RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive146

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This is an archive page, last updated 27 February 2012. Please do not make edits to this page.
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A sentence I never expected to type[edit]

On behalf of gay Marylanders, thank you Dick Cheney. MDB (talk) 18:50, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

But... but... a Republican can actually support causes I believe in? How is this? My whole world is turning upside down! I might have to become a conservative Christian now... Stupid Troll Guy (talk) 18:58, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I think he really just wants marriage equality in Mary-land (actually, she lives in Virginia). There's a certain irony (or is it not irony? you tell me) in that her GF's name is Heather Poe. But, gay rights good, marriage equality good, on all other issues Dick Cheney can go fuck himself (which would be technically gay, if possible). -- Seth Peck (talk) 19:29, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't give a fuck if he's pro- or anti-gay marriage. He should be facing a war crimes tribunal right now. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:02, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Good post! Blue (pester) 22:19, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. This is the Dick Cheney equivalent of jumping in a moshpit to be cool. Even though he may have done one cool thing or held one cool belief, he's still, at his core, a complete psycho. The Punk Symphony of Noise Your mental puke relief 15:23, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Why I'm glad I moved after college[edit]

I was born and raised in Tennessee. That's where the idiotic "Don't Say Gay" bill is advancing through the state legislature.

After college, I moved to Maryland. Our legislature just approved gay marriage, and the Governor is expected to sign it into law. MDB (talk) 11:35, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Do American Liberals refuse to listen to both sides?[edit]

I just got hold of Narrowing of the American mind? and I wonder if there’s any truth in it. I know American Conservatives won’t listen to both sides. I’ve recently got into a debate with Conservative kids who only know Liberal ideas from places like Fox News and were sure they could win against adults. What about American Liberals? I can understand getting rid of Pat Buchanan as extreme racists wouldn’t be popular in the UK either. Is there a general problem? Aren’t American Liberals Librul and tolerant? Proxima Centauri (talk) 22:27, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I think it's a pretty common trait among humans not to really want to hear the other side. I'd guess conservatives are worse on this account (of course I would), but I don't expect liberals' shit not to stink here either. Turpis 3:16 (talk) 22:30, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Everyone is irrational, and liberals and other leftists aren't excepted. Stupid Troll Guy (talk) 22:37, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I would say it depends on just how liberal the liberals in question are. -- Seth Peck (talk) 22:39, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Beware the balance fallacy. There are issues where it's wise to listen to both sides, & there are issues where it isn't. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:46, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Alternative medicine isn't 'more liberal' than skepticism -- it's more New Age-y. Nihilist (talk) 22:47, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
... and quite a few New Age flakes tend to be be lefties. ТyLonely. Ever so lonely. 22:54, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm not really sure what "sides" we are supposed to be listening to. Right now, in the US, there are only two sides. "rational/somewhatrational and OHMYGODFUCKINGINSANE". We live in a world with Global Warming deniers, people who think Birth Control is not a critical medical issue for women, people who think we should go back to teaching the bible in schools, etc. When you are faced with one side that is so overblown in their extremism, and this is what "side" you are supposed to listen to, why should we be listening? When sane people offer sane sides, like you see in other countries, then we can ask this question again. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 23:15, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Blatant irrational idiocy is blatant irrational idiocy. I don't think political persuasion is a good predictor of that. What kind of blatant irrational idiocy, on the other hand, you might have a point. Scarlet A.pngtheist 23:17, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Where did the notion of TV pundits even originate from anyway? It's always been a bad mix. Osaka Sun (talk) 23:25, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
They probably were once good. I remember a pbs show where intelligent people spoke about intelligent things, in an intelligent way, and really disected the issue. the "sunday morning" shows were not too bad either. I didn't really get any of what they were saying, it was that long ago. But then someone realized these shows could actually sell products, and sell politicians. The dumbed it down. and from there it got worse. Now, pundits are just people who talk louder than the guests, not people with intelligence or specific knowledge. Worse, we are in a society where we do not think it takes expertese to run things. Ron Paul said yesterday "I will not be deciding how to manage the economy, the PEOPLE will decide it for me". What does that even mean? I don't trust myself, much less some highschool drop out to decide anything about how to run an economy. I want people who at least have studied this area... Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 23:49, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I think there is a general resistance to ideas that aren't inside the political binary/Overton Window of the Beltway conventional wisdom. @Godot: You won't run the economy under Pres. Paul. It's spontaneous order created by the people. Study your Hayek! Economics is not physics! People are not atoms! Humans act! Free market! Colloidal silver! /Austrian school crank Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:23, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

I've edited the article on Conservatives. Proxima Centauri (talk) 19:22, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Americans please check these edits. Proxima Centauri (talk) 14:27, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Foreigner John Cleese mocks Fox News, see Gawker commenters' reaction[edit]

Kind of proves his point... Osaka Sun (talk) 18:21, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Don't read the bottom half of the internet. Scarlet A.pngmoral 19:38, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
It's like a car wreck. i know not to look, but always do. and then yell at myself when i see something i didn't want to see. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 20:44, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Speaking of comments not to read try this one - I'll give you a hint, girl in a YouTube video. You can practically make a bingo card for it. Scarlet A.pngmoral 13:58, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Why does he call himself Michael Palin at the beginning? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:07, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Probably an inside joke. This guy better live for at least another 15 years. Osaka Sun (talk) 20:19, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

AiG Ark Park: Failed before it was even built[edit]

This is pretty impressive. Many of AiG's sheep aren't quite sheep enough to donate towards the building of a for-profit theme park. The ark park has now been scaled back to just the ark. It's now going to be more of a roadside attraction than Ignoranceville, Kentucky. This also means they may not get their tax breaks if they don't invest what they promised in a timely fashion. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in AiG's meetings with their financial backers. I'm guessing there's a lot of questions being asked about how realistic their visitor numbers projections were. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:57, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

So, they clearly couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery as far as this project is concerned, yet they expect us to believe a family of 7 managed it 4000 years ago? Scarlet A.pngnarchist 20:06, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
(EC)Really? Yes. That'll teach them to make an Ark that can't float. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 20:07, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
And what's 25 million dollars in 3000 BC Shekels? Noah must have been one rich arse farmer. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 20:09, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Not to mention nails. and scaffolding. and those bigass cranes to do the work. Yup. easy peasy in 2500 BC. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 20:42, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
We should petition AiG to build their Ark using only a family of 7 and authentic 4000 year old tools. We can then say that if they do it and the thing successfully floats, we'll accept the flood is a remote possibility. Scarlet A.pngsshole 21:42, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Never mind, it appears they're trying to claim that antedelivian civilisation was sufficiently advanced to worm out of that one. Remarkably, though, the comments on that blog are NOT CENSORED! Holy Fucking Christ On A Bike, I am genuinely, genuinely shocked to see that. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 02:12, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

They said in the article they got all the acreage they would need, and that it's unfortunately not that they aren't going to build the whole park, but rather, it's going to be phased out over a longer period of time and its initial opening will just have the ark. But why aren't they using 4300-year-old tools to make this thing? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:05, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Read between the lines, dude. What they're saying is that their partners in this enterprise are no longer willing to pay for the development of the rest of the ark park. The "future phases" probably won't now materialise, or at least only in a very reduced format. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 09:53, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Science themed music[edit]

I promised my 5th grade nephew I'd help him with a speech on why science is important in the schools. What are some good science themed music. all I have in my head is "she blinded me with science". can be fun or serious songs. THANKS!Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 20:47, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

I like the Symphony of Science music myself, but not everyone can tolerate massively autotuned things. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 20:49, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Symphony of Science is one of the best uses of autotune I've seen so far. Also try the Large Hadron Rap and MC Hawking (though there's quite a bit of swearing). Osaka Sun (talk) 21:01, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, SOS he is specifically not to use, cause it's already made for him. He's supposed to figure out what to say on his own. ;-) But i was just looking at the "new" one, Greatest show on earth. :-) Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 21:05, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Here Comes Science is an excellent 2009 album by They Might Be Giants.--Martin Arrowsmith (talk) 21:17, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Isn't it obvious? Scarlet A.pngsshole 21:18, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Others I can think up from the top of my head: Bowie' Space Oddity, Monty Python's Galaxy Song, The Scientist by Coldplay, and Florence + The Machine's Strangeness and Charm.
Edit: See this list. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:29, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
White and Nerdy? :P Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:38, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh, that list of Osaka's reminds me of several songs about space, exploration etc., that he could use. and the whole Major Tom "series"...Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 21:44, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Including Peter Schilling's version? looks at you askance --PsyGremlin講話 05:20, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Proper songs about doing SCIENCE! - Still Alive and Want You Gone. -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 12:50, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

anti-vaccers 9-questions science cannot answer[edit]

sighs. another list. Wondering if we've debunked the list? article from Science Based MedicinePink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 21:17, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Without resorting to snark? Difficult. Scarlet A.pngpostate 21:23, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
"Without resorting to snark? Difficult." Yeah, I don't know how they do it on a blog -- I can't keep snark out of my academic papers. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:32, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
You write papers with snark? crap, anytime I put snark in i was told it was un professional and rewrite it. "you kids don't know what it was like, back in the day". Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 21:35, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
by the way, this guy's questions make the anti-evo types look like actual science! "is there any proof vaccinations work". SMALLPOX!!!! sheesh....Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 21:36, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
It creeps in every now and then, I recall one that basically says "Evans boldly put 50 atm of ethylene in a cell with 25 atm of O2. The apparatus subsequently blew up, but luckily not before he obtained the spectra shown in Figure 8" Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:40, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
The challenge is making it just veiled enough not to be too blatant. (Also, I've seen some pretty blatant snark in published papers.) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:44, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

A one sentence debunking:

You're still alive. Osaka Sun (talk) 23:05, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Smallpox is extinct. - π 02:29, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Or just eradicated in the wild? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 08:54, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
It would be extinct if the US and Russian governments could part with their samples. - π 09:00, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Disappointingly both Smallpox and Rinderpest (the second viral disease we've eradicated) are of some potential research value, will live in a dish, and so will probably remain in (hopefully well guarded) laboratories for a lifetime or more. The first disease whose eradication will likely lead to full extinction (not just wild extinction) and of a multi-cellular organism no less, is probably going to be Guinea Worm, because those worms only live in people (indeed that's why we expect eradication to be successful) and so every worm your research group wants to keep alive needs a volunteer human host who'll put up with agonising pain once a year until the worm can be extracted... I do not foresee anyone at the CDC volunteering.
Happily, eradicating Guinea Worm is something even people who don't believe in vaccination can get behind. This makes it a fun test for two groups of unscientific people. The "don't let any species go extinct" lot can have fun justifying why other people must suffer terrible pain in order that they can feel better about themselves, and the "Western medicine doesn't work" lot can explain why Guinea Worm eradication is working (has worked on all but one region of one continent) while their hocus-pocus does nothing. (talk) 10:23, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
[1] - David Gerard (talk) 12:03, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Isn't God's creation wondrous! Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:40, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
So, which one of Noah's sons had to carry it on board the Ark? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 12:45, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Ham got all the nasty diseases, duh, haven't you looked at a T&O map? Ham gets every disease under the sun, he and his descendants settle Africa, which is thus full of horrible diseases not because of poverty or plain bad luck but because God intended it to be that way. Bringing Africans out of misery is thus a defiance of God's wishes, especially if you spend American money doing it.
Alternatively, since the worm's other phase of existence takes place in water (it begins in a copepod which is then drunk by people who don't have safe drinking water or who drink pond water anyway - hence it is only found in the poorest places) you can pretend that it was preserved that way for the months while everyone was on a boat.
In passing, as we're ridiculing religion, many of the African people still afflicted by this disease historically believed it was a result of angry dead relatives who needed to be appeased. The fact that these relatives consistently get angrier during one season apparently escaped notice. The main contribution of medicine to their plight isn't a vaccine, antibiotics or other technology, it's just the understanding of what's actually wrong and how to prevent it, a message you can explain to a five year old. (talk) 13:46, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I took a gander at the relevant WP article and had a picture of children drinking through straws with filters in. Indeed, knowledge of what is really causing the problem is the biggest thing medicine gives us. Also reminds me of Ben Goldacre's Atheist Guide... entry that talked about rehydration to stop diarrhoea. We can say "medicine isn't magic" and mean it in two ways, really. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:55, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Free bumper sticker[edit]

