RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive135

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A passing note[edit]

Today I copied in one of the most skeptical articles from Wikipedia then set about fixing it up to local standards. I did write some of it myself at WP. I also noticed previous attempts to make the W cite templates work, so brought a few things across because I know they work and use them on my own wiki. The article was tagged for deletion then nuked by the tagger before I got a chance to make the first edit or even see the discussion or respond on my talk page, and the templates were zapped leaving redshit everywhere before I had a chance to untemplate the cites.

As a card-carrying evil deletionist bastard admin on Wikipedia this exceeds even my best work, and I congratulate you. What you have basically done is to tell me, with actions if not words, that I am a useless cunt and should fuck off back to Wikipedia where I belong. If that wasn't your intention then perhaps you might want to think for a few seconds on how you managed to give that impression.

I don't claim to be anyone special but I have a fair history of kicking the shit out of homeopaths, Truthers and other nutters on Twitter and on Wikipedia (and elsewhere). I really don't appreciate being treated like some snot-nosed kid.

Since you evidently don't want to hear about the toxic industrial chemical marketed as Miracle Mineral Supplement I have nuked it. JzG (talk) 00:57, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Start again in your user space. Can't go wrong with that--"Shut up, Brx." 01:10, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
(EC)You should have asked about using WP cite templates here, because if you didn't notice, they are not currently used in any of our 6,870 mainspace articles. Did it cross your mind that there be some kind of reason for that, even if the reason is purely practical in nature? Uke Blue 01:14, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I've never liked WP's cite templates, which result in spaghetti cites in the article and which I don't think even came into being there until 2006 or 2007 (I really miss Wikipedia circa 2003-04, wish someone would just revert the entire site to January 1, 2005 and start over...no weird templates, no userboxes, good wandalism was appreciated and memorialized at BJAODN, IPs could create new articles, no Twinkle, no 10 year olds playing "recent changes patroller" and putting cop icons on their user pages, voting for deletion was honestly called Votes For Deletion, and you used to be able to put snark and humorous easter eggs in articles without being stalked and blocked within the hour by some admin who hadn't even been born yet when West Virginia gave its electoral votes to Dukakis...) otoh, this particular article was much needed on RW and really just needed some cleanup. Next time it should be cleaned up before pasting. That is all... Secret Squirrel (talk) 01:48, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Same old shit, 'nother drive-by critic trying to guilt trip the whole community about some content dispute that only involved a couple of people. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 02:18, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
He's a new user. Back off.--"Shut up, Brx." 02:27, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Let's bite the newbies! Let's BITE them! Draw some blood! (((Zack Martin))) 02:23, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

No. No he's not. PintOfStout Talk Good people drink good beer. 02:30, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
He's not a newbie in sense of age, but his edit count is only 54 — so he is a sort of quasi-newbie. (((Zack Martin))) 02:35, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
(EC) You beat me to it, PoS. Check your facts, Mara & Brx. & When somebody implicitly accuses the whole community of calling him/her a cunt over some incident that most of us don't even know/care about, why back off from calling him/her out on his/her shit? WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 02:36, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
My bad, you guys are right (about him not being new)--"Shut up, Brx." 02:38, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
He's an old newbie. (((Zack Martin))) 02:45, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

On the cite templates[edit]

Do we want these here or not? JzG the Martyr is far from the first person to bring these across and each time there is a little back and forth and sometimes they get deleted and sometimes not. Simple question do we want these. Pro we have uniform citation styles Con they are a fucking pain in the arse to use and someone if they are bored can get all citations in an article in the same style with a little formatting without having to fuck around with code, also we will be wankers with uniform citations. - π Moderator 01:57, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Encyclopedias need uniform citations, not us. We really only need the bare minimum required to verify a citation - a URL with a title, or any combination of book title, author and page number, for instance. Uke Blue 02:03, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any real harm in importing them, as long as we aren't expected to actually use them. There may be people who use them out of habit from WP. That said, we don't really need them either. Secret Squirrel (talk) 02:16, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
It wouldn't be long before someone goes around changing all the articles to use them. Then it will become the preferred method. Eventual set in stone that we use them. - π Moderator 02:34, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
In which case, don't import them. Secret Squirrel (talk) 02:37, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
@Pi - I don't think so. Even though we have specialized stub templates, people still generally just use {{stub}}. And me and a few others have to go through every month or so and change them. Uke Blue 03:03, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I thought that was a bot. - π Moderator 01:22, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
No to importing WP citation templates which are huge & complicated & most features of which would never be used here. Also no to anything than facilitates stuff being copy-pasted from WP, as it's not a good trend to start. If we're going to use citation templates at all, we should build our own & make them no more elaborate than they need to be. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 02:21, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
WP templates have attractions but the associated complexity, I think, does not serve our purposes. We are small wiki. Let's keep things to scale. --MtDPinko Scum 03:02, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
My somewhat inebriated 2 cents: if people want to use the fucking templates let the use the fucking templates. Are we going to be template Nazis now? Are we gong to take a Schlafyesque "Wikipedia does this so we won't" attitude? "We don't need uniform citations, therefore get rid of templates that do things differently from how we currently do them"? "Someone at some point might change citations in other articles, therefore they will eventually be forced upon all of us against our will"? I thought we were supposed to eschew excessive rulemaking here. Jesus. DickTurpis (talk) 03:35, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
But we're not Wikipedia. Why should we use their templates? Shouldn't we develop templates according to our needs, not because they do it in the Other Place? --MtDPinko Scum 03:39, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
So if someone from RW developed the templates independently we'd keep them but because they existed somewhere else first we don't? We use WP code all the time, don't we? is using a template that much different? DickTurpis (talk) 03:42, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Look if you're going to make sense with valid points and such then I'm not playing. Instead I'm going to queer the pitch. Do we need all those templates? Don't we have enough already? Huh? Huh? --MtDPinko Scum 03:49, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Yeah, we need to make our citations more uniform and templates are the right way to do that. But WP's citation templates are horribly complex, and I agree with Weaseloid that we should make our own that are no more elaborate than we need them to be. -- Nx / talk 10:04, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

+1- π Moderator 12:14, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, they are complex. They are also pretty solidly debugged by now. That's why I use them on my own wiki. Incidentally, I'm not claiming to be a martyr, just pissed off that you guys seem to use hobnailed boots as an educational tool. I really thought this place was classier than that, which might just be my misunderstanding having been encouraged here by David Gerard, who has a good way with clueless n00bs. I am fairly sure that the sort of thing I want to write is the sort of thing you want to see (f'rinstance I started the Power Balance article on WP and have made several successful complaints to regulators, eBay and others about advertising for alt-med woo-merchants), and I had no idea that you have this thing against content from WP - as it was put to me on my talk this is because WP is too neutral and uses questionable sources, which was exactly why I was bringing it here, beefing up the critical content and using the cite templates so I could refine the sourcing. In case you didn't get the message: I despise quackery.
Whatever the intent, it all came across as an extremely aggressive slapdown, treating a middle-aged professional with at least some history here like some obnoxious snotty teenaged kid. I got better treatment as an anon on Conservapedia, in fact. If you don't want to hear that message then by all means circle the wagons, stick your fingers in your ears and chant "laa laa I'm not listening", I'm just telling you that from my perspective this came across as unnecessarily rude and confrontational behaviour and the assumption of good faith was not much in evidence. I now have reservations about encouraging my skeptic friends to come here and edit, in case they get slapped down too. I was kind of hoping that I would not need to do my four hjour "how to edit Wikipedia without being banninated in the first day" talk for people I want to send here, now I'm not so sure. It's a wiki, folks, it's supposed to be easy for people to move in form the outside and become vested contributors, and the byzantine rule structure is one of the strongest and most valid criticisms of Wikipedia.
Right, off to do out of hours support for a SAP migration. Laters, JzG (talk) 10:36, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but 1) the wp templates are ginormous and complex, and contain features that we are unlikely to use, and 2) they carry a lot of baggage with them, including maintenance categories and other templates, and thanks to the complex code it is difficult to find these. Unfortunately, some of these are not listed in "Templates used in this preview" because they appear in includeonly sections or in if or switch clauses, so you'll only find them by going over the code carefully or by noticing a red link accidentally. For example, did you copy over Template:Citation error? Did you create Category:Pages containing cite templates with deprecated parameters? Do we actually need that category, which would require creating more categories etc?
I really thought this place was classier than that No, it's not, unfortunately. -- Nx / talk 10:47, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Nx, WP's templates use multiple nesting which is a nightmare to work through. Now there are some template nerds at WP who delight in getting things just right so that they can be used across the whole site. WP Is an encyclopedia which has millions of articles so need to be presented in a uniform way. We are a small wiki and are much freer to have some variation. I think it is important that we should be able to manage ourselves so overly complex templates should be resisted; templates should be fit for purpose. As for importing articles from WP, it has long been recognised that WP usually does things in much greater depth than us so we don't try to compete on that front. WP has a NPOV policy while we deal with topics in a different manner so importing stuff directly from WP is not something we condone unless we can put our own stamp on it. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 10:56, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
+1- π Moderator 12:14, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Oh fuck off you gigantic sissy. As if we needed you to swan in and tell us how the whole wiki thing is done. You might have dozens of wannabe admins over at WP sucking you enormous cock but that's not the way it works around here. Consult before you make changes, asshole. --MtDPinko Scum 10:39, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
+1 - π Moderator 12:14, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Really Pi? You endorse this comment? Someone with anger management problems telling a useful contributor and relative newbie with good intentions to fuck off? -- Nx / talk 14:20, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Not really, it was more a reaction to you collapsing it. I am sure JzG is man/woman/therian enough to be able to handle being told to fuck off. If he is not, RationalWiki is probably not a place he wants to edit. - π Moderator 01:15, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but we want him to edit here. -- Nx / talk 01:24, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
That is up to him really. People that waltz into the community page and give us lectures on how to run a wiki that we have been running for nearly five year are going to receive a baptism of fire. - π Moderator 01:31, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
We did pretty bad in the don't bite the newbies department. Besides, isn't a moderator's job to keep discussions from veering off in directions that are harmful to the community and the site? -- Nx / talk 01:55, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Nx doesn't like complex techy stuff unless he can control it and understand it. steriletalk 13:01, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I confess, you got me. -- Nx / talk 14:20, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Seems to me the whole situation could've been handled a lot better. A few words on a talk page rather than (or at least before) wholesale flushing would go a long way. Do we have some guidelines about this sort of thing somewhere easy to find? Simple instructions like "Don't import articles from WP or other sources. If you want to use a WP article as a basic framework for an RW rewrite, put it in your userspace while you work on it"? DickTurpis (talk) 15:58, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree, I've not followed the whole thing but it seems to me that we may have driven away a new editor who was prepared to contribute in good faith.--BobSpring is sprung! 16:11, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Cite templates would be nice - they work great and make things look pretty. They're nightmarish horrors to open up and look inside, though. If MediaWiki adopted Brainfuck as its new templating script it would be an improvement. Also, I never use cite templates myself on WP, leaving them for someone who cares - David Gerard (talk) 00:43, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

I think cite templates would only really be worth it if we had a script that helped people insert them, like Nx's HotRate gadget. Seme Blue 02:14, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

The correct answer for JzG[edit]

What I did was edit like hell and swear at people a lot. Also, hang out here. It works pretty well - David Gerard (talk) 00:43, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Well done David. Joining RationalWiki is like joining the French Foreign Legion, we strip you of your identity, set you up to fail and then blame you, break you down until you are nothing like yourself, and the rebuild you as a RationalWikian. - π Moderator 01:12, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Jesus fucking Christ[edit]

