Everyone else is wrong and they are unwilling or afraid to admit it as no dissent from the dogma prescribed by the blog is allowed. They are arguing only to please their master and keep their place among the pack.

    2. You believe you’re right and you are right. Everyone else is wrong, but they sincerely believe they are right, and are independently telling you how you are wrong.

    3. You believe you’re right but you’re wrong. Everyone but you can see this and is independently telling you how you are wrong.

    It’s very telling that the quack and so many other hostile visitors to Pharyngula choose number one. If I’m in a situation where I’m disagreeing with several people at once and I’m confident I’m right, I’ll assume number two while staying open to the possibility I’m wrong after all. But then, I have a greater desire to find the truth than to be “right” at any given moment. To rely on number one would merely invoke a few self-aggrandizing and absurd ad hominems rather than doing anything to legitimately support my beliefs. But it seems to be a very popular refuge for those unwilling to consider themselves wrong.

  531. #532 iambilly
    March 28, 2010

    A. Noyd: But we are the willing minions of PZ. Notice the button we have to push to comment — it says ‘submit.’ That (to some) says it all.

  532. #533 Sven DiMilo
    March 28, 2010

    I submit that A. Noyd has indeed edged us closer to truth.

  533. #534 Sven DiMilo
    March 28, 2010

    But so I really wanted to mention something I learned about the other evening from a couple of friendly bartenders. I’m sure I’m like the next-to-last to hear about stuff like this, so apologies if this is eye-rollingly old hat already, but hey, I’m old* and it was new to me: ChatRoulette. Apparently it’s like an intertubes hub-service where anybody with a ‘webcam’ can log in, totally anomymously, no ID, no registration, and be connected at random to somebody else in a minimalist video-chatting situation. And so either of you can disconnect at any time and get randomly connected to somebody else etc. Supposedly, but as is easily imaginable, it’s rife with idiots and exhibitionists and creepy voyeurs who cover up their camera, etc., but my pint-pulling friends were telling me about various creative uses–instant portraits, weird games, etc. And apparently the emergent r0xx0r of the platform is this dude Merton, who plays the piano and improvises songs about the people who present themselves on his monitor. Here’s the evidently already famous viral vid:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTwJetox_tU
    and I think that’s pretty funny.

    But then so the twist is that apparently there was speculation online that Merton was really Ben Folds, which he’s not, but Ben Folds heard about it and covered Merton’s schtick in a concert situation, and this is also pretty funny IMO:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfamTmY5REw

    *As are many of my hats

  534. #535 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 28, 2010

    The Quack reminds me of a quote from Eric Hoffer:

    We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.

  535. #536 Pygmy Loris
    March 28, 2010

    Walton,

    Hilarious summary, there!

    I was trying to read the dangerous nuts thread last night, but that Bird guy’s repetitive crazy hurt my brain. Who knew there were birthers in Australia?

  536. #537 blf
    March 28, 2010

    The Rat is learning lessons from Less-Brains-Than-a-Stuffed-Turkey (Bird) and Less-Brains-Than-a-Stuffed-Moose (Palin), Pope Benedict condemns ‘petty gossip’ over child sexual abuse scandal:

    Pope Benedict today risked inflaming opinion as he appeared to round on critics of the Catholic church over the widening sexual abuse scandal, saying he would not “be intimidated by … petty gossip”.

    The pope said that faith in God helped lead one “towards the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion”.

    He also spoke of how man can sometimes “fall to the lowest, vulgar levels” and “sink into the swamp of sin and dishonesty”.

    In the face of one of the gravest scandals in the Catholic church’s recent history, the Vatican has chosen to attack the media for what it called an “ignoble attempt” to smear Pope Benedict and his top advisers “at any cost”.

    The Grauniad commments:

    The manner in which the Vatican has handled the scandal of clerical sex abuse is … an example of how much damage it can cause to what is arguably the world’s most powerful institution, the billion-strong Roman Catholic church.

    … There is no smoking gun yet, but the tide of scandal is lapping at the doors of the papal chambers.

    This is both tragedy and disaster. It is a tragedy for the victims of abuse, as the pope himself acknowledged in his letter of apology to the children of Ireland just over a week ago, when he told them “your trust has been betrayed … no one would listen … you must have felt there was no escape from your suffering”. And it could be a disaster for the church. No one knows quite how many thousands of victims there might have been, nor how many more will emerge, but there are hundreds in Ireland, more than a thousand in the United States and growing numbers in Germany, Switzerland and France. They are emerging in Latin America too. Yet 50 years after allegations first began to appear, the Vatican apparently remains paralysed by the implications and struggles to acknowledge their extent, let alone to apologise. Yesterday, its newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, rounded on critics accusing them of trying to strike “at any cost”. An editorial claimed the pope always handled abuse cases with “transparency, purpose and severity”. …

    In another institution it would be impossible to imagine the survival of a leading figure who was even marginally implicated in such a terrible betrayal of its founding purpose. … [U]nder Benedict, the church hobbles on, haemorrhaging support with each new charge against it. …

    It didn’t happen! This is a fact! You lie!
    Straight out of Bird’s playbook.

    It’s all the media’s fault! I’ve done nothing wrong! You lie!
    Straight out of Palin’s playbook.

  537. #538 Pygmy Loris
    March 28, 2010

    Sven,

    Jon Stewart covered ChatRoulette in his usual way.

  538. #539 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    The pope said that faith in God helped lead one “towards the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion”.

    Yes, it’s just damned awful. *eyeroll* His wording comes across as both bitter and spiteful as to “dominant opinion” no longer being controllable by the church.

  539. #540 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 28, 2010

    Hey Jadehawk, although my plans atm are to arrive in Europe June 27, can you let me know if you can make it any earlier so to make it to this convention in Copenhagen? I would consider changing my flight plans if you would go with me…Would be nice to meet the euro atheists !!!

    oooOOOOoooohhhh, evil temptation.

    Let me search my furniture for change, and I’ll get back to you on this tomorrow.

  540. #541 Sili
    March 28, 2010

    On the subject of (lazy) bachelor cooking: I’m having pasta again.

    But you’ll be pleased to know that I’m no longer just having it plain.

  541. #542 blf
    March 28, 2010

    [Y]ou’ll be pleased to know that I’m no longer just having [the pasta] plain.

    You’re going to try cooking it in boiling water this time, rather than frying it?

  542. #543 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 28, 2010

    Walton – funny summary, sometimes you suprise me. I need to edit my stereotype of you :)

    Twin names not to pick, even for kittens – I was on a bus recently and there was a mother who was shouting at her misbehaving children. How could anyone name their chldren Dolce and Gabbana?

    Phew! I’m knackered. Been out persecuting Christians all day.

  543. #544 Walton
    March 28, 2010

    Twin names not to pick, even for kittens – I was on a bus recently and there was a mother who was shouting at her misbehaving children. How could anyone name their chldren Dolce and Gabbana?

    Ugh. You can’t be serious.

  544. #545 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 28, 2010

    Ugh. You can’t be serious.

    ‘Fraid so.
    Just remembered that when I was a kid my father had a work colleague called Mr Down.
    We children used to get dragged along on vists to his house sometimes. He had three chidren.

    Ben, Eileen, and Ida.

    The parents were really proud of their hilarious choice of names. They always introduced the children by their full names. Even as a seven year old I knew it wasn’t funny.

  545. #546 iambilly
    March 28, 2010

    Ring-Tail:

    I went to school with the younger brother of Jenny Mae. Which wouldn’t have been that bad except her last name was Faulk.

    I also knew a girl named Bobbie Jo (yes, this was down South — why do you ask?). Until 9th grade she went by her parentally initiated nickname of BJ. Until someone finally took pity on her and told her the alternate meaning of the letter combination.

