# RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive74

This is an archive page, last updated 4 January 2012. Please do not make edits to this page.

##  Boring, boring, content is boooooring

We just had three new cover articles in quick succession. w00t!

Unless anyone has a hot silver article they really think is a winner, I'd suggest the next task is to go through Category:Cover story articles, which has a lot of old stuff that doesn't really pass muster any more - and do what you can to bring it up to scratch. Simple things like copyediting and polishing and making purty will go a long way. I wouldn't suggest removing things from the cover list if they can be brought up to scratch - David Gerard (talk) 15:58, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Do you have a suggested list of what "doesn't pass muster any more"? ħuman 01:24, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Animanics had the best songs

The last line no longer works after FOX news--Thanatos (talk) 00:09, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Gödel, Escher, Bach

Anyone here read it? I just started it, and it's pretty awesome. Like crack for people interested in math, logic, and/or philosophy. Tetronian you're clueless 02:54, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Actually, people aren't allowed to join this site unless they own a copy of the Eternal Golden Braid. How did you squeak by? ħuman 03:07, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
On first pass its cool, but it hasn't really "aged" well for me. I think it muddles some key concepts of neurology and neuroscience, and he has over the years complained that no one seems to understand what he is trying to say. If you can't get your point across in 700+ pages....tmtoulouse 03:33, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
My copy suffered from being very poorly bound (pages falling out and so on) and then got severely water damaged three years ago. I'll have to get another copy, I suppose. 03:48, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
My favorite bit was "air on a G-string". ħuman 04:12, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I have never read it, and probably never will. My brother used to have a copy, though. --Kels (talk) 13:05, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
@Human: So far I think the various puzzles that he throws at you are the most fun, and the Achilles/Tortoise dialogues are pretty interesting. Tetronian you're clueless 17:29, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
FFS, don't bring up Gödel when TalkerX is around... Occasionaluse (talk) 17:49, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I've been meaning for him to have a look at this. Tetronian you're clueless 17:58, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Love GEB, read it a few times, and got a new copy for my birthday. I actually prefer Metamagical Themas - I find it a bit more approachable, and it introduced me to Nomic, Underwhelm, and various very interesting topics. Well worth picking up if you get a chance. Worm(t | c) 19:02, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I have a copy, but I haven't bothered to read it, and enough people whose opinions I respect have said it's not worth it that I don't think I ever will. Evil stupid Hoover! 20:49, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Chapter 9.— Whether We are to Believe in the Antipodes

This got a giggle out of me. Jerry Coyne linked to this page, commenting that St. Augustine the Hippo believed in Noah's Flood. Go check Chapter 9, and you'll see why I giggle. --Kels (talk) 01:17, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, you have to remember, the theory that there are antipodes is just that, a theory! Sure there's "scientific" and "observational" evidence for the theory, but maybe that's just there to test our faith! --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 01:23, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Like gravity, or the shape of the earth! Quaruninja - You can't explain that! 01:26, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
All I know is, when I look around all the people I see are on this side of the Earth (as if there were any other side). Why should I listen to a couple of unreliable sources who only claim to be from there? --Kels (talk) 01:31, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I am from the propodes. ħuman 02:58, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

My sister was raped. I'm not going into details on how it happened. My mom is blaming herself and I am confused about my own feelings. Years ago, when my grandfather died, I did not cry. He was very sick and we got to spend Christmas with him. This though, part of me wants to start punching holes in the walls and the other is wondering if these are my own feelings me just trying to act normal. This is painful to write. I'm going to be gone for a week or two trying to deal with this. And while I'm doing this, I'll make a confession I haven't read the Overton Window since I posted my thoughts on part 1. I'll try to finish it when my head clears up and life returns to some semblance of normality, but that might not be for awhile.--Thanatos (talk) 14:42, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion: email Gooniepunk2010. 15:10, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
There was some good advice on Goonies talk page. Your sister was harmed and you feel like maybe you could have protected her somehow. This is normal but you are not responsible , nor is your mother , only the rapist. Sure , maybe some things may have been done differently but thats almost always true, so less blame and more dealing with whats happened. Drop in to a gym and beat the crap out of the heavy bag, it may make you feel better. Counselling for everyone may help. Your sister may "get over" the incident , or at least learn to live with it. That can take a while, so be prepared for it and be supportive. If you need help finding support groups send me an email with your location and I will see what I can find. Hamster (talk) 18:00, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanatos, this is one of the most horrible experiences ever to fall upon a family, and you all have my utter sympathy. The healing process will be very, very difficult. But there are two pieces of advice I can offer you that may not seem like much now, but will be very key down the road:
• Do not blame yourselves. Only the son of a bitch that raped her is at fault. As much as you wish you could change the past, you can not. Do not use this as a time to lay blame with each other, or this asshole wins. Instead, use this as a time of solidarity for your family. Love conquers all, and and renewing the love within your family in the face of this tragedy will, over time, be the most important part of the healing process.
• Keep communicating with your sister. Perhaps not about this, but about other things. One of the most important things I used to keep talking to my sister was quoting lines from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Don't let her shut herself out, and yet allow her some space. Support her. Help her understand that this whole fucked up situation is not her fault, and that she doesn't need to close out the world as a result.
This is some of the most important advice I can give you, brother. If you need to talk and/or want some support, feel free to e-mail me. I'm here for you through this, bro. The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 18:51, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
I cried at the death of my grandfather and cannot pretend I know what you are going through, but please accept my token of sympathy. I also second what Goonie said. ListenerXTalkerX 06:29, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
My sentiments are literally exactly the same as LX's. Sorry mate, all the best. SJ Debaser 11:57, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Operation Pap Smear

So the Pope's coming to my city soon and I'm thinking about knocking up a sign for the event. I'm tempted to take a conspiracy nutjob angle with it and go "illuminati" or protest the Pope's hat or something. Whatever it is I'm only doing it for the lulz. Anyone have any better ideas? Apparently I've only got a week to prepare (yeah I haven't really been following the story). Also y'all should come to birmingham for the event. ONE / TALK 20:29, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to see the "epic face" worked in...or maybe the pedobear. "epic face + pope hat = pedobear" or something. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:32, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Found lots:
"Fags hate God"
"Catholicism: guilty!"
"Choke the Pope"
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
"Catholicism aids AIDS"
"Mr Pope, You are completely surrounded, Give yourself up"
"Pope: Paedo By Proxy"
CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:38, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Ooh, I like:
"Popemobile: Because Bullets are Real and Your God is Not!!"
CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:41, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
But those are all too logical. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:43, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
His Holiness the Pope
The Lock Up Your Children Tour 2010
- Edinburgh 16 September
- Glasgow 16 September
- London 17/18 September
- Birmingham 19 September
"And Ye Shall Rape What You Sow"
CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:44, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Ouch, Crundy, that was painfully awesome! ħuman 03:00, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
How about protesting discrimination against overweight/homely altar boys? Occasionaluse (talk) 20:48, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
It's comments like these which remind me why TK is a Catholic.  Lily Inspirate me. 20:57, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Don't use "Who takes YOUR confessions?" The Pope does go to confession, to another priest. MDB (talk) 21:07, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

You could always go for the "PURGE THE CHURCH OF LIBERAL BIAS" angle... Occasionaluse (talk) 21:10, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
"Easter is cancelled — They've found the body". Thank you to Jim Butcher for that one.-- Jabba de Chops 22:42, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
The always controversial: "Was in an organisation that hated the gays and abused children — now heads an organisation that hates the gays and abuses children"-- Jabba de Chops 22:42, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
"Feck me, it's the feckin' Pope"-- Jabba de Chops 22:48, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
"We chucked you out in the 1530's — TAKE THE HINT"-- Jabba de Chops 22:54, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
"Who's the twat in the big white hat?"-- Jabba de Chops 23:21, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
"Ordain in the Catholic Church — for when sheep-buggering really isn't enough"-- Jabba de Chops 23:27, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
"International Give The Pope a Wedgie Day"-- Jabba de Chops 23:33, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
"Save a Child — Hoist a Pope"-- Jabba de Chops 23:33, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
"The Pope speaks— live from God's arse to his mouth"-- Jabba de Chops 23:33, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

When I was young I had a T-shirt which read "The Pope smokes dope - God gave him the grass." It had a suitably stoned looking pope sitting on a throne-like chair. My catholic mum didn't like it one bit! RagTopGone sailing 00:54, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Don't bother with trying to be witty or ironic, just go for something like "PEOPLE WHO PROTECT PAEDOPHILES ARE SCUM" or suchlike. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 08:22, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I suggest a giant sign saying "IT'S A BIT MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT".-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 08:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

All this talk of pedophilia reminds me: what happened to Fox? Did he really quit for good? Shame. He was fun when he wasn't drinking (and sometimes when he was). DickTurpis (talk) 13:40, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

I'd go with "You're not my father." With Darth Pope, if I could actually draw. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:58, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

##  BP Deepwater Horizon disaster report

It basically says "don't blame us!". The report and a 30minute video can be found here. Whilst Transocean were certainly at fault for having a duff BOP and less than on-the-ball drillcrew, and Halliburton's cement recipe might not have been the best, the key to all this was BP's decision to only use 6 centralisers on the final casing, when they needed 21. However, page 37 of the report somehow comes to the conclusion that

 “”Although the decision not to use 21 centralizers increased the possibility of channelling above the main hydrocarbon zones, the decision likely did not contribute to the cement's failure to isolate the main hyrdocarbon zones —BP report

Despite a Halilburton cementing engineer explicitly telling them that it wouldn't work (See pages 8 & 9 here)

 “”[...with only 7 centralizers the] well is considered to have a SEVERE gas flow problem —Halliburton cement expert in email to BP

Whitewash. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 12:46, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Did you expect anything else? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:37, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I was hoping for a greenwash... "the decision to only use 7 was an environmental concern, and helped the drilling platform be more environmentally friendly, assuming haliburton's cement held up..." you have to admit, that would have been a lot funnier.. Quaruninja - You can't explain that! 15:11, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Geocentrism Conference - Galileo is wrong - Nov 6 in Indiana

For those of you who thought the Earth moved through space, attend the First Annual Catholic Conference and learn ... well whatever. http://www.galileowaswrong.com/galileowaswrong/ Hamster (talk) 06:34, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

CMI sees fit to print these people's dreck on occasion. I once tried to insert a bullet point about it on aSK, armed with the reference to a geocentrist letter published by CMI, but a reference to CMI is apparently not refutation-proof and the edit was reverted for parody. ListenerXTalkerX 06:39, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

##  That time again (request for funds)

Now that the RationalWiki Foundation is all set up and in legal possession of RationalWiki it is time to start looking at fiscal solvency and making sure that we are able to pay our bills. We have decided to manage the finances roughly quarterly. So every 3-4 months we will need to ask for some donations from you guys. But for what we get the financial requirements for RW are actually pretty small. The details of what we need and why can be found at the 2010 Q4 budget.

There are a few extra overhead costs we are budgeting for this round, we would like to raise $250 in the next couple of weeks. We have close to 300 active editors on the site, so if we could just get$5-$10 from even 10 percent of the people editing the site, let alone reading we would be set till 2011. I think its a pretty good deal for everyone. For now if you can spare a few dollars please head over to RationalWiki:Site support and throw a little our way. This is just the initial plea, in the next week or so we may need to put a few reminders around the wiki to help out donations. Feel free to ask any questions or comments. tmtoulouse 05:35, 29 August 2010 (UTC) Please see your inbox....AceX-102 05:57, 29 August 2010 (UTC) Donation sent. sterile ninja 00:59, 30 August 2010 (UTC) The sitenotice only appears for logged-in users, not casual readers of the site. Is that intentional? - David Gerard (talk) 10:35, 1 September 2010 (UTC) ###  Sidebar donation button We had a discussion about improving the sidebar donation link during the last donation drive, but that went nowhere, so I've decided to unilaterally and without prior discussion change the long wording to a simple "Donate", and make it a bit fancier. I've also moved it to the top for the duration of the donation drive (here's the relevant edit). Feel free to disagree, whine, flame, etc. -- Nx / talk 06:31, 29 August 2010 (UTC) I think it is an improvement over what we had certainly. Thanks. tmtoulouse 06:33, 29 August 2010 (UTC) Wow, it worked for me! ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 06:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC) I'd complain, but public opinion seems to be in your favor. So, good work! ħuman 08:16, 29 August 2010 (UTC) ### Success Apparently we have reached our goal for this quarter. That is wonderful and I'd like to thank everyone who pitched in! ħuman 19:53, 7 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Office life Fucking hell it's bloody awful. I've never worked in an office before, but I've been seconded in to cover for my boss for three weeks whilst he's on holiday. I've only been in for an hour and I bloody hate it. How do people cope with it? I think I've made a good start as I've just been signing anything that's put in front of me. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 08:57, 6 September 2010 (UTC) Boring! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 10:40, 6 September 2010 (UTC) Have to agree, I always found it drab. I hung around with "workers" and customers as much as I could once I had been "promoted" to the office. (happened about 5 times in my work career) I found the males too PC (scared of offending) & the females too ditzy in the offices. Once I'd reached as high as I could I quit & started again @ the bottom elsewhere. I was flexible enough to do almost any job commensurate with my size & strength (no digging ditches or fire & rescuing ) There's those who live to work and those who work to live. Don't let yourself become the former - unless you've got a really interesting job. 15:05, 6 September 2010 (UTC) I recommend getting a big fucking gun and killing everyone on the freeway on your way home. Worked for me my first job. Bullets get expensive tho'. It took me about twenty years, but I finally have a job that doesn't suck too bad and where I actually quite like my co-workers. YMMV - David Gerard (talk) 16:05, 6 September 2010 (UTC) Offices aren't inherently better or worse workplaces than anywhere else. It tends to depend on how interesting or tedious the actual work, employer and co-workers are. I used to think I would hate office work, but the office I work at now (in a university) is actually the best place I've worked yet. I'm glad not to work in a corporate office though, & having worked in a call centre before, would never want to go back to that. €₳$£ΘĪÐMethinks it is a Weasel 17:05, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
I think it's sedentary nature of office work which is doing my head in; I've always worked in an industrial/outdoors hands-on (we say "on the tools" in the UK, but I've not sure how that could be misconstrued elsewhere (although "hands-on" could be just as bad)) environment, so this is quite a culture shock to me, as is the monotony of 9to5ing. Oh well, it's only for a few weeks. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 09:39, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

