RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive163

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, (new)(back)


Can someone help me out here? I'm going back over the in vitro study showing evidence that copper plus a reducing agent might have the potential to be a treatment for Herpes Simplex infections[1]. In the paper they state that "With Cu(II) at 1 mg/liter and ascorbic acid at 10 mg/liter (57mM), HSV survival was reduced to less than 0.1% in 30 min". Considering they also state that the concentration of Cu(II) in the human body is usually 1mg/L anyway, surely that would mean that simply increasing your blood concentration of vitamin C to 10mg/L (assuming total blood volume of 5L = a 50mg dose of Vit C) would be sufficient to reduce HSV survival to "less than 0.1%"? Taking into account any uptake of Vit C by the body, surely one suppliment tablet (which usually contain 500 - 1000mg) would be more than enough to cause inhibition. Am I being a bit thick? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:59, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

A wild stab in the dark:
  • Cu(II) concentrations are given for the entire body, and some, if not most, of that Cu(II) is probably bound and unavailable for reaction
  • Blood, in humans, has a very narrow alkaline pH value of 7.35 to 7.45, which - if you are healthy - is maintained no matter what. So you can take as much Vit C as you like, not enough is going to be allowed into your blood stream as a reducing agent to allow the Cu(II) reaction to take place at the required concentrations.
I mean, that could be bollocks, 'cause it's reasoned from a chemistry point of view rather than a biological one, but seems right.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 17:33, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
No, sounds about right. I forgot about buffers taking out reducing agents. Ta. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:41, 15 June 2012 (UTC)


Our local TV news has been reporting about a woman missing since January. There have been pictures of police and volunteers combing the countryside looking for remains. Her husband, who is being held for questioning, is an undertaker. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 08:09, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Does he have "contacts" in the crematorium? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:42, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I was thinking that slipping an extra bit into a couple of coffins would soon disperse any evidence. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 10:21, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Internet Explorer tax[edit]

An online retailer is adding a surcharge to any purchases made on its website with internet explorer, to recoup the costs involved in rendering the site in an "antique browser". This amused me. ONE / TALK 08:37, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

I wish I'd been allowed to do this in my first job. People were still using Netscape 2 which caused tons of extra work when we were writing pages and applications. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:03, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
It's only IE7, not the current IE8 or IE9. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:24, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
If I lived in Australia, I would shop there right now to thank them. MDB (talk) 14:28, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
That's fucking awesome. Can't wait to show that to some friends of mine. In other IE news, saw this the other day. I lol'd. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:49, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I actually hear more complaints about Chrome than IE these days. But if people are going to use technology that out of date, they have it coming. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 16:11, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Too funny. I know nothing about coding, but while in school (2000), I had a job as a QA for an internet company. I had to test the software they coded on a variety of machines, platforms and browsers. I had no idea how much work you had to do to make one "code" (?) function the same on IE, Netscape, much less Mac, PC. No wonder you all who code want to slap archaic browsers. :-) --Green mowse.pngGodotWhy is being ignorant something to be proud of? 16:17, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
This is pretty much the one reason I refused to get into web development. All of the pain-in-the-ass workarounds really turned me off to the whole thing. I'd imagine it's a little better now, but people still use IE6 (I have it on my work computer right now!), so you either have to make a fix for it or risk pissing people off. Cow...Hammertime! 16:20, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
It depends what kind of site you're developing and who you expect your target audience to be. If you're making a site for, basically, nerds, then you can reasonably not include support for obsolete browsers. Nihilist 16:27, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
When I first read this, I started to worrying along the lines of "what if they try to force us to use the One World Browser?!"...but then I remembered that various sites have always blocked people for not using JavaScript/IE/etc anyway.
@Godot: "function" is probably the right term, e.g. you have a function called "displayRoundButton" that says "if using IE7, do [50 lines of code]; otherwise, do [1 line of code]". Web development is fun that way. (talk) 16:42, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Diner Club: you're doing it right[edit]

Schoolgirl blogs about awful lunchtime meals. Meals improve. Council waves banhammer. Sophiebecause liberals 11:16, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Good news - council have reversed their decision. Apparently Jamie Oliver got involved. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 14:18, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I love Oliver's show, naked chef, but it was something when he said "wait a minute, we're fucking up our kids with the crap we feed them at school". Good article, though. I love hearing when kids show they gots themselves some smarts!--Green mowse.pngGodotWhy is being ignorant something to be proud of? 16:08, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
It doesn't seem like 9-year old wrote it at all. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:45, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Based on? --Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 16:47, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Conversations I've had with 9 year olds? Occasionaluse (talk) 17:18, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Ed, is that you? Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 18:33, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
We have a somewhat famous kid in Boulder who started his own "community paper" at 6. His dad helped him with the computer stuff, but the writing, drawings and photographs were all his own. He is still doing it at 12, and it has received national attention for the quality of the writing and the insight on local topics that the kid comes up with week after week. His parents do things like grammar checks, brainstorming other ways to approach a topic, but they are pretty hands off on what he comes up with. (the father in an interview said roughly - I'll guide him by telling him a story isn't that interesting, or suggesting he might not be able to get the interviews he wants, or that the topic needs more background. And if he can't come up with ideas for a week, we'll talk about what he's done before, or check out the news and see if he can find a local take on it. but the ideas are his, in the end. -- If you help them with the technical stuff, kids really can figure out some amazing ways to interact with the world. What's so hard, after all, about taking pictures of your dinner and putting them on a web site and saying "we want better food"? Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 18:39, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
The Scottish education system has a good record in the UK, it doesn't surprise me at all that a 9-year old can write a half-decent blog. The shocking thing is the number of older people who can't.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:55, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Sighs. ^^good post^^ - sadly. Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 19:01, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Poe's Law in action?[edit]

I've got The Onion on my Google Reader, and Google Ads keeps picking "Stop Agenda 21" ads to go with their stories. Godspeed (talk) 16:33, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

State religion[edit]

An interesting study on anti-atheist prejudice and government acting as a secular substitute for religion. (Full paper) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:22, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Funny that GAC is hosted in Melbourne, Australia. There is very little anti-atheist prejudice in Australia, especially not in the big cities, outside of the religiously devout minority (and many of them don't seem prejudiced either). We have an unmarried cohabiting atheist as PM. She's not very popular, but I don't think her atheism itself has much to do with that. (I think her unpopularity is mainly due to her poor political judgement and poor messaging skills.) (((Zack Martin))) 01:08, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Personal Note[edit]

I have not smoked a cigarette in two weeks now.

Still on the patch, though.

Physical cravings are pretty much non-existent now. Mental cravings still occur, but less and less frequently. MDB (talk) 14:10, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

The hard part is breaking the links between habits ans smoking. If you're used to a smoke after coffee, or a drink, or sex... those are the hard times to get through. Keep it up, tho - well done! --PsyGremlinPrata! 14:16, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Bit of congratulation in order to reinforce the encouragement. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 14:18, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
The ones I've found I miss the most are first thing in the morning -- and I used to have one within five minutes out of getting out of bed -- and just before and after long drives, especially in heavy traffic. (It's been ages since I smoked in the car.)
I've also been going through cinnamon Altoids and sour Icebreakers like mad.
Oh, and thanks for the kind words. MDB (talk) 14:36, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm mentally preparing myself. Did you gain any weight as a side effect? The part I'm worried about most is when I'm drinking. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:45, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I have put on a few pounds, yes.
I've never been much of a drinker, so that's not been a factor. MDB (talk) 14:48, 15 June 2012 (UTC):
My personal view, and it's only personal, is that you don't have to mentally prepare. The only thing you need to do is to actually want to give up. Most attempts are made because "it's too expensive" or "my partner doesn't like it" or "the doctor said I should". Not good enough. The actual addictions, physical and habitual, are fairly mild and not difficult to break. But if you still want to smoke, even if you tell yourself you don't, then there's not much chance of success. Sounds silly, I know. But true. Ajkgordon (talk) 14:53, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I shmant to quit. That's kind of how I feel right now. Without really wanting to quit, I don't think I should try. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:56, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
What finally gave me the kick I needed is my new boyfriend. He didn't mind my smoking -- he used to be two packs a day until not long before we met, and still would occasionally smoke -- like 3-5 cigarettes a week. But he and I both knew we should both quit entirely. So he's been giving me moral support a-plenty. And plenty of times when I've been tempted, I just think "make him proud of me" and the urge passes.
It's like when a friend of mine started taking much better care of himself after he married. He said, quite directly, "I have someone else to live for now." My boyfriend and I aren't quite at that level now, but it's similar. MDB (talk) 15:01, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I tried the nicotine gum and it worked for me - I haven't had a cigarette since Nov 2008. Unfortunately I still can't kick the gum. Oh well. VOXHUMANA 15:06, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Well done MDB, keep it up. I haven't had a drink in two weeks and a cigarette in about four, though both are coincidental rather than me consciously staying abstinent. I came home from university two weeks ago (for good this time, I've finished and am job-hunting) and promptly got a stomach virus for a week and since then I haven't left the house socially. That's changing tonight though, I'm down the boozer for the England game and finding out if two weeks drinking abstinence has brought my tolerance down. El TajDon't make me do stuff 15:32, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, it is something that you have to want to do, but it isn't something you need to build yourself up for. For me, it was waking up one morning and realising that I didn't have enough money for both 'baccy and Baldur's Gate II. So I went to the doc's, said I wanted to give up, got the patches, got the game, haven't smoked since.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 15:36, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
The best game! They're making a new edition of BG2, as well:[2]! I wish it worked on Linux.--ADtalkModerator 02:15, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh Bhaal! I hope they manage to take it to completion. That would be awesome. The God of Murder strides again!--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 23:49, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Well done that man! I know a number of people here (including my wife) who gave up with champix. In my wife's case it was remarkable. No cigarette craving or bad mood at all. --Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 15:47, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Ah, we call that Chantix in the States. My boyfriend warned me against that; a friend of his became depressed and almost suicidal taking it. MDB (talk) 15:55, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Really? It's recommend by the health service here and everybody that I know who has used it says it's fantastic. They are all still alive anyway. :-) --Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 19:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm now 16 weeks 2 days (who's counting?) without a ciggie from 30+ per day. Could kill for a cig (note how I am avoiding using the good English word "fag") from time to time. Surely gum & patches etc. are replacing one addiction for another: Cold Turkey if you really want to stop. Scream!! (talk) 21:20, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field[edit]

I recently came across this image on wiki of the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field, and I'm still more than a bit awestruck by it. So many of the bright points are galaxies comprising who knows how many stars. Quite a few, I presume. Even though astronomy is not my field of knowledge, it still struck me as a great sense of perspective on our "place in the universe," pardon the cliche. Reminds me of the Pale Blue Dot photograph, another one of my favourites. άλφαΤαλκ 04:08, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. Many enjoyable hours can be spent absorbing the exquisite beauty of the Hubble photo gallery. VOXHUMANA 04:10, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Bizarrely I first came across the deep field image on Conservapedia. Now I'm more interested in astronomy and am not alone in regarding it as one of the most important photographs ever taken. You also need to put the image into context; I've been told that if you imagine holding up a grain of rice at arm's length then that is the amount of sky that would be covered by the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, and in that area you see not just hundreds of stars but hundreds of galaxies, each containing billions of stars. If that doesn't ram home the immensity of the universe then I don't know what can and that should put both the Earth and our solar system into it's real context. Once you appreciate that then the whole concept of a personal god becomes ridiculous. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 08:06, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
For me, it does precisely the opposite. I guess we just interpret the data differently. Not to mention that at first glance I read this as Hubble Ultra-Deep Fried. Doctor Dark (talk) 08:21, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
For me, it doesn't make religious ideas ridiculous, just frankly unimpressive. "God created the heavens and the Earth" was written when people thought the Earth was a simple ball of rock with some pretty lights floating around it. The true scale of the universe, determined by actually bothering to look at it, wasn't available at the time and no one had a clue. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:01, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say that made all religious ideas look ridiculous, just the notion of a personal god in something so vast. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 17:51, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Okay, fair correction there. The personal God is certainly one of the first things to go when considering this. But let's recall that we're single minute specks in this vastness, yet we've got to the stage where we can look out on it and experience it. If one still needs the personal God to make one feel special after that, well, poor one! (that last sentence was to accusative with "you" yet is barely grammatical with "one". Sigh. English! Y U NO...) Scarlet A.pngbomination 18:06, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I've never met a scientist who really buys into the "christian god" as usually understood. The world is simply too mind boggling to think there is a god out there that says "don't let the females of your species talk", "don't eat shrimp", "and for the love of ME, do not ever masterbate!!" trillions of universes, with billions of stars each, most with life not only possible, but likely, and all that life coming and going over a few million or billion years on each planet it evolved on, and you think god cares that I aborted a 40 day old fetus?Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 18:33, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I know one who is, from what I can gather, definitely into the "Jesus will return" thing and was definitely abstinence until marriage, which I found out from his incredibly sexually frustrated girlfriend. So, it does happen. Exceedingly rare, of course, and interestingly it seems the proportion that buy into mainstream religions like Christianity are are the same as the proportions of less mainstream. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:59, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
This is quite an old picture and I have a rather amusing and somewhat bizarre story to tell surrounding this picture. Some weird chick was stalking me, there was some sluething and feelings were hurt. Ho ho ho...But I am too tired to tell it. Great pic though. AceModerator 10:49, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Mr. Obama and reduction of strategic nuclear forces.[edit]