  546. #547 Owlmirror
    March 28, 2010

    @ Gyeong :

    If you, or anyone, wants to mock Tweelight vampires even more, there’s always this:

    Buy ‘em here! Only a buck!

  547. #548 Carlie
    March 28, 2010

    This Chatroulette video made me laugh myself silly. (SFW)

  548. #549 Sili
    March 28, 2010

    You’re going to try cooking it in boiling water this time, rather than frying it?

    Don’t mock. As a kid I snacked regularly of uncooked spaghetti.

    Real vampires don’t fricking sparkle

    *ahegm*

  549. #550 Owlmirror
    March 28, 2010

    @ Lynna:

    Welcome back!

    Glad to hear that the outing was worthwhile and that no further complications have arisen, brainwise-speaking.

  550. #551 Sili
    March 28, 2010

    Great, RTL.

    Now I has a sad.

  551. #552 Owlmirror
    March 28, 2010

    Random thought…

    If a homeopath/naturopath argues that people are doing what he is in fact repeatedly guilty of, is he committing the fallacy of tu quackque?

    If a namedropper argues that people are claiming to have once known someone famous, is he committing the fallacy of tu kwοkwi?

  552. #553 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    March 28, 2010

    Iambilly – I actually had to look “BJ” up in the Urban Dictionary. Do’h! (Told you I was knackered after persecuting Xtians. All that Bishop bashing* wears one out).

    OMG! How could I have possibly forgotten? There was a girl in my sixth form, who I really fancied (but was too shy to ask out), called Norma Dick. She probably got married as soon as she left school.

    *How bizarre:) After looking at the UD for “BJ” I decided to look up that “B the B” euphemism too, and got this page. Never heard that one before.

  553. #554 David Marjanovi?
    March 28, 2010

    As I just wrote on the Copenhagen thread, I would very much like to come. In fact, I’m excited to the point of… that kind of internal shivering that manifests as physical weakness. Problem is, I have no income, so I’ll have to ask my mother to shell out quite a lot for transportation to let some of my social cyber-life into meatspace, and that preferably without being too clear about it being a conference on a topic that she probably… doesn’t… like all that much. Plus, this is not exactly a rich family.

    tu kw?kwi

    Day saved, except for the above.

  554. #555 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 28, 2010

    yeah, ok. upon further inspection of my finances, I can totally do this Copenhagen thing :-)

  555. #556 Sili
    March 28, 2010

    Great. So now we’ll need to start a Send David to Copenhagen fund alongside Get Walton Laid and Just What the Hell is Wrong With That Woman Anyway.

    And none of this is deductible!

  556. #557 Walton
    March 28, 2010

    Jadehawk, I’m rather surprised and flattered that you’ve kept the “Hardcore Left-Winger” epithet I bestowed upon you. At this rate, I might have to return to being the Extra Special Dumpling of AwesomeTM.

  557. #558 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 28, 2010

    Jadehawk, I’m rather surprised and flattered that you’ve kept the “Hardcore Left-Winger” epithet I bestowed upon you. At this rate, I might have to return to being the Extra Special Dumpling of AwesomeTM.

    it amuses me to have it, for now.

    go back to turning your brain to mush with law-trivia now.

  558. #559 David Marjanovi?
    March 28, 2010

    Great. So now we’ll need to start a Send David to Copenhagen fund

    Obviously, as soon as I get a postdoc position (Berlin in the fall looks fairly probable right now; I need to reply to that e-mail…), I’d pay it all back in case you’re actually being serious.

    What, if anything, else did I want to write… I’m distracted today, because my sister has come to help me move. I’ll spend all of tomorrow and at least half of the day after getting out of Paris and installing myself back at my parents’ home in Vienna.

  559. #560 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 28, 2010

    Obviously, as soon as I get a postdoc position (Berlin in the fall looks fairly probable right now; I need to reply to that e-mail…), I’d pay it all back in case you’re actually being serious.

    do the proper Gen Y thing and ask bank-of-mom* for a loan first, then we’ll see about availability of funds from the bank-of-Internet :-p

    - – - – -

    *I did mention that the trip to Germany to see the worldcup is being funded by my super-awesome grandma? we’re such walking stereotypes for our generation :-p

  560. #561 David Marjanovi?
    March 28, 2010

    The initial reaction is favorable: “we’ll see” (when I’ll come) how I’ll get to Copenhagen cheaply. Assuming Kristjan Wager’s offer stands.
    :-)

  561. #562 David Marjanovi?
    March 28, 2010

    we’re such walking stereotypes for our generation :-p

    Are we? What are the stereotypes? I didn’t even know Generation Y was mine :-)

  562. #563 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 28, 2010

    Are we? What are the stereotypes? I didn’t even know Generation Y was mine :-)

    it is, though by some definitions we’re the oldest members of it. Also occasionally known as the Net Generation, another stereotype for it is that we’re not all that eager/able to become truly independent, partially because our parents have spoiled us rotten and are still willing to fund us even though we’re old and are supposed to have had achieved economic independence years ago (or because of the shitty job-market since 200; take your pick :-p ).

  563. #564 Sili
    March 28, 2010

    Well, I think you’re just about young enough that you can still do the Interrail thing, but to make full use of that, you’ll have to tour Europe for the rest of the month as well.

    Just saw my first (planned) Iridium flare. Not nearly as impressive as expected – that is, I’ve seen satellites like that before. But perhaps the full Moon was blinding me.

  564. #565 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 28, 2010

    since 2000 that is. and of course I notice that dropped zero just as I hit submit

    *sigh*

  565. #566 Pygmy Loris
    March 28, 2010

    (or because of the shitty job-market since 200; take your pick :-p ).

    And employers now check your credit report. Made some late payments? Had a credit card go into collections before you could scrape together the minimum payment? No job for you.

  566. #567 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 28, 2010

    heee heee…a Gen-xer (my cohort) would have made plans to ride the rails to the convention hobo-style, but then failed to get the appropriate time off from the requisite low-wage job at coffee-house/second-hand communist bookstore/& cetera. A boomer (like my dad) would have made good on the threat, and brought 10,000 friends, 20 tons of weed, eight baloney sandwiches, and a bottle of Ripple. They would have turned Copenhagen into a refugee camp for a week. No one would have bought tickets to the convention though, or even had much of an idea why they were there. My own Da hitched from Fairbanks, AK to Bethel, NY for some music festival they were having there in the summer of 69. Through Frisco, that was a trip of some 6,000 miles (one million kilometers for non-Americans)*

    Seriously, though…it’s a day’s drive from Paris to Copenhagen–and you guys have some excellent public transport right? Is it hard to hitch-hike or ride the rails in Europe? I will note that finishing a dissertation and landing a post-doc are much more laborious than what my father was doing that summer…primarily hitching around, IIRC. Still.

    I don’t go to these things because I am a slacker.

    *9656 km if you demand precision.

  567. #568 Sili
    March 28, 2010

    Trains have a tendency be horridly expensive. Unfortunately. So much for rampant socialist communism. (Don’t get me started on the closure of the Danish railways.)

  568. #569 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 28, 2010

    the trains aren’t that expensive if you have a mommy who knows how to stare salesmen (and hospital personnel, and assorted other inconvenient people) into submission :-p

  569. #570 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 28, 2010

    Calling the Pharyngulite Horde!

    We have one righteous, upstanding Catholic, Mary O’Nette, over in the “should the pope resign” thread blaming the church’s child raping on “liberalization,” the “pansification” of the church, and NAMBLA. I’d very much appreciate some help giving this wicked woman the tongue-lashing she deserves.

    You can start here.