The most over the top fast food dishes of 2011 --"Shut up, Brx." 01:11, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Dear Americans, please get over your obsession with fast food. Not only does it make you fat, it is also tasteless crap. Hey look, I'm fat as a heifer, but at least my obesity is fuelled by Bourgonne and Truffle Brie... If you are going to kill yourself through food, please at least do so with some style. (((Zack Martin))) 02:22, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I reckon there is one or two things on that list I would eat, put a few drinks in me and maybe two more. Not impressed. - π Moderator 02:55, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I'd eat all of that. /me is a disgusting, chubby American. Fallacy (talk) 02:56, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I'd eat any of those too, and I'm a perfectly healthy (1kg above normal mass for my height) European. What "makes you fat" is eating too much food. The fast food joints get a disproportionately bad reputation because people are snobs. Hand made potted bacon and corned beef for $20 per serving as a starter gets a free pass because that's for rich people, while a similar energy intake from a burger and fries that anybody could afford gets tutted at. Having tried both, and being comfortable enough financially not to worry about the cost difference, they were both tasty and I value both experiences. And I think it'd be an equally bad idea to have either for lunch every day. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 10:08, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Well people I think we have it. Case closed. --MtDPinko Scum 10:11, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
A person with taste will eat good food if they can afford it. A person without taste will not eat good food even if they can afford it easily. (((Zack Martin))) 10:19, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
On Friday I saw an interview with the winner of the BBC's Masterchef: The professionals, an Australian called Ash Mair, whose food was highly praised by Michel Roux Jr. When asked by the interviewer Ash admitted that he liked cheap greasy hotdogs in a white bread roll. Even one of the Roux brothers when interviewed on Desert Island Discs many years ago said that his favourite dish was egg and chips (fries). Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 11:03, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

I used to cook for a living and fondly recall the smell of chicken in the pressure fryer. there is a simple joy in fried food. Of course my grandfather was an okie so Fried Food!! was a major food group when i grew up. Baron Skippy (talk) 06:33, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

"Pope Benedict XVI seems worn out."[edit]

Breaking News: "85 year old man is having troubles"--il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 04:43, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

a) That's what she said. (yes, I went there); and
b) Here are the laws for Papal resignation. Oh, come on Palpatine, do it! Osaka Sun (talk) 05:30, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
We have to use this ruby slippers photo for something in our article. Looks like a Judy Garland moment. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:21, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

How To Vote?[edit]

Here in Australia when you go to vote there is a bevvy of helpful little persons standing outside the polling booth with useful cards instructing the dull elector on How To Vote. Why don't we have this here? I mean I can't tell any of the candidates apart. And don't direct me to that shitty campaigning page. It's like the COOP.

Fuck that shit.

Tell me HiveMind, out of all these terribly nice candidates for whom should I vote? --MtDPinko Scum 09:36, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

inB4 Vote for Ace. -- Nx / talk 09:43, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
(EC) Ace is from UnZud. Handsome fellow but I'd shoot myself in the face before I'd vote for a Kiwi. It's a Strayan thing. --MtDPinko Scum 09:49, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Vote for Maratrean, for a more rational RationalWiki. Blue, Colonel Sanders, DickTurpis, ListenerX and Nx also have my endorsement. (((Zack Martin))) 09:48, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I was totally going to vote for you Zac but you futzed me up with an edit conflict. You are dead to me. That said, I look very favourably on Blue and the good Colonel. Turpy Dick as well. --MtDPinko Scum 09:52, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I should like to have it known that if Maratrean is elected, I'm burning the place down for the insurance money. Thanks. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 10:09, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Heh. Imagine if he actually was elected? Oh mercy! :D --MtDPinko Scum 10:14, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Burn, baby, burn!!!! (((Zack Martin))) 10:14, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Insurance money? What's this place valued at, $12? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 02:22, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Over $35,000 apparently. But are we insured? DickTurpis (talk) 03:27, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
--MtDPinko Scum 10:22, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Kim Jong-il dead[edit]

And I think I speak for a lot of us when I deliver a gigantic "Fuck You" for everything. Uke Blue 03:17, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

YEP. But now all my cousins are like: Soooo...I hear his son is worse.--Dumpling (talk) 03:19, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Crazy boy Kim's dead? What?--Colonel Sanders (talk) 03:20, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, now someone needs to do the fuck-you-logy. Uke Blue 03:22, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Obviously Kim Jung Il died decades ago. You've been buying liberal claptrap for years. DickTurpis (talk) 03:24, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
LOL, thank goodness. Osaka Sun (talk) 03:28, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
One of Kim Jong-Il's sons (and his named successor at the time) was busted trying to sneak into Disneyland Japan on a fake passport. I mention this entirely unrelated story because I find it absolutely hilarious. Also it'll be interesting to see how well the cult of personality handles the transition to a third Kim; Kim Jong-Il's was more a continuation of his fathers, he never really managed to build up his own cult. X Stickman (talk) 03:34, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Hehe...Now he's chillin' with Gaddafi and Bin Laden. The things they'll plan over a game of poker.--Dumpling (talk) 03:44, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
There's actually red-baiting going on Twitter. Are people that retarded? Osaka Sun (talk) 04:04, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Everyone welcome the Lawful and Celestially Born Empress Dumpling to the throne of the newly declared Empire of North Korea. Hollow (talk) 04:09, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That sounds awesome Hollow. Lawful and Celestially Born Empress? XDDDDDD--Dumpling (talk) 04:11, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Don't normally like to be happy over someone's death, but I'll make an exception here. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 04:18, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Necessary. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:51, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

And quite fitting.--Dumpling (talk) 04:55, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Hitch on North Korea is simply brilliant. I have to post this video of his trip to visit the land of the Dear Leader. DamoHi 04:54, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
WOOOW~ Nice.--Dumpling (talk) 04:55, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Hitch snuck in North Korea? Wow respect. Didn't know it was that crazy. ~ Lumenos (talk) 05:57, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
EddyP Great King! Disaster! 04:58, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
That's some creepy shit. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:16, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
I now have bouncing marchers burned into my techno music memories. A perfect union. It is amazing how disciplined people can make great achievement while ignoring things like how crazy the political/religious leader is. ~ Lumenos (talk) 05:57, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

North Korea reporting this[edit]

One wouldn't expect them to actually admit something like this. No doubt the man died a while ago, and only now they've admitted it. Mr. Anon (talk) 06:11, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

No. The North Koreans don't usually lie about such things. They don't because they already had one succesion. This wasn't the guy that founded this state this was just a guy that kept it running. That said, it is reported that he died on Saturday. --ʤɱ constructivist 11:12, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

And for other "fair and balanced" sources[edit]

When will Fox News be reporting, "Obama failed to kill Kim Jong-Il"? MDB (talk) 13:25, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

It rhymes! Vulpius (talk) 15:00, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
President Obama
Failed to kill
Korean dictator
Kim Jong-Il
Burma Shave
DickTurpis (talk) 15:11, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Does it rhyme? I thought it was pronounced "Jong-Eel". MDB (talk) 15:13, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't be surprised if Faux told Obama to go to Kimmy's funeral. Osaka Sun (talk) 15:14, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
DT reveals his age. I loved it, thanks! -- Seth Peck (talk) 19:55, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Is the mourning real or not?[edit]

It's not hard to find footage of North Koreans mourning Kim's death at a hysterical level.

Is it real or not? It's widely believed that the North Korean's are probably the most brainwashed people on Earth, but it's also know that they'd sent to a gulag or worse if they didn't do anything other than sob upon learning the "Dear Leader" is burning in hell for all eternitydead. MDB (talk) 15:04, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Top YT video right now.. If it's legit, we put it right into the personality cult article. Osaka Sun (talk) 15:10, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
The footage is legit, but the crying is very unconvincing for the most part. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:39, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
you can also see people wondering around uncarring in the background.

If the sun is rising, that means it's real  :-) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:33, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

So what happens to North Korea now?[edit]

Seoul is on nuke alert. If Kim's morbidly obese son is just as bad as his father, what do you do? Continue to leave the country isolated or engage in peace talks? Osaka Sun (talk) 17:24, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Ohh please, the South goes on alert every time a fly comes over the border. Kim Jeong-eun (Kim Jong-un for those who don't care about correct transliteration) is intelligent enough to know the same thins that Kim Jong-il knew: he's alone. Neither China nor Russia will risk a world war over Korea, and so if anything bad happens he'd fucked, hunted down and massacred. My guess is he will go the way China, Vietnam and seemingly Cuba are going: slowly granting more rights while retaining the power of the party, getting investors into the country. There won't be any peace talks though, because both Koreas retain that they are the legitimate government over all of Korea and both Koreas would have to give that claim up and recognize the other state diplomatically. If the South goes that government will be harshly criticized for letting millions of Koreans be oppresed and hungry if the North would give in decades of indoctrination would lead to people look at Kim Jeong-eum as a sissy. So no, both have would lose to much to give in, but not starting a war is enough right to lighten up about on both sides for now. --ʤɱ kant 20:22, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
NK and US were just about to complete talks and a deal on relief in the form of food in exchange for suspension of their nuclear arms program. Now what happens to those starving emaciated kids? -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:59, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Cox[edit]

Damn cross I missed this last night:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3-54HaWakM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRb1GIhvwUk

Mrs K. isn't a fan so I missed it also. However, it's available on iPlayer if you are in the UK or have a UK IP/VPN. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 11:05, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Not in the UK until next week. We have Freesat here - I just didn't know it was on until I saw a clip on the BBC website this morning. It may be repeated later this week. Ajkgordon (talk) 11:13, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
It wasn't that amazing to be honest. He tried to cover a lot of ground in an hour, and I think confused some people, or at least left them behind in a couple of places. A good solid effort, but a lot of it amounted to 'take my word for it'. Worth a watch, but don't bust a gut. Worm (talk) 11:49, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
It's not so much the content as seeing a middle-ranking scientist being feted by celebrities. That and seeing a scientist with "star" character is a rarity that should be cherished. They may not be the best scientists but we need them more than ever. Ajkgordon (talk) 13:48, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Anyone who can persuade kids that science can be both cool and fun has to be welcomed. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 14:08, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. Ajkgordon (talk) 14:25, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
The guy makes me squirm (he's too nice) but popularising science is a "good thing", any attempts should be applauded. (Specially if it involves making Jno Ross look stupid.) Scream!! (talk) 14:31, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
As an intro to quantum mechanics I thought it was pretty good. He constantly tied it into "we have evidence for this". Even if people got left behind on some of the QM stuff, the general message of "this is what science is" wasn't lost. QM and pop science I always find to be a dangerous combination, but he successfully avoided the usual trope of "it's spooky and mysterious and makes no sense", indeed he inverted it by arguing how such mystery and uncertainty makes us understand the world better. There were times when I was crying out for that next step (for instance, he jumped from particle-in-a-box to molecular orbital theory pretty sharpish) but I spent 4 years getting to know this stuff, anyone who can condense so much in an hour without lying through their arse about the theory gets unconditional respect. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:21, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
That was just lovely! if only because he said over adn over "QM is not WOO".  :-) Eztv has it up. hd Night with stars. They also have a PDtv version as well. --Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 03:06, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
OK, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QboBGoAuf8A Ajkgordon (talk) 20:49, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Drunken atheist parents[edit]

My 7 year old niece told her teacher, unprompted, that her mother hates god but loves wine. Bless her AMassiveGay (talk) 19:40, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Sounds like your sister (or sister-in-law) has her priorities correct, unless she's truly an alcoholic (what's the difference between a drunk and an alcoholic? Us drunks don't have to go to all those fucking meetings). -- Seth Peck (talk) 19:54, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
No she isn't an alcoholic. You are a drunk if you are an alcoholic. Occassional drunkeness doesn't count AMassiveGay (talk) 20:07, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Pratchett nailed the difference between a drunk and an alcoholic with
'I believe you were an alcoholic Sir Samuel' 'No,' said Vimes. 'I was a drunk. You have to be richer than I was to be an alcoholic'
I am a Socialist. You are all drunks. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:37, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Houston, we have a housing bubble.[edit]