Mr.Obama say he focus in the second term to reduce number of strategic warheads down to 300. This is only 20% of the number he has to reduce to under the terms of NEW START in April 2010. Why is Mr. Obama want to do this??? (talk) 04:35, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

To reduce the stockpile of nuclear warheads? Pi 3:14 (talk) 05:28, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

It is imporant to maintain a nuclear arsenal that is strong. Barry must remember. (talk) 05:32, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Who's Barry and what does he have to do with the price of fish? Pi 3:14 (talk) 05:35, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
(ec)Nuclear arsenals are a huge white elephant. Who would they use them against? Even the roguest of rogue states aren't dumb enough to launch an offensive nuclear attack, and if one did, a couple of nukes would be enough to stop it. (((Zack Martin))) 05:37, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Not stop, but respond. Which is all they are good for, responding to a nuclear attack in the hope it deters one. Pi 3:14 (talk) 05:41, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Why do we need hundreds of nuclear weapons? IT isnt like they are any less deadly without being a thousand strong. --il'Dictator Mikal 05:43, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
...I...but.... No. Shut up. --il'Dictator Mikal 06:24, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Speaking of nukes, how many does one nation actually need to leave the planet uninhabitable? Osaka Sun (talk) 06:26, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

It would depend on the Yield and how many are mirvs/how many are in the mirv. theres enough to do it now though--il'Dictator Mikal 06:34, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
You realise that nuclear tests are generally done with much smaller bombs right? - π 07:16, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
This is probably User:Moonshot926. Don't feed him.--ZooGuard (talk) 07:17, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

That is not true at all. The USA detonated 6 high-yield hydrogen bombs in 1954. The USSR detonated a 57 megaton hydrogen bomb in 1961.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsar_Bomba (talk) 07:27, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

In point of fact everybody has an incentive to talk up the power of nuclear weapons. If you've got them you want people to think they are doomsday weapons so they don't attack you or so that you can intimidate people. If you want to get rid of them you want people to think that they will end the world as well. I'm not saying that they that are not powerful - just that it's in the interests of people on both sides of the argument to talk them up.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 07:41, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The size of warheads in testing isn't really the issue. The race for larger and bigger single bombs stems from the delivery technology. At the time of Castle and the Tsar Bomba, these things would have been delivered by plane (the Tsar Bomba was reduced in yield shortly before deployment because the delivery bomber that was dropping it might not have been able to reach safe distance in time). This is a considerably inaccurate method of delivery, the Nagasaki bomb, for instance, missed its actual target spot by quite a way. An increase in missile technology and the development of ICBM and multiple re-entry delivery systems rendered the need for crazy-massive bombs completely redundant. By the late cold war is was simply more efficient from both a "let's kill all the things" perspective, a maximum damage-to-radiation ratio (the other reason the Tsar Bomba was reduced in size) and a financial perspective (not because it was cheaper, but because it was more expensive, and the military-industrial complex is all about the spendy-spendy). Scarlet A.pngmoral 09:52, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
What our friend conveniently forgets to mention is the fact that the USSR was the only close competitor to the United States in the Nuclear Arms Race. Even then, the United States has detonated more nuclear weapons in tests than the rest of the world combined. I'm not kidding here. Mr. Anon (talk) 19:49, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

SMBC does Garfield[edit]

Fucking hilarious [3]--User:Brxbrx/sig 05:26, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Nothing can ever beat the organized effort that is Garfield Minus Garfield and Realfield. --il'Dictator Mikal 05:33, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Stop giving me unavoidably tempting excuses to post Fingerpori strips! Fingerpori Minus Garfield "Shoo!" Vulpius (talk) 01:10, 17 June 2012 (UTC)


Well, okay, a serious article on human breasts and breast-milk. Well worth a read if this isn't your area of expertise, but probably NSFW, given the picture of breastfeeding at the top.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 13:42, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Breast feeding and "not safe for work" -- totally "sigh". Do you know, by the way, the majority of human cultures never did (or do) sexualize the breast. It's a feeding station for children, and seen as such, doesn't cause men from most "primative" societies to go all gaga when they see them, covered or un? The breast is the exact same tissue in male and female (so much so that men account for 2% of breast cancer victims) yet men can go shirtless and women cannot. Why cover boobs, and not feet? or wrists? or the extremly sexy collar bone/neck juncture? Andwhyohwhy do women want big ones. They are a bloody pain in the arse.--Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 16:04, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you, but you know what some companies are like - arseholes, especially in the more conservative areas of the world. And, technically, big ones are a pain in the back. If they are a pain in arse, not only have they dropped to a degree that's not normal, they also appear to orbiting your body in a motion not too dissimilar to a Newton's cradle.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 16:06, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I doubt this would be NSFW in most workplaces. It's hardly a very revealing or erotic photo, & it's from a well known newspaper (at least in UK). People are unlikely to think you're looking at porn. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:11, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
As I said, it all depends which part of the world you are in, and the company that you are working for. Should companies take exception to something like this - no. Do some companies take exception to something like this - yes. It' a fact of life, and it's up to you to decide if your company will take exception to you viewing this article through a work machine. Let's face it, there's a depressing number of places in the world where an image like that is banned outright, so…--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 16:22, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
A milk sample has anywhere from one to 600 species of bacteria. Most are new to science. --- ok, that's just awesome!
The human body is full of oligosaccharides, which ride on our cells attached to proteins and lipids. But a mother's mammary gland cooks up a unique batch of "free" or unattached ones and deposits them in milk. These are found nowhere else in nature, and not every mother produces the same ones, since they vary by blood type -- ohhhh maybe this means the whole blood type diet thing is real. wink. Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 16:27, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually in the Naked Ape by Desmond Morris it is suggested that the human female breasts evolved to be sexual objects. He compare them with the mammary glands of other animals and concluded that the shape of the human ones are not suited for breastfeeding. On the contrary, they can cause the baby to choke. I'm not saying that is correct, just that I read that theory. --Tlaloc (talk) 16:55, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Sighs... Why I think that's a bunch of bunk? 1) i don't know any babies who choke off natural boobs (read - sagging, heavy, unbraaed boobs), 2) most so-called primitive cultures do not find the boobs any more sexual than as I joked, ankles, noses, lips. That doesn't mean they don't find the female form sexual, but that they do not specifically sexualize the boobs specifically. 3) the boobs of many women, especially those who have to hunt and gather for food, are pretty flat till they fill with milk. the really big boob comes with aggriculture. Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 17:02, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
PZ Myers did a post on a different hypothesis. Most of these hypotheses are really just an excuse for evolutionary biologists to go "Hurr, boobies!" though. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:13, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

If that was considered NSFW by my boss, I would quit. Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 16:58, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

I'd hope it wasn't for me, but I regularly check my DeviantART inbox while working... but hey, I figure with 15,000 staff and students to worry about no one will actually give a shit about individual internet use. Scarlet A.pngbomination 18:12, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The Internet filter when I was in high school was hilarious. Not only was the school board website blocked at one point, but all email access was banned. A website selling titanium wedding rings and the Ubuntu website were both blocked. As "Pornography". Google and wikipedia were rather memorably banned for a week as part of an "INTERNET LOCKDOWN". Scripts were run periodically to remove Firefox, Opera, and flash. By my last year in high school right-clicking was disabled. Тytalk 18:21, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Wow, your school sounds incredibly paranoid. --transResident Transfanform! 18:25, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The only reason we had flash drives was because nobody in administration knew what they were. CDs and zip disks were banned. Floppies could be purchased for a dollar at the library. Compiling was a suspend-able offense, which pissed the CS teacher off so much he built his own server for the class. Also funny was the assistant principle patrolling the school with a ruler to measure girl's shorts and skirts. No more than 5" above the knee. Тytalk 18:33, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes I just sit back and assume you're bullshitting about your life, as the alternative is unthinkable. Scarlet A.pngsshole 18:54, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
LSU was much more pleasant, though you could not send compressed files via email. Тytalk 19:09, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Sounds almost identical to my high school (with the same ruler-wielding administration), though the amount of computers we had were limited due to budget concerns. My business/accounting teacher was the only one ahead of the curve; the other teachers were all using their one or two computers as if they were Apple IIe's. Q0 (talk) 06:12, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

At one point many years ago I had to rely on the local public library for net access: the word "girl" was filtered out of all incoming and outgoing e-mail. So I sent an e-mail to a friend which read something like: "Jim and Susan found out that the baby is a, and they seem really happy. But I think Jim was secretly hoping for a boy, since they already have a." It also filtered out all apparent references to drugs and drug paraphernalia, so when I was looking for a percussionist for a Brazilian music thing I was doing, an inquiry I sent to a guy asked him if he still played the "oes," as the "bong" part of the word was axed. Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 18:43, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Re: Ty's school internet censorship: I find it disturbing when people in authority (parents, school admins, etc.) severely restrict and limit free accumulation of information in an attempt to control children's thinking to basically "brainwash" them into believing certain things. Just allow people to have access to all information on a subject and let them decide for themselves what they believe. That's why I'm not fond of societies like China or North Korea that censor so much of the internet and other information sources. Of course, I'm in favor of keeping young children away from things they are not mature enough to handle; harmful, scary, porntype, abberent stuff, so they can enjoy being kids and feel safe, but certainly by High School age kids can comprehend more complex theories, and (in my opinion) shouldn't have restrictions put on what they can read. The actual article was interesting, and one point especially, at the end where it says "Bernadino Ramazzini, a Renaissance-era doctor, was the first to notice that breast cancer was more common among nuns". I had read other studies saying that cervical cancer is also much more common among nuns (who are celibate) leading me to believe that prolonged abstinence is a bad idea, and that sex is good for you. :-) Refugeetalk page 18:55, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I think you're reading it wrong. It's not the absence of sex that gives rise to higher incidences of breast cancer in nuns, it's the absence of childbirth. Also in a completely PIDOOMA moment I'd guess that Schlalfy's "abortion causes breat cancer" comes from the elimination of pregnancy rather than being a direct effect of the procedure . Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 19:34, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The trick there is they do not really know (yet) if it's pregnancy, birth (or a full term pregnancy), or breast feeding. so anyone who has had an abortion has been pregnant, and had 1 -2 months of hormones floating around in them. He seems to forget that part.Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 19:44, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

To the NSFW point - this article is in the Guardian, a broadsheet UK daily newspaper. Hence the paper (and the photograph) will be found in countless offices, schools, etc. No fuss will be made. Meanwhile in D'uhmerica, a politician is gagged for using the the word "vagina" in a legislative discussion of women's reproductive rights. VOXHUMANA 23:54, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Executive order on immigration[edit]

Obama issues an executive order to prevent up to 800,000 children of illegal immigrants from being deported. In other news, Daily Caller reporter acts like an asshat, even Fox agrees. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:57, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

