RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive63

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, (new)(back)


Do any other rationalwikians also watch keith olbermann? :) Jw. rational ghey (message) 00:41, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

To be honest, I hate him. He's obnoxious and just as petty as some of the Fox News commentators. But I can understand why people like him. Tetronian you're clueless 01:15, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I Love him for the most part. He has moments where he starts rambling a little, and other moments where he starts foaming at the mouth, but most of the time I think he's very entertaining, although I don't really consider him a news show. He's more entertainment than information. SirChuckBBoom Goes the Dynamite 08:18, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I watch him, but I acknowledge he's an ass. As I like to put it, "he may be a jackass, but at least he's a jackass on my side." I mostly watch for the "Worst Persons" segment.
I have noted one thing, though. Most liberals I know who are fans of Olbermann will admit
  • He's an ass.
  • He's not doing news, he's doing commentary.
Try to get your average Fox News zombie to acknowledge that about Lonesome Rhodes Beck or Bill-O the Clown.
Oh, and if you've not seen it, go here for Saturday Night Live's screamingly funny parody of Olbermann (with Ben Affleck as Keith -- Olbermann should have been flattered they picked someone so hot to portray him.) That sketch is where I came up with the nickname "Miss Precious Perfect" for my youngest niece. It's also the one Olbermann pretended to be horribly insulted by, but quite obviously loved. MDB (talk) 11:01, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I love him. he's so funny. Sometimes he can go far, but mostly I find him hysterical. Worst persons is def the best. "Sister sarah" And yea, I've seen that clip. Ben did a good job rational ghey (message) 14:56, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Scientific American response to stupid poll results[edit]

Well. This is hilarious. "This poll also found that 22 percent of Republicans think that Obama “wants the terrorists to win.” We assume most of those 22 percent who think that Obama “wants the terrorists to win” are among the 24 percent who think that Obama may be the Antichrist. Therefore, a small percentage of Republicans who think that Obama may be the Antichrist also think that Obama wants the terrorists to lose." Rodlen (talk) 02:30, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

This is another good review.--BobSpring is sprung! 06:51, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Interesting that the poll itself seems to have disappeared from the Harris site. Here is an employee blogging about the poll though.
It's interesting that the NowPublic review ends with the idea that "but the facts have been available!". It's always been this central idea to liberalism that you just present the facts and people will accept them. Not so. In fact, some evidence seems to say that facts will actually reinforce mistaken beliefs. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 07:08, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Having watched the antics at CP (and ASoK) for three years it's pretty obvious that no matter what facts are presented people with a strong POV will only select those which reinforce their own position (and that isn't confined to Christian right-wing fundies). One has to face the facts that most people are not scientifically literate or numerate, and so don't know how to properly weigh up evidence or interpret the data. Also most of the general public get their information from the media which is often a misrepresentation or over-simplification of the real findings.  Lily Inspirate me. 07:37, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
It might be deeper than that, that "sheer bloddymindedness" is deeply ingrained in us all. Difficult, but not impossible to overcome. I certainly don't think anyone in the world is immune to that sort of bias. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 07:43, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
But it'd be nice if they could be bloody minded about their stupid belief that Timothy Dalton was the best Bond, rather than something that actually mattered like their stupid belief that there's an invisible beardy bloke in the sky who wants them to hate gay people. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 08:35, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
[1] FYI. Not that I necessarily agree with this alleged "scientist" and his lies. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:59, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Entertaining. Though I disagree with what appears to be his final comment, I don't think she drowned "gracefully" at the end of Casino Royale. In fact, when I watched it I remember specifically thinking "oh right, she's going to drown herself comfortably and it's going to be shit" but no, when she actually starts choking she quite clearly has a look of abject terror that says "well this was a fucking good idea wasn't it..." except with much, much more panic. Anyway, he's right, Bond is supposed to be - frankly - a stupid way of wasting a few hours. It makes me want to waste a few more hours just thinking about it. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 13:15, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Pro tip[edit]

Closing the drain is key to running a bath. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:28, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

And how long did it take you to realise this little nugget of pure gold? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:03, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
One cigarette. I used them as timers. So I had to smoke another one. Blame Gawd for my lung cancer. Bath went nicely, was hot and toasty, washy and shavy. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:11, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

iBuenos dias![edit]

Hola a todo el mundo.--CPalmer (talk) 09:40, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Uno cuervo por favor? That's the only Spanish I know (but I can order a beer in 12 languages). Welcome to the dark side. --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 10:16, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I think cuervo actually means a crow, unless it's slang or a brand of beer?--CPalmer (talk) 12:16, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Did I say beer? I meant, of course.... tequila! *cue marriachi (or is that machismo) band music* --PsyGremlin話しなさい 12:24, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Make that 11 Psy. The correct phrase is "Dos cervezas, por favor". And if you were saying it as a question then you'd need one of these ¿ to start with. However, having boasted about my Spanish prowess I'd like to point out that deciding to be a bit I posh I'd have an aperitif and asked for manzanilla thinking of a fino sherry but ended up with a camomile tea.  Lily Inspirate me. 12:51, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

A most interesting case of Stopped clock.[edit]

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/node/37304 Ryantherebel (talk) 14:47, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

That's the rabid libertarian for you - the sort of person more off in a parallel dimension than your extreme social conservative. At least the latter would still fight for rights to be codified and enforced rather than "lets just let people do what the fuck they want, discriminate how they want and it'll all be fine because we're good people really...". I mean, that works fine with a small group of people with similar ideas, but the real world is far wider reaching. You can't assume that everyone will get a fair deal; because some people are hateful, spiteful assholes, and some people are vulnerable. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 20:04, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Genius of Britain[edit]

Saw a trailer for this last night, which was showing clips of Attenborough, Dawkins, and Hawking while the narrative said something along the lines of "The greatest living British minds discuss their favorite British genius heroes of all time". So I said to the wife (sarcastically) "Ooh, I wonder who Dawkins is going to choose", to which she replied "Who? Da Vinci?". Facepalm.png CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:34, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

"Out of the mouths of babes" indeed. Obviously Dawkins will go on and on and on and on and on and on about Darwin. I'll be interested to see the others, though.Scarlet A.pngd hominem 15:38, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually Darwin was pretty good and he created Dawkins' field of work so it would hardly be surprising if he picked him.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:26, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Wiki: Political satire[edit]

Alright, which one of you did this? It's been there for many, many revisions. – Nick Heer 16:26, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Damn you, my Wikipedia honour meant I was compelled to remove it. It was put in last September - David Gerard (talk) 16:31, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Nice find. Incidentally, the IP that put it in isn't found anywhere editing at RW. Considering all established editors should, at least once, have edited under their IP accidentally, it's no-one from here. Probably just an individual. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 20:12, 27 May 2010 (UTC)


Hrm, no idea what to make of this. Not going to help the racial stereotype. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:58, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Ha! And here's the other end of the stereotype spectrum. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:58, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Meh, it's not what you've got, it's what you do with it. At least that's what the girls always tell me..... --PsyGremlinTala! 11:05, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Whenever I wap mine out the ladies giggle in terror. IN TERROR!!! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:09, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, well, I dunno how to break this to you... but whoever told you it's supposed to be that colour, lied. --PsyGremlinHable! 11:35, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
This is probably an urban legend, but...
During the Cold War, a Soviet Army purchaser called an American manufacturer, and said, "We need two million twelve inch condoms!"
The American sales rep said, "Twelve inch condoms? Are you sure you didn't make some kind of metric conversion error?"
The Soviet purchaser immediately became very irate. "Yes! We want two million twelve inch condoms!"
So, the American manufacturer filled the order... in boxes marked "medium". MDB (talk) 11:42, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
That's just an old joke. Sheesh. Anyway, everyone knows condom comfort/fit is all about girth and not length. If it's too long, just don't unroll it to the UPC symbol. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:23, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
That's clearly a made-up yarn, unlike my story of when I was working in a pharmacy and a woman came in and asked if we sold extra-large condoms. I told her that we did, and asked her if she would like to buy some. She declined the offer of purchase, but asked "is it alright if I wait here until I see a man buying some?" (rimshot - tom - crash cymbal!) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 17:45, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Two drums and a cymbal fell off a cliff. boom boom tish. --PsyGremlinRunāt! 17:59, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
TESTED WITH SCIENCE! Professor Moriarty 08:39, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

I really should behave[edit]

But its a dull day at work, so I've just registered for an account at the GOP's new Poe-tractor, America Speaking Out. I'm thinking about starting with something I actually saw elsewhere, arguing that we should do something about Obama's Czars, because we don't want to be like Communist Russia. (Think about it...) MDB (talk) 15:51, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

This site needs it's own WIGO. Such satire should not go uncollected…
  • we should make english the official language of the US and stop spending tax dollars on translations for mexicans! if english is good enough for baby jesus, its good enough for americans.
  • I think America would be a better place if Republicans were more liberal and democratic.
  • Rich people shouldn't pay taxes since they don't use socialist handouts like welfare and government cheese. Only the first $20,000 income should be taxed. Although this one might be genuine. Is it Poe, or is it not?The previous was a rhetorical question
  • Gay people make me feel funny, like when I was on the school wrestling team. Arrest them please.
  • Aramaic as the Official Language of the US. We do this to respect two facts: this is a Christian Nation and Jesus spoke Aramaic, therefore, that should be our language as well. Anyone who refuses to speak the language of our Lord should be deported back to where they came from. This includes the Native Americans. Dual layers of sardonicism. Nice one.
  • I was going to say that we should stop daylight savings time because every time it comes around I'm confused for MONTHS. But what we should REALLY do is just standardize all American Time, so there aren't different zones. That way, I could call my brother in Louisiana in the early evening and not worry about him already being asleep because its two hours later there.
  • My neighbor is a scat musician and it's very annoying. Please arrest them, also, skibbity bee-bop.
  • Children are denied whippings and criminals are set free because their D&A doesn't have matches. D&A! D&A!! D&A!!! Brilliant.
  • We should stop invading countries so far away for oil. It's like politicians don't own maps. Canada has oil. Venezuela has oil. South America has oil. Much closer.
  • Ease illegal immigration by giving Mexico a peace offering: give Texas back.
  • I have virtually no understanding of the history of any country in the world besides America's, of which have a child's knowledge. I'm constitutionally unable to model the psychology of other people in my mind. I don't know a Shi'ite from a Sunn'i or a Persian from an Arab. I can't even find Lebanon on a map nor tell you how it's different from Jordan or Syria. I use the term socialist interchangeably with Marxist, communist, and Tsarist, but let me now share with you my thoughts on national security…
  • Build the Star Wars missile defense system. Who cares if it works or not? It sounds super badass.
  • I demand that construction of the Death Star be completed immediately. No star system will dare oppose us.
  • Promote male affection in Arab nations as a way of defusing excess tension.
  • A personal favourite. We need to train an army of Ninja Cats. Cats are natural born hunters and predators, and it is known that they indeed have 9 lives, many more than the typical human life (being one). They are also excellent at hiding themselves and would be ideal for sneaking into countries and assassinating communist leaders to lessen the ever growing threat of communism, finding key terrorist leaders and shattering the global terrorist network. In fact they could be potentially useful in the current Korean crisis. Loyal to their trainers, the cats could rain destruction and fear throughout the world, and if ever captured would never tell who they are serving. Finally, after they have solved the worlds problems, they could serve as border patrol and show unflinching resolve at keeping illegals where they belong, anywhere but here.
  • Breed giant scorpions which feed specifically on human flesh and release them along the border states (especially Arizona). The benefits will outweigh the occasional American casualty. Ah yes, I do believe that is known as the Fallout solution.
  • Thanks to Humanistic Jones over at Pharyngula: "Current favorite...Job Creation: We need to ensure that the Republicans never give us up, let us down, run around, or desert us. I support the Astley Initiative." Excellent work my friend.
  • Rather than wasting taxpayer dollars on dubious defense strategies, we should be focusing on efficient methods to remind the rest of the world why America is a country with whom one should not mess. Therefore, I propose hiring heavy metal band GWAR to compose a new national anthem for us to strike fear into the hearts and minds of our enemies.
  • If you've seen the movie Deep Blue Sea, then you already know the answer to securing our great country. Smart sharks. Maybe with lasers
  • Move Israel out of the middle east to end the high level of conflict there. Instead, create a new country for Israel, a 10 mile wide, 2000 mile long, strip along the U.S.-Mexican border. The strip is already control by the Mexican drug cartels and this will hinder their power, reduce illegal immigration, and on top of that the increased amounts of trade will lead to greater economic prosperity.
Frackin' genius.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:04, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Right, I'm going to stop, not because there aren't others, because there are, but I'm getting well hooked. Time to pull out before I do a Ken, double entendre intended.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:56, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay, one more: An ICBM should be fired at the black box thing at mecca. This ICBM should be wrapped in bacon and disguised as a burrito. This will show the Islamic world the the west is not to be messed with and will inspire the same fear they've looked to instill in us. Also, the propaganda effect of using a burrito will direct some of their rage at the Mexico, which will help us with the immigration problem.
I'm getting: "unavailable A very high volume of Americans are speaking out right now. Please wait a moment and try again." 19:14, 27 May 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Sorry, that's probably me browsing for the lulz.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:17, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Got through & it's obvious that the left & the snarkers have taken over - and with a vengeance. 19:19, 27 May 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Heh, I hope this was you, MDB.
Stop teaching "evolution". This secular scientific malarky has no place in our schools. As a father of three, I can't stand it when they come home with notions of evolution and contradict the Holy Bible. I am trying to raise them as good Christians, like our forefathers... And our schools are throwing that all out with science classes. Maybe science classes should be canceled completely!

DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 19:28, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

The standardising time zones thing might actually be genuine. Hey, it works for India. Since the US has 4 time zones, you wouldn't even need the half hour. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:27, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Uh oh. Has rodents been hard at work over at that site? *Bad* skwrlz. Bad, bad, bad, bad. Secret Squirrel (talk) 23:56, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh, bad skwrl, no ACORNz! ħumanUser talk:Human 05:30, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, when I clicked on the link I got a warning from my antispam plugin that the site is a benefactor of spamming. So I did a surbl lookup and sure enough it's listed in jp:
C:\>nslookup americaspeakingout.com.multi.surbl.org
Server:  google-public-dns-a.google.com

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    americaspeakingout.com.multi.surbl.org
Should we stop linking to it? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:09, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

RW has ruined me[edit]

So, having ploughed through 3 seasons of 30 Rock (Tina Fey is teh awesome... anybody who can make Al Gore and Oprah poke fun at themselves is a-ok), I'm starting with Fringe, which is pretty cool, and even has a mad scientist... but every time they come up with something, I'm going 'Woo. Woo." (as in woo, not owl impressions). In fact, it should be sub-titled "All the woo you want." --PsyGremlinSnakk! 17:26, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

I've been doing the same thing with old Mystery Science Theater sci-fis. On the plus side, it's now a lot funnier when they say things like "damn liberals!" ~ Kupochama[1][2] 17:36, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
It's got me really watching UK politics and woostuff much more than onceuponatime. Not sure that improves my blood pressure though. 19:22, 27 May 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
if you are still in the first season of Fringe it gets much much wooier. Suspend disbelief and enjoy Hamster (talk) 20:35, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Meh, I liked Fringe as much as I hated it. Acei9 21:32, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Eh, I actually like Fringe's approach to this stuff. When I watch something like Numb3rs, I cringe a little when they start doing math, because they abuse things that are actually grounded in reality. I don't think Fringe really pretends that the things it does make sense, so it's less objectionable. --MarkGall (talk) 01:25, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I only remember watching one episode of Numb3rs before I had to stop. I believe the plot revolved around getting the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle out in a back alley servicing dramatic tension for $5. The math guy was using game theory to predict where bank robbers would strike next, but then when they didn't catch them, he said he couldn't do it again because it would violate the uncertainty principle. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 02:23, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
It's a general principle that whenever TV decides to depict a speciality of yours, it inevitably gets it wrong. Hence why being computer-literate and watching pretty much anything is painful. Professor Moriarty 08:32, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
You wouldn't believe that the guys behind Wolfram Mathematica are advisers on that show some times... but I imagine they're just there to provide the ideas, similar to how the medical advisers on House work, so while it's "grounded" in reality, the execution is usually total bullshit (although sometimes that's the other way around, with the writers saying "how cool would it be if this disease existed" and the medical guys going "well, it does actually"). The best one for keeping science reasonably right has to be The Big Bang Theory (absolute nerdvana to watch) because they never go into the kind of depths with it where you'd say it's wrong, just that it's the pop-science explanation. And they're amazingly up to date, jumping on the magnetic monopoles in spin-ices only a few months after the first publication of the result. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:17, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Rationalwiki Foundation, Inc.[edit]

There has been some discussion across several pages about the formation of a corporation to "own" RationalWiki. The current idea is to create a non-profit organization that will be headed by a board of Trustees elected by the community, which can then empower an individual (like me) to run the "day to day" of the site. This means that on the surface there would be no significant change to how RW is run, but it no longer would be "mine" in anyway, but rather truly owned by the community, and the community would be fully empowered to direct the management of the site.

This is an important step, the "rules" for how this will all will work are spelled out in the bylaws that we will adopt, there is currently a proposed set of bylaws at: RationalWiki:Proposed bylaws. Those who wish to offer feedback know what to do. tmtoulouse 19:39, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

At the risk of sounding, really, really, really lazy and apathetic (I'm not really, I'm all for this) is there a chance of distilling this into a "human readable" version, along the lines of a CC deed? Well, you do have the "quick and dirty overview" thing, but that's sort of before the fact, rather than afterwards. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 19:54, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
With the greatest of respect, oh Creator; what's the point? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 20:01, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I nominate Human. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 20:02, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Simplest version:

  • Everything associated with RationalWiki is owned by the foundation (hardware, trademarks, copyrights, all other rights)
  • The foundation is managed by 5 members of the community elected by the community every year
  • This group appoints someone to manage the day-to-day of the website


  1. putting into place legal protection for me as an individual, and anyone else associated with running the site
  2. divorcing RW from its ultra reliance on me, right now I can do anything I want to do and there is nothing any of you could really do about it, now I don't do that but that simple fact should be disconcerting for people and a desire to put into place safe guards should resonate
  3. to spread the responsibility around a bit, and to give me an "out" if I ever want it, or if I ever need it, or if it is ever forced on me, better to have things setup to allow for a transition, and have it all figured out over time, then have to make it up in the middle of a crisis
  4. establishing an RW NPO also gives us that little extra edge in terms of legitimacy, and its kinda cool

tmtoulouse 20:06, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

(EC, but I lost what I wrote, which was more or less what Trent has put into more thorough wording anyay) Scarlet A.pngd hominem 20:08, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:37, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Good idea. The way you worded it Trent reminds me of the scene in the Godfather when all the Dons are sitting round the table and have to make the peace. "I'm sure Don Trent would be happy to share his power of RationalWiki with the rest of us... at a price of course. After all... we are not Communists." SJ Debaser 11:12, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Right-oh, now I understand why it would be a good thing for all involved with RW. I nominate myself for the position of Vice President. No, actually, make that Junior Vice President. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 11:37, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

A moral question.[edit]

I signed up for mediamatters (among other political organizations) and every now and then I get greeted by a petition. Today, I received one for the firing of John Stossel based on the fact that he sticks with his comments that businesses should have the right to discriminate. Now, I admit that I find his comments inappropriate and something a person should be fired for, but that should be at the discretion of the employer. If Fox were to alienate African-American viewers by hanging on to Stossel, that should be their choice. (Granted, Glenn Beck still has a good following). That's the way I see it, Stossel can alienate viewers/advertisers and can be harmful to the network and should be let go (Again, Glenn is still there). I feel a little bad signing the petition, calling for the firing of another human being I have no love/respect for. Are petitions like this just a form of bullying?--Thanatos (talk) 00:21, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes they are. But I wouldn't worry. Sites like RW promote collective punishment and humiliation, and have no time for the integrity and respect of the individual, or their inherent right to make their own conscious decisions, and insist that everyone follow an inchoate 'common' ethical code with relation to all socio-economic, racial, political and religious proclivities. (talk) 01:36, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Ignore Marcus, he's the pet troll. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 02:04, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry about him. If the petition is successful, then he can just add "martyr" to his CV and triple his speaking fees. He won't miss any meals, trust me. --Kels (talk) 02:07, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't sign it, to try to discourage this sort of petition. This sort of petition only draws attention to him and what he says. When it is unsuccessful, which it will be, it will only serve to raise his profile. Fox will begin promoting him on how he is so controversial he was protested against. It is a cliché (but things only become cliché because they are true),any publicity is good publicity. - π 02:53, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't sign on-line petitions, they are lame. I also don't forward letters to my reps without heavily editing the boiler-plate text. Politicians know the internet can generate 100,000 stupidities in half an hour, but they all look the same. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:39, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
The No.10 e-petitions are a testament to that. It'd be perfectly fine to gather a petition saying "we believe his comments are inappropriate and disagree with them" - that's freedom of speech, we have that. But petitioning for him to lose his job, that - to me - is a greyer area as it's part way between freedom of speech, and direct action, and we don't have total freedom of action. So yes, trying to force Fox's hand like that is bullying and would, as pointed out, probably lead to Stossel considering himself a martyr. That's the last thing anyone needs, giving yet another tit the ability to play the persecution card. Fox is a corporation that isn't publicly owned or funded, thus has various rights and responsibilities; so they have the right to keep a guy who might offend some people with their unsavoury views, while the people who watch Fox have the right to turn over to another channel if that happens. Fox then has the responsibility to deal with that however they like, keep him and lose a few snobbish viewers who should grow a thicker skin, or fire him and keep their viewers (at risk of also alienating Stossel's supporters and appearing to bend over for the Left, which I'm sure they'd rather not do). Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:11, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Abosultely not. And I'd tell the people who sent you that petition to get a grip. I'd never heard of the guy until I saw the Bill Orally clip linked to from here, but all he said was that he is a hardcore libertarian - he should be free to express those views. He didn't say "all blacks should be killed" or anything like that, he just took anti-governmentism(?) to an extreme. Don't like it? Don't vote a hardline libertarian in to office then. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 11:42, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Hear, hear! Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:32, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Also, of course, beware the Streisand effect 12:38, 28 May 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

On the other hand, if I've read the situation correctly then this guy has gone down the same road as Chris Grayling did in this country by basically saying that he doesn't think it's right that the government should have the power to stop him putting a sign up in his business saying 'No Irish, No Blacks, No Gays'. Now, if he did lose his job based on a petition, boo-fucking-hoo, he'll have just have been hoist by his own petard, as individuals in his country have decided to discriminate against him based on their own personal feelings, with no possible answer or recourse to it. Is that being immoral, or is it moral to give the guy a taste of what would happen if his views came back into vogue?--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 14:14, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

It's still hounding someone for their views. Even if it is doing almost precisely what their view entails. It's basically saying, "you're ideas are wrong, but we're going to follow them anyway to try and prove a point". Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:20, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Part of me thinks that Robbie Murdock is not aware of every little thing that is said by a person in his employment. Maybe this slipped under his radar? I'm pretty sure, though, he gets alot of petitions from various organizations. Hell, if he did listen to them, imagine how different Fox News would be (maybe be about actual news instead of propaganda perhaps?). I'm still not entirely sure about the morality of the situation, but the decision is ultimately Murdock's.--Thanatos (talk) 17:36, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Creationist phones into The Atheist Experience[edit]

He presents that familiar Darwin eye quote and gets slammed. Thought it might amuse you folks, even if you know how it will end. – Nick Heer 08:06, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, seen that before. I love the fact that he has the actual freakin' book and not just a piece of cretinist propoganda, and then after he reads the rest of the passage he still thinks it's a valid argument. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:25, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Why does the concept of an "atheist" TV show still bug me? I mean, I am all for getting together on this sort of thing because of the wider context of organised religion, but still, it seems a little too much and unnecessary. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:01, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I guess that the people who watch it enjoy it.--BobSpring is sprung! 11:52, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I am kinda with Armondikovnik on this one. Every time there is some sort of atheist "campaign" or assertion of rights I feel that it only goes to serve the ideal the atheism is a religion. Instead of pushing to be heard, media wise, I think better to dominate the sciences and academia without resorting to mass entertainment or government attention. If you follow me....Acei9 11:57, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Kind of. Although Bob is also right that people might enjoy watching it - although you have to ask why people would enjoy it, perhaps the same reason people "enjoy" watching televangelists? Maybe. At least The Atheist Experience isn't as fervently religious as The Atheist Station (I remember watching the documentary on that and face-palming nearly as much as Jesus Camp, although I had more sympathy, with the station being repeatedly vandalised and the residents demonised). Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:18, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I once saw a libertarian/anarchic kind of party/society which had as a motto "Individuals of the world unite". That was fun. Sen (talk) 12:20, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
First of all you need to put the Atheist Experience into context; it is a cable show in Texas where atheists are a small minority. By presenting a public face to atheism it gives believers the opportunity to test out their preconceptions and ignorance against a pair of non-believers who are generally pretty calm and polite in their responses. Although it's unlikely to deconvert anyone on its own, it might just make people reconsider their bigotted views about atheists. It's all very well for us in more secular societies to disparage them. Secondly, it really gets on my tits when non-believers winge about atheists or humanists standing up for secular rights. While you may not like some of the more vociferous "new atheists" you need to remember that by and large non-believers are not a large organised group but are individuals. Consequently, if it wasn't for those who are prepared to speak out and take a stand then the larger religious groups would just walk over the rights of non-believers. The USA was founded as a secular nation with a separation of church and state but one can see that over the years there have been gradual inroads into that position. Relying on science teaching doesn't seem to have done much good when such a large proportion of the US population still believes that Goddidit. If wasn't for those uppity niggers like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X or those hysterical females such as Emmeline Pankhurst, Andrea Dworkin or Germain Greer then the rights of non-whites and females would still be thin on the ground. Yes, they might grate on some people's nerves but we wouldn't be where we are today if it wan't for the likes of them. One has to remember than when you are trying to reach an agreement between two parties you usually start at the extremes and reach accord somewhere in the middle. If you start from the middle then you will probably not accomplish so nearly as much.  Lily Inspirate me. 14:00, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I certainly agree. Atheism only makes sense in the context of other religions existing and I'm all for secular rights. It's an important thing to do - but I'm still torn on whether I like the idea of people being so damn religious about it. I suppose it's that there is a real difference between rejecting the concept of God, and rejecting the concept of a religion. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:12, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't the majority of athiests reject both? Or am I missing some more subtle distinction?--BobSpring is sprung! 16:18, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
A religion is a collectively held and practiced philosophy, mostly commonly defined as a system of "belief and worship". While the majority of religions in the world do have gods to believe in and worship, you don't necessarily need a higher being for a form of "belief and worship" to occur. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 17:18, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm must say that I'm a bit pressed to think of a religion that lacks any supernatural elements. Even Buddhism, I think, has a belief in reincarnation. Can you give me an example of a religion which lacks any belief in any supernatural elements? There may be one, but I can't bring one to mind at the moment. Also, what is being "worshipped" in these religions which lack a higher being? What function does the worship serve?--BobSpring is sprung! 18:17, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Unitarian Universalism? They worship milk and cookies. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:54, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Really? I didn't know that. What function does this worship serve? And should that make atheists less likely to reject the concept of religion?--BobSpring is sprung! 21:01, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Nationalism. Sen (talk) 21:21, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Sarah Palin is a dirty beatnik[edit]

