RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive75

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Master Clense[edit]

A friend of mine is trying (and, of course, appears to be failing) to go through this horseshit. A qualified biologist has already told her it's rubbish and I'm dropping enough sarcastic hints that it's going to do more harm than good, but apparently people "feel great" afterwards. Of course, I'd attribute that to the old chestnut of cognitive dissonance, where someone thinks "I've gone through this shite I must be feeling better!!!" in order to rationalise doing it. It's not a particularly expensive one and isn't lining the coffers of some woo-merchant (although she might be propping up the local maple syrup industry) so I'd classify it as Reasonably Harmless. Nevertheless, it might be amusing to watch and certainly write up an article on later. Scarlet A.pngmoral 16:22, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

A friend of mine did that every six months or so. He gives us regular updates on his bowel movements during the time. It is a terrible thing.--ADtalkModerator 17:53, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Puke.gif Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:01, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, if you can't talk to your friends about your bowel movements, who can you talk to? --PsyGremlinSermā! 18:07, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
You even have to ask? SJ Debaser 20:31, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
There's good support for the proposition that one can reliably and rapidly lose a noticeable amount of weight (and I guess feel better?) if he cuts back on calories consumed, drinks a lot of water, and EATS A FUCKING SHIT TON OF INSOLUBLE FIBER. I've heard that intestinal parasites work well too. Nutty Rouxnever mind 20:39, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Sounds dangerously close to "Living on reds, vitamin C and cocaine" to me. I have heard from reliable sources that one sure way to manage/reduce one's weight is to eat a healthy, calorie-appropriate diet and exercise regularly. Living on sugar and ascorbic acid leaves a bit too much to be desired in the "healthy diet" requirement, even if it is pimped out with some pepper for flavor. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:47, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, she's not doing it to lose weight, just as a "detox" thing. I'm not sure what's worse - using it for weight loss, which even the woo-pushers admit won't work, or detox, which we all know is pure fluff. Scarlet A.pngmoral 07:52, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Ah yes. The Master Cleanse, also known as the lemonade diet. Secret Squirrel (talk) 11:16, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

RationalWiki-- the unofficial wiki for "Rally for Sanity"?[edit]

As you probably know, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have, at the request of the internet, agreed to host a rally on October 30, 2010 at the National Mall in Washington DC. It's a very real political event, CSPAN is covering it, the mainstream media is writing about it. There's quite a lot of organizing discussion ongoing at Reddit's ColbertRally section.

I was about to set up a wiki for the ColbertRally efforts, as just one more tool to help people organize. For some things, you really just want a MediaWiki. I'm a MW junkie, all my machines have virtual appliance, and my personal site uses it-- so I was going to just throw up another wiki on my host and let "March for Sanity" use it.

And then, suddenly, a lightbulb floating above my head illuminated, and I realized that this was a perfect opportunity for synergy. -- Which is to say, would it be okay if we used RationalWiki as a space to to help brainstorm and organize? --CreedShandor (talk) 20:42, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't see why not, I would say keep it out of the mainspace, maybe set up a project page in the rationalwiki namespace, and you can use sub-pages there. Set something up and see if people want to use it. tmtoulouse 20:53, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Wasn't there a truthiness wiki or something knocking around a while ago? Ah, here we go! Totnesmartin (talk) 21:18, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that site would be well suited for this, RW (here) or a separate, independent wiki would be better. --Oniontalk/edits 21:22, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
BRING IT ON! RationalWiki welcomes you! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 22:00, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Looks like we added to our mission just in time to perhaps get a few good articles about this! ħumanUser talk:Human 22:17, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Is anybody going to Washington for the rally? RW banners FTW! And for an even bigger win, Terry Koeckritz banners! –SuspectedReplicant retire me 22:26, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Wikiality is a little on the dead side, that I can tell. My only qualms about using RW for such a thing is that, should all the Colbert and Stewart fans get wind of it and want to all sign up and use it excessively, the server will die, no ifs or buts, it will just keel over. By all means write it up as an article and feel free to "spread the word" of RW, but be warned that if 10,000 people suddenly want to use it at the same time it's just not going to work. Scarlet A.pngmoral 22:31, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
We could just require proof of donation to access those special articles (give them their own namespace) and leverage the paradigm to the hilt in the breach! ħumanUser talk:Human 00:43, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure the very last thing we need to do is extort Stephen Colbert fans. We may as well dangle our collective balls over Anonymous for all that's worth. Scarlet A.pngmoral 07:54, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry you didn't get the intent of humeur in my last post. I think that your worries of BW overload are valid, but that we can handle it far better than CP did. IE, by extorting (minimal) contributions from Colbert and Stewart fans! ħumanUser talk:Human 09:10, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I'm starting to come around to the idea... Scarlet A.pngmoral 09:46, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Checking in, RationalWiki![edit]

Is there already a village idiot here, or can I step into that position? Sparrow (talk) 04:21, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Since CUR has left the position is open. AceX-102 04:29, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Excellent! I'm sure I'll do better than Cat-boy (can't remember his name). I'll attack this position with extreme prejudice. Sparrow (talk) 04:33, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
It wasn't a casual affair. You've got some big shoes to fill and it's going to take a long time to ramp up the kind of productivity that guy managed. I miss our twerp. Nutty Rouxnever mind 04:39, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I dunno, I thought we had 59 of them? --PsyGremlinSiarad! 04:43, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
It's a fairly crowded field, but more competitors are always welcome! However, I doubt anyone can ever outdo our pet twerp. I miss him, too. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:00, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
God knows I've tried. I too miss cat-boy. SJ Debaser 09:41, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
It's survival of the fittest. Do us proud!--Thanatos (talk) 23:28, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

When languages collide[edit]

Just found the funniest thing linky, but it's in Afrikaans which won't help. Anyway, there's this really, nasty, cheesy Afrik pop song called "Skaruma." Now in this case, it's a nonsense word made up, because the moron couldn't think of rhyming words. (Example: Ek swem in die baai ska-rumba. Dis Hentiesbaai ska-rumba (I'm swimming in the bay ska-rumba, It's Henties Bay ska-rumba) Friggin' awful.

Anyway, it turns out the song has just been banned in Iceland (it should be banned EVERYWHERE, it's that bad), because apparently in Icelandic "Ahadi hooi Skarumba" means "I want to have sex with a penguin." --PsyGremlinTal! 10:31, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't think the guy who made the song's name up was being a moron - I think he was being a clever ass. ~SuperHamster Talk 10:58, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I'll bite - why? Oh, and while you're at it, have a listen. --PsyGremlinSpeak! 11:15, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
It's quite a coincidence that a title of song will translate into "I want to have sex with a child". Anyway, I listened to it - I've heard worse. I don't think it's that bad. The high-pitched flute-like instrument may be annoying, but I think it's pretty...groovy. Yes, that's the word. As for the music video...that's what sucks. Did the lady get high just by the scent of alcohol and started to imagine what it would be like to dance among the fog? ~SuperHamster Talk 11:20, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, even I suck at Afrikaans. Mistook "pikkewyn" (penguin) for "pikkenin" (small child). It should be about her wanting to shag a penguin. My bad! Still, makes you wonder what those Icelanders get up to...--PsyGremlin講話 11:26, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Is this music video racist?[edit]

GAYE BYKERS ON ACID GIT DOWN PROMO; or is it a cool punk song with horns and a bizzare sense of humour? (talk) 23:52, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Andy on Z-day[edit]

I've been watching High School of the Dead (legally of the PSN)and I've been wondering how would our dear Mr. Schlafly would handle a zombie apocalypse. I have come up with 3 scenarios if he survives the first 24 hours:

  • 1) The No Moral-Relativism Scenario: Andy believes everybody can be saved and tries to do just that. Leads to an idiotic, yet somewhat heroic death.
  • 2) The Free Market Scenario: Andy goes survival of the fittest, and does anything to survive. Abandoning all morals, Andy either survives on the edges of sanity or is ultimately betrayed by someone he is with.
  • 3) The False Messiah Scenario: Andy starts preaching to those around him. If they don't throw him to the zombie horde, they take comfort in Andy's words and do as he commands. This can lead to his followers sacrificing themselves and Andy is eventually left alone and cornered.

So, which one is the most likely?--Thanatos (talk) 00:00, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Third one. If I know anything about Andy, its the third one. -- (talk) 00:35, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Option 4) Nuclear Melt-down: Andy does what he always does when faced with conflict and retreats to a nice, safe, inner world that he seeks to control absolutely whilst he waits for the problem to go away. Meanwhile, everybody else gets on with dealing with the zombie apocalypse paying absolutely no attention to the drooling, twitching madman in the corner.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 00:48, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Just something I lol'd at[edit]

Christine O'Donnell "dabbled into witchcraft." And Rand Paul "dabbled" into repealing Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act. Is this really the best the Tea Party has to offer? Blue (is useful) 06:02, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Strangely enough, yes? O'Donnell also dabbled in sex for fun before deciding it was wrong for everyone else. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:04, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I wonder what the guy did to make her so adamantly against the whole concept... Shifty.gif Blue (is useful) 06:07, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Who said it was a guy? ;) ħumanUser talk:Human 06:16, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Did Paul ever advocate repealing (don't think Supreme Court decisions can be repealed, just overturned) Brown v. Board of Education? I seem to recall from some statements I heard that the private sector should be allowed to discriminate if they want, but I don't think he ever said the public sector should, which is all the decision covered. DickTurpis (talk) 16:01, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, she has no chance of winning now! Burn the witch! --Oniontalk/edits 13:57, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

I thought you dabbled in something, not into something. Oh wait, she's the tea party candidate. I wonder how forgiving the rabid right will be? --PsyGremlinSermā! 16:22, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

O'Donnell used to go on Bill Mahr's show all the time, and he's vowed to release one damaging clip from the archives per show until she comes back on.--ADtalkModerator 17:52, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

I would do Christine O'Donnell[edit]

That is all. Senator Harrison (talk) 13:43, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Me too. In a threesome with Sarah Palin. That whole dumb-MILF thing just does it for me. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 15:04, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Nah, Palin & Tina Fey. It'll be like having twins. And at least there'll be some intelligent conversation. --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 16:22, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Or leave out Palin. Just Tina Fey. I could die happy. DickTurpis (talk) 16:27, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Facepalm.png Scarlet A.pngmoral 16:27, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I assume that the hand covering your eyes is so you can have a good hard think about that image? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 20:06, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
And where's his other hand? DickTurpis (talk) 13:17, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
...Only if I didn't know who she was. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:50, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Some humour...[edit]

...to brighten your lives.

A Vicar checks into a hotel and says to the receptionist "I hope the porn channel in my room is disabled."
"No Sir it's not, it's just regular porn, you sick bastard."

A couple were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary and were going to spend it at the same hotel where they’d honeymooned.

As they were driving along, the husband suddenly stopped the car. When his wife asked what was wrong, he pointed out of the window and said, “Remember that fence? When we were on honeymoon, we stopped here and had sex, right up against that fence. Do you remember?”

The wife nods, and with a twinkle in her eye says, “Let’s do it again!”

So they get out of the car and soon he has her up against the fence, pants round ankles and he’s going at it hammer and tongs. She’s really getting into it – thrusting against him, panting, screaming, clinging on tightly. In fact, it’s the best sex he’s ever had.

Afterwards, as they walk back to the car, he says, “You know, you weren’t that energetic the first time we has sex here.”

She looks at him, still panting. “Yes, well that time, that fucking fence wasn’t electrified.”

--PsyGremlin話しなさい 17:46, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

You know you shouldn't give me excuses like that.

My mate told me that I just don't understand irony.

Which was ironic because we were at a bus stop at the time.

I am so stealing this for next time I want to look windswept and interesting. --PsyGremlinSprich! 21:51, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I will never forget what my dear old Grandad said to me just before he kicked the bucket. He said, "Grandson... how far do you think I can kick this bucket?"

CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:48, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

A Pakistani, a Welshman and an Englishman are at the maternity hospital where their three wives have just given birth.
The doctor in charge comes to them:

"Gentlemen, I'm afraid there's been a mix up and we're not sure which child is which. Until we get DNA checked, we'd like you to pick a child each."

The Englishman goes in to the room and comes out with what is obviously a Pakistani baby.

"What are you doing?" Expostulates the doctor, "That's obviously not yours!"
"Come on," replies the Englishman, "I'm taking no chances - one of those in there is Welsh!"