Show your support for that Marxist Muslim Atheist Kenyan forger. --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 08:59, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Are those details (e.g. ZIP code, email address) yours? If so you might want to remove that link. Also, you might want to contact barackobama.com and suggest they hire someone competent to build their web site where competent includes "Understands the privacy implications of different types of HTTP form pre-filling and doesn't give away people's personal data in URLs they are likely to share with others". (talk) 11:54, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Ah, you've fixed it. Good. (talk) 12:11, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. Thanks for the heads up - such incompetence is enough to make you vote Republican. --PsyGremlinPraat! 12:13, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting Free Speech Case[edit]

A man said he was a wounded veteran and had received the Medal of Honor. He was lying, and he's being prosecuted under the Stolen Valor Act. The Supreme Court is going to hear the case Wednesday. In short, someone who falsely claims to have any military decoration can get six months in prison, and up to a year if you falsely claim to have the Medal of Honor.

Speculation is that the law was created to address people who were committing fraud by claiming to have decorations -- i.e. "I'm a Medal of Honor winner; give to my 'help the vets' charity." Plus , people who were selling forged medals. However, the case I link to above doesn't mention any of that; just that he lied about it.

Now, I don't think that anyone would disagree that if you're committing fraud by claiming military heroism, that should be prosecuted. But if all you're doing is lying... on the one hand, should just being a lying jerk be a crime? Legally, should that really be different from the loudmouth in a bar who's telling a "one that got away" fishing story?

On the other hand, this is a lot more than a fish story. This is lying about the highest honor the US gives, one that's given to incredibly brave people. And I think it does dishonor them, and that there is some argument to be made that their honor should be legally protected.

But you can always make a slippery slope argument. What if someone lied about having been an astronaut? That's another group of people we generally consider to be very brave and heroic.

And even if you are committing fraud by falsely claiming military honors, does it need to be a special Federal law? There's already fraud laws on the books, and if someone did try to run a charity by falsely claiming military medals, then it's probably already a crime. Should such fraud be considered "especially bad"?

It's an fascinating case, and I'd be interested to hear other's thoughts. MDB (talk) 11:44, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

It's interesting as the actus reus is very different, whereas the mens rea is pretty much the same. But you're right about the big-fish story as it's the action itself that differentiates mere lying from criminal fraud - and then what about delusion, which is actually believing things that aren't true? Scarlet A.pngsshole 11:52, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

It's possible that the offence was just intended to be easier to prosecute than fraud (no need to prove gain, so you don't need to wait for anyone to fall for the scam). In that case you'd expect that the guidance (where does one find prosecutorial guidance for the US? Something like this. Do you guys even have that?) would say not to prosecute people who've merely told tall stories. I agree that in principle it seems rough to lock people up for merely lying even if you think their lie is particularly despicable. Public shame is appropriate, but that doesn't require a prosecution, let alone a prison sentence. (talk) 12:04, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

It reminds me of that time I won a Purple Heart. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:08, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I'm just showing my age and Britishness but this is what comes to my mind when people mention purple hearts. But of course you may have just won a Tradescantia at the village flower show. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 15:21, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
So am I now actually breaking the law rather than merely making a joke or acting like a prat by writing that somewhere? What if I were to fake some kind of semi-believable American accent and go around the UK claiming it, would I also be liable for extradition? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:09, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Expect Karajou to come crashing through you door any second now, wielding handcuffs. And not in a good way either. --PsyGremlinFale! 12:16, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
There is no good way Karajou could come through my door wielding handcuffs. Unless they were attached to the hottie he's delivering to me. MDB (talk) 12:27, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Even then, said "hottie" probably would have been stolen and battered into submission rather than willing, so there still is no good way that can go down. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 12:38, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
As a surviving member of Seal Team 6, I am disappointed at the direction this conversation has taken (I also have an Iron Cross and a phalerae)--Brendiggg (talk) 14:03, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you are asking, but this is in no way unique to the military. You cannot claim to have an oscar, for example, you cannot claim to be a graduate of a university on your resume, or claim to have "media credentials" when you do not, etc. Misrepresentation of yourself is generally "punished" by just not giving you a job, but you could in theory be charged with fraud if a prosecution body could be convinced to do it. The law for the military is just one of those exceptions specifically carved out for them casue it garnered someone some votes somewhere.Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 17:33, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
The issue is what you accomplish through your deceit. If you lie on a CV, you don't get a job - at worst you might get put on a blacklist for it. Credentials are just pieces of paper - or in the cases of medals, pieces of forged metal - and only mean what someone will let you do with that, and that depends on who says they're valuable. I can say, and print off a certificate, saying that I have a Masters Degree in Hardcore Rationality from RationalWiki University. It wouldn't be a lie, per se, but it wouldn't mean anything to anyone else. If I used that to get an academic position at a university, I'd be laughed out of the office. But what if I just did that but never used it on a CV or brought it up, and otherwise did just keep it for novelty's sake? It's not fraud because there's no victim and no gain, which is what fraud requires. Even using a fake medal to gain a few free drinks is fraudulent in that respect. If you're just sat raving in the corner it's a lot different, though, as we don't punish people in a legal sense just for lying and embellishing.
Though indeed, it's only a special military case because someone, at some point, will have used it as a political football and people would have bought it. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 18:05, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. Godot, you've got some kind of legal background haven't you? The usual rule prohibits fraud which is specifically gain through deception. Mere deception is not normally against the law -- probably because of a combination of two things, firstly under some system of ethics lying doesn't itself cause any harm and secondly it's clear that humans lie all the damn time, laws against essential human nature are not on the whole very successful and tend to bring the law into disrepute. This law, or rather a small and contentious part of it, seems to overstep that boundary. The Supreme Court is going to have to decide whether that makes any sort of sense or whether instead that aspect of the law must be struck. (talk) 18:14, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Freud Wars Pt. One Zillion[edit]

Freudian/Lacanian butthurt ensues over a French documentary on autism. As if there wasn't enough crankery surrounding autism already. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:47, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Why libertarians must deny environmental problems[edit]

The Great Moonbat links to a good article on said subject. Admittedly, they sometimes try not to, but it usually involves shouting "free market!" and praying to the invisible hand. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:20, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Exactly why I hate ideology. Osaka Sun (talk) 20:26, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I dream of a perfect world where ideology is banned. I've got it all planned out, I just need dedicated followers to start a movement. ONE / TALK 22:32, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
When the world is a lifeless desert, that's when we'll be able to go back to the gold standard. Makes perfect sense.--ADtalkModerator 22:44, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Not sure what to think of this…[edit]

I don't think this is worth a WIGO, but a section should be given. Germany's next President is going to be a human rights-activist, anti-communist, Stasi-hunter and Protestant pastor. He's also an independent. I hope he doesn't bring too much religion into the game, I'd hate to see the German head of state go all "God helped me go through this tough crisis". --ʤɱ structuralist 22:39, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

The guy's...definitely something else. Former Green, professed "leftist, liberal conservative" and staunch anti-Commie. Loved by the major parties and a pastor to boot. Osaka Sun (talk) 23:15, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Liberal cowardice[edit]

I have noticed that you, being liberals, have refused to respond to the questions on my userpage. This is a perfect example of liberal cowardice. Opponent of Liberalism and Fascism (talk) 01:40, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Come on -- even I could come up with better satire than that. Unless the fact that it's extremely poor satire is part of the satire itself, which is getting far too meta for me. Nihilist (talk) 01:49, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Ooooh, meta-satire. I like the sound of that. Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:01, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Didn't we have a troll asking these same questions a while back? PS ignoring you =/= refusal. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 05:24, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Apparently they're all the same guy. Poor little one-trick troll. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 05:26, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Hey, xe could just be a well-intentioned meta-satirist. An American Nihilist (talk) 05:30, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
In his dreams he probably is. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 05:31, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I will give him the benefit of the doubt... He is delusional. I will counter all of logical inconsistencies with one simple one! No true liberal would ever think/do/say/whatever those things you say all of them do! #Winning. GTFO noob. TheCheatI run on alcohol 15:19, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

So, what do you think about...[edit]

...my essay on prenatal development? I know it's nowhere near finished, but you try sitting down and writing a somewhat detailed day-by-day chronology of pregnancy from conception to birth without getting up to eat, piss, work, sleep, etc.. Fortunately, I have a week of vacation coming up, so I'll be able to expand more than I probably would otherwise. But what do you think about what I have so far? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:09, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Boring. An American Nihilist (talk) 05:23, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Uli doesn't care about anything. He's a Nihilist. TheCheatI run on alcohol 14:47, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I think it's great. Will it really take you nine months to complete it? Nine months were you will concentrate solely on this particular essay? Keep it up then.--Th. Bernhard (talk) 14:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Family Tree[edit]

I am interested in getting together a family tree. What is a good online or offline program to use to set it up? Obviously I'm not interested in paying anything. Has anyone does this and have any recommendations or tips?--ADtalkModerator 23:43, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

The mormons always seem good at doing family tree stuff. as for fee... idk, public records? --il'Dictator Mikal 23:51, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Genes Reunited can do it online (don't know if they're available in US) but I think there are a few freeware and shareware programmes for just making the tree; accessing the records is another matter. Ancestory.com/co.uk tends to buy up public records and makes them available for a fee. Genes Reunited can put you in touch with others researching the same branches but you'll need to pay for the privilege. If you don't want to pay anything then you could probably just use an office drawing package that can handle organograms. The last 150 years or so are not too hard, but with the geometric increase in branches and paucity of records you'll need to be committed to get much further, especially without paying. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 09:34, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
For the UK there are volunteers transcribing public records, they have pretty good coverage of births, deaths and marriages from the early 19th century until about 50 years ago (if you can't figure out who married who fifty years ago then you're probably screwed anyway). You can get access to the raw (scans of handwriting or typewritten documents) data they're transcribing, in exchange for volunteering to help for a while, which may be a good trade if they haven't quite transcribed the period you need yet. So check out FreeBMD.org.uk if your ancestors lived in Britain.
If you want to go back further than the 19th century then it begins to get very hazy in the UK. The records are hand written, incomplete and spread across the country. Going undocumented was very easy in this period, census records are a mess of spidery hand-writing and inconsistent practices. The people who've done the best job of piecing things together definitely want money for their trouble. Unless the family name you are tracing is uncommon there's a good chance your Mr David Smith disappears into a sea of other David Smiths about whom little is recorded and you go into TV show ancestor mode where you pick the David Smith who was awarded a medal or convicted of petty theft just because at least there are records about him... (talk) 13:10, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I ended up just getting a trial account for two weeks at ancestry.com. I'll pore through their records in that time and get whatever I can, and screw the rest. It's a pretty good site, I guess. I discovered my great-great-great-grandfather was a Captain of the 67th Ohio in the Civil War already.
Most all of my family comes from Ireland, it seems, aside from my patrilineal ancestors (Greece) and a random German. Thanks for the UK tip, though, if any turn out to have been British I'll know where to go.--ADtalkModerator 06:15, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Idea for a series of political animated cartoons I have[edit]

Image:Blastocyst_Sketch_1.png It's just beginning to develop in my head, but it'll be some sort of way of voicing my various comments on the religious right. To copy my original description of the image:

The smiley blastocyst on the right is looking forward to helping some guy with a broken spinal cord, while the pastor blastocyst (pastocyst?) is going to be some sort of satire of the guys you find on Conservapedia or other forms of the religious right.

