# RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive8

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## We're not alone....maybe.

So some astronomers now think there could be 100 billion earth-like planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone--and that many of these might support some sort of life. I want to, no I need to, stay alive until we make contact with some sort of non-terrestrial life, preferably sentient (both the alien life and myself by that time...)...this gives me a teeny, tiny bit of hope....TheoryOfPractice 12:31, 15 February 2009 (EST)

At the risk of reopening an old quarrel, how are you defining "sentient"? Personally, I'm skeptical that there might be other creatures which have developed consciousness, complex languages and civilisations. I think that single-celled organisms are much more likely, or perhaps something different altogether. WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 12:44, 15 February 2009 (EST)
I'm a little curious on what grounds you doubt there may be such creatures? Is there some sort of assumption that we are special somehow, or that these other planets are considerably younger? --Kels 13:18, 15 February 2009 (EST)
We are special. It's not an assumption: it's an observation. No other creatures on our own planet have developed the mental and practical capabilities and applications that we have, and we came to develop those abilities through an extraordinary chain of evolutionary development, every stage of which involved chance mutations and competition for survival. I'm no expert in any of this, but I find it difficult to believe that a similar evolutionary path to a similar level of complexity would have happened simultaneously elsewhere. I certainly don't rule it out; I'm just doubtful. WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 13:37, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Seems pretty thin, unless you're arguing against an alien species being identical to humans rather than similar, which I'd agree with. But the fact that we exist tells us it is possible for a species of our level to evolve. There are plenty of species already existing on Earth which could easily be candidates for "intelligence" as we measure it, given a bit of time and circumstances. Humans aren't really all that special, other than that we (like every other animal on the planet) have unique circumstances. --Kels 14:01, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Dolphins can be homosexual. That seems like a non-sequiter, until you remember that a species has to be civilized for homosexuality to emerge (I think I remember hearing that somewhere). Chimpanzees show signs of intelligence. Magpies recongize themselves in mirrors. Octopi have a sense of humor. How are we special? --"CURtalk 14:03, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Weasel, no one's saying there are Martians. But one would have to be foolish to assume that there is no other life in the galaxy. --"CURtalk 13:20, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Weaseloid: "I find it difficult to believe that a similar evolutionary path to a similar level of complexity would have happened simultaneously elsewhere". How about following an entirely different evolutionary path to reach a similar level of complexity? Intelligent life could well have evolved elsewhere that doesn't resemble humans in the slightest. alt 13:43, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Sentient--self-aware and able to consciously act on and in the world somehow? I hadn't really thought about it, but even insects would qualify as so I imagine. TheoryOfPractice 12:57, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Oh yes, most animals are sentient. As a matter of fact, almost all animals but a few sessile invertabrates are sentient. And yes, I hope that we find alien life. It would be so fasciating to study an alien philosophy, in addition to their biochemistry! --"CURtalk 13:11, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Sentient is not necessarily self-aware. I think the operative word here is sapient. 13:21, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Give the laymen a break here. Yes, I am aware of the difference. No, I don't particuarly care. --"CURtalk 13:25, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Clearly, given the indentation, I wasn't talking to you. Nice job getting riled up over nothing though. 13:30, 15 February 2009 (EST)
If you think I was riled up, you should have seen me in Debate:Otherkin. Oh wait, you did. Never mind. --"CURtalk 13:31, 15 February 2009 (EST)
Hominids have only been around for a couple of millions years and just a handful of millennia for something that can think abstractly, have self-awareness and produce an enduring culture. The chance of another entity developing at the same rate is quite remote when we are trying to pick just a couple of thousand years out of 4.5 billion. I think we are special owing to the Goldilocks syndrome, our planet is just the right size, has the right distance from a star of a certain size and contains the right elements to make us. I don't believe that there are billions of similar-sized planets orbiting similar-sized starts at similar orbits with the right components to have created something like us. For a start we wouldn't even be here if it wan't for a couple of catastrophic impacts during the Earth's history. So there may be a quite a lot of similar planets and only on a few of them will something that we might recognise as sentient sapient life exists. However, it is quite likely that there are entities quite unlike us both in size and appearance who have either lesser or significantly more advanced technologies. Anyone for a silicon based life form? ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 13:59, 15 February 2009 (EST)
I am silicon-based- remember? We had this discussion over an episode of BSG. --"CURtalk 14:00, 15 February 2009 (EST)

Hmmm, I find most of this discussion fascinating. Si is a poor candidate - although chemically similar to C, complex silicon compounds tend to be rigid rather than flexible, which is part of the magic of organic chemistry. Anyway, the tough part is that even if complex civilizations exist out there, the communications "window" is tiny. For instance, we've only been broadcasting for about a century, and "listening" for quite a bit less than that. Add in that no one knows "where" to listen, and that civilizations might likely stop broadcasting, and the galaxy could be teeming with life, even intelligent, communicating life, and none of us (the various species) would even know about each other. See also, the Drake Equation. I think the broader excitement on the discovery/prediction (without bothering to read the article ;)) is that current theories of solar system development are pointing to a high likelihood of rocky planets forming in the "liquid water" distance range from their stars. ħuman 17:46, 15 February 2009 (EST)

Yes, but I (nor anyone else to my knowledge) am not saying that we can contact them, merely that they exist. --"CURtalk 17:57, 15 February 2009 (EST)
"sentient alien life" = self-centred twaddle. We'd be lucky to find recognisable bacteria. I'm going to stop being crabby now. User:Mei 17:58, 15 February 2009 (EST)
We'd actually be more likely, IMO, to locate "intelligent" civilization than the much more likely to exist simple life. Why? Because a civilization might invent radio, which spreads knowledge of them at the speed of light. To find "simple" life, we would need to physically get to it, at vastly lower speeds of "exploration" and even more vastly narrower "penetration", by which I mean we'd have to pick a place to send a probe to. Of course, a planet with liquid water would be a good target. To be carbon/water chemical life centric. ħuman 18:19, 15 February 2009 (EST)
My silicon-based life-form remark was a nod to a very early Star Trek episode with a semi-intelligent rock - It's life Jim but not as we know it. The other point about rocky water laden planets is that their gravitational field needs to be similar to Earth's to produce a similar sized being. A very heavy planet would probably produce much smaller creatures while too small a planet might encourage too much growth. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 02:17, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Ahhh... the Horta, the only living thing that could be bandaged with cement. Star Trek - corny production values, awesome writing staff..... As for life elsewhere, it's almost a definite as far as I'm concerned. When talking about the sheer magnitude of stars (and probably planets) out there, even the statistically insignificant becomes probable. Sightblinder 08:30, 16 February 2009 (EST)
More interesting stuff from TED. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 12:50, 16 February 2009 (EST)
I only watched a fragment of this when I posted the link (was at work) but have now watched the full 20 minutes. Interesting on so many scientific fronts. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 15:20, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Another TED video that impinges on this topic. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 15:49, 16 February 2009 (EST)
This will interest some - as it turns out "alien" life may already be amongst us. And I am not talking about Otherkin/Therians either. Ace McWickedRevolt 16:14, 16 February 2009 (EST)

## Are the CP staff and users really commited?

When I saw that the CP webmaster had an account (and not for trolling or vandalism), I became convinced that CP is coming appart at the seams. When a project's lead staff are defecting you kno t has problems.--Ipatrol 23:11, 15 February 2009 (EST)

I think they create account here to avoid a repeat of User:Aschlafly. - User ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle h/2\hbar }$ 23:14, 15 February 2009 (EST)
I wouldn't blame them - and if Andrew turned up here and asked us for Aschlafly, I think we would do just that. Right now it's just a parody account. ħuman 00:18, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Isn't CPwebmaster some geeky youth that deals with the technical stuff? ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 02:20, 16 February 2009 (EST)

Every time I see the title of this section I think "they should be! ;)" Totnesmartin 17:12, 16 February 2009 (EST)

## Dawkins in the TLS

Good read. TheoryOfPractice 11:20, 16 February 2009 (EST)

My such praise from Dawkins for a fellow author. That's a "must read". Thanks for the tip, ToP.--Bobbing up 16:37, 16 February 2009 (EST)

## Fun stuff to do with a Wiimote

Here and here. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 12:47, 16 February 2009 (EST)

I love that guy. Why don't Nintendo get off their arses and do this properly!! ArmondikoVtheist 14:30, 16 February 2009 (EST)

## Anyone know how to set up Skype?

My brother in New York's just pestered me for the dozenth time to set it up on our parents' computer. Any help in this would be greatly appreciated. Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:26, 16 February 2009 (EST)

