RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive216

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Good bloggers[edit]

What you people think of the Steve Sailer and hbd chick? I tried add to blogroll but someone removes — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Please don't pester us with the same stuff that got reverted on wikipedia. SophieWilderModerator 22:00, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
TOW, you mean.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 00:57, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

I personally see nothing wrong with adding them, they're good scientistic bloggers.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

What does 'scientistic' mean? Tielec01 (talk) 08:34, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
This. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:32, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

No, you have us apparently confused with Metapedia. HTH! - David Gerard (talk) 16:18, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Is it just me or are these human biodiversity assholes showing up more frequently here? --Marlow (talk) 16:28, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, Eliezer Yudkowsky just politely suggested they weren't quite so welcome at LessWrong, they need somewhere else to camp out - David Gerard (talk) 16:44, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

What's wrong with human biodiversity? It's just a fact of nature. See Steve Sailer, Peter Frost or Razib Khan blog, it is not of bad— Unsigned, by: Somebody who is too dumb/lazy to sign / talk / contribs

GMO foods[edit]

Moved to Forum:GMO foods SophieWilderModerator 19:48, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Anyone here really familiar with Thailand?[edit]

If so, can you explain why everything in Thailand has been revolving around Thaksin Shinawatra for almost ten years now? --Revolverman (talk) 14:00, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Checking TOW, it says that he was Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006, when he was overthrown in a coup. He was fairly populist, and apparently corrupt and authoritarian -- a Thai Huey Long, if you will. He's currently in exile in Dubai, as he will face two years in prison on various charges if he returns to Thailand.KevinR1990 (talk) 14:43, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
I used to live in Thailand, albeit that was about twenty years ago. My view: You should probably take the charges of corruption and authoritarianism against him (and even his conviction) with a grain of salt. Although there are many things to recommend Thailand, an independent judiciary and prosecutorial service is not one of them.
By the standards of Thailand, he's not that bad. His main problem is that he made powerful enemies: the monarchy, urban elites (unlike in American politics, this isn't a euphemism for liberals), and the military. They don't like him because he (or now his sister) is in power and they are not. This is why the goals of the protests (other than simply opposing Thaksin's influence in the country) are so, as the New York Times puts it, "hazy."
His policies were pretty good: Corruption actually went down on his watch, he expanded the economy through structural reform and free trade agreements while also reducing inequality (as measured by the Gini coefficient)--a neat trick, and introduced universal healthcare (with access to anti-AIDS drugs).
The allegations of authoritarianism have a grain of truth to them: He cracked down on Thailand perennial problems of drugs and the Muslim insurgency in the South using some pretty tough measures. His drug policies consisted of doing what your conservative friends say, when they have a few drinks in them, should happen to drug dealers ("One drug dealer; one bullet." this old Polish guy I was talking to at my neighborhood dive bar once told me). Likewise, he responded militarily to an escalation of the southern Thailand insurgency, and that's a problem without a purely--or even primarily--military solution. (On the other hand, it's tough to see not calling out the army in response to terrorist attacks in your own country.) These actions were hardly anomalous for Thailand, though.
He also--like every other rich guy--tried to avoid his taxes. Also, companies connected to him or his supporters benefited from some of his reforms. His opponents' real objection to this, though, is that their own companies didn't profit. If the Democrats had been in power, any "reforms" would have surely benefited them. Godspeed (talk) 22:24, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

emergency please help[edit]

http://caboodle.nationalbooktokens.com/hiddenbooks/?competition=1&sp=0# I am stuck on this] what is the empty bottle?AMassiveGay (talk) 22:09, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

my flat mate got it panic over AMassiveGay (talk) 22:14, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Maybe? PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 22:15, 27 November 2013 (UTC) Sorry, missed the update, PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 22:16, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Lolita (low litre) maybe. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:18, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
you get the prize. I did swear a little when I was told. Not as much as for the donkey one though. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Why wont it except Watership Down? --Marlow (talk) 23:15, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Nm, I figured it out. --Marlow (talk) 23:16, 27 November 2013 (UTC)


For when you want your monarchism/anarchism/corporatism/dominionism, sexism, and eugenics all rolled into one awful package. The logical endpoint of MRA ideology, I suppose. --CoyoteSans (talk) 20:15, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Try Slashdot's comment section. Zero (talk) 20:20, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Again, I love how they assume they'll be the ones in charge rather then some serf getting ran through because the lord of the manor got shit on by a Baron or Duke above him. --Revolverman (talk) 21:40, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Reminds me of some of the essays I read in Hans-Hermann Hoppe's Democracy: The God That Failed. (Indeed, Hoppe is mentioned by name in the article.) "Anarcho-monarchism" is not an oxymoron to these people. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:42, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
If the king is a nice, strong, white uberman we'll be much better off then we are with all these mud people voting for hand outs. --Marlow (talk) 22:56, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Somehow (probably related to insufficient caffeine) when I read that story this morning on /., I read that as "Greeks for monarchy" and thought "Well, their Republic doesn't seem to be doing a real great job lately..." and I only just realized what it actually said. Compro01 (talk) 04:34, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Actually one of the logical endpoints of singularitarianism. These racist twats are a fucking plague on LessWrong. You'll see Eliezer Yudkowsky in the comments section of that TechCrunch article expressly disavowing neoreaction, and Yvain from LW wrote the definitive takedown. They're pretty much irrelevant, except for providing material and succour for the scientific racists. We could write an article on them, but it's hard to do better than Yvain just did - David Gerard (talk) 11:42, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Having done a little more reading on the "neo-reactionaries" through the links offered in the Techcrunch article... Godwin's Law makes me really reluctant to use the F-word, but "neo-fascist" is really the closest term I can think of to describe the broader ideology of these people. Their views and arguments are pretty much straight from Julius Evola and the Nouvelle Droite, mixed with the vulgar libertarianism of modern tech/geek culture in its appeals to anti-egalitarianism, elitism, and the belief that white male privilege is the natural order. CoyoteSans is right, this crap is pretty much the logical conclusion of the MRAs and their fellow travelers' increasingly bizarre, detached-from-reality politics. The Anti-Reactionary FAQ is a great place to start for dismantling their arguments, especially if we make a page on the movement.KevinR1990 (talk) 13:28, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Pretty much. Yvain also has his summary of reaction, written from being around these people for years and knowing a few of them personally. He'd be ideal to write the article, except the probability of Yvain writing a RW article is negligible (he's not a fan).
Even libertarians aren't very fond of them.
The trouble is (a) this stuff is unknown, so you have to explain what the fuck you're talking about first (b) the research is stultifying (Moldbug can't say anything in less than 20,000 words and can't get started in less than a thousand; other neoreactionaries take this as their model) (c) the people are repugnant (d) the movement is irrelevant, so there's little reason to bother. But if you start from Yvain's writings (he has some others on the topic, fueled by personal irritation) he's done a lot of the hard work of original synthesis of responses - David Gerard (talk) 13:11, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
For the first time in history, Vox Day posts something actually useful. Note James Donald in the Neoreaction bit, the guy even Eric S. Raymond considers a racist - David Gerard (talk) 14:00, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Oh my fucking jesuschrist bananashit Gerard! Why the fuck did you link me to these Slate Star Codex essays? I read that blog but hadn't read these, and now you have fucking stolen my holiday. Some of us have beer to drink and don't have time for all these goddamn interesting fucking essays! ASSHOLE--ADtalkModerator 01:44, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
It seems we do not have an article about A Confederacy of Dunces[[1]] by John Kennedy Toole, do we? This seems a ... needful thing. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 06:02, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
Is it? I love that book too, but we don't even have articles on Borges, whose stuff is much more relevant to our mission - just not quite sufficiently so.--ADtalkModerator 13:26, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
"He wants a king. Nobody wants a king." The first thing I thought of when I started reading some of that crap was good old Ignatius J. Reilly. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 14:57, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
It does warm my heart to hear someone of your naturally conservative nature say that. Have you seen this one? I find the idea that politics is determined by technology quite convincing, which suggests I need good counterarguments.
How much of a computer geek are you, by the way? If enough of one, I'd be interested in your opinion of Moldbug's Urbit. (I think the naming conventions are an evidence proof that one can be a bit much of a Borges fan ...) - David Gerard (talk) 21:13, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
I just skimmed the first article (Slate Star Codex). Not ready to prepare an elaborate rebuttal yet. The fellow doesn't get the chief advantage of newer computers, which is in fact to run your ancient software better. I in fact continue to run ancient Windows software (Office for Win95, Corel Draw 7) on Windows 7 machines because it isn't broken yet, I know these programs like the back of my hand, I know how to make them do what I want done, and they run like lightning on computers that are more advanced than the ones they were made for. If I "upgraded" them, I would lose some familiarity, and worse, the new versions would be just as sludgy as the old ones were on old machines.
Technology changes the environment in which human politics operates; but human politics is ultimately about human behavior and human values. Both of these things have large hard coded components. Our chief problem is that our technical abilities have advanced far faster than our moral abilities, which are largely tied up in our genome and change only in evolutionary time. But most of these evolved abilities revolve around understanding our fellow human beings. They've served us well enough that we can see, for instance, that games of nuclear chicken might not end well. But that too was a scenario that could have existed at any time in the prehistory of human conflict; the only thing tech changes is the stakes.
I read the "reactionary" pitherings with some sympathy. I, too, concluded that I don't believe in equality and can't be a good liberal. But what I want is ass backwards from what they seem to be after. I want there to be room for a hereditary aristocratic principle in government to save us from the sort of ambitious people drawn to any competitive meritocratic system, because that guarantees you government by assholes. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 04:33, 29 November 2013 (UTC)


I might be persuaded to support it. But first, you'll have to persuade me that the species is endangered enough that I need to worry about bottlenecks in the population. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 04:33, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

HBD is the fact that there are human races and that there are differences between them genetically in things like IQ — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

"which suggests I need good counterarguments..." Really, the best counterargument is to just read some histories of the events mentioned (Protestant Reformation, scientific revolution, etc.) You could say the printing press contributed, perhaps even enabled, some of these events, but were not the singular cause. Also, the Italian renaissance predates Gutenberg's printing press. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 09:33, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
Saw a relevant article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:53, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
To Bachelor No. 74....: Uh, no. The words human and biodiversity have established meanings, and you don't get to change them. There may be issues in human biodiversity; lineages in danger of dying out, like breeds of vintage tomatoes that nobody grows any more. By most measures of the well-being of a species, humans are unfortunately in no immediate danger of extinction. What you're talking about, quite simply, is racism; actual issues of human biodiversity simply do not map onto the culturally defined races very well. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 07:21, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Is this idea established enough for us to have a Neoreactionary article? SophieWilderModerator 21:13, 29 November 2013 (UTC) http://www.vdare.com/articles/david-yeagley-on-the-fear-of-a-white-planet

A BoN interjects with something about the effects of European contact on Native American peoples[edit]

http://www.vdare.com/articles/david-yeagley-on-the-fear-of-a-white-planet — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

What the shit ... - David Gerard (talk) 11:07, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
"...the White Anglo Saxon Protestant race, the very race that subjugated the American Indian...." ORLY? Not the Spanish? Anyway, I find "Fear of a Black Planet" to be a much better song. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:55, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Zen pencils: Welcome to Science, You're gonna like it here.[edit]

In my fairly consistent perusal of comics, I stumbled across one titled "Zen Pencils". The one in that caught my eye (there are quite a few that are quite good too - Carl Sagan, Feynman, Dawkins, George Carlin ) was #52 - http://zenpencils.com/comic/52-phil-plait-welcome-to-science/ with a series of panels with words from Phil Plait (aka The Bad Astronomer). The full (unedited) version of the text is at Science Fare (Discover Blogs).

