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All you can say in this site's defence is that it, rather than reality, occupies the warped minds of some of the planet's most twisted people; gods know what they would get up to if it wasn't here.  In these arguably insane times, any lessening or attenuation of madness is maybe something to be thankful for.

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#1
...I'm geeking out on this ATM.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/04/gut-microbiome-bacteria-weight-loss?page=1

QuoteA few years before Super Size Me hit theaters in 2004, Dr. Paresh Dandona, a diabetes specialist in Buffalo, New York, set out to measure the body's response to McDonald's—specifically breakfast. Over several mornings, he fed nine normal-weight volunteers an egg sandwich with cheese and ham, a sausage muffin sandwich, and two hash brown patties.

Dandona is a professor at the State University of New York-Buffalo who also heads the Diabetes-Endocrinology Center of Western New York, and what he observed has informed his research ever since. Levels of a C-reactive protein, an indicator of systemic inflammation, shot up "within literally minutes."

...So I'm going to try to switch my diet.  My diet was already *pretty* good, but I've been stressing a lot, and was allowing cookies to occur.

I didn't think a *little* high-sugar food was *that* bad...but apparently, it is, and in a sneaky, long-term way, not a "get-instantly-yucky-feeling" way. 

Eat beans daily, which I'd gotten away from, stick to brown rice, barley, and sweet potatoes (thanks, Alty!) for my carbohydrates , and take probiotics.

...I want to see if the 30 pounds I put on will go away again this way.  I also want to see if, over time, my allergies and asthma will get back to the way they used to be-a lot better than the trainwreck they are now.

#2
Techmology and Scientism / a long slow splat...
August 03, 2013, 04:51:45 AM
Apparently I missed this coming out...

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110803/full/news.2011.456.html

QuoteEarth once had two moons, which merged in a slow-motion collision that took several hours to complete, researchers propose in Nature today.

Both satellites would have formed from debris that was ejected when a Mars-size protoplanet smacked into Earth late in its formation period. Whereas traditional theory states that the infant Moon rapidly swept up any rivals or gravitationally ejected them into interstellar space, the new theory suggests that one body survived, parked in a gravitationally stable point in the Earth–Moon system.

#3
Literate Chaotic / Howey!
July 29, 2013, 04:21:38 AM
I actually shelled out for the Wool omnibus edition:

http://www.amazon.com/Wool-Omnibus-Edition-Silo-ebook/dp/B0071XO8RA

And when the budget fairy waves her magic wand, I shall be buying the other two of the series...
Probably others.
...No, I'm not getting paid, the author PDF'ed me a free copy of the first short stories in the book, and I was seriously hooked, and so bought
(Hey man, the first one's free!)

I love dystopian post-apocalyptic thrillers, ok?
If you do too, it's damn good.
#4
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Hey Alty!
July 21, 2013, 10:33:33 PM
I wanna ask you weird questions about your work!

:eek:

I should explain:  I was trained to be a massage therapist, except I had a major derail of both brain and left arm that prevented me from actually becoming a massage therapist.

So: what do you do? Swedish?  Sports?  Deep tissue? pressure points? hydrotherapy?
#5
http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/06/10/doj-study-juvenile-justice-sexual-assault

QuoteAccording to a new U.S. Department of Justice report, 9.5 percent of youths incarcerated in juvenile facilities in America report being sexually abused in the past year of their detention.

That's down from 12.1 percent in 2010. Still, the rate of sexual victimization in youth facilities is at least 35 percent higher than the average rate of correctional facilities across America...

...More disturbing than the continued high rate of victimization, is the fact that the vast majority of these sexual assaults are committed by staff. "Only" 2.5 percent of youth incarcerated in the juvenile justice system reported being attacked by a fellow inmate, compared to 7.7 percent who said they'd been assaulted by a staff member. And while a full 4.7 percent of locked-up youth reported consensual sexual contact with staff—an additional 3.5 percent said they were physically attacked or coerced into sexual conduct by staff members.Black youth seem to be targeted by staff more than other races: 9.6 percent of black juvenile justice system inmates reported sexual misconduct by staff, compared with 6.4 percent for combined white and Hispanic youth.