22:06, 20 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Hey! That's pretty good.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:07, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

All (well, almost all) is forgiven[edit]

Excellent iPhone software Hat tip 02:01, 21 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Nice to see large companies are taking accessibility seriously. Win for Apple. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:23, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

The Onion hits the mark again.[edit]

Voter Anger Palpable At Intentionally Anger-Stoking Rally --PsyGremlinParla! 18:10, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Xmas is nearly here[edit]

for those who don't know what a mince pie are

So I went to the supermarket this evening and was surprised to see that mince pies are already on sale, with a nice xmassy theme on the box - I mean come on, it's still September for x's sake. And it wasn't even like it is for stocking up for the xmas period, as the expiry date on the packet was 22nd October. </rant> Carry on. Bondurant (talk) 20:39, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm waiting for the first week in October - then all the stores put up their Xmas decorations. Complete with snow and reindeer. In fucking Africa. In summer. --PsyGremlinParla! 20:45, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Some London shop started flogging Xmas stuff about a month ago. It was in SB but I can't find it. 20:49, 21 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Pretty soon it will be christmas every day as wished for by Wizzard. All day every day all year long. It may drive me to kill.--AMassiveGay (talk) 20:51, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

So we have separation of church and state but when do we get separation of shopping and xmas?? Argh. -- (talk) 20:53, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Can we eat the minstrels yet?--Thanatos (talk) 20:54, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
It wouldn't be as bad if it wasn't for the fact that they replace it all with Easter eggs on the morning of the 26th. Scarlet A.pngmoral 20:56, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
This is coming straight to DVD. Anyone want to sacrifice themselves and review it? It smells of Sarah Palin--Thanatos (talk) 20:59, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
In August I went to the beach and there was a stall flogging Christmas cards. Horrendous. Real first name and last initial (talk) 21:01, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

On a separate point, why do people only buy mince pies at christmas? Surely if people actually liked them, they'd buy em all year round. For years I refused to eat mince pies because I was convinced they contained meat. I recently found out this is not the case, but I still look on them with suspicion.--AMassiveGay (talk) 21:18, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Mince Pies are fucking awful. When I was young my auntie asked me on Xmas day if I'd like a mini Mince Pie. In my youthful naivety I said yes, thinking it was a mince meat pie. Scarred for life by the memory. AceX-102 21:22, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
try them with clotted cream. mmmmmmmmmmmm! Real first name and last initial (talk) 21:32, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I nom them quite regularly. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've had them more often outside of the Christmas season. Although they're hard to track down and I end up making my own instead. And for the movie mentioned in the TYT post above... are we sure that's real and not something from College Humor? Scarlet A.pngmoral 21:36, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Looks real to me. AceX-102 21:37, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Though in saying that I once watch a loaf of bread and a toaster morph into a single object and that also seemed pretty real so not really sure what to think anymore... AceX-102 21:38, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
For the non-commonwealthians among us here's a mince pie club. 21:50, 21 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
I was besieged by Xmas junk, what, 10 months ago? Way ahead of all of you! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:15, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Also also, my and my brother's friends were delighted with what they called my mother's "tiny pies" - jam pies, lemon curd pies, and, yes, mince pies in any season. Yummy! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:19, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Tech help requested[edit]

Can anyone help me hook up mt Mac laptop to mt TV so I can watch netflix streaming on my TV? If so, it would probably help if you if you could phrase it as if you were explaining it to either a 12 year old or your grandpa (which ever is less familiar with tech jargon). Thanks. DickTurpis (talk) 23:00, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

does yer mac laptop have a tv out ? what model is it so I can look it up . Hamster (talk) 00:05, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
It's a MacBook2,1 - must be 5 years old now. Don't know what TV Out is so I can't tell if it has one. You'll have to describe it. Or I can look it up maybe.
Further caveat: as well as being generally as tech savvy as a 12 year old or grandfather, I am also now high. Please adjust your answers accordingly. DickTurpis (talk) 00:23, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Like sex, its a matter of connecting the correct inputs with the correct outputs. So first off, what kind of inputs does your tv have (hdmi, s-video, composite, vga, hdmi, scart?) and what type of output does your Apple manufactured PC has? (vga? mini-display port?). Here's a thing for reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_connectors Sen (talk) 00:39, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
My 6 (?) year old Dell Inspiron E1505 (used price, $160) has an SVHS jack on the back, and a few I don't recognize. Surely, Dick, you can buy a USB device that acts as a video card to make the bridge between the devices? Granted, since it will be for a Mac it will cost $300 instead of $30, but still... ħumanUser talk:Human 00:41, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Whoops, make that S-Video, VHS is so 80s. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:41, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I can buy it, but not in the next 3 minutes. I'm not going to be high much longer and I want to watch Labyrinth. DickTurpis (talk) 00:45, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually buying a usb thing sounds like a very bad idea because a) anything that acts like a video card would probably require drivers, and Mac drivers on top of that. b) USB does not have great bandwidth and I can't imagine any serious video device using it for video. I bet you just need one of those: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/mac_accessories/cables?mco=MTM3NTA0NTE and an appropriate cable. Then your TV should act like a secondary monitor. Sen (talk) 00:48, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
LIES! If your MacBook is 5 years old, it probably has a DVI port rather than the mini-display port. So you either need a DVI cable or a DVI to X adapter and a X cable. Sen (talk) 01:01, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
If your MacBook is 5 years old, you should be asking yourself why Apple's redundancy chip hasn't kicked in yet. Wisest time Hoover! 12:26, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Why not just watch it on your laptop? It probably has a higher resolution anyway... and why did you take the last of your drugs before figuring this out? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:00, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I guess I will watch it on my laptop, if at all, but I did sort of want to sit back and stare at a bigger screen across the room. I took my drugs before figuring this out because pot brownies have a delayed effect; you have to plan ahead. I thought I had a bigger wondow to figure this out. Guess not. DickTurpis (talk) 01:34, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Your Mac may have dvi and s-video, but you will need cables to whatever your tv has . Watch it on the PC screen Hamster (talk) 02:57, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I has looked your computer up. It's mini-DVI video out. What kind of TV you got? Flatties have HDMI and various analog and digital inputs. DVI is digital, so you can get a DVI to HDMI/whatever cable. THEN get high and watch Labyrinth. Nutty Rouxnever mind 04:37, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, I can't unring that bell. But yeah, some of that might make some sense. My TV is pretty damn new, so it should have any of the standard inputs (and it seems to have a lot). It seems cables are key. Unless USB works, or headphone jack/RCA cable converts work (and it seems they don't) it's a hardware problem I can't solve without a trip to the Apple Store.
And yes, I am watching Labyrinth on my computer. Good thing, too. I don't think this movie is watchable otherwise. DickTurpis (talk) 04:48, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Is that the muppety movie with David Bowie ? that was good ! Hamster (talk) 04:59, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
No no, get high then watch Dark Crystal. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:23, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Or Titan AE. Crap film... but pretty. --PsyGremlinTala! 08:26, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Good news. A trip to the Apple Store and $40 later I have two separate cables needed to turn my television into an additional computer monitor (could they really not find a way for a single cable to do this?). Not in time for Labyrinth, but with time to spare for both The Dark Crystal and The Color of Magic some time in the next month or so. Come to think of it, this may not have been the best use of $40 but so be it. (For those keeping score at home, the necessary purchases were an HDMI/DVI cable and a DVI/mini-DVI converter. Apparently a HDMI/mini-DVI cable is not yet invented?) DickTurpis (talk) 21:16, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

For the record, you could have bought both for about $4 from ebay. I am just telling you so you can feel extra used. Sen (talk) 04:28, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I have to keep a miniDIV-DVI and a miniVDI-VGA in my laptop bag, for different TVs, of course, the miniDVI-DVI was for a screen at a job I'm no longer at, so sits uselessly, mocking me from my laptop bag. But they really don't screw you out of it too much. Apparently $30 for a "real" PC and $40 for a "crazy expensive, eye-gouging company made" PC. So not that bad. Quarubeach ball - You can't explain that! 05:13, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Money Laundering @ Vatican?[edit]

Don't put all your wealth in worldly goods, unless you're the RC church, of course. (€28,000,000!) Vatican has its woes multiplied. Watch out for those London bridges. 22:01, 21 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

I suppose the London bridges ref might have gone whoosh, so here's a link. 03:23, 22 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
London bridges are dangerous. On waterloo bridge (the next bridge up from blackfriars) you are liable to be stabbed with a poisoned umbrella. (BTW, i got your original reference as I am currently wearing my smarty pants)--AMassiveGay (talk) 10:45, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Technical Help Needed[edit]

Okay. I have a hob-based steamer but, unfortunately, the tiers aren't deep enough for what I need. The solution is simple: an open-ended metal ring that could fit between two of the tiers to produce the height needed. Unfortunately searching on the internet hasn't produced any results, mostly because I can't work out what they're called. Could anyone help me with this, either what the damned things are called, or a site that sells 7.5" diameter * 5" height rings?

Thanks.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 18:47, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

What's those thing you used to see in caffes and refectories that went on a plate so you could stack one on t'other? Failing that get a large can & slice it? 18:51, 22 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Yeah, those are the rings, I just can't think of what they're called. I did think of getting some spare tiers and sawing the bottom off, but sawing through steel is a tricky proposition without the right blades and a decent metal file to get rid of the burrs.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 18:55, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Plate stacking rings: [1][2][3] - Google is your friend. 19:13, 22 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
AHA! Thankyou. Couldn't think of their names, and even Google struggles with vague descriptions and hand gestures when I'm looking for stuff.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:59, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I love the phrase "hob-based steamer". That is all. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:38, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

how are images and other such files categorized here?[edit] (talk) 19:08, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Not at all. Scarlet A.pngmoral 19:11, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Roughly based on a monte carlo system. tmtoulouse 19:15, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Aren't they in Wikicommons? Why not here? (talk) 19:18, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Feel free to categorise. 19:22, 22 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
They get uploaded and then categorised with one or more relevant categories. Alternatively, they float around in the the general morass. Seriously, it does help if a category is added so that the can be found more easily in the future. We have an extension that links directly to files in Wikicommons, so that we don't have to bother with uploading or messing with copyright templates. Any local file name will supercede the commons file name. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 19:23, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
(ECx2)Basically, there was no established heirachy for sorting because the project, at the beginning, wasn't large enough to justify it. You end up with dozens, if not hundreds, of completely empty categories that try to anticipate what will be uploaded. Niether did an effective filing system miraculously appear as the stock of files grew. Now it would be quite a venture to categorise and organise everthing. There are some basic categories, but they're not rigourously applied. However, with some recent article templates, we have got the basics of a system for articles, perhaps the files can be done soon. Scarlet A.pngmoral 19:24, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the info; and yes, I might register and proceed. In categories in general, WikiIndex, for it's faults seems to have a good system. First they have an Category:All for all articles, and then another, that of Category:Browse (I suppose s better name would be fitting) which has the sub-categories. Perhaps here Category:Images could be one of the major ones. (talk) 19:35, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I see such kinda exists already. Category:Categories and Category:RationalWiki seem to be in each other. (talk) 19:39, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
We have had discussions "Net" versus "Tree". I prefer the tree but some prefer the net. 20:18, 22 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
I don't think we differentiate much between different kinds of files. Everything in File namespace is probably just assumed to be an image when probably only 99.5% are images, so I suppose they should be categorised a bit better. Personally I go for tree and net hierarchy as there isn't a one size fits all solution. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 20:29, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Same guy, different IP. Why not both? If WikiIndex can do it, why not here? (talk) 20:55, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I think we revel in being disorganised to an extent. This does have its disadvantages, I know I've looked for a particular image & been unable to find it. 21:06, 22 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Don't most of wikiindex's files consist of logos of wikis they have articles on? I can think of several mildly useful image cats - animal pictures; molecule diagrams; party decorations... and some that could parallel our various "people" cats. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:56, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Sexist Differential Pricing[edit]

Went to our town market today intending to purchase some knickers. Stall had Calvin Klein boy shorts with button fly at three pairs for £5. The stall lady said: "we've got lady's ones there". I looked: two pairs for £5 with no fly. TANJ. How come the ones requiring much more work, as well as having buttons extra cost less than the plainer ones? The material appeared identical. (bought the boy ones). 20:15, 22 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Sometimes women wearing men's clothes can be sexy, however knowing your age and preferences prevents me getting too excited about this issue. In my experience there is a difference in elastic technology between men's and women's underwear. Men's tends to be more robust and less concerned with visible panty line. I think that the main issue is optimum pricing for a target market. In general men are probably less fastidious about their underwear and will wear them for much longer. This means that the manufacturers need to lower their prices to get men to buy them. A recent Which? report said that some "value" line products are the same quality as regular supermarket lines, however, more affluent people are often more snobbish and will eschew buying supermarket own brands, those that have less disposable income buy the cheaper line anyway, so the supermarket gets the person who earns more to pay more. A lot of travel offers work in the same way. Where price is an issue for someone then you have to go through more steps or accept special conditions to buy a ticket, more affluent travellers can't be bothered and take the simpler and more expensive option but end up getting the same product. It's all about getting the most money from those who can afford to pay. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 20:49, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

UK Libel reform[edit]

Email Received today:

