RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive84

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There's nothing on the telly[edit]

Sky 3: The Crippendales. A documentary about Britain's first troupe of disabled male strippers. Face.gif  Lily Inspirate me. 21:53, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Step 1: Grab TV (or hardware streaming video play as I call them).
Step 2: Dispose of TV.
Step 3: Congratulations, you are now free and closer to the Buddhist idea of not being tied to material possesions. Sen (talk) 23:53, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
"The Crippendales" ...I'm not sure if I want to laugh, cry, or both. Tetronian you're clueless 05:09, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I remember seeing a program in the guide a while back about a disabled kid going on some kind of holiday called "Crip on a Trip" Face.gif CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:25, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Charlie Brooker gave up writing TV Go Home when real TV shows started becoming worse than anything he was coming up with - David Gerard (talk) 11:34, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
People still have TVs? Why? TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 15:50, 1 December 2010 (UTC)


I can't find any reference to this guy or organisation on RW. Ought we to? (Seems to be what Earthland would be if he had clout) 06:45, 1 December 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Is it bad that I really wanted that society to be called "Society for the Protection of Unborn Neonatal Children" (SPUNC) even though it doesn't make any sense? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:28, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
While not being an overtly religious organisation they certainly have strong religious underpinnings, with an evangelical group, a muslim group and a Conservative Party group. While nominally being a foetal-rights group they also campaign against right-to-die (they insist on calling it euthanasia), stem cell research and sex education.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:08, 1 December 2010 (UTC)


Their customer analysis is a tad out: they just sent: "As you've shown an interest in books, why not check out our 12 Days of Christmas Sale: great books to give as gifts with up to 65% off." The first three are: Chris Evans (ginger twat), Russell Brand (lucky bastard(for marrying a GILL)) and Justin Bieber (no comment necessary)! Don't think I'll be taking advantage of their offer. 07:27, 1 December 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

How can you turn down works by the literary genius that is Justin Bieber? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:27, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm stuck. What's a "GILL"? Or is it what I suspect it means? Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:05, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to assume it works off the acronym MILF.... soooo.... Girl I'd Like to Like? ONE / TALK 14:56, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Lick. 17:54, 1 December 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
I'll have a flake with mine, thanks.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 18:01, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm... yeah, fair enough. I would too. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:08, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

StackExchange for skeptics?[edit]

Proposal: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/6993/skepticism - David Gerard (talk) 11:32, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Oh, my, another place to waste my time on... At least the StackExchange system seems better than the one in Yahoo!Answers.--ZooGuard (talk) 11:44, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
"How do I make a realistic looking ghost/UFO/hoax image with Photoshop?" Ay! My kind of area! Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:27, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I just committed to participate. (say you'll stick around for three months and ask/answer ten questions. 47 committed so far, at 200 it'll launch.) Anyone else? - David Gerard (talk) 12:55, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Related proposal which I also signed up for - David Gerard (talk) 13:00, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Cage Against the Machine[edit]


Come on. You know you all want to. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:53, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Only if it's the Fischerspooner remix. --Ψ GremlinParlez! 14:06, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
New Waver: 4'33" (techno remix) - David Gerard (talk) 14:21, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Goats have many advantages[edit]

[1] Real first name and last initial (talk) 15:37, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

"They are walking fertilizer factories." Exactly. Tetronian you're clueless 02:16, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Maybe we do, maybe we don;t[edit]

This Cracked article should provide us with a head start for some of the more loony non-profit organisations out there. Some we might have already - I'm too lazy to check: Center for Consumer Freedom, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Californians for Statewide Smoking Restrictions, Keep America Beautiful, Dairy Management Inc. --Ψ GremlinPrata! 16:25, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

CCHR is Scientology's anti-psychiatry subunit - David Gerard (talk) 16:29, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Keep America Beautiful is a front for Pepsi? Curse you, Iron Eyes Cody! MDB (talk) 17:45, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Two minutes before I go to bed[edit]

I am listening to Laurie Spiegel. Goodnight. Pointed moment (talk) 22:59, 1 December 2010 (UTC)


The embassy cables are apparently released, but I can't get through to the website because of high load/a DDOS attack. EddyP (talk) 18:30, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Oh boy http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/28/us-embassy-cable-leak-diplomacy-crisis EddyP (talk) 18:49, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
They're all over wonder when we'll get the first analysis. 18:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
" WikiLeaks says that, contrary to the state department's fears, it also initially intends to post only limited cable extracts, and to redact identities." 19:00, 28 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
It's a DDOS attack. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 19:05, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Enjoy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/the-us-embassy-cables
Only one about Bulgaria, and it's dull. :( --ZooGuard (talk) 19:16, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
So the Guardian says:
  • Grave fears in Washington and London over the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme
  •  Alleged links between the Russian government and organised crime.
  •  Devastating criticism of the UK's military operations in Afghanistan.
  •  Claims of inappropriate behaviour by a member of the British royal family.
But it's a bit light on detail.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:58, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Or in other words:
  • Duh.
  • Duh.
  • No surprise. Our wimpish behaviour is highlighted by our refusal to bomb or shoot our so-called allies in the back.
  • Philip (take your pick for the actual incident).--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:08, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Best bit so far: Gaddafi dependent on "voluptuous" Ukranian nurse. --Ψ GremlinFale! 11:31, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

(o/d) The Daily Mash have a great take on the "Wikileaks is endangering people" line: "WIKILEAKS was last night accused of putting lives at risk after destroying an Afghan village with an unmanned drone.". –SuspectedReplicant retire me 11:42, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Roy Edroso had a good take on the rightbloggers' reaction to all this (and, in fact, the previous round). They decry the leaks, but then gleefully use anything they can pin on Obama (real connection or not). --Kels (talk) 14:55, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
And one senator apparently called for WikiLeaks to be designated a terrorist organisation. The potential damage and moral implications of what WikiLeaks releases aside for a moment, that's surely total overkill and kind of reduces the meaning of the word "terrorism" to be almost useless. RationalWiki would be a terrorist organisation under that sort of definition. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:46, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
According to Andy, we are. --Kels (talk) 15:47, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Precisely. It's a total lack of proportion and a clear distance from reality. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:51, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
I'd hate to play the devil's advocate here, but (as someone who has access to certain classified matters) WikiLeaks kinda rubs me the wrong way. I see no point whatsoever in a website that encourages people to break their security agreements to give away documents that could compromise the very premises of national security. It would be one thing if they were uncovering, say, a scandal. But it is entirely different when you are devulging information that is the very premise of foreign relations and national security. Conservative Punk (talk) 15:57, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm in the same situation as Conservative Punk. I spent 21 years working in the classified environment. (I'm out now, and glad to be, but that's besides the point.) I have little sympathy for leakers. As Punk said, this isn't uncovering a scandal; this is a document dump. WikiLeaks is claiming to have many thousands of documents. Even if that came from multiple sources, there is no way the leakers studied everything to see what it was; this is the equivalent of going into a classified repository, grabbing everything you can, and delivering it to a media outlet. Not even that; American media outlets, at least, do take national security into account as to what they divulge. (Perhaps not as much as they should, especially from the government's perspective, but, despite public perceptions, they don't reveal everything they learn, and often actually ask the government, "hey, we've learned {whatever}; how bad would it be if we reported it?") WikiLeaks, to my knowledge, has no such filtering in place.
That being said, WikiLeaks is not at fault here (mostly). That would be like someone blaming Facebook because their spouse had an affair when they met up with an old flame there. The leakers are the criminals here, and should be prosecuted under the espionage laws.
This is, admittedly, a sore spot to me. I swore an oath to keep the things I learned a secret. Someone else didn't do that, and it makes me mad. MDB (talk) 16:14, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
I guess the leak has a moral objection. -- (talk) 17:44, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
While true, I don't think that justifies the OTT reactions to it, however. Such as Hilary Clinton saying that they constituted an attack on the world community. No, Hilary, they aren't, your ambassadors made the attack on the world community when they slagged them all off repeatedly as feckless and weak. The leaked documents don't seem to be names and faces of undercover spies working undercover to target terrorist organisations, but embassy activity and reports from them. Merely dirty laundry that I'm sure they wouldn't want aired in public because of its nature, not because of the security risk. Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:14, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Punk and MDB. What I have seen so far is not only scandal-free (thus removing a possible moral imperative for the leaks), but tremendously anodine. We just see the normal internal communications of the diplomatic corps. And there's very little new information there; the cables merely confirm or personalise what is already widely known, accepted and even taken for granted. This is not the kind of stuff I thought WikiLeaks was created for.--Xyr (talk) 23:41, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Isn't that what the Patriot Act guys have been telling us? Hmmm. Sen (talk) 01:21, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I have added a WIGO:Blogs about what Wikileaks is for. Assange set it all out in 2002.
(And reading the Forbes article, apparently it is in actual fact my fault - my site started him on this path. Oh dear.) - David Gerard (talk) 11:41, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

It's playing a bit differently here in Spain as a consequence of two cases. The first is in respect of a Spanish cameraman who was killed by American forces during the invasion of Iraq. His family wanted a full investigation and the Spanish government led them to believe they were on the case. In point of fact the Spanish government were being leaned on by the USA and were doing all they could to kill the case.

The second is in respect of Guantanamo where a Spanish judge wanted to open an international investigation. Again pressure was exerted by the USA and the Spanish government caved under the pressure. The objection here is not so much that the US would want to exert such pressure but rather the idea that the Spanish government allowed the US to influence the Spanish judicial system.--BobSpring is sprung! 12:53, 2 December 2010 (UTC)


The time is now upon me when my once-trusty old Nokia brick needs replacing. As it is nearly 2011 I thought I might as well get one of these smartphone thingies; but which one to get? I've heard the iPhones are a bit shit, and the HTC ones are pretty good - any advice? (It will of course come down to what I can get for free on an 18 month contract) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 21:43, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Down to preference I suppose. The new HTC win7 phones are apparently quite good if you don't want to buy a spac. What do you want out of a smartphone? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:57, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Erm, that's the problem Crundy; I don't know, I've never had one! Phoning and texting is the main thing (can they do that?), but I suppose t'internet and GPS would be handy, as would a bit of music. The number one priority is that it doesn't do my fucking head in whilst I'm trying to do something bloody simple. Windows7 doesn't inspire me, although maybe that's just because I'm a Linux anti-M$ type. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 22:03, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Get an n900. The price has dropped to reasonable levels, it runs Qt/Linux (there's a keyboard shortcut for xterm out of the box) and it has a neat physical keyboard. -- (talk) 22:10, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Keep the brick. If someone tries mugging you for your phone, while they are laughing at it, you can use your phone to beat them to deathAMassiveGay (talk) 22:41, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
I would keep it, but it has taken to resetting itself at random, and the battery is so goosed that I only get about 30mins' talk time from a full charge. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 22:58, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Android is good if you like to modify and play around with things, and if you feel that Apple wants to control your mind. BlackBerry is good if you're 50 and want to look like a srs businessman. WebOS is on its way out, I think. Windows Phone 7 looks interesting, but you've already said you don't like it. iPhone is if you want a decent piece of hardware and don't mind a restricted platform. My iPhone has been fine for me, but YMMV. Go play around with a bunch in-store and see which you like. – Nick Heer 04:31, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
Where are you? Assuming you're in the states. Carrier choice is also relevant. I'm running a jailbroken and unlocked iPhone 3gs on T-Mobile so I don't get their 3g radio service bc the iPhone was made for the AT&T network. And that's fine but I'm definitely waiting to see what happens early next year with either the iPhone 4, LTE, or other "4g" phones coming out. I've never suffered for getting emails and using the internet the whole time, especially considering my friends with AT&T iPhones are also often using EDGE. Yeah EDGE is shit compared to the pseudo 4g we're getting in the states. So I'd either get an iPhone and jailbreak it so you can do whatever you want with it because Apple are fascists who nerf an otherwise very capable device or follow these smart people's directions and get the HTC Win7 phone. Or wait until Q1 2011 and see what comes out for the various pseudo-4g networks. Any of these phones is going to be great for most people's basic needs. They'll all browse the web, get and send email on Exchange/POP/IMAP, handle PDF's and Word/Excel docs, play music, take pics, etc. The iPhone 4 camera is getting fabulous reviews if that matters. The iPhone 3g and 3gs camera is garbage. Blackberry is a stupid and expensive duplication of functionality that you can get cheaper and more reliably from a phone that imps the relevant Exchange server functions (tasks, notes, contacts, email, folders, calendar, invites). And their devices suck. Nutty Rouxnever mind 20:17, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd wait until Microsoft implements copypaste before getting a HTC Win7 device... Actually, I wouldn't get a Win7 device because the OS is crap and for the price you can get better hardware on Android. -- Nx / talk 20:28, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Get an iPhone, they're anything but shit and work superbly. The AT&T network is a bit shit in places, but I never have too many problems. My swanky Verizon Android/HTC buddy was trying to show me a Youtube video the other day and could barely get it to play three seconds at a time of the lowrez clip...my iPhone played the HD version fullscreen without a pause. He was angry. I was smug. I'm smug like that, bitches. PS That was on my 3GS. Doggedpersistence (talk) 07:32, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
If you don't feel you'll have a use for one, don't bother and just go with a handset you can still happily drop kick across the bar (besides, it's a great trick to pull when you say "my phone can do something your iPhone cant!". If all you want to do is communicate by text message and occasionally make a call on the move, it's not worth the hassle of having big fat piece of expensive technology in your pocket. That said, I didn't think I'd have a need for a netbook but once I got one I inserted it into my life quite nicely. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:32, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I've got a HTC Legend running on Android and I'm more than happy with it and would happily recommend it. Especially now that I can turn it into a wifi hotspot.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:24, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

