Gevlon, quoting a discussion he heard:
"No means no. Always. The choice of the woman must be respected."
[few seconds silence + angelic smile]
"except if she says no to Feminism, when she is an uneducated, brainwashed victim who doesn't know what's good for her."
Lacking context, I have no idea if the speaker was being serious, or sarcastic.

Sadly, it works either way.

Pinky Pie, Delirium, and Nick Fury

A brief discussion of "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" and how it relates to Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" comics. [1]

Last night, watching with the girls, I commented to Shari, "Pinky Pie kind of walks along the ragged edge of sanity, doesn't she?"

And then it hit me.

Pinky Pie is Delirium (she of the Endless who used to be Delight).

There are six main ponies... and six of the Endless.

"Oh, no," you might say. "There are seven of the Endless!"

Except that Destruction abandoned his duties. Ha!  So, six ponies... and six Endless.
  • Pinky Pie is obviously Delirium.
  • Twilight Sparkle? Always doubting... so she's Despair.
  • Rainbow Dash? Big plans, big visions. She's Dream.
  • Applejack? Hard working, dedicated. She's Destiny.
  • Rarity? Duh. Desire, of course.
  • Fluttershy? Death.
I can now watch MLP:FIM with my little ladies, and pretend that I am not watching animated ponies learn over-the-top, blatantly obvious lessons about personal interactions, but instead perceive a subtle drama about the interactions of the fundaments of the human psyche. [2]

Which should help to keep me on the ragged edge of sanity. Maybe I'll see Pinky Pie there.

[1] So I know about MLP:FIM. I have three girls. I am not only allowed, I am required. Don't judge me.
[2] Another interpretation sees Pinky Pie as Nick Fury, and maps the remaining ponies onto members of the Avengers. That works, too.

Yeah, She Had Way Too Much Fun With This

So, took a while, but I got tagged by someone for the ‪‎ALS‬ ice bucket challenge.

Now, the whole purpose of this is to help raise $$$ for ALS research. If you think otherwise, or think that "raising awareness" is like, so totally awesome... eh. Try hiring a research scientist with all that awareness, see how far that gets you.

So, yeah. It's all about the fund raising, if you're honest, and more importantly, if you're serious. Which is why I've made a contribution to the ALS Association.

As for dumping a bucket of ice water on myself?  Yeah, that happened.  Sure, it's a stunt, but it's an effective stunt, and it would be churlish of me not to play along.   I got two of da goils to help me out with it.  Eldest Daughter (AKA "Alldaughter") handled the video, while Youngest Daughter (AKA "Snugglepuppy") did the dumping.

For the record, Snugglepuppy was a little tentative about helping out, until I reassured her that she would be the dumper, and I would be the dumpee.  After that, she took an inordinate amount of pleasure in soaking her poor Dada with ice water.  At least someone enjoyed the experience!


Over at The Blaze, user Hi_Don answers those who criticize the President for partying while Ferguson burns:
Listen you people! Knock this bashing off right now. The man is very tired. He has been fundraising all month, flying back and forth across the country, stuck on an airplane eating airplane food and he is tired. He needs a vacation and time to relax a bit so cut the man some slack. Don’t you realize this short couple week long vacation will be over soon and he will have to go right back out there and fundraise some more. As he put it himself, “he is working harder than he ever has in his life”. Now can we just quit with the criticism about doing his other job?
Yeah.  Working two jobs is hard.  You have got to prioritize in that situation, you know.

Can't Talk. Must Click.

Yes, I have a spreadsheet.  And two labs running.

Don't judge me.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go hire a summer student and a couple of research fellows to investigate the Higgs boson.

My Doom Is Upon Me

Got a Kindle today.  Specifically, a good friend sent me a Kindle Paperwhite as a gift.

Time from opening the box to purchase of first book ("To Sail a Darkling Sea" by John Ringo): about 10 minutes. Evaluation so far: easy to set up, very easy to buy books, great for reading. Also, TSaDS once again shows that Mr. Ringo has a solid position on my "shut up and take my money" list of authors.