You just download the software and install it. There's nothing to it. Once it's set up you can search on skype name or email address to find contacts. That's about it if you just want to use a computer to computer connection. If you want to call land-lines or mobiles then you need to set up a billing account, I use Paypal to automatically add GBP 10 when the funds run low. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 19:18, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Ah, thank you Genghis. Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:25, 16 February 2009 (EST)

## Just a minute to brag

I've been working with chocolate as a hobby for near to 3 years, and i found a new technique to temper my chocolates, and they turned out soooooo good. whoohoo. I mean, they are the shiny beauties of high end production. ok, thanks for letting me cheer/brag.--EnAttendantGodot 19:13, 16 February 2009 (EST)

Perhaps you could share the goodies? ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 19:19, 16 February 2009 (EST)
What? That's it? You've just made me slobber all over my keyboard... and you STOP???! heartless wench. --PsyGremlinWhut? 19:20, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Pics or it didn't happen! =P --Kels 20:29, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Heh, well, if you want to fly to denver (Westminster to be exact... just east of I-25 and 120th, I'd happily provide them. As of yet, I've not figured out how to send them via e-mail. These were in the shape of hearts (copper dust painted on the outside, with dark chocolate & red pepper), the shape of cats (just dark chocolate) with purple dust eyes, and of course the obligitory truffles. this year I did Amaretto, Rose (in white chocolate - so super sweet), and Navan (Nivan?) (a vanilla cognac). I want to do this semi-professionally, for weddings and such, but any business like that requires years of practice, cause the last thing you want is a bride saying "what???? you didn't make the little bells????" Brides are freaky! ;-) I'm always trying new things, just come on by. it's a short hop from the UK, or chicago, though I'm not sure if it's all that close to Outer Mongolia, Genghis.--EnAttendantGodot 20:35, 16 February 2009 (EST) (edit conflict)
OMG that sounds sooooo good! You have got to put up a pic or two. Hah, your hobby is making chocolates, mine is eating them. :p Refugeetalk page 22:17, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Still waiting for the photos! I'd love to see the heart shaped chocolates. Refugeetalk page 20:40, 18 February 2009 (EST)
LOL, yeah, photos. um... i have a cell phone! ;-)--En attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 20:51, 18 February 2009 (EST)

## "Scientific Racism" (and possibly Neo-Nazism) on Youtube

It's well hidden under the guise of "science" and "evolution", but it's clearly pushed by someone with an agenda. I would rebut it, but the problem is, I don't know much about human evolution and genetics, and I also don't know how to make videos.

So I was wondering if anyone who had a Youtube account and a knowledge of human biology and genetics could tear this scum down. (And in case you were wondering why I put 'and possibly Neo-Nazism', it's because this person also 1-starred a video about a group of Jews fighting off Nazis in France. Combine that with the race videos, and you've probably got yourself a Neo-Nazi.) AwesomeJack16 20:23, 16 February 2009 (EST)

No YouTube account, but I do have enough knowledge to refute this, if you give me a transcript. --"CURtalk 20:35, 16 February 2009 (EST)
(EC)Very dubious. I didn't watch the whole thing but flicked through it. The vid mentions "race denial" a lot. If you Google search "race denial", you'll see it's a phrase used almost entirely by white supremacists, who accuse political correctness & suchlike of denying the existing of race. I'm not sure what YouTube's policy on hosting this is, since it's not out-&-out racist, but it is at least pointing in an implicitly racist direction. WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 20:38, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Ugh, I have to watch it again CUR? lol. I'll make a subpage on my profile to contain the text of the video and the links and references on the side of the video. I really do not want people suckered in by this white supremacist trash, so I'll help in any way I can to demolish the video. AwesomeJack16 20:46, 16 February 2009 (EST)
We must prepare to use our power as teh rulers of teh innertubes to destroy this evil blight that is threatening our evil plot to destroy the world! Make the page and I'll get on it. --"CURtalk 20:56, 16 February 2009 (EST)
The transcripts and links are available through a link on my user page. I would appreciate anyone analyzing the content and the references in order to debunk this trash. I thank anyone in advance. AwesomeJack16 22:02, 16 February 2009 (EST)
I left a comment on the video. I would be very interested in people debunking this crap.DSFARGEG 20:49, 16 February 2009 (EST)
I just flicked through it again, & noticed that the vid's final comment is endorsing "racial preservation". Yikes! WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 20:52, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Only a couple of clicks from there I found an openly White Nationalist user / channel. Now I really am annoyed. WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 21:07, 16 February 2009 (EST)

Do we have a race denial article? Totnesmartin 16:51, 17 February 2009 (EST)

Doesn't look like it. We don't have a "scientific racism" article either. WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 17:05, 17 February 2009 (EST)
I'd do it but I find the subject too repellent to do the necessary research... Totnesmartin

## A little problem

User:Yerranos has been treading the border between allowed dissent and spamming/trolling/vandalizing/not following the site's mission. We can't let this place become a dumping ground for every YEC and idiot on earth who secretly hates us, but we can't be like CP either. I'm incliend to block this user and show him the door, but I'm almost sure I'd be promoted if I did that. Any suggestions?--Ipatrol 22:28, 16 February 2009 (EST)

That user has made any edits since last June, so I think we're safe from them. Whatever you're looking at by them must be very old edits or comments. We don't block for ideology. If somebody is vandalising or edit warring or trolling abusively, it may be necessary to block them for a short period (only an hour or so, to get them to stop) or put them in the vandal bin (see RationalWiki:Community Standards or RationalWiki:Sysop guide). We don't ban users permanently. WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 22:46, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Definitely. We should be grateful that some of them might want to come here to discuss things rather than just sit on CP going "yeah, that's how it happened. THE TRUTH SHALL SET YE FREEEE!!". So ideological blocking has to be a big no no. ArmondikoVtheist 04:59, 17 February 2009 (EST)

## Looking for a Yoda

Help! I need to figure out how to create a new essay and can't (be bothered to) figure it out on my own! Many thanks from the wiki-impaired...... Sightblinder 23:25, 16 February 2009 (EST)

Create a red link to it, click on the red link, and start writing in the edit box. Use "Essay:" to start the name so it ends up in the right place. Example to copy: [[Essay:My profound insights]] Put {{Essay}} or {{Essay|Sightblinder}} at the top to mark it appropriately. ħuman 23:33, 16 February 2009 (EST)
Or if you want to not bother creating a link first (though of course you should put a link somewhere, or noone will find it) you can put "Essay:My wonderful essay title" in the search box. If the page doesn't exist, it'll give you an option to create it. alt 04:43, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Or alternatively you can create a supage User:Sightblinder/essay and work on it, then when you're done, move it to the essay space. People are likely to ignore it in your userspace, there's nothing more annoying than someone commenting on a WIP with something blindingly obvious that you just haven't added yet :p. ArmondikoVtheist 05:01, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Tanks to you all.... let the rambling begin! Sightblinder 23:50, 18 February 2009 (EST)

## Intresting site to help our efforts

Look at http://www.quackwatch.org it seems to be a site that, like us, refutes antiscience, in this case medical antiscience.--Ipatrol 11:03, 17 February 2009 (EST)

Cool, yeah, I think we have a number of footnotes that point to them in some of our articles on, well, quacks. ħuman 17:40, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Shall I establish first contact? --"CURtalk 17:41, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Really? Z3rotalk 17:44, 17 February 2009 (EST)
No. Unless you actually want me to. I haven't been feeling particuarly sane today. --"CURtalk 17:46, 17 February 2009 (EST)

## Namespace:fun

I've run across some amazingly funny "Fun" catigories when just wandering aimlessly around here editing. Maybe we can highlight some of the better ones, so people know what creative fools we (well, you, really, since i've not written any of them... but I'm all for TeamMembership(tm)) are. A link on the front page or the Saloon for "Funny bit for the day" or something. Just an idea. --En attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 17:10, 17 February 2009 (EST)

When you cross something hilarious, go to its talk page and bring up catting it as "best of amusement". Three articles from that cat are randomly linked with every loading of the main page. And the cat is linked too. ħuman 17:56, 17 February 2009 (EST)

## Talk page height

Am I the only one for who the height of the talk pages is bigger than it should be? I've got like 100% white space added to the bottom, which I didn't have before. I've only got it in Opera, not in IE (in before browser fanboys). --GTac 17:38, 17 February 2009 (EST)

Could it be something to do with the new "Add new section" tab, or has it always been like that? Either way, you're better off moving this thread to RationalWiki:Technical support. WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 17:41, 17 February 2009 (EST)

## Frog

File:Frog 1252062c.jpg
The gorgeous frog in question.

