RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive88

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This is an archive page, last updated 19 January 2011. Please do not make edits to this page.
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, (new)(back)

Not sure what to make of this[edit]

US DOJ are subpoenaing twitter messages. Big Brother? Him (talk) 10:12, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

I have to confess to some ignorance here, since I don't use Twitter and think it's for morons, but aren't Twitter messages public (or at least somewhat public)? I sort of thought that was the point? Also, subpoenaing something is much better than reading messages without a warrant. DickTurpis (talk) 21:23, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
It's Big Sister, don't you read your Drudge? Blue (pester) 21:24, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Happy new year, and a question[edit]

Hey there. Happy new year! Could be that I'm a bit dense, but has the ability to move pages been removed? I can't see if anymore. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 16:20, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Arse biscuits! Ignore that question, but the happy new year thing still counts. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 16:22, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
You see. This is why we don't allow the peons to take holidays. Takes forever to retrain the bastards. And a very happy New Year to you too, WorriedDweller person. --Ψ GremlinSpeak! 16:25, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Cheers Gremlin. Any big changes I should look out for? I'm assuming that my wikibreak was long enough for the abortion debates to end, but I'm scared to check. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 16:29, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Besides everything useful now being under the "page" tab and the advent of sloshy threads (which are inhumane, against the natural order of things, and quite possibly fattening too) everything else is pretty much as is. I think the abortion debate is over. --Ψ GremlinParla! 16:34, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
The abortion debate is never over. Who is debating is the only factor which changes. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:12, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

LQT on user talk pages[edit]

I seem to recall that user talk pages are community property, not user property, and as such using LQT on them should require community consensus. Do we actually have this, or is it just going to happen because some prominent members espouse it? Cubic drug Hoover! 15:17, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

As someone with LQT on their talkpage, I don't see what the harm is in letting users who prefer LQT have it on their talkpage. To require a community vote for someone to do this on their own talkpage is, in my opinion, a laughable waste of time. Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 15:24, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I suggest that the suggestion is more like we should have community wide agreement that users can have it on their talk pages if they want to. Such an agreement might have been a good idea but now it seems to be a fait accompli.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:29, 4 January 2011 (UTC)--BobSpring is sprung! 15:29, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
(EC, which wouldn't happen in LQT) What Goonie said. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:31, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
So we have a carte blanche to use whatever interface we want on our talk pages? Cubic drug Hoover! 15:32, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Insofar as I'm concerned, as long as people can still figure out how to post (and are still able to post) on your talkpage, go for it. Whatever. The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 15:34, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, that is definitely something for which community agreement ought to have been sought. Still, I suppose that would just have allowed the ignorant, Luddite masses to retard the course of progress, so it's for the best. Cubic drug Hoover! 15:37, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree that it would have been better to discuss it.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:39, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
We have never once issued dictates on the layout of user talk pages, and the reason the talk pages are community property is because of the nature of the content. The spirit of the rule was to protect from unilateral deletion of content without archival. Many people have many different choices in layout and presentation on their talk pages and we have never standardized it or demanded standardization. Things like floating boxes, defaultsort names, alterations in font style and size, obtuse layouts, etc. are all far more intrusive than lqt and we have long had carte blanche on all that. I think the site enforcing layout strictures on a user talk page would be the change in policy and be what required discussion. Tmtoulouse (talk) 15:44, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I think it would have been discussion solely for the sake of discussion. The purpose of a user talk page is to allow people to post messages for that user, and LQT in no way prevents that from happening. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 9:44 am, Today (UTC−6)
Too right discussion would be for the sake of discussion. This is just clutching at straws because some people don't like liquid threads. Big deal. Get over it already. If you demand that talk pages are "community property" and then are dictating what people cannot put on them, you're equally guilty of what you're accusing others of. There are no rules and guidelines on RW that can't be broken anyway, I can't see where the problem is. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:48, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
You may be getting carried away with the mind-reading there Armondikov.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:56, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
(EC, sigh) Unless I'm mistaken, the current situation is, "Have LQT if you want, have the other system if you want." I can't, honestly, see any issue with that. For it to be a problem, somebody would have to actually say, "I want your talkpage to be like X." That, as Trent said, would be the policy change requiring discussion. DalekEXTERMINATE 15:54, 4 January 2011 (UTC
Yea for everyone doing what they want! I don't want vendor lock-in (can't easily copy conversations to other wikis) and conveniently my comments will appear at the tops of talkpages that use LQT when I'm not using it. <snark snark> ~ Lumenos (talk) 04:29, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, that's something else that needs improvement, I think, before it's applied to more than a few isolated nutjobs talk pages. Also citing difflinks. I just tried on ADK's page, and it's a bit baffling to non-technical me. But then, alpha software, etc., etc. --Kels (talk) 05:03, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
What needs improvement? Copying conversations? I don't think there's a need to copy a conversation (moving is possible). I could write an extension or even a userscript that exports an lqt page as a traditional talk page, that wouldn't be too hard, but I don't think that would be a good use of my time (you can try to convince me otherwise by presenting valid use cases for copying a whole talk page). As for citing difflinks, that's just a side effect of how wiki talk pages work, you don't cite difflinks in forums either. What you want is Link to in the More menu, but if the comment has been edited, you can use Fossil record from the more menu. See, best of both worlds. -- Nx / talk 06:41, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure what you say it true Nx, but I can't help wondering how many people have not contributed to liquid threads conversations because they felt intimidated by them.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:13, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't know. What I do know is that many times I gave up commenting, even after writing a lengthy reply, because I didn't want to fight edit conflicts. And seeing a huge block of text, or two huge blocks of text in case you got an edit conflict, is far more intimidating IMHO. -- Nx / talk 07:30, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
A good point too. I didn't know that they had that advantage.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:32, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't like lqt: the way they can fill up Rc even if you've got the javascript thing engaged: you can't hover on a diff to see what's been said (you have to go to the page): If you've missed the earlier part of a discussion it's a total pain tracking it through a full page of boxes (after working out which word to click on to see the thread). Change for the sake of change? Honestly, how often do you get ECd? (Got EC'd while doing this!!!!)Him (talk) 07:38, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I think you just answered your question there. Anyway, I'm going to make some changes to integrate it better with RC. As for tracking trough a full page of boxes... I don't see how that's worse than the current system (and archiving/moving conversations can make it even more annoying), but thanks to Special:Newmessages, it's easier to find new replies (provided you're watching the thread or the page). -- Nx / talk 08:06, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

LQT: plus: no edit conflicts. People who can't click "back", "copy", "edit", "[EC] paste" need this tool desperately.

LQT: minus: not like the rest of the wiki. Are difflinks supported? Is the point to allow some to use them on their talkpages, or is the goal to implement this crappy format across all our talk pages? To me, that is the real question. I don;t care if people's talk pages are a bit strange - or a lot strange - but if the goal is a sitewide change eventually, we need to discuss it at length. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:48, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes, those were my thoughts too. If people want to use it on their talk pages so be it - though there will be some people who consequently won't comment on them. But more importantly - are we testing this for full implementation across the wiki. If so then we need to talk about it.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:56, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
The goal is to, eventually, implement this superior format across the wiki, in particular in places that would hugely benefit from it, such as the Saloon bar and TWIGO:CP. I am willing to listen to complaints and I will try to address them as best as I can, but I realize that there will be people who'll just complain and bitch about how the wiki has now become some kind of playground for nerds or leave to make their own wiki or whatever, regardless of what I do (short of undoing the whole thing). C'est la vie. If you're lucky (and persistent) enough though, you may be able to get me to LANCB and you'll be spared of the horrors that is LQT. -- Nx / talk 08:06, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Quite frankly, I see no benefits from lqt at all, so LANCB all you want. Him (talk) 08:29, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Noooooooooooo! Don't you leave me with these madmen! I think we need an article explaining LQT (RationalWiki:Liquid threads?). Many of the same comments are coming up. Then we can say RTFM! I agree it is better in many ways (especially if you continue to improve it) but your Technocracy is clearly designed to keep a brotha down (unless I can figure out how to work it). Where would I go to learn about making the userscript to convert back to regular talkpage? ~ Lumenos (talk) 08:59, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I really do feel that we should have some sort of discussion about the merits or otherwise of the apparently superior technology before it is implemented. I don't think that I'm known for "bitching" about changes but I do feel that in this case we need to talk about it. I fully acknowledge that you put in a hell of a lot of good work Nx and produce real miracles.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:10, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I was replying to Human, not you, sorry for being rude, but I'm tired of his whining. I'm happy to see that a few users have started using LQT as hopefully that will result in more feedback. I really do appreciate it if you come to me with specific problems you have and I will try to fix them or at least come to some sort of compromise. I have been collecting these on my todo list from various past and current discussions, as well as my own experiences.
As for activating lqt site-wide, or on something like the Saloon bar... yeah, I'm probably not going to do that myself. I'm weary of the HCM that usually results from such changes, so I'll leave it to people who are willing to push it through. -- Nx / talk 09:36, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Hi Nx! Fuck you too. Don't be rude if you have to apologise for it one comment later. Quit complaining about my "whining" just because, what, I make comments? I don't actually care if you are "tired" of my comments or attempts to work on the site. No kindly go fuck yourself and your omnipotent ("this superior format") attitude. Your method is incredibly poor and your personal commentary is worse. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:51, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
I apologized to Bob, not you, because it appeared that my comment was directed to him. It was directed towards you, Human. Don't expect me to be nice when you start of with things like "crappy format" and belittling the opposition. -- Nx / talk 07:25, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
See it almost keeps me from doing such nefarious activity as putting the answer to Human's/Kel's question somewhere where others can find it. ; ) ~ Lumenos (talk) 09:30, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
That's not nefarious, just stupid. -- Nx / talk 09:36, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

This is RationalWiki, not IntelligentWiki. The whole problem is that LQT may be very rational, but to operate it requires a modicum of intelligence, which is not readily available to some of the RW crowd. -- (talk) 09:42, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Well actually that is a problem. The talk pages should be easy to use and intuitive. It should be easy for idiots and non-technical people and especially newbies to read understand and respond to. At the moment it seems confusing to me. Now that may be as a consequence of my lack of intellectual capacity. Having said that the fact that it seems that way now does not mean that it will be that way forever.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:48, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
If you tell me why you find it confusing, we may be able to find a solution :) -- Nx / talk 10:09, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Also, I'm not promoting lqt (and spending a lot of my free time improving and fixing it) because I like playing with new software. I'm doing it for two reasons: edit conflicts and unsigned comments annoy me, and I do want talk pages to be more easy to use and more intuitive. -- Nx / talk 10:15, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Basically, the wiki needs to work like a toilet. Open the lid, take a dump, push the button. Anything beyond that and you risk that people start crapping on the carpet. -- (talk) 10:11, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Interesting analogy. With LQT: Open the lid - click reply. Take a dump - type in textbox. Push the button - push the save page button. Without lqt: Open the lid - click edit. Take a dump - more like sift through other people's shit finding the correct place for yours. Push the button - push the save page button. Then pray the toilet doesn't back up. -- Nx / talk 10:15, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

OK. I've not had much to say about this because it seems like a bit of a hot button issue for some but here goes.

  • New messages. This confuses the hell out of me so I just ignore it. When I click on it I get a load of liquid threads which I assume are things on my watch list. But given that it's in liquid thread format (see below) I just clear it out periodically.
  • Indents on threads. I'm not sure how they work and consequently looking at them makes the page hard to read.
  • White spaces. OK this is just aesthetics but the vast amount of white space on the things seems weird.
  • The "reply" "parent" "more" buttons. I'm guessing that the "reply" is to reply to the comment in the box which has that reply button and perhaps the "parent" will put a comment at the bottom of the list of messages? But I don't know which makes me a bit reluctant to play about with them. I could make some guesses about the additional options under "more" but they confuse this old boy.
  • Show N Replies I can't figure out what's supposed to be happening when this appears. Why some threads have it and some don't.

OK, some of the answers to some of these may be obvious and they may, in fact, be small issues. It's the difficulty of overcoming a series of small issues that make my brain break down a bit when I look at a Liquid Threads page. As I said above the format should be easy to understand and immediately intuitive and at the moment I don't think it is.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:35, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm not indenting all of this, so I'll just insert this here to separate our comments. -- Nx / talk 11:35, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

  • New messages. The issue with new messages is that you'll be watching my talk page (for example) because with the old system, you wanted to do that. With LQT, you no longer want to be watching my talk page, only the threads that you have replied to or started. So for example, if you ask me something on my talk page, and I reply, you'll see it on new messages. This is one of the cool features of LQT, but sadly the transition is a bit bumpy.
  • Indents on threads. LQT tries to emulate traditional talk page indentation (to a degree). The difference is that you can't really unindent (well, you can reply to the first comment, that's sort of like an unindent, but see my next sentence), and you can't inject a comment before another user's comment. However, LQT also changes indentation a bit: on traditional talk pages, every new reply gets indented one level more than the previous one, even if it's not a reply to the comment above it, because otherwise you wouldn't be able to easily differentiate comments. You have to forget about that practice a bit, and just click the reply button for the comment you are actually replying to. Your reply then gets indented one level more than the comment you are replying to. So for example:

On a traditional talk page:

This is comment 1
This is comment 2. It's a reply to comment 1
This is comment 3. It's also a reply to comment 1
This is a reply to comment 3.
This is comment 5, and it's a reply to comment 1

etc. And comment 5 could've been indented in a different way or injected before comment 4 etc., there's no set rule

On LQT, you instead get this (which makes more sense IMHO):

This is comment 1
This is comment 2. It's a reply to comment 1
This is comment 3. It's also a reply to comment 1
This is a reply to comment 3.
This is comment 5, and it's a reply to comment 1

As you can see, each reply to comment 1 is indented one level more than comment 1. Of course you have to shake the old habit and instead of just clicking reply for the bottommost comment, click reply for the comment you are actually replying to. Comment three might go off on a tangent with replies to that, but the discussion continues below, with comment 5. In the future, it will be possible to collapse comment 3 (and its replies) if you're not interested in that part of the discussion. That should make long threads more readable.

