RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the world?/Archive18

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Moterboater brah masturbation[edit]

*First few seconds in* It appears they might be taking something seriously.

"Rejected by feminist radicals"

Aha. Osaka Sun (talk) 06:11, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Coming next, bukkake for rape survivors. London Grump (talk) 07:44, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Martian fatwa[edit]

Can't really blame him for criticising what is effectively a suicide mission Scherben (talk) 02:39, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, well, you know, life is effectively a suicide mission, man. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 05:28, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
So what's the rush? Scherben (talk) 16:08, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
My point is that "go to Mars and live there" is no more a suicide mission than "go to Los Angeles and live there" is. The idea is long-term colonization, which by design involves keeping the colonists alive. It's dangerous to be sure, but there are plenty of successful precedents for dangerous one-way colonization trips. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 03:39, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
None of which involve another planet completely. If colonisation so soon was possible, why aren't the space agencies of various nations all over it, rather than some 'private enterprise'? Scherben (talk) 05:27, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
"but there are plenty of successful precedents for dangerous one-way colonization trips." Not so "successful" when you look at it from the point of view of the folks who got colonised. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 05:30, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
^^Because the Cold War is over, and various other topics are drawing more political attention. Continuations of the Apollo-era effort were cut back before getting to outlined interplanetary missions and extended stays on the Moon. And China and India do seem to have their attention on Mars at the moment.
^At some point, every human-inhabited place except certain parts of Africa was successfully colonized at least once. Most initial colonizations occurred in prehistory. Since there are no natives on Mars, I'd look to that activity or the colonies on Antarctica for precedent rather than imperialism. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 08:27, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
There's a huge difference between the antarctic research stations, and a planet with totally different atmosphere, climate, gravity and a huge distance away Scherben (talk) 15:35, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
And the Antarctic research stations are emphatically not colonies. On the coast Antarctica is marginally survivable, an actual colony could scrape a living there, although it would be a hard life and often many would die as the weather or other conditions gnaw at the margins. The interior is utterly inhospitable. Amundsen-Scott, the biggest in the interior, must receive dozens of supply missions every year, not to expand, to conquer indigenous people or make enormous local improvements, but just to survive. To give you some idea, despite being a vital research facility it doesn't even have Internet much of the day. And that's the big, American-funded, show-off base, all the others are horrible, tiny freezing cold temporary buildings usually not even staffed at all in the Antarctic winter. Not because nobody tried, but because Antarctica is incredibly hostile and it kills people and smashes buildings. Mars will be many, many times worse. Leave the robots to explore it, the robots like it there, we built them for Mars. Tialaramex (talk) 18:11, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Antarctica has a population of hundreds through the winter, and this includes settlements with permanent civilian populations where people live for decades, have and raise children, and run things like post offices, local governments, schools, hospitals, and churches. They rely on regular shipments of outside supplies because it's cheaper than setting up greenhouses or bringing a large stockpile at the outset, which is what would be done on a Mars mission. If you don't want to call them colonies, that's fine, but if something like them were built on the Moon or Mars, they would be widely referred to as colonies. Getting back on topic, do you think it is reasonable to declare a riskiness-based fatwa against a manned mission to Mars when the details are still being worked out and the planned launch date is nine years away? Keep in mind that no human had yet been in space in 1960, yet every astronaut that left for the Moon returned alive. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 22:24, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
The didn't stay on the moon. They're taking large stockpiles (presumably), so what? Does that mean they'll be ok in prolonged bouts of 'zero' gravity; an incredibly harsh environment; the huge mental and physical challenges that brings? Also, unlike the antarctica settlements, they'll have no fucking way of being rescued should they require it [emphasis mine]. Killed for a fucking vanity project... Scherben (talk) 02:26, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
You didn't answer the question. That's fine though. You might consider this: I bet you an Internet that the Mars One settlers will have a higher ten-year survival rate than the Mayflower colonists at Plymouth. Are you willing to take that bet? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 02:26, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Which question wasn't answered? I'll take that bet, cos I doubt the thing will even happen. But if it was so simple just to send people to Mars, Nasa would have been all over it. Scherben (talk) 00:16, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
There are various engineering issues to overcame, namely related to radiation during travel, but the main benefit of space programs is generally not what is done in space, but developing new technologies in response to all of the problems that have to be addressed. To give an example, the Hubble Space Telescope is the reason why discovery of breast-cancer screenings happened. Similarly, most of the firefighting technology you think of, the suits, the breathing systems, fire-extinguishers, and more were invented as safety equipment NASA needed to counteract problems they experienced. Space programs are essentially research institutions with a goal that facilitates problem-solving we simply do not encounter much of on Earth. I honestly hope that we get that Mars colony in my lifetime, (also a way to permanently fix telomeres, but that is irrelevant), but what I would be most happy to hear of is NASA inventing more life-saving technologies out of the act of trying to surmount the numerous problems of a space program. Forget getting a Mars Colony, just trying to get one will be beneficial to man. Crow7878 (talk) 06:27, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
^^The question was in the section you replied to above. I bolded it now for clarity. I posted the bet as a prediction here. As for the rest of your post there, I mentioned above (after you raised that point the first time) that the Nasa programs that would have "been all over it" were canceled. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 07:43, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes I do, obviously. I sincerely believe that if Nasa thought it that viable, they wouldn't have cancelled the project(s). What's your interest in this, as seen as you are just an IP? (For clarification, if this does mission does happen, I want 100% survival rate; I won't be praying for disaster.)Scherben (talk) 18:15, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
I'd very much take that bet. No, the Mars One folks will NOT have a higher survival rate than the Pilgrims. Further, I am betting there is more death in route to Mars. --Castaigne (talk) 07:41, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Appearances can be deceiving. What's your interest as a registered user? In any case, my interest is that I disagree with your answer there*. It would be a different matter if the fatwa had been issued by a member of a religion that had beliefs that contradicted such an endeavor, but Islam involves a belief in an afterlife and a moral system where doing risky or even fatal things can be justified by achieving worthy goals. The fatwa implies either a rejection of exploration and broadening humanity's horizons as a worthy goal or a conclusion that everyone participating would die in vain when it is far too soon to calculate what their actual survival chances would be (we are, recall, nine years away from the planned launch, when it took less than that to go from no manned space flight to landing on the Moon). As for wanting a 100% survival rate, that's unrealistic considering that the mission is to live the rest of their lives on Mars, and would eventually have a 100% mortality rate even if every settler lived past 100. Of course, no one wants them to die in a disaster (the mission is to live there, which they can't do if they're dead), but a 0% chance of disaster is likewise unrealistic. After all, people on Earth have a nonzero chance of being struck by meteors, but we get along in our lives despite the risk. If Mars One moves a bunch of People to Mars and manages to reduce risk to the level of the average human on Earth, some deaths from random accidents or disease would be rather likely over the course of decades even if all the technology involved functions perfectly. Regarding your comment about Nasa, you seem to be misunderstanding how space exploration goals work there. It is Congress that controls the budget and decides what goals Nasa is to pursue, while Nasa does the work to achieve those goals. If Congress cuts programs which could lead to a manned Mars mission (which it has), Nasa can't continue them just because it seems viable or a good idea because Nasa doesn't control its own budget.