  570. #571 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 28, 2010

    On the subject of people naming their kids bizarre names oblivious of the mirth factor, a few years back in my kids’ daycare there was a woman with twin boys

    .. Maverick and Attilah. On questioning I found out a) why yes, her favourite movie WAS Top Gun and b) no she hadn’t really read any history of Asia. ( In case you’re wondering Atillah was a total little shit who had a serious case of nominal determinism- he laid waste to the daycare)

    .. they also ahad a singleton sister, Trinity (because her second favourite movie was The Matrix) :-(

  571. #572 Bride of Shrek OM
    March 28, 2010

    Amd my girlfriend, who works in a daycare, currently has a kid under her care called Zeppelin. I’m trying to find out whether her parents are hard core German aircraft fans or whether they’re just a couple of old stoners.

  572. #573 Kel, OM
    March 28, 2010

    *9656 km if you demand precision.

    We wouldn’t be using metric if we didn’t ;)

  573. #575 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 28, 2010

    that t-shirt goes with this video

  574. #576 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2010

    The astute Walton thinks Mary O’Nette is the banned troll Pilty. I wouldn’t be surprised, and, of course, he is showing his own lack of morality by by-passing his ban. Something about religion seems to warp the minds of some folks.

  575. #577 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 28, 2010

    I sure wich to hell that the USA would convert to metric units. Abroad I always find it inimidating at first, but intuitive after ~2 days. I do all my molecular labwork in metric units of course, and have gotten pretty good at eyeballing quantities. However, children’s medicine dosage and baking in the US generally present measurements using the British system…and as a result I am often forced to seek some measuring tool at like 2am. You know, for making brownies and the like.

  576. #578 Carlie
    March 28, 2010

    .and as a result I am often forced to seek some measuring tool at like 2am. You know, for making brownies and the like.

    1 tsp is about 5 ml.

    1 tbsp is about 15 ml.

    Or, 1 tsp is about a dime diameter in your cupped hand, 1 tbsp is about a quarter diameter in your cupped hand. A quarter-cup is about 3 tbsp.

    That’s as close as I usually get for measurements in cooking, and it seems to be close enough. :)

    Children’s medicine, of course, I do exact. I keep a measuring spoon thingie from the pharmacy in the medicine cabinet specially for such things.

  577. #579 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2010

    The US is officially on the metric system, and has been for over a hundred years. You won’t find the official yard or pound at NIST. Kilograms and meters will be found. There was an attempt to change over from common usage in the ’70s with traffic signs, but it failed due to lack of political will. It started with the right idea, mileage signs in both systems. But when it came time to drop the American units people rebelled. They probably went too fast. Five years miles first, kilometers second. Five years reversed. Then drop the old units. But pounds/feet/quarts are god given units…never mind no mention of them in the babble.

  578. #580 boygenius
    March 28, 2010

    Way back when, my mother expressed amazement at how effortlessly I was able to convert grams to ounces (or vice versa). It took her a few years to figure out the reason I had this “talent”. ;)

  579. #581 David Marjanovi?
    March 28, 2010

    I completely forgot about the registration fee of the conference. That could be tough.

    On the other hand, I have attended one conference for free. It was where I lived, and I didn’t participate in the conference dinner or the like… the tea & cookies, however, fall under “loot”.

    another stereotype for it is that we’re not all that eager/able to become truly independent

    That’s completely true in my case, but that’s just my autism :-)

    it’s a day’s drive from Paris to Copenhagen–and you guys have some excellent public transport right? Is it hard to hitch-hike or ride the rails in Europe?

    Vienna, not Paris, starting the day after tomorrow…

    As mentioned, the trains (in the western countries) are good but seriously expensive, except for special offers that have to be booked months in advance and are not exchangeable/refundable. A flight with a low-cost airline, if one is available, could come out cheaper.

    Hitchhiking? Forget it.

    the trains aren’t that expensive if you have a mommy who knows how to stare salesmen (and hospital personnel, and assorted other inconvenient people) into submission :-p

    Miracle!

    b) no she hadn’t really read any history of Asia. ( In case you’re wondering Atillah was a total little shit who had a serious case of nominal determinism- he laid waste to the daycare)

    Wow!

    In Hungary, Attila is a completely normal name (I’m related to one). That’s because, in the late 19th century, Hungarian nationalists tried to make Attila a national hero due to some confusion about which language family Hungarian belongs to (…and a bold assumption about what kind of language the Huns spoke).

  580. #582 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    Josh:

    Calling the Pharyngulite Horde!

    Took a look at what the little puppet had to say (seriously, how stupid is that handle? Some people just don’t make any effort) and replied.

  581. #583 Pygmy Loris
    March 28, 2010

    Carlie,

    Slight correction to your post: there are 4 Tbsp in a quarter cup.

    When you live alone and often cook for one, you learn how to halve or quarter everything. :)

    What I really need is a kitchen scale, though.

  582. #584 Carlie
    March 28, 2010

    Thanks, Pygmy Loris. I must overmeasure the tablespoons enough that it generally comes out the same. :D

  583. #585 Antiochus Epiphanes
    March 28, 2010

    Or, 1 tsp is about a dime diameter in your cupped hand, 1 tbsp is about a quarter diameter in your cupped hand. A quarter-cup is about 3 tbsp.

    Step 1: Get palm tatoos.
    Step 2: Bake-o-rama

    I confess that I do not bake.

    Regarding hitching: A joke! I have never been to Europe* [:(]…but have traveled extensively and cheaply in N. America and Southern Africa. Travel in Europe sounds both more civilized and more expensive. I have only hitched a hike when absolutely compelled to, and confess have never ridden the rails. Although if for some reason I find myself bereft of the people and things I love, this is totally my plan: Riding the rails from Bangor, ME to San Francisoc CA and rafting from the northeasternmost navigable drainage of the Mississippi to N’awlins. And then I will die with a belly full of bourbon and a heart full of bittersweet memories beneath the full yellow moon of the warm gulf waters. Or maybe Cuba first, then die.

    *This is really ridiculous, but the only traveling that I have ever done (or am likely to do in the near future) is to collect plants. Most of the European stuff is spoken for. I knew a Serbian scientist who did her collecting work primarily on the north coast of the Mediterranean. Poor thing.

  584. #586 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    Game Bird is back, crowing about his “magnificent fucking blog” after a brief moment of expressing concern over swearing.

  585. #587 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 28, 2010

    Miracle!

    yeah, I know. I think it’s because she got all her practice on Polish socialist bureaucrats. Now she rulez at getting her way.

    last year she managed to get the counter-dude to sell her train tickets to Berlin at the extra-special-internet-only-special-conditions-apply price which was like half the actual price of the ticket.

    And when I had my nose-job, the OP was scheduled in May for October; when I mentioned that I wasn’t gonna be in the country by then, I just got a flat reply that I should move my travel plans then. So I went home, whined to mommy, and mommy got the OP moved to mid-June

    I wish I had her “people skills” :-p

  586. #588 Pygmy Loris
    March 28, 2010

    Carlie,

    Yeah, I don’t think it’s too big a deal to be off a little, but when I’m following a recipe for the first time I get a little anal about everything being right.

  587. #589 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    We’ve got the next goats on fire folks, thanks to Game Bird and his magnificent, alcohol addled righting [sic]:

    It is not the part of the scientifically minded, actual scientists, science workers, or posing public servants TO RIDE THE LYING TIGER.

    Don’t think you can manipulate the public into doing good, by you lying to them.

    DON’T….. TRY … TO-RIDE ….. THE LYING-TIGER.

  588. #590 Rorschach
    March 28, 2010

    I can totally do this Copenhagen thing :-)

    Well, I better go talk to my travel agent then asap, seeing how quick the tickets sold out over here !

    Bye bye Thailand, hello Denmark !
    I won’t be staying at Kristjan’s place tho….:-)

  589. #591 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 28, 2010

    Wait, wait. . what is that you say? B-b-b-bird is the word?

  590. #592 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 28, 2010

    I won’t be staying at Kristjan’s place tho….:-)

    elitist

  591. #593 Feynmaniac
    March 28, 2010

    What’s with all the loons today? When it rains it pours… Maybe the right really ain’t taking this health care bill well.