Oh, and Baen has a bunch of free Kindle books, too.  This is both a good thing (Yay!  Free!) and a bad thing (for the lovely Mrs. Robb, who commented, "A football widow only has to put up with loneliness for a season, likewise a hunting widow. But a bookworm widow is pretty much out of luck...")

So, essentially, yeah, this is like pure crack cocaine to me. I give it an 11/10, A++++, would buy again, now leave me alone because BOOKS!

Oh, and apparently you can jailbreak these suckers.  I may end up doing that, if I can be sure that I can restore it to factory condition and not void any warranties or anything.  I would very much like to see what they are running under the hood...

In Honor of Dave Barry...

... I present to you The Band Name File.  Set up by a friend of mine.  As he notes, "The Universe keeps providing wonderful names for musical groups, and we capture them here."

Personally, I would love to have me a "Cosseted and Feral" t-shirt.  Just sayin'.

Jude 22

"And of some have compassion, making a difference..."
Jude 22
From the Humans of New York Facebook page:

"Are you lonely?"
"It's been a lifetime of loneliness. I decided early on that I better get used to it.
I go to movies by myself. If the movie theater is completely empty, I'm even happier.
I learned early on that if I wanted to go to restaurants, I better learn to go by myself.
One benefit to being big is that people don't bother you. I'm shocked that you came
up to me. Nobody's ever done that. When I started to go to therapy, it took me several
sessions before I even spoke a word. I'd just sit there and cry. And honestly, you
caught me on a tough day. I was sitting here feeling really bad about myself.
Because I went to the doctor today, and I was sure that I'd lost weight.
But I'd gained some."
I am feeling a mixture of shame, anger and empathy, here. I want to remember this as a reminder for myself, and hopefully, it will be a reminder for you, as well.

The next time you see someone that looks a little out of place, a little lonely, a little different, a little odd... remember this. And remember that you have the ability to potentially keep someone from that pain. All it takes is a kind word, a few moments, and a little bit of a conversation to plant the seeds of friendship.

Will it grow? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe they are happy where they are and how they are.

But... what if they are not?

Do not walk on by. Stop. Turn back. Remember a man so powerfully and painfully lonely that he went to a therapist and could not do anything but cry.

Do not count on someone else to make the difference.  He lives in a city of over eight million people, and it seems as if each and every one of them made the same choice: to pass him by, and let someone else reach out. Decide now that you will be different, and that you will make yourself the difference in someone else's life.

Set Fire To Your Hair...

Remember, kids!  Fracking - injecting water into the earth to help release natural gas - is a horrific abuse of nature!  It can cause all sorts of bad things to happen!

On the other hand, tossing explosives into an active volcano is SCIENCE! [1]
In one of the biggest-ever seismology deployments at an active volcano, researchers are peppering Mount St Helens in Washington state with equipment to study the intricate system of chambers and pipes that fed the most devastating eruption in US history. This month, they will even set off explosions to generate their own seismic waves. The work could inform research into how volcanoes work throughout the Pacific Northwest and in similar geological settings around the world.
Next up, I understand that they are planning to poke a grizzly bear with a sharp stick to see what happens.

[1] Well, actually, yeah, it is.  This is pretty cool stuff.  I am wondering where the environmentalists are on this, though.  It seems like the sort of thing they claim to get upset about.

Truthiness In Law Enforcement

Indy Week reports that several Durham police officers lied about non-existent 911 calls to persuade residents to allow them to search their homes.
According to a department memo, the officers used fabricated 911 calls for the purpose of obtaining consent to enter residences where they believed wanted individuals with outstanding warrants might be living. However, officers were willing to use the ploy to cast a broader net in at least one case — the hearing where the tactic surfaced involved a defendant charged with marijuana possession after the officer discovered marijuana in her home.
Honest mistake, really. I mean, did anybody specifically tell them, as part of their training, that lying was wrong? What we have here is a failure of the system. We are all to blame, really, for letting these poor officers down.

Of course, if you violate a section of the penal code so obscure that the DA has to dig through 100 year-old documents to find mention of it, that's different, scumbag. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.