  • White spaces. I've already reduced whitespace as much as possible compared to the default, I can't really do much more there - there's still the issue of the toolbar (the reply, parent, more buttons in the lower right of every comment), which is too big and obtrusive, but I'm planning to fix that.
  • The "reply" "parent" "more" buttons. See the part about indenting for exactly how reply works. Parent takes you to the parent comment (i.e. the comment that this reply is a reply to). "Link to" gives you a link to a specific comment (and its replies, which is called a fragment), e.g. Thread:User talk:Nx/Reality check/reply (5). Fossil record and edit should be self explanatory - in liquid threads, each comment is actually a separate page in the Thread namespace. So you can edit a comment and it has a history. Similarly, Vaporize allows you to delete a comment (actually it also deletes all the replies too), but that's something that won't be used much around here. Finally, drag to new location allows you to reorganize comments (again, dragging a comment also takes all the replies with it), or even split threads. Currently, you can't cancel a drag, so if you click that button the drop targets will remain on the page - they're harmless if you don't start dragging, and you'll be asked for a reason and a confirmation before you can actually move a comment, so you shouldn't be afraid to click it - it's just a bit annoying. And of course you are free to experiment on my lqt test page if you are afraid of breaking things.
  • Show N Replies In your preferences, you'll find a new tab, called "Threaded discussion". There you'll find two settings, maximum reply depth to show and maximum number of replies to show. You can change these to really high numbers to always load the entire thread, but the purpose of this feature is to avoid unnecessarily loading long discussions that may not interest you. If you click the Show N replies button, it'll dynamically load more (unfortunately, it still won't load the entire thread, so you'll have to keep clicking show n replies - guess that's another thing to add to my todo). You can read the first few comments, and then if you decide that you want to read the rest, just click Show N replies.
I hope that clears some of the confusion. -- Nx / talk 11:33, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Skip indent

Hi Nx. Thank you very much for taking the time to respond.

  • New Messages. You tell me that I will only see stuff that I have started or contributed to. I'm not sure if that is how it's working. One of the fist things is see is "Ajax category rename?" I'm sure that I've never contributed to that in my life. Same with other stuff. Or is this part of the transitional difficulties of which you spoke? Secondly is it supposed to work on anything to which I have contributed or started or only things which are already on liquid threads?
  • Indents on threads. OK, I think I've got that. Is it "better" or "different" though? I agree that it's certainly more formalised and logical - but it's also more controlled. And when people are used to the present semi-controlled chaos it takes some getting used to.
  • White spaces. OK, if you can make it better it would be better.
  • The "reply" "parent" "more" buttons. I can see how these facilities would be useful. But it does rather take me back to the intuitive bit. I don't suppsoe there could be any kind of floating pop-up help over them which tells people what they are for? (Although I see that actually clicking them gives you some idea anyway.)
  • Show N Replies . Thanks.

Following your responses the thing is certainly less daunting, but I'm afraid that it still doesn't seem that intuitive. On the other hand the fist time I edited a wiki talk page I couldn't believe how cumbersome the process was - so it may be just a question of what you're used to.--BobSpring is sprung! 12:08, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

You are getting the new message notification for that thread because you have contributed to my talk page, and because of that it's on your watchlist (if you edit a page, it's added to your watchlist). Now that I've converted it to LQT, you're getting a notification for every new thread and reply there - simply unwatch my page. See RationalWiki:LiquidThreads#Why am I getting "new messages"?. Of course if you want to be notified of new threads and all new replies, you have to watch a talk page - currently it's not possible to watch a page in order to be notified of new threads but ignore a specific thread that doesn't interest you (e.g. you'd probably want this for the saloon bar); this will be implemented in the future.
I agree that the indentation is going to take getting used to, and I personally prefer linear forums with quotes, but I think lqt is much better than the mess that we have now. And indenting long replies like these is a pain in the ass - goat help you if you also use something special like pre or source or whatever.
The buttons are missing tooltips, this is a known bug, so it's going to be fixed (and I don't want to fix it myself in order to avoid stepping on the lqt devs' toes), that should help a bit. I think parent should also be changed to "go to parent". But in any case, the very basic function of replying is pretty simple.
If you have any ideas to make it more intuitive, I'm listening -- Nx / talk 13:05, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

[Edit button break for sanity -->][edit]

"(if you edit a page, it's added to your watchlist)" You mean a liquid thread or a regular page? I don't think that is the default behavior for regular pages but you can turn it off at Special:Preferences / Watchlist / Advanced options. ~ Lumenos (talk) 09:38, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't know if it's the default. Anyway, when you edit a lqt page by clicking [Edit↑] (which in lqt terminology is the discussion header), it's also added to your watchlist. -- Nx / talk 10:43, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
There is no need to do that to create/edit threads and we should probably lock the pages as you have done on yours. ~ Lumenos (talk) 15:00, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that's necessary. -- Nx / talk 15:09, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
To be honest, I think we should just implement it Facebook style. Force it onto the SB and in about three days no one will care any more and will happily use it. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:40, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
I guess we still have the edit buttons for the sections so you could use both at once until the old sections are archived. Trent or the Foundation just have to decide if they are gonna have a vote or just do it. But I did find a bug or two, that Nx said he was going to work on. Not sure how stable it is presently. ~ Lumenos (talk) 16:20, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
In a sense simply implementing it would "work" as the people who didn't like it or found it too daunting to use would simply not edit the page to complain about it. So by definition it would appear to be a success as "everybody" would be using it. The voices of the people who were frightened away by it would not appear.--BobSpring is sprung! 07:53, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Of these two groups, the latter is the one that worries me. I understand it's different and confusing and all the new functions may seem daunting, but I don't see how it can be so daunting that it prevents you from even commenting. -- Nx / talk 08:50, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I "agree" with you as far as the complaints I've read from others. Thing is, people have a healthy desire to kick the tires and new (beta) software often has unforeseen problems. (I find that to be the case with many "liberal" ideas; the "conservatives" find it "weird"/unnecessary for superficial reasons although there really are disadvantages that they don't discover because they are not interested in it.) There are currently "bugs" that screw up edit history and loose posts. Nx won't let me get a word in sideways on the LQT article so I put them here instead. ~ Lumenis (talk)
Bob, Nx keeps telling us that LQT uses the same wiki markup. Well I found that if one doesn't like the new format they could actually reply in the post, to make a oldschool talkpage inside a post, so he is "right" about that. : ) No one has to use the new format on LQT pages, unless we make it a rule/custom. ~ Lumenos (talk) 01:55, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I often post like this and edit pages just like LQT suggests we do (ie here I am responding to Bob; now if everyone wants to reply to Nx, as people would usually do in the current format, this post will stick out because it is always at the bottom). It is a great way for an attention whore to get their message noticed. (If new messages were highlighted they would stand out when not at the bottom of the page.) Notice how I put a signature on my last paragraph so that anyone can reply to that paragraph specifically and they don't have quote it. Nx used to hate that, but maybe it will be okay to do that in the LQT format? ~ Lumenos (talk) 01:55, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
There is kinda a "quirk" with LQT that there is no way to "reply" to multiple posts. You only have these "reply" buttons that make it look like you are replying to one post, when in fact you may have just felt that was the best place to put a reply to many posts. How do you express that you are replying to multiple posts? Do you reply to the last one, the first one you are replying to, or do you attempt to "undent" by "replying" to the first post in the thread? Most I suppose will choose to reply to the last one or they will do the "attempted undent" like an attention whore. Not much different than regular talkpage, except with a regular talkpage you can undent to the edge, so it doesn't look like you are replying to the first post (only). Maybe we should collaborate on a guideline for this in the unlikely event that anyone is interested. ~ Lumenos (talk) 02:55, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Just in[edit]

This discussion was moved to Forum:Gabrielle Gifford shooting. 21:18, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Sidebar templates[edit]

See Template:Portal_portal for more.

I have replaced several of these templates with ones based on {{navsidebar}}. This was done several days ago, at least, but I have since received a complaint. Hence I am bringing it up here for "discussion". Here is the reasoning in short bullet points for your convenience.

Disadvantages of the previous system

  • Raw code is daunting and complex
  • Changing colours is a complex task
  • Making stylistic changes across the board is a difficult task

Advantages of a master template

  • Removes complexity of the css styling and divs
  • Simpler to create a new sidebar template from scratch (read the documentation)
  • Easy to change the colours with a single parameter, rather than finding each instance and remembering what it does (read the documentation)
  • Simple to make overall stylistic changes to each template
  • Unifies to the look of the templates

So, that's what I've done. I did it unilaterally, sue me. I wanted it done some time before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Scarlet A.pngpostate 14:56, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Also, for the most part the colours are part of the original versions of the template and weren't changed.That's a separate discussion as far as I'm concerned and can be open to anyone with sensible suggestions for what to use. Scarlet A.pngpostate 14:58, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I also created {{legalnote}} and placed it on each of the disclaimers and notes for easy navigation. I hope I didn't tread on anyone's toes by doing this. Scarlet A.pngpostate 19:56, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

If you had to pick a religion to follow which would it be?[edit]

In a local atheist group I used to belong to someone did a poll asking this question and I was surprised that a small majority chose Buddhism. I am curious what our resident heathens would choose. Try not to pick a joke religion i.e. FSM or say, "Why would I have to choose a religion?" This is just for fun.

For me I would chose Buddhism or some sort of nature worship. NetharianCubicles are prisons! 22:09, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Why were you surprised? That it was not more? Buddhism for me. I've considered looking into Buddhism not for anything more than that its tenants seem to support a peaceful, healthy lifestyle. --Leotardo (talk) 22:15, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
"Choosing" a religion is not just for fun. Religious practice, at its naked core, boils down to what you do when there is nothing else left to do. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 22:41, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
I think I like your point, but would you explain it more? --Leotardo (talk) 23:02, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
In my ideal view, the best role of religion is to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable. One thing I like about Buddhist contemplative practice: If you need it, you go do it; no one is there to sell it to you. Try to get into a monastic Buddhist practice, and you need to get past the gatekeeper, who will be actively discouraging. If you want to make a Zennie feel at home, just tell them, "I can't help you. I have nothing for you."
When I had kids of an age to go to elementary school, I hauled them to a nearby Unitarian-Universalist congregation on Sunday mornings. That way I could enjoy singing in the choir without the need to spout any particular creed. YMMV; congregations in that denomination are pretty individual, each with its own character. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 00:50, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Islam. Because it would really catch people off guard. Blue (pester) 23:41, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm fortunate enough to be of Iranian-Muslim heritage while not looking a thing like what the stereotypical Middle Eastern would look like, so I have the luxury of catching people off guard as you describe. Most people think I'm Irish because of my name. It's pretty entertaining to see the reactions that some people have upon finding my heritage out, especially when the people are of the bigoted bunch. However, it also allows me to see exactly how ignorant/clueless people can be, even when it comes to knowing what country your nation has been fighting in. For example...
  • Me: "I'm Iranian." Clueless person: "Oh my gosh! Is your family back in Iran all right?" Me: "Why wouldn't they be?" Clueless person: "Well, America is at war with them!"
Alas, me not looking like a Middle Eastern doesn't help a bit with passing through airport security, since my father's name if Mohammad. Ah well. ~SuperHamster Talk 00:04, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Just carry some worry-beads, and keep mumbling something that sounds like Besmelleh. That should put their minds at ease. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 00:50, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Given that I am already some sort of Celtic Neopagan, I think I'll stick to this religion if I have to pick. Punky Your mental puke relief 01:50, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
If I were to abandon the Anglican Church, most likely the Church of Ed Wood. I really want to try using Bela Lugosi's death as a religious holiday--Thanatos (talk) 04:16, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I worship rotting and growing wood. Is that a religion? I also really really like bacteria. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:04, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
As far as religions go, Daoism isn't too bad. Röstigraben (talk) 07:39, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Not to be confused with the Wall Street cult, Dowism. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 18:54, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I think the Olympian Gods were kind of fun. Sen (talk) 05:34, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
WAIT WAIT! You all should know that Lumenosity is 100% Truthism. The first religion that is absolutely certain and based on a larger intentional culture project which is open to collaborative development by YOU. Lumenosity: Micromanaging your life since the dawn of history. ~ Lumenos (talk) 07:27, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
If I were forced, and all choices being 'equal', then I would follow the neo-Pagan teachings of my late stepfather, Isaac Bonewits. A very laid back philosophy that embraced a lot of the 'Do as you will, if it do no harm.' Speaking of him, I must say I was a bit relieved that when he faced his fight with cancer, he fully used every modern medical science treatment that was available/affordable for him. Now, he augmented it with 'magick' cast by him, mom and supporters, but he never headed off in the direction of the woo some of his peers support. - Ravenhull (talk) 07:53, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Was Isaac Bonewits actually your stepfather? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:59, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, he married my mother a few years back. A nice man, and he made her happy. Unfortunately, I only had the chance to spend any time with him when I went to help out for a week only a few weeks before he was gone. I might not have agreed with his spirituallity, but I enjoyed his company. As for his philosophy, I rather enjoyed reading The Pagan Man and some of his other works, and that book still sits on my bookshelf. -Ravenhull (talk) 11:56, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Probably an extremely liberal version of reform Judiaism.... You know, the versions where they treat god like a piece of luggage.... Either that or Jedi. SirChuckBPlease Excuse me, I have to go out and hunt giraffes 08:07, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

