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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Another Halo for Me

Hey, look what I found! I knew this comment was hanging about somewhere.

I had forgotten precisely what
I had said. Proof that I'm not a complete snarky bitch.

From Red State Rabble's post about a speech by Judge Jones, this is my response to Tom Thumb's comment: "The 'threats' [against Judge Jones] could have easily have come from the left, as part of a disinformation ploy. Then, blame the 'creationists'."

Well, Tom Thumb, that’s a particularly puerile and ignorant statement to make. Death threats are always made by the least articulate, most immature, and most irrelevant members of any position, left or right. I have repeatedly deplored death threats made against anyone for any reason, and I believe that DaveScot at Uncommon Descent deplored the threats made against Jones. Death threats are made by louts, pure and simple, who have no interest in the issues involved.

It is impossible to oppose someone repeatedly without forming some kind of emotional attachment to him/her; we are human beings. We are connected to each other. I know that if anything bad befell the folks at UD I would be traumatized, devastated. I even have a sneaking affection for a few of them. And your baseless accusation, Tom Thumb, hardly shows compassion for Jones, but rather a gleeful rubbing of the hands at being able to “blame the Darwinists.”

Let me tell you, if I found out that anyone that I knew acted with read or implied violence, that person would be turned in to the cops so fast he or she wouldn’t know what happened.

So, grrr! Don't mess with goody two-shoes! I might stab you with my newly-discovered knitting needles, with which I'm knitting little booties like a regular church lady. Ah, I've been reborn.

Phhhht! Yeah, right.

"I Wish I Had a Stun Gun"

With its usual penchant for hyperbolic understatment, the Star Tribune has entitled this story "Black Friday's thrill ride not for the faint of heart.".

"I don't want anyone pushing or elbowing!" he yelled to a crowd of more than 100 shoppers lined up outside the store's entrance. "I just want everyone here to stay safe."

His plea for polite behavior was forgotten minutes later, when the doors swung open and a crush of people descended on a cart piled high with 19-inch flat-panel TVs, priced at $179 each. "Get out of the way!" yelled one woman, her cart already stuffed with two TVs and a DVD player. "God, I wish I had a stun gun," one shopper said as he maneuvered his cart through the crowd.

Though unsettling to some [emphasis mine], the morning mayhem suggests a strong start to the holiday shopping season.

"Unsettling to some"? I am fucking terrified of anybody who appeals to God to give him a stun gun just before Christmas. And do I strike anybody as "faint of heart"?

Yeah, actually I am. I'm faint-hearted when it comes to stun guns. (The cops killed this kid, too. He was obviously mentally ill and not hurting anybody.)

Shimmies to Pharyngula and Rev. BigDumbChimp.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Library of Congress Versus Dewey Decimal

UPDATED: George at Pharyngula sets me straight on LCC.
Well, how are you spending your Thanksgiving holiday? Are you working or do you have days off? I have days off but I'll be spending them working on my take-home finals and my paper. Oh, joy.

This is going to sound totally out there but, having just mastered (ha ha) the two major library classification systems used in the U.S., I wonder if what’s going on with the guys over at UD is that they are LCC (Library of Congress Classification) versus DDC (Dewey Decimal Classificiation) people.

Ann Coulter made that derogatory crack about librarians with “their Dewey Decimal system” [sic] in Godless and it pissed me off (and I was hurt, rather—America hates liberal arts majors suddenly, and America hates teachers now, and America hates librarians, too? What, Coulter never made use of the law librarian while she was, I am sure, cocktail-waitressing her way through law school in order to escape her backward small town, New Canaan, Connecticut? I'm trying to become a product member of society, my dear). But I’m beginning to see some parallels between the two systems and the evo-ID debate.

(There is such a thing as psychology of cataloging. Librarians are interested in making materials available to people. We really don't want to "bury the work." Were I to work in a public library—and no, I don't want to—I would of course include books about Intelligent Design on the shelves.)

First of all, LCC is frontloaded. You do not build (create) a unique number from a few simple and elegant schedules and principles as in DDC; in LCC you comb through volumes of pre-printed schedules and tables (over 40 volumes at this point) from which you must not deviate, and all of it printed in microscopic script (scripture?), and not logical as is DDC. (Ever ask yourself why G stands for Geography and M stands for Music, but K stands for Law and Q stands for Science? Well, the G = Geography and M = Music was coincidence. Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?)