I know a place where the sun never shines.
Its at the bottom of the ocean.
A crack in the crust there exudes chemicals and heats the water to boiling point
This would kill a human instantly
But there are creatures there, bacteria that thrive. They eat the sulfur from the vent, and excrete sulfuric acid.
I know a place where the temperature is fifteen million degrees, and the pressure would crush you to a microscopic dot.
That place is the core of the sun.
I know a place where the magnetic fields would rip you apart, atom by atom.
The surface of a neutron star, a magnetar.
I know a place where life began billions of years ago.
That place is here, the Earth.
I know these places because I'm a scientist.
Science is a way of finding things out.
It is a way of testing what's real.
Its what Richard Feynman called "A way of not fooling ourselves."
No psychic, despite their claims, has ever helped the police solve a crime.
But forensic Scientists have all the time.
It wasn't someone who practices homeopathy who could a cure for smallpox, or polio.
Scientists did, medical scientists.
No creationist ever cracked the genetic code.
Chemists did. Molecular biologists did.
They used physics.
They used math(s).
They used chemistry, biology, astronomy, engineering.
They used Science
You can experience the thrill of discovery, the incredible visceral feeling of doing something no one has done before, seen things on one has seen before.
Know something no one else has ever known.
No crystal balls, no tarot cards, no horoscopes.
Just you, your brain, and your ability to think.
Welcome to Science.
You're gonna like it here.

Just something to check out and look at. (An aside, my 3.5 year old niece is getting a telescope and pocket microscope for christmas - one of her first intentional drawings was of "germs" after visiting the biology lab my brother was taking a class in - the lab director for that lab has that drawing hanging up in his office now) --Shagie (talk) 01:56, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

A scientist is someone who perceives a natural phenomenon, stares at it in fascination while trying to understand it comprehensively and wonders about it some more.
An engineer is someone who perceives a natural phenomenon, soberly observes it while trying to understand how it works and starts thinking of ways to utilize it.
After having studied in both worlds, that is what I think about the different attitudes and mindsets anyways. Nullahnung (talk) 22:02, 29 November 2013 (UTC)


I move that we rename this wiki to SPOV-wiki. Then it would solve this problem and our drinking problem (i.e., "But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink!) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:43, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Or FuckYouAltiesQuacksAndWingnuts-Wiki. --Ray´s Super Fun Hellhole! g͘͡r̸̀a̸̶̡n̶̶͜ţ̡ ̀҉̴̨͡m̀͘͜͢e͡ ̸͟҉̷̢ỳ̸̡̀͞ơ̡̢̡ų̧r̴̀͡͝ ̡҉҉̧̛s̵̕͏̡ǫ̀́͢ų́l̵̕҉ 23:57, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I second the motion.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 19:07, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
You know who else liked name changes?? Schicklgruber!! --PsyGremlinParlez! 19:18, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
And Dzhugashvili! SophieWilderModerator 19:43, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
And Zhivkov. Though the joke becomes rather tasteless...--ZooGuard (talk) 20:01, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Fast & Furious Star dies in car crash[edit]

Irony. You haz it. --PsyGremlinHable! 05:16, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

If only we still had Sylvia Browne to foretell that happening.... Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 05:24, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
More proof that God has a sense of humour, I guess. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 20:12, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Most flagrant misuse of irony I've seen in a long time. Should be a rule in the IRL drinking game about this. Shadow of Lords talk 16:47, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
We even have an article about what irony isn't. --Seth Peck (talk) 17:14, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh come on, you all know that irony is like rain on your wedding day. --PsyGremlinParlez! 07:55, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
His movies where shit, he deserved it, just a shame it hadn't happened earlier. ~~Newton (talk) — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 06:11, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Just because his movies were shit does not mean he deserved it. We should be above such attitudes (and who knows, he could have been famous for better things). Osaka Sun (talk) 06:16, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Did somebody hack Ken's account? Or did he just reveal himself to be a scumbag? --PsyGremlin말하십시오 07:53, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Wait... Was that just Ken? Tielec01 (talk) 07:54, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

The edit was made by a BoN linking to Ken's account. Tielec01 (talk) 07:56, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Our "official description"[edit]

A Google search of RationalWiki has us as Refutation and analysis of anti-science and crank ideas; essays on right wing authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism. Are we fine with just right-wing, because in our mission it's authoritarianism in general. Osaka Sun (talk) 09:16, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Good point. Is left-wing authoritarianism outside the mission?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 09:39, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
A rational position should include opposition to tyranny of the left as well. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? Moderator 09:42, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
What Genghis said. Authoritarianism is dangerous, its paint-job is irrelevant. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 14:26, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I believe "right wing authoritarian" is a term Bob Altemeyer uses in his book, "The Authoritarians". A quote:
In North America people who submit to the established authorities to extraordinary degrees often turn out to be political conservatives, so you can call them “right-wingers” both in my new-fangled psychological sense and in the usual political sense as well. But someone who lived in a country long ruled by Communists and who ardently supported the Communist Party would also be one of my psychological right-wing authoritarians even though we would also say he was a political left-winger. So a right-wing authoritarian follower doesn’t necessarily have conservative political views. Instead he’s someone who readily submits to the established authorities in society, attacks others in their name, and is highly conventional. It’s an aspect of his personality, not a description of his politics. Right-wing authoritarianism is a personality trait, like being characteristically bashful or happy or grumpy or dopey.
Not everything needs to be seen in terms of some political left-right construction. Perhaps the description could be tweaked to clarify that. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:51, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I would rather see any mention of political orientation, left and/or right, taken out of all official (self- or otherwise) descriptions of the project. While there's little doubt that as a whole, our editorship skews somewhere-not-to-the-right-of-the-political-spectrum, our tent could be a little bigger if we tried to leave some politics at the door and focused more on core questions of science/pseudoscience/woo/treating religious dogma as scientific knowledge, etc. A reader who comes from the right side of the US/British/Canadian spectrum might agree with important parts of our core mission, the stuff we do really well--vaccines, evolution, herbal medicine, quackery--but may feel like he/she is alienated from the membership/has to argue against the stuff that is less central to the mission, and that we do less well: political satire, tracking the horse races of electoral politics, addressing economic issues. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 15:21, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Did you read the Altemeyer quote? It is easy to confuse the two, but here "right wing" is being used as a psychological term of art, not political tub-thumping. That distinction needs to be made clear, rather than eliminating a word because it might be misconstrued by a segment of our potential audience we might wish to woo. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:33, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Maybe I'm just making this up, but I thought that was an older version of point 3 of the mission. If that's the case, can't we just update the Google description? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:39, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
On further thought, you guys are probably right, particularly about banner text where there isn't room (nor attention span on the part of the audience) for making nice distinctions. "Authoritarianism and fundamentalism" it should be... but how to change it? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:03, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I can't see anything in the page source that says "right wing". Looks like Google pulled it out of their asses years ago - David Gerard (talk) 17:20, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
It's the verbatim description of RW on the Open Directory Project: http://www.dmoz.org/Society/Politics/Conservatism/Opposing_Views/Anti-Religious_Right/ Google probably took it from there.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:05, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
P.S. Guess what I found while searching for that - RW discussed on /r/HPMOR.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:16, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
According to this, Google does use DMOZ listings. :( Can someone please add a metatag or sitemap with the proper description, please?--ZooGuard (talk) 19:33, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
That Google page also has a metatag for making search engines stop using DMOZ data.
And things like these is why the mission statement should stay on the start page...--ZooGuard (talk) 19:35, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Umm, hi! Just popping in to say "goat!" and to remind you that I've LANCBed forever. 08:10, 3 December 2013 (UTC) C®ackeЯ

Koanic soul[edit]

http://www.koanicsoul.com/blog/reading-faces-the-eyes-are-the-windows-to-the-soul/ can someone see this over and tell me if there is something off with it? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

it links to Harun Yahya for a start. If you're going to ...oh wait. It's you again. SophieWilderModerator 22:07, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
if the eyes are the eindows to the soul, should I use Visene or windex ? They may have spelled Neanderthal wrong (h or no h ?) Hamster (talk) 02:58, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
Either Neanderthal or Neandertal is fine; the word was borrowed into English as Neanderthal, then the Germans reformed their spellings. Neanderthal in English suggests a wrong pronunciation with /θ/ instead of /t/, though; never was an issue in German. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 01:17, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Scientifically speaking the website is totally sound, right? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Yes, completely sound. Not a single mistake, or bare assertion to be found. Congratulations. Tielec01 (talk) 05:16, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I doubt there are any problems with the website, we could use it as a source here at RW— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 05:48, 3 December 2013‎ (UTC)
That went right over your head, didn't it? SophieWilderModerator 14:28, 3 December 2013 (UTC)


