Episode L: Your weapon of choice

The latest instantiation of the endless thread seems to be all about histories of use of interesting substances. Me, I like to get high on Christopher Walken.

Continue as you were. Flying is optional.

(Current total: 10,058 entries with 969,742 comments.)

More like this

I'm doing some morning travel today, and won't be able to access the interwebberies until this afternoon, so I'm closing the perpetual thread instance a little bit prematurely — this never happens, he said. To compensate for the horrible awful stinky video in the previous thread, here's something…
Yet another edition of The Thread has lept the limited bounds of its previous domain to acquire a new instantiation. And we must philosophize once again over a very serious subject: (Current totals: 10,989 entries with 1,122,258 comments.)
I just felt like the long thread needs some Delgados. As you were. (Current totals: 10,968 entries with 1,118,139 comments.)
There's been a lot of sniping and arguing and angry vituperation in the last several endless thread instantiations. Let's all come together like a big happy family on this day, at least. There is nothing cynical in my choice of videos at all. (Last edition of TET; Current totals: 12,323 entries…

PZ, your blue linky things are all borked.

By Brownian, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

No they aren't. You're imagining things. What are you high on now?

Thank you, Republic Airlines,
For breaking the neck on my guitar.

I love this video so much. Almost as much as I love this one. (Anybody who clicks on that link should be aware that the music video starts getting weird at 55 seconds.)

By pixelfish (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Answering Bill Dauphin's post from the previous incarnation:

Bill:

Caine:

I'm not sure whether you, Pharyngulette, Ol' Greg, and the other self-identified denizens of the short bus are being falsely (however charmingly) modest, or slyly bragging! ;^)

Oh, trust me, we aren't bragging. I think a lot of people who tend to lurk rather than participate actively feel intimidated, I certainly did. I lurked here for ages before getting the stones to start posting regularly. Even here, in the endless thread, it can be very intimidating just because the regulars all know each other so well on top of being so damn smart.

It's not that people aren't welcoming here, they are. There's usually so much going on though, that even when someone dips a toe into the pool, they can be easily overlooked and end up going back to the lurking end of the pool.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

No shit?

By Sili, The Unkn… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I'd like to post a plug for Patrick Farley, who created the amazing and amusing Apocamon! comic -- a depiction of the Revelation of John with the characters as Pokémon-style creatures. Yes, it's silly and absurd and sometimes annoying, and if taken at all seriously, utterly horrifying -- but so is the Revelation of John in its original form!

Also: the strange and moving Spiders; a take on a modern war in Afghanistan in an alternate universe.

And other stuff as well! Take a look; see what you think.

Anyway, he's asking for a kickstart here -- and he's only asking a buck or two kicked in from many, not lots of money from a few, with the money being refunded if it fails to, well, start:

http://kck.st/drsSAg

Disclaimer: I have no connection to Patrick Farley other than liking some of his work.

By Owlmirror (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Despite being a child of the 60s and having come of age in the freewheeling 70s, I've never done any illegal drugs except for pot (encounters with which I could literally count on one hand)

Essentially the same here. In fact, I need only two fingers to count the times I (knowingly) tried pot: Once in some brownies (zilch effect), and one puff on a joint (started coughing incessantly and that's the only time I ever tried smoking anything).

Weirdly, I don't mind pipe or cigar smoke, but manufactured tobacco cigarettes, and to a lessor extent, hand-rolled ones, and joints, drive me to distraction. I'll quite often leave the room. I've tended to assume my tolerance of pipe and cigar smoke is due to one of my parents who smoked those (but not cigarettes) when I was quite young; that parent eventually kicked the habit.

I drink beers and wines (including fortified (port et al.)) and whisk(e)ys and brandys, but essentially no mixed drinks or cocktails or so on. And except for the odd beer during university or squidmasstime, I didn't drink more often for some years. Nowadays, I tend to pop into the pub, read the printed newspaper, and have a pint (a, as in one).

Great vid, but needs more cowbell.

Boooo. The video doesn't get interesting till after 3:00; everything before is exceedingly boring.

Also, I'm tired, I'm going to bed early today.

hash once. tobacco once.

Reminds me of a sketch I once saw... Interviewer: "have you done alcohol/tobacco/drugs...", interviewee, every time: "tried once – never again!!!"; interviewer: "have you got children?", interviewee: "one, yes"; interviewer: "ah, so this, too, is 'tried once – never again'".

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Hooray for Celtic, and can we reach through our computers and kill the bozos with the anti-fat jokes (from the RFID thread). Nothing like total asshats with no medical or behavioral health expertise determining that everything is a personal responsibility issue. I look forward to such people attempting to take personal responsibility when their skin breaks out with the "asshat" label right across their forehead and discover that it's untreatable and caused by some random genetic mutation...

I have little to add to the how-to-get-high discussion, except to tell the story about how I once got stopped by TSA for having a camping stove with fuel (I thought it had an external fuel tank, but it was internal and had about 1/4 cup of Coleman fuel). My son thought this was tremendously exciting and told all his friends that I'd been arrested for having cocaine in my luggage. I made sure he understood the difference between propane and cocaine forthwith.

Despite being a child of the 60s and having come of age in the freewheeling 70s, I've never done any illegal drugs except for pot (encounters with which I could literally count on one hand)

Hah! I beat you in prudishness! Never even tried pot. Never smoked a cigarette or a cigar.

In the years I would have normally experimented with that stuff, I was a pretty high-level athlete. Was playing or practicing for either swimming (summer, fall), football (fall), or baseball (spring, summer) all year long, and was too afraid of "losing my edge" to mess with the stuff. After that, once I got past a couple years of college, I just never saw the point.

Besides, it was always way more fun for me to watch the other wasted people and tell them about it later. I got the nickname "Brian, the Bard of Barf" during my college years for the tales I would regale my inebriated friends with in the days following a blowout.

By Celtic_Evolution (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I've never smoked anything, not even a cigarette, not even to see what it was like -- the whole notion is repulsive to me (both of my parents were heavy smokers). So I've never used pot. Never used any narcotics. My drug of choice for many years was caffeine, but I've even weaned myself mostly off of that, now only using it sporadically, when I really need to stay alert at odd hours.

I drink alcohol in moderation. I've only been drunk twice, both times when I was in college; once by intent, to see what it was like (I didn't like it at all), and once by accident, when I didn't know my own limits. I like alcohol, but intensely hate the feeling of loss of control, so avoid excess.

See how boringly straightlaced I am?

@ Becca (from the previous thread) - there are other SAHMs here. As long as you're a SAHM with a brain and a taste for nerds, you'll fit in quite well. Not all homeschooling SAHMs live in rural Mississippi, teach their kids that the world is 6000 years old, or wear denim jumpers...

Do we really need to know these things about the squidly overlord?

PZed: Your substance habits are just a smidge more strait-laced than mine. Drunk: five times. No smoking. I drink about once a month, if that. Never had pot, except via second hand smoke. Can't have caffeine most of the time because of tummy issues.

The funniest part of all this: My Mormon mother is convinced I was on the road to alcholism. She found out about one of my drunk episodes from my little sister, and called me up to ask about my "Canadian friends" that I was getting rowdy with. (I was at a writer's retreat, and was clueless as to what what she was implying at first.) Mom kept harping on my "Canadian friends" until finally I said, "What are you talking about, Mom?" Silence for a second, and then she bursts out with, "Rum!" I can't help giggling and pointing out that rum is probably more Caribbean than Canadian. Cue the lecture about my alcholic Uncle David (uncle through marriage) and how I'm following in his footsteps and how I might die all alone like Uncle David.

Yup. One drink every month or so equals Raging Lush to a Mormon Mom.

By pixelfish (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

ambook:

an we reach through our computers and kill the bozos with the anti-fat jokes (from the RFID thread).

I have no use for assclowns in general, let alone judgmental ones. Generally, I don't have much to say in arguments about weight, real life discussions in that area have not gone well ("what do you know about it, you're thin!" and so on.)

I don't take any credit for being thin, most of the women in my family were/are thin. Because of that, though, I don't know firsthand what a struggle weight can be for a lot of people, so I tend to keep my mouth shut.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I did however inhale enough second-hand smoke from my parents for the first 18 years of my life that I may as well have been a pack a day smoker from the time I was an infant. Probably cured me off smoking at an early age.

I don't care for beer... blech... but I love good wine and most types of hard liquor. Been drunk on several occasions... I'm a "mellow" drunk, however. Tend to sit in a corner and watch the goings-on around me...

By Celtic_Evolution (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

"This video clip belongs to Sony Music Entertainment. This video clip can no longer be shown in your country".

Copyristic Sony pricks. And then they act surprised about the origins of the piracy movement?

Never pot/hash or anything stronger.

I think I've tried babbing on a cigar, but never more. My parents, too, smoked far too much. (Was offered a driver's licence if I didn't smoke before turning eighteen. Didn't take them up on it - guess that was my rebellion.)

Didn't drink beer and booze for many years for much the same reason, but enjoyed wine with food. Started drinking in my mid twenties upon my return from England (which at least let me enjoy quite some nice stuff upon my return). Been far too drunk, far too often since then.

By Sili, The Unkn… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Caine (@5):

Did you follow my link? I was really just being my usual sleazysalacious self, riffing from the "short bus" metaphor to the fact that Shortbus is the title of a racy movie¹ (one of the few examples, apparently, of a legit, non-porn film that includes unsimulated sex scenes). I would never really accuse y'all of bragging!

I lurked here for ages before getting the stones to start posting regularly.

Whereas I jumped in pretty much as soon as I started reading here. But that's not because I "deserved" to be posting; I just like to talk a lot (whether virtually or in RL).

Even here, in the endless thread, it can be very intimidating just because the regulars all know each other so well on top of being so damn smart.

Yeah, and when the talk turns to science, it sometimes becomes critical to be not only smart, but well read in some specific area, which I worry can have a chilling effect on the broader conversation (i.e., "no, I don't have a fucking citation for that, FSMdammit!"). But other people being smart and well informed doesn't make you a Special Ed Kid©; you and the others who raised their "short bus" hands are brilliant in your own ways; I know I've been intimidated (and properly so) by all y'all more than once.

¹ Which I haven't seen, myself; any recommendations, anyone?

By Bill Dauphin, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

my chemical intoxicant preferences, history, and habits are none of y'all's business

42263 I think

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Sony has apparently banned PZ's weapon on choice from european use.

Which of course means he has to fight off the bears with a wet herring when he comes to Oslo.

What are you high on now?

Eek. Maybe this is a thread I should avoid in the chance there are DEA officers lurking.

Nonetheless, though this will probably surprise no-one, the first thing I ever smoked was pencil shavings rolled in a Post-it®, and it's been downhill ever since.

By Brownian, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I did however inhale enough second-hand smoke from my parents for the first 18 years of my life that I may as well have been a pack a day smoker from the time I was an infant.

Same here.

I don't care for beer... blech... but I love good wine and most types of hard liquor. Been drunk on several occasions... I'm a "mellow" drunk, however.

Same... here.

When I was in HS I really wanted to be successful, I just didn't know how you were supposed to do that but I knew drugs wouldn't help so I avoided them all. Didn't help that much though but I guess it didn't hurt :/

Bill:

Did you follow my link?

Yes, I did and started laughing right away. I haven't seen it, so I made a note to add it to my netflix queue.

But other people being smart and well informed doesn't make you a Special Ed Kid©

:D No, it doesn't, but it doesn't necessarily stop you from feeling that way. I just don't like to see people like Pharyngulette, JustALurker, Becca and others stay out of the conversations because they don't feel they have anything to contribute. In this sense, I don't think there's anything wrong with some of us having a "ShortBus Solidarity" thing going, especially if it brings more voices to the table.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I can't stand being drunk. I end up doing things that I will regret for a long time - like waking up without your wallet or cell phone in a place of learning.

By Gyeong Hwa Pak… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I did however inhale enough second-hand smoke from my parents for the first 18 years of my life that I may as well have been a pack a day smoker from the time I was an infant. Probably cured me off smoking at an early age.

I had no idea how much everything smelled until I moved to college and spent time in a non smoking environment. This is why I have no sympathy for smokers who whine about being forced not to smoke in different places. I was forced to breathe in that crap for the first eighteen years of my life.

Some things have improved, the adults will now only smoke outside so the kids do not have to breathe in the smoke.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Wow. I'm going to claim artistic inspiration for #29 with my amazing nested blockquotes. I assure you all that it was entirely intentional.

pixelfish (@17):

The funniest part of all this: My Mormon mother is convinced I was on the road to alcholism.

Funny indeed! When I got interested in cocktails a few years ago (yet another beneficial effect of having Rachel Maddow in my lifeear!), my wife started worrying that I was going to become an alcoholic. I asked her why she was concerned, since I rarely had more than one drink in a day (and never more than two), often went many days without touching a drop, had no history of drinking problems (by then I was in my mid 40s), and was never drunk. Her response? "But you drink alone!"

Yes, dear, that's because you won't have one with me!

;^)

PS: Did you see my post (a few weeks ago) about having tried your mushroom-leek-lemon risotto? Deeeeeeeeelicious!

By Bill Dauphin, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

David Marjanović @ 11 - I like that sketch - what does it say about me that my kids are adopted?

actually, there's a story about that. When I went in for my first IVF attempt, I told my husband that somehow, when I envisioned the conception of my children, a petite blond never played a role in my fantasies. My husband grinned, and said "Oh, I don't know about that." I'd have hit him, but I wasn't (literally) in a position to do so. On the other hand, it added humor to what was a pretty emotional time, just the right note.

I don't know that I'm straightlaced, exactly - I don't clutch my pearls (and who wears pearls to read the internet anyway?) nor have I a fainting couch. but when your brain is unreliable on it's own, who needs to add an extra layer of complexity?

I smoked a cigar one time. For about 1/2 the cigar, it was absolutely wonderful. Then, alarmingly fast, it went from wonderful to feeling like Pinocchio in the amusement park, with my eyes filling up with greenish fluid. Don't smoke or drink now - very boring, really.

Wow. I'm going to claim artistic inspiration for #29 with my amazing nested blockquotes. I assure you all that it was entirely intentional.

But

how

far

would

you

have

done

it

?

By Gyeong Hwa Pak… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Back in the late 70's, early 80's, there was a time when my freezer was never without a bunch of individually wrapped magic brownies in it. Couldn't stand smoking of any sort. It was a great way of slowly building up a really intense high before heading off for an evening of drinking and dancing.

By the way, here's the recipe for some of the best fudgiest brownies in the world (minus the magic):

BROWNIE RECIPE

Recipe for Single Batch – I commonly double or triple recipe.

¼ (one stick) unsalted butter
2 oz. (2 squares) unsweetened baking chocolate
2 –3 tbsps Dutch process cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract*
2 ex large eggs
½ cup flour
1 – 2 cups walnuts (pieces, not chopped)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prepare pan:Single recipe – 8 x 8 cake pan
Double Recipe – 9 x 14 cake pan
Triple recipe – jelly roll pan

Take single sheet of aluminum foil and line baking pan, making sure foil goes over the top of the sides. Smooth out as much as possible, and grease with butter (do not use cooking spray).

Heat oven to 350° and have rack midway in oven.

In large heavy pot, melt butter and baking chocolate together over very low heat until just smooth. Add cocoa (don’t overdo the extra cocoa or it creates a bitter aftertaste) and blend until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for about five minutes.

Stir in sugar.

Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition until egg is completely incorporated. Scrape down sides of pot after each egg addition.

Add vanilla and incorporate.

Add flour and stir just until thoroughly incorporated.

Add nuts and chocolate chips and stir just until incorporated.

Pour into prepared pan (batter is very thick) and smooth surface, spreading batter evenly.

Bake for 20 –25 minutes for single recipe, longer as needed for larger size pans. Brownies are done when toothpick inserted comes out moist but clean. Especially for larger size pans when you double or triple the recipe, also watch for when edges begin to pull away from sides of baking pan.
Cool in pan on wire rack for about 20-30 minutes. Invert on rack and carefully peel off foil. Invert back to right-side-up on rack and cool to room temperature. With sharp knife cut into serving pieces.

These brownies are VERY moist, and are best served cold or even slightly frozen. When storing, it is best to put wax paper between layers. These freeze very well for long term storage if individually wrapped.

* Variations:

-Substitute mint extract for the vanilla, or use crème de menthe
-Substitute whole almonds for the walnuts and ¼ cup (or less) amaretto for vanilla, or use almond extract
-Substitute whole hazelnuts for walnuts and ¼ cup (or less) of frangelica for vanilla

By MarkMyWords (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Pfft. You guys are boring. And clearly no source of more reliable contacts.

By Brownian, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Funny indeed! When I got interested in cocktails a few years ago (yet another beneficial effect of having Rachel Maddow in my lifeear!), my wife started worrying that I was going to become an alcoholic.

I have the opposite issue. Whenever I go shopping with my wife, she encourages me to get alcohol (she's not a drinker). I used to drink a bit before we were together, and I think she feels that she's keeping me from doing something I want to do. I've mostly lost the taste for it, or at least, when I'm sitting around at home I never think "boy, I could really go for a rum and coke".

I asked her why she was concerned, since I rarely had more than one drink in a day (and never more than two), often went many days without touching a drop, had no history of drinking problems (by then I was in my mid 40s), and was never drunk. Her response? "But you drink alone!"

I don't use the word hate often, but I hate that goddamn pop culture definition of alcoholic. I have relatives that have a group of friends that get together specifically to get drunk multiple times a week. They all agree that "you know you're an alcoholic when you drink alone", ignoring that the main damn reason they get together is they want to drink and need other people around to be able to do it without feeling like addicts.

Bill: I might have missed the post because my last few weeks have been super busy, but if the risotto turned out awesomely, I am pleased. :)

By pixelfish (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Brownian:

Pfft. You guys are boring. And clearly no source of more reliable contacts.

Well, all my contacts are in a different state than yours. ;) Am I the only one who has done grafting with hops?

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Thanks, Bill! I have used the magical search feature and found your Pharyngula Test Kitchen Results. And I see you have made a new recipe from the leftovers.

By pixelfish (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Damn, this place makes me feel like an alcoholic and a drug fiend!

Not that I really use drugs other than alcohol but I have tried a couple over the years and to various degrees enjoyed them...however I realize how bad continued use would be and have not touched them.

However, I do drink on a fairly regular basis. Not really heavily, maybe 1-3 drinks at a time, but often. I love a good beer or a good whisky. Like blf above I do not really do mixed drinks.

Is there going to be a prize for the millionth comment?

The Youtube clip disturbed me.

By claire-chan (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Just noticed the Random Quote:

The ability to ask question like 'Where am I and who is the "I" that is asking?' is one of the things that distinguishes mankind from, say, cuttlefish.

(Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent)

How do we know cuttlefish don't ask those questions? Hmmmmm?

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Am I the only one who has done grafting with hops?

Did it work?

By Brownian, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Paul, I hate that definition of an alcoholic. I drink alone all the time, I grab a couple of beer on the way home, usually 2, and drink them in the evening when I am sitting at home working or reading. I do that twice a week perhaps. Does that make me an alcoholic?

Brownian, yes, it works fabulously. I don't do it now, even though we have a lot of hop vines growing all over our property, because our 'town' is ultra-tiny and while we don't have police here, the cops in New Salem have absolutely nothing to do, and would adore a 'drug bust'.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Well, it will surprise no one here to learn that I've never used any illegal drugs. I think they should be legalised, but I have no interest in trying any of them personally. I just don't see the point.