Dear Friends
We are emailing as victims of England’s libel laws to ask for your help at a crucial time for libel reform. The Government is writing a new defamation bill and is due to publish it in the New Year. This will be the first time the libel laws have been substantively reviewed in a century. The libel reform campaign is being led by small organisations and it has been because of your wider support that we have got to this exciting stage. Your petition signatures have helped draw attention to the problem, your emails to politicians have helped raise awareness in Parliament, your donations have allowed us to host meetings and produce campaign material, your blogs and tweets have helped spread our message and your personal accounts of encounters with the libel laws have helped us build the case for libel reform. We have to take this unique opportunity now to ensure that the reforms in the Government’s bill address the problems we have had to face and that the campaign has been hearing about from scientists, bloggers, journalists, human rights activists, biographers, novelists and many others. The libel reform campaign is exploring the potential of alternative dispute resolution, talking to bloggers about their experiences, surveying medical and science editors on the hidden costs of the libel laws and is running events at the three main party conferences to try to ensure the Government fulfils its pledges.
Can you donate £10 towards the costs of these at http://www.justgiving.com/libelreform? If 1,000 people can help us at this crucial stage, it will help engineer a truly effective libel reform bill, as opposed to one that might be watered down by vested interests. We know how unfair and damaging the laws are and we need your help to ensure no other scientist, writer, blogger or doctor goes through what we did.
(If you are a UK tax payer, please tick the Gift Aid box so the campaign can make the most of your donation. Thanks.)
Ben Goldacre (Matthias Rath v Goldacre/Guardian)
Simon Singh (BCA v Singh)
Peter Wilmshurst (NMT v Wilmshurst) - ongoing
See details of the Libel Reform Campaign events at the 2010 Party Conferences here: http://www.libelreform.org/news/469-libel-laws-stifle-debate-will-the-coalition-stop-the-chill

22:26, 20 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Yeah, and Iceland is thinking of becoming a haven to counter the libel tourism. Wikileaks and Iceland MPs propose 'journalism haven'. (talk) 23:47, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia on Libel tourism. (talk) 00:24, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Is libel reform just going to let the News of the World print lies about folk?--AMassiveGay (talk) 10:56, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

My concern exactly. Or of more serious concern than the news of the world making up stories about Prince Harry's gay nazi sex romps, will it just let politicians go on TV and lie with abandon without any consequences? In my opinion, this is a totally wrongheaded attack on the symptoms rather than the cause. The root cause is the rich can use the costs involved in the legal system to oppress the poor. Solve that problem, then there's no problem at all with having your day in court to demonstrate that what you said was the truth. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 13:55, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
No. It's amending the law so that people now have to prove that they've been libeled, rather than the other way around where you had to prove innocence. This made it remarkably expensive for journalists who were critical of companies and individuals and were sued. But the reforms shouldn't affect the balance to the point where tabloids can get away with lying any more or less than they do now. Scarlet A.pngmoral 13:58, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
That's utterly ridiculous. Why should Prince Harry have to go to court to prove he _isn't_ a gay nazi? How would he even go about that? No, the onus must be on the person making the positive statement to be able to demonstrate its truth. That's the only sensible way the law can work. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 14:03, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, it's slightly more complex. I suggest reading http://www.libelreform.org/our-report before claiming it to be ridiculous. Scarlet A.pngmoral 15:58, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
To be more precise, "I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated by that." :) An example why a reform is necessary and a quote: "To be fair, the best line came the day before at the celeb launch from Alexei Sayle, who explained that he was once sued for libel by someone, and it cost over £100,000 to defend: “it would have been cheaper”, he explained, “if I’d just stabbed the f*cker.”[4] See also the link about "libel tourism" above. --ZooGuard (talk) 16:59, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, if you think it's more complex than that, then what is laughingly described as a "report" linked above hasn't convinced me of that fact. In fact, the only thing it has succeeded in doing is to make me angry at the people who are calling for this. That's a liar's charter, plain and simple. Some of their demands you should be outraged about on pure principle. Can anyone possibly support denying people the equal protection of the law? Because that's what is being asked for here, making some people more equal than others. As I said above, there is a problem with the legal system in that suits can be cost prohibitive to defend against, thus making the justice system favour the rich over the poor. That's a criticism that can be levelled at the entire justice system, and not just the justice system of this country either. The fix for this problem is not immediately apparent to me, but gutting the law doesn't strike me as anything approaching it.
Fallacious appeals to the principle of innocent until proven guilty as a justification to put the plaintiff on trial are just painfully stupid. The defendant _is_ innocent until proven guilty, the guilt being proved by asking them in front of a jury to produce the evidence that justifies their claims and them being unable to do so. I can't be party to any proposal that reverses that burden, and likely puts plaintiffs in the position of having to prove a negative. That's just flat out unfair.
The irony here is that if they'd just come out and said they wanted a robust principle of free speech, that the libel law was damaging to that and then actually demonstrated the damage I might be considering supporting them in a total removal of the law. As it is, they have no argument beyond self interest, and their proposals are themselves damaging to principles we ought to hold sacrosanct. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:34, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
"Can anyone possibly support denying people the equal protection of the law?" What are you talking about?
In any case, let me give you a hypothetical. Let's say A and B have a conversation. There are no transcripts, notes, recordings, or other physical evidence regarding this conversation. B then goes and writes a story saying "I spoke with A and he admitted X, Y, and Z, and isn't that terrible?" A then sues B, but there's no evidence presented other than A's word versus B's word. I do not think A should ever win a suit like this. I don't care if some people lie and go unpunished. I feel that it's draconian to remove from the public sphere all statements ever made about other people unless you are completely positive you can back it up in a court of law. The first response to a lie should always be to argue against it, never to litigate before even being able to make an argument. --Quantheory (talk) 23:37, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Jeeves, you either haven't understood it or are being facetious for the sake of it. The entire point is that the current legal setup, which is unique to the UK and hence the whole libel tourism, is that it's almost impossible to defend yourself if you're accused of libel. People currently aren't equal. Simon Singh and Ben Goldacre have both been sued under the libel laws because they were critical of people - and each to 6 figure defence sums, although at least Goldacre was helpfully bankrolled by The Guardian for his tussle with Mattias Rath. They're not wanting to gut the law and throw it out, but reform it in line with other countries where this isn't a problem. This notion that reforms are going to allow tabloids to just print what they like is horseshit because tabloids outright making stuff up will still lose if sued. This is merely redressing the balance so that it's actually possible to defend yourself if you want to criticise people - notably the proposal for a Public Interest defence, which doesn't really exist in any proper, codified way in UK law at the moment. If libel reform in the UK is a bad thing, then how come other countries - which have libel laws that already reflect these changes - aren't imploding in scandal? All this is doing is increasing the loops that people are required to jump through to bring a libel case, and in the case of prober libel (the gay Nazi sex romps that people enjoy reading about) there will be little difference, because such statements are self-evidently libelous. In the case where companies and individuals issue injunctions and sue to shut up their critics, they'll have a harder time justifying themselves. Scarlet A.pngmoral 23:53, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
No, I'm not being facetious. And neither do I not have a grasp of what's going on here. In fact, I think I have a far better grasp of what's going on here than you do, because you aren't really looking at what these reforms do and who they're aimed at protecting. In fact I do think that our libel law protects us from a particular quiet kind of scandal, one which this reform is aimed squarely at foisting on the UK. I'll write a more detailed essay type thing about this, since I think I need to go in to more depth to convince you. And again, if it were only the cost of a defence that is at issue here that's a symptom of a wider problem. The same charge can and is laid squarely at the feet of things like the US DMCA, and any like law that can reach across national boundaries. It's also a problem for criminal justice. Fix the real problem, don't pander to sloppy journalism. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 00:08, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
"Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?"
Areopagitica (talk) 00:13, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I think you do need to go into more depth because you seem to have missed the point almost entirely. Scarlet A.pngmoral 01:08, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
and what's that? What is it besides some rich people not wanting some truths to be told about them, calling them lies, and enacting legislation to make defendants prove that the mean things they said aren't? If it's untrue, let them prove it. (talk) 18:56, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but there may be too many double negatives for me to fully get that. But. The point is that if you're critical of a big corporation in print, you can be very easily sued for libel at great cost to defend. Singh was sued for stating chiropractic medicine doesn't work, Goldacre was sued for bringing to light Mattias Rath's AIDS propoganda in Africa, Quackwatch is also currently being sued. These are far from being rich people wanting to cover themselves up and were hardly being sloppy in their journalism. The phrase at the end of South Park's episode on Scientology was "I'm going to sue you... in England!" because of the potential for libel tourism. Currently, RationalWiki could be sued under the current laws very easily even though the server is in Canada and the RWF is registered in the US. Try the National Enquirer website from within the UK; it's blocked because if the shit it prints becomes visible in the UK, it's opened up for people to sue it far more easily than should be possible. The same reasoning blocks other web content in the UK. There is a massive unbalance at the moment and the proposed reforms are not going to make it impossible to sue for libel, nor is it going to open up the floodgates for people to print lies. Scarlet A.pngmoral 19:08, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree. It'll suck being English, all because the richies and the Milords can't handle the truth when we commoners, colonists, and foreigners can. Thumbs down to English and thumbs up to Iceland (even though they banned stripping recently). Why do the English hate freedom and love being censored so much.  ;-) (talk) 21:15, 23 September 2010 (UTC)


Twitter hacked[edit]

Just putting this out there for those of you who use it. --PsyGremlinSnakk! 12:30, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Better link. And it's twitter.com that has been hacked, third-party applications are fine. (Paranoid speculation: It's a lie/test/social engineering to see how many people will (not) verify it by visiting Twitter.com.) --ZooGuard (talk) 12:44, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Links won't load for me (Slashdot effect thanks to tons of Twitter users checking it?), so can anybody give a quick summary or something? I don't use it, but I'm curious. --Sid (talk) 12:51, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Not 100% sure - don't use it either, except from when i used to follow JPratt's drivel - but it was something to do with routing to 3rd party pages or something, and could activate on mouse over, so not even a click needed. --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 12:58, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Hang on, you can redirect with a mouseover? That's a pretty big ass problem. Scarlet A.pngmoral 13:51, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
So it would appear:

For about thirty minutes, blacked-out tweets showed up in the user stream of Twitter.com. Hovering over the affected area “would redirect anyone who moved their mouse over it – but didn’t click it – to a Japanese hard-core pornography site.”

--PsyGremlinSiarad! 13:56, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Wow. That's worse than what Anon did to Youtube a year or so ago. Tetronian you're clueless 14:50, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Worst part is, I never got see what the site was. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 15:00, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Whatever it was, I bet they were happy about the increased traffic. Tetronian you're clueless 15:06, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Anyway, what's a "hardcore" Japanese porn site anyway? Their laws dictate that the naughty bits have to be mosaiced out. Um... so I've heard... --PsyGremlinHable! 20:48, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
That's not always the case... erm, so I've heard too. Scarlet A.pngmoral 21:00, 21 September 2010 (UTC)


And now FB has gone down: Service Unavailable - DNS failure. Damn, how am I going to tell the world what I had for supper now? --PsyGremlinParlez! 20:44, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm declaring a state of HCM. I'll meet you in the dive bar to discuss further before moving on to the forums. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:54, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Ooooh! Can the HCM also make its way, eventually, to the Weeping Lion? The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 21:02, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Some help for Soldier Fitness[edit]

If this sounds disjointed, please forgive me. It's an unwieldy topic.

The Army is working on a new program called 'Comprehensive Soldier Fitness' based on five 'Pillars' to help Soldiers deal with stress.

One of the Pillars is Spiritual, the 'needs' of people that reflects their beliefs and how they sustain them. Of course, being an agnostic doesn't leave much of an avenue for us to explore that pillar. Also, there's an awesome reading room on post that comes with it.

I was hoping that someone here could recommend a book that would show the non-spiritual side for Spiritual fitness. How our belief in the power of thought and respect of sentience can be just as strong or endearing as belief in a deity, if not more so. One of the problems with this is that our publicist has been slacking against the literal tide of books out there supporting faith.

Something similar to the 'FAQ for the recently deconverted' is what I had in mind, essentially. It doesn't lose it's strength or focus, and it doesn't seem to be 'preachy' or 'belittling' to faith [which, to an unprepared believer, could be how they see Dawkins or Hitchens, regardless of the validity of their arguments] so it attracts the spiritual crowd, as well.

If nothing comes of it, that's cool too. The other four pillars sustain me fine.