My contribution to this section (I actually picked a religion to follow) got a little long, so I put it in an essay. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 09:02, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

For several years when I had to fill out immigration cards in the likes of Saudi Arabia, where it asked for your religion I would write "Hedonist". I can see why people might choose Buddhist although some Buddhist practices are quite demanding and not for me - all that prostrating yourself round a mountain. I know several Quakers and admire their pacifism, quietness and modesty, although Quaker "services" can be a bit boring. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 09:21, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
A number of religious people claim that atheism is a religion. Can I chose their definition and chose atheism as my religion while holding a personal mental reservation that I don't think it is? If not, can anyone recommend a religion with which involves no worship, faith, ceremony, ritual or prohibitions but has lots lots of sex and drugs and rock and roll? Or has Genghis already nailed that with "hedonist"?--BobSpring is sprung! 10:38, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Church of the Fonz? Scarlet A.pngpostate 10:39, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Bob, the question is inherently flawed, you are being asked to pick the least worst option. As an alternative try "If you had to be a serious criminal what crime would you commit?"  Lily Inspirate me. 10:48, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, in answer to that question I can only cite The Gospel According to Ali G, where he compares prison terms for stealing $100 in a shop robbery vs a £1 million bank robbery and concluding that it makes far more sense to commit big crimes than small ones. So ruthless bank robber it would have to be, rather than knocking over small stores for the cash in the tills. Scarlet A.pngpostate 10:51, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I am a member and ordained minister of The Church of the Divine Elvis. (Come to think of it, I am the Church of the Divine Elvis.) "Now, turn to page 312 in your hymn books, and join in singing Heartbreak Hotel, as fried peanut butter and banana sandwich communion is served in the Jungle Room." MDB (talk) 12:44, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Hearbreak Hotel? In early January? Heathen!!! Everybody knows that a proper Elvis congregation sings Jailhouse Rock, Blue Suede Shoes until the festival of Elvis' devine birth on the 8 of January before switching to Heartbreak for a period of remorse before Valentine's Day wherein we begin singing Love Me Tender. Who taught you to worship Elvis? SirChuckBA product of Affirmative Action 18:45, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Must be one of those heretics of the Reformed Church of Elvis. You know, the ones that include paprika in the chicken recipe. Scarlet A.pngpostate 19:26, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I've met a few atheist Buddhists - i.e. those who follow the teachings of the Buddha as a philosophy rather than a religion. There are even Christian atheists - i.e. those who follow Jesus's philosophy on life while rejecting all the stuff about God & the afterlife; it's like cafeteria Christianity dragged to its limits.

Anyhoo, if I had to follow a religion for some reason, I guess it would probably be Buddhism, or possibly Shinto if I was feeling particularly Wapanese. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:11, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Wicca or a similar new-age thing. I'd be an irritating and sometimes amusing chap, but at least I'd be mostly harmless. The worst thing I'd probably end doing is boring people with my inane attempts to describe my 50-year-old grab-bag of beliefs as some kind of ancient (and totally not comical) belief system. Only thing funnier than wiccans are vampires. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 18:50, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

I went trolling the Scientologists many years ago and talked the guy into giving me a six-month trial membership of the International Association of Scientologists for free, without me buying anything. (This is very much against the rules.) IAS membership is what they claim their count of members represents (except when they claim it represents something else). So for six months, I was an honest-to-Ron card-carrying Scientologist. Oh frabjous day! - David Gerard (talk) 19:13, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Take your pick[edit]

7 really weird religions article.The Church of Ed Wood claims 3000 followers worldwide.--Thanatos (talk) 06:40, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I weep for the USA[edit]

Seems to me as if US public discourse has gotten testier and more rancorously polarized in recent years, with more finger-pointing and sketchier fact-checking. More bullshit in the media, in other words, dating from about the time Bush fils stole his first election.

It reminds me of how I have seen groups of people act when they find themselves on a losing side, or try to accomplish a demanding task without the requisite skill level. One accessible example may be seen in the argy-bargy of the cart-pulling, can-scavenging helots in A Boy and His Dog. Not at all the same flavor as I saw in the prosperous sixties, when we also saw resistance to poorly chosen war. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:48, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

It goes back to the Clinton era. Somehow, during the Reagan/Bush pere era, the right wing became incredibly angry and vocal about it. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:22, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
There was a recent paper that makes a strong argument that the beginning of the polarization was with Newt Gingrich's election in 1978. That Salon link is a good summary of the argument. Ezra Klein at WaPo even charts it --Leotardo (talk) 06:35, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
I would agree that Gingrich and the 1994 Congressional class brought in a level of rancor, for which you'd generally have to go back to the 1860s Radical Republicans to find. Before that, you might find it in extremists in primaries, but just not in general politics. I spent a good many years in Washington and in politics, and James Carville married to Mary Matalin didn't seem that unreasonable. Also, do remember the increase in hostility in TV journalism, starting with the McLaughlin Group and Point Counter Point, and exponentially escalating with talk radio and cable TV pundits. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 07:25, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
So, do you think it is only a matter of having the equipment and the ability (try not to think of a dog licking his own tasty bits here) to broadcast the "conversation" and a healthy vociferous back-and-forth, or is it a symptom of declining capability on the world stage? As I said before, I am reminded of the kind of sniping I have seen in groups with weak to iffy competence for the task at hand. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:59, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, after reading this from WIGO:Blogs, I'm actively depressed. The US is going to tear itself apart, and when it does, they'll say that we should have seen it coming. You know that part in V For Vendetta when Prothero says "The former United States is now so desperate for medical supplies...". Yep. I, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords. Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:23, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Meh. Gun ownership is not even on this particular screen, in my opinion. A steady well-trained individual can put a bullet right where they want it, but only out to a few hundred yards or so. Measured in metres, it is a bit fewer. The average dolt who gets hold of a gun has slim chance of raising splinters on a barn door, the broader side thereof, while standing in its shadow.
Public discourse, on the other hand, now has a global reach, even if coverage is spotty in some jurisdictions. The rabble now requires scant prompting to divide against itself; my point is the following: even the would-be rulers of that rabble are squabbling like a bunch of losers, quite plain to see and hear. One more time, with feeling: our "leaders" and public mouthpieces are squabbling like a bunch of losers. This neither encourages nor amuses me. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:07, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Surely that makes your defensive weapon of gun more dangerous? Scarlet A.pngpostate 00:21, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
The lethal weapon of gun has a vanishing relevance to this discussion. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 00:31, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

(ex)MP Jailed[edit]

Occasionally the law does its job - David Chaytor gets 18 months for expense fiddling! Him (talk) 00:37, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

The disappointing thing is that so many of them have got away with it. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 00:45, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Ah, but the wonders of the British 'justice' system mean he'll serve a couple of months at most: All sentences less that four years are automatically halfed (only a third off for longer sentences), so he's being sent to prison for 9 months. Most jails release convicts after two-thirds of their sentence, so we're down to 6, and that's before we look at "early release" or release on licence etc. (To be honest this rant should be about the dangerous repeat violent offenders who get this same treatment, not some troughing MP) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 00:52, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
It tends to be a world-wide "let's let off the celebs" attitude - see Lindsay Lohan's jail record for a perfect example. But it's SO hard for these people! "Cor guv'nor - it must be right 'ard for the likes of you and no mistake. Apples and pears, my old man's a dustman etc etc". –SuspectedReplicant retire me 00:57, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
perhaps he can use Paris Hilton's method of getting out of prison and just cry a bitAMassiveGay (talk) 12:26, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
He's old enough to develop a case of Ernest Saunders Alzheimers. He'll get all the benefits of alzheimers, such as early release from prison, but he'll be barely home before he'll join Saunders in medical history as one of the very few people to make a complete recovery from an incurable disease. Hooray! Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 17:31, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
It's political correctness gone sane! - David Gerard (talk) 19:17, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Dr Zoe D. Katz PhD[edit]


One for the diploma mill article indeed. I have to recommend this week's QI if you can get it. Scarlet A.pngpostate 01:41, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Re: QI. I get them on utubez after a slight delay. Currently searching for "qi s08e14" and getting nothing. Is this a new season perhaps? Pls orange box me with details... ħumanUser talk:Human 02:59, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
It was literally on either today or yesterday so it might be a little longer. It's in episode 13; Hypnosis, Hallucinations & Hysteria. They go into some RW relevant woo-like stuff. Scarlet A.pngpostate 03:02, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Episode 15 according to YouTube, but 13 according to iPlayer. Scarlet A.pngpostate 03:04, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Ha that's awesome. It actually made me want to get a couple of degrees just for fun. £779 for some hands on crystal healing however? Procreate that, for that price I can print my own. Sen (talk) 03:42, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, that's the entire point about credentials. You can print your own no problem. The power comes from who (usually an institution or established organisation) endorses that credential. We could print degrees in Wingnut Analysis and have them endorsed by the RationalWiki Foundation - indeed, I think we should sell them as part of RW merchandise! It'd be awesome. Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:25, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Ooh, I'm in! Can I have a PhD in Wingnuttery please? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:33, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Why certainly! That'll be $455.95 please. Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:41, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I can see a PhD awarded to anyone who contributes more than, say $100, to the running costs. Jack Hughes (talk) 13:46, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

WIGO RSS feeds?[edit]

Would it be possible to set an RSS feed up for WIGOs? As far as I can tell, I can only subscribe to a feed for all changes made to RW, which I don't particularly want. With that said, I am fairly technically incompetent; if WIGO RSS feeds already exist, then disregard all that, I suck cocks. but please tell me where to find them Webbtje (talk) 18:14, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

For each page, you can get a RSS feed for it from its "history" page ("fossil record" here). Example feed. It doesn't look very good, though.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:29, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
All that you can really do is subscribe to changes on a page. As that would include edits to WIGOs, comments out and updates, you'd end up with a mess. The only way would be to generate a separate feed manually - but again, this would leave you without the aforementioned updates and corrections. Just add the WIGO pages to your watch list, it's pretty much the same thing. Scarlet A.pngpostate 18:34, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Gotcha. Cheers guys. Webbtje (talk) 18:53, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
You can also get a RSS/Atom feed for your watchlist. It lists the titles only, not the code of the changes.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:56, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I had done a yahoo pipe to do this at one point, to reprocess the rss feed, although it didn't turn out great. Maybe I can dig it up, sterile Honda 03:00, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Don't RSS the saloon bar whatever you do. Loads of diffs in the wrong order, etc. Not good. Bernard Quatermass (talk) 19:26, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

The Enemy Within[edit]

I've just been watching an old Star trek episode. It was the one with two Captain Kirks - one kind-hearted, reasonable but indecisive, the other decisive, self-serving and ruthless. It reminded me the way America has gone. Bernard Quatermass (talk) 21:52, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Well put. - π 22:07, 10 January 2011 (UTC)


So the news is saying Loughner isn't saying anything to authorities. This sounds strange to anyone? Usually these guys do things like this to make a political statement, so why refuse to make a more coherent one, using, you know, words? Also from what's been said so far this guy seems like your basic conspiracy theorist. From what I've seen of them on both the left and the right, there's little difference between them. 9/11 Truthers, fluoridation alarmists, all those guys are on the fringes of both the left and right. Likewise, anyone who likes the writings of Marx and Engels, as well as works of some of the most anti-Marx people (Hitler and Rand) doesn't have much of a consistent set of beliefs, other than perhaps embracing controversy. DickTurpis (talk) 16:07, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