*And your statement that started this section. A suicide mission is one where, by design, the survival of the participants is subordinate to some other goal, the pursuit of which is likely to result in the deaths of many or all participants. Since the goal here is to keep the settlers alive on Mars, it's not a suicide mission even if it is risky. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 14:30, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

Judicial activism[edit]

Isn't that a Larry Klayman suit? Peter mqzp 01:57, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

A Florida fifth-grader who won first place for a speech about the history of people who use religion to justify murder is stripped of the prize by an assistant principal who deemed it inappropriate for fourth and fifth graders.[edit]

Hang on, this is a USG employee telling a US citizen what they can or cannot talk about. As a fully qualified internet-lawyer I can say that won't stand, and the school will get sued, what with the little thing called the First Amendment..... or the parents will abusively side with the teacher. Will religion and age of the human involved come into play, and rights are ignored? 94.197.122.78 (talk) 12:00, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

They're not telling him what he can and can't say, they're saying that since the subject matter was deemed inappropriate he was not eligible to receive the prize. WarlordFred (talk) 19:39, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

PS How old is 4th/5th grade? It's a bit of US-centric phrase...

5th grade is generally 10-11 years old in the US. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 14:01, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Nobody should be suing anybody for the award/non award of a school prize to 11 year olds. WTF. Just get on with life. DamoHi 22:29, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Sex work de-criminalized in Canada[edit]

I'm torn on this. While I believe that prostitution should be legal, a potential year-long void with no regulation or legal protection of sex work doesn't strike me as necessarily a positive step forward. Also, Canada has a problem as a destination for human trafficking--a bunch of illegally-trafficked eastern European women were freed from a rub-and-tug not too far from an old apartment of mine just last week. does anyone here have an informed opinion on the links between decriminalized (not legalized and regulated) prostitution and increased protection for sex workers? Or decriminalization and trafficking? UPDATE: I missed the bit about the current laws staying in place until the House passes new ones (which they will, I imagine) or a year has passed. Still. Legalized prostitution and human trafficking--discuss. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 17:16, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

AFAICT, only part (j) of section 212 (along with part (c) of section 213 and the entirety of section 210) was struck down and the remainder of section 212 (procuring persons, concealing persons in a bawdy house, etc.) [1] remains in force. Particularly, that stuff you mention would fall under 212(1)(h). Compro01 (talk) 18:36, 20 December 2013 (UTC)
While Justice McLaughlin hasn't been perfect, damn she makes SCOTUS look like a bunch of drunken idiots. Getting a 9-0 decision in the midst of an ongoing controversy about an attempted politicization of the court, and on the matter of decriminalizing prostitution, is a statement to make. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:40, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Al Qaeda or "Al Qaeda linked"?[edit]

Al Qaeda = nebulous protean bogie man nexus of Islamic terrorism.

Al Qaeda linked = any bunch of uppity darkies Blair / Bush / Osama doesn't like. London Grump (talk) 10:35, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

I didn't know Osama was still involved in international politics. Warlord Fred♠♣♥♦ 22:42, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Too much World Nut Daily. I meant Obama. London Grump (talk) 23:22, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Assuming your post is referring to the situation in Fallujah, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is a group that pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2004. They aren't being labelled by any foreign persons, they labelled themselves. Warlord Fred♠♣♥♦ 01:10, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. I was highlighting the difference between the news item and the source while taking a swipe at the way the constant drip-drip-drip over the last twelve years has affected even the most rational and objective among us. Those crazy mediaeval darkies and their pledges of allegiance! London Grump (talk) 09:04, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
What is your point? Warlord Fred♠♣♥♦ 19:09, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Misleading media muddying the water is his point I suspect. All opposition in Afghanistan is the 'Taleban', even though it isn't Scherben (talk) 23:21, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
I'll use shorter words this time. Scher is right but, as I said, I was also having a dig at the way even the most rational thinkers are drawn into the whole Other / Orientalist viewpoint. It struck me, however, that many Americans don't see anything funny or sinister or archaic in pledging allegiance. Out here in the majority of the world, pledges of allegiance are something out of King Arthur via Nuremberg 1933. London Grump (talk) 10:40, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Amen, brother :) Scherben (talk) 15:20, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

free stuff from aliens[edit]

I'm already shouting requests out of my window Scherben (talk) 23:25, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

I mean, come on, people. We can knock off the wars for a year or two, long enough for us to get our hands on some schweet alien swag. Think of the wars we'll be able to have WITH alien technology! - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 02:52, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
They may even let us breed with their women, who have got to be haaawwwt... Scherben (talk) 15:21, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Dear Mr. Potter, we have received intelligence...[edit]

Why is a lawsuit that was launched in 2000 news today? The case was dropped in 2002 and has never been revived. --Castaigne (talk) 17:09, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Sonia Sotomayor grants surprising stay...[edit]

I'm not too surprised, especially after her ruling on the nuns/birth control thing just a few days ago. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 17:32, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Doesn't particularly matter long-term. The precedent provided by striking down Prop 8 will be tough to reverse. Osaka Sun (talk) 09:25, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the precedent level of the prop 8 decision relatively low? As I understand it, the SCOTUS decision basically erased the 9th circuit ruling (by saying that ProtectMarriage.com had no standing to appeal the decision after the state government threw in the towel, making it as if the 9th circuit never heard the appeal or made a ruling) and rendered the standing precedent on state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage "only" that of the district court. Compro01 (talk) 15:10, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Technically, the result of tossing out the 9th circuit decision was to make the district court decision the "law of the case": it's the final decision of the last court with jurisdiction over all necessary parties. This makes it final, and binding on the state of California, which did not appeal from that judgment. The decision is not binding on any other district or circuit court. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 15:39, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

BBC shows in North Korea[edit]

Some of those TV shows (Mr Bean, Miss Marple, Poirot) aren't even made by the BBC. AFAIK, BBC doesn't have overseas distribution rights for these, and it seems kindof unlikely they would acquire them just for the benefit of the glorious DPRK. My guess is either the FCO source has some of the facts wrong, or this story (which everyone except the BBC now seems to be reporting) is nothing but hot air & speculation. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:17, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