Is this: The Mammogram Myth, a Book by Rolf Hefti anything anyone knows about? I've known at least 3 women who died of cancer, including at least one who had her life extended by mastectomy following mammogram. Is it true or woo or what? (Interesting: I first wrote cancer with a capital "C") Scream!! (talk) 00:30, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Looks like typical anti-science garbage to me. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:03, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
If a dude named Rolf Hefti has something to say about tits, I'm going to assume he knows what he's talking about. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 02:30, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I guess someone'd have to read the book, preferably someone who knows something about mammography. My first guess is that it's bullshit. The basic idea behind the mammogram is fairly simple: scan for irregularities, which are then investigated. Maybe if Hefti is saying that it scores too many false negatives, and that a mammogram is an insufficient diagnostic tool? That might fly. But otherwise, mammograms do help against breast cancer. If a scan shows a lump, the lump can then be biopsied to reveal cancer. After that, cancer treatment follows, all thanks to that original mammogram.--"Shut up, Brx." 03:40, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
there were some changes proposed a few years ago about annual mammograms, mainly that woman start them later and perhaps every couple of years unless a family history or a lump is detected by BSE. It seemed more a statistical issue about cancer rates and detection of very small tumors. There is also some concern about using MRI rather than a single xray because of the very much higher radiation level if the tech isnt paying attention. Hamster (talk) 04:53, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
A self-published e-book by an "independent researcher" with no qualifications and a distrust of the scientific/medical establishment? I think we can pretty much assume it's likely to be bullshit. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:55, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. However, in mission terms, is Wikipedia's coverage of medical screening adequate to explain the tradeoffs here? Or should RW have a more snarky article that specifically tears apart both the cynical overselling of screening tests (gee, I wonder why a centre that gets paid to do mammography thinks it's "horrifying" that we want to reduce the number of tests they do after examining incidence rates...) and the hysterical fearmongering from the anti-science types (e.g. arguing that the tests actually cause the disease and if you avoid screening you'll be fine) ? Tialaramex (talk) 09:36, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Without actual medical expertise, you risk writing something that would be indistinguishable from those "hysterical anti-science types".--ZooGuard (talk) 10:13, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
That's a good point. Well, User:Tialaramex/Screening is what I wrote while pondering this, it would need a lot more work if we're going to. Tialaramex (talk) 10:39, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I think Orac has written some on the subject, him being a cancer surgeon and all. You probably can mine his posts for references/further reading.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:26, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Higher radiation level from MRI? Errrm, I don't think magnetic resonance imaging uses any type of ionizing radiation. (As contrasted with computer-aided tomography, the other kind of "scanner", which uses X-rays.)--ZooGuard (talk) 10:13, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
MRI systems are effectively just giant superconducting NMR magnets with more gradient coils and a bore large enough to fit a person. The only "radiation" emitted is in the RF spectrum (the superconducting magnet provides the Zeeman field necessary to polarize the spins, and a transmitter pulses an RF field at varying amplitude, frequency, and phase to induce spin flips). - GrantC (talk) 06:12, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
There is no "Zeeman field", there is only "Zeeman effect". Otherwise the explanation is accurate, but I think it's unintelligible to everyone except me and Armondikov. --Tweenk (talk) 20:40, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
It's common in quantum information (especially in NMR systems) to refer to the primary magnetic field (that responsible for the Zeeman effect) as a Zeeman field in shorthand. In NMR systems used for quantum information, the primary field is generally anywhere from 1.5 to 9T, and the spins of interest are typically protons or C13 atoms, where Zeeman splitting becomes the dominant quantum effect (by many orders of magnitude). It's useful shorthand to refer to the primary magnetic field as the Zeeman field in that respect. My source for this is spending years in a quantum information research lab doing work on liquid state NMR systems. - GrantC (talk) 23:51, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Cochrane's recent review does appear to cast some doubt on the effectiveness of routine mammograms for all women over X age, mostly because the specificity of mammograms rather sucks. For every woman saved via mammograms, you'll have over 200 false positives and 10 treatments of cancers so slow growing that they wouldn't have been a problem in the woman's lifetime. It might be a better idea to run mammograms as a second-line screening and say, only do them yearly on high-risk women, such as those with BRCA mutations or those with family history. Compro01 (talk) 15:49, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
The NHS runs them every three years for women over 43. Below that age, only if they find a lump. Currently they claim 2.5 lives saved for every "overdiagnosis". The tl;dr. - David Gerard (talk) 17:05, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Hmm. Where are you seeing that claim? The patient leaflet manages to interpret it as 3 in 200 women being overdiagnosed plus 1 in 200 being correctly diagnosed. Keep in mind that these are unavoidably estimates because we do not know how to tell whether DCIS will turn into something nasty, all we know is that it usually doesn't but sometimes it does. Also the Cochrane people don't like this "lives saved" concept used in the leaflet because it implies that cancer not found by screening will kill you, which is not merely logically false it's terribly misleading compared to the real statistics for survival after diagnosis for people who don't choose screening. If the 4 in 200 women told there's a problem were instead lied to and told it looked fine but reminded to tell their GP if they find a weird lump, three of them would be fine (because overdiagnosis) and the other one would almost certainly be fine too after they came back a few months or years later with a weird lump, got diagnosed and treated. Of course it's unethical to lie to patients, that was just an illustration - but we could end the screening programme with the same effect. Except that it would cause a huge political mess. Tialaramex (talk) 10:09, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
"Between 2 and 2.5 lives are saved for every overdiagnosed case." Cites this, which uses that precise sentence in its conclusion - David Gerard (talk) 12:44, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I totally misread. Although the paper linked does mention two other quite different estimates, both a contemporary estimate from another group which gives a lower ratio (roughly same number of "lives saved" as women overdiagnosed) and a previous estimate from the same group as this new paper giving better odds (four times as many "lives saved" as overdiagnosed). This stuff is hard, which of course is why it's contentious. Tialaramex (talk) 14:23, 3 December 2013 (UTC)


This wiki is a lot of fun to go through, but why do you call non-religious people "freethinkers" as if following a religion (whether you be Christian or whatever) means you can't think for yourself? That's utter bullshit, and it sounds pretentious as fuck. Some of the greatest thinkers in history were religious (Newton? Galilei? Bacon? Turner? Etc. etc. etc.) I'm Christian (not particularly devout, but I still believe) and I can think perfectly well for myself, thanks very much. The high and mighty attitude atheists often take over theists can greatly annoy me at times, and it's one of the reasons so many people hate you guys. For every raving street preacher and Pentecostal tongue speaker there's open-minded moderates like me who are, in fact, capable of freethought. Just an observation.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Let's look at the dictionary definition -
Free thinker - a person who forms his or her ideas and opinions independently of authority or accepted views, esp in matters of religion
—Collins English Dictionary
which is pretty much where we like to think we come from.
We don't deny that there have been many great thinkers who were also religious - although using those from some time back is pretty disingenuous as everyone was religious then - we simply use the term 'free thinker' as defined in the dictionary. Innocent Bystander (talk) 16:37, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't think we do use the term very much. Wikipedia also has | an article so it's hardly "our" word. Personally I prefer atheist, but if you don't like the word "Freethinker" there is a whole world you can complain to about it - not just us.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 16:43, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
It isn't halfway as annoying as "Brights", and it has a picturesque, nineteenth century quality about it, like "adventuress" or "blackguard". A freethinker is an atheist with muttonchop whiskers and wire rimmed glasses gazing sternly from a daguerreotype. -Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 17:07, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Good enough to become an RW tweet - David Gerard (talk) 17:22, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Newton is an interesting choice. Check out what Newton actually believed. We're not talking some vague idea that Jesus was a nice guy a long time ago and you should try to be nice too like the average Church of England member, Newton was into obscure stuff that would cause your average priest to go consult a lot of books to check whether he was supposed to believe it too, or start screaming about heresy. Newton had spent a bunch of time really thinking about Christianity, in the same way that he had been really thinking about light, and motion, and calculus, and his conclusions are generally described as "unorthodox" which is like saying liquid helium is "cold". Tialaramex (talk) 18:11, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
"The high and mighty attitude atheists often take over theists can greatly annoy me at times, and it's one of the reasons so many people hate you guys" Believe me, there are plenty of editors here who dislike elements of New Atheism. Osaka Sun (talk) 20:13, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
It's a commonly used term -- it's in the dictionary! I prefer atheist, though -- it's pithy and specific whereas "freethinker" often tends to be vague enough to be meaningless. Calling yourself a freethinker is similar to bragging about your own humility. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:50, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

Public School Catering to only Mennonites Closing[edit]

Due to the financial restraints, the Waterloo Region District School Board is closing Three Bridges Public School, a public school that only Mennonites go to under a handshake deal over 40 years ago.--Cms13ca (talk) 18:06, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm not terribly surprised that the deal existed in the first place, since Waterloo Region hosts a very large Mennonite population. I think it's a good thing that it's shutting down, however. It has always bothered me that Catholic schools are publicly funded in Ontario, but it's even worse that there was a religious school being operated under the public school board (for those not familiar with Ontario, Catholic schools are operated under separate Catholic school boards). - GrantC (talk) 18:16, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
so 80 some kids will be out of the public school system and any exposure to a wider community. sounds like a plan. Hamster (talk) 18:39, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Except that's not what happened at this school. Enrolment was permitted for Mennonites only, and any educational topics/resources that conflicted with traditional Christian faith (including evolution) was stripped from the curriculum. Parents were also allowed to remove their students from school at the age of 14. Under the Education Act in Ontario, from the ages 6-18, children/teens must receive an education that meets the province's curriculum standards (homeschoolers are also subject to these standards). Aside from specific holy days, there are no religious exemptions. Even the Catholic school boards must offer classes on other religions (which cannot take a hostile stance), and must teach accepted standards of science (like evolution). This Mennonite school, on the other hand, was receiving a very specific exemption that allowed students to bypass normal education standards. Now that the school is closed, these kids will have to receive an education that actually meets acceptable standards. - GrantC (talk) 18:45, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I will add, however, that whether the Education Act is adequately enforced is another question altogether, especially for families residing outside of municipal boundaries where it's much harder to track these sorts of things (the school board certainly believes such enforcement will be an issue, for example). However, I don't believe the original "solution" of setting up this school was the right idea. Why not introduce random auditing for home schooling programs? This sort of thing is already done for the national census. Of the individuals who do not fill out the census, a percentage are picked out at random and investigated. - GrantC (talk) 18:56, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
that school board has had 40 years to slowly modify the standards toward what is required. Why should anyone expect them to start now ? many of these kids will wind up home schooled and may well fail any standard testing. Who is going to remove the kids from their homes to enforce the education standards ? Hamster (talk) 19:40, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Poor-quality homeschooling was a factor in the recent removal of children from a retro-fundamentalist religious sect just next door to where this story is unfolding... PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 19:51, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Right, so using that case as an example (to answer your question, Hamster) Family and Child Services is responsible for removing those kids from their homes. The school board has nothing to do with enforcing the Education Act, and their "failure" to modify the standards was due to the strict requirements of this unique agreement. The school board is usually responsible for ensuring that the public schools under its purview meet educational standards, but for cases of truancy, it tends to be Family and Child Services that get involved. Furthermore, the kids at this Mennonite school likely also would have failed standard testing for two reasons. 1) Parents were permitted to pull their kids out of school at 14, four years below the legally required age. 2) Any material contrary to their religion was also stripped out of their education. At the bare minimum, basic biology (including evolution) is a curriculum requirement for high school. - GrantC (talk) 20:01, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
that was kin of my point. Why did the school board abrogate their responsibilities for an agreement that seems they did noyt have the authority to make. I live about 10 miles from a menonite enclave in the USA. They basically say "fuck you" to the locals about schooling and home school. No one seems prepared to remove the kids permanently so even when forced to attend the local school, they walk to school, do not respond to any adult and just sit. the one attempt to enforce teaching standards in their homeschool was rejected by the court on constitutional grounds of religious freedom. Hamster (talk) 23:41, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
The first point is a good question. Ontario's education system has been reformed extensively over the past couple decades, so it's quite possible that at the time, the school board did have the authority to make this decision. The existence of publicly funded Catholic school boards is due to a set of compromises required to bring what is now Quebec into Confederation, and that specific law is exempt from judicial review and impossible to change without amending the Constitution. How it's applied across the provinces is a ragtag mess. With that kind of situation in place, it doesn't surprise me that a Mennonite school like that managed to survive through historical precedent.
In terms of enforcing standards of education, it's a bit easier here. The fundamental freedoms granted through the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are subject to "reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society" (Section 1 of the Charter). By and large, the courts consider secular education standards to be a reasonable limit on freedom of religion. In that sense, enforcement is a bit easier to come by here. The question is: will Family and Child Services actually follow their mandate and do so? - GrantC (talk) 00:27, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

The Protestant Work Ethic[edit]

John Calvin said that god shows his favor of the elect through earthly success. Did he ever claim the inverse -that the poor are damned? --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 18:49, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Helpful, maybe? (If you don't have a JSTOR subscription, drop me a line and i'll get it for you...) PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 18:54, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, that is helpful. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 19:08, 4 December 2013 (UTC)


As fans of buff lads in speedos will know, Tom Daley came out on YouTube the other day. It now appears that he was forced to as the Sun was going to out him. My initial reaction was one of disgust for the sun, but I am struggling to rationalise that disgust. Instinctively I feel outing is a wrong and unpleasant thing, but is it still a big deal these days? It is difficult to see how Daley is harmed by this. The best I can manage is that 1, another out diver whose name I forget said they lost sponsorship deals after coming out, 2, it may have some effect on Daley if he competes in the Olympics in Russia given their recent homophobic policies, and 3, that someone's sexuality is newsworthy reinforces the idea being gay is different and not normal. Thoughts anyone? Also, does outing warrant an article here (I do not think I am up to the task if it does BTW)? AMassiveGay (talk) 14:51, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