HTC Evo is still indisputably the best phone available today. Then the iphone, but fuck apple. If I wasn't going with the Evo, I'd probably get a droid x. Physical keyboards are for old ladies and people who are too stupid to realize the state of the art in touch technology. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:28, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

You fool. A physical keyboard is more energy efficient, cheaper in terms of useful screen space, and provides far better feedback and intuition than any other option. You can't just "feel" that you have or have not mistyped without proper buttons. -- (talk) 16:18, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:26, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Again, you're an old woman or an idiot if you desperately need tactile response to function. A physical keyboard is large and clunky. Accommodating for them is ludicrous. "cheaper in terms of useful screen space"? Yeah, you're a retard. Sorry. On second thought, you're both probably "that guy" and aren't ashamed of clipping those bricks to your belt. Occasionaluse (talk) 18:11, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
On a handheld phone with a screen two inches across that might be kind of true, but in most cases typing on a touch screen is horrendous and then the "keys" take up the screen so you can't actually see what you're typing. On something like the iPad it's completely pointless. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:35, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
The Moto Droid is 13.7mm thick. The Evo 4G is 13mm. The Evo is bigger in all its other dimensions. Which one is the brick again? -- Nx / talk 18:43, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Damn, you're right...a much, much better phone with a lot more capabilities is .7 mm thinner. I'm so pwned... They should totally slap a physical keyboard on it. Occasionaluse (talk) 18:56, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
It already has one. -- Nx / talk 18:58, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
No...it doesn't. Occasionaluse (talk) 18:59, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
You are talking about this phone and keyboard? Yes? Actually I quite like it.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:39, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
No, we're talking about "a much, much better phone with a lot more capabilities is .7 mm thinner", aka the Evo. I own the Droid and the keyboard totally blows. The Droid 2 keyboard is better, but still blows, IMO. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:43, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
IMG 0026.jpg
Full resolution example

Either an iphone or something Android. I am going to say iphone. However be adviced that you have to be to install itunes somewhere (which is only Windows and OSX if memory servers). You don't need to use any of its music management/shop aspects, but you still need it in order to do updates and drag & drop files into the phone).

As a rule of thumb, Android can do anything the iphone can (and both are 1000% better than a dumbhone), however here is why iphone:

A) Content. Because it is so hip and everything, all the developers have flocked to it, or at least its the one they think first of. Look at this for example. These are just apps made by home automation system sellers, all of which have flocked to iphone as the "de facto" standardized portable computation platform someone is most likely to have. Android might have Shazam and Angry birds too but its in the weird and niche applications that the iphone is great. This includes the size of the tinkering and hacking community around it.

B) Camera. See the attached pictures? These were taken with an iphone. (Also my pictures in the dinner forum) and I have even downscaled some of the files in order to make them smaller. Apple put there a sensor which is good in collecting light, rather than focusing on "high mexapixels". The EVO for example might have 8mp but its photographs are dark and noisy with an obvious "phone" quality. The end result is that not only the iphone has the best phone camera that exists right now (with the one and only single exception of the Nokia N8) but is in fact "good enough" to be used as a point & shooter replacement.

Lot's of Android phones are good mp3 players, "internet browsing devices" or GPS units too, but not good cameras. I personaly like the feeling of not needing to have a whole seperate £200 gadget in my pocket, plus as an old photographer motto says "the best camera is the one you have with you". With daylight, its just amazing. In dusk or night, it's absolute crap, but still better than any other smartphone out there.

C) Resale value. (UK specific numbers following) When I bought my iphone 4, at the same time an iphone 2G (aka the first one) was selling on eBay for £300. (And the other models for more).

I actually bought my iphone 4 in cash and use a silly £10 sim-only contract, which gives me "good enough" minutes and "unlimited" data (whilst in T-mobile's other iphone plans it is capped). And it is also a 30 day one. Not only I save tons of money in not paying for minutes I will never use in some kind of £40 monthly contract, but I am also completely free to leave the company any time I wish. When the next one comes along, my current device will give me an estimated £300-400 subsidy for the next one.

For 'xamples:

If someone tries to get the HTC Desire "for free" on a £40 contract, and kept it for the 2 years they lock you down for, it would cost you 24x40=£960 In a good day, you might be able to get £100 back from that in ebay. Total cost of ownership: £860

If I keep my iphone 4 for 2 years (which I don't have to), then total cost to me: 24x10+500=£740 I also feel certain that even then, it would sell in ebay for about £300. Total cost of ownership: £440 Sen (talk) 23:03, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for all the info, I think I'll go get me one of those HTC Evos... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 02:54, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Woo or not?[edit]

My company is offering free classes today on stretching exercises that can be done while at work.

Okay, I don't think anyone will argue in general that a good stretch feels good, but here's the description:

Stretching causes you to breathe deeply bringing oxygen to your brain to wake you up and revive your energy; it releases the physical form of stress that is stored in your muscles and relieving that stress frees up energy; stretching also helps your body remove toxins because when you breathe deeply and move your body the lymph system is activated, cleansing the body of pollutants.

It sounds a little, oh, "woo-ish" to me. Anyone else?

MDB (talk) 14:13, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

I dunno, stretching does loosen the muscles, which probably has it's own knock-on effects. Hell, Japanese companies have their staff doing morning stretches for years and just look where they are (when they're not invading China, that is). Nothing feels as good as a good stretch, especially one of those where your whole spine suddenly ratchets back into shape, so I say do it anyway. Unless lycra is involved. The run. --Ψ GremlinParlez! 14:20, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes and no. Stress can be relieved effectively by anything known as a "calming ritual" - hence how people would still recommend Rescue Remedy even though it's complete hocum. Physical exercise of any kind also keeps you fairly active and fit and generally feeling better - a lack of activity can lead to depression. It's not particularly "woo" as such until it hits "remove toxins" and then it's quite textbook alt med crap from then on. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:29, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I took the fifteen minute class. It was certainly relaxing, to be sure, but the free seated massage was just wonderful. I figure whether the "spin" is woo or not, a little stretching can't hurt. As for removing toxins, I suppose the deep breathing exercises helped get rid of some of the nicotine from the cigarette I smoked before walking over to the conference center... MDB (talk) 15:09, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Which I assume you restored on the walk back? Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:29, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Nah, I was only over there for thirty minutes. I try to limit the slow destruction of my lungs and cardio-vascular system to every ninety minutes or so, though with my work load and related stress, it's been up to every hour the past few weeks. MDB (talk) 16:11, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
It sounds very similar to the Brain Gym shite that far too many state schools here in the UK have bought in to. The idea is a good 'un, but as such good ideas are so simple, they've built a load of nonsensical bollocks around it. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 03:14, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

snowed in[edit]

The snow here might reach a quarter of an inch deep in drifts, so I'm staying in. Where do I start? Pointed moment (talk) 21:10, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Fun:Task_Generator Occasionaluse (talk) 21:19, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I wish you would take direction from me. I'm a senior editor here, and you are a new writer. Please help, or be elsewhere. I'd also like to see your Conservapedia:Writing plan. --Ed Poor Talk
My writing plan is to write things. Pointed moment (talk) 21:23, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
That is an appallingly bad writing plan. Around here writing plans must consist of a plan to drink, smoke, or drop a tab. Try again, or be banned, or at least fantasised about in a Sailor Moon costume.--Ed Poor Talk
We could definitely use an article on three meters. Tetronian you're clueless 01:56, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Quarter of an inch! Damn, you're stuck there!! Watch some Jezza Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:44, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Nephilimfree website[edit]

NephilimFree has a website at http://www.nephilimfree.com/2.htm where he has published articles by himself only so far. Links to Tas Walker the reknowned Australian geologist. Amswers in Genesis, Institute for Creation research , and GlobalFlood.org also get a mention. One of his introductory articles is Nylonase Bacteria, A product of Intelligent Design where he shows that Design not evolution has created nylon eating bacteria and supports his claim from Programmed translational frameshifting, by Farabaugh PJ. HERE Anyone able to read and follow Mr Farabaughs paper ? Hamster (talk) 06:27, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I linked the subject. Please forgive my editing your post. Asterisk (talk) 06:44, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
The English is so poor. For example when I got to
It therefore cannot support evolution the claim of theory that all forms of life are a product of morphological change.
my brain melted and I had to stop reading. Jack Hughes (talk) 10:20, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Time to start writing up and submitting some parody papers, methinks. Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:39, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Browser bug[edit]

This is interesting. Basically, you know how links you've visited before show up a different colour (a:visited in CSS?), well some sites have abused this by adding a load of links on their pages they are interested in and then using javascript to see if the link colour corresponds to the page's a:visited colour when a user loads the page. So they can effectively log the sites in your history. Whodathunkit? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:04, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

But you have to admit that's a genius piece of coding. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:24, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Exactly my point. Amazing simple coding by an astute individual or individuals. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:11, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Old "exploit". -- (talk) 16:15, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Even if it didn't work, you can do exactly the same thing with cache timings. Dynamically include some CSS or javascript from their site in your page, and count how long it takes until the resource is loaded. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:35, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Nostalgia vs reinvention[edit]

I found myself reading through all of Chuck Lorre's vanity cards and found this one. It seems to explain quite a bit about the dichotomy of conservative/liberal politics. Scarlet A.pngtheist 01:40, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Christian Patriarchy Movement[edit]

Article Worthy?--Thanatos (talk) 18:55, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

This is one of those things where I think "Ha! It's an Onion piece." Then I think "Please, let this be an Onion piece." Then I just openly weep for a bit. Corry (talk) 01:40, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Awesome link! Make article! Or add to existing article! Asterisk (talk) 06:50, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Possibly just an offshoot of the Quiverfull movement, although that could just be a twist of Google because of the book title. Original website is here so may be the better place to start if we want an article. Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:49, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
"Christian Patriarchy Movement" is not what they style themselves; it is what the friendly editors at Bitch magazine style them. This is of course not to say that the description is inaccurate, if the correct English meaning is given to each of its three words. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:14, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

NASA astrobiology announcement[edit]

"NASA will hold a news conference at 2pm EST (December 2) to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.". Any further news on what they discovered? FreeThought (talk) 03:50, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I read somewhere recently, after reading this NASA business, that they had discovered many more suns of our likeness (relatively small and stable single sun systems) so I am guessing that's what it might be. Or something about Titan. Aceword up 03:57, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Rumor has it that it is research into different metabolism systems, an organism that uses arsenic. Tmtoulouse (talk) 03:58, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
You're right Trent. Just completed a Google search - The Sun newspaper broke the NASA embargo and published a story on an arsenic consuming organism. My money is on the organism being dubbed Rasputin. FreeThought (talk) 04:04, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
The spoiler: it's full of stars. Asterisk (talk) 06:47, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I just brought this on WIGO:World talk too. Wondering if it was just this. Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:41, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Will they announce which planet will host the World Cup? Pointed moment (talk) 10:44, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I now know that NASA has its own TV channel. That's pretty awesome to be honest. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:31, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

For those who haven't spotted the WIGO:World discussion Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:54, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

The ability to absorb arsenic into its structure is quite amazing. Life can turn up in the most unexpected parts of the universe. FreeThought (talk) 11:19, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

'Nother bug[edit]

The "redirect" magic edit button is failing to include the pretty brackets. Asterisk (talk) 06:46, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

In MediaWiki:Edittools, it looks right, but when editing pages it's reading the #REDIRECT and [[]] as separate commands. Some quirk of beta? BTW, this should really be in RationalWiki:Technical support, not the Saloon Bar. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:18, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, what's this doing here? Anyway, I don't understand what's happening, since it looks fine in the preview and on the page itself, but not under the edit form. And the workaround I've implemented shouldn't work, because all it does is strip out the nowiki and replaces the space with &#32;, exactly like it was before when it wasn't working... -- Nx / talk 09:04, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I've never used that button for making redirects so wouldn't have noticed. Actually, since the last upgrade when it was temporarily disabled and we had to type ~~~~ manually, I've stopped using any of those shortcuts. Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:38, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
It seems to be fixed now. A, just because you don't use it doesn't mean it doesn't matter if it works or not. Thanks whoever fixed it! Asterisk (talk) 06:50, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Just pointing out that I would never notice if any of them stopped working. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:47, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

The Republican Party is broke![edit]

And I don't mean broken, either.