That, or this is just going to go right into the Kim's video vault and never actually broadcasted. --Revolverman (talk) 21:29, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
My reading of the quote those names came from is that the person was listing potential candidates, not necessarily current ones. Edric (talk) 00:41, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, it looks like a case of journalistic Chinese Whispers. As far as I can make out, the Sunday Times broke the story, listing some BBC shows that might be candidates (though I suspect some of these like Top Gear might just be editorial additions for hyperbole) and quoting a FCO source pontificating about the sort of shows they could export (including some ITV ones). All the other papers seem to be taking this list at face value & stating that Mr Bean etc. are part of the planned export when they don't even belong to the BBC. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:58, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Reading the article from The Independent, it would seem that it's all just 'mights' and 'maybes' right now. It's obvious the FCO wants to bring BBC programming to the DPRK, and that the BBC would support the initiative, but I don't think the DPRK is even involved in the discussion yet. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 01:39, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't hold my breath for Doctor Who diplomacy. Everything I've ever read about NK says stable electricity is a novelty, so showing the outside world would be like an ad for how terrible things are. I guess they could superimpose the Dear Leader's image on this one... Edric (talk) 04:37, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
They would probably restrict it to Pyongyang, just like everything else that's modern in their country. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 07:31, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

Tiktaalik[edit]

Nowhere near as impressive as the Crocoduck... Scherben (talk) 00:13, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Is this really news? I remember reading about Tiktaalik a few years ago. --Gulik (talk) 12:11, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Possibly not, but in the absence of real proof like the Crocoduck, the Darwinians have to scrape the barrel floor ;) Scherben (talk) 13:03, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
It's a new, more complete fossil. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 21:05, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Is anyone having their faith tested? Scherben (talk) 23:12, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Whats with the "Only fools and horses" item?[edit]

Firstly its rather poor taste to use someones death simply as an excuse to bring up ones dislike of a show he was in, secondly how in the hell is either Pack or "Only Fools and Horses" relevant to this site? either way I think it should be removed. If you want to talk about how you don't like an old sitcom there are many other places on the net to do so. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 00:43, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I edited the original statement that said how wonderful it was (yes, I was being a snarky dick). Is a positive statement acceptable whilst a negative isn't? Also, Pack was a socialist and quite a cultural figure in the UK whether you think the show is great or not. Scherben (talk) 00:48, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Honestly I cant see the point of any news item at all here about it, regardless of cultural impact or political stance, but if there should be one then just keep it simple and neutral, or at the very least not negative since unlike a certain other wiki I would like to think we don't use death as an excuse to insult someone or something we happen not to like. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 00:52, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I actually liked the fella, just the programme wasn't exactly to my taste, whereas it was for the original contributor. I apologise for being a dick (that's to the world in general, not just for this), and I'll re-edit it Scherben (talk) 00:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
No need to apologise :) and its perfectly fine now. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 14:32, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Smashin' :) Scherben (talk) 16:49, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Eukaryotic life[edit]

What's fishy about that story? Peter mqzp 03:41, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Let's just say making wild claims without sources is one of my bigger problems. I don't like idiocy in general. Poe's law, remember. For all we know, it could be parody. Show me something from the AP and I might be a little more forgiving.--The Madman (talk) 04:29, 19 January 2014 (UTC)The Madman
Will the journal paper and Nature Chemistry news article (linked in the linked gizmag article) help? The WIGO text is jokingly overselling it, but it's a real thing, no "poe." Peter mqzp 04:46, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Dana Ullman, I have a dream[edit]

I have a dream that homeopaths and their followers will realize that their field blatantly violates basic, well-founded principles of chemistry and medicine.

I have a dream that homeopaths will admit that their treatments have been shown in countless studies to be no more effective than a placebo, and no different in composition than pure water.

I have a dream that the FDA will revoke the exceptions granted to homeopathic remedies 75 years ago and treat them with the same discerning eye as they do any other actual pharmaceutical.

I have a dream that the NHS will stop funding homeopathy and favoring the patient's choice over the patient's well being.

I have a dream that drugstores will stop stocking homeopathic remedies in the same aisle as actual pharmaceuticals, with near-identical labels as actual pharmaceuticals.

I have a dream that alternative medicine will be cast out of hospitals, pharmacies, marketplaces, and clinics.

I have a dream that news media will stop falling for the bullshit put out by quacks and snake oil salesmen, and reject the notion that "fair and balanced" means giving both sides the same amount of coverage (or in Ullman's case, an entire opinion column).

I have a dream that Dana Ullman's blog will be taken off its HuffPo podium and relegated to some damp corner of the Web to rot in obscurity.

I have a dream that alternative medicine will be forever remembered as a misguided search for a magical panacea, just as alchemy was.

I have a dream that the billions upon billions of dollars spent on magic potions, salves, herbs, and diets will be diverted to productive medical research.

Frederick♠♣♥♦ 07:18, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Good post! Scherben (talk) 11:23, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Hawaii GMO Story[edit]

I noticed the story I posted about the anti-GM measures in Hawaii is receiving an unusually high number of downvotes (compared to upvotes). This surprises and confuses me, as RationalWiki has always been critical of the anti-GM movement. While I'm not new to the RW itself and have been browsing anonymously for over a year now, I am relatively new to actually posting WIGO entries. I want to make sure I keep the quality of my entries high, so I'm wondering what the problem was with my entry. Are there editors sympathetic to the anti-GM crowd downvoting the entry? Is it the fact I used an anti-GM source rather than a neutral source and people think it belongs in Clogs? Was there a poor choice of words somewhere in my commentary? Is there some other underlying issue I should correct in order to make better quality posts in the future? I would appreciate a constructive explanation. Thank you. The One They Call Mars (talk) 17:49, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

It's more a general measure of happiness. It isn't going to make us happy that the Anti-GMO crowd won something, hence the downvoting. Zero (talk) 18:11, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Ohhh, I see. Yeah, I was taking the interpretation of "a bunch of people disagree with me/think my entry sucks." While expressing disappointment at poor quality entries is certainly another possible function of the vote system, I suppose there's really no universal interpretation of polls, so I'll keep that in mind and consider the context. Now that I think of it, there are probably different motivations (i.e. "nice entry" upvotes as well as "this is a sad state of affairs" downvotes) in the same poll. On another note, the story itself is a good example of how crankery can succeed among otherwise rational folks if one frames it as "progressive." The One They Call Mars (talk) 18:59, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Your entry is bad and you should feel bad! Just kidding. - Grant (Talk) 19:33, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Hooray! People are paying attention to me! *jumps from side to side while applauding* ;-P The One They Call Mars (talk) 19:56, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, since you ask, I'll answer even as an anonymous and mere reader, not contributor: My problem was not the position on GM you took. My problem, personally, was that you turned the item into a mini-screed three times the size of any other item on the list. And the frankly elitarist "the people are dumb" didn't help. Speaking of RW's positions, it has been my understanding that RW is rather progressive, which would include an appreciation for more direct democracy, something such attitudes run counter to. Simply shaking your editorial head over an anti-GM victory would have been sufficient and maybe better... 84.130.76.235 (talk) 20:18, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
For once, I agree with a BoN. Vulpius (talk) 20:44, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