I think that this is excellent. It's not the DREAM act, but it's a good start.--User:Brxbrx/sig 01:01, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Yay. Three cheers for Obama. (((Zack Martin))) 01:01, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Ironically, the day before, Daily Kos had an article criticizing the administration for record deportations. I wonder if his white house staff saw that... Mr. Anon (talk) 01:12, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Trust me, you can't do anything that fast. But that doesn't mean they weren't hearing the rumblings that Kos ultimately wrote about. Those have been picking up steam in the Mexican political world around Denver for weeks. I'm guessing it's the same around the country ? Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 01:17, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The immigration thing is smart, but it's a sort of inverse smartness to which Obama was forced thanks to the GOP with their spectacular dumbness. At some point, the Republicans stepped away from the level-headed National Review approach, and began to demonize. There have always been folks in both parties willing to condemn the opposing figurehead as downright malevolent, ignoring with iron determination anything the Enemy does that's good. They're useful: they're certainly going to vote for you and not the Enemy, and they'll probably cheerfully donate and indoctrinate. But they're not supposed to be in charge, because then policy goals get forgotten.
The GOP wanted a red house on immigration, and the Dems wanted a blue house. Obama has been happily painting the house pink. But the Republicans have nonetheless been accusing him of applying midnight blue in triple coats, even as the President's own party winced and endured their increasingly crimson home. So Obama has rationally observed that it doesn't matter what he does with the house, he's not going to convince the GOP of anything - he can't even lower their enthusiasm or level of rhetoric. So what else is he gonna do? He's gonna start painting the goddamn house blue, because he might as well get someone on his side.
The Republicans want a low and steady level of immigration that preserves a specific set of cultures. They might call this a matter of ideals, while others point out that this also conveniently assures a captive labor force and white dominance. Regardless of their motivations, they lost touch with reality, and so they're going to keep losing this one unless they snap to it.
It's a subtle sort of problem, and it hides itself for a while because all that shrieking criticism actually gives cover to the Enemy while he does whatever he pleases: the absence of substantive commentary from the opposition grants a level of freedom. This is why people in Obama's base should identify different areas where he has been centrist or right-wing but where the GOP has been shrieking that he is extremely left-wing. The greater the disparity, the more there is to gain from a policy perspective.--ADtalkModerator 02:13, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Should we expand in the illegal immigration article how the neocon/nationalist take has failed miserably in the States? (talk) 04:17, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
It's actually quite interesting. Whenever Obama decides to move past GOP obstructionism, whether through reconcilation, appointing head of the CFPB through a recess session, or here, his opponents accuse him of "overstepping his authority". However, whenever he decides to reach a hand out to his enemies and sit through the long, counterproductive process, he's accused of being "ineffective". They aren't even consistent in their criticisms of him. He's simultaneously a dictator and a helpless weakling. Mr. Anon (talk) 19:52, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, that's kind of the point of politics. It's not about reality, it's about making Obama look bad and themselves look good. Republicans just don't even take the time to obscure and obfuscate anymore; it's much easier to be base and reactionary, and they get even better results at the polls. Q0 (talk) 06:31, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Someone disgrees with what I'm writing about Canadian politics[edit]

I've got trouble with the article about the Liberal Party of Canada. An earlier version I think misrepresented the RationalWiki article, Liberal Party of Canada. RationalWikians who understand Canadian politics please help. Please give me relevant information here or at Liberapedia. Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:16, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Why write about something you don't understand? --Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 15:34, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
I have to patrol edits that other users have written and I can't always be certain what's true and what's false propaganda. Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:44, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
I see. makes sense then. you said "someone disagrees with me", rather than "lots of people are changing around the article". Is it the last edit you want verified? the one liner about right/center?--Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 15:49, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm looking for verification. Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:52, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
It's politics, so it will always be perception. You are correct that the most commonly defined position of the LPC is that it is left of center. The poster is right that they have in the last year, more than anything, consistently pushed centrist issues. It's a bit like where you place obama. Most place him left of center, others place him center, and still others say he's the most right president we've had since reagan. How you want to present that might be more of a subtle "most people say", and "however some critics say"....--Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 16:10, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Canuckistani here. The Liberal Party has seen various manifestations over the years, first being pro-reciprocity, anti-imperialist and friendly to French Catholics, then aligning themselves with social democracy in the 60s. After the oil crisis and stagflation in the 70, the Liberals shifted to the centre, adopting NAFTA and balanced budgets. Thanks to Adscam and Harper's attempts to divide the left and right, they've been increasingly marginalized and it's worrying all the moderates here.

Most in the party are socially liberal, but there are a few pro-lifers and homophobes lying around. They're definitely not centre-right, though. Osaka Sun (talk) 17:09, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the info, please give me links so I can put that into the article as something verified. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:14, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Rodney King[edit]

Rodney King, the guy whose beating by police sparked the 1991 LA riots, dies of an apparent drowning. Lord of Reckless Noise Hooray! I'm helping! 16:46, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

He got caught up in all that, must suck to have all this conflict (seemingly) centered around you. Rest in peace--User:Brxbrx/sig 16:51, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Did he died? -- (talk) 17:35, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Kinda makes you think. I mean, we read about Rosa Parks, and the people murdered during the civil rights movement, and the people beaten up, etc; etc; but to a lot of us, they are just historical figures in a text book or a wiki entry. Here was a guy, though he didn't want to be, who highlighted the shocking amounts of brutality, if not racism, present with the LA Police Force, and who has now died at a young age. All of a sudden, those pre-80's civil rights movement people gain a poignancy for me that they didn't have before. I guess, maybe, it's kind of like the whole Met being declared institutionally racist over their handling of the Stephen Lawrence murder, except that judgement was rendered so far removed from the event, it somehow lost it's impact, even though it shouldn't have.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 23:49, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Religion opposing social/technological/scientific progress[edit]

Hi, I've been digging around RW looking for discussions of how religious dogma has hindered human progress. My efforts have thus far failed - could someone more clueful than me render assistance? I've found lots of "in passing" references, but I was looking for a concise overview. Apologies for my incompetence. VOXHUMANA 02:53, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Try here. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:05, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, thanks, but not quite what I was after. Obviously the matter is far more complicated that a simplistic "all science good/all religion bad" summary, but that isn't to say that religion hasn't frequently been an obstacle to progress. VOXHUMANA 03:18, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually that link made me go and read the equivalent WP article, which has been hijacked by Uncle Ed, among others. The distortion goes as follows: "The absolute 'science good, religion bad' perspective has been discredited, therefore the entire concept has been discredited". What bollocks. The RW article is equally dodgy. VOXHUMANA 03:25, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
So you are looking for a page that lists things like Galileo being jailed and the scopes trial? Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 04:11, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Not sure any more - I need to think it through a lot more carefully. It's clearly more complicated than I realised (in terms of the hijacking that has gone on). There is a lot of apologist revisionism: "...This Christian writer wrote something opposing slavery, therefore all of Christianity opposed slavery" type stuff. Ditto for an analysis of the Church's response to methodological naturalism. Still, it looks like there is a lot of good work that can be done in this area. VOXHUMANA 04:27, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
As Abe himself said: "Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:51, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The trouble with the whole religion-opposes-science trope is that you either suffer from stories being exaggerated (and the reality being a case of "I think you'll find it's a little more complicated than that") or you'll have selective reporting. Many advances in knowledge were supported by the Church over time, not least many priests taking up botany amongst other past times, creating a vast quantity of proto-research that was, effectively, financed and endorsed by religion. To be comprehensive and accurate on the subject would require a wiki of its own! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 10:05, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
One problem here is that science is really one developing "thing" whereas religions are multifaceted. Finding examples of circumstances where religions are opposed to science is really easy. Just look at YEC. But as religions are complicated people can also find examples which don't directly contradict science or even support science if they look hard enough.
But the original question was about "dogma". I would suggest that "dogma" and "science" would be automatically opposed.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 15:19, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
shifting from "religion" to "dogma" doesn't change the general problem Armodikov outlines, and the problem I have with much of our generic religion bashing here. "which dogma", and how much power did that dogma have? And who believed that dogma, and what was underlying that. And it says nothing of the very real, very controlling aspect about religions that is largely over looked in "science v. religion" debate which is the fact that "religion" (in these contexts) usually has little to do with "religious views and dogma" and everything to do with power and corruption - thestriving of individuals in the Church (church, churches, temples, shrines, etc) to gain power and fortunes, either by directly aligning themselves with power or becoming that power. "Religion" is not as simple as "there's a book and it says X", since the players are still human and any focused search will find leaders as deeply corrupt as can possibly be. It's not "religion", it's... it's... a whole religio-political-historical context. And I would wonder what the point of such a page would even be? Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 16:19, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
""which dogma", and how much power did that dogma have? And who believed that dogma, and what was underlying that." That's the problem with using "religion" in a historical context -- you're often going to have religious elements attached to any side of a conflict as in my Civil War example above where the Bible was invoked as a justification for and against slavery.
@Bob: Max Planck once said, "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:48, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Kind of depends on your philosophy of science. But in in any case scientific "dogma" can change.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 17:50, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
So does religious dogma. the idea that it cannot or does not is a strawman, useful to say "heh, i'm a better thinking than religion", or "science has done more than religion" but completely meritless in any real discussion of what religion is, has been, will be, can become, adds to society, impedes society, etc. Despite anti-religionist claims to the contrary, dogma changes all the time, and actually does react to science findings rather quickly. Even something as obvious as Galileo being jailed has some serious political aspects if you read richly researched accounts. It's not just "he said the world isn't the center of the universe", but that he consistently challenged the actual authority of the Church on numerous areas. That is, he didn't just say "eh, that's not the way it is", he said "and you have no right to be the arbitrator of what is or is not considered a fact and published". Had he just found his truth, told the church, and asked them to publish it - it would have turned out quite differently. the issue isn't the "truth" but who controls it. Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 18:15, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Religion has both aided and obstructed science over time, but overall I think the obstruction outweighs/outnumbers the help. On the one hand, in the case of Isaac Newton his religiosity clearly stimulated his scientific curiosity, and both Copernicus and Galileo were somewhat religious. On the other hand, two of the 5 most significant scientific revolutions of the past 500 years (the Copernican Revolution and the Darwinian revolution) were mightily opposed by the churches as major threats. Broadly, it seems that religion likes to keep science on a leash and be OK with it as long as religion's authority is not threatened.--WickerGuy (talk) 21:20, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Science is designed to be self-correcting and - in theory - to be welcoming to change. You can go with Karl Popper and maintain that this is a fundamental part of science or go with Thomas Kuhn and paradigm shifts. But in any event science is regarded as something which is unfixed and liable to change and improvement.
Religions, on the other hand and in general, maintain that they have the "truth" and that this truth is absolute and unchanging (at any given time). Somewhat amusingly religions do, in fact, change constantly as their beliefs develop across time and societies, but such doctrinal change is not generally regarded as a fundamental part of their belief system.
As for religions reflecting scientific change - it rather depends on the religion. The world is not short of YEC's and I understand the Catholic Church still maintains a literal Adam and Eve, and for that matter still employs exorcists.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 21:34, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that not all religions have codified doctrine. Consider Whitehouse's doctrinal vs. imagistic distinction, where the latter tend to be forms of mysticism where "truth" is mostly gained through revelation. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:22, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The idea that it's not religion, but power and corruption, that have historically rebelled against scientific discovery is delving a bit close to no true scotsman for my tastes. Especially considering the fact that without its hold on the power structures of humanity for thousands of years, organized religion as we know it would not exist today. The 'big' religions - like Christianity - would likely have died in obscurity if not embraced by the Empires of their day.
Sure, religious dogmas are forced by what reason is left in the minds of believers to change over time - a direct result of scientific discovery which eventually cannot be squelched. The process is similar to when a government fights reform. The change takes place only over a long period of time; meanwhile ideas are suppressed by intimidation, threats, and punishment. But, there is no legitimate reason why power alone should fight most scientific ideas. In fact, the idea of evolution should have been thoroughly embraced by the powers that be, given they could twist it to suit their claims of nobility, embrace of racism, and to explain why they felt the capitalist system was right. Q0 (talk) 05:28, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Conceiving "religion" as some definite thing (or even worse talking about what different "religions" did which in this sense is intolerably Eurocentric and 19th-century) that exerted influences like obstructing or propelling development is, pace Max Weber, wrong from step one. --Lord Shang (talk) 14:06, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Liberapedia books[edit]