Ten new species of amphibians were discovered in Columbia. These include one orange-legged rain frog, three poison-dart frogs, three glass frogs, a salamander, and a harlequin toad. One wonders how long these beauties will last with cyptrid fungus spreading. Perhaps an article would be a good idea, no? Considering it is believed to be promoted by global warming. --"CURtalk 18:23, 17 February 2009 (EST)

Any comments? --"CURtalk 21:09, 17 February 2009 (EST)
No, apparently. Can you write something? Do you want to? ħuman 22:35, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, I can. No, I suffer from delay syndrome. --"CURtalk 18:32, 18 February 2009 (EST)

## Homeskooling isn't great. . .

. . . but judging on the fact that one of my teachers (and a student) thinks that penguins are fish, and another person (who get's straight A's) thinks that Thomas Edison discovered gravity, I do not think that public skooling is that great either. --"CURtalk 18:36, 17 February 2009 (EST)

Any teaching is only as good as the teacher (and ignoring the fact that going to school is about quite a lot more than just "academic" learning).. I had some absolutely brilliant teachers at school and some terrible ones. (one was sufficiently bad that my friends and I decided to leave some frozen fish in his classroom immediately before the school broke up for holiday for a week...) I guess if you're homeskooled and only exposed to teaching from a small group of people (quite possibly one person) then it greatly increases the likelihood that all of your teachers are rubbish. (p.s. - I can be rather pedantic at times. Has your English teacher taught you the correct way to use apostrophes yet? ;) ) alt 18:47, 17 February 2009 (EST)
No, she's has'nt. Okay, maybe she has. But the point still remains that we are talking about people who are not qualified to be teachers. And the whole school is like this, aside from myself (I hope) and a few others. --"CURtalk 18:49, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Out of interest, do you have any idea what qualifications a typical US teacher will have? Here in the UK the usual route would be to do an undergraduate degree in the subject you teach (3 years for many subjects, but often 4 years for science/maths-type subjects) followed by one year doing a postgraduate certificate of education ("PGCE"), where one is taught how to teach. alt 18:57, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Apparently it takes absolutely nothing, as the teachers don't know that penguins are birds, for *****'s sake! --"CURtalk 19:00, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Exactly the case. Typically, the best homeschooling comes from intelligent, professional parents, who know they can do a better job and want to avoid an anti-intellectual environment, as opposed to the "Public skools are libural and hate God" crowd. I've known kids of both types and the difference is enormous. 19:09, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Given that my knowledge of the overall state of the US school system is pretty much zero I may not be the best person to comment. But my biggest problem with homeskooling is the possibility that one's entire education might be in the hands of one person. Can you really imagine what it would be like to have Andy/CP as your sole source of information? As someone who does quite a lot of (degree-level) teaching, that's the sort of thing which pretty much gives me nightmares. And I'm not kidding; it really fills me with despair that there might be people who's entire education is of the standard seen in Andy's "courses". As Publius says there will be some very intelligent and capable people who teach their children. But then there are people like Andy. alt 19:31, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Is the "penguins are fish" teacher teaching biology? Anyway, in the US, certs for teaching are pretty much managed entirely at the state level, ranging from probably a minimum of bachelor degree to master's plus. As I recall, CUR isn't in one of the more "progressive" states, so standards might be pretty low. ħuman 19:43, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Understatement. Standards are so low they are in negative values. --"CURtalk 20:31, 17 February 2009 (EST)

On the penguin thing: I was under the impression that all fish were reptiles, so shouldn't that applies to peguins as well? I mean especially considering Science has discovered that birds are really like little flying dinosaurs . . . penguins, like monkeys, are really flightless birds . . . Me!Sheesh!Mine! 20:30, 17 February 2009 (EST) (unindent) In most US states, being certified as a teacher means a minimum of a 4 year degree, plus individual certification in the subject you intend to teach. To CUR, nobody has ever said that Public Schools are perfect, they have a lot of inherent flaws, and in terms of pure education, there are many cases where smart, qualified parents could do wonders with a student. But school isn't just about book learning, it's about socialization as well. School teaches academic skills and social skills. I have never met a "pure" homeschool student who didn't suffer in social skills (even those whose parents worked together to create opportunities) and that's the true downfall of homeschooling. SirChuckBThis country needs more Rutabegas 21:05, 17 February 2009 (EST)

Unfortunately, I could not learn social skills even if I wanted to- my brain thinks differently (therianthropy or not, so don't bring it up). --"CURtalk 21:08, 17 February 2009 (EST)
You said not to bring it up, so I will - don't both wolves and cheetahs have complex social structures? Especially wolves? ħuman 22:48, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Ah, but different social structures from humans, human. For example, in wolf society, eye contact is considered threatening. --"CURtalk 16:20, 18 February 2009 (EST)
There are plenty of humans who don't like eye contact either. You looking at me? alt 16:44, 18 February 2009 (EST)
*cough*Autism*cough* Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 16:47, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I'm well aware that autism is almost certainly responsible for that. I am also aware that many think the two may be related in some way. --"CURtalk 18:30, 18 February 2009 (EST)

Oh, and back on topic for a moment, I thought this was an interesting read on teacher training in other countries.. alt 16:49, 18 February 2009 (EST)

In my school, all of the sciences have at least one teacher with a PhD. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 16:51, 18 February 2009 (EST)
Having a PhD and being a good teacher are tangentially related things at best. It's entirely possible to be a good teacher without one, and equally well one could have a PhD and be a lousy teacher. I've known plenty of people who fit both of those descriptions. alt 17:47, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I struggle with the penguin as fish example because there are content goals for education and there are process goals (writing, thinking, and the like) for education. You certainly need both, but it's probably better for schools to get students to learn how to look up that a penguin is a bird. Education, esp. HS education, has become too content based and not process based. There's also not enough on higher-order thinking skills as well. Sterilewalkie-talkie 18:41, 18 February 2009 (EST)
But when a teacher thinks that, it concerns me. --"CURtalk 18:47, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I recall my Sunday school teacher telling us all that penguins weren't birds because they don't have feathers. Sigh... Czolgolz 23:13, 18 February 2009 (EST)
This was asked earlier I think, but: what subject does the "penguins are birds" teacher teach? OK, so all teachers should have a reasonable general knowledge but does it matter if your history teacher (say) doesn't know much about penguins? alt 10:02, 19 February 2009 (EST)

## What kind of Liberal are you?

See this.

As for myself, I am a "Reality-Based Intellectualist". ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ the most colourful sig on RationalWiki!

Same here. --"CURtalk 20:51, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Social Justice Crusader, -Yeah, that's about right. men telling women what to do with their wombs makes me want to kick them in the happy parts.--En attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 20:56, 17 February 2009 (EST)
After reading your user page, I would have been suprised if you were anything but. Don't worry, I am all for a womans right to choose and I like my happy parts where they areĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ the most colourful sig on RationalWiki!
I concur (I like that word) with Javascap. --"CURtalk 21:06, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Somewhere between Eco-Avenger and Reality-Based Intellectualist (I couldn't decide between a couple :p). User:Ttony21/sig2 22:11, 17 February 2009 (EST)

Working Class Warrior TheoryOfPractice 22:16, 17 February 2009 (EST)

I got Social Justice Crusader. - User ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle h/2\hbar }$ 22:17, 17 February 2009 (EST)
New Left Hipster. -- 22:26, 17 February 2009 (EST)
Social Justice Crusader. I thought the "Born in the U.S.A." option was a strange coincidence. FernoKlumpMr. Assfly! Don't forget about this petition! 22:44, 17 February 2009 (EST)

So far, I completely fail - answer to question one: "all of the above". Why do I haf to choozes? ħuman 22:50, 17 February 2009 (EST)

Lame quiz. I wanted to answer "all of the above" to most questions, and "none of the above" to the rest. Oh, and I'm an RBI. For other insights on exactly who or what I am, see here. ħuman 22:54, 17 February 2009 (EST)
"Reality-Based Intellectual", here. Sounds about right to me.
And according to its bizarro duplicate, I'm an "Anti-Government Gunslinger". Go figure. --Gulik 00:24, 18 February 2009 (EST)
Hmm, make that two lame quizzes. "Free Marketeer", whatever that means. ħuman 00:46, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I'm a "reality-based intellectualist" - I think the questions are broken. Incidentally - userbox material? Totnesmartin 08:39, 18 February 2009 (EST)