The RNC is fifteen million in debt. They must be waiting on those tax cuts. MDB (talk) 12:13, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Wasn't the total cost of the midterms something like $4bn? An absurd amount of money. Bondurant (talk) 12:24, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
That is just the RNC, they are always broke. The candidates and branches and things always have a lot of money. - π 12:36, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, not always. To quote John McCain during his "I've lost this election already; I might as well have a little fun" appearance on Saturday Night Live, "Friends, I'm a true maverick: a Republican without money." MDB (talk) 13:29, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
They can't pay their bills, how can we expect them to pay ours? Asterisk (talk) 06:46, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Bloody communists.[edit]

The younger teen has been going out on the student demonstrations. Us old troublemakers are most proud of her. She's smart, sensible, organised and really pissed off. Kids who didn't go to the demos are bragging about having gone and getting kettled - Libtory has a whole generation ready to get rid of them at the next opportunity.

Unfortunately, one of the practical information conduits is a news sheet called The Socialist. How does one warn a teenager just how bloody annoying and timesucking the people behind such things are, or is the only way for them to discover for themselves? - David Gerard (talk) 12:51, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Did you listen to your parents when you were that age? No? I thought not. No, like us, they'll just have to learn for themselves. I'm still waiting for the Edgar Broughton Band to turn up to do a free festival. Out demons, out! Jack Hughes (talk) 13:37, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
MAYBE THE STYLE COUNCIL WILL REFORM AND SAVE US ALL - David Gerard (talk) 23:07, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Incompetent Britain[edit]

That's us! A bit of snow and Worksop's run out of milk. I quite like black coffee but Weetabix! 13:22, 2 December 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

British people don't understand snow. Give us 10 million heavily armed Germans to fend off, and we're as happy as a clam. But 10 centimetres of snow, and it's the apocalypse. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 13:44, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
To be fair, we've had 60 cm plus. But the A57 Sheffield (M1) - Worksop has been blocked for two days by stuck lorries. A friend intended to come over from Mcr today but put it off on Sunday - just as well! 13:50, 2 December 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast (pics)
It looks like the easiest place for walking is along the canal. This (western) side of the Pennines we havn't had a flake of snow. Jack Hughes (talk) 14:16, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I live in London and I'm still amazed after all these years about the way that idiot Londoners drive in the snow. I saw one prat two nights ago. He drives down the snow-covered road outside my house at 30 miles a fucking hour - and then he turns down the hill still at 30 miles an hour! Guess what happenned? Yes, the back of his car swung out, he nearly goes around in a circle, almost hits first a parked car and then a lamppost and then just about recovers. I saw him again last night. He crept around that turn at 2 mph. I guess he must have heard my hysterical laughter from the previous time. Darkmind1970 (talk) 14:45, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I still amazed that any drives in london, full stop. The should pedestrianise the whole place.AMassiveGay (talk) 16:48, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I've got to tell you the same thing happens in Spain. The snow falls, the roads close, and the government is denounced as incompetent. I suspect that it's a very human reaction. OK, in places where it snows heavily for weeks on end they are set up for it. But in the "sometimes heavy" parts of the world it's more difficult.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:11, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Britain's problem - we are a southern Nordic country, but the Gulf Stream has fooled us into thinking that we're a northern Mediterranean one. That's why we are never prepared for snow and, rather bizarrely, seem curiously resistant to preparing proper flood defences as well.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:33, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I have fond memories of Snow Day '08 (or was it 09?), as it involved a huge UCL v LSE snowball fight in Regent's Park, as well as seeing a hipster slip and fall onto a frozen dog turd. These memories are, admittedly, only fond as I didn't have to use any public transport to get to uni or Regent's Park, as I lived about half an hour's walk away. Considering the absolute chaos that day, I remain amazed that London doesn't have any decent contingency plans for these things. Is it unreasonable to expect our mayor to be useful in some meaningful way? Webbtje (talk) 20:07, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Paf, screw the lot of you. Where I am from, we get ~150 inches of snow per winter, and not a single school day. ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ is out of his mind 01:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, but the essential problem here is that snow like this is unusual even in the depths of winter, so we have not got the infrastructure to deal with it, and if any authorities try they'll be ripped apart for wasting taxpayers' money. Harmonic cubic Hoover! 13:56, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Lol @ javascap, and uphill both ways! Asterisk (talk) 06:43, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Cardboard in the shoes to keep the snow from coming through the holes. But you wuz lucky! Seriously tho - I can always tell when there's been an inch of snow in the UK - all the non-league footie games get canceled. Bunch of wimps. In my day, we used to play in snow up to our bollocks, using a brick instead of a ball and with one leg cut off. --Ψ Gremlin話しなさい 10:34, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

World Cup 2018/2022[edit]

Mmmm, Putin gets really sniffy about allegations of corruption amongst FIFA on the Wednesday, Russia wins the bid on the Thursday. I'm not implying anything, but somehow I'm not surprised.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 15:49, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

The next one England can bid for is 2030. By then I'll probably be dead/too old and responsible to enjoy it properly anyway. Gutted. SJ Debaser 15:57, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I noted the United States was in contention for one of them. Now, I'm not a soccer fan, but can anyone blame FIFA for saying "sorry, Americans, but we'd like to host our tournament in a country that, you know, actually cares about our sport (and doesn't have a lot of citizens who view it with open contempt)"? MDB (talk) 15:59, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
And actually calls it football not soccer :) FreeThought (talk) 16:02, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
P.S. Paul the Octopus backed England to win the 2018 bid. His winning streak is now over ;) FreeThought (talk) 16:07, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Let's not forget that the 1994 World Cup was held in the United States.--Xyr (talk) 16:16, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
The World Cup is such a farce. As a season ticket holder to a British Premiership club I see better football on a weekly basis. Football is a team sport and you can't forge a team in the short time that the players have together before such events. Hence you get prima-donnas who disappoint. Jack Hughes (talk) 16:26, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
It's a sporting tournament, a show, war by other means. It shouldn't be compared to weekly matches played in a league. Different animal. Doesn't make it a farce. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:08, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd say that Paul the Octopus' winning streak ended when he died a couple of months ago. Bondurant (talk) 16:29, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
It's quite sickening on BBC News at the moment: Lots of people pretty much saying "Well we lost so obviously the voting process is wrong". Mind you, it makes a welcome change from stories about the fucking weather. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 16:30, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
On the plus side, we must the world leaders in disappointment by now.AMassiveGay (talk) 16:50, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
As a devout anti-organised-sportist I'm bloody glad! 16:54, 2 December 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
'…but can anyone blame FIFA for saying "sorry, Americans, but we'd like to host our tournament in a country that, you know, actually cares about our sport.' Presumably this is why they gave '22 to Oman, that incredibly rich great soccer nation. Not that I know why I'm complaining mind you. I didn't want the damned thing to come here anyway.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 16:56, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Oman? '22 went to Qatar. SJ Debaser 16:58, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
The Olympics is already trying its best to bankrupt us, I think we can happily let the World Cup slide. Not that I care, exactly. Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:09, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, Qatar, sorry. The Rioja last night was on top form, what can I say.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 17:11, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Or was the wine from Rías Baixa? Mmmmm.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 17:13, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Quick guide. If it was red it was probably Rioja. If it was white it was probably Rías Baixas. --BobSpring is sprung! 19:04, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Or I was poking fun at myself for confusing Qatar and Oman. Just for the record, and those planning to buy wine for me, when given the choice I always go for a Rioja, and do try and get a high ratio of Tempranillo in the blend, with heavy influence and mix from Baja.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:29, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
One of the most left-field choices that's been made in the history of the WC. Wonder if their oil money had anything to do with securing the win? Given the other front-running candidates were the US and Japan, it certainly surprised me when I heard they had won. They have never qualified for the world cup, they may end up like South Africa and become only the second host nation not to reach the finals. How would fans celebrate a win there? Under Qatar's Sharia, it is illegal to show alcohol or be drunk in public. FreeThought (talk) 00:54, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually you are incorrect there and I speak as someone who has drunk alcohol legally in Qatar. Non-Muslims can consume alcohol in hotels and clubs, and it can be bought with a licence. Redchuck.gif Генгисmarauding 10:54, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Susan, does that mean you are actually against organised sport? I thought that was a right-on fad that died out decades ago. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:18, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
'fraid so - I was born decades ago. 17:45, 2 December 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
What a peculiar thing! I don't think I've ever actually heard anyone argue the case against organised sports. What, pray, is the rationale? Ajkgordon (talk) 19:41, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Disorganised sports are so much more fun. You ain't seen an American Football game until you've seen both teams playing with absolutely no knowledge of what they are doing, or as we like to call it, a 49ers - Broncos game.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:45, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Meh. Sen (talk) 18:06, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

And so the Daily Fail wades in with their usual tact. Here we go.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 23:45, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

1) I don't normally go in for conspiracy theories, and 2) I'm fucking glad we didn't get it - given the demands that FIFA make, to the extent that the host country changes their tax laws to suit FIFA. But come on, the Sunday Times exposes the rampant corruption withing FIFA, then the BBC does the same two days before the vote - and hey presto, two out of twenty-two? They may as well have voted for "How dare you expose our corruption!". Two out of twenty-two? Patriotism aside, can anyone really say that the bid from a country that had all the stadiums already in place, is convenient for travel from all European countries (wherein the bulk of football fans reside), was really so shit it objectively deserved only two votes? Fuck em all. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 01:16, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually, yes. Two out of 22 means UK's candidature simply wasn't good enough. Having all stadiums already in place is, paradoxically, a minus: FIFA wants growth, not maintenance of status quo, both in infrastructures and in popularity of football: and the UK already has enough of both, stadiums and fans. Editor at CPmały książe 12:43, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
The current FIFA set-up ranks with the old Olympic regime of Samaranch, Blatter is football's Berlusconi. The benefits of hosting a major sports tournament are now so huge that these undemocratic international bodies wield enormous power and are ripe for sleaze. It's little wonder that representatives from small undeveloped countries where corruption is often a way of life see a way to line their own pockets.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:14, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Or maybe there wasn't corruption involved. Besides hosting such an event doesn't always bring many benefits, on the contrary, see the recent study on revenues by Olympic games. Editor at CPmały książe 12:43, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Everybody pointed fingers at us and said we'd never put on a good show, wouldn't be ready, etc, etc, yada, yada. So of course they're going to say the same about Russia/Qatar. That said, given how FIFA waltzed in here and took over, good luck to any country hosting them. Even I had to remove advertising from the front of my business premises, as we were not an official sponsor, but were on one of the feeder roads to Ellis Park. No compensation, of course - it was more, "Do it, or we'll sue."
I think it's good FIFA is taking the game to new places, although Qatar is a strange choice - dry country, so there goes the Bud sponsorship, 50C in summer and only 6 cities (4 of which have a population under 50,000). However, it does have money, which is what gives FIFA a hardon. --Ψ GremlinПоговорите! 10:22, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
They already have an air conditioned open-air stadium kept at 19 °C and the others will follow suit. Though that's a bit perplexing in times of "ecological" and "zero impact" Olympics. Not to talk of athletes' and spectators' health. Editor at CPmały książe 12:43, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Noahs Ark park will have dinosaurs on the ark[edit]

From Gawker:

At the press conference yesterday afternoon announcing plans for Ark Encounter, the religious amusement park that will feature a "full-scale Noah's Ark," a park official made it clear: There will be dinosaurs on the Ark, along with giraffes and such.