  592. #594 Ol'Greg
    March 28, 2010

    Ugh… as a Gen Y with a 401k who helps support a parent I’ve always gotten a little angry when I encounter that stereotype.

  593. #595 Ol'Greg
    March 28, 2010

    Gah! But where did I put that blockquote!?!?

  594. #596 AJ Milne
    March 28, 2010

    We’ve got the next goats on fire folks, thanks to Game Bird and his magnificent, alcohol addled righting [sic]…

    While that bit sings, my personal preference is, if we’re going to adopt a Pharyngumeme from said wank, we should totally go with ‘Your pants are not in order.’

    (/But honestly, either way’s good.)

  595. #597 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 28, 2010

    Oh look, they’re trying to protect the pope by saying it’s the Jew’s fault. (3rd picture down)

  596. #598 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    AJ Milne:

    While that bit sings, my personal preference is, if we’re going to adopt a Pharyngumeme from said wank, we should totally go with ‘Your pants are not in order.’

    Hmmm. “Your pants are not in order when you ride the lying tiger!”

  597. #599 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    Gyeong, speaking of the pope and his evil minions, you might want to chime in on this thread: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/03/should_pope_ratzi_resign.php , a.human.ape’s comments in particular. See #77.

  598. #600 SC OM
    March 28, 2010

    Meerkats!

  599. #601 ronsullivan
    March 28, 2010

    I’ve been too distracted to post much, but I’ll be offline completely for a couple of weeks starting tomorrow. Evidently the cathousesitters have their own laptop. Ours does not function, alas, like the madonna.

    Aloha!

  600. #602 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    Aloha, Auntie Ron! You’ll be missed.

  601. #603 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 28, 2010

    Meerkats!

    Van der Meerkats

  602. #604 Quackalicious
    March 28, 2010

    Opus: Nice ?research.? Better try again. Harvard Extension runs a premed program for those of us who worked full-time at Harvard during the day. All the same classes, but the profs don?t coddle us like the undergrads. I think 345 started the program with me and 45 graduated. 80% standard medical school admission rate during the years I was there.

    Dear AJ Milne: How fabulous of you. No one needs to direct you to threaten violence, you?ll do so on your own. Why don?t you get a shirt that says: ?I?m an atheist and I?ll kick your butt? and wear it around. It would be a great reminder of what a tiny minority you live in. Meanwhile, the numbers of people who use my stuff because it works is growing, not shrinking. So you are proud that you?re: 1) ignorant of any context of my comments 2) ignorant of why I?m here 3) delusional that you are being constructive in some way and 4) violent. I hereby give you the honorary KKK hat.

    Tis himself: Very disturbing.

    Kel: I?ve provided evidence, and I will do so again, just for you. Have a look at my website. Under what do I treat I?ve compiled medline abstracts that discuss various alternative therapies. Not all the studies are positive, but when you look at something like back pain, massage did very well in comparison with conventional treatment. Name your illness of choice, and let me see if I can give you some medline data on possible treatments. I did that for Dr. Novella within his specialty of ALS, and I?m still not sure what happened to him that stopped him from replying to the posts.

    I should point out that the information I?m providing about ?Myers telling you to do something? is not based on opinion but thirty years of research by that author who surveyed American atheists before coming to the conclusion that many of them held authoritarian beliefs. I?ve simply been puzzled by the continuing profanity without logical reasoning I experience here.

    A. Noyd: No, I?m not making any assumptions about this site. I?m quoting research and you are responding with profanity. Pretending to be reasonable/logical while still not providing any research is sidestepping the issue. Either provide medline data to support your claims 1) I harm people or 2) I am a quack. I?ve provided multiple studies that show I 1) do not harm people and 2) multiple aspects of what I do are well founded in what should be standard medical practice. You have not. It?s called research and is something I do and you don?t.

    Tis Himself: How about reading the thread, then responding with research? Otherwise, you have given a quote for many of the posters here.

  603. #605 SC OM
    March 28, 2010

    The sarcastic fringehead! Something very familiar about them…

  604. #606 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 28, 2010

    Quack says,… well, not much, really. Have you met the Kwokster? You two would have a lot to talk about.

    Yawn!

  605. #607 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 28, 2010

    Gee Quack, how about you support your quackery with research from a peer-reviewed rigorous source. And remember, anecdotes are not considered research.

    How fabulous of you. No one needs to direct you to threaten violence, you?ll do so on your own. Why don?t you get a shirt that says: ?I?m an atheist and I?ll kick your butt? and wear it around. It would be a great reminder of what a tiny minority you live in. Meanwhile, the numbers of people who use my stuff because it works is growing, not shrinking. So you are proud that you?re: 1) ignorant of any context of my comments 2) ignorant of why I?m here 3) delusional that you are being constructive in some way and 4) violent. I hereby give you the honorary KKK hat.

    Standard pseudoscience tactic. Claiming that it’s growing, claiming criticism is unfounded, claiming that criticism is oppression. Then stupid insults.

  606. #608 AJ Milne
    March 28, 2010

    Dear AJ Milne: How fabulous of you. No one needs to direct you to threaten violence, you?ll do so on your own. Why don?t you get a shirt that says: ?I?m an atheist and I?ll kick your butt? and wear it around. It would be a great reminder of what a tiny minority you live in. Meanwhile, the numbers of people who use my stuff because it works is growing, not shrinking. So you are proud that you?re: 1) ignorant of any context of my comments 2) ignorant of why I?m here 3) delusional that you are being constructive in some way and 4) violent. I hereby give you the honorary KKK hat.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    Wow. You really do lie your ass off at the drop of a hat, don’t you?

    Ergo: you really got no case, don’t you?

    Oh. Right. We already knew that.

    But in case anyone’s following along from the margin, lyin’ sad sack o’ shit Quackboy is now gonna try conflate the colloquial ‘kick your ass’ above as violent/akin to the behaviour of the KKK, notwithstanding it is in the context of blog in which, yes, his ass doth continue to be kicked gloriously and royally, if rather more obviously metaphorically.

    (/But as if you’d expect him to do otherwise, when he abandoned even the faintest pretension intellectual honesty long, looong before he ever started posting here.)

  607. #609 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 28, 2010

    Also, growth doesn’t indicate that it works. Growth may very well indicate that there is a problem with the health care system that result in desprate people seeking out those false “alternative”. If anything, it shows you are a bottom feeder. (No insult to benthic creatures intended.)

  608. #611 Kel, OM
    March 28, 2010

    Not all the studies are positive, but when you look at something like back pain, massage did very well in comparison with conventional treatment.

    What a coincidence, my mum is a trained masseuse. I’m well aware of what massage can do for treatment, I still use it when I can.

    I want to point it out very clearly, I’m not dismissing all therapies that go under the name “alternative medicine” as being systematically false. I’m asking for evidence for a particular treatment. You’ve made broad sweeping claims against western medicine and talked about alternative medicine in general, so if massage is your shining example then I’m a bit worried as to what other “treatments” you use.

    I should point out that the information I?m providing about ?Myers telling you to do something? is not based on opinion but thirty years of research by that author who surveyed American atheists before coming to the conclusion that many of them held authoritarian beliefs.

    Firstly I’m not an american. Secondly, if a study said that many atheists were once fundamentalist Christians who had a bad experience, would you automatically assume that I’m an atheist because I “hate God”?

    Your slur only serves to demonstrate how little you want to actually engage people here. You’re trying to diminish any criticism against you by pretending that we are being subservient to an authority figure when it is nothing of the sort.

    I?ve simply been puzzled by the continuing profanity without logical reasoning I experience here.

    I’m puzzled that you think it’s been profanity without logical reasoning, are you reading the same posts as I am? I’m also not surprised that you continue to linger on profanity instead of actually providing a cogent argument yourself.