I'm an RBI and that quiz definitely needs some "all of the aboves". --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 09:53, 18 February 2009 (EST)

Honestly? I needed a none of the above on almost all of them, perhaps I'm not a liberal (but Andy said I was!). --GTac 12:27, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I'm a SJC but I wished that I could have answered "none of the above" to some of the questions. For instance I'd never use a bumper sticker. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 12:41, 18 February 2009 (EST)
RBI - looks like a common score.--Bobbing up 13:07, 18 February 2009 (EST)
Yeh I hate bumper stickers too. Seems a bit "Take that, evul Republicans" to me. --GTac 13:09, 18 February 2009 (EST)
Another RBI over here. I'd be curious to see the breakdown across RWians. --SpinyNorman 15:31, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I'm also a Flag-Waving Everyman conservative. But I chose the Dixie Chicks for the naked pyramid not because they're liberal but because they're chicks and I'm just a dirty old man. :( ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 15:52, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I had Great Difficulty with all these Questions. But taking the least-wrong-answers I scored Peace Patroller.--Tolerance 18:58, 18 February 2009 (EST)
It's a Poe. Definitely a Poe. --"CURtalk 19:02, 18 February 2009 (EST)
RBI... and I might just try to find that Hummer bumper sticker.... Sightblinder 00:01, 19 February 2009 (EST)

These may be the worst quizzes ever. Apparently, as a libertarian, I am a peace patroller and and anti-government gunslinger. dreaming Hail Eris! 15:48, 19 February 2009 (EST)

## Just another minute to brag

I am very excited about heading to the Iron Maiden concert in Auckland this weekend and thought I wouold share my excitment. Its going to be a four day trip that includes, no sleep, drugs, adultery, hotel rooms, alcohol and Iron Maiden. Just thought I would share. Ace McWickedRevolt 00:18, 18 February 2009 (EST)

Hum, two things. 1) "pics or it didn't happen", and 2) live up to your name!--En attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 00:24, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I expect pictures of TV sets thrown out of hotel rooms, at the very least! ħuman 00:42, 18 February 2009 (EST)
Iron Maiden? I thought those guys were dead, or at least very old. Z3rotalk 09:39, 18 February 2009 (EST)
Their combined age is 311 but they claim that it's 666. ArmondikoVtheist 09:56, 18 February 2009 (EST)
Iron Maiden, eh? Nice to see that Grandpa isn't just relying on Social Security... Sightblinder 00:04, 19 February 2009 (EST)

I would pay top dollar to see Iron Maiden right now. They haven't come to town in years. Luckily, there is a local Iron Maiden tribute band for when I get the itch to see them. Yes, they are old, but I am a product of 80's music (just not that pop-synth garbage). Aboriginal Noise What the hell is that thing? 23:04, 22 February 2009 (EST)

Yeah was the second time I have seen them. Last time was in London but they didnt play many old hits, just the new stuff. This time they played all the classics - from Ace's High to Phantom of the Opera. Ace McWickedRevolt 23:10, 22 February 2009 (EST)
Oh, those songs take me back... Aboriginal Noise What the hell is that thing? 06:55, 23 February 2009 (EST)

## Kenny's Mentor?

I've been reading, with car-wreck fascination, some of John A. Davison's, uh, "writings", having been alerted to his existence by a post today at Pharyngula. Is this guy related to Ken, or a mentor, or what? They're just too similar in style for it to be a coincidence. I'm just boggling at his several-hundred-comment blog posts, with 80% or more of the comments being from himself, and getting flashbacks to Ken's endless tweaking of his pet articles. Can't find any direct connection though, except that the CP article on the guy artfully avoids what he actually claims to believe. --Kels 11:30, 18 February 2009 (EST)

Just a quick peruse of the linked article shows that they may hold similar views but Davison's writing style is much superior to Ken's. Notwithstanding that it is still utter tosh. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 12:32, 18 February 2009 (EST)
Well, Kenny is a moron, after all. You can't expect him to actually live up to the example of, well, anyone. --Kels 12:53, 18 February 2009 (EST)

## Formatting help: African Jerba

Soo... enjoying the humor of [[1]], I wanted to put a "catigory - not", and strike out the African Animal category. So it showed, but showed as if edited. Mostly, cause I'm in a weird mood. Anyone have any ideas how i could get that desired effect?--En attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 12:09, 18 February 2009 (EST)

Cateogries are a bit of a special case with media wiki. If you completely remove the cateogry box and replace them with a div that's constructed manually to mimick it (like where people have the "you have new messages" box at the top of user and talk pages) you can do it. ArmondikoVtheist 12:13, 18 February 2009 (EST)

## Wiki 101 Question

Well, DinsdaleP just got handed a 1-day block by TK for uppity non-conservatism, and it got me wondering 2 things. What is the URL/statement used to display all of the blocks for a given user ID, and didn't we have a page on RW where the most-blocked CP users were listed? If so I want to run the former and update the latter. Thanks. --SpinyNorman 16:17, 18 February 2009 (EST)

Nevermind. I had a coffee and remembered the obvious :-). --SpinyNorman 17:04, 18 February 2009 (EST)

## Dublin

Totally random, off the cuff question, but we just booked a flight from Paris to Dublin, will stay overnight (no car), and then fly to Edinburough... My question is, does anyone here have any recommendations on what to do in Dublin? From food, to hotels, to pubs, to castles. we can has a bus... and 24 hours!--En attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 20:21, 18 February 2009 (EST)

Go to Trinity, see the old library and the book of Kels (not THAT Kels...), take the Guinness factory tour, do the Bloomsday tour w/Ulysses in hand...it's a great city for walking, lots of good pubs and good used bookstores, you can't go wrong with just wandering around. TheoryOfPractice 20:56, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I live near Dublin. I hear the Porter House is a good tourist pub. The Temple Bar area is very trendy. Grafton Street is the shopping district. What local museums/galleries/landmarks do you know of?DSFARGEG 20:59, 18 February 2009 (EST)
Dublin? Have a good time! I honestly know nothing about it, but I hope you enjoy yourself over there! ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ the most colourful sig on RationalWiki!
The Jameson Distillery tour is pretty good, & you get a shot of whiskey at the end as part of the ticket price. Make sure you catch some Irish folk music - it's easy to find bands playing if you visit a few pubs, especially around Temple Bar. You get good food in a lot of pubs, especially Irish stew & some great seafood. & The beer is always good. WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 21:17, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I am 18, so no alcohol for me ... ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ the most colourful sig on RationalWiki!
You'd be OK in most of Europe, you don't have to be 21 to drink. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 02:57, 19 February 2009 (EST)
I remember my student exchange years in France. It blew me away that 14 year olds were drinking. Far more civilized, don't ch'aknow. --En attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 16:49, 19 February 2009 (EST)
Dublin Castle and Christ Church Cathedral are a must see, if you're seeing the sights. Also the GPO, where you can still see the bullet holes from the 1916 Easter Rising.DSFARGEG 08:50, 19 February 2009 (EST)

It was already mentioned, but going to see the book of Kels is really worthwhile! dreaming Hail Eris! 15:49, 19 February 2009 (EST)

Heck, I could write one of those for you, save you the trip! XD --Kels 16:28, 19 February 2009 (EST)

Avoid Temple Bar, it's 'Ireland-Lite', jammed with tourists and no actual Irish people worth talking to would go for a pint there. Any Irish people that are there want your money. Instead seek out the last real Irish pubs in Dublin like the Stag's Head off Dame St. or Kehoe's on Sth. Anne St - even though the latter is somewhat 'redone' (the 're-doing' of pubs ruined Ireland, IMHO - what we needed were pubs with nasty cracked vinyl seats and no music or televisions). Walk though St.Stephen's Green and feed the ducks. Take a hike to the Grand Canal Basin and see how brand new inner-city renovation can work very well. Visit the National Gallery on Merrion Sq and see Titian's (for Andy) and a Caravaggio the bastard nuns were hanging onto. Walk the grounds of Trinity. If you haz a bus, a walk in Phoenix Park is beautiful. Ride the DART to Dun Laoghaire and walk the pier. Marvel at the ever-changing skies. DogP 14:17, 22 February 2009 (EST)

Forget Dublin; what are you planning to do in Edinburgh? Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 14:26, 22 February 2009 (EST)

## Fuck off Fred

I noticed on WIGO:World that Britain just denied entry to that wellknown homophobe Fred Phelps. Thank goodness for that. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 16:03, 19 February 2009 (EST)