My favorite Jesus w/dinosaur image. --Leotardo (talk) 20:53, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

I am disapointed that its not next to the Creation Museum. Who wants to drive 40 miles (or km) from one to the other. 24.5 million fundraiser , 125,675 collected to date .Thats about 1/2% Hamster (talk) 05:47, 4 December 2010 (UTC)


Spot the problem with this Daily Fail cartoon, assuming it doesn't get changed.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 02:33, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

We all know that the Daily Bigot is stuck in some bygone age.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:00, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
You, big fella explain him plenty for furriner yes? Chop chop? --Ψ GremlinZungumza! 10:28, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Anachronisms? In the Mail? Surely some mistake... Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:31, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
For all your furriners watching, British Rail hasn't existed for a good long while now. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 12:43, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Yup, it was disbanded in 2000.  Lily Inspirate me. 13:12, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Filthy Mullets and the smell of Parachute Pants.....[edit]

Just seems the right picture for this situation....

So So So, Ho Ho Ho. What does the Grand Equaliser have in store for my dirty self this evening?
Fallen off several wagons, just gone 12:15am and while drunk I shouldn't have indulged all my other vices.
Maybe "shouldn't" is the wrong word? Perhaps "didn't need to" would be more accurate?
Fuck it though, I'll get my payback when the time comes - that evil skylord has fingered me and while some of the pious might find it a moment to self-reflect I see it as time to nail the throttle to the floor and go full tilt before the bastard catches up to my sins. I am sure I can stay one fucking step ahead.
Hell, with the right company I'll appear as a zebra - indistinguible from the rest. Just another dangerous sinner amongst the crowd. After spending the last 4 nights in some dirty fucking motel room with only a bottle of scotch and the giddeons bible to keep me company I am fairly sure I can give the bearded bastard the slip.
After reading the first few chapters of Genesis my esteem in the LORD has taken a fucking dive. He was forever popping down off his cloud, muttering and repeating himself and speaking in italics.
I don't know about you but any omnipotent deity that has to float down to say "Hey Cain, you seen your brother? Can't find that guy anywhere but what the fuck was up with that offering?" needs to be questioned.
Then he has a drunken Noah fuck his daughters.
Anyways, the title of this section relates to many Bon Jovi pictures the adorn my interior. He is playing tomorrow/tonight in my city and Mrs McWicked has some wild pseudosexual gambit to impress upon him while all I can do is stare at MC Hammers pants.
Bahaha. Aceword up 11:33, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Us gays never spend nights alone if we don't wanna. You're never alone for long with gaydar. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
AMG, you must be a lot hotter than me... MDB (talk) 12:40, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, I am a stunner, but in such situations standards do slip AMassiveGay (talk) 12:48, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I am not a stunner, unless you are stunned by chubby, bearded middle aged white guys. MDB (talk) 12:54, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think anyone needs to spend a night alone if they are prepared to let their standards slip. However, I'd take issue with your "Us gays never spend nights alone if we don't wanna" because that speaks more about a kind of lifestyle than any special kind of sexual orientation. Sex =/= love.  Lily Inspirate me. 13:21, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I am far too vain and shallow for such sentimentAMassiveGay (talk) 13:57, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
How you can possibly this promiscuously camp via text communication is something I will never be able to figure out. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:54, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Lot was raped by his daughters, not Noah. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:22, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
But he was hammered. Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:29, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah yeah, but who cares. And why all this fucking gay talk? Aceword up 19:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
You're just jealous of all the cock we get - David Gerard (talk) 23:10, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Quick question...[edit]

Which version of the active user charts do you prefer:

I would be grateful for your input - larronsicut fur in nocte 13:14, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Fist one. You can read it without even reading the numbers! Design Win. Sen (talk) 13:19, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Vote Early, Vote Often[edit]

Thanks for your vote - so kunterbunt it will be... larronsicut fur in nocte 16:29, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Oh, to paraphrase a Leslie Nielson line there……--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:14, 3 December 2010 (UTC)


After listening to our UK friends rant about tuition, LSU increases tuition by 10% and increases fees by ~1,000 dollars/semester. Lovely. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 14:46, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

On a happier note though [2]. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 15:03, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Does the Honourable Mention involve actual cash of just a warm inner glow and something to put on the CV? (Well done, btw). Jack Hughes (talk) 15:42, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Warm inner glow. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 15:43, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you intend to go on to graduate school? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:58, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Hopefully, depends on whether the money holds out. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 16:01, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Undergraduate research can be a big help in that area; I did some research as an undergraduate and was consequently accepted to graduate school to continue it. This meant all my tuition was paid for from the get-go. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:16, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, thanks, I'll start looking for some more stuff to do. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 16:34, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
My group's had a load of undergraduates working for it recently. I have no idea where they're coming from but it seems like every time I walk into the office there's someone new sitting at my desk writing a report. Possibly cheap labour, I imagine. Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:46, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Desperate for work probably. I'm lucky, I have an internship with a family friend in California this summer working at his company, I am trying to get one for January here. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 16:52, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
(EC) In my group, it acted as part of a farm-system of sorts. An undergraduate would show his aptitude in one of the classes my advisor taught, then do a stint in the lab as an undergraduate RA, then go on to graduate school, sometimes even in our group. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:54, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

How far we've come[edit]

This report from July 2000 was recently brought to my attention. 1 in 4 homes using the internet in 2000, now it's practically everything connected and they're concerned just about connection speed now. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:40, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Fun with science![edit]

Today's equation, class, is

laser + flash paper + balloon = Total Awesomeness!

MDB (talk) 16:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm suddenly reminded that I have access to a Big Bloody Laser... Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:44, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I miss my 6m TGM. :< TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 19:57, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
All I could think of is the cameraman taking a laser to the nuts in the first sequence. Then I constructed an elaborate scenario in which he was wearing lead underwear or some other form of groin protection before I realised it's just on a tripod. X Stickman (talk) 22:50, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Is that a rocket on the launchpad, or you are just happy to see me?[edit]

Space X are conducting a static firing of their second Falcon 9 rocket and broadcasting it live in 20 minutes. (The first Falcon 9 was the thing that caused the Australian spiral.) There will be just a bit of flames and smoke, but there is a chance that the rocket may explode. :) The real launch (with the first real Dragon capsule) is scheduled for 7th December.--ZooGuard (talk) 17:22, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

14 minutes. It's just sitting there, venting propellants and looking vaguely phallic. --ZooGuard (talk) 17:34, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh, this was disappointing. There will be a video on their website later for those who missed it. It will be a very short video...--ZooGuard (talk) 18:05, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
The Falcon 9 launch and the drop test are pretty cool, though. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:51, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

2011 Q1 Fundraiser time![edit]

We are now looking for donations for the first quarter of 2011. Details at RationalWiki:Fundraiser. The most important information is that for the next two weeks donation received will be matched up to a total $300. Donate if you can! Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:29, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Matched by who? TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 20:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
It seems that we have gone from me being relatively wealthy and Trent being dirt poor to me being dirt poor and Trent rolling in it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:39, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Also, how long will the fund raiser last? I'm unemployed right now but will have a job again in Mid-January. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 20:42, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Can we use the goat banner??? Occasionaluse (talk) 20:43, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Answers: as Armondikov alluded to I am the one offering to match the donations, the fundraiser is likely to last a couple weeks, however donations can be made to RW at anytime before or after a fundraiser, or if you can't give during one round you can give during the next quarter, and whats the goat banner? Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:46, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Don't show him the goat banner... Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:52, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Domestic goat May 2006 header.jpg
If I can get at the css, we could have the "Please read: A personal appeal from RationalWiki's founder" on it. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:55, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
What's wrong with that? TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 20:56, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
A rather frightening prospect, that we of RationalWiki are playing any significant role in breaking back the irrational barbarian hordes. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:02, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
But still, it makes you proud that we aren't another dead wiki. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:06, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
We've outstripped Conservapedia and Citizendium for activity and were never really trying to be "big". That has to be saying something. Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:08, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I think of the funny, multi-topic wikis we are number 3, 4 if consider uncyclopedia funny. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:12, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't find uncyclopedia very funny. ED has some gold on it, but the people there totally give me the creeps... Occasionaluse (talk) 21:13, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
ED can be funny, but most of the funny stuff is old, and thus the only way you can discover it is the random button. 2 hours of random on ED, nothing has ever shocked me since. TvTropes is also bigger than us. CWCki is smaller, but unless you want to enjoy the horrors of CWC, I'd avoid it, I will never drink Fanta again. We have some overlap of editors over there. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:17, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Who would want to drink that creepy Nazi syrup anyway? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:28, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
We do not speak of it, for what CWC does with fanta even made ED, for just a moment pause and be disgusted. Alain knows. The horror destroyed it for him too. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
WTF is CWC? Occasionaluse (talk) 21:34, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I'll put it on your userpage, this is getting off topic. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:37, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I just looked at that fucking thing. I hereby nominate Tyrannis for deletion from the universe for not merely knowing about this thing but spreading the disease - David Gerard (talk) 00:09, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not the only one here. Hell, they use us as an example! But yeah, it is one of tvtropes permanently locked articles. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 00:12, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

That goat banner creeps the hell out of me, though maybe dropping it in a few places just for kicks, like say TWIGO. The problem with trying to define "how big we are" is that many of the comparisons are very different sites trying to do very different things. I think trying to gauge our impact and the growth of our impact is a more interesting measure. I have thought about this stuff a lot (see user:tmtoulouse/niche), but what it comes down to is more and more RW is something that is being included in various dialogs around the internet about topics we cover. For the last 3 years you can't mention poe's law with out a link to RW, and that is starting to happen with more and more topics, Esther Hicks, Project Blue Beam, our atheism FAQ, etc. Also when companies and promoters of products are showing up at RW to try and change what we are saying (some engage us others just try and force it through) you know we are having an effect, at least at some level. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:35, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

The Goat Banner on every page, with the caption: "Please read: A personal appeal from Rob Smith" complete with a link to the donation page and a random non sequitur. Seems fitting, given NobRot's obsession with who the founders of RW:Legacy (our new name by the way, x.0 is so passé) are.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 22:25, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
The companies pay attention to us because we're one of the few places on the Internet that talks about them. If they ignored us no-one would notice, but they can't resist.
LessWrong keeps paying us an inordinate amount of attention, not because we're important or even relevant to them, but because we're about the only place on the Internet that bothers writing about them. And taking someone seriously just because they give you attention may not be all that rational. (Though pointing that out got a ridiculous number of upvotes.) - David Gerard (talk) 23:21, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I see that the check from Soros is late again. EddyP (talk) 23:53, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I've always said that if we're pissing people off we're doing something right. Whether it's someone suing us for saying they're full of crap or someone going "so why do they call it rationalwiki?", it's a strong effect. Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:03, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Let's talk about the upcoming US tax cuts/tax hikes[edit]