Secondly, and this is interesting, LCC basically allows one to fudge the number as long as it arranges the books in the proper order on the shelf (and it doesn’t always do that properly). Looking at certain LCC numbers one cannot necessarily reconstruct how the hell the librarian came up with the damn thing, because, in some cases, the number was completely dependent not upon LCC's rules but determined by the books already on the shelf (thus, irreducible complexity!).

And yet LCC works—it arranges books on the shelf—but that’s all it does. It doesn’t bring out all the aspects (facets) of a work as Dewey can, and moreover, the LCC was never intended to be used anywhere else but the Library of Congress, anyway. And as new knowledge comes it, it is Dewey Decimal that has shown itself to be more flexible in incorporating new areas, say, African literature or Asian-American history, than has LCC, though both systems exhibit of course a bias toward our western, white, male, classically-educated heritage. That is probably why the Dewey Decimal Classification is the most used system throughout the world (as well as the fact that it employs only Arabic numerals which can be recognized even by people who don't employ a Latin alphabet).

Dewey, however, is indeed rational and logical, and was invented by one person in the 19th century during the development of other classification schemes (particularly in biology—hmmmm) and during the rise, it should be noted, of the scientific method and evolutionary theory. It should also be noted that LCC was also a product of the 19th century, but it was the product not of one person (and admittedly, Dewey was not the genius that he portrayed himself to be, and he was a major jerk besides) but a huge number of people working independently of each other in their own area of expertise (and my analogy breaks down when one remembers that both systems were, duh, designed).

I've often thought that there is a question of personality behind the ID versus Evo debate, and I wonder if these guys would eschew the simple and elegant DDC to the volumes and volumes of LCC schedules and tables which do not allow you to create a number but do tell you your every step (until you get to the fudging part). I don't think we should make carry these parallels too far but it would be interesting for someone pursuing a Ph.D. in Library Science (don't look at me!) to conduct a survey.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Are We "Close to Eating"?!

Happy Thanksgiving Day, everyone!

Now, I know that I have a battery-operated turkey in a drawer around here...somewhere...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Am I "Close to Jesus"?!


I just came across this comment by AmeriChristian at RedStateRabble. AmeriChristian and I have certainly tangled on religion but agree on just about everything else. I posted my comment and left; I didn't see what happened afterward (and it looks like the trolly that AmeriChristian is defending me from got deleted anyway) but here's what he says:

Publius: I think Kristine is saying that this kind of hypocrisy is all to evident in all circles of human existence. It is also just as present and easily evident in both liberal and conservative Christan circles. None of us are doing very well on this, and the Biblical admonition that all of us Christians and nonChristians fall within the circle of sin on one count or another (and usually a lot more) is borne out as an inescapable reality. That includes you too "hot shot." Maybe you should pause for a minute and think about why an atheist gal in Minnesota is closer to Jesus than you are.

Well, I guess I'll show that to my mother! I don't really think I'm Snow White but I know how he means it, and I do take it as a compliment. Thanks, AmeriChristian!

*Halo* (Okay, now stop barfing, everyone. You're worse than my cats. Geez.)

UPDATED: Too funny, I just found this one too! See, at least one creationist troll likes my pale ass.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Global Orgasm Festivities

(Veil drop to Orac and Pharyngula)

Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa
in the legal, matrimonial way!
He's breakin' the bed,
she's wakin' the dead,
it's Christmas every day!
Bells are ringing, springs are singing,
things are merry and bright,
choirs are belting, North Pole's melting,
Santa Claus came last night!

Okay, I anticipate that this post is going to generate a lot of excitement but let me preface this by saying that this is meant as healthy, wholesome fun with a consenting partner. This information is meant for anybody. It can be done in the context of the most conservative view of marriage if that's your chosen lifestyle, or it can be done between total (consenting) strangers. I don't care.

People have a right to enjoy their own bodies, and that includes married couples who remained abstinent until their wedding night. All right, end of lecture. Let's move on to


This is one method of getting around the bugabear of him wearing out before she does. There are several ways to achieve this but one way is to firmly (but gently) grasp and pinch the penis just beneath the head as he feels close to orgasm. Another method depends more upon him; it can involve holding his breath, but it definitely involves him squeezing his pubococcygeal (PC) muscle, commonly known as the muscle that stops the flow during urination.