I am also thankful that someone is standing up to that monster. — Unsigned, by: Shatoyaah C / talk / contribs
My view of you just took a giant leap. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 16:31, 19 February 2009 (EST)
Hmm... is this supressing his freedom of speech though? Meh, I don't care. Fuck the miserable bastard. ArmondikoVtheist 16:37, 19 February 2009 (EST)

Although I agree that homosexual behavior is wrong, I feel that the horrible misuse Fred Phelps is using of God's name is deplorable, something that any human being should be disgusted to see or use. It is for that reason that I lend no support to Phelps. Shatoyaah C`

Well, at least we all agree on something. I feel pity for him, though, because I think he could be a rational, intelligent person- he just isn't. Another wasted life. --"CURtalk 16:41, 19 February 2009 (EST)
Odd. I've never understood why someone says a thing is "wrong" if it 1) doesn't hurt anyone, and 2) does not directly impact them. I would never be into wearing High Heals and fish nets, and i think it looks bad on most people who do, but "so what." Its hardly "wrong". --En attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 16:46, 19 February 2009 (EST)
Well I was just getting the hots for that bun-haired librarian look but the odd flash of fishnets wouldn't go amiss once in a while (if you've got the legs for them). Now I will sulk for the rest of the night. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 16:52, 19 February 2009 (EST)

The only people they are hurting are themselves, which is what disgusts me the most. They have sadly made their choice, and although I am against it, the actions Phelps does on a regular basis is sickening, even daring to suggest that soldiers who fight for this country are "guilty" of allowing tolerance. Although I believe it is wrong, they are free to do what they want to. Their only accountability will come after death. Shatoyaah C 16:56, 19 February 2009 (EST)

I'm not sure how much the real youngsters of the group have made a "choice". Certainly watching the Louis Theroux documentary you can't fail but get the impression that all the ones under the age of 18 are just reciting the lines given to them and have no idea what they're actually saying. ArmondikoVtheist 16:59, 19 February 2009 (EST)
And you know this how, S.C.? --"CURtalk 17:21, 19 February 2009 (EST)
I wish Phelps only WAS hurting himself. Unfortunately, one of (if I recall correctly) his kids swore in court that dad abused them all rather badly, and used classic cult methods to keep them from even thinking about leaving. The fact that Phelps hasn't been eaten by a plague of locusts is one of the strongest DISproofs of the existence of a benevolent god I can think of, beating out even birth defects, parasites, and the entire Bush administration. --Gulik 06:23, 20 February 2009 (EST)

(major edit conflict...):::Yeah, but Shatoyaah, there's the rub. They (teh gays) aren't hurting themselves, are they? They are living a life that is in truth to who they are, without deceit, without self-denial, without self loathing, and finding someone they can love, be open with, and share a life long commitment (if that's what each couple chooses). This is a beautiful thing, to express love, love of self and others. Living for someone who says you should hate yourself, or change core aspects of yourself -- that's the hurt.--En attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 17:38, 19 February 2009 (EST)

Generally speaking I'm all for free speech and all that, and think that it's better to debate with people rather than just censor their viewpoint because it disagrees with yours. However, Fred Phelps makes me question that position. To anyone who hasn't seen the documentary by Louis Theroux entitled "The most hated family in America" I would strongly recommend it. alt 17:54, 19 February 2009 (EST)
Fred's in good company - wasn't Geert Wilders also booted out the other day? --PsyGremlinWhut? 03:58, 20 February 2009 (EST)

There's an interesting point here - we Brit's don't have the huge issues about Free Speech that Mercans have. It is not one of our fundamental rights - we don't have constitution as such but if we did it wouldn't be in it. There are some very complex debates as to whether this is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing. I can see that, from the US perspective, it's a Very Bad Thing but we don't seem to miss it. Silver Sloth 04:18, 20 February 2009 (EST)

I'd say that the UK has pretty good freedom of speech. Not brilliant but better than most and although it's not in a constitution, there's enough law and tradition to keep it together. But I did think about it a bit, this isn't supressing Phelp's freedom of speech. All it's done is banned him from coming into the country. As a nation state, the UK has a right to control who does and who does not cross its border. We let tourists in because they contribute to the economy, similarly with business men and legal, working immigrants. As Phelps isn't going to contribute positively (he's essentially coming to metaphorically raise hell and insult people) then the border control can just say "no" and be done with it. You don't have an automatic right to just cross a border in the current system of sovereign states, the UK is just exercising its right to do that. Can you imagine if people did just have an automatic right to cross borders. Say, in 1941, about ten thousand German troops turn up at Dover; "Are you here for business or pleasure?" - "Neither, invaision" - "Oh, jolly good old chap, make yourself at home". Of course, my inner ideologist is shouting "NO BORDERS! FREE LOVE FOR ALL!" but my inner pragmatist is a little bit more sensical at the moment. ArmondikoVtheist 06:05, 20 February 2009 (EST)

His church was meant to picket the memorial service today for the Australian bushfire victims. I didn't see any coverage in the Australian media (thankfully, he just wants attention,) but I'm not even sure if he was let in by the government. Anyone know? Linkthewindow Talk 15:27, 22 February 2009 (EST)

## A day for preparedness

So yesterday, after a few beers, I designated February 18 International Zombie Civil Defense Day. That leaves just less than a year to plan and promote the first one. Posting here is a start. Anyone got any ideas? DickTurpis 01:13, 20 February 2009 (EST)

Thank you for sharing ;) You know, there is an alley out back full of burbling drunks. Nacho time! ħuman 01:33, 20 February 2009 (EST)
Before I start preparing, is linseed oil still best to use on a Zombie-defeating cricket bat? --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:03, 20 February 2009 (EST)
Well, International Fetish Day got fairly big in less than 12 months and started in a community smaller than this one. I'm sure it's possible, but it's probably been thought of already. ArmondikoVtheist 06:06, 20 February 2009 (EST)
dammit... ArmondikoVtheist 06:08, 20 February 2009 (EST)

Some places have zombie walks, where people dress up like zombies and . . . well . . . walk for charity or something. I'm thinking we could combine the two. Zombies could chase people who were dong the preparedness thing until they backed one into a corner. Then the preparedness person gets to turn around and bash the pretend zombies with a gulf club. Everybody wins. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 15:31, 20 February 2009 (EST)

Here's something to whet your appetite. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 15:52, 20 February 2009 (EST)

Bugger, It doesn't embed. Here's the direct link. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 15:59, 20 February 2009 (EST)

## Mobocracy

Some day, probably fairly soon, the system of mobocracy will become unworkable as the community grows past the point where a consensus can be ascertained from reading the direction of a discussion. What do we propose to replace or improve it? Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 14:55, 20 February 2009 (EST)

We could also ignore it and wait till it turns into a brouhaha. Maybe the energy introduced into the system could be leveraged to make a more workable solution, maybe not.
Ah, but how do we create a new system when the system that we use to create decisions is no longer viable? Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 15:41, 20 February 2009 (EST)
I see no reason to change. While we certainly get our share of new users, the number of regular editors is fairly constant. Also, we are hardly building the world's most important wiki here; if things need a more authoritative resolution system, I imagine many who now edit will leave, relieving the need for said system. Z3rotalk 15:53, 20 February 2009 (EST)
I don't want a more authoratative resolution system, I want discussion on a system that can give a a clear consensus, rather than a subjective judgement of "what the mob seems to be leaning towards". It works OK now, but will start breaking down after we grow past the point where we can know everyone in the active user base. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 15:56, 20 February 2009 (EST)
What about some sort of modification of the intercomm system? Bring up the message, with a yes and a no box, and everyone gets to vote. The results could be displayed on some other page. That way every user who logs in gets a vote. You could even build it with a time limit, like three days or a week. I have no idea if that is workable, but is that the type of thing you are thinking of? Z3rotalk 16:09, 20 February 2009 (EST)
Good idea, but I would think some form of weighted voting would be necessary, as the current system does give respected users more weight in discussions than throwaway socks, and it would be easy to abuse using Tor; something similar to autoconfirming would be good. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 16:22, 20 February 2009 (EST)
Which of FD's socks does he want to register? --"CURtalk 16:28, 20 February 2009 (EST)
If we're going to work on some sort of weighting, we're back to just discussing things. If there are so many editors we can't discuss things, weighting shouldn't matter. Z3rotalk 16:30, 20 February 2009 (EST)
You could consider my and other proposals my, and other proposals, here.--Hillary Rodham Clinton 16:53, 20 February 2009 (EST)
The mobocracy should be replaced by a meeting of editors, whose decision would be final. Voting would be in person to counter sockpuppetry. As well live in different parts of the world, I have taken the trouble to work out an average location that can be easily reached. Totnesmartin 18:00, 20 February 2009 (EST)
(is that the right # of dots?) Being an ignorant American, i have no idea where 59 High StTotnes, TQ9 5PB is.... --En attendant Godot"«Poetry involves the mysteries of the irrational perceived through rational words. V.Nabokov» 18:05, 20 February 2009 (EST)
Do minors get teh votes? --"CURtalk 18:16, 20 February 2009 (EST)
It's in Devon England and probably not more than a 100 yard stagger from Totnesmartin's front door. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 18:13, 20 February 2009 (EST)
Quarter of a mile actually - I'm not being completely self-centred here :) Totnesmartin 18:19, 20 February 2009 (EST)
How about an Athenian democracy-- 侍  18:16, 20 February 2009 (EST)
Not a bad start, but women should be allowed to vote, too. --Gulik 19:41, 20 February 2009 (EST)
And monkeys. And cheetahs. ħuman 03:17, 21 February 2009 (EST)
And hoovers. Totnesmartin, I though you lived in Aylesbury? Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 03:33, 21 February 2009 (EST)
There was a Hoover factory in Merthyr, as I recall. My sockpuppets "Merthyr" and "Tydfil" should both be suffraged. ħuman 03:36, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Merthyr Tydfil is off the M4, as is Aylesbury, and the M4's connected to the M5, (dem motorways, dem motorways, dem dry mororways, now hear the word of the lord), which leads to Totnes (sort of) - so due to the fundamental interconnectedness of all things we are all in Totnes, Aylesbury and Boulder. So yes let's all vote. Online would work best, preferably a common website where we've got used to each other. Any suggestions? Totnesmartin 06:01, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Conservapedia? Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 06:06, 21 February 2009 (EST)