Alcohol is admittedly something in which I have overindulged a few times, like most students. But I don't drink very often, really. I haven't touched any for months (due to finals revision).

Caffeine, on the other hand, I practically live on. I am no longer able to get through the day without at least three cups of coffee and several glasses of Diet Pepsi. As I draw closer to finals, I'm probably going to have to start on the Pro-Plus, unhealthy as it is.

You people never experimented with any of the really fun stuff? I tried everything I could get my hands on up to and including heroin, at which point I had to admit I finally found something that was more powerful than I could handle. But it was really something...

20 years later I'm almost as boring as my kids, who don't even drink coffee.

By Aperçus désagréables (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Just noticed the Random Quote:
The ability to ask question like 'Where am I and who is the "I" that is asking?' is one of the things that distinguishes mankind from, say, cuttlefish.
(Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent)
How do we know cuttlefish don't ask those questions? Hmmmmm?

Cuttlefish knows that this is waste of time, and concentrate on better endavours, like eating delinquent octopi.

Damn, this place makes me feel like an alcoholic and a drug fiend!

If you can tear yourself away from these squares, pour your drink in a plastic cup and join me out back for some doobage.

By Brownian, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Travis:

I drink alone all the time, I grab a couple of beer on the way home, usually 2, and drink them in the evening when I am sitting at home working or reading. I do that twice a week perhaps. Does that make me an alcoholic?

No, of course it doesn't. I'm alone Mon.-Fri., and I generally have one (sometimes two) beer[s] in the evening. Sometimes, I might have a glass of wine!

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Ooooooops! My bad!

In the brownie recipe, that's 1/4 POUND (1 stick) butter, NOT 1/4 stick, per batch.

Should learn to proofread more closely.

By MarkMyWords (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Perhaps people who think drinking alone is the test for being an alcoholic only know how to binge drink and hence cannot understand that my drinking 2-3 nights a week is not the same as getting drunk alone.

People who know me well, spouses, old friends, shrink, always comment that I have led an interesting life, runaway, bouncer/bartender in NO, weird ass jobs, drug use, things like that. This is usually followed by the, "but you seemed to have turned out OK line". I don't know, just seemed like life at the time, when all the choices were bad, just tried to minimize pain.

That said, I have tried virtually every type of drug or alcohol out there at one time or another, mostly concentrated between the ages of 14 and 24, pretty much stopped after that. Still remember when amyl nitrate poppers were legal, great sex when you used one at the appropriate moment. I really do not know how I survived, sometimes I was not really trying, like the heroin in VN.

Anyway, to lighten this up a bit, you have not really been to a party until you wake up three days later, three states away, wearing someone else's underwear. :^}

On a happy note, flights look good for spousal unit to arrive Friday about 1100 hours. Taking the early train to London to get here and bringing her straight back to the flat for snuggles and huggles. No other information for you pervs.

Waves to Caine, fluer du mal in appreciation for the good wishes.

I haven't touched any for months (due to finals revision).

How many months?

Paul, I hate that definition of an alcoholic. I drink alone all the time, I grab a couple of beer on the way home, usually 2, and drink them in the evening when I am sitting at home working or reading. I do that twice a week perhaps. Does that make me an alcoholic?

Insufficient information to say. As such, I err towards no. It doesn't sound like you are at all.

What really bothers me about it is unreflective people think "I can drink as much as I want to as long as I make sure I have a supportive group of friends that are always willing to raise a bottle to our continued indulgence!" At least, I have to assume the aforementioned relatives and friends aren't the only ones who have discovered this magical loophole to avoid being considered an alcoholic.

Walton, study, study, study! Now!

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

We have a pretty big alcohol culture in Australia, so my definition of an alcoholic probably means using far greater quantities for a far longer period of time. Alcoholics here are those who drink every night and in moderate to large quantities (5 drinks or more). I find it quite amazing when a couple of drinks a few times a week is by some definitions being an alcoholic.

1) I'm amazed what abstemious lives so many of you have led!
2) But I have kept to the decision I made at about 17: no injections, and no barbiturates (I was at a local youf hangout, watching a barb addict a bit older than me sleeping off his latest dose at the time). Given what was and was not (e.g. crack, GBL) around at the time, that probably left me at more risk from alcohol than anything else.

By Knockgoats (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

JeffreyD:

Still remember when amyl nitrate poppers were legal, great sex when you used one at the appropriate moment.

Boy, does that ever bring back some er, interesting memories. ;)

Anyway, to lighten this up a bit, you have not really been to a party until you wake up three days later, three states away, wearing someone else's underwear.

Minus the three states away bit, substituting 400 miles away, been there, done that.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Anyway, to lighten this up a bit, you have not really been to a party until you wake up three days later, three states away, wearing someone else's underwear.

When the state of origin was Hawaii.

By nigelTheBold (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Caine, FduM, will accept the three state or 400 mile rule. I live in the east, smaller states. :^}

Ah, amyls, yep...interesting memories...mmm

Oh, ah...well, night all.

Knockgoats:

no barbiturates

Same here. Never saw the point of downers. This didn't stop people offering me 'ludes all the time. Speedy stuff was my preference.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Unfortunately, Episode L is not about this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L_(Death_Note)

Once again, Pharyngula pre-steals my joke.

(I spent last Halloween cosplaying as L. Hard on the knees . . . and the teeth.)

By Blake Stacey (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

JeffreyD:

I live in the east, smaller states. :^}

Ah. I was in Southern California. G'night!

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

1) I'm amazed what abstemious lives so many of you have led!

I'll say!

2) But I have kept to the decision I made at about 17: no injections,...

Good decision.

***

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

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Sven DiMilo #25

my chemical intoxicant preferences, history, and habits are none of y'all's business

Pardon me, sir, but you must have mistaken us for people who give a damn. :p

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

1) I'm amazed what abstemious lives so many of you have led!

Alcohol, caffeine, video games and the internet are more than enough for me tbh.

I would suggest to whoever thinks that we have all be abstemious that some of us were massively non-abstemious earlier in life and have concluded that enlarging our livers and being too out-of-it to lock our apartments while living in major metropolitan areas are not desirable behaviors. Not that I would be admitting to any of that, however. I just indulge in ice cream and delight in the santimonious judgments of my weight by skinny chain-smoking wankers...

About drinking alone: What if you live alone and have no friends? No drinks at all for those people? What if you get pixellated every night with your friends?

Hell. I drink all the time, except when I know I shouldn't. Then I stop.

Also...Ol' Greg: It's great to know that I am not the only resident of Texas that could live without Tequila. It gives me a belly-ache.

By Antiochus Epiphanes (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

How many months?

Hmmm. I think the last time I had any alcohol (other than a half-glass of wine a couple of weeks ago) was sometime in the first or second week of March. So only about a month-and-a-half, give or take. Why do you ask?

Walton, study, study, study! Now!

I had a good day today. I unplugged my ethernet cable and placed it in a drawer on the other side of the room for about twelve hours, so I actually managed to get some work done without being distracted by online political arguments. :-)

I have to admit, I'm lucky to have survived my years of fairly heavy psychedelic use with my brain more or less intact.

It's a good thing, too. Someone needs to drive the short bus.

By boygenius (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Pixelfish at #4. Oh my! Thanks for that one!

Between '75 and '85, did it all at least once. Twice if I liked it. I really think that everyone should do LSD (or even just 'shrooms) at least once. Poppers? On the dance floor in a gay nightclub at 4am! I miss those days and my pretty city boys. But I moved to the country to get away from my partying ways. It worked. I'm now a boring Mom who only drinks an occasional beer or
glass of wine.

By ursulamajor (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I took up smoking cigarettes when I was in the Navy and smoked for years. I finally quite when I had abdominal surgery and spent a week in a hospital bed hooked up to a "morphine on demand" machine. Whenever I felt the need for a smoke I just pressed the instant gratification button. Incidentally smoking was banned in US submarines a few months ago.

I tried pot a couple of times but it never did much for me. I never tried anything else (except for the morphine machine mentioned above).

I've only been drunk once. When I was 17 some friends and I got a fifth of gin and a large bottle of 7-Up. I was sick to my stomach for two days and had a headache for three. To this day the smell of gin is nauseating.

I like ale, good Scotch whisky, and good bourbon. I don't care for lager beer or sweet liqueurs. Vodka is good in mixed drinks but most mixed drinks are too sweet for my taste.

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Having been stuffed full of oxycontin when I shattered my pelvis last summer, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out its appeal as a drug. [Morphine, I could understand. The nice morphine made my pain go bye-bye and left a pleasant buzz.] Oxycontin dulled the pain, but only befuddled my brain, and not in a good way.

And I'm the old lady who was at university in the late 60s, where few of my fellow students drank, but we pretty much all smoked pot/hash and dabbled regularly in Mr Leary's favourite chemical enhancement. Not to mention peyote and mescaline, both of which make one vomit uncontrollably before the nice hallucinations kick in. None of it had any apparent effect on my scholastic ability.

But, like Knockgoats, I eschewed barbituates - and amphetamines - and anything else that was physically addictive. Tripping at Woodstock was one thing; ending up with a heroin habit was something else entirely.

By DominEditrix (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Walton:

I had a good day today. I unplugged my ethernet cable and placed it in a drawer on the other side of the room for about twelve hours, so I actually managed to get some work done without being distracted by online political arguments. :-)

Well done! That's terrific, I'm glad you had a good and productive day. Okay, you can argue away for a while now.;)

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I am now going to state that I am a believer in creation! According to this anyway....

‘Chimps can learn sign language, but in the wild, so far as we know, they are unable to communicate about things that aren’t present. They can’t teach what happened 100 years ago, or ten years ago, except by showing fear in certain places. They certainly can’t plan for five years ahead. If they could, they could communicate with each other about what compels them to indulge in their dramatic displays. To me, it is a sense of wonder and awe that we share with them. When we had those feelings, and evolved the ability to talk about them, we were able to CREATE the early religions.’ - Jane Goodall.

Such a beautifully succinct set of responses to stoopid.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/5896113/if-we-have-souls-then-so-do-c…

Hey, MrFire.

An important Chomsky translation: When he says democracy, he means local-up. Maybe anarchism but maybe something else as long as we work out the disputes peacefully with meaningful votes. He may also use the word to mean a step toward relatively more democracy:

The greatest threat to democracy right now is the transfer of decision making into the hands of unaccountable private power. It's done by a lot of ways, but one of them is what they call "minimizing the state." This is kind of paradoxical for me. I'm an old-time anarchist from way back. I don't think the federal government is a legitimate institution. I think it ought to be dismantled, in principle; just as I don't think people ought to live in cages. On the other hand, if I'm in a cage and there's a saber-toothed tiger outside, I'd be happy to keep the bars of the cage in place -- even though I think the cage is illegitimate. There are plenty of good arguments, in my opinion, against centralized government authority. On the other hand, there's a much worse danger right outside. The centralized government authority is at least to some extent under popular influence, and in principle at least under popular control. The unaccountable private power outside is under no public control. What they call minimizing the state -- transferring the decision making to unaccountable private interests -- is not helpful to human beings or to democracy or, for that matter, to the markets. In this time when we are told there is "a triumph of the market," the markets are threatened themselves, aren't they? What's developing is a kind of corporate mercantilism with huge centralized, more or less command economies, integrated with one another, closely tied to state power -- relying very heavily on state power, in fact -- and enforcing social policies and a conception of social and political order that happen to be highly beneficial to the interests of the top sectors of the population, the richest sectors.

Stuff he said which I agree with: Current systems of power are broken such that individual people may behave decently without their decency reforming the system. Because people can hold multiple motivations, money movers can understand that they are driving civilization into the ground even while they have grandchildren they care about. And here's the news article about the Bank of England predicting an economic 'doom loop.'

I initially thought they were implying an inherent instability in our understanding of 'democracy'

It seems like the financial cycle is going to be part of many societies, certainly any society that chooses capitalism. Sometimes the down is very bad and a lot of people get poor. That sounds to me like an instability in democracy, insofar as democracy is understood to be only a voting system which is compatible with various economic systems including capitalism.

To take that further, I personally am alarmed by the proportion of the modern economy which is dedicated to controlling other people: prison guards, police, private security, workplace supervisors, military hierarchy. Each a single job, a small thing, but these little things add up to a micromanaged lifestyle for a growing segment of the population. To the extent that we are dedicated to controlling one another, we crush each other's human dignity.

Samuel Bowles and Arjun Jayadev term this "guard labor," and make the case that the proportion of the economy devoted to guard labor rises with the Gini coefficient of wealth inequality. As inequality grows, so grows that excess of riches beyond what the owner can make immediate use of. And that capital needs guards, because as inequality grows the poorer folks are relatively more motivated to grab a little piece for themselves. Squatters cannot be tolerated.

Police have a way of making work for themselves. We have instances of police organizations lobbying against the legalization of cannabis (hey, I'm on topic for a moment!), when police should only be in the business of enforcing the laws that legislatures choose. We now have 1/100 of the US population in the prison system. But perhaps this is predictable from the nation's economic stratification. If more inequality requires more guard labor, then perhaps it is necessary for our form of capitalism to continually identify potential threats to capital (poor people) and then make up excuses (drug war) to selectively monitor their communities, imprison them, disrupt their lives to prevent organization.

Please let me know if I'm not making sense.

If this is the choice we face, more squatters or more evictors, the world with more squatters sounds more livable.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Aghh! I am one of those with a "more-unique-than-usual" metabolism. I was never interested in alcohol or cigs, both of which I found disgusting to imbibe. While in university I tried both pot and hash numerous times, because I was neurotic, unhappy, tense person, and I wanted to find some way to relax. What happened? I'll tell you what happened.

Mucous.

MUCOUS!!

Copius quantities of mucous all up and down my respiratory tract. I did not get the munchies. Nor the giggles. Nor the paranoia. Once as an experiment, I smoked a pipe of hash and blew the secondhand smoke into my friends' faces. They got all wonderfully stoned and all I could do was spit for four hours. Bummer!

Alcohol. At the age of forty I deliberately got myself drunk, just to see what it was like. It took quite a large quantity of vodka and I found it extremely unpleasant. I had wondered if I was going to a happy drunk, a morose drunk, an aggressive drunk, a self-pitying drunk -- in vino veritas, you know -- and all I was was a person lying on the bed praying for the room to stop spinning.

Mind you, never being stoned or drunk never stopped people from assuming I was high; I was always a bit weird.

On topic:

Hey kids, did you know that many Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved are still legal in the USA?

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I grew up with smoking parents. My dad was in the hospital when I was about 11 or 12 with an abscess behind his right lung. It took the doctors nearly six months of testing to find the abscess, and by the time Dad came out of the hospital, he was a confirmed ex-smoker. He badgered my mother into quitting as well.

So cigarettes and smoke-related products never had any appeal for me.

As for alcohol.

Dad was alcoholic, and I was always afraid that I would be just like he was if I drank. It wasn't until I was a college exchange student in Japan that I learned I could drink without becoming belligerent and that I really could stop after just one.

After spending the last four years in Italy and in my mid-40's, I would say my drugs of choice are the caffeine found in a good espresso (or two) and the alcohol found in a nice Italian red wine (or two) (not to mention the home-made limoncello).

I wonder, sometimes, if perhaps this blog should also be considered as a type of drug. Perhaps Walton would agree.

sgbm:

Hey kids, did you know that many Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved are still legal in the USA?

Are we talking chocolate* here?

*The real stuff, not pretend chocolate nastiness.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I wonder, sometimes, if perhaps this blog should also be considered as a type of drug.

Change that to an addiction and I doubt anyone would raise a peep in disagreement. It's most assuredly not a drug though, unless you completely redefine the word.

Chocolate? Not quite what I had in mind, but I've known and loved it.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Brrr. I fear I cannot even link to that without DrugMonkey showing up to be a buzzkill.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Episode L:

wh-what? an Episode of The Thread in my honor? But I've hardly commented in it ...

Psilocybe once a year w/ friends. Can't beat that experience.

It's so comforting to know that I'm not the only bluestocking in the building! Of course, not that I'm not impressed by all the many and varied stories of drugs imbibed and survived... wow. Seriously. Wow.

On another topic, I love to cook and eat things (cheers for the ongoing recipe exchange!) and this morning I counted almost 20 non-piscean species that I've cooked and consumed. Since nothing is off-topic on Teh Thread, this confirmed omnivore is wondering what animals others have tasted that I haven't?

My list of animals counted so far: cow, bison, moose, deer, reindeer, crocodile, kangaroo, emu, turtle, possum, lamb, pig, camel, rabbit, chicken, turkey, duck, goose and goat. Maybe there are others, if I think hard enough.

By ~Pharyngulette~ (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

sgbm:

Chocolate? Not quite what I had in mind, but I've known and loved it.

Interesting...looks like I have much to learn, a chemist I'm not. I have no doubt I've been acquainted with many though. ;)

JJ:

Psilocybe once a year w/ friends. Can't beat that experience.

That particular shroom is good.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Pharyngulette:

Since nothing is off-topic on Teh Thread, this confirmed omnivore is wondering what animals others have tasted that I haven't?

This has the potential to get into scary territory. ;P

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Pharyngulette:

My list of animals counted so far: cow, bison, moose, deer, reindeer, crocodile, kangaroo, emu, turtle, possum, lamb, pig, camel, rabbit, chicken, turkey, duck, goose and goat. Maybe there are others, if I think hard enough.

How about ostrich? Buffalo meat is good, it's got less fat than beef and is pretty tasty. A plus is that food bison are grass fed while it's difficult to get grass fed beef. Here in ND, we happily pay more for grass fed beef, but even here, it's hard to get.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

@99 - One of the best, I've had some wonderful experiences* connecting with people and my surroundings after consuming. Kind of a "mind opener" if you will. Gives you a whole 'nother perspective on the world around you. I never understood religion until after my first trip (note - I grew up sans religion, and have been an atheist/agnostic my whole life). Not that I think it's rational, but I understand how the mind can really play tricks on itself.

*I've also had what at the time was bad experiences, but in retrospect were pretty sweet. Maybe I'm just a masochist.

Wow, what a bunch of prudes. I'm currently on probation for ecstasy possession.

By BigMKnows (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

pixelfish @ #4

I love this video so much. Almost as much as I love this one. (Anybody who clicks on that link should be aware that the music video starts getting weird at 55 seconds.)

Gack! it gets weird right from the start. Bloody autotune, it's a heinous assault on the aural senses. It should be banned. It's a tool of the Devil I tell you.

Or am I supposed to beleive that those "men?" in the clip actually sound like chipmunks?

Wow, what a bunch of prudes. I'm currently on probation for ecstasy possession.

Plenty of us did a lot of drugs. The difference between you and us? We weren't stupid enough to get caught. Being on probation isn't something to be proud of, dipshit.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I'm amazed what abstemious lives so many of you have led!

Seconded.

However, I'm not much more exciting. Smoked tobacco and pot. Hated the first, more ambivalent towards the second. Pot did make me sleepy and laconic. I haven't done it in years. I tried some mushrooms once and it was similar to getting drunk.

Oh, there's also World of Warcraft. Seriously, more addicting than any drug I've ever tried.

Nowadays all I really use are caffeine and occasionally alcohol. I gotta agree with Kevin: rum and coke FTW!