This is the old dilemma. On the one hand Tom Daley's sexuality is of no importance to anyone but himself. End of. On the other hand there are large chunks of the country who will pay good money to be informed of Tom Daley's sexuality and, by putting himself on the Olympic pedestal, he effectively waived the right to certain forms of privacy. As long as we have anything like a free press then the Sun is free to out him and, if we try and prevent that, we start down a very dangerous path.
The key point here is that the global attitude over homosexuality is still in flux. Fifty years ago he would not have dared to come out. In fifty years time - please - it will be a non event. Right now, although my heart goes out to the guy because this cannot be pleasant, he is part of that process. Innocent Bystander (talk) 15:38, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
The only time I think outing someone against their wishes is acceptable is when the target is a person in power who uses that power to deny LGBT folk their rights--a politician who votes against equal marriage, or a preacher who uses the pulpit to denounce homosexuals. Beyond that, people have the right to personal privacy. I do not believe that just because somebody kicks a ball, acts, sings, or swims for a living, that they "waive" any of their rights to privacy. That may be the case, de facto, but it doesn't have to be that way, and we could, if we chose to, change the way the media works in that regard. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 16:28, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Walter Block writes, "For individual homosexuals, blackmail very often causes considerable harm and can hardly be considered beneficial. But for the group as a whole, that is, for each individual as a member of the group, blackmail has helped by making the public more aware and accustomed to homosexuality. Forcing individual members of a socially oppressed group into the open, or "out of the closet," cannot, of course, be considered a service. The use of force is a violation of an individual's rights. But still, it does engender an awareness on the part of members of a group of one another's existence. In forcing this perception, blackmail can legitimately take some small share of the credit in liberating people whose only crime is a deviation from the norm in a noncriminal way."
I'm not sure I totally agree; this same debate arose with reference to Bradley Manning's disclosures of State Department information that revealed the homosexuality of certain people in countries that persecute gays. It could make people unwilling to disclose their homosexuality even behind the closed doors of a U.S. embassy. If people are increasing the risk of being outed against one's will, others may become even more reluctant to practice or reveal their homosexuality even in relatively private settings. So, the disclosures could be counterproductive to liberty. Glideslope (talk) 04:42, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
It's not too hard for me to imagine that it would be productive to liberty. To have it eventually become a run of the mill thing and less special to come out. But even so, that would imply a sense of moral corruptibility. I don't agree at all with something like: "Well, we're doing the wrong thing, but it's useful, so look on the bright side!"Nullahnung (talk) 07:58, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Utilitarians would say that what's useful is automatically right. I'm not sure what other standard one would go by. It's an interesting question, Why did the consensus on gays change so quickly?
In a few short years, we went from a situation in which a vast majority of states were passing constitutional amendments against gay marriage to one in which don't ask, don't tell was being repealed and political leaders are falling all over themselves to endorse gay marriage. When a reporter asked Edith Windsor's lawyer why public opinion of gay marriage has become more favorable, Windsor said "At some point, somebody came out and said 'I'm gay,' which gave a couple more people the guts to do it. As we increasingly came out, people saw that we didn't have horns. People learned that we were their kids and their cousins and their friends."
How correct of an explanation that is, I'm not sure. Did it start with gays being forced to come out, or did they come out voluntarily? Was that even particularly relevant, or were there other, more important factors? Glideslope (talk) 08:16, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I can't see blackmail about outing as a good thing. It just encourages the POV that being gay is a dirty little secret that you wouldn't or shouldn't want the world to know about. When people come out of their own free will that's a totally different thing but it should be their own decision whether & when & how they come out. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:27, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Maybe you're too young to remember the gay-rights group Stonewall outing, or threatening to out, prominent people who were gay, back in the eighties (IIRC). It's a difficult call whether you inflict a bit of "collateral damage" for the greater good. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 20:25, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I wonder how many people their actions pushed further into the closet if they couldn't even trust other gays? Using other unwilling people for your own greater good is pretty dispicable AMassiveGay (talk) 20:40, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
  • despicable | Yeah, it's not like we're all going to go down catastrophically if one guy isn't outed. I feel that as long as there isn't some immediate disaster to worry about, you can't really justify sacrificing someone's personal rights for the greater good. Nullahnung (talk) 21:11, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Nelson Mandela has died[edit]

AMassiveGay (talk) 21:52, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

I heard it come on the news and there was the strangest sense that the world had just shaken slightly. Either I'm getting old, or tired, or both, but this has hit me as a strangely haunting death, one I'm thinking about, rather than just saying, 'Oh, so-and-so has died, and 94 as well; a good innings really.' --Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 01:48, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
it struck me, in a probably dull and trivial way, that there has been two times that I can remember when whatever programme I was watching had been interupted by breaking news. The first time was when Mandela was released from prison, and the second time, now, was his death. I also remember, after seeing a statue of him on the south bank, trying to explain to my niece who he was and what apartheid was in terms a 6 year old would understand. AMassiveGay (talk) 02:06, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Heard the news at 6am, when I turned the radio on. We've been expecting it to happen for months now, since his last hospital stay, but I'm finding myself tearing up. The world has lost a truly remarkable man, one it was my privilege to meet and shake hands with. PsyGremlinParla! 04:38, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Was thinking it would probably happen sometime soon due to his continued illness; still, can't help feeling the shock of loss and sadness. Psy, you actually got to meet him, wow. Nelson Mandela was on my fantasy list of ppl I would love to meet although knew I would not be able to, he was near the top, along with the Dalai Lama. Refugeetalk page 11:30, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Very little in my life so far can compare directly to this loss. To me, I think it would be very similar to how the deaths of Abraham Lincoln, FDR, or JFK shook the United States. When I was 14, I wrote a 20-page essay for my Language Arts class explaining in detail why I thought Nelson Mandela was the most inspiring figure of the 20th century, and I had amassed an huge collection of works about and by him. And now, while I am shattered by the news of his death, I am strengthened by the fact that the world is a vastly better place because of him. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 11:40, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Except that the timing of the deaths of Abe Lincoln, FDR, or JFK was much more unexpected, and they were still President at the time they died. Glideslope (talk) 11:46, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
You are very much missing two points here: the minor point being that they were very well-loved, influential people. And the major one being the rest of my post. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 11:49, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I am just saying, Mandela had more or less completed his life's work and was not very active in politics anymore, compared to those other Presidents, so it didn't shake people as much. They had time to prepare; they knew he was dying. Glideslope (talk) 11:58, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────In every single Mandela-related news article with a comments section, the right-wing hatred for him is right there front-and-center. It's amazing that these same people will shamelessly claim that MLK must have been a Republican. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 13:38, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

I see lots of mentions that he was a terrorist. I am aware that he did set up a militant group that carried out a bombing campaign, and many western governments did view him as a terrorist. Is the terrorist tag accurate for those years or is it more of a case of one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter? I don't know enough about those years to say either way, but I do feel that making a saint out of the man and ignoring his flaws and mistakes does him, his cause, and his legacy a disservice. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:17, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Any violence committed by the ANC/the anti-apartheid movement was to be seen as a response to the inherently violent nature of the apartheid regime. It was the the SA state that set the terms of the conflict as a violent one. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 14:26, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
The call to arms really came as a response to the then government's violent response to the peaceful protests organised by the ANC in the last 50s and 60s - the bus boycotts, burning passbooks, etc. Sharpeville (although that was organised by the PAC, not the ANC) and later Soweto '76 were clear indications that the regime was more than happy to turn their guns on their own citizens. In MK's defence, they did restrict their attacks to government and military targets (such as the bombing of Sasol 1 plant - which gave me my first taste of "terrorism" as we lived there at the time, and the Church Street bomb, aimed at the military headquarters), but obviously there was collateral damage. Groups such as the PAC and AZAPO, however, were indiscriminate, bombing bars (such as the notorious Magoos bar bomb), restaurants - especially Wimpy bars for some reasons, and even churches. The problem was that this was at a time when both the Republicans and Thatcher's Conservatives were propping up the apartheid regime, as the last bastion of capitalism on the African continent during the Cold War. Therefore, anybody fighting against them, had to be the bad guys. PsyGremlin話しなさい 15:55, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
that's very informative, thanks. Just been watching a programme about him, and there can't be too many people where you can have former president of the united states bill Clinton and former president of Cuba Fidel Castro can be interviewed and give great praise to the same man. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:41, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
It was not "many Western governments," it was just the Iron Bitch and Saint Ronnie. Ironically here in Canada, it was one of our most disliked, right-leaning Prime Ministers that called them out on their commie/terrorist rhetoric. Osaka Sun (talk) 23:00, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Rob Anders is still buttdevestated over this. --Revolverman (talk) 02:48, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh God, he went full Horowitz. Never go full Horowitz. Osaka Sun (talk) 03:31, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Happy end of alcohol prohibition day[edit]

It's a little late, but happy 80th anniversary of the end of alcohol prohibition in the U.S. Hopefully it won't be too long before we begin celebrating the anniversaries of the end of cannabis prohibition. I'm not sure what event would mean that it's decisively over. You could consider cannabis prohibition as having ended on 29 August 2013, when Obama made his pivotal announcement.[2] Or maybe we should consider it ended when it's officially removed from the Controlled Substances Act or the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Glideslope (talk) 12:23, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Possible autism woo[edit]

Someone sent me this recently, and a lot of it looks pretty dubious off the bat. (Attempting to resurrect pangenesis, as one particularly egregious example.) I haven't had time to read much of it and its filled with walls of text. Is it worth commenting upon? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:04, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Steinbeck fans please help[edit]

I'd like to get my dad a book for Christmas. He likes John Steinbeck, and in fact, I think the only books he's ever read are The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. I was thinking of getting him Pietro Di Donato's Christ in Concrete because the book has been compared to The Grapes of Wrath (and also probably because I like it and wouldn't it be groovy if he liked it too) but Di Donato's style is quite a bit different from Steinbeck's. Also, Di Donato's book uses an urban setting, and I think Dad likes the rural setting and characters in Steinbeck's book. I know

Steinbeck has other books, but I'm assuming that if my pops was interested in them he would have read them already. If you have a suggestion let me know in my talk page, please. Dowdicus (talk) 03:34, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

My favorite Steinbeck piece is The Wayward Bus. Right up there with Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday for story-telling, without the local color of Monterey Bay and its little social extravagances. I'm not so much a fan of Tortilla Flat, with its martyr/hero/sacrificial lamb... unless I'm remembering something completely different. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:45, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Just leaving this here[edit]

Communing with Bigfoot in Hawaii. (talk) (Sophie at work) 14:51, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

What the fuck is wrong with me?[edit]

Okay, so I'm kind of worried about something. So, over the past week, I've started to have a lot of really weird mind problems. Like, I've found myself randomly going violent, forgetting important stuff and other signs of dementia. As well as that, I've also started to get that thing, where you randomly feel intense pain for no reason. Anyway, so I went to a doctor. And he asked me some stuff about what it could have been (syphillis, head trauma, shit like that), and he couldn't find anything. And I jokingly said that it might be mad cow disease. The doctor then looked really worried, but went all quiet and didn't tell me anything. That left me terrified, because I was living in the UK when the big BSE thing happened, and prions can be dormant for several years, and are always 100% fatal. So, the thing I'm asking is, should I be concerned? Also, if I do have nvCJD, is there anything I can about it at all, except die? Thanks in advance. Impurity is the secret Unite with thy oracle 11:23, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