Whichever way this is done (and it does require some practice and patience), the point is to cut off stimulation before the therwise inevitable rollover into ejaculation. A man's experience of this kind of orgasm varies among individuals (I'm told). However it is done, it is possible for him to experience a number of these before finally ejaculating if he wishes to.

Okay, this is basic information. I promised that I would post other wonderful non-impregnating delights but it's dinnertime. A bientot!
I'm back. Now, you guys can think of other things to do that don't necessarily lead to pregnancy, right?
There's oral sex,
mutual massage,
tantric sex (the so-called "dry orgasm" described above is part of this),
and plain old, good old, birth control.

At any rate, I think the global orgasm is a grand idea (no matter how woo the philosophy behind it). And now, I'd like to close with a link to one of my favorite films of all time (unfortunately not showing on the web at present), We're Talking Vulva. (Also check out the Guy Maddin links; he's one of my favorite directors!)


During their sexual researches the surrealists went around the room and answered the same question. One of these questions was, What do you say at the moment of orgasm?

Pierre Unik: The most I have ever said was, "Ha!"
Simone Vion: I don't say anything.
Raymond Michelet: Nor I.
Andre Breton: Nothing.
Andre Thirion: I think I once said, "Darling."
Humm: [Complete silence]
Victor Meyer: Nothing.
Pierre Blum: With someone I love, "Darling," otherwise nothing.
Madame Lena: Generally I say, "Fernande" (that's my sister), or "Denis" (he's a doctor I am in love with but I have never slept with him), or "Pierre."
Schnitzler: Nothing.
Schwartz: "I love you (a.i.o....)" [The record does not indicate the meaning of this.]
Albert Valentin: "Slut," "Scum," "Tart," etc.
Paul Eluard: I never stop talking.

I'm A Weirdo!

Citizen of the Month asks:

Why do women feel so comfortable teaming up together, while men like to go it alone (or at least fake that they do)? ...

Is it because “Every day is Men’s Day” in this “patriarchal society” and men don’t need to join together — or are men just uncomfortable with each other and fear looking unmanly? Is it any wonder that women can talk for hours together, complimenting each other on their shoes, hair, and bodies, while men are more comfortable talking with their penises than talking with other men?

It may be the case that there are certain statistical differences between men and women that justify generalizations, but they don't apply specifically to me. Garrison Keillor once said that "women cannot be loners" but he is full of crap. I'm a loner.

I prefer to read at lunch, rather than chat with the chicks. If I do chat, it's about heavy stuff--politics, etc. I stink at small talk although I'm deliberately trying to improve. (And it doesn't help that so many women spend their time griping about their guys. Sorry, but I came from a blue-collar background where men didn't help without housework and I'm surprised to hear from middle-class educated feminists that their husbands can't pick up their own socks. Couldn't they have held out for someone who shares the housework? I did!)

I like men. I'm much more comfortable around them than some women. I have a lot of female friends but there's one type of woman I tend to be a victim of, and that's the controlling, back-biting, perfectionist, princess type. (In other words, I cannot stand "Bridezillas," and "Daddy's Little Girl" makes my stomach lurch.)

I take mass transit at night all the time and I've seen just about everything, but I still can't get the hang of "working a room." I've never dreamed of my wedding day. I loathe curling irons.

I prefer to solve problems rather than complain. I keep a lot of things to myself and let it hang out here. (And how many of the visitors to my blog are men, and how many are women?)

I hate to shop. I went a full year without shopping for clothes without even thinking about it. It's been almost two years since I bought a piece of jewelry. (But have I loaded up on books that I haven't even read yet? You betcha! Where they chick-lit? No.) I forget to wear my jewelry too.

So I guess my point here is that I don't think men should beat themselves up for not living up to a stereotype that women (or at least women like me) don't live up to.

(Hip-bump to Citizen again)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

If I Watched It...

...there would be no way I could wash the stain off my brain.

I'm speaking of course of the "I Only Want to Sell You" sequel piece o' crap (If I Did It) by Mr. O.J. I'm-Looking-for-the-Real-Killers-with-Every-Babe-I-Boff Simpson, in which he details how he would have killed his ex-wife and Ron Goldman if, of course, he did it, which he claims, of course, that he didn't.

I'm a true crime buff but my sympathy is never with the killers. Of course, Mr. Simpson was acquitted so I don't know if I can call him a murderer (although I have my opinion about that) but he has never acted as though he were a grieving ex-husband and this is hardly the way to (belatedly) start.