Does anyone want to take up the expensive books based on Liberapedia that someone is selling through Amazon? Details are at Expensive books and online at liberapedia. Armondikov has commented on the talk page his comment is below. Proxima Centauri (talk) 12:06, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

These are print-on-demand books that collate information from the internet. They operate on the "long tail" principle that states you can make more profit by selling a vast array of different but very specialist things, but only in small numbers. Cheap print-on-demand makes this more economically feasible than it used to be. To call them "published" and "available on Amazon" is a little misleading, since you can pipe your Lulu account into Amazon and anyone can sell what they like on there. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 11:59, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Why is this copy-pasted into the SB? Scarlet A.pngpostate 12:22, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
More people will see it here. RationalWiki regularly debunks pseudoscience and people who sell overpriced products, RationalWiki has a low opinion of Liberapedia. I feel RationalWiki should discuss whether those books are worth the price asked and expose the scam if they aren't. Proxima Centauri (talk) 12:28, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
... Тytalk 12:29, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
It's not a scam. You content is licensed CC-BY-SA, that means people can take it and do whatever they like with it. This includes sending automated bots around the internet collating information and then selling it as print-on-demand. The point of the long tail marketing plan is that you do this with as many random things as possible as it costs almost nothing to send automated bots around the internet to do this, and then any book sold to an interested party (the more widely you cast your net, the more likely it is that you will sell at least one) is pure profit. This has been done with Wikipedia articles, it's been done with obscure financial reports about office chairs in Indonesia. About 2 people in the world will be interested, but those 2 people will probably be interested enough to shell out the cash. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 12:33, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
It is slightly a scam because actually it's not 2 people, it's more like 0.002 people per book, the Amazon system lets you inject as many of these as you like at essentially no charge, and they're POD so even if the vast majority never sell a single copy you can profit from one that does. That 0.002 number (or whatever it actually is) is enough to make money from mistakes, mis-clicks and misunderstandings even if the publisher claims that isn't their goal. I'd put it in the same category as Multi-level marketing where technically it's not illegal, but I'd not think well of anybody I knew who encouraged me to join up to one or tried to get their friends and family to join.
Amazon hosts a bunch of publishers with other dubious "business" practices. They have a whole shitload of no-editor-even-glanced-at-it romance novels for example. If you pay some "publisher" money, they put your so-bad-it's-just-bad romance novel straight into Amazon's lists, where it can compete with all the second tier real novelists. As a result of course readers learn not to stray outside the best seller lists (because after you pay $5 for one novel that's unreadable why would you risk another?) and so all the good-but-not-great authors are being wiped out financially because their audience can't find them in amongst the dross. (talk) 13:37, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Somehow I doubt a human even clicked a button to authorise their existence, probably bot scripts talking to other bot scripts talking to yet more bot scripts. SkyNet won't need access to nuclear weapons. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 15:16, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I guess I still don't get, bon, why this is a scam. I have 5 or so romance novels and 30 or so pieces of erotica out there that could be bought if anyone wanted to (no one has). They have "never been looked at" by anyone other than my bored self, but if one person came along and wanted to buy highly erotic but poorly edited works, they can. A scam means someone is being misrepresented in what they are buying. This is just one way to get books out to people who are interested. I bet the same thing goes for music as well. someone somewhere has a site where you can buy people's shower singing. and????
Proxy, it's really not cool to copy people's talk page comments to other pages without telling them first and getting their permission. Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 16:10, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
A, a human is ultimately responsible for the crappy books I'm describing as "slightly a scam". If you really care I will scare up a link to somebody who cared way more about this I do and dug right into it. When I say "a human" I mean, IIRC, one guy. Hundreds of thousands of "books" from one person and a computer program. It's about as productive as spamming forums with links to fake wristwatches, which of course is also done by one person and a computer program.
The other businesses are not a scam, unsigned contributor above (or maybe Godot having trouble with indenting?), but Amazon's treatment of them is unhelpful to readers and hurts everyone. These works, which would ordinarily reside in the slush pile at a publisher, are instead mixed in with actual published works, undifferentiated, on Amazon's system. So whereas in a bookshop if a novel's title is intriguing the worst you can usually expect is a competently written but uninteresting novel, on Amazon it's possible you'll get typo-ridden scrawl with a plot that makes no sense and ends "Then I waked up. It was al a dream. The End." with no prior warning.
For those rare brave souls who read books without either a personal recommendation or a national advertising campaign this ensures they won't make that mistake again, at least on Amazon. Which is a shame if you're a second tier author who can't justify national advertising campaigns and who needs to capture those first few enthusiastic readers to make those personal recommendations that start the ball rolling. Thanks to Amazon's... carelessness? incompetence? such people are screwed because they can't stand out from this drek. (talk) 10:17, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't know. I can't see too many people mixing up some poorly written drivel with an actual not-so-popular published book, especially with the internet being what it is nowadays. Then again, maybe it's because I mostly read "genre" books, which don't usually make the best sellers, but still have hundreds of sites devoted to reviewing them. Woodgod (talk) 14:10, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Question Evolution![edit]

For all your straw man and "doesn't really answer the question" needs, I've started working on this. It's a bit of a pain in the arse though, I've only just got through the general objections and the tactic seems to be "create the shortest version of the objection, and then just restate the original point again". Scarlet A.pngbomination 19:54, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

You probably don't want to claim that creationists "made up" macro and micro-evolution, because then they can just sift through some papers and find one of the terms and go "Ha, straw man!" Even though the general point is correct and the distinction they make is BS. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:02, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, but having to explain it's actual biological definition is so fucking tedious, especially since it's hardly ever used in that sense ever. Scarlet A.pngpostate 20:05, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
not to go all weasleword on you, but that's why you use terms like "in effect, used only by X and Y" or "in all real sense, made up by".--Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 20:07, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
And now you know why creationists "win" debates. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:09, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I thought they won by simply declaring that they won? Anyway, edit away if you spot things like that, I only have that in userspace because I didn't want an half-baked article and essayspace didn't seem right. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 20:11, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I rather liked the statement made by Richard Dawkins in the 1990s that debating creationists was like fighting the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Black Knight: I move for no man.
King Arthur: So be it!
[they fight until Arthur cuts off Black Knight's left arm]

King Arthur: Now, stand aside, worthy adversary!
Black Knight: 'Tis but a scratch!
King Arthur: A scratch? Your arm's off!
Black Knight: No, it isn't!
King Arthur: Well, what's that then?
Black Knight: I've had worse.
King Arthur: You liar!
Black Knight: Come on, you pansy!

[they fight again. Arthur cuts off the Knight's right arm] King Arthur: Victory is mine!
[kneels to pray]

King Arthur: We thank thee, Lord, that in thy mercy - [cut off by the Knight kicking him] Black Knight: Come on, then.
King Arthur: What?
Black Knight: Have at you!
King Arthur: You are indeed brave, Sir Knight, but the fight is mine!
Black Knight: Oh, had enough, eh?
King Arthur: Look, you stupid bastard. You've got no arms left! --WickerGuy (talk) 21:12, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Actually, it's more like playing chess with pigeons. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:17, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm still going to plough through. But really, most can be responded to with "seriously, guys, if you want to refute stuff actually refute it, rather than whine". Scarlet A.pngpathetic 17:39, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Color code them based on "provides new information (real counter-argument", "strawman/restatement of the point", "just a whine." Do a generic answer for the last two and only worry about the first. Tmtoulouse (talk) 18:15, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Now that's something worth trying! Scarlet A.pnggnostic 11:34, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

If the ACA gets struck down[edit]

Couldn't Obama simply choose not to enforce the ruling? After all, that's what Jackson was able to do, and likely what Jefferson would have done if Marbury v Madison had gone the other way. Mr. Anon (talk) 02:38, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

The problem is that, given the current political climate and the inherent hatred for Obama on the teabagger right because he's a Communist Muslim Negro, I don't think he'd be as able to get away with it as Andrew Jackson was when he ignored the Supreme Court. If he tried to take a stand, it would only add more fuel to the teabagger agenda that they don't need and that America, for its own good, can't afford to give them. Lord of Reckless Noise Hooray! I'm helping! 05:19, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Also, there's a reason you aren't suppose to defy Supreme Court rulings. This isn't Obama's autocracy. He has to play by the rules.--User:Brxbrx/sig 05:22, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but the Supreme Court (though they hold the most political clout) are also the branch least able to do anything if someone defies them. Sure, you can hold people in contempt. But if that person controls the army, what are you gonna do about it? For those who look at the raw Marbury ruling, SCOTUS doesn't actually strike down laws. Rather, what they do is choose not to enforce laws and then, due to judicial precident, lower courts abide accordingly. And that where defying ruling becomes a political hazard: the Supreme Court said not to, and if I do, there will be severe political and personal consequences. Lord of Reckless Noise Hooray! I'm helping! 05:27, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
It would clearly be an impeachable, and criminal offence if he did something like that. Tmtoulouse (talk) 05:38, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
And there's that, too. And, once again, there's no political cover to avoid impeachment and imprisonment for doing so. Lord of Reckless Noise Hooray! I'm helping! 05:48, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
First, the idea that Andrew Jackson ignored a Supreme Court decision and refused to abide by it is a myth (the court actually threw out the case based on jurisdiction, Marshall offered a personal opinion on what should be done, Jackson derided it in a personal letter). Also, it's not 1831. While some American politicians have in the past stated a belief that the three branches have a co-equal ability to interpret the Constitution, you'd have to go pretty far out on the political fringe today to find anyone who believes that. Over two hundred years of legal precedent and political tradition say that the SCOTUS is the final arbiter of what the Constitution means; if SCOTUS says something is unconstitutional, by definition it is. If President Obama simply ignored a decision by SCOTUS striking down part or all of the ACA, it would be a constitutional crisis. Also, he wouldn't be going door to door himself asking for proof of insurance. He would have to rely on tens of thousands of members of the federal bureaucracy (and state governments and bureaucracies for some provisions) to implement ACA, all of whom are individuals who would have to decide to defy SCOTUS, which seems unlikely. And forget "political cover"; when the U.S. president simply flouts the law and the Constitution, members of both parties will vote for his removal (see Nixon). By defying a binding decision by SCOTUS, President Obama wouldn't be "adding more fuel to the teabagger agenda" - he would actually be proving their most extreme fringes right, that he is in fact a would-be dictator willing to shred the Constitution in pursuit of his agenda. TL;DR: Obama could theoretically ignore the Supreme Court, but it would be illegal, impractical, and disastrous. (talk) 11:35, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I can't be the only one thinking that saying someone should be allowed to defy constitutional mechanisms because they control the army is quite straightforwardly advocating a military coup (given that a self-coup is still a coup)... --Lord Shang (talk) 13:55, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Both sides do it![edit]

Anyone read this yet? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:15, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Pretty much what I've known all along. The media, in their attempt to look "fair and balanced" or something loves to point the blame at both parties, but how can one really match the inherent hatred, spite, and bigotry of the teabaggers with anything on the left? Lord of Reckless Noise Hooray! I'm helping! 05:21, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
We don't call it the balance fallacy for nothing, ya know. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 11:33, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I find it interesting that in my own country (Oz) I'd be regarded as politically conservative, yet by American standards I'm a bleeding-heart liberal.VOXHUMANA 12:07, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Nick Griffin is such pinko scum. Scarlet A.pngsshole 12:17, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Lovelock concern trolls the greenies[edit]

The creator of the Gaia hypothesis thinks fracking is awesome. Any mention of refugee emissions or lack of oversight is omitted. OTOH, this is definitely quotable: "It's just the way the humans are that if there's a cause of some sort, a religion starts forming around it." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:39, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, I read that on Saturday whilst finishing the Araucaria crossword. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 20:05, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

The Pope discovers a "mystery"...[edit]

...and it ain't about god. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:34, 19 June 2012 (UTC)