Some nice poems, though. Maybe we should hold a contest about transforming some of Andy's rants into pieces of art? Röstigraben (talk) 08:11, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

If it's about Andy, it belongs at talk wigo cp. There's a linkie button to there up top. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:25, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Does it look like it's about Andy to you? Did you even click the link? Honestly, I don't contribute to this site much, but I've been lurking for a good couple of years, and all I see from you is whinge whinge whinge, moan moan moan. ONE / TALK 12:00, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
The "Andy" part fooled me. And your second point is what, again? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:15, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Science did this[edit]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDD7Ohs5tAk - your "awwwwww!" moment of the day - David Gerard (talk) 15:24, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Definitely !AWWW! 16:36, 28 May 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
My "awwwwww!" moment of day would have to involve a cat. Or possibly a weasel. Babies? Meh. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:57, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
God/Jeebus/Mohammed/Buddha - not very good at fixing borken hearing. Science? Pretty damn good! DogPMarmite Patrol 18:57, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

I think it's been here before but ....[edit]

... this is rather good. 19:29, 28 May 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

That's what she said. That was actually rather cool. Now I got about 15 wikipedia tabs to read (about Canis Majoris, Magellanic clouds etc) Sen (talk) 21:54, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

A funny:[edit]

http://abstrusegoose.com/258Sen (talk) 22:52, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

We'll have to send that one to Foxhole... Scarlet A.pngd hominem 00:23, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

To whomever built the barchive search function[edit]

Nice work. Never used it before, but I was able to zoom right in on the gulf oil spill video links I posted a while back. Thanks! ħumanUser talk:Human 01:40, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

The new search engine is a huge improvement on the old. The only down side is that is requires a bit of memory, but given we have even more room than before, it is no longer an issue. - π 01:52, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I assume by "memory" you mean HDD space for indexes, not RAM? And yeah, once I gave up on looking through the TOCs (missed it anyway), the search function performed perfectly. I take it that it searches text as well as headers? (At first when I read "memory" I thought you meant wetRAM succeeding in producing a good search term, but then I saw the sig...;)) ħumanUser talk:Human 02:02, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, hard drive space. I think it store the final version of each page and indexes them. This is actually a small storage compared to the page histories and images, but still needs a bit of room. Trent has recently started doing page dumps around the web, which would give you an idea of the storage size the search function requires. - π 02:11, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes indeed, but let us chat about wetRAM! ħumanUser talk:Human 06:34, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Gary Coleman has died[edit]

Just in case any of you were into him and hadn't yet heard. [2] SJ Debaser 10:09, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

That is a shame. I once entered a safety poster competition at work with a design featuring not only Willis, but Bruce Willis, Bob Willis and Wincey Willis all saying things like "Safety isn't important" and "I give a very low priority to workplace safety" - with the inevitable punchline of a picture of Gary Coleman saying "What 'choo talkin' 'bout Willis? Safety is VERY important!" I didn't win. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 11:02, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

And he took Dennis Hopper with him[edit]

ħumanUser talk:Human 00:14, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Man, that's sad. I don't think I'd even heard that Hopper was ill. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 01:23, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, he's been sick his whole life, but yeah, he had a prostate cancer which metastasized last fall, as I understand it, and it sort of became instantly incurable. Poor guy, but at least he made it to 74. Now he's in heaven drinking (etc.) it up with Hunter and Billy. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:36, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Oath keepers[edit]

I just noticed a reference to this crowd. Now, I've never heard of them but this from their website seems potentially dangerous:

Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, reserves, National Guard, veterans, Peace Officers, and Fire Fighters who will fulfill the Oath we swore, with the support of like minded citizens who take an Oath to stand with us, to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God. Our Oath is to the Constitution
Welcome to Oath Keepers

I note that they're all (except firefighters?) likely to be familiar with weaponry and a potential danger to the general population. I don't know how big/popular they are but ... politicisation of the military? Thoughts? 12:26, 28 May 2010 (UTC)~ SusanG Toast

This is why I have a problem with "oaths". Once you start swearing to obey and ideology, or another person, or a country, basically anything that isn't yourself or your own sense of morality or decency, things can become problematic. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 13:03, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
These "patriot" groups are worrying me. They always go on about defending the constitution, but they seem to have very specific ideas of what is in it. Combine the with the "legal"-birthers, who believe that Obama's father being a British subject means that he is not eligible regardless of where he is born and you get a group of people who think they have the right to revolt. It is actually getting a little scary. - π 00:43, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Arm, I don't see a problem with a sensible oath. It's about how the intent is enshrined within it. For example, taking the above example; it appears a bit open to a McVeigh-style interpretation. They could rephrase to specifically call for peaceful measures. However it has to accepted that no oath can cover every single eventuality. Even "thou shalt not murder" could be a problem if a murder may be the best option. Take the trolley example in which pushing a fat man in front of a trolley may be better than allowing it to roll on and kill five people. An oath should encompass the spirit, not be a hardwired set of rules. ConcernedResident omg ponies!!! 12:09, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, enshrining an oath is the major problem. The context that it exists in could change, which is why a "sensible" oath may well become far from sensible later on. For instance, your military could swear an oath to defend the people, but that becomes massively open to interpretation and is difficult to enact in practice. So you switch to something more absolute, such as following a leader or upholding a constitution. Such an oath is grand in theory, but the conditions could change. Your leader could become a despot, or the moral zeitgeist of the population may make the constitution redundant. Then such oaths become a problem. If they're treated as more symbolic indicators of commitment rather than a literal or legal bond, then things are slightly better - as they give people something to say to make them more connected to their cause, without room for things to get stupid. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:35, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, good point on the fact that an oath can "age". I like the concept of a living document, because as you said, these things can't be written in stone and expected to be valid forever.Even the ten commandments is a living document in the sense that it's reinterpreted on an ongoing basis. I'm curious to see whAt in my old age will be considered in the same way that most people today would view racism. I suspect that eating meat is perhaps one thing that in the future wiseem barbaric, but even things like sexual contact or monogamy could go the same way. ConcernedResident omg ponies!!! 13:17, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
For the record, I got huge problems with the trolley example. It's not the fat man's problem is other people were going to be unlucky, nor your right to steal someone else's life in order to play the hero. With the same logic, anyone around can be killed because at least 5 (2x kidney transplants, 2x lung transplants, 1x heart) can be saved by his death. Yeah, well. No. Sen (talk) 18:07, 30 May 2010 (UTC)


Germany is winning. --Swedmann (talk) 21:40, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

I lost any interest I had for this year's competition once we didn't send this act: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HXIb4IBPuU Vulpius (talk) 22:11, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Hey, that's Jumping Jack Flash run through three different auto-translators! ħumanUser talk:Human 23:16, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. Now I'm unable to play Elite Beat Agents again without giggling stupidly. Vulpius (talk) 11:39, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
And it did. their song --Swedmann (talk) 22:15, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
The Armenians got my vote. You can see why just four seconds into this clip. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 22:33, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Was it just me or was this year really really really really bland? It's like that kid from last year won and everyone thought "holy shit, lets send as many young kids as possible to sing bland ballads because we'll obviously win!!". Shame that logic didn't apply the year following Lordi. At least Turkey (Turkey for fuck's sake) flew the flag for some hard rock and came second because of it. I have to admit the contest for second was more exciting, Germany were clearly walking it from the off so it got boring, but 2nd-6th place was a battle! Scarlet A.pngd hominem 23:49, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry... was that Armenian girl singing? I didn't notice. But she was definitely the breast. I mean, best. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 00:01, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Wasn't that Angelina Jolie? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 00:08, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
In general, though, I agree with you. Total blandfest. The songs were almost all formulaic crap or reworks of other stuff. I can't remember which it was, but one song had me singing the lyrics to "Every Breath You Take" because it was so similar. Previous years have had me saying (quietly) that one or two songs were actually quite good. This year, the only one that came close was Denmark. And the jugs brilliant Armenian entry that jubblies wobbled melon bristol milk-factory paps funbags... I'm going for a cold shower. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 00:25, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
To be fair there, many, many songs go C-Am-F-G, and some of them are quite good. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:12, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
All songs have the same damn chords... Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:41, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Very nice, I'm surprised I haven't seen that guy on TV. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:31, 31 May 2010 (UTC)


So I woke up at my parents' house this morning to some 15-ish girl knocking on the door because her mother had attacked her this morning and she fled out her upstairs window because her mom was threatening to kill her. Naturally, we called the cops and they came and an ambulance also came because she had cut her hands up pretty badly when she broke out the windows to escape. People are fucking nuts, man. Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 21:00, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I was at the strangest funeral on Saturday. Acei9 21:01, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
(To take from Johnny Carson) How strange was it? The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 21:04, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, there were strange mutterings and odd people all over the place. Acei9 21:11, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Wait, I think I've had that happen before. You weren't at a Catholic Church, by chance? Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 21:12, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
I was chatting to some girl on Friday who seemed nice. Then out of nowhere she said, "yeah, I'm sad the Tories got in, cuz I voted for the BNP." Hating to get into political debates when sober, let alone drunk, I excused myself immediately and resigned to the bar to wet my whistle. People are fuckin' nuts. SJ Debaser 21:20, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Stop the fag takeover of our children![edit]

A seriously disturbing story. [3] Aimless Blaster (talk) 22:23, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Jeebus, that's insane! And here I am trying to quit smoking/drinking/caffeine, etc. Conservative Punk (talk) 22:25, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Hey Goonie, want to know why you're trying to quit smoking and drinking? Nutty Roux (talk) 22:28, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Wasn't it something to do with some woman? Goonie didn't want her to see him in all his drunken glory so decided that lying to her about his habits was easier. Or something. Acei9 22:32, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
You know, it's not really that I am quitting them. More like I am taking a break. Some of it is financial (I was spending $70/week on booze, 10 on cigs, four 24 packs of pop a week), some of it personal (girlfriend's suggestion, but not pushing it on me). I'm sure I'll be back to everything in a few weeks, I just needed a break from it all for the first time in 18 years (when my caffeine addiction started). Conservative Punk (talk) 22:33, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
I realized that lying to myself and others about my drinking/smoking habits was much easier than actually cutting down and quitting. Acei9 22:35, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Maybe one of these days Goonie's testicles will descend. Nutty Roux (talk) 22:37, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Then he'll get hair in strange places. Acei9 22:39, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
I'll join you in the taking a break from booze. Was walking home from the pub tonight and I found a girl sitting in the street, drunk and borderline hysterical. Some odd stuff with her boyfriend and her baby and heroin. Very messed-up. Managed to find her a place to go, but it was a bit of an eye opener. Not nice stumbling in to something like that when I myself was a bit too drunk to properly deal with things. --ConcernedResident omg ponies!!! 22:44, 30 May 2010 (UTC)


http://fibrocenter.com/ I dunno. Real or woo? I've wondered about this for decades. ħumanUser talk:Human 10:54, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