So far, I've established two characters: the Optimist and the Fundamentalist (any suggestions for better actual names?). Just want to know your thoughts on it. A lot of it's indeterminate on where I want it to go, but I wanted to get this idea down a) because I don't want to forget it and b) to secure a copyright before it's too late. Your thoughts, suggestions, comments, etc.? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 02:51, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

What the fuck? AceModerator 02:54, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm with ace.gif Indeed. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 03:51, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what to think of this. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:44, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Brilliant idea! I fear that few will truly recognise your creative genius but that never stopped anybody. As for names for your characters, I recommend Gaylord and Dick because everybody loves to laugh at those names (it just never gets old).
As to your points: a) Good move! One of Newton's cutest ideas might have been forgotten if he hadn't scribbled them down somewhere; b) Another good move. The very moment you first unleashed the concept of ironically sentient blastocysts, I (and I'm sure many others) were scrambling to publish and own the idea. Take this concept and run with it. Don't let the internet distract you. Shut yourself away and work hard in isolation, for many years if possible.--Brendiggg (talk) 12:08, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
They look familiar... Scarlet A.pngbomination 12:14, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
One, there's something called a "NSFW label". Be glad I'm on vacation this week. Two, that's literally only the half of what I'm doing. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 14:07, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
There should be an NSFW splash screen on it... don't know where that's gone. Scarlet A.pngpostate 14:09, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
"Splash screen"! "Only half of what I'm doing"! Can you two please keep your double entendres to yourselves? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 16:33, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh... I didn't think of it that way. I mean the " Please click on the button below to certify you're over 18. Of course, if you are under 18, you can't legally certify anything. So if you're a minor, please get a parent to click the button which says you aren't. Thank you." screen. It seems to have gone. Scarlet A.pngpostate 21:44, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Oil sands update[edit]

Climate deniers now are using this commentary by Andrew Weaver to...well, do what they always do. Skeptical Science hasn't responded to it yet. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:15, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Unblock me please.[edit]

Okay, massive crush of work dealt with. Can somebody please unblock me/restore my rights? Thanks. P-Foster

Hmmmm.... hmm.... hm.... really? Hmm.... I'll think about it. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 21:42, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. P-Foster Talk ""Santorum is the cream rising to the top."" 21:44, 20 February 2012 (UTC)


Focus on the Family just came up with some new shit for kids. Something called "Jelly Telly". Here ya go. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 23:23, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

First: conglaturations on making a post I can't imagine anyone getting mad at you for. Second: i know this has been said before, but they claim us (by 'us' I mean the homoscheckuals, lieberals, evilutionists, and godless heathens) of trying to indoctrinate children? Stupid Troll Guy (talk) 02:28, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
technically it's happened in the past, all groups do some form of indoctrination or another.--il'Dictator Mikal 02:30, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
It depends on what you mean by 'indoctrination'. If you have access to kids, you're probably going to try to persuade them towards your own beliefs. An American Nihilist (talk) 02:32, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
technically it's happened in the past, all groups do some form of indoctrination or another. Already said that in my reply sparky--il'Dictator Mikal 02:33, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

How is...[edit]

...anybody supposed to view my masterpieces like my thing on blastocysts if you put it in my userspace? Help! The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 17:55, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

See here. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:57, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
That's not very helpful. :( How is somebody going to view my great works if you move them where they can't be seen? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 18:00, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
...--il'Dictator Mikal 18:02, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Stop giving me irrelevant pictures! How is some guy going to be able to view my genius if you all push it to my userspace where no-one will be able to see it unless they're already looking for it? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 18:06, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
It's not genius, for a start. perhaps you could link to it from your dazzlingly witty blog, or facebook perhaps. Or even your userpage. Sophiebecause liberals 18:09, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
It is genius, you just don't recognize it. But I don't have a blog or Facebook page, and I don't know why anyone would go to my userpage. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 18:17, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
... ok seriously now.--il'Dictator Mikal 18:20, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Where do I go now?[edit]

On this site, I'm tempted to think that this website isn't right for me, even though I agree with its ideology. Could somebody please link me to an online community that is better suited for me, my views, my sense of humor, etc.? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 18:17, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

There's always good old HeidelbergKidWiki right? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:28, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Try 4chan. You'll fit right in. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:29, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Or here. --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 18:36, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Hey, did CUR ever set up his own wiki with blackjack and furry hookers? It'd be awesome to have a wiki dedicated to all our former over eager sub-trolls. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:38, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually, yes. But it's now defunct; AFAIK he was sole editor. Cached page here. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:49, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Uh, imageboards don't appeal to me that much, HW was abandoned after no activity for 60 days. Am investigating ED right now, seems pretty good. I decided to preview a few articles on their to see if it's the right POV: I checked "abortion" and "blastocyst" (no articles on those), "evolution" (I got Thunderf00t's article, seems good) and "atheism" (again, seems good, made the common mistake of misdefining atheism as rejecting religion, but respectable dictionaries screw that up). Give me a little time to continue investigating, and I may be out of your hair forever! The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 18:46, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

My advice is, get a blog on Wordpress or one of those sites. To try and get more traffic you could maybe use a Twitter account, or maybe become a top contributor to on-mission stuff here and then some people probably will look at your user page to see if you have a blog.--Little Bobby Tables (talk) 18:59, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Okay, leaving and never coming back isn't a good idea...[edit]

...But I feel I have a different sense of humor than most of you: what I think is funny (like my blastocyst thing) you don't, and we all have had times in the past where we couldn't really understand why the other guy doesn't find the joke funny. What am I to do if my concept of snark is different than yours? I really want to be here: ED seems more of a wiki on memes than anything else. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 21:39, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

You can't force people to have the same sense of humour as you, & as it's a collaborative wiki, what most people don't find amusing &/or informative will tend to get deleted. You can either learn to deal with that, or work on stuff in userspace/essayspace, where it's less likely to be interfered with but also probably less likely to be read. Also, stop making such a drama about these issues in public places like the Saloon Bar. Sorry, but everyone is getting fed up with it. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:46, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Why don't you find it funny? Just tell me, what are your criteria for humor, and why didn't my thing on blastocysts meet those critera? I really don't understand. Also, I need to talk about it in the bar because I need somebody to talk to about my problems, and here is the best place I know of to do so. Why is my sense of humor a "minority"? Why can't we just all come together and write down some official RW criteria for what's snarky and what's not? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 23:05, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Try to collaborate work with people to arrive at a compromise. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Its not an all or nothing thing, my way or the highway, for either side. Maybe pull back on the "snark" significantly if that's where the conflict is. Produce quality mission content with limited sarcasm or jokes. Its all about reputation building and learning to be a collaborative editor. As we say many places on this site, do not submit here if you are not willing to have your work mercilessly edited. Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:10, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
For the blastocyst joke I think the problem is that the punchline has been done to death here; you need a variation on the theme to make it funny again. Also there is too much body to the joke before the punchline. For example you have two parenthetic comments prior to the punchline and you also explain terminology prior to the punchline - remember if you have to explain it then it's not a funny joke. The absurdity of a blastocyst having wi-fi access is potentially funny but without context falls flat; if you could somehow relate this to people who believe blastocysts are fully formed humans / anti-abortion crowd you might have a potentially funny joke. Humour is probably too idiosyncratic to be captured by criteria at this stage; perhaps once neuroscience has progressed to the point that we know what fires the 'funny' neurons in the brain we can draw up criteria for you HK, until then you have to learn to deal with the ambiguity. In the meantime read this article. Tielec01 (talk) 23:18, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, the world's not as clear-cut as I'd like. I made some modifications, could you please check it out and give me your comments/suggestions? Probably still needs major work, but I think I managed to make a new, as yet unused joke. (Also, can I put this on the Community Chalkboard?) The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 02:09, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I'll tell you what, that's a reasonably funny idea, but it would be way funnier if it had a whole website devoted to it called justice4blastocysts.com or something, rather than just being a little gag on a moderately obscure wiki like this one. Sometimes the funniest thing about a throwaway idea like that is the disproportionate effort that's been put into propagating it and dressing it up.--

Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 11:19, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Okay, sounds like a plan. I'll begin coming up with ideas. My whole blastocyst sketch, due to the nature of it where it's so screwed up it will probably imply the opposite of what was intended, would be something great on this parody website. (Also, for the record, I'm "getting dibs" for the URL of "www.justice4blastocysts.com". Everyone no takey my URL.) The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 13:47, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Of course, the ultimate goal of a site like that would be for some maniacs to think it was real and start agreeing with it.--

Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 11:12, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Atheism and Slavery[edit]

Richard Dawkins profits from slavery!............though not since 1744. AceModerator 02:48, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Funny. Loved the last two sentences. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 02:54, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
This is a new low, even by whatever standards the Telegraph has left. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:41, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I did love the idea that "I'm also the greatx5 grandson of a bunch of religious nuts. luckily for me, none of any of my ancestry is relevant in the way you are articulating". (paraphrase of course)Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 16:06, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
"If Richard Dawkins is descended from slave traders, then how comes there are still slave traders around today, eh? How comes THEY didn't evolve into Richard Dawkins too? Answer that science." - David Gerard (talk) 07:54, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

What the Internet is all about.[edit]

If you don't like this you have no soul. Osaka Sun (talk) 01:56, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Pretty girl? Check. Cats? Check. Short, stupid, homemade video? Check.
Yes sir, that is a lot majority of the internet right there. Nihilist (talk) 02:31, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Last i checked the internet was for porn--il'Dictator Mikal 02:32, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
^ What he said. LOL. --Dumpling (talk) 06:03, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Grab your dick and double-click! Blue (pester) 06:11, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
FOR PORN PORN PORRRRRN! --Dumpling (talk) 06:35, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Hearing Dumpling say that, makes me feel doubly dirty. --PsyGremlinRunāt! 06:52, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Double dirty? What? How?--Dumpling (talk) 06:57, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Remember, in ancient Egypt, house cats were worshiped as gods. They have never forgotten this. MDB (talk) 13:32, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

