Saturday, May 4, 2013


At first, DarkBaby seemed to be confused by the peas.
Then she learned their true evilness.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Babies and Prop 8

Sorry, all. It has been busy busy busy here-- between preparing for the upcoming holidays and soothing a teething baby, I haven't had a ton of time to update as often as I'd like.


You see that toy that's smooshed under her? She rolled over so that she could grab it. She couldn't figure out how to get it out from underneath of her though, poor baby.

Anyway, starting today, SCOTUS is hearing arguments regarding Prop 8. What has amazed me the most about this are all of the people who have filed briefs or spoken out in support of marriage equality-- everyone from kids whose families are impacted, to the American Academy of Pediatrics, to freaking football players. If I weren't so bummed about how absolutely godawful the current makeup of the Supreme Court is, I'd say that the overturn of Prop 8 is in the bag.

But, you know, the argument that "only straight couples can make children"†, might be Constitutionally persuasive. *eyeroll*

†Certain restrictions apply.

Friday, March 22, 2013

She thinks she's people

That's my Maggie, sitting like a person.

Edited to add more Maggie ridonkulousness.

And that's my Maggie, wondering why the hell she didn't get an enchilada.

Jesus Christ. Just give ND to Canada

I expect you all have heard the news out of North Dakota, yes? In case you haven't, I'll give you a hint: it rhymes with petal fersonhood.

That's right, ladies and germs! Both houses of the ND lege have voted to give embryos from the moment of conception full rights under the Constitution. So, yeah. No abortion, many types of birth control would be illegal, no IVF treatments, and doctors would be held criminally responsible for causing harm to an embryo or fetus. I expect this means that if a pregnant woman in ND is diagnosed with cancer, her oncologists would legally have to refuse to treat her until after she gave birth (or miscarried).

Now for the maybe-kinda-sorta-keepyerfingerscrossed good news: In order to be added to the state constitution, the bill goes before the voters in November. This is kind of good because no other fetal personhood ballot initiative has survived, but on the other hand we are talking about the dumbasses that voted for the hacks that wrote (and passed) the bill in the first place. Hey, North Dakotans! Why do you keep voting for such vile human beings?

Also, wow, way to guarantee that the state gets sued, Republicans. Let me guess... you probably don't have money to fix roads or fund public schools, but you sure as shit have the funds to defend a clearly unconstitutional law in court. Seriously fucked priorities.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

10 years on

Last Friday I was downtown running errands. On the street corner in front of city hall, I saw four middle aged people holding signs and bundled up as if it was below freezing (it was in the high 30s. Balmy!). I couldn't read their signs from where I was parked, but the first thing that came to mind was that they were pro-life protesters. But no, the Planned Parenthood is like four blocks from where they were standing.

Oh my god. Antiwar protesters! I drove past them and, yup, one lady had a "Librarians for peace" sign.

Ten years ago-- actually more than that now, since they were out there during the lead up-- a small group of people started protesting the Iraq war. Every Friday afternoon, a half dozen people would make their voices heard on an empty street corner in a dying city.

That takes some strength. One has to wonder how many times they were spat upon or sworn at or called traitors. Ten years ago, it was all RAH RAH! USA USA USA! LET'S KICK SOME BROWN PEOPLE ASS! and to quietly object was brave.

Was? Still is. Every time I've brought up withdrawing our tropps completely, I've been shouted down. It's impossible! It will create a vacuum! We need to finish what we started!

You're telling me that the best military in the world can't figure this out?
You're telling me that that no one expected that the death of Saddam Hussein would create instability?
You're telling me that the people who instigated this war actually had and endgame in mind?

Honestly, I don't know if the war protestors have been out there every Friday for the past ten years or if they've been reinvigorated by the anniversary. I'm going to check out that street corner this Friday-- maybe if they're out there, I'll join them.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

And now... Steubenville

There's no way to gracefully segue from babies to the horribleness of the news lately, so I'm not even going to try.
I wish I could say that I had some deep insight about Steubenville, but right now all I've got is rage. Rage for Jane Doe, rage towards the boys who raped her, rage at the media who are still pushing the myth that drunkenness=consent. Rage that people are harassing her over Twitter. Rage that there's so much more sympathy for the boys who attacked her than the victim herself. She's just a drunken slut, why does she matter?