    Okay, how about this? List about half a dozen or so of your most commonly used therapies, and then show the meta-analysis of the evidence for them. Drop the antagonism and actually make a positive case on here.

  609. #612 Carlie
    March 28, 2010

    80% standard medical school admission rate during the years I was there.

    Gee, sorry you were part of that other 20%.

  610. #613 AJ Milne
    March 28, 2010

    Also, growth doesn’t indicate that it works. Growth may very well indicate that there is a problem with the health care system that result in desprate people seeking out those false “alternative”. If anything, it shows you are a bottom feeder. (No insult to benthic creatures intended.)

    Yeah, indeed. And it always does amaze me how much these asshats can presume in a few, short words. Note the claim:

    Meanwhile, the numbers of people who use my stuff because it works is growing, not shrinking.

    Three claims there, actually, a few of ‘em serious mouthfuls: 1) the numbers are growing, 2) his stuff works, and 3) 1 follows from 2.

    As you note: 3) does not necessarily follow. Note also, that 2), as usual, he hasn’t even tried to substantiate (as if–hell, he’s as much as admitted in who knows how many of his meandering BS posts it really doesn’t, except as placebo), and even 1), tho’ presumably it’d be an easy one for him, he didn’t try to quantify or substantiate either.

    File under: ‘Lyin’ so long he doesn’t even care what’s real.’ Nor show any interest in determining the same.

    (/But please, Quackboy, do keep playing. I wanna see what else isn’t in your hand.)

  611. #614 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 28, 2010

    OMG! How could I have possibly forgotten? There was a girl in my sixth form, who I really fancied (but was too shy to ask out), called Norma Dick. She probably got married as soon as she left school.

    My wife swears she had a HS schoolmate named Richard Rumplick. That’s right: Dick Rumplick! Worse yet, he was the principal’s son. Frankly, I have no idea how the young man made it out of school still alive!

    Along the same lines, a friend of ours who’s a nurse says that when she did her rotation in the maternity ward, she saw one infant girl named Female (pronounced Fe-MAH-lay) and another named Babygirl… in both cases because the mother thought what the hospital printed on the ID band meant they’d named the baby!

  612. #615 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    Bill:

    Along the same lines, a friend of ours who’s a nurse says that when she did her rotation in the maternity ward, she saw one infant girl named Female (pronounced Fe-MAH-lay)

    That chestnut of an urban legend was used in Paul Schraeder’s remake of Cat People. Ruby Dee played Female.

  613. #616 AJ Milne
    March 28, 2010

    You’re trying to diminish any criticism against you by pretending that we are being subservient to an authority figure when it is nothing of the sort.

    Quite.

    See also ‘When you’re not wearing any pants, talk about anything else.’

    He’s got, as any number of people here have now noted, zilch. Asked for decent studies, oddly, this isn’t the subject he wishes to pursue…

    Nah. Interestingly enough, he wants to talk about how his critics are ‘authoritarians’… On the strength of a single paper he’s found on said subject.

    Here’s a funny thing, Quackboy: first, that isn’t so much what I’ve observed here. Yes, there’s a certain community spirit: the more charitable would tend to call it more solidarity than anything else. As in: yeah, we’ll watch each other’s backs. It’s what people with generally common goals do.

    But this view of mine, amusingly enough, is actually rather irrelevant to what you’ve been asked again and again, remember*?

    You keep on rabbitting on about ‘logic’, but you’re the one I’m noticing here who wouldn’t know that animal if it bit him on the ass**. So: pop quiz, again, kiddo: if everyone here were a mind-controlled zombie groovin’ directly on the freaky waves beamed out by Dr. P.Z Myers, Commander O’ All Atheists, and marching in glassy-eyed lock-step (as opposed to merely noticing independently you are hilariously, obviously, spectacularly full of shit), would it make any single one of your snake oil ‘cures’ any bit more likely actually to work?

    Oh. Right. Guess who I forgot who I was dealing with, here for a second…

    So, using small words: That was a rhetorical question, oh sadly dense one. I’ll answer it for you, too, since you are, apparently, more than a bit slow on the uptake when you choose to be:

    No, dear Not-A-Real-Doctor. No it wouldn’t.

    (/*Notwithstanding this, the bookies are taking bets on whether Quackboy here will willfully miss this point entirely and contest this view of things anyway… A little like someone so incredibly bad at chess, he goes after a piece no longer actually on the board. Get in now while the getting’s good.)

    (**/The bookies are also now taking bets on whether Quackboy chooses to conflate this, too, as a threat of violence. Going once…)

  614. #617 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    AJ, the Quackass, he knows we’re violent, because he’s been getting his ass kicked from one Sunday to next on a regular basis, and he’s afraid of blood, ya see, and all this verbal ass kicking is producing some sort of psychic woo blood, making him come over all faint and stuff. He resents being fainting couch material, and we’re so cruel as to induce regular fainting spells. See, violent. Mm hmm.

    I hate to miss out on all the Sunday Sacrilege fun, but my neurologist has had his wicked way with me, and I’m on restricted sittin’ on my arse time. I’m over my limit, and starting to feel it too, so I’m headed out for the night. Have fun!

  615. #618 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2010

    I see the fraudulent Duck of Placebo dropped by again for another inane content/intelligence free post. Still no hard evidence he is anything other than a victimizer of his poor patients. They might as well take a teaspoon of sugar for all the good the Quackster can do for them. And it is a whole hell of a lot cheaper. Qvack, why aren’t you citing JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and other top rate medical journals? Or do you have nothing, and you know it? In which case, shutting up would be the intelligent, nay only choice. Qwack, why don’t you become a repo man? That would be a step up morally for you, and you can still fleece folks. Still the ignorant amoral loser.

  616. #619 Sven DiMilo
    March 28, 2010

    I’ve got some logic-free profanity for you right here, Mahoney:
    Please fuck off. Please.

  617. #620 the_manxome_foe#a0503
    March 28, 2010

    I just saw this article:
    Church billboard not offensive, rules watchdog.

    Amusing read.

  618. #621 Sven DiMilo
    March 28, 2010

    Mahoney, Maloney.
    baloney.

  619. #622 Rorschach
    March 28, 2010

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

    Much better.

    Yes, there’s a certain community spirit

    Uhm, yes, and it’s going to get even better if people here keep going to godless conferences everywhere on the globe together…:-)

    Which brings me to….

    elitist

    You see, my hotel bills for this trip(or any other I might decide to undertake) are practically already paid for, goes off my pre-tax income every fortnight, so I can claim those bills through work afterwards, isn’t it fabulous to live in a first-world country !!

    I hate to miss out on all the Sunday Sacrilege fun, but my neurologist has had his wicked way with me, and I’m on restricted sittin’ on my arse time.

    Did that for 4 weeks after back surgery, no sitting whatsoever allowed.Makes one glad that laptops were invented.

  620. #623 John Morales
    March 28, 2010

    the_manxome_foe, heh, yeah, it’s amusing alright.

    Me, I’d've been tempted to appease¹ the complainants, by caving in and changing it from
    “Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow”.
    to
    “Lucky Joseph. God was not a hard act to follow”.

    ¹ Well, by appease I mean to further infuriate. :)

  621. #624 Ol'Greg
    March 28, 2010

    Idiomatic speech seems particularly hard for some people to grasp.

    FYI, when kicking ass in a chess tournament, no actual ass is kicked

    For some reason I keep being reminded of Bosch:
    Meester snyt die Keye ras – myne name is lubbert das

  622. #625 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Caine:

    That chestnut of an urban legend was used in Paul Schraeder’s remake of Cat People. Ruby Dee played Female.

    Mebbe so… OTOH, while I have no direct knowledge of the case, this was represented to me as direct personal experience by an actual personal friend (i.e., I didn’t just hear it on teh intertooobz) who has no particular record of Just making shit up. Funny story either way, though, eh?