Anyone watching the Florida eligibility hearing on WND? Occasionaluse (talk) 13:15, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

No, if I started screaming about idiot conservatives at work, I'd be in trouble. MDB (talk) 13:26, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Nope. But I am eagerly awaiting the wailing from Launchbooty and WND when they lose. --PsyGremlinPrata! 13:44, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't know, that was fucking weird. Some part at the end, the judge was like "so you're saying Obama was not born in the United States" and the birther lawyer was like "uh, sure...we can 'say' that" and then the judge was like "lol, rly? ok, submit something next week". Occasionaluse (talk) 14:13, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I almost with the Supreme Court would hear a birther case. Not because it would settle the matter, because the birthers won't shut up. No, I want to see them take the case because they will inevitably rule, 9-0, "Obama is a citizen, every single argument you morons make is invalid and several of them border on the insane, please stop wasting the time of the American court system. Oh, and get a fucking life." And then the birthers will be forced to explain how the entire US Supreme Court, including hard core conservatives like Scalia, Alito and Thomas, are part of the Obama-spiracy, or are being blackmailed, or are too stupid to see what is so obvious to them, or whatever.
More seriously, as insane as the birthers are, this does bring up the fact that US laws on just who qualifies "natural-born citizen" are unclear. If the Supremes actually took the case, they could make an official definition. MDB (talk) 16:30, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
On the other hand, it would be a national disgrace for such a ridiculous case to even reach the Supreme Court. The birthers crave attention. I'm perfectly fine with them languishing in obscurity rather than suffering a (well deserved) public humiliation.Apokalyps2547 (talk) 17:05, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Could somebody explain to this goddamn furriner what the rationale is for having the "natural-born" clause anyway? What is it about being natural-born that's better than being an American citizen at birth or being a citizen for, say, a minimum of 30 years? Ajkgordon (talk) 17:35, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure you know this, cause you are really better read than I in all things politics, but the issue was crucial to the new country that was the US. There was serious, legitimate concern that people from the UK, France, Germany or Spain would become citizens and take over the new country by political force of a monarchy. This country had just spent how ever much blood defining the people as distinct from Europe and they were rather loath to go back there. Of course, within a year France kicked out her King, and then Spain did something similar, so their fears were not prophetic, but they were rational for the day.
And why it matters today? American Excpetinalism, damn it!!! we are clearly better than anyone else in the whole fucking universe, not just the world! Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 21:09, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Better read? Your flattery will get you everywhere. More chocolate? Ajkgordon (talk) 21:16, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
What are you, retarded??? Children of two citizens obviously can't be tempted by the alternate citizenship of a parent to destroy America. If your parent's are American, you'll love America. If one of your parents is American and one British....WHO KNOWS??? Occasionaluse (talk) 17:43, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Right. Which bizarrely means that Boris Johnson could be POTUS. That would be a laugh! Ajkgordon (talk) 17:50, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I can't remember the details, but I remember seeing an article some years ago saying that the Framers were inspired by a case in a European country where someone who was not a natural-born citizen had risen to a position of power, and, due to his divided loyalties, caused problems for that country. I want to say it was Poland, but I'm not sure. In that respect, it's like the Third Amendment, which means citizens cannot be forced to quarter soldiers in their homes during peacetime. It's an anachronism now, but it was a big deal at the time. There was talk of repealing it when the Republicans were having "President Schwarzenegger" dreams, but it didn't get far. MDB (talk) 17:56, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Alexander Hamilton discussed the subject in Federalist 68:
These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union? But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention.
Apokalyps2547 (talk) 19:24, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Sure, I understand why it was a valid defensive position to take at the time. But now? As I said, somebody like Boris Johnson, the current mayor of London, would not be barred from being president - he was born in New York but to foreign parents and he is more English than warm beer, rained-off cricket, Devonshire cream teas, and Eastenders. Surely a more up-to-date rule that takes into account our cosmopolitan world would be preferable. Even Australia has a foreign-born Prime Minister. (And Head of State, but that's a different matter.) Is it venerated simply as a tool to make objections to a candidate (or even president) you don't like for some other reason? Or is there something more concrete? Ajkgordon (talk) 21:00, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Because the only way to change it is a constitutional amendment, and that is not an easy thing to do. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:10, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Again, I understand that. But why is it held in almost revered sanctity? Ajkgordon (talk) 21:12, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
We would have to wait until conservatives want to elect a president who isn't a natural citizen. Until then, any attempt to change the constitution is sensationalized as "OMG LIBERALS ARE TRYING TO DESTROY THE CONSTITUTION". It's just a game. Occasionaluse (talk) 21:13, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Cause we are teenagers. WE have never really had to fight a war on our own soil. WE've never really been defeated in a war. We've never really faced true extreme national poverty the level of France, Germany or Italy after the wars. And instead of understanding that's simply because we've not been around a long time, we say it's cause we are BETTER than everyone. Therefore deep down is this idea that only Americans should run America. You can be a senator, or a judge, but not our Great Leader President! Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 21:15, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
And again I can understand that. But the natural-born thing doesn't make sense when a total foreigner who just happens to have been born in the US can become president whereas somebody who's in every other way Mercan but born in, say, Kenya \0/ can't. To this simple-minded non-USian that seems a little arse-about-face. Ajkgordon (talk) 21:23, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I actually asked Terry Hurlbut, and he confirmed that it would be impossible for someone not born of two US citizens to be a better leader for America than someone who was. Occasionaluse (talk) 21:29, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
It's the same reasoning that led people to conclude that Japanese-Americans needed to be rounded up and put in concentration camps during WW2 - even ones that were full US citizens, for that matter. A nice healthy mixture of jingoism, xenophobia, and racism. That spirit was captured in the Smith act trials and McCarthyism shortly after, which were attempts to spread the idea from foreign birthright to 'foreign' ideas themselves. It's all in tune with what the right wing in the US is still doing today. They try to define America as this one very specific unchanging idea, all so they can marginalize anyone who doesn't agree with them ("Why do you hate America?"). Q0 (talk) 08:42, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Although that's not unique to the US. Most Allied countries carried out various forms of internment during WWII. While much of it was unfair and sometimes quite brutal, sorting it out probably wasn't high on the to-do lists of those in power at the time. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:43, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
You're right, and maybe that has a lot to do with what Godot was saying. The US came out believing the war made it better, while most of the other serious belligerents (even the ones that "won") had been absolutely ravaged. As a result, most of the European powers trended toward social democracy with diverse political parties, while the US and USSR lashed out at any ideas that didn't fall in line with official policy. Reminds me of the A. J. Muste quote: “The problem after a war is with the victor. He thinks he has just proved that war and violence pay. Who will now teach him a lesson?” Q0 (talk) 10:46, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

I think my favorite WTF moment of the hearing was when the judge asked the birther "So what about artificial insemination where you don't know who the father is?", to which the birther replied "Tough luck, you can't be president". Occasionaluse (talk) 21:04, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Seriously? Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 21:16, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes. Because who knows where your loyalties might lie? You could kind of tell that the lawyer had never really thought about it, but he just had to go balls deep. Occasionaluse (talk) 21:20, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Unsurprisingly, Conservapedia makes more sense...[edit]

...when translated into LOLcat-speek. MDB (talk) 15:40, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Cool?--il'Dictator Mikal 17:29, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Okay, okay.... Ken in lolspeak is pretty fucking awesome. Occasionaluse (talk) 17:44, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Eye ken kweschun evillooshun? MDB (talk) 17:52, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Answers in Genesis is a riot. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 13:57, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, foo. It doesn't like it if you try to lolinate this here site. MDB (talk) 14:09, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Apparently it doesn't like redirects. Try a direct link to the Main Page.--ZooGuard (talk) 14:18, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Final Exams[edit]

Just out of curiosity, how was everyone's finals, if you had to take them?RandonGeneration (talk) 19:23, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Well, I took mine a month ago, they weren't too bad. Тytalk 19:24, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Last week for me. I did well. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:28, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Mine were so-so, I should have done more revision but I've managed to scrape a living in the intervening 39 years. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 19:32, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Given mine were back at the end of april/beginning of may, i dont remember. --il'Dictator Mikal 20:07, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I took mine today (i also have one tomorrow, but it's really easy). I think i did okay -- not great. Nihilist 20:50, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
My daughter is in the middle of her baccalaureate. Today she had four hours of philosophy and thee of French literature. Tomorrow is three hours of history and geography. Poor thing. She's upstairs right now cramming the last bits into her frazzled brain. No matter how much we tell her to go to bed. Ajkgordon (talk) 21:08, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
And next week, our eldest is presenting his masters to the board in Ghent. Rather them than me. Ajkgordon (talk) 21:10, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I know a lot of third years about to get very, very drunk. I expect the amusing texts and Facebook updates to start imminently. Scarlet A.pngbomination 23:54, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Mine were all papers/projects, so not too bad. Just a lot of time in the library. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:38, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I quit school this year (burnout, so I'm taking time off), but we didn't have finals anyhow since it was a practical-oriented course. --Kels (talk) 17:31, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Fuckin' a[edit]

Not having a car in the Phoenix metro area during the summer and needing to go shopping sucks. Here I am waiting until night fall so that I don't come back home having lost three liters worth of water by sweating--User:Brxbrx/sig 00:59, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

... a what? Blue (pester) 01:33, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
We call it public transportation brx. Or does phoenix lack it?--il'Dictator Mikal 02:03, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Who fucking cares. AceModerator 02:43, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Moar reason to live in Canada, where you don't sweat to death, you freeze instead (angry at my library cutting off heat in april, when it is cold all the time!) (talk)
I wouldn't mind living in Canada, but Harper scares the crap out of me. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 09:33, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, despite his best efforts to emulate Bush, Canada still seems like a better place to live than the US. Q0 (talk) 09:41, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
harpo is going to be sent back tp toontown anyways. Robogate pissed off a lot of us. (talk) 16:26, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Uh, many parts of Canada you DO sweat to death. Like Ottawa, where the humidity is nuts (the city is basically in a bowl), or Toronto which is prone to inversion layers (and lake effect weather, which is always fun). To say nothing of the prairies or the sauna that is BC. --Kels (talk) 17:41, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

John Edward is on...[edit]

Don't ask why, but it's on the TV in the background. I was under the impression that the televised versions were supposed to be cut to make him look good. "I'm getting 'mu' sound... an 'm-l' Melissa, Melinda... oh, Amelia? You have an Amelia? That's good enough for me. Now, she has two other spirits with her, younger spirits. Anyone she knew also passed on? Okay, so you say she had a nephew." (conveniently forgets about the second younger spirit for the rest of the conversation). Scarlet A.pngsshole 13:10, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

"So I'm getting a J... a J..." - "My brother-in-law is John. He's a Minister." - "Oh, well..." - "He's living." *audience laughs* - DAMMIT WOMAN! That could have been the best trolling opportunity ever. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:35, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
"I keep asking him, 'how did you pass? How did you pass?', and he kept ignoring me." - "Oh, he died like this: *detailed explanation of sleep apnoea*" - "Well, he says he died of sleep apnoea!" - "OH MY GAWD AMAZING!!" Scarlet A.pngpathetic 13:49, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I was surprised to learn he's still on TV. What network actually carries him? MDB (talk) 14:44, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

I've got it![edit]

I figured out how to solve America's debt problem!

Consider this:

"Dear President Jintao:

My initials are BHO. I, like you, am a fellow Communist. Through duplicity, my allies in the media, and the foolishness of capitalists, I have managed to achieve a position of power in a major western "democratic" nation in the final stages of bourgeois collapse.

I have managed to obtain the sum of three hundred billion dollars (300,000,000,000 USD). I need the help of a trusted believer in socialism such as yourself to move it from its location in the banks of the corrupt, decadent west.

Please provide your bank account information..."