I'm definitely a supply-sider and I've opposed most of President Obama's economic decisions, including the stimulus, but the Bush tax cuts were not a supply side tax cut and did not significantly help the economy, IMO. Considering Clinton raised taxes and the economy grew at a pretty brisk pace, I don't see the expiry of the Bush tax cuts as economic Armegeddon. What are your thoughts? ConservapediaEditor (talk) 02:17, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

my thought is I cant afford another 15c a gallon for gas , I cant afford gas as it is. If prices go up because of transport costs , and they always do, I may have to cut back on food. :( Luckily bread and milk dont seem to spoil as quickly these days so I rarely have to throw anything out :) (talk) 03:06, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
"Supply side economics" is bollocks. "Demand side economics" is how an economy stays healthy - if people can afford to buy shit, the economic system will make it. Giving rich people tax breaks does nothing for the day to day economy. Asterisk (talk) 05:52, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't matter, since they won't expire. They will be extended either in the lame duck or at the start of the next session. And supply-side is almost wholly contradicted by the evidence, incidentally, which is why it has no serious support among professional economists.--ADtalkModerator 13:57, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
What evidence is that? Tax revenues and economic output rose with the Kennedy and Reagan tax cuts. I'm not defending the Bush II tax cuts, but I would argue these tax cuts were not supply side and their expiration won't be significantly economically detrimental. ConservapediaEditor (talk) 00:59, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, there is this paper that says we are on the wrong-side of the maximal of the laffer curve for tax cuts and that the Regan tax cuts reduced revenue. But besides that I can't help you. - π 01:11, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not going to purchase the PDF, but the abstract says that the revenue-maximizing rate is between 32% and 35%. Reagan cut taxes from 70% to 50% in his first term and 50% to 28% in his second term. The abstract says nothing about the Reagan tax cuts reducing revenue. (If it did, that would contradict the historical record of revenues received by the government in the 1980s.) ConservapediaEditor (talk) 01:23, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
It discusses the average tax rate being between 32% and 35%, in the US it is currently closer to 20%, during Ragen's time it was something like 22% (I can't remember I would have to reread the paper). With the exception of Sweeden, every OECD country is below the optimal level of taxation. I did once make this this spiffy graph that shows that the Reagen tax cuts reduced revenue when you adjust for inflation. - π 01:29, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
The effects of the Reagan cuts on revenue is only a part of the larger picture. Don't forget that at the same time as he lowered taxes and thus lowered revenue (as evidenced above by others) he also raised spending. Public debt increased from being a third of GDP to being more than half of GDP, and the deficit more than doubled during Reagan's two terms ($997 billion became $2.85 trillion[3]). Reagan was truly the consummate modern Republican: willing to forever pledge specific tax cuts and nonspecific spending cuts, with the bread and circus policy of avoiding the hard decisions of responsible governance. That cowardice is the worst part of Reagonomics.--ADtalkModerator 07:05, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Here's my take: Are the congresspeople's income (See WP) taxable? The problem is that with most sort of side jobs or taxable investment income, these guys easily goes over 250k, and as such the tax cut at the upper bracket is an alternative method of raising the salaries of these guys. The bigger problem is that, since most of the republicans are using the arguments that "these rich people are employers", why do we not see anyone suggesting a tax credit (on top of the wage/salary expense that lowers net income) on a headcount of taxable employees they employed, like every employee making between 30k to 250k the employer get a tax credit (fixed, percentage of net income less hurdle rate, or based on their pay)? General tax cuts never work well because people don't feel like spending the extra money on consumable items unless they have to. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 01:26, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I could barely follow his English as fourth language, but yes, at K242535. Encourage employment by carefully targeted tax break for those who hire people - especially people who who have been out of work for X weeks/months/years. Asterisk (talk) 06:53, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

I see it as a good thing if the upper level income tax rate goes up. Strict adherence to supply side doesn't work, being a former econ student (undergrad and grad) and current finance worker no one in their right mind states that it does. People miss the point that it is a curve based on economic output and government expenditures, not a straight line where more cuts always equal more revenue. At high levels of taxation people don't have enough money to start businesses (true) and at a low level the government doesn't get enough funds to operate at current expenditure. The debate is where that sweet spot is.

Businesses hire on demand and not on cash they have in the bank. A business is not going to add capacity if demand is not increasing, that is completely unsustainable to have idle capacity or products sitting in a warehouse. In addition, giving these tax breaks to wealthy people is really not going to generate extra purchasing. A single consumer that can already meet their basic needs and nearly all of their whims already is not really going to go out and buy dramatically more swag.

It is a pretty simple test that during high economic activity (say the housing boom) that the government still runs at a deficit, taxes are too low or expenditures are too high. Given most social programs are cut nearly to the bone, we can cut war spending or raise taxes. Cutting social programs further is not going to happen as many representatives who tout that refuse to vote favorably on it. They realize no one is going to vote for them if they push forward measures to put a large voting block out on the street and unable to afford medical care to keep them alive (seniors). ~Subsound~ 19:56, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

The problem with the current status of democracy is that people want to run for re-election so that the government will almost surely run a deficit because tax cuts and spending on social benefits are one way of making these guys popular (The other way involves filling children's mind with propaganda and establishing a personality cult). Given that, one might think there is a need for an amendment for term limits for these idiots in congress or picking congresspeople using a method similar to picking a jury. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 09:47, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Baby names[edit]

Seriously? Have you Yanks now run out of daughters to call Britney, or Paris, or Nicole, or fucking Gaga? You're now reduced to Bristol (I hope she goes to London one day, she'll go home and murder her mother), Willow and Piper? Then again, I guess it's no worse than the poor Brit girls who have to grow up being called Beatrice or Eugenie. --Ψ Gremlin말하십시오 08:47, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

I've known a couple Willows in my time (predating the fantasy film as well), and some very anti-Palin friends of mine named their daughter Piper a couple years before the Palins were well-known. If Track, Trig and Tripp see surges in popularity then we'll know we're in trouble. By the way, didn't we see a surge in Baracks a couple years ago? DickTurpis (talk) 14:06, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm trying to think of a joke around "How would you refer to two girls called "Bristol""? But I can't quite get it to work.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:58, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Special Relationship?[edit]

I have seen it mentioned in a lot of news stories over the years, and just recently concerning wikileaks about UK paranoia over it. Does it actually exist? Do americans view it the same way it seems to be viewed here in the UK? And why with the US and not, say, commonwealth countries such Canada, Australia or India? Surely the UK has just as many links with these countries as the US. Your thoughts please. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:59, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

As I understand it, it was a phrase coined by the Bush admin, to express the gratitude to the UK for being the only 'large' country, apart from OZ, to join the Alliance of the Just. Along with Guam, Estonia, Vanuatu and three or four other tiny 3rd world states hoping for a hand-out in return. But I could be wrong. --Ψ GremlinRunāt! 13:09, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
It goes back to Churchill. Dunno how the US sees it though. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 13:26, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
It goes like this, in the minds of quite a few of my countrymen. We pwned you in the Revolution and 1812(ignore actual history of the war of 1812). Then we singlehandedly one WW1 and WW2 for you, without anyones help, and because Brits are easier to talk to than the French or Russians, you owe us forever. France and Russia owe us forever, but are evil and hate 'merica. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 14:04, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
That sentence also manages to encapsulate English thought on the Yanks, no subtlety and they spell 'won' as 'one'. -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 15:01, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
The special relationship is usually portraited in Europe as America saying "do this" and the UK saying "woof". The rest of Europe looks down on this so we have vowed to never, ever, EVER vote for them in a Eurovision again. Sen (talk) 15:47, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I think the UK should put more effort into forging a United States of Europe than toadying up to the states. We can still be BFF thoughAMassiveGay (talk) 00:35, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
If anything, the only really "special" relationship the UK has is with France. It's been established for the best part of a millennium as a big-brother-little-brother thing; we'll take the piss, beat you up and make your life miserable, but if anyone starts on you they'll be answering to us. Of course, the French would say the same thing, but the other way around. :P Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:21, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Homeopathic A&E[edit]

Thought this site might enjoy this: Homeopathic A&E ONE / TALK 21:28, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Congratulations! You are the one millionth person to post this link! You win a major prize! Please click here to claim it! –SuspectedReplicant retire me 23:03, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I haven't seen it and I lurk around here a lot. - π 23:11, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
The exact same link is already on the Homeopathy page, and in two other SB archives: See for yourself. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 23:14, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
So you are getting all up in the guys face because he posted a link that was post in July and September last year and he is suppose to remember that 15 months later? - π 23:19, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I remembered. And there have been other links to the same sketch, as Jeeves remarks in the second SB post. And if I were to post a link about homeopathy, I think I'd check the fucking homeopathy article first. Stop getting all upset just because I proved you wrong. It's a really bad habit you've got - both being wrong and getting upset about it. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 23:23, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I am not upset and I can clearly see that this video was linked before. I actually think you are unnecessarily dick like to people and your repose to the guy posting the repeat link was condescending. Also, you are being a dick now, but I careless about how you behave when talking to me than other people. - π 23:28, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
What can I say? Ever since I joined this site you've acted like a dick towards me, and I've obviously learned from the master. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 23:29, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
But I am generally nice to other people. It might say more about you, Mr. LOOK I PROVED YOU WRONG I OWN THE INTERNETS !!!!!!111!!!SHIFT1!!SHIFToneeleventyone11!!!1!. - π 23:31, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
No, you're not. You're a smug, condescending cunt to almost everybody. The difference is that you're passive-aggressive and I can't be fucked with the passive part. I have no problem with acting like a cunt when I feel like it, but you're just trying to deny it. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 23:34, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Is being beastly to one and other part of the remit of this siteAMassiveGay (talk) 00:30, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 00:33, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh dear, I can't really do beastly. Can I be just be insufferably polite?AMassiveGay (talk) 00:38, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Have you really never seen two drunk bitchy queens shrieking at each other? - David Gerard (talk) 01:01, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I have seen such an unseemly sight, though no more so than straight folk doing the same. Alcohol does that to folk and I try not think too badly of those involved. AMassiveGay (talk) 01:31, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
That was barely HCM5. Yawn. You two should try harder. Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:05, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
It shouldn't count as HCM unless it spawns its own talk page to argue about it. Tetronian you're clueless 02:35, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikileaks IPs[edit] and

Because they matter. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

"Diplomatic Cables" sounds so dated nowadays.  Lily Inspirate me. 13:15, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Also: http://www.wikileeks.org.uk Sen (talk) 13:17, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Is it just me, or are they taking after Jimbo Wales with that "keep us strong" banner? Anyway, the attacks show that people clearly fear wikileaks. This can only be a good thing; "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty" - and in this respect Assange is a hero. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:52, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, the more and more I think about WikiLeaks, the less and less I like them. While they have posted some important material, like the collateral murder video, more and more they just seem to be in "look what I found!" mode, without any regard for what it is, or what damage it might cause. Openness in government is good, but there is a legitimate need for a degree of secrecy, too. And when you're discussing the volume of information they're publishing, there is no fucking way they're vetting the material to say, "hey, wait a minute, if we post this, real people's lives may be jeopardized".
I don't agree with the calls for the US to prosecute Assange (I don't even think it's possible, considering he's Aussie), or worse that he be "taken out", and I really wonder about the legitimacy of rape charge, but I can't view him or the leakers as heroes, either. MDB (talk) 16:00, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, this is what journalists are supposed to do. These aren't state secrets as much as dirty laundry. I see your point about the "look what I've found" attitude, but this is how WikiLeaks has always operated. When it was given a "leak" of a list of people who donated to it, it had no choice but to publish. It's not WL that is going out of its way to hack and obtain things illegally, it's just receiving and publishing because that is what it does. Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:10, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
See the essay I recently linked from WikiLeaks, wherein Assange sets out precisely what WikiLeaks is for and why. Almost all the media commentary (let alone general public commentary) I see on the subject seems unaware of it - David Gerard (talk) 17:17, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
A friend of mine thinks that wikileaks threw away it's possible respectability by releasing the "collateral murder" tape because their first and/or main release of that video was heavily edited and cuts out a *lot* of context. Which is exactly the type of thing that a site like wikileaks shouldn't be doing. I say "a friend of mine" because while I agree with his assessment (the edited video is not representative of what really happened), I figure that it was necessary to get wikileaks "on the map", as it were, and talked about in the media. With the added publicity they can *very* publicly do the things they're doing now, which I consider good. X Stickman (talk) 23:09, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd agree with your assessment there. Looking at the uncut version. A friend of mine wrote a blog post on the uncut version that I submitted to WIGO:Blogs just after it came out (quite highly rated too, IIRC) and yeah, it was something that wikileaks should have released and questions should be asked but the cut version was false reporting. I think it could have been sufficient to wikileaks "on the map" without the added dishonesty, though. With or without the cutting it could show the power of leaks and journalism like that. Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:30, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
That's the problem with getting a lot of information. You might say that it smacks of "look what I found" but do you only selectively publish and remove a lot of context? For example knowing how the Gulf Arab states privately feel about Iran makes a tremendous difference to public perception of any action that the US or others might take. The electorate often are asked to make judgements on limited information and in general the more transparency the better. When everybody is clothed and you are naked it can be embarrassing but when everyone is also naked it isn't such a big deal.  Lily Inspirate me. 08:48, 5 December 2010 (UTC)


Damn, I went to a party last night and they had the most amazing punch. And cake. Its 12 hours later and, fuck me, the bench still hasn't stopped shifting colours. That is all. Aceword up 20:18, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Ah, what would parties be without the good Doctor? In related news, I see Alexander Shulgin has had a stroke. Another of the great pioneers about to check out. Do y'all think Shulgin and Albert Hofmann warrant articles? --Ψ GremlinParlez! 09:12, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Facebook charity memes[edit]