It has occurred to me that if those kids robbed a liquor store instead of raping their classmate, there would be none of this "but they had so much potential!" bullshit going on. They'd be convicted with no second thoughts and no one on cable news talking about how sad their situation is.

And they say there's no rape culture. *spits!*

Bad blogger! Bad!

I said I'd post something on Saturday and somehow it's Tuesday and where the hell did the time go? Obviously I'm not doing too hot on the whole "keeping promises" thing.

It's been a tough... counts on fingers... four days. Not in any Major Drama or Real World Consequences kind of way, the little one is just teething. I've learned that this sucks up 100% of my time, since I have to be standing upright and bouncing to soothe her.

Anyway, since you all are awesome and still reading my shit, here's a picture of the babe:

Swimming in a sea of elephants


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Apologies for Friday

Sorry about not posting yesterday. The little one is getting tooth number two in and she was miserable. I'll try to get something up by tonight.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's no use

There's been another mass shooting, this time in New York. Dude sets fire to his apartment, shoots up a barber shop, shoots up a Jiffy Lube, has an 18 hour standoff with police/FBI, shoots a police dog, and finally the cops kill him (duh).

I would say something pithy about how this entire shitshow only happened because Myers had access to guns. But you know what? The fucking gun nuts won't listen. They won't listen and people die.

Fuck it and fuck them.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013


A new pope has been selected. I guess Catholics can sleep easy tonight knowing that they've replaced a former Nazi with a former supporter of the junta in Argentina.

Unless, of course, they believe that Pope Francis I has no claim to the "throne of Saint Peter" (since Ratzinger is still alive and wouldn't step down to Cardinal), making him an anti-pope. Come on, schism!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Costco, HuffPo, it's like a terrible Dr Seuss rhyme

God, I hate HuffPo. In an article about Costco's profits:
Less than a week after Costco CEO Craig Jelinek spoke out in favor of raising the minimum wage, the big-box retailer’s earnings showed that paying workers a living wage doesn’t always hurt business.
For fuck's sake. A living wage does not hurt business. In fact, it ultimately benefits the economy to have a large pool of citizens with disposable incomes. Here's Audley's patented E-Z Krash Kourse in Economics:

In order to sell your shit, people need to have money to spend. If they can't afford to pay rent on their shitty, minimum wage salary, they ain't gonna buy your shit.
Some analysts have complained in the past that Costco’s worker-friendly policies aren’t so friendly to shareholders. If Tuesday’s results are any indication, those concerns may be exaggerated.
Here is a picture of the smallest violin, playing the saddest song just for the poor, under appreciated shareholders → ·

The link included in the quote leads to a New York Time Business article featuring one of those complaining analysts:
Costco's average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent higher than its fiercest rival, Sam's Club. And Costco's health plan makes those at many other retailers look Scroogish. One analyst, Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, complained last year that at Costco "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder." 
What the ever-lovin' hell? I understand fucking over employees-- it the way Americans do business-- but to complain that your customers are being treated too well is incredible. How in the hell do you expect the company to turn a profit unless customers are satisfied, dumbass?

Gah. Trust HuffPo to take a topic that should be good news and turn it into, well, a Huffington Post article.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ladies! Have I got a tablet for you!

Ladies! Is your Galaxy Tab just too masculine? Is your plain ol' iPad not fierce enough for you? Does your Surface leave your fuzzy pink lady brains in a tizzy?

Well, have I got a tablet for you!

The ePad Femme was designed for the on-the-go, cosmo swilling, shoe shopping stereotype! You see, it comes preloaded with a ton of useful apps for today's modern woman: recipes! Shopping! Yoga! Clothing! Don't worry your pretty little head about downloading anything else, Eurostar (the makers of ePad Femme) have already figured you all out!

Hell, I might even get rid of my clunky old laptop and my smartphone in favor of an ePad Femme. They are both so drab and black. Ew! Not like the ePad* Femme which is (reported to be) a pleasant shade of pink. And I just don't know how I've managed to handle using two different operating systems (Android Jellybean and Windows 8), since I'm obviously not smart enough to figure out either one. I sure am glad that someone has come along to remind me that I'm not supposed to be able to use common gadgets; I obviously need the dumbed down version because I am of the weaker sex.

Eurostar can SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! now.