Also, what's legal and illegal is quite arbitrary:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rational_scale_to_assess_the_harm_of_…

By Feynmaniac, Ch… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

To contribute to the current discussion: The only illegal substance I've done has been drinking alcohol under the age of 21.

No pot, no pills, no cigarettes, no powders, no intravenous substances, nothing. I guess I'm boring.

Change that to an addiction and I doubt anyone would raise a peep in disagreement.

Gotta go to the Redhead's family reunion later this summer. Will be off-line for about a week. Feeling the pains already (although my CTS in my left hand will appreciate it).

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Plenty of us did a lot of drugs. The difference between you and us? We weren't stupid enough to get caught.

I'm glad I was caught. I've never been this sober. Probably saved my life.

By BigMKnows (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

If people want to use drugs, I'm all for it. Their bodies, their choice. But what shits me are those who use drug use as some badge of honour. I really don't get why, it comes off as so pathetic.

The funniest part of all this: My Mormon mother is convinced I was on the road to alcholism.

Old joke: How do you keep a Mormon from drinking all your alcohol? Invite another over.

By Feynmaniac, Ch… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I knew that marijuana was not for me when a young woman who lived across the hall from me decided that she wanted to seduce me. She thought that getting me stoned would help start this process. Unfortunately for me, whenever I smoke dope, all I want to do is stare out a window and think about what I'm thinking about, so I never found out the charms of this young woman.

Every time I've had marijuana (out of dozens of times), I've had the similar withdrawal from people. The only intoxicant I've ever enjoyed was alcohol.

By Cliff Hendroval (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I'm amazed what abstemious lives so many of you have led!

Hey, I've TP'd many a house in my time! And even forked a front yard once or twice!

Looks like I sit somewhere in between the ends of the spectrum, which I'll name 'Walton' and 'Hunter S. Thompson' respectively.

I used to drink regularly (but don't any more); for a few years I smoked pot once or twice a week; for a while did speed a couple of times a year (mostly to make mosh pits all that much more fun); have also tried LSD (which I really liked and would like to do again if I had the opportunity and the time to recover before I needed to think clearly) and ecstasy, which I didn't care that much for.

Never wanted to do anything that required needles, or anything that's a 'downer'; I'd like to have tried coke, mushrooms, DMT, psilocybin and any of the other psychedelics but I never had the opportunity and probably won't ever.

As to why; well, it's simple - it made fun stuff more fun. Speed especially.

One of the more hilarious moments was at a bar after the Big Day Out one year where I'd had so much my pupils were so dilated that I doubt any iris was visible, and I was standing next to Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age and he looked down at me ('cause he's like six inches taller than I am), saw my eyes and just smiled and shook his head.

That, kids, is rock'n'roll.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

And I even came home 15 minutes after curfew once!

Well then, PZed must have the liver of a Kodiac Bear... coz it was veritably raining stubbies on him at the convention in Melbourne :)

(I think he may have pocketed some for later, displaying the common sense of a worldly man)

By Charlie Foxtrot (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Caffeine, on the other hand, I practically live on. I am no longer able to get through the day without at least three cups of coffee and several glasses of Diet Pepsi. As I draw closer to finals, I'm probably going to have to start on the Pro-Plus, unhealthy as it is.

Here's something to keep you up at night: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04/entertainment-industrys-dystopia-f…

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Well then, PZed must have the liver of a Kodiac Bear... coz it was veritably raining stubbies on him at the convention in Melbourne :)

Yeah, I was wondering that myself - he'd certainly had enough to seem affected. Maybe the Minnesota definition of 'drunk' requires throwing up and passing out.

(I think he may have pocketed some for later, displaying the common sense of a worldly man)

Meh. I'd rather pay than drink beer that's even close to room temperature...

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

And I even came home 15 minutes after curfew once!

That's nothing. I took my father's car to Detroit without his permission. He was at a convention in Los Angeles and I wanted to sail in a regatta near Detroit.

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I wanted to sail in a regatta near Detroit.

Lake St. Clair or Lake Erie? Pollution water back in the days...

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Oh, there's also World of Warcraft. Seriously, more addicting than any drug I've ever tried.

That's a seriously true statement. Currently weening myself off after 4 years.

By ursulamajor (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Pharyngulette,

I've had rattlesnake and aligator.

Caine,

There's a local farm here that raises grass fed and finished beef. They sell at the farmers market and it's only a little bit more than grocery store beef. :)

By Pygmy Loris (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Pygmy Loris:

There's a local farm here that raises grass fed and finished beef. They sell at the farmers market and it's only a little bit more than grocery store beef. :)

Yay! There needs to be more of that. It takes two years longer for grass fed to be ready; it's hard for farmers to do that in a lot of cases. I definitely support those farmers who pull away from the big agro way of doing things.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

So all you WoW people watch The Guild, right? Because if you don't YOU SHOULD.

Bill Hicks on some of the positive things drugs have done for us.

By Antiochus Epiphanes (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

So this is the latest manifestation of the thread that would not die?

Cool.

The title has, ermmm, evolved.

Meh. I'd rather pay than drink beer that's even close to room temperature...

Sources tell me they have room fridges at the Hilton...:-)

As to drugs, stuff never did anything much for me although I tried anything non-needle related at least once, so therefore none for > 10 years now.

All that's left poison-wise is the odd beer or 12, and those sometimes are accompanied by the occasional outdoor cigarette.
Boring, eh !

By Rorschach (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Charlie Foxtrot

Well then, PZed must have the liver of a Kodiac Bear... coz it was veritably raining stubbies on him at the convention in Melbourne :)

Not necessarily. It was only Australian beer of course.

It takes two years longer for grass fed to be ready; it's hard for farmers to do that in a lot of cases.

I forget the breed details, but there's a farmer near me who raises a kind of mini cow (shorter, but not too much less round than jerseys) that's all shaggy and looks like a huge Muppet, and he slaughters them in not much more time than typical cattle.

It's time for:

UB40 - Kingston Town

...accompanied by your preferred perception-altering medium, of course.

I too am amazed at how abstemious so many of you are.
And I thought you were all so cool!
Me, I drink (a bit too much) and smoke - but I got that habit from smoking dope which then (30 years ago) was smoked in the UK with tobacco, and still often is. Boo!
Had a bit of acid -woo, interesting - find out what fecund hallicinations are like.
Interestingly, I went to a proper rave in 1987, and had a tab and a great time - heh, I wrote it up and it was published in the Financial Times (weekend section). There was a big thing about illegal raves in Britain at the time, and the very same one was covered (rather less approvingly) in The Sun the next day.
I have to say it was utterly brilliant, what with the sunrise, and the music, and all...
But LSD takes a long time to wear off and can turn nasty. (Another memory, tripping, choral evensong, Magdelan College, Oxford - them saint statues, they sure do dance - followed by a visit to Lewis Carroll's house, same college, stoner living there....)
But I haven't done that for years.
Magic mushrooms, on the other hand, in an autumn wood....
Latterly, inspired, and inspiring, my love of hard, fast dance music, took my me on to a short love affair with ecstacy, which I found to be aptly described by the name, and which I can fully recommend - it's gently hallucinogenic and makes you really happy and surrounded by friends.
I managed not to get addicted to anything (apart from tobacco) and haven't had anything illegal for months.
Oh, sorry, you were talking about kittens!

Sorry, not boasting. Sharing

Bill #3

Thank you, Republic Airlines,
For breaking the neck on my guitar.

Gits. What sort of guitar, and is it fixable?? I have a kind of horror of this happening (not flying, just generally) and seem to own mainly bolt-ons, not set or thru necked guitars where possible!

...

As for all the drugs nonsense... hmm, first time I ended up in hospital was due to alcohol at the age of 16. Oddly enough the last time I ended up in hospital (aged 37) was also due to alcohol. And stairs. At my workplace. Not very professional really.

S'pose by some measures here I'll be habitual where the grape, hop and grain is involved but I'm English, ffs, and an Englishman who's spent years self medicating.

Pretty much quit the other stuff after discovering that they don't mix with antidepressants very well. Admittedly I tried to prove my body wrong for a couple of years but that didn't end nicely!

By https://me.yah… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Well, I'm probably the least straight laced person around here (and I've found myself a bit of an outsider amongst skeptics). I still smoke pot now and then, I spent several years as a major moderator on a psychedelics website, where I was one of several in charge of the Philosophy & Spirituality boards. That's where I cut my teeth debating the large collection of nutty people that infested that particular region of the web.

In my early teens I became interested in weird hippy spirituality, but unlike a lot of the others, I found psychedelic drugs demonstrated how easily tweaking your brain chemistry can cause you to have bizarre, convincing experiences, and that these experiences give you, if anything, more insight into the way your brain works than the nature of the universe.

I still maintain that anyone psychologically and emotionally stable, without a history of mental illness should try psychedelic drugs. I have never in my life had any experience that rivaled LSD for its ability to alter the very meaning of what it is to be a conscious being... and I've been through a lot of strange things.

I thought a discussion of drugs would be like the Bat(shit) signal for Matthew Segall and he'd come rushing here. I wonder what's slowing him down....

By Feynmaniac, Ch… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Pharyngulette:

Since nothing is off-topic on Teh Thread, this confirmed omnivore is wondering what animals others have tasted that I haven't?

Is this confined only to land vertebrates? Ostrich, alligator, rabbit, squirrel, goat, sheep, cow, pig, chicken, duck, goose, quail, turkey, pigeon, 2 different species of deer (white tail & sika), bison. Someday want to try moose, camel, llama, bear, beaver, rat, opossum, & horse (nothing is sacred!).

Land based invertebrates - mealworms, house crickets, escargot, plan to try lubber grasshoppers & earthworms this summer & cicadas next time there's a Brood X swarm. I'll post a basic mealworm recipe tomorrow - great to gross out kiddos and colleagues, and taste just fine.

Aquatic invertebrates - too many weird things in sushi to list. Lots of fish also, but not fugu.

Yeah, I guess if you want to find out what "spirituality" means, if anything, LSD will show you. At least it wears off. (And isn't addictive) Magic mushrooms are better though, IMSO.

Carlie:

I forget the breed details, but there's a farmer near me who raises a kind of mini cow (shorter, but not too much less round than jerseys) that's all shaggy and looks like a huge Muppet

I definitely haven't seen anything like that around here. It takes two years longer for grass fed (standard type cattle) to build up the same muscle mass as cattle who are early weaned, shipped out to mega-stations and overfed a lot of crap. Brands like Black Angus are notorious for this, and their beef is awful, the cuts poor and seriously overpriced. Even here, though, they get the market contracts because they can undercut everyone else.

More farmers around here are going grass fed with at least part of their herds, building up to be able to go all grass fed.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

IanKoro:

I still maintain that anyone psychologically and emotionally stable, without a history of mental illness should try psychedelic drugs.

Eh, it's not for everyone. It was never on top of my 'fun to use' list.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Anyone interested in fungal intoxicants should investigate their local mycological association. Listening to those guys discuss the local varieties and their properties is pretty mind-blowing even without any mushroom ingestion.

And here's the basic mealworm recipe:

Get a bunch of mealworms at your local pet store and sort them to pick out the dead ones (they're the dark brown ones that don't move). Toss out the wheat bran that they're shipped in and sift off the wheat bran and frass as much as possible.

Put the sorted mealworms in a container in the freezer to kill them humanely (takes about 30 minutes).

Coat the mealworms in vegetable oil and put in a 275 degree oven to roast for about 30-40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure even roasting.

Sprinkle the roasted mealworms with your favorite seasoning. I usually use Emeril's Southwestern Essence, which gives a nice dorito flavored mealworm. Mealworms are like tofu or chicken - you can make them taste like anything.

Carlie,

I forget the breed details, but there's a farmer near me who raises a kind of mini cow (shorter, but not too much less round than jerseys) that's all shaggy and looks like a huge Muppet, and he slaughters them in not much more time than typical cattle.

Ooo...shaggy muppet cow sounds delicious!

By Pygmy Loris (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

IanKoro,

Well, I'm probably the least straight laced person around here [...]

I seriously doubt that.

By John Morales (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I still vastly prefer LSD to mushrooms. The vast amount of ridiculous myths about LSD may have played a role in my skepticism, though I've actually found a number of great skeptics who actually believe many of the ludicrous drug myths that abound. A few key facts: Flashbacks aren't common, and they aren't a sudden re-experiencing of the full drug effects, nobody EVER sells strychnine as LSD (on that note, formaldehyde does not get you high, and even though some people call PCP 'embalming fluid', if it does anything other than drastically increase your risk of cancer, it's probably PCP... but avoid that for chrissakes), and don't try to claim that LSD or psilocybin are neurotoxins. There are plenty more, but hopefully most skeptics won't fall for "if you take LSD seven times you're legally insane".

Pharyngulette,

My most unexpected weird food experience was cat-meat sausages on the street in South Yarra (the trendy shopping strip in Melbourne). There was this woman in a cat suit standing on the corner handing out little chunks of the sausages with toothpicks in them.

I got talking to the guy she was with and he said the company got cats that were going to be put down from animal shelters, then fattened them up on special farms (in Shepparton and Wagga Wagga, IIRC), slaughtered them and sent the meat to Korea or somewhere. They were also selling it to a few delicatessens in Melbourne, hence the street promotion.

The sausage itself wasn't very nice. It had a really sharp taste and kind of stung my tongue.

Other unusual stuff: cactus pizza in Mexico (revolting, and strictly for the tourists), grasshoppers in Mexico (like chewing tea leaves, but with legs that get stuck in your gums).

In Australia, kangaroo, emu and crocodile (all delicious) and possibly buffalo, though the rumor at the resort I was working at was that the buffalo sausages were really just beef, so I'll never know.

Oh, I had a pigeon in Egypt once. There was practically no meat on it at all. And it was stuffed with rice, so when I cut into it it looked like there were all these maggots spilling out of it. Yuck.

By ambulocetacean (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Oh yes, and camel jerky.

What does opossum taste like?

By ambulocetacean (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

IanKoro, we don't need lectures on acid. If you love the stuff, fine, go knock some back, but get off your hobby horse already.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Hey, Kseniya! Long time no comment!

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Weirdest thing I've eaten: jellyfish salad at a Vietnamese wedding.

It wasn't very nice but I wanted the experience; funnily enough I thought it was 'spicy' because the jellyfish were the stinging kind, but it turns out that was chilli.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Pharyngulette (@98):

My list of animals counted so far: cow, bison, moose, deer, reindeer, crocodile, kangaroo, emu, turtle, possum, lamb, pig, camel, rabbit, chicken, turkey, duck, goose and goat. Maybe there are others, if I think hard enough.

Like Pygmy Loris, I've had alligator (wonder how similar crocodile is) and rattlesnake, the latter as the meat in a chicken a la king style dish one of my 8th grade classmates brought in for show and tell when we were studying life in the Old West (which means, of course, that while I've technically eaten rattlesnake, I have no frickin' clue what it actually tastes like). I've also had dog (in a restaurant in Korea, a story I've told here several times before). I've also had quail and squab. And while it doesn't really seem in the spirit of the critters you listed, I think escargot counts as nonpiscean.

I had a peacock-leather wallet in Korea, but never tried peacock meat. And I eat at Outback frequently, but they don't seem to serve kangaroo (which I'd be happy to try, given the chance).

By Bill Dauphin, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

IanKoro, I'm rather enjoying your posts on LSD as I don't know much about, or the myths involved. Finding them interesting.

Ate BBQ aligator once, thought it tasted like swamp water. Bleh~!

And I eat at Outback frequently, but they don't seem to serve kangaroo (which I'd be happy to try, given the chance).

Kangaroo is like low-fat spiced beef. Really really tasty.

Update on SpokesGay's Boring Home Maintenance Woes:

The dread water heater is fixed. Turns out it wasn't the silly thermocoupling-hold-down-red-button-to-light-pilot thing at all. Apparently, that thing is wired up to what appear to be "circuit breakers," of a sort. They sit on top of the tank, and measure the temperature of the exhaust chimney. If it gets too hot, they trip. Don't know why.

Gas man says if I run my dryer, that could do it. Well, damned things trip even if I don't. So, I spent $100 on a service call to learn how to reset those buttons. Ah well, at least I know what to do next time.

Carry on with more erudite discussions, please.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Had alligator in N'awlins. Fried in spicy coating with - of all things - hollandaise sauce for dipping. Deeee-licious.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Josh, OSG!

So, I spent $100 on a service call to learn how to reset those buttons. Ah well, at least I know what to do next time.

Oh man, that, I would seriously resent. Hold a grudge, even. ;p I'm sorry it turned out to be a non-issue, Josh and even sorrier you got to pay for the privilege.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I think that we're primitives, living at the dawn of civilisation. In times to come, people will wonder with repugnance how we could actual plants and animals, instead of proper food made by synthesisers.

By John Morales (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Yet another nonsmoker of nicotine or anything else. As I tell my former smoker husband, "I just don't see the point of setting things on fire, putting them in my mouth, and then inhaling the fumes."

Drinking, however - I LOVE good beer. And quite enjoy a nice buzz. Apparently I am a very happy drunk, which makes things more pleasant for everyone, I suppose.

Bill:

I think escargot counts as nonpiscean.

What about frog? I've had frog's legs. Escargot, too, but I don't care for 'em.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Yup Carlie, "The Guild" is a must watch for any mmorpg player. But when they added Wil Wheaton as the baddie in a black kilt, it hit nerdvana.

By ursulamajor (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Dear Atheists,

I'd just like to point out (being a Christian and all) that there is no greater intoxicant than Jesus. I admit LSD has its uses—especially if you like pretty colours—and it leaves the LDS's in the dust when it comes to utility, credibility and believability. Let's face it, if more Moronmons in the LDS turned on to LSD we'd have a world replete with technicolor temples, rainbow-weave secret underpants, more polyorigamiists and way fewer polygamists.

But I digress... What I wanted to say is that nothing gives quite the same high as Jesus. It doesn't matter how you take him (intravenously, anally, in a joint, or joint-by-joint) I'm here to witness to the fact that the loving Christ has a personal high for each one of us 'cos he's a personal God.

Personally, I get my biggest jollies sniffing the scent of the Holy Spirit. It may smell like an asscrack full of pheromones, but I can assure you that the buzz it causes won't stop until the last trumpet has sounded.

And the weirdest thing I've ever eaten? It was at mass last week. I knelt down before the priest, opened my mouth, and into it he thrust something fleshy that wiggled and throbbed and smelled of poo. No it wasn't his penis...I wouldn't have minded that. It was in fact one of Christ's transubstantiated tapeworm larvae that descended my gullet and lodged itself in my digestive tract. Can you believe it? Christ had cysticercosis!!!

Yours humbly

Smoggy Batzrubble
ex-Missionary to the Atheists

By Smoggy Batzrub… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

John:

In times to come, people will wonder with repugnance how we could actual plants and animals, instead of proper food made by synthesisers.

I'm still waiting for carniculture to get going...

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Caine:

I'm sorry it turned out to be a non-issue, Josh and even sorrier you got to pay for the privilege.

This will sound uncharacteristic, but I'm looking at it as an investment. All these financial outlays in the first year of owning the house are teaching me what are, and are not, Serious Business. Each time, I learn how to do it myself, so I'll never spend that $100 again.

Now, would you like to see my Mary Poppins outfit?

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Kangaroo is nice. I always think it tastes like venison, but I haven't had venison in probably 15 or 20 years, so I don't really remember what that tastes like.

The bad thing with kangaroos is that they're riddled with all sorts of parasites that can kill you/send you blind or whatever.

