24 November 2009

Daily Chat 24/10/09

Abel Tasman was the first European to discover an island south of Australia, which he named Van Dieman's Land, in 1642.  Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of the Dallas Police Department in 1963.  The incident was broadcast live on television, as the networks were covering Oswald's transfer at the time.  Donald Johanson and Tom Gray discovered a 40% complete skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis female in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia in 1974.  She was named Lucy, after the Beatles' song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.  In 1993, eleven year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were convicted of the murder of two year-old James Bulger.

Born today:  Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), Scott Joplin (1868-1917), Ian Botham (1957) and Arundhati Roy (1961).

It is Teachers' Day in Turkey.


  1. Any excuse for another picture of Tasmanian devils. The only animal I love more than Tasmanian devils is the slow loris.

  2. awwwww. the one in the middle's lost his v-neck sweater...

  3. ...thus, this is what he's singing at the minute

  4. Philippa,

    Not that there was much doubt but my lepidopterist colleague has just confirmed my ID of your alien!

  5. Read the new lizard story this morning and immediately thought of Dot.

  6. I'm flattered thauma, wish something would regurgitate a new species at my feet, best I've had was a lamprey out of a pike, which was cool, but hardly publishable..........

  7. Morning all,

    I've posted a comment on Tanya Gold's thread claiming that one of the three wise men was Pingu the penguin in answer to Tanya claiming there is no relationship between Jesus and Penguins.

    I'm intrigued to see if it stays on as I manipulated a verse of the bible. Just wondering if that goes against religion and moderation policy. Anyone know?

  8. Good morning.

    Gave up on the Tanya Gold piece when I got to the 'cot death' part. Not in the least bit funny to someone like me, very upsetting actually. And I'm pleased that Kiz has commented on the unfunny trafficking remark.

    And then I got distracted by the MENS groups article ...

  9. Think you're safe, your grace, as the kings / magi / astrologers aren't actually named - or even numbered - in Matthew (or mentioned at all in Luke), the number and naming came later (and the names differ between the churches).

    So they could have been Keith, Barry, Leonard and Ricky, you just have to set up your own schism and point to the appropriate 8th century scroll.

    But the "krill and squid" thing could get the CIFBelief Catho-massive on your case...

    Christmas card caption - "what do you mean you got him socks?"

  10. Plus - Bible not copyright, so they can't do you for that.

    MsChin - agree on that - JYD has already told her off for that one.

  11. Philippa

    I just went a bit ballistic on the Gold thread ...
    And a 'Big Up!' from me to JYD for his stance on this.

    Thought the Duke's Biblical penguin post was fab, though!

  12. Thanks Philippa/MsChin,

    I can never be arsed looking at CiF belief or most religious articles so wasn't sure what is 'offensive' in terms of religious moderation.

    Good posts also. Gold really is quite dreadful isn't she?

  13. I like JYD - he's very funny, but also cuts through the bullshit very effectively.

    Have weighed in my own two-pennorth on that - yours wasn't up when I posted MsChin but the 'well said' is obviously including you as well!

    It's the cheapness of it that bewilders me - "how can I raise this bog-standard article out of the mundane? Ho can I show how edgy I am? I know...". Just bad...

  14. your grace - "wasn't sure what is 'offensive' in terms of religious moderation"

    CIFBelief doesn't tend to moderate on the basis of citations but if someone misrepresents there are normally a boatload (ark-load?) of people who put them right - link-tastic...

    If someone reports you - which seems unlikely but you never can tell - we'll have to see if the mods apply the 'FOK' (fairly obviously kidding) defence or get scared and play safe. Would imagine they wouldn't be too bothered, but stand by for somebody putting you right...which will only make them look ridiculous, but I spend some time on the CIFBelief threads, and wouldn't rule it out completely.

  15. Thanks, Philippa.

    Completely understand what you're saying about the belief threads, Duke. It's alien territory to me.

  16. I like reading the belief threads, and sometimes throw something in, but the debate is often quite high-level (particularly on the threads not trailed on the front page of CIF) in theological / philospohical terms, so it can be a bit difficult to 'get in'. Also, there is a real 'community' on there, and I don't know enough background to follow sometimes - threads often refer back to previous arguments and posters' beliefs etc. I'm gradually getting up the moxy to chip in, but usually just read.

    There are some great posters on there who rarely post anywhere else, and some wodnerful running jokes (freewoolly's ringside reports, the atheist association annual meeting, for example)...

  17. Oh my god, the poll is on whether or not greater crested Millibandi is a hottie or not. Euch...

  18. Share your sentiments about the millibandi, Philippa. Makes me feel like the snake who vomited up his chameleon breakfast ...

