DC

Feb. 12th, 2017 05:58 pm
essentialsaltes: (poo-bush)
I went for a quick business trip to Washington DC.

Pictures here.

The flight out was pretty rocky. Coming in for landing at Dallas, the lady next to me had her airsickness bag out. It was a near thing, but we made it through together. Alas, my bag was so frightened, it stayed in Dallas. But it was coaxed onto the next flight so it arrived at my hotel at midnight. So much for getting an early night to help with the time change.

The business stuff was successful, and (as the photos show) I had some time to walk around the national mall before heading back to the airport. I was surprised there were no protestors at the White House. Just a small gaggle of tourists.

On the flight back, I couldn't help but notice the guy next to me with his e-reader set to blind-bat text size, especially when the screen read:

"aggressively sharpened on the whetstone of her sex"

Which reminds me... there was some commercial for something quoting Dylan Thomas - "Do not go gentle into that good night". Seems to me James Bond uncharacteristically missed an opportunity for a witticism in The Man with the Golden Gun.
essentialsaltes: (wingedlionbook)
Swann's auction catalog of Art, Press, & Illustrated books has some pretty unique things.

A curious edition of Flatland, published by the Arion Press, with an introduction by Ray Bradbury. It's printed on 56 accordion folded pages (so you can lay out the whole text... flat) and housed in an aluminum case.



If that's not wacky enough... The Robin Book:



If that's not pretty enough, then how about the Kelmscott Press (William Morris) Works of Chaucer:



If that's not racy enough, imagine having to compose a properly dry auction catalog entry for this:

"An unusual, unexpected, and very erotically graphic publication that touches on all manner of taboos and the employment of otherwise innocent items like pickles."
essentialsaltes: (we are different)
So I jumped into the Dragon Age franchise with Inquisition. The developer, BioWare, has been applauded in the past for allowing queer relationships, and "romance arcs will occur in reaction to events and variables specific to each character and include sex scenes". Woohoo!

But it turns out that, although the player can be a bisexual horndog [well, obviously, the player can be anything (and probably is) -- I mean the character the player plays] the sexable characters have their own preferences (and why shouldn't they?). And having now peeked at the hints from the nerds that have sexed all the pixels, it turns out I've been barking up all the wrong trees. And these replicants just don't have any convenient Chasing Amy programming.

And fuck you, Cullen. You like women, but not dwarven women? Just because we're small doesn't mean we don't have a lot of love to give.

*cries onto her little dwarven rock-pillow after a long day of slaughtering heretics and getting friendzoned*
essentialsaltes: (Patriotic)
TIME magazine has a little section with infobits about the different income segments of the US. The different income tiers are:

Households earning $200K+ ("The 5%")
$100K-$199K (The 17%)
$60K-$99K (The 22%)
$30K-$59K (The 26%)
<$30K (The 30%)

So there's little factoids like the percent of each group that smokes:

12% (<-- I assume the bump is for big fat Cuban cigars lit by flaming $100 bills.)
10%
15%
20%
28%

But I was most struck by the data about the children of these different households.
Average SAT scores of the kids of those households

1151
1094
1036
987
897

(Before you go all Social Darwinist on this, the 5% can afford pretty good tutors. I remember when I was trying to finally weed off that last client. I couldn't raise my prices enough to make them stop calling me.)

Perhaps the more surprising one was Percent of their children who have had sex by age 16.

32%
41%
46%
54%
61%

Censored!

Sep. 11th, 2013 10:39 pm
essentialsaltes: (poseidon)
Holy shit!

In my battles with creationists, I... okay, let me sum up, I posted a picture of the Artemision Bronze:



and my post was "reported and deleted for review"

I presume, because of that prurient wiener. In protest, I make you look at a wiener. Wiener. Penis. Schwanschtucker.
essentialsaltes: (Mr. Gruff)
This post has been a long time coming. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean it's particularly good, informative, or insightful.

[livejournal.com profile] jimhines' cartoon has been flying around recently:


While this was about science fiction cons, it applies perfectly well to atheist/skeptic/secular cons. That community has had some recent high-profile incidents, and some longer simmering arguments. I've been mostly watching from the sidelines; not because I don't care, but because I haven't been directly involved. I haven't been to any of these conventions. I don't really know the people involved, and certainly have no knowledge of the actual incidents. So I didn't think I had much to add other than a huge chance of foot-in-mouth disease.

essentialsaltes more than likely puts his foot in his mouth somewhere in here )
essentialsaltes: (atheist teacher)
I'm a short way into A Wicked Company, which is primarily about Diderot and the Baron d'Holbach, but so far the salient things I've learned are:

Philippe I, Duke of Orleans was a cross-dressing 'notorious' homosexual and successful military commander. He also carried out his familial obligations, producing Philippe II, Duke of Orleans, who was an atheist. As Regent, the younger Philippe opposed censorship and pursued other enlightened reforms that never really went anywhere.

Finally, Rousseau really liked to be spanked.
essentialsaltes: (news)
#1: Don't post things to facebook, or you will have to scroll through your stupid timeline to relocate them again.

#2: Original story

#3: Update:
"bones not belonging to the mobster were recovered [from his tomb, but] they have not yet been positively identified as [the missing girl's]."