The NHS seems to think it's real.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:24, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah but they pay for homeopathy too Doh.gif 17:41, 29 May 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
You're conflating disease with treatment.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:25, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia seems to be treating it quite seriously too. In the end, if someone tells you that he hurts I don't think its nice to ignore it. Woo usually comes in the cures, which are the ones money is made from. Sen (talk) 17:46, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Fibro is an actual defined syndrome that exists. My wife has it, and through her I know a pile of people who have it. Trouble is it's some sort of autoimmune disorder cluster thing and one of those things that doctors don't know the cause of, and besides it happens mostly to women, so it must be the hysterical dears' own faults. i.e., it engages doctors' arse-elbow equivalence inducer. There is one drug that does it any good, Lyrica, and that was discovered just recently. But at least it's not lupus. Thankfully there's not a huge amount of woo parasiting off the sufferers, though it was remarkable effort for her and me to get "prayer" removed from the Wikipedia article as a possible treatment - David Gerard (talk) 19:09, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
it was originally trgarded as woo, but there is a drug, which is the same as treatment for depression. Hamster (talk) 19:14, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Lyrica is not an antidepressant. Where on earth did you get that from? - David Gerard (talk) 19:38, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
my Doctor , I am diabetic and have bouts of severe leg pain , she said the drug for fibromyalgia was essentially an anti-depressant, with much the same list of side effects. I thought she meant Lyrica unless theres another one ... not really surprised if shes wrong Hamster (talk) 03:49, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Hrm. Could have been amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant which was pretty much made obsolete by SSRIs but in lowered doses is also good for chronic pain. Though I haven't heard of it being used for fibro. Lyrica is actually an antiepileptic that turns out to be the first drug to be any good for fibro - the "HALLELUJAH!"s from fibro sufferers around the world in 2008 could probably have been heard from space - David Gerard (talk) 11:26, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
My elderly Mum had crippling stiffness in her joints and tremendous pain which was diagnosed as Fibromyalgia. A steady diet of cortisone and some other drug alleviated it, but caused terrible thinning of the skin, resulting in other injury problems as a result. Although the hope was that she could come off the cortisone, she never could - her 'fibro' would come right back with a vengeance. So AFAIK, it's a very real condition. DogPMarmite Patrol 20:10, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks everyone! ħumanUser talk:Human 23:04, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

It's a good job we're not in the business of giving out medical advice, given the above inability to agree on which drugs are used to treat the condition. DogPMarmite Patrol 00:24, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
i dunno , sounded like my last doctors visit :) Hamster (talk) 03:57, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Just when you thought this Oil spill couldn't get any worse[edit]

This happens: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/28/22mile-oil-plume-under-gu_n_593658.html Ryantherebel (talk) 20:36, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

This whole thing has been very, very weird (for lack of a better word) because there is nothing the average citizen can do about the spill (as far as we know, at least). During hurricane Katrina, there was a flood of activism and charity, but now everyone is just sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Tetronian you're clueless 14:11, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, that leads into a thought I've had about this. When we face a hurricane in New Orleans, a flood in Nashville, an earthquake in Haiti, what have you, we know how to deal with those -- it's merely a matter of scale and commitment. This is somewhat uncharted territory -- we've dealt with oil spills and pipeline leaks before, but this has a lot of new factors: the incredible depth the leak is at, the currents that could spread it out along the entire East Coast, etc etc etc ad infinitum ad nauseam. Yes, there's been "ball-dropping" on the part of both the Feds and the corporations involved (if I denied that, I'd lose all credibility), but this is quite different from problems we've faced before.
As an aside, I was amused/fascinated that when I went to get my hair cut Saturday, my local Hair Butchery had a sign up that their clippings would be sent to the Gulf to use for oil absorption. MDB (talk) 21:25, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Compare and contrast:[edit]

ThisDoh.gif and thisSmiley.gif. 14:33, 31 May 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Haha! Those were both good articles, Susan, thanks for posting. Tetronian you're clueless 02:19, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Though that "I'm a scientist thing" seems a little oddly titled. I mean, what message does it send? Ask an awkward question and watch them squirm? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 06:21, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Effin' blondes![edit]

Amazin' what a bit of peroxide'll do 21:31, 31 May 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast


I just saw an article stating that college students these days are substantially less empathetic than other generations. This sort of bothered me, so I took the test. Tests like this always sort of bother me, as it is very easy to decide from the get-to "I'm an empathetic person; I will surely be on one extreme for all the good things and the other for all the bad things." I prefer ones where the "right" answer isn't spelled out so much. With that in mind, I got 64/70. According to Glenn Beck, this might make me a Nazi. DickTurpis (talk) 13:20, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

38/70. Yep. But I'm not sure if that's a lack of empathy or cynicism towards people's feelings. Also, you're right, I wouldn't trust these tests too much, they're often more than a bit loaded and really don't work for everyone equally. One of the worst offenders, I think, is that "autism test" that's been going around recently; can't diagnose autism with a questionnaire that's almost in the definition of the thing. It said that I was relatively normal, despite people who have made actual observations of me have said I should be officially on the spectrum somewhere. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:16, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
On that particular test you can pretty easily get whatever result you set out to get.--BobSpring is sprung! 16:40, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Clearly, yes. But then if people score low it's because they want to lack empathy, which is kind of disturbing. DickTurpis (talk) 17:00, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
10/70. Most likely because I couldn't bring myself to complete it. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 16:54, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
That just looks like the same basic question (how empathetic are you?) phrased seventy different ways with a sliding scale answer. I don't see how its results could have any value. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:03, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Which is kind of why you don't trust that sort of thing. They're about as meaningful as those "What Friends character (or whatever) are you?" quizzes that used to be all the rage on the internet. Either you just engineer the response you want and the Forer effect does the rest. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 17:13, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
No one should take these tests very seriously, though they can tell you something. People can get any result they want (true of just about anything like this) but seeing the result they want is telling, provided they are at least relatively honest with their answers. If someone gives the "I don't give a shit about anyone else" answer for each question and gets a 0, that tells us something about their psyche. A test like this I would think would give artificially high scores for most people, who are likely to say they care about others more than they do (I might fall into this trap a bit, but I've given quite a lot of thought to this sort of thing, and I sometimes feel a little bad for jackasses like Andy when they suffer public humiliation), so seeing very low scores seems indicative of something at least. Perhaps some people have more empathy than their test results show, as they want to pretend not to give a fuck, perhaps out of some desire to express more machismo, unlike those girly, faggy, bleeding-heart liberals. DickTurpis (talk) 17:25, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
..."15. To what extent does the following statement describe you: 'I am an empathetic person.'" I'd like to read the article that managed to cite this for any reason. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 00:35, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I aced it, but 1. I'm good at taking tests, and 2. this was one really really lame survey. Now to go get 0%... 50% must be the easiest, just run down the middle clicking the middle option? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:55, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
PS, I had to lie to get the perfect score, and you guys know why... on every one where I thought "well, that's not exactly true haha" my examples were from here, not "real life". Quite interesting. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:58, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I used my standard method for dealing with pointless surveys: filling in the boxes according to the Thue-Morse sequence. Apparently it is less empathetic than 80% of participants. Professor Moriarty 11:56, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
If you reverse the meaning of the symbols, does it get you up to 20%? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:38, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Checking... Professor Moriarty 09:59, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Reverse Thue-Morse has almost exactly the same score as Thue-Morse. Professor Moriarty 10:02, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
That is extremely suspicious, as to get the reverse Thue-Morse answers I counted from the other end of the scales, so I effectively gave the opposite answer to each question, which should have given me a very different result. Professor Moriarty 10:29, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't that not assume that each question is weighted equally and result are calculated in the same manner for each question? The simplest way of constructing something like this would be for each answer to be the equivalent of -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 and then add up at the end. But if the balance was different to reflect certain attributes of subjectivity in the questions (or essentially weighting them by the average), say, some answers were -3, -2, -1, 0 +1 for the five options, reversing the sequence wouldn't necessarily lead to an opposite answer. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:37, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
True, but the two results were 2 marks off. I'll try the sequence on some more offsets, hang on... Professor Moriarty 12:18, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Admittedly, the answers are all clustered around the same number. I'll try answering according to a random sequence. Professor Moriarty 12:22, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Gaah, I give up. Statistics is not my forte. Professor Moriarty 12:29, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Let's just agree that such things are fine proxies, but have margins of error so great as to be pretty much worthless to an individual! Also, it's worth noting that I'm a very non-committal person, so I rarely ever choose the extremes on quizes like these, which I think would skew the results even further (why would I pick the option that says "this definitely defines me" as I consider myself far more nuanced than that). Say, if the weightings to the answers were -5,-2,0,+2,+5. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:39, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, to be moderately effective, a survey like this has to at least have red herrings, and perhaps even "easy" questions that are not scored. Then the "real" questions have to be designed in a way to get the most accurate answer from the respondent. Questions can even be used to set each other up by "biasing" the respondent. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:36, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
And, of course, ideally, the respondents don't know what topic the survey is exploring. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:37, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Ideally yes, but in psychological research, I think it's ethically dubious to outright lie to people about what they're experimenting in. Although researchers can be creative or vague with the truth; like with the "did you notice the gorilla" experiment, they were participating in an experiment about observation, it's just that what they were told to observe wasn't what the psychologists were observing them observing. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 10:25, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

DonExodus2 vs. NephilimFree......[edit]

So well known creation debunking Youtuber DonExodus2will debate Ken mannequin, NephilimFree on June 4th (or 6th). Should be interesting. Bonus laughs in that ShockofGod - motorcycling, machismo loving creationist - will moderate. Acei9 07:43, 30 May 2010 (UTC) Vid. Acei9 07:44, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

What a pair of weirdos. DogPMarmite Patrol 00:35, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
notes for coming events. Nephy is my very favorite creationist. * waves hand in ubiversal indian greeting * see, not 6 fingered Nephilim half breed. hehehehe Hamster (talk) 04:03, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Damn, vid removed already. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 23:45, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Aspergers? (mmmmm. ass-burgers....)[edit]

So the wife was at my in-laws for dinner last night (I begged off 'cause I've been seeing too much "people" lately and needed some time alone...) and the mom-in-law, seemingly out of the blue, asked my lady if she'd ever "considered the possibility that he(i.e. me) has Aspergers?" This home diagnosis was based on my (apparent, but I ain't buying it...) intelligence, nervous energy, and lack of a certain love for socializing. Upon hearing this, I immediately hied myself to the googlebox, but a lot of the checklists I found were a. really vague and b. geared to children and teens (I'm past 40)...I know there are some of you out there who identify as Aspys or might have friends/lovers/family/partners who so identify....I know I'm a bit of an odd duck sometimes--aren't we all--but I never sat around reciting PI to a thousand digits or threw a fit in the airport because I wanted to fly on Qantas a la Rainman...so, Aspys/friends and lovers of Aspys--where is the line between being a bit of an oddball and being clinical? P-Foster (talk) 18:20, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

After work, do you:
(a) spod around on the Internet with other tedious wankers
(b) get drunk at a strip club with the guys from Sales & Marketing, like normal people?
- David Gerard (talk) 18:42, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
IIRC AS is being removed from the DSM, and everyone and their dog has it anyway as an excuse for being a complete bastard to others. Professor Moriarty 18:47, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Based on your online behaviour, PF, I doubt that you have Asperger's syndrome. But an internet diagnosis is worth even less than an armchair diagnosis, so if you're really concerned/interested about this, see a professional. Asperger's has been talked about in the media a lot in the last few years, so it's one of the most obvious things people will think of when trying to account for why somebody seems a bit "odd", when they might be completely off the mark. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:08, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Forty-year-old male, nervous energy and low socializing? You can't you stand the taste of buttered toast, can you? You have a tiny tumour hidden in your brainstem which has been allowed to grow since your neuro-syphillis and tapeworms have been keeping eachother under control. We'll do an echo to confirm, but stop licking your scarf and you'll be fine. GHouse - 20:05, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
You can't self diagnose it using a quiz or anything like that. It has to be done by a qualified individual based on long-term first-hand observation. But there is this trend to start telling people that they have "syndromes" and "disorders" when really, there isn't anything wrong with them. Kind of makes people feel better about themselves having something else to blame "I'm not being a cunt, it's my bipolar" or "I'm not difficult to deal with, it's my aspergers" or whatever. It's quite sad, because this overshadows some serious developmental disorders that are suffered by a very tiny minority of people, I've met people with actual autism and bipolar disorders and they're nothing like the dozen or so others that I know who like to mention what they have. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 21:19, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Everyone varies from the "norm". If we were all alike it'd be very boring. 21:33, 30 May 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
I have been told that I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress and generalized anxiety disorder. Doesn't really bother me so much, though I can get a little aggressive. Oh well. Acei9 21:36, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Personal (probably controversial) opinion: Aspergers (and also ADHD, schizoid personality disorder and a bunch of other stuff) are counterproductive diagnoses usually slapped on people who are perfectly normal and can get along in society just fine. Giving such a diagnosis to a kid for whom the only thing "wrong" with them is they are slower at picking up on social cues and better at math tells them they're abnormal and their options in life are limited, when in fact they are not. I see even less value in giving such a label to an adult in middle age who up to that point never had an inkling there was anything particularly wrong with them. If someone can function in society what's the point of giving them a label that says to them "you are not a regular person and will never be one", especially if they really are normal? Secret Squirrel (talk) 21:42, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
(EC)No one's "normal" anyway. You've never come across as an Aspy Paul, but as Weaseloid pointed out, internet diagnoses don't count for much. Don't forget that Asperger's is basically a very mild form of autism, so unless you display obsessively intense interest in random things and find it exceedingly difficult to empathise with others, you're probably just a guy that likes keeping himself to himself. I used to think I was insane, but then my shrink told me otherwise I'm actually just a bit weird. SJ Debaser 21:47, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks one and all for the comments. I can now safely go back to cataloging the plate numbers of the cars that drive by my house...P-Foster (talk) 06:56, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