It could also be a sign of many other things. I remember when my grandfather had the onset of good ol' Alzheimer's and was experiencing similar symptoms. I'm not saying that you have either, but that it could be a sign of more than one thing. Just out of curiosity, what exactly did your doctor have to say about your symptoms? After that remark, did he just walk away, or did he have any ideas? Further more, have you tried any other doctors for their opinions? Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 11:45, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Get a second professional opinion as well.Nullahnung (talk) 11:58, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
He basically just said "Hmm." And when I asked him about it, he said "Oh, nothing, I'll get back to you later." Yeah, I haven't been very impressed with him, so I might get some other opinions. Thanks guys. Impurity is the secret Unite with thy oracle 12:46, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
If I recall, BSE doesn't become nvCJD. Correct me if I'm wrong though. --Revolverman (talk) 15:16, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
it would help some to know your age, sex and ethnicity because after all unqualified people diagnosing stuff on the internet need all the help they can get ;-) your symptoms could be many things, you need a good diagnostician to work through it. There seem to be a bunch of test for vCJD so that may be worth following up .http:/o/en.wikipedila.org/lwiki/Creoutzfeldt%E2%w80%93Jaikob_diseasen#Diagnosis worrying about your symptoms may also cause some of those same symptoms. Jut make sure any Doctor knows where and when you were so he considers those possibilities. Hamster (talk) 18:22, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I shouldn't worry to much about vCJD unless you have solid evidence that its a possibility. Visiting the UK does not provide this. If it did, vCJD would be an epidemic by now. Talk to your Dr again and try not to worry until your given something to worry about. AMassiveGay (talk) 19:46, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
If your doctor really thought you had BSE, he would tell you and run a lot of tests on you. Considering the protocol just for performing an autopsy on someone with the disease (chain-mail gloves), it's not something he would take lightly--"Shut up, Brx." 00:40, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Okay, so I talked to another doctor, and he says that it's highly unlikely that I have nvCJD. He's gonna run an MRI on me tomorrow just to see what it could be. Thanks for all your help. Also, do they really use chain-mail gloves, or is that just hyperbole? :( Impurity is the secret Unite with thy oracle Dolan.png 08:04, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Please take that thing out of your signature or resize it appropriately. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:22, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Well, I'm fine.[edit]

It turns out that there were no physical problems with me, and my doctor + therapist just think it's because of stress and stuff. On one hand, I'm relieved. On the other hand, I feel like an idiot now. Oh well. And, as a side note, can I just say that my old doctor is a fucking unprofessional, non-communicating cunt. Honestly, he didn't say anything about my symptoms, when they could have easily been something terrible. Anyway, at least I'm not going to die from a horrible incurable brain disease. For that, I am thankful. Oh, also, Weaseloid, could you please explain how to resize it? That would be great, thanks. Impurity is the secret Unite with thy oracle Dolan.png 05:19, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

In spite of the asides, it's good to hear you're OK. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 05:36, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
[[File:Dolan.png|25px]] Dolan.png Adjust pixel number as needed. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 09:08, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Cobalt-60 theft[edit]

Anyone have an idea of how much material and how big a terrorist risk this mexico theft is? Hamster (talk) 23:42, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

NBC news was just saying that, of the 45 grams of material stolen, authorities have recovered about 30 grams not far from where they recovered the truck. From the sound of it, the thieves had no idea what they were stealing and probably exposed themselves to lethal doses of radiation in the process. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 23:52, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
It reads like the plot to a 24 episode. (The seriousness of it depends on how one takes 24 seriously.) Osaka Sun (talk) 00:34, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
The article says the containers were properly sealed, so I assume they were properly marked with nuclear trefoils and warnings. If so, I'm genuinely shocked the thieves opened them... pretty much every news item about this theft mentions they're dead men. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 14:16, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
The unit (also cobalt-60) those guys in Thailand screwed with was similarly marked, but they torched it open anyway. There's a non-trivial number of just plain clueless people around. Compro01 (talk) 15:21, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
My favorite such incident is the Goiânia accident, caused by the release of Herbie Goes Bananas in Brazil. There's just so many lovely tales to tell in there. Over the next three days, he invited friends and family to view the strange glowing substance and offered a reward to anyone who could free it from the capsule. He mentioned that he intended to make a ring out of it for his wife.... His six-year-old daughter, Leide das Neves Ferreira, later ate a sandwich while sitting on the floor. She was also fascinated by the blue glow of the powder, and applying it to her body, showed it off to her mother. Revives your faith in humanity, doesn't it? - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 17:20, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
the deaths, illnesses, and amputation of limbs of poor folk lacking decent education is just hilarious when we can blame it all their cluelessness. Nothing at all to do the radioactive material being poorly stored or, certainly in the Thailand example, the nuclear trefoil that we are familiar with not being as universally recognised as you think. Self righteous rant over. AMassiveGay (talk) 23:30, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Our article on Radiophobia says people usually overestimate the danger of radioactive material. If these men survive and stand trial, the judge will ask them if they were aware the material was dangerous. Perhaps they believed the cargo was something else entirely and labelled as radioactive to deter thieves. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 14:52, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Reports of their demise have been greatly exxagerated. The six men have been arrested, all are in decent health. Only one of them is ill and he should pull through. They're lucky, but they're obviously still in trouble. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 16:26, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
One of the options for the super-long-term labelling of the permanent disposal sites is - for exactly this reason - don't, just deliberately let them leak. No amount of "We're fucking serious, do not open this" will reliably work on people. But people who can't understand what the trefoil means, and who refuse to consider the possibility that we knew better than them, will understand one thing - everybody who lives near the site gets sick and dies. So you shouldn't go there because you will get sick and die. If they're advanced enough to have a detector, and figure out what's leaking, then they understand the threat and can decide what to do about it. Otherwise, "do not go there, you will get sick and die" is a clear message. Tialaramex (talk) 00:32, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Keeping people away from nuclear waste for ten thousand years, oddly enough, is a problem which has been studied by US government-funded experts. (PDF, 19.5 MB). Start at p.149 to see pictures of forbidding, menacing monuments meant to say "fuck off and don't come back."
Here is a link to a shorter excerpt of that, with the text of a proposed message including, "This place is not a place of honor." Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:21, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Isn't there a documentary film of some renown about how, is it the Swedes? The Norwegians? are dealing with this issue? PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 01:42, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Hey guys, I'm back[edit]

What'd I miss? I've been gone about a month. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 06:51, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

we have all found Jesus. Join us in praise.AMassiveGay (talk) 06:58, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
oh noes! Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 07:02, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Turn, or burn, sinner! Praise Jesus for delivering you unto to be saved. Let us pray. PsyGremlinParlez! 08:36, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Also, Jesus will be very disappointed if you don't contribute to Pastor Trent's fancy car fund the collection plate. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 09:41, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
And by god we of course mean this one. Zero (talk) 16:16, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Don't let them bug you, man. We found Jesus, sure. He was under the fridge. I figure the cat was playing with him and knocked him out of reach.Nowhere Man (talk) 00:27, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Why has New Atheism become mixed up with wingnuttery on the internet?[edit]

I can't be the only one who has noticed the internet crossover between hardcore libertarians, MRA's, racists, and new atheists. While I get the first three mixing together the last one is kind of random. While New Atheism is arguably obnoxious it still doesn't seem like it would have the same crank magnet effect that the other three seem to have. Any explanation for this bizarreness, or am I the only one noticing this? If I'm not the only one noticing this perhaps we should add a section to the crank magnetism page that covers internet communities. ClothCoat (talk) 04:40, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

I guess it's a demographic in the US. -- (talk) 04:57, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Well most of those things are pretty popular with a very small segment of some young white males who are pissed off that they aren't getting as much privilege as they think former generations did, but "racism" isn't as big with them as much as love for Ron Paul and hating on "feminazis" is. The new Atheism mixing in is still weird, though most of those guys aren't very religious now that I think about it (unless it's in the nationalistic sense). Still a bizarre mix. ClothCoat (talk) 05:21, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Not really. New Atheism is still frowned upon in the mainstream because of its anti-inclusive approach. And what is the most commented-on religion in the past decade?
This mix gets even more toxic with Reddit's populism. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:30, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

If true, I guess that it's some US thing. Why so much crazy in the US? Is another example of a leading question.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 09:42, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

I should think it's that all 3 are opinions naturally gravitated to by people people who think they're smarter than everyone else around them. The atheists who go in for MRA/libertarian nonsense don't tend to be the compromising sort that see religion as one of many things you can be wrong about. I mean, I'm a strong enough atheist that I think religion is totally incorrect, but I don't presume that being wrong about something is an inherent character flaw, because I know I'm wrong about all sorts of things. Ikanreed (talk) 15:18, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
The libertarian connection is obvious, but the opposite seems to be the case with anarcho-capitalist types. They even have their own epithet for non-ancap atheists: "Statheists." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:01, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
New Atheism has always tended to be somewhat male-dominated. Attitudes towards women & sexism within the movement have largely gone unchecked until fairly recently, with things like Elevatorgate & the various conflicts within the atheist/skeptic community since bringing these issues to light. People take sides on this stuff & it's caused rather a polarising tendency within the community, with some guys (e.g. Thunderf00t) who had never much focused on gender issues before now veering very much towards the MRA/anti-feminist camp. As for racism, I don't think overt racism is very common within the familiar New Atheist mainstream, but there is a very common zero tolerance attitude to multiculturalism, and Islam in particular, that's often only a few steps short of open racism (cf. recent comments about Muslims by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc.). WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:11, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

The predictable derailment about Elevatorgate[edit]

I still don't get why Elevatorgate was such a controversy. I mean, it's just another regular case of a man flirting with a woman (*GASP!* How dare he?!). It was such a clusterfuck of derp that I facepalmed so hard my brain fell out. --Ray´s Super Fun Hellhole! g͘͡r̸̀a̸̶̡n̶̶͜ţ̡ ̀҉̴̨͡m̀͘͜͢e͡ ̸͟҉̷̢ỳ̸̡̀͞ơ̡̢̡ų̧r̴̀͡͝ ̡҉҉̧̛s̵̕͏̡ǫ̀́͢ų́l̵̕҉ 13:46, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
The big problem with Elevatorgate is, as I understand it, that some guy propositioned a woman very late at night while she was essentially locked in a small room with him. To imagine: think of yourself walking through a dark alley with somebody you just met who is clearly bigger than you when he then starts hitting on you. Then it all culminated with You-Know-Who coming out with the most ironic "not as bad as" ever seen. Shadow of Lords talk 15:19, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
This Richard Dawkins person, what was he trying to even say? What is the point of comparing a bad proposition to the situation of certain women of Islamic culture? Was he meaning to say that it is not worth our time or energy to complain about some wrongs when there are much greater wrongs to worry about? Yes, it's not as bad as said situation, but if we stopped complaining about the relatively insignificant offenses, they might actually become accepted and that's just wrong. Nullahnung (talk) 15:48, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
I think we need a proper article about Elevatorgate, not only for its significance within recent New Atheism/Plus controversies, but to cover the "what was wrong with what the guy did?" question that comes up every time it gets mentioned. The gist of it is: 1. he followed Watson into an elevator to proposition her, which is a little creepy, especially in a confined space late in the evening; 2. he opened a conversation with somebody he'd never spoken to before by inviting her into his hotel room - that's kindofa faux pas whether you do it in the elevator, in the bar or out on the street; and 3. he did this after listening to her present a lecture about how women are often marginalised and sexualised within the atheist/skeptic community, which he clearly either didn't pay much attention to or didn't quite get. Not the worst thing in the world to happen, but Watson never claimed it was. As for Dawkins, when asked whether he was making a "not as bad as" argument with the whole "Dear Muslima" thing, he claimed not but just piled on more strange analogies (see quotes here). Basically his argument seemed to be that the guy had done nothing wrong (because it didn't involve violence, hate speech, etc.) and if Watson felt creeped out by his behaviour that was her problem not his. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:39, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
To me, what was most striking about Elevatorgate was that the brief aside Watson made about not acting like a creep (which, literally, came down to "Guys, don't do that") elicited such a vitriolic reaction. The mere suggestion that these nerds might need to check their behavior or mind their privilege sends them into a red rage. The harassment campaigns against Watson and others like Blaghag exposed dire issues at the heart of the "atheist community." It should be noted that these issues are endemic not just to new atheists, but also to the greater group of nerds in general.--"Shut up, Brx." 19:23, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
I think this is a false dichotomy between 'nerd' and 'not nerd' as relating to how they differ in the degree of sexism. At least you can't tell me it is so without showing me a proper study on 'nerds' and their behaviour towards genders. Nullahnung (talk) 20:04, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
We're not supposed to mind the condescension inherent in all of these judgments. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 06:03, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
'Elevatorgate' literally made everyone that engaged in the argument look bad. I recommend against ignoring the 'Beware all ye who enter' sign. Tielec01 (talk) 07:30, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
You've repeatedly claimed Rebecca Watson behaved badly, been repeatedly asked for citation for this and repeatedly failed to provide it. And now you're doing it again - David Gerard (talk) 09:42, 10 December 2013 (UTC)