Recently a load of people have been changing their Facebook profile pictures to cartoon characters. Now, I had to dig deep to find the reason (everyone loves the "fun" but forgets the message) but it's apparently to "raise awareness" of the NSPCC and child cruelty. Good cause, I'm sure. Except something just seems a little wrong, regardless of how much the NSPCC is liking the publicity according to their own page. Forgive me for being cynical, but I'd rather these people change their profile pictures to scans/photos of the cheques they've written to the NSPCC or similar charities. Essentially, as I said elsewhere; "put your money where your 'like' button is". I probably won't personally as it's not a cause I'm particularly passionate about. Unless, of course, this grates on me enough to actually write a cheque to the NSPCC and put it as my profile picture to make a point (£20-30 should do the trick to make people actually think without blowing cash I really can't afford to right now). But, at the same time, I don't pretend to care either. There are dozens if not hundreds of very worthy causes competing for attention. I can't personally take care of them all, so I'm happy picking the corners I want to fight for and actually helping out there in a meaningful way, rather than paying mere lip-service to whatever trend is currently firing through the social networks. Rant off. Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:17, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

The NSPCC are not such a cause. They pushed the Satanic panic meme big time, and didn't apologise when called on it as it "raised awareness" of their noble mission - David Gerard (talk) 02:19, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh? Link? (I'm not being questioning, just curious.) Harmonic cubic Hoover! 11:08, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Looking for them saying "whoops notsorry lol", but the WP article's references give lots of reasons why the NSPCC is firm in the grip of the iron law of institutions. The NSPCC really are ridiculously dodgy bastards - David Gerard (talk) 13:57, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I saw this on arsebook too, and I had exactly the same reaction. It's good to know I'm not alone in my cynicism. Tetronian you're clueless 02:33, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Huh, didn't know that was going on. I just used a picture of Getter Robo because I liked it.--Thanatos (talk) 03:23, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
It's much easier to make a meaningless gesture to "show you care" than actually doing something worthwhile. The only problem is that anyone who tries to make a point about it often gets shouted down for being a cold-hearted selfish bastard. I see a similar at CP thing with prayers - just send them some bloody aid/money or give up some of your time to build houses, dig wells or something useful.  Lily Inspirate me. 09:15, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I think you hit the nail on the head, Lily. There's really no way to politely explain that it's just a silly signaling game and a waste of time, and the prayer example is perfect. Tetronian you're clueless 16:34, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
It pains me that a significant number of the 200 or so "friends" I have on Facebook are so fucking smug as to go in for the whole picture-changing thing. It's all a big "look-how-deep-and-thoughtful-I-am, I'm-not-selfish-and-know-so-much-about-stuff!" self-wank that really pisses me off. The exact same people that "like" every page they see about love and talking about how much they've been hurt. Facebook just makes people that do that look like pretentious retards (a dangerous combination). SJ Debaser 20:47, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I wrote a bit about this deal and similar memes. Might find it interesting. --ADtalkModerator 11:58, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Nice. I like seeing it in the historical context of it being nothing new. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:55, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
And since you ended on that privacy note, I thought I'd plug Evil again. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:05, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Evil rocks! I've even phoned a few people from it to let them know of their stupidity - they were quite confused. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 20:37, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Great piece AD, thanks for linking to it! Tetronian you're clueless 00:31, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

"The goal is to not see a human face on Facebook in support of the fight against child abuse". Right, let's prevent child abuse by everyone on the internet replacing their real-life image with something kid-friendly. Shifty.gif ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:44, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

I was just happy to have a good excuse to use the Decepticon emblem for my profile pic for a while. Whatever. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 00:21, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Article Rating[edit]

How do people feel about a WIGO style rating for articles, which could be used to decide if an article is bronze/silver/cover standard? The score would have to get reset every so often, perhaps with a major edit flag that lets people know it has been substantially changed. Another possibility is that people rate it out of ten, and the last ~100 votes are averaged to give its rating. Scream yay nay or heresy to indicate your feelings! InternetGoomba (talk) 10:41, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

The idea was suggested a while back, but largely ignored. I don't like the article rating system as it currently stands as there is no discussion and usually the person that suggests improvements, does the editing, and decides that it is silver worthy, are one and the same editor. - π 13:22, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, there should be a better way.--BobSpring is sprung! 13:25, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
The criterion is "I think it meets the criteria, anyone object?" If it's a problem on a broad level, then object on a case by case level more - David Gerard (talk) 14:00, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I've got some thoughts on Article rating, and will write it all up later today. But I think we should start a forum page or proper discussion of it, see if we can make it better? DalekEXTERMINATE 15:49, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Definitely - this was just to see if anyone was bothered! InternetGoomba (talk) 17:25, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Forum:Article Rating System <--- here. DalekEXTERMINATE 19:16, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
The whole "up/down" thing would be unmanageable because it would require people to be constantly reviewing articles and altering their vote as the article "improved". The system as it stands might have a little too much subjectivity, but it's only supposed to be a broad indication. If someone can think of a way of betterifying it, that'd be grand. Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:18, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Current version of the page is at RationalWiki:Article Nominations - give it a go, and please suggest any improvements or changes. InternetGoomba (talk) 20:20, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

How the hell...[edit]

... did I get on the American Family Association's e-mail list?

I swear, I think there's someone out there mis-typing my e-mail address instead of their own. I've also gotten shipping updates for cutlery from some on-line retailer, and someone used my address to sign up for Hilton Hotels Frequent Customer program.

Note that my addy is very straightforward: myrealname@gmail.com

MDB (talk) 12:01, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Funny: I have the same email address. --I'm bored (talk) 18:39, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
So, from this pattern we can conclude your mystery namesake is a closeted spoon fetishist who has secret rendezvous in mid-priced hotels? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:51, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Maybe someone else tried to register myrealname@gmail.com but since you already had it, all they could get was xXmyrealnameXx2010@gmail.com, so they signed you up to the AFA to teach you a lesson. X Stickman (talk) 00:48, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Californian Gay-Marriage Ban Court Hearing[edit]

So far, doesn't seem to be going well for the attorney arguing against same-sex marriage, doesn't seem to be able to make an argument that the clerk he is arguing for does have standing to bring an appeals. Not quite an Andy level of incompetence, but you'ld need a micrometre to tell the difference.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 18:25, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

You beat me with that link, so let me respond with this one. Insert your own "organ" joke here. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 18:39, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I can't listen to people arguing against same-sex marriage without feeling sick to my stomach. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:05, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, the first hour was spent with arguments from both sides as to whether either side had standing to bring an appeal. In ten minutes kick-off begins on arguments about the constitutionality of Prop 8.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:09, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I'm listening. I'm just feeling sick to my stomach. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:32, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, the more competent of the Prop 8 lawyers is arguing and it might just be me, but he seems to be struggling. When the judge turned round and told him he was arguing for the abolition of divorce - ouch.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 19:34, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I really hope that's a bad wig he's wearing.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:05, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Bad hair, but good arguments. I'm liking this guy.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:13, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Okely-dokely. For those struggling to follow the stunningly insightful and pedantically detailed liveblog above, here's a précis (wow, used that word for years, it's only now that I realise that I have never written it down or seen it written down and so couldn't spell it. Bloody difficult to look up as well when my best guess was 'praisie') from MercuryNews.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 03:34, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Portal Icons[edit]

Can anybody add a new image to Category:Portal icons? or is it somebody's pet project? Totally understand if it is. I've done one for a series I'm about to begin, just wondered if I should upload it and let others replace it if they're not happy... or should I ask them if they'll make one? DalekEXTERMINATE 23:45, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

I just went and made the pile I made. Based on Nx's original (circle with drop shadow, some picture elements). Go for it - David Gerard (talk) 00:12, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, just add whatever. Do be sure to add the categories, though. Scarlet A.pngtheist 00:29, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I tried adding one for Dalaran but my mage can't get it until he hits level 75. Nutty Rouxnever mind 00:34, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Before you do too much with that UK Parliament one, please see the talk page. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 00:55, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

RW in the media[edit]

Over a recent trip, I finally got around to reading the last issue of CSI's Skeptical Inquirer. They've included our article about Ghost Hunters in their "last laughs" section. Now SI has a very small circulation, but it's still nice to get some media attention. I guess copyright is not an issue here, since it's clearly sourced? Röstigraben (talk) 18:22, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

If it's sourced and notes CC by-sa, they're covered. I see they don't note CC by-sa, but the credit and source are very clear, so if someone (e.g.) Trent asks them to note the CC by-sa next issue, then everyone will be most pleased - David Gerard (talk) 18:46, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I assume it was "good" attention, then? Always interesting to know where this stuff ends up. Also, IIRC, you don't need to note it as CC if it's shared by CC... although the "SA" bit confuddles that, doesn't it. As it appears to be a print thing, "SA" is a little more difficult to do so is kind of superfluous. Anyway, that's beside the point, it's nice to be appreciated. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:52, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
CC by-sa is really easy in print, because you're allowed to include the license by reference ("Creative Commons by-sa" or logo) rather than including the full license text (unlike GFDL) - David Gerard (talk) 18:56, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I think we can let it slide. Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Didn't we kind of appear second-hand on QI when they did their thing on Internet laws? I'm sure they included Poe's law and was based that off the Telegraph article, and the Telegraph based a few of the laws off of Rationalwiki.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 00:48, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Didn't see that one! Cool, though. Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:05, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Like! sterile tapioca 02:31, 7 December 2010 (UTC)


A recent shout out on Ray Kurzweil's site. Message from 'Extropia DaSilva' makes for good reading. I never considered this "hard" and "soft" distinction before. Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:55, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Question about homeopathy[edit]

Does anyone know how much revenue does the sale homeopathic substances generates each year? (It's not in our article and I can't seem to find it easily on Google.) That would definitely help in articles about homeopathy, as it gives you an understanding of the scope of the problem. Tetronian you're clueless 01:50, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't know. It's "multimillion" at least. Small compared to actual pharmaceuticals that are multibillion, but still substantial. I don't know where you'd get that info from, however, apart from finding the major groups that supply alt meds and totaling them up. Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:03, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Can't be that much. It does come in really tiny doses, you know. Embarrassed to say that every so often I stumble across little dropper bottles and pots of ointment with numbers and letters and dong dog-Latin words on them, right here in the house. SWMBO has her own notions. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 02:15, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I was talking to someone today who I know is smart and clueful in all sorts of ways ... but they kept using the word "allopathic." - David Gerard (talk) 02:18, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
I doubt that any data are collected specifically for homeopathy as there as no central coordination it just gets linked in the overall "CAM" catchall. It might also be the case that what is flogged as homeopathy is actual naturopathy, many people I know don't know what the difference is.  Lily Inspirate me. 09:05, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
This is a link to the British government t report on homoeopathy. It looks like they were not sure themselves on how to put a figure for the NHS spend. But they don't seem to dispute a Guardian figure of 12 million. So that's at least 12 million just on the NHS part of the UK health business. On the other hand it's not clear if they included all the appropriate NHS costs in that 12 million.--BobSpring is sprung! 11:08, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
That's a very interesting report. They really outdid themselves on trying to appear neutral. Tetronian you're clueless 16:37, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but the conclusion was:
  • We conclude that placebos should not be routinely prescribed on the NHS. The funding of homeopathic hospitals—hospitals that specialise in the administration of placebos—should not continue, and NHS doctors should not refer patients to homeopaths.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:51, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
NHS spending on Homeopathy is something which really gets me mad. Does anybody know when/how it started? Has it been happening since the NHS was founded, or did it sneak its way in later? DalekEXTERMINATE 21:28, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Sprocket, I share your pain. We have had bottles of homeopathic teething tablets and "anti-colic" spray turn up in the house. SWMBO says "the other moms at ballet SWEAR by them", "I'm willing to try ANYTHING to get a night of sleep", and "If there's nothing in them, then there's nothing to worry about, right?". She uses that last one where I break out the chart I made of Avogadro's limit for my speech class final. The funny thing is she is resistant to vaccines because "who KNOWS what's in them?" but when I point out the active ingredients list on the teething tablets and explain that belladonna and hemlock are poisonous plants, she just shrugs and says "it wouldn't be for sale if it wasn't safe". FML. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 18:49, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh, yeah... I priced it out, too. The bottles are around $8-12 US each and, if taken at the recommended dose and interval, would last about 6 days or so. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 18:52, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Does the stuff seem to work? My study buddy for an EMT course was German, and it seems that homeopathic remedies are used in hospitals there, or at least were used when: she was in prolonged difficult labor (with Florian, named after the patron saint of firefighters) and was given such a remedy without her knowledge (she had signed a release beforehand, allowing for such) and "out he flopped." Here endeth the anecdote. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:29, 6 December 2010 (UTC) p.s. Point being, then where was Placeboeffekt? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk)