I voted it down because (1) the WIGO entry is needlessly long & preachy, whereas WIGOs are best short & snappy like most of the others on the page, and (2) it's more than a little reductive & the linked source really isn't informative enough for the uninformed reader to draw their own conclusions. Like many in the pro-GMO camp (including some editors at RationalWiki), you seem to be reducing the issue to a simple matter of science vs stupid hippies. In fact, the Mayor justified the bill as an effort to "encourage and support community-based farming and ranching". Whether or not you agree, that sounds a lot more reasonable than the "Mother Nature" stuff in 'Nation of Change'. I don't know anything about the background to this, so I can't really comment on whether it was a victory for "anti-biotech nuts" as you suggest, but citing a crank source saying "yay, we won" doesn't necessarily prove that they were actually the driving force behind the decision. (Also, the bill was signed seven weeks ago, so it's not really 'news' at this point, although it seems to have passed under the WIGO radar at the time.) WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:05, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Unscientific? scientific theory of thermosynthesis[edit]

Dear Rationals

I may sound like a troll, but I am serious: for more than 30 years I have written papers published in scientific journals on this idea of mine that life can have started and evolved as heat engines. You can google it all in scholar.google: key in 'muller thermosynthesis'.

Now from the beginning, when I discussed my papers, people told me, often in a patronizing and condescending way, as if I were a naive and stupid child, that my ideas are/were completely wrong. Theoretical biologists told me (I have a batchelor degree in physical chemistry) that the theory goes against the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Reviewers, which as a rule are anonymous, are/were often also quite scathing. The most frequent argument is that I have no experimental proof.

I should also say that I have been seconded by a few people.

So what is wrong with the idea of thermosynthesis? What are the fallacies?

Anthonie Muller

PS. Please rather be frank and clear than polite, vague and evasive. Don't be afraid to insult me. I am Dutch. I can take it. I probably will have heard much worse. — Unsigned, by: 62.163.162.10 / talk / contribs 23:11, 13 January 2014‎ (UTC)

Reread the comments from your reviewers. Those would be your answers. I'm not sure why you're posting this here, but I honestly doubt most people here will be able to help you in this. - GrantC (talk) 23:14, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
By the way, violating the Second Law of Thermodynamics is kind of a big deal. If your theory does that, it's probably wrong. I will also point out that your articles all seem to be in journals behind paywalls. While I have access to journal databases through my institution, this is a fairly large barrier to impose on a site that isn't really full of scientists to begin with. - GrantC (talk) 23:19, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Just going off the free information, I don't see any deal-breakers, but things like evidence of such a system being used by an organism or a molecular simulation demonstrating that it can work would go a long way to making it relevant instead of just an intellectual exercise. Have you calculated the energy yield for the system you're proposing and compared it to a Carnot engine and existing ATP synthesis? If it's more than a Carnot engine, you're definitely violating the Second Law, and it should probably be well under the yields of modern ATP synthesis if you want it to be credible. As for its viability as a cellular energy source, my concern is that since it relies on macroscopic movement to different spots of a thermal gradient, the cycle time is orders of magnitude slower than electrochemical energy sources, which is probably why it's not used today even if it was in the past. Have you calculated if a plausible proto-biological system would be able to extract energy quickly enough to power its metabolism? Stylistically, it might be hurting your reception to focus on thermosynthesis as a primordial energy source without first demonstrating that modern organisms can use it in environments where it might be useful. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 17:31, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Black Holes[edit]

Highly misleading headline. Hawking, it appears, is merely doubting the existence of an 'Event Horizon', not black holes themselves Scherben (talk) 20:46, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. While this would technically change the scientific definition of a black hole, what we observe would not change. A black hole would still be a gravitationally massive object that effectively swallowed up all matter and energy. While any solution to the firewall paradox is interesting, it more or less changes nothing about the macroscopic picture of a black hole. - Grant (Talk) 20:49, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

The first Europeans appearance[edit]

This is going to cause substantial denial amongst certain groups Scherben (talk) 17:36, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

or they will point to their blue eyes as evidence of the genetic purity. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:54, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
True. Also, certain groups of a different racist hue could have fun with the skin being darker than expected. Does Dwight York have internet access? Scherben (talk) 19:01, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Pete Seeger.[edit]

God damn it. At least he didn't go like Joe Hill A Real Libertarian (talk) 07:26, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Damn it. Well, there goes my ability to enjoy this segment of the Colbert Report due to the Funny Aneurysm Moment. Crow7878 (talk) 23:35, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
They're organizing the angels now. With Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs. A Real Libertarian (talk) 23:46, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Big Ben's clock hands?[edit]

Big Ben is the bell, not the tower, not the clock. The bell. London Bridge is the next one up from Tower Bridge and does not open. We rarely get fog and 221B Baker Street does not exist. London Grump (talk) 19:20, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

But Rick Perry doesn't know that. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 20:18, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
To be fair "Big Ben" is widely used to refer to the clock. The tower has an appropriate name these days ("Elizabeth Tower") but the clock is just... that clock in the tower. Understandably people find "Big Ben" to be an appropriate metonym for the clock itself rather than having to construct circumlocutions all the time. And we are not talking about an insignificant little thing, it's an enormous clock, it rightly should have a name and it doesn't, besides "Big Ben". 81.2.89.122 (talk) 14:23, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm surprised to see that it's still possible for Joe Public to see Big Ben close up. I went up there as part of a school trip to the Houses of Parliament nearly (OMG) 50 years ago, but I rather assumed that security concerns would have put a stop to that sort of thing in recent times. Cantabrigian (talk) 15:00, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Creation Museum[edit]

It's in Kentucky. Whoover (talk) 16:05, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

On the subject of stopping broadband for Kansas residents: a first amendment challenge? Scherben (talk) 16:28, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh crap. What do I know. All those states look the same to me :) --PsyGremlin話しなさい 16:38, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Microsoft CEO[edit]

While most everyone is screaming either "Who?", "Good" or wishlisting what they want from Microsoft, I'm seeing lots of news comments coming out for racism (Satya Nadella is Indian). While none of it has been pure gold, I find it fascinating that everyone is instantly against him for not being "American" enough, as if living in the US for over 22 years is not enough. Huh. Zero (talk) 16:02, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Can't believe anyone gives a shit where anyone comes from. We're a strange species Scherben (talk) 17:33, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
As long as they are Anti-Windows 8, they could put a wild pig at CEO and I'd love them. --Revolverman (talk) 20:23, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

ISIS blows themselves up.[edit]