Is anyone here a tailor? I need some quick advice that I can't find anything on. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:11, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

I might be able to help. I sew, though I'm definitely not a professional -I will yield to someone who is. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 19:40, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Cool. For anyone else who may have ideas as well: Do you know how to avoid puckering on a double folded inside curved hem in heavy cotton duck? Also how to miter a corner with a double folded seam? Both have a 3/8" fold inside a 1/2" outside fold. The curve strategies I've used before are for circle skirts and blouses and scallops and use horsehair braid or pulling a basting stitch to gather the fabric around the curve before you roll and finish the hem. That doesn't work for canvas. The folds are too thick to pull the curve back into the grain, so they roll over and pucker. The mitered hem strategies I'm finding in all my books going back to my grandmother's from the 40's are all narrow folds on light fabric for napkins and tablecloths or very wide double folds for draperies. Getting the correct angle to cut off inside the corner is difficult where the folds are different widths, very narrow, and the fabric is very bulky. I can send you some pics. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 20:05, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
What are you wearing? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 20:35, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Sorry this picture sucks. This is actually brown cotton duck.
Shop apron for me and hopefully as gifts for a few crafty friends. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 23:30, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Beyond my expertise. I'll ask around. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 20:22, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
that kind of information sounds like it would tricky to transmit via wiki. Perhaps somewhere where they do alterations would be able to give the necessary advice? AMassiveGay (talk) 20:44, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
My wife advises that for the duck, you could cut notches in it in order to take out some material. And for the corner, you shouldn't be pulling on it, because that's going to cause the pucker. I don't know if that is helpful information or not, because to be honest I don't even understand the jargon behind your questions and I just read them out loud to her.--ADtalkModerator 21:15, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
(EC)TLG's paraphrase from one of the Gatzes: "Sometimes puckering is inevitable, so cut out the excess." I hope that helps. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 21:17, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
I was just about to suggest cutting slits or notches. You can see this used to get sheet metal to curve here. You'll have to be careful to cut enough to get it to bend smoothly without cutting enough to let it fray where it would cause problems, though you could apply fray stopper. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 21:21, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Ok. I made some examples of how I'm constructing this and show the final product. AD and 192, I am cutting notches up to a stitch that keeps the canvas from fraying like on the bottom example. The one that's pinned is how it would turn out just rolled over the easing line. The big piece is the final product. I notched and folded over the same hem width as on the rest of the piece. Can you see the way the edges pull up and it's uneven below the curved hems? It's ok or me, but I wouldn't give one of these away. I might just give up on mitered corners and go with rolling the tops over like I did on this prototype to keep the fabric from fraying. Good idea, Gay. I'm also just going to stop in to Joann and see if the weird old ladies who sell sewing machines know how to do this. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 23:30, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

You'd probably need an overlocker or some bias binding (don't know if that's the same term in the US). Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 13:03, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
My wife took a look, and advises that your problem might just be with pin placement. Put them vertically, not horizontally, since they might be causing the bunching.--ADtalkModerator 15:40, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I think you are going down the wrong track. You need a reverse, folded, semi-giraffe, club stitch to mortify the flange bending and then you need a reciprocal jenny in order to ensure that your realigned bunch-grumpet has not over gastricated. Hope that helps.--Honey (talk) 19:31, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Hit it with a hammer. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:06, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Those of us mechanically skilled types call it percussive maintenance. HTH. Doctor Dark (talk) 00:16, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
First stabilize the fibers in a matrix of beeswax. Wax on, wax off, until desired consistency attained. (talk) 00:29, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
instead of trying to roll the seam have you considered just cutting the fabric flat and using a seam tape folded over the edge ? its not as nice but much easier to do. My neighbor says v notches would be the way to go for the curved edge. Hamster (talk) 21:10, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

A page on Chris-Chan[edit]

He's spouted enough woo to be worthy for one. I am worried about vandalism from A-Loggers though.--The Madman (talk) 22:45, 8 December 2013 (UTC)The Madman

I vote no. He's not notable beyond a certain group, and nobody actually takes advice from him. We don't tend to do articles on people believing woo, but rather originating or disseminating it in a big way. Plus it would generate a lot of needless pain-in-the-ass. --Kels (talk) 22:48, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I had the misfortune of reading his article encyclopaedia dramatica. I don't know how much he brings on himself but I wouldn't be comfortable contributing to some of the creepy stalking and harressment of someone who does not appear to be playing with a full deck. AMassiveGay (talk) 01:02, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
The guy already has a full wiki dedicated to him. Setting aside what AMassiveGay and Kels have noted, there really, really isnt any need for it. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 02:50, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Ridiculous suggestion. You aren't half the troll MC is MadmanJohnson, and that's evident every time you log into RW, but don't ever stop trying to rise out of your mediocrity. Tielec01 (talk) 05:29, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
What would having an article on Christopher Weston Chandler gain for this Wiki's mission and goals? Fuck all. And what would we get in return? Probably lots and lots of trolling from the folks who actually care about that shit. So, based on that analysis, this is probably the worst possible idea I've ever heard of for RationalWiki. And, for the record, I've read every single goddamn Sonichu for my old internet radio broadcasts and would not wish reading any of it upon any editor here. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 07:29, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Hey, I'd share it with everyone on this wiki if I could. That comic is so stupendously awful it transcends our pedestrian notions of comedy. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:30, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Healing The Body[edit]

Any takers? Derek Henry, the author, and "Master Health Coach" had a NaturalNews article posted a while back, discussed on r/AskScience. --Seth Peck (talk) 00:10, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Love the list of "cancer causing factors". The whole site is amusing. Scream!! (talk) 00:25, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
"bathing in... fluoridated water". Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 09:56, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Help with some Japanese please[edit]

If there is anyone knowledgeable on the subject, I'm trying to translate the phrase, 'The (Season/Significant Moment) When They Fall' . I can probably use 彼らは落ちた時 (Karera wa ochita toki) or 彼らは落ちる時 (Karera wa ochiru toki), but I'm looking for a much more poetic feel to the translation, using the imagery of falling blossoms mixed with an honourable death so I'm wondering if I can get away with 彼ら散る時 (Karera chiru toki), or if I need to either modify 散る or add a particle (I'm guessing は, although I'm so bad at working out when to use は or が I kind of figure that I've missed something basic along the way). Any help with this would be great. Thanks.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 02:01, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Definitely don't use は for a subordinate clause; it should only be used for the topic of the main clause. が would work, although sometimes you can actually use の in this sense (literally it's like saying "their falling-moment" but runs more smoothly in Japanese).
I must admit that I can't remember the difference between how Japanese and English handle tenses in relative clauses... only that there was a major difference there. My gut says present tense in this case.
Could you provide a little more context? I might be more help if I knew more about the phrase. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 06:57, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Also, if you mean "season" literally, then "kisetsu" (季節) would work better than "toki". But again, that depends on context. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 07:00, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Context wise, I'm doing a triptych of three scenes (When They Flee, When They Fall, When They Cry), arcing a story over three concurrent seasons (Autumn, Winter, and Spring). Each picture represents a specific moment of significance to the character(s) involved within that season, so I'm trying to capture a tense that signifies both the season as a general concept and then the moment as a specific concept that is simultaneously (because I have to be complicated) about to happen/just happened/will happen, that way it will up to the viewer to decide the specifics of each story, and then the story arc (essentially the 5W and 1H). At the same time I'm trying to tie thematic elements across the piece as a whole, so the death of people in the second scene is then poetically tied to the sakura used in the third scene, which itself is tied poetically to the title of the third piece, whilst the title of the third piece has a poetic tie to the season of the first piece (the singing cry of evening cicadas where Autumn would see the last of the cicadas and so is referenced in the last picture by allegory but the Autumn picture is the first piece in the triptych). This is why the translation is tying me up in knots, and I'm just glad I didn't think to make the three titles a haiku when joined together, because that would have been a nightmare. On the other hand, if I can pull this off I can send out each individual picture as birthday and christmas presents for years to come.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 11:59, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Since they're literal seasons, "kisetsu" would work well. And I'm going to go ahead and settle on endorsing "no" as the particle here, so I'd go with 「彼らの落ちる季節」.
The project sounds amazing! Good luck with it. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 08:16, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Ben Garrison[edit]

So here's some fun stuff: anti-big gubmint/Paulbot political cartoonist Ben Garrison makes a lot of drawings about the normal libertarian boogiemen (especially the Fed). However, someone on 4chan or another site is adding some anti-semitic imagery and wording to his comics, while leaving his name on it, which understandably pisses him off quite a bit. But then those graphics go viral among the white power crowds, and in a sort of loudspeaker/echo chamber effect those cartoons become more popular than the originals, to the point that a simple Google image search for Ben Garrison returns the forgeries first. --Seth Peck (talk) 17:10, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

So, it's kind of like Crank diamagnetism? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:28, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
At heart fundie and crank propaganda is basically the same template with different ideals implanted onto said template. Foaming at the mouth hatred, paranoia, and bitterness lacks imagination. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 10:42, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
He makes it so easy. The message is already extremely similar. It's a very tiny leap from "Jews are engaged in the clandestine manipulation of global politics" to "International bankers are engaged in the clandestine manipulation of global politics". Apokalyps2547 (talk) 20:29, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Other way around (see, already confused!) --Seth Peck (talk) 20:41, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Scams and reviews[edit]

Following the link in the above thread I noticed the ad for weight-loss using green-coffee bean extract. WebMD says that current state of medical knowledge offers no evidence for its efficacy. Looking on Amazon to see how much they charge for the stuff I started reading the reviews. Those with only 1 or 2 stars had lots of reviews saying what a waste of money it was. However, there were 4 and 5-star reviews on some products, but when I checked the reviewers posting history I noticed that every one had made a maximum of 2 or 3 posts all on the same day (different reviewers, different days). Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? Moderator 10:45, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

I am shocked, shocked I say, that opening reviews up to the public might lead to biased assessments! SophieWilderModerator 11:33, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
It's not that there are biased assessments, it's just that they are done with such obvious sock-puppets. PS I think you lost an 'l' somewhere. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 16:44, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Worst place ever to lose an l. SophieWilderModerator 19:24, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Mandela memorial funnies[edit]

Finally, a realistic marriage. Osaka Sun (talk) 23:01, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