P.S. I am sorry for the lack of posts lately. New units, new rules, and a whole new mission to cover means an increased workload on our shop. Hopefully i'll post a bit more often as it slows down...hopefully. -- CodyH (talk) 17:49, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

The Myth of Sysiphus by Albert Camus? It deals with how to cope with the absurdity of existence. I dunno if its the sort thing you are looking for but it a jolly good read regardless. If you want something more practical, maybe something that deals with secular meditation? I couldn't suggest anything though.--AMassiveGay (talk) 18:34, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
"Spiritual wellbeing" and "spiritual fitness" has always confused me because I know what it means, and in principle it can be secular/rationalist/atheist/naturalist all well and fine (basically a variant on mental health and ability) but inevitably it always comes down to "lets do some praying!" in practice. Anyway, it might be worth reading something like The Atheists Guide to Christmas which may fit the bill. Most of the entries can be found for free on the contributers' blogs with a quick search. Scarlet A.pngmoral 21:45, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
That actually looks like a good book to recommend, though I don't think the Chaplains will go for it. Good guys, but with the Army looking to reduce spending it could get undercut. I'll recommend it, though. Also, as asked above, something practical would be awesome to put in there. -- CodyH (talk) 04:29, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
You might have trouble getting anything non-religious in, to be honest. I once heard, and I cannot find the article again so take this with a pinch of salt, that some senior figures in the UK armed forces actively wanted Christianity (well, they wanted "life after death" encouraged, but we all know that means picking a religion and pushing it) taught because the concept of an afterlife would give comfort to soldiers and perhaps make them more selfless. Now, I don't want to say that soldiers shouldn't be selfless, its something you'd expect in an occupation where your strongest weapon is, more often than not, the man at your side. But it sounded to me like a quite sinister motive for promoting it. And this is from a relatively secular country and probably from a commander who is on the fringe of mainstream policy. I imagine that in the US they'd want to take "onward Christian soldiers" a little too literally. Scarlet A.pngmoral 12:30, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
This article is quite interesting [5]. FYI - for non spiritual spiritual fitness, google 'mindfulness'. or look at the wikipedia entry: [6]--AMassiveGay (talk) 12:49, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't know if this might be of any use. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 14:38, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Seems like an awkward combination of The Men Who Stare At Goats and BrainGym. It'd be interesting to see if it works more than anecdotally, though. Scarlet A.pngmoral 16:28, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Wow. Tell me about it. I'm the task manager in the project management office for the Maneuver Center's Directorate of Doctrine and Training. Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) is probably the second hottest thing we have going right now, as we are responsible for oversight on the doctrinal portion and implementation into the training phases. A few months ago, there was a staff meeting where the "Five Pillars of Islam CSF" were presented and when they discussed the Spiritual one, I broached the topic of atheistic and agnostic Soldiers. You could have heard a pin drop in the conference room (it's carpeted, BTW) and a look of slow terror, as if I had just stood up on the table and took a shit directly in the Colonel's day planner, came across everyone's face. The presenter stammered for a few seconds and then tried to make a joke along the lines of "Well, if they're either of those, then they don't have any faith to worry about." I like that Warrior Mind Training link above, though. That would fit the bill for me, I think. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 19:01, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure that's the attitude you expected! But you do have a card to play in that any "atheistic" writing or techniques on the subject are going to be effective for religious people to. Praying to a specific god isn't going to help people who don't believe in that god, but something that bypasses that altogether and focuses on mental strength, thought and concentration will work for anyone, regardless of their religion. Scarlet A.pngmoral 19:17, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I re-took my Global Assessment Tool (GAT) Survey for CSF last night and scored fairly low on the spiritual assessment. (You need an active ID card and an account at Army Knowledge Online to access it, so soon you'll be privy to semi SEEKRIT teachings.) I am only halfway through the training modules associated with it and have some "Non-Assfly-style" insights. More to follow. TFA out. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 17:19, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Crap customer service[edit]

Just want to rant about this. It's a very abbreviated version of my afternoon.

I've got an HTC legend smartphone. It's a very nich thing and I'm very happy with it. I've got a flat-rate data connection charge of around 16 euros a month which avoids problems. So far so happy.

My Spanish operator, Telefoncia, tells me that for about 20 euros I can have a tethering service which will allow me to use the smartphone as a modem to connect my netbook to the internet when I'm out. For various reasons this would be very convenient for me.

So last week I asked for this service. I had to make three calls to get that set up but it seemed to work in the end. The following day they sent me a message confirming that the service had been upgraded. But when Itried to connect to the net there seemed to be no way.

I was a bit tied up - and not looking to the frustration of a battle - so I didn't get back to it until today.

First call. tech dept. "You want to do what?" "You can't do that." Yes I can, look at your web page. "Please hold." "You'll have to call back using another phone." OK.

Second call. tech dept. "You want to do what?" "You can't do that." Yes I can look at your web page. "When did you make the change?" Wednesday. "It's Wednesday today, it's too soon." I mean last Wednesday. "The change to your account has not taken place, we have no record of it." Why did you send me an SMS saying it has then? "I don't know, you'll have to speak to sales." Grrrr.

Third call. sales. "Could you tell me the problem" speak. hold long time. "Could you tell me the problem again, I'm not sure I understood" Speak, long time on hold. "I'm very very sorry about this but could you just confirm the problem." Speak ( through gritted teeth). On hold. Long time. (cut for brevity) Ok, we've fixed the problem. The man in the tech department was wrong, we have changed your account. Just plug it in and it will work now." Had to finish call to test phone connection.

It doesn't work.

Fourth call tech dept. " You want to do ..." (Cut intro for brevity). "Try this", "Try that". "It's a problem with the HTC modem drivers on your PC. It doesn't recognise the phone as a modem. Go to HTC and download the modem drivers."

No modem drivers found on HTC website.

Send Email to HTC. Send email to Telefonica. Life is too short for this.--BobSpring is sprung! 16:14, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

A friendly nerd could probably hack that sort of thing together in a fraction of the time and you'd never have to call tech support. Scarlet A.pngmoral 16:23, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
There probably is a hack whioch would be cheaper - but I was trying to do it legally. The other thing is that I suspect that they have buggered the firmware to make hacking it more difficult - but they've buggered legit customers into the bargain.--BobSpring is sprung! 16:51, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I heard Verizon is charging like $20 to make your phone a wifi hotspot on the droid x. I've got the droid 1 and verizon doesn't even offer the hotspot option for it. But apparently, you can do it yourself for free with some stuff from the google android repo. Cell phone companies suck. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:36, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Are you positive 20e is a good deal? Around here they offer you two unlimited (all senses) connections + a usb dongle for 15e/month. -- (talk) 16:39, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I think that Telefonica Spain is trying to get more out of the market.--BobSpring is sprung! 16:49, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Don't buy branded smartphones. I have an HTC Legend too, without phone company branding. All I need to do is connect it to the USB port of my computer and set it to "internet sharing", and voilà I'm online. No extra fees, just the regular fees for going online with the smartphone. I'm using it as I type actually. -- (talk) 17:44, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Yeah - I'm wondering what would happen if were to attempt to overwrite the phone company firmware. But dammit - I'm paying for the "extra" service. The bastards should be able to provide it! (Great phone though, isn't it?)--BobSpring is sprung! 17:48, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't want to live without it anymore. I also love the design, reminds me a bit of the MacBook Pro – very slick :) -- (talk) 18:06, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree - elegant and effective. Just wish the same words applied to my phone company.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:39, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I used to have a G1. I rooted it and then downloaded this ( http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/ ) and bam, free tethering. For instruction on rooting your particular handset search here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=610 Sen (talk) 04:16, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. Thanks. I've got a response form HTC confirming that it's Telefonica's fix which prevents it working. But before I start playing with this work-around I'd like finish my journey with Teelfonica. (Also this looks a little bit daunting and I'm concerned about turning the phone into an expensive paperweight.) --BobSpring is sprung! 11:43, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Creation science on the BBC[edit]

And away we go, pandering to creation scientists! (Ok, that's a bit of a hyperbole, but I'm stunned that they gave this so much credibility) Tetronian you're clueless 02:22, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Why not? If anything it counts against creationism. No miracle and it raises the specter of bronze age goat-herders seeing this natural phenomena and making a mystical story out of it. AceDrumcode 02:35, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
It conveniently neglects to mention the absurd probability of this happening while the Israelites (who weren't even satisfactorily documented to have been in Egypt) were there. Tetronian you're clueless 02:39, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Nonetheless, no miracle required. AceDrumcode 02:40, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I see your argument and agree - I'm more aggravated with the presentation than the actual discovery. Tetronian you're clueless 02:45, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Am I the only one who, while looking at Google Earth, have been wondering why you need to pass through the red sea in the first place while going from Egypt to Israel? Didn't we have to make a canal there to sever the, you know, nice and dry land connection? Sen (talk) 03:07, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Not only that, but if God is so wise, why did he have them tramping around a bit of desert that's smaller than my backyard (hyperbole alert!) for 40 years? Oh yes! To test them. As the late, great Bill Hicks once said, 'Do you really want to worship somebody who might be fucking with your mind?" --PsyGremlinTala! 03:32, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Wait a minute, this appeared in WIGO world a few days ago. Whoops. Tetronian you're clueless 03:16, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
It may have appeared in WIGO, but it didn't spark a discussion, so no problem. There are two points I want to add.
1) On the talk page for miracles, I recalled a definition that said a miracle was something where the naturalistic explanation was more ridiculous than the actual miracle itself (unfortunately not easily quantifiable, so a few issues there). This is the sort of thing I was talking about. If this sort of phenomenon was remotely possible, we'd see it fairly frequently and we wouldn't need "fluid dynamics" models (which are usually notoriously unreliable)
2) Isn't it amusing when people try to explain events that they don't really have any proof that even happened! You see it in homeopathy all the time, where they try to explain "the phenomenon" (sometimes with some quite interesting ideas), but entirely miss out the part where they have to demonstrate the phenomenon first. It's like proposing a theory as to why the moon is made of cheese. Scarlet A.pngmoral 08:43, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I remember this type of explanation being offered decades ago and then it referred to the Bitter Lakes, which are quite shallow, as being the crossing point rather than the Red Sea itself (or more correctly the Gulf of Suez, the Red Sea proper is rather out of the way if you're heading back to Israel from Egypt).  Lily Inspirate me. 09:06, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Apropos ADK's second point - that's exactly the situation we have with any belief in magic or religion.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:20, 23 September 2010 (UTC)


Fucking brilliant. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 03:55, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

One of these days, the Onion is going to release some real news from the Pew Research centre and people will be like "noooo... wait... what?" Scarlet A.pngmoral 08:25, 23 September 2010 (UTC)


Jupiter is the closest its been since Human was a wee scamp 1963. Looks damned impressive from my deck and can see its colours with my small binocluars. AceDrumcode 08:41, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Oh, dear. Now we run the risk of a Martian using the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator to blow up the Earth because it obstructs his view of Jupiter. MDB (talk) 10:57, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
What constellation is it in? Can we see it in the Northern Hemisphere? And Mars should not begrudge us a decent view of Jupiter, after all, they get far better ones. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:04, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
It appears in the East around dusk in my parts. It is the brightest object in the sky at the moment aside from the moon. AceDrumcode 20:41, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Cool. Our night was slightly cloudy, but there is is this big bright thing 20 degrees or so from teh moon. I think it be Jupitus. Damn, last night was clear, maybe tomorrow. i check it with my bonculars! Thanks Ace! ħumanUser talk:Human 06:23, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Richard Dawkins[edit]

Woo-hoo! Richard Dawkins is coming to speak in my city on Wednesday for free! --Leotardo (talk) 13:34, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Oh dear…[edit]

Couple this with my dangerously high blood pressure and suddenly I'm feeling a tad concerned. I would be extremely worried, but the quetiapine takes care of that. The best part is the Telegraph decided to report on this as 'Drugs to treat nausea and vomiting 'increase risk of clots' '. What, we don't want the word 'psychotic' appearing in the headline do we Telegraph?--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 14:25, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, just take half an asprin with your tablets (as long as they don't interact). CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:43, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I was going to get my Ben Goldacre on, but it's not that bad. Published research. Check. Number of participants. Check. Absolute figures. Check. But a few bad things; Relative Risk. Yep. Lack of demographic specifics. Yep... Well, you can't win them all. Scarlet A.pngmoral 15:51, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what I can take these days. Everytime the doc prescribes some temporary med for one thing or another they always seem to need to override the contraindication warning that flashes up on my notes. Still, could be worse, they could have gone to the Dark Ages and put me on Lithium.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 17:22, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Lying Nazis[edit]

Nazis lie? Who knew!

So this edit got me banned for Spamming external links. Lying fucking Nazis. AceDrumcode 20:53, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Meh, oh well. Screw that Nazi Wiki, I say! The Goonie Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 21:05, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Being blocked from Nazipedia is an honor! --Oniontalk/edits 21:22, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I considered vandalizing trolling contributing to Metapedia, but not for very long. I can't read it and I get a splitting headache when I visit. Perhaps this is merely my sodomite miscegenated Mongoloid brain defending itself. --Quantheory (talk) 05:25, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
Lol, thanks for the name-check! I felt so special... and especially felt! ħumanUser talk:Human 06:18, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Spot the GOAT!!![edit]

Keep your eyes peeled for the goat. DarkStar (talk) 04:03, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Cool. Shame their music is basically crap. DickTurpis (talk) 04:08, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Question for Merkins[edit]

Sorry, this might sound silly, but as much as Bill Bryson explained why you lot don't use the "u" there's one thing that bugs me: we say "honour", you say "honor"; we say "labour", you say "labor"; we say "four" and... er... so do you. I'm sure there's a simple reason, besides confusion with "for" and "four"? --PsyGremlinSprich! 03:37, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

A number is much more widely used than an adjective. Honour and honor don't create much confusion, but sn elementary digit certainly would. And besides, there are certainly U's in the English langUage, so it's not like we've just 86'ed them all. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 03:46, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Ask that dead Webster guy. He took the secrets to his grave. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:57, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Bill Bryson explained it? I just thought it was any excuse to try and break away from Europe and have a pretence of an individual culture Banana.gif Scarlet A.pngmoral 08:28, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm a big Bill Bryson fan in general but The Mother Tongue is one of his best. And yes, it explains how much of the US English spelling differences are down to the whims of Noah Webster. Jack Hughes (talk) 08:38, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
They're as much down to the whims of Samuel Johnson too. A lot of what we now see as the American spellings were actually common in 17th & 18th century England, until Johnson's dictionary standardised spellings for written English. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 06:49, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
"Two countries, separated by a common language." -- George Bernard Shaw (although I learned it when George C. Scott quoted Shaw in Patton) MDB (talk) 10:36, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Just occurred to me - some people pronounce it fo-ur, with two syllables. Could be? ħumanUser talk:Human 17:10, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I pronounce it like "gramophone", but with more of a velar fricative and stressed on the third-to-last paragraph. -- (talk) 19:22, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Psycho panda[edit]

Best.ads.ever. --PsyGremlinSnakk! 17:46, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

*snicker* Tetronian you're clueless 21:52, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
That panda seems to be some sort of extortionist or stand-over man. Nice eyes though. --Horace (talk) 01:48, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
"This video is private." . . . WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:49, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
That's odd. It worked yesterday. The same video can be found here. --Horace (talk) 22:38, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

I win![edit]

After four trips to the Apple Store, they finally decided they couldn't fix the problem with my Mac.