In some youth detention facilities, up to one in three inmates say they have been sexually assaulted.



from http://www.salon.com/2013/07/04/sexual_abuse_on_the_rise_at_us_juvenile_detention_facilities_partner/
...And I note here the title is flat-out incorrect-the numbers have fallen a little


QuoteDrawing on their sample, Justice Department researchers estimate that 1,390 juveniles in the facilities they examined have experienced sex abuse at the hands of the staff supervising them, a rate of nearly 8 percent. Twenty percent who said they were victimized by staff said it happened on more than 10 occasions. Nine out of 10 victims were males abused by female staff...

Nearly two-thirds of the abused youngsters said that the officials lured them into sexual relationships by giving them special treatment, treating them like a favorite, giving gifts and pictures.

Twenty-one percent said staff gave them drugs or alcohol in exchange for sex.

Stannow said that the rate of abuse perpetrated by female guards on male victims is the result of a "dangerous combination" of cultural and institutional problems, not the least of which is the fact that women forcing males into sex does not comport with society's conventional definition of rape.

"When you have an extreme power differential and absolute unchecked power, bad things start happening," Stannow said. "When you combine this with a culture where sex abuse by females on males isn't taken seriously, then you have the perfect set-up for women with all this power to get away with it."

Admittedly, this is less than the recent 9.6% sexual assault rate for adults in state prisons.  However, in state prisons, assaults were only a little over 75% likely to be from staff.
...Not that allowing people to be sexually abused in confinement ought to be ok for either children or adults...but I find it really disgusting that it's not fellow inmates, but the staff doing the assaulting in both cases.
In both juvenile and adult detention...I think it makes us all less safe when they come out more damaged than when they went in.
This means we have a social imperative to do something about this.
#6
WHY didn't I  get taught about this in sociology class???
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

QuoteDunning and Kruger set out to test these hypotheses on Cornell undergraduates in psychology courses. In a series of studies, they examined the subjects' self-assessment of logical reasoning skills, grammatical skills, and humor. After being shown their test scores, the subjects were again asked to estimate their own rank: the competent group accurately estimated their rank, while the incompetent group still overestimated theirs. As Dunning and Kruger noted,

    Across four studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd.


I mean, it's right up there with the Peter principle, which explains my boss very well:
QuoteThe Peter Principle is a proposition that states that the members of an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success and merit will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability. The principle is commonly phrased, "Employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence." In more formal parlance, the effect could be stated as: employees tend to be given more authority until they cannot continue to work competently. It was formulated by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1969 book The Peter Principle, a humorous[1] treatise, which also introduced the "salutary science of hierarchiology".
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle)

But the Peter Principle applies to the workplace, Dunning-Kruger applies EVERYWHERE. 
:horrormirth:
#7
http://behindthewall.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/10/19396242-good-samaritans-pay-the-price-for-rescue-gone-wrong?lite&lite=obnetwork

QuoteBEIJING – Two teenage boys who attempted to rescue their friends from drowning in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan have each agreed to pay 50,000 yuan ($8,150) for failing to pull them from the lake.

Although police did not charge them with a crime, Wu Bo and Liu Hai, both 18, agreed to pay the family of one of the victims in a settlement that is not uncommon in China, where there are no national "Good Samaritan" laws protecting people from criminal liability if they help someone in danger.

That's some wretchedly sad shit.
#9
Literate Chaotic / the golden fiddle
July 05, 2013, 12:01:09 AM
..."Johnny, we need that money," Esther Jane said. "Momma's gonna die if she don't get that chemo."
"Momma's gonna die anyway, and you damn well know it!"
Johnny said." That fiddle is like nothing I've ever heard, Es!   I swear to gawd it would break my heart to melt it down for money!  Momma's already all ate up with the cancer, them docs cain't stop it."
Esther Jane teared up and her hands began to shake again.
"Gawd DAMMIT Johnny!
Her ice blue eyes sharpened and looked daggers at him.  Her face turned older and harder as she stood up, a little wobbly, but sobering in her nascent rage.