That's why I really don't think this was a true political attack. Usually terrorists (which he would be if this were politically motivated) are only too happy to talk to the authorities. It's a pretty poor terrorist who doesn't explain what change he actually wants. From everything I've read, this guy is just bat shit insane, or as we in the Psych world like to say: He's whicky in the whacky woo (Drew Carey Show reference.... Anyone? Anyone at all? Ok then). It's really hard to accept that this was a politically motivated act when he won't even assign a motive. SirChuckBFurther bulletins as events warrant 16:45, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
A bit early to say, either way. In general, an attack on a politician is a political action, but it doesn't have to be. I guess Hinckley would be an example to the contrary. One can be both a whackjob and a person making a less than coherent political statement at the same time. His youtube videos and the like seem to indicate political motives, but not standard left or right wing ones. His silence is confusing, certainly. DickTurpis (talk) 16:51, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
You know what they say: the best-running machine still needs tools and cranks. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:59, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I think you hit the nail on the head Dick. An attack can be political in nature without being a political action. Hinckley was perfect example of that. SirChuckBI brake for Schukky 17:08, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
The political blame game is generally rotten anyway. We'd have to see what evidence can be gathered to see if he was influenced by politics - although you could interpret the silence as "constitutional right", which would fit with right-wing constitutional idolatry, perhaps. But if you're nuts and paranoid to start with, I don't think the likes of O'Reilly and Beck would be the most healthy thing to consume. Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:13, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't get why the media are so hung up over his books. Just because someone owns a book doesn't mean that he automatically agrees with the author, and simultaneously agreeing with Marx and Hitler would be kinda hard anyway. He could've just kept them out of a general interest in history and the individual perspectives of famous ideologues, reference purposes, or simply to show off. He's been captured, and he'll probably talk about his motivation eventually. But that's obviously not good enough for the media, we need to find out how he thinks NOW NOW NOW, and stick one of those convenient ideological labels on him, no matter how sparse the evidence is. This whole "He ranted against the government? He must be a right-wing nut job!";"Someone on Twitter called him a leftist!" style of reporting is beyond ridiculous. Röstigraben (talk) 18:04, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Your comment reminds me a lot of Charlie Brooker, specifically the part of his 2010 review show covering the "cat in a wheelie bin" saga and taking the piss out of the media for not being able to wrap their heads around something that just has no explanation. Scarlet A.pngpostate 19:17, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

(undent) May I suggest Richard Hofstadter's 1964 essay, The Paranoid Style in American Politics? The American political system, long before the Web, had great difficulty understanding that observation and correlation do not necessarily mean causality, and past demagogues such as Joe McCarthy simply ignored it. I generally remember a case where a "loyal citizen" reported an individual for having an extensive library of "Commie" books at home. Since he was a Soviet specialist for the Department of State, I should hope he would be well-read in such material.

Yes, the reach has increased, as well as the rate of suggestion. I have a housemate that keeps Fox News on most of the time, and I really would have liked to hear my professor (and Army analyst) specializing in propaganda to hear it. My friend insists, for example, that Beck's individual statements are true (I do question that at times), but he doesn't want to hear anything about the intense emotional bias given to them.

Actually, I was looking for my copy of Mein Kampf, which seems reasonable enough to research a number of Nazi historical articles at CZ. Both Hitler and Marx needed editors, although I have, in amazement, gotten through Mein Kampf, but never failed to fall asleep reading Das Kapital.

Unfortunately, I do hear more talk of violence -- not sure it's more than that -- from Americans who feel disenfranchised. Now, I personally do support the right to keep and bear arms, but more as a tradition, and, I'm afraid, for self-defense as well as sport. Nevertheless, I think it's absolutely ludicrous that small groups with sporting weapons, or even military small arms, are a remote deterrent to government -- they simply do not understand modern warfare. One was utterly shocked when he boasted about how his friends could coordinate their efforts with cell phones, and was absolutely shocked asked what he would do if the military facing them, for example, had an AN/ULQ-30 cell phone jammer -- or simply administratively disabled cell service. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 19:25, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Lol, cellphones. Aka portable and identifiable energy emissions, protected by a protocol that can be broken with a laptop's worth of hardware and for which the government probably has the keys to already. Jamming is the least of their problems. Sen (talk) 19:44, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah. The police already have vans that can do pinpoint accuracy cell phone triangulation, even if you're not making a call. If you were really planning some sort of uprising, you'd probably want to turn your phone off and take the battery out before you started. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:55, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Modern phones already know exactly where you are without the police having to triangulate your position. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 20:15, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
P.S. I have at least one Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, works by Thomas Aquinas and Milton's poetry in the house. Does this make me a religious nut? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 20:19, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I think the thing about his books was that he listed those as his favorites, not books he happened to possess. I own the Communist Manifesto, but I would hardly consider it a favorite (likewise a couple books by Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly, to name a few). Also, about phones, isn't there a difference between a phone knowing where it is and a third party knowing where the phone is? A phone with GPS can read the satellite signals to calculate its position, but it's not sending a signal back to the satellite that others can read and track, is it? DickTurpis (talk) 20:29, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Dick, while the position won't be as accurate as GPS from the phone, but, if the cellphone is to be able to receive calls, it has to constantly update the cell network where it is, so the network knows to what cell to route incoming calls. Especially in urban areas, several cell towers hear the signal but only one is in active use. If those towers, in addition to basic equipment, have time-of-arrival sensors for the signal, geolocation becomes much more precise. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 21:06, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Sen, jamming is the greatest of the problems that they easily can understand. Electronic warfare, signals intelligence, and communication deception just are not the first things that come to their minds, and, having worked in them, I sometimes wonder if psychosis is hard reality by comparison. It's ironic that when I've said that if I were, in fact, going to act against a tyrannical government, while I'm a decent rifle shot, my weapon of choice would be a computer -- and, very selectively, active RF emitters. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 22:09, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Guys (except Howard), I said "energy emission". GPS signals and triangulation are irrelevant, this thing is essentially glowing like a light in the dark (a light powerful enough to be seen by the mobile phone tower several km away) and what glows, you can lock a missile on it. It's not even a new technology, I think Clinton once fired a couple of missiles at Bin Laden (or was it drug lords in S.America? Dammit America, stop firing missiles everywhere) talking at his phone and missed just because of the missile travel time. Sen (talk) 22:56, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Go to mediamatters to watch Beck on this issue. So far he has claimed he does not use a violent rhetoric, Beck has no agenda, the guy read the communist manifesto and mein kamphf and is what Beck has been warning people about. He also goes on about how Palin and him love peace and they want the truth. If I ever get a time machine, I'm going back in time to punch Beck in the face after a few key points in tonights show.--Thanatos (talk) 23:14, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

(undent) LOL...thanks, Sen, I needed that "except Howard", since I'm under fire by a UFOlogist at CZ who is demanding appeals because recognize her expertise as a general journalist as equal to the radar knowledge of a practicing engineer. I also, believe it or not, will not accept that unspecified "government reports" provided by a newspaper are equivalent to a technical report on a sighting. Unfortuately, I have not been able to get across the idea that weather radar operates differently than air search radar, not getting into anything semi-exotic such as antenna polarization, but just trying to explain that one wants to detect air movement and the other wants to treat it as interference.

My impression is that targeting of bin Laden was not on a classic cell phone, there being few of them in Afghanistan or Sudan, but on a Thuraya (probably) handheld satellite phone. Caveat: some Thuraya models will first try to connect to a cell system if they can detect one, and only use the more expensive satellite if they can't. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 23:38, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Mobile phones do send location information back to the system, which is how you get special offers at a local supermarket or the nearest ATM info. Also parents can track where their kids are through their mobile phones. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 09:53, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
The last name "Loughner" immediately brings to mind the pronunciation of "loner", although it may be "lockner" or "Loffner". Anyone know the correct pronunciation? FreeThought (talk) 11:55, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
The media seems to be using "Loffner", but they may just be assuming that's the proper pronunciation. If I just read it, that would be how I'd "hear" it in my head. MDB (talk) 17:59, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Google Scribe[edit]

Sure this has been brought up before, but this is fracking hilarious [1]. Sounds like Palin at an interview Blue (is useful) 04:54, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Doesn't auto-complete for refudiate. - π 10:50, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Cracked's 6 Crackpot Conspiracy Theories (That Actually Happened)[edit]

kablang... Discuss? - VezzyRattlehead (talk) 14:58, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I enjoy the thought of a website titled "Stupid Shit Michele Bachman said." Majintahu (talk) 00:13, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I have a 50% higher risk of getting oesophagal cancer than most UKians because the UK government decided to test chemical weapons on Norfolk in the 60s. Kinda hard to separate the cadmium cases from the genetic deformities though :) CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:21, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Mongolian Crystal Skulls[edit]

Que? Sen (talk) 00:03, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Well, someone has been watching a bit too much Indiana Jones. Scarlet A.pngpostate 12:47, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
The crazy just oozes from that group. Note the mandatory talk of energy. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:09, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Tibia ME[edit]

Anyone here play Tibia? I keep getting buttraped on a (supposedly easy) quest and need some friends to march forth with. I'm Crundy on world 14 if so or if you fancy signing up :) CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:39, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Touching kids[edit]

No, not that way, but as part of music lessons. This is interesting to me as someone married to a professional musician, specifically a singer. Because of the muscle control needed to sing properly (and by which I mean Met Opera, not X-Factor) - and sometimes just to point out that you even have those muscles - you can often find singing teachers prodding their students quite thoroughly. So avoiding touching entirely is potentially counter-productive to some lessons - indeed, I've taught guitar to some pretty cack-handed first timers (all consenting adults at the time, of course) and had to physically prise their fingers into the right positions to get them to work as no amount of pointing and demonstrating actually did the trick. Otherwise we may as well just avoid the concept of teachers entirely and stick all kids in an isolation with a couple of self-tuition DVDs! Actually, raising children in high-tech control pods... never mind. And as much as I think Gove has had some odd educational positions as a Tory, I can't fault his reasoning that it's stuff like this that plays into the culture of fear and the assumption that someone who works with children is automatically a paedophile. Scarlet A.pngpostate 22:34, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Married to a music teacher here, specifically violin. Mostly one-on-one lessons, often with a parent or other adult minder in the next room, with a clear view of the lesson. Molding the shapes of both hands is flippin essential in the early stages. Touchless instruction of string instruments? I don't think so.
She has run evening groups at a local kid-music school. I helped, tuning the kids up beforehand, and flailing away with my own bow as a role model and back-bench wiseacre during the sessions. I had to get my criminal/sexual background (n.b. lack thereof) vetted by the state, and a certificate, before I could participate. That much of it makes sense, I suppose. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 02:27, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Ironic. Since I'm a pedophobe, I can't speak of experience with guiding children--with toddlers, I emulate Brave Sir Robin. I do, however, occasionally teach really basic introduction to computers at a senior adult center, and also had to get a criminal/sexual check. While it's pretty automatic for us, it actually can be a challenge getting someone to use a mouse for the first time -- and guiding a hand often is useful. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 07:21, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Interesting. I've often wondered about that with foreign language teachers in non-English nations. I can't speak for the whole world but if somebody is a native speaker in Spain they have a good chance of being employed by somebody. (What kind of money you can ask for is a different thing.) But I've never heard of anyone being asked for a background check before being left with kids. And there are some pretty weird people in this profession. Apart from the students passing through on the gap year, many of the "lifers" are really strange.--BobSpring is sprung! 12:36, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Late reply, I know, Bob, but I've given this some thought...
  • TEFL (or teaching ESL, English as a Second Language, as we call it in the States, since polyglottism can be a foreign concept here; folks tend to think that one either speaks English or doesn't, or is bilingual) may be done at a public distance without any need for touch. I suppose there might be occasional need to demonstrate the difference between an anglo handshake and a heartfelt abrazo, but isn't that a stretch?
  • I can easily believe that the lifers are a special breed. Having no doubt observed and catalogued their constellations of specialnesses, you probably have an inkling of how that comes about. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:50, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't find toddlers all that threatening. Kids of about eight or nine are a different story, m'kay? Way too easy for them to cast you in the role of the retarded adult. I think that is what made me a pedophobe until I fell in with a companion who presented me with some rug rats of our own. Brave Sir Robin's option was not then available.
About that same time I took some summer jobs teaching archery and marksmanship at a Boy Scout camp. There I discovered that eleven- and twelve-year old boys can be kindly disposed if you meet them in their own space. There again, the instruction couldn't all be done with demonstration and bellowing. Sometimes a quiet word and a steadying hand on the shoulder were the ticket to progress. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:13, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
If only we could have such a pleasant conversation on race and genetics. ~ Lumenos (talk) 12:49, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
What kind of pleasant conversation were you expecting when you start by proposing the creation of a master race? ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:38, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I put forth the position that supporting technocratically brute forcing our "genes" to "perfection" is bound to be more effective/faster than voluntary trans-generational selective breeding and you totally ignored it. )': Sen (talk) 23:15, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I didn't ignore it. I read it. It is an interesting possibility. But I don't talk to people I agree with. ; ) I mean you don't call that eugenics? I would call that eugenics cubed! I will go reply, however. ~ Lumenos (talk) 20:27, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Well I wasn't but I thought usually you get an even less pleasant conversation when making some of the above comments. One would think that if that could be discussed (or ignored) without passion, so could a thread on "eugenics". And it wasn't master "race" it was "races". Multicultural ones, at that. ~ Lumenos (talk) 20:33, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Eeeearrumm where they now have "pedophobe" I had read "pedophile" before now. Thus my comments. ~ Lumenos (talk) 01:29, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