## RationalWiki's first Userscript!

I created what I think is RationalWiki's first userscript. It's something you add to your .js page and it does something special for you. Mine adds a "reexamine" tab that refreshes the sever cache of the page (purge). Just go to your js. page and add `importScript('User:Ipatrol/reexamine.js');`. What do you think?--Ipatrol 21:42, 20 February 2009 (EST)

Been there, done that. :) -- Nx talk 21:47, 20 February 2009 (EST)

### Popups now ported

I have ported Lupin's famous popups from Wikipedia. It has been tested and is ready for use. Just add `importScript('User:Ipatrol/popups.js');` to your monobook file or your monobook adfree file (depending on what skin you use). However, I recommend you first read the instructions before installation.--Ipatrol 13:31, 21 February 2009 (EST)

## Help!!!!!

You do have a back up, right?

I am teh linux (Ubuntu) ignoramus, I just downloaded & installed automatic upgrades & have now got a non-functioning machine (I'm doing this on my <new> pda)

It sayeth:

Starting up ...
Loading, please wait ...
[ 81.745170] Kernel panic - not syncing:Attempted to kill init!

HELP!!! and marmite 23:34, 20 February 2009 (EST)

Have you got all your files backed up somewhere? If yes, think about re-installing. I had the same problem after trying to upgrade openoffice and to go through three different distros before I found one that worked properly. TheoryOfPractice 23:37, 20 February 2009 (EST)
Not an awful lot on this machine (It's my number 2) but all the preferences & stuff! And it'll demand the upgrades again as soon as I go online!! Bugger!!! and marmite 23:51, 20 February 2009 (EST)
Hit it with a hammer. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 03:34, 21 February 2009 (EST)
If that fails, use bigger hammer. ħuman 03:38, 21 February 2009 (EST)
And if that fails, hit your backups with a hammer. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 03:49, 21 February 2009 (EST)

The automatic upgrades might well be a coincidence; that sort of message often indicates hardware problems. A good place to start would be to run memtest, which should be an option in your boot menu (installed by default with Ubuntu). You don't need to let it run to completion - if it completes the first couple of tests successfully your memory is probably OK. (it'll have two status bars at the top right, one for the current test and another to indicate how many of its test have been run. The first one should tick by on a timescale of ~seconds, whilst the second will take more like an hour depending on how much RAM you have) alt 05:23, 21 February 2009 (EST)

And if the first two tests don't complete successfully, hit them with a hammer. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 05:32, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Don't forget to back up your hammer in case you hit something too hard and it breaks. Totnesmartin 05:51, 21 February 2009 (EST)
And to have a supply of rocks in case your backup hammer fails. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 05:56, 21 February 2009 (EST)

This error message means init (the program that runs everything else) failed because of something. There should be another one that says why, but I think that's hidden when you boot normally. Try recovery mode -- Nx talk 06:06, 21 February 2009 (EST)

And if recovery mode doesn't work, hit it with a hammer. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 06:12, 21 February 2009 (EST)

## Fux News sinks to new depths...ho ho

Although it's almost impossible to be impressed by the nonsense spewed out by the unjournalists at Fux News, this story has everything going for it. Some bozo sees patterns in Google Earth, assumes it means something, Google almost immediately explain that it's simple a technical error. So, a TOTAL non-story. Yet Fux has it as a Front Page news item right now, headlining it with the brilliant "Atlantis Found on Google Earth? You Decide". "You decide" = we are too bored to do any journalism, so here's some shit on a stick for you subhumans to slaver over while Rome burns. Fucking amazing. Brilliant really. DogP 00:56, 21 February 2009 (EST)

"You decide" should be banned. User:Mei 01:21, 21 February 2009 (EST)
"Within hours, a Google spokeswoman told one of the Sun's rivals — it's not clear which one" = gold. Faux apparently doesn't see their sources at any point. User:Mei 01:23, 21 February 2009 (EST)
For non-UK readers, the Sun is also owned by Murdoch's News Corpse, so while they freely plug one of their own they don't want mention a competitor (which the link lower down the page shows is the Daily Mail). ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 03:07, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Fox is thus obviously a highly liberal organisation to be engaged in such deceit (the "not clear which [rival]" bit followed by a link to said unnamed rival 5 or 6 sentences later). Admit this and let the truth set you free or lose all credibility. I also made the mistake of reading the Sun's "article". Now my head hurts (because of the whole "Google said they can't explain the existence of the blank spots between the lines" bit). alt 05:30, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Well, at least Bernie was right at the end with "it must be man made", probably because of the straight, regular lines. Although you could say that about a some other things too. ArmondikoVtheist 07:09, 21 February 2009 (EST)

You know what's weird? Fox Business News is actually a great organization and does great work. Not sure how that happened.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 23:41, 22 February 2009 (EST)

Rupert bought the WSJ and has access to its genuine journalism? ħuman 01:08, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Oh for God's sake, so many people so desperately want to believe in mythical underwater cities that the unfortunates at Google have had to further explain why it's a non story. And then people are surprised when people believe in goblins, fairies and mythical Beardy-Men-In-The-Sky? DogP 12:01, 24 February 2009 (EST)

## What to do to Osama bin Laden

Make him live in the Lower East Side, work in a soup kitchen, and go to synagouge 3 times a week. --"C, U Ra(n) rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 12:45, 21 February 2009 (EST)

Kill on sight. ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ the most colourful sig on RationalWiki!
Too good for him. --"C, U Ra(n) rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 12:49, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Don't too particually care. The best way to prevent him from worming out of capture is the 'ole "one shot one kill", right between the eyes. ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ the most colourful sig on RationalWiki!
He'd be under 24/7 security in NEW YOK. How the hell could he get out? If he was spotted unprotected, he'd be torn apart in the blink of an eye. --"C, U Ra rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 12:54, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Evil overlord list, #4: Shooting is not too good for my enemies. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 12:55, 21 February 2009 (EST)
I need one of those things. --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 13:08, 21 February 2009 (EST)
I made one. --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 13:19, 21 February 2009 (EST)
try him at the International Criminal Court..oh, wait; the US (along with such bastions of human rights as Russia, China, Sudan, Syria, Israel and Egypt) isn't a state party to the ICC, and Obama has never suggested that this is something he's interested in. Oh, well. So much for international justice. TheoryOfPractice 12:51, 21 February 2009 (EST)
I suspect the difficulty any legal system might have is actually finding something to charge him with, and then demonstrating he actually did it. Quite frankly, it might be better for all concerned if he were, ahem, shot while resisting arrest as it were. I'm not in general in favour of executions, judicial or extra-judicial, but lets face it the guy is pretty much a waste of oxygen. --JeevesMkII 13:15, 21 February 2009 (EST)

Dehumanizing people is the first step....TheoryOfPractice 13:42, 21 February 2009 (EST)