"Johnny, I cain't believe you'd be so hard-hearted to yo' momma!  You'd send her to the grave for that gawd-damn fiddle!"
   "Naw, Esther Jane, I don't want her to die, and it tain't me doin' the sendin," he said. " The Good Lord could save her if'n he wanted to. The Doctors sure cain't. You know that.  You know that, Esther Jane. You know it's just a matter of months we'd get, at best.  Why should I have to give up the best fiddle I ever had? The best THING I ever had? All for a few months for her?  She moved away, sold Daddy's house and left me behind when I was 16, Esther!"
He shook his head, looked down at steel case that held his heart's desire, and shook his head again.
"I ain't gotta do nothin for that woman, and I ain't gonna. No. No way."

While Johnny was saying this, Esther Jane's face was tightening into a fist of rage and disgust. There was a terrible pause, and then she exploded.
"Damn you!" she shrieked, the tears pouring out of her eyes. "Gawd DAMN you all to hell and gone! Gawd DAMN you Johnny! 
"You ain't no flesh and blood to me no more, you heartless sonofabitch!"
"You can jus' get the hell outta here Johnny!  Jus' go on, get the hell out!"
So saying she flung the half-empty bottle of Taylor port at him, and he ducked.  Glass shards rained down the wall, and the wine bled like Esther's heart as it dripped down the nubbly, tobacco-smoke stained plaster.  The smell of cheap wine joined the miasma of despair.
She keened in the kitchen hysterically as Johnny collected the few things he had in the house, most of which he kept packed and ready to go anyway.  He left what he didn't immediately need in his old pickup, Bessie.
Bessie had a cap on the bed that mostly didn't leak.  He had to keep shoving plastic grocery bags into the cracked spot, so it was nice and dry when he had to sleep in the back.  Since he'd won his Prize...so much had changed. 
It was as if the hand of every man and every woman were against him, once he had his golden Lady in his life and heart.
"Don't you never come back here, you Devil!" Esther Jane shouted from the porch.
Johnny shouted back "Don't worry, I ain't gonna!"
Then he stomped on the worn pedal of Bessie, and the old chevy dutifully complied.
  A skinny hound startled away from Bessie's wheels as they spit gravel...
And there was the last of his kinfolk in the rear view mirror.
The very last.
A tear rolled down Johnny's face, but his heart hardened to stone.


Other than the fiddle, there wasn't much he cared about.  Well, really anything.
  After all, wherever he went, they wanted that fiddle.  Even family, they wanted to use the very body of Sweetheart.  He could not believe they would harm such a lovely thing.

He had to keep it hid, even though throughout the day he'd be thinking about holding her. It was, in truth, his lover, his ecstasy, his one remaining source of joy, his Glory.
**********************************

He knew his pretty lady was gonna be trouble the first time he played out, playing a dive bar, an open mic.  Oh Lord have mercy! the bluegrass was sweet that night, the audience was in a waking dream, while he played like a man possessed, for hour upon hour, while other musicians dropped out in exhaustion. The proprietor had to stop him in the end. Playing that lovely golden fiddle was as if he were drunk on the purest firey moonshine, like he was loved deeply and truly, like he was going home, like his life and everyone in it was beyond beautiful.

And after he'd locked the fiddle up in its' protective case and started to walk to his old truck, he'd had to put a man down. 
The stranger had a knife, but Johnny had a bigger one and knew how to use it better.

The next day Johnny was in another town, and he learned the guy lived from the radio while he was getting his long hair buzzed off.  Johnny didn't trust the police, so going back to clear his name? that didn't seem such a good idea.  After all, it was just him and the other guy, word against word, and he'd merely got his single coat sliced open...He had family in the state pen, he wasn't going back.
Besides, how could he protect the fiddle?  It was obvious everyone had wanted the thing, the police would say he had to have stolen it.
No dumb hillbilly had enough money to own such a priceless thing.