It's like political correctness gone mad!! I don't think teachers should really be "banned" from doing anything. If it gets their job done they should be able to do it. Pegasus (talk) 00:48, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

It is not political correctness gone mad. From the article "A union training video says touching pupils could expose music tutors, who often teach in one-to-one sessions, to charges of inappropriate behaviour." - The union, quite correctly, warns its members that physical contact, however innocent, can be misconstrued and end with career wrecking allegations. No one is banning anything. Jack Hughes (talk) 14:06, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't think anyone who writes the words "political correctness gone mad" can do so with a straight face... Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:16, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I think writing anything at all with one's face is quite a challenge, straight or otherwise. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:45, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes sorry. I should have put a smiley face on there or something. Perhaps some people might say it's "political correctness" but we know it isn't really. Pegasus (talk) 17:05, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Has Sarah Palin been wronged?[edit]

Possible rival Tim Pawlenty smells blood and criticizes Palin for her crosshairs. The NY Times reported, "she and her aides were facing questions about whether the strategy that had served her so well since she resigned as Alaska’s governor 18 months ago was the right one to counter the criticism that she had helped encourage a potentially dangerous strain of antigovernment sentiment." Even though there is no evident connection with Loughner, Palin's brand continues to plummet. Is this fair? --Leotardo (talk) 17:00, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

(EC)Well, Palin is one of those politicians who thinks that it's perfectly okay to use military terminology and analogy in their rhetoric, and of course, all's fair in love and war. So from that point of view, yes, it's perfectly fair. Whether it's right or not, that's a different matter. More seriously this is, of course, politics, or more specifically US politics, where the name of the game is to try and control the Story (the image and accepted history as seen in the moderate public's mind) of each candidate and, as long as you don't out-and-out lie, most things would be considered fair, after all it can always be argued that it is each voter's responsibility to check the facts of what they believe about each candidate before they vote. As for specifically Palin, and the fact that her brand is plummeting, that was inevitable. She gained visibility as much through notoriety as through popularity and that's the kind of visibility that fades very quickly (think of her as a Big Brother contestant after that series of Big Brother has ended and you will see what I mean). Her brand was already plummeting before Arizona happened, the second season of the Alaska show that she was doing was cancelled and the viewing figures that she was getting for the first series I believe averaged out at less than 3.5 million, much lower than the axing threshold that most American Sci-Fi shows face (US sci-fi shows are considered a niche market and aren't expected to get the viewing figures that mainstream shows enjoy). 'Even though there is no evident connection with Loughner' , that one is tricky. Loughner is refusing to say what his particular trigger was. We can assume, from what information is given, that he held a grudge against Giffords prior to the posting of the poster, but it is interesting that he doesn't appear to have acted on that grudge until now, and that does suggest, or more than suggest, that whilst his motive was based on anti-establishment views that were then focused specifically on Giffords because of a perceived slight, that wasn't enough to set him off, it took something additional to set him off. Whether that additional factor was an additional build-up of anger or hate that was fuelled by anti-Democratic, anti-liberal, anti-establishment or anti-them rhetoric, or whether that trigger was a continually deteriorating state of mental health, or whether it was a little from column A and a little from column B, is impossible to know until he starts co-operating with the investigation.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 17:39, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I think it's unfair in one sense, in that she's being made a scapegoat for the entire right wing and their rhetoric which she just inherited, but didn't invent. The US right has been describing their opponents as traitors, destructive, corrupt, etc. etc. etc. for the last two decades as a matter of deliberate policy. It probably won't stop if you only Palin. Actually, it probably won't stop at all because it works, and they don't give a solitary shit about the consequences. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:15, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
While she doesn't have anything to do with the shooting, she set herself up as the most prominent and visible of the right-wingers engaging in this sort of propaganda. She profited disproportionally from it (second maybe only to Glenn Beck), and now she'll have to bear much of the backlash. Apart from that, it's high time that even her ardent fans begin to realize what an utterly thoughtless, incompetent, irresponsible and narcissistic fraud she is. If they see that she doesn't have anything to offer apart from her cookie-cutter right wing rhetoric, an asset that is now at least somewhat discredited, they'll hopefully turn away from her and leave her in obscurity. Which is all she deserves, so yes, I don't see anything unfair in her fate. And keep in mind that even if this is the end of her status as a national celebrity, she'll still have raked in upwards of $10 million during the last two years. Röstigraben (talk) 19:07, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
That's exactly how I feel. --Leotardo (talk) 15:57, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
There is no fairness in politics. Palin exploited a tide of sentiment and if it ebbs away then so be it. She came from nothing during the last election and like the reality show analogy she should probably fade away again. Let's look at what her contribution to the political landscape has been - she has a degree of physical attractiveness (or a lot when compared to the general body politic) and she's a maverick (and so is Loughner). Apart from a load of tea-party rhetoric I don't think she has made any concrete political suggestions (but being a Brit I may have missed them).  Lily Inspirate me. 15:55, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
(Done to impress Jodie Foster Sarah Palin  :-D  )

Civic Cat (talk) 19:30, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Eeny... meeney... miney...[edit]

Ok, fellow RWians, I'm turning to you for advice. I have a choice between seeing Imogen Heap or Rammstein. Sadly not both, as they're on successive days & one in Cape Town & one in Jo'burg. I like both - which should I go and watch?

Imogen Heap






--Ψ GremlinTal! 12:22, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes. --Idiot numbre 188 (talk) 12:41, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to stay Rammstein on the basis of the fact my brother-in-law is stationed at Rammstein AFB, as I have no other knowledge on which to base the decision. MDB (talk) 13:03, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Personally I'd risk the flamethrower to the face over the trendy singer-songwriter type, there's just no competition there. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:54, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I have seen Rammstein last summer in Québec city ( vip places ! ) Honestly , a great show even if i was not particularily a fan Great music, a lot of special effects; very impressive. Alain (talk) 16:29, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
There seems to be a sudden surge for Rammstein. Get your stompin' boots on. Scarlet A.pngpostate 23:15, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Schweet! Rammstein it is then. Thanks! --Ψ GremlinTal! 10:18, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

WND polls[edit]

I enjoy going to WorldNetDaily, putting on my crazy pants and trying to guess the number one answer of the loonies. The other day, they posed a question asking who else is to blame for Jared Laugner. For the first time ever, the number one answer is the most sensible. Obama is still the third most responsible, but this is still a big deal for me. How did they manage to get that right? Occasionaluse (talk) 15:48, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

At least punk rock isn't to blame. That answer being number one would make me want to go nout and kill people after I listened to The Exploited's song "Fuck a mod." Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 15:53, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
What was Tucson law enforcement supposed to do? I haven't read that Loughner's craziness was directly threatening before, and it's not against the law to be crazy in a way that simply makes people uncomfortable. --Leotardo (talk) 15:55, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Wow, there's some serious crazy amongst the various options. Pls explain to dis furriner what the "you bring a knife, we'll bring a gun" jab about Obama is. "American educational system and Bill Ayers' curriculum" WTF? Was Ayers tutering the guy. I like how only "left-wing" blogs and media are listed. Still, at least WND is right up there with the rest of the inhuman scum in trying to squeeze political gain from a tragedy. Again. --Ψ GremlinRunāt! 16:10, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
The "you bring a knife, we'll bring a gun" line is a quote from Obama, where he was quoting the film The Untouchables, describing "the Chicago Way".
As far as the American educational system goes, that has something to do with the fact the Bill Ayers, one of the great boogiemen of the right, apparently was vaguely connected with something used at Loughner's school. MDB (talk) 16:20, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
It's great how it's out of the question that all the violent right-wing rhetoric could possibly have anything to do with it, but that one statement by Obama is right up there. DickTurpis (talk) 16:27, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
It's WND. If they believed in global warming, they'd probably blame it on the fact Obama exhales warm air. MDB (talk) 17:21, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I often wonder why WND hides the poll results before you vote. I mean, its not like you can't predict the top answer just by saying to yourself "Hmm, which one of these answers represents the craziest right wing fundamentalist view of reality?" Might make an interesting contest to see who could pick out the top results on each poll without reading them. But then,a nyone here could do that with near 100% accuracy EternalCritic (talk) 04:22, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Crazy options, but at least they're roughly split 50/50 in a left/right kind of way. Slightly more honest than most ganz rechts news organisations manage.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 16:51, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Jared Loughner vs. Nidal Hassan[edit]

What is the difference between Jared Loughner and wp:Nidal Hassan? Both are mentally disturbed loners possibly influenced to kill by extremist rhetoric that appeals to crazy people. Why is one just a lunatic for whom it would be irresponsible to assume a political motive, while the other is an Islamist? --Leotardo (talk) 16:03, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Mostly because Hassan gave a motive. Laughner, as of this writing, is still refusing to talk. SirChuckBPenguin Knight, First Class 17:38, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Loughner has given plenty of motive, it's just incoherent to us. --Leotardo (talk) 17:44, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Ranting about lucid dreaming, illiteracy and schools being unconstitutional provides no motive for shooting 20 people. Hassan voiced clear motive that was religious-based. That's why he's considered an Islamist. Had Loughner been screaming Bible quotes as he shot away we'd be labeling him a Christian extremist. He didn't. In fact, he claimed to be an atheist. δij 02:01, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


I had some Indian (Elizabeth) phone me up yesterday saying that they had received a report that there was a problem with my hard-disk. She asked me to run a CMD box and type something in - E for elephant, V for victor, ... after wasting 5 minutes pointing out that E is echo and then getting confused with R for romeo, er "I thought you said alpha romeo", "No no not alpha, R is for romeo". SO the command was always misspelled and wouldn't run. Eventually I got passed on to the Technical Manager (Rebecca), "So what are you trying to sell me today?", "Are you so smart that you think we are trying to sell you something?" "Yes." "Please put the phone down you are wasting our time."  Lily Inspirate me. 16:16, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm not following any of this. You feeling okay? DickTurpis (talk) 16:23, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Fine, I just enjoyed wasting their time.  Lily Inspirate me. 16:30, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I find it insulting when given an English name; not by the operators, but by the companies who make them do that. --Leotardo (talk) 16:44, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Since I started working from home I've been getting Indian scam calls every other day. I had one today, someone asking me if I've been having problems with my Sky TV box. "Well, the only problem I have with my Sky TV box is that it doesn't exist" "*click*". Actually that's a good point, they're so rude these days they don't even bother signing off. As soon as they realise you're not going to fall for it or that you're not a viable target they just hang up. Cunts. If you're going to bug me while I'm working at least have the common decency to say "thank you, goodbye". CrundyTalk nerdy to me 17:06, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
A friend of mine from an old job who recently moved to Glasgow to be with her fiancee told me she had an interview for a telesales job. I immediately disowned her. SJ Debaser 17:17, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I used to get regular calls from the "we're calling from your credit card company" scammers. It amused me to ask them either "which bank issued my card?" or "which type of card do I have?" (And good luck to them guessing the bank -- it's a tiny credit union.) MDB (talk) 17:20, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I get emails from HSBC asking me to confirm account details. They'd be slightly more believable if I was with that bank. MDB, wasn't it you that was saying ages ago your Facebook friend who you hadn't spoken to you in years started messaging you asking for money? SJ Debaser 18:03, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Yep, that was me. It was the "I'm on vacation in London and got mugged at gunpoint" trick. MDB (talk) 18:12, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
That's ridiculous. I live in London and have only been robbed at gunpoint a few times, and only shot once. SJ Debaser 18:28, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Afterwards, I did think.... wait a minute, isn't gun crime incredibly rare in England? MDB (talk) 18:31, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Not as rare as it should be, although about two/three/four years ago, knife and gun crime seemed to be depressingly frequent. Whether or not media sensationalism had anything to do with that, I'm not sure. SJ Debaser 11:01, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I always laughed when I get 'about your credit card' calls due to the fact that I haven't had credit card in well over a decade. (And I don't count debit cards in this, and they aren't calling about those anyway...) - Ravenhull (talk) 10:43, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
When I was in college I worked for a reputable public opinion polling company. Ugh, it was awful, and you really, really understand first hand how uninformed people are with their opinions. I used to enjoy the 'fucking with me' things, like people acting like they are having sex while they gave me their opinions about the Kansas City Star or some Congressional candidate. --Leotardo (talk) 17:23, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually, what is pissing me right off recently is that I've been getting random phone calls and when you answer them you hear nothing for a few seconds and then a click and someone goes "Hello? Hello?" in an Indian accent, of course, you immediately assume "telemarketing" and hang up... except no, it's HSBC calling me to tell me my account is heavily overdrawn and I need to transfer them some cash pronto. No problem as I have £150 always spare to shuttle between accounts every few weeks to keep the overdraft happy - except could these morons please use something other than the telemarketing style random call and connect thing and actually introduce themselves as a bank first! Fucksake. </rant> Scarlet A.pngpostate 19:38, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Spoiled person. Mine sends me a letter. As in a physical, dumb matter, made out of tree corpses, easily lost, second class, letter. Funny how they have no problem sending me sms messages every friday telling me the account balance, but can't notify of overdrafts the same way. Sen (talk) 22:53, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Them darn Muslims[edit]