Does this look anyway like the US one? Osaka Sun (talk) 20:03, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Grammar and different types of words and whatnot[edit]

Anyone know of a good (e-)book (preferably cheap) or website/series of web articles that explains the different types of words, sentence structure, and all the other finer points of English grammar and linguistics theory? Nothing too simple -- I am a native English speaker after all; I just want to understand why something is correct, as simply knowing intuitively why isn't good enough for me anymore. Fallacy (talk) 20:30, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Classic. PintOfStout Talk Good people drink good beer. 20:36, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Are we talking about straight up linguistic rules here, or a lingustics book about the history, development and forms of English? I'm a bit confused. --ʤɱ libertarian 20:57, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't want a book that just gives straight-up rules or history, but instead explains what makes up the English language and how it works from a linguistical point of view. Maybe also just linguistics in general, as I'm planning to do some stuff with language in my stories. Fallacy (talk) 21:00, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
A classic, yes, but see this. EDIT: The author of that entertaining piece, by the way, has what appears to be a promising book on grammar that does what you're talking about. Junggai (talk) 21:14, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
<soapbox> I go to a local book store where all the used books they sell are $2 for paperback/$4 for hardcover, and I'm ALWAYS seeing books on language, style, etymology and grammar there, as well as lots of textbooks on the same/similar subjects. I like being able to support a local business that is also recycling knowledge in the form of reusing books. </soapbox> -- Seth Peck (talk) 21:20, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Very seriously, try Bryson's "The Mother Tongue" - he's very readable and will answer many of your questions - while giving you a good laugh along the way. Bad Faith (talk) 22:01, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
linguistics text that focuses on English for examples. a favorite of mine - sorta the history of english, but in pop not academic style Cambridge encyclopedia of English languae Great book for debunking things you've heard about English and language another from the Cambridge series. They use this in the classes I used to take, but i've not read it And I second "mother tongue"; great read. --Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 23:14, 19 December 2011 (UTC) Mother Tongue the link, in case you want to read.
A site I use a lot is Improve Your Writing at the University of Bristol. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 23:56, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll be sure to check some of them out. Fallacy (talk) 01:45, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
You can learn good style by looking at bad style: Reasoning with Vampires being a personal favourite. Scarlet A.pngmoral 02:17, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
You were just looking for an excuse to link that, weren't you? Fallacy (talk) 02:20, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Hey, it's a really good excuse. Osaka Sun (talk) 09:36, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I'd also suggest Bryson's Mother Tongue as well as Made in America for you Merkins. Eats Shoots and Leaves is another must to understanding the language, although that deals with punctuation. --PsyGremlinTala! 11:37, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Of course. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 13:22, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
The Usenet newsgroup alt.usage.english has a good FAQ: http://alt-usage-english.org/fast_faq.shtml Pashley (talk) 03:00, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Fourteen thousand US deaths blamed on Fukushima[edit]

Emergency debunking required ??? PintOfStout Talk Good people drink good beer. 21:59, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Counterpoint made back in June when they asserted that there would be a 35% increase in infant mortality. I'm not sure of the sources, though--they're probably good assuming the Nuclear Energy Institute is legitimate science and not a front for corporate whoredom (I'm not saying they are, I simply don't know). EDIT: I didn't read the whole article...that is, I missed the updates on the bottom of the page, which reflect a lot of disdain from the science community at large, including independent and government sources of scrutiny. Cherry picking appears to be the #1 flaw of the argument. -- Seth Peck (talk) 22:17, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't know much about this, but 14,000 sounds amazingly unreasonable, when there havn't even been that many deaths in the Japan area. How do you decide if an infant's death is related to some (extreme low, per most experts) fallout?--Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 23:05, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Some of the comments about this report that I noticed were that a different range of dates much earlier BEFORE the disaster actually had more total deaths in the US than the time period they studied before and after the disaster, with no reasonable way to explain it against such a theory; and that the two scientists involved in the studies, while having impeccible credentials, have been in the limelight before for other problems with their studies, such as problems in methodology. -- Seth Peck (talk) 23:14, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
IN other words, if you randomly take any given set of months, there might be peaks and those peaks will be largely unexplained, fall out or not? --Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 23:20, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
'How do you decide if an infant's death is related to some (extreme low, per most experts) fallout?' - your ambulance chasing lawyer will, don't worry AMassiveGay (talk) 23:26, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
It's a massively under-reinforced point about epidemiology that you really can't tell this sort of thing (at least not without some very, very fucking good data). Follow the example given in this article for example; intensive doses of ibruprofen may cause 12 deaths per 1000 instead of 10 per 1000 - but it is absolutely impossible to say which two of those 12 were "caused" by the drug. It's a statistical likelihood thing, our easy to narrate idea of cause-and-effect emphatically does not apply. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 01:44, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Barring some known cause such as 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina...I imagine so. The research appears to try to tie a causal link to infant/elderly mortality rates to the amount of radiation in air, water and milk, but it doesn't show a causal link. Also, I think one would have to show higher mortality rates in areas that receive higher fallout. The United States is pretty spread out; that is, any effects east of the Great Divide (which, aside from Alaska, is most of the country's land mass) would have to have come from fallout that had to first pass OVER the divide, and in rivers it would be becoming more diluted as it went downstream and mixed with other non-irradiated tributaries. I don't see the study anywhere (ip filters at work prevent me from watching videos and doing certain things), so I can't be certain about what they're trying to assert.
But it seems to me that what would have been seen if this WERE true, particularly in the Northwest, would have been a mortality increase in the two or three weeks following the disaster (and all of the increases therein--increased overtime at hospitals, bed shortages, etc), followed by a drop off as radiation levels returned toward baseline levels...and I seem not to recall anything like that. However, 14,000 is a small number compared to, say, the populations of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, so it may not have appeared horribly endemic. -- Seth Peck (talk) 23:36, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
(EC)Extremely fishy number just going by the straight figures (much less trying to figure out what radiation went where) -- annual deaths from traffic accidents in the US are about 45,000. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:39, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
By teh way, at such low levels, radiation does not kill you. even the weak. it makes you more prone to disease, it weakens you, etc. but it does not kill you. Do we know that radiation levels went up in the US following the accident?Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 00:33, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I was going to make the same point. Radiation kills in a short time when there is a massive exposure, any after-effects that there might be in the US would not be expected to show up for many years. Of course, as there is some evidence that low radiation might actually be beneficial then the results might not be what they expect. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 08:41, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
The usual model is a linear model, but not because we think the effects of radiation actually are linear, just because we don't have many good data points and a linear model is better than nothing when you have no good evidence to pick something else. But yeah, the top-level figures here remind me of anti-nuclear people saying Chernobyl has caused this tremendous number of deaths because there were a lot of people in the area and now a lot of those people are dead. They are reluctant to compare it to attending a 1986 Rod Stewart concert or any other event 25 years ago which might make their figures less impressive. There is some data which could suggest higher background levels are good for you, but that probably doesn't mean getting an extra chest X ray every year for no reason is healthy. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 13:26, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Slight correction: at the levels detected in the US, the radiation simply has no effect at all. If an effect cannot be detected, it's not there. It recently struck me that claiming that very low level radiation (or more precisely, a difference in exposure which is hundreds of times less than the natural variation in background radiation) does have an effect, but it is too small to detect is actually somewhat like saying that there are time travelers from the future among us, but we can't spot them. That people would seriously consider whether this turd is true speaks volumes about the level of FUD the anti-nukes have managed to spread. Even Chernobyl killed around 60 people, plus an estimated 4000 cancer deaths over several decades, which is a ~2% increase in the exposed group. Fukushima not only released 10x less radiation, but the vast majority of it was released as a solution of radionuclides to the sea, where no one could be exposed to it and it was quickly diluted to background levels.
I recently came across an article about the Abukuma river, which said the river carried up to 50 billion becquerels of cesium per day. The article forgot to mention that this river carries, on average, over 10 billion litres of water per day, so the specific activity was only 5 Bq/l - ten times less radioactive by volume than a normal human. Almost every article about Fukushima is like that: uninformed and misled journalists spreading fear of things they can't themselves understand and put in perspective. --Tweenk (talk) 00:27, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
It's sad you have to ask. --145.94.77.43 (talk) 05:46, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Question for writers[edit]

I have a question for those of you consider yourself both good and careful (about vocab, how you structure your sentences and paras, etc.) writers. What to you is the differences between "Bob followed Tim", and "Tim lead Bob", (or in a construction with same vocab, "bob chassed tim" "Tim was chased by Bob". The reason I'm asking is that in ASL, those are signed identically, because of the use of space and indexing. Leaving me wondering if there is a real distinction in meaning, when you are a careful, skilled speaker/writer. --Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 00:39, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

To me there's a difference. Although it's possible that they could mean the same thing, "Bob followed Tim" could imply that Bob is the one taking the initiative for the action (e.g., Tim may not know that Bob is trailing along behind), while "Tim led Bob" could imply that Bob is coming along at Tim's urging or direction. It would also depend on context, of course. This is not to say I'm billing myself as a careful and skilled writer. Doctor Dark (talk) 00:51, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
When "following" Tim, it's possible that Bob doesn't know where Tim is going. Also, "following" to me suggests that Bob is physically behind Tim, where as if Tim "leading" Bob, they could be walking side-by-side, or Tim could even be letting Bob walk in front. -- Seth Peck (talk) 01:29, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
In the first example the difference is who the focus is on. If previously you're talking a lot about Bob or that Bob is being your POV character, you'd probably use the former. And, of course, vice versa if you're from the perspective of Tim - even when writing 3rd person you still have to focus on one person and not jump around too much. The second example looks more like that old bollocks with active and passive voice, but same principle applies. IMHO. Scarlet A.pngtheist 01:38, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
What they said. Literally, they both mean the same thing, but language is also about implications and context. A good rule of thumb is to use whatever feels more right. Fallacy (talk) 01:47, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Here's a good summary about appropriate types of situations for active versus passive constructs. Uke Blue 02:02, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, not worried about passive voice, that's fully irrelevant to the question at hand. It doesn't happen often but there are a few situations where we have paired verbs. Lead/follow, come with/go with, etc., where the meaning doesn't change if you switch who is the grammatical subject. Since ASL does not have gramatical subjects, and since in a few select constructions of these pairs there is no difference when you sign them, I'm just trying to understand how best to describe what is being signed when I translate. --Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 03:09, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
You asked about the semantic difference between active and passive constructs. It was your second example: "Tim chased Bob, or Bob was chased by Tim." Uke Blue 04:41, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
No, I really didn't. I didn't bring up passive voice at all. I asked about the contextual difference between putting one name before another when working with noun pairs like "follow/lead" or "chase/be chased". And what good or careful writers do, when they are being intentional about that choice. Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 14:31, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
When translating you should try to judge individual situations from context. But as with any translator it's possible you will lack some important context, take a guess and later be forced to backtrack. e.g. you are translating from a language that doesn't mark for gender, to one which does and you translate a story about an unnamed secretary to a senior official, whom you don't know. You must assign them a gender to translate even the word "secretary" in your target language, so you pick male. But then as the story continues they get pregnant! Fallacy has it pretty bang on, do what sounds right in the target language and don't sweat the small stuff. Most people aren't bastards and will stick to readily translatable stuff like "We welcome you to our home" or "Tell us where the money is hidden" rather than making obscure references or jokes with puns in them. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 13:09, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm just hitting some of the more interesting stuff in ASL and "topic" vs. "subject/object" is one I am having trouble with, but the more general sense that signing will create visual images (one hand called 'bob' in front of the other hand called Tim - you instantly see the relationship, but your english mind needs to say "lead" or "follow"). But you're right, almost no one is going to care if you choose lead or follow, and if they do care, they will use some other kind of marking. Thanks all, for something to chew on.Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 14:31, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Isn't this the big problem in translation. Once you go beyond the basics the two languages will have differing cultures and, as such, differing nuances. I once saw ET in French and the tranlation of "ET go home" failed because French doesn't have the right word. They used "maison" which is not the same thing at all. Although your signers are from the same country and, as such will have much the same culture, the different medium will have produced it's own differences and, as such, the exact nuances of English may not be translateable. I'm not saying for one moment that ASL is less nuanced any more than I'm saying French is less nuanced, rather that it's differently nuanced. Or am I talking nonsense? Bad Faith (talk) 15:20, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Film translations are an interesting one. Every time I'm in France (don't interpret this as me being "well travelled" however) I always notice that the translated film titles look a bit weird. I chalk it up to not being fluent in connotations (and that French is a famously useless language if you want to do anything complicated with it), so any word play eludes me, but the literal translation I'm capable of (well, was capable of) always seemed somewhat sucky - check IMDB for any alternative translation titles. I'm not convinced it's a cultural clash; providing you can distil out the concept, you can translate it precisely, the trouble is then getting the succinct and more poetic message back. So you can translate "ET phone home" literally, and stick a post-it note next to it saying what he means by "home" and what the grammatically incorrect cuteness implies. You're distilling out the concept behind it, and that should be more-or-less universal. The translation notes for Hofstadter's G.E.B. did this very very very extensively, apparently. While I'm sure you might not be able to iron out all nuances, you can probably flatten them so much that no one would be able to see them in any practical sense. Scarlet A.pngbomination 15:47, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to happen much nowadays because everywhere is much more connected, but I remember during the 60s and 70s different titles being used for the same film in the US and the UK. (e.g. Hot Rock in the US v. How to steal a diamond in the UK). Also, in the Danish TV drama series The Killing the English sub-titles often used 'fuck' when the equivalent Danish words were not used because it was seen as being more apposite. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 16:05, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