  19. Just had an e-mail 'round work about a climate change seminar (specifically on the "debate") s'pose I'd better go then.......

  20. ...and, on science v non-science, round 2, they've got Andrew Brown on creationism again. No YETIs up yet...

  21. I used to enjoy a good barney with a creationist or two (always when provoked) but now it just feels like arguing against someone who's adamant that the sky is pink, but refuses to open their eyes to check, totally pointless..........

  22. LOL, best comment on the creation thread so far...


    24 Nov 2009, 1:41PM



    What's your phone number?

    Felix, stick to trying to date the earth, not me OK?

  23. Jay's on form over on the men's groups thread:

    "Can we get an article from Rylance please Jessica? Can just imagine her scowling at the screen as she thumps away at the keyboard... She has probably just returned from firebombing the local beauty pageant whilst shouting "fascists!". In the absence of Bindel and Bidisha this site has been sorely needing a replacement ideologue of suitable comedy potential. They could take her under their wing as a sort of "buddy program", although the word has sinister male connotations wholly inappropriate for a member of the valient sisterhood, admittedly..."

    Classic Jay.

  24. It's encouraging to see that Tanya Gold's latest offering (complete with tasteless unfunny references to cot deaths and woman trafficking) has only attracted 61 comments in 5 hours. Is this the beginning of the end for the talentless hack, or will she just be even more boring and offensive (a difficult trick to pull off) next time to drive up the comment rate. Why on earth does the Guardian continue to employ her?

  25. The invisible sky pixie only knows, scherfig. But, like you, I'm pleased that Tanya's thread is dead, so to speak, with little interest from posters.

  26. Jessica Reed on the Men's Group thread (after having linked to the Male Privilege Checklist):

    By the way, there's also a handy class privilege checklist.

    People hate these lists, but really they're a great way to start a discussion on inequalities - because most often those who have privilege are oblivious to it in the first place.

    Well, some people hate these lists, i.e. those whose privilege gets pointed out. There also are people who simply lovey-dovey love those lists to corner an opponent because of parts of her/his identity he/she has no control over.

    I don't think Jessica is one of them, but those people really have sullied those lists through their usage in such a way that they stopped carrying any persuasive power.

  27. It's the 'I'm an atheist but...' anti-evolutionists that weird me out most, I think, just in 'internal logic' terms.

    Claudi is indeed the bomb - most of the other AB regulars know who 'she' is, but I don't care, and just enjoy the sporadic accent and the occasional flashes of genius...

  28. Jay's response to the list brilliant, if only to demonstrate that there is shit that cuts one way, and shit that cuts the other way, and shit that cuts both ways. Playing 'victim cribbage' is not going to help anything...

  29. Jay's critique of the list was a typical example of male-patriarchal, passive-aggressive "line-for-line" rebuttal. Which, of course, is meant as a compliment.

    To be honest, I think the statement of men being privileged when it comes to clothing deserves far more shredding. It's like saying that those who can only afford cabbage soup to eat for lunch are privileged because they don't have to think about how much fat they ingest.

  30. fine quote from unexceptional
    "jazz, as someone wiser than me once said, is what you get when you push a perfectly decent blues quartet down a flight of stairs"
    heh heh. heh heh heh...

  31. Hey, I like jazz!

    It was funny, though.

  32. I had to be a little broadbrush, simplistic, and employ some fairly dated generalisations for the list response but i think thats because such lists are inherently broadbrush, simplistic and generalised. Not a useful way to address problems at all. But typical of how painfully doctrinaire the Guardian is, everything must be viewed through the lense of ideology.

    The Jazz quote was a classic.

  33. shh, your grace, remember - the first rule of jazz club is you don't talk about jazz club...

  34. "Plus - Bible not copyright, so they can't do you for that."

    While not an issue in this case, technically most Bibles are in copyright. Any modern translation would have copyright in the translation itself for the period of literary copyright (life of the translator + 70 years) and the King James Bible is actually technically crown copyright owned by the Queen, though not enforced.

    There are some extra exemptions for use of the Bible in copyright law, but broadly only covering it's use in acts of worship rather than mocking Tanya Gold articles sadly.


  35. interesting, phazer - i presume the reason that the lolcats bible etc is ok is because nobody can prove which translation it uses? because as arguably every version we have now is a separate translation based on an earlier text, i don't see how the original source material could be copyright...(or found, except in a dan brown novel, but you get my drift)

  36. Phazer,

    While not an issue in this case, technically most Bibles are in copyright.

