If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts. But do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.

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Topics - Zenpatista

"Serious parody: Discordianism as liquid religion" by Mäkelä & Petsche, Cult. & Rel., 14(4):411-423

The second link has a better chance of having the full text. The first may work better for people with library access.

It's a short article. It does a good job of describing my experience as a Discordian. The whole business of this "religion" - it's a parody - or is it? No, seriously, it's a joke.

But the more you look into it, the more there is to seriously laugh about. Horrormirth, GRINs and all.

Liquid Religion refers to the infusing of sacred concepts and actions into the behavior of otherwise non-religious people. The concept of 'liquid religion' is enticing. The idea seems to be that religiosity seeps through the cracks or that elements of worship or gathering in faith are useful and enlightening for atheists or people from different faiths.

Two vast and trunkless legs of stone / Trust No One
August 29, 2018, 03:16:00 AM
Once again, I learned the value of "Trust No One". This is the most important thing I teach science students. It's a generic response to "I tried everything and nothing works." It's certainly better than what I'm muttering through clenched teeth when I hear those complaints....

"Trust No One" is the lab motto. New students (young scientists) sometimes react against this. It's nothing personal. It's just that after a life time of messing up experiments, I've learned that every single experiment works. Every. Single. One. It's just that they don't always work out the way *you* want them too. Why don't they always work out? Well, that involves troubleshooting which takes time, money and experience. Something went bad - the reagents, the equipment, the protocol.... something got roached. After running through the troubleshooting game for a decade or two you start finding a trend to the problems. "I borrowed so-and-so's water. He said it was sterile." Or, "I thought all the cuvettes were the same." Or, "The pressure filter was slow so I used the suction filter - it was weird how foamy it got." Well, that explains why I'm not able to purify the protein. The protein won't be purified now because it's been turned into latte-topping.

"Trust No One" is the motto of science. In the big picture, it means that I don't have to believe your results. I can do the experiment myself. In fact, it means that I don't have to believe all of your detailed conclusions either. Although I do need to trust and believe your results. I don't mind reading your conclusions and I respect that you're probably the best person to interpret your results - in a well-regarded peer reviewed journal that is. However, I reserve the right to think about what your results mean in my own twisted vision of how things work. It's a complicated, messy and beautiful world and you're not going to figure anything out by taking someone's half-baked conclusions for granted.

"Trust No One" means taking responsibility for your own actions, experiments and thinking.

Today, I learned that transgenic yeast cells will still grow when you use 4x too much "yeast nitrogen base" and zero ammonium sulphate in the synthetic growth media. I saw the comment on the jar about needing to add ammonium sulphate. Instead, I trusted the notebook from the student who started the project. The manual didn't specify much in the way of media and my cells grew anyway. Slowly, and to a smaller extent than expected.

"Trust No One" indeed.
Or Kill Me / Lock her up
June 24, 2018, 04:18:33 PM
Oh you poor fellas. What's wrong? Wife is all up in arms over kids in cages and you just can't seem to explain why you "know better" and "just vote the way you're told"? #Trumpjail is what they're calling it now. Ooh, better not let her hear that! You'll really catch it then!

Look, you chanted it. CBP heard you. Well, it's not my fault you weren't more specific. Loud and clear you were. 100+ decibels of riotous, roiling hate - completely ignorant of the rule of law. Well, now you get to own it. "Lock her up", you shouted. Chanted along with the mob mentality of the rest of the inmates. We couldn't have mean mommy as President. It was difficult enough for the previous 8. Aw, poor broflake. When you were chanting "Lock her up" I guess CBP got a little confused? Maybe they think this is OK because they were distractedly drooling over their new wall? Oh didn't you hear your glorious yellow-stained (that's not gold y'all - just saying) leader did an in depth study with local and regional law enforcement and leading border experts? Psyche!! Hahaha yeah right. No, my "friend", what you got was what you wanted. You screamed for this. Hollered yourself hoarse for it. Presidents are package deals and you got the entire thing. Now you get to own it.

Now look, I know you may be thinking "What about this?" and "What about that?" "What about how Hillary colluded with the aliens to hide the evidence of her killing spree at the Vatican....?" Nope. Uh-uh. Sorry dude. "B-B-b-b-but Obama bombed weddings!" OK. I'll agree with you on that one. And he got a peace prize to boot. Sheesh! But here's the thing. Obama was a President of the US and all that that entails. I'm cognizant of the huge (yuge) number of drone bombing assassinations carried out President Obama. Do you think they stopped? No. Does that make them all "correct"? No. But before Obama we hadn't had a decent president in a *long* time. I'm not making excuses. However, if there is one thing a decent electorate can handle, it's the subtle, nuanced (or hypocritical and not-so-nuanced) flavor of the proffered shit sandwich that is US politics. Go on. Take a bite. Nutty? Find a corn kernel or two? That's presidential right there.

No, we don't deal in "Whatbaoutisms". We don't stoop to "But but but..." Why? Because there is still a difference between the presidents. Some are a complete shit show, literally trolling their base from a porcelain throne while children rot in #Trumpjail. Others may have been the best president we've ever had. Room for improvement in Obama? Oh hell yes. But still possibly the best president we ever had. Probably not better than Carter though. And HRC would probably have given him a run for that title. She too would probably have done a great many things that piss me off but she would easily have been better than the current circus.