The one thing you're not supposed to do is eat raw kangaroo, which I didn't know when I was hooking into the raw kangaroo carpaccio at the resort. Om nom nom nom.

By ambulocetacean (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

John Morales:
Way back in the 1960s
The travel was hard, and I mean we still used the wheel
But you could sit down at your table and eat a real food meal...

Now I've got a secret, and don't give us away
I got some real food tins for my 91st birthday
Your grandmother bought them down at the new Antique Food Store
And for beans and for bacon, I will open my door.

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Josh, OSG:

Each time, I learn how to do it myself, so I'll never spend that $100 again.

Good point. Still, $100 is a bit harsh. Our gas guys wouldn't have charged for that at all.

Now, would you like to see my Mary Poppins outfit?

I would expect yours is much snazzier than the traditional one. ;D What really matters is the shape your umbrellas is in.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

@ MrT from the last version of Teh Thread:

I suggest practicing only (F#-G-A#-B-A#-G-F#...) repeatedly, only as fast as you can with zero mistakes and even rhythm. You could even try alternating between G# and G, just to make sure that stupid left-middle finger knows who's boss.

However, I'm under no illusion that what I've just written is helpful, so once again, I offer my sympathies.

I took your advice, and that is helpful - thank you! Once I did that repeatedly, the whole scale seems to have gotten into my muscle memory better than it had before. Please keep tips and tricks coming.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Having cared for multiple kangaroos, I don't think that I could bring myself to eat them. But I'm a bit of a marshmallow that way.

Smoggy - priceless!

Josh, I'ma let you finish but I gotta say that sugar soap is one of the best things of all time! The nicotine is melting right off the walls and ceilings. It's a little labour-intensive but I might not have to paint at all :)

By ambulocetacean (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

ambulocetacean:

I always think it tastes like venison, but I haven't had venison in probably 15 or 20 years, so I don't really remember what that tastes like.

Oh, venison. Forgot all about that. We have venison every year. My husband doesn't deer hunt, be we have a lot of friends who do, so there's always venison in the freezer during/after hunting season.

Pheasant, too. The husband does hunt pheasant every year.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I enjoyed wild boar sausages in Italy, but the way they prepared the rabbit on Ischia put me right off of it. The only thing they had done to prep the rabbit was to skin it and cut it up. As far as we could tell, no other cleaning was done in the preparation. My husband, a pathologist, had to stop eating when he started recognizing different organs on his plate. Then, one of the other guests fished out a whole head. It was an experience, anyway.

I'm not sure what all the sea creatures were that I have consumed. I was young and in Japan. Best not to know at this point, I suppose.

Me @155:

I forgot a couple things:

I've had an elk sandwich at the restaurant in our local Cabela's, and I also bought elk jerky there. Also had wild boar in Korea, and wild boar summer sausage from Cabela's... where I also purchased some summer sausage labeled jackalope, which I believe was actually made from jackrabbit and some sort of antelope.

Caine (@164):

I've never tried frog legs (I hear they taste fishy), and the escargot I had were essentially a delivery mechanism for garlic butter. I enjoyed the dish, but have no real notion of whether the snails themselves tasted good.

By Bill Dauphin, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Caine:

Good point. Still, $100 is a bit harsh. Our gas guys wouldn't have charged for that at all.

Yeah, I would have thought so too, but Vermont Gas is actually pretty fair. They have a min. $94 charge for the initial service call, but then they bill you by the quarter hour, and they don't mark up the price on parts they have to run get from suppliers - they just charge you the wholesale.

My furnace went out this winter, and it turned out to be a defective condensation pump. Guy spent two hours at my house - and at Home Depot - getting the part, and wiring it up, and only charged my $150, total. So I really can't complain.

Oh, and my umbrellas are in tip-top shape, thank you very much, Missy. My crinolines also rustle exceedingly well.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

@ ambulocetacean:

Josh, I'ma let you finish but I gotta say that sugar soap is one of the best things of all time! The nicotine is melting right off the walls and ceilings. It's a little labour-intensive but I might not have to paint at all :)

Cool. Just what is "sugar soap," and where can I get it? What's your experience with cleaning the walls been like?

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I've never tried frog legs (I hear they taste fishy),

And that bothers you why, Bill Dauphin? Cuz I've heard that. . .

(running out the door)

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

The story goes that at a barbecue at the Savannah River Ecology lab some years back, a plate of 'swamp oysters' was passed around and everybody who tried them thought they were delicious.
Sauteed watersnake testes.

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Sauteed watersnake testes.

Nasty.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Fabulous, I've been looking for this clip ever since Walken was on Lettermen a couple of years ago.

Josh, Wikipedia sez sugar soap is:

commonly composed of sodium carbonate, sodium phosphate, and sometimes sodium silicate as an abrasive; other chemicals might be added to modify the performance or preserve the product. The dry powder looks like table sugar, which gives it its name. The term is used mainly in Commonwealth countries.

The solution is alkaline and its uses include cleaning paintwork in preparation for repainting.

The similar compound trisodium phosphate is sometimes described as sugar soap in the USA

The nicotine is coming off easy, using sugar soap in a bucket of water and some sort of cheap-ass microfibre mop from a Chinese $2 store. I'll probably have to do it twice to get rid of smears but if I don't have to paint it will save me a fortune.

I'd be bored stupid if it wasn't for podcasts. I'm currently listening to Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Australia's foremost populariser of science.

By ambulocetacean (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Lettermen, Letterman, whatever.

Thanks, ambulo, for the houscleaning tips!

I will only take issue with one portion:

The nicotine is coming off easy,

A common misunderstanding, but flawed nonetheless. It's not "nicotine" on the walls, it's smoke build-up. Commonly known as "tar." You know, that shit we willingly suck into our lungs:)

Todays' Honest Smoker Tip™ has been brought to you by:

"I don't give a shit."

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Oh, OK. Smoke/tar it is then. Thanks, SmokesGay.

By ambulocetacean (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Oh, that's funny! Maybe I should change my nick. . .

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

What the fuck is this, MadLibs, courtesy the latest Yahoomess?

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

The Canadian cartoon 6teen had a segment where its Ron the Rentacop character did a dance inspired by the Walken/Fatboy Slim vid. Of course part of this is because Ron is pretty obviously inspired by some of Walken's characters in the first place.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMft-76SXa0&feature=related

By timgueguen (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Whoa, where'd the Madlibs go?

By ursulamajor (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

ursulamajor, looks like the Overlord has dealt with madlibs.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Thank goodness it was King Dick. I was fearing an old flashback from the 70's. Read it and "poof". it was gone.

By ursulamajor (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Josh OSG (@180):

I've never tried frog legs (I hear they taste fishy),

And that bothers you why, Bill Dauphin? Cuz I've heard that. . .

(running out the door)

Heh! Point taken [wanders off to take a peek at the Wednesday Botanical post...].

Actually, you remind me of not one but two different cartoons from a book I used to own (way back when I was a young whippersnapper) called National Lampoon's Cartoons So Gross Even We Wouldn't Print Them:

1. The scene is a fine-dining restaurant (some nicely set tables with well-dressed patrons are in view), just outside the swinging doors leading from the dining room to the kitchen. There, in a beggar's wheeled cart (think Porgy and Bess, or maybe Eddie Murphy at the beginning of Trading Places), and in the cart is a frog with two bandaged stumps holding a tin cup. <rimshot>

2. Two men in Old-Testament-era military garb are standing guard near the walls of a fortress. Next to them, leaning against the wall, is a human-sized object, shaped vaguely like a woman, but amorphous and without detail, as if worn or heavily eroded. One soldier is saying to the other, "Yeah, Lot keeps her around; he says she still tastes like pussy."

Don't say you didn't ask for it! ;^)

By Bill Dauphin, OM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Assclown troll tries to derail a thread, so I'll respond here.

Posted by: SlantedScience Author Profile Page | April 22, 2010 12:16 AM
Okay, you're all out of meaningful answers. That's fine, but please go to sleep tonight with the following questions in your mind:
1) Do you eat beef?
2) Could you kill a cow?
3) Do you condone abortion?
4) Could you cut a newborn baby's head off with a scalpel?
5) Does a zygote have the same rights as a newborn baby?
6) If not, why not?
7) At what point, between being a zygote and being s newborn baby, do the thing's rights change?
8) Why?
I'm going to sleep now. Goodnight, and I look forward to your thoughtful replies.

Stupid troll thinks responses to its questions need thoughtful replies.

1. Yes.
2. Yes, given a reason for it.
3. Yes.
4. I could, but I can't think of any realistic reason why I would do such a murderous thing.
5. No.
6. Because a zygote is not a newborn baby.
7. At birth.
8. Because the unborn are different to the born.

Bah.

By John Morales (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Don't say you didn't ask for it! ;

Oh, I did, I did!

And now I'm going to tell you children a very naughty story. Gather 'round, and be warned it's most un PC.

In college, SpokesGay had a fabulous advisor. Her name was M, and she was a tenured cultural anthropologist. At this top-tier liberal arts school, undergrads had advisors who worked with students to set a course of study, and M was my advisor. Now, you must hear her in your head - she was a British woman from top UK schools, and had the speaking voice you would expect. She was also a big old dyke. The contrast between a teacher who spoke the Queen’s English, and who was also sexually/politically radical was, as you can imagine, most fascinating.

During my first year, I took her "Gender and Sexuality in Africa" class. We read many ethnographies, as well as first-hand accounts of African people (mostly women) dealing with meeting white people and Europeans for the first time. Not pretty.

One text book we read purported to be a transcription of the diaries of biologically male (but sartorially female) prostitutes, hanging around the docks. These ladies were out working for their bread, and God (!) love ‘em.

But one of their accounts seemed suspicious. These “lady boys,” as they styled themselves, claimed to be able to convince hetero sailors and sundry customers of their legitimate femaleness by virtue of canned fish. They claimed to open cans of tuna fish (no, I’m not kidding) in order to rub the oil in their nether regions and thus fool customers into thinking they had a “real woman.”

I wasn’t buying it, and I said so, in class. Here, to the best of my limited memory, is the conversation:

SpokesGay: Oh, please. Give me a break. You mean to tell me these drag whores rubbed tuna juice up their taints, and then guys would just flock to them?

Class: Silence.

SpokesGay: I mean, everyone knows pussy doesn’t really smell like fish.

M (The teacher, and SpokesGay’s advisor): Oh, well, Josh. Everyone knows that you’re an expert on pussy.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

John @ 197, I pointed out on the SP thread that SS attempting to use the whole "would you eat a cow" thing is funny, given that the top post on its blog is of an ox tongue, definitely not attached to the ox. ;D

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

They claimed to open cans of tuna fish (no, I’m not kidding) in order to rub the oil in their nether regions and thus fool customers into thinking they had a “real woman.”

LMAO!

By Feynmaniac, Ch… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Caine, really? Brave of you to pollute your browser. Typical.

Of course, it was trying to imply we lack consistency and/or the courage of our convictions; apparently, since it's hypocritical and cowardly, it imagines we must also be so.

Ah well, I was bemoaning the lack of trolls earlier &mash; not that that particular one is much good for tartar-removal.

By John Morales (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Is that Christopher Walken?

By jcmartz.myopenid.com (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

"Long time at sea, sailor?"

By Charlie Foxtrot (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Sven, heh.

Yeah, the 1960 is ancient, maaaan.

I'm Living In The 70's!

Go 90's!

By Gyeong Hwa Pak… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

John, yes, really. The only posts it has are on different animal tongues. There's no commenting going on, so I suppose it's bored.

On the troll front, I don't mind good ones, or at least interesting ones. SS isn't either. No good chew toy action.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Holy cow, y'all are sedate. Come to think of it, I'm pretty damn sedate myself nowadays. My drink of choice is the gin martini; I just love 'em. Why, last year alone, I think I drank at least six.

I was, in the seventies, what passed for a straight arrow. I only smoked pot when it was available (too damn seldom, since I was poor as a churchmouse), slept with only one guy out of wedlock, and drank Lone Star beer occasionally.

I tell you one thing, though, I would smoke pot again if I weren't terminally bourgeois (hot damn, I spelled that right the first time!) at this point in my life. I hear it is very effective at enhancing pain meds, and with this arthritis thing I've got going, I could sure use some pain relief enhancement. I have gone so far as to consider growing my own; I've got a greenhouse, and in the general confusion a plant or two would likely be overlooked. I hope.

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Leigh:

I hear it is very effective at enhancing pain meds, and with this arthritis thing I've got going, I could sure use some pain relief enhancement.

It helps with my pain meds for my spine. You wouldn't happen to be in a medical marijuana state, would you?

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

MarkMyWords, thanks for the brownie recipe. I'm in the market, as of yesterday, for a good one. Isn't serendipity a marvelous thing?

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

No, Caine, unfortunately I'm not. I'm in Texas, which is unfortunate for a whole host of other reasons as well. Thanks for the additional info, though. I am seriously considering the pros and cons. I'm in Austin, where weed is freely available, or so I'm told. "Freely" is a purely metaphorical term, however, since I'm also told I'll have serious sticker shock at the cost of a lid. Just for historical perspective, the last time I bought one it was $10.

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Brownies can be deceptive. My flatmates and I made a bunch and I ate a couple about lunch time and the last thing I remember was, after having a giggly good time for a while, passing out in my lounge room.

When I 'came to' I was in my kitchen, halfway through preparing spaghetti bolognaise - having done stuff in my drug-induced fugue state like light the gas burner and chop vegetables with a sharp kitchen knife.

Haven't touched one since. Too scared.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

Ain't that the truth, Wowbagger. It's way too easy to underestimate the time needed to absorb the THC. Plus, brownies are GOOD, and we just naturally want to eat another. And another.

Result: 8 miles high. It was, however, a good way to watch Star Wars for the very first time in 1977, at midnight on a Saturday (only showing in Houston we could get into without waiting for hours).

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I last smoked pot about fifteen years ago. My reason was simple; when I got high, I became sleepy and stupid. I spent one weekend at a pot fest and I have no memory of the event except this; I would smoke, I would wander around and I would pass out. When I got up, I did it all over again.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

It never affected me that way, perhaps because I never had enough of it. It mainly enhanced my sense of humor: a good thing for the overly serious and driven girl I was. Hard to say what it would be like now, though. I haven't smoked a joint in over thirty years.

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

If you walk without rhythm, it won't attract the worms.

Sound advice, if you ask me.

By Doktor Zoom (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

I was never that big a fan of the dope-high - mostly because I dislike anything that slows down my mental factulties without appearing to do the opposite (i.e. alcohol).

This is why, once I discovered amphetamine, it took a lot of effort not to spend a lot more time under its influence.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

The last time I did THC it was in brownie form. I overdosed and ended up having a panic attack that lasted several hours. It was preceded by a pretty cool out of body distortion where I felt like I was hovering in the corner of the room looking down on everyone. But that effect was not worth the hell that followed.

My room mate said she wasn't worried about me until she found my in the toilet smashing my fist against the bowl. I'd gone in to throw up and couldn't be assed to leave.

I remember quite clearly the decision to go a couple of round with the toilet. I was is a cycle of anxious thoughts, regrets mostly, where one would lead to another, to another and back to the first. I figured if I could just focus on something else for a while I could break the cycle. Pain's pretty focusing so I gave it a go. Didn't work.

These days I'm pretty much straight edge. I love good beer and good scotch but never to the point of drunkenness. And as for dope, even the smell of it is enough to make me tense now.

By FossilFishy (not verified) on 21 Apr 2010 #permalink

SpokesGay: I mean, everyone knows pussy doesn’t really smell like fish.

You should really have a whiff og the Thai fishsauce nam plah though...

Kseniya! Where you been hiding? You are sorely missed.

Re the food part of the sub-thread, have eaten just about everything. As far as I know, have not tried human flesh. (Donner? Party of five? Make that a party of four...three...

Been saving this link for an appropriate time and this appears to be it. Lileks has some just outright weird stuff, but the articles on meat are just freakin’ hilarious. If the last entry in this section does not make your gorge rise a bit, I really do not want to eat at your house. Enjoy.

http://lileks.com/institute/gallery/meat/index.html

Only time I ever tried marijuana, it really did nothing for me. Had to smoke a lot of it to feel anything, and then it just felt odd. Perhaps I was let down by my expectations, all I could think was "this is illegal?" The new Mastodon album really captivated me, though it does anyway.

I'd try again, but it's not like alcohol. I can't just go and buy some from the shops and see whether I like it again. I'd really have no idea how I'd go about obtaining it, which is probably for the best. Got to look after my brain, it's my source of income.

'Tis Himself, OM, I love that site, a wonderful time waster. The second section on meat is actually even more disgusting, as is the Ten PM cookbook section. And who can forget the Gobbler Hotel once you view that section. I know I cannot and I have tried. Oh, how I have tried. :^}

Interior Desecrators is good too, and his posts about his little Gnat used to be delightful. Too bad he's also a small-minded conservative who likes to talk about how rotten liberals are. :(

Ah, the muppet cows are Highland cattle. They have wee legs and less subcutaneous fat (from the shaggy), so more of the energy can go straight into building meat.

Carlie, I do my best to skip reading his Bleat these days, the politics are off putting. SO much wonderful stuff on that site, I can ignore the politics, especially as he is not subtle. I have given his books to several people as gifts and they are always appreciated. I did write him and tell him I would buy more books if he promised to become a liberal. Never got a reply, can you imagine? :^}

Still love the Gobbler Hotel section. America at its absolute aesthetic worst.

Ciao

My best friend in college was home for summer break and made some Toklas brownies with a buddy. They pulled the brownies out of the oven and let them cool while they went to buy some milk. When they came back, his Dad's car was in the driveway. Oh noes! They ran in and sure enough, 3 brownies were missing from the pan, Dad was walking downstairs grumbling about them ruining the brownies with their "damn hippie wheat germ or something".
Dad then went to work with the papers he had picked up, came back home about an hour later sick with the "flu" and was out for 3 days. Thos.(pronounced Toz) finally told him what had happened 20 years later.

By ursulamajor (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Best sentence of the week: "Lately, I've been feeling 'gecko guilt'."

Had ray wings in the cafeteria in Paris once. Fibrous and slimy at the same time; edible, but not good.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mathieus/iceland-or-mordor-8q4/

LOL!

But it's too easy. Mordor has mountains – Iceland has fissures in the ground.

It was a great way of slowly building up a really intense high before heading off for an evening of drinking and dancing.

Oh, you need to be high to enjoy drinking & dancing? That explains a lot! :-) I still won't try it, but at least I can stop wondering why everyone else is so weird! ;-)

BROWNIE RECIPE

<drool>

(Except for the nuts. Apart from my allergy, I don't understand why anyone would put something hard and tough into something soft and crumbly. The two consistencies require different modes of chewing, and doing both at once is... complicated at the very least.)

But I have kept to the decision I made at about 17: no injections, and no barbiturates

Barbiturates and alcohol work the same way. Chemically they're very different, but neurochemically they're about the same thing.

Teacher in MI.
http://theblogcobbler.blogspot.com/2010/04/is-it-indecent-exposure-when…

<headdesk>

Police have a way of making work for themselves. We have instances of police organizations lobbying against the legalization of cannabis

...while over here, there's so little police in the streets that even the Greens call for more.

Looks like I sit somewhere in between the ends of the spectrum, which I'll name 'Walton' and 'Hunter S. Thompson' respectively.