When I was a child somehow I heard, perhaps, about trainspotting, and started a little notebook in which I logged car plate numbers. No one ever told me why. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:55, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
P-Foster, your symptoms show that in all probability you are a man. I wouldn't worry about it.  Lily Inspirate me. 07:07, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
The only reliable way to properly diagnose aspergers is by wiki edit counts. And yes, most of you have the aspergers. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 15:40, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Linking to Nazis and other odious people[edit]

Relocated to Forum:Should we link to hate sites?. --ConcernedResident omg ponies!!! 10:48, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Never really rated the BAFTAs anyhow[edit]

And this just makes it official! 21:33, 31 May 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

"Later this year the 50-year-old will be recognised for his excellently placed hair helmet". DogPMarmite Patrol 23:57, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Fucks sake... I mean, I totally admire Cowell for the fact he's managed to make himself a ton of cash (really, what he's done for his career is nothing but spectacular), but really, he hasn't really don't anything except serve himself. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 05:57, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, can't find a link, but I would recommend finding the Simon Cowell episode of "Star Stories", which is a piss-take documentary show. One of the funniest things was how Cowell would keep having an idea (something lame) and his mind would be whooshing with equasions and images of geniuses like Einstein as he's having this awesome genius idea. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:50, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Holy Hell![edit]

This is the largest pothole I've ever seen in an intersection in my life. I think this could do some considerable damage to your suspension. DogPMarmite Patrol 00:10, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Shit!Ryantherebel (talk) 00:57, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Wow... ħumanUser talk:Human 01:25, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Hoooooo-lee cow. If that wasn't from CNN, I'd be thinking "PhotoShop job". Even then, I wonder if CNN got fooled. MDB (talk) 13:01, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

This reminds me of Ubar - a "lost city" in Oman that literally sunk into the sands after the cavern it had been built over collapsed. See wp:Iram of the Pillars and this. --ZooGuard (talk) 06:26, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Software issue.[edit]

so, long story short, I've buggered up something in my Openoffice (the interface w/Zotero, if anyone is familiar) and would like to re-install OO. The problem is, when I do, the computer remembers all of the presets/preferences from the last install--yes, I've un-installed the programme, not merely re-installed it on top of an existing install; yes, I've run a registry cleaner (CCleaner) after uninstalling. Any ideas? P-Foster (talk) 03:23, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Revo Uninstaller http://lifehacker.com/282337/completely-remove-programs-with-revo-uninstaller If you've already uninstalled OO you may actually have to re-install OO so Revo has a starting point. (talk) 05:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, sir or madam...P-Foster (talk) 06:48, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Stop using Windows. - π 09:29, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
http://user.services.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=74&t=12426 -- Nx / talk 09:35, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I'd have guessed. OOo isn't typical Windows crapware, it actually does things in reasonable ways - so it'd have a pile of stuff in your Documents And Settings - David Gerard (talk) 10:17, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Man up and buy a copy of Word. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 02:49, 2 June 2010 (UTC)


Whadda ya'll think? I have my own opinions, but I reserve them for the time being. SirChuckBObama/Biden? 2012 05:25, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

It's a country in the Middle East. Jews have superior citizenship status. Has many old religious icons. Has nukes. What was the question? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:32, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Very good Human, now would you like to try for $64 question? Actually, I meant opinions on the recent flotilla attack. SirChuckBThis country needs more Rutabegas 05:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Do they have oil? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:48, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
<sarcasm>Hey, let's not be anti-Semitic here!</sarcasm> Scarlet A.pngd hominem 05:50, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Several MOSSAD agents were caught in NZ on false passports some time ago without explanation (and none has been forthcoming). Why they are allowed to get away with all this for so long I don't know but if it were not Israel they'd be bombed and humbled. Acei9 05:52, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Multiple breaches of international law - cut them off. I have no sympathy. Acei9 05:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
It's a bit early to say for definite, but Israel's claim that that this was not a peaceful aid mission seems a bit odd. In the news article it cites Israel as claiming that the people on board had clubs and knives, and those are hardly the weapons one would use when planning on retaking the holy land. --ConcernedResident omg ponies!!! 06:05, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
(EC)Because as I briefly mentioned above, Israel is beyond criticism. Seriously, I was browsing through local party Facebook groups in the run up to the election (I was going to be an informed voter, at least) and found someone I know who is Jewish saying that they'd gladly campaign against the local Lib Dem candidate because she said something critical of Israel. Something fairly craptacular, like "Israel shouldn't be allowed to break international law", but apparently, that's biggoted. And the university Israel society once got up in arms about a (very junior, IIRC) lecturer who visited a pro-Palestine rally and posted the photographs to Facebook. People saw these, and apparently it was offensive that he posted a photo of someone else's sign that had a characature of one of Israel's ministers shouting "ANTI-SEMITE! ANTI-SEMITE!! No! They no longer fear the magic word!!". It's a double standard, and it all comes down to the fact that the US supports them totally because 1) the evangelical Christian nutters who run the country just love to protect the Holy Land and see dark-skined people killed and 2) the Jewish lobby in the US is immensely powerful (for example, if you counted up Jewish characters on US television, you'd be forgiven for thinking that half the country is Jewish, when really it's about 1%). Scarlet A.pngd hominem 06:06, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
This isn't so much a problem of a general "Jewish" lobby, but rather a tightly organized "Israel" lobby that is dominated by hardliners and has managed to crowd out the sensible voices. There's an excellent book about the topic. Also, actors and entertainers don't have anything to do with it - I don't see Jon Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld stifling criticism of Israel. As for the recent attack, it's obviously illegal as well as an overreaction if I've ever seen one, and it's going to cost Israel dearly. The sad thing is that this wasn't just the work of the Netanyahu/Lieberman crowd, but the supposedly sensible Barak and his Labour colleagues are backing it as well. There doesn't seem to be anybody left in Israeli politics who'd have the will and clout to reverse Israel's journey into isolation. Röstigraben (talk) 06:26, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
What I love about the whole thing, in addition to what CR said above, is that Israel, aside from claiming that the ships were armed (and the arms keep changing. At first it was clubs and knives, then clubs, knives, switchblades and guns) but they refuse to allow any of those captured to be interviewed. They are controlling all the information and claiming that their commando troop, who met a ship carryin g unknown cargo (they assumed it was carrying weapons) but they say all they brought aboard were harmless paint ball guns and sidearm pistols (which were originally stolen from them by the crew, before the crew somehow got their own). What country sends an elite unit into an unknown situation, repels onto the main deck from a Helicopter and only bring a toy to defend themselves? Not to mention, if these crews were so dangerous, why are there a bunch of dead humanitarians and no dead commandos? SirChuckBI have very poor judgement 07:58, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

If you are fed-up with cp lunacy, try the I/P 'debates' at The Guardian Talkboards http://talk.guardian.co.uk/WebX/Guardian%20Talk/International/ (talk) 07:29, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for that non sequitur. - π 07:47, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Oh good, I wasn't the only one who questioned that. SirChuckBBoom Goes the Dynamite 07:58, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
A pearl of wisdom from one of the comments there -
(Of course they were unarmed. That is why they needed makeshift weapons).
"If they had weapons, makeshift or otherwise, they were not unarmed". DamoHi 09:20, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
As Roger Ebert put it, "I support Israel, but not right or wrong." Even my most furiously Zionist friends are going "Israel, dude, wtf?" IMO it's reasonably obvious this had a strong element of fuckup in it - someone ordered this thinking it was a good idea and not realising just who was on the flotilla (a pile of MPs from various EU countries, for instance). Israel is now trying to save face (they can't back down and let the flotilla through without breaking their blockade) and Turkey is very pissed off indeed. Two of the US's important allies (Turkey as NATO base, Israel because there are more Jews in the US than in Israel) are now upset at each other, yay! Latest news is that Turkey is sending another flotilla ... with a Turkish naval escort. The IDF does well against people with nothing, but it'll be interesting to see if they're up to taking on an actual army these days. Oh interesting times - David Gerard (talk) 10:13, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, pass the popcorn. This one will be fun... Scarlet A.pngd hominem 10:14, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, Turkey doesn't have nukes, does it? Ah, well, if it does, we'll be proved right about cryonics. Time wisest Hoover! 10:21, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm curious.... how does this compare to the French sinking of Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior? MDB (talk) 11:54, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Both actions are clearly unlawful acts of violence committed outside of the respective nations' sphere of sovereignty, thereby violating that of another state (New Zealand in the case of the Rainbow Warrior, the flag states of the ships involved in yesterday's incident in the latter case - which, as far as I know, only involves Turkey). Both France and Israel recklessly accepted the possibility of casualties among the activists, although this was more pronounced in the recent event. France conducted a covert action that made a criminal investigation necessary in order to determine who was responsible for the attack, while Israel acted overtly. France finally admitted its responsibilty, accepted an arbitration and agreed to compensate New Zealand (because of its violation of international law) and Greenpeace and the victim's family (private law). Now, Israel usually doesn't submit to international authorities, so I wouldn't expect it to exactly retrace France's steps in regard to international law, which means rough times ahead for the relations between Turkey and Israel. Israel might try to settle the issue quietly and bilaterally, but since Turkish citizens made up the majority of the activists and are most likely among the victims, they probably won't agree to this. It's anyone's guess how things will go from here - if Israel remains intransigent about apologizing for this incident, Turkey will probably terminate their bilateral ties for economic and security cooperation, but stop short of breaking off diplomatic relations. As for the wider Gaza issue, Israel will have to face increased and broader international pressure, but they've already made it clear in the past that they're pretty unconcerned about this. The only thing that could probably change this would be direct US pressure, but given the aforementioned lobby's sway over Capitol Hill, this is unlikely to materialize. Röstigraben (talk) 13:33, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
News this morning is that Egypt has opened their border and "thousands of people have fled Gaza." The irony is, this is pretty much want Israel wanted all along, but it certainly complicates things. If Egypt decides to keep this border open, Israel's blockade will be pretty much useless. SirChuckBObama/Biden? 2012 14:42, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
That's actually pretty surprising, considering Egypt considered them troublemakers they didn't want either. This would be those around Israel actually just letting Israel look like fuckwits - David Gerard (talk) 15:02, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Hell, I'll play devil's advocate for a bit here; I tend to enjoy it. Anyway, if Israel is going to blockade Gaza, obviously they are going to have to enforce the blockade. If they're going to let any old vessel in and out then they might as well not blockade at all (perhaps the best choice, but that's a separate issue, as far as I can tell). If any vessel, especially one with unknown cargo, is going to try to run the blockade, some sort of force is generally necessary to stop it. In this case, said force led to a number of deaths in circumstances about which we don't have the details. The fact that one side appears not to have been armed in any meaningful way is what really makes Israel look bad here. Nevertheless, this scenario is still far better than if Israel had just sunk the boats, which they could have claimed was justified. I imagine we'll have more specifics about what exactly occurred in the next few days.
I don't necessarily endorse this view, but I thought I'd throw it out there. Yet it does seem clear to me that if Israel is going maintain a blockade they really couldn't just let the flotilla through; they had to do something. I don't know enough about the blockade itself to have an opinion on that, but I am disappointed, though hardly surprised, that Israel is screwing up whatever is left of the peace process (enough with the goddamn settlements already!), though it's not as if anyone is blameless. Just about everyone who has involved themselves in this whole quagmire for the past 50 years has done a piss-poor job: Israel (whoever was running it at the time), PLO, Hamas, Fatah, other countries in the region, UK (Suez Crisis), USA and USSR using it as a theater in their cold war games, and just about everyone except Sadat and Rabin, and look what happened to them. DickTurpis (talk) 15:24, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Whether or not you believe Israel is within its right to deny medical and food aid to an impoverished population, it is certainly not within its right to hijack ships in international waters and kill civilians. There are cetainly other ways to blockade a flotilla within international laws, and ways of doing so that won't destroy relations with an important ally. Bondurant (talk) 15:39, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, we're assuming that the contents of the vessels was known before boarding, and that Israel knew it was food and medicine, or whatever, which they really couldn't know without boarding. (Besides, according to Wikipedia, they were transporting at least something that was prohibited, albeit it was concrete.) As for other ways to blockade, I'm curious to hear what they are. Other than commandeering or sinking a vessel, how do you stop it when it refuses to turn back? I see three options: sink, commandeer, or let it pass (or I suppose you could play some sort of seaway game of chicken and try to physically block without contact, but I don't think that's too feasible, likewise I guess they could have tried to disable the ships, but that isn't easy.). If they were going to maintain a blockade (again, we're taking the blockade as a given) option #3 wasn't on the table. Option #1 was hopefully not seriously considered, so that leaves commandeering. And apparently 5 of 6 ships were boarded without incident. Anyway, how one views this is largely going to depend on whose account one believes. DickTurpis (talk) 16:24, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that Israel could possibly have overreacted? ANTISEMITE! NAZI! - David Gerard (talk) 15:55, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
People use the term "antisemite" rather too freely. I do not think it means what they think it means. Bondurant (talk) 16:01, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