On Peter Gleick[edit]

Ok, so he admits that he got the documents illegally. But it still gives us no indication of its veracity. What now? Osaka Sun (talk) 04:38, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Hard to say, as no one seems to know what legally should happen here. Heartland issued a statement via Watts up with that with threats for Gleick. (Aside: Their public relations has been horrible throughout this. Who does legal threats by press release, and then rubs it in? Even by twiiter.) Not sure desmog's response is the best, either. From the outside, it all looks fairly petty. steriletalk 06:16, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Nothing will happen, legally. Heartland has too much to lose by making this a bigger deal; that want people to forget about it. That's also why the threats and admonitions are quiet and obscure.--ADtalkModerator 09:36, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I admire their clever wording in their press release, by the way. They ask for bloggers to remove the "stolen and fraudulent documents," handily lumping in the forged memo with the leaked materials.--ADtalkModerator 09:37, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, they're hardly backing up their position that they're faked, are they? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:18, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Today should be interesting, since, "We are consulting with legal counsel to determine our next steps and plan to release a more complete statement about the situation tomorrow." To be honest, it seems like they just want to cry, "FAKE! FAKE!" over and over again to keep the attention off the actual content of the documents, which would come up during an investigation. The last two press releases seem more like, "Let's imply that Peter Gleick, DeSmogBlog, Huffington Post and Think Progress know something," with the implication that they are EVIL, with nothing to really back it up with. That can't be in a PR handbook as something to do regularly. I doubt anything will come to it legally. steriletalk 15:48, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Damn but Gleick is an idiot! On top of obtaining the documents illegally, denialists now have evidence of a "real" violation of ethics. How did he think he would walk away from this looking good?
BTW, should we just make a Denialist/Gleick/whatever-gate forum? This story will probably be ongoing for some time. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:09, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Gleick removed from AGU ethics board. Ethics fail. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:10, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I'll make Gleickleak.--ADtalkModerator 20:27, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Right now there's a section under Heartland Institute. steriletalk 20:55, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting: Heartland Pres Bast is now saying that Gleick wrote the climate strategy document, which isn't what Gleick says happened. I wonder if there's a point at which Gleick could go after Bast for defamation. steriletalk 05:27, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikitable expert needed[edit]

Please help me sort Stephen Colbert out here. Proxima Centauri (talk) 10:21, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Right now it's not a sortable wikitable, so it's not going to sort automatically (for that you'd need class="wikitable sortable", but that's going to take some work implementing and probably wouldn't be worth it). I put him in the correct spot, anyway. Cow...Hammertime! 20:21, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Frickin' cardboard boxes. How do they work?[edit]

I've just been recycling some laptop boxes and am amazed at the cleverness in designing all the cutouts and bits that lock together. Are there university courses for this? PongoOrangutans are sceptical 10:31, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Yes. The field is called "wp:Packaging engineering."--ADtalkModerator 10:40, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, actually wp:Corrugated_box_design satisfies my curiosity a bit more. PongoOrangutans are sceptical 11:00, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, I've learned a few things today. Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:30, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
University isnt all ivory towers armo; some people are willing to spend to learn something practical if specific. --il'Dictator Mikal 15:17, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Ten Letters from Presidents[edit]

Ten Great Letters from Presidents.

Including a really sweet letter from Ronald to Nancy Reagan (say what you will about his Presidency, but he and Nancy adored each other, and Harry Truman basically threatening to kick the ass of a critic who gave nasty review of Margaret Truman's musical performance. MDB (talk) 15:25, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

XKCD Waiting Formula[edit]

I hate it when YouTube videos take so damn long to load. Fortunately, XKCD made a solution: condense the entire history of the universe into your loading. Being a fan of science and history, I think this would be great. Of course, it would need frequent updating (maybe being linked to a news website) in order for the earlier percentages to remain accurate, but all in all, it seems pretty good. My hatred of buffering would be no more with this. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 15:59, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

youtube takes time? get a better connection. --il'Dictator Mikal 16:11, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
No, YouTube has been slowing down recently compared to what it used to be like. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 16:33, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I used to have to wait twenty minutes to watch youtube while my housemate downloaded films. After that, I don't notice "slow" loading. Sophiebecause liberals 18:18, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Internet these days is not what it used to be. That's why I stopped using it. -- (talk) 21:02, 21 February 2012 (UTC)


This website is a publicly-sponsored initiative in Colorado that I'm starting to see banner ads for around the internet. It appears to offer the range of birth control options as possible considerations. I think the idea is to start a conversation between sexual partners.
As a Coloradoan, I approve of this use of public funds.
But an interesting note: I went to Las Vegas this weekend, taking the I-70/I-15 through Utah route going and the I-40/I-25 through Arizona/New Mexico route on the way back. I saw billboards for this site (featuring slogans like "I'm ready for a relationship, but not a baby", etc). Now, given that I travelled the two most populous highways in Colorado, I only saw these billboards in one place—on I-25 from Pueblo, through Fountain, to Colorado Springs (a stretch of about 40 miles). Nowhere else. Now that stretch of the highway contains some of the most conservative constituencies in the state...why would they be advertising the site there and not on, say, the highway up to the resorts and hot springs? It couldn't POSSIBLY because abstinence education doesn't work, could it??? -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:34, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Sorry if I'm talking too much here, but...[edit]

Moved to Essay_talk:Comments_on_the_Virginia_Personhood_Bill. Timestamp. ТyTalk 03:36, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Aurora borealis[edit]

My email alert fromSpaceweather.com says that "a solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field during the waning hours of Saturday, Feb. 18th" with the aurora visible as far south as Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota. Did anyone see it? I'm still hoping to get a glimpse from central England some time. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 09:12, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I saw the Aurora Australias down here in NZ once. Pretty impressive. I didn't even know it was coming and one night, interesting whilst walking alone from the video store stoned and cutting through a cemetery, I thought I heard a sound and I spun round....ZANG. Fucking amazing. AceModerator 09:16, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Earlier this year it was apparently visible as low as Northumberland in the UK - though I forget what latitude that is relative to US geography. It was too cloudy to see it, apparently, and it's still really low on the horizon rather than above you, so very difficult to see anyway. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 10:49, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't have a list of things I want to do before I die, but seeing the Northern Lights has always been something I've wanted to do... before I die. I remember when I was about 9 years old I went on a family cruise to the North Cape and I saw the Midnight Sun. That was pretty incredible. SJ Debaser 11:14, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Let's face it, if that isn't on your list, you're just plain wrong as a person. (first world privilege assumed, of course *ahem*) Scarlet A.pngpathetic 11:46, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
It was on my bucket list, but I crossed it off, in favour of "Have sex with Ace." --PsyGremlinSermā! 18:40, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Where's the challenge in going for the low-hanging fruit?  Lily Inspirate me. 09:29, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Armondikov - Northumberland is 55.3°N, Edmonton, Alberta is 53.5°N. The US-Canada border is about 45°N, about the same as Bordeaux. CS Miller (talk) 12:34, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I keep forgetting how north the UK actually is. Damn Gulf Stream tricking us into thinking we're a northern Mediterranean country rather than a southern Scandinavian one! Scarlet A.pngpostate 12:51, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I should have remembered that it's 55 degrees. Scarlet A.pngbomination 12:52, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I always remember the factoid that the first European capital due east of New York is Madrid so if the northern states could see it then that might imply that vast swathes of Europe might also get a view. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 14:01, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Yet the climate is remarkably different. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 14:08, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Moscow (55.75°N) is only slightly further south than Glasgow, but as Glasgow is coastal (well, coastal compared to Moscow), and with the end of the North Atlantic Drift, it's a lot warmer. CS Miller (talk) 15:07, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Dawkins on air[edit]

The Great Devil will be on our local radio from 7am GMT. Tune in here. --PsyGremlinSnakk! 06:47, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

I think I got the wrong stream. News from the RSA is all very interesting, but it isn't Dawkins. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 07:09, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Give it chance, the show's just started. It's African time. 7am means 7:20 am. --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 07:16, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh, from your use of GMT I assumed precision. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 07:18, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
It's on at 8 GMT. They're doing the usual talk radio crap first. --PsyGremlinHable! 07:34, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Psy, I'm enjoying this. RagTopGone sailing 08:30, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
You can download the podcast here --PsyGremlinPraat! 12:31, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
As I listen to this I'm starting to realise where I would answer things differently to Dawkins. Scarlet A.pngbomination 14:24, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Apostate!!! Occasionaluse (talk) 14:37, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Still an atheist, so technically a heretic. Scarlet A.pngmoral 14:42, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
touché. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:44, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Mondy, remind me again why they weren't interviewing you. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 15:16, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Well my book, God Isn't Real You Morons So Get the Fuck Over It and Shut the Fuck Up didn't sell quite as well as TGD. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 11:50, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Ding-ding! Here comes another wingnut wiki![edit]

This time it's the United English Patriots of England who've decided to have a bash at creating a trustworthy encyclopedia of their very own:

Anyway, after the updates I was thinking of adding our very own Wiki to the site. A bit like Wikipedia, but created and updated by the members of the ASF. That way, we can keep everything factual and it can hopefully become a source of knowledge for everyone.

They've been casting about for a title, and have so far come up with such catchy suggestions as "æwdapædia". But alas...

We'll be pilloried no matter what we decide to call it. It would be English, and therefore a red rag to a bull to the imbecilic, Anglo-phobic twits out there.

This should be good. Popcorn, anyone? Balaam (talk) 09:50, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Where do I sign up? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:15, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Sure, thanks. I'll get the sodas and chairs. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 17:32, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
http://ang.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C4%93afods%C4%ABde - David Gerard (talk) 23:52, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Gallup: Religious are happier than non[edit]

This was posted at Conservapedia, so what do y'all think of it? Nihilist (talk) 06:49, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