Here's a nice list of ancient Islamic scientists.  Lily Inspirate me. 16:50, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

It's too bad there aren't any modern ones who have had an impact. --Leotardo (talk) 16:59, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I very much doubt that that is true. Visit a science/engineering research department in any major international university & you'll find dozens of students from Arabic and Islamic countries. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:09, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I wasn't suggesting that the Arabic/Islamic countries are devoid of science and engineering. Just that you will be hardpressed to find one, less a handful, who have had a modern impact in the field. I'm up for being corrected on this. --Leotardo (talk) 19:24, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Erm, not quite. That's a list of Arabic scientists who happened to muslims because of where they lived. Great work by them though. It's a bit similar to a certain person's claim that Newton's work was based on christianity, when he was simply a scientist who happened to be a christian (due to the time in which he lived). DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 18:18, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Not really, since that article isn't particularly attributing these scholars' work to religious inspiration, though some seem to be related to practicalities of Islam such as finding the correct angle to face Mecca & calculating inheritance according to Islamic lore. It's specifically a list of Arabic scientists rather than Muslim ones, although as you say they would have Muslim because of their culture. & Even if they may have been inspired by religious fervour, that neither validates nor invalidates their achievements. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:09, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
You talking to me? </deniro> Your somewhat cavalier approach to linear posting has left me wondering to whom you are responding. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 19:26, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Well that's where LQT could solve the problem... just saying. Anyway, it's fairly uncontroversial that scholars in the Islamic Golden Age were highly successful. Having developed the scientific method, empirical and experimental rigour and many forms of communication and publishing years before Francis Bacon. What is slightly more controversial is what role the religious fundamentalisation of Islam played in the downfall of science and technology in the period - although this is mostly "controversial" because it says something bad about religion, there are plenty of signs that point to dogma and doctrine overruling science and reason towards the end of the 12-13th Centuries. Scarlet A.pngpostate 19:30, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
The article says Arabic scientists--and a few were in Persia it seems. Nor are we sure that they were Islamic.Civic Cat (talk) 19:34, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article on Al-Hassan ibn al-Haitham says he was either Arab or Persian, and a Shiite.Civic Cat (talk) 19:38, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article on Omar Khayyaam says he was Persian and not particularly religious.

"Robertson (1914) believes that Khayyám was not devout and had no sympathy for popular religion,[26] but the verse: "Enjoy wine and women and don't be afraid, God has compassion," suggests that he might not have been an atheist. He further believes that it is almost certain that Khayyám objected to the notion that every particular event and phenomenon was the result of divine intervention. Nor did he believe in an afterlife with a Judgment Day or rewards and punishments. Instead, he supported the view that laws of nature explained all phenomena of observed life. One hostile orthodox account of him shows him as "versed in all the wisdom of the Greeks" and as insistent that studying science on Greek lines is necessary.[26] Roberston (1914) further opines that Khayyám came into conflict with religious officials several times, and had to explain his views on Islam on multiple occasions; there is even one story about a treacherous pupil who tried to bring him into public odium. He then wrote that Khayyám "performed pilgrimages not from piety but from fear" of his contemporaries who divined his unbelief."Civic Cat (talk) 19:43, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Still another Persian, Al-Razi, seemed to have had little use for religion.Civic Cat (talk) 19:46, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
This Persian---Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī--might have been a Zoroastrian. Here's a link to the Hindu Arabic numeral system. The Indians did it first.  :-D  Civic Cat (talk) 19:59, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

What article should this be stuck in?[edit]


CP/McCarthyism to a tee, methinks. Any ideas? Should this be in WIGO CP? Is this desperately unfunny? Should you disregard this on the basis of my sucking cocks? Webbtje (talk) 12:30, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Nowhere really. Maybe Conservapedia:RobSmith? Rob warming up before editing the Obama article? And no, we will not disregard this because you suck coks. We will disregard this because you are a 'orrible little man, in need of a good spanking and being sent to bed with no supper. Or something. --Ψ Gremlin講話 12:35, 13 January 2011 (UTC)


RationalWiki has no article on anagrams. Perhaps it should, if only to document this one:

hydrogen + zirconium + tin + oxygen + rhenium + platinum + tellurium + terbium + nobelium + chromium + iron + cobalt + carbon + aluminum + ruthenium + silicon + ytterbium + hafnium + sodium + selenium + cerium + manganese + osmium + uranium + nickel + praseodymium + erbium + vanadium + thallium + plutonium
nitrogen + zinc + rhodium + helium + argon + neptunium + beryllium + bromine + lutetium + boron + calcium + thorium + niobium + lanthanum + mercury + fluorine + bismuth + actinium + silver + cesium + neodymium + magnesium + xenon + samarium + scandium + europium + berkelium + palladium + antimony + thulium

(and it's doubly-true: the atomic number totals equate also) ONE / TALK 13:23, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Very impressive. What is aluminum? Bondurant (talk) 15:20, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
It is a reduction of bauxite, mostly found in America. In other parts of the English-speaking world those poor sods must make do with aluminium, a poor substitute, and easily fatigued. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:39, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm crap at anagrams, although I did come up with a good one once when a trainee teacher called Luke Sadowski was on the news for getting arrested in a police child porn sting:
Teacher, Luke Sadowski = weakhearted sick soul
But then someone trumped me with:
Teacher, Luke Sadowski = real weak, touches kids
CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:46, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I've known my wife for almost exactly six years now and we still argue about pronouncing Aluminium. But then I'm a Brit and she's an Oregonian. Darkmind1970 (talk) 16:55, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Wasn't it that the guy who formally studied called at aluminum, but IUPAC or whatever the relevant authority was wanted it to fit in with the -ium trend, resulting in some transatlantic side-taking? (talk) 18:14, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes. That's exactly what it is. And all you Europeans failing to respect our obvious superiority on the subject. On that note, a flashlight is never, ever, a "torch". (one of my neighbor's when I was younger got married to an Aussie, and we used to pick on each other for such things.. it was especially funny, as I do mostly understand weird british idioms, but no one else seems to. So I was the only one able to provide him with a "torch" when they lost power) Quarudriptray - You can't explain that! 19:23, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I think it's Michael McIntyre who had some stand up on American terminology - namely about how it was always weirdly descriptive and functional; it's not a pavement, it's a "side" "walk" as if it's too complicated to know that a pavement is where you "walk" and it's to the "side" of the road... and so on. Scarlet A.pngpostate 19:56, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah! like driveways. And parkways. Damnit! And on that note.. Conversation at University: Other guy: "If it's called 'Fish and Chips' why does it come with fries?" Me: "Well, it's a British dish?" Him: "And?" Me: "They call french fries 'chips'" Him: "Then WTF do they call chips?" Me: "Crisps" Him: "That's fuckin' retarded" So take that, brits. Quarudriptray - You can't explain that! 20:12, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I'd be most annoyed if my local chippy gave me fries with my fish and chip supperAMassiveGay (talk) 21:10, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I understand that the real reason Britain resisted merging its currency with that of the EU is that people wanted to continue, when necessary, to spend a penny, rather than Euronate. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 22:30, 13 January 2011 (UTC)


I found a funny. Javasca₧ no fate but what we make 18:02, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Cyanide and Happiness? Welcome to the internet, comrade! - VezzyRattlehead (talk) 18:08, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
I'd date her.  :-D  Civic Cat (talk) 20:20, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Not me, she's too sticky. No, wait... what's the adjective to "a stick"? --Idiot numbre 188 (talk) 20:24, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Any noun will do.  :-D  Civic Cat (talk) 20:41, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Been there. ~ Lumenos (talk) 05:49, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Heh, heh, heh[edit]

This. Not going to get anywhere mind, but I wonder how long Beck would last if you paid for a full page ad say, in the NYTimes, quoting Beck's worst moments and excesses.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:55, 13 January 2011 (UTC)


Pretty amazing fellow. Imagine what else it could do. Like write my English essay for me in about 5 seconds. ~SuperHamster Talk 06:14, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

On extremist rhetoric in general[edit]

It looks as if Loughner was "just" a whackjob not especially affiliated with the right or the left. Perhaps he was set off by extremist rhetoric, but considering he was a seriously deranged person, me might just as well been set off because Starbucks fucked up his order one day. We may never know.

However, there have been other cases where there have been individuals quite clearly inflamed by extremist rhetoric who took, or planned to take, actions of extreme violence.

Now, you could argue that all of criminals in those cases were deranged to some degree or another. But it seems apparent that this type of rhetoric is inflaming people. Yes, ultimately, people are responsible for their own actions. But if I repeatedly tell you "Bob is plotting against you. Bob wants to hurt you. Bob is coming for your family" and you eventually go out and shoot Bob, don't I bear some responsibility? MDB (talk) 17:26, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Responsibility is difficult, if not impossible, to prove in that sort of case. Undoubtedly thousands of inflammatory remarks are made every day but not all are acted upon. Therefore it's only in hindsight that you can attribute an action to otherwise detached remarks made about something or someone. For example, would RationalWiki be held to account if someone was to send a letter bomb to Ramanand Jhingade, Esther Hicks or any number of people we're critical of? The line between something that is critical and something that is inflammatory or incitement is very blurred, and usually only after the murder or attack do we start to crystallise this line into something more absolute. Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:31, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Good point, but
  1. RationalWiki doesn't have a fraction of the audience Glenn Beck does.
  2. RationalWiki doesn't speak to a group that thinks in terms of "Second Amendment Solutions".
    1. RationalWiki generally speaks to people who enjoy mocking their opponents.
MDB (talk) 17:57, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Also, legal responsibility may be hard to prove, but moral responsibility is something only your own conscience can convict you of. Did Glenn Beck feel anything at all when someone went to shoot up the Tides Foundation? MDB (talk) 18:19, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I watched the Daily Show where Jon Stewart talks about it, and to be honest his speech nearly brought me to tears. "When the reality of that rhetoric, when actions match the disturbing nature of words, we haven't lost our capacity to be horrified. And, please God, let us hope we never do." The part that made me almost burst into tears is that, even as he's speaking, there are nutjobs out there using this to score political points for their side. It sickens me, to be honest, that people can take death an tragedy like this and turn it into another goalpost for their election plans. Then again, These Fuckers are predictable, as always. -- CodyH (talk) 18:29, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Let's not get too smug. A lot of people on the Left, and I include myself in that number, immediately jumped to the conclusion, or at least wondered if, the shooter was a Tea Partier. And that number included people with media platforms. MDB (talk) 18:31, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
+1. I don't think that point can be overstated from a rationalist POV. What we need to analyse is media whoring and knee-jerking and both ends of the political spectrum do that quite a bit. It's completely forgivable for people to want to build narratives and motives and explanations (it's how the human mind works) but it's a different thing entirely to do so without evidence or indications. Scarlet A.pngpostate 19:15, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
And also remember that as recently as the Sixties, violently extreme rhetoric was common on the Left, and not just rhetoric, actions too. And while the American left is largely non-violent now, you still have environmental and animal rights extremists who are willing to discuss, and even use, violence (though most of it is directed at property and not lives.) MDB (talk) 19:22, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
All I can say in defense of my own knee-jerking is that a Teabagger flipping out and killing someone seems VERY PLAUSIBLE these days. --Gulik (talk) 00:07, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
A line of argument that I have often heard from the right is: if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck... - not the most scientific line of reasoning but accepted by the vast majority. I think there was a lot of duck-like behaviour in this case. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 10:59, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

A brief disclaimer[edit]

I should point out that the Knoxville UU Church shooting affected me deeply. I'm from Knoxville originally, and one of the people there that day, who ended up being the church's unofficial media spokesman after the shooting, was a college classmate of mine. Further, I can't help but think that if I still lived in Knoxville, I'd have known a lot more people that were there, if not been there myself, considering how small the progressive community is in Knoxville. So, please forgive me if I'm a little emotional about this issue. MDB (talk) 18:45, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

The Young Turks[edit]

I have become a bit of a fan recently of this YouTube channel. The other day they spent sixteen minutes detailing out the violent threats made against liberals these last ten years and the number of violent acts or potentially violent acts in the last two years, including people that started shooting the police because they were paranoid the government was coming to take their guns (remember that when Obama was first elected). This has been more than an isolated incident of anti-Government violence. - π 00:46, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

I saw that too. It was great - Cenk just blew me away with his segment. Darkmind1970 (talk) 11:36, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Angry Cenk is always fun to watch. Although I'm impressed by the butthurt in the comments. "How dare liberals blame this tragedy on the right!!" - say the same sort of people who blamed the Columbine shootings on atheism and evolution. You know, the fact that I wouldn't outright attribute Giffords' shooting to politics doesn't mean I weep tears of sympathy for the wingnuts claiming persecution. Scarlet A.pngpostate 16:21, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Speaking of YouTube[edit]