The chances that Turkey's just gonna let this go are approaching nil. --Kels (talk) 15:43, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

That's the point, a lot of people recently have been of the opinion that Israel is throwing the term out there far too frequently to silence its critics. It's on par with the idea that critics of Barack Obama are automatically racist (even though most of them probably are) or that if I was to say Baroness Greenfield shouldn't get her job back it's sexism. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 16:07, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I kind-of meant it in a general sense. Palestinians are also a semitic people as are some other Arab races. Bondurant (talk) 16:14, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
That is, however, filed in the "pedantic wank" box by everyone else - David Gerard (talk) 16:16, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) @DickTurpis, I think the bigger problem is how they went about it. Israel met the ship in international waters, some 80 miles off the coast of Gaza. That is far outside of their legal jurisdiction. According to statements, they made requests for the boat to halt. Being well into international waters, they were not obligated to stop and identify their cargo (there has been an argument that because Israel knew their stated intention was to enter Gaza, that it changes things, but I have not seen that backed up anywhere) so Israel immediately undertook a nighttime commando raid to forcibly take the ship. Countries have gone to war over far this than this and the civilian deaths make Israel look awful, more-so with them claiming self defense but no commandos coming back dead. SirChuckBObama/Biden? 2012 17:04, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Not only that, there was never any suggestion (even from Israel) that there were weapons on the ships, which would possibly have given them justification for boarding the ships in international waters. With no weapons on board, international law states that the ships can only be boarded with permission from the government of the flag the ship is carrying. Bondurant (talk) 17:16, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
@Chuck: I basically agree. Although I believe the vessels clearly identified their destination as Gaza, so the point about location seems trivial to me. The same thing happening a few hours later in a slightly different section of the Mediterranean is hardly the point. The fact that 5 ships were taken without incident seems to back up the Israeli argument that they weren't aiming to kill a bunch of people, and it does appear that those ships chose not to forcefully resist, but rather take the peaceful protester path (I believe there was even a Nobel Peace Prize laureate on board one of them). The other ship, it appears, did attempt to use force to prevent its seizure, and when you use force against commandos, bad shit happens. At this stage no one can say what happened with any certainty. It's doesn't look good that all the deaths were on one side, but I believe a number of commandos were wounded, and there were reports of beatings and stabbings of the commandos. Again, who knows exactly what happened here, but we shouldn't take either side at their word. Countries certainly do go to war over this sort of thing, but a blockade is, I believe, generally considered an act of war already, and I think a lot of this argument comes down to the blockade itself. If the blockade was justified, then enforcing it was, and therefore commandeering blockade runners was also justified. If the seizure of the ship was resisted with violence, then the commandos were justified in responding with violence. Then it becomes a question of whether the response was excessive, and it very well may have been.
@ Bondurant: are you saying that any ship that is unarmed is free to run a naval blockade, and the navy can do nothing about it? I find that difficult to believe. DickTurpis (talk) 17:31, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I think the point Bondurant was trying to make, along with my point, was that Israel has no legal justification in boarding the ships in the first place. The ship was not carrying weapons, which means that under International Maritime Law, Israel has to receive permission either from the captain or the government whose flag they are flying to board. Israel didn't do that, so their boarding was, in legal terms, piracy. The ship had every reason to fight back, just as they would do if it were a Somalian inflatable carrying RPGs. SirChuckBThat is all 17:54, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. The convention I mentioned is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Of course, Israel hasn't actually signed up to that one, which means they can do whatever the hell they like. Or something. Bondurant (talk) 17:42, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Israel has an excellent understanding of what international law actually is: it's whatever you can get away with. No politician anywhere ever forgets that this is the case. The paperwork is just loose working guidelines that make trade easier - David Gerard (talk) 18:24, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
So the argument is that the blockade itself was illegal, and, I suppose, all blockades are illegal as well? This is a tricky area, as we're getting into the realms of war and undeclared war, and it's further complicated by the fact that one side here (Gaza) isn't a nation but is a political entity. DickTurpis (talk) 18:30, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I think my argument is that they are being a bunch of cunts for blocking humanitarian aid from getting to Gaza, and for being an even bigger bunch of cunts for killing civilians. The situation in Gaza is worse than Apartheid, but instead of condemning Israel and ostracizing them from the world community as we did with South Africa, the UN only manages to come up with mealy-mouthed words of concern about the situation, while nobody can do anything to improve the lives of the Palestinians. Bondurant (talk) 18:50, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Comparing the situation to South Africa is a bit of a stretch. This is much closer to two nations at war with one another. It's a stupid war, and no one seems to willing to take any meaningful steps towards a peaceful solution. For what it's worth, apparently the flotilla was told it could dock in Israel from whence any non-banned cargo would be transferred to Gaza. They might have been skeptical of this happening, and not without reason, but it had the possibility of being a practical peaceful solution which could have allowed humanitarian aid to reach its destination. Had Israel destroyed the supplies or kept it for themselves it would certainly have been discovered, and would have been pretty bad PR for them (though not as bad as what happened, evidently). As it is, I'm curious to see what happens to the ships and their cargo. DickTurpis (talk) 19:11, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
The comparison was not mine Bondurant (talk) 20:17, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't think the comparison is necessarily invalid, but it isn't terribly relevant to this current situation, which really is much more like a war. Besides, Israeli forces pulled out of Gaza, haven't they? The situation is complex, and I'm far from an expert. But if we assume Israel has the right to exist, then it has the right to defend itself as well, so when mortars from Gaza land in Israeli towns Israel is bound to respond somehow. What that response should be and how it should be carried out is the crux of the argument. Invasions and bombings haven't been terribly productive, and a blockade is generally preferable to those. Perhaps Gaza should declare statehood, then they can more easily be held accountable for attacks on Israel. Then they can also build a military headquarters which would give Israel one legitimate military target they can regularly attack in retribution. Sort of a Palestinian whipping boy. Really, the solution as I see it is for both sides to compromise on issues that are important to them in exchange for peace, not now, but in a generation or two. I imagine that seems less than compelling, though. DickTurpis (talk) 21:30, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

The satirist view[edit]


My view[edit]

The whole Israel/Palestine debacle perfectly illustrates the unsolvable problems with religion; here we have two groups of people who both think that their particular sky-pixie has given themselves the rights to that spot of land. The land itself is pretty worthless, but they want it for sky-pixie reasons. We could all chip-in and buy them each their own island, but that wouldn't fix it - it's not about the land, it's about the superstition, and until we stop indulging the beliefs of both sides and cut to the chase, nothing can be done. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 18:19, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

If I had a button that could be pressed to remove entire countries from the world I don't think the decision to use it or not would be as clear cut as I'd like it to be. I think in time we can move to a more rational way of thinking, but technological advancements risk putting some high-tech weapons in the hands of what are pretty much primitive tribes who'll take us down with them. --ConcernedResident omg ponies!!! 18:29, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Things that make you go hmmm[edit]

If this is true, then it puts a whole new face on things. And with what we know of Israel's past actions, it's certainly possible. --Kels (talk) 18:23, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Creationist engineers[edit]

Perhaps it's observer bias on my part, but I keep noticing creationists - particularly young earth creationists - who are engineers. People who have extensive training and experience in a field defined as getting what you want from an unforgiving universe that runs on science, who are reasonably good at their jobs and who clearly know a hell of a lot of science in practice ... get into biblical woo. Andrew Schlafly, founder of YEC-as-we-know-it Henry M. Morris ... I don't expect anyone has gathered actual numbers or proportions. But (a) are there others that spring to mind (b) dude, WTF? - David Gerard (talk) 10:22, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

That observation is quite old, actually. (I'm actually surprised that RW doesn't have an article on it.) And it's not only evolution/creationism where there seems to be a disproportionate number of engineers out of their element.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:47, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Strike that, there's Engineer. --ZooGuard (talk) 10:52, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Armchair psychology would suggest that engineers would be particularly vulnerable to the design fallacy, since if you spend your life designing things, you'll have a propensity to see design in other things. Also, it doesn't really matter if you're a YEC if you're an engineer, meanwhile you're going to be laughed out of the lab if you try to be a biologist or astronomer. Time wisest Hoover! 10:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, engineers are generally smart people, which makes them prone to "the sophistication effect, " which says that smart people are often taken in by fringe theories because they can refute dumber people's arguments against such theories. Plus, as PH says, since engineers don't have much training in biology or astronomy, they don't have the scientific foundation to refute YEC. It actually makes a lot of sense. Tetronian you're clueless 11:41, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Engineers also make lousy mechanics. They impose their idealistic sense of design on something some other engineer did the way they have to do things - upside down and inside out. Then they break it. ħumanUser talk:Human 12:04, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
A bit of a side-topic, but does anyone know the actual name for the "sophistication effect" described by Tetronian? Sounds like something we should have documented here. --ConcernedResident omg ponies!!! 12:10, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Try this Bob Soles (talk) 12:24, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
That's the one, thanks Bob! Tetronian you're clueless 21:07, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like PJR and his retrofitting of chunks of criticism into logical fallacies to try and discredit the argument. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:39, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

The Salem Hypothesis deals with this correlation. There's some relevant discussion on our article's talk page too. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:40, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

It is a strange one. I am an engineering technician (I am the bloke in the boiler suit with a spanner who fixes the 'creations' (geddit?) of deskbound engineers - I have met two full on YECs (one a Texan, the other a Scandinavian!) who both had similar jobs. I spoke at great length with the Texan about this, as I couldn't get my head around it - in all other instances, he was a rational, scientific person, yet he threw out anything that contradicted the nonsense in bible. To be fair, he knew this was an absurd situation, and he understood why it confused me so. He knew it was irrational, but that's what he believed. It just shows how powerful religion can be, it can make sensible people believe bollocks. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:35, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, as long as they just believe crazy stuff and don't act on it...Röstigraben (talk) 13:50, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I've extended Engineer somewhat along these lines. I have also added other examples of technical ability combined with batshit insane intellectual hubris: (a) Eric S. Raymond (b) most victims of Ayn Rand - David Gerard (talk) 14:01, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

BP live cam[edit]

Has anybody been watching the cool robots at work the last day or so? ħumanUser talk:Human 11:27, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Nope. Anything good going on? Tetronian you're clueless 11:43, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, serious hardware. [4] is working for me right now. Giant claw/cutter I think about to cut pipe. They were playing remote control robots all last night. ħumanUser talk:Human 12:02, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Forgive me for being thick, but the the fact that there's a hole in this pipe is most of the problem, so how is cutting it going to make things better? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 16:01, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Presumably it gives a clean edge, so we can put stuff in the resulting hole. Time wisest Hoover! 16:06, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Good point, well made. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 16:12, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
It's not a pipe, it what's left of the riser. The riser runs from the wellhead to the drilling rig during drilling so that the drilling mud and cuttings can be returned to the surface. It is NOT a pipeline and is never meant to see any oil flow, the BOP should shut off the well to prevent that ever happening. They are planning to cut the crumpled and buckled riser away from the BOP stack, as they will then (hopefully) be able to attach some sort of containment device. The crumpled riser is slightly restricting the flow of oil, so if they don't get it right it could easily worsen the situation. (Sorry to be pedantic, but this is shit I know about, and it annoys me to see it so badly and inaccurately reported) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 18:24, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I've been watching here which a cool site, 2 vids, sometimes they are different views.