### Another day

Another BORING! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 09:39, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Welcome to office life. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever. Bondurant (talk) 11:54, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I hear you brother. (Sorry for the block but I didn't know the filename!) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 11:59, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Before you know it, you'll be an insomniac pretending to have ball cancer and crying to sleep, start an underground fighting movement, and then shoot yourself in the face. SJ Debaser 12:14, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

### Final solution?

My boss has auto-forwarded his emails on to me; if I was to auto-forward to him, would that result in the destruction of the office (and possibly the universe)? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 08:17, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

A student in my university did that with the two main servers. It crashed both, and it took the admins hours to figure out why the servers worked right when only one was running, but crashed instantly when they booted up the second one. They said no-one can be that stupid, so it must've been an intentional prank, and they expelled him. -- Nx / talk 10:01, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Reminds me of the time I made a filesystem in a file, mounted it, then moved the file into itself (nothing interesting happened, though). Evil stupid Hoover! 15:07, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
That's the dullest anecdote I've ever heard, PH. However it is also been the highlight of my day, so thanks for sharing it! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 15:19, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
You want excitement? I just got a free replacement dongle for my mobile broadband. It came with a mini (about 10cm) USB extension cable:
I plugged the cable into itself:
nothing happened!
15:57, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
The high point of my last job was asking out several girls who all said no. Also, I once got threatened by a gypsy. Good memories. SJ Debaser 11:36, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Like this? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:02, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

### Excel hell

I had to leave my last job because of the despair caused by the sheer mind numbing tedium of it all. It got to point where I was having reoccurring dreams of Excel. They weren't nightmares per say, just really really boring rubbish dreams.--AMassiveGay (talk) 11:00, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

##  I have arsed up my degree

I am a day away from completely failing my degree. I am mighty pissed.--AMassiveGay (talk) 22:00, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

As long as you finish the course and get a grade, there's no such thing as "arsing up" a degree. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 22:04, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
You can this one, kind of. It is an open university thing. I am essentially redoing a module I failed to finish last year. One wasted year was bad enough, but two and I may as well not bother as I would be pushing forty by the time I finished. And it burns all the more knowing it is entirely my fault--AMassiveGay (talk) 22:11, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
Not that I could have afforded the next course anyhow. My life is one long Smiths record.--AMassiveGay (talk) 22:20, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I more lurk than not here, but I can answer this one. Don't despair or give up: I lost my job last year, so I've embarked on an OU degree. I'm 45 now, I'll be 48 before I get it, but that still leaves a good 25 years to make use of it (if the fags and weed don't get me first, of course). Seriously man, 40 is nothing.Silvermute (talk) 23:24, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm hoping to do an MChem next year and I'll be 40 at the end of the 4 years, assuming I get in. No such thing as too old to get a degree man, even if it does take a couple extra years.-- Jabba de Chops 02:55, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Hindsight is wonderful. The number of times I have let something like that pass on the grounds that I'm too old really annoy me now. I had a real opportunity to go full time studenting, with a livable grant and all at 30(!) and turned it down for just that reason. Go for it, life's all about learning & (to warp a phrase) 'tis better to have learned and forgot than never to have learned at all. 03:56, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
There is also the argument that being a student does not impart merely the subjects being taught, but also the mental "toolkit" necessary for serious thinking. ListenerXTalkerX 05:13, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
There's a Syrian proverb that suggests, "لا تقول للمغني غني حتى يغني لحالو" - Do not ask a singer to sing unless he wishes to sing for himself. Do you really want this degree, or are you doing it to fulfill the expectations of others or yourself?--talk 05:30, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
The same thing happened to me. I was doing a distance learning 3-year masters course in GIS and owing to "domestic issues" didn't get the work done in time so dropped it after about 15 months. Distance learning requires a lot more self-discipline as you don't have the framework imposed by attending a physical institution and you also need the complete support of those around you when home-studying otherwise you get interrupted/distracted too much. I don't regret it but wish I had completed the course as I was looking at a change of direction in my career but ultimately I carried on doing the same thing (which I do enjoy). You need to look honestly at yourself and see why you didn't get the work done in time. Could you really do it if you tried again next year? If you think you really have the discipline to do it then go ahead, but if you procrastinate a lot then it will slip once again and you'll be wasting more money. Ultimately it comes down to how much you really want it, but I wouldn't let the age thing be a deciding factor. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 08:02, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Kudos for admitting that it's entirely your fault, far too many people blame anyone and anything bar themselves. However, as it's entirely your fault, why are you whinging? Was it a proper (ie STEM) degree or some poxy 'media & society studies' type thing? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 08:12, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Poxy? Imagine what a couple of people with media studies degrees could do here? Totnesmartin (talk) 10:54, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
It is a diploma in computing I am working towards, which once gained, I will try to turn into a degree. The current course I am on is all Java programming. I was a little bit depressed and panicky last night as I had left it so late to do the final assignment and was foiled by the first section. Went to bed, and this morning, all refreshed, took another stab at it. I have completed the second third this morning, so a little bit more optimistic now. Still stumped on the first third, but if I do the rest, I can still salvage an acceptable mark. Somewhat angry at myself that I have yet again left it so late to do. Now, must crack on--AMassiveGay (talk) 13:51, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
It's not you, it's java. When your uni gives you java applets, you find a new uni. --85.76.141.4 (talk) 17:19, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm in the same boat as a few of the folks above, returning to school as a "mature student" (at least chronologically) to pursue a third career in a rather uncertain profession (you can make a decent living at art, but it's hardly a guarantee). But you know what? I'm gonna take my inspiration from folks like Robert A. Heinlein (died still writing at 81), Johnny Hart (died at his drawing desk at 76) and the legendary Grim Natwick (still teaching well into his 80's, died at 100), and view this as less than my halfway point. Here, have a bit of inspiration on that score. --Kels (talk) 13:17, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

I was gonna write something about procrastination, but I'll do it later. 14:32, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Just an Update. I finished my work and handed it in. It was crap but should be enough to pass - assuming I don't fail the exam. I am conflicted as to whether this the right degree for me but I have no idea what to do instead. I don't fancy a future that involves too much Excel but without qualifications of some sort, that what lies in store for. On the bright side, it beats my former employment in the chicken factory.--AMassiveGay (talk) 10:49, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Actually, reading all these comments really reassures me. I'm just starting my BA this year (well, week after next! scary! Gotta move up north!), spent the last two years doing a Cert. HE to get on this course as I never did any A levels, and just to learn how to go about academic work. I really want to get into the research and teaching side of my subject which basically means a Phd. I'll be 30 next year, and I've been agonising over whether or not it's realistic or just a huge waste of time and money and if should go back to doing tech support... "did you try switching it off and on again?" "What lights are showing on the modem? The modem... the black upright box, the Motorola... no, mo-to-ro-la..."
But, knowing you guys are doing this stuff 10+ years beyond me, that's really heartening, and the last two years have been the best of my life and I really want to pursue this and not see my brains turn to call-centre flavoured ooze, so.... thanks for lifting my spirits. Wish me luck pls, I'm scared! -- 21:55, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

##  More political excitement

Will the Teatards shoot themselves in the foot in Delaware, turning a shoo-in victory into a probable loss? I hope so. So does Andy, apparently. DickTurpis (talk) 16:07, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

##  New Cracked Article

The 5 strangest things evolution left in your body. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:46, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Ha! So much for "intelligent" design. --PsyGremlinSpeak! 15:54, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Ear wiggling: I'm an ear wiggler: the effect is terrific when, for whatever reason, you have no hair. Scaring/fascinating small children in queues is a favourite. I have a theory that everyone could wiggle their ears if they only knew how; I mean: can you tell anyone how to raise their arm? Nor can I tell anyone how to wiggle their ears. It's not the ability that's missing, it's the ability to use that ability. I had a friend who could similarly raise goosebumps on her arm - weird. 16:08, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm also an ear wiggler. I taught myself how, but yeah, I don't think I could teach anyone else. 18:18, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
this is all athiestic nonsennse. you're small minded worldview just canot comprehend the awsome power of god. BillC (talk) 20:38, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps god has severe copy-and-paste tendencies? Evil stupid Hoover! 21:55, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure you'll find the modern purpose of the appendix if you believe really hard. 21:59, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Evolution does't discount the idea of the appendix having a purpose. On the subject of ear wiggling, I can do it, but not when I smile, and since I figured it out I cannot raise my left eyebrow with out my left ear coming along for the ride. Maybe I should make a video of my using my face... hmm. --Opcn (talk) 06:43, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

### So why do straight men have earlobes?

Not too sure about the appendix. But God obviously gave us girls earlobes to have somewhere to hang our earrings. It's the only explanation for their existence(earlobes that is). So why do straight men have earlobes?--Hillary Rodham Clinton (talk) 14:46, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

It's a temptation placed there by the Devil, to try to get them to join the Homosexual Agenda. ħuman 18:40, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
An interesting theory. Perhaps the devil created the appendix as well to make it look as though evolution is a fact.--Hillary Rodham Clinton (talk) 19:42, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Countdown hilarity

I was keeping my Gran company this afternoon and we were watching Countdown on CH4. "NELIWAFGM" came up and other than looking like a Welsh word, I immediately saw "newfag," even though I've never been on /b/ before. SJ Debaser 18:38, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Go and stand in the corner and think about what you've done. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 19:56, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
"Hilarity", "Countdown"? That's a brand new association. Admit it, you were really watching Rachel's bum. 20:01, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I was watching the letters, and Rachel's bum. And a damn fine bum it was... Letters! I meant letters... SJ Debaser 21:34, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Isn't it just: outperforms the Vorderperson IMHO. 21:44, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Just in passing. 21:56, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I am out of touch. You mean Carol Vorderman no longer does countdown? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:22, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Richard Whitely's dead? When did that happen? And while I'm here, whatever happened to Treaure Hunt? Haven't seen that on for a couple of weeks…-- Jabba de Chops 23:37, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
No need to invoke liberal deceit and liberally lie about "keeping your Gran company" to justify your watching of countdown, Josh. Watch it with great pride. My personal favourite was the time when Dick Whitely sported a nice "Countdown" tie, however his clip-on microphone completely obscured the 'o'. Top notch. I'll see if I can find t screenshot... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 18:42, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Sailing By

Have any of my fellow here Brits discovered the joys of Sailing By, the soothing tune played before the final shipping forecast on Radio 4? I heard it for the first time the other week and have never felt so simultaneously confused and enchanted. I just heard it again driving home from a friends and felt moved to write about it somewhere. On a related note, I am now making it an idle ambition to be able to understand what the hell anything in the shipping forecast means. 86.131.215.160 (talk) 00:22, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

The Shipping Forecast by Martine Stead.-- Jabba de Chops 02:27, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Blightynet has an article. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 19:25, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
"Sailing By" appears on the soundtrack of the film "Priest" as Linus Roache gets in after a night of passion with Robert Carlyle. It made me think that it was a dissapointingly short night of passion!

##  Burning Korans vs. Drawing Mohammed

Okay, I think most of around here think the "pastor" behind "Burn a Koran" day is a jerk.

But I think most of around here found "Draw Mohammed Day" amusing.

I fit into both groups myself.

But I'm also asking myself, "what's the difference? Both ultimately boil down to 'let's piss off the Muslims'.", right?