I'm beyond Walton – no alcohol, and almost no caffeine because it doesn't seem to have any effect on me! :-)

And I even came home 15 minutes after curfew once!

No curfew was ever imposed on me, because there's simply no point! :-D

So this is the latest manifestation of the thread that would not die?

Yes. Where have you been all these months? :-)

ecstacy, which I found to be aptly described by the name, and which I can fully recommend - it's gently hallucinogenic and makes you really happy and surrounded by friends.

:-|

You see, I'd rather be really happy and surrounded by friends than try to make myself believe I am but know I'm not, or at least find out later I wasn't.

This is what made my faith fade away, and it's why my dreams are rarely much fun. (I often notice, while dreaming, when I compose the next minute of the dream and mull over what's going to happen from a halfway realistic point of view. The advantage is that, in the last couple of years, out-and-out nightmares haven't been common either.)

Oh, well, Josh. Everyone knows that you’re an expert on pussy.

:-D :-D :-D

When I 'came to' I was in my kitchen, halfway through preparing spaghetti bologn[e]se - having done stuff in my drug-induced fugue state like light the gas burner and chop vegetables with a sharp kitchen knife.

:-S Scary indeed!

I'd really have no idea how I'd go about obtaining it

Over here, I bet you could just walk into the nearest secondary school and ask (...under the unrealistic assumption that anyone would trust you).

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Ok, this might have passed me by in my recent 8-shifts-in-9-days frenzy, but wtf is the deal with those fleas following PZs every word with some sort of running commentary on that YNH place ??

My guess is just some anonymous accomodationist wankers trying to grab some bandwidth by critisizing PZ ? Is that it? If this has been discussed already, my apologies...

By Rorschach (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

A lot of the brownie comments are pretty funny. I've run into a number of people who have never smoked pot, or maybe tried it once or twice who say they don't want to get too high, so "maybe I'll just try some brownies one day".

Little do they know a relatively small amount of oral cannabis can be FAR more powerful than even chain smoking high powered joints all day.

JeffreyD - if you can believe it, the Bleat was the very first blog I ever read. His daughter was maybe 2 at the time I started reading it, and then it was mostly about her and other mundane life observations. I somehow found the gallery, and then from the index was all "What ho? A 'blog'? What is this manner of internet beastie?" I read him daily for probably a good two years, until I realized it had gotten to the point where I was skipping over more than I was actually reading because he was focusing more on his political views. And by then I had found other blogs to read.

Apart from my allergy, I don't understand why anyone would put something hard and tough into something soft and crumbly.

A friend of mine bakes mealworm brownies for her students. I find that to be a bit much, and the time I tried it in my class I put them into cookies instead to minimize the textural difference. But I'm sure the contrast is part of her point. :)

Over here, I bet you could just walk into the nearest secondary school and ask (...under the unrealistic assumption that anyone would trust you).

The only time I've seen weed up close was in grade school. One of the other 4th graders was bragging in the girls' bathroom about how she had gotten it from a 5th grader. No joke.

@IanKoro:

Yah... but pot brownies have brownies! I love brownies.

My aunt once used my cousin's stash to make a ragu Bolognese. She complained it didn't taste right. And eventually stopped complaining. And she (and the whole family) were really, really relaxed. And they finished the whole pot of sauce (it usually lasted for two meals).

As for being drunk, I got drunk twice. The first time, when I was fourteen, on Green Goddamn. The second time, in college, involved playing Mexican. I still have scars on my hand from that particualar drunk -- 23 stitches with no aneshetic.

In middle school, I sold some basil to a gullible twerp for $20. I also got called out of class one day when they were bringing the drug-sniffing dogs through. They had hit on my locker. I opened the locker. No drugs. Just a three-week-old tuna salad sandwich that was developing it's own personality. Not to mention sending out colonies to other parts of the locker.

By (((Billy))) Th… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

@#4 pixelfish, that Hot Chip video was bizarrely funny. Thanks for sharing it!

@#9 Carlie, that was a great collection of Chris Walken clips. He is the best!

Hm... I was a good girl who didn't drink until I turned 21... got drunk a few times, the worst time was when I was teaching in Japan... went out with co-workers, got sloshed, fun times getting back to the apartment. After that I decided that I'd had enough of being drunk, and although I'll have a glass of wine when I'm offered about 2x a year, other than that my only use of imbibable alcohol is in cooking.

Drugs... hm, tried marijuana once with the ex after losing my temp job. It wasn't that it made me hungry, but rather that I found my area of focus narrowed in the extreme. If I was watching tv, then I was deaf and blind to anything other than the TV. I devoured a large plate of spaghetti, not because I was starving, but rather because in my universe that plate was all that existed, for that moment.

Haven't tried it since... /shrug. Oddness.

I do play WoW though :)

No other drugs/alcohol since Mommy was an alcoholic and my favorite uncle was a heroin addict... And both my parents smoked cigarettes heavily so no nicotine for me.

I remember being 7 years old and my mother lighting up a marijuana blunt, and looking at me, and saying very seriously, "Now don't tell anyone that Mommy is doing this, because she could lose her job." She's a doctor by the way.

But she's also about 20ish years sober, yay! The favorite uncle is also about 8ish years clean :)

When I was a kid, my favorite book was
Back to Basics

I also loved to read Jean Auel's Earth's Children series... My favorite games involved pretending going to live on my own, independent from my parents and society, and growing/hunting my own food, building my own house, etc.

As an adult, I do enjoy making mulberry pies (picked fresh from the tree in the back yard) and canning, cooking, etc. I have come to enjoy venison although I have yet to hunt anything... I was afraid of guns for years and only with my gun-enthusiast boyfriend's assistance have I learned to fire several different firearms.

I still want to build my own house, raise farm animals, etc. Although I was born in the late 70's I still have a fascination for that whole back-to-land movement.

I think it may have been partially escapism, partially the fact that my parents were hippies and kept books like "Back to Basics" around the house, the fact that my dad is a handyman and can build/fix just about anything, and also the fact that I grew up in suburbia and never had a chance to get anywhere near wilderness until I was in my teens.

Plus the back-to-land movement dovetails nicely with environmentalism... Just put a plant to metabolize your cow's excrement into power, or put up a few windmills, and voila, you're off the grid!

I'd love to have a semi-subterranean house , complete with geothermal heat pump, of course :)

I was born a few decades or a few hundred years too late, I think... XD

By katiebour (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

After one quick look at Lilek's Bleat I just stick with the Institute of Good Cheer. Those of us who remember silver age comics will appreciate Comic Sins.

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Well, I'll mention it again and try to hang out there for a bit today. I started a WoW guild on Kael'thas called "The Friendly Pharyngula". A few readers of PZ's and Hemant's blogs joined (including PZ himself, though he has no time to play).

Contact Thunderthyz or Atheistgal. I'll give you a nice chunk'o'gold to start.

By ursulamajor (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Oh I probably shouldn't say this publicly but once family member could not imagine that I'd never partaken and took it upon herself to introduce me to some substance that I won't name cuz I'm sure you can figure it out.

Aaaanyway.

I was in my 20's and really I don't have anything bad to say about it. I was really interested in the conversation, but it was definitely easier to listen than to talk because I was constantly aware of the inner monologue that runs at all times in my mind.

Usually, it's like a placid river flowing through my subconscious mind, but under the influence it was more like a waterfall.

I realized why it takes me so long to respond some times. It occurred to me that for every verbal response and item told I come up with a list of possible things to say complete with itemized trajectories of what consequences saying that might have.

Then I pick the one that has whatever possible consequence that is most optimized to my desires at the time.

It was a little depressing realizing that I often felt like a machine because I apparently think an awful lot like a machine, but it definitely was an interesting bit of fascination with my own mind.

@ursula:

Is Kael'thas normal or PvP?

God unmighty, You'renothelping is a shit blog. It's now replete with apparent comments from Pharyngulites, (as Roscharch points out.)
Talk about smug! Still, it's title is nicely self-referential.
It's just a home page for tone trolls.

Oh, and I do realize that "The Friendly Pharyngula" is a bit of an oxymoron. However, it has been proposed that Hemant and PZ have a penile sword fight. I figure that in a game with toons and swords, that maybe this might be an apporpriate virtual venue for such a duel.

By ursulamajor (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Normal.
And horde.

By ursulamajor (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

@ursula:

Awesome, count me in.

God unmighty, You'renothelping is a shit blog

I never got past the poor layout. I take a look: see three columns and serif font, and click back on the browser.

I'm not going crosseyed for anyone.

Caffeïne's an intoxicant now? OK, in that case I need to amend my list:

Coffeecoffeecoffeecoffeecoffeecoffee*

Pr0n

Pharyngula.

*I've actually cut back a bit, since I'm out of work, so I don't get anything at work.

By Sili, The Unkn… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Ursula: mmk, well I've made a baby Hordie on Kael'thas, and will keep an eye out for the Friendly Pharyngula... Although I do love my regular server (Scryers) and thus may not be on that much.

By katiebour (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

@katiebour:

I'm pretty much the same - I'm on Wyrmrest Accord, so I'll probably only be hopping onto Kael'thas every so often.

Drugs I don't worry about getting addicted to. But I do not play WOW. In fact I have not played computer or video games since the early 90's. Why? They are waaay too addicting.

I used to play WoW (night-elf hunter). Then my guild dissolved, my only friend on the server left, my other server is always full so I can never get on, and my free time is about to vanish. So I cancelled. Now I just stick to single-player games like Fallout3 and Oblivion. To keep things fresh, I play around with mods and give myself lofty map-making projects like recreating EarthSea.

Today's Would-Be-Funny-If-It-Weren't-Terrifying news... and in my own backyard, to boot!

Hope the parents of the girl also sue him.

@Ol'Greg:

That guy's been dragged into criminal court.

Ol' Greg (@253):

Hope the parents of the girl also sue him.

Indeed. Also, the article doesn't say what charges the guy who "answered the ad" at the wrong house was arrested on, but I hope they throw the book at him. He will no doubt try to claim it was an honest mistake, and he was a secondary victim of the other guy's malicious prank against his neighbor... but exactly how clueless do you have to be (or how little do you have to care) to mistake a teenage girl for a "horny soccer mom"?

At first blush, this is one of those ideas that sounds like a funny prank — the sort of thing Greg House would do to Lisa Cuddy — but in RL, as we see in this case, these "funny" pranks can have devastating effects. And this could have been much worse: There was the potential for this "joke" to incite a gang rape!

By Bill Dauphin, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Hah! Atheist WoW Guild, huh? Funny how people try to convert with poor bible passages on MMOs, ain't it? (Not a jab at you; Had some morons try to convert me on one. Least successful conversion method on an atheist: Read scripture)

By Rutee, Shrieki… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Kevin (@254):

If I'm reading it right, both the guy who placed the ad and the (different) guy who went to the wrong house have been arrested, though I don't know for sure what the charges are against Wrong House Guy. I think Ol' Greg was suggesting that the parents of the girl Wrong House Guy groped should sue Fake Ad Guy for precipitating the hazard to their daughter. IANAL, but that's a suit I'd love to see brought, and I can't see how either criminal case would prevent it.

By Bill Dauphin, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Rutee,

Least successful conversion method on an atheist: Read scripture

From now on I'm trying to keep the Star Trek Rule in mind. If somebody quotes scripture to me, quote Star Trek to them. Then tell them to accept Kirk as their CO or be disintegrated by cloaked Klingons.

Random thought of the day: The number of the beast is said to be 666 (or maybe 616, but that's a side issue). But the beast is imaginary. So shouldn't the number really be i666?

When I was in middle and high school, one of the most annoying things which could be done to a girl was put her name and phone number in a men's room, usually with some comment regarding what she was good at (no, never did that to anyone; I knew what it was like to be picked on and tried hard not to pick on anyone else). Ah, the wonders of the internet. Now, someone determined to be an absolute arse can screw with someone's life long distance and, rather than the high school boys who happened to use that particular stall, the personally identifying information, as well as the asserted proclivities, can be seen by millions. I guess that's what we call progross.

Then tell them to accept Kirk as their CO or be disintegrated by cloaked Klingons.

Bah! I have more faith in Kirk than that: he'll save me from the Klingons even if I'm not under his command.

Dianne,

Too true. Kirk makes a much better savior. He'll even violate the Prime Directive for you.

This is what made my faith fade away, and it's why my dreams are rarely much fun. (I often notice, while dreaming, when I compose the next minute of the dream and mull over what's going to happen from a halfway realistic point of view. The advantage is that, in the last couple of years, out-and-out nightmares haven't been common either.)

I used to lucid dream as a teenager. Never tried or anything like I understand can be a fad now, it just happened (possibly a side effect of me always deeply considering my situation before doing or reacting to anything...well, except when commenting on the internet). After a few weeks of it, I got bored of it and would just wake myself up to go back to sleep and hope I could just peacefully hallucinate without self-awareness like most people.

He'll even violate the Prime Directive for you.

That might explain his popularity, even when he was being potrayed by Shatner: Nothing so kinkily appealing as a member of a more advanced civilization who is willing to violated the prime directive for you.

I was really interested in the conversation, but it was definitely easier to listen than to talk because I was constantly aware of the inner monologue that runs at all times in my mind.

Usually, it's like a placid river flowing through my subconscious mind, but under the influence it was more like a waterfall.

I get this very same effect as you do, Ol'Greg. It is very interesting. Sometimes very annoying.

Leigh, just start telling your friends that you'd like to find some weed to help with the pain. Somebody will know somebody. This is much easier than trying to find it near campus. Whatever you do, you will probably be mildly overcharged until you establish multiple connections to choose from.

Approximate prices in Austin should be: regular weed, $10-20 for 1/8oz, 20-30 for 1/4oz, 60 for 1oz. High potency weed, $50 for 1/8oz, $90 for 1/4oz. The "good stuff" is never worth the price, unless you can't stand the taste of regular or it gives you repeated headaches.

Possess less than 2oz at any time, in a single bag. This is a class B misdemeanor in Texas.

By strange gods b… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Dang. Talking about drinking, consuming pot, the smell of a woman's nether regions. It's like being back in my freshman year dorm room in 1974.

And in my opinion, to me the smell (and taste) has always reminded me of frog legs.

By bbgunn071679 (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

You all laugh at Star Trek based religions... but they EXIST.

bbgunno71679: the smell (and taste) has always reminded me of frog legs. The taste and smell of which: alcohol, hemp, or the smell of a woman?

I've never had frogs legs.

You all laugh at Star Trek based religions... but they EXIST.

The number of Jedis in the British census is pretty significant.

By Sili, The Unkn… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Sili:

Star Wars != Star Trek.

There are quite a few vulcanologists. Does that count?

@iambilly:

Is it your life's work to make terrible puns?

Kevin: No, Park Ranger.

And that was a good one. In comparison to, say, the florist fryer joke.

Why do ducks have flat feet?

To stamp out forest fires.

Why do Park Rangers have flat feet?

To stamp out flaming ducks.

See, my humour can be much worse.

The video game thread got me to thinking about playing Myst. My search on that led me to a site I'd like to share with any of you gamers here. I haven't used it yet, but it looks promising.
Good Old Games.
A lot of old school games for download at very reasonable prices. I'm going to grab a copy of Real Myst later for $6. :-)

iambilly@268:
Apologies for the lack of clarity. The few incidences of 'nosing' around a willing female have reminded me of the smell and taste of frog legs. Coincidentally, some hemp and alcohol played a role in that. But that was back in my late teens and early 20's. I don't mix those anymore.

By bbgunn071679 (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I probably should have used the term 'consenting' instead of 'willing' in post #276.

By bbgunn071679 (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

bbgunno71679: No problem. I figured which ever way the answer went it would be interesting. At the risk of taking this thread down an odd path, I am reminded of the smell of sauted black truffles.

The best meat I have ever eaten is wart hog tenderloin...tender like pork and flavorful like venison. I wish I had me some wart-hog right now. I had an ostrich carpaccio once that freaking rocked.

The worst I have had was in a chicken-kidney pie. Tasted like...cloaca. Anyway, I was very hungry and gobbled two of them between breaths.

By Antiochus Epiphanes (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I wouldn't know, never been in that situation.

Antiochus: At the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, WV (one of the four or five favourite restaurants of mine) I once had roast wild boar. Fantastic. Now I wonder about wart hog. Stronger or milder flavour?

iambilly@278:
I'll just take one more step down that path. You're description is accurate as well. Now, what kind of wine would you recommend? :]

By bbgunn071679 (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

@AE:

Best meal I've ever eaten was a birthday dinner at Morimoto in Philadelphia. I had a stone-bowl-cooked kobe beef with rice, tiny pickles, seaweed, and a delicious sesame soy sauce.

Worst meal... was probably a swordfish my dad bought. It was fishy and gross, but it must have been because it was old.

bbgunn071679: Beats me. I had a bad experience with some fermented Welches when I lived in Arizona. I was about 8-10. Still can't drink wine. I'll cook with it, but just cannot drink it.

iambilly@#284: Fair enough. I'll just assume any white wine unless I'm instructed otherwise.

By bbgunn071679 (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

My sister (who (as far as I know) is not associated with this thread) would be able to help you. She is a third level soumle sumlyer soumeli samoyed and knows all about wine.

@iambilly:

Sommelier - a samoyed is a dog.

Kevin: I know. I couldn't remember how to spell it so I decided to be funny. And missed. I'll have to keep trying.

I figured you were trying to make a joke. It's okay, we win some, we lose some.

That's okay. My sister doesn't laugh at that one either.

Ugh. The whole game thread has got me wanting to buy a console.

@iambilly:

Sisters don't laugh at anything. They're like that. Nothing you say will be funny enough for them.

@Ol'Greg:

Do eeeet.
Do eeeet.

Eww! Consoles.

My sister (who (as far as I know) is not associated with this thread) would be able to help you. She is a third level soumle sumlyer soumeli samoyed and knows all about wine.

Too funny. It worked for me...

I'm going on WoW now for about an hour. Atheistgal in Org. Contact me.

Ol'Greg..you play? I had an undead toon with green hair named Oldgreg. He had a fine mangina.

By ursulamajor (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

iambilly: I have only had wart hog and wild-boar a few times. In my opinion, the wart hog is milder. But in the few times I have had wild-boar, I have noticed considerable variation in flavor, so maybe it depends...I don't mind a gamey taste as much as some, though...so it's all been pretty delicious I guess.

By Antiochus Epiphanes (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Re: medical uses of marijuana - when I was young, I suffered from really bad migraines. My doctor told me that, should I ever feel one coming on and not have my meds handy, but be somewhere that I could get a joint, I should smoke it. Only happened once, but he was right.

Leigh@209 [and I love your tag]: Yeah, I remember that era, as well. Around here, at the legal weed shops, an eighth of an ounce runs from $45 to $80. I qualify for a prescription, given that I have House's favourite-but-never-correct-diagnosis sarcoidosis, but Plaquenil and Vicodin are cheaper.

By DominEditrix (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

David M,
Bravo!
What did you win? If it's a Ryanair flight, don't take it! They are refusing to refund hotel bills for people they could not fly home because of the ash-cloud.

By Knockgoats (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Remember that timewaster I mentioned recently? I just won! ^_^

Heh. Me, too. About ten minutes ago. It does get rather easy towards the end, though.

By Sili, The Unkn… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

The beast-eating part of this thread reminds of a) A lovely dinner that centred around roast Bambi [my friend Amy had got tired of the local deer eating her herb garden and shot one] and b) Mitchell and Webb take on vegetarianism.