They gave me a new, better machine, free of charge. All I paid was the original $400 for the first repair attempt, and $170 for three years of Apple Care. MDB (talk) 00:14, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

$570 will buy you one hell of a PC laptop. And also an Apple decal for it so you won't be embarrassed down the caffe. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:20, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
"All I paid was the original $400 for the first repair attempt". That seems a whole lot of money for nothing to me... --GTac (talk) 08:42, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
"$570 will buy you one hell of a PC laptop". If all choices in life were decided by price, we would all be living in thin-walled apartment tower blocks filled with Argos furniture. "Yes, you can adopt a sitting position on this chair, but it is hideously uncomfortable, will fall apart in a year, and looks like poo". Also, Human, if all speaker purchases were decided by price, you'd be out of business and Coby would make every speaker for $9.99 - "Yes, it makes a sound good enough to remind you what the song sounded like so you can sing along to it, isn't that good enough?". Without wishing to start a Mac-PC flame war (lying bollix that I am), 'You get what you pay for'. Now, I've probably just started a Mac-PC flame war. The internet is in desperate need of more of those, and this site clearly doesn't have enough of them. DogPMarmite Patrol 10:36, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I have decided to Just Say No to Mac/Windows flame wars. I am happy to have working computer again after two months and will not get involved in further debating. So there. MDB (talk) 10:59, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
The true reason is that you have a short attention span. -- (talk) 15:18, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I do not have a short atte look at the pretty bird outside my window ntion span! MDB (talk) 17:06, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Sports woo[edit]

While out shopping yesterday I came across this sports clothing which claims:

Nexus® Energy Source is the unique and revolutionary performance fibre incorporating platinum, titanium and aluminium. These elements combine to make Photon Platinum which emits Infrared at a wavelength of 4 to 14 microns. This is the optimum wavelength to be absorbed by the human body and is scientifically proven to be not only safe but very beneficial. Infrared has been proven to narrow and cluster water molecules through frequency and vibration which increases their hydration capacity. Combined with heat expanded blood vessels, the result is thinned body fluids, increased circulation and accelerated toxin removal.

Anybody got any comments on the emission thing? The other stuff seems like the same old water woo. Especially this £30 thermal sock for a water bottle. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 08:58, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

It sounds like a long winded way of saying "it makes you hot and sweaty". Sen (talk) 09:20, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
As to why someone would attempt to make hot & sweaty a sport's water bottle, I have no idea. Btw, the first review on said bottle is hilarious. Sen (talk) 09:26, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh dear, I must really stop this. Nexus have several papers from Italian universtities [7], [8] and [9] and then looking for the effects of Far Infra Red (FIR) on water I stumble upon the Vitalizer Plus, hexagonal water (which is linked to our old friend Dr. Emoto) and this page of wonders. However, a lot of this is really beyond my realm of knowledge especially when I find this site by Martin Chapman who is an Emeritus Profssor of Applied Science at London's South Bank University (OK, perhaps not the most prestigious of institutes) which covers more about water than I could possibly imagine or care to understand. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 10:15, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I will try and look it up more thoroughly soon, if there's any real science behind it, the description above is awful. It seems to imply that they've made a metal alloy that spontaneously emits energy - clearly nonsense. Although, it's possible for materials to emit happily in the IR, it's basically "heat". The water clustering is interesting, but IR shouldn't really influence bonds, only their vibrations. It's a superficially plausible claim. Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:15, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I had guessed that the emission of IR was basically a re-emission of heat but some of the university research has temperatures of up to 85°C which means that you'd be getting very hot or drinking hot water in the case of the Photonizer. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 18:40, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
If it's blackbody radiation, it doesn't matter what the material is, it depends entirely on the temperature. Of course, the whole thing is ridiculous, right? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:22, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
It's almost certainly blackbody. Anything at about human body temperature will radiate at about 10 microns (the range given is wider than, and includes, the range used for thermal imaging). Room temperature hits this range too. You might as well wrap yourself in toilet paper (or go nude!). And of course, using the word "toxin", without specifying what substance you mean, is utterly transparent woo. --Quantheory (talk) 00:55, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

This bit of sports woo is very popular in Spain. It's a hologram in a bracelet which gives you extra powers. It seems to be similar to this which has magnetism and ions. Hey! Suppose you wore the clothes and the two bracelets!--BobSpring is sprung! 20:06, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

They got to Barrichello damnit. AceDrumcode 22:37, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
"The negative Ions in Trion:Z products are released at rates of 50 to 100 times greater than similar products." How enticing! --Quantheory (talk) 00:55, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh wait, I missed: "Approved in Japan as a medical device by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour & Welfare" --Quantheory (talk) 00:58, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Death penalty alternatives[edit]

I amused myself toying with a death penalty advocate reasonably recently. Their view was that they were totally for it, although against the idea of Death Row (something that I find fundamentally stupid, 1) okay, they can appeal, but if there's a chance that they can appeal and be deemed innocent, then why sentence them in the first place 2) people are on it so long they're starting to die of natural causes before the executions!). I am totally against the death penalty on the grounds that killing an unarmed individual who is not an immediate threat to others cannot be justified, even in retrospect of what they have done previously. I have no problem at all with police marksmen taking people out in hostage situations; indeed, I say more fucking power to them to do that sort of thing. But once in custody and no longer an active threat, treating them to a long wait before putting them through a ridiculous execution designed entirely to make people feel better about endorsing it (indeed, the whole lethal injection thing is about turning it into a "proceedure" that's carried out by a "doctor", so no messy killing business involved!) is just stupid. If you want quick, reasonably painless and untraumatic executions, then a pistol to the back of the head is the way to go, non of this fancy shit with electric chairs and gas chambers - I mean, what the fuck is that about? You may as well cut the pretence and outright say you want to torture people to death.

Anyway, my idea is thus, and I put it to someone who was pro death penalty who ended up repulsed by the idea. You've agreed that these people have forfeited their lives, so why let this oppoutunity go to waste? Give them a weapon, and march them into a sealed off simulated village (all nicely walled off with guard towers and everything) and when you've accumulated enough of them, send in special forces troops to kill them. A couple of hours fighting and the job is done. This solves a lot of my personal moralistic problems as they're given the oppotunity to defend themselves, you could even entertain the idea that they could "win", ha ha! They can also die gloriously, rather than in some piddly execution chamber. And you get much needed training for military special forces that may need to go up against real people, with real ammo, and real motives, rather than cardboard cut outs or people with blank firing guns and some training lasers. That's really the important bit; if a human life is valuable, then ending one is also valuable, so you may as well get something from it. Of course, the remaining question is; would the condemned actually fight back? Well, perhaps and perhaps not. If they refused to pick up weapons and fight you could go all Battle Royale and BANG goes the exploding collar. But regardless, this totally removes the ultimate hypocrisy of the death penalty, which involves killing defencelss indiviudals, and the oppotunity doesn't go to waste!

Of course, I'm not actually endorsing this idea despite my closet love of terrible 80s dystopian sci-fi films (I'm looking at you, Escape from LA). I was just amused how repulsed a death penalty advocate was at it. I mean, once you've committed to the idea that state sponored murder is justifiable, does the method really matter? Scarlet A.pngmoral 17:37, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Agree completely ....with your first paragraph. --BobSpring is sprung! 17:51, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm with Bob on this one. Death penalty advocates don't necessarily think that the state can dispense unlimited pain and suffering to people whether they are sentenced to death or not. They still want the state to care about the dignity of the people the execute, namely by not experimenting on them and such. So you're attacking a strawman to some extent. Tetronian you're clueless 17:55, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, firstly, it's not 100% serious and not really an attack - and besides, experimenting on people isn't the same as having them defend themselves while you kill them. If execution advocates cared about dignity, then why have been on death row for decades on end? Why endorse execution methods that aren't immediate? How can any execution be dignified? It's ultimately hypocritical to say that you care about such things and still endorse it. Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:00, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I understand that you are not actually endorsing the idea, so I'm reluctant to point out what I think is wrong with it. --BobSpring is sprung! 18:42, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I'd be happy for you to point out what is wrong with it. Sometimes, given that my distaste with execution is the pretence that surrounds it in the modern envrionment, I sometimes find myself wondering how to rationalise an objection to this "make 'em fight" proposal except on the grounds of how fundamentally ridiculous it is! It is equally inhumane as normal execution. That much is obvious. And you're equally putting undue fear into people before they die. But as the entire proposal is based around the assumption that 1) executions are going to happen anyway in this La-La Land, and 2) assuming for the sake of the though that I endorse execution, it seems like a better alternative to electic chairs and gas chambers. Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:53, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
One of the obvious objections is that, if you give them real weapons and they use them then, some of the "innocent" special forces are likely to die as well. I somehow don't think that a proposal with ends up with more dead people passes the ethical test. Secondly I'm not sure that turning their deaths into some kind of game is better then the spectacle we have at the moment.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:27, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Your scenario sounds like something out of Gladiator. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 19:39, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Sure, whenever you've accumulated enough of them, stick them in an arena with plenty of obstacles (to their sight lines, not the audience), arm them, and the last man standing gets a reprieve (life without parole). Perfectly fair. Anyway, Armond, I don't think you understand what Death Row is. Due to the attempts at fairness (since once dead, one cannot be freed if found to be innocent), death penalty convictees go through a very long appeals process, which is why they are in a special "division", rather than being executed tout de suite. But remember Timothy McVeigh? He requested that his case not be appealed, a judge found him sane enough to honor that request, and they executed him promptly. ħumanUser talk:Human 21:10, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
But I have to then reiterate my objection to death row; the appeals are there to try and stop it happening, and are thorough and lengthy. So if you only issue the death penalty in circumstances beyond reasonable doubt then there should be no need of an appeal. If an appeal or retrial had a chance of staying the penalty, then they weren't convicted beyond reasonable doubt!! Also, the system isn't fair. A lot of trials are bungled. Prosecutions (usually better funded by the state) often withhold evidence if it makes the accused appear innocent. And then the entire thing is pressed for by the prosecuting party, which contributes significantly to the racial imbalance in death row demographics. Fair? No. Not really. And people are still found innocent after the fact anyway - if you want to play the state sponsored murder game and can't make the system perfect, there's no point playing, it will always be morally reprehensible. Anyone who has supported it is guilty by association of the murder of any innocent person who has been executed. And McVeigh was a smartass, so? He also said he still won because it was still McVeigh - 170, State - 1. Scarlet A.pngmoral 23:49, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
The "reasonable doubt" phase is for the trial jury, they base it on what is presented (and how) in the trial. Appeals are based on technicalities (like the withheld evidence you mention) mostly - making sure the trial was done properly. I am personally opposed to the death penalty, but your issues with "death row" confuse me a bit. Oh, and another "use" for death row would be like back when the death penalty was unconstitutional in the US - people were still convicted of capital crimes and sentenced to death, but weren't executed. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:21, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Bob. I understand that one. However, I originally brushed that off as military personnel can and do die in training exercises, particularly live fire ones. As they'd be on such a live fire exercise, as well as doing the state a service by killing people, just as they would in war or a domestic crisis, that would just be occupational hazard. Scarlet A.pngmoral 23:53, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
There is a big difference. In training nobody is deliberately trying to kill people. Secondly people who die in this scenario are people who wouldn't otherwise have died. Your proposal ends up with more dead people.--BobSpring is sprung! 06:28, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
The obvious evil rationalist use for death row inmates is scientific experimentation. There's a ton of drugs, not to mention probably rather interesting wetware surgeries that must be tested somewhere and fucking up rabbits can only get you so far. There's artificial hearts to be tested, skin graft rejection treatments to be observed and neuron to chip interfaces to be created and there's no better analogue for the human body than the human body. Sen (talk) 03:37, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Bob, I agree completely, I just brushed it off for the purposes of the thought experiment (if you can even call it that). Obviously, any society brutal enough to want to do this sort of thing seriously would probably take it as acceptable losses. As for experimentation, that's a moral black spot for many reasons. Also, it's far less effective than "only in trial" medical treatment, where people can get experimentation treatments (drugs, surgeries, etc.) providing they're willing to participate in an RCT. This means people are experimented on quite willingly, and we don't avoid the obvious pitfalls of taking unwilling victims - besides, societies that have been batshit insane enough to try this in the past haven't been nice places to live at all (correlation may not equal causation, but it does stand in the corner going "hey, look over there!"). Sure, "only in trial" policies may mean a roughly 50% chance that they don't get the experimental treatment, but what's the point in asking for it if you're not sure it works? Scarlet A.pngmoral 08:37, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Of course, if you were to use killer robots that would get round my objection. (You could maintain the competition element by giving the prisoners tools such as screwdrivers or wrenches.) But on another level using killer robots would be similar to using the electric chair in that you would be using a device to carry out the execution. Indeed, removing the human solider element shows that it's simply another bizarre method of execution.--BobSpring is sprung! 13:34, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Unless the killer robots were being "trained" by loading their AIs with bottom-up experience rather than top-down programming. The only reason I proposed it was to get something "useful" from the concept of execution, in addition to having people die while at least being able to defend themselves. It's certainly an interesting direction to take this little thought-experiment! Scarlet A.pngmoral 14:16, 23 September 2010 (UTC)