MDB (talk) 17:32, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

The main difference is the reasons behind it; the Qur'an burnings are because he is a religious bigot who wants to censor others; the Mohammed drawings to demonstrate against religious bigots who want to censor others. Evil stupid Hoover! 17:36, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Plus the fact that book burning has a universally negative connotation. Tetronian you're clueless 17:43, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Good points, both of you.
Perhaps there's a compromise -- "Burn a Drawing of Mohammed Day", or maybe "Draw Mohammed on the Koran Day". MDB (talk) 17:52, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
As an atheist, I don't give a shit either way, but Christians have something to consider. The drawing muhammad thing they have no parallel for, so I can see why they don't get it. What I think is hypocritical is that a Christian who would flip his shit over someone burning the Bible would burn the Quran with the express intent to offend Muslims. "Do unto others..." (but only if they're Christian). Then again, if you went to the South and burned a Bible in public, I would bet the farm that you would be physically attacked. Any way you look at it, religious people are fucking insane... Occasionaluse (talk) 18:24, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Just to play Devil's Advocate a little... no, Christians would not get angry about "Draw Jesus" day in general, but there are plenty of artistic representations of Christ that have inflamed Christians. Take the controversy over the "Piss Christ" display. MDB (talk) 18:46, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and speaking of "Piss Christ" and similar works... as a Christian, I found it tasteless, but I defend artist's right to produce it. MDB (talk) 18:51, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Don't worry, some of your more adamant brethren threatened death over it :P One point for the Muslims: at least they follow through... Occasionaluse (talk) 18:56, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, one is a constructive act, the other destructive. I do like the compromises suggested above, though! Also, how about it's only ok to burn the Koran if it is draped with a soiled US flag first? ħuman 19:16, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

There may have been a lot of people who drew Muhammad just to piss off Muslims, but the original motivation behind it was to express the notion that Muslims can't expect others to conform to their particular rules and taboos. This, of course, does not work when your own religion has the exact same prohibitions in place. A cartoonist drawing Muhammad can make fun of Muslims attaching such an inflated symbolic importance to a silly drawing, but if a Christian priest decides to burn another religion's holy book, he probably doesn't want to make a similar point. Röstigraben (talk) 21:23, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
He's just called it off. Wuss. All a publicity stunt, if the tit had some real balls he'd have tried to drive into Mecca and do it there.Anyway. I'm all for burning Koran's, but if you're going to do that, you'd may as well as a Bible, Mein Kampf a copy of the US Constitution, Lord of the Rings, a printout of the RationalWiki mainspace... and so on. theist 21:47, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
BBC has a statement from him where he says he called it off in exchange for the Cordoba Center to be moved to another location? Seriously? Röstigraben (talk) 21:54, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
BBC World News is covering it quite intensely. He claims to be flying out to meet the Imams responsible, but really, I think he's just chickening out after getting the publicity stunt off his chest. theist 22:09, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Others have already said it. Draw Mohammed day was a protest with a purpose: Standing up against people who use violence to suppress people's free speech. Burning a Koran serves no purpose other than inciting racial hatred (which fundy Christians seem very good at). CrundyTalk nerdy to me 22:14, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
World Service just put out a quote from one of the Imams in response to the calling off, not sure where it leaves it. Seems as if there weren't any talks about abandoning Park 51... make of that what you will. theist 22:19, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
THe BBC article is constantly growing with new info. theist 22:21, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Apparently, Jones was a little overconfident there. I would've said a month ago that this whole Park 51 thing couldn't get any more ridiculous, yet now people are holding Qurans hostage in order to negotiate over the exact placement of that building...this is really religion in a nutshell, this whole episode illustrates the utter insanity of it all so very perfectly. Röstigraben (talk) 22:44, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Okay, BBC Wold Service is giving us a good recap. Jones is getting increasingly confused, it seems. theist 23:04, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
BBC presenter put it best (I'll paraphrase) "is this just a case of very local, very small, very weird (emphasis added, he definitely said this) church politics being played out on the world stage?" Yes. The media seem to be questioning why they're turning into molehiill mountaineers about it, but they've said that if it had went ahead without any warning the cartoon controversy would have "paled by comparison". They're still holding their breath for Saturday. theist 23:07, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Oh, what an ass, that Mr. Jones is. He's thinking about re-assessing his position regarding the Koran-burning and its cancellation after he found out that the Islamic center will not be moved. He's using his Koran-burning as a game piece, a bargaining chip. ~SuperHamster Talk 01:26, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Burning a Koran serves no purpose other than inciting racial hatred... Might I suggest that it is instead religious hatred that is being incited? These sorts of people are well known for burning all sorts of books (for example, the Harry Potter series). ListenerXTalkerX 02:03, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I heard that Donald Trump is getting involved in the Area 51 siting...? Also, Saturday is my local "country fair", somehow I doubt we'll have a Koran burning (or Muslim dunking?) booth. ħuman 02:11, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, France 24 just showed a little update, Jones saying that the Imam at New York is basically lying when he says there was no deal to backtrack on Park 51... ah well. Let the chaos commence. I'm sure if Jones chickens out, some asshat will do it. theist 08:53, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

The jokes are flowing in already:

Why burn one religious book and cause a problem when we can burn every religious book and solve one

I'm downloading the Qu'ran from an ebook site. I've got a slow connection but it should be done by Saturday the 11th. I'm putting it on disk, if anyone wants one I can burn a few copies
CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:20, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't even know why this book burning is being reported. Idiot in America does idiotic thing. So what?-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 13:38, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
It makes me want to troll IRL. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:00, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I see this is sort of touched on above but I can't see a clear response. How would the bible belt react to a mass burning of bibles by Muslims in a Muslim country?--BobSpring is sprung! 19:37, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

I bet some would respond in turn with desecrations, as some Muslims have preemptively done already. But most would just respond with fiery rhetoric about end times and how it fulfills some prophecy or other.Occasionaluse (talk) 19:41, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
[1] CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:28, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I too have an electronic copy of the koran, and I showed my contempt for islam with the following protest
rm -f koran.english.full.pdf
Ha! That's show'em! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 18:49, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

BBC reviews the farce. The last section, "mirror of publicity" is, although short, certainly worth a read. theist 00:48, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Oh, it's all good. I love the tone of that piece. ħuman 01:05, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
It's all like "we're sooo sorry for giving this tit all this attention, please forgive us!" theist 01:38, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
After a pretty dickish post that saw even his best friends call him out for being a twat, Thunderf00t seems to have a good comment on it too. In this case about the over-reaction of the islamic world and how they need to be desensitized. theist 17:16, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Periodic maintenance

I've never done this before, but it's coming due soon, so I'm looking for advice. Main question, should I remove my laptop's battery before running it through the dishwasher? ħuman 21:46, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

No; but keep the mains lead in. 21:48, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
(EC) Yea. Those things need to be cleaned to, but you should slowly scrub them over cooler water in the sink. Dishwasher is to fast for em', make em blow up real loud and ruin all your dishes. Oh, and make sure you use extra soap! --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 21:52, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
You battery isn't dirty? How is this possible? sterile ninja 21:53, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I was going to hand wash it - I've heard heat is bad for them. ħuman 23:49, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Pedantic though important quibble. To what does the "it" refer to in your initial question? The laptop or the battery. I sense ambiguity.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:34, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually, when you mentioned "ambiguity", my thoughts first ran to "he did specifically say laptop battery, right, not just 'battery' and then we assumed..." theist 12:58, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Be sure to dry it thoroughly. A tumble dryer should work, though you might need to defragment your laptop afterwards... with sticky tape or something like that. --151.81.196.26 (talk) 19:54, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Alternatively, put it in the microwave that will dry any hidden moisture.  Lily Inspirate me. 20:49, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Decline of the English language

I just googled "fat northern gobshite". Only three pages on the entire internet have the phrase. It's just not good enough...Although, without quotes, there's a lovely picture of Gerry Adams. Totnesmartin (talk) 22:57, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

The English language. The English language's. The English languages. The English languages'. Much easier than in Latin, I must say. Evil stupid Hoover! 23:19, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I hope you weren't thinking of me when you Googled that.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:51, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking of Roy Chubby Brown, and he didn't even show up in the returns. Chris Moyles did, though, which is no small recompense. Totnesmartin (talk) 18:18, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Add to our remit?

Moved to Forum:Add_to_our_remit? ħuman 23:17, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Pope

Monday night; BBC1; 8:30pm Panorama: What the Pope knew.

 “”On the eve of the first Papal visit to Britain in 28 years, Fergal Keane investigates the Pope's personal track record of dealing with paedophile priests while an archbishop and top Vatican official. As the child sex abuse scandal continues to engulf the Catholic Church worldwide, he meets victims who want an apology for the Pope's personal handling of some notorious cases. —BBC web
21:33, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

##  NFL

At friggin' last, some Nuffel on the TV. Unfortunately it means putting up with the Vikings tonight, but what canya do?-- Jabba de Chops 23:11, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Watch something else? MDB (talk) 23:29, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
But that would mean no Nuffel, and at £20 a month bollocks to that.-- Jabba de Chops 13:45, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I saw some of this last night while waiting for the tennis. It's like a series of premature ejaculations then having to wait for them to get get another hard on.  Lily Inspirate me. 08:16, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Fuck CNN

I clicked over to CNN earlier only to find Larry King Live. I continued watching because the topic was of interest to me - Stephen Hawking's "controversial" statement that no god is necessary to kick start the universe. Then I see one of the guests, Grand Woomeister Deepak Chopra.

Fine, I say to myself, to have someone with a contrary viewpoint BUT...King plugged Chopra's upcoming book (which has nothing to do with the subject under discussion) twice during the program. King then bade him farewell by saying Chopra will be back soon to discuss said freaking book (3 plugs).

Two hours later and I click back to watch World Report. You know, news and stuff. The anchorwoman introduces a story about the "ground zero mosque" silliness and which "expert" does she interview via phone link for 5 minutes of precious prime news time? Deepak Chopra! And she plugs his upcoming book while introducing him (4 plugs)!

Did he buy a controlling stake in CNN? Has he got dirt on them?

Rant over. Disgusted.--Brendiggg (talk) 12:36, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

That guy sounds like he probably has friends in the media. With four book plugs in a row by the same network, its pretty obvious to me. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 13:01, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Hmmmm, must not have been able to hire anyone else as an "expert" that day. Punky Your mental puke relief 19:08, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
That's not the only thing they plug at - have you noticed how often they release a story regarding the iPad, or sometimes the iPhone? Not so much anymore since the iPad has been out for a while, but I remember seeing insignificant stories every week or so that kept talking about how awesome to iPad is, or how people are using it, or what apps people should get - I remember one article that talked about how they are giving iPads to sumo wrestlers because of their fingers being so big. Sure, it may be interesting, but it makes you think: how much are they paying CNN? ~SuperHamster Talk 20:58, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
The BBC is the same for Apple stuff. But as Tom Scott noted on a Sky News segment regarding the iPhone's reception issues, it seems that it's newsworthy because its Apple, and quite literally no other reason. If this sort of thing was done by any other firm, it wouldn't be news worthy at all. Although I doubt Apple are paying for advertising equivalent exposure here, there may be reasons behind it. I assume it's because the people who run the news are obviously media buffs and probably (as Ben Goldacre repeatedly declares) humanities graduates. Which to me says "rich mammy and daddy" and subsequently "owns a lot of Apple products". Thus, stories about Macs and stuff seem "newsworthy" to the gadget geeks who determine what does and what doesn't go on the front page of the technology section (same as when BBC's Bill Thompson raves about Twitter every 6 seconds). More likely, it's because of Apple's position as something of a groundbreaker, especially in the post iPod world, it's kind of like how James Dyson will get news time if he says something, despite having not really done that much. It's a brand that is already in the public eye so is easy to write a good story about. theist 00:41, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps someone in CNN (maybe even Larry King) is a fan of his work? Remember what happened with Oprah? (she became a fan of "The Secret" and then plugged it endlessly.) Tetronian you're clueless 19:55, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Smirk

http://verydemotivational.com/2010/09/12/demotivational-posters-religion/ theist 21:58, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Interesting metaphor... Tetronian you're clueless 01:04, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
To which I might add, "and only touch it when you have to".  Lily Inspirate me. 08:06, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

##  topicon

It's not a "real" template so I can't find it to fix it, but it needs to place the image a couple pixels or so higher. Does anyone know how this works, and why it isn't simply a template? ħuman 01:07, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

I would guess it's in the company of {{USERNAME}}, {{PAGENAME}}, {{NUMBEROFARTICLES}}, and others, so you would have to hack through the software to edit it. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 01:13, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Interesting idea. There's a list of mediawiki weird shit somewhere I think... ħuman 01:25, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
It's a custom extension that inserts whatever wikicode you write into it inside the firstHeading (instead of the ugly hack that is Wikipedia's topicon template), so the image is aligned with the page title, i.e. it's the same as this: Whatever See Help:Images#Vertical alignment to align the image vertically. -- Nx / talk 07:49, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Hmmmm, thanks, those super or baseline things didn't seem to have any effect. Oh well, I was just trying to raise the image slightly to stop it from "riding" on the line. Thanks for trying! ħuman 18:25, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Gentle reminder

Don't forget that this coming Sunday (19 September) is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  Lily Inspirate me. 08:54, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

RAmen. I will be sure to make some Kiva loans on the 19th in the name of the great Flying Spaghetti Monster (sauce be upon him). CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:40, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Ahem. *cough* ĴαʊΆʃÇä₰ hi there! 19:18, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Its also my birthday! tmtoulouse 19:46, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Clearly you are blessed by the great noodly one oh Trent. I'll be seeing you at the beer volcano and the stripper factory. Yarrr. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:35, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Has anyone seen this?