MDB (talk) 16:36, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Dunno... sounds kinda silly. -- (talk) 16:56, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Dear president Tao,

I am a nigerian prince who is in a large amount of trouble, but very rich. If you could help me leavee Nigeria, my assets will be unfrozen, and I will share 20 '/. Of it with you. I need 3000 dollars for a plane ticket. Thank you so much, Nigerian prince23.16.218.81 (talk) 17:35, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Bristol Palin[edit]

I didn't even know she was getting a reality show, but apparently it really sucks. Then again, we would expect anything different? Lord of Reckless Noise Hooray! I'm helping! 20:49, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

It sounds like The Hills but with less drama. And since drama is the only reason to watch The Hills...--User:Brxbrx/sig 20:54, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
The only reason to watch any reality show is in the hope they will all die a ball of fire AMassiveGay (talk) 22:00, 19 June 2012 (UTC)


Our current article: ORMUS

My version, which I wrote some time ago: User:Tweenk/ORMUS rewrite

Can anyone suggest how the snarky qualities of the current version (which I personally don't find all that humorous) can be merged with the IMO more informative version in my userspace? --Tweenk (talk) 01:20, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

IMO your article is vastly superior. I'd suggest replacing the current with your version, and then reintroducing anything from the legacy version which still has merit. At first glance, that wasn't much. VOXHUMANA 01:26, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
His ideas on NMR are definitely Not Even Wrong territory. Scarlet A.pngbomination 02:00, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Anyway, the current userspace version is certainly more direct and to the point about it. The lede actually says what it is! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 02:04, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

I went ahead and copied tweenk's version into the mainspace. VOXHUMANA 02:14, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Remember the 5 terrifying bastardisation of the wiki format?[edit]

May I present number 6: Boobpedia. NSFW! --PsyGremlinSpeak! 12:25, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

So I swanned on over and hit 'random page'. I discovered that the Japanese have very unusual porn film names. Totally NSFW, porn related VOXHUMANA 12:46, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
And this made me stop looking. Probably work-safe, and a remarkable take on the concept of a "glamour model" VOXHUMANA 12:49, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
"I discovered that the Japanese have very unusual porn film names." - this won't be news to Psy, of course. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:52, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
ooh! libel and slander!! I was, however, going to say that the strangest porn name I've ever come across seen is "My ass is haunted." --PsyGremlinSnakk! 13:02, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Here's an illustration of moe wiki mascots of the top three alternative wikis. [4] We should ask dumpling to do one for RW--User:Brxbrx/sig 14:35, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Hitting random page a bunch of time yields soe interesting results. My favorite so far: POV Jugg Fuckers. This is how Boobpedia differs from Wikipedia; at Wikipedia they confine themselves to NPOV Jugg Fuckers. DickTurpis (talk) 23:12, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

it would seem to be slightly older than CP based on at least one edit. one suspects that this 'pedia is also slightly more fact based than CP, though stuck in a perpetual mindset of an hormonal 16 yo male...oh wait. 00:19, 19 June 2012 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
The amusing thing about our culture's big breast fetishism is that it doesn't count as a fetish. And all other fetishes are gross and freaky, of course. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:34, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
It's only a fetish when you lust after sizes past double d's. Otherwise it's just another ideal of the feminine form.--User:Brxbrx/sig 00:42, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm most concerned over the fact that they don't seem to have anything about manboobs. Pure anti-male discrimination! Vulpius (talk) 17:26, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Is the US public debt a big problem like conservatives say it is???[edit]

Is it a problem? What is the solution? (talk) 04:18, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Watch this or read some of these for a simplified explanation. Read this for more detail. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:35, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Here's my "simple" answer (if such a thing is possible). Yes it is a problem. No it isn't a "catastrophic, end-of-days" problem like conservatives say it is.
The solution? Either
  • (a) cut spending, which everyone supports until their piece of the pie comes up for a cut "Cut spending! Just don't cut defense/education/medicare/social security/etc..."
  • (b) increase taxes (which no-one likes) or
  • (c) increase the tax revenue by increasing the economic output (obviously the best solution, but easier said than done).
Much of the current debt was caused by two expensive wars and a catastrophic debacle at the hands of unregulated US merchant banks, which resulted in a massive elimination of capital and a credit freeze which then knobbled the global economy. Most of Obama's subsequent contribution to the national debt is due to his attempts to "spend back into growth" (which historically has always worked, so it's a reasonable course of action.) However because the GFC was so globally damaging, international customers are as broke as American customers, and getting global growth back on track is thus a tough fight. Whether Obama's economic efforts will succeed remains to be seen. Also because America is now far more influenced by the global economy than it was in the 1930s and 1950s or even the 1980s, it is now much harder for a president or Congress to get direct results from their actions. VOXHUMANA 05:18, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, while ignoring the irony that the conservatives were the ones who tallied most of it in the first place, it is a problem in the long run. Think of it as making mortgage payments at the very micro level. The United States can deficit-spend all it wants as long as it pays the interest on its debt, and can with the remaining influence of the US dollar and enough tax revenue. But if the economy isn't growing to finance everything (ie. Greece), shit's gonna go down, and the fact that America has lost significant economic ground to China does worry things.
Will a default happen soon? Not necessarily. Japan's owes nearly 200% of its GDP and got hit badly in the 90s with the Lost Decade, but they're still afloat. There's also differences between public and sovereign debt that complicates things (worthy of an article?). The US needs to focus on how to regain its feet (and this isn't the most indebted they've been in, see the 1930s); the argument is whether to continue current stimulus in the aftermath of the recession and raise taxes later, or do the opposite. The world at least knows from the banking crisis of the failures of ideological tax-cutting during relatively okay times, so that's one thing to avoid. (talk) 05:46, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Did the wars really cause the $15.8 Trillion national debt? Wikipedia says the wars only cost $2.4 Trillion.

"According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report published in October 2007, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion dollars by 2017 when counting the huge interest costs because combat is being financed with borrowed money. The CBO estimated that of the $2.4 trillion long-term price tag for the war, about $1.9 trillion of that would be spent on Iraq, or $6,300 per U.S. citizen."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_cost_of_the_Iraq_War (talk) 09:01, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

The obvious solution is to cut taxes, hugely increase defense spending and give anyone who votes republican free money. That is the only thing that can save the country. VOXHUMANA 09:52, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I've never believed that the conservative power structure (that is, the corporations and businessmen, not your random tea partier) was actually interested in eliminating the national debt. Reducing the trade deficit a bit, maybe. But certainly not eliminating the debt, which is an essential aspect of modern free market capitalism. Q0 (talk) 10:19, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Vox, you basically skipped over the conservative answer to the debt problem: defund Planed Parenthood = PROBLEM SOLVED! They take 12 trillion of our tax dollars every year. It's so simple. Why do liberals resist the truth? DickTurpis (talk) 11:08, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree with Q0 in that I don't think reducing national debt is an issue for right-wing politicians anywhere. In the UK although "getting down the deficit" is a political mantra, actions suggest otherwise. The government continues to fund two new gigantic aircraft carriers and since £20+ billion on a new generation of nuclear weapons and submarines, yet hacks away at social security. It seems the issue is less about debt per say than using debt and deficit to justify the destruction of government institutions that the right in many countries have long bitterly opposed and wanted to be rid of. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 23:56, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Starting work on an article...[edit]

...which I'm going to submit for peer review. It's going to be on the origin of eukaryotes (the whole "prokaryote with mitochondria" thing is just confusing). Not going to give you any of the details, but I feel that if I'm going to become a real scientist, I need to be able to do serious research, read scholarly articles, back up claims with solid evidence, and in the event my paper's rejected be able to deal with that, as opposed to the incident regarding my puff piece on the origin of war. I think I have a good idea in my head, now to do research, elaborate on it, and submit a draft into Nature or something. I really feel I'm maturing. Discuss. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 12:26, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

I co-authored (also known as "cleaned up the lab and did all the excel files") a paper a good few years back on the ensheathing cells in the olfactory bulb, and their interaction with soluble factors. It drove the chicks nuts - there's nothing crazier than a cytohistology groupie.VOXHUMANA 12:37, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Nature is a research journal. Scarlet A.pngmoral 13:03, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, your point being? I just said "Nature" because it's the first scientific journal that comes to mind. I'm going to do research, write a draft, submit it for peer review. If it gets through, great; if it doesn't, then I need to go back to the drawing board. Easy as that. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 13:08, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
If you mean "research" as just reading what other people did and summarising it, then you won't get published in a peer review journal. Simply put, you require original research - stuff you've done and added - to do that. In short, you need to be a serious scientist to get published, you don't become one by being published. If you want to summarise something in a pop science style, then contacting New Scientist or a similar magazine will work. Usually the best way is to repeatedly badger the appropriate sub-editor with your idea (a brief abstract) until you get a response. They'll then send you a specification for size and style for publishing and with a deadline. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 13:15, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Adding to that, in order to be a research scientist, you have to know what hasn't been done already, and developing that depth of knowledge takes years. I only got my name on a paper because I'd been an humble assistant to a "real" researcher (with a PhD in her biological field), and she was feeling generous. Also, despite the three years of medical school I had finished at the time I can't honestly say I actually understood everything that was in that paper. VOXHUMANA 13:20, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Do you know how to do science? I feel silly asking this, but are you trained in the conventions of the thing, i.e. proficient to a graduate-student level (even if not officially at that status?) If yes, then shouldn't you be aware that (a) you seem to be proposing a metastudy and (b) Nature is aiming pretty damn high? If no, then shouldn't you be honing those skills by working with someone else, or (at least) plowing through dozens of articles and getting a formidable background in your chosen topic?
I don't mean to discourage you, but it's hard to gauge exactly where you're coming from.--ADtalkModerator 13:30, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Quick search found this guide to what a good peer-reviewed article is. Although I'm not submitting my paper into the Society of Petroleum Engineers, I think that the criteria for a good candidate for submission are good when we generalise it so it doesn't just refer to SPE. I'm not just going to do a rehash of previous works: I'm going to add my own, novel, logically sound conclusions based off of the information. And once again, I state I just said Nature because that's the first scientific journal that comes to mind to me. It doesn't need to specifically be THAT journal, just any relevant journal. Also, I am reading the literature, I know this is like a metastudy but I'm also adding novel conclusions. And don't feel silly, AD. You make good points. The Heidelberg Kid (talk)

Armondikov & AD said you'll need original research, not original thoughts based on other people's research. Also, the thing with peer review is that it's reviewed by peers. Can you really consider yourself a peer of the experts who write and review articles in these publications? If you want to be published, aim for something more small scale & achievable. Talk to your teachers in the relevant subject & see if they can suggest something to submit your article to. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:30, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I"m kind of confused. Are you in a PhD program? Virtually nothing will be peer reviewed if you are not at least in a PhD program, simply because it's not worth most professional journal's time to look at your work. There are always rare exceptions, but I wonder at your goal. If you want to try to do research, and learn how to write, that's great, but I'm not really sure how submitting something for peer review will matter. Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 18:52, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Though some do read through crank material and circulate it while it's funny. Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:53, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Or collect it. I had a prof who had an entire collection of signed Erich von Daniken books. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:09, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

If you'll look at the PDF I mentioned earlier, you'll see that finding new connections between different data is legit for submission. That's what I'm doing: I'm going to look at the evidence, see if it matches with my idea, and if it does, write a draft and submit it (if it doesn't, I need to discard my idea). Children's magazines are NOT the place where someone who's serious about doing science (i.e., me) should publish his work. Don't discourage me.

Submitting my idea for peer review will matter because it will help explain one of the biggest mysteries we have in evolution: the origin of the first eukaryotic cell. The present explanation with its mitochondriate prokaryote still doesn't actually explain HOW THE NUCLEUS ACTUALLY FORMED, and the very notion of a prokaryote with mitochondria stretches my credulity. I feel that my idea makes more sense, and I'm going to look into the evidence to see if it goes with my idea. My goal is to get used to the process of peer review for when I become a professional scientist.