*I can't say that enough. ePad, ePad, ePad, ePad, ePad, ePad, ePad, ePad, ePad, ePad! It sounds like a brand of robot maxi-pads.

(Ars Technica)


While reading another article on Ars Technica*, I came across: Mass Effect 3 "Citadel" DLC is 4GB of gooey, cheesy fan service.


(Possible minor spoilers after the jump.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Music Sunday!

I just got around to finally watching David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last night.

I'm so conflicted about Trent Reznor. One one hand, Downward Spiral will probably remain on my list of favorite albums, but on the other, every NiN project after The Fragile has suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked. But on the other other hand, Reznor's soundtrack work has been amazing.

Ah, well.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A virtual birthday card

Happy birthday, PZ!

of partying down!
I want to take this occasion to thank you for everything-- you helped me move past dictionary atheism and you helped me see how harmful religion truly is. Plus, I've learned some nifty biology along the way.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday and many more to come!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Oh, Arkansas

The Arkansas legislature just passed a bill banning abortions after 12 weeks. Not only did they pass it, but the overrode Gov. Beebe's veto.

I am ceased to be surprised by this kind of shit. But here's my question: Aren't Republicans the party of limited government and freedom and fiscal responsibility? Let's see...
  1. Limited government? Well, if doctors are to lose their licenses for performing abortions, it seems we'd need some investigators, huh? More bureaucracy!
  2. Freedom? Unless I'm wrong, I thought the definition of freedom was along the lines of "the government won't restrict your actions".  Now freedom means "the government will restrict harmless actions that it disagrees with"? How Orwellian.
  3. Fiscal responsibility? Well, considering that this law is guaranteed to bring on a lawsuit, not so much.

How much longer are people going to buy the Republican's bullshit?


Thursday, March 7, 2013


Earlier today I clicked a link. Then another. And another. And down the rabbit hole I fell, until I found this article from last December: Human Caviar, Eating Human Embryos as a New Delicacy?.


No surprise, it's from the anti-choice nutbars from LifeNews. Anyway, to cut a long story short:
Human caviar. A disgusting, repulsive and horrifying thought for pretty much everyone. Why? Because the human embryo is a human organism, just as we are, albeit very early in development.
Therefore, stem cell research for those dirty, filthy scientists.

Seriously. Ignoring the fact that Iron Chef has never done a human embryo episode, no one is going to argue that a human embryo isn't human. I'm no scientist but I'm pretty sure that an important part of stem cell research is human stem cells. An embryo isn't a person you dumb fucks.

Is it bad that I want eggs for dinner now?

I'm trying!

There are a couple of things that I want to write about today, but DarkBaby is having a tough time teething. I'll try to get something up tonight.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Yo, protohunter!

You still reading? There's an excellent post about trilobites up at Pharyngula today. You might want to check it out.

"Inspirational" quotes

One of the reasons why I hate facebook is because crap like this always ends up in my newsfeed:
Really? We're taking life coach advice from the likes of Henry Ford now? I have little patience for industrialists, let alone Nazi sympathizers, no matter how many pithy quotes that look good superimposed over an out-of-focus sunset they puked up over the course of their life.

Also... this very well may have originally a Mark Twain quote. A quick Googling brings up both Ford and Twain as the author. Twain I can respect, even if this is something that belongs on a Hallmark birthday card. Ford, not so much.

It could be worse. A few months ago, a friend posted "Nothing is so healing as the human touch", quoted from Bobby Fischer. Yes, that Bobby Fischer-- chess grandmaster and Holocaust denier. She took it down after a couple of us pointed out that Fischer was an terrible person.

The moral of this story: Do your research, people. I don't want to see motivational quotes from known bigots every morning.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A note to gun owners

The government isn't "coming for your guns".
You will not have to defend yourself from the US army.
Your penis extension handgun wouldn't do jack shit against them, anyway.

What is with people and their paranoid fantasies about overthrowing the government? I really want to blame it on the mythology of the American Revolution and the founding fathers-- the way to avoid paying your taxes is to create a militia and start a war, obvs. It worked in the 1700s, didn't it?

Chavez is dead

In case you didn't hear, Hugo Chavez has died. I don't have much to say except this is going to be a tough transition for Venezuela.

Here's hoping the the US doesn't decide to fuck around with Venezuela now. Because, you know, oil.