By DominEditrix (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Oy, I think the gaming thread is going to eat Pharyngula alive.

Leigh @ 209:

"Freely" is a purely metaphorical term, however, since I'm also told I'll have serious sticker shock at the cost of a lid. Just for historical perspective, the last time I bought one it was $10.

Yes, I remember the $10 days too. The sticker shock is formidable. The reason I don't grow now, especially as I have hops all over, which make it simpler, is that I'm in a very small town in ND. I grew back in Southern California, the cops were too busy to bother and most of them couldn't distinguish between hops and weed anyway.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I've never had frogs legs.

Well, if you're not a frog, this isn't too surprising…

@DominEditrix:

That was hilarious, thanks! Just what I needed after a long, frustrating day at work - that I'm still at... and should be working still...

I realize this might shift things a little, but I had a new (to me) and interesting (to me) thought last night.

It occurred to me that mammals in large part are earth-tone animals, compared to animals in basically all other categories. Overwhelmingly so. In fact, the only mammal that I could think of with bright colors are baboons.

I looked into it, and found the satisfactory answer that it was because mammals began as mostly nocturnal animals and so lost the color vision that most other animals have, due to not needing it.

But it made me wonder: what other colorful mammals am I missing? I suppose there are a species or two of dolphin that might have a splash of color here or there. And I realize "colorful" is subjective, but I'm thinking along the lines of the colors that birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, etc. display that seem to rarely be displayed by mammals.

I just thought it was an interesting thing to think about.

I suppose it was the combination of discussion on edible animals and LSD that brought it back to mind.

Matt

By matthew.james.neil (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

@matthew:

A lot of monkeys have bright colors - but for the most part it seems that the only really common colors are reds and browns and blacks and whites for mammals.

I guess that mammals are more pretty patterns than bright colors - the snow leopard has a beautiful coat pattern, so does my family's gigantic cat (he's 25(!) pounds) with a really fancy brindle coat of spots, stripes, and splotches.

My kid had a pretty colorful mohawk last month. Does that count? He's pretty nocturnal, has done some weed, but not sure about the LSD. He cetainly smells like a baboon often enough.

By ursulamajor (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

My kid had a pretty colorful mohawk last month. Does that count? He's pretty nocturnal, has done some weed, but not sure about the LSD. He cetainly smells like a baboon often enough.

If we only knew how he tastes it would tie it all together.

By matthew.james.neil (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Nac Mac Feegle are red-haired with blue skin.

If we only knew how he tastes it would tie it all together.

Depends. Does he eat asparagus?

By Sili, The Unkn… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I would venture to suggest that it probably isn't a great idea, especially for those of you who live in jurisdictions which are big on the "War on Drugs" and/or are posting under your real names or easily identifiable, to be admitting to criminal activity on a public internet forum where anyone can see your comments. Not that I imagine most local police officers read Pharyngula regularly, but you never know.

It goes without saying that in a world run by sane, rational people, marijuana would be perfectly legal. But I've been reading criminology texts all week (and have a mock exam tomorrow which I am about to fail epically) and can state unequivocally that the criminal law is not written by sane, rational people. :-(

Walton, I'm not worried about it. I happen to be clean at the present time, and I can guarantee that no cop from the small town 20 miles away from my tiny town is reading Pharyngula. Trust me.

Besides, the DEA presence in ND is concerned with destroying the few legal hemp farms in these parts.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Oh boy. Some peoples have decided to nominate me for a discussion board admin. I want a cave to hide in.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Does that count as studying, Walton?

You're the legal guy, but I do not believe confessions of past drug use would be sufficient to bring charges. How are you going to prove beyond reasonable doubt that something one said on an internet forum was true instead of bluster? It's not like the people saying "I smoked pot" have certificates or drug testing results from the period in question to corroborate it. Ever since AOL, it has been the coolest thing on the internet to claim one is intoxicated in some form or another.

The video game thread has taken the ball and run away. I wish I gave a damn about video games or what constitutes "art"...I suppose I shall have to do some real work instead of goofing off here.

Verdammt.

By Antiochus Epiphanes (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

@315 - I'm glad there's an active thread with stuff I'm not interested in... it's letting me get a lot done today that I wouldn't have gotten done otherwise. Sometimes the conversations here are too interesting.

AE:

I wish I gave a damn about video games or what constitutes "art"

We're in the same boat. I can't take either one seriously. As long as people consider my art to be "art" and buy it, I don't much care what people do or don't consider art.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

You're the legal guy, but I do not believe confessions of past drug use would be sufficient to bring charges.

True. I was referring more to the whole growing-pot-on-one's-property thing.

Oh boy. Some peoples have decided to nominate me for a discussion board admin. I want a cave to hide in.

I want a cave to hide in too. I have two three-hour exams tomorrow, and a third one on Saturday morning (yes, you read that correctly). Thankfully these aren't my actual finals, just mock exams. But I am going to fail at least one of them (criminal justice and penology) spectacularly. :-(

(The other annoying thing about reading criminology texts all day is that it seems to be making me steadily more left-wing. Quite a few of the crazy authoritarian "tough on crime" policies we currently have in the UK were put in place by Tory governments, the remainder being the fault of New Labour. And the criminal justice part of the Conservative manifesto looks to me like more of the same populist law-and-order bullcrap. If I keep shifting leftward at the rate I'm going, this time next year I'll be the first person ever to defect from the Tories to the Green Party.)

Not that I imagine most local police officers read Pharyngula regularly, but you never know.

If the cops care about something I might have tried once years ago in an undisclosed location, then the world isn't worth living in here anyway and you can sign me up to fight whatever it is that's made it that way.

Antiochus, Becca & Caine (world's strangest law firm :) ) -- My take on it was that, while I can't define art, I can point to things I don't think are art. And then I pointed to computer games. Of course, I'm also a Philistine who can't stand rap, and really like modern art, so what do I know.

That being said WALTON GOOD LUCK!!!

I'm certain you'll do well.

I'm staying out of that one. Not only do I doubt that video games are "art", I object to the use of "game" as a verb. Off my lawn etc.

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Some peoples have decided to nominate me for a discussion board admin. I want a cave to hide in.

Wrong move. If you've got a connection to Teh Internets in that cave, the peace, quiet, and bats will make it much easier to devote too much time to that discussion board, other forums, and searching for tricks to keep the bats out of your hair. You should instead gatecrash the most interesting party you can find, go watch a movie, and then another one just to be sure, wind up in a bar on the wrong side of an unknown town with several hundred inexplicitable extra dollars in your wallet, and ask if anyone knows how to get the damn bats out of your hair. You won't have time to spend worrying about some discussion board, and after repeating the adventures a few times, perhaps with extra pirates for added flavour, you'll have forgotten all about the problem. And won't care should you make a mistake and happen to remember.

Hey, I like the view that everything is art. Maybe after I fail my exams and can't get a job, I can deface my criminology textbook by scrawling "New Labour are authoritarian fuckwits" all over the pages about increased police powers and rising prison population, and sell it on eBay under a pretentious pseudonym as an incisive piece of cutting-edge social commentary. :-)

(Just kidding. I'm not denigrating the work of artists, since I know we have several who frequent the Thread.)

That being said WALTON GOOD LUCK!!!

I'm certain you'll do well.

Thank you.

(And - since I read it again and thought it might be misinterpreted - I should clarify that my silly comment about art above at #324 was in no way meant as any kind of dig at you or other Pharyngulite artists. In fact, I've visited your blog a few times and, though I don't know much about art, I really like your work.)

and sell it on eBay under a pretentious pseudonym as an incisive piece of cutting-edge social commentary. :-)

Ebay is usually a death knell to serious artists.

Just submit it to the Turner prize and you'll probably win and get to sleep with Tracy Emin.

Hmmm....

I can't decide whether that would be a good thing for you or a very very bad thing.

Excellent advice, Sven. Thank you. I think I will commence the drinking part forthwith, as, is spite of the fact these people know I have a vicious temper, do not care for fools at all and am extra bitchy all the time, they persist in thinking good things of me. I do need pirates.

Walton:

I want a cave to hide in too. I have two three-hour exams tomorrow, and a third one on Saturday morning (yes, you read that correctly). Thankfully these aren't my actual finals, just mock exams. But I am going to fail at least one of them (criminal justice and penology) spectacularly. :-(

Ugh. Now, now, don't count your chickens before they hatch and all that crap. Okay, off the intertubes for a while, study, rest and eat.

iambilly:

Antiochus, Becca & Caine (world's strangest law firm :)

Hey, that makes ABC. Damn fine law firm, if you ask me.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

penology

*snicker*

If I keep shifting leftward at the rate I'm going, this time next year I'll be the first person ever to defect from the Tories to the Green Party.

Good thing the election is this year, I s'pose.

Tough, of course, without PR a vote for the Greens is even more useless than one for LD.

I'm not gonna wish you luck, cuz we don't believe in that stuff. I'm sure you'll do just fine.

By Sili, The Unkn… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Strange Gods, thanks for the practical advice! I'm still ruminating about the subject; as DominEditrix points out, Vicodin is cheaper. In Texas, however, docs have to be very careful with controlled substance scripts; they're monitored very closely. Self-medicating may be more feasible.

Walton, I appreciate the concern, but let me point out that if the Austin police checked out all the old ladies in this town who ever smoked weed, or even those whogrow it now, they'd never have time to do any crime-fighting.

Okya, now something weird is happening . . . the green bar that should be at the footof the page is hiding the submit and preview buttons . . . not to mention the bottom of my ppost! very annoying.

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

blf said (typed/wrote):

Wrong move. If you've got a connection to Teh Internets in that cave, the peace, quiet, a. . . e problem. And won't care should you make a mistake and happen to remember.

Which could be shortened to: Get a life and you won't have time for that.

If you already have a life, Caine, then you should be fine.

And I also add, Good Luck, Walton.

(((Boy))) starts his finals in two weeks. Less, actually.

Guessed wrong about which was the preview button, obviously. Anyway, the problem has corrected itself.

Wanted to thank KOPD for the gaming link. Just what I needed, another way to waste time. Myst was the last game I allowed myself to play, because I find gaming far more addicting than any chemical could ever be. I could say the same thing about Pharyngula, of course.

Monada, thanks for the link to Bill's most excellent comment. I missed a big portion of the Thread because I've been out of town for a family death.

Bill, may I post it as a note on Facebook (with attribution, of course)?

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Leigh: re: the green bar thingie: It does that to me occasionally. Scroll up until the dialogue box is no longer seen and then scroll back down to type in your massage. At least, that works for me.

Which could be shortened to: Get a life…

We're dealing with one of the undeaddifferently alive here?

I meant a life, not a life. For instance, I have no life outside of work and family. I don't club. I don't party. My idea of a good night out is (((Wife))) and I go to the bookstore. By life, I do not mean the biologically challenged, merely the socially challenged.

I'll try that tip next time it happens, Billy. Thanks.

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

iambilly:

If you already have a life, Caine, then you should be fine.

I have a life and I am not vitally challenged. A fair amount of that life is net life, to be fair. I moderate at several places, etc. The trouble with this particular nomination is this particular place is designed to make you insane. I'm not kidding. I stopped posting there months ago, after thousands of posts attempting people to see reason and that arguing back and forth for 5 damn months on what constituted an insult was fucking stupid.

Now, apparently, the arguing over what constitutes insults and harassment and so on is renewed. Sven was absolutely right, I need parties, drugs, and pirates. Stat.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I would venture to suggest that it probably isn't a great idea, especially for those of you who live in jurisdictions which are big on the "War on Drugs" and/or are posting under your real names or easily identifiable, to be admitting to criminal activity on a public internet forum where anyone can see your comments.

While I doubt it will be trouble, it's good not to reveal to much online. Too often people have gotten in trouble by school officials, employers, future employers, landlords, etc. for what they have written on the internet. It's dumb, but it's also a real danger.

But I've been reading criminology texts all week (and have a mock exam tomorrow which I am about to fail epically) and can state unequivocally that the criminal law is not written by sane, rational people. :-(

Doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

The other annoying thing about reading criminology texts all day is that it seems to be making me steadily more left-wing.

The average Pharyngulite has spent hours trying to bring you over to the dark side, but it's a boring criminology text that finally gets the job done?!!

Good luck on exams, mock or otherwise!

By Feynmaniac, Ch… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Walton: "If I keep shifting leftward at the rate I'm going, this time next year I'll be the first person ever to defect from the Tories to the Green Party."

That's our boy! (beams with pride)

Good luck with the mock finals, buddy-roe. Remember to breathe and sleep during the next few weeks.

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

So if I'm planning several cross-country road trips with my feral teenaged homeschoolers over the next 1-2 years and want to see interesting science or nature things that might not show up in guidebooks, what are people's favorite festivals or open-to-the-public labs or museums near them? Or not-open-to-the-public ones that I could figure out who I know who could get me and the ferals in to visit?

My daughter has announced a desire to be a taxonomist after hearing EO Wilson announce that the world needed more taxonomists (bugs, birds, and marine biology are current interests); my son likes geology but really has no idea what he's interested in other than Star Wars backstory and Warhammer...

Thank you guys for the names of more games for me to waste time on. Games are my drug or anti-drug or whatever. I don't play a lot of games, I just play a few of them a lot.

Walton@311: Those of us who confessed, so to speak, to using a lot of drugs in the long gone past are in no danger. There are no statutes of limitations long enough to endanger us now, unless we confess to murder [or, in some states, to molesting altar boys]. Unless you're over 30, I last tripped on acid some years before you were born.

It looks as if California may legalise pot in November. An initiative is on the ballot and polling shows 56% of CA residents favour its passing. If so, CA will doubtless become a tourist mecca and the bane of all those who dislike anything fun.

By DominEditrix (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

It looks as if California may legalise pot in November. An initiative is on the ballot and polling shows 56% of CA residents favour its passing. If so, CA will doubtless become a tourist mecca and the bane of all those who dislike anything fun.

Uh, it will still be against federal law. You can still get raided by the Feds, regardless of what Obama said about ignoring outfits that conform with state law (there were several raids after he stated that policy, although I haven't been paying attention to whether there have been any in the last several months).

Ambook, central and west Texas aren't often on people's lists of convenient places to visit, but here are my favorites:

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin (ecology, native plants, earth stewardship):
http://www.wildflower.org/

San Marcos Springs: http://www.edwardsaquifer.net/sanmarcos.html

Enchanted Rock near the charming German-founded town of Frederickburg:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/enchanted_rock/

Admiral Nimitz Museum in Frederickburg (the Pacific War; an outstanding walk-through recreation of the Pacific experience)

McDonald Observatory (check out Indian Lodge for reasonable plus historic accomodations, Fort Davis historic site also):
http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/

And for beauty and fun swimming in natural springs:

Krause Springs just west of Austin.
Balmorrhea State Park just down the road from McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis. WPA-built spring-fed pool, plus well-maintained WPA lodges.

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

ambook: Taxonomist? My lip is aquiver. I recommend buying all of the Peterson guides and hiking wherever you can. Try to identify everything.

Places to visit in the US: The American Museum of National History (NY), The National Museum (Smithsonian in DC), Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis), Field Museum (Chicago)...I am not that familiar with the exhibit museums of the west coast, but this is googlable.

If you live near a university, get your kids involved with collections there. Many researchers would love to get some volunteer help with curation in exhange for training.

By Antiochus Epiphanes (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

DominEditrix:

It looks as if California may legalise pot in November. An initiative is on the ballot and polling shows 56% of CA residents favour its passing.

That doesn't matter. California is a medical marijuana state, and the DEA raids legal medical weed stores and legal medical users and arrests people all the time. Just like the DEA raids and destroys legal hemp crops here. It's still a federal offense, and apparently, the DEA has nothing better to do.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Walton, even if they are mock tests, get a good nights sleep so you have your wits about you. I don't think you will do as bad as you think you will.

Caine, I'll leave a sealed tankard of 5 day old grog in your car. It's the package wrapped in Tyvek and bubble wrap. Don't get in an accident on the way home, or open it until you get home. See you in a couple of days...

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

ambook: Might have missed something. Are you in Texas?

By Antiochus Epiphanes (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Caine, I'll leave a sealed tankard of 5 day old grog in your car. It's the package wrapped in Tyvek and bubble wrap. Don't get in an accident on the way home, or open it until you get home. See you in a couple of days...

Thank you, dear man. It's much appreciated.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Indeed, pot will be still be illegal under federal law, but the locals LEOs won't help them with any raids, unlike now. The only medical marijuana shops that have been raided in SoCal since the "don't bother the legal dispensaries" directive have been illegal under state law.

By DominEditrix (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Antiochus: I don't think Ambook is in Texas. But s/he asked for our recommendations, and I went local. And while I doubt that anyone doing a cross-country will go Interstate 10, the southernmost route, who knows? Maybe Ambook is in Florida, in which case IH 10 might be feasible.

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

strange gods, the Flex Your Rights vids are awesome. Because of my checkered past, I already know all of the advice they give, but I recommend them to everybody. It always pisses me off when people I know surrender their rights because "I didn't have anything to hide."

If everybody would stick to their guns and assert their constitutional rights, maybe, just maybe, the police would stop trying to infringe on them at every opportunity.

I was fucked with far too many times in the past just because of my long hair and how I was dressed. I usually did have something to hide, but I was informed enough to know that if they ask permission to search, they don't have probable cause to search. Unless you are stupid and consent.

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Best of luck, Walton! (Contrary to what someone said, there is luck involved here - what questions get asked!)

By Knockgoats (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Whew, I'm trying to catch up on the Ebert/video games thread, but 500+ posts since it was posted earlier today? And I was busy in the lab...AUGH! Must have touched a nerve. Or PZ is getting wily to get tuition money for the Darlin' Daughter (who aided and abetted on the abortion thread) while he is on sabbatical (and I won't mention the eternal thread)...*Oh no, I'm beginning to sound like a conspiracy theorist, where is the tin foil*...

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

BUSTED: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters

Lesson 1: Don't be a Minority.

By Feynmaniac, Ch… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Lesson 1: Don't be a Minority.

Or a Deadhead.

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Lesson 1: Don't be a Minority.

Or a Deadhead.

Or a Hippie.

Or a person who knows their rights.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Not going to visit the video games/art thread. It's growing way too fast, and I don't care about the topic at all (...does it have any consequences whether video games count as art under someone's definition???).

Walton, eat and sleep. When I'm too tired, I just can't think, and you've reported similar experiences. Congratulations on your newfound political self-confidence, too. :^)

Okya, now something weird is happening . . . the green bar that should be at the footof the page is hiding the submit and preview buttons . . . not to mention the bottom of my ppost! very annoying.

Which browser do you use?

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

...does it have any consequences whether video games count as art under someone's definition???

SIWOTI. PZ insists video games are not art, but fails to give a definition of art that includes things he considers art but excludes video games. It was a sloppy post that was factually incorrect in several ways that he won't cop to. Besides, you're being a bit unfair, considering I'm sure you've seen long bitter arguments on how to properly sort long-dead species without being dismissive regarding the consequences (does it matter if the damn things are properly sorted?).

I did a double-take when I logged in for the first time today (it's Friday morning in Australia) - over 600 comments on a thread about video games?

I don't think I've got anything to say on the topic. The games they made 20 years ago were like crack to me back then; I can't even contemplate how many hours of my life I'd waste - and how many I wouldn't spend sleeping - if I indulged in any at the current level of technology. Ergo, it's something I don't even want to think about.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Wowbagger:

over 600 comments on a thread about video games?