(Oh, and BTW, meta-studies have gotten into peer-reviewed journals before. See. Yes, it's in psychology, but that's probably because the article's example is on psychology.) The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 18:57, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Honestly, HBK, if im going to want the beginnings of life explained, i'm going to ask somebody whos already well into that field of science, not somebody who looked at some papers --il'Dictator Mikal 19:05, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
There are journals dedicated to review articles like the "Trends in X" series. @HK: You might want to, er, start smaller. There's usually a good reason why the big problems in a field are unresolved. That is, they're fucking difficult. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:09, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
The thing about this is saying "I don't want you to discourage me", but you're really talking about running for President before you've done a day of politics. Yes, you have ideas, but they are not going to be taken seriously until you have some letters behind your name (or are, again, in the process of doing that), simply because you do not have enough background experience in the field, nor do you have experience writing or critiquing. Hell, before I got any critical work published, I'd had maybe 10 book reviews and 6 critical responses of other people's works published. and none of those were in major journals. Teh reason people are suggesting "children's journals" is cause those are the only place you will be taken seriously, and the only place to learn how to write, critique, evaluate, etc., your work.Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 19:17, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I starting writing another long response to HBK, but Mik, Nebzr & WfG have already put it much better than me anyway. If you're determined to submit to a peer revieed journal, you're setting yourself up for a big disappointment, when you could put the same energy into something much more achievable like a popular science magazine or a suitable website. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:33, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
"...someone who's serious about doing science (i.e., me)..." No, you're really not if you're planning on submitting some armchair theorizing to academic journals. (You need a PhD before you can submit absolute wank to those anyway.) If you are serious, you're going to find a way to get proper training in research and methodology. Have you even read Margulis? Do you really think you're going to overthrow established theory overnight? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:51, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
HBK, I can see that literally everyone here is wary of erecting some bar of achievement for your ideas, i.e. your thoughts don't count because you don't have a degree. We're all very aware that there are some amazing people who have blitzed past formal requirements with their ingenuity, so that's why we hedge about the idea. So maybe no one's been clear:
It takes a hard-working genius to be capable of assimilating the data of such a heavily-trafficked field as abiogenesis and turning out a novel and worthwhile theory on the basis of that information. You do not show signs of being such a genius, and in fact it doesn't seem like you would even be aware if someone had published a similar thought already, five years ago. Most of the time I think I have a brilliant new theory about something, I discover that someone has already published something very similar.
No one should - or can - say that you are not able to do this, or that you cannot try. But the very real obstacles in front of you demand a high level of commitment, and that commitment begins with voracious research of the back literature. Have you done that research - a dozen relevant books on the field, back issues of the journal in which you intend to publish, and other recent papers that might be relevant? Forgive our skepticism, but it has a basis of personal experience and concern for you.--ADtalkModerator 22:10, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I am a hard-working genius. All the adults in my day-to-day life tell me that, including teachers and parents. Although I know you were not trying to, I feel as if my intelligence has been insulted. And in regard ot the research, I started researching already. I spend a lot of time in PubMed and Scholar Google trying to find relevant data. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 00:30, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
You sure like attention. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 00:55, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Every time HK comes round, i'm torn between "troll" or "real but misguided kid". --Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 01:02, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
It's a pretty interesting topic either way, but yeah, that last comment was just silly. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 01:08, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
As someone who did indy undergrad research... it is a LOT of work. Also HK, they may just be saying that out of kindness. TheShade (talk) 01:16, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
HK, it doesn't matter how intelligent you are, you have to learn the material until you "grok" it. Indeed, cranks are often incredibly intelligent people. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:25, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Let's play that you are serious, and I'm going to show you why you simply aren't ready for this. "I'm reading pubmed and google scholar". Welcome to the world of academics - those two ain't it. You really need to get to a science citation index and see what articles are the big players in the last few months and read those. Then, having read those and fully understanding every nuanced detail of them, you look at who THEY cited, and why they cited them, and read those articles. I know nothing about your field, but you need to find out the 4 or 5 major journals in your specific field (I'd assume there's a journal called "microbiology" and a journal called "celluar biology" and one called "the american association of abiogensies", etc. You need to read every article in those major journals in your field to even see what current research is going on. And that's not even beginning to look at the history of recent studies to understand why some things have been discarded and others replaced. only then will you even be ready to begin to see if anything you are thinking has been approached or not. Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 01:34, 20 June 2012 (UTC) Here's a list of about 100 journals. not sure which are the biggies. [5]Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 01:37, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Without intending any offence, based on comments like "the whole "prokaryote with mitochondria" thing is just confusing.", might I suggest that before diving into a science citation index, maybe hitting an undergraduate textbook would be a good start? To even begin to critically assess the theory of endosymbiosis you'll need a thorough grounding in cell biology and biochemistry. Based on some of the comments above, I'm not seeing that depth of knowledge. Intelligence has nothing to do with it, I'm smart but I can't comment on (eg.) Russian Literature because I've never learnt Russian. Perhaps investing that hard-working genius into acquiring the core knowledge would be a good start. VOXHUMANA 01:43, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

I know about the endosymbiotic theory, and I'm okay with that. I feel you're misunderstanding me due to the limited amount of info I gave. What I mean is that the endosymbiotic theory leaves something unexplained: the actual origin of the nucleus. An archaean joins with a bacterium. This explains the mitochondrion, but how does the actual nucleus form? I'm not throwing the whole concept of endosymbiosis out, but still, the current idea leaves something to be desired.

The claim of "prokaryote with mitochondria" is based off of three possibilities for the origin of the eukaryote under the "traditional" endosymbiotic theory:

  • The nucleus appeared first, then the mitochondria. Initially the most plausible, but all the so-called "archaezoa" turned out to have degenerate mitochondria or mitochondrial genes locked up somewhere.
  • The nucleus and mitochondria both appeared in the same individual cell. This is so unlikely it stretches my credulity to the limit.
  • The mitochondria appeared first, then the nucleus. The intermediate stage would be a prokaryote with mitochondria, but given all the diversity of bacteria, their sheer adaptivity (even the sulphur-eaters survived the Oxygen Catastrophe in some numbers), and the obvious benefits of symbiosis with the priomitochondrion, there just AREN'T ANY PROKARYOTES WITH MITOCHONDRIA. No fossils, no extant species, nothing. Again, my credulity is stretched with the claim the mitochondriate prokaryotes just went extinct (for what reason? eukaryotes were doing fine).

Since none of these options really work (the former due to simple falsification, the latter two due to such high improbability), I feel although the concept of endosymbiosis is good, there still needs a lot to be done. I think I may have a solution to the puzzle, and I wish to elaborate on it and submit it into a scientific journal. I never said that this would be done overnight: since I want to become a professional scientist one day, I'm going to need to get all the background information and work out all the kinks of my idea until it's the best one man can do alone. I was just making this post to say "yeah, I'm taking my first step towards real science, I've got an idea I'm going to research and submit into a journal". I know none of you are trying to offend me. I really feel you're my friends, even though you can get rough sometimes ;) The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 02:10, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Well, fair enough. I hope you succeed.--ADtalkModerator 02:17, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
HK you may be smart and hard working (genius may be overstating the issue, after all you're still in school and not a young entrant to university, right?) but until you get some academic credentials under your belt you're exceedingly unlikely to get published in a peer-reviewed journal. Your ideas may be correct but you'll probably have to work your way through to a PhD before you can get it published - maybe it could be your thesis but I suspect that you'll have revised it many times by then. What you might try is to enter it into something like the Intel Science Talent Search where you are more likely to get read than dismissed out of hand, and possibly then get noticed by reputable journals. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 06:56, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
I'll say this much, you've got some balls on you. If I were you, my first step would be to go to the webpage of the nearest university, find their expert in the field, and go talk to her about your ideas and get her sense of where you should go with this. Also, you need a subscription to JSTOR or some similar database so that you can be as up-to-date as possible on the latest research on the topic. Theory of Practice Peer-reviewed articles for everybody! 23:47, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

On being Transgender, part-black, part jewish.[edit]

Read the image caption for Tyler Ford (Slide#5, if the link isn't direct). He discusses how he felt growing up being 'not enough' of anything. he's a half jewish, half black transgender (he's now post transitional male). It's pretty daunting to think how lost a kid would feel growing up that way. --Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 16:19, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Daunting because society forces people in to large homogenised pigeon holes that celebrate some kind of notion of "identity" over individuality? Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:48, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:01, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
The words that really caught my attention were " Being told all my life that I'm not X enough or Y enough, (and my chromosomes aren't even XY, so how is it possible that I even exist?)". --Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 19:06, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Zadie Smith recently wrote an amazing essay called "Speaking in Tongues," about how she felt that she had to perform the role of being black:

It made Blackness a quality each individual black person was constantly in danger of losing. And almost anything could trigger the loss of one’s Blackness: attending certain universities, an impressive variety of jobs, a fondness for opera, a white girlfriend, an interest in golf. And of course, any change in the voice.

There is a subtle poison in any element of identity that depends on peer confirmation.--ADtalkModerator 21:59, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like textbook crab bucket. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 00:50, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Speaking as an outsider (because in virtually all cases of binary majority/minority situations, I am in the privileged majority) I would suggest that such a "crab mentality" is not the main reason for the phenomenon among African-Americans. Randall Kennedy in Nigger points out that there is a sort of proprietary culture at work: black people have to define blackness as a way of asserting its value as an identity. I'd suggest that the nebulous way we identify people as "black" and the efforts of some white people to co-opt that culture lead to a defensiveness about who is considered validly "black;" it's a fuzzy label, and they want to make sure that people can't claim it and appropriate it for the majority (again; c.f. Elvis).--ADtalkModerator 01:20, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm simply suggesting that it might be a side-effect to holding identity to be more important than anything else. I've certainly alienated and annoyed a lot of people by moving out of a working class area, effectively losing the accent (at least according to the other wildlings north of the wall), marrying into the middle class and getting a degree or two. Is it because they intentionally want to hold you back in with the group? Not so much, but there's certainly this drive that says "if you leave, you're not one of us any more", which can effectively be the same thing as clawing you back into the bucket, if you let it. Scarlet A.pngmoral 02:18, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
I think the pressure to conform & to underachieve are the most destructive thing in working class culture, and one of the things that continues to perpetuate the class system, or at least the class divide. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:40, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Bullying and Europe - question for europeans, UKians, Zelanders, etc[edit]

My husband and I were watching a show from Glee (I know, I know, shhhhhhh) and this episode was about bullying. He said he really could not connect, cause he doesn't remember seeing this in his schools in France. At least not the real "give me your money or I slam you into the locker" type. He doesn't really recall the cliques we had in highschool either, though of course people ate with their friends, there wasn't the sense of "status" we have here about being in the right group. I don't know if he's recreating a memory of a country he lives in comparison to one he tollerates, or if really bullying at that level is very American. Any comments from the out-of-country peanut gallery? I've been curious about this all day. --Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 22:47, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

I was bullied pretty badly in high school, it exists every where. Luckily though society has a way of weeding the bullies out and while I grew up successful, good looking and intelligent many of the former bullies are broke, on 3rd mortgage's with high cholesterol, shitty wages and awful wives with skin diseases. AceModerator 22:51, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I remember a lot of bullying at school (in the UK). It rarely involved physical violence or stealing; mostly taunting, jeering, insults, harassment, ostracism, etc. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:55, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
That sums up my experiences as well. Certainly not on the same level as (apparently) American high schools. --Lord Shang (talk) 22:57, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
It was only from 14 - 16 I had any bullying because my parents sent me to a school catered towards jocks and nerds and I fit into neither category. Once I shifted to a school where there was an alternative, skate-boarding boozing crowd I became popular again (yes I used to be a skater). AceModerator 23:01, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Harassment and insults are how kids build a hierarchy. Violence about it though, seems to be very American. --Rutherford (talk) 23:04, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh if only that were true. AMassiveGay (talk) 23:07, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
American schools, as seen on tv, seem completely alien to me. Dreadful places if they are like that even without the bullying. AMassiveGay (talk) 23:13, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I've never personally experienced serious bullying when I was growing up, but I've seen it. There'd be pranks and teasing, but nothing really malicious and by 8th grade, it was pretty much non-existent. There were no real divisions either ("gangstas" would hang out with math geeks, etc.). Woodgod (talk) 23:15, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

this may be of interest. AMassiveGay (talk) 23:23, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