A marriage is announced. Oh for a comma! Scream!! (talk) 23:29, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
The crowd booing Zuma was an interesting indicator of how just how much the current commander in thief has pissed off the populace. Maybe not appropriate for the occasion, but how often does the man in the street get an opportunity to tell the powers that be how he feels? Not that the ANC leadership will take any notice, of course. PsyGremlinSpeak! 09:36, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
All that and made-up sign language too. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:31, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Apparently his excuse was he had a schizophrenic episode on stage, and he was signing the voices he heard. No, really. Although the ANC said he was signing in Zulu, which is why the world had no idea what he was saying. Again, no really. PsyGremlin講話 08:48, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
It's pretty insane that he was allowed anywhere near world leaders. Even the company that supplied him has disappeared. I bet there are some red faces around the US Secret Service. Ajkgordon (talk) 12:29, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

You know what would suck?[edit]

If my Ritalin (a stimulant) and my Klonopin (a sedative) got mixed up. Man, would that be a bad day.--"Shut up, Brx." 07:25, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Is this an obtuse way of saying that it did happen? Tielec01 (talk) 07:53, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
wouldn't that be a kind of speed ball?AMassiveGay (talk) 11:09, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Bob Weir, formerly of the Grateful Dead, was on a gig this summer. After decades of having electric guitars strapped to him, Bobby has a wonky shoulder, and he takes a pre-gig anti-inflammatory to help with that. Apparently he also has sleep issues, because he has a prescription for ambien. Bob mixed up one for the other before the gig. It was not a great show for Bob. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 14:48, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
lol. thank god no. But they look kind of similar and last night I was really needing my clonopin and the the thought crossed my mind how shitty I would feel if I had made that mistake. @MassiveGay: if I took them both, yes. A very mild speedball. @PSAL:interesting ancedote--"Shut up, Brx." 15:44, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

We must be famous.[edit]

While looking at the WP Homoeopathy talkpage I found that RW is famous enough to be used as an example.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:00, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

It is one of our feature articles. after all--"Shut up, Brx." 18:09, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Creating a page at TOW[edit]

Right here. If you feel so inclined to add something, I'll keep my box open to play in. Zero (talk) 18:19, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Before you spend a bunch of time on this, I think you might run into a problem -- from what I recall, people have tried to write such an article before, only to see it deleted on notability grounds. I think maybe there's a discussion on WP's CP article's talk page about this, but more dedicated Wikipedians here would prolly know better.... PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 18:32, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Compared to conservapedia our Alexa ranking is absurdly high. Seriously. I'm only sandboxing the page for now to build it up to something worthwhile before giving the request for creation. Zero (talk) 18:34, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
And yet if you as Ken, you'll hear that RW is floundering and obsessed with colonics. Which is true? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:27, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Hey, I'm not saying the WP Lords are right on this, I'm just pointing out what happened. Maybe User188 can pull some strings for you. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 18:38, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
And I understand what you said. I still think it's worth a shot. I also have some strings under my belt as I have a couple article creations of my own on TOW. Zero (talk) 18:46, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
(EC) Alexa rankings have nothing to do with it; it's about Wikipedia's sourcing/citation policies. Like it or not, Conservapedia has received a certain amount of sporadic attention from mainstream media sources and RationalWiki has not. Unless you've got good examples of non-blog media sources discussing RationalWiki, don't even bother. See past discussions at WP:Talk:RationalWiki and WP:WP:Articles for deletion/RationalWiki. Also, JFYI, RationalWiki is not an encyclopedia. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:54, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
You might find something worth citing in monthly mentions, but they're mostly blogs, twitter, snopes, etc. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:57, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
(EC)Read WP:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/RationalWiki first. And WP:Wikipedia:Search engine test#Alexa ratings. SophieWilderModerator 18:59, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I finished the first revision. Still needs more to it obviously. And yes, I wrote specifically that RW isn't an encyclopedia. Zero (talk) 19:01, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Second revision done. I tried padding out notability as best I could. I think NBC News, Brian Cox and PZ Meyers are quite powerful enough to make mention of, but still could use some more. Zero (talk) 19:46, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
It seems that you either don't understand the policies of Wikipedia and the reasoning behind them, or you are trying deliberately to circumvent them.
Notability, as defined on Wikipedia, is an extension of their principle of Verifiability - information in the article should be covered by reliable sources (as opposed to mentioned in passing), not the result of original research.
Of all the sources listed in your article draft, the only thing that can pass for a reliable source is the notorious LA Times article. The discussions spurred by previous attempts at creating an article about RW show that the information in that particular source is not enough for a separate article.
And the infobox continues to classify RW as "Internet encyclopedia project", which makes a curious juxtaposition with the wording of "RationalWiki describes itself as not an encyclopedia, ..." So, does this mean that it's an encyclopedia, but it pretends not to be? As for "as many articles are loaded with snark and satire", no, that's not the reason.--AndYourFoesShallRejoice... (talk) 20:29, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't consider this article by any means finished and ready for primetime. I understand the policies which is why it is being left in the sandbox pending enough notability is established to warrant an article. I've got another item brewing in my sandbox that I haven't put up and it's been there for months! So if you have something to add, the box is open so have at it. Zero (talk) 20:42, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I commend you on your moxie, and I think that you are illustrating one of the problems of wikipedia (focus on controversy) but can I add my voice to those saying that you are wasting your time. The article will be deleted on notability grounds. Tielec01 (talk) 03:57, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

An apology on behalf of the Sturmkrieg Administration Committee[edit]

I am Sturmwächter, director of the Sturmkrieg Administration Committee. A few weeks ago I deleted two pages from "Bigotry Wiki" that were nothing more than personal attacks against people that Inquisitor Ehrenstein had a personal vendetta against. Server administrators are allowed to use the web server for personal use within bandwidth and memory limitations, but using Sturmkrieg server space for attacks and abuse is strictly prohibited. That wiki will be required to keep a "report abuse" link on it at all times that will direct complaints directly to me. Later I also found out that there was a problem with Sasha attacking users here on Bigotry Wiki. The article was already deleted when I found out. Nonetheless it would not have been acceptable. I have issued a warning that any additional abuse by Bigotry Wiki will result in it being shut down permanently. I also understand that there was a problem with statements that were interpreted as doxxing threats on that page. Rest assured that Sasha is in a highly trusted position as a server administrator, and that I would remove them if I had any doubts about their self control. Regardless, Inquisitor Ehrenstein will be removed if there are any future statements that could be interpreted in such a way.

I have no idea why the users here did not bring the abuse to my attention. I am the server owner and the email and address that complaints can be sent to can be found easily on the Sturmkrieg main page. There will not be any continued abuse, but if there were, you should report it to me.

I am sorry that Sturmkrieg resources were used for such a purpose.

Sturmwächter (talk) 16:59, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

The first sentence of this post makes me feel like I'm in a James Bond movie. I am Sturmwächter, director of the Sturmkrieg Administration Committee. Unless I receive the sum of one billion dollars in kruggerands in the next 24 hours, I will launch this nuclear missile on London.
Thanks for keeping us up to date on doxxing threats, etc. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 17:08, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I think it might have been we didn't know he was there and in my personal self I didn't know a wiki like yours existed. Thank you for keeping us informed though. Zero (talk) 17:09, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Am I the only one who finds this post incomprehensible?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:18, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Inquisitor Ehrenstein started a wiki about bigotry on Strurmkrieg's server. He used it to accuse certain RWers of racism and other things. The server admin has made him stop and has come here to apologise. SophieWilderModerator 19:22, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Ah! Well in that case his efforts are to be applauded.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:31, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Internet drama can get really bizarre--"Shut up, Brx." 12:58, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for this, Sturmwächter. However, there is still content here and here, which Sasha has declined to take down, defaming a (now former) RationalWiki editor as a potential rapist. I suggest deleting it. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:25, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Sasha has also defamed Weaseloid and Mikal and obliquely suggested that I am pro-Nazi and pro-rape. I suggest deleting the site. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:25, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

GOP post-healthcare.gov = implosion alert[edit]

Compromise deal just reached to reverse most of the sequester (with Paul Ryan of all people playing the sanity card). Teabaggers are already vowing to take revenge on the new RINOs, and most importantly, no fiscal cliff resolution. February is going to be something indeed. Osaka Sun (talk) 00:08, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

It cuts expenditure, considerably, from where Democrats had said it was too low, to... lower than that, doesn't take an especially skilful politician to position that as a Republican victory. Yes, the Republican plan said those cuts have to come from the poor and so on, whereas in fact they've mostly come from defence, but either way a GOP candidate can stand up and tell supporters that they've put the government on a diet. (talk) 09:16, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

War on Christmas map[edit]

I realize I have an odd sense of humor, but I find this the funniest thing on the Internet right now. Godspeed (talk) 01:19, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

I found this comment (on one of the linked stories) more entertaining. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:48, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
The one linked story in Colorado, actually an opinion piece, contains this quote:

"Because they don’t like the message that we convey under our religious liberty, they have to shut us down and that is a tactic of bullying," she said. "They don’t believe in equal access. They believe in shutting down anybody who doesn’t comply with their view of what society should be —"

...which reads exactly like what someone who was being oppressed by fundamentalists would say, except that the quote finishes with:

"—and that is completely godless."

Ah, the smell of oppression in the morning...it's even funnier when you realize that the principal basically admitted that the school was wrong in an email that he, for some reason, CC'ed reporter for the local news station. --Seth Peck (talk) 17:29, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

I don't like the current poll[edit]

Or anything else that implies that Listener and Smerdis are anywhere near as stupid as Burkean. Am I alone in that? I always thought of those two as "worthy opponents" as it were, whereas Burkean is just an obnoxious dolt. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 03:44, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Hmm. I don't like any poll about members in any way. We already proved with RWW that we are incapable or seeing the line between "good-natured ribbing" and "viscous character attacks." Imma take it down. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 03:46, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Neither do I. It invites drama and flaming. We don't want that. Also, if you're going to make such a poll, you should at least include Anonymous user--"Shut up, Brx." 04:17, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Hell, I don't mind. It isn't like I don't know that several of my opinions aren't widely shared here. I'm mostly here because I've always been interested in weird shit from history, and what used to be called "literary curiosities". - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 04:36, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
True, but pubicly ragging each other is an arsey thing to do. SophieWilderModerator 10:36, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
We've had a good 6 months on the HCM front, the last thing we need is dickheads inflaming animosities. I personally cannot stand Anonymous user but I don't follow them around just because they have some unpleasant personality defects. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 11:03, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Ooooo Mister Genghis, that was uncalled-for. With all their faults, Anonymous user does have a few superfluous redeeming social values, if you go looking hard enough. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:22, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
I can't stand that guy either, and I know almost nothing about him.Dowdicus (talk) 14:41, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
I almost got mad, but then I realized this must be a good-natured ribbing because literally nobody cares enough about Anonymous user to even bother saying anything bad about them. Shadow of Lords talk 17:37, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
No, it's not "good natured ribbing", Anonymous user is a scumbag and they know it. Also, after seeing the last poll in the Fossil Records, I don't think LetThemEatCake is as bad as Burkian either. Jzyehoshua, on the other hand, does make Burkian look pretty damn stable by comparison. ClothCoat (talk) 18:40, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Ouch, guys, that's not fair! I started this thread and it took me like thirty seconds after reading to figure out that you guys were using that template. Especially since ShadowofLords' comment could have been true. :( Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 00:24, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
Hey! I resemble that remark! Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:50, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Politifact's 2013 Lie of the Year[edit]