Anecdotally, yes. The stuff seemed to work. F'rinstance: Son wakes up, crying his fool head off. Dad changes diaper, gets a warm bottle, gets the stuffed elephant, rocks kid for 30 minutes while he finishes the bottle, gets him to burp (huge), mom asks "Did you give him colic spray?", dad answers "No.", mom gives the kid three sprays of water in the mouth, kid is out 5 minutes later. HOWEVER, despite the wife's testament about this crap, we had the same success rate when the above procedure was followed exactly except for the part where DAD DELIBERATELY LIES AND ANSWERS "YES." So I conclude that the kid is just needy and the acts of feeding, rocking, burping and soothing compound with the sheer exhaustion from a prolonged crying fit and he collapses naturally. I never tried, say, a squirt gun filled with tap water to see if the "shock" of getting three quick blasts of water with no warning was enough to break his crying jag, let him catch his breath, and make him forget what he was crying about in the first place. Of course, I can either admit lying and claim victory, cutting my own throat in the process OR keep my damn mouth shut, let the wife have her little delusion and just feel shame, shame, shame for indirectly contributing to something I feel so strongly against. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 20:56, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Sometimes you just have to choose between being right and being happy, unfortunately. Corry (talk) 21:02, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm seeing a solution here. Just refill the colic spray with water (if you can, if not find something obviously refillable and dick about with the label). You can then use it repeatedly and it will only cost you $0.000001 to refill each time, rather than $8-12. Scarlet A.pngtheist 00:49, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Genius, pure and simple, dare we say undiluted? When the spritzer gets down to half full, top it off with water, bang it on the table top with good intent, and voilà!! you have doubled the potency, at least. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:19, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Aye, next time the wife sends you out to get some more concoction, take the old bottle with you, spend the $12 in a bar, and on the way out ask the barman to fill up the bottle with water. Everyone's a winner! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 01:38, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
All good suggestions, but she buys the crap without telling me, so I can't halt that unless I stalk her 24/7. Also, she doesn't really buy into the homeopathy for homeopathy's sake deal. The main stumbling block here is that she equates "homeopathic" with "naturopathic" another term I despise, but can at least tolerate, since there is at least some material component. This also happens with her twin sister, whose husband has MS and is undergoing complementary therapy in addition to his standard medical treatment. They refer to the complementary stuff as "homeopathic" when it would better be described as "naturopathic" or "holistic". Buuuuut... Why argue semantics, you know? It's not like words are assigned definitions for any kind of purpose or anything. I mean, the next thing all of you are going to tell me is that the variety of terminology for disparate and related concepts underscores an "understood" meaning through some abstract concept like connotation or something... The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 14:50, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that was the point that I was making above. Joe Public tends to think that homeopathic is somehow just a natural remedy like Bach flowers rather than something nasty diluted until it had disappeared.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:18, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I should add that I've seen it recommended that you tap your homeopathic solution every now and then to "freshen it up". In this case, I'm surprised no one has twigged that (if it worked, of course) you could just keep topping your bottle up with tap water, tapping it and never have to buy another remedy again!! Although as Lily and Foxhole have both pointed out, most people don't quite get what homeopathy is and just think "oooh, shiny natural remedy" and buy it anyway. Once you actually start telling casual users what it actually is, they usually look pretty sceptical. Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Pull up a pizza and have a beer[edit]

This seems like a good time to mention that the pizzeria just up the street from us has a new pie they call the Tipsy Goat. Leeks, prosciutto and loverly redolent goat cheese in a chardonnay sauce, and they deal on fresh arugula leaves after it comes out of the oven. The best part is, Mme Cogswell can't stand goat cheese, so I have it all to myself.

They have also reinstated the crème brulée, which had disappeared for a few years. The counter girl was a delight to observe, and managed to keep from setting her sleeve on fire with the blowtorch. Not too shabby for a dive where the meal comes in a cardboard box, with a tree-pulp plate and plastic cutlery. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:55, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Mmmm, pizza! Scotch (talk) 08:50, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Rudolph remains the best pizza name I know of. It had reindeer meat. Vulpius (talk) 14:51, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
Make me the chief pizza tosser in that establishment, and I promise that each such pie will have a Rudolph nose right in the middle, in the form of a maraschino cherry. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:08, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
You all are so getting on the 'naughty' list this year. MDB (talk) 12:13, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Italian sausage, anchovies, and pineapple. Thincrust, covered in crushed red pepper. Also, Stout.TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 00:16, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Stout's proper place is floating on a charge of Harp. (or Bass, if your tendencies lean that way) Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
As I only drink Stout and Armagnac, which do you think I prefer with my pizza. Or perhaps better, which do you think I as a college student can afford to have my friend buy me? (he only drinks Everclear. Barbarian)TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 01:50, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Armagnac is for correcting the bitterness of a shot of espresso. Now that is nice sippin stuff. Rather than stout I prefer porter, or the Nut-Brown Ale of a local microbrewery. Everclear is for making varnish with. Mmm, benzoin. Smells a bit like vanilla. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:55, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

The local brewery is Abita, and my Dad drinks only a few beers, so when I can't get Claude to buy my licker, I have to drink whatever it is that he hask: Stout, Newcastle(when he can find it), Miller, Red Stripe, and Sam Adams. Both of us like British Ales, but the only store near our house that sells them went out of business this year. I drink my Armagnac in eggnogg or straight. I'll have to try with espresso some time, if I can get some money and drive Claude to the store. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 02:01, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I approve of Sam Adams, brewer, patriot, barfly. Was happy to see it come along in the early 1980s. Before that we were limited to slosh such as Jax or Blatz or Bud or Duff or whatever. One sultry summer afternoon years ago, we were out with friends, and the kiwi lady lit up with a dazzling smile when I suggested a shandy. Tried to explain lemonade and lager to the bartendress, wound up translating it to 7-up and lager. Should have said "Bud lite" instead of that other L-word, because she made it with Sam Adams Boston Lager. Yuk. The heat death of the universe will not be soon enough to erase the awful memory. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:41, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

This is pretty cool[edit]

Use the lest and right arrows to zoom in and out of this. It seems to have the whole universe.--BobSpring is sprung! 22:34, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Pish. "We're probably not in the center of the universe." Tush.
Seriously, this is one of those things I'm glad I've lived long enough to see. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 00:05, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
If the universe has a centre (which it probably does in some form) it is outside the universe itself. Harmonic cubic Hoover! 18:11, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
That is seriously cool. I remember seeing a similar animation to that one, but it only went to the "small" end and wasn't as detailed.
Of course, if xkcd was doing it, they'd have "Yo mamma" as one step larger than the likely size of the universe. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 00:29, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
And then sell the whole thing as an overpriced poster. Vulpius (talk) 01:08, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
That was awesome! It reminds me of that fictional device from "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" that shows you your place in the cosmos. Tetronian you're clueless 00:39, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Very cool. Although my inner pedant is saying that the wave nature of particles on the quantum scale makes size a slightly a more fuzzy concept. The radii of atoms, for example is often measured as a sphere that would contain 95% of the electron density, with the remaining 5% trailing out to infinity. But to really break your noodle (and this is something I've only come to realise recently), zoom into the size of the atomic nucleus and then out to the range of the radio wave. Compare the two. Atomic nuclei can absorb radio waves; something that big going into something that small.... Bloody particle-wave duality! Scarlet A.pngtheist 00:45, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
But that's the wavelength you're looking at. That nucleus probably has a wavelength miles long, and anyway, wavelength has nothing to do with "size". All the light/radio/etc. waves shown by wavelength are just photons. Equestrian (talk) 03:11, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
@Tetronian - I think you mean the Total Perspective Vortex. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 00:53, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Yup, that's the one! Tetronian you're clueless 06:31, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

I'd swear I saw that before here. Or was it a different but similar presentation? Lithograph (talk) 04:52, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

You probably saw the same one I mentioned above. Was it this? –SuspectedReplicant retire me 08:09, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Yep, that's the one I was thinking of too! That really does just break your brain. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:55, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
One issue: the X chromosome... is that *really* bigger than a sperm?!? Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:56, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
In terms of it unravelled length possibly. Remember a chromosome is a strand of DNA, it is very thin, but comparatively extremely long. The only reason you can see the under a microscope is because it has rapped up in proteins, making it shorter, but also wider than its unravelled form. - π 13:01, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Ah yes. I keep forgetting that the wrapped up version has a tone of other shit in there. Although still, if you look at that diagram it's still considerably large compared to the cells. There are twenty-odd chromosomes that need to fit inside the cell nucleus in these forms ready for mitosis. (this image shows that they are pretty beefy and on the range of 2-7 μm, the nucleus is on the order of 100 μm it seems.) Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:02, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

All kinds of crazy[edit]

This discussion was moved here from Conservapedia talk:What is going on at CP?.

So a guy on facebook posted this link about 20 alleged lies everyone should know. Seems like some good article fodder in here, though we have plenty covered already. Too much is "here's a term; look it up" but it's all here: vaccine hysteria, global warming denialism, fluoridation, 9/11 conspiracies, freemasons, Bilderberg group, etc. (For a second I thought there was going to be some allegation of a moon landing hoax, but it appears not). One stop shopping. Anyone else seen this? DickTurpis (talk) 22:23, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Wow, those crazy fluoride people still exist? I thought they died out in the 1950s. Nobody tell them that salt is part sodium (an explosive!) and part chloride (a poison!) Doppelheuer (talk) 22:41, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
The people may pass on, but the stubborn understains of stupidity remain. (talk) 22:50, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Fun fact, fluorides are found naturally in foods and water; in fact if you built your own separate well for well water, it will likely contain just as much natural fluorides, if not more, then fluoridated tap water in a connected city water system. Also, better tell her to throw out any non-stick cookware, it may be coated with a synthetic fluoropolymer called PTFE, which contains dun dun DUN! Florine atoms! --BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 00:08, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
There is a world of difference between fluorinated alkanes and the fluoride ion... although if we're working on the general level of most chemophobes, the difference is negligible. Scarlet A.pngtheist 00:28, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
But, but they have a chick as the narrator... [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 02:11, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
In following her leads I came across this as well. I admit, The Lone Gunmen thing is interesting, but hardly anything more than a coincidence. That anyone takes this seriously is comical. DickTurpis (talk) 02:19, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
You mean you don't remember the MASSIVE NUCLEAR ATTACK that happened exactly one month ago? «-Bfa-» 02:51, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Wasn't there a situation where Comic Relief paid to create a well in an African village but had to shut it later because the fluoride levels in the water were so high? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:49, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Well, the video did introduce me to the Georgia Guidestones, which I was previously unfamiliar with. Interesting that something that sounds like it was written by the same guy who did Desiderata is so controversial. DickTurpis (talk) 13:22, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Does Farah actually eat the bullshit he serves up?[edit]

I have found Farah's latest column a little weird (even for Farah). I know WorldNetDaily run articles about how someone says they think it is possible Obama's autobiography maybe written by Bill Ayres and post news stories that are suppose to show doubts about the validity of said autobiography. But this is as far as I can recall the first time he is actually treating those accusations as facts rather than JAQing off and doubt-seed sowing. It never occurred to me that he might actually believe the smears he is publishing as something other than partisan rhetoric, that he excepts his own distortions as facts. - π 06:43, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

For my money, Joseph Farah is no duckspeaking hack; he is a loony who actually believes these conspiracy theories. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:49, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I guess I always thought of him as cleverer than that. Put lots of stuff all over the website that the punters want, with lots of innuendo and unfounded assertions, but carefully distancing himself from actually parroting the views. - π 10:58, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
There's a slight bit of irony in Farah making allegations about someone ghost-writing Obama's autobiography, considering it's a poorly kept secret Farah was the ghostwriter for one of Rush Limbaugh's books. MDB (talk) 12:43, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I had forgotten that. Considering Farah's writing skills have not progressed beyond the Middle School level, that's pretty scary. DickTurpis (talk) 13:42, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Limbaugh claims the book wasn't ghost-written. He says he merely dictated his thoughts, and had someone turn them into book form. Which is, of course, exactly what a fuckin' ghost writer does. MDB (talk) 13:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Wrote down dictated thoughts and turned them into a book? Why, that's exactly what Rudolf Hess did for Hitler! DickTurpis (talk) 14:19, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Hitchens (the better one) mouths off about Assange[edit]