I watched the same episode. I never saw any physical bullying, but there were cliques and bullying was mostly verbal. Senator Harrison (talk) 04:33, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
There was fairly violent bullying at my school (one of my friends had his face kicked in good and nearly lost an eye), but none of it was the "give me your lunch money" type. It was just "beat this guy up because it's fun" type and/or name calling. One time someone did try to steal money from me by jumping out from around a corner with a knife in his hand and saying "give me your money". But when I say "knife in his hand" I mean he had his hand out flat, palm up, with a knife lying on top of it. It was a fairly bizarre incident (I didn't give him my money). Also in American TV an awful lot of school bullying seems to take place near lockers, which as far as I'm aware aren't a thing in the UK, at least not while I was there (late 90s/early 00s). X Stickman (talk) 06:40, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Neither bullying nor cliques were issues at my school but it was a selective elitist establishment and a world away from most depictiions I have seen of US public schools. But back then the teachers were allowed to use corporal punishment to enforce discipline. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 07:24, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Never experienced physical bullying, experienced my fair share of teasing and verbal abuse. Cliques were certainly not on the level they are portrayed in american movies and sitcoms. Punks and Hip Hopers would go drinking together etc. But there seems to be a lot of physical bullying and ethnic cliques in the "more diverse" school... can't say for sure though since its just media reports and hearsay. Will probably find out in a yearor two...--Th. Bernhard (talk) 07:43, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

WfG, maybe your husband's experience of no bullying at French school is simply anecdotal and not representative. Our kids have also been fortunate enough not to have been on the receiving end but they have all seen some fairly nasty bullying during their French education. Ajkgordon (talk) 11:02, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't remember any people in my secondary school being physically bullied for a prolonged period, though there were a few weedy kids in my year who had more than a fair share of taunts and teasing at them for the first few years of school until people started to grow up a bit. Fights broke out fairly regularly (few times a month, but again petered off as people got older) but this wasn't because of bullying, just "you're a dick," "no, you're a dick, let's fight." I remember when I was fifteen getting sent death threats online from a bunch of wannabe gangstas because my girlfriend had started going out with one of their crew, but they never did shit. While this coincided with my grandfather dying and wasn't the nicest month of my life it didn't actually bother me unduly as I had good friends and wasn't remotely scared of these people. El TajDon't make me do stuff 11:36, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
AKJ - that or as I said, (and he will deny this with every ounce of his blood), he just really thinks france is a better place than the US, and can sometimes (like everyone) have a selective memory about what life really was like. Or he just never saw it, but it was there, etc. I actually never saw any bullying in my school at all. But I'm suspecting that has more to do with my view of the world, than reality. I asked, here, cause while i think some of the more aggressive bullying is unique to some US schools, I don't really buy that France (europe) is sooooooooooooo superior, no one bullies. Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 14:58, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
My (UK, ~'77-'91) experience was largely of the taunting and ostracism variety. I don't recall any kind of physical abuse at all, but I do remember once getting to the point of thinking (not particularly seriously) about killing myself. From my limited knowledge of school culture these days, it seems the same sort of thing usually applies. rpeh •TCE 15:19, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Godot, I'd venture a guess that demographics have a lot to do with it. Bullying at school is often (or always, you can argue) the result of problems at home. Either the inability of parents to adequately care for their children emotionally and physically due to economic constraints, or a relationship between them that is already abusive, or something similar. Given that there is still poverty in France, much of which shows itself in heavy residential segregation, which add further elements of religious and racial strife due to the high prevalence of immigrants in those areas, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see bullying like you see in America in certain schools.
There is also the cycle of abuse - whether consciously or subconsciously - carried on from generation to generation, wherein children are considered as tools to be molded, constantly disciplined, and not allowed to show, or do not feel comfortable showing, independent thoughts and emotions. In that authoritarian power structure, the child has no where to direct built up anger and shame, and upon considering an abusive relationship to be normal because of their only experience with family, channels it into abusing others who are weaker than themselves. That goes past bullying at school, to doing it to younger siblings, and to torturing animals and such. Kind of a similar idea to what Alice Miller wrote about. I can't really comment on how common this type of upbringing is in places other than America, other than to say it seems to be very, very rare in Sweden... Q0 (talk) 16:12, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Harassment at cons[edit]

We had the whole Rebecca Watson thing a while back and I see PZ has been carrying on quite a bit about harassment at conventions. It seems to be of both a sexual and political nature. Is it really that bad at conventions? What the fuck is wrong with people? --PsyGremlin말하십시오

Why don't you come up to my hotel room so we can discuss it in private? rpeh •TCE 12:25, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
At least buy me dinner first. --PsyGremlinSnakk! 12:42, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
How about some coffee? Or a stick of gum? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:00, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Excuse me? Look, I might be easy, but I'm not cheap! --PsyGremlinPraat! 13:16, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
I am cheap. I'm spoken for, though. MDB (talk) 13:38, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Ummm, no, your summary is wrong. If you are talking about the most recent clustercoitus at Freethought Blogs, here is a timeline of the events: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/06/15/harassment-policies-campaign-timeline-of-major-events/
Summary of the summary: several people were trying to organise various cons to have explicit harassment policies. DJ Grothe noticed a drop in the number of women registering for the latest TAM and blamed it on the discussions, including several things that Watson said about the skeptical/atheist community in general (that in regards to sexism and harassment it is not better than the background). The people in question didn't take it quietly and pointed out his lukewarm stance on harassment. (Seriously, one would expect the head of a prominent skeptic organisation a) not to jump to conclusions and b) to have heard of the Streisand effect.) As usually, the discussion since than has exploded in a myriad of tangents.--ZooGuard (talk) 13:14, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
To clarify: it appeared that Grothe was more concerned about the reputation of JREF/TAM than with the well-being of harassment victims, past and potential. A bit like the situation with the Catholic Church...--ZooGuard (talk) 13:18, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
If there's one thing that really bugs me about the whole atheist community, it's that people are way too quick to accuse each other of being like religious people/organizations/etc. It'd be nice to have a bit more perspective in these arguments. Q0 (talk) 13:47, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Ajkgordon (talk) 14:06, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
This was the first instance of "an organisation that put covering its ass above fixing the problem that afflicts it" that popped up in my head. Feel free to suggest a secular example.--ZooGuard (talk) 14:19, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Nearly any government. But really, it's not that I wanted to attack you personally, just that it reminded me of how commonplace the tactic is. Just a glace at the harassment debate over a few blogs shows all sides engaging in it. Q0 (talk) 16:16, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

If it had been up to conservatives[edit]

Liberally stolenborrowed from the blog of Peter David, writer of stuff.

This country would never have been founded.

The whole point of conservatism is to resist change. If liberal thinking had not prevailed in 1776, then we would still be a British colony, and instead of English we’d be speaking...

Okay. Well, yes, we’d still be speaking English. But we’d all have British accents. And as a result, all our iconic television characters, like... I dunno... Doctor Gregory House, would have to be British. Could you imagine that actor, Hugh Laurie, speaking with a British accent? Of course not.

Avoid the prospect of Hugh Laurie speaking with a British accent. Be a liberal.

MDB (talk) 17:17, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Ha ha! Ajkgordon (talk) 17:22, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
But a north american british doctor who...--il'Dictator Mikal 18:13, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Women and dishonor: "shaming teh family"[edit]

This story came out today, about an Indian father slicing the head off his 20 year old daughter for "shaming" him. Does anyone know any good references on the tradition of this whole "you've shamed my family" thing? I know it's *not* religious, cause it seems to transcend religion and impact a large collection of people in and around the middle east and India (from ancient times, too, as the Bible is filled with this stuff) - but not really anywhere else. The idea that I can kill you for dishonoring me. It seems so shocking to turn to your flesh and blood and brutalize them in this way. It might be "all over the world" but I just can't remember seeing it in other cultures I've read about.--Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 22:37, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Based on press coverage it seems it is most prevalent in Indian and Middle Eastern cultures, however that is not to say it doesn't happen elsewhere. Also it's easy to say it is a "muslim" problem, however it seems there are plenty of non-muslim examples. Also I would conjecture there have been many cases in the USA, just not termed "honour killings" (eg. white girl/black boy scenarios).

VOXHUMANA 23:02, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Here's a fun tidbit (from the above WP article): In Colombia, until 1980, a husband legally could kill his wife for committing adultery." VOXHUMANA 23:08, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, i knew it WASNT a muslim thing (predates it to Hebrew at minimum), but I just really don't get what it stems from. It really seems so endemic to that region of the world. I know China did kill off girls, but that was in infancy, and generally if they had too many kids. I don't recall them doing this whole "you have dishonored the family" thing.... Granted, EVERY culture has a history of legal violence if you commit adultery. which I hate, but i at least "get". But the "you looked at a christian, so I'm goign to kill you" (a real case) is the stuff I don't' get. Green mowse.pngGodotVAGINA, Vagina, vagina vaginaVAGINA 23:59, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
It has to do with agnatic succession, i.e., in a patrilineal society, adultery on the woman's part screws up the family lineage. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:30, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I'll agree with that to a point, but I'll note that in most of the current cases, there is no accusation of adultery, just "dishonour". VOXHUMANA 02:23, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
What do you think "dishonor" is code for? (Click for hint) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:32, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
And here I thought it was code for 'not following every single command your authoritarian society dictates to you'. Silly me. Q0 (talk) 09:37, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Since when was India a Muslim country?
But actually, this has become a very modern issue. India was once home to some matriarchial societies in the past. Now, it seems, womens rights is moving backwards. Mr. Anon (talk) 02:34, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Roughly 13% of India is Muslim, 138 million people in the 2001 census. However some cities of India are heavily muslim, such as wp:Hyderabad.VOXHUMANA 02:41, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Who said india was muslam? My point of real curiosity, Neb, isn't why a women's virginity must be protected but how the extreme idea of KILLING your child, killing your sister, etc., became a norm for this part of the world. Cause again, it's quite unique as far as i can tell.Green mowse.pngGodotTut tut, looks like rain 02:46, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Instead of "my honour" read "my family's honour". It all comes from poor societies becoming "honour societies" (Middle East, East Asia, American South up unitl some years). As they need some social leverage instead of richness, they adapt the concept of honour as the main social leverage. The honour is often how much the part of the family or the whole of the family follows social norms. If it is bad to look upon somebody of another religion that's dishonoring the family, if it's bad to pick up money from the street and not give it to the nearest temple that's bringing dishonour to the family and so on and so forth. A lot of European royals were thought of as dishonorable, but by the time the social punishment should have kicked in they were so freakin' powerful (Borgia) you better not mess with them.
Now, if you have lost your honor the road a lot of cultures take is suicide or "open secrecy" (it's ok to do it, just don't do it in public), but if you are really poor all your social leverage is gone. Without honor a person is so practically worthless, some way not a person anymore (equal to our treatment of war criminals). As this person has no humanity anymore for members of the relative group, and the honour needs to be restored there needs to be a way to restore that honour. As honour is a concept going back to male warriors and highly patriarchal, the strong male knows violence and it has do be shown to society that the family will not be disrespected/dishonoured → "kill the bitch".
Basically it is the same concept that makes people beat each other up if their mommies were insulted, just cranked up to 11(,000). It goes without saying that for somebody who has internalized humanism, this is impossible to understand emotionally.
There's an interesting analogy to be made with Japan here, as I'm sure you know. If I had to speculate, I'd say the rich/poor factor has less to do with the society as a whole, and more to do with which individual families actually go to the extremes. I don't think there is any need for that much social leverage in a society, as many indigenous American tribes had shown. Q0 (talk) 09:37, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

And it keeps on happening - apparently this guy marched into a police station with a severed head in his hand. http://www.smh.com.au/world/enraged-father-beheads-daughter-with-sword-in-honour-killing-20120620-20muu.html VOXHUMANA 00:01, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Er, didn't you read the original post in this thread? Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 07:32, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Here's a story http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/01/29/jury-reaches-verdict-in-shafia-trial/ about an Afghan family living in Canada where the Father killed his 3 daughters for "dishonor". and another: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/11/22/christie-blatchford-geeti-shafia-asked-for-immediate-placement-with-foster-family-weeks-before-her-death/ As in most "honor killings" I've ever read about the family was Muslim and went by sharia law. Refugeetalk page 22:20, 21 June 2012 (UTC)