It's true what they say: ignorance is bliss. Turpis 3:16 (talk) 06:53, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
That's settled then. God must exist.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:06, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
It probably is statistically true. But not for the reasons you will see conservatives selling. People who are religious probably have a better social group than those who are not, if only cause you see the same people every week. People who are religious - truly religious not just "yeah, i guess my family believes", probably have prayer, which like meditation or quite moments of true relaxation help your mind focus, and can shift the chemicals in your brain slightly. and, I would suspect that people who have come to the conclusion that there is no god, are likely "thinkers", and thinkers think about all kinds of things, and are more aware of the "reality"(?) of the world. It's hard to be happy when you think about thing like the fact that food supplies will not last 30 more years or whatever. But, i'd rather be a thinker, and wonder about my world than just be happy cause i've never stepped food outside of my comfort zone. --Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 07:06, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Don't find this to be a big deal. If you're not cynical about the direction our species is going in the next 100 years then you haven't been reading up. Obviously the religious folk aren't. Osaka Sun (talk) 07:24, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I think "Who fucking cares". I am damned happy and my belief, or lack thereof, doesn't even factor into how I feel. AceModerator 08:24, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
The definition of "wellbeing" used here is approximately the same as wealth. Some religious groups in the US tend to be wealthier than others, that's no particular revelation. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 10:10, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I see Muslims are happier than Christians in that survey. Sophiebecause liberals 10:11, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Enough said Jack Hughes (talk) 11:28, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure this has been brought up before, but it's interesting to note that the "very" and "non-" religious groups still score higher than the moderate group. Scarlet A.pngsshole 11:42, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
In other news: "Drunk people happier than sober people" Scream!! (talk) 12:55, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Very religious and non-religious atheists are happier than moderately religious atheists? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 14:13, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I was confused by that line too... just, what? Scarlet A.pnggnostic 15:16, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
So, what I used to rationalize this:
  • Correlation does not equal causation, obviously.
  • Religion and 'faith' can provide comfort, just like thinking that Santa is real might make you happier around Christmas time.
  • In American society, religion is still very much tied into our culture and considered the 'norm', so religious people are probably going to happier in it.
  • Like Godot said, seculars could be, on average, more of 'thinkers', which could make them more sadder.
Yeah. An American Nihilist (talk) 15:45, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
When you beleive that the world is known and theres stuff helping you; it's a lot easier to be happy--il'DictatorMikal 15:50, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't really buy that. I think it's more a societal/cultural thing. I mean, as someone mentioned above, look at mostly secular countries. Fallacy2 (talk) 15:51, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I see religion as being like a security blanket. If you really think that your terminally-ill child is going to be be with Jesus when they die or that life's bad shit is part of some greater plan then that provides a consolation (albeit deluded IMO) which someone less religious doesn't have. It seems that the moderately religious of any denomination are the least happy which might be because they vaguely believe in the religion but still see the mortal side as being just as important as an afterlife. The non-religious are probably more fatalistic anyway but the differences in the figures are not really large so it is only a marginal effect.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:17, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"Jews have highest wellbeing overall, despite being the least religious." Take that, goyim! Generally, what tends to matter on these "well-being" measures is having a cohesive social network of some kind, which church provides. While the index they use has more objective measures, it's reliant on self-reporting like all other happiness research. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:11, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Best. Headline. Ever. (for the 2012 Presidential Campaign)[edit]

Santorum Draws a Crowd in Cumming. (I'm not pulling a fast one; two different sites used it.) MDB (talk) 16:55, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

No, the best headline is still "Santorum Surges From Behind." Blue (is useful) 17:14, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Someone on his campaign team is having a laugh knowing that this garners a lot of free media attention.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:23, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I would think this would be the LAST place you want give a speech. Unbelievable. Given the headlines lately, I'm thinking someone, possible the man himself, is the ultimate Poe. -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:48, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
My theory:
  1. His top campaign staff is fully aware of his "Google problem". (If they're not, they should be fired.)
  2. They assume his supporters won't know about the joke, or will be offended by it, or will think the homo-libs are persecuting him. (Well, we are. But it's for a good cause.)
  3. They're willing to use it to attract attention. Create something that plays on the "google problem", get those awful homo-libs to spread it around the innertubes, hope conservatives notice what their liberal friends are saying. (Witness the Santorum CUM campaign they launched a while back.)
MDB (talk) 18:09, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Air Force Academy[edit]

My brother-in-law is in the Air Force. He's an officer, it's a non-combat position, he likes it, he's making a helluva lot more than he would in the private sector, etc etc etc.

He's found out his next posting (starting in early summer) is "95% likely" to be the Air Force Academy. Colorado Springs. Fundie central. Ugh.

He and my sister are a little more religious than Christian/borderline agnostic me, but far from fundamentalist. (We all loathe what's become of the Methodist church my sister and I were raised in. It bears almost no resemblance to Methodism and is essentially a conservative/evangelical church. My brother-in-law and I want to sneak in a bag of rubber snakes someday.) And they're both politically liberal. So, I'm concerned about how well they're going to fit in there. Neither of them are the "conform to fit in" type, so I wonder how being a non-evangelical liberal there will effect his career.

What really concerns me is my eldest niece (eight going on nine years old). I firmly believe she's gonna grow up to be just like her Uncle MDB, and while that's admittedly personal pride in seeing another geek in the family, several of our other relatives have noted the similarities, too. She's got at least some interest in science (well, she likes the Mythbusters), and I'd really hate to see her in a culture that devalues science. She probably wouldn't get that at the Academy, as high-tech as the Air Force is, but I wonder about the culture of the surrounding community. When they lived in Mississippi, she went to a private church school, but at least that was mainstream Protestant and more focused on teaching good values as opposed to "evilution and teh gheyz are eeeee-vil!"

I had personally hoped their next assignment would be Andrews Air Force Base, since that's close to me, and has several excellent school systems in the area. They put in for that, but someone with seniority over my brother-in-law wanted it.

Of course, this being the military, "95% likely" could well mean there's a 90% chance it won't be Colorado Springs. MDB (talk) 17:58, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

CS is definitely a red city in a red county, but really, there is plenty of Colorado Springs that is openly liberal. There are many gay bars, adult shops and "liberal" businesses (such as restaurants that use all-natural ingredients). And there are quite a few, um, open people down there that I've met. The liquor laws in the city are pretty much the same for the rest of the state, so it's not like they're moving to Utah. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:14, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
My brother works at the Air Force Academy. What you need to understand is what seth said. While there are strongly religious (nutty religious) people at both the academy and CS in general, and while they do tend to find their way into the government (ack), the city has an amazing liberal population. It has one of the largest Atheist orgs in the state, it has an amazing drag show (yeah) and seriously, a very supportive gay community, and there are plenty of churches that are moderate to liberal, to surreal there. CS has a large "new age" community which is just as wacky, but for different reasons. And you are 1 hour from denver, if those things aren't enough. It's not the horror show out-of-stater think it is, by reputation. The largest industry in CS is the rise of the Tech, from space tech to software. that brought in a huge flux of money, liberalness and youth to counter the military's hold on the city. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 18:27, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Come on gays guys, we're better than using their language. Being gay, pornographic, woo-tastic, or 'open' doesn't make something 'liberal'. An American Nihilist (talk) 18:32, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
You miss the point—that those things exist in spite of the proximity to fundamentalists and megachurches and James Dobson means the influences of the more conservative elements are not only fairly muted, but also not much to worry about. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:54, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
one more comment, the science ed in the area ROCKS. from Science fairs, to trips to AFA to see the new spacy like stuff they are doing there, to the second best tech school (after Colo School of Mines) in Colorado. if she likes science, she'll have her brain fed well there. Both my nephews are brainy kids and into science. They are also idiots, but that's american teens for you! Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 18:30, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, you all make me feel better. I'll just have to keep my niece on a steady diet of good science fiction to keep the geekiness going. (Eight years old, she's read all of Harry Potter. And she loves the DVD of The Princess Bride I gave her. I'm thinking some Heinlein juvies next.) MDB (talk) 18:37, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


I was playing around at ASK and wondering how to beat the captcha. I came up with this, but it's not passing captcha...

Document doc = Jsoup.connect("http://astorehouseofknowledge.info/index.php?title=Special:UserLogin&type=signup")
.userAgent("Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100316 Firefox/3.6.2")

List <NameValuePair> nvps = new ArrayList <NameValuePair>();
nvps.add(new BasicNameValuePair("wpCaptchaWord",(new ScriptEngineManager())
nvps.add(new BasicNameValuePair("wpCaptchaId", doc.select("#wpCaptchaId").first().attr("value")));
nvps.add(new BasicNameValuePair("wpName", "username23423"));
nvps.add(new BasicNameValuePair("wpPassword", "mypass"));
nvps.add(new BasicNameValuePair("wpRetype", "mypass"));
nvps.add(new BasicNameValuePair("wpEmail", ""));
nvps.add(new BasicNameValuePair("wpRealName", ""));
nvps.add(new BasicNameValuePair("wpRemember", "1"));
nvps.add(new BasicNameValuePair("wpCreateaccount", "Create account"));

DefaultHttpClient httpclient = new DefaultHttpClient();
httpclient.getParams().setParameter("User-Agent","Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100316 Firefox/3.6.2");
HttpPost httpPost = new HttpPost("http://astorehouseofknowledge.info/index.php?title=Special:UserLogin&action=submitlogin&type=signup");
httpPost.setEntity(new UrlEncodedFormEntity(nvps, HTTP.UTF_8));	
HttpResponse response = httpclient.execute(httpPost);

Any ideas? Occasionaluse (talk) 20:08, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Why go through the trouble? Just get a hire a bunch of near-slave labor Asian CAPTCHA farmers to decode them for you. --CoyoteSans (talk) 01:04, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
The "eval" there seems like the right answer, presumably you've stepped through it with the debugger and established you're feeding the right bit of text to eval and getting the sensible answer out the other end? The only other thing I notice is you're missing "action=submitlogin" from the URL. That might be significant for WP's signup handling I guess. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 03:34, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Book banning in a modern democracy.[edit]

Going to Jamaica in a couple of days. Looking at what I'm allowed to bring in/out of the country. I may not bring with me:

  • All publications of de Laurence Scott and Company of Chicago in the United States of America relating to divination, magic, cultism or supernatural arts.
  • All publications of the Red Star Publishing Company of Chicago in the United States of America relating to divination, magic, cultism or supernatural arts.

I've never encountered such a thing before. P-Foster Talk ""Santorum is the cream rising to the top."" 01:51, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Jamaica isn't exactly known for being open. --ʤɱ soviet 02:15, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
seems they are grouchy that de Laurence spwaned a new religion there jstor--Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 02:21, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
So they just hate American hokum? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:10, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's an anti-American thing as much as the fact that there's something of a historical relationship between divination/etc and threats to the integrity of the Jamaican state. I'm expecting that there will be lots of locally-produced mysticism stuff in the local bookshops. P-Foster Talk ""Santorum is the cream rising to the top."" 04:16, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
So was there a revolution brought about by reading tea leaves or something? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:20, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Jamaicans. They love punanny bad, but they neither put it in front of their dollars nor their god. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 04:29, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Neb, read the article if you have access (jstor). It talks about the fact that this one writer was used for 70 years as the cornerstone of a "new" ancient relgion. In the 50's the state tried to crack down on it, and the only way they could was by banning this man (who was a bit of a religious figure by that time) and his book. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 04:37, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Is there a reptile doc in the house?[edit]

Help me!