**************************************************

Suggestions on where to take this totally welcomed, but I figure this is part 1 of 4 or so....I guess.  I actually think I know where I'm going, for once!
It just occurred to me...what happened after Johnny won the golden fiddle from the Devil, you know?


#10
Yeah, I'm gloomy.
I am totally okay with being gloomy.

I would rather snark at the news than feel the news, because the news hurts.

I have a truly sick sense of humor, this works well at my job.
One night I overheard a call.
The Medical Examiner (M.E) hadn't released a body for tissue recovery.
...Why?
The ambulance crew had managed to forget the guy's leg at the ER.
The tissue recovery peeps and I were all laughing, trying to figure out why the hell they hadn't noticed they were leaving a freaking leg behind???

The sick sense of humor, the gloom? I'm just gloomy.
I'm perfectly fine being gloomy.
My personal heurisitc is that horrible shit happens.

A lot of people deliberately put on blinkers and stick their fingers in their ears and go "LALALALAA!" if you mention horrible shit happening.
...That's part of why I feel isolated...it's like...it's not ok to ever talk about it.

That's life, or lack thereof...a lot better these days.

Recently, on the drive back from the girlfriendo's, I was almost killed by a drunk guy going west in the eastbound lanes.
After, I thought...I would have gone out on a good note.
I'd had a better day than I'd had in a long time. :)
#11
Or Kill Me / I'm fucking evil
July 01, 2013, 02:45:13 PM
...I just called the police on my best friend.
He was going to kill himself.

He still may kill himself after he gets out of the psych ward.
He may hate my guts for doing this to him.

...I'm going with my gut instinct.
He CAN get better.
He has to do the work, though.  The same kind of work he assisted me to survive through.

...I am a ruthless, controlling bastard.
So shoot me.
#12
Or Kill Me / Nowhere
June 22, 2013, 06:40:07 AM
I used to be an anarcho-syndicalist.
...Then I realized that people in general couldn't be trusted enough to do that.
Ultimately, government is a great advance over the whole raiding banditry thing...And unlike the raiding bandits, one may actually get positive benefit from the government.  We have a lot more order and get a lot more shit done this way. 

...Plus, I was coming to see that the issue isn't politics. 
Or rather that politics is a far too narrow way of looking at the problem.

The issue is, to paraphase Jeshua Bin Joseph, that we don't love one another.
Not enough.
We look at society as some sort of zero-sum game.
We PLAY all sorts of zero-sum games, yeah one winner, at least one loser.

The thing is though? Human culture and technology is the antithesis of the zero-sum game We all are standing on the shoulders of someone else, and they are standing on shoulders.  In fact it's shoulders all the way down to where we see one guy learning to make a fire.

When one sees zero-sum behaviors, one sees con-artists, corporate raiders, job exporters...parasites who make many others less wealthy so that they might be more wealthy.
Or miners who take profits and leave behind heavy-metals poisoning, drillers who dump toxic sludge, plant operations directors who turn the pollution control equipment off on cloudy days.

A friend of mine said "This world is a cathedral, and we run around smearing feces on the frescoes."

...And this is supposed to be good? 
Short-term profit for long-term loss?

We train kids in competitive zero-sum games, when thinking in zero-sum ways may be antithetic to our broader social interests, whether as a country, a group, or even a bonded pair.  Try having a marriage with someone who thinks that if you win, they lose.
We're all in this together.  We live or die as a species, dammit.  No man , or woman, or any other gender is an island.

Something else?  Think about this:
Put together people like me who depend on meds for the ability to be happy.  Add in the people who use ANY substance compulsively-this includes food and legal chemicals.  Then throw in all the plethora of behavioral addictions.
Maybe even including the addiction to getting more wealth...

You have a majority of society that's medicating unhappiness in some way.

Nobody's articulating alternatives anymore, it seems.  I'd like a more loving, just, sane, and sustainable society, but I don't know how to get us there.
And I'm tired.  Really tired.
Just survival is so fucking hard, you know this, you're there.  This shit isn't easy.