Link. I've never been able to decide whether I like Hitchens or not; this is gentling nudging me towards the view that he's a nauseating, hypocritical, hyperbolic arsehole, albeit one with a decent writing style when he isn't Yanking it up. Thoughts? Webbtje (talk) 09:51, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Worth noting the book plug contained in the very first line. Urgh. Webbtje (talk) 09:55, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I still like him, but his total inability to realize that he was dead wrong on Iraq will leave a major stain on his record, especially since he now has to continuously twist facts and arguments to defend himself for it. Half of this piece is once again about Iraq and Saddam, and his recent autobiography also contained some completely idiotic sections about the WMD myth and the circles working towards an invasion. I just don't get why someone who's so smart and usually well-intentioned can keep stubbornly clinging to this nonsense instead of simply admitting that he was wrong. Röstigraben (talk) 10:43, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Assange has just been arrested in the UK, by the way. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:06, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
You have to remember that Christopher Hitchens IS NOT the paid up liberal that comparisons with his brother make him out to be. The only thing he has in common with RW's general demographic is being an outspoken atheist. The love affair pretty much ends there. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:42, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Watching people in the news industry argue that they shouldn't know secrets shows how much our press has become a corporatist, government dog instead of anything resembling a 'fourth estate'. --Leotardo (talk) 16:08, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Pretty much. I imagine the backlash against leakers will start now. It'll be well orchestrated and suddenly leakers will change from brave individuals facing off against the Establishment to ensure fair play to the villains, sowing the seeds of discontent and destruction. Let's watch the opinion pieces roll out in the next few weeks, I'd wager they'll all start turning against WikiLeaks. Not because of any conspiracy organised by the government but because newsrooms and press offices around the world just don't like how the Internet is doing their job for them. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:03, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
The love affair continues under the covers with a flashlight and Orwell. --Opcn (talk) 02:20, 8 December 2010 (UTC)


I am guessing that today is not a good day to drop in unannounced? --TokyoRose 16:52, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Why wouldn't it be? TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 17:36, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
It's OK, Terry Koeckritz will be along shortly to substitute his signature for yours so no-one will know you've ever been here. -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 17:38, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I think he/she is referring to pearl harbor day. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 17:39, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, but when TK's finished people will think it's him and not her and there's never a good day for TK to show up. Also 'harbour'. -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 17:44, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I live in Louisiana. Here, it is harbor. Be grateful I grew up in Baton Rouge, don't speak Yat. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 17:50, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
To be fair some of their pronunciations sound like Broad Yorkshire, which I wouldn't have a problem with. -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 17:53, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
You mean Yoeeerkshurr. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:17, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Somerset and Dorset accents can easily be understood by most estadounidenses. Something to do with the demographic of early anglo immigration, methinks. My favourite Yat expression is "come see." I do not believe it means "come have a look," but rather "come ici," sorta like a Lancaster County Pennsylvanian might say, "come here once." Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:10, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Question for the tech geeks[edit]

How is it possible that on some days, when I try to watch Megavideo or mms:// video streams or stuff like that directly over my mobile internet connection, I can't get enough bandwidth (Megavideo keeps stalling and live streams get interrupted)—but if I watch the same videos over the same mobile connection but through an SSH tunnel (ssh -D) to my remote server, it works perfectly well without stalling or interruptions? It seems kind of counterintuitive, but there are days on which I can reproduce this phenomenon again and again. --I'm bored (talk) 20:46, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Do you have a particularly totalitarian ISP? They might possibly be blocking it in case it's ILLEGAL. Harmonic cubic Hoover! 22:01, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think so, some of the streams are entirely legal. Plus, they aren't blocked completely, just too slow. (I could still watch Megavideo, but I'd have to wait like 2 hours for the cache to fill in order to watch a 20 minute video without interruption.) And lastly, it's only on some days. On a different day the same stream might work perfectly well with a direct connection. --I'm bored (talk) 22:13, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I presume the SSH tunnel uses a different port? If so then does your ISP use traffic prioritisation? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 22:26, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
try http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ and see what you get. Your speed depends on the speed of every network you travel on so a slow or dead link can cause problems Hamster (talk) 23:16, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
1.12Mbps... nonetheless a 128kbps video stream keeps stalling (only with a direct connection, not over ssh). Maybe Crundy is right, apparently my ISP is doing some kind of traffic shaping, though they don't give any details as to what kinds of traffic are affected. --I'm bored (talk) 23:31, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

I guess I'm not joining Diaspora then[edit]

Message 1 when I try to register:

Message2 when I ask for password retrieval:
Diaspora2.png --Ψ GremlinSnakk! 12:05, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Looks like some kind of server problem to me. I'd try again later, or find the "Contact Us" link. MDB (talk) 13:10, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Facebook: Value: $30+ billion Employees: 1700. Diaspora: Value: $0 Employees: 5 free software nerds. Who do you think is going to have a working site? Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:51, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh the irony. -- (talk) 14:11, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Considering the gaping security holes in the alpha release, perhaps you're better off. It'd be great if diaspora took off, but the chances sure are slim. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:04, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Who would have thought a few kids from Harvard could turn myspace into a joke? MDB (talk) 12:05, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Hang on, are you implying that MySpace was ever anything but a joke? Pretty much from the off people hated it and found it annoying, they just didn't have a realistic and usable alternative. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:59, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
True, but my point is more that no product is ever completely unassailable. Twenty five or so years ago, who would have thought IBM would be a non-entity in the desktop computers market? MDB (talk) 13:22, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I recently re-watched 2001 and the moon spacecraft was Pan-Am.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:42, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Homeopathy on the NHS[edit]

Well, #10 finally responded to a petition I signed, and their response was basically "We carried out a study which shows homeopathy doesn't work but we're still going use NHS funding to pay for it". HRH Dumbo Ears have anything to do with that I wonder? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:41, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Hey, at least they're sticking to evidence-based policy elsewhere, right? Oh. Webbtje (talk) 09:48, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, until the moral zeitgeist of health professionals change their stance on using placebopathy, homeopathy remains a cheap and effective alternative. And I'd be all for it, if it weren't for one pretty major downside: it sends the wrong message regarding the use of medical trials, scientific methodology, and effectiveness. This can undermine the use of legitimate medicine and people's trust in the NHS. It gives an air of legitimacy to a form of medicine that has been shown not to work, which could endanger lives as they switch to sham treatments for serious illnesses such as cancers or HIV or malaria. So apart from that... Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:46, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I think the use of Homeopathy on the NHS, by doctors who know the truth, is unethical. I feel that if the doctor wishes to use a placebo treatment, then they should be required to do just that. Using and abusing the 'convenient lie' of homeopathy is cheating. It gives credibility to homeopathy and gives a doctor a screen to hide behind. If, indeed, a doctor thinks it's best to lie to their patient, they should have to go to that length and give them a sugar pill. Homeopathy on the NHS effectively gives them a system for prescribing a placebo without admitting it professionally, that is wrong. DalekEXTERMINATE 16:42, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Many doctors do admit that placebos can work. For things like depression and anxiety and other mental semi-illnesses the drugs that are offered have only limited effect, or dubious evidence to their effect. Yet these are still active drugs with side-effects. In the case of some things a placebo could actually work fine (remember that an effective placebo is more than just a sugar pill, it's the attention, its a frame of mind, it's reassurance that "something is being done"). It's just unethical because a) it's effectively to a patient and thus violates the trust relationship doctors have and 2) you risk treating someone with a placebo when they really, really need the genuine article. I don't think it's that bad to prescribe placebos. It's the fact that you can kind of get a "gateway drug" effect as homeopaths who prescribe stuff on the NHS for fairly harmless maladies also tell their patients to stop using real medicine (vaccines, notoriously) in favour of their own snake oil. Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:18, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually there are cases where a placebo might be the best treatment. For example hypochondriacs who have imaginary illnesses might be best treated with imaginary medicines. There are also untreatable illnesses - would a doctor be justified in giving a placebo for an untreatable condition if he a had reasonable expectation that a placebo would improve the patient's quality of life?--BobSpring is sprung! 21:23, 7 December 2010 (UTC)--BobSpring is sprung! 21:23, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Those situations muddy the ethical waters somewhat. To the best of my knowledge the primary reason placebos are frowned on is because they violate trust. Even in those situations they would still be lies - lies are bad, dontcha know. In the case of a hypochondriac you could run the risk of encouraging them - although at least with placebopathy you don't risk side-effects of real medicines or the waste of time and expense. The untreatable situation is a considerably more interesting conundrum because if an illness is really untreatable but the placebo increases quality of life by a measurable amount it would, in a way, still count as an effective treatment. Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:44, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't clear, sorry... I'm not saying, "It's unethical to prescribe a placebo." I'm saying it's unethical to, instead of prescribing a placebo, refer a patient to homeopathy as a placebo treatment. Firstly, a doctor must take responsibility for using a placebo: Even if he knows the particular anti-depressant/anxiety drug/this/that/the other won't be effective beyond a placebo, if he's "tricking" a patient (for the patient's own good), he must be as responsible about this as possible. Doing it in a way which he can monitor the patient is important and taking responsibility for giving a placebo is important. Referring somebody to a homeopath is wrong for a few reasons. Firstly, if he's choosing a placebo, sending them to a homeopath is effectively fobbing them off - he should do it under HIS supervision, or tell them it's not worth medicating. Secondly, a doctor must take responsibility for the choice of prescribing a placebo: If some doctors (even a small minority) are ACTUALLY prescribing homeopathy while others are using it as placebo treatment, that really makes the water murky. Thirdly, and this is important, it gives credibility to homeopath. This is bad. I'm imagining that the majority of homeopaths BELIEVE in homeopathy, and so actually sending people to a homeopath is not a good thing for them. In fact, if a doctor sends somebody to a homeopath, knowing it is ineffective and knowing the homeopath may try to treat them for other things which DO require medical attention, he's abusing the patient's trust. If that placebo works very well for the patient, they'll go back to the homeopath when they're truly ill. If the doctor-administered placebo, for which the doctor has taken responsibility, works very well... they'll go to a doctor if seriously ill. Plus, it's very difficult for the layman to write homeopathy off as completely ineffective water when their mate down the pub got reffered there by a doctor. Sorry for rantiness, tired. DalekEXTERMINATE 22:15, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
However, you can't special plead and say one form of placebopathy is ethical and one isn't. The intervention is complex, meaning that a lot of cultural meaning, expectation and background goes into causing it. This makes a highly effective placebo, like homeopathy, more than just a sugar pill - and would easily beat a simple placebo in a trial (which is why controls have to be rigourous). If a doctor prescribes a placebo pill, then you run the same risk as if you refer them to a homeopath; developing unrealistic expectations and dependency, for example. If homeopathy is unethical and a waste, and I think it certainly is, then all forms of placebopathy should be. If simple placebopathy is deemed ethical, then you would have a duty to make it the most effective form possible, and it's widely known that highly elaborate schemes produce a stronger effect. This would include elaborate theories to explain it, extended consultations and false hope that it's more powerful than it claims to be. Scarlet A.pngtheist 23:44, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I think there's a big difference between a real doctor testing a placebo for its effect on a patient under proper care and a homeopathist giving them some cock and bull story about magic water. Face it, the placebo won't work on a "truly informed" patient - a curious, reading patient will ask or find out that it's a sugar pill. Keep in mind that placebos are getting better all the time ;) Equestrian (talk) 03:03, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure where I stand on doctors using placebos. It seems a bit of a cop out but if it works then why not. What I do object to is referring patients to homeopaths for three reasons:
  1. Money: Instead of the doctor (who has been paid for the appointment in the first place) just sketching up a £7 script for cheap sugar pills, they refer the patient to a homeopath who will charge even more cash for a consultation (and will probably schedule followups) and then give them sugar pills at cost to the NHS
  2. Validation: The simple fact that the NHS supports doctors referring patients to homeopaths instills public trust in homeopathy ("why would my doctor have referred me there if it doesn't work?"), which is wrong
  3. Turning patients away from mainstream medicine: So a patient gets told by his doctor that he can't help him, so he refers him to a homeopath who prescribes miracle drugs that actually did help. So from now on the guy (or gal) won't go to their doctor for any medical problems and will instead call their local, friendly homeopath, potentially for serious conditions.
Just my 2c CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:04, 8 December 2010 (UTC)