My 14 year old Leopard Gecko, Snake, has a horribly swollen right eye. I'm afraid it is a tumor, and he won't eat. The local vet doesn't do reptiles and the LSU Vet school, who are the only ones who do, is closed until Wednesday afternoon. I've tried the Internet, and they say it might be an infection, but I cannot get him to sit still so I can feel it. I don't want to just poke him with a needle because he is very old and blind in one eye already, the swollen one is his good eye. I don't want to accidentally hit something. ТyNo 14:57, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Have you searched Reptile Forums for this? It's unlikely to be a tumour if it's appeared very suddenly, though. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 16:34, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I found this. PongoOrangutans are sceptical 16:37, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that I haven't been home for a bit, so I don't know how long it has been there, no more than a week though. I've checked forums and am hoping it is "merely" an infection.Тycommunications wire 20:28, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Have you tried posting this to a reptile forum & asking for advice there? Looking for a gecko expert at RW seems like a bit of a shot in the dark. I use a ferret forum & it's helped me a lot with all kinds of issues, including some health problems. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:59, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
On the internet nobody knows you're a ferret. Oh, you mean a forum for those who keep ferrets. Jack Hughes (talk) 13:12, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Eye ulcers and an abcess. Now on medication. Тyrannis 00:49, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Essay space and its use[edit]

I'm wondering if maybe we shouldn't revisit our concept of essays, and how we highlight them here. I think the essay space can be one of our more attractive (blog like) aspects of RW. Why come here? cause we have good info and interesting takes on things. But to really highlight the essays, we need some system of review. we've talked about this, but not come up with anything. I'm in favor of making a single "quality essay" flag or ID that would suggest these essays should be highlighted in our main space articles. We should be able to edit the essay for basic grammar and punctuation type things, but still not make them necessarily "community essays". Just revisiting an old idea... probably will die anyhow.--Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 21:28, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

We've already got our bronze, silver and gold brain things. Why not just use those? Or indeed, if more dynamic content is what we want, why not just have a rationalwiki blogs and a planet rationalwiki on site? I'm sure a few of our users might take up the cause of writing some interesting posts occasionally. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:03, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Essays are tricky. It'd be a hell of a lot easier not to have them. I'd have to know more about the cabal's whims concerning their removal. How offensive does something have to be (even if it is based on some kind of logic)? How many times can a PRATT be put into an essay before the cabal puts the kibosh on creation? Occasionaluse (talk) 22:18, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I can think of some people from various points of view, who would write some great essays in a blog fashion. I didn't really want to go all "rankie" about essays, cause they are personal works of one person, and i feel it would be weird seeing someone say of my work "this is a piece of shit". But to say "this is a good essay and should be highlighted" would be great for those writers/essays that really do say something interesting, or do so in an interesting way. we've tried before, but never really got anything working. Maybe one answer is "just do it", and if it works, it works??? Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 22:21, 21 February 2012 (UTC)(ec)
Occ, when has anyone removed an essay? I thought we let all stand, even the "offensive" ones?--Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 22:21, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
(EC) I suggest better usage of our essay subcategories and interlinking between them & the mainspace cats/templates. Currently, each subcat is only in category:essays which is a navigational dead-end, but I see no reason why they couldn't also be subcats of the relevant main category - e.g. category:atheism essays could be added to category:atheism and category:law essays could be in category:law. The essays themselves wouldn't be in main cats & so would still remain essentially separate from mainspace, but the categories they are in would be linked accordingly. The essay subcats could also be linked from the relevant navigation templates, & new nav templates could be set up for the essays themselves. This should bring the essays to the attention of more readers who are browsing articles on relevant subjects. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:22, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
My argument against total inclusion in a link, is that we have some really crappy essays; incomplete ones, ones that have not been edited for grammar and spelling, etc. While I get that we have a "does not necessarily reflect the opinions of..." disclaimer, i really don't think we need to highlight crap, cause it defeats the purpose (to me) of saying "go read this, it's really good/interesting/thought provoking). Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 22:25, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Other than the category thing, it's not clear to me what's being proposed here. steriletalk 05:17, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
My proposal is finding a way to highlight some essays as "noteworthy" so we can highlight them on articles in mainspace, or even in sidebars. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 05:22, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I fear that any attempt to rate essays will inevitably lead to butthurt because people will always have a higher regard for their own efforts. Most of RW's problems have been caused by collisions of egos; we really don't need to add to that. Perhaps a "Comment" links section in relevant articles or we need to give Essay namespace a portal like a newspaper might have a comment section distinct from the news. Essays are difficult to incorporate into mainspace because the essence of RW is that it is a collaborative endeavour, essays are the work of an individual and should be kept in separate categories. Mainspace articles can be updated but an essay becomes ossified and if the original editor departs then we are stuck with it. Also, they should actually be an "essay" that either argues a point or expounds a personal narrative to give some insight, they should not an alternative mainspace "article". Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 11:19, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
This is why you wouldn't so much rate them as just have people flag them as "interesting". Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:47, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Which can be seen as some sort of approval. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 12:54, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
And you can comment on the talk page to say if you approve of it or not, but generally we also need to seriously consider bumping up original content so that it can be read. The best hits on RW are where Wikipedia does not, cannot or should not cover - the way we encourage opinionated essays is clearly one of those things. Scarlet A.pngmoral 15:15, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I think the focus should be more on promoting essay space itself than picking out particular essays that meet high standards. Ultimately, the point of essay space is that it's less restricted than mainspace. Some people write long structured essays; some people just want to jot a few thoughts down. Yes, there are some crappy essays, but often they have a talk page that's worth reading. The problem is the lack of navigation & links, which means that essays only usually tend to be read around the time they're written, & get forgotten once they disappear from Recent Changes. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:21, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Which is why I suggested a separate Essay portal, which could be linked from Mainpage and Sidebar. I would envision a "Recent Essays" list and then lists grouped by topic, perhaps sortable by author and date. Rather than us saying what is any good, leave it to social-media type voting. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 19:43, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
My problem is we are not a blog space - we have a pov. I really wouldn't want to see us including in any "highlighted" fashion, incomplete essays, essays that have bad grammar or spelling (like mine, for example) until they've been cleaned a bit, or essays that are out right not our point of view. I get that this is touchy, cause it is wierd to say "this is good" "this sucks", but that's ok, if we are careful. If you keep in mind that individual people wrote these, sometimes exposing serious perosnal issues for the world to see, we can do two things: 1) select essays that are really intersting, 2) guide essays that have seeds of intersting but need some focus or work. And it shouldn't be about how good of a writer someone is, but what he or she is trying to say. (imo, of course).Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 19:50, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately not everyone has the same POV and not everyone is amenable to constructive criticism. We also have some dire essays and drive-by dross. I think that an amorphous group trying to exert some sort of editorial control over the work of an individual who may not want it is asking for HCM. If we want to promote essays then there should be a WIGO-like system - perhaps of registered editors only to prevent ballot stuffing. You recognise that your writing skills may be in need of sub-editing and could ask for assistance but trying to assess quality and impose it is going to be problem without having having an editor-in-chief or star chamber to decide. I don't think that is a route we should be taking. Either go with essays, warts and all, or not at all. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 20:36, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
(don't know how to unindent) I guess to me, having drive bys and really ugly (in content, not quality) essays is the reason I dont' think we should be whole scale linking to "essay cats". But I guess this is why we've never moved forward in really highlighting things that I personally think would bring us readers. I think of Dumpling's article on her life, and think "people would want to read that, outside of the RW community", some of the pro and con "vagitarian" essays would bring readers. I think (If i had help cleaning them up) my own essays on abortion and the role of women in the argument would bring readers. So maybe a WIGO is a great way to highlight people? you can suggest an essya, and people can vote it up or down? But we need something. we have good writers, good thinkers, from a host of points of view, and that's a place that will bring attention to RW. --Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 20:43, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Vagitarian essays? Scarlet A.pngsshole 13:31, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

New RationalWiki Leisure Centre Opens[edit]

This is a video of a man being massaged by goats. Your argument is invalid. TerrenceKoeckring (talk) 22:27, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Obama tax cut[edit]

Details are thin right now, but it's pretty big news. Won't get passed, but it's still interesting. NYT:

President Obama will ask Congress to scrub the corporate tax code of dozens of loopholes and subsidies to reduce the top rate to 28 percent, down from 35 percent, while giving preferences to manufacturers that would set their maximum effective rate at 25 percent, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

Mr. Obama also would establish a minimum tax on multinational corporations’ foreign earnings, the official said, to discourage “accounting games to shift profits abroad” or actual relocation of production overseas.

It's necessary to see some specifics, but this is a good thing, I think, if it's kept close to revenue-neutral. We'll see.--ADtalkModerator 09:32, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Revenue neutral? Isn't the US budgeting for a trillion dollar deficit again this year? Surely you need to raise more money, not cut taxes. --DamoHi 10:51, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
The US can "afford" it in the sense that a person can "afford" a mortgage. Suppose you are paying $10 per day to ride public transport to work. A friend‡ offers to lend you money for a $500 scooter that could do the same journey for $4 per day, but they want $600 back at the end of the year. When you've given them the money you are still almost $1500 up for the year (assuming a 5 day working week), so in a sense you "made money" by borrowing. This type of judgement is the basis on which the US maintains rolling debt.
Now, of course not every deal which involves rolling debt is a good idea. Payday loans for example, are usually bad mojo. But although you'd expect countries to employ people smart enough not to strike bad deals, this is not always the case. Greece borrowed far more than any reasonable person would have thought it could pay, by using "optimistic" estimates for tax revenue, business growth and so on. The entire country got into the mindset that afflicts too many young people with credit cards "Hey, free money" and it ended up in the same place, begging mom (in this case Germany) to have pity on it and not let it go bankrupt.

‡ Some people might argue that 20% APR makes them a shark, not a friend, but perhaps you're a bad loan risk and this rate reflects the risk, it doesn't matter for my illustration. (talk) 12:00, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting proposal. Conservatives often point out (rightly, to my knowledge) that the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the (industrialized?) world, but liberals rebut that the effective tax rate is much lower.
Me, I have a very simple tax proposal: increase taxes on everyone except me. MDB (talk) 14:34, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
None of it's worth a bucket of warm piss until it's got the president's signature on it (and even then, not worth much more). It's the Orwell Principle: Most bills in effect do the opposite of what they are allegedly "supposed" to do once you let Congressional committees and armies of lobbyists make Swiss cheese out of the thing. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:21, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Tax warm piss! ONE / TALK 21:08, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Hold on guys, I agree with Obama here. I am not a Reaganomist, but I believe this will raise more revenue. Why? If corporate taxes are high, they will attempt more offshore loopholes and will end up paying little revenue. IF we lower the corporate tax rate so that it is near Europe's, then businesses will be more inclined to stay here and will end up paying more revenue to the government. Mr. Anon (talk) 04:45, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

I think most sensible people agree with that. What we're saying is two things:
  • The devil is in the details, i.e. what loopholes will actually be closed? Some loopholes, like the mortgage deduction, are extremely popular. To close them would be politically perilous. Accordingly, this proposed change could be very good or very bad, depending on the actual numbers involved. But that doesn't matter because...
  • This is a political statement, not an actual policy initiative. While it's not certain that it won't go anywhere, most likely this is not actually a fight Obama intends to take on right now. GOP policy essentially requires them to oppose this, even though it's been explicitly one of their goals to do this very thing, because if they cooperate with Obama then they make him look effective, which is bad for their electoral prospects. Their political fortunes only rose in 2010 and 2011 by enacting an across-the-board policy of stonewalling and opposition: they would pass nothing with Obama, because inactivity and ineffectiveness hurt the incumbent. As the election approaches, they can't reverse position and work on this... because how can they declare Obama an ineffective idiot and monstrous radical if they're passing legislation with him? So this policy proposal is just a club with which to beat the GOP over the head, hard.--ADtalkModerator 05:17, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure exactly what Obama has in mind, but he has pointed out some specific loopholes that don't appear to be supported by moderates.
  • It may be a political statement, but it works both ways for the GOP to refuse. Because lowering corporate taxes has long been a Republican talking point, for Obama to agree with him will be seen as another one of his compromises, especially since he is also ending abused loopholes. Since the public doesn't like the sound of "corporate tax loopholes" and moderates and fiscal conservatives support lowering corporate tax rates, I wouldn't be surprised of Obama wins this battle. Mr. Anon (talk) 04:37, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Doorstep chuggers[edit]

Fucks sake. I'm half way through a water change for my tank when the door rings, so I answer it only to be confronted by a woman with a clipboard, id badge, and a smile the size of a small country. She then starts with the standard over-friendly personal shit (this time asking me loads of questions about my dog). So I tell her I'm half way through a water change and my hands are dripping wet, so she goes off on her 30 minute pitch without taking a breath blah blah etc and I politely decline only to have two more ring the doorbell in the next 10 minutes.