It seems gamers are a serious and talkative lot.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Caine:

Or a person who knows their rights.

???

The whole point is that knowing your rights and exercising them is vital to surviving a police encounter. No?

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

over 600 comments on a thread about video games?

Gasp, up to 600, feel no end in sight...

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Yes, Elroy, you're right. I was remembering the last time I was arrested (decades ago, back in SoCal) for refusing to allow a vehicle search and pointing out I was not wearing a bra nor was I wearing underwear and the jeans I had on didn't have pockets. My bad luck to get stopped by cops freshly transferred from East L.A.

I'm tired, stressed and grumpy today.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

David, I'm using IE 8. I'm getting a frequent incompatibility message from the Scienceblogs website, too. The whole MS approach to compatibility is pretty sucky, but I actually seldom have problems with it, even on SciBlogs.

I ran Chrome for a while and am thinking of going back to it; never warmed up to Firefox.

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

over 600 comments on a thread about video games?

not just that... it's a thread about the definition of art itself.

combine those two and...

I expect 1500 comments, but he will probably cut it off at around 800. Frankly, maybe even sooner given that he hasn't budged an inch wrt to his initial position.

I love a girl that goes commando. ;)

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

...does it have any consequences whether video games count as art under someone's definition???

LOL

no.

but then, 99% of what we discuss here has no relevant consequence, yes?

I love a girl that goes commando. ;)

Me too, Elroy, me too. ;D

Oh, that arrest? Never charged, but held for 6 hours while various cops tried to get me to admit I smoked pot and did other nefarious things.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Silly person. I don't cut off threads because people disagree with me. Haven't you learned anything here?

I knew there would be vehement disagreement. I suppose I could have just posted it and turned off commenting...

Caine, wait what? Arrested for refusing consent to a search? What was the charge? Did it stick?

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Nevermind

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

you'll probably win and get to sleep with Tracy Emin.

Ms. Emin always seems to be pulling a face. Is it art?

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Ah, crap. Art - and what does and doesn't constitute it - is kind of important to me; maybe I should go and have a read.

No doubt someone's already said what I would have had I been awake when it first went up.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Elroy, yes, I was arrested for refusing a search. Back in the '70s, that was common. From what I remember, the cops covered it under resisting. They can't easily get away with that shit now, but it was a different time.

I wasn't charged, but held (in a holding cell) for 6 hours. Various cops were sent in to have a "casual conversation" with me to try and get me to admit drug use. I had nothing on me and they couldn't search my car. (I wasn't driving at the time, I was at friend's house - my friend was arrested for having a small amount of pot on his coffee table.* I was told initially that I could leave, but then the cops wanted to search my car. I said no.)

*I don't know what the cops were doing there in the first place, they never said. At any rate, I kept asking the cops to charge me or let me go. They wouldn't. When I finally got tired enough, I mentioned my uncle, who was one of their fellow cops, and I was out of there in about 3 seconds.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Silly person. I don't cut off threads because people disagree with me. Haven't you learned anything here?

that's not why.

I figured you had gotten bored by this time, given that you hadn't appeared to change your stance one bit after 600 plus posts.

and typically large threads are a drag on sciblogs poorly written blogware, so I figured you might cut it off at around 800 or so.

realistically, given the subject matter, i indeed expect it would go on for 1500 hundred plus.

PZ:

I knew there would be vehement disagreement. I suppose I could have just posted it and turned off commenting...

What fun would that be? I have to say, I'm more distantly amused by it all than anything else.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

No doubt someone's already said what I would have had I been awake when it first went up.

I like what one poster quoted zappa as saying about it:

"Anything can be art, but it doesn't become art until someone wills it to be art, and people decide to perceive it as art. Most people can't deal with that abstraction -- or don't want to."

I figured you had gotten bored by this time, given that you hadn't appeared to change your stance one bit after 600 plus posts.

I think he's said he'd limit each incarnation of the endless thread to 666, but that might have been a joke.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I've been watching the comment numbers on the game thread in bafflement, and truth be told, I'm terrified. Not going in there, no way, no how.

Can anyone give me the one paragraph, Cliff's Notes version of the main arguments in the comment thread?

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Like others here, I'm not commenting on the video game thread. I took a look at it (before I got involved in David Marjanović's time waster) and noticed several things:

* PZ didn't give a definition of art and the various commentators couldn't agree on one.

* Many comments are along the lines of "I get terrible angst when playing Blood 'n Gore 'n Guts, how can anyone say it's not art?"

* I haven't heard of most of the games used as examples so I can't comment about their articity.

* It's not a topic that particularly interests me.

However, here's the theme music for Civilization IV. It's the Lord's Prayer in Swahili and definitely is art:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tmut6FBx4xk

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Josh OSG,

PZ: Video games aren't art.

Everybody else: Fuck you, yes they are.

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

* PZ didn't give a definition of art and the various commentators couldn't agree on one.

my impression was that by and large, the dictionary definitions were suiting most, excepting PZ.

I think he's said he'd limit each incarnation of the endless thread to 666, but that might have been a joke.

Well, if we go over while he's on a plane or asleep, the number goes much, much higher than that. Other threads he lets go. We have a Plantinga thread over a thousand posts and still not closed (should be, because it still gets an occasional drive-by by sophists complaining about our tone), and the idjit "Listener" has a Sunday Sacrilege thread above 800 and counting. That fuckwit is on my "Survivor" list for insipidity.

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

boygenius:

Awesome! That's pretty much what I would have guessed.

@Ich - I haven't forgotten about your web space for the cookbook, and thanks. Soon I'll get around to using it to organize stuff.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I haven't forgotten about your web space for the cookbook

oops! actually, I had.

better check the mail there.

*embarrassed*

Nerd:

That fuckwit is on my "Survivor" list for insipidity.

I'd actually pay money if that idiot would stop posting.*

Okay, not a lot of money. Maybe 50 cents.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Ich - no worries. I haven't sent you any email since the initial exchange we had about log-in details.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

...well, no new requests, so I'm good.

let me know if you need any assistance when you're ready.

Oh, how I long for another round of Pharyngula: Survivor.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

@315 - I'm glad there's an active thread with stuff I'm not interested in... it's letting me get a lot done today that I wouldn't have gotten done otherwise. Sometimes the conversations here are too interesting.

Josh, OSG:

Oh, how I long for another round of Pharyngula: Survivor.

I have candidates. Do I ever...

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I have candidates. Do I ever...

Me too. OK, strategy session at my house. Booze provided, bring your own smokes. Be there or be square.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

It has been a while since we played Survivor. Listener doesn't listen, and is awfully obnoxious...but a long list? Really? I could be convinced that we need a housecleaning.

I have candidates. Do I ever...

The top of my list is a certain racist liberturd. Emphasis on ARROGANT TURD.

*Excuse my bad language*

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

monado (@287):

Thanks for the kind words about that comment. I do want to revive my blog, and I might try reworking that into something I could post there... but I have to think about it. I'm involved in local politics, and I have to consider whether posting my... er... passionate opinions (which I absolutely stand behind and am in no way embarrassed by) on my personal blog might cause trouble for my political friends and allies.

There's a certain amount of prudent self-censoring that comes with the territory when you're an actual party official. That sounds important, but I'm really just one of two vice-chairs of my Democratic Town Committee; not exactly a major cog in the machine... but even so, I have to think a bit about what I say here in town.

That said, Leigh (@331), feel free to post it on Facebook, with or without attribution. And while you're at it, friend me, woncha'. (And if "Leigh Williams" isn't the same name you use on FB, make sure I know who you are!)

Caine:

It seems gamers are a serious and talkative lot.

What's my excuse, then? I'm neither a gamer nor an artist, but I've been trapped in that swirling vortex all day!

Oh, yeah, I just remembered: I constitute a "talkative lot" all by myself, without need of any further provocation. ;^)

By Bill Dauphin, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Josh:

Me too. OK, strategy session at my house. Booze provided, bring your own smokes. Be there or be square.

It's a date.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Someone on the last thread (or maybe the one before that; I'm pretty sure it was the one in which Hobby Lobby came under fire) was wondering about suitable black stone beads. If you're still looking, this might be helpful.

Oh PZ, pretty please? It's ever so much fun.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Can we vote people back in? I want Piltdown reinstated so we can take turns mocking the desperate excuses he comes up with as his beloved Holy Roman Church goes the same way as the Holy Roman Empire.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

PZ:

It has been a while since we played Survivor. Listener doesn't listen, and is awfully obnoxious...but a long list? Really? I could be convinced that we need a housecleaning.

Oh, there have been bunch lately and I'm sure everyone has their pet hated ones. SlantedScience and KingUber are on the list as well as Listener and there are quite a few others that recent posts have brought out from under rocks.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

[glances around furtively]

You mean I'm not the only one intimidated by the games-as-art thread? Phew. When I woke up and saw over 600 posts I thought there must have been some overnight diversion in topic from video games to genital mutilation, magical crackers or some other hot-button subject. Or that a Scientologist or Mormon had appeared on the thread to tell us all about The Truth. Imagine my disappointment.

Oh well, like Becca, I'll get a lot more done today, I guess.

By ~Pharyngulette~ (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Cicely @ 399, that was Jadehawk. Where is she, anyway?

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Hmmm, "listener" is annoying, but I'm not sure if he/she deserves to be banned. I've just ignored him/her since all he/she was doing was engaging strawmen.

With the exception of Slanted Science, I can't really think of anyone who deserves to be banned. But maybe I'm just not thinking hard enough. Anyone care to name any candidates?

By Feynmaniac, Ch… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

was wondering about suitable black stone beads.

The Redhead frequents "Gem and Mineral" shows for low priced stones/jewelry. Lots of beads available there at a reasonable price. Around here, at a County Fair Grounds, or a local Community College.

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I think the gamer thread is fascinating. I don't expect to read or talk about art here.It's given me an idea for a paper comparing the method of reading and interacting with static media in Northern Europe during the end of the Middle Ages and beginning of the Renaissance era and with the strange space occupied by gamers while playing. Fun stuff... although I kinda have to fly to Paris in the meantime... but whatever.

Hey, but here's one thing the thread makes me excited about. A lot of those people are not artists, or art students, or even fans of art and yet they actually get something out of the beauty of certain games. Having emotional attachments to games I can definitely relate. That Portal one, for instance, looks fun.

But either way, I think it is great to see a group of people usually overlooked by the artworld when thinking in terms of traditional media cares enough to talk about it.

That's awesome! That's an audience, with a medium, waiting for a message :P

Can we vote people back in?

Well, I suggested before that we do an anti-Survivor and let some contestants compete against one another to get out of the Dungeon. However, I was just told to get "a rebound troll and move on".

By Feynmaniac, Ch… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

However, here's the theme music for Civilization IV. It's the Lord's Prayer in Swahili and definitely is art

Thanks, 'Tis. I'd start games of CivIV just to hear that song. It didn't occur to me that YouTube would have it.

By Brownian, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Gotta admit, I'm astounded at the way the video-game-as-art thread took off. I haven't played a video game in about 27 years. I had no idea. (Art, music, literature, poetry I can relate to. Video games; I'm totally ignorant.)

Oh, and two abortion threads in a 4 day period overwhelms me. The topic gets me so angrified I could just shit.

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I used to play video games, back when you had to put a quarter in 'em. Anybody remember Starcastle? Dig-dug? Qubert?

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Well, I suggested before that we do an anti-Survivor and let some contestants compete against one another to get out of the Dungeon.

Oh, hell no, Toad. Do you really want to instigate The Kwokkening?

"DO NOT release the Kwokken!"

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Anybody remember Starcastle? Dig-dug? Qubert?

Yep. Also Pong, PacMan (and Ms.), Asteroids, Centipede, Pole Position, Tank. . .

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Sven:

I used to play video games, back when you had to put a quarter in 'em. Anybody remember Starcastle? Dig-dug? Qubert?

*Raises hand*

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Wait, who is "listener?" Is that actually a commenter's name, or is it a joke that refers to someone else?

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I clearly remember the day the Pong machine appeared in front of Woolworth's at the mall. People lined up. It's probably impossible for today's yout' to understand how cool it seemed. Not even so much that it was a fun or good game, but more that for the first time you could control what was happening on the TV!! Breakthrough!

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Josh:

Tank

My ex used to get so pissed that he couldn't beat me when it came to Tank. Heh. Man, that was a long time ago.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I guess I have a different idea of what constitutes someone who we want banned - for me the worst crime is insipidity and a refusal to engage.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

The only out-of-the-ordinary creatures I've ever eaten were swan and peacock; one bite of each.

Josh:

Wait, who is "listener?" Is that actually a commenter's name

It's a name. Keeps posting to the Sunday Sacrilege/Soul edition. Posted more tripe today.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

It's probably impossible for today's yout' to understand how cool it seemed.

Yes, it really was astonishing. Same thing for me when I realized in the 80s these new "computers" would let me type things that could be "saved" and printed repeatedly without retyping.

It's amazing how quickly we've gone from telegrams and overnight delivery of typed manuscripts to the internet. I'd never heard of the internet until my required computer lab orientation class my freshman year of college in 1995, and that seems like. . .someone else's lifetime, hundreds of years ago.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Sven, I sent you an email this morning. Let me know if you got it. Outlook Express has been glitching on my outbound mail lately. Or maybe it's my mail server? *shrug*

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Ha. From what I understand, you non-Brits can't' watch BBC iPlayer, so I thought I'd taunt 'Tis with the blub from an upcoming series:-

BBC Four presents a major new season of programmes looking at the crucial ways in which the sea has helped to shape modern Britain.
Sea Fever – The Story Of Britain And The Sea focuses on maritime history, culture, economics and science and coincides with a new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.

Programmes in the season

Art Of The Sea: In Pictures and Art Of The Sea: In Words follow writer Owen Sheers as he explores the art and literature of the high seas.
_____________________________________________________________

The Boats That Built Britain takes a voyage through the history of British seafaring and puts some of the vessels featured in the programme through their paces.
_____________________________________________________________

The Box That Changed Britain tells the story of how global container shipping brought huge changes, transforming Britain’s ports, economy and society.
_____________________________________________________________

Shanties And Sea Songs. Choirmaster Gareth Malone, travels the length and breadth of the country to discover the rich heritage of Britain's maritime songs – and the real-life stories behind them.
_____________________________________________________________

Timothy Spall – Somewhere At Sea is a mini-odyssey along the coast from Cornwall to Wales in the company of the actor and his wife on their Dutch barge.
_____________________________________________________________

White Sails And Grey Mist combines amateur film archive with fascinating tales of our relationship with the sea. The result is an intimate insight into the role the sea has played in British life over the last hundred years.

By Ring Tailed Lemurian (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Caine:

It's a name. Keeps posting to the Sunday Sacrilege/Soul edition. Posted more tripe today.

Oh, duh - thanks. I was looking at the wrong Sunday Sacrilege post.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Wait, who is "listener?" Is that actually a commenter's name, or is it a joke that refers to someone else?

No, I think it is an idjit concern troll (original definition) who wants us to allow for the possibility of supernatural things like souls, since science cannot absolutely disprove them. No listening on his/her part, hence the Survivor vote.

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Wait, who is "listener?" Is that actually a commenter's name, or is it a joke that refers to someone else?

It's the name of a commenter. Someone must have given it to him/her for the same reason people name their small dog 'Giant'.

By Feynmaniac, Ch… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Elwood, I got your e; thanks! Won't get a chance to act on it for at least a few days, but I will!

I'm off to the airport for a long weekend in New Mexico, hanging with my all-time best friends, playing music and doing...some of that stuff that I mentioned was none of y'all's business.
Hold down teh Thread.

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Sounds like a great time, Sven. Have fun, and do some partyin' for me. :D

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Sven, cool. Have fun with your friends and don't do anything that I wouldn't do. Or, go ahead and do it. Who am I to judge?

Teh Thread will take care of itself.

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I used to play video games, back when you had to put a quarter in 'em. Anybody remember Starcastle? Dig-dug? Qubert?

I was fantastic at Missile Command. There was an arcade near where I worked that had it. The guy running it used to hate to see me come in. I'd put a quarter in the machine and, when lunch time was over, give all the free games I'd won to whoever wanted them. The best I ever did was 17 free games after about 45 minutes of play.

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

It looks as if California may legalise pot in November. An initiative is on the ballot and polling shows 56% of CA residents favour its passing. If so, CA will doubtless become a tourist mecca and the bane of all those who dislike anything fun.

They could use the revenue.

I used to play video games, back when you had to put a quarter in 'em. Anybody remember Starcastle? Dig-dug? Qubert?

Yes, indeed! Many a roll of quarters went into the videogames as a "date-related expense", back before the hubby and I got married, and many more afterwards, as "family fun-time". Ah, Zaxxon! How I miss you!

Art - my first husband. Many people take his name in vain.

I am reminded of a rather ghastly 20' tall sculpture one of the tequila companies foisted on donated to West Hollywood. It loomed hideously at the border of WeHo and Beverly Hills and was predominantly bright blue and orange, with the occasional blotch of red. There was much grumping and groaning by the populace; eventually, the City Council had to request that the tequila company remove it. The tequila company spokeswoman declared that WeHo wasn't 'sophisticated' enough to appreciate the sculpture. And that the emperor's clothes were delightfully fashionable.

By DominEditrix (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

On Wednesday we have a biologist coming to our campus to give a "distinguished lecture"- Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion.

Can anyone here suggest a more eloquent way of asking "What the fuck are you talking about? Darwin gave religion a death blow and did the world a favor..."

By Lets Get Surgical (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

cicely@432:

They could use the revenue.

Yes, we could - and I wish there had been a bit of emphasis on how keeping same-sex marriage legal would have benefitted the state's coffers before the last election. There were certainly people who would have gone for self-serving monetary gain over their personal ick-factor. That should be rectified in 2012 [repeal didn't make the ballot this year], when I hope the repeal-Prop-8 side hires a competent team to run the ad campaign.

I really hope DOMA gets tossed out. [And I believe in angels and the efficacy of prayer. Not.(sigh)]

By DominEditrix (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Lets Get Surgical,

Nope, I think that's the way to phrase it. Eloquence be damned.

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Lets Get Surgical, who is the distinguished biologist slated to give the lecture?

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Slacking off is over, I have to go back to work tomorrow. Good night ladies, gentlemen, and Sven.

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Nite 'Tis. I'll be off to bed shortly myself as tomorrow will be a long day of lab work. (Lots of wait not less than XX minutes in the Procedure and Batch Record until the material is stable).

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

G'night, 'Tis.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Awaken awaken!

without looking, I'm going to guess that is a clip of Dethklok.

amirite?

God damn it, "Let's" has given me another ear worm. A pox on your house. And your first-born.

By Josh, Official… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

*looks*

:)

quick! someone throw a cell phone at it!

I wonder if that would work for the Kwokster?

I once 'clocked' [got the score so high the numbers came around to zero] an upright arcade game; I can't remember what it was called but it was some kind of Galaga variant but you could move your 'ship' all over the screen; the enemy creatures were butterfly-shaped and it had single-shot and rapid fire laser option.

Playing arcade games was my main hobby when I was about 8-14. Then two things happened - they got more expensive (went from 20c per play to 40c and up) and I discovered RPGs.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Lets Get Surgical, who is the distinguished biologist slated to give the lecture?