    Ol’ Greg:

    FYI, when kicking ass in a chess tournament, no actual ass is kicked

    “DISCLAIMER: No actual ass was harmed in the making of this chess tournament.” ;^)

  623. #626 Jadehawk OM, Hardcore Left-Winger
    March 29, 2010

    Meanwhile, the numbers of people who use my stuff because it works is growing,

    argumentum ad populum is a fallacy. just because you have more customers, doesn’t mean you’re right. it just means you’re a skilled liar.

    surveyed American atheists before coming to the conclusion that many of them held authoritarian beliefs

    oh sure; voluntary holders of the ultimate anti-authoritarian stance, one that makes one of the most hated minorities in the U.S., have authoritarian personalities. BWAHAAAHAAAAAA

    and nevermind that a significant portion of people here isn’t even American.

  624. #627 monado
    March 29, 2010

    There are some smells that cats don’t like. Rue, the herb, is one of them I think. Pinesol, or was it Lysol, makes them feel ill. Um, there’s actually one shrub that smells like cat-piss.

    I do let my cats out, rather guiltily, or rather they have a cat door and a fenced yard. They are neutered. I tell my neighbours they are welcome to throw a lump of mud or a clothes-peg or some water if they want to discourage the cats. They have litter boxes indoors but the ones that go out generally go under our porch or in our garden and save the cat box for rainy days.

    While reading this thread I’ve let one of them in the bedroom window four times. It’s raining, and he’s been going out the cat door and come in via the porch roof, wet and friendly. At one point he appeared tossing around a dead roof rat. The ones that go out are all fierce mousers and ratters. Usually I find half a rat underfoot. The previous neighbours decked their entire yard so of course there are rats living under it–luckily not Norway rats but the smaller ones that are more like Very Large Mice. They also catch birds that come into the yard, or try. The younger ones dig up earthworms and eat them.

    Cat names: Steel & Flint, Granite & Slate, Agate & Basalt… try to avoid hissing noises.

  625. #628 monado
    March 29, 2010

    Boygenius @ #454, anything but Facebook: they lay eternal claim to your postings, much like the Catholic church if you’re baptized.

  626. #629 Kel, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Comment by Quackalicious blocked

    But how will you know that what you practise doesn’t work and what he practices does unless you read him keep deriding people here as being PZ’s intellectual lackeys and claim that the evidence is on his side without actually discussing it?

  627. #630 Rorschach
    March 29, 2010

    Too many kooks in the world, can’t deal with all of them.

    And I have satellite dishes to line up, got to have your priorities right…:-)

  628. #631 Kel, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Too many kooks in the world, can’t deal with all of them.

    You’re just saying that because you’re in the pocket of Big Pharma… you don’t offer healthcare, you give your patients what Big Pharma tells you to. Quacky here can save you and you won’t even give him the respect of reading call you a sheep to the authority of PZ?

  629. #632 Kel, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Oh and Quacky, if you’re going to respond to me – at least please try to understand where I’m coming from. I provided you with a link

  630. #633 Rorschach
    March 29, 2010

    You’re just saying that because you’re in the pocket of Big Pharma

    I bloody wish I was !! That would mean I had free holidays in Thailand and a better Laptop !
    :P

  631. #634 Kel, OM
    March 29, 2010

    I bloody wish I was !! That would mean I had free holidays in Thailand and a better Laptop !

    hahaha, got to love the implausible conspiratorial rantings of those trying to sell snake oil. Just like on Expelled where Darwinists were controlling the flow of grant money.

    Yep, those wealthy wealthy Darwinists…

  632. #635 boygenius
    March 29, 2010

    monado#627

    Boygenius @ #454, anything but Facebook: they lay eternal claim to your postings, much like the Catholic church if you’re baptized.

    No worries. I’ve never been on Facebook. I don’t even click on links to Facebook pages. Meh.

    Josh OSG from the Gamey Bird thread #91:

    So it was you. You sold me that crap burrito, and that “acid”. Mmph.

    Nope. Never sold burritos, just knew where to buy the good ones. Never sold acid at a show, just purchased it. If you wanted the real deal, you needed to know someone affiliated with The Brotherhood of Eternal Love aka “the Family” (or their successors). (That said, you should probably still keep your jaundiced eye cast upon me. Just in case.)

    Sorry your experience was less than optimal, to say the least. It’s regrettable that the scene kind of fell apart in the later years, and a lot of people were just there to capitalize on crowds of folk who didn’t know how to navigate the craziness. I’m of the opinion that Jerry died just in time to keep the whole thing from imploding.

  633. #636 boygenius
    March 29, 2010

    Oops, that should be:

    The Brotherhood of Eternal Love (or their successors) aka “the Family”.

  634. #637 nothing.beside.remains
    March 29, 2010

    When confronted with an argument, I provide data. When you are confronted with an argument you all generally respond with profanity. Then you accuse me of being unscientific and later claim that you have beaten me in debate.

    I didn’t have one bit of profanity in what I wrote, Maloney. Even if I did, it wouldn’t have any bearing on whether what I said was right or wrong. I can make everything I write laden with profanity at every possible juncture, but it doesn’t make it wrong.

    Despite all of the arguments that scientists abound here, I have yet to deal with a single person providing contrary data from medline supporting the general assumptions maintained here: 1) I have harmed people 2) nothing I do works. When I have provided peer reviewed studies showing the contrary position, no one has responded coherently, or even at an adult level with the exception of Sastra.

    Essentially, what you’re doing is irresponsible. The literature shows that herbal remedies and other forms of CAM can cause harm and other negative side-effects, with little benefits other than a mild placebo effect (if even that). I can provide citations and links, but since it seems you haven’t been following links or citations, I won’t really bother.

    As a result of the inadequacy of your logical thought, I have finally found a context within which it makes sense: authoritarianism.

    Actually, it seems more evident that you found a term that feeds your paranoia and decided to use it. Honestly, “authoritarian”? No one’s called the Gestappo on you.

    This mindset of the conspiracy theorist Maloney interests me the most, though. Myers never called for violence against Maloney, yet here Maloney says that because he was sent hate mail that threatened physical harm (supposedly), it is the same thing as Myers condoning or even instructing others to physically harm him. He conflates any type or amount of criticism to a personal assault on his dignity as a human and as a threat to his life.

    We can even see evidence of this way of thinking from Maloney in a much earlier appearance on this blog with:
    “Please examine the history of propoganda(sic). It’s a simple equation: dehumanize and advocate violence against those dehumanized. We aren’t people, we don’t have feelings.”

    No one on this blog has advocated or promoted physical violence against Maloney. Yet there he mentions it again. He mentions the profanity here so much because it adds yet another layer to his paranoia. Profanity cannot simply be a harmless expression of anger or simple contempt for him. No, it must be a sign that the conspiracy is out looking for him, to catch and hang or burn him. My enemies must want to destroy me completely if they’re against me, he thinks. After all, to Maloney we’re part of the larger conspiracy that’s out to shut down his practice and force people to put foreign chemicals in their body that don’t work/don’t work as well as CAM. It’s part of the reason why we’re PZ’s lackeys instead of individual agents.

    If we were all individual agents, Maloney’s scenario would be highly implausible, if not impossible, because we would have all almost certainly arrived by way of different methods to the same conclusions. Now that we’re under PZ’s cult of personality, he can explain why we all have the same viewpoints: because we all got them from the same source. And that source, PZ, is either from the conspiracy and purposefully making his life more difficult, or he’s so brainwashed by the conspiracy that he is essentially an agent or extension of them. In other words, no amount of links or citations from us will work for Maloney because we are all under the influence of someone who’s brainwashed or an agent of the conspiracy. There will be no convincing Maloney that he is wrong because he is a true believer in this nonsense.