On a tangent here, but I want to know what you guys think. You said that the current methods of executing someone are absurd and that a shot in the back of the head would be a lot more humane (I agree; personally I think gassing by way of carbon monoxide would be the most humane method - simply a sleep not woken up from). However, it has been pointed out to me before that making execution more humane would increase the number of executions, as each death sentence would weigh less on the conscience of the judge that makes that decision. The solution of course is to abolish it entirely, but if that's not an option, should we really pursue an "improvement" in the execution method? ONE / TALK 09:17, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, my argument (and indeed the argument of many who are against it) is that all of these "humane improvements" is to make the people signing off on the execution feel better, rather than any benefit for the condemned themselves. So the situation you're talking about is already happening. We no longer see the blood and guts of the guillotine, so people seem to shrug it off more lightly than ever. Recall the firing squad execution from a few months back, that generated enormous interest because it made the killing far more personal. Of course, I'd say that in that sort of situation you shouldn't make reasonably ordinary police officers do it, better have the prosecuting lawyer who pushed for it and the governor who signed off on it get right up close and personal and hands-on with the event. I imagine that as tough as they want to appear in their plush offices, they'd be pretty squeamish about doing it themselves. But I have to reiterate, it's like my primary gripe is this bullshit that surrounds it, more than the concept itself. Scarlet A.pngmoral 09:59, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
There was a science fiction story I read years ago, in an early issue of Omni (which I think would put it in the early Eighties). The idea was that a condemned prisoner spent one night in a "motel room" that was full of death traps. If he survived the night, he got to walk away a free man. The subject of the story was a clever sort, and managed to make it through the night. The "all clear" signal sounded, he turned the doorknob... and felt the poisoned needle enter his hand. MDB (talk) 10:55, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
That sort of makes Asimov sound sane... Scarlet A.pngmoral 14:17, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
There was a program on recently with Michael Portillo where he found the best execution method was a nitrogen gas mask, which made the inmate first "euphoric", then unconcious, then dead. He went to a pro-death penalty guy in the US and explained it to him, and the guy got really angry saying "these people don't deserve to die euphorically, they deserve the pain in death, because they didn't show the same compassion to their victims". (Article) CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:47, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
What about a nice morphine overdose? Which reminds me. I once had the idea that all bullets ought to be coated/injecting with morphine so that when peoples get shot they don't hurt as much as they bleed to death and they die with a smile :D I consider it one of my most humanitarian ideas. Sen (talk) 22:00, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Taking that thought the opposite direction, I think coating bullets in garlic juice can basically turn even a mild wound fatal, from infection or something. But I could be wrong. As for death penalty - they should reserve it for only one crime - child abuse. And the penalty is, the convicted is strapped to a wall/chair/table/whatever, and the child's parents get half and hour with him, with the implements of their choice. (Ok, not an original idea, saw it in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, but perfect poetic justice.) --PsyGremlinRunāt! 22:14, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
No it isn't; it's just a revenge fantasy. Eye for an eye. We don't need to sink to that. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:54, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I think that the death penalty should be reserved for people who would normally get an indefinite sentence. Why bother keeping them behind bars for decades? Just bump them off. If they have a good chance of rehab then just give them (UK) life (20 years). CrundyTalk nerdy to me 22:22, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
The problem there is the assumption that just because somebody can't be rehabilitated to the point where they are no longer a threat to society, that they can't reform at all or come to lead any kind of fulfilling life behind bars. Rehabilitation isn't an all-or-nothing deal. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:54, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Besides which, it's missing the point. No matter how guilty someone seems they can sometimes be found innocent... prisoners can be released, but corpses can't be revived. (talk) 17:47, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Why not just freeze them!?
Which is why they're kept on death row for many years, in case new evidence comes to light. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:50, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Not exactly. It's because the appeals process is very intensive, and takes many years. It's not "just in case". ħumanUser talk:Human 21:48, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Genius of Britain[edit]

I think this may have been mentioned in the Saloon Bar before. A good series overall, it seems. Anyway, I'm on the fifth episode and it ends with Dawkins and Hawking in the same room, talking shit about the beginning of the universe and God and everything for about 10-15 minutes. It's like seeing William Shatner and Patrick Stewart in the same place; at first it seems unnatural, but strangely compelling. Scarlet A.pngmoral 00:01, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

"I think this may have been mentioned in the Saloon Bar before. A good series overall, it seems. Anyway, I'm on the fifth episode and it ends with Dawkins and Hawking in the same room, talking shit about the beginning of the universe and God and everything for about 10-15 minutes. It's like seeing William Shatner and Patrick Stewart in the same place; at first it seems unnatural, but strangely compelling." Cleaned that up for you.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 01:37, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Linkies? Is this on the innertubez for all to enjoy, or do I have to pay a (excuse my French) Licence Fee? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:57, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
It's on 4oD, so you don't need the license fee since it's not a BBC production. But I'm not sure about its restrictions - here's the YouTube version, but for some reason the content is linked to 4oD so may also be country dependent. Scarlet A.pngmoral 08:31, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
Darn, it's blocked here, thanks for trying, though! ħumanUser talk:Human 17:13, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I've looked for it elsewhere but drawing a blank. I believe the series might be getting shown in the US, but it hasn't attracted much attention despite being pretty good. Scarlet A.pngmoral 16:16, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Is Right-Wing Media too Powerful[edit]

I'm wondering if Fox news is the propaganda wing of the Republican party or is the GOP the legislative branch of Fox News? Given what has happened with Rush and Fox making Karl Rove apologize over his comments about Christine O'Donnell, I've been wondering...--Thanatos (talk) 01:16, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Both, with both struggling to become the stronger partner. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:31, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I second that. The GOP is having clearly trouble dealing with Fox. Tetronian you're clueless 01:42, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I feel that the GOP knows it must move towards the middle, but its fundie members and Fox news won't allow it. Limbaughs law "It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you go with the most conservative guy you got." Then there is the Scoreboard pledge: No new taxes, no new bureaucrats, repeal Obamacare and cut spending.--Thanatos (talk) 02:03, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Fox is pro-Murdoch. That is all you need to know. He will back whatever political party which serves his business interests. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 07:53, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
"Pro-Murdoch"? As in owned by him, you mean? ħumanUser talk:Human 08:22, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes but also in the sense that its serves his personal interests rather than that of a political party. In the UK he backed the Labour Party while he thought it could help him. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 08:48, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I thought you might have meant is it too powerful as a media influence, but I think the balance between left/right is okay - although it seems like more centrist/balanced groups are lacking in both the UK and US. But as for the connection between political groups and the media, it definitely appears stronger on the right. If they could get away with it, I'm pretty sure Fox would happily secede and form its own political party... oh, wait, isn't it in the middle of that right now? Scarlet A.pngmoral 09:12, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Easy for you to talk about balance, you already have your National Health... ħumanUser talk:Human 02:45, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I forgot to take into account British Communism. Scarlet A.pngmoral 22:32, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

PZ Myers and Thunderf00t[edit]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJhAYxkyU4E Another big name for his "interview" CV. I'm just posting a link to the forth part because I think it's probably the most interesting. In it Thunderf00t says that "debate" is pretty useless, I tend to agree. What you want isn't points to conflict against each other and then one side wins, you want to follow points to their logical conclusion, narrowing down the discussion to converge on the truth where all sides win. Secondly, there's an interesting point that the internet seems to narrow people down to the "cream of the crop" regarding creationists - they describe VenomFangX, of all people, as "a cut above" the rest of the creationist world, which is pretty impressive. And of course, name dropping the phrase "Conservapedia levels of stupid" towards the end. Scarlet A.pngmoral 13:25, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Bela Lugosi Is Awesome[edit]

Had to say that--Thanatos (talk) 03:38, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Max Von Sydow FTW, asshole. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 04:17, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Fuck that, I'd take Vincent Price. AceDrumcode 04:53, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Heresy? Do they still burn men for heresy? Then burn me, monsieur. Light the fire. Do you think your poor candle will outshine the flame of truth?--Thanatos (talk) 05:30, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Bela Lugosi's Dead. I can prove it, I have the record. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:20, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Christopher Lee. Still alive and did very scary things in the mountains during the Second World War.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 14:53, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Pah! Noobs. Lon Chaney is teh awesome. Or Max Schreck. You can't beat the originals. --PsyGremlinSiarad! 15:01, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
No disrespect to any of the fine actors listed above, but John Barrymore was showing them all how it was done before pictures even had sound. --Tygrehart
Bela Lugosi was in Plan 9 From Outer Space. He is awesome. Every other argument is invalid. Perceptron (talk) 06:55, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

To those with the information.[edit]

Has this been getting hits lately? I ask because it's mentioned on one or two blogs. 02:32, 26 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Ten thousand page views as of now. Real first name and last initial (talk) 10:22, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
What sort of blogs? Scarlet A.pngmoral 11:16, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
It's not a RationalWiki original (see original post) and is in an expanded form at International Wellness Directory.  Lily Inspirate me. 12:22, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I know it's not original; I searched somewhere & it brought up about six fb pages and 3 blogs in the last couple of weeks. Can't recall how or what I searched on now. 17:40, 26 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
I've just shoved it through Google and found a few copies. It's quite funny to watch some neo-cons take it personally and go ape shit over it. Scarlet A.pngmoral 20:28, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

PZ's dungeon[edit]

I just discovered PZ's dungeon of banned commenters and was hardly surprised to see Jinx right near the top, but was shocked not to see any of Ken's usual handles. Anyone know if one or more of those is him? Also, I noticed a link to Jinx's anti-PZ blog, which apparently at least used to be called "PZmysersexposed", which I read as "PZMyer sex-posed" which I think is a much better title. (Also, it occurred to me, do Brits refer to him as "P Zed Myers"? That just sounds dumb.) DickTurpis (talk) 16:24, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

'do Brits refer to him as "P Zed Myers"' Yup! What about it! I suppose you say Pee ZEE! How very silly. 17:37, 26 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
In the interview with him and thunderf00t, he refers to himself as P Zee. (Because he grew up in the US, obviously). Tetronian you're clueless 20:41, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
And because he's notoriously easy…--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:04, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Pee Zee sounds like a kind of venereal disease. Reputable people say 'zed'. Webbtje (talk) 22:09, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think "Pee Zed" flows comfortably on either side of the Atlantic. Scarlet A.pngmoral 22:29, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I've always read it as "Pee Zed". I don't think "Pee Zee" works on this side of the Atlantic. Bondurant (talk) 09:15, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm from Oz and I used to see it as Pee Zed. I've worked on it and can mostly think Pee Zee, as it has a bit more flow, but it's defintely an abbreviation that only a yank would use. RagTopGone sailing 10:21, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
What side of the Atlantic should we count you as? Bondurant (talk) 12:30, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Aren't Ozzies supposed to have a 'mid-Atlantic' accent? RagTopGone sailing 13:25, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I've always read it as P Zed.--BobSpring is sprung! 12:43, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Ken was active on Pharyngula as "Peter Moore" and got banned almost three years ago for spamming. He doesn't appear in the dungeon, though. Röstigraben (talk) 15:14, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

A whole world of stupid[edit]

This is just crazy creationist stupid. Basically saying that the reason we find dino fossils in that typical "head thrown back" position is because they died of asphyxiation in the flood. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. AceDrumcode 20:09, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Specifically, there's this quote:
“I’d read in the literature about rigor mortis, tendons drying out and all, but it didn’t mesh with what I know from my experience as a vet. Dead bodies moving? That didn’t make sense.” Instead, Marshall Faux knew that animals dying from being poisoned or hit by a car often adopt the posture while still (barely) alive.
Besides the fact that dead bodies do move, and people who work with recently deceased bodies see this on a regular basis, she's giving examples of animals who died of poison or trauma as evidence for death by asphyxiation. Wah? --Quantheory (talk) 00:46, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
And surely being thrown around in a great flood would cause all types of contortions. Did animals drown in water? Silt and mud? Or were they hammered about with bits of detritus? AceDrumcode 01:25, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
teh dinos with long necks died watching the giant meteor go past overhead. Hamster (talk) 06:40, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Lol ħumanUser talk:Human 07:41, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

More eBay what-the-fuckery[edit]

I can't cope with this anymore. I put an item to sell (a very large FatBoy beanbag) and set it to only allow UK bidders, and set it to local pickup only (no delivery). Someone in the UK bids on it and wins, and then contacts me afterwards saying:

Dear Sir, I won this item, but I realized now that you don't offer delivery. Can't you ship this item to Portugal? Many thanks, Pedro

I've absolutely had it with eBay. It's just full of morons and scammers now. Is there a better auction site which isn't full of fuckwits? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:34, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Hmm I don't seem to have any problems like that, does it happen a lot? if i remember my ebay settings correctly you should be able to restrict your buyers to people with a good reputation (or a minimum amount of activity). As for Pedro, leave him some shit feedback. ONE / TALK 10:56, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
onlineauction.com might be worth a look. The userbase looks rather U.S.-centric. Much lower ratio of scum and villiany than eBay. But they don't have a lot and you're as unlikely to find what you are looking for on OLA as you are likely to find it on eBay, this in spite of a flat rate monthly fee structure for sellers that should theoretically encourage large numbers of listings. Secret Squirrel (talk) 11:27, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
@one: I did turn on all the restrictions. They had a feedback score of 4, and you can only restrict to buyers with a score of -1 or less. They accepted the cancellation request so I've relisted it. This time I've added ****LOCAL PICKUP ONLY**** in very large red letters. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:17, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
As with all things, you can only put up barriers to stupid. You'll slow them down, but you can't stop them. Scarlet A.pngmoral 12:56, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
eBay provides many ways to restrict which buyers can and cannot bid/buy your items. ShipToRegistrationCountry sounds like the flag for you. EDIT: didn't see he was already registered in the UK. I sell around $350,000 a month on eBay. It's never been that much of a problem. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:20, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Do what? What do you sell?--BobSpring is sprung! 14:27, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Car parts. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:30, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

A copper wire could supply us with unlimited energy[edit]

It sounds like woo (how many promises have we heard of effectively free unlimited energy, generated by something so simple you can buy it off the internet for $499?), but it could well be a real thing. The jist seems to be this: get 1km of thick copper wire, make it into a loop, attached it to a ridiculously big solar sail and position it millions of miles away from Earth for unimaginable amounts of energy. The sail would be the hardest part, but it's well within our capability if we just downsize the device to our actual energy needs.