"The Catholic Church's leading exorcist priest has sensationally claimed a missing schoolgirl thought to be buried in a murdered gangster's tomb was kidnapped for Vatican sex parties."
essentialsaltes: (jasmine)
The good news is that story about Egypt passing, or wanting to pass, a law allowing men to have sex with their dead wives is baloney.

The other good news is that female genital mutilation has been illegal in Egypt since 2008.

The other other good news is that rates of FGM are falling in Egypt.

The not so good news is that the rate started at more than 90%. Among girls aged 10-14, the rate in 2010 was 66% and among girls 15-17, it's 75% [n.d.]. It's not the kind of thing that stops overnight, so let's hope the trend continues.
essentialsaltes: (Grinch)
it takes a lot to shock me, but this managed to rise above (sink below?) the norm:

Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. "I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues"
...
In the tapped phone conversations, the drug dealer contacted the boys and gave their phone numbers to the priest, who paid them with cocaine or 50 euros each time for sexual intercourse.
...
"He has read the newspapers, and he is pained by his parishioners' comments," says his lawyer.


Aw, the poor guy!
essentialsaltes: (essentialsaltes)
Took a survey from ebay. Looks like they may be considering providing packaging/shipping materials to sellers, and/or setting up package dropoffs at local locations [the survey mentioned Starbucks by name as an example].


I was thinking that our various circumlocutions for the genitalia are primarily used as terms of opprobium. You don't want to be a prick, a dick or a cock. Nor a cunt, twat, or pussy. Maybe we should foster a sex-positive genital endearment for popular use. But what should they be? Cunny may be too close to the C-word, even if it sounds like honey, which would seem to be a natural advantage. Twatwaffle sounds like it should be a good thing, but it's a bad thing. We may have to resurrect and take back something like quim.
The male side is even worse. No lack of options, but things like 'womb ferret' or 'heat-seaking moisture missile' really are just not suitable. Peener seems to have the requisite cuteness. Giggle stick? Package may have the right feel: "Bob's a prick, but Rob's quite the package."
Opinions? Other than that this idea of mine is far less than half-baked?


I was thinking [yeah, see where that got me last time] that the [primarily Christian fundagelical] antiscience advocates complain that a failing of science is that it's bedeviled by progress change. One day, a fossil is a hominid; the next day, it's a peccary.
And yet... when we look at the Bible, one day you can't eat bacon, the next day you can. One day you circumcise, the next you don't. One day it's an eye for an eye, the next day it's "Ye have heard that it hath been said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth': But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." Which would seem to take the sting out of their criticism.
But this idea is also less than half-baked since it's not likely to impress these critics of science, since they've had it hammered into them that their god's nature is unchanging, and the NT is the same as (or fulfillment of) the OT.
Anyway, that was my second lousy thought of the day. You're welcome.


Oh, and while I'm blathering, I was looking into the No Religious Test clause, as one does, and found something kinda neat. Although the US Constitution forbade religious tests for office, many of the individual states had such tests at that time.
Ben Franklin unsuccessfully fought against the religious test added to the Pennsylvania constitution. Part of his motivation may well have been his realization that he couldn't pass the test, as it required belief in the divine inspiration of the (complete) Bible.
Fortunately, it only applied to the PA Assembly, so there was no bar to him becoming president/governor of the state and working to amend the religious test to something less restrictive (to merely "acknowledge[] the being of God and a future state of rewards and punishments").
Ultimately, of course, the 14th Amendment provided a de facto end to state religious tests, though some are still on the books.
essentialsaltes: (poseidon)
The dull life of a hedge fund manager, who studied classics at Oxford.

These articles contain the following statistically improbable phrases:
designer hotpants that “barely covered her buttocks”.
a lap dance at the Crazy Horse Cabaret in Paris with Charity Wanju, an Oriental escort. [I guess the preferred nomenclature, dude, has not crossed the pond.]
“partied like a rock star”
He claimed women are attracted to him — “a wealthy and powerful man” — because “that’s the way of the world”.
Lucky Catullus
pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo
the "queer" and the "faggot"
"I will ram my cock up your ass and down your throat."
This article is subject to a legal complaint
essentialsaltes: (narrow)
Dan asked his readers to write to some of the school officials involved in the prom debacle.
So I did. )
essentialsaltes: (unleash the furry)
Pornography, Public Acceptance and Sex Related Crime: A Review
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 32 (2009) 304-314

Studies by other investigators, female as well as male, (Barak, Fisher, Belfry, & Lashambe, 1999; L. Baron, 1990; Davies, 1997) essentially found similarly that there was no detectable relationship of the amount of exposure to pornography and any measure of misogynist attitudes.
...
Findings by Goldstein and Kant (1973) can also be relevant here. These investigators found that rapists were more likely than non-rapists in the prison population to having been punished for looking at pornography while a youngster. And such was by no means common among the rest of the prison population. In fact, as reported above, the non-rapists had seen more pornography, and seen it at an earlier age. These investigators also found that what does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing (Goldstein & Kant, 1973). Green too reported that both rapists and child molesters use less pornography than a control group of "normal" males (Green, 1980). This is certainly a thought-stimulating finding.

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