But I think it starts with loving people.
I think it starts with recognizing that each of us has more beauty in us, more worth, that we could be caring for each other, instead of letting one another fall.
That if we stopped treating people like human toilet tissue, it wouldn't matter what political system we had.
That if we started realizing this is no zero-sum game, that we are all in this together...

...Nah.  Not gonna happen here.

#13
Some days continuing to suck oxygen is a triumph, you know?
Or actually tossing one's cookies in the toilet and not all over the place.
Life's hard.
I wanted to kind of celebrate little victories, give each other cred.

Today I rode 5 miles when I really wasn't feeling like it.
I meditated.
I was feeling hopeless and worthless again,  so I argued myself into an ok mood whilst showering.

How about y'all?
#14
Aneristic Illusions / That special glow.
June 05, 2013, 09:40:23 PM


This is old news, but it was news to me:
QuoteA legendary CIA mission – employing some of the world's greatest mountaineers – sought to place a nuclear powered listening post on Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot, two of the highest peaks in the Himalayas, to eavesdrop on Chinese missile tests at Lop Nor. But in planning its Himalayan adventure, the CIA apparently disregarded the dangers and unpredictability of the element at the heart of its certainties – plutonium – and the consequences haunt the mission and its survivors to this day.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2008/06/30/making-a-billion-hindus-glow-in-the-dark/
Basic summation:
CIA wants to put a plutonium-powered listening post at the top of Nanda Devi.
Team encounters bad weather, secures the unit to the mountainside.
Next year, they climb to where the device had been secured, only to find an avalanche had removed the entire slope.


In 2006,Peter Takeda climbed in the area.  He was actively looking for the lost RTG-powered unit.

QuoteDuring the course of that expedition, Takeda took a sample of coarse sediment 200 yards upstream from the confluence of the Rishi Ganga and Dhauli Ganga, due south of the town of Lata just outside the Sanctuary, a site so remote there are no potential industrial or human sources of pollution.

The Rishi Ganga is a stream flowing from the Nanda Devi Glacier out from the Sanctuary. The Dhauli Ganga is the river into which the Rishi flows, ultimately becoming the Ganges, Takeda said.

Boston Chemical Data Corp., a private environmental engineering firm in Massachusetts, analyzed the sample and detected plutonium 239 with 95 percent certainty.

"Just to have that level in a coarse sediment sample was a real surprise," said Marco Kaltofen, a civil engineer and president of Boston Chemical. "It definitely warrants more investigation."

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Proof-of-plutonium-in-climber-s-sample-1232287.php#ixzz2VNGPpCdL

In other things I didn't know:
QuoteIn addition to spacecraft, the Soviet Union constructed many unmanned lighthouses and navigation beacons powered by RTGs.[5] Powered by strontium-90 (90Sr), they are very reliable and provide a steady source of power. Critics[who?] argue that they could cause environmental and security problems as leakage or theft of the radioactive material could pass unnoticed for years, particularly as the locations of some of these lighthouses are no longer known due to poor record keeping. In one instance, the radioactive compartments were opened by a thief.[5] In another case, three woodsmen in Georgia came across two ceramic RTG heat sources that had been stripped of their shielding. Two of the three were later hospitalized with severe radiation burns after carrying the sources on their backs. The units were eventually recovered and isolated.[6]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator

...And apparently, hydrofracking fluids in Pennsylvania are also pulling  radioactive materials out of the rock...

QuoteThe documents reveal that the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle.

QuoteOther documents and interviews show that many E.P.A. scientists are alarmed, warning that the drilling waste is a threat to drinking water in Pennsylvania. Their concern is based partly on a 2009 study, never made public, written by an E.P.A. consultant who concluded that some sewage treatment plants were incapable of removing certain drilling waste contaminants and were probably violating the law.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/us/27gas.html?ref=drillingdown&_r=0
#15
Aneristic Illusions / Petroleum forever???
May 27, 2013, 04:07:17 AM
#16
Aneristic Illusions / Cops gone wild
May 26, 2013, 01:44:44 AM
http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x1891154115/Sheriff-requests-FBI-inquiry-into-in-custody-death

QuoteThe controversy, which has since captured the attention of readers across the country and around the world, began in the waning minutes of May 7 when a sheriff's deputy with a canine tried to take Silva into custody after law enforcement received a report of a possibly intoxicated man outside Kern Medical Center.