Wait, I had something for this. Danger zone? No? Hmm. Javasca₧ wasn't me! 04:16, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Worse Mythbusters episode ever Scherben (talk) 04:28, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Quebec's euthanasia[edit]

That headline's a bit scaremongery. Your doctor's coming for YOU... ZOMG Scherben (talk) 04:44, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

It's called the National Post. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:48, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification Scherben (talk) 23:59, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Anders Breivik[edit]

That bastard severely tested my opposition to Capital Punishment but I have no problem whatsoever if he wants to kill himself. I hope they do not give into his demands, though I suspect they will.--Mercian (talk) 14:38, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

He'll have no intention of either hunger strike nor suicide. Typical psychopathic manipulation and attention seeking. Just like that vile prick Ian Brady. Scherben (talk) 00:00, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Man, I don't even have a Playstation 2. It's weird to know that he lives a better life than me (mostly because he gets out about as much as I do, but I have the choice).--"Shut up, Brx." 01:33, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Iranian warships[edit]

What exactly does Iran hope to achieve by doing what amounts to holding their finger near the US and saying "I'm not touching you"? Frederick♠♣♥♦ 05:39, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

I suppose basically "See, we can do that, too!". For the US Navy that's standard procedure, after all. Or for both the US and the Soviet Navy in the Cold War. Or for the Royal Navy before that. Or whoever was feeling maritimely powerful at any given time. Parking warships near a, ehem, strategic opponent is standard business. Iran can't be criticized for such a policy, not when the USA has its ships in all oceans. Though maybe it could be ridiculed for a "dwarf wanting to be a giant" attitude thus displayed. Octo8 (talk) 13:40, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. And it's true for the Royal Navy even today, as an island Britain still has quite a big navy and it can park a working military vessel off the coast of a nation as a reminder that hey, we do actually have options that don't involve people sitting around a table. Military assets are very mobile, which is convenient in international politics. You can threaten Country A this week and still be off the coast of Country B a month from now to remind them how strongly you feel about that "mistake" where they arrested a bunch of your citizens for no good reason. And the law of the sea means that you can park your navy almost anywhere except literally next to the shore, the locals can yell and scream but if they fire first they're considered the aggressors. You can't even stop them from refuelling, right there in front of you at sea, so as to stay longer. All you can do is refuse to sell them the fuel yourselves and make them bring it from further away. Tialaramex (talk) 14:29, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Astrology study[edit]

I suspect, like was noted in the WIGO, that people simply confused astrology with astronomy. Then again, I'm an optimist.--"Shut up, Brx." 21:22, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Well, there isn't any future in pessimism Scherben (talk) 23:11, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Mark 16:18[edit]

Maybe these people should realise what metaphors are? Also, everything after Mark 16:8 isn't attested to by the most ancient extant manuscripts; and doesn't fit the general leitmotif of the gospel itself. Scherben (talk) 22:08, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

I've always wanted to set up a business importing better snakes for these people. Coral snakes are small and shy, diamondbacks and cottonmouths too restricted in range, and those are our best ones. Need to get them some cobras and Australian browns, black mambas and taipans, kraits and Gaboon vipers. If we're lucky, we can get invasive populations of our own. Probably a whole lot of red tape in the way of that enterprise, unfortunately. Thanks, Obama! - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 04:04, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
What you get for electing The World's Biggest MarxistTM. Get a Randroid in 2016. Scherben (talk) 11:37, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Rand Paul 2016: A Snake in Every House! Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 05:38, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
A campaign we can all support. I wish I was American :( Scherben (talk) 06:12, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Somebody doesn't understand the Constitution, part let's say infinity[edit]

Joseph Farah, editor and CEO of WND, said the Google policy is flawed because it “attempts to censor words and phrases that are truthful and accurate from First Amendment-protected media on the basis of political correctness and faulty algorithmic methodology.”

Does nobody actually understand what the First Amendment says? The government can't censor you, WND, but there's no law saying that private corporations like Google have to put up with your bullshit. I can't stand how many people seem completely oblivious to this distinction. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 05:29, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Makes sense for a WNDer to "argue" that way, though. I mean for those ultraconservative types the US constitution is basically the fifth gospel anyway. So, even if he means "the general principle of free expression", which is something one can at least appeal that organizations other than the government should also uphold, he can think of no other source for that general principle than the US constitution. Octo8 (talk) 05:35, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
The book they have on offer in the sidebar says all you need to know about this subject... Scherben (talk) 06:15, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Oh my god, the articles they have listed on the sidebar. Like, half of them are about black mobs and black crime. There was one that said white women are afraid of being seen as prey (I didn't read it, but there probably aren't fifteen million things such a headline could be about. How is this not fucking hate speech? Jesus Christ, how completely unhinged WND is. I used to think it was just Obama=commie, liberals=evil, good ol' days, Islamophobia, "job creators" worship, lower classes hating, and usual US far right crap. And of course, some more subtle racism. But this is practically overt. WND is a hate site. No doubt about it. I bet Stormfront regularly cites them. Jesus Christ, all that's missing is someone lamenting the degeneration and eventual disappearance of white people, and it'd be David Duke's blog. --"Shut up, Brx." 06:36, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Moreover, Google Ads notoriously cut off service at the drop of a hat. It's amazing WND's lasted on them this long - David Gerard (talk) 08:31, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Voynich Manuscript[edit]

Claiming to have cracked words in the manuscript is one thing. I'll believe that when he comes up with an explanation for the repetition and the syntax. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 17:04, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Whoever wrote it must have been bored Scherben (talk) 21:32, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Operación Palace[edit]

C'mon, an Operation Luna-like documentary on the February 23rd 1981 attempt of coup d'état? This should be on top of the page!!! RationalSpanish (talk) 22:57, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

It's not even on the page. What are you talking about? Frederick♠♣♥♦ 22:14, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Segregation Pillory[edit]

So, instead of just watching and raging over Arizona's possible gay segregation law, I am wondering whether there are things one could actually do about it, in case it does, indeed, pass. Something like a wobsite to publish (thoroughly confirmed!) cases in which shops denied their service, so as to coordinate boycotts. – I would have the technical skills for that.