Am I wrong in thinking that the bigot is not who the letter is addressed to?--AMassiveGay (talk) 12:29, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Nation Once Again Comes Under Sway Of Pink-Faced Half-Wit

The Onion. Gotta love 'em. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 15:41, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

That was clever. I haven't read the Onion in a while, I forgot how much I enjoyed it. Tetronian you're clueless 19:52, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
It's articles like this that blur the line between comedy and reality. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 20:00, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
The thing with The Onion is that, because it's 99% good satire, it doesn't have to make stuff up. It just reports reality in the bluntest possible light. theist 00:10, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

##  You can't buy publicity like this...

Seriously. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:07, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Ha, that's actually really funny...not the tactic you'd expect from the Pentagon to cover up information. ~SuperHamster Talk 22:13, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I'd laugh if I weren't so embarrassed... --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 22:41, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
indeed... I mean, what the unholy fuck, really. If they had the funds to buy up a print run, surely they'd be best off just arranging for the author to meet with an unfortunately accident and for the publishers to conveniently lose their only copy. They don't do cover ups like they used to! Also, I recognise Shaffer's name from somewhere, The Men Who Stare at Goats, perhaps? theist 23:52, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Inconstant constant(s?)

Have the Cretinists & IDentifiers caught this yet? 02:08, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

While I have to remain skeptical about the idea of varying constants, if it's true about varying across space too, one of the key aspects of science - that the world is the same everywhere - is pretty fucked. Although I assume there would be an underlying rule governing the change (indeed, this is where proponents of c-decay fall down) waiting to be discovered. theist 02:23, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
As the saying goes, "variables don't, constants aren't." and therefore, Genesis is true Totnesmartin (talk) 08:06, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Ah yes, morals are absolute, timeless, immutable and universal while the laws of physics are flexible and malleable to fit in with a narrow interpretation of an anthology ancient myths. PPTP, FTW!  Lily Inspirate me. 08:13, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
it makes for interesting science fictions though, where one ship needs several engines to cope with the changing physics across space. In THIS diagram , there are differences in the red and blue ends of the spetra. Anybody know what that might indicate ? Hamster (talk) 15:27, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
The Gods Themselves is an interesting take, where multiple universes have differing constants. Oh, and it has alien sex. ħuman 21:38, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, the diagram, and even the explanation in that piece, seem to indicate that it's just Doppler shift they're looking at, but I doubt even the most crazed physicist would make that mistake. But if the spectra in that diagram are vaguely realistic rather than merely representitive it might be that they're showing a Doppler-like shift that's not consistent with motion generating it; compressing and expanding energy levels rather than simply shifting them linearly. Other than that, I'm concerned that they've taken the measurements with different instruments which could easily produce calibration errors. I'm not saying that they haven't accounted for this, but some seriously odd effects have been known, IIRC, there have been several cases of supposed "wow" signals that were due to someone microwaving their lunch by the office and affecting the antennas. But we'll see, exciting times nonetheless. theist 22:19, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
These effects usually the relative positions of specific absorption spectrum lines (their spacing), not absolute positions. Since the Doppler shift is such a simple effect, and they have multiple lines to work from, it's quite easy to compensate for the Doppler shift and determine whether the observed lines can match spectra seen in a lab. Even when they do focus on the absolute frequency of a spectral line, they usually already have a good estimation of the magnitude of the Doppler effect based on other spectral lines; the Doppler effect works in a specific way across the whole spectrum, or not at all.
They also claim that any systematic error that could generate this effect would have to be oddly specific (someone would have to pick very specific times to use the microwave and not others, such that the coincidence is very unlikely). That said, it's probably worth waiting a little while before pronouncing this effect certain.
This is also not useful to c-decay advocates; the observed change in values is way too small to account for any creationist data-diddling, and it doesn't invalidate uniformitarianism so much as point out that, if uniformitarianism is valid, the laws of physics must eventually be able to explain why the fine structure constant is not really constant (probably a job for whatever replaces the Standard Model). The only thing I can think of that would disprove uniformitarianism would be if we could develop a single consistent set of theories that explains literally every physical event in our corner of the universe (including unification of general relativity and the Standard Model), and then that theory fell down abysmally elsewhere/elsewhen. Or if, you know, Jesus, Neo, and Thor stopped by one day and decided to make the moon revolve the other way while turning lightning into cybernetic wine. I guess that would do it too. --Quantheory (talk) 07:03, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Uncertain Principles SciBlogs 16:38, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

##  Setting myself up for vilification

I see that (quite rightly) we have a memorial banner to the victims of 9/11. However, it says in "loving memory". This is something a family might put on a gravestone but doesn't really represent my feelings to people whose death I mourn but I did not know nor love. Think it sounds a bit maudlin to include the word "loving".  Lily Inspirate me. 09:47, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Actually, I'm inclined to agree. Maybe "Honouring (or Honoring if you will) the memory of those who died" would be a better wording? --PsyGremlin話しなさい 10:05, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Good point, actually. If anyone in RW has a relative or close friend that died, then it might be appropriate in a way (to the best of my knowledge, this isn't the case). So "honoring" is probably the best way of putting it. theist 12:23, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
If you're so concerned about one word, then why didn't you just edit the page and change it? --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 13:31, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Because (and I stand corrected) none of those who have commented are Merkins, and they might feel differently about it, hence it's discussed here first. It's called consideration. --PsyGremlinParlez! 13:37, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that makes since, if I had a family member that died on 9/11 I would be screaming at you all. Honoring is the best way to put it on the template. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 13:49, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't clain to speak for everyone here and as it is stating something about a sensitive topic, I thought it would be better to discuss it.  Lily Inspirate me. 14:01, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I am an American if that matters and I thought it was a bit much. "In rememberance of" or "honoring" or even just "In memory" are all good. The version used was OK though. Hamster (talk) 15:16, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it's so much as being sensitive as the fact that discussion is just how this place works. I have no doubt that this change would have near unanimous support because it is an improvement and far more suitable a phrase, but it's just nice to enquire first to save edit warring or trying to cram explanations into the edit summary. theist 17:13, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
We lost someone from our village... their survivors had signs at their driveway entrance facing both ways saying "9 11 family for peace". Our local vet sold her business and went to W DC to work full time, I think against the Iraq War. The attack touched a lot of people, if a bit indirectly. Anyway, I don't object to the change, the "loving" was ok, but perhaps a bit too personal, as people said. ħuman 21:37, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

(Undent)So, will we be similarly honouring the victims of Warrington or Enniskillen? Jack Hughes (talk) 09:39, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

I am not too familiar with those places, but Wikipedia informs me about a dozen people died between the two in IRA bomb attacks. Did something else happened, or is it those bombings you're comparing with the 9/11 attacks that left 3,000 dead? If we're making suggestions, I'd lean towards 2008 Mumbai or 2003 Istanbul (or others) before the IRA bombings.--talk 10:49, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
The point I was making - rather poorly - is that whilst 9/11 is no doubt the largest terrorist incident in terms of body count it is far from the only one. From this side of the pond the US obsession with 9/11 seems to ignore that it is, at the end of the day, just another terrorist attack. Or does the high body count make it somehow special? Jack Hughes (talk) 10:56, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the high body count makes it special. 9/11 was relatively recent, had an enormous set of casualties, and took place in an astonishingly shocking manner. I suppose this is mildly ethnocentric, but I think it rather stands out amongst terrorist attacks. Sorry.--talk 11:03, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
It's far from the body count alone that makes it stand out. Primarily, it was a perfect Black Swan. Right up until the very second that the nose of a plane made contact with the windows of that first tower (well, not really, but bare with me) the entire idea was totally inconceivable. IRA bombings, while tragic, were partially expected because the Troubles in Ireland were practically a real outright war that had been building openly for decades, if not, centuries. It changed the entire media narrative of what constituted terrorism away from the Timothy McVeigh archetype (McVeigh himself changed it away from the IRA-like paramilitary archetype) to a Muslim fundamentalist archetype where these acts were committed in the name of attrition by True Believers. This aspect was brought to the fore on the world stage by 9/11 and was so intense that it even developed it's own branding that truly immortalised the date. The body count certainly made it more attractive to news sources wanting to cover it at the time, but the body count is far down the list of reasons of why it was important. theist 14:03, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
This is kind of a silly disagreement, but it should be pointed out that the only reason any of those other factors exist is because of the body count. If six people had died, it would not have changed any narratives. I know that because in 1993 an Al Qaeda-led effort set off a truck bomb in the World Trade Center, but only six people died, and it was promptly forgotten. Narrative, branding, future wars, immortal dates... none of those would have existed if so many hadn't died. It wasn't the only factor, but it was the biggest one since it made all other factors much greater.--talk 15:48, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Quite true, but I don't think that totally refutes the idea that it's more than just the high casualties that is the important thing post facto - as if it was ~3000 deaths that grabbed you by the balls, but it was those other factors I mentioned where it really started to squeeze. After all, Hurricane Katrina came quite close to 9/11 in terms of deaths and certainly overtook it in terms out outright damage and injury, but it hasn't had the same lasting effect as 9/11 on people's conciousness worldwide - indeed, to me it seems largely forgotten about on the world stage. On the other end of the scale, you have the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (body count: 1 precisely) that sparked the First World War (insomuch that you can attribute WWI to that single incident using hindsight and a few other bits of "naughty" reasoning). theist 18:00, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Speaking of setting yourself up for vilification, .8181 is the most overhyped tragedy in history. Occasionaluse (talk) 18:34, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Katrina wasn't a terrorist attack; it's apples and oranges. And as for the Archduke: I am sad to say that virtually no one commemorates his death at all. It's been years since I was at a Francis Ferdinand Memorial Party. His death is today more trivia than tragedy - "Whose death sparked the beginnings of World War I?"
The other factors in 9/11 were important, of course. It was a bolt from the blue for most of America, and fully half the attack was enacted live on television. But it quite simply would just not be very important if it weren't for so many people dying -that was the biggest factor. It's unfortunate and vulgar, but I think that's the way it is.--talk 23:21, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
My point is that the first example had a huge body count but has nearly been forgotten, whether it was an attack or not is irrelevant. With respect to the second example, the legacy of that event was the whole of WWI (again, insomuch that you can make that attribution with some pop-history reasoning, the entire affair was far more complex, just as the build up to 9/11 is a bit more complex and can be traced back a decade or so) despite only one casualty. Though your point about it being televised is another major factor that I don't think we've considered so far. The second impact was played out on live television, as was the rest of it - compared to any other attack or disaster of any scale that is a Big Fucking Deal that sets it apart. If cameras had been there to record a live attack of a much smaller scale (something along the scale of the London bombings a few years later) then I think it would still have the same impact. We have all these multi-angled iconic images that just wouldn't have been possible at any other time in history. theist 00:04, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
The live TV thing definitely made it real. On 9/11 I was actually afraid that dozens and dozens of planes were going to start falling from the sky. But that didn't happen. All that really happened is that a group of riff-raff with box cutters took advantage of our meekness. That will never happen again. You can't even have a mild panic attack on a plane without a group of wannabe heroes holding you down to make sure America is safe. You don't need cavity searches or even US Marshalls. 6,000-7,000 Americans die on any given day. They're all just as innocent. Just seems like a bunch of bullshit to let something like this pwn America for OVER 9000 years. Occasionaluse (talk) 12:51, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

##  fleaBay

Just about had it with stupid fucking eBay buyers. My latest is that I was selling a load of my Wii games, and I got a message from one of the buyers saying it never arrived. Turns out they gave me the wrong postage address (but it didn't arrive there either, apparently). So they opened a dispute in which I posted proof of postage, and yet they have still given me negative feedback despite the dispute being escalted and not yet resolved. Can they not ban stupid people from eBay, or would that destroy 90% of their business? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:47, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

They can't ban stupid people because that would destroy 95% percent of their business! But anyway, I bet the people at the wrong address stole the games and/or re-sold them. That's my random guess. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 20:52, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, they said that they still own that address. No idea whether to believe them. Hanlon's Razor probably. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:33, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
This is why I only buy on eBay. I am terrified of selling to morons and/or criminals. ħuman 02:53, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Just submitted their details to Trusted Blacklist. Let's see how fucking funny they are when they can't bid on anyone's items. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:32, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, despite its original premise, selling on eBay is a bit shit these days, and best left to full time traders. There are a few other things that may work better for you, I was using Gumtree and Freecycle to kit out my flat a couple of years ago, which tend to be very local and slightly more idiot proof - although despite their smaller scale, you usually can find what you're looking for. theist 12:29, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