This is just about the sickest programming decision ever made. Can we say: MAD ABOUT THE BOYCOTT? Boycott the show, boycott the book, and boycott FOX.

And here's a brilliant take on the whole situation!

(Shimmies to Citizen of the Month)

UPDATED: Hey! Good job, everyone! The book and the cowpie television show have been cancelled!

Asleep At Last

Mustn't wake up. Clown start meowing.
Mustn't wake up. Clown start meowing.
Mustn't feed clown. Clown start barfing.

Then clown eat other clownette's food.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Two Events from MN Planetarium Society

UPDATED: Here is Lawrence Rudnick's website. At first I thought he had written this creation parody that I loved in the New Yorker, but that's Paul, not Larry. I'm glad I didn't try to make it, though. Cold, shivering on the LRT in the dark, and weighted down with my finals, I ran home and stayed there, where Honeybunch was making dinner and the barf machines shut down for the day and sat on me.
From Parke W. Kunkle, President, Minnesota Planetarium Society:

1. Leonid Meteor Shower and Star Party
at Onan (last public star party of the year)
Star Party from 7 to 10 at Onan Observatory near Norwood-Young America.
Clear only event.
Map and directions at
More on the Leonids here.

[It's time for the Leonids already?]

2. Lecture at First Unitarian Church.
Dr Lawrence Rudnick (from the U of M) is giving a lecture, free and open to the public, titled: "The Unfolding Universe - Finding Design".
The responding comments will be given by Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons. Parke says, "Larry is a key member in helping get the planetarium started. He is excellent. His goal is to discuss some of the latest findings in Astronomy with the intent that it will stir discussion within communities of faith."
Refreshnments at 6:30.
Talk and response from 7 to 9:00

First Unitarian Society
900 Mount Curve Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Hmm. I don't know about that lecture. I'll try to go and if I do, I shall report.

(I must say that the name "Onan Observatory" makes my irony meter flash red!)

Other Exciting Developments

Happy Library of Congress morning, everyone. (No, it just means I have class. Don't worry--there's still mail pickup.)

I just thought of Dan's profile statement ("Can't go to sleep. Clown will eat me. Can't go to sleep. Clown will eat me. Can't go to sleep. Clown will eat me.") and though it made me laugh before suddenly it had me guffawing this morning. I've probably had about 2 hours of sleep but I'm not tired.

My Dewey Decimal homework had better be correct because I'm not checking out all 4 volumes again before class to double-check it. But enough, because there were other exciting developments chez moi.

Such as my older cat barfing at midnight (well, that's not particularly news) into his own bowl (because I was aiming his head toward it. Because I have just about had it.). I left it (the barf not the head!) there. Because I have just about had it.

Then this prolific cat barfing on the bedroom floor when we're trying to sleep (he's a two-timer). Thanks, cat.

(My sister's cat barfed on my French book and was known pre-Katrina as Hurricane Marvin.)

Usually if the cat yakks on a non-emergency surface (unlike the bedroom floor) I just leave it there and it, um, disappears. (Aren't you glad I'm sharing this with you?)

Just another part of my exciting, glamorous life as Scheherazade of the blog world.

UPDATED: Yeah the digestive tracts of aging male cats are so well designed. Zing!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

DaveScot Science Moments

There is peace in the valley, so I am indeed changing this post. I'm doing it because I believe that I should.

I am absolutely reassured that there is no real threat from DaveScot so peace, everybody.

I'd like to get back to the issues, actually. (And I'd like to get to sleep. It's 3:30 a.m.)

And in the interest of peace it occurs to me that were I to delete this post altogether I'd get an angry comment from Banned in Kansas, my lovely troll, about being censored (first by blog mod, even though I posted him, and then by deletion)! Uggghhh.

Library of Crygress

I just had to share this.

There I am at lunch, doing my fucking homework after all of this (still pretty wigged about someone refusing to believe I’m not single, wha—? Why would I be single at 41? Okay, enough). There I am, trying to construct LC classification numbers for books. Ugh. Then I take the self-test in the student guide and come across this question:

When you see the symbol .x you should:
a) replace the .x with the number you found in the Regions and Countries table
b) use .x as part of the class number
c) burst into tears

Well, of course the answer is a), but I nearly chose c)! (And I believe some of my colleagues would also choose c), albeit for different reasons.) But then I check my answers, and the key says:

a, but c may also apply

I’m not making this up! My professor is insane! (She really does make a very dry subject almost fun.) Hell, I needed that.