A favor

To whom it may concern:
If I develop the habit of stating each post with "So..." you all have the permission to verbally smack the shit out of me.

Thank you,

Monday, March 4, 2013

In which I complain about the state of health insurance in the US

I got a funny letter in the mail the other day. You see, the company that handles the prescription coverage part of my health insurance is "urging" me to fill my "maintenance medications" though their home delivery pharmacy. By "urging" I mean "they will charge an additional 10% of the prescription's copay if I don't start ordering from their pharmacy by April".

How the fuck is this legal? Jesus Christ, we have better consumer protections for car insurance than health insurance. It's quite the racket, isn't it? Order directly from us or we will charge you more out-of-pocket every time you need to refill your prescriptions that keep you healthy! The mafia should be proud.

This is just one more reason to support single payer health insurance. Sure, its just a minor inconvenience for me-- I just have to call to make sure that they're not going to do something that is actually illegal, like charge a copay for my birth control-- but it could be a major issue for someone else.

It's clear that private companies cannot be trusted not to fuck over consumers in any way that they can.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Think Progress, you lazy bastards

Since this Think Progress graphic keeps popping up in my facebook timeline, I might as well share it with you all, too.
It’s likely no coincidence that many of those same states lack the comprehensive sexual education requirements that would help educate their residents about HIV transmission from an early age. Health classes in Texas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana aren’t required to provide any kind of medically accurate information about HIV. And in two of those states — Texas and Florida — public schools don’t have to offer any type of sexual health education whatsoever.
The article completely ignores the HIV/AIDS diagnosis rates in Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, which are in the same range as most of the Southern states. (Before anyone says that it's an "urban" problem, remind me again which is the second largest city in the US and what state it's in.)

I guess I'm all pissy about the article because it's just so fucking lazy. It only took me a couple of minutes to look up the sex education policy of New York State:
New York has no law that mandates sex education or regulates its content if taught – it has not taken the necessary action to guarantee complete, comprehensive sex ed for its students. However, New York does require that students be taught about HIV as part of health classes. Sex education policy is governed by New York Commissioner’s Regulations 135.3 and Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences.
 (Advocates for Youth)

And what do you know? Illinois and Massachusetts are in the same boat: no mandate for sex ed, but information about HIV/AIDS must be taught in high school. New Jersey, though, is a bit of an oddball:
New Jersey has among the most comprehensive sex education policies of any state. Its students must receive age-appropriate information on a variety of topics, including gender stereotypes, sexual orientation, the benefits of abstinence, and condoms and contraception.
So, yeah. Claiming that abstinence only sex ed is the cause of high rates of HIV/AIDs oversimplifies the problem. I have no doubt that it contributes to high rates of STIs and teen pregnancy, but simply blaming red states for their lack of proper sex education isn't going to reduce rates of HIV/AIDS.

Sunday brunch

Now that I've resurrected the sleeping blog, I think I'd like to do food posts occasionally. What's more fun than sharing with the world what you ate? 

Anyway. Today was Sunday brunch with Mr Darkheart's family. I contributed baked eggs in bacon cups-- a super easy dish that is OM NOM NOM NOM.

Shirred eggs in bacon cups
serves 6

12 strips of cooked bacon*
12 medium eggs
12 teaspoons heavy cream
6 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
black pepper
boiling water

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray each cup of a muffin tray with Pam or whatever.
  • Line each cup with a strip of bacon, then add an egg to each. Top each egg with a teaspoon of cream and a half teaspoon of cheese. Grind a whole lot of pepper over everything.
  • Pour the boiling water into a deep baking dish (large enough to hold the muffin tray) until it's about an inch deep. Put the muffin tray in the water bath and bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes.
  • Let the eggs cool slightly and they will pop right out of their molds. 
*DO NOT overcook the bacon! You want it at the just barely done and still flappy stage.

I like this recipe 'cos there's infinite variations. No bacon? Use ham. Or turkey bacon. Use whatever cheese you have on hand. Garnish with fresh green herbs of your choice. Add red pepper flakes. Whatever. It all works.

And a brunch protip: Don't bother serving plain oatmeal and yogurt for bunch. It doesn't matter how many times you say that it's "parfait", nobody's going to impressed with it. Brunch is about eating foods that you don't normally indulge in and nobody cares about your high fiber diet.