However:

1. Is this idea bad?

2. Can there be an effective way to gain solid data about such refusals?

3. Who else is in?

Sophophobe (talk) 00:20, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Alright, in Arizona, sanity has won. However, since it has to be expected that bigots are gonna try this elsewhere, a cautionary weapon like this might still be useful. If you consider my idea stupid or useless, I'd still be thankful for a short comment. Sophophobe (talk) 13:14, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

On the subject of gay segregation....[edit]

Where the hell did all these gay segregation bills come from, and why the hell are they all popping up at once? is this an actual conspiracy by fundie fuckwards or is it just a domino effect of far right shitstains imitating eachother? Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 18:16, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

They go along with all the "pushing back the limits of abortion" bills. With the right so impotent in Washington they have to be seen to be doing something to appease the Rabid Right and they come up with bills like this or "personhood" bills as was tried in Mississippi. It doesn't help that the Rabid Right has a disproportionate voice in the Republican selection procedures so, if you're going to stand as a Republican you have to pander to these folks. Placeholder (talk) 18:30, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
It really feels like the 1968 DNC debacle in slow motion and the potential collapse of the Sixth Party System. No matter what crisis, whatever dent to their dogma of Reagan, the GOP keeps radicalizing.
Who really expected that in a course of four months the strategy went from "We totally embarrassed ourselves in the debt ceiling, shut up the far-right or we'll lose the midterms" to "Hey, let's bring back Jim Crow?" Debbie Wasserman Schultz is having the freaking time of her life right now. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:04, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Right now the Republicans are picking candidates for the midterms. It is vitally important that they do their utmost to drive out the RINOs before then! We must do all we can to encourage this! For America! - David Gerard (talk) 08:28, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
So far radicalization has worked for the Republicans. They have gone ever further right and then demand the Democrats meet them in the middle... which has mostly happened so far. We all know Obamacare is basically Romneycare - once proposed by a Republican governor, now anathema to the Republicans. Yet Republicans still keep getting elected. The problem is that Americans don't seem to look to closely at single issues. Even though there is a majority for most single liberal issues, Americans in majority identify as conservative. So as long as they simply identify the Republicans as the conservative party and don't look too closely on single issues, the Republicans will keep getting away with radicalization. Octo8 (talk) 08:40, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Not anymore. Republican affiliation is at all-time lows and the Dems have locked into the Independent demographics. The fact that the only way conservatives can get into the White House is with northern GOP candidates (first with Romney and now Christie), and that big business is first and foremost fighting these discrimination laws is glaring.
And like we saw with "maverick" McCain, Romney had to throw out every moderate position he held to appeal to Southerners. And lost. They will keep losing. Osaka Sun (talk) 14:32, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Despite all that the G.O.P. is looking good for the mid terms. Placeholder (talk) 14:42, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Heh, the "beauty" of FPTP... Osaka, your arguments might hold for the one truly (at least to a degree) national election the USA has, the presidential one. But Congress elections are essentially dozens of local elections, so pandering to the local electorate, without need to care for the non-locals, works there. Octo8 (talk) 14:47, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Arizona and "Fuzzy math"[edit]

So wait, Arizona is trying to get rid of Algebra education? — Unsigned, by: 76.100.63.249 / talk / contribs

This cartoon came true just seven days later. There's gotta be some sorta Internet law about outrageous parodies of the Republicans - David Gerard (talk) 08:25, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes. America must counter the threat posed by the radical Al Gebra organization, who are presently seeking to acquire Weapons of Math Instruction. Compro01 (talk) 16:27, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Kent Hovind[edit]

Is this some intelligence test that I am failing? I can't see any document on the link. Oldusgitus (talk) 09:55, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

It's a pdf. Scream!! (talk) 10:12, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd guessed that from the link scream :-) . But rather strangely firefox 27.0.1 gives me a 404 doc not found on server. IE 9 however opens it for me to read. It's some kind of RW campaign to get me to use IE I reckon. Oldusgitus (talk) 10:48, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Now there's a 404 under that link. Possibly the doc was removed from the server because Kent got pissed at the publishing? Sophophobe (talk) 11:17, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd guess overload. It's on RW. Scream!! (talk) 11:11, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Alright, then. If you have access to it, would you mirror it somewhere, please? Sophophobe (talk) 11:17, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Hee - I'm getting 404 now. Scream!! (talk) 11:25, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
LOL, so it's not aimed at me then. That's a relief :-) Oldusgitus (talk) 11:58, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
I read it earlier. It's about us calling him a tax fraudster. Apparently the legal affairs of the 2006 only referred to him as having misfiled his taxes.-- 194.81.33.17 (talk) 11:29, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Huh, okay. Thank you for that. If that's the claim, lawsuit does not seem to be defendable that easily, or does it? And maybe someone still has the document in his temporary files. Sophophobe (talk) 11:33, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Trent did some wacky server tricks yesterday and the PDF's gone walkies. I've pinged him - David Gerard (talk) 11:59, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Looks like it's up to me. But I also downloaded the PDF. I've put it in this dropbox link which should work for people who can't get it right away. I won't leave it there for long though. (Hope it works as I don't use drop box a lot.)--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 12:09, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
What actually happened (technically detailed version): Trent very quickly spun up the second box with a copy of the whole MediaWiki file tree. This is a bodge, so he just went back and set up the new server to mount the file tree off the old server via NFS. It's just been hiccupping, but he's waving a spanner at it in a threatening manner as I write this. All good! - David Gerard (talk) 18:34, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Patrick Rock[edit]

You know, dude, you're doing it wrong. You're supposed to be caught with gay porn, not child porn. That would've been merely hypocritical, instead of illegal and downright evil. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 00:24, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

The Tories' gay story (gay cis males of middle-class or higher, at least) has been good enough that I've actually been surprised, so that may well not have been a career-ender - David Gerard (talk) 08:36, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Bitcoin inventor story reminds me of Max Headroom episode[edit]

I literally just watched the Max Headroom episode "War" today, and this back and forth between Newsweek and AP totally reminds me of the network wars in that episode, with the fact-checking and flip-flopping. Brilliant.--"Shut up, Brx." 01:44, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Nude church[edit]

This was already posted in the clogs. Title there: “It's hard to keep track of all the jokes that can be made about this.” Delete the new one? Sophophobe (talk) 23:46, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Good spot, thanks. This is why the line text should say what the article is about. SophieWilderModerator 16:23, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Biblical camels[edit]

The absence of camels during the Abrahamic era was established in the early 1970s at the latest (see Thomas L Thompson's The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest For The Historical Abraham (1974) (from a thesis he wrote in 1971)). Also, the source of that story is the Daily Mail, so, unsurprising they've arrived a bit late. Scherben (talk) 18:41, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

The annoying bit is that it still counts as "news" to the general public that the Bible is pretty much entirely fictional - David Gerard (talk) 08:26, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Freddy got excommunicated from WBC[edit]

What is this I don't even know...fucking asshats fill out every lawyer joke ever.--The Madman (talk) 16:28, 16 March 2014 (UTC)The Madman

What, no "Fred Phelps Deathwatch" event? After all, the rest of the 'net will be celebrating when he ultimately kicks the bucket, (Especially FARK!) why should RationalWiki be any different? --Chair tater (talk) 02:03, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