Help! I'm agreeing with TOP! --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 13:44, 21 February 2009 (EST)
First step to what? War? Televangalism? Z3rotalk 13:47, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Seeing some people as less-than-human.And them treating them that way. TheoryOfPractice 13:56, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, that's what happens in war. Z3rotalk 13:58, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Doesn't need to. --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 14:00, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, actually, it does. How else do you slaughter the other side without going crazy. If you want to argue against war in general that's fine, but in a war, you use the tools of war. Z3rotalk 14:01, 21 February 2009 (EST)
I am capable of harming a person but respecting them as a person. --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 14:02, 21 February 2009 (EST)
I will assume sarcasm rather than seriousness. If the later, no you are not. You think you are, but you are not, unless you have a great deal of cognitive disonance. Z3rotalk 14:07, 21 February 2009 (EST)
I do not think of them as less then me. I think of the act of hurting another being as a necessity when I must. I do not justify it by claiming that they are less then me. I justify it by saying that I had no other choice. --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 20:39, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Couldn't we just give him a second chance? Odds are that he was abused by a pederastic uncle as a young boy. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 13:49, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, and would one say the same thing of Hitler, the Emperor (from Star Wars), Count Dooku, etc, etc.? Please tell me you are joking. --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 13:53, 21 February 2009 (EST)
What? Me? Joke? ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 14:51, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Finally, I have sat down and watched a DVD that's been on my bookshelf unopened for almost 2 years - Fahrenheit 911. On the morning of September 11, 2001 I was in California preparing to go on a trip to Yosemite when we got a phone call to turn on the TV. We watched the whole horrific event for two hours before setting off. The next day we were walking in Yosemite, amazingly there wasn't a vapour trail to be seen but we did see a small lone jet flying above us, heading east. Whoever, authorised that jet to fly (and the several dozen others) is as complicit in the events of the tragic day as any of the passengers on them. Bin Laden may have been the mastermind behind the attack, but I believe there are many in authority who must share a degree of the blame. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 16:13, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Wait, that doesn't make any sense... surely, if no one else, the USAF was still flying on 9/12? And I would guess that medevac type flights would have been cleared, too? ħuman 17:19, 21 February 2009 (EST)
It was not a military plane and I don't believe that even medevac flights were cleared in the days immediately after 9/11. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 17:31, 21 February 2009 (EST)
OK, even given that, I don't follow the logic from "authorizing flight(s) on 9/12" to "complicity in attack of 9/11". ħuman 17:40, 21 February 2009 (EST)
You obviously haven't seen the movie. Allegedly over 30 members of the Bin Laden flights were repatriated back to Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of 9/11, when all other traffic was grounded. ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 17:57, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Actually, I've seen it at least twice (pretty poor work, IMHO, certainly not the level of quality seen in "Bowling"). Why didn't you mention the Laden "repatriations" already? And, yes, those flights (if indeed what you saw was one of them?) certainly tie people in power in the US uncomfortably close to the crime itself. Although I think they were just trying to keep their "friends" alive, since they were planning on hanging 9/11 on one of their siblings. ħuman 20:02, 21 February 2009 (EST)

Continuing the discussion two sections above, hit him with a hammer. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 16:16, 21 February 2009 (EST)

I like that idea. But then break out the Lower East Side and the Jewish music. --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 16:25, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Making sure, of course, to break out the Lower East Side and the Jewish music with a hammer. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 16:31, 21 February 2009 (EST)
I never cared for Jewish music. --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 16:35, 21 February 2009 (EST)

I am pro-death penalty, but my sadistic tendencies must be pleased. Make him watch some of the more recent Adam Sandler movies with popcorn and a huge thing of pepsi that we force him to drink. Free refills and no bathroom breaks.--Nate River 20:29, 21 February 2009 (EST)

Do we tie off his penis and eventually cut open his bladder? (That movie was sick) ħuman 22:28, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, but have him live on the Lower East side for a while. He has spent his time trying to destroy us. He should be forced to help us now. And make him watch Ed Wood's better movies (the bad ones are so bad they are good, like Plan 9 from Outer Space). --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 20:37, 21 February 2009 (EST)
I say chick flicks. Maybe some reality TV as well. Maybe make him watch the Simple Life with Paris Hilton right next to him--Nate River 22:40, 21 February 2009 (EST)

## This site is growing rapidly!

Now you can spam multiple assquotes on a page, and they will all work. I was a bit reluctant to do this because of the potential for abuse, but what the hell. Demonstration:

"Anonymous User" (obviously your parents were unbelievers to give you such a pagan name), we don't fall for the self-serving liberal claptrap here. I wasted time with your unsubstantial additions and you claim that faith isn't an uniquely Christian concept, so admit it, you're committed to censoring the Bible. Like all atheists, you deny that homeschooling reduces Shaken Baby Syndrome. You can whine all you want, but London is atheistic. Stop wasting my time. Contribute to this encyclopedia, or move on.--Aschlafly 00:42, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
"Anonymous User" (obviously your parents were unbelievers to give you such a pagan name), we don't fall for the self-serving liberal claptrap here. I wasted time with your unsubstantial additions and you claim that faith isn't an uniquely Christian concept, so admit it, you're committed to censoring the Bible. Like all atheists, you deny that homeschooling reduces Shaken Baby Syndrome. You can whine all you want, but London is atheistic. Stop wasting my time. Contribute to this encyclopedia, or move on.--Aschlafly 00:42, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
-- Nx talk 15:57, 21 February 2009 (EST)
RationalWiki is now a better place. Now we can have multiple Schlafly quotes everywhere. Between that and the bloody cheetahs, soon there'll be hardly anything worth reading. I think RW is descending into meme hell. Yours trulyDear Sir 17:52, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Beware teh ceiling cheetah! --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 17:56, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Whatever. Yours trulyDear Sir 17:59, 21 February 2009 (EST)
We can always noinclude the assquote template if things go south -- Nx talk 18:00, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Can we noinclude CUR? Yours trulyDear Sir 18:03, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Site policy forbids us from doing that, but we can subtly nudge him in the right direction, or if that fails, hit him with a hammer. -- Nx talk 18:08, 21 February 2009 (EST)
How would this be abused? I mean, really? And Insert Name Here, what have I done to you? --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 18:13, 21 February 2009 (EST)
You've made a website i quite liked into a kind of fansite for you and your own interests. It used to be about people enjoying themselves at the expense of Republicans and cranks, now it's 50% about how many animals a schoolkid can write about. Why don't you go to an otherkin wiki and write your personal my-personality-can-be-compared-to-a-cheetah-therefore-i-am-one wankfest there? Yours trulyDear Sir 18:22, 21 February 2009 (EST)
In otherwords, you do not seem to think that I have changed at all. You exaggerate my worst qualities and ignore any good ones I might have. I have stopped. I am trying to make myself useful. What is your problem? --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 18:26, 21 February 2009 (EST)

(unindent) the problem is that you are defining usefulness in your terms rather than RationalWiki's. Yours trulyDear Sir 18:30, 21 February 2009 (EST)

Sort of hard to be useful on RationalWiki's terms when RationalWiki won't tell you how to make yourself useful, besides 'Shut up and go away.' --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 18:31, 21 February 2009 (EST)
We try, you just don't listen. ħuman 22:32, 21 February 2009 (EST)
Andrew Schlafly said:

"Teabag" I ... noticed you draw a silly distinction between sheep and goats

I've done no such thing. Teabag 20:52, 21 February 2009 (EST)
That comment was originally directed at me (although in fact the silly distinction between sheep and goats was actually made by Jesus Christ). I had no idea that had been added to the assquote generator. WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 23:00, 21 February 2009 (EST)

## Interesting idea 'bout McCain

What if McCain, after campaigning for a while, decided that Obama was the better choice and therefore picked Sarah Palin and did so badly to make sure he won? Nutty, indeed, but what if? --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 21:01, 21 February 2009 (EST)