-

I've spent a great deal of my life studying translation issues, and I'm not sure you *can* get a literal translation of something, without in effect, reeducating the person into that language. I use "home" a lot in my classes. You can use "chez-moi", you can use "le foyer", and both work depending on context, but neither means "my house, and the place where my heart is, and the place where my family finds comfort...etc". I think you've seen me talk a lot about the early Lakota/Dakota language bible by Buechel. Stumping points? How do you translate "shepherd" to a people who do not have animal husbandry (though they were getting horses, so that helped; the concept was ripe for new vocab). How do you translate "king" and "kingdom" to a people who have no sense of land ownership and *maybe* (there is extensive debate on this) have no sense of personal property, period. Will "sky" (ciel) for "heaven" work? is heaven a place gods reside, even though to the lakota, the dead ancestors live in the sky, the gods live all around us. If you've not seen a boat, or a large body of water, how do you deal with Arc? And none of that is even addressing the more abstract concepts like "sin", "salvation", Messiah/savior, "god". His attempt at a translation (hindered of course by the 19th century idea that the European languages were clearly superior so you didn't have to actually STUDY primitive languages) reads like a comedy show. Another person really worth reading on this topic is Beckett or Nabokov, both of whom are bi-lingual, both of whom translated their own works then wrote about the process. Nabakov goes as far as saying the books can never be the same work in two languages. Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 16:11, 20 December 2011 (UTC)(edit con)
In the Bible that's a problem because so much of simply accepting it is based on not thinking too hard and just accepting the tropes as they come; you think "the Lord is my Shepherd" and you don't really think about herding mindless sheep, because if you did... you know?. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 16:34, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
@Genghis, going on what you said, one thing I'm seeing far more now than in the 60's or earlier, is that translates are retaining foreign terms, especially "exotic" languages (for want of a better term) like japanese, chinese, and arabic. So instead of trying to translate "Yokai" as "monster" or "local god" or "spirit being", the author explains the vast concept that is "yokai", then leaves it foreign to remind the readers "You probably *really* don't understand, but that's ok, go with it". In that way, you are not bringing along the cultural connections of "monster", though you can understand it's "like" a monster. When I started religious studies in the early 80s the in thing was to translate everything so that all culture had "shamans", they just used different terms. Now, you are far more likely to see academic works saying "the holy people of the Himba are the omiti" then you explain and describe. My personal view is this is a much better way to handle unfamiliar concepts.Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 16:22, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
My point was that two nations with an (almost) common language needed to use different titles because of some cultural differences. The UK has moved a lot closer to the US in language because of the increased exposure to American TV, movies and the internet. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 17:22, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Surely not both UKs AMassiveGay (talk) 18:39, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Dang, rewording without my glasses. Removed the excess. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 19:00, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

There is a semantic difference between: "Bob followed Tim", and "Tim lead Bob".

In "Bob followed Tim" Tim might or might not be aware he was being followed. He might or might not have instigated it. We only know about Bob's actions.

In "Tim lead Bob" we (probably) have intentionality on the part of Tim. But with such tiny, context-free examples it's difficult to say a lot.--BobSpring is sprung! 21:14, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

I don't agree. "The trail of footprints led to the back yard" doesn't give footprints intentionality. "The Riddler led Batman right to the hideout" doesn't mean the Riddler intended this to happen. There is at most some subtle flavour, not enough to call it semantics. You probably wouldn't choose to say "Tim led Bob" if in fact the two passed along the same path coincidentally, whereas you might choose "Bob followed Tim" in this scenario. But it's thin stuff on which to make any judgement. Especially compared to confusing "lead" with "led" (or either noun "lead" with the verb "lead"). 82.69.171.94 (talk) 10:50, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
"Intentionality" is possibly the wrong idea. That footprints lead to a back yard means that they can provide an instruction to follow, similarly with Tim leading Bob. In both cases, Tim and the footprints are implied to be causes - and those following are the effect. In the case of Bob following Tim, there you might have some "intentionality" on the part of Bob, and if Bob was to follow footprints, again you have intentionality on Bob's part. I agree that it's subtle flavour at best; if people simply want to recreate the actions as if they were happening in front of them, then both are semantically identical. If ASL lacks a distinction, I don't think it would struggle in the real world. Scarlet A.pngpostate 14:16, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I would categorically disagree with out IP editor. As I mentioned above, with so little context it's possible to interpret these phrases in more than one way. For example you could imagine it was a race which Tim led. Or his Batman example. Or Tim could have said "Don't worry I'll lead the way, you only have to come behind."
But my point is that "lead" and "follow" are semantically different in English. The fact that ASL has no distinction is irrelevant.--BobSpring is sprung! 14:28, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
On distinctions, languages often do not have distinctions necessary -- a language like lakota that lacks distinction between blue and green, can say "I love the blue of the trees" to create distinction when necessary. Similarly, if context is not enough to clarify what is going on in the "follow/lead" example, you would clarify. But I had not really considered the idea that followed can be much more passive. "he was being followed by so and so", where as "lead" is almost necessarily an active, chosen concept (footprints aside, as that would never be the same word or concept in ASL). Pink mowse.pngGodotI live in the Infinite monkey cage 14:34, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

A perfect storm of computer fail[edit]

So, a couple days ago, my PC's PSU died. (I now know the sound a dying capacitor makes! Yay!) At first, I didn't panic too much, because I still had my smart phone. I'd be electronically crippled, but not completely SOL.

*turn on phone* SD card corrupted.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  ;__; My music! How will I live without my music?! And my browser gestures—what do you mean they're gone, too?!

I had to buy a new SD card (this is the fifth time in three months my old one has corrupted), and spend hours with recovery software and my brother's laptop getting my stuff back. But my PC's still out of order until the new PSU I ordered gets here, and I'm constantly going, "Gosh, I'm bored. I guess I'll turn on my comp—OH WAIT." Goddamnit... Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 09:04, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

A few weeks back I was dry for about a week. I'd be sitting around in the sun and think "I'll go grab a beer...Gets up... fucking Damnit!". AceAce For Mod! 09:08, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I was working in Russia about five months ago and both my Toshiba netbook and Vaio laptop died within a day of each other, both hardware failures. This caused one hell of problem and the knock on consequences have cost > $10K. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 10:22, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
So these things happen to you guys and you don't assume firmware hackers?!?! ~ Lumenos (talk) 05:39, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
No, because we are sane. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:51, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Fiddling about with Alexa[edit]

This has probably been done before, but I was bored (wrapping a stack of presents kind of does that to a person) and I started looking up some of the sites we've covered on Alexa out of curiosity. Here we go:

Stormfront: 14,360
Rapture Ready: 45,051
Conservapedia: 46,902
RationalWiki: 52,438
Islamic Awakening: 75,943
Skeptic's Annotated Bible: 148,058
Brick Testament: 423,717
FSTDT: 1,000,808

Balaam (talk) 14:07, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Interesting. There are always a few surprises in these. I compared a few sites I visit regularly:
freethoughtblogs: 17,312 (well ahead of CP)
xkcd: 1,387 (impressive)
theonion: 2,691, which I was surprised to find was resoundingly beaten by cracked, at 632.
A few other relevant sites (not ones I regular): answers in genesis: 35,442; creation.com: 90,883 and discovery.org: 529,083, which is only slightly worse than timcube (636,691). DickTurpis (talk) 18:07, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Few more:
World Net Daily: 3,053
AssataShakur.org: 221,097
Demonbuster: 332,108
The Unhived Mind: 1,011,060
Minstering Deliverance: 1,322,531
Anglo-Saxon Foundation: 2,830,566
As an aside, anyone else depressed that the Brick Testament has been beaten out by crazytalk sites like Demonbuster and Islamic Awakening? Balaam (talk) 18:27, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Brick testament is pretty esoteric. I only heard of it for the first time about a month ago, and I'm their target audience. That WND is that high is a bit disturbing, but I guess not surprising (nice to see xkcd beats it handily, though). Another we overlooked conservativenewsandviews: 883,181. I'm a little surprised it beats out FSTDT, but I guess that's no huge accomplishment. DickTurpis (talk) 19:19, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Redirects can be misleading fstdt.com - 372,511, fstdt.net - 985,298 - π Moderator 23:19, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not surprised WND is that high. It is surprising and more than a little creepy that Stormfront is. Does that site really have an audience of more than a tiny fringe? For laughs: Instapundit: 996,777. That's one person who I'm glad to see his popularity crash. Secret Squirrel (talk) 22:38, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Brick Testament isn't esoteric. It's been around for a decade, is fairly popular & well-known online, & has been relatively successful in book sales too. Most of these other sites I wouldn't have heard of at all if not for RW. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:28, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm guessing a lot of Stormfront's hits come from the morbidly curious - it has a bit of a reputation for the wrongest site on the Internet, after all. Conservapedia's relatively high ranking can probably be chalked up to the same thing, at least partly. Balaam (talk) 13:52, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, never forget that all this is BULLSHIT. Really, all of it. Apart from a tiny sampling of people they sucker in to installing their spyware, the only hard data they have to go on is who is linking to where and at what frequency. Being notorious is a good way to get links, and there's no good way to to distinguish between people linking because what they're linking to is hilariously crazy and people who are linking because they genuinely like the content. Volume of links may be related to traffic, but it isn't the sole predictor or necessarily even a good one. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 15:52, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Also you are looking at rankings, most people visit the same few sites, wikipeida, facebook, google (about 1/3 of yahoos traffic comes from people googling yahoo to find it). Past the top 100 things start to get thin (do you look at 100 webpages in a day). Past the top 100,000 it only takes a few hundred extra visitors a month to send you screaming up and tens or even hundreds of thousands of places, and as Jeeves said with that low traffic they are only guessing. - π Moderator 23:25, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Vitamin woo woo[edit]

A new study says "Daily Multivitamins Do Nothing for Your Health" They go on about how taking vitamins don't make you healthier, but I'm not sure anyone "in the know" ever thought that... I don't expect multivitamins to keep me healthy, I expect vitamin deficiencies to make me unhealthy. I sure as fuck don't expect multivitamins to prevent cancer. For people who aren't already on a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients (e.g. me because I'm in a bulking phase) multivitamins are important in avoiding deficiencies. I think that people with diets susceptible to deficiencies are going to hear about this, stop taking multivitamins and, for some, their health will decline. All-in-all, slightly irresponsible reporting. What does the mob think? Occasionaluse (talk) 18:05, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