UPDATED: Hey, the video equipment that I just wired together in an attempt to bridge numerous technological eras is actually communicating. Hot damn!
I have just been informed that, among the many horrible fates that befall docent badges, one went down the garbage disposal. She rescued it. You should see it. *Snigger*
The day is looking up!

Spanish Tonight

My neighborhood Spanish club is starting up again. Sometimes I do wonder how I do it--work, two foreign langs, grad school, blogging, and writing. Busy, busy, busy.

Hasta pronto, paz y amor, amigos y amigas!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Are You A Lipstick Librarian?

Ahhhh. I just had my French lesson (I could be, in fact I am, learning two foreign langs while the UD Tards blat, did I not say?), went shopping (yes, I do shop sometimes), bought new shoes (hardware), bought new software, came home and soaked and prettied up my feet, and now I'm relaxin' with the guy next to me, and the cat on the guy, and taquitos and tater tots in the oven. Mmmmm.

I shall be AWOL again for some time, but in the meantime, enjoy this new site that a co-worker told me about, and take the quiz! C'est tres jolie!

UPDATED: Is it just me, or is there something perverse about posting a comment off-topic about oneself and then accusing Amused Muse of being obsessed with the off-topic? Not that it isn't amusing. But haven't I made it clear that it's the pale-ass four-eyed dude at UD who really makes my string quiver? ;-)

Oh, and speaking of quivers, check out "Making Babies the Quiverfull Way" (puke alert).

OPoem Thread

Let the muse inspire you. Get in touch with your inner bard! (Or inner tard, as the case may be.)

All verse, please. No prose rants. DaveTard, pay close attention (this is advice from a venerable publisher):

written thus
are not

Monday, November 13, 2006

Oh, Weary of O’Leary!

I must admit that I’ve underestimated Denyse O’Leary at Uncommonly Denyse. Just when I thought this mindless hack had an empty gullet, she coughs up a hairball to end all hairballs:

Design arguments: Does bad design mean no design?

In other words, we’d rather call God stupid than give him up. Then, to completely contradict her idiotic point, she links, as usual without irony, to this article:

Of Designers and Dunces

(by someone named Roddy Bullock) which is prefaced by this finger-wagging quote:

We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom.
– Stephen Vincent Benét

which is exactly the position in which their designer is—a powerful dunce. Gee, that’s brilliant. I’m quaking in my shoes. A Dunce-Designer, a nincompoop God. Let us worship him.

But wait, there’s more. Well actually, there’s more of the same. They get around the Dumb Designer bit to place the blame on (what else?) "Darwinists." First they play the “all Darwinists see design” flat-out lie, then make a dubious foray into archaeology and art history:

And that is the point: Venus de Milo stands today permanently flawed, but her current condition is not her original condition. From Paris of Troy to Paris, France and from original perfection to time-worn disfigurement, Venus is worse for the wear. But she still inspires those willing to see beauty rather than defect. By criticizing the quality of Venus’ design by focusing on her flaws, one would be committing an error that is grossly obtuse at best, and grossly arrogant at worst. Likewise, to be so pompous as to judge in humans the quality of design by apparent flaws in design smacks of pretentious conceit.

First of all, these dorks know jack shit about art. Secondly, they know jack shit about mythology. Thirdly, Venus is missing her arms because they were broken off; that is hardly analogous to children being born blind or hideously deformed. Are these latter-day medievalists attributing birth defects to damage done to an originally perfect creation, in other words, to (what else) human sin? You be the judge:

Perhaps, just as Venus held the Apple of Discord, our human race once held its own apple of discord, and by desiring “fairest one” status perfect design was forever disturbed by this world’s god of discord.…With each passing generation an organism’s genetic information can only stay essentially the same or degrade. The notion of increasingly beneficial genetic information occurring naturally over time to, say, grow new arms, is a modern myth. Despite Darwinists’ every effort to show otherwise, the evidence shows that unintelligent, unguided change over time progresses inexorably in one direction: to more and more flaws in a once-good design. Evolution, correctly understood, is therefore a fact and comports perfectly with religion.

You see, the designer has rough spots in his creation because he never intended for humanity to (or never knew that humanity would) go searching around looking at how things work. And this after making that screen spew The Privileged Planet, which argues that the whole cosmos was arranged precisely so humanity would discover it!