Now pass the sausage, please.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I'm back, baby!

Woah, it's been an intense couple of months, but I'm back!

First, some cleanup. Yes, I got rid of the baby posts-- they were just an easy way to share pictures without resorting to facebook, nothing serious. They're not gone gone, just hidden for the time being. If you all are really good to me, maybe I'll include some Darkling pictures in future posts.

Anyway, apparently a creationist found my blog and was SO CONCERNED that he* simply had to send me an email. Now, I haven't gone through my old posts, but I'm pretty sure most of them have been about politics, feminist issues, and crap like that, not science or religion specifically.

Without further ado, here's the brain vomit that was belched into my inbox several hours ago:
Too Bad
[redacted]<[redacted]> 2:36 PM (3 hours ago)
to me
Read this news.
I'm going to regret this, aren't I?
(That is the first and last sentence that doesn't require any correction.)
Wht (What) Dawinism (evolution) cant (can't) explain [is] the cambrian (Cambrian) age.
Yep. I shouldn't have read past the first statement. 
What can't evolution explain? You might as well say that evolution can't explain 1985.
Let alone trilobytes (trilobites) are so  sophisticated They (they)  alone  can crush Evolution (evolution)  and the trilobytes (trilobites') eyes are so complicated that only a creatot (creator) could have made them..
  Have you seen a trilobite?
Trilobite! Courtesy of Wikipedia
It doesn't exactly scream MOST COMPLEX ORGANIZM EVAR!! does it? I mean, trilobites are little dudes with an exoskeleton.

After some quick research, it seems as though trilobites had compound eyes, which isn't surprising considering that arthropods have compound eyes. There's no mention in anything I've read so far that a trilobite's eyes were too complex to have appeared in the Cambrian Period.

I do not understand  the insistence that eyes disprove evolution: eyes come in all different types from simple light detecting cells to complex organs that can detect different wavelengths of light, movement, depth, etc. Unless creationists are insisting that every species has an eye that is wholly unique, I don't see how eyes disprove evolution instead of supporting it.
Check it out(,) read up on [missing word(s)](.) i (I)  was like you(:) in the dark  because they [who are "they"?] do not talk about the cambrain (Cambrian) in text books (textbooks) and  if they do  its (it's) real (really) short(.)  ok (OK/Okay)(,) just thought i (I) would drop you this line(.)  c ya(,) protohunter
 I love run on sentences!

"They" don't include Cambrian period in textbooks? It has been a hell of a long time since I've been a student, so I can't really speak to what "they" have or have not included in school science curricula. It was stupid easy to find a Wikipedia article on the Cambrian Period though, so if there is some sort of conspiracy to keep us in the dark about the truth of the Cambrian, "they" are doin it rong.

To follow this train of thought (such that it is): our little Nimrod only accepts Jesus Christ as his lord and savior† because somebody fed him some goofy disinformation about compound eyes. He also believes that if someone like me sees one tiny example of (what he believes is) an unexplained phenomenon, we will instantly crumble and choose his religion above the thousands of others out there because Goddidit.

Here's the thing: I am perfectly okay with "I don't know". In fact, there would be very little scientific advancement if people didn't say "I don't know, but let me find out" and instead assumed that all unknowns were caused by a "creatot". Let's say that there was some mystery about trilobite eyes; that wouldn't prove the existence of a god, but it would demonstrate that we don't have all the pieces to the puzzle yet. 

Here's a couple of protips, just in case protohunter is reading:
  1. It's all well and good to use a pseudonym (I obviously do), but it's kind of pointless if you're sending out emails with your real name attached.
  2.  How exactly do you expect to convince anyone of your point of view with all the spelling/grammatical carnage? It may not be fair to prejudge someone's intelligence based on how well they communicate, but it happens all the time. I'd rather judge you based on your silly ideas, but to be fair, your refusal to use a spell check is pretty fucking annoying.
In case it's not glaringly obvious, I'd like you all to know that I am not a scientist. If anyone would like to impart any additional information (or make corrections if I've gone wrong), it would be greatly appreciated!

*Throughout the rest of this post, I refer to the writer as "he". This email was sent from an account with a masculine name attached (which I have redacted).
 †There's no doubt in my mind that protohunter is a Christian. He may not have used "Jesus" or "God", but trust me on this. They all sound the same.