##  2012 Presidential Election.

Hello! For those of us abroad with something of an interest in American Politics, would it be possible to get together a sort of essay page with who the likely candidates for the 2012 Republican nomination are, and why they're the lesser of the evils or why they're nuts, that kind of thing. If the Americans would be interested, I could make a similar "possible next Prime Ministers of the UK" kind of thing? Dalek (talk) 23:00, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Such a page would be better suited in the mainspace IMO. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 23:02, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
There I made a mainspace page with everyone I heard of. To wikipedia for other candidates. Tyrannis (talk) 23:08, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Cool, I guess I suggested essay so we could get informal and ranty opinions on them, but that will do just as well in the mainspace. Thanks! Dalek (talk) 23:11, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Better suited to the forums, I think. Where is Tyrannis' mainpage article? Linkie? ħuman 02:46, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Forum:2012 U.S. Presidential Election. Totnesmartin (talk) 10:17, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
There should prolly be a mainspace entry too, as with the 2008 one. €₳$£ΘĪÐMethinks it is a Weasel 17:17, 14 September 2010 (UTC) Actually, what it really needs is content. DickTurpis (talk) 17:29, 14 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Tony Blair on Hannity http://www.hannity.com/guest/blair-tony/11746 .Huh.— Unsigned, by: 131.107.0.80 / talk / contribs He's been whoring himself over here too. --PsyGremlinSermā! 12:22, 14 September 2010 (UTC) Does it go anything like this? theist 12:24, 14 September 2010 (UTC) I hear Blair is on The Daily Show tonight in the US. I'll catch it tomorrow when it comes on in the UK. On a related note, yesterday he won some human rights award for, "his global human rights work and commitment to international conflict resolution." In the words of Jon Stewart, "You've gotta be fucking kidding me, right?" Bondurant (talk) 20:45, 14 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Phishing Just received a definite phishing email. Purportedly from H.M. Revenue & Customs, telling me I'm due a refund. Tricky - I haven't paid any tax for two years at least so I wasn't taken in but it wouldn't have caught me if I had. Loads of obvious errors on the page. If you get anything from refunds@hmrc.gov.uk don't open any attachments and forward it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk. HMRC website. 07:08, 14 September 2010 (UTC) Nice. I don't think I've seen a proper phishing scam in a while. The last one I saw and reported turned out to be a real thing; it was just from some temp worker in the university so their email wasn't listed - I'd just forgotten that I'd sent them my hotmail address for alumni contact details. It's a shame people are still fooled by them. theist 12:20, 14 September 2010 (UTC) I had a conversation like this with my Dad once • Dad: I just got an e-mail from Bank of America... • Me: It's a fraud. • Dad: But it says... • Me: It's a fraud! You will never receive an e-mail from any financial institution tell you to log in immediately. MDB (talk) 17:26, 14 September 2010 (UTC) ##  I lost where we were talking about 9/11 But I wanted to share this with ya [2]. PS, maudlin video/song warning, overly safe for work. ħuman 08:28, 14 September 2010 (UTC) There's a mini comment war going on there that makes me want to head butt a wall of nails and broken glass. theist 21:31, 14 September 2010 (UTC) ##  I am ready Do these people probably deserve credit for hoovering up every single upcoming apocalypse and seeing a business idea therein? Or are they a bunch of sharks cashing in on the badly-informed? Totnesmartin (talk) 09:39, 14 September 2010 (UTC) The whole apocalyptic scare group is a strange one. They're rabidly Christian, but adamant about surviving the rapture. Occasionaluse (talk) 13:03, 14 September 2010 (UTC) ##  ED page You know we have one now? Tyrannis (talk) 22:45, 13 September 2010 (UTC) Its already on RW's ED page. Se7enEight 22:46, 13 September 2010 (UTC) Oh, ok.Tyrannis (talk) 22:47, 13 September 2010 (UTC) (EC) Yeah, we noticed a while ago. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 22:48, 13 September 2010 (UTC) It's not as funny as the rest of the site. But, judging from the article we have, you guys don't find ED as funny as I do. Then again, you guys probably have an intact gag reflex. 2 hours of hitting random on ED will give you the Unfazeable advantage.Tyrannis (talk) 22:52, 13 September 2010 (UTC) Added in July it would seem. Se7enEight 22:53, 13 September 2010 (UTC) July 1st. Hmm. 3 gets you 5 the creator is an editor or lurker here.Tyrannis (talk) 22:55, 13 September 2010 (UTC) Removed link, I use adblocker, forgot about teh ads.22:56, 13 September 2010 (UTC) And no, I did not write the article. Tyrannis (talk) 22:59, 13 September 2010 (UTC) It's a fair enough recording of the history of RW, from the looks of it. Although with that "special" ED twist, of course. theist 23:56, 13 September 2010 (UTC) ED can be hilarious, but he people there really give me the creeps. No fucking way I could edit there. Occasionaluse (talk) 12:56, 14 September 2010 (UTC) I see ASoK also has an entry there. PJR's moving up in the world. --PsyGremlinParla! 11:12, 15 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Obama and his magical teleprompters Does he really over-rely on them like conservatives say he does? Were other presidents like this? I tried googling but everything was right-wing biased. Senator Harrison (talk) 04:13, 14 September 2010 (UTC) Nah, all politicians rely on teleprompters, so don't believe the hype. I remember back during the '08 presidential campaign when there were clips of McCrazy giving a speech, and it would be fairly obvious that he was staring at a teleprompter the whole time. Conservative Punk (talk) 04:17, 14 September 2010 (UTC) (EC) The only politician who doesn't use a teleprompter (or notecards, or scriblings on her hand) when giving a pre-written speech is NY governor David Patterson (for obvious reasons). Those who say Obama can't speak coherently without one clearly chose to ignore the dozen or so debates he participated in (and generally won) before he was elected. It's a non-issue. DickTurpis (talk) 04:17, 14 September 2010 (UTC) I do not think much of politicians who rely heavily on teleprompters; too much like actors saying their lines. When I took a speech class in college, we gave speeches from notecards with the full text and from notecards with outlines; surely a politician could use outlines only at least some of the time. As far as U.S. presidents go, I have heard that Bill Clinton was once handed the wrong speech notes for some occasion and was forced to extemporize. He apparently made a good speech. ListenerXTalkerX 04:33, 14 September 2010 (UTC) You earned twenty secret internet points for that post, LX. And seven boxes of secret respect. ħuman 06:55, 14 September 2010 (UTC) As John Cleese said of Sarah Palin, a lot of politicians rely on parroting back rehearsed talking points (this is the main strategy for a lot of public figures, including most creationists, and some legitimately intelligent people who are simply bad at improvisation). And for a pre-written speech, there's really no reason not to just read from a script. Obama is a fairly good, cautious speaker, which makes it easy for people to believe that he's completely reliant on the prompters. As far as I know, there's no real evidence that he relies on a teleprompter more than anyone else. However, during the 2008 election season it was pretty hard to make fun of him, partly because a lot of the obvious jokes were racist (so they were being made, but not reputably), but also because he was serious, had charisma, and was good at managing his image. I think the teleprompter thing became popular because people were really looking for some way to make fun of him personally (as opposed to his enamored supporters, who were easy to mock). His typical gravitas can be kind of a burden on would-be comedians (especially since comedians tend to be liberals themselves). --Quantheory (talk) 04:39, 14 September 2010 (UTC) I should be surprised to find a creationist who could not easily be replaced with a quack box containing pre-taped soundbites from headquarters. ListenerXTalkerX 04:45, 14 September 2010 (UTC) From Michael Shermer: I knew Gish had a lengthy section in his presentation on the evils of atheism as a technique to destroy his opponents (who typically are atheists), so I made a point of stating in my introduction, loud and clear, that I am not an atheist. I even called the audience's attention to the man passing out anti-Christian literature, who was now sitting in the front row, and I told him that I thought he was doing more harm than good. Nonetheless, in his opening statement Gish called me an atheist and then proceeded with his automated diatribe against atheism. The rest of Gish's presentation was his stock litany of jokes and jabs against evolution. --Quantheory (talk) 05:06, 14 September 2010 (UTC) Often speeches are handed out to agencies etc before they're made. So they have to be "as written". That's here (UK) anyhow. 05:16, 14 September 2010 (UTC) Yes, but the good speechifiers extemporize. ħuman 06:55, 14 September 2010 (UTC) Well, the last speech I made I went off script quite, quite wildly - and even drew attention to it. But I don't think much of it, we want people in power to do a good job, not to deliver good talking points. Debates, speeches and baby kissing are all well and good but those are synonymous with the ability to deal with stress and pressure and to make right decisions and carry them out with authority (I fear Obama is having extreme difficulty with this last one). In a world where your every fluff and stumble is going to be repeated and crucified by your opponents and the media, you're often forced to just recite a good speech word-for-word. I don't think that there is anything wrong with that given the situation of modern politics. theist 12:14, 14 September 2010 (UTC) I remember reading somewhere that Reagan used cue cards all the time even at social functions, but I can't find anything to substantiate that claim. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 12:27, 14 September 2010 (UTC) Reagan used cue cards even in face-to-face meetings with Gorbachev and the G7. Totnesmartin (talk) 19:52, 15 September 2010 (UTC) I remember reading that Maggie Thatcher actually went into every single school in the country to personally steal our milk, but I can't substantiate that either. Bondurant (talk) 12:59, 14 September 2010 (UTC) Fuck that. I know for a fact Maggie used to dress up as one of our dinner ladies, with the sole intention of giving me a double helping of beetroot. --PsyGremlinFale! 13:14, 14 September 2010 (UTC) The whole issue is another great bellwether for idiocy. As soon as you start railing on about Obama and teleprompters, I stop listening and start thinking what an idiot you've become since he was elected, because that's the only thing that's changed. Teleprompters, death panels, birth certificates, "mainstream media" (used derogatorily), gun stockpiling, etc. Occasionaluse (talk) 13:09, 14 September 2010 (UTC) (undent) Thanks everyone. I appreciate all the responses. Senator Harrison (talk) 02:45, 16 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Cheap flights There's no such fecking thing as a fecking flight for 50p theist 20:21, 15 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Why do we eat chilli? Grauniad Hat tip 16:42, 14 September 2010 (UTC) Damn behaviorist, still overly focused on the stimulus->black box->response paradigm. I don't like that explanation at all. Some points to consider: capsaicin is a great anti-biotic against bacteria and fungi the spicier the food the longer the shelf life, particularly once water is removed. It can also be used to protect meats and vegetables with out natural preservatives. It is a very strong taste component, and things with very strong tastes are favored as spicing agents since refrigerators are a fairly modern invention and meat sometimes had to be kept a long time. Also there is some evidence that beta endorphins are released after ingestion of chile which throw the whole "non-addictive" angle of that article completely out the window. tmtoulouse 16:58, 14 September 2010 (UTC) From what I know, the use of spices was started as a way to cover up the taste of meat that had gone a bit squiffy. The whole behavior thing smells a little too like post facto reasoning. theist 17:04, 14 September 2010 (UTC) Using spices to mask the taste of rotting meat also smells like post facto reasoning. It's a myth. €₳$£ΘĪÐMethinks it is a Weasel 17:36, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Is it? Well, lets do some critical thinking and see what evidence is out there for various hypotheses proposed here:
1. Conditioning
2. Masking flavor of old meat
3. Anti-biotic properties
4. Beta-endorphine release.
tmtoulouse 17:42, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
A Google on - endorphine chilly - gets a lot of hits.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:41, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Because it's delicious. I don't understand people who eat really, really spicy food but the plate of chilli con carne I just ate was spicy enough but not too spicy so you couldn't taste the rest. Mmm! –SuspectedReplicant retire me 19:14, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
The endorphine release is fun. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:38, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
(Anecdote alert) I like a bit of chilli in certain foods because it seems to "open up" a lot of the flavours in the food which you wouldn't notice without it (in particular, curries). Also, I like chillis from the chinense family (habaneros, scotch bonnets, nagas etc) because even the smallest amount imparts a subtle fruity, orangy taste to the food. My favorite at the moment is a mild habanero I'm growing which smells and tastes like it should be scorching hot, but has almost no heat at all. P.S. I seem to remember from my pharmacology days that topical capsacin is used as an irritant analgesic. I wonder if that particular effect on the toungue and mouth contribute to the appeal? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:56, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I'd doubt it. It's like saying people drink absinthe for the effects of wormwood, but by the time you've had enough to feel the wormwood, you're going to be so piss drunk it wouldn't matter. I think it be the same for capsacin, a slight analgesic effect which would be far and away outweighed by the initial burning. Occasionaluse (talk) 21:03, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I love chilli. Delicious. Se7enEight 21:21, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Curries may have developed in India as a preservative, so not quite "masking the taste" as I described above, but perhaps some practical use initially. theist 21:27, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I have heard the "masking the flavor" one before but I don't by that at all. Se7enEight 21:30, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, it would certainly have made little sense in the medieval west, but I think they did have some preserving/masking effects where they were developed in rural India (well, at least according to an Indian family I know, but you never know). <cynicism>It's certainly true in some of your cheaper places these days... </cynicism> theist 21:33, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Probably not so much masking the flavour as giving a flavour: ever eaten mutton? 10:49, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
As I said, I know an Indian family who are well into their (apparently) authentic curry making so yes. It basically tasted of garam masala. I think they had marinaded it for three years or something. theist 12:07, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

(UI) Bear in mind that before the Portugese landed ashore in India, the Indians used to add heat to their food using pepper. When the Portugese traded chilli pepper seeds with them they substituted it. As piper nigrum seeds have little to no food preservation qualities I suspect the heat aspect was the compelling factor. In fact, it was also the Portugese who invented vindaloo, as they used to preserve pork using vinegar for the long voyages at sea, and used Indian spices to flavour it. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 19:18, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

All this historical theory about why chilli was used is the past is most interesting. But the question is why do we use in now. Why is it still popular? My money is remains on the endorphines.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:25, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
For me, it's flavour and a 'kick' which adds another dimension to the meal. Flavour is a biggie, as I don't like green chillis (esp capsicum annuums), and I don't use extra hot sauces which just add heat and no flavour. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 19:29, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Wimp.  :-)--BobSpring is sprung! 19:31, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
(EC)To Bob, because it tastes good - and to show how hard we are. ħuman 19:33, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Bob: Don't get me wrong, I love a good bit of heat. I have a bag of Dorset Nagas in the fridge as we speak. I just wouldn't add anything which adds heat only. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 19:38, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
My mother is the sort of cook who gives English cooking a bad name. (Food in saucepan, add rock, boil until rock softens.) As soon as I started cooking for myself everything was filled with chili and garlic - David Gerard (talk) 15:36, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

##  "Twat"

Here's a question: how offensive do you think the word "twat" is when used in the context of destroying / harming something? I'm watching an old Red Dwarf (Series 3, Polymorph), where the following dialog occurs:

• Rimmer: So what are we going to do (about an alien on the ship)?
• Lister: Well I say let's get out there and twat it!!