But historians now accept that the left arm is original to the work; it was intentionally not as well finished as the rest of the statue because it would have been raised above eye level and difficult to see. Such a technique was a standard practice for many sculptors of the era—less visible parts of statues were often not as well finished since they would typically be invisible to the casual observer.
We may never know [always with them, human are helpless] why certain of our features are designed the way they are, but what we do know is that every feature, whether deemed bad design or good, clearly evidences a designer. Such knowledge cannot easily not be known. [emphasis mine]

“Such knowledge cannot easily not be known.” There you have it, folks—the words of wisdumb! Can you prove that it didn’t happen? Future mutations such as these can affect you in the future! We must stop this war between scence and religion before it lasts forever!

Unbelieveable. Just unbelieveable.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Arms Races and Manipulation, Part II

If evolution can be viewed as a sort of “arms race,” one often assumes that if an animal manipulates another, the victim will, via random mutation and natural selection, develop counterstrategies to escalate the arms race rather than capitulate. However, Dawkins shows several examples of how this is not necessarily so.

For example, the foster parents of the cuckoo continue to feed their changeling “child” despite the obvious absurdity of a tiny Garden Warbler straining to feed a cuckoo several times its size. Why doesn’t the Warbler recognize this incongruity, when apparently some host parents of cuckoos can indeed recognize flaws in the cuckoo’s egg mimicry? Why does the host parent recognize the parasitic egg but not the more obvious parasitic changeling fledgling bird?

Dawkins’s answer is that natural selection does not act uniformly at all times in any animal’s life. Selective pressure may be stronger at some points in the life cycle than others, or natural selection may have no effect on evolution even if a beneficial mutation were to arise. As an example of the first case, Dawkins points out that recognition of a cuckoo egg in one’s nest gives the host parent the chance to gain an entire breeding cycle, whereas recognition of the incongruous fledgling would buy at most a few days, and that probably too late for the host parent to breed again. Moreover, the actions of the cuckoo, its exaggeratedly gaping mouth, its size, could indeed act as a “drug” on the foster parent, no less than the song of a male nightingale acts as a drug on the female reproductive cycle (and, incidentally, upon the poet’s imagination).

However, a fascinating example of how an animal’s victimhood can be perpetuated is exemplified by slave-making ants. Some species of ants spend a great deal of their time raiding the nests of others and carrying off the larvae and pupae, which subsequently hatch in the new nest and begin to labor for their “masters.” This is a disturbing and puzzling development. Why don’t the enslaved worker ant colonies develop a resistance to the strange environment, filled with others not their genetic sisters—for example, by evolving a genetic disposition to cease work (to go on “strike”) when in a strange queen’s lair?

Remember that worker ants do not reproduce. Therefore, any beneficial mutation that arose in the enslaved ants would not be passed on to the rest of their home nest. At any rate, the raids do not happen often enough to destroy the victims utterly, who are under little selective pressure to evolve complex adaptive countermeasures against slave-making behavior on the part of others that, while aggressive, does not threaten the existence of the nest. An uneven battle ensues, in which the slave-making ants can be said to win the war.

Dawkins indicates that this situation is not unlike the phenomenon of a certain species of hybrid frog, which has one set of chromosomes that is jettisoned in meiosis and one set that is passed on to its offspring. The set of chromosomes (dead-end replicators) that is jettisoned in the hybrid frog is perpetuated in the pure bred species that carries two sets of these chromosomes (which become germ-line, not dead-end, replicators in this species). Thus, any beneficial mutation in the dead-end replicator line will be passed on in the pure bred species that contains two sets of these chromosomes (because in this species these sets of chromosomes are not dead-end replicators), but will not be passed on in the hybrid species. The situation of the enslaved ants is like that of the hybrid species of frog: their genes have phenotypic effects and can even be selected, but they will not be transmitted in the hybrid species, and thus are irrelevant to that particular species' evolution.

Can't Keep Good Blogs Down

Olduvai George wrote me a sweet e-mail after I sent him blog greetings--he's back! Go say "Hi!" to OGeorge!

And so is Chris Clarke. Creek Running North is up again. Well, it's on "haitus," but regular posting again is promised. Yay!

Girl Can't Hack It

(That is, unless it’s Bill Dembski’s blog.)