Has this been mentioned? (Gabrielle Giffords warns Sarah Palin there will be consequences) Him (talk) 05:48, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Creepy. - π 05:53, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Will this world survive?[edit]

I was just walking back from the shop and got given a pamphlet from a Jehovah's Witness. Fortunately I had my iPod on at the time and was listening to Toot and the Maytals, so the guy couldn't engage me properly. I've just thumbed through it, and it's basically five pages of Old Testament quotes, saying the end of the world is nigh, and begins with "Has a world ever really ended before? Yes, a world did end. Consider the world that became very wicked in the days of Noah." I haven't seen a great deal of religious propaganda writings like this. Are all Jehovah's biblical literalists, as in Global Flood, creation, etc.? SJ Debaser 15:30, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Every one of them I've known has been, and then some. Jehovah's Witnesses are kooky. Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 15:32, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Aye-ay-aya! Aye-ay-aya! You were hugging up the big monkey man! As for the Jobos, yes, biblical literals they be. I always engage them, as most of the ones I've met actually know very little about the bible, other than the choice quotes they learn rote. I normally have them saying "erm, we've got to go now..." DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 15:50, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I actually feel a bit sorry for them in a way. They're convinced the world will be destroyed and they will ascend into heaven, except by their teaching the gates of heaven are closed and so they'll have to stay on earth, which has been destroyed (oh, but when the earth gets full up they get to live on the moon, or something). They preach about being saved from the end of the world which is going to happen any day now, and yet it doesn't. Time drifts along and one by one they pop their cloggs like the rest of us, with nowhere to go because they can't get into heaven and the earth isn't ready for them yet, on account of the world's destruction not happening. They set dates for the end of the world time and time again and the date comes and goes time and time again. Sad really. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:22, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I remember reading one of their Watchtower pamphlets years ago, and yes, they believe the Bible is literally true. They explained it thusly: Is the Bible true? Yes! It says so in the Bible! DickTurpis (talk) 16:36, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Ways of dealing with such persons:

Bring in black pudding, blood doning and suchlike.

'I am a very busy Rational/other-wiki-of-choice-ian: can I convert you?'

'Actually I am waiting for Ragnorak/other doomsday of choice. (talk) 16:33, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Ragnorak? What movie is that from? --Idiot numbre 188 (talk) 17:30, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I think it's this one, with a smattering of lutefisk. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:37, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

I never really understood the religion. Only 144,000 people can get into heaven, it's a primarily a Calvinistic school of though (pre-determinism, you are saved or dammed no matter what)...isn't it a cosmic joke to have 18 million converts and less then 1% predetermined to be saved after a life of devotion? Why not live if it didn't matter what you did? If we are supposed to have free will and our actions are being judged, why are we damned/saved before we can even make the choices? Is that really a good definition of a fair and loving deity?

I loved asking these questions, it was an easy way to get a witness red in the face and raving mad. ~ Subsound ~ 15:54, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


You know, I was going to post about a Jehovah's witness coming around all the time, but didn't get around to it. When my step-dad passed away 2 years ago, the vultures started coming around every month to hand us their literature, to help us through our difficult times.. And I hope no one's mentioned this, but maybe. Last November's issue of "Awake!" was all about the evil atheists on the move, and how they should "keep their opinions to themselves, and let others worship in peace" or some such claptrap. I found the irony very delicious. Took me a bit to find it, the above was written from memory, as my wife chucks that crap out the moment she find it, so here: November 2010 Awake! "A NEW group of atheists has arisen in society. Called the new atheists, they are not content to keep their views to themselves. Rather, they are on a crusade, “actively, angrily, passionately trying to persuade the religious to their point of view"." What jerks. Stop trying to convert people to your point of view, Atheists!! Quarudriptray - You can't explain that! 19:52, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

I wonder if they researched that from Conservapedia? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 10:52, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Banning Funeral Protests[edit]

Arizona has passed a law banning protests at funerals.

It's clearly directed at the plans of the Westboro Baptist Church to picket at the funeral of the nine year old victim of the Arizona shooting.

I'm of mixed feelings on this. One the one hand, protesting a funeral is a horrible act, especially when it's the funeral of an innocent little girl.

On the other hand, the entire point of free speech is to protect controversial and offensive speech; what's the point of the freedom of speech is you're only allowed to say nice things?


MDB (talk) 17:27, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Free speech has limits. I would think that everybody should be able to agree that invading such a personal and heart-wrenching moment to simply scream offensive and hateful language, especially when the deceased is not a public figure, nor are they in any way connected to the cause you are "protesting" certainly falls into a protected zone. Speaking just for Arizona, I love how they know that this will probably be thrown out by the courts, but not in time to allow WBC a platform. SirChuckBCall the FBI 17:42, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
WBC has announced they won't protest the funeral of the little girl. --Leotardo (talk) 17:45, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Ah, they took the bargain that's worked well for them in the past -- media time in exchange for not protesting. MDB (talk) 17:55, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
(EC) Good taste has limits. Using the law in this way is heavy handed. I fail to see what point WBC could possibly make other than that they are hateful people, however, I can well imagine that there might be inflamed passions on both sides so preventing access by WBC might be seen as a public order issue.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:48, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Yep. As I said earlier, it's just a publicity stunt. Scarlet A.pngpostate 19:06, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Come to think of it, I'm saying "publicity stunt" as if that's better - it's far worse to do it for that sort of reason. I'd be far happier if the WBC actually grew a pair and carried out half their threats and stunts these days, rather than building a media story and quietly doing away with it. Fucking assholes. Scarlet A.pngpostate 19:32, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
I must be missing something here. Why would they want to picket the funeral? What point is it that they wish to make that this law will prevent them from making?--BobSpring is sprung! 19:47, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
If you want to get technical, they're not so much picketing the funeral as using the funeral as an excuse to picket to remind people of their views. They think the shootings were a sign of God's hatred of America. MDB (talk) 19:54, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, it's more a "LOOK AT US LOOK AT US GOD-DAMMIT LOOK AT US!!!" and doing it somewhere they can get a lot of attention, hence funerals. They've never really protested a funeral, more used the fact that they know it's tasteless to gather media attention. This is why banning them from making their points plays into their hands. Also, lets think of anyone who donated to the "angel wings" project and has effectively lost money now that WBC have cancelled. Scarlet A.pngpostate 21:03, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

(undent) Before looking at the speech and legal aspects, I remind all that Phelps & Co. were not especially prepared for counterprotests at Comic-Con]. Still, Comic-Con didn't go far enough. I picture a group of counterprotesters, alongside WBC, mostly in pink and lavender, with signs referring to the sexual desirability of selected WBC members. A few really bad drag queens, and more standard leathermen/leatherwomen, would help.

Absolutely legal psychological warfare. WBC seems to have a strategy of provoking people into attacking them and suing; let's see how it works when the motorcycle boots and stilleto heels are on the other foot.

There is some interesting case law that restricts protests against people deemed especially vulnerable, such as hospitalized patients.

Armondikov, I respectfully disagree that they are assholes. The anus has several useful purposes -- where else would you put a rectal thermometer? No, I don't think WBC qualifies. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 22:13, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I knew I would be insulting the humble pooper with that comparison. Comic-Con was a classic, it was measured, good-natured and quite absurdest. Going a little further would be interesting (there was a similar "kiss-in" for the Pope, for those who may not remember!) but I think the absurdum point has already been made so it's best to now hit them where it hurts and starve them of the publicity (not going to happen, of course, even me sat here discussing it gives them the publicity! But you never know when people will get truly bored of this shite). Scarlet A.pngpostate 23:20, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
The major problem is this is all about the publicity for WBC. The Arizona state legislature knows that this won't stand up in appeals, and the WBC, well staffed full of lawyers will just show up anyway, be arrested, and file a nice fat lawsuit for violating their free speech rights. WBC counts on this as it supplies their continued funding. They effectively put themselves in a no lose situation, as they always do. Unless the supreme court would actually back a free expression restriction, which they will never do, they know how to play the law precisely to their advantage. EternalCritic (talk) 04:31, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
The biggest problem with the counter protest idea is that it doesn't stop the actual protest. By that I mean, for comic-con and such, no one really cared that they were there. The people who went there most likely know who the WBC were, what their deal was, and were ready to laugh at them. The counter-protesters were just having some fun (as well as doing some good), and the whole affair was just a decent laugh, frankly.
But that only works when their targets are something silly, like a play or nondescript public event. When it's a funeral, the counter-protest doesn't really do much good. I mean, again, I like the idea of following them around with oiled up mostly naked guys who dance around them the whole time, but that doesn't do the friends and family of the deceased much good when there's this giant clusterfuck going on within sight of the coffin. That's not the counter-protesters fault, but it doesn't really address the main issue of them showing up at all. I really don't like the idea of banning any form of expression either, though.
Eternal has it right, above me. They've put themselves in a no-lose situation, and they always do. Once you understand that they really, really just don't give a flying fuck what anyone else thinks about them, and that they're on pretty solid legal ground, there's not much you can do about them. X Stickman (talk) 10:17, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

I glanced at some news reports, but I can't do indepth googling from here at work, but did WBC actually show up yesterday at the girl's funeral? They do have a history of saying they'll show up, and not doing so, though we all wish they would use that tactic far far more... - Ravenhull (talk) 10:39, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

And the ACLU would literally have no choice but to defend them on that... Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:01, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
The Phelps family is largely made up of civil rights attorneys. They Neither want nor need the ACLU's help. EternalCritic (talk) 19:44, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Portray Phelps as a Satanist. Not by conservative religious leaders. He's immune to their pablum. Hit 'em in a way that the WBC can't hit back.

Try this.
You know how he remakes pop songs. The same could be done to him.

Make a video. Have children sing.

"Fred Phelps hates the little children. All the children of the world.
Yellow, brown, black, and white.
They are god-damned in his sight.
Fred Phelps hates the little children of the world."

Or do a version of this video. Replace "bitch" with "wretch," and "Kyle's Mom" with "Fred Phelps."


  :-D  Civic Cat (talk) 21:00, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


I was checking here and Wikipedia on Raëlism.
Came across these.
Here's the pic (and here's the article).

While we're at it, is this music video ("GAYE BYKERS ON ACID GIT DOWN PROMO") racist?Civic Cat (talk) 20:41, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Ace? Is that you? --Kels (talk) 01:29, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't know. Kids these days. The Raelian pic looks worse, but then they seem like they are trying to honour Africans. I would say I don't think either one makes black people look bad. ~ Lumenos (talk) 01:43, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Fuck. I forgot I still have to finish reading the copy of Rael's book I own. Thanks for reminding me. Fuck. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 01:45, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Just to be clear: No, I didn't buy it. It was given to me (actually, I think he loaned it to me and I just never returned it) by one of the high-up people in the UK branch of the cult. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 01:48, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Here's the only Ace I know of, save for Ace Freely. [2], [3], [4], [5], [6]. Them topless babes is cute though.  :-D  Civic Cat (talk) 20:40, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

What the hell has happened?[edit]

Alan Keyes is making sense for once (right up until the last line at least). - π 06:21, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Well, anyone who opens with a Sherlock Holmes quote has quite a bit to live up to. And yeah, it makes sense; although you can still see it's nothing more than an attack on liberals. Replacing "liberal" with "elite" as if he was referring to pundits and leaders on all sides of the spectrum but it's clearly meant to mean "liberal elitists". In the middle of a "national crisis" - that would probably mean health care reform and the fear the US is slipping into Communism (haha!). He's just taken an anti-left rant and dressed it up as an anti-partisan rant. Still, you're right, the meat of the point about liberty and danger is fairly true. Scarlet A.pngpostate 12:19, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


We all know about the terrible Oz floods, but there's also Brazil and SA. Given the snow storms up north and the rain down south, only a moron would continue to say that nothing's wrong. --Ψ GremlinSiarad! 14:05, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

You're right. We must scour our souls to find what we've done to offend god and appease him without delay. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 14:55, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Sacrifice more virgins! Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 14:56, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
No! I'm not ready to die just yet. oh... wait... --Ψ GremlinRunāt! 15:02, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Don't worry, I think that only works for volcanoes anyway. I think floods call for the sacrifice of clean animals. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 15:04, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
In seriousness, though, we have a larger population and a wider ability to broadcast events like this, and of course the possibility of statistical clustering... so I'm not sure we can say something is going incredibly "wrong" as such. The environment is always going to have more confounding variables than you're aware of. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:12, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Whilst there is much truth in what you say the increase in extreme weather conditions is outstripping the increase in, for example, volcanic eruptions - see this WP article. If it was all better information exchange you would expect the two to correlate. Jack Hughes (talk) 16:15, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't doubt that climate change leads to this sort of thing (having 20% of a degree directly relating to environmental science). But it's still worth remembering that reporting of events can easily exaggerate the severity of the increases. Flooding, for instance, can be affected by flood defence failures and where settlements are placed. If your flood defences work, then you have little or no flooding, but when they fail you definitely hear about it. While I don't think this explains 100% of the increases we see, it's something that should be remembered whenever the subject is broached. Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:17, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Incidentally, here are the flood levels in a pub near me. Though I think the image may be out of date as I'm sure there's few more from the 00s up there now. Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:22, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Of course, I have to sigh at the comments (just skip straight to "best" comments) in this recent Mail article. I'm not going to mince words, if you think a bit of ice confined to one country for one winter says that global temperature increases are false you're a fucking idiot. Scarlet A.pngpostate 18:23, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Except for "Hugh, UK, 14/1/2011 12:57". As you can see, there's a very notable correlation between people who "believe" in global warming and people who know what they're talking about when it comes to climate science. Scarlet A.pngpostate 18:24, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia vs Britannica[edit]