So question is, what is the best way to get rid of them? The wife thinks I should say I already donate to the charities of my choosing, but I think It's more fun to turn the guilt trip around and say "sorry I'm not going to donate because I'm a bad person. I eat puppies and punch babies faces." Am I just a bit of an arse? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:34, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

A bear trap, cunningly concealed, works best. However, PETAP decires this method, as do noise pollution groups and neighborhood associations. Opening the door while wearing your pet snake, wearing bondage gear, or after cleaning a fish tends to make them go away. CopperheadHisssssss 20:43, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
60% of the time, inappropriate sexual advances work every time. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:55, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
How about the "schunk-schunk" sound of a shotgun round being put into the chamber? -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:56, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
If guilt-tripping them is your attack plan of choice, go with the "MY charity is more noble" routine. Observe:
Animals: "Sorry, I consider people more important."
People in your country: "Sorry, I consider disabled people in horrifically poor countries such as land-mine victims more deserving."
The worst off people: "Sorry, I consider animals more deserving - helping humans only increases population pressure on the environment which is helping to destroy the Earth"
Not sure how well that last one will play out - it probably isn't a good guilt-tripper. You could go for the "if A then B, if B then A" approach:
Clean water: "I've done the calculations and I can save more lives per dollar by donating to mosquito net programs. Here, see this spreadsheet..."
Mosquito nets: "I've done the calculations and I can save more lives per dollar by donating to clean water programs. Here, see this spreadsheet..."
Of course, you're in danger of guilt-tripping yourself if you don't already do any charity. That's why I have a few direct debits set up to various charities... partly because it's the decent thing to do and I earn enough to do it, but also so I don't guilt-trip myself when I tell chuggers (or, as I call them, chunts) to fuck off. ONE / TALK 21:03, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm telling, you sexual advances will stop it cold. This is time-tested and proven to work on mormons:
  • Me: "Why don't you come in for a cocktail?"
  • Mormon: "Oh, I don't drink..."
  • Me: "That must be how you keep that figure! How bout you do a little spin for me, let me take it all in?"
  • Mormon: "Bye!"
Occasionaluse (talk) 21:10, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Being YEC/BL christians the mormoms never visit our house. my parents think we are on the blacklist. it's peaceful. except for 2 girls who came once, but they were cute so it was ok. --il'Dictator Mikal 22:05, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Girl Mormon Missionaries? I've never seen one. White American lads in their 20's are the only missionaries I ever see. DamoHi 01:05, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I just say that I'm a Satanist. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:23, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Keep a blood stained robe and butcher's knife by the door. Put it on, open the door and say, "Can you come back in 10 minutes, we aren't finished with the virgin yet." --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 04:52, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Try "I don't buy anything from door to door salesmen, and that includes religions."

Or if you're gay, and they're Mormons, try, "tell me... what did you think of the movie Latter Days?"

This requires too much prep work, but...

I used to do live-action role-playing, which is kind of a cross between Dungeons and Dragons, murder mystery games, and improvisational theater. One game I played was inspired by WWII-era movie melodramas, Casablanca especially, and one of my friends was playing a Nazi officer. He rented a Nazi uniform for it.

Prior to the game, he tried on the uniform. He was expecting some fellow gamers to drop by, and heard a knock at the door. Expecting his friends, he went to the door, in full Nazi regalia, flung it open, and shouted in his best Major Strasser voice, "Good evening!"

At which point the nicely dressed young men at the door said, "we'd like to talk to you about God."

My friend said, "I don't think this is a good time."

The young men said, "yes, we don't think this is a good time either," and went on about their way. MDB (talk) 13:11, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Though I've never dealt with Mormons, I used to live with some medieval reenactors who had, of course, some very large battleaxes in their possession. It made trick-or-treaters very fun to deal with. Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:29, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I love it when random people knock on my door. Especially the religious groups. Just tacklehug them, and speak in a different language! Offer them strange foods (live octopus), and make them watch Japanese porn (preferably tentacle, so while they're staring at the octopus, they feel strangely molested.)...If that doesn't work, throw salt at them. --Dumpling (talk) 06:25, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Do they melt? Scarlet A.pngpostate 09:24, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Well...none yet. They usually just stare down at me, really confused as to why this little Asian kid just threw salt at them. So they either leave...or ask for mom. But it never helps when mom asks "Do you want to stay for dinner?". And I just smile and go "They're seasoned mum!" Then I get in trouble with mum for supporting cannibalism. But most of the time, they just leave.--Dumpling (talk) 17:02, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
@ADK: Sure you're not thinking of water? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:58, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Maybe he was implying they were slugs? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:29, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Maybe. There's also the "alternately rude and polite" strategy. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:05, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

VA house passed ultrasound law[edit]

one step closer. only need the gov till we take another step back in time.--Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 02:25, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Yes, though apparently, the passed version calls for only an external ultrasound. Still, Virginia has always been at the forefront of the American race to the bottom. The Punk Symphony of Noise Your mental puke relief 09:57, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Front bottom or back bottom? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 11:55, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
PHEW!!!!! Jack Hughes (talk) 14:48, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
SOPA, Komen, now this? Damn, Americans actually can act if pushed! I wonder if the Right gets that, yet? Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 14:39, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

I used to be a Christian like you. Then I took an arrow in the knee.[edit]

This is even better than mazes and monsters. Needs more Jack Chick though. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 04:28, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

our D&D sessions would be so much better if we could do that,...--il'Dictator Mikal 04:33, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
You know, I'd think fundies would love D&D. Why? If there's one thing that practically guarantees your children will remain virgins, it's for them to be D&D players. MDB (talk) 13:40, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Ha ha. You truly are at the height of comedy, good sir. Nihilist (talk) 15:06, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Captain, I think I detect sarcasm.
To be fair, I stole the joke. MDB (talk) 15:29, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

So the Qur'an burning by the military[edit]

im sure most of you who look at news websites have seen it; thoughts, ect? also; similar to another burning 2 years ago...--il'Dictator Mikal 14:46, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

The sooner we get rid of the error the better...Not sure we will have a counntry by the end of the year with the trash in the senate and the trash in the white house doing everything in their power to ruin this country.How's that change working for all you retards who voted for this evil tool of satan? Nihilist (talk) 14:53, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
The rational person in me, of course, sees no problem with the destruction of personal property. But when this shit happens in the military, it's not okay. It's destructive to cohesion and reflects very poorly on the military. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:12, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Let's see. we burned their Koran and they then kill two of our soldiers. Obama apoligizes for the Koran. No one apoligizes for the soldiers. Really?? Stupid Troll Guy (talk) 15:16, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Who do you think should be apologizing for the dead soldiers? Or since there is not really anyone to apologize, are you saying we should have carte blanche to retaliate? To what end? Occasionaluse (talk) 15:18, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
1) The 'Quran' is nothing more than a worthless book. Books are burned all the time, who cares?
2) The protestors weren't innocent as you'd like everyone to believe. They are violent mobs that are out for blood.
Muslims murder Christians, Jews, Hindus and every other faith on a daily basis yet they go apeshit over the burning of a book? Time for them to get over it. Stupid Troll Guy (talk) 15:21, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not even going to go through that comment Fallacy. --il'Dictator Mikal 15:23, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
(EC) Think about the aims and goals of the military and how they are served by such retaliations. I can't make you drink. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:24, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I should have added citations. Fallacy2 (talk) 15:27, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

@Teen Nihilist: Hey, you know who else "murders Christians, Jews, Hindus and every other faith on a daily basis"? Us. And nobody gives a shit when we do it. (A general discharge and no jail time for murdering civilians? You shouldn't have!) And the much-ballyhooed emphasis on quick, precise strikes that drones bring? Turns out the military doesn't care about "precision" so much as it does "quick." Enjoy your 33% civilian death rate per drone strike.

Gosh, it's almost as if war is really, really shitty, ugly, and messy, with no easy answers. (Or maybe you can find a way to blame religion for the people we're shooting at being pissed at us...) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:13, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

All these silly books are the fucking problem. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 11:59, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Who's indoctrinating your children today?[edit]

Apparently it's The Lorax and The Secret World Of Arrietty now. Cow...Hammertime! 19:29, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Wait, the muppets are leftist? Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 22:34, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Better any of those fictional characters than the fictional characters that other people use to indoctrinate children... -- Seth Peck (talk) 22:36, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
i c wut u did thar Stupid Troll Guy (talk) 22:46, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
LEGASP. D< SCREW YOU FOX NEWS! WHY YOU HAVE NO NEWS ABOUT FOXES!? --Dumpling (talk) 06:29, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Seriously, Obama's planning skills scare me. They doctored his birth certificate 50 years ago, arranged for two authors to write books 40 years ago, and then arrange for a bunch of Japanese to make them into films. Genius!
In other news, can we launch Dumpling at Lou Dobbs (was he always this insane on CNN?) whilst she's still foaming at the mouth? --PsyGremlin말하십시오 06:40, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Legasp? Dumpling, please get your inner Frenchman under control. Those people are dangerous—if a student protest breaks out it'd be all your fault. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 09:14, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Foaming at the mouth? What? I has the rabies now? Hahaha. Anyyyways~ It'd be my fault? No it wouldn't. I deny such claims. No one suspects me.--Dumpling (talk) 17:07, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to turn this conversation off on a secant (not a tangent, I'm going off on different trigonometric functions). I'm not going to see the new movie The Lorax. From what I've seen, 1) the Onceler has a face (and it's not even you-know-who's, 2) it seems as if they're trying to get all the political commentary out to insert shallow humor, 3) the Oncler has a non-Bush face, and 4) THE FRIGGING ONCELER HAS A FACE THAT ISN'T BUSH'S! The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:55, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Posthumous baptism of holocaust victims[edit]

I don't think I've heard of this before. Is posthumous baptism something we should have an article on? ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:16, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

It's a bit tasteless, but it doesn't do any real harm does it? --DamoHi 00:32, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, in principle no because baptism doesn't do anything. But the perpetrators of it do think it does something, which makes it considerably meaningful in a certain sense (the same as curses and hexes, basically). Scarlet A.pngd hominem 00:35, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
If they did it and kept it a total secret so that no-one knew about it, there wouldn't be any issue. In fact, after I die (or even before) I would be very happy if they performed the ceremony on me. DamoHi 00:43, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
I can't quite put a finger on a truly objective reason why it's wrong, especially if it was done in secret. I suppose it being done in secret is no different to, to use the crudest but most useful example I can think of, masturbating while thinking of your best friend and not telling anyone ever about it. Is it wrong to perform a fairly consequence free act even if it does involve some kind of personal violation? It's very real in the mind of the person doing it, but doesn't actually leak out into reality. Scarlet A.pngpostate 00:48, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Saying "I can't find an objective reason for you to feel that way" is, incidentally, the fastest way to piss someone off and alienate them. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:20, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
I know your example was given rhetorically, but I must say that I can't really see the harm in it either. I take seriously the premise that "my right to swing my fist ends at your nose", and not before. DamoHi 01:24, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
(EC, yes, very rhetorical) I'm not saying that it isn't wrong, I just can't figure out why yet because it has no real effect so seems so inconsequential when I think about it, even though instinctively it feels really fucked up. Besides, I thought "I touch myself over you" would be a far faster way of pissing off an alienating people. Scarlet A.png

bomination 01:26, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

It's wrong because it's fucking stupid. Nihilist (talk) 02:26, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