    Haven't read the Bible for years but does it say after the last line in 'Revelations':

    © God




  38. ooh, your grace, have just checked and you might be for it because the copyright notice at the end of my KJV (Rev. 22:19) is:

    "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book or this prophecy, God shall take awat his part out of the book of life"

    'The book' could just refer to Revelations itself, given the committee nature of the Bible as a whole, but I'd still be careful...

  39. take away, take away his part out of the book of life...

  40. And about bloody time too!!

    South Yorks chief constable just been on the news. They are finally appointing archivists to collate all the documents related to the Hillsborough disaster prior to putting them in the public domain. The docs will include all those from the police, local council, fire service, football club and others.

    The CC said there is no intention not to release documents because they might be embarrassing.

    Its being funded by the Home Office - so lets hope they keep their sticky fingers out of it.

  41. watson - love your jazz quote! I know what you mean specially where some of the wilder shores of jazz are concerned.

  42. Good news about Hillsborough.

    I have only just logged on so haven't had a chance to look at anything yet today. Sounds like Tanya Gold is one to miss, though. She seriously made a crack about cot deaths? Stupid, stupid woman.

  43. Have to take my tin foil hat off to GIYUS.

    After his last alter-ego 'WetheFreeSheeple' splattered his diahreea over the WADYYA thread I told him I was most disappointed with his new name and to raise his game.

    He's just excreted his latest load under the alias of:



  44. Your Grace

    Just had a quick squiz at GIYUS on waddya. Doffing my tin foil hat too. You have to give him credit for indefatigability and I agree AnalRusebringer9 is an inspiration.

  45. Tanya Gold really is a waste of bandwidth, isn't she? She is not even remotely amusing.

  46. Sheff,

    I've turned into a big fan I must admit.

    Come hell or highwater, moderation, moderation, moderation, back he comes. For the last 3 years.

    In fact I've decided to appeal an ATL gig for him for xmas. It's the least he deserves. Look out for it and recommend!

  47. Your Grace
    What a good idea! I'll support that.

    Can't even be bothered to look at Tanya, she just depresses me.

  48. Especially for Montana

    The Ticklish Loris

    This has to be the cutest creature in the known universe!

  49. GIYUS is hilarious, it has to be said. I never click on any of his links, but I do read his posts.

    I salute his indefatiguability! :p

  50. Hi all, GIYUS is indeed entertaining.Yes Duke I will recommend. Anyone else watching the football? Barca is running circles around Inter, some lovely stuff to watch.

  51. I just read a really cruel joke on another blog but it really made me laugh. In response to the news that the BNP now have their first non-white member, a sikh, someone suggested that he will probably soon get fed up of posting dog shit through his own letter box... :o)

  52. Re: jazz, I chuckled at the quote,I can take it or leave it,but I won't buy jazz music It's blues for me.BitterWeeed,thaumaturge, I did reply regarding bluesmen the other day.(22nd)Cheers.

  53. BB-haha that's funny, maybe they should forward his mail to Griffin.

  54. Good idea, Boudican :o)

    I am more of a blues fan than a jazz fan. And also proper r'n'b too, not the rubbish they call r'n'b these days. Still like my dance music best though. So uplifting no matter what mood you wake up in.

  55. Thanks sheff, but the honor belongs to Philippa who quoted unexceptional who quoted a wiser man than him, and no, that man was not me.

    What kind of you music do you get if throw a polka band down a flight of stairs? Although I don't really care, I sometimes only have the urge to do that kind of thing, when I am playing polka in a band (something that occurs far too often, it must be said).

  56. Hi All,

    Just a flying visit before bedtime. That new Giyus moniker is quality, I agree, although I never read his posts.

    Boudican, will try to remember to read back through the posts to get yours on blues, but I'm afraid I'm off upstairs now.

  57. Watson - in my youth I was rather fond of jiving but wouldn't turn my nose up at a decent polka once in a while.

    Do you get punk if you hurl a skiffle band down a flight of stairs?

  58. Aprt from the fact that the phrase "decent polka" is an oxymoron, O wouldn't turn my nose up at one, either. I would run away from it if I have the choice.

    Okay, that assessment is really too much generalizing, but even a polka-phile euphonium player in our orchestra says the polkas we tend to play suck.

  59. - How many euphonium players does it take to change a light bulb?
    - Two. One to hold the bulb and one to do breathing exercises until the room spins.

  60. Nice one Shaz

    Too tired to keep my eyes open. Going to laugh at the ticklish loris one more time then go to bed.

    Night night all xx