I never took them to prevent heart attacks or strokes. I only took them to supplement whatever I'm deficient in because I didn't have enough time or the money to eat a balanced diet. And I still expect to get sick and develop stupid body issues like my currently aching gallbladder. Furthermore, I don't think six years is long enough to decide long-term benefits. Like you said, deficiencies will make you sick. Having the right amount of nutrients doesn't turn you into superman. Senator Harrison (talk) 22:09, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't know why this is a "new" study (or the study is new, but the finding isn't really). Multis are good to take, but you simply do not need the expensive kind, and actually "children's vits" are more than effective for most adults. As you said, vits add to what we do not get naturally. Today, we have (at least in teh US) such shitty diets, it's probably important for all adults to take a multi now and then (or a child's level every day). But the elderly, the sick, anyone actually "dieting" where they are restricting their food intake by amount or "type" of food, and pregnant women will almost always benefit from multis, as it's really quite hard to get enough of everything. (I mean, I just can't stomach 5 glasses of milk a day, but if you can, and are preggers, you won't need extra calicum.). That's my view, anyhow.Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 22:12, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
I've long had this hypothesis that multivitamins can be harmful because they give license for people to say "the vitamins have got me covered, so I can subsist on a diet of Snickers bars and mac-n-cheese." I don't know if anyone has ever studied the issue from that angle. Doctor Dark (talk) 03:28, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
You can subsist on a diet of Snickers bars and man-n-cheese. There. Multi-vitamins are (largely) woo. Hardly anyone in the target markets has serious deficiencies, but because it's possible that a small sub-population do the multivitamin manufacturers get to write these disclaimer strewed adverts that make it sound as though most people need their product. The RDA/GDA numbers help them too, they're not minimum safe numbers but instead a balance between conservative minima and maxima (because at high dose these substances are poisons). So if you eat the amount of vitamin C they cite, that's not just "enough that you won't get scurvy" but more like "enough in one day that you couldn't get scurvy for a month".
Multi-vitamin manufacturers are engaged in propaganda. Think of them like De Beers. They have a special purpose product, with a limited market and no opportunity for growth. Doctors might prescribe a course of cheap white label vitamins for $10 per year to a handful of patients, and the business would be on life support. But get the millions of "worried well" to buy a nice box with a picture of an idealised individual on the outside - because they feel guilty about all the icecream they ate - and you make a massive profit. It doesn't even matter if customers ever take the pills, they only care if people buy them. It's barely a step up from selling homeopathy.
The actual research consistently says two things: 1. The vast majority of people eat a diet that contains all the essential vitamins, but their diet overall isn't as healthy as it could be, mostly because it has too much of various things, ie they should eat less. 2. Interventions involving vitamin pills have negligible effect, while interventions involving actual fruit and vegetables work to some extent, but most patients can't be bothered to do either, regardless of socio-economic status (ie whether they can afford them). 82.69.171.94 (talk) 07:02, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Goodpost.gifWot t'IP sed! Most supplements are ruggish & not beneficial unless prescribed. If you eat more than one type of item per week, you're getting enuff. Scream!! (talk) 18:07, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I hear you guys. Were I'm coming from, two of my five meals a day contain basically no vitamins (protein isolate + maltodextrin + dextrose + fiber). For the other three, I tend to get into ruts (e.g. I'll eat chicken + oatmeal + broccoli for the other three meals a day for a month straight). It just annoys me when someone who has no clue about nutrition reads shit like this study and tries to tell me I (or anyone else for that matter) don't need multivitamins. Furthermore, I feel like it teaches people to ignore their nutrition, because of "hey, you're probably doing a good enough job anyway" attitudes. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:51, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
It's not my objective here to be patronising, but you probably are doing a good enough job. Take the oatmeal. A typical serving of a famous brand oatmeal is getting you adequate Vitamin A, some Calcium, Iron, Sodium, a whole pile of B Vitamins and some trace minerals you need. Assuming you use milk, not water you're getting a bunch more Calcium, and some other vitamins from the milk. About half of the ingredients of a typical multivitamin (including all the most important ones) and you've already eaten them for breakfast. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 02:38, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Like I said, breakfast contains basically no vitamins whatsoever. Consider, for instance, vitamin D. I hardly get a trace from anything I eat. You're right that I wouldn't be surprised if I had half the vitamins I needed from the three lunches (or even more), but there are some I'm undeniably not getting without a multi. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:55, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
You're not supposed to get Vitamin D chiefly from food. You synthesise it from exposure to sunlight. You must have a crap diet if you're not getting enough vitamins. Recommend less McDonalds & more fruit. Scream!! (talk) 15:45, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Occasionaluse has already explained that their diet is constrained by choice not from a preference for so-called junk food or anything like that. They're "bulking up". And yes, Vitamin D is usually adequate because of going outside without wearing a spacesuit or polar explorer gear, for at least a few minutes now and then, thus causing synthesis by the skin under UV light. As to McDonalds, well, sure, probably if you ate burgers every day that's too much fat. But you're still getting Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, etc. Even my favourite confectionery has Vitamin C in it. The reason it took so long to identify these vital dietary components is that most people were eating plenty of them, it took imagination for humans to come up with things to eat that left them deficient, ideas like "let's go on a six-month-long sea voyage with no fresh food whatsoever". 82.69.171.94 (talk) 16:10, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
It might be fun to actually sum up the vitamins and minerals i ingest (without supplementation) and see if there could be any real deficiencies and, if so, consider their real risks. Though, it could be difficult because a lot of shit is specified in RDV's, which could be problematic, as noted above. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:42, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm surprised by how shockingly complete the vegetables I eat are. Looks like the only possible deficiencies would be vitamin D (and I don't get outside much, if at all..) and a few B's. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:57, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Quote of the day[edit]

"I want the full portrait of evolution and the people who came up with the ideas to be presented. It's a worldview and it's godless. Atheism has been tried in various societies, and they've been pretty criminal domestically and internationally. The Soviet Union, Cuba, the Nazis, China today: they don't respect human rights...Columbine, remember that? They were believers in evolution. That's evidence right there." — Not Ken at CP, but NH state Rep. Jerry Bergevin, on his bill requiring schools to include evolution scientists' positions on atheism. PintOfStout Talk Do you think expletives make you look intelligent? I dunno. Do you think being self righteous makes you look like a prick? 12:49, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Someone needs to tell these people that this shit stopped being funny a long time ago. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 21:13, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
The kids from columbine were a lot of things. Atheism is not really one of them. Anti Christian, yes... So, what he wants is for every single theorist of evolution to say what their political and religious views are. All the millions of scientist who believe, use, discuss, improve, challenge, rely on Evolution. yeah. brilliant idea. Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 21:24, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
<pedantry>I'm sure the kids from columbine weren't atheism, it's gotton so hard to be a viewpoint since grammar was invented.</pedantry> ;) notch-notch wink-wink --ʤɱ secularist 02:39, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
<pedantry>That should be nudge-nudge, not notch-notch.</pedantry> ;) Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 08:18, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Business as usual. --ʤɱ socialist 12:26, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
All this othering and false dilemma makes me sick. And people keep using the words "believe" and "evolution" together, which is also not even wrong, unless the sentence is "I believe that people who reject evolution aren't right in the head." (I know, I'm ridiculous) The invocation of Columbine appeals to emotion, but invokes the wrong emotions—I think such a comparison is more likely to scare away support than it is to drum some up. But then, blue Coloradoans tend to be particular about anyone who invokes Columbine. -- Seth Peck (talk) 22:07, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
This is why the 2012 Presidential Election will be a very important moment in history (also why Obama can't lose the WH). Osaka Sun (talk) 22:25, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Evilution strikes again! 23:02, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Royal I's Xmas Lectures are out[edit]

If you have the misfortune to be born on the West side of the pond, and are depressed that you weren't able to watch the Royal Institute Xmas lectures, they are out on mvgroup.org (reg required but it's free) or eztv.it. Both are torrents, so there are legal issues. This year is "Meet your brain".  :-) Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 21:09, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

What do you mean we shouldn't be endorsing illegal torrenting of educational BBC-produced content that isn't legitimately available through other channels? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 21:28, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Pfft, you can learn all that from Pinky and the Brain. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:49, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
And which are you? Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 22:50, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Larry, obviously. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:56, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
You should be warned that for every High Brow, Intellectual Engllish TV show you steal we will enclose episode of both 'the only way is essex' and 'made in chelse'. Take that, American Pirates AMassiveGay (talk) 23:51, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Can you include some material from Not Really a Lord Monckton? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:59, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
No. Just prolefeed with regional accents AMassiveGay (talk) 00:26, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
That man is just scary! I knew he thought he had something that cured all illnesses, but never heard his views that AIDS carriers should be quarantined. Excellent.Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 17:21, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

BBC v. Discovery[edit]

So, of the things that are illegal, and no one is advocating watching them illegally, I'd like to compare offerings from US/Discovery and BBC in late December.

BBC - Christmas lectures, Mrs. Dickens (in insider's view of Charles), BBC Arena (on a comedian I don't know, but arena does great stuff), Being Neil ArmStrong. (and bob ross 100 toys - ok, so that's sorta silly).
Discovery? - how BEER saved the world. Tibetan Mummy, and Predators that Ruled the world. -- stupid american "sorta science but really just an excuse to blow things up" shows. Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 17:42, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Deadliest Warrior is totally legit! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:25, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
As is history (or DC, not sure which) "Ancient aliens!" that's the best science, evah...Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 18:38, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
(EC) Obligatory TyBother me 18:40, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Good riddance 2011[edit]

Who's with me? Not a fan of 2011. steriletalk 00:07, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Yeah kinda. Definitely looking forward to a fresh year. Sam Tally-ho! 00:13, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
EC. A few years ago, I noticed that there were people in my life--usually the same people--who, every year around this time, would bitch and moan about how shitty 1987 or 1993 or 2004 or 2011 was and how they hoped that 1988 or 1994 or 2005 or 2012 would be better. Now, I don't know what your years were like, Sterile and Sam. Maybe you got divorced or lost a parent or had cancer or ended up on the street, and if so, I do truly hope 2012 treats you better. But for those of us who tend to say "oh what a shitty year" with some sort of regularity this time of year, well, the result of seeing lots of shitty years is a shitty life. Make some changes in your life, alter your perspective, do something, but fuckin' quityerbitchin'. Life is GREAT. I had some crappy stuff happen this year, like we all do every year, but at the end of the day, it was the only year I had, so I'm gonna do my best to be happy with it. P-Foster 00:18, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying, but for me it was an exceptionally bad year; but things are looking uo. steriletalk 00:22, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Meh, my year was generally above average. Arbitrary demarcations of time are overrated. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:23, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Ehh, between Arab Spring, Occupy-movement, whatever the hell is going in Russia right now, bin Laden and Kim Jong Il kicking the bucket, Finland finally winning hockey world championship and getting a government that doesn't entirely suck, I'd say that this was an okay year, even if on personal level it was dominated by my studies getting increasingly fucked up thanks to my depression. In any case, it's interesting to watch history being made. Vulpius (talk) 01:47, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
No matter if you liked it or not, it's been one year that everyone will remember. Too many big news stories. Osaka Sun (talk) 01:58, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm never one to complain at the end of the year, and am actually an inveterate optimist, but this year sucked balls. Junggai (talk) 06:20, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Oh, an average year. Not going to call it the best year ever (not sure I'd say that of any year), but it was certainly not numbered among the worst, for me personally. (((Zack Martin))) 06:22, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