    To a conspiracy theorist like Maloney, everyone who is not with him is part of the conspiracy. We are not individual agents, we are a “mob attack” although there has not been any physical violence committed by anyone in this argument, and all part of a shared “authoritarian” mindset (implying our similarity to fascists, Nazis, etc.). We are all against Maloney not because we found his arguments lacking, but because we must be brainwashed. To him, there cannot be any other option (or he has certainly not mentioned such). We have to mindlessly follow PZ or be under the spell of the propaganda from pharmaceutical mega-companies. To Maloney, we cannot simply be wrong. He feels any attack is persecution, and any persecution plays to his fantasy of the “one man against the world”.

    As an aside, you made the same “prosecution”/”persecution” mistake that you criticized Sven for earlier.

  635. #638 Rorschach
    March 29, 2010

    Oldie but goodie :

    The Hitch on Q&A back in 2009….

  636. #639 Kel, OM
    March 29, 2010

    As a result of the inadequacy of your logical thought, I have finally found a context within which it makes sense: authoritarianism.

    The sad reality it seems, is he truly believes that. Even more sadly, I wish this were atypical. But from what I’ve seen an gathered being around many who buy into this kind of thinking is that the genuine belief in the efficacy of their particular brand of woo woo is only matched by their hostility to science and reason.

    The difference between someone who is open minded and who isn’t is that one who is open minded follows the evidence no matter where it leads. Those who are ideologues will sing praises when the evidence is on their side, and will decry the very foundations of that level of inquiry when the evidence is not.

    Like I keep saying quacky, I’ve grown up around people who think like you. I’ve seen how people are able to convince themselves of the reality of woo woo far greater than mere “alternative therapies”, yet they do it with a genuineness and kindness that doesn’t so often express itself in everyday life. My experience has taught me that these are people who want to help others, they want to heal, they want to be helpful. But the ideology often gets in the way, they go for what seems to work as opposed to what does work. It’s that difference between personal perception and actual progress where this argument lies…

  637. #640 Opus
    March 29, 2010

    I see that the Quackster has responded to my post re his Harvard education. He said:

    Opus: Nice ?research.? Better try again. Harvard Extension runs a premed program for those of us who worked full-time at Harvard during the day. All the same classes, but the profs don?t coddle us like the undergrads. I think 345 started the program with me and 45 graduated. 80% standard medical school admission rate during the years I was there.

    This, my quacking friend, is a chance for me to model some behavior with which you are quite clearly unfamiliar. Watch, and I’ll take it step by step:
    First, the process in the abstract:
    Step 1: Review the evidence. Compare it to previous belief.
    Step 2: Make decision. Is previous belief still justified?
    Step 3: Revise belief, if necessary.
    Step 4: Communicate results of steps 1-3.

    The process in this case:
    Step 1: Hey! The quackster has answered! Oops, looks like he’s got me this time!
    Step 2: I think my response was not correct!
    Step 3: If the Quackster isn’t lying through his teeth he did do two years of premed at Harvard!
    Step 4: Hey, Quack!! You out there?!? I was wrong!

    I realize all this is right basic for most readers of this blog but felt that you have clearly demonstrated a need for an introductory lesson on how to respond when your beliefs are challenged. Hope this helps!

    PS: Purely for curiosity, am I correct that you are considered to be among the 20% who failed to gain admission to a medical school, since your academic endeavors at Woo U. (or is the U of Woo?) clearly don’t meet that criterion?

  638. #641 Pygmy Loris
    March 29, 2010

    Did the Thread die? That last post is marked 6:50 AM.

  639. #642 Ol'Greg
    March 29, 2010

    Did the Thread die? That last post is marked 6:50 AM.

    It’s gone dormant perhaps.

  640. #643 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Temporary lull. There was some real lunacy going on yesterday and last night, and a lot of folks got, and still are, sidetracked. We’ll be back…

  641. #644 Pygmy Loris
    March 29, 2010

    Everyone is off playing on other threads, I believe. I don’t have time to catch up on those right now. Gotta do some writing…

  642. #645 PZ Myers
    March 29, 2010

    Distractions. Sins of omission is running hot (and will probably get closed soon) and Graeme Bird is entertaining many of the regulars.

    Graeme may well get banned soon — he’s reduced to spluttering stupidly now. That may well revive this thread.

  643. #646 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 29, 2010

    This is the undead thread. It can not and will not die. Just clap until it starts moving again.

  644. #647 Ol'Greg
    March 29, 2010

    There was some real lunacy going on yesterday and last night, and a lot of folks got, and still are, sidetracked.

    Of course things pick up on a day I’m too busy to play. Will be for a bit though, probably to the relief of some.

  645. #648 Walton
    March 29, 2010

    Professor Myers,

    Are you going to explain why – having banned numerous people in the past for much more trivial offences – you have decided not to ban “a.human.ape” or “shonny”? a.human.ape keeps posting sadistic fantasies about torturing and killing religious people, and has made openly homophobic attacks on other commenters; while shonny is a blatant anti-Semite who described Ben Stein as “a living argument for the Holocaust”. (I’ve already posted the latter link in about ten other threads, but can find it again for you if you wish.)

    If a religionist behaved the way that a.human.ape and shonny have been behaving, you would certainly have banned them ages ago. It’s up to you, of course, to decide what kind of behaviour is acceptable on Pharyngula. But you ought to apply a consistent standard to atheists and believers alike.

  646. #649 Paul W., OM
    March 29, 2010

    Ol’ Greg:

    I belatedly noticed you mentioned a middle school teacher in another thread a while back.

    I’m guessing his initials are J and K; if so, I know him. (I haven’t seen him for a long time, but used to see him regularly for years, years ago, in an atheist group I was a charter member of, and that he was later co-chair of. Did you ever show up there?)

  647. #650 Walton
    March 29, 2010

    Amusingly, the troll a.human.ape also described me as a “liberal extremist”. :-)

  648. #651 PZ Myers
    March 29, 2010

    I very rarely ban people for a few stupid comments; it takes a consistent pattern of annoyance for the banhammer to drop. I usually prefer to let them hang themselves with their own rope for a good while and let the other commenters rip them to pieces. Look at Graeme Bird, for instance. He’s saying even more hateful and inane stuff — I’ll give him a little slack to see how deep he goes before pulling him up abruptly.

    Piltdown Man, for another example, got banned not just for stupidity, but for tedious predictability — everyone knew exactly what he would say and exactly what would push his buttons, and he just kept droning on and on about the same little obsessions. And he’s demonstrated his one-track mind ever since, as he’s practically guaranteed to turn up under a new pseudonym if the Pope is mentioned. The people you name have written some repulsive things, but they’ve also shown that they respond to criticism (not necessarily with changes in behavior, but at least they can carry a conversation), and also express a diversity of views. Those are cases where I’d rather let the commentariat shred them a new one, and see if they adapt.

    If they don’t, if they turn into a broken record, then I ban.

    If you read the Dungeon description, you’ll see I was rather straightforward: you don’t get banned for being a Republican or a creationist or generally stupid. You get banned for being repetitive and boring and consistently sending discussion threads into loopy land.

  649. #652 Walton, Liberal Extremist Dumpling of Awesome
    March 29, 2010

    Professor Myers @#651: OK, that’s fair enough. Thank you for explaining.

  650. #653 PZ Myers
    March 29, 2010

    Also, in case you hadn’t noticed, there are a whole lot of people who have the freedom to post here who I cannot stand. If I smacked everyone I detested with my mighty axe of bannage, the discussions would quickly depopulate.

    I might add that some groups of people who particularly piss me off are conservatives and libertards, and people who suck whole threads into pleas for affirmation and pity.

    So don’t ask for more frequent application of banning, Walton. There have been quite a few times I’ve rolled my eyes and reached for the ejection button when you’ve posted. My forbearance is a good thing, and you for one ought to appreciate it more.