But I’m afraid that Morphodyke, as we call her, has just signed a season contract at Days of Uncommon Descent (with star DaveScot recently making a guest appearance on this blog channel in his very own one-man show called All My Tardity), for she’s getting her own spin-off. No, not Post-Darwinist, that was her first yucky blog. (I stumbled upon that cowpie sometime in early July of this year, and when I saw that this same woman was joining the cast at Uncommon Descent, I just about died.) Now, Denyse O’Leary started a new blog, or web log rather (poo comes in all shapes), called—wait for it—Mindful Hack.

No, I’m not kidding. Mindful Hack.

Rhymes with, "Gack!"

Want five seconds of life back.

(No linky. Find it yourself. Just Google “Female Borat impersonator.”)

Oh, and DAJ is k-c-a-b! UDoodle has posted his papers. Gee, and here I was, reading JASIST and writing a grad paper about the reading habits of astronomers and the voluntary termination of research by arts administrators. Do I feel like a fool.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sometimes You Win

I'm going to be very busy on Wednesday, with work, then class, and my big ole presentation on the Google Book Search Project. (Davey, before you crack those librarian jokes, you should know that I lean toward the Information Science side of Library and Information Science.) I won't have much time for our fun commenting, but I just want to say...


Party on now, because hard work later, but we have subpoena power now and that's what I friggin' wanted.

And one of my classmates on my presentation team is from Pennsylvania, and let me tell you, he's even more excited about Santorum going down than I am.

One, two, three: EVERYBODY SHIMMY!!!

UPDATED: More reasons to shake it.

SECOND UPDATE: Keith Ellison is elected to the House of Representatives, where he will be a voice of sanity on Iraq and other issues. (Shimmies, JanieBelle)

It Is What It Is

But what the



Bigfoot lives. And it's a gentle beast. (I think it's cute.) So maybe they should leave this poor professor alone and go after Michael Behe instead!

(Shimmies to ScaryFacts and SteveStory at After the Bar Closes)

Monday, November 06, 2006

He Is That He Is

SECOND UPDATE: Hey! Election's not over! Vote for Tardy!
UPDATED: So, what are people saying about DaveScot? (Shimmies to Lou FCD and The Girls, all of whom rock big time)
DaveScot has been busy today.

(Shimmies to Jim Wynne)

I Am That I Am

I exist. I swear that I do.

This is me with my ugly old glasses on.

Here is me with a friend at a party. That's my sari draped around both of us.

("Love means never having to wear my..." Oh, forget it.)

Okay, I don't think this is too risque. It's my publicity shot.

(My "glossy," as it were.)

PZ has seen me and knows that I exist.


(Commenters, no perverted stuff. I mean no.)

I Do the Swearing So They Don't Have To!

DaveScot made a drive by. And unlike some of my detractors, he actually rolled down the window and turned off the stereo, the better for me to hear the insult. So nice of him. ;-)

Come on, Davey. You know that I don't unleash like that often. I can also purrrrr. And you sound like you're still a little miffed that Corporal Kate isn't corporeal.

Me, making your job easier? I wonder what that job is, precisely. Walking around pushing doors marked "Pull"?

Yeah, see you and the rest of the comedy troupe on April 2, 2016, when "evolution dies" (of boredom, no doubt). Or perhaps evolution will fall down the stairs, since "gravity is the strongest force in nature"!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pants on Fire!

Get ready for the cryfest. Ted Haggard has finally confessed to having a sexual attraction to another human being. Or as he puts it, to being "guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life."

Is that all? Damn. I thought that he was going to confess that paying a prostitute for sex maintains an unfair power differential. Or that he was a shameless homophobe. Or that he was wrong about the age of the earth, and should not have baited Richard Dawkins. Or that he thought his grandchildren were going to laugh at him someday.

Flipper Has Feet?

Dolphin discovered with what might be remains of hind legs.

This is indeed a bad year for Intelligent [sic] Design, being that it still doesn't have any legs.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Unleash Your Inner Tard

Faux Dembski posts. Really hilarious. (I wrote one for revenge on behalf of the letter Richard Dawkins received from Billy on Dawkins' birthday.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

(M)UD Fight

UPDATED: Lou FCD and The Girls have the whole (m)ud-wrestle archived on JanieBelle's first post. I just want to say that I have tried several times to change my kharley471 moniker to "Kristine" but it kept changing back. (?) That's what I get for hacking their site. ;-)

And let's not forget how that UberTard, DaveScot, treated PiGuy. (Tard's reply to this physicist is in bold, and we do mean bold.) Forgetfulness is a virtue with UberTard, I guess.
UPDATED: Every once in a while Amused Muse senses that somebody (most likely some chauvinist creationist hack) doesn't think she's very smart, and hurls her finger cymbals into the far corner, shakes her fist, and lets out a string of adjectives that could wilt a cactus. The storm always passes. However, I hate bullshit, and this is bullshit.
In case anyone is interested in resolving this fight, here's the linky to the 1976 Ballard article.