The episode is being shown starting at 21:40, so well after the watershed, and yet they cut the "twat it" part of the dialog out completely, making the response seem odd. I also remember hearing that when this particular series went to VHS, it was given a "15" rating instead of "PG" just because it has the has the word "twat" in it.

So, how offensive is it really? If it was used in the context of referring to female genitalia then I could probably understand on the grounds of vulgarity, but personally I don't think censorship seems warranted in this context. What do you think? Is a word a word regardless of context? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:11, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

I used the word in primary school (we all said it) years before I knew its biological origin. my english teacher said it (she was reading from A Kestrel For a Knave - brilliant book). Even Now I'm puzzled by people who find it grossly offensive - to me it's just a little stronger than "prat." and here's the John Cooper Clarke poem. Totnesmartin (talk) 21:23, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Hehe, I forgot that this episode is the one where Rimmer suggests they call themselves the Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitaion Into Society, the one problem being the abbreviation :) CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:35, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Similarly, I have always used "Chuff" as a sometimes affectionate expletive. Back in 1997, my father, he being an old goat, remarried; his new wife objected strongly to my surprise as I hadn't been aware of its nonPC meaning (The name for a women's genitalia or more commonly pubic area). Twat I have always used as a derogatory term for an idiot. 09:09, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
"Twat" is much less shocking/offensive in UK usage than in the US, & almost never used in its anatomical meaning, but is still a rude word nonetheless. Editing it out of a sitcom repeat doesn't surprise me, & the cut they're now showing at 9:40 may well be one that was edited for a 8:30 showing which now gets used as the standard version whenever it's rerun, or was the version sold on to other stations by the beeb. €₳$£ΘĪÐMethinks it is a Weasel 22:03, 16 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Well he/they did it! Westboro Baptist Church burnt both the Qur'an and the American flag About 5:54 minutes into this 8:53 Youtube video. Westboro Baptist Church Burns the Koran (Quran) and American Flag on Anniversary of 9/11/01 They describe Terry Jones as a false prophet here.205.189.194.208 (talk) 21:38, 15 September 2010 (UTC) Assholes. Tetronian you're clueless 21:50, 15 September 2010 (UTC) I'm not surprised. Nobody should pay attention to them, they're just moronic attention seeking fucktards. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 22:14, 15 September 2010 (UTC) The song they played as the flag and book burned was a horrid choice - it sounds just like one of those "praise God" songs you hear on the Christian children channels, all full of joy and children's voices, except that now, it basically says that we're all condemned to hell. ~SuperHamster Talk 22:53, 15 September 2010 (UTC) At least he admits the fundie Christians are hypocrites. BTW, that song is nowhere as creepy as this--Thanatos (talk) 23:48, 15 September 2010 (UTC) Catchy tune to burn a Qu'ran/flag to. I would have preferred Wagner for epic irony, though. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 00:12, 16 September 2010 (UTC) It was funny at first but it goes on a bit too much and gets boring. They should cut it by about 75% if they want to get good laughs.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:27, 16 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Interesting read here. --PsyGremlinPraat! 12:02, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Very interesting indeed. Although it took me a while to figure out where he was going with the piece. Tetronian you're clueless 12:35, 16 September 2010 (UTC) I kind of stopped reading when he started saying that everyone is a sociopath. That kind of obnoxiously insulting moralising always turns me off whatever is being said. Evil stupid Hoover! 15:10, 16 September 2010 (UTC) I think he was being deliberately inflammatory to get attention. Tetronian you're clueless 15:27, 16 September 2010 (UTC) ##  20 Quadrillionth Digit of Pi Calculated It sounds impressive... but it turns out that they're talking about binary. Now that's still an impressive number of digits, but if I were to say that the 20 Umpty-bazzilionth digit is a "1" it would take anybody else years to prove me wrong (or right). Giving yourself a 50% chance for something that doesn't matter anyway isn't quite so impressive. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 16:05, 16 September 2010 (UTC) We all know that the correct value of Pi is, in binary, 11.00000000000.... so the billionth digit is '0'. It's in the bible. Jack Hughes (talk) 16:13, 16 September 2010 (UTC) It's pretty trivial in binary, since there's a nice closed form for the nth hex digit; you can get the umpty-bazzilionth digit by putting umpty-bazillion into a simple formula. Evil stupid Hoover! 16:50, 16 September 2010 (UTC) So you're saying we can make the news?? Occasionaluse (talk) 16:56, 16 September 2010 (UTC) If you can find a computer capable of making calculations on that magnitude quickly, then yes. The formula is $\frac{4}{8k+1}-\frac{2}{8k+4}-\frac{1}{8k+5}-\frac{1}{8k+6}$ for the kth hex digit; the resulting digit can be converted in about two seconds in your head to the 4kth binary digits. Evil stupid Hoover! 18:29, 16 September 2010 (UTC) You'll need to do this with big rationals, by the way: the calculation doesn't give an integer. Evil stupid Hoover! 19:28, 16 September 2010 (UTC) And it appears I was wrong about the expression in the first place. Evil stupid Hoover! 19:40, 16 September 2010 (UTC) ##  InstantCommons is down Don't go removing redlinked images just because this here MediaWiki can't see the images on Wikimedia Commons. Nx considers this is my problem to deal with. It's 12:15am here and I'm four pints down, so I'll leave it to morning and see how much of Human's wiki everyone breaks trying to fix Jimbo breaking Human's wiki - David Gerard (talk) 23:18, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Nx considers this is my problem to deal with No, actually I don't. I'm going to sleep now. If it's not fixed by tomorrow, I'll have to do something drastic. -- Nx / talk 23:24, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Down everywhere (?)- Down on Blightynet anyhoo. 23:29, 16 September 2010 (UTC) But the problem is, it's working on RationalBeta -- Nx / talk 23:31, 16 September 2010 (UTC) WHAT HAVE YOU ASSHOLES DONE TO HUMAN'S WIKI?!?!?!? THIS WILL NOT STAND!!!! DON'T MAKE WE WAKE HUMAN FROM HIS DRUNKEN STUPOR TO PUT YOU OVER HIS KNEE AND TAKE A BELT TO YOUR BEHINDS!!!! DickTurpis (talk) 23:33, 16 September 2010 (UTC) I went and fetched over the one I used in template:media. ħuman 23:47, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Well, it seems to be working again if I'm not mistakin'. It was probably related to the problems that the Wikimedia servers were having with their fancy java - I know Twinkle, TK's oh-so-favorite Wikipedia tool, wasn't working at the same time that the images were down over here, and the reasoning for that was that the servers were having issues. ~SuperHamster Talk 01:50, 17 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Teatards fuck themselves Looks like the Tea Party shot the Republicans in the foot tonight. Mike Castle would have walked right into the Senate had he been the Republican nom, but instead they went with the Teabagger who got a mere 35% of the vote when she ran 2 years ago. Democrats should be able to handle her. Republican hopes of taking the Senate just got more slim. DickTurpis (talk) 02:35, 15 September 2010 (UTC) Lol, so the Teabaggers actually seem to hurt the rape-ublicans, eh? That's good to know. AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 02:44, 15 September 2010 (UTC) I wouldn't have been certain about the Senate before now, but these primaries make it a lock for the Dems to keep it. It's going to be a GOP House and Democratic Senate after 2010.--talk 06:25, 15 September 2010 (UTC) Hmm, I'd be wary of what you wish for. You never know what might happen. Lily Inspirate me. 08:57, 15 September 2010 (UTC) There are 37 seats in play. Of those, 19 are potentially uncertain. The GOP needs to win 14 of those 19. Until the primaries, they could have counted on Alaska, Nevada, Florida, and Delaware; those races were at least all close to 50/50, and in some cases (Delaware and Nevada) way into being GOP breezes. New Hampshire was even a good possibility. But the primaries have run in some pretty fringe candidates. Alaska lost Murkowski as an incumbent to Joe Miller, who polls much worse among the general public and will now have a hard fight. Nevada nominated Sharron Angle who is managing to actually fall behind the incredibly unpopular Harry Reid (she managed this by saying insane things). Florida nominated Rubio instead of Crist, who is now running Independent and has the state split into near-thirds. New Hampshire seems to have nominated another Tea Partier crazy person, who polls badly compared to the establishment candidate. And Delaware just swung wildly from being a near-lock for the GOP to being a lost cause (the RNSC is saying they won't bother spending money on it now). I would have always said it was very unlikely the GOP would take the Senate, but now I feel confident saying that it just won't happen. They probably won't even come very close, maybe within two or three seats.--talk 11:47, 15 September 2010 (UTC) Two years of Obama destroying the country and America still votes in democrats. I wonder how the Right will spin this. The same way they spun the election, maybe, with liberal media bias? ONE / TALK 12:39, 15 September 2010 (UTC) Teaparty has become something of a snarl word. Glenn Beck even acknowledges that in The Overton Window. But then again, he blames that all on left-wingers infiltrating the teaparty and bringing the racist signs and whatnot with them. Nope, it was not the leadership or Glenn's race-baiting that made the movement impossible, it was liberal infiltration. (The Overton Window is actually worth a read if you are interested in Beck's thought process. Sure, it's boring and shitty and wacko, but we do get to see the world through Beck's eyes. Warning: There be Dragons)--Thanatos (talk) 23:44, 15 September 2010 (UTC) Glenn Beck has a thought process? Totnesmartin (talk) 11:13, 16 September 2010 (UTC) One can have the ability to think without being good at using said ability. --GastonRabbit (talk) 00:10, 18 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Atheists say the darnedest things Let's make our version better than Ken's! ħuman 03:15, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Oh dear. Tetronian you're clueless 03:19, 16 September 2010 (UTC) FSTDT does catalog them, although they're rare and sometimes get more down-voted than they deserve because people fail to recognise how lunatic they can be. Poe's Law can apply on both sides, it's just heavily weighted to one more than the other. theist 10:42, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Can you help me find the gems? ħuman 03:43, 17 September 2010 (UTC) I thought we didn't want CP to influence mainspace.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:13, 17 September 2010 (UTC) But there's no CP in the article - I was just inspired by Ken's awful job to try to do better. And at least include some actual quotes from atheists. ħuman 00:10, 18 September 2010 (UTC) ##  OO Calc Alternative Can someone recommend an alternative to Open Office Calc? I'm so sick of it being buggy, slow and resource greedy. Occasionaluse (talk) 18:23, 16 September 2010 (UTC) OO Calc is the alternative. But there's also Gnumeric and KSpread -- Nx / talk 18:26, 16 September 2010 (UTC) What about the online Google thingy? or there's always Excel. /ducks and runs. --PsyGremlinSiarad! 18:35, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Excel is awesome. I've never understood how you can't like Excel. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 02:08, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Anyone remember Supercalc? Was the program that really got desktop computers into the mainstream. 02:15, 17 September 2010 (UTC) I liked FrameWork. But some bastids bought them to get the database program and stopped supporting/improoving it. This was "windows" before Windows. Also had MultiCalc running on an Osbourne... ħuman 02:17, 17 September 2010 (UTC) I still have a soft spot for Lotus 123. Best macro language ever - need to select a variable range? {end}{right}{end}{down} --PsyGremlinPraat! 08:56, 17 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Ways to be a Skeptic I suppose this has been covered somewhere before, but I found it quite amusing.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:39, 16 September 2010 (UTC) At least he mentioned the Goat... ħuman 19:39, 16 September 2010 (UTC) WIGO Blogs, third entry for September. </ shameless self promotion> --ZooGuard (talk) 19:47, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Did we ever take up the challenge of formally identifying RWians under those labels. I got perhaps one or two and then struggled. theist 07:54, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Almost Everybody here Fits into one or another of the Descriptions. How many people really Look For the Truth?--Tolerance (talk) 20:09, 17 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Nifty Quote On the subject of one species arising from another (in this case a rumination by the first machine intelligence): "We are the latest forming link of a chain, and the latest link should surely indicate the current direction. But we do not know where the chain is supposed to go, what it is supposed to hook up to, or what is the purpose of it. We do not even know whether it is a single strand chain or a jungle of links. I am in the darkness nearly as much as my human associates are. This is a curious train that we are: it seems to grow new cars on the front end of it as it rolls, and I am the new car on the very front. I should be the bearer of the headlight, but I have not been able to devise it yet. I hope it does not devolve on me as foremost car to pull all those other cars. I have not signed any agreement to be the locomotive to a train I don't even know the name of." —R.A. Lafferty, Arrive At Easterwine -- Kels (talk) 22:24, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Nice! ħuman 00:08, 18 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Thank You My heartfelt thanks to the Rationalwiki Community for its support during the crisis that happened to my family the other week. I would especially like to thank Goonie for his words of wisdom on the subject. My life has returned to semi-normality. They haven't caught the guy, however, and my sister refuses to press charges. It appears, though, that this guy is a serial rapist. There was another rape nearby the week after and the guy cut the girl's stomach like my sister. I am sure he will eventually be caught. My sister has recovered remarkably well, she is driving my mom crazy again and acting as though nothing has happened. Now I just have to put up with Mom calling to complain about how wild she is.--Thanatos (talk) 00:02, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Well, if you catch the guy, be sure to punch him extra hard in the crotch for me. On a serious note, no problem at all, man. If you need any more support, you can count on me. AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 02:22, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Peace. Is all I have to say. ħuman 03:16, 16 September 2010 (UTC) ###  On another note On another note, Goonie, do you have news you wish to share here? ħuman 02:19, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Fine. As of 2:21 p.m CDT on Tuesday, I am an uncle. Gooniepunk2010 Oi! Oi! Oi! 03:29, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Congratulations to you and his mother! ħuman 03:42, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Thanks. If this post get more interest. I might even post some pics of the baby here. AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 03:43, 17 September 2010 (UTC) nice pic even if it does look a bit red in the face. Congrats to the mom and dad. But get the kid a nice bassinet or something, plastic boxes are not good long term :) Hamster (talk) 04:43, 18 September 2010 (UTC) Yes, well. That picture was taken exactly 2 hours after the little guy was born, and that was what he was laying in while the doctor examined him. As far as the parents go, the mom (my sister) is indeed a proud mother (I will never discuss the father). The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 07:32, 18 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Conspiracy! I've figured it all out; the pope is here to turn us Brits into zombies!! Don't believe me? Check out the red and white emblems on the holy see's clothing. Remind you of anything? HE WORKS FOR UMBRELLA CORP!! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:22, 17 September 2010 (UTC) It is obvious that Your attempted "Humor" os not even Appreciated.--Tolerance (talk) 20:24, 17 September 2010 (UTC) IF it waS obVious then wHY did You feEl the NeeD to poInt iT ouT? ONE / TALK 11:46, 18 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Awesome picture Someone at the BBC is having a laugh. In the "pope's visit in pictures" page, the first image is this. Epic win. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:43, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Brilliant! --PsyGremlinParlez! 13:00, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Can we screencap it in the original context before it disappears? --ZooGuard (talk) 13:10, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Done!. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:01, 17 September 2010 (UTC) That's so funny. (Though it shouldn't be.)--BobSpring is sprung! 14:04, 17 September 2010 (UTC) There is nothing Funny about the Picture.--Tolerance (talk) 20:07, 17 September 2010 (UTC) I tHinK itS hilAriOuS. --YossieSpring in Fialta 01:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC) Perfect material for a 'missing caption' competition. Lily Inspirate me. 08:57, 18 September 2010 (UTC) Easy "Pope figures out formula for great caption competition dialogue; 'something something something darkside... something something something complete'". theist 16:26, 18 September 2010 (UTC) ##  The effin' antichrist has landed. You'd think he was a real head of state, the way he's being treated. 09:19, 16 September 2010 (UTC) um, he is. The Vatican is a proper actual country, if only in a diplomatic sense. Totnesmartin (talk) 09:37, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Whether the Vatican should be recognized in this way has been disputed, as the Vatican's claim to nationhood is based on an particular treaty-of-convenience with Mussolini, and there is arguably no actual population of people living there as citizens; all the "residents" are citizens of other countries who happen to be employed at this one organization. Since Vatican leadership is all supposedly celibate, there's no clear reason why there would ever be a real "people" native to the Vatican anyway. A country without a native population, which is also not a proper member of the UN, is a little bit dodgy (although, granted, the UN doesn't have that much authority over such things; Switzerland wasn't a member either until 2002). It's not really clear why anyone except Italy should consider the Vatican a proper country, even for pretextual diplomatic reasons. No other religion enjoys such a status. The labeling of the Vatican as a nation-state seems to have been established by decades Catholic lobbying more than anything. --Quantheory (talk) 10:05, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Actually, certain other religions have far more power over their countries. Let's be glad that all that's left of Catholic theocracy is a small city-state. -- Nx / talk 10:30, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Well, but my point is not to complain that Catholicism has a real country that they can oppress govern (although of course they once had several), but to note that its leaders are pretending that they are a country, for no better reason than because they have millions and millions of followers and a few blocks of space carved out of their home town. I don't see the LDS church taking a couple buildings in Salt Lake City and declaring themselves to be a tiny nation-state belonging to church leadership, even if there was a really Mormon-friendly guy in the White House who'd give it to them. It's absurd. If Catholicism took over Rome, or all of Italy, that would be awful, but at least it would make sense for them to call themselves a nation at that point. --Quantheory (talk) 11:07, 16 September 2010 (UTC) If you're reading, your Holiness, welcome to Britain.