Okay, so this Nature study is now a few years old (mentioned in a recent BBC article). But I'm really not surprised by it. As much as WP's critics like to say "anyone can edit it and put in something wrong" that applies equally to "anyone can edit it and remove something wrong". And they can do it quick. The thing about science is that it is constantly being updated and improved - so WP's system I believe is far superior to any other for science. With humanities like history it may not be, as collaborative editing might dilute the structure and order of the wordy and convoluted essays expected of such subjects, but science is a different thing when it comes to both development and writing style. If you can't immediately correct a fact then you will have a problem keeping your information up to date, and the rate that science can be studied and improved means that this is a far bigger problem. A suitably out of date copy of Britiannica may well say that the atom is modelled like a plum pudding. Scarlet A.pngpostate 16:00, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I remember while working at my sister's school, doing networking BS, we found an old copy of some dictionary. Not that we did much with it, but thought it'd be funny to look up "computer". "one who computes". When I was at university, I had to take a "Senior Seminar", essentially a bunch of seniors discussing the implications of new technology. The instructor had a beef against wikipedia, and my counter was, "Yeah, that's why we don't use Linux, since anyone can just modify it, it's less secure and more prone to hackers! Oh wait.." (in the CS department, we only had linux machines) I tried to get across that even if you assume absurd statistics, like 25% of wikipedia editors are wandals, that still leave 3 people to instantaneously fix BS.. He didn't really get it. That was actually a common thing. I guess that's what happens when you have the oldest faculty member teach about "bleeding edge" topics. Quarudriptray - You can't explain that! 16:20, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
One of my lecturers wasn't against wikipedia as a whole (although it was against university policy to allow it as a source/reference for papers), but he did repeatedly tell people to be wary of it. His reasoning was that although mistakes can be reverted, you might catch the page between the wandalism and the correction. Some things have been left up there for a long time simply because the page isn't particularly popular (or because everyone who notices it thinks it's funny), and you might be unlucky and end up getting some lies when you're researching.
That said, anyone doing any academic research at all shouldn't be using *any* encyclopaedia for anything more than simple definitions, really. Use it as a starting point and move on. That's where wikipedia is more useful than most people give it credit for; it's very easy to trace the sources it uses, which are better for research anyway. X Stickman (talk) 18:25, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh Gods, yes. Got to love the ref list, makes the visits to the library one hellava lot easier.
Whenever I have a research paper to do, I go to Wikipedia first thing, mostly because almost all the articles have a handy reference finder right at the bottom to speed along my search for relevant material. It's also great in a non-research sense when I don't know something about a topic and need a quick idea of what it's all about. In that same line, CP is great when I don't know something about a topic and want to find out why all athiests are fat. SirChuckBCall the FBI 18:36, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I think most people are adopting the approach that "Wikipedia is fine as a first port of call, but it's NOT okay for it to be the last or only reference". And I think anyone who knows anything about Wikipedia would be hard pushed to disagree with that, it's very important that you know how to use it properly; i.e., read the summary, check the references and read those, check the talk page for disputes and then try somewhere other than WP to see if it agrees. So long as it's used like that (if you want to use it for academic learning), it's a fantastic thing to have available. In the undergraduate practical marking I'm doing now I can tell which students have been to Wikipedia because they all use the exact same two references and make (almost) the exact same summary of the references (well, they're 2nd years, they don't any better at this point). The more honest ones say "references compiled from Wikipedia". The better ones actually get off their arses and read those references and you can tell in their writing and what they say about them. Of course, the mark scheme says nothing about this in a formal sense so it really just determines whether I give them a smiley face or a snarkcastic comment. My favourite being the time when one student copied the first half of the relevant WP paragraph and his partner copied the second half of it! Well, maybe the derogatory comment I left for them was a little unprofessional but, frankly, they deserved it.
It makes me feel quite old because when I did the exact same undergraduate practical only a few years ago WP was still this very "new" thing and no one really knew how to react to it properly. Indeed, it's only reasonably recently that academic tutors have started thinking properly about how to cite the internet in their references. Increasingly, things found on YouTube are being used and cited. Most progressive and non-technophobic lecturers seem to be for this, but no one's found a good, consistent attitude towards it yet. Scarlet A.pngpostate 19:50, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Are things found on youtube accepted as legitimate citations?
I see Wikipedia as a grand experiment in epistemological sociology that has gone very far from wrong pretty much right in many respects. Us oldphartz are still unaccustomed to the fluvial transience of its morphology, it seems. I am old enough to remember citing a paper encyclopedia being frowned upon. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:14, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Interviews and such. Pretty much the way we'd cite someone saying x, y or z. But as I said, it's mostly the very progressive humanities lecturers who are okay with it. You just have to be honest about where you get your information from, and if YouTube hosts your source, you have to cite YouTube. There are also some lectures posted online - MIT podcasts are apparently very good - that would make adequate citations for information. I don't see it as any different to merely citing an academic textbook, which are just collections of information that are, in principle, exactly the same as an encyclopaedia. Scarlet A.pngpostate 21:03, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Of course, the casual user (say, when did roller derby become popular again? Oh, WP said this...) doesn't really bother with the refs, but that's fine. Most stuff of that nature is pretty accurate and even if it's off marginally it's no big deal. That's a lot of what I've seen it used for, conversations of that nature, or simply wandering through and learning the broad strokes of various things for pleasure. --Kels (talk) 16:18, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

The politics of encyclopedias aside, I work in IT when someone wants to provide a 101 brief on some topic they invariably point to a wiki article. I agree that it isn't the best source for "serious" research but it is an excellent jumping off point for all of the reasons named above. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 17:06, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Many kinds of awesome[edit]

Pumping tunes + drugs + video games - an unbeatable combo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOefIDXP_rs

DogP (I buggered up my sig) (talk) 17:46, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Wow, another more or less pointless faux 8-bit video set to pretty average techno to toss on the pile. Thanks! --Kels (talk) 05:42, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

An interesting read:[edit]

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/01/tweeting-tyrants-out-of-tunisia.ars Sen (talk) 12:37, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

some rather bad taste PR moves by Twitter to claim credit.Geni (talk) 18:35, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Ship of Spies[edit]

Heard this interesting documentary about a security and intelligence themed lecture cruise on Radio 4. Although it sounds like the sort of thing that RobS might go on it's actually a bit scarey. As it's BBC radio non UK residents can also listen to it. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 14:59, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Laptop help please...[edit]

Yo, I know there are many computer geeks enthusiasts on here so forgive me if I may seek some assistance. The Missus has got a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop, running XP (it runs like an absolute piece of shit but she won't let me put Ubuntu on it for her). Anyway, in the last few days the left mouse button (on the touchpad) has stopped working, initially I thought it was a dodgey button, but tapping the touchpad itself doesn't work either. The right button is fine. To prove how shit windows is and show that the problem lie there, I fired up a USB install of Ubuntu, yet the problem is still the same; the left button doesn't register, and neither does tapping the pad. What the feck is going on? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 17:26, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

The fact that tapping it on the pad doesn't work makes me think that the button is stuck. Do things become selected as you mouse over them? If not, it's probably fucking broken. If that was the case go to (in Ubuntu, I'm assuming there is some windows analog to this procedure which I wish you the best of luck in finding) System -> Preferences -> Mouse and change the mouse to be left handed. Then go to accessibility and enable the simulated secondary click. That way you can keep all the functionality using only your working right mouse button. Occasionaluse (talk) 18:33, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
on my laptop the pad and button thing is called a symantic pointing device and there is an icon for it in the tray at the bottom right. If you dont have that icon try control panel, system, hardware tab, device manager , mice and pointing devices. That will get you to troubleshooting for the device and you can disable it from there too. A usb mouse should install ok if you have a spare. Hamster (talk) 19:41, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Ah, so Linux didn't magically fix a blatant hardware issue! If your drivers for the touch pad are up to date and in working order then the problem is clearly physical. You'll have a loose connection or a dodgy button. I.e., it's frakked. Scarlet A.pngpostate 20:12, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
No, you've just turned the mousepad off, that's all. Most laptops come with an on/off facility built in so that you can deactivate it & just use a plug-in mouse. My old laptop had an obvious, though small, button next to the mousepad for switching it. My new one has a tiny pinhole at one corner of the pad. If I tap on the pinhole twice, the mousepad is disabled & a light comes on in the pinhole to show it's off. I can tap on it again to turn it back on. Check your mousepad & keyboard area & I'll bet you'll find there's some sort of switching device in there somewhere. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:40, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
How to turn the touchpad on/off on a Dell Inspiron 6000 is outlined here. If this fails, it could be a driver problem, esp if you've installed a different OS or other software which could interfere. Basic advice & links here. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:28, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Also, if you can do without the laptop for a few days, take it to your local computer repair shop, one of the small outfits, not one of the big chains. They should be able to at least diagnose the problem for you and with any luck it'll be a simple fix. And for those wondering why I keep pushing the local computer repair shop, no I don't own one, I just know they can be bloody brilliant for things like that. For example, the local place I use will quite happily diagnose a problem and not charge you for it, reasoning, quite rightly, that you'll then use them for the repair. Better than somewhere like PC World who'll want a second mortgage out of you before they'll look at the damned thing.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:51, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
biggest problem is getting the key off to clean under it , if its stuck, without breaking it (talk) 04:19, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I had a problem with the keyboard on a Dell Inspiron once, the key mapping went awry. I tried everything I could think of and eventually called Dell tech support as it was still within its 3-year warranty. The Indian support lady started going through all the usual stuff - disconnect from mains, remove battery... - I said that I had tried all that but she persisted. Having removed all power she told me to press and hold the power button for 30 seconds (maybe longer). When I connected everything back up it all worked perfectly. Obviously there was a known problem with an internal setting being corrupted but completely discharging the power reset it. There may be a similar thing with the touchpad. However a quick Google search shows that touchpad problems with the Inspiron 6000 series are quite common. One solution I found was to change a BIOS setting for pointing device from "PS/2-Touchpad" to just "PS/2". Personally I dislike touchpads on laptops as they invariably are activated when I type so I disable them and use a wireless mouse. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 10:20, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
"Shibboleet!" Scarlet A.pngpostate 19:52, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I see some else reads XKCD. On a more serious note, you can normally turn of trackpad-tapping equals mouse button, but keep the track button keys. This should fix most of the annoyances with them (IMHO). CS Miller (talk) 17:04, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Fox News vs...Pedobear?[edit]

This was too good to pass up-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_lmMmYAyowQuackpack11! | Talk! Scream! Share! 04:13, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Do these idiots ever spend more than five minutes researching something? (talk) 07:56, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Please, why use facts, when you can get a good old scare going on. Fox has run out of terror/Obama is evil stories, but needs to populace to be scared. A scared population is a controllable population. And a dumb population does things like attack paediatricians. Of course, in the US, they'd shoot them, then realise they fail English comprehension forever. --Ψ GremlinRunāt! 11:19, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
In defence of Fox, dressing up as Pedobear would be a great cover - who suspects the man dressed as Pedobear? As that cop said, it's no longer an internet prank or parody if someone has taken it a step too far. Scarlet A.pngpostate 12:22, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually, that was a local fox station, not the cable network Fox News. While the 24 hour network is insanely conservative/paranoid/conspiracy theory driving twits, the local stations don't really have a true editorial slant, they're mostly human interest stories and shit like that to scare people. Local ABC, CBS and NBC stations are just as bad. SirChuckBObama/Biden? 2012 16:07, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank goodness they can be recognised by the bear suit. Think how much harder they would be to spot if they just wore normal clothes.Please tell me that doesn't need joke tags.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:02, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
No, it doesn't need joke tags. We can tell this because you followed it with "Please tell me that doesn't need joke tags.". :P Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:25, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
OH SNAP- Oh Fox, when will you ever learn...Quackpack11! | Talk! Scream! Share! 20:18, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
"Police say pedophiles will use the Pedobear figure as a decal on their car window to signify a connection with other pedophiles."
Excuse the daylights out of me? There are some parts of my disbelief which flat out refuse to be suspended. Sure, someone is going to tag their own car with a symbol that any pre-teen who can click a mouse will recognize. Get out of town... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:27, 16 January 2011 (UTC)