Moments later, more deputies and two California Highway Patrol officers arrived. Baton strikes and the dog were used to subdue Silva, who later died at KMC.

But witnesses have said Silva was lying prone on the ground and begging for his life when officers were striking him.

The incident and the way sheriff's deputies treated witnesses who took video of the incident have made national news. The witnesses have described being detained in their homes for hours as search warrants were being requested and obtained.

...When the phones were returned, one of the two videos was deleted, apparently the one that showed the best view.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130515/18051923103/footage-lethal-beating-deleted-seized-phone-sheriff-asks-fbi-to-take-over-investigation.shtml

QuoteThe surprising part is that Youngblood decided to call in the FBI to head up a parallel investigation into the death of David Silva. Even better, he had the phones flown out to the FBI's Sacramento office for analysis.

Honestly, considering that this has gone viral, I doubt he could get away with going along with the okey-doke.  Not and keep his job.  So I guess he's chosen to chuck his underlings under the bus, and I hope the FBI chooses to ream them.

...This reminds me of something, though:

http://gawker.com/5825010/police-beat-gentle-homeless-mentally-ill-man-to-death
"This video, shot on July 5 by a student in Fullerton, California, ostensibly features the sounds of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas crying for his father while being Tased by police officers after he supposedly resisted arrest. Thomas was also beaten so badly that he was placed on life support. He died several days later."
#17
Aneristic Illusions / Cutting it off
May 17, 2013, 05:42:42 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/adoptive-parents-sue-genital-surgery-article-1.1346235

"Now 8, the child identified only as "MC" was born with male and female genitalia. State social workers decided to raise MC as a girl when she was 16 months old and still in foster care.
Surgery removed part of a penis and created a vagina, according to the suit. The child was then raised as a girl...."


"...About a year ago, the Crawfords said, MC said he wanted to be raised as a boy. The parents agreed and allowed the child to wear boys' clothing and to get his hair cut short.
"He wants to be a normal little boy," said his mother, Pam Crawford, who is a psychiatrist."


Normality is what cuts off the one set of fun bits you wanted to keep.

And about the cutting routinely done on normal little boys:

http://www.examiner.com/article/new-study-estimates-neonatal-circumcision-death-rate-higher-than-suffocation-and-auto-accidents

"A new study published last week in Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies estimates that more than 100 baby boys die from circumcision complications each year, including from anesthesia reaction, stroke, hemorrhage, and infection. Because infant circumcision is elective, all of these deaths are avoidable."

As y'all may recall, circumcision came into popularity as a masturbation preventer.

http://www.whale.to/a/circumcision1.html

"Frequent micturition [urination], loss of flesh, convulsions, phosphatic calculus, hernia, nervous exhaustion, dyspepsia, diarrhea, prolapse of rectum, balanitis, acute phimosis and masturbation are all conditions induced by the constricted long prepuce, and all to be rapidly remedied by the simple operation of circumcision." H. G. H. Naylor, A Plea for Early Circumcision, Pediatrics, vol. 12 (1901): p. 231.
That was science, there...

There are actual health benefits to be had from male circumcision:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130416102314.htm
But the infant has no say in the matter.
Maybe a scream of agony, but no say.

We think cutting infant boys is fine.
...But female circumcision is superstitious cruelty, right?  What those uncivilized people do.

http://www.iasociety.org/Default.aspx?pageId=11&abstractId=2177677
"lowered risk of HIV infection among circumcised women was not attributable to confounding with another risk factor in these data. Anthropological insights on female circumcision as practiced in Tanzania may shed light on this conundrum.
"

Normality doesn't just cut your sixth finger and your tail, apparently it's far more likely to take off parts of your fun bits.  Without consulting you. 
That last bit is the part I have problems with.