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 09:49, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Still, he a brave man, to be walking around in a country with "a new and aggressive atheism". Oh that's right - he drives around in the Poop mobile. Because it seems that being god's appointed spokeman on earth doesn't make you bulletproof. --PsyGremlinPraat! 10:10, 16 September 2010 (UTC) At least the last one took getting shot at with good humour and not too personally. It's nice how they (and the UK's right wing media, well, The Daily Fail, at least) are spinning it so that it's secularists who are being aggressive. I don't want to split hairs or anything, but last I checked, secularists weren't the ones threatening people with eternal torture for not doing precisely what they say... theist 10:40, 16 September 2010 (UTC) He's live on radio 5 now. I can't hear his voice without imagine him stroking a persian cat... Totnesmartin (talk) 10:44, 16 September 2010 (UTC) The Daily Mash has got it rightSuspectedReplicant retire me 11:01, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Stephen Fry (the national fucking treasure of the UK, along with Sean Connery, Huw Edwards, Trevor McDonald, and John Lydon) was on the One Show yesterday and said, "no, the Vatican isn't really a real state," which I just found brilliant. SJ Debaser 11:56, 16 September 2010 (UTC) I think you've just named the most awesome QI line-up ever. Except for maybe Bill Bailey, Dylan Moran, Fred MacAulay and ok, Alan Davies. And on a totally unrelated note - when is the News Quiz coming back to BBC4? --PsyGremlinFale! 12:08, 16 September 2010 (UTC) The Guardian claims there's another row. Will it never end?--BobSpring is sprung! 12:22, 16 September 2010 (UTC) BBC News: Pope Touches Down in the UK Down, age 6, was not available for comment after the incident. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:23, 16 September 2010 (UTC) You are so going to hell. theist 12:36, 16 September 2010 (UTC) What gets me is that, in trying to put a spin on the "third world" gaff, said that the remark was referring to "Britain's multi-ethnic composition". To me that sounds even worse. The implication is that the multi-racial aspect of modern Britain makes it "third world", or, to put it another way, first world countries are racially pure - and preferably white. Fuck off back to Rome you bastard. Jack Hughes (talk) 12:43, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Anyone got the full context of the "third world" quote? Not the spin but the original paragraph?--BobSpring is sprung! 13:27, 16 September 2010 (UTC) This is the fullest version I can find: "England today is a secularised, pluralistic country. When you land at Heathrow Airport, you sometimes think you'd landed in a Third World country." –SuspectedReplicant retire me 13:42, 16 September 2010 (UTC) I for one, support a war of annexation against this so called "country". Sen (talk) 13:29, 16 September 2010 (UTC) All I can gather is that it was in reference to landing at Heathrow. I think the phrase was "people landing at Heathrow might think they were landing in a Third World country". It was an off-hand comment in Focus magazine, I'll see if I can track down the article. theist 13:40, 16 September 2010 (UTC) The Google translation of an article in Focus puts the quote as "England is now a secular, pluralistic country. If you land at Heathrow Airport, you sometimes think you had landed in a third world country." continuing with "Particularly in New England is an aggressive atheism spread . If you are around at British Airways and carrying a cross, you will be penalized. But we want to show our faith in public. Anyone who knows England knows that there is also a great Christian tradition. Europe would no longer be Europe if it could not maintain this tradition." theist 13:44, 16 September 2010 (UTC) So ... what was the intent? It reads like secular and pluralistic are equivalent to "third world". But I've got to say that it's difficult to believe that was his intention.--BobSpring is sprung! 13:59, 16 September 2010 (UTC) I can't gather that, even from Focus.de as the apparent original article mentioning it doesn't appear to exist. I can assume from this that it was probably an off-the-cuff and context free remark. Not sure what he actually meant by it. theist 14:04, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Ah, wait, got it; [3] In the interview in the current issue of FOCUS Kasper replied to the question of why so many Britons expressed their displeasure with the pope: "England is now a secular, pluralistic country. If you land at Heathrow Airport, you sometimes think you had landed in a third world country. "Kasper also affirmed the question of whether Christians would suffer in the kingdom, and said:" Particularly in New England is an aggressive atheism spread . If you are around at British Airways and carrying a cross, you will be penalized. But we want to show our faith in public. Anyone who knows England knows that there is also a great Christian tradition. Europe would no longer be Europe if it could not maintain this tradition." (emphasis added) I think that highlights the context, but doesn't seem to answer your question about intent. theist 14:07, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Then looking at the context it simply reads like a way to disparage or insult secular, pluralistic countries. Personally I can't read it any other way. Thanks for looking it up. I tried and failed.--BobSpring is sprung! 14:15, 16 September 2010 (UTC) The Third World remark is very odd, since developed countries are far more likely to be secular and pluralistic than developing ones. Catholicism is certainly far more prevalent in the so-called Third World. I can only conclude that the man who said it didn't have his brain on at the time.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 15:07, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Whatever the status of the Vatican, one thing is for certain: it has the highest Pope density in the world, with two Popes per square mile 212.62.5.158 (talk) 15:10, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Dammit, I missed my big chance to throw condoms at him. Ah, well, from now on, the Pope is getting steadily further away from me, increasing my overall happiness with every centimetre. Evil stupid Hoover! 15:13, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Hehe: The Pope's aide says that the UK is like a "third world country". Well, Vatican City is like the backstage of a Gary Glitter gig. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:52, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Crundy, I love you for that, but I am so not standing near you in a thunderstorm. --PsyGremlinFale! 17:14, 16 September 2010 (UTC) The Popemobile: Bullets can't get in, children can't get out. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:54, 16 September 2010 (UTC) And the hits just keep on coming. "The pontiff praised Britain's fight against the Nazis - who 'wished to eradicate God' - before relating it to modern day 'atheist extremism'. I call Godwin. Jack Hughes (talk) 16:09, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Well, actually living in the 3rd world city where he landed, I can say it's rather more pleasant than most of the godly utopias he would seem to approve of. Evil stupid Hoover! 16:55, 16 September 2010 (UTC) The Vatican is the original micronation - a contrived nation-state with no real population to speak of. They're also the only micronation with international recognition. Hey, if the Vatican deserves recognition as an independent country, so should the Principality of Sealand. And I, for one, would welcome Temple Square in Salt Lake City becoming its own independent nation, all four city blocks of it, with Thomas Monson as head of state. As long as the Vatican gets to be an independent nation it's only fair. What makes the Catholic Church so special anyhow? Secret Squirrel (talk) 20:00, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Nothing gives the Vatican legitimacy except tradition and precedent. There is a good case to be made for reappraising its status, but during an official visit by its chieftain is not the time for that reappraisal.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 08:29, 17 September 2010 (UTC) No, before his visit was the right time. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:39, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Newsflash: The pope has huge balls CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:45, 17 September 2010 (UTC) One more joke: The Popemobile caused huge traffic jams in Scotland today resulting in angry road users making their feelings known. Apparently a minibus full of school children gave him the horn. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:56, 17 September 2010 (UTC) why would England of all places welcome a Pope ? Didnt they boot his peoples out of the country and start their own Church a few hundred years ago ? Hamster (talk) 22:32, 19 September 2010 (UTC) Yes, but they're joining forces against the evil nazis atheists now. -- Nx / talk 22:34, 19 September 2010 (UTC) ###  The effin' anarchist has landed And beats down Christianity. The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 01:01, 17 September 2010 (UTC) The Pope has has Reality - Why do you Seek to Impose Yours?--Tolerance (talk) 20:10, 17 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Internet Explorer 9 Anyone download the beta yet? I've seen a screenshot of it on WP, and it looks oddly familiar.... --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 20:18, 16 September 2010 (UTC) No, i gave up on ie years ago. i didn't think anyone here still used it by choice. Totnesmartin (talk) 20:21, 16 September 2010 (UTC) People still use browsers? --151.81.175.15 (talk) 21:03, 16 September 2010 (UTC) I don't use betas, but quite frankly the whole anti-Microsoft meme is very old school. IE8 is almost as good as any other browser for compatibility (I believe only Opera passes all the tests?), and it's quick and these days it's decently secure too. These things to in phases. It used to be NetScape, then it was IE, then it was Firefox, now it's Chrome. I currently use a mix of all four because each browser does different things in different ways so suit different tasks differently. It also stops me getting the fanboy attitude for any one browser. Of course, I won't touch that filthy Apple piece of shit Safari. That's being too diverse. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 21:12, 16 September 2010 (UTC) You know what's a tired-old meme? Having to restart your computer to use a newly installed piece of software. Anyway, it must be snowing in hell, because IE doesn't suck any more. -- Nx / talk 22:00, 16 September 2010 (UTC) What were you using before that makes you think that IE8 is quick? Christ, the only thing I've seen run slower than IE8 is a fat kid chasing the Brussel Sprout van. The only time I open IE these days is when I've got no other choice and even then I'm more inclined to think 'sod it, it ain't worth the effort'.-- Jabba de Chops 23:10, 16 September 2010 (UTC) Opera - I apologise for becoming a fanboy - passes a lot of tests and was the first, with the exception of a beta release of the latest Safari, to pass Acid 3 (and IMHO its interface beats the shit out of pretty much all competitors) but it does have compatibility problems because it takes web standards very seriously. Therefore any bad hacks or patches or insane workarounds that work on IE or Firefox just plain won't work in Opera. Facebook's "@Mentions" thing didn't work until a very specific update and it still doesn't have the full compliment CSS3 features because they're not accepted web standards yet. It also has some quirks that I don't find in other browsers, so these "tests" aren't the be all and end all. How much of this is actually a browser problem and how much is due to websites being a little naughty and loose with their web standards compliance, I don't know, probably both simultaneously. theist 07:07, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Acid3 is not so important as it is hyped up to be. Firefox 4 still doesn't pass acid3, and the developers don't care, because the last few points are stuff that's low priority, e.g. SVG fonts, which are unnecessary, because Firefox supports better font formats. -- Nx / talk 07:59, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Haven't used Opera in years. In my first job when were designing websites for cross-browser compliance the general rule was "if it works in Opera it'll work in anything". I presume it's a lot better now. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 07:48, 17 September 2010 (UTC) It's still "if it works in Opera it'll work in anything". That does mean "if it works in IE or Firefox it may not work in Opera", because it's a picky f**ker. And of course, you have that annoying browser identification that tries to restrict content from Opera - I presume to mask the fact that they're not W3C compliant - but 99% of the time the ID and Masquerade settings fix that. That said, however, while redesigning my group's webpage I tried to hack captions into some of the images (my HTML and CSS has since come a long way but I've refused to update it) and it was Firefox that was the only one that displayed it wrong. The Internet said that Firefox, by virtue of being Firefox MUST be right, but IMHO, if every other major and many minor browsers are displaying it correctly and as I intended then it's Firefox that's wrong. Never mind. Opera 10 is still pretty. theist 07:53, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Opera may support "standards" but it's seriously behind in the HTML5 land. Chrome, safari and firefox are the only real options for desktop. In that order. --62.142.167.85 (talk) 08:43, 17 September 2010 (UTC) I bet you can't name 10 website that currently use HTML5 as default. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 20:34, 17 September 2010 (UTC) This IE9 is actually pretty good. And that's coming from someone who hates IE8. Impressed, to be honest. Jaxe (talk) 08:59, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Cool. I'll give it a try on my lappy. --Sir Onion Kneel before my vegetable might! 20:34, 17 September 2010 (UTC) DeviantART's Muro is apparently an HTML5 thing. Works fine with Opera that I can tell. But people should stop saying "HTML5 is here" or whatever, it's "here" in the same way that recent work into carbon nanotubes mean a space elevator is "here". It works but it's hardly widely used, fully implemented or standard at the moment. theist 15:06, 18 September 2010 (UTC) No, because ie9 requires Vista or 7. My netbook runs (quite happily, thanks) on XP. Netbooks with Win 7 get the crippleware version that won't let you change the background image (!) or plug in a DVD-ROM drive (!!!) We had an argument at the suppertable last night about how many Americans will be motivated to upgrade their OS -- for most, their computers as well -- to get a new browser. My son was arguing that people are dumber than I think they are. JonquilS (talk) 01:48, 19 September 2010 (UTC) After having a netbook for the best part of 4-5 months now, I can honestly say I don't miss the desktop image thing. There are hacks around it, of course, but I don't miss it one single bit and rarely even notice it any more. Haven't tried a DVD drive yet, but with a small amount of preparation I don't need one as its hard-disk is big enough (and I have an extra TB or so on an external one) to host rips or iso files. In short, I can't say that Windows 7 Starter is that much of a problem as you might think when you first hear about its restrictions. theist 22:36, 19 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Weird Site Came across Hidden Pleasures Exposed, which appears to be a Xian site devoted to saving Xians from the perils of internet porn. Maybe not so interesting in itself, but they certainly do present some very interesting statistics. --PsyGremlinParla! 06:43, 18 September 2010 (UTC) Interesting. I may become a Christian. I'm not sure about this statistic though: • "31% of people have had an online conversation that has led to real-time sex." Am I missing out?--BobSpring is sprung! 07:37, 18 September 2010 (UTC) "96% of teenagers admit to masturbating" And 4% are incorrigible liars. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 08:03, 18 September 2010 (UTC) Yes and yes to both of you. ħuman 08:06, 18 September 2010 (UTC) What on earth is 'real-time sex'? As opposed to 'previously compiled sex' or 'buffered sex'? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 08:46, 18 September 2010 (UTC) As opposed to 'turn-based sex'. Jaxe (talk) 09:01, 18 September 2010 (UTC) Turn-based sex can be fun, with the right equipment. 81.141.65.25 (talk) 11:39, 18 September 2010 (UTC) Nothing wrong with turn-based sex. Just make sure you enter the right hex… -- Jabba de Chops 14:24, 18 September 2010 (UTC) I've been having client-based sex on WoW for months. It's just a matter of getting right addons and peripherals. I think. 20:43, 19 September 2010 (UTC) 31% of people have had an online conversation that has led to real-time sex - one presumes that people in relationships occasionally talk to each other online. Would this count? A booty call is a booty call whether it's on a landline or by Facebook Chat. theist 16:29, 18 September 2010 (UTC) I'm rather taken by the fact that the 31% statistic is sourced to www.manhaters.com. Clearly a statistical journal of some note. --Kels (talk) 23:34, 18 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Pope joke (Only the Poms might gets this one). Last night the Pope had supper with his Cardinals. After the meal, they passed around the Under Eights. --PsyGremlinParla! 17:23, 19 September 2010 (UTC) I understand TwinKle likes an after-dinner mince. Lily Inspirate me. 17:27, 19 September 2010 (UTC) Headline reads: "Pope Touches Down In The UK" - "Down, age 6, was unavailable for comment". While it was mentioned above, it may as well get a repost with the rest. We should move on to the George Michael ones next, I have a good stock of those now. theist 17:31, 19 September 2010 (UTC) You don't have to be good at anagrams to see that Pope Benedict is an Epic Bent Pedo. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 19:33, 19 September 2010 (UTC) BBC News: Pope compares atheists with Nazis. How would he know? He's never been an atheist. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 19:37, 19 September 2010 (UTC) Wanna hear a joke? The Pope. Tetronian you're clueless 19:54, 19 September 2010 (UTC) Three fellas walk in to a bar; the pope, a paedophile and a Nazi. And a farmer and a shopkeeper. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 20:04, 19 September 2010 (UTC) In fairness, he apparently "didn't attend meetings" of the Hitler Youth, getting out of it by joining the Luftwaffe (make of that what you will) and his family got out of Nazi Germany as soon as they could. And there's no evidence that he partook of the kiddie fiddling personally, only that he headed the investigation and signed off on the subsequent whitewash. But with that out of the way, please, continue. theist 20:35, 19 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Dear Mr Ubuntu Play my DVDs or I will kick your nuts so hard you'll have two extra tonsils. Totnesmartin (talk) 20:02, 19 September 2010 (UTC) I too have had that problem, and also the problem of getting the thing to burn VIDEO DVDs. I just gave up in the end. You get what you pay for! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 20:05, 19 September 2010 (UTC) Do I bollocks. I paid for the DVD and I can't watch it. Totnesmartin (talk) 20:08, 19 September 2010 (UTC) In Germany, you aren't even allowed to hint to the necessary patches (yes, they do exist!) larronsicut fur in nocte 20:22, 19 September 2010 (UTC) I've got it to play Barbarella. Totnesmartin (talk) 20:38, 19 September 2010 (UTC) Mr Ubuntu, your 'nads are safe. Totnesmartin (talk) 20:40, 19 September 2010 (UTC) ##  Who is sticking pins in a doll of me? In the past two months or so, the following has happened to me. • I had to spend over three hundred dollars to get a headlight bulb replaced in my car (and refused to spend$500 to get the headlight autoleveling system fixed)
• I had my iMac in for repairs twice, for over a month of downtime total (they didn't fix it right the first time -- at least they didn't charge me for the second time)
• I broke up with my partner of over ten years
• And just last night, I got the Red Ring of Death on my XBox 360. I think I'm just going to replace it rather than repair it -- it's one of the original 360's.