We can play "whatif", but McCain isn't the selfless hero he makes himself out to be. Teabag 21:08, 21 February 2009 (EST)
I didn't really belive the idea- I just thought it was an interesting one. --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 21:11, 21 February 2009 (EST)
I don't understand your point then since we can't extrapolate anything from it, unlike, "What if Hitler won WWII". Then we could talk about what would have happened after that. If your scenario were true, nothing would change. Obama would still be president. What if, after campaigning for awhile, McCain was contacted by his alien overlords and told to let Obama, the Antichrist, win and McCain should lay the groundwork for a future robot invasion, but McCain had already cloned a bunch of laser-equipped dinosaurs in anticipation and is planning on using them to fight the robots and eventually control the universe? See, now that's interesting. Teabag 21:23, 21 February 2009 (EST)
And they tell me I am nuts. . . --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 21:27, 21 February 2009 (EST)
CUR, you are not nuts - just mostly boring. My theory is that when the wingnuts in the party stuck him with Palin, he gave up - IOW, he didn't want her to be his potential successor, in the event that the stress of being President killed him. ħuman 22:23, 21 February 2009 (EST)
That or the skin cancer. Oddly enough, I thought it was a genius pick for balancing the ticket at first, moreso than Biden at least. But then came the interviews...the digging of the press...not that she needed any help screwing things up. User:Ttony21/sig2 22:32, 21 February 2009 (EST)
(EC) What are we, Conservapedia now?! We need a conspiracy theory to explain away why old man McCain didn't win the election? My theory is that a sizeable proportion of the American public were fed up with the status quo & interested in change. Republicans only had a chance of winning again if they'd picked a really charismatic candidate, & McCain sure as hell wasn't it. WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 22:36, 21 February 2009 (EST)

My take--the Republicans knew they were going to lose, but they had to run SOMEBODY, so called on the old soldier to take one for the team, much like Dole in 1996. Palin represented the last gasp of the Evangelical wing of the party (who made the deal with the devil with the neo-cons to get Bush elected in the first place) to make a mark on the campaign, and to get someone in the limelight to get their mesage out in the hopes that it would resonate in a future campaign...TheoryOfPractice 22:37, 21 February 2009 (EST)

One issue with that (and the Dole ref) is that in the US "The Party" no longer picks the candidate (or sacrificial goat), the primary voters do. And they don't think "em masse". ħuman 01:23, 23 February 2009 (EST)
Granted he may not have had the natural charisma as Obama, even as a fairly liberal person I really liked McCain's personality, maybe being a Daily Show fan and considering his several appearances on the show. He always appeared fairly charismatic and likeable. User:Ttony21/sig2 22:53, 21 February 2009 (EST)
I'm with you Tony, I have always considered McCain the type of Republican I could considerably vote for.... But this election was strange, he lurched painfully to the right... He used to be a "Maverick," but like most conservatives, he simply toed the line to try and win the election. SirChuckBThis country needs more Rutabegas 23:28, 21 February 2009 (EST)
As did I. If he wasn't so conservative this election (and there was no Obama,) I may have supported him. He seemed like a decent, honest guy in the early stages of the election... meh. Linkthewindow Talk 23:40, 21 February 2009 (EST)
After eight years of Bush, there was no way in hHhell I could vote for a Republican. I honestly didn't care if the Democrats reanimated the corpse of Hubert Humphrey, I was going to vote for _anyone_ they ran. --Gulik

## IRC

Everyone with an IRC client, rationalwiki has a channel at irc://irc.freenode.net/rationalwiki Ipatrol 00:56, 22 February 2009 (EST)

We know, I quit when someone, I forget who, said they were recording it & offered to copy it to the wiki. and marmite 01:12, 22 February 2009 (EST)
Yes, it's mentioned on the main page... ħuman 18:40, 22 February 2009 (EST)

## Lamespace

TheoryOfPractice asked here whether we have a 'Lame' namespace. I realise it was a joke, but I think it's an idea that might actually be worth pursuing. Thoughts?

(I make no judgement on the lameness or otherwise of the Evil Overlord page itself.)--Kriss AkabusiAAAAWOOOOGAAAR!!1 07:10, 22 February 2009 (EST)

Old server or user subpage. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 07:26, 22 February 2009 (EST)
There are plenty of other lamespaces on the internet (Conservapedia, Myspace, Facebook, Encyclopedia Dramatica). Do we really want to invite more lameness onto RW? WéáśéĺóíďMethinks it is a Weasel 06:36, 23 February 2009 (EST)
That's why I suggested the old server, which is now just another site, and user subpages, which we have next to no authority over. Why so hard on social networking sites? Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 11:33, 23 February 2009 (EST)
I agree with you. The original suggestion should itself be confined to the lamespace (along with the lolcrab).--Kriss AkabusiAAAAWOOOOGAAAR!!1 11:56, 23 February 2009 (EST)

## Linux

What Linux distribution should I use on VirtualBox? Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 12:57, 22 February 2009 (EST)

Ubuntu -- Nx talk 13:05, 22 February 2009 (EST)
Good, since that's what I'm trying now. Cubic harmonic Phantom Hoover! 13:08, 22 February 2009 (EST)

## Sig

Bring me my Sig of burning gold;
Bring me my Imagelink of desire:
Bring me my Image: O goats unfold!
Bring me my RatWiki of fire!
Make me a sig, children, and you will be rewarded. 13:31, 22 February 2009 (EST)

Yes, o great and mighty goat! Haz a sig! --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 13:32, 22 February 2009 (EST)

Template:Imagelink has the instructions. -- Nx talk 13:36, 22 February 2009 (EST)

-- Nx talk 13:41, 22 February 2009 (EST)

I have opted for a larger image, child. 13:42, 22 February 2009 (EST)
Please un-opt it, it will spread lines of text too far apart. ħuman 18:49, 22 February 2009 (EST)

## Iron Maiden

Since I bragged about going I must now brag about the event itself. Iron Maiden were fantastic - I was right in the front of course. 5 days of bendering - ahhh wonderful. There were no TV's thrown from hotels rooms but I did hit someone in the head with a cactus, missed my flight, got stalked by a crazy Vietnamese woman, drank for 5 days straight and only finished in the early hours of this morning as my girlfriend tipped my tonic down the drain so I couldnt mix my Vodka. Jokes on her because I was drinking whisky. End Brag. Ace McWickedRevolt 16:45, 22 February 2009 (EST)

Iron Maiden? As in Bruce Dickinson? Eddy the Head? THAT Iron Maiden? They're still around? Jesus. I saw them, what, twenty years ago? (Used to go out with a raving metal-head...)I'm stunned they're still around. Can Bruce still hit the high notes? Is he using a walker yet? TheoryOfPractice 16:49, 22 February 2009 (EST)
Who the heck is Iron Maiden? The statue of liberty? Oh, wait- that's copper. --"C, U Rthe rhythmic, bamboozleing tube. 16:51, 22 February 2009 (EST)
Iron Maiden? Excellent! Seriously, Iron Maiden was the most. unpleasant. concert. ever. that I went to in my life. Mainly due to the floor being so overcrowded I thought I was going to suffocate, or be crushed like what happened in the infamous Who concert. Secret Squirrel 17:02, 22 February 2009 (EST)
Joke horrorshow bands can't be taken seriously. ICP anyone? DogP 18:06, 22 February 2009 (EST)
Insane Clown Posse, I take it? They're after my time. Maiden, the Cramps, GWAR were as far as I got. Lost interest sometime before Slipknot came along, and ICP is even more way too recent. Secret Squirrel 20:19, 22 February 2009 (EST)
My friend's been getting me into some of the really interesting stuff coming out of Japan lately. Dir En Gray, Nightmare, and so forth. Those boys have taken up the torch in decent style, I'd say, although a little Maiden or Sabbath hits the spot from time to time. --Kels 20:24, 22 February 2009 (EST)
May have to look those up sometime. Interesting stuff out of Japan? Shonen Knife! (I'm really showing my age...)Secret Squirrel 20:30, 22 February 2009 (EST)
I got to see them when they played Ottawa, really great show. Diru can be easy or hard to access, depending on the track, since they cover the whole spectrum from relative pop to rock to something close to rockabilly to metal to just plain gutteral screaming for its own sake. --Kels 20:39, 22 February 2009 (EST)
Bruce Dickenson can still belt it out when he tries. Ace McWickedRevolt 22:14, 22 February 2009 (EST)
As can Brian Johnson. I saw AC/DC in December and I reckon they could still eat Maiden for dinner. DogP 11:38, 23 February 2009 (EST)

I'm going to see GWAR in May. I got soaked with fake blood and piss the last time. Aboriginal Noise What the hell is that thing? 15:26, 23 February 2009 (EST)

That reminds me, I still have to get my tickets to see Behemoth at the Palladium. Painkiller 16:02, 23 February 2009 (EST)

## View Deleted Pages

Is there any way to view deleted pages without resurrecting them? kthxbaiThe EmperorKneel before Zod! 18:47, 22 February 2009 (EST)

yes, go to "resurrect pages", and from the list of previous versions, find the one you're after and click on the date - same as with dates in the revision history list. Totnesmartin 18:55, 22 February 2009 (EST)