We aren't fond of gravedancing--"Shut up, Brx." 02:59, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
It's still a sad way for a sad old man to die. If he's excommunicated, he may have repented of something. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:41, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
It's more a case of the WBC teaching that their members are immortal is it not? So if he dies a member then their teaching would be wrong. So excomunicate him now and problem solved. Oldusgitus (talk) 17:35, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
maybe its just your standard power struggle. Excommunicate him so you don't have to listen to his chosen successor. Or they just couldn't wait for him to die for the next chap to take over. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:02, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
Isn't there only like 8 people in this "Church" now? --Revolverman (talk) 20:05, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
I'll also go with a power strugge. I expect that soon we will see a new splinter group from the WBC which will otherwise share a similar theology. One more speculation: whoever is gonna be the official leader of the WBC, it's not gonna be Shirley because WBC probably considers women to be unfit for leadership roles. It is possible that she is the coup leader in practice, but if so she will act as a shadow boss rather than official boss. - Bill Rawls (talk) 20:48, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Ignoring the referendum[edit]

From the BBC: "Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree recognising Crimea as a sovereign state, paving the way for it to be absorbed into Russia." Peter mqzp 03:13, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

TeenageWasteland (talk) 03:49, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Jenny McCarthy on Twitter[edit]

I've moved that story to WIGO BLOG, which is probably the right place for stories about people saying stuff on Twitter. SophieWilderModerator 15:24, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Data mining reveals how conspiracy theories spread[edit]

I propose a merger of Poe's law and the Pareto Principle- 20% of the world's inside jokes account for 80% of the world's crankery.--Jaipel (talk) 16:20, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Kevin Trudeau goes to prison[edit]

Shouldn't that be in WIGO:Clogs? Bismarck (talk) 12:28, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

No. It is a news report about an event which actually occurred. Clogs is for outrageous expressions of misinformed opinion. TeenageWasteland (talk) 12:39, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
OK, but the most recent entry in Clogs is about Fred Phelps and that one also comes from a real news source. Bismarck (talk) 10:00, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
The Phelps article should probably be under WIGO world. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 13:33, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

David Cameron[edit]

Why does it pain us to thank David Cameron? Do we have an official political position? Or perhaps there is a site policy that declares he is a prick? Just wondering. --Horace (talk) 01:53, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Because he is a prick. This has been scientifically tested and verified in numerous review studies - David Gerard (talk) 10:19, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

"Fat Shaming"[edit]

OK, what the article says is that;

"Excess thinness is not the road to health, and not the road to robustness," said Dr. Joel Ray, the study's leader. "Think of health robustness as decent muscle structure, reasonable fat, and good bone structure -- all generated by moderate eating. That's sufficient eating, not overeating or undereating."

And the reason low BMI is deadly?:

"The findings reported that low weight was often the result of myriad unhealthy habits, including smoking, alcohol abuse, and drug use. Other factors included mental illness, malnourishment, and low socio-economic status."

Plus all the problems with BMI in the first place:

"Ray urged caution when using the BMI, though maintained that the index's calculation method was a sound basis for the study. 'BMI reflects not only body fat, but also muscle mass,' he said. 'If we want to continue to use BMI in health care and public health initiatives, we must realize that a robust and healthy individual is someone who has a reasonable amount of body fat and also sufficient bone and muscle. If our focus is more on the ills of excess body fat, then we need to replace BMI with a proper measure, like waist circumference.' ".

So obesity is still unhealthy. --A Real Libertarian (talk) 00:24, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

There is an important gap between "acknowledging that obesity is unhealthy" and "shaming/ridiculing people for being obese." TeenageWasteland (talk) 04:41, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Every fairly large human society is going to pick somebody to play the role of the lazy, no 'count, good for nothing, the perennial Bad Example. Today, we do it through moralistic "health" regimens. It's about testing how badly you want to conform. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 05:17, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Every "fairly large human" society lol Minoreditor (talk) 20:17, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Mars Hill Church under Mark Driscoll is cult-like.[edit]

Andrew, a red blooded Christian 25-year old touched a girl in naughty places, he also touched his fiancee in naughty places before they were married. He felt guilty and confessed but no amount of penitence was enough for the church elders, They wanted to control Andrew and wouldn't let go while his sin could control him further. Finally Andrew left the Marsh Hill Church and others were ordered not to communicate with him except to tell him he was nor penitent and needed to submit to the church leaders. Other church members were also treated abusively. Indeed Christian right mega-church minister faces mega-mutiny for alleged abusive behavior. There's more, The Control-Freaky Ways of Mars Hill Church. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:25, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements[edit]

This [2] was published in February, so I might have missed it in WIGO. Has anyone read behind the paywall? It appears to justify lying to pressure governments into signing international environmental agreements, and the denial crowd [3] is eagerly pointing [4] at it as evidence [5] of the conspiracy uncovered. It might be worth posting here as evidence that bad apples are everywhere. Ckozeluh (talk) 19:39, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't think justify is the right word there. Rationalize why is probably the right one. The abstract says to me "Environmental groups have a tendency to exaggerate the effects of global warming. This study examines some of the rationalities for groups doing so." Zero (talk) 19:48, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
It should tell you something when anti-science whackaloons were the only ones who made a big deal out of this. "Instrumental value" and "rationale" does not mean that the journal is endorsing anything; it means that the organizations Hong and Zhao were studying believed that "information manipulation" (read: sensationalism) would be useful to help their aims. And then in the next sentence the authors say the results were "ambiguous" (read: mixed at best). Surprised? Osaka Sun (talk) 20:15, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

OF COURSE its Capt. Janeway.[edit]

And I read it as the final episode of Voyager plays on my TV in the background. I nearly choked on my iced tea laughing. --Revolverman (talk) 21:34, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Turkish false flag op[edit]

Are not conspiracy theories more for the clogs? AMassiveGay (talk) 11:49, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Do you mean conspiracy theories about the Assad regime taking control of the London Review of books?
Well, Seymour Hersh is not just anyone. He was the one who revealed the My Lai Massacre conducted by U.S. troops during the war in Vietnam and the person thanks to whom we know about the U.S. torture in the Abu Ghraib (Iraq). Also, there has been a leaked (and officially confirmed!) recording in which Turkish officials discuss plans to fake another reason for going to war in Syria. By now, I see no reason to withhold or ridicule Seymour's claims. Sophophobe (talk) 12:12, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
I see from your link he is not without his critics. At best it is one blogs, certainly at this stage. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:35, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
I think this would be indeed a better place.Sophophobe (talk) 19:12, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

And the winner is...[edit]

a BoN, unsurprisingly. (Note the date.)--ZooGuard (talk) 12:44, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Is this about the messed-up poll ID order? Frederick♠♣♥♦ 07:45, 13 April 2014 (UTC)


Blood Moon Prophecy[edit]