Even if it turns out to be practically useless (it's too far away to reliably get the energy back to Earth), the idea is still enticing... especially compared to other "pie in the space" energy ideas that use, say, jupiter's moon-flexing gravity or an infinitely long line of black holes. This, we could actually build! ONE / TALK 10:37, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

It's a very intriguing idea, assuming the current density of the solar wind is as high as they claim. The concern that immediately springs to my mind is that the solar wind would start to push the apparatus out from the sun (they seem to be claiming that the electrons could be dumped in order to prevent this). That, and building something that could tolerate surges in solar activity. --Quantheory (talk) 12:07, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
It's not woo, as such, at least not as we'd usually describe it. But it would be well outside our ability to construct for a looooooooooooooooong time. This would have to be post space-elevator because of the weight - and one would assume by then we'd have an energy source that would make the idea redundant. Interesting pipe dreams, nonetheless. Scarlet A.pngmoral 13:01, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
If i'm calculating it correctly the copper alone would be 900 tonnes. The article doesn't describe the device well enough to identify any other weights or engineering restrictions (doesn't even have a diagram), but yes, it would be something of a collossal space project. That said, I don't think 900 tonnes is really so much of a barrier that rockets simply couldn't do the job. The ISS is a total of nearly 400 tonnes. The wire could, I assume, be shuttled up in segments and welded in space. I doubt it would have to be that big anyway - the device described would generate 100 billion times our energy needs. I look forward to finding out more details though as this concept is explored further... ONE / TALK 13:41, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
But our energy needs are almost exponential. I think it'd be far more than 900 tonnes worth of equipment in space. Maybe stick a zero on the end of it at least. And recall that ISS Alpha has been under construction for the best part of a decade. Scarlet A.pngmoral 17:39, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but our energy needs are irrelevant to my point, which was that we have the ability to construct the device today (not that it will actually supply Earth with its energy). I think the transmission problems are the major obstacle, not construction. And yes, the ISS has taken a good decade to build, but again, that's not part of my point - I'm not saying it won't take a lot of time to build, i'm saying we have the technology and ability to do it. You seem to think I believe we can build it monday, launch it tuesday, and switch off all our coal power plants before afternoon tea. ONE / TALK 18:06, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I'd love to see a small working model. Often things that are not cost-effective on a large scale are useful on a small scale - like photovoltaics. Still too expensive for major use (except, say, on space vehicles, Mars rovers, etc.), they are used as battery maintainers on new cars (and the secondary market for idle cars etc.). Not cost effective per watt, per se, but the right tool for the job. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:24, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the stated technological achievements are within our current grasp. At least with near infinite funding. But our ability to construct things in space is actually quite limited and space travel is still in its relative infancy. So while the concept isn't beyond us, the practicalities of doing something on that scale certainly are. We could certainly do the feasibility study "today" (and by "today", I mean, the next decade). But I imagine it would come back saying that it would be at least 100 years off, if not more, before we can put something that size into space without bankrupting the entire planet in the process - an aspect that I think pipe dreaming often neglects! Scarlet A.pngmoral 05:05, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Biter bit[edit]

4chan strikes and ACS Law are humiliated. 10:40, 27 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Is this worksafe? I ask because, well y'know, it's to do with 4chan. ONE / TALK 10:42, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's OK. I would NSFW it if not. 11:14, 27 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
That's pretty disturbing. I knew about the absolute bunch of cnuts that is ACS Law, but didn't know quite how far they were taking it. A few things should be pointed out to them:
  1. Using the courts to demand customer information from a company when you have no intention of persuing a court case is illegal in the UK. They have never, ever taken anyone to court.
  2. Using an IP address to determine downloads in a P2P environment is not sufficient evidence to show intent to illegally download copyrighted / illicit material. Firstly because there are a lot of P2P programs which masquerade as legit applications and are a scam to get people to pay subscription costs to connect to P2P networks and download illegal content. Secondly, there are a lot of botnet worms that set zombie PCs up as seeds for certain files (esp illegal content such as child pornography).
  3. Very often they will request an IP at the incorrect timeframe, so when the ISP gives them the customer details it's actually from a different user.
  4. (Additional) Wireless networks can be hacked very easily. Apparently ACS is rejecting the notion that someone would accidentally leave their wireless network completely open (although this is still shockingly common), but they fail to take into account that a large percentage of residential wireless networks are still protected using WEP, which is very easy to passively crack using tools such as aircrack-ng, and even the people using WPA (with TKIP) are still at risk if they have picked a password which is vulnerable to a dictionary or hybrid attack (or even a brute force attack, depending on how many characters their key is).
ACS Law is just a bully company who make a lot of money out of blackmailing people. I hope the SRA take away their licence because of this. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:02, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
An RW write-up of the situation is probably in order. If we can track down some legit cites for Crundy's three points above it would be an excellent inclusion and addition to the blog post above. We'd need to try and corroborate it too, the guy admits he's not a reliable source but surely a few other links exist. Scarlet A.pngmoral 13:20, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
It appears they might now be facing legal actions and fines, and the ACS website is not down. Scarlet A.pngmoral 13:23, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Re point (1) above, see NPOs (Norwich Pharmacal Order):
The person seeking the court order must have a genuine intention of commencing proceedings.
Re Point (2), see here and here:
P2P scam sites often use phrases like 100% Legal, which is absolutely untrue. This is a trick they use to prey on people interested in P2P file sharing programs, but who are worried (rightly) about Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lawsuits. Keep in mind that sharing and downloading of copyrighted files is, at this moment, an illegal activity.
Or you computer may be used as storage for child pornography: the hacker is safe, but you’re not if the authorities raid your house and discover illegal material on your PC.
CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:31, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh dear. EddyP (talk) 17:08, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I'll happily start an article on this if it pleases the court? What about ACS Law? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 18:35, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, it's properly stylised as ACS:Law, and I don't think that conflicts with the titles in this version of Media Wiki so go ahead. Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:56, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I added brackets to Armond's version of the title. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:17, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
OK, how's that for a start? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:44, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Appreciating some input...[edit]

William Dembski and Richard Marks got an article published in a Japanese journal, JACIII. I've criticized the draft for this article earlier, and the authors reacted to some of my points. But in my opinion, not all problems were addressed. So, I'm composing a letter to the journal (which can be found here) - and I would really enjoy to get your opinions (and admonishments :-)

larronsicut fur in nocte 17:55, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry to say that the maths is above me. But please accept my endorsement and wishes of luck! Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:53, 27 September 2010 (UTC)


Watching "An Idiot Abroad" on SkyPlayer. If you can watch it, do it. It's fucking awesome. Sums up the British attitude to foreign food and customs perfectly. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:02, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Surely that's summed up with the "Going for an English" sketch from Goodness Gracious Me. Scarlet A.pngmoral 20:08, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Hehe "I'm going to have the blandest thing on the menu!" [10] CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:23, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
You can tell the people who watched that and got the joke, because they're the ones in Indian restaurants with their heads down trying not to make eye-contact with the waiting staff. Scarlet A.pngmoral 04:55, 28 September 2010 (UTC)


Mei is a whacky goat. Real first name and last initial (talk) 17:01, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

I miss Mei. Mei was useful! She needs to return, and fast!!! The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 13:51, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

This is relevant[edit]

Moved from Conservapedia Talk:What is going on at CP? by [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 17:39, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

No not really relevant, but a nice stick figure cartoon visualizing a common misconception about evolution very well: http://thedispersalofdarwin.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/stick-evolution/ Etc 08:18, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

More appropriate for the SB? Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 08:27, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Great image, and yes, move this section to SB. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:42, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
The rest of the winners and runner-up listed by the FCFS. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 17:41, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
That is really nice, actually. We could either steal it, or create a similar one for RW as the concept alone is a very good illustration. Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:55, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Wow, those stick figures are damn good!! I'd love to rip off their idea! Nods.gif --Oniontalk/edits 20:44, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I especially liked the hand drawn ones with illegible text! ħumanUser talk:Human 02:04, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I think Randall Munroe has a lot to answer for in the quality of comics we get these days... Scarlet A.pngmoral 04:56, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Here's a stick cartoon you might enjoy. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 11:54, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Kim's successor?[edit]

Kim Jong-un has been made a general. EddyP (talk) 20:13, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

I think he was already announced as successor a while ago, this is probably the first step for the NKorean public. --Oniontalk/edits 20:48, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I recall reading an editorial by Jimmy Carter claiming that North Korea really doesn't want to put themselves in a foreign policy situation that'll lead to war...I wonder if that'll still hold true. Tetronian you're clueless 02:07, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
They certainly wouldn't, because that'd be the end of the Kims' family business of holding their own population hostage and wringing the last penny out of them. Whether prince Kim can consolidate his position and maybe even allow some foreign investments in to improve his kingdom's situation will remain to be seen, but I'm not holding my breath. Röstigraben (talk) 06:31, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I suppose the biggest problem is that Kim Jong-il is um .. ill.--BobSpring is sprung! 08:04, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Christmas with a capital c[edit]

Well, this sucks. Just what we to stir up populist rage at a completely innocent target. Tetronian you're clueless 02:09, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

It was mentioned further up the SB when they looked at it on The Young Turks, but regardless, this looks pretty weird. Imagine them doing that with a Muslim villain (oh, wait, Hollywood has been demonising them for years!) but you can still see it would probably draw some more criticism. I suppose this is what people genuinely think is actually happening behind the scenes when they hear stories about Christmas decorations being pulled down (that said, the furrow over the santa's hat on the RW logo last year leads me to believe some atheists really are that grumpy) rather than, you know, people just embracing multiculturalism. But the end of the article strikes me, an atheist president! Ha! You're more likely to get a black man in office... it does lead me to think that we do need to start treating the issue of discrimination and demonisation of secularists and atheists as seriously as the civil rights movement did in the 50s and 60s (although depending on how pessimistic you are, you could claim that isn't entirely finished yet, but look how far we've come). I have a dream... *ahem* that perhaps, just perhaps, one day a teenage kid can say "Mom, Dad, I don't want to go to Church any more because I really don't believe, it just isn't for me" and not be immediately kicked into Bible camp and practically ostracised from their family. Anyway, that's a bit of a ranting tangent. I'd probably forgive this movie if it was funny or a bit more intelligent, like the South Park episode that took the piss out of organised atheists - that was good satire of the situation. Scarlet A.pngmoral 05:14, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
"Mitch Bright"? Ooh, how subtle. Röstigraben (talk) 06:40, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Whole thing looks hilarious to me.--BobSpring is sprung! 06:46, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Hilarious with a capital H!! Scarlet A.pngmoral 07:05, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I always knew you were Tolerance. :-) --BobSpring is sprung! 08:02, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
The bit at 0:52 with the ominous music is brilliang! -- Nx / talk 08:25, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I'd be satisfied if it were an intelligent satire intended for audiences who can appreciate it. But it isn't, it's just blatant propaganda stereotyping atheists and showing how they are all bitter and mean people (sounds a lot like Ken, doesn't it?). I hope this doesn't become a trend. Tetronian you're clueless 14:52, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Billo pulls an Andy[edit]

Wow--Thanatos (talk) 11:39, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Lol, my favorite was the 69% to 59% break in one of the "analysis" things BoRe read out loud... ħumanUser talk:Human 19:23, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Wow. Bill really retreated into his shell there. Tetronian you're clueless 19:33, 28 September 2010 (UTC)