Good information on the current attempts are here. We are in the diamond cable saw part of the process now, cutting the riser cleanly just above the BOP stack. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:37, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Laissez-Faire Meets the Oil Spill a fun read, even though it's written by a liebrul. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:44, 2 June 2010 (UTC)


Here's one for RW readers.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:51, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Haha, thanks, I've had a few dates turn strange corners along those lines... ħumanUser talk:Human 12:06, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
The problem with that strip is that is assumes engineers have dates. MDB (talk) 12:30, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Even worse, that they have second dates! ħumanUser talk:Human 12:37, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Old joke:
An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress. The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship. The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.
The engineer said, "I like both."
"Both?" they asked.
Engineer: "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done." MDB (talk) 12:42, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Intelligent Design should have followed homeopathy - but unfortunately, that's one of Scott Adam's debunked beliefs. Well, the guy is an engineer :-) larronsicut fur in nocte 12:45, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Are you saying Scott Adams is an ID'er?
I think Adams was trying to portray the girl as a "New Age" type, (or as a Wiccan friend likes to call "NewAge", rhymes with "sewage"), and ID doesn't fit in with that stereotype. MDB (talk) 12:52, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Man, people still read Dilbert? --Kels (talk) 13:45, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Everyone knows Dilbert is a documentary, not a comic strip. Tetronian you're clueless 21:09, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Libraries and RW[edit]

A library terminal has blocked the Main Page talk page on grounds of 'profanity.' (talk) 17:11, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Too bad. Sounds like they're letting their Puritanical attitudes get in the way of enjoying a great web-site. You should encourage them to loosen up. P-Foster (talk) 17:16, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
There isn't profanity on the main page. Other pages, of course there's fucking profanity, but the main page tends to be clean. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 17:30, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Main page talk has two occurrences of the word fucking. If the library's web filter settings are high, I guess they might block anything that contains the word, but then it would seem strange that you've presumably been able to access this page. Anyway, I don't think it has much to do with Puritanical attitudes on behalf of the library, so much as avoiding complaints from library users, parents, etc. (assuming this is a public library). €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:40, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
find a good proxy, they probably have the entire site deliberately blocked just as my school and my employer and the diner down the road from my employer. also you've a better chance of finding achlafly himself running the it department along with a team of monkeys than finding one of those censorship assholes to revisit a block on rw because they put me in iss for three days over writing fuck you assfly on andy's talk page at cp.
Well, if you do insist on using a computer to tell someone to fuck themselves, you probably had the block coming. I'm aware not everyone can get their own computer and connection, but publicly available resources should be used with the kind of responsibility that comes with the right to easy internet access. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 17:55, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
i didnt just get banned from the computers i got THREE DAYS of in school suspension over it plus no computer for three months. how many times have you people said things like that to andy? isn't that excessive for someones 1st offense?
We do it on our own connections. (Although 3 days of suspension seems harsh.) MARCVS ANTONIVS 18:05, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I assume if you're familiar with wikis that you can track down your school's vandalism to WP, and someone will have probably been stupid enough to put their name on it. MARCVS ANTONIVS 18:12, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
people usually put other kids names on it. ie some jealous girls put my boyfriends name on it once
if what you're saying is that i should tell on them i dont have to ever since assfly told on me. my schools been handing out suspensions for wikipedia abuse like candy since. one of my cheerleading friends got caught writing our school was going to "pwn" another at comp along with a heart on a wp article and they gave her 2 days oss with 1 month no computer and the oss kept her from going to comp which sucked because she was one of the captains. i think they sought to make an example of her. &hearts (talk) 19:00, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
So wait, you kids are using school computers to break the rules at websites, and you're complaining that it resulted in sanctions? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:26, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
My thoughts exactly. If you're going to piss about and intentionally annoy people, then it's certainly right that the owners of these publicly accessible computers take action to protect their IP addresses from being flagged as abusive. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 23:13, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
If I recall correctly (read: RobS, find me a link), WP's policy is to block school IPs so they don't have to deal with the problem. Tetronian you're clueless 00:48, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Wow, scientology[edit]

Scientology is so stupid that even conservapedia says it's a cult! see this vid on youtube, $cientology kills. (talk) 01:19, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I saw the rickroll coming a mile off. Try harder next time. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 02:17, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
At least it was just a utube link. When someone says "check out this awesome vid" and the link is just some gibberish, it's that really fun rickroll with all the button-clicking to enhance the experience. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:50, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Giant Sinkhole in Guatemala........[edit]

This is scary http://ca.news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/ss/events/wl/100601_sinkhole i think it lead to hell Waronstupidity (talk) 17:25, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

see Holy Hell above 17:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Hello, Waron. Nice to see you around again. --ConcernedResident omg ponies!!! 21:18, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
And here's a similar one from 2007. Hat tip 20:51, 2 June 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
It's probably the vacuum being created by vacant space in the earth's core by the cp:Gulf oil spill disaster. nobsdon't bother me 21:18, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd really like to see some better pictures of it. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 21:23, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/pictures/GTM03.htm ħumanUser talk:Human 04:13, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Who woulda thunk it?[edit]

Bill and Hillary Clinton: still married.

Al and Tipper Gore: separating. MDB (talk) 17:34, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I was very surprised when I heard about it. I wonder if Al took a leaf from the book of good old Bill? Tetronian you're clueless 21:04, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Oh well. I never liked Al or (and especially) Tipper Gore to begin with. The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 22:03, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Even if you do not like what somebody has to say, don't think you have the right to usurp their right to basic freedom of speech.[edit]

I was under the impression that page deletions were banned. Why is it that one user consistently gets away with this without so much as a by your leave? (talk) 16:58, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Because you are a troll. I delete the revisions to stop you from reverting. Your buddy/sock Neveruse can undelete them if he so wishes, I'm not going to waste my time. -- Nx / talk 19:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
If you're unwilling to justify these deletions, maybe it's time to GUYRAS. — Sincerely, Neveruse / Talk / Block 19:55, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I have justified them. -- Nx / talk 19:57, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Best solution is to just ignore the comments completely, his shtick has not changed from the beginning I can't imagine anyone find his bait worth responding to. tmtoulouse 19:57, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I find it refreshing that at least now, after enough rational argument and persistant humanitarianism, my comments are now allowed to stand. Perhaps the cause of human rights can now move forward. The fact of the matter is that the goat is single handedly destroying this site, unthinking henchmen like 'MarcusCicero' (An attention seeking trekie that still plays around with teenage mutant ninja turtles) will back him all the way, as all tools of the system inevitably would. He even thinks he has a position of prestige on this site now, its so embarassing and pathetic.
Goat is DESTROYING this site. Its become a humourless haven for fuckwits addicted to template creation and meme perpetuation. I have become truly pathetic and the only answer is to boot out all of the wikipedia migrants who never managed to put their cock anywhere and start again.
I demand that my account be re-instated, and that I am made a sysop. For the good of the project, and for goat itself, you can no longer resist this flawed demand. (talk) 20:38, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Whoever fucking interfered with my post above, get fucking stuffed. Thats bang out of order. (talk) 22:52, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
wha wha wha. Acei9 22:55, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Transistion from the Franco regime[edit]

So I have been filling in some holes in my limited knowledge of transitions form fascists states. One of the most interesting to me seems to be that of Spain. How many ohter documented cases of such an immediate and relatively peaceful transition from a dictatorship to a democracy? Anyone here more intimate with what actually happened? Was this just the case of one-man with democratic ideals dragging the system along or was Spain's zeitgeist ripe for the transition? tmtoulouse 21:40, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I hope you're not implying anything, haha.
I don't know of any transitions that were as fast or as peaceful, but I would recommend looking at the transition from communism to democracy in the eastern European states that were a part of the former Soviet Union, that might point you in the right direction. Tetronian you're clueless 21:44, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Not my area of expertise (or interest) I'm afraid, although I do remember reading some good stuff about Portugal's fascist days; whilst they were a self-proclaimed fascist state, they were far from racist or xenophobic, and took in a great many migrants a refugees. (just an interesting tidbit to throw at people who use the terms "Nazi/fascist/racist/xenophobe/bigot/etc" interchangeably. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 22:20, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Tet mentioned the Soviet Union. Well, here's Russian democracy for you. I would say that often the apparent transition to democracy is just that - an illusion. EddyP (talk) 22:29, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
That's an interesting point (and an eyebrow-raising piece of news!). Spain, though, doesn't look like to fall into that category, and Trent seems to be onto something here; I've yet to think of a transition that was as peaceful as Spain's was. Tetronian you're clueless 00:46, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
"How many other documented cases of such an immediate and relatively peaceful transition from a dictatorship to a democracy?" Portuguese revolution might count as one, as would (if you consider colonial administration to be a form of dictatorship) cases such as Ghana, Jamaica, Trindad/Tobago, Taganyika, etc, etc...P-Foster (talk) 01:09, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
There would probably be many examples in Central and South America, if it weren't for US interference in the Cold War era. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:48, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

This just in: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

Spain is quite a remarkable case. A lot of the credit goes to the king, who is still pretty popular to this day because of it. People wonder about the future of the monarchy there after he dies because the crown prince doesn't have a similar achievement to point to.
Also I'm not sure what their regimes were like during the Soviet era, but the Czech Republic and Hungary, among others, seem to be pretty stable democracies today.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 09:18, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I've always thought that Spain has never received as much recognition as it might for the peaceful transition. And somewhat ironically the king was indeed one of the main drivers - though his role is now largely forgotten. At least is is by anyone younger than a certain age.
For a long time there was a tendency to sort of pretend that the dictatorship never happened. Then of course judge Garzon tried to reopen investigations into some Francoist crimes recently and lost his job over it.
Having said all that there are still some people who long for the "good old days of the dictatorship". As with all things - the closer you get to it the harder it becomes to generalise.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:27, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Just a thought[edit]

Why don't creationists protest teaching geology in schools?--Thanatos (talk) 00:41, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't connect directly to all forms of creationism; OECs and theistic evolution proponents have nothing against it. Also, it seems very innocent compared to something like biology. People hear geology and think, "Oh, rocks. Nothing to see, move along." Tetronian you're clueless 00:44, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
They also don't deny physics, but that would be hard. By comparison, making a mockery of an understanding of evolution and then saying it's wrong is easy. However, they do deny conventional geology when it comes to dating, sedimentation and the likes of the Grand Canyon. They all "contradict" the Bible, therefore must be wrong, but I think it's the fact that evolution relates directly to us, it essentially flies in the face of not just what is written in these holy accurate historical texts (stop me if this gets too sarcastic) but also the ego-centric belief of how super-awesome and special we all are, by virtue of, well, just being us. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 09:56, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Simply put, they are idiots. There's no logic to their behaviour whatsoever - they're just following a fashion for opposing evolution.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 10:22, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
It might also be that the average creationist doesn't know how geology contradicts the Bible. Remember that the people who have taken the time to rationalize their belief are in the minority; the majority consists mainly of people who haven't given the matter much thought. As a result, geology slips under the radar. Tetronian you're clueless

Whew... (Alabama Primary)[edit]

No huge surprises, but I am relieved to find that Roy Moore and Spanky both didn't make it. Oh, and it looks like the target of the infamous 'evilution' ad, Bradley Byrne, is the leading canidate on the GOP side, who is most likely to be our next governor. Not something I care for, but hey, at least it wasn't Moore. -- Ravenhull (talk) 07:51, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Fucking "privacy"[edit]

Privacy. Getting fucked. The privacy is somewhere in this picture.

I'm getting really sick of dumb fucks whining about this over facebook. Get the fuck over it, please. If you're stupid enough to publicly list your phone number, you're an idiot. People say "Facebook should do more to protect privacy" when really they mean "Facebook should do more to protect me from my own stupidity". This entire thing is getting old and boring really fast. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 10:29, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

When you get punched in the face (metaphorically speaking) by agencies of multiple governments, I'm not sure that its fair to say Facebook's issues are the fault of its users. Google's had similar issues. (talk) 10:32, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
If you don't want them to share the fact that you've joined 40 "LOOK @ THIS COOL THING!!! lol J/K!!!11" groups, then don't join Facebook. If you don't want them to share details about you, don't post it. If you don't want people to know that you're out of your house so we can break in, log the fuck out of Google Latitude and Foursquare. It's not like Mark Zuckerberg has personally wormed his way into your wallet and stolen your bank details, if people put their intimate details on a public server, they need to accept the consequences. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 10:37, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
+1 CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:38, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
People talk like Facebook is some kind of public service organisation. It isn't. There's an argument that it's so much a part of people's lives that it has a responsibility to them, but if the service it provides was that indispensible, the government should buy it out. Except then people would say "ooh I don't want the government to have access to all this personal information about me" - the same information that they're perfectly happy to give to some guy who happens to own a clever website. Bah!-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 10:47, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
For instance is this (the fact that the person who sent it to me linked to Silent Majority rather than the original Register article tells me more about him than any data-mining operation ever could) Zuckerberg being an arse or just making a statement of fact? (Assuming it's genuine or not quote mined, of course) Because if you take what FB was back in the day at Harvard, it was just a php database shoved hastily onto an unsecured computer science server. You certainly were a dumb fuck to upload any data on to it at all. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 10:54, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I assume that this is tied into the fact that Tom Scott recently posted the thing that finds random people's phone numbers by Googling for "i lost my phone need ur numbers"? MARCVS ANTONIVS 12:34, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Arsebook sucks. So do people who complain about it. ħumanUser talk:Human 11:17, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I have to agree, if you don't want people to have specific details about you, the best course of action is to just not post the information. ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ In Soviet Russia, the contagious embryo shoves YOU! 12:04, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I do come back to Scott's "Evil" program a lot because it's not a problem with Facebook that causes these numbers to be publicly available, it's people's complacency. It's like throwing your bank details out without shredding them or talking loudly on a phone in a public place. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:43, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Fucking hell - it still amazes me how stupid some people are. I was impressed with Tom Scott's Evil (never seen it before, thanks for the link!), then staggered when I clicked his link to the google search. I am now smugly impressed that having never ever done any HTML before, I have Evil displaying the full uncensored numbers! (that HTML stuff does look a bit similar to Siemens Step7 SCL, so I had an inkling what was going on). I can't wait to show it to some facebook idiots! It does also lead to the debate about whether people should be protected from their own stupidity, either by the 'Nanny-state' or companies like FB, or whether they should acquire some common fucking sense. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:27, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
On the other hand, Mr Scott did make displaying the uncensored numbers a matter of changing a single convenient parameter, which I think is a little unethical: if you're going to code this simply as a proof of concept, you should at least make potential abusers of it at least know about commenting. MARCVS ANTONIVS 13:52, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

(undent)Before we get all high and mighty about how "stupid" people are - it's more a matter of how unaware people are. RWians tend to be educated and technically informed but we're in the minority. As a frinstance, my father, a retired university professor, contacted me deeply concerned about problems with his ebay account - which he doesn't have. I had to explain about phishing. Now here is an intelligent, well educated man who simply was unaware of phishing and fortunate that he had me to turn to.