2011 was mixed, as Vulpius mentions, the Arab spring is a sign of hope for democracy. However, I would caution, be wary of what you wish for. I reckon that 2012 is going to be a lot, lot worse economically for most people and bad economic times can lead to bad to political outcomes. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 08:10, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
And, y'know, the Mayan apocalypse. Sam Tally-ho! 08:15, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Also, I'm at an age where the years come round too quickly for my liking. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 10:05, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I want to know where the fuck 2011 went. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:58, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Indeed - my only objection to the year was that it was too short. It's winter again? Already?--BobSpring is sprung! 17:02, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
At least 2012 will be about 0.3% longer. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 18:22, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
0.6% in Samoa. Rennie McGreet (talk) 21:21, 1 January 2012 (UTC)


Nope, I'm pretty sad to see 2011 go. I got married, got a new degree, got a new job, and came to live in New Zealand for a while. A great year.--ADtalkModerator 21:46, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Apocalypse status[edit]

Five minutes into the new year - as yet no signs of impending doom. Will keep you posted. Peter Urist for Mod!(MW) 11:05, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

It would only be appropriate for New Zealand to go first. God hates flightless birds, and all. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 11:11, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I thought it was December 21 that the world was going to end, or was it 21 May 2011 or 21 October, I get so confused sometimes.
If it doesn't end, then either A) it has only ended metaphysically, metaphorically or spiritually, or B) we've successfully prevented it through some means unknown. Scarlet A.pngpostate 11:50, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
December 21. No need to be on apocalypse watch just yet. Secret Squirrel (talk) 11:54, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Apocalypses don't happen suddenly. It'll take a fair few days for the continents to come to the boil. Peter Urist for Mod!(MW) 22:22, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
According to the highest of authorities—Youtube—Japan will actually be the first to go. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:34, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Funny you say that; see WIGO. Osaka Sun (talk) 07:11, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:34, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
And have you heard from anyone in those parts lately? That's a remarkably unrealistic asteroid impact, btw - where's it from? Peter Urist for Mod!(MW) 06:50, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Are you in Karachi or something? It's 6:30 AM here. Time zones confuse me--"Shut up, Brx." 13:28, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I want to have a bingo game set up. 1) all the things that "will come". 2) all the signs, then 3) all the excuses. the first person from RW to find each of his list in print, wins!Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 17:04, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Anybody got a list of doomsayers handy? Might be fun to check on them every few months to see their comments on the end-times, a sort of impromtu "WIGO 2012osphere". Balaam (talk) 17:08, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
WIGODoom? Doctor Dark (talk) 17:54, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Predictions of the end of the world Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:11, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

That would be a pretty cool Clogosphere game, actually. Just set up the phrases in advance and then people can contribute the links to them. Scarlet A.pngsshole 18:17, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Speaking of

Happy New Year RW![edit]

Balloons.svg

Happy New Year to all my friends here at RationalWiki! If anybody's wondering, I havent been on here because Im busy in school during the school year, but Ill be back this summer break. <3 Alyssa Bryant (talk) 17:39, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Lovely. Can we expect moar trolling and general nonsense? School, huh? Yeah, right! Ha ha!--Colonel Sanders (talk) 17:49, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Why is it that just because I used to be a troll everybody still thinks I'm a troll? I thought liberals were supposed to be all about second chances for criminals (and trolls). Alyssa Bryant (talk) 17:54, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
"Business as usual". I'll say this: come back this summer, and if you can show you're not a troll, I'll take that comment back. OK?--Colonel Sanders (talk) 18:03, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Who are you again? Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:19, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Who? Me? I'm the guy on the chicken bucket!--Colonel Sanders (talk) 18:37, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Nah, the other one, Aly-whatisface. Had a little ambiguous indentation failure. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:42, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Oh. Allegedly a cheerleader, former Wikipedia admin, and known sock of DMorris troll.--Colonel Sanders (talk) 19:25, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

I never, never forgive trolls.

Nah, just kidding. I am a troll. Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 19:06, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Without referring to anyone in particular I'm always amused by the self-importance of trolls.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:22, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Wooooo...Party Time~ --Dumpling (talk) 19:31, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Why ARE you the guy on the chicken bucket, by the way? were you eating chicken the day you logged on? (I love asking why people's names are what they are).
Naw, I was eating a Big Mac. It's just a username I use across the Interwebs; though I was eating KFC when I registered my Illogicopedia account.--Colonel Sanders (talk) 19:25, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
are most of you planing a loud debauched evening? or a quit - hide from the masses, evening?
we are staying at home, watching TV, maybe drinking a bit... we are oldPink mowse.pngGodotEn live 19:37, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Staying home definitely. Will watch Alien later. --ʤɱ heretic 20:09, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Just waiting for the relatives to arrive. Going to have yet another endless Spanish meal. In Anglo Saxon countries you've only got to endure the Big Meal on the 25th. Here it's the 24th, 25th, 31st, 1st and the 7th - so we're about half way through. (The fact that I've got through the best part of a bottle of champagne already helps to deaden the pain though.)--BobSpring is sprung! 20:17, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
You really are a Brit, Bob. No American would ever complain about eating more food  :-) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:09, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
If my champagne (OK, cava but who cares?) level had not passed legal levels I would have an outstandingly witty British response. Unfortunately ....On the other had it's almost midnight here. But now my dog is going to have a difficult time as the fireworks are about to start.--BobSpring is sprung! 22:55, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Hi guys, all the best for 2012. Still arguing about moderator elections I see. Plus ça change...  Lily Inspirate me. 23:01, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Playing cards tonight. steriletalk 20:26, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Wooooo! First edit of the new year (going by server time)!  :-P Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 00:16, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

AB, why don't you just go and fucking kill yourself you pathetic cunt. Nobody fucking likes you. By the way, Happy New Year everyone! -Cactus Troll 93.182.132.100 (talk) 01:12, 1 January 2012 (UTC) My head... EddyP Great King! Disaster! 09:49, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

N Korean FAQ[edit]

That is all Scream!! (talk) 23:14, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Very illuminating. I had the wrong impression about North Korea it seems. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. --DamoHi 23:52, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. It makes North Korea sound most unobjectionable. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:59, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Get your signed photo of Kim Jong-Il while stocks last! --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 12:15, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Why do I want a signed Kim Jong photo for some reason? --Veni Vidi.png Feci.png 23:38, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Evolution, creationism, and psychology[edit]

I came across some interesting papers on education and psychology of teaching evolution while doing a project recently: Lombrozo et al, Evans, Rudolph and Stewart. One thing they have in common is the finding that an essentialistic understanding of species is a common misconception and barrier to teaching evolution. In addition, this tendency arises at a very early age. It recalls what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf:

The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance,etc., of the individual specimens. But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice.

(Hitler was wrong about that last part as well, by the way.) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:37, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

In other words we (or our kids, in this context) learn catigories of animals not by their relative biology, but by an almost Platonist "ideal?" A dog is not something with high olfatoary systems, that has joints built for speed and distance - but rather "dogs are things that are man's friends, hate cats, and live in pacs?" or am i missing the point. (I admit, i didn't read the articles). Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 17:08, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
That's the gist of it. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:16, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
It does occur to me that "my first animal" books do tend to use cartoons of animals, rather than photographs. Perhaps a relevant observation? Scarlet A.pnggnostic 17:22, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's pictures vs. drawings, cause we as language learners do the same thing with real objects. You need to make categories, first. "What is this thing you are calling "cup" or "plate" or "cat". It's built into our language acquistion skills, or none of us would be able to communicate. I've always figured it was an evo thing -- to understand what foods are safe and what are not, your mind creates catigories, which are, in a strange sense, platonic ideals. A child (of any animal, really) being shown a leaf that is ok to eat, groks it as an "ideal". That is, this one leaf is LIKE but not EXACT to other safe leafs. If my leaf has been ripped in half, i do not worry that it is not still the same type of leaf. If my leaf is smaller or larger, or it has a defect, I still figure out that it's the same leaf. my category is beyond the minutia. Same with drawings of dogs and cats and horses. we see a live cat, our brain makes a relevant "ideal" (sorry to keep using that theory in a way that is probably not correctly.) When just learning the catigory "cat", I might think it's all furry things, so i test with the blanket, adn say "cat" and mommy says "no, blanket". I test it on the dog and say "cat" and mommy say "no, dog". Studies I've seen say kids will learn new categories with only 2 or 3 trials - so this lumping things is just what we do. And we have to use what we know or see. So my question would be, if we learn our codes in such "ideal" ways, how would you break that to better teach science?Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 17:31, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
With the realization that we are just constructing abstracts to order the world. That is, in it's entirety, a revolutionary concept that will make your mind go wild. And another realization lingers arounf the next corner, that everybody has a different definatory system (different abstractions in their head) but the oberlap with others is just enough so that we can communicate properly. (PS: use "abstractions" instead of "ideals" or you'll get it all backwards) --ʤɱ netlabelist 17:40, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
(And remember, I did my grad work in the late 80s), we did the most amazing study with little kids (3 and 4, if i recall correctly) on drawings of cats and dogs, to figure out the most fundimental/basic needs for a thing to be a cat. It was great cause I'm NOT an artist. Basically, you made a circle, then put 4 sticks on it for legs, and a tail. the head was round, the ears pointed. And you have a cat. you didn't need wiskers, or a nose. BUT, if the tail was short or curled, or if the ears were round, you got something else. "dog" needed a larger snout. It was an amazingly fun study. Try it with your kid if you are bored. Mice of course, looked NOTHING like real mice, but cartoon micky mice. round head and CIRCLE ears. (that either makes the point, or defeats it, not sure). Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 17:45, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
But those are precisely the things we do see. We don't see an image composed of pixels like a digital camera, we scan around for cues. I was just wondering that if we learn the categories from cartoons, is it easier to learn and associate non-observed characteristics (dog is man's best friend, rather than dog is a furry four legged animal) as if they are observed characteristics. Not just picture books, but just-so type stories too. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:11, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
The question is what is essentialized and why? Medin and Atran argue that it comes from folk biology applied to wider categories while Gelman and Hirschfield argue that it is part of, but does not necessarily arise from, folk biology. However, neither implies that essentialism is merely a by-product of language/categorization. We know this isn't true as social categories are essentialized (or not) dependent on cultural factors. I would argue that this is possibly a special case of essentialism derived from prototype theory, i.e. the category is essentialized because that specific person has only the prototype and a few examples in that category, but the category may be "de-essentialized" by the introduction of more examples. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:51, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

halp for an article[edit]

Hi. In order to finish this, I need the Cline Report and Farell's paper opposing osteopathic medicine as described here. If you can get me those, I'll have all that I need to complete the article. Thank you for any assistance that may be provided. --"Shut up, Brx." 21:48, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Given that the Cline Report and Farell's paper are from (roughly) 1963, isn't citing to the article you found, sufficient? Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 21:51, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

I have a soul[edit]

Nah, just kidding.