It matters because it matters to the people who rightfully claim a connection to the targets of these "baptisms" through shared history/identity. One might think it's silly for them to feel hurt/offended/pissed/alienated because of the baptism, but that doesn't make their feelings any less real. Given how central religion is to shared senses of ideas, and given that part of the common bond shared by contemporary Jews and say Anne Frank is the fact that it was Jewish identity that made them and their families a target for genocide, ANY kind of act by someone outside the community that has that same identity at the center of it is going to stick in their craw, and rightfully so. It's a lot like the section above about burning the Qu'ran. Yup, it's just a book and there's no real reason to get upset about burning it, but burning it is still a dick move. I think we should have an article, or a section in Mormonism. P-Foster Talk ""Santorum is the cream rising to the top."" 02:22, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Chalk up another one. Everyone wants to be the "true" descendants of Israel, and many philo-Semites are merely closet anti-Semites, cf. British Israelism, Black Hebrew IsraelismWikipedia. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:29, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

The philosophical question of whether harm-free acts can be wrong (and related question of whether acts which harm only yourself can be wrong) is an ethical dividing point. There aren't answers to these questions except in the same sense that there's an answer to the question of whether yellow or purple is the best colour.

Out here in the real world however, masturbating while thinking of a friend who apparently isn't interested in sex with you does change the material world in a way that may be hard to predict, and so does baptising the dead. The problem is that our minds are themselves part of the real world, we are not disembodied observers, or readers of a novel, unable to interfere with the goings on.

The change may be small but it is there. Perhaps, that private moment means you feel more involved in the friend's life, and when they don't answer their phone you make an unsolicited visit to their outlying home where you find they have fallen and can't move. Your visit saves their life, no small consequence in the tiny ego-centric worldview of a human. If you had kept a greater mental distance maybe they'd have been found dead two days later by a neighbour. Or perhaps your boundaries are mistakenly adjusted, you associate them more with sex, and your find yourself overstepping the mark on some future occasion. The friendship is damaged, you feel awkward about the reasons for it and the two of you drift apart. Because the real world is not performed under experimental conditions we cannot ever know on an individual basis how big these effects are, although we can do statistical studies which demonstrate the effect in principle (ask two matched groups to fill out a survey, throw away their answers, unknown to them the surveys were slightly different, their subsequent behaviour is altered to a measurable and statistically significant degree, by the choice of words in a survey question they've probably already forgotten). The mind is a tricky thing. (talk) 11:34, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting. Though the trick is obviously proving that it could cause harm (even if just on a statistical level), and naturally you probably can't conclude that thoroughly until it's too late. With respect to these posthumous baptisms, the fact that Mormons are claiming these people for their own would likely stroke their egos, make their religious following feel more secure, and encourage them to be more audacious in their actions. So, the whole "harm-free" aspect is based on how you chose to define, or at least what you recognise as, harm. Scarlet A.pngsshole 13:05, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Christians vs Atheists[edit]

I may just be a tiny bit in love with Jessica Ahlquist now. This conversation makes amusing reading, although it reflects what I'm sure many of us have been through before on the net. I enjoy the guy claiming he has better intelligence and better knowledge than the constitution than her, considering his blatant lack of typing skill. Scarlet A.pngsshole 00:31, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Also what part of this do people not understand? Scarlet A.pngsshole 01:39, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
I think it's amazing that she's got $40,000 in her scholarship fund so far. Very gutsy girl, given all the hate the so-called Christians are directing at her. --PsyGremlinSprich! 06:09, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm simply impressed by the fact that she even has the patience to deal with idiots like that. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:16, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
I know, I've been in 300+ comment clusterfucks before. It's a proper test of endurance, especially when comments from cranks are either a) short, badly spelt arguments by assertions or b) tl;dr gish gallops. Scarlet A.pngpostate 09:01, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
"Gish gallop" has always sounded like a cooking method to me. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 09:15, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
It's the result of pressure cooking your brain for twenty minutes before roasting on a high heat, so I can see where you got that from. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 09:29, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Ah, the Galloping Gourmet. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 12:02, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Pop Poli-Evo Psych[edit]

Q: What happens when you mix two of the most easily abused and empirically flimsy sub-disciplines of brain studies around? A: Chris Mooney's latest stinker. Commentary from Massimo Pigliucci and Jerry Coyne. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:01, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm a bit disappointed in Massimo's response - he basically just said "It's complicated it's and easy to go wrong once we step into this territory." I was hoping for a more detailed critique, but oh well. Tetronian you're clueless 01:35, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Calling all evolution buffs[edit]

Want to stay on top of the cutting edge of evolutionary theory? Put down the Dawkins for a moment and pick up some Eva Jablonka. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:52, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Interesting. Though personally I find that you don't need to be "on top of the cutting edge of evolutionary theory" to argue with creationists/pass biology class. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 08:20, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Of course not -- a high schooler can debunk the creationists. But is your goal just to debunk some cranks or gain a better understanding of evolution? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 08:23, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
The latter, of course, but there's no hurry. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 08:26, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Has Dawkins ever been on the cutting edge? Scarlet A.pngsshole 09:22, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I think it's fair to describe his work supporting The Selfish Gene as cutting edge. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:56, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. It was one of the most powerful and influential ideas of its time.--BobSpring is sprung! 16:03, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Mass Effect[edit]

Started checking out the cinematics from the past two games after the whole Faux News porn fiasco. So impressed that I downloaded the demo for ME3 straight up.

It's arguably the most progressive video game in the market right now. The option of having an entirely separate female protagonist is enlightening (leading to the usually sexist crap on YouTube being replaced by comments professing "All right guys, let's all go back into the kitchen..."), and now they're going one step further by adding homosexual relationships without any regrets. Osaka Sun (talk) 15:34, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

'Entirely separate'? What, does that mean the female character has her own separate story line? Nihilist (talk) 15:39, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
See for yourself. Osaka Sun (talk) 15:51, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Can you explain what that video shows instead? I can't watch it right now, and that makes me sad. Stupid Troll Guy (talk) 15:53, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
If it includes anything half as funny as this, I will love the game. (I found it funny at least in part because my response was almost exactly the same as Shepard's: "I know that was important, but... you performed Gilbert and Sullivan?" MDB (talk) 15:48, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Sci-fi and G&S always make a great combination. James Callis (from BSG) once performed on the same stage I now work on, though I can't find one of him singing, he does act everyone else off the stage in the roll (it's a tedious connection for a name drop, but I like it). Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:08, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I have to take the dissenting opinion here. After watching this LP of ME2, I can't ever enjoy that game or any ME game after it again. They just pointed out far too many plot holes and gameplay issues. While I applaud the efforts to improve inclusion of minorities, that doesn't excuse the fact the gameplay and core story is terrible. I'm just gonna play the original game and lament that there were never any sequels made. --CoyoteSans (talk) 20:44, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Pfft just play the damn game. ME2 is vastly superior to 1, particularly in combat. Let's Plays tend to focus on the tiniest negative thing (though I can't look at that right now to see if their comments are valid or not) for humor, which is fine for entertainment but not so much if you are trying to get an objective assessment of it. I played it through twice, with the second time on Insane, and it's one of my favorite games of all time now. Sure, it's not flawless, but damn is it fun. Cow...Hammertime! 22:06, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
From all I can see in that video they're just complaining about Cerberus' expanded role in the game and the voice acting for MaleShep, to each his own. But the "not hard science" comment - duh, it's sci-fi. Biotics, mass effect fields, reviving someone from the dead...
Might have a point with the Kaidan suit thing though. Did he wear that in ME1? Osaka Sun (talk) 22:09, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Later on, they get into the core problem is that you have no choice in the game. You have to work for this horrible organization regardless of your character's past dealings with them, and the game rubs it in your face with hatred from other characters all the time. The story at the beginning and end is nonsensical, and nothing of any real consequence happened in the game; it's just a shoddy bridge to ME3. They like some of the individual characters, like Mordin and Legion, but character stories have always been Bioware's strong suit, not the core story itself. Kinda like Lost: interesting characters, terrible plot. As for gameplay, they hated the fact it went from a RPG/old school shooter hybrid, to almost solely the cover-based shooting that has saturated the market to increase sales.
Also, for me, the killer for ME3 was the moment in the E3 trailer when Shepard is shooting a Reaper with a buggy-mounted chaingun. So absurd.--CoyoteSans (talk) 23:15, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree, and I'm not in the minority. But jeez, let's not argue over a video game. Have a laugh. Osaka Sun (talk) 23:53, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
"Respectfully disagree"? What is this bullshit? You're supposed to be all like "Fuck you, you goddamn moron." Where's your machismo? Nihilist (talk) 00:28, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Utah decides to keep kids in the dark[edit]

Utah house (no confirmation on senate at this time) just voted to prohibit teaching any form of contraception in all public schools, including and specifically highschools. Hey, ignorant kids wouldn't make babies! Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 18:43, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Fuck. Nihilist (talk) 18:59, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
it will never occur to kids that you can have sex on their own. Its not like they can look at porn on the interwebs. oh wait..Hamster (talk) 20:07, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
they are teens. they don't need porn. kids have been figuing it out on their own since the dawn of life.Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 20:44, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Put the teaching material on porn sites. Problem solved. --Tweenk (talk) 20:50, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
EduPorn? I am smelling a multi-million dollar idea here. Let's do lunch! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:08, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
"Condoms only work half the time anyways so dont bother usin them at all"--il'Dictator Mikal 21:56, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Exactly, even if those claims were true it still wouldn't make logical sense. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 03:11, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Edutainment, today's lesson: the reproductive system. I think we have a great idea here, let's build on it and make an official RW YouTube series. Might I suggest we give the sperm lasers for acrosomes like in this video from '86? Just make sure to have the laser beam come from the vizor, not the midpiece like they show. Should I write this on the community chalkboard? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:48, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Utah is mostly Mormons. They don't want their kids having sex until marriage, but after marriage, they want them to have lots of kids. Refugeetalk page 04:14, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
-shudder-...Noooo thank you.

This does not sound fake[edit]

"Only hours after the calls started this morning, Rep. Bill Dunn was desperately reaching out to my office, begging for the calls to stop." The Public Advocates of the U.S. have proven themselves to be trustworthy, ethical people though, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. (talk) 01:36, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

By the way, I'm pretty sure this is about the 'Don't Say Gay' bill -- the good ol' Public Advocates never give any fucking details or citations, and insist on using their own terms for things, so I can't be completely sure without being lazy. An American Nihilist (talk) 01:53, 25 February 2012 (UTC)