Original sources, UDittoheads! Original sources. And for shit's sake, here's the original quote (pardon my typos):

Thus, the energy of investigators and particularly students is diverted into the essentially fruitless 19th century activity of bending the facts of nature to support second-rate generalities of no predictive value. Though enthusiasm for Haeckel’s (1900) recapitulation “law” died out, unfortunately the popularity of Von Baer’s “laws” of 1828 was renewed. In order to defend thelatter’s descriptive statements that general characters appear before special characters as an egg develops and that the less general and finally the specific characters trail along later, we have to deide intuitively that certain characters are of “morphological significant” and others are not. When referring to vertebrates, we have to use words like blastula and gastrula in such a way as to imply that things that are vastly different from each other are really very much the same.
Von Baer’s generalities only apply to second half of this, and even then there are many exceptions in the literature (De Beer 1958), limited their predictive value. Before the pharyngular stage we can only say that embryos of different species within a single taxonomic class are more alike than their parents. Only by semantic cricks and subjective selection of evidence can we claim that “gastrulas” of shark, salmon, frog, and bird are more alike than their parents.

Meanwhile, of course, more or less steering clear of the Naturphilosophie, real and fruitful investigations are being pursued on the period of morphogenetic movements and in related fields. Works too numerous to cite have been published in the last decade on the behavior of moving cells either as individuals or in sheets and in relation to their substrates…

(Pardon my f-bombs.) I mean, for fuck's sake, Wells. How stupid do you fucking think I am? Just because I didn't get to diddle a Ph.D. like it's a goddamn vibrator!

I'm pissed. I'm fucking pissed off, and this goes out especially to you, William Dembski, Honey.

Do you fucking think I chose to be an atheist? Do you? Do you think it’s easy, walking around being an atheist in America today? Huh? Do you think I woke up one morning and said, “Hey, I think I’ll horrify my family, lose my few (at the time) friends, and send myself straight to hell—what fun!” Do you ever ask yourself (assuming you ever doubt yourself) why anyone becomes an atheist?

It's becasue of people like you. It's because you reflect the emptiness that you say we believe in. You people lie, and lie, and lie, and then you toss around this language thinking that I, a stupid librarian-in-training, can’t find a scholarly article online and read the damn thing? And then you have the gall to point at me and yell, “Unbeliever!” when people like you are primarily responsible for showing me that there’s nothing to all of this crap?

Why should I even be afraid if there was a God? I would just accuse you before him. If you don’t like sharing the world with atheists, well go look in the mirror, Mr. William Dembski and friends. What do you believe in? Lies! How does that make you better than everyone else? How can anyone like Sal Cordova pull a fast one like this without knowing that he’s doing it?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

NASA to Save Hubble

NASA gives green light to Hubble rescue.

Take It Like A Man

Why doesn’t Coulter accept the theory of evolution? Because she doesn’t haf’ta! Why doesn’t Coulter shut her big fucking mouth? Because she doesn’t haf’ta! Why won’t Coulter cooperate in the investigation of her possibly felonious act? Because she doesn’t haf’ta!

(Future tense (and we do mean tense): Why doesn’t Coulter pick up the dropped soap? “Because I don’t haf’ta!” Hey, Annie, too bad they didn’t house you wid the wimmin.)

UPDATED: Like this one. Bitch Hovind was convicted. And Ted Haggard, giver or taker, is a major fucking faker.

(Major MWAHs to Pharyngula and Rev BigDumbChimp and to those fundy busters, Lou FCD and The Girls)

P.S. I brought up the whole UD "delisting" brouhaha in class during our discussion of archiving, and prefaced by mentioning, of course, Dembski's penchant for deleting any dissenting comments, and by the time I got to the part about DaveScot threatening to put a copyright symbol on each of UD's pages to "protect" the site's content the class was roaring with laughter. :D