Yes, I'm bored. I'm so lonely -- I just want somebody to talk to. Somebody who preferably compliments me. Flinttalk to me :D|see my shit 08:57, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

You are very handsome, or so your mother tells me. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 11:10, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
You forgot to add "... when I was doing her last night." --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 12:13, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
That always makes me wonder if they didn't had anything else to do. Is he so bad that the milf had to talk to him about her son, or does talking about her son make her cum faster? --ʤɱ secularist 14:46, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Wow, so I'm finally going to have a father figure around the house! :D Fidgetertalk to me :D|see my shit 19:04, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Thankfully, you're teenaged, because I hate children. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 02:54, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Falacy, you do have a soul, I say. You may not believe that now, but maybe one day you will. (((Zack Martin))) 10:17, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

home made penicillin[edit]

I have an abcess. Very painful, and having trouble finding a dentist. Is there some way of getting hold a source of natural antibiotics without a precription ? AMassiveGay (talk) 17:56, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Not that isn't either risky or relatively ineffective. Though garlic is naturally anti-microbial, apparently. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 17:59, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Also, abscesses in or around the jaw can be a problem if it ruptures, cause of proximity to ears, nose and even brain. No dentists open? Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 18:44, 1 January 2012 (UTC) Strong alcohol is a natural antibiotic. has the added advantage of killing your brain's ability to feel (or maybe care about) the pain.  ;-)
People do die of that sort of thing. If you can't go to a dentist, go to a hospital. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:02, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh yeah, it just occurred to me. You're British, right? Best thing to do is to phone NHS direct and get them to sort the problem out for you. Either they'll find you a dentist that's open or get you sorted with an alternative plan of action. It's not like a dentist is going to do anything other than take an x-ray or two, hand you five days of antibiotics and tell you to come back in a week for painful root canal work. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:16, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
NHS Direct were of no use at all - gave me me numbers to call, which were all closed. I am now dosed up on codeine so feeling alot better for the time being, and I will try again tomorrow. Just out of interest, why are antibiotics prescription only? I can only assume its the whole drug resistance thing AMassiveGay (talk) 21:09, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
If this were morning, I'd have advised you to go to A&E. It's really very fast before noon - David Gerard (talk) 15:52, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Because you don't have the expertise to know which antibiotic kills which microbe? PintOfStout Talk Do you think expletives make you look intelligent? I dunno. Do you think being self righteous makes you look like a prick? 21:28, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Homemade penicillin is likelier to kill you. You could probably find some propolis over the counter, and a variety of topical antibiotics. Also, booze. A strong liquor will both dull the pain and kill the bacteria.--"Shut up, Brx." 21:32, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Also, do not take medical advice from strangers on the Internet. Go to the ER. Let them deal with you. PintOfStout Talk Do you think expletives make you look intelligent? I dunno. Do you think being self righteous makes you look like a prick? 21:39, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Ooh, good one. Especially from yet-to-be-certified nursing assistants and/or failed massage therapists--"Shut up, Brx." 21:50, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
A yer-to-be-certified anything should have enough professional smarts to know not to be giving out professional advice to people on their medical conditions over the internet. PintOfStout Talk Do you think expletives make you look intelligent? I dunno. Do you think being self righteous makes you look like a prick? 22:07, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I was agreeing with you. Don't rub it in--"Shut up, Brx." 22:55, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
If you can't get treatment immediately then take some analgesics and wash your mouth with warm salty water - as hot as you can stand and keep it in the mouth as long as possible but not so hot as to burn yourself. See a doctor or dentist ASAP, they will probably prescribe amoxicillin. Then get some proper remedial work - don't scrimp on this or you'll regret it down the line. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 22:01, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Oil of cloves (not aromatherapy oil) is also said to help relieve the symptoms. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 22:09, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
The subject of whether homemade pennicilin is feasible came up on I forget which forum.. The answer is no, not feasible, without taking a huge risk of the end product being contaminated by other molds. However, I have just the solution for you. Natural antibiotics, you ask? Please wire me 500 dollars/euros/bitcoins/pounds/whatever and I'll send you a whole YEAR'S SUPPLY of colloidal silver, and throw in as a special BONUS some Miracle Mineral Supplement. Act now or I'll drain your entire bank account and transfer it to Nigeria. I also accept Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal. Secret Squirrel (talk) 12:37, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Goodbye, incandescent light bulb[edit]

You brought light to America and the world, but now we must stand on the shoulders of giants and do something more, so that the light you delivered may continue to shine. To become bigger than one's self to where it inspires another to an even larger greatness is the ultimate legacy--it already happened to telephones and calculators, and now it happens to you. May your death be an inspiration to automobiles, rockets, power plants, governments and societies. -- Seth Peck (talk) 19:14, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

And perhaps the greatest legacy of the tungsten filament incandescent bulb, its death incensing mommy Schlafly about government interference. Anything that causes here to be apoplectic has to be good. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:18, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Knock knock at your front door/It's the light bulb secret police! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:20, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
This is absolutely ridiculous. Why should Americans not be able to buy this product? It's probably safer than the fluorescent light bulbs anyway. --Colonel Sanders (talk) 19:22, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm assuming that was sarcasm. I hope. We so need an "extremely dry humour" smily. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:24, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes. The real reason we should not buy fluorescents: they look too much like ice cream cones.--Colonel Sanders (talk) 19:29, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Say, think we could make loads of cash by unloading incandescent bulbs on eBay and selling them to wingnuts? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:30, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps. But then Obama's brownshirts would apprehend you for violating Nanny State law for selling Limbaugh a box.--Colonel Sanders (talk) 19:32, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
A friend of mine had the idea to market CFLs in America as "liberty bulbs" with emphasis on freeing the USA from the tyranny of middle-eastern oil. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:35, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
But seriously, light bulbs are light bulbs. Who really cares what kind they are, so long they have them.--Colonel Sanders (talk) 19:37, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh please, that's why we stock pile incandescents to the tune of several hundred because... CFLs are socialism. Apparently. TyBother me 19:18, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Shit, wish I had thought of that.
Funny story. I have a friend who works at a large store (I won't say which one, but it rhymes with "ball cart")...he says last night a Teabagger (his words) came in, bought the store's ENTIRE stock of incandescent bulbs (which in this case was about a four-foot wide section of shelf space), and in less than thirty seconds went from talking about the outrageous new laws to talking about how gangs of TSA pedophiles have the right to pull over a car and rape the driver's daughter in front of him/her.
Light bulbs aren't going away, the law just changed to employ more efficient energy standards, thus the old-style of incandescent is no longer being produced. Halogens, fluorescents and LEDs are the new best choices, and lower wattage incandescents are still okay. Who signed the bill with these standards into law? George W Bush. -- Seth Peck (talk) 19:39, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
The thing is, low energy bulbs are cheaper for the consumer, they use less power and create less waste. The only thing incandescent bulbs have going for them is that their up front cost is lower. You can't match a CFL's shelf cost to a traditional bulb's price. You have to get the consumer to understand the bulb lasts an order of magnitude longer, draws a fraction of the power and hence the total cost of ownership is lower. People in the UK seem to have got the message, but not the USA apparently. I can't see how it's bad to legislate energy efficiency standards for lightbulbs when it will actually save people money. We already do it for home boilers, home insulation and other building standards. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:45, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
There has been some grumbling in the UK, and indeed in most places that have decided to legislate on this. Personally I like CFLs, I still haven't needed any replacements since the shared house I lived in a decade or so ago, all of them are still going strong, which is a pretty big saving in wasted time and inconvenience on its own. But let me play devil's advocate for a moment: CFLs aren't dimmable, so all those nice dimmer switches in dining rooms across the country are now useless. The start-up time on good CFLs is short, but it doesn't approach the instant glow of incandescent. Most manufacturers cut corners, after warm-up your "100W equivalent" CFL likely puts out the same light energy as a 90-95W incandescent (in the EU they're required to admit this in the small print, not sure about in the US), and often in parts of the spectrum that people find harsh and unpleasant.
I have seen plenty of US complainants moaning that CFLs die very soon for them. That could just be the bell curve (A shitload of Americans buy say 5 CFLs each. Most get long lives from all 5, a few get one or two early failures. But statistically a handful have all five fail within weeks. Those handful self-select as angry about these apparently fraudulent devices) but it could also mean some very poor quality CFLs are in the US supply chain, or there's some other problem making (some) Americans have a bad experience. In the latter two cases that needs to be addressed to help with uptake. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 22:40, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
It could be how they are using the CFLs that causes them to die quickly. I used to work on a government program here in Oz where we went door to door offering people CFLs in exchange for the old incandescent at no cost and we were told never to stick them in dimmers, touchlamps and motion-sensor lights fitting instead to advise people on how to buy the halogen globes that look like the old incandescent. - π Moderator 04:00, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 82.etc brings up a good point: many people don't get anywhere near the claimed life of a CFL, which reinforces their innate skepticism about liberal plots to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids (or adulterate our light bulbs, or whatever it is). There's an interesting NY Times story which discusses how CFL quality in the U.S. has declined because "an intensive federal push to lower the price essentially backfired by encouraging manufacturers to use cheap components." Doctor Dark (talk) 04:01, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

I am buying a big box of bulbs so that I can see to read. The fluro bulbs that claim to be a 60 watt equivalent are too dim and yellow for me to see to read. Hamster (talk) 05:47, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Buy the 15 watts that are closer to the old 75 watts then. You are still saving three-quarters of the power. - π Moderator 05:57, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

dead serious question from someone who doesn't like math[edit]

In the section above, someone says "an order of magnitude greater". I hear this a lot, but truly i don't know math. I get that it means "a fuck load", but is it an actual math function? Is it actually a specific amount greater? just curious. Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 21:14, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

10 times, generally. But it isn't always that specific. Peter Urist for Mod!(MW) 21:19, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
wp:Order of magnitude Fluckedtalk to me :D|see my shit 22:05, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
1
10
100
1000
10000
100000
1000000
You get the idea. Though the main thing to remember about orders of magnitude is how rapidly they build up. There's an interesting piece of trivia where you ask someone how thick a piece of paper is when you fold it in half, then half again, then half again, about 100 times. No one quite realises, unless they're already aware of it, that the answer is "larger than the observable universe". Scarlet A.pngbomination 04:01, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Assuming you could fold it that many times, anyways. (I know, I know, it's a thought experiment.) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:28, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
WfG, it probably helps to think of numbers in scientific notation which are normally written with base 10. So you have n x 100, n x 101, n x 102, etc.; an increase of one in the exponent is an order of magnitude. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 09:46, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I always took the phrase to mean logarithmically larger. Most common base is 10, but I've always thought you can choose your base (within reason). So I'd say twice as large is an order of magnitude larger. Then again, maybe my brain is too perverted by computer science... (((Zack Martin))) 09:59, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Of course! But that's also a good trick to pull, as people will also over-estimate how many times they can fold the paper. Scarlet A.pngmoral 10:02, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

One thing that might be helpful to Godot which we haven't really mentioned is that "orders of magnitude" are usually meant approximately. So "two orders of magnitude" doesn't usually mean "one hundred times, precisely", it can be used when we're so unsure about the exact numbers that we don't even know the first digit of the numbers involved, but we do know approximately how long the numbers would be (their exponent in scientific notation as Khant mentioned). 82.69.171.94 (talk) 11:40, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

That kinda "general" usage, i knew. I just didn't know what it actually meant. Like "decimate" i always thought meant "take out a lot of", only to find it means kill one out of each ten". Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 02:19, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

6 for 22, 60 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT[edit]