This (at least as I remember it) showed up on CNN.com, and to contrast with John Hagee's little prediction, methinks it deserves a place here: The moon shall turn to blood as it aligns with Earth and Sun / And do so thrice more ere eighteen months are done / 'Tis not a sign of the coming apocalypses / But merely the first of four total eclipses Captain Wolff (talk) 19:45, 15 April 2014 (PST)

When Biblical prophecy gets hard to understand, I always turn to the time tested truths of astrology. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:32, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

India Supreme Court Ruling a Victory for Trans-People?[edit]

I guess that this is a victory for the Hijira, a distinct third gender, but I thought transgenderism was not a third gender. From my reading, I thought transgender identity meant that a person's gender identity is the opposite of their body's sex, not an entirely different gender from the binary of male or female. I understand that this could be good for legal protections, but I have thought that a transgender woman would not want to be identified as anything other than a woman. Crow7878 (talk) 16:52, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I can only imagine that, like gender binaries, gender constructs that challenge the binary norm differ according to place and time, and often take meaning within a particular cultural context. Terms like "transgender" "transwoman, "transman," "third sex," and "Hijira" don't necessarily translate across cultures, and rulings about them might not have a specific effect outside of a distinct legal/cultural sphere . But any legal ruling that increases rights and protections for people who don't fit in with binary gender norms has to be celebrated as a sign that those norms are gradually, albeit slowly, becoming less and less powerful. TeenageWasteland (talk) 17:03, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I've been trying to add this[edit]

What could possibly go wrong with this?

But for some reason it's not setting up the poll id correctly, I'm getting something wrong I'm sure. Anyone care to add it.— Unsigned, by: ‎Oldusgitus / talk / contribs

Fiksed nao. Mess with my headline, and I'll fuckin' slit ya. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 12:50, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

People's Reaction to Sterling Ban[edit]

I never thought I could be so amazed by the stupidity in a comments section only to see the link which led to the comments on Herman Cain's facebook. What the hell does the NBA have to do with Obama, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson? Also, what the hell does this have to do with the first amendment and free speech? It's not like the government did anything in this case. Somebody tell me something sane before I go on a tirade of anti-redneck hate comments and end up finding a recorder in my room.

It's increasingly evident that the Americans that cling the most to the words "patriot" and "constitution" don't seem to have read a single line of it. The good news is that they're also the ones that don't have the power to make these sorts of decisions. Plus, money talks. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:29, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm almost sorry for linking that Herman Cain page, but it's an almost cathartic experience if you detach enough. Mayo2017 (talk) 05:42, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
you can say and do anything if you are involved with sports. AMassiveGay (talk) 09:08, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
What I find hard to wrap my head around is how someone holding those opinions managed to end up owning a professional basketball team. Isn't there professional curling or lacrosse somewhere? - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 14:35, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Sterling's ownership of an NBA team is no coincidence. He's long been known for running his organization like a southern plantation and there's no question who needs to be the laborers in that situation. People like him have no problem having black people around if they're making them money, it's only when they get "uppity" that it becomes a problem. --Marlow (talk) 16:23, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

I have to admit, I realize that this isn't exactly a first amendment issue, but I'm not terribly comfortable with the idea of a private business levying a huge fine against a person for their private comments. DickTurpis (talk) 22:01, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

His racism isn't news. The taped remarks were perhaps the final straw, with the real story being "what took them so long to deal with this bigot?" Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 22:42, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
That argument melted minute the clips went public. And the investigative process seemed quite fair. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:52, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
So no one else has any qualms about private entities issuing fines in this way? I realize the nature of the relationship between Sterling and the NBA is somewhat complex, and isn't a employee/employer one, but I think there is the potential for this sort of precedent to be abused, and against people who aren't racist billionaires. DickTurpis (talk) 23:14, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe he's under some kind of contract? I'm not comfortable fining people for speech, even reprehensible speech. And I'm generally against the concept of corporations, period. But then again within the paradigm of capitalism, and the relationship Sterling has with the NBA, I would imagine Sterling has in some way hurt their business, and as a result violated their contract. So it's not like the NBA is acting like the government. It seems more like a case of a company charging someone a late fee, or a collection fee.--"Shut up, Brx." 23:23, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, it's a "Caesar's wife must be above the faintest hint of suspicion" kind of thing, i.e. the owner should know he has to keep his image spotless, or at least not come across as a total scumbag. From the link Osaka Sun showed, Sterling was subject to the NBA Constitution, so making a statement with "an effect prejudicial or detrimental to the best interests of basketball" leaves him open for indefinite suspension and being fined a million simoleons. See also the bit about "final, binding, and conclusive" in that link. Done. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:42, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
He would be considered a sophisticated investor, i.e. a big enough boy to take care of himself - David Gerard (talk) 23:56, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
The whole "being detrimental to the best interests of basketball" thing I understand, and that' why we hear about people fired for saying stupid things (eg Duck Dynasty, for a week or two). This is different, because he's not an employee; he's an owner. So they can't really fire him, and they can't really seize the team. They can suspend him, and they did, though I'm not exactly sure what that entails if he's still their owner, but I get their authority to do that. The fine is what I find a little troublesome. Sure, it's probably in his contract, but does that mean any employer can insert a clause into a contract stating you may have to have to pay them millions of dollars if you express an opinion they find repugnant? The fact it's a franchise of sorts makes it more complex, I suppose, but I still find it a bit unsettling. If I were to buy, let's just say a Fudruckers franchise, and the corporation sometime found had expressed opinions mocking Christian fundies, could they say "hey, we have lots of religious patrons; you're making us look bad. You owe us a million dollars"? The situations seem similar to me. And what happens if he refuses to pay? DickTurpis (talk) 03:16, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Donald Sterling was recorded illegally, not that Obama would give two shits about that given his record with the NSA. ConservapediaEditor (talk) 01:40, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

How he was recorded doesn't affect the fact of his words. And I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you only brought up Obama as a joke--"Shut up, Brx." 01:49, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Half joking. The NSA analogy to a potential violation of a two party recording law was too easy. ConservapediaEditor (talk) 01:53, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I thought his girlfriend recorded him because he asked her to, as he was forgetful and wanted to remember what he said? I don't know how it got out, but I'm pretty sure that's how he was recorded, now that I think about it.--"Shut up, Brx." 02:11, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Do you honestly believe that? ConservapediaEditor (talk) 02:58, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I saw a clip of some news show say it. Why not? I haven't heard him deny it. No arrests have been made.--"Shut up, Brx." 03:12, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the actions taken by the NBA are problematic. However, it couldn't have happened to a better person so I find it hard to overcome my apathy. In any case, private thoughts shouldn't be policed - if he took any racist action (which evidently he did) then that should have been the reason he lost the team. Tielec01 (talk) 03:23, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

NAACP reaction[edit]

Shorter NAACP: What? Donald Sterling was a racist asshat? Oops! Our bad! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:37, 1 May 2014 (UTC)