  651. #654 Ol'Greg
    March 29, 2010

    I’m guessing his initials are J and K; if so, I know him. (I haven’t seen him for a long time, but used to see him regularly for years, years ago, in an atheist group I was a charter member of, and that he was later co-chair of. Did you ever show up there?

    Yes, those were his initials! Wow, small world :D

    I don’t know where “there” was but either way the answer is no. I’ve never actually gone to any groups, although I know that there are at least two here in Dallas. I’ve talked with a friend of mine about going from time to time but am actually terrified of being the new person anywhere.

  652. #655 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2010

    whoops

  653. #656 Walton, Liberal Extremist Dumpling of Awesome
    March 29, 2010

    So don’t ask for more frequent application of banning, Walton. There have been quite a few times I’ve rolled my eyes and reached for the ejection button when you’ve posted. My forebearance is a good thing, and you for one ought to appreciate it more.

    I certainly don’t advocate more frequent application of banning. I strongly believe, and have frequently said in the past, that free and open discussion is a good thing; the frequency of such discussion is something I like about Pharyngula. And yes, I do appreciate the fact that you let me post here despite disliking many of my opinions. I didn’t intend to imply the contrary.

    I was just inquiring as to an apparent inconsistency in the application of your policy. You’ve now explained the reasons for your decision, and I accept it.

  654. #657 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    PZ (@653):

    My forebearance is a good thing, and you [Walton] for one ought to appreciate it more.

    Indeed. IMHO, your forebearance (and that of the larger community here) has enabled a significantly positive evolution in Walton, who can now refer to himself as a liberal without it being entirely ironic (though I think liberal extremist is still a bit of a stretch).

    As a wise man (IIRC, it was Michael Valentine Smith) once said, “waiting is.”

  655. #658 Walton, Liberal Extremist Dumpling of Awesome
    March 29, 2010

    IMHO, your forebearance (and that of the larger community here) has enabled a significantly positive evolution in Walton, who can now refer to himself as a liberal without it being entirely ironic (though I think liberal extremist is still a bit of a stretch).

    It was a joke based on what a.human.ape called me.

  656. #659 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    And now for something completely different: Thank Dog the Family Values Conservatives© are here to save us from our liberal sins!

    Also, Walton: Just.Stop.Digging! That is all.

  657. #660 a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    March 29, 2010

    Have to say that Graeme Bird is so batshit crazily combustible, there’s not much oxygen left for any other thread.

    Frankly, though, he’s kind of pathetic. Talk about predictable–his response to any evidence presented is “You wrong. A lie. You Stupid.”

    Alas, I tried to introduce him to verbs, but it seems not to have taken.

  658. #661 SC OM
    March 29, 2010

    I may have missed a mention of it, but did anyone else notice that Not Exactly Rocket Science and Gene Expression moved to Discover? I’ll refrain from commenting on the latter, but the former is a loss. Does anyone know why Ed Yong chose to go?

  659. #662 SC OM
    March 29, 2010

    Oh – a_ray, you may find this thread interesting:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/03/gerlich_and_tscheuschner_oh_my.php

    Something of a Lenski vibe developing, it seems…

  660. #663 Bill Dauphin, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Walton:

    You’ve definitely gotten more liberal politically/philosphically (or perhaps gotten more in touch with your preexistng inner liberal), but jebus can you be earnest sometimes!

    It was a joke based on what a.human.ape called me.

    Yah, I got that; my point was that even though liberal extremist is a joke, liberal really isn’t, anymore, when applied to your earnest little self.

    And BTW, don’t you have some studying to do? ;^)

  661. #664 Paul
    March 29, 2010

    @661

    When asked why he moved, Ed said:

    Good and fair question. I like the fact that the Discover community is tighter, so one feels like a bigger fish in a smaller pond. It seems harmonious, I like the quality of the writers they?ve accumulated, the people I knew who had moved from ScienceBlogs spoke well of it, it just seemed like a good natural fit for the blog. My goal with this was always to improve my writing (which I can do anywhere) and to reach as many people as possible (and I think this will give me good opportunities for doing that). And yes, it pays better, but I think my decision was already made by the point when we discussed money. Also, I canvassed opinions from a few people I respect and the vote was unanimous.

    Matters little to me where his blog is. I’m slightly bummed I won’t see his posts as “most active” or anything on Scienceblogs. Trying to decide if I’m going to bother with a feed. I dislike using feeds, but I do enjoy his science posts.

  662. #665 SC OM
    March 29, 2010

    Thanks, Paul. From that thread:

    24. John Wilkins Says:
    March 26th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    I?ve added your new blog to my Recovering Sciencebloggers blogroll?

    Ass.

  663. #666 Carlie
    March 29, 2010

    SC – I did see that. Kind of a shame.

    Speaking of moving things around, I’ve gotten more and more squicked out with Facebook and their “we say you have control but you really don’t” policies and am thinking of starting my own place. I know a lot of you have your own blogs – any recommendations on hosts that are really privacy-conscious and not too difficult to use? I don’t mind paying (a small amount) for space, so I don’t have to limit to free blogware/hosting.

  664. #667 Paul
    March 29, 2010

    @665

    Well, yeah, he’s a commenter on Discover Blogs. I’ve been thinking lately that if one wants to read there regularly without spending too much time in SIWOTI overdrive, one really needs a killfile that runs off a whitelist instead of the normal blacklist. The common poster there is much more lazy, disingenuous, and dishonest than SciBlog commenters are used to, and trying to make any sort of progress is simply an uphill battle.

    666 passed, will this beat the portcullis?

  665. #668 Owlmirror
    March 29, 2010

    Well, yeah, he’s a commenter on Discover Blogs.

    And also a former Scienceblogger, and a friend of PZ’s…

    http://evolvingthoughts.net/

    “Recovering Sciencebloggers” is on the bottom right, underneath the stats and above the regular blogroll, which does include Pharyngula.

  666. #669 Owlmirror
    March 29, 2010

    (w00t! Neighbor of the Beast!)

    The common poster there is much more lazy, disingenuous, and dishonest

    If you ignore the Intersuction meltdown, where else have you noticed this?

    (The Loom, Bad Astronomy, Cosmic Variance, and 80 beats being the ones that I have sampled, and which I have found worthwhile for postings, and reasonable commentary, I think)

  667. #670 Paul
    March 29, 2010

    And also a former Scienceblogger, and a friend of PZ’s…

    So’s Laden (well, friend, not former Scibling). Doesn’t mean we can’t say they’re being asses when they’re being asses (Recovering Sciencebloggers? Come on.). Well, PZ could ban the practice, but he hasn’t yet.

  668. #671 Paul
    March 29, 2010

    @669

    Thanks for calling me out, that was somewhat dickish and catty. I’ve seen some pretty bad commenters on Bad Astronomy and Cosmic Variance, but it would be unfair to say it’s greater than SciBlogs (I mean, I also read erv, heh). The Intersection cesspool just colors my perception too much, and the tone you hear on Discover about how the commentariat is much better than that on SciBlogs (so I had to be an idiot and make the same accusation back, /sigh. I need coffee).

  669. #672 OurDeadSelves
    March 29, 2010

    Apropos of nothing, but today Mr. ODS and I went out to lunch. Sitting directly behind us was a very VERY vocal Christian Scientist.

    He defended faith healing by stating, “Only 30 kids in the past 30 years had died as a direct result of failed faith healing. Do you have any idea how many children die in hospitals every day?”

    What. The. Fuck? Totally ruined my sandwich.

  670. #673 SC OM
    March 29, 2010

    And also a former Scienceblogger, and a friend of PZ’s…

    And author or this tripe:

    http://evolvingthoughts.net/2010/03/06/on-the-need-for-grownups-thoughts-from-kansas/

    Ass, I say. :)

  671. #674 PZ Myers
    March 29, 2010

    Comment overload! GO HERE.