Why does Tim Tebow get the media coverage he does? Pro-Bowl talk, defended when they get spanked, the biggest story of the year? His over the top Christ praising is the only way to explain why a guy that sucks so badly is still popular. - π Moderator 00:48, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Well he (barely) got them to the playoffs so they're still going to be praising and covering the guy until they presumably lose in their next game. Unless they make some unexpected playoff run, hopefully he and everyone else will be brought back to earth. I wonder if they miss Orton yet. Sam Tally-ho! 00:55, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
The Lord works in mysterious ways. and if you ask around my *religous* friends in Denver, it's cause "it's a way for them to learn about god, being that they are denver fans". we made it to the playoffs today? but i didn't think we won??????? shit, that is me, Godot. forgotting to sign. I should use the excuse that I'm drunk... but, i'm not. Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 00:57, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
They lost but Oakland lost as well. Their records are tied but Denver won the game between them earlier in the year so they got the playoff spot. Although I don't really like Tebow, it would be quite something to see them make a run. Sam Tally-ho! 01:00, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
(EC)Raiders lost and an 8-8 record was enough to win the division. Still not as bad as last year's 7-9 Seahawks, who at least managed to beat the Saints in the playoffs and win some respectability. - π Moderator 01:01, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Broncos have the Steelers next week. - π Moderator 01:03, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Again, I can't wait when the holiday is finally over and every single talk show comedian will tear him apart. Osaka Sun (talk) 03:34, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
A greater mystery is why a sport that involves a dozen or so heavily padded men having a cuddle over a rubber ball for about 15 seconds before resetting and starting the entire process again from scratch is popular to begin with. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 03:56, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
All sports are ridiculous when phrased like that. - π Moderator 04:12, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
True, but at least with something like rugby, and even proper football (where they, you know, actually kick a ball with their foot), you get some lengthy action before stopping and starting again. Scarlet A.pngbomination 04:15, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
But is it actually action or is it just back and forth filling in time before one team actual gains the upper hand and threatens to score? - π Moderator 04:18, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Golf is pretty ridiculous then. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:20, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
What i always hated about American football is reflected in pi's comments. Seems to me, all you do in foot ball is play for 10 seconds, than stand around and high five. It takes almost 3 hours to play a 60 minute long game - and that includes the clock time that is run off when they are patting eachother's behinds. Something like hockey, you are moving all the time. THAT is a sport. Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 05:32, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Every time my dad and I watch football (which is like all the time when I'm not away at college) he likes to point out how all the clock stoppages are either pointless or take way too long. It probably looks insane to the rest of the world who're used to two blocks of uninterrupted 45 minute play (including my dad). Sam Tally-ho! 05:40, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Stopping the clock on an incomplete pass is left over from a technical problem when broadcasting games in the 70s and is the first stoppage rule that should go, it is less tiring on the players than a run for no yards and has the same result. - π Moderator 05:51, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Stopping the clock allows you to air adverts. If my memory serves me correctly when the USA hosted the 1994 World Cup there were suggestions of introducing mid-half breaks as 45 minutes was too long between the ad slots. In the book The world's game: a history of soccer the authors say that "some American advertising executives dismiss soccer as a 'stupid game' as it has no room for commercials". Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 10:11, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
In amateur American Football, are the games faster since there is no possibility of advertising? Or is the sport just not played at all unless there's an advertising opportunity? If the games are still agonisingly slow (not that there's automatically something wrong with that, golf and cricket are both played at a crawl) then you can't really blame advertising IMO. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 11:45, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I have never played but I would assume it runs quicker, but not by much. Usually a drive (one team's possession of the ball) goes uninterrupted until they kick it away, score, or it is turned over by a fumble or interception. Spontaneous commercial breaks happen with flags, reviews and timeouts. TheCheatI run on alcohol 15:03, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
"are the games faster since there is no possibility of advertising?" No. The games are very slow. Unlike in soccer, where it takes 90 minutes of real time to play 90 minutes of game time, it can take well over two hours to play 60 minutes of an American football clock. Advertising is one reason for this. PintOfStout Talk Do you think expletives make you look intelligent? I dunno. Do you think being self righteous makes you look like a prick? 15:13, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
High school football games will go a bit faster than college or pro. If I remember correctly, their quarters are a little shorter as well. Sam Tally-ho! 23:59, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Again this comes back to the stoppage rules. High school and even college goes faster because they tend to run the ball more which doesn't stop the clock.
There is not much amateur American football in the US, outside of high school or college, you won't go to the park and play it beyond throwing the ball around a bit. College is a big money game, lots of advertisement, but none gets to the players. After college you either go pro or quit. American football is not a sport you can play for a long period of time without sustaining a substantial injury, the pro players have basically sold their long-term health. - π Moderator 00:09, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Lots of advertising, eh? Sam Tally-ho! 01:49, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Debunking the apocalypse[edit]

An interesting little article from MSNBC that gives NASA's response to the various threats of the December 21st apocalypse. Sam Tally-ho! 01:33, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

What's really scary is that NASA needs to debunk it. But then again, they are part of the global warming hoax, so it must be lies, and therefore the apocalypse is true, right? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:40, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm...NASA vs the History Channel. This is gonna be a tough one... Sam Tally-ho! 01:54, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Easiest way to debunk it is wait until the 1st of January 2013 and buy a calendar. In the meantime a lot of idiots are about to get parted with their cash, the only depressing thing is the number that also bought books on Y2K in 1999. You would hope they learnt their lesson, but human stupidity is a remarkable things. - π Moderator 02:01, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Like I told one of my friends, it's a great marketing opportunity. Make December 21st into a apocalypse-themed international party!
And the History Channel has become a complete embarassment. Osaka Sun (talk) 03:32, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
The Apocalypse should be rescheduled for a week earlier so it falls during final exams. Doctor Dark (talk) 03:41, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
(EC) I've become so disillusioned with the "educational" channels like History, Discovery, and Animal Planet. They've gone from respectable documentaries and education-related shows to some of the most idiotic reality programs ever thought of. Mythbusters is their only saving grace. And ya, rescheduling it a couple weeks earlier would be perfect. Sam Tally-ho! 03:46, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
More like the pseudohistory channel, 'mirite? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:50, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, and its little brother, The Hitler Channel Pseudohistory International. Sam Tally-ho! 03:52, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
But in all seriousness, Monsieur 22/7, recall the original experiments that demonstrated cognitive dissonance. If we survive 2012 unscathed, then there are countless reasons we could give to explain that. Because of the post hoc justification, the original doomsaying hypothesis *technically* hasn't been disproven - indeed it could be reinforced by it. It's this sort of thing that keeps batshit insane ideas in circulation for so long. Although that said, this is actually be the case for Y2K, because we did use a significant amount of effort to correct the problem, and then act all surprised when said problem didn't occur. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 03:53, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
(EC)Do they still run those ancient astronaut specials, BTW? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:55, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
They have a whole new season, and at least one and mabye two spinoffs. my dad loves them. sighs.........Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 04:02, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I remember seeing the one where they were prattling on about ancient Egyptian planes. The evidence for this was something along the lines of "Look, they had these vaguely birdlike statuettes that look fairly aerodynamic. Therefore, they had planes. And rocket ships. And laser beams. QED." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:08, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Try not to bawl hysterically. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:57, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
This is sooooo fucking petty of me, OS, but I hate his lisp/accent/whatever. I want to slap him and say "learn to speak if you are going to be on tv". It's a plane! It gets better when he talks about mind control and moving objects with his mind.... yeah, history channel! Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 05:01, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Hehe, I always want to slap you for not using capital letters at the beginning of sentences. Ok, I guess we all have our petty pain in the asses. --ʤɱ secularist 21:34, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
oh my god the hair. how did i forgot that....Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 05:03, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
The hair is the source of all his power. Scarlet A.pngmoral 05:27, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Can anyone tell what that little pin on his jacket is? The symbol for an ancient aliens secret society? Sam Tally-ho! 05:32, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
The pin was made by ALIENS. Osaka Sun (talk) 07:03, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
....His hair is an alien. And I REALLY WANT TO POKE IT!--Dumpling (talk) 21:15, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
<insert joke about "poking" Dumpling here> --ʤɱ constructivist 21:34, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
OOOOH MY~ No poking dumplings, pork dumplings, or pork-ing dumplings of any sort. That's best left to the experts.--Dumpling (talk) 02:54, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

A Song of Ice and Fire and all that[edit]

I'm in the middle of the third installment (A Storm of Swords) but I'm fairly confident in expressing my constant astonishment at how well-woven and intricate the series is. The universe is almost on the scale of J.R.R. Tolkein's, and I'm afraid to say, I'm finding George R. R. Martin's storytelling more engaging than most of Tolkein's. Seme Blue 07:10, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

After watching up the TV series I really don't want to read the books until it's all finished and done with. Scarlet A.pngpostate 10:05, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
The books and television show are going to diverge, last I heard.--ADtalkModerator 12:30, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I seriously doubt that. I've heard that they might diverge in the sense of the timeline (because of the whole books 4/5 split), but not story. I think you're safe reading them. (ʞlɐʇ) ɹǝɯɯɐHʍoƆ 21:06, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Martin does tell a good tale - although I haven't read the newest installment yet... having waiting something like 7 years for it. What I like about it is that there's no real "good" or "bad" side - everybody is doing what they must to get ahead. He's also not afraid to kill off central characters, if the story calls for it. That said, if you want a fantasy series on a scale that leaves everything else behind, I recommend Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen. I've just read Goodkind's Pillars of Creation - very disappointing. Starts off promisingly, then collapses like a cheap souffle. First and possibly last of his books I'll read. --PsyGremlinSermā! 10:59, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm up to speed with all the books and, while I agree with all that has been said above, I'm getting the impression that the story may be running away from him. On the other hand, his tendency to occasionally kill of what appear to be fundamental story charterers does enable him to simplify plot-lines.
But he's got so much stuff to pull together now, and given the intervals between books coming out, that I'm not sure that he's going to finish the story in his lifetime or perhaps not in mine.--BobSpring is sprung! 11:25, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't know why everyone thinks these books are the greatest things since sliced bread. They're superior fantasy, of course, but genre fiction in general is not very good. It's even worse than what would normally be required for Sturgeon's Law, because the things valued by fantasy fans are not the same as what's valued by the broader literati (speaking generally, of course). But of course, everyone seems to go nuts for the genre fiction these days. Harry Potter, etc.--ADtalkModerator 12:30, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
It's never going to win a Nobel Prize, but it does tick all the right boxes for characterization, plot, scenery, etc. When it comes to light reading for the sheer joy of it, these hit the mark. It makes a change from getting bludgeoned by a Coetzee, or Eco, or Coehlo... --PsyGremlinFale! 12:48, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Also you can't really compare Potter to Malazan or ASOFAI... --PsyGremlinFale! 12:49, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
...why not? They're all genre fiction. Fantasy and YA. Incidentally, for good fantasy, look to Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.--ADtalkModerator 12:59, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Now, you see, there I disagree. What made Covenant special (and yes, it's good, but...) was that it was really the first epic to come along since LotR and it broke the conventional mold - less than heroic hero, child rape, etc. But at the end of the day, it was LotR with a couple of tweaks. There was still the good guys versus Lord Foul / Sauron. It was formulaic, along with Eddings, Jordan, etc. Martin & Erikson have done away with that, making the "good vs evil" far more inter-personal and focusing more on the politics of people than the old "yay, we're off on a quest" trope. --PsyGremlinZungumza! 13:12, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
There are very few similarities besides "good versus evil" and "going on a journey," which are themselves so basic that they scarcely count. Consider the other ways it "broke the mold" (can it be a real mold if there's only been one real predecessor?): philosophical questions at the center of the plot and integral to resolution; introduction of the real world into the plot; invoking of nuclear destruction with the white gold; and much more. Further, Lord Foul is actually very much unlike Sauron, and I would argue that it's deliberate: the choice of terminology is meant as an essential disguise to cloak the conflict in a mask of "good versus evil," but really the conflict is about man versus himself.
ASoIaF is probably, incidentally, going to go the same way of "good guys versus bad." The story arc is just much larger because of Martin's DeMille-esque "cast of thousands" approach. It was apparent from the first book that the final plot is going to be about the fight against the white walkers, and that the good guys will just team up in the end to fight them, after all of the inter-human conflict has played out.
What Martin's work has going for it is a good and clever series of plots (mostly cribbed from Renaissance plays, but that's smart and unobjectionable), decent writing, and good characterization. I think it's mistaken, however, to think that it's really breaking any mold. Very low-magic fantasy has been written before (and that's going out the window with the increasing intrusion of greenseers, Red gods, and dragons) and that interpersonal conflict was done very well by Tad Williams in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn among others.
It's not that they're bad books - I like them and enjoy them. They're just not groundbreaking.--ADtalkModerator 13:31, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

I read PZ Myers' review of it (no link, sorry) and decided I'd never try. That and I hate reading.--"Shut up, Brx." 15:27, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

You do know that's not an admission to be proud of, right? --PsyGremlinTala! 15:36, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
No pride was involved in that admission--"Shut up, Brx." 17:35, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Meh. I just read that review and he's entitled to his opinion, but I disagree. His qualms about how GRRM treats his male and female characters is a bit strange, especially.
*Spoilers through book 5 and the new sample chapter ahoy!*
(ʞlɐʇ) ɹǝɯɯɐHʍoƆ 22:04, 2 January 2012 (UTC)