I'm just wondering what's next -- I develop some bizarre disease that requires a Doctor House to diagnose, perhaps? MDB (talk) 11:00, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Remember that time we challenged a bunch of witches to put a curse one us? Just saying... --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 11:13, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
So, they pick the mostly harmless theist amongst this bunch? Feh.
On the good side, I do have a date a week from Saturday. It probably would have been this Saturday except I need to go to my ex's place to pick up some things that belong to me and give him back his key. We do seem to be succeeding at remaining friends, though the dynamic is different for obvious reasons. (I've not told him about my impending date. I asked him if he wanted to know if I started seeing someone, and he wasn't sure.) MDB (talk) 11:34, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Maybe you're like some modern day Job. The boils and sores will be next, just in time for your date if whatever deity has a sense of comic timing. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 13:46, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
BTW, if your SexBox is one the originals and has a full RROD (not just the power supply one) you can usually fix it easily with an X-Clamp. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:49, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Sadly, I am complete incompetent when it comes to mechanical work, so I'm just going to get a new one. (Fortunately, one of my co-workers has a data transfer kit he's going to loan me so I can pull the data off the old hard drive.) But yes, it is an original XBox 360 -- I got mine about a month after it came out. MDB (talk) 13:55, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I'll have it if you're throwing it! I can build my evil army of Xboxes even more MWAHAHAHA!!! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:58, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
You pay shipping and it's yours, if you're serious.
I suppose I shouldn't complain too much about the iMac repair, though. The first time I took it in, they replaced the video card, and the new one failed in three days. As it turned out, the mother board had a flaw that was frying the video card. So, both should have been replaced. But since they didn't fix it right the first time, they didn't charge me at all for the second repair. So, I got the mother board and video card replaced for just the cost of the video card. (And they didn't charge me for service the first time, just for the card itself.) So, I paid about $400 for$1300 in repairs.
Now, that doesn't excuse the fact it took them almost three weeks to do the second repair. Not only that, it was ready on the 9th, but I only found out it was ready when I checked the status at Apple's web site on the 12th. They never bothered to call me and let me know it was done. MDB (talk) 15:31, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh bollocks, you're a yank. For some reason I thought you were a limey. Who am I confusing you with now? Well, as much as I'l love to rip apart an Xbox and fix it up, I suspect the shipping will be a bit too much. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:37, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Even if I did ship it, would a US XBox work on the other side of the pond? MDB (talk) 15:40, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Would probably "work", but wouldn't be able to play UK games on it. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:50, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Also, mains voltage is wrong. Gonna run a bit warm over there. ħuman 00:34, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Is that still an issue? Doesn't your IT gear come with auto-sensing or switchable power supplies?  Lily Inspirate me. 17:32, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Not much of it does, no. I suspect the different markets are big enough to justify the cost-savings of fewer parts for any high production items. Oddly, my ADAT tape recorders work from something like 90 to 250 volts, with no switches to play with. ħuman 21:09, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I am not familiar with these Xboxi, but I understand that they do not have their own display screen and are dependent on a TV. Wouldn't the PAL/NTSC difference affect the display? 22:52, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Most TVs these days can handle both PAL and NTSC signals. Mine certainly can. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:19, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I think a TV built to handle PAL can do NTSC easily, since it's lower quality. Not so much the other way 'round though. ħuman 21:04, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
If you're using component or HDMI I think you don't have to worry about NTSC or PAL. Aphoxema (talk) 21:15, 20 September 2010 (UTC)