But right now? Kids in camps? and your "news channel" arguing *for* it? Are you agreeing with them? This administration is different. Exceptionally worse - like worse than Nixon. God, I miss Nixon. Instead of locking up Hillary for crimes she didn't commit and wasn't tried for, y'all locked up little girls for the crime of having a parent that wanted asylum. "Lock her up" indeed. Own it you savages. That's all on you. Little kids sleeping in cages in space blankets. Space blankets. That reminds me, did you hear about "space force"?
I read Robert Asprin's "Phule's Company" many years ago and it seems to have morphed and gestated with my piss poor understanding of the second amendment as well as a desire for a better world. More fool me. The following is a half-baked advertisement type thing, but I promised myself I'd post here more often so.....

Hey you! Yeah you! Do you like your hometown? Have you noticed that the Old Pueblo has gone from "the Dirty T" to "Bastard City"? Have you seen Tucson turn sideways and wondered how the cops held on while the rest of us slid off?

Well maybe the Tucson Irregulars are just what you need!

We're looking for a few "good" sophonts capable of helping fellow neighbors while throwing sand in the gears of "the machine" and whistling innocently.

Do you like guns, but hate the NRA? We may be what you need! As the only established well regulated militia, you will have access to all the firearm fun you could want! Of course, you'll have to pass the written, oral, other written, practical, mental, diagnostic, field, maintenance and management tests.

And don't worry about that other town in AZ. We're the "Tucson" Irregulars. Phoenix can go fuck itself! Flagstaff is good on it's own. Bisbee, well we can road trip it for those guys.

Are you someone who has faith (or atheism) but hate having religion crammed up your neckhole? We're definitely what you need. Whether your beliefs involve being buried up to your nostrils in 115 degree sand and covered with scorpion pheromones, or saying a simple amen before dinner, the Tucson Irregulars have your back.

And speaking of backs, if you're homeless or if you're "sleeping rough" we may be able to put a roof over your head. Our staff sergeant will make sure your work duties cover three square meals and a clean cot. As long as you like eating javelina, rattlesnake & prickly pear, you're golden!

The Tucson Irregulars - the only group you can count on in these weird times. Chapters opening near you!
New Year's Resolutions piss me off. If it's important, and you resolve to do it, how often does the realization happen on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1?

Despite that, for those of us on the Gregorian calendar I share with you some of my resolutions for the new year. Please add.

I resolve to ....

... ride the rear bumper of every Bastard City Snowbird dawdling in the passing lane - especially if they are driving a prius or subaru.

... bitch about every public official - R or D or Green or Libloony - as much as I can before the acid reflux gets to me.

... love everybody.

... park as close as humanly possible to the guy taking up two spaces with their pristine off road vehicle.

... post here more frequently.

... carry an old sock filled with 1 lb of decking screws at all times. Remember scouts - Be prepared!

... KMFMS and practice my GRIN.

... Finally find a use (or target) for that old triply-sealed bottle of cadaverine in the lab.

Or Kill Me / The Deluge
May 05, 2015, 05:28:41 AM
It started with a brisk wind on an otherwise unseasonably cool day.

It was normally hot by May and the locals thought the change in weather a welcome delay to the frequently forbidding spring and summer's heat and dryness. So, it was thoroughly delightful when the rains started. First it was a sprinkle and then a steadily increasing downpour.

It didn't last the biblical 40 days and nights, much to the chagrin of some folks in the religious extreme. However, it was long enough to make a few of the timid-type of atheists get nervous.

The flooding washed through the housing developments and demolished satellite cities. Downtown became a concrete reef of overpasses and on-ramps. Bookstores and coffee shops and walmarts and record shops and fast food places and libraries and churches and golf courses - all under water. There was some violence when the highways jammed as people realized the truth and tried to leave in a rush. There was some looting once most of the authorities left. But the waters took the lion's share of the goods. The legislature had tried to deny it. They even took time to pen a quick bill that described the sudden change in the weather as a federal emergency yes, but certainly not due to global climate change. There was even a subclause explaining that it was somehow Obama's fault.

The reservations became expensive water-front property and the richest of the refugees couldn't buy their way in. The Native Americans in the First People's Council had a set of standards to accept refugees that the well-to-do couldn't figure out. Many folks fled to the North or the South. Favelas were set up around neighboring towns. The newcomers were welcomed in but warily at first. Many tried to stay in the ramshackle housing but the desire for their former lives forced them to acclimate to their Northern or Southern neighbor's ways. Tattoo and piercing parlors made 200% increase in profits as the new folks tried to fit in. There was a little head cracking in order to get the refugees to lose some of their holier-than-thou ways, and of course there were many who couldn't ever bring themselves to talk and interact with those they considered beneath them. They were the first to feed the roving coyote packs.

The Great Arizona Lake took 23 days to fill with water. There are still bodies and golf carts and debris at the bottom. But nature is filling in the gaps. There are fast growing reeds at the water's edge. The whole area is home to growing flocks of birds and butterflies. Fishermen have been seen plying the waters. There's even talk of a resurgence in the state's budget due to another natural wonder. But Phoenix was never to rise again.