"If you like your plan you can keep it." Yeah. I am of the opinion Politifact is no longer even trying to be not biased. As anyone with sense is saying "You got them canceled because they were so bad it wasn't worth having." And since insurance companies weren't willing to migrate people, here we have things as they are. Politifact is not worth the time to spit on lately. Zero (talk) 13:54, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

The problem is they aren't trying to be unbiased. They're trying to be balanced. They don't want to look like they're favoring one side over the other, even if one said is better than the other.--"Shut up, Brx." 13:59, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
So in other words...Compro01 (talk) 15:13, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
It'll be fun to see how many conservatives latch on to this as gospel while insisting everything else politifact says is a librul lie. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:32, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
"If you like your poor-quality plan that requires you to pay thousands more than people of any other civilized nation, you can keep it." And there was much rejoicing. Osaka Sun (talk) 17:16, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Hasn't Paul Krugman ripped on them for pulling that shit already? This is my biggest problem with "centrists" in the USA, they find it next to impossible to admit one side is worse than the other, even if one side clearly is. They also tend to say dumb stuff like "WHERE IS THE CENTER ANYMORE? THE DEMS ARE SO LEFT-WING AND THE REPUBLICANS ARE SO RIGHT-WING," even though the Democrats are the center. They just end up helping the radicals more than anyone, and they're so proud of themselves while they do it. ClothCoat (talk) 18:40, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
They won't listen to Krugman, not now, not ever. The intellectual sphere of the United States has a significant communications problem; it's most notable with things like climate science, but even mainstream economists (which you would think citizens would take more seriously) are being yelled over by the fringes. It also doesn't help that popular economic indicators (ie. the Index of Economic Freedom) are being managed by organizations that are getting more batshit by the year.
Right now the top business story of the week in America's Hat is the central bank governor warning that inflation is way too low for growth. If you tell that to someone who's only familiarity with economics is Milton Friedman, your response will be "When can inflation be too low?" And it shows. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:03, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
Yesterday's half-truth is today's Lie of the Year. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:18, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

While I wouldn't consider it the lie of the year, dismissing all cancelled insurance plans as egregious scams that we're all better off without is disingenuous. There are people who liked their now-cancelled plans, and telling them "no you didn't! It was a bad plan!" isn't going to change that. I had a low premium catastrophic plan that was cancelled because of the ACA, and while I wasn't a huge fan of it, I can see how someone might wish it was still an option. It just so happens that I now qualify for a much better plan for much less, but that isn't true for everyone. Part of the issue with Obama's statement is that there is a certain semantic aspect to it. The ACA mandates plans meet certain criteria, and the difference between your current plan being adjusted to meet said criteria and a new and different plan really comes down to how the insurance company wants to define it. Obama should have said that most people who like their plan can keep it, which would have been true. But he didn't. DickTurpis (talk) 03:47, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Likewise, I don't see any problem with citing this as "lie of the year". It's a bold statement, and Obama's team will have known it would never be entirely true, could never be entirely true. They gambled on it being "true enough" and maybe ten years from now that will be history's judgement, but it isn't the judgement of the American people today. Now, why choose this? Because it's memorable. If they picked some obscure claim by a senator from a flyover state about a local issue that most people even in that state haven't heard of everybody would yawn and turn the page. So, Obamacare. And what's been said about Obamacare that is categorically a lie? Well this one's a real easy pick.
People getting annoyed about this remind me of the people who are rolled out to complain each time Oxford Dictionaries announces some neologism has been added to their family of dictionaries. The usual dusty old farts tell us that in their day people only invented respectable words like "fellatio" and "gerrymander" and Oxford should be ashamed of itself for pretending that "twerk" and "blog" are real words. Then they go back to their comfortable armchair by the fire to relive the events of WWII until they're needed again. I saw recently (here? on Facebook? don't remember) an extract from a book complaining that the habit of reading fiction was destroying society. Not texting, not video games, not the cinema, but books - the very ruin of our civilisation. Stand back and look at things with the proper perspective. Tialaramex (talk) 10:43, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
It was also the reader's poll choice, with a whopping 59% of the vote. Likely for reasons Tialaramex mentions above, but also because it probably garnered just about all the conservative vote, while the liberal vote was split among numerous other windbags. It was the most untrue lie by any means, but it was an especially significant one. DickTurpis (talk) 13:33, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Happy Festive Winter Holidays[edit]

Expecting a festive greeting from your's truly? Too bad. Madman Time.--The Madman (talk) 03:27, 16 December 2013 (UTC)The Madman

You appear to labouring under the delusion that you are interesting. SophieWilderModerator 14:54, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Astrologist takes on JREF[edit]

Dear Skeptic: An Open Letter To The James Randi Educational Foundation; a great read if you are in the mood for comedy. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 08:03, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Don't forget Part 2. According to the comment he left here he wants to know where he is wrong. ...though I'm unsure how to more diplomatically word "to be shown to be wrong, you have to actually say something that can be judged right or wrong in the first place". Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:47, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
He makes the same arguments in favor of astrology that PJR makes in favor of creationism. (Bias! You can't disprove it! Famous scientists in history were astrologers!) Basically, throw enough garbage against the wall and hope something will stick. Everything except actual scientific proof that what he is saying is true. Godspeed (talk) 01:26, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Any experts on Stalin/Pol Pot/Maoist history here?[edit]

How many advisors got typically purged like this? Osaka Sun (talk) 09:03, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Shedloads. Stalin's purges were the most notorious and wide-ranging, but the Cutural Revolution swept away many too. SophieWilderModerator 10:18, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
When it comes to totalitarian political bloobbaths, this is bush league stuff. Strictly amateur. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 18:08, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
Never mind the near non-stop purging that takes place by Stalinist/Maoist rebel groups. --Revolverman (talk) 16:52, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Santa hat[edit]

We're having it this year, right? --PsyGremlinParla! 16:25, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

YES. YES. A thousand times, YES. We demand the hat. If I still had the powah, I'd hat right now. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:28, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Your desire is my command, and all for the low, low, cost of something or other…

Satan hat[edit]

A way better idea. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 16:28, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Hail Santa! - GrantC (talk) 17:00, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
StuntedDwarf, I love you. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 23:02, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
I am pro-this. --Revolverman (talk) 00:35, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
Should we have a vote on it? Spud (talk) 13:15, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
According to Robert's Rules of Order: now that you have asked whether we should vote on it, we must vote on whether to vote on it. Wish I was entirely joking. Shadow of Lords talk 16:29, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I love these old Christmas traditions. SophieWilderModerator 19:10, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
I like it.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:19, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Santana Hat[edit]

How about a Santana hat? ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:31, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Great idea!!! And a far better reason to celebrate than both Santa and Satan combined! Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 07:59, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Sultana Hat?[edit]

Which is what I first misread this as...and then I thought why not have a hat made of large white grapes??--Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:58, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Black santa?[edit]

'Twould be topical. Missed a trick here, I think. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:37, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Stop your race baiting. We all know that Santa, like Jesus, is a white man from Oxford. --PsyGremlinHable! 15:05, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
dispense with your jew lies Psygremlin. Santa is a muscular blonde nordic aryan member of the herrenvolk who never stops in his battle against liberalism and das juden. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 12:53, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Black Santa is passé. We need a gay, black transsexual Santa.--Coffee (talk) 13:08, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Questions, bitches? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:39, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Speaker Stands[edit]

I got a nice new audio system, but the idea of wall-mounting some of my speakers has drawn some ire from my girlfriend (we live together now). For those of you that have something of the sort, do you have any suggestions on floor stands? Here's what's being considered sofar:

Any thoughts? Zero (talk) 20:56, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Human's your man. Ajkgordon (talk) 21:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
My mom's got a nice setup. I put her speakers in loosely woven wicker baskets on top of her builtins. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:49, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Those all look like crap to me. Read this before buying anything: [3] ħumanUser talk:Human 09:28, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Advice on the purchase of goats[edit]

As I have been told this is supposed to be a goat-orientated wiki, I was wondering if anyone here had any insight on buying goats for the purposes of milking. Basically my parents own a smallholding and want to branch out from pig/fowl/sheep rearing to goat rearing and milking so ive decided to buy a few for christmas (or at least give them a goat gift certificate of some kind). Anyone here have any experiance with goats? Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 12:51, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Purchase, schmurchase. Put on a chupacabra outfit and nick 'em in the dark of night.-- (talk) 13:21, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
No direct experience but this link seems to know what's what (based on what little I can remember of somebody keeping goats about 30 years ago, plus general knowledge picked up from living in a farming community {that's my opinion on the article, not the article itself, d'oh}), and then a check-list for, well, not to be too distressing, how not to kill your goats. If I was in a more chipper mood I'd describe the last as how to keep your goats healthy, but frag it.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 13:42, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
For those who don't fancy a ruminant around the house then this fine creature for a mere £19 is a pretty good alternative. Innocent Bystander (talk) 13:49, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Oxfam goats are more expensive at £25 but non-denominational. Innocent Bystander (talk) 13:53, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
In point of fact I do have some limited experience with goats. My parents kept some on the property where I lived in Wales as a child and there are many around the part of Spain where I presently live. However my knowledge is neither profound nor up to date. But what is your question? --Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 13:56, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Just general advice on how to keep them healthy and happy, what accommodation they need, what food they should enjoy, and any other tips on how to live with them. Recipes for goats milk cheese would also be appreciated. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 14:04, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
The only think I can really respond to is food. I don't think that anything vegetable is safe from them including trees - especially apple trees. Having said that I seem to recall that if they eat highly aromatic stuff then you should be prepared for some interesting milk flavours.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 15:14, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Remember to wipe them down afterwards. Failure to do so is a blockable offence around these parts. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:08, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I have an excellent recipe for goat curry, if that helps. --Ithaca (talk) 15:17, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

My neighbors back east in Pennsylvania kept Nigerian Dwarf goats. Easy to handle, lots of milk, good cheese. The does were friendlier than their dogs. The bucks were quite 'musky', though. Semipenultimate (talk) 17:17, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Aye I think thats what my parents want. Theyve already ruled out getting bucks so musk smell wont be much of an issue. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 19:51, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
get the ones who climb trees so you can have a tourist trade. I dont care for the fainting goats, they are just annoying when they fall over. What variety depends on where you live. Hamster (talk) 23:05, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Someone... someone responded to something I said! *puts noose down* Semipenultimate (talk) 4:05, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Ha!, Haha!!!, Hahaha!!!!![edit]

Krampus. Sack the hat and bring the horns, for all shall Hail The Goat!--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 14:19, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

I knew him as Pere Fouettard--"Shut up, Brx." 14:31, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
My parents used to listen to this song around us. Nostalgia--"Shut up, Brx." 14:38, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I Listened to it yesterday night (Dutronc's Best of) while making donuts for a Christmas Party! Alain (talk) 16:58, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
I remember my days as a kid in Austria. They knew how to celebrate Christmas back then. Lots of sweets and nuts distributed during a big show from a few costumed adults, followed by presents, steaming drinks and more food. There was also another name that I've always mixed up with St. Nikolaus, which is this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knecht_Ruprecht
I don't really know how the English-speaking world copes with only one character doing everything on Christmas. Nullahnung (talk) 14:46, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Hircine. I must remember that. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 15:16, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
The festive season in the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the turn of the last century. You'll get presents but you'll pee your pants with fear first. This particular Krampus isn't very hircine, though. Spud (talk) 16:24, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Looking for winter fun?[edit]

Why not Zoidburg Agnostica? --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 16:08, 17 December 2013 (UTC)