In any other world than the internet such laxity with personal information would be a criminal offence. However, we geeks demand that the internet remain free from "the nanny state". So be it but that freedom comes with a cost and that cost is that ordinary people will, by virtue of ignorance, not stupidity, put themselves at risk. So let's all come down off our high horses and allow people to be people. As far as I am concerned the moral imperative, although not the legal imperative, is for such sites as FB to treat sensitive information with respect and to assist users to do so as well. Bob Soles (talk) 13:45, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Fair point, Bob. But come one, posting one's phone number on an open website - next to your full name - that's surely got to be classed as stupid? Whilst other forms of internet/data security (such as being alert to phishing as you mentioned) so require an amount of technical savvy, other things are stupidity. So whilst I will gladly climb down from my high horse and agree that people should be educated about such things, they shouldn't expect to be protected from their own stupidity. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 14:02, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
But Facebook aren't blameless in this either, as the vast majority of groups created will be for one's immediate friends, so there is really no reason for them to make them public by default. MARCVS ANTONIVS 14:11, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't think ignorance is an excuse, it just means people need more education in the subject rather than silly hand-holding. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:12, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Of course rationalwikians would be in supreme agreement over the necessity to impinge on peoples privacy. Your innate authoritarianism doesn't even illicit a self righteous sneer from me anymore. Its so commonplace. (talk) 20:32, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
You have the same level of reading comprehension as Rob.... I'm gonna call you Lil' Robbie. SirChuckBI have very poor judgement 20:58, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I have been considering canceling my facebook for some time now, not so much because of privacy, but because it annoys me. Acei9 21:00, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
"posting one's phone number on an open website - next to your full name" funny, you used to have to pay the phone company extra so they wouldn't do that. ħumanUser talk:Human 21:08, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
The homo erectus makes a good point. Acei9 21:10, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the privacy issue is that Facebook continually changes up their privacy settings, and whenever this happens, a lot of your material suddenly becomes shared with a wider group of people by default, without your permission. That's my beef anyway. I don't post sensitive information, but there were suddenly photo albums I only meant for friends to see, which were shared with "everyone" for the week or so before I figured out what had happened. Junggai (talk) 21:53, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

NO IT BLOODY DOESN'T! I don't know where people get this from. Take the "instant personalization" trial program. If you previously had the box checked "do not share with other sites" it didn't check the box for you. I'm still staring at my privacy settings waiting for them to magically change without my say-so. When they "change the privacy settings" all they do is change how you interact with them and set it exactly the same way. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 22:31, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
IT BLOODY DID, in my case at least. The instant personalization thing is true, as I had previously left the box checked, and didn't have a problem. But the levels of privacy for other things, like photo albums, interests, and educational information did change for me. It's not bullshit. Junggai (talk) 23:30, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Reporting 419s[edit]

I give up. I now know why Nigerian scammers send emails from one freemail account but in the message say "Please reply to this address: x@y.com" where the email is a completely different provider: because people who run the abuse desks at ISPs and freemail providers are fucking morons. Allow me to explain my latest experience. I get this email:

From: president [mailto:president@uop.edu.jo]
Sent: 31 May 2010 22:23
To: undisclosed-recipients:

I am Kelvin Willington a staff of Lioyds TSB bank UK .have a business proposal for you,if 
you are interested send me an email with my personal email address below for more details 

OK, so the from is probably a forgery. Don't know, don't care. The point is that stupid people are going to reply to drwillington_kevin123@yahoo.cn saying "Yes! Please take all my monies!!", and so the best course of action is for yahoo to disable access to that mailbox so they cannot pick up the replies. So I use abuse.net to get the abuse desk email and send them the email, with full headers just in case, telling them that the user drwillington_kevin123 is using their yahoo mailbox to receive replies from the attached 419 scam and they should disable access to it. What do I get back?


Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Mail.

Mass distribution of unsolicited email messages, or "spamming," violates the Yahoo! Terms of Service (TOS).

Although it does not appear that this message originated from the Yahoo!
Mail system, there is a "@yahoo.com" address within the message or message headers. It appears that this address has been forged.

Yahoo! takes the operation of Yahoo! Mail very seriously. Unfortunately, there is no control over messages sent through other
email systems and it's not possible to preempt the misuse of the Yahoo! name in forged headers. Yahoo! cannot technically prevent
its domain from being forged in the headers of an email message.

Fucking idiots. I note that it took them a whole day to tear themselves away from licking their favorite window to send me this bullshit stock reply as well. I sent this back:

You guys are idiots. I KNOW it didn't come from Yahoo. The REPLIES are going to yahoo and you should disable the account to stop them picking up the leads.

Why the hell do I bother?

Well, in the future I won't. Fuck it. Let stupid people give their hard earned savings to George Agdgdgwngo. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:50, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I had much the same experience when my Hotmail account was hacked by a Chinese spambot. I reported it to Hotmail, who you'd think might have an interest in investigating security threats to their service, & might have received similar reports from other users, but their response told me that it was my responsibility to report it to the police, something I just don't have time to do. To be fair, at least these cases show that the report/complaint has at least been read (to some extent). In many cases, I've raised complaints with an organisation (eBay, the Post Office) & just received a bland "we're sorry you're not satisfied with the service" template response which hasn't addressed any of the specific issues at all or given me any recourse to escalate it. Email & the internet have made it very easy to companies to ignore or deflect complaints. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:08, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
What you need is 419 Eater :) Worm(t | c) 13:25, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't bait, as I don't have enough spare time. I just want the ISPs to cut off their access to the marks. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:30, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Weasel, I think most companies take that same approach. If an account is compromised by obtaining a password then it's pretty much the user who has to alert the police. The only time the companies are likely to contact the police is in the case of a large-scale attack or if people are gaining access through exploits - not just guessing passwords or obtaining them by phishing/keylogging. --ConcernedResident omg ponies!!! 13:40, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Why should they care? Quite seriously, it's not really their problem. They have to put a bit of a face on it but the ISP's have no real reason to care about 419s, after all it's only "fucking idiots" to quote the section above who fall for it. Bob Soles (talk) 13:53, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
It's difficult to discern Crundy's exact opinion on the matter but he did +1 a comment that said "if people put their intimate details on a public server, they need to accept the consequences", so yes, it's a wonder why he bothers to try and stop phishers nabbing the ignorant. ONE / TALK 14:09, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Because it's abuse of their services which will ultimately lead to disclosure requests from the police. If they bothered to nip it in the bud from the start then they wouldn't have these problems. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:10, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
One: Different situation. If someone was sending emails out from Yahoo asking people if anyone knows of an African prince who died and would like to give them some money then it would be the same. For your link to work we would have had to have been talking about paedophiles on facebook with public profiles saying "Hi! I'm a 45 year old man who likes small boys. Add me to your friend list and I'll give you candy". There's a difference between blocking actions of stupid people and blocking actions of scammers. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:14, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Facebook doesn't try to scam people into losing their money or publishing their data. People do it of their own accord, just slightly ignorant of what it might involve. On the other hand, scams try to trick people actively, hiding their intentions and masquerading as something they're not. A combination of the two would, for instance, involve someone posing as a friend of yours, saying "hi guys, I lost my phone and need your numbers and emails" starting a group and nabbing them all as they flood in. That's deceit, not people being complacent. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:17, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
This could be an excuse for a debate. There's a very broad issue here of how much should be people be protected from themselves. This can get get pretty deep, for example when we look at how society these days pretty much short-circuits natural selection by allowing people to survive what would have otherwise been terrible mistakes and decisions. Anyone interested in narrowing this to a specific area, such as computer security, social security, or something else along those lines?) If so, we could get a debate page or a forum thread going. I'm happy to argue anything from "they deserve their fate" to wrapping people in cotton wool. --ConcernedResident omg ponies!!! 16:38, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

The longer you stare...[edit]

the creepier it gets. Enjoy your nightmares. ĴαʊΆʃÇä₰ hi there! 15:09, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I want to see them animated with cutout jaws, Terry Gilliam-style, singing "Close To You". --Kels (talk) 15:17, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Anyone else feel like they're looking back at you with the same reaction? (talk) 20:59, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Given the way that fishing stocks are going I reckon these guys will coming to a plate near us soon. Can't wait to see the Birds Eye packaging on those fishy nuggets.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 22:38, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Ever here of a heike crab? Great example of artificial selection. Kinda reminds me of a boss from some RPG--Thanatos (talk) 23:37, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Death sentence for being atheist[edit]

Kind of CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:34, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

All too believable. They're just doing what their religion says - apostates get the death penalty. This is why no religious beliefs should be respected, society can't say that bible-bashers are OK to say that Jesus was born of a virgin and homosexuality is a sin, but the moslems can't kill people if their book tells them to. It's all or nothing, and nothing is the correct choice. I fucking hate religionists. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 14:30, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Some people are always going to look for a reason to be murderous and intolerant, whether it's religion, racial purity, nationalism, freedom, whatever. The problem isn't religion, it's people.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 14:44, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
But what I'm saying Kriss is that it is difficult (and also somewhat hypocritical) to not call out people on one absurd irrational belief ("you think a guy lived inside a whale for several days? OK, I respect that") as you then can't call out the other ones ("you think someone should be killed because they don't believe in your religion? NO. That's not OK!"). None of it should be respected. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 14:51, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah I don't massively disagree with you, I suppose I'm just saying that irrationality isn't limited to religion (and maybe not everything about religion is irrational). The best thing is maybe to speak against irrationality wherever it's encountered. Although your stance is pretty hard-line - surely there are some forms of harmless irrationality. Horoscopes? Saying 'good luck'? Prayer? Enjoying Sex and the City?-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 14:58, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Delta, I think there's a bit of a clear divide between a harmless belief and a potentially harmful one. You might not be able to bring yourself to respect the harmless beliefs if they're just downright stupid, but surely you can bring yourself to tolerate their existence. ONE / TALK 15:14, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Nope, sorry One. None if them should be respected, and whilst I tolerate people's rights to believe whatever they want, they should ALWAYS be called out on their absurdities. Sam Harris speaks about this much better than me with what he calls "the problem with moderates". Kriss is correct, I am pretty hardline with my anti-theism, but with good reason: "good people will do good things, bad people will do bad things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion." (or whatever) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 15:30, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Don't knock irrationality so soon - it's proven to improve performance. Any "rationalism" that doesn't expressly take into account humans being apes with pretensions, isn't - David Gerard (talk) 15:37, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
That last sentence is excellent and sums up something that I've occasionally struggled to express on this site. I'm going to write it down somewhere.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 15:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
The problem, of course, is how rationalism can/should take this into account. It's very hard if not impossible, as a certain website shows. Tetronian you're clueless 21:16, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

(undent)Was it the beginning or the end of Religulous where Bill Maher basically said "I don't know what happens when we die and neither do you; because you do not possess mental powers that I don't" - with the emphasis added on the part I want to highlight. So, really "as rationalists we should" accept that we have the same mental limitations as everyone else. We might be able to rationalise and understand the ideas behind quantum mechanics, or the ideas of 4 dimensions, but comprehension and true understanding? Unlikely. Being merely aware, even acutely and thoroughly, of our biases doesn't free us from them. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 23:18, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Very eloquently said, Armond, but what do you mean? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 12:41, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I basically mean that none of us should really get to prissy and protective about what we believe, and automatically assume we're superior because of them - we all suffer the same faults. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:21, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
We don't put people to death because they don't think the same things as us. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:52, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I think you'll find that we quite often do. Most war is usually waged because two sides have opposing beliefs (even if it's as simple as one side believing that this piece of land belongs to them). Indeed, the whole Cold War was waged as "our economic system is better than yours" and relatively little else, granted there was no major "hot" conflict, but there were sly skirmishes and engagements directly caused by it and its the closest we've come to total armageddon yet. All because - although I admit this is very simplified - one side thought "Captialsm FTW" and the other thought "Communism FTW". Both sides were willing to kill because the other side didn't think like them. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 19:06, 3 June 2010 (UTC)