Sometimes Google ads are worth something. found these. Wins for 'Dawkins is my Messiah' and 'atheists for Jesus.' --PsyGremlinZungumza! 13:12, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Ooh, I like this one and this one. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:21, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm a rather big fan of this set of t-shirts. Seems right up RW's alley (ooh kinky) ONE / TALK 14:06, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Wow, yes, seems like they have an illustration for every article on the site! My favorite was the time cube one. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:17, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Ooh, I like the Time Cube one. Tetronian you're clueless 14:48, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I like the Cthulhu, Xenu & Turtle ones. --PsyGremlinSiarad! 15:04, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm voting Tea Party. Hee hee hee... MDB (talk) 15:14, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Lol "Obama is right handed, just like Hitler". I'm surprised none of them have actually used that argument yet. It's only a matter of time. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:23, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
That's because he isn't right handed. Tetronian you're clueless 15:24, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
That's the joke. ONE / TALK 15:38, 28 September 2010 (UTC)


I'm going to see VP Biden hold a rally today; he's probably just going to tell people to go out and vote but it should still be interesting. Tetronian you're clueless 14:49, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, but with Biden, you can always hope he'll go off script, so you'll be able to tell your grandkids, "I was there when Vice-President Biden accidentally started a war with Canada and the Bahamas!" MDB (talk) 14:52, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I think there is a Q&A as part of the event, but I'm not sure.
Also: I've already seen flyers put out by this ultra-conservative group who is going to protest; their argument is that "50% of youth are unemployed" (a bullshit statistic if there ever was one) and somehow this is Obama's fault. Tetronian you're clueless 14:55, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Update: The rally what somewhat interesting. Biden was about an hour late, which I had expected, but his speech was interesting. Some highlights:
  • He called the Republicans' belief that we shouldn't use government to incentivise the private sector a "Neanderthal notion"
  • He talked about funding from the stimulus bill going to research at universities and then said "Science is back in the White House!"
  • Possibly my favorite line from the speech: "Don't compare us to the Almighty, compare us to the alternative."
The one odd thing is that this Lutheran minister woman opened the rally with a prayer, which I definitely wasn't expecting. Overall, it was a pretty entertaining afternoon. Tetronian you're clueless 19:17, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I certainly hope that much more than 50% of youth are unemployed. They should be in school. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 21:12, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I started a fun page[edit]

Check out The Truth About Obama and feel free to add to it. MDB (talk) 17:46, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Science books[edit]

I have but two questions:

  • what science books have you read that you would most highly recommend, and why?
  • where do you go to find out about recent science book releases?

I'll come back and answer these myself in due course. ONE / TALK 13:10, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Actually no, I'll answer them now.
  • By far the best science book I've ever read is Life by Richard Fortey, an epic tome that chronicles the history of life on Earth from its inception to modern man, littered with personal stories and anecdotes from this paleontologist's life of work and explanations of how the science of geology (formerly nothing more than a hobby) has pieced together all that we know. It's beautifully written all throughout and anyone with the slightest interest in natural history should read this book.
  • I'd also recommend The Selfish Gene, though I'd be surprised if anyone here hasn't already read it. The ultimately simple premise - that genes are the units of competition in nature, not individuals or groups - is powerfully argued, and as a reviewer notes it really does turn biology on its head.
  • I don't know many sources (which is why I'm asking), but generally I keep my eye on the book reviews column on NewScientist.com. ONE / TALK 13:18, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Why Does E=mc2 is high up on my list of recommendations and, as always, so is Science of Discworld. Scarlet A.pngmoral 13:20, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I concur with SoD, also Bill Bryson's "A Brief History of Nearly Everything." Both do a nice job of explaining things in simple English. Dawkins' "The Ancestor's Tale", Susan Blackmore, "The Meme Machine", anything by Richard Feynberg, "Fermat's Last Theorem" and slightly more wooified, "Food of the Gods" by Terrence McKenna. Oh yes, TiKAL & PiKAL (but they're more chemistry than science *g*). --PsyGremlinTal! 13:28, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Very interesting chemistry, I see... Scarlet A.pngmoral 14:05, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
It's getting a bit dated already, but Genome by Matt Ridley was really fascinating when I was first getting learning about genetics. The Blank Slate by Stephen Pinker gets heavily into nature vs. nurture and addresses some of the same social/philosophical issues as are in Genome (particularly concerns about books like The Bell Curve). On the physics side of things, there's QED by Richard Feynman, which is one of the easiest possible introductions to quantum mechanics (his unofficial autobiography is quite interesting for very different reasons). And for science/math history, there's David Bodanis's E=mc2, Petr Beckmann's A History of Pi, and Charles Seife's Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea. Douglas Hofstadter's GEB is a classic, and I can't say I didn't enjoy it, although he edges towards woo from time to time. He's a smart man though; I've reproduced some of his old research before. --Quantheory (talk) 14:38, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Just try finding any of the Science of Discworld books in the States. I just ordered all three on eBay from a seller in England. MDB (talk) 14:44, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Forgot one - "Against the Gods," how probability calculations were discovered. --PsyGremlin말하십시오 14:57, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I think I would recommend Guns Germs and Steel. Fantastic evolution-centred history of society by Jared Diamond.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:10, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Seconding GG&S. It was very intriguing and convincing to me. --Quantheory (talk) 05:44, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
On the Mode of Communication of Cholera, by John Snow. A classic of epidemiology; also some interesting material about how water and sewage was handled in Victorian Britain. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Marc D. Hauser's Moral Minds, and another vote for Guns, Germs and Steel. Röstigraben (talk) 06:28, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
As a total ignoramus, dare I say: "A brief History of Time" by someone or other without being shot down? (Also the Bill Bryson) and anything by WP:John_Gribbin and WP:James Gleick 06:48, 29 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Science books can span quite a range from seriously academic to pop. I endorse both Bill Bryson & Jared Diamond's books. My suggestions: Ben Goldacre's Bad Science is a good one for anti-woo, How to Lie with Maps by Mark Monmonier, The Map that changed the World by Simon Winchester' about the first geological map of England, The Day the Universe Changed by James Burke - a history of science & technology, Dava Sobel's Longitude, Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh. I get many of my tips from a retired friend who is an avid reader as well as just browsing through airport bookshops. A recommended read, not directly in the science genre but related to RW ideology, is A.C.Grayling's Liberty in the Age of Terror - I am also looking forward to The Good Book: A Secular Bible when it is released next year. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 15:59, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Fox Noise Network[edit]

Does anybody seriously still think they are not a shill for the Rape-ublicans? Especially now that they are hoarding potential Republican presidential candidates? The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 14:18, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't mind (comparatively) that Fox News is an arm of the GOP. What I object to is the imbeciles who are convinced that it's an unbiased source. If someone wants to say "I watch Fox News because of its conservative viewpoint", fine, more power to him. If someone says, "I watch Fox News because it's unbiased", then he's an idiot. MDB (talk) 14:48, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Agree with you there, MDB. I don't care when people acknowledge that it is a shill, but when they buy into the whole "fair and balanced" lies, I just wish I could stab them. The Goonie Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 08:32, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't even say it represents the conservative viewpoint anymore, just like CP doesn't represent the conservative viewpoint - it's devolved into ultra-conservative politics mixed with sensationalist attention-grabbing ploys. Tetronian you're clueless 14:58, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Speaking of Fox News[edit]

Obama is speaking of Fox News, and not kindly. MDB (talk) 14:54, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

...and now Fox will quote it and then it will only increase polarization. He should have just ignored them. Tetronian you're clueless 14:57, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, I don't think he could have said it was fine with a straight face. He's got it right when he says it's "destructive", Fox News is highly divisive and I'd say is going to seriously end up prompting a domestic terrorist attack. Scarlet A.pngmoral 19:36, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I thought they already did? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:10, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I mean Oklahoma bombing scale or so, but I suppose they have been implicated in stuff like George Tiller's murder. Scarlet A.pngmoral 20:16, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says[edit]

"[A] survey that measured Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists and agnostics knew more, on average, than followers of most major faiths. In fact, the gaps in knowledge among some of the faithful may give new meaning to the term 'blind faith.'" The most religious know the least about their religion. --Leotardo (talk) 15:04, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

This is on TWIGO:CP already (though I wouldn't mind discussing it here as well). I'm not too surprised - atheists do tend to be more educated overall. Tetronian you're clueless 15:05, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Also WIGO World - in case people haven't noticed that there's more to RationalWiki than the fucking Conservapedia page. But yes, may as well talk crap about it in the SB too, it's pretty interesting as it confirms what many of us suspected anyway. Scarlet A.pngmoral 15:10, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I was going to make a profound comment about this here but I see that it's been said at the other two locations. (and in the LA times article.)--BobSpring is sprung! 15:18, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Between this and the never-ending stories about how little people know about basic civics and geography, I don't know how anyone can go around trumpeting how smart Americans are. They may not be dumb, but when they are so uninformed it's hard to see how they can make intelligent decisions. --Leotardo (talk) 15:22, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
This isn't remotely surprising, but then again following a religion isn't really about learning as much trivia about that religion as possible.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 16:14, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
This isn't really trivia: "Four in 10 Catholics misunderstood the meaning of their church's central ritual, incorrectly saying that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are intended to merely symbolize the body and blood of Christ, not actually become them." --Leotardo (talk) 16:20, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
That doesn't surprise me at all. In fact, I bet if you could get Catholics to answer the question completely honestly very few of them would actually say they really believe that they are literally eating the blood and body of Jeebus. (How's that for piling on the adverbs?) DickTurpis (talk) 16:23, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

John Kerry is now under fire from conservatives for saying the un-sayable truth that Americans are ignorant. --Leotardo (talk) 17:14, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

It's amazing how many people get offended by the truth. As poor Jamie Oliver found out when he tried to get some obese Americans to eat more healthily - something about their God-given constitutional right to have pizza for breakfast if I recall. 18:16, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I recall an anecdote about an anthropologist at a dinner party, describing the rituals and beliefs of a remote African tribe, when a Catholic Priest who was present said "It's strange how people can believe such odd things!" Hah! Anyway, I think for the most part, religious believers (well, moderate-cum-liberal ones, at least) when pressed will probably not take any literal stock in their dogma. Especially aspects that can too easily be disproven by reality. Catholics aren't going to believe in transubstantiation any more than Christian drivers will replace seatbelts with prayer. There may be a lot of talk about miracles and how fucking awesome God's cock is, but I think when the chips are down, believers are more grounded in reality than many atheists give them credit for. Scarlet A.pngmoral 17:28, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I wish you were right, but the First Annual Catholic Conference on Geocentrism, entitled "Galileo Was Wrong; The Church Was Right" is happening November 6. Sigh. I suppose those folks all know to believe that they are drinking blood and consuming flesh, though. --Leotardo (talk) 17:59, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
That's one hell of a link. But can it be true? It looks very legit, but Poe's law is giving me problems.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:29, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
It's not hoax per Andrew Sullivan. --Leotardo (talk) 18:58, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
So if the communion is/becomes blood, does this mean we can clone Jesus from it? Sen (talk) 18:02, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm open minded about this, but have you ever noticed how hard the Catholic church fights cloning? Occasionaluse (talk) 18:15, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Now, if these people are waiting for Jesus to return, God helps those who help themselves, and the communion actually does transform into Jesus' flesh... then they need to endorse cloning in order to bring about the second coming. Fault this logic, please! Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:17, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Jesus comes in my mouth.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:26, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I think Armondikov is right about theists by and large not really believing a lot of what they pretend to believe. Take heaven. If you're certain you're going to start an eternity of bliss as soon as you die, why fear death at all? Yet basically everyone does. Seems sort of hypocritical to me. DickTurpis (talk) 19:57, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, there is anecdotal evidence from care homes to suggest that the pious are more fearful of death. But I wouldn't blame anyone for fearing death whether they were big on afterlives or not, it's a big thing that is always looming. Scarlet A.pngmoral 19:40, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

In case anyone wants to take the test but they never called[edit]

Part of the test is here, although it seems the remaining 17 question that make Atheists' results look better than Jews. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 12:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the link. To be honest, most of them are trivia - the kind of questions that better-educated people will tend to know regardless of religion (and of course there are comparatively more atheists among the better-educated). I include transsubstantiation in this - it would be a small minority of Catholics that really give a flying hoot about what is a pretty abstract theological point, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that only a minority had even heard of it.
Reading up a load of stuff about the more mystical Catholic beliefs does not mean that you understand what Catholicism is really about - a mistake often made by Dawkins and his followers that tends to undermine the things they are actually right about.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 16:13, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Yeah right, what Kriss said; or, when people subscribe to a religion that is supposed to be the gateway to the eternal salvation of their soul, they may actually want to know what that religion believes, including the central ritual that they take part in. I find it odd that you consider these sorts of things just trivial. If these are trifles, I don't suppose it matters what religion one follows as long as it is theistic and makes you feel good in this life...? A more likely explanation is that people are just handed their religion on a platter from their parents when they are born and could care less learning about it even though they base their votes and likes/dislikes upon what they think their religion is all about. --Leotardo (talk) 18:20, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the link, too bad they didn't include all 32 questions. 15/15 without breaking a sweat; 99th percentile. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:09, 29 September 2010 (UTC)