Oh no... I just looked into who this guy is.

Francisco J. Ayala, the winner of the 2010 Templeton Prize. Help.

By Lets Get Surgical (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I wonder if that would work for the Kwokster?

Nah. You have to throw a camera at him.

As I like to say, "I don't know art, but I know what I don't like".

Springfield has an excellent example of "what I don't like". To the aesthetically unsophisticated(me, obviously), it looks as if someone had spray-painted a bunch of metal girders, then dumped them and run away. No clue what its formal name is, but I think of it as "Super-Duper-Sized Fries", or "Construction-Site Accident". I suppose, technically, it qualifies as 'art', but IMO, is a sterling example of the 'bad' sub-genre.

I'm in Maryland and spend considerable time at the Smithsonian, including some volunteering behind the scenes. The thing is that we are homeschoolers, so in addition to being unsocialized, we are also mobile. The kids are entering high school (they're twins), and we're planning to take several 3-6 week road trips over the next couple of years. So we can be in both West Texas AND Florida. I'm going to paste the responses into a file and use them to supplement our trip planning books.

Daughter worked 300+ hours at our local nature center last year and is working through a college biology text at the moment, planning to take the AP exam next spring. She'll definitely pick up a volunteer job with an actual taxonomist of some variety in the next few months. We actually own all the Peterson guides available for our area (from fungus to birds to fishes) and quite a number of more odd-ball ones (like the guide to the ant genera of North America). So no worries there.

As I said, son is not (yet) as impassioned about sciences as he is about Warhammer, Star Wars, and the military history channel. He's more into weapons and Boy Scouts and is starting blacksmithing lessons and making his own flintlock gun this summer.

We do have a running joke about the taxonomic classification of the various religious goofballs who show up at our nature center...

Now back to read the rest of the thread.

(I have a friend whose name for it is "There's One Born Every Minute".)

I have candidates. Do I ever...

I missed most of the last several months.

who are the leading candidates these days?

so far I've only noted one repeat troll; Slanted Science.

others?

and, what positions are they pushing?

AGW denial? creationism? libertardism?

Ichthyic, here's my leading candidate, a racist liberturd...

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Wowbagger, there have mostly been tone/concern trolls, and libertardism. Some just trolling for trolling's sake, and a fair amount of anti-choicers. I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting. I didn't put together a list yet. Off the top, Listener, SS, KingUber, xxsomething or other and several more I can't remember unless I go back through threads.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Wowbagger, (crossing over from the beard thread).

So, you're playing Alonso? Cool. The Tempest has always been my favorite. The last time I saw it was with my parents on a beautiful evening under the stars. (I got stung by a hornet right at the beginning of the opening scene and yelped. The entire audience and cast momentarily turned their attention to me. /shudder/.) The young lady that played Ariel absolutely stole the show. Amazing.

Break a leg.

By boygenius (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Nerd:

here's my leading candidate

Oh! Yes, that one!

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

@letsgetsurgical:

One thing I have always wanted to ask the likes of Ayala is...

with so many ripe, LEGITIMATE anti-science targets around that really need shredding, why oh why focus on someone who has for decades written books popularizing real science?

why do these people decide to focus on Dawkins, instead of Hovind or Ham or Wells or Dembski or...

seriously; I would like to see someone pin him down on this. There is simply no reason to criticize dawkins except to placate to the ignorant crowd, and try to create "controversy" to build publicity off of.

so, IMO, Ayala is doing this (and won the Templeton prize for) merely grandstanding an irrational position.

have him prove this position wrong, with evidence.

have him show how Dawkins is actually hurting the case for science education more than any of these hucksters Ayala apparently refuses to bother with.

the double standard of these people galls me to no end, and they should be called on it at every opportunity.

oh, and just to prep you a bit, the answers these schmucks usually give to such a challenge is entirely suppositional:

"Dawkins is a danger to science education because he turns off the religious to even looking at science"

bullshit. None of those who have said this, Ayala included, have ever provided ONE scrap of evidence to support this contention, EVER.

In fact, you can one up him easily by providing references to papers published on science education and the real problems with it yourself:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/316/5827/996

this is a nice, brief, summary article that really nails down what the problems are, by looking at actual studies, instead of guesswork like Ayala and Mooney and the like rely on.

Caine, Fleur du mal wrote:

Off the top, Listener, SS, KingUber, xxsomething or other and several more I can't remember unless I go back through threads.

I've not come across either KingUber or 'xxsomething or other'; they must operate exclusively in the times when I'm not online, or post on threads that I'm not drawn to read. But yeah, listener and that useless pissant Slantedscience don't bring anything to the table and can be done without.

By WowbaggerOM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Oh! Yes, that one!

I'm almost positive Cimourdian is a reincarnation of a previous libertard.

regardless, yeah, a quick read finds me in full agreement of that as a good candidate.

Wowbagger, the ones you haven't encountered have mostly been in the abortion threads.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

I've not come across either KingUber

just ran across that one in the OK thread.

rather thoughtless zombie.

yeah, if he's a repeat offender, good choice there too.

Wowbagger, KingUber was active on the Oklahoma thread while you were sleeping. An anti-choice idjit, with the same inane questions we have heard and answered ad nauseum. (I am in the process of getting ready for bed. Not a false promise earlier.)

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

1)SC, I saw the book recommendation; put it on my list :-)

2)I'll second whoever said, in exasperation, that a criminology book is accomplishing what we've been trying to do for months! :-p

3)I'll write the videogames conversation off to the same category as "photography wasn't considered art at first, either" and "if it's on the internet, it isn't real".

4)Back to work; have fun y'all.

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Strange Gods: Thanks so much for your comment way back @88 - I'll try to have it digested by the end of the weekend and maybe have something interesting to contribute.

Ol' Greg:

Just submit it to the Turner prize and you'll probably win and get to sleep with Tracy Emin.

Depends on whether or not her bed is involved.

And I'm not saying which way I'd like it, neither.

Thanks for the condolences, Caine.

Icthyic- now that's the kind of stuff I was hoping for. I'll make that my question, and I greatly appreciate your help. :)

By Lets Get Surgical (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

5)Cimourdain is a fucking weirdo... as far as I can tell, he's an African who thinks the environmentalists are out to kill him and all of Africa. :-/

By Jadehawk, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Lets Get Surgical, keep checking back, as more people go in and out of the thread, they may have more help and ideas for you.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Thank you for this link.

I've been citing that paper regularly since it was published.

strangely, I see little to no reference to it in any of Mooney's latest writings, nor in Nisbets, nor, frankly, in any of the accomodationist's screeds over the last 2 years.

like i said, they seem to be coupled to an idea with no empirical support, that cheezing off the religious is what is driving them to attack science.

they have put the cart before the horse, and have effectively ignored any actual studies that have been done that directly contradict this meme.

Ambook, oh man, do we have things in common. My Girl Twin and Boy Twin are 16 now, sophomores at a public high school here. Boy Twin is into Boy Scouts, astronomy, physics, and gaming (Modern Warfare 2 right now). Girl Twin is artistic, cartooning and fiber arts, and also loves blacksmithing. Mr. Science IS a blacksmith (in addition to being a DBA). If/when you come this way, we'd love to "host" you guys. That would involve showing y'all some of my very favorite things around here, plus food/lodging if you need it. Open invite, I'm around here most of the time -- or you can friend me on Facebook; Leigh Williams is my real name (filter by Austin to get me).

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Lets Get Surgical, keep checking back, as more people go in and out of the thread, they may have more help and ideas for you.

Will do. I don't know if the lecture will be recorded; if so I'll be sure to come back and link to it. Hopefully we can show that just because we're a university in the pious state of Texas doesn't mean we'll let this nonsense fly.

By Lets Get Surgical (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

5)Cimourdain is a fucking weirdo... as far as I can tell, he's an African who thinks the environmentalists are out to kill him and all of Africa. :-/

O.o

really?

LOL

The Redhead's books I ordered from Amazon due to the recommendations on the last thread are at the local post office, and should be delivered to work tomorrow. Well in time for her birthday. Thanks. After all these years, it is very difficult to get something for her. Night all.

By Nerd of Redhead, OM (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

How about coincidence? I mean things that happen that are part of normal life but could be interpreted as something else. This happened:

I had a birthday a couple of weeks ago. No big deal, happens every year about this time. It happened that payday fell on the same day so I pulled up to the drive up window to do the weekly transaction.

There is a very nice girl at the window who always greets me cheerfully. On this day she wished me happy birthday. Well, I sent my driver's license up the tube with my check. Nonetheless, I was pleased that she had noticed and made mention of the fact. I thanked her and drove off with my money.

A couple of days later I got a birthday card from Ma which contained the ritual gift inside, a check for forty dollars. I went to the bank today to cash it and out of curiosity, I asked the nice girl if she purposely looked at birth dates in order to mention the occasion. Turns out she didn't but that the bank's computers use name and birthday as primary identifiers or some such. This data is displayed prominently when my account is queried.

Just before I drove away I mentioned that the check I had just cashed was my mother's birthday gift to me. She chuckled and said that she had gotten flowers for her birthday . . . today.

While I don't know what the actual odds of this happening I do know that it is not impossible. After all, there are a lot of people and not many days of the year. Even so, I would hardly have expected that the day that I chose to remark on her notice of my birthday two weeks ago would turn out to be her birthday! Nice balance, eh?

I don't think that there is anything magical about this. Some do. Some feel compelled to feel so and I give them all the room they need to do so. And they are the ones who I will not relate this incident to. It would likely encourage them.

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Ichthyic:

they have put the cart before the horse, and have effectively ignored any actual studies that have been done that directly contradict this meme.

Yes. I get very frustrated when I see people spouting off that basic science ignorance is all the fault of atheists. Especially when I read about religious people deliberately doing the put fingers in ears and shout la la la thing and making absolutely sure their children (if they have them) don't learn any science at all.

Being all nice and not saying anything about religious belief doesn't work; it never works. Most religious people simply don't want to be aware of atheists at all.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Icthyic- now that's the kind of stuff I was hoping for. I'll make that my question, and I greatly appreciate your help. :)

be warned:

Ayala is certainly no dummy; he most certainly has great intelligence to bring to bear.

all the more reason it's my opinion his critiques of Dawkins are nothing more than publicity stunts.

the reasoning behind them is so simplistic as to be insulting to anyone with half his intelligence, so what possible rational reason could he be using to promulgate such inanity?

Have him prove the value to science education of criticizing Dawkins, or ask him to please shut the hell up, or focus on real threats to science education.

@Walton - how could a criminology textbook have a greater impact than actual real life? (Who was it who "complained" that reality showed a disturbing liberal bias?)

My 14 year old son on went on a long bike ride with two of his Boy Scout friends today. He got into an argument about whether marijuana should be legal - he started explaining about therapeutic ratios, why some drugs are more dangerous than others, and why teens should avoid drug use because their brains are still myelinating. He got a blank stare and "marijuana kills people" in response. I'll have to teach that boy about picking his audiences more wisely, but good to know he's absorbing actual reality-based information as opposed to the DARE propaganda.

G'night, Nerd. I hope the Redhead enjoys her present.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Who was it who "complained" that reality showed a disturbing liberal bias?

oooh oooh! I know I know!

Okay, Project Runway is over, my choice won, now I can think about getting to bed.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Wow, Leigh, we really do have stuff in common. Fiber arts, science, blacksmithing, computer games, the squidly overlord. Amazing.

And I'm not actually anti-school, I just think that our current assembly-line approach to education fails a lot of kids. The schools around me would definitely fail my kids, and I can't afford private schools.

Crudely Wrott: "Most religious people simply don't want to be aware of atheists at all."

Or they carry the strangest warped notions. For example, my brother-in-law and I are having a heated exchange about the National Day of Prayer on Facebook. He made this comment: "For believers, like us, it is a powerful act and has serious consequences. That is why unbelievers are fearful of it."

O rly? Does he actually KNOW any unbelievers? I tried to set him straight: "No. Unbelievers are not afraid of prayer; they think that our conversations with the sky fairy are stupid, self-delusion, and pointless. In my experience, they have little or no interest in our personal and private religious lives, other than to think we are silly and waste a lot of time."

But no doubt he'll go on thinking y'all are scared witless by our impressive feats of prayer power. I don't think there's anything I could say that would disabuse him of this ridiculous notion.

By Leigh Williams… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

...oh, and if you get the chance...

there are inummerable philosophical counters published tearing apart the NOMA concept (you can google them at leisure, or just read Dennet).

given that, read this:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/11/noma-is-alive-a.html

then ask Ayala how he can philosophically support the NOMA position, given that the consensus is that it is not supportable. Note that the above article talks about tactical uses of NOMA, without even addressing, really, the massive logical flaws inherent in it.

again, he's a very intelligent guy. He MUST have specific motivations for supporting an idea that has no philosophical support.

Is it because he thinks it of use tactically only?

get him to admit it is inherently illogical (present the standard reasons if necessary - this might help you: http://sciencereligionnews.blogspot.com/2008/08/dennett-and-problems-wi…), and ask him why then he supports it.

Another troll comes to mind, jidashdee, who revealed a loathsome attitude towards anyone who was overweight among other things. That was in the Mark of the Beast thread.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

grrrr. must keep going...

harranguing Ayala is such a grand opportunity...

Ayala is quoted as saying:

"Common sense tells us that science can't tell us everything."

ask him to provide an example of an alternative method that has provided us with reliable, verifiable knowledge of any sort, ever.

seriously, any example will do.

I get very frustrated when I see people spouting off that basic science ignorance is all the fault of atheists. Especially when I read about religious people deliberately doing the put fingers in ears and shout la la la thing and making absolutely sure their children (if they have them) don't learn any science at all.

The problem with trying to build consensus (a la Ayala or Francis Collins) is not that trying to seek consensus is a bad thing in all circumstances. It's that conservatives and religious folks are not interested in compromise or consensus - it's not part of their world view. If the person you're seeking common ground with believes that you are 100% wrong, it's not worth tying yourself in knots trying to identify common values and opinions.

There are some areas of my life where I make a half-hearted effort to seek consensus with conservative and religious folks (Boy Scouts and sometimes homeschooling circles), and in the past I've been fairly passionate about it. Believe me, it is a WASTE OF TIME. You can only reach consensus with people who have taken their fingers out of their ears.

I don't actually have much against Francis Collins or Ayala being religious - good for them for finding philosophies or practices that bring them comfort. I don't even think that it necessarily impairs their actual scientific work. But they are wasting their time talking so much about how science and religion aren't at odds - the atheists are unconvinced and the fingers-in-ears crowd aren't even listening.

Leigh:

He made this comment: "For believers, like us, it is a powerful act and has serious consequences. That is why unbelievers are fearful of it."

Um, that was me, not Crudely Wrott. ;) Anyway, your brother-in-law highlights the bizarre thought processes which are so frustrating. I don't care if people pray every second of every day their whole life. The problem was with the National part. Of course, it's preaching to the choir here.

We're supposed to have separation of church and state. No one religion is supposed to be respected over others. A national day of prayer is violating all of that along with excluding every single person who doesn't think prayer is anything more than wishful thinking. I don't care if people pray, as long as they keep it private or in an appropriate place.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

This is coming in about a few hundred posts later, but about mammalian colours -

It's true that mammals lost their colour vision early in our evolutionary history. The reason baboons and other primates are often colourful is because we have re-evolved colour vision, in two seperate lineages. The Catarrhine's (old world monkeys and apes, which includes us) evolved it in Africa, where as a few species of Platarrhine monkeys (new world monkeys) have re-evolved it separately. There are various theories for why this happened, but the one that I am most familiar with is that figs are the primary diet of new world monkeys, but are not that common in Africa. So African primates subsist largely on new leaves, which are often red-ish in colour.

Figs and other fruits new world monkeys typically eat often blend in to the background as browns or greens, and are easier to see in black and white so colour vision is much less common in new world primates. In a few species, there is a sex-linked trait were some females with the right genes can actually see in colour. This may be beneficial in situations were figs are rare, and young leaves are eaten to sustain the population.

By Ariel from Canada (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

FFS, how does anyone intelligent even get by saying something like "common sense tells us" to begin with?

WTF does "common sense" even mean?

seriously, it's like watching Einstein talk about music, and complain that Mozart's symphonies have "too many notes".

Ayala needs the smackdown for his inanity, and I'm betting he bloody well knows it. Moreover, I think it likely he is constantly shocked that people other than his direct detractors give him kudos and awards for this crap instead of what is so obviously needed.

He is old enough to recall what happened to Gould when he proposed NOMA to begin with.

Unless I missed something, and Ayala has gone insane, literally, there is no way he can logically maintain these positions with a straight face.

Another troll comes to mind, jidashdee, who revealed a loathsome attitude towards anyone who was overweight among other things. That was in the Mark of the Beast thread.

Oh please, please, can we place him in a dungeon room full of hostile fat women? What a sexist piece of work. And why is it that fat guys, at least up to a certain point, get a total break, and only fat women merit total contempt?

Hyperon was pretty fucking awful and seemed quite irredeemably solipsistic and obtuse. But I haven't seen him around for ages.

ambook, I'm trying to remember the current trolls in case our Tentacled Overlord decides to go for some housekeeping and have another round of Survivor. Usually, I keep a list, but I haven't lately.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

My 14 year old son on went on a long bike ride with two of his Boy Scout friends today. He got into an argument about whether marijuana should be legal - he started explaining about therapeutic ratios, why some drugs are more dangerous than others, and why teens should avoid drug use because their brains are still myelinating. He got a blank stare and "marijuana kills people" in response.

Sounds like you got a bright boy there!

And I'm not actually anti-school, I just think that our current assembly-line approach to education fails a lot of kids.

QFT

Cimourdain

Pulling a Godwin wasn't enough for Cimourdain, so in addition to Hitler he invoked Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot.

He seems to be live-blogging his descent into madness here

By Feynmaniac, Ch… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

MrFire, Hyperon still shows up now and then, he was in a thread this February.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

ambook: I am in E. Texas...not too far from 1-10. I'd be happy to host you (+offspring). We have a full house, but if you don't mind air-mattresses in the living room, we would be happy to have you (and talk about the fun of taxonomy). I am a botanist and my wife is an entomologist. We are always looking to bring youngsters into the fold.

By Antiochus Epiphanes (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

ambook, I'm trying to remember the current trolls in case our Tentacled Overlord decides to go for some housekeeping and have another round of Survivor. Usually, I keep a list, but I haven't lately.

I think that if one has to think about who are the trolls infecting a blog, it is not heavily infested. When PZ did Survivor: Pharyngula last year; Barb, the silly old goat, the Rookie, Kw*k, facilus and others were commenting pretty much every day. This is hardly the case right now.

Also, strangely, most of the trolls who show up here lack the staying power of trolls of yore. When was the last time fuckosaurus stopped in?

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Another one for the Survivor list: Robocop.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

Yeah, he is a bloody stupid git. But still not enough persistent trolls for a round of Survivor.

By Janine, Mistre… (not verified) on 22 Apr 2010 #permalink

ask him to provide an example of an alternative method that has provided us with reliable, verifiable knowledge of any sort, ever.

You're setting yourself up for the scientism straw-man. You know what's coming next "empiricism can't justify empiricism" on the one end where abstracts like mathematics simply can't fit, and "science can't tell you who to love" on the other where decisions we make intuitively like what music to listen to aren't really in the realms of science.

Of course, this kind of thing should be obvious and unspoken. But you know how it is with people...